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Conquest Of The Northwest

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Ii 17TÜ, when indepeudeuce was j clarod, tlie Uuited States ineluded only the 13 original states ou the seabourd. With the exception of a few hunters, there were no white men west of the Alleghany mountains, and there was not even au American hunter in the great country out of which we have since made the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsiu. All this región norttt of the Ohio river then formed a part oí ihe province of Quebec. It was a wildtmess of forests and prairies, teeming with game and inhabited by many warlike tribes of Indians. Here and there through it were dotted quaint little towns of French creóles, the most important being Detroit, Vincennes, on the Wabash, and Kaskaskia and Kahokia, on the Illinois. These French villages were ruled by British offlcers commanding small bodies of regular soldiers or Tory rangers and creóle partisans. The towns were completely in the power of the British government. None of the American states had actual possession of a foot of property in the Northwestern territory. The northwest was acqnired at the time of the Revolution only by armed conquest, and if it had not been so acquired it wereld have remained a part of the British Dominion of Canada. The man to whom this conquest was due was a famous baekwoods leader, a mightv hunter, a noted Indian fighter - George Rogers Clark. He was a very strong man, with light hair and blue eyes, of a good Virginian faruily, wbo, early in his youth, embarked on the adven turous careerof a baokwoods surveyor, exactly as Washington and so many other young Virginians of spirit did at that period. He traveled out to Ken tucky soon af ter it was opened up by Booue and lived there for a year, eitlir at the stations or camping by himself in the woods, surveying, hunting and making war against the Indians like any other settler. But all the time his raiud was bent on vaster schemes than were dreamed of by the men around him. Ho had his spies out in the Northwestern territory and became convinced that with a small forcé of resolute backwoodsmen he could conquer it for the United States. When he went back to Virginia, Governor Patrick Henry entevcil hftr.rtily into Clark's Bchemea and save hiiü authority to fit out a forcé for


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News