During the dozen years which opened with Wayne’s campaigns, saw the treaties of Jay and Pinckney, and closed with the explorations of Lewis, Clarke, and Pike, the West had grown with the growth of a giant, and for the first time had achieved peace; but it was not yet safe from danger of outside attack. The territories which had been won by war from the Indians and by treaty from Spain, France, and England, and which had been partially explored, were not yet entirely our own. Much had been accomplished by the deeds of the Indian-fighters, treaty-makers, and wilderness-wanderers; far more had been accomplished by the steady push of the settler folk themselves, as they thrust ever westward, and carved states out of the forest and the prairie; but much yet remained to be done before the West would reach its natural limits, would free itself forever from the pressure of outside foes, and would fill from frontier to frontier with populous commonwealths of its own citizens.
THE END OF VOL. IV.
It is a pleasure to be able to say that the valuable Robertson manuscripts are now in course of publication, under the direction of a most competent editor in the person of Mr. W. R. Garrett, Ph.D. They are appearing in the American Historical Magazine, at Nashville, Tennessee; the first instalment appeared in January, and the second in April, 1896. The Magazine is doing excellent work, exactly where this work is needed; and it could not render a better service to the study of American history than by printing these Robertson papers.
After the present volume was in press Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard, of Harvard, most kindly called my attention to the Knox Papers, in the archives of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, of Boston. These papers are of great interest. They are preserved in a number of big volumes. I was able to make only a most cursory examination of them; but Mr. Villard with great kindness went carefully through them, and sent me copies of those which I deemed important. There are a number of papers referring to matters connected with the campaigns against the western Indians. The most interesting and valuable is a long letter from Col. Darke giving a very vivid picture of St. Clair’s defeat, and of the rout which followed. While it can hardly be said to cast any new light on the defeat, it describes it in a very striking manner, and brings out well the gallantry of the officers and the inferior quality of the rank and file; and it gives a very unpleasant picture of St. Clair and Hamtranck.
Besides the Darke letter there are several other manuscripts containing information of value. In Volume XXIII., page 169, there is a letter from Knox to General Harmar, dated New York, September 3, 1790. After much preliminary apology, Knox states that it “has been reported, and under circumstances which appear to have gained pretty extensive credit on the frontiers, that you are too apt to indulge yourself to excess in a convivial glass”; and he then points out the inevitable ruin that such indulgence will bring to the General.