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ACCOUNT OF A FEMALE INDIAN. FROM A JOURNEY AT HUDSON'S BAY, FRONI 2 763,
BY SAMUEL LEARNE.
N the eleventh of January, as some of my com
panions were hunting, they saw the track of a strange snow-shoe, which they followed; and at a confiderable distance came to a little hut, where they dil. covered a young woman sitting alone. As they found she understood their language, they brought her with them to the tents. On examination, ihe proved to be one of the Western Dog-ribbed Indians, who had been taken prisoner by the Whapuscow Indians in the summer of the year 1770; and in the following summer, when the Indians that took her prisoner were near this part, she had eloped from them, with an intent to return to her own country; but the distance being so great, and having, after she was taken prisoner, been carried in a canoe the whole way, the turnings and windings of the rivers and lakes were so numerous, that The forgot the tract; so the built the hut in shich we found her, to protect her from the weather during the winter, and here the had resided from the first setting in of the fall. From her account of the moons, past since her elopement, it appeared that she had been near seven months without seeing a human face; during all which time she had supported herself very well by Inaring partridges, rabbits, and squirrels; the had also killed two cr three beavers, and some porcupines. That she did not seem to have been in want is evident, as she had a small stock of provisions by her when she was discovered; and was in good health and condition, and I think one of the finest women, of a real Indian, that I have seen in any part of North America. The methods practised by this poor creature to procure a livelihood were truly
admirable, and are great proofs that necessity is the mother of invention. When the few deer finews that the had an opportunity of taking with her were all expended in making fnares, and sewing her clothing, the had nothing to lupply their place but sinews of the rabbits legs and feet, these the twisted together for that purpose with great dexterity and success. The rabbits, &c. which The caught m'those snares, not only furnithed her with a comfortable subsistence, but of the skins she made a suit of neat and warm clothing for the winter, It is scarcely poffibie to conceive that a person in her situation could be so composed as to be capable of contriving or executing any thing that was not absolutely necessary to her existence, but there were fufficient proofs that the had extended her care much farther, as all her clothing, befide being calculated for real service, shewed great taste, and exhibited no little variety of ornament. The materiais, though rude, were very curiously wrought, and fo judiciously placed, as to make the whole of her garb have a very pleasing, though rather romantic appear. ance. Her leisure hours from hunting had been em. ployed in twisting the inner rind or bark of willows into small lines, like net twine, of which she had some hun, dred fathoms by her; with this lhe intended to make a hilbing-net as soon as the spring advanced. It is of the inner bark of willows, twilted in this manner, that the Dog-ribbed Indians make their fishing nets; and they are much preferable to those made by the Northern Indians. Five or fix inches of an iron hoop, made into a knife, and the fhank of an arrow head of iron, which ferved her as an awl, were all the metals this poor wo. man had with her when the eloped ; and with these. implements the had made herself complete Inow-shoes, and several other useful articles. Her method of making a fire was equally singular and curious, having no other materials for that purpose than two hard sulphurous ftones; these, by long friction and hard knocking, produced a few sparks, which at length communicated.co
some touchwood; but as this method was attended with great trouble, and not always with success, she did not suffer her fire to go out all the winter. Hence we may conclude that she had no idea of producing fire by friction, in the manner practiled by the Esquimaux, and many other civilized nations, because if the hail, the above-inentioned precaution would have been unnectsary.
“ The fingularity of the circumstance, the come liness of her person, and her approved accomplifhments, occafioned a strong conteft between several of the Indians of my party, who lhould have her for a wife, and the poor girl was actually won and loft, at wreitling, by near half a score different men the same evening. My guide, Mattonabbee, who at that time had no less than seven wives, all women grown, besides a young girl of eleven or twelve years old, would have put in for the prize also, had not one of his wives made him ashamed of it, by telling him thae he had already more wives than he could properly attend. This piece of satire, however true, proved fatal to the poor girl who dared to make fo open a declaration ; for the great man, Mattonabbee, who would willingly have been thought equal to eight or ten men in every respect, took it as such an affront, that he fell on her with both hands and feet, and bruised her to such a degree, that, after lingering fome time, the died. When the Whapuscow Indians took the above Dog-ribbed Indian woman prisoner, they, according to the universal custom of thele favages, surprited her and her party in the night, and killed every foul in the tend except herself and three other young women.
Among those whom they killed," were her father, another, and husband. Her young chiid, four or five months old, The concealed in a bundle of cloathing, and took with her undiscovered in the night; but when the arrived at the place where the Athapuscow. Indians had left their wives, (svhich was not far distant) they began io examine her bundle, and finding the child, one of the wo
men took it from her and killed it on the spot. This last piece of barbarity gave her fuch a disguit to those Indians, that notwithstanding the man who took care of her treated her in every respect as his wife, and was, the said, remarkable kind to and even fond of her, fo far was the f.om being able to reconcile hurlelf to any of wie tribe, that the rather chose to expose herself to milery and want, chan live in case and affluence among persons who had to cruelly imurdered her infant. The poor woman's rel.tion of this fhocking story, which the delivered in a very affueting manner, only excited laughter among the lavagis of my party.”'
(No. XVIII.] LORD OR FORD'S DETACHED THOUGHTS. T is faid that Congreve had too much wit in his co
medies. It is pity that no comic author has had the lamnc fault.
A GOTHIC cathedral strikes one like the enthusiasm of poetry; St. Paul's cathedral like the good sense of profe.
I WOULD never dispute about any thing but at law, for there one has as much chance as another of getting the better without reason.
A DEAD language is the only one that lives long, and it is unlike the dead, for by being dead it avoids corruption.
Of all the virtues, gratitude has the shortest memory. THERE are play-things for all ages, the play-thing of old people is to talk of the play-things of youth. MAN is an aurivorous animal.
This world is a comedy to those who think; a tra, gedy to those who feel.
Our passions and our understandings agree fo ill, that they resemble a French man of quality, and his wife, who, though they live in the same house together, have separate apartments, separate beds, and go different ways, are seldom together, but are very civil to each other before company; and then the passions, like the lady, affect to have great deference for their husband's understanding.
It is idle to attempt to talk a young woman in love out of her passion : love does not lie in the ear.
Persons extremely reserved, are like old enamelled watches which had painted covers, that hindered your seeing what o'clock it was.
MANY new pieces please on first reading, if they have more novelty than merit. The second time they do not please, for surprise has no second part.
In former ages men were afraid of nothing but cowardice. Even riches, which now make men fo fond of life, and consequently fu timid, then made men brave; for every body was forced to defend his own property, or the stronger would have invaded it.
JOHN HENDERSON, A. B. This wonderful genius was born near Limerick, in Ireland, 1757, and died in 1783, at Oxford.' He was buried in St. George's church, Kingswood, near Brisrol. It is said of him, that “ His very infancy denoted something extraordinary and great. He was born, as it were, a thinking being, and was never known to cry or to express any infantine peevilhness. Those years which are spent in weakness, ignorance, and the misconceptions of the groffest senses, were marked by him with Itrong intelligence. The questions he asked,