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1760 Campbell

Capt. Donald Campbell to Col. Henry Bouquet

Donald Campbell [ -1763] joined Major Robert Rogers on the expedition to receive the surrender of Detroit. He was made Commander of Detroit and the Upper Lakes posts in December, 1760. He became second in command when Major Henry Gladwin was made Commander at Detroit in August of 1862. When Pontiac beseiged the Fort in 1763 Campbell was taken hostage and was killed by the Indians in revenge for the death of one of their warriors.


I wrote you in my last of our arrival and taking Possession of this Place which I hope did find you at Pittsburgh, tho I see by yours to Major Rogers you had not left Presqu' Isle the 7th of last month, we are obliged to you for dispatching Morris he came here in twenty three days some of the Four damag'd but the Ammunition safe Capt. Waite has brought us only thirty three Barrils of Pork which he says is all Major Walters could spare him, this is a great Relief to us. Major Rogers after sending off all the different Partys has only left me Flour to victual our Party to the seventeenth Inclusive, thirty Barrils of Pork & eleven Bullocks.

Mr. Navarre who is a most excellent man has undertaken to furnish us with twenty thousand weight of flour at least one hundred Bushels of Peas as much Indian Corn as we shall want we are to pay the same the King of France used to doe, which comes to fifty shillings sterling the hundred weight of Flour.

The Indians have undertaken to furnish venison of all kinds at moderate Rates as they are scarce of Ammunition, that will last till March, I hope we shall be able to make it out till spring, they say we could send Batteaux to Presqu' Isle towards the latter end of March if there were Provisions there - It will be necessary to send us a supply of Ammunition from Pittsburgh how soon it can be done - We have only now eight hundred weight of Powder in store after sending off all the Partys. Major Roberts people have great demand for every thing, Indeed they have left me quite bare - The Major is sett out for Michilimakinac to bring away the Garrison, in our situation it was impossible to send a Garrison, if he passes the Bay of Saginaw, before the Frost overtakes her he may get there if not he will be obliged to return. The commandant of Michillimakinac they say is gone with his small Garrison to winter with the Indians for want of Provisions, he only has a few soldiers - Lieut Butler of the Rangers is gone to take off the Garrison of Miamis Ochialanon, as Mr. Butler speaks French and seems very Intelligent, he has got orders to maintain the Post of Miamis if it be possible with a few men during the winter. It is of great importance to this place, it is the other head of the Miamis and from that there is a carrying Place of nine miles into the waters of Ouabache and it would prevent a surprize in the Spring. We have given Mr. Butler a good quantity of Ammunition and some Indian goods.

I refer you to Capt. Crochan for our Indian affairs - I shall have a great trouble in that Department. The French have a different manner of treating them from us. The four nations that live in the environs of Detroit are as much under the commandant as the Inhabitants and come for every thing they want. I have told my situation to General Monckton, I have nothing to give them and French left us very little in their Stores only meer trifles indeed they left us five hundred weight of good Powder, which was more than I expected. You should encourage Traders from Pittsburgh as much as possible this winter we cannot persuade the People to go there with their horses, they are only acquainted with travelling in Canoes.

The Fort is very large and in good Repair, there are two Bastions towards the water, and a large fast Bastion towards the inland the point of the Bastion is a Cavalier of wood on which there are mounted the three pounders and three small mortars, or cochons. The Pallisadoes are in good order. There is a Scaffolding round the whole which is only floored towards the Land for want of Plank, it is by way of a Blanket. There are seventy or eighty houses in the fort laid out in regular streets, the Country is inhabited ten miles at each side of the river, and is a most beautiful country. The River is here about nine hundred yards over, and very deep, and every thing in good Plenty before this last year.

They have granted every thing I have desired of them in Quartering our Troops I have put them on the same footing as in our Collonies. I must tell you I have not had one complaint against our Soldiers since we have been here - noe Rum that is the Reason.

There are Salt Pitts here if we had Kettles we could make as much as would serve this Garrison, and the upper Posts with very little Trouble.

A small Post at the little Lake or Sandusky would be of great use for the communication with Pittsburgh - it is only thirty Leagues from this, and they can goe from this to that all the winter; but to goe round by land the one end of the Lake is very bad road for horses in winter.

It will be necessary to send an express with my Letters to General Monckton, and if he is gone on any other service to send in to General Amherst, if you could send us any Bullocks but I am affraid it is too late in the season, but the Ammunition is absolutely necessary and next to that goods for the Indians. I shall be glad to hear from you how soon it is possible, I shall be able to give more Intelligence about the country in a short time. I have not had time to converse with the Inhabitants M.C. Commandant est une personne de consequence plus quo un de nos gouverneur's de Province. Pray how doe like Mr. Bellestre he was very sorry to leave this place, I do not wonder of it.

I beg you would remember us.

I am with the greatest Respect

Your most obedient

humble Servant



From: BOUQUET PAPERS. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections. 19 (1892]: 46-48.

See Also:

Dictionary of Canadian Biography 3: 95-96.

Burton, Clarence M. City of Detroit, Michigan 1701-1922. Detroit: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 5 volumes. 1: 118-119.