It was notorious that the trouble which the American authorities had experienced with the Indians had been largely due to the activity of British agents. In his report Wayne noted that the destruction effected by his troops included “the houses, stores, and property of Colonel McKee, the British agent, and principal stimulator of the war now existing between the United States and the savages.” A sharp correspondence took place between Wayne and Major William Campbell, commanding a British post on the Miami. Campbell protested against the approach of Wayne’s army, “no war existing between Great Britain and America.” Wayne assented to this statement, and then asked what he meant “by taking post far within the well known and acknowledged limits of the United States.” Campbell rejoined that he had acted under orders and as to his right, that was a matter which were best left to “the ambassadors of our different nations.” Campbell refused to obey Wayne’s demand to withdraw, and Wayne ignored Campbell’s threat to fire if he were approached too close. Wayne reported that the only notice he took of this threat was “by immediately setting fire to and destroying everything within view of the fort, and even under the muzzles of the guns.” “Had Mr. Campbell carried his threats into execution,” added Wayne, “it is more than probable he would have experienced a storm.” No collision actually took place at that time but there was created a situation which, unless it were removed by diplomacy, must have eventually brought on war.
TRIBUTE TO THE ALGERINES