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lieved by the old men whose vigour is so far diminished, as not to be able to sustain the fatigue of hunting, or the toils of martial achievements. But nothing shows the importance and respectability of the women among the Indians, more than that custom many of the tribes are in, of letting their women preside in the councils of their country : to this we may add, that several of the Florida nations have, at different times, been governed by the wisdom and the prudence of female caziques.

Liberty, in its fullest extent, being the darling passion of the Indians, their education is directed in such a manner as to cherish this disposition to the utmost. Hence their children are never chastised with blows, and they are seldom even reprimanded. Reason, they say, will guide their children when they come to the use of it, and before that time their faults cannot be very great. But blows might damp their fierce and martial spirit, by the habit of a slavish motive to action. When grown up, they experifence nothing like command, dependence or subordination; even strong persuasion is carefully avoided by those of influence among them. No man is held in great esteem, unless he has increased the strength of his country with a captive, or adorned his hut with a scalp of one of his enemies. * Controversies among the Indians are few, and quickly decided. phen any criminal matter is so flagrant as to become a national concern, it is brought under the jurisdiction of the great council; but in common cases the parties settle the dispute between themselves. If a murder be committed, the family which has lost a relation prepares to retaliate on that of the oftender. They often kill the murderer: and when this happens (which is but seldom) the kindred of the last person slain, look upon themselves as much injured, and to have the same right to vengeance, as the other party.

It is common, however, for the offender to absent himself; the friends send compliments of condolence to those of the person who has been murdered. The head of the family at length ap. pears, with a number of presents, the delivery of which he accom. panies with a formal speech : the whole ends, as usual, in mutual feastings, in songs and in dances. If the murder is committed by one of the same family or cabin, that family has the full right of judgment within itself; either to punish the guilty with death, or to pardon him; or to oblige him to give some recompense to the wife and children of the deceased. Instances of this kind are very rare, for their attachment to those of the same family, are so remarkably strong, that it may vie with the most celebrated friendships of fabulous antiquity.

Such, in general, are the customs and manners of the Indians. But almost every tribe has something peculiar to itself. Among the Harons and the Natchez, the dignity of the chief is said to be hereditary, and the right of succession in the female line. When this happens to be extinct, the most reputable matron of the tribe, we are informed, makes a choice of whom she pleases to succeed.

The Cherokees are governed by several Sachems, or chiefs, elected by the different villages, as are also the Creeks and the Chactaws: the two latter punish adultery in a woman by cutting off her hair; which they will not suffer to grow, until corn is ripe, the next season; but the Illinois, for the same criae, cut off the nose and ears.

The Indians on the upper lakes are formed into a sort of empire. The emperor is elected from the eldest tribe, which is the Ottawawas; this authority is very considerable. A few years ago, the person who held this rank, forined a design of uniting all the Indian nations under his sovereignty;. but this bold attempt proved unsuccessful.

In general, the Indians of America live to a great age, although it is difficult to obtain from them an exact aceount of the number of their years. It was asked of one who appeared extremely old, what age

he was of. I am above twenty, said he; but, upon puting the question in a different manner, and reminding him of former times, and some particular circumstances, my machee, said he, spoke to me, when I was young, of the Incas: and he had seen those princes. According to this reply, there must have elapsed from the date of his machee's, or grandfather's, remembrance to that time 232 years. The Indian who made this reply, appeared to be 120 years of age: for besides the whiteness of hair and beard, his body was almost bent to the ground; without showing any other mark of debility, or suffering. This happened in 1764

This longevity and state of uninterrupted health, is thought by some to be the consequence in part of their vacancy from all serious thought and employment; joined also with their robust texture, and formation of their bodily organs. Were the Indians to abstain from spiritous liquors, and their destructive wars, of all races of men who inhabit the globe, they would be the most likely to extend the bounds and enjoyments of animal life to their utmost duration,

Before we take our leave of the Indian datives, let us attend to some other accounts which will set their character in a more clear and strong point of view, and rescue it from that degradation and obscurity, in which some Spanish historians have endeavoured to envelope it.

Their friendships are strong and faithful to the last extremity; of which no further proof need be adduced, than the following anecdote of the late colonel Byrd, of Virginia, who was sent to the Cherokee nation, to transact some business with them. It happens ed that some of our disorderly people had just killed one or two of that nation. It was therefore proposed in their council, that colonel Byrd should be put to death, in revenge for the loss of their countrymen. Among them was a chief called Silouee, who , on some former occasion, had contracted an acquaintance and friendship with colonel Byrd. He came to him every night in his tent, and told him not to be afraid, for they should not kill him. After many days deliberation, contrary to Silouee's expectations, the determination of the council was, that Byrd should be put to death, and some warriors were despatched as executioners. Si louee attended them, and when they entered the tent, he threw himself between them and Byrd, and said to the warriors, ** This

man is my friend :. before you get at him you must kill me.". On which they returned, and the council respected the principle so much as to recede from their determination.

Of their bravery and address in war, we have had sufficient proofs; of their eminence in oratory we have fewer examples, because it is chiefly displayed in their own councils. One, however, we have of superior lustre: the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore, when governor of Virginia, at the close of a war in which the Shawanese, Mingoes, and Delawares were united. The Indians were defeated by the Virginia militia, and sued for peace. Logan, however, disdained to be among the suppliants; but lest tbe sincerity of a treaty should be distrusted from which so distinguished a chief absented himself; he sent by a niessenger, the following speech to Lord Dunmore: “ appeal to any “ white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry, and " he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he 6 clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody.

war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace: "Such was my love for the whites, that iny countrymen, as they “passed, pointed and said, Logan is the friend of the whitemen: “I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries 6 done by one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, sand unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even "sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my - biood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for

revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully "glutted my vengeance; for my country I rejoice at the beams of "peace; but do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear; “ Logan never knew fear; he will not turn on his heel to save “ his life. Who is left to mourn for Logan ? Not one."

Another anecdote in favour of the Indian character, related by Doctor Benjamin Franklin, deserves a place in this history. Conrad Weiser, a celebrated interpreter of Indian languages, who had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke the Mohock language well, gave Franklin the following account.

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He was sent by our governor on a message to the council at Onondago; he called at the habitation of Canassetago, an old acquaintance, who embraced hiin, spread furs for him to sit on, placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and mixed some rum and water, for his drink; when he was well refreshed, and had lighted his pipe, Canassetago began to converse with hiin; asked how he had fared the many years since they had seen each other; whence he came, and what had occasioned his journey, &c. Courad answered all his questions, and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, “ Conrad “ you have lived long among the white people, and know some" thing of their customs: I have been soinetimes at Albany, and have observed that once in seven days they shut up

their shops, and all assemble in the great house ; tell me what it is for, aud "what it is they do there."

“ They meet there,” says Conrad, “to hear and learn good " things. “I do not doubt," said the Indian, " that they tell you li so, for they have told me the same; but I doubt the truth of what they say, and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany " to sell iny skins and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum, &c. You "know I generally used to deal with Hans Hanson ; but I was a "little inclined this time to try some other merchants. However, si I called first upoo Hans, and asked him what he would give for

beaver. He said he would not give more than four shillings a "pound, bui (says he) I cannot talk on this business now, this is, " the day we meet together to learn good things; and I am going "to the meeting. Su I thought to inyself, since I cannot do any s business to day, I may as well go to the meeting too: and I went “ with him. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to " the people very angrily. I did not understand what he said; " but perceiving he looked much at me and at Hanson, I imagined “be was angry at seeing me there; so I went out, sai down near - the house, struck fire and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting “should break up. I thought too that the man had mentioned "soinething about beaver, and suspected that it might be the sub"ject of their meeting. So when they caine out— Well, Hans, " says I,. I hope you have agreed to give me more than four shil"lings á pound.. No,ʻsays he, 'I cannot give so much, I cannot "give more than three shillings and sıx pence.' I then spoke to "several other dealers, but they all sung the same song, three "and six perice, three and six pence. This made it clear to me, " that my suspicion was right; and whatever they pretended “meeting to learn good things, the real purpose was to consult “how to cheat the Indians in the price of beaver. Consider but a "little, Conrad, and you must be of iny opinion. If they met so “often to learn good things, they certainly would have learned " some before this time. But they are still ignorant, You know

our practice, if a white man, travelling through our country, 66 enters one of our cabins, we all treat him, as I treat you; we 6 dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give him “meat and drink, that he may satisfy his thirst and hunger; and 6 we spread soft fürs for him to rest and sleep upon: we demand

nothing in return. But if I go into a white mau's house in Al "bany, and ask for victuals and drink, they ask, where is your 6 money ? and if I have none, they say get out you Indian dog! " You see they have not learned those little good thiigs, that we “ need no meetings to be instructed in, because our inothers “taught them to us when we were children; and therefore it is “impossible their meetings should be as they say, for any such (purpose, or have any such effect; they are only to contrive the “cheating of Indians in the price of their beaver.".

I appeal to every sensible professor of Christianity, if there is not more force in the reasoning of this uulettered inhabitant of the wilderness, than in many of the elaborate discourses of the learned divines amongst us, though embellished with all the trap. pings of modern elocution,

I shall close the Indian character with a short extract, with some small variations, from a letter of the justly celebrated William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania; who, in the early part of the settlement of America, had an opportunity of observing their custom and manner of life, before they had been changed by so frequent an intercourse with Europeans. He describes their persons, manners, language, religion, and goveroinent, in the following mariner: “ They are generally tali, straight, well built, and of singular proportion; they tread strong and clever, and mostly walk with a lofty chin: ot complexion, brown as the gypsies in England. They grease themselves with bear's fat clariied; and using no defence against the sun and weather, their skins must needs be swarthy. Their eyes are little and black, not unlike a strait-looked Jew. I have seen as comely Europeanlike faces among thein, as on your side of the sea. An Italian complexion hath not much more of the white; and the noses of many of thein have as much of the Roman. Their language is lofty, yet narrow: but, like the Hebrew, in signification, full; like short hand in writing, one word serveth in the place of three, and the rest are supplied by the understanding of the hearer. Imperfect in their teuses, wanting in their moods, participles, adverbs, conjunctions, and interjections: I have made it my business to understand it, that I might not want an interpreter ou any occasion: and I must say that I know not a language spoken' in Europe, that hath words of more sweetness or greatuess in accent and emphasis than theirs.

Their children, as soon as they are born, are washed in water, and while young they plunge them into rivers, in cold weather,

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