An Eyewitness Account of the 1840 Political Rally for William Henry Harrison with a List of the Members of the Harrison Club of 1835 and 1840. Source:From the Lafayette Daily Courier, October 17, 1888 in an article telling about the upcoming political rally for Benjamin Harrison, which was to take place at the Tippecanoe Battlefield~~
The Campaign of 1840
One of the best informed men with reference to the history of the Battle Ground is Chauncey Jones, Esq., who has lived in this county for half a century and now holds the office of Commissioner. His farm is just above the battlefield, and aside from the traditions concerning the historic spot, Mr. Jones is in possession of a great deal of general information concerning it. To a correspondent of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, who visited him recently, he referred to the political meetings that had been held there during his recollection, and among other things, said of the demonstration in 1840 when William Henry Harrison was running for President:
"That was the largest assemblage in Indiana up to that time. We had no railroads, but people came hundreds of miles in their wagons. It was thought that at least 15,500 people were on the battle-ground. A lot of us came up from Lafayette a few days before, cut timber from the hill where Prophet's Rock is, and built a big cabin on the ground to hold the provisions, which were dealt out free to everybody. We had an enormous wagon built in Lafayette, and on that we erected a log cabin. There were coonskins nailed on the outside, and there was a barrel of cider inside. There was also a printing press inside, and two or three men kept busy running off Harrison's songs. This wagon was drawn by half a dozen teams of white horses, and as it was taken around through the crowds the campaign songs were distributed. The carcass of an ox was roasted, and we had a terrible time. The biggest speakers from all around were here. I have heard Gen. Breckenridge, Stephen A. Douglas and all great public orators on Tippecanoe battle-ground. That has been a favorite gathering place in political campaigns."
A few rods below where the line of Mr. Jones' farm strikes the river is an interesting spot. There, tradition has it, was located the post of the French fur-traders. There they kept a stock of such things as are good for barter among the Indians and bargained for pelts. The foundation logs of the houses could be seen until a few years ago. Now a clearing and the stone corners mark the location. There is one other interesting relic--an apple tree.
"It bears a small apple," said Mr. Jones, "unlike anything that grows in this part of the country, and, in fact, like any other apple I ever tasted. The tree is old, and I can only account for its presence there on the supposition that the Frenchmen brought it from Canada and planted it. The grass, too, that grows about the ruins is entirely different from any we have, and I believe it was brought in by the fur-traders."
Prophet's Town extended along the river for some distance. One portion of it was near the fur-trading post. An orchard considerably past its prime occupies a part of the site, and where Tecumseh's house is said to have stood a farmer has his cow shed.
The Original Harrison Voters
The following is a complete list of the Harrison club of 1835 and 1840, a large number of whom took part in the great Tippecanoe rally of 1840, and all of whom were on hand at the Battle Ground today. The complete list has not been before published. The figure following a name is the age of the person named. (Listed as they appeared in the article.)
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