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tied to stakes, to be tormented by the French Indians, (Christians, as they were called,) and during the torture continued singing in the manner of their country, and upbraiding the French with their perfidy and ingratitude.
On the 23d of June, 1687, De Nonville departed from Codorckui on his expedition against the Five Nations. One half of his army, embarked in canoes, followed the northern shore of Lake Ontario, while the other half, under his own command, proceeded coastwise along the southern shore, that no accident by water might altogether defeat the object of the expedition.
So well were the arrangements executed that both divisions arrived at Irondequoit on the same day, where their Indian allies appear to have been already assembled. Four hundred men were left to guard a slight fortification, and the main body of the forces advanced upon the principal town of the Senecas, the site of which is supposed to have nearly corresponded with that of the present village of Avon. The Indians, led by a party of Indian traders, formed the van, while the regular troops and Canadian militia composed the main body. On the first day they advanced four leagues without discovering an enemy. The morning of the second, scouts were dispatched in advance, who approached the corn-fields of the villages without making
any discoveries, a circumstance not very creditable to the sagacity of De Nonville's Indians, since they passed within pistolshot of an ambuscade of five hundred Senecas. Supposing that the warriors had all fled, De Nonville pushed rapidly forward for the purpose, at least, of coming up with and capturing the women, children, and old men. But no sooner had the French reached the foot of the hill (between the village of Avon and the river) than the war-whoop of the ambuscade rang on their ears, and a well-directed volley of musketry brought many of them to the ground. So complete was the surprise, and so great the panic, that the divisions of the French separated in the woods, and in their confusion fired upon each other. The Senecas then rushed upon their foes, tomahawk in hand. The battle was fierce and bloody, until De Nonville's regulars had time to rally and move against the enemy. The Senecas were repulsed, but to De Nonville it was an empty victory: even his Indian allies could not persuade him to a pursuit that day. On the following day he advanced with the intention of burning the villages of the Senecas, but anticipating his arrival, they had set fire to their wigwams. Two prisoners only were made-old men discovered in the castle-who, according to our authority, were cut to pieces and
into Canada, even as far as Montreal and Quebec.
boiled into soup for the allies of the French. The invaders remained five or six days traversing the Valley of the Genesee for From the time of De Nonville no military a few miles, and burning all the corn-fields expedition of importance visited Central or and villages. During the expedition De Western New York until the period of the Nonville made thirteen captives, who were Revolution. Those of the Iroquois who had sent to France as trophies, and thence as taken sides with the English having become slaves to the galleys. The promise of exceedingly troublesome to the frontier, the De Nonville to the Indians of the upper government deemed it best to annihilate lakes, that he would assist them in subdu- their power, if possible, by a single vigorous ing the Five Nations, was never fulfilled. blow. Washington intrusted the expediThe Iroquois afterward carried the war tion to General Sullivan, in the year 1779,
after having offered the command to three | moved westward to accomplish the object
of the expedition.
other distinguished officers. It was the intention not only to overwhelm the Iroquois, but also to destroy Niagara, the most important rendezvous of the Indians and Loyalists during the revolution.
From Canandaigua Sullivan's army proceeded to Honeoye, where they found a prosperous village, as well as corn-fields and orchards. The wigwams were burned, and the inhabitants scattered. The numerous old apple trees near the foot of Honeoye Lake indicate this beautiful region as having been a favorite residence of the Iroquois.
Having reached the head of Seneca Lake, the troops constructed rude bateaux, in which they proceeded to where Geneva now stands. A small force was sent against the Cayugas, while the main body
Passing by the head of Hemlock Lake they encamped for the night near the head of the Conessus. In the dusk of evening a party of twenty-one men, under command of Lieutenant William Boyd, was sent out to reconnoiter the ground near the Genesee River, at a place now called Williamsburgh, about seven miles distant from Sullivan's encampment. The party was under the guidance of a friendly Indian. It was apprehended that the Senecas and the Rangers, as their English allies were called, were in the vicinity.
On their arrival at Williamsburgh the party found that the Indians had just left, for the fires were still burning on the hearths of the wigwams. They concluded to sleep on their arms near the village until morning, and then dispatch messengers with a report to the camp. Just before daybreak he sent two men to the main body of the army, with information that the enemy had not been discovered, but were supposed to be not far distant.
After daylight Lieutenant Boyd and his men crept cautiously from their place of concealment, and upon getting a view of the village discovered two Indians lurking near by. One of them was immediately shot and scalped. Supposing that if there were Indians near they would be aroused by the report of the rifle and exasperated by the scalping of their companion, Lieutenant Boyd deemed it prudent to retire to the main body. They accordingly began to retrace their steps; but when within a mile and a half of the camp were suddenly surprised by the appearance of a large body of Indians under the command of Brandt, and an equal force of Rangers commanded by the infamous Butler, who had concealed themselves in a ravine for the purpose of intercepting the retreating party.
Knowing that their only chance of safety lay in breaking through the line of the enemy, they at once made the bold attempt. In the first onset, though unsuccessful, not one of the party was lost, while several of the Indians were killed. Two more attempts were made, which likewise proved unsuccessful, and in which eleven of the brave party fell. Boyd and a soldier by the name of Parker were taken prisoners; part of the remainder fled, and part threw themselves upon the ground apparently dead, and were overlooked by the Indians, who were
too much engaged in pursuing the fugitives to notice those who fell.
When Lieutenant Boyd found himself a prisoner he solicited an interview with Brandt, preferring to throw himself upon the clemency of the savage leader of the enemy rather than trust to his civilized colleague. The chief, who was at that moment near, immediately presented himself, when Lieutenant Boyd, by one of those appeals and tokens which are known only by such as have been initiated in certain mysteries, and which never fail to bring succor to a distressed brother, addressed him as the only source from which he could expect respite from cruel punishment or death.
The appeal was recognized, and the gallant Boyd was assured in the strongest language that his life should be spared. The lieutenant and his fellow-prisoners were conducted to the Indian village called Beardstown, after a distinguished chief of that name, on the west side of the Genesee River. After their arrival Brandt, being called away on service which required a few hours' absence, left the captives in the care of Colonel Butler. The latter, as soon as Brandt had left them, began an interrogation, to obtain from the prisoners a statement of the number, situation, and intentions of the army under Sullivan; and then threatened them, in case they hesitated or prevaricated in their answers, to deliver them up immediately to be massacred by the Indians, who, in Brandt's absence, and with the encouragement of their more savage commander, Butler, were ready to commit the greatest cruelties. Relying upon the promises which Brandt had made them, promises which he most likely intended to fulfill, they refused to give Butler the desired information. Upon this refusal, burning with revenge, Butler hastened to put his threat into execution. He delivered them to some of his most vindictive associates, among which the Indian chief, Little Beard, was distinguished for his inventive cruelty. In this, as in all other scenes of cruelty perpetrated in his town, Little Beard was master of ceremonies. The stoutest heart quails under the apprehension of immediate torture and death. The brave lieutenant was first stripped of his clothing, and then tied to a sapling, when the Indians menaced his life by throwing their tomahawks at the tree directly over his
head, brandishing their knives around him in the most frightful manner, and accompanying their ceremonies with terrific shouts of joy. Having punished him sufficiently in this way, they made a small opening in his abdomen, took out an intestine, which they tied to a sapling, and then unbinding him from the tree, drove him around it with scourges until he had drawn out the whole of his intestines. He was afterward decapitated, and his head stuck upon a pole with a dog's head just above it. The body was left unburied. Throughout the whole of his terrible sufferings the brave man neither asked for mercy nor uttered a word of complaint.
Parker, his fellow-soldier and fellowsufferer, was obliged to witness the above inhuman cruelties with the full expectation that he would share the same fate. He, however, according to the account given in Wilkinson's "Annals of Binghamton," which we have used as authority, was only beheaded.
The main body of Sullivan's army, immediately after learning the situation of Lieutenant Boyd's detachment, moved toward the Genesee River, and finding the bodies of those who perished in attempting to penetrate the enemy's line, buried them in what is now the town of Groveland, under a cluster of wild plumtrees, where the graves are yet to be seen.
Sullivan's eventful campaign terminated near the pleasant village of Geneseo. On the eastern side of the river, at no great distance from the present town, was the Indian village of the same name. It was beautifully situated, almost encircled with a clear flat, on which were fields of corn with various kinds of vegetables. According to Sullivan's report the Indian village consisted of one hundred and thirtyeight houses, most of them very elegant. This and the neighboring towns were destroyed, together with the numerous orchards and thousands of acres of corn. The Indians were disposed to make a stand for the defense of their homes, but were unable to prevail against the superior numbers and discipline of Sullivan's army.
A short distance south of Geneseo a considerable stream, called Fall Brook, crosses the road in its descent to the river. But before reaching the flats it plunges abruptly into a chasm at least one hundred feet deep, which is well represente in our engraving. There is a tradition in the neighborhood that in one of the engagements with Sullivan many of the Indians were driven to the brink of this precipice, and compelled to leap into the gulf. Sullivan, however, makes no mention of such an event in his official account of the campaign, and the tradition is
doubtless without foundation. The army must have encamped near the spot. The initials of some of his soldiers are now, it is said, plainly to be seen carved on the trees to the left of the cataract.
"Few rivers of the extent of the Genesee furnish so much picturesque scenery. The Indian name, signifying 'Pleasant Valley,' indicates the characteristics of the country through which it flows. The table land where the Genesee has its source is about seventeen hundred feet above the level of the sea, and furnishes, within a space of six miles square, streams which flow toward the ocean in different directions, through the St. Lawrence, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico." In the distance of a couple of miles, at Portage, the river is precipitated by three perpendicular falls more than three hundred feet. The ravine worn through the rock by the constant action of water, with almost perpendicular banks from two to five hundred feet high, are scarcely less wonderful than the falls themselves. Next to Niagara these are the most important cataracts in the state, and in close proximity to both the skill and untiring industry of man have rivaled the creative efforts of nature. At Portage we scarcely know which to admire most, the magnificent cascades thundering their song of centuries, with misty incense floating sky
ward, or the stupendous bridge upon which the traveler is suspended in the air at an elevation of more than two hundred feet, and a sight of cataracts compared with which those of old Nilus sink into insignificance. "The great and ever-to-belamented Sam Patch," says Mr. Stephens in his "Incidents of Travel in Egypt," "would have made the Nubians stare, and shown them, in his own pithy phrase, that some folks could do things as well as other folks,' and I question if there is a cataract on the Nile at which that daring diver would not have turned up his nose."
After descending from the highlands of Alleghany, through the rocky gorge of Nunda, the Genesee winds down the "Pleasant Valley," a region of unsurpassed fertility and of rural charms rivaling the poet-sung vales of merrie England. In no other place in the country are the beauties of nature and the elements of agricultural wealth so harmoniously blended. The flour of Genesee Valley is quoted in the markets of Europe, and Kensett has selected some of its rural landscapes for his inimitable pencil. The swelling uplands embrace many thousand acres of flat alluvial soil, neither a natural prairie nor an Indian clearing, and concerning which the natives have no traditions This immense plain was found