« ПредишнаНапред »
area of the latter, bounded on the south by the Canadian fork of the Arkansas, and by the lands of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The tract has an extent of seventy miles from east to west, and is fully adequate to their wants. A blacksmith's shop is maintained for them; they are furnished with agricultural implements, and have been gratuitously subsisted, as other tribes, one year, at the public expense. It is thought to be unfavorable to their progress, that they have been allowed to migrate with their slaves, who are averse to labor and exert a paralysing influence on their industry. This tribe is far behind the other southern tribes in civilisation and manners. They occupied, while in Florida, a region truly tropical in its climate, and which yielded spontaneously no unimportant part of their subsistence, in the arrowroot and in sea fish. Their chief product thus far, in the west, has been corn. They live under the authority of local chiefs, who, as in all their past history, exercise influence in proportion to their talents and courage. Their withdrawal from scenes and situations which served as nurseries of idle, savage habits, and their association with the other leading tribes, who are now bent on supporting themselves exclusively by agriculture, have been favorable. They have been at peace since their arrival on the waters of the Arkansas; and it is anticipated that they will, by example and emulation, assimilate themselves in industry with the preexisting tribes. It has already been demonstrated that they will sustain themselves in their new field of labor. But few of their numbers -from the last accounts not exceeding 100*—now remain in Florida.
5. Cherokees. This tribe is prominent among the native stocks in the United States, and is foremost in the efforts it has made to take rank among civilized nations. In this effort it has passed through some severe and tragic ordeals from internal dissensions, from which it would seem, that in proportion as the prize is brought within their grasp, are the trials multiplied which delay its seizure. And, notwithstanding its strong claims to consideration on this head, they have, it must be admitted, much to attain. The original position of the Cherokees, in the valleys and the western spurs of the Alleganies, and remote from the disturbing causes which agitated the other tribes, was highly favorable to their increase and advance. No tribe in North America had remained so completely undisturbed, by red or white men, up to the year 1836. They were early, and to a considerable extent, cultivators; and whatever they were in ancient times, they have been a nation at peace, for a long period. Soon after the close of the late war of 1812, a portion of this tribe went over the Mississippi, and, by a compact with government, placed themselves between the waters of the White river and the Arkansas. This advance formed the nucleus
* Secretary of War's report, 1843.
of that political party, who have mingled in their recent assemblies under the name of Western Cherokees, and who deemed themselves to be entitled to some rights and considerations above the Eastern Cherokees. The principal dissensions, however, grew out of the question of the cession of the territory east of the Mississippi. This was a broad question of sale or no sale, emigration or non-emigration. At the head of the affirmative party was Ridge; at the head of the negative, Ross. The latter, in addition to his being the leading chief and most prominent man, was in a large majority, and, for a time, successfully resisted the measure. The former drew a number of the best educated chiefs and men to his side. Availing himself of the temporary absence of his antagonist, Ross, from the country, he ceded the country, and sealed the fate of his tribe east of the Mississippi. It was a minority treaty, but the consideration was ample; it secured large prospective advantages, besides a large and rich domain in the West. It was, therefore, sustained by the government; the U. S. Senate ratified it, adding some further immunities and further compensation, at the instance of Ross. The tribe was removed, but it went west with a deadly feud. In the end, Ridge, like McIntosh, paid for his temerity with his life. A representative government was set up, consisting of a house of delegates or representatives, annually chosen by districts; a senatorial council, with powers of revision or co-action, and an executive elective head. A code of laws has been adopted, and a judiciary created to carry them into effect. This system, which has been in operation some six or seven years, has been found adequate to sustain itself through scenes of severe trial; and it must be regarded as one which, modified as it may be, is destined to endure.
The territory of the Cherokees is between that of the Creeks and Osages. It is ample beyond their wants, fertile, and generally well watered. The Arkansas crosses it centrally; it has the Neosho and the State of Arkansas as its eastern boundary. It is well adapted to the cereal grains. Corn, wheat and oats succeed well, together with melons and culinary vegetables of all descriptions. The Cherokees have been long accustomed to husbandry. They own large stocks of horses, cattle, hogs and sheep. They occupy substantial and comfortable houses. Many of their females spin and weave, and numbers of their people are clothed in their own manufactures. Well improved farms extend through their settlements. A number of their merchants are natives, who buy and sell produce, and import foreign merchandise. Reading and writing are common attainments. They have schools and churches. They have mills for grinding grain. They manufacture salt to a limited extent. The country yields stone coal and gypsum. The prairies, which are interspersed through the tract, yield a fine summer range for cattle, and produce a species of grass, which, when properly
cured, is little inferior to timothy. With a country which has thus the elements of prosperity in itself, and an intelligent and industrious population, this tribe must, ere long, present the gratifying spectacle of a civilized race.
6. The Osages. This tribe is indigenous, and formerly owned a large part of the territory which is now assigned to others. Their habits and condition have been, however, but little benefited by the use which they have made of their annuities. Great exertions have been made by the local agents to induce them to give up their erratic mode of life, and become agriculturists. To this end stock and agricultural implements have been furnished them, and other facilities given, but without any general effects. Among these may be named the building of mills, and the erection of well built cabins for their chiefs. There is no tribe to which the term predatory may be so appropriately applied as to the Osages. They have, from an early day, been plunderers on that frontier, among red and white men. Possessing a large territory, formerly well supplied with the deer, elk and buffalo, powerful in numbers, courageous in spirit, and enjoying one of the finest climates, these early predatory habits have been transmitted to the present day. They are loth to relinquish this wild license of the prairies-the so-called freedom of the roving Indian. But it is a species of freedom which the settlement of Missouri and Arkansas, and the in-gathering of the semicivilized tribes from the south and the north, has greatly restricted. Game has become comparatively scarce. The day of the hunter is well nigh past in those longitudes. When to this is added the example of the expatriated Indians, in tillage and grazing, their field labors in fencing and erecting houses, their improved modes of dress, their schools, and their advanced state of government and laws, the hope may be indulged that the Osages will also be stimulated to enter for the prize of civilisation.
Such are the six principal tribes who form the nucleus, or, to use a military phrase, the right wing of the expatriated aboriginal population, as the bands are arranged in their order from south to north, in the trans-Ozark or Indian territory. It would afford us pleasure to devote some separate considerations to each of the remaining nineteen tribes and half tribes, or remnants and pioneers of tribes, who make up this imposing and interesting colony, where, for the first time since the settlement of the Continent, the Indian race is presented in an independent, compact, and prosperous condition. But it would manifestly extend this article beyond its just limits, and we must therefore generalize our remaining notices.
We still, however, adhere to a geographical method. The Senecas from Sandusky, and the mixed Senecas and Shawnees, are situated northeast of the Cherokees, and between the latter and the western
boundary of Missouri. They possess a hundred thousand acres of choice lands. The Sanduskies number 251 souls; the mixed band, 222. They are represented as farmers and stock-raisers, frugal, industrious, and less addicted to intemperance than their neighbors. They cultivated, in
1839, from two hundred and fifty to three hundred acres of corn. They have a blacksmith's shop, under treaty stipulations, and possess good stocks of horses, cattle, and hogs. The Quapaws adjoin the Senecas and Shawnees on the north, and, as the latter, have their lands fronting on the Neosho. This band formerly owned and ceded the south banks of the Arkansas from its mouth as high as the Canadian fork. They are indolent, much addicted to the use of ardent spirits, and depressed in numbers. They have a tract of 96,000 acres. They cultivate, generally, about one hundred acres of corn, in a slovenly manner. Part of their numbers are seated on the waters of Red River, and the Indian predilection for rowing is nourished by the frequent habit of passing to and fro. This erratic habit is an unerring test of the hunter state.
The Piankashaws and Weas are of the Miami stock, and came from the waters of the Wabash. They are located on 255 sections, immediately west of the western boundary of Missouri, and about 40 miles south of the Konza. Their population is 384, of which 222 are Weas. Immediately west of them are the Peorias and Kaskaskias of the Illinois family. They number 132, and possess 150 sections, which gives an average of more than a square mile to each soul. Still west of these, are the Ottowas of Ohio, about 200 in number, and above them, a small band of 61 of the Chippewas of Swan Creek and Black River in Michigan. These locations are all on the sources of the Osage River. The lands are fine, partly woods and partly prairie, and are easily cultivated. These six fragmentary bands are not dissimilar in their habits of living and the state of their advance in agriculture. They subsist themselves by raising corn and cattle and hogs. They evince an advancing condition, and are surrounded by circumstances eminently favorable to it. The Shawnees are placed at the junction of the Konza with the Missouri, extending south and west. They number a little short of 1300, and own a territory of ten thousand square miles, or 6,400,000 acres. They are cultivators and graziers in an advanced state of improvement. Hunting may be occasionally resorted to as a sport or amusement, but it has, years since, been abandoned as a source of subsistence. Indeed, the failure of the game in that region would have rendered the latter imperative, had not their improved habits of industry led to it. This tribe have essentially conquered their aversion to labor. They drive oxen and horses trained to the plough. They split rails and build fences. They erect substantial cabins and barns. They have old corn in their cribs from year to year They own good saddle-horses and saddles, and
other articles of caparison, and a traveller or visitor will find a good meal, a clean bed, and kind treatment in their settlements.
Next in position to the Shawnees are the Delawares, the descendants of the ancient Lenno Lenapees of Pennsylvania. Allies and kindred in their ancient position, they are still in juxtaposition in their new Their tract begins at the junction of the Konza and Missouri on the north, and after running up the former to the Konza reserve, extends north and west so as to embrace it on the north. It contains about 2450 square miles, or 2,208,000 acres. They number, at the last dates to which we have referred, 826 souls, and are on the increase. In point. of habits, industry, and improvement, they are perhaps not inferior to any of the northern stocks. Shielded from intemperance by their position, out of the State limits, where they are exclusively under the influence and protection of Congress laws, this tribe, together with the entire circle of Indian communities on that frontier, has been for some years in a favourable position for recovering and developing their true energies. They have, within a few years, received into their protection a small band (182) of the Monceys, and a smaller one, of 74, of the Stockbridges: the latter, we need hardly inform the intelligent reader, are descendants of the ancient Mohegans, and the former of the Minsi and Minnisinks, who, at the era of the colonization of "Nova Belgica" and New York, were respectively located on the east and the west barks of the Hudson. The Stockbridges are civilized; the Munsees less so, but industrious. Both are poor, and without funds.
Immediately succeeding the Delawares are the Kickapoos, an erratic race, who, under various names, in connection with the Foxes and Sacs,. have, in good keeping with one of their many names, skipped over half the continent, to the manifest discomfort of both German and American philologists and ethnographers, who, in searching for the so-called " Mascotins," have followed, so far as their results are concerned, an ignis fatuus. The Kickapoos have 12,000 square miles, or 768,000 acres. It is a choice, rich tract, and they are disposed, with the example of the Delewares and Shawnees, to profit by it. They raise corn and cattle, hogs and horses, and are prosperous. Their numbers, in 1840, were 470. There is a tract of 200 square miles, on the Great and Little Namaha, assigned to the metifs, or descendants of mixed blood, of the Iowas, Otoes, and Missouris. These separate the removed and semicivilized tribes, south and west of the Missouri, from the wild indigenes—we mean the Otoes, the Pawnees, the Omahaws, and the Sioux, who extend over vast tracts, and exist without any sensible improvement in their condition. The same remark may be applied to the Konzas, who are, however, hemmed in between the Delawares and the
*This is said, by one interpretation, to mean Rabbit's Ghost