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Wau-nan-gee or the Massacre at Chicago A Romance of the American Revolution   By: (1796-1852)

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WAU NAN GEE OR, THE MASSACRE AT CHICAGO,

A ROMANCE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,

By MAJOR RICHARDSON, AUTHOR OF "WACOUSTA," "HARDSCRABBLE," "ECARTE," "JACK BRAG IN SPAIN," "TECUMSEH," &c.

NEW YORK: H. LONG AND BROTHER, No. 43 ANN STREET.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Two,

BY H. LONG AND BROTHER,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York

PREFATORY INSCRIPTION.

My Publishers ask of me a couple of pages of matter to precede this Tale. It is scarcely necessary to state, that the whole of the text approaches so nearly to Historical fact, that any other preface than that which admits the introduction of but one strictly fictitious character Maria Heywood in the book, must be, in a great degree, supererogatory. Yet I gladly avail myself of this pleasing opportunity of manifesting the deep interest and sympathy with which I have ever regarded those brave spirits heroes not less than heroines who participated in the trials of that brief but horrid epoch. How can I better exemplify this than by inscribing to the descendants of the venerable founder of the City of Chicago a prominent actor in the scene as well as to the gallant military survivors of the Massacre, if any yet exist, the fruits of that interest and that sympathy.

Dedications and Inscriptions have almost grown out of fashion at least they are not so general in the present century as in the days of Dryden; but where, through them, an opportunity for the expression of esteem and sympathy is presented, an Author may gladly avail himself of the occasion to show that no common interest influenced the tracings of his pen not the mere desire to make a book, but to establish on a high pedestal, and to circulate through the most attractive and popular medium, the merits of those whose deeds and sufferings have inspired him with the generous spirit of eulogistic comment.

To Her Majesty's 41st Regiment, in garrison at Detroit shortly after the occurrences herein detailed, my first Indian Tale, "Wacousta," was inscribed, and this in memory of the long, and by no means feather bed service I had seen with that gallant Corps, in the then Western wilds of America; it was a tribute of the soldier to his companions in arms. In the same spirit I inscribe "Wau nan gee" to those who were then our enemies, but whose courage and whose sufferings were well known to all, and claimed our deep sympathy, our respect, and our admiration, none more than the noble Mrs. Heald, and Mrs. Helme, the former the wife of the Commanding Officer, the latter the daughter of the patriarch of Illinois, Mr. Kenzie, some years since gathered to his forefathers.

THE AUTHOR.

New York, March 30th, 1852.

WAU NAN GEE; OR, THE MASSACRE AT CHICAGO.

CHAPTER I.

"He has come to ope the purple testament of war." Richard II

It was the 7th of August, 1812, when Winnebeg, the confidential Indian messenger of Captain Headley, commanding Fort Dearborn, suddenly made his appearance within the stockade. With a countenance on which was depicted more of the seriousness and concern than usually attach to his race, he requested the officer of the guard, Lieutenant Elmsley, to allow him to pass to the apartment of the Chief. The subaltern shook him cordially by the hand as an old and familiar acquaintance; and, half laughingly taunting him with the great solemnity of his aspect, asked him where he had been so long, and what news he brought.

"Berry bad news," replied the Indian gravely; "must see him Gubbernor directly dis give him;" and thrusting his hand into the bosom of his deerskin shirt, he drew forth a large sealed packet, evidently an official despatch.

"From Detroit, Winnebeg?"

"Yes, come in two days great news bad news!"

"Indeed? You shall see the commanding officer directly... Continue reading book >>




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