Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Indian Agents a Factor in Early Fort Wayne

(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – Aug 2016 No 139)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project


Indian Agents a Factor in Early Fort Wayne

In the years leading up to the time Indiana advanced to statehood, the U.S. Government was represented by Indian Agents and Factors.  The Factor or Factory was the government representative for financial and commercial matters leaving the political affairs to the Indian Agent.  However, the functions oftentimes overlapped, and the titles used indiscriminately.  Eventually, the terms “Factory” and “Factor” were nearly replaced with “Agency” and “Agent” and intended to be helpful to the Indian people by providing an appointed representative for the native population living on the Wabash-Maumee frontier.  

Who were these first players who took on this responsibility? A list of those who served in that capacity in Fort Wayne from 1798 through 1828 can be found in The Tipton Papers.  Here is a short description of some of the agents.

William Wells (serving 1798 to 1809) as a boy, was captured along the Ohio River by the Miami who adopted and assimilated him into their tribe. Married to Little Turtle’s daughter, Wells became a confidant of the great War Chief. He died at the relief of Fort Dearborn in 1812. To honor his remarkable service to his country, congress gave him the right to pre-emption of lands that today comprise Fort Wayne’s Bloomingdale and Spy Run neighborhoods known as “Wells Pre-emption.”

John Johnston (1802-1811) had been appointed Indian Factor or Factory in 1802 as the government representative for financial and commercial matters, leaving the political affairs to the Indian Agent. He did, however, succeed Wells as Agent.  Today, the Johnston Farm at Pique, Ohio, is celebrated as a tourist attraction and recalls the life of Johnston.  It was Col. Johnston’s place which provided a safe haven for the women and children who had escaped the dangers surrounding the siege of Fort Wayne.

Benjamin F. Stickney (1811-1819) the grand nephew of Ben Franklin took charge as both Factor and Agent in 1811 and was at Fort Wayne when Indiana became a state in 1816.  In 1820, Stickney was reassigned to Toledo, Ohio and became involved in the Ohio-Michigan border dispute. It was a time when both the state of Ohio and the-then Michigan Territory fought over a ten-mile strip of land. Each hoped for control over the Wabash & Erie Canal’s connection with Lake Erie before Ohio finally won the argument.

Dr. William Turner (1819–1820) arrived from Maryland and was first stationed at Fort Wayne as the garrison surgeon’s mate from 1810 to 1812. He became surgeon of the Seventeenth Infantry in 1813.  He resigned from the army in 1815 and married Anne Wells the daughter of William Wells.  In 1819, he became Indian Agent but as historian Griswold noted that due to failing health, Dr. Turner was relieved of his duties and his office turned over to John Hays. Turner died in Fort Wayne in 1821.

John Hay (1820–1831) born in New York City in 1770 gained experience as a trading house clerk dealing with the Indians in Canada.  He moved to Cahokia and was sheriff of St. Clair County and postmaster during the years 1798 to 1818. At Fort Wayne he took over for Dr. Turner at a salary of $1,200 per year. After his service at Fort Wayne he became Receiver of Public Moneys in Jackson, Missouri. His last days were said to have been spent in Cahokia.

John Tipton (1823- 1831) was born in Tennessee, in 1756 and moved to Indiana with his widowed mother. As an adult he served at the Battle of Tippecanoe eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He served as a U.S. Senator but while in the Indiana legislature was a member of the commission that selected the first state capital at Corydon. Acting to separate the Indians receiving government annuities from the traders, Tipton moved the agency to Logansport in 1828.

For thirty years Fort Wayne was the center of the Indian Agent / Factor. Some were better known to history than others, however, they were on the ground to handle the furs brought in by the Indian people as well as for shipments to the East, dispensing annuity payments paid to the Indians, and financed land purchases.  Later perhaps in other places, others were on hand following Federal government orders and participated in the unfortunate removal of these same Indian charges forcibly removed from their traditional homeland to reservations in the West.


Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.


###

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

War of 1812 Cannon

(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – July 2016 No 138)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project

War of 1812 Cannon

The War of 1812 was touched off over two-hundred years ago and raged on until it ended in 1814 when the American militia, “took a little trip down the Mississip.” Students learn that although the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, the news had not reached General Andrew Jackson nor had his British adversary General Pakenham both of whom were still at it in New Orleans until January 8, 1815. Much happened in the war which finally forced England to recognize the United States as a sovereign nation. Students also learn if they dig deeply they find the garrison at Fort Wayne was part of the great saga.  William Henry Harrison’s army put a halt to the siege of the fort during October 1812.  When the war was over and a treaty agreement signed, hope for peace reigned once again.

Among the fallout of the great events in history come stories and myths. One of the spoils of that war was a cannon taken by U. S. Commodore Perry’s men as a prize. It is presumed so from reading through the stories related by twentieth-century history writers. According to the Fort Wayne Daily News of February 22, 1913, “The cannon is a relic of the war of 1812, and was captured by Commodore Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie.  It was taken to Detroit with a great many other pieces of stolen arms, and for years was stored away, untouched and forgotten. When the late Hon. Franklin P. Randall was mayor of Fort Wayne, he heard of the cannon, and sent for one of them.”  It is important to note that Randall was elected Mayor in 1859 then reelected in the elections held in 1861, 1863, 1869 and 1871.

In their 1914 Guide to Fort Wayne, B.J. Griswold and C.A. Phelps made the claim that the cannon was captured from the British before taken to Detroit.  Mayor Randall secured the artifact and had it placed on the Court House lawn. Other claims say that for a time the old cannon was used for firing salutes on July Fourth celebrations. It is alleged, that on one such occasion, after firing the cannon a man was accidentally killed and another injured. The gun was “spiked” and removed to the mayor’s house on Berry Street to be used as an ornamental hitching post. 

In 1916 the big gun was dedicated as “Commodore Perry Monument.”  By 1952 it was mounted in Hayden Park and in 1960 was placed with the Historical Society when that organization’s museum was located in Swinney Park on West Jefferson Street; and later removed the old piece to the entrance of the Historic Fort Wayne’s ticketing and gift shop.  It is now on display in the History Center Museum.

It 1960 it was described as the, “Six pounder naval gun, relic of Battle of Lake Erie 1813, used in dedication of Wabash and Eire Canal July 4, 1843. Gun carriage authentic replica made from old canal timbers 1960.”  A “Six pounder” meant that the ball it fired weighed six pounds. 

Cannon firings were reported to have been a part of both July Fourth and canal opening celebration days.  Typical stories passed along say a cannon was on the first Wabash & Erie Canal boat that traveled from Fort Wayne to Huntington, on July 4th and 5th 1835.  One traveler, Dr. George Fate, carried one with him firing it from time to time. Such an incident in 1835 is too early for this to be the 1812 Perry Cannon.  That big gun it did not make an appearance in Fort Wayne until Mayor Randall is said to have acquired it during the 1860s.  For the same reason, it is doubtful that the claim that “a cannon – a souvenir from one of the British vessels captured in Perry’s victory in 1813 – boomed a noisy greeting” when the Great Canal Celebration took place in Fort Wayne on July 4, 1843.  Nonetheless, the Commodore Perry cannon remains in Fort Wayne and can be seen resting peacefully on display in the atrium of the History Center.


Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.



###


Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Boss Roaster

  (Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” - Nov 2013  No. 107)

The Boss Roaster     

Each year as Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration plans begin to emerge, images of families gathering around a table come to mind as each awaits the bird roasting in the oven to be set before them.  So much for the shades of long ago memories, so how did the images that were a reality for our grand and great grand parents materialize?  Early on, they may not have had the precision control we enjoy today with a gas-fired or an electric oven because they had to deal with a traditional wood-fired stove.  Be that as it may, the kitchen of the late 1800s and early 1900s did have access to some of the latest cooking technology available from Fort Wayne.

A book at the Allen County Fort Wayne History Center titled, The Industrial Advantages of Fort Wayne, Ind., features material development and progress back in the days of 1895 when it was published.  How many of us remember or even knew about the Boss Roaster Manufacturing Co., headquartered at 372 South Calhoun Street? Proprietors Daniel Klotz and Gottlieb Haller who produced the product started the company in March 1891.

Among the descriptive sketches of the company one declared, “The most important improvement ever introduced in culinary apparatus is the “Boss Roaster.” So what was the “Boss Roaster”? It was made in several sizes of strong and durable sheet metal as well as adaptable and easy to understand its use in all types of ovens.  An oblong pan, with what was claimed to have an airtight cover, prevented steam from escaping thus preserving all the “juices and nutrition qualities of the meats and other articles of food being cooked.” It was designed for the cook to be able to check the contents of the roaster by simply pulling out the sliding lid.  Meat could be browned to a desired color controlled by removing its ventilator at the top shortly before serving time.

Other than roasting meats, the Boss was said to be equally useful for baking bread, biscuits, pies, cakes or for roasting apples, potatoes and vegetables, and for steaming fruits. Some ten thousand roasters had been sold in Fort Wayne alone.

Because it was promoted as “the simplest, the best and the cheapest utensil of the kind on the market… thousands of them are in use for general cooking purposes and giving the utmost satisfaction in all cases.”  Best of all “they sell on sight”, and the company was seeking to have “agents in every town and city in the United States.” Opportunities for an exclusive right of territory with the assurances that, “protection against other agents guaranteed.”  In 1895, the offer was made that, “Any industrious man or woman can secure a profitable income by requesting this company in any part of the union.”

If the household cook had to deal with the inefficiencies of those early wood-fired cooking stoves, it is gratifying to know that the latest in accouterments of culinary was available to ease the burden.  Whose to say how many kitchens had the Boss Roaster from Fort Wayne tucked away in its cupboard and responsible for so many memorable meals?


Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM.  Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com and “Blogging Hoosier History” at Indiana Historical Bureau’s blog.history.in.gov.

###


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Laying out the Town after Statehood in 1816


(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – Jun 2016 No 137)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project


Laying out the Town after Statehood in 1816

You can say that Fort Wayne is here because of its rivers.  The Miami War Chief Little Turtle recalled that it was from here the words of their fathers went forth in all the directions.  Anthony Wayne placing his fortress near water was a strategic decision.  Positioned to protect and defend three rivers was perhaps of primary importance.   Just as vital was another popular waterway of sorts that connected Lake Erie, between the Maumee River and across the “natural” track or “Carrying Place” with the Wabash River Valley to the west and the Mississippi River system.

John Barr and John McCorkle, combined their resources in 1823 to buy the original tract of one hundred and ten acres. Barr was a land speculator from Baltimore, Maryland, who was heavily involved in supplying trade goods to the Ohio and Pennsylvania frontier.  McCorkle was a Westerner interested in the business of the Indian trade. Once the land was purchased, the two partners had their new property surveyed and laid out to begin offering lots for sale to the public. 

Originally, the partners paid twenty-six dollars an acre which was a very high price for the time. Most frontier lands were sold for the minimum of a dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. As always it had to do with location, location, location. Much had to do with the presence of Indians, the Indian Agency, and the very lucrative fur trade. In those years, the Fort Wayne fur trade was greater than the combined trade of both Detroit and Chicago and the Indian Agency made annual payments of tens of thousands of dollars to over three thousand tribe members who held the lands of northern Indiana.

The original layout of the town of Fort Wayne was based on the “natural” track of the first street, Columbia, which was along a line that ran toward the west from the old fort but not along a true east-west line.  When they first laid out their streets they were based on the off-center line of the original Columbia Street which, not long after became known as the “Landing.” Along here is where scores of warehouses, boat docks, turnaround basins, custom houses, inns and taverns clustered to serve Wabash Erie Canal travelers and freight which created unprecedented economic development.

The area that is now in the heart of Fort Wayne’s downtown was bounded on the north by Superior Street, on the east by Barr Street, on the south by Washington Boulevard, and on the west by the alley between Harrison and Calhoun streets. Extending to Wayne on the South it is bisected by Clinton crossed by Wayne, Berry, Main and Columbia.

A map of the early Fort Wayne plat in the History Center’s collection contains interesting information. First among the map’s “Notes” which correspond to a block on the map bound by Main, Clinton, Berry and Calhoun streets is designated, “Public Ground for County Purposes.” It had been donated by McCorkle and Barr and subsequently became the site of each of four county court houses.  The partners donated several additional lots to the, “County of Allen.” Separately, a lot was set aside designated as “Burial Grounds” in the northwest corner of the plat and immediately to the east still another marked “School lot.”

South of town, Samuel Lewis became the first settler to lay out his addition according to the actual points of the compass.  In the process he gave his name to the true east-west street which sets it all straight.  Lewis was a relative of Meriwether Lewis, of “Lewis and Clark” fame; and his wife, Katherine Wallace was the aunt of the author of the novel Ben Hur, General Lew Wallace who stayed at the couple’s rose-covered log home on several occasions.  Samuel Lewis came to Fort Wayne in 1827 as the appointee of President John Quincy Adams to be the sub-agent for Indian affairs in the district.  Lewis stayed in Fort Wayne the remainder of his life. 

When those first developers laid out the streets of Fort Wayne, based on the off-center line of the original Columbia Street it made sense that it ran west from the old fort.  Today, main thoroughfares move traffic in all directions echoing the observations made in 1795 by the Miami War Chief Little Turtle when he said this place was, “that glorious gate…through which all the good words of our chiefs had to pass from north to south and from east to west.”  



Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.


###

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Allen County in 1816?

(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – May 2016 No. 136)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project

Allen County in 1816?


When Indiana first was admitted to the Union, legislators convened an assembly in the first state capital located at Corydon.  Allen County was created seven years after Indiana statehood.  The Indiana General assembly made it official by passing an enabling act on December 17, 1823.  It chose to honor the name of Colonel John Allen of the Kentucky militia who was on hand to defend Fort Wayne while the garrison was under siege by the Indians in 1812.  Allen died near present-day Monroe, Michigan at the River Raisin massacre in 1813, made historically significant among other events having taken the life of the Shawnee brave Tecumseh.

Another recognized name that has come down through history emanates from Alexander Ewing. He was an Irish immigrant who came to Fort Wayne from Detroit in 1822 and erected a tavern known as Washington House. It stood at the corner of present-day Fort Wayne’s Barr and Columbia streets, now marked in Freimann Square west of the Arts United Center.  Here is where Allen County was officially organized and the first acts of the newly elected county commissioners were carried out. It was here too that Ewing was elected to the Board of Justices of the Peace and was appointed to serve on the first grand jury.

Fort Wayne was not always the seat of county justice in the strict sense.  George Pence and Nellie Armstrong point out in Indiana Boundaries it is because the first counties established in the Northwest Territory that became Indiana were formed by the decree of governors of the Northwest and Indiana territories, however by 1805 the Indiana Territory had advanced to a level that empowered the creating of counties to the legislature.  Before establishing a county three concerns faced the decision makers: providing adequate local jurisdiction in large counties where the citizens were separated by great distances and geographical terrain; the spread of population after the native tribes ceded the lands after the 1812 War; and finally with the emergence of towns, competition sprang up for the prestige and economic advantages which came with being named a county seat.

When Indiana was first accepted into the United States of America in 1816 Allen County had not been established. The territorial legislature already had created Knox County with its seat of government in Vincennes. A series of events that led to an Allen County appears in Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries (1984) edited by John H. Long.  On June 20, 1790, Knox County encompassed all of the area of today’s Indiana plus portions of modern Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. By 1795 Randolph County was organized as part of the Northwest Territory with its seat at Kaskaskia largely because it was formed from St. Clair County which covered the area of modern Illinois. When Indiana Territory was authorized in 1800, covering Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and parts of Michigan and Minnesota, the new Territory consisted of Knox, Randolph and St. Clair counties.

As time passed the boundaries of the counties changed and new counties established. In 1818 the U.S Government obtained a treaty with several tribes known to the history of the Middle West as the “Delaware New Purchase.” An 1816 edition of The New Purchase, Robert Carlton described it as “…nearly all the land east and south of the Wabash not previously relinquished by the Indians.” Out of this land thirty-seven new counties were made one of which was dubbed Randolph.  It was from this “Delaware New Purchase” that Allen County was created on April 1, 1824, with the county seat at Fort Wayne.

  If anyone asked the name of this Fort Wayne-based county, you could say once we were in Knox and then it was changed to Randolph. Now Fort Wayne serves as the seat of Allen County named for the Colonel from Kentucky the courageous soldier John Allen who lost his life at the Battle of River Raisin.  





Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.



###

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Internal Improvements Come to Fort Wayne - 1816

(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – April 2016 No 135)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project

Internal Improvements Come to Fort Wayne - 1816

When Indiana was admitted to the Union, legislators convened an assembly in the first state capital located in Corydon.  Among the earliest issues to be taken up was a plan of internal improvements for Indiana. As early as in his 1817 message to the Indiana General Assembly, new Governor Jonathan Jennings pressed for prompt attention to be given a canal to connect the Maumee and Wabash rivers separated by the old portage.  It soon brought a focus to Fort Wayne which was to become the seat of the Wabash and Erie Canal.

During 1816, Robert McKfee wrote about the time he witnessed the events of the War of 1812 in The History of the Late War in the Western Country wrote, “The Miami (Maumee River) is navigable for boats from this place to the Lake (i.e…Lake Erie), and the portage to the nearest navigable branch of the Wabash, is but seven or eight miles, through a level marshy prairie, for which the water runs both to the Wabash and St. Mary’s.  A canal at some future day will unite these rivers, and thus render the town at Fort Wayne, as formerly, the most considerable place in all that country.”  

 Later in his congratulatory letter of June 17, 1843 when the grand opening of the Canal between Toledo on Lake Erie and Lafayette on the Wabash was to take place the following July 4th wrote, “I now find that prediction realized in a much shorter time than was expected.  Fort Wayne must, of necessity, increase in its population and prosperity; and, in a few years, it must take rank among the proudest of our inland cities.”

People in Fort Wayne were excited about the prospect that the new State’s status would soon rise to a new level of importance. Further, citizens found the idea of a canal crossing a land barrier to connect the Maumee and Wabash rivers would at long last replace the ancient portage.    In his message to the Indiana Legislature Governor Jonathan Jennings pushed for the proposal of joining the Maumee and Wabash with a waterway.

Benjamin F. Stickney the Indiana agent stationed at Fort Wayne sent off a letter to Governor DeWitt Clinton whose support for New York’s canal became known as the “Father” of the Erie Canal.  In the letter Stickney described the proposed canal coming to Fort Wayne. The governor, who had directed the completion of the Erie Canal between Lake Erie with the Hudson River replied, “I have found a way to get into Lake Erie, and you have shown me how to get out of it.  You have extended my project six hundred miles.”

  Although excitement ran high for canals, such projects were not without the risk of failure. As early as 1805, the Territorial legislature chartered the Indiana Canal Company. Its purpose was to dig a passage around the Falls of the Ohio River at present-day Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Hoverer, the project was delayed and revived in 1817 and again in 1820 but it came to naught.  Kentucky took up the cause and successfully constructed the short bypass around the falls on the south bank of the Ohio River. By 1829, the Louisville and Portland Canal was completed.

In 1832, ground was broken for the Wabash Erie Canal in Fort Wayne, opened in 1835 to Huntington, Indiana and by 1843 it was operational between Lafayette, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio with Fort Wayne resting on the highest elevation between the two. Eventually, it earned Fort Wayne the name of The Summit City.   That future day noted by McKee in 1816 came to pass in 1853 when the Wabash and Erie reached Evansville.   Not only was the Maumee and Wabash rivers connected, but Lake Erie was finally connected with the Oho River.




Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.





###

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fort Wayne Allen Co in 1816

(Fort Wayne Monthly “Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – Mar 2016 No 134)
2016 Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Endorsed Project

Fort Wayne Allen Co in 1816

By an Act of Congress on May 7, 1800 the American region north and west of the Ohio River was established as the Northwest Territory.  All land west of a north south line extending from the mouth of the Kentucky River through Fort Recovery (Ohio) and on up into Canada was dubbed the Indiana Territory.  After Ohio was admitted as a State in 1802, the line of what set its northern boundary was directly east from the southern point of Lake Michigan and was added to the Indiana Territory. Later in 1805, most of what we know as the State of Michigan was given the name Michigan Territory. The Illinois Territory was established in 1809. Indiana entered the Union as a State on December 11, 1816, when the town at the stronghold of Fort Wayne was celebrating its twenty-second birthday.

In a letter dated June 17, 1843, recalling his witnessing of the 1812 Siege of Fort Wayne, Captain McAfee described the community when he stated, “My recollection of the condition in which we found that place in September, 1812, when General Harrison’s army relieved it from the attacks of the Indians who had burnt and plundered every house outside of the fort, are yet fresh in my mind.”

Fort Wayne’s Commandant Major Whistler was transferred to Saint Louis in 1816 and replaced by Major Josiah N. Vose of the Fifth U.S. infantry.  Major Vose command consisted of a garrison of some fifty-six men. Among his first efforts was replacing the council house which had been burned during the Siege of 1812 when William Henry Harrison’s Army came to the rescue of Fort Wayne.  A two-story log structure, the council house stood on present-day East Main Street near the fire station and served the community.  For some time, the structure was used for a school and later repurposed as a residence for the noted pioneers Michael Hedekin and Louis T. Bourie


Josiah Vose had been commissioned a captain in the Twenty-first infantry in time for the War of 1812. During that conflict he was promoted to Major, the rank he enjoyed when assigned to the Fort Wayne post. Later in 1842 he earned the level of Colonel while commanding troops during the Second Seminole War. 

Historian Bert Griswold recorded a description of Vose quoting from a letter written in 1859 by Colonel John Johnston who had once served as Indian Agent at the Three Rivers:  “Major Vose was the only commandant of the fort who publicly professed Christianity. It was his constant practice ‘to assemble his men on the Sabbath day and read the Scriptures to them and talk with them in a conversational way about religion. The conduct of such a man can only be appreciated by persons familiar with the allurements and temptations of military life.’”

Change came to Fort Wayne in the year 1819 with the departure of the troops and the abandonment of the fort as a military stronghold. It was on April 19, that Vose and his men climbed into dugout pirogues on the Maumee River heading to a new assignment in Detroit with the heavy armament in tow.

 Left behind in Fort Wayne were four vacated buildings which were taken over by civil authorities represented by Indian Agent Major Stickney.  Griswold wrote: Even at this period, the shelter of the stockade brought a feeling of security, and the fort was not without its convenient firearms and supply of ammunition. The provision of these comfortable living quarters served also to attract many travelers, some of whom remained to stamp their names and characters upon the history of the village and the town.”



Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM. Enjoy his previously published columns on the History Center’s blog, “Our Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com.


###