|Special Thanks to Dave Fudally for finding and
pointing out the excerpts of this book
Title:A history of the city of Saint Paul, and of the county of Ramsey,
Minnesota, Author:Williams, J. Fletcher (John Fletcher), 1834-1895.
PREFACE. This work was prepared at the request and advice of a number
of friends, who believed that the writer had the material at hand and
the opportunity to prepare it, better than any one else who was likely
to undertake it. There seemed, too, a necessity for such a work. The
old pioneers of our city and State were, one by one, passing away, and
the events of our early history, if not soon gathered and placed on
permanent record, would be lost. The names even, of those who first
planted their cabins on the site of our city, were fast becoming lost
and forgotten; and their worthy acts, their labors, their adventures,
the privations and struggles of frontier life, and other events in the
earliest days of our city, were rapidly fading from the memory of the
little group of pioneers who survived. Even what manner of men they
were, whence they came, their personal history, particulars which will
interest those who come after us more, perhaps, than they do the present
generation, were matters known to so few, and scattered in fragments
among widely distant households, it was almost a sealed book to some
of the pioneers themselves. It needed, therefore, some one who was,
by occupation and taste, interested in such a work to perform it-since
it was certain to be both laborious and unremunerative-some one who
would hunt up from the various sources the lost and forgotten threads
which, little by little might be woven into the record of the founding
and early days of our goodly city. It was this work that, in a rash
moment, I was induced to undertake, little foreseeing into what a labyrinth
of troubles I was about to plunge. (At first, however, I should say,
only a pamphlet was projected.) It is now fully ten years since I began
collecting material and data for these chronicles-and it was fortunate
that I began the work then. I secured, in writing, the minute statements
of some of the earliest pioneers of our city, who have since gone to
their reward, and which, if not recorded by me then, would probably
have been lost
CHAPTER IV. THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF MINNESOTA.
THAT portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi, as mentioned before, had, by the "Louisiana Purchase," (December 20, 1803,) come into the possession of the United States, and President JEFFERSON took prompt steps to extend the authority of the United States over the domain acquired, and to make an exploration of the same. Lieut. Z. M. PIKE, U. S. A., was the officer selected to visit this region, expel the British traders, and make alliances with the Indians. Hc ascended the Mississippi River in a batteau in the month of September, 1805, and arrived at the encampment of J. B. FARIBAULT, an Indian trader, a mile or two above Saint Paul, on September 21. On the 23d he held a council with the Sioux at Mendota, and obtained from them a grant of land nine miles square, for military purposes, which has since been known as the Fort Snelling Reservation. Lieut. PIKE remained all winter in Minnesota, and returned to Saint Louis in the spring.
THE RED RIVER SETTLEMENT. In the year 1812, the Earl of SELKIRK, having
obtained a grant of land from the Hudson Bay Company, near the confluence
of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, established a colony of Scotch settlers
upon it, and subsequently a colony of Swiss were induced to settle there.
The colony suffered various hardships for many years, from floods, frosts,
grasshoppers, etc., and were at times almost on the verge of starvation.
In 1827, a party of the Swiss who had immigrated to Red River,
TROOPS ORDERED TO MINNESOTA. On February 10, 1819, an order was issued
by the War Department concentrating the Fifth Regiment of Infantry at
Detroit, under Lieut. Col. LEAVENWORTH, with a view of proceeding west.
Portions were detailed to garrison Prairie (du Chien and Rock Island,
and the remainder were to proceed to establish a post at the point called
" Saint Peter's," (since known as Mendota,) which was to be the headquarters
of the regiment, and of Lieut. Col. LEAVENWORTH, its commander. He remained
some time at Prairie du Chien, to organize Crawford County," which had
been created by the Legislature of Michigan Territory, on October 16,
1818. Its boundaries were as follows: On the east by a line running
north and south from the portage of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, and
extending to Lake Superior, thence westward to the Mississippi River.
He found great difficulty in securing enough persons qualified to fill
the county offices. The expedition up the Mississippi was made in keel-boats,
and so low was the water that the party did not reach Mendota until
September 24th. Rude huts for barracks were at once erected, in which
the first winter was passed amid much discomfort. Many of the soldiers
died from scurvy. The following August, Col. SNELLING took command of
the post, and the erection of "Fort Sainlt Anthony" was commenced.
On September 10th, 1820, the corner stone was laid with appropriate
ceremonies. but the next winter had to be passed in their cantonments
at Mendota again. The lumber for the buildings
Prior to the year 1827, there was no agriculture carried on in the
entire State, except small gardens and limited fields attached to the
trading posts here and there. In the year named, a number of Swiss families-who
had been, several years previous, misled by the lying emigration agents
of Lord SELKIRK into settling on the Red River-after suffering great
hardships, were finally compelled, to avoid actual starvation, to leave
the colony and come to Fort Snelling, where, it had been stated to them,
they would be allowed to settle. They were kindly received by Col. SNELLING,
the commander of the post, and permission given them to settle on the
Reservation, near what was afterwards known as the " Saint Louis House,"
on the west side of the Mississippi, a little above the fort. (Camp
Coldwater) Here they opened farms, erected dwellings, and, having
brought cattle with them, soon became prosperous and comfortable farmers.
In this colony were ABRAHAM PERRY, LOUIS MASSIE, and other patriarchs,
some of whom, as will be seen a little further on, were among the earliest
settlers of Saint Paul, Pig's Eye, Little Canada, Mendota, Saint Anthony,
Stillwater, and other of the oldest towns in this region. Up to 1836,
nearly 500 persons had left the Red River Colony and came to Fort Snelling,
in search of new homes, and several large parties came subsequently.
A few of them went on to Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri, and,some
to Vevay, Indiana, (a Swiss settlement,) but most of the refugees settled
in this region, and their descendants hereabouts are a numerous class.
Most of the early residents of Saint Paul were Red River refuigees,
as we shall show a few pages further on.
SIOUX AND OJIBWA WARFARE. The ancient feud of the Dakota and Ojibwa Nations, led to frequent encounters, some of them in this neighborhood. In 1826, a party of 200 or 300 Ojibwas, from the Upper Mississippi, came to Fort Snelling on a visit, and encamped near Pickerel Lake, across the river from this city. The Dakotas, learning of their presence, soon rallied and attacked them, killing in cold blood a number of women and children, who could not escape. The same autumn, at Fort Snelling, a party of Dakotas, after being hospitably entertained by some Ojibwas encamped there, and promising peace and good will, treacherously fired into the wigwams of the latter at night, killing several. Col. SNELLING, the commandant, compelled the Dakotas to surrender the guilty men, and they were handed over to the relations of the murdered Ojibwas for punishment. Four of them were compelled to "run the gauntlet," i. e., allowed a few feet start, and, at a given signal, the Ojibwas were to fire on them. They were in this manner shot down, and their bodies mutilated. These barbaric orgies were repeated from year to year, for some time. The liquor sold to the Indians by traders was mostly the cause of this, and every effort was made by the authorities to break up the traffic, without success.
ESTABLISHMENT OF MISSIONS.
The various missions among the Chippewas anid Sioux of Minnesota, were established during the period from 1830 to 1840. EDMUND F. ELM, (now of Santa Barbara, California,) and Rev. WM. R. BOUTWELL came in I833; Revs. S. W. and G. H. POND in I834; Revs. THOS. S. WILLIAMSON and J. D. STEVENS in I835; Revs. S. R. RIGGS, ALFRED BRUNSON and DAVID KING (Jacob Falstrom joined King at Kaposia-St paul) in 1837; and Rev. S. SPATES in I839, &c. More than half of the above band of self-sacrificing men are still residents of our State.
THE " PECULIAR INSTITUTION" IN MINNESOTA. Connected with the operations of the missions in this locality, is a fact so curious that it deserves insertion here. During the early days of Fort Snelling, some of the officers were owners of slaves, whom they kept as their body or household servants. " DRED SCOTT," who afterwards became historical, owing to the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States-generally known as "the Dred Scott Decision "-was a slave of Surgeon EMERSON, at Fort Snelling, about this date, and married a negro woman belonging to Maj. TALIAFERRO, while at the fort. When Rev. Mr. BRUNSON established his mission at Kaposia, in 1837, he found himself unable to do much owing to his entire ignorance of the Indian tongue, and at once set about finding an interpreter. The only one he could secure was a young negro named JAMES THOMPSON, owned by an officer at Fort Snelling, and who was willing to sell him for $1,200. "JIM" talked Sioux first rate, and was religiously inclined, so that Father BRUNSON concluded to buy him if he could be secured. He accordingly wrote to some friends at Cincinnati the circumstances, and the amount necessary was soon raised and forwarded to him. "JIM" was purchased, his "free papers" secured, and he was soon interpreting the gospel to the pagans at Kaposia. Mr. THOMPSON now lives in St. Paul. This is, so far as has been recorded, the only sale of a slave which ever took place in what is now Minnesota. Father BRUNSON yet resides in Prairie du Chien-a hale, active pioneer of 83, and preached in Saint Paul during the past autumn.
THE PROGRESS OF SETTLEMENT.
NORMAN WOLFRED KITTSON was born at Sorel, Lower Canada, March 5, 1814. He is a grandson of ALEXANDER HENRY, the celebrated explorer and traveler, who journeyed through the Lake Superior, Manitoba and Saskatchewan districts as early as 1776, and whose published travels are very scarce and valuable. In May, 1830, being then only 16 years of age, Mr. KITTSON engaged as an employee of the American Fur Company, and in that capacity came to the Northwest. From the summer of 1830 to 1832, he was stationed at the trading post between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. During the latter year, he was sent to the headwaters of the Minnesota, and from thence went to the Red Cedar River, in Iowa. In 1834, he came to Fort Snelling, where he was engaged in the sutler department until 1838, in the fall of which year he returned to Canada, and remained until spring. On his return, (1839,) he began business on his own account, as a furtrader, near what was then called " Cold Spring," just above Fort Snelling. He continued here until 1843, when he entered the American Fur Company, as special partner, having charge of all the business on the headwaters of the Minnesota, and along the British line.
CHAPTER V. THE TREATIES OF 1837. T
MEMORIAL OF SETTLERS ON THE RESERVATION.(Camp Coldwater)
Prior to the treaty, and before its ratification by the Senate, the summer following, there was much anxiety on the part of the settlers on the Reserve, to ascertain in what condition they would be left, after the territory east of the Mississippi was thrown open to squatters. A few families of Red River refugees and others had been allowed by the humane Col. SNELLING to settle on the Reserve temporarily, as being the only place that could be offered them, but latterly there had been quite a hostile feeling against them on the part of the officers of the fort. Col. JOHN H. STEVENS, of Minneapolis, in his address on the "Early History of Hennepin County," before the Minneapolis Lyceum, 1856, says: "' At that time, and both before and since, the commanding officers at the fort were the lords of the north. They ruled supreme. The citizens in the neighborhood of the fort were liable at any time to be thrust in the guard-house. While the chief of the fort was the king, the subordinate officers were the princes, and persons have been deprived of their liberty and imprisoned by those tyrants for the most trivial wrong, or some imaginary offense." The offense which was charged against ABRAHAM PERRY, Louis MASSIE and others, was that their cattle broke into the enclosures of the fort, and committed other depredations. They had repeatedly been requested and cautioned to leave, but they still hoped that they would not be driven away. On August I6, 1837 they sent to the President of the United States, (MARTIN VAN BUREN,) the following memorial:
The undersigned citizens of the settlement near Fort Snelling, beg
leave to make known to you the interest they feel in the contemplated
purchase of the Sioux lands in this vicinity. In 1804, a treaty was
made by General PIKE with the Sioux Indians, under which he purchased
a certain portion of their country, extending from the Falls of Saint
Anthony to the mouth of Saint Peter's River, and the prevailing opinion
has been, until very recently, that this treaty had received the sanction
of Government. It was utinder this impression that the undersigned settled
upon the lands they now occupy as part of the public domain. They were
permitted to make improvemenits and retain unmolested possession of
them for many years by the commanding officer of the post, and the other
officers of the Government employed here, who believed the land belonged
to the United States, and that the settlers were only exercising the
privileges extended to them by the benign and salutary laws which have
peopled the western country with a hardy, industrious and enterprising
class of citizens. The undersigned will further state that they have
ereted houses and cultivated fields at their present places of residence,
and several of them have large families of children who have no other
homes. All the labor of years is invested in their present habitations,
and they therefore appeal to the President and Senate of the United
States for protection. If a treaty should be made at Washington, as
we have heard suggested, and the lands we now occupy be purchased from
the Sioux for a military reservation, we ask that a reasonable and just
allowance be made us in the treaty for our improvements," &c.
SURVEY OF THE RESERVATION.
On October 19, Lieut. E. K. SMITH, First Infantry, made a survey and
map of the Reservation, by command of Maj. J. PLYMPTON, Commander of
the Post, who had arrived during that summer. He says, in his report
to Maj. P.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE SETTLERS.
As near as I can ascertain, after extensive inquiry, the three or four
settlers on the east side were: JOSEPHI TURPIN, FRANCIS DESIRE, DONALD
MCDONALD, "old man" CHORETTE, and, perhaps, SCOTT CAMPBELL, BARTHOLOMEW
BALDWIN, and ABNER POWEL. JOSEPH TURPIN is said to be the first man
who built a house east of the Mississippi. Mr. TURPIN was born at Montreal,
Canada, about 1775. He came, sometime about the beginning of the present
century, to Prairie du Chien, with his brother AMABLE, of whom a sketch
is given elsewhere, and subsequently emigrated to Selkirk's Settleiment,
where he remained some years. In 1831, as near as I can ascertain, he
left Red River with a company of refiulgees, some of whom settled near
Fort Snelling, and. not long after that date, built a house on the east
side of the Mississippi. This house he subsequently sold to JOSEPH RONDO,
another refilgee. He afterwards lived many years at Mendota, where he
died in 1865-aged over 90 years. Of "old man" CHORETTE, I have been
able to learn little that is reliable. He was a Canadian, lived at Red
River some time, and settled near Fort Snelling the same year as RONDO,
TURPIN and others. He has probably been dead some years. I have been
informed that he has children living in this vicinity, but have been
unable to find them. FRONCHET, or DESIRE, was a native of France, and,
probably, at the time mentioned, was 50 years of age, as he always boasted
of having been a soldier of NAPOLEON, and probably was. He had also
served in the United States army, at Fort Snelling latterly, and (Mrs.
JAMES PATTEN thinks) was discharged there. The explorer and scientist,
J. N. NICOLLET, while at Mendota, in 1836, preparing to go toward the
Upper Mississippi on his expedition, employed DESIRE, then attached
to the garrison, as an attendant. He speaks of him in his work as follows:
Having received good testimonials of his character, I accepted his offer,
and have nothing but praise to bestow on his activity, patience, and
the cheerfulness which he manifested even in the midst of some' trying
circumstances to which we were exposed." DESIRE, having spent most of
his life in the army, was unfitted, at his age, when he left the army,
for any very active pursuits, while his intemperate habits also brought
on him repeated troubles. He made a settlement east of the Mississippi,
where he led a lonely life for some time, but was, in 1840, expelled
from the Reserve with other settlers. In 1842, he came to Saint Paul,
and secured employment from Sergt. RICHARD W. MORTIMER, who had just
settled there, and J. R. IRVINE and others. DESIRE could not work much,
but did such light labor as was necessary, interspersing it with fearful
sprees, lasting sometimes two weeks, in which he would roll on the ground
anywhere, helpless and insensible. He came near freezing to death several
times in these debauches, but was always cared for by his acquaintances,
who liked him very much, as he was a kind-hearted, good-humored and
vivacious companion. DESIRE lived at Saint Paul some two years, and
then went to Elk River, into which he fell during one of his sprees,
and was drowned. DONALD McDONALD was born in Canada, in 1803, of Scotch
parents. At the age of 15 years he left Canada, with Captain MILIES
MONTGOMERY, and went to Hudson's Bay. He was, for some years, in the
employ of the American Fur Company, and traveled very extensively over
the Northwest. He put up (he says) the third house on the east side
of the Mississippi. Subsequently he claimed the land where the Half-Way
House now is. This land, he says, he sold to DENOYER, " for a barrel
of whisky and two Indian guns." He subsequently went to Crow Wing, where
he married a half-breed, and had a numerous family.
CHAPTER VI. THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF SAINT PAUL
THE long winter wore to a close, and the spring of 1838 had thawed
away its snow and ice. The treaty had been made, and that it would be
ratified, there was no reasonable doubt. Why not anticipate the latter
form, by making claims in advance? The thought was inspiring. Some of
the pine-fringed streams along the Saint Croix, already resounded to
the lumberman's axe. At Fort Snelling and Mendota were a number of keen
fellows, looking eagerly on, and waiting for a good chance to seize
on some of the rich territory so soon to be open to the impatient speculator.
Among them was one PIERRE PARRANT, a Canadian voyageur, who chanced
to be, at the time, hanging around Mendota, waiting for something to
turn up. PARRANT had lived some time at Sault Ste. Marie, then at Saint
Louis, where he had been in the employ of MCKENZIE (Mckenzie
later added addition to Bakers trading post at Coldwater-called it the
St Louis Hotel) and CHIOUTEAU, and afterwards at Prairie du Chien.
He came to Mendota in 1832. It must be related, that he bore not the
most enviable character. It was hinted that he left Sault Ste. Marie
on account of some irregularities of conduct that were distasteful to
the good people there. Maj. TALIAFERRO, the Indian Agent, appeared to
estimate his character somewhat low. In one place in his journal, under
date of August 23d, 1835, he writes: " Ordered PIERRE PARRANT,
foreigner, prohibited from the trade, not to enter the Indian country
in any capacity.
ANOTHER SETTLER-ABRAHAM PERRY.
Almost simultaneously with the advent of PARRANT, came another settler-ABRAHAM PERRY, (or PERRET,) and family, having been compelled to leave the Reserve on the west side, as referred to a few pages back. ABRAHAM PERRY was born in Switzerland, about the year 1780, and was brought up as a watchmaker. He married in Switzerland, and three children were born to him there. About the year 1820, he, with a considerable number of his fellow countrymen, were induced to emigrate to the Red River Colony, by one of Lord SELKIRK's agents.' Their occupations had been mechanical, (says NEILL,) chiefly that of clockmaking, and they were not adapted for the stern work of founding a colony in the interior of North America. From year to year their spirits drooped, and when the Switzers' song of home was sung, they could not keep back their tears." Repeated calamities oppressed the colony-untimely frosts, grasshoppers and other causes despoiled their harvests, and finally the great flood of 1826 gave the finishing blow to their hopes. A large number of the Swiss determined to emigrate to the United States. It was reported that they would be kindly received at Fort Snelling, and allowed to settle there, and, in 1827, a number of families came to that point, ABRAHAM PERRY among them. The kind-hearted SNELLING allowed such as wished to locate near the fort. PERRY, who had brought with him a number of cattle, located a mile or two above the fort, near Cold Spring," built a cabin opened a farm, and was soon prosperously fixed. Two children had been born to him at Red River, and, during his residence at Fort Snelling two more, making six daughters and one son in all. Meantime, two of his oldest daughters were married. In the spring of 1838, as referred to before, Maj. PLYMPTON drove all the settlers off the west side of the Reserve, PERRY among them. This was a cruel blow to PERRY, who had just begun to be comfortably fixed, and was now in the evening of his days, with quite a family dependent upon him. But, driving his flocks before him, like ABRAHAM of old, he journeyed across the river, looking for a new home. Wishing, like PARRANT, to get just without the bounds of the Reserve-which he was informed by Maj. PLYMPTON intersected the Mississippi at Fountain Cave-he made a claim just below that of PARRANT, on the beautiful stream which flows across the road there, and erected a habitation about where the City Hospital now stands. His herd ( * Col. JOHN H. STEVENS, in the address before quoted, says: "PERRY at one time owned more cattle than all the rest of the inhabitants of what is now Minnesota, if we except Mr. RENVILLE."*) was soon grazing on the luxuriant meadow grass about him, giving new hopes that perhaps at last he might pass the evening of life in peace. But even this hope was destined to prove delusive ere long, as we shall see a few pages subsequently. In fact, scarcely was PERRY'S new roof-tree reared, when the Sioux appeared and threateningly ordered them to leave. It seems that, although the Indians had bartered away their lands, they still looked with a jealous eye upon them, and were loth to see the stranger and the pale-face occupy them and prosper. PERRY gave them no satisfaction, however, and, on June 9, a party of the Kaposia band. probably headed by Wa-kin-yan-ton-ka, or BIG THUNDER, (LITTLE CROW'S father,) went to Fort Snelling, and complained to Maj. TALIAFERRO, Indian Agent, about PERRY and PARRANT settling on their lands, before the treaty had been ratified, and they received any consideration. Nothing was done at that time concerning the alleged intrusion, as a steamer arrived just then, on which came a passenger, who reported to have heard that the treaty was ratified. A little premature, however. But at all events, PARRANT was sufflered to sell whisky, and PERRY to herd his flocks, undisturbed. Not undisturbed either, for a few weeks subsequently, viz. on October 18, Maj. TALIIAFERRO writes ill his journal, that Mrs. PERRY and CHARLES PERRY, her son, came to the fort and complained that the Indians had killed three of her cattle, and wounded a fourth. This was sometime after the ratification of the treaty, too, and that fact must have been known to them. But I am of the opinion that PARRANT'S whisky must have caused this latter outrage, more than any other cause. Perhaps Maj. TALIAFERRO took this view of it, too, for he merely adds in his journal: " They (the Sioux) will have to pay $200 for the affair out of their next year's annuity."
THE TREATY RATIFIED.
While these events were progressing, however, the treaty of September 29, 1837, was slowly passing through the Senate. On June 15, a final vote was reached on it, and it was ratified. Just one month later, (news traveled slow those days,) the steamer Palmyra landed at Fort Snelling, with the glad news. It produced some excitement among those who had been waiting so long to make claims, and they at once started off to seize on eligible points, which had already been picked out by covetous eyes. N. W. KITTSON states that the boat arrived in the evening, and, after dark the same night, he, FRANKLIN STEELE and ANGUS M. ANDERSON, started off to make a claim at Saint Anthony Falls. JOSEPH R. BROWN left at the same time for the Saint Croix, where he drove the stakes of a new town.
THE GERVAIS BROTHERS SETTLE HERE.
On the 13th day of July, 1838, BENJAMIN GERVAIS and PIERRE GERVAIS, made claims near ABRAHAM PERRY, and proceeded to erect habitations. The GERVAIS brothers were Red River refugees.
BENJAMIN GERVAIS was born at Riviere du Loup, Canada, July 15, 1786. About the year 1803, he went to Red River, in company with several Canadian families, who settled there. GERVAIS did not himself settle there that year, but made trading voyages back and forth to Canada until the year 1812, when he took up his residence there, and was in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company for several years. On September 29, 1823, he was married at Fort Garry, by Bishop PROVENCIHER, to Miss GENEVIEVE LARANS, a native of Berthier, Canada, and went to farming at a place called La Pointe, about a mile and a half below-Fort Garry. Their story is that of all the Red River refugees-the floods, grasshoppers, untimely frosts, hard winters, &c., drove them away to a more habitable region, and, in 1827, Mr. GERVAIS, with his wife and three children, proceeded to Fort Snelling, near which they settled. On being turned away from the Reserve, Mr. GERVAIS proceeded to the neighborhood of Mr. PERRY, and made a claim a little below that settler, running from the river to the bluff. Having one or two stout boys, born during his residence on Red River, he proceeded to make a clearing, and soon had quite a farm in operation. PIERRE GERVAIS was 17 years younger than his brother. He, too, had lived at Red River several years, and came from there to Mendota in 1826, where he entered the service of the American Fur Company. He made a claim near BENJAMIN GERVAIS, which occupied about what is now known as " Leech's Addition."
ANOTHER PRONUNCIAMENTO FROMN MAJOR PLYMPTON.
Though the above settlers thought that they were, beyond any doubt, settling outside the bounds of the Reservation, as far as they were understood at that time, it is possible that the authorities at the fort took a different view of it, and regarded it as an intrusion on the sacred domain of the Government. On July 26, 1838, Maj. PLYMPTON issued an order forbidding " all persons, not attached to the military, from erecting any building or buildings, fence or fences, or cutting timber for any but for public use, within said line, which has been surveyed and forwarded to the War Department, subject to the final decision thereof," &c. Whether this order was called out by the fact of PERtRY, the GERVAIS families and others settling within the imaginary lines of PLYMPTON'S Reserve, or not, it is not absolutely known. It is quite probable he did refer to those squatters, however, as in the letter accompanying a copy of the order to the War Department, he says:
"HEADQUARTERS FORT SNELLING, July 30, 1838. "SIR: I take the liberty to enclose to you herewith a copy of an order which I deemed necessary to publish to protecdt the land which has been marked out as a military reservation at this post, against encroachments, which were every day forcing themselves upon my notice. "Without interfering with the property of any individual, I shall strictly enforce my order till the pleasure of the Department shall be known upon the subject, presuming that my duty to the public and the spirit of my instructions call for such a course. "Mv order must, as a matter of right, more particularly allude to persons urging themselves within the line at this time, than to those who I found, on my arrival here last summer, settled down near the fort. The authority for these settlements being made, I have to presume, is to be found or is known at the Department, although I have not been successful in finding any record of it in the office of this post. "The character and extent of these settlements and improvements was given in my communication of the 19th October, 1837. "I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, "J. PLYMPTON, "Major United States Arm', Commanding Post. 'ADJUTANT GENERAL U. S. A., Washington, District of Columbia."
About the same date that the news of the ratification of the treaty
was received at Fort Snelling, and shortly after, three soldiers were
discharged from the Fifth Regiment, named EDWARD PIIELAN, JOHN IIAYS
and WILLIAM EVANS, all three natives of Ireland. They resolved to make
claims in the newly ceded tract, and, finding some settlers along the
river below the cave, fixed on this locality as the most likely one
for their purpose.
CHAPTER VII. EVENTS OF THE YEAR 1839
EARLY in 1839, the exclusion of the settlers on the Reserve again occupied the attention of the authorities at the fort. The ostensible reason was the illicit liquor traffic which some of them carried on, but, from the subjoined letter of Col. SAMUEL C. STAMBAUGH, sutler at Fort Snelling, to the Secretary of War, quoted on page 61, other motives may have been at work. Referring to the lines of the Reserve, as adopted by Major PLYMPTON, he remarks: A SIGNIFICANT DOCUMENT. "Nor was it thought by any one that the line would cross the Saint Peter's. There is land'enough on the west side of (or between) these rivers, in the Indian country, to make a reservation of any extent, which will not be bounded by western settlers for a long time. "You will perceive, by an examination of the survey and plat before you, that the line as run is both awkward and unnatural. It commences some distance above the Falls of Saint Anthony on the west side of the Mississippi, but, instead of crossing immediately and traversing-the country to strike the angle of the river below the fort, it runs along the west side about three miles below the Falls, where it crosses the river, and thence strikes across the country to Carver's Cave, which is three miles below Fort Snelling by the course of the river. "The land, embracing the Falls of Saint Anthony, on the east side of the river, has, since its purchase by the United States, been improved by settlements so as to secure a pre-emption, and it is now held in possession bv Doctor WRIGHT, FRANKLIN STEELE, and myself, (one half section,) and one section by Major PLYMPTON, Captain SCOTT, and Doctor EMERSON. These settlements include the best positions immediately above the Reservation, as surveyed. If the military Reservation is made to include Carver's Cave, below Fort Snelling, it will embrace all the steamboat landings on the Mississippi River along a distance of twenty miles below the Falls, as the country is broken and swampy nine miles below the cave, and hence no steamboat landing can be procured by settlers within a distance of twelve miles below Fort Snelling, and the rapids produced by the Falls will prevent boats ascending above the Reservation line. The property, therefore, in which I, with others, claim to have an interest, would be greatly enhanced in value, by a military Reserve, which would place our claim most contiguous to the fort. But I believe the military service cannot be benefited by such a measure, and the adoption of it would produce universal dissatisfadtion when the country comes into market, and would now beta great mortification and inconvenience to visitors, who will crowd the Falls of Saint Anthony during the summer months, if houses for their accommodation can be erected in the vicinity of Fort Snelling. The bluffs of the river immediately opposite the fort are very high and difficult of ascent, and the current of the river strong and deep. They are exposed to the eye of the sentinel for more than a mile up and down the river, so that no soldier can cross and enter a house on the opposite side without detection. Whereas, if settlers are forced back into the interior, out of sight and beyond immediate investigation, they will be of an inferior class, and can, if so disposed, bring whisky in kegs into the forest, within a short distance of the fort, with but little risk. "The same objections exist to the extension of the Reserve beyond the Saint Peter's River. In a year or two, in all probability, the Indian title will be extinguished on that side of the river, so as to secure both sides of the Mississippi, and the citizens of Iowa Territory will extend their settlements to the rich valley of the Saint Peter's. If, therefore, the line is established as surveyed, it will take in all the boat landings near the junction of the Saint Peter's and Mississippi, and the people of Iowa can have no town or depot within from 10 to 15 miles distance, centered by this important point. ' I have taken the liberty of submitting to you these undigested remarks, because I know that the extension of the military Reserve for Fort Snelling, beyond the Mississippi and Saint Peter's, will give great dissatisfaction to the people who go to purchase land and settle in that country. I have heard but one opinion expressed concerning it from all who have visited that place since I have been there. The United States Commissioners, Judge PEASE and General EWING, who were there last summer, after the survey was made, expressed the same opinions here given. If a military force must be kept up, at a heavy expense, to preserve peace between the Indians and our own citizen settlers, the latter should not be thrown out of sight and out of hearing of that protection, but, as is usual, the first settlers should be permitted to locate as near that protection as possible. As the line has been run by the survey now before you, with the Mississippi and a forest of several miles intervening, an Indian force can intercept all communication with the fort, and the inhabitants may be massacred before the military can be apprised of the attack. Whereas, if the settlements would border on the river, they could furnish a shelter for those in the interior, and be covered by a six-pounder from the fort. A friendly intercourse and feeling would thus also be kept up between the military and civil power, which is a matter of the highest importance in times of Indian troubles."
THE ILLICIT SALE OF LIQOUOR TO SOLDIERS
On March 10, Maj. PLYMPTON addressed a long letter to the War Department, mainly in reference to the lines of the Reserve, and the settlers thereon, rehearsing the troubles the settlers had given him by selling liquor to the soldiers, and urging their expulsion. The surgeon of the fort, Dr. EMERSON, also addressed the following letter to the Surgeon General: "FORT SNELLING, April 23, 1839. "SIR: As a friend to the soldier and temperance in the army, I am induced to make to you, as head of the department to which I have the honor of belonging, a statement of our situation at this post. Since the middle of winter we have been completely inundated with ardent spirits, and consequently the most beastly scenes of intoxication among the soldiers of this garrison and the Indians in its vicinity, which, no doubt, will add many cases to our sick-list. The whisky is brought here by citizens who are pouring in upon us and settling themselves on the opposite shore of the Mississippi River, in defiance of our worthy commanding officer, Major J. PLYMPTON, whose authority they set at naught. At this moment, there is a citizen, once a soldier in the Fifth Infantry, who was discharged at this post while Col. SNELLING commanded, and who has been since employed by the American Fur Company, actually building on the land marked out by the commanding officer as the Reserve, and within gunshot distance of the fort, a very extensive whisky shop. They are encouraged in their nefarious deeds in consequence of letters received by them, as they say, from Saint Louis and Washington, mentioning that no Reserve would be acknowledged by the proper authority. If such is the fadt, (which I doubt very much,) I can only say that the happiness of the officers and soldiers is at an end at Fort Snelling. "In my humble opinion, the immediate action of the Government is called for, to give us relief in pointing out the military Reserve, which ought not to be less than twenty miles square, or to the mouth of the Saint Croix River, especially as the Indians are allowed by treaty to hunt on it. I am certain, if the honorable Secretary of War knew our situation, not a moment's time would be lost in turning the wretches off of the Reserve, who live by robbing the men of the garrison of health, comfort, and every cent they possess. Pardon me, sir, if I err in writing so, but I feel grieved to witness such scenes of drunkenness and dissipation where I have spent many days of happiness, when we had no ardent spirits among us, and, consequently, sobriety and good conduft among the command. May I presume to ask you to use your influence with the proper authority to mark out the Reserve, and rid us of those harpies or whisky-sellers who destroy the health of the soldiers, and, consequently, their usefulness to their Government and country. "With great respect, I have the honor to remain your obedient servant, "J. EMERSON, "Surgeon U. S. A.
"THOMAS LAWSON, "Surgeon General U. S. A. "The immediate action of the Government is called for in this matter. " E."
This letter was referred by the Surgeon General to the Secretary of War, and, on June 2d, the post at Fort Snelling was visited and inspected by Brig. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, who, in his report to the Secretary of War, strongly endorsed the above views, as follows: "My object at this time is to call your attention particularly to his peculiar situation in regard to the Indians and white inhabitants who are permitted to occupy the country surrounding his post. The views of Major PLYMPTON on this subject have been on several occasions presented to the War Department, and at length in his communication of the 11th March last, and which, from my own observation, I am confident are correct, and, if not attended to in due season, his predictions in relation to the Indians and whites will be verified. "The white inhabitants, aware of the large amount of money annually paid by the United States to the Indians residing in that region of country, avail themselves of the means in their power, confident of the protection of the Government, of introducing at all points, and within half a mile of Fort Snelling, intoxicating liquors, which is no less destructive to the discipline of the troops than hazardous of the peace and quiet of the country. Such is the character of the white inhabitants of that country, that, if they cannot be permitted to carry on their nefarious'traffic with the Indians, it will sooner or later involve them in a war with the United States. If the Government would avoid such a result, it should immediately adopt measures to drive off the public lands all white intruders within twenty miles of Fort Snelling, and prohibit intoxicating liquors from being introduced into the Indian country, or on lands not sold by the United States. "Again, it is well known that the Sioux and Chippewas have been at war from time immemorial, and no prospect of its termination or of peace being established between the two tribes. The introduction of whisky, which is as common almost as water, by no means tends to' lessen their national hatred; on the contrary, it prompts collisions and war, and, consequently, a source of constant and increasing anxiety to the commanding officer, which no vigilance can guard against. The sacrifice of blood and treasure in the late war in Florida ought at least to admonish us that we ought to be on our guard, and, by timely measures, prevent similar results."
These reports and communications were taken under advisement by the Secretary of War, and soon induced him to take decisive action ill the case, as will appear hereafter. It may be thought that unnecessary space and prominence has been given to these documents regarding the lines of the Reserve, and the conduct of some of the settlers thereon. But the reader will soon perceive, if he has not already, that they are of the greatest historical value and importance, as giving the reasons and causes which first tended to the settlement of the locality which afterwards became Saint Paul, and determined the location of our city. Hence, they could not be omitted from a full and impartial history, and deserve the careful attention of the reader.
THE LIQOUOR TRAFFIC. Perhaps the inquiry has arisen in the mind of the reader, was the illicit liquor traffic carried on so extensively as has been intimated above, and was it productive of the evil consequences mentioned, to the Indians and soldiers? I think there is abundant testimony from various sources to prove that it was. Intemperance among the soldiers, as Stirgeon EMERSON says, has always been one of the worst enemies to their health, good discipline and morale. How to prevent it always has been, and is now, one of the most difficutlt problems of the good officer. Maj. ALIAFERRO, Indian Agent at the fort, in his journal, before quoted, refers in many instances to the trouble brought on soldiers by the illicit sale of liquor to them. On June 3d, 1839, he notes that forty-seven soldiers were confined in the guard-house for drunkenness, in one night, having been arrested in an uproarious spree in a whisky hovel across the river, kept by a man named MINK, who was, for that offense, sent out of the country. Mrs. JAMES PATTEN, of Minneapolis, (then living in the fort with her father, RICHARD W. MORTIMER, a Commissary Sergeant,) states that, etery winter, after settlers began to locate west of the river, and sell liquor clandestinely, soldiers lost their lives by falling down on their way back to the fort, from DONALD MCDONALD'S, while intoxicated, and freezing to death. They would scale the walls, and run away, in order to go up to that groggery. The bodies of some who died thus were eaten by the wolves. Others, less fortunate, lost their hands or feet, and dragged out the rest of their lives, miserable cripples. The trouble and expense, and strategems soldiers would resort to to obtain liquor, shows the irresistible thirst that overpowers reason and self-command. A few years before the above date, a Sergeant MANN, one winter night, gave eighty dollars for a gallon of whisky, which probably cost the dealer a shilling. Judge IRA B. BRUNSON, of Prairie du Chien, the Deputy Marshal of Wisconsin Territory, who, in 1840, was charged with dislodging the settlers from the Reserve, says that at that time a considerable part of the soldiers were men of intemperate habits before they joined the army, and many of them enlisted while drunk, so that, being habituated to the use of liquor, they would run all sorts of risk to satisfy their cravings. The effedt of the sale on the Indians was even worse. "Under the influence, [says NEILL,] of a vile class of whiskysellers that infested the neighborhood of what is now the capital of Minnesota, the Dakotas were a nation of drunkards. Men would travel hundreds of miles to The place where they sell minne-wakan, as they designated Saint Paul, to traffic for a keg of whisky." Rev. GIDEON H. POND, the editor of the Dakotah Friend, says, in an article dated September, 1851: "Twelve years ago they bade fair soon to die, all together, in one drunken jumble. They must be drunk-they could hardly live if they were not drunk. Many of them seemed as uneasy when sober as a fish does when on land. At some of the villages they were drunk months together. There was no end to it. They would have whisky. They would give guns, blankets, pork, lard, flour, corn, coffee, sugar, horses, furs, traps, anything for whisky. It was made to drink-it was good it was wakan. They drank it-they bit off each other's noses-broke each other's ribs and heads-they knifed each other. They killed one another with guns, knives, hatchets, clubs, fire-brands-they fell into the fire and water, and were burned to death and drowned-they froze to death, and committed suicide so frequently that, for a time, the death of an Indian, in some of the ways mentioned, was but little thought of by themselves or others. Some of the earlier settlers of Saint Paul and Pig's Eye remember something about these matters. Their eyes saw sights which are not exhibited now-a-days."
WHAT SAINT PAUL OWES TO WHISKY!
Out of what humble circumstances sometimes spring great results. The history of Saint Paul exemplifies it. The illicit sale of liquor by some unscrupulous squatters on the Reserve, led to the expulsion without its lines of all the settlers, whether guilty of that offense or not, and resulted in forming a settlement at another point, which ultimately grew into the Saint Paul of a later day. Thus the very corner-stone of our civic existence was laid in whisky! To some extent the village throve on whisky at an early day, and whisky is yet an element of power in our midst, (especially in politics,) despite the noble crusade of Bishop IRELAND and the temperance societies. In fact, the first steamboat that ever landed at the shores of Saint Paul, the Glaucus, Captain ATCHISON, May 21, 1839, stopped to put off six barrels of whisky for DONALD MCDONALD, since known as the " Half-WVay House," being afraid to take the liquor any further up the river, for fear it would be seized and destroyed by the authorities at the fort. It was always a mystery to the writer how such quantities of liquor could have been used by ordinary consumption, those days, unless the early settlers of this locality were " powerful" thirsty fellows, got up on the sponge order. But Gen. R. W. JOHNSON, in his address before the Old Settlers' Society of Hennepin county, gives a charitable construction of it that explains the whole question satisfactorily. He says that the old pioneers were about to settle in a region of which they had very little knowledge, and were afraid it might be infested with rattlesnakes, hence used considerable whisky to guard against the effects of the poison in case they should be bit. It must have been an efficacious remedy, as we believe there is no case on record of any one ever dying in this locality from a snakebite, and, indeed, we never even heard of any one getting bit! But they were right in being careful.
PARRANT LOSES HIS CLAIM.
But we must not lose sight of that real estate operation between PARRANT and BEAUMETTE, mentioned on page 75. Before the note became due, BEAUMETTE, probably forced by the pressure of circumstances, sold the note to JOHN MILLER, of Mendota. MILLER was a stone mason by occupation,.as was BEAUMETTE. He built General SIBLEY'S house at Mendota, the first stone private dwelling house in Minnesota. About 1844, he was drowned in the river near Grey Cloud Island. When the first of May came round, PARRANT was unable to lift the note, so MILLER became a real estate owner of PARRANT'S claim, by no expensive process of foreclosure. He did not keep it long, but transferred it to one VETAL GUERIN, a young voyageur, of Mendota, in settlement of a debt of $150, due the said GUERIN. The latter never got possession of it at all, the old adage about " many a slip'twixt the cup and the lip" being exemplified in this case, for some unscrupulous sinner, whose name history has not recorded, jumped the claim, and despoiled GUERIN of his property. Retributive justice overtook the graceless jumper soon after, as the United States Marshal tore down his house and drove him off the Reserve, as will be seen a little further along.
PARRANT MAKES ANOTIIER CLAIM.
The ROMULUS of our future city, after losing his mercantile establishment at the cave, at once made another claim. He selected a tract just east of Serg't HIIAYS' claim, fronting on the river, extending from Minnesota street to Jackson street, approximately, and thence back to the bluff About where the foot of Robert street now is, he erected on the bank-afterwards known as Bench street, and since cut down-a hovel in which to reside, and carry on his liquor trade. He occupied this claim about a year.
THE ORIGIN OF " PIG'S EYE." PARRANT,
as before remarked, had only one eye that was serviceable. He had another,
it is true, hut such an eye! Blind, marble-hued, crooked, with a sinister
white ring glaring around the pupil, giving a kind of piggish expression
to his sodden, low features. ROSWELL P. RUSSELL, now of Minneapolis,
who was a suttler's clerk, at Fort Snelling then, and was frequently
back and forth through the village during those days, bestowed on PARRANT
the suitable and expressive sobriquet, Pig's Eye," and, after a little
while, he was generally known by that appropriate nickname. (The Frenchmen
called it O'eit de Coc/o;n.) Finally, the name became attached to the
locality itself, in the following manner: One day, in 1839, EDMUND BRISSETT,
a younig Canadian,. who had come to Fort Snelling in 1832, and was doing
odd jobs of carpentering for the settlers hereabouts, such at firniture,
doors, sash, etc., was stopping at PARRANT'S, and wanted to send a letter
to JOSEPH R. BROWN, who had a trading post on Grey Cloud Island, I2
miles below, and was a Justice of the Peace. But where should he date
the letter at, was the problem? I looked up inquiringly at PARRANT,
(says BRISSETT, in relating the circumstances,) and, seeing his old
crooked eye scowling at me, it suddenly popped into my head to date
it at Pig's Eye, feeling sure that the place would be recognized, as
PARRANT was well known along the river. In a little while an answer
was safely received, directed to me at Pig's Eye. I told' the joke to
some of the boys, and they made lots of fun of PARRANT. He was very
mad, and threatened to lick me, but never tried to execute it." Thus
the name bestowed on the place in a joke, stuck to it for years, and
it is jocosely called by it to this day. After PARRANT removed to the
bottom, below Dayton's Bluff, some three or four years subsequently,
the name became attached to that locality, and it will probably be known
as such, until the end of time.
THE SURVEY OF THE RESERVATION.
Maj. TALIAFERRO, ill his joturnal, under date of Otober 5, 1839, says: "Lieut. THOMPSON is engaged in making the lines for the military Reservation around Fort Snelling.'From Mississippi five miles up the Saint Peter's; thence west to Lake Harriet, seven miles; thence along Lake Harriet to the Lake of the Isles; thence to the portage landing, above the falls, one-fourth of a mile; across the Mississippi, five miles. 'The line,'he says further,'comes below the cave;' and, in another place, 'that it extends much further east than any survey hitherto.'" Maj. PLYMPTON, on November 29, transmits this map to the War Department, with the following statement: "The red lines show the boundaries of the Reservation, and which are conformable to the survey of Lieutenant SMITH, with this slight difference: that, in his survey, the principal lines, from river to river, were necessarily (from the season and weather) left imaginary, which, upon an actual survey, will be found (to embrace the necessary woodland and to preserve the cardinal points) to cross the Mississippi a little further down than that imaginarily indicated on the map of Lieutenant SMITH'S survey. "The limits of the Reservation, as now marked, embrace no more ground, I conceive, than is absolutely necessary to furnish the daily wants of this garrison, and, could they be extended further into the country on the east side of the river, it would, no doubt, add to the quiet of this command." The limits fixed were entirely arbitrary. They were not governed by the " daily wants" of the garrison, for the additional woodland secured was of no value or importance to the post, and was never utilized. The line was extended far beyond the possible intent of the Reservation. JOHN R. IRVINE states, that when he came here, four years after, the east line of the Reservation ran about where the Seven Corners now is, thence northwardly to about where the Park Place Hotel stands.
ORDER FOR THE EXPULSION OF THE SQOUATTERS FROM THE RESERVE.
But we must return, to preserve the chronological order of events, to the efforts made by the military authorities, for the expulsion of squatters from the Reserve. Hon. JOEL R. POINSETT, Secretary of War, after duly considering the letters of Surgeon EMERSON and Gen. WOOL, given in preceding pages, issued the following order:
War Department October 21st 1839
"MINERAL POINT, WISCONSIN TERRITORY,
ACTION OF THE WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE.
Probably finding there was no stay of execution to be secured from any other source, the squatters within the lines of Maj. PLYMPTON'S Reserve, seem to have appealed to the Wisconsin Legislature to interfere in their behalf. That body consequently passed the following concurrent resolutions:
"Whereas, the advantages of steamboat landings are of vast importance to an agricultural district, and particularly necessary to the citizens of this Territory residing near the head of the navigation of the Mississippi river; and whereas, the military Reservation of Fort Snelling, in Iowa Territory, has been so surveyed as to embrace the only convenient steamboat landing east of the Mississippi, for fifteen miles below the head of navigation, and also includes a valuable agricultural district, much of which is under a good state of cultivation, and occupied by an industrious and enterprising people, some of whom have made valuable improvements; and whereas, it appears efforts are being made by the military of said fort to procure a section of the Reserve as lately surveyed, for speculative purposes, and without any regard to the good of the military service: Now be it "Resolved, by Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin, That our delegate in Congress be requested to protest against the extension of the military Reserve of Fort Snelling to the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi. "Resolved, That the Governor be requested to forward one copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions to the Secretary of War, and one copy to our delegate in Congress. "Approved December 16, 1839." On January 12. 1840, Governor J. D. DOTY addressed the Secretary of War as follows:
"WASHINGTON, January 12, 1840. "SIR: The Legislative Assembly of Wisconsin has, by a resolution, approved by the Governor on the 16th of December, 1839, requested me to protest against the extension of the military Reservation of Fort Snelling to the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, with which I have now the honor to comply. ' A question of some importance will arise if the Reservation is made, which I beg leave to state: The United States may reserve any portion of its lands from sale, but can it extend a military jurisdiction over so large a tract of country as is embraced in the limits of this Reservation by the simple declaration that it is necessary for military purposes? "A Territory is a State under a temporary form of government. It may be doubtful with some whether Congress may exercise exclusive jurisdiction over this Reservation, the purchase having been made without the consent of the Legislature of that State. Against the exercise of that jurisdiction the legislative power of that State now protests. "The subdivisions of the territory northwest of the Ohio are denominated States in the ordinance of 1787. And in the third section it is ordained that' the laws to be adopted or made (by the Legislature) shall have force in all _arts of the district.' It also requires the Governor to lay out the parts of the district, in which the Indian titles shall have been extinguished, into counties and townships.' An exclusive military jurisdiction would be incompatible with the exercise of this power by the Territorial Government. "I am advised that a copy of the resolution of the Assembly of Wisconsin has been forwarded to the War Department, and I beg leave to refer to the reasons therein stated. "I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant, "J. D. DOTY. "Hon. J. R. POINSETT, Secretary of War." VETAL GUERIN.
A few pages back, mention was made of one VETAL GUERIN, who purchased PARRANT'S original claim, but who never came into possession of it, for reasons there stated. VETAL GUERIN was born in Saint Remi, Canada, July 17, 1812. His father was Louis GUERIN, a voyageur by occupation, who died in 1865, at the ripe age of 83. VETAL grew up into the same occupation as his father. In 1832, when he was 20 years of age, a lithe, sinewy young fellow, VETAL enlisted in the service of the American Fur Companv, under GABRIEL FRANCHERE, for three years. He was to join a company bound for the Upper Mississippi, consisting of 134 men, in charge of four barges of goods. They left Montreal, May 5, 1832, and made the entire journey to Mendota by water, through the lakes, Green Bay, the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, and utip the Mississippi. The entire season was consumed in this trip, and it was late in the fall when the party reached the company's post at Mendota. GUERIN served the company his stipulated three years, and, fter that term had expired, worked by odd jobs for the company, and for Mr. FARIBAULT and other traders, at Men(lota and Traverse de Sioux, for three or four years longer. GUERIN's first investment in Saint Paul real estate had not proved a paying one, but, nevertheless, he soon after determined to repeat the experiment. Looking about, in the fall of 1839, he found the HAYS claim, which PHELAN still pretended to own, by virtue of his partnership with HAYS, unoccupied, and quite likely to be so as far as either of its former owners was concerned-one being dead, and the other in prison 300 miles away, with a good prospect of stretching hemp. As the claim suited VETAL pretty well, he forthwith squatted on it, and proceeded to erect a cabin. This cabin, so he stated to the writer, was a very unpretending affair, about 16x20 feet, built of oak and elm from the woods surrounding it, with a bark roof and a floor of split and hewed puncheons. The door and sash were made by MICHEL LECIAIRE, of the Grand Marais, since called Pig's Eye. This cabin stood on the spot now occupied by Ingersoll's Block, and, with some additions and changes, stood there until 1860, when the buildings occupying the site of said block were removed, to make room for it. Thus, at the close of the year 1839, there were nine cabins witlhin the present limits of the city of Saint Paul. Patience! We shall have a city yet. (Vetal married Adele Perry)
CHAPTER VIII. EVENTS OF THE YEARS 1840 AND 1841
CRAWFORD county, Wisconsin Territory, had been created and organized, (as noted on page 39,) in 1819. For twenty-two years its boundaries were unchanged. In January, 1840, through the influence of JOSEPH R. BROWN, a bill was passed creating " Saint Croix County." The boundaries of the new county included all that part of Crawford county lying west of a line running northward from the mouth of the Porcupine River on Lake Pepin to Lake Superior. The county seat was fixed at BROWN'S town-site of "Dakota," about the upper end of the present city of Stillwater. In the fall of this year, at the election for Representatives, JOSEPH R. BROWN was elected a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, for two years. Henceforth this region commenced to have a voice in the public affairs of the Territory, to which it had been hitherto a mere unnoticed back settlement. But Saint Paul must have stood for several years to Wisconsin about in the same relation that Pembina used to, to Minnesota. Its representatives, from this date until the organization of Minnesota Territory, are given on page 45.
EXPULSION OF SETTLERS FROM THIE RESERVE. (Camp Coldwater)
When Marshal EDWARD JAMES, of Wisconsin Territory received the order for the expulsion of the settlers'on the Reserve, he sent it to his deputy, IRA B. BRUNSON, of Prairie du Chien, to execute. As it was now near the end of winter, and traveling very difficult and insecure, Mr. BRUNSON delayed his journey until the opening of navigation in the spring, when he took the first boat for Fort Snelling, about May 1, and proceeded to execute his unpleasant task. In an account of the transaction Mr. BRUNSON wrote for me. he says that he gave the settlers several days' notice to remove, but they disregarded the warning, so that he was compelled to call upon Maj. PLYMPTON for a military force to execute the orders vi et armis. On the 6th day of May, 1840, the settlers on the Reserve were dishoused and driven off; and every cabin within the lines destroyed. In a memorial from the expelled settlers to Congress, praying for indemnity for their losses, presented by Delegate H. H. SIBLEY, in 1849, and again in 1852, (No adtion was ever taken by Congress on this Memorial, beyond referring it to a committee, which never reported on it.) the settlers state that the soldiery fell upon them without warning, treated them with unjustifiable rudeness, broke and destroyed furniture wantonly, insulted the women, and, in one or two instances, fired at and killed cattle. Mr. BRUNSON denies, positively, in general and in particular, these statements. He states that the soldiers acted reluctantly in the matter, but civilly, under the command of a Lieutenant, and under his (BRLTNSON'S) supervision, and in their presence. As the settlers refused to budge, they had to carry their household goods out, but none was broken intentionally, and no unnecessary force was used. ABRAHAM PERRY, the GERVAIS brothers, RONDO, and other of the early settlers, of Saint Paul, were among those whose houses were destroyed. To these poor refugees it was a cruel blow. The victims of floods, and frosts, and grasshoppers, in the Red River valley, and once before expelled from the Reserve, (west side,) it seemed that the cup of disaster was charged to the brim for them. Mournfully gathering up their effects and flocks, they set out once more to find a home.
FINDING NEW HOMES.
On being dishoused, the unfortunate settlers retreated beyond the line of the Reserve, and there made preparations for beginning life once more. ABRAHAM PERRY and family sojourn for the present ill tile house of his son-in-law, JAMES R. CLEWETT. Almost broken down by his repeated misfortunes, and by the severe toil and hardships of the past few years, PERRY seemed never to recover from these buffets of hard fortune. His health gradually declined. For some time his lower limbs were so paralyzed that he could not stand. He still endeavored to engage in agricultural labor, and actually cut down trees while sitting on the ground. He died 11 May, 1849, aged 73 years. His wife, Mrs. MARY ANN PERRY, died in 1859, at an advanced age, at the residence of CHARLES BAZILLE, her son-in-law. ABRAHAM PERRY had seven children, the three oldest of whom were born in Switzerland, two at Red River, and the two youngest at Fort Snelling. His only son, CHARLES PERRY, born in Switzerland, now lives at Lake Johanna, Ramsey county. Mr. PERRY'S daughters all married in this vicinity, as follows: SOPHIA married PIERRE CREVIER, and lives near Watertown, Minnesota. FANNY married CHARLES MOUSSEAU, 1836; residence, Minneapolis. ROSE ANN married J. R. CLEWETT, I839; residence, White Bear. ADELE married VETAL GUERIN, 1841; residence, Saint Paul. JOSEPHINE married J. B. CORNOYER, 1843; residence, Minneapolis. ANNIE JANE married CHARLES BAZILLE, 1846; residence, Saint Paul. Nearly every one of PERRY'S children have raised large families, and he had over 75 grandchildren.
THE BATTLE OF KAPOSIA.
In September of this year occurred the famous battle of Kaposia, between the Chippewas and Sioux. References will be found in the previous pages of this history to the savage warfare that had been waged for several years between these two hostile tribes, whose deadly feud must have begun generations ago, and sacrificed a hecatomb of warriors during those years.
(Indian fight Camp Coldwater) Early in the spring of 1841, three Chippewa warriors proceeded to the vicinity of Fort Snelling, and lay concealed in a thicket there, looking for Sioux scalps. Ere long, KAIBOKA, a Dakota chief, accompanied bv his son, and another Indian, passed along, when they were at once killed and scalped, and the cowardly assassins escaped. Enraged at this act, a war partv from LITTLE CROW'S village, at Kaposia, head by that chief, equipped themselves and started on a campaign of revenge. Three of LITITTLE CROW'S sons were in the party. Near the Falls of Saint Croix, they fell in with the Chippewas. Two of CROW's sons were shot dead, and the party returned. Another section of the expedition penetrated the Ojibwa country as far as Pokeguina, where there was a village of Indians and a missionary station, at which EDMUND F. ELY, for several years subsequently a resident of this city was present. The Dakotas attacked this, but inflicted little damage on the enemy, losing two of their own number. In revenge for this raid, the Chippewas, in 1842, determined to attack the Sioux village, of LITTLE CROW, at Kaposia. A war party of about 40 was formed at Fond du Lac, and, in their downward march, they were joined by recruits from the Mille Lac and Saint Croix bands, until the party numbered about 100. They arrived unnoticed at the bluff back of Pig's Eye, where they halted in Pine Coolie, the ravine just back of the old poor-house, to reconnoiter. This was about 10 o'clock in the afternoon. just at this momment, a Red River half-breed inamed HENRY SINCLAIR, who was in the employ of the missionaries KAVE NAUGH, at Red Rock, came along on the trail, riding a pony. Him they hailed, and inquired, "if there were any Dakotas about." SINCLAIR was about to reply, when his pony took fright, and started off at break-neck speed. He did not try to check him, but galloped on, and in a few minutes, arrived at the mission house, where he reported what he had seen. There were two Sioux at Rev. Mr. KAVENAUGH'S house, who at once started off on the run to alarm the men at Kaposia. Mrs. THOMAS ODELL., then Miss ELIZABETH WILLIAMS, a half-breed girl, was a pupil at the Red Rock mission. She states that, a moment after the Indians left, the rattle of guns was heard, showing that the work of death had commenced. But we must go back a little. On Pig's Eye bottom, a little distance from Pine Coolie, where the Chippewas were lying in ambush, was the cabin and field of FRANCIS GAMMEL, a French Canadian, who had come to Minnesota as a voyageur, in 1829, and had lived at Mendota. He was now married to a Dakota woman, and they had one child, DAVID GAMMEL., then an infant. That morning, an old Indian, named RATTLER, a brother of OLD BETS, well known to the early residents hereabout, had gone over to GAMMEL'S house, with his two wives, and a son and daughter, infants, in order to help Mr. and Mrs. GAMMEL hoe their corn. GAMMEL and his wife, and one of RATTLER'S wives, were in the field at work. The other Mrs. RATTLER complained of being sick, and went into the house, whither old RATTLER followed. The three children were playing near by. Just at this moment, a squad of Chippewas, who had been sent out to reconnoiter, sneaked through the bushes outside the field, and seeing the two Sioux women at work, fired a volley at them. Mrs. RATTLER fell dead, and Mrs. GAMMEL was mortally wounded. GAMMEL picked her up and carried her into the house, followed by some of the blood-thirsty Chippewas, who rushed in and scalped the dying woman in his arms, and at once retreated, not knowing of the presence of RATTLER and his other wife, in an adjoining room. As they bounded off, giving the scalp-halloo, GAMMEL seized a gun and fired at them, wounding one in the leg, but they did not, at any time, offer to molest him. just then they observed the little boy of RATTLER, Who was endeavoring to hide in the bushes. They seized him and cut off his head. The little son of GAMMEL (GAMMEL'S son, DAVID, grew up to manhood at Mendota, and served in a Minnesota Regiment. Old RATTLER died in 1851, of an overdose of whisky. TA-TI, his daughter, afterwards became the wife of Wa-kin-yan-ta-wa, (His TIIUNDER,) sometimes called "CHASKA," who saved GEORCE H. SPENCER'S life, in 1862, and was poisoned accidentally the year following. TA-TI now lives at Mendota. FRANCIS GAMMEL died at Mendota, in 1871.), and the daughter of RATTLER, named Ta-ti, (HER LODGE,) escaped unnoticed. This affair had all occurred in a moment, and was undoubtedly a military blunder of the attacking party. Their design had been to crawl, unobserved, to the bank of the river, opposite Kaposia, and there, concealed in the dense shrubbery, lie in wait for some unsuspecting party of Sioux, and massacre them. But, seeing the Dakota women in the field, they had rashly attacked them, thus giving the alarm prematurely. If they had carried out the first named plan, they could not have chosen a more opportune time than that day. The Sioux at the village were in the midst of one of their drunken sprees, and, as is customary at such times, the squaws had hid their guns and other weapons, to prevent them from doing each other any harm. The firing across the river first gave them the alarm that the enemy was near, when great excitement at once prevailed. The men hunted up their concealed weapons, meantime giving their barbaric war-whoop, and yelling like so many demons, in order to scare the enemy, probably. In this vocal exercise they were joined by the squaws and children. As soon as they could arm themselves, the Sioux bravely advanced across the river to attack the enemy. The latter, by this time, had advanced near the bank of the river, about where the quarantine grounds now are, and here the battle mainly took place. It raged with great spirit for a couple of hours, during which the firing was incessant. Some hand-to-hand encounters also took place between the two sides, while the forest and bluffs rang with their incessant yelling. The firing was plainly heard in Saint Paul. Every inch of the battleground was hotly contested. Toward noon, the Chippewas began to fall back, and soon retreated on their path, followed by the Sioux, who pursued them over the bluff, and several miles toward Stillwater. The Chippewas left some nine or ten dead bodies on the field, and may have carried off their wounded. The Sioux also lost heavily. Different accounts place their loss at nineteen or twenty, including the mortally wounded, who died subsequently. The dead Chippewas were at once scalped, while the squaws amused themselves by hacking and mutilating them. "Old BETS" went around pounding their heads with a huge club. One of her sons, afterwards called Ta-opi, or WOUNDED MAN, was so named because wounded in this fight. When the Chippewas first made the attack, a messenger was sent to Fort Snelling with the intelligence. It was the policy of the Government to prevent and punish these intertribal carnages, and Major DEARBORN at once dispatched a party of soldiers from Companies D, G and H, First Infantry, who at that time garrisoned the fort, to Kaposia, to stop the conflicdt. The party came down below Pickerel Lake in boats, and thence across by land, but did not arrive until after the conflict was over. THOMAS S. ODELL, now of West Saint Paul, was one of this party. I am indebted to him and his wife for many of the minor incidents of this strange affair.
(from page 44; These barbaric orgies were repeated from year to year, for some time. The liquor sold to the Indians by traders was mostly the cause of this, and every effort was made by the authorities to break up the traffic, without success.)
"The river which flows through our native village acquires a new interest when, in imagination, we see the Indian canoe on it's surface and the skin covered tepee on it's banks, as in the days of yore. Log cabins, straw roofs, and the rude "betterments" of the hardy pioneer, are the next changes on the scene, followed soon by mushroom towns, some of which persih as quickly as they spring up, while others astonish us by their their rapid growth; cities are built, and moss and ivy, the evidences of age, soon accumulate. The log cabin and all the incipient steps of first settlement are things of the past; "The place which knew them shall know them no more forever."
History of the Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis includeing the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota
By Rev Edward D Neill and J Fletcher
Williams - 1881