Christine and John – From The Hart

I am the only one left of my natal family. There was six of us. Above are two photographs of two children who rose from the ashes of abuse and despair, to establish a Literary and Artistic Dynasty. All others, fall to the wayside. It is time to tell our story. It is a true story that can be compared to ‘Gone With the Wind’. The Rosamond Family owned plantations in South Carolina. We are joined to the Preston Family via the Lee and Benton Family.

Since 1994 I have worked diligently to clear the wreckage that all but ruined Christine and my story. As of a hour ago, I believe I have solved he riddle surrounding John Fremont ad his wife, Jessie Benton-Fremont. For a week I have been looking at the possibility the British hired Native American in California to harass and even kill Fremont and his small band of men. The Royalty of England has a history of doing this to the Colonists who rebelled against their king. The King was not happy with what the Rebels did to the Tories, the Loyalists. They took their land and banished them to Canada and Nova Scotia. They were welcomed by their former allies, the tribal people of North America, who fought battles with my Puritan People.

Around 5:55 P.M. I read about my kin, Nathanial Hart being butchered in the River Raisin Massacre. His father is Thomas Hart, the great grandfather of Senator Thomas Hart Benton. There was a treaty made, or, implied, that the Colonists would not cross the Appalachians, and they would leave all the land that lie in the West, to the Native People. When the White Man went West in search of furs, the British offered to help stop this expansion. In the war of 1812, the Indians took the side of the British, and killed the Colonists with guns an ammunition supplied by The King of England.

https://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/essays/native-nations-perspective/

What struck me an hour ago, is, why didn’t Jessie, or her daughter, publish a book about John Fremont’s Civil War experiences? The family would have made a fortune! Fremont might make another run at the Presidency – and defeat Lincoln – who was thinking of court-martialing John. Jessie went to Washington to talk to Lincoln, who fired John. Jessie said the British were poised to bring boatloads of Irish Catholics to the San Quaquin Valley. Would this entail bringing an invasion fleet thought the Golden Gate? Did British agnents contact the tribes around Sacramento? Was ‘The King of England’ interested in the Gold Rush? Would The King tell the troublesome Catholics that gold was discovered near King City? Then, the King of France and England invaded Mexico where the Habsburg Emperor had his kingdom.

Fremont had about twelve Delaware scouts. I read John had a bodyguard of two hundred men, half who were Indians. In the Sacramento Massacre it says the Wintu were tomahawked to death while being contained.

I believe Lincoln oppressed Fremont’s book because it would begin a wholesale slaughter of the Natives, and, point out the truth the King and his men – were butchers and savages! Then, there is THE TRUTH the Civil War was a FAMILY AFFAIR! Lincoln wanted PEACE! He did not want another 1812 invasion – with the burning of the White House! Now we got a crazy man egging on all those rebels in the Red States! Some of the are heading to Virginia – with guns!

Do you think Jessie and her father fretted about John ending up like Nathan?

“Our beloved Nathan!”

History repeats itself until it gets itself – completely wrong! Our Commander in Chief will make sure of that.

The man who almost became the first Republican President uses the word “treachery“. In Jessies journals of John’s explorations, there is friendly contact with every tribe they encounter, even in the Willamette Valley. Did he make treaties?

John charges up to Redding killing the Indians who betrayed their oath, then turned to face the Confederates, the French, the English, the Sudanese, the Foreign Legionnaires! Did Lincoln see the new manuscript Jessie wrote? Did Lincoln make a secret treaty with Jessie and John’s enemies – that included shutting the Fremont’s up?

Harry Windsor and his mother appear to have balked after seeing the Primal Directive of…..’The Firm”.  Think……………Empire!

If the Fremont novel had come out, there might have been a call to invade Canada and Mexico, and make it a part of the United States, or, a new nation. This would bring Britain back to our shores, along with other nations. They would need more men. They would again employ the Indians as mercenaries.

John Presco

Copyright 2020

The settlers charged into the village taking the warriors by surprise and then commenced a scene of slaughter which is unequalled in the West. The bucks, squaws and paposes were shot down like sheep and those men never stopped as long as they could find one alive.[8]

The remaining Indians were forced to flee, with some running for the hills and others braving the river. Eyewitness William Isaac Tustin reports that men of Frémont’s band mounted on horses chased down the running Indians and tomahawked them to death, while riflemen stood on the shores of the river and took potshots at the Indians trying to swim to safety. He described the scene as “a slaughter.

At day’s end, Fremont wrote, “I had now kept the promise I made to myself and had punished these people well for their treachery.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento_River_massacre

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_the_War_of_1812

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Beaver

treachery

violation of faith; betrayal of trust; treason.
an act of perfidy, faithlessness, or treason.

https://archive.org/details/prestongenealogy00inpres/page/n14

http://www.suddenlink.net/pages/fpreston/prestons.htm

There were several causes for the U.S. declaration of war: First, a series of trade restrictions introduced by Britain to impede American trade with France, a country with which Britain was at war (the U.S. contested these restrictions as illegal under international law);[2] second, the impressment (forced recruitment) of seamen on U.S. vessels into the Royal Navy (the British claimed they were British deserters); third, the British military support for American Indians who were offering armed resistance to the expansion of the American frontier to the Northwest; fourth, a possible desire on the part of the United States to annex Canada.[3] An implicit but powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honor in the face of what they considered to be British insults

 

Nathaniel G. S. Hart

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Nathaniel G. S. Hart
Born circa 1784
Hagerstown, Maryland
Died (1813-01-23)January 23, 1813 (aged 29)
Michigan
Buried
Detroit, Michigan (originally)
Re-interred at State Cemetery/Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1834[1][2][3]
Allegiance United States
Years of service 1812–13
Rank Captain
Unit Lexington Light Infantry
Commands held Lexington Light Infantry
Deputy Inspector for Left Wing of Northwestern Army
Battles/wars War of 1812

Relations Lucretia Hart Clay, Henry Clay

Nathaniel Gray Smith Hart[A] (c. 1784 – January 23, 1813) was a Lexington, Kentucky lawyer and businessman, who served with the state’s volunteer militia during the War of 1812. As Captain of the Lexington Light Infantry from Kentucky, Hart and many of his men were killed in the River Raisin Massacre of January 23, 1813, after being taken prisoner the day before following the Battle of Frenchtown in Michigan Territory.

Hart was especially well-connected politically and socially. In addition to reading law with Henry Clay, Hart’s wife Anna and Clay’s wife Lucretia were sisters. Hart’s wife Anna Edward Gist was the stepdaughter of Charles Scott, Governor of Kentucky and through her Hart was also a brother-in-law to James Brown, a future Ambassador to France and to James Pindell – a member of the Society of Cincinnati. Many other members of Hart’s Kentucky militia unit and its associated troops also came from the elite of Lexington and of the state. The men’s deaths in the two Battles of Frenchtown, but especially in the subsequent Massacre captured state and national attention. The phrase “Remember the Raisin!” became an American call to arms for the duration of the War.

Personal life[edit]

Born around 1784[1] Nathaniel Hart was one of seven children,[6] the second son of Colonel Thomas Hart, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and his wife Susanna (Gray) Hart.[7]

Originally from North Carolina, the family had moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, where Nathaniel was born. In 1794 they settled in Lexington, Kentucky as part of the postwar migration west. His father was a highly successful businessman, achieving wealth. Hart’s four sisters married men who achieved some renown: Ann married the future US Senator James Brown (who subsequently served as Minister to France); Eliza married the surgeon Dr. Richard Pindell (a member of the Society of the Cincinnati);[8][9] Susanna married the lawyer Samuel Price, and Lucretia married Henry Clay, future US Senator and Secretary of State.[10][11]

Hart attended Princeton College, where his classmates included William Elliott from western Ontario. Elliott’s father was a Loyalist who had resettled in Canada after the Revolutionary War.[12] The two young men were close enough that Elliot stayed with Hart’s parents for a time to recover from a serious illness.[2]

After Hart’s return to Lexington, he read law under Henry Clay, passed the bar, and set up a law practice in the city.[13] Like his father, he became a successful businessman,[2] a ropewalk (hemp rope factory) in the city being among his ventures. Hemp was a commodity crop of central Kentucky.[10] In April 1809, Hart married Anna Edward Gist,[1] the stepdaughter of General Charles Scott, governor of Kentucky, and daughter of Judith Cary Gist Scott and her late husband General Nathaniel Gist.[14] Hart and Anna had two sons, Thomas Hart Jr. and Henry Clay Hart.[10][2][7] On January 7, 1812, Hart duelled with Samuel E. Watson at a location on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, near where Silver Creek emptied into the river. This was the site where Henry Clay had duelled with fellow state legislator Humphrey Marshall in 1809.[15][16][17]

Military service and death[edit]

At the start of the War of 1812, Hart was commissioned as Captain of the Lexington Light Infantry Company (aka “The Silk Stocking Boys”)[7] [18] a volunteer unit of the Fayette County, Kentucky militia.[10] He later served as either a Deputy Inspector[1] or as Inspector General of William Henry Harrison‘s Army of the Northwest.[19][B] Hart’s command was attached to the Fifth Regiment of the Kentucky Volunteer Militia and left for the Northwest in August 1812,[20] where it became part of Army of the Northwest under General James Winchester. In January 1813, a detachment was sent to the defense of Frenchtown, Michigan Territory as part of an effort to retake Detroit from the British. Frenchtown residents had sent word to the Americans asking for relief from an occupying force of the British and their Indian allies.[21]

Lewis’ River Raisin crossing – First Battle

During the First Battle of Frenchtown on January 18, 1813, the American forces under Lt. Colonel William Lewis were successful in forcing the retreat of the small British force stationed there. The British commander of the Fort Malden garrison in Amherstburg, Colonel Henry Procter,[22] made plans to take back Frenchtown and he ordered troops to the area.[23]

On the morning of January 22, 1813, Procter’s forces, including hundreds of Indian warriors, attacked the American troops and overwhelmed the right flank of regulars under Winchester, forcing him and much of the general staff to surrender. The Kentucky militia under the command of Major George Madison on the left flank fought on and thought the flag of truce presented by the enemy was a British flag of surrender.[24] During this second Battle of Frenchtown, 397 Americans were killed.[25][26] Hart was wounded and was among the 547 survivors[25][26] who surrendered to Procter upon orders of Winchester.[2][27] Not many more than 30 Kentucky troops escaped death or capture.[28]

William Elliott, Hart’s former Princeton classmate who had become a Captain in the British Army, promised the wounded man safe passage to Fort Malden,[C] but did not carry out his pledge.[27] Elliot borrowed a horse, bridle and saddle from Major Benjamin Franklin Graves, an American officer, promising to send help to the American wounded, but none arrived.[29] Acting American captain William Caldwell wrote the next month that he heard Elliott tell General Winchester and Major Madison that “the Indians were very excellent surgeons (and ought to kill all the officers and men).”[30][31] In one official letter, the eye-witness says that Elliott’s broken promise included an offer to take Hart in Elliott’s “own sleigh to Malden that evening” and that Hart could stay at Elliott’s home for his recovery.[32]

Unable to march with the able-bodied prisoners who were being directed to Fort Malden, Hart paid a friendly Indian to take him to the fort. Along the way they encountered other Indians, who shot and scalped Hart.[2][33] Hart and an estimated 30–100 unarmed prisoners were killed by Indians on January 23, the day after the battle, in what became known as the River Raisin Massacre.[D]

The high fatalities of the Americans in the Battle of Frenchtown and the subsequent Massacre of prisoners became fuel for pro-war political factions known as War Hawks, and for anti-British sentiment of the era.[36] The phrase “Remember the Raisin!” entered the lexicon of the day as a flashpoint for popular sentiment, becoming a battle cry for American troops, especially the ones on the western frontier.[37] The fact that many of the murdered men were well-known and well-connected members of Kentucky’s elite increased the public outcry. Among the dead was Colonel John Allen, Henry Clay’s law-partner and co-counsel in Aaron Burr‘s conspiracy trial at Frankfort.[38][39] Hart’s death is remembered in modern times as “The Murder of Captain Hart.”[40] Major Benjamin Franklin Graves of Lexington was another officer apparently killed while a prisoner of the Potawatomi, who were overseeing him and others marching to Detroit. Many American prisoners disappeared or were killed while being force-marched back to British-held territory.[41][42][43][44][33]

Aftermath of Hart’s death and memorials[edit]

Names of some of the American officers who died at the Raisin Massacre or afterward, listed on one panel of the Kentucky War Memorial in Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky

Owing to their high casualties and status as prisoners, surviving Americans were not able to properly bury their fallen comrades.[45] The remains of the American dead at this site were not interred until months later.[46] In 1818, the remains were transferred from Monroe, Michigan to Detroit.[3] Isaac Baker, an American ensign who survived the Massacre and served as an official US Agent for the prisoners, stated in a report to General Winchester that:

The dead of our army are still denied the rites of sepulture. … I was told the hogs were eating them. A gentleman told me he had seen them running about with skulls, arms, legs and other parts of the human system in their mouths. The French people on the Raisin buried Captains Hart, Woolfolk, and some others, but it was more than their lives were worth to have been caught paying this last customed tribute to mortality.”[47]

In 1834, the box containing the commingled American remains (including tomahawked skulls), were moved from their former Detroit resting-place and re-interred in Detroit’s City Cemetery.[3] These remains are asserted to have received final burial in the State Cemetery of Frankfort, Kentucky.[1][2] As late as 1849, a mass grave from the battle was excavated during road construction in Monroe, which developed in the area of the battlefield. Some writers state that those skeletons, along with the City Cemetery remains, were returned to Kentucky for final and proper burial that year.[48][E] A 2004 archeological investigation at the State Monument found no evidence of remains from men of the River Raisin events.[49]

Matthew Harris Jouett, a man who painted noted portraits of Thomas Jefferson, George Rogers Clark and Lafayette, was one of the Kentucky volunteers and among the survivors of the River Raisin Massacre. The company payroll of $6000 disappeared during the slaughter. Jouett restored the missing funds to the militia, based on his earnings as a painter. He also painted portraits of his fellow soldiers from memory, including Hart and Colonel Allen.[50]

Legacy and honors[edit]

  • In 1819, the state of Kentucky named its 61st county as Hart County in Nathaniel Hart’s honor.[51][52]
  • Hart was listed among officers on the Kentucky War Memorial in Frankfort Cemetery in the capital of Frankfort.
  • In 1904 residents of Monroe, Michigan, which includes much of the area of the battlefield, erected a monument to the Kentuckians who died defending their settlement during the various River Raisin engagements.[53] Some unidentified victims were buried here.[54]
  • In 2009, the River Raisin National Battlefield Park was established, the only such park to commemorate the War of 1812, and one of four battlefield parks in the nation. It had earlier been recognized as a state historic site and was previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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