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Title: My Native Land - The United States: its Wonders, its Beauties, and its People; - with Descriptive Notes, Character Sketches, Folk Lore, Traditions, - Legends and History, for the Amusement of the Old and the - Instruction of the Young
Author: Cox, James, 1851-1901
Language: English
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MY NATIVE LAND.



The United States: its Wonders, its Beauties, and its People; with
Descriptive Notes, Character Sketches, Folk Lore, Traditions, Legends
and History, for the Amusement of the Old and the Instruction of the
Young.


BY


JAMES COX,


Author of "Our Own Country," "Missouri at the World's Fair," "Old and
New St. Louis," "An Arkansas Eden," "Oklahoma Revisited," Etc.


  "Breathes there a man with soul so dead
   Who never to himself has said,
      This is my own, my native land."


PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.


1903



CONTENTS


CHAPTER I.

OUR NATION'S BIRTH.

The Story of Liberty Bell--Impartial Opinions on the Revolutionary
War--The Shot that was Heard Around the World--The First Committee of
Safety--A Defeat which Equaled a Victory--Washington's Earnestness--To
Congress on Horseback--The First 4th of July Celebration.


CHAPTER II.

THE WITCH OF SALEM.

A Relic of Religious Bigotry--Parson Lawson's Tirade against
Witchcraft--Extraordinary Court Records of Old Puritan Days--Alleged
Supernatural Conjuring--A Man and his Wife both put to Death--Crushed
for Refusing to Plead--A Romance of the Old Days of Witch Persecution.


CHAPTER III.

IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.

Some Local Errors Corrected--A Trip Down the Hudson River--The Last of
the Mohicans--The Home of Rip Van Winkle--The Ladies of Vassar and their
Home--West Point and its History--Sing Sing Prison--The Falls of
Niagara--Indians in New York State.


CHAPTER IV.

IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.

The Geographical Center of the United States, and its Location West of
the Mississippi River--The Center of Population--History of Fort
Riley--The Gallant "Seventh"--Early Troubles of Kansas--Extermination of
the Buffalo--But a Few Survivors out of Many Millions.


CHAPTER V.

THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.

The Pilgrimage Across the Bad Lands to Utah--Incidents of the
March--Success of the New Colony--Religious Persecutions--Murder of an
Entire Family--The Curse of Polygamy--An Ideal City--Humors of Bathing
in Great Salt Lake.


CHAPTER VI.

THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.

A History of the Indian Nation--Early Struggles of Oklahoma
Boomers--Fight between Home-Seekers and Soldiers--Scenes at the Opening
of Oklahoma Proper--A Miserable Night on the Prairie--A Race for
Homes--Lawlessness in the Old Indian Territory.


CHAPTER VII.

COWBOYS--REAL AND IDEAL.

A Much Maligned Class--The Cowboy as he Is, and as he is Supposed to
be--Prairie Fever and how it is Cured--Life on the Ranch Thirty Years
Ago and Now--Singular Fashions and Changes of Costume--Troubles
Encountered by would-be Bad Men.


CHAPTER VIII.

WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.

The Indians' Admirers and Critics--At School and After--Indian Courtship
and Marriage--Extraordinary Dances--Gambling by Instinct--How
"Cross-Eye" Lost his Pony--Pawning a Baby--Amusing and Degrading Scenes
on Annuity Day.


CHAPTER IX.

CIVILIZATION--ACTUAL AND ALLEGED.

Tried in the Balances and Found Wanting--Indian Archers--Bow and Arrow
Lore--Barbarous Customs that Die Slowly--"Great Wolf," the Indian
Vanderbilt--How the Seri were Taught a Valuable Lesson--Playing with
Rattlesnakes with Impunity.


CHAPTER X.

OLD TIME COMMUNISTS.

Houses on Rocks and Sand Hills--How Many Families Dwelt Together in
Unity--Peculiarities of Costumes--Pueblo Architecture and Folk Lore--A
Historic Struggle and how it Ended--Legends Concerning Montezuma--Curious
Religious Ceremonies.


CHAPTER XI.

HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.

"Remember Custer"--An Eye-Witness of the Massacre--Custer, Cody and
Alexis--A Ride over the Scenes of the Unequal Conflict--Major Reno's
Marked Failure--How "Sitting Bull" Ran Away and Lived to Fight Another
Day--Why a Medicine Man did not Summon Rain.


CHAPTER XII.

AMONG THE CREOLES.

Meaning of the word "Creole"--An Old Aristocratic Relic--The Venice of
America--Origin of the Creole Carnivals--Rex and his Annual
Disguises--Creole Balls--The St. Louis Veiled Prophets--The French
Market and other Landmarks in New Orleans--A Beautiful Ceremony and an
Unfinished Monument.


CHAPTER XIII.

THE HEATHEN CHINEE IN HIS ELEMENT.

A Trip to Chinatown, San Francisco--A House with a History--Narrow
Alleys and Secret Doors--Opium Smoking and its Effects--The
Highbinders--Celestial Theatricals--Chinese Festivals--The Brighter Side
of a Great City--A Mammoth Hotel and a Beautiful Park.


CHAPTER XIV.

BEFORE EMANCIPATION AND AFTER.

First Importation of Negro Slaves into America--The Original
Abolitionists--A Colored Enthusiast and a Coward--Origin of the word
"Secession"--John Brown's Fanaticism--Uncle Tom's Cabin--Faithful unto
Death--George Augustus Sala on the Negro who Lingered too long in the
Mill Pond.


CHAPTER XV.

OUR NATIONAL PARK.

A Delightful Rhapsody--Early History of Yellowstone Park--A Fish Story
which Convulsed Congress--The First White Man to Visit the Park--A Race
for Life--Philosophy of the Hot Springs--Mount Everts--From the Geysers
to Elk Park--Some Old Friends and New Ones--Yellowstone Lake--The
Angler's Paradise.


CHAPTER XVI.

THE HEROES OF THE IRON HORSE.

Honor to whom Honor is Due--A Class of Men Not Always Thoroughly
Appreciated at their Worth--An Amateur's Ride on a Flying
Locomotive--From Twelve Miles an Hour to Six Times that Speed--The
Signal Tower and the Men who Work in it--Stealing a Train--A Race with
Steam--Stories about Bewitched Locomotives and Providential Escapes.


CHAPTER XVII.

A RAILROAD TO THE CLOUDS.

Early History of Manitou--Zebulon Pike's Important Discovery--A Young
Medicine Man's Peril and Final Triumph--A Health Resort in Years Gone
By--The Garden of the Gods--The Railroad up Pike's Peak--Early Failures
and Final Success--The Most Remarkable Road in the World--Riding Above
the Clouds.


CHAPTER XVIII.

INTO THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH.

The Grand Cañon of the Colorado--Niagara Outdone--The Course of the
Colorado River--A Survey Party Through the Cañon--Experiences of a
Terrible Night--Wonderful Contrasts of Color in the Massive Rocks--A
Natural Wall a Thousand Feet High--Hieroglyphics which have Never been
Deciphered--Relics of a Superior Race--Conjecture as to the Origin of
the Ancient Bearded White Men.


CHAPTER XIX.

OUR GREAT WATERWAYS.

Importance of Rivers to Commerce a Generation Ago--The Ideal River
Man--The Great Mississippi River and its Importance to our Native
Land--The Treacherous Missouri--A First Mate who Found a Cook's Disguise
very Convenient--How a Second Mate got over the Inconvenience of
Temporary Financial Embarrassment.


CHAPTER XX.

THROUGH THE GREAT NORTHWEST.

The Importance of Some of our Newest States--Romantic History of
Montana--The Bad Lands and their Exact Opposite--Civilization Away Up in
the Mountains--Indians who have Never Quarreled with White
Men--Traditions Concerning Mount Tacoma--Wonderful Towns of the Extreme
Northwest--A State Shaped like a Large Chair--The Falls of Shoshone.


CHAPTER XXI.

IN THE WARM SOUTHEAST.

Florida and its Appropriate Name--The First Portions of North America
Discovered by White Men--Early Vicissitudes of its Explorers--An
Enormous Coast Line--How Key West came to be a great Cigar Town--The
Suwanee River--St. Augustine and its World-Renowned Hotel--Old Fort
Marion.


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Statue to Minute Man
Interior of Independence Hall, Philadelphia
Tomb of General Grant, Riverside Park
A Memory of Rip Van Winkle
The Exact Center of United States
Brigham Young's Grave, Salt Lake City
Chief Rain-in-the-Face and his Favorite Pony
The Cowboy as He Is
Civilized Indians
An Uncivilized Savage
The Belle of the Pueblo
Custer Battlefield and Monument
The Old French Market at New Orleans
The Prettiest Chinese Woman in America
Yellowstone Falls
In and Around Yellowstone Park
A Marvel of Magnificence
Climbing Pike's Peak by Rail
Hieroglyphic Memoirs of Past Ages
A Fin de Siecle Pleasure Steamer
Whaleback Steamer on the Lakes
Two Views of Mount Tacoma
A Restful Southern Home



MY NATIVE LAND.



CHAPTER I.


OUR NATION'S BIRTH.

The Story of Liberty Bell--Impartial Opinions on the Revolutionary
War--The Shot that was Heard Around the World--The First Committee of
Safety--A Defeat which Equaled a Victory--Washington's Earnestness--To
Congress on Horseback--The First 4th of July Celebration.


It was not until April 19th, 1775, that the shot was fired which was
"heard around the world." But the struggle for American Independence was
really started nearly a quarter of a century earlier, when on the
afternoon of August 27th, 1753, Liberty Bell was rung to call together
the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania.

In the old days of town meetings, training days, town schools and
Puritans, bells took a more prominent part in public affairs than they
do to-day. It was usual to call the people together for purposes of
deliberation by means of a village or town bell, and of these bells the
one to which we refer was the most important and interesting. Liberty
Bell is well named. It was ordered in the year 1751, and it was
delivered a year later. Shortly afterwards, it cracked, and had to be
recast, but in June, 1753, it was finally hung in the Pennsylvania State
House at Philadelphia. It has never been removed from the building
except on two occasions. The first of these was in 1777, when it was
taken to Allentown for safety, and the second in 1885, when it was
exhibited at New Orleans.

This bell, which sounded the death-blow to tyranny and oppression, was
first rung to call together the Assembly, which immediately resolved to
insist upon certain rights which had been denied the colonists by the
British Crown. Eighteen months later, it was again rung to announce the
meeting at which the rights of the colonists were sternly defined and
insisted upon. In 1765, it convened the meeting of the Assembly at which
it was resolved to be represented at the Congress of the Colonies in New
York, and a month later it was muffled and tolled when the "Royal
Charlotte" arrived, bearing the much hated stamps, whose landing was not
permitted. Again it rang muffled, when the Stamp Act went into
operation, and when the people publicly burned stamp papers. In 1768,
the Liberty Bell called a meeting of the men of Philadelphia, who
protested once again against the oppression of government without
representation. In 1771, it called the Assembly together to petition the
King of England for the repeal of the duty on tea, and two years later
it summoned together the largest crowd ever seen in Philadelphia up to
that date. At that meeting it was resolved that the ship "Polly," loaded
with tea, should not be allowed to land.

In 1774, the bell was muffled and tolled on the closing of the Port of
Boston, and in the following year it convened the memorable meeting
following the battle of Lexington. On this occasion 8,000 people
assembled in the State House yard and unanimously agreed to associate
for the purpose of defending, with arms, their lives, liberty and
property against all attempts to deprive them of them. In June, 1776,
Liberty Bell announced the submission to Congress of the draft of the
Declaration of Independence, and on July 4th of the same year, the same
bell announced the signing of the Declaration. On July 8th of the same
year, the bell was tolled vigorously for the great proclamation of
America's Independence. The tolling was suspended while the Declaration
was read, and was once more rung when that immortal document had been
thus formally promulgated.

In April, 1783, Liberty Bell rang the proclamation of Peace, and on July
4th, 1826, it ushered in the year of Jubilee.

The last tolling of the bell was in July, 1835, when, while slowly
tolling, and without any apparent reason, the bell, which had played
such an important part in the War of Independence, and in the securing
of liberty for the people of this great country, parted through its
side, making a large rent, which can still be clearly seen. It was as
though the bell realized that its great task was accomplished, and that
it could leave to other and younger bells, the minor duties which
remained to be performed.

This is not a history of the United States, but is rather a description
of some of the most interesting and remarkable features to be found in
various parts of it. It is difficult, however, to describe scenes and
buildings without at least brief historical reference, and as we present
an excellent illustration of the apartment in which the Declaration of
Independence was signed, we are compelled to make a brief reference to
the circumstances and events which preceded that most important event in
the world's history.

As we have seen, the conflict between the home country and the colonies
commenced long before there was any actual outbreak. As Mr. Thomas
Wentworth Higginson so graphically expresses it, the surrender of Canada
to England by France in 1763 suddenly opened men's eyes to the fact that
British America had become a country so large as to make England seem
ridiculously small. Even the cool-headed Dr. Franklin, writing that same
year to Mary Stevenson in London, spoke of England as "that stone in a
brook, scarce enough of it above water to keep one's shoes dry." A
far-seeing French statesman of the period looked at the matter in the
same way. Choiseul, the Prime Minister who ceded Canada, claimed
afterwards that he had done it in order to destroy the British nation by
creating for it a rival. This assertion was not made till ten years
later, and may very likely have been an afterthought, but it was
destined to be confirmed by the facts.

We have now to deal with the outbreak of a contest which was, according
to the greatest of the English statesmen of the period, "a most
accursed, wicked, barbarous, cruel, unnatural, unjust, and diabolical
war." No American writer ever employed to describe it a combination of
adjectives so vigorous as those brought together by the elder Pitt,
afterwards Lord Chatham. The rights for which Americans fought seemed to
him to be the common rights of Englishmen, and many Englishmen thought
the same.

On the other hand, we are now able to do justice to those American
Loyalists who honestly believed that the attempt at independence was a
mad one, and who sacrificed all they had rather than rebel against their
King. Massachusettensis, the well-known Tory pamphleteer, wrote that the
annals of the world had not been deformed with a single instance of so
unnatural, so causeless, so wanton, so wicked a rebellion.

These strong epithets used on both sides show how strangely opinions
were divided as to the rebellion and its causes. Some of the first
statesmen of England defended the colonists, and some of the best known
men in the colonies defended England.

The City of Boston at this time had a population of about seventeen
thousand, as compared with some half a million to-day. In its garrison
there were three thousand British troops, and the laws of Parliament
were enforced rigidly. The city suffered temporary commercial death in
consequence, and there were the most vigorous efforts made to prevent an
open outbreak of hostilities. In January, 1775, a conflict was barely
averted at Marshfield, and in the following month the situation was so
strained at Salem that nothing but great forbearance and presence of
mind on the part of the colonists prevented bloodshed. The Boston
massacre of less than five years before was still uppermost in men's
thoughts, and it was determined that the responsibility of the first
shot in the war, if war there must be, should rest with the Royal
troops.

Accordingly, the colonists accepted insult and abuse until they were
suspected by the British troops of cowardice. One officer wrote home
telling his friends that there was no danger of war, because the
colonists were bullies, but not fighters, adding that any two regiments
ought to be decimated which could not beat the entire force arrayed
against them. But the conflict could not be long delayed. It was on
April 18th, 1775, that Paul Revere rode his famous ride. He had seen the
two lights in a church steeple in Boston, which had been agreed upon as
a signal that the British troops were about to seize the supplies of the
patriots at Concord. Sergeant Monroe's caution against making
unnecessary noise, was met by his rejoinder, "You will have noise enough
here before long--the regulars are coming out."

Then he commenced his ride for life, or, rather, for the lives of
others. We all know the result of his ride, and how church bells were
tolled and signal shots fired to warn the people that the soldiers were
coming. It was a night of tumult and horror, no one knowing what
brutality they had to expect from the now enraged British soldiers. The
women of the towns, warned by the pre-arranged signals, hurried their
children from their homes, and fled to farm houses, and even barns in
the vicinity. Before daybreak the British troops had reached Lexington
Green. Here they found Captain Parker and 38 men standing up before
twenty times that number of armed troops, indifferent as to their fate,
but determined to protect their cause and their friends. The Captain's
words have passed into history. They took the form of an order to the
men:

"Don't fire unless you are fired on; but, if they want a war, let it
begin here."

History tells us of few such unequal contests as this. The troops fired
on the gallant little band, and seven of their number were killed. The
fight at Concord followed, when 450 Americans met the British troops at
the North Bridge, where

    "Once the embattled farmers stood,
  And fired the shot heard around the world."

The British detachment was beaten back in disorder, but the main body
was too strong to be attacked. The minute men, however, made a most
magnificent fight, and at the close of the day they had killed 273
British soldiers, only 93 of their own number being among the killed or
missing.

Thus commenced the War of Independence, the event being described by Dr.
Joseph Warren in a document of sufficient interest to warrant its
reproduction in full.

"The barbarous murders committed on our innocent brethren," wrote the
doctor, "have made it absolutely necessary that we immediately raise an
army to defend our wives and our children from the butchering hands of
an inhuman soldiery, who, incensed at the obstacles they met with in
their bloody progress, and enraged at being repulsed from the field of
slaughter, will, without the least doubt, take the first opportunity in
their power to ravage this devoted country with fire and sword. We
conjure you, therefore, by all that is dear, by all that is sacred, that
you give all assistance possible in forming an army. Our all is at
stake. Death and devastation are the instant consequences of delay.
Every moment is infinitely precious. An hour lost may deluge our country
in blood, and entail perpetual slavery upon the few of your posterity
who may survive the carnage. We beg and entreat, as you will answer to
your country, to your own consciences, and, above all, as you will
answer to God himself, that you will hasten and encourage, by all
possible means, the enlistment of men to form an army, and send them
forward to headquarters at Cambridge, with that expedition which the
vast importance and instant urgency of the affair demand."

Two days after the fight, the Massachusetts Committee of Safety resolved
to enlist 8,000 men, an event which our old friend Liberty Bell
celebrated by a vigorous tolling. All over the colonies a spirit of
determination to resist spread like lightning, and the shot that was
heard around the world was certainly heard very distinctly in every nook
and corner of New England, and of the old Atlantic States. Naturally,
there was at first a lack of concentration and even of discipline; but
what was lacking in these features was more than made up for by bravery
and determination. As John Adams wrote in 1818, the army at Cambridge at
this time was not a National army, for there was no nation. It was not
even an army of the United Colonies, because the Congress at
Philadelphia had not adopted or acknowledged the army at Cambridge. It
was not even the New England army, for each State had its separate
armies, which had united to imprison the British army in Boston. There
was not even the Commander-in-Chief of the allied armies.

These anomalies, of course, righted themselves rapidly. Gage's
proclamation of martial law expedited the battle at Bunker Hill, which
was brought about by the impatience of the British troops, and by the
increased confidence among the colonists, resulting from the fights at
Lexington and Concord. It is true, of course, that the untrained
American troops failed to vanquish the British army at Bunker Hill, but
the monument at that spot celebrates the fact that for two hours the
attacks of the regulars were withstood. A prominent English newspaper
described the battle as one of innumerable errors on the part of the
British. As William Tudor wrote so graphically, "The Ministerial troops
gained the hill, but were victorious losers. A few more such victories
and they are undone." Many writers have been credited with the
authorship of a similar sentiment, written from the American standpoint.
"It is true that we were beaten, but it will not take many such defeats
to accomplish a magnificent victory."

What began to be known as the great American army increased in strength.
It was adopted by Congress, and George Washington placed in command.
Under the historic elm tree at Cambridge, Mass., which was the scene of
so many important councils in the first hours of the life of the United
States, he assumed the authority bestowed upon him with this office, and
a week later he held a council with his officers. He found some 17,000
men at his command, whom he described as a mixed multitude of people
under very little discipline.

William Emerson, grandfather of the great poet, in a soliloquy on the
strange turn events had taken, said "Who would have thought, twelve
months past, that all Cambridge and Charleston would be covered over
with American camps and cut up into forts and entrenchments, and all the
lands, fields and orchards laid common, with horses and cattle feeding
on the choicest mowing land, and large parks of well-regulated locusts
cut down for firewood. This, I must say, looks a little melancholy. It
is very diverting to walk among the camps. They are as different in
their look as the owners are in their dress, and every tent is a
portraiture of the temper and tastes of the persons who encamp in it.
Some are made of boards and some of sailcloth; some partly of one and
some partly of the other; again, others are made of stone and turf,
brick or brush. Some are thrown up in a hurry, others curiously wrought
with doors and windows, done with wreaths and withes, in the manner of a
basket. Some are proper tents, looking like the regular camp of the
enemy. In these are the Rhode Islanders, who are furnished with tent
equipages and everything in the most exact English style. However, I
think this great variety is rather a beauty than a blemish in the army."

As was to be expected, there was more or less of a lack of harmony and
unity among the companies of men collected together to form an army to
fight for liberty. History tells us that there was even a little
jealousy between the four New England colonies. There was also a good
deal of distrust of Washington. It was argued that at least one-third of
the class from which he came had Tory and Royalist inclinations, and
what guarantee had they that Washington was not one of their number?
Washington himself found that those who styled themselves in old country
parlance "The Gentry," were loyal to King George rather than to the
colonies, and while his own men were inclined, at times, to doubt the
sincerity of the Father of his Country, the very men with whom he was
suspected of being in sympathy were denouncing him with vigor.

Washington, to his lasting credit be it said, was indifferent both to
praise and censure. Seeing that discipline was the one thing needful, he
commenced to enforce it with an iron hand. He declined any remuneration,
and gave his services freely to the cause. He found himself short of
ammunition, and several times he lost a number of his men. In the spring
of 1776, Washington went to New York with his Continental army. Here he
found new difficulties, and met with a series of mishaps. The failure of
the advance into Canada during the winter had hurt materially, but the
bravery of the troops in the Carolinas came as a grand encouragement.

We need not trace further the progress of the war, or note how, through
many discouragements and difficulties, the cause of right was made to
triumph over the cause of might. We will pass on to note a few of the
interesting facts in connection with the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. To-day, our Senators and Congressmen travel to the
National Capital in Pullman cars, surrounded by every luxury that wealth
and influence can bring them.

In the days of the Continental Congress it required a good deal more
nerve to fulfill one's duty. The delegate had to journey to Congress on
horseback. Sometimes he could find a little country inn at which he
could sleep at night, but at others he had to camp in the open as best
he could. Frequently a friendly warning would cause him to make a detour
of several miles in order to escape some threatened danger, and,
altogether, his march to the capital was far from being triumphant.

At this particular period the difficulties were more than usually great.
The delegates arrived at Philadelphia jaded and tired. They found stable
room for their horses, made the best toilet possible, and found their
way at once to Independence Hall, where opinions were exchanged. On the
7th of June, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia submitted a series of
resolutions, under the instructions of the Virginia Assembly--resolutions
which, it may be stated, pledged the colonies to carry on the war until
the English were entirely driven out of the country. Congress declared
deliberately that the United States was absolved from all allegiance to
the British Crown, and it then proceeded to burn its bridges, by
declaring the expediency of taking effectual measures for forming foreign
alliances. John Adams seconded the resolutions, which were not passed
without debate.

Delegates from New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina opposed the
proposition very vigorously, one member stating that it required the
impudence of a New Englander for them, in their disjointed state, to
propose a treaty to a nation now at peace; that no reason could be
assigned for pressing this measure but the reason of every madman--a
show of spirit. John Adams defended the resolutions, claiming that they
proclaimed objects of the most stupendous magnitude, in which the lives
and liberties of millions yet unborn were infinitely interested.
Finally, the consideration was postponed, to be passed almost
unanimously on July 2d. John Adams was most enthusiastic over this
result, and, writing to his wife on the subject, he said:

"The 2d day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the
history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by
succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be
commemorated as a day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God
Almighty, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time
forward, forevermore."

But although the day referred to by John Adams saw the thirteen colonies
become independent States, it is July the 4th that the country
celebrates. On that day the Declaration of Independence was promulgated.
This marvelous document was prepared by Jefferson in a small brick
house, which then stood out in the fields, but which is now known as the
southwest corner of Market and Seventh Streets, Philadelphia. It is
situated within about four hundred yards of Independence Square. In his
little room in this house, on a very small writing desk, which is still
in existence, Jefferson drafted the title deed of our liberties. He
wrote without reference of any kind, merely placing upon paper the
succession of thoughts which had been paramount in his mind for years.
In the original document, as submitted by Jefferson, there appeared a
stern condemnation of the "piratical warfare against human nature
itself," as slavery was described. This was stricken out by Congress,
and finally the document, as amended, was adopted by the vote of twelve
colonies, New York declining to vote.

We give an illustration of the Interior of Independence Hall. Here it
was that the Declaration was signed. According to some authorities the
signing did not take place on July 4th, while according to others it
did. Some records seem to show that fifty-four of the fifty-six names
were attached to the parchment on August 2d. Jefferson frequently stated
that the signing of the Declaration was hastened by a very trivial
circumstance. Near the Hall there was a large stable, where flies
abounded. All the delegates wore silk stockings, and were thus in a
condition to be easily annoyed by flies. The heat was intolerable, and a
tremendous invasion by the little pests, who were not retarded by fly
screens or mosquito bars, drove the legislators almost frantic, and
caused them to append their signatures to the document with almost
indecent haste.

However this may be, the Declaration was finally signed, and Liberty
Bell proclaimed the fact to all within hearing. John Hancock, we are
told, referred to his almost schoolboy signature with a smile, saying
that John Bull could read his name without spectacles. Franklin is said
to have remarked that they must all hang together, or else most
assuredly they would all hang separately--a play upon words showing that
the patriot's sense of humor was too admirably developed to be dimmed
even by an event of this magnitude.

There were rejoicings on every hand that the great act had been
accomplished. A very pleasing story tells of how an aged bell-ringer
waited breathlessly to announce to waking thousands the vote of
Congress. This story has since been denied, and it seems evident that
the vote was not announced until the following day, when circulars were
issued to the people. On July 6th, the Declaration was printed in a
Philadelphia newspaper, and on the 8th, John Nixon read the Declaration
in the yard of Independence Hall. On the same day, the Royal Arms over
the door of the Supreme Court Room were torn down, and the trophies thus
secured burned.

The first 4th of July celebration of which we have any record, took
place two years after the signing. General Howe had left the city
shortly before, and every one was feeling bright and happy. In the diary
of one of the old patriots who took part in this unique celebration,
appears the following quaint, and even picturesque, description of the
events of the day:

"On the glorious 4th of July (1778), I celebrated in the City Tavern,
with my brother delegates of Congress and a number of other gentlemen,
amounting, in whole, to about eighty, the anniversary of Independency.
The entertainment was elegant and well conducted. There were four tables
spread; two of them extended the whole length of the room; the other two
crossed them at right angles. At the end of the room, opposite the upper
table, was erected an Orchestra. At the head of the upper table, and at
the President's right hand, stood a large baked pudding, in the center
of which was planted a staff, on which was displayed a crimson flag, in
the midst of which was this emblematic device: An eye, denoting
Providence; a label, on which was inscribed, 'An appeal to Heaven;' a
man with a drawn sword in his hand, and in the other the Declaration of
Independence, and at his feet a scroll inscribed, 'The declaratory
acts.' As soon as the dinner began, the music, consisting of clarionets,
hautboys, French horns, violins and bass-viols, opened and continued,
making proper pauses, until it was finished. Then the toasts, followed
by a discharge of field-pieces, were drank, and so the afternoon ended.
On the evening there was a cold collation and a brilliant exhibition of
fireworks. The street was crowded with people during the exhibition.

"What a strange vicissitude in human affairs! These, but a few years
since colonies of Great Britain, are now free, sovereign, and
independent States, and now celebrate the anniversary of their
independence in the very city where, but a day or two before, General
Howe exhibited his ridiculous Champhaitre."

Independence Hall remains to-day in a marvelous state of preservation.
At the great Centennial Exposition, held to celebrate the hundredth
anniversary of the events to which we have alluded in this chapter, tens
of thousands of people passed through the room in which the Declaration
of Independence was signed, and gazed with mingled feelings upon the
historical bell, which, although it had long outlived its usefulness,
had in days gone by done such grand proclaiming of noble truth,
sentiment and action. Up to quite a recent date, justice was
administered in the old building, but most of the courts have now been
moved to the stately structure modern Philadelphia is now erecting at
the cost of some $16,000,000.

Independence Hall and Independence Square are lovingly cared for, and
visitors from all nations are careful to include them both in their tour
of sight-seeing while in this country. Within the Hall they find old
parchments and Eighteenth Century curiosities almost without number, and
antiquarians find sufficient to interest and amuse them for several days
in succession. Every lover of his native land, no matter what that land
may be, raises his hat in reverence when in this ancient and
memory-inspiring building, and he must be thoughtless, indeed, who can
pass through it without paying at least a mental tribute of respect to
the memories of the men who were present at the birth of the greatest
nation the world has ever seen, and who secured for the people of the
United States absolute liberty.

The illustration of the interior of Independence Hall on page 17, was
furnished for use in this work by the National Company of St. Louis,
publishers of "Our Own Country," a large work descriptive of a tour
throughout the most picturesque sections of the United States. The
letter-press in "Our Own Country" was written by the author of this
work, and it is one of the finest tributes to the picturesqueness of
America that has ever been published. Other illustrations in this work
were also kindly supplied by the same publishing house.



CHAPTER II.


THE WITCHES OF SALEM.

A Relic of Religious Bigotry--Parson Lawson's Tirade Against
Witchcraft--Extraordinary Court Records of Old Puritan Days--Alleged
Supernatural Conjuring--A Man and his Wife both put to Death--Crushed
for Refusing to Plead--A Romance of the Old Days of Witch Persecution.

Among the curiosities of New England shown to tourists and visitors, is
the original site of some of the extraordinary trials and executions for
witchcraft in the town of Salem, now known as Danvers, Mass. Looking
back upon the events of two hundred years ago, the prosecution of the
alleged witches appears to us to have been persecution of the most
infamous type. The only justification for the stern Puritans is the fact
that they inherited their ideas of witchcraft and its evils from their
forefathers, and from the country whence most of them came.

One of the earliest precepts of religious bigotry was, "Thou shalt not
allow a witch to live," and from time immemorial witchcraft appears to
have been a capital offense. It is on record that thousands of people
have, from time to time, been legally murdered for alleged intercourse
and leaguing with the Evil One. The superstition seems to have gained
force rather than lost it by the spread of early Christianity. As a
rule, the victims of the craze were women, and the percentage of aged
and infirm women was always very large. One of the greatest jurists of
England, during the Seventeenth Century, condemned two young girls to
the gallows for no other offense than the alleged crime of having
exerted a baneful influence over certain victims, and having, what would
be called in certain districts, "hoodooed" them.

In Scotland the craze was carried to still further lengths. To be
accused of witchcraft was to be condemned as a matter of course, and the
terrible death of burning at the stake was the invariable sentence. Most
of the victims made imaginary confessions, preferring to die at once
than to be tortured indefinitely. In the year 1716, a wealthy lady and
her nine-year-old daughter were hanged for witchcraft, and even thirty
or forty years later the records of Great Britain are sullied by another
similar case of persecution.

These unsavory records are given in order to correct a misapprehension
as to the part the old Puritans took in the persecutions. Many people
seriously believed that the idea of witchcraft, as a capital offense,
originated in Salem, and attribute to the original witch-house the
reputation of having really given birth to a new superstition and a new
persecution. As we have seen, this is entirely erroneous. The fact that
the Puritans copied a bad example, instead of setting a new one, should,
at least, be remembered in palliation of the unfortunate blot upon their
otherwise clean escutcheon.

In the year 1704, one Deodat Lawson, minister at Salem during the last
sixteen or seventeen years of the Seventeenth Century, published a
remarkable work, entitled "Christ's Fidelity, the only Shield against
Satan's Malignity." In this work appears a record of the so-called
calamity at Salem, which the author tells us was afflicted, about the
year 1692, "with a very sore and grievous infliction, in which they had
reason to believe that the Sovereign and Holy God was pleased to permit
Satan and his instruments to affright and afflict those poor mortals in
such an astonishing and unusual manner."

The record of Parson Lawson is so realistic and emblematic of the times
in which he lived, that we reproduce some of his own expressions. Thus,
he says, "Now, I having for some time before attended the work of the
Ministry in Salem Village, the report of those great afflictions came
quickly to my notice, the more so, because the first person afflicted
was in the minister's family, who succeeded me after I was removed from
them. In pity, therefore, to my Christian friends and former
acquaintance there, I was much concerned about them, frequently
consulted with them, and (by Divine assistance) prayed for them; but
especially my concern was augmented when it was reported at an
examination of a person suspected for witchcraft, that my wife and
daughter, who died three years before, were sent out of the world under
the malicious operations of the infernal powers, as is more fully
represented in the following remarks. I did then desire, and was also
desired by some concerned in the court, to be there present that I might
hear what was alleged in that respect, observing, therefore, when I was
amongst them, that the case of the afflicted was very amazing and
deplorable, and the charges brought against the accused such as were
grounds of suspicion, yet very intricate and difficult to draw up right
conclusions about them. They affirmed that they saw the ghosts of
several departed persons, who, at their appearing, did instigate them to
discover such as (they said) were instruments to hasten their death,
threatening sorely to afflict them if they did not make it known to the
magistrates.

"They did affirm at the examination, and again at the trial of an
accused person, that they saw the ghosts of his two wives (to whom he
had acted very ill in their lives, as was proved by several
testimonies), and also that they saw the ghosts of my wife and daughter
(who died above three years before), and they did affirm that when the
very ghosts looked on the prisoner at the bar they looked red, as if the
blood would fly out of their faces with indignation at him. The manner
of it was thus: Several afflicted being before the prisoner at the bar,
on a sudden they fixed all their eyes together on a certain place on the
floor before the prisoner, neither moving their eyes nor bodies for some
few minutes, nor answering to any question which was asked them. So soon
as that trance was over, some being out of sight and hearing, they were
all, one after another, asked what they saw, and they did all agree that
they saw those ghosts above mentioned. I was present and heard and saw
the whole of what passed upon that account during the trial of that
person who was accused to be the instrument of Satan's malice therein.

"Sundry pins have been taken out the wrists and arms of the afflicted,
and one, in time of examination of a suspected person, had a pin run
through both her upper and lower lip when she was called to speak, yet
no apparent festering followed thereupon after it was taken out. Some of
the afflicted, as they were striving in their fits in open court, have
(by invisible means) had their wrists bound together with a real cord,
so as it could hardly be taken off without cutting. Some afflicted have
been found with their arms tied and hanged upon a hook, from whence
others have been forced to take them down, that they might not expire in
that posture. Some afflicted have been drawn under tables and beds by
undiscerned force, so as they could hardly be pulled out. And one was
drawn half way over the side of a well, and with much difficulty
recovered back again. When they were most grievously afflicted, if they
were brought to the accused, and the suspected person's hand but laid
upon them, they were immediately relieved out of their tortures; but if
the accused did but look on them, they were immediately struck down
again. Wherefore, they used to cover the face of the accused while they
laid their hands on the afflicted, and then it obtained the desired
issue. For it hath been experienced (both in examinations and trials)
that so soon as the afflicted came in sight of the accused, they were
immediately cast into their fits. Yea, though the accused were among the
crowd of people, unknown to the sufferers, yet on the first view they
were struck down; which was observed in a child of four or five years of
age, when it was apprehended that so many as she would look upon, either
directly or by turning her head, were immediately struck into their
fits.

"An iron spindle of a woolen wheel, being taken very strangely out of an
house at Salem Village, was used by a spectre as an instrument of
torture to a sufferer, not being discernible to the standers by until it
was by the said sufferer snatched out of the spectre's hand, and then it
did immediately appear to the persons present to be really the same iron
spindle.

"Sometimes, in their fits, they have had their tongues drawn out of
their mouths to a fearful length, their heads turned very much over
their shoulders, and while they have been so strained in their fits, and
had their arms and legs, etc., wrested as if they were quite dislocated,
the blood hath gushed plentifully out of their mouths for a considerable
time together; which some, that they might be satisfied that it was real
blood, took upon their finger and rubbed on their other hand. I saw
several together thus violently strained and bleeding in their fits, to
my very great astonishment that my fellow mortals should be so
grievously distressed by the invisible powers of darkness. For certainly
all considerate persons who beheld these things must needs be convinced
their motions in their fits were preternatural and involuntary, both as
to the manner, which was so strange, as a well person could not (at
least without great pain) screw their bodies into; and as to the
violence, also, they were preternatural motions, being much beyond the
ordinary force of the same persons when they were in their right minds.
So that, being such grievous sufferers, it would seem very hard and
unjust to censure them of consenting to or holding any voluntary
converse or familiarity with the devil.

"Some of them were asked how it came to pass that they were not
affrighted when they saw the Black-man. They said they were at first,
but not so much afterwards. Some of them affirmed they saw the Black-man
sit on the gallows, and that he whispered in the ears of some of the
condemned persons when they were just ready to be turned off--even while
they were making their last speech.

"Some of them have sundry times seen a White-man appearing among the
spectres, and as soon as he appeared, the Black-Witches vanished; they
said this White-man had often foretold them what respite they should
have from their fits; as, sometimes, a day or two or more, which fell
out accordingly. One of the afflicted said she saw him in her fit, and
was with him in a glorious place, which had no candle or sun, yet was
full of light and brightness, where there was a multitude in 'white,
glittering robes,' and they sang the song in Rev. v, 9. She was both to
leave that place and said: 'How long shall I stay here? Let me be along
with you.' She was grieved she could stay no longer in that place and
company.

"A young woman that was afflicted at a fearful rate had a spectre appear
to her with a white sheet wrapped about it, not visible to the standers
by, until this sufferer (violently striving in her fit) snatched at,
took hold and tore off the corner of that sheet. Her father, being by
her, endeavored to lay hold of it with her, that she might retain what
she had gotten; but at the passing away of the spectre, he had such a
violent twitch of his hand as it would have been torn off. Immediately
thereupon appeared in the sufferer's hand the corner of a sheet, a real
cloth, visible to the spectators, which (as it is said) remains still to
be seen."

It was proved, the records of the time continue, by substantial
evidences against one person accused, that he had such an unusual
strength (though a very little man) that he could hold out a gun with
one hand, behind the lock, which was near seven foot in the barrel,
being such as a lusty man could command with both hands, after the usual
manner of shooting. It was also proved that he lifted barrels of metal
and barrels of molasses out of a canoe alone; and that, putting his
fingers into a barrel of molasses, full within a finger's length,
according to custom, he carried it several paces. And that he put his
finger into the muzzle of a gun which was more than five foot in the
barrel, and lifted up the butt end thereof, lock, stock and all, without
any visible help to raise it. It was also testified that, being abroad
with his wife and his wife's brother, he occasionally stayed behind,
letting his wife and her brother walk forward; but, suddenly coming up
with them, he was angry with his wife for what discourse had passed
betwixt her and her brother. They wondering how he should know it, he
said: "I know your thoughts," at which expression they, being amazed,
asked him how he could do that, he said: "My God whom I serve makes
known your thoughts to me."

Some affirmed that there were some hundreds of the society of witches,
considerable companies of whom were affirmed to muster in arms by beat
of drum. In time of examinations and trials, they declared that such a
man was wont to call them together from all quarters to witch-meetings,
with the sound of a diabolical trumpet.

Being brought to see the prisoners at the bar, upon their trials, they
swore, in open court, that they had oftentimes seen them at witch
meetings, "where was feasting, dancing and jollity, as also at devil
sacraments, and particularly that they saw such a man amongst the
accursed crew, and affirming that he did minister the sacrament of Satan
to them, encouraging them to go on in their way, and that they should
certainly prevail. They said, also, that such a woman was a deacon and
served in distributing the diabolical element. They affirmed that there
were great numbers of the witches."

With such sentiments as these prevailing, it is not at all remarkable
that the alleged witches were treated with continual and
conspicuous-brutality. One old lady of sixty, named Sarah Osburn, was
hounded to death for being a witch. The poor old lady, who was in fairly
good circumstances, and appears to have been of good character, was put
upon her trial for witchcraft. For three days, more or less ridiculous
testimony was given against her, and a number of little children, who
had evidently been carefully coached, stated upon the stand that Mrs.
Osburn had bewitched them. She was called upon by the court to confess,
which she declined to do, stating that she was rather a victim than a
criminal. She was sent to jail, and treated with so much brutality that
she died before it was possible to execute her in the regulation manner.

Bridget Bishop was another of the numerous victims. The usual charges
were brought against her, and she was speedily condemned to death.
Before the sentence was executed, the custom of taking council with the
local clergy was followed. These good men, while they counseled caution
in accepting testimony, humbly recommended the government to the speedy
and vigorous prosecution of such as "had rendered themselves obnoxious
by infringing the wholesome statutes of the English Nation for the
detection of witchcraft." Following this recommendation, double and
treble hangings took place, and there was enough brutality to appease
the appetite of the most vindictive and malicious.

Perhaps the most extraordinary record of witchcraft persecution at the
end of the Seventeenth Century was that of Giles Corey and his wife
Martha. The singular feature of the case is, that the husband had been
one of the most enthusiastic declaimers against the unholy crime of
witchcraft, while his good wife had been rather disposed to ridicule the
idea, and to condemn the prosecutions as persecutions. She did her best
to prevent Giles from attending trials, and one of the most serious
charges against her was that on one occasion she hid the family saddle,
so as to prevent her lord and master from riding to one of the
examinations.

This attempt to assert woman's rights two hundred years ago was resented
very bitterly, and two enthusiastic witch-hunters were sent to her house
to entrap her into a confession. On the way they made inquiries, which
resulted in their being able to patch up a charge against the woman for
walking in ghostly attire during the night. When the detectives called
at the house she told them she knew the object of their visit, but that
she was no witch, and did not believe there was such a thing. The mere
fact of her knowing the object of their visit was regarded as conclusive
evidence against her, although a fair-minded person would naturally
suggest that, in view of local sentiment, her guess was a very easy one.
The poor woman was immediately arrested and placed on trial. Several
little children were examined, and these shouted out in the
witness-stand, that when the afflicted woman bit her lip in her grief,
they were seized with bodily pains, which continued until she loosened
her teeth. The chronicles of the court tell us, with much solemnity,
that when the woman's hands were tied her victims did not suffer, but
the moment the cords were removed they had fits.

Even her husband was called as a witness against her. His evidence does
not appear to have been very important or relevant. But another witness,
a Mrs. Pope, who appears to have been an expert in these matters, and to
have been called at nearly every trial, took off her shoe in court and
threw it at the prisoner's head, an act of indecorum which was condoned
on the ground of the evident sincerity of the culprit. The poor woman
was condemned, as a matter of course, and when she was removed to jail,
a deputation from the church of which she was a member called upon her
and excommunicated her. She mounted the ladder which led to the gallows
with much dignity, and died without any attempt to prolong her life by a
confession.

The fate of her husband was still more terrible. Notwithstanding his
zeal, and the fact that he had given evidence against his own wife, he
was arrested, charged with a similar offense. Whether hypnotic
influences were exerted, or whether the examining justices merely
imagined things against the prisoner, cannot be known at this time. The
court records, however, state that while the witnesses were on the
stand, they were so badly afflicted with fits and hurts, that the
prisoner's hands had to be tied before they could continue their
testimony. Unlike his wife, the poor man did not deny the existence of
witchcraft, and merely whined out, in reply to the magistrate's censure,
that he was a poor creature and could not help it. The evidence against
him was very slight, indeed, and he was remanded to jail, where he lay
unmolested, and apparently forgotten, for five or six months.

He was then excommunicated by his church, and brought before the court
again. Sojourn in jail seems to have made the old man stubborn, for when
he was once more confronted by his persecutors he declined to plead, on
the ground that there was no charge against him. An old obsolete English
law was revived against him, and the terrible sentence was pronounced
that for standing mute he be remanded to the prison from whence he came
and put into a low, dark chamber. There he was to be laid on his back,
on the bare floor, without clothing. As great a weight of iron as he
could bear was to be placed upon his body, and there to remain. The
first day he was to have three morsels of bread, and on the second day
three draughts of water, to be selected from the nearest pool that could
be found. Thus was the diet to be alternated, day by day, until he
either answered his accusation or died.

On September 19th, 1692, death came as a happy relief to the miserable
man, who had begged the sheriff to add greater weights so as to expedite
the end. This is the only case on record of a man having been "pressed
to death" in New England for refusing to plead, or for any other
offense. There are a few cases on record where this inhuman law was
enforced previously in England, but it was always regarded as a relic of
mediaeval barbarity, and the fact that it was revived in the witch
persecutions is a very significant one. After his death, an attempt was
made to justify the act by the statement that Corey himself had pressed
a man to death. This justification appears feeble, and to be without any
corroborative testimony.

Another very remarkable witch story has about it a tinge of romance,
although the main facts actually occurred as stated. A sailor named
Orcutt, left his sweetheart on one of his regular voyages, promising to
return at an early date to claim his bride. The girl he left behind him,
whose name was Margaret, appears to have been a very attractive,
innocent young lady, who suffered considerably from the jealousy of a
rival. Soon after the departure of her lover, the witch difficulty
arose, and the young girl was much worried and grieved at what happened.
On one occasion she happened to say to a friend that she was sorry for
the unfortunate witches who were to be hanged on the following day. The
friend appears to have been an enemy in disguise, and, turning to
Margaret, told her that if she talked that way she would herself be
tried as a witch. As an evidence of how vindictive justice was at this
time, the poor girl was arrested by the sheriff on the following day, in
the name of the King and Queen, on a charge of witchcraft. The young
girl was led through the streets and jeered at by the crowd. Arrived at
the court, her alleged friend gave a variety of testimony against her.
The usual stories about aches and pains were of course told. Some other
details were added. Thus, Margaret by looking at a number of hens had
killed them. She had also been seen running around at night in spectral
attire. The poor girl fainted in the dock, and this was regarded as a
chastisement from above, and as direct evidence of her guilt. She was
removed to the jail, where she had to lie on a hard bench, only to be
dragged back into court the following day, to be asked a number of
outrageous questions.

With sobs she protested her innocence, but as she did so, the witnesses
against her called out that they were in torment, and that the very
motion of the girl's lips caused them terrible pain. She was sentenced
to be hanged with eight other alleged witches two days later, and was
carried back, fainting, to her cell. In a few minutes the girl was
delirious, and began to talk about her lover, and of her future
prospects. Even her sister was not allowed to remain with her during the
night, and the frail young creature was left to the tender mercies of
heartless jailors.

A few hours before the time set for execution, young Orcutt sailed into
the harbor, and before daybreak he was at the house. Here he learned for
the first time the awful calamity which had befallen his sweetheart in
his absence. At 7 o'clock he was allowed to enter the jail, with the
convicted girl's sister. At the prison door they were informed that the
wicked girl had died during the night. Knowing that there was no hope
under any circumstances of the sentence being remitted, the bereaved
ones regarded the news as good, and although they broke down with grief
at the shipwreck of their lives, they both realized that, to use the
devout words of the victim's sister, "The Lord had delivered her from
the hands of her enemies."

The record of brutality in connection with the witch agitation might be
continued almost without limit, for the number of victims was very
great. Visitors to Danvers to-day are often shown by local guides where
some of the tragedies of the persecution were committed. The
superstition was finally driven away by educational enlightenment, and
it seems astounding that it lasted as long as it did. Two hundred years
have nearly elapsed since the craze died out, and it is but charitable
to admit, that although many of the witnesses must have been corrupt and
perjured, the majority of those connected with the cases were thoroughly
in earnest, and that although they rejoiced at the undoing of the
ungodly, they regretted very much being made the instruments of that
undoing.



CHAPTER III.


IN PICTURESQUE NEW YORK.

Some Local Errors Corrected--A Trip Down the Hudson River--The Last of
the Mohicans--The Home of Rip Van Winkle--The Ladies of Vassar and their
Home--West Point and its History--Sing Sing Prison--The Falls of
Niagara--Indians in New York State.


Residents in the older States of the East are frequently twitted with
their ignorance concerning the newer States of the West, and of the
habits and customs of those who, having taken Horace Greeley's advice at
various times, turned their faces toward the setting sun, determined to
take advantage of the fertility of the soil, and grow up with the
country of which they knew but little.

It needs but a few days' sojourn in an Eastern city by a Western man to
realize how sublimely ignorant the New Englander is concerning at least
three-fourths of his native land. The writer was, on a recent occasion,
asked, in an Eastern city, how he managed to get along without any of
the comforts of civilization, and whether he did not find it necessary
to order all of his clothing and comforts by mail from the East. When he
replied that in the larger cities, at any rate, of the West, there were
retail emporiums fully up to date in all matters of fashion and
improvement, and caterers who could supply the latest delicacies in
season at reasonable prices, an incredulous smile was the result, and
regret was expressed that local prejudice and pride should so blind a
man to the actual truth.

Yet there was no exaggeration whatever in the reply, as the experienced
traveler knows well. Neither Chicago nor St. Louis are really in the
West, so far as points of the compass are concerned, both of these
cities being hundreds of miles east of the geographical center of the
United States. But they are both spoken of as "out West," and are
included in the territory in which the extreme Eastern man is apt to
think people live on the coarsest fare, and clothe themselves in the
roughest possible manner. Yet the impartial and disinterested New York
or Boston man who visits either of these cities speedily admits that he
frequently finds it difficult to believe that he is not in his own much
loved city, so close is the resemblance in many respects between the
business houses and the method of doing business. Denver is looked upon
by the average Easterner almost in the light of a frontier city, away
out in the Rockies, surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery, no doubt, but
also by grizzly bears and ferocious Indians. San Francisco is too far
away to be thought very intelligently, but a great many people regard
that home of wealth and elegance as another extreme Western
die-in-your-boots, rough-and-tumble city.

This ignorance, for it is ignorance rather than prejudice, results from
the mania for European travel, which was formerly a characteristic of
the Atlantic States, but which of recent years has, like civilization,
traveled West. The Eastern man who has made money is much more likely to
take his family on a European tour than on a trip through his native
country. He incurs more expense by crossing the Atlantic, and although
he adds to his store of knowledge by traveling, he does not learn matter
of equal importance to him as if he had crossed the American continent
and enlightened himself as to the men and manners in its different
sections and States.

Nor is this sectional ignorance confined, by any means, to the East.
People in the West are apt to form an entirely erroneous impression of
Eastern States. The word, "East," to them conveys an impression of dense
population, overcrowding, and manufacturing activity. That there are
thousands and thousands of acres of scenic grandeur, as well as farm
lands, in some of the most crowded States, is not realized, and that
this is the case will be news to many. Last year a party of Western
people were traveling to New York, and, on their way, ran through
Pennsylvania, around the picturesque Horse Shoe Curve in the
Alleghenies, and along the banks of the romantic and historic
Susquehanna. A member of the party was seen to be wrapped in thought for
a long time. He was finally asked what was worrying him.

"I was thinking," was his reply, "how singular it is that the Republican
party ran up a majority of something like a hundred thousand at the
election, and I was wondering where all the folks came from who did the
voting. I haven't seen a dozen houses in the last hour."

Our friend was only putting into expression the thought which was
indulged in pretty generally by the entire crowd. Those who were making
the transcontinental trip for the first time marveled at the expanse of
open country, and the exquisite scenery through which they passed; and
they were wondering how they ever came to think that the noise of the
hammer and the smoke of the factory chimney were part and parcel of the
East, where they knew the money, as well as the "wise men," came from.
The object of this book being to present some of the prominent features
of all sections of the United States, it is necessary to remove, as far
as possible, this false impression; and in order to do so, we propose to
give a brief description of the romantic and historic River Hudson. This
river runs through the great State of New York, concerning which the
greatest ignorance prevails. The State itself is dwarfed, in common
estimation, by the magnitude of its metropolis, and if the Greater New
York project is carried into execution, and the limits of New York City
extended so as to take in Brooklyn and other adjoining cities, this
feeling will be intensified, rather than otherwise.

But "above the Harlem," to use an expression so commonly used when a
political contest is on, there are thousands of square miles of what may
be called "country," including picturesque mountains, pine lands which
are not susceptible of cultivation, and are preserved for recreation and
pleasure purposes, and fertile valleys, divided up into homesteads and
farms.

It is through country such as this that the River Hudson flows. It rises
in the Adirondack Mountains, some 300 miles from the sea, and more than
4,000 feet above its level. It acts as a feeder and outlet for numerous
larger and smaller lakes. At first it is a pretty little brook, almost
dry in summer, but noisy and turbulent in the rainy seasons. From
Schroon Lake, near Saratoga, it receives such a large quantity of water
that it begins to put on airs. It ceases to be a country brook and
becomes a small river. A little farther down, the bed of the river falls
suddenly, producing falls of much beauty, which vary in intensity and
volume with the seasons.

At Glens Falls the upper Hudson passes through a long defile, over a
precipice some hundred feet long. It was here that Cooper received much
of his inspiration, and one of the most startling incidents in his "The
Last of the Mohicans" is supposed to have been enacted at the falls.
When Troy is reached, the river takes upon itself quite another aspect,
and runs with singular straightness almost direct to New York harbor.
Tourists delight to sail up the Hudson, and they find an immense
quantity of scenery of the most delightful character, with fresh
discoveries at every trip. Millionaires regard the banks of the Hudson
as the most suitable spots upon which to build country mansions and
rural retreats. Many of these mansions are surrounded by exquisitely
kept grounds and beautiful parterres, which are in themselves well worth
a long journey to see.

Beacon Island, a few miles below Albany, is pointed out to the traveler
as particularly interesting, because four counties corner upon the river
just across from it. The island has a history of more than ordinary
interest. It used to be presided over by a patroon, who levied toll on
all passing vessels. Right in the neighborhood are original Dutch
settlements, and the descendants of the original immigrants hold
themselves quite aloof from the English-speaking public. They retain the
language, as well as the manners and customs, of Holland, and the
tourist who strays among them finds himself, for the moment, distinctly
a stranger in a strange land. The country abounds with legends and
romances, and is literally honeycombed with historic memories.

The town of Hudson, a little farther down the river, is interesting
because it was near here that Henry Hudson landed in September, 1609. He
was immediately surrounded by Indians, who gave him an immense amount of
information, and added to his store of experiences quite a number of
novel ones. Here is the mouth of the Catskill River, with the wonderful
Catskill Mountains in the rear. It will be news, indeed, to many of our
readers that in these wild (only partially explored) mountains there are
forests where bears, wild cats and snakes abound in large numbers.

Many people of comparative affluence reside in the hills, where there
are hotels and pleasure resorts of the most costly character. During the
storms of winter these lovers of the picturesque find themselves snowed
in for several days at the time, and have a little experience in the way
of frontier and exploration life.

The sunrises in the Catskills are rendered uniquely beautiful by the
peculiar formation of the ground, and from the same reason the thunder
storms are often thrilling in character and awful in their magnificence.
Waterfalls of all sizes and kinds, brooks, with scenery along the banks
of every description, forests, meadows, and lofty peaks make monotony
impossible, and give to the Catskill region an air of majesty which is
not easy to describe on paper.

Every visitor asks to be shown the immortalized bridge at Sleepy Hollow,
and as he gazes upon it he thinks of Washington Irving's unrivaled
description of this country. He speedily agrees with Irving that every
change of weather, and indeed every hour of the day, produces some
change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are
regarded by all the good wives far and near as perfect barometers. When
the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple, and
print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky, but, sometimes, when
the rear of the landscape is clear and cloudless, they will gather a
hood of gray vapors which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will
grow up like a crown of glory.

Here it was that Rip Van Winkle is supposed to have lived and slept, and
astonished his old friends and neighbors, and their descendants. The
path along which Rip Van Winkle marched up the mountain, prior to his
prolonged sleep, is shown to the tourist, who hears at his hotel, in the
conveyance he hires for the day, and among the very mountains
themselves, countless local legends as to Rip Van Winkle, and as to the
percentage of fact and fiction in Washington Irving's masterly
production.

If he is antiquarian enough to desire it, he can be shown the very spot
upon which Rip Van Winkle laid himself down to sleep. Local opinion
differs as to the exact spot, but there is so much faith displayed by
the people that no one can doubt that they are genuine in their beliefs
and sincere in their convictions. The tourist can also be shown the site
of the old country inn, upon the bench in front of which Rip Van Winkle
sat and astonished the natives by his extraordinary conversation, and
his refusal to believe that a generation had elapsed since he was in the
town last.

The chair upon which Dame Van Winkle is supposed to have sat, while she
was berating her idle and incorrigible lord and master, is also shown to
the visitor, and the more credulous ones gaze with interest upon a
flagon which they are assured is the very one out of which Rip Van
Winkle drank. The only thing needed to complete the illusion is the
appearance of the old dog, which the man who had so grievously overslept
himself was sure would have recognized him, had he put in his
appearance.

It is almost impossible to outlive one's welcome in the Catskill
Mountains, or to wear one's self out with sight seeing, so many are the
novelties which greet the gaze. The Catskills are abounding with
traditions quite as interesting and extraordinary as the Rip Van Winkle
story. They were known originally as the "Mountains of the Sky," a name
given them by the Indians, who for so many generations held them in
undisputed possession. Hyde Peak, the loftiest point in the Catskills,
was regarded by the Indians as the throne of the Great Spirit, and the
Dutch settlers who crowded out the Indians seem to have been almost as
generous in their superstitions and legends. These settlers dropped the
name, "Mountains of the Sky," and adopted the, to them, more euphonic
one of the Katzberg Mountains, from which the more modern name has been
adopted.

The village of Catskill deserves more than a passing notice. It is the
home of a large number of well-known people, including the widows of
many men whose names are famous in history. The old Livingston Manor was
located near the village, and a little farther down is Barrytown, where
the wealthy Astors have a palatial summer resort. A little farther down
the river are two towns with a distinctly ancient and Dutch aspect. They
were settled by the Dutch over two hundred years ago, and there are many
houses still standing which were built last century, so strongly did our
forefathers construct their homes, and make them veritable castles and
impregnable fortresses.

Another very old town on the Hudson is the celebrated seat of learning,
Poughkeepsie. Of this, it has been said that there is more tuition to
the square inch than in any other town in the world. The most celebrated
of the educational institutions at this point is the Vassar College, the
first ladies' seminary in the world, and the butt of so many jokes and
sarcasms. Poughkeepsie is not quite as old as the hills above it, but it
is exceedingly ancient. Here was held the celebrated State convention
for the ratification of the Federal Constitution, in which Alexander
Hamilton, Governor Clinton, and John Jay, and other men of immortal
names took part.

It is only comparatively recently that the first stone building erected
in this town was torn down, to make room for improvements, after it had
weathered storm and time in the most perfect manner for more than a
century and a quarter. At Newburgh, a few miles farther south, an old
gray mansion is pointed out to the visitor as Washington's headquarters
on several occasions during the Revolution. Fortunately, the State has
secured possession of the house and protects it from the hands of the
vandal.

This wonderful old house was built just a century and a half ago. A
hundred and twelve years ago Washington's army finally disbanded from
this point, and the visitor can see within the well-preserved walls of
this house the historical room, with its seven doors, within which
Washington and his generals held their numerous conferences, and in
which there are still to be found almost countless relics of the
Revolutionary War.

While sailing on the Hudson, a glimpse is obtained of West Point, the
great military school from which so many of America's celebrated
generals have graduated. West Point commands one of the finest river
passes in the country. The fort and chain stretched across the river
were captured by the British in 1777 (two years after it was decided
that West Point should be established a military post), but were
abandoned after Burgoyne's surrender. The Continental forces then
substituted stronger works. West Point thus has a history running right
back to the Revolutionary War, and the ruins of Forts Clinton and
Montgomery, which were erected in 1775, are in the immediate vicinity.

There are 176 rooms in the cadet barrack. There is no attempt at
ornamentation, and the quarters are almost rigid in their simplicity and
lack of home comfort. Not only are the embryo warriors taught the
rudiments of drill and warfare, but they are also given stern lessons in
camp life. Each young man acts as his own chambermaid, and has to keep
his little room absolutely neat and free from litter and dirt of any
kind.

The West Point Chapel is of interest on account of the number of tablets
to be found in it, immortalizing many of the Revolutionary heroes. A
winding road leads up to the cemetery, where are resting the remains of
many other celebrated generals, including Winfield Scott. The State Camp
meets annually at Peekskill, another very ancient town, replete with
Revolutionary War reminiscences. It was settled in the year 1764 by a
Dutch navigator, from whom it takes its name. Another house used by
General Washington for headquarters is to be found near the town, as
well as St. Peter's Church, in which the Father of his Country
worshiped.

Tarrytown is another of the famous spots on the Hudson. Near here
Washington Irving lived, and on the old Sleepy Hollow road is to be
found the oldest religious structure in New York State. The church was
built by the Dutch settlers in the year 1699, and close to it is the
cemetery in which Washington Irving was interred. Sunnyside, Irving's
home, is a most interesting stone structure, whose numerous gables are
covered with ivy, the immense mass of which has grown from a few slips
presented to Irving by Sir Walter Scott.

A sadder sight to the tourist on the Hudson, but one which is of
necessity full of interest, is the Sing Sing Prison, just below Croton
Point. In this great State jail an army of convicts are kept busy
manufacturing various articles of domestic use. The prison itself takes
its name from the Indian word "Ossining," which means "stone upon
stone." The village of Sing Sing, strange to say, contains many charming
residences, and the proximity of the State's prison does not seem to
have any particular effect on the spirits and the ideas of those living
in it.

Still further down the Hudson is Riverside Park, New York, the scene of
General Grant's tomb, which overlooks the lower section of the river,
concerning which we have endeavored to impart some little information of
an interesting character. Of the tomb, we present a very accurate
illustration.

While in New York State, the tourist, whether he be American or
European, is careful to pay a visit to the Niagara Falls, which have
been viewed by a greater number of people than any other scene or wonder
on the American continent. This fact is due, in part, to the admirable
railroad facilities which bring Niagara within easy riding distance of
the great cities of the East. It is also due, very largely, to the
extraordinary nature of the falls themselves, and to the grandeur of the
scene which greets the eye of the spectator.

The River Niagara is a little more than thirty-three miles long. In its
short course it takes care of the overflow of Lakes Superior, Michigan,
Huron and Erie, and as it discharges the waters of these lakes into Lake
Ontario, it falls 334 feet, or more than ten feet to the mile.

The rapids start some sixteen miles from Lake Erie. As the river channel
suddenly narrows, the velocity of the current increases with great
abruptness. The rapids are but a third of a mile in length, during which
distance there is a fall of fifty-two feet. The boat caught in these
rapids stands but a poor chance, as at the end of the torrent the water
dashes down a cataract over 150 feet deep. The Canadian Fall passes over
a rocky ledge of immense area, and in the descent leaves a space with a
watery roof, the space being known as the "Cave of the Winds," with an
entrance from the Canadian side. The Canadian Fall has a sweep of 1,100
feet and is considerably deeper than the other.

It is little more than a waste of words to endeavor to convey an
impression of the grandeur and magnificence of Niagara. People have
visited it from all parts of the world. Monarchs and princes have
acknowledged that it exceeded their wildest expectation, and every one
who has gazed upon it agrees that it is almost impossible to exaggerate
its grandeur, or to say too much concerning its magnitude. Even after
the water has dashed wildly 150 feet downwards, the descent continues.
The river bed contracts in width gradually, for seven miles below the
falls, where the whirlpool rapids are to be seen. After the second fall,
the river seems to have exhausted its vehemence, and runs more
deliberately, cutting its channel deeper into the rocky bed, and
dropping its sensational habits.

Some writers have hazarded an opinion that, as time changes all things,
so the day may come when Niagara Falls shall cease to exist. Improbable
as this idea naturally sounds, it has some foundation in fact, for there
have been marvelous changes in the falls during the last few
generations. About two hundred and fifty years ago a sketch was taken of
Niagara, and a hundred years later another artist made a careful and
apparently accurate picture. These two differ from one another
materially, and they also differ greatly from the appearance of the
falls at the present time. Both of the old pictures show a third fall on
the Canadian side. It is known that about a hundred years ago several
immense fragments of rock were broken off the rocky ledge on the
American side, and, more recently, an earthquake affected the appearance
of the Canadian Fall. Certain it is, that the immense corrosive action
of the water, and the gradual eating away of the rock on both the ledge
and basin, has had the effect of changing the location of the falls, and
forcing up the river in the direction of Lake Erie. Time alone can
decide the momentous question as to whether the falls will eventually be
so changed in appearance as to be beyond recognition. The lover of the
beautiful and grand, and more especially the antiquarian, sincerely
trusts that no such calamity will ever take place.

The history of the Indians in New York State is a very interesting one.
Prior to the discovery of America by Columbus, the section of country
including a majority of New York State and the northern portion of
Pennsylvania, was occupied by the Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas,
Cayugas and Senecas. These formed the historical Five Nations, of whom
writers of the last century tell us so much that is of lasting
importance. These tribes were self-governed, their rulers being selected
on the hereditary plan. There was a federal union between them for
purposes of offense and defense, and they called themselves,
collectively, the "People of the Long House." This imaginary house had
an eastern door at the mouth of the Mohawk River, and a western door at
the Falls of Niagara.

Bashfulness was not a characteristic of these old-time red men, who had
a special name of many letters for themselves, which, being interpreted,
meant "Men surpassing all others." They trace their origin from the
serpent-haired God, Atotarhon, and other traditions attribute their
powers of confederation and alliance to the legendary Hiawatha. They
built frame cabins and defended their homes with much skill. Their dress
was chiefly made out of deer and elk hide, and relics still in existence
show that they had good ideas of agriculture, tanning, pottery, and even
carving. They were about 12,000 strong, and they appear to have been the
most powerful Indian combination prior to the arrival of the white man.

They were powerful in war as well as comparatively sensible in peace.
Their religion was, at least, consistent, and included a firm belief in
immortality. They maintained what may be termed civilized family
relations, and treated their women with proper respect. Their conduct
towards the white men was much more friendly than might have been
expected, and almost from the first they displayed a conciliatory
attitude, and entered into alliances with the newcomers. They fought
side by side with the New Englanders against the French, and the hostile
Indians who allied with them, and in the year 1710, five of their
sachems or legislators crossed the Atlantic, and were received with
honors by the Queen of England. In diplomacy they did not prove
themselves in the long run as skillful as the newcomers, who by degrees
secured from them the land over which they had previously exercised
sovereign rights.

The survivors of these Indians have not sunk to as low a level as many
other tribes have done. It is not generally known in the West that there
are on the New York reservations, at the present time, more than 5,000
Indians, including about 2,700 survivors of the once great Seneca tribe.

The State of New York is about the same size as the Kingdom of England.
It is the nineteenth State in the Union in point of size, possessing
area of more than 49,000 square miles, of which 1,500 square miles is
covered by water, forming portions of the lakes. Its lake coast line
extends 200 miles on Lake Ontario and 75 miles on Lake Erie. Lake
Champlain flows along the eastern frontier for more than 100 miles,
receiving the waters of Lake George, which has been described as the
Como of America. The lake has a singular history. It was originally
called by the French Canadians who discovered it, the "Lake of the Holy
Sacrament," and it was the scene of battles and conflicts for over a
hundred years.

The capital of the Empire State, with its population of such magnitude
that it exceeds that of more than twenty important foreign nations, is
Albany, which was founded by the Dutch in 1623, and which has since
earned for itself the title of the "Edinburgh of America." Compared with
New York City it is dwarfed in point of population and commercial
importance.

Of the actual metropolis of the great Empire State it is impossible to
speak at any length in the limited space at one's command. Of New York
itself, Mr. Chauncey Depew said recently, in his forcible manner,
"To-day, in the sisterhood of States, she is an empire in all that
constitutes a great commonwealth. An industrious, intelligent, and
prosperous population of 5,000,000 of people live within her borders. In
the value of her farms and farm products, and in her manufacturing
industries, she is the first State in the Union. She sustains over 1,000
newspapers and periodicals, has $80,000,000 invested in church property,
and spends $12,000,000 a year on popular education. Upward of 300
academies and colleges fit her youth for special professions, and
furnish opportunities for liberal learning and the highest culture, and
stately edifices all over the State, dedicated to humane and benevolent
objects, exhibit the permanence and extent of her organized charities.
There are $600,000,000 in her savings banks, $300,000,000 in her
insurance companies, and $700,000,000 in the capital and loans of her
State and National banks. Six thousand miles of railroads, costing
$600,000,000, have penetrated and developed every accessible corner of
the State, and maintain, against all rivalry and competition, her
commercial prestige."



CHAPTER IV.


IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY.

The Geographical Center of the United States and its Location West of
the Mississippi River--The Center of Population--History of Fort
Riley--The Gallant "Seventh"--Early Troubles of Kansas--Extermination of
the Buffalo--But a Few Survivors out of Many Millions.


Kansas is included by most people in the list of Western States; by many
it is regarded as in the extreme West. If the Pilgrim Fathers had been
told that the haven of refuge they had selected would, within two or
three hundred years, be part of a great English-speaking nation with
some 70,000,000 of inhabitants, and with its center some 1,500 miles
westward, they would have listened to the story with pardonable
incredulity, and would have felt like invoking condemnation upon the
head of the reckless prophet who was addressing them.

Yet Kansas is to-day in the very center of the United States. This is
not a printer's error, nor a play upon words, much as the New Englander
may suspect the one or the other. There was a time when the word "West"
was used to apply to any section of the country a day's journey on
horseback from the Atlantic Coast. For years, and even generations,
everything west of the Allegheny Mountains or of the Ohio River was "Out
West." Even to-day it is probable that a majority of the residents in
the strictly Eastern States regard anything west of the Mississippi
River as strictly Western.

There is no doubt that when Horace Greeley told the young men of the
country to "Go West and grow up with the country," he used the term in
its common and not its strictly geographical sense, and many thousand
youths, who took the advice of the philosopher and statesman, stopped
close to the banks of the Mississippi River, and have grown rich in
their new homes. It cannot be too generally realized, however, that the
Mississippi River slowly wends its way down to the Gulf of Mexico well
within the eastern half of the greatest nation in the world. At several
points in the circuitous course of the Father of Waters, the distance
between the river and the Atlantic Ocean is about 1,000 miles. In an
equal number of points the distance to the Pacific Ocean is 2,000 miles,
showing that whatever may be said of the tributaries of the Mississippi
River, and especially of its gigantic tributary the Missouri, the
Mississippi is an Eastern and not a Western river.

We give an illustration of the point which competent surveyors and
engineers tell us is the exact geographical center of the United States
proper. The monument standing in the center of this great country is
surrounded by an iron railing, and is visited again and again by
tourists, who find it difficult to believe the fact that a point
apparently so far western is really central. The center of the United
States has gone west with the absorption of territory, and the Louisiana
purchase, the centenary of which we shall shortly celebrate, had a great
effect on the location.

The center of population has moved less spasmodically, but with great
regularity. A hundred years ago the City of Baltimore was the center of
population, and it was not until the middle of the century that Ohio
boasted of owning the population center. For some twenty years it
remained near Cincinnati, but during the '80s it went as far as
Columbus, Indiana, where it was at the last Government census. At the
present time it is probably twenty or thirty miles west of Columbus, and
in the near future Fort Riley will be the population, as well as the
geographical, center.

Fort Riley is an interesting spot for civilian and soldier alike. Having
been selected by the Government as the permanent training school for the
two mounted branches of the service--the cavalry and light
artillery--its 21,000 acres have been improved at lavish expense. It
seems really remarkable that so metropolitan a bit of ground could be
found out on the plains, where, though civilization is making rapid
strides, and the luxuries of wealth are being acquired by the advancing
population, it is unusual to find macadamized streets and buildings that
can harbor a regiment and still not be crowded. Yet such are some of the
characteristics of Fort Riley Reservation, and the newness of it all is
the best evidence of the interest the War Department has taken in its
development. Many of the recently erected buildings would grace the
capital itself. Nearly $1,000,000 have been expended in the past four
years in new structures, all of magnesia limestone, and built along the
lines of the most approved modern architecture, and of a character which
insures scores of years of usefulness.

The fort is situated on the left bank of the Kansas River, near the
junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill Forks. It was first laid out
in 1852, and has ever since been one of the leading Western posts.
Located, though it is, far out on the Kansas prairies, it has,
particularly in late years, been fully in touch with the social life of
the East, through the addition of new officers and the interchange of
post courtesies.

The post, as it stands to-day, consists of officers' quarters, artillery
and cavalry barracks, administration buildings, sheds, hospital,
dispensary, etc., scattered over 150 acres of ground. The Kansas River
is formed just southwest of it by the union of the Smoky Hill and
Republican Forks, and the topography for practice and sightseeing could
not be surpassed in the State. Five miles of macadamized streets,
150,000 feet of stone and gravel walks, six miles of sewers, four miles
of water and steam heating pipes, leading to every room of each of the
sixty buildings, make up the equipment, which is, of course, of the
highest quality throughout. All the stone is quarried on the
reservation, and is of lasting variety, and makes buildings which bear a
truly substantial appearance. The Government has an idea toward
permanency in its improvements.

The history of Fort Riley has been one of vicissitudes. When it was laid
out in 1852, it was at first called Camp Center, but was changed to its
present name by order of the War Department in honor of General B. C.
Riley. In 1855, the fort suffered from Asiatic cholera, and Major E. A.
Ogden, one of the original commissioners who laid out the reservation,
who was staying there, nursed the soldiers with a heroic attachment to
duty, and himself fell a victim to the disease. A handsome monument
marks his resting place. He was a true soldier hero, and his name is
still spoken in reverence by the attaches of the post.

Another notable feature of the reservation is the dismantled rock wall
to the east of the fort, which is all that now remains of the once
ambitious capitol building of the State of Kansas. It has a strange
history, being the "Pawnee House," in which the Territorial Legislature
met in the early ante-bellum days, confident of protection by the
soldiers from the roaming Indian bands infesting the prairies.

A famous dweller at the fort for two decades was old Comanche, the only
living creature to escape from the Custer massacre on the side of the
Government. He was the horse ridden by an officer in that memorable
fight, and by miracle escaped, after having seven balls fired into him.
He was found roaming over the prairie, after the massacre, and was
ordered put on the retired list, and stationed at Fort Riley, where for
twenty years he was petted and cared for, but never ridden. His only
service was to be led in processions of ceremony, draped in mourning.
Now that he is dead, his body has been preserved with the taxidermist's
best skill, and is one of the State's most noted relics.

The fort has been of unusual interest of late. In addition to the
maneuvers of the school for mounted service, in which the soldiers have
been regularly drilled, engaging in sham battles, throwing up mimic
fortifications, fording the rivers, etc., the War Signal Service has
been conducting some interesting experiments. The Signal Service has had
its huge balloon, which was exhibited at the World's Fair, at the post,
and its ascensions and the operations put in practice have proved very
attractive and instructive.

The new riding hall, or cavalry practice building, makes it possible for
the training school to go on the year round, regardless of the weather.
It has an open floor space 300 feet long and 100 feet wide, making it an
admirable room for the purpose.

The Fort Riley troops are always called on when there is trouble in the
West. They have put down a dozen Indian uprisings on the plains, and
only a few months ago were sent for to keep order in Chicago during the
railway strikes. From this trip, four old members of the post were
brought back dead, having met their fate in the bursting of a caisson,
while marching along a paved street.

The fort is the great pleasure resort of Kansas. The late commanding
officer, Colonel Forsyth, now General Forsyth, is much given to
hospitality, and the people of the State take great pride in the post's
advancement and its victories. During the summer, on several occasions,
the national holidays especially, the soldiers "receive," and excursion
trains bring hundreds of visitors from every direction, who are
delighted to feast their eyes on real cannon, uniforms and shoulder
straps. They are entertained royally. Drills, salutes, sham battles and
parades, occupy every hour of the day, and in the evening the drill
floor becomes a dancing place for all who enjoy the delights of a
military ball.

The history of the fort has been, in a measure, that of the Seventh
Cavalry, which for nearly two decades has had its residence there, and
become identified with the spot. The Seventh Cavalry dates its glory
from before the days of the intrepid Custer, whose memory it cherishes.
It has taken part in scores of Indian battles--indeed, there has not,
for years, been an uprising in the West in which it has not done duty.
Its last considerable encounter was at Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission,
where the Custer massacre was in a degree avenged. Here it lost
twenty-four of its members, and a magnificent granite monument has been
erected at the fort to their memory. It bears the names of those who
fell, and tells briefly the story of their bravery.

In the Wounded Knee battle, on the plains of Dakota, during the closing
days of 1891, the four troops of the regiment were treacherously
surprised by the Sioux, and because, after the attack, Colonel Forsyth
ordered a charge, resulting in the killing of many of the savages, he
was suspended by his superior officer, General Miles, for disobedience
of orders, which were not to fire on the enemy. An investigation,
however, amply justified his action, and he was reinstated in charge of
his post as before. Early in November, 1894, on the promotion of General
McCook to be Major General, Colonel Forsyth stepped up to the Brigadier
Generalship, and his place at Fort Riley will be taken by Colonel
Sumner. There is a rumor, however, in army circles, that the old Seventh
will be stationed in the far Northwest, and the Fifth Cavalry will
succeed it as resident regiment here. The post has become so closely
identified with the fortunes of the former regiment that it will seem
strange to have any other troops call it home.

There are usually at the fort three squadrons of cavalry, of four troops
each, and five batteries of light artillery, engaged in the maneuvers of
the school for mounted service, which has its headquarters for the
entire army here. The principal object of this school is instruction in
the combined operations of the cavalry and light artillery, and this
object is kept steadily in view. The troops of each arm form a
sub-school, and are instructed nine months in the year in their own arm,
preparatory to the three months of combined operations. Thus the
batteries are frequently practiced in road marching in rapid gaits; the
Kansas River is often forded; rough hills are climbed at "double quick,"
and guns are brought to action on all sorts of difficult ground, with
the result that, when the combined operations begin, the batteries may
be maneuvered over all kinds of obstacles.

Among the plans of the future is one, which was a favorite with General
Sheridan, of making Fort Riley the horse-furnishing headquarters for the
entire army. The location being so central, it insures the nearest
approach to perfect acclimation of animals sent to any part of the
Union. Two plans are being contemplated for the accomplishment of this
object. One is to make it a breeding station; the other is to simply
make it a purchasing station, which shall buy of the farmers of the West
the horses needed by the army, and train the animals for regular use
before sending them to the various posts.

Present plans also include an increase in the number of soldiers
stationed at Fort Riley to 3,000. If the proposed increase in the
standing army is carried out, there may be more than that. The
Government evidently has faith in the location of the fort. While it has
abandoned and consolidated other stations, it has all the time been
increasing its expenditures here, and the estimates for the next year
aggregate expenditures of over $500,000, provided the Appropriation
Committee does its duty. There are plans of still further beautifying
the grounds, and the addition of more turnpikes and macadamized roads.

The State of Kansas, and especially Geary and Riley Counties, in which
the fort is situated, reap a considerable benefit from its location. The
perishable produce of the commissary department comes from the country
around. Hundreds of horses are bought at round prices, while the soldier
trade has sent Junction City, four miles west, ahead of all competitors
in Central Kansas for volume of business and population. Naturally,
Kansas is glad to see Fort Riley a permanency, and hopes that it may be
made the Government's chief Western post.

Kansas has been spoken of as the most wonderful State in the Union, and
in many respects it is fully entitled to its reputation in this respect.
It has had enough discouragements and drawbacks to ruin half a dozen
States, and nothing but the phenomenal fertility of the soil, and the
push and go of the pioneers who claim the State as their own, has
enabled Kansas to withstand difficulties and to sail buoyantly through
waves of danger into harbors of refuge. In its early days, border
warfare hindered development and drove many most desirable settlers to
more peaceful spots. Since then the prefix "Bleeding" has again been
used repeatedly in connection with the State, because of the succession
of droughts and plagues of grasshoppers and chinch bugs, which have
imperiled its credit and fair name. But Kansas remains to-day a great
State, with a magnificent future before it. The fertility of the soil is
more than phenomenal. Kansas corn is known throughout the world for its
excellency, and at the World's Fair in 1893 it took highest awards for
both the white and yellow varieties. In addition to this, it secured the
gold medal for the best corn in the world, as well as the highest awards
for red winter wheat flour, sorghum sugar and apples. Indeed, Kansas
soil produces almost anything to perfection, and the State, thanks
largely to works of irrigation in the extreme western section, is
producing larger quantities of indispensable agricultural products every
year.

The very motto of the State indicates the early troubles through which
it went, the literal interpretation being "To the stars (and stripes)
through difficulties." The State is generally known now as the
"Sunflower State," and for many years the sword has given place to the
plowshare. But the very existence of Fort Riley shows that t his was not
always the condition of affairs. Early in the Eighteenth Century, French
fur-traders crossed over into Kansas, and, later on, Spanish explorers
were struck with the possibilities of the fertile plains. Local Indian
tribes were then at war, but a sense of common danger caused the
antagonistic red men to unite, and the white immigrants were massacred
in a body. After the famous Missouri Compromise of 1820, and the
Kansas-Nebraska Act of thirty years later, the slave issue became a very
live one in Kansas, and for some time the State was in a condition
bordering upon civil war. The convention of 1859, at Wyandotte, settled
this difficulty, and placed Kansas in the list of anti-slavery States.

Some ten years ago, after Kansas had enjoyed a period of the most unique
prosperity, from an agricultural standpoint, the general impression
began to prevail that the State was destined to become almost
immediately the greatest in the nation. Corn fields were platted out
into town sites, and additions to existing cities were arranged in every
direction. For a time it appeared as though there was little
exaggeration in the extravagant forecast of future greatness. Town lots
sold in a most remarkable manner, many valuable corners increasing in
value ten and twenty-fold in a single night. The era of railroad
building was coincident with the town boom craze, and Eastern people
were so anxious to obtain a share of the enormous profits to be made by
speculating in Kansas town lots, that money was telegraphed to agents
and banks all over the State, and options on real estate were sold very
much on the plan adopted by traders in stocks and bonds in Wall Street.

The greed of some, if not most, of the speculators, soon killed the
goose which laid the golden egg. The boom burst in a most pronounced
manner. People who had lost their heads found them again, and many a
farmer who had abandoned agriculture in order to get rich by trading in
lots, went back to his plow and his chores, a sadder and wiser, although
generally poorer, man. Many hundreds of thousands of dollars changed
hands during the boom. Exactly who "beat the game," to use the gambler's
expression, has never been known. Certain it is, that for every man in
Kansas who admits that he made money out of the excitement and
inflation, there are at least fifty who say that the boom well-nigh
ruined them.

Kansas is as large as Great Britain, larger than the whole of New
England combined, and a veritable empire in itself. It is a State of
magnificent proportions, and of the most unique and delightful history.
Three and a half centuries ago, Coronado, the great pioneer prospector
and adventurer, hunted Kansas from end to end in search of the precious
metals which he had been told could be found there in abundance. He
wandered over the immense stretch of prairies and searched along the
creek bottoms without finding what he sought. He speaks in his records
of "mighty plains and sandy heaths, smooth and wearisome and bare of
wood. All the way the plains are as full of crooked-back oxen as the
mountain Serena in Spain is of sheep."

These crooked-back oxen were of course buffaloes, or, more correctly
speaking, species of the American bison. No other continent was ever
blessed with a more magnificent and varied selection of beasts and birds
in forests and prairies than was North America. Kansas in particular was
fortunate in the possession of thousands of herds of buffaloes. Now it
has none, except a few in a domesticated state, with their old regal
glory departed forever. When we read the reports of travelers and
trappers, written little more than half a century ago, and treating of
the enormous buffalo herds that covered the prairies as far as the eye
could reach, we wonder whether these descriptions can be real, or
whether they are not more in the line of fables and the outgrowth of a
too vivid imagination.

If, thirty years ago, some wiseacre had come forward and predicted that
it would become necessary to devise means for the protection of this
enormous amount of game, he would have been laughed out of countenance.
Yet this extraordinary condition of affairs has actually come to pass.
Entire species of animals which belonged to the magnificent fauna of
North America are already extinct or are rapidly becoming so. The
sea-cow is one of these animals; the last specimens of which were seen
in 1767 and 1768. The Californian sea-elephant and the sea-dog of the
West Indies have shared a like fate. Not a trace of these animals has
been found for a long time. The extinction of the Labrador duck and the
great auk have often been deplored. Both of these birds may be regarded
as practically extinct. The last skeleton of the great auk was sold for
$600, the last skin for $650, and the last egg brought the fabulous sum
of $1,500.

Last, not least, the American bison is a thing of the past!

It has been historically proven that at the time of the discovery of
America, the buffalo herds covered the entire enormous territory from
Pennsylvania to Oregon and Nevada, and down to Mexico, and thirty years
ago the large emigrant caravans which traveled from the Eastern States
across the Mississippi to the gold fields of California, met with herds
of buffaloes, not numbering thousands, but hundreds of thousands. The
construction trains of the first Pacific Railroad were frequently
interrupted and delayed by wandering buffalo herds.

Today the United States may be traversed from end to end, and not a
single buffalo will be seen, and nothing remains to even indicate their
presence but the deep, well-trodden paths which they made years ago.
Rain has not been able to wash away these traces, and they are counted
among the "features" of the prairies, where the bisons once roamed in
undisturbed glory. It was a difficult task for the Government to gather
the last remnants, about 150 to 200 head, to stock Yellowstone Park with
them, and to prevent their complete extinction.

Undoubtedly, the buffalo was the most stupid animal of the prairies. In
small flocks, he eluded the hunter well enough; but in herds of
thousands, he cared not a whit for the shooting at the flanks of his
army. Any Indian or trapper, stationed behind some shrubs or earth hill,
could kill dozens of buffalo without disturbing the herd by the swish of
the arrow, the report of the rifle, or the dying groans of the wounded
animals. A general stampede ensued at times, which often led the herd
into morasses, or the quick-sand of the rivers, where they perished
miserably. The destruction was still greater when the leader of the herd
came upon some yawning abyss. Those behind drove him down into the deep,
and the entire herd followed blindly, only to be dashed to death.

The very stupidity of the bison helped to exterminate the race, where
human agency would have seemed well nigh inadequate.

Among the large game of the continent, the bison was the most important,
and furnished the numerous Indian tribes not only with abundant food,
but other things as well. They covered their tents with the thick skins,
and made saddles, boats, lassoes and shoes from them. Folded up, they
used them as beds, and wore them around their shoulders as a protection
against the winter's cold. Spoons and other utensils for the household
could be made from their hoofs and horns, and their bones were shaped
into all kinds of arms and weapons. The life and existence of the
prairie Indian depended almost entirely upon that of the buffalo. There
is no doubt that the Indians killed many buffaloes, but while the damage
may have been great, there was not much of a reduction noticeable in
their numbers, for the buffalo cow is an enormous breeder.

Conditions were changed, however, when the white man arrived with his
rifle, settled down on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and began to
drive the aborigines of the American continent further and further West.
With this crowding back of the Indians began that also of the buffalo,
and the destruction of the latter was far more rapid than that of the
former.

It was about the middle of the Seventeenth Century when the first
English colonists climbed the summits of the Allegheny Mountains.
Enormous herds of buffalo grazed then in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, and in the famous blue grass regions of
Kentucky. How fast the buffaloes became exterminated may best be
illustrated by the fact that, at the beginning of the present century,
the bison had entirely disappeared from the eastern banks of the
Mississippi. A few isolated herds could be found in Kentucky in 1792. In
1814 the animal had disappeared in Indiana and Illinois. When the white
settlers crossed the Mississippi, to seek connection with the
territories on the Pacific coast, the buffalo dominion, once so vast,
decreased from year to year, and finally it was split in two and divided
into a northern and southern strip. The cause of this division was the
California overland emigration, the route of which followed the Kansas
and Platte Rivers, cutting through the center of the buffalo regions.
These emigrants killed hundreds of thousands of animals, and the
division became still greater after the completion of the Union Pacific
line and the settlement of the adjacent districts.

The buffaloes of the southern strip were the first to be exterminated,
particularly when the building of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
Railroad facilitated entrance to the southern range.

Aside from the pleasure and excitement from a buffalo hunt, the yield
was a rich one, and troops of hunters swarmed over the Western prairies;
buffalo hunting became an industry which gave employment to thousands of
people. But human avarice knew no bounds, and massacred senselessly the
finest game with which this continent was stocked. The dimensions to
which this industry grew may best be guessed when it is stated that in
1872 more than 100,000 buffaloes were killed near Fort Dodge in three
months. During the summer of 1874, an expedition composed of sixteen
hunters killed 2,800 buffaloes, and during that same season one young
trapper boasted of having killed 3,000 animals. The sight of such a
slaughter scene was gruesome to behold. Colonel Dodge writes of it:
"During the fall of 1873 I rode across the prairie, where a year ago I
had hunted several herds. At the time we enjoyed the aspect of a myriad
of buffaloes, which were grazing peacefully over the prairies. Now we
rode past myriads of decaying cadavers and skeletons, which filled the
air with an insufferable stench. The broad plain which, a year ago, had
teemed with animals, was nothing more than a dead, foul desert."

Mr. Blackmore, another traveler, who went through Kansas at about the
same time, says that he counted, on four acres of ground, no less than
sixty-seven buffalo carcasses. As was to be expected, this wholesale
and, indeed, wanton slaughter brought its own reward and condemnation.
The price of buffalo skins dropped to 50 cents, although as much as
$3.00 had been paid regularly for them. Moreover, as the number of
animals killed was greater than could be removed, the decaying carcasses
attracted wolves, and even worse foes, to the farmyard, and terrible
damage to cattle resulted.

The Indians also were disturbed. "Poor Lo" complained of the wanton and
senseless killing of the principal means of his sustenance, and when the
white man with a laugh ignored these complaints, the Indians got on the
war-path, attacked settlements, killed cattle and stole provisions, thus
giving rise to conflicts, which devoured not only enormous sums of
money, but cost the lives of thousands of people. When the locust plague
swept over the fields of Kansas and destroyed the entire crop, the
settlers themselves hungered for the buffalo meat of which they had
robbed themselves, and vengeance came in more ways than one.

The extermination of the buffalo of the southern range was completed
about 1875; to the bisons of the northern range were given a few years'
grace. But the same scenes which were enacted in the South, repeated
themselves in the North, and the white barbarians were not satisfied
until they had killed the last of the noble game in 1885. When the
massacre was nearly over, a few isolated herds were collected and
transported to Yellowstone Park, where they have increased to about 400
during the last few years, protected by the hunting laws, which are
strictly enforced. With the exception of a very few specimens, tenderly
nursed by some cattle raisers in Kansas and Texas, and in some remote
parts of British America, these are the last animals of a species, which
two decades ago wandered in millions over the vast prairies of the West.



CHAPTER V.


THE MORMONS AND THEIR WIVES.

The Pilgrimage Across the Bad Lands to Utah--Incidents of the
March--Success of the New Colony--Religious Persecutions--Murder of an
Entire Family--The Curse of Polygamy--An Ideal City--Humors of Bathing
in Great Salt Lake.


About half a century ago one of the most remarkable pilgrimages of
modern times took place. Across what was then, not inaptly, described by
writers as an arid and repulsive desert, there advanced a procession of
the most unique and awe-inspiring character. History tells us of bands
of crusaders who tramped across Europe in order to rescue the Holy Land
from tyrants and invaders. On that occasion, all sorts and conditions of
men were represented, from the religious enthusiast, to the ignorant
bigot, and from the rich man who was sacrificing his all in the cause
that he believed to be right, to the tramp and ne'er-do-well, who had
allied himself with that cause for revenue only.

But the distance traversed by the crusaders six or seven hundred years
ago was insignificant compared with the distance traversed by the
pilgrims to whom we are referring. In addition to this, the country to
be crossed presented difficulties of a far more startling and
threatening character. There was before them a promised land in the
extreme distance, but there intervened a tract of land which seemed as
impassable a barrier as the much talked-of, but seldom inspected,
Chinese Wall of old. There was a region of desolation and death,
extending from the Sierra Nevadas to the border lines of Nebraska, and
from the Yellowstone to the Colorado Rivers. A profane writer once
suggested that the same Creator could hardly have brought into existence
this arid, barren and inhospitable region and the fertile plains and
beautiful mountains which surrounded it on all sides.

Civilization and irrigation have destroyed the most awful
characteristics of this region, but at the time to which we are
referring, it was about as bad from the standpoint of humanity and human
needs as could well be imagined. Here and there, there were lofty
mountains and deep cañons, as there are now, but the immense plains,
which occupy the bulk of the land, were unwatered and uncared for,
giving forth volumes of a penetrating alkali dust, almost as injurious
to human flesh as to human attire. Here and there, there were, of
course, little oases of comparative verdure, which were regarded by
unfortunate travelers not only as havens of refuge, but as little
heavens in the midst of a sea of despair. The trail across the desert,
naturally, ran through as many as possible of these successful efforts
of nature to resist decay, and along the trail there were to be found
skeletons and ghastly remains of men whose courage had exceeded their
ability, and who had succumbed to hunger and thirst in this great,
lonesome desert.

That no one lived in this region it would seem superfluous to state.
Occasionally a band of Indians would traverse it in search of hunting
grounds beyond, though, as a general rule, the red man left the country
severely alone, and made no effort to dispute the rights of the coyotes
and buzzards to sole possession.

Along the trail mentioned, there advanced at the period to which we have
referred, a procession which we have likened, in some respects, to the
advance of the crusaders in mediaeval days. Those who happened to see it
pass described this cavalcade as almost beyond conception. The first
impression from a distance was that an immense herd of buffalo were
advancing and creating the cloud of dust, which seemed to rise from the
bare ground and mount to the clouds. As it came nearer, and the figures
became more discernible, it was seen that the caravan was headed by a
band of armed horsemen. The animals were jaded and fatigued, and walked
with their heads low down and their knees bent out of shape and form.
Their riders seemed as exhausted as the animals themselves, and they
carried their dust-begrimed guns in anything but military fashion.
Behind them came hundreds, nay, thousands, of wagons, of all shapes and
builds, some of them entirely open and exposed, and others protected
more or less by canvas tilts. These wagons seemed to stretch back
indefinitely into space, and even when there was no undulation of the
surface to obstruct the view, the naked eye could not determine to any
degree the length of the procession. Near the front of the great
cavalcade was a wagon different in build and appearance to any of the
others. It was handsomely and even gaudily decorated, and it was covered
in so carefully that its occupants could sleep and rest as secure from
annoyance by the dust as though they were in bed at home.

Instead of two broken-down horses, six well-fed and well-watered steeds
were attached to the wagon, and it was evident that no matter how short
had been the supply of food and water, the horses and occupants of this
particular conveyance had had everything they desired. The occupant of
this wagon was a man who did not look to be more than thirty years of
age, but whose face and manner indicated that he was in the habit of
being obeyed rather than obeying. A great portion of his time was
occupied in reading from a large vellum-bound book, but from time to
time he laid it on one side to settle disputes which had arisen among
some of his ten thousand followers, or to issue orders of the most
emphatic and dogmatic character.

This man was Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, and the
chosen Prophet of the Mormons, who were marching across the desert in
search of the promised land, which they were informed had been set aside
for their purpose by the Ruler of the Universe.

We need not follow the fortunes and misfortunes of the zealous, if
misguided, men and families who followed their leader across the great
unwatered and almost unexplored desert. No one knows how many fell by
the wayside and succumbed to hunger, exhaustion or disease. The bulk of
the column, however, persevered in the march, and, through much sadness
and tribulation, finally arrived at a country which, while it was not
then by any means up to expectation or representation, at least
presented facilities and opportunities for living. When the great
valleys of Utah were reached, men who a few months before had been
strong and hardy, but who now were lank and lean, fell on their knees
and offered up thanksgiving for their deliverance, while the exhausted
women and children sought repose and rest, which had been denied them
for so many long, wearisome days.

But there was no time to be wasted in rejoicings over achievements, or
regrets over losses. The virgin acres before them were theirs for the
asking, or rather taking, and the Mormon colony set to work at once to
parcel out the land and to commence the building of homes. Whatever may
be said against the religious ideas of these pilgrims, too much credit
cannot be given them for the business-like energy which characterized
their every movement. A site was selected for what is now known as Salt
Lake City. Broad streets were laid out, building plans and rules
adopted, and every arrangement made for the construction of a handsome
and symmetrical city. Houses, streets and squares appeared almost by
magic, and in a very few weeks quite a healthy town was built up. Those
who in more Eastern regions had learned different trades were set to
work at callings of their choice, and for those who were agriculturally
disposed, farms were mapped out and reserved.

Fortunately for the newcomers, industry was a watchword among them, and
a country which had been up to that time a stranger to the plow and
shovel was drained and ditched, and very speedily planted to corn and
wheat. So fertile did this so-called arid ground prove to be, that one
year's crop threw aside all fears of further poverty, and prosperity
began to reign supreme. Had the Mormons confined themselves to work, and
had abandoned extreme religious and social ideas, impossible in an
enlightened age and country, they would have risen long before this into
an impregnable position in every respect.

But polygamy, hitherto restrained and checked by laws of Eastern States
and Territories, was now indulged in indiscriminately. The more wives a
member of the Mormon church possessed, the greater was his standing in
the community. The man who had but two or three wives was censured for
his want of enthusiasm, and he was frequently fined heavily by the
church, which was not above levying fines, and thus licensing alleged
irregularities. Some of the elders had more than a hundred wives each,
and these were maintained under relations of a most peculiar character.

At first the polygamous tenents of the church did not cause much comment
on the outside, because the Mormons were so shut off from civilization
that they seemed to occupy a little world of their own, and no one
claimed the right to censure or interfere with them. Gradually, however,
there became a shortage of marriageable women, and this resulted in
mysterious raids being made on neighboring settlements. Wanderers upon
the mountains spoke with horror of mysterious tribes of men who wandered
around engaged in acts of plunder, and from time to time strange women
appeared in the towns and settlements.

Like so many other bands of persecuted men who had fled from their
oppressors in search of liberty, the early Mormons soon adopted the
tactics of which they had complained so bitterly. The man who refused to
obey the orders of the church, or who was in any way rebellious, was apt
to disappear from his home without warning or explanation. He was not
arrested or tried; he was simply spirited away, and no mark or sign
proclaimed his last resting place. The Danite Band, or the Avenging
Angels, came into existence, and some of their terrible deeds have
contributed dark pages to the history of our native land.

It is not to be supposed that acts such as these were approved
indiscriminately by the newcomers. Occasionally a mild protest would be
uttered, but it seemed as though the very walls had ears, for even if a
man in the bosom of his family criticised the conduct of the church, his
doom appeared to be sealed, and he generally disappeared within a few
days. Occasionally a family would attempt to escape from Utah, in order
to avoid compliance with laws and orders which they believed to be
criminal in character, as well as contrary to their preconceived notions
of domestic happiness and right. To make an attempt of this character
was to invite death. In the first place, it was almost impossible to
traverse the surrounding mountains and deserts, and even if these
natural obstacles were overcome, the hand of the avenger was constantly
uplifted against the fugitives, who were blotted off the face of the
earth, on the theory that dead men tell no tales.

On one occasion, a man left his home in Utah in the way described,
because he declined to bring home a second wife. Brigham Young, in the
course of his pastoral calls, entered the comfortable house occupied by
the family, and called upon the man to introduce to him his wives. He
was one of the few men who, while in every other respect a zealous
Mormon, had declined to break up his family relations by bringing a
young wife into his home. The mother of his children informed the
Prophet with much vehemence of this fact, and in words more noble than
discreet assured him that no effort of his could disturb the domestic
relations of the house, or make her husband untrue to vows he had taken
twenty years before.

The Prophet was too astounded to lose his temper, but turning to the
happy husband and father, he told him in stentorian tones that unless
within one month he complied with the orders of the church, it would
have been better for him had he never been born, or had he died while on
the terrible march across the Bad Lands and the alkali desert. That the
Prophet was in earnest was evidenced by the arrival the following day of
some of his minions, who brought with them more explicit directions, as
well as the names of certain young women to whom the man must be
"sealed" or "married" within the time mentioned by Young.

No idea of complying with this order ever occurred to the head of the
house. He knew that his wife would far rather die than be dishonored,
and he himself was perfectly willing to sacrifice his life rather than
his honor. But for the sake of his four children he determined to make
an attempt to escape, and accordingly, a few days later, the family,
having collected together all their available and easily transported
assets, hitched up their wagon and drove away in the dead of night.
Their departure in this manner was not expected, and was not discovered
for nearly forty-eight hours, during which time the refugees had made
considerable progress over the surrounding mountains. They maintained
their march for nearly a week, without incident, and were congratulating
themselves upon their escape, when the disaster which they had feared
overtook them.

They were camped by the side of a little stream in a fertile valley, and
all were sleeping peacefully but the elder boy, who was acting as
sentinel. His attention was first called to danger by the uneasiness
displayed by the horses, which, by their restless manner and sudden
anxiety, showed that instinct warned them of an approaching party.
Without wasting a moment's time, the young man hastily aroused the
sleepers, who prepared to abandon their camp and seek refuge in the
adjoining timber. They had barely reached cover when a party of mounted
armed men rode up. Finding a deserted camp, they separated, and
commenced to scour the surrounding country. One of the number soon came
upon the retreating family, but before he could cover them with his
rifle he had been shot dead by the infuriated father, who was determined
to resist to the uttermost the horrible fate which now stared them in
the face.

The noise was taken by the other searchers as a signal to them that the
hunted family had been found, and knowing that this would be so, the man
and his sons hurried the woman and younger children to a secluded spot
at a little distance, and seeking convenient cover determined to make a
desperate effort to protect those for whose safety they were
responsible. Unfortunately for the successful carrying out of this plan,
the helpless section of the party was discovered first. The avenging
party then divided up into two sections, one of which dragged away the
woman and her young children, and the others went in search of the man
and his two sons. They speedily found them, and in the fight which
followed two lives were lost on both sides.

The oldest son of the escaping party was wounded and left for dead.
Several hours later consciousness returned to him, and the first sight
that met his gaze was the dead bodies of his father and brother. A
chance was offered him to escape, but weak as he was from loss of blood,
he determined to follow up the kidnaping party, forming the desperate
resolve that if he could not rescue his mother and sisters, he would at
least save them from the horrible fate that he knew awaited them. This
resolve involved his death, for he was no match for the men he was
contending against. No grave was ever dug for his remains, and no
headstone tells the story of his noble resolution and his intrepid
effort to carry it into execution.

There were hundreds, and probably thousands, of similar incidents, and
Mormonism proved a sad drawback to the happiness of a people who
otherwise had before them prospects of a most delightful character.
Brigham Young proved a marvelous success as a ruler. He had eighteen
wives and an indefinite number of children, estimates concerning the
number of which vary so much that it is best not to give any of them. It
is generally stated and understood that the so-called revelation calling
upon the chosen people to practice polygamy, was an invention on the
part of Young, designed to cover up his own immorality, and to obtain
religious sanction for improper relationships he had already built up.
However this may be, it is certain that polygamy had a serious blow
dealt at it by the death of its ardent champion. Since then stern
federal legislation has resulted in the practical suppression of the
crime, and in recent years the present head of the church has officially
declared the practice to be improper, and the habit dead.

Brigham Young's grave, of which we give an illustration, has been
visited from time to time-by countless pleasure and sight-seekers. Like
the man, it is unique in every respect. It is situated in the Prophet's
private burial ground, which was surveyed and laid out by him with
special care. He even went so far as to select the last resting place
for each of his eighteen wives, and so careful was he over these details
that the honor of resting near him was given to each wife in order of
the date of her being "sealed" to him, in accordance with the rites and
laws of the church. Most of the Mrs. Youngs have been buried according
to arrangements made, but all of the remarkable aggregation of wives has
not yet been disposed of in the manner desired. The Prophet's favorite
wife, concerning whose relationship to Mrs. Grover Cleveland there has
been so much controversy, was named Amelia Folsom. For her special
comfort the Prophet built the Amelia Palace, one of the most unique
features of Salt Lake City. Here the lady lived for several years.

Let us leave the unpleasant side of Mormon history and see what the
zealous, if misguided, people have succeeded in accomplishing. Salt Lake
City, which was originally settled by Brigham Young and his followers in
July, 1847, is perhaps the most uniform city in the world so far as its
plans are concerned. The original settlers laid out the city in squares
ten acres large. Instead of streets sixty and eighty feet wide, as are
too common in all our crowded cities, a uniform width of 130 feet was
adopted, with more satisfactory results. In the original portion of the
city these wide streets are a permanent memorial to the forethought of
the early Mormons. The shade trees they planted are now magnificent in
their proportions, and along each side of the street there runs a stream
of water of exquisite clearness. There is very little crowding in the
way of house-building. Each house in the city is surrounded by a green
lawn, a garden and an orchard, so that poverty and squalor of the slum
type is practically unknown. The communistic idea of homes in common,
which has received so much attention of late years, was not adopted by
the founders of this city, who, however, took excellent precautions to
stamp out loafing, begging and other accompaniments of what may be
described as professional pauperism.

Within thirty years of the building of the first house in Salt Lake
City, which, by the way, is still standing, the number of inhabitants
ran up to 20,000. It is now probably more than 50,000, and the city
stands thirty-first in the order of those whose clearing-house returns
are reported and compared weekly. Hotels abound on every side, and
benevolent institutions and parks are common. Churches, of course, there
are without number, and now that the Government has interfered in the
protection of so-called Gentiles, almost all religious sects are
represented.

No description of the Mormon Temple can convey a reasonable idea of its
grandeur. Six years after the arrival of the pilgrims at Salt Lake City,
or in 1853, work was commenced on this immense structure, upon which at
least $7,000,000 have been expended. Its length is 200 feet, its width
100 feet, and its height the same. At each corner there is a tower 220
feet high. The thickness of the walls is 10 feet, and these are built of
snow-white granite. So conspicuous and massive is this building, that it
can be seen from the mountains fifty and even a hundred miles away.

The Tabernacle, which is in the same square as the Temple, and just west
of it, is aptly described by Mr. P. Donan as one of the architectural
curios of the world. It looks like a vast terrapin back, or half of a
prodigious egg-shell cut in two lengthwise, and is built wholly of iron,
glass and stone. It is 250 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 100 feet high
in the center of the roof, which is a single mighty arch, unsupported by
pillar or post, and is said to have but one counterpart on the globe.
The walls are 12 feet thick, and there are 20 huge double doors for
entrance and exit. The Tabernacle seats 13,462 people, and its acoustic
properties are so marvelously perfect that a whisper or the dropping of
a pin can be heard all over it. The organ is one of the largest and
grandest toned in existence, and was built of native woods, by Mormon
workmen and artists, at a cost of $100,000. It is 58 feet high, has 57
stops, and contains 2,648 pipes, some of them nearly as large as the
chimneys of a Mississippi River steamer.

The choir consists of from 200 to 500 trained voices, and the music is
glorious beyond description. Much of it is in minor keys, and a strain
of plaintiveness mingles with all its majesty and power. All the seats
are free, and tourists from all parts of the world are to be found among
the vast multitudes that assemble at every service. Think of seeing the
Holy Communion broken bread, and water from the Jordan River, instead of
wine, administered to from 6,000 to 8,000 communicants at one time! One
can just fancy the old-time Mormon elders marching in, each followed by
his five or twenty-five wives and his fifty or a hundred children.

Close by is Assembly Hall, also of white granite, and of Gothic
architecture. It has seats for 2,500 people, and is most remarkable for
the costly fresco work on the ceiling, which illustrates scenes from
Mormon history, including the alleged discovery of the golden plates and
their delivery to Prophet Smith by the Angel Moroni.

All around this remarkable city are sights of surpassing beauty. Great
Salt Lake itself ought to be regarded as one of the wonders of the
world. Although an inland sea, with an immense area intervening between
it and the nearest ocean, its waters are much more brackish and salty
than those of either the Atlantic or the Pacific, and its specific
gravity is far greater. Experts tell us that the percentage of salt and
soda is six times as great as in the waters of the Atlantic, and one
great advantage of living in its vicinity is the abundance of good, pure
salt, which is produced by natural evaporation on its banks. It would be
interesting, if it were possible, to explain why it is that the water is
so salty. Various reasons have been advanced from time to time for this
phenomenon, but none of them are sufficiently practical or tangible to
be of great interest to the unscientific reader.

It is just possible that this wonderful lake may in course of time
disappear entirely. Some years ago its width was over 40 miles on an
average, and its length was very much greater. Now it barely measures
100 miles from end to end and the width varies from 10 to 60 miles. In
the depth the gradual curtailment has been more apparent. At one time
the average depth was many hundred feet, and several soundings of 1,000
feet were taken, with the result reported, in sailors' parlance, of "No
bottom." At the present time the depth varies from 40 to 100 feet, and
appears to be lessening steadily, presumably because of the
extraordinary deposit of solid matter from the very dense waters with
which it is filled.

The lake is a bathers' paradise, and the arrangements for bathing from
Garfield Beach are like everything else in the land of the Mormons,
extraordinary to a degree. In one year there were nearly half a million
bathers accommodated at the four principal resorts, and so rapidly are
these bathing resorts and establishments multiplied, that the day is not
distant when every available site on the eastern shore of the lake will
be appropriated for the purpose. As a gentleman who has bathed in this
lake again and again says, it seems preposterous to speak of the finest
sea-bathing on earth a thousand miles from the ocean, although the
bathing in Great Salt Lake infinitely surpasses anything of the kind on
either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts.

The water contains many times more salt, and much more soda, sulphur,
magnesia, chlorine, bromine and potassium than any ocean water on the
globe. It is powerful in medicinal virtues, curing or benefiting many
forms of rheumatism, rheumatic gout, dyspepsia, nervous disorders and
cutaneous diseases, and it acts like magic on the hair of those
unfortunates whose tendencies are to bald-headedness. It is a prompt and
potent tonic and invigorant of body and mind, and then there is no end
of fun in getting acquainted with its peculiarities. A first bath in it
is always as good as a circus, the bather being his or her own trick
mule. The specific gravity is but a trifle less than that of the Holy
Land Dead Sea.

The human body will not and cannot sink in it. You can walk out in it
where it is fifty feet deep, and your body will stick up out of it like
a fishing-cork from the shoulders upward. You can sit down in it
perfectly secure where it is fathoms deep. Men lie on top of it with
their arms under their heads and smoking cigars. Its buoyancy is
indescribable and unimaginable. Any one can float upon it at the first
trial; there is nothing to do but lie down gently upon it and float.

But swimming is an entirely different matter. The moment you begin to
"paddle your own canoe," lively and--to the lookers-on--mirth-provoking
exercises ensue. When you stick your hand under to make a stroke your
feet decline to stay anywhere but on top; and when, after an exciting
tussle with your refractory pedal extremities, you again get them
beneath the surface, your hands fly out with the splash and splutter of
a half-dozen flutter wheels. If, on account of your brains being heavier
than your heels, you chance to turn a somersault, and your head goes
under, your heels will pop up like a pair of frisky, dapper ducks.

You cannot keep more than one end of yourself under water at once, but
you soon learn how to wrestle with its novelties, and then it becomes a
thing of beauty and a joy for any summer day. The water is delightful to
the skin, every sensation is exhilarating, and one cannot help feeling
in it like a gilded cork adrift in a jewel-rimmed bowl of champagne
punch. In the sense of luxurious ease with which it envelops the bather,
it is unrivaled on earth. The only approximation to it is in the
phosphorescent waters of the Mosquito Indian coast.

The water does not freeze until the thermometric mercury tumbles down to
eighteen degrees above zero, or fourteen below the ordinary freezing
point. It is clear as crystal, with a bottom of snow-white sand, and
small objects can be distinctly seen at a depth of twenty feet. There is
not a fish or any other living thing in all the 2,500 to 3,000 square
miles of beautiful and mysterious waters, except the yearly increasing
swarms of summer bathers. Not a shark, or a stingaree, to scare the
timid swimmer or floater; not a minnow, or a frog, a tadpole, or a
pollywog--nothing that lives, moves, swims, crawls or wiggles. It is the
ideal sea-bathing place of the world.



CHAPTER VI.


THE INVASION OF OKLAHOMA.

A History of the Indian Nation--Early Struggles of Oklahoma
Boomer--Fight between Home-Seekers and Soldiers--Scenes at the Opening
of Oklahoma Proper--A Miserable Night on the Prairie--A Race for
Homes--Lawlessness in the Old Indian Territory.


Oklahoma, the youngest of our Territories, is in many respects also the
most interesting. Many people confound Oklahoma Territory with the
Indian Territory, but the two are separate and distinct, the former
enjoying Territorial Government, while the latter, unfortunately, is in
a very anomalous condition, so far as the making and enforcing of laws
is concerned.

Up to within a few years Oklahoma was a part of what was then the
"Indian Territory." Now it has been separated from what may be described
as its original parent, and is entirely distinct. It contains nearly
40,000 square miles, and has a population of about a quarter of a
million, exclusive of about 18,000 Indians. It contains more than twice
as many people to the square mile as many of the Western States and
Territories, and is in a condition of thriving prosperity, which is
extraordinary, when its extreme youth as a Territory is considered.

In 1888, Oklahoma was the largest single body of unimproved land capable
of cultivation in the Southwest. It was nominally farmed by Indian
tribes, but the natural productiveness of the soil, and the immense
amount of land at their disposal, cultivated habits of indolence, and
there was a grievous and even sinful waste of fertility. To the south
was Texas, and on the north, Kansas, both rich, powerful and wealthy
States. The Indian possessions lying between disturbed the natural
growth and trend of empire.

Seen from car windows only, the country appeared inviting to the eye. It
was known, from reports of traders, to have all the elements of
agricultural wealth.

And this made the land-hungry man hungrier.

The era of the "boomer" began; and the "boomer" did not stop until he
had inserted an opening wedge, in the shape of the purchase and opening
to settlement of a vast area right in the heart of the prairie
wilderness. When the first opening took place it seemed as though the
supply would be in excess of the demand. Not so. Every acre--good, bad,
or indifferent--was gobbled up, and, like as from an army of Oliver
Twists, the cry went up for more. Then the Iowa and Pottawatomie
reservations were placed on the market. They lasted a day only, and the
still unsatisfied crowd began another agitation. Resultant of this, a
third bargain-counter sale took place. The big Cheyenne and Arapahoe
country was opened for settlement. Immigrants poured in, and now every
quarter-section that is tillable there has its individual occupant and
owner.

But still on the south border of Kansas there camped a landless and
homeless multitude. They looked longingly over the fertile prairies of
the Cherokee Strip country, stirred the camp-fire embers emphatically,
and sent another dispatch to Washington asking for a chance to get in.
Congress heard at last, and in the fall of 1893 the congestion was
relieved.

The scenes attending the wild scramble from all sides of the Strip are a
matter of history and do not require repetition. Five million acres were
quickly taken by 30,000 farmers.

The old proverb or adage, which states that the man who makes two blades
of grass grow where one grew before is a public benefactor, would seem
to proclaim that Oklahoma is peopled with philanthropists, for the
sturdy pioneers who braved hardship and ridicule in order to obtain a
foothold in this promised land, have, in five or six years, completely
changed the appearance of the country. A larger proportion of ground in
this youthful Territory shows that it is a sturdy infant, and it is
doubtful whether in any part of the United States there has been more
economy in land, or a more rapid use made of opportunities so
bountifully provided by nature.

Truth is often much stranger than fiction, and the story of the invasion
of Oklahoma reads like one long romance. Many men lost their lives in
the attempt, some few dying by violence, and many others succumbing to
disease brought about by hardship. Many of the men who started the
agitation to have Oklahoma opened for settlement by white citizens are
still alive, and some of them have had their heart's desire fulfilled,
and now occupy little homes they have built in some favorite nook and
corner of their much loved, and at one time grievously coveted, country.

Oklahoma came into the possession of the Seminole Indians by the
ordinary process, and remained their alleged home until about thirty
years ago. In 1866, the country was ceded to the United States
Government for a consideration, and in 1873, it was surveyed by Federal
officers, and section lines established according to law.

It was the natural presumption that this expense was incurred with a
view to the immediate opening of the Territory for settlement. For
various reasons, more or less valid, and more or less the result of
influence and possible corruption, the actual opening of the country was
deferred for more than twenty years after its cession to the United
States Government, and in the meantime it occupied a peculiar condition.
Immense herds of cattle were pastured on it, and bad men and outlaws
from various sections of the country awoke reminiscences of biblical
stories about cities of refuge by squatting upon it, making a living by
hunting and indifferent agriculture, and resting secure from molestation
from officers of the law.

To remedy this anomaly, and to secure homes for themselves and families
in what was reported to be one of the most fertile tracts in the world,
Captain Payne and a number of determined men organized themselves into
colonies. There has always been a mania for new land, and many people
are never happy unless they are keeping pace with the invasion of
civilization into hitherto unknown and unopened countries. Many who
joined the Payne movement were doubtless roving spirits of this
character, but the majority of them were bona fide home-seekers, who
believed as citizens of this country they had a right to
quarter-sections in the promised land, and who were determined to
enforce those rights.

No matter, however, what were the motives of the "boomers," as they were
called from the first, it is certain that they went to work in a
business-like manner, planned a regular invasion, and formed a number of
colonies or small armies for the purpose.

We will follow the fortune of one of these colonies in order to show
what extraordinary difficulties they went through, and how much more
there is in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our humdrum
philosophy. The town of Caldwell, on the southern line of Kansas, was
the camp from which the first colonists started. It consisted of about
forty men, and about 100 women and children. Each family provided itself
with such equipment and conveniences as the scanty means at disposal
made possible. A prairie schooner, or a wagon with a covering to protect
the inmates from the weather and secure a certain amount of privacy for
the women and children, was an indispensable item. When the advance was
made, there were forty such covered wagons, each drawn by a pair of
horses or mules, and each containing such furniture as the family
possessed. The more fortunate ones also had in the wagons certain
material to be used in building the little hut, which was to be their
home until they could earn enough to build a more pretentious residence.

Eye witnesses describe the starting of the colony as one of the most
remarkable sights ever witnessed. The wagons advanced in single file,
and some few of the men rode on horseback in order to act as advance
guides to seek suitable camping grounds, and to protect the occupants of
the wagons from attack. In some cases one or two cows were attached by
halters to the rear of the wagons, and there were several dogs which
evidently entered heartily into the spirit of the affair. The utmost
confidence prevailed, and hearty cheers were given as the cavalcade
crossed the Kansas State line and commenced its long and dreary march
through the rich blue grass of the Cherokee Strip.

The journey before the home-seekers was about 100 miles, and at the slow
rate of progress they were compelled to make, it was necessarily a long
and arduous task. Some few of the women were a little nervous, but the
majority had thoroughly fallen in with the general feeling and were
enthusiastic in the extreme. The food they had with them was sufficient
for immediate needs, and when they camped for the night, the younger
members of the party generally succeeded in adding to the larder by
hunting and fishing.

We have all heard of invading armies being allowed to proceed on their
march unmolested only to be treated with additional severity on arriving
at the enemies' camp. So it was with the colonists. They got through
with very little difficulty, and no one took the trouble to interfere
with their progress. Men who had been in the promised land for the
purpose, had located a suitable spot for the formation of the proposed
colony, and here the people were directed. One of the party had some
knowledge of land laws, and after a long hunt he succeeded in locating
one of the section corners established by the recent Government survey.
This being done, quarter-sections were selected by each of the
newcomers, and work commenced with a will. Tents and huts were put up as
rapidly as possible, and before a week had passed the newcomers were
fairly well settled. They even selected a town site and built castles in
the air of a most remarkable character.

That they were monarchs of all they surveyed seemed to be obvious, and
for some weeks their right there was none to dispute. Then by degrees
the cowboys who were herding cattle in the neighborhood began to drop
hints of possible interference, and while these suggestions were being
discussed a company of United States troops suddenly appeared. With very
little explanation they arrested every man in the colony for treason and
conspiracy, and proceeded to drive the colonists out of the country. The
men were compelled to hitch up their horses, and, succumbing to force of
numbers, the colonists sadly and wearily advanced to Fort Reno, where
they were turned over to the authorities. After being kept in
confinement for five days they were released, and told to get back into
Kansas as rapidly as possible. Government officials saw that the order
was carried out, and then left the colonists to themselves.

The men lost no time in making up their minds to organize a second
attempt to establish homes for their families, and once more they made
the march. A bitter disappointment awaited them, for they found that
their cabins had all been destroyed and they had to commence work over
again. This they did, and they had scarcely got themselves comfortable
when another small detachment of troops arrived to turn them out. The
men were tied by means of ropes to the tail-ends of wagons, and driven
like cattle across the prairie to the military fort. For a third time
they conducted an invasion, and for the third time they were attacked by
Government troops.

A spirit of determination had, however, come over the men in the
interval, and an attempt was made to resist the onslaught of the
soldiers. The Lieutenant in charge was astonished at the attitude
assumed, and did not care to assume the responsibility of ordering his
men to fire, as many of the colonists were well armed and were
undoubtedly crack shots. He, accordingly, adopted more diplomatic
measures, and, by establishing somewhat friendly relations, got into
close quarters with the settlers. A rough and tumble fight with fists
soon afterwards resulted, and the hard fists and brawny arms of the
settlers proved too much for the regulars, who were for the time being
driven off.

The result of the boomers' victory was the sending of 600 soldiers to
dislodge them, and it being impossible to resist such a force as this,
the colonists yielded with the best grace they could and sadly deserted
the homes they had tried so hard to build up. Some of the men were
actually imprisoned for the action they had taken, and the colony for a
time was completely broken up. The example set was followed by several
others, and for some years a conflict, not particularly creditable to
the Government, went on. No law was discovered to punish the boomers and
thus put a final end to the invasions. All that could be done was to
drive the families out as fast as they went in, a course of action far
more calculated to excite disorder than to quell it. Sometimes the
soldiers displayed a great deal of forbearance, and even went out of
their way to help the women and children and reduce their sufferings to
the smallest possible point. Again, they were sometimes unduly harsh,
and more than one infant lost its life from the exposure the evictions
brought about. The soldiers by no means relished the work given them,
and many of them complained bitterly that it was no part of their duty
to fight women and babies. Still they were compelled to obey orders and
ask no questions.

While the original colonists, or boomers, gained little or nothing for
themselves by the hardships they insisted on encountering, they really
brought about the opening for settlement of Oklahoma. About the year
1885 it began to be generally understood that the necessary proclamation
would be issued, and from all parts of the country home-hunters began to
set out on a journey, varying in length from a few hundreds to several
thousand miles. The Kansas border towns on the south were made the
headquarters for the home-seekers, and as they arrived at different
points they were astonished to find that others had got there before
them. In the neighborhood of Arkansas City, particularly, there were
large settlements of boomers, who from time to time made efforts to
enter the promised land in advance of the proclamation, only to be
turned back by the soldiers who were guarding every trail. The majority
of the newcomers thought it better to obey the law, and these settled
down, with their wagons for their homes, and sought work with which to
maintain their families until the proclamation was issued and the
country opened to them.

It was a long and dreary wait. The children were sent to school, the men
obtained such employment as was possible, and life went on peacefully in
some of the most peculiar settlements ever seen in this country. Finally
the Springer Bill was passed and the speedy opening of at least a
portion of Oklahoma assured. The news was telegraphed to the four winds
of heaven, and where there had been one boomer before there were soon
fifty or a hundred. In the winter of 1888, various estimates were made
as to the number of people awaiting the President's proclamation, and
the total could not have been less than 50,000 or 60,000. Finally the
long-looked-for document appeared, and Easter Monday, 1889, was named as
the date on which the section of Oklahoma included in the bill was to be
declared open. There was a special proviso that any one entering the
promised and mysterious land prior to noon on the day named, would be
forever disqualified from holding land in it, and accordingly the
opening resolved itself into a race, to commence promptly at high noon
on the day named.

Seldom has such a remarkable race been witnessed in any part of the
world. The principal town sites were on the line of the Sante Fe
Railroad, and those who were seeking town lots crowded the trains, which
were not allowed to enter Oklahoma until noon. All available rolling
stock was brought into requisition for the occasion, and provision was
made for hauling thousands of home-seekers to the towns of Guthrie and
Oklahoma City, as well as to intervening points. Before daylight on the
morning of the opening, the approaches of the railway station at
Arkansas City were blocked with masses of humanity, and every train was
thronged with town boomers, or with people in search of free land or
town lots.

The author was fortunate in securing a seat on the first train which
crossed the Oklahoma border, and which arrived at Guthrie before
1 o'clock on the day of the opening. It was presumed that the law had
been enforced, and that we should find nothing but a land-office and a
few officials on the town site.

But such was far from being the case. Hundreds of people were already on
the ground. The town had been platted out, streets located, and the best
corners seized in advance of the law and of the regulations of the
proclamation.

There was no time to argue with points of law or order. Those who got in
in advance of the law were of a determined character, and their number
was so great that they relied on the confusion to evade detection. One
of their number told an interesting story to the writer, concerning the
experience he had gone through. He had slipped into Oklahoma prior to
the opening, carrying with him enough food to last him for a few days.
He found a hiding place in the creek bank, and there laid until a few
minutes before noon on the opening day. When his watch and the sun both
told him that it lacked but a few minutes of noon, he emerged from his
hiding place, with a view to leisurely locating one of the best corner
lots in the town. To his chagrin he saw men advancing from every
direction, and he was made aware of the fact that he had no patent on
his idea, which had been adopted simultaneously by several hundred
others. He secured a good lot for himself, and sold it before his
disqualification on account of being too "previous" in his entry was
discovered.

As each train unloaded its immense throngs of passengers, the scene was
one that must always baffle description. The town site was on rising
ground, and men, and even women, sprang from the moving trains, falling
headlong over each other, and then rushing up hill as fast as their legs
would carry them, in the mad fight for town lots free of charge. The
town site was entirely occupied within half an hour, and the surrounding
country in every direction was appropriated for additions to the main
"city." Before night there were at least 10,000 people on the ground,
many estimates placing the number as high as 20,000.

Some few had brought with them blankets and provisions, and these passed
a comparatively comfortable night. Thousands, however, had no
alternative but to sleep on the open prairie, hungry, as well as
thirsty. The water in the creek was scarcely fit to drink, and the
railroad company had to protect its water tank by force from the thirsty
adventurers and speculators.

The night brought additional terrors. There was no danger of wild
animals or of snakes, for the stampede of the previous day had probably
driven every living thing miles away, with the solitary exception of
ants, which, in armies ten thousand strong, attacked the trespassers. By
morning several houses had been erected, and the arrival of freight
trains loaded with provisions not only enabled thoughtful caterers to
make small fortunes, but also relieved the newcomers of much of the
distress they had been suffering. Within a week the streets were well
defined, and houses were being built in every direction, and within six
months there were several brick buildings erected and occupied for
business and banking purposes.

The process of building up was one of the quickest on record, and
Guthrie, like its neighbor on the south, Oklahoma City, is to-day a
large, substantial business and financial center. Those of our readers
who crossed Oklahoma by rail, even as lately as the winter of 1888, will
remember that they saw nothing but open prairie, with occasional belts
of timber. There was not so much as a post to mark the location of
either of these two large cities, nor was there a plow line to define
their limits.

In no other country in the world could results such as these have been
accomplished. The amount of courage required to invest time and money in
a prospective town in a country hitherto closed against white citizens
is enormous, and it takes an American, born and bred, to make the
venture. The Oklahoma cities are not boom towns, laid out on paper and
advertised as future railroad and business centers; from the first
moment of their existence they have been practical, useful trading
centers, and every particle of growth they have made has been of a
permanent and lasting character.

But if the race to the Oklahoma town sites was interesting, the race to
the homesteads was sensational and bewildering. All around the coveted
land, anxious, determined men were waiting for the word "Go," in order
to rush forward and select a future home. In some instances the race was
made in the wagons, but in many cases a solitary horseman acted as
pioneer and galloped ahead, in order to secure prior claim to a coveted,
well-watered quarter-section. Shortly before the hour of noon, a number
of boomers on the northern frontier made an effort to advance in spite
of the protests of the soldiers on guard. These latter were outnumbered
ten to one, and could not attempt to hold back the home-seekers by
force. Seeing this fact, the young Lieutenant in charge addressed a few
pointed sentences to the would-be violators of the law. He knew most of
the men personally, and was aware that several of them were old
soldiers. Addressing these especially, he appealed to their patriotism,
and asked whether it was logical for men who had borne arms for their
country to combine to break the laws, which they themselves had risked
their lives to uphold. This appeal to the loyalty of the veterans had
the desired effect, and what threatened to be a dangerous conflict
resulted in a series of hearty hand-shakes.

A mighty shout went up at noon, and the deer, rabbits and birds, which
for years had held undisputed possession of the promised land, were
treated to a surprise of the first water. Horses which had never been
asked to run before, were now compelled to assume a gait hitherto
unknown to them. Wagons were upset, horses thrown down, and all sorts of
accidents happened. One man, who had set his heart on locating on the
Canadian River near the Old Payne Colony, rode his horse in that
direction, and urged the beast on to further exertions, until it could
scarcely keep on its feet. Finally he reached one of the creeks running
into the river. The jaded animal just managed to drag its rider up the
steep bank of the creek, and it then fell dead. Its rider had no time
for regrets. He had still four or five miles to cover, and he commenced
to run as fast as his legs would carry him. His over-estimate of his
horse's powers of endurance, and his under-estimate of the distance to
be covered, lost him his coveted home; for when he arrived a large
colony had got in ahead of him from the western border, and there were
two or three claimants to every homestead.

In other cases there were neck and neck races for favored locations, and
sometimes it would have puzzled an experienced referee to have
determined which was really the winner of the race. Compromises were
occasionally agreed to, and although there was a good deal of bad temper
and recrimination, there was very little violence, and the men whose
patience had been sorely taxed, behaved themselves admirably, earning
the respect of the soldiers who were on guard to preserve order. The
excitement and uproar was kept up long after night-fall. In their
feverish anxiety to retain possession of the homes for which they had
waited and raced, hundreds of men stayed up all night to continue the
work of hut building, knowing that nothing would help them so much in
pressing their claims for a title as evidence of work on bona fide
improvements. They kept on day after day, and, late in the season as it
was, many of the newcomers raised a good crop that year.

The opening of other sections of the old Indian Territory, now included
in Oklahoma, took place two or three years later, when the scenes we
have briefly described were repeated. To-day, Oklahoma extends right up
to the southern Kansas line, and the Cherokee Strip, on whose rich blue
grass hundreds of thousands of cattle have been fattened, is now a
settled country, with at least four families to every square mile, and
with a number of thriving towns and even large cities. At the present
time the question of Statehood for the youngest of our Territories is
being actively debated. No one disputes the fact that the population and
wealth is large enough to justify the step, and the only question at
issue is whether the whole of the Indian Territory should be included in
the new State, or whether the lands of the so-called civilized tribes
should be excluded.

The lawlessness which has prevailed in some portions of the Indian
Territory is held to be a strong argument in favor of opening up all the
lands for settlement. At present the Indians own immense tracts of land
under very peculiar conditions. A large number of white men, many of
them respectable citizens, and many of them outlaws and refugees from
justice, have married fair Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek girls, and these
men, while not recognized by the heads of the tribes, are able to draw
from the Government, in the names of their wives, the large sums of
money from time to time distributed. Advocates of Statehood favor the
allotment to each Indian of his share of the land, and the purchase by
the Government of the immense residue, which could then be opened for
settlement.

Until this question is settled, the anomaly will continue of
civilization and the reverse existing side by side. Some of the Indians
have assumed the manners, dress, virtues and vices of their white
neighbors, in which case they have generally dropped their old names and
assumed something reasonable in their place. But many of the red men who
adhere to tradition, and who object to innovation, still stick to the
names given them in their boyhood. Thus, in traveling across the Indian
Territory, Indians with such names as "Hears-Something-Everywhere,"
"Knows-Where-He-Walks," "Bear-in-the-Cloud," "Goose-Over-the-Hill,"
"Shell-on-the-Neck," "Sorrel Horse," "White Fox,"
"Strikes-on-the-Top-of-the-Head," and other equally far-fetched and
ridiculous terms and cognomens.

Every one has heard of Chief "Rain-in-the-Face," a characteristic
Indian, whose virtues and vices have both been greatly exaggerated from
time to time. A picture is given of this representative of a rapidly
decaying race, and of the favorite pony upon which he has ridden
thousands of miles, and which in its early years possessed powers of
endurance far beyond what any one who has resided in countries removed
from Indian settlements can have any idea or conception of.



CHAPTER VII.


COWBOYS--REAL AND IDEAL.

A Much Maligned Class--The Cowboy as he Is, and as he is Supposed to
be--Prairie Fever and how it is Cured--Life on the Ranch Thirty Years
Ago and Now--Singular Fashions and Changes of Costume--Troubles
Encountered by would-be Bad Men.


Among the thoroughly American types of humanity, none is more striking
or unique than the cowboy. This master of horsemanship and subduer of
wild and even dangerous cattle, has been described in so many ways that
a great difference of opinion exists as to what he was, and what he is.
We give a picture of a cowboy of to-day, and will endeavor to show in
what important respects he differs from the cowboy of fiction, and even
of history.

Sensational writers have described the cowboy as a thoroughly bad man,
and, moreover, as one who delights in the word "bad," and regards it as
a sort of diploma or qualification. Travelers over the region in which
the cowboy used to be predominant give him a very different character,
and speak of him as a hard-working, honest citizen, generous to a fault,
courteous to women and aged or infirm men, but inclined to be humorous
at the expense of those who are strong and big enough to return a joke,
or resent it, if they so prefer.

We have spoken of the cowboy in two tenses: the present and the past.
Strictly speaking, we should, perhaps, have only used one, for many of
the best judges say that there is no such thing as a cowboy in this day
and generation. He flourished in all his glory in the days of immense
ranges, when there was an abundance of elbow room for both man and
beast, and when such modern interferences with the cattle business as
the barb-wire fence did not exist. The work of cattle herding and
feeding to-day certainly differs in a most remarkable manner from that
of thirty and even twenty years ago, and the man has naturally changed
with his work. Now, the cowboy is, to all intents and purposes, a farm
hand. He feeds the stock, drives it to water when necessary, and goes to
the nearest market town to dispose of surplus products, with all the
system and method of a thoroughly domesticated man. Formerly he had
charge of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of branded cattle, which
ranged at will over boundless prairies, and the day's work was
frequently varied by a set-to with some unfriendly Indians or some
exceptionally daring cattle thieves.

The very nature of his work used to make the cowboy somewhat desperate
in his habits, and apt to be suspicious of newcomers. He was never such
a terrible individual as has been frequently stated in print. His work
confined him to a few frontier States and Territories, and hence he was
a very convenient person to ridicule and decry. The man who met the
average cowboy face to face, generally learned to respect him, and
speedily appreciated the fact that it paid to be at least civil. Writers
who never went within 500 miles of the nearest cattle ranch or cowboy's
home, treated him with less courtesy and described him in all sorts of
terms.

Dime literature, with its yellow covers and sensational pictures of
stage robberies and the like, has always libeled the American cowboy to
a most outrageous extent. As a result of the misapprehensions thus
created, what is known as cowboy or prairie fever is quite a common
disease among youths who are trying to raise a mustache for a first
time. The feats of recklessness, the absolute disregard of
conventionality and the general defiance attributed to the man who herds
cattle on the prairie, seem to create a longing on the part of
sensationally inclined youths, and many of these have cut their teeth
and learned their lesson in a very different manner from what was
expected.

Let us imagine for a moment the experiences of the young man from the
East, who has convinced himself, by careful reasoning and reading, that
nature intended him to shine in the West. It is probable that he came to
this most important conclusion many years before, and it is not unlikely
that his first cowboy enthusiasm was fed by attacks upon the cat, with
the nearest approach he could obtain to a rawhide whip. From this
primitive experience, sensational literature, and five and ten-cent
illustrated descriptions of the adventures of "Bill, the Plunger," and
"Jack, the Indian Slayer," completed the education, until the boy, or
young man, as the case may be, determines that the hour has arrived for
him to cast away childish things and become a genuine bad man of the
West.

Just how he gets half way across the continent is a matter of detail.
Sometimes the misguided youth is too proud to beg and too honest to
steal, in which case he probably saves up his pocket money and buys a
cheap ticket. The more romantic and strictly correct course to adopt is
to start out without a dollar, and to beat one's way across the
continent, so as to be thoroughly entitled to recognition on the
prairie. Many a young man who has commenced the pilgrimage towards
glorified badness, has had the fever knocked out of him before advancing
100 miles, but others have succeeded in getting through, and have
arrived in Texas, Wyoming or Montana, as the case may have been,
thoroughly convinced of their own ability to hold their own in all
company.

The disappointment that awaits the adventurous one is almost too great
to be expressed in words. If the cowboys were one-half as bad as they
are painted, they would proceed to demonstrate their right to an evil
reputation by murdering the newcomer, and stealing his wearing apparel
and any money he might happen to have with him. Instead of doing this,
the cowboy generally looks with amusement on the individual who has come
so many miles to join him. The greeting is not of the exuberant
character expected, and frequently the heart of the newcomer is broken
by being told to go back to his mammy and spend a few years more in the
nursery. A runaway tenderfoot just fresh from school is not wanted on
the cattle ranch, and although Western farmers are too good-natured to
resent very severely the liberty taken, they never flatter the newcomer
by holding out any inducements or making any prophecies as to his
future.

The writer met a runaway enthusiast of this character a few years ago.
His destination was the extreme West. As he did not know himself the
State to which he was bound, he presumed that no one else did. When
found, he had got as far as Kansas City, and hunger and lack of a place
where he could sleep in comfort had cooled his ardor and inaugurated a
vigorous attack of home-sickness. As the ideal cowboy life does not
provide for feather beds or meals served in courses, it was suggested to
the lad that possibly he was having a good experience in advance, and
getting himself accustomed to the privations of the life he had decided
to adopt.

This logic did not commend itself at all to the runaway, whose sole
ambition now was to borrow enough money to telegraph a message of
penitence to his father. A small sum necessary for the purpose was given
him, and the dispatch sent. Within an hour an answer was received and
money transmitted by wire to supply the lad with a ticket for his home,
where it is exceedingly probable what little cowboy fever he had left in
him was speedily removed in old-fashioned and regulation manner.

The cowboy must not be confounded with the cattle baron. Ten or twelve
years ago, when a great deal of money was made out of raising cattle,
there was an invasion of the prairie States by men who knew nothing
whatever about cattle raising, but who had made up their minds to secure
a fortune by raising steers. They took with them as inconsistent ideas
as did the youth in search of adventure. Often they carried large sums
of money, which they invested very lavishly in business, and they also
took with them ridiculously fine clothes, patent leather boots,
velveteen jackets, and other evidences of luxury, which made them very
unpopular and very ridiculous in their new homes. Nine-tenths of these
called themselves "cattle barons," and about the same proportion
obtained a great deal of experience but very little money, while trying
to revolutionize the cattle business.

It is not necessary to own cattle at all to be a cowboy, although many
members of this interesting profession own a few beasts of their own and
are allowed to have them graze with the other stock on the ranch.
Generally speaking, the term used to be applied to all those who were
engaged in handling the cattle, and in getting them together on the
occasion of the annual round-ups. The old-time cowboy did not have a
very high reputation, nor was he always looked upon quite as leniently
as his surroundings demanded. About twenty years ago, a well-known
cattleman wrote the following description of the cowboy and the life he
led:

"If any one imagines that the life of a cowboy or ranchman is one of
ease and luxury, or his diet a feast of fat things, a brief trial will
dispel the illusion, as is mist by the sunshine. True, his life is one
of more or less excitement or adventures, and much of it is spent in the
saddle, yet it is a hard life, and his daily fare will never give the
gout. Corn bread, mast-fed bacon, and coffee, constitute nine-tenths of
their diet; occasionally they have fresh beef, and less often they have
vegetables of any description. They do their own cooking in the rudest
and fewest possible vessels, often not having a single plate or knife
and fork, other than their pocket knife, but gather around the
camp-kettle in true Indian style, and with a piece of bread in one hand,
proceed to fish up a piece of 'sow belly,' and dine sumptuously, not
forgetting to stow away one or more quarts of the strongest coffee
imaginable, without sugar or cream. Indeed, you would hesitate, if
judging it from appearance, whether to call it coffee or ink. Of all the
vegetables, onions and potatoes are the most desired and the oftenest
used, when anything more than the 'old regulation' is had. Instead of an
oven, fireplace or cooking stove, a rude hole is dug in the ground and a
fire made therein, and the coffee pot, the camp kettle and the skillet
are his only culinary articles used.

"The life of the cowboy is one of considerable daily danger and
excitement. It is hard and full of exposure, but is wild and free, and
the young man who has long been a cowboy has but little taste for any
other occupation. He lives hard, works hard, has but few comforts, and
fewer necessities. He has but little, if any, taste for reading. He
enjoys a coarse practical joke, or a smutty story; loves danger, but
abhors labor of the common kind; never tires of riding, never wants to
walk, no matter how short the distance he desires to go. He would rather
fight with pistols than pray; loves tobacco, liquor and woman better
than any other trinity. His life borders nearly upon that of an Indian.
If he reads anything, it is in most cases a blood and thunder story of
the sensational style. He enjoys his pipe, and relishes a practical joke
on his comrades, or a tale where abounds animal propensity.

"His clothes are few and substantial, scarce in number and often of a
gaudy pattern. The 'sombrero' and large spurs are inevitable
accompaniments. Every house has the appearance of lack of convenience
and comfort, but the most rude and primitive modes of life seem to be
satisfactory to the cowboy. His wages range from $15.00 to $20.00 a
month in specie. Mexicans can be employed for about $12.00 per month.
The cowboy has few wants and fewer necessities, the principal one being
a full supply of tobacco.

"We will here say for the benefit of our Northern readers, that the term
'ranch' is used in the Southwest instead of 'farm,' the ordinary laborer
is termed a 'cowboy,' the horse used a 'cow horse,' and the herd of
horses a 'cavvie yard.'

"The fame of Texas as a stock-growing country went abroad in the land,
and soon after her admission to the Union, unto her were turned the eyes
of many young men born and reared in the older Southern States, who were
poor in this world's goods, but were ambitious to make for themselves a
home and a fortune. Many of this class went to Texas, then a new and
comparatively thin and unsettled country, and began in humblest manner,
perhaps for nominal wages, to lay the foundation for future wealth and
success."

This is a very severe description, and relates to a class of men who
were found in the wildest parts of Texas shortly after the war. It
certainly does not adequately describe the cowboy of the last twenty
years. Another writer, who was himself for more than a quarter of a
century engaged in the work of herding cattle, gives a much fairer
description of the cowboy. He divides those entitled to this name into
three classes, and argues that there is something noble about the name.
He also claims that in view of the peculiar associations, privations,
surroundings and temptations of the cowboy, he is entitled to much
credit for the way in which he has retained the best characteristics of
human nature, in spite of his absence from the refining influences of
civilization.

According to this authority, the first class of cowboys include the
genuine, honest worker on the prairie, the man who has due respect for
the rights of all. He is scrupulously honest, but yet charitable enough
to look leniently on the falling away from grace of his less scrupulous
brothers, and he is loyal to a remarkable extent to every one who has a
right to claim his friendship. In the second class is placed the less
careful cowboy, who is not quite so strict in his moral views, although
no one would like to class him as a thief. The story is told of the
Irishman who found a blanket bearing upon it the Government mark "U. S."
Paddy examined the blanket carefully and on finding the mark shouted
out: "U. for Patrick and S. for McCarty. Och, but I'm glad I've found me
blanket. Me fayther told me that eddication was a good thing, and now I
know it; but for an eddication I never would have found the blanket."

Reasoning of this kind is quite common among this second class or
division of the cowboy. It is not suggested that he is exactly a thief,
because he would scorn the acts of the city light-fingered gentleman,
who asks you the time of day, and then, by a little sleight-of-hand,
succeeds in introducing your watch to a too obliging and careless
pawnbroker at the next corner. But he is a little reckless in his ideas
of what lawyers call the rights of individuals, and he is a little too
much inclined, at times, to think that trifles that are not his own
ought to be so.

The writer, to whom we are referring, includes in class three the
typical cowboy, and the man used by the fiction writer as a basis for
his exaggerations and romances. Into this class drifts the cowboy who is
absolutely indifferent as to the future, and who is perfectly happy if
he has enough money to enable him to buy a fancy bridle or a magnificent
saddle. These are about the beginning and the end of his ideas of
luxury; although he enjoys a good time, he looks upon it rather as
incidental and essential to pleasure. A steady position at a small
salary, a reasonable amount to do, and fairly good quarters, constitute
all he looks for or expects. He is perfectly honest with all his
indifference. He is often whole-souled and big-hearted, constantly
allows himself to be imposed upon, but has an inconvenient habit of
occasionally standing up for his rights and resenting too much
oppression. He is exceedingly good-natured, and will often drive some
stray cattle several miles for the convenience of a perfect stranger,
and a man to whom he owes no obligation whatever.

It is said that such a thing as distress among the relatives or
descendants of cowboys was impossible, because of the delightful
tenderheartedness of men with rough exterior and whose daily life makes
them appear hardened. The working cowboy is seldom rich, even in the
most generous acceptation of the term. The small wages he earns are
expended almost entirely on decorations for his horse or himself. Even
when he succeeds in saving a few dollars, the money seems to burn a hole
in his pocket, and he generally lends it to some one in greater need
than himself. But every man working on a ranch has something to spare
for the widow or children of a deceased brother, especially if he was
killed in the course of his duties. An instance of this generous-hearted
disposition might well be given, but it is sufficient to say that the
rule is invariable, and that a promise made to a dying man in this
respect is never forgotten.

Leaving for a moment the personal characteristics of the much-maligned
cowboy, who has been described as everything from a stage-robber to a
cutthroat, we may with profit devote a little space to a consideration
of his attire as it was, and as it is. In the picture of a cowboy in
this work the modern dress is shown very accurately. It will be seen
that the man is dressed conveniently for his work, and that he has none
of the extraordinary handicaps to progress, in the way of grotesque
decorations, which he had been thought to believe were, at least, part
and parcel of the cowboy's wardrobe and get up. Certainly at the present
time men engaged in feeding and raising cattle are almost indifferent as
to their attire, wearing anything suitable for their purpose, and making
their selections rather with a view to the durability, than the
handsomeness, of the clothing.

But in years gone by, there was almost as much fashion changing among
the men on the prairie as among the woman in the drawing-room. At the
close of the war the first of the arbitrary dictates of fashion went
out. A special form of stirrup was introduced. It was very narrow and
exceedingly inconvenient, but it was considered the right thing, and so
everybody used it. Rawhide was used in place of lines, and homespun
garments were uniform. Calfskin leggings, made on the prairie, with the
hair on the outside, were first worn, and large umbrella-like straw hats
came into use. A little later it was decided the straw hat was not
durable enough for the purpose. When excited a cowboy frequently starts
his horse with his hat, and when he is wearing a straw, four or five
sharp blows knock out of the hat any semblance it may ever have had to
respectability and symmetry. The wide brim woolen hat was declared to be
the correct thing, and every one was glad of the change. The narrow
stirrup gave place to a wider one, and the stirrup leather was shortened
so as to compel the rider to keep his knees bent the whole time. The
most important change in fashion twenty years ago, was the introduction
of tanned leather leggings and of handsome bridles. Many a man now pays
two or three months' wages for his bridle, and since the fashion came
in, it is probable that many thousand dollars have been invested in
ornamental headgear for prairie horses and ponies. A new saddle, as well
as bow and tassel decorations, also came in at this period, and it is to
be admitted that for a time exaggeration in clothing became general. It
is an old joke on the prairie that the average man's hat costs him more
than his clothes.

Many a cowboy earning $30.00 a month has spent three times that sum on
his saddle alone. More than one man earning $25.00 a month has invested
every cent of his salary in silver buckles for his strange looking hat.
Equally extravagant is the average man as to his saddle, bridle, and
even spurs and bit. Those who talk so much about the bad habits of these
people, will hardly credit the fact that many a cowboy abstains from
liquor and tobacco for an entire year at a stretch, simply because he
wants to purchase some article of attire, which he thinks will make him
the envy of the entire ranch.

The cow pony is worthy of as much attention and thought as the cowboy.
It is often said that the latter is hard and cruel, and that he uses his
pony roughly. This is far from being correct. Between the cowboy and his
pet pony there is generally a bond of sympathy and a thorough
understanding, without which the marvelous feats of horsemanship which
are performed daily would be impossible. Perhaps in the preliminary
breaking in of the pony there is more roughness than is quite necessary.
At the same time, it should be remembered that to subdue an animal which
was born on the prairie and has run wild to its heart's content, is not
a very simple matter. The habit of bucking, which a Texas pony seems to
inherit from its ancestors, is a very inconvenient one, and an expert
rider from the East is perfectly helpless upon the back of a bucking
pony. The way in which he mounts assures the animal at once that he is a
stranger in those parts. A natural desire to unseat the daring stranger
becomes paramount, and the pony proceeds to carry out the idea.

At first it moves quietly and the rider congratulates himself on having
convinced the animal that resistance will be ill vain. But just as he
begins to do this the animal gets down its head, arches up its back,
something after the manner of an angry cat, leaps into the air and comes
down on the ground with its four legs drawn together under it, perfectly
stiff and straight. The rider seldom knows how it happened. He only
knows that it felt as though a cannon ball had struck him, and that he
fell off most ungracefully.

A pony never bucks viciously when a cowboy is riding it. It has learned
by long experience that the process is distinctly unprofitable. Breaking
in a pony and convincing it that the way of the transgressor is hard, is
one of the difficulties of prairie life. When, however, it is once
accomplished, an almost invaluable assistant has been secured. The
staying powers of the cow pony are almost without limit. He will carry
his master 100 miles in a day, apparently with very little fatigue. In
point of speed he may not be able to compete with his better bred
Eastern cousin, but in point of distance covered he entirely outclasses
him. Assuming an easy gait within its powers of endurance, a pony of the
prairie will keep it up almost indefinitely. At the end of a very long
ride, the man is generally more fatigued than his steed. The latter,
after being relieved of its saddle and bridle, rolls vigorously to get
rid of the stiffness, and, after an hour or two, is apparently in as
good condition as ever.

The charm connected with cowboy life is found in the disregard of strict
rules of etiquette and ceremony, and in the amount of fun which is
considered to be in place around the prairie fire. We have already seen
that the wages paid to cowboys are, and always have been, very small.
The hours that have to be worked, and the hardships that have to be
encountered, seem to combine together to deter men from leading the life
at all. We know that it does neither, and that it is seldom there is
really any dearth of help on the prairie or among the cattle herds. The
greatest delight is derived from jokes played at the expense of smart
tenderfeet, who approach the camp with too much confidence in
themselves. The commonest way of convincing the newcomer that he has
made a mistake is to persuade him to ride an exceptionally fractious
pony. The task is generally approached with much confidence, and almost
invariably ends in grief. If the stranger can retain his seat and thus
upset the rehearsed programme, the delight of the onlookers is even
greater than their disappointment, and the newcomer is admitted at once
into the good fellowship of the crowd.

Nothing aggravates a cowboy so much, or makes him more desperate in his
selection of tricks, as the affectation of badness on the part of a
newcomer. A year or two ago a young man, who had been saving up his
money for years in order to emulate the deeds of some of the heroes
described in the cheap books he had been reading, arrived in the
Southwest, and proceeded to introduce himself to a number of employes of
a cattle ranch who, a few years ago, would have been known as regulation
cowboys. The unlimited impudence and the astounding mendacity of the
youth amused the cowboys very much, and they allowed him to narrate a
whole list of terrible acts he had committed in the East. Before he had
been in his new company an hour, he had talked of thefts and even
killings with the nonchalance of a man who had served a dozen years in
jail. His listeners enjoyed the absurdity of the situation, and allowed
him to talk at random without interruption.

The story telling was brought to an end in a very sensational manner
indeed. One of the listeners knew that a deputy sheriff was in the
neighborhood looking out for a dangerous character. Skipping out from
the party, he hunted up the deputy, and told him that one of the hunted
man's confederates was in the camp. The deputy, who was new to the
business and anxious to make a reputation for himself, rushed to the
camp and arrested the storyteller in spite of his protests. The young
man, who had been so brave a few minutes before, wept bitterly, and
begged that some one would telegraph his mother so as to have his
character established and his liberty assured. The joke was kept up so
long that the young man was actually placed in safe keeping all night.
The following morning he was released, as there was nothing whatever
against him except artistic lying. The speed that he managed to attain
while hurrying to the nearest railroad station showed that with proper
training he might have made a good athlete.

He waited around the station until the next train went East, and no
passenger was more delighted when the conductor said "All aboard," than
was the youth who was going back home very much discouraged, but very
considerably enlightened.

On another occasion a typical cowboy was traveling on the cars, and as
is quite common with members of his profession, had been approached by a
sickly looking youth, who asked him dozens of questions and evinced a
great anxiety to embark upon prairie life. There was very little to
interest the cattle-worker, and after awhile he determined to get rid of
his not overwelcome, self-introduced friend. He accordingly pointed, out
a rough-looking man at the far end of the car, and told the questioner
that he was the leader of a dangerous band of train robbers. The
individual was probably some hard-working man of perfectly honest
habits, but the would-be brave young man, who a few moments before had
been a candidate for a life of danger and hardship, was so horrified at
the bare idea, that he decided in a moment to emulate the Irishman who
said he had left his future behind him, and jumped from the moving
train, preferring a succession of knocks and bruises to actual contact
with a man of the character he had schooled himself into admiring.

Every man who creates a disturbance, defies the law, and discharges
fire-arms at random is spoken of as a cowboy, although in a majority of
instances he has never done a day's work to justify the name. The tough
man from the East who goes West to play the bad cowboy, is liable to
find that he has been borrowing trouble. He finds out that an
altercation is likely to bring him up facing the muzzle of a pistol in
the hands of a man much more ready to pull the trigger off-hand than to
waste time in preliminary talk. He soon learns the lesson of
circumspection and, if he survives the process, his behavior is usually
modified to fit his new surroundings. A tragic illustration of the
results that may come from a tenderfoot's attempt to masquerade as a bad
man west of the Mississippi River, took place in the winter of 1881-82
in New Mexico, on a southward-bound Atchison train. One of the strangers
was terrorizing the others. He was a tough-looking fellow from some
Eastern city; he had been drinking, and he paraded the cars talking
loudly and profanely, trying to pick quarrels with passengers and
frequently flourishing a revolver. The train hands did not seem inclined
to interfere with him, and among the people aboard whom he directly
insulted, he did not happen to hit upon any one who had the sand or the
disposition to call him down.

Toward the members of a theatrical company, traveling in one of the
coaches, he particularly directed his violence and insults. His conduct
with them at last became unbearable, and when, after threatening two
actors with his revolver and frightening the women to the verge of
hysterics, he passed onward into another car, a hurried council of war
was held in the coach be had just vacated, and every man who had a
pistol got it in readiness, with the understanding that if he returned,
he was to be shot down at the first aggressive movement. But that phase
of trouble was averted, for, as it happened, he remained in the car
ahead until, at dusk, the train rolled into Albuquerque.

Here the proprietor of the Armijo House was at the station with his
hackman awaiting the train's arrival. He called out the name of his
house at the door of one car, and then turning to the hackman said: "You
take care of the passengers in this car, and I will go to the next."

These inoffensive words caught the ear of the tough man from the East,
who was pushing his way to the car platform. He drew his pistol and
started for the nearest man on the station platform, shouting:

"You'll take care of us, will you? I'll show you smart fellows out here
that you are not able to take care of me."

He flourished his revolver as he spoke and, just as his feet struck the
second step of the car, he fired, the ball passing over the head of the
man on the station platform. The sound of his pistol was quickly
followed by two loud reports, and the tough man fell forward upon the
platform dead. The man at whom he had apparently fired had drawn his
revolver and shot him twice through the heart.

A crowd gathered as the train rolled on, leaving the tough man where he
had fallen. Of course the man who killed him, a gambler of the town, was
fully exonerated at the inquest, and was never even indicted for the
killing.



CHAPTER VIII.


WARDS OF OUR NATIVE LAND.

The Indians' Admirers and Critics--At School and After--Indian Courtship
and Marriage--Extraordinary Dances--Gambling by Instinct--How
"Cross-Eye" Lost his Pony--Pawning a Baby--Amusing and Degrading Scenes
on Annuity Day.


Opinions differ materially as to the rights and wrongs, privileges and
grievances, and worthiness and worthlessness of the North American
Indian. Some people think that the red man has been shamefully treated
and betrayed by the white man, and that the catalogue of his grievances
is as long as the tale of woe the former is apt to tell, whenever he can
make himself understood by a sympathetic listener.

Holders of this opinion live for the most part in districts where there
are no Indians located.

There are others who think that the Indian has been absurdly pampered by
the Government, and that it would be as sensible to try to change the
arrangement of seasons as to attempt to prevent the survival of the
fittest, or, in other words, to interfere with the gradual, but in their
opinion inevitable, extermination of the Indian.

Those holding this extreme view are for the most part those who live
near Indian reservations, and who have had opportunities of studying the
red man's character.

Both views are of course unduly severe. As a useful citizen the Indian
varies considerably, and it is rather as an interesting study that we
approach the subject.

Civilization has a very peculiar effect upon the American Indian. The
schools for Indian children are well managed, and the education imparted
should be sufficient to prevent the possibility of a relapse into the
unsatisfactory habits and the traditional uncleanliness of the different
tribes. Sometimes the effect of education is excellent. There are many
Indians to be found who have adopted civilized modes of living, and who
have built up homes and amassed little fortunes by farming, raising
cattle and trading. Some of the Indians, notably those of the five
civilized tribes or nations in Indian Territory, resemble white men in
appearance very much. They will sometimes work side by side with swarthy
Caucasians, whose skin has been tanned by exposure to the sun, and
except for the exceptionally high cheek bone and the peculiarly straight
hair, there is little to distinguish the Indian from the white man.

But these cases are exceptions to the general rule, which is that
education is looked upon by Indians as a degradation rather than
otherwise. Great difficulty is often experienced in persuading parents
to allow their children to be taken to the training schools at all, and
so much compulsion is often necessary that an appearance of kidnaping is
imparted. The first thing that is done with an Indian boy or girl
admitted to one of these schools, is to wash the newcomer with
considerable vigor from head to foot, and to cut off the superfluous,
and, generally speaking, thickly matted hair.

The comfort of short hair, neatly combed and brushed, seldom impresses
itself upon the youthful brave. For obvious reasons this is, however,
insisted upon, and while the boy is at school he is kept neat and clean.
Directly, however, he returns to his tribe he is in danger of relapsing
into the habits of his forefathers. Too often he is sneered at for his
neatness. His short hair is looked upon as an offense, and he is
generally willing to fall in with tribal fashions, abandon his neat
clothing, and let his hair grow and his face accumulate the regulation
amount of dust and dirt.

The Indian trader and the pioneer generally will tell you that the only
good Indian is a dead Indian. He will repeat this adage until it becomes
wearisome in its monotony. Then, perhaps, he will vary it by telling you
that of all the mean Indians the educated one is the meanest. This is
only true in some instances, but it is a fact that education does not
invariably benefit the Indian at all.

Almost all Indians are passionately fond of dancing. Several books have
been written descriptive of the various dances of different tribes. Some
of them have a hidden meaning and dangerous significance, while others
are merely for the purpose of amusement and recreation. For these dances
the Indians generally put on the most fancy costumes they have, and
their movements are sometimes graceful and sometimes grotesque. The sign
dance, as seen in some of the Southwestern tribes, is a curious one. One
of the belles of the tribe leads a man into the dancing apartment, which
consists of one of two tepees thrown together. In one are the tomtom
beaters, in the other the dancers. In this room the couple begin to
dance, making signs to each other, the meaning of which may be: "Well,
what do you think of me? Do you like me? Do you think me pretty? How do
I affect you?" and so on, the signs all being closely watched by the
spectators, who applaud, giggle, chuckle or laugh uproariously by turns,
as the case may be. Such a dance is a questioning bee, a collision of
wits on the part of two really facetious Indians.

Wit is a universal trait of the savage. Some white men draw. All Indians
draw. Some white men are cunning. All Indians are cunning. Some white
men are humorous. All Indians are witty. Dry wit, with a proverbial
philosophy in it which would have delighted the soul of Tupper, is
indigenous to the Indian. The Indian is the finest epigrammist on earth.
His sentences are pithy and sententious, because short--never long and
involved. A book of Indian wit and wisdom would have an enormous sale,
and reveal the very core of his thought on a typical scale.

The Indian flirt is sweet, saucy, subtle, seductive. She has the art of
keeping in stock constantly about her a score of bucks, each one of whom
flatters himself that he, and he alone, is the special object of her
admiration. Every tribe has had its belle. Poquite for the Modocs,
Ur-ska-te-na for the Navajos, Mini-haha for the Dakotas, Romona for the
neighboring bands. These belles have their foes among Indian women, but,
however cordially hated, they never brawl or come to blows.

Love-making is one of the interesting night scenes in an Indian camp.
When a young man wants to court a pretty red couquette, he stands at the
door of his lodge on a bright day and flashes a ray of light from his
sun-glass on the face of his sweetheart far away. She sees the ray as it
falls on her, and follows in the direction whence it is thrown, right or
left. She understands the secret of these flash lights. Soon the lovers
meet, each under a blanket; not a word, not a salutation is exchanged;
they stand near each other for a time and then retire, only to repeat
the affair day after day.

At last, upon some favorable night, the Indian youth visits the door of
her lodge; she comes out and sits down on the ground beside him; still
no word is spoken. At last she arises from the ground; he also rises,
and standing before her, throws his blanket over both of them. No sooner
has he done so than she doffs her blanket, letting it fall upon the
ground, which is the admission on her part that she loves him, and does
him obeisance as her future lord and master.

Every Indian camp at night is full of such lovers, with wooings as
sweet, lips as willing, embraces as fond, lives as romantic, hearts as
true, and elopements as daring and desperate as ever graced a Spanish
court. The old people come together with their friends and hold a
council. "How many ponies can he pay for her?" has a good deal to do
with the eligibility of the suitor. That night he brings his articles of
dowry to the door of his fiancee. If they are still there next morning,
he is rejected; if not, accepted.

No formal marriage ceremony is gone through as a rule. The heart is the
certificate and the Great Spirit the priest. Under the tribal government
of the Indians, the rights of women were respected and clearly defined.
She was the head of the house, and all property, save an insignificant
amount, descended at death to her. She was in many tribes personified as
the principal object of worship, prayer and adoration, in the tutelary
goddess of the tribe. Now all is changed. The Indian of to-day is not
the Indian of fifty years ago, and cannot be studied in the same light.
His manners, customs and habits are all changed, and polygamy, more and
more, creeps in with all its appalling degradations.

On special occasions an entire tribe is gathered under an open space in
the cottonwoods to celebrate their principal dances. Hands are wildly
waved above the heads of the dancers around a central fire of logs,
piled in a conical heap. Around this blazing pile runs the dark circle
which was built at sunset, inclosing sacred ground, which must not be
trespassed on. The old chanter stands at the gate of the corral and
sings. The men built the dark circle in less than an hour. When done,
the corral measures forty paces in diameter. Around it stands a fence
eight feet high, with a gate in the east ten feet wide.

At night-fall many of the Navajo people move, temporarily, all their
goods and property into the corral, and abandon their huts or hogans.
Those who do not move in are watchers to protect their property, for
there are thieves among the Navajos. At 8 o'clock a band of musicians
enters, and, sitting down, begins a series of cacophonous sounds on a
drum. As soon as the music begins, the great wood pile is lighted. The
conflagration spreads rapidly and lights the whole landscape and the
sky. A storm of red, whirling sparks fly upward, like bright golden bees
from out a hive, to a height of a hundred feet. The descending ashes
fall in the corral like a light shower of snow. The heat soon grows so
intense that in the remotest parts of the enclosure it is necessary for
a person to screen his face when he looks towards the fire.

Suddenly a warning whistle is heard in the outer darkness, and a dozen
forms, lithe and lean, dressed only with the narrow white breech-clout
and mocassins, and daubed with white earth until they seem a group of
living marbles, come bounding through the entrance, yelping like wolves,
and slowly moving round the fire. As they advance, in single file, they
throw their bodies into diverse attitudes, some graceful, some strained,
some difficult, some menacing, and all grotesque. Now they face the
east, now the west, now the south, now the north, bearing aloft their
slender wands, tipped with eagle down, holding and waving them with
surprising effects. Their course around the fire is to the left, east,
west, south, north, a course invariably taken by all the dancers of the
night.

When they have circled the fire twice, they begin to thrust their wands
toward it. Their object is to try to burn off the tip of eagle down.
They dash up to the fire, crawl up to it on their faces, run up holding
their heads sidewise, dart up backward and approach it in all sorts of
attitudes. Suddenly, one approaching the flaming pile throws himself on
his back, with his head to the fire, and swiftly thrusts his wand into
the flames. Many are the unsuccessful attempts, but at length, one by
one, they all succeed in burning the downy balls from the end of their
wands. As each accomplishes his feat, it becomes necessary, as the next
duty, to restore the ball of down, which is done by refitting the ring
held in the hand with down upon it, and putting it on the head of the
aromatic sumac wand.

The dance customs and ideas differ with the tribes and localities.
Sometimes the dance is little more than an exhibition of powers of
endurance. Men or women, or both, go through fatiguing motions for hours
and even days in succession, astounding spectators by their disregard of
the traditions of their race, so far as idleness is concerned. Other
dances are grotesque and brutal. On special occasions weird ceremonies
are indulged in, and the proceedings are sensational in the extreme.

Of the ghost dance and its serious import, readers of the daily papers
are familiar. Of the war dances of the different tribes a great deal has
also been written, and altogether the dance lore of the American Indian
is replete with singular incongruities and picturesque anomalies.
Dancing with the Indian is often a religious exercise. It involves
hardship at times, and occasionally the participants even mutilate
themselves in their enthusiasm. Some of the tribes of the Southwest
dance, as we shall see later, with venomous snakes in their hands,
allowing themselves to be bitten, and relying on the power of the
priests to save them from evil consequences.

The Indians gamble as if by instinct. On one occasion the writer was
visiting a frontier town just after its settlement. Indians were present
in very large numbers, and in a variety of ways they got hold of a good
deal of money. The newcomers from the Eastern States were absolutely
unprepared for the necessary privations of frontier life. Hence they
were willing to purchase necessary articles at almost any price, while
they were easily deluded into buying all sorts of articles for which
they had no possible need. The Indians, who are supposed to be
civilized, took full advantage of the situation, and brought into town
everything that was of a salable character, frequently obtaining three
or four times the local cash value.

With the money thus obtained they gambled desperately. One Indian, who
boasted of the terrible name of "Cross-Eye," brought in two ponies to
sell. One of them was an exceptionally ancient-looking animal, which had
long since outlived its usefulness, and which, under ordinary local
conditions, could certainly have been purchased for $4.00 or $5.00. A
friendly Indian met Mr. "Cross-Eye", and a conversation ensued as to the
value of the pony and the probable price that it would realize. The two
men soon got angry on the subject, and finally the owner of the pony bet
his animal's critic the pony against $20.00 that it would realize at
least the last-named sum.

With this extra stimulus for driving a good bargain, the man offered his
pony to a number of white men, and finally found one who needed an
animal at once, and who was willing to pay $20.00 for the antiquated
quadruped. "Cross-Eye" made a number of guttural noises indicative of
his delight, and promptly collected the second $20.00.

He had thus practically sold a worthless pony for $40.00, and had it not
been for his innate passion for gambling, would have done a very good
day's business. A few hours later, however, he was found looking very
disconsolate, and trying very hard to sell some supposed curiosities for
a few dollars with which to buy a blanket he sorely needed. His
impecuniosity was easily explained. Instead of proceeding at once to
sell his second pony, he turned his attention first to gambling, and in
less than an hour his last dollar had gone. Then, with the gamester's
desperation, he had put up his second pony as a final stake, with the
result that he lost his money and his stock in trade as well. He took
the situation philosophically and stoically, but when he found it
impossible in the busy pioneer town to get even the price of a drink of
whisky for his curiosities, he began to get reckless, and was finally
escorted out of the town by two or three of his friends to prevent him
getting mixed up in a fight.

When the Indians have enough energy they gamble almost day and night.
The women themselves are generally kept under sufficient subjection by
their husbands to make gambling on their part impossible, so far as the
actual playing of games of chance is concerned. But they stand by and
watch the men. They stake their necklaces, leggings, ornaments, and in
fact, their all, on the play, which is done sometimes with blue wild
plum-stones, hieroglyphically charactered, and sometimes with playing
bones, but oftener with common cards. Above the ground the tom-tom would
be sounded, but below ground the tom-tom was buried.

An Indian smokes incessantly while he gambles. Putting the cigarette or
cigar to his mouth he draws in the smoke in long, deep breaths, until he
has filled his lungs completely, when he begins slowly to emit the smoke
from his nose, little by little, until it is all gone. The object of
this with the Indian is to steep his senses more deeply with the
narcotizing soporific. The tobacco they smoke is generally their own
raising.

"The thing that moved me most," writes a traveler, describing a visit to
an Indian gambling den, "was the spectacle in the furthest corner of the
'shack' of an Indian mother, with a pappoose in its baby-case peeping
over her back. There she stood behind an Indian gambler, to whom she had
joined her life, painted and beaded and half intoxicated. The Indian
husband had already put his saddle in pawn to the white professional
gambler for his $5.00, and it was not five minutes before the white
gambler had the saddle and $5.00 both. Then, when they had nothing else
left to bet, so intense was their love for gambling, they began to put
themselves in pawn, piecemeal, saying: 'I'll bet you my whole body.'
That means 'I'll put myself in pawn to you as your slave to serve you as
you will for a specified time.'

"So it was that this Indian mother stood leaning back wearily against
the wall, half drunk and dazed with smoke and heat, when all at once the
Indian who lived with her said to her in Indian: 'Put in the baby for a
week. Then pay-day will come.' It was done. The baby was handed over.
That is what civilization has done for the Indian. Its virtues escapes
him; its vices inoculate him."

One of these vices is gambling. The Indian is kept poor all the year
round and plucked of every pinfeather. That is the principal reason why
he steals, not only to reimburse himself for loss, but also to avenge
himself upon the white man, who he knows well enough has constantly
robbed him.

Gambling, as witnessed in the Indian camp at night, is a very different
affair from the cache. The tom-tom notifies all that the bouts with
fortune are about to begin. During the game the music is steadily kept
up. In the intervals between the games the players all sing. Crowds
surround the camp. When a man loses heavily the whole camp knows it in a
few minutes, and not infrequently the wife rushes in and puts a stop to
the stake by driving her chief away. Gambling is the great winter game.
It is often played from morning till night, and right along all night
long. Cheating and trickery of every sort are practiced.

"Lizwin" or "mescal" are the two drinks made by the Indians themselves,
one from corn and the other from the "maguay" plant. The plains Indians
drink whisky. To gamble is to drink, and to drink is to lose. Gambling
is the hardest work that you can persuade an Indian to do, unless
threatened by starvation. Different tribes gamble differently.

The Comanches, undoubtedly, have by far the most exciting and
fascinating gambling games. The Comanche puzzles, tricks and problems
are also decidedly superior to those of any other nation. The gambling
bone is used by the Comanches. The leader of the game holds it up before
the eyes of all, so that all can see it; he then closes his two hands
over it, and manipulates it so dexterously in his fingers that it is
simply impossible to tell which hand the bone is in. In a moment he
suddenly flings each closed hand on either side of him down into the
outreaching hand of the player next to him.

The game commences at this point. The whole line of players passes, or
pretends to pass, this bone on from one to another, until at last every
hand is waving. All this time the eyes along the opposite line of
gamblers are eagerly watching each shift and movement of the hands, in
hopes of discovering the white flash of the bone. At last some one
descries the hand that holds the bone, or thinks so. He points out and
calls out for his side. The hand must instantly be thrown up. If it is
right, the watching side scores a point and takes the bone. The sides
change off in this way until the game is won. The full score is
twenty-one points. The excitement produced by this game is at times
simply indescribable.

The Utes play with two bones in each hand, one of which is wrapped about
with a string. The game is to guess the hand that holds the wrapped
bone. The plum-stone game is played by the plains Indians. It is only
another name for dice throwing. The plum-stones are graved with
hieroglyphics, and counts are curiously made in a way that often defies
computation by white men. The women gamble quite as much as the men,
when they dare, and grow even more excited over the game than their
lords. Their game, as witnessed among the Cheyennes, is played with
beads, little loops and long horn sticks made of deer foot.

The children look on and learn to gamble from their earliest childhood,
and soon learn to cheat and impose on their juniors. Their little
juvenile gambling operations are done principally with arrows. Winter
breeds sloth, and sloth begets gambling, and gambling, drink. There is
no conviviality in Indian drinking bouts. The Indian gets drunk, and
dead drunk, as soon as he possibly can, and finds his highest enjoyment
in sleeping it off. His nature reacts viciously under drink, however, in
many cases, and he is then a dangerous customer.

The women of many tribes are a most pitiable lot of hard working, ragged
and dirty humanity. Upon them falls all the drudgery of the camp; they
are "hewers of wood and drawers of water," and bend under immense
burdens piled upon their backs, while thousands of ponies browse,
undisturbed, in every direction. As the troops are withdrawn, the squaws
swoop down upon the deserted camps, and rapidly glean them of all that
is portable, for use in their domestic economy. An Indian fire would be
considered a very cheerless affair by the inmates of houses heated by
modern appliances; but such as it is--a few sticks burning with feeble
blaze and scarcely penetrating the dense smoke filling the tepee from
the ground to the small opening at the top--it consumes fuel, and the
demand is always greater than the supply, for the reason that an Indian
has no idea of preparation for future necessities. If the fire burns,
all right; when the last stick is laid on, a squaw will start for a
fresh supply, no matter how cold and stormy the weather may be.

The poetical Indian maiden may still exist in the vivid imagination of
extreme youth, but she is not common to-day. The young girls affect gay
attire, and are exempt from the hardships of toil which are imposed on
their elder sisters, mothers and grandams, but their fate is infinitely
worse. Little beauty is to be discerned among them, and in this regard
time seems to have effaced the types which were prevalent a few years
ago.

Annuity day is a great event in the life of every Agency Indian, and if
the reader would see Indian life represented in some of its most
interesting features, there is no more suitable time to select for a
visit to any Agency. It is a "grand opening," attended by the whole
tribe; but the squaws do not enjoy quite the freedom of choice in the
matter of dress goods, or receive such prompt attention from the clerks
as our city ladies are accustomed to. Even at 9 o'clock in the morning,
notwithstanding the fact that the actual distribution would not take
place until noon, the nation's wards are there, patiently waiting for
the business of the day to begin. Stakes have been driven into the
ground to mark the space to be occupied by each band, and behind them,
arranged in a semicircle, are the different families, under the charge
of a head man. The bands vary in numbers, both of families and
individuals, but they all look equally solemn as they sit on the ground,
with their knees drawn up under their chins, or cross-legged like Turks
and tailors.

The scene now becomes one of bustle and activity on the part of the
Agency people, who begin rapidly filling wagon after wagon with goods
from the store-houses. Blankets of dark blue material, cotton cloth,
calico of all colors and patterns, red flannel, gay woolen shawls, boots
and shoes that make one's feet ache to look at them, coffee pots, water
buckets, axes, and numerous other articles, are piled into each wagon in
the proportion previously determined by conference with the head men. A
ticket is then given to the driver, bearing the number of the stake and
the name of the head man. Away goes the wagon; the goods are thrown out
on the ground in a pile at the proper stake, and that completes the
formal transfer to the head man, who then takes charge of them, and,
with, the assistance of a few of the bucks designated by himself,
divides the various articles, according to the wants of the families and
the amount of goods supplied.

During the rush and fury of the issue and division of the goods, the
sombre figures in the background have scarcely moved. Not one has
ventured to approach the center where the bucks are at work, measuring
off the cloth, etc.; they are waiting for the tap of the bell, when they
will receive just what the head man chooses to give them. There is no
system of exchange there; it is take what you get or get nothing. In a
great many cases they do not use the goods at all, but openly offer them
for sale to the whites, who, no doubt, find it profitable to purchase at
Indian prices.

As soon as the issue is completed, a crowd of Indians gather in front of
the trader's store to indulge their passion for gambling, and in a short
space of time a number of blankets and other articles change hands on
the result of pony races, foot races or any other species of excitement
that can be invented. There is a white man on the ground who is, no
doubt, a professional runner, and the Indians back their favorite
against him in a purse of over $30.00, which the white man covers, and
wins the race by a few inches. The Indians will not give up, and make
similar purses on the two succeeding days, only to lose by an inch or
two. There is a master of ceremonies, who displays a wonderful control
over the Indians. He makes all the bets for the red men, collecting
different amounts for a score or more, but never forgetting a single
item or person.

Ration day brings out the squaws and dogs in full force; the one to pack
the rations to camp, and the latter to pick up stray bits. A few at a
time the squaws enter the store-house and receive their week's supply of
flour, coffee, sugar, salt, etc., for themselves and families. The beef
is issued directly from the slaughter-house, and the proceeding is
anything but appetizing to watch. The beeves to be killed are first
driven into a corral, where they are shot by the Indian butchers; when
the poor beasts have been shot to death, they are dragged to the door of
the slaughter-house and passed through the hands of half-naked bucks,
who seem to glory in the profusion of blood, and eagerly seek the
position on account of the perquisites attached to it in the way of
tempting (?) morsels which usually go to the dogs or on the refuse heap.
The beef is issued as fast as it can be cut up, at the rate of half a
pound a day for each person, regardless of age; bacon is also issued as
a part of the meat ration.



CHAPTER IX.


CIVILIZATION--ACTUAL AND ALLEGED.

Tried in the Balances and Found Wanting--Indian Archers--Bow and Arrow
Lore--Barbarous Customs that Die Slowly--"Great Wolf," the Indian
Vanderbilt--How the Seri were Taught a Valuable Lesson--Playing with
Rattlesnakes with Impunity.


Does Prohibition prohibit? is a question politicians and social
reformers ask again and again. Does civilization civilize? is a question
which is asked almost exclusively by persons who are interested in the
welfare of the American Indian, and who come in daily contact with him.

In the preceding chapter we have seen some little of the peculiar habits
of the American Indian, civilized and otherwise, and it will be
interesting now to see to what extent the white man's teaching has
driven away primeval habits of living, hunting and fighting. Within the
last few weeks, evidence of a most valuable character on this question
has been furnished by the report submitted to the Secretary of the
Interior by the Commission sent to investigate matters concerning the
five civilized tribes of Indians in the Indian Territory. This says that
they have demonstrated their incapacity to govern themselves, and
recommends that the trust that has been reposed in them by the
Government should be revoked.

The courts of justice have become helpless and paralyzed. Murder,
violence and robbery are an every-day occurrence. It was learned by the
Commission that fifty-three murders occurred in the months of September
and October in one tribe only, and not one of the culprits was brought
to justice. The Dawes Commission recommends that a large portion of the
Indian reservation be annexed to Oklahoma; this action to be followed by
forming that country into a Territory. But to accomplish this, it would
be necessary that the consent of the Indians be obtained, and this is
doubtful.

The statement that the Indians have cast aside their ancient weapons and
adopted more modern ones, and that through the use of them, they are
gradually extending their hunting grounds beyond the lines of their
reservations, is false. The report of the Commission makes this clearly
known. Throughout the West the Indians still trust to their bows and
arrows. On the northwest coast most of the Indians live by hunting and
fishing. They use principally the bow and arrow, knife, war club and
lance. In the North Pacific Ocean are several islands inhabited only by
Indians. In the Queen Charlotte and the Prince of Wales Archipelago is
found one of the most remarkable races of aborigines on the American
continent. These are the Haida tribes, and consist of strikingly
intelligent Indians. They acquire knowledge readily; learn trades and
exhibit much ingenuity in following the teachings of missionaries and
traders. But for all that, they still cling with something bordering
upon affection to the primitive weapons of their race.

During the long winter nights the old Indians seat themselves before the
fire and carve bows, ornament club handles, and feather and point
arrows. Perhaps in some of the tepees hang polished guns furnished by
the Government, but they are more for ornament than use. This evening
work is accompanied by the low croaking of some old Indian, who tells
over again the legends, folk-lore and nursery tales of their
grandfathers and grandmothers.

The Haida tribe is more rapidly advancing in civilization than any of
its neighbors, yet they still carve and paint bows, arrows, club handles
and paddles. The Indians still cling to other rude implements and take
not kindly to metal ones. Rude knives are still used for skinning deer,
especially by the old Indians. The axe, of course, is employed for
cutting trees and excavating canoes and mortars. It has really taken the
place of the stone chisel, yet many old men prefer burning the roots of
the tree until it can be made to fall by giving it a few hacks with the
rude stone hatchet.

In archery, the Indian has scarcely been excelled. With a quick eye and
a powerful muscle, he sends the arrow as unerringly as the archers of
olden time.

The Indian bow is usually from three and one-half to four feet in
length, with such a difficult spring that one with no experience can
scarcely bend it sufficiently to set the string. Different tribes, of
course, carry bows of different lengths, the Senecas having the longest.
The best of woods for making bows are Osage orange, hickory, ash, elm,
cedar, plum and cherry; some of these are strengthened with sinews and
glue. Almost every tribe has three sizes, the largest being used for war
purposes, and until an Indian can handle this war bow, he is not
considered entitled to be called a warrior.

Some claim the Sioux and the Crows make the best bows, although the
Apaches come close in the rank. When the Sioux bow is unstrung, it is a
straight piece of wood, while the Apaches and the Southern Indians make
a perfect Cupid's bow. The Crows often use elk horns as material, and
carve them beautifully. The Sioux, to make the straight piece of wood
more elastic, string the backs with sinews. Often these are beautifully
beaded and leathered, quite equaling, as a piece of art, the elaborate
elk horn bows made by the Crows. The Comanches' bows are covered with
sinew, much like those of the Apaches. The object of practice is to
enable the bowman to draw the bow with sudden and instant effect. It is
seldom that the Indian has need of throwing the arrow to a great
distance.

The bow of the Western Indian is small and apparently insignificant,
though its owner makes it very powerful, indeed. From his babyhood days
he has habituated it to his use, until it has become, as it were, a very
part of his nature. The Indian studies to get the greatest power out of
the smallest possible compass, and he finds a short bow on horseback far
more easily used and much more reliable in its execution. In the Far
West, bows are made largely of ash, and are lined with layers of buffalo
or deer sinews on the back. The Blackfeet have in use very valuable bows
of bone. Other tribes make use of the horns of mountain sheep. Sometimes
the bone bows will fetch very large sums of money, and deals have been
noticed in which the consideration for one of them was a pair of ponies,
with five pounds of butter thrown in as make-weight.

An athletic Indian on a fleet horse can do terrible execution with one
of these bows, which, even in these days of repeating rifles, is by no
means to be despised as a weapon. No one can estimate the force of a
throw from one of them when an artistic archer is in charge. The effects
from a wound from an arrow are so distressing that it is quite common to
accuse an Indian of using poisoned arrows, when possibly such a fiendish
idea never entered his head. Only those who have ridden side by side
with an Indian hunter really know how much more powerful an arrow shot
is than the average man supposes.

In war the Indians would even now arm themselves in part with bow,
quiver, lance, war club and shield. The Northwestern tribes are partial
to fighting with the bow and lance, protected with a shield. This shield
is worn outside of the left arm, after the manner of the Roman and
Grecian shield.

The Western Indians are fonder of horseback riding than the Eastern
tribes, and have learned to wield their weapons while mounted. They are
taught to kill game while running at full speed, and prefer to fight on
horseback. Some of them are great cowards when dismounted, but seated on
an Indian pony they are undaunted.

It is a mistake to suppose that arrow-heads are no longer manufactured;
the art of fashioning them is not lost. Almost every tribe manufactures
its own. Bowlders of flint are broken with a sledge-hammer made of a
rounded pebble of hornstone set in a twisted withe. This bone is thought
to be the tooth of the sperm whale. In Oregon the Indian arrow is still
pointed with flint. The Iroquois also used flint until they laid aside
the arrow for the lack of anything to hunt. The Iroquois youth, though
the rifle has been introduced largely into his tribe, will have none of
it, but takes naturally to the bow and arrow. Steel for arrow-heads is
furnished by the fur-traders in the Rocky Mountains, and iron heads are
often made from old barrel hoops, fashioned with a piece of sandstone.
In shooting with the bow and arrow on horseback, the Indian horse is
taught to approach the animal attacked on the right side, enabling its
rider to throw the arrow to the left. Buffalo Bill was an adept at
slaughtering game on horseback, and he won his great bet at killing the
greatest number of buffaloes, by following the custom of the Indians and
shooting to the left. The horse approaches the animal, his halter
hanging loose upon his neck, bringing the rider within three or four
paces of the game, when the arrow or rifle ball is sent with ease and
certainty through the heart.

Indians who have the opportunity to ride nowadays, still exercise with a
lance twelve or fifteen feet in length. In their war games and dances
they always appear with this lance and shield. The spears are modern and
have a blade of polished steel, and the shields are made of skin. Those
of old make are of buffalo neck. The skin is soaked and hardened with a
glue extracted from the hoofs. The shields are arrow-proof, and will
throw off a rifle shot if held obliquely, and this the Indian can do
with great skill. Since there is no war or the occasion for the use of
these arms, except in games of practice, many of the Indians, for a few
bottles of "fire water," have sold their best shields, and now they are
seen scattered over the country, preserved as curios.

It is folly to assume that the Indians have wholly or partly done away
with their barbaric customs. In their celebrations it is their great joy
to cast off their clothing and to paint their bodies all colors of the
rainbow, wear horns on their heads and make themselves look as hideous
as possible. The arrow game is introduced--never are there
demonstrations with the modern weapons--and the man is esteemed above
all others who can throw the greatest number of arrows in the sky before
the first one falls. In hunting, the Sioux kill muskrats with spears, as
they did in early days spear the buffaloes, managing to get close to
them by being dressed in wolf skin, and going on all fours. There are
Indians who would, on horseback, attack and kill a bear with a lance,
but are afraid to molest the animal unless they have the Indian pony as
a means of escape.

The arrow-heads of chert used for hunting are peculiarly fastened, in
order to make the arrow revolve. The Indian feathers the arrow for the
same purpose, and also carves the arrow shaft with a spiral groove. This
is not, as has been supposed, to let the blood out of the wound, but to
make the arrow carry.

Every tribe has its own arrow. It is claimed that the Pawnees are the
best manufacturers. The Comanches feather their arrows with two
feathers; the Navajos, Utes and all Apaches, except the Tontos, have
three feathers--the Tontos using four feathers for each shaft. The bird
arrow is the very smallest made.

"I have practiced" says one traveler, "for hours with the Utes,
uselessly trying to blame the twist of the feathered arrow for my bad
shots. The Indians say the carving and feathers are so arranged as to
give the arrow the correct motion, and one old chief on seeing the twist
in the rifle barrel by which the ball is made to revolve in the same
manner, claimed that the white man stole his idea from the Indian."

Stones, with grooves around their greatest circumference, are secured to
a handle by a withe or thong and become war clubs. They are dangerous
weapons in the hand of an Indian. Tomahawks, manufactured by white men,
have succeeded the war club in a way, as it is claimed the rifle has the
bow and arrow. Recent tomahawks taken from the Indians bear an English
trade-mark. They originally cost about 15 cents, and were sold to the
Indians for nothing less than a horse, and perhaps two.

Chief "Wolf," an Indian Croesus, and the Vanderbilt of the red men,
though he is worth over $500,000 and drives at times in an elegant
coach, clings closely to his tepee, ever demonstrating the savage part
of his life.

He lives at Fishhook Bay, on the Snake River, in the State of
Washington. He is of the Palouse Snake Indians, and though he has a
comfortable house, he never sleeps there, but goes to the tepee, no
matter how inclement the weather. In the days when the buffalo were
plenty, "Wolf" was a great hunter. He tells a tale of driving 3,000
bison over a bluff near the Snake, where they were all killed by the
fall. This is supposed to be true, because until late years the place
was a mass of bones. Though he has his guns and all the modern
fire-arms, both he and his children cling to the primitive weapons of
war.

The correspondence between the Governments of the United States and
Mexico over the brutal murder of two men by the Seri Indians, seems to
show that some at least of the North American Indians have gained
nothing at all from the civilizing influences which are supposed to have
extended for so many years. The deed had no other motive than pure
fiendishness. Small as is the tribe of Seris--they number only about 200
souls--these savages are the most blood-thirsty in North America. For a
long time they have terrorized Sonora, but the Mexican Government seems
powerless to control them.

The tribe was visited recently by an expedition from the Bureau of
Ethnology, which has just returned to Washington with some very
interesting information. Prof. W. J. McGee, who led the party, says: "It
is understood that the Seris are cannibals--at all events they eat every
white man they can slay. They are cruel and treacherous beyond
description. Toward the white man, their attitude is exactly the same as
that of a white man toward a rattlesnake--they kill him as a matter of
course, unless restrained by fear. Never do they fight in open warfare,
but always lie in ambush. They are copper-colored Ishmaelites. It is
their custom to murder everybody, white, red or Mexican, who ventures to
enter the territory they call their own."

In many respects the Seris are the most interesting tribe of savages in
North America. They are decidedly more primitive in their way than any
other Indians, having scarcely any arts worth mentioning. In fact, they
have not yet advanced as far as the stone age. The only stone implement
in common use among them is a rude hammer of that material, which they
employ for beating clay to make a fragile and peculiar kind of pottery.
When one of the squaws wishes to make meal of mesquite beans, and she
has no utensil for the purpose, she looks about until she finds a rock
with an upper surface, conveniently hollow, and on this she places the
beans, pounding them with an ordinary stone.

The Seris live on the Island of Tiburon, in the Gulf of California. They
also claim 5,000 square miles of the mainland in Sonora. Their dwellings
are the rudest imaginable. A chance rock commonly serves for one wall of
the habitation; stones are piled up so as to make a small enclosure, and
the shell of a single great turtle does for a roof. The house is always
open on one side, and is not intended as a shelter from storms, but
chiefly to keep off the sun. The men and women wear a single garment
like a petticoat, made of pelican skin; the children are naked. Not far
from Tiburon, which is about thirty miles long by fifteen miles wide,
there is a smaller island where pelicans roost in vast numbers. The
Seris go at night and with sticks knock over as many birds as they
require.

These Indians are fond of carrion. It makes no difference to them
whether a horse has died a natural death a week or a month ago, they
devour the flesh greedily. The feet of the animal they boil until those
parts are tender enough to bite. The Seris are among the very dirtiest
of savages. Their habits in all respects are filthy. They seem to have
almost no amusements, though the children play with the very rudest
dolls. Before the whites came they used pieces of shells for cutting
instruments. They are accustomed to killing deer by running and
surrounding the animals. No traditions of sufficient interest to justify
recording in print appear to exist among these people. The most
interesting ornament seen on any member of the tribe was a necklace of
human hair, adorned with the rattles of rattlesnakes, which abound in
the territory infested with these remnants of all that is most
objectionable among the aboriginal red men of this continent.

Physically speaking, the Seris are most remarkable. They are of great
stature, the men averaging nearly six feet in height, with splendid
chests. But the most noticeable point about them is their legs, which
are very slender and sinewy, resembling the legs of the deer. Since the
first coming of the Spaniards they have been known to other tribes as
the runners. It is said that they can run from 150 to 200 miles per day,
not pausing for rest. The jack rabbit is considered a very fleet animal,
yet these Indians are accustomed to catch jack rabbits by outrunning
them.

For this purpose, three men or boys go together. If the rabbit ran
straight away from the pursuer it could not be taken, but its instinct
is to make its flight by zigzags. The hunters arrange themselves a short
distance apart. As quickly as one of them starts a rabbit, a second
Indian runs as fast as he can along a line parallel with the course
taken by the animal. Presently the rabbit sees the second Indian, and
dashes off at a tangent. By this time the third hunter has come up and
gives the quarry another turn. After the third or fourth zigzag, the
rabbit is surrounded, and the hunters quickly close in upon him and grab
him.

It is an odd fact that this method of catching jack rabbits is precisely
the same as that adopted by coyotes, which work similarily by threes. By
this strategy, these wild dogs capture the rabbits, though the latter
are more fleet by far. It is believed that no other human being
approaches the Seris in celerity of movement. A favorite sport of the
boys is lassoing dogs. Mongrel curs are the only animals domesticated by
these wild people. For amusement sake, the boys take their dogs to a
clear place and drive them in all directions, then they capture the
frightened animals by running and throwing the lassos, which are made of
human hair. They have no difficulty in overtaking the dogs.

One day, a party of boys returning with their dogs after a bout of this
sport, passed near a bush in which there were three or four blackbirds;
on spying the birds, they dashed toward the bush and tried to catch them
with their hands; they did not succeed, though one of the birds only
escaped with the loss of several feathers. Some women of the tribe were
watching, and they actually jeered at the boys for their failure. The
boys were so mortified that they did not go into camp, but went off and
sat by themselves in the shade of a greasewood bush. What white man or
boy would think of catching blackbirds in such a way? Yet non-success in
an attempt of that kind was the exception and not the rule. The Seris
often take birds in this fashion.

Señor Encinas was the pioneer in that region. He found good grazing
country in the territory claimed by the Seris, and so established his
stock farm there. He brought priests with him to convert the savages,
and caught a couple of the latter to educate as interpreters. The plan
for civilizing the Indians proved a failure. They did not care to become
Christians, and they killed the Señor's stock. So, finally, the Señor
decided to adopt a new course of procedure. He summoned the Indians to a
council, as many of them as would come, and informed them that from that
time on he and his vaqueros would slay an Indian for every head of
cattle that was killed. At the same time he sent away the priests and
engaged an additional number of vaqueros.

The Indians paid no attention to the warning, and a few days later they
killed several head of cattle. Without delay the Señor and his men
coralled and killed a corresponding number of the Seris. Then there was
war. The savages made ambushes, but they had only bows and arrows, and
the vaqueros fought bravely with their guns. Every ambush turned out
disastrously for the Indians. Finally, the Seris made a great ambush,
and there was a battle which resulted in the killing of sixty-five
savages. The lesson proved sufficient, and the Indians were glad to
conclude a permanent peace, agreeing that no further depredations
against the Señor or his property should be attempted. From beginning to
end the fighting lasted ten years.

After the killing of the two Americans, the Seris were very much afraid
of reprisals. For a good while they did not dare to come to the ranch of
Señor Encinas, but at length one old woman came for the philosophical
purpose of seeing if she would be killed. She was well treated and went
away. Eventually confidence was restored, and about sixty of the savages
were visiting on the premises.

No other people in North America have so few conceptions of civilization
as the Seris. They have absolutely no agriculture. As well as can be
ascertained they never put a seed into the ground or cultivate a plant.
They live almost wholly on fish, water fowl, and such game as they kill
on the main land. The game includes large deer, like black tails, and
exquisite species of dwarf deer, about the size of a three months' fawn,
pecarries, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, rabbits and quail. They take very
large green turtles in the Gulf of California. Mesquite beans they eat
both cooked and raw. The mesquite is a small tree that bears seeds in
pods.

The snake dance is another evidence of the comparative failure of
civilization to civilize. This is seen chiefly in the vicinity of the
Grand Cañon of the Colorado. Venomous rattlesnakes are used in the
dance, which is an annual affair. Hundreds of snakes are caught for the
occasion, and when the great day arrives the devotees rush into the
corral and each seizes a rattler for his purpose. Reliable authorities,
who have witnessed this dance, vouch for the fact that the snakes are
not in any way robbed of their power to implant their poisonous fangs
into the flesh of the dancers. It even appears as though the greater the
number of bites, the more delighted are the participants, who hold the
reptiles in the most careless manner and allow them to strike where they
will, and to plant their horrible fangs into the most vulnerable parts
with impunity. When the dance is over, the snakes are taken back to the
woods and given their liberty, the superstition prevailing that for the
space of one year the reptiles will protect the tribe from all ill or
suffering.

The main interest attached to this dance is the secret of why it is the
dancers do not die promptly. No one doubts the power of the rattlesnake
to kill. Liberal potations of whisky are supposed by some people to
serve as an antidote, while Mexicans and some tribes of Indians claim to
have knowledge of a herb which will also prolong the life of a man stung
by a snake and apparently doomed to an early death. Tradition tells us
that for the purposes of this dance, a special antidote has been handed
down from year to year, and from generation to generation, by the
priests of the Moquis. It is stated that one of the patriarchs of old
had the secret imparted to him under pledges and threats of inviolable
secrecy. By him it has been perpetuated with great care, being always
known to three persons, the high priest of the tribe, his vice-regent
and proclaimed successor, and the oldest woman among them. On the death
of any one of the three trustees of the secret, the number is made up in
the manner ordered by the rites of the tribal religion, and to reveal
the secret in any other way is to invite a sudden and an awful death.

During the three days spent by the dancers in hunting snakes, it is
stated that the secret decoction is freely administered to them, and
that in consequence they handle the reptiles with perfect confidence.
When they are bitten there is a slight irritation but nothing worse. On
the other hand, there is often a heavy loss of life during the year from
snake bites, for the sacred antidote is only used on the stated occasion
for which it was, so the legend runs, specially prepared or its nature
revealed.

The people living within almost sight of the Grand Cañon vary as much in
habits and physique as does the scenery and general contour of the cañon
vary in appearance. The Cliff Dwellers and the Pueblos do not as a rule
impress the stranger with their physical development, nor are they on
the average exceptionally tall or heavy. There are, however, small
tribes in which physical development has been, and still is, a great
feature. Unlike the Pueblos, these larger men wear little clothing, so
that their muscular development and the size of their limbs are more
conspicuous. Naturally skilled hunters, these powerful members of the
human race climb up and down the most dangerous precipices, and lead an
almost ideal life in the most inaccessible of spots.

The Maricopa Indians must be included among those whose general
appearance seems to invite admiration, however much one may regret the
absence of general civilization and education. These men are for the
most part honest, if not hard working, and they are by no means
unpleasant neighbors. Right near them are the homes of smaller Indians,
who have reduced peculation to a fine art, and who steal on general
principles. We have all heard of the little boy who prefers to steal
poor apples from his neighbor's tree to picking up good ones in his
father's orchard. Much the same idea seems to prevail among these
Indians. They will frequently spend several hours and even the greater
portion of a day, maneuvering to secure some small article worth but a
few cents to any one.

They have a way of ingratiating themselves with white tourists, and
offering to act as guides not only to spots of special beauty, but also
to mines of great value. When they succeed in convincing strangers of
their reliability, they are happy, and at once proceed to exhibit the
peculiar characteristics of their race. Pocket handkerchiefs, stockings
and hats are believed to be the articles after which they seek with the
most vigor. They are, however, not particular as to what they secure,
and anything that is left unguarded for but a few hours, or even
minutes, is certain to be missed. The perquisites thus obtained or
retained are regarded as treasure trove. When first charged with having
stolen anything, they deny all knowledge of the offense, and protest
their innocence in an amusing manner. When, however, convincing proof is
obtained, and the missing article discovered, the convicted thief thinks
the matter a good joke, and laughs most heartily at the credulity and
carelessness of the white man.



CHAPTER X.


OLD TIME COMMUNISTS.

Houses on Rocks and Sand Hills--How Many Families Dwelt Together in
Unity--Peculiarities of Costumes--Pueblo Architecture and Folk Lore--A
Historic Struggle and How it Ended--Legends Concerning
Montezuma--Curious Religious Ceremonies.


Perhaps the most peculiar people to be found in our native land are the
Pueblos, who live in New Mexico between the Grande and Colorado Rivers.
When Coronado, the great explorer, marched through the territory 450
years ago, he found these people in a condition of at least comparative
civilization. They were living in large houses, each capable of
accommodating several families, and solidly built. Although they had
wandering bands of robbers for their nearest neighbors, they were able
to defend themselves against all comers, and were content and
prosperous. Their weapons, although primitive, were quite scientific,
and were handled with much skill as well as bravery.

For two years they were able to withstand the Spanish invaders in their
"casas-grandes." It had been reported to the Spanish commanders that
several hundred miles in the north lay a great empire named Cibola,
which had seven large cities. In these were long streets, on which only
gold and silversmiths resided; imposing palaces towered in the suburbs,
with doors and columns of pure turquoise; the windows were made of
precious stones brilliantly polished. At the sumptuous feasts of the
prince of the land, enchanting slaves served the most delicate dainties
on golden dishes. There were mountains of opal rising above valleys
reveling in jewels, with crystal streams, whose bottom consisted of pure
silver sand.

The disappointment of the Spaniards was great. A number of large Indian
villages were found, whose inhabitants subsisted upon the fruits of a
primitive agriculture. The frugality and thrift of the Pueblos excited
the interest of the voluptuous Spaniards. The peculiar architecture of
the villages and houses also drew their admiration. Taken as a whole,
the circles of houses resembled the cells of a wasp's nest, of which the
upper stories were reached on a crude ladder. Entrance could be gained
only through a small opening in the roof, not even the sides facing the
streets containing doors. A few heavily grated windows served as
port-holes for their arrows. These peculiar constructions of baked clay
are still fashionable in such old towns as Suni, Taos and others.

Situated as the Moqui villages and Acoma were, on the top of an
inaccessible rock, the Spaniards despaired of conquering them. The
supposed Cibola not panning out according to expectation, they did not
seek reinforcement, and left the Pueblos in peace. Only near the end of
the Sixteenth Century the Pueblos had to submit to Spanish rule, under
which they remained until 1848, when the territory embracing New Mexico
and Arizona was ceded to the United States.

In some respects the Spanish supremacy proved beneficial to the Indians.
They virtually maintained their independence. Many innovations in their
life and customs can be traced from this period. The only domestic
creatures in their villages were large turkeys, whose feathers served as
head ornaments for the warriors; but horses, cows, sheep, goats, dogs
and last, but not least, the indispensable burros were added to their
domestic stock.

The most important change in their communistic mode of living dates from
the annexation of New Mexico to the United States, and the introduction
of railroads. Their unfriendly neighbors, the Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas
and Navajos, were restricted to their own reservations.

Feeling safe under the powerful protection of the Government, these
peaceable people have begun to relinquish their old mode of communistic
existence in their strange dwellings. Until recently, there was a
promiscuous living together of large families in the numerous apartments
of a single house, to which access could be only obtained through a
small aperture in the roof. More modern cottages are being built for
single families now; farming is also carried on on a large scale, and in
some parts grape and fruit culture is attempted with good results.

All the villages are characterized by a certain industrial monopoly. In
one of them, for instance, the pottery for all the Pueblos is
manufactured; in others, like the Moqui villages, all the people are
employed in the making of finely woven goats' hair blankets, in which
occupation many are great experts. Although a large number are engaged
in the sale of blankets and Indian goods in the southwestern part of the
Union, in the gold diggings of California, in Mormon settlements, in the
small railroad stations of Arizona, the average Pueblo Indian prefers a
settled life. He is domestic in his habits, and loves his family, his
cattle, his farm and his neighbors as dearly as does his pale-faced
brothers. And has he not good cause to rejoice and be contented with his
lot? Has he not a faithful and charming wife? There are some pretty
girls of perfect contour among the Pueblo Indians, especially in the
Tigua villages. Are not his gleeful children, who are enjoying a romp on
the huge sand hills, obedient and reverential in his presence? The
impudent spirit of young America has not yet exerted its baneful
influence here.

How scrupulously clean are the households! The good housewives of the
Netherlands do not excel the Pueblo squaws in cleanliness. Floors are
always carefully swept; all along the walls of the spacious rooms seats
and couches are covered with finely variegated rugs; the walls are
tastefully decorated with pictures and mirrors, and the large cupboards
are filled with luxurious fruits, meats, pastry and jellies. Thousands
of white bread-winners in the large cities would envy these Indians if
they could behold their comparative affluence and their obviously
contented state. Nor do they obtain all this without fatiguing toil. The
land is barren and dry, which compels them to induce irrigation through
long canals from far away streams, and the men are never afraid of work.

The Pueblo pottery of to-day differs but little from that of the
Sixteenth Century. In the pottery villages the work is done mostly by
men, who sit on the broad, shaded platform and shape their immense
vessels in imitation of human beings and every imaginable animal shape.
The grotesquely shaped mouth is generally intended for the opening,
through which the water, soup or milk is poured.

The squaws are assuming more and more the occupations of the modern
housewife, though they still grind their corn in the stone troughs used
hundreds of years ago, and they still bake their bread in thin layers on
hot, glowing stones. Dressmakers and tailors still go a-begging among
the Pueblo people, and no attention whatever is paid to Parisian
dictators of fashion. The good Pueblo squaw cuts, fits, and sews all the
clothing for the family, which used to be composed mostly of leather.
Her husband's wardrobe consists now of a few multi-colored shirts, a
pair or two of leather pantaloons, with silver buttons, mocassins and a
shoulder blanket.

The head gear, if any be worn, as is often the case, is simply a large
colored handkerchief. Girls are usually dressed like the daughters of
Southern farmers, but they refuse to discard the bloomers, over which
the petticoats are worn a little below the knees. These leather
pantalettes are a necessity in a country where poisonous snakes and
insects abound in gardens and fields. To see a Pueblo girl at her best,
she must be surprised in animated gossip in a bevy of girl friends, or
when engaged in mirthful laughter while at work. Then the expressive,
deep black eyes sparkle and the white teeth offer a glittering contrast
to her fine black tresses, eyes and eyebrows. The Pueblo Indians are to
be congratulated on one fact especially, that they permitted their moral
improvement through the agency of the black-frocked missionaries and
school teachers who came from the East, but also that they are one of
the few tribes who resisted the conscienceless rascals who would wreck
their homes through "fire water" and gambling devices.

A large number of ancient many-storied, many chambered communal houses
are scattered over New Mexico, three of the most important of which are
Isletta, Laguna and Acoma. Isletta and Laguna are within a stone's throw
of the railroad, ten miles and sixty-six miles, respectively, beyond
Albuquerque, and Acoma is reached from either Laguna or Bubero by a
drive of a dozen miles. The aboriginal inhabitants of the pueblos, an
intelligent, complex, industrious and independent race, are anomalous
among North American natives. They are housed to-day in the self-same
structures in which their forefathers were discovered, and in three and
a half centuries of contact with Europeans their manner of life has not
materially changed.

The Indian tribes that roamed over mountain and plain have become wards
of the Government, debased and denuded of whatever dignity they once
possessed, ascribe what cause you will for their present condition. But
the Pueblo Indian has absolutely maintained the integrity of his
individuality, and is self-respecting and self-sufficient. He accepted
the form of religion professed by his Spanish conquerors, but without
abandoning his own, and that is practically the only concession his
persistent conservatism has ever made to external influence.

Laborious efforts have been made to penetrate the reserve with which the
involved inner life of this strange child of the desert is guarded, but
it lies like a dark, vast continent behind a dimly visible shore, and he
dwells within the shadowy rim of a night that yields no ray to tell of
his origin. He is a true pagan, swathed in seemingly dense clouds of
superstition, rich in fanciful legend, and profoundly ceremonious in
religion. His gods are innumerable. Not even the ancient Greeks
possessed a more populous Olympus. On that austere yet familiar height,
gods of peace and of war, of the chase, of bountiful harvest and of
famine, of sun and rain and snow, elbow a thousand others for standing
room. The trail of the serpent has crossed his history, too, and he
frets his pottery with an imitation of its scales, and gives the
rattlesnake a prominent place among his deities. Unmistakably a pagan,
yet the purity and well being of his communities will bear favorable
comparison with those of the enlightened world.

He is brave, honest and enterprising within the fixed limits of his
little sphere; his wife is virtuous, his children are docile. And were
the whole earth swept bare of every living thing, save for a few leagues
surrounding his tribal home, his life would show no manner of
disturbance. Probably he might never hear of so unimportant an event. He
would still alternately labor and relax in festive games, still
reverence his gods and rear his children to a life of industry and
content, so anomalous is he, so firmly established in an absolute
independence.

Pueblo architecture possesses none of the elaborate ornamentation found
in the Aztec ruins in Mexico. The exterior of the house is absolutely
plain. It is sometimes seven stories in height and contains over a
thousand rooms. In some instances it is built of adobe--blocks of mud
mixed with straw and dried in the sun, and in others, of stone covered
with mud cement. The entrance is by means of a ladder, and when that is
pulled up the latch-string is considered withdrawn.

The pueblo of pueblos is Acoma, a city without a peer. It is built upon
the summit of a table-rock, with overhanging, eroded sides, 350 feet
above the plain, which is 7,000 feet above the sea. Anciently, according
to the traditions of the Queres, it stood upon the crest of the superb
Haunted Mesa, three miles away, and some 300 feet higher, but its only
approach was one day destroyed by the falling of a cliff, and three
unhappy women, who chanced to be the only occupants--the remainder of
the population being at work in the fields below--died of starvation, in
view of the homeless hundreds of their people who for many days
surrounded the unscalable mesa with upturned, agonized faces.

The present Acoma is the one discovered by the Spaniards; the original
pueblo on the Mesa Encantada being even then an ancient tradition. It is
1,000 feet in length and 40 feet high, and there is, besides, a church
of enormous proportions. Until lately, it was reached only by a
precipitous stairway in the rock, up which the inhabitants carried upon
their backs every particle of the materials of which the village is
constructed. The graveyard consumed forty years in building, by reason
of the necessity of bringing earth from the plain below; and the church
must have cost the labor of many generations, for its walls are 60 feet
high and 10 feet thick, and it has timbers 40 feet long and 14 inches
square.

The Acomas welcomed the soldiers of Coronado with deference, ascribing
to them celestial origin. Subsequently, upon learning the distinctly
human character of the Spaniards, they professed allegiance, but
afterwards wantonly slew a dozen of Zaldibar's men. By way of reprisal,
Zaldibar headed three-score soldiers and undertook to carry the
sky-citadel by assault. The incident has no parallel in American
history, short of the memorable and similar exploit of Cortez on the
great Aztec pyramid.

After a three days' hand to hand struggle, the Spaniards stood victors
upon that seemingly impregnable fortress, and received the submission of
the Queres, who for three-quarters of a century thereafter remained
tractable. In that interval, the priests came to Acoma and held footing
for fifty years, until the bloody uprisal of 1680 occurred, in which
priest, soldier and settler were massacred or driven from the land, and
every vestige of their occupation was extirpated. After the resubjection
of the natives by De Vargas, the present church was constructed, and the
Pueblos have not since rebelled against the contiguity of the white man.

All the numerous Mexican communities in the Territory contain
representatives of the Penitentes order, which is peculiar by reason of
the self-flagellations inflicted by its members in excess of pietistic
zeal. Unlike their ilk of India, they do not practice self-torture for
long periods, but only upon a certain day in each year. Then, stripped
to the waist, these poor zealots go chanting a dolorous strain, and
beating themselves unsparingly upon the back with the sharp-spined
cactus, or soap-weed, until they are a revolting sight to look upon.
Often they sink from the exhaustion of long-sustained suffering and loss
of blood. One of the ceremonies among these peculiar people is the
bearing of a huge cross of heavy timber for long distances. Martyrs to
conscience and religious devotees frequently carry crosses of immense
weight for miles, and are watched eagerly by crowds of excited
spectators. The man who carries this fanatacism to the greatest length
is the hero of the day, and receives the appointment of Chief of the
Ceremonies for the following year.

Ceremonies such as these point to the extreme antiquity of the people,
and seem to indicate that they must have been descended from tribes
which were prominent in biblical narrative. According to many able
historians, people have resided in this part of the world for at least
twelve hundred years. In other words, when Columbus and Americus
Vespucius discovered and explored the new world or portions of it, these
peculiar people had been living on the then mysterious continent for the
greater part of a thousand years.

According to some authorities these people are aboriginal. According to
others, they migrated from some distant clime. The antiquity of China is
well known, and there is good reason to believe that the Moquis and
Zunis have sprung from Chinese voyagers, or perhaps pirates, who,
hundreds of years ago, were wrecked on the western shores of America.
Another theory is, that on the occasion of one of the numerous
expulsions or emigrations from China, a band of Mongolians turned
northward and came into America by crossing the Behring Strait.

Other antiquarians think that Morocco, rather than China, was the
original home of these races. The traveler is much struck with the
resemblance between the habits and customs of the Moors and of some of
the old established tribes of New Mexico. In dress and architecture the
Moorish idea certainly prevails very prominently. The white toga and the
picturesque red turban are prominent in these resemblances. The jugs
used for carrying water are distinctly Moorish in type, and the women
carry them on their heads in that peculiar manner which is so
characteristic of Moorish habits and customs.

One of the very earliest records of these people has been left us by
Spanish explorers. A writer who accompanied one of the earliest
expeditions from Spain, says: "We found a great town called Acoma,
containing about 5,000 people, and situated upon a rock about fifty
paces high, with no other entrance but by a pair of stairs hewn in the
rock, whereat our people marveled not a little. The chief men of this
town came peaceably to visit us, bringing many mantles and chamois
skins, excellently dressed, and great plenty of victuals. Their
corn-fields were two leagues distant, and they fetched water out of a
small river to water the same, on the brinks whereof there were great
banks of roses like those of Castile. There were many mountains full of
metals. Our men remained in the place three days, upon one of which the
inhabitants made before them a very solemn dance, coming forth in the
same gallant apparel, using very witty sports, wherewith our men were
exceedingly delighted."

Among the ruins found here, the early use of stone for architectural
purposes is clearly manifested, and there are innumerable relics of
ingenuity in periods upon which we are apt to look with great contempt.
Arrow-heads made of flint, quartz, agate and jaspar, can easily be found
by the relic hunter. Hatchets made of stone, and sharpened in a most
unique manner, are also common, and the ancestors of the Pueblos
undoubtedly used knives made of stone hundreds of years ago.

One of the most interesting of the ancient houses is in the Chaco Cañon.
This edifice was probably at one time 300 feet long, about half as wide
and three stories high. From the nature of the rooms, it is evident that
the walls were built in terrace-form out of sandstone. There were about
150 rooms, and judging from the present habits of the people, at least
500 human beings lived in this mammoth boarding-house. Another very
interesting structure of a similar character is found on the Upper
Grande River, about two hours' drive from Santa Fe. It was about 300
feet square originally, and most of the foundations are still in fairly
good condition, though much of the exposed portion of the stone has
yielded by degrees to the friction caused by continual sandstorms. It is
believed that more than 1,000 people lived in this one house.

Of recent years a good deal has been written concerning the
possibilities of the future in regard to saving expense by large numbers
of families occupying one house. Most of these ideas have been
ridiculed, because experience has proved that families seldom reside
comfortably in crowded quarters. The tribes of which we are writing,
while they destroy the originality of the communistic ideas of the
Nineteenth Century, also disprove the arguments which are principally
brought against them. In these singular houses or colonies, several
families live together in perfect harmony. There are no instances on
record of disputes such as are met with in boarding-houses patronized by
white people, and in this one respect, at any rate, quite a lesson is
taught us by the Pueblo tribes. The people are quiet and peaceable in
disposition, and one secret of their peaceful dwelling together is found
in the absence of jealousy, a characteristic or vice which does not seem
to have penetrated into the houses on the cliffs, or to have sullied the
dispositions of these people with such a remarkable and creditable
history. It requires a good deal of dexterity and agility to enter or
leave a communal house of this character, and a door, from what we are
apt to term a civilized point of view, is unknown.

The visitor is told a number of legends and stories about these houses
and the people who live in them. The coming of Montezuma is the great
idea which permeates all the legends and stories. According to many of
the people, Montezuma left Mexico, during the remote ages, in a canoe
built of serpent-skins. His object was to civilize the East and to do
away with human sacrifice. He communicated with the people by means of
cords in which knots were tied in the most ingenious manner. The knots
conveyed the meaning of the Prophet, and his peculiar messages were
carried from pueblo to pueblo by swift messengers, who took great
delight in executing their tasks.

A number of exceedingly romantic legends are centered around the Pueblo
de Taos, which is about twenty miles from Embudo. Taos is considered the
most interesting and the most perfect specimen of a Pueblo Indian
fortress. It consists of two communistic houses, each five stories high,
and a Roman Catholic church (now in a ruined condition) which stands
near, although apart from the dwellings. Around the fortress are seven
circular mounds, which at first suggest the idea of being the work of
mound-builders. On further examination they prove to be the sweating
chambers or Turkish baths of this curious people. Of these chambers, the
largest appears also to serve the purpose of a council chamber and
mystic hall, where rites peculiar to the tribe (about which they are
very reticent) are performed.

The Pueblo Indians delight to adorn themselves in gay colors, and form
very interesting and picturesque subjects for the artist, especially
when associated with their quaint surroundings. They are skilled in the
manufacture of pottery, basket-making and bead work. The grand annual
festival of these Indians occurs on the 30th of September, and the
ceremonies are of a peculiarly interesting character.

Jesuitism has grafted its faith upon the superstitions of the
Montezumas, and a curious fruitage is the result. The mystic rites of
the Pueblo Indians, performed at Pueblo de Taos in honor of San Geronimo
(St. Jerome), upon each succeeding 30th day of September, attract large
concourses of people, and are of great interest to either the
ethnologist, ecclesiastic or tourist. A brief description can give but a
faint idea of these ceremonies, but may serve to arouse an interest in
the matter. In the early morning of St. Jerome's day, a black-robed
Indian makes a recitation from the top of the pueblo to the assembled
multitude below. In the plaza stands a pine tree pole, fifty feet in
height, and from a cross-piece at top dangles a live sheep, with legs
tied together and back down. Besides the sheep, a garland of such fruits
and vegetables as the valley produces, together with a basket of bread
and grain, hang from the pole. The bell in the little adobe chapel
sounds and a few of the Indians go in to mass.

A curious service follows. A rubicund Mexican priest is the celebrant,
while two old Mexicans in modern dress, and a Pueblo Indian in a red
blanket, are acolytes. When the host is elevated, an Indian at the door
beats a villainous drum and four musket shots are discharged. After the
services are concluded, a procession is formed and marches to the race
track, which is three hundred yards in length. The runners have prepared
themselves in the estufas, or underground council chambers, and soon
appear. There are fifty of them, and all are naked except a
breech-clout, and are painted no two alike. Fifty other runners to
contest with these, arrive from the other pueblo. They form in line on
either side of the course, and a slow, graceful dance ensues. All at
once three hundred mad young Mexicans rush through the throng on their
wild ponies, the leader swinging by the neck the gallo or cock. Then the
races begin, two runners from each side darting down the track cheered
by their companions. No sooner do they reach the goal than two others
start off, and thus for two hours, until the sum of victories gained by
individuals entitles one party or the other to claim success. The race
decided, the runners range themselves in two facing lines, and, preceded
by the drum, begin a slow zig-zag march.

Excitement now runs riot. The dancers chant weird songs, break the ranks
and vie with each other in their antics and peculiarities. A rush is
made upon the crowd of spectators through whom the participants in the
orgies force their way, regardless of consequences. The women, who
hitherto have taken but little part in the excitement, now come forward
and throw cakes and rolls of bread from the pueblo terraces. Everybody
rushes after these prizes in a headlong manner, and the confusion
becomes still greater.

An adjournment is then taken for dinner, and in the afternoon, six
gorgeously painted and hideously decorated clowns come forward and go
through a series of antics calculated to disgust rather than amuse the
spectator. The unfortunate sheep, which is still hanging to the pole, is
finally thrown to the ground after several attempts have been made to
climb the pole. The fruits and products are seized by the clowns, who
rush off with them, and every one connected with the tribe seem to be
highly satisfied with the outcome of the day's proceedings, and the
culmination of the spectacle.



CHAPTER XI.


HOW CUSTER LIVED AND DIED.

"Remember Custer"--An Eye Witness of the Massacre--Custer, Cody and
Alexis--A Ride over the Scenes of the Unequal Conflict--Major Reno's
Marked Failure--How "Sitting Bull" Ran Away and Lived to Fight Another
Day--Why a Medicine Man did not Summon Rain.


"Remember Custer" was the watchword and battle-cry of the small army of
American soldiers who early in the present decade advanced against
hostile Indians in the Northwest, who after indulging for weeks in a
series of fantastic dances and superstitious rites, were finally called
to time by the Government and punished for their disregard of treaty
rights and reasonable orders. Every American child should know who
Custer was and why the troopers called upon each other to remember him
on the occasion referred to. It is less than twenty years since he died.
His name should be remembered by civilians as well as soldiers for
almost as many centuries to come.

There are some men who seem to defy and even court death. Custer was one
of these. He was so recklessly brave that he often caused anxiety to his
superior officers. Time and again he led a handful of men apparently
into the jaws of death and brought them out safely, after having
practically annihilated the foe. As the pitcher which is carried safely
to the well ninety-nine times sometimes gets broken at the hundredth
attempt, so was it with General Custer. In June, 1876, his detachment
was outnumbered twenty to one at a little ford near Crazy Horse Creek,
in Dakota, and his entire command was wiped out. An adopted son of
"Sitting Bull," the famous Indian, states that he saw Custer die, adding
that he twice witnessed the hero lying on his back fighting his foes.
The third time he saw him a blanket was drawn over the hero, who was
apparently dead.

On another page is given an admirable illustration of the camp and ford,
as well as of the monument erected in Custer's memory, with typical
Indian camp scene. This picture is from photographs taken specially for
Mr. Charles S. Fee, General Passenger Agent of the Northern Pacific
Railroad, whose tracks run close by this scene of such sad history.

A volume could be devoted to the life of Custer, the adventures he
encountered, and the risks he ran in the course of his eventful and
useful career. His works and his memoirs bristle with information
concerning the actual truths of border life and Indian warfare, bereft
of romance and exaggeration. Like almost all Indian fighters, Custer
entertained a supreme contempt for the red man generally, although his
naturally kind disposition led him to give credit to individual red men
for bravery, gratitude, and other characteristics generally believed to
be inconsistent with their character and nationality.

Besides being a gallant fighter, Custer was also a great lover of
recreation and fun, while a genuine hunting expedition drew him out from
his almost habitual quiet and made him the natural leader of the party.
Among his friends was William Cody, better known to the amusement loving
world as Buffalo Bill, on account of his alleged excessive prowess in
the shooting and destruction of buffalo. If Mr. Cody were consulted, he
would probably prefer to be called Indian Bill, as his hatred of the
average red man was very largely in excess of his anxiety to kill the
hump-backed oxen, which were, at one time, almost in sole possession of
the Western prairies. On one occasion, he and Custer had a very
delightful time together, and Cody has given a pleasing description of
what took place.

This was on the occasion of the visit to this country of the Grand Duke
Alexis. Some twenty-three years ago this European celebrity enjoyed a
tour through the United States, and visited most of the grandest
features of our native land. Before coming to the country, he had heard
of its great hunting facilities, and also of the sport to be obtained
from shooting buffalo on the prairie. He mentioned this fact to the
officers of the Government, who were detailed to complete arrangements
for his benefit, and, accordingly, it was arranged that the Grand Duke
should be conducted into buffalo land, and initiated into the mysteries
of buffalo hunting, by the officer who has since been annihilated by the
Sioux, and the irrepressible hunter who has since developed into a
prince among showmen.

These two somewhat rough, but very kind, chaperones, took with them on
this trip a party of Indians, including "Spotted Tail," with whose
daughter Custer carried on, we are told, a mild flirtation on the march.
A great deal of amusement was derived from the trip, as well as very
much important information.

It was but four years later that Custer was engaged on a more serious
and less entertaining mission. The scene of the tragedy was visited some
three years ago by Mr. L. D. Wheeler, to whom we are indebted for the
following very graphic and interesting description of the visit and of
the thoughts it called forth:

"A rather lengthy ride found us at Reno's crossing of the river, the
ford where he crossed to make his attack. Fording the stream, we
dismounted among the young timber and bushes lining the stream, and ate
lunch. Before lunch was finished, two Indian girls came down the river.
The younger, tall, slender and graceful, dressed in bright, clean
scarlet, was a picture. With her jet black hair hanging in shining
plaits, her piercing eyes and handsome face, she was the most comely,
sylph-like Indian maiden I have ever seen.

"Mounting our horses, lunch over, we cantered back on the trail that
Custer and Reno followed, for a ride of several miles to Lookout Hill,
or Point, which we ascended. This was the point where Custer and his
officers obtained their first view of the valley of the Greasy Grass, as
the Sioux call the Little Horn.

"After a survey of the region, spurring our horses forward, we in time
found ourselves climbing the gentle acclivities which led up to Reno's
old rifle-pits, now almost obliterated. The most noticeable feature of
the spot is the number of blanched bones of horses which lie scattered
about. A short distance from the pits--which are rather rounded, and
follow the outline of the hills in shape--and in a slight hollow below
them, are more bones of horses. This is where the wounded were taken,
and the hospital established, and the horses kept. From the wavy summit
line of the bluffs, the ground slopes in an irregular broken way back to
the northeast and east, into a coulee that forms the passage to the ford
which Custer aimed for and never reached. The ground about the
battle-field is now a national cemetery. It is enclosed by a wire fence,
and there are several hundred acres of it. It might be cared for in a
manner somewhat better than it is. During one of my visits there, a Crow
Indian rode up to the gate and deliberately turned his herd of horses
into the inclosure to graze.

"As I rode into the grounds, after fording and recrossing the river
where Custer failed, the first object to greet my sight was a small
inclosure, with large mound and headstone, which marked the spot where
Lieutenant Crittenden fell. At one corner, and outside of it, stood the
regulation marble slab which marks the place where each body on the
field was found. This one stated that there Lieutenant Calhoun was
killed. At numbers of places down the western slope, but near the
ravines, the surface is dotted with the little gravestones. In some
places, far down the descent, and far from where Custer, Van Reilly, Tom
Custer and others fell, they are seen singly; in other spots three or
four, or half a dozen. At one point there are over thirty, well massed
together. Down in this part of the field, in the ravine running towards
the monument, is the stone marking where Dr. Lord's body was found, and
with it are four others.

"In the shallow coulee east of the ridge, and almost at the bottom of
the slope, some distance northwest of where Calhoun and Crittenden were
killed, and on the main ridge slope of it, is a large group of stones.
Here is where Captain Miles Keogh and thirty-eight men gave up their
lives. On this side of the ridge--the eastern side--between where Keogh
and his men died and where Custer fell, there are numerous stones. On
the opposite side of the Custer ridge--that which faces the river--and
close to its crest, there are very few stones, and those are much
scattered, and not in groups. At the northern extremity of the ridge is
a slight elevation which overtops everything else, and slopes away in
all directions, save where the ridge lies. Just below this knoll, or
hillock--Custer Hill--facing southwest, is where Custer and the larger
part of his men fell."

On the right bank of the Missouri River--the Big Muddy--in North Dakota,
almost within rifle shot of the town of Mandan, on the Northern Pacific
Railroad, there existed in the '70s a military post named after the
nation's great martyr President, Fort Abraham Lincoln. On the morning of
the 17th of June, 1876, there went forth from here among others, with
the pomp and ceremony for which they were distinguished, a cavalry
regiment famed in the army for dash, bravery and endurance--the noted
Seventh Cavalry.

At the head of the Seventh Cavalry was a man who was unquestionably the
most picturesque character for long years, and perhaps for all previous
and present time, in the army. Entering the army in active service
during the Civil War, his career was a continual round of successes and
advances, and at its close, aside from the peerless Sheridan, no
cavalryman had a greater reputation for magnificent dash than he.
Transferred to the plains--the war over--his success as an Indian
campaigner naturally followed, and at the time he moved out upon his
latest and fated expedition, George Custer had a reputation as an Indian
fighter second to none.

On June 22d, Custer and the Seventh Cavalry left camp on the Rosebud in
compliance with their instructions. On the 23d and 24th, many of the
camping places of the Indians, in their migration westward, were passed.
By evening of June 24th, the trail and signs had become so hot and fresh
that a halt was ordered to await tidings from the scouts. Their
information proved that the Indians were across the divide, over in the
valley of the Little Horn. Custer, confident of his ability to whip the
Indians single-handed, prepared for fight at once. He pushed ahead on
the trail, and created the impression that it was his determination to
get to the spot, and have one battle royal with the Indians, in which he
and the Seventh should be the sole participants on our side, and in
consequence the sole heroes. The idea of defeat seems never to have
occurred to him.

Early on the morning of June 25th, Custer resumed his march. Up to that
time the command was maneuvered as a whole. Now, however, it was divided
into four detachments. One under Major Reno, consisting of three troops
of cavalry and the Indian scouts, forty in number, held the advance; the
second battalion, composed also of three troops, moved off some miles to
the left of Reno, scouting the country to the southward; a third
detachment, comprising the pack train which carried the reserve
ammunition--some 24,000 rounds--was under the command of Captain
McDougall, and had one troop as an escort; the fourth battalion was that
under Custer himself, and was the largest, having five troops, and it
marched parallel to Reno and within easy supporting distance to the
north, the pack train following the trail in rear of Reno and Custer.

Reno advanced from the ford across the valley in column of fours for
some distance, then formed in line of battle, and afterwards deployed
the command as skirmishers. The bulk of the Indians and their camp were
hidden by a bend of the river, and Reno, instead of charging round the
bend and into the Indian camp, halted and dismounted his command to
fight on foot. At this point two or three of the horses could not be
controlled, and carried their riders into the Indian camp; one account
stating that they plunged over the river bank, injuring the men, who
were afterwards killed by the Indians. Here at Ash Point, or Hollow, the
command soon got sheltered in the timber, and were on the defensive; the
Indians now pouring in from all sides. The Indian scouts with Reno had
before now been dispersed, and were making back tracks fast as their
ponies could carry them. Accounts differ as to how long they remained in
this timber, but it was probably not to exceed half an hour. The
"charge" out--as Reno termed it--was virtually a stampede, and many did
not know of the departure until too late to start, no well-defined and
well-understood order having been given to that effect. There was no
systematic attempt to check the pursuit of the Indians, who now,
directed by "Gall," swarmed down upon them and prevented them from
reaching the ford at which they had crossed. Many were killed on this
retreat, and many others wounded, among the former being Lieutenant
Donald McIntosh. Reno headed the retreat, and they tore pell mell across
the valley, and at the new ford they were lucky to strike, there was
great confusion, it being every man for himself, and the devil take the
hindmost; and, as is usually the case, the (red) devil got his clutches
on more than one. Crossing the stream as best they could, Lieutenant
Hodgson being killed after having crossed, men and horses climbed the
steep, almost inaccessible bluffs and ravines, upon the top of which
they had a chance to "take account of stock." Many had attempted to
scale the bluffs at other points hard by. The Indians were up there in
some force, and by them, when almost up the cliffs, Dr. DeWolf was
killed.

After remaining on the bluffs at least an hour, probably longer, a
forward movement down stream was made for a mile or mile and a half.
Previous to this, heavy firing had been heard down the river in the
direction Custer had gone. Two distinct volleys were heard by the entire
command, followed by scattering shots, and it was supposed Custer was
carrying all before him. When Reno had reached the limit of this advance
north toward Custer, they saw large numbers of Indian horsemen scurrying
over what afterward proved to be Custer's battle-field. Soon these came
tearing up toward Reno, who hastily retreated from what would seem to
have been a strong position, back to near the point where he had
originally reached the bluffs. Here they sheltered themselves on the
small hills by the shallow breastworks, and placed the wounded and
horses in a depression. That night, until between 9 and 10 o'clock, they
were subjected to a heavy fire from the Indians, who entirely surrounded
them. The firing again began at daylight of the 26th, and lasted all
day, and as the Indians had command of some high points near by, there
were many casualties. Reno's total loss, as given by Godfrey, was fifty
killed, including three officers, and fifty-nine wounded. Many of those
left in the river bottom when the retreat began, eventually reached the
command again, escaping under cover of night.

Of Custer's movements, opinions of what he did or should have done, are
many and various. The theory first entertained and held for years, but
not now tenable nor, indeed, probably held by many, was that Custer
reached the ford and attempted to cross; was met by a fire so scorching
that he drew back and retreated to the hill in the best form possible,
and there fought like an animal at bay, hoping that Reno's attack in the
bottom and Benton's timely arrival would yet relieve him. The Indians,
however, strenuously assert that Custer never attempted the ford, and
never got anywhere near it. No dead bodies were found any nearer than
within half a mile of the ford, and it seems undoubted that the Indians
tell the truth.

When Custer rode out on the bluff and looked over into the valley of the
Greasy Grass, he must have seen at once that he had before utterly
misapprehended the situation. The natural thing to do would have been to
retrace his trail, join Reno by the shortest route, and then, united,
have pushed the attack in person or, if then too late for successful
attack, he could, in all likelihood, have extricated the command and
made junction with Terry. Indian signals travel rapidly, and as soon as
Reno was checked and beaten, not only was this fact signaled through the
camp, but every warrior tore away down stream to oppose Custer, joining
those already there, and now, at least, alert.

It is probable, then, that before Custer could reach the creek valley
the Indians had made sufficient demonstrations to cause him to swerve
from where he would otherwise, and naturally, strike it, and work
farther back toward the second line of bluffs, even perhaps as far back
as Captain Godfrey gives the trail. The only thing to militate against
this would be the element of time, which seems hardly to oppose it.
However he got there, Custer is at last upon the eminence which is so
soon to be consecreted with his life's blood. What saw he? What did he?
The sources of information are necessarily largely Indian. At the
southeastern end of the Custer ridge, facing, apparently, the draw, or
coulee, of the branch of Custer Creek, Calhoun and Crittenden were
placed. Some little distance back of them, in a depression, and down the
northern slope of the Custer Ridge, Keogh stood. Stretched along the
north slope of the ridge, from Keogh to Custer Hill, was Smith's
command, and at the culminating point of the ridge, or Custer Hill, but
on the opposite ridge from where the others were placed, were Tom Custer
and Yates, and with them Custer himself. Yates' and Custer's men
evidently faced northwest. It would appear from the Indians' statements
that most of the command were dismounted.

The line was about three-quarters of a mile in length, and the attack
was made by two strong bodies of Indians. One of these came up from the
ford named after the hero and victim of the day. It was led by a daring
Indian, with some knowledge of generalship, and his followers were of a
very superior class to the average red man. This body of attackers did
great execution and succeeded in almost annihilating the white men
against whom they were placed, and whom they outnumbered so
conspicuously. From the meagre information concerning what took place
that is accessible, it appears as though the execution of these men was
almost equal to that of skilled sharp-shooters. A reckless Indian named
"Crazy Horse" was at the head of a number of Cheyennes who formed the
principal part of the second attacking body. These encountered Custer
himself, and the men immediately under his orders. Outnumbering the
white men to an overwhelming extent, they circled around, and being
reinforced by the first column, which by this time was elated by victory
and reckless as to its brutality, it commenced the work of blotting out
of existence the gallant cavalrymen before them.

Most of Custer's men knew the nature of their destroyers too well to
think of crying for quarter or making any effort to escape. There was a
blank space between the ridge on which the battle was fought and the
river below. Some few men ran down this spot in hopes of fording the
river and finding temporary hiding places; they prolonged their lives
but for a few minutes only, for some of the fleetest Indians rushed
after them and killed them as they ran. The horse upon which Captain
Keogh rode into the battle escaped the general slaughter, and found its
way back once more to civilization. Of the way it spent its declining
years we have already spoken.

With this exception, it is more than probable that no living creature
which entered the fight with Custer came out of it alive. A Crow scout
named "Curley," claims that he was in the fight, and that after it was
over he disguised himself as a Sioux, held his blanket around his head
and escaped. "Curley's" statement was never received with much credence.
The evidence generally points to the fact that, prior to the battle,
nearly all the Indian scouts who were with Custer on the march ran away
when they saw the overpowering nature of the foe. "Sitting Bull," who
has since met the fate many believe he deserved, also claimed to be in
the fight on the other side. His story of the prowess of Custer, and of
his death, was probably concocted with a view to currying favor with
white men, as it appears evident that "Sitting Bull" showed his usual
cowardice, and ran away before there was a battle within twenty-four
hours' distance.

Major James McLaughlin, during his experience as Indian Agent at
Standing Rock Agency, North Dakota, had an opportunity of gathering a
great deal of important information with reference to the battle-field
and incidents connected with it. At the request of Mr. Wheeler, whose
researches into the legends and history of interesting spots within easy
access by means of the Northern Pacific Railroad were most successful,
obtained from the Major the following valuable information concerning
many points of detail which have been the subject of debate and dispute:

"It is difficult," says this undoubted authority, "to arrive at even
approximately the number of Indians who were encamped in the valley of
the Little Big Horn when Custer's command reached there on June 25th,
1876; the indifference of the Indians as to ascertaining their strength
by actual count, and their ideas at that time being too crude to know
themselves. I have been stationed at this Agency since the surrendered
hostiles were brought here in the summer of 1881, and have conversed
frequently with many of the Indians who were engaged in that fight, and
more particularly with 'Gall,' 'Crow King,' 'Big Road,' 'Hump,' 'Sitting
Bull,' 'Gray Eagle,' 'Spotted Horn Bull,' and other prominent men of the
Sioux, regarding the Custer affair. When questioned as to the number of
Indians engaged, the answer has invariably been, 'None of us knew; nina
wicoti,' which means 'very many lodges.' From this source of
information, which is the best obtainable, I place the number of male
adults then in the camp at 3,000; and that on June 25th, 1876, the
fighting strength of the Indians was between 2,500 and 3,000, and more
probably approximating the latter number.

"'Sitting Bull' was a recognized medicine man, and of great repute among
the Sioux, not so much for his powers of healing and curing the
sick--which, after he had regained such renown, was beneath his
dignity--as for his prophecies; and no matter how absurd his prophecies
might be, he found ready believers and willing followers, and when his
prophecies failed to come to pass, he always succeeded in satisfying his
over-credulous followers by giving some absurd reason. For instance, I
was in his camp on Grande River in the spring of 1888, sometime about
the end of June. There had been no rain for some weeks, and crops were
suffering from drouth, and I remarked to him, who was in an assemblage
of a large number of Indians of that district, that the crops needed
rain badly, and that if much longer without rain the crops would amount
to nothing. He, 'Sitting Bull,' replied: 'Yes, the crops need rain, and
my people have been importuning me to have it rain. I am considering the
matter as to whether I will or not. I can make it rain any time I wish,
but I fear hail. I cannot control hail, and should I make it rain, heavy
hail might follow, which would ruin the prairie grass as well as the
crops, and our horses and our cattle would thus be deprived of
subsistence.' He made this statement with as much apparent candor as it
was possible for a man to give expression to, and there was not an
Indian among his hearers but appeared to accept it as within his power.

"'Sitting Bull' was dull in intellect, and not near as able a man as
'Gall,' 'Hump,' 'Crow,' and many others who were regarded as subordinate
to him; but he was an adept schemer and very cunning, and could work
upon the credulity of the Indians to a wonderful degree, and this,
together with great obstinacy and tenacity, gained for him his
world-wide reputation. 'Sitting Bull' claimed in his statement to me
that he directed and led in the Custer fight; but all the other Indians
with whom I have talked contradict it, and said that 'Sitting Bull' fled
with his family as soon as the village was attacked by Major Reno's
command, and that he was making his way to a place of safety, several
miles out in the hills, when overtaken by some of his friends with news
of victory over the soldiers, whereupon he returned, and in his usual
style, took all the credit of victory to himself as having planned for
the outcome, and as having been on a bluff overlooking the battlefield,
appeasing the evil spirits and invoking the Great Spirit for the result
of the fight.

"And, when considering the ignorance and inherent superstition of the
average Sioux Indian at that time, it is not to be wondered at that the
majority, if not all, were willing to accept it, especially when united
in common cause and what they considered as their only safety from
annihilation. As a matter of fact, there was no one man who led or
directed that fight; it was a pell mell rush under a number of
recognized warriors as leaders, with 'Gall' of the Hunkpapas and 'Crazy
Horse' of the Cheyennes the more prominent.

"The Indians with whom I have talked deny having mutilated any of the
killed, but admit that many dead bodies were mutilated by women of the
camp. They also claim that the fight with Custer was of short duration.
They have no knowledge as to hours and minutes, but have explained by
the distance that could be walked while the fight lasted. They vary from
twenty minutes to three-quarters of an hour, none placing it longer than
forty-five minutes. This does not include the fight with Reno before his
retreat, but from the time that Custer's command advanced and the fight
with his command commenced. The opinion of the Indians regarding Reno's
first attack and short stand is, that it was his retreat that gave them
the victory over Custer's command. The helter skelter retreat of Reno's
men enthused the Indians to such an extent that, flushed with excitement
and this early success, they were reckless in their charge upon Custer's
command, and with the slight number of Indians thus fully enthused, that
small command was but a slight check to their sweeping impetuosity. The
Indians also state that the separated detachments made their victory
over the troops more certain."

Thus Custer fell. The mystery surrounding his death will probably never
be solved in a satisfactory manner, owing to the impossibility of
placing any reliance on statements made by the Indians. The way in which
the command was annihilated and the soldiers' bodies mutilated, should
go a long way towards disproving many of the theories now in existence
concerning the alleged ill treatment of Indians, and their natural
peacefulness and good disposition. Custer had so frequently befriended
the very men who surrounded his command and annihilated it, that the
baseness of their ingratitude should be apparent even to those who are
inclined to sympathize with the red men, and to denounce the alleged
severity with which they have been treated. Travelers through the Dakota
region find few spots of more melancholy, though marked, interest than
the one illustrated in connection with this chapter.



CHAPTER XII.


AMONG THE CREOLES.

Meaning of the Word "Creole"--An Old Aristocratic Relic--The Venice of
America--Origin of the Creole Carnivals--Rex and His Annual
Disguises--Creole Balls--The St. Louis Veiled Prophets--The French
Market and Other Landmarks in New Orleans--A Beautiful Ceremony and an
Unfinished Monument.


New Orleans is known throughout the world for the splendor of its
carnivals. As one of the great Creole cities of the world, it has for
more than half a century made merry once a year, and given quite a
business aspect to carnival festivities. The Creole is one of the
interesting characters to be met with in a tour through the United
States. As a rule, he or she is joyous in the extreme, and believes most
heartily in the wisdom of the command to "laugh and grow fat." The
genuine Creole scarcely knows what it is to be sad for more than a few
hours at a time, a very little pleasure more than offsetting a very
great deal of trouble and suffering. A desire to move around and to
enjoy changes of scene is a special feature of the Creole, and hence the
spectacular effects of the carnival procession appeal most eloquently to
him.

Many Eastern and Northern people confound the term "Creole" and
"Mulatto," believing that the former name is given to the offspring of
mixed marriages, which take place in spite of the vigilance of the laws
of most of the Southern States. This is entirely a mistake, for the
genuine Creole, instead of being an object of contempt and pity, is
rather an aristocrat and of a higher caste than the average white man.
Strictly speaking, the term implies birth in this country, but foreign
parentage or ancestry. It was originally applied to the children of
French and Spanish settlers in Louisiana, and in that application
applied only to quite a handful of people. As time has worn on, and
French emigration has ceased, and the Spaniard has been gradually pushed
south, the number of actual Creoles has of course diminished rapidly.
The name, however, by common consent, has been perpetuated and is
retained by descendants in the third and fourth generations of original
Creoles. Some of the Creoles of to-day are very wealthy, and many of the
others are comparatively poor, changes in modes and conditions of life
having affected them very much. Although the very name Creole suggests
Spanish origin, there is more French blood among the Creoles of to-day
than that of any other nation. The vivacious habits and general love of
change so common among French people, continue in their descendants. The
old plan of sending the children over to France to be educated has been
largely abandoned in these later days, but the influences of Parisian
life still have their effect on the race.

This is largely the reason why it is that New Orleans has been often
spoken of as the American Venice. To that beautiful European city, with
its gondolas and picturesque costumes, belongs the honor of having
originated high-class comedy. To New Orleans must be given the credit of
planting, or at any rate perpetuating, the idea in a tangible shape in
this country, and of having, for fully two generations, kept up the
annual celebration almost without a break. Masquerading came across the
Atlantic from Venice by way of France, where the idea took strong hold.
When emigration from France to the old Territory of Louisiana became
general, the idea came with it, and the practice of sending children to
Paris to be educated resulted in the latest ideas of aristocratic
festivities being brought over to the home which has since sheltered
them.

History tells us that on New Year's Eve of 1831, a number of
pleasure-seeking men spent the entire night in a Creole restaurant at
Mobile arranging for the first mystic order in that city, and from this
beginning the long line of Creole comedies sprang up. In 1857, the
Mystic Krewe of Comus made its first appearance upon the streets of New
Orleans. "Paradise Lost" was the subject selected for illustration. Year
after year the revelry was repeated on Shrove Tuesday, but the outbreak
of the war naturally put a stop to the annual rejoicing. Southern
enthusiasm is, however, hard to down, and directly the war was over,
Comus reappeared in all his glory. A few years later the Knights of
Momus were created, and in 1876 the Krewe of Proteus had its first
carnival. Many other orders have followed, but these are the more
magnificent and important.

It is difficult to convey an adequate idea of the feeling which prevails
in regard to these comedies. The mystery which surrounds the orders is
extraordinary, and the secret has been well kept, a fact which cynics
attribute to the exclusion of ladies from the secret circle. It is well
known that on many occasions men have pretended to leave the city on the
eve of the comedy, and to have returned to their homes a day or two
later, not even their own families knowing that they took a leading part
in the procession. The Carnival Kings issue royal edicts prior to their
arrival, commanding all business to cease on the occasion of the
rejoicings. The command is obeyed literally. Banks, courts of justice
and business houses generally suspend operations, and old and young
alike turn out to do homage to the monarch of the day.

Let us imagine for a moment we are privileged to see a Creole carnival.
Every inch of available space has been taken up. Every balcony
overlooking the royal route is crowded with pleasure parties, including
richly dressed ladies, all the flower and beauty of the Sunny South
being represented. The course is illuminated in the most attractive
manner, and every one is waiting anxiously for the procession. Bands of
music, playing sprightly tunes, finally reward the patience of the
watchers. Then come heralds, bodyguards and marshals, all gorgeously
arrayed for the occasion. Their horses, like themselves, are richly
adorned for the occasion, and the banners and flags are conspicuous for
the artistic blending of colors.

Then riding in state comes the Lord High Chamberlain, bearing the golden
key of the city, delivered over to him in state twenty-four hours
previously by the Mayor. Next comes the hero of the parade, the King
himself. All eyes are riveted upon him. Thoroughly disguised himself, he
is able to recognize on the balconies and among the crowds his personal
friends and most devoted admirers. To these he bows with great
solemnity. Mystified to a degree, and often disputing among themselves
as to the probable identity of the monarch, the richly dressed young
ladies and their cavaliers bow in return, and look as though they would
fain hold the monarch among them much longer than the necessity of
keeping order makes it possible. Following the King are the bodyguards
and crowds of holiday makers.

Rex generally makes a display now of some special theme, appearing this
year as a crusader, another year as the discoverer of America, and a
third year as some other mystic individual. But no matter what the
subject of the carnival may be, the underlying principle is the same.
Sometimes a great deal of instruction is imparted with the mirth-making,
but in every case the procession is but a signal for general rejoicing.
Directly the procession is disbanded, which always takes place in
military order, the entire city gives way to fun and mirth of every
character. Liberty abounds throughout the city without license. By
common consent every one is careful to prevent disturbance or trouble.
All are happy, and every one seems to appreciate the fact that the very
life of the comedy depends upon its respectability. There is nothing
vulgar or common about any of the proceedings, or about the countless
tableaux which pass along the private streets. Everything is what has
been described as orderly disorder. Everything is attractive and easy.

The ball, which is a prominent feature of a Creole carnival, is a
wonderful combination of Nineteenth Century aristocratic ideas and of
Oriental humor. The guests are in full dress, and represent the highest
elements of Southern society. Around the carpeted floor, those who have
taken part in the pageant march in their grotesque costumes. An
apparently blood-thirsty Indian, brandishing a club over his head, darts
for a second from the line to go through the motions of dashing out the
brains of perhaps a most intimate friend, who has no idea who has thus
honored him by a recognition.

Another man, who in everyday life is, perhaps, a sedate banker or a
prominent physician, is masquerading in some extraordinary attire with a
mask of extraordinary dimensions and significance. He sees in the throng
a young lady of his acquaintance, and proceeds to shake hands with her
with great effusion. So well is the secret kept, that she has no idea
that the apparently frolicsome youth is a middle-aged man of business,
and she spends perhaps half the night wondering which of her beaus this
fearfully and wonderfully disguised man was.

Of the balls which succeed carnivals in the cities which delight in
these temporary divorces from the cares of business and finance, pages
might be written. One ball only need be mentioned in any detail. This is
the ball given by the "Knights of Revelry," in connection with and at
the expense of the Mobile clubs. The entire theatre was rearranged in
illustration of the theme of the club's pageant for the year. All around
the halls were hung tapestries and banners, artistically decorated, and
arranged so as to convey the idea of forests and gardens. The very doors
were converted into mimic entrances to caves and parterres, and the
general effect was entrancing as well as sentimental. The band was
hidden from the guests in a most delightfully arranged little Swiss
chalet, and refreshments were served from miniature garden pavilions.
The very floors upon which the dancing was to take place were decorated
so as to present the appearance of a newly mown lawn.

The height of realism was attained by means of an imitation moat over
the orchestra well. Across this was a drawbridge, which was raised and
dropped at fitting intervals, and the drop curtain was made to represent
a massive castle door. There was a banquet chamber, with faultless
reproductions of mediaeval grandeur and wonder. Stained glass windows
represented well-known and attractive ladies, and there were other
marvelous and costly innovations which seemed practically impossible
within a theatre.

At this ball, as at all others, the revelry proceeded until midnight.
Just as Cinderella left the ball when the clock struck 12, so do the
holders of the Creole revels stop dancing immediately that Lent has
commenced. The next day all is over. Men who the night before were the
leaders in the masquerade, resume their commonplace existence, and are
seen at the ordinary seats of custom, buying and selling and conducting
themselves like Eastern rather than Southern men.

The carnival idea has not been confined to strictly Southern cities. St.
Louis has, for many years in succession, enjoyed the pageants and balls
of its Veiled Prophets, an organization as secret and mysterious as any
to be found in a Creole section. Instead of being a Mardi Gras
celebration, the St. Louis pageant is given during the Indian summer
days of the first week of October. The parade takes place after
night-fall, and consists of very costly pageants and displays. It is no
exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been
spent in illuminating the streets through which the processions have
passed, the money for this purpose being freely subscribed by business
men and private citizens. But in St. Louis, as in New Orleans, no one
knows who finds the money to pay for the preparation of the pageant, the
rich and varied costumes, the exquisite invitations and souvenirs, and
the gorgeous balls. Readers of the "Pickwick Papers" will remember that
when certain members of the club proposed to make a tour of the country,
with a view to noting matters of special interest, it was unanimously
resolved not to limit the scope of the investigations, and to extend to
the investigators the privilege of paying their own expenses. Very much
the same rule prevails in regard to the Creole carnivals and balls, and
the adaptation of the idea in other cities. The utmost secrecy is
preserved, and it is considered bad form in the extreme to even hint at
belonging to any of the secret orders. The members subscribe all
expenses themselves without a moment's hesitation, and there has never
been such a thing seen as a list of the amounts donated.

There are not lacking people who say that these celebrations are
childish, and beneath the dignity of a business community. The answer to
criticisms of this kind is, that no one being asked to contribute to the
expense of the revelries, or being even asked or allowed to purchase a
ticket of admission to the balls, any criticisms are very much like
looking a gift horse in the mouth. If it be agreed that life is made up
of something more than one stern, continuous race for wealth, then it
must be conceded that these carnivals occupy a most important part in
the routine of life. The absolute unselfishness of the entire work
commends it to the approval of the most indifferent. Those who raise the
expense have to work so hard during the parades and balls that they get
comparatively little pleasure from them, while they are also prevented
by the absolute secrecy which prevails from securing so much as a word
of thanks or congratulation from the outside public. In this material
age, there is a danger of celebrations of this kind wearing themselves
out. When they do so, the world will be the poorer in consequence.

New Orleans, to which we have referred as the great home of the Creole
carnival, is a city known the world over by reputation. It is situated
at the very mouth of the great Mississippi River, and its history dates
back to the year 1542, when a gallant band of adventurers floated down
the river into the Gulf of Mexico. In 1682, La Salle sailed down the
river and took possession of the country on both sides of it in the name
of France. In the closing days of the Seventeenth Century a French
expedition landed not far from New Orleans, which was founded in 1718,
with a population of sixty-eight souls. Three years later, the city,
which now contains a population of more than a quarter of a million, was
made the capital of the Territory of Louisiana, and it at once became a
place of considerable importance.

In 1764, it was ceded to Spain, and this resulted in the people taking
possession of New Orleans and resisting the change in government. Five
years later, the new Spanish Governor arrived with ample troops,
suppressed the rebellion, and executed its leaders from the Place
d'Armes. In 1804, the territory of Orleans was established, and in 1814,
a British army, 15,000 strong, advanced on the city after which the
Territory was named. A great deal of confusion followed, but the city
held its own, and the invading army was repulsed.

During the Civil War New Orleans again saw active campaigning. The
occupancy of the city by General Butler, and the stern measures he
adopted to suppress the loyalty even of the women of the town, has
formed the subject of much comment. There are many interesting stories
concerning this epoch in the city's history, which are told with many
variations to every one who sojourns for a while in the great port at
the gate of the greatest river in the world.

To-day, New Orleans is perhaps best known as the second largest cotton
mart in the world, some 2,000,000 bales of the product of the Southern
plantations being received and shipped out every year. More than
30,000,000 pounds of wool and 12,000,000 pounds of hides also pass
through the city every year, to say nothing of immense quantities of
bananas and costly transactions in sugar and lumber.

Although New Orleans is really some little distance from the ocean, the
river at this point is more than half a mile wide, and the great ships
of all nations are seen loading and unloading at its levee.

New Orleans naturally abounds in ancient landmarks and memorials. The
old Spanish Fort is one of the most interesting among these. Warfare of
the most bitter character was seen again and again at this place. The
fortifications were kept up largely to afford protection against raids
from Mexican pirates and hostile Indians, though they were often useful
against more civilized foes. It was at this port that Andrew Jackson
prepared to receive the British invaders. The magnificent use he made of
the fortifications should have given to the old place a lasting standing
and a permanent preservation. Some forty years ago, however, the fort
was purchased and turned into a kind of country resort, and more lately
it has become the home of a recreation club.

Better preserved, and a most interesting connecting link between the
past and the present, is the world-renowned French Market in New
Orleans. A story is told of a great novelist, who traveled several
thousand miles in order to find representatives of all nationalities
grouped together in one narrow space. For a work he had in contemplation
he was anxious to select for his characters men of all nationalities,
whom chance or destiny had thrown together. He spent several days in
Paris, journeyed throughout sunny Italy, got lost in some of the
labyrinths of the unexplored sections of London, and finally crossed the
Atlantic without having found the group of which he was in search. Not
even in the large cities of America could he find his heart's desire,
and it was not until he strayed into the old French Market of New
Orleans that he found that for which he searched. He spent several days,
and even weeks, wandering through the peculiar market, and making
friends with the men of all nationalities who were working in different
parts of it. He found the Creole, full of anecdote, superstition and
pride, even when he was earning an occasional meal by helping to unload
bananas, or to carry away the refuse from the fish stores. The negro, in
every phase of development, civilization and ignorance, could, and
always can, be found within the confines of the market. The amount of
folk-lore stored up in the brains covered by masses of unkempt wool
astounded the novelist, who distributed dollars, in return for
information received, so lavishly, that he began to be looked upon after
a while as a capitalist whose wealth had driven him insane. Then, again,
he met disappointed emigrants from nearly all the European countries,
men, and even women, who had crossed the Atlantic full of great
expectations, but who had found a good many thorns among the looked-for
roses.

The Indian is not often seen now around the French Market, although he
used to be quite a feature of it. Some of the most exceptionally idle
loungers, however, show evidence of Indian blood in their veins, in the
shape of exceptionally high cheek-bones, and abnormally straight and
ungovernable hair.

Almost every known language is spoken here. There is the purest French
and the most atrocious patois. There is polished English, which seems to
indicate high education, and there is the most picturesque dialect
variation that could be desired by the most ardent devotee of the
everlasting dialect story. Spanish is of course spoken by several of the
market traders and workers, while Italian is quite common. At times in
the day, when trade is very busy, the visitor may hear choice expletives
in three or four languages at one time. He may not be able to interpret
the peculiar noises and stern rebukes administered to idle help and
truant boys, but he can generally guess pretty accurately the scope and
object of the little speeches which are scattered around so freely.

If it be asked what special function the market fulfills, the answer is
that it is a kind of inquire-within for everything. Many of the poorer
people do all their trading here. Fruit is a great staple, and on
another page a picture is given of one of the fruit stands of the old
market. The picture is reproduced from a photograph taken on the spot by
an artist of the National Company of St. Louis, publishers of "Our Own
Country," and it shows well the peculiar construction of the market. The
fruit sections are probably the most attractive and the least
objectionable of the entire market, because here cleanliness is
indispensable. In the vegetable section, which is also very large, there
is not always quite so much care displayed or so much cleanliness
enforced, refuse being sometimes allowed to accumulate liberally. Fish
can be obtained in this market for an almost nominal consideration,
being sometimes almost given away. Macaroni and other similar articles
of diet form the staple feature of the Italian store of trade, which is
carried on on the second floor of the market. The legitimate work called
for alone provides excuse for the presence of many thousand people, who
run hither and thither at certain hours of the day as though time were
the essence of the contract, and no delay of any kind could be
tolerated. As soon, however, as the pressing needs of the moment are
satisfied, a period of luxurious idleness follows, and rest seems to be
the chief desideratum of the average habitue or employe. The children,
who are sitting around in large numbers, vie with their elders in
matters of idleness, though they are occasionally aroused to a condition
of pernicious activity by the hope of securing donations or compensation
of some kind from newcomers and guests.

Structurally, the French Market is very well preserved. There are
evidences of antiquity and of the ravages of time and weather on every
side, but for all that the market seems to have as its special mission
the reminding of the people that when our ancestors built, they built
for ages, and not entirely for the immediate present, as is too often
the case nowadays. The market also serves as a link between the present
and the past. It is only of late years that the bazaar, which used to be
so prominent a feature, has fallen into insignificance. Formerly it
retained the importance of the extreme Orient, and afforded infinite
fund for reflection for the antiquarian and the lover of history.

The cemeteries of New Orleans are of exceptional interest, and are
visited every year by thousands of people. Owing to the proximity of
the water mark to the surface of the ground, the dead are not buried as
in other cities, and the vaults are above instead of under ground. They
are well arranged, and the antiquity of the burial grounds, and the
historic memories connected with the tablets, combine to make them of
more than ordinary interest. The local custom of suspending business on
the first day of November of each year for the purpose of decorating
graves in all the cemeteries, is also worthy of more than a passing
notice. Not only do people decorate the last resting places of their
friends and relatives on this specially selected day, but even the
graves of strangers are cared for in a spirit of thankfulness that the
angel of death has not entered the family circle, and made inroads into
bonds of friendship.

A few years ago a young woman died on the cars just as they were
entering the world-renowned Creole city. There was nothing on the body
to aid identification, and a stranger's grave had to be provided. In the
meantime the friends and relatives of the missing girl had been making
every effort to locate her, no idea having occurred to them that she was
going South. A loving brother finally got hold of a clew, which he
followed up so successfully that he at last solved the mystery. He
arrived in New Orleans on November 1st, and when taken out to the grave
that had been provided for the stranger who had died just outside the
gates, he was astounded to find several handsome bouquets of flowers,
with wreaths and crosses, lying upon it. Such a sight could hardly have
been met with in any other city in the world, and too much can hardly be
said in praise of the sentiment which suggests and encourages such
disinterested kindness and thought.

The cemetery which occupies a site close to the great battle-field, is
always specially decorated, and crowds go out in thousands to pay
tribute to honored memories. Close to this spot there is a monument to
celebrate the great battle during which General Pakingham was shot, and
at which General Jackson galloped excitedly up and down the lines, and
almost forced the men on to victory. The monument has not received the
care which it deserves. More than half a century ago work was commenced
on it, and a great deal was accomplished. But after a year or two of
effort the project was abandoned for the time, and it has never been
renewed. In the long interval that has ensued the roof has, in a large
measure, disappeared, as well as several of the steps leading up to the
front. Hundreds of people have cut their names in the stone work, and
the monument, which ought to be preserved in perpetuity, looks so
disreputable that little regret would be caused were the entire fragment
to be swept away by some unusually heavy gust of wind.

More than 1,500 soldiers were buried in the Chalmette Cemetery after the
battle referred to. Since the war it has been well nigh forgotten, but
several duels and affaires d'honneur have been settled on the historic
spot.



CHAPTER XIII.


THE HEATHEN CHINEE IN HIS ELEMENT.

A Trip to Chinatown, San Francisco--A House with a History--Narrow
Alleys and Secret Doors--Opium Smoking and its Effects--The
Highbinders--Celestial Theatricals--Chinese Festivals--The Brighter Side
of a Great City--A Mammoth Hotel and Beautiful Park.


Chinatown, San Francisco, is such a remarkable place, and contrasts so
strangely with the wealth and civilization of the great city on the
Pacific Coast, of which it is a part, that its peculiarities cannot be
ignored in a sketch of the most remarkable features of our native land.
Writers and artists have for years made this blot on San Francisco's
splendor the subject for sarcasm and cartoon, and, indeed, it is
difficult to handle the subject without a considerable amount of
severity. Californians are often blamed for their harshness towards the
Chinese, and the way in which they have clamored from time to time for
more stringent exclusion laws. It takes a trip to Chinatown to make it
clear to the average mortal why this feeling is so general in San
Francisco, and why it extends throughout the entire Pacific Slope.

There are about 25,000 Chinese in and around San Francisco. A small
proportion of these have abandoned the worst features of their race, and
make themselves comparatively useful as domestic servants. In order to
retain their positions they have to assimilate themselves more or less
to the manners and customs of the country, and they are only
objectionable in certain respects. But the one-time dwellers in the
Celestial Empire, who make their homes in Chinatown, have very few
redeeming qualities, and most of them seem to have no tangible excuse
whatever for living.

They adhere to all the vices and uncivilized habits of their
forefathers, and very frequently add to them equally objectionable vices
of so-called civilization. At one time all the streets in Chinatown were
little more than elongated ash pits and garbage receptacles. The public
outcry at length became so vigorous that the strong hand of the law was
brought to bear, and now the principal through streets are kept fairly
clean. The side streets and alleys are, however, still in a deplorable
condition, and no American or European could possibly live many days in
such filth without being stricken with a terrible disease. The
Mongolians, however, seem to thrive under conditions which are fatal to
civilized humanity. They live to quite the average age, and the children
seem to be very healthy, if not conspicuously happy.

Chinatown covers an area of about eight large squares, in the very heart
of San Francisco. Again and again attempts have been made to get rid of
the drawback and nuisance. But the "Melica Man" has allowed himself to
be outwitted by the "Heathen Chinee," who has secured property rights
which cannot be overcome without a measure of confiscation, which would
appear to be scarcely constitutional. The area is probably one of the
most densely populated in the world. The Chinese seem to sleep
everywhere and anywhere, and the houses are overcrowded to an extent
which passes all belief. It is known as an actual fact, that in rooms
twelve feet square as many as twelve human beings sleep and eat, and
even cook what passes with them for food. The houses themselves are so
horrible in their condition, and have been so remodeled from time to
time, to meet Celestial ideas and fall in with notions which are but a
relic of barbarism, that not even a colored man of the most degraded
type can be persuaded to live permanently in a house which has ever been
occupied by an unregenerated denizen of Chinatown.

At the entrance to this peculiar, and, indeed, disreputable quarter,
there is a house with a peculiar history. It was built more than a
quarter of a century ago, by a wealthy banker, who selected the site
because of the admirable view that could be obtained from it of the
leading features of the city. He spared no expense in its erection, and
when it was completed he was able to gaze from the upper windows upon
some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For a while the banker
lived in the most magnificent style, and earned for himself a reputation
as a prince of entertainers. He spent thousands of dollars on
entertainments, and appeared to have everything that a human being could
desire. His end was a tragic one, and it has never been ascertained for
certain whether he died by his own hand, or by the hand of one of his
alleged friends or avowed foes. The house which was once his great pride
is now occupied by the Chinese Consul.

It is still, by far, the finest house in the Chinese quarter. The moment
it is passed the sight-seeker or slummer finds himself in the midst of a
horrible collection of Oriental filth and squalor. There are a number of
stores which excite his contempt the moment his eyes light upon them.
They are chiefly devoted to the retailing of such food as the occupants
of Chinatown delight in, and over many of them the Chinese national
emblem can be seen flying. Fish are on sale in large numbers, and as
they are kept until sold, regardless of their condition, the effluvia of
some of the fish markets can be very easily imagined. Vegetables also
form a very large proportion of the daily bills of fare, and these add
materially to the malodorous condition of the neighborhood. The streets
are all of them very narrow, and there are also a number of
exceptionally narrow and complicated passages and alleys, which have
been the scenes of crimes innumerable in days gone by.

Some of these alleys are but three or four feet wide, and, owing to
their almost countless turns and angles, they afford an easy means for
the escape of a fugitive who is being hunted by the police, or by one of
those blood-thirsty Chinese societies of which the Highbinders is a
type. One writer who has investigated the matter very thoroughly, tells
us that most of the houses have secret doors leading from one to the
other in such a manner that if a fugitive should determine to make his
escape, he can always do so by means of these secret doors, and the
underground passages to which they lead.

The stores, workshops and other apartments are generally exceedingly
small, and the proverbial economy of the Chinaman is proved by the fact
that every square foot of floor space and ground is put to some
practical use, and one finds cobblers, barbers, fortune-tellers and a
multitude of small tradesmen carrying on a business in a jog, or niche
in the wall, not as large as an ordinary bootblack's stand. Along the
narrow sidewalks are seen many of these curbstone merchants. Some have
their goods displayed in glass show-cases, ranged along the wall, where
are exhibited queer-looking fancy articles of Chinese workmanship, of a
cheap grade, all sorts of inexpensive ornaments for women and children's
wear, curiously fashioned from ivory, bone, beads, glass and brass,
water and opium pipes galore.

The opium pipe is something so unlike any European conception of a pipe
that it is difficult to describe it. It consists of a large bamboo tube
or cylinder, with a bowl about midway between the extremities. The bowl
is sometimes a very small brass plate, and sometimes an earthen
cup-shaped contrivance, with the top closed or decked over, having only
a tiny hole in the center. Into this little aperture the opium, in a
semi-liquid state, after being well melted in a lamp flame, is thrust by
means of a fine wire or needle. The drug is inserted in infinitesimal
quantities. It is said that all the Chinese smoke opium, although all do
not indulge to excess. Some seem to be able to use the drug without its
gaining the mastery over them.

There are more than a hundred opium dens in the Chinese quarters. These
places are used for no other purpose whatever at any time. If it were
the Chinese alone who frequented them, but little would be thought of
it. Hundreds of white people, men, women and the youth of both sexes,
have, however, become victims to this loathsome habit. So completely
enslaved are they, that there is no escape from the tyrant. For all the
poverty and untold misery this has brought upon these unfortunates, the
Chinese are responsible. Vices cluster around Chinese social life, and
nearly every house has its opium-smoking apartment, or rooms where the
lottery or some kind of gambling is carried on.

The residents of Chinatown have a government of their own, with its
social and economic regulations, and its police and penal department,
and they even inflict the death penalty, but in such a secret way that
the outside world seldom hears of these acts of high authority. This
social and commercial policy is controlled by six companies, to one of
which every Chinaman in the country owes allegiance and is tributary.
These companies severally represent different provinces in the Chinese
Empire, and upon every arrival of a steamer from that country, and
before the passengers are landed, the Chinese portion of them are
visited by an official of the six companies, who ascertains what
province each arriving coolie is from. That decides as to which company
he will belong.

Every Chinaman who comes is assured of his return to China, or, if he is
so unfortunate as to die while in exile, that his bones will be sent
home. This very important matter is one of the duties of the six
companies. This comforting assurance, however, is not shared in by the
women, whom, excepting those who are the wives of men of the better
class, are brought over by a vile class of traders, and sold as
chattels, or slaves, having no relation to the six companies.

There is in the Chinese quarters a ghastly underground place, where the
bones of the departed are conveyed, after they have remained a certain
time in the ground. Here they are scraped, cleaned and packed,
preparatory to their last journey back to the fatherland, and their
final resting place. Among the Chinese residents of San Francisco there
are comparatively few of those of the higher class. The difference
between them and the masses is very pronounced, and they appreciate the
difference to the fullest extent. They are educated, well-bred
gentlemen. The coolie and lower class are an ignorant, repulsive and
ill-mannered people. They seem to be mere brutes, and not a gleam of
intelligence is apparent in their dull, expressionless faces.

The "Highbinders" are bound together by solemn obligations, and are the
instruments used by other Chinamen to avenge their real or fancied
wrongs. The Highbinders are organized into lodges or tongs, which are
engaged in constant feuds with each other. They wage open warfare, and
so deadly is their mutual hatred, that the war ceases only when the last
individual who has come under the ban of a rival tong has been
sacrificed. These feuds resemble the vendettas in some of the Southern
States of Europe, and they defy all efforts of the police to suppress
them. Murders are, consequently, frequent, but it is next to impossible
to identify the murderers, and if a Chinaman is arrested on suspicion,
or even almost positive evidence of guilt, the trial uniformly ends in a
failure to convict.

The theatres are, to the visitor, probably the most interesting feature
of the Chinese quarters. A few years ago there were several of these
playhouses, but the number is now reduced to two. The charge of
admission is 25 cents or 50 cents.

The white people who, out of curiosity, attend a performance, generally
pay more, and are given more comfortable seats upon the stage. The stage
is a primitive affair. It boasts of no curtain, footlights or scenery of
any kind.

When, during the progress of a play, a man is killed, he lies upon the
stage until the scene is ended, and then gets up and walks off.
Sometimes an attendant will bring in and place under his head a small
wooden pillow, so that the dead man may rest more comfortably. After an
actor has been beheaded, he has been known to pickup the false head and
apostrophize it while making his exit from the stage. The orchestra is
at the back of the stage. It usually consists of one or two
ear-splitting flageolets and a system of gongs and tom-toms, which keep
up an infernal din during the entire performance.

Chinese plays are usually historical, and vary in length from a few
hours to several months. The costumes are gorgeous after the Chinese
ideas of splendor. No females are allowed on the stage at all, young men
with falsetto voices invariably impersonating the women.

The restaurants of Chinatown are a very unsatisfactory feature of the
unsavory quarter. Many of the laborers board at them, and the smaller
ones are nothing in the world but miserable little chop-houses, badly
ventilated and exceedingly objectionable, and, indeed, injurious to
health and good morals. There are larger restaurants, which are more
expensively equipped. Shakespeare's advice as to neatness without
gaudiness is not followed. There is always a profusion of color in
decoration, but there is never anything like symmetry or beauty.

There are an immense number of joss-houses in Chinatown. Each company
has one of its own. Others belong to the societies, tongs and to private
parties. The appointments of these temples are gorgeous in their way.
One has recently been opened on Waverly Place, which far surpasses all
the others in the grandeur of its sacred equipments and decoration. The
idols, bronzes, carvings, bells, banners and the paraphernalia of the
temple are said to have cost about $20,000, and represents the highest
degree of Chinese art. In front of the throne in each of these temples,
where the principal god is seated, burns a sacred flame that is never
extinguished. In a cabinet at the right of the entrance is a small image
called "the doorkeeper," who sees that no harm befalls the temple of
those who enter.

The temple doors are always open, and those who are religiously inclined
can come in at any hour of the day. Prayers are written or printed on
red or blue paper. These are lighted and deposited in a sort of furnace
with an opening near the top, and as the smoke ascends the bell near by
is sounded to attract the attention of the gods. The women have a
favorite method of telling their fortunes. They kneel before the altar,
holding in either hand a small wooden block, about-five inches long,
which resembles a split banana. These they raise to their closed eyes,
bow the head and drop. If they fall in a certain position, it is an
indication that the wish or prayer will be granted. If they fall in an
unfavorable position, they continue the effort until the blocks fall as
desired. When business is dull and times hard with the Chinaman, they
attribute it to the displeasure of their gods. They try to propitiate
the offended deity by burning incense sticks, and offering fruits and
other things which have no Christian equivalent, and which are supposed
to be grateful to the divine palate.

The Chinese observe a great many holidays. The most important are those
of the New Year. This is a movable feast, and occurs between the 21st of
January and the 19th of February. The New Year must fall on the first
new moon after the sun has entered Aquarius. It is customary at this
time to have all business straightened out, and all debts contracted
during the year paid. Unless this is done, they will have no credit
during the year, and consequently a great effort is made to pay their
creditors. There are some, however, who have been unfortunate and have
laid by nothing for this day of settlement, and knowing well that there
are a number of those troublesome little bills that are liable to be
presented at any time, they keep themselves out of sight until the sun
has risen upon the New Year.

They then reappear in their accustomed haunts, feeling safe for a few
days at least, for while the merry-making is going on there is no danger
of being confronted with a dun. All gloomy subjects are tabooed, and
everybody devotes himself to getting all the enjoyment he possibly can
out of this festal day. To some this is the only holiday in the whole
year, and they are obliged to return to their labors the following day.
Others will celebrate three or four days, and so on up the scale. The
rich and the independent keep it up for fully two weeks, and begin to
settle down to everyday life about the sixteenth day.

The night preceding New Year's day is spent in religious ceremonies at
the temples or at home. Out of doors the air is filled with the smoke
and roar of exploding firecrackers. But when the clock has tolled the
death of the old and announced the birth of the New Year, one would
think that Pandemonium was let loose. Unless one has heard it, no idea
can be formed as to what this unearthly noise really is. We are told it
is to frighten away evil spirits, to invoke the favor of the gods, to
bid, as they fondly hope, a final farewell to ill-luck; and, again,
simply because they are happy, and when in this frame of mind, they love
to manifest their joy in noisy demonstrations. A certain time in the
early morning is spent in worship at the shrines at home and in the
temples. They place before their sacred images, offerings of tea, wine,
rice, fruits and flowers. The Chinese lily is in full bloom at this
season, and it occupies a conspicuous place in the joss-houses. It is
for sale on every street corner.

The day is spent in feasting, pleasure seeking, and in making New Year's
calls. The Chinamen are always greatly pleased to receive calls from
white men with whom they have business dealings, and they exhibit their
cards with much pride. They are very punctilious and even rival the
Frenchmen in politeness, and it is considered an offense if any of their
proffered hospitalities are declined.

But while Chinatown is the most extraordinary feature of San Francisco,
and is visited by tourists who naturally look upon it somewhat in the
light of forbidden and hence exceptionally attractive fruit, it is not
by any means the most interesting or most important feature of one of
the finest cities in the world. San Francisco is the metropolis of the
Pacific Slope. It occupies the point of a long peninsula between the bay
and the ocean, and so unique is its site that it includes some
magnificent hills and peaks. The history of San Francisco bristles with
border and gold mine stories and tales of the early troubles of
pioneers. Whole pages could be written concerning the adventures of the
early days of this remarkable city. The time was when a few frame
buildings constituted the entire town. The rush of speculators following
discovery after discovery of gold, converted the quiet little port into
a scene of turmoil and disturbance.

Every ship brought with it a cargo of more or less desperate men, who
had come from various points of the compass determined to obtain a
lion's share of the gold which they had been told could be had for the
taking. The value of commodities went up like sky-rockets. The man who
had a few spare mules and wagons on hand was able to realize ten times
the price that was tendered for them before the boom. Many men who were
thus situated did not consider it advisable to throw away their chances
by accepting grave risks in search of gold, and many who stayed at home
and supplied the wants of those who went up country realized handsome
competences, and in some cases small fortunes.

That there was a good deal of lawlessness and violence is not to be
wondered at. It has been said that for every bona fide miner there was
at least one hanger-on or camp follower, who had no intention of doing
any digging or washing, but who was smart enough to realize that a
veritable thief's paradise would be built up by the hard workers.
Sometimes these men went to the trouble of digging tunnels under the
ground and into the tents of successful miners, frequently passing
through rich deposits of gold on the way. At other times they waylaid
wagons and coaches coming into San Francisco from the mining camps.
History tells us of the fights which ensued, and we have all heard of
the successful miners who were murdered while asleep at half-way houses,
and the result of their hard toil turned to base uses and vicious
purposes.

In San Francisco itself robbery and violence could not be suppressed. We
have all heard of the way in which the decent element finally got
together, formed special laws and executed offenders in short order. No
one of course approves lynch law in the abstract, but when the
circumstances of the case are taken into consideration, it is difficult
to condemn very severely the men who made it possible for San Francisco
to become a great and honored city.

The population of San Francisco to-day is about a third of a million. A
greater portion of its growth has been during the last quarter of a
century, and it was the first city in this country to lay cable conduits
and adopt a system of cable cars. For several years it had practically a
monopoly in this mode of street transportation, and, although
electricity has since provided an even more convenient motive power, San
Francisco will always be entitled to credit for the admirable missionary
work it did in this direction. At the present time, almost every portion
of the city and its beautiful parks can be reached easily by a system of
transportation as comfortable and rapid as it is inexpensive.

Among the wonders of San Francisco must be mentioned the Palace Hotel, a
structure of immense magnitude and probably two or three times as large
as the average Eastern man imagines. The site of the hotel covers a
space of more than an acre and a half, and several million dollars were
spent on this structure. Everything is magnificent, expansive, huge and
massive. The building itself is seven stories high, and in its center,
forming what may be described as the grandest enclosed court in the
world, is a circular space 144 feet across and roofed in with glass at a
great height. Carriages are driven into this enclosure, and, in the
nearest approach to severe weather known in San Francisco, guests can
alight practically indoors.

There are nearly 800 bed-rooms, all of them large and lofty, and the
general style of architecture is more than massive. The foundation walls
are 12 feet thick, and 31,000,000 brick were used above them. The
skeleton of wrought iron bands, upon which the brick and stone work is
constructed, weighs more than 3,000 tons. Four artesian wells supply
pure water to the house, which is not only one of the largest hotels in
the world, but also one of the most complete and independent in its
arrangements.

A pleasant ride of nearly four miles in length brings the rider to
Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate, from which the park takes its name,
is one of the world's beauty spots, and here some of the most exquisite
sunsets ever witnessed can be seen. The Gate is the entrance from the
Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay, which varies in width from ten to
fifteen miles. At the Gate the width is suddenly reduced to less than a
mile, and hence at ebb and flow the current is very swift. Near the Gate
sea lions can be seen gamboling in the surf, and the waves can be
observed striking on the rocks and boulders, and sending up spray of
foamy whiteness to a height of a hundred feet.

Golden Gate Park is like everything else on the Pacific Coast, immense
and wonderful. It is not the largest park in the world, but it ranks
amongst the most extensive. Its acreage exceeds a thousand, and it is
difficult to appreciate the fact that the richly cultivated ground
through which the tourist is driven has been reclaimed from the ocean,
and was but once little more than a succession of sand bars and dunes.

When the reader goes to San Francisco, as we hope he will go some day,
if he has not already visited it, he will be told within a few minutes
of his entering the city, that he has at least reached what may be
fairly termed God's country. Of the glorious climate of California he
will hear much at every step, and before he has been in the city many
days, he will wonder how he is to get out of it alive if he is to see
but a fraction of the wonderful sights to which his attention is called.

California is frequently spoken of as the Golden State. The name
California was given to the territory comprising the State and Lower
California as long ago as 1510, when a Spanish novelist, either in fancy
or prophecy, wrote concerning "the great land of California, where an
abundance of gold and precious stones are found." In 1848, California
proper was ceded to the United States, and in the same year the
discovery of gold at Colomo put a stop to the peace and quiet which had
prevailed on the fertile plains, the unexplored mountains and the
attractive valleys. Shortly after, a hundred thousand men rushed into
the State, and for the first few years as many as a hundred thousand
miners were kept steadily at work.

It was in 1856 that the famous Vigilance Committee was formed. In the
month of May of that year murderers were taken from jail and executed,
the result being that the Governor declared San Francisco to be in a
state of insurrection. The Vigilance Committee gained almost sovereign
power, and before it disbanded in August, it had a parade in which over
5,000 armed, disciplined men took part.

Two years later, the overland mail commenced its journeys and the
celebrated pony express followed in 1860. Railroads followed soon after,
and instead of being a practically unknown country, several weeks'
journey from the old established cities, the lightning express has
brought the Pacific so near to the Atlantic that time and space seem to
have been almost annihilated.



CHAPTER XIV.


BEFORE EMANCIPATION AND AFTER.

First Importation of Negro Slaves into America--The Original
Abolitionists--A Colored Enthusiast and a Coward--Origin of the word
"Secession"--John Brown's Fanaticism--Uncle Tom's Cabin--Faithful unto
Death--George Augustus Sala on the Negro who Lingered too long in the
Mill Pond.


The American negro is such a distinct character that he cannot be
overlooked in a work of this nature. Some people think he is wholly bad,
and that although he occasionally assumes a virtue, he is but playing a
part, and playing it but indifferently well at that. Others place him on
a lofty pedestal, and magnify him into a hero and a martyr.

But the Afro-American, commonly called a "nigger" in the South, is
neither the one nor the other. He is often as worthless as the "white
trash" he so scornfully despises, and he is often all that the most
exacting could expect, when his surroundings and disadvantages are taken
into consideration. Physiologists tell us that man is very largely what
others make him, many going so far as to say that character and
disposition are three parts hereditary and one part environment. If this
is so, a good deal of allowance should be made. It is less than 300
years since the first negroes were brought over to this country, and it
is but little more than thirty years since slavery was abolished. Hence,
from both the standpoints of descent and environment, the negro is at a
great disadvantage, and he should hardly be judged by the common
standard.

It was in the year 1619 that a Dutch ship landed a cargo of negroes from
Guinea, but that was not really the first case of slavery in this
country. Prior to that time paupers and criminals from the old world had
voluntarily sold themselves into a species of subjection, in preference
to starvation and detention in their own land; but this landing in 1619
seems to have really introduced the colored man into the labor world and
market of America.

We need not trace the history of the negro as a slave at any length.
That he was occasionally abused goes without saying, but that his
condition was approximately as bad as a majority of writers have
attempted to prove is not so certain. It was the policy of the slave
owner to get as much work out of his staff as he possibly could. He knew
from experience that the powers of human endurance were necessarily
limited, and that a man could not work satisfactorily when he was sick
or hungry. Hence, even on the supposition that all slave owners were
without feeling, it is obvious that self-interest must have impelled
them to keep the negro in good health, and to prevent him from losing
strength from hardship and want.

On some plantations the lot of the slave was a hard one, but on others
there was very little complaining or cause for complaint. Thousands of
slaves were better off by far than they have been subsequent to
liberation, and it is a fact that speaks volumes for the much discussed
and criticized slaveholders, that numbers of emancipated slaves refused
to accept their freedom, while many more, who went away delighted at the
removal of withstraint, came back of their own option very soon after,
and begged to be allowed to resume the old relations.

The average negro obeys, literally obeys, the divine instruction to take
no thought for the morrow. If he has a good dinner in the oven he is apt
to forget for the time being that there is such a meal as supper, and he
certainly does not give even a passing thought to the fact that if he
has no breakfast in the morning he will be "powerfu' hungry." This
indifference as to the future robbed slavery of much of its hardship,
and although every one condemns the idea in the abstract, there are many
humane men and women who do not think the colored man suffered half as
much as has so often and so emphatically been stated.

Abolition was advocated with much earnestness for many years prior to
Lincoln's famous emancipation proclamation. The agitation first took
tangible shape during the administration of General Jackson, a man who
received more hero worship than has fallen to the lot of any of his
successors. To a zealous, if perhaps bigoted, Quaker belongs the credit
of having started the work, by founding a newspaper, which he called the
"Genius of Universal Emancipation." William Lloyd Garrison, subsequently
with "The Liberator," was connected with this journal, and in the first
issue he announced as his programme, war to the death against slavery in
every form. "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not
retreat a single inch, and I will be heard," was the announcement with
which he opened the campaign, which he subsequently carried on with more
conspicuous vigor than success.

Garrison handled the question of the relation between the white and
colored people of the country without gloves, and his very outspoken
language occasionally got him into trouble. The people who supported him
were known as Abolitionists, a name which even at that early date
conjured up hard feeling, and divided household against household, and
family against family. Among these Garrison was regarded as a hero, and
to some extent as a martyr, while the bitterness of his invective earned
for him the title of fanatic and crank from the thousands who disagreed
with him, and who thought he was advocating legislation in advance of
public sentiment.

The debates of the days of which we are speaking were full of interest.
Many of the arguments advanced teemed with force. The Abolitionists
denounced the Republic for inconsistency, in declaring that all men were
equal, and then keeping 3,000,000 colored people in enforced subjection.
In reply the Bible was freely quoted in defense of slavery, and the
fight was taken up by ministers of religion with much zeal. It was not,
by any means, a sectional question at that time. While the slaves were
owned by Southern planters and landed proprietors, they were purchased
and kept on borrowed capital, and many of the men in the North, who were
supposed to sympathize with the Abolitionists, were as much interested
in the perpetuation of slavery as those who actually owned the slaves
themselves.

In the year 1831, a negro named Turner, supported by six desperate and
misguided fellow countrymen, started out on what they regarded as a
practical crusade against slavery. Turner professed to have seen visions
such as inspired Joan of Arc, and he proceeded to fulfill what he
regarded as his divine mission, in a very fanatical manner. First, the
white man who owned Turner was murdered, and then the band proceeded to
kill off all white men in sight or within convenient reach. Within two
days nearly fifty white men were destroyed by those avenging angels, as
they were called, and then the insurrection or crusade was terminated by
the organizing of a handful of white men who did not propose to be
sacrificed as had been their fellows.

Turner's bravery was great when there was no resistance, but he
recognized that discretion was the better part of valor the moment
organized resistance was offered. Taking to the woods, he left his
followers to shift for themselves. For more than a week he lived on what
he could find in the wheat fields, and then, coming in contact with an
armed white man, he speedily surrendered. A week later he was hanged,
and seventeen other colored men suffered a like penalty for connection
with the conspiracy. The murderous outbreak had other dire results for
the negro, and caused many innocent men to be suspected and punished.

A year later, Garrison started the New England Anti-Slavery Society,
which was followed by many similar organizations. So intense did the
feeling become that President Jackson thought it advisable to recommend
legislation excluding Abolition literature from the mails. The measure
was finally defeated, but in the Southern States, particularly, a great
deal of mail was searched and even condemned. Rewards were offered in
some of the slave-holding States for the apprehension of some of the
leading Abolitionists, and feeling ran very high, every outbreak being
laid at the doors of the men who were preaching the new gospel of equal
rights, regardless of color.

Mobs frequently took a hand in the proceedings, and several men were
attacked and arrested on very flimsy pretexts. In 1836, the Pennsylvania
Hall, in Philadelphia, was burned, because it had been dedicated by an
anti-slavery meeting. So bitter did the feeling become that every
attempt to open schools for colored children was followed by
disturbance, the teachers being driven away and the books destroyed.
Numerous petitions on the subject were sent to Congress, and there was
an uproar in the House when it was proposed to refer a petition for the
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia to a committee. The
Southern Congressmen withdrew from the House as a formal protest, and
the word "secession," which was subsequently to acquire such a much more
significant meaning, was first applied to this action on their part.

A compromise, however, was effected, and the seceding members took their
seats on the following day. Feeling, however, ran very high. Some people
returned fugitive slaves to their owners, while others established what
was then known as the underground railway. This was a combination
between Abolitionists in various parts, and involved the feeding and
housing of slaves, who were passed on from house to house and helped on
their road to Canada. Much excitement was caused in 1841 by the ship
"Creole," which sailed from Richmond with a cargo of 135 slaves from the
Virginia plantation. Near the Bahama Islands one of the slaves named
Washington, as by the way a good many thousand slaves were named from
time to time, headed a rebellion. The slaves succeeded in overpowering
the crew and in confining the captain and the white passengers. They
forced the captain to take the boat to New Providence, where all except
the actual members of the rebelling crowd were declared free.

Joshua Giddings, of Ohio, offered a resolution in the House of
Representatives claiming that every man who had been a slave in the
United States was free the moment he crossed the boundary of some other
country. The way in which this resolution was received led to the
resignation of Mr. Giddings. He offered himself for re-election, and was
sent back to Congress by an enormous majority. As Ohio had been very
bitter in its anti-negro demonstrations, the vote was regarded as very
significant. The Supreme Court decided differently from the people, and
a ruling was handed down to the effect that fugitive slaves were liable
to re-capture. The court held that the law as to slavery was paramount
in free as well as slave States, and that every law-abiding citizen must
recognize these rights and not interfere with them. Feeling became very
intense after this, and for a time it threatened to extend far beyond
rational limits. In the church the controversy waxed warm, and in more
than one instance division as well as dissension arose.

In 1858, a new phase was given to the controversy by John Brown. Every
one has heard of this remarkable man, who was regarded by some as a
martyr, and by others as a dangerous crank. As one writer very aptly
puts it, John Brown was both the one and the other. That his intentions
were in the main good, few doubt, but his methods were open to the
gravest censure, and according to some deep thinkers he was, in a large
degree, responsible for the bitter feeling which made war between the
North and the South inevitable. Probably this is giving undue importance
to this much-discussed enthusiast, who regarded himself as a divine
messenger sent to liberate the slaves and punish the slave-holders.

He conceived the idea of rallying all the colored people around him in
the impregnable mountains of Virginia, and having drafted a
constitution, he proceeded to unfurl his flag and call out his
supporters. In October, 1859, he took possession of the United States
Armory at Harper's Ferry, interfered with the running of trains, and
practically held the town with a force of some eighteen men, of whom
four were colored. Colonel Robert E. Lee quickly came on the scene with
a detachment of troops and drove the Brown following into an
engine-house. They declined to surrender, and thirteen were either
killed or mortally wounded. Two of Brown's sons were among those who
fell, and the leader himself was captured. He treated his trial with the
utmost indifference, and went to the scaffold erect and apparently
unconcerned. His body was taken to his old home in New York State, where
it was buried.

Abraham Lincoln must not be included in the list of enthusiastic
Abolitionists, although he eventually freed the slaves. In speeches made
prior to the war he expressed the opinion that in slave States general
emancipation would be ill-advised, and although his election was looked
upon as dangerous to slave-holders' interests, the fear seems to have
been prophetic in a large measure. It was not until the war had lasted
far longer than originally anticipated that Lincoln definitely
threatened to liberate the colored slaves. That threat he carried into
execution on January 1st, 1863, when 3,000,000 slaves became free. The
cause of the Confederacy had not yet become the "lost cause," and the
leaders on the Southern side were inclined to ridicule the decree, and
to regard it rather as a "bluff" than anything of a serious order. But
it was emancipation in fact as well as in deed, as the colored orator
never tired of explaining.

Such in outline is the history of the colored man during the days of
enforced servitude. Of his condition during that period volumes have
been written. Few works printed in the English language have been more
widely circulated than "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which has been read in every
English-speaking country in the world, and in many other countries
besides. It has been dramatized and performed upon thousands of stages
before audiences of every rank and class. As a descriptive work it
rivals in many passages the very best ever written. Much controversy has
taken place as to how much of the book is history--how much of it is
founded upon fact and how much is pure fiction. The ground is a rather
dangerous one to touch. It is safest to say that while the brutality
held up to scorn and contempt in this book was not general in the slave
States or on plantations in the South, what is depicted might have taken
place under existing laws, and the book exposed iniquities which were
certainly perpetrated in isolated cases.

That all negroes were not treated badly, or that slavery invariably
meant misery, can be easily proved by any one who takes the trouble to
investigate, even in the most superficial manner. When the news of
emancipation gradually spread through the remote regions of the South,
there were hundreds and probably thousands of negroes who declined
absolutely to take advantage of the freedom given them. Many most
pathetic cases of devotion and love were made manifest. Even to-day
there are numbers of aged colored men and women who are remaining with
their old-time owners and declining to regard emancipation as logical or
reasonable.

Not long ago, a Northern writer while traveling through the South found
an aged negro, whom he approached with a view to getting some
interesting passages of local history. To his surprise he found that the
old man had but one idea. That idea was that it was his duty to take
care of and preserve his old master's grave. When the war broke out, the
old hero was the body-servant or valet of a man, who, from the very
first, was in the thick of the fight against the North. The colored man
followed his soldier-master from place to place, and when a Northern
bullet put an end to the career of the master, the servant reverently
conveyed the body back to the old home, superintended the interment, and
commenced a daily routine of watching, which for more than thirty years
he had never varied.

All the relatives of the deceased had left the neighborhood years
before, and the faithful old negro was the only one left to watch over
the grave and keep the flowers that were growing on it in good
condition. As far as could be learned from local gossip, the old fellow
had no visible means of subsistence, securing what little he needed to
eat in exchange for odd jobs around neighboring houses. No one seemed to
know where he slept, or seemed to regard the matter as of any
consequence. There was about the jet black hero, however, an air of
absolute happiness, added to an obvious sense of pride at the
performance of his self-imposed and very loving task.

Instances of this kind could be multiplied almost without end. The negro
as a free man and citizen retains many of the most prominent
characteristics which marked his career in the days before the war. Now
and again one hears of a negro committing suicide. Such an event,
however, is almost as rare as resignation of an office-holder or the
death of an annuitant. Indifference to suffering and a keen appreciation
of pleasure, make prolonged grief very unusual among Afro-Americans, and
in consequence their lives are comparatively joyous.

One has to go down South to appreciate the colored man as he really is.
In the North he is apt to imitate the white man so much that he loses
his unique personality. In the Southern States, however, he can be found
in all his original glory. Here he can be regarded as a survival of
preceding generations. In the South, before the war, the truism that
there is dignity in toil was scarcely appreciated at its full worth. The
negro understood, as if by instinct, that he ought to work for his white
master, and that duties of every kind in the field, on the road and in
the house, should be performed by him. For a white man who worked he
entertained feelings in which there was a little pity and a great deal
of contempt. He has never got over this feeling, or the feeling which
his father before him had. Down South to-day the expression "po' white
trash" is still full of meaning, and the words are uttered by the
thick-lipped, woolly-headed critics with an emphasis and expression the
very best white mimic has never yet succeeded in reproducing.

George Augustus Sala, one of England's oldest and most successful
descriptive writers, talks very entertainingly regarding the emancipated
slave. The first trip made to this country by the versatile writer
referred to was during the war.

He returned home full of prejudices, and wrote up the country in that
supercilious manner European writers are too apt to adopt in regard to
America. Several years later he made his second trip, and his
experiences, as recorded in "America Revisited," are much better
reading, and much freer from prejudice.

"For full five and thirty years," he writes, "had I been waiting to see
the negro 'standing in the mill pond.' I saw him in all his glory and
all his driving wretchedness at Guinneys, in the State of Virginia. I
own that for some days past the potential African, 'standin' in de mill
pond longer than he oughter' had been lying somewhat heavily on my
conscience. My acquaintance with our dark brethren since arriving in
this country had not only been necessarily limited, but scarcely of a
nature to give me any practical insight into his real condition since he
has been a free man--free to work or starve; free to become a good
citizen or go to the devil, as he has gone, mundanely speaking, in Hayti
and elsewhere. Colored folks are few and far between in New York, and
they have never, as a rule, been slaves, and are not even generally of
servile extraction. In Philadelphia they are much more numerous. Many of
the mulatto waiters employed in the hotels are strikingly handsome men,
and on the whole the sable sons of Pennsylvania struck me as being
industrious, well dressed, prosperous, and a trifle haughty in their
intercourse with white folks.

"In Baltimore, where slavery existed until the promulgation of Lincoln's
proclamation, the colored people are plentiful. I met a good many
ragged, shiftless, and generally dejected negroes of both sexes, who
appeared to be just the kind of waifs and strays who would stand in a
mill pond longer than they ought to in the event of there being any
convenient mill pond at hand. But the better class darkeys, who have
been domestic slaves in Baltimore families, seemed to retain all their
own affectionate obsequiousness of manner and respectful familiarity.
Again, in Washington, the black man and his congeners seemed to be doing
remarkably well. At one of the quietest, most elegant and most
comfortable hotels in the Federal Capital, I found the establishment
conducted by a colored man, all of whose employes, from the clerks in
the office to the waiters and chambermaids, were colored. Our
chambermaid was a delightful old lady, and insisted ere we left that we
should give her a receipt for a real old English Christmas plum pudding.

"But these were not the mill pond folk of whom I was in quest. They were
of the South, as an Irishman in London is of Ireland, but not in it. I
had a craving to see whether any of the social ashes of slavery lived
their wonted fires. Away down South was the real object of my mission,
and in pursuit of that mission I went on to Richmond."

Mr. Sala proceeds to give a most amusing account of his ride from New
York to Richmond, with various criticisms of sleeping-car accommodation,
heartily endorsed by all American travelers who have read them. Arriving
at Richmond he asked the usual question: "Is not the negro idle,
thriftless and thievish?" From time immemorial it has been asserted that
the laws of meum and tuum have no meaning for the colored man. It is a
joke current in more than one American city, that the police have
standing orders to arrest every negro seen carrying a turkey or a
chicken along the street. In other words, the funny man would have us
believe that the innate love of poultry in the Ethiopian's breast is so
great that the chances are against his having been possessed of
sufficient force of character to pass a store or market where any birds
were exposed for sale and not watched.

It is doubtless a libel on the colored race to state that even the
majority of its members are chicken thieves by descent rather than
inclination, just as it is a libel on their religion to insinuate that a
colored camp meeting is almost certain to involve severe inroads into
the chicken coops and roosts of the neighboring farmers. Certain it is,
however, that chicken stealing is one of the most dangerous causes of
backsliding on the part of colored converts and enthusiastic singers of
hymns in negro churches. The case of the convert who was asked by his
pastor, a week after his admission to the church, if he had stolen a
chicken since his conversion, and who carefully concealed a stolen duck
under his coat while he assured the good man that he had not, is an
exaggerated one of course, but it is quoted as a good story in almost
every State and city in the Union.

Mr. Sala objects very much to judging a whole class of people by a few
street-corner or cross-road loungers. The negro he found to be
superstitious, just as we find them to-day. Even educated negroes are
apt to give credence to many stories which, on the face of them, appear
ridiculous. The words "Hoodoo" and "Mascot" have a meaning among these
people of which we have only a dim conception, and when sickness enters
a family the aid of an alleged doctor, who is often a charlatan of the
worst character, is apt to be sought. It will take several generations
to work out this characteristic, and perhaps the greatest complaint the
colored race has against those who formerly held them in subjection, is
the way in which voodoo and supernatural stories were told ignorant
slaves with a view to frightening them into obedience, and inciting them
to extra exertions.

For absolute ignorance and apparent lack of human understanding, the
negro loafer to be found around some of our Southern towns and depots
may be quoted as a signal and quite amusing example. The hat, as Mr.
Sala humorously puts it, resembles an inverted coal scuttle or bucket
without handles, and pierced by many holes. It is something like the
bonnet of a Brobdingnagian Quakeress, huge and flapped and battered, and
fearful to look upon.

"Hang all this equipment," this interesting writer goes on to say, "on
the limbs of a tall negro of any age between sixteen and sixty, and then
let him stand close to the scaffold-like platform of the depot shanty
and let him loaf. His attitude is one of complete and apathetic
immobility. He does not grin. He may be chewing, but he does not smoke.
He does not beg; at least in so far as I observed him he stood in no
posture and assumed no gestures belonging to the mendicant. He looms at
you with a dull, stony, preoccupied gaze, as though his thoughts were a
thousand miles away in the unknown land; while once in every quarter of
an hour or so he woke up to a momentary consciousness that he was a
thing neither rich nor rare, and so wondered how in thunder he got
there. He is a derelict, a fragment of flotsam and jetsam cast upon the
not too hospitable shore of civilization after the great storm had
lashed the Southern sea to frenzy and the ship of slavery had gone to
pieces forever. Possibly he is a good deal more human than he looks, and
if he chose to bestir himself and to address himself to articulate
discourse, could tell you a great many things about his wants and
wishes, his views and feelings on things in general which, to you, might
prove little more than amazing. As things go, he prefers to do nothing
and to proffer no kind of explanation as to why he is standing there in
a metaphorical mill pond very much 'longer than he oughter.'"

One turns with pleasure from the severe, but perhaps not overdrawn,
character sketch of the colored loafer, to the better side of the modern
negro. The intense desire for education, and the keen recognition of the
fact that knowledge is power, point to a time when utter ignorance even
among the negroes will be a thing of the past. Prejudice is hard to
fight against, and the colored man has often a considerable amount of
handicap to overcome. But just as Mr. Sala found the typical negro,
"standing in the mill pond longer than he oughter," a sad memento of the
past, so the traveler can find many an intelligent and entertaining
individual whose accent betrays his color even in the darkest night, but
whose cute expressions and pleasant reminiscences go a long way towards
convincing even the sternest critic that the future is full of hope for
a race whose past has in it so little that is either pleasing or
satisfactory.



CHAPTER XV.


OUR NATIONAL PARK.

A Delightful Rhapsody--Early History of Yellowstone Park--A Fish Story
which Convulsed Congress--The First White Man to Visit the Park--A Race
for Life--Philosophy of the Hot Springs--Mount Everts--From the Geysers
to Elk Park--Some Old Friends and New Ones--Yellowstone Lake--The
Angler's Paradise.


Yellowstone Park is generally included in the list of the wonders of the
world. It is certainly unique in every respect, and no other nation,
modern or ancient, has ever been able to boast of a recreation ground
and park provided by nature and supplied with such magnificent and
extraordinary attractions and peculiarities. It is a park upon a
mountain, being more than 10,000 feet above the level of the sea.
Irregular in shape, it may be said to be about sixty miles across on the
average, and it contains an area of 3,500 square miles.

Mr. Olin D. Wheeler, in an admirable treatise on this park, in which he
describes some of the many wonders in the marvelous region traversed by
the Northern Pacific Railroad, thus rhapsodizes:

"The Yellowstone Park! The gem of wonderland. The land of mystic
splendor. Region of bubbling caldron and boiling pool with fretted rims,
rivaling the coral in delicacy of texture and the rainbow in variety of
color; of steaming funnels exhaling into the etherine atmosphere in
calm, unruffled monotone and paroxysmal ejection, vast clouds of fleecy
vapor from the underground furnaces of the God of Nature; sylvan
parkland, where amidst the unsullied freshness of flower-strewn valley
and bountiful woodland, the native fauna of the land browse in fearless
joy and wander wild and free, unfretted by sound of huntsman's horn, the
long-drawn bay of the hound, and the sharp crack of the rifle.

"Land of beauteous vale and laughing water, thundering cataract and
winding ravine; realm of the Ice King and the Fire King; enchanted spot,
where mountain and sea meet and kiss each other; where the murmurs of
the river, as it meanders through heaven-blest valleys, becomes harsh
and sullen amid the pine-covered hills which darken and throttle its
joyous song, until, uncontrollable, it throws itself, a magnificent
sheet of diamond spray and plunging torrent, over precipices, and rolls
along an emerald flood betwixt cañon walls, such as the eye of mortal
has seldom seen."

The history of this park is involved in a good deal of mystery. About
ninety years ago it was first discovered, but the information brought
back to civilization by the explorers was apparently so exaggerated that
it excited general ridicule. No one believed that the wonders described
really existed. Even later, when corroborative evidence was forthcoming,
skepticism continued. It was almost as difficult then to make people
believe the truth about the hot springs and geysers, as it is now to
make people believe that it is possible for a man to stand on the edge
of a hot spring, catch the choicest kind of fish in the cool waters of
the lake surrounding him, and then cook his fish in the boiling water of
the spring without taking it off the hook, or walking a single step.

This latter fish story has the peculiar feature of being true. Several
reliable men, including some who have not allowed the ardent pursuit of
Isaac Walton's pet pastime to blunt their susceptibility of veracity,
have performed this apparently impossible feat, or have seen it done
right before their very eyes. A year or so ago, when an appropriation
was asked for in Congress for the further preservation of Yellowstone
Park, a member made this extraordinary possibility an argument in
support of his plea. A roar of laughter succeeded his recital, and when
the orator stopped to explain that he was merely recording an actual
fact and not telling a fish story, there seemed to be danger of
wholesale convulsion within the legislative walls. Several of the amused
Congressmen subsequently made inquiries and ascertained to their
astonishment that, instead of exaggeration, the half had not been told,
and that if a full summary of the attractions of Yellowstone Park were
to be written, the immense shelves of the Congressional Library itself
would scarcely hold the books that would have to be written to contain
it.

This little divergence is to afford an excuse for the incredulity of our
forefathers, who made sarcastic remarks as to the powers of wild Western
whisky, when pioneers returned from the Rocky Mountains and told them
that there existed away up in the clouds an immense natural park, where
beauty and weirdness could be found side by side.

John Colter, or Coulter, is said to have been the first white man who
ever entered the natural portals of this glorious park. It was in the
early days of the century that this remarkable man had his adventure. He
was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which was sent out to
explore the sources of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers. He was
naturally an adventurer, and a man who had no idea of the meaning of the
word "danger." The party had a glimpse of Yellowstone Park, and Coulter
was so enamored with the hunting prospects that he either deserted from
the expedition party or obtained permission to remain behind.

However this may have been, it is certain that Coulter remained, with
but one companion, in the vicinity of the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri
River. According to fairly authentic records, he and his companion were
captured by hostile Blackfeet, who showed their resentment at the
intrusion upon the privacy of their domains by depriving Coulter of his
clothing, and Coulter's companion of his life. The chronic adventurer,
however, spent four years among the more friendly Bannock Indians, who
probably for centuries had lived in or near the park. He had a very
enjoyable time in the newly discovered region, and his adventures
crowded upon each other, one after the other, with great rapidity. When
at last he decided to return to the abode of the white man, he took with
him a fund of recollection and incident of the most sensational
character, and before he had been at home with his own kindred a week,
he had earned the reputation of being a modern Ananias, ten times more
mendacious than the original article.

Twenty or thirty years elapsed before any reliable information was
obtained about the park. James Bridger, the daring scout and
mountaineer, went through the park more than once, and in his most
exaggerated rhapsodies told of its beauties and of its marvels. But
Bridger's stories had been tried in the balances and found wanting
before this, and nobody worried very much over them. In 1870, Dr. F. V.
Hayden and Mr. M. P. Langford explored the park on a more rational
basis, and gave to the world, in reliable shape, a resume of their
discoveries. Mr. Langford was himself an experienced Western explorer.
For many years he had desired to either verify or disprove the so-called
fairy tales which were going the rounds concerning Yellowstone Park. He
found a number of equally adventurous gentlemen, including the
Surveyor-General of Montana, Mr. Washburn, after whom the expedition was
generally known. In 1871, Dr. Hayden, who was then connected with the
United States Geological Survey Department, undertook a scientific
exploration of the park. He was accompanied by Mr. Langford, and the two
men together tore away the veil of mystery which had overhung the
wonderful resort among the hills, and gave to the country, for the first
time, a reliable description of one of the most magnificent of its
possessions.

The report was not confined to eulogy. It included drawings, photographs
and geological summaries, and wound up with an earnest appeal to the
National Government to reserve the beauty spot as a National Park
forever. Several men arose to endorse the request, and in March, 1872,
Congress passed an act dedicating Yellowstone Park to the public for all
time, declaring it to be a grand national playground and a museum of
unparalleled and incomparable marvels.

Since that time the park has gradually become better known and more
highly appreciated. The Northern Pacific Railroad runs a branch line to
which the name of the park has been given, and which connects
Livingston, Montana, with Cinnabar, at the northern edge of the park.
The road is about fifty miles long, and the scenery through which it
passes is astounding in its nature.

From Cinnabar the tourist is driven in large stages throughout the park.
If at all reminiscent by nature, he thinks about the experiences of
Coulter, to whom we have already referred as the pioneer white man of
Yellowstone. Early in the century the park was occupied by Indians, who
had scarcely come in contact with white men, and who had not learned
that in the unavoidable conflict between races, the weaker must
inevitably succumb to the stronger. Around the limpid streams and at the
borders of the virgin forests, containing untold wealth, tents made of
skin drawn over boughs cut roughly from trees, could be seen in every
direction. All around there were rough-looking, utterly uncivilized
Indians, who were carrying out their usual occupation of doing nothing,
and doing it with exceptional ability.

The women or squaws were more active, but frequently paused in their
work to look at the unfortunate Coulter, who, deprived of his clothing
and absolutely naked, was waiting, bound hand and foot, for the fate
that he had every reason to believe awaited him. His only companion had
been killed the day before, and he expected every minute to meet the
same fate. According to his own description of what followed, strategy
saved his life. An Indian, sent for the purpose, asked him if he could
run fast. Knowing himself to be an athlete of no mean ability, but
guessing the object of the question, he assured the Indian that he was
not a speedy runner. The answer had the effect he anticipated.

His thongs were almost immediately cut, and he was taken out on the open
prairie, given a trifling start, and then told that he might save
himself if he could. Coulter had run many a fast mile before, but he
never ran as on this occasion. He knew that behind him there were, among
the indolent young Indians, many who could run with great speed, and his
only hope lay in getting to cover ahead of these. Every long stride
meant that much space between him and death, and every stride he took
was the longest in his power. Again and again he looked around, only to
discover to his astonishment that he had but just held his own. At last,
however, all his pursuers except one were tired of the pursuit, and when
he found this to be the case, he turned like a stag at bay and
overpowered him.

Then seeing that others of the Indians were taking up the chase, after a
brief rest, Coulter made another great run, plunged into the river in
front of him, and finally entered the labyrinth of forests and craters
now known to the world as Yellowstone Park. Here, if his story is to be
believed, he succeeded in making for himself clothing of some character
out of the skins of beasts that he shot, and finally he fell into the
hands of less hostile red men.

So much of the early days of Yellowstone, and of the reminiscences which
a first visit naturally conjure up. The park as it exists to-day is
overcrowded with modern interests, and one only refers to these
reminiscences by way of contrast. There are in the park at least 100
geysers, nearly 4,000 springs, and an immense number of miniature parks,
large and small rivers, and other marvels.

The park is about equi-distant from the cities of Portland and St. Paul,
and so many people have been attracted to it in recent years that a
large number of very fine hotels have been built at a great expense. The
hotels are open about four months a year, and the help to run them is
brought from different States. The expenses are naturally heavy, and
hence the hotel charges are not nominal, although the tourist can
generally limit the expenses incurred to the bulk of his pocket-book,
should he so desire. If he includes in his calculations the absolutely
free sights that he witnesses, the expense of a trip is certainly
moderate, and ought not to be taken into much consideration.

The Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the leading sources of attraction of
the park, a tour of which is something no American of means can afford
to miss. The springs are very hard to describe. They consist of a number
of irregular terraces, some as large as five acres in extent, and others
very small. Some are a few feet high, and others stand forty or sixty
feet above the one next below. Few people really understand what these
springs are, or how the terraces are formed. One authority of eminence
says that the rocks underlying the particular point are calcareous in
character, consisting mainly of carbonated lime, which is somewhat
soluble in percolating earth water. The hot subterranean water dissolves
a large amount of mineral matter in passing through the earth, which it
deposits on the surface in passing through the air. By this process
walls, embankments and terraces are built up, and as the minerals
through which the water passes are varying greatly in color, so the
deposits left on the surface are some of them red, other pink and others
black, with yellows, greens, blues, chocolates and mixed colors
abounding in immense numbers, sometimes harmonizing beautifully and
sometimes presenting the most astounding contrasts.

The water in the springs is not warm, but hot, and hence the name.
Frequently the temperature exceeds 160 degrees, in which case the
coloring matter seems to be washed out, and the terraces present a white
appearance. On other occasions, where the temperature is less severe,
the varying hues already referred to abound on every side. Sometimes
this whiteness, or bleached-out appearance, is astounding in its
effects. The true artist will stand for hours gazing upon it, and
wishing that he could reproduce, ever so inaccurately, the intense
beauties which surround him.

Behind the springs, and blocking up the view on the south, is the
mountain known as Bunsen Peak, the highest within the range of the eye.
Just across the open space, in front of the hotel at the springs, are
the quarters of the National soldiers who patrol the park, and, to a
certain extent at any rate, protect it from the vandal and the
purloiner.

In an admirable description of this scene contained in "Indian Land and
Wonderland," a very delightful story is told of the long, low, flat and
lava-capped mountain known as Mount Everts, in honor of Mr. T. C. Everts
of Helena. Few know the story upon which the mountain owes its name,
which is given as follows:

Among the members of the first party that ever explored Yellowstone Park
were Messrs. M. P. Langford, S. T. Hauser and T. C. Everts. There was
also a military escort under Lieutenant Doane. The party proceeded up
the Yellowstone River to the Grand Cañon, thence across to Yellowstone
Lake, around its eastern edge to the southern end, whence turning west
they followed down the Firehole River through the Upper Geyser Basin to
the Madison River. Following this river out from the park, they returned
to Western civilization--all but one of them.

On the nineteenth day out, September 9th, when moving across the country
bordering the southern shore of the lake, Mr. Everts became lost. The
traveling here was difficult, owing to fallen timber, rugged heights and
no trails, and he was not missed until camp was made at night. Mr.
Everts was not seen again for thirty-seven days, when he was found by
two mountaineers on the verge of what is now known as Mount Everts,
perfectly exhausted, and partly deranged through exposure and suffering.
On the very first day of his absence his horse, left standing and
unfastened, with all the man's arms and camp equipments attached, became
frightened and ran away. Everts was near-sighted, had not even a knife
for use or defense, and only a field glass to assist him in escaping. He
first managed to reach Heart Lake, the source of Snake River. Here he
remained for twelve days, sleeping close by the Hot Springs to keep from
freezing. His food was thistle roots, boiled in the springs. One night
he was forced into a tree by a mountain lion, and kept there all night.

Finally, he bethought himself of the lenses of his field glasses, and
thus was enabled to kindle fires. He wandered all along the western side
of the lake and down the Yellowstone to where he was providentially
found. He gave the story of his terrible experience in the old
"Scribner's Magazine," since become "The Century," and a thrilling tale
it makes. In a country filled with a network of streams, abundantly
supplied with animal life for food, gorged with timber for fuel, the man
nearly froze and starved and perished from thirst. Twice he was five
days without food; once three days without water. It was late in the
season, and the storms swept down on him and chilled him to the bone;
the snows kept him prisoner in camp, or, when on his painful marches,
blocked his progress.

Naturally, he lost strength, and became hourly in danger of succumbing
to the vast difficulties which confronted him. His sufferings were
increased by the fear which was created by a large mountain lion, which
got on his trail and followed him, evidently with a view to making him a
feature of the menu of his next meal. It seems incredible that Mr.
Everts should ever have escaped with his life. Fortune, however, came to
his rescue at last. He was rescued and nursed back to life by good
friends. To the plateau on which he was found, his name was given,
although there are few who will remember the significance of the name.

Norris Geyser is another of the almost miraculous features of the park.
The basin of the geyser has been described as a weird, uncanny place,
and the words seem well chosen. Of vegetation there is practically none,
because the underground heat keeps the ground always warm, and steam
breaks out into the atmosphere at several points. The general aspect is
drear and desolate, gray and dull, and yet there is something about it
beautiful as well as uncanny.

A geyser is always a source of wonder. The word is of Icelandic
derivation, and signifies gushing. As applied to phenomena such as we
are now describing, its applicability is good, for, from the mouth of
the geysers, there rushes from time to time an immense mass of boiling
water and steam, creating a disturbance of no ordinary character. It is
assumed that the water hurled into the air to a great height while at
boiling point, has risen to the surface through masses of lava, which
are reminiscent of volcanic ages far beyond the memory of mankind. The
mystery of geological formation is too great to be gone into in a work
of this character, but the bare contemplation of geysers, such as are
seen at Yellowstone Park, reminds one of the wonders deeply hidden in
the bowels of the earth, unappreciated and unknown by and to 99 per
cent. of the human race.

At the Norris Geyser basin the noise is extraordinary, and people who
are superstitiously inclined are awed at the rumblings and grumblings
which seem to issue from the bowels of the earth. Eruptions of hot water
and steam at irregular intervals burst forth, and the very road which
crosses the adjoining plain has been bleached to almost perfect
whiteness by the vapors. The crust of ground is very thin all around
here, and indiscriminate exploring is dangerous. To slip through the
crust into the boiling water beneath would inevitably involve being
scalded to death, and the man who allows the guide to show him where to
tread exhibits the greater wisdom.

In direct contrast to this basin is the Elk Park. Yellowstone is
celebrated among other things for being the home of an immense number of
the most remarkable specimens of North American animals. The Government
herd of buffalo in the park is of countless value, because it is really
the only complete representation at the present time of the practically
extinct species of flesh and hide producing animals which used to graze
by the million on the prairie. The buffalo are comparatively tame. Most
of them were born within the confines of the park, and seem to have
realized that the existence of their kind in perpetuity is one of the
greatest desires of the Government. There are a number of bears around
as well, but they have lost their viciousness, and enjoy life very
hugely under somewhat changed conditions. They seldom hurt any one, but
prowl around the hotels at night, and by eating up the scraps and
leavings solve the garbage problem in a satisfactory manner.

Deer, elk, antelope and mountain sheep climb the mountains, and very
frequently find their way into Elk Park or Gibbon Meadow. This is an
exceptionally desirable wintering ground, because it is surrounded by
hills and mountains which keep off the worst of the winds, and there is,
moreover, a perpetual spring of pure water. The meadow is probably the
prettiest spot in the entire park. There is less of the awful and more
of the picturesque than can be found elsewhere, and it is, in many
respects, an oasis in a vast and somewhat dreary expanse of land.

Golden Gate is another of the exquisite spots every visitor to
Yellowstone Park seeks and finds. To reach the Golden Gate one must be a
great climber, for it is high up, and the road to it is built along the
edge of a cliff, which, in places, seems to be absolutely perpendicular.
The gate is, however, worth reaching, and one is not surprised to hear
that as much as $14,000 were spent in cutting out a single mile of the
road to it through the rock.

Leaving the Golden Gate, and continuing the tour of inspection, a valley
of large dimensions is seen. The contrast between the rich green of
almost faultless verdure, and the dreariness of the rocks left behind,
is striking. It would seem as though nature had built up an immense
barrier between the weird and the natural, so that the one could not
affect the other. The Bible speaks of the intense comfort of the shade
of a great rock in a dry and thirsty land. A sensation of equal, if not
greater, relief is experienced in Yellowstone Park when one leaves the
grand, death-like desolation around the Hot Springs, and encounters the
exquisite beauty of shrub land and timber but a few paces away. The
groves of trees are in themselves sources of great delight, and also of
immense wealth. Fortunately, they will be preserved in perpetuity for
the American people. The lumber king cannot get here. His ravages must
be confined to other regions.

The valley into which the tourist has entered takes its name from the
Swan Lake, a very delightful inland mountain scene. The lake is about
two miles from Golden Gate. It is not a very large body of water, but
its rippling surface extracts expressions of admiration from all who
behold it. It has been described as a demure looking sheet of water, and
there is something about the appearance of the lake which seems to
justify the peculiar definition. The cañon forming the valley is like
everything else in Yellowstone Park--a little out of the ordinary. On
the one side there are lofty mountains, with eminences and peaks of
various formation and height, while in the distance the great Electric
Peak can be easily seen. We have already spoken of Yellowstone Park as
being about 10,000 feet above the sea level. Electric Peak, well
described as the sentinel of the park, is more than 11,000 feet high.
Viewed from a distance, or along the line of the valley, it is
calculated to excite both admiration and awe.

Willow Creek Park, or Willow Park, as it is sometimes called, lies due
south. It takes its name from the immense growth of willow bushes which
hide the ground from view, and monopolize the scenery and groundwork
entirely. None of these bushes can claim the right to be called trees,
as the average height is inconsiderable. But they make up in density
what they lack in altitude. The peculiar green of the willow is the
predominating color, without any variation of any kind. The idea
conveyed to the mind is of a huge green carpet or rug, and when the wind
blows freely across the valley, it divides up the bushes into little
ridges or furrows, which add to the uniqueness of the scene. Springs of
remarkably pure water, many of them possessed of medicinal power, abound
in this neighborhood, and tourists slake an imaginary thirst with much
interest at different ones of these.

The Obsidian Creek runs slowly through this valley. Obsidian Cliff is
the next object of special interest which is witnessed. It is half a
mile long and from 150 to 200 feet high. The southern end is formed of
volcanic glass, or obsidian, as true a glass as any artificially
produced. The roadway at its base is constructed across the talus, and
is emphatically a glass road. Huge fragments of obsidian, black and
shining, some of it streaked with white seams, line the road. Small
pieces are also plentiful. This flow of glass came from a high plateau
to the east-northeast. Numerous vent pits, or apparent craters, have
been discovered on this plateau. Mr. J. P. Iddings, of the Unites States
Geological Survey, who has made a special study of Obsidian Cliff,
contributes to the survey report for 1885-86 a paper that has in it much
that is of interest to the unscientific mind.

The Lower Geyser Basin is in some respects more pleasing than the
Norris, although the desolation is perhaps even more apparent. People
who have seen districts in which salt is made out of brine extracted
from wells, state that the appearance in the Lower Geyser Basin is very
similar to what is seen around manufacturing districts of that
character. This basin is in the valley of the Firehole River, a
strangely named stream, of a very beautiful character. In the basin
itself the branches of the Firehole unite, and with the Gibbon River
form one of the three sources of the Missouri, called the Madison, after
the President of that name. The Fountain Geyser is the largest in the
neighborhood, and is one of the best in the park. It is very regular in
its eruptions, and seldom fails to perform on time for the benefit of
the onlooker. It sends an immense volume of water into the air, and
resembles a fountain very closely. Its basin is very interesting, and
gives a good example of the singular deposits left by a geyser.

When the fountain is busy throwing out its volumes of water, the
appearance is very peculiar. Little notice is given of an eruption,
which takes place suddenly, although at stated intervals. All at once
the watcher is rewarded for his patience by having the stillness changed
into activity of the most boisterous character. The water is hurled
upwards in a mass of frothing, boiling and foaming crystals. The actual
height varies, but frequently goes as far as thirty feet. In a moment
the wall of water becomes compact, oblong and irregular. Crystal effects
are produced, varying according to the time of day and the amount of
light, but always delightful and peculiar.

Close at hand are the Mammoth Paint Pots, in the center of the Firehole
Geyser. We can explain the appearance of the Paint Pot or Mud Bath much
more easily than we can account for the phenomenon. It is well named,
because it resembles a succession of paint pots of enormous size more
than anything else that the imagination can liken it to. The basin
measures forty by sixty feet, with a mud boundary three or four feet
high on three sides of it. The contents of the basin have kept
scientists wondering for years. The substance is white, looking very
much like ordinary paint, but, unlike paint, it is constantly in motion,
and the agitation is so persistent that an idea is given that the Paint
Pot's basin is the bed of a crater. The continual bubbling and vibration
is very interesting in its effects, and the noise it makes is quite
peculiar, not unlike a subdued hiss or a badly executed stage-whisper.
Mixed among the white substance is a quantity of silicious clay of all
sorts and conditions of color. This produces a variation in the
appearance, but is merely in addition to what is otherwise marvelous in
the extreme. Pearl gray, with terra cotta, red and green tints is the
basic color of this boiling, seething mass, which seems to be
continually at unrest and in a course of worry.

The Excelsior Geyser is the most conspicuous feature of the Midway
Basin, a collection of hot springs and pools. They are situated in the
Midway Basin, and were originally called Cliff Caldron. Excelsior Geyser
is in a continual state of anarchy, without law, government or
regulation. It does just as it likes and when it likes. It seldom
performs when wanted to, but when it does break out into a condition of
fermentation, the effect is very magnificent. As one writer puts it, the
beauties and exhibitions of this geyser are as far superior to those of
all the others as the light of the sun seems to that of the moon.

The geyser was for years regarded as the grandest spring in the park,
before its exceptionally great features prevailed or became apparent. In
the years 1881-82, the eruptions from this geyser became so terrific
that it spouted water as high as 250 feet, and converted the generally
inoffensive Firehole River into a torrent of storming water. Rocks of
large size and heavy enough to be very dangerous were hurled headlong
from within the mysterious confines of the earth, and were dashed around
in all directions. For miles the terrific noise could be heard, and
people who had been waiting for a phenomenon of this character, hurried
across country to witness it. It is only now and again that a phenomenon
of this kind is repeated, and the most skillful geologists are unable to
give us any adequate forecasts as to when the next performance will take
place.

Rehearsals seem always in progress. Vast masses of steam rise from the
crater or hole. Many people crowd to the edge of the basin and strive to
penetrate into the mysteries of subterranean happenings. The day may
come when some scientific method of seeing through smoke and steam and
enduring scalding heat without difficulty may be devised. Until then the
mystery must remain unsolved.

In exact contrast with the irregular and spasmodic action of the
Excelsior, is the methodical, persevering action of Old Faithful. This
is another of the great and popular geysers of Yellowstone Park. It is
so uniform in its appearance that a man can keep his watch regulated by
it. Every sixty-five minutes the well-named geyser gives forth a
peculiar noise to warn the world that it is about to perform. Then for
about five minutes a vast stream of water and steam is hurled into the
air to the height of about 150 feet. The mass of boiling water measures
six feet in diameter, and the volume discharged exceeds a hundred
thousand gallons each hour. Day by day and hour, for nearly twenty
years, this industrious geyser has regularly done its duty, and afforded
entertainment for visitors. No one knows how long prior to that time it
commenced operations, or for how long it will continue.

Leaving for the moment the consideration of geysers and hot springs and
other wonders of this character, the sightseer gets a view of a very
different nature. At Keppler's Cascades the stage coach generally stops
to enable passengers to walk to the edge of the cliff and watch the
cascades and foaming river in the black cañon below. Then the journey
proceeds through the Firehole Valley, and through leafy forests and open
glades, until the narrow and tortuous cañon of Spring Creek is reached.
The scenery here is decidedly unconventional and wild.

We soon reach the summit of the Continental Divide. Now the outlook is
much expanded, and it becomes more majestic and dignified. The mountains
overhang the roadway on one side and drop far below on the other. Heavy,
shaggy forests cover the slopes and peaks, while tiny island parks, as
it were, and cheerful openings are occasionally seen. The road winds
about the mountain-flanks, now climbing up, now descending; the whole
aspect of nature grows more grand, more austere; the air grows more
rarified, and one becomes more and more exalted in spirit. Occasionally
the mountains break away and you obtain a view far out beyond the narrow
limits round about. Distant mountains are seen, and the feeling that
there are nothing but mountain-walls about you impresses itself strongly
upon one, and it is just about true. After several miles of such riding,
and when you have begun to imagine that nothing finer can come, the road
leads up to a point that, almost before you know it, simply drives from
your thoughts all else seen on this ride.

It is a wonderful picture, and produces a state of exultation that to
some must seem almost too strong to endure. The mountains, which rise
high above, stretch also far below, and in every direction are at their
very best. Proud and regal in their strength and bearing, they are
still, from summit to the depths, heavily covered with the primeval
forest. It would seem as if they really knew what a view was here
unfolded, and to rejoice in the grandeur of the scene. Like a thread,
you can trace the turns and lines of the road along which the stage has
come. But that which adds the softer, more beautiful element to a
picture otherwise almost overpowering in its grandeur, and withal stern
and unyielding, is seen through a break or portal off to the south.

Far away, far below, lies a portion of Shoshone Lake. Like a sleeping
babe in its mother's lap, nestles this tiny lakelet babe in the
mountains. It shines like a plate of silver or beautiful mirror. It is a
gem worth crossing a continent to see, especially as there runs between
the lake and the point of view a little valley dressed in bright, grassy
green as a kind of foreground in the rear. There is thus a silvered
lake, a lovely valley, with bright and warm green shades, and rich,
dark-black forests in the rear. No one can gaze upon such a combination
and contrast without being impressed, and without recognizing the
sublime beauty and grandeur of the park and its surroundings.

Yellowstone Lake is another of the extraordinary attractions of our
great National Park. It is described as the highest inland sea in the
world, and more than 7,000 feet above the sea level. It is, really,
nearly 8,000 feet above the sea, and its icy cold water covers an area
some thirty miles in length and about half as wide or about 300 square
miles. This glorious inland ocean is perched up at the summit of the
Rocky Mountains, just where no one would expect to find it. Several
islands of varying sizes are dotted over the surface of the water, which
at times is as smooth as a little mill pond, and at others almost as
turbulent as the sea. The shores are entirely irregular in their
formation, and Promontory Point extends out into the water a great
distance, forming one of the most peculiar inland peninsulas in the
entire world. Along the southern shore, inlets and bays are very
numerous, some of them natural in character, and others full of evidence
of brisk, and even terrific, volcanic action.

From the peculiar rocks and eminences along the shore, reflections are
cast into the water of an almost indescribable character. They are
varied in nature and color, and, like the lake itself, differ from
anything to be seen elsewhere. Another unique feature of this lake, and
one that has to be seen to be understood, is the presence on the banks,
and even out in the lake itself, of hot springs and geysers full of
boiling water and steam. Some of these springs have wide and secure
edges, or banks, on which a man can stand and fish. Then, on his right
hand, he has the icy-cold water of the lake, from which he can obtain
trout and other fish, until he begins to dream of a fisherman's
paradise. Dr. Hayden, the explorer, already referred to, was the first
man to take advantage of the opportunity and to cook his fish unhooked
in the boiling water to his left, merely making a half turn in order to
do so. When the Professor first mentioned this fact, he was good
humoredly laughed at, but, as stated in an earlier part of this chapter,
the possibility has been so clearly demonstrated, that people have long
since admitted as a possibility what they had first denounced as an
utter absurdity.



CHAPTER XVI.


THE HEROES OF THE IRON HORSE.

Honor to Whom Honor is Due--A Class of Men Not Always Thoroughly
Appreciated at their Worth--An Amateur's Ride on a Flying
Locomotive--From Twelve Miles an Hour to Six Times that Speed--The
Signal Tower and the Men who Work in it--Stealing a Train--A Race with
Steam--Stones about Bewitched Locomotives and Providential Escapes.


No one who has not given the matter special consideration has the
remotest idea of the magnitude and importance of the railroad system of
the United States. Nor has any one who has not studied the statistics
bearing on the question the faintest conception of the cost of the roads
built and in operation. The cost in dollars and cents for a mile of
track has been ascertained to a fractional point. Expert accountants
have figured out to a hundredth part of a cent the cost of hauling a
passenger or a ton of merchandise any given distance. There are even
tables in existence showing the actual expense incurred in stopping a
train, while such details as the necessary outlay in wages, fuel,
repairs, etc., have received the attention which the magnitude of the
interests involved deserves.

But the cost in human life and suffering of the great railroad system of
the United States is quite another matter, and one that does not come
within the scope of the calculations of accountants, expert or
otherwise. It has been said repeatedly that a man is safer in a railroad
train than on the streets. In other words, the percentage of death and
serious injury is said by statisticians to be lower among men habitually
traveling than among people who are classed as stay-at-homes, and who
seldom take a railroad journey. But while this is doubtless correct, so
far as passengers are concerned, the rule does not apply to railroad
employes, and those who by their never-wavering care and energy protect
the life and limbs of passengers, and make railroad traveling safe as
well as comfortable.

A celebrated divine, when preaching on the subject of faith, once took a
railroad journey for an illustration. As he pointed out, with much
eloquence and force, there could be no more realistic personification of
faith than the man who peacefully lay down to sleep at night in his
berth of a Pullman car, relying implicitly upon the railroad men to
avert the thousands of dangers which had to be encountered during the
still hours of the night.

Whenever there is a strike, a great deal is written about the men
employed in various capacities by railroads, and every misdeed is
exaggerated, and every indiscretion magnified into a crime. But very
little is said on the other side of the question. The men to whom
railroad travelers, and especially those who ride at night, commend
their safety, are worked to the full extent of their powers, and are
paid very small wages, when the nature of their duties and the hours
they have to make are taken into consideration.

The commendation of these men takes the form of deeds, rather than
words, and while so few have ever stopped to consider the loyalty and
devotion of the poorly paid and hard-worked railroad man, every traveler
who enters a railroad car pays silent tribute to their reliability. The
passenger, as he lounges comfortably in a luxurious seat, or sleeps
peacefully in his state-room, thinks nothing of the anxiety and
annoyances of the men in charge of the train, or of those who are
responsible for the track being kept clear, and proper orders being
given to the engineer.

This official is a man of many hardships and dangers. To him is
entrusted daily the lives of hundreds of human beings. He knows not how
many, but he knows that the slightest error on his part will hurl
perhaps ten, perhaps twenty, and perhaps fifty human beings into
eternity, besides maiming for life two or three times as many more. He
knows, too, that not only is he responsible for the safety of the men,
women and children who are riding behind him, but also for the occupants
of other trains on the same track. He knows exactly where he must run on
to a side track to allow the express in the other direction to pass, and
he knows just where he must slacken speed in order to get safely around
a dangerous curve, or cross a bridge which is undergoing repairs, or
which is not quite as substantial as it would be if he, instead of
millionaire railroad directors, had the control of the bridge
construction and repair fund.

To catch an idea of the responsibility of a locomotive engineer, it is
necessary to ride a hundred miles or so in an engine. The author was
given this privilege on a bleak, frosty day, early last winter. He was
told by the officials that he took the ride at his own risk, and as a
matter of personal favor, and that he must not interfere with the
engineer or fireman in the execution of their duties. The guest was
received kindly by both engineer and fireman, and was given a seat
whence he could see along expanse of track over which the locomotive had
to draw the train of cars. To a novice the sensation of a first ride on
a locomotive is a very singular one, and to say that there is no tinge
of fear intermingled with the excitement and pleasure, would be to make
a statement not borne out by fact. On the occasion referred to, the
train was a special one, carrying a delegation half way across the
continent. It was about fifteen minutes late, and in order to make the
run to the next division point it was necessary to maintain an average
speed of more than forty-five miles an hour. As is almost always the
case, when there is need for exceptional hurry, all sorts of trifling
delays occurred, and several precious minutes were wasted before a start
could be made.

Finally, the conductor gives the necessary word, the engineer pulls the
lever, and the irregular passenger finds for the first time in his life
how much more difficult it is to start a locomotive than he ever
imagined.

First, there is a distinct tremble on the huge locomotive. Then there
comes a loud hiss, with a heavy escape of steam, as the huge pistons tug
and pull at the heavy wheels, which slip round and round and fail to
grip the rail. Then, as gradually scientific power overcomes brute
force, there is a forward motion of a scarcely perceptible character.
Then, as the sand-box is brought into requisition, the wheels distinctly
bite the rail, and, in the words of the race-track, "They're off." For a
few seconds progress is very slow, indeed. Then the good work of the
trusted locomotive becomes apparent, and before we are well out of the
yards quite a good speed is being obtained. The fireman is busy ringing
the bell, and the engineer, from time to time, adds to the warning noise
by one of those indescribable toots made only by a steam engine.

Now we are outside the city limits, and the train is making excellent
time. We take out our watch and carefully time the speed between two
mile-posts, to ascertain that about seventy seconds were occupied in
covering the distance. Regardless of our instructions we mention this
fact to the fireman, who has just commenced to throw a fresh supply of
coal on to the roaring fire, adding a word of congratulation.

"Why, that's nothing," he replies, laughing, "we are going up grade now.
Wait until we get along the level or go down grade, and we will show you
a mile away inside of sixty."

We are not particularly glad to hear this. Already the locomotive is
rocking a good deal more than is quite pleasant to the uninitiated, and
the contrast between the hard seat and the pleasant one at our disposal
in the Pullman car is becoming more and more obvious. Just as we are
wondering how it will be possible to preserve one's equilibrium while
going around a curve in the distance, a cow strays sheepishly on to the
track, apparently some 200 yards ahead. The engineer plays a tune with
his whistle, and the cow proceeds to trot down the track in front of us.
That singularly misnamed appendage, the cow-catcher, strikes her
amidships. She is thrown twenty feet in the air, and all that is left of
her rolls into the ditch by the side of the track.

For the moment we had forgotten George Stephenson's reply to the member
of the British Parliament, who asked him what would happen in the event
of a cow getting in front of one of the trains George was proposing to
run, if necessary powers could be obtained. His reply, which has long
since become historical, was that it would be very bad for the cow. We
remembered this, and agreed with the pioneer railroad man when we saw
the unfortunate bovine turn a quadruple somersault and terminate her
existence in less than a second. But a moment previously we had been
wondering what would happen when the inevitable collision took place.

The fireman observes that the occurrence has somewhat unnerved us, and
in a good-natured way assures us that a little thing of that kind
doesn't amount to anything. It is pretty bad, he says, when a bunch of
cows get on a track, and he remembers once, several years ago, having a
train stopped out in the Far West by a bunch of fat steers, which
blocked up the track. "But," he adds, by way of parenthesis, "that was
on a very poor road with a broken-down freight locomotive. If we had had
"87," with a full head of steam on, we could have got through all right,
even if we had to overload the market with beef."

Now the train rushes around a curve in one direction and now in another.
The engineer never relaxes his vigilance, and, although he affects to
make light of the responsibility, and assures his somewhat nervous
passenger that there is no danger of any kind, his actions do not bear
out his words. We are running special, a little ahead of the mid-day
express schedule, and at every station there are waiting passengers who
herald our approach with delight, and, gathering together their
packages, advance to the edge of the platform evidently supposing we are
going to stop for them. That we are to dash through the station at a
speed of fifty or sixty miles an hour, does not occur to them as a
remote possibility, and the looks of astonishment which greet us as we
rush past the platform are amusing. Finally, we reach a long stretch of
level track, where the rails are laid as straight as an arrow for
apparently several miles ahead.

"Now's your time, if you want to take a good mile," says the friendly
fireman.

We take his advice, and by aid of a stop watch, especially borrowed for
the occasion, we ascertain the fact that a mile is covered in fifty-two
seconds. The next mile is two seconds slower, but the speed is more than
maintained on the third mile. Reduced to ordinary speed figures, this
means that we are making something like seventy miles an hour, and doing
vastly better than was even anticipated. Our good work is, however,
interfered with by the sudden application of the air brakes and the
shutting off of steam as we approach a little station, where the signal
is against us. A change in train orders proves to be the cause of the
hindrance to our progress, and the engineer grumbles somewhat as he
finds he will have to wait at a station some twenty miles further on,
provided a train coming in the opposite direction is not on the side
track before he gets there. The execution of this order involves a delay
of five or ten minutes, but when we have the line clear again such good
time is made that we accomplish our task and pull into the depot, where
locomotives are to be changed, on time to the second.

Such is a ride on a locomotive in broad daylight. At night of course the
dangers and risks are increased ten-fold. The head-light pierces into
the inky darkness, and frequently exaggerates the size of objects on and
near the track. The slightest misunderstanding, the most trivial
misinterpretation of an order, the least negligence on the part of any
one connected with or employed by the road, may involve a wreck, to the
total destruction of the train and its passengers, and the engineer
feels every moment the full extent of his responsibilities and the
nature of the risks he runs.

These responsibilities are increased ten-fold by the great speed
necessary in these days of haste and hurry. Few of our great-grandfathers
lived to see steam applied as a motive power for locomotion. Most of our
grandparents remember the first train being run in this country. Many of
those who read these lines can recollect when a philosopher placed
himself on record that a speed of twenty miles was impossible, because,
even if machinery could be constructed to stand the wear and tear, the
motion would be so rapid that the train men and passengers would succumb
to apoplexy or some other terrible and fatal malady.

It is less than seventy years ago since the time that the so-called
crank, George Stephenson, ventured modestly to assert that his little
four-and-a-half-ton locomotive, "The Rocket," was actually capable of
whirling along one to two light carriages at the astounding velocity of
twelve miles an hour. He was laughed to scorn by the highly intelligent
British Parliamentary Committee engaged in the investigation of his new
method of land traveling. At the present day, with regularly scheduled
trains on many lines thundering across wide continents tirelessly hour
after hour, at the rate of a mile a minute, it is the deliberate
judgment of the most conservative students of railway science that the
ultimate limit of speed is still in the far distance, and that 100 miles
per hour will not be deemed an extraordinary rate of travel by the time
the first decade of the Twentieth Century shall have closed.

It is true that railroad schedules seldom call for mile-a-minute
traveling, but the engineer is called upon very frequently to go even
faster. The majority of people, even the most intelligent among those
who habitually travel, obtain their conceptions of speed from the
figures of the time-table, forgetting that in nearly every instance
considerable portions of the route must be traversed at much more than
the average speed required to cover the total distance in the schedule
time. There are very few, if any, of the fast express trains which do
not, on some part of each "run," reach or exceed a speed of a mile a
minute. Yet, by reason of superior roadway and well constructed cars,
the accelerated velocity is unnoticed; while running at from sixty to
seventy miles an hour the passenger calmly peruses his paper or book,
children play in the aisle, and a glass brim full of water may be
carried from one end to the other of the smoothly rolling coach without
the spilling of a drop. All the while the nerves of those in charge of
the train are kept at high tension, and, oblivious as the passengers may
be as to the danger, actual and imaginary, the risks incurred are never
for a moment lost sight of by the two men on the locomotive.

The man in the signal tower has an equal responsibility. In some
respects the burden upon his shoulders is even greater, because he has
the fate of perhaps a score of trains in his hands, with the lives of
hundreds of passengers. Now and then, when the wrong lever has been
pulled and a train is wrecked, we hear of a signal man sleeping at his
post, but few of us stop to think how many thousand times a day the
right lever is pulled, and how exceptional is the lapse from duty. There
are heroes of the sea, and there are heroes of the battle-field, but
there are ten times as many heroes who perform their deeds of heroism on
locomotives, in switch and signal towers, and in railroad yards. It may
not be fashionable to compare these savers of human life with those who
destroy life on the battle-field, but the valor and endurance of the
former is at least as conspicuous and meritorious as the daring and
suffering of the latter.

In "Scribner's Magazine" there recently appeared a most graphic
description of a two-storied, square signal tower at "Sumach Junction."

"This tower," says the contributor to the magazine named, "had two rows
of windows on all sides and stood at the intersection of branches. At
this point the trunk line resolved itself from four tracks into two, and
here the gravel track, which looked as if it had been laid by a palsied
contractor, left the main line and respectability behind, and hobbled
out of sight behind the signal station with an intoxicated air. Beneath
the tower, to the right hand, a double-tracked branch tapped a fertile
country beyond the sand hills. And beneath the signal tower, to the
left, a single-tracked branch, only a mile long, brought South Sumach,
one of those tiresome towns that manufacture on water-power, in touch
with the middle man. This petty branch (as if the case had been with
petty people), made more trouble than all the rest of the lines put
together. The signal man found this out.

"So Sumach Junction had its place in the world, and, perhaps, it was a
more important one than that of many a complacent and opulent suburb.
The heart of this little community did not center, as a thoughtless
person might suppose, in the church, or the commandery, or the grocery
store, or the school, but in the signal tower. It was the pulse of the
section. It was the life-blood of thousands of unconcerned travelers,
whose lives and happiness depended on the intelligent vigilance of three
men. These three took turns up there in the tower, locking and unlocking
switches and signals until one might expect them to faint for dizziness
and confusion. It was no uncommon thing in the signal tower, when one of
the three wanted a day off, for the other two to double up on
twelve-hour shifts. As long as the service was well performed, the
Superintendent asked no questions."

The story came to be written on account of the prolonged sickness of one
of the three, which compelled the remaining two to remain on duty until
their eyes were often dim, and their brain power exhausted. One of these
finally worked until nature overcame force of habit and reliability, and
a collision would have resulted but for the returning consciousness of
the overworked and thoroughly exhausted man.

While this hero of everyday life slept, or rather lost the power of
thought from extreme exhaustion, the heavy snow storm which was making
the night doubly dark had so blocked the machinery of the semaphore that
it refused to respond to the desperate efforts of the weary signal man,
who heard a freight train approaching, and knew that unless it was
flagged at once it would dash into the rear end of a passenger train,
which was standing in sight of the signal box, with its locomotive
disabled. Finally, abandoning the attempt to move the lever, he rushed
out into the night and forced his way through the snow in the direction
of the approaching train. He was in time to avert the collision that
appeared inevitable, but in his excitement overlooked his own danger,
and was knocked down and terribly injured by the train he flagged.

Within the last year the largest railroad station in the world, in the
yards of which there is an immense amount of traffic, and from whose
signal towers are worked switches and signals innumerable, has been
opened. This immense station is situated at St. Louis. It covers an area
of about twelve acres, and is larger than the two magnificent depots of
Philadelphia combined. The second largest railroad station in the world
is at Frankfort, Germany. The third in order of size is the Reading
Station at Philadelphia. The four next largest being the Pennsylvania
Depot at Philadelphia, St. Pancras Station in London, England, the
Pennsylvania Depot in Jersey City, and the Grand Central Depot in New
York City.

We have all heard of peculiar thefts from time to time, and the records
of stolen stoves and other heavy articles seem to show that few things
are sufficiently bulky to be absolutely secure from the peculator or
kleptomaniac. But to steal a train seems to the average mind an
impossibility, though under some conditions it is even easy. During the
crusade of the Commonwealers in 1894, more than one train was stolen.
All that was required was a sufficient force to overcome the train crew
at some small station or water tank, and one or two men who knew how to
turn on steam and keep up a fire.

History tells of a much more remarkable case of train stealing, with
events of startling bravery and hair-breadth escapes connected with it.
We refer to the great railroad raid in Georgia during the year 1862,
when a handful of intrepid heroes invaded a hostile country,
deliberately stole a locomotive, and came within an ace of getting it
safely delivered into the hands of their friends.

A monument, surmounted by the model of a locomotive, was erected four or
five years ago to commemorate an event without precedent and without
imitation. The story of the raid reads like fiction, but every incident
we record is one of fact. Every danger narrated was run. Every
difficulty was actually encountered, and the ultimate failure came about
exactly as stated.

Generals Grant and Buell were at the time marching towards Corinth,
Mississippi, where a junction was to be made. The Confederate troops
were concentrating at the same point, and there was immediate trouble
brewing. General Mitchell, who was in command of one of Buell's
divisions, had advanced as far as Huntsville, Alabama, and another
detachment had got within thirty miles of Chattanooga. It was deemed
advisable, and even necessary, to cut off the railway communication
between Chattanooga and the East and South, and James J. Andrews was
selected by General Buell for the task.

Andrews picked out twenty-four spirits like unto himself, who entered
the enemy's territory in ordinary Southern dress, and without any other
arms than revolvers.

Their purpose was to capture a train, burn the bridges on the northern
part of the Georgia State Railroad, and also on the East Tennessee
Railroad, where it approaches the Georgia State line, thus completely
isolating Chattanooga, which was then virtually ungarrisoned. These men
rendezvoused at Marietta, Georgia, more than 200 miles from the point of
departure, having (with the exception of five, who were captured en
route or belated) made their way thither in small detachments of three
and four. The railroad at Marietta was found to be crowded with trains,
and many soldiers were among the passengers.

After much reconnoitering, it was determined to capture a train at Big
Shanty, a few miles north of Marietta, and, purchasing tickets for
different stations along the line in the direction of Chattanooga, the
party, which included two engineers, reached Big Shanty.

While the conductor, the engineer, and most of the passengers were at
breakfast, the train was seized, and being properly manned, after the
uncoupling of the passenger cars, was started on its fierce race
northward. Think of the exploit--twenty men, with a hostile army about
them, setting out thus bravely on a long and difficult road crowded with
enemies.

Of course the theft of the train 'produced great consternation, but the
captors got away in safety, stopping frequently for the purpose of
tearing up the track, cutting telegraph wires, etc. Andrews informed the
people at the stations that he was an agent of General Beauregard,
running an impressed powder train through to Corinth, and generally this
silenced their doubts, though some acted suspiciously.

The first serious obstacle was met at Kingston, thirty miles on the
journey. Here the captors and their train were obliged to wait until
three trains south-bound passed by. For an hour and five minutes they
remained in this most critical position, sixteen men being shut up in
the box-car, personating Beauregard's ammunition. Just as the train got
away from Kingston two pursuers appeared, being Captain W. A. Fuller,
the conductor of the stolen train, and an officer who happened to be
aboard of it at the time it was run out from Big Shanty. Finding a
hand-car, they had manned it and pushed forward until they had found an
old locomotive standing with steam up on a side track, which they
immediately loaded with soldiers and hurried forward with flying wheels
in pursuit, until Kingston was reached, where they took the engine and a
car of one of the waiting trains, and with forty armed Confederates
continued the journey.

It was now nip and tuck, with one engine rushing wildly after another.
To wreck the pursuing train was the only tangible hope of the fugitives,
who stopped again and again in order to loosen a rail. Had they been
equipped with proper tools they could have done this easily, but as it
was, they simply lost precious time. Once they were almost overtaken by
the pursuing engine, and compelled to set out again at a terrible speed.
At one point at Adairsville, they narrowly escaped running into an
express train. Fuller, the conductor of the stolen train, and his
companions, being arrested by the obstructions of the track, left their
engine behind and started on foot, finally taking possession of the
express passed at Adairsville, and turning it back in pursuit.

When Calhoun was passed, the trains were within sight of each other. The
track was believed to be clear to Chattanooga, and if only the pursuing
train could be wrecked, the end would be gained. Again the lack of tools
hampered the daring little band. They made desperate effort to break a
rail, but the pursuers were upon them before they had accomplished it,
and Andrews hurried on his engine, dropping one car and then another,
which were picked up and pushed ahead, by the pursuers, to Resaca
Station.

Both engines were, at the time, at the highest rate of speed. Andrews at
last broke off the end of his last box car and dropped crossties on the
track as he ran. Several times he almost lifted a rail, but each time
the coming of the Confederates within rifle range compelled him to
desist.

A participant in the feat, in his narrative of the affair, published in
"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," by the Century Company, says:

"Thus we sped on, mile after mile, in this fearful chase, around curves
and past stations in seemingly endless perspective. Whenever we lost
sight of the enemy beyond a curve, we hoped that some of our
obstructions had been effective in throwing him from the track, and that
we would see him no more; but at each long reach backward the smoke was
again seen, and the shrill whistle was like the scream of a bird of
prey. The time could not have been so very long, for the terrible speed
was rapidly devouring the distance, but with our nerves strained to the
highest tension, each minute seemed an hour. On several occasions the
escape of the enemy from wreck seemed little less than miraculous. At
one point a rail was placed across the track so skillfully on the curve,
that it was not seen till the train ran upon it at full speed. Fuller
says that they were terribly jolted, and seemed to bounce altogether
from the track, but lighted on the rail in safety. Some of the
Confederates wished to leave a train which was driven at such a reckless
rate, but their wishes were not gratified."

At last, when hope was well nigh exhausted, a final attempt was made.
Additional obstructions were thrown on the track, the side and end
boards of the last car were torn into shreds, all available fuel was
piled upon it, and blazing brands were brought back from the engine.
Reaching a long, covered bridge, the car, which was now fairly ablaze,
was uncoupled; but before the bridge was fully on fire the pursuers came
upon it, pushed right into the smoke, and ran the burning car before
them to the next side track. So this expedient also failed. With no car
left, no fuel--every scrap of it having been thrown into the engine or
upon the burning car--and with no means of further obstructing the
track, the pursued party were reduced to desperation, and as a last
resource, when within eighteen miles of Chattanooga, abandoned the train
and dispersed to the woods, each to save himself.

The good old locomotive, now feeble and useless, was left. According to
some accounts it was reversed, in order to cause a collision with the
on-coming train, but according to others, the steam was exhausted, and
the engine just stopped for want of power. However this may have been,
the hunters of the train become at once hunters of the train stealers,
several of whom were captured the same day, and all but two within a
week. Two of those who had failed to connect with the party were also
captured. Being in citizen's dress within the enemy's lines, the whole
party were held as spies. A court-martial was formed and the leader and
seven out of the remaining twenty-two were condemned and executed. The
others were never brought to trial. Of the remaining fourteen, eight
succeeded by a bold effort in making an escape from Atlanta, and
ultimately reaching the North. The other six failed in this effort, and
remained prisoners until March, 1863, when they were exchanged.

All sorts of stories have been heard from time to time concerning the
supernatural side of railroading, and the peculiar and apparently hidden
antics which locomotives occasionally are guilty of. The following story
is well worth reproducing, and may serve as an illustration of hundreds
of others. It was told by an engineer, who worked on the Utah & Northern
Railroad years ago, before that road became part of the Union Pacific
system. The road was very rough, and save for a long stretch of sage
brush along the Snake River north of Pocatello, it ran in cañons, over
mountains, and through heavy cuts of clay, which was often washed down
on to the tracks by the spring rains. It was, as it is now, a railroad
rushed with business.

It was the only line into Butte City, which had been struck a short time
before, and was then giving promise of its future distinction as the
greatest mining camp in the world. The shipments of gold and bullion
were very heavy, and all the money for the banks in Butte and Helena was
sent over this road. There were no towns along the line. The only stops
were made at water-tanks, and such eating-houses as the railroad company
had built at long intervals. It was a rough, hard run, and was made
especially lonely by the uninhabited stretches of sand and sage brush,
and the echoes from the high granite walls of the narrow cañon. It was a
dangerous run besides. The James gang of train robbers and the Younger
brothers had been operating so successfully in Missouri, Kansas and
Minnesota that other bandits had moved West to attempt similar
operations.

Finally, word came from the general offices of Wells, Fargo & Co. that
several train robbers had been seen in Denver, and might work their way
north in the hope of either securing gold bullion from one of the down
trains from Butte, or money in exchange on an up train. After detailing
these conditions, the engineer went on.

"We got a new manager for the road, an Eastern man, who had some high
notions about conducting railroad travel on what he called a modern
basis. One of the first results of his management was a train, which he
called the 'Mormon Flyer,' running from Butte to Salt Lake, and
scheduled on the time card to run forty miles an hour. We told him he
never could make that time on a rough mountain road, where a train had
to twist around cañon walls like a cow in the woods, but he wouldn't
believe it. He said that if a train could run forty-five miles an hour
in the East it could run forty on that road. The train was made up with
a heavy 'hog' engine, a baggage car, express car and two sleepers. The
first train down jumped the track twice, and the up train from Salt Lake
was wrecked and nearly thrown into the Snake River. Then the trains ran
from four to six hours behind time, and the people and the papers began
to jest about the 'Mormon Flyer,' and ask for a return of the old
Salisbury coach line. The manager complained from time to time, and said
it was all the fault of the engineers; said that we did not know our
business, and that he would get some men from the East who would make
the 'Mormon Flyer' fly on time.

"Well, one evening in Butte I had made up my train and was waiting for
orders, when the station-master handed two telegrams to me. One was from
the manager at Salt Lake, and read: 'You bring the 'Flyer' in on time
to-morrow, or take two weeks' notice.' The other was from the Wells,
Fargo & Co. agent, at Salt Lake, and read: 'No. 3 (the north-bound
'Flyer') held up this afternoon near Beaver Cañon. Treasure box taken
and passengers robbed.' The best description of the robbers that could
be had, was given. I showed both telegrams to the conductor, who held
the train until he could get a dozen Winchesters from the town. In the
meantime I had put the fireman on, and we put the finishing touches on
the engine, No. 38--a big, new machine, with eight drivers, and in the
pink of condition. I told my fireman that if we couldn't pull her
through on time we would leave the train on the side of the road, and
thus teach a trick or two to the man who wanted to run a mountain road
on Eastern methods. I pulled that train out of Butte as though it had
been shot out of a gun, and when we reached the flat below Silver Bar
Cañon I had her well set and flying like a scared wolf. The train was
shaking from side to side like a ship at sea, and we were skipping past
the foothills so fast that they looked like fence posts. The cab shook
so that my fireman couldn't stand to fill the fire-box, so he dumped the
coal on the floor and got down on all fours and shoveled it in. No. 38
seemed to know that she was wanted to hold down my job, and quivered
like a race horse at the finish. We made up the lost time in the first
100 miles, and got to Beaver Cañon with a few minutes to spare.

"It was when I slowed her up a bit in the cañon that I noticed something
the matter with her. She dropped her steady gait and began to jerk and
halt. The fire-box clogged and the steam began to drop, and when I
reached a fairly long piece of road in the dark and silent cañon, she
refused to recover. She spit out the steam and gurgled and coughed, and
nothing that I could do would coax her along. I told the fireman that
the old girl was quitting us, and that we might as well steer for new
jobs. He did his best to get her into action, but she was bound to have
her own way. She kept losing speed every second, and wheezed and puffed
like a freight engine on a mountain grade, and moved about as fast.
Finally, we came to a corner of a sharp turn, almost at the mouth of the
cañon, and then No. 38 gave one loud, defiant snort and stopped. "'She's
done for now,' I said to the fireman, and we got out of the cab with our
lanterns.

"The cylinder-heads were almost opposite a high rock at the turns. Well,
when we got there, what do you think we saw? Not a hundred yards ahead
of the mouth of the cañon, and as plain as day in the moonlight, was a
pile of rocks on the track. On either side was a bunch of half a dozen
masked men, with Winchester rifles half raised. Ten rods further on were
a dozen or more horses picketed at a few cottonwood trees.

"Well, you bet your life we couldn't get back to that train too quick.
It was not midnight, and in two minutes we had the crew and passengers
out with enough guns and revolvers to furnish the Chinese army.
Passengers, in those days, and in that country, carried guns. When the
robbers saw that the train had stopped they started forward, to be met
by a rattling fire. One of them dropped, but the rest ran for their
horses and got away.

"Now, then, you can't tell me that there isn't something in an engine
besides machinery," concluded the engineer, as he turned to the other
members of the Roundhouse Club.

"The man who says there isn't, is a fool," was the answer from one, and
the others nodded their heads in approval.



CHAPTER XVII.


A RAILROAD TO THE CLOUDS.

Early History of Manitou--Zebulon Pike's Important Discovery--A Young
Medicine Man's Peril and Final Triumph--A Health Resort in Years Gone
By--The Garden of the Gods--The Railroad up Pike's Peak--Early Failures
and Final Success--The Most Remarkable Road in the World--Riding Above
the Clouds.


Manitou is a name which conjures up reminiscences of legend and history,
and it also reminds the traveler of some of the most remarkable scenes
of the Rocky Mountains. It has been said that the man who knows how to
appreciate natural grandeur and beauty, can spend six months in the
vicinity of Manitou, and then come back six month later to find
undiscovered joys and treasures of beauty on every side.

The earliest reliable records concerning this spot date back to the year
1806, when Major Zebulon Pike discovered what he called the Great Snow
Mountain. This, one of the loftiest of the Rockies, is now known as
Pike's Peak after its discoverer, or at any rate after the man who first
described it for the benefit of the public.

It is on record that when Major Pike was crossing Colorado, nearly a
hundred years ago, he saw on the horizon what he regarded as a misty
cloud. When he finally realized that there was a mountain in front of
him, he was at least a hundred miles away from it, and there were two or
three smaller hills to be crossed before reaching it. After marching for
over a week the party reached the Cheyenne Mountain, which they believed
was the ascent of the great peak, a theory which was soon disproved.
Manitou is at the foot of this great mountain. It was first described at
length by an English tourist who visited the Manitou Springs just half a
century ago. He traveled alone, and exhibited not only an immense amount
of bravery, but also unlimited judgment in evading the attacks of wild
beasts and equally savage Indians.

His description of the trip is full of great interest. He describes how
a band of mountain sheep advanced to the edge of an overhanging
precipice to gaze upon the intruder, and how, a moment later, a herd of
black tailed deer ran in front of him, with that contempt of danger seen
only in animals which have not come in contact with human beings or
modern weapons. The birds, he tells us, were indifferent as to his
presence. They sang almost within arm's reach, and their rich plumage
completely fascinated him. He continued in his hunter's paradise until
he accidentally stumbled upon an Indian camp. No Indians were present,
but the smouldering camp-fires warned him that they were not far
distant. Later, he saw two Indians, who were evidently Arapahoes,
carrying a deer between them, and he knew that the delightful hunting he
had promised himself would not be forthcoming.

He was shortly afterwards captured in a prairie fire, in which he was in
great danger of being destroyed; nothing but the daring of his horse
saved his life. He had heard from the friendly Indians he had met on his
march that the Great Spirit had endowed the waters of the Springs of
Manitou with miraculous healing powers, and he drank freely from the
pure springs. These springs made Manitou a veritable Mecca for Indians
of the West and Southwest for many generations before the white men
discovered them. Pilgrimages were made across mountains and rivers of
great magnitude, and when an Indian chief showed signs of failing
health, and was not benefited by the machinations of medicine men, he
was generally carried to Manitou, no matter how far the journey might
be, or how great were the obstacles to be overcome.

Among the many stories told concerning journeys of weeks' and even
months' duration, one is exceptionally vivid, and is evidently founded
on fact, although superstition has surrounded the facts with so much
coloring that they are hard to discover. The story runs that in days
long gone by, a great chief, who had conquered every tribe of whose
existence he was aware, fell sick and could not be benefited by the
medicine men, who were summoned from every direction. A number of these
unfortunate physicians were put to death as a penalty for their failure
to restore health to the dying chief. Finally, there were very few
medicine men remaining in the vicinity; those who had not been
decapitated having proved their strong desire for further life by
discreetly retiring to parts unknown.

One day tidings were brought the chief of a young medicine man in a
neighboring tribe who had been overlooked by the searchers, but who had
been phenomenally successful in wooing back health and prolonging life.
The tribe had long since been reduced to a condition of subjection, and
the said chief sent a detachment of his braves, with instructions to
bring back the medicine man alive or dead.

The young man, who had been expecting a summons of this kind, did not
display the alarm anticipated. Even when he was told that the old chief
was certainly dying, and that it was impossible to help him in any way,
he maintained his stolid indifference and merely smiled.

He carried with him a primitive vessel, filled with some mysterious
fluid, upon the virtues of which he had implicit reliance. When he
reached the camp in which the sick chief lay, he was summoned
immediately before the ailing autocrat. That individual stated his
symptoms, and then, instead of asking, as we are apt to ask our
physicians, whether there was any medicine available for them, he told
the young medicine man that if no improvement was effected within a few
days there would be a funeral in the village, and there would be one
less medicine man in the vicinity.

This somewhat startling introduction did not disconcert the young man,
who poured out a liberal dose of the fluid he had brought with him, and
made the old chief drink it. During the night he repeated the doses
several times, and on the following day he kept up the treatment. To
every one's astonishment the blood began to flow again in the veins of
the once invincible chief, and those who had been pitying the young
medicine man began to congratulate him on his triumph. When, after a few
days, the improvement became more marked, the young doctor explained to
the chief that the water he had given him had been brought from springs
in the distant mountains, and that if the chief desired to obtain
another lease of life, he must visit those springs and remain there for
some weeks.

With the enthusiasm of renewed vigor, the old man promptly agreed to the
suggestion, and in a few days arrangements were complete for a grand
march over the Rocky Mountains to Manitou. Tradition tells of the
splendor of the march, and of the way in which obstructions and
hindrances were overcome. Finally, the great mountain was seen in the
distance, and a few days later a halt was made at the springs. Here the
old chief was given a regular treatment, and in a few days he was able
to walk as vigorously as ever. Finally, he returned to his tribe, not
only renewed in health, but also renewed in youth. The records of his
race state that his appearance was entirely changed, and that, instead
of looking like an old man, his features were those of a youth in his
twenties. The chief lived many years, and finally died in battle.

The fame of his cure naturally spread abroad with great rapidity. The
old man was so well known that he became a walking testimonial of the
merits of the springs, and expeditions without number were in
consequence made to them. White people, as they came in contact with the
Indians of the Far West, heard of the springs from time to time and of
this wonderful cure. By many the stories were confounded with the
legends concerning the search of Ponce de Leon for the fountain of
perpetual youth. Later, however, more thorough investigation was made,
and for more than a generation the truth, as well as the legends of
Manitou, have been generally known.

As a result, a great watering place has sprung up on the site of what
was once a mysterious resting place of the Indians, and a retreat which
it was dangerous to enter. About 2,000 people live here, and during the
season there are often 3,000 or 4,000 health-seekers in addition. There
is a grand avenue through the village eighty feet wide and well kept.
Instead of being laid out in a mathematically straight line, it follows
the meanderings of the River Fontaine-qui-Bouille. This feature gives it
a novel as well as a delightful appearance. There is also a little park,
which possesses features not to be found in the recreation grounds of
large cities, and there is a foot-path known as Lover's Lane, which is
so romantic in its appearance that it is obviously well known.

The springs of Manitou are naturally the most interesting feature of the
place. The Shoshone Spring, in the center of the village, is, perhaps,
the best known. The Navajo Spring is but a few yards distant, and is
considerably larger. The Manitou Spring itself is on the other side of
the river, and is covered over with a very elegant spring-house. The
Iron Ute Spring is in Engelman's Cañon or glen, and is regarded by many
as the best of all. Caves and cañons innumerable abound in every
direction. The Manitou Grand Cañon is within two miles of the village.
It presents the appearance of a natural mansion, with rooms several
hundred feet long and high. The natural formations of the peculiar rocks
present bewildering combinations of galleries, columns and frescoes.
Here is to be seen the wonderful stalactite organ. This, according to
many, is one of the wonders of the world. It consists of a number of
thin stalactites of varying powers of reverberation, and these play
delightful tunes or at least tones.

One of the great objects of a trip to Manitou is to gain a sight of the
world-renowned, but singularly named, Garden of the Gods. The most
direct road to reach it from the village is by way of Manitou Avenue and
Buena Vista Drive, the latter being a well-traveled road, which enters
the avenue on the left, about a mile from the town, as one advances
towards Colorado City. The entrance to the Garden is past Balanced Rock,
an immense boulder which stands directly to the left of the road, poised
on such a slender base that it suggests an irregular pyramid standing on
its apex. To the right, as one passes this curious formation, is a steep
wall of stratified stone, draped with clinging vines, and overgrown with
evergreens. Pausing a moment on the brow of the elevation which is
reached here, one can look down into the valley below in which the
Garden lies. To the west are the mountains; to the east the plains. The
road which winds through the valley is a pleasant way. One's eyes and
mind are kept busy beholding and recording the interesting views which
here abound.

No one knows why this valley was named "The Garden of the Gods." There
is nothing especially garden-like in its appearance; but, doubtless
through "apt alliteration's artful aid," the name has become greatly
popular, and it would be foolish to quarrel with it, or make any attempt
to change it. There are, however, ample suggestions that Titanic forces
have been at work here, and it requires but little imagination to
ascribe these innumerable quaint sculpturings, these magnificent
architectural rock works, these grand and imposing temples, not made
with hands, to the agencies of the gods. Here are to be found carved in
the stone by those cunning instruments of the hands of Nature--the wind,
the rain, the sunbeam and the frost--curious, often grotesque, figures
irresistibly suggestive of forms of life. Here stands a statue of
Liberty, leaning on her shield, with the conventional Phrygian cap on
her head; there is a gigantic frog carved in sandstone; yonder is a
pilgrim, staff in hand. Groups of figures in curious attitudes are to be
seen on every hand.

Stone figures of the lion, the seal and the elephant are all found;
indeed, a lively imagination is not needed to discover in this Garden of
the Gods an endless variety of imitative forms of human beings, of birds
and beasts and reptiles. These figures possess a curious interest and
attract wondering attention; but the notable and majestic objects here
are the "Great Gateway" and the "Cathedral Spires." Two lofty tables of
carnelian colored sandstone, set directly opposite each other, about
fifty feet apart, and rising to a height of 330 feet, form the portals
of the far-famed Gateway. They rise from perfectly level ground, and
present a strangely impressive spectacle.

The "Cathedral Spires" are of a similar character to the Gateway, but
their crests are sharply splintered into spire-like pinnacles. The forms
assumed by the rocks here are remarkable indeed, but their color is
still more remarkable. No sandstones of the East glow with such a
splendor of carnelian hue. The striking contrast formed by these crimson
crags outlined against he deep blue sky, and gilded by the high, white
light of the unclouded sun of Colorado, cannot be described.

One of the most visited prairie-dog towns is close to the Garden of the
Gods. It is interesting to the tourist, and is generally visited on the
return from the Garden to Manitou. The town is situated on the road
which passes through the great Gateway to Colorado City, and may be seen
on a little plateau to the left. There are a great number of little
hills of sand and gravel thrown up by the dogs around their burrows.
Every fine day they can be seen at work around their dwellings, or
sitting on their haunches sunning themselves, and chattering gaily with
some neighbor. The burrow has an easy incline for about two feet, then
descends perpendicularly for five or six, and after that branches off
obliquely; it is often as large as a foot in diameter. It has been
claimed that the prairie-dog, the owl and the rattlesnake live
harmoniously together.

Concerning this, Mr. William G. Smith, the well-known naturalist, says:
"Impossible. The burrowing owl will generally be seen where dogs
congregate, and wherever the ground is undermined his snakeship is apt
to be found; but rest assured there is some lively 'scattering' to get
out of his way if he draws his slimy carcass into their burrows. The
dogs have no desire to contest his right to it, and give him all the
room he wants." The dogs at home are neat little fellows, and allow no
litter to accumulate around their doors. They go to bed early, and never
go around disturbing their neighbors before daylight.

Adjoining the Garden is a region of ridges. One ridge leads up to
another, and that to a third, and so on. This broken country, covered
with pine and cedar, and clothed with bunch grass and grama, makes a
capital tramping-ground, especially in winter, when rabbits, mountain
grouse and sage-hens are numerous enough to make it worth while to
shoulder a gun.

The way to reach the ridges is to take the road to the Garden of the
Gods, and follow it till the Quarry Road is reached. Pursuing the latter
up a gorge, and then turning to the left on a branch road, which zigzags
up the sides of the gorge, one soon finds oneself on the top of a ridge.
The rule in ridge-climbing is never to cross a gully, but always to keep
on top. All the ridges in this vicinity converge to the main ridge,
which overlooks Queen's Cañon. This ridge bends to the northwest, and in
two or three miles joins a still higher one, which, strange to say, will
be found to overlook the Ute Pass, a thousand feet above the Fontaine
qui-Bouille, which flows in the bottom of the cañon below--Eyrie, the
site of a private residence--a most interesting glen, but not open to
the public. The character of the monoliths in this cañon is more
remarkable even than those of the Garden of the Gods.

The Major Domo is a column of red sandstone, rising to a height of 300
feet, with a curious swell near the summit, which far exceeds in
diameter the base of the shaft. It looks as though it might fall at any
moment in obedience to the laws of gravity, and it is not exceeded in
this regard by the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There is another glen of a
similar character, about two miles to the northwest, which is known as
Blair Athol. It is a beautiful spot, but, lacking water, has never been
used as a dwelling place. It abounds in wildly picturesque scenery, and
possesses rock formations of strange shapes and brilliant colors. There
are groves of magnificent pines; and the view of the distant plains
stretching to the eastern horizon is unobstructed, and of great
interest.

We have already spoken of the discovery of Pike's Peak. At the summit of
this mountain, 14,147 feet above the sea level, there is a little signal
service station, which can be reached by railway. When the mountain was
first discovered several efforts were made to reach the summit, but
without success. Major Pike himself recorded his opinion that it would
be impossible for any human being to ascend to the summit. In these days
of engineering progress there is, however, no such word as "impossible."
Several enthusiasts talked as far back as twenty years ago of the
possibility of a railroad to the very summit of the once inaccessible
peak, and fifteen years ago a survey was made, with a view to building a
railroad up the mountain, by a series of curves and nooks.

It was believed possible by the engineers that a railroad of standard
gauge and equipment could be operated without special appliances, and so
strongly was this view held that work was commenced on the project.
Eight miles of grading was completed, but the project was then abandoned
in consequence of adverse reports received from experts, sent out for
the purpose. Their statement was that no grade would be able to stand
the force of the washouts, though, strange to say, all the grading that
was accomplished stands to-day, as firm as ever. Three or four years
later another project, destined to be more successful, came into
existence. In 1889, grading commenced, and finally the work was
completed, and the summit of Pike's Peak can now be reached by railroad.

The road itself is one of the most remarkable ones in the United States,
and, indeed, in the world. The road-bed is fifteen feet wide, and there
is not a single foot of trestle work in the entire construction. There
are three short bridges of iron, and the precautions in the way of cross
sections of masonry are very elaborate. The average ascent per mile is
1,320 feet, and the total ascent is nearly 8,000 feet. In the center of
the track, between the heavy steel rails, are two cog rails, of great
strength. These are provided to insure absolute safety for travelers,
one being for general use and the other as a kind of reserve.

Special locomotives are used on the line. These were constructed by the
Baldwin Company, of Philadelphia, and include the latest patents in
engine building. When standing on a level track they appear to be at a
slant of about 8 per cent. When on a mountain road, like that of Pike's
Peak, they are approximately level. There are three wheels on each side
of the engine, but these are not driving wheels, being merely used to
help sustain the weight. The driving wheels operate on the cog rails in
the center of the track. The cars also slope, or slant, like the engine.
No couplings are used, so that one great element of danger, is avoided.
The engine and the cars have each independent cog brakes of almost
unlimited power. When traveling three or four miles an hour, the little
train, with the locomotive pushing instead of pulling it, can be stopped
instantly. When the speed reaches eight or nine miles an hour, stoppage
can be effected in less than one revolution of a wheel.

Not only is the ride up Pike's Peak a wonderful sensation and a constant
reminder of the triumphs of engineering, but it is also a source of
continual delight to the lover of the beautiful and awful in nature.
About half way up the mountain is a most delightful little hillside
retreat, aptly named "The Half-Way House." It is a very comfortable
establishment within rustic walls. The pines and firs which surround it
add a great charm to the outlook, and the cool mountain breeze is
charged with very pleasing odors. Tourists frequently spend a night here
and consider the sensation one of the most unique of a long trip.

A tourist describing a ride up Pike's Peak by this singular railroad,
says:

"We are now far above timber line. On all sides can be seen strange
flowers, of lovely forms and varied hues. Plants which attain
considerable proportions on the plains are here reduced to their lowest
forms. It is not an unusual thing to find a sunflower stalk in the
prairies rising from a height of eight to ten feet; here they grow like
dandelions in the grass, yet retaining all their characteristics of form
and color. Beyond this mountain meadow are great fields of disintegrated
granite, broken cubes of pink rock, so vast in extent that they might
well be the ruins of all the ancient cities in the world. Far below
flash the waters of Lake Morain, and beyond, to the southward, lie the
Seven Lakes. Another turn of the track to the northward, and the shining
rails stretch almost straight up what appears to be an inaccessible wall
of almost peerless granite. But no physical obstruction is formidable
enough to stop the progress of this marvelous railway; and passing the
yawning abyss of the 'Crater,' the line proceeds direct to the summit.
The grade here is one of 25 per cent., and timid passengers will not
escape a thrill of fear as they gaze over the brink of this precipice,
although the danger is absolutely nothing. At last the summit is
reached, and, disembarking, the tourists can seek refreshments in the
hotel, which will cater to their wants, and then spend the time before
the train returns in enjoying the view, and in rambling over the seventy
acres of broken granite which form the summit.

"The view from the Peak, once beheld, can never be forgotten. The first
sensation is that of complete isolation. The silence is profound. The
clouds are below us, and noiselessly break in foaming billows against
the faces of the beetling cliffs. Occasionally the silence is broken by
the deep roll of thunder from the depths beneath, as though the voice of
the Creator were uttering a stern edict of destruction. The storm rises,
the mists envelop us, there is a rush of wind, a rattle of hail, and we
seek refuge in the hotel.

"Pause a moment before entering, and hold up your hands. You can feel
the sharp tingle of the electric current as it escapes from your
finger-tips. The storm is soon over, and you can see the sunbeams
gilding the upper surfaces of the white clouds that sway and swing below
you half way down the mountain sides, and completely hide from view the
world beneath. The scenery shifts, like a drawn curtain the clouds part;
and as from the heights of another sphere we look forth upon the majesty
of the mountains and the plains, an ocean of inextricably entangled
peaks sweeps into view. Forests dark and vast seem like vague shadows on
distant mountain sides. A city is dwarfed into the compass of a single
block; water courses are mere threads of silver, laid in graceful curves
upon the green velvet mantle of the endless plains. The red granite
rocks beneath our feet are starred with tiny flowers, so minute that
they are almost microscopic, yet tinted with the most delicate and
tender colors.

"The majesty of greatness and the mystery of minuteness are here brought
face to face. What wonders of creation exist between these two extremes!
The thoughtful mind is awed by the contemplation of this scene, and when
the reflection comes that these vast spaces are but grains of sand upon
an infinite shore of creation, and that there are worlds of beauty as
far and varied between the tiny flowers and the ultimate researches of
the microscope as those which exist, on an ascending scale, between the
flowers and the great globe itself, the mind is overwhelmed with wonder
and admiration. It is in vain that one strives to describe the scene.
Only those who have beheld it can realize its grandeur and
magnificence."

Lovers of horseback riding regard the vicinity of Pike's Peak and
Manitou almost in the light of a paradise. A ride of a few miles in any
direction leads to some specially attractive or historic spot. Crystal
Park is one of the popular resorts of this kind. It is enclosed by high
mountains on all sides, with an entrance which partakes of the nature of
a natural gateway. In summer time this park is a profusion of bloom,
with wild flowers and vines seldom seen in any other part of the world
in such splendor. There are several elevated spots from which the
surrounding country can be seen for miles. Above the park is Cameron's
Cone. This is a mountain of much interest, although it can only be
reached and climbed by hardy, athletic individuals. All around there are
a profusion of cañons. The Red Rock Cañon was at one time a popular
resort. It took its name from the profusion of red sandstone on all
sides. This natural wealth finally destroyed the beauty of the cañon,
which is now a mass of stone quarries. Bear Creek Cañon has less of the
practical and more of the picturesque about it. A very charming brook
runs down the center, and there are two or three small but very
delightful falls.

The Ridge Road is a species of boulevard recently constructed for the
use of visitors to Manitou. At places the grade is so abrupt that timid
ladies do not care to drive down it. Otherwise it is a very pleasing
thoroughfare, with fresh surprises and delights awaiting the tourist
every time he passes along it. The view in every direction is most
charming and extensive. Pike's Peak can be seen to great advantage, and
in the forty miles of the road many different features of this mountain
can be observed. The road also leads to William's Cañon.

Cheyenne Mountain, although dwarfed somewhat by Pike's Peak, is
deserving of notice. It is very massive in its form, and its sides are
almost covered by cañons, brooklets and waterfalls. Two vast gorges,
know as the North and South Cañons, are especially asked for by
visitors. The walls of these gorges are of rich granite, and stand
perpendicular on each side a thousand feet high. The effect is very
wonderful in a variety of ways. In the South Cañon are the celebrated
Seven Falls, which were immortalized by Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson, the
well-known poetess, whose remains were interred on Cheyenne Mountain by
her own request. The Seven Lakes must also be seen by all visitors to
the Manitou region, and there are so many more special features to be
examined and treasures to be discovered that, no matter how long one
stays in the neighborhood, a pang of regret is felt when the visit is
brought to a termination.

There are other spots in America where more awful scenes can be
encountered. There are few, however where the combinations are so
delightful or the general views so attractive and varying.



CHAPTER XVIII


INTO THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH.

The Grand Cañon of the Colorado--Niagara Outdone--The Course of the
Colorado River--A Survey Party Through the Cañon--Experiences of a
Terrible Night--Wonderful Contrasts of Color in the Massive Rocks--A
Natural Wall a Thousand Feet High--Hieroglyphics which have Never been
Deciphered--Relics of a Superior Race--Conjecture as to the Origin of
the Ancient Bearded White Men.


We have already spoken of Niagara as one of the wonders of the world,
and one of the most sought-after beauty spots of America. We will now
devote a few pages to a description of a far more remarkable natural
wonder and to a phenomenon which, were it situated nearer the center of
population, would have long since outclassed even Niagara as a tourist's
Mecca.

Reference is made to the Grand Cañon of the Colorado.

Few people have the slightest conception of the magnitude or awfulness
of this cañon. It is clearly one of the wonders of the world, and its
vastness is such that to explore it from end to end is a work of the
greatest possible difficulty.

Even in area, the cañon is extraordinary. It is large enough to contain
more than one Old World country. It is long enough to stretch across
some of the largest States in the Union. Some of the smaller New England
States would be absolutely swallowed up in the yawning abyss could they,
by any means, be removed to it bodily. An express train running at a
high rate of speed, without a single stop and on a first-class road-bed,
could hardly get from one end of the cañon to the other in less than
five hours, and an ordinary train with the usual percentage of stoppage
would about make the distance between morning and evening.

Reduced to the record of cold figures, the Grand Cañon is made up of a
series of chasms measuring about 220 miles in length, as much as 12
miles in width, and frequently as much as 7,000 feet in depth.

This marvelous feature of American scenery is very fully described in
"Our Own Country," published by the National Publishing Company. In
describing the cañon, that profusely illustrated work says that the
figures quoted "do not readily strike a responsive chord in the human
mind, for the simple reason that they involve something utterly
different from anything that more than 99 per cent. of the inhabitants
of the world have ever seen. The man who gazes upon Niagara for the
first time, is astounded at the depth of the gorge as well as at the
force of the water; and he who has seen Niagara can appreciate somewhat
the marvels of the Grand Cañon, when he bears in mind that the great
wonder of the Western World is for miles at a stretch more than fifty
times as deep as the falls and the gorge, generally admitted to be the
most awful scenic grandeur within reach of the ordinary traveler. Nor is
this all. Visitors to Paris who have enjoyed a bird's-eye view of the
gay city from the summit of Eifel Tower, have felt terribly impressed
with its immense altitude, and have been astounded at the effect on the
appearance of living and inanimate objects so far below them. How many
of the Americans who have been thus impressed by French enterprise, have
realized that in their own country there is a natural gorge, at points
of which the distance between the summit and the base is more than five
times as great as the height of the Eifel Tower?"

The Colorado River rises in the Rocky Mountains, crosses the Territories
of Utah and Arizona, and then running between the last named and the
State of California, finally empties its waters into the gulf bearing
the name of the Golden State. For more than two hundred miles of its
course it runs through the gorge known as the Grand Cañon, and hence it
has been a very difficult river to explore. During the Sixteenth
Century, some of the Spanish explorers, to whom this country is indebted
so much for early records and descriptions, crossed the then undeveloped
deserts of the Southwest and discovered the Grand Cañon. Many of the
reports they made of the wonders of the New World read so much like
fairy tales, and seemed so obviously exaggerated, that little credence
was given to them. Hence it was that their estimates concerning the
gorge through which the Rio Colorado Grande flows were treated as
fables, and laughed at rather than believed.

Major Powell, than whom few men have done more to enlighten the world
concerning the wonders of the Far West, describes the cañon very aptly,
and speaks in a most attractive manner of the countless cañons and
caverns, whirlpools and eddies, brooklets and rivers, fords and
waterfalls, that abound on every side. In his first extended description
of the cañon, he stated that "every river entering it has cut another
cañon; every lateral creek has also cut another cañon; every brook runs
in a cañon; every rill born of a shower and living only in the showers,
has cut for itself a cañon; so that the whole upper portion of the basin
of the Colorado is traversed by a labyrinth of these deep gorges. About
the basin are mountains; within the basin are cañon gorges; the
stretches of land from brink to brink are of naked rock or of drifting
sands, with here and there lines of volcanic cones, and of black scoria
and ashes scattered about."

Of late years thousands of people have been attracted to this great
cañon, although but very few have succeeded in exploring its entire
length. Few, indeed, have been able to pass along the balcony of the
cañon, and to gaze up at the countless wonders of nature, piled one
above the other, apparently up to the very region of the clouds. The
common notion of a cañon, as Captain C. E. Dutton tells us, is that of a
deep, narrow gash in the earth, with nearly vertical walls, like a great
and neatly cut trench. There are hundreds of chasms in the plateau
country which answer very well to this notion. It is, however,
unfortunate that the stupendous passway for the Colorado River through
the Kaibabs was ever called a cañon, for the name identified it with the
baser conception. At places the distance across the chasm to the nearest
point on the summit of the opposite wall is about seven miles. A more
correct statement of the general width would be from eleven to twelve
miles. It is hence somewhat unfortunate that there is a prevalent idea,
in some way, that an essential part of the grandeur of the Grand Cañon
is the narrowness of its defile.

As Major Powell expresses it, there are rather a series of cañons, than
one huge one. Wherever the river has cut its way through the sandstones,
marbles and granites of the Kaibab Mountains, beautiful and
awe-inspiring pictures are seen, while above there are domes and peaks,
some of red sandstone and some of snowy whiteness. Cataract Cañon alone
is forty-one miles long, and has seventy-five cataracts and rapids, of
which fifty-seven are within a space of nineteen miles. A journey along
the bank of a river with a waterfall every twenty feet, on the average,
is no joke, and only the hardiest men have been able to accomplish it.
In the spring of 1889, the survey party of a projected railroad from
Grand Junction to the Gulf of California, made this journey, and from
its published description more actual information can be gleaned
concerning the cañon itself than almost any mere verbal description.

The surveyors had to carry with them, on their backs, for a great
portion of the way, the limited supplies of food they took with them,
because it was frequently impossible to get the boats along at all. When
the boats were used, several were upset, and everything was uncertainty
as to the bill of fare that would be presented at the next meal, even if
there was to be a meal at all. Mr. Frank M. Brown, president of the
railroad company, lost his life in one of the whirlpools. He was in a
boat, a little ahead of the others, and seemed to be cheerful and
hopeful. He shouted to his comrades in the rear to come on with their
boats, and that he was all right. A moment later, his friends were
astonished to see the boat gone, and their leader swimming around and
around in a whirlpool, trying hard to reach smooth water.

He was a good swimmer, and a brave man, but his efforts were futile, and
finally he sank. The party waited and watched for hours, but were
finally compelled to recognize the fact that their friend and leader was
gone forever.

It was determined almost immediately to beat a retreat. While the party
was hunting for a side cañon leading northward through which they could
make their exit, it became evident that a storm was brewing. Rain
commenced to fall in a steady shower, and to increase in quantity. The
surveyors had no dry clothing beyond what they stood up in, and there
was no shelter of any kind at hand. They were near Vassey's Paradise, in
the deepest part of the cañon they had yet reached. A storm in such a
location had its awfulness intensified beyond measure, and the
frightened men looked in every direction for shelter. Finally, about
forty feet up the side of the marble cliff, the opening to a small
cavern was seen. Into this Mr. R. B. Stanton, one of the party, climbed.
There was not room enough for his body at full length, but he crawled in
as best he could, curled himself up, and tried to sleep.

A terrible night followed. At about midnight he was awakened by a
terrific peal of thunder, which re-echoed and reverberated through the
cañon in a most magnificently awful manner. He had been caught in storms
in mountain regions and deep valleys before, but he had never felt so
terribly alone or so superstitiously alarmed as on this occasion. Every
now and then a vivid flash of lightning would light up the dark recesses
of the gorge, casting ghastly shadows upon the cliffs, hill sides,
ravines and river. Then again there would be the darkness which, as
Milton puts it, could be felt, and the feeling of solitude was almost
intolerable.

The river in the meantime had swollen into a torrent, by the drenching
rain, which had converted every creek into a river, and every feeder of
the Colorado into a magnificent, if raging, river itself. The noise
caused by the excited river, as it leaped over the massive rocks along
its bed, vied with the thunder, and the echoes seemed to extend hundreds
of miles in every direction. What affected the stranded traveler the
most was the noise overhead, the reverberation inducing a feeling of
alarm that huge masses of rock were being displaced from their lofty
eminence thousands of feet above his head, and were rushing down upon
him.

The night was passed, finally, and when the storm had spent itself, the
survivors of the party succeeded in getting out of the cañon and
reaching a plateau, 2,500 feet above. They then took a brief rest, but
with that disregard for danger which is characteristic of the true
American, they at once organized another expedition, and a few months
later resumed the task so tragically interrupted and marred with such a
sad fatality.

The trip through Glen Cañon was like a pleasure trip on a smooth river
in autumn, with beautiful wild flowers and ferns at every camp. At Lee's
Ferry they ate their Christmas dinner, with the table decorated with
wild flowers, picked that day.

On December 28th they started to traverse, once more, that portion of
Marble Cañon made tragic by the fatality of the summer before. "On the
next Tuesday," writes Mr. Stanton, "we reached the spot where President
Brown lost his life. What a change in the waters! What was then a
roaring torrent, now, with the water some nine feet lower, seemed from
the shore like the gentle ripple upon the quiet lake. We found, however,
in going through it with our boats, there was the same swift current,
the same huge eddy, and between them the same whirlpool, with its
ever-changing circles. Marble Cañon seemed destined to give us trouble.
On January 1st, our photographer, Mr. Nims, fell from a bench of the
cliff, some twenty-two feet, on to the sand beach below, receiving a
severe jar, and breaking one of his legs just above the ankle. Having
plenty of bandages and medicine, we made Nims as comfortable as possible
till the next day, when we loaded one of the boats to make him a level
bed, and constructing a stretcher of two oars and a piece of canvas, put
him on board and floated down river a couple of miles--running two small
rapids--to a side cañon, which led out to the Lee's Ferry road."

The next day, after discovering a way out of the deep ravine, one of the
party tramped thirty-five miles back to Lee's Ferry, where a wagon was
obtained for the injured surveyor. Eight of the strongest men of the
party then undertook the task of carrying the injured man a distance of
four miles, and up a hill 1,700 feet high. It is indicative of the
extraordinary formation of the Grand Cañon that the last half mile was
an angle of 45 degrees, up a loose rock slide. The stretcher had to be
attached to ropes and gently lifted over perpendicular cliffs, from ten
to twenty feet high. The dangerous and tedious journey was at last
accomplished, and the trip continued.

Finally the unexplored portion of the cañon was reached. For thirty
miles down Marble Cañon, to the Little Colorado River, the most
beautiful scenery was encountered. At Point Retreat, the solid marble
walls stand perpendicularly 300 feet high from the river edge. Behind
these walls the sandstone lies in benches, and slopes to an aggregate
height of 2,500 feet. Above the narrow ravine of marble, the color is
mostly rich gray, although the presence of minerals has in places
imparted so many tints that quite a rainbow appearance is presented.
Caves and caverns relieve the monotony of the solid walls. Here and
there a most delightful grotto is seen, while the action of the water
rushing down the cliff sides has left little natural bridges in many
places. Countless fountains of pure, sparkling water adorn the smooth
rocks, and here and there are little oases of ferns and flowers, which
seem strangely out of place so far down into the very bowels of the
earth.

Below Point Hausbrough, named in honor of Peter M. Hausbrough, who was
drowned during the first exploring trip, the cañon widens rapidly. The
marble benches are replaced by strata of limestone and between the river
and the rocks green fields and groves of trees become common. The view
from the river, looking across this verdure, with sandstone rocks for
the immediate background, and snow-capped mountains in the distance, is
extraordinary in its magnificence and combinations. Between the grand
junction of the Little Colorado with the main cañon and the Granite
Gorge, there is about eight hundred miles of a very different section.
Evidences of volcanic action abound. Rocks and boulders seem to have
been blown out of position and mixed up all in a heap. The rocks are
largely charged with mineral, and, as a result, almost every known color
is represented, in the most remarkable purity. The river runs through a
wide valley, with the top walls several miles apart.

The Granite Gorge itself is entirely different. Here the great walls of
granite start from the water's edge. The first few feet are usually
vertical. Then, for a thousand feet or more, the rise is at an angle of
about 45 degrees, while occasionally masses of rock stand out
prominently and overhang the river. Above the granite comes a mass of
dark colored sandstone, with a vertical front. In many places it is
perfectly black, the color being intensified by the brightness of the
red below. If an artist were to paint a cliff deep red, with a jet black
border along the top, Old World critics would be apt to declare him
insane. Yet this is really the coloring of this section of the most
wonderful cañon in the entire world.

Although the cañon at this point varies in width at the top from six to
twelve miles, the river really runs through a narrow gorge, and partakes
very much of the nature of a long rapid or cataract. For ten miles the
fall averages twenty-one feet per mile, sufficient to make the current
very dangerous even at low water, and something terrible after heavy
rains or much snow melting. In one place the fall is eighty feet in
about five hundred yards, and here, of course, navigation is practically
out of the question. The explorers, to whom we have referred, were
compelled to proceed with great deliberation at this point. Occasionally
they ran the rapids, but very often they were compelled to lower their
boats by means of lines, and even to lift them over exceptionally
dangerous rocks.

At the worst point of all, one of the boats, while being lowered by
lines, was struck by an eddy and run tightly in between two rocks. It
became necessary for men to go into the water to liberate the boat. With
lines tied securely to their bodies, some of the boldest of the
explorers ventured into the water and tried to loosen the boat, or at
least to secure the invaluable provisions and blankets on board. It was
January, and the water was so intensely cold that no man could endure it
more than a few minutes at a time, so that the process was a long and
tedious one. Finally the boat was got out, but it took five days to
repair it, and even then it was a very poor means of navigation. A few
days later, a still more powerful and dangerous rapid was encountered.
Some idea of the force of the water can be gleaned from the precautions
that were necessary. A line 250 feet long was strung out ahead, and the
boat was swung into the stream. It went through apparently the most
dangerous places without much difficulty. The line was loosened slowly
and the boat held under control, but when it reached the main eddy it
began to get contrary, and finally swung round, and seemed to have
struck a back current. Several hours' work got the boat to shore, but
the next one was dashed into a thousand pieces while crossing over some
of the sharp-pointed rocks.

The forty miles of the Granite Gorge are replete with wonders. The
strangely misnamed section, the Bright Angel Creek, is absolutely dark,
even at midday. It has been described as a sentinel of the great cañon,
and few people have dared attempt to pass through it. Farther down, the
granite walls become less steep, and black granite relieves the monotony
of color. Here and there, at side cañons and sudden bends, the vast rear
view of the gorge, with its sandstone cliffs, is brought into view.
These are benched back several miles from the river, with huge mountains
here and there intervening. Above the dark sandstone there are flattened
slopes of yellow, brown, red, green and white rock, rich in mineral.
Through these the force of water for ages has cut narrow, trench-like
waterfalls, most remarkable in appearance and attractive in their
variety of coloring.

It is difficult to imagine an upright wall a thousand feet high with red
the predominating color, and with brighter hues near the summit. Benches
of marble, with tufts of glass and bush, appear here and there, while
occasionally there is a little tract of faultless green. Above all this,
there is something like two thousand feet of a lighter colored
sandstone. This is beautified by spiral turrets and domes, and wherever
the slope is gradual enough, pine and cedar trees abound in large
numbers. Behind all this there is the background of snow on the summit
of the mountains, and when an unexpected view can be obtained from the
river below, there is so great a profusion of coloring that the eye
rebels, and a feeling not unlike headache is produced.

Further wonders are revealed every few thousand feet. At the mouth of
the next creek the coloring is different. The strata dips visibly, and
the marble, which has hitherto been exposed to view, is now beneath the
surface. The sandstone forms the river boundary, and rises at a sharp
angle from the water's edge. The river itself is narrow in consequence,
but the great valley is even wider at the top. The walls vary in height
from 2,000 to 8,000 feet, and in rainy seasons the water rushes down the
side in great profusion. Thousands of little rivulets join the main
stream, and add greatly to the volume of water. Sometimes the river will
rise four or five feet in a single night, upsetting all calculation, and
making navigation risky in the extreme. When, by chance, the sun is able
to penetrate into the depths of this cañon, the kaleidoscopic effects
are exquisite, and cause the most indifferent to pause and wonder.

The discovery of an extinct volcano explains a great deal of the wonders
of the great cañon. The volcano is examined by thousands of tourists,
this being one of the spots to reach which scientists are willing to
incur countless hardships and risks. No one can tell when the volcano
was active, but from the nature of the crater it is perfectly clear that
at one time it belched forth volumes of lava, which had a marked effect
on the formation of the rock and the lay of the land of the surrounding
country. Past the volcano, for many miles, the bright colors already
referred to are supplanted by more sombre hues. Occasionally there is a
little scarlet, and, as a rule, the sandstone is covered with the
mysterious substance brought out of the bowels of the earth by the now
silent, but once magnificently awful, mountains.

The exploring party to which we have referred, went through 600 miles of
cañons, and found that no two miles were really alike. Finally, after
three months of hardship, they emerged into an open country, and became
almost frantic with joy. Never did country seem so beautiful, or verdure
so attractive, and the panorama of beauty which was presented to their
view caused them to shout with delight, and to offer up cries of
thankfulness for their ultimate deliverance from a series of hardships
and dangers which at one time seemed almost insurmountable.

The region also abounds with archaeological curiosities and remarkable
hieroglyphics. Many of these are found in close proximity to the Grand
Cañon of the Colorado, and on the cliffs in which the far-famed cliff
dwellers of old took up their abode. Hieroglyphics, marked upon rocks or
other lasting substances, have been used by nearly all ancient races to
perpetuate the history of certain events among them. Especially true is
this of the ancient people who lived in Arizona. The remarkable picture
rocks and boulders, with strange symbols upon them, left by the
prehistoric races of Arizona, have been the cause of much discussion
among those who have seen them, as to who these ancient hieroglyphic
makers were. These rock records may be divided into three different
kinds, which it is thought were made by two different races. The first,
or very ancient race, left records on rocks, in some instances of
symbols only, and in other instances of pictures and symbols combined.
The later race, which came after the first race had vanished, made only
crude representations of animals, birds or reptiles, not using symbols
or combinations of lines.

The age of the most ancient pictographs and hieroglyphics can only be
conjectured, but all give certain indications that they are many
centuries old, and the difference between the work of the ancient and
the later race leads the observer to believe that the older
hieroglyphics were made by a people far superior to those who came after
them, and who left no record in symbols, as we have said, with the
exception of crude representations of animals and reptiles.

In many instances it is quite evident that the same rock or cliff has
been used by the two different races to put their markings upon, the
later, or inferior, race often making their pictographs over or across
the hieroglyphic writings of the first race. Of the superiority of the
first people who left their writings on the rocks and boulders found in
the ancient mounds, ruins and graves, there can be no doubt, for their
writings show order and a well defined design in symbols, which were
evidently intended to convey their history to others; and it is quite
probable that those who made the great mounds, houses and canals were
the authors of these writings. It may be truthfully asserted that the
cliff dwellers of the rock houses in the deep cañons of the mountains
were of the same race as the mound builders of the valleys, for exactly
the same class of hieroglyphics found on boulders from the ancient ruins
of the valleys, are found on the rocks near the houses of the cliff
dwellers.

If this superior race were so distinctive from all other ancient races
of Arizona--in their work being so far advanced as to solve what would
be called, even at the present day, difficult engineering problems; to
dig great canals many miles in length, the remains of which can be seen
at the present time, and to bring them to such perfection for irrigating
purposes; to build such great houses and to live in cities--may it not
have been, as many who have studied this subject now contend, that this
superior race were white people instead of a copper colored race, as has
generally been supposed?

The hieroglyphics of the more ancient race are often found on sheltered
rocks on the slopes of the mountains leading up from the valleys.
Generally protected from the elements by overhanging cliffs, the dry
climate has kept the writings from wearing away, and being in most
instances picked into rocks which have a black, glistening surface, but
of a lighter color underneath, the contrast is very noticeable, and when
in prominent places these hieroglyphics can be seen several hundred feet
away.

As no metal tools have ever been found in the mounds, ruins or cliff
dwellings, the hieroglyphics were probably picked into the rock with a
sharp-pointed stone much harder than the rock upon which the work was
done. It is a singular fact that, although iron, copper, gold and silver
abound in the mountains in Arizona, no tools, utensils or ornaments of
these metals are found in the mounds or ruins. Yet furnace-like
structures of ancient origin have been found, which appear to have been
used for reducing ores, and in and around which can be found great
quantities of an unknown kind of slag.

In many instances the hieroglyphic boulders have been found in great
heaps, of several hundred in number, as if many different persons had
contributed a piece of this strange writing to the collection. These
etched boulders have been found buried in the ground with ollas
containing the charred bones of human beings, and could the writings on
the boulders be deciphered, we would undoubtedly learn of the virtues of
the prehistoric deceased, just as we do of a person who dies in the
present day, when we read the epitaph on a tombstone of the one who is
buried beneath.

In opening some of the mounds, the investigator finds they are made of
the fallen walls of great adobe buildings, and as he digs deeper he
finds rooms of various dimensions, and which, in many instances, have
cemented walls and floors. In one instance there were found the
impressions of a baby's feet and hands, made, presumably, as the child
had crawled over the newly laid soft cement. In another mound the
cemented walls of a room were found covered with hieroglyphics and rude
drawings, which were thought to represent stellar constellations.

To a certain extent, some of the pictured rocks tell us of part of the
daily life of this ancient race, for in a number of instances the
pictures picked into the rocks, although rudely formed, are
self-explanatory, and the ancient artist tells plainly by his work what
is meant. On the edge of a little valley in the Superstition Mountains,
there was found a great rock on which had been etched many small
animals, apparently representing sheep, and at one side was the figure
of a man, as if watching them. It may be the ancient herder himself,
sitting in the shadow of the great rock, while his sheep were grazing in
the valley below, has passed away the time in making this rock picture.
The hardy wild sheep still found in the mountains of Arizona may be the
remnants of great bands formerly domesticated by these people.

The skeleton of the prehistoric man dug from beneath the stalagmites in
the cave of Mentone, France, and which set all the scientific men of the
world talking and thinking, gives proof of no greater age than many of
the skeletons, relics or bones of some of these ancient mound and canal
builders.

An incident illustrating the great antiquity of prehistoric man in
Arizona, is the following: In digging a well on the desert north of
Phoenix, at the depth of 115 feet from the surface a stone mortar, such
as the ancients used, was found standing upright, and in it was found a
stone pestle, showing the mortar had not been carried there by any
underground current of water, and that it had not been disturbed from
the position in which its ancient owner had left it with the pestle in
it. There is only one way to account for this mortar and pestle. They
had originally been left on what was at that time the surface of the
ground, and the slow wash from the mountains had gradually, during
unknown ages, raised the surface for miles on every side to the extent
of 115 feet.

The question is often asked, Will this hieroglyphic writing ever be
deciphered? The authors of the most ancient hieroglyphic writings or
markings seem to have had well-defined forms or marks, which were in
common use for this class of writing. Is it not most reasonable that a
race so far advanced in other ways would have perfected a method of
transmitting by marks of some kind their records to those who might come
after them? Again, where so much system is shown in the use of symbols,
it may be presumed that the same mark, wherever used in the same
position, carries with it a fixed meaning, alike at all times. Having
such a settled system of marks, there must be a key to the thoughts
concealed in writing, and quite likely the key for deciphering these
hieroglyphics will sometime be found on one of the yet undiscovered
hieroglyphic rocks in the high mountains or in the mounds not yet
examined. On the other hand, there can be no key to the inferior class
of pictographs made by the people who came after the mound, canal and
city builders had disappeared, for the crudely marked forms of reptiles,
animals or similar things had a meaning, if any, varying with each
individual maker.

Who were these people who formed a great nation here in the obscurity of
the remote past? Were they the ancient Phoenicians, who were not only a
maritime but a colonizing nation, and who, in their well-manned ships,
might have found their way to the southern coast of America ages since,
and from thence journeyed north? Or were they some of the followers of
Votan or Zamna, who had wandered north and founded a colony of the
Aztecs? Whoever these people were, and whichever way they came from, the
evidences of the great works they left behind them give ample proof that
they were superior and different from other races around them, and these
particular people may have been the "bearded white men," whom the
Indians had traditions of when Coronado's followers first came through
the Gila and Salt River valleys in 1526.



CHAPTER XIX.


OUR GREAT WATERWAYS

Importance of Rivers to Commerce a Generation Ago--The Ideal River
Man--The Great Mississippi River and Its Importance to Our Native
Land--The Treacherous Missouri--A First Mate Who Found a Cook's Disguise
Very Convenient--How a Second Mate Got Over the Inconvenience of
Temporary Financial Embarrassment.


During the last quarter of the century in which we write the figures "1"
and "8" in every date line, the steam railroad has, to a very large
extent, put out of joint the nose of the steamboat, just as, at the
present time, we are threatened with so complete a revolution in travel
and motive power as to warrant a prediction that, long before another
quarter of a century has passed, electricity will take the place of
steam almost entirely. But even if this is so, old acquaintance should
not be forgot, and every citizen of the United States should feel that
the prosperity of the country is due, in very large measure, to the
country's magnificent waterways, and to the enterprise of the men who
equipped river fleets and operated them, with varying degrees of profit.

The true river man is not so conspicuous as he was in the days when St.
Louis, Cincinnati, Memphis and other important railroad centers of
to-day were exclusively river towns. The river man was a king in those
days. The captain walked the streets with as much dignity as he walked
his own deck, and he was pointed to by landsmen as a person of dignity
and repute. The mate was a great man in the estimation of all who knew
him, and of a good many who did not know him. Ruling his crew with a rod
of iron, and accustomed to be obeyed with considerable and commendable
promptness, he adopted a tone of voice in general conversation
considerably louder than the average, and every one acquired a habit of
making way for him.

The levee in a river town, before the railroads came snorting and
puffing across country and interfering with the monopoly so long enjoyed
by the steamboat, was a scene of continuous turmoil and activity.
Sometimes, now, one sees on a levee a great deal of hurrying and noise.
But the busiest scenes of to-day sink into insignificance compared with
those which are rapidly becoming little more than an indistinct memory.
The immense cargoes of freight of every description would be ranged
along the river front, and little flags could be seen in every
direction.

These flags were not, perhaps, exactly evidence of the activity of the
schoolmaster, or of the prevalence of superior education. They were,
rather, reminders of the fact that a great majority of the rank and file
of river workers could read little, and write less. To tell a colored
roustabout twenty or thirty years ago to fetch a certain cargo, labeled
with the name of a particular boat or consignee, would have been to draw
from the individual addressed a genuine old-time plantation grin, with
some caustic observation about lack of school facilities in the days
when the roustabout ought to have been studying the "three Rs," but was
not. It was, however, comparatively easy to locate a cargo by means of a
flag, and identification seldom failed, as the flags could be varied in
color, shape and size, so as to provide distinction as well as
difference.

Those who remember the busy levee scene, with the flag adornment
referred to, will agree that there was something picturesque as well as
noisy about the old river days, and will be inclined to regret, and
almost deplore, the fact that things are not, from a river man's
standpoint, what they were.

In no country in the world has railroad building been carried on with so
much enterprise as in our native land. Prior to the enormous expenditure
on track building and railroad equipment, advantage had to be taken of
the extraordinary opportunities for navigation and transportation
afforded by the great waterways of the country. As railroads were
naturally built in the East before the West, the value of our Middle and
Western waterways is naturally best understood by the average reader,
because they continued to play an indispensable part in the transaction
of business of every character until quite a recent period.

The Eastern rivers are less magnificent in extent and volume than those
of the West, though many of them are picturesque and attractive in the
extreme. The Hudson has often been spoken of as the "Thames of America,"
not because there is any resemblance between the length of the two
rivers upon which are situated the two greatest cities of modern times.
The simile is the result rather of the immense number of costly family
residences and summer resorts built along the banks of both rivers.

In another chapter we say something of a trip down the picturesque
Hudson, whose banks are lined with historic landmarks and points of
pressing interest. We give an illustration of a pleasure boat on the
Hudson, which reminds one of many delightful river trips taken at
various periods, and also of the events of national importance which
centered around the river that is crowded, year after year, with
pleasure-seekers from the overcrowded metropolis at its mouth.

The Mississippi River is the largest and grandest in North America. A
few miles above St. Louis it is joined by the Missouri River, and if the
distance from the source of the latter to the Gulf of Mexico be
calculated, the longest river in the world is found. At a considerable
distance from the source of the Father of Waters are the Falls of St.
Anthony, discovered more than two hundred years ago by enterprising
pioneers, who thought they had discovered the headwaters of the great
river. The scenery of the river at the falls and beyond them is very
attractive, and in many cases so beautiful as to be beyond verbal
description. In many other parts of the river the scenery is grand,
though occasionally there are long stretches of flat country which are
inclined to become monotonous and barren of poetic thought.

Of the entire river, Mr. L. U. Reavis writes enthusiastically:

"The more we consider the subject," says this author, "the more we are
compelled to admit that the Mississippi is a wonderful river, and that
no man can compute its importance to the American people. What the Nile
is to Egypt, what the great Euphrates was to ancient Assyria, what the
Danube is to Europe, what the Ganges is to India, what the Amazon is to
Brazil--all this, and even more than this, the Mississippi River is to
the North American Continent. In an earlier age men would have worshiped
the Mississippi, but in this age we can do better, we can improve it. To
this all our efforts should be directed, and we should continually bear
in mind that no other improvement, ancient or modern, relating to the
interests of commerce has ever commanded the attention of men equal in
importance to that of the Mississippi River, so as to control its waters
and afford ample and free navigation from St. Paul to the Gulf of
Mexico."

During the last few years, the agitation in favor of river improvement
has assumed very definite shape, and from time to time large
appropriations have been made by Congress for the purpose of keeping the
river navigable at all periods of the year. As long ago as 1873, the
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation Routes censured the
Government for neglecting to thoroughly improve the big rivers. A
quarter of a century has nearly elapsed since then, and, in the opinion
of many competent river men, there is still room for much improvement,
not only in the river, but in the method of arrangements for designing
and carrying out the improvements.

The Missouri River, the great tributary to the Mississippi, has often
been described as one of the most treacherous and aggressive rivers in
the universe. It seems to be actuated by a spirit of unrest and a desire
for change, so much so that the center of the river bed frequently moves
to the right or left so rapidly as to wipe out of existence prosperous
farms and homes. Sometimes this erratic procedure threatens the very
existence of cities and bridges, and tens of thousands of dollars have
been spent from time to time in day and night work to check the
aggression of the stream and to compel it to confine itself to its
proper limits.

The Mississippi proper brings down from the lakes to its junction with
the Missouri River clear water, in which the reflection is so vivid,
that the verdure on the banks gives it quite a green appearance. The
Missouri, on the other hand, is muddy and turbulent, bringing with it
even at low water a large quantity of sand and sediment. At high water
it brings with it trees and anything else that happens to come within
its reach, but at all periods of the year its water is more or less
muddy. At the junction of the two rivers the difference in color of the
water is very apparent, and, strange to say, there is not a complete
intermingling until several miles have been covered by the current.
Under ordinary conditions, the western portion of the current is very
much darker in shade than the eastern, even twenty miles from what is
generally spoken of as the mouth of the Missouri.

The Muddy Missouri rises in the Rocky Mountains. It is really formed by
the junction of three rivers--the Jefferson, the Gallatin and the
Madison. By a strange incongruity, the headwaters of the Missouri are
within a mile of those of the Columbia, although the two rivers run in
opposite directions, the Columbia entering the Pacific Ocean and the
Missouri finding an inlet to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi. At
a distance of 441 miles from the extreme point of the navigation of the
head branches of the Missouri, are what are denominated as the "Gates of
the Rocky Mountains," which present an exceedingly grand and picturesque
appearance. For a distance of about six miles the rocks rise
perpendicularly from the margin of the river to the height of 1,200
feet. The river itself is compressed to the breadth of 150 yards, and
for the first three miles there is but one spot, and that only of a few
yards, on which a man can stand between the water and the perpendicular
ascent of the mountain.

At a distance of 110 miles below this point, and 551 miles from the
source, are the "Great Falls," nearly 2,600 miles from the egress of the
Missouri into the Mississippi River. At this place the river descends by
a succession of rapids, and falls a distance of 351 feet in sixteen and
one-half miles. The lower and greater fall has a perpendicular pitch of
98 feet, the second of 19, the third of 47 and the fourth of 26 feet.
Between and below these falls there are continuous rapids of from 3 to
18 feet descent. The falls, next to those of Niagara, are the grandest
on the continent.

Below the "Great Falls" there is no substantial obstruction to
navigation, except that during the midsummer and fall months, after the
July rise, there is frequently insufficient water for steamboating. This
results from the fact that, although the Missouri River drains a large
area of country and receives many tributaries, some of which are
navigable for many hundreds of miles, it passes for a great portion of
its course through a dry and open country, where the process of
evaporation is very rapid. The channel is rendered intricate by the
great number of islands and sandbars, and in many cases it is made
exceptionally hazardous by reason of countless snags.

Volumes have been written concerning the adventures of pioneers and gold
hunters, who went up the Missouri in advance of railroads and even
civilization, in order to trade with the Indians or to search for yellow
metal in the great hills in the unexplored country, where so much in the
way of easily acquired wealth is looked for. Some of the wealthiest men
in the West to-day have a vivid recollection of the dangers they
encountered on the voyage up this river, and of the enemies they had to
either meet or avoid. Sometimes hostile Indians would attack a boat
amid-stream from both sides of the river, and when an attempt was made
to bring gold or costly merchandise down the river, daring attacks were
often made by white robbers, whose ferocity and murderous designs were
quite as conspicuous as those of the aboriginal tribes. Many a murder
was committed, and the seeds were sown for countless mysteries and
unexplained disappearances.

The Ohio River is another of the great tributaries of the Mississippi.
In years gone by the importance of this waterway was enormous. The
Mississippi itself runs through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa,
Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. The
Ohio taps and drains a much older country than many of these States, and
hence its importance in the days when Cincinnati was the great gateway
of the West and a manufacturing city of first importance.

The Ohio is a great river for more than a thousand miles, and connects
Pittsburg with Cairo, running through such important towns as Louisville
and Cincinnati. On this river some of the most interesting events in
river history have been enacted in the past. Many a tragedy and many a
comedy are included in its annals, and even to-day, although paralleled,
crossed and recrossed by railroads, it is a most important highway of
commerce.

The Tennessee River is a tributary of the Ohio, which it enters so near
the Mississippi as to have a very close connection with that great
river. Entering the Ohio at Paducah, Kentucky, the Tennessee is one of
the largest and most important rivers east of the Mississippi. It is
formed by the union of two rivers which rise in the Allegheny Mountains
and unite at Kingston, Tennessee. The river then runs southwest through
Alabama, and turning northward, passes through portions of Tennessee and
Kentucky. In length the Tennessee exceeds 1,200 miles, and, with the
exception of very dangerous places here and there, it is strictly a
navigable river.

Running as it does, through a country not yet thoroughly supplied with
railroad accommodation, the Tennessee forms an important connection
between a number of small shipping points, which would otherwise be cut
off from commercial intercourse with large centers. Hence the
transportation facilities are good, and in many respects remind one of
old days when river traffic was general. Boats run almost all the year
around up this river as far as Alabama points, and not only is a large
and lucrative freight business transacted, but pleasure and
health-seekers are also carried in large numbers.

Everything was not prosaic in river life in the old days. All of us have
heard of the great races on the Mississippi River between magnificent
steamers, and of the excitement on deck as first one and then the other
gained a slight advantage. Stories, more or less reliable, have been
told again and again of the immense sums of money made and lost by
speculators who backed their own boats against all comers. Tricks and
jokes also prevailed and continue up to the present time. The passenger
on a Tennessee River boat is almost sure to be told how a very popular
first mate escaped arrest by disguising himself as a cook. The story is
amusing enough to bear repetition, and bereft of corroborative detail,
evidently designed to lend artistic verisimilitude to the narrative, it
is as follows:

The boat was detained at a landing at a small Kentucky town where the
laws against gambling were supposed to be very strict. Some of the
officers of the boat were determined to kill time by staking a few
dollars at poker, faro or something worse, and inquiries were made in
consequence as to where a game could be found. These resulted
satisfactorily from the gamblers' standpoint, and the crowd took
themselves to the appointed spot, taking with them the very stout,
good-natured, but not very speculative first mate. The game was played
in a small room at the rear of an almost equally small restaurant.
Everything went well for awhile, and those who were winning thought they
had everything the heart could possibly desire. All at once one of the
colored help came rushing in with a notification that the place was
being raided.

It was a case of every man for himself. As is usual in cases of this
kind, one or two got under the table, where of course they were promptly
found and arrested. Two others jumped out of the window, into the arms
of two deputies, who were standing there to receive them. The mate,
caught for the first time in his life in a gambling resort, thought of a
very good plan of escape. Snatching up his hat and coat he walked into
the kitchen, where he found a good-natured colored lady hard at work
stirring batter in anticipation of some table luxury for a coming meal.
With admirable presence of mind the mate picked up an apron, tied it
around him and telling "mammy" to take a few minutes' rest as she was
evidently overtired, he seized her wooden spoon and went on stirring the
batter as though he had never done anything else in his life.

In the meantime every other member of the party had been caught and
taken to the little frame building which answered the purpose of jail
and police-court combined. Various conjectures were exchanged as to the
fate of the mate, whose ignorance of the events incidental to gambling
raids was expected to prove very inconvenient to him in a variety of
ways. All anxiety on this score was, however, thrown away. The old man
acted his part so well that when the raiders saw him laboriously at work
with the wooden spoon they concluded that he was a member of the
establishment. In consequence of this they let him alone, and when the
raid was over he replaced his hat and coat, with the indifference and
nonchalance of an experienced actor, and went quietly back to the boat.

Here he informed friends of the incarcerated individuals of the fix they
were in, and advised them to go to their release, preferring himself to
keep as far as possible from the representatives of the law. Liberty was
obtained by the payment of considerable sums in the way of fines and
costs, and although the event took place some years ago, the way in
which the inexperienced gambler escaped, while his more hardened and
experienced friends were caught, is still a constant source of merriment
among officers and passengers.

It was while enjoying a delightful and distinctly sensational trip on
the Columbia River that the passengers were enlightened as to a
comparatively old trick, which was executed with the utmost promptness
and despatch by a young second mate. This young man was never known to
have any money. Generous in the extreme, and heartily full of fun, he
managed to get rid of his salary as promptly as it was paid him, and his
impecuniosity was a standing joke among members of the crew and regular
passengers. On one occasion the boat met with an accident, and was tied
up at a small town for four or five days. The hero of the story, with a
number of other light-hearted individuals, naturally went ashore on
pleasure bent. They had what is generally called a good time, but what
little funds they had when they started were soon exhausted.

Two or three councils of war were held as to how a supply of liquid
refreshments, of a character not included in the temperance man's bill
of fare, could be obtained. Finally, the second mate undertook to secure
the needful without the expenditure of any money. He borrowed a heavy
overcoat belonging to one of the party, and then hunted up two large
wine bottles. One of these he filled with water and securely corked. The
other he took empty, and with these in his pockets entered the saloon.
Producing the empty bottle he asked the bar-keeper how much he would
charge for filling it, and on hearing the amount told him to go ahead.

As soon as the bottle was filled and returned to the second mate, he
slipped it in his pocket, and in a very matter-of-fact manner began to
make arrangements for the liquidation of the debt, at a convenient
period. The saloon-man naturally resented any discussion of this
character, and told his customer to either pay for the liquor or return
it right away. Assuming an air of injured innocence, our friend took out
the bottle of water, handed it to the barkeeper and said he "guessed
he'd have to take it back." The unsuspecting purveyor of liquor that
both cheers and inebriates, grumbled considerably, emptied the bottle of
water into the demijohn of whisky, handed back the bottle to the
apparently disconsolate seeker after credit, and told him to "get out."

Naturally, no second order was necessary. Five minutes later, the entire
party could have been seen sharing the contents of the bottle which had
not been emptied, but which they lost no time in emptying. The trick
answered its purpose admirably. When, about two weeks later, the man who
had played it was again in the town, he called at the saloon to pay for
the whisky. He was treated very kindly, but hints were freely given as
to the necessity of a keeper accompanying him on his travels. In other
words, the bar-keeper declined distinctly to believe that he had been
hoodwinked as stated. This feature of the joke was, in the opinion of
its perpetrators, the most amusing feature of all, and it need hardly be
said that very little effort was made to disabuse the unbelieving but
somewhat over-credulous bar-keeper.

The Columbia River is one of the most interesting and remarkable on the
continent. Rising, as it does, quite near the source of the Missouri
River, it runs, by a very circuitous route, to the Pacific Ocean, being
in places very narrow, and in others abnormally wide. The Dalles of the
Columbia are known the world over. They are situated some sixty or
seventy miles west of the city of Portland, and are within easy distance
of the American Mount Blanc. They extend from Dalles Station, a small
town on the Union Pacific Railroad, to Celilo, another station about
fifteen miles farther east. Between these two points the bed of the
Columbia is greatly reduced in width, and its boundaries are two huge
walls of rock, which rise almost perpendicularly from the water level.
The width of the chasm, through which the water rushes wildly, varies
considerably, but at no point in the western section does it exceed 130
feet, although on either side of the Dalles the width of the river
itself ranged from about 2,000 to much more than 2,500 feet.

As the volume of water is enormous at this point, especially after rain
and much melting of snow, there is often a rise of fifty feet in a few
hours in the narrow channel of the Dalles. Sometimes the rise exceeds
seventy feet, and an effect most extraordinary in character results.
From many points along the river banks, Mount Hood can be seen towering
away up into the clouds. The bluffs themselves are marvels of formation,
very difficult to explain or account for. When the water is low, there
is an exposure of almost vertical cliffs. The bluffs vary in height to a
remarkable extent, and the lower the water, the more grotesque the
appearance of the figures along them. When the water is very low, there
is a cascade, or waterfall, every few feet, presenting an appearance of
continuous uproar and froth, very attractive to the sightseer, but very
objectionable from the standpoint of navigation.

When the water is high, these cascades are lost sight of, and the rocks
which form them are covered with one raging torrent, which seems
inclined to dash everything to one side in its headlong course towards
the Pacific Ocean. Logging is a most important use to which the Columbia
River is put, and when immense masses of timber come thundering down the
Dalles, at a speed sometimes as great as fifty miles an hour, all
preconceived notions of order and safety are set at naught. There is one
timber shoot, more than 3,000 feet long, down which the logs rush so
rapidly that scarcely twenty seconds is occupied in the entire trip. The
Dalles generally may be described as a marvelous trough, and the name is
a French word, which well signifies this feature.

Farther down the river, and near the city of Portland, there are some
very delightful falls, not exceptionally large or high, but very
delightful in character, and full of contradictions and peculiarities.
Steamboating on the Columbia River, in its navigable sections, is
exceedingly pleasant and instructive. The river is the largest in
America which empties into the Pacific Ocean. For more than 140 miles it
is navigable by steamers of the largest kind, while other vessels can
get up very much higher, and nearer the picturesque source. On some
sections of it, glaciers of great magnitude can be seen, and there are
also many points concerning which legend and tradition have been very
busy. According to one of these traditions, the Indians who formerly
lived on the banks of the river were as brave as the ancient Spartans
and Greeks, though if this is approximately correct, the law and
argument of descent must be entirely erroneous, for the Indians of this
section to-day rank among the meanest and most objectionable of the
entire country.

An artistic illustration is given of the "whaleback" steamer, used
principally on our Northern lakes. The whaleback varies from a somewhat
clumsy looking craft, resembling in appearance very much the back of a
whale, to the much more attractive and navigable craft shown in the
illustration. These whalebacks have a very important part to play in
internal navigation. It seems able to withstand, readily, bad weather
and rough water. Unlike most vessels which are safe under these
conditions, it requires very little water to be safely navigated, and it
can carry heavy loads in six or eight feet of water.

The revival of the steamboat trade on our great rivers, and the
recovering from the railroads of at least a portion of the trade stolen
away, is a pet hobby among river men generally, and especially among
those whose parents taught them from the cradle up the true importance
of the magnificent internal waterways bountifully provided for our
native land by an all-wise Providence. It is seriously proposed to
attempt this revival by aid of whaleback steamers, and if the project is
carried out, the success which will attend the effort is likely to
agreeably surprise even the most enthusiastic among those who are now
advocating it.



CHAPTER XX.


THROUGH THE GREAT NORTHWEST.

The Importance of Some of our Newest State--Romantic History of
Montana--The Bad Lands and their Exact Opposite--Civilization Away Up in
the Mountains--Indians who have Never Quarreled with White
Men--Traditions Concerning Mount Tacoma--Wonderful Towns of the Extreme
Northwest--A State Shaped like a Large Chair--The Falls of Shoshone.


Within the last few years new States have been admitted into the Union
which, in themselves, form a magnificent empire. We allude to the great
Northwestern Territories which have become States within the last
decade, and which have added so much luster to the escutcheon of our
native land. The utmost ignorance prevails as to these States, and as to
the northwestern corner of the United States proper, a term generally
applied to this great Republic, with the exception of Alaska.

Every now and again the report comes of a great forest fire in the
Northwest, and occasionally the world is horrified by reports of a
terrible calamity of this character, involving great loss of life and
property. Owing to this fact there is a tendency to look on the
northwestern tier of States as one huge forest, ever offering a
temptation to that terrible destructive agency--fire. People who profess
to have made tours through the country, add to the complication by
enlarging on this one characteristic, and omitting all reference to the
other features, in which the great Northwest towers head and shoulders
above competitors, and teaches the entire world a lesson in
productiveness, fertility, and, we may add, industry.

The World's Fair served to very largely disabuse the public mind
concerning what is destined to become one of the wealthiest sections of
the United States. The elegant State buildings that were erected on the
shores of Lake Michigan, and the gorgeous displays of fruits, grain,
ore, and different products, must have convinced the average visitor
that there was a great deal more in the far West and Northwest than he
had dreamt of. Many were induced in consequence of the information they
received, to blend their fortunes with the young States, and although
the financial condition of the country has not been calculated to
expedite the fulfillment of their Aladdin-like hopes, most of them have
done well enough to be able to congratulate themselves on the change in
the location and occupation.

We can only speak of some of the most remarkable features of this great
section, greater, indeed, than several Old World nations combined.
Helena is the capital of one of these new States, to which is given the
euphonic name of Montana. The name is very appropriate, as it signifies
"belonging to the mountains." The Indians had a very similar name for
the territory now included in the State, and Judge Eddy called it the
"Bonanza State" because of its mining sensations, a name which has clung
to it with much fidelity ever since. The arms of the State are
significant and almost allegorical. The present is linked with the past
by means of a retreating buffalo, significant of the extermination of
this interesting and valuable species. The great mining resources of
Montana are shown by a miner's pick and shovel, and in the rearground
the sun is setting behind eminences of the Rocky Mountains. Montana was
first discovered by Canadians, some two hundred years ago. The first
permanent settlement was early in the present century, and, until within
the last fifty years, all goods and utensils used in it were dragged up
the Missouri River from St. Louis, a distance of nearly 2,000 miles.
When the war broke out, the Territory was occupied almost entirely by
Indians, with a few daring fur traders and a number of missionaries,
who, in exercise of their duty, had no fear at all. The discovery of
gold which took place almost simultaneously with the firing of the first
shot in the conflict between the North and the South, brought thousands
of adventurers from all parts of the Union and introduced millions of
capital. Some of the mines turned out phenomenally successful, and
although there were the usual heart-burnings on account of failures, the
average of success was very great. The State's gold mines have yielded
fabulous sums, and more recently steps have been taken to extract from
the quartz and rock a full measure of wealth that is to be found there.

Montana is a Northwestern State in fact as well as name. It is situated
on the high plateau between the Continental Divide and the Bitter Root
Range. Fully one-fifth of its area lies beyond the Rocky Mountains, and
its northern boundary is the snow-covered region of Canada and British
Columbia. The eastern portion of the State, bordering upon the Dakotas,
is for the most part prairie land, rising rapidly in the direction of
the west, and forming the approach to the mighty Rockies. The western
portion, bordering upon Idaho, is much more mountainous in character.
Some 50,000 square miles of hilly country are to be seen here, many of
the peaks rising to heights exceeding 10,000 feet. The State alone is
larger in area than the entire British Islands, and it is infinitely
larger than the whole of New England. That it is a country of
magnificent distances, is shown from the fact that the northern frontier
equals in length the distance between the great seat of learning and
culture in Massachusetts and the capital city of the short-lived
Confederacy.

Although most of Montana is rich in either agriculture or mineral, a
considerable area is occupied by the notorious Bad Lands. General Sully
described these lands very accurately, or at least aptly, when he said
that they reminded him of "the other place with the fires out." So many
descriptions of the Bad Lands have been given, that we need scarcely
refer to them at great length. The clay, rock and peculiar dust which
lies all around this territory becomes, on the slightest provocation,
the nastiest kind of quicksand. Nothing can thrive or prosper in the Bad
Lands which, however, are full of evidences of prehistoric life and
which, perhaps, at one time were the scenes of activity and even
prosperity.

In exact contrast to the Bad Lands is the Gallatin Valley, about four
hundred square miles in extent. It is stated to be one of the most
fertile spots in the world, and by common consent it has been called the
Egypt of Montana. A portion of it has been cultivated, and its yield per
acre has been found to be prodigious. At no great distance from this
fertile spot, two of America's most remarkable rivers have their rise.
The greatest of these is the Missouri, which, measured from its source
to final entrance into the Gulf of Mexico along the bed of the
Mississippi River, is really the longest river in the world. Away up
here in the mountains, the Missouri, which subsequently becomes one of
the most treacherous and destructive rivers in the universe, runs
through picturesque cañons and over great gorges of rock, finally
leaving the State a great river, though still insignificant in
comparison with the volume it is to assume, and the drainage work it is
to accomplish farther away from the mighty hills among which it had its
source.

The Northern Pacific Railroad runs through this wonderful State, with so
great a future before it. Helena, the capital city of Montana, was
originally a mining camp, and early prophecies were that it would not
outlive the mining enthusiasm. These prophecies, however, have proved
entirely mistaken. It is no longer a mere mining town, with rough, busy,
uncultured men rushing hither and thither in the eager pursuit of their
daily avocation. It is now not only the judicial capital of Montana, but
it is also the great center of educational advance. It has a number of
very handsome public buildings, and is the home of many men, who, having
made their fortunes in the mines of the new Northwest, have been so
impressed with the beauties of scenery and climate, that they have
decided to abide where at first they merely intended to sojourn. Helena
is more than 4,000 feet above the sea level, and its 20,000 inhabitants
are reputed to be worth more than $100,000,000. The apostle of socialism
or communism who suggested an equal division among the 60,000,000 of our
people of all the wealth of the nation, would find little encouragement
in this great mountain city, where poverty, if not unknown, is very
scarce.

Much more typical as a mining city is Butte. This is situated upon a
hill quite peculiarly located, and is reached by a ride along the Silver
Bow Valley. Close here is the wonderful Anaconda mine. The mines in the
neighborhood have a reputation for immense yield, the annual extracts of
gold, silver and copper being valued at more than $33,000,000. The
Anaconda smelter, built some twelve years ago, is said to be the largest
in the world, and the town itself seems to literally talk mining by its
streets, its houses, its business, its habits and its people.

Missoula is the third largest city of Montana. Its site is a splendid
one for a city. The Hell Gate Cañon and River merge into a magnificent
plain, the foot of the noted Bitter Root Valley. The Hell Gate River
breaks out from the cañon and mountains into the wide plain and sweeps
majestically across the extreme northern limit of it, hugging closely
the Mission Range to the north. At the western side of the valley the
Bitter Root River combines with the Hell Gate, and together, and now
under the name of the Missoula River, they flow westward between high
mountains. The northern end of the valley is perhaps six miles or more
wide. The great opening in the mountain is rather triangular in shape,
with the apex of the triangle many miles up the valley to the south.
Here is a city laid out and built up in perfect harmony with its
location, as is evidenced by the tasteful manner in which the place is
planned and the character of its business blocks and residences.
Telephones, electric lights, and water supply are found even in the
remote suburbs of Missoula.

The mountains literally hem them in. Immediately to the northeast is a
bare hill that is startling in its resemblance to an animal. It is like
a huge, recumbent elephant, the hind quarters of which form the northern
end of Hell Gate Cañon, around which the railroad curves as it issues
from the cañon. The "Mammoth Jumbo," as it is appropriately known,
reclines with head to the north and trunk stretched out behind him. One
eye is plainly seen, and one huge shoulder is visible. Down in the
south, sharp, decisive, with a steep, rocky escarpment facing us, and a
long ridge descending from it, is Lolo Peak, of the Bitter Root Range, a
noted landmark. This overhangs Lolo Pass, through which Chief Joseph
came in his famous retreat from General Howard in 1877, which terminated
in the battle of the Bear Paw Mountains, October 5th, where the brave
and able chieftain was captured with the rest-of his tribe, when almost
within reach of freedom just across the Canadian border.

At the southern extremity of the valley on the banks of the Bitter Root
River, and with the range serving as an effective background, is Fort
Missoula, a pleasantly located military post. Several interpretations of
the meaning of the word "Missoula" are given. Father Guidi, a priest of
long residence in the country, gave me what he considers the true one,
which also indicates the manner in which the Hell Gate Cañon and River
were christened. The spot where Missoula is located was once the scene
of conflict between the various tribes of Indians. The "Flatheads" and
"Blackfeet" were deadly enemies, and, presumably, may have fought over
this lovely spot. At any rate, the ground just at the mouth of the Hell
Gate Cañon was covered long ago with skulls and human bones.

These Flathead Indians are noted for the fact that they have never
adopted a hostile attitude towards white people. They are advanced in
civilization, as readers of Chapter IX and its accompanying illustration
will have noted. Tradition states that their religion demands that the
head of every infant must be flattened by means of a board before the
bones harden sufficiently to assume a shape. However this may be, none
of the surviving members of the tribe have particularly flat heads, and
all deny emphatically the statement that nature is ever interfered with
in the manner stated. These Indians call themselves "Selish," a name
apparently without reason or derivation. The Flathead Reservation was
formed about forty years ago. On three sides it is walled in by high
mountains, and it consists of about 2,240 square miles of territory. The
railway station, Arlee, is so named after the last war chief of the
Flatheads. Passengers are often amused by the gaudily decked Indians who
are seen at this station, which is quite near the reservation.

An interesting story attaches to the Jocko River and Reservation. It is
stated that an Irishman named Jacob Finley established a ranch on the
river early in the present century. The French Canadians who settled in
the neighborhood and intermarried with the Indians, called Finley by his
Christian name with a peculiar French pronunciation, which made it sound
very like much Jaco or Jocko--the latter name gradually becoming
generally adopted. It was quite natural to call the river and the valley
after the ranch owner, and the name finally became generally accepted as
correct. This man Finley left behind him a family of seventeen, and
before he had been dead many years his direct descendants numbered
within three or four of an even century.

The Indians called the stream the Nlka, an unpronounceable combination
of letters, resulting from a most interesting though variously described
event.

Mrs. Ronan, the well-known writer, tells an interesting story of how
names are given by Indians. Thus, her own daughter's name was Isabel,
but the Indians called her "Sunshine." In February, 1887, the little
girl was born. For some days prior to her birth the weather had been
gloomy in the extreme. Almost simultaneously with the child's birth the
sun, so long hidden under the clouds, burst forth to gladden the heart
of man. With one accord, the Indians declared that the little one had
brought sunshine with her, and hence the name, which, as subsequent
events have proved, was exceptionally appropriate.

Accompanying this chapter is an illustration of Mount Tacoma. This
mountain is one of the most attractive, as well as lofty, in the
Northwest. As can easily be supposed, traditions without number are
connected with it. No greater mistake can be made than to imagine that
the Indians who are found in this region are naturally atheistic, as
well as ignorant. To the student of religion there is rather an inherent
belief in the Supreme Being among these people, with very strong proofs
of the truth of the divine revelation. One of the traditions, told with
much fervor and earnestness about Tacoma, involves in it a Savior of
mankind. With great reverence and awe the good listener among the band
of tourists is told that at one period--legends are seldom very specific
in the matter of time or space--a Savior arrived in a copper canoe, his
mission being to save the Siwash Indians, who were spoken of as the
chosen people of the Great Unseen. That some prophet or missionary
certainly came to this region and preached appears to be evident from
the very definite survival of the doctrines taught by him. His creed
seems to have been a very apt blending of all that is best in the
teachings of Buddha, with many of the precepts of the "Sermon on the
Mount" added.

Love to mankind, the evil of revenge, and the glories of forgiveness
form the principal features of the doctrine. The legend, or tradition,
goes on to say that so violent was the opposition to this crusader, who
attacked local institutions so bitterly, that finally he was seized and
nailed to a tree. This act of crucifixion resulted from a final sermon,
in which the wanton destruction of human beings was denounced in terms
of great vehemence. As nine, instead of seven or three, is the general
number talked of in this section, it is not surprising that the story
should go on to state that after nine days the "Mysterious One" was
reanimated, and once more commenced his work of reformation and tuition.

Nothing in connection with the story can be objected to. By some it is
supposed to be the result of casual immigration from the regions of
Palestine, to which also is attributed the story of the flood.

Among nearly all the Indians of the Northwest there is a flood story, or
legend, and there must be hundreds of Noahs in the minds of the
story-tellers. We are told, for example, that when the Great Spirit
flooded the entire earth, there was not quite enough water to cover the
summit of Mount Tacoma. The man chosen to prevent the human race from
being entirely obliterated was warned in a dream, or by some other
means, to climb to the summit of this great mountain, where he remained
until the wicked ones below him were annihilated, without a man, woman
or child escaping. After the flood was over and the waters began to
recede, the Great Spirit hypnotized or mesmerized this solitary human
being, and created for him a wife of exceptional beauty. Together these
two recommenced the battle of life, and, as the legend runs, every human
being in existence can trace his lineage to them.

The mountain is surely worth all that has been said about it. Its great
height has already been commented upon. Standing, as it does, with its
summit 14,444 feet above the sea level, it is actually a sentinel for
almost the entire State. Hazard Stevens, the first man to climb Tacoma,
reported that it was so called by the Indians because the word means, in
their vocabulary, "mountain," and was given to Tacoma because it was a
veritable prince among hills. It was at one time called Rainier, after a
British lord, but the Indian name has generally prevailed.

Tacoma has been described by many tourists as a rival to the most
vaunted peaks of the Swiss Alps. As will be seen from the illustrations,
which are remarkably good ones, there is a dim mistiness about the
mountain. When the light is poor, there is a peculiar, almost unnatural,
look about the cloud-topped peak. When the clouds are very white, the
line of demarcation becomes faint in the extreme, and it is very hard to
distinguish one from the other. Sometimes, for days together, the
mountain is literally cloud-capped, and its peak hidden from view. Those
who are fortunate enough to be able to appreciate the awful and unique
in history, never tire of gazing upon Tacoma. They are glad to inspect
it from every side. Some call it a whited sepulchre. There was a time
when it was anything but the calm, peaceful eminence of to-day. Every
indication points to the fact that it was once among the most active
volcanoes in existence.

There is a town, or rather city, of the same name as the mountain. This
is situated on Commencement Bay. It is under the very shadow of the
great mountain of which we have spoken, and which seems to guard it
against foes from inland. Fifteen years ago it was a mere village, of
scarcely any importance. It has rapidly grown into a town of great
importance. In 1873 the Northern Pacific Railroad Company decided to
make it the western terminus of their important system. This resulted in
renewed life, or rather in a genuine birth to the place, which now has a
population of 40,000 people, and is an exceedingly wealthy and
prosperous city. The Tacoma Land Company, ably seconded by the railroad,
has fostered enterprise in this place in the most hearty manner, and now
some of the large buildings of the town, of the very existence of which
many Eastern people affected ignorance, are more than magnificent--they
are majestic.

Seattle is another and even more brilliant diamond in Washington's
crown. It is a great city, with a magnificent harbor, its name being
that of a powerful Indian chief who, when the town was founded forty
years ago, had things practically his own way. It grew in importance
very rapidly, but in 1889 one of the largest fires of modern times
destroyed $10,000,000 worth of property, including the best blocks and
commercial structures of the city. People who had never seen Seattle at
once assumed that the city was dead, and speculation was rife as to what
place would secure its magnificent trade. Those who thus talked were
entirely ignorant as to the nature of the men who had made Seattle what
it was. Within a very few days the work of reconstruction commenced. The
fire hampered the city somewhat, and checked its progress. But Seattle
is better for the disaster, and stands to-day a monument to the "nil
desperandum" policy of its leaders.

Spokane Falls is another wonderful instance of Northwestern push and
energy. It is a very young city, the earliest records of its founding
not going back farther than 1878. When the census of 1880 was taken, the
place was of no importance, and received very little attention at the
hands of the enumerators. In 1890 it had a population of some 20,000,
and attracted the admiration of the entire country by the progress it
had made in the matter of electricity. Its water power is tremendous,
and taking full advantage of this, electricity is produced at low cost
and used for every available and possible purpose.

The State of Washington, in which these three cities are situated,
borders upon the Pacific Ocean, and is one of the greatest of our new
States. The first modern explorer of the territory was a Spaniard,
followed a few years later by English sailors. Just at the end of the
last century, some Boston capitalists, for there were capitalists even
in those days, although they reckoned their wealth by thousands rather
than millions, sent two ships to this section to trade with the Indians
for furs. One of these ships was the "Columbia," which gave the name to
the region, part of which still retains it, although the section we are
now discussing now owns and boasts of the name of the "Father" of his
and our country.

Washington became a State five years ago. It is a great mining country,
but is still more noted for its wonderful lumber resources. The trade
from Puget Sound is tremendous. One company alone employs 1,250 men in
saw mills and logging, and it is responsible for having introduced
improved machinery of every type into the section. The early history of
the great lumber business is full of interest, and this is one point
alone in which the advance has been tremendous. Another great company
cut up 63,000,000 feet of lumber in one year, and shipped more than half
of it out of the country. White cedar of the most costly grade is very
common in Washington, and it is used for the manufacture of shingles,
which sell for very high prices, and are regarded as unusually and,
indeed, abnormally good. White pine of immense quantity and size is also
found. Some of the logs are so large that they are only excelled by the
phenomenal big trees of abnormal growth which are found some hundreds of
miles farther south on the great Pacific Slope.

Idaho is another of the great States of the great Northwest. It lies
largely between the two States just described so briefly, and its shape
is so peculiar that it has been spoken of as resembling a chair, with
the Rocky Mountains and the Bitter Root Range as its front seat and
back. Another simile likens it to a right-angled triangle, with the
Bitter Root Range as its base. It is a vast tableland, wedge shape in
character, and may be said to consist of a mass of mountain ranges
packed up fold upon fold, one on top of the other.

Three names were submitted to Congress when the Territory was first
named. They were Shoshone, Montana and Idaho. The last name was chosen,
finally, because it is supposed to mean "The sight on the mountain." The
more exact derivation of the name seems to be an old Shoshone legend,
involving the fall of some mysterious object from the heavens upon one
of the mountains. The scenery in this State is varied in everything save
in beauty, which is almost monotonous. Bear Lake, one of its great
attractions, is a fisherman's paradise. Its waters extend twenty miles
in one direction and eight or nine miles in the other. This vast expanse
of water is one of the best trout fishing resorts in the world. Although
in a valley, Bear Lake is so high up in the mountains that its waters
are frozen up for many months in the year, the ice seldom breaking up
until well into April. At all times the water is cold, and hence
especially favorable for trout culture. Lake Pen d'Oreilles is about
thirty miles long and varies in width from an insignificant three miles
to more than fifteen. It is studded with islands of great beauty and
much verdure. Close by it is the Granite Mountain, with other hills and
peaks averaging, perhaps, 10,000 feet in height. The lake has an immense
shore line, extending as much as 250 miles. For fully a tenth of this
distance the Northern Pacific tracks are close to the lake, affording
passengers a very delightful view of this inland scene, which has been
likened to the world-renowned Bavarian lake, Königs See.

The State is also well known on account of the reputation for weird
grandeur won by the Snake River, also known as the Shoshone. This is a
very rapid stream of water. By means of its winding course it measures
fully a thousand miles in Idaho alone, and drains about two-thirds of
the State. Near the headwaters of the Snake River, in the proximity of
Yellowstone Park, there are very fertile bottoms, with long stretches of
valley lands. The American Falls plunge over a mass of lava about forty
feet high, with a railroad bridge so close that the roar of the water
drowns the noise of the locomotive. For seventy miles the Shoshone River
runs through a deep, gloomy cañon, with a mass of cascades and many
volcanic islands intervening. Then comes the great Shoshone Falls
themselves, rivaling in many respects Niagara, and having at times even
a greater volume of water. The falls are nearly a thousand feet in
width, and the descent exceeds two hundred feet. Many writers have
claimed that these falls have features of beauty not equaled in any part
of the world. According to one description, they resemble a cataract of
snow, with an avalanche of jewels amidst solid portals of lava.

Bancroft, in summing up the great features of this State, says very
concisely that: "It was the common judgment of the first explorers that
there was more of the strange and awful in the scenery and topography of
Idaho than of the pleasing and attractive. A more intimate acquaintance
with the less conspicuous features of the country revealed many
beauties. The climate of the valleys was found to be far milder than,
from their elevation, could have been expected. Picturesque lakes were
discovered among the mountains, furnishing in some instances navigable
waters. Fish and game abound. Fine forests of pine and firs cover the
mountain slopes, except in the lava region; and nature, even in this
phenomenal part of her domain, has not forgotten to prepare the earth
for the occupation of man, nor neglected to give him a wondrously warm
and fertile soil to compensate for the labor of subduing the savagery of
her apparently waste places."



CHAPTER XXI.


IN THE WARM SOUTHEAST.

Florida and its Appropriate Name--The First Portions of North America
Discovered by White Men--Early Vicissitudes of its Explorers--An
Enormous Coast Line--How Key West came to be a great Cigar Town--The
Suwanee River--St. Augustine and its World-Renowned Hotel--Old Fort
Marion.


Florida is the name given to one of the least known States in the Union.
Ponce de Leon was the godfather of this southeastern corner of our
native land. Its baptism took place in a remote period. The day of the
event was Easter Sunday, which in the Spanish language is called Pascua
Floria, which is literally interpreted "The Flowery Festival." Almost by
accident, therefore, Florida received a name which is singularly
appropriate and well chosen. From end to end, in either direction, there
is a profusion of semi-tropical beauty and of flowers, some of them
entirely peculiar to the immediate vicinity. There is an abundance of
fruit as well, and frequently the blossoms on the fruit trees make a
lovely flower show in themselves.

The State arms are very peculiar and appropriate. The main figure is
that of an Indian lying upon a bank, scattering flowers around him. In
the distance the sun is setting amid beautiful hills. In the center
there is a river with a steamboat upon it, and with a large cocoanut
tree growing by the side. The State's motto is one which has been
adopted by many communities, but which is ever welcome for the
purpose--"In God We Trust."

In regard to its climate, Florida can offer a great deal of variety.
Consumptives by the tens of thousand have sought a renewed lease of life
in the warmest sections of the State, and many have come back greatly
benefited. The winters are of the Indian summer order, being singularly
dry, healthy and free from dust. The Gulf Stream adds from five to ten
degrees to the temperature in cold weather, and in the southern section
the temperature rarely gets below freezing point. The exceptionally cold
spell of 1894-95 may be quoted as quite an exception to the general
rule, and the heavy loss to growing fruits was as great a surprise as it
was a loss.

Florida has the honor of being the first portion of North America to be
discovered by white people. Ponce de Leon, whose very name is suggestive
of romance and poetry, explored a section of the country in the year
1513, when he proclaimed the sovereignty of Spain over it. In 1527, a
Spanish company of soldiers attempted to drive out the native
inhabitants. The attempt failed, but another one some fourteen years
later was more successful. Spain was not given a clear title to the
peninsula without protest. French Huguenots built Fort Caroline on St.
John's River at about the middle of the century. Shortly after this
enterprise, a Spanish fleet surprised and annihilated the pioneers, upon
whose graves they placed the inscription, "Not as Frenchmen, but as
Lutherans." This brutal attempt to give a religious aspect to the murder
was resented very soon after. A French expedition captured the fort,
hung the garrison one after the other, announcing that they did so, and
hanged the ruffians "Not as Spaniards, but as traitors, thieves and
murderers."

West Florida was settled at the close of the Seventeenth Century, and in
1763 the territory now included in the State was ceded to Great Britain
in return for Cuba. Colonization followed, and a very large number of
British Tories settled in the country. In 1814, the United States seized
portions of the country, and four years later it became evident that
European rule must cease in it. When in 1821 Spain ceded this territory
to the United States, the number of white inhabitants was barely 600,
although there were fully 4,000 Seminoles residing in it.

The Seminole War commenced in 1835, and continued for seven years. The
war cost some $20,000,000, and over 1,500 American soldiers lost their
lives during the campaign. Over 30,000 troops were engaged in the
conflict, and the Indians by taking advantage of their knowledge of the
country, held out against superior force for an extraordinary length of
time. Gradually the savages were driven south, and at last the Seminoles
were overpowered. Those who survived were for the most part sent west of
the Mississippi River. A few are still found, however, on a reservation
some fifteen miles from Fort Pierce on Indian River.

When the Southern States seceded, Florida went with them. In 1864,
General Seymour led 7,000 troops nearly as far as Lake City.
Jacksonville remained under Federal control, but the State fortunately
escaped being made a battle-ground to any extent between the opposing
forces.

Florida has a very interesting geological record. It was evidently
founded on coral reefs, and the formations are so recent that few
minerals are found. Phosphate rock is one of the most remarkable natural
productions of the State, and the actual value of this has not yet been
thoroughly ascertained. The State itself is naturally divided into two
sections, the East and the West. East Florida includes a long peninsula,
and extends westward to the Suwanee River, concerning which the negro
melodist delights to sing. Western Florida is more inland in character.
The measurements of the State are peculiar. Thus it is 700 miles from
the Perdido River to Cape Sable. From the Atlantic to the extreme west
the distance is about 400 miles, and from north to south the distance is
slightly greater. The peninsula itself averages rather less than 100
miles in width throughout. Florida naturally possesses an enormous coast
line. Of this nearly 500 miles is on the Atlantic seaboard, with some
700 miles on the Gulf of Mexico. Harbors abound on every side, and when
Florida becomes a manufacturing State as well as a fruit-growing one,
its resources for exporting will be an immense advantage to it in
overcoming competition and opposition.

This coast line makes sea fishing one of the most profitable occupations
in the State. About 10,000 men are kept constantly employed in this
work. Some of the fish found here are choice and costly delicacies, and
include red snapper, pompano, Spanish mackerel and sea trout. Of turtle
there is an abundance, and tarpon fishing provides amusement to those
who are more strictly sportsmanlike in disposition. Fishing for sponges
is also a fairly remunerative occupation, which always excites much
interest when watched by visitors from other States. Key West alone
sends away sponges worth $500,000 every year, two great capitals of
Europe being the best customers.

Key West is, however, better noted for its cigars. It is situated on
what was originally called Bone Reef by the Spaniards, on account of
great quantities of human bones being found on it by the early
explorers. Eighty years ago, a number of New England fishermen located
at Key West, which is about sixty miles from Florida proper and about
ninety miles from Havana. The great revolution in the nature of the
town's business and habits was brought about by the settlement in it,
less than a quarter century ago, of a large band of Cuban exiles. These
brought with them the secrets of the manufacture of cigars of the
highest grade. They at once set about establishing factories as large as
their means allowed, and the business has grown so rapidly that there
are now facilities for manufacturing nearly 150,000,000 cigars every
year. To the man who appreciates the difference between good and bad
cigars it is hardly necessary to say that in quality, as well as
quantity, the product of this Spanish-American island has progressed.

The harbor of Key West is the ninth port of entry in the country. It is
so naturally impregnable that it escaped capture during the Civil War,
when the Gulf Coast ports were a special source of attack and envy.
Legend and history twine around the harbor stories of thrilling
interest, many of which have formed the plots for successful and
celebrated novels. The town has peculiar but attractive streets, with
tropical trees on both sides. Seven miles distant is Key West, the most
extreme southern point of United States territory. From the immense
light-house pier the distance to the island of Cuba is less than
eighteen miles.

Returning to the inland, we may spend a few minutes


  'Way down 'pon de Suwanee Ribber,
  Far, far away--
  Dare's wha' my heart is turnin' ebber--
  Dare's wha' de ole folks stay.

This river, as we have seen, forms the western boundary of Eastern
Florida. It is a very romantic stream, running through a country of
surpassing beauty, with tropical trees and undergrowth coming right to
the water's edge. It enters Florida from Southern Georgia, and runs
through a country which varies from forest to plain and from upland to
valley. Along its banks there are a number of little Southern homes, few
of them boasting of the magnificence of which we often read, but all of
them peaceful and attractive. Of one of these we give an illustration.
At first glance they may not appear to be anything very remarkable about
the little house and its surroundings, but on second thoughts and
glances something more than poetical will be discovered. The old negro
ballad from which we have quoted above gives in its lines a charming
idea of the river and of the memories and thoughts which cling to it.
Excursion parties are very frequent along the river. Some indulge in
hunting, and take advantage of the profusion of game on every hand.
Others prefer to indulge in peaceful reverie and to think only of the
quaint old folks, who, as we are told in the song, still stay in the
vicinity.

The Ocklawaha River resembles the Suwanee in many respects. Steamboats
run along it for a considerable distance, and there is seldom difficulty
in securing passengers. It is said that there are more alligators to a
hundred square feet of water, in sections of this river, than can be
found in any other water in the world. From the deck of a passenger
steamer it is quite interesting to watch the peculiar proceedings of
these dangerous creatures, and many conjectures are exchanged as to what
would happen in the event of any one of the watchers falling overboard.
On the banks of the river, cedar groves are frequently seen. Florida
supplies the world with the wood required for lead pencils, and the
inroads made into her cedar forests for this purpose threaten to
eventually rob the State of one of its most unique features. Cypress, a
wood which is just beginning to be appreciated at its true worth, is
also abundant in this vicinity, and many of the much talked-of cypress
swamps are passed. Pineapples are also seen growing vigorously, and also
the vanilla plant, which resembles tobacco in its leaf. Vanilla leaf is
gathered very largely, and sold for some purpose not very clearly
defined or explained.

The banyan tree has to be seen to be understood. It is really an
exclusive product of Florida and is found in the Key West country, where
sea island cotton will grow all the year around, indifferent to changes
of season. The banyan is almost a colony of trees in itself, having,
apparently, a dozen trunks in one. All the upper boughs are more or less
united, and the old proverb of "In union there is strength," seems to
have in it a unique illustration and confirmation.

Lake Worth is one of the prettiest lakes in the South. It is a very
beautiful sheet of water, broken only by Pitts' Island, which is located
near its northern end. The most useful and desirable products of the
North have here a congenial home, alongside those most loved in the
region of the equator. A New Englander may find his potatoes, sweet
corn, tomatoes and other garden favorites, and can pluck, with scarcely
a change in his position, products that are usually claimed as
Brazilian. He finds in his surroundings, as plentiful and as free as the
water sprinkling before him, such strange neighbors as coffee, the
tamarind, mango, pawpa, guava, banana, sapadillo, almond, custard apple,
maumec apple, grape fruit, shaddock, Avadaco pear, and other equally new
acquaintances.

And these are all neighbors, actual residents, natives of the soil, not
imported immigrants or exacting visitors to be tenderly treated. Giant
relatives, equally at home, are the rubber tree, mahogany, eucalyptus,
cork tree and mimosa. All these, within forty hours' travel of New York,
to be reached in winter by an all-rail trip, and to be enjoyed in a
climate that is a perpetual May. It was but a few years ago (less than a
dozen) that the beauties of Lake Worth were at first dimly reported by
venturesome sportsmen, who had gazed upon its unspeakable loveliness.

To-day the taste and labor of wealthy capitalists from East and from
West, have lined its fair shores with elegant homes. One of these, the
McCormick Place, has for the past two years been famous for its wondrous
beauty. It is situated at Palm Beach, on the eastern shore of the lake,
and faces westward or inland. It thus receives the cool air from the
lake and the breezes from the Atlantic, which is but a stroll distant.
The entire estate comprises 100 acres, all under high cultivation. It
has a water front on both lake and ocean of 1,200 feet. In this lovely
spot Mr. McCormick built a castle, so handsomely finished, inside and
out, so tastefully designed and so elegantly furnished, that one would
imagine he expected to entertain royalty within its walls.

It is said that nowhere on the continent is so great a variety of
vegetable growth presented in one locality, as is here to be seen in the
full perfection of lusty growth. The cacti at this point are marvels of
variety and beauty. One's idea of what a cactus is can never be complete
until one has witnessed a scene such as this, and a collection of this
magnitude. The fruit trees form a mass of groves. In some of these, huge
cocoanuts tower away above all other growth, while alongside of these
monarchs of arbory culture there are groves of dwarf trees, less
tremendous but quite as interesting.

This region has been described as a mental quicksand. There is something
in the atmosphere which makes the most industrious man contentedly idle.
Here the nervous, irritable, fussy individual, who for years has never
known what rest meant, and who has fidgeted when he could not work,
finds himself relaxing, against his will, into a condition of what a
celebrated statesman described as "innocuous desuetude." The balminess
of the air, which is at once warm and invigorating and bracing, without
being severe, brings about a natural feeling of rest. The fascination
which this creates soon becomes overpowering. The longer the visitor
remains the more completely and hopelessly does he give away to his
feelings, until at last he only tears himself away by a painful effort.

Biscayne Bay stands at the terminus of the peninsula of Florida, and at
the extreme southeastern end of the United States. The visitor who
stands here is on what is frequently called the great projecting toe of
the Union. South of him there are a number of islands, but of the main
land there is no more. The bay is almost a lake. It sets well into the
coast, but is not quite enclosed by land. It is between five and ten
miles wide and is forty miles long. A score of little inlets feed it
from the ocean. The water is blue and clear and of no great depth,
making the lake one of the finest cruising places in the world. All
along the shores there are picturesque little settlements, all of them
distinctly Southern in their appearance, and concerning each of which
the traveler can hear legend without number.

St. Augustine is perhaps the most talked-about city in Florida. It is a
quaint old Spanish city with a great history. The evidences of the past
seem to be disappearing rapidly, the retreat being forced by the
introduction of modern ideas and immense sums of modern capital.
Memorial Church is one of the features of the town, and behind it the
traveler sees, as he approaches, turrets and towers of every shape and
size. The pavements are almost uniformly good, and as one is driven
along the streets for the first time, every turning seems to bring to
light some new wonder and some unexpected beauty. Hedges formed of
oleanders, arbor vitae, larches and cedars, to say nothing of masses of
roses of all kinds, upset all his preconceived notions of tree, shrub
and flower growth, and convince him that he has come to a land flowing
indeed with milk and honey, where winters are practically unknown.

The Hotel Ponce de Leon is naturally the great object of his search, and
if his purse affords it the tourist certainly stops here, if only for
the sake of saying that he has slept, for one night at least, in this
extraordinary and marvelously magnificent hostelry. If the Ponce de Leon
were in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis or Chicago, it would excite
murmurs of admiration on every hand. But its existence would not be
regarded as something extraordinary, as it certainly is in a town of the
size of St. Augustine. The enterprise which led to its construction has
been commented on again and again, and the liberal methods of management
have also been the subject of much comment. As the carriage passes
through the arched gateway into the enclosed court, blooming all the
year round with fragrance and beauty, the tourist begins to apologize
mentally for the skepticism in which he has indulged, concerning this
wonder of the age. After mounting several successive terraces of broad
stone steps, he finds himself at last before the magnificent front of
the great hotel. Before him there is the grand doorway, surmounted by
the oft-described arch of Spanish shields in terra cotta. All around
there are broad galleries and wide windows, with very costly, artistic
cappings. The galleries are supported by massive but neat pillars, and
the shaded nooks and quiet corners are full of romantic influence.

Everything is reminiscent of old Spain, although the magnificence and
architecture is often that of the extreme East. There are five elegantly
decorated salons, in which there are tables of costly onyx, and on whose
walls there are paintings of great splendor. On the ceiling above him
exquisite frescoes tell the story of the old cavalier after whom the
hotel is named, and of his patient and faithful search for the fabled
fountain of youth which no one has yet found. At dinner the visitor is
almost appalled by the magnificence of the service, and his appetite is
apt to be injured by his reflections as to the cost of the silver and
porcelain set before him. Sometimes as many as a thousand guests sit
down together, and the service seems to be perfect for an unlimited
number of visitors.

This great hotel was erected like the great temple described in
scripture, practically without hammer or nails. Being molded from
concrete, it is practically proof against weather and time, and it is
fireproof in a sense of the term far more literal than that generally
adopted in large cities. There is no sham work, from basement to tower.
Italian marble, terra cotta and Mexican onyx are the principal materials
used, and nothing "equally as good" is tolerated.

The view from St. Augustine can hardly be excelled in any part of the
world. The old city gates remind the tourist of Spanish stories and
Oriental fables. Net far distant he sees Fort Marion, described as the
oldest fortification in the United States. It was built by one of the
Spanish Kings at great expense, and, according to the opinion of
experts, is likely to survive many generations to come. It is
constructed of cocquina cement, found only in Florida, and which seems
to be everlasting in character.

Fort Marion has been the scene in years gone by of countless events of
thrilling interest, and the student of history, who sees it for the
first time, delights to conjure up reminiscences concerning it. In the
old Indian war days there were several massacres at this point, in which
the Indians occasionally outdid themselves in deeds of blood. About
twenty years ago, the old fort was turned into an Indian prison, and to
it were taken some of the worst and apparently most irreclaimable
members of Indian tribes. This included Mochi, the Indian squaw who
seemed to regard murder as a high art and a great virtue, "Rising Bull,"
"Medicine Water," "Big Mocassin" and other red ruffians who had proved
themselves beyond all hope of reformation. The watch-tower of the fort
stands high above surrounding buildings, and is probably one of the
oldest watch-towers and light-houses in the world.

The old sea-wall runs from the fort past the historical old slave-market
and the plaza, where cool breezes can be obtained on the hottest days.
There is the cathedral, the oldest place of worship in the country, if
the local historians are to be believed, with its chime of bells which
first called the faithful to worship more than 200 years ago. On the
east the smooth waters of the attractive bay rivet the attention of
every visitor who has in him a particle of poetry, or appreciation of
the beautiful. Not far away is Anastasia Island. At the north of
Mananzas Bay is the spot where Sir Francis Drake, one of England's first
admirals, landed, and close by is the oft-described lighthouse, with its
old Spanish predecessor just north of it.

Not far from St. Augustine is the Carmonna vineyard. Here there are
seventy-five acres of land covered with grape vines. The second year
these vines yielded two and a half tons of grapes per acre. The sea of
leaves, responding to the gentle breeze which generally blows up,
presents an appearance of green very restful to the eye, and opens up
new ideas as to color and expanse. All around Moultrie there are acres
and acres of white Niagara grapes, and in a few years Florida shipments
of this fruit will be enormous.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "My Native Land - The United States: its Wonders, its Beauties, and its People; - with Descriptive Notes, Character Sketches, Folk Lore, Traditions, - Legends and History, for the Amusement of the Old and the - Instruction of the Young" ***

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