Selected Papers From The 1991 And 1992 George Rogers Clark Trans-Appalachian Frontier History Conferences
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Robert G. Gunderson
Indiana University (emeritus)

In 1800, William Henry Harrison; his wife, Anna; and their three children, ages four, two, and the baby who was less than three months old, made their tortuous way west from Richmond, Va. At the polls that fall, Thomas Jefferson had won the presidency. Harrison's brother, Carter, was a Jefferson elector in Prince George County, Va. But as the newly appointed governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison had taken no part in the contest. No doubt he considered himself fortunate to be in transit from one miserable out-of-the-way tavern to the next where his allegiance to his presidential benefactor, John Adams, might be less subject to public scrutiny. Certainly he made no explicit declaration on behalf of the president who had appointed him. That autumn, President Adams had the thankless job of moving a lame duck government from Philadelphia to the Potomac — "a Wilderness," First Lady Abigail Adams said — but nowhere near as wild as the young governor's destination: the territorial capital of Indiana. [1]

At Pittsburgh on November 2, 1800, Harrison hired a Kentucky boat from Major Isaac Craig. The major's receipt described a boat "forty five feet long, fitted up with three rooms, two chimneys, two windows...a Necessary, a tarred cloth over...two rooms...together with Oars, Pump," 20-pound cable, "one Batteau and one Tent." Once afloat in one of the covered rooms, a fastidious traveler of the early 1800s might declare such accommodations to be quite cozy. Some travelers even testified to the quality of Ohio River drinking water. [2]

By November 28, 1800, the Harrisons had floated to Cincinnati where they disembarked to renew old friendships and to assemble what they needed for life in Indiana. The governor abandoned a plan to visit the Ohio Legislature which then was assembled in Chillicothe, the new capital of the Ohio Territory. His resignation as territorial delegate was announced to the legislature and nothing occurred to enhance his hope that some contingency might keep him from assuming, what he described as, his "new dignity." Before venturing westward to Vincennes, he deposited his family with Anna's brother-in-law and sister, Judge and Mrs. Peyton Short, at the latter's estate, Greenfield, near Lexington, Ky. In this bucolic setting, he remained for the Christmas season. Although paid as territorial governor since July 4, Harrison demonstrated no urgency to assume his new responsibilities. Governor Arthur St. Clair had established a fixed policy of gubernatorial absenteeism. [3]

Sometime after January 1, 1801, however, Harrison set out for Vincennes traveling, no doubt, by way of the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) and Clark's Trace, an old buffalo trail leading from the Falls to the Wabash River — a long trek through a wilderness. At Vincennes the new governor found approximately 700 people classified by the census of 1800 as being 373 white males, 317 white females, eight slaves, and "16 free persons except Indians, not taxed." In the neighborhood of Vincennes the census reported another 819 persons, including 15 slaves; but from the Wabash to the Mississippi there was not a single house. The postmaster general, hoped to establish a mail route from the Wabash River through the wilderness to Cahokia on the Mississippi River. But no one seemed willing to hazard a weekly trip across the prairie. Not until 1807 did the government propose building a road in the direction of St. Louis. [4]

When a noted French author, C. F. Volney, visited Vincennes in 1796, he found no school and in the French community he reported that "of nine French people scarcely six could read or write." Ignorant, but splendid, isolation had not contributed to the attractiveness of the townspeople. Although, as Timothy Flint observed, Vincennes was one of the oldest places "in the western world," it had not acquired many of the hallmarks of civilization. Government agencies were remote or inaccessible and women were nonexistent. Higher courts seldom met — only when judges found their way through the woods from Cincinnati. Neighboring Piankashaw, Wea, and Eel River Indians, debauched by contacts with whites, reveled in "all the freaks of vulgar drunkenness" during their periodic visits to trade in town. [5]

Greeting the new governor upon his arrival was John Gibson, the territorial secretary, who had been acting governor since July. Born in Lancaster, Penn., during 1740, Gibson had helped to seize French Fort Duquesne as a member of Forbes' 1758 expedition. Settling in Pittsburgh as an Indian trader, he ventured into hostile territory on a trading mission during Pontiac's uprising and was captured. According to tradition, he was saved from death "Pocahontas fashion." He remained in captivity using the name of "Horse-head" long enough to acquire a useful command of Native American dialects. Later, Gibson became a lieutenant colonel in George Washington's army and returned to Pittsburgh after the Revolution to become a judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, a major general of the Pennsylvania militia, and a supporter of the federal government during the Whiskey Rebellion. Impressed by this devotion to federalism, as well as by his obvious suitability for a frontier assignment, President Adams appointed Gibson territorial secretary of Indiana. [6] Then in his dual role as acting governor, Gibson had begun organizing the new territorial government that had come into being on July 4, 1800.

The Ordinance of 1787 gave governors awesome powers. Lew Wallace, in his writings about Harrison's grandson, called such powers "more nearly imperial than any ever exercised by one man in the Republic." As an imperial 27-year-old, Harrison had authority to appoint territorial and county officials, to commission militia officers, and to set county and township boundaries. Once on the scene in Vincennes, he promptly started building a political organization described as "the Virginia aristocrats," a term some inhabitants considered derogatory. Harrison's tenure began with an inaugural ceremony on January 10, 1801. He administered the oath of office to William Clarke, the chief judge, who then performed the same service for him. Harrison completed the ceremony by swearing in Judge John Griffin and Judge Henry Vanderburgh, both of whom had an intimate knowledge of frontier conditions. Formalities thus concluded, the governor issued a call for the first session of the Territorial Legislature on January 12, only two days after the inaugural. This matter was arranged quite easily since it involved only those who had been installed. [7]

The three judges and the governor met in legislative session for less than a month, passing seven laws and three resolutions before adjourning. The fact that it was assumed that all existing laws of the Northwest Territory remained in force greatly simplified the legislative members' work. They only needed to supplement established legislation. To curb reckless experimentation, Congress had limited territorial legislatures to passing only those regulations already in force throughout the several states. During this period, Harrison and the judges took almost all the laws from those of southern states. Of most importance during this first session was the need to provide for a more adequate judicial system, a deficiency that had helped to bring the new territory into being. [8]

When the session concluded January 26, 1801, Harrison made political appointments and completed the establishment of county governments. In decisions which he later would regret, he made John Rice Jones attorney general and William McIntosh territorial treasurer. To facilitate territorial business in his absence, he made Secretary Gibson a Pooh Bah with many hats, including justice of the peace, recorder, and judge of quarter sessions. On February 3, a particularly active day, the governor established Clark County with a temporary county seat at Springville; redrew boundaries for Knox, Randolph, and St. Clair counties; issued 32 licenses; and in a personal transaction, purchased a prospective homesite from the town's most influential personality, Colonel Francis Vigo. [9]

Vigo had come to America as a member of a Spanish Army Regiment stationed in New Orleans. After his discharge, he became a prosperous fur trader with headquarters in St. Louis. During the Revolution he gave financial help and military intelligence to George Rogers Clark. After the Revolution, Vigo moved to Vincennes. A generous host, Vigo was said to have paid 20 guineas to a builder to hasten completion of his two-story frame house, so that he might entertain Harrison upon the latter's arrival. As a land speculator and fur trader he had good reason to cultivate cordial relations with the young governor. So tradition probably is accurate in placing Harrison as a guest in Vigo's parlor throughout January and during part of February, 1801. [10]

After scarcely a month in Vincennes, the governor returned to Greenfield where he rejoined his wife and family at the home of Judge Peyton Short and his wife, Maria. The visit was saddened by Maria's death on March 28. Her death occurred after a five-day illness with "bilious fever." Unaware of this family tragedy, Harrison's stepmother-in-law, the venturesome Susan Symmes, supervised the packing of the Harrisons' furnishings in North Bend, Ohio. On April 14, she set out with them on a flatboat. Drifting down to the Falls of the Ohio River, Mrs. Symmes met Harrison and his family there, where the goods were repacked aboard a keelboat below the Falls. The reunited family then went down the Ohio and up the Wabash to Vincennes, arriving on May 14. Harrison, however, became impatient while going up the Wabash and abandoned ship. He hurried overland and arrived ahead of the others on May 9 in order to issue a proclamation forbidding whites from settling, hunting, or surveying on Indian lands. [11]

Although biographers know a great deal about Harrison's public life, there is surprisingly little information available concerning his private life. Thus, they leave him and his growing family crowded into Vigo's parlor until Harrison's mansion called Grouseland was finished. But Harrison and Anna had to share their space not only with their three children, but also with his stepmother-in-law, Susan Symmes, and her niece, Jane Ridley. Mrs. Symmes warned that her husband, the irascible Judge John Cleves Symmes, planned a "first & last" visit for the entire ensuing winter — a prospect that might test the hospitality of the Deity, to say nothing of the gracious Colonel Vigo. It is only plausible to locate the Harrisons as tenants in one of Vigo's four houses, probably the one at the southwest corner of First and Broadway streets. [12]

The judge's third wife, Susan Symmes, clearly preferred the company of her stepdaughters to that of the hapless judge. Her detailed, insightful letters provide a far clearer view of the Harrisons' domestic life than do those of the governor. After four months in Vincennes, she paid tribute to Mrs. Harrison, testifying to her "many amiable virtues" and to her "uniform kindness." She described each of the children: Betsey, "now just turned 5...all meekness, & mildness...a most beautiful, elegant child"; John Cleves Symmes, "3...all turbulence, a most imperious little rogue"; Lucy, "15 months...a perfect beauty, but a poor afflicted babe...she has just had 18 large boils, her disorders have made her as much trouble as 5 or 6 children." Though Mrs. Symmes concluded that "this is a charming country," she firmly declared, "I can never feel at home in it." [13]

Discriminating visitors joined Mrs. Symmes in praising the beauties of the countryside. Moses Austin in 1797 listed the Wabash "among the beauties of Nature" and the landscape "equal to any thing of the Kinde" he ever had seen — even "the severity of Winter could not change" it. Caleb Townes in 1815 found the Wabash "a beautiful and valuable stream—the water generally perfectly clear & transparent" with a "clean gravelly bottom—It abounds with Fish...Bass—Pickerel, Pike,—Perch—...the Catfish are of every size up to 122 1/2 lb."

Travel on the Wabash, however, often resulted in debilitating "fever & ague." Harrison suffered "three fits of it" the first summer he was there. Later letters reported troubles with influenza, sick headaches, and pinkeye. The governor, nevertheless, insisted that his family "enjoyed quite as much health here" as they ever had. [14]

Although Harrison governed an area larger than France, he did not find the cares of office overburdening. In an intimate letter to James Findlay, his distillery partner in Cincinnati, Governor Harrison confessed that he "generally" spent half of each day "making war upon the partridges, grouse, and fish." Always mindful of public relations, he assured Findlay that "nothing can exceed" this country "in beauty and fertility." He hoped Findlay would "take to the woods" and would pay a visit. [15]

On December 31, 1801, in an effort to promote education, Harrison assembled a select group to petition Congress for funds for Jefferson Academy, an enterprise that later led to the founding of Vincennes University. As its first president of the board of trustees (1806 to 1811), he included in the articles of incorporation a provision permitting Indians to attend "at the expense of the institution" and he established a nationwide lottery to raise funds. When the school developed slowly because of a lack of adequately prepared students and teachers, the trustees promoted a grammar school to qualify students for higher education. In an allied activity, Harrison became founder and first chairman of the Vincennes Library Board. [16]

The governor maintained cordial relations with the eminent Father Jean Francois Rivet, who ministered to the educational as well as to the spiritual needs of his parishioners. Mrs. Harrison, a devout Presbyterian, missed the presence of a Presbyterian minister and she agonized over what she considered to be the low state of morality and of religion. Harrison, an Episcopalian and more ecumenical than his wife, once held a candle for the services of an itinerant Methodist evangelist, William Winans. During 1805, a missionary, Thomas Clelland, visited Vincennes, and Mrs. Harrison invited him to preach — his was the first sermon by a Presbyterian ever given in Indiana. During 1808, the Reverend Samuel Thornton Scott settled in Vincennes where he served a dual function as teacher and as minister. During 1811, he began a four-year stint as head of the university. [17]

During his first three years as governor, Harrison understandably was concerned about his reappointment. As an appointee of Federalist John Adams, Harrison took considerable pains to establish himself with the incoming administration of Thomas Jefferson. He wrote an obsequious letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, assuring him that it "will give me pleasure to receive your commands, & should the interests of your Humble Servant (a poor provincial Governor) require the aid of a powerful friend I with confidence expect to find one in the person of the Secretary of the Treasury." Harrison asked his brother, Carter Harrison, who was a congressman from Virginia, to lobby on his behalf with Secretary of State James Madison and with Secretary of War Henry Dearborn. William Henry Harrison's relationship with President Jefferson always had been cordial, especially because of his success in dealing with Native Americans. Once, as a delegate to Congress, Harrison had discussed city planning with Jefferson. As an amiable gesture he laid out the town opposite the Falls of the Ohio after a pattern Jefferson had suggested. "I have taken the liberty," he wrote the president, "of calling it Jeffersonville. The beauty of the spot...the advantage of the situation and the excellence of the plan, make it highly probable that it will...become a place of considerable consequence." [18]

To minimize the possibility that the Federalists in Congress would oppose his appointment, Harrison wrote Senator Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, a Federalist leader and a business associate of his father-in-law, Judge Symmes. "The emoluments of my appointment are very important to me," he admitted frankly, "and this session will determine whether I am to enjoy them after the month of May or not." Cajolery triumphed. On February 4, Jefferson sent Harrison's reappointment to the Senate, which confirmed it four days later. The Federalist appointee of 1800 thus won Republican approval in 1803. A grateful governor sent the president a barrel of Louisiana pecans. [19]

In a separate appointment that same day, Jefferson granted the governor the position of commissioner with "full power" to conduct and to sign treaties with the Indians. This commission was prompted by the urgency created when the French reoccupied Louisiana, a geopolitical change that Jefferson claimed was "felt like a light breeze among the Indians." With Napoleon Bonaparte ruling along the Mississippi, Jefferson recognized the critical necessity for a speedy transfer of Indian land titles. "Under the hope of their [French] protection," Jefferson predicted that the Indians "will immediately stiffen against land cessions to us." Harrison's aggressive land grabbing thus received a mandate from the idealistic president himself. From 1801 to 1809 the governor negotiated 11 treaties, clearing title to more than one-third of Indiana and to approximately two-thirds of Illinois. In 1803, Ohio became a state and Upper and Lower Michigan were added to the Indiana Territory. During 1804, after the Louisiana Purchase, Upper Louisiana also was added. As John Randolph of Roanoke charged, Harrison was "proconsul" over United States territory north of the Ohio and Missouri rivers and west of the state of Ohio to the Continental Divide — if not, indeed, all the way to the Pacific Coast. Some northern and western boundaries had not been determined definitively yet. [20] Harrison was to govern this boundless wilderness from Vincennes.

During October, 1804, while the governor went to St. Louis to establish an American presence in Upper Louisiana, Anna Harrison remained in Vincennes for the birth of her fifth child, John Scott Harrison — destined to be the son of one president and the father of another. Anna confessed to being "very much depressed" by her husband's absence, but she took comfort in her growing family and in her new home which was under construction. Harrison had postponed building until his title cleared and his reappointment came. Although the mansion proved to be "rather too expensive" for his purse, it soon became heralded as the most impressive house in the territory. The governor named it Grouseland. [21]

As capital of Jefferson's vast "empire for liberty," Vincennes was growing. A visitor during 1805 counted five stores, four taverns, two mills, a saddle shop, a church, two blacksmiths, three physicians, and seven lawyers — especially lawyers — a necessary profession there because of its land squabbles and its bitter political controversies. Mail dispatches went more or less regularly to Louisville and postal receipts escalated more than 700 percent from 1801 to 1803: from a total of $85.49 to $705.05. During 1804, Elihu Stout began publishing the Indiana Gazette, later the Western Sun, a stormy publication that supported Harrison. A bitter enemy called Stout "an humble slave sold to the governor." As civilization advanced, a jail became necessary and in 1803 Judge Vanderburgh supervised its construction at the corner of Second and Buntin streets. [22]

Recreational opportunities were limited somewhat, but Graeter's Tavern featured a billiard table and the governor played approximately 25 games during 1809 while his political opponent, Jonathan Jennings, played 60, and editor Stout more than 300. The French community popularized card playing and dancing, addictions that spread even among the Virginia aristocrats. Catherine Randolph, wife of Attorney General Thomas Randolph who was a nephew of Thomas Jefferson, described several occasions with a literary skill rivaling that of British author Frances Trollope. Mrs. Randolph wrote to her "Dear Mother" on December 18, 1810:

I was at a Ball last night. The evening was very cold — the company gay, and the Musick good, two violins, & the Drum & Fife: had the room been warm, I should have enjoyed myself very much. When I reflect on dancing, I some times think it all folly: yet when I join the mazy throng, I feel transported with pleasure...I think very innocent pleasure: yet I may be thought like one of those whom Dr Franklin says "is pleased with a rattle & tickled with a straw." [23]

Three weeks later she reported an even more colorful occasion, a dance at Fort Knox II. Although it was January, she recounted that the officers "convey'd the Ladies...3 miles up the Wabash in a large Keel Boat, with the Musick on board." [24]

Though identified as "Virginia aristocrats," members of Governor Harrison's faction came from diverse places and classes. Attorney General and Mrs. Randolph might have qualified as aristocrats, but only Randolph, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, could have been called a true Virginia aristocrat. His wife was the granddaughter of a Pennsylvanian, Governor Arthur St. Clair, and she also was the stepdaughter of James Dill, a native of Dublin, Ireland, who, like Harrison, became an aide to General Anthony Wayne during the Indian wars. Dill, who was a lawyer, a Harrison appointee, and a postmaster at Lawrenceburg, Ind., made a studied effort to play the aristocrat, dressing in knee breeches and silver buckles — thus making a statement against the easy manners of an egalitarian frontier. Dill's son-in-law and stepdaughter, while building a residence in Vincennes, lived at Grouseland with the Harrisons. "I feel very anxious to be in a House of our owne," Mrs. Randolph assured her sister. "The Govr and Mrs. Harrison are both very polite," but she longed for a private place even if it was only one room. Catherine planned to join in the frontier "fashion" of spinning, but admitted that her husband "very much opposed" it. After all, aristocratic Virginia women detested plebeian fashions, especially those involving manual labor. [25]

In addition to Randolph, three other Virginians gave a semblance of credence to the charge that Harrison's followers constituted a Virginia party. General Washington Johnston, once a resident of Culpeper, Va., read the Latin classics, composed verses in French, and tripped a very light fantastic at the French balls — all attributes that marked him as a frontier aristocrat. Henry Hurst, clerk of the general court and trustee of Vincennes University, had a Virginia heritage, as also did Waller Taylor, judge and chancellor. Non-Virginia members of the governor's faction included Secretary Gibson from Pennsylvania — in no sense an aristocrat and, as Gallatin insisted, "totally incompetent" as a secretary. But, Harrison replied, Gibson was something better than a good secretary: he was "a very honest man." Benjamin Parke, a major figure, served Harrison successively as attorney general, legislator, and judge. A native of New Jersey, Parke studied law in Lexington, Ky., and moved to Vincennes during 1801. Tall, dignified, and resourceful, Parke ably defended the governor in the rough-and-tumble of frontier politics. For example, he damned a leader of Harrison's opposition, William McIntosh, as a "filcher, a pilferer, [and] a thief" — thus revealing the gentility of the political discourse of that day. [26]

A hospitable Governor and Mrs. Harrison set the social fashion at Grouseland, keeping the latchstring out for legislators, territorial officers, and visitors. From September 23 to 26, 1805, they entertained a distinguished fugitive from justice, Aaron Burr, who then was retired as vice president and who was wanted in New Jersey for the murder of Alexander Hamilton. Neither editor Elihu Stout nor members of the household thought to record details of his visit, but one contemporary paraphrased Milton, likening it to "Lucifer's intrusion into 'the newly created Eden.'" Seriously underestimating Harrison's sophistication, novelist Gore Vidal has envisioned the governor in a log cabin pouring cider to Burr, the peripatetic intriguer. Charge accounts in Philadelphia serve as testimony that Harrison poured madeira on festive occasions.

The governor, then in his 30s, was portrayed variously as "commanding," "prepossessing," and "despotic." Even his enemy, "Decius," told of his "sprightly" conversation. On September 26, 1811, when Harrison left for Tippecanoe River, he was described by a lieutenant's wife as being dressed in "a hunting shirt" of calico "trimmed with fringe" and crowned with a "beaver hat ornamented with a large Ostrich feather." She said, "He is very tall & slender with sallow complexion, & dark eyes, his manners are pleasing, and he has an interesting family." [27]

Social life waned in the aftermath of the Battle of Tippecanoe. The general became engrossed in defending his military reputation. In addition, the New Madrid earthquakes, beginning December 16, 1811, kept knocking down chimneys until March, 1812. "We live in times of comets, earthquakes, and rumours of War," lamented one survivor of the Tippecanoe battle. During late spring, the Harrisons moved back to Ohio. "[My] nursery fills much faster than my strong box," the governor assured the president. Five of the Harrisons' 10 children had been born in Vincennes, site of the governor's happiest days and of his most substantial achievements. [28]


1. William Henry Harrison left Richmond about October 10, 1800, and by November 28, he was in Cincinnati. Harrison to Thomas Worthington, November 28, 1800, John D. Barnhart, ed., "Letters of William Henry Harrison," Indiana Magazine of History, XLVII (March, 1951), 61; Harrison to James Findlay, July 18, 1800, in Logan Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, 2 vols. (Indianapolis: 1922), I, 19. A young Afro-American, who had been inherited from Harrison's estate, accompanied and assisted them. "Last will and Testament," Benjamin Harrison V, BR, Box 2, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.; Page Smith, John Adams, 2 vols. (New York: 1962), II. 1,049. Harrison later rationalized his failure to participate in the election by saying, "I therefore accepted the appointment [governorship] with a determination, as Indiana had no voice in the choice of a president, that I would take no part in the contest." Harrison to Matthew Lyon, June 1, 1840, in Jacob Piatt Dunn, Indiana: A Redemption from Slavery (Boston: 1896), p. 300.

2. Dorothy W. Bowers, The Irwins and the Harrisons (Mercersburg, Penn.: 1973), p. 113; Major Isaac Craig's receipt, November 2, 1800, quoted in Leland D. Baldwin, The Keelboat Age on Western Waters (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1941), pp. 47-49. Lydia Bacon praised the quality of Ohio River drinking water. Mary M. Crawford, ed., "Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon's Journal, 1811-12," Indiana Magazine of History, XL (December, 1944), 379.

3. Harrison to Worthington, November 28, 1800, and Charles w. Byrd to Nathaniel Massie, August 18, 1800, in David Massie, Nathaniel Massie, A Pioneer of Ohio... (Cincinnati: 1896), pp. 161-162; Susan Symmes to "My Dear Sister," June 21, 1801, William Henry Harrison MSS., Library of Congress (microfilm); Clarence Carter, ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States (Washington, D.C.: 1939), VII, 14-15 fn.

4. Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 24; Postmaster General to General Washington Johnston, July 21, 1801, ibid., VII, 31.

5. Constantin Francois Volney, A View of the...United States of America (Philadelphia: 1804), p. 372; Timothy Flint quoted in Harlow Lindley, ed., Indiana as Seen by Early Travellers (Indianapolis: 1916), p. 451; Lindley, ed., ibid., p. 23.

6. Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 16-17; William W. Woollen, Daniel W. Howe, and Jacob Piatt Dunn, eds., Executive Journal of Indiana Territory, 1800-1816 (Indianapolis: 1900), pp. 91-94; Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 253.

7. Lew Wallace, Life of Gen. Ben Harrison (Cleveland, Ohio: 1888), p. 27; Carter,, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 16.

8. Francis S. Philbrick, ed., The Laws of Indiana Territory, 1801-1809 (Springfield, Ill.: Illinois State Historical Library, 1930), pp. 1-20.

9. Woollen, Howe, and Dunn, eds., Executive Journal, pp. 96-98, 101; Joseph Henry Vanderburgh Somes, Old Vincennes: The History of a Famous Old Town and its Glorious Past (St. Meinrad, Ind.: Abbey Press, 1970), p. 115.

10. Francis Vigo Papers, Indiana Historical Society; John Johnston to Lyman Draper, September 13, 1847, Tecumseh MSS., Draper Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society [11YY, 31-35]; Dorothy L. Riker, "Francis Vigo," Indiana Magazine of History, XXVI (March, 1930), 12-20; Dictionary of American Biography, XIX, 270.

11. Susan Symmes to "My Dear Sister," June 21, 1801, Harrison MSS., Library of Congress (microfilm). Harrison signed a power of attorney in Lexington, Ky., on April 17, 1801, and he must have left for Vincennes shortly after that date. Harrison to James Hughes, Indiana Historical Society Library, Harrison MSS. Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 24.

12. Susan Symmes to "My Dear Sister," June 21 and October 15, 1801, Harrison MSS., Library of Congress; Somes, Old Vincennes, p. 110.

13. Susan Symmes to "My Dear Sister," October 15, 1801, Harrison MSS., Library of Congress (microfilm).

14. "A Memorandum of M. Austin's Journey...," American Historical Review, V (1899-1900), 529; Chase Mooney, ed., "From Old Vincennes, 1815," Indiana Magazine of History, LVII (June, 1961), 149; F[ortescue] Cuming, "Sketches of a Tour to the Western Country..." (Pittsburgh: 1810), reprinted in Early Western Travels, 1748-1846. ed. by Reuben Gold Thwaites (Cleveland, Ohio: 1904), IV, 262; Crawford, ed., "Bacon's Journal," 379; Harrison to James Findlay, October 15, 1801, in Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 34; Harrison to Worthington, October 26, 1803, in Barnhart, ed., "Harrison Letters," 66; Harrison to J. B. Thomas, November 27, 1807, and March 23, 1808, in Jesse B. Thomas Papers, Illinois State Historical Society (photocopies at Indiana Historical Society). Mrs. Harrison claimed she had been "sick all winter" in a letter to "My Dear Nephew," April 29, 1802, Harrison Papers, [M 364]. Indiana Historical Society. John Badollet also testified to the prevalence of sickness in Vincennes. Gayle Thornbrough, ed., The Correspondence of John Badollet and Albert Gallatin, 1804-1836 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1963), XXII, 100, 258.

15. Harrison to Findlay, October 13, 1801, in Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 34-35.

16. Carter, ed., "Petition" in Territorial Papers, VII, 43-44; J. Robert Constantine, ed., "The Vincennes Library Company: A Cultural Institution in Pioneer Indiana," Indiana Magazine of History, LXI (December, 1965), 313-315, 323, 326; J. Robert Constantine, "Minutes of the Board of Trustees for Vincennes University," Indiana Magazine of History, LIX (September, 1959), 247 ff;: Philbrick, ed., Laws of Indiana Territory, p. 182; The signature to a lottery ticket for the benefit of Vincennes University. The ticket was dated October 29, 1803, and it was included among the autographs of U. S. presidents, Wisconsin State Historical Society; Matthew F. Welsh, "An Old Wound Finally Healed: Vincennes University's Struggle for Survival," Indiana Magazine of History, LXXXIV (September, 1988), 218.

17. Somes, Old Vincennes, pp. 108, 109 and 127; Hubbard Madison Smith, M.D., Historical Sketches of Old Vincennes (Indianapolis: Press Wm. B. Burford, 1902), pp. 126, 128, 131, 132 and 133; Vincennes Commercial, February 24, 1929; John E. Inglehart, "Methodism in Indiana," Indiana Magazine of History, XVII (1921), 132.

18. Harrison to Albert Gallatin, February 8, 1802, and Congressman Carter Harrison to Secretary of State James Madison, August 5, 1802, in Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 48, 65; Harrison to President Thomas Jefferson, August 8, 1802, in Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 50-51.

19. Harrison to Jonathan Dayton, January 12, 1803, quoted in Freeman Cleaves, Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time (New York: 1939), p. 37. Jefferson reappointed Harrison and commented that he was "reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Integrity and Abilities of William Henry Harrison." Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 113, 146-147.

20. Ibid., VII. 84; Jefferson to Harrison, February 27, 1803, Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, 1, 73. Alexander DeConde, This Affair of Louisiana (New York: 1976, p. 209. He discussed the "Elastic Boundaries" to the Rocky Mountains and beyond — an area that doubled the size of the United States.

21. Harrison to Findlay, September 22, 1804, and Harrison to Jefferson, November 6, 1804, in Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, 1, 108, 110-111; Royal Purcell, "The Deed to Historic Grouseland," (typescript, Indiana Historical Society). On October 2, 1804, before setting out for St. Louis, Harrison published a proclamation dividing "Louisiana" into five districts. The proclamation appeared in the October 2, 1804, issue of the Indiana Gazette which was printed in Vincennes. While in Upper Louisiana, he wrote a long, detailed letter about the region's natural resources and he sent the letter to an ardent land speculator and Federalist friend, Senator Jonathan Dayton. Harrison to Dayton, October 29, 1804, Indiana Historical Society. The treaty he negotiated while in Upper Louisiana is analyzed by William T. Hagan, "The Sauk and Fox Treaty of 1804," The Missouri Historical Review, LI (October, 1956), 1-7.

22. Somes, Old Vincennes, p. 132; Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 21 fn; Thornbrough, Badollet-Gallatin Correspondence, 125; George E. Greene, History of Old Vincennes and Knox County, Indiana, 2 vols. (Chicago: 1911), I, 341.

23. Lee Burns, Life in Old Vincennes (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Publications, 1928), VIII, 455; Catherine Randolph to "Dear Mother," December 18. 1810, Mrs. Thomas Randolph Papers, Indiana Historical Society.

24. Catherine Randolph to "Dear Mother," January 9, 1811, Mrs. Thomas Randolph Papers, Indiana Historical Society.

25. Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 297 fn; John D. Barnhart and Dorothy L. Riker, Indiana to 1816: The Colonial Period (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau & Indiana Historical Society, 1971), p. 357; John D. Barnhart, Valley of Democracy: The Frontier versus the Plantation in the Ohio Valley, 1715-1818 (Bloomington, Ind.: 1953), p. 167; Journals of the General Assembly of Indiana Territory, Appendix II, p. 966; Mrs. Thomas Randolph to Elizabeth Lawrence. December 14, 1810, Mrs. Thomas Randolph Papers, Indiana Historical Society.

26. Journals of the General Assembly, Appendix II, pp. 987-988, Philbrick, ed., "Introduction," Laws of Indiana Territory, pp. xvi, ccxxxvii, 178, 197, 514; Vincennes Western Sun, January 6, 1808; Barnhart, Valley of Democracy, p. 167; Harrison to Jefferson, October 29, 1803, and October 18, 1808, in Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VII, 146, 603; Dictionary of American Biography, XIV, 209; Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, I, 298-299; Burns, Life in Old Vincennes, 452.

27. Aaron Burr visited both Harrison and Andrew Jackson. What, if anything, Burr proposed to Harrison in Vincennes that September has not been revealed. Many westerners believed that Burr planned a strike against the Spanish in the Southwest, an idea quite acceptable to some because of a lingering fear that the Spanish might close traffic on the Mississippi River. When Burr was acquitted in Kentucky of conspiracy charges brought against him by Joseph Daveiss, crowds cheered and conducted a public ball in Frankfort to celebrate his triumph. Mann Butler, History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (Cincinnati, Ohio: 1839), pp. 309, 317; Joseph H. Daveiss, A View of the President's Conduct, Concerning the Conspiracy of 1806 (Frankfort, Ky.: 1807). Letters of A. Burr to Harrison, October 24 and November 27, 1807, were published in the Vincennes Western Sun, December 30, 1807. Burr predicted a forthcoming war with Spain and assured Harrison that he "never meditated the introduction of any foreign power or influences into the United States." Gore Vidal portrayed a rustic, naive Harrison in Burr, A Novel (New York: 1973), p. 315; Harrison to Hyman and Simon Gratz, February 26, 1807, Indiana Historical society; Elmer Barce, "Governor Harrison and the Treaty of Fort Wayne," Indiana Magazine of History, XI (1915), 352; Badollet to Gallatin, June 24, 1810, in Thornbrough, ed., Badollet-Gallatin Correspondence. 158; Isaac Darneille, Letters of Decius, p. 17, quoted in Dorothy B. Goebel, William Henry Harrison: A Political Biography (Indianapolis: 1926), p. 87; Crawford, ed., "Bacon's Journal," 367-368.

28. Robert J. Holden, "The Pen Replaces the Wword: Governor William Henry Harrison and the Battle of Tippecanoe Controversy," Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences, Third Series, XXII (1987), 57-68. Lieutenant Charles Larrabee to Adam Larrabee, February 7, 1812, in "Lieutenant Charles Larrabee's Account of the Battle of Tippecanoe, 1811," Indiana Magazine of History, LVII (September, 1961). 247. On December 17, Lieutenant Colonel James Miller informed his wife: "The earth has been in motion almost every hour perceptibly for thirty-six hours." Miller to Mrs. Ruth Miller, letters dated December 15 [but postmarked December 18] and December 25, 1811, U. S. Military Academy Library, West Point, N. Y. (photocopies). Vincennes Western Sun, December 21, 1811; St. Louis Louisiana Gazette, December 21, 1811, and January 4, 1812; Nathaniel Ewing, in correspondence with Albert Gallatin, February 18, 1812, stated. "Earthquakes still continue. Our houses are all damaged and scarcely a Chimney is left standing intire." Carter, ed., Territorial Papers, VIII, 165. Harrison to Jefferson, July 5, 1806, in Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters, 1, 194-195. Harrison's children who were born in Vincennes were William Henry, Jr. (1802), John Scott (1804), Benjamin (1806), Mary Symmes (1808), and Carter Bassett (1811).

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Last Updated: 23-Mar-2011