Great alarm was manifested by the murderers, when they saw that the questions and answers were written down, and a strict course of accountability taken as the basis of the examination. I had foreseen something of this alarm, and requested the commanding officer to send me a detachment of men. Lieutenant C. F. Morton, 2d Infantry, to whom this matter was entrusted, managed it well. He paraded his men in a hollow square, in front of the office, in such manner that the office formed one angle of the square, so that the main issue from the door ushered the individual into a square bristling with bayonets. He stood himself with a drawn sword.
It was eleven o’clock in the evening when their examination and the final arrangements were completed; and when I directed the interpreter to open the door and lead out the murderers, they were greatly alarmed by the appearance of the bright array of musquetry, supposing, evidently, that they were to be instantly shot. They trembled.
Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi—Large assemblage of tribes—Their appearance and character—Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas, &c.—Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas—Keokuk—Mongazid’s speech—Treaty of limits—Whisky question—A literary impostor—Journey through the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers—Incidents—Menomonies—A big nose—Wisconsin Portage.
June 23d. The whole village was alive with the excitement of the surrendery of the murderers. The agency office had been crowded with spectators during the examination; and both white and red men saw in their voluntary delivery into the hands of the agent, an evidence of the power of the government in watching over and vindicating the lives and interests of its citizens in the wildest wilderness, which was gratifying to all.
To Gitche Iauba, the chief at the bay of Kewywenon, in Lake Superior, who had been instrumental in producing the delivery, I presented a silver medal of the first class, with a written speech approbatory of the act, and complimentary of himself. In the meantime, my preparations for attending the general convocation of tribes, at Prairie du Chien, were completed. I placed the agency under the charge of Captain N. S. Clark, 2d Infantry, who had satisfactorily and ably performed its duties during my absence at New York. I had selected a delegation of the most influential chiefs to attend the contemplated council. And all things being ready, and my canoe-allege in the water, with its flag set, I embarked for the trip on the 24th. I descended the straits that day, and having turned Point Detour reached Michilimackinack the next morning. The party from Detroit had reached that point the same morning, after traversing the Huron coasts for upwards of 300 miles, in a light canoe. Congratulations on the success that had