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When Wilderness Was King A Tale of the Illinois Country   By: (1858-1923)

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E text prepared by Al Haines


A Tale of the Illinois Country



Author of "My Lady of the North"

A. L. Burt Company, Publishers New York Copyright by A. C. McClurg & Co. 1904 Published March 26, 1904 Second Edition, April 20, 1904 Third Edition, July 2, 1904 Fourth Edition, September 20, 1904 Fifth Edition, October 20, 1904 Sixth Edition, January 2, 1905 Seventh Edition, December, 1905 Entered at Stationers' Hall, London All Rights Reserved



I. A Message from the West II. The Call of Duty III. A New Acquaintance IV. Captain Wells of Fort Wayne V. Through the Heart of the Forest VI. From the Jaws of Death VII. A Circle in the Sand VIII. Two Men and a Maid IX. In Sight of the Flag X. A Lane of Peril XI. Old Fort Dearborn XII. The Heart of a Woman XIII. A Wager of Fools XIV. Darkness and Surprise XV. An Adventure Underground XVI. "Prance wins, Monsieur!" XVII. A Contest of Wits XVIII. Glimpses of Danger XIX. A Conference and a Resolve XX. In the Indian Camp XXI. A Council of Chiefs XXII. The Last Night at Dearborn XXIII. The Death Shadow of the Miamis XXIV. The Day of Doom XXV. In the Jaws of the Tiger XXVI. The Field of the Dead XXVII. A Ghostly Vision XXVIII. An Angel in the Wilderness XXIX. A Soldier of France XXX. The Rescue at the Stake XXXI. A Search, and its Reward XXXII. The Pledge of a Wyandot XXXIII. An Intervention of Fate XXXIV. A Stumble in the Dark XXXV. The Battle on the Shore XXXVI. In the New Gray Dawn

"I saw a dot upon the map, and a housefly's filmy wing They said 'twas Dearborn's picket flag, when Wilderness was King.

I heard the block house gates unbar, the column's solemn tread, I saw the Tree of a single leaf its splendid foliage shed To wave awhile that August morn above the column's head; I heard the moan of muffled drum, the woman's wail of fife, The Dead March played for Dearborn's men just marching out of life; The swooping of the savage cloud that burst upon the rank And struck it with its thunderbolt in forehead and in flank, The spatter of the musket shot, the rifles' whistling rain, The sandhills drift round hope forlorn that never marched again."

Benjamin F. Taylor .

When Wilderness Was King



Surely it was no longer ago than yesterday. I had left the scythe lying at the edge of the long grass, and gone up through the rows of nodding Indian corn to the house, seeking a draught of cool water from the spring. It was hot in the July sunshine; the thick forest on every side intercepted the breeze, and I had been at work for some hours. How pleasant and inviting the little river looked in the shade of the great trees, while, as I paused a moment bending over the high bank, I could see a lazy pike nosing about among the twisted roots below.

My mother, her sleeves rolled high over her round white arms, was in the dark interior of the milk house as I passed, and spoke to me laughingly; and I could perceive my father sitting in his great splint bottomed chair just within the front doorway, and I marked how the slight current of air toyed with his long gray beard. The old Bible lay wide open upon his knee; yet his eyes were resting upon the dark green of the woods that skirted our clearing. I wondered, as I quaffed the cool sweet water at the spring, if he was dreaming again of those old days when he had been a man among men. How distinct in each detail the memory of it remains! The blue sky held but one fleecy white cloud in all its wide arch; it seemed as if the curling film of smoke rising from our chimney had but gathered there and hung suspended to render the azure more pronounced... Continue reading book >>

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