square resembled a rich and fertile garden. The industrious sons of Connecticut had, notwithstanding the constant quarrels with their neighbours, laboured so assiduously to improve their little farms, that no portion of any country in the world, perhaps, ever presented a richer or fairer prospect.

Unfortunately, small as this settlement was, and connected as almost all its inhabitants were, by ties of consanguinity, they did not unite on the grand question of political independence. There were many among them who still adhered to the cause of the King, and who sought by every means in their power to betray their struggling countrymen. Of these men, called in the language of the day Tories, the two persons already mentioned were the Chiefs; and it is a remarkable fact, that one of them was the near relation and of the same name, of the unfortunate Colonel Butler who commanded the troops of Wyoming. Being, as it appears, abandoned to themselves by the Congress and Commander in Chief, they were compelled to find the means of protecting themselves against the constant incursions of the Savages, and for this purpose they had constructed four small forts. In the largest of these, called fort Kingston, Colonel Butler was stationed, with the principal force of the settlement.

For a considerable time previous to the general attack, small marauding parties, consisting chiefly of tories, had made frequent irruptions into the settlement, and committed robberies and murders; while the Indians themselves were making daily professions of friendship, and deluding the inhabitants with promises of unbroken peace. What seems to have giv en a new fury to the tories, and brought on this ge


neral attack and universal desolation, was the circumstance of a number of strangers having been taken up by the people of Wyoming, on evidence of their correspondence with the enemy, and sent to Connecticut for trial. These strangers formed a part of the corps of tories, and to avenge the indignity offered to these betrayers of hospitality, the sons and brothers of the unhappy people of Wyoming were resolved to drench their fields in blood, and root out all traces of man from the devoted settlement.

The force under the tory chief, Butler, was between sixteen and seventeen hundred men, about one fourth of whom were Indians-the tories were disguised and painted, after the manner of the savages, with whom they seem to have made an exchange of natures-for the cruelties of the red men, were mercies compared to the barbarities which these AngloAmerican monsters perpetrated. One of the forts was betrayed by the tories, of whom the garrison chiefly consisted; and a second being taken by storm, its whole force was massacred. After these beginnings, the tories marched to Kingston, where, as it has been said, Colonel Zebulon Butler was posted with about five hundred men, and all the women and children, and defenceless persons, who had crowded into this place for protection. It is possible, and barely possible, that with this force, and with these hindrances, Colonel Butler might have been able to hold out for a short time against the attack of his infamous cousin with four times his numbers; but in an evil hour he listened to the proposition of the latter for a parley, and was thus ensnared beyond the possibility of escape. The Indian Butler had agreed to withdraw his troops from the investment of the garrison, upon

condition that its commander should come out and hold a conference with him in the open field. Colonel Butler, eager no doubt to catch at any means that seemed to promise safety to his people, and yet distrusting the sincerity of the other's promises, consented to march out, but took with him at the same time nearly the whole force of the garrison, to guard against the very treachery to which he fell a victim.

A strange weakness and infatuation seem to have marked every step of the conduct of Colonel Butler, until engaged in the fight, when the desperate courage which he displayed evinced that his fate might have been more prosperous had this courage been properly directed. When he found no person to confer with upon arriving at the appointed place, the suspicion of treachery which he had before entertained must have amounted to certainty; and it is almost inconceivable that he should still have wandered on even to the foot of the mountains, where no chance remained for him to retreat, should his fears be verified. This was precisely what the wily commander of the savages wanted. As soon therefore as Colonel Butler had shown himself at the entrance of the thick wood which skirted the mountain, the enemy's flag of truce appeared, as if like himself fearful of treachery; the flag was cautiously and cunningly moved from place to place, luring the wretched troops of the garrison to their ruin. At length the farce was changed to a dreadful tragedy, and at the moment that Colonel Butler, in the honesty and simplicity of his heart, was expecting to meet in friendly conference, he found himself surrounded on all sides, by the yelling savages, and his worse than savage countrymen.


Such was the determined bravery with which the unfortunate Colonel and his men, met this surprise, that it is by no means improbable the event of the day would have been very different, but for the treachery or cowardice of one of his men; who, after a contest of nearly an hour, in which a manifest advantantage had been gained over the enemy, cried out that the Colonel had ordered a retreat. The confusion which ensued may be easily conceived; the assailants rushed in, and commenced the bloody work of slaughter. The Colonel with about 70 of his party, by the most singular good management and courage, effected their escape and gained the little fort of Wilkesborough, on the other side of the river. After the savages had completed their work of slaughter in the field, they proceeded immediately to invest Fort Kingston, in which Colonel Dennison had been left with the small remnant of Colonel Butler's troops, and the defenceless women and children. In such a state of weakness, a defence of the Fort was out of the question; and all that remained to Dennison was to attempt to gain some advantageous terms by the offer of a surrender. For this purpose, he went himself to the savage chief; but that inhuman monster, that Christian cannibal, replied to the question of terms, that he should grant them the hatchet.—He was more than true to his word-for, when after resisting until all his garrison were killed or disabled, Colonel Dennison was compelled to surrender at discretion, his merciless conqueror, tired of scalping, and finding the slow process of individual murder insufficient to glut his appetite, shut up all that remained in the houses and barracks, and by the summary aid of fire, reduced all at once to one promiscuous heap of ashes.

Nothing now remained that wore the face of resistance to these savage invaders, but the little fort of Wilksborough, into which about seventy of Colonel Butler's men had effected their retreat, as has been said. These, with about the same number of continental soldiers, constituted its whole force; and when their enemy appeared before them, they surrendered without even asking conditions, under the hope that their voluntary obedience might find some mercy. But mercy dwelt not in the bosoms of these American tories-submission could not stay their insatiable thirst of blood. The cruelties and barbarities which were practised upon these unresisting soldiers, were even more wanton, if possible, than those which had been exhibited at Fort Kingston. The seventy continental soldiers, because they were conti nental soldiers, were deliberately butchered in cruel succession; and then a repetition of the same scene of general and promiscuous conflagration took place which had closed the tragedy at the other fort. Men, women, and children were locked up in the houses, and left to mingle their cries and screams with the flames that mocked the power of an avenging God.

All this it might have been thought, would have fully satiated even tory vengeance: but the desolation of Wyoming was not yet complete-there still remained waving fields of corn, that had promised plenty to the wretched inhabitants-there still remained many evidences of the industry of the farmer and the mechanick. These were to be swept from the face of the earth. And when the habitations, and the growing wheat, had been alike given up to the flames, the vengeance of these merciless spoilers next fell upon the mute and unoffending beasts of the

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