Simon Girty, White Renegade - Part 6

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Posted by Champ on January 23, 1999 at 02:43:11:

Simon Girty - pt. 6

During the next seven years but little is recorded of the noted desperado. He, however, remained in the Indian country, employed it is believed, most of the time, in trading with the savages. Certain it is that he lost meanwhile none of their confidence or esteem, for, when war again broke out between the United States and the Indians of the Northwest in 1790, rendered famous by the campaign of HARMAR of that year; of ST CLAIR, in 1791; and of Wayne , in 1794; GIRTY again became a famous character. After ST. CLAIR'S defeat, a grand council was held at the confluences of the Maumee and the Auglaize, by nearly all the Northwestern tribes; to take into consideration the situation of affairs. Simon GIRTY was the only white man permitted to be present. His voice was for a continuance of the war. Another conference was held in 1793, and it was determined, mainly through the exertions of GIRTY, to continue hostilities. But the decisive victories of the next year, gained by WAYNE, forever destroyed the power of the Indians of the Northwest, and the famous treaty of Greenville brought about an enduring peace, in 1795.

In this second war against his countrymen, GIRTY made his first appearance in the attack on Dunlap's station, early in 1791- a point on the east side of the Great Miami river, eight miles from the spot where the town of Hamilton now is, in Butler county, Ohio, and seventeen miles from Cincinnati. The station was most gallantly defended, and GIRTY was compelled to retire without effecting its capture. The last battle in which he was known to be actively engaged was at St Clair's defeat, on the 4th of November, 1791, twenty-three miles north of the present town of Greenville, county-seat of Darke county, Ohio. Among the dead he found and recognized the body of General Richard BUTLER, second in command of the American army. On the retreat and general rout of our army, GIRTY captured a white woman. A wyandot squaw who accompanied the warriors of her nation, perceiving this, demanded the prisoner, on the ground that usage gave all female captives to the women accompanying the braves. GIRTY refused and became furious, when some warriors came up and enforced a compliance with this rule of the Indians, to the great relief of the prisoner. The woman was afterward sold to a respectable French family in Detroit.

After this GIRTY was engaged in the Indian trade at Lower Sandusky, going thence to "GIRTY'S town," on the St. Mary's where he established a trading-house on the site of the present town of St Mary's, in Mercer county, Ohio, which he must have abandoned while General WAYNE was marching his army to the victory of the "Fallen Timbers" on the 20th of August, 1794, for he was present upon that occasion with his old associates, ELLIOTT and MCKEE, though they kept at a respectable distance from the contest, near the river. After the treaty of Greenville, GIRTY sold his trading establishment at GIRTY'S town to an Irishman named Charlie MURRAY, and removed to Canada, where he settled on a farm just below Malden, on the Detroit river.

GIRTY married in the neighborhood and raised a family. In vain he tried to become a decent citizen, and command some degree of respect. The depravity of his untamed and undisciplined nature was too apparant. He was abhorred by all his neighbors. In the war of 1812, GIRTY, being then nearly blind, was incapable of active service. After the capture of the British fleet on Lake Erie, in 1813, and upon the invasion of Canada immediately after, he followed the British army on their retreat, leaving his family at home. He fixed his residence at a Mohawk village on Grand river, Canada, until the proclamation of peace, when he returned to his farm below Malden, where he died in 1818, aged over seventy years.

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