On reaching Detroit, the lateness of the season admonished me to lose no time in making my way over the stormy Erie to Buffalo, whence I pursued my journey to New York. I reached the latter city the day prior to the great fire, in December. I took lodgings at the Atlantic Hotel, which is near the foot of Broadway, and immediately west of the great scene of conflagration. The cold was so bitter while the fire raged that I could not long endure the open air, which seemed to be surcharged with oxygen. I reached Philadelphia the 19th, and Washington a day or two after.
Florida war—Startling news of the Massacre of Dade—Peoria on the Illinois—Abanaki language—Oregon—Things shaping for a territorial claim—Responsibility of claim in an enemy’s country—A true soldier—Southern Literary Messenger—Missionary cause—Resources of Missouri—Indian portfolio of Lewis—Literary gossip—Sir Francis Head—The Crane and Addik totem—Treaty of March 28th, 1836, with the Ottawas and Chippewas—Treaty with the Saginaws of May 20th—Treaty with the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas of May 9th—Return to Michilimackinack—Death of Charlotte, the daughter of Songageezhig.
1836. The year opened with the portentous news of Indian hostilities. The massacre of Major Dade and his entire command on the waters of the Wythlacootche River in Florida, and the prospect of an Indian war in Florida, excited great sensation in all circles. I was at the Secretary of War’s domicil one evening, when he first received and read out the shocking details. The same night troops were ordered to be put in motion from every point in the Union, to be concentrated in that territory; and the greatest activity pervaded the departments. Gen. Jackson expressed himself with energy on the subject. He had formerly conducted a successful campaign against the Seminoles, but he could not be persuaded that there were more than five hundred of this tribe in the whole territory. This led him to believe that the troops actually put in motion for the field of action, were fully adequate to cope with the enemy, and promptly to put them down.