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The Sad Affair of Capt. Big Tree of the Seneca

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionClements Library: Anthony Wayne Letterbooks view image
MicrofilmHistorical Society Of Pennsylvania: Anthony Wayne Papers (no image)
PublicationKnopf, Richard C., ed. Anthony Wayne, A Name In Arms: The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1960. (no image)
Publication'Wayne's Western Campaign, The Wayne-Knox Correspondence.' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 78(1954):298-341, 424-455. (no image)
Document Information
Date January 25, 1794
Author Name Anthony Wayne (primary) Location: Greeneville
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Captain Big Tree, the Seneca chief, has committed suicide for unknown reasons; mentions that he was a companion of Cornplanter and New Arrow. Records a speech given by Big Tree at that time, lamenting the death of Gen. Richard Butler (at St. Clair's Defeat), and asking to join the U.S. forces that he may avenge Butler's death. Mentions Big Tree's recent arrival and promise to rally friendly Indians to Wayne's army. Big Tree was distraught when the recent truce was made with the hostile Delawares, and his speech to the Delaware envoys is also recorded, in which he affirms alliance between the U.S. and the Six Nations, and urges the Delawares to make peace. Big Tree nonetheless became melancholy -- "he dreaded peace and therefore embraced death." Wayne mourns his loss, and asks that provisions be made for Big Tree's wife and daughter.
Document Format Author's Letterbook Copy
Document Notes Cited in Knox to Wayne, 05/16/1794. Spans Images 32-37 of this collection.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Anthony Wayne; Big Tree; wife; daughter; Secretary of War; General Richard Butler; General Arthur St. Clair; Delawares; Six Nations; Seneca; Seneka; war chief; Cornplanter; New Arrow; grand council of hostile Indians; Great Spirit; interpreter; Mr. Rosecrantz; Chickasaws; ;
Related Places Legionville; Miami of the Lake; Ohio; Greeneville; Ohio River; Fort Franklin; ;
Keywords death; suicide; truce; speech; provisions; boats; ascent; property; speech; condolence; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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