CAPTIVITY OF J. KINZIE, SEN.—AN AMUSING MISTAKE.
It had been a stipulation of General Hull at the surrender of Detroit, which took place the day after the massacre at Chicago, that the inhabitants should be permitted to remain undisturbed in their homes. Accordingly, the family of Mr. Kinzie took up their quarters with their friends in the old mansion, which many will still recollect as standing on the northwest corner of Jefferson Avenue and Wayne Street.
The feelings of indignation and sympathy were constantly aroused in the hearts of the citizens during the winter that ensued. They were almost daily called upon to witness the cruelties practised upon the American prisoners brought in by their Indian captors. Those who could scarcely drag their wounded, bleeding feet over the frozen ground, were compelled to dance for the amusement of the savages; and these exhibitions sometimes took place before the Government House, the residence of Colonel McKee. Some of the British officers looked on from their windows at these heart-rending performances; for the honor of humanity, we will hope such instances were rare.
Everything that could be made available among the effects of the citizens was offered, to ransom their countrymen from the hands of these inhuman beings. The prisoners brought in from the River Raisin—those unfortunate men who were permitted, after their surrender to General Proctor, to be tortured and murdered by inches by his savage allies—excited the sympathies and called for the action of the whole community. Private houses were turned into hospitals, and every one was forward to get possession of as many as possible of the survivors. To effect this, even the articles of their apparel were bartered by the ladies of Detroit, as they watched from their doors or windows the miserable victims carried about for sale.
In the dwelling of Mr. Kinzie one large room was devoted to the reception of the sufferers. Few of them survived. Among those spoken of as objects of the deepest interest were two young gentlemen of Kentucky, brothers, both severely wounded, and their wounds aggravated to a mortal degree by subsequent ill usage and hardships. Their solicitude for each other, and their exhibition in various ways of the most tender fraternal affection, created an impression never to be forgotten.
The last bargain made was by black Jim, and one of the children, who had permission to redeem a negro servant of the gallant Colonel Allen, with an old white horse, the only available article that remained among their possessions.
A brother of Colonel Allen afterwards came to Detroit, and the negro preferred returning to servitude rather than remaining a stranger in a strange land.