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narrative_of_mr._john_dodge_during_his_captivity_at_detroit

THE DODGE NARRATIVE, 1780
FACSIMILE REPRINT


Sixty-three copies printed
sixty being for sale

NARRATIVE
OF
MR. JOHN DODGE
DURING HIS CAPTIVITY
AT DETROIT

REPRODUCED IN FACSIMILE FROM THE
SECOND EDITION OF 1780

WITH AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE
BY
CLARENCE MONROE BURTON

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA
THE TORCH PRESS
NINETEEN HUNDRED NINE


[Pg 5]

THE DODGE NARRATIVE

T

he 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 question.

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 [Pg 6] 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 [Pg 7] 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 June.

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 [Pg 8] 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 [Pg 9] 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 [Pg 10] 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 [Pg 11] 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 [Pg 12] 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—!
(Indorsement)
Letter from John Dodge
Pittsburg 25 Jany 1779
Read Feby. 17th.—
Referred to the board of war—

[Pg 13]

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 [Pg 14] 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 [Pg 15] 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 [Pg 16] 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 [Pg 17] 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.

Sir

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 [Pg 18]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 Corruct

I have the honour to be with the Greatest Respect

Your Excellencies
Most Obd and Very
Humbe Servt—
Jno. Dodge

To
His Excellency
President of Congress
(Dec. 13, 1782)

[Pg 19]

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

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.[Pg 20]

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 [Pg 21]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 Hamilton.

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 [Pg 22]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 children.

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 prisoners.

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 [Pg 23]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)

[Pg 24]


[Pg 25]

Mr. DODGE's
NARRATIVE
Of his Sufferings among the
BRITISH
AT  DETROIT.


[Pg 26]


[Pg 27]

AN ENTERTAINING
NARRATIVE

Of the cruel and barbarous Treatment and
extreme Sufferings of

MR. JOHN DODGE
DURING HIS
CAPTIVITY
OF MANY MONTHS AMONG THE
BRITISH.
AT DETROIT.

IN WHICH IS ALSO CONTAINED,

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.

THE SECOND EDITION.

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

[Pg 28]

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.


[Pg 29]

A
NARRATIVE, &

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,[Pg 30] 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[Pg 31] 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[Pg 32] 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[Pg 33] 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[Pg 34] 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. I asked him whether he intended to try me by the civil or military law, or give me any trial at all? To which be replied, that he was not obliged to give any damn'd rebel a trial unless he[Pg 35] thought proper, and that he would hang every one he caught, and that he would begin with me first. I told him if he took my life, to beware of the consequence, as he might depend on it that it would be looked into. What, says he, do you threaten me you damn'd rebel? I will soon alter your tone; here take the damn'd rebel to the dungeon again, and let him pray to God to have mercy on his soul, for I will soon fix his body between heaven and earth and every scoundrel like him.

I was then redelivered to the hands of Philip De Jeane, who acted in the capacity of judge, sheriff and jailor, and carried back to my dungeon, where I was soon waited on by the Missionary to read prayers with me; but it was so extremely cold, he could not stand it but a few minutes at a time. In conversation with him, I told him I thought it was very hard to lose my life without a trial, and as I was innocent of the charge alledged against me. He said it was very true, but that the Governor had charged him not to give me the least hopes of life, as he would absolutely hang me.

I remained in this dismal situation three days, when De Jeane came and[Pg 36] took out one of the criminals who was in the dungeon with me, and held a short conference with him, then came and told me, the Governor had sent him to tell me to prepare for another world, as I had not long to live, and then withdrew. I enquired of the criminal, who was a Frenchman, what De Jeane wanted with him? But he would not tell me.

The evening following he told his brother in distress, that De Jeane had offered him twenty pounds to hang Mr. Dodge (meaning me) but that he had refused unless he had his liberty; De Jeane then said, that we should both be shot under the gallows.

Being at last drove almost to despair, I told De Jeane to inform the Governor I was readier to die at that time than I should ever be, and that I would much rather undergo his sentence, than be tortured in the dreadful manner I then was. He returned for answer, that I need not hurry them, but prepare myself, as I should not know my time until half an hour before I was turned off.

Thus did I languish on in my dungeon, without a friend being allowed to visit me,[Pg 37] denied the necessaries of life, and must have perished with the cold it being in the depth of winter, had not my fellow-prisoners spared me a blanket from their scanty stock. Thus denied the least comfort in life together with the unjust and savage threatning I received every day, brought me so very low, that my inability to answer De Jeane's unreasonable questions, with which he daily tormented me respecting innocent men, obliged him to notice my situation, and no doubt thinking I should die in their hands, they thought proper to remove me to the barracks, and ordered a Doctor to attend me. The weather had been so extreme cold, and my legs had been bolted in such a manner, that they were so benumbed, and the sinews contracted, that I had not the least use of them; and the severity of my usage had brought on a fever, which had nigh saved them any further trouble.

After I had lain some time ill, and my recovery was despaired of, De Jeane called and told me that the Governor had altered his mind with respect to executing me, and bid me be of good cheer, as he believed the Governor would give me my liberty when I got better; I replied it was a matter of indifference to me whether he[Pg 38] gave me my liberty or not, as I had much rather die than remain at their mercy: On which he said, "You may die and be damn'd," and bounced out of the room.

When I had so far recovered as to be able to set up in my bed, my nurse being afraid I should inform her husband of her tricks in his absence, told the Governor that I was a going to make my escape with a party of soldiers, that I was well and could walk as well as she could, though at that time my legs were still so cramped and benumbed with the irons and cold, that had kingdoms been at stake I could not walk.

On this information, De Jeane came and told me to get up and walk to the dungeon from whence I came. I told him I was unable: "Crawl then you damn'd rebel, or I will make you." I told him he might do as he pleased, but I could not stand, much more walk: On this he called a party of soldiers, who tossed me into a cart and carried me to the dungeon: Here, by the persuasion of the Doctor, who was very kind and attentive, I was allowed a bed and not ironed. By his care and the weather growing milder, I got rid of my fever and began to walk about my dungeon,[Pg 39] which was only eight feet square; but even this was a pleasure too great for me to enjoy long, for in a few days I was put into irons. The weather now growing warm and the place offensive, from the filth of the poor fellows I had left there, and who were afterwards executed, I relapsed. By persuasion of the Doctor who told them unless I had air I should die, a hole about seven inches square was cut to let in some air.

I remained ill until June, although the Doctor had done all that lay in his power; he then let the Governor know, that it was impossible for me to recover unless I was removed from the dungeon, on which he sent De Jeane to inform me, if I would give security for my good behavior, that he would let me out of prison. Being by my usage and fever, reduced to a state of despondence, I told him that it was a matter of indifference what he did with me, and that his absence was better than his company: He then published it abroad, and several Gentlemen voluntarily entered into two thousand pounds security for me, and I once more was allowed to breath the fresh air, after six months confinement in a loathsome dungeon, except eight or nine weeks that I lay sick at the barracks.[Pg 40]

On my going abroad, I learned that all the property I left in the woods, to the amount of fifteen or sixteen hundred pounds, was taken in the King's name and divided among the Indians. As I had but little to attend to but the recovery of my health, I mended apace. As soon as I could walk abroad, Governor Hamilton sent for me and said, he was sorry for my misfortunes, and hoped I would think as little as possible of them; that I was in a low state, he thought I had best not think of business, or think of what I had left, as he would lend me a hand to recover my losses. This smooth discourse gave me but little satisfaction for the ill usage I had received at his hands; however, I was determined to rest as easy as I could, until I had an opportunity of obtaining redress.

As soon as I found myself so far recovered as to be able to do business, which was in September, I applied to the Governor to go down the country, but he put me off with fine words, a permission to do business there, and a promise of his assistance. I now settled my accounts with the persons with whom I was connected in trade, and found myself seven hundred pounds in debt. My credit being pretty good, I set up a[Pg 41] retail store, and as many of the inhabitants pitied my case, they all seeming willing to spend their money with me. My being master of the different Indian languages about Detroit, was also of service to me, so that in a short time I paid off all my debts, and began to add to my stock.

In the spring of 1777 I heard there was like to be a good trade at Machilimakanac, on which I applied to the Governor, and with a great deal of trouble got a pass, went and met with good trade. On my return Governor Hamilton by several low arts attempted to pick my cargo, which as it would spoil the sale of the remainder, I could not allow. As he had no pretence for taking them from me by force, it once more provoked him to wrath against me; he greatly retarded my sales by denying me a permit to draw my powder out of the magazine; also ordered myself and two servants to be ready at a moment's warning to march under Capt. Le Mote on a scouting party with Savages: I told him it was against my inclination to take up arms against my own flesh and blood, and much more so to go with Savages to butcher and scalp defenceless women and children, that were not interested in the present dispute: He said it was not any of my business whether they were interested in the dispute or not; and added if you are[Pg 42] not ready when called for, I will fix you. Lucky for me he was soon after called down the country, and succeded by Capt. Mountpresent as Commander, who ordered Le Mote to strike my name out of his books: but my servants with their pay, I lost entirely.

The party of Savages under Le Mote went out with orders not to spare man, woman or child. To this cruel mandate even some of the Savages made an objection, respecting the butchering women and children, but they were told the children would make soldiers, and the women would keep up the stock.—Those sons of Britain offered no reward for prisoners, but they gave the Indians twenty dollars a scalp, by which means they induced the Savages to make the poor inhabitants, who they had torn from their peaceable homes, carry their baggage until within a short distance of the fort, where in cold blood, they murdered them, and delivered their green scalps in a few hours after to those British Barbarians, who on the first yell of the Savages, flew to meet and hug them to their breasts reeking with the blood of innocence, and shewed them every mark of joy and approbation, by firing of cannon &c.

One of these parties returning with a number of woman and children's scalps, and three prisoners, they were met by the Commander[Pg 43] of the fort, and after usual demonstrations of joy delivered their scalps, for which they were paid; the Indians then made the Commandant a present of two of the prisoners, reserving the third as a sacrifice to the manes of one of them that had fell in the expedition. Being shocked at the idea of one of my fellow-creatures being tortured and burnt alive by those inhuman Savages, I sought out the Indian who had lost his relative, and to whom, according to the Indian custom, this unhappy man belonged; I found him, took him home with me, and by the assistance of some of my friends and twentyfive pounds worth of goods, I persuaded the inhuman wretch to sell his life to me. As the rest of the gang had taken the prisoner about two leagues distance, and were making merry over him, we were obliged to lay a scheme to deliver him from their hands, which we did in the following manner, it being midnight and very dark the Indian, myself and two servants crossed the river in a batteaux to where they were carousing around this unhappy victim. The Indian then went to his companion, and under a pretence of taking the prisoner out to answer a call of nature, delivered him to me, who lay at some distance, and I carried him to the batteaux. As soon as he found himself in the hands of his deliverer, his transport was too great for his tender frame; three different[Pg 44] times he sunk lifeless in my arms, and as often by the help of water, the only remedy at hand, I prevented his going to the land of spirits in a transport of joy. None but those who have experienced it, can have an idea of the thoughts that must have agitated the breast of a man, who but a few minutes before saw himself surronnded by Savages, whose dismal yell, and frightful figures, heightened by the glare of a large fire in a dismal wood, which must have harrowed up the soul of an uninterested bystander, much more one who knew that very fire was prepared for his execution, and that every moment the executioner was expected to arrive.—The executioner arrives; he advances towards him; he losens this unhappy victim from the tree to which he was bound, no doubt as this young man imagined to be led to the stake; but as it were in an instant, he finds himself in the hands of his deliverer and fellow-countryman. This, as I said before was too much for him to bear; however I got his almost lifeless corpse to my house, where I kept him hid. The Indian, according to our agrement in an hour or two after I was gone, returned seemingly much fatigued, and told his fellow Savages who were impatiently waiting to begin their brutal sacrifice, that the prisoner had escaped, and that he had in vain pursued him. Some time after this I found an opportunity[Pg 45] and made an agrement with the Captain of a vessel going to Michilimakanac, to take my unhappy inmate with him, but one of my servants being tempted, by a large reward that was offered for retaking the above prisoner, informed De Jeane, that he was hid in my house, on which my habitation was soon surrounded by a party of soldiers under the command of said De Jeane, and myself, the young man and four servants were made prisoners, and having demanded my keys, which I delivered, we were hurried to goal and confined in different rooms. Here this unhappy young fellow, in high expectations of seeing his friends, was once more plunged into the horrors of imprisonment.

Representation of the Indian Manner of burning an English Prisoner.

[Pg 46]

I was sent for and carried before the Commandant, where, on being examined who was the person in my house, I frankly told him it was a young man whom I had bought of the Indians when they were going to burn him, and that I meant to send him to Canada to be out of the way of the Savages, but De Jeane, like other men of bad principles, thinking no man could do a good action without sinister views, said that he believed I had purchased him to serve my own ends, and that he would find them out, which the Commandant ordered him to do as soon as possible, and I was ordered to prison.

De Jeane then took my servant, who was his informant, ironed him, put him in the dungeon, and after keeping him three days on bread and water, the lad almost frightened out of his senses, sent for De Jeane, and told him that the day before I was taken up I had wrote several letters, and on his bringing a candle to seal them, that I said, if he told any one that I was writing to Pitsburg, that I would blow his brains out. This suiting De Jeane's purpose, he made the lad swear to it, and then set him with the rest of my servants at liberty.

I was now once more called before the Commandant, who told me he understood I[Pg 47] was going to send an express to his Majesty's enemies, in consequence of which he had taken an inventory of my effects, and meant to send me to Canada. I told him he was misinformed: He then taxes me with what De Jeane had forced from my servant; asked me where I was writing the day before I was taken? I told him to my correspondents in Montreal; and luckily for me a neighbor of mine, having been at my house, was produced, who declared the truth of what I said, and that I being hurried, had given him the letters to carry on board the vessel. This with some other false accusations being cleared up, I was once more released on giving fresh security.

Though myself and servants were, for want of a pretence for detaining us, set at liberty, it was not so with the unfortunate young man whom I had purchased from the Indian; he still remained in prison, daily tormented with the threats of De Jeane, that he would deliver him to the Indians, which so preyed on his spirits, that in a short time it threw him into a fever. I then applied to Capt Montpresent, the Commandant, who gave me permission, and I removed him to sick quarters, where I hired Jacob Pue, of Virginia, his fellow prisoner, to attend him[Pg 48]. I also, when leisure would permit, attended him myself; but De Jeane, who still haunted him, had so great an effect on him, that one day when I visited him, he called me to his bedside and said to me, that De Jeane had just left him, that he told him to make haste and get well, as the Indians were waiting for him. Pray Sir, (said the young man to De Jeane) for God's sake try to keep me from the Indians, for if they get me they will burn me. Keep you from them, said De Jeane, you damn'd rebel you deserve to be burned, and all your damn'd countrymen with you, for you need not think Dodge can save you; General Hamilton is now come up, and he will fix you all. I tried to comfort him, and told him to be of good courage: Oh! replied he. I am almost distracted with the idea of being burnt by the Savages; I had much rather die where I am, than be delivered into the hands of those horrid wretches, from whom I so lately by your hands escaped, the recollection of which, makes me shudder with horror. He could say no more; he sunk under it, and in a few hours after, death, more kind than his cruel tormentors, released him from his troubles. I paid the last tribute to this my unhappy Countryman, and had his corpse decently interred, attended by the Missionary and most of the principal Merchants of the town.[Pg 49]

As Hamilton was arrived, I had every thing to expect that his malice could invent, more especially as De Jeane, to whom his ear was always open, had told him (as I was informed) all and more than what had happened during his absence. About a month after the death of the unhappy young man above related, I had occasion for some of my powder out of the magazine: I wrote an order to the conductor, according to custom and waited on the Governor to have it signed; on presenting it to him, he looked at it, and then looked at me with a sarcastic smile said, It is powder you[Pg 50] want, you damn'd rascal is it? At the same time tearing my order and throwing it in my face: You have behaved yourself very well, have you not? After my granting you your life, you would not go with Le Mote, would you not? says, he and starting up in a great passion as though he would strike me, put himself between me and the door. What, says he, you have a damn'd deal of influence with the Indians; you can purchase prisonners without my approbation can you? you damn'd rascal. Sir, said I, I am no rascal; not a word out of your mouth, says Hamilton, go about your business and take care of me or I will fix you: I replied it had always been my study to take care of him; not a word, says he, go about your business, and bless your stars I was not here instead of Capt. Montpresent, for I would have fixed you, you damn'd scoundrel. Here I took my leave, went home and determined to think as little of Mr. Hamilton and his usage as possible, until I had an opportunity of getting redress.

Notwithstanding the hatred of Hamilton and De Jeane; I spent the forepart of the winter very happily, until the 25th of Jan. 1778, when several Merchants of the town got permission to go to Sandusky to trade, and as they[Pg 51] proposed encamping about two leagues from the town, myself and several others in a friendly manner, proposed and did accompany them in our sleighs to their first stage; but on our return, I being a head, was challenged by De Jeane, at the head of thirty or forty soldiers, by asking who came there? To which I replied, John Dodge; he then ordered the soldiers to seize me and the two gentlemen in the sleigh with me, and forced us to return to the encampment we had just left, where he seized the whole of the gentlemen who were going by permission to Sandusky, with their goods, sleighs, &c. and carried the whole of us the next morning back to the fort, and charged us with sending out goods to supply (as he politely termed it) the rebels.

After being detained three days in prison I was taken to De Jeane's house to see my papers, books, desk, &c. examined. They broke open my desk pretending to have lost the key. On searching, they could not find any thing worth their notice, or what they expected to find. De Jeane then gave me my keys, and told me to send for my desk and take care of myself as he would watch me: I told him, as he had taken it from my home and broke it, he should mend it and send it[Pg 52] home before I would receive it: Stop a little said he, I will speak to the Governor and fix you yet if I can; he then gave me into the case of the guard, and ordered me to goal. About the fifth day after this, not hearing any thing from him, I sent for my violin, and was diverting myself, when Governor Hamilton passed by, and inquired who was playing on the violin, to which the Corporal of the guard answer'd it was me. The next day De Jeane waited on me with a Blacksmith, who soon clapped on a pair of hand-bolts; and now, says De Jeane, I have fixed you, you may play the violin until you are tired; I asked him what I had done to be treated thus; for that you must apply to the Governor said he, for it is his pleasure that you are so: He then threatened to put on my leg bolts; on which I told him I did not value his irons, but if he kept me prisoner, I should look to him for my property, (about 3000l.) Yes, says he, we will fix you and your property too, and then left me. About six days after, I was taken to my own house, where two English and two Frenchmen, by order of the Governor, took an inventor of my goods, and soon after sold the whole at vendue, for about 1900l. New-York currency. Thus being a second time robbed of my property, I lay a prisoner[Pg 53] as contented as possible, without any thing material happening until the first of May.

On the first of May 1778, I was put on board a vessel to go down to Quebec, and by some of my friends furnished with provision and necessaries for the voyage; but of these I was robbed by De Jeane, and had it not been for some gentlemen, passengers in the same vessel, I must have suffered with hunger. On the first of June I arrived at Quebec, where I was conducted to Mr. Printices the Provost Marshal! Ha! ha! says he, Mr. Dodge, are you here? I have often been told you were a damn'd rascal doing all you could against government. It is a pity Governor Hamilton did not hang you when he was about it, as he would have saved government a great deal of trouble. From hence I was conducted on board the prison ship Mariah, with a number of Farmers, taken off their plantations by the Savages.

Two days after I was put on board the prison ship, we were visited by Mr. Murray, Commissary of Prisoners, to whom I gave an account of my capture and ill usage; he told me, he would speak to the General, and give me an answer. Two days after, he came on board, and told me, as it was very difficult[Pg 54] times, I could not have a hearing at present; I told him I wanted nothing but what the English constitution allowed, and if I could not get that in Quebec, I would apply to England; to which he replied I had better be easy, for if I did not, he would put me in irons again.

I remained on board the prison ship until the begining of August, when Mr. Murray came on board, and informed me that I was not to go with the prisoners; but if I would give my parole, I should be allowed the liberty of Quebec. I asked him the occasion I could not be sent with the other prisoners; he replied it was the Governor's orders: I asked him if I was to be allowed any support; he said, not any. I told him it was very hard to be dragged from my house, robbed of my property, deprived of my liberty, sent 1200. miles in irons, and still be held a prisoner in the town of Quebec, without any allowance for support: All my applications were in vain, I was set on shore under parole the fourth of August, and the ship sailed with the other prisoners soon after.

The cause of my detention, as I was afterwards told by Mr. Murray, was, that Governor Hamilton, of Detroit, had wrote the[Pg 55] General not to send me round with the other prisoners; for if I got into the United States, he knew I would come immediately upon him, and as I knew the country, was well acquainted with the languages of the different Indians about the lakes, and had great influence among them, should be the means of their losing the fort, which would be much against the crown.

On my enlargement, I soon got acquainted with a number of gentlemen, who were friends to the United States, and the cause in which they were engaged. Some days after going on shore, I fell in company with a Mr. Jones, who happened at that time to be reading a letter sent by General Montgomery, while he lay before Quebec, to Gov. Carlton, and on concluding it said he hoped General Montgomery was in hell, and that all the rebels would soon be with him; to this I made a reply, words ensued, and then blows; he drew on me, but I parried his thrust with my cane, so that I only got a small wound on my knee: He then made a complaint and I was sent for by the General, who threatened to put me in confinement, if I did not find security; this I soon found, and bonds were given for me for two months: at the[Pg 56] end of which, as they neglected renewing them and left me without parole or security, I hired an Indian guide, and on the ninth of Oct I quitted Quebec. After a fatiguing march through the woods, on the 20th of Nov. I arrived at Boston, where I was kindly received and politely treated by General Gates who supplied my wants and forwarded to me to his Excellency, General Washington; I, waited on him, was politely received and sent on to Congress, having some matters relating to Canada, worthy of their hearing.

Had the love of my country no ways prompted me to act against the tyranny of Britain. I leave it to the world to judge whether I have not a right to revolt from under the dominion of such tyrants and exert every faculty God has given me to seek satisfaction for the ill usage I received than if I had ten thousand lives, and was sure to lose them all: I think should I not attempt to gain satisfaction I should deserve to be a slave the remainder of my life.

F I N I S

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NOTES

[1] Almon's Remembrancer, 1779.

[2] First edition, Philadelphia, 1779, and second edition, Danvers, Massachusetts, 1780; also printed in Connecticut Gazette and Universal Intelligencer, February 2, 1780.

[3] Virginia State Papers, 1, 321.

[4] Dodge Genealogy, page 137. American Ancestry, 6, 192. The sketch in The Magazine of Western History, 4, 282, contains many errors.

[5] Wayne County Records, B. 9, 91.

[6] If this date is correct it would appear that Dodge was in Detroit before he was brought there as a captive.

[7] Manuscript, British Museum.

[8] For a history of the Montour family see Egle's Notes and Queries, 3rd series, 1, 118. John Montour was arrested and confined in Detroit in 1778. See Michigan Historical Society Collections, 9, 434.

[9] Michigan Historical Society Collections, 9, 512.

[10] Fergus Historical Series, number 31, page 62. See also number 33, pages 159, 182, 183, 209; also Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 1, 367.

[11] American State Papers, Public Lands, Volume 1, (Gales and Seaton), 106, 110. A letter from John Rice Jones on file in the Interior Department, dated January 18, 1800, states that Dodge and his wife were both dead.

[12] Letter from Henry L. Caldwell to Louise M. Dalton, Missouri Historical Society, dated December 4, 1906. Mr. Caldwell died April 11, 1907, a very old man. Miss Dalton was secretary of the Missouri Historical Society and died in June of the same year.

[13] A little information is obtained from the Ste. Genevieve records, now in possession of the Missouri Historical Society, and a letter of John Rice Jones now on file in the Interior Department at Washington. The Jones letter is dated January 18, 1800, and in it he says that John Dodge was married somewhere in Virginia and that both Dodge and his wife are dead. From the other records it appears that the wife's name was Ann.

[14] Wood was a Revolutionary soldier and officer of considerable importance, and was elected Governor of Virginia, serving from December 1, 1796, till December 1, 1799. He died July 16, 1813. American Archives, 4th Series, Volume 4, 110-115. See also same series, Volume 2, 1209, 1240. Wood's Journal is in The Revolution on the Upper Ohio, page 34. Old Westmoreland, 18. American Archives, 4th Series, Volume 3, 1542.

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[Pg 61]

INDEX

Antanya, Michael, assists Dodge, 15.

Beaver Creek (Bever Criek), 9.
Blair, Archibald, 23.
Boston, visited by Dodge, 7, 15;
Dodge meets General Gage there, 56.
Boyle, Philip, letter to, 15.
Butler, Mr., aids Dodge in inducing Indians to make treaty, 31.

Caldwell, Henry L., grandson of Israel Dodge, 14.
Canada, Dodge proposes to invade, 9.
Carleton, Sir Guy, Governor in Chief of Michigan Territory, 19;
Mr. Jones reads letter from, 55.
Carlisle (Pennsylvania), Israel Dodge marries Ann Hunter at, 14.
Clark, Gen. George Rogers, of Virginia, captures Lieut.-Gov. Hamilton, 13;
takes possession of the Western Illinois country, 17;
letters to Congress considered by board, 19.
Clark, Mr., Dodge's letter to Congress referred to, 19.
Congress, Dodge visits, 7, 56;
writes letter to, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13;
reports adversely to suggestions in letter, 13;
Dodge writes second letter to, 17, 18;
Committee of, report on the John Dodge report, 19;
Commissioners of, treat with Indians, 32;
Dodge informs, of council with Indians at Sandusky, 32.
Congressional Board, the, reports on letters of Colonel Clark and others relating to Hamilton, Dejean and Lamothe, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23;
recommends punishment to be inflicted upon these prisoners, 23.
Connecticut, birthplace of Dodge 15;
Dodge leaves, 29.
Continental talk, 32, 33.

Dejean, Philip, prisoner of war, 13;
Justice of the Peace for Detroit, 19;
prisoner of war, 19;
his cruel treatment of Dodge and other prisoners, 20, 21, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 47, 48;
captured by Colonel Clark of Virginia at Fort St. Vincent (Vincennes), 28;
imprisons Dodge a second time, 45;
informs Hamilton concerning Dodge, 48;
seizes Dodge and companions near Sandusky, 51;
examines Dodge's papers, 51.
Detroit, John Dodge locates there, 6;
refers in letter to its garrison, 9;
Governor of, bribes savages, 9;
proposes to take by force, 10;
visits, 15.
Dodge, Henry, son of Israel Dodge, 14;
born October 12, 1872, 14;
first Governor of Wisconsin Territory, 14.
Dodge, Ann Hunter, wife of Israel Dodge, 14.
Dodge, Israel, brother of John Dodge, 6;
commissioned as lieutenant, 14.
Dodge, John, birth, 6;
parentage, 6;
early life as a trader, 6;
purchases land, 6;
confined in jail, 7;
appointed Indian Agent by Virginia, 14;
[Pg 62]lays claim to western lands, 14;
patents issued to his heirs, 14;
date of death, 14;
place of burial, 14;
holds commission as colonel, 14;
places visited in his travels, 15;
writes second letter to Congress, 16, 17;
acts as interpreter for Captain Wood, 29;
makes present to Indians, 32, 33;
writes to Hamilton, 33;
taken prisoner by Indians at instigation of Hamilton, 33;
taken to Detroit, 33;
condemned to death, 34, 35;
his suffering and sickness in prison, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38;
released from prison, 39;
his property confiscated, 40;
engages in mercantile business, 41;
rescues prisoner, 43, 44;
taken captive by Dejean, 45;
called before Commandant Mountpresent, 46;
ordered to prison, 46;
released, 47;
threatened by Hamilton, 50;
goes to Sandusky, 51;
seized by Dejean, 51;
cast into goal, 52;
his property confiscated second time, 52;
brought before Mr. Printices, Provost Marshal at Quebec, 53;
put on board prison ship Mariah, 53;
visited by Mr. Murray, Commissary of Prisoners, 53;
paroled, 54;
encounter with Mr. Jones, 55;
forced to give bonds, 55;
leaves Quebec, 56;
arrives at Boston, 56;
sent by Gates to General Washington, 56;
appears before Congress, 56.
Dodge, John, Sr., father of John Dodge, 6.
Dodge, Lydia Rogers, wife of John Dodge, 6.
Dodge Narrative, time and place, 5;
importance, 5;
reprints, 5.

Edgar, John;
Dodge attempts to carry off slaves of, 15;
old friend of Dodge, 15;
arrested and confined at Detroit, 15, 16;
witness for Dodge, 16.

Fort Pitt, (Pittsburg), Dodge's visit to, 9;
[Pg 63]conference with Indians at, 16;
speech of Shengenaba at, 16.

Gates, General, Dodge visits at Boston, 56.
Gibson, John, agent for Indian affairs, 32.

Hamilton, Lieut. Gov. Henry, cruelties and irregularities of his rule in Detroit, 5;
indicted for murder, 5;
confined in irons, 6;
sends Dodge as prisoner to Quebec, 7;
bribes savages, 9;
captured by Gen. George Rogers Clark, 13;
released from prison and reinstated as lieutenant governor of Canada, 14;
letters of Colonel Clark relating to, 19;
incites Indians to perpetrate cruelties, 20;
Committee's report as to his treatment of John Dodge, 20, 21;
gives standing reward for scalps, 21, 32;
capture by Colonel Clark at Fort St. Vincent (Vincennes), 28;
dissuades Indians from assembling at Fort Pitt, 30, 31;
Dodge writes letter to, 33;
throws Dodge into prison at Detroit, 34;
advises Dodge not to try to obtain redress, 40;
orders Dodge to march with scouting party of savages, 41;
threatens Dodge, 42, 50;
succeeded by Captain Mountpresent, 42;
returns to Detroit, 49;
orders Dodge detained at Quebec, 54, 55.
Harman papers, their reference to Dodge, 15.
Henry, Moses;
Henry Dodge, his namesake, 14;
his bravery at Vincennes, 14, 15.
Henry, Patrick, commissions Dodge as Colonel, 14.
Heron, James, aids Dodge in inducing Indians to make treaty, 31.

Illinois (Islianoy) Country, the, Dodge refers to it in letter to Congress, 17, 18;
effect of its occupancy by troops under Col. Clark, 17, 18.
[Pg 64] Indians, bribed by Hamilton, 9;
offered standing reward for scalps, 21;
invited by Capt. James Wood to a treaty at Fort Pitt, 16, 29;
dissuaded by Hamilton from assembling at Fort Pitt, 29, 30;
persuaded by argument of Dodge and Heron, 31;
make treaty with Commissioners of Congress, 32;
their cruelty to prisoners, 42, 43, 44.

Jones, John Rice, letter from, 15.
Jones, Mr., in company with Dodge, 55.

Kaskaskia, Dodge located there as Indian Agent, 14;
visits, 15;
writes letter from, 15.
Kichoga, 9.

Lafleur, Joseph Poupard, sells land to Dodge, 6.
Lamothe, William (Le Mote), prisoner of war, 13, 19;
Captain of Volunteers, 19;
captain of volunteer scalping party of Indians and whites, 20;
his capture by Col. Clark, of Virginia at Fort St. Vincent (Vincennes), 28;
commands scouting Indians, 41, 42.

Mackinac, 7.
Mariah, prison ship, Dodge confined on, 53.
McIntosh, General, marches from Beaver Creek, 9;
Dodge censures in letter to Congress, 11.
Michilimackinac, Dodge trades at, 41;
arranges to send rescued prisoner there, 45.
Missouri Historical Society, references to Dodge, 15.
Montgomery, General, Dodge speaks in his defense, 55.
Montour, John, letter to from Dodge, 9.
Mountpresent, Capt., 42, 47, 50.
Morgan, Col., his arrival at Pittsburg, 12;
[Pg 65] sends message to the Indian (Endian) Nations, 12.
Murray, Mr., Commissary of Prisoners, visits Dodge, 53;
informs Dodge that he is not to go with prisoners, 54.

New Orleans, 15.
New York, visited by Dodge, 15.

Ohio District, John Dodge in, 6.

Patridge, Mr., Dodge's letter to Congress referred to, 19.
Philadelphia, visited by Dodge, 15.
Piankeshaw Indians, 15.
Pittsburg (Fort Pitt), Dodge visits, 15.
Pontiac, his son Shegenaba speaks at Fort Pitt, 16, 17.
Presque Isle (Preskeele), 9.
Printice, Mr., Provost Marshal of Quebec, 53.
Pue, Jacob, of Virginia, hired to attend fellow prisoner, 47.

Quebec, John Dodge sent as prisoner to, 7, 53;
escapes, 7;
visited by Dodge, 15.

Sandusky (Ohio), Dodge locates there as a trader, 6, 29;
visits, 15;
disturbed by Revolutionary War, 29;
Savages hostile in, 32.
Shawnee Indians, 16.
Shegenaba, son of Pontiac, speech at Fort Pitt, 16, 17.
Ste Genevieve (Mo.), Dodge buried at, 14;
Dodge visits, 15.
Sugar Creek (Shugar Criek), 9.

Tanisee River, the, Hamilton appoints council of Indians to meet at the mouth of, 20.
Tucker, William, has negotiations with John Dodge, 6.

Vincennes (Ind.), George Rogers Clark at, 13;
captured by Gov. Hamilton, 14;
visited by Dodge, 16;
Hamilton, Dejean, and Lamothe taken prisoners at, 28.
[Pg 66] Virginia, Council of, letters and narratives of Dodge read by members of, 13;
recommends the punishment of Henry Hamilton, Philip Dejean and Wm. La Mothe, 13;
expenses in connection with the Illinois country, 17.

Washington, Gen. George, Dodge meets him, 7, 56.
Williamsburg (Va.), Hamilton taken to by Clark, 13.
Wolcot, Mr., Dodge's letter to Congress referred to, 19.
Wood, James, appointed to command expedition against the Shawnee, 16;
deputed to invite Western Indians to a treaty at Fort Pitt, 16, 29;
his fatigues, difficulties and dangers, 16;
his compensation, 16;
meeting with the Indians, 16;
calls at the house of Dodge, 29.


narrative_of_mr._john_dodge_during_his_captivity_at_detroit.txt · Last modified: 2015/07/16 21:16 by briancarnell