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“The man who can believe that William Shakespeare, of Stratford-on-Avon, wrote the dramas that stand in his name, could believe that Benedict Arnold wrote the Declaration of Independence and Herbert Spencer the novels of Dickens."
And Henry James wrote, “I am sort of haunted by the conviction that the divine William was the biggest and most successful Fraud ever practiced on a patient world."
Citations of similar views might be extended almost indefinitely, but these are enough for my purpose.
No belief or doctrine, other than a few religious dogmas, has ever rooted itself more deeply in the human mind than this faith in Shakespeare as the author of the plays published over his name. His tomb has become a shrine, at which all nations worship and an invisible monument of huge dimensions has been erected to his memory. But some of those who, in recent years have contributed most generously to its building, are now ready to acknowledge the weakness of its foundation.
Should it ever fall, and there are many who believe that it must fall in the not distant future, it will not be forgotten that the first assault upon it was made by Delia Bacon, born in a log cabin in the Town of Tallmadge.
CORNSTALK, THE INDIAN CHIEF*
BY MRS. ORSON D. DRYER
"Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
A certain queer little cradle, hanging from a limb of a tree, in a great green forest, about the year 1720, is rocking to and fro as the soft, summer wind sways the branches above it.
It is a gay and pretty cradle, soft and warm with the skin of the moose, and gorgeous with bird feathers and brightly colored quills of the porcupine, and from it shine out the black eyes of a little red-rown baby which look out upon the beautiful Scioto valley, filled with the sound of dashing waters, whispering leaves and singing birds.
So the little Indian swings, to and fro, making friends with the birds and squirrels and learning many things.
As soon as he can toddle about his father, who is a mighty hunter, becomes his teacher, making for him a little bow and arrow winged with eagle feathers. The boy soon learns how to use and make them; as he grows older he learns to paddle a canoe where the river is swiftest, and in the hunt he is fleet of foot. He grows tall and straight and is given the Indian name of Keigh
* Address at annual meeting of the Ohio State Archæological and Historical Society, September 19, 1923.
tugh-qua, meaning Cornstalk, signifying a blade (or, stalk) of the maize plant.
In order to understand the Indian, it is necessary to know something of his history and environment. As far back as 1669, when La Salle's expedition descended the Ohio, and when at the mouth of the Mississippi in 1682 he claimed all the Mississippi Valley for the French crown, in his speech he named the Shawanoe (or Shawnee) tribes in the Ohio region.
It was into one of these Shawnee tribes that Cornstalk was born to become its chief. We know but little of his early history, but one can easily imagine what the effect would be on a growing youth, to see the whites coming into his country and taking possession; making it necessary for the Indians to appeal first to the French and then to the English for the right to hold their hunting ground and home-land. They felt that their enemies had combined for their destruction and they found themselves engaged in a fearful struggle, which involved not only their glory but their very existence. Many of them thought that the two white nations had conspired to destroy them and then to divide their lands. Cornstalk the Shawnee, and Logan the Mingo, were both young men, but there is every reason to suppose that they received their “baptism of fire” in the French-Indian war.
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, all are largely made up of the lands which were by original treaty given to the Indians. The Indians had been much dissatisfied ever since the first treaties were made. They claimed that they had been made by a few only and the United States had told them that if
white citizens attempted to settle on their lands they might
"punish them as they pleased". Probably the greater part of the white settlers were ignorant of this provision in the treaties, as are a great many American citizens today, who are unaware that the Indians had provocation, or right to kill intruders on their land. By the narratives of those who were with the Indians for any length of time, we learn that prisoners were humanely
treated. The adoption rites may have been severe, but once received into the tribe a prisoner was treated with kindness and consideration. After the year 1790, this could not be affirmed of Ohio tribes.
The Shawnees were a warlike tribe and there is no doubt that Cornstalk was a prominent leader during the years of Indian attack and massacre between 1754 and 1763.
His forays were directed Mrs. ORSON D. DRYER
against the frontier set
tlements of Virginia, as most approachable from the Scioto country where the Shawnees were mostly located.
The earliest of these expeditions, of which there is any record, was one against several families on Carr's Creek in 1759, in what is now Rockbridge County. Pursuing frontiersmen rescued the prisoners and recovered considerable booty. Again in Pontiac's War, Cornstalk
led a marauding party into the same neighborhood. Coming in the guise of friendship, they first attacked the settlers at Muddy Creek in Greenbier County; then then Clendenins, near Lewisburg, where the family was horribly massacred, or taken into captivity, with the single exception of Mrs. Clendenin, who made her escape after being taken prisoner and finally reached friends. She wandered around for nine days and nights with nothing to eat but an onion and salt, which she found in a deserted house.
Cornstalk was one of the hostages exacted by Bouquet in 1764, but he escaped from Fort Pitt the following year. Nothing more is known of him until the opening of the Dunmore War in 1774. About this time, while Logan was upon the war-path, Cornstalk shielded Richard Butler and other Pennsylvania traders among them, from the fury of the Mingoes; and when the latter were ready to depart with their goods, Cornstalk sent his brother Silver Heels, to protect them on their homeward journey. On the return of this chief and his two companions, from this friendly mission, they were waylaid and fired upon by a party of frontiersmen under William Linn, and Silver Heels was dangerously wounded. At the same time Cornstalk sent a speech, by the united advice of several of his associated chiefs, addressed to the Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the commandant at Pittsburgh, entreating them “to put a stop to any further hostilities and they would endeavor to do the same.'
About the end of August, 1774, Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, arrived at Fort Pitt and for several weeks was occupied in fruitless negotiations with the Delaware, Mingo and Shawnee chiefs, the latter of