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In 1767, was founded Vuide Poche, which in 1796 took the name of Carondelet. Florissant was founded in 1769; Les Petites Cotes was settled in 1769, and called St. Charles in 1804.

The inhabitants of St. Louis continued for about fifteen years to live in perfect harmony with the Indians, without molestation, and without any apprehension of danger. The first hostilities do not appear to have arisen out of any quarrel between the parties themselves, but resulted from the contest raging between Great Britain and her colonies. In 1777, a rumor came to this remote spot, that an attack would shortly be made upon the town by the Canadians, and such Indians as were friendly to the English. The village was then almost destitute of military defences, but the inhabitants, including little more than a hundred men, immediately proceeded to inclose it with a kind of wall, about six feet high, formed of the trunks of small trees, planted in the ground, the interstices being filled with earth. It described a semicircle, resting upon the river, above and below the town, flanked by a small fort at one extremity, and a less important work at the other. It had three gates for egress towards the country, each defended by a piece of heavy ordnance, which was kept continually charged. For a while, these preparations seemed to have been needless; winter passed away, and spring came, without any attack; the labors of husbandry were resumed, and the villagers laid aside their fears, and their military exercises.

In May, 1778, the attack was made, in a manner characteristic of the times and place. The force of the enemy, consisting of a motley band of about fourteen hundred men, collected from various tribes residing on the lakes, and the Mississippi - Ojibeways, Menomenies, Winnebagoes, Sioux, Saukies, and some Canadians — assembled on the eastern shore of the Mississippi, a little above St. Louis, awaiting the 6th of May, the day fixed for the attack. The 5th of May was the feast of Corpus Christi, a day highly venerated by the inhabitants, who were all Catholics. An assault on that day would have been fatal; for after attending divine service, the villagers, old and young, men, women, and children, sallied out in all the glee of a Catholic holiday, unsuspicious of danger, to the neighboring prairie, to gather the ripe strawberries, of which there was a great profusion. The town, left unguarded, could have been easily taken. A few only of the

A few only of the enemy, however, had crossed the river; and these, lying ambushed in the prairie, made no effort to disturb the peaceable villagers, who were frequently so near as to be almost in contact with the lurking savages. But the latter either did not discover the total desertion of the town, or with the known pertinacity of the Indian character, determined to adhere to the preconcerted plan of attack.

The enemy crossed the river on the 6th, and marched to the fields, where they expected to find the most of the villagers engaged in their agricultural pursuits. It happened that but few were there, who fled under a shower of bullets, and barely escaped

* Illinois Monthly Magazine, vol. üi. p. 357.

with the aid of their friends in the village, who, on hearing the alarm, rushed to the gates, which they threw open to receive their comrades, and then closed against the enemy. The inhabitants, men and women, acted with spirit, and the savages, after receiving a few discharges of grape shot, retired, after killing about twenty of the whites. An indelible stain was fixed upon the character of the commandant, Leyba, who not only took no share of the danger, but even commanded the inhabitants to cease firing, and used such exertions to cripple the defence, that he was suspected of treachery; while his Lieutenant, Cartabona, with sixty soldiers, remained concealed in a garret during the whole action. The reader of colonial history, will be struck with the coincidence of this event with many which occurred in all the American colonies, under whatever foreign dominion; the inhabitants were often plunged into wars with the Indians, with whom they had no quarrel, by the policy of their superiors — wars, of which the effects fell solely upon themselves, which were prosecuted by their arms, and successfully terminated by their valor. This first attack upon St. Louis, formed an era in the history of the place, and the year in which it occurred, is still designated by the inhabitants as 6 L'annee du grand coup.The town was afterwards more strongly fortified, and was not again molested by the Indians.

In the month of April, 1785, there was an unparalleled rise of the Mississippi, which swelled to the extraordinary height of thirty feet above the highest water mark previously known. The town of Kaskaskia was completely inundated, and the whole of the American Bottom overflowed. This year forms another era in the reminiscences of the old inhabitants, who call it the year of the great waters " L'annee des grandes eaux."

The intercourse with New Orleans, was at this period neither frequent nor easy. The only mode of transporting merchandise, was by means of keelboats and barges, which descended the river in the spring, and returned late in the autumn. The preparations for a voyage to the City, as New Orleans was called, were as extensive and deliberate, as those which would now be made for a voyage to the East Indies. Instead of the rapid steamboats, which render the navigation of our long rivers so easy, they had the tardy and frail bark, slowly propelled by human labor. There was also danger, as well as difficulty in the enterprise; a numerous band of robbers, under the command of two men named Culbert and Magilbray, having stationed themselves at a place called “La riviere aux liards," Cottonwood creek, where they carried on a regular and extensive system of piracy. As the voyage was long, and the communication between the two ports was attempted but once a year, the boats were generally so richly laden, that the.capture of one of them afforded wealth to the plunderers, and brought ruin upon the owner. An incident of this description, illustrative of the facts to which I allude, I will narrate, as I find it in an excellent article on the history of St. Louis, from which I have already quoted liberally. *

* Illinois Monthly Magazine.

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In the spring of 1787, a barge belonging to Mr. Beausoliel, had started from New Orleans, richly laden with merchandise, for St. Louis. As she approached the Cottonwood creek, a breeze sprung up and bore her swiftly by. This the robbers perceived, and immediately despatched a company of men up the river for the purpose of heading. The mancuvre was effected in the course of two days, at an island, which has since been called Beausoliel's island. The barge had just put ashore — the robbers boarded, and ordered the crew to return down. The men were disarmed, guards were stationed in every part of the vessel, and she was soon under way. Mr. Beausoliel gave himself up to despair. He had spent all he possessed in the purchase of the barge and its cargo, and now that he was to be deprived of them all, he was in agony. This vessel would have shared

. the fate of many others that had preceded it, but for the heroic daring of a negro, who was one of the

Cacasotte, the negro, was a man rather under the ordinary height, very slender in person, but of uncommon strength and activity. The color of his skin and the curl of his hair, alone told that he was a negro, for the peculiar characteristics of his race, had given place in him, to what might be termed beauty. His forehead was finely moulded, his eyes small and sparkling as those of a serpent, his nose aquiline, his lips of a proper thickness; in fact, the whole appearance of the man, joined to his known character for shrewdness and courage, seemed to indicate, that under better circumstances, he might have shone conspicuous in the history of nations.


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