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lightning, illumined with momentary brilliancy, the dark and frowning precipices of this romantic gorge. The excitement and novelty of our position, served to drive away sleep, notwithstanding a long day's march, and it was late before we sought repose.
Morning brought a clear sky, but the horse was gone. He had followed on the back track, up the glen, in search of something to feed upon, and was not found till we reached the skirts of the plains. The whole morning was indeed, lost in reclaiming him, and we then set forward again and returned to the North Fork valley. We found it had assumed a greater expanse, at the point of our re-entry, which it maintained, and increased, as we pursued it down. Wide open oak plains extended on the left bank, which appeared very eligible for the purposes of settlement. On an oak tree, at this spot, we observed some marks, which had probably been made by some enterprising land explorer. With these improved evidences of its character for future occupation, we found the travelling easier. Within a few miles travel, we noticed a tributary coming in on the left bank, and at a lower point another on the left. The first stream had this peculiarity, that its waters came in at a right angle, with the parent stream, and with such velocity as to pass directly across its channel to the opposite bank. In this vicinity, we saw many of the deserted pole camps of the Osages, none of which appeared, however, to have been recently occupied. So far, indeed, we had met no hindrance, or annoyance from this people; we had not even encountered a single member of the tribe, and felt assured that the accounts we had received of their cruelty and rapacity, had been grossly exaggerated, or if not wholly overcoloured, they must have related to a period in their history, which was now well nigh past. We could not learn that they had hunted on these lands, during late years, and were afterwards given to understand that they had ceded them to the United States by a treaty concluded at St. Louis. From whatever causes, however, the district had been left free from their roving parties, it was certain that the game had recovered under such a cessation of the chase. The black bear, deer and elk, were abundant. We also frequently saw signs of the labours of the beaver along the valley. I had the good luck, one day, while in advance with. my gun, of beholding two of these animals, at play in the stream, and observing their graceful motions. My position was, within point blank shot of them, but I was screened from their gaze. I sat, with gun cocked, meaning to secure one of them after they came to the shore. Both animals came out together, and sat on the bank at the edge of the river, a ledge of rocks being in the rear of them. The novelty of the sight led me to pause, and admire them, when, all of a sudden, they darted into a crevice in the rock.
On the second day after re-entering the valley, we descried, on descending a long slope of rising ground, a hunter's cabin, covered with narrow
oak boards, split with a frow; and were exhilarated with the idea of finding it occupied. But this turned out a delusive hope. It had been deserted, from appearance, the year before. We found, among the surrounding weeds, a few stems of the cotton plant, which had grown up from seeds, accidentally dropped. The bolls had opened. I picked out the cotton to serve as a material in lighting my camp fires, at night, this being a labour which I had taken the exclusive management of. The site of this camp, had been well chosen. There was a small stream in front, and a heavy rich cane bottom behind it, extending to the banks of the river. A handsome point of woodlands extended north of it, from the immediate door of the camp. And although somewhat early in the day, we determined to encamp, and soon made ourselves masters of the fabric, and sat down before a cheerful fire, with a title to occupancy, which there was no one to dispute.
VERSIFIED FROM THE GERMAN OF GESSNER: 1812.
A swain, as he strayed through the grove,
With rapture he viewed the fair prize,
As with haste to the meadow he hies
I will make of yon willows so gay,
A cage for my prisoner to mourn,
She will grant me that one, I am sure,
He returned but imagine his grief,
H. R. S.
PERSONAL INCIDENTS AND IMPRESSIONS OF THE INDIAN RACE, DRAWN FROM NOTES OF TRAVEL AND RESIDENCE IN THEIR TERRITORIES.
CHARACTER OF THE RED MAN OF AMERICA.
INQUIRY I.-What kind of a being is the North American Indian ?-Have we judged rightly of him?-What are his peculiar traits, his affections, and his intellectual qualities?—Is he much influenced by his religion, his mode of government, and his complicated language.
My earliest impressions of the Indian race, were drawn from the fireside rehearsals of incidents which had happened during the perilous times of the American revolution; in which my father was a zealous actor, and were all inseparably connected with the fearful ideas of the Indian yell, the tomahawk, the scalping knife, and the fire brand. In these recitals, the Indian was depicted as the very impersonation of evil-a sort of wild demon, who delighted in nothing so much as blood and murder, Whether he had mind, was governed by any reasons, or even had any soul, nobody inquired, and nobody cared. It was always represented as a meritorious act in old revolutionary reminiscences, to have killed one of them in the border wars, and thus aided in ridding the land of a cruel and unnatural race, in whom all feelings of pity, justice, and mercy, were supposed to be obliterated. These early ideas were sustained by printed narratives of captivity and hair-breadth escapes of men and women from their clutches, which, from time to time, fell into my hands, so that long before I was ten years old, I had a most definite and terrific idea impressed on my imagination of what was sometimes called in my native precincts, "the bow and arrow race."
To give a definite conception of the Indian man, there lived in my native valley, a family of Indians of the Iroquois stock, who often went off
o their people in the west, and as often returned again, as if they were a roop of genii, or the ghosts of the departed, who came to haunt the nut wood forests, and sub-vallies of the sylvan Tawasenthaw, which their ancestors had formerly possessed, and to which they still claimed some right. In this family, which was of the Oneida tribe, and consisted of the husband and wife, with two grown up sons, I first saw those characteristic features of the race, namely, a red skin, with bright black eyes, and black straight hair. They were mild and docile in their deportment, and were on friendly terms with the whole settlement, whom they furnished with neatly made baskets of the linden wood, split very thin, and coloured to impart variety, and with nice ash brooms. These fabrics made them welcome guests with every good housewife, who had forgotten the horrific stories of the revolution, and who was ever ready to give a chair and a plate, and a lodging place by the kitchen fire, to poor old Isaac and Anna, for so they had been named. What their original names were, nobody knew; they had lived so long in the valley that they spoke the Dutch language, and never made use of their own, except when talking together; and I recollect, we thought it a matter of wonder, when they discoursed in Indian, whether such a guttural jargon, could possibly be the medium of conveying any very definite ideas. It seemed to be one undistinguished tissue of hard sounds, blending all parts of speech together.
Had the boys of my own age, and I may say, the grown people, stopped to reflect, and been led to consider this family and their race in America, independently of their gross acts, under the strong excitements of war and revenge, goaded by wrongs, and led on by the class of revolutionary tories, more implacable than even themselves, we must have seen, in the peaceable lives, quiet manners, and benevolent dispositions of these four people, a contradiction to, at least, some part, of the sweeping conclusions above noticed. But no such thoughts occurred. The word "Indian," was synonymous then, as perhaps now, with half the opprobrious epithets in the dictionary. I recollect to have myself made a few lines, in early life, on the subject, which ran thus:
Indians they were, ere Colon crossed the sea,
And ages hence, they shall but Indians be.
Fortunately I was still young when my sphere of observation was enlarged, by seeing masses of them, in their native forests; and I, after a few years, assumed a position as government agent to one of the leading tribes, at an age when opinions are not too firmly rooted to permit change. My opinions were still, very much however, what they had been in boyhood. I looked upon them as very cannibals and blood-thirsty fellows, who were only waiting a good opportunity to knock one in the head. But I regarded them as a curious subject of observation. The remembrance of poor old Isaac, had shown me that there was some feeling and humanity in their
breasts. I had seen many of them in my travels in the west, and I felt inclined to inquire into the traits of a people, among whom my duties had placed me. I had, from early youth, felt pleased with the study of natural history, and I thought the Indian, at least in his languages, might be studied with something of the same mode of exactitude. I had a strong propensity, at this time of life, for analysis, and I believed that something like an analytical process might be applied to enquiries, at least in the department of philology. Whenever a fact occurred, in the progress of my official duties, which I deemed characteristic, I made note of it, and in this way preserved a sort of skeleton of dates and events, which, it was believed, would be a source of useful future reference. It is, in truth, under advantages of the kind, that these remarks are commenced.
The author has thrown out these remarks, as a starting point. He has made observations which do not, in all respects, coincide with the commonly received opinions, and drawn some conclusions which are directly adverse to them. He has been placed in scenes and circumstances of varied interest, and met with many characters, in the course of four and twenty years' residence and travel in the wilds of America, who would have struck any observer as original and interesting. With numbers of them, he has formed an intimate acquaintance, and with not a few, contracted lasting friendships. Connected with them by a long residence, by the exercise of official duties, and by still more delicate and sacred ties, he has been regarded by them as one identified with their history, and received many marks of their confidence.
The Indians, viewed as a distinct branch of the human race, have some peculiar traits and institutions, from which their history and character may be advantageously studied. They hold some opinions, which are not easily discovered by a stranger, or a foreigner, but which yet exert a powerful influence on their conduct and life. There is a subtlety in some of their modes of thought and belief, on life and the existence of spiritual and creative power, which would seem to have been eliminated from some intellectual crucible, without the limits of their present sphere. Yet, there is much relative to all the common concerns of life, which is peculiar to it. The author has witnessed many practices and observances, such as travellers have often noticed, but like others, attributed them to accident, or to some cause widely different from the true one. By degrees, he has been admitted into their opinions, and if we may so call it, the philosophy of their minds; and the life of an Indian no longer appears to him a mystery. He sees him acting, as other men would act, if placed exactly in his condition, prepared with the education the forest has given him, and surrounded with the same wants, temptations and dangers.
The gentler affections are in much more extensive and powerful exercise among the Indian race, than is generally believed, although necessa rily developed with less refinement than in civilized society. Their pater