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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

That Governor Hamilton gave standing rewards for scalps


They

find, that Governor Hamilton has executed the task of inciting the Indians to perpetrate their accustomed cruelties on the citizens of the United States, without distinction of age, sex, or condition, with an eagerness and avidity 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 is in possession of the board, under the hand and seal of Governor Hamilton, puts this fact beyond a doubt. At the time of his captivity, it appears, he had sent considerable bodies of Indians against the frontier settlements of these States, and had actually appointed a great council of Indians, to meet him at Tennessee, to concert the operations of this present campaign. They find that his treatment of our citizens and soldiers, taken and carried within the limits of his command, has been cruel and inhuman; 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 wasted him with incessant expectations of death: that
when the rigors of his situation had brought him so low, that death seemed likely to withdraw him from their power, he was taken out and somewhat attended to, until a little mended, and before he had recovered ability to walk, was again returned to his dungeon, in which a hole was cut, seven inches square only for the admission of air, and the same load of irons again put on him: that appearing, a second time, in imminent danger of being lost to them, he was again taken from his dungeon, in which he had lain from January till June, with the intermission of a few weeks only, before mentioned. That Governor 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 Governor, who welcomed their return and success by a discharge of cannon. That when a prisoner, brought alive, 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 reprimanded by Governor Hamilton.

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

It appears, that the prisoner Lamothe, was a captain of the volunteer scalping parties of Indians and whites, who went, 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 by fair deduction, to presume what would be the horrid history of the sufferings of the many, who have expired under their miseries (which, therefore, will remain for ever untold), or who have escaped from them, and are yet too remote and too much dispersed, to bring together their well founded accusations against the prisoners.


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