Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Indian Troubles On The River Raisin-1813.

The information here was taken in testimony by the men that were eye witness’s to this horrible event, and in a event like this many of the testimonies will differ from one another and for this reason some errors will be made. If by chance you find a ancestor here and it states he was killed, it would be best to read all the testimonies, for he may not have been killed.

TERRITORY OF MICHIGAN, District of Detroit.

Pcrsonally appeared before me, the undersigned, one of the justices of the peace in the district of Detroit, Joseph Robert, an inhabitant on the river aux Raisins, who, being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists, depose and says that, on the next day after the battle on the said river Raisin a short time after sunrise, he saw the Indians kill the American prisoners with their tomahawks, and that they shot several, to wit, three; that the Indians set the house on fire, and that, in going out, the prisoners were massacred and killed as aforesaid, that is to say: three were shot, the others were killed in the houses, and burnt with the houses. The Indians burnt first the house of Jean Baptiste Jereaume, and afterwards that of Gabriel Godfroy, Jr. The deponent has been informed that there were about forty- eight or forty-nine prisoners in the two houses. The deponent has seen dead bodies on the highway which the hogs were tearing and eating. Mr. Brunot told the deponent that the Indians had killed those of the prisoners who were least wounded, and that the others were burnt alive.

Antoine Cuiellarie anti Alexis Salliot, inhabitants of river Ecorces, told the deponent that two prisoners had been burnt in the house of Grandon, on the river aux Sables. The deponent has heard that the Indians had tore out the hearts of the prisoners, and had brought them still smoking into the houses, but did not recollect the names of the informants; he believes however, they were men worthy of credit.

The deponent says further, that, after the first action on the river Raisin, the Indians fired on one named Solo, son-in-law to Stephen Labeau, an inhabitant on the river aux Sables, when returning from the house of Grandon to his father-in-Jaw; on his arrival, he hallooed to his father-in-law to open the door; saying that he was mortally wounded; Stephen Labeau opened the door and told his son-in-law to throw himself on his bed, but that, in trying to move, he fell dead. An Indian knocked at the door, and Labeau having opened it, received a ball in his breast, and fell dead. The son of Labeau made his escape; the Indians shot several shots at him, which did not reach him. The deponent says further, that Baptiste Couteur was killed near the house of the deponent, on the day of the second battle on the river Raisin, a little after sunrise.

The deponent say further, that the Indians have often threatened to burn his house and barn, if he did not march with them against the Americans. The deponent says he is an American citizen. The deponent says that several of his neighbors have told him that they have received the same threat. Other settlements have been threatened with fire. The mills and houses on the river faux Roches were burnt in the month of September last, after the capitulation of Detroit. And further this deponent said not.
Sworn and subscribed before me, the 4th February, 1813.

TERRITORY or MICHIGAN, District of Detroit.

Be it remembered that, on this day, February the fourth, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, personally came before the undersigned, a justice of the peace for the district aforesaid, viz: John M’Donnell, an inhabitant of the city of Detroit, who, after being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith, that a few days after the battle of the 22d January (at the river Raisin) he was personally present at the house of James May, Esquire when he heard the said James ask Mr. William Jones, the acting agent for the Indian Department, if there would be any impropriety in purchasing the prisoners from the Indians; and that he heard the said William Jones say, “that he thought there would be no impropriety in purchasing them, but would not undertake to authorize any person to do so;” that in consequence of which, this deponent purchased three or four of the prisoners; amongst the number was one by the name of Hamilton, a private in the Kentucky volunteers who declared to this deponent that on the first or second day after the battle at river Raisin, on 22d January last, as he and some of his fellow prisoners were marching with the Indians between this place and river Raisin, they came up to where one of the prisoners was burnt, the life just expiring, and an Indian kicking the ashes off his back, saying “damned son of a bitch.”

This deponent also further deposeth as aforesaid,- that Doctor Bowers, a surgeon’s mate of the Kentucky volunteers, who was purchased by him and some other gentleman, stated to this deponent “that he was left to take care of the wounded after the battle, but felt rather timid on account of the savages, but that he received such assurances from Captain or Colonel Elliott of the safety of himself as well as the remaining prisoners, he concluded to stay, as sleighs were promised to be sent to fetch them away the next morning; that near about daylight of the morning following the day of the battle, the Indians came into the house where said Bowers was with the other prisoners, and proceeded to plunder and tomahawk such as could not walk, and stripping the said Bowers and the wounded prisoners of all. their clothes; that while the said Bowers and two other prisoners, named Searles and Bradford, as near as this deponent can recollect, were sitting by the fire in the Indian camp, an Indian came up who appeared to be drunk, and called the said Searles, as near as this deponent can. recollect, a Madison or Washington, then took up a tomahawk and struck the said Searles on the shoulder; that the said Searles caught hold of the tomahawk and held it for some time; that the said Bowers advised the said Searles to submit to his fate; with that the Indian gave him a second blow on the head, killed, scalped, and striped him; during this time the said Bowers and Bradford were personally present, and being apprehensive for their own safety that he, Bowers, ran and came up to the old chief ( who sold him to this deponent and others) who took him und his protection, and was very kind to him whilst he remained with him. This-deponent further deposeth, that he has reason to believe the aforesaid Bowers and Hamilton are now at Sandwich, and if applied to, they could give more ample information relative to the particulars of the aforesaid. And further this deponent saith not.
John M’Donnell.
Sworn and subscribed at my chambers, in the city of Detroit, the day and year before written.

Note. The meaning of; J. P. D. D., Justice of the peace for the district of Detroit.

Note from Mr. John M’Donell to James May, Esquire.
Detroit, 4th February, 1813.


I had a conversation with Mr. Smart, after leaving your house to-day, who had a conversation with Bowers and Bradford. He observes that I have made several material errors in thy affidavit before you this day. He says the prisoner killed was of the name of Blythe, instead of Searles; and mentioned some other errors that differ widely from what I have sworn to, so that 1 think it is a pity that Bowers and Bradford’s own affidavits could not be had, instead of mine.
John M’Donell

TERRITORY OF MICHIGAN, District of Detroit.

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, one of the justices of the peace in the district of Detroit, Antoine Boulard, of the river aux Raisins, who, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists, deposeth and says, that, on the next day after the last battle on river aux Raisins, he saw the Indians kill the secretary of the American General, who was on the horse of the Indian who had taken him prisoner, with a rifle shot; that the prisoner fell on one side, and an Indian came forward with a saber, finished him, scalped him, stripe him, and carried away his clothes. The body remained two days on the highway, before the door of the deponent, and was part eat up by the hogs. Afterwards, the deponent, together with Francois Lasselle, Hubert Lacroix, Charles Chovin, and Louis Lajoye, took up the corpse, at dusk of the evening, and carried into a field near the woods, where the hogs did not go. They dared not bury it, for fear of being surprised by the Indians. And further this deponent saith not.
ANTOINE BOULARD, his + mark.
Sworn and subscribed in my presence, the 5thFebniary, 1813, PETER AUDRAIN, J. P. D. D.


I hereby certify, that, the next day after the last battle on the river aux Raisins, the secretary of the American General was taken, near the door of the deponent, was wounded., and placed on a horse that seven or eight Indian were near the house, one of whom shot him in the head with a rifle; that he did not fall off his horse until another Indian, drawing a saber, struck him on the head several times, and then he fell to the ground, was scalped, and stripe of his clothes, and left on the road, where he remained one day and a half. I, the deponent, with Francois Lassellel, Hubert Lacroix, and Louis Chovin, on the evening of the second day, took up the body, carried it to the skirts of the woods, and covered it with a few branches, but could not stay to bury it for fear of the Indians that were in the neighborhood; and, on the next day after the last battle, I was near the house of Gabriel Godfroy, Jr., and the house of Jean Batiste Jereaume, where a great number of prisoners were collected; and that I heard the screaming of the prisoners whom the Indians were tomahawking; that the savages set the houses on fire, and went off.
LOUIS BERNARD dit Lajoye, his + mark.
Detroit, 5th February, 1813.


I certify, that the bodies of the Americans killed at the battle of Ia Riviere aux Raisins, of the 22d of January last, remain unburied and that I have seen the hogs and dogs eating them. The hogs appeared to be rendered mad by so profuse a diet of Christian flesh. I saw the houses of Mr. Jerome and Mr. Godfroy on fire, and have heard that there were prisoners in them. The inhabitants did not dare to bury the dead, on account of the Indians. The inhabitants have been threatened by the Indians, if they did not take up arms against the Americans.
ALEXIS LABADIE, his + mark.
MICHIGAN, February 6th, 1813.


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