Friday, January 25, 2019

Restoration Missionaries among the Indians, Pre-1830 (5)

In 1811, Samuel Boyd was in search of more land for his large family and ranching operation. He learned that plenty of good land was coming onto the market in Indiana Territory. Soon, the family, driving their livestock, moved north from Adair County, Kentucky, to a new homestead near present-day Jacksonburg, Indiana.[1]

As noted in a previous post, Boyd had been born near the end of the French and Indian War. When the American Revolution broke out, he had fought alongside the colonists, losing his right eye. Now, once again, he was in a war zone.

In the fall of 1811, at what came to be known as Battle Ground, Indiana, the state's governor and future U.S. president William Henry Harrison defeated a coalition of hundreds of Indians allied with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his brother, Tenskwatawa, commonly known as "the Prophet."[2]

The Battle of Tippecanoe marked a victory for American forces. But some Americans, with good evidence, blamed the British for aiding and encouraging the Indians to attack. Due in part to that resentment, seven months later the United States declared war on Great Britain.[3] With the outbreak of the War of 1812, the new home site of Samuel Boyd and his family was turned upside down. A generation later, one of Samuel Boyd's children, Elizabeth Martindale remembered those times:
Dangers to the frontier settlers were greatly increased by the inauguration of a second war with Great Britain. The Indians having a grievance, on account of being dispossessed of their lands, could easily be enlisted to commit depredations against white settlers. So there was no security of safety to the emigrants who attempted to make a home in the dense forest that comprised the vast territory of the Wabash valley.[4]

[1]Elijah Martindale, Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Elijah Martindale, also Pioneer History of the Boyd Family, by Belle Stanford (Indianapolis: Carlon & Hollenbeck, 1892), 127-28..

[2] Surveys of American history report this important episode. See, for example, Philip Jenkins, A History of the United States, 4th ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 72.

[3] For a good overview of the War of 1812, see Jenkins, 66-69.

[4] Martindale, Autobiography, 129. As the reader discovers, this section of Martindale's book is Belle Stanford's report of the memories of Elizabeth Boyd Martindale, who was a daughter of Samuel and Isabella Boyd. See, especially, page 120.

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