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American History
3.11 General Rufus Putnam

Rufus Putnam was born at Sutan in Massachusetts and was a good friend of Washington. When the British had the possession of Boston during the time of revolution, Washington asked Rufus to help him to drive out the British. As Rufus was a great builder he set to work one dark stormy night and built a fort on high land "Dorchester Height", now South Boston, overlooking Boston harbor.

When the British commander woke up the next morning, he saw the American cannon pointed at his ships. He was so astonished that he could scarcely believe his eyes. "Why," said he, "the rebels have done more in one night than my whole army could have done in a week." Another officer, who had command of the British vessels, said, "If the Americans hold that fort, I cannot keep a ship in the harbor." Well, we know what happened. Our men did hold that fort, and the British had to leave Boston. Next to General Washington, General Rufus Putnam was the man who made them go; for not many officers in the American army could build such a fort as he could. Hence the English left Boston. Next Washington we can say that General Rufus Putnam was a man who made the English leave the New England.

After the war was over, General Putnam started with a company of people from New England, to make a settlement on the Ohio River. In the spring of 1788 he and his emigrants built a boat at a place just above Pittsburg. They named this boat the Mayflower, because they were Pilgrims going west to make their home there. At that time there was not a white settler in what is now the state of Ohio. Most of that country was covered with thick woods. There were no roads through those woods, and there was not a steamboat or a railroad either in America or in the world. If you look on the map and follow down the Ohio River from Pittsburg, you will come to a place where the Muskingum joins the Ohio. At that place the Mayflower stopped, and the emigrants landed and began to build their settlement.

The name of the new settlement was Mariette after the name of beautiful queen of France. The queen's full name in French was Marie Antoinette; the name Marietta is made up from the first and the last parts of her name. She was very helpful to Dr. Franklin and also number of emigrants had fought in the revolution.

But the people of Marietta had hardly begun to feel at home in their little settlement before a terrible Indian war broke out. The village of Marietta had a high palisade[8] built round it, and if a man ventured outside that palisade he went at the risk of his life; for the Indians were always hiding in the woods, ready to kill any white man they saw. When the settlers worked in the cornfield, they had to carry their guns as well as their hoes, and one man always stood on top of a high stump in the middle of the field, to keep a bright lookout. There is a lofty rock on the Ohio River below Marietta, which is still called Indian Rock. It got its name because the Indians used to climb up to the top and watch for emigrants coming down the river in boats. When they saw a boat, they would fire a shower of bullets at it, and perhaps leave it full of dead and wounded men to drift down the river. In the western part of Ohio, on the Miami River, the Indians killed so many people that the settlers called that part of the country by the terrible name of the "Miami Slaughter House."

But President Washington sent a man to Ohio who made the Indians beg for peace. This man was General Wayne; he had fought in the Revolution, and fought so furiously that he was called "Mad Anthony Wayne." The Indians said that he never slept, and named him "Black Snake," because that is the quickest and boldest snake there is in the woods, and in a fight with any other creature of his kind he is pretty sure to win the day. General Wayne won, and the Indians agreed to move off and give up a very large part of Ohio to the white settlers. After that there was not much trouble, and emigrants poured in by thousands.


Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
  1. What do you learn about Indian rocks in this passage?
  2. How was the compromise brought by General Wayne between the Indians and the Americans?

Q 1: Where did the Mayflower halt?
It halted in the place where the Muskingum joins the Ohio.
It halted near Muskingum.
It halted near Ohio.

Q 2: What is the specific information we get about Rufus Putnam in this passage?
He was a great leader.
He was a great builder.
He was a great warrior.

Q 3: What was the name given to new settlement?
Mary in honor of English Queen
Marietta in honor of French Queen.
Antoniete in honor of the French Queen.

Q 4: Why was General Wayne called black snake?
He was the boldest and sure to win like the black snake.
He was the quickest like a black snake
He was as black as black snake.

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Question 6: This question is available to subscribers only!


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