|The Battle of Tippecanoe|
After the arrival of the brothers at their new home on the Wabash, Governor Harrison sent a letter to the Indians, which was read in the presence of The Prophet. He said: "My children, this business must be stopped; I will no longer suffer it. You have called a number of men from the most distant tribes to listen to a fool who speaks not the words of the Great Spirit, but of the devil and the British agents. My children, your conduct has much alarmed the white settlers near you. They desire that you shall send away those people. If they wish to have that impostor with them they can carry him along with them. Let him go to the lakes, he can hear the British more distinctly."
In August, 1808, The Prophet visited Governor Harrison at Vincennes, where he remained a considerable length of time, his object being to converse with Harrison. In the course of these interviews The Prophet impressed the governor that he was honest in his intentions, but ere long the general came to regard him again as crafty, cunning and unreliable. He came to the conclusion that The Prophet and Tecumseh were plotting against the United States government, and in the event of a war with England they would exert their influence toward forming an alliance of the Indians.
In one of his interviews The Prophet spoke to Governor Harrison as follows:
"It is three years since I first began that system of religion I now practice. The white people and some of the Indians were against me, but I had no other intention but to introduce among the Indians those good principles of religion which the white people profess. I was spoken of badly by the white people, who reproached me with misleading the Indians, but I defy them to say that I did anything amiss.
"Father, I was told you intended to hang me. When I heard this I intended to remember it and tell my father when I went to see him, and relate to him the truth.
"I heard when I settled on the Wabash, that my father, the governor, had declared that all the land between Vincennes and Fort Wayne was the property of the Seventeen Fires. I heard also that you wanted to know, my father, whether I was God or man; and that you said if I was the former I should not steal horses. I heard this from Mr. Wells, but I believed it originated with himself.
"The Great Spirit told me to tell the Indians that He had made them, and made the world -- that He had placed them on it to do good and not evil.
"I told all of the redskins that the way they were in was not good, and they should abandon it.
"That we ought to consider ourselves as one man, but we ought to live agreeably to our several customs, the red people after their mode and the white people after theirs; particularly that they should not drink whisky; that it was not made for them, but for the white people who knew how to use it, and that it is the cause of all the mischief the Indians suffer, and that they must listen to Him, as it was He that made us. Determine to listen to nothing that is bad, do not take up the tomahawk should it be offered by the British or by the Long Knives; do not meddle with anything that does not belong to you, but mind your own business and cultivate the ground, that your women and children may have enough to live on.
"I now inform you that it is our intention to live in peace with our father and his people forever.
"My father, I have informed you what we mean to do, and I call the Great Spirit to witness the truth of my declaration. The religion which I have established for the last three years has been attended by all the different tribes of the Indians in this part of the world. Those Indians were once different people; they are now but one; they are all determined to practice what I have communicated to them, that has come immediately from the Great Spirit through me.
"Brothers, I speak to you as a warrior. You are one. But let us lay aside this character and attend to the care of our children, that they may live in comfort and peace. We desire that you will join us for the preservation of both red and white people. Formerly, when we lived in ignorance, we were foolish; but now, since we listen to the voice of the Great Spirit, we are happy.
"I have listened to what you have said to us. You have promised to assist us. I now request you, in behalf of all the red people, to use your exertion to prevent the sale of liquor to us. We are all pleased to hear you say that you will endeavor to promote our happiness. We give you every assurance that we will follow the dictates of the Great Spirit.
"We are well pleased with the attention you have shown us, also with the good intentions of our father, the president. If you give us a few articles, such as needles, flints, hoes, powder, etc., we will take the animals that afford us meat with powder and ball."
The position of Governor Harrison was one of great responsibility. He was charged with the protection of the pioneersettlers [sic]. The administrations of Presidents Adams, Jefferson and Madison had instructed him to use conciliatory means, and avoid, if possible, a recourse to arms. At many times, when the whites were nominally at peace with the tribes, some lawless Indians would, contrary to the wishes of the great majority of their people, invade the settlements, murder or plunder the inhabitants, and burn their buildings. These depredations led to retaliation from the whites, who were frequently in the wrong. Besides these difficulties, British emissaries were constantly at work for several years prior to the War of 1812, in anticipation of that struggle, creating an ill feeling among them toward the United States. Such was the speech of Colonel McKee in 1804. "My children," said he, "it is true that the Americans do not wish you to drink any spirituous liquors, and therefore have told their traders that they should not carry any liquor into your country, but, my children, they have no right to say that one of your father's traders (that is, the British traders) should carry no liquor among his children. My children, your father, King George, loves his red children, and wishes his red children supplied with everything they want. He is not like the Americans, who are continually blinding your eyes, and stopping your ears with good words, that taste sweet as sugar, and getting all your lands from you."
On a similar occasion, in 1805, he again said to them: "My children, there is a powerful enemy of yours to the east, now on his feet, and looks mad at you, therefore you must be on your guard; keep your weapons of war in your hands, and have a lookout for him."
In 1809 Governor Harrison negotiated a treaty with the Delaware, Miami and Pottawatomie Indians by which a tract of land extending on each side of the Wabash to a point sixty miles north of Vincennes was sold to the Government. Tecumseh was absent when this treaty was made. The Prophet gave no opposition. When Tecumseh returned home he affected great dissatisfaction with the sale, and threatened some of the chiefs who had consented to it with death. He claimed that these tribes could not make a valid transfer of land without the consent of all the chiefs.
In July, 1810, Governor Harrison sent a letter to The Prophet at Tippecanoe, the object of which was to point out the folly of his conduct and give him assurance of the friendly intentions of the United States government. In this communication he said:
"What reason have you to complain of the United States? Have they taken anything from you? Have they ever violated the treaties make with you? Have they ever violated the treaties made with the red men? You say they have purchased land from those who had no right to sell. Show the truth of this and the land will be instantly restored. Show us the rightful owners of those lands which have been purchased. Let them present themselves. The ears of your father will be open to their complaints, and, if any lands have been purchased from those who did not own them, they will be restored to their rightful owners. I have full power to arrange this business. But if you would rather carry your complaints before your great father, the president, you shall be indulged. I will instantly take the means to send you, and three chiefs, to be chosen by you, to the city where your father lives. Everything necessary shall be prepared for your journey, and means taken to insure your safe return."
The reception of Joseph Barron, the bearer of this letter was somewhat remarkable. He was ushered into the presence of The Prophet and made to stand at a distance
of ten or twelve feet from him for a considerable time before The Prophet, though he knew him well, uttered a word. He then inquired, contemptuously, upon what errand he came. He said: "Brouillette was here; he was a spy. Dubois was here; he was a spy. Now you have come. You, too, are a spy. There is your grave! look on it! The Prophet then pointed to the ground near where Barron stood. Tecumseh presently entered and assured Mr. Barron that his life was in no danger.
The contents of Governor Harrison's letter was then made known. Tecumseh stated that he would visit the governor at Vincennes within a short time, and would then reply in person to his message. Governor Harrison, fearing that treachery might be meditated by Tecumseh, requested that when on his visit he should be accompanied by but few warriors. Contrary to this request, Tecumseh took with him seventy-five well armed men. He reached Vincennes on the 12th of August, where he remained until the 22nd, holding frequent interviews with the governor. In a speech delivered at the opening of these councils he said:
"I have made myself what I am, and I would that I could make the red people as great as the conceptions of my mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules over all. I would not then come to Governor Harrison to ask him to tear the treaty, but I would say to him, brother, you have liberty to return to your own country. Once there were no white men in all this country; then it belonged to red men, children of the same parents, placed on it by the Great Spirit, to keep it, to travel over it, to eat its fruits, and fill it with the same race -- once a happy race, but now made miserable by the white people, who are never contented, but always encroaching. They have driven us from the great salt water, forced us over the mountains, and would shortly push us into the lakes -- but we are determined to go no farther. The only way to stop this evil is for all the red men to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was at first, and should be now -- for it never was divided, but belongs to all. No tribe has a right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers, who demand all, and will take no less. The white people have no right to take the land from the Indians, who had it first; it is theirs. They may sell, but all must join. Any sale not made by all is not good. The late sale is bad -- it was made by a part only. Part do not know how to sell. It requires all to make a bargain for all."
Governor Harrison, in his reply, said: "The white people, when they arrived upon this continent, had found the Miamis in the occupation of all the country of the Wabash, and at that time the Shawnees were residents of Georgia, from which they were driven by the Creeks; that the lands had been purchased from the Miamis, who were the true and original owners of it; that it was ridiculous to assert that all the Indians were one nation, for if such had been the intention of the Great Spirit, He would not have put six different tongues in their heads, but would have taught them all to speak one language; that the Miamis had found it for their interest to sell a part of their lands, and receive for them a further annuity, in addition to what they had long enjoyed, and the benefit of which they had experienced, from the punctuality with which the Seventeen Fires complied with their engagements, and that the Shawnees had no right to come from a distant country to control the Miamis in the disposal of their own property."
In a speech delivered on the 20th of August, which was written down by order of Governor Harrison, Tecumseh said:
"Brothers, I wish you to listen to me well. As I think that you do not clearly understand what I before said to you, I will explain it again.
"Brothers, since the peace was made, you have killed some of the Shawnees, Winnebagoes, Delawares and Miamis, and you have taken our land from us, and I do not see how we can remain at peace if you continue to do so. You try to force the red people to do some injury. It is you that is pushing them on to do mischief. You endeavor to make distinctions. You wish to prevent the Indians doing as we wish them -- to unite, and let them consider the lands as the common property of the whole. You take tribes aside and advise them not to come into this measure; and, until our design is accomplished, we do not wish to accept of your invitation to go and see the president.
"The reason I tell you this, you want, by your distinctions of Indian tribes, in allotting to each a particular tract of land, to make them war with each other. You never see an Indian come and endeavor to make the white people do so. You are continually driving the red people; when, at last you will drive them into the Great Lakes where they can't either stand or walk.
"Brother, you ought to know what you are doing with the Indians. Perhaps it is by direction of the president to make those distinctions. It is a very bad thing and we do not like it. Since my residence at Tippecanoe, we have endeavored to level all distinctions -- to destroy village chiefs, by whom mischief is done. It is they who sell our lands to the Americans. Our object is to let our affairs be transacted by warriors.
"Brothers, this land that was sold and the goods that were given for it was only done by a few. The treaty was brought here, and the Weas were induced to give their consent to it because of their small numbers. The treaty of Fort Wayne was made through the treats of Winnemac, but in the future we are prepared to punish those chiefs who may come forward to propose to sell the land. If you continue to purchase of them, it will produce war among the different tribes, and at last I do not know what will be the consequence to the white people.
"Brother, I was glad to hear your speech. You said that if we could show that the land was sold by people who had no right to sell, you would restore it. Those that did sell did not won it. It was me. These tribes set up a claim, but the tribes with me will not agree with their claims. If the land is not restored to us you will see, when we return to our homes, how it will be settled. We shall have a great council, at which all the tribes will be present, when we shall show to those who sold that they had no right to the claim they set up. We will see what will be done to those chiefs that did sell the land to you. I am not alone in this determination. It is the determination of all the warriors and red people that listen to me. I now wish you to listen to me. If you do not, it will appear that you wished me to kill all the chiefs that sold you the land. I tell you so because I am authorized by all the tribes to do so. I am the head of them all; I am a warrior, and all the warriors will meet together in two or three moons from this; then I shall know what to do with them.
"Brother, I do not believe I came here to get presents from you. If you offer us any we will not take them. By taking goods from you you [sic] will hereafter say that with them you purchased another piece of land from us. * * * * It has been the object of both myself and brother to prevent the lands being sold. Should you not return the land it will occasion us to call a great council that will meet at the Huron village, and those who sold the land shall be called and shall suffer for their conduct.
"Brother, I wish you would take pity on the red people and do what I have requested. If you will not give up the land, and do cross the boundary of your present settlement, it will be very hard and cause great trouble among us. How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came on earth you killed Him and nailed Him on a cross. You thought He was dead, but you were mistaken. You have Shakers among you, and you laugh and make light of their worship. Everything I have said to you is the truth. The Great Spirit has inspired me, and I speak nothing but the truth to you. * * * Brother, I hope you will confess that you ought not to have listened to those bad birds who bring you bad news. I have declared myself freely to you, and if any explanation should be required from our town, send a man who can speak to us. If you think proper to give us any presents, and we can be convinced that they are given through friendship, we will accept them. As we intend to hold our council at the Huron village, which is near the British, we may probably make them a visit. Should they offer us any presents of goods we will not take them. Should they offer us powder and the tomahawk we will take the powder and refuse the tomahawk. I wish you, brother, to consider everything I have said as true, and that it is the sentiment of all the red people that listen to me."
At the close of Tecumseh's address, Governor Harrison commenced a reply. He was speaking of the justice with which the United States government had treated the most insignificant tribes, when he was interrupted by Tecumseh, who, in an angry manner and with violent gesticulations, denounced his assertions as untrue.
When he commenced, a number of Indians sprang to their feet, armed with war clubs and tomahawks. The governor did not understand the Shawnee tongue, and was unable to tell what Tecumseh was saying until it was explained by an interpreter. But General Gibson, the secretary of the territory, who understood the Shawnee language, was present, and fearing that trouble would ensue, ordered Jesse Jennings with his guard of twelve men to come up. When Harrison learned what Tecumseh had said, he declared that he would proceed no further, but would dismiss the council at once. When an interpreter visited Tecumseh on the following morning, he disclaimed any intention of rudeness or insult by his conduct on this occasion. Governor Harrison said: "He also told Mr. Barron that he had been informed that the citizens here were equally divided -- one-half on my side and the other on his -- one-half opposed to the purchase of lands from the Indians, and the other, with me, determined to drive the Indians to extremities; that he had been told that I purchased the lands against the consent of the government, and one-half of the people, who, in fact, did not want the land, as they already had more than they could use. This he knew to be true, as he had sent some of his men to reconnoiter the settlements, and he found that the lands toward the Ohio were not settled at all." Governor Harrison granted another council which was convened on the 21st of August in a grove near his residence. Tecumseh was very polite in his speech and repeated in substance what he had told Mr. Barron in the morning. The governor requested of him a definite answer as to whether or not the Kickapoos would accept their annuities, to which he replied: "Brother, when you speak of annuities to me, I look at the land and pity the women and children. I am authorized to say that they will not receive them. Brother, we want to save that piece of land. We do not wish you to take it. It is small enough for our purpose. If you do take it, you must blame yourself as the cause of trouble between us and the tribes that sold it to you. I want the present boundary line to continue. Should you cross it, I assure you it will be productive of bad consequences."
On the 22d, accompanied only by his interpreter, Governor Harrison visited the Indian camp and held a long interview with Tecumseh. He told him that his claims to the lands in question would never be acknowledged by the president of the United States. To this Tecumseh responded: "Well, as the great chief is to determine the matter, I hope the Great Spirit will put sense enough into his head to induce him to direct you to give up the land. It is true, he is so far off he will not be injured by the war. He may sit still in his town, and drink his wine, while you and I will have to fight it out." After this the council adjourned, and Tecumseh and his followers returned to the Indian country.
Toward the close of May, 1810, a conference was held at a place known as "the cow pasture" on the St. Joseph river, of Lake Michigan. In this council there were representatives of the Delawares, Pottawatomies, Chippewas, Ottawas and Shawnees. This council, through the influence of the Delawares and the friendly Pottawatomie chief, Winnemac, refused to join The Prophet's confederacy. The natural consequence of these disturbances was to retard settlement in the Indiana Territory throughout the year 1810. Governor Harrison made persistent attempts to preserve peace with the various Indian tribes. He sent frequent messages to The Prophet at Tippecanoe, as well as to the Miami, Pottawatomie and Delaware tribes. His ablest spies and messengers were
Touissant, Dubois, Joseph Barron, M. Brouillette, Francis Vigo, John Conner, Pierre La Plante and William Prince. Late in the summer a party of Indians stole four horses from a settlement in the northern part of Knox county. Depredations were also committed on the settlements along White river. About September, 1810, Captain Cross arrived at Vincennes from Newport, Ky., with a body of troops. These soldiers were intended, with three companies of militia infantry and a company of dragoons, for the purpose of erecting a fort on the left bank of the Wabash near the northern boundary of the territory acquired by the Government through the treaty of Fort Wayne, in 1809. But the erection of this fort was postponed until the following year.
Early in 1811 the British agent of Indian affairs in Canada, believing a war between his Government and the United States to be inevitable, began, with unusual vigor, to stir up discontent with the United States government among the Northwestern Indians, that they might be made allies of Great Britain. Governor Harrison's instructions from Washington advised a conciliatory policy as long as such would be consistent with the duty of the Government owed its citizens. The secretary of war intimated to Governor Harrison that the surest way of securing good conduct from Tecumseh and The Prophet would be to make them captives. A Creek Indian at Vincennes was murdered by a white man, and, though put on trial for murder, the jury refused to convict. Two Wea Indians were wounded about twenty miles from Vincennes by whites, a party of government surveyors were frightened from their work and a murder committed by Indians in the Illinois Territory. In 1810 The Prophet refused to accept his annuity of salt, but in the spring of 1811 he seized an entire boat load, which was intended for a number of tribes, and sent word to the governor not to be angry at his seizing the salt as he had got none last year and had more than 2,000 men to feed.
In June, 1811, General Harrison sent the following speech to Tecumseh, The Prophet and others by Capt. Walter Wilson: "Brothers, listen to me: I speak to you about matters of importance both to the white people and yourselves; open your ears, therefore, and attend to what I shall say. Brothers, this is the third year that all the white people in this country have been alarmed at your proceedings; you threaten us with war; you invite all of the tribes to the north and west of you to join against us. Brothers, your warriors who have lately been here deny this, but I have received information from every direction; the tribes on the Mississippi have sent me word that you intended to murder me, and then to commence a war upon our people. I have also received the speech you sent to the Pottawatomies and others to join you for that purpose, but if I had no other evidence of your hostility toward us, your seizing the salt I lately sent up the Wabash is sufficient. Brothers, our citizens are alarmed, and my warriors are preparing themselves, not to strike you, but to defend themselves and their women and children. You shall not surprise us as you expect to do; you are about to undertake a very rash act. As a friend, I advise you to consider well of it; a little reflection may save us a great deal of trouble and prevent mischief; it is not yet too late.
"Brothers, what can be the inducement for you to undertake an enterprise when there is so little probability of success? Do you really think that the handful of men that you have about you are able to contend with the Seventeen Fires, or even that the whole of the tribes united could contend against the Kentucky Fire alone? Brothers, I am myself of the Long Knife Fire [Virginia and Kentucky]. As soon as they hear my voice you will see them pouring forth their swarms of hunting-shirt men, as numerous as the mosquitoes on the shores of the Wabash. Brothers, take care of their stings. Brothers, it is not our wish to hurt you. If we did we certainly have power to do it. Look at the number of our warriors east of you, above and below the Great Miami; to the south on both sides of the Ohio, and below you also. You are brave men, but what could you do against such a multitude? We wish you to live in peace and happiness.
"Brothers, the citizens of this country are alarmed. They must be satisfied that you have no design to do them mischief, or they will not lay aside their arms. You have also insulted the Government by seizing the salt that was intended for other tribes; satisfaction must be given for that also. Brothers, you talk of coming to see me, attended by all your young men; this, however, must not be so. If your intentions are good, you have need to bring but a few of your young men with you. I must be plain with you; I will not suffer you to come into our settlements with such force.
"Brothers, if you wish to satisfy us that your intentions are good, follow the advice I have given you before; that is, that one or both of you should visit the president of the United States and lay your grievances before him. He will treat you well, will listen to what you say, and if you can show him that you have been injured, you will receive justice. If you will follow my advice in this respect, it will convince the citizens of this country and my self that you have no design to attack them. Brothers, with respect to the lands that were purchased last fall, I can enter into no negotiations with you on that subject; the affair is in the hands of the president. If you wish to go and see him, I will supply you with the means.
"Brothers, the person who delivers this is one of my war officers. He is a man in whom I have entire confidence. Whatever he says to you, although it may not be contained in this paper, you may believe comes from me.
"My friend Tecumseh, the bearer is a good man and a brave warrior. I hope you will treat him well. You are yourself a warrior, and all such should have esteem for each other."
Captain Wilson was received by Tecumseh with great courtesy. He sent the following reply to Governor Harrison's letter:
"Brother, I give you a few words, until I will be with you myself -- Tecumseh.
"Brother, at Vincennes, I wish you to listen to me while I send you a few words; and I hope that they will ease your heart. I know you look on your young men and your women and children with pity, to see them so much alarmed. Brother, I wish you to now examine what you have from me. I hope it will be a satisfaction to you, if your intentions are like mine, to wash away all these bad stories that have been circulated. I will be with you myself in eighteen days from this day. Brother, we can not say what will become of us, as the Great Spirit has the management of us at His will. I may be there before that time, and may not be there until that day. I hope that when we come together, all these bad tales will be settled. By this I hope your young men, women and children, will be easy. I wish you, brother, to let them know when I come to Vincennes and see you, all will be settled in peace and happiness. Brother, these are only a few words to let you know that I will be with you myself; and when I am with you I can inform you better. Brother, if I find that I can be with you in less than eighteen days, I will send one of Brother, if I find that I can be with you in less than eighteen days, I will send one of m young men before me, to let you know what time I will be with you."
On the 27th of July, Tecumseh, with about 300 Indians, of whom twenty or thirty were women, arrived at Vincennes. When about twenty miles from that place, he was intercepted b were women, arrived at Vincennes. When about twenty miles from that place, he was intercepted by Captain Wilson, with a message from Governor Harrison, in which he complained of the Indians approaching his capital with so large a force. Tecumseh stated that he had but twenty-four warriors with him, and that the remainder of the delegation came voluntarily. The appearance of so many Indians alarmed the governor and the people of Vincennes. On the day of their arrival the governor reviewed the county militia, which consisted of about 750 well-armed men, and stationed two companies of militia infantry and a detachment of dragoons on the borders of the town. Tecumseh made friendly professions to Governor Harrison. He disclaimed any intention of making war against the United States, and stated his object to be simply the formation of a confederacy among the Indian tribes. This, he said, had been effected with the Indians of the North, and that he was then on his way to accomplish a similar result among the Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws and other southern Indians. He was opposed to the murdering of white settlers by the Indians, and advised the various tribes to refrain from such depredations. He thought that the whites should forgive the past Indian murderers, inasmuch as he had forgiven white men guilty of the same offense against the red men. Tecumseh's stay at Vincennes was brief. He soon left, accompanied by twenty warriors, moving down the Wabash on his way to the southern tribes. Many of the white people at Vincennes believed that Tecumseh meditated hostile intentions when he approached their town, but abandoned them in view of the large military display made under the direction of Governor Harrison.
In his report to the war department concerning this council, Governor Harrison speaks of the implicit obedience and respect that the followers of Tecumseh paid to him as wonderful. In this letter he says: "If it were not for the vicinity of the United States, he would perhaps be the founder of an empire that would rival in glory Mexico or Peru. No difficulties deter him. For four years he has been in constant motion. You see him today on the Wabash, and in a short time hear of him on the shores of Lake Eire or Michigan, or on the banks of the Mississippi, and wherever he goes he makes an impression favorable to his purpose. He is now upon the last round to put a finishing stroke upon his work. I hope, however, before his return that that [sic] part of the work which he considered complete will be demolished and even its foundation rooted up."
It seems that, not withstanding the power of Tecumseh over the majority of his adherents was established upon their great regard for him, some were conquered by fear alone, and the instant Tecumseh had departed from their vicinity for the South, they took occasion to express their dissatisfaction.
We have only some fragmental [sic] accounts of Tecumseh's visit with the Indians of the southern States. He told the Creeks that he came more than a thousand miles from the borders of Canada to visit their nation, and, if possible, influence them to join with the English against the Americans, when he should desire them. A midnight conference of the chiefs was convened. A powerful address was delivered by Tecumseh, and the chiefs unanimously agreed to commence hostilities when requested them. Tecumseh afterward labored with the Indians of Florida, Alabama and Missouri. He moved with great caution in the establishment of his confederacy, and met with little opposition in the South. He appealed with great eloquence to the superstitions and passions of the various Indian tribes. He had told Governor Harrison that he would spend nearly a year among the southern Indians upon this mission, and on his return would visit the president of the United States and make an amicable settlement of all difficulties. He requested the governor in the meantime to refrain from settling the territory acquired by the treaty of Fort Wayne. But the governor was informed that Tecumseh would be gone but three months, and he, therefore, acted with promptness, so that when Tecumseh returned to the Wabash with his plans completed, he found that his capital had been destroyed. For some time previous to the battle, the murderous depredations of the Indians continued to keep the white settlers in constant alarm. The people of Vincennes, in a public meeting held on the 31st of July, 1811, requested the general government to afford them military protection. President Madison had, however, on the 17th of that month, placed the Forth Regiment of mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Boyd, at the disposal of Governor Harrison, with orders to proceed with caution and if possible avert a general conflict. In August, 1811, the governor sent a speech to all the Indians tribes of that locality, demanding the surrender of all Indians who were murderers of American citizens. He also required of the Miamis that they should prove that they were not connected with Tecumseh's confederation. In the following month a party of Indians from The Prophet's Town visited the governor at his capital, Vincennes, and made extravagant professions of friendship toward the United States government. But about the same time a number of horses belonging to settlers were stolen. They were tracked to the town of Tippecanoe and were surrendered to the searching company, but were retaken by the Indians who appeared to regret that they had delivered them to the whites.