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Title: Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers
Author: Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864
Language: English
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[Illustration: Engraved by A.B. Walter Philad.]









A.D. 1812 TO A.D. 1842.






My dear sir:--I feel impelled to place your name before these sheets,
from a natural impulse. It is many years since I accompanied you to the
Genesee country, which was, at that time, a favorite theatre of
enterprise, and called the "Garden of the West." This step, eventually,
led me to make deeper and more adventurous inroads into the American

If I am not mistaken, you will peruse these brief memoranda of my
exploratory journeys and residence in the wide area of the west, and
among barbarous tribes, in a spirit of appreciation, and with a lively
sense of that providential care, in human affairs, that equally shields
the traveler amidst the vicissitudes of the forest, and the citizen at
his fireside.

Very sincerely yours,



Ten years ago I returned from the area of the Mississippi Valley to New
York, my native State, after many years' residence and exploratory
travels of that quarter of the Union. Having become extensively known,
personally, and as an author, and my name having been associated with
several distinguished actors in our western history, the wish has often
been expressed to see some record of the events as they occurred. In
yielding to this wish, it must not be supposed that the writer is about
to submit an autobiography of himself; nor yet a methodical record of
his times--tasks which, were he ever so well qualified for, he does not
at all aspire to, and which, indeed, he has not now the leisure, if he
had the desire, to undertake.

Still, his position on the frontiers, and especially in connection with
the management of the Indian tribes, is believed to have been one of
marked interest, and to have involved him in events and passages often
of thrilling and general moment. And the recital of these, in the simple
and unimposing forms of a diary, even in the instances where they may be
thought to fail in awakening deep sympathy, or creating high excitement,
will be found, he thinks, to possess a living moral _undertone_. In the
perpetual conflict between civilized and barbaric life, during the
settlement of the West, the recital will often recall incidents of toil
and peril, and frequently show the open or concealed murderer, with his
uplifted knife, or deadly gun. As a record of opinion, it will not be
too much to say, that the author's approvals are ever on the side of
virtue, honor, and right; that misconception is sometimes prevented by
it, and truth always vindicated. If he has sometimes met bad men; if he
has experienced detraction, or injustice; if even persons of good
general repute have sometimes persecuted him, it is only surprising, on
general grounds, that the evils of this kind have not been greater or
more frequent; but it is conceived that the record of such injustice
would neither render mankind wiser nor the author happier. The "crooked"
cannot be made "straight," and he who attempts it will often find that
his inordinate toils only vex his own soul. He who does the ill in
society is alone responsible for it, and if he chances not to be rebuked
for it on this imperfect theatre of human action, yet he cannot flatter
himself at all that he shall pass through a future state "scot free."
The author views man ever as an accountable being, who lives, in a
providential sense, that he may have an opportunity to bear record to
the principles of truth, wherever he is, and this, it is perceived, can
be as effectually done, so far as there are causes of action or
reflection, in the recesses of the forest, as in the area of the
drawing-room, or the purlieus of a court. It is believed that, in the
present case, the printing of the diary could be more appropriately
done, while most of those with whom the author has acted and
corresponded, thought and felt, were still on the stage of life. The
motives that, in a higher sphere, restrained a Wraxall and a Walpole in
withholding their remarks on passing events, do not operate here; for if
there be nothing intestimonial or faulty uttered, the power of a stern,
high-willed government cannot be brought to bear, to crush independence
of thought, or enslave the labors of intellect: for if there be a
species of freedom in America more valuable than another, it is that of
being pen-free.

It is Sismondi, I think, who says that "time prepares for a long flight,
by relieving himself of every superfluous load, and by casting away
everything that he possibly can." The author certainly would not ask him
to carry an onerous weight. But, in the history of the settlement of
such a country and such a population as this, there must be little, as
well as great labors, before the result to be sent forward to posterity
can be prepared by the dignified pen of polished history; and the writer
seeks nothing more than to furnish some illustrative memoranda for that
ultimate task, whoever may perform it.

He originally went to the west for the purpose of science. His
mineralogical rambles soon carried him into wide and untrodden fields;
and the share he was called on to take in the exploration of the
country, its geography, geology, and natural features, have thrown him
in positions of excitement and peril, which furnish, it is supposed, an
appropriate apology, if apology be necessary, for the publication of
these memoirs.

But whatever degree of interest and originality may have been connected
with his early observations and discoveries in science, geography, or
antiquities, the circumstances which directed his attention to the
Indian tribes--their history, manners and customs, languages, and
general ethnology, have been deemed to lay his strongest claim to public
respect. The long period during which these observations have been
continued to be made, his intimate relations with the tribes, the
favorable circumstances of his position and studies, and the ardor and
assiduity with which he has availed himself of them, have created
expectations in his case which few persons, it is believed, in our
history, have excited.

It is under these circumstances that the following selections from his
running journal are submitted. They form, as it were, a thread
connecting acts through a long period, and are essential to their true
understanding and development. A word may be said respecting the manner
of the record which is thus exhibited:--

The time is fixed by quoting exactly the dates, and the names of persons
are invariably given wherever they could, with propriety, be employed;
often, indeed, in connection with what may be deemed trivial
occurrences; but these were thought essential to the proper relief and
understanding of more important matters. Indeed, a large part of the
journal consists of extracts from the letters of the individuals
referred to; and in this way it is conceived that a good deal of the
necessarily offensive character of the egotism of journalism is got rid
of. No one will object to see his name in print while it is used to
express a kind, just, or noble sentiment, or to advance the cause of
truth; and, if private names are ever employed for a contrary purpose, I
have failed in a designed cautiousness in this particular. Much that
required disapprobation has been omitted, which a ripening judgment and
more enlarged Christian and philosophic view has passed over; and much
more that invited condemnation was never committed to paper. Should
circumstances favor it, the passages which are omitted, but approved, to
keep the work in a compact shape, will be hereafter added, with some
pictorial illustrations of the scenery.

The period referred to, is one of considerable interest. It is the
thirty years that succeeded the declaration of war by the United
States, in 1812, against Great Britain, and embraces a large and
important part of the time of the settlement of the Mississippi Valley,
and the great lake basins. During this period ten States have been added
to the Union. Many actors who now slumber in their graves are called up
to bear witness. Some of the number were distinguished men; others the
reverse. Red and white men alike express their opinions. Anecdotes and
incidents succeed each other without any attempt at method. The story
these incidentally tell, is the story of a people's settling the
wilderness. It is the Anglo-Saxon race occupying the sites of the Indian
wigwams. It is a field in which plumed sachems, farmers, legislators,
statesmen, speculators, professional and scientific men, and
missionaries of the gospel, figure in their respective capacities.
Nobody seems to have set down to compose an elaborate letter, and yet
the result of the whole, viewed by the philosophic eye, is a broad field
of elaboration.

PHILADELPHIA, _Sept. 12th, 1851_.



Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817--Events preliminary to a
knowledge of western life--Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany
River--Descent to Pittsburgh--Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and
iron--Descent of the Ohio in an ark--Scenes and incidents by the
way--Cincinnati--Some personal incidents which happened there.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth--Ascent of the
Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum--Its rapid and turbid
character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges--Some
incidents by the way.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first
American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin--His character--Continuation of the
journey on foot to St. Louis--Incidents by the way--Trip to the
mines--Survey of the mine country--Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark
Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi.


Sit down to write an account of the mines--Medical properties of the
Mississippi water--Expedition to the Yellow Stone--Resolve to visit
Washington with a plan of managing the mines--Descend the river from St.
Genevieve to New Orleans--Incidents of the trip--Take passage in a ship
for New York--Reception with my collection there--Publish my memoir on
the mines, and proceed with it to Washington--Result of my
plan--Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the
sources of the Mississippi.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west--Remain a few
weeks at New York--Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit
in the first steamer--Preparations for a new style of
traveling--Correspondents--General sketch of the route pursued by the
expedition, and its results--Return to Albany, and publish my
narrative--Journal of it--Preparation for a scientific account of the


Reception by the country on my return--Reasons for publishing my
narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the
expedition--Delays interposed to this--Correspondents--Locality of
strontian--Letter from Dr. Mitchell--Report on the copper mines of Lake
Superior--Theoretical geology--Indian symbols--Scientific
subjects--Complete the publication of my work--Its reception by the
press and the public--Effects on my mind--Receive the appointment of
Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago--Result of the expedition,
as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley--Cross the
grand prairie of Illinois--Revisit the mines--Ascend the
Illinois--Fever--Return through the great lakes--Notice of the
"Trio"--Letter from Professor Silliman--Prospect of an appointment under
government--Loss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"--Geology of Detroit--Murder
of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.


New-Yearing--A prospect opened--Poem of Ontwa--Indian biography--Fossil
tree--Letters from various persons--Notice of Ontwa--Professor
Silliman--Gov. Clinton--Hon. J. Meigs--Colonel Benton--Mr.
Dickenson--Professor Hall--Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson,
and Adams on geology--Geological notices--Plan of a gazetteer--Opinions
of my _Narrative Journal_ by scientific gentlemen--The impostor John
Dunn Hunter--Trip up the Potomac--Mosaical chronology--Visit to
Mount Vernon.


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint
Mary's--Reasons for the acceptance of the office--Journey to
Detroit--Illness at that point--Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of
infantry to establish a new military post at the foot of Lake
Superior--Incidents of the voyage to that point--Reach our destination,
and reception by the residents and Indians--A European and man of honor
fled to the wilderness.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment of the now post at St.
Mary's--Life in a nut-shell--Scarcity of room--High prices of
everything--State of the Indians--Their rich and picturesque
costume--Council and its incidents--Fort site selected and occupied--The
evil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians--Note from Governor
De Witt Clinton--Mountain ash--Curious superstitions of the
Odjibwas--Language--Manito poles--Copper--Superstitious regard for
Venus--Fine harbor in Lake Superior--Star family--A locality of
necromancers--Ancient Chippewa capital--Eating of animals.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the head of the falls--Indian
mode of interment--Indian prophetess--Topic of interpreters and
interpretation--Mode of studying the Indian language--The Johnston
family--Visits--Katewabeda, chief of Sandy Lake--Indian mythology, and
oral tales and legends--Literary opinion--Political opinion--Visit of
the chief Little Pine--Visit of Wabishkepenais--A despairing


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior--Canoe--Scenery--Descent of
St. Mary's Falls--Etymology of the Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and
Lake Superior--The wild rice plant--Indian trade--American Fur
Company--Distribution of presents--Death of Sassaba--Epitaph--Indian
capacity to count--Oral literature--Research--Self-reliance.


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior--Copper mines--White
fish--A poetic name for a fish--Indian tale--Polygamy--A
reminiscence--Taking of Fort Niagara--Mythological and allegorical tales
among the aborigines--Chippewa language--Indian vowels--A polite and a
vulgar way of speaking the language--Public worship--Seclusion from
the world.


Amusements during the winter months, when the temperature is at the
lowest point--Etymology of the word Chippewa--A meteor--The Indian
"fireproof"--Temperature and weather--Chippewa interchangeables--Indian
names for the seasons--An incident in conjugating
verbs--Visiting--Gossip--The fur trade--Todd, McGillvray, Sir Alexander
Mackenzie--Wide dissimilarity of the English and Odjibwa syntax--Close
of the year.


New Year's day among the descendants of the Norman French--Anti-philosophic
speculations of Brydone--Schlegel on language--A peculiar native
expression evincing delicacy--Graywacke in the basin of Lake
Superior--Temperature--Snow shoes--Translation of Gen. i.3--Historical
reminiscences--Morals of visiting--Odjibwa numerals--Harmon's
travels--Mackenzie's vocabularies--Criticism--Mungo Park.


Novel reading--Greenough's "Geology"--The cariboo--Spiteful
plunder of private property on a large scale--Marshall's
Washington--St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign"--Etymology
of the word _totem_--A trait of transpositive languages--Polynesian
languages--A meteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter's
temperature--Spafford's "Gazetteer"--Holmes on the Prophecies--Foreign
politics--Mythology--Gnomes--The Odjibwa based on monosyllables--No
auxiliary verbs--Pronouns declined for tense---Esprella's
letters--Valerius--Gospel of St. Luke--Chippewayan group of
languages--Home politics--Prospect of being appointed superintendent of
the lead mines of Missouri.


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction of a northern
spring--News from the world--The Indian languages--Narrative
Journal--Semi-civilization of the ancient Aztec tribes--Their arts and
languages--Hill's ironical review of the "Transactions of the Royal
Society"--A test of modern civilization--Sugar making--Trip to one of
the camps--Geology of Manhattan Island--Ontwa, an Indian poem--Northern
ornithology--Dreams--The Indian apowa--Printed queries of General
Cass--Prospect of the mineral agency--Exploration of the St.
Peter's--Information on that head.


Rapid advance of spring--Troops commence a stockade--Principles of the
Chippewa tongue--Idea of a new language containing the native principles
of syntax, with a monosyllabic method--Indian standard of
value--Archaeological evidences in growing trees--Mount Vernon--Signs of
spring in the appearance of birds--Expedition to St. Peter's--Lake
Superior open--A peculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson--True
sounds of the consonants--Philology--Advent of the arrival of a
vessel--Editors and editorials--Arrival from Fort William--A hope
fled--Sudden completion of the spring, and ushering in of
summer--Odjibwa language, and transmission of Inquiries.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823--Glance at the geography
of the lake country--Concretion of aluminous earth--General Wayne's body
naturally embalmed by this property of the soil of Erie--Free and easy
manners--Boundary Survey--An old friend--Western commerce--The Austins
of Texas memory--Collision of civil and military power--Advantages of a
visit to Europe.


Incidents of the year 1824--Indian researches--Diverse idioms of the
Ottawa and Chippewa--Conflict of opinion between the civil and military
authorities of the place--A winter of seclusion well spent--St. Paul's
idea of languages--Examples in the Chippewa--The Chippewa a pure form of
the Algonquin--Religion in the wilderness--Incidents--Congressional
excitements--Commercial view of the copper mine question--Trip to
Tackwymenon Falls, in Lake Superior.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas--First assemblage of a
legislative council in Michigan--Mineralogy and geology--Disasters of
the War of 1812--Character of the new legislature--Laconic
note--Narrative of a war party, and the disastrous murders committed at
Lake Pepin in July 1824--Speech of a friendly Indian chief from Lake
Superior on the subject--Notices of mineralogy and geology in the
west--Ohio and Erie Canal--Morals--Lafayette's progress--Hooking
minerals--A philosophical work on the Indians--Indian biography by
Samuel S. Conant--Want of books on American archaeology--Douglass's
proposed work on the expedition of 1820.


Parallelism of customs--Home scenes--Visit to Washington--Indian work
respecting the Western Tribes--Indian biography--Professor
Carter--Professor Silliman--Spiteful prosecution--Publication of Travels
in the Mississippi Valley--A northern Pocahontas--Return to the Lakes--A
new enterprise suggested--Impressions of turkeys' feet in
rock--Surrender of the Chippewa war party, who committed the murders in
1824, at Lake Pepin--Their examination, and the commitment of the actual


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi--Large assemblage of
tribes--Their appearance and character--Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas,
&c.--Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of
the Iowas--Keokuk--Mongazid's speech--Treaty of limits--Whisky
question--A literary impostor--Journey through the valleys of the Fox
and Wisconsin rivers--Incidents--Menomonies--A big nose--Wisconsin


Descent of Fox River--Blackbirds--Menomonies--Rice fields--Starving
Indians--Thunder storm--Dream--An Indian struck dead with
lightning--Green Bay--Death of Colonel Haines--Incidents of the journey
from Green Bay to Michilimackinack--Reminiscences of my early life and
travels--Choiswa--Further reminiscences of my early life--Ruins of the
first mission of Father Marquette--Reach Michilimackinack.


Journey from Mackinack to the Sault Ste. Marie--Outard Point--Head
winds--Lake Huron in a rage--Desperate embarkation--St. Vital--Double
the Detour--Return to St. Mary's--Letters--"Indian girl"--New volume of
travels--Guess' Cherokee alphabet--New views of the Indian languages and
their principles of construction--Georgia question--Post-office
difficulties--Glimpses from the civilized world.


General aspects of the Indian cause--Public criticism on the state of
Indian researches, and literary storm raised by the new views--Political
rumor--Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.--Delegate election--Copper mines of
Lake Superior--Instructions for a treaty in the North--Death of Mr.
Pettit--Denial of post-office facilities--Arrival of commissioners to
hold the Fond du Lac treaty--Trip to Fond du Lac through Lake
Superior--Treaty--Return--Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit--Death of Henry J.
Hunt and A.G. Whitney, Esqrs.--Diary of the visits of Indians at St.
Mary's Agency--Indian affairs on the frontier under the supervision of
Col. McKenney--Criticisms on the state of Indian questions--Topic of
Indian eloquence--State of American researches in natural science--Dr.
Saml. L. Mitchell.


Mineralogy--Territorial affairs--Vindication of the American policy by
its treatment of the Indians--New York spirit of improvement--Taste for
cabinets of natural history--Fatalism in an Indian--Death of a first
born son--Flight from the house--Territorial matters--A literary
topic--Preparations for another treaty--Consolations--Boundary in the
North-west under the treaty of Ghent--Natural history--Trip to Green
Bay--Treaty of Butte des Morts--Winnebago outbreak--Intrepid conduct of
General Cass--Indian stabbing--Investment of the petticoat--Mohegan


Treaty of Butte des Morts--Rencontre of an Indian with grizzly
bears--Agency site at Elmwood--Its picturesque and sylvan
character--Legislative council of the Territory--Character of its
parties, as hang-backs and toe-the-marks--Critical Reviews--Christmas.


Retrospect--United States Exploring Expedition to the South
Sea--Humanity of an Indian--Trip to Detroit from the Icy
Straits--Incidental action of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Historical Societies, and of the Montreal Natural History
Society--United States Exploring Expedition--Climatology--Lake vessels
ill found--Poetic view of the Indian--United States Exploring
Expedition--Theory of the interior world--Natural History--United States
Exploring Expedition--History of early legislation in Michigan--Return
to St. Mary's--Death of Governor De Witt Clinton.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse--Question of freedmen, or
persons not bonded for--Indian chiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut,
_Tems Couvert_, Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle--Further
notice of Wampum-hair--Red Devil--Biographical notice of Guelle Plat, or
Flat Mouth--_Brechet_--Meeshug, a widow--Iauwind--Mongazid, chief of
Fond du Lac--Chianokwut--White Bird--Annamikens, the hero of a bear
fight, &c. &c.


Natural history of the north-west--Northern
zoology--Fox--Owl--Reindeer--A dastardly attempt at murder by a
soldier--Lawless spread of the population of northern Illinois over the
Winnebago land--New York Lyceum of Natural History--U.S. Ex. Ex.--Fiscal
embarrassments in the Department--Medical cause of Indian
depopulation--Remarks of Dr. Pitcher--Erroneous impressions of the
Indian character--Reviews--Death of John Johnston, Esq.


Treaty of St. Joseph--Tanner--Visits of the Indians in distress--Letters
from the civilized world--Indian code projected--Cause of Indian
suffering--The Indian cause--Estimation of the character of the late Mr.
Johnston--Autobiography--Historical Society of Michigan--Fiscal
embarrassments of the Indian Department.


Political horizon--Ahmo Society--Incoming of Gen. Jackson's
administration--Amusements of the winter--Peace policy among the
Indians--Revival at Mackinack--Money crisis--Idea of Lake tides--New
Indian code--Anti-masonry--Missions among the Indians--Copper mines--The
policy respecting them settled--Whisky among the Indians--Fur
trade--Legislative council--Mackinack mission--Officers of Wayne's
war--Historical Society of Michigan--Improved diurnal press.


The new administration--Intellectual contest in the Senate--Sharp
contest for mayoralty of Detroit--Things shaping at Washington--Perilous
trip on the ice--Medical effects of this exposure--Legislative
Council--Visit to Niagara Falls--A visitor of note--History---Character
of the Chippewas--Ish-ko-da-wau-bo--Rotary sails--Hostilities between
the Chippewas and Sioux--Friendship and badinage--Social
intercourse--Sanillac--Gossip--Expedition to Lake Superior--Winter
Session of the Council--Historical disclosure--Historical Society of
Rhode Island--Domestic--French Revolution.


Lecture before the Lyceum--Temperature in the North--Rum and taxes--A
mild winter adverse to Indians--Death of a friend--Christian
atonement--Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianized white man--Indian
emporium--Bringing up children--Youth gone astray--Mount Hope
Institution--Expedition into the Indian country--Natural History of the
United States--A reminiscence--Voyage inland.


Lake Superior--Its shores and character--Geology--Brigade of boats--Dog
and porcupine--Burrowing birds--Otter--Keweena Point--Unfledged
ducks--Minerals--Canadian resource in a tempest of rain--Tramp in search
of the picturesque--Search for native copper--Isle Royal
descried--Indian precaution--Their ingenuity--Lake action--Nebungunowin
River--Eagles--Indian tomb--Kaug Wudju.


Lake shores--Sub-Indian agency--Indian transactions--Old fort, site of a
tragedy--Maskigo River; its rapids and character--Great Wunnegum
Portage--Botany--Length of the Mauvais--Indian carriers--Lake
Kagenogumaug--Portage lakes--Namakagun River, its character, rapids,
pine lands, &c.--Pukwaéwa village--A new species of native
fruit--Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.


Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake--Policy of the Treaty of Prairie
du Chien of 1825--Speech of Shaiwunegunaibee--Mounds of Yellow
River--Indian manners and customs--Pictography--Natural history--Nude
Indians--Geology--Portage to Lac Courtorielle--Lake of the Isles--Ottawa
Lake--Council--War party--Mozojeed's speech--Tecumseh--Mozojeed's
lodge--Indian movements--Trip to the Red Cedar Fork--Ca Ta--Lake
Chetac--Indian manners.


Betula Lake--Larch Lake--A war party surprised--Indian manners--Rice
Lake--Indian council--Red Cedar Lake--Speeches of Wabezhais and
Neenaba--Equal division of goods--Orifice for treading out rice--A live
beaver--Notices of natural history--Value of the Follavoine Valley--A
medal of the third President--War dance--Ornithology--A prairie country,
fertile and abounding in game--Saw mills--Chippewa River--Snake--La
Garde Mountain--Descent of the Mississippi--Sioux village--General
impression of the Mississippi--Arrival at Prairie du Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe--Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the
Foxes--Descent to Galena--Trip in the lead mine country to Fort
Winnebago--Gratiot's Grove--Sac and Fox disturbances--Black Hawk--Irish
Diggings--Willow Springs--Vanmater's lead--An escape from falling into
a pit--Mineral Point--Ansley's copper mine--Gen. Dodge's--Mr.
Brigham's--Sugar Creek--Four Lakes--Seven Mile Prairie--A night in the
woods--Reach Port Winnebago--Return to the Sault--Political changes in
the cabinet--Gov. Cass called to Washington--Religious changes--G.B.
Porter appointed Governor--Natural history--Character of the new
governor--Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter--Organization of a church.


Revival of St. Mary's--Rejection of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to
England--Botany and Natural History of the North-west--Project of a new
expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi--Algic
Society--Consolidation of the Agencies of St. Mary's and
Michilimackinack--Good effects of the American Home Missionary
Society--Organization of a new inland exploring expedition committed to
me--Its objects and composition of the corps of observers.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, the source of the
Mississippi River--Brief notice of the journey to the point of former
geographical discovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or Cass
Lake--Ascent and portage to Queen Anne's Lake--Lake Pemetascodiac--The
Ten, or Metoswa Rapids--Pemidgegomag, or Cross-water Lake--Lake
Irving--Lake Marquette--Lake La Salle--Lake Plantagenet--Ascent of the
Plantagenian Pork--Naiwa, or Copper-snake River--Agate Rapids and
portage--Assawa Lake--Portage over the Hauteur des Terres--Itasca
Lake--Its picturesque character--Geographical and astronomical
position--Historical data.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake--Traits
of its bank--Kabika Falls--Upsetting of a canoe--River descends by
steps, and through narrow rocky passes--Portage to the source of the
Crow-Wing River--Moss Lake--Shiba Lake--Leech Lake--Warpool Lake--Long
Lake Mountain portage--Kaginogomanug--Vermilion Lake--Ossawa Lake--Shell
River--Leaf River--Long Prairie River--Kioskk, or Gull River--Arrival at
its mouth--Descent to the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter's--Return
to St. Mary's.


Letter from a mother--Cholera--Indian war--Royal Geographical
Society--Determine to leave the Sault--Death of Miss Cass--Death of Rev.
Mr. Richard--Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at the
Sault--The Sault a religions place--Botany and Natural History--New
York University organized--Algic Society--Canadian boat song--Chaplains
in the army--Letter from a missionary--Affairs at Mackinack--Hazards of
lake commerce--Question of the temperance reform--Dr. D. Houghton--South
Carolina resists--Gen. Jackson re-elected President.


An Indian woman builds a church--Conchology--South Carolina prepares to
resist the revenue laws--Moral affairs--Geography--Botany--Chippewas and
Sioux--A native evangelist in John Sunday--His letter in English; its
philological value--The plural pronoun _we_--An Indian battle--Political
affairs--South Carolina affairs--Tariff compromise of Mr. Clay--Algic
Society; it employs native evangelists--Plan of visiting
Europe--President's tour--History of Detroit--Fresh-water shells--Lake


Earliest point of French occupancy in the area of the Upper
Lakes--Removal of my residence from the Sault St. Marie to the island of
Michilimackinack--Trip to New York--Its objects--American Philosophical
Society--Michilimackinack; its etymology--The rage for investment in
western lands begins--Traditions of Saganosh--Of Porlier--Of
Perrault--Of Captain Thorn--Of the chief, Old Wing--Of Mudjekewis, of
Thunder Bay--Character of Indian tradition respecting the massacre at
old Fort Mackinack in 1763.


Anniversary of the Algic Society--Traditions of Chusco and Mukudapenais
respecting Gen. Wayne's treaty--Saliferous column in American
geology--Fact in lake commerce--Traditions of Mrs. Dousman and Mr.
Abbott respecting the first occupation of the Island of
Michilimackinack--Question of the substantive verb in the Chippewa
language--Meteoric phenomena during the month of December--Historical
fact--Minor incidents.


Population of Michilimackinack--Notices of the weather--Indian name of
the Wolverine--Harbor closed--Intensity of temperature which can be
borne--Domestic incidents--State of the weather--Fort Mackinack
unsuccessfully attacked in 1814--Ossiganoc--Death of an Indian
woman--Death of my sister--Harbor open--Indian name of the Sabbath
day--Horticultural amusement--Tradition of the old church door--Turpid
conduct of Thomas Shepard, and his fate--Wind, tempests, sleet, snow--A
vessel beached in the harbor--Attempt of the American Fur Company to
force ardent spirits into the country, against the authority of
the agent.


Visit to Isle Bond--Site of an ancient Indian village--Ossarie--Indian
prophet--Traditions of Chusco and Yon respecting the ancient village and
bone deposit--Indian speech--Tradition of Mrs. La Fromboise respecting
Chicago--Etymology of the name--Origin of the Bonga family among the
Chippewas--Traditions of Viancour--Of Nolan--Of the chief
Aishquagonaibe, and of Sagitondowa--Evidences of antique cultivation on
the Island of Mackinack--View of affairs at Washington--The Senate an
area of intellectual excitement--A road directed to be cut through the
wilderness from Saginaw--Traditions of Ossaganac and of Little Bear Skin
respecting the Lake Tribes.


Trip to Detroit--American Fur Company; its history and
organization--American Lyceum; its objects--Desire to write books on
Indian subjects by persons not having the information to render them
valuable--Reappearance of cholera--Mission of Mackinack; its history and
condition--Visit of a Russian officer of the Imperial Guards--Chicago;
its prime position for a great _entrepôt_--Area and destiny of the
Mississippi Valley.


Philology--Structure of the Indian languages--Letter from Mr.
Duponceau--Question of the philosophy of the Chippewa syntax--Letter
from a Russian officer on his travels in the West--Queries on the
physical history of the North--Leslie Duncan, a maniac--Arwin on the
force of dissipation--Missionary life on the sources of the
Mississippi--Letter from Mr. Boutwell--Theological Review--The Territory
of Michigan, tired of a long delay, determines to organize a State


Indications of a moral revolution in the place--Political movements at
Detroit--Review of the state of society at Michilimackinack, arising
from its being the great central power of the north-west fur trade--A
letter from Dr. Greene--Prerequisites of the missionary
function--Discouragements--The state of the Mackinack Mission--Problem
of employing native teachers and evangelists--Letter of Mr.
Duponceau--Ethnological gossip--Translation of the Bible into
Algonquin--Don M. Najera--Premium offered by the French
Institute--Persistent Satanic influence among the Indian
tribes--Boundary dispute with Ohio--Character of the State Convention.


Requirements of a missionary laborer--Otwin--American
quadrupeds--Geological question--Taste of an Indian chief for
horticulture--Swiss missionaries to the Indians--Secretary of War visits
the island--Frivolous literary, diurnal, and periodical press--Letter of
Dr. Ives on this topic--Lost boxes of minerals and fresh-water
shells--Geological visit of Mr. Featherstonehaugh and Lieut. Mather--Mr.
Hastings--A theological graduate.


Rage for investment in western lands---Habits of the common
deer--Question of the punishment of Indian murders committed in the
Indian country--A chief calls to have his authority recognized on the
death of a predecessor--Dr. Julius, of Prussia--Gen. Robert
Patterson--Pressure of emigration--Otwin--Dr. Gilman and Mr.
Hoffman--Picturesque trip to Lake Superior--Indians desire to cede
territory--G.W. Featherstonehaugh--Sketch of his geological
reconnoissance of the St. Peter's River--Dr. Thomas H. Webb--Question of
inscriptions on American rocks--Antiquities--Embark for Washington, and
come down the lakes in the great tempest of 1835.


Florida war--Startling news of the Massacre of Dade--Peoria on the
Illinois--Abanaki language--Oregon--Things shaping for a territorial
claim--Responsibility of claim in an enemy's country--A true
soldier--Southern Literary Messenger--Missionary cause--Resources of
Missouri--Indian portfolio of Lewis--Literary gossip--Sir Francis
Head--The Crane and Addik totem--Treaty of March 28th, 1836, with the
Ottawas and Chippewas--Treaty with the Saginaws of May 20th--Treaty with
the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas of May 9th--Return to
Michilimackinack--Death of Charlotte, the daughter of Songageezhig.


Home matters--Massachusetts Historical Society--Question of the U.S.
Senate's action on certain treaties of the Lake Indians--Hugh L.
White--Dr. Morton's Crania Americana--Letter from Mozojeed--State of the
pillagers--Visit of Dr. Follen and Miss Martineau--Treaty
movements--Young Lord Selkirk--Character and value of Upper
Michigan--Hon. John Norvell's letter--Literary items--Execution of the
treaty of March 28th--Amount of money paid--Effects of the
treaty--Baron de Behr-Ornithology.


Value of the equivalent territory granted to Michigan, by
Congress, for the disputed Ohio boundary--Rapid improvement of
Michigan--Allegan--Indian legend--Baptism and death of Kagcosh, a very
aged chief at St. Mary's--New system of writing Indian, proposed by Mr.
Nash--Indian names for new towns--A Bishop's notion of the reason for
applying to Government for education funds under Indian treaties--Mr.
Gallatin's paper on the Indians--The temperance movement.


Difficulties resulting from a false impression of the Indian
character--Treaty with the Saginaws--Ottawas of Grand River
establish themselves in a colony in Barry County--Payments
to the Ottawas of Maumee, Ohio--Temperance--Assassination of
young Aitkin by an Indian at Leech Lake--Mackinack mission
abandoned--Wyandots complain of a trespass from a mill-dam--Mohegans
of Green Bay apply for aid on their way to visit Stockbridge,
Mass.--Mohegan traditions--Historical Society--Programme of a tour in
the East--Parental disobedience--Indian treaties--Dr. Warren's
Collection of Crania--Hebrew language--Geology--"Goods offer"--Mrs.
Jameson--Mastodon's tooth in Michigan--Captain Marryatt--The Icelandic
language--Munsees--Speech of Little Bear Skin chief, or Mukónsewyán.


Notions of foreigners about America--Mrs. Jameson--Appraisements of
Indian property--Le Jeune's early publication on the Iroquois--Troops
for Florida--A question of Indian genealogy--Annuity payments--Indians
present a claim of salvage--Death of the Prophet Chusco--Indian
sufferings--Gen. Dodge's treaty--Additional debt claims--Gazetteer of
Michigan--Stone's Life of Brant--University of Michigan--Christian
Keepsake--Indian etymology--Small-pox breaks out on the
Missouri--Missionary operations in the north-west--Treaty of Flint River
with the Saginaws.


Tradition of Pontiac's conspiracy and death--Patriot war--Expedition of
a body of 250 men to Boisblanc--Question of schools and missions among
the Indians--Indian affairs--Storm at Michilimackinack--Life of
Brant--Interpreterships and Indian language--A Mohegan--Affair of the
"Caroline"--Makons--Plan of names for new towns--Indian legends--Florida
war--Patriot war--Arrival of Gen. Scott on the frontiers--Résumé of the
difficulties of the Florida war--Natural history and climate of
Florida--Death of Dr. Lutner.


Indians tampered with at Grand River--Small-pox in the Missouri
Valley--Living history at home--Sunday schools--Agriculture--Indian
names--Murder of the Glass family--Dr. Morton's inquiries respecting
Indian crania--Necessity of one's writing his name plain--Michigan
Gazetteer in preparation--Attempt to make the Indian a political
pack-horse--Return to the Agency of Michilimackinack--Indian skulls
phrenologically examined--J. Toulmin Smith--Cherokee question--Trip to
Grand River--Treaty and annuity payments--The department accused of
injustice to the Indians.


Missions--Hard times, consequent on over-speculation--Question
of the rise of the lakes--Scientific theory--Trip to Washington--Trip
to Lake Superior and the Straits of St. Mary--John Tanner--Indian
improvements north of Michilimackinack--Great cave--Isle
Nabiquon--Superstitious ideas of the Indians connected with
females--Scotch royals--McKenzie--Climate of the United States--Foreign
coins and natural history--Antique fort in Adams County, Ohio--Royal
Society of Northern Antiquaries--Statistics of lands purchased from
the Indians--Sun's eclipse--Government payments.


Descendant of one spared at the massacre of St. Bartholomew's--Death of
Gen. Clarke--Massacre of Peurifoy's family in Florida--Gen. Harrison's
historical discourse--Death of an emigrant on board a steamboat--Murder
of an Indian--History of Mackinack--Incidents of the treaty of 29th
July, 1837--Mr. Fleming's account of the missionaries leaving
Georgia, and of the improvements of the Indians west--Death
of Black Hawk--Incidents of his life and character--Dreadful
cruelty of the Pawnees in burning a female captive--Cherokee
emigration--Phrenology--Return to Detroit--University--Indian
affairs--Cherokee removal--Indians shot at Fort Snelling.


Embark for New York--A glimpse of Texan affairs--Toltecan
monuments--Indian population of Texas--Horrible effects of drinking
ardent spirits among the Indians--Mr. Gallatin--His opinions
on various subjects of philosophy and history--Visit to the
South--Philadelphia--Washington--Indian affairs--Debt claim--Leave to
visit Europe--Question of neutrality--Mr. Van Buren--American
imaginative literature--Knickerbocker--Résumé of the Indian question of


Sentiments of loyalty--Northern Antiquarian Society--Indian statistics--
Rhode Island Historical Society--Gen. Macomb--Lines in the Odjibwa
language by a mother on placing her children at school--Mehemet
Ali--Mrs. Jameson's opinion on publishers and publishing--Her opinion of
my Indian legends--False report of a new Indian language--Indian
compound words--Delafield's Antiquities--American Fur Company--State of
Indian disturbances in Texas and Florida--Causes of the failure of the
war in Florida, by an officer--Death of an Indian chief--Mr. Bancroft's
opinion on the Dighton Rook inscription--Skroellings not in New
England--Mr. Gallatin's opinion on points of Esquimaux language,
connected with our knowledge of our archaeology.


Workings of unshackled mind--Comity of the American Addison--Lake
periodical fluctuations--American antiquities--Indian doings in Florida
and Texas--Wood's New England's Prospect--Philological and historical
comments--Death of Ningwegon--Creeks--Brothertons made citizens--Charles
Fenno Hoffman--Indian names for places on the Hudson--Christians
Indians--Etymology--Theodoric--Appraisements of Indian property--Algic
researches--Plan and object.


American antiquities--Michilimackinack a summer resort--Death
of Ogimau Keegido--Brothertons--An Indian election--Cherokee
murders--Board of Regents of the Michigan University--Archaeological
facts and rumors--Woman of the Green Valley--A new variety of
fish--Visits of the Austrian and Sardinian Ministers to the
U.S.--Mr. Gallup--Sioux murders--A remarkable display of aurora
borealis--Ottawas of Maumee--Extent of auroral phenomena--Potawattomie
cruelty--Mineralogy--Death of Ondiaka--Chippewa tradition--Fruit
trees--Stone's preparation of the Life and Times of Sir William
Johnson--Dialectic difference between the language of the Ottawas
and the Chippewas--Philological remarks on the Indian languages--Mr.
T. Hulbert.


Popular error respecting the Indian character and history--Remarkable
superstition--Theodoric--A missionary choosing a wild flower--Piety
and money--A fiscal collapse in Michigan--Mission of Grand
Traverse--Simplicity of the school-girl's hopes--Singular theory of the
Indians respecting story-telling--Oldest allegory on record--Political
aspects--Seneca treaty--Mineralogy--Farming and mission station on
Lake Michigan.


Death of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft--Perils of the revolutionary
era--Otwin--Mr. Bancroft's history in the feature of its Indian
relations--A tradition of a noted chief on Lake Michigan--The collection
of information for a historical volume--Opinions of Mr. Paulding, Dr.
Webster, Mr. Duer, John Quincy Adams--Holyon and Alholyon--Family
monument--Mr. Stevenson, American Minister at London--Joanna


Philology of the Indian tongues--Its difficulties--Belles
lettres and money--Michigan and Georgia--Number of species
in natural history--Etymology--Nebahquam's dream--Trait in Indian
legends--Pictography--Numeration of the races of Polynesia and the Upper
Lakes--Love of one's native tongue--Death of Gen. Harrison--Rush for
office on his inauguration--Ornamental and shade trees--Historical
collections--Mission of "Old Wing".


Popular common school education--Iroquois name for Mackinack--Its
scenic beauties poetically considered--Phenomenon of two currents
of adverse wind meeting--Audubon's proposed work on American
quadrupeds--Adario--Geographical range of the mocking-bird--Removal from
the West to the city of New York--An era accomplished--Visit to Europe.




       *       *       *       *       *

The early period at which Mr. Schoolcraft entered the field of
observation in the United States as a naturalist; the enterprise he has
from the outset manifested in exploring the geography and geology of the
Great West; and his subsequent researches as an ethnologist, in
investigating the Indian languages and history, are well known to the
public, and may be appropriately referred to as the grounds of the
present design, in furnishing some brief and connected sketches of his
life, family, studies, and literary labors. He is an example of what
early and continued zeal, talent, and diligence, united with energy of
character and consistent moral habits, may accomplish in the cause of
letters and science, by the force of solitary application, without the
advantage of hereditary wealth, the impulse of patronage, or the
_prestige_ of early academic honors. Ardent in the pursuit of whatever
engaged his attention, quick in the observation of natural phenomena,
and assiduous in the accumulation of facts; with an ever present sense
of their practical and useful bearing--few men, in our modern history,
have accomplished so much, in the lines of research he has chosen, to
render science popular and letters honorable. To him we are indebted for
our first accounts of the geological constitution, and the mineral
wealth and resources of the great valley beyond the Alleghanies, and he
is the discoverer of the actual source of the Mississippi River in
Itasca Lake. For many years, beginning with 1817, he stirred up a zeal
for natural history from one end of the land to the other, and, after
his settlement in the West, he was a point of approach for
correspondents, as his personal memoirs denote, not only on these
topics, but for all that relates to the Indian tribes, in consequence of
which he has been emphatically pronounced "The Red Man's FRIEND."

Mr. Schoolcraft is a native of New York, and is the descendant in the
third generation, by the paternal line, of an Englishman. James Calcraft
had served with reputation in the armies of the Duke of Marlborough
during the reign of Queen Anne, and was present in that general's
celebrated triumphs on the continent, in one of which he lost an eye,
from the premature explosion of the priming of a cannon. Owing to these
military services he enjoyed and cherished a high reputation for bravery
and loyalty.

He was a descendant of a family of that name, who came to England with
William the Conqueror--and settled under grants from the crown in
Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire--three separate branches of the family
having received the honor of knighthood for their military services.

In the reign of George the Second, consequently after 1727, he embarked
at Liverpool in a detachment of veteran troops, intended to act against
Canada. He was present in the operations connected with the building of
Forts Anne and Edwards, on the North River, and Fort William Henry on
Lake George.

At the conclusion of these campaigns he settled in Albany county, N.Y.,
which has continued to be the residence of the family for more than a
century. Being a man of education, he at first devoted himself to the
business of a land surveyor, in which capacity he was employed by Col.
Vroman, to survey the boundaries of his tract of land in the then
frontier settlement of Schoharie. At the latter place he married the
only daughter and child of Christian Camerer, one of the Palatines--a
body of determined Saxons who had emigrated from the Upper Rhine in
1712, under the assurance or expectation of a patent from Queen Anne.[1]
this marriage he had eight children--namely, James, Christian, John,
Margaret, Elizabeth, Lawrence, William, and Helen.

[Footnote 1: Simms' Schoharie.]

For many years during his old age, he conducted a large school in this
settlement, being the first English school that was taught in that then
frontier part of the country. This appears to be the only tenable
reason that has been assigned for the change of the family name from
Calcraft to Schoolcraft.

When far advanced in life, he went to live with his son William, on the
New York grants on Otter Creek, in the rich agricultural region south of
Lake Champlain--which is now included in Vermont. Here he died at the
great age of one hundred and two, having been universally esteemed for
his loyalty to his king, his personal courage and energy, and the
uprightness of his character.

After the death of his father, when the revolutionary troubles
commenced, William, his youngest son, removed into Lower Canada. The
other children all remained in Albany County, except Christian, who,
when the jangling land disputes and conflicts of titles arose in
Schoharie, followed Conrad Wiser, Esq. (a near relative), to the banks
of the Susquehanna. He appears eventually to have pushed his way to
Buchanan River, one of the sources of the Monongahela, in Lewis County,
Virginia, where some of his descendants must still reside. It appears
that they became deeply involved in the Indian wars which the Shawnees
kept up on the frontiers of Virginia. In this struggle they took an
active part, and were visited with the severest retribution by the
marauding Indians. It is stated by Withers that, between 1770 and 1779,
not less than fifteen of this family, men, women, and children, were
killed or taken prisoners, and carried into captivity.[2]

[Footnote 2: _Chronicles of the Border Warfare in North-western
Virginia_. By Alex Withers, Clarksbury, Virginia, 1831. 1 vol. 12mo.
page 319.]

Of the other children of the original progenitor, James, the eldest son,
died a bachelor. Lawrence was the ancestor of the persons of this name
in Schoharie County. Elizabeth and Helen married, in that county, in the
families of Rose and Haines, and, Margaret, the eldest daughter, married
Col. Green Brush, of the British army, at the house of Gen. Bradstreet,
Albany. Her daughter, Miss Francis Brush, married the celebrated Col.
Ethan Allen, after his return from the Tower of London.

JOHN, the third son, settled in Watervleit, in the valley of the
Norman's Kill--or, as the Indians called it, Towasentha--Albany County.
He served in a winter's campaign against Oswego, in 1757, and took part
also in the successful siege and storming of Fort Niagara, under Gen.
Prideaux [3] and Sir William Johnson, in the summer of 1759. He married
a Miss Anna Barbara Boss, by whom he had three children, namely, Anne,
Lawrence, and John. He had the local reputation of great intrepidity,
strong muscular power, and unyielding decision of character. He died at
the age of 64. LAWRENCE, his eldest son, had entered his seventeenth
year when the American Revolution broke out. He embraced the patriotic
sentiments of that era with great ardor, and was in the first
revolutionary procession that marched through and canvassed the
settlement with martial music, and the Committee of Safety at its head,
to determine who was Whig or Tory.

[Footnote 3: This officer was shot in the trenches, which devolved the
command on Sir William.]

The military element had always commanded great respect in the family,
and he did not wait to be older, but enrolled himself among the
defenders of his country.

He was present, in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read
to the troops drawn up in hollow square at Ticonderoga. He marched under
Gen. Schuyler to the relief of Montgomery, at Quebec, and continued to
be an indomitable actor in various positions, civil and military, in the
great drama of the Revolution during its entire continuance.

In 1777, the darkest and most hopeless period of our revolutionary
contest, he led a reinforcement from Albany to Fort Stanwix, up the
Mohawk Valley, then alive with hostile Indians and Tories, and escaped
them all, and he was in this fort, under Col. Ganzevoort, during its
long and close siege by Col. St. Leger and his infuriated Indian allies.
The whole embodied militia of the Mohawk Valley marched to its relief,
under the bold and patriotic Gen. Herkimer. They were met by the
Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas, and British loyalists, lying in ambush
on the banks of the Oriskany, eight miles from the fort. A dreadful
battle ensued. Gen. Herkimer was soon wounded in the thigh, his leg
broken, and his horse shot under him. With the coolness of a Blucher, he
then directed his saddle to be placed on a small knoll, and, drawing out
his tobacco-box, lit his pipe and calmly smoked while his brave and
unconquerable men fought around him.

This was one of the most stoutly contested battles of the Revolution.
Campbell says: "This battle made orphans of half the inhabitants of the
Mohawk Valley." [4] It was a desperate struggle between neighbors, who
were ranged on opposite sides as Whig and Tory, and it was a triumph,
Herkimer remaining master of the field. During the hottest of the
battle, Col. Willett stepped on to the esplanade of the fort, where the
troops were paraded, and requested all who were willing to fight for
liberty and join a party for the relief of Herkimer, to step forward one
pace. Schoolcraft was the first to advance. Two hundred and fifty men
followed him. An immediate sally was made. They carried the camp of Sir
John Johnson; took all his baggage, military-chest, and papers; drove
him through the Mohawk River; and then turned upon the howling Mohawks
and swept and fired their camp. The results of this battle were
brilliant. The plunder was immense. The lines of the besiegers, which
had been thinned by the forces sent to Oriskany, were carried, and the
noise of firing and rumors of a reinforcement, animated the hearts of
the indomitable men of that day.

[Footnote 4: Annals of Teyon County.]

After the victory, Herkimer was carried by his men, in a litter, thirty
or forty miles to his own house, below the present town of Herkimer,
where he died, from an unskillful amputation, having just concluded
reading to his family the 38th Psalm.

But the most dangerous enemy to the cause of freedom was not to be found
in the field, but among neighbors who were lurking at midnight around
the scenes of home. The districts of Albany and Schoharie was infested
by Tories, and young Schoolcraft was ever on the _qui vive_ to ferret
out this most insidious and cruel of the enemy's power. On one occasion
he detected a Tory, who had returned from Canada with a lieutenant's
commission in his pocket. He immediately clapped spurs to his horse, and
reported him to Gov. George Clinton, the Chairman of the Committee of
Safety at Albany. Within three days the lieutenant was seized, tried,
condemned and hanged. Indeed, a volume of anecdotes might be written of
Lawrence Schoolcraft's revolutionary life; suffice it to say, that he
was a devoted, enthusiastic, enterprizing soldier and patriot, and came
out of the contest with an adjutant's commission and a high reputation
for bravery.

About the close of the Revolutionary war, he married Miss Margaret Anne
Barbara Rowe, a native of Fishkill, Duchess County, New York, by whom he
had thirteen children.

His disciplinary knowledge and tact in the government of men, united to
amenity of manners, led to his selection in 1802, by the Hon. Jeremiah
Van Rensselaer, as director of his extensive glass works at Hamilton,
near Albany, which he conducted with high reputation so many years,
during which time he bore several important civil and military trusts in
the county. The importance of this manufacture to the new settlements at
that early day, was deeply felt, and his ability and skill in the
management of these extensive works were widely known and appreciated.

When the war of 1812 appeared inevitable, Gen. Ganzevoort, his old
commanding officer at Fort Stanwix, who was now at the head of the U.S.
army, placed him in command of the first regiment of uniformed
volunteers, who were mustered into service for that conflict. His
celebrity in the manufacture of glass, led capitalists in Western New
York to offer him large inducements to remove there, where he first
introduced this manufacture during the settlement of that new and
attractive part of the State, in which a mania for manufactories was
then rife. In this new field the sphere of his activity and skill were
greatly enlarged, and he enjoyed the consideration and respect of his
townsmen for many years. He died at Vernon, Oneida County, in 1840, at
the age of eighty-four, having lived long to enjoy the success of that
independence for which he had ardently thirsted and fought. A handsome
monument on the banks of the Skenando bears the inscription

     "A patriot, a Christian, and an honest man."

A man who was never governed by expediency but by right, and in all his
expressions of opinion, original and fearless of consequences. These
details of the life and character of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, appeared
proper in proceeding to speak of one of his sons, who has for so
considerable a period occupied the public attention as an actor in other
fields, requiring not less energy, decision, enterprise and perseverance
of character.

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born in Albany County, on the 28th of March,
1793, during the second presidential term of Washington. His childhood
and youth were spent in the village of Hamilton, a place once renowned
for its prosperous manufactories, but which has long since verified the
predictions of the bard--

     "That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
      As ocean sweeps the labored mole away."

Its location is on one of the beautiful and sparkling affluents of the
Towasentha or Norman's Kill, popularly called the Hongerkill, which he
has in one of his occasional publications called the Iósco, from an
aboriginal term. That picturesque and lofty arm of the Catskills, which
is called the Helderberg, bounds the landscape on the west and south,
while the Pine Plains occupy the form of a crescent, between the Mohawk
and the Hudson, bearing the cities of Albany and Schenectady
respectively on its opposite edges. Across this crescent-like Plain of
Pines, by a line of sixteen miles, was the ancient Iroquois war and
trading path. The Towasentha lies on the south borders of this plain,
and was, on the first settlement of the country, the seat of an Indian
population. Here, during the official term of Gen. Hamilton, whose name
the village bears, the capitalists of Albany planted a manufacturing
village. The position is one where the arable forest and farming lands
are bounded by the half arabic waste of the pine plains of the
Honicroisa, whose deep gorges are still infested by the wolf and smaller
animals. The whole valley of the Norman's Kill abounds in lovely and
rural scenes, and quiet retreats and waterfalls, which are suited to
nourish poetic tastes. In these he indulged from his thirteenth year,
periodically writing, and as judgment ripened, destroying volumes of
manuscripts, while at the same time he evinced uncommon diligence at his
books and studies. The poetic talent was, indeed, strongly developed.
His power of versification was early and well formed, and the pieces
which were published anonymously at a maturer period, as "Geehale," and
"The Iroquois," &c., have long been embodied without a name in our
poetic literature. But this faculty, of which we have been permitted to
see the manuscript of some elaborate and vigorous trains of thought, did
not impede a decided intellectual progress in sterner studies in the
sciences and arts. His mind was early imbued with a thirst of knowledge,
and he made such proficiency as to attract the notice of persons of
education and taste. There was developed, too, in him, an early bias
for the philosophy of language. Mr. Van Kleeck, a townsman, in a recent
letter to Dr. R.W. Griswold, says:--

"I revert with great pleasure to the scenes of my residence, in the part
of Albany County which was also the residence of Henry R. Schoolcraft. I
went to reside at the village of Hamilton, in the town of Guilderland,
in 1803. Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, the father of Henry, had then the
direction of the large manufactories of glass, for which that place was
long noted. The standing of young Henry, I remember, at his school, for
scholarship, was then very noted, and his reputation in the village most
prominent. He was spoken of as a lad of great promise, and a very
learned boy at twelve. Mr. Robert Buchanan, a Scotchman, and a man of
learning, took much pride in his advances, and finally came to his
father and told him that he had taught him all he knew. In Latin, I
think he was taught by Cleanthus Felt. He was at this age very arduous
and assiduous in the pursuit of knowledge. He discovered great
mechanical ingenuity. He drew and painted in water colors, and attracted
the notice of the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Lt. Governor of the
State, who became so much interested in his advancement, that he took
the initial steps to have him placed with a master. At an early age he
manifested a taste for mineralogy and natural science, which was then (I
speak of about 1808) almost unknown in the country. He was generally to
be found at home, at his studies, when other boys of his age were
attending horseraces, cock-fights, and other vicious amusements for
which the village was famous.

"At this time he organized with persevering effort, a literary society,
in which discussions took place by the intelligent inhabitants on
subjects of popular and learned interests. At an early age, I think
sixteen, he went to the west, and the first that was afterwards heard of
him was his bringing to New York a splendid collection of the mineralogy
and natural history of the west." [5]

[Footnote 5: Letter of L.L. Van Kleeck, Esq., to Dr. R.W. Griswold, June
4th, 1851.]

In a part of the country where books were scarce, it was not easy to
supply this want. He purchased several editions of English classics at
the sale of the valuable library of Dirck Ten Broeck, Esq., of Albany,
and his room in a short time showed the elements of a library and a
cabinet of minerals, and drawings, which were arranged with the greatest
care and neatness. Having finished his primary studies, with high
reputation, he prepared, under an improved instructor, to enter Union
College. It was at the age of fifteen that he set on foot, as Mr. Van
Kleeck mentions, an association for mental improvement. These meetings
drew together persons of literary tastes and acquirements in the
vicinity. The late John V. Veeder, Wm. McKown, and L.L. Van Kleeck,
Esqs., Mr. Robert Alsop, the late John Schoolcraft, Esq., G. Batterman,
John Sloan, and other well-known gentlemen of the town, all of whom were
his seniors in age, attended these meetings.

Mineralogy was at that time an almost unknown science in the United
States. At first the heavy drift stratum of Albany County, as seen in
the bed of Norman's Kill; and its deep cuttings in the slate and other
rocks, were his field of mineralogical inquiries. Afterwards, while
living at Lake Dunmore, in Addison County, Vermont, he revised and
systematized the study under the teaching of Professor Hall, of
Middlebury College, to which he added chemistry, natural philosophy and
medicine. Having now the means, he erected a chemical furnace, and
ordered books, apparatus, and tests from the city of New York. By these
means he perfected the arts which were under his direction in the large
way; and he made investigations of the phenomena of the fusion of
various bodies, which he prepared for the press under the name of
Vitriology, an elaborate work of research. Amongst the facts brought to
light, it is apprehended, were revealed the essential principles of an
art which is said to have been discovered and lost in the days of
Tiberius Caesar.

He taught himself the Hebrew and German, with the aid only of grammars
and lexicons; and, with the assistance of instructors, the reading of
French. His assiduity, his love of method, the great value he attached
to time, and his perseverance in whatever study or research he
undertook, were indeed indomitable, and serve to prove how far they will
carry the mind, and how much surer tests they are of ultimate usefulness
and attainment, than the most dazzling genius without these moral props.
Self-dependent, self-acting, and self-taught, it is apprehended that few
men, with so little means and few advantages, have been in so peculiar a
sense the architect of their own fortunes.

He commenced writing for the newspapers and periodicals in 1808, in
which year he also published a poetic tribute to a friend, which excited
local notice, and was attributed to a person of literary celebrity. For,
notwithstanding the gravity of his studies and researches, he had
indulged an early poetic taste for a series of years, by compositions of
an imaginative character, and might, it should seem, have attained
distinction in that way. His remarks in the "_Literary and Philosophical
Repertory_," on the evolvement of hydrogen gas from the strata of
Western New York, under the name of Burning Springs, evinced an early
aptitude for philosophical discussion. In a notice of some
archaeological discoveries made in Hamburgh, Erie County, which were
published at Utica in 1817, he first denoted the necessity of
discriminating between the antique French and European, and the
aboriginal period in our antiquities; for the want of which
discrimination, casual observers and discoverers of articles in our
tumuli are perpetually over-estimating the state of ancient art.

About 1816 he issued proposals, and made arrangements to publish his
elaborated work on vitreology, which, so far as published, was
favorably received.

In 1817 he was attracted to go to the Valley of the Mississippi. A new
world appeared to be opening for American enterprise there. Its extent
and resources seemed to point it out as the future residence of
millions; and he determined to share in the exploration of its
geography, geology, mineralogy and general ethnology, for in this latter
respect also it offered, by its curious mounds and antiquities and
existing Indian tribes, a field of peculiar and undeveloped interest.

He approached this field of observation by descending the Alleghany
River from Western New York to the Ohio. He made Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,
and Louisville centres of observation. At the latter place he published
in the papers an account of the discovery of a body of the black oxide
of manganese, on the banks of the Great Sandy River of Kentucky, and
watched the return papers from the old Atlantic States, to see whether
notices of this kind would be copied and approved. Finding this test
favorable, he felt encouraged in his mineralogical researches. Having
descended the Ohio to its mouth one thousand miles, by its involutions
below Pittsburgh, and entered the _Mississippi_, he urged his way up
the strong and turbid channel of the latter, in barges, by slow stages
of five or six miles a day, to St. Louis. This slowness of travel gave
him an opportunity of exploring on foot the whole of the Missouri shore,
so noted, from early Spanish and French days, for its mines. After
visiting the mounds of Illinois, he recrossed the Mississippi into the
mineral district of Missouri. Making Potosi the centre of his survey and
the deposit of his collections, he executed a thorough examination of
that district, where he found some seventy mines scattered over a large
surface of the public domain, which yielded, at the utmost, by a very
desultory process, about three millions of pounds of lead annually.
Having explored this region very minutely, he wished to ascertain its
geological connection with the Ozark and other highland ranges, which
spread at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and he planned an exploratory
expedition into that region. This bold and hazardous journey he
organized and commenced at Potosi early in the month of November, 1818,
and prosecuted it under many disadvantages during that fall and the
succeeding winter. Several expert and practiced woodsmen were to have
been of this party, but when the time for setting out came all but two
failed, under various excuses. One of these was finally obliged to turn
back from _Mine au Breton_ with a continued attack of fever and ague.
Ardent in the plan, and with a strong desire to extend the dominions of
science, he determined to push on with a single companion, and a single
pack-horse, which bore the necessary camp conveniences, and was led
alternately by each from day to day. A pocket compass guided their march
by day, and they often slept in vast caverns in limestone cliffs at
night. Gigantic springs of the purest crystaline water frequently gushed
up from the soil or rocks. This track laid across highlands, which
divide the confluent waters of the Missouri from those of the
Mississippi. Indians, wild beasts, starvation, thirst, were the dangers
of the way. This journey, which led into the vast and desolate parts of
Arkansas, was replete with incidents and adventures of the
highest interest.

While in Missouri, and after his return from this adventurous journey,
he drew up a description of the mines, geology, and mineralogy of the
country. Conceiving a plan for the better management of the lead mines
as a part of the public domain, he determined to visit Washington, to
submit it to the government. Packing up his collections of mineralogy
and geology, he ordered them to the nearest point of embarkation on the
Mississippi, and, getting on board a steamer at St. Genevieve, proceeded
to New Orleans. Thence he took shipping for New York, passing through
the Straits of Florida, and reached his destination during the
prevalence of the yellow fever in that city. He improved the time of his
quarantine at Staten Island by exploring its mineralogy and geology,
where he experienced a kind and appreciating reception from the health
officer, Dr. De Witt.

His reception also from scientific men at New York was most favorable,
and produced a strong sensation. Being the first person who had brought
a collection of its scientific resources from the Mississippi Valley,
its exhibition and diffusion in private cabinets gave an impulse to
these studies in the country.

Men of science and gentlemen of enlarged minds welcomed him. Drs.
Mitchell and Hosack, who were then at the summit of their influence, and
many other leading and professional characters extended a hand of
cordial encouragement and appreciation. Gov. De Witt Clinton was one of
his earliest and most constant friends. The Lyceum of Natural History
and the New York Historical Society admitted him to membership.

Late in the autumn of 1819, he published his work on the mines and
mineral resources of Missouri, and with this publication as an exponent
of his views, he proceeded to Washington, where he was favorably
received by President Monroe, and by Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford,
members of his cabinet. At the request of the latter he drew up a memoir
on the reorganization of the western mines, which was well received.
Some legislation appeared necessary. Meantime Mr. Calhoun, who was
struck by the earnestness of his views and scientific enterprise,
offered him the situation of geologist and mineralogist to an exploring
expedition, which the war department was about dispatching from Detroit
to the sources of the Mississippi under the orders of Gen. Cass.

This he immediately accepted, and, after spending a few weeks at the
capital, returned in Feb., 1820, to New York, to await the opening of
the interior navigation. As soon as the lakes opened he proceeded to
Detroit, and in the course of two or three weeks embarked on this
celebrated tour of exploration. The great lake basins were visited and
explored, the reported copper mines on Lake Superior examined, and the
Upper Mississippi entered at Sandy Lake, and, after tracing it in its
remote mazes to the highest practical point, he descended its channel by
St. Anthony's Falls to Prairie du Chien and the Du Buque lead mines. The
original outward track north-westward was then regained, through the
valleys of the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, and the extended shores of Lake
Michigan and Huron elaborately traced. In this he was accompanied by the
late Professor David B. Douglass, who collected the materials for a
correct map of the great lakes and the sources of the Mississippi.

It was late in the autumn when Mr. Schoolcraft returned to his residence
at New York, when he was solicited to publish his "narrative journal."
This he completed early in the spring of 1821. This work, which evinces
accurate and original powers of observation, established his reputation
as a scientific and judicious traveler. Copies of it found their way to
England, where it was praised by Sir Humphrey Davy and the veteran
geographer, Major Rennel. His report to the Secretary of War on the
copper mines of Lake Superior, was published in advance by the American
Journal of Science, and by order of the Senate of the United States, and
gives the earliest scientific account of the mineral affluence of the
basin of that lake. His geological report to the same department made
subsequently, traces the formations of that part of the continent, which
gives origin to the Mississippi River, and denotes the latitudes where
it is crossed by the primitive and volcanic rocks. The ardor and
enthusiasm which he evinced in the cause of science, and his personal
enterprise in traversing vast regions, awakened a corresponding spirit;
and the publication of his narratives had the effect to popularize the
subject of mineralogy and geology throughout the country.

In 1821, he executed a very extensive journey through the Miami of the
Lakes and the River Wabash, tracing those streams minutely to the
entrance of the latter into the Ohio River. He then proceeded to explore
the Oshawanoe Mountains, near Cave-in-Rock, with their deposits of the
fluate of lime, galena, and other mineral treasures. From this range he
crossed over the grand prairies of the Illinois to St. Louis, revisited
the mineral district of Potosi, and ascended the Illinois River and its
north-west fork, the _Des Plaines_, to Chicago, where a large body of
Indians were congregated to confer on the cession of their lands. At
these important conferences, he occupied the position of secretary. He
published an account of the incidents of this exploratory journey, under
the title of _Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi
Valley_. He found, in passing up the river _Des Plaines_, a remarkably
well characterized specimen of a fossil tree, completely converted to
stone, of which he prepared a descriptive memoir, which had the effect
further to direct the public mind to geological phenomena.

We are not prepared to pursue minutely these first steps of his
energetic course in the early investigation of our natural history and
geography. In 1822, while the lead-mine problem was under advisement at
Washington, he was appointed by Mr. Monroe to the semi-diplomatic
position of Agent for Indian Affairs on the North-west Frontiers. This
opened a new field of inquiry, and, while it opposed no bar to the
pursuits of natural science, it presented a broad area of historical and
ethnological research. On this he entered with great ardor, and an event
of generally controlling influence on human pursuits occurred to enlarge
these studies, in his marriage to Miss Jane Johnston, a highly
cultivated young lady, who was equally well versed in the English and
Algonquin languages, being a descendant, by the mother's side, of
Wabojeeg, a celebrated war sachem, and ruling cacique of his nation. Her
father, Mr. John Johnston, was a gentleman of the highest connections,
fortune, and standing, from the north of Ireland, who had emigrated to
America during the presidency of Washington. He possessed great
enthusiasm and romance of character, united with poetic tastes, and
became deeply enamored of the beautiful daughter of Wabojeeg, married
her, and had eight children. His eldest daughter, Jane, was sent, at
nine years of age, to Europe to be thoroughly educated under the care of
his relatives there, and, when she returned to America, was placed at
the head of her father's household, where her refined dignified manners
and accomplishments attracted the notice and admiration of numerous
visitors to that seat of noble hospitality. Mr. Schoolcraft was among
the first suitors for her hand, and married her in October, 1823.

Mr. Johnston was a fine _belles lettres_ scholar, and entered readily
into the discussions arising from the principles of the Indian
languages, and plans for their improvement.

Mr. Schoolcraft's marriage into an aboriginal family gave no small
stimulus to these inquiries, which were pursued under such singularly
excellent advantages, and with untiring ardor in the seclusion of
Elmwood and Michilimackinack, for a period of nearly twenty years, and,
until his wife's lamented death, which happened during a visit to her
sister, at Dundas, Canada West, in the year 1842, and while he himself
was absent on a visit to England. Mr. Schoolcraft has not, at any period
of his life, sought advancement in political life, but executed with
energy and interest various civic offices, which were freely offered to
him. From 1828 to 1832, he was an efficient member of the Territorial
Legislature, where he introduced a system of township and county names,
formed on the basis of the aboriginal vocabulary, and also procured the
incorporation of a historical society, and, besides managing the
finances, as chairman of an appropriate committee, he introduced and
secured the passage of several laws respecting the treatment of the
native tribes.

In 1828, the Navy Department offered him a prominent situation in the
scientific corps of the United States Exploring Expedition to the South
Seas. This was urged in several letters written to him at St. Mary's, by
Mr. Reynolds, with the approbation of Mr. Southard, then Secretary of
the Navy. However flattering such an offer was to his ambition, his
domestic relations did not permit his acceptance of the place. He
appeared to occupy his advanced position on the frontier solely to
further the interests of natural history, American geography, and
growing questions of philosophic moment.

These particulars will enable the reader to appreciate the advantages
with which he commenced and pursued the study of the Indian languages,
and American ethnology. He made a complete lexicon of the Algonquin
language, and reduced its grammar to a philosophical system. "It is
really surprising," says Gen. Cass, in a letter, in 1824, in view of
these researches, "that so little valuable information has been given to
the world on these subjects."

Mr. Duponceau, President of the American Philosophical Society,
translated two of Mr. Schoolcraft's lectures before the Algic Society,
on the grammatical structure of the Indian language, into French, for
the National Institute of France, where the prize for the best essay on
Algonquin language was awarded to him. He writes to Dr. James, in 1834,
in reference to these lectures: "His description of the composition of
words in the Chippewa language, is the most elegant I have yet seen. He
is an able and most perspicuous writer, and treats his subject

Approbation from these high sources had only the effect to lead him to
renewed diligence and deeper exertions to further the interests of
natural science, geography, and ethnology; and, while engaged in the
active duties of an important government office, he maintained an
extensive correspondence with men of science, learning, and enterprise
throughout the Union.

The American Philosophical, Geological, and Antiquarian Societies, with
numerous state and local institutions, admitted him to membership. The
Royal Geographical Society of London, the Royal Society of Northern
Antiquaries at Copenhagen, and the Ethnological Society of Paris,
inscribed his name among their foreign members. In 1846, the College of
Geneva conferred on him the degree of LL.D.

While the interests of learning and science thus occupied his private
hours, the state of Indian affairs on the western frontiers called for
continued exertions, and journeys, and expeditions through remote
regions. The introduction of a fast accumulating population into the
Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins, continually subjected the
Indian tribes to causes of uneasiness, and to a species of reflection,
of which they had had no examples in the long centuries of their
hunter state.

In 1825, 1826, and 1827, he attended convocations of the tribes at very
remote points, which imposed the necessity of passing through forests,
wildernesses, and wild portages, where none but the healthy, the robust,
the fearless, and the enterprising can go.

In 1831, circumstances inclined the tribes on the Upper Mississippi to
hostilities and extensive combinations. He was directed by the
Government to conduct an expedition through the country lying south and
west of Lake Superior, reaching from its banks, which have from the
earliest dates been the fastnesses of numerous warlike tribes. This he
accomplished satisfactorily, visiting the leading chiefs, and counseling
them to the policy of peace.

In 1832, the Sauks and Foxes resolved to re-occupy lands which they had
previously relinquished in the Rock River Valley. This brought them into
collision with the citizens and militia of Illinois. The result was a
general conflict, which, from its prominent Indian leader, has been
called the Black Hawk war. From accounts of the previous year, its
combinations embraced _nine_ of the leading tribes. It was uncertain how
far they extended. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the Indian and War
Department, to conduct a second expedition into the region embracing the
entire Upper Mississippi, north and west of St. Anthony's Falls. He
pursued this stream to the points to which it had been explored in 1806,
by Lieut. Pike, and in 1820, by Gen. Cass; and finding the state of the
water favorable for ascending, traced the river up to its ultimate
forks, and to its actual source in Itasca Lake. This point he reached on
the 23d July, 1832; but a fraction under 300 years after the discovery
of its lower portions by De Soto. This was Mr. Schoolcraft's crowning
geographical discovery, of which he published an account, with maps, in
1833. He is believed to be the only man in America who has seen the
Mississippi from its source in Itasca Lake to its mouth in the Gulf
of Mexico.

In 1839, he published his collection of oral legends from the Indian
wigwams, under the general cognomen of _Algic Researches_. In these
volumes is revealed an amount of the Indian idiosyncrasies, of what may
be called their philosophy and mode of reasoning on life, death, and
immortality, and their singular modes of reasoning and action, which
makes this work one of the most unique and original contributions to
American literature. His love of investigation has always been a
characteristic trait.

The writer of this sketch, who is thoroughly acquainted with Mr.
Schoolcraft's character, habits, and feelings, has long regarded him the
complete embodiment of industry and temperance in all things. He rises
early and retires early, eats moderately of simple food, never uses a
drop of stimulant, and does not even smoke a cigar. In temperament he is
among the happiest of human beings, always looks at the bright side of
circumstances--loves to hear of the prosperity of his neighbors, and
hopes for favorable turns of character, even in the most depraved. The
exaltation of his intellectual pursuits, and his sincere piety, have
enabled him to rise above all the petty disquietudes of everyday life,
and he seems utterly incapable of envy or detraction, or the indulgence
of any ignoble or unmanly passions. Indeed, one of his most intimate
friends remarked "that he was the _beau-ideal_ of dignified manliness
and truthfulness of character." His manners possess all that
unostentatious frankness, and self-possessed urbanity and quietude, that
is indicative of refined feelings. That such a shining mark has not
escaped envy, detraction, and persecution, will surprise no one who is
well acquainted with the materials of which human nature is composed.
"Envy is the toll that is always paid to greatness."

Mr. Schoolcraft has had enemies, bitter unrelenting enemies, from the
wiles of whom he has lost several fortunes, but they have not succeeded,
in spite of all their efforts, in depriving him of an honored name, that
will live as the friend of the red man and an aboriginal historian, for
countless ages.

Some twenty years ago he became a professor of religion, and the
ennobling influences of Bible truth have mellowed, and devoted to the
most unselfish and exalted aims his natural determination and enthusiasm
of character. God has promised to his people "that their righteousness
shall shine as the light, and their just dealing as the noonday."
Protected in such an impregnable tower of defence from the strife of
tongues, Mr. Schoolcraft has been enabled freely to forgive, and even
befriend, those narrow-minded calumniators who have aimed so many
poisoned arrows at his fame, his character, and his success in life.
These are they who hate all excellence that they themselves can never
hope to reach.

Mr. Schoolcraft's persevering industry is so indomitable, that he has
been known to write from sun to sun almost every day for many
consecutive years, taking no recreation, and yet these sedentary habits
of untiring application being regulated by system, have not impaired the
digestive functions of his usually robust health. One of his family
remarks, "that she believed that if his meals were weighed every day in
the year they would average the same amount every twenty-four hours." He
has, however, been partly lame for the last two years, from the effects,
it is thought, of early exposure in his explorations in the west, where
he used frequently to lie down in the swamps to sleep, with no pillow
save clumps of bog, and no covering but a traveling Indian blanket,
which sometimes when he awoke was cased in snow. This local impediment,
however, being entirely without neuralgic or rheumatic symptoms, has had
no effect whatever upon his mental activity, as every moment of his time
is still consecrated to literary pursuits.

In 1841 he removed his residence from Michilimackinack to the city of
New York, where he was instrumental, with Mr. John R. Bartlett, Mr. H.
C. Murphy, Mr. Folsom and other ethnologists, in forming the American
Ethnological Society--which, under the auspices of the late Mr. Albert
Gallatin, has produced efficient labors. In 1842 he visited England and
the Continent. He attended the twelfth meeting of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science at Manchester. He then
visited France, Germany, Prussia, Belgium, and Holland. On returning to
New York he took an active interest in the deliberations of the New York
Historical Society, made an antiquarian tour to Western Virginia, Ohio,
and the Canadas, and published in numbers the first volume of an Indian
miscellany under the title of "Oneota, or the Indian in his Wigwam."

In 1845 the Legislature of New York authorized him to take a census, and
collect the statistics of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, which were
published, together with materials illustrating their history and
character, in a volume entitled, NOTES ON THE IROQUOIS.

This work was highly approved by the Legislature, and copies eagerly
sought by persons taking an interest in the fortunes of this celebrated
tribe. Contrary to expectation, their numbers were found to be
considerable, and their advance in agriculture and civilization of a
highly encouraging character; and the State has since made liberal
appropriations for their education.

In 1846 he brought the subject of the American aborigines to the notice
of the members of Congress, expressing the opinion, and enforcing it by
facts drawn from many years' experience and residence on the frontiers,
that it was misunderstood, that the authentic published materials from
which the Indians were to be judged were fragmentary and scanty, and
that the public policy respecting them, and the mode of applying their
funds, and dealing with them, was in many things false and unjust. These
new views produced conviction in enlightened minds, and, during the
following session, in the winter of 1847, an appropriation was made,
authorizing the Secretary of War to collect the statistics of all the
tribes within the Union; together with materials to illustrate their
history, condition, and prospects. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the
government to conduct the inquiry, in connection with the Indian Bureau.
And he immediately prepared and issued blank forms, calling on the
officers of the department for the necessary statistical facts. At the
same time a comprehensive system of interrogatories was distributed,
intended to bring out the true state and condition of the Indian tribes
from gentlemen of experience, in all parts of the Union.

These interrogatories are founded on a series of some thirty years'
personal observations on Indian society and manners, which were made
while living in their midst on the frontiers, and on the data preserved
in his well-filled portfolios and journals; and the comprehensive
character of the queries, consequently, evince a complete mastery of his
subject, such as no one could have been at all prepared to furnish, who
had had less full and favorable advantages. In these queries he views
the Indian race, not only as tribes having every claim on our sympathy
and humanity, but as one of the races of the human family, scattered by
an inscrutable Providence, whose origin and destiny is one of the most
interesting problems of American history, philosophy, and Christianity.

The first part of this work, in an elaborate quarto volume, was
published in the autumn of 1850, with illustrations from the pencil of
Capt. Eastman, a gentleman of the army of the United States, and has
been received by Congress and the diurnal and periodical press with
decided approbation. It is a work which is national in its conception
and manner of execution; and, if carried out according to the plan
exhibited, will do ample justice, at once to the Indian tribes, their
history, condition, and destiny, and to the character of the government
as connected with them. We have been reproached by foreign pens for our
treatment of these tribes, and our policy, motives, and justice
impugned. If we are not mistaken, the materials here collected will show
how gratuitous such imputations have been. It is believed that no stock
of the aborigines found by civilized nations on the globe, have received
the same amount of considerate and benevolent and humane treatment, as
denoted by its laws, its treaties, and general administration of Indian
affairs, from the establishment of the Constitution, and this too, in
the face of the most hostile, wrongheaded, and capricious conduct on
their part, that ever signalized the history of a barbarous people.

In January, 1847, he married Miss Mary Howard, of Beaufort District,
South Carolina, a lady of majestic stature, high toned moral sentiment,
dignified polished manners, gifted conversational powers and literary
tastes. This marriage has proved a peculiarly fortunate and happy one,
as they both highly appreciate and respect each other, and she warmly
sympathizes in his literary plans. She also relieves him of all domestic
care by her judicious management of his household affairs. Most of her
time, however, is spent with him in his study, where she revises and
copies his writings for the press. She is the descendant of a family who
emigrated to South Carolina from England, in the reign of George the
Second, from whom they received a large grant of land, situated near the
Broad River. Upon this original grant the family have from generation to
generation continued to reside. It is now a flourishing cotton and rice
growing plantation, and is at present owned by her brother, Gen. John
Howard. Her sister married a grandnephew of Gen. William Moultrie, who
was so distinguished in the revolutionary war, and her brother a
granddaughter of Judge Thomas Heyward, who was a ripe scholar and one of
the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Although one of her
brothers was in the battle of San Jacinto, she is herself the first
permanent emigrant of her family from South Carolina to the North,
having accompanied her husband to Washington, D.C., where he has ever
since been engaged in conducting the national work on the history of the
Indians. To this work, of which the second part is now in the press,
every power of his extensive observation and ripe experience is devoted,
and with results which justify the highest anticipations which have been
formed of it. Meantime it is understood that the present memoirs is the
first volume of a revised series of his complete works, including his
travels, reviews, papers on natural history, Indian tales, and

To this rapid sketch of a man rising to distinction without the
adventitious aids of hereditary patrimony, wealth, or early friends, it
requires little to be added to show the value of self-dependence. Such
examples must encourage all whose ambitions are sustained by assiduity,
temperance, self-reliance, and a consistent perseverance in well
weighed ends.



Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817--Events preliminary to a
knowledge of western life--Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany
River--Descent to Pittsburgh--Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and
iron--Descent of the Ohio in an ark--Scenes and incidents by the way--
Cincinnati--Some personal incidents which happened there.

Late in the autumn of 1809, being then in my seventeenth year, I quitted
the village of Hamilton, Albany County (a county in which my family had
lived from an early part of the reign of George II.), and, after a
pleasant drive of half a day through the PINE PLAINS, accompanied by
some friends, reached the city of Schenectady, and from thence took the
western stage line, up the Valley of the Mohawk, to the village of
Utica, where we arrived, I think, on the third day, the roads being
heavy. The next day I proceeded to Vernon, the site of a busy and
thriving village, where my father had recently engaged in the
superintendency of extensive manufacturing operations. I was here within
a few miles of Oneida Castle, then the residence of the ancient Oneida
tribe of Iroquois. There was, also, in this town, a remnant of the old
Mohigans, who, under the name of Stockbridges, had, soon after the
Revolutionary War, removed from the Valley of the Housatonic, in
Massachusetts, to Oneida. Throngs of both tribes were daily in the
village, and I was thus first brought to notice their manners and
customs; not dreaming, however, that it was to be my lot to pass so many
of the subsequent years of my life as an observer of the Indian race.

Early in the spring of 1810, I accompanied Mr. Alexander Bryan Johnson,
of Utica, a gentleman of wealth, intelligence, and enterprise, to the
area of the Genesee country, for the purpose of superintending a
manufactory for a company incorporated by the State Legislature. After
visiting Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario, it was finally resolved to locate
this company's works near Geneva, on the banks of Seneca Lake.

During my residence here, the War of 1812 broke out; the events of which
fell with severity on this frontier, particularly on the lines included
between the Niagara and Lake Champlain, where contending armies and
navies operated. While these scenes of alarm and turmoil were enacting,
and our trade with Great Britain was cut off, an intense interest arose
for manufactures of first necessity, needed by the country, particularly
for that indispensable article of new settlements, window glass. In
directing the foreign artisans employed in the making of this product of
skill, my father, Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, had, from an early period
after the American Revolution, acquired celebrity, by the general
superintendency of the noted works of this kind near Albany, and
afterwards in Oneida County.

Under his auspices, I directed the erection of similar works in Western
New York and in the States of Vermont and New Hampshire.

While in Vermont, I received a salary of eighteen hundred dollars per
annum, which enabled me to pursue my studies, _ex academia_, at
Middlebury College. In conversation with President Davis, I learned that
this was the highest salary paid in the State, he himself receiving
eleven hundred, and the Governor of the State but eight hundred.

The extensive and interesting journeys connected with the manufacturing
impulse of these engagements, reaching over a varied surface of several
hundred miles, opened up scenes of life and adventure which gave me a
foretaste of, and preparedness for, the deeper experiences of the
western wilderness; and the war with England was no sooner closed than I
made ready to share in the exploration of the FAR WEST. The wonderful
accounts brought from the Mississippi valley--its fertility, extent, and
resources--inspired a wish to see it for myself, and to this end I made
some preliminary explorations in Western New York, in 1816 and 1817. I
reached Olean, on the source of the Alleghany River, early in 1818,
while the snow was yet upon the ground, and had to wait several weeks
for the opening of that stream. I was surprised to see the crowd of
persons, from various quarters, who had pressed to this point, waiting
the opening of the navigation.

It was a period of general migration from the East to the West. Commerce
had been checked for several years by the war with Great Britain.
Agriculture had been hindered by the raising of armies, and a harassing
warfare both on the seaboard and the frontiers; and manufactures had
been stimulated to an unnatural growth, only to be crushed by the peace.
Speculation had also been rife in some places, and hurried many
gentlemen of property into ruin. Banks exploded, and paper money flooded
the country.

The fiscal crisis was indeed very striking. The very elements seemed
leagued against the interests of agriculture in the Atlantic States,
where a series of early and late frosts, in 1816 and 1817, had created
quite a panic, which helped to settle the West.

I mingled in this crowd, and, while listening to the anticipations
indulged in, it seemed to me that the war had not, in reality, been
fought for "free trade and sailors' rights" where it commenced, but to
gain a knowledge of the world beyond the Alleghanies.

Many came with their household stuff, which was to be embarked in arks
and flat boats. The children of Israel could scarcely have presented a
more motley array of men and women, with their "kneading troughs" on
their backs, and their "little ones," than were there assembled, on
their way to the new land of promise.

To judge by the tone of general conversation, they meant, in their
generation, to plough the Mississippi Valley from its head to its foot.
There was not an idea short of it. What a world of golden dreams
was there!

I took passage in the first ark that attempted the descent for the
season. This ark was built of stout planks, with the lower seams
caulked, forming a perfectly flat basis on the water. It was about
thirty feet wide and sixty long, with gunwales of some eighteen inches.
Upon this was raised a structure of posts and boards about eight feet
high, divided into rooms for cooking and sleeping, leaving a few feet
space in front and rear, to row and steer. The whole was covered by a
flat roof, which formed a promenade, and near the front part of this
deck were two long "sweeps," a species of gigantic oars, which were
occasionally resorted to in order to keep the unwieldy vessel from
running against islands or dangerous shores.

We went on swimmingly, passing through the Seneca reservation, where the
picturesque costume of the Indians seen on shore served to give
additional interest to scenes of the deepest and wildest character.
Every night we tied our ark to a tree, and built a fire on shore.
Sometimes we narrowly escaped going over falls, and once encountered a
world of labor and trouble by getting into a wrong channel. I made
myself as useful and agreeable as possible to all. I had learned to row
a skiff with dexterity during my residence on Lake Dunmore, and turned
this art to account by taking the ladies ashore, as we floated on with
our ark, and picked up specimens while they culled shrubs and flowers.
In this way, and by lending a ready hand at the "sweeps" and at the oars
whenever there was a pinch, I made myself agreeable. The worst thing we
encountered was rain, against which our rude carpentry was but a poor
defence. We landed at everything like a town, and bought milk, and eggs,
and butter. Sometimes the Seneca Indians were passed, coming up stream
in their immensely long pine canoes. There was perpetual novelty and
freshness in this mode of wayfaring. The scenery was most enchanting.
The river ran high, with a strong spring current, and the hills
frequently rose in most picturesque cliffs.

1818. I do not recollect the time consumed in this descent. We had gone
about three hundred miles, when we reached Pittsburgh. It was the 28th
of March when we landed at this place, which I remember because it was
my birthday. And I here bid adieu to the kind and excellent proprietor
of the ark, L. Pettiborne, Esq., who refused to receive any compensation
for my passage, saying, prettily, that he did not know how they could
have got along without me.

I stopped at one of the best hotels, kept by a Mrs. McCullough, and,
after visiting the manufactories and coal mines, hired a horse, and went
up the Monongahela Valley, to explore its geology as high as
Williamsport. The rich coal and iron beds of this part of the country
interested me greatly; I was impressed with their extent, and value, and
the importance which they must eventually give to Pittsburgh. After
returning from this trip, I completed my visits to the various
workshops and foundries, and to the large glassworks of Bakewell and
of O'Hara.

I was now at the head of the Ohio River, which is formed by the junction
of the Alleghany and Monongahela. My next step was to descend this
stream; and, while in search of an ark on the borders of the
Monongahela, I fell in with a Mr. Brigham, a worthy person from
Massachusetts, who had sallied out with the same view. We took passage
together on one of these floating houses, with the arrangements of which
I had now become familiar. I was charmed with the Ohio; with its
scenery, which was every moment shifting to the eye; and with the
incidents of such a novel voyage. Off Wheeling we made fast to another
ark, from the Monongahela, in charge of Capt. Hutchinson, an intelligent
man. There were a number of passengers, who, together with this
commander, added to our social circle, and made it more agreeable: among
these, the chief person was Dr. Selman, of Cincinnati, who had been a
surgeon in Wayne's army, and who had a fund of information of this era.
My acquaintance with subjects of chemistry and mineralogy enabled me to
make my conversation agreeable, which was afterwards of some
advantage to me.

We came to at Grave Creek Fleets, and all went up to see the Great
Mound, the apex of which had a depression, with a large tree growing in
it having the names and dates of visit of several persons carved on its
trunk. One of the dates was, I think, as early as 1730. We also stopped
at Gallipolis--the site of a French colony of some notoriety. The river
was constantly enlarging; the spring was rapidly advancing, and making
its borders more beautiful; and the scenery could scarcely have been
more interesting. There was often, it is true, a state of newness and
rudeness in the towns, and villages, and farms, but it was ever
accompanied with the most pleasing anticipations of improvement and
progress. We had seldom to look at old things, save the Indian
antiquities. The most striking works of this kind were at Marietta, at
the junction of the Muskingum. This was, I believe, the earliest point
of settlement of the State of Ohio. But to us, it had a far more
interesting point of attraction in the very striking antique works
named, for which it is known. We visited the elevated square and the
mound. We gazed and wondered as others have done, and without fancying
that we were wiser than our predecessors had been.

At Marietta, a third ark from the waters of the Muskingum was added to
our number, and making quite a flotilla. This turned out to be the
property of Hon. J.B. Thomas, of Illinois, a Senator in Congress, a
gentleman of great urbanity of manners and intelligence. By this
addition of deck, our promenade was now ample. And it would be difficult
to imagine a journey embracing a greater number of pleasing incidents
and prospects.

When a little below Parkersburgh, we passed Blennerhasset's Island,
which recalled for a moment the name of Aaron Burr, and the eloquent
language of Mr. Wirt on the treasonable schemes of that bold, talented,
but unchastened politician. All was now ruin and devastation on the site
of forsaken gardens, into the shaded recesses of which a basilisk had
once entered. Some stacks of chimneys were all that was left to tell the
tale. It seemed remarkable that twelve short years should have worked so
complete a desolation. It would appear as if half a century had
intervened, so thorough had been the physical revolution of the island.

One night we had lain with our flotilla on the Virginia coast. It was
perceived, at early daylight, that the inner ark, which was Mr.
Thomas's, and which was loaded with valuable machinery, was partly sunk,
being pressed against the bank by the other arks, and the water was
found to be flowing in above the caulked seams. A short time must have
carried the whole down. After a good deal of exertion to save the boat,
it was cut loose and abandoned. It occurred to me that two men, rapidly
bailing, would be able to throw out a larger quantity of water than
flowed through the seams. Willing to make myself useful, I told my
friend Brigham that I thought we could save the boat, if he would join
in the attempt. My theory proved correct. We succeeded, by a relief of
hands, in the effort, and saved the whole machinery unwetted. This
little affair proved gratifying to me from the share I had in it. Mr.
Thomas was so pleased that he ordered a sumptuous breakfast at a
neighboring house for all. We had an abundance of hot coffee, chickens,
and toast, which to voyagers in an ark was quite a treat; but it was
still less gratifying than the opportunity we had felt of doing a good
act. This little incident had a pleasing effect on the rest of the
voyage, and made Thomas my friend.

But the voyage itself was now drawing to a close. When we reached
Cincinnati, the flotilla broke up. We were now five hundred miles below
Pittsburgh, and the Valley of the Ohio was, if possible, every day
becoming an object of more striking physical interest. By the advice of
Dr. Sellman, who invited me to dine with a large company of gentlemen, I
got a good boarding-house, and I spent several weeks very pleasantly in
this city and its immediate environs. Among the boarders were Dr.
Moorhead (Dr. S.'s partner), and John C.S. Harrison (the eldest son of
Gen. Harrison), with several other young gentlemen, whose names are
pleasingly associated in my memory. It was customary, after dinner, to
sit on a wooden settle, or long bench, in front of the house, facing the
open esplanade on the high banks of the river, at the foot of which
boats and arks were momentarily arriving. One afternoon, while engaged
in earnest conversation with Harrison, I observed a tall, gawky youth,
with white hair, and a few stray patches just appearing on his chin, as
precursors of a beard, approach furtively, and assume a listening
attitude. He had evidently just landed, and had put on his best clothes,
to go up and see the town. The moment he stopped to listen, I assumed a
tone of earnest badinage. Harrison, instantly seeing our intrusive and
raw guest, and humoring the joke, responded in a like style. In effect
we had a high controversy, which could only be settled by a duel, in
which our raw friend must act as second. He was strongly appealed to,
and told that his position as a gentleman required it. So far all was
well. We adjourned to an upper room; the pistols were charged with
powder, and shots were exchanged between Harrison and myself, while the
eyeballs of young Jonathan seemed ready to start from their sockets. But
no sooner were the shots fired than an undue advantage was instantly
alleged, which involved the responsibility of my antagonist's friend;
and thus the poor fellow, who had himself been inveigled in a scrape,
was peppered with powder, in a second exchange of shots, while all but
himself were ready to die with smothered laughter; and he was at last
glad to escape from the house with his life, and made the best of his
way back to his ark.

This settle, in front of the door, was a capital point to perpetrate
tricks on the constantly arriving throngs from the East, who, with
characteristic enterprise, often stopped to inquire for employment. A
few days after the sham duel, Harrison determined to play a trick on
another emigrant, a shrewd, tolerably well-informed young man, who had
evinced a great deal of self-complacency and immodest pertinacity. He
told the pertinacious emigrant, who inquired for a place, that he had
not, himself, anything that could engage his attention, but that he had
a friend (alluding to me) who was now in town, who was extensively
engaged in milling and merchandizing on the Little Miami, and was in
want of a competent, responsible clerk. He added that, if he would call
in the evening, his friend would be in, and he would introduce him.
Meantime, I was informed of the character I was to play in rebuking
assumption. The man came, punctual to his appointment, in the evening,
and was formally introduced. I stated the duties and the peculiar
requisites and responsibilities of the trust. These he found but little
difficulty in meeting. Other difficulties were stated. These, with a
little thought, he also met. He had evidently scarcely any other quality
than presumption. I told him at last that, from the inhabitants in the
vicinity, it was necessary that he should speak _Dutch_. This seemed a
poser, but, after some hesitancy and hemming, and the re-mustering of
his cardinal presumption, he thought he could shortly render himself
qualified to speak. I admired the very presumption of the theory, and
finally told him to call the next day on my agent, Mr. Schenck, at such
a number (Martin Baum's) in Maine Street, to whom, in the mean time, I
transferred the hoax, and duly informing Schenck of the affair; and I do
not recollect, at this time, how he shuffled him off.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth--Ascent of the
Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum--Its rapid and turbid
character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges--Some
incidents by the way.

1818. At Cincinnati, I visited a sort of gigantic chimney or trunk,
constructed of wood, which had been continued from the plain, and
carried up against the side of one of the Walnut Hills, in order to
demonstrate the practicability of obtaining a mechanical power from
rarefied atmospheric air. I was certain that this would prove a failure,
although Captain Bliss, who had conducted the work under the auspices of
General Lytle, felt confident of success.

When I was ready to proceed down the Ohio, I went to the shore, where I
met a Mr. Willers, who had come there on the same errand as myself. Our
object was to go to Louisville, at the falls of the Ohio. We were
pleased with a well-constructed skiff, which would conveniently hold our
baggage, and, after examination, purchased it, for the purpose of making
this part of the descent. I was expert with a light oar, and we agreed
in thinking that this would be a very picturesque, healthful, and
economical mode of travel. It was warm weather, the beginning of May, I
think, and the plan was to sleep ashore every night. We found this plan
to answer expectation. The trip was, in every respect, delightful. Mr.
Willers lent a ready hand at the oars and tiller by turns. He possessed
a good share of urbanity, had seen much of the world, and was of an age
and temper to vent no violent opinions. He gave me information on some
topics. We got along pleasantly. One day, a sleeping sawyer, as it is
called, rose up in the river behind us in a part of the course we had
just passed, which, if it had risen two minutes earlier, would have
pitched us in the air, and knocked our skiff in shivers. We stopped at
Vevay, to taste the wine of the vintage of that place, which was then
much talked of, and did not think it excellent. We were several days--I
do not recollect how many--in reaching Louisville, in Kentucky. I found
my fellow-voyager was a teacher of military science, late from
Baltimore, Maryland; he soon had a class of militia officers, to whom he
gave instructions, and exhibited diagrams of military evolutions.

Louisville had all the elements of city life. I was much interested in
the place and its environs, and passed several weeks at that place. I
found organic remains of several species in the limestone rocks of the
falls, and published, anonymously, in the paper some notices of its

When prepared to continue my descent of the river, I went to the
beautiful natural mall, which exists between the mouth of the Beargrass
Creek and the Ohio, where boats usually land, and took passage in a fine
ark, which had just come down from the waters of the Monongahela. It was
owned and freighted by two adventurers from Maryland, of the names of
Kemp and Keen. A fine road existed to the foot of the falls at
Shippensport, a distance of two miles, which my new acquaintances
pursued; but, when I understood that there was a pilot present, I
preferred remaining on board, that I might witness the descent of the
falls: we descended on the Indiana side. The danger was imminent at one
part, where the entire current had a violent side action, but we went
safely and triumphantly down; and, after taking our owners on board, who
were unwilling to risk their lives with their property, we pursued our
voyage. It was about this point, or a little above, that we first
noticed the gay and noisy parroquet, flocks of which inhabited the
forests. The mode of attaching vessels of this kind into flotillas was
practiced on that part of the route, which brought us into acquaintance
with many persons.

At Shawneetown, where we lay a short time, I went out hunting about the
mouth of the Wabash with one Hanlon, a native of Kentucky, who was so
expert in the use of the rifle that he brought down single pigeons and
squirrels, aiming only at their heads or necks.

After passing below the Wabash, the Ohio assumed a truly majestic flow.
Its ample volume, great expanse, and noble shores, could not fail to be
admired. As we neared the picturesque Cavein-Rock shore, I took the
small boat, and, with some others, landed to view this traveler's
wonder. It recalled to me the dark robber era of the Ohio River, and the
tales of blood and strife which I had read of.

The cave itself is a striking object for its large and yawning mouth,
but, to the geologist, presents nothing novel. Its ample area appears to
have been frequently encamped in by the buccaneers of the Mississippi.
We were told of narrow and secret passages leading above into the rock,
but did not find anything of much interest. The mouth of the cave was
formerly concealed by trees, which favored the boat robbers; but these
had been mostly felled. As the scene of a tale of imaginative
robber-life, it appeared to me to possess great attractions.

Our conductor steered for Smithfield, I think it was called, at the
mouth of the Cumberland River, Tennessee, which was thought a favorable
place for transferring the cargo from an ark to a keel-boat, to prepare
it for the ascent of the Mississippi River; for we were now drawing
closely towards the mouth of the Ohio. Here ensued a delay of many days.
During this time, I made several excursions in this part of Tennessee,
and always with the rifle in hand, in the use of which I had now become
expert enough to kill small game without destroying it. While here, some
of General Jackson's volunteers from his wars against the Creeks and
Seminoles returned, and related some of the incidents of their perilous
campaign. At length a keel-boat, or barge, arrived, under the command of
Captain Ensminger, of Saline, which discharged its cargo at this point,
and took on board the freight of Kemp and Keen, bound to St. Louis,
in Missouri.

We pursued our way, under the force of oars, which soon brought us to
the mouth of the Ohio, where the captain paused to prepare for stemming
the Mississippi. It was now the first day of July, warm and balmy during
the mornings and evenings, but of a torrid heat at noon. We were now one
thousand miles below Pittsburgh--a distance which it is impossible for
any man to realize from the mere reading of books. This splendid valley
is one of the prominent creations of the universe. Its fertility and
beauty are unequaled; and its capacities of sustaining a dense
population cannot be overrated. Seven States border on its waters, and
they are seven States which are destined to contribute no little part
to the commerce, wealth, and power of the Union. It is idle to talk of
the well-cultivated and garden-like little rivers of Europe, of some two
or three hundred miles in length, compared to the Ohio. There is nothing
like it in all Europe for its great length, uninterrupted fertility, and
varied resources, and consequent power to support an immense population.
Yet its banks consist not of a dead level, like the lower Nile and
Volga, but of undulating plains and hills, which afford a lively flow to
its waters, and supply an amount of hydraulic power which is amazing.
The river itself is composed of some of the prime streams of the
country. The Alleghany, the Monongahela, the Muskingum, the Miami, the
Wabash, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, are rivers of the most noble
proportions, and the congregated mass of water rolls forward, increasing
in volume and magnificence, until the scene delights the eye by its
displays of quiet, lovely, rural magnitude and physical grandeur.

Yet all this is but an element in the vast system of western waters. It
reaches the Mississippi, but to be swallowed up and engulfed by that
turbid and rapid stream, which, like some gaping, gigantic monster,
running wild from the Rocky Mountains and the Itasca summit, stands
ready to gulp it down. The scene is truly magnificent, and the struggle
not slight. For more than twenty miles, the transparent blue waters of
the Ohio are crowded along the Tennessee coast; but the Mississippi,
swollen by its summer flood, as if disdainful of its rural and
peace-like properties, gains the mastery before reaching Memphis, and
carries its characteristic of turbid geologic power for a thousand miles
more, until its final exit into the Mexican Gulf.

I had never seen such a sight. I had lost all my standards of
comparison. Compared to it, my little home streams would not fill a pint
cup; and, like a man suddenly ushered into a new world, I was amazed at
the scene before me. Mere _amplitude_ of the most ordinary elements of
water and alluvial land has done this. The onward rush of eternal waters
was an idea vaguely floating in my mind. The Indians appeared to have
embodied this idea in the word Mississippi.

Ensminger was a stout manly fellow, of the characteristic traits of
Anglo-Saxon daring; but he thought it prudent not to plunge too hastily
into this mad current, and we slept at the precise point of embouchure,
where, I think, Cairo is now located. Early the next morning the oarsmen
were paraded, like so many militia, on the slatted gunwales of the
barge, each armed with a long and stout setting pole, shod with iron.
Ensminger himself took the helm, and the toil and struggle of pushing
the barge up stream began. We were obliged to keep close to the shore,
in order to find bottom for the poles, and whenever that gave out, the
men instantly resorted to oars to gain some point on the opposite side,
where bottom could be reached. It was a struggle requiring the utmost
activity. The water was so turbid that we could not perceive objects an
inch below the surface. The current rushed with a velocity that
threatened to carry everything before it. The worst effect was its
perpetual tendency to undermine its banks. Often heavy portions of the
banks plunged into the river, endangering boats and men. The banks
consisted of dark alluvion ten to fifteen feet above the water, bearing
a dense growth of trees and shrubbery. The plunging of these banks into
the stream often sounded like thunder. With every exertion, we advanced
but five miles the first day, and it was a long July day. As evening
came on, the mosquitos were in hordes. It was impossible to perform the
offices of eating or drinking, without suffering the keenest torture
from their stings.

The second day we ascended six miles, the third day seven miles, the
fourth day six miles, and the fifth eight miles, which brought us to the
first settlement on the Missouri shore, called Tyawapaty Bottom. The
banks in this distance became more elevated, and we appeared to be
quitting the more nascent region. We noticed the wild turkey and gray
squirrel ashore. The following day we went but three miles, when the
severe labor caused some of the hands to give out. Ensminger was a man
not easily discouraged. He lay by during the day, and the next morning
found means to move ahead. At an early hour we reached the head of the
settlement, and came to at a spot called the Little Chain of Rocks. The
fast lands of the Missouri shore here jut into the river, and I
examined, at this point, a remarkable bed of white clay, which is
extensively employed by the local mechanics for chalk, but which is
wholly destitute of carbonic acid. We ascended, this day, ten miles; and
the next day five miles, which carried us to Cape Girardeau--a town
estimated to be fifty miles above the mouth of the Ohio. Here were about
fifty houses, situated on a commanding eminence. We had been landed but
a short time, when one of the principal merchants of the place sent me
word that he had just received some drugs and medicines which he wished
me to examine. I went up directly to his store, when it turned out that
he was no druggist at all, nor wished my skill in this way, but, having
heard there was a doctor aboard, he had taken this facetious mode of
inviting me to partake of some refreshments. I regret that I have
forgotten his name.

The next day we ascended seven miles, and next the same distance, and
stopped at the Moccason Spring, a basin of limpid water occupying a
crevice in the limestone rock. The day following we ascended but five
miles, and the next day seven miles, in which distance we passed the
Grand Tower, a geological monument rising from the bed of the river,
which stands to tell of some great revolution in the ancient face of the
country. The Mississippi River probably broke through one of its ancient
barriers at this place. We made three unsuccessful attempts to pass
Garlic Point, where we encountered a very strong current, and finally
dropped down and came to, for the night, below it, the men being much
exhausted with these attempts. We renewed the effort with a _cordelle_
the next morning, with success, but not without exhausting the men so
much that two of them refused to proceed, who were immediately paid off,
and furnished provisions to return. We succeeded in going to the mouth
of the Obrazo, about half a mile higher, when we lay by all day. This
delay enabled Ensminger to recruit his crew, and during the three
following days we ascended respectively six, seven, and ten miles, which
brought us to the commencement of Bois-brule bottom. This is a fertile,
and was then a comparatively populous, settlement. We ascended along it
about seven miles, the next day seven more, and the next eleven, which
completed the ascent to the antique town of St. Genevieve. About three
hundred houses were here clustered together, which, with their
inhabitants, had the looks which we may fancy to belong to the times of
Louis XIV. of France. It was the chief mart of the lead mines, situated
in the interior. I observed heavy stacks of pig lead piled up about the
warehouses. We remained here the next day, which was the 20th of July,
and then went forward twelve miles, the next day thirteen, and the next
five, which brought us, at noon, to the town of Herculaneum, containing
some thirty or forty buildings, excluding three picturesque-looking shot
towers on the top of the rocky cliffs of the river. This was another
mart of the lead mines.

I determined to land definitively at this point, purposing to visit the
mines, after completing my ascent by land to St. Louis. It was now the
23d of July, the whole of which, from the 1st, we had spent in a
diligent ascent of the river, by setting pole and cordelle, from the
junction of the Ohio--a distance of one hundred and seventy miles. We
were still thirty miles above St. Louis.

I have detailed some of the incidents of the journey, in order to denote
the difficulties of the ascent with barges prior to the introduction of
steam, and also the means which this slowness of motion gave me of
becoming acquainted with the physical character of this river and its
shores. A large part of the west banks I had traveled on foot, and
gleaned several facts in its mineralogy and geology which made it an
initial point in my future observations. The metalliferous formation is
first noticed at the little chain of rocks. From the Grand Tower, the
western shores become precipitous, showing sections and piled-up
pinnacles of the series of horizontal sandstones and limestones which
characterize the imposing coast. Had I passed it in a steamer, downward
bound, as at this day, in forty-eight hours, I should have had none but
the vaguest and most general conceptions of its character. But I went to
glean facts in its natural history, and I knew these required careful
personal inspection of minute as well as general features. There may be
a sort of horseback theory of geology; but mineralogy, and the natural
sciences generally, must be investigated on foot, hammer or
goniometer in hand.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first
American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin--His character--Continuation of the
journey on foot to St. Louis--Incidents by the way--Trip to the
mines--Survey of the mine country--Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark
Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi.

1818. The familiar conversation on shore of my friendly associates,
speaking of a doctor on board who was inquiring into the natural history
and value of the country at every point, procured me quite unexpectedly
a favorable reception at Herculaneum, as it had done at Cape Girardeau.
I was introduced to Mr. Austin, the elder, who, on learning my intention
of visiting the mines, offered every facility in his power to favor my
views. Mr. Austin was a gentleman of general information, easy and
polite manners, and enthusiastic character. He had, with his
connections, the Bates, I believe, been the founder of Herculaneum, and
was solicitous to secure it a share of the lead trade, which had been so
long and exclusively enjoyed by St. Genevieve. He was a man of very
decided enterprise, inclined to the manners of the old school gentlemen,
which had, I believe, narrowed his popularity, and exposed him to some
strong feuds in the interior, where his estates lay. He was a diligent
reader of the current things of the day, and watched closely the signs
of the times. He had lived in the capital of Virginia, where he married.
He had been engaged extensively as a merchant and miner in Wyeth county,
in the western part of that State. He had crossed the wilderness west of
the Ohio River, at an early day, to St. Louis, then a Spanish interior
capital. He had been received by the Spanish authorities with
attentions, and awarded a large grant of the mining lands. He had
remained under the French period of supremacy, and had been for about
sixteen years a resident of the region when it was transferred by
purchase to the United States. The family had been from an early day,
the first in point of civilization in the country. And as his position
seemed to wane, and clouds to hover over his estates, he seemed
restless, and desirous to transfer his influence to another theatre of
action. From my earliest conversations with him, he had fixed his mind
on Texas, and spoke with enthusiasm about it.

I left my baggage, consisting of two well-filled trunks, in charge of
Mr. Ellis, a worthy innkeeper of the town, and when I was ready to
continue my way on foot for St. Louis, I was joined in this journey by
Messrs. Kemp and Keen, my fellow-voyagers on the water from Louisville.
We set out on the 26th of the month. The weather was hot and the
atmosphere seemed to be lifeless and heavy. Our road lay over gentle
hills, in a state of nature. The grass had but in few places been
disturbed by the plough, or the trees by the axe. The red clay soil
seemed fitter for the miner than the farmer.

At the distance of seven miles, we came to a remarkable locality of
springs strongly impregnated with sulphur, which bubbled up from the
ground. They were remarkably clear and cold, and deposited a light
sediment of sulphur, along the little rills by which they found an
outlet into a rapid stream, which was tributary to the Mississippi.

Five miles beyond these springs, we reached the valley of the Merrimack,
just at nightfall; and notwithstanding the threatening atmosphere, and
the commencement of rain, before we descended to the stream, we
prevailed with the ferryman to go down and set us over, which we urged
with the view of reaching a house within less than a mile of the other
bank. He landed us at the right spot; but the darkness had now become so
intense that we could not keep the road, and groped our way along an old
wheel-track into the forest. It also came on to rain hard. We at last
stood still. We were lost in utter darkness, and exposed to a pelting
storm. After a while we heard a faint stroke of a cow bell. We listened
attentively; it was repeated at long intervals, but faintly, as if the
animal was housed. It gave us the direction, which was quite different
from the course we had followed. No obstacle, though there were many,
prevented us from reaching the house, where we arrived wet and hungry,
and half dead with fatigue.

The Merrimack, in whose valley we were thus entangled, is the prime
outlet of the various streams of the mine country, where Renault, and
Arnault, and other French explorers, expended their researches during
the exciting era of the celebrated illusory Mississippi scheme.

The next day we crossed an elevated arid tract for twelve miles to the
village of Carondalet, without encountering a house, or an acre of land
in cultivation. On this tract, which formed a sort of oak orchard, with
high grass, and was a range for wild deer, Jefferson Barracks have since
been located. Six miles further brought us to the town of St. Louis,
over an elevated brushy plain, in which the soil assumed a decidedly
fertile aspect. We arrived about four o'clock in the afternoon, and had
a pleasant evening to view its fine site, based as it is on solid
limestone rock, where no encroachment of the headlong Mississippi can
ever endanger its safety. I was delighted with the site, and its
capacity for expansion, and cannot conceive of one in America, situated
in the interior, which appears destined to rival it in population,
wealth, power, and resources. It is idle to talk of any city of Europe
or Asia, situated as this is, twelve hundred miles from the sea, which
can be named as its future equal.

It was now the 27th of July, and the river, which had been swollen by
the Missouri flood, was rapidly falling, and almost diminished to its
summer minimum. It left a heavy deposit of mud on its immediate shores,
which, as it dried in the sun, cracked into fragments, which were often
a foot thick. These cakes of dried sediment consisted chiefly of sand
and sufficient aluminous matter to render the whole body of the
deposit adhesive.

I was kindly received by R. Pettibone, Esq., a townsman from New York,
from whom I had parted at Pittsburgh. This gentleman had established
himself in business with Col. Eastman, and as soon as he heard of my
arrival, invited me to his house, where I remained until I was ready to
proceed to the mines. I examined whatever seemed worth notice in the
town and its environs. I then descended the Mississippi in a skiff about
thirty miles to Herculaneum, and the next day set out, on foot, at an
early hour, for the mines. I had an idea that every effective labor
should be commenced right, and, as I purposed examining the mineralogy
and geology of the mine tract, I did not think that could be more
thoroughly accomplished than on foot. I ordered my baggage to follow me
by the earliest returning lead teams. True it was sultry, and much of
the first part of the way, I was informed, was very thinly settled. I
went the first day, sixteen miles, and reached the head of Joachim
Creek. In this distance, I did not, after quitting the environs of the
town, pass a house. The country lay in its primitive state. For the
purpose of obtaining a good road, an elevated arid ridge had been
pursued much of the way. In crossing this, I suffered severely from heat
and thirst, and the only place where I saw water was in a rut, which I
frightened a wild turkey from partaking of, in order to stoop down to it
myself. As soon as I reached the farm house, where I stopped at an early
hour, I went down to the creek, and bathed in its refreshing current.
This, with a night's repose, perfectly restored me. The next day I
crossed Grand River, and went to the vicinity of Old mines, when a
sudden storm compelled me to take shelter at the first house, where I
passed my second night. In this distance I visited the mining station of
John Smith T. at his place of Shibboleth. Smith was a bold and
indomitable man, originally from Tennessee, who possessed a marked
individuality of character, and being a great shot with pistol and
rifle, had put the country in dread of him.

After crossing Big or Grand River, I was fairly within the mine country,
and new objects began to attract my attention on every hand. The third
day, at an early hour, I reached Potosi, and took up my residence at Mr.
W. Ficklin's, a most worthy and estimable Kentuckian, who had a fund of
adventurous lore of forest life to tell, having, in early life, been a
spy and a hunter "on the dark and bloody ground." With him I was soon at
home, and to him I owe much of my early knowledge of wood-craft. The day
after my arrival was the general election of the (then) Territory of
Missouri, and the district elected Mr. Stephen F. Austin to the local
legislature. I was introduced to him, and also to the leading gentlemen
of the county, on the day of the election, which brought them together.
Mr. Austin, the elder, also arrived. This gathering was a propitious
circumstance for my explorations; no mineralogist had ever visited the
country. Coming from the quarter I did, and with the object I had, there
was a general interest excited on the subject, and each one appeared to
feel a desire to show me attentions.

Mr. Stephen F. Austin invited me to take rooms at the old Austin
mansion; he requested me to make one of them a depot for my
mineralogical collections, and he rode out with me to examine
several mines.

He was a gentleman of an acute and cultivated mind, and great suavity of
manners. He appreciated the object of my visit, and saw at once the
advantages that might result from the publication of a work on the
subject. For Missouri, like the other portions of the Mississippi
Valley, had come out of the Late War with exhaustion. The effects of a
peace were to lower her staples, lead, and furs, and she also severely
felt the reaction of the paper money system, which had created extensive
derangement and depression. He possessed a cautious, penetrating mind,
and was a man of elevated views. He had looked deeply into the problem
of western settlement, and the progress of American arts, education, and
modes of thinking and action over the whole western world, and was then
meditating a movement on the Red River of Arkansas, and eventually
Texas. He foresaw the extension in the Mississippi Valley of the
American system of civilization, to the modification and exclusion of
the old Spanish and French elements.

Mr. Austin accompanied me in several of my explorations. On one of these
excursions, while stopping at a planter's who owned a mill, I saw
several large masses of sienite, lying on the ground; and on inquiry
where this material could come from, in the midst of a limestone
country, was informed that it was brought from the waters of the St.
Francis, to serve the purpose of millstones. This furnished the hint for
a visit to that stream, which resulted in the discovery of the primitive
tract, embracing the sources of the St. Francis and Big Rivers.

I found rising of forty principal mines scattered over a district of
some twenty miles, running parallel to, and about thirty miles west of,
the banks of the Mississippi. I spent about three months in these
examinations, and as auxiliary means thereto, built a chemical furnace,
for assays, in Mr. Austin's old smelting-house, and collected specimens
of the various minerals of the country. Some of my excursions were made
on foot, some on horseback, and some in a single wagon. I unwittingly
killed a horse in these trips, in swimming a river, when the animal was
over-heated; at least he was found dead next morning in the stable.

In the month of October I resolved to push my examinations west beyond
the line of settlement, and to extend them into the Ozark Mountains. By
this term is meant a wide range of hill country running from the head of
the Merrimack southerly through Missouri and Arkansas. In this
enterprise several persons agreed to unite. I went to St. Louis, and
interested a brother of my friend Pettibone in the plan. I found my old
fellow-voyager, Brigham, on the American bottom in Illinois, where he
had cultivated some large fields of corn, and where he had contracted
fever and ague. He agreed, however, to go, and reached the point of
rendezvous, at Potosi; but he had been so enfeebled as to be obliged to
return from that point. The brother of Pettibone arrived. He had no
tastes for natural history, but it was a season of leisure, and he was
prone for the adventure. But the experienced woodsmen who had agreed to
go, and who had talked largely of encountering bears and Osage Indians,
and slaughtering buffalo, one by one gave out. I was resolved myself to
proceed, whoever might flinch. I had purchased a horse, constructed a
pack saddle with my own hands, and made every preparation that was
deemed necessary. On the 6th of November I set out. Mr. Ficklin, my good
host, accompanied me to the outskirts of the settlement. He was an old
woodsman, and gave me proper directions about hobbling my horse at
night, and imparted other precautions necessary to secure a man's life
against wild animals and savages. My St. Louis auxiliary stood stoutly
by me. If he had not much poetry in his composition, he was a reliable
man in all weathers, and might be counted upon to do his part willingly.

This journey had, on reflection, much daring and adventure. It
constitutes my initial point of travels; but, as I have described it
from my journal, in a separate form, it will not be necessary here to do
more than say that it was successfully accomplished. After spending the
fall of 1818, and the winter of 1819, in a series of adventures in
barren, wild, and mountainous scenes, we came out on the tributary
waters of the Arkansas, down which we descended in a log canoe. On the
Strawberry River, my ankle, which I had injured by leaping from a wall
of rock while hunting in the Green Mountains four years before,
inflamed, and caused me to lie by a few days; which was the only injury
I received in the route.

I returned to Potosi in February. The first man I met (Major Hawking),
on reaching the outer settlements, expressed surprise at seeing me, as
he had heard from the hunters, who had been on my trail about eighty
miles to the Saltpetre caves on the Currents River, that I had been
killed by the Indians. Every one was pleased to see me, and no one more
so than my kind Kentucky host, who had been the last to bid me adieu on
the verge of the wilderness.


Sit down to write an account of the mines--Medical properties of the
Mississippi water--Expedition to the Yellow Stone--Resolve to visit
Washington with a plan of managing the mines--Descend the river from St.
Genevieve to New Orleans--Incidents of the trip--Take passage in a ship
for New York--Reception with my collection there--Publish my memoir on
the mines, and proceed with it to Washington--Result of my plan--
Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of
the Mississippi.

1819. I now sat down to draw up a description of the mine country and
its various mineral resources. Having finished my expedition to the
south, I felt a strong desire to extend my observations up the
Mississippi to St. Anthony's Falls, and into the copper-bearing regions
of that latitude. Immediately I wrote to the Hon. J.B. Thomas, of
Illinois, the only gentleman I knew at Washington, on the subject,
giving him a brief description of my expedition into the Ozarks. I did
not know that another movement, in a far distant region, was then on
foot for exploring the same latitudes, with which it was my fortune
eventually to be connected. I allude to the expedition from Detroit in
1820, under General Cass.

I had, at this time, personally visited every mine or digging of
consequence in the Missouri country, and had traced its geological
relations into Arkansas. I was engaged on this paper assiduously. When
it was finished, I read it to persons well acquainted with the region,
and sought opportunities of personal criticism upon it.

The months of February and March had now glided away. Too close a
confinement to my room, however, affected my health. The great change of
life from camping out, and the rough scenes of the forest, could not
fail to disturb the functional secretions. An obstruction of the liver
developed itself in a decided case of jaundice. After the usual
remedies, I made a journey from Potosi to the Mississippi River, for
the purpose of ascending that stream on a barge, in order that I might
be compelled to drink its turbid, but healthy waters, and partake again
of something like field fare. The experiment succeeded.

The trip had the desired effect, and I returned in a short time from St.
Louis to Mine au Breton in completely restored health.

At Herculaneum, I was introduced to Major Stephen H. Long, of the United
States Topographical Engineers, who was now on his way, in the small
steamer Western Pioneer, up the Missouri to the Yellow Stone. I went on
board the boat and was also introduced to Mr. Say, the entomologist and
conchologist, Mr. Jessup the geologist, and other gentlemen composing
the scientific corps.

This expedition was the first evidence to my mind of the United States
Government turning attention, in connection with practical objects, to
matters of science, and the effort was due, I understand, to the
enlightened mind of Mr. Calhoun, then Secretary of War.

It occurred tome, after my return to Potosi, that the subject of the
mines which I had been inquiring about, so far as relates to their
management as a part of the public domain, was one that belonged
properly to the United States Government; Missouri was but a territory
having only inchoate rights. The whole mineral domain was held, in fee,
by the General Government, and whatever irregularity had been seen about
the collections of rents, &c., constituted a question which Congress
could only solve. I determined to visit Washington, and lay the subject
before the President. As soon as I had made this determination,
everything bowed to this idea. I made a rapid visit, on horseback, to
St. Louis, with my manuscript, to consult a friend, who entirely
concurred in this view. If the mines were ever to be put on a proper
basis, and the public to derive a benefit from them, the government
must do it.

As soon as I returned to Potosi, I packed my collection of mineralogy,
&c. I ordered the boxes by the lead teams to St. Genevieve. I went to
the same point myself, and, taking passage in the new steamer "St.
Louis," descended the Mississippi to New Orleans. The trip occupied some
days. I repassed the junction of the Ohio with deep interest. It is not
only the importance of geographical events that impresses us. The nature
of the phenomena is often of the highest moral moment.

An interesting incident occurred as soon as I got on board the steamer.
The captain handed me a letter. I opened it, and found it to contain
money from the secretary of a secret society. I was surprised at such an
occurrence, but I confess not displeased. I had kept my pecuniary
affairs to myself. My wardrobe and baggage were such as everywhere to
make a respectable appearance. If I economized in travel and outlay, I
possessed the dignity of keeping my own secret. One night, as I lay
sleepless in a dark but double-bedded room, an old gentleman--a
disbanded officer, I think, whose health disturbed his repose--began a
conversation of a peculiar kind, and asked me whether I was not a
Freemason. Darkness, and the distance I was from him, induced a
studiedly cautious reply. But a denouement the next day followed. This
incident was the only explanation the unwonted and wholly unexpected
remittance admitted. A stranger, traveling to a southern and sickly city
to embark for a distant State, perhaps never to return--the act appeared
to me one of pure benevolence, and it reveals a trait which should wipe
away many an error of judgment or feeling.

The voyage down this stream was an exciting one, and replete with novel
scenes and incidents. The portion of the river above the mouth of the
Ohio, which it had taken me twenty days to ascend in a barge, we were
not forty-eight hours in descending. Trees, points of land, islands,
every physical object on shore, we rushed by with a velocity that left
but vague and indistinct impressions. We seemed floating, as it were, on
the waters of chaos, where mud, trees, boats, were carried along swiftly
by the current, without any additional impulse of a steam-engine,
puffing itself off at every stroke of the piston. The whole voyage to
New Orleans had some analogy to the recollection of a gay dream, in
which objects were recollected as a long line of loosely-connected
panoramic fragments.

At New Orleans, where I remained several days, I took passage in the
brig Arethusa, Captain H. Leslie, for New York.

While at anchor at the Balize, we were one night under apprehensions
from pirates, but the night passed away without any attack. The mud and
alluvial drift of the Mississippi extend many leagues into the gulf. It
was evident that the whole delta had been formed by the deposits made in
the course of ages. Buried trees, and other forms of organic life, which
have been disinterred from the banks of the river, as high, not only as
New Orleans and Natchez, but to the mouth of the Ohio, show this. It
must be evident to every one who takes the trouble to examine the
phenomena, that an arm of the gulf anciently extended to this point; and
that the Ohio, the Arkansas, Red River, and other tributaries of the
present day, as well as the main Mississippi, had at that epoch entered
this ancient arm of the gulf. I landed at the light-house at the Balize.
We had to walk on planks supported by stakes in the water. A sea of
waving grass rose above the liquid plain, and extended as far as the eye
could reach. About twelve or fourteen inches depth of water spread over
the land. A light-house of brick or stone, formerly built on this mud
plain, east of the main pass, had partially sunk, and hung in a diagonal
line to the horizon, reminding the spectator of the insecurity of all
solid structures on such a nascent basis. The present light-house was of
wood. It was evident, however, that here were deposited millions of
acres of the richest alluvion on the globe, and in future times another
Holland may be expected to be rescued from the dominions of the ocean.
As we passed out into the gulf, another evidence of the danger of the
channel met our view, in the wreck of a stranded vessel. The vast stain
of mud and alluvial filth extended for leagues into the gulf. As the
vessel began to take the rise and swell of the sea, I traversed the deck
diligently, and, by dint of perseverance in keeping the deck, escaped
sea-sickness. I had never been at sea before. When the land had vanished
at all points, and there was nothing in sight but deep blue water around
us and a sky above, the scene was truly sublime; there was a mental
reaction, impressing a lesson of the insignificance of man, which I had
never before felt.

We passed the Gulf of Florida, heaving in sight on one side, as we
passed, of the Tortugas, and, on the other, of the Mora Castle of
Havana, after which there was little to be noticed, but changes in the
Gulf Stream, fishes, sea-birds, ships, and the constant mutations from
tempests to the deep blue waters of a calm, till we hove in sight of the
Neversinks, and entered the noble bay of New York.

It was the third of August when I reached the city, having stayed out my
quarantine faithfully on Staten Island, the mineralogy and geological
structure of which I completely explored during that period of municipal
regimen--for it was the season of yellow fever, and there was a rigid
quarantine. Dr. Dewitt, the health officer, who had known my father,
received me very kindly, and my time wore off imperceptibly, while I
footed its serpentine vales and magnesian plains.

On reaching the city, I fixed my lodgings at a point on the banks of the
Hudson, or rather at its point of confluence with the noble bay (71
Courtland), where I could overlook its islands and busy water craft,
ever in motion.

I had now completed, by land and water, a circuit of the Union, having
traveled some 6000 miles. My arrival was opportune. No traveler of
modern times had thrown himself upon the success of his scientific
observations, and I was hailed, by the scientific public, as the first
one who had ever brought a collection of the mineral productions of the
Mississippi Valley. My collection, which was large and splendid, was the
means of introducing me to men of science at New York and elsewhere. Dr.
Samuel L. Mitchell and Dr. D. Hosack, who were then in the zenith of
their fame, cordially received me. The natural sciences were then
chiefly in the hands of physicians, and there was scarcely a man of note
in these departments of inquiry who was not soon numbered among my
acquaintances. Dr. John Torrey was then a young man, who had just
published his first botanical work. Dr. A.W. Ives warmly interested
himself in my behalf, and I had literary friends on every side. Among
these Gov. De Witt Clinton was prominent.

I had fixed my lodgings where the Hudson River, and the noble bay of New
York and its islands, were in full view from my window. Here I opened my
collection, and invited men of science to view it, I put to press my
observations on the mines and physical geography of the West. I also
wrote a letter on its resources, which was published by the
Corresponding Association of Internal Improvements, The Lyceum of
Natural History, and the Historical Society, each admitted me to
membership. My work was published about the 25th of November. As soon as
it was announced, I took copies of it, and proceeded to Washington,
where I was favorably received. I lost no time in calling on Mr. Monroe,
and the Secretaries of War and of the Treasury. Mr. Monroe took up his
commonplace-book, and made memorandums of my statements respecting the
mines. Mr. Calhoun received me cordially, and said that the
jurisdiction of the mines was not in his department. But he had
received a memoir from General Cass, Governor of Michigan, proposing to
explore the sources of the Mississippi, through the Lakes, and
suggesting that a naturalist, conversant with mineralogy, should
accompany him, to inquire into the supposed value of the Lake Superior
copper mines. He tendered me the place, and stated the compensation. The
latter was small, but the situation appeared to me to be one which was
not to be overlooked. I accepted it. It seemed to be the bottom step in
a ladder which I ought to climb. Small events, it has been said, lead a
man, and decide his course in life; and whether this step was important
in mine, may be better judged of, perhaps, when these notes shall have
been read.

In the mean time, while I accepted this place, the subject of the
management and superintendence of the western mines appeared to be fully
appreciated by Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, the latter of whom
requested a written statement on the subject; and it was held for
further consideration.[6] I found during this, my first visit to the
capital, that the intelligence of my favorable reception at New York,
and of my tour in the West, had preceded me. Friends appeared, of whom,
at this distance of time, I may name the Vice-President, D.D. Tompkins,
Judge Smith Thompson, of the Supreme Court, Colonel Benton, Senator
elect from Missouri, Hon. John Scott, the delegate, Hon. Jesse B.
Thomas, Senator from Illinois, John D. Dickinson, Esq., Representative
from Troy, N.Y., Hon. Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land
Office, Gen. Sol. Van Rensselaer, and Dr. Darlington, Rep. from
Pennsylvania. To each of these, I have ever supposed myself to be under
obligations for aiding me in my object of exploration, and I certainly
was for civilities and attentions.

[Footnote 6: This effort became the cause of the government finally
taking definite action on the subject. Mr. Monroe presented it to the
consideration of Congress in the fall, and a superintendent was
subsequently appointed.]

Mr. Calhoun addressed a letter to Governor Cass, of Michigan, and I
proceeded immediately to the North, to be ready to avail myself of the
first opportunity of ascending the lakes to the place of departure.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west--Remain a few weeks
at New York--Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first
steamer--Preparations for a new style of traveling--Correspondents--General
sketch of the route pursued by the expedition, and its results--Return
to Albany, and publish my narrative--Journal of it--Preparation for a
scientific account of the observations.

1820. I left Washington on the 5th of February, exactly one year from my
return to Potosi from the Ozarks; proceeded to New York, where I
remained till early in March; traveled by sleigh over the Highlands, was
at Niagara Falls on the 1st of May, and reached Detroit in the steamer
"Walk-in-the-water" on the 8th of May. Captain D.B. Douglass, of West
Point Academy, was appointed topographer, and joined me at Buffalo. We
proceeded up Lake Erie in company, and were received in a most cordial
manner by General Cass and the citizens generally of that yet remote and
gay military post.

Arrangements were not completed for immediate embarkation. We were to
travel in the novel Indian bark canoe. Many little adaptations were
necessary, and while these things were being done we spent a couple of
weeks very agreeably, in partaking of the hospitalities of the place. My
correspondence now began to accumulate, and I took this occasion of a
little pause to attend to it. The publication of my work on the mines
had had the effect to awaken attention to the varied resources of the
Mississippi Valley, and the subject of geographical and geological
explorations. It also brought me a class of correspondents who are
simply anxious for practical information, and always set about getting
it in the most direct way, whether they are personal or introduced
acquaintances or not. I determined at once to reply to these, wherever
they appeared to be honest inquiries for geographical facts, which I
only, and not books, could communicate.

Mr. Robert Bright, of Charleston, S.C., an English emigrant, having got
a copy of my work, wrote (Jan. 11) as to the business prospects of St.
Louis, intending apparently to go thither. Not knowing my correspondent,
but, on a moment's reflection, believing the communication of such
information would not make me poorer and might be important to him, by
helping him on in his fortunes in the world, I wrote to him, giving the
desired information, assigning to that spot, in my estimation, a highly
important central influence on the business and affairs of the
Mississippi Valley.

The Hon. John Scott, delegate in Congress, from Missouri, speaking of
the work on the mineralogy, &c., of that territory, says, "Those sources
of individual and national wealth, which I have no doubt you have well
developed, have been too long neglected, and I trust that your
well-directed efforts to bring them to notice will be amply rewarded,
not only in the emoluments derived from the work, but what is still more
gratifying to the author, and the enlightened and patriotic statesman,
in seeing this portion of our resources brought into full operation."

Mr. Robert C. Bruffey, of Missouri, writes (March 14th), giving a sketch
of a recent tour into the southern part of Arkansas:--

"_Health of Southern Climates_.--When I returned from the Arkansas,
which was not till the 6th of October, with some few others, I brought a
particular 'specimen' of the country, namely, the ague and fever, which
I endured for two months, and until the commencement of cold weather.

"I continued but three weeks at the Springs (Hot Springs of Wachita);
could I have spent the whole summer in the use of the water, no doubt I
should have been much benefited, if not entirely relieved from my
irksome complaint. I saw your friend Stephen P. Austin, at the Springs,
just recovered from a dangerous sickness, namely, fever and vomiting
blood. He inquired after you particularly.

"_A New Field for Exploration_.--When I was in the lower country, I was
sorry you had not time to visit that interesting section of country
previous to the publication of your work (which, I understand, has been
received and appreciated with avidity); for I assure you, as relates to
scientific researches, you would have collected materials that would
have come within its purview, and repaid you liberally for your labor,
and the specimens added richly to your collection.

"I will now give you a description, so far as my feeble abilities will
admit, of the things which I think worthy the attention of a devotee of
science. In the first place, the springs are worthy of notice, in a
natural as well as medical point of view. They contain in their
different issues all the different temperatures, from boiling, down to a
pleasure bath. They contain a combining principle, or the quality of
petrifying and uniting various substances that may come in contact with
them, such as flint, earth, stone, iron, &c. The bluff from which they
flow out is principally of an apparent calcareous substance, formed by
the water. In some of the springs a red, in others a green and yellow,
sediment is produced. The waters will remove rheumatism, purge out
mercury, and produce salivation, in those who have it in their system
previously; cure old sores and _consumptions_, in their early stages;
cure dropsies, palsies, &c., if taken in time.

"The next curiosity is the loadstone, a specimen of which I have with
me; you can examine it when you visit this country. The next rock
crystal, of which I have two specimens.[7] The fourth is alum, of which
I procured a small quantity, as I did not visit the cave where it is to
be obtained. The fifth is oil and whetstone, of which there is a great
abundance in that quarter. The sixth is asbestus. In a word, the
subjects are worthy the attention of those who wish to be instrumental
in enlarging or developing that branch of science."

[Footnote 7: Now in my cabinet.]

Mr. William Ficklin, one of the pioneers of Kentucky, but now a resident
of Missouri, writes: "I am pleased to hear of your appointment, and wish
I could be with you on the route, as you will visit a section of the
country but little known to our government. I must advise you to be on
your guard against the Indians, the best of whom will murder a man for a
trifle, if they can meet him alone, or off his guard.

"A Mr. Nabb, a few months ago, brought me some white metal, which, he
says, he smelted in a common forge--it was as bright as silver, but too
hard to bear the hammer. I think it must be zinc."

_March 18th_.--Mr. Amos Eaton writes from Troy: "A second edition of my
_Index to Geology_ is in the press--about thirty-six pages struck off. I
have written the whole over anew, and extended it to about two hundred
and fifty pages 12mo. I have taken great pains to collect facts, in this
district, during the two years since my first edition was published. But
I am rather deficient in my knowledge of secondary and alluvial
formations; I wish to trouble you with a few inquiries upon
that subject.

"From what knowledge I have been able to obtain in that department, I am
inclined to arrange the secondary class thus:--

"Breccia: compact, or shell limestone; gypsum, secondary sandstone.

"I leave much, also, for peculiar local formations.

"A gentleman presented specimens to the Troy Lyceum, from Illinois, of
gypsum and secondary sandstone, and informed me that the latter overlaid
the former in regular structure. Myron Holly, and others, have given me
similar specimens, which they represent as being similarly situated,
from several localities in the western part of this State. This
secondary sandstone is sometimes more or less calcareous. I believe it
is used for a cement by the Canal Company, which hardens under water.
Will you do me the favor to settle this question?

"On your way to Detroit, you may perhaps, without material
inconvenience, collect facts of importance to me, in relation to
secondary and alluvial formations. Anything transmitted to me by the
middle of April on these subjects will be in season, because I shall not
have printed all the transition part before that time.

"Have you any knowledge of the strata constituting Rocky Mountains? Is
it primitive, or is it graywacke like Catskill Mountains? I have said,
in a note, that, after you and Dr. E. James set foot upon it, we shall
no longer be ignorant of it.

"I intend to kindle a blaze of geological zeal before you return. I have
adapted the style of my index to the capacities of ladies,
plough-joggers, and mechanics."

_March 28th_.--While here, I received a notice of my election as a
member of the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia.

_April 28th_.--James T. Johnston, Esq., of N.Y., writes on the
interesting character of the mineralogy of the interior of Georgia.

The spirit of inquiry denoted by these letters gives but a faint idea
of the interest which was now awakened in the public mind, on the
exploration of the west, and it would require a reference to the public
prints of the day to denote this. If the delay had served no other
purpose, it had brought us into a familiar acquaintance with our
commander, who was frank and straightforward in his manners, and fully
disposed, not only to say, but to do everything to facilitate the
object. He put no veto on any request of this kind, holding the smiths
and mechanics of the government amenable to comply with any order. He
was not a man, indeed, who dealt in hems and haws--did not require to
sleep upon a simple question--and is not a person whose course is to be
stopped, as many little big men are, by two straws crossed.

At length the canoes, which were our principal cause of delay, arrived
from Lake Huron, where they were constructed, and all things were ready
for our embarkation. It was the 24th of May when we set out. A small
detachment of infantry had been ordered to form a part of the
expedition, under Lieutenant Aeneas Mackay. Eight or ten Chippewa and
Ottowa Indians were taken in a separate canoe, as hunters, and gave
picturesqueness to the brigade by their costume. There were ten Canadian
voyagers of the north-west stamp. Professor Douglass and myself were the
only persons to whom separate classes of scientific duties were
assigned. A secretary and some assistants made the governor's mess
consist of nine persons. Altogether, we numbered, including guides and
interpreters, about forty persons; a truly formidable number of mouths
to feed in the "waste howling wilderness."

Having kept and published a journal of the daily incidents of the
expedition, I refer to it for details.[8] To plunge into the wilderness
is truly to take one's life in his hand. But nobody thought of this. The
enterprise was of a kind to produce exhilaration. The route lay up the
Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, and around the southern shores of Lakes
Huron and Superior to Fond du Lac. Thence up the St. Louis River in its
rugged passage through the Cabotian Mountains to the Savannah summit
which divides the great lakes from the Mississippi Valley. The latter
was entered through the _Comtaguma_ or Sandy Lake River. From this
point the source of the Mississippi was sought up rapids and falls, and
through lakes and savannahs, in which the channel winds. We passed the
inlet of the Leech Lake, which was fixed upon by Lieutenant Pike as its
probable source, and traced it through Little Lake Winnipeg to the inlet
of Turtle Lake in upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake, in north lat. 47°. On
reaching this point, the waters were found unfavorable to proceeding
higher. The river was then descended to the falls of St. Anthony, St.
Peters, and Prairie du Chien. From the latter point we ascended the
Wisconsin to the portage into Fox River, and descended the latter to
Green Bay. At this point, the expedition was divided, a part going
north, in order to trace the shores to Michilimackinack, and part
steering south, by the shores of Lake Michigan to Chicago. At the latter
place, another division was made, Governor Cass and suite proceeding on
horseback, across the peninsula of Michigan, and Captain Douglass and
myself completing the survey of the eastern coast of Michigan, and
rejoining the party detached to strike Michilimackinack. The Huron
shores were coasted to the head of the River St. Clair and Detroit.

[Footnote 8: A Narrative Journal of Travels through the American Lakes
to the Sources of the Mississippi River. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 419:
Albany, 1821.]

About four thousand miles were traversed. Of this distance the
topography was accurately traced by Captain Douglass and his assistant,
Mr. Trowbridge. This officer also took observations for the latitude at
every practical point, and collected with much labor the materials for a
new and enlarged map. Its geology and mineralogy were the subjects of a
detailed report made by me to the War Department in 1822. Of the copper
deposits on Lake Superior, a detailed report was made to the same
department in November 1820. The Indian tribes were the subject of
observation made by General Cass. Its botany, its fresh water
conchology, and its zoology and ichthyology, received the attention that
a rapid transit permitted. Its soil, productions, and climate were the
topics of daily observation. In short, no exploration had before been
made which so completely revealed the features and physical geography of
so large a portion of the public domain. And the literary and scientific
public waited with an intense desire for the result of these
observations in every department.

The first letter I received on my return route from that eventful tour,
was at the post of Green Bay, where a letter from J.T. Johnston, Esq.,
of New York, awaited me: "Since you departed," he observes, "nothing of
importance has occurred, either in the moral or political world. The
disturbances which disgrace the kingdom of Great Britain are, and still
continue to be, favored by a few factionists. Thistlewood, and the
members of the Cato Street conspiracy, have been tried for high treason,
and condemned, and I presume the next arrivals must bring us an account
of their execution. The Cortes has been established in Spain, and there
floats a rumor that the _Saint_, the adored Ferdinand, has fled to
France. The public debates in France seem to me to thunder forth, as the
precursor of some event which will yet violently agitate the country.
(Napoleon was now in St. Helena.) The stormy wave of discord has not
subsided. The temple of ambition is not overthrown, and party spirit
will rush to inhabit it. The convulsive struggle for independence in the
South (America) still continues, but civil war appears about to
interrupt its progress. At home all is quiet. A virtuous chief
magistrate and a wise administration must benefit a people so PRONE TO

This gave me the first glimpse of home and its actualities, and the
letter was refreshing for the sympathies it expresses, after long months
of tugging over portages, and looking about to arrange in the mind
stratifications, to gather specimens of minerals, and fresh water
shells, and watch the strange antics which have been cut over the whole
face of the north-west by the Boulder Group of Rocks.

_Sept_. 6. Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writes from Michilimackinack: "I forward
the specimens collected by Mr. Doty and myself, on the tour (from Green
Bay, on the north shore, to Michilimackinack). The most interesting will
probably be the organic remains. They were collected in Little Noquet
Bay, on the N.E. side, where ridges of limestone show themselves
frequently. Near the top of the package you find a piece of limestone
weighing about two pounds, of which the upper stratum was composed;
there are two pieces of the lower stratum, resembling blue pipestone.
The middle stratum was composed of these remains. About ten miles N.E.
of Great Bay de Noquet, we found flint, or hornstone, in small
quantities in the limestone rocks. There is also a specimen of the
marble, which we saw little of; but since our arrival I am informed
that a large bluff, composed of the same, is seen 30 to 40 miles from
this. The gypsum I picked up on St. Martin's Islands."

On reaching Detroit, Gov. Cass invited Capt. Douglass and myself to
recruit ourselves a few days at his "old mansion of the ancient era." I
examined and put in order my collection of specimens, selecting such as
were designed for various institutions. A local association of persons
inclined to foster literary efforts, under the name of "Detroit Lyceum,"
elected me a member. The intrepid and energetic officer who had planned
and executed this scheme of western exploration gave me a copy of his
official letter to the Secretary of War, warmly approbating the conduct
of Capt. Douglass and myself, as members of the expedition. All its
results were attended with circumstances of high personal gratification.

I left Detroit on the 13th of October at 4 o'clock P.M., in the steamer
"Walk-in-the-Water," the first boat built on the Lake waters, and
reached Black Rock at 7 o'clock in the morning of the 17th, being a
stormy passage, in a weak but elegant boat, of eighty-seven hours. Glad
to set my foot on dry land once more, I hurried on by stage and canal,
and reached Oneida Creek Depot on the 21st at 4 o'clock in the morning,
stopped for breakfast there, and then proceeded on foot, through the
forest, by a very muddy path, to Oneida Castle, a distance of three
miles--my trunk being carried by a man on horseback. Thence I took a
conveyance for Mr. W.H. Shearman's, at Vernon, where I arrived at ten
o'clock A.M.

Capt. Douglass, who had preceded me, wrote from West Point Military
Academy, on the 27th, that in the sudden change of habits he had been
affected with a dreadful influenza. My own health continued to be
unimpaired, and my spirits were buoyant. After a few days' rest, I wrote
a report (Nov. 6th) to the Secretary of War on the metalliferous
character of the Lake Superior country, particularly in relation to its
reported wealth in copper. I proceeded to Albany on the 7th of December,
and arrived the day following, and was cordially greeted by all my
friends and acquaintances. It was my intention to have gone immediately
to New York, but the urgent entreaties of Mr. Carter and others induced
me to defer it. Very little had been said by the members of the party
about a publication. We looked to Capt. Douglass, who was the
topographer and a professor at West Point, to take the lead in the
matter. The death of Mr. Ellicott, Professor of Mathematics at that
institution, who was his father-in-law, and his appointment to the
vacant chair, from that of engineering, placed him in a very delicate
and arduous situation. He has never received credit for the noble manner
in which he met this crisis. He was not only almost immediately required
to teach his class the differential calculus, but the French copy--a
language with which he was not familiar--was the only one employed. He
was therefore not only obliged to study a comparatively new science, but
to do it in a new language; and when the course began, he had to
instruct his class daily in tasks which he committed nightly. Most men
would have sunk under the task, but he went triumphantly through it, and
I have never heard that the students or others ever had cause to suspect
his information or question his abilities. He wrote to me, and perhaps
to me only, on this subject.

There was something like a public clamor for the results of the
expedition, and the narrative was hurried into press. A new zeal was
awakened upon the subject of mineralogy and geology. A friend wrote to
me on the mineral affluence of upper Georgia. Several letters from the
western district of the State, transmitting specimens, were received.
"The unexampled success of your expedition," observes one of these
correspondents, "in all respects is a subject of high congratulation,
not only for those of whom it was composed, but also to a great portion
of the people of the United States, and to this State in particular, as
we are the grand link that unites that vast region to our Atlantic
border." [9] These feelings appear in letters from near and far. Captain
Douglass was aware of this interest, and anxious, amidst his arduous
duties, to get the necessary time to arrange his notes and materials. He
wrote to me (December 25) to furnish Professor Silliman some sketches
for the _American Journal of Science_. On the topic of topography
he says:--

[Footnote 9: W.S.D.Z., 9th Dec. 1820.]

"With regard to our daily occurrences, ought not something to be done? I
intended to have had a conversation with Governor Cass and yourself on
the subject before I parted from you, but it escaped me, and I have
since written about it.

"I should be glad to receive your delineation of the Mississippi below
Prairie du Chien, and your levels through the Fox and Wisconsin (I
believe in these we agree pretty nearly) would enable me to
consolidate mine.

"While I think of it, let me tell you I have made some calculations
about the height of the Porcupine Mountains. My data are the distance at
which they were seen from Kewewena portage, under the influence of great
refraction, and the distance on the following day without unusual
refraction, and I am convinced they cannot be less than 2000 feet high;
if, however, this staggers you, say 1800, and I am confident you are
_within_ the real elevation.

"Estimates of heights, breadths of rivers, &c., and, in looking over
your journal, any other topographical facts which you may have to
dispose of, will be very acceptable to me. Will you be able to spare me
(that is, to let me copy) any of your drawings? You know, I believe, my
views in asking are to embellish my map and memoir with landscape views
in a light style."


Reception by the country on my return--Reasons for publishing my
narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the
expedition--Delays interposed to this--Correspondents--Locality of
strontian--Letter from Dr. Mitchell--Report on the copper mines of Lake
Superior--Theoretical geology--Indian symbols--Scientific
subjects--Complete the publication of my work--Its reception by the
press and the public--Effects on my mind--Receive the appointment of
Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago--Result of the expedition,
as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.

1821. Governor Clinton offered me the use of his library while preparing
my journal for the press. Mr. Henry Inman, who was then beginning to
paint, re-drew some of the views. One of the leading booksellers made me
favorable proposals, which I agreed early in January to accept. I began
to transcribe my journal on the 8th of the month, and very assiduously
devoted myself to that object, sending off the sheets hurriedly as they
were written. The engravings were immediately put in hands. In this way,
the work went rapidly on; and I kept up, at the same time, an
industrious correspondence with scientific men in various places.

It was at this time an object of moment, doubtless, that the results of
this expedition should have been combined in an elaborate and joint work
by the scientific gentlemen of the party. The topography and astronomy
had been most carefully attended to by Captain Douglass, and the
materials collected for an improved map. Its geology and mineralogy had
formed the topic of my daily notes. Its aboriginal population had been
seen under circumstances rarely enjoyed. Its fresh water conchology had
been carefully observed by Douglass and myself, and fine collections
made. Something had been done respecting its botany, and the whole chain
of events was ready to be linked together in a striking manner.

But there was no one to take the initiative. Governor Cass, who had led
the expedition, did not think of writing. Professor Douglass, who was my
senior, and who occupied the post of topographer, by no means underrated
the subject, but deferred it, and, by accepting the Professorship of
Mathematics at West Point, assumed a duty which made it literally
impossible, though he did not see it immediately, that he should do
justice to his own notes. I simply went forward because no one of the
members of the expedition offered to. I had kept a journal from the
first to the last day, which I believe no one else had. I had been
diligent in the morning and evening in observing every line of coast and
river. I never allowed the sun to catch me asleep in my canoe or boat. I
had kept the domestic, as well as the more grave and important events. I
was importuned to give them to the public. I had written to Douglass
about it, but he was dilatory in answering me, and when at last he did,
and approved my suggestion for a joint work in which our observations
should be digested, it was too late, so far as my narrative went, to
withdraw it from my publishers. But I pledged to him at once my
geological and mineralogical reports, and I promptly sent him my
portfolio of sketches to embellish his map. This is simply the history
of the publication of my narrative journal.

My position was, at this time, personally agreeable. My room was daily
visited by literary and scientific men. I was invited to the mansions of
distinguished men, who spoke of my recent journey as one implying
enterprise. Nothing, surely, when I threw myself into the current of
western emigration, in 1817, was farther from my thoughts than my being
an instrumental cause, to much extent, in stirring up and awakening a
zeal for scientific explorations and researches. The diurnal press,
however, gave this tone to the thing. The following is an extract:--[10]

[Footnote 10: A New York Statesman, Jan. 1821.]

"During the last year, an expedition was authorized by the National
Government, which left Detroit some time in the month of May, under the
personal orders of Governor Cass, of the Michigan Territory, provided
with the necessary means of making observations upon the topography,
natural history, and aborigines of the country. We have had an
opportunity of conversing with one of the gentlemen who accompanied
Governor Cass in the expedition, Mr. H.R. Schoolcraft, who has recently
returned to this city, bringing a large collection of mineral and other
substances, calculated to illustrate the natural history of the regions
visited. We learn that the party passed through Lake Superior, and
penetrated to the sources of the Mississippi, which have been, for the
first time, satisfactorily ascertained. In returning, they passed down
the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien, and thence came across to Green
Bay, by means of the Ouisconsin and Fox Rivers. Indian tribes were found
in every part of the country visited, by whom they were generally well
received, except at the Sault St. Marie, where a hostile disposition was
manifested. The country was found to present a great variety in its
soil, climate, productions, and the character of the savages, and the
information collected must prove highly interesting both to men of
business and men of science.

"It will be seen, by referring to an advertisement in our paper of
to-day, that Mr. Schoolcraft contemplates publishing an account of the
expedition, under the form of a personal narrative, embracing notices of
interesting scenery, the Indian tribes, topographical discoveries, the
quadrupeds, mineral productions, and geology of the country, accompanied
by an elegant map and a number of picturesque views. From an inspection
of the manuscript map and views, we are persuaded that no analogous
performances, of equal merit, have ever been submitted to the hands of
the engraver in this country. We have always been surprised that, while
we have had so many travelers through the Valley of the Ohio and Lower
Mississippi, no one should have thought of filling up the chasm in our
north-western geography. The field is certainly a very ample one--we
cannot but felicitate the public in having a person of the acknowledged
talents, industry, and original views of Mr. S. to supply the

At length Professor Douglass (Feb. 9th) responded to my proposition to
club our wits in a general work. "Your propositions relative to a joint
publication, meet my views precisely, and of course I am inclined to
believe we may make an interesting 'work.' In addition to the usual
heads of topographical and geographical knowledge, which I propose to
treat of, in my memoir on that subject, I am promised by Dr. Torrey some
of the valuable aid which it will be in his power to render for the
article 'Botany,' and our collections should furnish the materials of a
description of the fresh water conchology." His proposition was based on
giving a complete account of the animal and mineral constituents of the
country, its hydrography and resources; the paper on the aboriginal
tribes to be contributed by General Cass.

A difficulty is, however, denoted. "My duties here," he writes, "as they
engross everything at present, will force me to delay a little, and I am
in hopes, by so doing, to obtain some further data. I enter, in a few
days, on the discharge of my professional duties, under considerable
disadvantages, owing to the late introduction into our courses of some
French works on the highest branches of mathematics, which it falls to
my lot first to teach. Between French, therefore, and fluxions, and
moreover, the _French method of fluxions_, which is somewhat peculiar, I
have had my hands pretty full. I look forward to a respite in April."

The professor had, in fact, to teach his class as he taught himself, and
just kept ahead of them--a very hard task.

In the mean time, while this plan of an enlarged publication was kept in
view, I pushed my narrative forward. While it was going through the
press, almost every mail brought me something of interest respecting the
progress of scientific discovery. A few items may be noticed.

_Discovery of Strontian on Lake Erie_.--Mr. William A. Bird, of Troy, of
the Boundary Survey, writes (Jan. 22d):--

"On our return down the lake, last fall, we were becalmed near the
islands in Lake Erie. I took a boat, and, accompanied by Major
Delafield, Mr. A. Stevenson, and Mr. De Russey (who was to be our
guide), went in search of the strontian to the _main_ shore, where Mr.
De Russey says it was found in the summer of 1819. After an unsuccessful
search of an hour, we gave it up, and determined to return to our
vessel. On our way we stopped at Moss Island, when, immediately on
landing, we found the mineral in question. I wandered a little from the
others, and found the large bed of which I spoke to you. We there
procured large quantities, and some large crystals.

"This strontian was on the south side of Moss Island, in a horizontal
vein of three feet in thickness, and from forty to fifty feet in
length. I had no means of judging its depth into the rock. The base of
the island is wholly composed of limestone, in which shells scarcely, if
ever, appear."

_Conchology--Mineralized Fungus, &c._--Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, of New
York, writes (Jan. 30th): "I was glad to receive your letter and the
accompanying articles, by the hand of Colonel Gardiner; but I am sorry
your business is such as to prevent your meditated visit to the city
until spring.

"I had a solemn conference with Mr. Barnes, our distinguished
conchologist, on the subject of your shells. We had Say's publication on
the land and fresh water molluscas before us. We believed the univalves
had been chiefly described by him; one, or probably two of the species
were not contained in his memoir. It would gratify me very much to
possess a complete collection of those molluscas. I gave Mr. Barnes, who
is an indefatigable collector, such duplicates as I could spare.

"I showed your sandy fungus to my class at the college yesterday. Our
medical school was never so flourishing, there being nearly two hundred
students. In the evening, I showed it to the lyceum. All the members
regretted your determination to stay the residue of the winter
in Albany.

"The little tortoise is referred, with a new and singular bird, to a
zoological committee for examination. The sulphate of strontian
is elegant.

"I am forming a parcel for Professor Schreibers, curator of the Austrian
emperor's cabinet at Vienna; the opportunity will be excellent to send
a few."

_Report on the Copper of Lake Superior_.--Professor Silliman, in
announcing a notice of my work on the mines, for the next number of the
_Journal of Science_, Feb. 5th, says: "I have written to the Secretary
of War, and he has given his consent to have your report appear in the
_Journal of Science_."

Governor Cass, of Michigan (Feb. 20th), expresses his thanks for a
manuscript copy of the MS. report. "I trust," he adds, "the report will
be published by the government. It would be no less useful and
satisfactory to the public than honorable to yourself." _Geology of
Western New York_.--Mr. Andrew McNabb, of Geneva (Feb. 26th), sends me
two separate memoirs on the mineralogy and geology of the country, to be
employed as materials in my contemplated memoir. The zeal and
intelligence of this gentleman have led him to outstrip every observer
who has entered into this field of local knowledge. Its importance to
the value of the lands, their mines, ores, resources, water power, and
general character, has led him to take the most enlarged views of
the subject.

"Pursue," he says, "my dear sir, your career, for it is an honorable
one. The world, bad as it is, has been much worse than now for authors;
and through the great reading public, there are many generous souls,
whose views are not confined to sordidness and self. May all your
laudable exertions be crowned with ample success--with pleasure and
profit to yourself and fellow-citizens!"

_Boulder of Copper_.--A large specimen of native copper from Lake
Superior, procured by me, forwarded to Mr. Calhoun, by General Stephen
Van Rensselaer, representative in Congress, was cut up by his
directions, and presented to the foreign ministers and gentlemen from
abroad; and thus the resources of the country made known. In a letter of
Feb. 27th, Mr. Calhoun acknowledges the receipt of it.

_Theoretical Geology_.--Mr. McNabb, in forwarding additional papers
relative to western geology, observes: "Have you seen Greenough's
_Essays on Geology?_ The reviewers speak of it as well as critics
usually do on such occasions. President Greenough has given a shock to
the 'Wernerian system;' his battery is pretty powerful, but he seems
more intent on _leveling_ than on building. The Wernerian system is very
beautiful, ingenious, and plausible, and I would almost regret its
demolition, unless it should be found to stand in the way of _truth_.

"Without some system or order in the investigation of nature's works and
nature's laws, the mind is puzzled and confounded, wandering, like
Noah's dove, over the face of the deep, without finding a resting-place.
What a pity that human knowledge and human powers are so limited!"

_Indian Symbolic Figures_.--Professor Douglass (March 17th) writes,
making some inquiries about certain symbolic figures on the Sioux bark
letter, found above Sank River.

_Expedition to the Yellow Stone_.--I fancy those western expeditions
intend to beat us all hollow, in _tough yarn_, as the sailors have it;
for it seems the Indian affair has got into the form of a newspaper
controversy already: vide _Aurora_ and _National Gazette._

_Mineralogy of Georgia_.--J. T. Johnston, Esq., of New York, writes
(March 23d) that he has made an arrangement for procuring minerals for
me from this part of the Union.

_Scientific Subjects_.--Mr. McNabb writes (March 27th): "I deeply regret
that so little attention is bestowed by our legislatures (State and
National) on objects of such importance as those which engage your
thoughts, while so much time, breath, and treasure are wasted on
frivolous subjects and party objects. How long must the patriot and
philanthropist sigh for the termination of such driveling and delusion!"

After a labor at my table of about fourteen weeks, the manuscript was
all delivered to my printers; and I returned to New York, and took up my
abode in my old quarters at 71 Courtland. The work was brought out on
the 20th of May, making an octavo volume of 419 pages, with six plates,
a map, and engraved title-page. Marks of the haste with which it was run
through the press were manifest, and not a few typographical errors.
Nobody was more sensible of this than myself, and of the value that more
time and attention would have imparted. But the public received it with
avidity, and the whole edition was disposed of in a short time.
Approbatory notices appeared in the principal papers and journals. The
_New York Columbian_ says:--

"The author has before given the public a valuable work upon the Lead
Mines of Missouri, and, if we mistake not, a book of instructions upon
the manufacture of glass. He is advantageously known as a man of science
and literary research, and well qualified to turn to beneficial account
the mass of information he must have collected in his tour through that
interesting part of the country, which has attracted universal
attention, though our knowledge of it has hitherto been extremely
limited. We think there is no fear that the just expectations of the
public will be disappointed; but that the book will be found to furnish
all the valuable and interesting information that the subject and
acquirements of the writer promised, conveyed in a chaste and easy style
appropriate for the journalist--occasionally enlivened by animating
descriptions of scenery. The author has not suffered his imagination to
run wild from a foolish vanity to win applause as a fine writer, when
the great object should be to give the reader a view of what he
describes, as far as language will permit, in the same light in which he
beheld it himself. He aims to give you a just and true account of what
he has seen and heard, and his book will be referred to as a record of
facts by the learned and scientific at home and abroad. It is a
production honorable to the country, and, if we mistake not, will
advance her reputation in the opinion of the fastidious reviewers of
Scotland and England, in spite of their deep-rooted prejudices."

Mr. Walsh, of the _National Gazette_, deems it a valuable addition to
this class of literature.

"Public attention," he remarks, "was much excited last year by the
prospectus of the expedition, of which Mr. Schoolcraft formed a part as
mineralogist, and whose journey he has now described. He remarks, in his
introduction, with truth, that but little detailed information was
before possessed of the extreme north-western region of the Union--of the
great chain of lakes--and of the sources of the Mississippi River, which
continued to be a subject of dispute between geographical writers. In
the autumn of 1819 Governor Cass, of Michigan Territory, projected an
expedition for exploring what was so imperfectly known, and yet so
worthy of being industriously surveyed.

"The Secretary of War--to whom Mr. Schoolcraft's book is appropriately
dedicated, with a just testimony to the liberal and enlightened
character of his official administration--not only admitted the plan of
Governor Cass, but furnished him with the means of carrying it into full
effect by providing an escort of soldiers and directing the commandants
of the frontier garrisons to furnish every aid, of whatever
description, which the party might require. To the Governor, as chief of
the expedition, he associated several gentlemen qualified to accomplish
its objects; which were--a more correct knowledge of the names, numbers,
customs, history, mode of subsistence, and dispositions of the Indian
tribes--the collection of materials for an accurate map of the
country--the investigation of the subject of the north-western copper and
lead mines, and gypsum quarries; and the acquisition, from the Indians,
of such tracts as might be necessary to secure the benefit of them to
the United States.

"In the course of last March, we published a letter of Governor Cass to
the Secretary of War, describing in a happy manner some of the scenes
and occurrences which fell within the observation or inquiry of the
expedition. Mr. Schoolcraft states, at the end of his introductory
remarks, that he does not profess to communicate _all_ the topographical
information collected, and that a special topographical report and map
may be expected, together with other reports and the scientific
observations of the expedition in general. We anticipate, therefore, an
ample and valuable accession to our stock of knowledge respecting so
important a portion of the American territory; and such evidence of the
utility of enterprises of the kind, as will inspire every branch of the
government with a desire to see them repeated with equipments and
facilities adapted to the most comprehensive research, and fitted to
render them creditable in their fruits to the national character abroad.

"The present narrative does not exhibit the author in his capacity of
mineralogist alone. In this he appears indeed more distinctively, and to
particular advantage; but he writes also as a general describer and
relater, and has furnished lively and ample accounts of the natural
objects, and novel, magnificent scenery which he witnessed; and of the
history, character, condition, and habits of the various Indian bands
whom he encountered in his route, or who belong especially to our
north-western territories."

I was deeply sensible of the exalted feelings and enlarged sentiments
with which these and other notices were written. The effect on my mind
was a sense of literary humility, and a desire to prove myself in any
future attempts of the kind in some measure worthy of them. Literary
candidates are not ever, perhaps, so much pleased or gratified by those
who render them exact justice, of which there is always some notion, as
by warm, liberal, or high-minded thoughts and commendations, which are
incentives to future labors.

_May 22d_.--General Cass had, before leaving Detroit, offered me the
situation of Secretary to the Commissioners appointed to confer with the
Indians at Chicago in the summer of 1821, with a view, primarily, to the
interesting and circuitous journey which it was his intention to make,
in order to reach the place of meeting. This offer, as the time drew on,
he now put in the shape of a letter, which I determined at once to
accept, and made my arrangements to leave the city without loss of time.

It was proposed to be at Detroit the 1st of July. The tour would lie
through the valleys of the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash, which
interlock at the Fort Wayne summit; then across the Grand Prairie of the
Illinois to St. Louis, and up the Illinois River from its mouth to its
source. This would give me a personal knowledge of three great valleys,
which I had not before explored, and connect my former southern
explorations in Arkansas and Missouri with those of the great lake
basins and the upper Mississippi. I had been at the sources and the
mouth of that great river, and I had now the opportunity to complete the
knowledge of its central portions. It was with the utmost avidity,
therefore, that I turned my face again towards the West.

Mr. Calhoun, who was written to on the subject, concurred in this plan,
and extended the time for the completion of my geological report.

_Joint Work on the Scientific Results of the Expedition of 1820_.--
General Cass, who had been written to, thus expresses himself on this

"Captain Douglass has informed me that you and he meditate a joint work,
which shall comprise those objects, literary and scientific, which could
not properly find a place in a diurnal narrative. At what time is this
work to appear, and what are its plan and objects? My observations and
inquiries respecting the Indians will lead me much further than I
intended or expected. If I can prepare anything upon that subject prior
to the appearance of the work, I shall be happy to do it."

_Geological Survey of Dutchess County_.--Dr. Benjamin Allen, of Hyde
Park, writes to me (June 4th) on this subject, urging me to undertake
the survey; but the necessity of closing my engagements in the West
rendered it impossible.

_Expedition of_ 1820.--Dr. Mitchell furnishes me opinions upon some of
the scientific objects collected by me and my associates in the
north-west in 1820:--

"The Squirrel sent by General Cass is a species not heretofore
described, and has been named by Dr. Mitchell the _federation squirrel_,
or _sciurus tredecem striatus_.

"The Pouched Rat, or _mus bursarius_, has been seen but once in Europe.
This was a specimen sent to the British Museum from Canada, and
described by Dr. Shaw. But its existence is rather questioned by
Charles Cuvier.

"Both animals have been described and the descriptions published in the
21st Vol. of the _Medical Repository_ of New York, p. 248 _et seq_. The
specimens are both preserved in my museum. Drawings have been executed
by the distinguished artist Milbert, and forwarded by him at my request
to the administrators of the King's Museum, at Paris, of which he is a
corresponding member. My descriptions accompany them. The originals are
retained as too valuable to be sent out of the country.

"The Paddle Fish is the _spatularia_ of Shaw and _polyodon_ of Lacepede.
It lives in the Mississippi only, and the skeleton, though incomplete,
is better than any other person here possesses. It is carefully
preserved in my collection.

"The Serpent is a species of the Linnaean genus Anguis, the _orveto_ of
the French, and the _blind worm_ of the English. The loss of the tail of
this fragile creature may render an opinion a little dubious, but it is
supposed to be an _ophias aureus_ of Dandin, corresponding to the Anguis
ventralis of Linn, figured by Catesby.

"The shells afford a rich amount of undescribed species. The whole of
the univalves and bivalves received from Messrs. Schoolcraft and
Douglass, have been assembled, and examined with all I possessed before,
and with Mr. Stacy Collins's molluscas brought from Ohio. Mr. Barnes is
charged with describing and delineating all the species not contained
in Mr. Say's memoir on these productions of the land and fresh waters of
North America. The finished work will be laid before the Lyceum, and
finally be printed in Silliman's New Haven _Journal_. The species with
which zoology will be enriched will amount probably to nine or ten. We
shall endeavor to be just to our friends and benefactors.

"The pipe adorns my mantelpiece, and is much admired by connoisseurs."


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley--Cross the
grand prairie of Illinois--Revisit the mines--Ascend the
Illinois--Fever--Return through the great lakes--Notice of the
"Trio"--Letter from Professor Silliman--Prospect of an appointment under
government--Loss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"--Geology of Detroit--Murder
of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.

1821. I left New York for Chicago on the 16th June--hurried rapidly
through the western part of that State--passed up Lake Erie from
Buffalo, and reached Detroit just in season to embark, on the 4th of
July. General Cass was ready to proceed, with his canoe-elege in the
water. We passed, the same day, down the Detroit River, and through the
head of Lake Erie into the Maumee Bay to Port Lawrence, the present
site, I believe, of the city of Toledo. This was a distance of seventy
miles, a prodigious day's journey for a canoe. But we were shot along by
a strong wind, which was fair when we started, but had insensibly
increased to a gale in Lake Erie, when we found it impossible to turn to
land without the danger of filling. The wind, though a gale, was still
directly aft. On one occasion I thought we should have gone to the
bottom, the waves breaking in a long series, above our heads, and
rolling down our breasts into the canoe. I looked quietly at General
Cass, who sat close on my right, but saw no alarm in his countenance.
"That was a fatherly one," was his calm expression, and whatever was
thought, little was said. We weathered and entered the bay silently, but
with feelings such as a man may be supposed to have when there is but a
step between him and death.

We ascended the Miami Valley, through scenes renowned by the events of
two or three wars. I walked over the scene of Dudley's defeat in 1812;
of Wayne's victory in 1793; and of the sites of forts Deposit and
Defiance, and other events celebrated in history. From Fort Defiance,
which is at the junction of the River _Auglaize_, we rode to Fort Wayne,
sleeping in a deserted hut half way. We passed the summit to the source
of the Wabash, horseback, sleeping at an Indian house, where all the men
were drunk, and kept up a howling that would have done credit to a pack
of hungry wolves. The Canadians, who managed our canoe, in the mean time
brought it from water to water on their shoulders, and we again
embarked, leaving our horses at the forks of the Wabash. The whole of
this long and splendid valley, then wild and in the state of nature,
till below the Tippecanoe, we traversed, day by day, stopping at
Vincennes, Terrehaute, and a hundred other points, and entered the Ohio
and landed safely at Shawneetown. Here it was determined to send the
Canadians with our canoe, round by water to St. Louis, while we hired a
sort of stage-wagon to cross the prairies. I visited the noted locality
of fluor spar in Pope County, Illinois, and crossing the mountainous
tract called the Knobs, rejoined the party at the Saline. Here I found
my old friend Enmenger, of Kemp and Keen memory, to be the innkeeper. On
reaching St. Louis, General Cass rode over the country to see the
Missouri, while I, in a sulky, revisited the mines in Washington, and
brought back a supply of its rich minerals. We proceeded in our canoe up
the River Illinois to the rapids, at what is called Fort Rock, or
Starved Rock, and from thence, finding the water low, rode on horseback
to Chicago, horses having been sent, for this purpose, from Chicago to
meet us. There was not a house from Peoria to John Craft's, four miles
from Chicago. I searched for, and found, the fossil tree, reported to
lie in the rocks in the bed of the river _Des Plaines_. The sight of
Lake Michigan, on nearing Chicago, was like the ocean. We found an
immense number of Indians assembled. The Potawattomies, in their gay
dresses and on horseback, gave the scene an air of Eastern magnificence.
Here we were joined by Judge Solomon Sibley, the other commissioner from
Detroit, whence he had crossed the peninsula on horseback, and we
remained in negotiation with the Indians during fifteen consecutive
days. A treaty was finally signed by them on the 24th of August, by
which, for a valuable consideration in annuities and goods, they ceded
to the United States about five millions of acres of choice lands.

Before this negotiation was finished, I was seized with bilious fever,
and consequently did not sign the treaty. It was of the worst bilious
type, and acute in its character. I did not, indeed, ever expect to make
another entry in a human journal. But a vigorous constitution at length
prevailed, and weeks after all the party had left the ground, I was
permitted to embark in a vessel called the Decatur on the 23d of
September for Detroit. We reached Michilimackinack the seventh day of
our voyage, and returned to Detroit on the 6th of October. The incidents
and observations of this journey have been given to the public under the
title "Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley" (1
vol. pp. 459, 8vo.: New York).

I still felt the effects of my illness on reaching Detroit, where I
remained a few days before setting out for New York. On reaching Oneida
County, where I stopped to recruit my strength, I learned that some
envious persons, who shielded themselves under the name of "Trio," had
attacked my _Narrative Journal_, in one of the papers during my absence.
The attack was not of a character to demand a very grave notice, and was
happily exposed by Mr. Carter, in some remarks in the columns of the
_Statesman_, which first called my attention to the subject.

"A trio of writers," he observes, in his paper of 17th August, "in the
_Daily Advertiser_ of Wednesday, have commenced an attack on the
_Narrative Journal_ of Mr. Schoolcraft, lately published in this city.
We should feel excessively mortified for the literary reputation of our
country, if it took any _three_ of our writers to produce such a
specimen of criticism as the article alluded to; and 'for charity's
sweet sake,' we will suppose that by a typographical error the signature
is printed _Trio_ instead of _Tyro_. At any rate, the essay,
notwithstanding all its _wes_ and _ours_, bears the marks of being the
effort of _one_ smatterer, rather than the joint production of _three_
critics, as the name imports."

The Trio (if we admit there are _tria juncta in uno_, in this knot of
savans) pretend to be governed by patriotic motives in attacking Mr.
Schoolcraft. 'In what we have said, our object has been to expose error,
and to shield _ourselves_ from the imputation which would justly be
thrown upon _ourselves_.' The construction of this sentence reminds us
of the exordium of Deacon Strong's speech at Stonington--'_the
generality of mankind in general_ endeavor to try to take the
disadvantage of _the generality of mankind in general_.' But not to
indulge in levities on so grave a subject, we are happy in the belief
that the reputation of our country does not demand the condemnation of
Schoolcraft's _Journal_, as a proof of our taste, nor need such a shield
as the trio have interposed, to protect it from the attacks of foreign

     'Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis
      Tempus eget.'

It affords us great pleasure to relieve the anxiety of the Trio on the
subject of shielding 'ourselves from the imputation which would be
justly thrown upon ourselves,' by stating that one of the most
scientific gentlemen in the United States wrote to the publishers of
Schoolcraft's _Journal_, not a week since, for a copy of the work to
send to Paris, adding to his request, _the work is so valuable that I
doubt not it would be honorably noticed_.

"We have not taken the trouble to examine the passages to which the Trio
have referred; for, admitting that a trifling error has been detected in
an arithmetical calculation--that a few plants (or _vegetables_, as this
botanist calls them) have been described as new, which were before
known--and that in the haste of composition some verbal errors may have
escaped the author, yet these slight defects do not detract essentially
from the merit of the work, or prove that it has improperly been
denominated a scientific, valuable, and interesting volume. Our sage
critics are not aware how many and whom they include in the denunciation
of 'a few men who _pretend_ to all the knowledge, all the wisdom of the
country;' if by a _few_ they mean all who have spoken in the most
favorable terms of Mr. Schoolcraft's book.

"One word in respect to the 'candor' of the Trio, and we have done. It
would seem to have been more candid, and the disavowal of 'an intention
to injure' would have been more plausible, if the attack had been
commenced when the author was present to defend himself, and not when he
is in the depth of a wilderness, remote from his assailants and ignorant
of their criticisms. But we trust he has left many friends behind who
will promptly and cheerfully defend his reputation till his return."

On reading the pieces, I found them to be based in a petty spirit of
fault-finding, uncandid, illiberal, and without wit, science, or
learning. It is said in a book, which my critics did not seem to have
caught the spirit of--"Should not the multitude of words be answered,
and should a man fall if talk be justified? Should thy lies make men
hold their peace, and when thou mockest shall no man make thee ashamed?"
(Job xi. 2, 3.) My blood boiled. I could have accepted and approved
candid and learned and scientific criticism. I replied in the papers,
pointing out the gross illiberality of the attack, and tried to provoke
a discovery of the authors. But they were still as death; the mask that
had been assumed to shield envy, hypercriticism, and falsehood, there
was neither elevation of moral purpose, courage, nor honor, to
lay aside.

In the mean time, all my correspondents and friends sustained me. Men of
the highest standing in science and letters wrote to me. A friend of
high standing, in a note from Washington (Oct. 24th) congratulating me
on my recovery from the fever at Chicago, makes the following allusion
to this concealed and spiteful effort: "When in Albany I procured from
Mr. Webster copies of them (the pieces), with a view to say something in
the papers, had it been necessary. But, from their character and effect,
this would have been wholly unnecessary. They have fallen still-born
from the press."

Mr. Carter (Oct. 28th) says: "G. C. was at my room, and spoke of the
numbers with the utmost contempt, and thought they were not worth
noticing. The same opinion is entertained by everyone whom I have heard
speak on the subject. Chancellor Kent told me that your book is the most
interesting he has ever read, and that the attack on it amounts to
nothing. Others have paid it the same compliment, and I think your fame
is in no danger of being injured by the Trio."

Mr. Baldwin, a legal gentleman of high worth and standing, made the
following observations in one of the city papers, under the signature of

"True criticism is a liberal and humane art, and teaches no less to
point out and admire what is deserving of applause, than to detect and
expose blemishes and defects. If this be a correct definition of
criticism, and 'Trio' were capable of filling the office he has assumed,
I am of opinion that a different judgment would have been pronounced
upon Mr. Schoolcraft's book of travels; and that they would have been
justly eulogized, and held up for the perusal of every person at all
anxious about acquiring an intimate knowledge of the interesting
country through which he traveled, and which he so ably and beautifully
described. It is certainly true, that we abound in snarling critics,
whose chief delight is in finding fault with works of native production;
and though it is not my business to tread upon their corns, I could wish
they might ever receive that castigation and contempt which they merit
from a liberal and enlightened public. In the first article which
appeared in your useful paper, over the signature of 'Trio,' I thought I
discovered only the effervescence of a pedantic and caviling
disposition; but, when I find that writer making false and erroneous
statements, and drawing deductions therefrom unfavorable to Mr.
Schoolcraft, I deprecate the evil, and invite the public to a free and
candid investigation of the truth. Not satisfied with detracting from
the merits of Mr. Schoolcraft's work, 'Trio' indulges in some bitter and
illiberal remarks upon those gentlemen who composed the Yellow Stone
River expedition; and to show how little qualified he is for the
subject, I will venture to declare him ignorant of the very first
principles upon which that expedition was organized."

So much for the "Trio." No actual discovery of the authors was made; but
from information subsequently obtained, it is believed that their names
are denoted under the anagram LENICTRA.

Other criticisms of a different stamp were, however, received from high
sources, speaking well of the work, which may here be mentioned.
Professor Silliman writes from New Haven, November 22d: "I perused your
travels with great satisfaction; they have imparted to me a great deal
of information and pleasure. Could any scientific friend of yours
(Captain Douglass, for instance) prepare a notice, or a review, I would
cheerfully insert it.

"In reading your travels, I marked with a pencil the scientific notices,
and especially those on mineralogy and geology, thinking that I might at
a future period embody them into an article for the journal. Would it
not be consistent with your time and occupations to do this, and forward
me the article? I would be greatly pleased also to receive from you a
notice of the fluor spar from Illinois; of the fossil tree; and, in
short, any of your scientific or miscellaneous observations, which you
may see fit to intrust to the pages of the journal, I shall be happy to
receive, and trust they would not have a disadvantageous introduction to
the world."

How different is this in its spirit and temper from the flimsy thoughts
of the Trio!

_Literary Honors_.--Dr. Alfred S. Monson, of New Haven, informs me
(November 23d) of my election as a member of the American Geological
Society. Mr. Austin Abbott communicates notice of my election as a
member of the Hudson Lyceum of Natural History.

_Appointment under Government_.--A friend in high confidence at
Washington writes (November 4th): "The proposition to remove from
Sackett's Harbor to the Sault of St. Mary a battalion of the army, and
to establish a military post at the latter place, has been submitted by
Mr. Calhoun to the President. The pressure of other subjects has
required an investigation and decision since his return; so that he has
not yet been able to examine this matter. Mr. Calhoun is himself
decidedly in favor of the measure, and I have no doubt but that such
will be the result of the Presidential deliberation. The question is too
plain, and the considerations connected with it too obvious and
important, to allow any prominent difficulties to intrude themselves
between the conception and the execution of the measure. If a post be
established, it is almost certain that an Indian agency will be located
there, and, in the event, it is quite certain that you will be appointed
the agent."

_Loss of the "Walk-in-the-water."_--This fine steamer was wrecked near
the foot of Lake Erie, in November. A friend in Detroit writes (November
17th): "This accident maybe considered as one of the greatest
misfortunes which have ever befallen Michigan, for in addition to its
having deprived us of all certain and speedy communication with the
civilized world, I am fearful it will greatly check the progress of
emigration and improvement. They speak of _three_ new boats on Lake Erie
next season; I hope they may be erected, but such reports are always

_Geology of Detroit_.--"No accurate measurement that I can find has ever
been made of the height of the bank of the river at this place. As near
as I can ascertain, however, from those who have endeavored to obtain
correct information respecting it, and from my own judgment, I should
suppose the base of the pillars at the upper end of the market-house,
which stand three hundred feet from the water's edge, to be thirty-three
feet above the surface of the river. The bank is of a gentle descent
towards the water, and gradually recedes from the river for one mile
above the lower line of the city.

"In digging a well in the north-east part of the city, in the street near
the Council House, the loam appeared to be about a foot and a half deep.
The workmen then passed through a stratum of blue clay of eight or ten
feet, when they struck a vein of coarse sand, eight inches in thickness,
through which the water entered so fast, as to almost prevent them from
going deeper. They, however, proceeded through another bed of blue clay,
twenty or twenty-two feet, and came to a fine yellow sand, resembling
quicksand, into which they dug three feet and stopped, having found
sufficient water. The whole depth of the well was thirty-three feet.

"The water is clear, and has no bad taste. No vegetable or other remains
were found, and only a few small stones and pebbles, such as are on the
shores of the river. A little coarse dark sand and gravel were found
below the last bed of clay, on the top of the yellow sand."

The boring for water in 1830 was extended, on the Fort Shelby plateau,
260 feet. After passing ten feet of alluvion, the auger passed through
115 feet of blue clay, with quicksand, then two of beach sand and
pebbles, when the limestone rock was struck. It was geodiferous for
sixty feet, then lies sixty-five, then a carbonate of lime eight feet,
at which depth the effort was relinquished unsuccessfully.--_Historical
and Scientific Sketches of Michigan_.

"_Bed of the Detroit River_.--I am induced to believe the bed of the
River Detroit is clay, from the fact that it affords good anchorage for
vessels. Neither limestone nor any other rock has ever been
discovered in it."

_Murder of Dr. Madison._--A gentleman at the West writes to me (Nov.
17): "As to the murder of Dr. Madison, the facts were, that he started
from Green Bay, with three soldiers, to go to Chicago, and from thence
to his wife in Kentucky, who, during his absence, had added 'one' to the
family. The Indian Ke-taw-kah had left the bay the day previous, had
passed the Indian village on the Manatoowack River, on his way to
Chebiogan on the west side of Lake Michigan, to see a relative, but had
turned back. When the Doctor met him, he was standing by the side of a
tree, apparently unemployed. The Indian, says the Doctor, addressed him,
and said something, from which he understood they wanted them to guide
him to Chicago. As he knew he should get something to eat from them, he
concluded he would go with them as far as Chebiogan. Accordingly, he
fell in with the party about 2 P.M., and walked on until they had passed
the Manatoowack River, about three miles.

"They came to a small rise of ground, over which two of the soldiers had
passed, and the other was by the side of the Doctor's horse, and both
were just on the top. The Indian was about two rods in the rear, and was
at the foot of the hill, when a gun was fired in the rear, and Madison
received the charge in his shoulders and in the back of his neck, and
immediately fell from his horse. The Indian instantly disappeared. The
Doctor exclaimed, 'Oh! why has that Indian shot me? I never did him or
any of them any injury. To kill me, too, when I was just returning to my
wife and my little child, which I have never seen! It is more painful
than death.' His conversation was very pathetic, as related by the
soldier, and all who heard him were greatly affected.

"The Indian says he shot him without any cause or malice; that the
thought came into his head, about two minutes before, that he would kill
one of the four; and when he saw the Doctor on the top of the hill, he
concluded he would fire at him, to see how pretty he would fall off
his horse."

These things transpired late in the fall. I did not reach Albany till
late in December, and immediately began to prepare my geological report.


New-Yearing--A prospect opened--Poem of Ontwa--Indian biography--Fossil
tree--Letters from various persons--Notice of Ontwa--Professor
Silliman--Gov. Clinton--Hon. J. Meigs--Colonel Benton--Mr.
Dickenson--Professor Hall--Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson,
and Adams on geology--Geological notices--Plan of a gazetteer--Opinions
of my _Narrative Journal_ by scientific gentlemen--The impostor John Dun
Hunter--Trip up the Potomac--Mosaical chronology--Visit to Mount Vernon.

1822. _Jan. 1st_.--I spent this day a New-Yearing. Albany is a dear
place for the first of January; not only the _houses_ of every one, but
the _hearts_ of every one seem open on this day. It is no slight praise
to say that one day out of the three hundred and sixty-five is
consecrated to general hospitality and warm-hearted cordiality. If St.
Nicholas was the author of this custom, he was a social saint; and the
custom seems to be as completely kept up on the banks of the Hudson as
it ever could have been on the banks of the Rhine.

_Jan. 5th_.--My experience is that he who would rise, in science or
knowledge, must toil incessantly; it is the price at which success sells
her favors. During the last four years, I have passed not less than ten
thousand miles, and in all this time I have scarcely lain down one night
without a feeling that the next day's success must depend upon a fresh
appeal to continued effort. My pathway has certainly not lain over beds
of gold, nor my pillow been composed of down. And yet my success has
served to raise the envy and malignity of some minds. True, these have
been small minds; while a just appreciation and approval have marked the
course of the exalted and enlightened. A friend writes from Washington,
this day, assuring me that I am not forgotten in high quarters. "The
occupation," he says, "of the _Sault_ has been decided on, and I have
but little doubt of your appointment to the agency. Make your mind easy.
I am certain the government will not forget you, and I never can. I
shall not lose sight of your interest a moment."

Thus, while an envious little clique here has, in my absence,
clandestinely thrown most uncandid censure upon me and my labors, a
vista of honor is presented to my hopes from a higher source.

While recovering from the prostrating effects of my Chicago fever, I had
drawn up a memoir for the American Geological Society, which had made me
a member, on the fossil tree observed in the stratification of the Des
Plaines, of the Illinois, and took the occasion of being detained here
in making my report, to print it, and circulate copies. It appeared to
be a good opportunity, while calling attention to the fact described, to
connect it with the system of secondary rocks, as explained by
geologists. In this way, the occurrence of perhaps a not absolutely
unique phenomenon is made a vehicle of conveying geological information,
which is now sought with avidity in the country. This step brought me
many correspondents of note.

Mr. Madison (Ex-President United States) writes (Jan. 22): "The present
is a very inquisitive age, and its researches of late have been ardently
directed to the primitive composition and structure of our globe, as far
as it has been penetrated, and to the processes by which succeeding
changes have been produced. The discoveries already made are
encouraging; but vast room is left for the further industry and sagacity
of geologists. This is sufficiently shown by the opposite theories which
have been espoused; one of them regarding water, the other fire, as the
great agent employed by nature in her work.

"It may well be expected that this hemisphere, which has been least
explored, will yield its full proportion of materials towards a
satisfactory system. Your zealous efforts to share in the contributions
do credit to your love of truth and devotion to the cause of science,
and I wish they may be rewarded with the success they promise, and with
all the personal gratifications to which they entitle you."

Mr. Jefferson (Ex-President United States) sends a note of thanks (Jan.
26th) in the following words: "It is a valuable element towards the
knowledge we wish to obtain of the crust of the globe we inhabit; and,
as crust alone is immediately interesting to us, we are only to guard
against drawing our conclusions deeper than we dig. You are entitled to
the thanks of the lovers of science for the preservation of this fact."

Mr. John Adams (Ex-President United States, Jan. 27th) says: "I thank
you for your memoir on the fossil tree, which is very well written; and
the conjectures on the processes of nature in producing it are plausible
and probable.

"I once lay a week wind-bound in Portland road, in England, and went
often ashore, and ascended the mountain from whence they get all the
Portland stone that they employ in building. In a morning walk with some
of the American passengers from the Lucretia, Captain Calehan, we passed
by a handsome house, at the foot of the hill, with a handsome front yard
before it. Upon the top of one of the posts of this yard lay a fish,
coiled up in a spiral figure, which caught my eye. I stopped and gazed
at it with some curiosity. Presently a person, in the habit and
appearance of a substantial and well-bred English gentleman, appeared at
his door and addressed me. 'Sir, I perceive that your attention is fixed
on my fish. That is a conger eel--a species that abounds in these seas;
we see them repeatedly, at the depth of twelve feet water, lying exactly
in that position. That stone, as it now appears, was dug up from the
bowels of this mountain, at the depth of twenty feet below the surface,
in the midst of the rocks. Now, sir,' said he, 'at the time of the
deluge, these neighboring seas were thrown up into that mountain, and
this fish, lying at the bottom, was thrown up with the rest, and then
petrified, in the very posture in which he lay.'

"I was charmed with the eloquence of this profound philosopher, as well
as with his civility, and said that I could not account for the
phenomenon by any more plausible or probable hypothesis.

"This is a lofty hill and very steep, and in the road up and down, there
are flat and smooth rocks of considerable extent. The commerce in
Portland stone frequently calls for huge masses, from ten to fifteen
tons weight. These are loaded on very strong wheels, and drawn by ten or
twelve pair of horses. When they come to one of those flat rocks on the
side of the hill where the descent is steep, they take off six or eight
pair of horses, and attach them behind the wagon, and lash them up hill,
while one or two pair of horses in front have to drag the wagon and its
load and six or eight pair of horses behind it, backwards.

"I give you this history by way of comment on Dr. Franklin's famous
argument against a mixed government. That great man ought not to have
quoted this as a New England custom, because it was an English practice
before New England existed, and is a happy illustration of the necessity
of a balanced government.

"And since I have mentioned Dr. Franklin, I will relate another fact
which I had from his mouth. When he lived at Passy, a new quarry of
stone was opened in the garden of Mr. Ray de Chaumont, and, at the depth
of twenty feet, was found among the rocks a shark's tooth, in perfect
preservation, which I suppose my Portland friend would account for as he
did for his conger eel, though the tooth was not petrified."

Thus, my memoir was the cause of the expression of opinions and facts
from distinguished individuals, which possess an interest distinct from
the bearing of such opinions on geology.

Mr. Carter, who has just transferred the publication of the _Statesman_
from Albany to New York, writes (Jan. 10th) from the latter city, urging
me to hasten my return to that city.

_Poem on the theme of the Aborigines_.--"I have," he remarks, "read
Ontwa, the Indian poem you spoke to me about last summer. The notes by
Governor Cass are extremely interesting, and written in a superior
style. I shall notice the work in a few days."

_Geology of New York Island_.--"I wish you to give me an article on the
mineralogy and geology of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letter
purporting to be by a foreign traveler. (See Appendix, No. 2.) It is my
intention to give a series of letters, partly by myself and partly by
others, which shall take notice of everything in and about the city
which may be deemed interesting. I wish to begin at the foundation by
giving a geographical and geological sketch of the Island."

_Indian Biography_.--"Colonel Haines also wishes you to unite with him
and myself, in writing a series of sketches of celebrated Indians."

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 20th), acknowledging the receipt of a
memoir on the fossil tree of the River Des Plaines, which was prepared
for the American Geological Society. He requests me to furnish him a
copy of my memoir on the geology of the regions visited by the recent
expedition, or, if it be too long for the purposes of the _American
Journal_, an abstract of it.

_Animal Impressions in Limestone_.--"I am much obliged to you for your
kind intention of furnishing me with a paper on the impressions in
limestone, and I hope you will bear it in mind, and execute it

"I have observed the appointment which the newspapers state that you
have received from the government, and regret that it carries you so far
south,[11] into an unhealthy climate; wishing you, however, health and
leisure to pursue those studies which you have hitherto prosecuted so

[Footnote 11: This is evidently an allusion to St. Mary's, in Georgia,
instead of Michigan.]

Professor Frederick Hall, of Middlebury College, addresses me (Jan.
14th) on the same subject. He alludes to my treatise "On the Mines,
Minerals, &c., of the western section of the United States;" a work for
which our country and the world are deeply indebted to your enlightened
enterprise and unrelaxing zeal. Before reading it, I had a very
inadequate conception of the actual extent and riches of the lead mines
of the West. It seems, according to your account, that these mines are
an exhaustless source of wealth to the United States. "I should feel glad
to have them put under your superintendence; and to have you nurture up
a race of expert mineralogists, and become a Werner among them."

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 25th): "When I wrote you last, I had not
been able to procure your memoir on the fossil tree. I read it, however,
immediately after, and was so much pleased with it, that I extracted the
most important parts in the _American Journal_, giving credit, of
course, to you and to the Geological Society."

_Jan. 29th_. Chester Dewy, Professor, &c., in Williams College, Mass.,
writes a most kind and friendly letter, in which he presents various
subjects, in the great area of the West, visited by me.

_Chalk Formation_.--"Mr. Jessup, of Philadelphia, told me that he
believed you doubted respecting the _chalk_ of Missouri, in which you
found nodules of flints. I wish to ask if this be fact. From the
situation, and characters and uses, you might easily be led into a
mistake, for such a bed of any other earth would be far less to be
expected, and be also a far greater curiosity."

_Petrosilex, &c._--"By the way, I received from Dr. Torrey a curious
mixture of petrosilex and prehnite in radiating crystals, which was sent
him by you, and collected at the West. He did not tell me the name, but
examination showed me what it was."

_Tufa from Western New York_.--"To day, a Quaker from Sempronius, New
York, has shown me some fine tufa. I mention it, because you may, in
your travels, be able to see it. He says it covers an acre or more to a
great depth, is burned into excellent lime with great ease, and is very
valuable, as no good limestone is found near them. Some of it is very
soft, like agaric mineral, and would be so called, were it not
associated with beautiful tufa of a harder kind."

_Geology of America_.--"You have explored in fine situations, to extend
the knowledge of the geology of our country, and have made great
discoveries. I congratulate you on what you have been able to do; I hope
you may be able, if you wish it, to add still more to our knowledge."

_Jan. 29th_. Mr. McNabb says: "I have just received a specimen of
excellent pit-coal from Tioga county, Pennsylvania, near the head of the
south branch of the Tioga River, and about twenty miles south from
Painted Post, in Steuben County. The quantity is said to be
inexhaustible, and what renders it of still greater importance is, that
arks and rafts descend from within four or five miles of the mines."

_New Gazetteer of New York_.--Mr. Carter writes (Feb. 5th)
inauspiciously of the course of affairs at Washington, as not favoring
the spirit of exploration. He proposes, in the event of my not receiving
the contemplated appointment, the plan of a Gazetteer of New York, on an
enlarged and scientific basis. "I have often expressed to you my opinion
of the Spafford Gazetteer of this State. It is wholly unworthy of public
patronage, and would not stand in the way of a good work of the kind;
and such a one, I have the vanity to believe, our joint efforts could
produce. It would be a permanent work, with slight alterations, as the
State might undergo changes. My plan would be for you to travel over the
State, and make a complete mineralogical, and geological, and
statistical survey of it, which would probably take you a year or more.
In the mean time, I would devote all my leisure to the collection and
arrangement of such other materials as we should need in the compilation
of the work."

_Feb. 18th_. Professor Dewy writes, vindicating my views of the
Huttonian doctrines, respecting the formation of secondary rocks, which
he had doubted, on the first perusal of my memoir of the fossil tree
of Illinois.

_Feb. 20th_. Caleb Atwater, Esq., of Circleville, Ohio, the author of
the antiquarian papers in the first volume of _Archaeologiae Americana_,
writes on the occasion of my geological memoir. He completely confounds
the infiltrated specimen of an entire tree, in the external strata, and
of a recent age, which is prominently described in my paper, with
ordinary casts and impressions of organic remains in the elder secondary
rock column.

_Feb. 24th_. Mr. McNabb communicates further facts and discoveries of
the mineral wealth, resources, and prospects of Western New York and

       *       *       *       *       *

_Narrative Journal_.--Professor Silliman (March 5th) communicates an
extract of a letter to him from Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., of Hartford, to
whom he had loaned my _Narrative_.

"I have been very much entertained with the tour to the western lakes. I
think Mr. Schoolcraft writes in a most agreeable manner; there is such
an entire absence of affectation in all he says, as well as his manner
of saying it, that no one can help being exceedingly pleased, even if
the book had not in any other respect a great deal of merit. The whole
seems such real and such absolute matter of fact, that I feel as if I
had performed the journey with the traveller.

"All I regret about it is that it was not consistent with his plans to
tell us more of what might be considered the _domestic_ part of the
expedition, the character and conduct of those who were of the party,
their health, difficulties, opinions, and treatment of each other, &c.
&c. As his book was a sort of official work, I suppose he thought this
would not do, and I wish he now would give his friends (and let us be
amongst them) a manuscript of the particulars that are not for the
public. Mrs. W. has also been as much pleased as myself."

Under the date of March 22d, Sir Humphrey Davy, in a private letter to
Dr. Hosack, says:--

"Mr. Schoolcraft's narrative is admirable, both for the facts it
develops and for the simplicity and clearness of the details; he has
accomplished great things by such means, and offers a good model for a
traveler in a new country. I lent his book to our veteran philosophical
geographer, Major Rennel, who was highly pleased with it; copies of it
would sell well in England."

Dr. Silliman apprises me that Professor Douglass expects my geological
report as part of his work.

Having now finished my geological report, I determined to take it to
Washington. On reaching New York, I took lodgings at the Franklin House,
then a private boarding-house, where my friends, Mr. Carter and Colonel
Haines, had rooms. While here, I was introduced one day to a man who
subsequently attracted a good deal of notice as a literary impostor.
This was a person named Hunter. He said that he derived this name from
his origin in the Indian country. He had a soft, compliant, half
quizzical look, and appeared to know nothing precisely, but dealt in
vague accounts and innuendoes. Having gone to London, the booksellers
thought him, it appears, a good subject for a book, and some hack was
employed to prepare it. It had a very slender basis in any observations
which this man was capable of furnishing; but abounded in misstatements
and vituperation of the policy of this government respecting the
Indians. This fellow is handled in the Oct. No. of the _North American
Review_, for 1825, in a manner which gives very little encouragement to
literary adventurers and cheats. The very man, John Dunn, of Missouri,
after whom he affected to have been named, denies that he ever heard
of him.

I had, thus far, seen but little of the Atlantic, except what could be
observed in a trip from New Orleans to New York, and knew very little of
its coasts by personal examination. I had never seen more of the
Chesapeake than could be shown from the head of that noble bay, and
wished to explore the Valley of the Potomac. For this purpose, I took
passage in a coasting vessel at New York, and had a voyage of a novel
and agreeable kind, which supplied me with the desired information. At
Old Point Comfort, I remained at the hotel while the vessel tarried. In
ascending the Potomac one night, while anchored, a negro song was wafted
in the stillness of the atmosphere. I could distinctly hear the
following words:--

     Gentlemen, he come from de Maryland shore,
     See how massa gray mare go.
           Go, gray, go,
           Go, gray, go;
     See how massa gray mare go.

I reached Washington late in March, and sent in my geological report on
the 2d of April. Mr. Calhoun, who acknowledged it on the 6th, referred
it to the Topographical Bureau. Some question, connected with the
establishment of an agency in Florida, complicated my matter. Otherwise
it appeared to be a mere question of time. The Secretary of War left me
no room to doubt that his feelings were altogether friendly. Mr. Monroe
was also friendly.

_Additional Judicial District in Michigan_.--J.D. Doty, Esq., wrote to
me (April 8th) on this subject. So far as my judgment and observation
went, they were favorable to this project. Besides, if I was to become
an inhabitant of the district, as things now boded, it would be
desirable to me to dwell in a country where the laws, in their higher
aspects, were periodically administered. I had, therefore, every reason
to favor it.

_Skeptical Views of the Mosaical Chronology_.--Baptiste Irvine, Esq.,
in referring to some criticism of his in relation to the discovery of
fossils by a distinguished individual, brings this subject forward in a
letter of April 19th. This individual had written to him, impugning his

"I regret," he observes, "the cause, and shall endeavor to give
publicity to his (my friend's) observations; though hardly necessary to
him, they may yet awaken some ideas in the minds of the people on the
wonders of physics I had almost said the _slow miracles of creation_.
For if ever there was a time when matter existed not, it is pretty
evident that _millions of years_ were necessary to establish order on
chaos, instead of six days. Let Cuvier, &c., temporize as they may.
However, it is the humble allotment of the herd to believe or stare; it
is the glory of intelligent men to acquire and admire." "For the memoir
I am very thankful, and I perceive it alters the case."

_April 22d. Mount Vernon_.--In a pilgrimage to this spot, if political
veneration may assume that name, I was accompanied by Honorable Albert
H. Tracy, Mr. Ruggles, and Mr. Alfred Conkling of the House of
Representatives, all of New York. We took a carriage, and reached the
hallowed place in good season, and were politely admitted to all the
apartments and grounds, which give interest to every tread. I brought
some pebbles of common quartz and bits of brown oxide of iron, from the
top of the rude tomb, and we all broke branches of the cedars growing
there. We gazed into the tomb, through an aperture over the door, where
bricks had been removed, and thought, at last, that we could distinguish
the coffin.

_Human Feet figured on Rock at St. Louis_.--The Honorable Thomas H.
Benton, in a letter of 29th April, expresses the opinion that these are
antiquities, and not "prints," and that they are of the age of the
mounds on the American bottom.

_Mineralogy_.--J.D. Doty, Esq., transmits (May 6th) from the vicinity of
Martinsburg, New York, specimens of the geological structure of that

_Austin's Colony_.--"What you have said to me heretofore, concerning
Mr. Austin's settlement in Texas, has rather turned my attention in that
direction. Have you any means of communicating with your friend? What
are your views of that country?"


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint
Mary's--Reasons for the acceptance of the office--Journey to
Detroit--Illness at that point--Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of
infantry to establish a new military post at the foot of Lake
Superior--Incidents of the voyage to that point--Reach our destination,
and reception by the residents and Indians--A European and man of honor
fled to the wilderness.

1822. At length Congress passed an act, which left Mr. Calhoun free to
carry out his intentions respecting me, by the creation of a separate
Indian agency for Florida. This enabled him to transfer one of the
western agencies, namely, at Vincennes, Indiana, where the Indian
business had ceased, to the foot of the basin of Lake Superior, at the
ancient French village of _Sault de Ste. Marie_, Michigan. Had not this
act passed, it would have been necessary to transfer this agency to
Florida, for which Mr. Gad Humphreys was the recognized appointee. Mr.
Monroe immediately sent in my nomination for this old agency to the
Senate, by whom it was favorably acted on the 8th of May. The gentleman
(Mr. J.B. Thomas, Senator from Illinois) whose boat I had been
instrumental in saving in my descent of the Ohio in the spring of 1818,
I believe, moved its confirmation. It was from him, at any rate, that I
the same day obtained the information of the Senate's action.

I had now attained a fixed position; not such as I desired in the
outset, and had striven for, but one that offered an interesting class
of duties, in the performance of which there was a wide field for
honorable exertion, and, if it was embraced, also of historical inquiry
and research. The taste for natural history might certainly be
transferred to that point, where the opportunity for discovery was the
greatest. At any rate, the trial of a residence on that remote frontier
might readily be made, and I may say it was in fact made only as a
temporary matter. It was an ancient agency in which General Harrison
had long exercised his superior authority over the fierce and wild
tribes of the West, which was an additional stimulus to exertion, after
its removal to Lake Superior.

I called the next day on Mr. Calhoun, to express my obligation, and to
request instructions. For the latter object, he referred me to General
Cass, of Detroit, who was the superintendent of Indian affairs on the
North-Western frontier, and to whom the policy of pushing an agency and
a military post to that point is, I believe, due.

I now turned my face to the North, made a brief stay in New York,
hurried through the western part of that State to Buffalo, and ascended
Lake Erie to Detroit. At this point I was attacked with fever and ague,
which I supposed to have been contracted during a temporary landing at
Sandusky. I directed my physician to treat it with renewed doses of
mercury, in quick succession, which terminated the fever, but completely
prostrated my strength, and induced, at first tic douloureux, and
eventually a paralysis of the left cheek.

The troops destined for the new post arrived about the beginning of
July. They consisted of a battalion of the 2d Regiment of Infantry,
under Colonel Brady, from garrison duty at Sackett's Harbor, and they
possessed every element of high discipline and the most efficient
action, under active officers. Brady was himself an officer of Wayne's
war against the Indians, and had looked danger steadily in the face on
the Niagara frontier, in the Late War. In this condition, I hastily
snatched up my instructions, and embarked on board the new steamer
"Superior," which was chartered by the government for the occasion. It
was now the 2d of July.

Before speaking of the voyage from this point, it may be well to refer
to another matter. The probability of Professor Douglass publishing the
joint results of our observations on the expedition of 1820, appeared
now unfavorable. Among the causes of this, I regarded my withdrawal to a
remote point as prominent but not decisive. Two years had already
elapsed; the professor was completely absorbed in his new professorship,
in which he was required to teach a new subject in a new language.
Governor Cass, who had undertaken the Indian subject, had greatly
enlarged the platform of his inquiries, which rendered it probable that
there would be a delay. My memoir on the geology and mineralogy only was
ready. Dr. Barnes had the conchology nearly ready, and the botany,
which was in the hands of Dr. Torrey, was well advanced. But it required
a degree of labor, zeal, and energy to push forward such a work, that
admits of no abatements, and which was sufficient to absorb all the
attention of the highest mind; and could not be expected from the
professor, already overtasked.

Among the papers which were put in my hands at Detroit, I found a
printed copy of Governor Cass's Indian queries, based on his promise to
Douglass, by which I was gratified to perceive that his mind was
earnestly engaged in the subject, which he sought a body of original
materials to illustrate. I determined to be a laborer in this new field.

Our voyage up Lake Huron to Michilimackinack, and thence east to the
entrance of the Straits of St. Mary's, at Detour, was one of pleasant
excitement. We ascended the straits and river, through Muddy Lake and
the narrow pass at Sailor's Encampment, to the foot of the great
Nibeesh [12] rapids. Here the steamer came to anchor from an apprehension
that the bar of Lake George [13] could not be crossed in the existing
state of the water.

[Footnote 12: This name signifies strong water, meaning bad for
navigation, from its strength. Here _Nebeesh_ is the derogative form of
_Nebee_, water.]

[Footnote 13: The depth of water on this bar was then stated to be but
six feet two inches.]

It was early in the morning of the 6th of July when this fact was
announced. Colonel Brady determined to proceed with his staff in the
ship's yawl, by the shorter passage of the boat channel, and invited me
to a seat. Captain Rogers, of the steamer, himself took the helm. After
a voyage of about four or five hours, we landed at St. Mary's at ten
o'clock in the morning. Men, women, children, and dogs had collected to
greet us at the old wharf opposite the Nolan House--the ancient
"chateau" of the North-West Company. And the Indians, whose costume lent
an air of the picturesque to the scene, saluted us with ball, firing
over our heads as we landed. The _Chemoquemon_ had indeed come! Thus the
American flag was carried to this point, and it was soon hoisted on a
tall staff in an open field east of Mr. Johnston's premises, where the
troops, as they came up, marched with inspiring music, and regularly
encamped. The roll of the drum was now the law for getting up and lying
down. It might be 168 or 170 years since the French first landed at
this point. It was just 59 since the British power had supervened, and
39 since the American right had been acknowledged by the sagacity of Dr.
Franklin's treaty of 1783. But to the Indian, who stood in a
contemplative and stoic attitude, wrapped in his fine blanket of
broadcloth, viewing the spectacle, it must have been equally striking,
and indicative that his reign in the North-West, that old hive of Indian
hostility, was done. And, had he been a man of letters, he might have
inscribed, with equal truth, as it was done for the ancient Persian
monarch, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL."

To most persons on board, our voyage up these wide straits, after
entering them at Point de Tour, had, in point of indefiniteness, been
something like searching after the locality of the north pole. We wound
about among groups of islands and through passages which looked so
perfectly in the state of nature that, but for a few ruinous stone
chimneys on St. Joseph's, it could not be told that the foot of man had
ever trod the shores. The whole voyage, from Buffalo and Detroit, had
indeed been a novel and fairy scene. We were now some 350 miles
north-west of the latter city. We had been a couple of days on board, in
the area of the sea-like Huron, before we entered the St. Mary's
straits. The Superior, being the second steamer built on the Lakes,[14]
had proved herself a staunch boat.

[Footnote 14: The first steamer built on the Lakes was called the
"Walk-in-the-Water," after an Indian chief of that name; it was launched
at Black Rock, Niagara River, in 1818, and visited Michilimackinack in
the summer of that year.]

The circumstances of this trip were peculiar, and the removal of a
detachment of the army to so remote a point in a time of profound peace,
had stimulated migratory enterprise. The measure was, in truth, one of
the results of the exploring expedition to the North-West in 1820, and
designed to curb and control the large Indian population on this extreme
frontier, and to give security to the expanding settlements south of
this point. It was in this light that Mr. Calhoun, the present
enlightened Secretary of War, viewed the matter, and it may be said to
constitute a part of his plan for throwing a _cordon_ of advanced posts
in front of the wide area of our western settlements. From expressions
heard on our route, the breaking up in part of the exceedingly
well-quartered garrison of Madison barracks at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y.,
was not particularly pleasing to the officers of this detachment, most
of whom were married gentlemen, having families, and all of whom were in
snug quarters at that point, surrounded as it is by a rich, thriving,
farming population, and commanding a good and cheap market of meats and
vegetables. To be ordered off suddenly a thousand miles or more, over
three of the great series of lakes, and pitched down here, on the verge
of the civilized world, at the foot of Lake Superior, amid Indians and
Indian traders, where butchers' meat is a thing only to be talked about,
and garden vegetables far more rare than "blackberries," was not,
certainly, an agreeable prospect for officers with wives and mothers
with babies. It might, I am inclined to think from what I heard, be
better justified on the grounds of _national_ than of _domestic_ policy.
They determined, however, on the best possible course under the
circumstances, and took their ladies and families along. This has given
an air of gayety and liveliness to the trip, and, united with the
calmness of the season, and the great novelty and beauty of the scenery,
rendered the passage a very agreeable one. The smoothness of the lakes,
the softness and purity of the air, the wild and picturesque character
of the scenes, and the perfect transparency of the waters, have been so
many themes of perpetual remark and admiration. The occasional
appearance of the feather-plumed Indian in his sylph-like canoe, or the
flapping of a covey of wild-fowl, frightened by the rushing sound of a
steamboat, with the quick pulsation of its paddle-strokes on the water,
but served to heighten the interest, and to cast a kind of fairy spell
over the prospect, particularly as, half shrouded in mist, we passed
among the green islands and brown rocks, fringed with fir trees, which
constituted a perfect panorama as we entered and ascended the Straits of
the St. Mary's.

We sat down to our Fourth-of-July dinner on board the Superior, a little
above the Thunder Bay Islands, in Lake Huron, and as we neared the once
sacred island of Michilimackinack, and saw its tall cliffs start up, as
it were by magic, from the clear bosom of the pellucid lake, a true
aboriginal, whose fancy had been well imbued with the poetic mythology
of his nation, might have supposed he was now, indeed, approaching his
fondly-cherished "Island of the Blest." Apart from its picturesque
loveliness, we found it, however, a very flesh and blood and
matter-of-fact sort of place, and having taken a pilot on board, who
knew the sinuosities of the Saint Mary's channel, we veered around, the
next day, and steered into the capes of that expanded and intricate
strait, where we finally anchored on the morning denoted, and where the
whole detachment was quickly put under orders to ascend the river the
remainder of the distance, about fifteen miles, in boats, each company
under its own officers, while the colonel pushed forward in the yawl. It
was settled, at the same time, that the ladies and their "little ones"
should remain on board, till matters had assumed some definite shape for
their reception.

We were received by the few residents favorably, as has been indicated.
Prominent among the number of residents who came to greet us was Mr.
John Johnston, a gentleman from the north of Ireland, of whose romantic
settlement and adventures here we had heard at Detroit. He gave us a
warm welcome, and freely offered every facility in his power to
contribute to the personal comfort of the officers and their families,
and the general objects of the government. Mr. J. is slightly lame,
walking with a cane. He is of the medium stature, with blue eyes, fair
complexion, hair which still bears traces of its original light brown,
and possesses manners and conversation so entirely easy and polite as to
impress us all very favorably.

Colonel Brady selected some large open fields, not susceptible of a
surprise, for his encampment. To this spot, as boat after boat came up,
in fine style, with its complement of men from the steamer, the several
companies marched down, and before nightfall, the entire command was
encamped in a square, with their tents handsomely pitched, and the whole
covered by lines of sentinels, and under the exact government of troops
in the field. The roll of the drum which had attracted but little
attention on the steamer, assumed a deeper tone, as it was re-echoed
from the adjoining woods, and now distinctly announced, from time to
time, the placing of sentinels, the hour for supper, and other offices
of a clock, in civil life. The French population evinced, by their
countenances and gestures, as they clustered round, a manifest
satisfaction at the movement; the groups of Indians had gazed in a sort
of silent wonder at the pageant; they seemed, by a certain air of
secrecy and suspicion, to think it boded some evil to their long
supremacy in the land. Night imperceptibly threw her dark mantle over
the scene; the gazers, group by group, went to their lodges, and finally
the sharp roll of the tattoo bid every one within the camp to his tent.
Captain Alexander R. Thompson, who had claimed the commandant as his
guest, invited me also to spend the night in his tent. We could plainly
hear the deep murmur of the falls, after we lay down to rest, and also
the monotonous thump of the distant Indian _wabeno_ drum. Yet at this
remote point, so far from the outer verge of civilization, we found in
Mr. Johnston a man of singular energy and independence of character,
from one of the most refined circles of Europe; who had pushed his way
here to the foot of Lake Superior about the year 1793; had engaged in
the fur trade, to repair the shattered fortunes of his house; had
married the daughter of the ruling Ogima or Forest King of the
Chippewas; had raised and educated a large family, and was then living,
in the only building in the place deserving the name of a comfortable
residence, with the manners and conversation of a perfect gentleman, the
sentiments of a man of honor, and the liberality of a lord. He had a
library of the best English works; spent most of his time in reading and
conducting the affairs of an extensive business; was a man of social
qualities, a practical philanthropist, a well-read historian, something
of a poet, and talked of Europe and its connections as things from which
he was probably forever separated, and looked back towards it only as
the land of reminiscences.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment of the new post at St.
Mary's--Life in a nut-shell--Scarcity of room--High prices of
everything--State of the Indians--Their rich and picturesque
costume--Council and its incidents--Fort site selected and occupied--The
evil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians--Note from Governor
De Witt Clinton--Mountain ash--Curious superstitions of the
Odjibwas--Language--Manito poles--Copper--Superstitious regard for
Venus--Fine harbor in Lake Superior--Star family--A locality of
necromancers--Ancient Chippewa capital--Eating of animals.

_1822. July 7th_. We left our pallets at the sound of the reveille, and
partook of a rich cup of coffee, with cream, which smoked on the camp
breakfast-board of our kind entertainer, Captain Thompson.[15] The ladies
and children came up from the steamer, under due escorts, during the
day, and were variously accommodated with temporary quarters. Dr.
Wheaton and lady, Captain Brant, quartermaster, and myself, were
received eventually at the table of Mr. Johnston. Captain Brant and
myself hired a small room hard by for an office to be used between us.
This room was a small log tenement, which had been occupied by one of
Mr. J.'s hands. It was about twelve by fourteen feet, with a small
window in front and in rear, and a very rural fire-place in one corner.
It is astonishing how much comfort can be enjoyed in a crowded and
ill-fitted place on a pinch. We felicitated ourselves at even this. We
really felt that we were quite fortunate in getting such a locality to
hail from. Captain N.S. Clark got an adjoining tenement, of similar
construction and use, but much larger, for his numerous family. Some of
the ladies took shelter at the domicil of an intelligent American family
(Mr. E.B. Allen's) who had preceded us a short time with an adventure of
merchandise. One or two of the ladies abode temporarily in the tents of
their husbands. The unmarried officers looked for nothing better than
life in camp. I accepted an invitation at the mess-table of the
officers. Besides this sudden influx of population, there were followers
and hucksters of various hues who hoped to make their profits from the
soldiery. There was not a nook in the scraggy-looking little antique
village but what was sought for with avidity and thronged with
occupants. Whoever has seen a flock of hungry pigeons, in the spring,
alight on the leaf-covered ground, beneath a forest, and apply the busy
powers of claw and beak to obtain a share of the hidden acorns that may
be scratched up from beneath, may form some just notion of the pressing
hurry and bustle that marked life in this place. The enhanced price that
everything bore was one of the results of this sudden influx of
consumers and occupants.

[Footnote 15: This officer fell at the battle of Ochechubby, in Florida,
as colonel of the sixth infantry, gallantly leading his men to battle.]

_8th_. I went to rest last night with the heavy murmuring sound of the
falls in my ears, broken at short intervals by the busy
thump-thump-thump of the Indian drum; for it is to be added, to the
otherwise crowded state of the place, that the open grounds and
river-side greens of the village, which stretch along irregularly for a
mile or two, are filled with the lodges of visiting Indian bands from
the interior. The last month of spring and the early summer constitute,
in fact, a kind of carnival for the natives. It is at this season that
the traders, who have wintered in the interior, come out with their furs
to the frontier posts of St. Mary's, Drummond Island, and
Michilimackinack, to renew their stocks of goods. The Indians, who have
done hunting at this season, as the furred animals are now changing
their hair, and the pelt becomes bad, follow them to enjoy themselves
along the open shores of the lakes, and share in the good things that
may fall to their lot, either from the traders at their places of
outfit, from presents issued by the British or American governments at
their chief posts, or from merchants in the towns, to whom a few
concealed skins are still reserved to trade. An Indian's time appears
to be worth but little to him at this season, if at any season. He lives
most precariously on small things, such as he can pick up as he travels
loitering along the lake shores, or strolls, with easy footsteps, about
the forest precincts of his lodge. A single fish, or a bird or squirrel,
now and then, serves to mitigate, if it does not satisfy, hunger. He has
but little, I am told, at the best estate; but, to make amends for
this, he is satisfied and even happy with little. This is certainly a
philosophic way of taking life, but it is, if I do not mistake it, stoic
philosophy, and has been learned, by painful lessons of want, from early
youth and childhood. Where want is the common lot, the power of
endurance which the race have must be a common attainment.

_9th_. This day I hired an interpreter for the government, to attend at
the office daily, a burly-faced, large man of some five-and-forty, by
the name of Yarns. He tells me that he was born at Fort Niagara, of
Irish parentage, to which an originally fair skin, blue eyes, and sandy
hair, bear testimony. He has spent life, it seems, knocking about
trading posts, in the Indian country, being married, has _metif_
children, and speaks the Chippewa tongue fluently--I do not know how

The day which has closed has been a busy day, having been signalized as
the date of my first public council with the Indians. It has ushered in
my first diplomatic effort. For this purpose, all the bands present were
invited to repair to camp, where Colonel Brady, at the appointed hour,
ordered his men under arms, in full dress. They were formed in a hollow
square in front of his marque. The American flag waved from a lofty
staff. The day was bright and fine, and everything was well arranged to
have the best effect upon the minds of the Indians. As the throng of
both resident and foreign bands approached, headed by their chiefs, they
were seated in the square. It was noticed that the chiefs were generally
tall and striking-looking persons, of dignified manners, and well and
even richly dressed. One of the chiefs of the home band, called Sassaba,
who was generally known by the sobriquet of the _Count,_ appeared in a
scarlet uniform, with epaulets and a sword. The other chiefs observed
their native costume, which is, with this tribe, a toga of blue
broadcloth, folded and held by one hand on the breast, over a
light-figured calico shirt, red cloth leggins and beaded moccasons, a
belt or baldric about the waist, sustaining a knife-sheath and pouch,
and a frontlet of skin or something of the sort, around the forehead,
environed generally with eagles' feathers.

When the whole were seated, the colonel informed them that I had been
sent by their great father the President to reside among them, that
respect was due me in that capacity, and that I would now address them.
I had directed a quantity of tobacco to be laid before them; and offered
them the pipe with the customary ceremonies. Being a novice in addresses
of this kind, I had sat down early in the morning, in my crowded log
hut, and written an address, couched in such a manner, and with such
allusions and appeals, as I supposed would be most appropriate. I was
not mistaken, if I could judge by the responses made at the close of
each sentence, as it was interpreted. The whole address was evidently
well received, and responded to in a friendly manner, by the ruling
chief, a tall, majestic, and graceful person named Shingabawossin, or
the Image Stone, and by all who spoke except the Count. He made use of
some intemperate, or ill-timed expressions, which were not interpreted,
but which brought out a strong rebuke from Mr. Johnston, who, being
familiar with the Indian language, gave vent in their tongue to his
quick and high-toned feelings of propriety on the occasion. Colonel
Brady then made some remarks to the chiefs, dictated by the position he
occupied as being about to take post, permanently, in their country. He
referred to the treaty of purchase made at these falls two years before
by Governor Cass. He told the Indians that he should not occupy their
ancient encamping and burial-ground on the hill, but would select the
next best site for his troops. This announcement was received with great
satisfaction, as denoted by a heavy response of approbation on the part
of the Indians; and the council closed to the apparent mutual
satisfaction of all. I augured well from all I heard respecting it, as
coming from the Indians, and was resolved to follow it up zealously, by
cultivating the best understanding with this powerful and hitherto
hostile tribe, namely the Chippewas, or, as they call themselves,
Od-jib-wä.[16] To this end, as well as for my amusement, I commenced a
vocabulary, and resolved to study their language, manners, customs, &c.

[Footnote 16: This word has its pluraling thus, Od-jib-wäig.]

_10th_. On examining the topography and advantages of the ground,
Colonel Brady determined to take possession of a lot enclosed and
dwelling, originally the property of the North West Company, and known
as the Nolin House, but now the property of Mr. C.O. Ermatinger.[17] To
this place the troops were marched, soon after the close of the Indian
council mentioned, and encamped within the area. This area was enclosed
with cedar pickets. The dwelling-house, which occupied an eminence some
eighth of a mile below the falls, was in old times regarded as a
princely château of the once powerful lords of the North West Fur Trade,
but is now in a decayed and ruinous state. It was nick-named "Hotel
Flanagan." Dilapidated as it was, there was a good deal of room under
its roof, and it afforded quarters for most of the officers' families,
who must otherwise have remained in open tents. The enclosure had also
one or two stone houses, which furnished accommodations to the
quartermaster's and subsistence and medical departments. Every nerve was
now directed to fit up the place, complete the enclosure, and furnish it
with gates; to build a temporary guard-house, and complete other
military fixtures of the new cantonment. The edifice also underwent such
repairs as served to fence out, as much as possible, the winds and snows
of a severe winter--a winter which every one dreads the approach of, and
the severity of which was perhaps magnified in proportion as it
was unknown.

[Footnote 17: For the property thus taken possession of, the United
States Government, through the Quartermaster's Department, paid the
claimant the just and full amount awarded by appraisers.]

_11th_. What my eyes have seen and my ears have heard, I must believe;
and what is their testimony respecting the condition of the Indian on
the frontiers? He is not, like Falstaff's men, "food for powder," but he
is food for whisky. Whisky is the great means of drawing from him his
furs and skins. To obtain it, he makes a beast of himself, and allows
his family to go hungry and half naked. And how feeble is the force of
law, where all are leagued in the golden bonds of interest to break it!
He is indeed

     "Like some neglected shrub at random cast
      That shades the steep and sighs at every blast."

_12th_. I received by to-day's mail a note from De Witt Clinton,
Governor of New York. America has produced few men who have united civic
and literary tastes and talents of a high order more fully than he does.
He early and ably investigated the history and antiquities of Western
New York. He views with a comprehensive judgment the great area of the
West, and knows that its fertility and resources must render it, at no
distant day, the home of future millions. He was among the earliest to
appreciate the mineralogical and geographical researches which I made in
that field. He renewed the interest, which, as a New Yorker, he felt in
my history and fortunes, after my return from the head of the
Mississippi in 1820. He opened his library and house to me freely; and I
have to notice his continued interest since my coming here. In the
letter which has just reached me, he encloses a favorable notice of my
recent _Narrative of the Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi_,
from Sir Humphrey Davy. If there were nothing else, in such a notice
from such a source but the stimulus it gives to exertion, that alone is
worth to a man in my position "pearls and diamonds."

Colonel Brady, who is active in daily perambulating the woods, to make
himself acquainted with the environs, seeking, at the same time, the
best places of finding wood and timber, for the purposes of his command,
brought me a twig of the Sorbus Americana, a new species of tree to him,
in the American forest, of which he asked me the name. This tree is
found in occasional groups extensively in the region of the upper Lake
latitudes, where it is called the mountain ash. In the expedition to the
sources of the Mississippi in 1820, it was observed on the southern
shores of Lake Superior, which are on the average a little north of
latitude 36° 30'. This tree does not in these straits attain much size;
a trunk of six to eight inches diameter is large. Its leaves, flowers,
and fruit all tend to make it a very attractive species for shade and
ornament. It must have a rich soil, but, this requisite granted, it
delights in wet moist lands, and will thrive with its roots in
springy grounds.

_15th_. One of the curious superstitions of the Chippewas, respecting
the location of spiritual existences, revealed itself to-day. There is
quite an eminence nearly a mile back of the new cantonment, which is
called La Butte de Terre by the French, and Wudjuwong,[18] or Place of
the Mountain, by the natives. This eminence is covered with a fine
growth of forest trees, and lies in the track of an ancient Indian
hunting path. About half way between the brow of the hill and the
cantonment, there formerly stood a large tree of this species, partly
hollow, from the recesses of which, Indian tradition says, there
issued, on a calm day, a sound like the voice of a spirit or monedo. It
resembled the sounds of their own drum. It was therefore considered as
the residence of some powerful spirit, and deemed sacred. To mark their
regard for the place, they began to deposit at its foot bows and twigs
of the same species of tree, as they passed it, from year to year, to
and from their hunting-grounds. These offerings began long before the
French came to the country, and were continued up to this time. Some
years ago, the tree had become so much decayed that it blew down during
a storm, but young shoots came up from its roots, and the natives
continued to make these offerings of twigs, long after the original
trunk had wholly decayed. A few days ago, Colonel Brady directed a road
to be cut from the cantonment to the hill, sixty feet wide, in order to
procure wood from the hill for the garrison. This road passed over the
site of the sacred tree, and the men, without knowing it, removed the
consecrated pile of offerings. It may serve to show a curious
coincidence in the superstitions of nations, between whom, however,
there is not the slightest probability of national affiliation, or even
intercourse, to remark that this sacred manito tree was a very large
species of the Scottish rowan or mountain ash.

[Footnote 18: _Wudijoo_, a mountain--_ong_ denotes locality.]

_16th_. I this day left the mess-table of my kind friends, the officers
of the second infantry, and went to the hospitable domicil of Mr.
Johnston, who has the warm-hearted frankness of the Irish character, and
offers the civilities of life with the air and manner of a prince. I
flatter myself with the opportunity of profiting greatly while under his
roof, in the polished circle of his household, and in his ripe
experience and knowledge of the Indian character, manners, and customs,
and in the curious philosophical traits of the Indian language. It is
refreshing to find a person who, in reference to this language, knows
the difference between the conjugation of a verb and the declension of a
noun. There is a prospect, at least, of getting at the grammatical
principles, by which they conjoin and build up words. It has been
intolerable to me to converse with Indian traders and interpreters here,
who have, for half their lives, been using a language without being able
to identify with precision person, mood, tense, or any of the first laws
of grammatical utterance.

_17th_. It is customary with the Chippewas at this place, when an
inmate of the lodge is sick, to procure a thin sapling some twenty to
thirty feet long, from which, after it has been trimmed, the bark is
peeled. Native paints are then smeared over it as caprice dictates. To
the slender top are then tied bits of scarlet, blue cloth, beads, or
some other objects which are deemed acceptable to the manito or spirit,
who has, it is believed, sent sickness to the lodge as a mark of his
displeasure. The pole is then raised in front of the lodge and firmly
adjusted in the ground. The sight of these manito poles gives quite a
peculiar air to an Indian encampment. Not knowing, however, the value
attached to them, one of the officers, a few days after our arrival,
having occasion for tent poles, sent one of his men for one of these
poles of sacrifice; but its loss was soon observed by the Indians, who
promptly reclaimed it, and restored it to the exact position which it
occupied before. There is, in fact, such a subtle and universal belief
in the doctrine and agency of minor spirits of malign or benignant
influence among the Indians who surround the cantonment, or visit the
agency, and who are encamped at this season in great numbers in the open
spaces of the village or its vicinity, that we are in constant danger of
trespassing against some Indian custom, and of giving offence where it
was least intended. It is said that one cause of the preference which
the Indians have ever manifested for the French, is the respect which
they are accustomed to pay to all their religious or superstitious
observances, whereas an Englishman or an American is apt, either to take
no pains to conceal his disgust for their superstitions, or to speak out
bluntly against them.

_18th. Sulphuret of Copper_.--I received a specimen of this mineral,
which is represented to have been obtained on the Island of Saint
Joseph's, in these straits (Saint Mary's). It has the usual brass yellow
color of the sulphurets of this metal, and furnishes a hint for seeking
that hitherto undiscovered, but valuable species of the ore in this
vicinity. Hitherto, we have found the metal chiefly in the native form,
or in the condition of a carbonate, the first being a form of it which
has not in Europe been found in large quantities, and the second not
containing a sufficient per centage to repay well the cost of smelting.

_20th. Superstitious regard for Woman_.--Some of the rites and notions
of these northern barbarians are curious. The following custom is stated
to me to have been formerly prevalent among the Chippewas: After their
corn-planting, a labor which falls to the share of the women, and as
soon as the young blades began to shoot up from the hills, it was
customary for the female head of the family to perform a circuit around
the field in a state of nudity. For this purpose, she chose a dark
evening, and after divesting herself of her machecota, held it in her
hands dragging it behind her as she ran, and in this way compassed the
field. This singular rite was believed to protect the corn from blight
and the ravages of worms and vermin, and to insure a good crop. It was
believed that neither worms nor vermin could cross the mystic or
enchanted ring made by the nocturnal footsteps of the wife, nor any
mildew or canker affect the growing stalks and ears.

_21st. Grand Island, in Lake Superior_, lies transversely in the lake,
just beyond the termination of the precipitous coast of the Pictured
Rocks. Its southern end is crescent-shaped, and forms a singularly fine
harbor for vessels, which will one day be appreciated. The Indian band
occupying it was formerly numerous. There are many stories still current
of their former prowess and traits of hospitality and generosity, and of
the skill of their old seers, and divining-men, _i.e. Jossakeeds_. Its
present Indian population is reduced to forty-six souls, of whom ten are
men, sixteen women, and twenty children. Of the men, nine are married,
one of whom has two wives, and there are two widows.

Of this band the Star family, so called, have long possessed the
chieftainship, and are remarkable on several accounts. There are eleven
children of them now living, five of whom are males, all by one mother,
who is still living. Sabboo is the principal man. The South Bird, his
elder, and the ruling chief, has removed to Bay de Nocquet. At this
island, story says, formerly lived the noted warrior and meta, Sagima;
and it was also, according to Indian mythology, the residence of
Mishosha, who owned a magic canoe, that would shoot through the water by
uttering a charmed word.

_22d_. I have heard much of the ancient Chippewa capital of La Pointe,
as the French call it, or Chegoimegon, in Lake Superior, situated near
its west end, or head. The Chippewas and their friends, the old traders
and _Boisbrules_, and Canadians, are never tired of telling of it. All
their great men of old times are located there. It was there that their
Mudjekewis, king or chief ruler, lived, and, as some relate, that an
eternal fire was kept up with a sort of rude temple service. At that
place lived, in comparatively modern times, Wabojeeg and Andaigweos, and
there still lives one of their descendants in Gitchee Waishkee, the
Great First-born, or, as he is familiarly called, Pezhickee, or the
Buffalo, a chief decorated with British insignia. His band is estimated
at one hundred and eighteen souls, of whom thirty-four are adult males,
forty-one females, and forty-three children. Mizi, the Catfish, one of
the heads of families of this band, who has figured about here this
summer, is not a chief, but a speaker, which gives him some _éclat_. He
is a sort of petty trader too, being credited with little adventures of
goods by a dealer on the opposite, or British shores.

_23d_. There are few animals which the Indians reject as food. On this
subject they literally fulfil the declaration of Paul, "that every
creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused;" but I fear the poor
creatures, in these straits, do anything but show the true spirit of
thanksgiving in which the admonition is given. There is nothing
apparently in the assertion respecting Indians distinguishing between
clean and unclean beasts; I have heard, however, that crows and vultures
are not eaten, but, when they are pushed by hunger, whatever can sustain
life is taken.

The truth is, the calls of hunger are often so pressing to these
northern Indians, that anything in the shape of animal fibre, that will
keep soul and body together, is eaten in times of their greatest want. A
striking instance of this kind has just occurred, in the case of a horse
killed in the public service. The animal had, to use the teamster's
phrase, been snagged, and was obliged to be shot. To prevent unpleasant
effects in hot summer weather, the carcass was buried in the sand; but
as soon as the numerous bands of Indians, who are encamped here, learned
the fact, they dug up the animal, which was, however, nowise diseased,
and took it to their camp for food.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the head of the falls--Indian
mode of interment--Indian prophetess--Topic of interpreters and
interpretation--Mode of studying the Indian language--The Johnston
family--Visits--Katewabeda, chief of Sandy Lake--Indian mythology, and
oral tales and legends--Literary opinion--Political opinion--Visit of
the chief Little Pine--Visit of Wabishkepenais--A despairing

1822. _July 26th_. A tragic occurrence took place last night, at the
head of the portage, resulting in the death of a Chippewa, which is
believed to be wholly attributable to the use of ardent spirits in the
Indian camps. As soon as I heard the facts, and not knowing to what
lengths the spirit of retaliation might go, I requested of Colonel Brady
a few men, with a non-commissioned officer, and proceeded, taking my
interpreter along, to the spot. The portage road winds along about
three-fourths of a mile, near the rapids, and all the way, within the
full sound of the roaring water, when it opens on a green, which is the
ancient camping ground, at the head of the falls. A footpath leads still
higher, by clumps of bushes and copsewood, to the borders of a shallow
bay, where in a small opening I somewhat abruptly came to the body of
the murdered man. He was a Chippewa from the interior called
Soan-ga-ge-zhick, or the Strong Sky. He had been laid out, by his
relatives, and dressed in his best apparel, with a kind of cap of blue
cloth and a fillet round his head. His lodge, occupied by his widow and
three small children, stood near. On examination, he had been stabbed in
several places, deeply in both thighs. These wounds might not have
proved fatal; but there was a subsequent blow, with a small tomahawk,
upon his forehead, above the left eye. He was entirely dead, and had
been found so, on searching for him at night, by his wife. It appeared
that he had been drinking during the evening and night, with an Indian
half-breed of the Chippewa River, of the name of Gaulthier. This fellow,
finding he had killed him, had taken his canoe and fled. Both had been
intoxicated. I directed the body to be interred, at the public charge,
on the ancient burial hill of the Chippewas, near the cantonment. The
usual shroud, on such occasions, is a new blanket; a grave was dug, and
the body very carefully dressed, laid in the coffin, beside the grave.
Before the lid was fastened, an aged Indian came forward, and pronounced
a funeral oration. He recited the traits of his character. He addressed
the dead man direct. He told him that he had reached the end of his
journey first, that they should all follow him soon to the land of the
dead, and again meet. He gave him directions for his journey. He offered
a brief admonition of dangers. He bid him adieu. The brother of the
deceased then stept forward, and, having removed the head-dress of the
slain man, pulled out some locks of hair as a memento. The head-dress
was then carefully replaced, the lid of the coffin fastened, and the
corpse let down into the ground. Two stout poles were then laid over the
open grave. The brother approached the widow and stood still. The orator
then addressed a few words to both, telling the survivor to perform a
brother's part by the widow. He then took her by the hand, and led her
carefully across the open grave, over the two poles. This closed the
ceremony, and the grave was then filled, and the crowd of white and red
men dispersed. At night a small flickering fire was built by the Indian
relatives of the murdered man, at the head of the grave.

_27th_. Making inquiries respecting the family of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, in
order to direct some provisions to be issued to them, I learned that the
widow is a prophetess among her people, or in other words a female
Jossakeed, and is supposed to have much influence in this way. This
denotes that the prophetic office is not, as has been supposed, confined
to males. I cannot better indicate the meaning of the word Jossakeed
than to say that it is a person who makes oracular responses from a
close lodge of peculiar construction, where the inmate is supposed to be
surrounded by superhuman influences, which impart the power of looking
into futurity. It is, manifestly, the ancient office of a seer, and
after making interrogatories about it, from persons supposed to be best
acquainted with the manners and customs of the people, the existence of
such an order of persons among them offers a curious coincidence with
one of the earliest superstitions of mankind. I further learn that
there is nothing hereditary in the descent of such priestly functions;
that any one, who acquires a character for sanctity or skill therein
among the bands, may assume the duties, and will secure a rank and
respect in proportion to his supposed skill therein. Having spoken of
descent, it is added, by my informants, that the widow of Strong Sky, is
a granddaughter of the noted war-chief Wabodjeeg,[19] of Chegoimegon,
Lake Superior, who, some half a century ago, had obtained a high
reputation with his people for his military skill and bravery, in the
war against the Ottogamies and Sioux. They talk of him as having been a
sort of Rajah, who could at any time get men to follow him.

[Footnote 19: White Fisher. The fisher is a small furred animal
resembling the mustela.]

_28th_. I have had an interview to-day with Ka-ba-konse (Little Hawk),
brother of the murdered Strong Sky.

It does not seem possible to obtain much information respecting their
secret beliefs and superstitions direct from the Indians. The attempts I
have made thus far have, at least, been unsuccessful, partly, perhaps,
because the topic was not properly apprehended by them, or by my
ordinary office interpreter, who, I find, is soon run a-muck by anything
but the plainest and most ordinary line of inquiry. A man of the Indian
frontiers, who has lived all his life to eat and drink, to buy and sell,
and has grown old in this devotion to the means necessary to secure the
material necessaries of life is not easily roused up to intellectual
ardor. I find this to be the case with my present interpreter, and he
is, perhaps, not inferior to the general run of paid interpreters. But
as I find, in my intercourse, the growing difficulties of verbal
communication with the Indians on topics at all out of the ordinary
routine of business, I begin to feel less surprised at the numerous
misapprehensions of the actual character, manners, and customs of the
Indians, which are found in books. I speak as to the communication
of exact ideas of their beliefs. As to literal exactitude in
such communications, my inquiries have already convinced me
that there must be other and higher standards than a hap-hazard
_I-au-ne-kun-o-tau-gade_, or trade interpreter, before the thing can be
attempted. Fortunately, I have, in my kind and polite friend Mr.
Johnston, who has given me temporary quarters at his house, and the
several intelligent members of his family, the means of looking deeper
into the powers and structure of the language, and am pressing these
advantages, amidst the pauses of business, with all my ardor and

The study of the language, and the formation of a vocabulary and grammar
have almost imperceptibly become an absorbing object, although I have
been but a short time at the place, and the plan interests me so much,
that I actually regret the time that is lost from it, in the ordinary
visits of comity and ceremony, which are, however, necessary. My method
is to interrogate all persons visiting the office, white and red, who
promise to be useful subjects of information during the day, and to test
my inquiries in the evening by reference to the Johnstons, who, being
educated, and speaking at once both the English and Odjibwa correctly,
offer a higher and more reliable standard than usual.

Mr. Johnston's family consists of ten persons, though all are not
constantly present. He is himself a native of the county of Antrim, in
the north of Ireland, his father having possessed an estate at Craige,
near the Giant's Causeway. He came to America in the last presidential
term of General Washington, having a brother at that time settled at
Albany, and after visiting Montreal and Quebec, he fell into company
with the sort of half-baronial class of north-west fur traders, who
struck his fancy. By their advice, he went to Michilimackinack and Lake
Superior, where he became attached to, and subsequently married the
younger daughter of Wabojeeg, a northern Powhatan, who has been before
mentioned. There are four sons and four daughters, to the education of
all of whom he has paid the utmost attention. His eldest son was first
placed in the English navy, and is now a lieutenant in the land service,
having been badly wounded and cut in the memorable battle with Commodore
Perry on Lake Eric, in 1813. The next eldest is engaged in commerce. The
eldest daughter was educated in Ireland, and the two next at Sandwich,
near Detroit. These constituted the adults; there are two sons and a
daughter, still in their school-days. All possess agreeable, easy
manners and refinement. Mrs. Johnston is a woman of excellent judgment
and good sense; she is referred to on abstruse points of the Indian
ceremonies and usages, so that I have in fact stumbled, as it were, on
the only family in North West America who could, in Indian lore, have
acted as my "guide, philosopher and friend."

_30th_. I received yesterday a second visit from Ka-ta-wa-be-da, or the
Broken Tooth chief of Sandy Lake, on the Upper Mississippi, who is
generally known by his French name of Breshieu, and at the close of the
interview gave him a requisition on the commissary for some provisions
to enable him to return to his home. The Indians must be led by a very
plain path and a friendly hand. Feeling and preference are subsequent
manifestations. I took this occasion to state to him the objects and
policy of the government by the establishment at these falls of a post
and agency, placing it upon its true basis, namely, the preservation of
peace upon the frontiers, and the due observance, by all parties, of the
laws respecting trade and intercourse with the tribes, and securing
justice both to them and to our citizens, particularly by the act for
the exclusion of ardent spirits from the Indian country. By the agency,
a door was opened through which they could communicate their wishes to
the President, and he was also enabled to state his mind to them. All
who opened their ears truly to the voice of their American father would
be included among the recipients of his favors. He felt kindly to all,
but those only who hearkened to his council would be allowed, as _he_
had been, to share in the usual privileges which the agency at this
place secured to them. Having drawn his provisions, and duly reflected
on what was said by me, he returned to-day to bid me adieu, on his
setting out to go home, and to express his thanks for my kindness and
advice. The old chief, who has long exercised his sway in the region of
Sandy Lake, made a well-considered speech in reply to mine of yesterday,
in which he took the ground of neutrality as between the United States
and Great Britain, and averred that he had ever been the friend of the
white race and of traders who came into the country, and declared
himself the friend of peace.

At the conclusion of this interview, I gave him a small sea-shell from
my cabinet, as a mark of my respect, and a token which would remind him
of my advice. I remembered that the Indians of the continent have always
set a high value on wampum, which is made solely from sea-shells, and
have attributed a kind of sacredness for this class of productions.

_31st. Indian Mythology_.--Nothing has surprised me more in the
conversations which I have had with persons acquainted with the Indian
customs and character, than to find that the Chippewas amuse themselves
with oral tales of a mythological or allegorical character. Some of
these tales, which I have heard, are quite fanciful, and the wildest of
them are very characteristic of their notions and customs. They often
take the form of allegory, and in this shape appear designed to teach
some truth or illustrate some maxim. The fact, indeed, of such a fund of
fictitious legendary matter is quite a discovery, and speaks more for
the intellect of the race than any trait I have heard. Who would have
imagined that these wandering foresters should have possessed such a
resource? What have all the voyagers and remarkers from the days of
Cabot and Raleigh been about, not to have discovered this curious trait,
which lifts up indeed a curtain, as it were, upon the Indian mind, and
exhibits it in an entirely new character?

_August 1st_. Every day increases the interest which the question of the
investigation of the Indian languages and customs assumes in my mind. My
facilities for pursuing these inquiries and for the general transaction
of the official business has been increased this day by my removing into
a new and more convenient office, situated some ninety or a hundred
yards west of my former position, but on a line with it, and fronting,
like the former room, on an ancient green on the river's banks. The St.
Mary's River is here about three-fourths of a mile wide, and the green
in front of my office is covered with Indian lodges, and presents a
noble expanse. I have now a building some thirty-six feet square, built
of squared timber, jointed with mortar and whitewashed, so as to give it
a neat appearance. The interior is divided into a room some twenty feet
by thirty-six, with two small ante-rooms. A large cast iron Montreal
stove, which will take in three feet wood, occupies the centre. The
walls are plastered, and the room moderately lighted. The rear of the
lot has a blacksmith shop. The interpreter has quarters near by. The
gate of the new cantonment is some three hundred yards west of my door,
and there is thus brought within a small compass the means of
transacting the affairs of the agency during the approaching and
expected severe winter. These are the best arrangements that can be
made, better indeed than I had reason to expect on first landing here.

_3d_. I wrote to-day to Dr. Hosack, expressing my thanks for the extract
of a letter, which he had enclosed me from Sir Humphrey Davy, dated
London, March 24th, 1822, in which this eminent philosopher expresses
his opinion on my _Narrative Journal_, a copy of which Dr. Hosack had
sent him. "Schoolcraft's _Narrative_ is admirable," observes Sir
Humphrey Davy, "both for the facts it develops, and for the simplicity
and clearness of the details. He has accomplished great things by such
means, and offers a good model for a traveler in a new country. I lent
his book to our veteran philosophical geographer, Major Kennel, who was
highly pleased with it. Copies of it would sell well in England."

A friend sends me a prospectus for a paper under the title of
"_Washington Republican_," which has just been established at the seat
of government, earnestly advocating the election of John C. Calhoun for
the presidency in 1824.

_4th_. A chief of a shrewd and grave countenance, and more than the
ordinary cast of thought, visited me this morning, and gave me his hand,
with the ordinary salutation of Nosa (my father). The interpreter
introduced him by the name of Little Pine, or Shingwalkonee, and as a
person of some consequence among the Indians, being a meta, a wabeno, a
counselor, a war chief, and an orator or speaker. He had a tuft of beard
on his chin, wore a hat, and had some other traits in his dress and gear
which smacked of civilization. His residence is stated to be, for the
most part, on the British side of the river, but he traces his lineage
from the old Crane band here. I thought him to be a man of more than the
ordinary Indian forecast. He appeared to be a person who, having seen
all the military developments on these shores during the last month,
thought he would cross over the channel with a retinue, to see what the
Chemoquemon [20] was about. He had also, perhaps, a shrewd Indian inkling
that some presents might be distributed here during the season.

[Footnote 20: Chemoquemon, an American; from _Gitchee_ great, _moquemon_
a knife.]

_10th_. A strange-looking Indian came in from the forest wearing an
American silver medal. He looked haggard and forsaken. It will be
recollected by those who have read my _Narrative Journal_ of the
expedition of 1820, that Governor Cass became lost and entangled among
the sharp mountainous passes of the River Ontonagon, in his attempts to
reach the party who had, at an early part of the day, gone forward to
the site of the Copper Rock; and that he bestowed a medal on a young
Chippewa, who had rendered his party and himself services during its
stay on that river. This individual was among the earlier visitors who
presented himself at my office. He recognized me as one of the party on
that occasion. He was introduced to me by the name of Wabish-ke-pe-nace,
or the White Bird, and seemed to rouse up from a settled look of
melancholy when referring to those events. It appears that his conduct
as a guide on that occasion had made him unpopular with the band, who
told him he had received an honor for that which should be condemned.
That it was a crime to show the Americans their wealth, and the Great
Spirit did not approve it. His dress had something wild and forlorn, as
well as his countenance.

_17th_. A week or two ago, an Indian, called Sa-ne-baw, or the Ribbon,
who encamped on the green in front of my office, fell sick. I requested
Dr. Wheaton to visit him, but it did not appear that there was any
disease of either an acute or chronic character which could be
ascertained. The man seemed to be in a low desponding state. Some small
medicines were administered, but he evinced no symptoms of restoration.
He rather appeared to be pining away, with some secret mental canker.
The very spirit of despair was depicted in his visage. Young Wheaton, a
brother of the Doctor, and Lieutenant C. Morton, United States Army,
visited him daily in company, with much solicitude; but no effort to
rally him, physically or mentally, was successful, and he died this
morning. "He died," said the former to me, "because he _would_ die." The
Indians seem to me a people who are prone to despond, and easily sink
into frames of despair.

I received a letter to-day from the veteran geographer, Mr. W. Darby, of
Philadelphia, brought by the hands of a friend, a Mr. Toosey, through
whom he submitted to me a list of geographical and statistical queries
relating to some generic points, which he is investigating in connection
with his forthcoming Gazetteer of the United States.


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior--Canoe--Scenery--Descent of
St. Mary's Falls--Etymology of the Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and
Lake Superior--The wild rice plant--Indian trade--American Fur
Company--Distribution of presents--Death of Sassaba--Epitaph--Indian
capacity to count--Oral literature--Research--Self-reliance.

1822. _August 20th_. I Went with a pic-nic to Gross Cape, a romantic
promontory at the foot of Lake Superior. This elevation stands on the
north shore of the straits, and consequently in Canada. It overlooks a
noble expanse of waters and islands, constituting one of the most
magnificent series of views of American scenery. Immediately opposite
stands the scarcely less elevated, and not less celebrated promontory of
Point Iroquois, the Na-do-wa-we-gon-ing, or Place of Iroquois Bones, of
the Chippewas. These two promontories stand like the pillars of Hercules
which guard the entrance into the Mediterranean, and their office is to
mark the foot of the mighty Superior, a lake which may not, inaptly, be
deemed another Mediterranean Sea. The morning chosen to visit this scene
was fine; the means of conveyance chosen was the novel and fairy-like
barque of the Chippewas, which they denominate _Che-maun_, but which we,
from a corruption of a Charib term as old as the days of Columbus, call
_Canoe_. It is made of the rind of the betula papyracea, or white birch,
sewed together with the fine fibrous roots of the cedaror spruce, and is
made water-tight by covering the seams with boiled pine rosin, the whole
being distended over and supported by very thin ribs and cross-bars of
cedar, curiously carved and framed together. It is turned up, at either
end, like a gondola, and the sides and gunwales fancifully painted. The
whole structure is light, and was easily carried by two men on their
shoulders; yet will bear a weight of more than a ton on the water. It is
moved with cedar paddles, and the Canadians who managed it, kept time in
their strokes, and regulated them to the sonorous cadence of some of
their simple boat songs. Our party consisted of several ladies and
gentlemen. We carried the elements of a pic-nic. We moved rapidly. The
views on all sides were novel and delightful. The water in which the men
struck their paddles was pure as crystal. The air was perfectly
exhilarating from its purity. The distance about three leagues. We
landed a few moments at Point aux Pins, to range along the clean sandy
shore, and sandy plains, now abounding in fine whortleberries. Directly
on putting out from this, the broad view of the entrance into the lake
burst upon us. It is magnificent. A line of blue water stretched like a
thread on the horizon, between cape and cape, say five miles. Beyond it
is what the Chippewas call _Bub-eesh-ko-be,_ meaning the far off,
indistinct prospect of a water scene, till the reality, in the feeble
power of human vision, loses itself in the clouds and sky. The two
prominences of Point Iroquois and Gross Cape are very different in
character. The former is a bold eminence covered with trees, and having
all the appearance of youth and verdure. The latter is but the end, so
to say, of a towering ridge of dark primary rocks with a few stunted
cedars. The first exhibits, on inspection, a formation of sandstone and
reproduced rocks, piled stratum super stratum, and covered with boulder
drifts and alluvion. The second is a massive mountain ridge of the
northern sienite, abounding in black crystaline hornblende, and flanked
at lower altitudes, in front, in some places, by a sort of trachyte. We
clambered up and over the bold undulations of the latter, till we were
fatigued. We stood on the highest pinnacle, and gazed on the "blue
profound" of Superior, the great water or Gitchegomee of the Indians. We
looked down far below at the clean ridges of pebbles, and the
transparent water. After gazing, and looking, and reveling in the wild
magnificence of views, we picked our way, crag by crag, to the shore,
and sat down on the shining banks of black, white, and mottled pebbles,
and did ample justice to the contents of our baskets of good things.
This always restores one's spirits. We forget the toil in the present
enjoyment. And having done this, and giving our last looks at what has
been poetically called the Father of Lakes, we put out, with paddles and
song, and every heart beating in unison with the scene, for our
starting-point at Bá-wa-teeg, or Pa-wa-teeg, alias Sault Ste. Marie. But
the half of my story would not be told, if I did not add that, as we
gained the brink of the rapids, and began to feel the suction of the
wide current that leaps, jump after jump, over that foaming bed, our
inclinations and our courage rose together to go down the formidable
pass; and having full faith in the long-tried pilotage of our guide, Tom
Shaw, down we went, rushing at times like a thunderbolt, then turned by
a dab of the pole of our guide, on a rock, shooting off in eschelon, and
then careering down another _schute_, or water bolt, till we thus dodged
every rock, and came out below with a full roaring chorus of our
Canadians, who, as they cleared the last danger, hoisted our starry flag
at the same moment that they struck up one of their wild and
joyous, songs.

_22d_. I have questioned the Indians closely for the names of Sault Ste.
Marie and Lake Superior. They are destined to hold an important rank in
our future geography. But the result is not agreeable to preconceived
poetic notions. When the French first came to these falls, they found
the Chippewas, the falls signifying, descriptively, Shallow water
pitching over rocks, or by a prepositional form of the term, at the
place of shallow water, pitching over rocks. Such is the meaning of the
words Pa-wa-teeg and Pa-wa-ting. The terms cover more precisely the idea
which we express by the word cascade. The French call a cascade a Leap
or Sault; but Sault alone would not be distinctive, as they had already
applied the term to some striking passes on the St. Lawrence and other
places. They therefore, in conformity with their general usage, added
the name of a patron saint to the term by calling it Sault de Ste.
Marie, i.e. Leap of Saint Mary, to distinguish it from other Leaps, or
Saults. Now as the word Sainte, as here used, is feminine, it must, in
its abbreviated form, be written Ste. The preposition _de_ (the) is
usually dropped. Use has further now dropped the sound of the letter _l_
from Sault. But as, in the reforms of the French dictionary, the ancient
geographical names of places remain unaffected, the true phraseology is

Having named the falls a _Sault_, they went a step further, and called
the Odjibwa Indians who lived at it, _Saulteurs,_ or People of the
Sault. Hence this has ever remained the French name for Chippewas.

In the term Gitchegomee, the name for Superior, we have a specimen of
their mode of making compounds. _Gitche_ signifies something great, or
possessing the property of positive magnitude. _Gomee_ is itself a
compound phrase, denoting, when so conjoined, a large body of water. It
is the objective member of their term for the sea; but is governed by
its antecedent, and may be used in describing other and minor, even the
most minute liquid bodies, as we hear it, in the compound term
_mushkuagomee, i.e._ strong drink. Under the government of the term
_gitchee_, it appears to express simply the sense of great water, but
conveys the idea, to the Indian mind, of sea-water. I have cast about,
to find a sonorous form of elision, in which it may come into popular
use, but find nothing more eligible than _I-go-mee_, or _Igoma_. A more
practical word, in the shape of a new compound, may be made in Algoma, a
term in which the first syllable of the generic name of this tribe of
the Algonquin stock, harmonizes very well with the Indian idea of goma
(sea), giving us, Sea of the Algonquins. The term may be objected to, as
the result of a grammatical abbreviation, but if not adopted
practically, it may do as a poetical synonym for this great lake. Such
is, at least, the result of a full discussion of these names, with the
very best speakers of the language.

_30th. The Wild Rice Plant_.--Having received a request for some of this
native grain to send abroad, and knowing that the smoked rice, such as
the Indians usually bring in, will not germinate, I this day dispatched
my interpreter in a canoe, with some Indians, to the northern shores of
the straits to gather some of it for seed; the result was successful.
This plant may be deemed a precious gift of nature to the natives, who
spread over many degrees of northern latitude. They call it _mon-ó-min_,
a compound descriptive phrase, which differs only from their name for
the zea maize in putting an _o_--the third syllable--for the imperative
future in _dau_.

_Sept. 1st. Indian Trade_.--Congress has provided a code of laws to
regulate this, the object of which is a good one, and the provisions of
the various enactments appear to be founded on the highest principles of
justice and benevolence. It is still a question, it appears to me,
whether some of these provisions do not merely sanction by the forms of
law what was formerly done, not always well, without it, and whether
the measure of protection which they afford to the tribes against the
cupidity of the whites is very efficacious. It was heretofore pretended
by the British traders that all this country belonged to Great Britain,
and they told the Indians that the war of 1812 would settle all this. It
did so; but, contrary to their wishes and the predictions to the
Indians, it settled it precisely on the basis of the treaty of 1783,
which ran the boundary line through the straits of Saint Mary's and Lake
Superior to the Lake of the Woods. As soon as the smoke of the war
cleared off, namely, in 1816, Congress enacted that British traders and
capital should be excluded from the American lines, that no British
subjects should receive licenses to trade, and that all such persons who
went inland in subordinate capacities should be bonded for by the
American traders who employed them. This law seemed to bear particularly
on this section of country, and is generally understood to have been
passed to throw the old North West Company, and other British traders,
trading on their own account, out of this hitherto very lucrative branch
of trade. John Jacob Astor, of New York, went immediately to Montreal
and bought out all the posts and factories of that company, situated in
the north-west, which were south of the lines. With these posts, the
factors, trading clerks, and men were, as a matter of course, cast on
the patronage and employment of that eminent German furrier. That he
might cover their employment, he sent an agent from Montreal into
Vermont to engage enterprising young men, in whose names the licenses
could be taken out. He furnished the entire capital for the trade, and
sent agents, in the persons of two enterprising young Scotch gentlemen,
from Montreal and New York to Michilimackinack, to manage the business.
This new arrangement took the popular name of the American Fur Company.
In other respects, except those related, the mode of transacting the
trade, and the real actors therein, remained very much as they were.
American lads, whose names were inscribed in the licenses at
Michilimackinack, as principals, went inland in reality to learn the
business and the language; the _engagees_, or boatmen, who were chiefly
Canadians or metifs, were bonded for, in five hundred dollars each. In
this condition, I found things on my arrival here. The very thin
diffusion of American feeling or principle in both the traders and the
Indians, so far as I have seen them, renders it a matter of no little
difficulty to supervise this business, and it has required perpetual
activity in examining the boats and outfits of the traders who have
received their licenses at Mackinack, to search their packages, to
detect contraband goods, _i.e._ ardent spirits, and grant licenses,
passports, and permits to those who have applied to me. To me it seems
that the whole old resident population of the frontiers, together with
the new accessions to it, in the shape of petty dealers of all sorts,
are determined to have the Indians' furs, at any rate, whether these
poor red men live or die; and many of the dealers who profess to obey
the laws wish to get legally inland only that they may do as they
please, law or no law, after they have passed the flag-staff of Sainte
Marie's. There may be, and I trust there _are_, higher motives in some
persons, but they have not passed this way, to my knowledge, the present
season. I detected one scamp, a fellow named Gaulthier, who had carried
by, and secreted above the portage, no less than five large kegs of
whisky and high wines on a small invoice, but a few days after my
arrival. It will require vigilance and firmness, and yet mildness, to
secure anything like a faithful performance of the duties committed to
me on a remote frontier, and with very little means of action beyond the
precincts of the post, and this depends much on the moral influence on
the Indian mind of the military element of power.

_6th. First Distribution of Presents_.--In fulfilment of a general
declaration of friendly purposes, made on my opening speech to the
Chippewas in July last, the entire home band of St. Mary's, men, women,
and children, were assembled on the green in front of my office, this
morning, to receive a small invoice of goods and merchandise, which were
distributed amongst them as presents. These goods were the best that
could be purchased in the Detroit market, and were all of the best
description; and they were received with a lively satisfaction, which
betokened well for my future influence. Prominent among the pleased
recipients were the chiefs of the village, Shin-ga-ba-was-sin, the Image
Stone, She-wa-be-ke-tone, the Man of Jingling Metals, Kau-ga-osh, or the
Bird in Eternal Flight, Way-ish-kee, or The First Born Son, and two or
three others of minor note. Behind them were the warriors and young men,
the matrons and maids; and peppered in, as it were, the children of all
ages. All were in their best attire. The ceremony began by lighting the
pipe, and having it passed by suitable officials to the chiefs and
warriors in due order, and by placing a pile of tobacco before them, for
general use, which the chiefs with great care divided and distributed,
not forgetting the lowest claimant. I then stated the principles by
which the agency would be guided in its intercourse with them, the
benevolence and justice of the views entertained by their great father,
the President, and his wishes to keep improper traders out of their
country, to exclude ardent spirits, and to secure their peace and
happiness in every practicable way. Each sentence, as it was rendered
into Indian, was received with the response of Hoh! an exclamation of
approbation, which is uttered feebly or loud, in proportion as the
matter is warmly or coldly approved. The chiefs responded. All looked
pleased; the presents were divided, and the assembly broke up in harmony
and good will. It _does_ seem that, according to the oriental maxim,[21]
a present is the readiest door to an Indian's heart.

[Footnote 21: "Let thy present go before thee."--Proverbs of Solomon.]

_25th_. The Indian mind appears to lack the mathematical element. It is
doubtful how far they can compute numbers. The Chippewas count
decimally, and after ten, add the names of the digits to the word ten,
up to twenty; then take the word for twenty, and add them as before, to
thirty; and so on to a hundred. They then add them to the term for a
hundred, up to a thousand.

They cannot be made to understand the value of an American dollar,
without reducing it to the standard of skins. A striking instance of
this kind happened among the Potowattomies at Chicago last year (1821).
The commanding officer had offered a reward of thirty dollars for the
apprehension of a deserter. The Potowattomies pursued and caught him,
and received a certificate for the reward. The question with them now
was, how much they had got. They wished to sell the certificate to a
trader, and there were five claimants. They sat down and counted off as
many racoon skins. They then made thirty equal heaps, substituting
symbols for skins. Taking the store price of a racoon at five skins to
the dollar, they then found they had received the equivalent of one
hundred and fifty racoons, and at this price they sold the order or

_26th. Death of Sassaba,[22] or the Count_.--This chief, who has from the
day of our first landing here, rendered himself noted for his sentiments
of opposition to the Americans, met with a melancholy fate yesterday. He
was in the habit of using ardent spirits, and frequently rose from a
debauch of this kind of two or three days' continuance. Latterly he has
exhibited a singular figure, walking through the village, being divested
of every particle of clothing except a large gray wolf's skin, which he
had drawn over his body in such a manner as to let its tail dangle down
behind. It was in this unique costume that I last saw him, and as he was
a tall man, with rather prominent features, the spectacle was the more
striking. From this freak of dress he has been commonly called, for some
time, My-een-gun, or the Wolf. He had been drinking at Point aux Pins,
six miles above the rapids, with Odabit and some other boon companions,
and in this predicament embarked in his canoe, to come to the head of
the portage. Before reaching it, and while still in the strong tide or
suck of the current, he rose in his canoe for some purpose connected
with the sail, and tipped it over. Odabit succeeded in making land, but
the Count, his wife and child, and Odabit's wife, went over the rapids,
which was the last ever seen of them. Sassaba appeared to me to be a man
of strong feelings and an independent mind, not regarding consequences.
He had taken a deep prejudice against the Americans, from his brother
having been shot by his side in the battle under Tecumseh on the Thames.
This appeared to be the burden of his complaints. He was fond of
European dress, and articles of furniture. It was found that he had in
his tent, which was of duck, a set of silver tea and tablespoons,
knives, forks, cups and saucers, and a tea tray. Besides his military
coat, sword, and epaulets, and sash, which were presented to him, he had
some ruffled linen shirts, gloves, shoes and stockings, and an umbrella,
all of which were kept, however, in the spirit of a virtuoso, and he
took a pride in displaying these articles to visitors.

[Footnote 22: The word means finery.]

Many a more worthless man than Sassaba has had his epitaph, or elegiac
wreath, which may serve as an apology for the following lines:--

     The Falls were thy grave, as they leapt mad along,
     And the roar of their waters thy funeral song:
     So wildly, so madly, thy people for aye,
     Are rapidly, ceaselessly, passing away.
     They are seen but a moment, then fade and are past,
     Like a cloud in the sky, or a leaf in the blast;
     The path thou hast trodden, thy nation shall tread,
     Chief, warrior, and kin, to the _Land_ of the _Dead_;
     And soon on the lake, or the shore, or the green,
     Not a war drum shall sound, not a smoke shall be seen.

_27th. Oral Literature of the Indians_.--"I am extremely anxious,"
writes a friend, "that Mr. Johnston and his family should furnish full
and detailed answers to my queries, more particularly upon all subjects
connected with the language, and, if I may so speak, the polite
literature of the Chippewas (I write the word in this way because I am
apprehensive that the orthography is inveterately fixed, and not because
I suppose it is correct)[23]. There is no quarter from which I can expect
such full information upon these topics as from this. I must beg you to
aid me in the pursuit. Urge them during the long winter evenings to the
task. The time cannot be more profitably or pleasantly spent, and, as I
am told you are somewhat of an aboriginal scholar, you can assist them
with your advice and judgment. A perfect analysis of the language is a
great desideratum. I pray you, in the spring, to let me have the fruits
of their exertions."

[Footnote 23: I had written, announcing the word _Od-jib-wa_ to be the
true Indian pronunciation, and recommending its adoption.]

With a strong predisposition to these inquiries, with such additional
excitement to the work, and with the very highest advantages of
interpretation and no little fixity of application from boyhood, it must
go hard with me this winter if I do not fish up something from the well
of Indian researches and traditionary lore.

     Go, student, search, and if thou nothing find,
     Go search again; success is in the mind.--ALGON.

_28th. The right spirit, humble yet manful_.--A young man of purpose
and some talent, with considerable ambition, who is diligently seeking a
place in the world, writes me from Detroit to-day, in this strain: "True
it is, I have determined to pass the winter either in New York or
Washington, probably the latter place. But, my dear sir, my hope of
doing anything for myself in this world is the faintest possible, and I
begin to fatigue with the exertion. If I do not succeed this winter in
obtaining something permanent,[24] I shall probably settle down, either
in this place or somewhere in New York, _a poor devil!_--from all which,
and many other things, 'good Lord deliver us!' Farewell; my best wishes
be with you this winter, to keep you warm. I shall expect next spring to
see you an accomplished _nichee_" [25] [Në-jë].

[Footnote 24: He did succeed at W.]

[Footnote 25: A term signifying, in the Chippewa, _my friend_, but
popularly used at the time to some extent at Detroit to denote
an Indian.]


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior--Copper mines--White
fish--A poetic name for a fish--Indian tale--Polygamy--A
reminiscence--Taking of Fort Niagara--Mythological and allegorical tales
among the aborigines--Chippewa language--Indian vowels--A polite and a
vulgar way of speaking the language--Public worship--Seclusion from
the world.

1822. _Oct. 1st. Copper Mines of Lake Superior._--On the 8th of May
last, the Senate of the United States passed a resolution in
these words:--

"_Resolved_, that the President of the United States be requested to
communicate to the Senate, at the commencement of the next session of
Congress, any information which may be in the possession of the
government, derived from special agents or otherwise, showing the
number, value, and position of the copper mines on the south shore of
Lake Superior; the names of the Indian tribes who claim them; the
practicability of extinguishing their title, and the probable advantage
which may result to the Republic from the acquisition and working
these mines."

The resolution having been referred to me by the Secretary of War, I,
this day, completed and transmitted a report on the subject, embracing
the principal facts known respecting them, insisting on their value and
importance, and warmly recommending their further exploration and

[Footnote 26: See Public Doc. No. 365, 2d Sess., 17th Congress.]

_4th. White Fish Fishery_.--No place in America has been so highly
celebrated as a locality for taking this really fine and delicious fish,
as Saint Mary's Falls, or the _Sault_,[27] as it is more generally and
appropriately called. This fish resorts here in vast numbers, and is in
season after the autumnal equinox, and continues so till the ice begins
to run. It is worthy the attention of ichthyologists. It is a
remarkable, but not singular fact in its natural history, that it is
perpetually found in the attitude of ascent at these falls. It is taken
only in the swift water at the foot of the last leap or descent. Into
this swift water the Indians push their canoes. It requires great skill
and dexterity for this. The fishing canoe is of small size. It is
steered by a man in the stern. The fisherman takes his stand in the
bows, sometimes bestriding the light and frail vessel from gunwale to
gunwale, having a scoop-net in his hands. This net has a long slender
handle, ten feet or more in length. The net is made of strong twine,
open at the top, like an entomologist's. When the canoe has been run
into the uppermost rapids, and a school of fish is seen below or
alongside, he dexterously puts down his net, and having swooped up a
number of the fish, instantly reverses it in water, whips it up, and
discharges its contents into the canoe. This he repeats till his canoe
is loaded, when he shoots out of the tail of the rapids, and makes for
shore. The fish will average three pounds, but individuals are sometimes
two and three times that weight. It is shad-shaped, with well-developed
scales, easily removed, but has the mouth of the sucker, very small. The
flesh is perfectly white and firm, with very few bones. It is boiled by
the Indians in pure water, in a peculiar manner, the kettle hung high
above a small blaze; and thus cooked, it is eaten with the liquid for a
gravy, and is delicate and delicious. If boiled in the ordinary way, by
a low hung pot and quick fire, it is soft and comparatively flabby. It
is also broiled by the inhabitants, on a gridiron, after cutting it open
on the back, and brought on the table slightly browned. This must be
done, like a steak, quickly. It is the most delicious when immediately
taken from the water, and connoisseurs will tell you, by its taste at
the table, whether it is immediately from the water, or has lain any
time before cooking. It is sometimes made into small ovate masses,
dipped into batter, and fried in butter, and in this shape, it is called
_petite pâte._ It is also chowdered or baked in a pie. It is the great
resource of the Indians and the French, and of the poor generally at
these falls, who eat it with potatoes, which are abundantly raised here.
It is also a standing dish with all.

[Footnote 27: This word is pronounced as if written _so_, not _soo_. It
is a derivative, through the French, from the Latin _saltus_.]

_A Poetic Name for a Fish._--The Chippewas, who are ready to give every
object in creation, whose existence they cannot otherwise account for,
an allegorical origin, call the white fish _attikumaig_, a very curious
or very fanciful name, for it appears to be compounded of attik, a
reindeer, and the general compound _gumee_, or _guma_, before noticed,
as meaning water, or a liquid. To this the addition of the letter _g_
makes a plural in the animate form, so that the translation is _deer of
the water_, an evident acknowledgment of its importance as an item in
their means of subsistence. Who can say, after this, that the Chippewas
have not some imagination?

_Indian Tale_.--They have a legend about the origin of the white fish,
which is founded on the observation of a minute trait in its habits.
This fish, when opened, is found to have in its stomach very small white
particles which look like roe or particles of brain, but are, perhaps,
microscopic shells. They say the fish itself sprang from the brain of a
female, whose skull fell into these rapids, and was dashed out among the
rocks. A tale of domestic infidelity is woven with this, and the
denouement is made to turn on the premonition of a venerable crane, the
leading Totem of the band, who, having consented to carry the ghost of a
female across the falls on his back, threw her into the boiling and
foaming flood to accomplish the poetic justice of the tale.

_17th. Polygamy_.--This practice appears to be less common among the
Chippewas than the more westerly tribes. An instance of it came to my
notice to-day, in a complaint made by an Indian named Me-ta-koos-se-ga,
i.e. Smoking-Weed, or Pure Tobacco, who was living with two wives, a
mother and her daughter. He complained that a young woman whom he had
brought up had left his lodge, and taken shelter with the family of the
widow of a Canadian. It appears that the old fellow had been making
advances to this girl to become his _third wife_, and that she had fled
from his lodge to avoid his importunities.

_18th. Historical Reminiscences_.--This day sixty-three years ago,
General Wolf took Quebec, an event upon which hinged the fall of Canada.
That was a great historical era, and it is from this date, 1759, that we
may begin to date a change in the Indian policy of the country. Before
that time, the French, who had discovered this region of country and
established trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, were
acknowledged supreme by the natives. Since this event, the English rule
has been growing, and the allegiance of the tribes has been gradually
strengthened and fixed. It is not a light task to change habits of
political affiance, cemented by so many years. The object which is only
sought so far as the tribes fall within the American lines, may,
however, be attained by a mild, consistent, and persevering course of
policy. Time is a slow but sure innovator. A few years will carry the
more aged men, whose prejudices are strongest, to their graves. The
young are more pliant, and will see their interests in strengthening
their intercourse with the Americans, who can do so much to advance
them, and probably long before half another period of sixty-three years
is repeated, the Indians of the region will be as firmly attached to us
as they ever were to the French or the English.

     Never to doubt, and never to despair,
     Is to make acts what once but wishes were. ALGON.

_26th. Allegorical and Mythological Tales_.--"I shall be rejoiced,"
observed Governor C., in a letter of this day, in reply to my
announcement of having detected fanciful traditionary stories among the
Chippewas, "to receive any mythological stories to which you allude,
even if they are enough to rival old Tooke in his Pantheon." He had put
into my hands, at Detroit, a list of printed queries respecting the
Indians, and calls me to remember them, during my winter seclusion here,
with the knowledge of the advantages I possess in the well-informed
circle of the Johnston family.

_25th. Chippewa Language_.--There is clearly a polite and a vulgar way
of speaking the language. Tradition says that great changes have taken
place, and that these changes keep pace with the decline of the tribe
from their ancient standard of forest morals and their departure from
their ancient customs. However this may be, their actual vocabulary is
pretty full. Difficulties exist in writing it, from the want of an exact
and uniform system of notation. The vowels assume their short and
slender as well as broad sounds. The language appears to want entirely
the consonant sounds of f, l, r, v, and x. In conjugating their verbs,
the three primary tenses are well made out, but it is doubtful how much
exactitude exists in the forms given for the oblique and conditional
tenses. If it be true that the language is more corrupt now than at a
former age, it is important to inquire in what this corruption consists,
and how it came about. "To rescue it," I observe at the close of a
letter now on my table to his Excellency Governor C., transmitting him a
vocabulary of one hundred and fifty words, "To rescue it from that
oblivion to which the tribe itself is rapidly hastening, while yet it
may be attempted, with a prospect of success, will constitute a novel
and pleasing species of amusement during the long evenings of that
dreary cold winter of which we have already had a foretaste."

_31st. Public Worship_.--As Colonel Brady is about to leave the post for
the season, some conversation has been had about authorizing him to get
a clergyman to come to the post. It is thought that if such a person
would devote a part of his time as an instructor, a voluntary
subscription could be got among the citizens to supply the sum requisite
for his support. I drew up a paper with this view this morning, and
after handing it round, found the sum of _ninety-seven dollars_
subscribed--seventy-five dollars of which are by four persons. This is
not half the stipend of "forty pounds a year" that poor Goldsmith's
brother thought himself rich upon; and it is apprehended the colonel
will hardly find the inducement sufficient to elicit attention to so
very remote a quarter.

_Nov. 1st_. We have snow, cold, and chilly winds. On looking to the
north, there are huge piles of clouds hanging over Lake Superior. We may
say, with Burns,

     "The wintry wind is gathering fast."

This is a holiday with the Canadian French--"All Saints." They appear as
lively and thoughtless as if all the saints in the calendar were to join
them in a dance. Well may it be said of them, "Where ignorance is bliss,
'tis folly to be wise."

_20th. Seclusion from the World realized_.--We are now shut out from the
world. The season of navigation has closed, the last vessel has
departed. Philosophers may write, and poets may sing of the charms of
solitude, but when the experiment comes to be tried, on a practical
scale, such as we are now, one and all, about to realize, theories and
fancies sink wonderfully in the scale. For some weeks past, everything
with the power of motion or locomotion has been exerting itself to quit
the place and the region, and hie to more kindly latitudes for the
winter. Nature has also become imperceptibly sour tempered, and shows
her teeth in ice and snows. _Man-kind_ and _bird-kind_ have concurred in
the effort to go. We have witnessed the long-drawn flight of swans,
brant, and cranes, towards the south. Singing birds have long since
gone. Ducks, all but a very few, have also silently disappeared, and
have probably gone to pick up spicy roots in the Susquehannah
or Altamaha.

Prescient in the changes of the season, they have been the first to go.
Men, who can endure greater changes and vicissitudes than all the animal
creation put together, have lingered longer; but at last one after
another has left Pa-wa-teeg, till all who _can_ go have gone. Col. Brady
did not leave his command till after the snow fell, and he saw them
tolerably "cantoned." The last vessel for the season has departed--the
last mail has been sent. Our population has been thinned off by the
departure of every temporary dweller, and lingering trader, and belated
visitor, till no one is left but the doomed and fated number whose duty
is here, who came here to abide the winter in all its regions, and who
cannot, on any fair principle or excuse, get away. They, and they alone,
are left to winter here. Of this number I am a resigned and willing
unit, and I have endeavored to prepare for the intellectual exigencies
of it, by a systematic study and analysis of the Indian language,
customs, and history, and character. My teachers and appliances are the
best. I have furnished myself with vocabularies and hand-books,
collected and written down, during the season. I have the post library
in my room, in addition to my own, with a free access to that of "mine
host" of the Emerald Isle, Mr. Johnston, to while away the time. My huge
Montreal stove will take long billets of wood, which, to use the
phraseology of Burns, "would mend a mill." The society of the officers
and their families of the garrison is at hand. The amusements of a
winter, in this latitude, are said to be rather novel, with their dog
trains and creole sleighs. There are some noble fellows of the old
"North West" order in the vicinity. There are thus the elements, at
least, of study, society, and amusement. Whatever else betide, I have
good health, and good spirits, and bright hopes, and I feel very much in
the humor of enjoying the wildest kind of tempests which Providence may
send to howl around my dwelling.

We have, as the means of exchanging sentiment, one English family of
refinement and education, on the American side of the river, and two
others, an English family and the Hudson Bay House in charge of a Scotch
gentleman, on the Canada shore. We have the officers attached to a
battalion of infantry, most of them married and having their ladies and
families with them, and about a dozen American citizens besides, engaged
in traffic and other affairs. These, with the resident _metif_
population of above 300 souls, and the adjacent Indian tribes,
constitute the world--the little isolated world--in which we must move
for six months to come. About fifty miles off, S.E., is the British post
of Drummond Island, and about forty west of the latter, the ancient
position and island settlement of Michilimackinack, that bugbear to
children in all our earlier editions of Webster's Spelling Book.

All the rest of the United States is a far-off land to us. For one, I
draw around my fire, get my table and chair properly located, and resort
to my books, and my Indian _ia-ne-kun-o-tau-gaid_ let the storm whistle
as it may.

_25th_. Zimmerman may write as much as he pleases about solitude. It is
all very well in one's study, by his stove, if it is winter, with a good
feather bed, and all comforts at hand; but he who would test his
theories should come _here_. It is a capital place, in the dead of
winter, for stripping poetic theories of their covering.


Amusements during the winter months, when the temperature
is at the lowest point--Etymology of the word Chippewa--A
meteor--The Indian "fire-proof"--Temperature and weather--Chippewa
interchangeables--Indian names for the seasons--An incident in
conjugating verbs--Visiting--Gossip--The fur trade--Todd, McGillvray,
Sir Alexander Mackenzie--Wide dissimilarity of the English and Odjibwa
syntax--Close of the year.

_1822. December 1st_. We have now plunged into the depths of a boreal
winter. The blustering of tempests, the whistling of winds, and the
careering of snow drifts form the daily topics of remark. We must make
shift to be happy, with the most scanty means of amusement. Books and
studies must supply the most important item in this--at least, so far as
I am concerned.

It is observed by Dr. Johnson "that nothing can supply the want of
prudence, and that negligence and irregularity, long continued, will
render knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible." This
sententious apothegm is thrown out in contemplating the life of Savage,
one of the English poets who united some of the highest requisites of
genius with the lowest personal habits. But how much instruction does it
convey to all! It does not fall to the lot of all to have wit or genius,
or to be eminent in knowledge. None, however, who are not absolute
idiots are without some share of the one or the other. And in proportion
as these gifts are possessed, how fruitless, and comparatively useless
do they become, if not governed by prudence, assiduity, and regularity!

_3d_. The Indian tribes in this vicinity call themselves Ojibwäg. This
expression is in the plural number. It is rendered singular by taking
off the _g_. The letter _a_, in this word, is pronounced like _a_ in
hate, or _ey_ in obey. Chippewa--often written with a useless terminal
_y_--is the Anglicized pronunciation. The meaning of this seems obscure.
The final syllable _wä_, in compound words, stands for voice. In the
ancient Massachusetts language, as preserved by Eliot, in his
translation of the Bible, as in Isaiah xi. 14, Chepwoieu means the east.

What a curious subject for speculation the Indian language presents!
Since I began to dip into this topic, I have found myself irresistibly
carried forward in the inquiry, and been led to resume it, whenever the
calls of business or society have been intermitted. I have generally
felt, however, while pursuing it, like a mechanist who is required to
execute a delicate and difficult work without suitable implements.
Technical words may be considered as the working tools of inquiry, and
there seems to be a paucity of terms, in our common systems, to describe
such a many-syllabled, aggregated language as the Indian. I have been
sometimes half inclined to put my manuscripts in the fire, and to
exclaim with Dryden, respecting some metaphysical subject--

     "I cannot bolt this matter to the bran."

It is not, however, the habitual temper of my mind to give up. "The
spider," it is said, "taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's
palaces;" and should a man have less perseverance than a _spider?_

_4th_. A meteor, or fire-ball, passed through the village at twilight
this evening. The weather, which has been intensely cold for the last
three days, indicates a change this evening. Meteoric phenomena of a
luminous character were universally referred to electricity, after
Franklin's day. Chemistry has since put forth reasons why several of
these phenomena should be attributed to phosphorus or hydrogen liberated
by decomposition.

_5th_. The Chippewa jugglers, or Jassakeeds, as they are called, have an
art of rendering their flesh insensible, probably for a short time, to
the effects of a blaze of fire. Robert Dickson told me that he had seen
several of them strip themselves of their garments, and jump into a
bonfire. Voltaire says, in his Essay on History, that rubbing the hand
for a long time with spirit of vitriol and alum, with the juice of an
onion, is stated to render it capable of enduring hot water
without injury.

_7th_. Acting as librarian for the garrison during the season, I am
privileged to fill up many of the leisure hours of my mornings and
evenings by reading. The difficulty appears to be, to read with such
reference to system as to render it profitable. History, novels,
voyages and travels, and various specific treatises of fancy or fact,
invite perusal, and like a common acquaintance, it requires some moral
effort to negative their claims. "Judgment," says a celebrated critic,
"is forced upon us by experience. He that reads many books must compare
one opinion, or one style with another, and when he compares must
necessarily distinguish, reject, prefer."

_Sunday 8th_. Quintilian says, "We palliate our sloth by the specious
pretext of difficulty." Nothing, in fact, is too difficult to
accomplish, which we set about, with a proper consideration of those
difficulties, and pursue with perseverance. The Indian language cannot
be acquired so easily as the Greek or Hebrew, but it can be mastered by
perseverance. Our Indian policy cannot be understood without looking at
the Indian history. The taking of Fort Niagara was the first decisive
blow at French power. Less than three months afterwards, that is, on the
18th of October of that year, General Wolf took Quebec. Goldsmith wrote
some stanzas on this event, eulogizing the heroism of the exploit.
England's consolation for the loss of Wolf is found in his heroic
example, which the poet refers to in his closing line,

     "Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise."

_11th_. Names are the pegs of history. Velasco, it is said, on visiting
the gulf which receives the St. Lawrence, and finding the country cold
and inhospitable, cried out _aca nada_--"there is nothing here." This is
said to be the origin of the word Canada. Nothing could be more
improbable: Did the Indians of Canada hear him, and, if so, did they
understand or respect the language of a foreigner hovering on their
coast? We must look to the Iroquois for the origin of this word. Jacques
Cartier, in 1534, evidently mistook the Indian word Canada, signifying a
town, for the whole country. The Indians have no geographical terms for
districts. They name a hill, a river, or a fall, but do not deal in
generics. Some _à priori_ reasoning seems constrained, where the facts
are granted, as this: All animals at Nova Zembla, it is said, are
carnivorous, because there is no grass.

_12th_. Snow covers everything. We are shut out from the civilized
world, and thrown entirely on our own resources. I doubt, if we were in
Siberia, or Kamschatka, if we could be so completely isolated.

_13th_. Ellis, in one of his northern voyages, asserts the opinion that
the northern lights kindle and disperse the vapors requisite to the
formation of lightning. Hence there is no thunder in high northern
latitudes. We admit the fact, but doubt the reasoning. Vapor is but
water in a gaseous state. It is a fine medium for the exhibition of
electricity, and we cannot say that electricity exists without it.

_14th_. When Lucas Fox sailed to discover the north-west passage to
India, in 1631, he carried a letter from Charles the First to the
Emperor of Japan. Such was public information, in Europe, twenty-two
years after the discovery of the River Hudson, and the settlement of New
England, eleven years later.

_15th_. The state of the weather, during this month, has exhibited some
striking changes. The first three or four days were quite severe. On the
fifth it became mild, and continued so for eight or nine days. During
this time, nearly all the snow which had previously fallen was carried
off by rains, or the heat of the sun. The weather was so mild that I sat
in my office, on the 13th, without fire, for about two hours. Two
evenings previous, the snow fell from the roofs of buildings at nine
o'clock, and it continued thawing through the night. To day, the wind
has veered round to a northerly point, and the weather has resumed its
wintry temperature.

_22d_. The River St. Mary's froze over during the night of this day. The
stream had been closed below, for about a week previous.

_24th_. The Tartars cannot pronounce the letter _b_. Those of Bulgaria
pronounce the word blacks as if written Iliacs. The Chippewas in this
quarter usually transpose the _b_ and _p_ in English words. They
substitute _n_ for _l_, pronouncing Louis as if written Nouis. The
letter _r_ is dropped, or sounded _au_. _P_ is often substituted for
_f_, _b_ for _v_, and _ch_ for _j_. In words of their own language, the
letters _f, l, r, v_, and _x_, do not occur. The following are their
names for the seasons.

     Pe-boan,           Winter.
     Se-gwun,           Spring.
     Ne-bin,            Summer.
     Ta-gwa-ge,         Autumn.

Years are counted by winters, months by moons, and days by nights. There
are terms for morning, mid-day, and evening. The year consists of
thirteen moons, each moon being designated by a descriptive name, as the
moon of flowers (May), the moon of strawberries (June), the moon of
berries (July), &c. Canoe and tomahawk are not terms belonging to the
Chippewa language. From inquiries I think the former is of Carib origin,
and the latter Mohegan. The Chippewa equivalents are in the order
stated, Cheman and Agákwut.

_26th_. In going out to dinner at 3 o'clock, a sheet of paper containing
conjugations of verbs, which had cost me much time and questioning, had
fallen from my table. On returning in the evening, I found my dog,
Ponty, a young pet, had torn my care-bought conjugations into small
pieces. What was to be done? It was useless to whip the dog, and I
scarcely had the courage to commence the labor anew. I consequently did
neither; but gathering up the fragments, carefully soaked the gnawed and
mutilated parts in warm water, and re-arranged and sealed them together.
And before bedtime I had restored the manuscript so as to be
intelligibly read. I imposed this task upon myself, but, had it been
imposed by another, I would have been ready to pronounce him a madman.

_27th_. I devoted the day and evening in transcribing words into my
"Ojibwa Vocabulary." This is a labor requiring great caution. The
language is so concrete, that often, when I have supposed a word had
been dissected and traced to its root, subsequent attention has proved
it to be a compound. Thus verbs have been inserted with pronouns, or
with particles, indicating negation, or the past or future tense, when
it has been supposed they had been divested of these appendages. I am
now going over the work the third time. The simplest forms of the verb
seem to be the first and third persons singular of the imperative mood.

Ennui, in situations like the present, being isolated and shut up as it
were from the world, requires to be guarded against. The surest
preventive of it is employment, and diversity in employment. It has been
determined to-day to get up a periodical sheet, or _jeu d'esprit_
newspaper, to be circulated from family to family, commencing on the
first of January. Mrs. Thompson asked me for a name. I suggested the
"Northern Light." It was finally determined to put this into Latin, and
call it Aurora Borealis.

_28th_. Visits make up a part of the winter's amusements. We owe this
duty to society; but, like other duties, which are largely connected
with enjoyment, there is a constant danger that more time be given up to
it than is profitable. Conversation is the true index of feeling. We
read wise and grave books, but are not a whit better by them, than as
they introduce and fix in our minds such principles as shall shine out
in conversation or acts. Now were an ordinary social winter evening
party tested by such principles, what would a candid spectator judge to
have been the principal topics of reading or study? I remember once, in
my earlier years, to have passed an evening in a room where a number of
my intimate friends were engaged in playing at cards. As I did not play,
I took my seat at an office-table, and hastily sketched the conversation
which I afterwards read for their amusement. But the whole was in
reality a bitter satire on their language and sentiments, although it
was not so designed by me, nor received by them. I several years
afterwards saw the sketch of this conversation among my papers, and was
forcibly struck with this reflection.

Let me revert to some of the topics of conversation introduced in the
circles where I have visited this day, or in my own room. It is
Goldsmith, I think, who says that our thoughts take their tinge from
contiguous objects. A man standing near a volcano would naturally speak
of burning mountains. A person traversing a field of snow would feel his
thoughts occupied with polar scenes. Thus are we here thrown together.
Ice, snow, winds, a high range of the thermometer, or a driving tempest,
are the almost ever present topics of remark: and these came in for a
due share of the conversation to-day. The probability of the ice in the
river's breaking up the _latter part of April_, and the arrival of a
vessel at the post _early in May!_--the dissolution of the seventeenth
Congress, which must take place on the 4th of March, the character and
administration of Governor Clinton (which were eulogized), were
adverted to.

In the evening I went, by invitation, to Mr. Siveright's at the North
West House. The party was numerous, embracing most of the officers of
the American garrison, John Johnston, Esq., Mr. C.O. Ermatinger, a
resident who has accumulated a considerable property in trade, and
others. Conversation turned, as might have been expected, upon the topic
of the Fur Trade, and the enterprising men who established, or led to
the establishment of, the North West Company. Todd, Mackenzie, and
M'Gillvray were respectively described. Todd was a merchant of Montreal,
an Irishman by birth, who possessed enterprise, courage, address, and
general information. He paved the way for the establishment of the
Company, and was one of the first partners, but died untimely. He
possessed great powers of memory. His cousin, Don Andrew Todd, had the
monopoly of the fur trade of Louisiana.

M'Gillvray possessed equal capacity for the trade with Todd, united to
engaging, gentlemanly manners. He introduced that feature in the Company
which makes every clerk, at a certain time, a partner. This first
enabled them successfully to combat the Hudson's Bay Company. His
passions, however, carried him too far, and he was sometimes unjust.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie was at variance with M'Gillvray, and they never
spoke in each other's praise. Mackenzie commanded great respect from all
classes, and possessed a dignity of manners and firmness of purpose
which fitted him for great undertakings. He established the X.Y.
Company, in opposition to the North West.

_29th_. The days are still very short, the sun having but just passed
the winter solstice. We do not dine till four; Mr. Johnston, with whom I
take my meals, observing this custom, and it is dark within the coming
hour. I remained to family worship in the evening.

_30th_. Read the articles in the "Edinburgh Review" on Accum's work on
the adulteration of food, and Curran's Life by his Son. Accum, it is
said, came to England as an adventurer. By assiduity and attention, he
became eminent as an operative chemist, and accumulated a fortune.
Curran was also of undistinguished parentage. His mother, in youth,
seems to have judged rightly of his future talents.

Mr. Johnston returned me "Walsh's Appeal," which he had read at my
request, and expressed himself gratified at the ability with which the
subject is handled. Captain Clarke, an industrious reader on local and
general subjects, had come in a short time before. Conversation became
general and animated. European politics, Greece, Turkey, and Russia, the
state of Ireland, radicalism in England, the unhappy variance between
the king and queen, Charles Fox, &c., were successively the subjects of
remark. We adjourned to Mr. Johnston's.

In the evening I went into my office and wrote to Mr. Calhoun, the
Secretary of War, recommending Captain H.'s son William, for the
appointment of a cadet in the Military Academy.[28]

[Footnote 28: The appointment was made.]

_31st_. Devoted the day to the Indian language. It scarcely seems
possible that any two languages should be more _unlike_, or have fewer
points of resemblance, than the English and Ojibwa. If an individual
from one of the nomadic tribes of farther Asia were suddenly set down in
London, he could hardly be more struck with the difference in buildings,
dress, manners, and customs, than with the utter discrepance in the
sounds of words, and the grammatical structure of sentences. The Ojibwa
has this advantage, considered as the material of future improvement; it
is entirely homogeneous, and admits of philosophical principles being
carried out, with very few, if any, of those exceptions which so
disfigure English grammar, and present such appalling obstacles to
foreigners in learning the language.

On going to dine at the usual hour, I found company invited, among whom
were some gentlemen from Upper Canada. Conversation rolled on smoothly,
and embraced a wide range of topics. Some of the dark doings of the
North West Company, in their struggle for exclusive power in the Indian
country, were mentioned. Nobody appeared to utter a word in malice or
ill will. Dark and bright traits of individual character and conduct
floated along the stream of conversation, without being ruffled with a
breeze. In the evening I attended a party at the quarters of one of the
officers in the fort. Dancing was introduced. The evening passed off
agreeably till the hour of separation, which was a few minutes before
twelve. And thus closed the year eighteen hundred and twenty-two.


New Year's day among the descendants of the Norman
French--Anti-philosophic speculations of Brydone--Schlegel
on language--A peculiar native expression evincing
delicacy--Graywacke in the basin of Lake Superior--Temperature--Snow
shoes--Translation of Gen. i. 3--Historical reminiscences--Morals of
visiting--Ojibwa numerals--Harmon's travels--Mackenzie's
vocabularies--Criticism--Mungo Park.

_January 1st_. This is a day of hilarity here, as in New York. Gayety
and good humor appear on every countenance. Visiting from house to house
is the order. The humblest individual is expected to make his appearance
in the routine, and "has his claims allowed." The French custom of
salutation prevails. The Indians are not the last to remember the day.
To them, it is a season of privileges, although, alas! it is only the
privilege to beg. Standing in an official relation to them, I was
occupied in receiving their visits from eight o'clock till three. I
read, however, at intervals, Dr. Johnson's Lives of Rochester,
Roscommon, Otway, Phillips, and Walsh.

_2d_. Brydone, the traveler, says, on the authority of Recupero, a
priest, that in sinking a pit near Iaci in the region of Mount Etna,
they pierced through seven distinct formations of lava, with parallel
beds of earth interposed between each stratum. He estimates that two
thousand years were required to decompose the lava and form it into
soil, and consequently that fourteen thousand years were needed for the
whole series of formations. A little further on, he however furnishes
data, showing to every candid mind on what very vague estimates he had
before relied. He says the fertile district of Hybla was suddenly turned
to barrenness by an eruption of lava, and soon after restored to
fertility by a shower of ashes. The change which he had required two
thousand years to produce was here accomplished suddenly, and the whole
argument by which he had arrayed himself against the Mosaical
chronology overturned. Of such materials is a good deal of modern
pseudo-philosophy constructed.

I received, this morning, a number of mineralogical specimens from Mr.
Johnston, which had been collected by him at various times in the
vicinity. Among them were specimens of copper pyrites in quartz,
sulphate of strontian, foliated gypsum, and numerous calcareous
petrifactions. He also presented me a fine antler of the Caribo, or
American reindeer, a species which is found to inhabit this region. This
animal is called Addik by the Ojibwas. _Ik_ is a termination in the
Ojibwa denoting some hard substance.

_3d_. Forster, in his "History of Northern Voyages," mentions some facts
which appear to be adverse to Mr. Hayden's theory of a north-western
current. The height of islands observed by Fox, in the arctic regions,
was found to be greatest on their eastern sides, and they were depressed
towards the west. "This observation," he says, "seems to me to prove
that, when the sea burst impetuously into Hudson's Bay, and tore away
these islands from the main land, it must have come rushing from the
east and south-east, and have washed away the earth towards the west--a
circumstance which has occasioned their present low position."

_4th_. I read the review of Schlegel's "Treatise on the Sanscrit
Language." How far the languages of America may furnish coincidences in
their grammatical forms, is a deeply interesting inquiry. But thus
insulated, as I am, without books, the labor of comparison is, indeed,
almost hopeless! I must content myself, for the present, with furnishing
examples for others.

The Indians still continue their New Year's visits. Fresh parties or
families, who come in from the woods, and were not able to come on the
day, consider themselves privileged to present their claims. It should
not be an object of disappointment to find that the Indians do not, in
their ordinary intercourse, evince those striking traits of exalted and
disinterested character which we are naturally accustomed to expect from
reading books. Books are, after all, but men's holiday opinions. It
requires observation on real life to be able to set a true estimate upon
things. The instances in which an Indian is enabled to give proofs of a
noble or heroic spirit cannot be expected to occur frequently. In all
the history of the seaboard tribes there was but one Pocahontas, one
Uncas, and one Philip. Whereas, everyday is calling for the exercise of
less splendid, but more generally useful virtues. To spare the life of a
prisoner, or to relieve a friend from imminent peril, may give applause,
and carry a name down to posterity. But it is the constant practice of
every day virtues and duties, domestic diligence, and common sense, that
renders life comfortable, and society prosperous and happy. How much of
this everyday stamina the Indians possess, it would be presumptuous in
me, with so short an opportunity of observation, to decide. But I am
inclined to the opinion that their defect of character lies here.

Our express for Detroit, via Michilimackinack, set out at three o'clock
this morning, carrying some few short of a hundred letters. This, with
our actual numbers, is the best commentary on our insulated situation.
We divert ourselves by writing, and cling with a death-grasp, as it
were, to our friends and correspondents.

_5th. Gitche ie nay gow ge ait che gah_, "they have put the sand over
him" is a common expression among the Indians to indicate that a man is
dead and buried. Another mode, delicate and refined in its character, is
to suffix the inflection for perfect past tense, _bun_, to a man's name.
Thus Washington e bun would indicate that Washington is no more.

I read the Life of Pope. It is strange that so great a poet should have
been so great a lover of wealth; mammon and the muses are not often
conjointly worshiped. Pope did not excel in familiar conversation, and
few sallies of wit, or pointed observation, are preserved. The following
is recorded: "When an objection raised against his inscription for
Shakspeare was defended by the authority of Patrick, he replied,
'horresco referens,' that he would allow the publisher of a dictionary
to know the meaning of a single word, but not of two words put

In the evening I read a number of the "London Literary Gazette," a
useful and interesting paper, which, in its plan, holds an intermediate
rank between a newspaper and a review. It contains short condensed
criticisms on new works, together with original brief essays and
anecdotes, and literary advertisements, which latter must render it a
valuable paper to booksellers. I think we have nothing on this plan, at
present, in the United States.

_6th_. I received a specimen of slaty graywacke from Lake Superior. The
structure is tabular, and very well characterized. If there be no
mistake respecting the locality, it is therefore certain that this rock
is included among the Lake Superior group.[29] It was not noticed in the
expedition of 1820. I also received a specimen of iron sand from _Point
aux Pins_.

[Footnote 29: I found graywacke _in sitû_ at Iron River, in Lake
Superior, in 1826, and subsequently at Presque Isle River, where it is
slaty, and fine even grained, and apparently suitable for some
economical uses.]

The thermometer has stood at 25° below zero a few days during the
season. It was noticed at 10° below, this morning. Notwithstanding the
decidedly wintry character of the day, I received a visit from Mr.
Siveright, a Canadian gentleman, who came across the expanse of ice on
snow shoes. I loaned him Silliman's "Travels in England and Scotland,"
feeling a natural desire to set off our countrymen, as authors and
travelers, to the best advantage. Mr. S., who has spent several years at
the north, mentioned that each of the Indian tribes has something
peculiar in the fashion of their snow shoes. The Chippewas form theirs
with acute points fore and aft, resembling two inverted sections of a
circle. The Crees make a square point in front, tapering away gradually
to the heel. The Chippewyans turn up the fore point, so that it may
offer less resistance in walking. Females have their snow shoes
constructed different from the men's. The difference consists in the
shape and size of the bows. The netting is more nicely wrought and
colored, and often ornamented, particularly in those worn by girls, with
tassels of colored worsted. The word "shoe," as applied to this
apparatus of the feet, is a complete _misnomer_. It consists of a
net-work of laced skin, extended between light wooden bows tied to the
feet, the whole object of which is to augment the space pressed upon,
and thus bear up the individual on the surface of the snow.

I devoted the leisure hours of the day to the grammatical structure of
the Indian language. There is reason to suppose the word _moneto_ not
very ancient. It is, properly speaking, not the name for God, or
Jehovah, but rather a generic term for spiritual agency in their
mythology. The word seems to have been derived from the notion of the
offerings left upon rocks and sacred places, being supernaturally _taken
away_. In any comparative views of the language, not much stress should
be laid upon the word, as marking a difference from other stocks.
_Maneton_, in the Delaware, is the verb "to make." _Ozheton_ is the same
verb in Chippewa.

_7th_. History teaches its lessons in small, as well as great things.
Vessels from Albemarle, in Virginia, in 1586, first carried the potato
to Ireland. Thomas Harriot says the natives called it _open-awk_. The
Chippewas, at this place, call the potato _open-eeg_; but the
termination _eeg_ is merely a form of the plural. _Open_ (the _e_
sounded like short _i_) is the singular form. Thomas Jefferson gives the
word "Wha-poos" as the name of the Powhatanic tribes for hare. The
Chippewa term for this animal is _Wa-bos_, usually pronounced by white
men Wa-poos.

Longinus remarks the sublimity of style of the third verse of Genesis i.
I have, with competent aid, put it into Chippewa, and give the

     Appee dush         and then
     Gezha Monedo       Merciful Spirit
     Akeedood           He said
     Tah                Let
     Wassay-au,         Light be,
     Appee dush         And then
     Wassay-aug         Light was.

It is not to be expected that all parts of the language would exhibit
equal capacities to bear out the original. Yet in this instance, if the
translation be faithful, it is clearly, but not, to our apprehension,
elegantly done. I am apprehensive that the language generally has a
strong tendency to repetition and redundancy of forms, and to clutter
up, as it were, general ideas with particular meanings. At three o'clock
I went to dine with Mr. Siveright, at the North West Company's House.
The party was large, including the officers from the garrison.
Conversation took a political turn. Colonel Lawrence defended the
propriety of his recent toast, "The Senate of the United States, the
guardians of a free people," by which a Boston paper said "more was
meant than met the eye." The evening was passed with the ordinary
sources of amusement. I have for some time felt that the time devoted to
these amusements, in which I never made much advance, would be better
given up to reading, or some inquiry from which I might hope to derive
advantage. An incident this evening impressed me with this truth, and I
came home with a resolution that one source of them should no longer
engross a moment of my time.

Harris, the author of Hermes, says, "It is certainly as easy to be a
scholar as a gamester, or any other character equally illiberal and low.
The same application, the same quantity of habit, will fit us for one as
completely as for the other. And as to those who tell us, with an air of
seeming wisdom, that it is men, and not books, that we must study to
become knowing; this I have always remarked, from repeated experience,
to be the common consolation and language of dunces." Now although I
have no purpose of aiming at extreme heights in knowledge, yet there are
some points in which every man should have that precision of knowledge
which is a concomitant of scholarship. And every man, by diligence, may
add to the number of these points, without aiming at all to put on a
character for extraordinary wisdom or profundity.

       *       *       *       *       *

_9th. Historical Reminiscences_.--On the third of April, 1764, Sir
William Johnson concluded preliminary articles of peace and friendship
with eight deputies of the Seneca nation, which was the only one of the
Iroquois who joined Pontiac. This was done at his residence at Johnson
Hall, on the Mohawk.

In August, 1764, Colonel Bradstreet granted "Terms of Peace" to certain
deputies of the Delaware, Huron, and Shawnee tribes at Presque Isle,
being then on his way to relieve Detroit, which was then closely
invested by the Indians. These deputies gave in their adhesion to the
English cause, and agreed to give up all the English prisoners.

In October of the same year, Colonel Bouquet granted similar terms to
another deputation of Shawnees, Delawares, &c., at Tuscarawas.

The best account of the general transactions of the war of that era,
which I have seen, is contained in a "History of the Late War in North
America, and Islands of the West Indies. By Thomas Mante, Assistant
Engineer, &c., and Major of a Brigade. London, 1772:" 1 vol. quarto, 552
pages. I am indebted to Governor Clinton for my acquaintance with
this work.

_10th_. I have employed the last three days, including this, very
diligently on my Indian vocabulary and inquiries, having read but
little. Too exclusive a devotion to this object is, however, an error. I
have almost grudged the time I devoted to eating and sleeping. And I
should certainly be unwilling that my visitors should know what I
thought of the interruptions created by their visits. It is true,
however, that I have gained but little by these visits in the way of
conversation. One of my visitors, a couple of days since, made me waste
a whole morning in talking of trifling subjects. Another, who is a
gourmand, is only interested in subjects connected with the
gratification of his palate. A third, who is a well-informed man, has
such lounging habits that he remained two hours and a half with me this
morning. No wonder that men in office must be guarded by the
paraphernalia of ante-rooms and messengers, if a poor individual at this
cold end of the world feels it an intrusion on his short winter days to
have lounging visitors. I will try to recollect, when I go to see
others, that although _I_ may have leisure, perhaps _they_ are engaged
in something of consequence.

       *       *       *       *       *

_11th. History abounds in examples of excellence_.--Xenophon says of
Jason, "All who have served under Jason have learned this lesson, that
pleasure is the effect of toil; though as to sensual pleasures, I know
no person in the world more temperate than Jason. They never break in
upon his time; they always leave him leisure to do what must be done."

Of Diphridas, the same author observes, "No bodily indulgence ever
gained the ascendant over him, but, on the contrary, he gave all his
attention to the business in hand." What admirable maxims for real life,
whether that life be passed in courts or camps, or a humble sphere!

_12th_. I finished reading Thiebault's "Anecdotes of Frederick the
Great," which I had commenced in December. This is a pleasing and
instructive work. Every person should read it who wishes to understand
the history of Prussia, particularly the most interesting and important
period of it. We here find Frederick I. and II., and William depicted to
the life. We are made acquainted also with national traits of the
Russian, English, German, and French character, which are nowhere else
to be found.

_13th_. The ancient Thracians are thus described by Herodotus: "The most
honorable life with them is a life of indolence; the most contemptible
that of a husbandman. Their supreme delight is war and plunder." Who, if
the name and authority were concealed, but would suppose the remarks
were made of some of the tribes of the North American Indians?

I divided the day between reading and writing. In the evening I went by
invitation to a party at Lieutenant B.'s in the cantonment.

_14th_. The Chippewa names of the numerals, from one to ten,
are--pazhik, neezh, niswee, newin, nanun, neen-goodwaswa, neezh-waswa,
swaswa, shonguswa, metonna.

Dined at Mr. Ermatinger's, a gentleman living on the Canada shore, who,
from small beginnings, has accumulated a considerable property by the
Indian trade, and has a numerous Anglo-Odjibwa family.

_15th_. Completed the perusal of Harmon's Travels, and extracted the
notes contained in memorandum book N. Mr. Harmon was nineteen years in
the service of the North West Company, and became a partner after the
expiration of the first seven years. The volume contains interesting
data respecting the topography, natural history (incidental), and Indian
tribes of a remote and extensive region. The whole scope of the journal
is devoted to the area lying north of the territory of the United
States. It will be found a valuable book of reference to those who are
particularly directing their attention to northern scenes. The journal
was revised and published by a Mr. Haskell, who, it is said _here_, by
persons acquainted with Mr. Harmon, has introduced into the text
religious reflections, not believed to have been made by the author at
the time. No exceptions can be taken to the reflections; but his
companions and co-partners feel that they should have led the individual
to exemplify them in his life and conversation while _inland_.

Mr. Harmon says, of the Canadians--"All their chat is about horses,
dogs, canoes, women, and strong men, who can fight a good battle."
Traders and Indians are placed in a loose juxtaposition. "Their
friendship," he states, "is little more than their fondness for our
property, and our eagerness to obtain their furs." European manufactures
are essential to the natives. "The Indians in this quarter have been so
long accustomed to European goods, that it would be with difficulty that
they could now obtain a livelihood without them. Especially do they
need firearms, axes, kettles, knives, &c. They have almost lost the use
of bows and arrows, and they would find it nearly impossible to cut
their fire wood with implements made of stone or bone."

_16th_. Examined Mackenzie's Travels, to compare his vocabulary of
Knisteneaux and Algonquin, with the Odjibwa, or Chippewa. There is so
close an agreement, in sense and sound, between the two latter, as to
make it manifest that the tribes could not have been separated at a
remote period. This agreement is more close and striking than it appears
to be by comparing the two written vocabularies. Mackenzie has adopted
the French orthography, giving the vowels, and some of the consonants
and diphthongs, sounds very different from their _English_ powers. Were
the words arranged on a common plan of alphabetical notation, they would
generally be found to the eye, as they are to the ear, nearly identical.
The discrepancies would be rendered less in cases in which they appear
to be considerable, and the peculiarities of idiom, as they exist, would
be made more striking and instructive. I have heard both idioms spoken
by the natives, and therefore have more confidence in speaking of their
nearness and affinity, than I could have had from mere book comparison.
I am told that Mackenzie got his vocabulary from some of the priests in
Lower Canada, who are versed in the Algonquin. It does not seem to me at
all probable that an Englishman or a Scotchman should throw aside his
natural sounds of the vowels and consonants, and adopt sounds which are,
and must have been, from infancy, foreign.

As I intend to put down things in the order of their occurrence, I will
add that I had a visitor to-day, a simple mechanic, who came to talk to
me about _nothing_; I could do no less than be civil to him, in
consequence of which he pestered me with hems and haws about one hour. I
think Job took no interest in philology.

_17th_. Devoted the day to the language. A friend had loaned me a file
of Scottish papers called the _Montrose Review_, which I took occasion
to run over. This paper is more neatly and correctly printed than is
common with our papers of this class from the country. The strain of
remark is free, bold, and inquisitive, looking to the measures of
government, and advocating principles of rational liberty throughout
the world.

Col. Lawrence, Capt. Thompson, and Lieut. Griswold called in the course
of the day. I commenced reading Mungo Parke's posthumous volume.

_18th_. The mind, like the body, will get tired. Quintilian remarks,
"Variety refreshes and renovates the mind." Composition and reading by
turns, wear away the weariness either may create; and though we have
done many things, we in some measure find ourselves fresh and recruited
at entering on a new thing. This day has been almost entirely given up
to society. Visitors seemed to come in, as if by concert. Col. Lawrence,
Capts. Clarke and Beal, Lieuts. Smith and Griswold. Mr. S.B. Griswold,
who was one of the American hostage officers at Quebec, Dr. Foot, and
Mr. Johnston came in to see me, at different times. I filled up the
intervals in reading.

_19th, Sabbath_. A party of Indians came to my door singing the begging
dance. These people do not respect the Sabbath.[30] The parties who came
in, on New Year's day, still linger about the settlements, and appear to
be satisfied to suffer hunger half the time, if their wants can be
gratuitously relieved the other half.

[Footnote 30: About eighteen months afterwards, I interdicted all visits
of Indians on the _Sabbath_, and adopted it as an invariable rule, that
I would not transact any business, or receive visits, from any Indian
under the influence of liquor. I directed my interpreter to tell them
that the President had sent me to speak to _sober_ men only.]

_20th_. I continued to transcribe, from loose papers, into my Indian
lexicon. A large proportion of the words are derivatives. All are, more
or less, compounded in their oral forms, and they appear to be _glued_,
as it were, to objects of sense. This is not, however, peculiar to this
language. The author of "Hermes" says--"The first words of men, like
their first ideas, had an immediate reference to sensible objects, and
that in after days, when they began to discern with their intellect,
they took those words which they found already made, and transferred
them, by metaphor, to intellectual conceptions."

On going to dinner, I found a party of officers and their ladies. "Mine
host," Mr. Johnston, with his fine and frank Belfast hospitality, does
the honors of his table with grace and ease. Nothing appears to give him
half so much delight as to see others happy around him. I read, in the
evening, the lives of Akenside, Gray, and Littleton. What a perfect
crab old Dr. Johnson was! But is there any sound criticism without

_21st_. I finished the reading of Mungo Parke, the most enterprising
traveler of modern times. He appears to me to have committed two errors
in his last expedition, and I think his death is fairly attributable to
impatience to reach the mouth of the Niger. He should not have attempted
to pass from the Gambia to the Niger during the rainy season. By this,
he lost thirty-five out of forty men. He should not have tried to
_force_ a passage through the kingdom of Houssa, without making presents
to the local petty chiefs. By this, he lost his life. When will
geographers cease to talk about the mouth of the Niger? England has been
as indefatigable in solving this problem as she has been in finding out
the North West Passage, and, at present, as unsuccessful. We see no
abatement, however, in her spirit of heroic enterprise. America has sent
but one explorer to this field--Ledyard.


Novel reading--Greenough's "Geology"--The cariboo--Spiteful
plunder of private property on a large scale--Marshall's
Washington--St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign"--Etymology of
the word _totem_--A trait of transpositive languages--Polynesian
languages--A meteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter's
temperature--Spafford's "Gazetteer"--Holmes on the Prophecies--Foreign
politics--Mythology--Gnomes--The Odjibwa based on monosyllables--No
auxiliary verbs--Pronouns declined for tense--Esprella's
letters--Valerius--Gospel of St. Luke--Chippewayan group of
languages--Home politics--Prospect of being appointed superintendent of
the lead mines of Missouri.

1823. _Jan. 22d_. A pinching cold winter wears away slowly. The whole
village seems to me like _so_ many prescient beavers, in a vast
snow-bank, who cut away the snow and make paths, every morning, from one
lodge to another. In this reticulation of snow paths the drum is sounded
and the flag raised. Most dignified bipeds we are. Hurrah for progress,
and the extension of the Anglo-Saxon race!

I read the "Recluse," translated from D'Arlincourt's popular novel _Le
Solitaire_, and think the commendations bestowed upon it, in the
translator's preface, just in the main. It is precisely such a novel as
I should suppose would be very popular in the highest circles of France,
and consequently, owing to difference of character, would be less
relished by the same circles in England. I suspect the author to be a
great admirer of Chateaubriand's "Atala," whose death is brought to mind
by the catastrophe of Elode's. Here, however, the similitude ends. There
is nothing to be said respecting the comparative features of Charles the
Bold and Chactas, except that the Indian possessed those qualities of
the heart which most ennoble human nature.

To the readers of Scott's novels, however (for he is certainly the
"Great Unknown"), this pleasing poetical romance, with all its sparkling
passages, will present one glaring defect--it is not sufficiently
descriptive. We rise from the perusal of it with no definite ideas of
the scenery of the valley of Underlach. We suppose it to be sublime and
picturesque, and are frequently told so by the author; but he fails in
the description of particular scenes. Scott manages otherwise. When he
sends Baillie Nicoll Jarvie into the Highlands, he does not content
himself with generalities, but also brings before the mind such groups
and scenes as make one fear and tremble. To produce this excitement is
literary power.

_23d_. I devoted the time before breakfast, which, with us, happens at a
late hour, to the _Edinburgh Review_. I read the articles on Greenough's
"First Principles of Geology," and a new edition of Demosthenes. When
shall we hear the last panegyric of the Grecian orator, who, in the two
characteristics of his eloquence which have been most praised,
simplicity and nature, is every day equalled, or excelled, by our
Indian chiefs?

Greenough's Essays are bold and original, and evince no weak powers of
observation and reasoning. But he is rather a leveler than a builder. It
seems better that we should have a poor house over our heads than none
at all. The facts mentioned on the authority of a traveler in Spain,
that the pebbles in the rivers of that country are not carried down
streams by the force of the current, are contradicted by all my
observations on the rivers of the United States. The very reverse is
true. Those streams which originate in, or run through districts of
granite, limestone, graywacke, &c., present pebbles of these respective
rocks abundantly along their banks, at points below the termination of
the fixed strata. These pebbles, and even boulders, are found far below
the termination of the rocky districts, and appear to owe their
transportation to the force of existing currents. I have found the
peculiar pebbles of the sources of the Mississippi as low down as St.
Louis and St. Genevieve.

I resumed the perusal of Marshall's "Life of Washington," which I had
laid by in the fall. Lieutenants Barnum and Bicker and Mr. Johnston came
to visit me.

_24th_. I made one of a party of sixteen, who dined with Mr. Ermatinger.
I here first tasted the flesh of the _cariboo_, which is a fine flavored
venison. I do not recollect any wise or merry remark made during dinner,
which is worth recording. As toasts show the temper of the times, and
bespeak the sentiments of those who give them, a few of them may be
mentioned. After several formal and national toasts, we had Mr. Calhoun,
Governor Cass, General Brown, Mr. Sibley, the representative of
Michigan, Colonel Brady, and Major Thayer, superintendent of the
military academy. In coming home in the cariole, we all missed the
_balizes_, and got completely upset and pitched into the snow.

_25th_. Mr. John Johnston returned me Silliman's Travels, and expressed
himself highly pleased with them. Mr. Johnston evinces by his manners
and conversation and liberal sentiments that he has passed many of his
years in polished and refined circles. He told me he came to America
during the presidency of General Washington, whom he esteems it a
privilege to have seen at New York, in 1793. Having letters to Lord
Dorchester, he went into Canada, and through a series of vicissitudes,
finally settled at these falls about thirty years ago. In 1814, his
property was plundered by the Americans, through the false
representations of some low-minded persons, his neighbors and opponents
in trade, with no more patriotism than he; in consequence of which he
returned to Europe, and sold his patrimonial estate at "Craige," in the
north of Ireland, within a short distance of the Giant's Causeway, and
thus repaired, in part, his losses.

_26th_. Devoted to reading--a solid resource in the wilderness.

_27th_. Finished the perusal of Marshall's Washington, and took the
notes contained in memorandums P. and R. The first volume of this work
is intended as introductory, and contains the best recital of the
political history of the colonies which I have read. The other four
volumes embrace a wide mass of facts, but are rather diffuse and prolix,
considered as biography, A good life of Washington, which shall comprise
within a small compass all his prominent public and private acts, still
remains a desideratum.

_28th_. Our express returned this morning, bringing me New York papers
to the 11th of November. We are more than two months and a half behind
the current news of the day. We have Washington dates to the 9th of
November, but of course they convey nothing of the proceedings
of Congress.

_29th_. I read St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign" against the
Indians in 1791, and extracted the notes contained in memorandum A.A.
The causes of its failure are explained in a satisfactory manner, and
there is proof of Gen. St. Clair's vigilance and intrepidity.
Dissensions in his camp crippled the old general's power.

_30th_. I took up the subject of the Indian language, after an interval
of eight or nine days, and continued to transcribe into my vocabulary
until after the hour of midnight. It comprises now rising of fifteen
hundred words, including some synonyms.

_31st_. "_Totem_" is a word frequently heard in this quarter. In tracing
its origin, it is found to be a corruption of the Indian "_dodaim_,"
signifying family mark, or armorial bearing. The word appears to be a
derivative from _odanah_, a town or village. Hence _neen dodaim_, my
townsman, or kindred-mark. Affinity in families is thus kept up, as in
the feudal system, and the institution seems to be of some importance to
the several bands. They often appeal to their "totem," as if it were
a surname.

At three o'clock I went to dine at Col. Lawrence's. The party consisted
of Capts. Thompson and Beal, Lieuts. Barnum, Smith, Waite, and Griswold,
Mr. Johnston, Mr. Ermatinger and son, Dr. Foot and Mr. Siveright of the
H.B. House. In the evening the party adjourned to Mr. Johnston's.

_February 1st_. Transpositive languages, like the Indian, do not appear
to be well adapted to convey familiar, easy, flowing conversation. There
seems to be something cumbrous and stately in the utterance of their
long polysyllabic words, as if they could not readily be brought down to
the minute distinctions of every day family conversation. This may
arise, however, from a principle adverted to by Dr. Johnson, in speaking
of the ancient languages, in which he says "nothing is familiar," and by
the use of which "the writer conceals penury of thought and want of
novelty, often from the reader, and often from himself." The Indian
certainly has a very pompous way of expressing a common thought. He sets
about it with an array of prefix and suffix, and polysyllabic strength,
as if he were about to crush a cob-house with a crowbar.

_2d_. The languages of New Zealand, Tonga, and Malay have no declension
of nouns, nor conjugation of verbs. The purposes of declension are
answered by particles and prepositions. The distinctions of person,
tense, and mode are expressed by adverbs, pronouns, and other parts of
speech. This rigidity of the verb and noun is absolute, under every
order of arrangement, in which their words can be placed, and their
meaning is not helped out, by either prefixes or suffixes.

I read Plutarch's "Life of Marcellus," to observe whether it bore the
points of resemblance to Washington's military character, suggested
by Marshall.

_3d. Abad_ signifies abode, in Persian. _Abid_ denotes where he is, or
dwells, in Chippewa.

I refused, on an invitation of Mr. Ermatinger, to alter the resolution
formed on the seventh ultimo, as to _one_ mode of evening's amusement.

_4th_. A loud meteoric report, as if from the explosion of some aerial
body, was heard about noon this day. The sound seemed to proceed from
the south-west. It was attended with a prolonged, or rumbling sound, and
was generally heard. Popular surmise, which attempts to account for
everything, has been very busy in assigning the cause of this

A high degree of cold has recently been experienced. The thermometer
stood at 28° below zero at one o'clock this morning. It had risen to 18°
at day-break--being the greatest observed degree of cold during the
season. It did not exceed 4° above zero during any part of the day.

_5th_. A year ago to-day, a literary friend wrote to me to join him in
preparing a Gazetteer of the State of New York, to supplant Spafford's.
Of the latter, he expresses himself in the letter, which is now before
me, in unreserved terms of disapprobation. "It is wholly unworthy," he
says, "of public patronage, and would not stand in the way of a good
work of the kind; and such a one, I have the vanity to believe, our
joint efforts could produce. It would be a permanent work, with slight
alterations, as the State might undergo changes. My plan would be for
you to travel over the State, and make a complete geological,
mineralogical, and statistical survey of it, which would probably take
you a year or more. In the mean time, I would devote all my leisure to
the collection and arrangement of such other materials as we should need
in the compilation of the work. I doubt not we could obtain the prompt
assistance of the first men in the State, in furnishing all the
information required. Our State is rapidly increasing in wealth and
population, and I am full in the faith that such a work would sell well
in different parts of the country."

_6th_. I did nothing to-day, by which I mean that it was given up to
visiting and talking. It is Dr. Johnson, I think, who draws a
distinction between "_talk_ and conversation." It is necessary, however,
to assign a portion of time in this way. "A man that hath friends must
show himself _friendly_," is a Bible maxim.

_7th_. The garrison library was this morning removed from my office,
where it had been placed in my charge on the arrival of the troops in
July, the state of preparations in the cantonment being now sufficiently
advanced to admit its reception. A party of gentlemen from the British
garrison on Drummond Island came up on a visit, on snow shoes. The
distance is about 45 miles.

_8th_. I commenced reading Holmes on "The Fulfilment of the Revelation
of St. John," a London work of 1819. The author says "that his
explanation of the symbols is founded upon one fixed and universal
rule--that the interpretation of a symbol is ever maintained; that the
chronological succession of the seals, trumpets, and vials is strictly
preserved; and that the history contained under them is a uniform and
homogeneous history of the Roman empire, at once comprehensive and
complete."--Attended a dining-party at Mr. Johnston's.

_9th_. Continued the reading of Holmes, who is an energetic writer, and
appears to have looked closely into his subject. The least pleasing
trait in the work is a polemic spirit which is quite a clog to the
inquiry, especially to those who, like myself, have never read the
authors Faber, Cunningham, and Frere, whose interpretations he combats.
For a clergyman, he certainly handles them without gloves.

_10th_. The principal Indian chief of the vicinity, Shingabawossin, sent
to inquire of me the cause of the aerial explosion, heard on the 4th. At
four I went to dine with Mr. Ermatinger on the British shore.

_11th_. I did something, although, from the round of visiting and gayety
which, in consequence of our Drummond Isle visitors, has existed for a
few days, but little, at my vocabulary. At half-past four, I went to
dine with Lieutenants Morton and Folger in the cantonment. The party was
nearly the same which has assembled for a few days, in honor of the
foreign gentlemen with us. In the evening a large party, with dancing,
at Mr. Johnston's.

_12th_. I read Lord Erskine's Letter to Lord Liverpool on the policy to
be pursued by Great Britain in relation to Greece and Turkey. The
arguments and sentiments do equal credit to his head and heart, and
evince no less his judgment as a statesman, than they do his taste and
erudition as a scholar. This interesting and valuable letter breathes
the true sentiments of rational liberty, such as must be felt by the
great body of the English nation, and such as must, sooner or later,
prevail among the enlightened nations of the earth. How painful to
reflect that this able appeal will produce no favorable effect on the
British ministry, whose decision, it is to be feared, is already made in
favor of the "legitimacy" of the Turkish government!

At four o'clock, I laid by my employments, and went to dine at the
commanding officer's quarters, whence the party adjourned to a
handsomely arranged supper table at Capt. Beal's. The necessity of
complying with times and occasions, by accepting the current invitations
of the day, is an impediment to any system of intellectual employment;
and whatever the world may think of it, the time devoted to public
dinners and suppers, routs and parties, is little better than time
thrown away.

     "And yet the fate of all extremes is such;
      Books may be read, as well as men, too much."

_13th_. I re-perused Mackenzie's "History of the Fur Trade," to enable
me more fully to comprehend the allusions in a couple of volumes lately
put into my hands, on the "Disputes between Lord Selkirk and the North
West Company," and the "Report of Trials" for certain murders
perpetrated in the course of a strenuous contest for commercial mastery
in the country by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Finding an opportunity of sending north, I recollected that the
surveyors of our northern boundary were passing the winter at Fort
William, on the north shore of Lake Superior; and wrote to one of the
gentlemen, enclosing him some of our latest papers.

_14th_. The gentlemen from the neighboring British post left us this
morning. I devoted the day to my Indian inquiries.

_15th_. I commenced a vocabulary of conversation, in the Odjibwa.

_17th. Native Mythology_.--According to Indian mythology, _Weeng_ is the
God of sleep. He has numerous emissaries, who are armed with war clubs,
of a tiny and unseen character. These fairy agents ascend the forehead,
and knock the individual to sleep. Pope's creation of Gnomes, in the
Rape of the Lock, is here prefigured.

_18th_. It has been said that the Indian languages possess no
monosyllables. This remark is not borne out with regard to the Chippewa.
Marked as it is with polysyllables, there are a considerable number of
exceptions. _Koan_ is snow, _ais_ a shell, _mong_ a loon, _kaug_ a
porcupine, &c. The number of dissyllables is numerous, and of
trisyllables still more so. The Chippewa has no auxiliary verbs. The
Chippewa primitive pronouns are, Neen, Keen, and Ween (I, Thou, He or
She). They are rendered plural in _wind_ and _wau_. They are also
declined for tense, and thus, in the conjugation of verbs, take the
place of our auxiliary verbs.

_19th_. Resumed the perusal of Holmes on "Revelations." He establishes a
dictionary of symbols, which are universally interpreted. In this
system, a day signifies a natural year; a week seven years; a month
thirty years; a year a period of 360 years. The air means "church and
state;" waters, "peoples, multitudes, tongues;" seven, the number of
perfection; twelve, totality or all; hail storms, armies of northern
invaders. If the work were divested of its controversial character, it
would produce more effect. Agreeably to this author, the downfall of
Popery will take place about the year 1866.

_20th_. I read "Esprella's Letters on England," a work attributed to
Southey, whose object appears to have been to render English manners and
customs familiar in Spain, at a time when the intercourse between the
two countries had very much augmented, and their sympathies were drawn
together by the common struggle against Napoleon Bonaparte.

_21st_. I commenced "Valerius, a Roman Story." In the evening the
commanding officer (Col. L.) gave a party, in honor of Washington's
birthday. That the time might not be wholly anticipated, dancing was
introduced to give it wings, and continued until two o'clock of the
morning of (the actual birthday) the twenty-second.

_22d_. Finished "Valerius." This is an interesting novel on the Waverley
plan, and must certainly be considered a successful attempt to
familiarize the class of novel-readers with Roman history and Roman
domestic manners. The story turns on the persecution of the Christians
under Trajan. The expression "of a truth," which is so abundantly used
in the narrative, is a Scripture phrase, and is very properly put into
the mouth of a converted Roman. I cannot say as much for the word
"alongst" used for along. There are also some false epithets, as "drop,"
for run or flow, and "guesses" for conjectures. The only defect in the
plot, which occurs to me, is, that Valerius, after his escape with
Athanasia from Ostium, should have been landed safely in Britain, and
thus completed the happiness of a disconsolate and affectionate mother,
whom he left there, and who is never afterwards mentioned.

_23d_. From the mention which is made of it in "Valerius," I this day
read the Gospel of Luke, and truly am surprised to find it so very
important a part of the New Testament. Indeed, were all the rest of the
volume lost, this alone would be sufficient for the guidance of the
Christian. Divines tell us that Luke was the most learned of the
evangelists. He is called "the beloved physician," by St. Paul. His
style is more descriptive than the other evangelists, and his narrative
more clear, methodical, and precise, and abounds equally with sublime

[Footnote 31: This opinion was thrown out from mere impulse, on a single
perusal, and so far as it may be regarded as a literary criticism, the
only possible light in which it can be considered, is vaguely hazarded,
for I had not, at that time, read the other Gospels with any degree of
care or understanding, so as to be capable thereby of judging of their
style or merits as compositions. _Spiritually_ considered, I did not
understand Luke, or any of the Evangelists, for I regarded the Gospels
as mere human compositions, without the aid of inspiration. They were
deemed to be a true history of events, interspersed with moral axioms,
but derived no part of their value, or the admiration above expressed,
as revealing the only way of salvation through Christ.]

_24th_. Mr. Harman, from a long residence in the Indian country, in high
northern latitudes, was qualified by his opportunities of observation,
to speak of the comparative character of the Indian language in that
quarter. He considers them as radically different from those of the
Algonquin stock. The group which may be formed from his remarks, will
embrace the Chippewayans, Beaver Indians, Sicaunies, Tacullies, and
Nateotetains. If we may judge of this family of dialects by Mackenzie's
vocabulary of the Chippewayan, it is very remote from the Chippewa, and
abounds in those consonantal sounds which the latter studiously avoids.

Harman says, "The Sicaunies bury, while the Tacullies burn their dead."
"Instances of suicide, by hanging, frequently occur among the women of
all the tribes, with whom I have been acquainted; but the men are seldom
known to take away their own lives."

These Indians entertain the same opinions respecting the dress of the
dead, with the more southerly tribes. "Nothing," he says, "pleases an
Indian better than to see his deceased relative handsomely attired, for
he believes that they will arrive in the other world in the same dress
with which they are clad, when they are consigned to the grave."

_27th_. Our second express arrived at dusk, this evening, bringing
papers from the seaboard to the 14th of January, containing the
President's message, proceedings of Congress, and foreign news, up to
that date. A friend who is in Congress writes to me--"We go on slowly,
but so far very harmoniously, in Congress. The Red Jackets [32] are very
quiet, and I believe are very much disposed to cease their warfare
against Mr. Monroe, as they find the nation do not relish it."

[Footnote 32: Opponents of the then existing administration, who looked
to Gen. Cocke, of Tennessee, as a leader.]

Another friend at Washington writes (15th Dec.): "The message of the
President you will have seen ere this reaches you. It is thought very
well of here. He recommends the appointment of a Superintendent of the
Western Lead Mines, skilled in mineralogy. If Congress should make
provision for one, it is not to be doubted _who_ will receive the
situation. In fact, in a conversation a few days since with Mr. C., he
told me he had you particularly in view when he recommended it to the

_28th_. Wrote an application to the Postmaster General for the
appointment of S.B. Griswold as postmaster at this place.[33]

[Footnote 33: Mr. G. was appointed.]


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction of a northern
spring--News from the world--The Indian languages--Narrative
Journal--Semi-civilization of the ancient Aztec tribes--Their arts and
languages--Hill's ironical review of the "Transactions of the Royal
Society"--A test of modern civilization--Sugar making--Trip to one of
the camps--Geology of Manhattan Island--Ontwa, an Indian poem--Northern
ornithology--Dreams--The Indian apowa--Printed queries of General
Cass--Prospect of the mineral agency--Exploration of the St.
Peter's--Information on that head.

1823. _March 1st_. My reading hours, for the last few days, have been,
in great part, devoted to the newspapers. So long an exclusion from the
ordinary sources of information has the effect to increase the appetite
for this kind of intellectual food, and the circumstance probably leads
us to give up more time to it than we should were we not subject to
these periodical exclusions. The great point of interest is the
succession in the Presidential chair. Parties hinge upon this point.
Economy and retrenchment are talismanic words, used to affect the
populace, but used in reality only as means of affecting the balance of
party power. Messrs. Calhoun, Crawford, and Adams are the prominent
names which fill the papers.

There is danger that newspapers in America will too much supersede and
usurp the place of books, and lead to a superficial knowledge of things.
Gleaning the papers in search of that which is really useful, candid,
and fair seems too much like hunting for grains of wheat in a chaos
of chaff.

_3d_. Our third express went off this morning, freighted with our
letters, and, of course, with our reasons, our sentiments, our thanks,
our disappointments, our hopes, and our fears.

_6th_. I resumed the subject of the Indian language.

_Osánimun_ is the word for vermilion. This word is compounded from
_unimun_, or plant yielding a red dye, and _asawa_, yellow. The peculiar
color of yellow-red is thus indicated. _Bëizha_ is the neuter verb "to
come." This verb appears to remain rigid in its conjugation, the tenses
being indicated exclusively by inflections of the pronoun. Thus _nim
beizha, I_ come; _ningee peizha_, I came; _ninguh peizha_, I will come.
The pronoun alone is declined for past and future tense, namely _gee_
and _guh_.

There does not appear to be any definite article in the Chippewa
language. _Pazhik_ means one, or an. It may be doubtful whether the
former sense is not the exclusive one. _Ahow_ is this person in the
animate form. _Ihiw_ is the corresponding inanimate form. More care than
I have devoted may, however, be required to determine this matter.

Verbs, in the Chippewa, must agree in number and tense with the noun.
They must also agree in gender, that is, verbs animate must have nouns
animate. They must also have animate pronouns and animate adjectives.
Vitality, or the want of vitality, seems to be the distinction which the
inventors of the language, seized upon, to set up the great rules of
its syntax.

Verbs, in the Chippewa language, are converted into nouns by adding the
particle _win_.

_Kegido_, to speak. _Kegido-win,_ speech. This appears to be a general
rule. The only doubt I have felt is, whether the noun formed is so
purely elementary as not to partake of a participial character.

There are two plurals to express the word "we," one of which _includes_,
and the other _excludes_, the person addressed. Neither of these forms
is a dual.

_Os_ signifies father; _nos_ is my father; _kos_, thy father; _osun_,
his or her father. The vowel in this word is sounded like the _o_,
in note.

The language has two relative pronouns, which are much used--_awanan_,
who; and _wagonan_, what. The vowel _a_, in these words, is the sound of
_a_ in fate.

There are two classes of adjectives, one of which applies to animate,
the other to inanimate objects.

The Chippewa word for Sabbath is _animea geezhig_, and indicates
prayer-day. There is no evidence, from inquiry, that the Indians divided
their days into weeks. A moon was the measure of a month, but it is
questionable whether they had acquired sufficient exactitude in the
computation of time to have numbered the days comprehended in each
moon. The phases of the moon were accurately noted.

_8th_. Professor S., of Yale College, writes to me under this date,
enclosing opinions respecting my "Narrative Journal" of travels,
contained in a familiar private letter from D. Wadsworth, Esq., of
Hartford. They terminate with this remark: "All I regret about it (the
work) is, that it was not consistent with his plans to tell us more of
what might be considered the _domestic_ part of the expedition--the
character and conduct of those who were of the party, their health,
difficulties, opinions, and treatment of each other, &c. As his book was
a sort of official work, I suppose he thought it would not do, and I
wish now, he would give his friends (and let us be amongst them) a
manuscript of the particulars that are not for the public."

_17th. Semi-civilization of the Mexican Tribes_.--Nothing is more
manifest, on reading the "Conquest of Mexico" by De Solis, than that the
character and attainments of the ancient Mexicans are exalted far above
the reality, to enhance the fame of Cortez, and give an air of splendor
to the conquest. Superior as the Aztecs and some other tribes certainly
were, in many things, to the most advanced of the North American tribes,
they resemble the latter greatly, in their personal features, and mental
traits, and in several of their arts.

The first presents sent by Montezuma to Cortez were "cotton cloths,
plumes, bows, arrows and targets of wood, collars and rings of gold,
precious stones, ornaments of gold in the shape of animals, and two
round plates of the precious metals resembling the sun and moon."

The men had "rings in their ears and lips, which, though they were of
gold, were a deformity instead of an ornament."

"Canoes and periogues" of wood were their usual means of conveyance by
water. The "books" mentioned at p. 100, were well-dressed skins, dressed
like parchment, and, after receiving the paintings observed, were
accurately folded up, in squares or parallelograms.

The cacique of Zempoala, being the first dignitary who paid his respects
personally to Cortez on his entry into the town, is described, in
effect, as covered with a cotton blanket "flung over his naked body,
enriched with various jewels and pendants, which he also wore in his
ears and lips." This chief sent 200 men to carry the baggage of Cortez.

By the nearest route from St. Juan de Ulloa, the point of landing to
Mexico, it was sixty leagues, or about 180 miles. This journey
Montezuma's runners performed to and fro in seven days, being
thirty-five to thirty-six miles per day. No great speed certainly;
nothing to demand astonishment or excite incredulity.

Distance the Mexicans reckoned, like our Indians, by _time_, "A sun" was
a day's journey.

De Solis says, "One of the points of his embassy (alluding to Cortez),
and the principal motive which the king had to offer his friendship to
Montezuma, was the obligation Christian princes lay under to oppose the
errors of idolatry, and the desire he had to instruct him in the
knowledge of the truth, and to help him to get rid of the slavery of
the devil."

The empire of Mexico, according to this author, stretched "on the north
as far as Panuco, including that province, but was straitened
considerably by the mountains or hilly countries possessed by the
Chichimecas and Ottomies, a barbarous people."

I have thought, on reading this work, that there is room for a literary
essay, with something like this title: "Strictures on the Hyperbolical
Accounts of the Ancient Mexicans given by the Spanish Historians,"
deduced from a comparison of the condition of those tribes with the
Indians at the period of its settlement. Humboldt states that there are
twenty languages at present in Mexico, fourteen of which have grammars
and dictionaries tolerably complete. They are, Mexican or Aztec,
Otomite, Tarase, Zapatec, Mistec, Maye or Yucatan, Tatonac, Popolauc,
Matlazing, Huastec, Mixed, Caquiquel, Tarauma, Tepehuan, Cara.

_20th_. When the wind blows high, and the fine snow drifts, as it does
about the vernal equinox, in these latitudes, the Indians smilingly say,
"Ah! now Pup-puk-e-wiss is gathering his harvest," or words to this
effect. There is a mythological tale connected with it, which I
have sketched.

_21st_. I have amused myself in reading a rare old volume, just
presented to me, entitled "A Review of the Works of the Royal Society of
London, &c., by John Hill, M.D., London, 1751." It evinces an acute
mind, ready wit, and a general acquaintance with the subjects of
natural history, antiquities, and philosophical research, adverted to.
It is a racy work, which all modern naturalists, and modern discoverers
of secrets and inventions ought to read. I should think it must have
made some of the contributors to the "Transactions" of the Royal Society
wince in its day.

_22d_. Knowledge of foreign nations has increased most wonderfully in
our day, and is one of the best tests of civilization. Josaphat Barbaro
traveled into the East in 1436. He says of the Georgians, "They have the
most horrid manners, and the worst customs of any people I ever met
with." Surely this is vague enough for even the clerk who kept the
log-book of Henry Hudson. Such items as the following were deemed "food"
for books of travels in those days: "The people of Cathay, in China,
believe that they are the only people in the world who have two eyes. To
the Latins they allow _one_, and all the rest of the world none at all."

Marco Polo gives an account of a substance called "Andanicum," which he
states to be an _ore of steel_. In those days, when everything relating
to metallurgy and medicine was considered a secret, the populace did not
probably know that steel was an artificial production. Or the mineral
may have been sparry iron ore, which is readily converted into steel.

_26th_. It is now the season of making sugar from the rock maple by the
Indians and Canadians in this quarter. And it seems to be a business in
which almost every one is more or less interested. Winter has shown some
signs of relaxing its iron grasp, although the quantity of snow upon the
ground is still very great, and the streams appear to be as fast locked
in the embraces of frost as if it were the slumber of ages. Sleighs and
dog trains have been departing for the maple forests, in our
neighborhood, since about the 10th instant, until but few,
comparatively, of the resident inhabitants are left. Many buildings are
entirely deserted and closed, and all are more or less thinned of their
inhabitants. It is also the general season of sugar-making with
the Indians.

I joined a party in visiting one of the camps. We had several carioles
in company, and went down the river about eight or nine miles to Mrs.
Johnston's camp. The party consisted of several officers and ladies from
the fort, Captain Thompson [34] and lady, Lieutenant Bicker and lady and
sister, the Miss Johnstons and Lieutenants Smith [35] and Folger. We
pursued the river on the ice the greater part of the way, and then
proceeded inland about a mile. We found a large temporary building,
surrounded with piles of ready split wood for keeping a fire under the
kettles, and large ox hides arranged in such a manner as to serve as
vats for collecting the sap. About twenty kettles were boiling over an
elongated central fire.

[Footnote 34: Killed in Florida, at the battle of Okechobbee, as Lt. Col.
of the 6th U.S. Infantry.]

[Footnote 35: Died at Vera Cruz, Mexico, as Quarter-Master U.S.A.]

The whole air of the place resembled that of a manufactory. The custom
on these occasions is to make up a pic-nic, in which each one
contributes something in the way of cold viands or refreshments.

The principal amusement consisted in pulling candy, and eating the sugar
in every form. Having done this, and received the hospitalities of our
hostess, we tackled up our teams, and pursued our way back to the fort,
having narrowly escaped breaking through the river at one or two points.

_27th_. I received a letter of this date from G.W. Rodgers, a gentleman
of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in behalf of himself and associates,
proposing a number of queries respecting the copper-yielding region of
Lake Superior, and the requisites and prospects of an expedition for
obtaining the metal from the Indians. Wrote to him adversely to the
project at this time. Doubtless the plan is feasible, but the Indians
are at present the sole owners and occupants of the metalliferous

_28th. Dies natalis_.--A friend editing a paper on the seaboard writes
(10 Jan. 1822)--"I wish you to give me an article on the geology and
mineralogy of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letter purporting to be
given by a foreign traveler. It is my intention to give a series of
letters, partly by myself and partly by others, which shall take notice
of everything in and about the city, which may be deemed interesting. I
wish to begin at the foundation, by giving a geographical and geological
sketch of the island." [36] He continues:--

[Footnote 36: Furnished the article, as desired, under the signature of
"Germanicus." _Vide_ "N.Y. Statesman."]

"I have read Ontwa, the Indian poem you spoke of last summer. The notes
by Gov. Cass are extremely interesting, and written in a superior style.
I shall notice the work in a few days." "I inform you, in confidence,
that M.E., of this city, is preparing a notice of your 'Journal' for the
next number of the _Repository_, which will appear on the first of
next month."

_29th_. Novelty has the greatest attraction for the human mind. There is
such a charm in novelty, says Dr. John Mason Good, that it often leads
us captive in spite of the most glaring errors, and intoxicates the
judgment as fatally as the cup of Circe. But is not variety at hand to
contest the palm?

"The great source of pleasure," observes Dr. Johnson, "is variety.
Uniformity must tire at last, though it be uniformity of excellence."

_April 1st_. The ice and snow begin to be burthensome to the eye. We
were reconciled to winter, when it was the season of winter; but now our
longing eyes are cast to the south, and we are anxious for the time when
we can say, "Lo, the winter is past, the flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is
heard in our land."

The Chippewas have quite a poetic allegory of winter and spring,
personified by an old and a young man, who came from opposite points of
the world, to pass a night together and boast of their respective
powers. Winter blew his breath, and the streams were covered with ice.
Spring blew his breath, and the land was covered with flowers. The old
man is finally conquered, and vanishes into "thin air."

_2d_. We talked to-day of dreams. Dreams are often talked about, and
have been often written about. But the subject is usually left where it
was taken up. Herodotus says, "Dreams in general originate from those
incidents which have most occupied the thoughts during the day." Locke
betters the matter but little, by saying, "The dreams of sleeping men
are all made up of waking men's ideas, though, for the most part, oddly
put together." Solomon's idea of "the multitude of business" is
embraced in this.

Sacred dreams were something by themselves. God chose in ancient times
to communicate with the prophets in dreams and visions. But there is a
very strong and clear line of distinction drawn on this subject in the
23d of Jeremiah, from the 25th to the 28th verses. "He that hath a
dream, let him tell a dream, and he that hath my word let him speak my
word." The sacred and the profane, or idle dream, are likened as
"chaff" to "wheat."

The Indians, in this quarter, are very much besotted and spell-bound, as
it were, by dreams. Their whole lives are rendered a perfect scene of
doubts and fears and terrors by them. Their jugglers are both dreamers
and dream interpreters. If the "prince of the power of the air" has any
one hold upon them more sure and fast than another, it seems to be in
their blind and implicit reliance upon dreams. There is, however, with
them a sacred dream, distinct from common dreams. It is called

I have had before me, during a considerable part of the season, a
pamphlet of printed queries respecting the Indians and their languages,
put into my hands by Gov. C. when passing through Detroit in the summer.
Leaving to others the subjects connected with history and traditions,
&c., I have attempted an analysis of the language. Reading has been
resorted to as a refreshment from study. I used to read to gratify
excitement, but I find the chief pleasure of my present reading is more
and more turning to the acquisition and treasuring up of facts. This
principle is probably all that sustains and renders pleasurable the
inquiry into the Indian language.

One of the printed queries before me is, "Do they (the Indians) believe
in ghosts?" I believe all ignorant and superstitious nations believe in
apparitions. It seems to be one of the most natural consequences of
ignorance; and we have seen, in the history of wise and learned men,
that it requires a high intellectual effort to shake this belief out of
the mind. If God possessed no other way of communicating with the
living, it is reasonable to believe that he would send dead men, or dead
men's souls. And this is the precise situation of the only well
authenticated account we have, namely, that of Saul at Endor [_vide_ 1st
Samuel, 7th to 15th verses]. The Chippewas are apt to connect all their
ghost stories with fire. A lighted fire on the grave has a strong
connection with this idea, as if they deemed some mysterious analogy to
exist between spirituality and fire. Their name for ghost is _Jeebi_, a
word rendered plural in _ug_. Without nice attention, this word will be
pronounced _Chebi_, or _Tchebi_.

Another is as follows: "Do they use any words equivalent to our habit of
swearing?" Many things the Indians may be accused of, but of the
practice of swearing they cannot. I have made many inquiries into the
state of their vocabulary, and do not, as yet, find any word which is
more bitter or reproachful than _matchi annemoash_, which indicates
simply, bad-dog. Many of their nouns have, however, adjective
inflections, by which they are rendered derogative. They have terms to
indicate cheat, liar, thief, murderer, coward, fool, lazy man, drunkard,
babbler. But I have never heard of an imprecation or oath. The genius of
the language does not seem to favor the formation of terms to be used in
oaths or for purposes of profanity. It is the result of the observation
of others, as well as my own, to say, that an Indian cannot curse.

_31st_. The ornithology of the north is very limited in the winter. We
have the white owl, the Canada jay, and some small species of
woodpeckers. I have known the white partridge, or ptermigan, to wander
thus far south. This bird is feathered to the toes. There are days when
the snow-bird appears. There is a species of duck, the _shingebis_, that
remains very late in the fall, and another, the _ä-ä-wa,_ that comes
very early in the spring.

The _T. polyglottis_, or buffoon-bird, is never found north of 46° N.
latitude in the summer. This bird pours forth all sorts of notes in a
short space of time, without any apparent order. The thrush, the wren,
the jay, and the robin are imitated in as short a time as it takes to
write these words.

_7th_. During severe winters, in the north, some species of birds extend
their migrations farther south than usual. This appears to have been the
case during the present season. A small bird, yellowish and cinereous,
of the grosbec species, appeared this day in the neighborhood of one of
the sugar-camps on the river below, and was shot with an arrow by an
Indian boy, who brought it up to me. The Chippewas call it
_Pashcundamo_, in allusion to the stoutness of its bill, and consequent
capacity for breaking surfaces.[37]

[Footnote 37: This specimen was sent to the New York Lyceum, where it was
determined to be an undescribed species, and named _Fringilia
vespertina_, or evening grosbec.]

_8th_. The ice on the river still admits of the passage of horse trains,
and the night temperature is quite wintry, although the power of the
sun begins to be sensibly felt during the middle and after part of
the day.

_9th_. A friend recently at Washington writes from Detroit under the
date of the 12th March: "A proposition was submitted to a committee of
the Senate, soon after my arrival in the city, by the Secretary of War,
for the establishment of the office of Superintendent of Mines. To this
office, had the project been carried into execution, you would have been
appointed. But shortly before I left there, it was thought more
expedient to sell all the mines than to retain them in the hands of the
government. Of course, if this plan be adopted, as I think it will be,
the other will be superseded." Here, then, drops a project, which I had
conceived at Potosi, and which has been before my mind for some four
years, and which I am still satisfied might have been carried through
Congress, had I given my personal attention to the subject, during the
present session. I have supposed myself more peculiarly qualified to
fill the station indicated, than the one I now occupy. And I accepted
the present office under the expectation that it would be temporary.
When once a project of this kind, however, is superseded in the way this
has been, it is like raising the dead to bring it up again; and it is
therefore probable that my destiny is now fixed in the North-West
instead of the South-West, for a number of years. I thought I had read
Franklin's maxims to some purpose; but I now see that, although I have
observed one of them in nine cases, I missed it in the tenth:--

     "He that by the plough would thrive,
      Himself must either hold, or drive."

I trusted, in the fall, that I could safely look on, and see this matter

As to the mines, they will still require a local superintendent. They
cannot be sold until there are some persons to buy, and it is not
probable such extensive tracts of barren lands can be disposed of in
years. Meantime, the rents of the mines are an object. The preservation
of the public timber is an object. And the duties connected with these
objects cannot be performed, with justice to the government, and
convenience to the lessees, without a local agent. In proportion as some
of the districts of mineral lands are sold, others will claim
attention; and it _may be_, and most probably _will be_, years before
the intention of Congress, if expressed by law, can be fully carried
into effect.

Life has more than one point of resemblance to a panorama. When one
object is past, another is brought to view. The same correspondent adds:
"Mr. Calhoun has come to the determination to authorize you to explore
the River St. Peter's this season. I think you may safely make the
necessary arrangements, as I feel confident the instructions will reach
you soon after the opening of the navigation."

In consequence of this intimation, I have been casting about to find
some authors who treat of the region of country which embraces the St.
Peter's, but with little success. Hennipin's "Discovery of a large
Country in the Northern America, extending above Four Thousand Miles," I
have read with care. But care indeed it requires to separate truth from
error, both in his descriptions and opinions. He thinks "Japan a part of
the American Continent;" and describes the Wisconsin as "navigable for
large vessels above one hundred leagues." Yet, notwithstanding this
gross hyberbole, he describes the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin
at "half a league," which is within the actual distance. It may be
admitted that he was within the Sioux country, and went up the
Mississippi as high as the St. Francis.

La Hontan, whose travels were published in London only a few years after
the translation of Hennipin's, is entitled, it is believed, to no credit
whatever, for all he relates of personal discoveries on the Mississippi.
His fiction of observations on "River La Long," is quite preposterous. I
once thought he had been as far as Prairie du Chien; but think it more
probable he never went beyond Green Bay.

Carver, who went from Boston to the Mississippi in the latter part of
the 18th century, is not an author to glean much from. I, however,
re-perused his volume carefully, and extracted notes. Some of the
stories inserted in his work have thrown an air of discredit over it,
and caused the whole work to be regarded in rather an apocryphal light.
I think there is internal evidence enough in his narrative to prove that
he visited the chief portions of country described. But he probably
neglected to keep diurnal notes. When in London, starvation stared him
in the face. Those in office to whom he represented his plans probably
listened to him awhile, and afterwards lost sight of, or neglected him.
He naturally fell into the hands of the booksellers, who deemed him a
good subject to get a book from. But his original journal did not
probably afford matter enough, in point of bulk. In this exigency, the
old French and English authors appear to have been drawn upon; and
probably their works contributed by far the larger part of the volume
after the 114th page (Philadelphia ed. 1796), which concludes the
"Journal." I think it questionable whether some literary hack was not
employed, by the booksellers, to draw up the part of the work "On the
origin, manners, customs, religion, and language of the Indians."
Considerable portions of the matter are nearly verbatim in the language
of Charlevoix, La Hontan, and other authors of previous date. The
"vocabulary of Chippewa," so far as it is Chippewa at all, has the
French or a mixed orthography, which it is not probable that an
Englishman or an American would, _de novo_, employ. CHAPTER XVIII.

Rapid advance of spring--Troops commence a stockade--Principles of the
Chippewa tongue--Idea of a new language containing the native principles
of syntax, with a monosyllabic method--Indian standard of
value--Archaeological evidences in growing trees--Mount Vernon--Signs of
spring in the appearance of birds--Expedition to St. Peter's--Lake
Superior open--A peculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson--True
sounds of the consonants--Philology--Advent of the arrival of a
vessel.--Editors and editorials--Arrival from Fort William--A hope
fled--Sudden completion of the spring, and ushering in of
summer--Odjibwa language, and transmission of Inquiries.

1823. _April 12th_. Spring is gradually advancing. The deepened roar of
the rapids indicates an increased volume of water. The state of the ice
is so bad this day that no persons have ventured to cross the river.
Yesterday, they still crossed. The bare ground begins to show itself in
spots; but the body of snow is still deep in the woods.

_14th_. The _T. migratorius_ or robin made its appearance. The Indians
have a pretty tale of the origin of this bird and its fondness for
domestic scenes.

_16th_. Gray duck appeared in the rapids.

_17th_. Large portions of the ground are now laid bare by the sun.

_18th_. A friend at New York, about to sail for Europe, writes me under
this date: "I expect to sail for St. Petersburgh. I shall take with me
some of our choicest specimens, in return for which I hope to procure
something new and interesting. The truth is, we know very little of the
mineralogy of Russia, and hence such specimens as can be procured will
almost necessarily prove interesting."

"The Lyceum is about to publish its proceedings. The members are
increasing in numbers and activity. It has been recently agreed that
there shall be at least one paper read at every meeting; this will
ensure attention, and much increase the interest of the meetings. I hope
you may, before long, be able to add your personal attendance."

"I feel it my duty to inform you that the minerals intrusted to my care
are situated in every respect as when left by you; they are, of course,
entirely dependent upon any order you may give concerning them. I do not
think it necessary that you should make any _immediate_ provision for
them, or that there is any cause for uneasiness on their account." [38]

[Footnote 38: Notwithstanding, the collection of specimens referred to
was afterwards most sadly dealt with, and pillaged of its choicest

_19th_. The troops began to set up the pickets of a stockade or fort, to
which the name of "Brady" is given, in allusion to Col. Hugh Brady,
U.S.A. The first canoe crossed the river to-day, although the ice still
lines each shore of the river for several hundred yards in width.

_20th. S_. My sister Maria writes to me: "I fancy, by the description
you have given of your residence and society at the Sault, that you have
enjoyed yourself, and seen as much of the refinements of civilized life
as you would have done in many places less remote. Who have you at the
Sault that writes such pretty poetry? The piece I refer to is signed
Alexina,[39] and is a death-song of an Indian woman at the grave of her
murdered husband."

[Footnote 39: Mrs. Thompson.]

_22d_. One of the principal objections to be urged against the Indian
languages, considered as media of communication, is their cumbrousness.
There is certainly a great deal of verbiage and tautology about them.
The paucity of terms leads not only to the use of figures and metaphors,
but is the cause of circumlocution. This day we had a snow storm.

The Chippewa is, in its structure, what is denominated by Mr. Du Ponceau
"polysynthetic." It seems the farthest removed possible from the
monosyllabic class of languages. I have thought that, if some of its
grammatical principles could be applied to monosyllables, a new language
of great brevity, terseness, regularity, and poetic expressiveness,
might be formed. It would be necessary to restore to its alphabet the
consonants _f, l_, and _r_, and _v_. Its primitive pronouns might be
retained, with simple inflections, instead of compound, for plural. It
would be necessary to invent a pronoun for _she_, as there is,
apparently, nothing of this kind in the language. The pronouns might
take the following form:--

Ni, _I_. Nid, _We_. Niwin, _Myself_. Niwind, _Ourselves_.

Ki, _Thou_. Kid, _Ye_ or _you_. Kiwin, _Thyself_. Kiwind, _Yourselves_.

Wi, _He_. Wid, _They_. Masculine. Wiwin, _Yourselves_. (Mas.) Wiwind.

Si, _She_. Sid, _They_. Feminine. Siwin, _Yourselves_. (Fem.) Siwind.


Ni, Nin, Nee--_I, Mine, Me_. Nid, Nida, Nidim--_We, Us, Ours_.

Ki, Kin, Kee--_Thou, Thine, Thee_. Kid, Kida, Kidim--_Ye, You, Yours.
_ Wi, Win, Wee--_Him, His, His_. Wid, Wida, Widim--_They, Their_, _Theirs_. (Mas.)

Si, Sin, See--_Her, Hers, Hers_. Sid, Sida, Sidim--_They, Their, Theirs_.

The full meaning of the present class of verbs and substantives of the
language could be advantageously transferred to the first, or second, or
third syllable of the words, converting them into monosyllables. The
plural might be uniformly made in _d_, following a vowel, and if a word
terminate in a consonant, then in _ad_. So the class of plural
terminations would be _ad, ed, id, od, ud_. Many generic nouns would
require to be invented, and could easily be drawn from existing roots.
In the orthography of these, the initial consonant of the corresponding
English word might serve as an index, Thus, from the word _aindum_,
mind, might be derived,

Ain, _Mind_. Sain, _Sorrow_.

Tain, _Thought_. Jain, _Joy_, &c.

Main, _Meditation_.

So from _taibwawin_, truth, might be drawn _taib_, truth--_faib_,
faith--_raib_, religion--_vaib_, virtue. A principle of euphony, or
affinity of syllabication, might be applied in the abbreviation of a few
of this class of generic words: as _Eo_, God, from _monedo_.


In, _Man_. Ind, _Men_.

Ee, _Woman_. Eed, _Women_.

Ab, _Child_. Abad, _Children_.

Kwi, _Boy_. Kwid, _Boys_.

Kwa, _Girl_. Kwad, _Girls_.

Os, _Father_. Osad, _Fathers_.

Gai, _Mother_. Gaid, _Mothers_.

All the existing monosyllables of the language would be retained, but
subjected to new laws of construction and concordance. Thus the plural
of _Koan_, snow, would be _koanad; of ais_, shell, _aisad; moaz, moas,
moazad_, &c. Variety in the production of sounds, and of proper cadences
in composition, might dictate retention of a certain class of the
dissyllables--as _ossin_ a stone, _opin_ a potato, _akki_ earth, _mejim_
food, _assub_ a net, _aubo_ a liquid, _mittig _ a tree, &c., the plurals
of which would be _assinad, opinad, akkid, mejimad, assubad, aubad,
mittigad_. Every substantive would have a diminutive form in _is_, and
an augmentative in _chi_, the vowel of the latter to be dropped where a
vowel begins the word. Thus, _chab_, a grandchild; _chigai_, a
grandmother. _Inis_, a little man; _osis_, a little father, &c.

Adjectives would come under the same rules of abbreviation as nouns and
verbs. They would be deprived of their present accidents of number
and gender.

Min, _Good_. Koona, _Ugly_.

Mon, _Bad_. Soan, _Strong_.

Bish, _Handsome_.

The colors, seasons, cardinal points, &c., would consist of the first
syllable of the present words.

The demonstrative pronouns, _this, that, there, those_, would take the
following forms: _Mau_, this; _aho_, that. By adding the common plural,
the terms for _these_ and _those_ would be produced: _Maud_, these;
_ahod_, those.

The prepositions would fall naturally under the rule of abbreviation
applied to nouns, &c. _Chi_, by; _peen_, in; _kish_, if, &c.; _li_, of;
_ra_, to; _vi_, is; _af_, at.

_Ieau_ is the verb _to be_. The auxiliary verbs, _have, shall, will_,
&c., taken from the tensal particles, are _ge, gu, gei, go, ga_.

_Pa_ may stand for the definite article, being the first syllable of
_pazhik_; and a _comma_ for the indefinite article.

_Ie_ is matter. _Ishi_, heaven.


Ni sa Eo--_I love God_.
Eo vi min--_The Lord is good_.
Nin os ge pa min in--_My father was a good man_.
Ishiod (Isheod)--_The heavens_.

Thus a new language might be formed.

_24th_. The standard of value with the Indians is various. At this
place, a beaver skin is the standard of computation in accounts. When an
Indian has made a purchase, he inquires, not how many dollars, but how
many beaver skins he owes. Farther south, where racoon skins are plenty,
_they_ become the standard. Some years ago, desertion became so frequent
at Chicago and other posts, that the commanding officer offered the
customary reward to the Indians of the post, if they would secure the
deserters. Five persons went in pursuit, and brought in the men, for
which they received a certificate for the amount. They then divided the
sum into five equal shares, and subdivided each share into its value in
racoon skins. It was not until this division was completed, and the
number of skins ascertained, that they could, by any fixed standard of
comparison, determine the reward which each had received.

_25th_. It is stated in the newspapers that hacks of an axe were lately
found in the central and solid parts of a large tree near Buffalo, which
were supposed to have been made by La Salle's party. Other evidences of
the early footsteps of Europeans on this continent have been mentioned.
A trammel was found in the solid substance of a tree in Onondaga. A gun
barrel in a similar position in the Wabash Valley.[40] Growing wood soon
closes over articles left upon it, in the wilderness, where they are
long undisturbed.

[Footnote 40: Hon. R.W. Thompson.]

_27th. Monedo_ is strictly a term belonging to the Indian mythology and
necromancy, and is constantly used to indicate a spirit. It has not the
regular termination of the noun in _win_, and seems rather verbal in its
aspect, and so far as we can decipher its meaning, _mon_ is a syllable
having a bad meaning generally, as in _monaudud_, &c. _Edo_ may possibly
be a derivation from _ekedo_, he speaks.

_28th_. It is a year ago to-day since I visited the tomb of Washington,
at Mount Vernon. There were three representatives in Congress, in
company. We left the city of Washington in the morning, in a private
carriage, and drove down in good season. I looked about the tomb
narrowly for some memento to bring away, and found some mineralogical
fragments on the small mound over the tomb, which would bear the
application of their book names. On coming back through Alexandria, we
dined at a public hotel, where, among other productions of the season,
we had cucumbers. What a contrast in climate to my present position!
Here, as the eyes search the fields, heaps of snow are still seen in
shaded situations, and the ice still disfigures the bays and
indentations of the shore in some places, as if it were animated with a
determination to hold out against the power of the sun to the utmost.
Nature, however, indicates its great vernal throe. White fish were first
taken during the season, this day, which is rare.

_29th_. A friend at Detroit writes under this date: "I had expected that
before now, instructions would have reached here requiring you to repair
to the St. Peter's. But as the season advances, and they do not arrive,
I begin to fear that one of those mutations, to which of all governments
upon this _mundane sphere_ ours is the most exposed, has changed the
intended disposition."

_May 1st_. Winter still holds its grasp upon the ice in the lower part
of the river and straits.

The _Claytonia Virginica_ observed in flower in favorable spots.

The bay opposite the fort on the north-west shore cleared of ice on the
2d, being the first day that the river has exhibited the appearance of
being completely clear, a strong north-west wind blowing. It is just
four months and ten days from the period of its final closing on the 22d
of December.

The yellow sparrow, or boblinkin, appeared this day in the woods.

_4th_. The surface of the earth is undergoing a rapid transformation,
although we are, at the same time, led to observe, that "winter
lingering chills the lap of May." Sudden changes of temperature are
experienced, which are governed very much by the course and changes of
the wind. Nature appears suddenly to have been awakened from her
torpid state.

All eyes are now directed to the east, not because _the sun rises
there_, but it is the course from which, in our position, we expect
intelligence by vessels. We expect a deliverance from our winter's

_6th_. Lake Superior appears to be entirely open. A gentleman attached
to the Boundary Survey at Fort William writes to me, under this date,
that the bay at that place is free from ice, so as to permit them to
resume their operations. They had been waiting for this occurrence for
two weeks previously.

_8th_. It is a year since I received from the President (Mr. Monroe) a
commission as agent for these tribes; and it is now more probable than
it then was that my residence here may assume a character of permanency.
I do not, however, cease to hope that Providence has a more eligible
situation in reserve for me.

_9th_. "Little things," says Dr. Johnson, "are not valued, when they are
done by those who cannot do greater." Thomas Jefferson uniformly spelled
knowledge without a _w_, which might not be mentioned, had he not
written the _Notes on Virginia_, and the _Declaration of Independence_.

_10th_. A trader proceeded with a boat into Lake Superior, which gives
assurance that this great inland sea is open for navigation. White fish
appeared in the rapids, which it is said they never do while there is
running ice.

_11th_. Stearn sums up the points requisite for remembrance by
posterity, in these four things--"Plant a tree, write a book, build a
house, and get a child." Watts has a deeper tone of morality when
he says--

     "We should leave our _names_, our heirs.
      Old time and waning moons sweep all the rest away."

_12th_. When last at Washington, Dr. Thornton, of the Patent Office,
detained me some time talking of the powers of the letters of the
English alphabet. He drew a strong line of distinction between the
_names_ and the _sounds_ of the consonants. _L_, for instance, called
_el_, was sounded _le_, &c.

Philology is one of the keys of knowledge which, I think, admits of its
being said that, although it is rather rusty, the rust is, however, a
proof of its antiquity. I am inclined to think that more true light is
destined to be thrown on the history of the Indians by a study of their
languages than of their traditions, or any other feature.

The tendency of modern inquiries into languages seems rather to have
been to multiply than to simplify. I do not believe we have more than
three mother stocks of languages in all the United States east of the
Mississippi, embracing also large portions of territory west of it,
namely, the Algonquin, Iroquois, and what may be called Apallachian.
Perhaps a little Dakota.

_15th_. Our first vessel for the season arrived this day. If by a
patient series of inquiries, during the winter, we had calculated the
appearance of a comet, and found our data verified by its actual
appearance, it could not be a subject of deeper interest than the
bringing ashore of the ship's mail. Had we not gone to so remote a
position, we could not possibly ever have become aware how deeply we are
indebted to the genius and discoveries of Cadmus and Faust, whose true
worshippers are the corps editorial. Now for a carnival of letters.

Reading, reading, reading, "Big and small, scraps and all."

If editors of newspapers knew the avidity with which their articles are
read by persons isolated as we are, I have the charity to believe they
would devote a little more time, and exert a little more candor, in
penning them. For, after all, how large a portion of all that a
newspaper contains is, at least to remote readers, "flat, stale, and
unprofitable." The mind soon reacts, and asks if this be valuable news.

I observed the _Erythronium dens canis_, and _Panax trifolium_ appeared
in flower on the 25th.

_28th_. The schooner "Recovery" arrived from Fort William on the north
shore of Lake Superior, bringing letters and despatches, political and
commercial. Mr. Siveright, the agent of the H. B. C., kindly sent over
to me, for my perusal, a letter of intelligence from an American
gentleman in the North.

_29th_. I have, for some time, relinquished the expectation of being
selected to conduct the exploring party, intended to be ordered by
government, into the region of the St. Peter's, at least the present
season. A letter of this date terminates the uncertainty. "Major
Delafield," says a correspondent, "informs me that an exploring party
has been ordered under Major Long, to make the tour which was intended
for you. Why this arrangement has been made, and the original plan
abandoned, I cannot conjecture, unless it resulted from the necessity of
placing a military officer at the head of the party. I presume this was
the fact, for I am certain that the change in the project did not arise
from any feeling in Mr. C.'s mind unfriendly, or even indifferent to
you. Upon that subject I can speak definitely, and say to you, that you
have a hold upon his esteem, not to be shaken." Thus falls another
cherished hope, namely, that of leading an expedition to the North.

_30th_. Minute particulars are often indicative of general changes. This
is the first day that the mosquito has appeared. The weather for a few
days has been warm. Vegetation suddenly put forth; the wild cherry, &c.,
is now in bloom, and gardening has commenced with fine prospects.

_31st. Odjibwa language_.--There are two generic words in the concrete
forms of the Chippewa for water or a liquid, in addition to the common
term _neebi_. They are _aubo_ and _gomee_. Both are manifestly
compounds, but, in our present state of knowledge, they may be
temporarily considered as elements of other compounds. Thus, if the
letter _n_ be prefixed to the former, and the sound of _b_ suffixed, the
result is the term for soup, _nabob_. If to the same element of _aubo_,
the word for fire, _iscoda_, be prefixed, the result is their name for
ardent spirits, _iscodawabo_, literally fire-water. In the latter case,
the letter _w_ is thrown in as a coalescent between the sound of a, as
_a_ in hate; and the a, as _a_ in fall. This is out of a mere regard
to euphony.

"If they (the Chippewas) say 'A man loves me,' or 'I love a man,' is
there any variation in the word _man_?" They do not use the word _man_
in either of these instances. The adjective _white_ takes the animate
pronoun form in _iz zi_, by which the object beloved is indicated,
_waub-ishk-iz-ze_ Saugiau.

"Does the object precede or follow the verb?" Generally, it precedes the
verb. Fish, have you any? not, Have you any fish?

The substantive preceded the verb in the organization of the language.
Things were before the motion of things, or the acts or passions of men
which led to motion and emotion. Hence, all substances are changed into
and used as verbs.

I this day completed and transmitted the results of my philological
inquiries, hoping they might prove acceptable to the distinguished
individual to whom they were addressed, and help to advance the subject.
This subject is only laid aside by the call of business, and to be
effectual must be again resumed with the recurrence of our long
winter evenings.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823--Glance at the geography
of the lake country--Concretion of aluminous earth--General Wayne's body
naturally embalmed by this property of the soil of Erie--Free and easy
manners--Boundary Survey--An old friend--Western commerce--The Austins
of Texas memory--Collision of civil and military power--Advantages of a
visit to Europe.

1823. _June 10th_. Mr. Thomas Tousey, of Virginia, writes from
Philadelphia, after completing a tour to the West: "The reading of books
and looking at maps make a fugitive impression on the mind, compared to
the ocular view and examination of a country, which make it seem as
though we cannot obtain valuable information, or money to serve a
valuable purpose, without great personal labor, fatigue, and often
danger. This was much verified to my satisfaction, from a view of the
great western lakes; the interesting position where you are--Mackinaw,
Green Bay, the fine country between Green Bay and Chicago, and Chicago
itself, and the whole country between the latter place and St. Louis.

"Without seeing that country, supposed by many to be the region of cold
and sterility, I could not have believed there was in it such a store of
blessings yet to be drawn forth by the labor and enterprise of man, for
succeeding generations. As yet, there are too many objects to tempt and
attract the avarice of man to more mild, but more dangerous climates.
But the progress of population and improvement is certain in many parts
of the country, and with them will be connected prosperity and

When it is considered what a small population of civilized beings
inhabit that part of the world, it is not to be wondered at that so
little knowledge about it exists. I went from Green Bay, with the
Express, where but few people ever travel, which was attended with
fatigue and danger; but the journey produced this conviction on my mind,
that the Michigan Territory has in it a great extent of fine country.

I regard Green Bay, at the mouth of Fox River, and Chicago, as two
very important positions, particularly the latter. For many years I have
felt a most anxious desire to see the country between Chicago and the
Illinois (River), where it has generally been, ignorantly, supposed that
only a small sum would be wanting to open a communication between them.
By traveling on horseback through the country, and down the Illinois, I
have conceived a different and more exalted opinion of this
communication, and of the country, than I had before, while I am
convinced that it will be attended with a much greater expense to open
it than I had supposed.[41]

[Footnote 41: The Illinois Canal now exists here.]

I, with my two companions, found your fossil tree, in the Des Plaines,
with considerable labor and difficulty. This I anticipated, from the
commonly reputed opinion of the uncommon height of the waters. With your
memoir in my hand, we rode up and down the waters till the pursuit was
abandoned by the others, while my own curiosity and zeal did not yield
till it was discovered. The detached pieces were covered with twelve to
twenty inches of water, and each of us broke from them as much as we
could well bring away. I showed them to Col. Benton, the Senator in St.
Louis; to Major O'Fallon; Col. Strother, and other gentlemen there; to
Mr. Birkbeck in Wanboro'; to Mr. Rapp in Harmony; and to a number of
different people, through the countries I traveled, till my arrival
in Virginia.

"On my arrival here (Philadelphia), I handed the pieces to Mr. Solomon
W. Conrad, who delivers lectures on mineralogy, which he made partly the
subject of one of his lectures. Since that, I had a piece of it made
into a hone, and I had marked on it, 'Schoolcraft's Fossil Tree.'

"Brooke's _Gazetteer_, improved by Darby, has been ready for delivery
three or four months, and is allowed to be a most valuable book. He is,
I am sorry to say, truly poor, while his labor is incessant. He set out,
several weeks since, to deliver lectures, in the country, where he will
probably continue through the summer."

_16th_. J. D. Doty, Esq., writes from Detroit that a District Court has
been established by Congress in the upper country--that he has been
appointed to the judgeship, and will hold a court at Michilimackinack,
on the third Monday in July. A beginning has thus been made in civil
jurisdiction among us benighted dwellers on this far-off land of God's
creation. He states, also, the passage of a law for claimants to lands,
which have been occupied since 1812. Where law goes, civilization will
soon follow.

_23d_. Giles Sanford, of Erie (Penn.), sends me some curious specimens
of the concrete alum-slate of that vicinity--they are columnar,
fan-shaped--and requests a description. It is well known that the
presence of strong aluminous liquids in the soil of that area had a
tendency to preserve the flesh on General Wayne's body, which was found
undecayed when, after twenty years' burial, they removed it to Radnor
church, in Philadelphia.

_28th_. Governor C. sends me a pamphlet of additional inquiries, founded
chiefly on my replies, respecting the Indian languages. He says--"You
see, I have given new scope to your inquiries, and added much to your
labors. But it is impracticable, without such assistance as you can
render me, to make any progress. I find so few--so very few--who are
competent to a rational investigation of the subject, that those who are
so must be loaded with a double burden."

_July 6th_. Mr. Harry Thompson, of Black Rock, N.Y., writes me that he
duly forwarded, by a careful teamster, my three lost boxes of minerals,
shells, &c., collected in the Wabash Valley, Missouri, and Illinois, in
1821, and that they were received by Mr. Meech of Geneva, and forwarded
by him to E.B. Shearman & Co., Utica. The loss of these collections of
1821 seems to me very grievous.

_19th_. Judge Doty writes from Mackinac: "Believing the winds and fates
to have been propitious, I trust you had a speedy, safe, and pleasant
passage to your home. A boat arrived this morning, but I heard nothing.
Mr. Morrison leaves this evening, and I forward, by him, your
dictionary, with many--_many_ thanks for the use. _We_ completed the
copy of it last evening, making seventy-five pages of letter paper. I
hope I shall be able to return you the favor, and give you soon some
_nice_ Sioux words."

_August 5th_. Judge Doty, in a letter of thanks for a book, and some
philological suggestions, transmits a list of inquiries on the legal
code of the Indians--a rather hard subject--in which, quotations must
not be Coke upon Littleton, but the law of _tomahawk upon craniums_.

"The Sioux," he says, "must be slippery fellows indeed, if I do not
squeeze their language, and several other valuable things, out of them
next winter. I expect to leave for the Mississippi this week, in a
barge, with Mr. Rolette."

_6th_. Mr. D. H. Barnes, of the New York Lyceum of Natural History,
reports that the shells sent to him from the mouth of the Columbia, and
with which the Indians garnish their pouches, are a species of the
Dentalium, particularly described in Jewett's "Narrative of the Loss of
the Ship Boston at Nootka Sound." He transmits proof plates of the fresh
water shells collected by Professor Douglass and myself on the late
expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.

_11th_. The Adjutant-General of the Territory, General J. R. Williams,
transmits me a commission as captain of an independent company of
militia infantry, with a view, it is presumed, on the part of the
executive, that it will tend to strengthen the capacity of resistance to
an Indian combination on this frontier.

_20th_. Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie, sends me a specimen of gypsum from
Sandusky Bay, and a specimen of the strontian-yielding limestone of
Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie.

_September 10th_. Judge Doty writes from Prairie du Chien, that he had a
pleasant passage, with his family, of fifteen days from Mackinaw; that
he is pleased with the place; and that the delegate election went almost
unanimously for Major Biddle. A specimen of native copper, weighing four
pounds, was found by Mr. Bolvin, at Pine River, a tributary from the
north of the Wisconsin, agreeing in its characters with those in my
cabinet from the basin of Lake Superior.

_15th_. Dr. John Bigsby, of Nottingham, England, writes from the
North-West House, that he arrived yesterday from the Boundary Survey,
and is desirous of exchanging some of his geological and conchological
specimens for species in my possession. The doctor has a very bustling,
clerk-like manner, which does not impress one with the quiet and repose
of a philosopher. He evidently thinks we Americans, at this remote
point, are mere barbarians, and have some shrewd design of making a
chowder, or a speculation out of our granites, and agates, and native
copper. Not a look or word, however, of mine was permitted to disturb
the gentleman in his stilted notions.

_16th_. Major Joseph Delafield, with his party, report the Boundary
Survey as completed to the contemplated point on the Lake of the Woods,
as called for by the Treaty of Ghent. The ease and repose of the major's
manners contrast rather favorably with the fussiness of the
British subs.

_26th_. Mr. Felix Hinchman, of Mackinac, transmits returns of the recent
delegate election, denoting the election of Major Biddle, by a rather
close run, over the Catholic priest _Richard_.

_October 9th_. Mr. W.H. Shearman of Vernon, New York, writes that my
boxes of minerals and fresh water shells are irretrievably lost; that
Mr. Meech, of Geneva, remains mum on the subject; and that they have not
arrived at Utica. Hard fate thus to be despoiled of the fruits of
my labor!

_14th_. Mr. Ebenezer Brigham of Springfield, Illinois, an honest
gentleman with whom I embarked at Pittsburgh, in the spring of 1818 for
the great West and the land of fortune, writes a letter of friendly
reminiscences and sympathies at my success, particularly in getting a
healthy location. Brigham was to have been one of my adventurous party
at Potosi, in the fall of 1818, but the fever and ague laid violent
hands on him. He managed to reach Potosi, but only to bid me good-by,
and a God-speed.

"In this country," he says, "life is at least fifty per cent, below par
in the months of August and September. I have often thought that I run
as great a risk every season which I spend here, as I would in an
ordinary battle. I really believe it seldom happens that a greater
proportion of an army fall victims to the sword, during a campaign, than
there was, of the inhabitants of Illinois, falling victims to disease
during a season that I have been here."

"I have little doubt but the trade of this part of the State of Illinois
will pass through that channel (the northern lakes). Our produce is of a
description that ought to find its way to a northern market, and that,
too, without passing through a tropical climate. Our pork and beef may
arrive at Chicago with nearly the same ease that it can at St. Louis;
and, if packed there and taken through the lakes, would be much more
valuable than if taken by the way of the South; besides, the posts
spoken of (Chicago, Green Bay, &c.) may possibly be supplied cheaper
from this than any other source."

"Moses Austin, I presume you have heard, is dead, and his son Stephen is
acting a very conspicuous part in the province of Texas. Old Mr. Bates,
and his son William, of Herculaneum, both died last summer."

"I should like to know if the same warlike disposition appears amongst
the northern Indians that does amongst those of the west. Nearly, or
quite every expedition to the west of the Mississippi in the fur trade,
this season, has been attacked by different tribes, and some have been
defeated and robbed, and a great many lives have been lost. Those in the
neighborhood of this place, to wit, the Kickapoos and Potawattomies, are
getting cross and troublesome. I should not be surprised if a war with
the Indians generally should take place soon. The troops at the Council
Bluffs have found it necessary to chastise one tribe already (the
Aurickarees), which they have done pretty effectually, having killed a
goodly number, and burnt their towns."

_19th_. Governor C. writes, in response to a letter detailing
difficulties which have arisen oh this frontier between the military and
citizens: "Military gentlemen, when stationed at remote posts, too often
'feel power and forget right,' and the history of our army is replete
with instances proving incontestably by how frail a tenure our liberties
would be held, were it not for the paramount authority and redeeming
spirit of our civil institutions."

"I thank you," he observes, "for the specimens of copper you have sent
me. I participate with you in your feelings upon the important discovery
you have been the instrument of communicating to the world, respecting
the existence of that metal upon the long point of Lake Superior. This
circumstance, in conjunction with others, will, I hope, lead to a
congressional appropriation, at the next session, for exploring that
country, and making such purchases of the Indians as may promise the
valuable supplies."

"My Indian materials are rapidly accumulating; but, unfortunately, they
are more valuable for quantity than quality. It is almost impossible to
rely upon the information which is communicated to me on the subject of
the languages. There is a lamentable obtuseness of intellect manifested
in both collector and contributor; and there is no systematic
arrangement--no analytical process, and, in fact, no correctness of
detail. I may safely say that what I received from you is more valuable
than all my other stock.

"It has recurred to me that you ought to visit Europe. Don't startle at
the suggestion! I have thought of it frequently. You might easily
procure some person to execute your duties, &c., and I think there would
be no difficulty in procuring permission from the government. I speak,
however, _without book_. Think of the matter. I see incalculable
advantages which would result to you from it, and you would go under
very favorable auspices, and with a rich harvest of literary fame."

_23d_. B. F. Stickney, Esq., writes on the occasion of not having
earlier acknowledged my memoir on the Fossil Tree of the Des Plaines, in
Illinois. "How little we know of the laws of nature," he observes, "of
which we profess to know so much."


Incidents of the year 1824--Indian researches--Diverse idioms of the
Ottowa and Chippewa--Conflict of opinion between the civil and military
authorities of the place--A winter of seclusion well spent--St. Paul's
idea of languages--Examples in the Chippewa--The Chippewa a pure form of
the Algonquin--Religion in the wilderness--Incidents--Congressional
excitements--Commercial view of the copper mine question--Trip to
Tackwymenon Falls, in Lake Superior.

1824. _Jan. 1st_. As soon as the business season closed, I resumed my
Indian researches.

General C. writes: "The result of your inquiries into the Indian
language is highly valuable and satisfactory. I return you my sincere
thanks for the papers. I have examined them attentively. I should be
happy to have you prosecute your inquiries into the manners, customs,
&c., of the Indians. You are favorably situated, and have withal such
unconquerable perseverance, that I must tax you more than other persons.
My stock of materials, already ample, is rapidly increasing, and many
new and important facts have been disclosed. It is really surprising
that so little valuable information has been given to the world on
this subject."

Mr. B.F. Stickney, formerly an agent at Fort Wayne, Indiana, writes from
Depot (now Toledo): "I am pleased to see that your mind is engaged on
the Chippewa language. It affords a field sufficiently extensive for the
range of all the intellect and industry that the nation can bring into
action. If the materials already collected should, after a scrutiny and
arrangement, be thrown upon the literary world, it would excite so much
interest as not to permit the inquiry thus to stop at the threshold. It
is really an original inquiry concerning the operations of the human
mind, wherein a portion of the human race, living apart from the rest,
have independently devised means for the interchange of thoughts and
ideas. Their grammatical rules are so widely different from all our
European forms that it forces the mind to a retrospective view of first

"I have observed the differences you mention between the Ottowa and
Chippewa dialects. Notwithstanding I conceive them to be (as you
observe) radically the same language, I think there is less difference
between the band of Ottowas you mention, of _L'Arbre Croche_, than the
Ottowas of this vicinity. It appears that their languages are subject to
very rapid changes. From not being written, they have no standard to
resort to, and I have observed it demonstrated in bands of the same
tribe, residing at considerable distances from each other, and having
but little intercourse for half a century; these have with difficulty
been able to understand each other.

"I am pleased to learn that you are still advancing the sciences of
mineralogy and conchology. Your discovery of native silver imbedded in
native copper is certainly a very extraordinary one."

_28th_. Major E. Cutler, commanding officer, applies to me, as a
magistrate, to prosecute all citizens who have settled on the reserve at
St. Mary's, and opened "shops for the sale of liquor." Not being a
public prosecuting attorney, it does not appear how this can at all be
done, without his designating the names of the offenders, and the
offences for which they are to be tried.

_30th_. The same officer reports that his duties will not permit him to
erect quarters for the Indian agent, which he is required to put up,
till another year. If this step is to be regarded, as it seems, as a
retaliatory measure for my not issuing process, _en masse_, against the
citizens, without he or his subordinates condescending to name
individuals, it manifests an utter ignorance of the first principles of
law, and is certainly a queer request to be made of a justice of the
peace. Nor does it appear how the adoption of such whims or assumptions
is compatible with a just official comity or an enlarged sense of public
duty, on his part, and pointed instructions, to boot, in co-operating
with the Indian department on a remote and exposed frontier.

There seems to be a period, on the history of the frontiers, where
conflicts between the military and civil authorities are almost
inevitable; but there are, perhaps, few examples to be found where the
former power has been more aggressively and offensively exercised than
it has been under the martinet who is now in command at this post. It is
an ancient point of settlement by the French, who are generally a mild
and obliging people, and disposed to submit to authorities. Some of
these are descended from persons who settled here under Louis XIV. That
a few Americans have followed the troops with more rigid views of
private rights, and who cannot be easily trampled on, is true. And the
military have, justly, no doubt, felt annoyances from a freedom of trade
with the soldiery, who cannot be kept within their pickets by bayonets
and commands. But he must be far gone in his sublimated notions of
self-complacency and temporary importance who supposes that a magistrate
would surrender his sense of independence, and impartiality between man
and man, by assuming new and unheard-of duties, at the beck of a
military functionary who happens to overrate his own, or misjudge
another's position.

_March 31st_. I have given no little part of the winter to a revision of
my manuscript journal of travels through the Miami and Wabash Valleys in
1821. The season has been severe, and offered few inducements to go
beyond the pale of the usual walk to my office, the cantonment, and to
the village seated at the foot of the rapids. Variety, in this pursuit,
has been sought, in turning from the transcription of these records of a
tourist to the discussion of the principles of the Indian languages--a
labor, if literary amusement can be deemed a labor, which was generally
adjourned from my office, to be resumed in the domestic circle during
the long winter evenings. A moral enjoyment has seldom yielded more of
the fruits of pleasure. In truth, the winter has passed almost
imperceptibly away. Tempests howled around us, without diminishing our
comforts. We often stood, in the clear winter evenings, to gaze at the
splendid displays of the Aurora Borealis. The cariole was sometimes put
in requisition. We sometimes tied on the augim, or snow-shoe, and
ventured over drifts of snow, whose depth rendered them impassable to
the horse. We assembled twice a week, at a room, to listen to the chaste
preaching of a man of deep-toned piety and sound judgment, whose life
and manners resemble an apostle's.

In looking back at the scenes and studies of such a season, there was
little to regret, and much to excite in the mind pleasing vistas of hope
and anticipation. The spring came with less observation than had been
devoted to the winter previous; and the usual harbingers of advancing
warmth--the small singing birds and northern flowers--were present ere
we were well aware of their welcome appearance.

     Hope is a flower that fills the sentient mind
     With sweets of rapturous and of heavenly kind;
     And those, who in her gardens love to tread,
     Alone can tell how soft the odors spread.


_April 20th_. "There are, it may be," says Paul, "many kinds of voices
in the world, and none of them is without signification." It could
easily be proved that many of these voices are very rude; but it would
take more philological acumen than was possessed by Horne Tooke to prove
that any of them are without "signification." By the way, Tooke's
"Diversions of Purley" does not seem to me so odd a title as it
once appeared.

C. writes to me, under this date, "I pray you to push your philological
inquiries as far as possible; and to them, add such views as you may be
able to collect of the various topics embraced in my plan."

There is, undoubtedly, some danger that, in making the Indian history
and languages a topic of investigation, the great practicable objects of
their reclamation may be overlooked. We should be careful, while
cultivating the mere literary element, not to palliate our delinquencies
in philanthropic efforts in their behalf, under the notion that nothing
can be effectively done, that the Indian is not accessible to moral
truths, and that former efforts having failed of general results, such
as those of Eliot and Brainerd, they are beyond the reach of _ordinary_
means. I am inclined to believe that the error lies just here--that is,
in the belief that some extraordinary effort is thought to be necessary,
that their sons must be cooped up in boarding-schools and colleges,
where they are taught many things wholly unsuited to their condition and
wants, while the mass of the tribes is left at home, in the forests, in
their ignorance and vices, untaught and neglected.

In the exemplification of St. Paul's idea, that all languages are given
to men, with an exact significance of words and forms, and therefore not
vaguely, there is the highest warrant for their study; and the time thus
devoted cannot be deemed as wasted or thrown away. How shall a man say
"raca," or "that fox," if there be no equivalents for the words in
barbarous languages? The truth is that this people find no-difficulty in
expressing the exact meanings, although the form of the words is
peculiar. The derogative sense of sly and cunning, which is, in the
original, implied by the demonstrative pronoun "that," a Chippewa would
express by a mere inflection of the word fox, conveying a bad or
reproachful idea; and the pronoun cannot be charged with an
ironical meaning.

In _ke-bau-diz-ze,_ which is an equivalent for _raca_, there is a
personal pronominal prefix, and an objective pronominal suffix. The
radix, in _baud_, has thus the second person thou in _ke_; and the
objective inflection, _iz-ze,_ means a person in a general sense. This
reveals two forms of the Chippewa substantive, which are applicable to
all words, and leaves nothing superfluous or without "significance." In
fact, the whole language is susceptible of the most clear and exact
analysis. This language is one of the most pure, clear, and
comprehensive forms of the Algonquin.

_May 20th_. The Rev. Robert McMurtrie Laird, of Princess Anne, Maryland,
but now temporarily at Detroit, writes to me in a spirit of affectionate
kindness and Christian solicitude. The history of this pious man's
labors on the remotest frontiers of Michigan is probably recorded where
it will be known and acknowledged, in hymns of gladness, when this
feeble and frail memorial of ink and paper has long perished.

Late in the autumn of 1823, he came, an unheralded stranger, to St.
Mary's. No power but God's, it would seem, could have directed his
footsteps there. There was everything to render them repulsive. The
Indian _wabene_ drum, proclaiming the forest tribes to be under the
influence of their native diviners and jossakeeds, was nightly sending
forth its monotonous sounds. But he did not come to them. His object was
the soldiery and settlement, to whom he could utter truths in the
English tongue. He was assigned quarters in the cantonment, where an
entire battalion of infantry-was then stationed. To all these, but one
single family, it may be said that his preaching was received as
"sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Certainly, there were the
elements of almost everything else there but religion. And, while
occupying a room in the fort, his fervent and holy spirit was
often tried

     "By most unseemly mirth and wassail rife."

He came to see me, at my office and at my lodgings, frequently during
the season, and never came when he did not appear to me to be one of the
purest and most devoted, yet gentle and most unostentatious, of human
beings. It is hoped his labors were not without some witness to the
truths which he so faithfully taught. But, as soon as the straits were
relieved from the icy fetters of winter, he went away, never, perhaps,
to see us more. He now writes to apprise me of the spread of a rumor
respecting my personal interest in the theme of his labors, which had,
without permission from his lips, reached the ears of some of my friends
at Detroit. Blessed sensitiveness to rumor, how few possess it!

Having said this much, I may add that, in the course of the winter, my
mind was arrested by his mode of exhibiting truth. The doctrine of the
Trinity, which had seemed to me the mere jingle of a triad, as deduced
from him, appeared to be a unity, which derived all its coherence and
vitality from a belief in the Second Person. The word "Lord" became
clothed with a majesty and power which rendered it inapplicable, in my
views, to any human person. The assiduity that I had devoted, night and
day, to my manuscripts, in the search after scientific truths, and the
knowledge arising from study, did not appear to me to be wrong in
itself, but was thought to be pursued with an intensity that withdrew my
mind from, or, rather, had never allowed it properly to contemplate and
appreciate the character of God.

_23d_. A literary friend writes: "I am rejoiced to learn that you have
made such progress in your new work. I hope and trust that the celerity
with which you have written has not withdrawn your attention from those
subjects connected with literary success, which are more important than
even time itself."

"My prospects of seeing you at the Sault, this season," writes the same
hand, "grows weaker and weaker every day. I cannot ascertain in what
situation Col. Benton's bill is, for the purchase of the copper country
upon Lake Superior, nor the prospects of its eventual passage. Our last
Washington dates are of the 8th instant, and at that time there was a
vast mass of business pending before both Houses, and the period of
adjournment was uncertain. Mr. Lowrie and Governor Edwards have
furnished abundant matter for congressional excitement. It really
appears to me that, as soon as two or three hundred men are associated
together to talk at, and about one another, and everything else, their
passions and feelings usurp the place of their reason. Like children,
they are excited by every question having a local or personal aspect.
Their powers of dispassionate deliberation are lost, and everything is
forgotten but the momentary excitement."

_25th. Commercial View of Copper Mine Question_.--M.M. Dox, Esq.,
Collector at Buffalo, writes:--

I have long had it in contemplation to write to you, not only on the
score of old friendship, but also to learn the feasibility of a scheme
relating to the copper mines of Lake Superior. This subject has so often
annoyed my meditations, or rather taken up so considerable a proportion
of them, that I have been disposed, with the poet, to exclaim--

     'Visions of (copper [42]) spare my aching sight.'

[Footnote 42: "Glory."--_Gray_.]

"I have just met Mr. Griswold, from whom I learn that you made some
inquiries in reference to the price of transportation, &c. I will answer
them for him. Copper in pig, or unmanufactured, is free of duty, on
entry into the United States; its price in the New York market is, at
this time (very low), sixteen cents per pound. Copper in sheets for
sheeting of vessels (also free), about twenty-five cents per pound, and
brazier's copper (paying a duty of fifteen per cent, on its cost in
England), equal to about two and a half cents per pound. Until this
year, and a few previous, the article has uniformly been from thirty to
forty per cent, higher than the prices now quoted, that is, in time of
peace. In time of war (in Europe) the price is enhanced ten or twenty
per cent. above peace prices: and in this country, during the Late War,
the price was, at one time, as high as $1.50 to $2.00 per pound.

"The history of England and this country does not furnish a period when
copper was as low as at the present time, according to its relative
value with the medium of exchange. Time and invention have developed
richer mines and produced greater facilities for obtaining it; but the
world does not probably know a region from whence the article can be
furnished so cheaply as from the shores of Lake Superior. All accounts
concur in representing the metal in that quarter of a superior quality,
and furnish strong indications that it may be obtained, in quantities,
with more than ordinary facility. When obtained, if on the navigable
waters of the lake, the transportation to the strait will be easy and
cheap, and the smelting not cost to exceed $20 per ton (for copper), and
the transportation thence to New York one or one and a half cent per
pound; one cent per pound, in addition, will carry it to any market in
the world.

"If the difficulties to be incurred in obtaining the ore should prove to
be no greater than may be reasonably anticipated, it is evident that it
must be a very profitable business. Will the government then have the
mines worked? I answer for them, _No_. The experience had by Congress in
regard to the Indian trade (the Factory System) will, for many years at
least, prevent that body from making any appropriation for such a
purpose. The most safe and judicious course for the government is to
draw private enterprise into the business; and, by holding out proper
inducements, it will be enabled, without a dollar of extra expense, to
derive, before many years, a handsome revenue from this source."

       *       *       *       *       *

_30th. Trip to Tacquimenon Falls, Lake Superior_.--Accounts from the
Indians represented the falls of the Tacquimenon River of Lake Superior
as presenting picturesque features which were eminently worthy of a
visit. Confined to the house during the winter, I thought an excursion
proper. I determined to take the earliest opportunity, when the ice had
left the lake, and before the turmoil of the summer's business began, to
execute this wish. For this purpose, I took a canoe, with a crew of
Chippewa Indians, with whom I was well acquainted, and who were familiar
with the scene. I provisioned myself well, and took along my office
interpreter. I found this arrangement was one which was agreeable to
them, and it put them perfectly at their ease. They traveled along in
the Indian manner, talking and laughing as they pleased with each other,
and with the interpreter. Nothing could have been better suited to
obtain an insight into their manners and opinions. One of their most
common topics of talk was the flight of birds, particularly the
carnivorous species, to which they addressed talks as they flew. This
subject, I perceived, connected itself with the notions of war and the
enemy's country.

On one occasion after we had entered Lake Superior, and were leisurely
paddling, not remote from the shore, one of the Indians fired at, and
wounded a duck. The bird could not rise so as to fly, but swam ashore,
and, by the time we reached land, was completely missing. A white man
would have been nonplused. Not so the Indian. He saw a fallen tree, and
carefully looked for an orifice in the under side, and, when he found
one, thrust in his hand and drew out of it the poor wounded bird.
Frightened and in pain, it appeared to roll its eyeballs
completely round.

By their conversation and familiar remarks, I observed that they were
habitually under the influence of their peculiar mythology and religion.
They referred to classes of _monetos_, which are spirits, in a manner
which disclosed the belief that the woods and waters were replete with
their agency. On the second day, we reached and entered the Tacquimenon
River. It carried a deep and strong current to the foot of the first
falls, which they call Fairy Rocks. This Indian word denotes a species
of little men or fairies, which, they say, love to dwell on rocks. The
falls are broken into innumerable cascades, which give them a peculiarly
sylvan air. From the brink of these falls to the upper falls, a distance
of about six miles, the channel of the river is a perfect torrent, and
would seem to defy navigation. But before I was well aware of it, they
had the canoe in it, with a single man with a long pole in the bow and
stern. I took my seat between the centre bars, and was in admiration at
the perfect composure and _sangfroid_ with which these two men managed
it--now shooting across the stream to find better water, and always
putting in their poles exactly at the right instant, and singing some
Indian cantata all the while. The upper falls at length burst on our
view, on rounding a point. The river has a complete drop, of some forty
feet, over a formation of sandstone. The water forms a complete curtain.
There is nothing to break the sheet, or intercept it, till it reaches
the deep water below. They said there was some danger of the canoe's
being drawn under the sheet, by a kind of suction. This' stream in fact,
geologically considered, crosses through, and falls over, the high ridge
of sandstone rock which stretches from Point Iroquois to the Pictured
Rocks. I took sketches of both the upper and lower falls.

Being connected by marriage with an educated and intelligent lady, who
is descended, by her mother's side, from the former ruler of the
Chippewa nation--a man of renown--I was received, on this trip, with a
degree of confidence and cordiality by the Indians, which I had not
expected. I threw myself, naked handed, into their midst, and was
received with a noble spirit of hospitality and welcome. And the
incidents of this trip revealed to me some of the most interesting
scenes of Indian domestic life.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas--First assemblage of a
legislative council at Michigan--Mineralogy and geology--Disasters of
the War of 1812--Character of the new legislature--Laconic
note--Narrative of a war party, and the disastrous murders committed at
Lake Pepin in July 1824--Speech of a friendly Indian chief from Lake
Superior on the subject--Notices of mineralogy and geology in the
west--Ohio and Erie Canal--Morals--Lafayette's progress--Hooking
minerals--A philosophical work on the Indians--Indian biography by
Samuel L. Conant--Want of books on American archaeology--Douglass's
proposed work on the expedition of 1820.

1824. _May 30th_. Having found, in the circle of the Chippewa wigwams, a
species of oral fictitious lore, I sent some specimens of it to friends
in the lower country, where the subject excited interest. "I am
anxious," writes a distinguished person, under this date, "that you
should bring with you, when you come down, your collection of Indian
tales. I should be happy to see them." [43] That the Indians should
possess this mental trait of indulging in lodge stories, impressed me as
a novel characteristic, which nothing I had ever heard of the race had
prepared me for. I had always heard the Indian spoken of as a
revengeful, bloodthirsty man, who was steeled to endurance and delighted
in deeds of cruelty. To find him a man capable of feelings and
affections, with a heart open to the wants, and responsive to the ties
of social life, was amazing. But the surprise reached its acme, when I
found him whiling away a part of the tedium of his long winter evenings
in relating tales and legends for the amusement of the lodge circle.
These fictions were sometimes employed, I observed, to convey
instruction, or impress examples of courage, daring, or right action.
But they were, at all times, replete with the wild forest notions of
spiritual agencies, necromancy, and demonology. They revealed abundantly
the causes of his hopes and fears--his notions of a Deity, and his
belief in a future state.

[Footnote 43: This counsel I pursued in the autumn of that year, and
published specimens of the legends in the winter of 1825, in "Travels in
the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley," and in 1839 submitted
to the public two duodecimo volumes, under the title of "Algie
Researches, Part I."]

_June 18th_. Michigan is gradually assuming steps which are a part of
that train which will in time develop her resources and importance. She
has lately taken measures to enter what is called the second grade of
government. General Charles Larned, of Detroit, writes me that the first
session of the first territorial legislature is now convened, and that
the members acquit themselves with credit.

_22d_. The mineralogy and geology of the region furnish topics of
interest, which help to fill up pauses in the intervals of business. By
making my office a focus for collecting whatever is new in the
unexplored regions, excitement is kept alive, and knowledge in the end
promoted. Lewis Saurin Johnston, of Drummond Island, sends me a box of
specimens from that locality. This gentleman, who occupies a situation
in the British Indian department, is a grandson of the late Waubojeeg, a
celebrated orator and warrior formerly of La Pointe, in Lake Superior.

On the 26th, Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie in Pennsylvania, contributes a
collection of the minerals of that vicinity.

_July 10th_. The War of 1812 proved disastrous to some individuals on
this frontier. After a delay of ten years, the British government has
announced its intention to indemnify those of its subjects who lost
property. Mr. Johnston, who suffered heavily, determined to visit
Toronto with the view of laying his case before Lieutenant-Governor
Maitland. He writes, on his way down, during a delay at Drummond Island,
in his usual hopeful, warm-hearted strain--full of love to those left
behind, and free forgiveness to all who have injured him. With the
highest purposes of honor, and the soul of hospitality and social
kindness, surely such a man deserves to succeed.

_12th_. Dr. J.J. Bigsby, of England, writes a letter introducing
Lieutenant Bolton of the British engineers, a zealous naturalist, and
Major Mercer of the artillery--both being on an official tour of

_18th_. Judge J.D. Doty announces himself at Michilimackinack, on his
return from Detroit to Green Bay. He says that the members of the
legislative council are disposed to be rather menders of _old_ laws than
makers of _new_ ones, and that they are guided by the spirit
of prudence.

_21st_. John Tanner, the returned captive, dictates from Mackinac this
laconic appeal for employment: "All my property is now made away with,
so that I have nothing left but one old blanket. I am in such a
situation that I am unable to go anywhere--have no money, no clothes,
and nothing to eat."

_Aug. 19th_. Mr. George Johnston writes from the sub-agency of La
Pointe, Lake Superior, that a rumor prevails of a murder lately
committed by a Chippewa war party, on American citizens, on the upper

_31st_. Mr. John Holiday, a trader, arrived from the Ance Kewy-winenon
in Lake Superior, bringing a small coffin painted black, inclosing an
American scalp, with the astounding intelligence that a shocking murder
had been committed by a war party of Chippewas at Lake Pepin, on the
Mississippi. The facts turned out to be these: In the spring of the year
(1824), Kewaynokwut (Returning Cloud), a chief of Lake Vieux Desert, at
the source of the Wisconsin, suffered a severe fit of sickness, and
made, a vow, if he recovered, to collect a war party and lead it against
the Sioux, which he did early in the summer. He passed the trading-post
of Lac du Flambeau, with twenty-nine men in canoes on the 1st of July.
He pursued down the Waswagon branch into the main Chippewa River, after
a cautious journey, and came to its mouth early in July, at an early
hour in the morning, when a fog prevailed. This river enters the
Mississippi at the foot of the expanse called Lake Pepin, which is a
common place for encampment. It is the usual point of issue for Chippewa
war parties against the Sioux, for which it has been celebrated since
the first migration of the Chippewas into the rice lake region at its
sources. Prom the usual lookout, called Mount Le Gard, they discovered
imperfectly an encampment on the shores of Lake Pepin. On coming to it,
it proved to be an American, a trader of the name of Finley, with three
Canadians, on his way from Prairie du Chien to St. Peter's. One of the
men spoke Chippewa. They were asleep when the advance of the Indian
party arrived. When they awoke they saw the Indians with terror and
surprise. The Indians cried out to their comrades in the rear that they
were not Sioux, that they were white people. The party then all came
up. The war chief Kewaynokwut Said, "Do not be afraid. This party you
see are my young men; and I command them. They will not do you any harm,
nor hurt you." Some of the party soon began to pillage. They appeared to
be half famished, first taking their provisions, which consisted of half
a bag of flour, half a bag of corn, a few biscuits, and half a hog. The
biscuits they immediately eat, and then began to rob the clothing, which
they parted among themselves.

The Indians diligently inquired where the Sioux abroad on the river
were, what number they might be, where they came from, and whither they
were going? to all which judicious replies appear to have been made, but
one, namely, that they consisted of thirty, on their way from St.
Peter's to Prairie du Chien. Being but twenty-nine men, the rencontre
appeared to them to be unequal, and, in fact, alarmed them. They
immediately prepared to return, filing off one after another, in order
to embark in their canoes, which were lying at a short distance. Before
this movement, Kakabika had taken his gun to fire at the whites, but was
prevented by the others. But they went off disappointed, and
grumblingly. This was the case particularly with Kakabika, Okwagin,
Whitehead, Wamitegosh, and Sagito, who began crying they wanted to kill
the whites. Sagito then said that it was a very hard thing that they
should return light--that when one went out a hunting, he did not like
to return without killing something. "What," he said, "did we come here
for? Was it not to kill?" At this Kewaynokwut wavered, who had promised
safety, and did not interpose his authority to check the brooding evil,
although he took no part in it. Whitehead, Okwaykun, and Wamitegosh, who
were in the rear of the party, leveled their arms and fired, killing on
the spot the three men, who were immediately scalped. The wildest fury
was instantly excited.

Finley, in the mean time, had gone to the Indian canoes to recover his
papers, saying they were of no use to them, and of importance to him.
Hearing the report of guns behind him, he perceived that his companions
were killed, and took to flight. He threw himself into the water.
Annamikees, or the Little Thunder, then fired at him and missed. He
quickly reloaded his gun, and fired again, effectively. Finley was
mortally shot. The Indian then threw himself into the water, and cut off
the unfortunate man's head, for the purpose of scalping it, leaving the
body in the water. The party then quickly returned back into the region
whence they had sallied, and danced the scalps in their villages as
Indian scalps.

Mr. Holliday was also the bearer of a speech from Gitshe Iauba, the
ruling chief of Ance Kewywenon, through whose influence this occurrence
was brought to light. He first addressed his trader in the
following words:--

"We were deceived. Word was sent to us to come and fetch the scalp of a
Sioux Indian of our enemy. This was my reason for sending for it. But,
ah me! when they brought word that it was the scalp of an American, I
sent for the young man whom you left in charge of your house and store,
and asked him what should be done with the scalp of our friend. It was
concluded to have it buried in the burying-ground."

He then addressed the United States agent at Sault Ste. Marie, in the
following words, accompanying them with a string of wampum:--

"Our father. This wampum was given to me that I might remain in peace. I
shook hands with you when I left St. Mary's. My heart was in friendship.
I have taken no rest since I heard of the foul deed of our friends, the
people of Vieux Desert, and Torch Lake, in killing a citizen of the
American Government, the government that protects me.

"Now, Americans, my situation is to be pitied. My wish is, that we
should live in friendship together. Since I shook hands with you,
nothing on my part shall be wanting to keep us so."

I immediately forwarded the little scalp-coffin received from the
interior, with a report of this high-handed outrage to the Executive of
the Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, at Detroit, that the
occurrence might be reported promptly to the War Office at Washington.

_November 27th_. I determined to spend the winter in New York; to place
the agency, in the interim, in charge of an officer of the garrison, and
to visit Washington from this city during the season. Captain N.S.
Clarke, 2d Infantry, consented to perform the duties of the agency
during my absence. And having obtained leave of absence from my superior
in the department, I embarked, in September, on board a schooner for
Detroit, with Mrs. Schoolcraft, her infant son William Henry, my
sister-in-law, Miss Anna Maria Johnston, and a servant, making a little
group of five. We touched at Michilimackinack.

We were kindly received at Detroit by General and Mrs. Cass, who had
invited us to be their guests, and pursued our way, without accident, to
New York, where we arrived the day prior to the annual celebration of
the Evacuation. New scenes and new situations here rapidly developed
themselves. But before these are named, some letters that followed me
from the Lake may be noticed.

B. F. Stickney, Esq., writes (October 15th) from the foot of the Miami
of the Lakes (now Toledo): "Recently I have had brought to me a specimen
of manganese, the bed of which is located about nine miles south-west of
this. The quantity is represented to be very extensive."

I find that strontian is much more extensively interspersed through the
rock formations of this region than I had heretofore conceived. At the
foot of the rapids of this river, there are extensive strata of
carbonate of lime, sufficiently charged with magnesia to destroy all
vegetation, when converted to the state of quicklime; although Dr.
Mitchell, in his "Notes to Phillips' Mineralogy," denies to magnesian
carbonate of lime this quality. But I have tested it fully. I rather
think the doctor's mistake must have arisen from a supposition that Mr.
Phillips intended to say that the magnesia, when in combination with
carbonate of lime, and _in sitû_, was destructive to vegetation.

_Ohio and Erie Canal_.--"A commissioner of the State of Ohio, with
engineers, is taking levels, examining water-courses, and making
estimates of cost, to ascertain the practicability of making a canal
from Cincinnati up the valley of the Big Miami, and Loromier's creek,
across the summit level, to the Auglaize and Miami of Lake Erie, to the
level of the lake water. These surveys will give us much assistance in
judging of the geological formations between the Lake and the

_Geology_.--"As an outline sketch, I should say that, from the rock
basin of the Erie-sea to the Ohio River, by the way of Fort Wayne, there
is a ridge, of about 200 feet elevation, of rock formation, all new
floetz, with a covering of from ten to seventy feet of pulverulent
earth. At the summit this layer is twenty feet. That the Miami and
Wabash have cut their courses down to the rock, with only here and there
a little sand and gravel upon its surface. As far as conjecture will go,
for the levels of the strata on the Wabash and Miami, the same
mineralogical characters are to be found in the strata, at the same
elevation. This would be an important fact to be ascertained, by the
levels accurately taken."

"I am pleased that you have not abated your usual industry in the
pursuit of knowledge in the science of geology and mineralogy, first in
magnitude and first in the order of nature."

_Morals of Green Bay_.--J.D. Doty, Esq., Judge of the District, reports
(Oct. 15th) that the Grand Jury for Brown County, at the late special
session of court, presented forty indictments! Most of these appear to
have been petty affairs; but they denote a lax state of society.

John Johnston, Esq., writes (Oct. 30th): "Since the arrival of the mail,
I have been the constant companion in thought of the great and good
Lafayette, throughout his tour, or rather splendid procession as far as
the account has reached us, and for which history has no parallel. Oh!
how poor, how base, the adulation given by interested sycophants to
kings and despots, compared to the warm affections of the grateful
heart, and spontaneous bursts of admiration and affection from a great,
free, and happy people."

_Hooking Minerals_.--L. Bull, now of Philadelphia, writes respecting the
position of several boxes of minerals left in the Lyceum of Natural
History, of New York, in 1822, which have, been sadly depredated on.

_Plan of a Philosophical Work on the Indians_.--General C. announces to
me (Dec. 5th) that he has settled on a plan for bringing forward the
results of his researches on the subject of the Indian tribes. The
details of this appear to be well selected and arranged, and the
experiment on the popular taste of readers, for as such the work is
designed, cannot but be hailed by every one who has thought upon the
subject. Few men have seen more of the Indians in peace and war. Nobody
has made the original collections which he has, and I know of no man
possessing the capacity of throwing around them so much literary
attraction. It is only to be hoped that his courage will not fail him
when he comes to the sticking point. It requires more courage on some
minds to write a book than to face a cannon.

_14th_. Major Joseph Delafield, of New York, commends to my acquaintance
Samuel S. Conant, Esq., of the city; a gentleman of a high moral
character and literary tone, an occasional writer for the "American"
newspaper, who proposes to compile a work on Indian eloquence. Charles
King, Esq., the editor of the paper, transmits a note to the major,
which is enclosed, speaking of Mr. Conant as "a man of merit and
talents, who in his design is seeking to save a noble but
persecuted race."

_19th_. General Cass writes further of his literary plans: "If I am
favorably situated, in some respects, to procure information, as a
drawback upon this, I feel many disadvantages. I have no books to refer
to but what I can purchase, and independently of the means which any one
person can apply to this object, those books which can alone be useful
to me are so rare that nothing but accident can enable a person to
purchase them."

_Lake Superior Copper Mines_.--"I have written to Colonel Benton fully
on the subject of the copper country, and I have referred him to you for
further information."

_25th_. _Expedition of_ 1820.--Professor D. B. Douglass, of West Point,
returns a portfolio of sketches and drawings of scenery, made by me on
the expedition to the sources of the Mississippi, in 1820, with several
of which he has illustrated the borders of his map of that expedition.
"Have you," he says, "seen _Long's Second Expedition?_ We have only one
copy on the Point, and I have only had time to look at the map. It makes
me more than ever desirous to consummate my original views of publishing
relative to that country. I have never lost sight of this matter; and,
if my professional engagements continue to engross as much of my time as
they have done, I will send my map to Tanner, and let him publish it,


Parallelism of customs--Home scenes--Visit to Washington--Indian work
respecting the Western Tribes--Indian biography--Professor
Carter--Professor Silliman--Spiteful prosecution--Publication of Travels
in the Mississippi Valley--A northern Pocahontas--Return to the Lakes--A
new enterprise suggested--Impressions of turkeys' feet in
rock--Surrender of the Chippewa war party, who committed the murders in
1824, at Lake Pepin--Their examination, and the commitment of the actual

1825. _January 1st_. New Year's day here, as among the metif, and also
the pure descendants of the ancient French of Normandy in Michigan, is a
day of friendly visiting from house to house, and cordial
congratulations, with refreshments spread on the board for all. As this
was also the custom of the ancient Hollanders, who, from the Texel and
Scheldt, landed here in 1609, it affords a species of proof of the
wide-spread influence of the customs of the Middle Ages in Western
Europe, which is remarkable. And it would form an interesting topic of
historical inquiry.

_4th_. Home and its scenes. The sympathy kept up by domestic letters
when absent from home is one of the purest supports of the heart and
mind. Mr. John Johnston, of St. Mary's, writes me one of his
warm-hearted letters of friendship, which breathes the ardor of his
mind, and shows a degree of sympathy that is refreshing, and such as
must ever be a great encouragement in every noble pursuit. The
how-d'ye-do, everyday visitor is satisfied with his "how d'ye do;" but
there is a friend that "sticketh closer than a brother."

_10th_. My position at St. Mary's, and the prominent part I occupied in
the collision of authority between the military and the citizens, on
some points, and between the former and the Indian department, was
anything but agreeable, and would have been intolerable to any one,
having less resources than I had, in an absorbing study, which every day
and every evening turned up some new and fresh point of interest. I had
therefore sources of enjoyment which were a constant support, and this
was particularly the case, after the scenes which were opened up in the
winter of 1824 by my intercourse with the Rev. Mr. Laird. But I resolved
early in the summer to spend the winter in New York, and to visit
Washington, to place some of the official transactions to which I have
referred, in their proper lights. This day I therefore left the city, to
visit the Capitol. During the expected absence; Mrs. Schoolcraft, with
her child, little sister, and nurse, had accepted an invitation to spend
the time with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Conant, who had a pleasant
residence on the Bloomingdale road, some two or three miles from the
Park. My visit was altogether agreeable. So far as the subjects at issue
on the frontier were not of local jurisdiction, in which I was fully and
promptly sustained by the Executive, I was met by Mr. Calhoun in his
usual frank, explicit, and friendly manner. I was authorized to erect
buildings for the agency, and to define the Indian reservation under the
treaty, and counseled to go forward in a firm, cautious, and
conciliatory policy in establishing the intercourses with the bands of
the agency, and to take every proper measure to see that the intercourse
laws were faithfully executed, and a good understanding cultivated with
the tribes. And I returned to New York early in February, with "flying
colors," as a friend wrote.

During my absence, some letters, disclosing matters of literary
interest, were received. General C. writes (January 20th):--

"In investigating the subject before me, agreeably to the views I have
communicated to you, it appears to me that Purchas's _Pilgrimage_, and
Hackluyt's collection are indispensable to my progress. They contain
translations or abstracts of all the earlier voyages and travels to this
country." "In considering the various points which are involved in the
subject I have undertaken, a thousand doubtful facts present themselves,
which require time, labor, and opportunities to solve. For instance, I
strongly suspect that the Eries, who are said to have been destroyed by
the Iroquois, were the Shawnese, who were driven from their ancient seat
upon Lake Erie to the south-west." "Volney mentions two works upon the
Indians. One is Umphraville, and the other Oldmixon."

On the 7th of February, he encloses an extensive list of books, which he
wishes to procure, to aid him in his contemplated examinations of
aboriginal subjects, with discriminating remarks on their character. In
calling my attention to a close examination of them in the various
book-stores and libraries of the Atlantic cities, where they may be
found, he imposes no light nor important labor. "You know my general
object is confined to the Indians of this quarter (the west). Their
particular history, however, will be preceded by a review of the
condition of the Indians in this part of America, at the time it became
known to Europeans. I have myself little doubt but that they were then
pretty much as they are now.

"There is, however, one historical event, the narrator of which
represents the Indians to have been in an entirely different condition
from what they are now, or have been since. This is the account of
Ferdinand de Soto's expedition to Florida. There are two historians of
this expedition. One is Garcilasso de la Vega, and the other is an
anonymous gentleman of Elvas. I believe both are found in Purchas or
Hackluyt. I believe the narrative is almost entirely fabulous. One mode
of ascertaining this is by an examination of the earlier accounts of the
Indians. If they agree with De Soto's history, the latter may be
correct. If not, they must be unworthy of credit, more particularly in
the amount of the Indian population, which was certainly greatly
misrepresented by the Spanish historians, and which has been always

"If any of the above works touch upon these subjects, they may be useful
to me; if not, I do not wish them. Can you find any of the other Spanish
writers describing or alluding to this expedition?

"Is there any account of the expedition of Pamphilo Narvaez into Florida
in 1528?"

"Should I go to Prairie du Chien, would you not like the trip? I see
many reasons to induce you to take such a measure. If you come on, as I
hope you will, by the first boat, we can make all the necessary
arrangements; for, if I go, I shall go early, certainly in May. Unless I
am greatly deceived, you would make something interesting out of the
proposed treaty."

Samuel S. Conant, Esq., informs me (January 21st) that he is making
progress in his contemplated work on Indian biography.

"I shall read," he says, "everything which speaks of Indians, and my
enthusiasm may take the place of ability, and enable me to present not
only honorable testimonials of Indian genius and valor, but some defence
of their character, and an exposition of the slanders and vulgar errors
which, through blind traditions, have obtained the authority of truth."

"It would have pleased me," says he (Feb. 16th), "to have presented Mr.
Theodore Dwight, Jr., to you in person. But this introductory note will
do as well. He is one of those who feel an interest, disinterested and
benevolent, in the fate of the remnants of the Indian tribes, and wishes
some conversation with you relative to their feelings on the subject of
their removal west of the Mississippi."

_March 18th_. Mr. Nathaniel H. Carter, editor of the _Statesman_,
announces his recovery from a dangerous illness, and wishes, in his
usual spirit of friendship, to express the pleasure it will afford him
to aid me in any literary labor I may have in hand.

_20th_. The plan of a magazine devoted to Indian subjects, which has
been discussed between Mr. Conant, Mr. Dwight, and myself, is now
definitely arranged with Messrs. Wilder and Campbell, publishers.

_28th_. Professor Silliman renews his friendly correspondence, and
tenders me the use of the pages of his journal, as the medium of
communicating observations to the public.

_April 8th_. I am officially called on, by the authority of General
Gaines, as a witness in the case of Lieutenant Walter Bicker, U.S.A.,
who is summoned to a court martial in Fort Brady. This is the gentleman
whose family is referred to in a previous part of my journal in the
autumn of 1822, on the occasion of the gentle Mr. Laird's missionary
visit to St. Mary's; and his high moral character and correct deportment
render it a subject of mystery to me what cause of complaint his brother
officers could conjure up against him.

_14th_. The superintendence of the press in the printing of my "Travels
in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley," has constituted a
groundwork to my amusements during the winter. The work is this day
published by Collins and Hannay. I immediately prepared to return to the
lakes. About five months had passed away, almost imperceptibly. We had
held a most gratifying intercourse with a highly moral and refined
portion of society. The city had been seen in its various phases of
amusement and instruction. A large part of the interest to others and
attention excited arose manifestly from the presence of a person of
Indian descent, and of refined manners and education, in the person of
Mrs. Schoolcraft, with an infant son of more than ordinary beauty of
lineament and mental promise. There was something like a sensation in
every circle, and often persons, whose curiosity was superior to their
moral capacity of appreciation, looked intensely to see the northern
Pocahontas. Her education had been finished abroad. She wrote a most
exquisite hand, and composed with ability, and grammatical skill and
taste. Her voice was soft, and her expression clear and pure, as her
father, who was from one of the highest and proudest circles of Irish
society, had been particularly attentive to her orthography and
pronunciation and selection of words of the best usage abroad.

_20th_. This day we left the mansion of our kind hostess, Mrs. Mann, on
lower Broadway, and ascended the Hudson by daylight, in order to view
its attractive scenery.

We discussed the etymology of some of the ancient Indian names along the
river, which we found to be in the Manhattan or Mohegan dialects of the
Algonquin, and which appeared so nearly identical in the grammatical
principles and sounds with the Chippewa, as to permit Mrs. S. in many
cases to recover the exact meanings. Thus, Coxackie is founded on an
Indian term which means _Falling-in bank_, or cut bank.

We stopped a week or two in Western New York at my brother-in-law's, in
Vernon, Oneida County. I took along to the West, which had been
favorable to me, my youngest brother James, and my sister Maria Eliza.
We pursued our route through Western New York and Buffalo, and reached
Detroit on the 6th of May.

I here found a letter from Dr. J. V. Rensselaer, of New York, written
two days after leaving the city, saying: "I have this morning finished
the perusal of your last work, and consider myself much your debtor for
the new views you have given me of the interesting region you describe.
Nor am I more pleased with the matter than with the simple unpretending
manner in which you have chosen to clothe it."

I also found a note informing me that Gov. Cass had gone to hold a
conference with the Wyandot Indians at Wapakennota, Ohio, that he would
return about the 10th of June, and immediately set out for Prairie du
Chien by the way of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and would have me to
go with him.

"You must calculate the time when I shall probably reach Mackinack, and
I trust you will join us there. I have a thousand reasons why you should
undertake the tour. Many of the Indians will be from your agency, and
such a convocation will never again be seen upon this frontier. You can
return by the Chippewa River, which will give you a fine opportunity of
becoming acquainted with a part of the country very little known."

Leaving my sister with friends temporarily at Detroit, I pursued my way,
without loss of time, to the Sault; where, among the correspondence
accumulated, I found some subjects that may be noticed. Mr. C. C.
Trowbridge gives this testimony respecting Mr. A. E. Wing, a gentleman
then prominent as a politician.

"He is an intelligent, high minded and honorable man, and gifted with
habits of perseverance and industry which eminently qualify him to
represent the Territory in Congress."

On the 1st of June the Executive of the Territory apprizes me of his
return from Wapekennota, and that he is bending all his force for the
contemplated trip to Prairie du Chien.

"I enclose you," he adds, "the copy of a letter from the war department,
by which you will perceive that the Secretary has determined, that the
outrage of last fall shall not go unpunished. His determination is a
wise one, for the apprehension of the Chippewa murderers is essential to
the preservation of our character and influence among the Indians."

_June 17th_. Business and science, antiquities and politics are
curiously jumbled along in the same path, without, however (as I believe
they never do where the true spirit of knowledge is present), at all
mingling, or making turbid the stream of inquiry.

Colonel Thomas L. M'Kenney, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in a letter
of this date says: "At the Little Falls of the Potomac, are to be seen
the prints of turkeys' feet in stone, made just as the tracks of the
animal appear, when it runs upon dust or in the snow."

_22d_. On this day, there suddenly presented themselves, at the office
of Indian Agency, the Chippewa war party who committed the murders at
Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi, last year, who, on the demand made upon
the nation, with a threat of military punishment, surrendered the
murderers. I immediately commenced their examination, after having an
additional special interpreter sworn in (Truman A. Warren), and sending
for a justice of the peace to assist in their examination. The entire
day was devoted in this manner, and at the close, six of the party
against whom an indictment for murder would lay, committed on a
mittimus, with a note requesting the commanding officer to imprison them
in the guard house, until he could have them conveyed to the sheriff of
the county, at Michilimackinack. Their names were, Sagetone, Otagami,
Kakabisha, Annimikence, and Nawa-jiwienoce--to whom was afterwards added
Kewaynokwut, the leader of the party. The incidents of this transaction,
as they appeared in that examination, have been narrated on a
previous page.

This surrendery was evidently made on representations of the traders,
who acted on strong assurance that it would avert the marching of a
military force against them, and on some mistaken notions of their own
about public clemency.

When the examination was finished, and while preliminary steps were in
process, for their committment, I addressed them as follows:--

Chippewas--I have listened attentively to all that has been said,
either for or against you, and have been careful to have it put upon
paper, that nothing might be forgotten. It appears you went to the
Mississippi, for the purpose of attacking the Sioux, to revenge murders
which they had committed in your country. In an evil hour you
encountered a party of Americans, consisting of four persons, encamped
at the foot of Lake Pepin. It was night. They were all asleep. You went
to their tent in a hostile manner, and were received as friends. They
gave you tobacco and presents; and your war chief told them they need
not fear, that they should not be molested.

On this declaration he withdrew, followed by the whole party, and had
proceeded some distance, when an evil suggestion occurred to one of the
party, who said, "that when he went out hunting he did not like to
return without having killed something." Guns were fired. An electric
effect was produced and a rush towards the tent they had left took place
among those who were in the rear. The strife seemed who should get there
first, and imbrue his hands in blood.

"Of this number _you_ Sagetone, _you_ Kakabisha, _you_ Otagami, _you_
Annimikence, and _you_ Nawajiwienoce, were principal actors, and you
had the meanness to put to death men who had never harmed you, and who,
by your own confession, you had robbed of their arms, but whom you had,
nevertheless, promised their lives. This was not an evidence of courage,
but of cowardice. By this perfidious act you also violated your
promises, and proved yourselves to be the most debased of human

"You have asked me many times in the course of this day to take pity on
you. How have you the hearts to stand up and ask me for pity, when you
have showed no pity yourselves. When those poor disarmed and despairing
men implored you to pity their condition, reminding you of your
promises, and their generosity in making you presents, when you saw them
afterwards submit to be plundered, you gave them not pity but the war
club and scalping knife. Did you suppose the God of white men would
permit you to go unpunished? Did you think you had got so far in the
woods that no person could find you out? Or, did you think your great
father, the President, governed by a pusillanimous principle, would
allow you to kill any of his people, without seeking to be revenged?

"Let this day open your eyes. You have richly deserved death, and not a
man of your nation could complain, if I should order you at this
instant, to be drawn out before my door, and shot. But a less
_honorable_ death awaits you.

"I have before told you, that your Great Father the President is as just
as he is powerful; and that he seeks to take away the life of no man,
without full, just, and clear proof of guilt. For this purpose he has
appointed other chiefs, whose duty it is to hear, try, and punish
all offences.

"Before these judges you shall now be sent. You will be closely
examined. You will have counsel assigned to defend your cause. You will
have every advantage that one of our own citizens could claim. If any
cause can be shown why one of you is less guilty than another it will
then appear; if not, your bodies will be hung on a gallows."

I then addressed Kewaynockwut. "No person has accused you of murder; but
you have led men who committed murder, and have thereby excited the
anger of your Great Father, who is slow to forgive when any of his
people, even the poorest of them, have been injured, far less when a
murder has been committed. Though I include you with those cowards who
first took away the arms of our people, and then shot them--those mean
dogs who sit trembling before me--I do not forgive you. The blood of our
citizens rests upon you. I can neither take you by the hand, nor smoke
the pipe you offer to me. You lie under the severe censure of your Great
Father, whose anger, like a dark cloud, rests upon you and your people.

"Four of the chief murderers, namely, Okwagun, Pasigwetung, Metakossiga,
and Wamitegosh, yet remain inland. Go, in order to appease his anger;
take your followers with you, and bring them out. You cannot do a more
pleasing act to him and to your own nation. For you must reflect that if
these murderers are not promptly brought out, war will be immediately
made against your villages, and the most signal vengeance taken."

Great alarm was manifested by the murderers, when they saw that the
questions and answers were written down, and a strict course of
accountability taken as the basis of the examination. I had foreseen
something of this alarm, and requested the commanding officer to send me
a detachment of men. Lieutenant C. F. Morton, 2d Infantry, to whom this
matter was entrusted, managed it well. He paraded his men in a hollow
square, in front of the office, in such manner that the office formed
one angle of the square, so that the main issue from the door ushered
the individual into a square bristling with bayonets. He stood himself
with a drawn sword.

It was eleven o'clock in the evening when their examination and the
final arrangements were completed; and when I directed the interpreter
to open the door and lead out the murderers, they were greatly alarmed
by the appearance of the bright array of musquetry, supposing,
evidently, that they were to be instantly shot. They trembled.


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi--Large assemblage of
tribes--Their appearance and character--Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas,
&c.--Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of
the Iowas--Keokuk--Mongazid's speech--Treaty of limits--Whisky
question--A literary impostor--Journey through the valleys of the Fox
and Wisconsin rivers--Incidents--Menomonies--A big nose--Wisconsin

_June 23d_. The whole village was alive with the excitement of the
surrendery of the murderers. The agency office had been crowded with
spectators during the examination; and both white and red men saw in
their voluntary delivery into the hands of the agent, an evidence of the
power of the government in watching over and vindicating the lives and
interests of its citizens in the wildest wilderness, which was
gratifying to all.

To Gitche Iauba, the chief at the bay of Kewywenon, in Lake Superior,
who had been instrumental in producing the delivery, I presented a
silver medal of the first class, with a written speech approbatory of
the act, and complimentary of himself. In the meantime, my preparations
for attending the general convocation of tribes, at Prairie du Chien,
were completed. I placed the agency under the charge of Captain N. S.
Clark, 2d Infantry, who had satisfactorily and ably performed its duties
during my absence at New York. I had selected a delegation of the most
influential chiefs to attend the contemplated council. And all things
being ready, and my _canoe-allége_ in the water, with its flag set, I
embarked for the trip on the 24th. I descended the straits that day, and
having turned Point Detour reached Michilimackinack the next morning.
The party from Detroit had reached that point the same morning, after
traversing the Huron coasts for upwards of 300 miles, in a light canoe.
Congratulations on the success that had attended the demand for the
Chippewa murderers, awaited me. Some practical questions, deemed
indispensable respecting that transaction, required my immediate return
to St. Mary's, which was effected on the 27th, and I again embarked at
St. Mary's on the 28th, and rejoined the party at Mackinack on the 30th.
The distance traversed is about ninety miles, which was four times
passed and repassed in six days, a feat that could only have been
accomplished in the calms of summer.

We finally left Mackinack for our destination on the Mississippi, on the
1st of July. The convocation to which we were now proceeding was for the
purpose of settling internal disputes between the tribes, by fixing the
boundaries to their respective territories, and thus laying the
foundation of a lasting peace on the frontiers. And it marks an era in
the policy of our negotiations with the Indians, which is memorable. No
such gathering of the tribes had ever before occurred, and its results
have taken away the necessity of any in future, so far as relates to the
lines on the Mississippi.

We encountered head winds, and met with some delay in passing through
the straits into Lake Michigan, and after escaping an imminent hazard of
being blown off into the open lake, in a fog, reached Green Bay on the
4th. The journey up the Fox River, and its numerous portages, was
resumed on the 14th, and after having ascended the river to its head, we
crossed over the Fox and Wisconsin portage, and descending the latter
with safety, reached Prairie du Chien on the 21st, making the whole
journey from Mackinack in twenty-one days.

We found a very large number of the various tribes assembled. Not only
the village, but the entire banks of the river for miles above and below
the town, and the island in the river, was covered with their tents. The
Dakotahs, with their high pointed buffalo skin tents, above the town,
and their decorations and implements of flags, feathers, skins and
personal "braveries," presented the scene of a Bedouin encampment. Some
of the chiefs had the skins of skunks tied to their heels, to symbolize
that they never ran, as that animal is noted for its slow and
self-possessed movements.

Wanita, the Yankton chief, had a most magnificent robe of the buffalo,
curiously worked with dyed porcupine's quills and sweet grass. A kind of
war flag, made of eagles' and vultures' large feathers, presented quite
a martial air. War clubs and lances presented almost every imaginable
device of paint; but by far the most elaborate thing was their pipes of
red stone, curiously carved, and having flat wooden handles of some four
feet in length, ornamented with the scalps of the red-headed woodpecker
and male duck, and tail feathers of birds artificially attached by
strings and quill work, so as to hang in the figure of a quadrant. But
the most elaborately wrought part of the devices consisted of dyed
porcupines' quills, arranged as a kind of aboriginal mosaic.

The Winnebagoes, who speak a cognate dialect of the Dacotah, were
encamped near; and resembled them in their style of lodges, arts, and
general decorations.

The Chippewas presented the more usually known traits, manners and
customs of the great Algonquin family--of whom they are, indeed, the
best representative. The tall and warlike bands from the sources of the
Mississippi--from La Point, in Lake Superior--from the valleys of the
Chippewa and St. Croix rivers, and the Rice Lake region of Lac du
Flambeau, and of Sault Ste. Marie, were well represented.

The cognate tribe of the Menomonies, and of the Potawattomies and
Ottowas from Lake Michigan, assimilated and mingled with the Chippewas.
Some of the Iroquois of Green Bay were present.

But no tribes attracted as intense a degree of interest as the Iowas,
and the Sacs and Foxes--tribes of radically diverse languages, yet
united in a league against the Sioux. These tribes were encamped on the
island, or opposite coast. They came to the treaty ground, armed and
dressed as a war party. They were all armed with spears, clubs, guns and
knives. Many of the warriors had a long tuft of red-horse hair tied at
their elbows, and bore a neck lace of grizzly bears' claws. Their
head-dress consisted of red dyed horse-hair, tied in such manner to the
scalp lock as to present the shape of the decoration of a Roman helmet.
The rest of the head was completely shaved and painted. A long iron shod
lance was carried in the hand. A species of baldric supported part of
their arms. The azian, moccason and leggins constituted a part of their
dress. They were, indeed, nearly nude, and painted. Often the print of a
hand, in white clay, marked the back or shoulders. They bore flags of
feathers. They beat drums. They uttered yells, at definite points. They
landed in compact ranks. They looked the very spirit of defiance. Their
leader stood as a prince, majestic and frowning. The wild, native pride
of man, in the savage state, flushed by success in war, and confident in
the strength of his arm, was never so fully depicted to my eyes. And the
forest tribes of the continent may be challenged to have ever presented
a spectacle of bold daring, and martial prowess, equal to their landing.

Their martial bearing, their high tone, and whole behavior during their
stay, in and out of council, was impressive, and demonstrated, in an
eminent degree, to what a high pitch of physical and moral courage,
bravery and success in war may lead a savage people. Keokuk, who led
them, stood with his war lance, high crest of feathers, and daring eye,
like another Coriolanus, and when he spoke in council, and at the same
time shook his lance at his enemies, the Sioux, it was evident that he
wanted but an opportunity to make their blood flow like water. Wapelo,
and other chiefs backed him, and the whole array, with their shaved
heads and high crests of red horse-hair, told the spectator plainly,
that each of these men held his life in his hand, and was ready to
spring to the work of slaughter at the cry of their chief.

General William Clark, from St. Louis, was associated with General Cass
in this negotiation. The great object was to lay the foundation of a
permanent peace by establishing boundaries. Day after day was assigned
to this, the agents laboring with the chiefs, and making themselves
familiar with Indian bark maps and drawings. The thing pleased the
Indians. They clearly saw that it was a benevolent effort for their
good, and showed a hearty mind to work in the attainment of the object.
The United States asked for no cession. Many glowing harangues were made
by the chiefs, which gave scope to their peculiar oratory, which is well
worth the preserving. Mongazid, of Fond du Lac, Lake Superior, said:
"When I heard the voice of my Great Father, coming up the Mississippi
Valley calling me to this treaty, it seemed as a murmuring wind; I got
up from my mat where I sat musing, and hastened to obey it. My pathway
has been clear and bright. Truly it is a pleasant sky above our heads
this day. There is not a cloud to darken it. I hear nothing but pleasant
words. The raven is not waiting for his prey, I hear no eagle
cry--'Come, let us go. The feast is ready--the Indian has killed his

When nearly a whole month had been consumed in these negotiations, a
treaty of limits was signed, which will long be remembered in the Indian
reminiscences. This was on the 19th of August (1825), _vide_ Indian
Treaties, p. 371. It was a pleasing sight to see the explorer of the
Columbia in 1806, and the writer of the proclamation of the army that
invaded Canada in 1812, uniting in a task boding so much good to the
tribes whose passions and trespasses on each other's lands keep them
perpetually at war.

     'Tis war alone that gluts the Indian's mind,
      As eating meats, inflames the tiger kind.

At the close of the treaty, an experiment was made on the moral sense of
the Indians, with regard to intoxicating liquors, which was evidently of
too refined a character for their just appreciation. It had been said by
the tribes that the true reason for the Commissioners of the United
States government speaking against the use of ardent spirits by the
Indians, and refusing to give them, was not a sense of its bad effects,
so much, as the fear of the expense. To show them that the government
was above such a petty principle, the Commissioners had a long row of
tin camp kettles, holding several gallons each, placed on the grass,
from one end of the council house to the other, and then, after some
suitable remarks, each kettle was spilled out in their presence. The
thing was evidently ill relished by the Indians. They loved the whisky
better than the joke.

_Impostor_.--Among the books which I purchased for General Cass, at New
York, was the narrative of one John Dunn Hunter. I remember being
introduced to the man, at one of my visits to New York, by Mr. Carter.
He appeared to be one of those anomalous persons, of easy good nature,
without much energy or will, and little or no moral sense, who might be
made a tool of. It seems no one at New York was taken in by him, but
having wandered over to London, the booksellers found him a good subject
for a book, and some hack there, with considerable cleverness, made him
a pack-horse for carrying a load of stuff about America's treatment of
the Indians. It was called a "captivity," and he was made to play the
part of an adventurer among the Indians--somewhat after the manner of
John Tanner. C. reviewed the book, on our route and at the Prairie, for
the _North American_, in an article which created quite a sensation, and
will be remembered for its force and eloquence. He first read to me some
of these glowing sentences, while on the portages of the Fox. It was
continued, during the leisure hours of the conferences, and finally the
critique was finished, after his visiting the place and the person, in
Missouri, to which Hunter had alluded as his sponsor in baptism. The man
denied all knowledge of him. Hunter was utterly demolished, and his book
shown to be as great a tissue of misrepresentation as that of
Psalmanazar himself.

_August 21st_. The party separates. I had determined to return to the
Sault by way of Lake Superior, through Chippewa River. But, owing to the
murder of Finley and his men at its mouth in 1824, I found it impossible
to engage men at Prairie du Chien, to take that route. I determined
therefore to go up the Wisconsin, and by the way of Green Bay. For this
purpose, I purchased a light canoe, engaged men to paddle it, and laid
in provisions and stores to last to Green Bay. Having done so, I
embarked about 3 o'clock P.M., descending the majestic Mississippi, with
spirits enlivened by the hope of soon rejoining friends far away. At the
same time, Mr. Holliday left for the same destination in a separate
canoe. On reaching the mouth of the Wisconsin, we entered that broad
tributary, and found the current strong. We passed the point of rocks
called _Petite Grès_, and encamped at _Grand Grès_.

Several hours previous to leaving the prairie, a friend handed me an
enveloped packet, saying, "Read it when you get to the mouth of the
Wisconsin." I had no conception what it related to, but felt great
anxiety to reach the place mentioned. I then opened it, and read as
follows: "I cannot separate from you without expressing my grateful
acknowledgments for the honor you have done me, by connecting my name
with your _Narrative of Travels in the Central Portions of the
Mississippi Valley, &c._" Nothing could have been more gratifying or

_22d_. A fog in the valley detained us till 5 o'clock A.M. After
traveling about two hours, Mr. Holliday's canoe was crushed against a
rock. While detained in repairing it, I ordered my cook to prepare
breakfast. It was now 9 o'clock, when we again proceeded, till the heat
of noon much affected the men. We pushed our canoes under some
overhanging trees, where we found fine clusters of ripe grapes.

In going forward we passed two canoes of Menomonies, going out on their
fall hunt, on the Chippewa River. These people have no hunting grounds
of their own, and are obliged to the courtesy of neighboring nations for
a subsistence. They are the most erratic of all our tribes, and may be
said to be almost nomadic. We had already passed the canoes, when Mr.
Lewis, the portrait painter, called out stoutly behind us, from an
island in the river. "Oh! ho! I did not know but there was some other
breaking of the canoe, or worse disaster, and directed the men to put
back. See, see," said he, "that fellow's nose! Did you ever see such a
protuberance?" It was one of the Menomonies from _Butte des Morts_, with
a globular irregular lump on the end of his nose, half as big as a man's
fist. Lewis's artistic risibles were at their height, and he set to work
to draw him. I could think of nothing appropriate, but Sterne and

_23d_. A heavy fog detained us at Caramani's village, till near 6 A.M.
The fog, however, still continued, so thick as to conceal objects at
twenty yards distance. We consequently went cautiously. Both this day
and yesterday we have been constantly in sight of Indian canoes, on
their return from the treaty. Wooden canoes are exclusively used by the
Winnebagoes. They are pushed along with poles.

We passed a precipitous range of hills near Pine Creek, on one of which
is a cave, called by our boatmen _L'diable au Port_. This superstition
of peopling dens and other dark places with the "arch fiend," is common.
If the "old serpent" has given any proofs to the French boatmen of his
residence here, I shall only hope that he will confine himself to this
river, and not go about troubling quiet folks in the land of the Lakes.

At Pine River we went inland about a mile to see an old mine, probably
the remains of French enterprise, or French credulity. But all its
golden ores had flown, probably frightened off by the old fellow of
_L'diable au Port_. We saw only pits dug in the sand overgrown
with trees.

Near this spot in the river, we overtook Shingabowossin and his party
of Chippewas. They had left the prairie on the same day that we did, but
earlier. They had been in some dread of the Winnebagoes, and stopped on
the island to wait for us.

In passing the channel of _Detour_, we observed many thousand tons of
white rock lying in the river, which had lately fallen from the bank,
leaving a solid perpendicular precipice. This rock, banks and ruins, is,
like all the Wisconsin Valley rocks, a very white and fine sandstone.

We passed five canoes of Menomonies, on their way to hunt on Chippewa
River, to whom I presented some powder, lead, and flour. They gave me a
couple of fish, of the kind called _pe-can-o_ by the Indians.

_24th_. We were again detained by the fog, till half past five A.M., and
after a hard day's fatiguing toil, I encamped at eight o'clock P.M. on a
sandy island in the centre of the Wisconsin. The water in the river is
low, and spreads stragglingly over a wide surface. The very bed of the
river is moving sand. While supper was preparing, I took from my trunk a
towel, clean shirt, and cake of soap, and spent half an hour in bathing
in the river upon the clean yellow sand. After this grateful
refreshment, I sank sweetly to repose in my tent.

_25th_. The fog dispersed earlier this morning than usual. We embarked a
few minutes after four A.M., and landed for breakfast at ten. The
weather now, was quite sultry, as indeed it has been during the greater
part of every day, since leaving _Tipesage_--i.e. the Prairie. Our route
this day carried us through the most picturesque and interesting part of
the Wisconsin, called the Highlands or River Hills. Some of these hills
are high, with precipitous faces towards the river. Others terminate in
round grassy knobs, with oaks dispersed about the sides. The name is
supposed to have been taken from this feature.[44] Generally speaking,
the country has a bald and barren aspect. Not a tree has apparently been
cut upon its banks, and not a village is seen to relieve the tedium of
an unimproved wilderness. The huts of an Indian locality seem "at random
cast." I have already said these conical and angular hills present
masses of white sandstone, whereever they are precipitous. The river
itself is almost a moving mass of white and yellow sand, broad, clear,
shallow, and abounding in small woody islands, and willowy sandbars.

[Footnote 44: _Sin_, the terminal syllable, is clearly from the
Algonquin, _Os-sin_, a stone. The French added the letter _g_, which is
the regular _local_ form of the word, agreeably to the true Indian.]

While making these notes I have been compelled to hold my book, pencil
and umbrella, the latter being indispensable to keep off the almost
tropical fervor of the sun's rays. As the umbrella and book must be held
in one hand, you may judge that I have managed with some difficulty; and
this will account to you for many uncouth letters and much disjointed
orthography. Between the annoyance of insects, the heat of the sun, and
the difficulties of the way, we had incessant employment.

At three o'clock P.M. we put ashore for dinner, in a very shaded and
romantic spot. Poetic images were thick about us. We sat upon mats
spread upon a narrow carpet of grass between the river and a high
perpendicular cliff. The latter threw its broad shade far beyond us.
This strip of land was not more than ten feet wide, and had any
fragments of rock fallen, they would have crushed us. But we saw no
reason to fear such an event, nor did it at all take from the relish of
our dinner. Green moss had covered the face of the rock, and formed a
soft velvet covering, against which we leaned. The broad and cool river
ran at our feet. Overhanging trees formed a grateful bower around us.
Alas, how are those to be pitied who prefer palaces built with human
hands to such sequestered scenes. What perversity is there in the human
understanding, to quit the delightful and peaceful abodes of nature, for
noisy towns and dusty streets.

     "To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
      One native charm than all the gloss of art."

At a late hour in the evening we reached the Wisconsin portage, and
found Dr. Wood. U.S.A., encamped there. He had arrived a short time
before us, with four Indians and one Canadian in a canoe, on his way to
St. Peter's. He had a mail in his trunk, and I had reasons to believe I
should receive letters, but to my sore disappointment I found nothing. I
invited Dr. Wood to supper, having some ducks and snipes to offer in
addition to my usual stock of solids, such as ham, venison and
buffalo tongues.


Descent of Fox River--Blackbirds--Menomonies--Rice fields--Starving
Indians--Thunder storm--Dream--An Indian struck dead with
lightning--Green Bay--Death of Colonel Haines--Incidents of the journey
from Green Bay to Michilimackinack--Reminiscences of my early life and
travels--Choiswa--Further reminiscences of my early life--Ruins of the
first mission of Father Marquette--Reach Michilimackinack.

1825. _August 26th_. A PORTAGE of about one mile and a quarter was
before us.

At day-break two ox carts, which I had ordered in the evening, came, and
took our baggage across to the banks of Fox River. The canoes were
carried over by the different crews. On reaching the banks of the Fox
River, I concluded to stay for the purpose of breakfasting. I added to
my stock of eatables, a bag of potatoes, and some butter and milk,
purchased from a Frenchman, who resided here. It was about nine o'clock
A.M. when we embarked on the Fox, and we began its descent with feelings
not widely different from those of a boy who has carried his sled, in
winter, _up_ the steep side of a hill, that he may enjoy the pleasure of
riding _down_. The Fox River is serpentine, almost without a parallel;
it winds about like a string that doubles and redoubles, and its channel
is choked with fields of wild rice; from which rose, continually,
immense flocks of blackbirds. They reminded me very forcibly of the
poet's line--

     "The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain."

Mr. Holliday the elder and his son made several unsuccessful shots at
them. I did not regret their ill success, and was pleased to hear
them singing--

     "As sweetly and gayly as ever before."

We met several canoes of Menomonies. We stopped for dinner near a lodge
of them, who were in a starving condition. I distributed bread and corn
among them. They presented me a couple of dishes of a species of berry,
which they call _Neekimen-een_, or Brant-berry. It is a black, tasteless
berry, a little larger than the whortleberry. We encamped at the head of
_Pukwa_ Lake.

_27th_. A very severe shower of rain fell about three o'clock A.M.; it
detained us in our camp until five, when we embarked. Why should I
relate to you our dull progress through fields of rice--through
intricate channels, and amidst myriads of ducks and wild water fowl.
This day has been hot, beyond any experience on the journey. I sank back
in my canoe, in a state of apathy and lassitude, partly from the heat,
and partly from indisposition. My thoughts were employed upon home. A
thousand phantoms passed through my head. I tried to imagine how you
were employed at this moment, whether busy, or sick in your own room. It
would require a volume to trace my wandering thoughts. Let it suffice
that another day is nearly gone, and it has lessened the distance which
separated us, about seventy miles.

_28th_. I encamped, last night, near a large village of Winnebagoes and
Menomonies. They complained to me of want of food and ammunition. I
distributed among them a quantity of powder, ball, and shot, and some
bread, hard biscuit, pork, and tobacco. Never were people more grateful,
and never, I believe, was a more appropriate distribution made. I had
purchased these articles for the Chippewa Nation, to be used on my
contemplated voyage home, from the Prairie, through Chippewa River and
Lake Superior, before the design of going that way was relinquished. The
fact was, I could get no men to go that way, so alarmed were they by the
recent murder of Finley and his party.

About two o'clock A.M. I was awoke by a very heavy storm of rain and
wind, attended with loud peals of thunder. The violence of the wind blew
down my tent, and my blankets, &c. received some damage. After this
mishap the wind abated, and having got my tent re-arranged, I again went
to sleep. I dreamt of attending the funeral of an esteemed friend, who
was buried with honors, attended to the grave by a large train. I have
no recollection of the name of this friend, nor whether male or female.
I afterwards visited the house of this person, and the room in which he
(or she) died. I closed the door with dread and sorrow, afflicted by the
views of the couch where one so much esteemed had expired. The mansion
was large, and elegantly furnished. I lost my way in it, and rung a
large bell that hung in the hall. At this, many persons, male and
female, came quickly into the hall from folding doors, as if, I thought,
they had been summoned to dinner. As you have sometimes inclined to
believe in these fantastic operations of the human mind, when asleep, I
record them for your amusement, or reflection. Was this an allegory of
the destructive effects of the storm, mixed with my banquet to my Indian
friends, the Menomonies and Winnebagoes?

After descending the river more than twenty miles we landed at _la Butte
des Morts_ to cook breakfast. Immediately on landing my attention was
attracted by a small white flag hanging from a high pole. I went to It
and found a recent Indian grave, very neatly and carefully covered with
boards. The Indian had been struck dead by lightning a few days
previous. Is this the interpretation of my dream, or must I follow my
fears to St. Mary's, to witness some of our family suffering on the bed
of sickness. God, in his mercy, forbid!

This day was comparatively cool. On the previous days it was my custom
to sit in my shirt and sleeves. To-day, I kept on my surtout all day,
and my cloak over it until twelve. Such sudden changes in the
temperature of the seasons are the reproach of our climate. My health
has been better than for a few days back, owing, I believe, solely to my
abstinence both yesterday and the day before. How much illness would be
prevented by a proper attention to regimen. It is now eight o'clock in
the evening, I am sitting in my tent with a candle standing on a rush
mat, and my black trunk for a writing desk. I am interrupted by the news
that my supper is ready to be brought in. How happy I should be if you
could participate in my frugal meal. In the language of Burns--

     "Adieu a heart-warm fond adieu."

_29th_. I encamped last night, at the foot of the Winnebago Rapids, one
mile below Winnebago Lake. I found the rapids of Fox River, which begin
here, more difficult to pass than on our ascent, the water being much
lower. We were necessarily detained many hours, and most of the men
compelled to walk. About six o'clock, P.M. we reached the upper part of
the settlement of Green Bay. I stopped a few moments at Judge Doty's,
and also a little below at Major Brevoort's, the Indian agent of the
post. We then proceeded to the lower settlements, and encamped near the
fort at Arndt's. Dr. Wheaton met me on the beach, with several others. I
supped and lodged at Arndt's, having declined Dr. Wheaton's polite
invitation to sup, and take a bed with him. At tea I saw Mrs. Cotton,
whom you will recollect as Miss Arndt, and was introduced to her
husband, Lieutenant Cotton, U.S.A. I was also introduced to the Rev. Mr.
Nash, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal order, on missionary duty
here. I went to my room, as soon as I could disentangle myself from
these greetings, with a bundle of papers, to read up the news, and was
truly pained to hear of the death of my early friend Colonel Charles G.
Haines of New York, an account of which, with the funeral honors paid to
him, I read in the papers.

_30th_. The repair of my canoe, and the purchase of provisions to
recruit my supplies, consumed the morning, until twelve o'clock, when I
embarked, and called at the fort to pay my respects to Dr. Wheaton. I
found the dinner-table set. He insisted on my stopping with Mr. H. to
dinner, which, being an old friend and as one of my men had absconded,
and I was, therefore, delayed, I assented to. The doctor and family
evinced the greatest cordiality, and he sent down to my canoe, after
dinner, a quantity of melons, some cabbages, and a bag of new potatoes.
Before I could obtain another man and set out again, it was three
o'clock. I was obliged to forego the return of some visits. We continued
our voyage down the bay about 40 miles, and encamped at 8 o'clock,
having run down with a fair wind.

_31st_. Soon after quitting our camp this morning, a heavy wind arose.
It was partly fair, so as to permit our hoisting sail for a few hours,
but then shifted ahead, and drove us ashore. We landed on a small island
called Vermilion, off the south cape of Sturgeon Bay. Here we remained
all the remainder of the day and night. While there detained I read
"China, its Arts, Manufactures, &c.," a work translated from the French,
and giving a lively, and apparently correct account of that
singular people.

About two o'clock, P.M., we cut some of the water and musk-melons
presented by Dr. Wharton, and found them delicious. About 6 o'clock,
P.M., my cook informed me that he had prepared a supper, agreeably to my
directions, and we found his skill in this way by no means despicable.
Such are the trifles which must fill up my journal, for did I only write
what was fit for grave divines, or the scrutinizing eye of philosophy to
read, I fear I should have but a few meagre sheets to present you on my
return, and perhaps not a single syllable witty or wise.

_Sept. 1st_. The wind abated during the night, and we were early on the
waters, and went on until eleven o'clock, when we landed for breakfast.
At twelve o'clock we went forward again, with a fair wind. I read
another volume of "China." "The Chinese ladies," says the author, "live
very retired, wholly engaged in their household affairs, and how to
please their husbands. They are not, however, confined quite so closely
as is commonly supposed. The females visit entirely amongst each other.
There is no society or circles in China to which the women are admitted.
Marriages are a mere matter of convenience, or, to speak with greater
propriety, a kind of bargain settled between the parents and relatives."

We came on very well, and encamped at the Little Detroit, or strait, so
called, in the Grand Traverse. This traverse separates Green Bay from
Lake Michigan. It is computed to be twenty miles over. A cluster of
islands enables canoes to pass. There are some hieroglyphics on
the rocks.

_2d_. We embarked at three o'clock, A.M., and went on very well, until
ten, when we stopped on one of the islands for breakfast, having nearly
completed the traverse. In the meantime the wind arose in our favor, and
we went on along the north shore of Lake Michigan gayly. We passed the
mouth of the Manistee River, which interlocks with the Tacquimenon of
Lake Superior, where some of our St. Mary's Chippewas make their
gardens. An aft wind and light spirits are inseparable, whether a man be
in a frigate or a canoe. There is something in the air exhilarating. I
have been passing in retrospect, the various journeys I have made, but
during none has my anxieties to return been so great as this. What a
wonderful destiny it is that makes one man a traveler and another a
poet, a mathematician, &c. We appear to be guided by some innate
principle which has a predominating force. No man was more unlikely to
be a traveler than myself. I always thought myself to be domestic in my
feelings, habits, and inclinations, and even in very early youth,
proposed to live a life of domestic felicity. I thought such a life
inseparable from the married state, and resolved, therefore, to get
married, as soon as prudence and inclination would permit.
Notwithstanding this way of thinking my life has been a series of active
employment and arduous journeyings. I may say my travels began even in
childhood, for when only six or seven years old, I recollect to have
wandered off a long distance into the pine plains of my native town, to
view Honicroisa Hill, a noted object in that part of the country, to the
great alarm of all the family, who sent out to search for me. My next
journey was in my eleventh year, when I accompanied my father, in his
chaise, he dressed out in his regimentals, to attend a general
court-martial at Saratoga. I had not then read any history of our
Revolution, but had heard its battles and hardships, told over by my
father, which created a deep interest, and among the events was
Burgoyne's surrender. My mind was filled with the subject as we
proceeded on our way, and I expected to see a field covered with skulls,
and guns, and broken swords.

In my fifteenth year I accompanied my father, in his chaise, up the
Valley of the Mohawk to Utica. This gave me some idea of the western
country, and the rapid improvements going on there. I returned with some
more knowledge of the world, and with my mind filled with enthusiastic
notions of new settlements and fortunes made in the woods. I was highly
pleased with the frank and hospitable manners of the west. The next
spring I was sent by a manufacturing company to Philadelphia, as an
agent to procure and select on the banks of the Delaware, between
Bristol and Bordentown, a cargo of crucible clay. This journey and its
incidents opened a new field to me, and greatly increased my knowledge
of the world; of the vastness of commerce; and of the multifarious
occupations of men. I acquitted myself well of my agency, having made a
good selection of my cargo. I was a judge of the mineralogical
properties of the article, but a novice in almost everything else. I
supposed the world honest, and every man disposed to act properly and to
do right. I now first witnessed a theatre. It was at New York. When the
tragedy was over, seeing many go out, I also took a check and went home,
to be laughed at by the captain of the sloop, with whom I was a
passenger. At Philadelphia I fell into the hands of a professed
sharper; He was a gentleman in dress, manners, and conversation. He
showed me the city, and was very useful in directing my inquiries. But
he borrowed of me thirty dollars one day, to pay an unexpected demand,
as he said, and that was the last I ever saw of my money. The lesson was
not, however, lost upon me. I have never since lent a stranger or casual
acquaintance money.

_3d_. I was compelled to break off my notes yesterday suddenly. A storm
came on which drove us forward with great swiftness, and put us in some
peril. We made the land about three o'clock, after much exertion and
very considerable wetting. After the storm had passed over, a calm
succeeded, when we again put out, and kept the lake till eight o'clock.
We had a very bad encampment--loose rough stones to lie on, and scarcely
wood enough to make a fire. To finish our misery, it soon began to rain,
but ceased before ten. At four o'clock this morning we arose, the
weather being quite cold. At an early hour, after getting afloat, we
reached and passed a noted landing for canoes and boats, called
_Choishwa_ (Smooth-rock.) This shelter, is formed by a ledge of rock
running into the lake. On the inner, or perpendicular face, hundreds of
names are cut or scratched upon the rock. This _cacoethes scribendi_ is
the pest of every local curiosity or public watering-place. Even here,
in the wilderness, it is developed.

     Wise men ne'er cut their names on doors or rock-heads,
     But leave the task to scribblers and to blockheads;
     Pert, trifling folks, who, bent on being witty,
     Scrawl on each post some fag-end of a ditty,
     Spinning, with spider's web, their shallow brains,
     O'er wainscots, borrowed books, or window panes.

At one o'clock the wind became decidedly fair, and the men, relieved
from their paddles, are nearly all asleep, in the bottom of the canoe.
While the wind drives us forward beautifully I embrace the time to
resume my narrative of early journeyings, dropt yesterday.

In the year 1808, my father removed from Albany to Oneida County. I
remained at the old homestead in Guilderland, in charge of his affairs,
until the following year, when I also came to the west. The next spring
I was offered handsome inducements to go to the Genesee country, by a
manufacturing company, who contemplated the saving of a heavy land
transportation from Albany on the article of window-glass, if the rude
materials employed in it could be found in that area of country. I
visited it with that view; found its native resources ample, and was
still more delighted with the flourishing appearance of this part of the
Western country than I had been with Utica and its environs. Auburn,
Geneva, Canandaigua, and other incipient towns, seemed to me the germs
of a land "flowing with milk and honey."

In 1811, I went on a second trip to Philadelphia, and executed the
object of it with a success equal to my initial visit. On this trip I
had letters to some gentlemen at Philadelphia, who received me in a most
clever spirit, and I visited the Academy of Arts, Peale's Museum, the
Water Works, Navy Yard, &c. I here received my first definite ideas of
painting and sculpture. I returned with new stores of information and
new ideas of the world, but I had lost little or nothing of my primitive
simplicity of feeling or rustic notions of human perfection. And, as I
began to see something of the iniquities of men, I clung more firmly to
my native opinions.

My personal knowledge of my native State, and of the States of New
Jersey and Pennsylvania, was now superior to that of most men with whom
I was in the habit of conversing, and I subsequently made several little
journeys and excursions that furthered me in the knowledge.

As yet, I knew nothing by personal observation of New England. In the
early part of 1813, having completed my nineteenth year, I went to
Middlebury, in Vermont, on the banks of Otter Creek, where, I
understand, my great-grandfather, who was an Englishman, to have died.
Soon after I accompanied Mr. Ep. Jones, a man of decided enterprise, but
some eccentricities of character, on an extensive tour through the New
England States. We set out from Lake Dunmore, in Salisbury, in a chaise,
and proceeding over the Green Mountains across the State of Vermont, to
Bellows' Falls, on the Connecticut River, there struck the State of New
Hampshire, and went across it, and a part of Massachusetts, to Boston.
Thence, after a few days' stop, we continued our route to Hartford, the
seat of government of Connecticut, and thence south to the valley of the
Hudson at Rhinebeck. Here we crossed the Hudson to Kingston (the Esopus
of Indian days), and proceeded inland, somewhat circuitously, to the
Catskill Mountains; after visiting which, we returned to the river, came
up its valley to Albany, and returned, by way of Salem, to Salisbury.
All this was done with one horse, a compact small-boned animal, who was
a good oats-eater, and of whom we took the very best care. I made this
distich on him:--

     Feed me well with oats and hay,
     And I'll carry you forty miles a-day.

This long and circuitous tour gave me a general idea of this portion of
the Union, and enabled me to institute many comparisons between the
manners and customs and advantages of New York and New England.

I am again compelled to lay my pencil aside by the quantity of water
thrown into the canoe by the paddles of the men, who have been roused up
by the increasing waves.

_4th_. We went on under a press of sail last evening until eight
o'clock, when we encamped in a wide sandy bay in the Straits of
Michigan, having come a computed distance of 80 miles. On looking about,
we found in the sand the stumps of cedar pickets, forming an antique
enclosure, which, I judged, must have been the first site of the Mission
of St. Ignace, founded by Pierre Marquette, upwards of a hundred and
eighty years ago. Not a lisp of such a ruin had been heard by me
previously. French and Indian tradition says nothing of it. The
inference is, however, inevitable. Point St. Ignace draws its name from
it. It was afterwards removed and fixed at the blunt peninsula, or
headland, which the Indians call _Peekwutino_, the old Mackinac of
the French.

Leaving this spot at an early hour, we went to Point St. Ignace to
breakfast, and made the traverse to the Island of Michilimackinac by
eleven o'clock. We were greeted by a number of persons on the beach;
among them was Mr. Agnew, of the _Sault_, who reported friends all well.
This was a great relief to my mind, as I had been for a number of days
under the impression that some one near and dear to me was ill. It was
Sunday morning; many of the inhabitants were at church, and appearances
indicated more respect for the day than I recollect to have noticed
before. The good effect of the mission established in the island, under
the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Ferry, are clearly visible. Mr. Robert
Stuart invited me to take a room at the company's house, which I
declined, but dined and supped there.


Journey from Mackinac to the Sault Ste. Marie--Outard Point--Head
winds--Lake Huron in a rage--Desperate embarkation--St. Vital--Double
the Detour--Return to St. Mary's--Letters--"Indian girl"--New volume of
travels--Guess' Cherokee alphabet--New views of the Indian languages and
their principles of construction--Georgia question--Post-office
difficulties--Glimpses from the civilized world.

1825. _Sept. 5th_. I arose at seven, and we had breakfast at half-past
seven. I then went to the Company's store and ordered an invoice of
goods for the Indian department. This occupied the time till dinner was
announced. I then went to my camp and ordered the tent to be struck and
the canoe to be put into the water; but found two of my men so ill with
the fever and ague that they could not go, and three others were much
intoxicated. The atmosphere was very cloudy and threatening, and to
attempt the traverse to Goose Island, under such circumstances, was
deemed improper. Mr. Robert and David Stuart, men noted in the Astoria
enterprise; Mr. Agnew, Capt. Knapp, Mr. Conner, Mr. Abbott, Mr. Currey,
&c., had kindly accompanied me to the beach, but all were very urgent in
their opinion that I should defer the starting. I ordered the men to be
ready at two o'clock in the morning should the weather not prove

_6th_. I arose at three o'clock, but found a heavy fog enveloping the
whole island, and concealing objects at a short distance. It was not
till half-past six that I could embark, when the fog began to disperse,
but the clearing away of the fog introduced a light head wind. I reached
Goose Island, a distance of ten miles, after a march of three hours, and
afterwards went to Outard Point, but could go no further from the
increased violence of the wind.

_Outard Point, 8 o'clock P.M._ Here have I been encamped since noon,
with a head wind, a dense damp atmosphere, and the lake in a foam. I
expected the wind would fall with the sun, but, alas! it blows stronger
than ever. I fondly hoped on quitting Mackinac this morning, that I
should see home to-morrow, but that is now impossible. How confidently
do we hope and expect in this life, and how little do we know what is to
befall us for even a few hours beyond the present moment. It has pleased
the All-wise Being to give me an adverse wind, and I must submit to it.
I, doubtless, exulted too soon and too much. On reaching Mackinac, I
said to myself: "My journey is accomplished; my route to the Sault is
nothing; I can go there in a day and a half, wind or no wind." This
vanity and presumption is now punished, and, I acknowledge, justly. I
should have left it to Providence. Wise are the ways of the Almighty,
and salutary all His dispensations to man. Were we not continually put
in mind of an overruling Providence by reverses of this kind, the human
heart, exalted with its own consequence, would soon cease to implore
protection from on high.

I feel solitary. The loud dashing of the waves on shore, and the
darkness and dreariness of all without my tent, conspire to give a
saddened train to my reflections. I endeavored to divert myself, soon
after landing, by a stroll along the shore. I sought in vain among the
loose fragments of rock for some specimens worthy of preservation. I
gleaned the evidences of crystallization and the traces of organic forms
among the cast-up fragments of limestone and sandstone. I amused myself
with the reflection that I should, perhaps, meet you coming from an
opposite direction on the beach, and I half fancied that, perhaps, it
would actually take place. Vain sport of the mind! It served to cheat
away a tedious hour, and I returned to my tent fatigued and half sick. I
am in hopes a cup of tea and a night's rest will restore my equipoise of
mind and body. Thus

     "Every pang that rends the heart,
      Bids expectation rise."

_7th_. Still detained on this bleak and desolate Point. A heavy rain and
very strong gale continued all night. The rain was driven with such
violence as to penetrate through the texture of my tent, and fall
copiously upon me. Daybreak brought with it no abatement of the storm,
but presented to my view a wide vista of white foaming surge as far as
the eye could reach. In consequence of the increasing violence of the
storm, I was compelled to order my baggage and canoe to be removed, and
my tent to be pitched back among the trees. How long I am to remain here
I cannot conjecture. It is a real equinoxial storm. My ears are stunned
with the incessant roaring of the water and the loud murmuring of the
wind among the foliage. Thick murky clouds obscure the sky, and a chill
damp air compels me to sit in my tent with my cloak on. I may exclaim,
in the language of the Chippewas, _Tyau, gitche sunnahgud_ (oh, how hard
is my fate.)

At two o'clock I made another excursion to view the broad lake and see
if some favorable sign could not be drawn, but returned with nothing to
cast a gleam on the angry vista. It seemed as if the lake was convulsed
to its bottom.


     What narrowed pleasures swell the bosom here,
     A shore most sterile, and a clime severe,
     Where every shrub seems stinted in its size,
     "Where genius sickens and where fancy dies."

     If to the lake I cast my longing view,
     The curling waves their noisy way pursue;
     That noise reminds me of my prison-strand,
     Those waves I most admire, but cannot stand.

     If to the shore I cast my anxious eye,
     There broken rocks and sand commingled lie,
     Mixed with the wrecks of shells and weeds and wood,
     Crushed by the storm and driven by the flood.

     E'en fishes there, high cast upon the shore,
     Yet pant with life and stain the rocks with gore.
     Would here the curious eye expect to meet
     Aught precious in the sands beneath his feet,
     Ores, gems, or crystals, fitting for the case,
     No spot affords so poor, so drear a place.
     Rough rounded stones, the sport of every wind,
     Is all th' inquirer shall with caution find.
     A beach unvaried spreads before the eye;
     Drear is the land and stormy is the sky.

     Would the fixed eye, that dotes on sylvan scenes,
     Draw pleasure from these dark funereal greens,
     These stunted cedars and low scraggy pines,
     Where nature stagnates and the soil repines--

     Alas! the source is small--small every bliss,
     That e'er can dwell on such a place as this.
     Bleak, barren, sandy, dreary, and confined,
     Bathed by the waves and chilled by every wind;
     Without a flower to beautify the scene,
     Without a cultured shore--a shady green--
     Without a harbor on a dangerous shore,
     Without a friend to joy with or deplore.
     He who can feel one lonely ray of bliss
     In such a thought-appalling spot as this,
     His mind in fogs and mists must ever roll,
     Without a heart, and torpid all his soul.

About three o'clock P.M. there was a transient gleam of sunshine, and,
for a few moments, a slight abatement of wind. I ordered my canoe and
baggage taken inland to another narrow little bay, having issue into the
lake, where the water was calm enough to permit its being loaded; but
before this was accomplished, a most portentous cloud gathered in the
west, and the wind arose more fierce than before. Huron, like an
offended and capricious mistress, seemed to be determined, at last, on
fury, and threw herself into the most extravagant attitudes. I again had
my tent pitched, and sat down quietly to wait till the tempest should
subside; but up to a late hour at night the elemental war continued,
and, committing myself to the Divine mercy, I put out my candle and
retired to my pallet.

_8th_. The frowning mistress, Lake Huron, still has the pouts. About
seven o'clock I walked, or scrambled my way through close-matted spruce
and brambles to get a view of the open lake. The force of the waves was
not, perhaps, much different from the day before, but they were directly
from the west, and blowing directly down the lake. Could I get out from
the nook of a bay where I was encamped, and get directly before them, it
appeared possible, with a close-reefed sail, to go on my way. My
_engagees_ thought it too hazardous to try, but their habitual sense of
obedience to a _bourgeoise_ led them to put the canoe in the water, and
at 10 o'clock we left our encampment on Outard Point, got out into the
lake, not without imminent hazard, and began our career "like a
racehorse" for the Capes of the St. Mary's. The wind blew as if "'twad
blawn its last." We had reefed our sail to less than four feet, and I
put an extra man with the steersman. We literally went "on the wings of
the wind." I do not think myself ever to have run such hazards. I was
tossed up and down the waves like Sancho Panza on the blanket. Three
hours and twenty minutes brought me to Isle St. Vital, behind which we
got shelter. The good saint who presides over the island of gravel and
sand permitted me to take a glass of cordial from my basket, and to
refresh myself with a slice of cold tongue and a biscuit. Who this St.
Vital may have been, I know not, having been brought up a Protestant;
but I suppose the Catholic calendar would tell. If his saintship was as
fond of good living as some of his friends are said to be, I make no
doubt but he will freely forgive this trespass upon his territory.
Taking courage by this refreshment, we again put out before the gale,
and got in to the De Tour, and by seven o'clock, P.M., were safely
encamped on an island in St. Mary's Straits, opposite St. Joseph's. The
wind was here ahead.

On entering the straits, I found a vessel at anchor. On coming alongside
it proved to be the schooner Harriet, Capt. Allen, of Mont Clemens, on
her way from the Sault. A passenger on board says that he was at Mr.
Johnston's house two days ago, and all are well. He says the Chippewa
chiefs arrived yesterday. Regret that I had not forwarded by them the
letter which I had prepared at the Prairie to transmit by Mr. Holliday,
when I supposed I should return by way of Chippewa River and
Lake Superior.

I procured from the Harriet a whitefish, of which I have just partaken a
supper. This delicious fish is always a treat to me, but was never more
so than on the present occasion. I landed here fatigued, wet, and cold,
but, from the effects of a cheerful fire, good news from home, and
bright anticipations for to-morrow, I feel quite re-invigorated. "Tired
nature's sweet restorer" must complete what tea and whitefish have so
successfully begun.

_9th_. My journal has no entry for this day, but it brought me safely
(some 40 miles) to my own domicil at "Elmwood." The excitement of
getting back and finding all well drove away almost all other thoughts.

The impressions made on society by our visit to New York, and the
circles in which we moved, are given in a letter from Mr. Saml. C.
Conant, of the 19th July, which I found among those awaiting my arrival.
To introduce a descendant of one of the native race into society, as
had been done in my choice, was not an ordinary event, and did not
presuppose, it seems, ordinary independence of character. Her
grandfather, by the maternal side, had been a distinguished chief of his
nation at the ancient council-fire, or seat of its government at
Chegoimegon and Lapointe. By her father, a native of Antrim, in the
north of Ireland, she was connected with a class of clergy and gentry of
high respectability, including the Bishop of Dromore and Mr. Saurin, the
Attorney-General of Ireland. Two very diverse sources of pride of
ancestry met in her father's family--that of the noble and free sons of
the forest, and that of ancestral origin founded on the notice of
British aristocracy. With me, the former was of the highest honor, when
I beheld it, as it was in her case, united to manners and education in a
marked degree gentle, polished, retiring, and refined. No two such
diverse races and states of society, uniting to produce such a result,
had ever come to my notice, and I was, of course, gratified when any
persons of intellect and refinement concurred in the wisdom of my
choice. Such was Mr. Conant and his family, a group ever to be
remembered with kindness and respect. Having passed some weeks in his
family, with her infant boy and nurse, during my absence South, his
opportunities for judging were of the best kind.

"If you will suffer me to indulge the expression of both my own and Mrs.
Conant's feelings, I am sure that you cannot but be pleased that the
frankness and generosity of one, and the virtues and gentleness of the
other of you, have made so lively an impression on our hearts, and
rendered your acquaintance to us a matter of very sweet and grateful
reflection. Truly modest and worthy persons often exhibit virtues and
possess attainments so much allied to their nature as to be themselves
unconscious of the treasures. It does not hurt such ones to be informed
of their good qualities.

"When I first visited Mr. Schoolcraft, I looked about for his _Indian
girl_. I carried such a report to my wife that we were determined to
seek her acquaintance, and were not less surprised than recompensed to
find such gentleness, urbanity, affection, and intelligence, under
circumstances so illy calculated, as might be supposed, to produce such
amiable virtues. But all have learned to estimate human nature more
correctly, and to determine that nature herself, not less than the
culture of skillful hands, has much to do with the refinement and polish
of the mind.

"Mr. S.'s book ('Trav. Cent. Ports. Miss. Valley') has also received
several generous and laudatory notices; one from the _U.S. Literary
Gazette_, printed at Boston. I saw Gov. Clinton, also, who spoke very
highly both of the book and the author. He thought that Mr. W.'s
ill-natured critique would not do any injury either here or in Europe."

_Oct. 23d_. C.C. Trowbridge, Esq., sends me a copy of "Guess' Cherokee
Alphabet." It is, with a few exceptions, syllabic. Eighty-four
characters express the whole language, but will express no other
Indian language.

Maj. John Biddle communicates the result of the delegate election. By
throwing out the vote of Sault Ste. Marie, the election was awarded by
the canvassers to Mr. Wing.

New views of Indian philology. "You know," says a literary friend, "I
began with a design to refute the calumnies of the _Quarterly_
respecting our treatment of the Indians, and our conduct during the
recent war. This is precisely what I have not done. My stock of
materials for this purpose was most ample, and the most of the labor
performed. But I found the whole could not be inserted in one number,
and no other part but this could be omitted without breaking the
continuity of the discussion. I concluded, therefore, it would be better
to save it for another article, and hereafter remodel it."

_28th_. Mr. C. writes that he has completed his review, and transmits,
for my perusal, some of the new parts of it. "I also transmit my rough
draft of those parts of the review which relate to Hunter, to Adelang's
survey, and to ----. These may amuse an idle hour. The remarks on ----
are, as you will perceive, materially altered. The alteration was
rendered necessary by an examination of the work. The 'survey' is a new
item, and I think, you will consider, the occasion of it, with me, a
precious specimen of Dutch impudence and ignorance. Bad as it is, it is
bepraised and bedaubed by that quack D. as though it were written with
the judgment of a Charlevoix."

This article utters a species of criticism in America which we have long

It breaks the ice on new ground--the ground of independent
philosophical thought and inquiry. Truth to tell, we have known very
little on the philosophy of the Indian languages, and that little has
been the re-echo of foreign continental opinions. It has been written
without a knowledge of the Indian character and history. Its allusions
have mixed up the tribes in double confusion. Mere synonyms have been
taken for different tribes, and their history and language has been
criss-crossed as if the facts had been heaped together with a pitchfork.
Mr. C. has made a bold stroke to lay the foundation of a better and
truer philological basis, which must at last prevail. It is true the
_prestige_ of respected names will rise up to oppose the new views,
which, I confess, to be sustained in their main features by my own views
and researches here on the ground and in the midst of the Indians, and
men will rise to sustain the _old_ views--the original literary mummery
and philological hocus-pocus based on the papers and letters and
blunders of Heckewelder. There was a great predisposition to admire and
overrate everything relative to Indian history and language, as detailed
by this good and sincere missionary in his retirement at Bethlehem. He
was appealed to as an oracle. This I found by an acquaintance which I
formed, in 1810, with the late amiable Dr. Wistar, while rusticating at
Bristol, on the banks of the Delaware. The confused letters which the
missionary wrote many years later, were mainly due to Dr. Wistar's
philosophical interest in the subject. They were rewritten and
thoroughly revised and systematized by the learned Mr. Duponceau, in
1816, and thus the philological system laid, which was published by the
Penn. Hist. Soc. in 1819. During the six years that has elapsed, nobody
has had the facts to examine the system. It has been now done, and I
shall be widely mistaken if this does not prove a new era in our Indian

Whatever the review does on this head, however, and admitting that it
pushes some positions to an ultra point, it will blow the impostor
Hunter sky high. His book is an utter fabrication, in which there is
scarcely a grain of truth hid in a bushel of chaff.

_Nov. 4th_. Difficulties have arisen, at this remote post, between the
citizens and the military, the latter of whom have shown a disposition
to feel power and forget right, by excluding, except with onerous
humiliations, some citizens from free access to the post-office. In a
letter of this date, the Postmaster-General (Mr. McLean) declines to
order the office to be kept out of the fort, and thus, in effect,
decides against the citizens. How very unimportant a citizen is 1000
miles from the seat of government! The national aegis is not big enough
to reach so far. The bed is too long for the covering. A man cannot wrap
himself in it. It is to be hoped that the Postmaster-General will live
long enough to find out that he has been deceived in this matter.

_29th_. Mr. Conant, of New York, writes: "I hope you will not fail to
prosecute your Indian inquiries this winter, getting out of them all the
stories and all the _Indian_ you can. I conclude you hear an echo now
and then from the big world, notwithstanding your seclusion. The Creek
Delegation is at Washington, unfriendly to the late treaty, and I expect
some changes not a little interesting to the aboriginal cause. Mr. Adams
looks at his 'red children' with a friendly eye, and, I trust, 'the men
of his house,' as the Indian orator called Congress, will prove
themselves so. I have been charmed with the quietude and coolness
manifested in Congress in reference to the Georgia business."

And with these last words from the civilized world, we are prepared to
plunge into another winter, with all its dreary accompaniments of ice
and snow and tempests, and with the _consoling_ reflection that when our
poor and long-looked-for monthly express arrives, we can get our letters
and papers from the office after duly performing our genuflections to a
petty military chief, with the obsequiousness of a Hindoo to the image
of Juggernaut.


General aspects of the Indian cause--Public criticism on the state of
Indian researches, and literary storm raised by the new views--Political
rumor--Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.--Delegate election--Copper mines of
Lake Superior--Instructions for a treaty in the North--Death of Mr.
Pettit--Denial of post-office facilities--Arrival of commissioners to
hold the Fond du Lac treaty--Trip to Fond du Lac through Lake
Superior--Treaty--Return--Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

_1826. Feb. 1st_. The year opens with unfavorable symptoms for the
Indian cause. The administration is strong in Congress, and the
President favorable to the Indian view of their right to the soil they
occupy east of the Mississippi until it is acquired by free cession. But
the doctrine of state sovereignty contended for by Georgia, seems to be
an element which all the States will, in the end, unite in contending
for. And the Creeks may settle their accounts with the fact that they
must finally go to the West. This is a practical view of the subject--a
sort of political necessity which seems to outride everything else.
Poetry and sympathy are rode over roughshod in the contest for the race.
We feel nothing of this _here_ at present, but it is only, perhaps,
because we are too remote and unimportant to waste a thought about.
Happy insignificance! As one of the little means of supporting existence
in so remote a spot, and keeping alive, at the same time, the spark of
literary excitement, I began, in December, a manuscript _jeu d'esprit_
newspaper, to be put in covers and sent from house to house, with the
perhaps too ambitious cognomen of "The Literary Voyager."

_6th_. The author of a leading and pungent critique for the _North
American Review_ writes in fine spirits from Washington, and in his
usual literary tone and temper about his review: "Dr. Sparks' letter
will show you his opinion. He altered the manuscript in some places, and
makes me say of--what I do not think and what I would not have
said. But let that pass. I gave him _carte blanche_, so I have no right
to find fault with his exercise of his discretion. W. is in a terrible
passion. He says that the article is written with ability, and that he
always entertained the opinion expressed in the review of Heckewelder's
work. But he is provoked at the comments on ----'s work, and, above all,
at the compliment to you. Douglass, who is here, says this is merely
Philadelphia _versus_ New York, and that it is a principle with the
former to puff all that is printed there, and to decry all that is not."

This appears to have been known to Gov. Clinton, and is the ground of
the opinion he expressed of W. to Mr. Conant.

_March 6th_. Col. De Garmo Jones writes from Detroit that it is rumored
that McLean is to leave the General Post-office Department, and to be
appointed one of the United States Judges.

Mr. L. Pettibone, of Missouri, my companion in exploring the Ozark
Mountains in 1818 and 1819, writes from that quarter that his brother,
Rufus Pettibone, Esq., of St. Louis, died on the 31st July last. He was
a man of noble, correct, and generous sentiments, who had practiced law
with reputation in Western New York. I accompanied him and his family on
going to the Western country, on his way from Olean to Pittsburgh. His
generous and manly character and fair talents, make his death a loss to
the community, and to the growing and enterprising population of the
West. He was one of the men who cheered me in my early explorations in
the West, and ever met me with a smile.

_7th_. My sister Maria writes, posting me up in the local news of

_9th_. Mr. Trowbridge informs me that Congress settled the contested
delegate question by casting aside the Sault votes. We are so
unimportant that even our votes are considered as worthless. However
that may be, nothing could be a greater misrepresentation than that
"Indians from their lodges were allowed to vote."

_14th_. Col. Thomas H. Benton, of the Senate, writes that an
appropriation of $10,000 has been granted for carrying out a clause in
the Prairie du Chien treaty, and that a convocation of the Indians in
Lake Superior will take place, "so that the copper-mine business is

_17th_. Maj. Joseph Delafield, of New York, says that Baron Lederer is
desirous of entering into an arrangement for the exchange of my large
mass of Lake Superior copper, for mineralogical specimens for the
Imperial Cabinet of Vienna.

_April 16th_. A letter from the Department contains incipient directions
for convening the Indians to meet in council at the head of Lake
Superior, and committing the general arrangements for that purpose to my
hands, and, indeed, my hands are already full. Boats, canoes, supplies,
transportation for all who are to go, and a thousand minor questions,
call for attention. A treaty at Fond du Lac, 500 miles distant, and the
throwing of a commissariat department through the lake, is no
light task.

_27th_. A moral question of much interest is presented to me in a
communication from the Rev. Alvan Coe. Of the disinterested nature and
character of this man's benevolence for the Indian race, no man knowing
him ever doubted. He has literally been going about doing good among
them since our first arrival here in 1822. In his zeal to shield them
from the arts of petty traders, he has often gone so far as to incur the
ill-will and provoke the slanderous tongues of some few people. That he
should deem it necessary to address me a letter to counteract such
rumors, is the only thing remarkable. Wiser, in some senses, and more
prudent people in their worldly affairs, probably exist; but no man of a
purer, simpler, and more exalted faith. No one whom I ever knew lives
less for "the rewards that perish." Even Mr. Laird, whose name is
mentioned in these records, although he went far beyond him in talents,
gifts, and acquirements of every sort, had not a purer faith, yet he
will, like that holy man, receive his rewards from the same "Master."

_May 2d_. Mr. Trowbridge writes me of the death of Wm. W. Pettit, Esq.,
of Detroit, a man respected and admired. He loaned me a haversack,
suitable for a loose mineral bag, on my expedition in 1820.

_8th_. Difficulties between the military and citizens continue. The
Postmaster-General declined, on a renewed memorial of the citizens, to
remove the post-office without the garrison. He says the officers have
evinced "much sensibility" on the subject, and denied that "any
restraints or embarrassments" have been imposed, when every man and
woman in the settlement knows that the only way to the _post-office_
lies through the _guard-house_, which is open and shut by tap of drum.
Restraints, indeed! Where has the worthy Postmaster-General picked up
his military information?

_June 6th_. Definite information is received that the appropriation for
the Lake Superior treaty has passed Congress.

_10th_. Mr. John Agnew, designated a special agent for preliminaries at
Fond du Lac, writes of his prompt arrival at that place and
good progress.

Gov. C. writes: "We must remove the copper-rock, and, therefore, you
will have to provide such ropes and blocks as may be necessary."

_22d_. The citizens on this frontier, early in the season, petitioned
the Legislative Council for the erection of a new county, embracing the
Straits of St. Mary's and the Basin of Lake Superior, proposing to call
it Chippewa, in allusion to the tribe occupying it. Maj. Robert A.
Forsyth, of Detroit, M.C., writes of the success of the
contemplated measure.

_July 4th_. The proposed treaty of Fond du Lac has filled the place with
bustle for the last month. At an early hour this morning expectation was
gratified by the arrival of His Excellency, Gov. Cass, accompanied by
the Hon. Thomas L. McKenney, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. They
reached the village in boats from Mackinac.

These gentlemen are appointed by the President to hold the conferences
at Fond du Lac.

_10th_. Everything has been put in requisition for the last six days to
facilitate the necessary embarkation. Jason could not have been more
busy in preparing for his famous expedition to Argos. The military
element of the party consisted of a company of the 2d Infantry, with its
commissariat and medical department, numbering, all told, sixty-two men.
It was placed under the command of Capt. Boardman. They embarked in
three twelve-oared barges, and formed the advance. The provisions,
presents of goods, and subsistence supplies of the commissioners' table,
occupied four boats, and went next. I proceeded in a canoe _allége_ with
ten men, with every appendage to render the trip convenient and
agreeable. Col. McKenney, struck with "the coach-and-six" sort of style
of this kind of conveyance, determined to take a seat with me, and
relying upon our speed and capacity to overtake the heavy boats, we
embarked a day later. The whole expedition, with flags and music, was
spread out over miles, and formed an impressive and imposing spectacle
to the natives, who saw their "closed lake," as Superior was called in
1820, yield before the Anglo-Saxon power. The weather was fine, the
scenery enchanting, and the incidents such as might fill a volume.[45] We
were eighteen days in traversing the lake by its shores and bays. The
distance is about 530 miles, which gives an average of thirty miles
per day.

[Footnote 45: Vide "Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes, of the Character and
Customs of the Chippewa Indians, and of Incidents connected with the
Treaty of Fond du Lac, by Thomas L. McKenney." Baltimore, Fielding
Lucas, 1827; one vol. 8vo., 493 pp.]

On reaching the post of Fond du Lac, of St. Louis, near the point where
that bold stream deploys below the Cabotian Mountains,[46] we found a
large assemblage of Indians from every part of the wide-spread Chippewa
territories. It embraced delegations from the extreme sources of the
Mississippi, the Rainy Lake borders, and Old Grand Portage, besides the
entire American borders of Lake Superior and the Rice Lake region, the
sources of the Wisconsin, Chippewa, and St. Croix valleys. The
negotiations were held under a large bower, supported by posts, and
provided with rude seats. The principles of the treaty of Prairie du
Chien, of 1825, were fully explained and assented to. They ceded the
right to explore and take away the native copper and copper-ores, and to
work the mines and minerals in the country. They agreed to surrender the
murderers still inland, who belonged to the misguided war party of 1824.
They fully acknowledged the sovereign authority of the United States,
and disclaimed all connection whatever with foreign powers. They
stipulated that the boundary lines of the treaty of Prairie du Chien
should be carried out in 1827 with the Menomonies and Winnebagoes, in
the region of the sources of the Fox, Wisconsin, and Menomonee rivers.
They provided for an Indian school at St. Mary's, and made some further
important stipulations respecting their advance in the arts and
education, through the element of their half-breeds. The effects of this
treaty were to place our Indian relations in this quarter on a permanent
basis, and to ensure the future peace of the frontier. My agency was now
fixed on a sure basis, and my influence fully established among the
tribes. During the treaty I had been the medium of placing about forty
silver medals, of the first, second, and third classes, on the necks of
the chiefs. A list of their names is appended.

[Footnote 46: From Cabot.]

While the Commissioners were engaged in the treaty, an effort was made,
under their direction, to get out the large copper-boulder on the
Ontonagon. It was entrusted to Col. Clemens, of Mount Clemens, and a Mr.
Porter. The trucks and ropes taken inland by them proved inadequate.
They then piled up the dry trees in the valley on the rock, and set them
on fire. They found this effort to melt it inefficacious. They then
poured on water from the river on whose brink it lays. This cracked off
some of the adhering rock. And this attempt to mutilate and falsify the
noblest specimen of native copper on the globe was the result of
this effort.

The whole expedition re-embarked on the 9th of August, and being now
relieved of its heavy supplies and favored with winds, returned to the
Sault St. Marie on the 18th of that month.

No sooner were we arrived at St. Mary's than we were informed of the
remarkable coincident deaths, on the 4th July, 1826, of John Adams and
Thomas Jefferson, the second and third Presidents of the United States.

Among the letters accumulated during my absence, was one of Aug. 2d,
from Gov. Clinton, requesting some wild rice for foreign distribution.

Another one was from my excellent friend Conant, of N.Y., who, with a
fine sensitive mind, just appreciation of facts, and no ordinary
capacity, appears to be literally breaking down in health and spirits,
although still a young man. In a joint letter to Mrs. S. and myself, he
says: "It appears you do not escape afflictions and visitations to teach
you 'how frail you are,' how liable at any moment to render up to Him
who gave them, your spirit and your life. Mr. S.," he adds, in evident
allusion to my excess of "hope," "firm in body and ambitious in his
pursuits, does not, I suppose, give over yet, and can scarcely
understand how anybody should tire of life, and look at its pursuits
with disgust."

Among my unread letters was one, Aug. 28th, from a Mr. Myer and Mr.
Cocke, of Washington, District of Columbia, who propose to establish a
periodical to be called "The Potomac Magazine," and solicit
contributions. These abortive attempts to establish periodicals by
unknown men are becoming more frequent as population increases in the
land. It is felt truly that the number of _readers_ must increase, but
it is a mistake to suppose that they will read anything but the very
best matter from the first sources, European and American. It is, at any
rate, a mistake to suppose that a man who has attained reputation in any
branch of science, literature, or general knowledge, should not seek the
highest medium of communicating it, or that he would throw away his time
and efforts in writing for these mere idealities of magazines without
the strong inducements of either fame, money, or, at least, personal

E.A. Brush, Esq., of Detroit, writes (Aug. 28th) from Mackinac, that
honors were performed that day by the military authorities on the
island, in commemoration of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson. "The
obsequies have this morning commenced here; but at this moment it is
rather difficult to select the report of a cannon, at intervals of half
an hour, from the claps of thunder at those of half a minute."

_Aug. 20th_. Mr. Robert Stuart, agent of the A.M. Fur Co., writes a
letter of congratulations on the good policy to result from placing a
sub-agent at La Pointe, in Lake Superior, a location where the interior
tricks of the trade may be reported for the notice of the government.
The selection of the sub-agent appointed by Commissioner McKenney is
gall and wormwood to him. He strives to conceal the deep chagrin he
feels at the selection of Mr. George Johnston as the incumbent.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit--Death of Henry J.
Hunt and A. G. Whitney, Esqrs.--Diary of the visits of Indians at St.
Mary's Agency--Indian affairs on the frontier under the supervision of
Col. McKenney--Criticisms on the state of Indian questions--Topic of
Indian eloquence--State of American researches in natural science--Dr.
Saml. L. Mitchell.

1826. _September_. Sickness, which often assumed a mortal type, broke
out during this month at Detroit, and carried away many of its most
esteemed citizens. Col. McKenney writes (Sep. 13th) that the
Commissioners reached that place from Mackinac in ten days, and that an
alarming sickness prevails--one hundred cases! Among the latter is Mrs.
Judge Hunt, an esteemed lady.

Gov. C. (Sep. 14th) announces the death of Col. Henry J. Hunt, one of
the most respectable citizens; a man who, for many years, has occupied a
position of the highest respect and esteem. His honor, integrity, and
general usefulness, urbanity of manners and kindness to all classes,
have never been called in question, and his loss to society will create
a vacancy which will long be felt. Called away suddenly, his death has
produced a shock in all classes, from the highest to the lowest.

Edmund A. Brush, Esq., writes (Sept. 17th): "Our unhappy mortality
prevails." On the 23d, he says: "Mr. Whitney has been lying at the point
of death for the last ten or twelve days. We hope he begins to improve."
These hopes were delusive. He died. Mr. Whitney had been abroad; he was
an assiduous and talented advocate--a native of Hudson, N.Y.--was on the
high road to political distinction--a moral man and a public loss.

I amused myself this fall by keeping notes of the official visits of my
Indian neighbors. They may denote the kind of daily wants against which
this people struggle.

_Oct. 2d_. Monetogeezhig complained that he had not been able to take
any fish for several days, and solicited some food for himself and
family, being five persons. The dress and general appearance of himself
and wife and the children, nearly naked, bore evidence to the truth of
his repeated expressions, that they were "poor, very poor, and hungry."
He also presented a kettle and an axe to be repaired. I gave him a
ticket on the Agency blacksmith, and caused sixteen rations of flour and
pork to be issued to him.

_3d_. The petty chief, Cheegud, with his wife and two children, arrived
from Lake Superior, and reported that since leaving the Taquimenon he
had killed nothing. While inland, he had broken his axe and trap. This
young chief is son-in-law of Shingauba W'ossin, principal chief of the
Chippewas. He is one of the home band, has been intimate at the agency
from its establishment, and is very much attached to the government. He
attended the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1825, and the treaty of Fond
du Lac, in 1826, and received at the latter a medal of the third size.
He has always properly appreciated the presents given him, and by his
temperate, consistent, and respectable course of life, merited
attention. Directed a ticket on the shop and twenty rations.

_6th_. An Indian woman, wife of Sirdeland, a resident Canadian, in very
low circumstances, and living in the Indian mode, requested a kettle to
be mended. My rule, in cases of this sort, excludes Indian females who
are under the protection of Canadian husbands from a participation in
the presents distributed at the office. But it is proper to make
exceptions, in some instances, where repairs of ironwork are solicited.
Directed a ticket on the blacksmith.

_13th_. Issued to Waykwauking and family twelve rations.

_16th_. Shingwaukoance, _The Little Pine_ (17th July, 1822, first
visit), accompanied by twenty persons, visited the office. This is one
of the signers of the Treaty of St. Mary of 1820, where his mark is
prefixed to his _French_ name, Augustin Bart. He told me he had come to
visit me, attended with all his young men, and requested I would listen
to what he had to say. He made a speech at great length, in which he
recapitulated his good offices and exertions towards the Americans, from
the time of Gov. Cass's arrival in 1820. He stated that a plot had then
been formed to cut off the Gov.'s party, and that he and Mr. G. Johnston
had been instrumental in thwarting the design. He was glad to see the
fire I had lighted up here in 1822 was kept burning, that the Indians
might come and warm themselves by it. He had now determined to come and
live permanently on the American side of the river, and put himself
under my protection.

He repeated his friendship, and gave a "parole" of blue wampum to
confirm his words. One of his party then lighted a pipe and handed it to
me to smoke in the usual manner. Caused tobacco and sixty rations of
food to be distributed among his band.

_20th_. Oshawano solicited food, declaring that his boys had not been
able to take any fish from the rapids for several days. This is an old
man, and a chief resident at St. Mary's. I told him that it was not my
practice, which he knew, to issue provision to the families of fishermen
during the fishing season, and that I expected his children to supply
him; that, besides, he was one of the persons who had visited the B.
Post at D. Isd. during the last summer, and that he knew I made no
presents of any kind to Indians who received presents there; that if he
went to his B. father in the summer, when it was pleasant weather, he
must also go in the fall and winter, when the weather was bad; that if
they gave him presents of goods, they must also give him food. He looked
very grave, and, after a short silence, said that he had got little or
nothing at D.I. He said his home was _here_, and he was very poor, &c.
Knowing, from personal observation, that he was suffering for food, I
ordered twenty-six-rations.

_21st_. Cheegud came to say that he was about to go to his wintering
grounds, and wished some provisions to commence the journey. This young
chief has been welcomed at the agency, and is friendly to the American
government. He attended the treaties of P.D.C. and F. du Lac; at the
latter he received a medal. He has always appreciated attentions, and by
his sober, consistent, and respectful course of life, merits the notice
of the office. I gave him some necessary ironwork, a knife, tobacco,
ammunition, provisions (18).

_23d_. Visited by Shingauwosh (4 p.)

_24th_. Akeewayzee (4 per.)

_26th_. Keewikoance and band, eleven persons. This is a chief residing
on the lower part of the river St. Mary. Having visited him last spring,
he gave me an ancient clay pot, such as the Indians used before the
arrival of Europeans. He told me he was the seventh chief, in a direct
line, since the French first arrived. He and his band plant some corn
and potatoes upon an island. He appears a sensible discreet man, and has
a good deal of the pride and dignity of the Indian character. He is in
the British interest, and his feelings are all that way, being always
received at D. I. with marked attention. He has a British medal, but
wishes to keep on friendly terms here.

_28th_. Metosh came in the office and said: "My father, I am very poor;
I have nothing, not even an axe to cut wood. Show me pity."
Thirteen rations.

_30th_. Visited by Wayishkee, a chief, having a medal of the first
class, formerly of La Pointe, in Lake Superior, and of an ancient line
of chiefs, but for the last three years a resident of St. Mary's. He had
a wife and nine children. Has been in the constant habit of visiting the
office since its establishment; but it is only within the last year that
he has given up visiting D. I. He is one of the signers of the treaty of
St. Mary. He attended the treaty of F. du Lac last summer. Received a
medal and flag from me in the spring. Is a good hunter and a kind and
affectionate parent. Had all his children by one wife. Came to inform me
that he was on his way to make his first hunt on Red Carp river, L. S.
Gave him ironwork, &c.

_30th_. Neegaubeyun, _The West Wind_, a chief by descent of the home
band; is a man about forty; has lost one eye; much given to
intemperance, and generally badly clothed; will sometimes labor for
whisky; visits D.I. every season. In consequence of his poor character
and political bias, has never been recognized by me as a chief, nor
honored with the marks of one. He said that he was poor, and did not
come to trouble me often, and hoped I would show him charity. I told him
he must not construe my charity into approbation of his conduct,
particularly his visits to D.I., which were displeasing to me and had
been forbidden by his American Father (3b.)

_30th_. Muckudaywuckooneyea. This is a young man about 18. His father
was a steady friend to the American cause even during the late war, and
many years before an Agent resided here. He had received a Jefferson
medal at Detroit; was drowned in the St. Mary a few years ago. The son
has been an irregular visitor at the office for the last four years, and
is ambitious to be invested with the authority of his father, but
possesses neither age, ability, or discretion. In consequence of his
visiting D.I., contrary to my request and _his_ promise, I took away his
father's medal from him, in 1823, hanging it up in my office, and
telling him when he was worthy of it, and not before, he should have it.
His conduct of late has been more considerate, and his professions of
friendship for the American government are profuse; but he has not
ceased his Canada visits. Ten rations.

_Nov. 5th_. Ketuckeewagauboway. This being Sunday, I told him he knew
very well that I never listened to Indians on the Prayer Day unless they
were just come from a journey, &c. He went away, saying he had
forgot, &c.

_6th_. Oshkinaway and brother, 18 p., of the British shore. Brought a
present of some partridges.

_7th_. Metacosegay. This man resides the greater part of the time on the
Canadian side of the river, but hunts often on the American shore. He
resided many years ago with a French family at St. Mary, and has imbibed
something of the French taste and manners, always wearing an ornamental
hat, and making a bow on entering and leaving the office. He has been in
the regular habit of visiting me from the year 1822, and generally
applies for what is termed _nwappo_ on setting out for his fall and
winter hunts. His elder wife, for he has two, is a Sioux slave, taken in
youth. (3, 12 r.)

_7th_. Nauwequay Wegauboway. (4, 20.)

_9th_. This day Bisconaosh visited me for the first time since my
residence here. He came with his wife and two children. This man is of
the ancient band of the Falls, but being strongly attached to the
British government, has been shy of approaching me. This has been taken
advantage of by Mr. E., a trader on the opposite shore, who told him the
Americans would cause him to be whipped, with other idle stuff of that
sort, if he came over. He stated these facts as the cause for his not
coming earlier to see me, and said he was anxious to return to the seat
of his forefathers, &c. Presented him with an axe, pair of spears,
ice-chisel, knife, and a couple of flints, and with sixteen rations of
flour, pork, and beans. _10th_. Ketuckeewagauboway. This is a resident
Indian of this place. He is a fisherman during the summer, and scarcely
ever does more in the winter than to snare hares or kill partridges,
which he exposes for sale. He also makes snow-shoes, &c. He is
intemperate and improvident, wasting in liquor what would be useful to
his family if laid out for provisions, &c. It is impossible to avoid
issues to such persons occasionally. Advice and reproof he always takes
well, acknowledges their justice with good nature, and is even
facetiously pleasant. This man used formerly to come to the office
intoxicated; but my undeviating rule of listening to no Indian in that
state, has had good effect.

_10th_. Kewazee, a fisherman in the fall, a hunter in the winter, is the
eldest son of the old hereditary chief Oshawano. Keeps himself well
clothed, and supports his family of four persons comfortably in the
Indian way. Having concluded to stop fishing for the season, he came to
solicit some provision to go inland. This is one of the home band who
adheres to the American government, and has entirely broken off all
visits to D.I., even contrary to the practice of his father and all the
other members of his family.

_13th_. Iawbeance, _The Little Male_, a young man.

_14th_. Margret, wife of Metakoosega, came in the name of her husband,
confined by a sore hand and unable to work. 3, 10.

_15th_. Wabishkipenaysee, 6, 18, an Ontonagon Indian, who thinks he is
abandoned by his Manito.

_16th_. Naugitshigome and band, 12, 48. This is an old man, a chief by
descent, but has neither medal nor flag from the British or American
government. His followers, consisting of some relations, entitle him to
some respect, although his foreign attachments have prevented my
receiving him as a chief. His visits are, however, constant, and he
professes himself friendly. His prejudices have evidently given way a
good deal, and the kindness and charity shown to him, mixed with
admonition, have produced a sensible change in his feelings.

_18th_. Caubaonaquet, 6, 36.

_21st_. Moazomonee, 4, 14, of St. Croix, L.S., made a speech, stating
the circumstances which brought him down, and imploring charity in
clothes, &c. Presented a pipe to him; gave him an axe, spears, chisel,
fire-steel, leggings, &c.

_24th_. Oaugaugee, _Little Crow_, 4, 12, a son-in-law of Naugitchigome,
brought some hares as a present.

_27th_. Ochipway, a stout, athletic young Indian, having a wife and
children. He said his youngest child was ill, and requested a physician
to be sent to see him.

_27th_. Negaubeyun, 12, 36.

Oshawano. Told him to come some other time. Axe and spears.

_29th_. Akewaizee applied for provisions and an axe, saying his axe had
been stolen; that he wished to go down the river. I taxed him with
selling his axe for liquor, but he denied this, saying that he never
sold what he received as presents, and that it was stolen while he was
fishing. Gave him an axe, with an injunction that he must take better
care of it than he did of the last. Ten rations.

_30th_. Metacosseguay and wife. Said he had not been able to hunt or
fish for some time, and had been disappointed in getting flour for some
fish he had sold; that the trader had promised him flour when the vessel
came, but no vessel had come. This being the _third_ visit of this man
and family within three weeks, I told him that while he was unwell I had
given him, but now he was able to hunt or trap or fish, he must do so;
that he came to me too often, and sometimes after he had sold the avails
of his hunt, and taken the whole in liquor, he relied upon me for
provisions; that I saw clearly what was going on about me, and he could
not deceive me by idle stories, &c.; that he was constantly calling me
father, and entreating me to look upon him as a child, and I did so, not
only in giving, but also in refusing; that reasonable children did not
trouble their fathers too often, and never requested anything but when
they were _really_ in need, &c. I ordered him a plug of tobacco, and
told him to go to his lodge and _smoke upon my words_, and he would find
them good. He went away seemingly as well pleased as if I had met his
requests, shaking me and my interpreter cordially by the hand, and his
wife dropping a curtsey as she left the office.

_30th_. Moazomonee, nephew, and brother-in-law, came for some muskrat
traps I had promised him on his last visit. As this man belongs to a
band on the head of River St. Croix, 700 miles inland, and will return
there in the spring, the opinions he may imbibe of our government may
have an important influence with his relatives, and I therefore
determined to make a favorable impression upon him by issuing some
presents. In his lodge are four men, three women, and a number of
children. Issued sixteen rations.

_Decr. 1st_. Cath. and Gikkaw applied for awls.

_2d_. Oshawano and his youngest son. Said he had three daughters who had
to cut wood every day, and had no axe of their own; that he was in want
of an ice-chisel; fever in family. Gave him twenty rations. Thanked me
and bade me good-day.

_4th_. Caubamossa, nephew, wife, and child. Twelve rations.

_4th_. Odawau, Refused provisions. Elder brother to Oshawano, alias

_4th_. Getsha Akkewaize. Refused provisions. Told him that on account of
visits to D.I., &c.

_4th_. Moazonee came for traps promised him, also a knife and
fire-steel. Told him to hunt assiduously, but if he could procure
nothing, to come to me for provisions.

_7th_. Merchand. Old iron to mend.

_7th_. Nauwaquaygahig. 12, axe, &c.

_9th_. Namewunagunboway. 12.

_9th_. Merchand. Twenty rations, five persons.

_9th_. Meesho.

_13th_. Ketetckeewagauboway. Axe and spears.

_13th_. Gitshee Ojibway.

_13th_. Metackossegay.

_17th_. Naugitchigome called at house. Sent off with, a reprimand never
to call on Sunday.

_18th_. Iaubence brought some birds. Gave rations.

My correspondence during the autumn was by no means neglected. Col.
McKenney, Com. Ind. Affairs, writes (Oct. 17th) in his usual friendly
vein. The official influence of his visit to this remote portion of the
country is seen in several things. He has placed a sub-agent at La
Pointe. He has approved the agent's course of policy pursued here, and
placed the Indian affairs generally on a better basis.

In his "sketches" of his recent tour, he seeks to embody personal and
amusing things which daily befell the party--matters upon which he was
quite at home. I had mentioned to him, while here, that the time and
labor necessary to collect information on Indian topics, of a literary
character, imposed a species of research worthy of departmental
patronage; that I was quite willing to contribute in this way, and to
devote my leisure moments to further researches on the aboriginal
history and languages, if the government would appropriate means to this
end. I took the occasion to put these views in writing, and, by way of
earnest, enclosed him part of a vocabulary.

_Nov. 1st._ The false views of Indian history and philology, engendered
in some degree by the misapprehensions of Mr. Heckewelder and some other
writers, which were exposed by a glowing article in the _North American
Review_ last year, have had the effect to provoke further discussion. C.
is disposed to prepare another article for that paper, and is looking
about him keenly for new facts. In a letter of this date, he says: "I am
extremely anxious for your conjugation of the Chippewa substantive verb.
Let nothing prevent you from sending it to me, as it is more essential
than I have time to explain to you. Send me also your observations on
the Chippewa language. Let them come as you had them. Take no time to
copy them."

_11th_. Mr. R. S. writes one of his peculiar letters, in which the
sentiments seem to be compressed, as if some species of _finesse_ were
at work--an attenuated worldly precaution which leads him perpetually to
half conceal sentiment, purpose and acts, as if the operations and
business of life were not ten times better effected by plain
straightforwardness than by any other mode. He has, however, so long
dealt with tricky fur-traders and dealers in interested sentiment, that
it seems his intellectual habits are formed, to some extent, on that
model. What annoys me is, that he supposes himself hid, when, like the
ostrich, it is only his own head that is concealed in the sand. Yet this
man is alive to general moral effort, unites freely in all the
benevolent movements of the day, and has the general air of friendliness
in his personal manners. It continually seems that all the outer world's
affairs are well judged of, but when he comes to draw conclusions of
moral men who have the power of affecting his own interests, there is
apparent constraint, or palpable narrow-mindedness.

_29th_. Professor Chas. Anthon, of Columbia College, writes for
specimens of Indian eloquence. The world has been grossly misled on this
subject. The great simplicity, and occasional strength, of an Indian's
thoughts, have sometimes led to the use of figures and epithets of
beauty. He is surrounded by all the elements of poetry and
eloquence--tempests, woods, waters, skies. His mythology is poetic. His
world is replete with spirits and gods of all imaginable kinds and hues.
His very position--a race falling before civilization, and obliged to
give up the bow and arrow for the plough--is poetic and artistic. But he
has no sustained eloquence, no continuous trains of varying thought. It
is the flash, the crack of contending elements. It is not the steady
sound of the waterfall. Such was the eloquent appeal of Logan, revised
and pointed by Gibson. Such was the more sustained speech of Garangula
to La Barrie, the Governor-General of Canada, with La Hontan as a
reporter. Such were the speeches of Pontiac and the eloquent Sagoyawata,
or Red Jacket, the readiest reasoner of them all, which were diluted
rather than improved by admiring paragraphists. Many persons have
purposed to write a volume of Indian eloquence. Mr. Conant's design on
this subject is fresh. The present request is to supply Mr. Barker, the
publisher of "Stephen's Greek Thesaurus," Cambridge, England. What under
the sun do the learned world suppose the Indians are made of? A man
spending his time painfully to catch a beaver, or entrap an enemy,
without stores of thought, without leisure, with nothing often to eat,
and nothing to put on but tatters and rags, and, withal, with the whole
Anglo-Saxon race treading on his toes and burning out his vitals with
ardent spirits. Such is the Indian.

I sent the learned professor some perfectly truthful specimens, recently
delivered here on the occasion of a surgeon from the fort digging up the
body of an Indian woman for dissection. They expressed plain truth
without eloquence, and I never heard anything more of the professor.

_30th. Science in America_.--I received a friendly letter from Dr.
Samuel L. Mitchell, N. Y. There are, of recent years, more purely
scientific men in the land, no doubt, than the venerable doctor. But
could this have been said truly even ten years ago? He is now, perhaps,
the best ichthyologist in the Union. He is a well-read zoologist, an
intelligent botanist and a general physiologist, and has been for a long
series of years the focus of the diffusion of knowledge on a great
variety of subjects. Gov. Clinton has well called him the "Delphic
Oracle" in one of his Letters of Hibernicus, because every one who has a
scientific question to ask comes to him.

"The Lyceum of Natural History," he writes, "is going on prosperously in
the collection of articles and in the publication of intelligence. The
museum is enlarging and the annals progressing. The intercourse of New
York city with almost numberless parts of the globe, aided by the
enterprise and generosity of our navigating citizens, is productive of
an almost constant supply of natural productions, some familiar, some
known to naturalists, but not before seen by us, and others new to the
whole class of observers."

_Dec. 1st_. Much leisure during the four years I have been at this
agency, added to an early developed distaste for the ordinary modes of
killing time, has enabled me to give no little of my leisure to literary
pursuits. The interesting phenomena of the Indian grammar have come in
for a large share of my attention. This has caused me to revise and
extend my early studies, and to rummage such books on general grammar
and philology as I could lay my hands on. Every winter, beginning as
soon as the navigation closes and the world is fairly shut out, has thus
constituted a season of studies. My attention has been perpetually
divided between books and living interpreters. This may be said to be my
fourth year's _course_ with the Johnstons on the languages.

I have also resumed, as an alternate amusement, "The Literary Voyager."
I wrote this year "The Man of Bronze," an essay on the Indian character,
which has contributed to my own amusement, nor have I determined to show
it to a human eye.

     Let others write what others deftly may,
     I aim with thought to fill my wintry day.


Mineralogy--Territorial affairs--Vindication of the American policy by
its treatment of the Indians--New York spirit of improvement--Taste for
cabinets of natural history--Fatalism in an Indian--Death of a first
born son--Flight from the house--Territorial matters--A literary
topic--Preparations for another treaty--Consolations--Boundary in the
North-west under the treaty of Ghent--Natural history--Trip to Green
Bay--Treaty of Butte des Morts--Winnebago outbreak--Intrepid conduct of
General Cass--Indian stabbing--Investment of the petticoat--Mohegan

_1827. January 10th_.--Mineralogy became a popular study in the United
States, I believe, about 1817 or thereabouts, when Professor Cleveland
published the first edition of his _Elements of Mineralogy_, and
Silliman began his _Journal of Science_. It is true Bruce had published
his _Mineralogical Journal_ in 1814, but the science can, by no means,
be said to have attracted much, or general attention for several years.
It was not till 1819 that Cleveland's work first came into my hands. The
professor writes me under this date, that he is about preparing a new
edition of the work, and he solicits the communication of new
localities. This work has been about ten years before the public. It was
the first work on that subject produced on this side of the Atlantic,
and has acquired great popularity as a text-book to classes and
amateurs. It adopts a classification on chemical principles; but
recognizes the Wernerian system of erecting species by external
characters; and also Hany's system of crystallography, so far as it
extends, as being coincident, in the respective proofs which these
systems afford to the chemical mode of pure analysis. As such it
commends itself to the common sense of observers.

_20th_. Territorial affairs now began more particularly to attract my
attention. Robert Irwin, Jr., Esq., M.C. of Detroit, writes on
territorial affairs, growing out of the organization of a new county, on
the St. Mary's, and in the basin of Lake Superior. I had furnished him
the choice of three names, Allegan, Algonac, and Chippewa.

Major R.A. Forsyth, M.C., says (Jan. 22d), "the new county bill passed
on the last of December (1826). It is contemplated to tender to you the
appointment of first judge of the new county. We have selected the name
of 'Chippewa.'"

Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writes (25th) that "it is proposed in Congress to
lay off a new territory, embracing all Michigan west of the lake. This
territory, at first proposed to be called Huron, was eventually named

_25th_. Mr. Cass has examined, in an able article in the _North American
Review_, the policy of the American government in its treatment of the
Indians, in contrast with that of Great Britain. In this article, the
charges of the _London Quarterly_ are controverted, and a full
vindication made of our policy and treatment of these tribes, which must
be gratifying to every lover of our institutions, and our public sense
of justice. As between government and government, this paper is a
powerful and triumphant one. As a legal question it is not less so. The
question of political sovereignty is clear. Did our English Elizabeths,
James', and Charles', ever doubt their full right of sovereignty? The
public sense of justice and benevolence, the Republic, if not the parent
monarchy, fully recognized, by tracing to these tribes the fee of the
soil, and by punctually paying its value, as established by public
treaties, at all times.

_26th_. Mr. T.G. Anderson, of Drummond Island, transmits a translation
of the Lord's Prayer, in Odjibwa, which he requests to be examined.

_Feb. 5th_. No State seems comparable, for its enterprise and rapid
improvements, to New York. Mr. E.B. Allen, who recently removed from
this remote village to Ogdensburgh, New York, expresses his agreeable
surprise, after seven years' absence in the West, at the vast
improvements that have been made in that State. "There is a spirit of
enterprise and energy, that is deeply interesting to men of business and
also men of science."

_March 1st_. Dr. Martyn Paine, of New York, proposes a system of
philosophic exchanges. The large and fine collection of mineralogical
and geological specimens which I brought from Missouri and other parts
of the Mississippi valley in 1819, appears to have had an effect on the
prevalent taste for these subjects, and at least, it has fixed the eyes
of naturalists on my position on the frontiers. Cabinets of minerals
have been in vogue for about nine or ten years. Mr. Maclure, of
Philadelphia, Colonel Gibbs, of New Haven, and Drs. De Witt, Bruce and
Mitchill, of New York, and above Profs. Silliman and Cleveland, may be
said to have originated the taste. Before their day, minerals were
regarded as mere "stones." Now, it is rare to find a college or academy
without, at least, the nucleus of a cabinet. By transferring my
collection here, I have increased very much my own means of intellectual
enjoyment and resistance to the power of solitariness, if it has not
been the means of promoting discovery in others.

       *       *       *       *       *

_4th. Fatalism_,--An Indian, called Wabishkipenace, _The White Bird_,
brings an express mail from the sub-agency of La Pointe, in Lake
Superior. This proved to be the individual who, in 1820, acted as one of
the guides of the exploring expedition to the Copper Rock, on the
Ontonagon River. Trifles light as air arouse an Indian's suspicions, and
the circumstance of his being thus employed by the government agents,
was made use of by his fellows to his prejudice. They told him that this
act was displeasing to the Great Spirit, who had visited him with his
displeasure. Whatever influence this idea had on others, on
Wabishkipenace it seemed to tell. He looked the image of despair. He
wore his hair long, and was nearly naked. He had a countenance of the
most melancholy cast. Poverty itself could not be poorer. Now, he
appears to have taken courage, and is willing once more to enter into
the conflicts of life. But, alas! what are these conflicts with an
Indian? A mere struggle for meat and bread enough to live.

_13th_. This is a day long to be remembered in my domestic annals, as it
carried to the tomb the gem of a once happy circle, the cherished
darling of it, in the person of a beloved, beautiful, intellectually
promising, and only son. William Henry had not yet quite completed his
third year, and yet such had been the impression created by his manly
precocity, his decision of character, perpetual liveliness of temper and
manners, and sweet and classic lineaments, and attachable traits, that
he appeared to have lived a long time. The word _time_ is, indeed, a
relative term, and ever means much or little, as much or little has been
enjoyed or suffered. Our enjoyment of him, and communion with him, was
intimate. From the earliest day of his existence, his intelligence and
quick expressive eye was remarkable, and all his waking hours were full
of pleasing innocent action and affectionate appreciation.

We took him to the city of New York during the winter of 1824-25, where
he made many friends and had many admirers. He was always remembered by
the youthful name of Willy and _Penaci_, or the bird--a term that was
playfully bestowed by the Chippewas while he was still in his cradle. He
was, indeed, a bird in our circle, for the agility of his motions, the
liveliness of his voice, and the diamond sparkle of his full hazel eyes,
reminded one of nothing so much. The month of March was more than
usually changeable in its temperature, with disagreeable rains and much
humidity, which nearly carried away the heavy amount of snow on the
ground. A cold and croup rapidly developed themselves, and no efforts of
skill or kindness had power to arrest its fatal progress. He sank under
it about eleven o'clock at night. Such was the rapidity of this fatal
disease, that his silver playful voice still seemed to ring through the
house when he lay a placid corpse. Several poetic tributes to his memory
were made, but none more touching than some lines from his own mother,
which are fit to be preserved as a specimen of native composition.[47]

[Footnote 47:
     Who was it nestled on my breast,
     And on my cheek sweet kisses prest,
     And in whose smile I felt so blest?
                                  Sweet Willy.

     Who hail'd my form as home I stept,
     And in my arms so eager leapt,
     And to my bosom joyous crept?
                                  My Willy.

     Who was it wiped my tearful eye,
     And kiss'd away the coming sigh,
     And smiling, bid me say, "good boy?"
                                  Sweet Willy.

     Who was it, looked divinely fair,
     Whilst lisping sweet the evening pray'r,
     Guileless and free from earthly care?
                                  My Willy.

     Where is that voice attuned to love,
     That bid me say "my darling dove?"
     But, oh! that soul has flown above,
                                  Sweet Willy.

     Whither has fled the rose's hue?
     The lily's whiteness blending grew
     Upon thy cheek--so fair to view,
                                  My Willy.

     Oft have I gaz'd with rapt delight,
     Upon those eyes that sparkled bright,
     Emitting beams of joy and light!
                                  Sweet Willy.

     Oft have I kiss'd that forehead high,
     Like polished marble to the eye,
     And blessing, breathed an anxious sigh,
                                  For Willy.

     My son! thy coral lips are pale--
     Can I believe the heart-sick tale,
     That I thy loss must ever wail?
                                  My Willy.

     The clouds in darkness seemed to low'r,
     The storm has past with awful pow'r,
     And nipt my tender, beauteous flow'r!
                                  Sweet Willy.

     But soon my spirit will be free,
     And I my lovely son shall see,
     For God, I know did this decree!
                                  My Willy.

_17th_. This being St. Patrick's day, we dined with our excellent,
warm-hearted, and truly sympathizing friend, Mr. Johnston, in a private
way. He is the soul of hospitality, honor, friendship, and love, and no
one can be in his company an hour without loving and admiring a man who
gave up everything at home to raise up a family of most interesting
children in the heart of the American wilderness. No man's motives have
been more mistaken, no one has been more wronged, in public and private,
by opposing traders and misjudging governments, than he, and no one I
have ever known has a more forgiving and truly gentle and
high-minded spirit.

_28th_. I began housekeeping, first on my return from the visit to New
York, in the spring of 1825, in the so-called Allen House, on the
eminence west of the fort, having purchased my furniture at Buffalo, and
made it a pretty and attractive residence. But after the death of my
son, the place became insupportable from the vivid associations which it
presented with the scenes of his daily amusements.

I determined this day to close the house, and, leaving the furniture
standing, we took refuge at Mr. Johnston's. Idolatry such as ours for a
child, was fit to be rebuked, and the severity of the blow led me to
take a retrospect of life, such as it is too common to defer, but,
doubtless, wise to entertain. Why Providence should have a controversy
with us for placing our affections too deeply on a sublunary object, is
less easy at all times to reconcile to our limited perceptions than it
is to recognize in holy writ the existence of the great moral fact. "I
will be honored," says Jehovah, "and my glory will I not give to
another." It is clear that there is a mental assent in our attachments,
in which the very principle of idolatry is involved. If so, why not give
up the point, and submit to the dispensations of an inevitable and
far-seeing moral government, of affairs of every sort, with entire
resignation and oneness of purpose? How often has death drawn his dart
fatally since Adam fell before it, and how few of the millions on
millions that have followed him have precisely known _why_, or been
_entirely prepared_ for the blow! To me it seems that it has been the
temper of my mind to fasten itself too strongly on life and all its
objects; to hope too deeply and fully under all circumstances; to
grapple, as it were, in its issues with as "hooks of steel," and never
to give up, never to despair; and this blow, this bereavement, appears
to me the first link that is broken to loosen my hold on this sublunary
trust. My thoughts, three years ago, were turned strongly, and with a
mysterious power, to this point, namely, my excessive ardor of earthly
pursuits, of men's approbation. Here, then, if these reflections be
rightly taken, is the _second_ admonition. Such, at least, has been the
current of my thoughts since the 13th of the present month, and they
were deeply felt when I took my Bible, the first I ever owned or had
bought with my own money, and requested that it might be placed as the
basis of the little pillow that supported the head of the lifeless child
in his coffin.

_April 30th_. A progress in territorial affairs, in the upper lakes,
seems to have commenced; but it is slow. Emigrants are carried further
south and west. Slow as it is, however, we flatter ourselves it is of a
good and healthy character. The lower peninsula is filling up. My
letters, during this spring, denote this. Our county organization is
complete. Colonel McKenney, on the 10th, apprises me that he is coming
north, to complete the settlement of the Indian boundary, began in 1825,
at Prairie du Chien, and that his sketches of his tour of last year is
just issued from the press. He adds, "It is rather a ladies' book. I
prefer the sex and their opinions. They are worth ten times as much as
we, in all that is enlightened, and amiable, and blissful." Undoubtedly
so! This is gallant. I conclude it is a gossiping tour; and, if so, it
will please the sex for whom it is mainly intended. But will not the
graver male sex look for more? Ought not an author to put himself out a
little to make his work as high, in all departments, as he can?

Governor C. informs me (April 10th) that he will proceed to Green Bay,
to attend the contemplated treaty on the Fox River, and that I am
expected to be there with a delegation of the Chippewas from the
midlands, on the sources of the Ontonagon, Wisconsin, Chippewa, and
Menominie rivers.

Business and science, politics and literature, curiously mingle, as
usual, in my correspondence. Mr. M. Dousman (April 10) writes that a
knave has worried him, dogged his heels away from home, and sued him, at
unawares. Mr. Stuart (April 15) writes about the election of members of
council. Dr. Paine, of New York, writes respecting minerals.

_May 10th_. An eminent citizen of Detroit thus alludes to my recent
bereavement: "We sympathize with you most sincerely, in the loss you
have sustained. We can do it with the deeper interest, for we have
preceded you in this heaviest of all calamities. Time will soothe you
something, but the solace of even time will yet leave too much for the
memory and affections to brood over."

Another correspondent, in expressing his sympathies on the occasion
says: "The lines composed by Mrs. Schoolcraft struck me with such
peculiar force, as well in regard to the pathos of style, as the
singular felicity of expression, that I have taken the liberty to submit
them for perusal to one or two mutual friends. The G---- has advised me
to publish them."

_14th_. National boundary, as established by the treaty of Ghent. Major
Delafield, the agent, writes: "Our contemplated expedition, however, is
relinquished, by reason of instructions from the British government to
their commissioners. It had been agreed to determine the par. of lat. N.
49°, where it intersects the Lake of the Woods and the Red River. But
the British government, for reasons unknown to us, now decline any
further boundary operations than those provided for under the
Ghent treaty.

"We have been prevented closing the 7th article of that treaty, on
account of some extraordinary claims of the British party. They claim
Sugar, or St. George's Island, and inland, by the St. Louis, or Fond du
Lac. Both claims are unsupported by either reason, evidence, or anything
but their desire to gain something. We, of course, claim Sugar Island,
and will not relinquish it under any circumstances. We also claim inland
by the Kamanistiquia, and have sustained this claim by much evidence.
The Pigeon River by the Grand Portage will be the boundary, if our
commissioners can come to any reasonable decision. If not, I have no
doubt, upon a reference, we shall gain the Kamanistiquia, if properly
managed; the whole of the evidence being in favor of it."

ORNITHOLOGY.--An Indian boy brought me lately, the stuffed skin of a new
species of bird, which appeared early in the spring at one of the sugar
camps near St. Mary's. "We are desirous," he adds, "to see the
Fringilla, about which you wrote me some time ago."

NATIVE COPPER.--"The copper mass is safe, and the object of admiration
in my collection. Baron Lederer is shortly expected from Austria, when
he will, no doubt, make some proposition concerning it, which I will

_29th_. Many letters have been received since the 13th of March,
offering condolence in our bitter loss; but none of them, from a more
sincere, or more welcome source, than one of this date from the Conants,
of New York.

_June 3d_. Mr. Carter (N.H.) observes, in a letter of this date: "If
there be any real pleasure arising from the acquisition of reputation,
it consists chiefly in the satisfaction of proving ourselves worthy of
the confidence reposed in our talents and characters, and in the
strengthening of those ties of friendship which we are anxious to

_8th_. Mr. Robert Stuart says, in relation to our recent affliction:
"Once parents, we must make up our minds to submit to such grievous
dispensations, for, although hard, it may be for the best."

I embarked for Green Bay, to attend the treaty of _Butte des Morts_
early in June, taking Mrs. S. on a visit to Green Bay, as a means of
diverting her mind from the scene of our recent calamity. At Mackinac,
we met the steamboat Henry Clay, chartered to take the commissioners to
the bay, with Governor Cass, Colonel McKenney, and General Scott on
board, with a large company of visitors, travelers and strangers, among
them, many ladies. We joined the group, and had a pleasant passage till
getting into the bay, where an obstinate head wind tossed us up and down
like a cork on the sea. Sea-sickness, in a crowded boat, and the
retching of the waves, soon turned everything and every one topsy-turvy;
every being, in fine, bearing a stomach which had not been seasoned to
such tossings among anchors and halyards, was prostrate. At last the
steamer itself, as we came nearer the head of the bay, was pitched out
of the right channel and driven a-muck. She stuck fast on the mud, and
we were all glad to escape and go up to the town of Navarino in boats.
After spending some days here in an agreeable manner, most of the party,
indeed nearly all who were not connected with the commission, returned
in the boat, Mrs. S. in the number, and the commissioners soon proceeded
up the Fox River to _Butte des Morts_. Here temporary buildings of logs,
a mess house, etc., were constructed, and a very large number of Indians
were collected. We found the Menomonies assembled in mass, with full
delegations of the midland Chippewas, and the removed bands of Iroquois
and Stockbridges, some Pottowattomies from the west shores of Lake
Michigan, and one hand of the Winnebagoes. Circumstances had prepared
this latter tribe for hostilities against the United States. The replies
of the leading chief, Four-Legs, were evasive and contradictory; in the
meantime, reports from the Wisconsin and the Mississippi rivers denoted
this tribe ripe for a blow. They had fired into a boat descending the
Mississippi, at Prairie du Chien, and committed other outrages. General
Cass was not slow to perceive or provide the only remedy for this state
of things, and, leaving the camp under the charge of Colonel McKenney
and the agents, he took a strongly manned light canoe, and passed over
to the Mississippi, and, pushing night and day, reached St. Louis, and
ordered up troops from Jefferson Barracks, for the protection of the
settlement. In this trip, he passed through the centre of the tribe, and
incurred some extraordinary risks. He then returned up the Illinois, and
through Lake Michigan, and reached the _Butte des Morts_ in an
incredibly short space of time. Within a few days, the Mississippi
settlements were covered; the Winnebagoes were overawed, and the
business of the treaty was resumed, and successfully concluded on the
11th of August.

During the long assemblage of the Indians on these grounds, I was
sitting one afternoon, in the Governor's log shanty, with the doors
open, when a sharp cry of murder suddenly fell on our ears. I sprang
impulsively to the spot, with Major Forsyth, who was present. Within
fifty yards, directly in front of the house, stood two Indians, who
were, apparently, the murderers, and a middle aged female, near them,
bleeding profusely. I seized one of them by his long black hair, and,
giving him a sudden wrench, brought him to his back in an instant, and,
placing my knees firmly on his breast, held him there, my hand clenched
in his hair. The Major had done something similar with the other fellow.
Inquiry proved one of these men to be the perpetrator of the deed. He
had drawn his knife to stab his mother-in-law, she quickly placed her
arms over her breast and chest and received the wounds, two strokes, in
them, and thus saved her life. It was determined, as her life was saved,
though the wounds were ghastly, to degrade the man in a public
assemblage of all the Indians, the next day, by _investing him with a
petticoat_, for so unmanly an act. The thing was, accordingly, done with
great ceremony. The man then sneaked away in this imposed _matchcota_,
in a stolid manner, slowly, all the Indians looking stedfastly, but
uttering no sound approvingly or disapprovingly.

I embraced the opportunity of the delay created by the Winnebago
outbreak, and the presence of the Stockbridges on the treaty ground, to
obtain from them some outlines of their history and language. Every day,
the chiefs and old men came to my quarters, and spent some time with me.
Metoxon gave me the words for a vocabulary of the language, and,
together with Quinney, entered so far into its principles, and furnished
such examples, as led me, at once, to perceive that it was of the
Algonquin type, near akin, indeed, to the Chippewa, and the conclusion
followed, that all the New England dialects, which were cognate with
this, were of the same type. The history of this people clears up, with
such disclosures, and the fact shows us how little we can know of their
history without the languages.


Treaty of Butte des Morts--Rencontre of an Indian with grizzly
bears--Agency site at Elmwood--Its picturesque and sylvan
character--Legislative council of the Territory--Character of its
parties, as hang-back and toe-the-marks--Critical Reviews--Christmas.

_1827. August 11th_.--The treaty of Butte des Morts was signed this day.
It completes the system of Indian boundaries, which was commenced by the
treaty of Prairie du Chien, on the 19th of August, 1825, and continued
by the treaty of Fond du Lac of the 5th of August, 1826. These three
conferences, which may, from their having been concluded in the month of
August of the respective years, be called the _Augustic_ treaties,
embody a new course and policy for keeping the tribes in peace, and are
founded on the most enlarged consideration of the aboriginal right of
fee simple to the soil. They have been held exclusively at the charges
and expenses of the United States, and contain no cession of territory.

As soon as it was signed I embarked for Green Bay, on a gloomy,
drizzling day, and pursued my way to Michilimackinac and the Sault,
without a moment's loss of time. I found the place still active, and
filled with the summer visiting parties of Indians from the Lake
Superior, the Upper Mississippi, and even from Pembina and the plains of
Red River of the North.

Among the latter I observed a small and lithe Indian called Annamikens,
or Little Thunder, also called Joseph, whose face had been terribly
lacerated in a contest on the plains west of Pembina, with grizzly
bears. The wounds were now closed, but the disfiguration was permanent.
He told me the following story of the affair:--

The Sioux, Chippewas, Assinaboines, Crees, and Mandans, called by him in
general Miggaudiwag, which means fighters, were at variance. About 400
half-breeds and 100 Chippewas went out from Pembina to make peace, and
hunt the buffalo.

On the fourth day's march they reached the open plains, and met a large
body of Assinaboines and Crees encamped. Their camp was fixed on
eligible ground, and the lodges extended across the plain. Annamikens
and his followers encamped with them. After they had encamped, they
observed every hour during the night that fresh arrivals of Assinaboines
and Crees took place. On the third day of their encampment he was sent
for to Cuthbert Grant's tent, where he found a large circle of Indians
formed, and all things in readiness for a council of the three nations,
Assinaboines, Chippewas, and Crees. Grant was the trader of the Pembina
metifs, and had followed them out. In the centre of the ring, buffalo
robes were spread, and he with others was given a seat there. The object
of this council was to decide upon a plan to attack a body of 200 Sioux
lodges, which had been discovered at half a day's ride on horseback
distant. The principal chiefs, &c., were agreed as to the propriety of
an attack. He was asked to unite with them. He said he felt not only for
the chiefs and young men, but also for the women and children, hereby
expressing his dissent. Two of the principal chiefs stood up, each
holding a pipe. He was then asked to take one of the pipes and hand it
to the bravest man, giving him the power to elect the war chief. He gave
it to one he knew to be brave.

This chief had no sooner received it than he presented it to Francis,
his brother, to hand it round, thereby hoping that he would not refuse
to smoke the war-pipe when handed by his brother. He took the pipe in
both hands and smoked, then handed it to his brother, who also smoked
it, and handed it to a chief who stood next to him, and it went round.
He said, however, after smoking, "I do not consent to go to war, I am
against it." After some talk the council broke up, it beginning to be
late. At night he heard that some movement was on foot. He went to the
quarter of the camp indicated, and used his influence against the plan.
He had scarcely reached his tent when other reports of a like nature
were brought from various parts of the camp, and he was most of the
night busied in controverting the war spirit.

In the morning he made a descent through the camp, speaking openly
against the meditated attack on the Sioux, and concluded by saying that
for himself and the metifs, he had one thing to say, that they wished to
preserve peace with all, and they should join and fight for the nation
first attacked, and against whoever might raise a war-club. About 100
Crees, however, were determined to go, and in about four hours the whole
camp was broken up and dispersed. He broke up his camp rather in anger,
mounted his horse, put his family in the cart, and set out for home.
Many followed him. Francis, not seeing his brother go, also set out, and
many followed him, a greater number in fact than had followed Joseph. At
night the hunters from each party met, and they found the two parties
had traveled the same distance. On hearing this Francis sent a despatch
in the morning to his brother, but they found he had departed, and, the
country being a grassy plain, they could not exactly tell their course.

Meantime Joseph and his party had reached a point of woods, being the
first woods seen since leaving Pembina, at about nine o'clock in the
morning. Here they encamped at this early hour. He caught two wild
geese, and told his wife to cook them. His followers all dispersed to
hunt buffalo, as they were plenty about. He then put a new flint in his
gun, and stripped himself all but his breech-cloth, and went out to
explore the route he should pass on the next day.

He came into a ravine, and discovered three white bears' lairs fresh,
saw several carcasses of buffaloes lying round, more or less eaten and
decayed, and smelt quite a stench from them. One particularly was fresh
killed, and partly eaten by the bears. He passed on across a brook, and
after looking farther returned to the lairs. On returning to the brook
he found several sticks in the way of his passage for the carts on the
following day, which he commenced removing, having set his gun against a
tree. One stick being larger than the rest, some exertion was necessary
to displace it, and while in the act of doing this he heard a noise of
some animal, and saw at a distance what he took to be a buffalo, as
these animals were plenty, and running in all directions. He then took
up his gun and went on, when the sounds were repeated close behind him,
and looking over his shoulder he saw three white bears in full
pursuit of him.

He turned, cocked his gun, and took deliberate aim at the head of the
foremost, which proved to be the dam, and his gun missed fire. He
re-cocked his piece and again snapped. At this moment the bear was so
near that the muzzle nearly touched it. He knows not exactly how the
bear struck him, but at the next moment his gun flew in one direction
and he was cast about ten feet in another. He lit on his feet. The bear
then raised on her paws and took his head in her mouth, closing her
jaws, not with force, but just sufficient to make the tusks enter the
top of his shoulders. He at this moment, with the impulse of fear, put
up his hands and seized the bear by her head, and, making a violent
exertion, threw her from her balance to one side; in the act of falling
she let go his head.

At this time one of the cubs struck his right leg, being covered with
_metasses_ of their leather, and drew him down upon the ground, and he
fell upon his right side, partly on his right arm. The right arm, which
was extended in falling, was now drawn under his body by another blow
from one of the cubs, and his hand was by this motion brought into
contact with the handle of his knife (a large _couteau_ used for cutting
up buffalo-meat), and this bringing the knife to his recollection, he
drew it, and struck a back-handed blow into the right side of the dam,
whom he still held by the hair with his left. The knife went in to the
hilt. On withdrawing it, one of the cubs struck his right hand, her
nails piercing right through it in several places. He then let go of the
dam and took the knife in his left hand, and made a pass at the cub, and
struck it about half its length, the knife going into it, it being very
bloody. The stroke was impeded, and the knife partly slipped. The left
arm was then struck by one of the cubs, and the knife dropped from his
grasp. He was now left with his naked hand to make such resistance as he
could. The dam now struck him upon the abdomen with a force that
deprived him for awhile of breath, and tore it open, so that when he
rose his bowels fell upon his knees. He at first supposed that it was
his powder-horn that had fallen upon his knees, but looking down, saw
his entrails. The dam then repeated her blow, striking him upon the left
cheek, the forenail entering just below the left eye, and tore out the
cheek-bone, a part of the jaw, including three teeth, maimed his tongue,
and tore down the flesh so that it hung upon his left shoulder.

He now fell back exhausted with the loss of blood, and being conquered,
the bears ceased to molest him. But consciousness was not gone; he heard
them walk off. He lay some time. He opened and shut his hands, and found
he had not lost the use of them. He moved his neck, and found it had its
natural motion. He then raised himself up into a sitting posture, and
gathering up some grass, put it first to his left eye and cheek to wipe
off the blood, but found that it struck the bone. He then passed it to
his right cheek, wiped down the blood, and opening his eye, found he
could see clearly. He saw his gun, powder-horn, and knife scattered
about. He then got up, having bound his wounds.

He had at this time no clothing upon his body but the moccasin upon his
left foot. He took his gun, re-primed it, and while in the act of
priming, heard the peculiar noise this animal utters, and turning, saw
the old bear close upon him. He put the muzzle into her mouth, and again
missed fire. All hope now was lost, and all idea of resistance. They
pawed and tore him at will, he knows not how long. At one time they
seized him by the neck and dragged him some distance. They then once
more left him.

After they left him, he lay some time. He then bethought himself that
possibly he might still be able to rise and return to his camp, which
was not distant. After some exertion and preparation, he got up, and
again took his gun and powder-horn and knife. He picked the flint,
addressing his gun, saying, "that the bears could not kill it, and that
he hoped the gun would have more courage," &c., and putting it on his
shoulder, commenced his way to his camp.

He had not proceeded far when the snorting of the old dam before him
reminded him of his danger. He found his limbs stiff and swollen, and
that he could not bring up the gun to his shoulder to take aim. He held
it before him, and when the dam, still in front, advanced near him,
fired at her head, and the ball entered just behind the shoulder. She
fell dead. He saw the smoke issue from the wound.

One of the yearlings now rose on his hind paws and growled. He raised
his knife (which was in his left hand, upon which the gun rested on
firing), and made a pass at the bear, which the latter avoided by
throwing himself to one side. The third bear now rose up before him, but
at a greater distance than the second, and he made a pass at him, but
found him out of reach. Yet the bear threw himself to one side, as the
former had done.

Having them now on the run, he followed a short distance, but soon felt
very faint. A darkness seemed before his eyes, and he sank down. In this
act the blood gushed from his body. This appeared to relieve him. After
sitting some time, he rose and proceeded homeward. He saw no more of the
two yearling bears. Before reaching the lodge, he was met by a party who
had been seeking him. As he walked along, he felt something striking the
calf of his right leg, and found it to be a piece of flesh from his
thigh behind. There were six open holes in his body through which air
escaped, one in each side, one in his breast, abdomen, and stomach,
besides the torn cheek. He found, on reaching home, he could not speak,
but, after being bandaged, his utterance revived. On the next day the
physician from the forks of Red River arrived and attended him.

_20th_. Annamikens resumed his narrative:--

"On the next day, I have said, the doctor arrived, but not having
medicine sufficient to dress all my wounds, he put what he had on the
principal wounds. On the same day my brother and the party who had
separated on the council-ground also arrived. They remained that and the
next day, and on the third day all moved for Pembina. To carry me they
constructed a litter, carried by four persons; but I found the motion
too great to endure. They then formed a bier by fastening two poles to a
horse's sides, and placing such fixtures upon them, behind the horse, as
to permit my being carried. I found this motion easier to endure. The
Chippewas accompanied me, and were resolved, if I died, to go
immediately to war against the Sioux. My condition was, at this moment,
such that they hourly expected my death. I was prepared for it, and
directed that I should be buried at the spot where I might die. On the
third day we reached Pembina. For nine days I resisted food, feigning
that I could not eat, but wishing to starve myself, as I was so
disfigured and injured that I had no wish to survive, and would have
been ashamed to show myself in such a state. On the ninth day my hunger
was so great that I called for a piece of fish, and swallowed it; in
about two hours after I called for another piece of fish, and also ate
it. Six days after my arrival, Mr. Plavier, and another priest from Red
River, arrived to baptize me. I resisted, saying that if there was no
hope of living I would consent, but not otherwise. After fifteen days, I
was so much recovered that the priest returned, as I had every
appearance of recovery. I would neither permit white nor Indian doctors
to attend me after my arrival; but had myself regularly washed in cold
water, my wounds kept clean, and the bandages properly attended to. In
about one month from the time I could walk; but it was two years before
the wounds were closed."

I requested Dr. Z. Pitcher, the Post surgeon, to examine Annamikens,
with a view to test the narrative, and to determine on the capacity of
the human frame to survive such wounds. He found portions of the
cheek-bones gone, and cicatrices of fearful extent upon that and other
parts of the body, which gave the narrative the appearance of

On returning from Green Bay, I gave my attention, with renewed interest,
to the means of expediting the completion of the Agency buildings, and
occupying the lot and grounds. I have alluded to the success of my
reference of this subject to the Secretary of War, in 1825. A site was
selected on a handsomely elevated bank of the river, covered with elms,
about half a mile east of the fort, where the foundation of a spacious
building and office were laid in the autumn of 1826, and the frame
raised as early in the ensuing spring as the snow left the ground.

Few sites command a more varied or magnificient view. The broad and
limpid St. Mary, nearly a mile wide, runs in front of the grounds. The
Falls, whose murmuring sound falls pleasantly on the ear, are in plain
view. The wide vista of waters is perpetually filled by canoes and boats
passing across to the opposite settlement on the British shore. The
picturesque Indian costume gives an oriental cast to the moving
panorama. The azure mountains of Lake Superior rise in the distance.
Sailing vessels and steamboats from Detroit, Cleaveland, and Buffalo,
occasionally glide by, and to this wide and magnificent view, as seen by
daylight, by sunset, and by moonlight, the frequent displays of aurora
borealis give an attraction of no ordinary force.

In selecting this spot, I had left standing a large part of the fine
elms, maples, mountain ash, and other native forest trees, and the
building was, in fact, embowered by tall clumps of the richest foliage.
I indulged an early taste in horticulture, and planting trees to add to
the natural attractions of the spot, which, from the chief trees upon
it, was named "Elmwood," and every flowering plant and fruit that would
thrive in the climate, was tried. Part of the grounds were laid down in
grass. Portions of them on the water's edge that were low and quaggy,
were sowed with the redtop, which will thrive in very moist soil, and
gives it firmness. The building was ample, containing fifteen rooms,
including the office, and was executed, in all respects, in the best
modern style.

In addition to these arrangements for insuring domestic comfort and
official respect, my agency abroad among the tribes was now well
established, to the utmost sources of the Mississippi. The name and
power of "Chimoqemon" (American) among the northern tribes, was no
longer a term of derision, or uncertainty of character. The military
post established at these ancient falls, where the power of France was
first revealed as early as 1652; the numerous journeys I had made into
the interior, often in company with the highest civil and military
functionaries; the presents annually issued; the firm basis of a
commissariat for all visiting and indigent Indians; the mechanics
employed for their benefit; the control exercised over the fur traders,
and the general effects of American opinions and manners; had placed the
agency in the very highest point of view. It was a frontier agency, in
immediate juxtaposition with Canada and Hudson's Bay, fifteen hundred
miles of whose boundary closed upon them, separated only by the chain of
lakes and rivers. Questions of national policy frequently came up, and
tended much to augment the interest, which grew out of the national

I had now attained that position of repose and quiet which were so
congenial to my mind. The influence I exercised; the respect I enjoyed,
both as an officer and as a scientific and literary man: every
circumstance, in fact, that can add to the enjoyment of a man of
moderate desires, seeking to run no political race, was calculated to
insure my happiness. And I was happy. No part of my life had so
completely all the elements of entire contentment, as my residence at
the wild and picturesque homestead of Elmwood. I removed my family to
this spot in October, having now a little daughter to enlarge my family
circle, and take away, in a measure, the solitariness effected by the
loss of my son, William Henry.

I resumed my Indian researches with twofold interest. The public duties
of an agent for Indian affairs, if an industrious man, leave him a good
deal of leisure on his hands, and, in a position so remote as this, if a
man have no inclination for studies or belles lettres, he must often be
puzzled to employ his leisure. I amused myself by passing from one
literary study to another, and this is ever refreshing to the mind,
which tires of one thing. Thus, such amusements as the _Appeal of
Pontiac, Rise of the West_, and the _Man of Bronze_, found place among
graver matters. In this manner, a man without literary society may amuse
and instruct himself.

_Nov. 1st_. I have been elected a member of the Legislative Council of
the territory--an office not solicited, and which is not declined. Party
spirit has not yet reached and distracted this territory. So far as I
know, political divisions of a general character, have not entered into
society. The chief magistrate is an eminently conservative man, and by
his moderation of tone and suavity of manners, has been instrumental in
keeping political society in a state of tranquillity. All our parties
have been founded on personal preference. If there has been any more
general principles developed in the legislature, it has been a _promptly
debt paying_, and a _not promptly debt paying party_--a _non divorce_,
and a _divorce party_. I have been ever of the former class of thinkers;
and shall let my votes tell for the right and good old way--_i.e._ pay
your debts and keep your wife.

_Dec. 22d_. My study of the Indian language and history has not only
enlarged my own sources of intellectual gratification, but it has,
without my seeking it, procured me a number of highly intellectual
philosophic correspondents, whose letters operate as an aliment to
further exertion. My natural assiduity is thus continually stimulated,
and I find myself begrudging a single hour, spent in gossiping hum-drum
society--for even _here_ there is society, or an apology for society.

The editor of the _North American Review_, inviting me to write for its
pages, says (Sept. 1st): "Your knowledge and experience will enable you
to say much concerning the western country, and its aboriginal
inhabitants, which will be interesting to the community of readers. You
cannot be too full in your facts and reflections on Indians and Indian

Judge H. Chipman, of Detroit, says (Oct. 21st): "If it were just cause
of offence, that men should estimate differently the merits of opposing
candidates, popular elections would be the greatest curse that could be
inflicted upon a people."

Mr. Everett (Hon. E.) says: "I beg leave to unite with Mr. Sparks in
expressing the hope that you will become a contributor to its pages
(_North American Review_), as often as your leisure, the seasonableness
of topics, and the appearance of works to be noticed, may admit."

_24th_. This day brought one of Mr. Johnston's warm-hearted notes, to
take a Christmas dinner with him to-morrow. "I anticipate," he says,
"great pleasure in seeing many dear relatives about me, on one of the
greatest festivals the world has ever witnessed."

It was the last festival of that kind he ever enjoyed, though nothing
could be further from our imaginations then; for before its recurrence
in 1828, we were called to follow his body to the grave.


Retrospect--United States Exploring Expedition to the South
Sea--Humanity of an Indian--Trip to Detroit from the Icy
Straits--Incidental action of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Historical Societies, and of the Montreal Natural History
Society--United States Exploring Expedition--Climatology--Lake vessels
ill found--Poetic view of the Indian--United States Exploring
Expedition--Theory of the interior world--Natural History--United States
Exploring Expedition.--History of early legislation in Michigan--Return
to St. Mary's--Death of Governor De Witt Clinton.

_1828. January 1st_.--During ten years, omitting 1823, I had now
performed, each year, a journey or expedition of more or less peril and
adventure in the great American wilderness, west of the Alleghanies. I
had now attained a point, ardently sought, for many years, where I was
likely to be permitted to sit down quietly at home, and leave traveling
to others. I had, in fact, just removed into a quiet home, a retired,
convenient, tasteful, and even elegant seat, which filled every wish of
retired intellectual enjoyment, where I was encompassed by books,
studies, cabinets, and domestic affections. At this moment, when there
appeared nothing in the prospect to call me to new fields of
observation, I was elected a member of the legislative council, which
opened a civic and quite different scene of duties. This step, I found,
pleased my friends. The executive of the territory writes from Detroit,
February 22d: "We have understood that you have been elected a member of
the legislative council, and there is a prevalent wish that this report
may prove true. I mention the subject now, to inform you that the
council will probably be convened about the beginning of May, in order
that you may make the necessary preparations for visiting this place at
that time."

_Feb. 5th_. An exploring expedition for discoveries in the South Sea,
has, for some time, been under consideration in the Senate of the United
States, to be organized in the navy, and to go out under the patronage
of the Secretary, Mr. Southard. Mr. G.N. Reynolds invites me to take a
position in the scientific corps, to accompany it, under an
official sanction.

A friend from Washington writes me (Feb. 6th), on the same topic;
"Whether matrimony has stripped you of your erratic notions and habits,
'and brought you within narrower limits,' or whether the geography of
the earth is no longer of interest to you, I cannot, of course, pretend
to say. But considering you, as I do, a devotee to science, I had
thought it possible that you might feel a desire to engage in her cause
to the South, by occupying some eminent station in the expedition."

The reasons which I have mentioned, at the opening of the year, have
inclined me to seek repose from further travel. Besides which, my
position as a married man, and the peculiar relations I have thereby
assumed, impress me, very deeply, with the opinion that my sphere of
duty, whatever may be my ambition, lies nearer at home than the proposed
and very attractive field of discovery. I therefore wrote declining
the offer.

_April 7th_, A DOMESTIC CURTAIN LIFTED.--My sister Helen Margaret
writes, from New York: "This afternoon, as I was sitting by the fire,
having become the prey of ill health, a thought struck my mind to write
a few lines to you, not, however, to give you much news, but merely to
acquaint you that we are still in the land of the living, and that,
though our friends are far removed, we still live among them in
imagination. Yes, dear brother, believe me, my imagination has often
wandered, and passed hours with _you_--_hours_, during the silence of
the night, which should have been sacred to sleep.

"I have been out of health about five weeks; the complaint under which I
labor is chronic inflammation of the liver, but I have, under the pain
of sickness, forced my mind to forget its troubles. Most of my time,
last winter, has been spent with Debby; while at home, my time has been
devoted to reading, mapping, and the study of philosophy.

"Probably James has acquainted you of the illness of Margaret. She is
now very low, and is, to all human appearance, soon to leave this world
for a better, 'where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are
at rest.' Her sufferings are great; she has not been able to sit up,
more than nine minutes at one time, for two months. Her mind is calm.
She is ready and willing to leave this vain world, whenever it is the
will of God to take her.

"Mother's health is poor, and has been during all last winter; yet
notwithstanding her daily sufferings, in her harassed body, she
vigorously wrestles with ill luck. As it pains me to write, I must close
with a few words. I have frequently thought, should I be bereft of my
_mother_, what other friend, like her, would watch over the uneasy hours
of sickness? What other friend would bear its petulance, and smooth its
feverish pillow?"

This proved to be her last earthly message to me. She died on the 12th
of April, 1829, aged twenty-three.

_18th_. I, this day, had an official visit from Magisaunikwa
(Wampum-hair), a Chippewa Indian, who, recently, rescued the Inspector
of Customs of the place, John Agnew, Esq., from drowning. This gentleman
was returning from Mackinac, on the ice, with a _train de glis_, drawn
by dogs. Having ascended the straits to the rapids of the South Nebishe
channel, he found the ice faulty and rotten, and, after some exertions
to avoid the bad places, fell in, with train and dogs. The struggle to
get out only involved him worse, and, overcome by fatigue and false
footings, he at length gave over the strife, and, but as a last resort,
uttered a yell.

It chanced that Magisaunikwa was encamped in the woods, at a distance,
and, with the ever ready ear of the aborigines, caught the sounds and
came to his relief. By this time he had relinquished the struggle, and
resigned himself to his fate. By arts known to a people who are familiar
with such dangers, he rescued him from the water, but in an insensible
state. He then put the body on a sled and drew it to his lodge, where he
disrobed it, and, placing it before the fire, succeeded in
restoring him.

I invested him with a silver medal for the act, and gave him a chief's
flag, with goods and cutlery, &c. to the value of above fifty dollars.

My attention was now turned to Detroit: "You are elected," says a
friend, "a member of the council. It is essential you should be here as
speedily as possible. Leave everything to Audrain, and come down. You
can return before the busy season."

_27th_. I left the Sault this day, for Detroit, to attend the
Legislative Council. Patches of snow still lined the banks of the St.
Mary's, and fields of ice were yet in Muddy Lake. It was not until
entering the St. Clair, and passing down beyond the chilling influences
of Lake Huron, that spring began to show striking evidences of her rapid
advances, and on reaching Detroit, the state of horticulture and fruit
trees betokened a quite different and benign climate. The difference in
latitude, in this journey, is full four degrees, carrying the voyager
from about 46-1/2° to about 42-1/2°. This fact, which it is difficult to
realize from the mere inspection of maps, and reading of books, it is
important at all times to bear in mind, in setting a just value on the
country and its agricultural advantages.

On reaching the city, and before the organization of the legislature, I
received a letter from the Hon. John Davis, President of the
Massachusetts Historical Society, suggesting the publication of my
researches on Indian language.

"Mr. Pickering concurs with me, that it is very desirable to have this
publication effected. Some tracts of this description have been
occasionally published in the collections of our society, and we have no
doubt that this course would be pursued with your work, if such should
be your wish, and no preferable mode of publication should occur."

_29th_.--I received from the Rhode Island Historical Society, a copy of
their publication of Roger Williams' Key to the Indian languages. This
tract was greatly needed by philologists. The language commented on is
clearly of the Algonquin stock. Dr. Edwards, in his "Observations on the
Mukhekanieu," demonstrates that the old Mohecan, as spoken on the
Housatonic, was also of this type.

He says, indeed, that the difference in all the New England languages
spoken by the nations were merely dialectic. What I have heard of
Eliot's Bible of the Natic, or Massachusetts language, favors the same
conclusion. All this shows that the ancestors of the present lake tribes
who speak these dialects, must have overspread all New England. History
is thus taught by language. The lake tribes have only this tradition
respecting the fact, that they came from the _East_.

_30th_.--Dr. A.F. Homes transmits me a diploma of membership of the
Montreal Natural History Society.

_May 14th_.--Mr. Reynolds recurs to the subject of the Ex. Expedition,
which he announced to me on the 5th of February. "It is probable," he
observes, "that an expedition to the South Sea will sail from the City
of New York in September next. I wish, and so do several members of the
national cabinet, that you would join it, and be the head of the
scientific corps. Your salary shall be almost anything you ask, and your
relation to the general government shall not be prejudiced by a
temporary absence. The expedition will be absent about eighteen months
or two years. Will you not feel some ambition in being connected with
the first American expedition of discovery?"

_20th_.--Death is ever busy, thinning the ranks of our friends and
relatives. Mr. Shearman, of N.Y., communicates the death of my niece,
Margaret Catharine (S.) at Vernon, New York. She was a young lady of
pleasing manners, and many fine personal and mental traits. She
conversed on her fate with perfect composure, and selected hymns to be
sung at her funeral.

I accomplished my passage to Detroit I think on the 21st of May, being
twenty-four days from St. Mary's, without counting the trip in that
season one of unusual length, and without any serious mishaps, which is,
perhaps, remarkable, as all our lake vessels are ill found, and I
attribute more of success to good luck, or rather Providence, than to
any amount of seamanlike precaution. It is, indeed, remarkable that a
hundred vessels are not every year lost on the upper lakes where one now
is, by being ill supplied or equipped, or through foolhardy intrepidity.

_28th_.--A friend sent me the manuscript of his poem of "Sanillac" to
read, and to furnish some notes. The subject of the Indian is,
certainly, susceptible of being handled by the Muses, in a manner to
interest and amuse; and I regard every attempt of the kind as
meritorious, although it may be the lot of but few to succeed. The
writer on the frontier, who fills up a kind of elegant leisure by
composition, not only pleases himself, which is a thing nobody can
deprive him of, but dodges the coarser amusements of bowling, whist, and
other resorts for time-killing. He forgets his remote position for the
time, and hides from himself the feeling of that loneliness which is
best conquered by literary employment.

_30th_. Mr. Reynolds again writes, pressing the matter of the
contemplated expedition, and the prospect it opens for discovery, and
its advantage every way. He couples his offer with most liberal and
exalted sentiments, and with the opinions of distinguished men, whose
approval is praise. But notwithstanding all, there is something about
the getting up and organization of the expedition, which I do not
altogether like; and there is considerable doubt whether Congress will
not cripple it, by voting meagre supplies and outfits, if they do not
knock it in the head.

The expedition itself is a measure of the highest national moment, as it
is connected with scientific discovery, and reflects the greatest credit
on the projectors. The experiments of Dr. Maskelyn denote a greater
specific gravity in the central portions of the globe, than in its
crust, and consequently do not favor the theory advocated by Mr. R., of
an interior void. Yet we are advertised, by the phenomena of
earthquakes, that this interior abounds with oxygen, hydrogen gas,
caloric, and sulphur; and that extraordinary geological changes are
effected by their action. It does seem improbable that the proposed
expedition will trace any open connection "with such an interior world;"
but it may accumulate facts of the highest importance. I am not,
therefore, insensible of the high honor of this offer, and however I may
glow with the secret ardor of discovery, and the honor of place, my
present engagements, domestic and public, have woven about me such a
web, that it is impossible suddenly to break from it. On full
consideration and reconsideration, therefore, I declined going.[48]

[Footnote 48: The expedition was, in fact, checked by various causes, and
the project lingered for some years. At length, the expedition started
under the orders of Captain Charles Wilkes, United States Navy.]

_June 1st_. Major Delafield, of New York, transmits a box of duplicate
specimens of mineralogy from England.

"The box you forwarded for the Lyceum has not yet been sent to the
rooms. The catalogue I will present in your name to-night. The several
objects will prove extremely interesting. The lake tortoise we have been
endeavoring to obtain for a year past, to complete a paper relative to
these animals. Cooper is in Philadelphia editing the second volume of
_Bonaparte's Ornithology_. He will be disappointed in not receiving the
grosbeak,[49] of which I had spoken to him."

[Footnote 49: A new species discovered by me at Sault St. Marie.]

The study of Natural History presents some of the most pleasing
evidences of exactitude and order, in every department of creation, and
adds to life many hours of the most innocent and exalted enjoyment. It
drops, as it were, golden tissues in the walks of life, which there is a
perpetual enjoyment in unraveling.

_10th_. Mr. Reynolds writes again, without having received my last
reply, respecting the exploring expedition. He says: "Mr. Southard,
Secretary of the Navy, has expressed his deep regret that you will not
be able to find it convenient to go on the expedition."

Mr. Reynolds again writes (June 22d): "I had a conversation to-day with
the Secretary of the Navy, in relation to your joining the expedition.
He informs me that the President, as well as himself, was anxious that
you should do so; and that in case you did, an Assistant Agent might be
appointed to do your duties, as United States Agent, and thus reserve
your office until your return."

Nothing, certainly, could exceed this spirit of liberality and kind

No reasons for altering my prior decisions appeared, however, weighty
enough to change them.

_July 1st_.--The legislative council organized in due form, being sworn
in by the governor. The first assemblage of this kind in the Territory
met, I believe, four years ago. Prior to that era, the governor and
judges were authorized to adopt laws from the "old" States, which led to
a system rather objectionable, and certainly anomalous, so far as it
made the judges both _makers_ and _expounders_ of the laws; for it was
said, I know not how truly, that they picked out a clause here and
there, to fit exigencies, or cases in hand, and did not take whole
statutes. It was said that when the judges, in the exercise of their
judicial functions, got to a "tight place," they adjourned the court,
and devoted their legal acumen to picking out clauses from the statutes
of the old States, to be adopted, in order to meet the circumstances;
but these stories were, probably, to be received a little after the
manner of the slanderous reports of the Van Twiller administration, of
Knickerbocker memory. It is certain that their honors, Judges Woodward,
Griffin, and Witherall, the latter of whom was generally voted down,
have acquired no small popular notoriety as judicial and legislative
functionaries, and they must figure largely in the early annals of
Michigan, especially should this territory ever prove so fortunate as to
have a Cervantes or an Irving for its historian.

I found the members of the council to be nearly all of the old residents
of Michigan, one a Frenchman, several sent in by French votes, one or
two old volunteer officers of Hull's day, one an Indian captive, and
three lawyers by profession. When assembled they presented a body of
shrewd, grave, common-sense men, with not much legal or forensic talent,
perhaps, and no eloquence or power of speaking. There were just
_thirteen_ men, only one of whom was a demagogue, and had gained his
election by going about from house to house and asking votes. The worst
trait in the majority was a total want of moral courage, and a
disposition to favor a negligent and indebted population, by passing a
species of stop laws, and divorce laws, and of running after local and
temporary expedients, to the lowering of the tone of just legislation. I
had no constituents at home to hold me up to promises on these heads. I
was every way independent, in a political sense, and could square my
course at all times, by pursuing the right, instead of being forced into
the expedient, in cases where there was a conflict between the two. This
made my position agreeable.

I was appointed chairman of the committee on expenditures, and a member
of the judiciary, &c. I directed my attention to the incorporation of a
Historical Society; to the preparation of a system of township names
derived from the aboriginal languages; and to some efforts for bettering
the condition of the natives, by making it penal to sell or give them
ardent spirits, and thus desired to render my position as a legislator
useful, where there was but little chance of general action. As chairman
of the committee on expenditures, I kept the public expenditures snug,
and, in every respect, conformable to the laws of congress. The session
was closed about the first of July--early enough to permit me to return
to St. Mary's, to attend to the summer visits of the interior traders
and Indians.

_10th_ While engaged in the council, a friend writing from New York, who
is a close watcher of political movements, alludes to the sudden and
lamented death of Governor Clinton, last winter, and its effects on the
political parties of that State. Heavy, indeed, is the blow that removes
from the field of action a man who had occupied so wide a space in the
public esteem; and long will it be till another arises to concentrate
and control public opinion as he did. To me, as a personal friend, and
one who early counselled and directed me in my investigations in natural
history, it is a loss I feel deeply. Politicians spring up daily, but
men like him, who take a wider view of things, belong to their country.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse--Question of freedmen, or
persons not bonded for--Indian chiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut,
_Tems Couvert_, Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle--Further
notice of Wampum-hair--Red Devil--Biographical notice of Guelle Plat, or
Flat Mouth--_Brechet_--Meeshug, a widow--Iauwind--Mongazid, chief of
Fond du Lac--Chianokwut--White Bird--Annamikens, the hero of a bear
fight, &c. &c.

_1828. July 6th_.--My return to the Agency at the Sault was in the midst
of its summer business. Indians and Indian traders from remote interior
positions, were encamped on every green spot. No trader had yet renewed
his license from the government to return. It would be difficult to
indicate a place more favorable than this was, to observe the manners
and customs of the Indians, and the peculiar questions connected with
the Indian trade. I amused myself a few days, by keeping minutes of the
visits of the mixed Indian and metif multitude.

_12th_. Antoine Maucè, Alexis Blais, and Joseph Montrè, freedmen, of
Indian blood or connections, ordered from the Indian villages last fall,
presented themselves for a decision on their respective cases.

Maucè stated several facts in extenuation of his offence. He said he had
served as a boatman in the Indian trade ten years, had married an Indian
wife and raised a family, and during all this time, with the exception
of short visits to Mackinac with his _bourgeois_, had resided in the
Indian country. On the expiration of his last engagement he went to St.
Peters, and while there, made eight canoes for Mr. Bailly, from whom he
got the few goods that were seized at Sandy Lake by Mr. Johnston. He had
intended, however, to go to Mr. Johnston for a license, and he had used
the goods, in a great measure, to procure a mere support for his family.
He had left Sandy Lake last fall, passed the winter at La Pointe, and
had come down early in the spring, and, as he had lost a great deal of
time, and performed a very long journey, leaving his family behind him,
he requested that he might be allowed to return with a permit to trade.
I told him that his remaining inland, after the expiration of his
engagement, was contrary to instructions. That, being a Canadian by
birth, he could not be licensed as a trader. That he might go inland in
his old capacity of a boatman, should any American citizen be willing to
employ him, and give a bond for his future conduct, and that I should
refer the final decision upon his goods and peltries to Mr. Johnston, on
account of my imperfect knowledge of some circumstances necessary to a
correct decision.

Alexis Blais pleaded ignorance of the instructions which were given to
traders. He had no other object in remaining inland than to get a
livelihood. He came out as soon after being notified as his health would
allow. And he supposed, had he been willing to serve Mr. Aikin at Sandy
Lake, or to give him the avails of his hunt, no complaints would have
been made against him. No goods or peltries were found in his
possession, and he did not desire to return to the Indian country. I
informed him that the construction put on the Indian laws prohibited any
white man from following the pursuits of a hunter on Indian land; that
it also forbids the residence of boatmen at Indian camps or villages,
after they have served out their engagements, &c.

Joseph Montrè is a metif, step-son of Maucè. Says he was born and
brought up in the Indian country, and has subsisted by hunting. Is
unacquainted with the laws, but will follow the directions given him. I
took pains to impress upon his mind, through the medium of an
interpreter, the situation in which he was placed with respect to our
government and laws, and the steps it would be necessary for him
hereafter to pursue.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHACOPEE (The Six), a minor chief, from Snake River, on the St. Croix,
visited the office, accompanied by seven young warriors. He brought a
note from the Sub-agent at La Pointe, in which he is recommended as "a
deserving manly Indian, attached to the U.S. Government." As he had been
several days without food on his voyage through Lake Superior, I
directed a requisition to be made out for him and his young men, and
told them to call on me after they had appeased their hunger.

Neenaby (the person who hitches on his seat), of Sault St. Marie, lodged
a complaint against Mr. Butterfield and one of his runners (_i.e._
persons employed to look after credits given to Indians, or carry on a
petty traffic by visiting their camps). He states that, in making the
traverse from Point Iroquois across the straits of St. Mary, he was met
by young Holiday, who lashed his canoe alongside, and, after giving him
a drink of whisky, persuaded him to land on the Canada shore, where they
are out of reach of the trade and intercourse laws. They landed at
_Point aux Chenes,_ where H.'s tent was found pitched, who invited him
into it, and gave him more drink. H. then went to the Indian's canoe,
and brought in his furs. Something was then given him to eat, and they
embarked together in H.'s canoe, taking the furs, and leaving his own
canoe, with his wife, to follow. On reaching St. Marie's he was
conducted to Mr. B.'s store, and told to trade. He consented to trade
six large and two small beavers, and twenty muskrats, for which he
acknowledged to have received satisfaction. He was freely supplied with
whisky, and strongly urged to trade the other pack, containing the
principal part of his hunt, but he refused, saying he had brought it to
pay a credit taken of Mr. Johnston. This pack, he says, consisted of six
large and two small beavers, two otters, six martins, ninety muskrats,
and four minks. As an equivalent for it, they proceeded to lay out for
him, as he was told and shown next morning, a blanket, hat, pair of
leggins of green cloth, two fathoms strouds, one barrel of flour, one
bag of corn, and three kegs of whisky. He, however, on examining it,
refused to receive it, and demanded the pack of furs to go and pay his
credit. Decision deferred for inquiry into the facts.

_12th_. Chegud, accompanied by a train, &c., made a visit of
congratulation on my return (after a temporary absence).

_14th_. Revisited by Chacopee and his young men. He addressed me in a
fine manly tone and air. He referred to his attendance and conduct at
the treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac, as an era from which
it might be known that he was attached to our government and counsel.
The object of his present visit was to renew the acquaintance he had
formed with me at those places, to say that he had not forgotten the
good advice given him, and to solicit charity for his followers. He
presented an ornamented pipe as an evidence of his friendship.

_15th_. Visited by Monomine Kashee (the Rice Maker), a chief from Post
Lake in that part of the Chippewa country bordering on Green Bay. He was
accompanied by Mukwakwut (Satan's Ball in the Clouds), and five other
persons composing their families. In the speech made by this chief,
whose influence and authority are, I believe, quite limited, he said
that his visit to me had been produced by the favorable impressions he
had received while attending the treaty of _Butte des Morts_
(Wisconsin). That he had preserved the words which had been uttered in
council by his American fathers, and was happy that all cause of
difference with their neighbors, the Winnebagoes and Menomonies had been
taken away by fixing the lines of their lands, &c. He presented four
stands of wampum to confirm his professions of good will. His companion
also got up, and spoke for several minutes, and concluded by requesting
"that his father would not overlook him, in distributing any presents he
intended to make them." He presented a pipe. After he was seated, I
asked, as I was penning these minutes, the signification of his name,
Mukwakwut, as the meaning did not appear obvious. He smiled and replied
"that in former times his ancestors had seen devils playing ball in the
air, and that his name was in allusion to the ball."

_16th_. Visited by Tems Couvert (the Lowering or Dark Cloud), a noted
war chief of Leech Lake, upper Mississippi. He states that Mr. Oaks took
from him, two years ago, nine _plus_,[50] and has not yet paid him,
together with a medal, which last was not returned to him until his
arrival at Fond du Lac this spring. He also states that Mr. Warren took
from him, while he was at La Pointe on his way out, a pack of thirty
obiminicqua [51] (equal to thirty full-sized, seasonable beavers), and has
not, as yet, offered him anything in payment.

[Footnote 50: _Plus_, Fr. A skin's worth.]

[Footnote 51: _Obiminicqua_, Alg. The value of a full beaver skin.]

Shingabowossin (the Image Stone), Shewabeketon (the Jingling Metals),
and Wayishkee (the First-born Son), the three principal chiefs of the
Home Band, with seventy-one men, women and children, visited me to
congratulate me on my safe return from Detroit. The old chief inquired
if there was any news, and whether all remains quiet between us and
the English.

Guelle Plat, or Ashkebuggecoash (the Flat Mouth), of Leech Lake, upper
Mississippi, announced his arrival, with sixty persons, chiefly warriors
and hunters. He brought a letter from one of the principal traders in
that quarter, backed by the Sub-agent of La Pointe, recommending him as
"the most respectable man in the Chippewa nation." He is said by general
consent to be the most influential man in the large and powerful band of
Leech Lake, comprising, by my latest accounts, seventeen hundred souls.
His authority is, however, that of a village or civil chief, his
coadjutor, the Lowering Cloud, having long had the principal sway with
the warriors.

Being his first visit to this agency, although he had sent me his pipe
in 1822, and, as he said, the first time he had been so far from his
native place in a south-easterly course, I offered him the attentions
due to his rank, and his visit being an introductory one, was commenced
and ended by the customary ceremonies of the pipe.

The chief, Grosse Guelle (Big Throat), together with Majegábowe, and the
Breche's son, all of Sandy Lake, arrived this day, accompanied by four
other persons, and were received with the customary respect and
attention. Having come a long distance, their first and most pressing
want was food. It is indeed astonishing that the desire of showing
themselves off as men of consequence in their nation, the expectation of
any presents or gratifications, or the hope of any notice or preferment
whatever should induce these people to undertake such long and hazardous
journeys with such totally inadequate means.

_17th_. The _Grosse Guelle_ repeated his visit, saying that his family
had been so long without a meal of hearty food that the issue of
yesterday had not sufficed to satisfy them.

Magisaunikwa (Wampum-hair) applied for provisions for himself and
family, to enable them to return to his usual place of dwelling. This
man's case has been previously noticed. He happened to be sitting in
front of his lodge last spring, in a copse of woods near the banks of
Muddy Lake, at the instant when the Inspector of Customs of St. Mary's
(Mr. Agnew) had broken through the ice with his dog-train, and had
exhausted himself in vain efforts to extricate himself. A cry reached
the ever-open ear of the Indian, who hastened to the shore, and, after
much exertion and hazard, aided by his father and family, was the means
of preserving Mr. A.'s life. After getting the body out of the water,
they drew it upon a small train to his lodge; where they applied dry
clothing, prepared a kind of tea, and were unremitting in their
attentions. When sufficiently restored, they conducted him safely to
St. Mary's.

I invested him with a medal of the first class for this noble act,
wishing by this mark of respect, and the presents of clothing and food
accompanying it, to forcibly impress his mind with the high respect and
admiration such deeds excite among civilized people, and in the further
hope that it might prove a stimulus to the lukewarm benevolence of
others, if, indeed, any of the natives can be justly accused of
lukewarmness in this respect. On visiting Fort Brady, Lt. C. F. Morton,
of N.Y., presented him a sword-knot, belt, &c. Some other presents
were, I believe, made him, in addition to those given him by Mr.
Agnew himself.

_18th_. Miscomonetoes (the Red Insect, or Red Devil; the term may mean
both), and family and followers, twelve persons in all, visited the
office. His personal appearance, and that of his family, bespoke
wretchedness, and appeared to give force to his strong complaints
against the traders who visit Ottowa Lake and the headwaters of Chippewa
River of the Mississippi. He observed that the prices they are compelled
to pay are extortionate, that their lands are quite destitute of the
larger animals, and that the beaver is nearly destroyed.

He also complained of white and half-breed hunters intruding on their
grounds, whose means for trapping and killing animals are superior to
those of the Indians. According to his statement, as high as four _plus_
(about $20) have been paid for a fathom of strouds, and the same for a
two-and-a-half point blanket, two _plus_ for a pair of scarlet
leggins, &c.

_18th_. Ten separate parties of Indians, numbering ninety-four souls,
presented themselves at the office this day, in addition to the above,
from various parts of the interior, and were heard on the subject of
their wants and wishes. _19th_. Guelle Plat repeated his visit with his
followers, and made a speech, in which he took a view of his intercourse
with the English and Americans. He had passed his youth in the plains
west of Red River, and was first drawn into an intercourse with the
British agents at Fort William (L. S.), where he received a medal from
the late Wm. McGilvray. This medal was taken by Lieut. Pike, on visiting
Leech Lake, in 1806. He has visited the agency at St. Peter's, but
complains that his path to that post has been marked with blood. He was
present during the attack made upon the Chippewa camp by the Sioux, near
Fort Snelling, in the summer of 1827. Is not satisfied with the
adjustment of this affair, but is inclined to peace, and has recommended
it to his young men. They can never, however, he says, count upon the
good-will of the enemy, and are obliged to live in a constant state of
preparation for war. They go out to hunt as if they were going on a war
party. They often meet the Sioux and smoke with them, but they cannot
confide in them.

Speaking of the authority exercised over their country for the purpose
of trade, he said: "The Americans are not our masters; the English are
not our masters; the country is ours." He wished that traders should be
allowed to visit them who would sell their goods _cheaper_, and said
that more than _one_ trader at each trading post was desired by him and
his people.

He modestly disclaimed authority over his band; said he was _no_ chief.
The Indians sometimes followed his advice; but they oftener followed
their own will. He said Indians were fond of change, and were always in
hopes of finding things better in another place. He believed it would be
better if they would not rove so much. He had ever acted on this
principle, and recommended it. He had never visited this place before,
but now that he had come this far, it was his wish to go to
Michilimackinac, of which he had heard much, and desired to see it. He
was in hopes his journey would prove of some service to him, &c. He
solicited a rifle and a hat.

The _Brèche,_ alias Catawabeta (Broken Tooth), entered the office with
one or two followers, in company with the preceding. Seeing the office
crowded, he said he would defer speaking till another day. This
venerable chief is the patriarch of the region around Sandy Lake, on the
Upper Mississippi. He made his first visit to me a few days after the
landing of the troops at this post, in 1822. In turning to some minutes
of that date, I find he pronounced himself "the friend and advocate of
peace," and he referred to facts to prove that his practice had been in
accordance with his professions. He discountenanced the idea of the
Indians taking part in our wars. He said he was a small boy at the
taking of _old_ Mackinac (1763). The French wished him to take up the
war-club, but he refused. The English afterwards thanked him for this,
and requested him to raise the tomahawk in their favor, but he refused.
The Americans afterwards thanked him for this refusal, but they did not
ask him to go to war. "They all talked of peace," he said, "but still,
though they talk of peace, the Sioux continue to make war upon us. Very
lately they killed three people."

The neutral policy which this chief so early unfolded, I have found
quite characteristic of his oratory, though his political feelings are
known to be decidedly favorable to the British government.

Omeeshug, widow of Ningotook, of Leech Lake, presented a memorandum
given by me to her late husband, during my attendance at the treaty of
Prairie du Chien, in 1825, claiming a medal for her infant son, in
exchange for a British medal which had been given up. On inquiry, the
medal surrendered originally belonged to Waukimmenas, a prior husband,
by whom she also had a son named Tinnegans (_Shoulder Blade_), now a man
grown, and an active and promising Indian. I decided the latter to be
the rightful heir, and intrusted a new medal of the second size to Mr.
Roussain, to be delivered to him on his arrival at Leech Lake, with the
customary formalities.

Iauwind announced himself as having arrived yesterday, with twenty-eight
followers belonging to the band of Fond du Lac. He had, it appeared,
visited Drummond Island, and took occasion in his speech to intimate
that he had not been very favorably received. Before closing, he ran
very nearly through the catalogue of Indian wants, and trusted his
"American father" would supply them. He concluded by presenting a pipe.
I informed him that he had not visited Drummond's in ignorance of my
wishes on the subject, and that if he did not receive the presents he
expected from me, he could not mistake the cause of their
being withheld.

The Red Devil came to take leave, as he had sent his canoe to the head
of the rapids, and was ready to embark. He made a very earnest and
vehement speech, in which he once more depicted the misery of his
condition, and begged earnestly that I would consider the forlorn and
impoverished situation of himself and his young men. He presented a
pipe. I told him it was contrary to the commands of his great father,
the President, that presents should be given to any of his red children
who disregarded his wishes so much as to continue their visits to
foreign agencies. That such visits were very injurious to them both in a
moral and economical point of view. That they thereby neglected their
hunting and gardens, contracted diseases, and never failed to indulge in
the most immoderate use of strong drink. That to procure the latter,
they would sell their presents, pawn their ornaments, &c., and, I verily
believed, were their hands and feet _loose_, they would pawn them, so as
to be forever after incapable of doing anything towards their own
subsistence. I told him that if, under such circumstances, I should give
him, or any other Indian, provisions to carry them home, they must not
construe it into any approbation of their late conduct, but must ascribe
it wholly to feelings of pity and commiseration for their situation, &c.

Mongazid (the Loon's Foot), a noted speaker, and Jossakeed, or _Seer of
Fond du Lac_, arrived in the afternoon, attended by eleven persons. He
had scarcely exchanged salutations with me when he said that his
followers and himself were in a starving condition, having had very
little food for several days.

Oshogay (the Osprey), solicited provisions to return home. This young
man had been sent down to deliver a speech from his father, Kabamappa,
of the river St. Croix, in which he regretted his inability to come in
person. The father had first attracted my notice at the treaty of
Prairie du Chien, and afterwards received a small medal, by my
recommendation, from the Commissioners at Fond du Lac. He appeared to
consider himself under obligations to renew the assurance of his
friendship, and this, with the hope of receiving some presents, appeared
to constitute the object of his son's mission, who conducted himself
with more modesty and timidity before me than prudence afterwards; for,
by extending his visit to Drummond Island, where both he and his father
were unknown, he got nothing, and forfeited the right to claim anything
for himself on his return here.

I sent, however, in his charge, a present of goods of small amount, to
be delivered to his father, who has not countenanced his foreign visit.

Thirteen separate parties, amounting to one hundred and eighty-three
souls, visited the office and received issues of provisions this day.

_21st_. Mikkeingwum, of Ottoway Lake, made complaint that his canoe had
been stolen, and he was left with his family on the beach, without the
means of returning. On inquiring into the facts, and finding them as
stated, I purchased and presented him a canoe of a capacity suitable to
convey his family home.

Chianokwut (Lowering Cloud), called _Tems Couvert_ by the French,
principal war chief of Leech Lake, addressed me in a speech of some
length, and presented a garnished war-club, which he requested might be
hung up in the office. He said that it was not presented as a hostile
symbol. He had _done_ using it, and he wished to put it aside. He had
followed the war path _much_ in his youth, but he was now getting _old_,
and he desired _peace._ He had attended the treaty of Prairie du Chien,
to assist in fixing the lines of their lands. He recollected the good
counsel given to him at that place. He should respect the treaty, and
his ears were open to the good advice of his great American father, the
President, to whose words he had listened for the last ten years. He
referred to the treachery of the Sioux, their frequent violation of
treaties, &c. He hoped they should hear no _bad news_ (alluding to the
Sioux) on their return home, &c.

Wabishke Penais (the White Bird) solicited food. This young chief had
volunteered to carry an express from the Sub-agency of La Pointe in the
spring, and now called to announce his intention of returning to the
upper part of Lake Superior. His attachment to the American government,
his having received a small medal from his excellency Governor Cass, on
his visit to the Ontonagon River, in 1826, added to the circumstance of
his having served as a guide to the party who visited the mass of native
copper in that quarter in 1820, had rendered him quite unpopular with
his band, and led to his migration farther west. He appears, however,
recently to have reassumed himself of success, and is as anxious as
ever to recommend himself to notice. This anxiety is, however, carried
to a fault, being unsupported by an equal degree of good sense.

Annamikens (Little Thunder), a Chippewa of mixed blood, from Red River,
expressed a wish to speak, preparatory to his return, and drew a vivid
outline of his various journeys on the frontier, and his intercourse
with the Hudson's Bay and Canadian governments. This man had rendered
himself noted upon the frontier by a successful encounter with three
grizzly bears, and the hairbreadth escape he had made from their
clutches. He made, however, no allusion to this feat, in his speech, but
referred in general terms to the Indians present for testimonies of his
character as a warrior and hunter. He said he had now taken the American
government fast by the hand, and offered to carry any counsel I might
wish to send to the Indians on Red River, Red Lake, &c., and to use his
influence in causing it to be respected.

His appeal to the Indians, was subsequently responded to by the chief,
Tems Couvert, who fully confirmed his statements, &c.

Dugah Beshue (Spotted Lynx), of Pelican Lake, requested another trader
to be sent to that place. Complains of the high prices of goods, the
scarcity of animals, and the great poverty to which they are reduced.
Says the traders are very rigorous in their dealings; that they take
their furs from their lodges without ceremony, and that ammunition, in
particular, is so high they cannot get skins enough to purchase
a supply.

Visited by nine parties, comprising ninety-one souls.

_22d_. Received visits from, and issued provisions to eighty-one

_23d_. Wayoond applied for food for his family, consisting of six
persons, saying that they had been destitute for some time. I found, on
inquiry, that he had been drinking for several days previous, and his
haggard looks sufficiently bespoke the excesses he had indulged in. On
the following day, being in a state of partial delirium, he ran into the
river, and was so far exhausted before he could be got out, that he died
in the course of the night. It is my custom to bury all Indians who die
at the post, at the public expense. A plain coffin, a new blanket, and
shirt, and digging a grave, generally comprises this expense, which is
paid out of the contingent fund allowed the office.

Mizye (the Catfish) called on me, being on his return voyage from
Drummond Island, begging that I would give him some food to enable him
to reach his home at La Pointe. This Indian has the character of being
very turbulent, and active in the propagation of stories calculated to
keep up a British feeling amongst the Indians of Lapointe. The
reprimands he has received, would probably have led him to shun the
office, were he not prompted by hunger, and the hope of relief.

Whole number of visitors one hundred and thirty-five.

_24th_. Mongazid entered the office with his ornamented pipe, and
pipe-bearer, and expressed his wish to speak. He went at some length
into the details of his own life, and the history of the Fond du Lac
band, with which he appears to be very well acquainted. Referred to the
proofs he had given of attachment to government, in his conduct at the
treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac; and to his services, as a
speaker for the Fond du Lac band, which had been acknowledged by the
Chippewas generally, and procured him many followers. Said the influence
of the old chief at Fond du Lac (Sappa) had declined, as his own had
extended, &c. He complained in general terms of the conduct of the
traders of that post, but did not specify any acts. Said he had advised
his young men to assent to their father's request respecting the copper
lands on Lake Superior, &c.

Having alluded in his speech to the strength of the band, and the amount
of their hunt, I asked him, after he had seated himself, what was the
population of Fond du Lac post. He replied, with readiness, two hundred
and twenty, of whom sixty-six were males grown, and fifty-four hunters.
He said that these fifty-four hunters had killed during the last year
(1828) nine hundred and ninety-four bears--that thirty-nine packs of
furs were made at the post, and ninety packs in the whole department.

Grosse Guelle made a formal speech, the drift of which was to show his
influence among the Indians, the numerous places in which he had acted
in an official capacity for them, and the proofs of attachment he had
given to the American government. He rested his merits upon these
points. He said he and his people had visited the agency on account of
what had been promised at Fond du Lac. Several of his people had,
however, gone home, fearing sickness; others had gone to Drummond Island
for their presents. For himself, he said, he should remain content to
take what his American father should see fit to offer him.

I inquired of him, if his influence with his people and attachment to
the American government were such as he had represented, how it came,
that so many of the Sandy Lake Indians, of whom he was the chief, had
gone to Drummond Island?

Shingabowossin requested that another Chippewa interpreter might be
employed, in which he was seconded by Kagayosh (A Bird in Everlasting
Flight), Wayishkee, and Shewabekaton, chiefs of the home band. They did
not wish me to put the present interpreter out of his place, but hoped I
would be able to employ another one, whom they could better understand,
and who could understand them better. They pointed out a person whom
they would be pleased with. But his qualifications extended only to a
knowledge of the Chippewa and French languages. He was deficient in
moral character and trustworthiness; and it was sufficiently apparent
that _the person thus recommended_ had solicited them to make this novel

_28th_. The wife of Metakoossega (Pure Tobacco) applied for food for her
husband, whom she represented as being sick at his lodge, and unable to
apply himself. The peculiar features and defective Chippewa
pronunciation of this woman indicated her foreign origin. She is a Sioux
by birth, having been taken captive by the Chippewas when quite young. A
residence of probably thirty years has not been sufficient to give her a
correct knowledge of the principles or pronunciation of the language.
She often applies animate verbs and adjectives to inanimate nouns, &c.,
a proof, perhaps, that no such distinctions are known in her
native tongue.

Chacopa, a chief of Snake River, intimated his wish to be heard. He said
he had visited the agency in the hope that some respect [52] would be
shown the medal he carried. The government had thought him worthy of
this honor; the traders had also thought him deserving of it; and many
of the young men of Snake River looked up to him to speak for them.
"But what," he asked, "can I say? My father knows how we live, and what
we want. We are always needy. My young men are expecting something. I do
not speak for myself; but I must ask my father to take compassion on
those who have followed me, &c. We expect, from what our great father
said to us at the treaty of Fond du Lac, that they would all be
clothed yearly."

[Footnote 52: This term was not meant to apply to personal respect, but
to presents of goods.]

Ahkakanongwa presented a note from Mr. Johnston, Sub-agent at La Pointe,
recommending him as "a peaceable and obedient Indian." He requested
permission to be allowed to take a keg of whisky inland on his return,
and to have a permit for it in writing. I asked him the name of the
trader who had sold him the liquor, and who had _sent_ him to ask
this permit.

Wayoond's widow requested provisions to enable her to return to her
country. Granted.

_30th_. Chegud, a minor chief of Tacquimenon River, embraced the
opportunity presented by his applying for food for his family, to add
some remarks on the subject of the School promised them at the signing
of the treaty of Fond du Lac. He was desirous of sending three of his
children. The conduct of this young man for several years past, his
sobriety, industry in hunting, punctuality in paying debts contracted
with the traders, and his modest, and, at the same time, manly
deportment, have attracted general notice. He is neat in his dress,
wearing a capot, like the Canada French, is emulous of the good will of
white men, and desirous to adopt, in part, their mode of living, and
have his children educated. I informed him that the United States
Senate, in ratifying the treaty, had struck out this article providing
for a school.

_31st_ Shanegwunaibe, a visiting Indian from the sources of Menomonie
River of Green Bay, stated his object in making so circuitous a journey.
(He had come by way of Michilimackinac), to visit the agency. He had
been induced, from what he had heard of the Lake Superior Indians, to
expect that general presents of clothing would be issued to all the

"Nothing," observes the Sub-agent at La Pointe, "but their wretchedness
could induce the Indians to wander."

_Aug. 3d_. Guelle Plat returned from his visit to Michilimackinac;
states that the Agent at that post (Mr. Boyd) had given him a sheep,
but had referred him to me, when speaking on the subject of presents,
&c., saying that he belonged to my agency.

Finding in this chief a degree of intelligence, united to habits of the
strictest order and sobriety, and a vein of reflection which had enabled
him to observe more than I thought he appeared anxious to communicate, I
invited him into my house, and drew him into conversation on the state
of the trade, and the condition of the Indians at Leech Lake, &c. He
said the prices of goods were high, that the traders were rigorous, and
that there were some practices which he could wish to see abolished, not
so much for his own sake,[53] as for the sake of the Indians generally;
that the traders found it for their interest to treat him and the
principal chiefs well; that he hunted diligently, and supplied himself
with necessary articles. But the generality of the Indians were
miserably poor and were severely dealt by. He said, the last thing that
they had enjoined upon him, on leaving Leech Lake, was to solicit from
me another trader. He had not, however, deemed it proper to make the
request in public council.

[Footnote 53: He was flattered and pampered by them.]

He states that the Indians are compelled to sell their furs to _one
man_, and to take what he pleases to give them in return. That the
trader fixes his own prices, both on the furs and on the goods he gives
in exchange. The Indians have no choice in the matter. And if it
happens, as it did last spring (1828), that there is a deficiency in the
outfit of goods, they are not permitted quietly to bring out their
surplus furs, and sell them to whom they please. He says that he saw a
remarkable instance of this at _Point au Pins_, on his way out, where
young Holiday drew a dirk on an Indian on refusing to let him take a
pack of furs from his canoe. He said, on speaking of this subject, "I
wish my father to take away the sword that hangs over us, and let us
bring down our furs, and sell them to whom we please."

He says that he killed last fall, nearly one thousand muskrats, thirteen
bears, twenty martins, twelve fishers. Beavers he killed none, as they
were all killed off some years ago. He says, that fifty rats are exacted
for cloth for a coat (this chief wears coats) the same for a three point
blanket, forty for a two-and-a-half point blanket, one hundred for a
Montreal gun, one _plus_ for a gill of powder, for a gill of shot, or
for twenty-five bullets, thirty martins for a beaver trap, fifteen for
a rat trap.

Speaking of the war, which has been so long waged between the Chippewas
and Sioux, to the mutual detriment of both, he said that it had
originated in the rival pretensions of a Sioux and Chippewa chief, for a
Sioux woman, and that various causes had since added fuel to the flame.
He said that, in this long war, the Chippewas had been gainers of
territory, that they were better woodsmen than the Sioux, and were able
to stand their ground. But that the fear of an enemy prevented them from
hunting some of the best beaver land, without imminent hazard. He had
himself, in the course of his life, been a member of twenty-five
different war parties, and had escaped without even a wound, though on
one occasion, he with three companions, was compelled to cut his way
through the enemy, two of whom were slain.

These remarks were made in private conversation. Anxious to secure the
influence and good-will of a man so respectable both for his standing
and his understanding, I had presented him, on his previous visit (July
19), with the President's large medal, accompanied by silver
wrist-bands, gorget, &c., silver hat-band, a hat for himself and son,
&c. I now added full patterns of clothing for himself and family,
kettles, traps, a fine rifle, ammunition, &c., and, observing his
attachment for dress of European fashion, ordered an ample cloak of
plaid, which would, in point of warmth, make a good substitute for
the blanket.

On a visit which he made to Fort Brady on the following day, Dr. Pitcher
presented his only son, a fine youth of sixteen, a gilt sword, and, I
believe, some other presents were made by the officers of the
2d Regiment.

_5th_. Issued an invoice of goods, traps, kettles, &c. to the Indians,
who were assembled in front of the office, and seated upon the green for
the purpose of making a proper distribution. I took this occasion to
remind them of the interest which their great father, the President,
constantly took in their welfare, and of his ardent desire that they
might live in peace and friendship with each other, and with their
ancient enemies, the Sioux. That he was desirous to see them increase in
numbers, as well as prosperity, to cultivate the arts of peace, so far
as they were compatible with their present condition and position, to
participate in the benefits of instruction, and to abstain from the use
of ardent spirits, that they might continue to live upon the lands of
their forefathers, and increase in all good knowledge. I told them they
must consider the presents, that had now been distributed, as an
evidence of these feelings and sentiments on the part of the President,
who expected that they would be ready to hearken to his counsels, &c.

I deemed this a suitable opportunity to reply to some remarks that had
fallen from several of the speakers, in the course of their summer
visits, on the subject of the stipulations contained in the treaty of
Fond du Lac, and informed them that I had put the substance of their
remarks into the shape of a letter to the department (see Official Let.,
Aug. 2d, 1828), that this letter would be submitted to the President,
and when I received a reply it should be communicated to them.

_6th_. Shingabowossin and his band called to take leave previous to
their setting out on their fall hunts. He thanked me in behalf of all
the Indians, for the presents distributed to them yesterday.

Wayishkee (the First Born), a chief of the home band, on calling to take
leave for the season, stated that he had been disabled by sickness from
killing many animals during the last year, that his family was large,
und that he felt grateful for the charity shown to his children, &c.

This chief is a son of the celebrated war chief Waubodjeeg (the White
Fisher), who died at La Pointe about thirty years ago, from whom he
inherited a broad wampum belt and gorget, delivered to his grandfather
(also a noted chief) by Sir Wm. Johnson, on the taking of Fort
Niagara, in 1759.

The allusion made to his family recalled to my mind the fact, that he
has had twelve children by one wife, nine of whom are now living; a
proof that a cold climate and hardships are not always adverse to the
increase of the human species.

_7th_. Annamikens made a speech, in which he expressed himself very
favorably of our government, and said he should carry back a good report
of his reception. He contrasted some things very adroitly with the
practices he had observed at Red River, Fort William, and Drummond's
Island. Deeming it proper to secure the influence of a person who stands
well with the Indians on that remote frontier, I presented him a medal
of the second class, accompanying it by some presents of clothing, &c.,
and an address to be delivered to the Chippewas, at the sources of the
Mississippi, in which I referred to the friendly and humane disposition
of our government, its desire that the Indians should live in peace,
refrain from drink, &c.

Terns Couvert, in a short speech, expressed himself favorably towards
Annamikens, corroborating some statements the latter had made.

Chacopee came to make his farewell speech, being on the point of
embarking. He recommended some of his followers to my notice, who were
not present when the goods were distributed on the fifth instant. He
again referred to the wants and wishes of the Indians of Snake River,
who lived near the boundary lines, and were subject to the incursions of
the Sioux. Says that the Sioux intrude beyond the line settled at the
Prairie, &c. Requests permission to take inland, for his own use, two
kegs of whisky, which had been presented to him by Mr. Dingley and Mr.
Warren. [This mode of evading the intercourse act, by presenting or
selling liquor on territory where the laws of Congress do not operate,
shifting on the Indians the risk and responsibility of taking it inland,
is a new phase of the trade, and evinces the _moral_ ingenuity of the
American Fur Company, or their servants.]

_8th_. Grosse Guelle stated that, as he was nearly ready to return, he
wished to say a few words, to which he hoped I would listen. He
complained of the hardness of times, high prices of goods, and poverty
of the Indians, and hoped that presents would be given to them.[54] He
alleged these causes for his visit, and that of the Sandy Lake Indians
generally. Adverted to the outrage committed by the Sioux at St. Peters,
and to the treaty of Prairie du Chien, at which his fathers (alluding to
Gen. Clarke and Gov. Cass) promised to punish the first aggressors.
Requested permission to take in some whisky--presses this topic, and
says, in reply to objections, that "Indians die whether they drink
whisky or not." He presented a pipe in his own name, and another in the
names of the two young chiefs Wazhus-Kuk-Koon (Muskrat's Liver), and
Nauganosh, who both received small medals at the treaty of Fond du Lac.

[Footnote 54: By visiting Drummond's Island contrary to instructions,
this chief and his band had excluded themselves from the distribution
made on the 5th of August.]

Katewabeda, having announced his wish to speak to me on the 6th instant,
came into the office for that purpose. He took a view of the standing
his family had maintained among the Sandy Lake Indians from an early
day, and said that he had in his possession until very lately a French
flag, which had been presented to some of his ancestors, but had been
taken to exhibit at Montreal by his son-in-law (Mr. Ermatinger, an
English trader recently retired from business). He had received a
muzinni'egun [55] from Lieut. Pike, on his visit to Sandy Lake, in 1806,
but it had been lost in a war excursion on the Mississippi. He concluded
by asking a permit to return with some mdz. and liquor, upon the sale of
which, and not on hunting, he depended for his support [56] I took
occasion to inform him that I had been well acquainted with his
standing, character, and sentiments from the time of my arrival in the
country in the capacity of an agent; that I knew him to be friendly to
the traders who visited the Upper Mississippi, desirous to keep the
Indians at peace, and not less desirous to keep up friendly relations
with the authorities of both the British and American governments; but
that I also very well knew that whatever political influence he exerted,
was not exerted to instil into the minds of the Indians sentiments
favorable to our system of government, or to make them feel the
importance of making them strictly comply with the American intercourse
laws, &c. I referred to the commencement of my acquaintance with him,
twenty days after my first landing at St. Mary's, and by narrating
facts, and naming dates and particulars, endeavored to convince him that
I had not been an indifferent observer of what had passed both _within_
and _without_ the Indian country. I also referred to recent events here,
to which I attributed an application to trade, which he had not thought
proper or deemed necessary to make in _previous_ years.

[Footnote 55: A paper; any written or printed document.]

[Footnote 56: This is one of the modern modes of getting goods into the
country in contravention of law, Mr. Ermatinger being a foreigner
trading on the Canadian side of the river.]

I concluded by telling him that he would see that it was impossible, in
conformity with the principles I acted upon, and the respect which I
claimed of Indians for my counsels, to grant his request.

_11th_. Guelle Plat came to take leave preparatory to his return. He
expressed his sense of the kindness and respect with which he had been
treated, and intimated his intention of repeating his visit to the
Agency during the next season, should his health be spared. He said, in
the course of conversation, that "there was one thing in which he had
observed a great difference between the practice of this and St. Peter's
Agency. _There_ whisky is given out in abundance; _here_ I see it is
your practice to give none."

_12th_. Invested Oshkinahwa (the Young Man of the totem of the Loon of
Leech Lake), with a medal.

_15th_. Issued provisions to the family of Kussepogoo, a Chippewyan
woman from Athabasca, recently settled at St. Mary's. It seems the name
by which this remote tribe is usually known is of Chippewa origin (being
a corruption of _Ojeegewyan_, a fisher's skin), but they trace no
affinity with the Chippewa stock, and the language is radically
different, having very little analogy either in its structure or sounds.
It is comparatively harsh and barren, and so defective and vague in its
application that it even seems questionable whether nouns and verbs
have number.

_18th_. Visited by the Little Pine (Shingwaukonce), the leading chief on
the British shore of the St. Mary's, a shrewd and politic man, who has
united, at sundry periods, in himself the offices and influence of a war
chief, a priest, or Jossakeed, and a civil ruler. The giving of public
presents on the 5th had evidently led to his visit, although he had not
pursued the policy expected from him, so far as his influence reached
among the Chippewas on the American shores of the straits. He made a
speech well suited to his position, and glossed off with some fine
generalities, avoiding commitments on main points and making them on
minor ones, concluding with a string of wampum. I smoked and shook hands
with him, and accepted his tenders of friendship by re-pledging the
pipe, but narrowed his visit to official proprieties, and refused
his wampum.

_22d._ Magisanikwa, or the Wampum-hair, renewed his visit, gave me
another opportunity to remember his humane act in the spring, and had
his claims on this score allowed. The Indians never forget a good act
done by them, and we should not permit them to surpass us in
this respect.


Natural history of the north-west--Northern
zoology--Fox--Owl--Reindeer--A dastardly attempt at murder by a
soldier---Lawless spread of the population of northern Illinois over the
Winnebago land--New York Lyceum of Natural History--U.S. Ex.
Ex.--Fiscal embarrassments in the Department--Medical cause of Indian
depopulation--Remarks of Dr. Pitcher--Erroneous impressions of the
Indian character--Reviews--Death of John Johnston, Esq.

1828. _July 24th_. The ardor with which I thought it proper to address
myself to the Indian duties of my office, did not induce me, by any
means, to neglect my correspondence or the claims of visitors
to Elmwood.

This day Lt. Col. Lindsay and Capt. Spotts, U.S.A., being on court
martial duty at Fort Brady, paid their respects to me, and the Col.
expressed his pleasure and surprise at the taste, order, and disposition
of the grounds and the Agency.

Nor did the official duties of my position interfere with the
investigation of the natural history of the country.

A large box of stuffed birds and quadrupeds, containing twenty-three
specimens of various species, was sent to the Lyceum of Natural History
at New York, in the month of April. Mr. William Cooper writes, under
this date, that they have been received and examined. "The lynx appears
to be the northern species, different from that common in this part of
the country, and very rarely seen here even in the public collections.
Several of the birds, also, I had never had an opportunity of examining
before. The spruce partridge, _Tetrae Canadensis_, is very rare in the
United States. There is no other species in this city besides yours. It
was entirely unknown to Wilson; but it is to appear in the third vol. of
Bonaparte's continuation of Wilson, to be published in the ensuing
autumn. The circumstance of its being found in the Michigan Territory,
is interesting on account of the few localities in which this bird has
been found in our boundaries. The three-toed woodpecker, _Picus
tridactylus_, was equally unknown to Wilson, and the second volume of
Bonaparte, now about to be issued, contains an elegant figure and
history of this bird, which also inhabits the north of Europe and Asia.
The other birds and quadrupeds of your collection, though better known,
were very interesting, as affording materials for the history of their
geographical distribution, a subject now become exceedingly interesting.
The plover of the plain is the turnstone, _strepsilus interpres_.

"The large fish is one of the genus _Amia_, and Dr. Dekay is inclined to
think it different from the _A. caloa_ found in our southern rivers, but
of much smaller size. The tortoises belong to three species, viz., _T.
scabra_, _T. pieta_, and _T. serpentina_. It is the first information I
have obtained of their inhabiting so far to the north-west. There are
also others found in your vicinity, which, if it would not be asking too
much, I should be much pleased if you could obtain for the Lyceum."

"I hope you will excuse me, if I take the liberty to recommend to you,
to direct your observation more particularly to those birds which come
to you in winter, from the north, or in any direction from beyond the
United States territory. It is among these that you may expect to find
specimens new to our ornithology.

"The beautiful _Fringilla_, which you sent to us a few years since, is
figured and described from your specimen, and in an elegant manner, in
the volume just about to be published of Bonaparte's work."

Mr. G. Johnston of La Pointe, Lake Superior, writes: "Since I had the
honor of receiving a printed letter from the Lyceum of Natural History,
I have been enabled to procure, at this place, two specimens of the
jumping mouse.

"The history the Indians give of its habits is as follows: It burrows
under ground, and in summer lives on the bark of small trees. It
provides and lays up a store of corn, nuts, &c., for winter consumption.
It also climbs and lives in hollow parts of trees. It is also possessed
of a carnivorous habit, it being peculiarly fond of burrowing in old
burying places, where it lives, principally on the corpse. It is never
seen in winter."

There is something in the northern zoology besides the determination of
species, which denotes a very minute care in preparing animals for the
particular latitudes the several species are designed for, by protecting
the legs and feet against the power of intense cold. And the dispersion
and migration of birds and quadrupeds are thus confined to general
boundaries. The fox, in high northern latitudes, is perfectly white
except the nose and tips of the ears, which are black, and the hair
extends so as to cover its nails. The various kinds of owls, and the
Canada jay, which winter in these latitudes, have a feathery, half-hairy
protection to the toes. The American species of the reindeer, which
under the name of cariboo, inhabits the country around the foot of Lake
Superior, has its hoof split in such a manner that it, in fact, serves
as a kind of snow shoe, spreading quite thin over about forty
superficial inches, which enables it to walk on the crusted snow.

_29th_. Dr. William Augustus Ficklin, of Louisiana (Jackson), recalls my
attention to the U.S. Exploring Expedition, the programme of which
embraces my name. "You will want a physician and surgeon attached to the
expedition. Is the place yet filled?" My acquaintance with this young
gentleman, then a lad at his father's house, in Missouri, recalls many
pleasing recollections, which gives me every inducement to favor
his wishes.

_August 2d_. Mr. Robert Irwin, Junr., of Green Bay, writes that a most
diabolical attempt was recently made at that place, a few days ago, to
take the life of Maj. Twiggs, by a corporal belonging to his command.
The circumstances were briefly these: About two o'clock in the
afternoon, the major had retired to his room to repose himself. Soon
after the corporal entered the room so secretly that he presented a
loaded musket within a few inches of his head, and, as Providence would
have it, the gun missed fire. The noise awoke the major, who
involuntarily seized the muzzle, and, while looking the fellow full in
the face, he cocked the gun and again snapped it; but it missed fire the
second time. With that the major sprang up in bed and wrenched the gun
out of the assassin's hands, and with the breech knocked the fellow
down, fracturing his skull so much that his life was for many days
despaired of.

_4th_. Gov. Cass, who has proceeded to Green Bay as a Commissioner for
treating with the Indians, writes: "I am waiting here very impatiently
for arrivals from the Indian country. But nothing comes, as yet, except
proof stronger and stronger of the injustice done to the Winnebagoes by
the actual seizure of their country." To repress this spirit of the
people of northern Illinois, much time and negotiation was required. By
his knowledge of the Indian and frontier character, an arrangement was
at length concluded for the occupation of the Rock River and
Galena country.

_23d_. An official letter of the New York Lyceum of Natural History
expresses their thanks for recent donations. Dr. Van Rensselaer says:
"Your birds, reptiles, and quadrupeds have been most graciously
received.... The expedition to the South Seas (heretofore noticed in
this journal) will afford a field for some naturalist to labor in. Dr.
Dekay intends to apply for the situation. We are at present engaged in
drawing up some instructions for the naturalist (whoever he may be),
which we shall hand to Mr. Southard, who is now here and has requested
it. We trust the expedition will add something to our knowledge as well
as to our pecuniary wealth."

_27th_. _Fiscal_--Something has been out of kelter at Washington these
two years with regard to the rigid application of appropriations, at
least in the Indian Department. We have been literally without money,
and issuing paper to public creditors and employees. Surely a government
that collects its own revenues should never want funds to pay its agents
and officers.

Mr. Trowbridge writes: "The money pressure is nearly or quite over in
New York, but we feel it here in a dreadful degree. The want of public
disbursements this year, upon which we have always rested our hopes with
so much confidence, added to the over-introduction of goods for a year
or two past, has produced this state of things, and I sometimes think
that there will be no great improvement in this generation."

_29th_. _Medical Causes of Depopulation_.--The causes of Indian
depopulation are wars, the want of abundance of food, intemperance, and
idleness. Dr. Pitcher, in a letter of this date, says: "In your note (to
'Sanillac') on the subject of the diminution in numbers of our
aboriginal neighbors, you have seized upon the most conspicuous, and,
during their continuance, the most fatal causes of their decline. With
the small-pox you might, however, associate the measles, which, in
consequence of their manner of treating the fever preceding the
eruption, viz., the use of vapor and cold baths combined, most commonly
tends to a mortal termination. To these two evils, propagated by the
diffusion of a specific virus, may be added the prevalence of general
epidemics, such as influenza, &c., whose virulence expends its force
without restraint upon the Indians. They are not (as you are aware) a
people who draw much instruction from the school of experience,
particularly in the department of medicine, and, when by the side of
this fact you place the protean forms which the diseases of epidemic
seasons assume, the inference must follow that multitudes of them perish
where the civilized man would escape (of which I could furnish

"It is the province of the science of medicine to preserve to society
its feeble and invalid members, which, notwithstanding the war it wages
upon the principle of political economists, augments considerably the
sum of human life. The victims of the diseases of civilization do not
balance the casualties, &c. of a ruder state of society, as may be seen
by inspecting the tables of the rates of mortality for a century past.

"I will suggest to you the propriety of improving this opportunity for
setting the public right on one point, and that is the effects of
aboriginal manners upon the physical character. For my part, I have long
since ceased to believe that they are indebted to their mode of life for
the vigor, as a race, which they exhibit, but that the naturally feeble
are destroyed by the vicissitudes to which they are exposed, and which,
in part, gives them an appearance, hardy and athletic, above their
civilized neighbors."

_Erroneous impressions of Indians_.--Maj. Whiting, of Detroit, says
(27th inst.): "I dare say I may find many things which will suit our
purposes well. Something new and genuine is what we want, and the source
gives assurance these things all bear that character. It is time the
public should know that neither ladies nor gentlemen who have never
crossed the lakes or the Alleghany, can have any but vague ideas of the
children of the forest. An Indian might not succeed well in portraying
life in New York, because he does not read much, and would have to trust
pretty much, if not altogether, to imagination; but his task would
differ only in degree from that of the literary pretender who has never
traveled West beyond the march of fresh oysters (though by the way,
these have been seen in Detroit), and yet thinks he can penetrate the
shadows and darkness of the wilderness. They put a hatchet in his hand,
and stick a feather in his cap, and call him 'Nitche Nawba.' If I
recollect right, in Yamoyden a soup was made of some white children.
Indians have not been over dainty at times, and no doubt have done worse
things; but on such occasions their _modus operandi_ was not likely to
be so much in accordance with the precepts of Madam Glass."

_Reviews_.--"I read over your last article in the N.A., and thought it
had rather less point and connection than you had probably given it; but
it still has much to recommend it. The remarks on language were more
intelligible to me than any I have before seen, and have given me many
clues which I have vainly sought for in preceding dissertations of
the kind."

_Sept. 22d_. This day the patriarch of the place, John Johnston, Esq.,
breathed his last. He had attained the age of sixty-six. A native of the
county of Antrim, in the north of Ireland; a resident for some
thirty-eight years of this frontier; a gentleman in manners; a merchant,
in chief, in the hazardous fur trade; a man of high social feelings and
refinements; a cotemporary of the long list of men eminent in that
department; a man allied to bishops and nobles at home; connected in
marriage with a celebrated Chippewa family of Algonquins; he was another
Rolfe, in fact, in his position between the Anglo-Saxon and the Indian
races; his life and death afford subjects for remark which are of the
deepest interest, and would justify a biography, not a mere notice. I
wrote a brief sketch for the _New York Albion_, and transmitted copies
of the paper to some of his connections in Ireland.

His coming out from that country was during the first presidency of
Washington, and a few years before the breaking out of the Irish
Rebellion. He had a deep sense of his country's injuries, and of the
effect of the laws which pressed so heavily on her energies, political
and commercial; but was entirely loyal, and maintained the highest tone
of loyalism in argument. He saw deeply the evils, but not the remedy,
which he thought to lay rather in future and peaceful developments.

He suffered greatly and unjustly in the war of 1812, in which his place
was pillaged by the American troops, and some forty thousand dollars of
his private property destroyed, contrary to the instructions of the
American commandant. Low-minded persons who had been in his service as
clerks, and disliked his pretensions to aristocracy, were the cause of
this, and piloted the detachment up the river. He was, however, in
nowise connected with the North-west Company, far less "one of its
agents." He was a civil magistrate under Gov.-Gen. Prevost, and was
honestly attached to the British cause, and he had never accepted any
office or offers from the American government. The Canadian British
authorities did not, however, compensate him for his losses, on the
ground of his living over the lines, at a time, too, when Gen. Brock had
taken the country and assumed the functions of civil and military
governor over all Michigan. The American Congress did not acknowledge
the obligation to sustain the orders to respect private property,
the Chairman of the Committee of Claims reporting that the actors
"might be prosecuted," and the old gentleman's last years were thus
embittered, and he went down to the grave the victim of double
misconceptions--leaving to a large family of the Indo-Irish stock little
beyond an honorable and unspotted name.


Treaty of St. Joseph--Tanner--Visits of the Indians in distress--Letters
from the civilized world--Indian code projected--Cause of Indian
suffering--The Indian cause--Estimation of the character of the late Mr.
Johnston--Autobiography--Historical Society of Michigan--Fiscal
embarrassments of the Indian Department.

1828. Tanner was a singular being--out of humor with the world, speaking
ill of everybody, suspicious of every human action, a very savage in his
feelings, reasonings, and philosophy of life, and yet exciting
commiseration by the very isolation of his position. He had been stolen
by the Indians in the Ohio Valley when a mere boy, during the marauding
forays which they waged against the frontiers about 1777. He was not
then, perhaps, over seven years of age--so young, indeed, as to have
forgotten, to a great degree, names and dates. His captors were Saganaw
Chippewas, among whom he learned the language, manners and customs, and
superstitions of the Indians. They passed him on, after a time, to the
Ottowas of L'Arbre Croche, near Mackinac, among whom he became settled
in his pronunciation of the Ottowa dialect of the great Algonquin
family. By this tribe, who were probably fearful a captive among them
would be reclaimed after Wayne's war and the defeat of the combined
Indians on the Miami of the Lakes, he was transferred to kindred tribes
far in the north-west. He appears to have grown to manhood and learned
the arts of hunting and the wild magic notions of the Indians on the Red
River of the North, in the territory of Hudson's Bay. Lord Selkirk, in
the course of his difficulties with the North-west Company, appears to
have first learned of his early captivity.

He came out to Mackinac with the traders about 1825, and went to find
his relatives in Kentucky, with whom, however, he could not long live.
His habits were now so inveterately savage that he could not tolerate
civilization. He came back to the frontiers and obtained an
interpretership at the U.S. Agency at Mackinac. The elements of his mind
were, however, morose, sour, suspicious, antisocial, revengeful, and
bad. In a short time he was out with everybody. He caused to be written
to me a piteous letter. Dr. James, who was post surgeon at the place,
conceived that his narrative would form a popular introduction to his
observations on some points of the Indian character and customs, which
was the origin of a volume that was some years afterwards given to
the public.

A note he brought me in 1828, from a high source, procured him my
notice. I felt interested in his history, received him in a friendly
manner, and gave him the place of interpreter. He entered on the duties
faithfully; but with the dignity and reserve of an Indian chief. He had
so long looked on the dark side of human nature that he seldom or never
smiled. He considered everybody an enemy. His view of the state of
Indian society in the wilderness made it a perfect hell. They were
thieves and murderers. No one from the interior agreed with him in this.
The traders, who called him a bad man, represent the Indians as social
when removed from the face of white men, and capable of noble and
generous acts. He was, evidently, his own judge and his own avenger in
every question. I drew out of him some information of the Indian
superstitions, and he was well acquainted practically with the species
of animals and birds in the northern latitudes.

_30th_. A letter informs me that a treaty has just been concluded with
the Potawattomies of St. Joseph's, who cede to the United States about a
million and a half acres, comprising the balance of their lands in
Michigan. I received, at the same time, a few lines from Gen. Cass,
speaking a word for the captive, John Tanner, the object of which was to
suggest his employment as an interpreter in the Indian Department.[57]

[Footnote 57: This man served a short time, but turned out, for eighteen
years, to be the pest of that settlement, being a remarkably suspicious,
lying, bad-minded man, having lost every virtue of the white man, and
accumulated every vice of the Indian. He became more and more morose and
sour because the world would not support him in idleness, and went about
half crazed, in which state he hid himself one day, in 1836, in the
bushes, and shot and killed my brother, James L. Schoolcraft. He then
fled back to the Indians, and has not been caught. The musket with which
this nefarious act was done, is said to have been loaned to him from the
guard-house at Fort Brady. Dr. Bagg pronounced the ball an ounce-ball,
such as is employed in the U.S. service. The wad was the torn leaf of a
hymn book. It was extensively reported by the diurnal press, that I had
been the victim of this unprovoked perfidy.]

_October 31st_. The Indian visits, from remote bands, which were very
remarkable this year, continued through the entire month of August, and
beyond the date at which I dropped the notices of them, during
September, when they were reduced, as party after party returned to the
interior, to the calls of the ordinary bands living about the post, and,
at furthest, to the foot of Lake Superior and the valley and straits of
the St. Mary's. With them, or rather before them, went the traders with
their new outfits and retinues, chiefly from Michilimackinac. As one
after another departed, there was less need of that vigilance, "by night
and by day," to see that none of the latter class went without due
license; that the foreign boatmen on their descriptive lists were duly
bonded for; that no "freedmen" slipped in; and that no ardent spirits
were taken in contrary to law. Gradually my public duties were thus
narrowed down to the benevolent wants of the bands that were immediately
around me, to seeing that the mechanics employed by the Department did
their duties, and to keeping the office at Washington duly informed of
the occurrences and incidents belonging to Indian affairs. All this,
after the close of summer, requires but a small portion of a man's time,
and as winter, which begins here the first of November, approached, I
felt impelled to devote a larger share of attention to subjects of
research or literary amusement. I missed two men in plunging into the
leisure hours of my seventh winter (omitting 1825), in this latitude,
namely, Mr. Johnston, whose conversation and social sympathies were
always felt, and Dr. Pitcher, whose tastes for natural science and
general knowledge rendered him a valuable visitor.

Letters from the civilized world tended to keep alive the general
sympathies, which none more appreciate than those who are shut out from
its circles. Mr. Edward Everett (Oct. 6th) communicates his sentiments
favorably, respecting the preparation of an article for the _North
American Review_. The Rev. Mr. Cadle (Oct. 7th) sends a package of
Bibles and Prayer Books for distribution among the soldiers, which he
entrusts to Mrs. S. The Rev. Mr. Wells, of Detroit, writes of some
temporality. Mr. Trowbridge keeps me advised respecting the all
important and growing importance of the department's fiscal affairs.

The author of "Sanillac" (Oct. 8th) acknowledges the reception and
reading of my "Notes," with which he expresses himself pleased. The head
of the Indian office writes, "The plan has been adopted of compiling a
code of regulations for the Indian intercourse during the winter. For
this duty, Gen. Clarke, of St. Louis, and Gen. Cass, of Detroit, have
been selected." Such were some of the extraneous subjects which the
month of October brought from without.

The month of November was not without some incidents of interest. From
the first to the fifteenth, a number of Indian families applied for
food, under circumstances speaking loudly in their favor. The misfortune
is, that these poor creatures are induced to part with everything for
the means of gratifying their passion for drink, and then lingering
around the settlements as long as charity offers to supply their daily
wants. The usual term of application for this class is, Kittemaugizzi,
or Nim bukkudda, I am in want, or I am hungry. By making my office a
study, I am always found in the place of public duty, and the latter is
only, in fact, a temporary relief from literary labor. I have often been
asked how I support solitude in the wilderness. Here is the answer: the
wilderness and the busy city are alike to him who derives his amusements
from mental employment.

_Nov. 7th_. The Indian Cause.--In a letter of this date from Mr. J.D.
Stevens, of the Mission of Michilimackinac, he suggests a colony to be
formed at some point in the Chippeway country of Lake Superior, and
inquires whether government will not patronize such an effort to reclaim
this stock. The Indian is, in every view, entitled to sympathy. The
misfortune with the race is, that, seated on the skirts of the domain of
a popular government, they have no vote to give. They are politically a
nonentity. The moral and benevolent powers of our system are with the
people. Government has nothing to do with them. The whole Indian race is
not, in the political scales, worth one white man's vote. Here is the
difficulty in any benevolent scheme. If the Indian were raised to the
right of giving his suffrage, a plenty of politicians, on the
frontiers, would enter into plans to better him. Now the subject drags
along as an incubus on Congress. Legislation for them is only taken up
on a pinch. It is a mere expedient to get along with the subject; it is
taken up unwillingly, and dropped in a hurry. This is the Indian system.
Nobody knows really what to do, and those who have more information are
deemed to be a little moon-struck.

_18th_. ESTIMATION OF MR. JOHNSTON.--Gov. Cass writes from Washington:
"Mr. Johnston's death is an event I sincerely deplore, and one upon
which I tender my condolements to the family. He was really no common
man. To preserve the manners of a perfect gentleman, and the
intelligence and information of a well-educated man, in the dreary
wastes around him, and in his seclusion from all society but that of his
own family, required a vigor and elasticity of mind rarely to be found."

NEW INDIAN CODE.--The loose and fragmentary character of the Indian code
has, at length, arrested attention at Washington, and led to some
attempts to consolidate it. A correspondent writes (Nov. 18th): "Gen.
Clarke has not yet arrived, but is expected daily. In the meantime, I
have prepared an analysis of the subject, which has been approved by the
department, and, on the arrival of Gen. Clarke, we shall be prepared to
proceed to the compilation of our code, which, I do hope, will put
things in a better situation for all."

The derangements in the fiscal affairs of the Indian department are in
the extreme. One would think that appropriations had been handled with a
pitchfork. A correspondent writes: "For 1827, we were promised $48,000,
and received $30,000. For 1828, we were promised $40,000, and have
received $25,000; and, besides these promises, were all the extra
expenditures authorized to be incurred, amounting to not less than
$15,000. It is impossible this can continue." And these derangements are
only with regard to the north. How the south and west stand, it is
impossible to say. But there is a screw loose in the public machinery

_Dec. 5th_. AUTOBIOGRAPHY.--"It is to be regretted," writes Dr. Edwin
James, "that our lamented friend (Mr. Johnston) had not lived to
complete his autobiography. This deficiency constitutes no valid
objection to the publication of the memoirs, though it appears to me
highly desirable that you should complete the sketch, so as to include
the history of the latter portion of his life. In perfect accordance
with the plan of such a continuation, you would embody much valuable
detail in relation to the history and condition of this section of the
country for the last thirty years. You must, doubtless, have access to
all the existing materials, and to many sources of authentic
information, which could, very appropriately, be given to the public in
such a form."

forward, and had passed at the last session of the Legislature, an act
incorporating the Historical Society of Michigan. Dr. Pitcher, who has
recently changed his position to Fort Gratiot, at the foot of Lake
Huron, proposes the embracing of natural history among its studies. He
finds his position, at that point, to be still unfavorable in some
aspects, and not much, if anything, superior to what it was at
St. Mary's.

_27th_. FISCAL PERPLEXITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.--These were alluded to
before. No improvement appears, but we are all destined to suffer. A
friend, who is versed in the subject, writes from Washington: "The fact
is, that nothing could be worse managed than the fiscal concerns of the
department. Not the slightest regard has been paid to the apportionment
made, and there is now due to our superintendency more than the sum of
$40,000. You can well conceive how this happens, and I have neither time
nor patience to enter into the details; suffice it to say, that I am
promised by the Secretary that the moment the appropriation law passes,
which will probably be early in January, every dollar of arrearages
shall be paid off. This is all the consolation I can furnish you, and, I
suppose I need not say that I have left no stone unturned to effect a
more desirable result. It is manifest, however, that the whole
department will be exceedingly pressed for funds next year, as a
considerable part of the appropriation must be assigned to the payment
of arrearages, which have been suffered to accumulate; and it is not
considered expedient, in the present state of affairs, to ask for a
specific appropriation. It will require at least two years to bring our
fiscal concerns to a healthy state."

In fact, to meet these embarrassments, many retrenchments became
necessary; some sub-agencies were drawn in from the Indian country,
mechanics and interpreters were dismissed, and things put on the very
lowest scale of expenditure.


Political horizon--Ahmo Society--Incoming of Gen. Jackson's
administration--Amusements of the winter--Peace policy among the
Indians--Revival at Mackinac--Money crisis--Idea of Lake tides--New
Indian code--Anti-masonry--Missions among the Indians--Copper mines--The
policy respecting them settled--Whisky among the Indians--Fur
trade--Legislative council--Mackinac mission---Officers of Wayne's
war--Historical Society of Michigan--Improved diurnal press.

_1829. Jan. 1st_. The administration of John Quincy Adams now draws to a
close, and that of Gen. Jackson is anticipated to commence. Political
things shape themselves for these events. The close of the old year and
the opening of the new one have been remarkable for heralding many
rumors of change which precede the incoming of the new administration.
Many of these relate to the probable composition of Gen. Jackson's
cabinet. Among the persons named in my letters is Gov. Cass, who has
attracted a good deal of exterior notoriety during the last year. Within
the territory, his superiority of talents and energy have never been
questioned. Michigan would have much to lament by such a transference,
for it is to be feared that party rancor, which he has admirably kept
down, would break forth in all its accustomed violence.

_17th_. AHMO SOCIETY.--Under this aboriginal term, which signifies a
bee, the ladies of the fort and village have organized themselves into a
sewing society for benevolent purposes. I find myself honored with a
letter of thanks from them by their secretary, Mrs. E.S. Russell. Truly,
the example of Dorcas was not mentioned in vain in the Scriptures, for
its effect is to excite the benevolent and charitable everywhere to do
likewise. Every such little influence helps to make society better, and
aids its sources of pleasing and self-sustaining reflection.

_February 12th_. A letter from the editor of the _North American
Review_ acknowledges the receipt of a paper to appear in _its_ columns.

_March 4th_, The administration of the government this day passes into
the hands of a man of extraordinary individuality of character,
indomitable will, high purpose, and decided moral courage. He was
fighting the Creeks and Seminoles when I first went to the West, and
they told the most striking anecdotes of him, illustrating each of these
traits of character. Ten or eleven years have carried him into the
presidential chair. Such is the popular feeling with respect to military
achievements and strong individuality of character. Men like to follow
one who shows a capacity to lead.

_31st_. The winter has passed with less effect from the intensity of its
cold and external dreariness, from the fact of my being ensconsed in a
new house, with double window-sashes, fine storm-houses, plenty of maple
fuel, books, and studies. Besides the fruitful theme of the Indian
language, I amused myself, in the early part of the season, by writing a
review for one of the periodicals, and with keeping up, throughout the
season, an extensive correspondence with friends and men of letters in
various parts of the Union. I revised and refreshed myself in some of my
early studies, I continued to read whatever I could lay my hands on
respecting the philosophy of language. Appearances of spring--the more
deepened sound of the falls, the floating of large cakes of ice from the
great northern depository, Lake Superior, and the return of some early
species of ducks and other birds--presented themselves as harbingers of
spring almost unawares. It is still wintry cold during the nights and
mornings, but there is a degree of solar heat at noon which betokens the
speedy decline of the reign of frosts and snows.

The Indians, to whom the rising of the sap in its capillary vessels in
the rock-maple is the sign of a sort of carnival, are now in the midst
of their season of sugar-making. It is one of their old customs to move,
men, women, children, and dogs, to their accustomed sugar-forests about
the 20th of March. Besides the quantity of maple-sugar that all eat,
which bears no small proportion to all that is made, some of them sell a
quantity to the merchants. Their name for this species of tree is
In-in-au-tig, which means man-tree.

_April 5th_. PEACE POLICY.--The agent from La Pointe, in Lake Superior,
writes: "My expressman from the Fond du Lac arrived on the 31st of last
month, by whom I learned that the Leech Lake Indians were unsuccessful
in their war excursion last fall, not having met with their enemies, the
Sioux, and I trust my communication with Mr. Aitkin will be in time to
check parties that may be forming in the spring.

"The state of the Indians throughout the country is generally in a
critical way of starvation, the wild-rice crops and bear-hunts having
completely failed last fall."

_21st_. REVIVAL OF RELIGION AT MACKINAC.--My brother James, who crossed
the country on snow-shoes, writes: "Mr. Stuart, Satterlee, Mitchell,
Miss N. Dousman, Aitken, and some twenty others, have joined Ferry's
church." This may be considered as the crowning point of the Reverend
Mr. Ferry's labors at that point. This gentleman, if I mistake not, came
up in the same steamer with me seven years ago. It is seed--seed
literally sown in the wilderness, and reaped in the wilderness.

_29th_. MONEY CRISIS.--"The fact is," says a person high in power, "the
fiscal concerns of the department have come to a dead stand, and nothing
remains but to ascertain the arrearages, and pay them up. You well know
how all this has happened (by diversions and misappropriations of the
funds at Washington). Such management you can form no conception of.
There will be, during the year, a thorough change.

"I was glad to see your article. It is an able, and temperate, and
practical view of the subject (_N.A.R._, Ap. 1829), grossly exaggerated,
and grossly misunderstood."

_May 19th_. IDEA OF LAKE TIDES.--Maj. W. writes: "If you see _Silliman's
Journal_, you will observe an article on the subject of the _Lake
Tides_, as Gen. Dearborn calls them, in which he has inserted some hasty
letters I wrote to him on this subject, without, however, ever expecting
to see them in such a respectable guise. The Governor made some more
extended observations at Green Bay. If you can give anything more
definite in relation to the changes of Lake Superior, pray let me have a
letter, and we will try to spread before Mr. Silliman a better view of
the case. I have no idea that anything in the shape, of a tide exists,
The Governor is of the same opinion."

To these opinions I can merely add, Amen. It requires more exactitude of
observation than falls to the lot of casual observers, to upset the
conclusions of known laws and phenomena.

_26th_. NEW INDIAN CODE.--Mr. Wing, the delegate in Congress, forwards
to me a printed copy of the report of laws proposed for the Indian
department. It denotes much labor on the part of the two gentlemen who
have had it in hand, and will be productive of improvement. I should
have liked a bolder course, and not so careful a respect all along, for
what has previously been done. Congress requires, sometimes, to be
instructed, or informed, and not to be copied in its attempts to manage
Indian, affairs.

Every paper brings accounts of removals and appointments under the new
administration; but nothing, so far as I can judge, that promises much,
in this way, of material benefit to Indian affairs. The department at
head-quarters has been, so far as respects fiscal questions, wretchedly
managed, and is over head and ears in debt, and the result of all this
mal-administration is visited on the frontiers, in the bitter want of
means for the agents, sub-agents, and mechanics, and interpreters, who
are obliged to be either suspended, or put on short allowance.
Doubtless, Gen. Jackson, who is a man of high purpose, would remedy this
thing, if the facts were laid before him.

_30th_. MASONRY.--It has recently been discovered, that there is a
hidden danger in this ancient fraternity, and that society has been all
the while sitting, as it were, on the top of a volcano, liable, at any
moment, to burst. Such, at least, appear to be the views of some
politicians, who have seized upon the foolish and apparently _criminal
acts_ of some lack-wits in western New York, to make it a new political
element for demagogues to ride. Already it has reached these hitherto
quiet regions, and zealots are now busy by conventions, and anxious in
hurrying candidates up to the point. "Anti-masonic" is the word, a kind
of "shibboleth" for those who are to cross the political "fords" of the
new Jordan.

_June 1st_. MISSIONARY LABORS AMONG THE INDIANS.--There are evidently
some defects in the system. There is too much expended for costly
buildings, and the formation of a kind of literary institutes of much
too high a grade, where some few of the Indians are withdrawn and very
expensively supported, and undergo a sort of incarceration for a time,
and are then sent back to the bosom of the tribes, with the elements of
the knowledge of letters and history, which their parents and friends
are utterly unable to appreciate, and which they, in fact, ridicule. The
instructed youth is soon discouraged, and they most commonly fall back
into habits worse than before, and end their course by inebriety, while
the body of the tribe is nowise bettered. Whatever the defects are,
there are certainly some things to amend in our measures and
general policy.

Mr. Stevens and Mr. Coe, both missionaries, have recently been appointed
to visit the Indian country, with the object of observing whether some
less expensive and more general effort to instruct and benefit the body
of the tribes, cannot be made. The latter has a commentatory letter to
this end, from Gen. Jackson, dated the 19th of March, which denotes an
interest on this topic that argues favorably of his views of
moral things.

"The true system of converting the Indians was, it is apprehended,
adopted by David Brainerd in 1744. He took the Bible, and declared its
truths with simplicity and earnestness in the Indian villages. There was
no preparation of buildings or outlays. In one year he had gathered a
church of pure believers. Their manners immediately reformed; they
became industrious and cleanly, and built houses, and schools, and
tilled the land. All this was a _consequence_, and not a _cause_ of
Christianity." [58]

[Footnote 58: Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 10.]

_2d_. A friend writes: "I believe the literary world is rather lazy just
at this time; at least nothing novel, except words, has reached my eye.
Your _Literary Voyager_ has lately been traveling the rounds amongst
your friends."

_12th_. COPPER MINES.--A private letter, from a high quarter, says:
"Col. Benton's bill, respecting the copper mines, which passed Congress,
only provided for permission being granted to individuals to work them
at their own expense. There is no intention of doing anything on public
account." This, it will be perceived, was the view presented (ante) by
Mr. Dox, in his able letter to me on the subject, several years ago.
Congress will not authorize the working of the mines. It is a matter for
private enterprize.

_July 14th_. WHISKY AMONG THE INDIANS.--Mr. Robert Stuart, Agent to the
American Fur Company, writes from Mackinac, that some of the American
Fur Company's clerks are not inclined to take whisky, under the general
government permit, _provided their opponents take none_. This tampering
with the subject and with me, in the conduct of the agent of that
company, whose duty it is rigidly to exclude the article by every means,
would accord better, it should seem, with the spirit of one who had not
recently taken obligations which are applicable to all times and all
space. Little does the spirit of commerce care how many Indians die
inebriates, if it can be assured of beaver skins. The situation of any
of its agents, who may acknowledge Christian obligations, is doubtless
an embarrassing one; and such persons should seek to get out of such an
employment as soon as possible. The true direction, in all cases of this
kind, is, to take high moral grounds. The department, by granting such
permits, violates a law. The agent of the company who seeks to exclude
"opponents" in the trade, errs by attempting to throw the responsibility
of the minor question upon the local agent, over whose head he already
shakes his permits from a superior power. Now the "opponents," be it
understood, have no such "permits," and the agent can give them none.

This subject of ardent spirits is a constantly recurring one in every
possible form; and no little time of an agent of Indian affairs, and no
small part of his troubles and vexations, are due to it. The traders and
citizens generally, on the frontiers, are leagued in their _supposed_
interests to break down, or evade the laws, Congressional and
territorial, which exclude it, or make it an offence to sell or give it.
If an agent aims honestly to put the law in force, he must expect to
encounter obloquy. If he appeals to the local courts, it is ten to one
that nine-tenths of his jury are offenders in this very thing. So far as
the American Fur Company is concerned, it is seen, I think, by the
course of the managers, that it would conduce to better hunts if the
Indians were kept sober, and liquor were rigidly excluded; but the
argument is, that "_on the lines_"--that the Hudson's Bay Company use
it, and that their trade would suffer if they had not "_some_." And they
thus override the agents, by appealing to higher powers, and so get
permits annually, for a limited quantity, of which _they_ and not the
_agents_ are the judges. In this way the independence of the agents is
constantly kept down, and made to bend to a species of mock
popular will.

In view of the counteracting influence of the American Fur Company on
this frontier, it would be better for the credit of morals, properly so
considered, if the chief agent of that concern at Michilimackinac were
not a professor of religion, or otherwise, if he were in a position to
act out its precepts boldly and frankly on this subject. For, as it now
is, his position is perpetually mistaken. A temperance man, he is yet a
member of a local temperance society, which only operates against the
retailers, but leaves members free to sell by the barrel. Bound, by the
principles of law, not to introduce whisky into the interior, he yet
sells it to others, knowing their intention to be to run it over the
lines, in spite of the agents. This is done by white and red men. And he
obtains "permits" besides, as head of the company, at head-quarters at
Washington, to take in, openly, a certain quantity of high wines every
year. Talk to that gentleman on the subject, and he is eloquent in
defence of temperance. Thus the obligation is kept to the ear, but
broken in the practice. A business that thus compels a man to hamper his
conscience, and cause scandal to the church, should be abandoned
at once.

_Aug. 29th_. FUR TRADE.--Mr. Sparks, Ed. _N.A. Rev_., reminds me of an
intimation mentioned to Mr. Palfrey, to write an article on this
subject, "From observation," he remarks, "and inquiry you have enjoyed
peculiar advantages for gaining a knowledge of the Indians, their
history, character and habits, and the world will be greatly indebted to
you for continuing to diffuse this knowledge, as your opportunities
may allow."

The fur trade has certainly been productive of a market to Indians for
the result of their forest labors, without which they would want many
necessaries. But while it has stimulated hunting, and so far as this
goes, _industry_, in the Indian race, it has tended directly to
diminish the animals upon which they subsist, and thus hastened the
period of the Indian supremacy, while it has introduced the evil of
intoxication by ardent spirits.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.--I left St. Mary's the latter part of August, to
attend the second session of the third legislative council at Detroit.
The same tendency was manifested as in the first session, to lean
favorably to the old pioneers and early settlers of an exposed frontier,
which has suffered severely from Indian wars, and other causes of
depression. With the exception of divorce cases, there were really no
bad laws passed; and no disposition manifested to excessive legislation,
or to encumber the statute book with new schemes. Local and specific
acts absorbed the chief attention during the session.

Deeming it ever better to keep good old laws than to try ill-digested
and doubtful new ones, I used my influence to repress the spirit of
legislating for the sake of legislation, wherever I saw appearances of
it. As Chairman of the Committee on Finances, I managed that branch with
every possible care. I busied myself with the plan of trying to
introduce terse and tasty names for the new townships, taken from the
Indian vocabulary--to suppress the sale of ardent spirits to the Indian
race, and to secure something like protection for that part of the
population which had amalgamated with the European blood.

MACKINAC MISSION.--Towards the close of the session, a movement was made
against the Mackinac Mission by an attempt to repeal the law exempting
the persons engaged in it from militia and jury service. A formal attack
was made by one of the members against that establishment, its mode of
management, and character. This I resisted. Being in my district, and
familiar with the facts and persons implicated, I repelled the charge as
being entirely unjust to the Rev. Mr. Ferry, the gentleman at the head
of that institution. I drew up a report on the subject, vindicating the
institution, which was adopted and printed. This was a triumph achieved
with some exertions.

during this session, a list of the names of the officers who had served
reputably in the Indian campaigns conducted by Gen. Wayne in 1791-2-3. I
proposed to retain them in naming the townships, the possession of the
territorial area of which we owe to their bravery and gallantry.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN.--This institution was incorporated at
the first session of the Third Legislative Council, in 1828. The bill
for this purpose was introduced by me, after consultation with some
literary friends. It contained the plan of constituting the members of
the Legislative Council members ex-officio. This, it was apprehended,
and rightly so, would give it an official countenance, and serve, in
some things, as a convenient basis for meetings during the few years
that precede a State government, while our literary population continues
sparse. My experience in the East had shown me that quorums are not
readily attained in literary societies, which is a sore hindrance to the
half dozen efficient laborers out of a populous city, who generally hold
the laboring oar of such institutions.

The historical incidents of this section of the Union are quite
attractive, and, while general history has cognizance of the leading
events, there is much in the local keeping of old men who are ready to
drop off. There is more in the aboriginal history and languages that
invites attention, while the modern history--the exploration and
settlement of the country, and the leading incidents which are turning a
wilderness into abodes of civilization--is replete with matter that will
be of deep interest to posterity. To glean in this broad field appears
an important literary object.

Gov. Cass gave us this session the first discourse, in a rapid and
general and eloquent review of the French period, including the transfer
of authority to Great Britain, and an account of the bold and original
attempted surprise of the English garrison at Detroit, by Pontiac. This
well-written and eloquently-digested discourse was listened to with
profound interest, and ordered to be printed.[59]

[Footnote 59: Vide _Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan_, 1
vol. 12mo; Wells and Whitney, 1834.]

IMPROVED PRESS.--In a state of society which relies so much on popular
information through the diurnal press, its improvement is of the highest
consequence. Mr. William Ward, of Massachusetts, performed this office
for the city of Detroit and Michigan this fall, by the establishment of
a new paper, which at first bore the title of _North-west Journal_, and
afterwards of _Detroit Journal_. This sheet exhibits a marked advance in
editorial ability, maturity of thought, and critical acumen.

I embarked at Detroit, on my return to St. Mary's, late in October,
leaving the council still in session, and reached that place on one of
the last days of the month.

_Dec. 20th_. Mr. Ward writes: "We have published _The Rise of the West,
and the Ages of Michigan_. It is printed well, but bound, sorry I am to
say, carelessly. I suppose the Major will send you a copy."

_Rise of the West, or a Prospect of the Mississippi Valley_, embraces
reminiscences of this noble stream, and of its banks being settled by
the Anglo-Saxons.


The new administration--Intellectual contest in the Senate--Sharp
contest for mayoralty of Detroit--Things shaping at Washington--Perilous
trip on the ice--Medical effects of this exposure--Legislative
Council--Visit to Niagara Falls--A visitor of note--History--Character
of the Chippewas--Ish-ko-da-wau-bo--Rotary sails--Hostilities between
the Chippewas and Sioux--Friendship and badinage--Social
intercourse--Sanillac--Gossip--Expedition to Lake Superior--Winter
Session of the Council--Historical disclosure--Historical Society of
Rhode Island--Domestic--French Revolution.

_1830. Jan. 26th_. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.--A friend from Washington
writes: "Nothing has yet been touched in the Indian department. It is
doubtful whether our code will be considered. The engrossing topic of
the session will be the removal of the Indians. It occupies the public
mind through the Union, and petitions and remonstrances are pouring in,
without number. The article (_On the Removal of the Indians_) was
luckily hit. It has been well received, and is very acceptable to the

_Feb. 23d_. INTELLECTUAL CONTEST IN THE SENATE.--A correspondent from
Detroit writes: "I refer you to your papers, which will give you the
history of the contest between those intellectual giants, Hayne and
Webster, rather Webster and Hayne, on the land question, which seems to
absorb public interest entirely. My books containing _Extracts of the
Eloquence of the British Parliament_, furnish me no such models as that
second speech. Such clearness, simplicity, and comprehensiveness; such a
grave and impressive tread; such imposing countenance and manner; such
power of thought, and vigor of intellect, and opulence of diction, and
chastened brilliance of imagination, have seldom, I was about to say
never, startled the listeners of that chamber."

correspondent writes: "John R. Williams has been elected mayor, after a
close election, disputed by Chapin. The enemy practised a good thing on
him. During one of the delegate elections, when his ambition seemed to
tower higher than it now does, he published a sort of memorabilia, like
that of Dr. Mitchell, in which was set forth, with much minuteness of
detail, all that he had ever done, and much of all he ever thought, for
the good of this poor territory. Such, for instance, as that in 1802, he
was appointed town-clerk of Hamtramck; that he offered, in 1811, his
services to Congress in a military capacity, which offer was rejected,
and 'was the first who received intelligence of the capture of
Mackinac,' &c. This thing the remorseless enemy republished, after it
had been fervently hoped, no doubt, that the unlucky bantling had
descended to the tomb of the Capulets. It was so unaccountably weak and
stupid, and so unkindly contrasted at bottom with sundry specifications
'of how' he had, with a pertinacious consistency, opposed every
projected public improvement here, that his friends pronounced it a

_April 14th_. THINGS SHAPING AT WASHINGTON.--"I reached home," says a
friend, "last week, after a pleasant journey. The time passed off, at
Washington, pretty comfortably. There was much to see and hear. The
elements of political affairs are combining and recombining, and it is
difficult to predict the future course of things.

"You will see that, in the fiscal way, the department is better off than
last year. Our friend, Col. McKenney, stands his ground well, and I see
no difference in his situation."

PERILOUS TRIP ON THE ICE.--My brother James left the Sault St. Marie on
the ice with a train, about the 1st of April. He writes from Mackinac,
on the 14th of April: "We arrived here on the 12th, after a stay of
seven days at Point St. Ignace. We were seven days from the Sault to the
Point, at which place we arrived in a cold rain storm, half starved,
lame, and tired. I suppose this trip ranks anything of the kind since
the days of Henry. I am sure mortals never suffered more than us. After
leaving the Sault, disappointment, hunger, and fatigue, were our
constant companions. The children of Israel traveled a crooked road,
'tis said, but I think it was not equal to our circuit.

"We found the ice in Muddy Lake very good, in comparison to that of
Huron. After leaving Detour, we were obliged to coast, and that too over
piles of snow, mountains of ice, and innumerable rocks. In one instance,
we were obliged to make a portage across a cedar swamp with our baggage,
and drove Jack about a mile through the water, in order to continue the
'voyage in a train.' We were obliged to round all those long points on
Huron, afraid if we went through the snow of being caught on
some island.

"Jack fell through the ice three times out of soundings, and it was with
great difficulty we succeeded in getting him out. We lost all our
harness in the Lake, and were obliged to 'rig out' with an old bag, a
portage collar, and a small piece of rope-yarn. Jack was three days
without eating, except what he could pick on the shore. Take it all in
all, I think it rather a severe trip."

to this place (Vernon, N.Y.) much fatigued, and not in the best health.
I think my voyage from the Sault to Mackinac has impaired my health. I
was most strangely attacked on board the Aurora. As I was reading in the
cabin, all at once I was struck perfectly blind; then a severe pain in
the head and face and throat, which was remedied by rubbing with
vinegar; on the whole, rather a strange variety of attack."

the Canadian shore, an aged Frenchman, a native of Trois Rivières, in
Lower Canada, whose reminiscences of life in the wilderness, in the last
century, had the charm of novelty. He was about seventy years of age,
and had raised a family of children by a half-English half-Chippewa
wife, all of whom had grown up and departed. His wife and himself were
left alone, and were very poor. His education had been such as to read
and write French well; he had, in fact, received his education in the
College of Quebec, where he studied six years, and he spoke that
language with considerable purity. As the cold weather drew on in the
fall of 1829, I invited him, with his wife, to live in my basement, and
took lessons of him in French every morning after breakfast. He had all
the polite and respectful manners of a _habitant_, and never came up to
these recitations without the best attention in his power to
his costume.

Such was Jean Baptiste Perrault, who was from one of the best families
in Lower Canada. He had been early enamored with stories of voyageur
adventure and freedom in the Indian country, where he had spent his
life. He was a man of good judgment, quick perceptions, and most
extraordinary memory of things. At my request, he committed to paper, in
French, a narrative of his wild adventures, reaching from St. Louis to
Pembina, between 1783 and 1820. Most of the facts illustrate the
hardships and risks of the Indian trade and Indian manners and customs.
They supply something for the history of the region while the country
was under the English dominion.

Never was a man more grateful for this winter's attention. He moved back
with his wife, who was quite attentive to him, to his little domicil on
the opposite shore in the spring, and lived, I am informed, till Nov.
12, 1844, when he was about 85.

FOURTH LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.--I was re-elected a member of the
Legislative Council, and as soon as the lakes and river were fairly
open, proceeded to Detroit, where I arrived about the middle of May. In
this trip I was accompanied by Mrs. S. and my infant son and daughter,
with their nurse; and by Miss Charlotte Johnston, a young lady just
coming out into society. The council met and organized without delay,
the committees being cast much in the manner of the preceding council,
as a majority of the members were re-elected. So far as changes of men
had supervened, they were, perhaps, for the better.

VISIT TO NIAGARA FALLS.--Early in June, however, it was determined to
take a recess, and I embraced this opportunity to proceed with my family
to visit Niagara Falls. Miss Elizabeth Cass accepted an invitation to
join us, and we had a most interesting and delightful visit. We were,
perhaps, the first party of pure pleasure, having no objects of business
of any kind, who ever went from the upper lakes to see this grand
feature in American scenery. We were most kindly received by friends and
acquaintances at Buffalo, where many parties were given. We visited both
banks of the falls, and crossed over below the sheet. On passing Black
Rock, we were kindly received by Gen. Porter and his accomplished and
talented lady. We returned to Detroit with the most pleasing
reminiscences of the trip.

A VISITOR OF NOTE.--About the 20th of July, Gen. Erastus Root, long a
veteran in the New York Legislature, visited Detroit, having, if I
mistake not, some public business in the upper country. Persons who have
been long before the public acquire a reputation which appears to make
every one familiar with them, and there was much curiosity to see a
person who had so long opposed Clinton, opposed the canal, and stood
forth in some things as a political reformer. I went with him and his
companion, Judge M'Call, after a very hot day, to take some lemonade in
the evening at Gen. Cass's. Gen. Root was not refined and polished in
his manners and converse. He was purposely rough in many things, and
appeared to say things in strong terms to produce effect. To call the
N.Y. Canal the "big ditch" was one of these inventions which helped him
to keep up his individuality in the legislature. He appeared to me to be
a man something after the type of Ethan Allen.

HISTORY.--During this session of the legislature, I delivered the annual
discourse before the Historical Society. I felt so much misgiving about
reading it before the large assemblage at the State House, that I had
arranged with a literary and legal friend to put it in his hands the
moment I began to falter. For this purpose he occupied the secretary's
desk; but I found myself sufficiently collected to go on and read it
through, not quite loud enough for all, but in a manner, I think, to
give satisfaction.

CHARACTER OF THE CHIPPEWAS.--Wm. S. Mosely, Esq., writes (July 12th)
respecting this influential and wide-spread tribe, proposing a list of
queries transmitted to him by Theodore Dwight, Junr., a philanthropist
of N.Y. One of the questions is as follows: "What have been the chief
impediments between the Indian and civilization? How would it alter
their opinions or influence their conduct if they could associate with
white people without being despised, imposed upon, or rendered
suspicious of their motives? In short, if they came in contact only with
the best white men, and were neither furnished with ardent spirits nor
threatened with extermination by encroachment?"

ISH-KO-DA-WAU-BO.--I had a pleasant passage up the Lakes in the steamer
"Sheldon Thompson." Among the passengers were James B. Gardiner, of
Ohio; charged, with duties from Washington, and John T. Mason,
Commissioner for treating with the Indians at Green Bay. In a letter of
the 13th August, written on his return at Mackinac, Mr. Gardiner, who is
quite a philanthropist and a gentleman of most liberal opinions, says:
"I conceive it my duty to inform you that I have obtained information
from the contractor himself (Mr. Stanard, who is a fourth owner of the
Sheldon Thompson), that under the head of 'provisions,' he has
contracted to deliver, and has actually delivered, two hundred barrels
of whisky, and two hundred barrels of high wines, at the place for the
American Fur Company, which, no doubt, is designed to be sent into the
Indian country the ensuing fall."

ROTARY SAILS.--John B. Perrault, whose name has been before mentioned,
invented a novel boat, to be propelled by the force of rotary sails
acting on machinery, which turns paddle-wheels; a very ingenious thing.
The result of experiments is, however, unfavorable to its
practical adoption.

reached such a point, that the department has deemed it necessary to
interpose its friendly offices in a more formidable manner, by
dispatching an expedition into the principal seat of the war. The
instructions, however (of Aug. 9th), by which I was designated for that
purpose, reached me so late in that month, that it was not deemed
practicable to carry them into effect until the next year. I reported
the facts, which are deemed necessary to be known at head-quarters, in
order to give efficacy to this necessary and proper measure,
recommending that the expedition be deferred, and that, in the meantime,
suitable means be provided for making it, to the greatest extent,

FRIENDSHIP AND BADINAGE.--A friend writes from Detroit (Aug. 14th): "For
a brief space, that is, about a quarter of an hour, I can borrow a
little use of my own soul, though I cannot call it exactly my own. You
will not fail to note, I trust, how eminently judicious is the

"A few days since, the letter containing the notice of your appointment
to the Lake Superior destination, was mailed for you. The purpose of
this is to suggest the memory of your doubtful promise, to come down in
the fall for the winter session. The Gov. thinks it too late in the
season to attempt your expedition this fall; and I presume, that it is,
I hope, your papers will not reach you in time to leave this summer, an
opinion of questionable correctness.

"You can have your table placed in the corner, and amuse yourself with
preparing an article for the _N.A._, Thus you will discharge a double
duty to your country; one to its political interests, and another to its
department of letters. Whatever preparations are necessary at your
place, can be made in the winter, under directions left there when you
come down, and such as could be more conveniently made here, you shall
have every aid in forwarding. The fact is, I see not a single objection,
I _cannot_ see one, and more than that, I won't. This I conceive to be
the only rational view to be taken of the subject, and, of course, it
follows like the consequence to the minor of a syllogism; the only one
you take. So don't say any more about it, but come along down, and then
you shall, with more pleasure, satisfaction, and comfort, _go along up_.
It is, in fact, just as clear, as that one and one, you and me, will
make two."

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE,--Maj. W. writes (21st Aug.): "I was sorry, on my
return, to find you gone, for we have left undone that which I hoped to
have done, with your assistance, that is, the arrangement of our museum.
But circumstances were unlucky. Cases were made wrong, or not made in
due time, and absences took _some_ folks away (an allusion to the trip
to Niagara), and the council _would_ adjourn, &c. You are, however, I
understand, to be down here New Year's day, to which time, for the
special accommodation of the up-country members, I presume the council,
as it is said, has adjourned. An appropriation for snow shoes ought to
have been made."

SANILLAC.--"I made an arrangement in Boston for the printing of my MSS.
As I found I was to bear the brunt of the expense, I determined to make
it as small as I consistently could, and have, therefore, made the
volume somewhat smaller than was in my original plan.

"Mr. Ward showed me a hasty note from you relative to the address
(before the Historical Society). I have examined it as published, and I
told him your suggestions were out of the question. There is not an
error that I could detect that is not clearly typographical; and your
fears, that either yourself or the society will be discredited, are all
idle. I do not recollect any of your books which, I think, do you
more credit."

GOSSIP.--Mr. Ward writes: "We have but little news. The governor and
Elizabeth are off to Utica and Troy, and we hope the springs. Mr. Cass,
Lewis, and Isabel to the Maumee. Major and Mrs. Kearsley to New York and
Philadelphia, with Miss Colt in keeping. For all persons else, one note
will answer. They eat drink, and sleep as they did, and are 'partly
as usual.'"

EXPEDITION INTO LAKE SUPERIOR.--"I do not answer you officially," says
Gov. C. "concerning the expedition into Lake Superior, because I shall
expect you will be here in the last vessel, to attend the meeting of the
council, and Mr. Brush speaks with certainty-upon the subject. As Mr.
Irwin has resigned, and there is no provision for ordering a new
election, your district will be wholly unrepresented unless you attend.
In the mean time I have received the sum allowed for this service, which
you can draw for whenever you please. There is no doubt but the matter
will go on. After you arrive here, and We have conversed together, I
will restate the project of a more extended expedition, agreeably to
your suggestions, and submit it to the department. I agree with you
fully, that the thing should be enlarged, to embrace the persons and
objects you suggest. It would be an important expedition, and not a
little honorable to you, to have the direction of it, as it will be the
first authorized by the administration."

WINTER SESSION OF THE COUNCIL.--On the 16th of November, I embarked in a
large boat at St. Mary's with a view of reaching Mackinack in season to
take the last vessel returning down the lakes. The weather was hazy,
warm, and calm, and we could not descry objects at any considerable
distance. If we were not in "Sleepy Hollow" while descending the broad
valley and stretched out waters of the St. Mary's, we were, at least, in
such a hazy atmosphere, that our eyes might almost as well have been
shut. It seemed an interlude in the weather, between the boisterous
winds of autumn and the severe cold of December. In this maze I came
down the river safely, and proceeded to Mackinack, where I remained
several days before I found a vessel. These were days of pleasing moral
intercourse at the mission. I do not recollect how many days the voyage
lasted, but it was late in the evening of a day in December, dark and
very muddy when the schooner dropped anchor off the city, and I plodded
my way from the shore to the _Old Stone Mansion House_ in Detroit.

HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.--Mr. Madison, the Ex-president, transmits a very
neat and terse note of acknowledgment for a copy of my address, in the
following words, which are quite a compensation for the time devoted to
its composition:--

"J. Madison, with his respects to Mr. Schoolcraft, thanks him for the
copy of his valuable discourse before 'the Historical Society of
Michigan.' To the seasonable exhortation it gives to others, it adds an
example which may be advantageously followed." (_Oct. 23d_.)

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF RHODE ISLAND.--I received a copy of a circular
issued by this institution (Nov. 1), asking Congress for aid in the
transcription of foreign historical manuscripts. "We alone, (almost,)"
say the committee, "among nations, have it in our power to trace
clearly, certainly, and satisfactorily, at a very trifling expense, the
whole of our career, from its very outset, throughout its progress, down
to the present moment--and shall we manifest a supineness, a perfect
listlessness and complete indifference respecting a subject, that by
every other people has been, and is still esteemed of so vast magnitude,
and deep interest, as to have induced, and still to induce them to pour
forth funds from their treasuries unsparingly, to aid the historians in
removing, if possible, the veil that conceals in dark obscurity
their origin?"

DOMESTIC.--Mrs. Schoolcraft writes from _Elmwood,_ St. Mary's (Dec.
6th): "I continue to instruct our dear little girl every day, and I
trust you will find her improved on your return, should it please Heaven
to restore you in peace and safety. Johnston has quite recovered, and
can now stand alone, and could walk, _if he would._ I have called on
Mrs. Baxley, and find her a very agreeable woman. She said she saw you
several times at Prairie du Chien. (1825.) I also went to see the
mission farm, and was much pleased with the teacher, Miss McComber. The
weather has remained very fine, till within two days, when we have had,
for the first time, a _sprinkling_ of snow. Such a season has never been
heard of in this country--not a particle of ice has, as yet, formed

FRENCH REVOLUTION.--This political revolution has come like an
avalanche, and the citizens have determined to celebrate it, and have a
public address, for which Major Whiting has been designated.
Thirty-seven years ago the French cut off the head of the reigning
Bourbon, Louis XVI., and now they have called another branch of the same
house, of whom Bonaparte said: "They never learn anything, and they
never forget anything." As the French please, however. We are all joy
and rejoicing at the event. It seems the consummation of a
long struggle.

Mr. Ward (Ed. Jour.) writes 25th Dec.: "Will you send me, by the bearer,
the lines you showed me in Brush's office. They will be quite _apropos_
next week. Should like to close our form this evening."


Lecture before the Lyceum--Temperature in the North--Rum and taxes--A
mild winter adverse to Indians--Death of a friend--Christian
atonement--Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianized white man--Indian
emporium--Bringing up children--Youth gone astray--Mount Hope
Institution--Expedition into the Indian country--Natural History of the
United States--A reminiscence--Voyage inland.

1831. LECTURE BEFORE THE LYCEUM.--The executive committee of this
popular institution asks me by a note (Jan. 14th), to lecture before
them a short time ahead. Public duty is an excuse, which on such
occasions is very generally made by men in office, who in nine cases out
of ten seek to conceal the onerousness of literary labor under that
ample cloak. To me there is no duty more important than that which
diverts a town from idle gratifications, and fixes its attention on
moral or intellectual themes. Although the notice was short, I
determined to sit up a few nights and comply with it. I selected the
natural history of Michigan, as a subject very tangible, and one about
which a good deal of interest could be thrown. I had devoted much
interest to it for years--understood it, perhaps, better than any one in
the territory, and could lecture upon it _con amore_.

When the appointed evening arrived, I found a highly respectable and
very crowded audience, in the upper chamber of the old Indian council
house. It was certainly a better use of the building than paying the
price of blood for white men's and women's scalps, during the fierce
seven years' struggle of the American Revolution, and the succeeding
Indian wars. My lights were badly placed for reading, and I got on
indifferently in that respect, for I could not see well, but my facts
and matter altogether were well and approvingly received; and the
address was immediately published.

from St. Mary's (Jan. 26th): "The weather has been very mild indeed,
here, until within a few days: there has not been sufficient snow, as
yet, to cover the stubble in the fields. The severe weather commenced on
the 23d instant. The thermometer stood as follows:--"

     On the 23d,  at 9 o'clock A.M., 11 degrees below zero.
            24th,       "       "    13    "        "
            25th,       "       "     2    "        "
            26th,       "       "     1    "        "

RUM AND TAXES.--A trader at St. Mary's writes (26th Jan.) as follows:
"It is the wish of several individuals, who keep stores in the village,
to be informed whether the sutler in Fort Brady is not obliged to pay
taxes as well as we. For he has almost the exclusive trade of the
Canadians. It is tempting to purchase liquor at 2_s_. 6_d_. per gallon,
when they have to pay 4_s_. in the village. The temperance society is of
no use, when any of its members can dispose of liquor _at so low a
rate_." I put the last words in italics.

A MILD WINTER ADVERSE TO THE INDIANS.--Mr. George Johnston observes (8th
March): "The weather on Lake Superior has been uncommonly mild the whole
winter. The southern shore of the lake from White Fish Point to Ance
Kewywenon presents a scene of open lake, not any ice forming to enable
the poor Indians to spear fish."

DEATH OF A FRIEND.--Mrs. Schoolcraft says (Feb. 3d): "Mrs. Bingham
passed the day with me a short time since, and brought me some Vermont
religious papers, which I read yesterday, and found an account of the
death of our poor friend Mr. Conant, which took place in November last
in Brandon, Vermont, leaving his disconsolate widow and five children.
He suffered greatly for five years, but I am happy to find he was
resigned in suffering to the will of the Almighty with patience; and I
trust he is now a happy member of the souls made perfect in the precious
blood of the Lamb." Thus ended the career of a man of high moral worth,
mental vigor, and exalted benevolence of feeling and purpose. This is
the man, and the family, who showed us such marked kindness and
attentions in the city of New York, in the winter of 1825--kindness and
attentions never to be forgotten. _Feb. 7th_. This day is very
memorable in my private history, for my having assumed, after long
delay, the moral intrepidity to acknowledge, _publicly_, a truth which
has never been lost sight of since my intercourse with the Rev. Mr.
Laird, in the, to me, memorable winter of 1824--when it first flashed,
as it were, on my mind. That truth was the divine atonement for human
sin made by the long foretold, the rejected, the persecuted, the
crucified Messiah.

Threat of an Indianized White Man.--A friend at St. Mary's writes:
"Tanner has again made bold threats, agreeably to Jack Hotley's
statement, and in Doctor James' presence, saying, that had you still
been here, he would have killed you; and as the Johnstons were acting in
concert with you, he kept himself constantly armed." This being, in his
strange manners and opinions, at least, appears to offer a realization
of Shakspeare's idea of Caliban.

Indian Emporium.--Col. T. McKenney, who has been superseded in the
Indian Bureau at Washington, announces, by a circular, that he is about
to establish a commercial house, or agency, on a general plan, for
supplying articles designed for the Indian trade and the sale of furs
and peltries. This appears to me a striking mistake of judgment. The
colonel, of all things, is not suited for a merchant.

Bringing up of Children.--Mrs. Schoolcraft writes: "I find the time
passes more swiftly than I thought it would; indeed, my friends have
been unwearied in striving to make my solitary situation as pleasant as
possible, and they have favored me with their company often. I strive to
be as friendly as I possibly can to every one, and I find I am no loser
by so doing. I wish it was in your power to bring along with you a good
little girl who can speak English, for I do not see how I can manage
during the summer (if my life is spared) without some assistance in the
care of the children. I feel anxious, more particularly on Jane's
account, for she is now at that age when children are apt to be biased
by the habits of those they associate with, and as I cannot be with her
_all the time_, the greater will be the necessity of the person to whom
she is entrusted (let it be ever so short a time) to be one who has been
brought up by pious, and, of course, conscientious parents, where no bad
example can be apprehended. I feel daily the importance of bringing up
children, not merely to pass with advantage through the world, but with
advantage to their souls to all eternity."

I find great pleasure in sister Anna Maria's company. She is to stay
with me till you return. Little Jan_ee_ improves rapidly under her
tuition. Janee (she was now three and a half years of age) has commenced
saying by heart two pieces out of the little book you sent her. One is
'My Mother,' and the other is 'How doth the little busy Bee.' It is
pleasant to see her smooth down her apron and hear her say, "So I shall
stand by my father, and say my lessons, and he will call me his dear
little _Tee-gee,_ and say I am a good girl." She will do this with so
much gravity, and then skip about in an instant after and repeat, half
singing, "My father will come home again in the spring, when the birds
sing and the grass and flowers come out of the ground; he will call me
his _wild Irish girl_."

"Janee has just come into the room, and insists on my telling you that
she can spell her name very prettily, 'Schoolcraft and all.' She seems
anxious to gain your approbation for her acquirements, and I encourage
the feeling in order to excite attention to her lessons, as she is so
full of life and spirits that it is hard to get her to keep still long
enough to recite them properly. Johnston has improved more than you can
imagine, and has such endearing ways that one cannot help loving the
dear child. Oh, that they would both grow up wise unto salvation, and I
should be happy."

Youthful Blood.--James --- was a young man of promise--bright mentally
and physically, lively and witty, and of a figure and manners pleasing
to all. In a moment of passion he dirked a man at a French ball. The
victim of this scene of revelry lingered a few months and recovered.
This recovery is announced in a letter of Mrs. Schoolcraft's (Feb.
16th), in which she says:--

"Dr. James sent a certificate of the young man's returning health by the
last express, and an Indian was also sent to accompany James back to
this place; but how great was our astonishment at the arrival of the
Indian _alone_, on the 3d ultimo, and bringing news of James' escape
from Mackinack. We felt a good deal alarmed for his safety on the way,
and an Indian was sent down the river in quest of him; but we were
relieved of our fears by the arrival of James himself on the following
day, very much exhausted. I immediately sent to Dechaume to ask how he
did, and learnt that his fatigue, &c., had not in the least abated his
natural _vivacity and gayety_.

"Three days after his arrival (being Sunday) I was at dinner at my
mother's, when he came in, and could not refrain from tears. He seemed
much affected at what I said, and I felt encouraged to hope some little
change in his conduct. The next day, on mature reflection, I thought no
time was to be lost in striving by all _human_ means to reclaim him, and
my promise to co-operate with you all I could for that desirable object,
induced me to write a note inviting him to come and spend a quiet social
evening with sister Anna Maria and myself, and I sent the sleigh to
bring him down, so that he could have no excuse to decline coming, and I
was pleased that he came without hesitation.

"I conversed a long time with him, pointing out, in the most gentle and
affectionate manner I could, where he had erred, and in what way he
might have become not only respected and esteemed, but independent,
whereas his excesses had brought him to embarrassment and disgrace; and
conjured him, as he valued his temporal and spiritual welfare, to
abandon some, at least (to begin with) of his evil courses, and to
strive with all his might to avert the wrath of that Holy Being whom he
had hitherto so despised, and whose just laws he had, in more than _one_
instance, violated, and a great deal more that I cannot now mention. I
got him at last to promise to strive to become better.

"We passed the rest of the evening in a rational and pleasant manner by
reading chiefly in the _Literary Voyager_, thinking it might help to
call forth former occupations, which were comparatively innocent, and
reading some of his own pieces, _renew_ a taste of what was virtuous and
praiseworthy. I inwardly prayed that by such means, feeble as they were,
they might tend to draw him off insensibly from his former haunts and
habits. I have been enabled to pursue this course of conduct towards him
ever since that evening, and I am pleased to find that he comes oftener
to Elmwood than I at first expected; but I perceive that there is some
_other_ attraction besides my _sage discourses_ that draws him so often
to the now leafless shades of Elmwood. And he may fancy that either a
_rose_ or a _lily_ has taken shelter within its walls. Be that as it
may, I shall not say a word; most of my thoughts are more occupied with
the best method I can take to do him good to all eternity, and I do not
forget to ask aid of ONE that never errs.

"Some evenings since, Mr. Agnew and some of the officers gave a ball at
one of the French houses, and not doubting but that James was invited to
join in the amusement, I instantly addressed a long letter to him,
encouraging him in his recent resolution of amendment, and told him
_now_ was the time to put those wise resolves to the test by practice,
and that he ought to know, by sad experience, that attending such low
scenes of dissipation was the source of almost all the iniquity in the
place. I had afterwards the satisfaction to find that he did not attend;
but my fears for him are still very great, and will be justly so as long
as he is so taken up by that disgraceful connection where he spends a
great deal of his precious time. My ambition is not only to _civilize_
him (if I may be allowed that expression, which is not out of the way,
after all, as he has despised the forms and restraints of refined
society), but my ardent wish is to _Christianize_ him in every sense of
the word--he is, at present, skeptical. But let us only do our duty as
Christians, and leave the rest in the hands of the Almighty."

Mount Hope, Baltimore.--My old instructor and friend, Prof. Frederick
Hall, sends me a programme of his collegiate institution, at this place,
and writes me (April 6th) a most friendly letter, renewing old
acquaintanceship and scientific reminiscences. Death makes such heavy
inroads on our friends, that we ought to cherish the more those that
are left.

Legislation proceeded quietly while these events occurred, and the
winter wore away almost imperceptibly till the session closed. I
embraced the first opportunity of ascending the Lakes to the entrance of
the. St. Mary's, and from thence up the river, and reached home about
the 25th of April, making altogether about five months absence. But at
home I am not destined long to remain, as the expedition into the Lake,
for which I was designated in August, was only deferred till spring.

I had now served four years in the legislature; but, understanding that
the President had expressed an opinion that official officers should not
engage in the business of legislation, I declined a reelection by a
public notice to the electors of my district.

       *       *       *       *       *

Executive of the territory writes from Washington (April 19th): "I
arrived here day before yesterday, and this morning talked with Gen.
Eaton. You will go into Lake Superior, and I am to submit a project
to-day. I shall have it properly arranged. In a day or two, I trust, I
shall have the official papers off. I write in a hurry now to apprise
you of the fact. The letter you received from Mr. Hamilton, was written
before I arrived." The same person, three days later, says: "The
official instructions are preparing for your expedition, and will, I
hope, be off to-day." They were written on the 3d of May, and are as

"Your letter of Feb. 13th has been received, and its general views are
approved. The Secretary of War deems it important that you should
proceed to the country upon the head of the Mississippi, and visit as
many of the Indians in that and the intermediate region, as
circumstances will permit.

"Reports have reached this department from various quarters, that the
Indians upon our frontiers are in an unquiet state,[60] and that there is
a prospect of extensive hostilities among themselves. It is no less the
dictate of humanity, than of policy, to repress this feeling and to
establish permanent peace among these tribes. It is also important to
inspect the condition of the trade in that remote country, and the
conduct of the traders. To ascertain whether the regulations and the
laws are complied with, and to suggest such alterations as may be
required. And finally, to inquire into the numbers, standing,
disposition, and prospects of the Indians, and to report all the
statistical facts you can procure, and which will be useful to the
government in its operations, or to the community in the investigation
of these subjects."

[Footnote 60: The Sauc war under Blackhawk broke out within the year.]

"In addition to these objects, you will direct your attention to the
vaccination of the Indians. An act for that purpose has passed Congress,
and you are authorized to take a surgeon with you. Vaccine matter
prepared and put up by the Surgeon General, is herewith transmitted to
you, and you will, upon your whole route, explain to the Indians the
advantages of vaccination, and endeavor to persuade them to submit to
the process. You will keep and report an account of the number, ages,
sex, tribe, and local situation of the Indians who may be vaccinated,
and also of the prevalence, from time to time, of the small-pox among
them, and of its effects as far as these can be ascertained."

While preparations for this expedition were being made, some things that
transpired deserve notice.

Featherstonhaugh, of Philadelphia, sends me a printed copy of a
prospectus for a "Monthly American Journal of Natural Science," with the
following note: "As the annexed prospectus will explain itself, I shall
only say, that I shall be most happy to receive any paper from you for
insertion, on subjects connected with _Natural History_. Your minute
acquaintance with the North-western Territory must have placed many
materials in your possession, and I trust you may be induced to transfer
some of them to the periodical about to be issued.

"We consider Mr. Eaton's geological notions and nomenclature as very
empirical here, as they are considered in France and England, and his
day has passed by."

The prospectus says: "Amidst these general contributions to science, it
is painful to perceive what conspicuous blanks are yet left for America
to fill up, and especially in those important branches, American geology
and American organic remains. This feeling is greatly increased by the
occasional taunts and sneers we see directed against us in foreign
scientific works. They are aimed, it is true, against individuals
insignificant enough to elude them, and therefore the larger body, the
nation, is hit and wounded by them. Neither is there any defence open to
us. We send abroad gigantic stories of huge antediluvian lizards,
'larger than the largest size,' and we ourselves are kept upon the stare
at our own wonders from Georgia to Maine, until we find out we have been
exulting over the stranded remains of a common spermaceti whale. At
this present moment, a huge animal dug out of the Big Bone Lick, sixty
feet long, and twenty-five feet high, is parading through the columns of
the European newspapers, after making its progress through our own. This
is, what every naturalist supposed it be, also a great imposition.
Within these few days, drums and trumpets have been sounded for other
monsters. A piece of one of our common coal plants is conjured into a
petrified rattlesnake, and one of the most familiar fossils solemnly
announced all the way from Canada, under a name exploded, and long
forgotten by naturalists. All these gibes and reproaches we ought to
have been spared. There ought to have been the ready means amongst us,
together with the independence and intelligence, to put down these
impostures and puerilities as they arose."

This is well said, and if it be intended to refer to the popular class,
who have not made science a study; to men who make wheelbarrows or sell
cotton and sugar--to the same classes of men, in fact, who in England,
are busied in the daily pursuits by which they earn their bread, leaving
science to scientific men, but respecting its truths, cannot tell "a
hawk from a handsaw"--it is all true enough. But if it be applied to the
power and determination of American mind, professedly, or as in a
private capacity, devoted to the various classes of natural history
spoken of, it is not only unjust in a high degree, but an evidence of
overweening self-complaisance, imprecision of thought, or arrogance. No
trait of the American scientific character has been more uniformly and
highly approbated, by the foreign journals of England, France, and
Germany, than its capacity to accumulate, discriminate, and describe
facts. For fourteen years past _Silliman's Journal of Science_, though
not exclusively devoted to natural sciences, has kept both the
scientific and the popular intelligent mind of the public well and
accurately advised of the state of natural science the world over.
Before it, _Bruce's Mineralogical Journal_, though continued but for a
few years, was eminently scientific, _Cleaveland's Mineralogy_ has had
the effect to diffuse scientific knowledge not only among men of
science, but other classes of readers. In ornithology, in conchology,
and especially in botany, geology and mineralogy, American mind has
proved itself eminently fitted for the highest tasks.

A REMINISCENCE.--When I returned from the West to the city of New York
in 1819, Mr. John Griscomb was a popular lecturer on chemistry in the
old almshouse. He apprised me that the peculiar friable white clay,
which I had labeled chalk from its external characters, contained no
carbonic acid. It was a chemical fact that impressed me. I was reminded
of this fact, and of his friendly countenance, ever after, on receiving
a letter of introduction from him by a Mr. William R. Smith, with three
volumes of his writings (28th May). I am satisfied that we store up the
memory of a kind or friendly act, however small (if it be done in a
crisis of our affairs), as long as, and more tenaciously than, an
unkind one.

VOYAGE INLAND.--At length, all things being ready, I embarked at the
head of the portage of the St. Mary's, and proceeded to the small sandy
plain at the foot of Point Iroquois, at the entrance into Lake Superior,
where I encamped. To this point I was accompanied by Mrs. Schoolcraft
and the children, and Lt. Allen and the Miss Johnstons, the day being
calm and delightful, and the views on every hand the most enchanting and
magnificent. While at Detroit during the winter, I had invited Dr.
Douglass Houghton to accompany me to vaccinate the Indians. He was a man
of pleasing manners and deportment, small of stature, and of a compact
make, and apparently well suited to withstand the fatigues incidental to
such a journey. He was a good botanist and geologist--objects of
interest to me at all times; but especially so now, for I should have
considered it inexcusable to conduct an expedition into the Indian
country, without collecting data over and above the public duties, to
understand its natural history. I charged myself, on this occasion, more
particularly with the Indian subject--their manners and customs,
conditions, languages, and history, and the policy best suited to
advance them in the scale of thinking beings, responsible for their
acts, moral and political.

Lt. Robt. E. Clary, 2d U.S. Infantry, commanded a small detachment of
troops, which was ordered to accompany me through the Indian country. I
had invited Mr. Melancthon Woolsey, a printer of Detroit, a young man of
pleasing manners and morals, to accompany me as an aid in procuring
statistical information. I had an excellent crew of experienced men,
guides and interpreters, and full supplies of everything suited to
insure respect among the tribes, and to accomplish, not only the
government business, but to give a good account of the natural history
of the country to be explored. It was the first public expedition,
authorized by the new administration at Washington, and bespoke a lively
interest on the subject of Indian Affairs, and the topics incidentally
connected with it. I was now to enter, after crossing Lake Superior, the
country of the Indian murderers, mentioned 22d June, 1825, and to visit
their most remote villages and hiding places.

It was the 27th of June when we left that point--the exploring party to
pursue its way in the lake, and the ladies, in charge of Lt. Allen, to
return to St. Mary's.


Lake Superior--Its shores and character--Geology--Brigade of boats--Dog
and porcupine--Burrowing birds--Otter--Keweena Point--Unfledged
ducks--Minerals--Canadian resource in a tempest of rain--Tramp in search
of the picturesque--Search for native copper--Isle Royal
descried--Indian precaution--Their ingenuity--Lake action--Nebungunowin
River--Eagles--Indian tomb--Kaug Wudju.

1831. LAKE SUPERIOR lay before us. He who, for the first time, lifts his
eyes upon this expanse, is amazed and delighted at its magnitude.
Vastness is the term by which it is, more than any other, described.
Clouds robed in sunshine, hanging in fleecy or nebular masses above--a
bright, pure illimitable plain of water--blue mountains, or dim islands
in the distance--a shore of green foliage on the one hand--a waste of
waters on the other. These are the prominent objects on which the eye
rests. We are diverted by the flight of birds, as on the ocean. A tiny
sail in the distance reveals the locality of an Indian canoe. Sometimes
there is a smoke on the shore. Sometimes an Indian trader returns with
the avails of his winter's traffic. A gathering storm or threatening
wind arises. All at once the _voyageurs_ burst out into one of their
simple and melodious boat-songs, and the gazing at vastness is relieved
and sympathy at once awakened in gayety. Such are the scenes that attend
the navigation of this mighty but solitary body of water. That nature
has created such a scene of magnificence merely to look at, is contrary
to her usual economy. The sources of a busy future commerce lie
concealed, and but half concealed, in its rocks. Its depths abound in
fish, which will be eagerly sought, and even its forests are not without
timber to swell the objects of a future commerce. If the plough is
destined to add but little to its wealth, it must be recollected that
the labors of the plough are most valuable where the area suitable for
its dominion is the smallest. But even the prairies of the West are
destined to waft their superabundance here.

We passed the lengthened shores which give outline to Taquimenon Bay. We
turned the long and bleak peninsula of White Fish Point, and went on to
the sandy margin of Vermilion Bay. Here we encamped at three o'clock in
the afternoon, and waited all the next day for the arrival of Lieut.
Robert Clary and his detachment of men, from Fort Brady, who were to
form a part of the expedition. With him was expected a canoe, under the
charge of James L. Schoolcraft, with some supplies left behind, and an
express mail. They both arrived near evening on the 28th, and thus the
whole expedition was formed and completed, and we were prepared to set
out with the latest mail. Mr. Holliday came in from his wintering
grounds about the same time, and we left Vermilion Bay at four o'clock
on the morning of the 29th, J.L.S. in his light canoe, and chanting
Canadians for Sault St. Marie, and we for the theatre of our

We went about forty miles along a shore exclusively sandy, and encamped
at five o'clock in the evening at Grand Marais. This is a striking inlet
in the coast, which has much enlarged itself within late years, owing to
the force of the north-west storms. It exhibits a striking proof of lake
action. The next day we passed the naked and high dunes called Grand
Sable, and the storm-beaten and impressive horizontal coat of the
Pictured Rocks, and encamped at Grand Island, a distance of about 130
miles. I found masses of gypsum and small veins of calcareous spar
imbedded in the sandstone rock of the point of Grand Sable. Ironsand
exists in consolidated layers at the cliff called Doric Rock.

The men and boats were now in good traveling trim, and we went on finely
but leisurely, examining such features in the natural history as Dr.
Houghton, who had not been _here_ before, was anxious to see. On the 1st
of July, we encamped at Dead River, from whence I sent forward a canoe
with a message, and wampum, and tobacco, to Gitchee Iauba, the head
chief of Ancekewywenon, requesting him to send a canoe and four men to
supply the place of an equal number from the Sault St. Marie, sent back,
and to accompany me in my voyage as far as _La Pointe_.

GEOLOGY.--We spent the next day in examining the magnesian and
calcareous rubblestone which appears to constitute strata resting
against and upon the serpentine rock of Presque Isle. This rock is
highly charged with what appears to be chromate of iron. We examined the
bay behind this peninsula, which appears to be a harbor capable of
admitting large vessels. We ascended a conical hill rising from the bay,
which the Indians call _Totösh_, or Breast Mountain. Having been the
first to ascend its apex, the party named it Schoolcraft's Mountain.
Near and west of it, is a lower saddle-shaped mountain, called by the
natives The Cradle Top. Granite Point exhibits trap dykes in syenite.
The horizontal red sandstone, which forms the peninsula connecting this
point with the main, rests against and upon portions of the granite,
showing its subsidence from water at a period subsequent to the upheaval
of the syenite and trap. This entire coast, reaching from Chocolate
River to Huron Bay--a distance of some seventy miles--consists of
granite hills, which, viewed from the top of the Totösh, has the rolling
appearance of the sea in violent motion. Its chief value must result
from its minerals, of which iron appears to constitute an
important item.

We reached Huron River on the 4th of July about three o'clock in the
afternoon, having come on with a fine wind. At this place we met Mr.
Aitkin's brigade of boats, seven in number, with the year's hunts of the
Fond du Lac department. I landed and wrote official notes to the Sault
St. Marie and to Washington, acquainting the government with my
progress, and giving intelligence of the state of the Indians.

TRADERS' BOATS.--Mr. Aitkin reports that a great number of the Indians
died of starvation, at his distant posts, during the winter, owing to
the failure of the wild rice. That he collected for his own use but
eight bushels, instead of about as many hundreds. That he had visited
Gov. Simpson at Pembina, and found the latter unwilling to make any
arrangements on the subject of discontinuing the sale of whisky to the
Indians. That I was expected by the Indians on the Upper Mississippi, in
consequence of the messages sent in, last fall. That efforts continue to
be made by the agent at St. Peters, to draw the Chippewas to that post,
notwithstanding the bloodshed and evils resulting from such visits.
That a hard opposition in trade has been manifested by the Hudson's Bay
Company. That they have given out medals to strengthen and increase
their influence with our Indians. And that liquor is required to oppose
them at Pembina, War Road, Rainy Lake, Vermilion Lake and Grand Portage.

DOG AND PORCUPINE.--While at Huron River, we saw a lost dog left ashore,
who had been goaded by hunger to attack a porcupine. The quills of the
latter were stuck thickly into the sides of the nose and head of the
dog. Inflammation had taken place, rendering the poor beast an object of
pity and disgust.

BURROWING BIRDS.--At Point Aux Beignes (Pancake Point) one of the men
caught a kingfisher by clapping his hand over an orifice in the bank. He
also took from its nest six eggs. The bank was perforated by numbers of
these orifices. At this point we observed the provisions of our advance
camp, put _in cache_, to lighten it for the trip down the bay. Leaving
Mr. G. Johnston and Mr. Melancthon Woolsey at this point to await the
return of the canoe, I proceeded to Cascade, or, as it is generally
called, Little Montreal River. Johnston and Woolsey came up during the
night. Next morning an Indian came from a lodge, leading a young otter
by a string. The animal played about gracefully, but we had no
temptation to purchase him with our faces set to the wilderness. At the
latter place, which is on a part of the Sandy-bay of Graybeast River,
the trap formation, which is the copper-bearing rock, is first seen.
This rock, which forms the great peninsula of Kewywenon, rises into
cliffs on this bay, which at the elevation called Mammels by the French,
deserve the name of mountains. Portions of this rock, viewed in extenso,
are overlaid by amygdaloid and rubblestone--the latter of which forms a
remarkable edging to the formation, in some places, on the north-west
shore, that makes a canal, as at the Little Marrias.

KEWEENA PENINSULA.--We were six days in coasting around this peninsula,
which is highly metalliferous. At some points we employed the blast, to
ascertain the true character and contents of the soil. At others we went
inland, and devoted the time in exploring its range and extent. We
examined the outstanding isolated vein of carbonate of copper, called
_Roche Vert_ by the French. In seeking for its connection on the main
shore, I discovered the black oxide in the same vein. In the range of
the greenstone about two leagues south of this point, a vein of native
copper, with ores and veinstones, was observed, and specimens taken.

The N.W. coast of the peninsula is greatly serrated and broken,
abounding in little bays and inlets, and giving proofs of the terrible
action of the storms on this rugged shore.

Notes of these examinations and of a trip inland were made, which cannot
here be referred to more particularly.

UNFLEDGED DUCKS.--The men had rare and very exciting sport, in coasting
around the peninsula, in catching the young of the onzig--which is the
sawbill. In the early part of the month of July, the wings of the young
are not sufficiently developed to enable them to fly. They will run on
the water, flapping their unfledged wings, with great speed, but the gay
Frenchmen, shouting at the top of their lungs, would propel their canoes
so as to overtake them whenever the little fugitives could not find some
nook in the rock to hide in. They chased down one day thirteen in this
way, which were found a most tender and delicate dish. The excitement in
these chases was extreme. At the _Grand Marrias_ (now near Fort Wilkins)
we obtained from the shore of the inner bay, agates, stilbite, and smoky
quartz, &c.

SINGULAR VIVACITY.--In going from this bay through a rock-bound strait,
the rain fell literally in sheets. There was no escape, and our only
philosophy was to sit still and bear it. The shower was so great that it
obscured objects at a short distance. All at once the men struck up a
cheerful boat song, which they continued, paddling with renewed energy,
till the shower abated. I believe no other people under the sun would
have thought of such a resource.

TRAMP IN SEARCH OF THE PICTURESQUE.--The wind rising ahead, we took
shelter in an inlet through the trap range, which we called Houghton's
Cove. After taking a lunch and drying our things, it was proposed to
visit a little lake, said to give origin to the stream falling into its
head. The journey proved a toilsome one; but, after passing through
woods and defiles, we at length stood on a cliff which overlooked the
object sought for--a pond covered with aquatic plants. Wherever we might
have gone in search of the picturesque, this seemed the last place to
find it. On again reaching the lake the wind was found less fierce, and
we went on to Pine River, where we encamped on coarse, loose gravel.

SEARCH FOR NATIVE COPPER.--The next day the wind blew fiercely, and we
could not travel. In consequence of reports from the Indians of a large
mass of copper inland, I manned a light canoe, and, leaving the baggage
and camp in charge of Lesart, went back to a small bay called Mushkeeg,
and went inland under their guidance. We wandered many miles, always on
the point of making the discovery, but never making it; and returned
with our fatigue for our pains. It was seven o'clock in the evening
before we returned to our camp--at eight the wind abated, and we
embarked, and, after traveling diligently all night, reached the western
terminus of the Keweena portage at two o'clock next morning--having
advanced in this time about twenty-four miles. Next day, July 10, the
wind rose again violently ahead.

ISLE ROYAL DESCRIED.--In coming down the coast of the Keweena Peninsula,
we descried the peaks of this island seen dimly in the distance, which
it is not probable could have been done if the distance were over
sixty miles.

INDIAN PRECAUTION, THEIR INGENUITY.--We found several Chippewa Indians
encamped. They brought a trout, the large lake trout, and were,
as-usual, very friendly. We saw a fresh beaver's skin stretched on the
drying hoop, at the Buffalo's son's lodge. But the women had secreted
themselves and children in the woods, with the dried skins, supposing
that a trader's canoe had landed, as we had landed in the night. This
may give some idea of the demands of trade that are usually made, and
the caution that is observed by them when a trader lands.

We here saw the claws-of two owls, with the skin and leg feathers
adhering, sewed together so closely and skilfully, by the Indian, women,
as to resemble a nondescript with eight claws. It was only by a close
inspection that we could discover the joinings.

LAKE ACTION.--The geological action of the lake against the high banks
of diluvion, at this spot, is very striking. It has torn away nearly all
the ancient encamping ground, including the Indian burials. Human bones
were found scattered along the declivity of fallen earth. An entire
skull was picked up, with the bark wrappings of the body, tibia, &c.

At seven in the evening the tempest ceased so as to enable us to embark.
We kept close in shore, as the wind was off land, a common occurrence on
these lakes at night. On turning the point of red sandstone rock, which
the Indians call _Pug-ge-do-wau_ (Portage), the Porcupine Mountains rose
to our view, directly west, presenting an azure outline of very striking
lineaments--an animal couchant. As night drew on, the water became
constantly smoother; it was nine before daylight could be said to leave
us. We passed, in rapid succession, the _Mauzhe-ma-gwoos_ or Trout,
Graverod's, _Unnebish_, or Elm, and Pug-ge-do-wa, or Misery River, in
Fishing Bay. Here we overtook Lieut. Clary, and encamped at one o'clock
A.M. (11th). We were on the lake again at five o'clock. We turned point
_a la Peche_, and stopped at River _Nebau-gum-o-win_ for breakfast.
While thus engaged, the wind rose and shifted ahead. This confined us
to the spot.

NEBAUGUMOWIN RIVER.--Mr. Johnston, Dr. Houghton, and Mr. Woolsey, made
an excursion in a canoe up the river. They went about three or four
miles--found the water deep, and the banks high and dry on the right
side (going up), and covered with maple, ash, birch, &c. At that
distance the stream was obstructed by logs, but the depth of water
continued. Dr. H. added to his botanical collection. Altogether
appearances are represented more favorable than would be inferred from
the sandy and swampy character of the land about its discharge into
the lake.

EAGLES.--While at the _Mauzhe-ma-gwoos_ River, Lieut. Clary captured a
couple of young eagles, by letting his men cut down a large pine. One of
the birds had a wing broken in falling. They were of the bald-headed
kind, to which the Chippewas apply the term _Megizzi_, or barker. He
also got a young mink from an Indian called _Wabeno_. The men also
caught some trout in that river, for which it is remarkable.

At two o'clock the wind had somewhat abated, so as to allow us to take
the lake, and we reached and entered the Ontonagon River at half past
four o'clock. Mr. Johnston with the store canoe, and Lieut. Clary with
his boat, came in successively with colors flying. _Kon-te-ka,_ the
chief, and his band saluted us with several rounds of musketry from the
opposite shore. Afterwards they crossed to our camp, and the usual
exchange of ceremonies and civilities took place. In a speech from the
chief he complained much of hunger, and presented his band as objects of
charitable notice. I explained to him the pacific object of my journey,
and the route to be pursued, and requested the efficient co-operation of
himself and his band in putting a stop to war parties, referring
particularly to that by Kewaynokwut in 1824, which, although raised
against the Sioux, had murdered Finley and his men at Lake Pepin. This
party was raised on the sources of the Ontonagon and Chippewa. I told
him how impossible it was that his Great Father should ever see their
faces in peace while they countenance or connive at such dastardly war
parties, who went in quest of a foe, and not finding him, fell upon a
friend. He said he had not forgotten this. Even now, I continued, a
chief of the Sauks was trying to enlist the Indians in a scheme of
extreme hostilities. It was a delusion. They had no British allies to
rally on as in former wars. The time was past--past forever for such
plans. We are in profound peace. And their Great Father, the President,
would, if the scheme was pursued by that chief, order his whole army to
crush him. I requested him to inform me of any messages, or tobacco, or
wampum they might receive, on the subject of that chief's movement, or
any other government matter. And to send no answer to any such message
without giving me notice.

At three o'clock on the morning of the next day (12th July), Dr.
Houghton, Mr. Johnston, Lieut. Clary, and Mr. Woolsey, with nine
Canadians and one soldier, set out in my canoe to visit the copper rock.
Konteka sent me a fine carp in the morning. Afterwards he and the other
chief come over to visit me. The chief said that his child, who had been
very ill, was better, and asked me for some white rice (_waube monomin_)
for it, which I gave. I also directed a dish of flour and other
provisions to enable him to have a feast.

INDIAN TOMB.--One of the Indians had a son drowned a few days before
our arrival; the grave was neatly picketed in. On the west side of the
river is a grave or tomb above ground, resembling a lodge, containing
the coffin of a chief, who desired to be thus buried, as he believed his
spirit would go directly up.

Konteka has a countenance indicative of sense and benevolence. I asked
him the number of his band. He replied sixty-four men and boys, women
and girls. Sixteen were hunters, of whom thirteen were men grown.

KAUGWUDJU.--The Porcupine Mountains, which first loomed up after passing
Puggedawa Point, were very plainly pictured before us in the landscape.
I asked Konteka their Indian name. He replied Kaug Wudju. I asked him
why they were so called. He said from a resemblance to a couching
porcupine. I put several questions to him to ascertain the best place of
ascent. He said that the mountain properly faced the south, in a very
high perpendicular cliff, having a lake at its bottom. The latter was on
a level with Lake Superior. To see this lake it was necessary to go
round towards the south. It was a day's journey from the lake to the top
of the cliff. To the first elevation it was as far as to the Red
Rocks--say three miles, but through a cedar thicket, and bad walking.

VISIT TO THE COPPER ROCK.--The party returned from this place on the
13th, late in the afternoon, bringing specimens of the native copper.
They were nine hours in getting to the forks, and continued the rest of
the day in getting to the rack, where they encamped. They had been four
hours in descending what required nine in going up. The doctor brought
several fine and large masses of the pure metal.



Lake shores--Sub-Indian agency--Indian transactions--Old fort, site of a
tragedy--Maskigo River; its rapids and character--Great Wunnegum
Portage--Botany--Length of the Mauvais--Indian carriers--Lake
Kagenogumaug--Portage lakes--Namakagun River, its character, rapids,
pine lands, &c.--Pukwaéwa village--A new species of native
fruit--Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.

1831. LAKE SHORES.--I had a final conference with the Indians of the
Ontanagon on the morning of the 14th July, and at its conclusion
distributed presents to all. I sent Germain with a canoe and men for St.
Mary's with dispatches, and embarked for La Pointe at half past eight,
A.M. After keeping the lake for two hours, we were compelled by adverse
winds to put ashore near Iron River; we were detained here the rest of
the day. After botanizing at this spot, Dr. Houghton remarks, that since
arriving at the Ontanagon, he finds plants which belong to a more
southerly climate.

The next morning (15th) we embarked at three o'clock and went on
finely--stopped for breakfast at Carp River, under the Porcupine
Mountains--the _Pesabic_ of the Indians. On coming out into the lake
again the wind was fair, and increased to blow freshly. We went on to
Montreal River, where it became a side wind, and prevented our keeping
the lake. I took this occasion to walk inland eleven _pauses_ on the old
portage path to Fountain Hill, for the purpose of enjoying the fine view
of the lake, which is presented from that elevation. The rocks are
pudding-stone and sandstone, and belong to the Porcupine Mountain

Returned from this excursion at seven o'clock--took a cup of tea, and
finding the wind abated, re-embarked. By ten o'clock at night we reached
and entered the Mauvaise or Maskigo River, where we found Lieut. Clary
encamped. After drying our clothes, we went on to La Pointe, which we
reached at one o'clock in the morning (16th), and immediately went to
Mr. Johnston's buildings.

SUB-AGENCY.--Mr. George Johnston was appointed Sub-agent of Indian
Affairs at this point in 1826, after the visit of that year of Gen. Cass
and Col. McKenney to this remote section of the country. It has proved a
useful office for acquiring information of the state and views of the
interior Indians, and as supervising the Indian trade. We were made very
comfortable in his quarters.

INDIAN TRANSACTIONS.--_Pezhike,_ with the secondary chief, _Tagwaugig_
and his band, visited me. Conferred with them on the state of the
Indians on the St. Croix and Chippewa Rivers at Lac Courtorielle, &c.,
the best route for entering the region intermediate between Lake
Superior and the Mississippi.

Pezhike thought my canoes too large to, pass the small bends on the
route of the Lac du Flambeau: he said the waters of the _Broule,_ or
Misakoda River, were too low at this time to ascend that stream. He said
that _Mozojeed_, the chief of Lac Courtorielle, had been here awaiting
me, but, concluding I would not come, had returned. His return had been
hastened by a report that the Sioux had formed a league with the
Winnebagoes and Menomonies to attack his village.

_Pezhike_ gave in his population at eighty souls, of which number
eighteen were men, twenty-six women, and the remainder children. He made
a speech responding to the sentiments uttered by me, and promising the
aid of his band in the pacification of the country. As an evidence of
his sincerity he presented a peace-pipe. I concluded the interview by
distributing presents of ammunition and iron works to each man,
agreeably to his count. I then sent Indian runners with messages to
_Bwoinace_ at Yellow River, on the St. Croix, to be forwarded by hand to
Chacopee, on Snake River, to meet me at Yellow River in twelve days.
Sent a message to the same chief, to be forwarded to Mozojeed at _Lac
Courtorielle_, to meet me at that place with his band on the 1st August,
and another message to be forwarded by him to Lac du Flambeau, at the
head of the Chippewa River, with directions for the Indians to meet me
at their principal village, as soon after the 1st August as I can get
there, of which they will be the best judges. I determined to enter the
country myself, by the Mauvais or Maskigo River, notwithstanding the
numerous rafts of trees that embarrass the navigation--the water
being abundant.

OLD FORT, SITE OF A TRAGEDY.--The military barge, Lieut. Clary, started
for the Maskigo, with a fair wind, on the 18th. A soldier had previously
deserted. I sent to the chief, Pezhike, to dispatch his young men to
catch him, and they immediately went. After setting out, the wind was
found too strong to resist with paddies, and I turned into the sheltered
bay of the old French fort. The site and ground lines are only left.

It was a square with bastions. The site is overgrown with red haw and
sumac. The site of a blacksmith shop was also pointed out. This is an
evidence of early French and Missionary enterprise, and dates about
1660. There is a tale of a tragedy connected with a female, at its
abandonment. The guns, it is said, were thrown in the bay. The wind
having abated, we again put out at eight o'clock in the evening, and
went safely into the Maskigo and encamped.

MASKIGO RIVER.--We began the ascent of this stream on the 19th, at
half-past four A.M.; landed at seven for breakfast, at the old Indian
gardens; at eight went on; at ten reached the first portage, passed it
in an hour; went on till one o'clock; afterwards passed two other
portages of about three hundred yards each; and went on to the great
raft of flood wood, being the fourth portage, where we encamped at three
o'clock, at its head. Mosquitoes very annoying. Estimate our distance at
thirty miles.

On the next morning (20th) we embarked in good deep water at eight
o'clock. We reached rapids at eleven o'clock. Passed a portage of _two
pauses,_ and took dinner at the terminus. Sandstone forms the bed of the
river at the rapids here. It inclined E.S.E. about 75°. A continual
rapid, called the Galley, being over a brown sandstone rock, succeeds,
in which rapids follow rapids at short intervals. We encamped at the
Raft rapids. The men toiled like dogs, but willingly and without
grumbling. Next day (21st) we were early on the water, and passed the
crossing of the Indian portage path from St. Charles Bay, at La Pointe,
to the Falls of St. Anthony. We followed a wide bend of the river,
around the four _pause_ portage. This was a continued rapid. The men
toiled incessantly, being constantly in the water. The bark of the
canoes became so saturated with water that they were limber, and bent
under the weight of carrying them on the portages. We encamped, very
much tired, but the men soon rallied, and never complained. It was
admirable to see such fidelity and buoyancy of character.

We were now daily toiling up the ascent of the summit which separates
the basin of Lake Superior from the valley of the upper Mississippi. The
exertion was incredible. I expected every day some of the men to give
out, but their pride to conquer hardships was, with them, the point of
honor. They gloried in feats under which ordinary men would have
fainted. To carry a horse load over a portage path which a horse could
not walk, is an exploit which none but a Canadian voyageur would sigh
for the accomplishment of.

On the 22d, we came to a short portage, after going about six miles,
during a violent rain storm. Then three portages of short extent, say
fifty to three hundred yards each, in quick succession. After the last,
some comparatively slight rapids. Finally, smooth water and a sylvan
country, level and grassy. We were evidently near the summit. Soon came
to the forks, and took the left hand. Came afterwards to three branches,
and took the south. Followed a distance through alder bushes bending
from each side; this required skill in dodging, for the bushes were
covered with caterpillars. We formed an encampment on this narrow stream
by cutting away bushes, and beating down high grass and nettles. Here
was good soil capable of profitable agriculture.

GREAT WUNNEGUM PORTAGE.--The next morning we resumed the ascent of this
branch at six o'clock, and reached the beginning of the Gitchy
Wun-ne-gum portage at nine o'clock A.M. This was the last great struggle
in the ascent. We spent about three hours in drying baggage, corn,
tents, beds, &c. Then went on four _pauses_ over the portage and
encamped in sight of a pond. The next day we accomplished ten _pauses,_
a hard day's work. We encamped near a boulder of granite of the drift
stratum, which contained brilliant plates of mica. Water scarce and bad.
Our tea was made of a brown pondy liquid, which looked like water in a
tanner's vat.

We passed, and stopped to examine, Indian symbols on the blazed side of
a tree, which told a story to our auxiliary Indians of a moose having
been killed; by certain men, whose family name, or mark, was denoted,
&c. We had previously passed several of these hunting inscriptions in
our ascent of the Mauvais, and one in particular at the eastern end of
the four _pause_ portage. We were astonished to perceive that these
figures were read as easy as perfect gazettes by our Indian guides.

We were also pleased, notwithstanding the severe labor of the _apecun_,
to observe the three auxiliary Chippewas, with us, playing in the
evening at the game of the bowl, an amusement in which some of the men

On the 25th we went three _pauses_ to breakfast, in a hollow or ravine,
and pushing on, crossed the last ridge, and at one o'clock reached the
foot of Lake Ka-ge-no-gum-aug, a beautiful and elongated sheet of water,
which is the source of this branch of the Maskigo River. Thus a point
was gained. An hour after, the baggage arrived, and by six o'clock in
the evening, the canoes all arrived. This lake is about nine miles long.

BOTANY.--In the ascent of this stream, Dr. Houghton has collected about
two hundred plants. The forest trees are elm, pine, spruce, maple,
ironwood, linden, cherry, oak, and beach. Leatherwood is a shrub common
on the portage.

The length of this river, from the mouth of the river to the point at
which we left it, we compute at one hundred and four miles.

The three young Indians, sent from La Pointe, by Pezhike, to help us on
the portages, having faithfully attended us all the way, were dismissed
to go back, at seven o'clock this morning--after being abundantly and
satisfactorily paid for their services in ammunition and provisions. On
parting, they expressed a design of visiting at the agency, next spring.

LAKE KA-GE-NO-GUM-AUG.--At nine in the morning, we embarked on the lake
in four canoes, having left the fifth at the other end of the portage
for the La Pointe Indians to return. Two of the flotilla of canoes were
occupied by the military under Lieut. Clary. After proceeding a little,
less than two hours through a very irregular, elongated, and romantic
lake, we reached a portage in the direction of the Namakagun, fork of
the St. Croix River. Its waters were clear; we observed fish and ducks.
This portage is called Mikenok, or the Turtle. It proved to be two
hundred and eighty yards to a pond, or small lake, named Turtle Lake.
About two hundred yards of this portage lies over a dry pine ridge, the
remainder bog. On crossing this little sheet, we encountered another
portage of one thousand and seventy-five yards, terminating at a second
lake named Clary's Lake. This portage lies over an open pine ridge, from
which the timber has been chiefly burned. The shrubs and plants are
young bush poplars, whortleberries, shad-bush, brake and sweet fern.
Both ends of it are skirted with bog. The highest grounds exhibit
boulders. About five o'clock the canoes came up, and we embarked on the
lake and crossed it, and, striking the portage path, went four hundred
and seventy-five yards to a third lake, called Polyganum, from the
abundance of plant. We crossed this and encamped on its border.

This frequent shifting and changing of baggage and canoes exhausted the
men, who have not yet recovered from the toils of the long portage.
Three of them were disabled from wounds or bruises. Laporte, the eldest
man of our party, fell with a heavy load, on the great Wunnegum portage,
and drove a small knot into his scalp. The doctor bandaged it, and
wondered why he had not fractured his skull. Yet the old man's voyageur
pride would not permit him to lie idle. If he died under the
carrying-strap, he was determined to die game.

NAMAKAGUN RIVER.--Early on the 27th we were astir, and followed the path
1050 yards, which we made in two _pauses_ to the banks of the Namakagun
River, the most southerly fork of the St. Croix. We were now on the
waters tributary to the Mississippi, and sat down to our breakfast of
fried pork and tea with exultation.

Dead pines cover the ground between Lake Polyganum and the Namakagun. A
great fire appears to have raged here formerly, destroying thousands of
acres of the most thrifty and tall pines. Nobody can estimate the extent
of this destruction. The plain is now grown up with poplar, hazle-bush,
scrub-oak, and whortleberry. The river, where the portage strikes it,
is about seventy-five feet wide, and shallow, the deepest parts not
exceeding eighteen inches. It is bordered on the opposite side with
large pines, hardwood, and spruce. Observed amygdaloid under foot among
the granite, and sandstone boulders.

About one o'clock the baggage and canoes had all come up, and we
embarked on the waters of the Namakagun. Rapids soon obstructed our
descent. At these it was necessary for the men to get out and lift the
canoes. It was soon necessary for us to get out ourselves and walk in
the bed of the stream. It was at last found necessary to throw overboard
the kegs of pork, &c., and let them float down. This they would not do
without men to guide them and roll them along in bad places. Some of the
bags from the canoes were next obliged to be put on men's shoulders to
be carried down stream over the worst shallows. After proceeding in this
way probably six or seven miles, we encamped at half-past seven o'clock.
Mr. Johnston, with his canoe, did not come up. We fired guns to apprize
him of our place of encampment, but received no reply. There had been
partial showers during the day, and the weather was dark and gloomy. It
rained hard during the night. Our canoes were badly injured, the bark
peeling off the bows and bottoms. The men had not yet had time to
recover from their bruises on the great Wannegum portage. Mr. Clary had
shot some ducks and pigeons, on which, at his invitation, we made our
evening repast, with coffee, an article which he had among his stores.
Some of the men had also caught trout--this fish being abundant here,
though it never descends into the Mississippi.

On the next morning I sent a small canoe (Clary's) to aid Johnston.
Found him with his canoe broke. Brought down part of his loading, and
dispatched the canoe back again. By eleven o'clock the canoe returned on
her second trip. Finding the difficulties so great, put six kegs of
pork, seven bags of flour, one keg of salt, &c., in depot. One of the
greatest embarrassments in passing among such impoverished tribes is the
necessity of taking along extra provisions to meet the various bands and
to pay for their contingent services.

PUCKWAÉWA VILLAGE.---At four o'clock we had got everything down the
shallows, mended our canoe, and reached the _Pukwaéwa_--a noted Indian
village, where we encamped. The distance is about nine miles from the
western terminus of the portage, course W.S.W. We found it completely
deserted, according to the custom of the Indians, who after planting
their gardens, leave them to go on their summer hunts, eating berries,
&c. We found eight large permanent bark lodges, with fields of corn,
potatoes, pumpkins, and beans, in fine condition. The lodges were
carefully closed, and the grounds and paths around cleanly swept, giving
the premises a neat air. The corn fields were partially or lightly
fenced. The corn was in tassel. The pumpkins partly grown, the beans fit
for boiling. The whole appearance of thrift and industry was pleasing.

I sent two canoes immediately up stream, to bring down the stores put in
deposit. I arranged things for taking a _canoe elège_ on the next day,
and proceeding rapidly down the river to its junction with the main St.
Croix and Yellow River, in order to meet my engagements, made by a
runner from La Pointe. I took along Dr. Houghton and Mr. Johnston,
leaving the heavy baggage in charge of Mr. Woolsey, with directions to
accompany Lieut. Clary across the portage from the Namakagun to Ottowa
Lake. It was half-past five on the morning of the 29th, when, bidding
adieu to Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, we embarked.

A NEW SPECIES OF NATIVE FRUIT.--In coming down the Namakagun, we found a
species of the currant on its banks--the _albinervum_. It was fully
ripe, and of delicious taste.

_Incidents on the Namakagun, its Birds, Plants, &c_.--About ten o'clock
we entered and passed an expansion, having deserted Indian lodges, and a
high wooden cross on the south bank. Hence we called it the Lake of the
Cross. It is called Pukwaéwa by the Indians. A little below we met the
chief Pukquamoo, and his band, returning to the upper village. Held a
conference with him on the water on the subject of my mission and
movements. He appeared, not only by his village, which we had inspected,
but by his words, eminently pacific. On parting he reciprocated my
presents by some dried whortleberries. At this conference with the
Red-headed Woodpecker chief, I requested him to go up and aid Mr.
Woolsey in bringing down the baggage and provisions, and wrote to Mr.
Woolsey accordingly.

About four o'clock the chief of this party hailed us from shore, having
headed us by taking a short land route from the Lake of the Cross. He
sought more perfect information on some points, which was given, and he
was requested to attend the general council appointed to be held at _Lac
Courtorielle_ (Ottawa Lake). We continued the descent till eight o'clock
P.M., having descended about thirty-five miles.

On the 30th we embarked at five in the morning, and reached the
contemplated portage to Ottawa Lake at seven. I stopped, and having
written notes for Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, put them in the end of a
split pole, according to the Indian method. At ten I landed for
breakfast with my canoe badly broken, and the corn, &c., wetted.
Detained till twelve. Near night met a band of Chippewas ascending. Got
a canoe from them to proceed to Yellow River, and, after dividing the
baggage and provisions, put Mr. Johnston with two men in it. This
facilitated our descent, as we had found frequent shallows, in
consequence of low water, to impede our progress. Yet our estimate for
the day's travel is forty miles.

The cicuta is a frequent plant on this river; we found the fox grape
this afternoon nearly ripe. Both banks of the river are literally
covered with the ripe whortleberry--it is large and delicious. The
Indians feast on it. Thousands on thousands of bushels of this fruit
could be gathered with little labor. It is seen in the dried state at
every lodge. All the careful Indian housewives dry it. It is used as a
seasoning to soups.

On the 31st we were on the water at six A.M. Soon passed seven Indians
in canoes, to whom a passing salute of a few words and tobacco were
given. We landed at ten to breakfast. The current had now augmented so
as to be very strong, and permit the full force of the paddles. Stopped
a few moments at a Chippewa camp to get out some tobacco, and, leaving
Mr. Johnston to make the necessary inquiries and give the necessary
information, pushed on. Heard T., our Indian messenger from La Pointe,
had accomplished his business and gone back four days ago, Indian
conferences now succeeded each other continually, at distances from one
to five miles. The bands are now on the move, returning up the river to
their spring villages at the Little and Great Rice Places (this is the
meaning of _Pukwaewau_), and the Lake of the Cross. Their first request
is tobacco, although they are half starved, and have lived on nothing
but whortleberries for weeks. "_Suguswau_, let us smoke," is the first

The country as we descend assumes more the appearance of upland prairie,
from the repeated burnings of the forest. The effect is, nearly all the
small trees have been consumed, and grass has taken their place. One
result of this is, the deer are drawn up from the more open parts of the
Mississippi, to follow the advance of the prairie and open lands towards
Lake Superior. The moose is also an inhabitant of the Namakagun. The
Chippewas, at a hunting camp we passed yesterday, said they had been on
the tracks of a moose, but lost them in high brush. Ducks and pigeons
appear common. Among smaller birds are the blackbird, robin, catbird,
red-headed woodpecker, kingfisher, kingbird, plover and yellow-hammer.

We frequently passed the figure of a man, drawn on a blazed pine, with
horns, giving the idea of an evil spirit. The occiput of the bear, and
head bones of other animals killed in the chase, are hung upon poles at
the water's side, with some ideographic signs. The antlers of the deer
are conspicuous. Other marks of success in hunting are left on trees, so
that those Indians who pass and are acquainted with the signs, obtain a
species of information. The want of letters is thus, in a manner,
supplied by signs and pictographic symbols.

Late in the afternoon we passed the inlet of the Totogun--one of the
principal forks of the Namakagun. The name is indicative of its origin.
_Totosh_ is the female breast. This term is rendered geographical by
exchanging _sh_ for _gun._ It describes a peculiar kind of soft or
dancing bog. Soon after, we broke our canoe--stopped three-fourths of an
hour to mend it--reached the forks of the St. Croix directly after,
passed down the main channel about nine miles, and encamped a little
below Pine River. We built ten fires to keep off the mosquitoes, and put
our tent and cooking-fire in the centre. It rained during the night.

The next morning (Aug. 1st) we reached the Yellow River, and found the
chiefs Kabamappa, Bwoinace, and their bands awaiting my arrival.



Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake--Policy of the Treaty of Prairie
du Chien of 1825--Speech of Shaiwunegunaibee--Mounds of Yellow
River--Indian manners and customs--Pictography--Natural history--Nude
Indians--Geology--Portage to Lac Courtorielle--Lake of the Isles--Ottawa
Lake--Council--War party--Mozojeed's speech--Tecumseh--Mozojeed's
lodge--Indian movements--Trip to the Red Cedar Fork--Ca Ta--Lake
Chetac--Indian manners.

1831. COUNCIL.--I pitched my tent and erected my flag on an eminence
called by the Chippewas Pe-li-co-gun-au-gun, or The Hip-Bone. Accounts
represented a war party against the Sioux to be organizing at Rice Lake,
on a branch of the Chippewa River, under the lead of Neenaba, a partisan
leader, who had recently visited Yellow River for the purpose of
enlisting volunteers. He had appealed to all the bands on the head
waters of the Chippewa and St. Croix to join, by sending their young men
who were ambitious of fame in this expedition. Neenaba himself was an
approved warrior who panted for glory by leading an attack against their
old foe, the Dacotahs. It was still possible to arrest it or break it
up. I wrote to the Indian Agent at St. Peter's. A message was dispatched
by Kabamappa to Chacopee and Buffalo at Snake Rivers, with directions to
forward it to Petit Corbeau, the leading chief of the River Sioux. I
determined to hasten back so as to meet my appointment with the large
band of Mozojeed at Lac Courtorielle, and to proceed myself to Neenaba's
village. I stated my determination to the Yellow Lake Indians, and urged
their concurrence in my plans, assuring them that I spoke the voice of
the President of the United States, who was determined to preserve and
carry out the principles of pacification which had been commenced and
agreed to, as the basis of the general treaty of Prairie du Chien of
1825. He had spoken to them at that treaty by two men whom they all well
know from St. Louis to Lake Superior--namely, by the Red-Head (so they
call General William Clark) and their Great Father at Detroit (General
Cass). He would not suffer their words to fall to the ground and be
buried. I stood up to renew them. It was by peace and not war that they
could alone flourish. Their boundaries were all plainly established by
that treaty, and there was no sound pretence why one tribe should pass
over on the lands of another. If he did pass, there was no reason at all
why he should carry a hatchet in his hand or a war eagle's feather
in his hair.

Shai-wun-e-gun-aibee responded in favorable terms as to the general
subject. The old men desired peace, but could not always control their
young men, especially when they heard that their men had been struck.
His voice and hand would be ever on the side of his great American
father, and he believed his hands were long enough to reach out and hold
them still. He concluded by some complaints against their trader
Dingley. Said that he had presented them a map of the Yellow River
country, and wished them to give it to him. That he had ill-used some of
them by taking away goods which he had before sold them, because they
had not paid all.

MOUNDS, SO CALLED.--Before quitting Yellow River, I asked Kabamappa
whether the Pe-li-co-gun-au-gun was a natural or artificial mound. He
replied, that it was natural. There were three more of these elevations
on the opposite side of the river. He knew nothing further of them. A
large pine was growing on the top of one of them.

Having concluded the business with the Indians, I distributed presents
of provisions, ammunition, and tobacco. I purchased a canoe of small
draft from an Indian named Shoga, and immediately embarked on my return
up the St. Croix. That night we lodged in our camp of the 31st. The next
morning we were in motion by five o'clock, and reached the grand forks
by nine. We entered and began the ascent of the Namakagun.

INDIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.--We soon met a brother of Kabamappa, called
the Day Ghost, and four other heads of families, with their families,
on their way to the council at Yellow River. Informed them of what had
been done, and gave them tobacco, whereupon they determined to re-ascend
the Namakagun with us. There were ten persons. One of the young men
fired at a flock of pigeons, hitting and killing two. A distance above,
they went through a cut-off, and saved a mile or more, while we went
round, showing their superior knowledge of the geography. At the great
bends, the women got out of the canoes and walked. The old men also
walked up. We reached their lodges about 4 o'clock. I exchanged canoes
with Day Ghost, and gave him the difference. We encamped at a late hour
on the left bank (ascending), having come about forty-two miles--a
prodigious effort for the men. To make amends, they ate prodigiously,
and then lay down and slept with the nightmare. Poor fellows, they
screamed out in their sleep. But they were up and ready again at 5
o'clock the next morning, with paddle and song.

PICTOGRAPHY.--At 11 o'clock we landed, on the right bank, at the site of
an old encampment, for breakfast. I observed a symbolic inscription, in
the ideographic manner, on a large blazed pine--the _Pinus resinosa_. It
consisted of seven representative, and four symbolic devices, denoting
the totems, or family names, of two heads of families, while encamped
here, and their success in hunting and fishing. The story told was this:
That two men, one of whom was of the Catfish clan, and the other of the
clan of the Copper-tailed Bear--a mythological animal--had been rewarded
with mysterious good luck, each according to his totem. The Catfish man
had caught six large catfish, and the Copper-tailed Bear man had killed
a black bear. The resin of the pine had covered the inscription,
rendering it impervious to the weather.

NATURAL HISTORY.--The _nymphaea odorata_ borders the edge of the river.
Dr. H., this morning, found the _bidens_, which has but two localities
in the United States besides. He has also, within the last forty-eight
hours, discovered a species of the locust, on the lower part of the
Namakagun. The fresh-water shells on this river are chiefly unios. Wild
rice, the _palustris_, is chiefly found at the two Pukwaéwas, more
rarely along the banks, but not in abundance. The _polyganum amphibia_
stands just in the edge of the water along its banks, and is now in
flower. The copper-head snake is found at the Yellow River; also the
thirteen striped squirrel.

NUDE INDIANS.--The Indians whom we met casually on the Namakagun, had
nothing whatever on them, but the _auzeaun_. They put on a blanket, when
expecting a stranger. The females have a petticoat and breastpiece. When
we passed the Woodpecker Chiefs party, an old woman, without upperments,
who had been poling up one of the canoes, hastily landed, and hid
herself in the bushes, when her exclamation of Nyau! Nyau! revealed her
position as we passed. Two young married women had also landed, but
stood on the banks with their children; one of the latter screaming, in
fear, at the top of its lungs.

The men were much fatigued with this day's journey. They had to use the
pole when the water became shallow. Yet they went about thirty-six
miles. At night one of them screamed out with pains in his arms. We were
up and on the river again at six the next morning (the 4th). The word
with me was, PUSH; to accomplish the object, not a day, not half a day
was to be lost, and the men all entered into the spirit of the thing. At
half past nine, we reached our breakfast place of the 30th, and there
gummed our canoes. We noticed yesterday the red haw, and _pembina_--the
latter of which is the service berry. This day the calamus was often
seen in quantity.

GEOLOGY.--Rapids were encountered at various points, at which there
appeared large boulders of syenite and greenstone trap. No rock stratum
appears in place, but from the size of the boulders, it seems probable
that the trap formation crosses the bed of the Namakagun. There is no
limestone--no slate. Small boulders of amygdaloid, quartz, granite, and
sandstone mark the prevalence of the drift stratum, such as overspreads
the upper Mississippi uplands. The weather was cloudy and overcast,
producing coolness. I found the air but 64° at 2 o'clock, when the water
stood at 69°.

Some fish are caught in this stream, which serve to eke out the very
scanty, and precarious subsistence of the Indians at this season. At the
lodge of an Indian, whom we knew as the "Jack of Diamonds"--being the
same who loaned us a canoe--I observed some small pieces of duck in a
large kettle of boiling water, which was thickened with whortleberries,
for the family supper.

PORTAGE TO LAC COURTORIELLE.--We reached the portage at two o'clock
A.M., and immediately began to cross it, the men carrying all our
baggage at one load. Just after passing the middle _pause_, the path
mounts and is carried along a considerable ridge, from which there is a
good view of the country. It is open as far as the eye can reach.
Sometimes there is a fine range of large pines: in by far the largest
space ancient fires appear to have spread, destroying the forest and
giving rise to a young growth of pines, aspen, shad-bush, and bramble.
Some portions are marshy. A deep cup-shaped cavity exists a little to
the right of the path on the ridge, denoting it to be cavernous or
filled with springs.

We saw evidences of Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey's march and encampment
on this height. We saw also evidences of Old Laporte's prowess in
voyageur life and exploits, by a notice of one of his long _pauses_,
recorded by Lieut. Clary in pencil, on a blazed tree.

LAKE OF THE ISLES.--On reaching the Lake of the Isles at three o'clock
P.M., we found, by a little bark letter on a pole, that Lieut. Clary and
Mr. Woolsey had slept at that spot on the 1st of August. All things had
proceeded well. They were ahead of us but four days.

While the men were sent back to the other end of the portage after the
canoes, I embarked on the lake in a small canoe found in the bushes,
with Mr. Johnston, to search out the proper channel. We found it to draw
to a narrow neck and then widen out, with six or seven islands, giving a
very sylvan and beautiful appearance. We passed through it, then crossed
a short portage that connects the path with Lac du Grès, and then
returned to the south end of Lake of the Isles, where I determined to
encamp and light up a fire, while Mr. Johnston was sent back in the
little Indian canoe to bring up the canoes and men. While thus awaiting
the arrival of the party, I scrutinized the mineralogy of the pebbles
and drift of its shores, where I observed small fragments of the
agates, quartz, amygdaloids, &c., which characterize all the drift of
the upper Mississippi.

But Mr. Johnston did not return till long after sunset. I was growing
uneasy and full of anxieties when he hove in sight in the same small
Indian hunting-canoe, with Dr. Houghton and one voyageur, bringing the
tent, beds, and mess-basket. They reported that the men had not yet
arrived with the large canoe, and it was doubted whether they would come
in in season to cross the lake. But they came up and joined us during
the night.

The next morning (Aug. 5th) we crossed the portage at Lac du Grès before
sunrise. This is the origin of the north-west fork of Chippewa River.
The atmosphere was foggy, but, from what we could see, we thought the
lake pretty. Pine on its shores, bottom sandy, shells in its bed, no
rock seen in place, but loose pieces of coarse gray sandstone around
its shores.

The outlet of this lake proved to be the entrance into Ottawa Lake--the
Lac Courtorielle of the French--a fine body of water some ten miles
long. It was still too foggy on reaching this point to tell which way to
steer. A gun was fired; it was soon answered by Lieut. Clary and Mr.
Woolsey from the opposite side of the lake. The sound was sufficient to
indicate the course, and we crossed in safety, rejoining our party at
the hour of early breakfast. We found all well.

OTTAWA LAKE.--We were received with a salute from the Indians. I counted
twenty-eight canoes turned up on the beach. Mozojeed and Waubezhais, the
son of Miscomoneto (or The Red Devil), were present. Also Odabossa and
his band. The Indians crowded down to the beach to shake hands. I
informed them, while tobacco was being distributed, that I would meet
them in council that day at the firing of three guns by the military.

COUNCIL.--At eleven o'clock I met the Indians in council. The military
were drawn up to the best advantage, their arms glittering in the sun.
My auxiliaries of the Michico-Canadian stock and the gentlemen of my
party were in their best trim. We occupied the beautiful eminence at the
outlet of the lake. The assemblage of Indians was large, but I was
struck by the great disproportion, or excess, of women and children.

Mozojeed, the principal man, was a tall, not portly, red-mouthed, and
pucker-mouthed man,[61] with an unusual amount of cunning and sagacity,
and exercising an unlimited popularity by his skill and reputation as a
_jossakeed_, or seer. He had three wives, and, so far as observation
went, I should judge that most of the men present had imitated his
voluptuous tastes and apparently lax morals. He had an elaborately-built
_jaunglery_, or seer's lodge, sheathed with rolls of bark carefully and
skillfully united, and stained black inside. Its construction, which was
intricate, resembled the whorls of a sea-shell. The white prints of a
man's hand, as if smeared with white clay, was impressed on the black
surface. I have never witnessed so complete a piece of Indian
architectural structure, nor one more worthy of the name of a temple
of darkness.

[Footnote 61: He was named by the Indians from these two traits.]

This man, who had effectually succeeded to the power and influence of
Miscomoneto (or the Red Devil), had been present at the treaty of
Prairie du Chien, in 1825, and heard Gens. Clark and Cass address the
assembled Indians on that memorable occasion. I had been in
communication with him there. He was perfectly familiar with the
principles of pacification advanced and established on that occasion. It
was the more easy for me, therefore, to revive and enforce these

WAR PARTY.--Mozojeed's son was himself one of Neenaba's leaders in the
war party, and was now absent with the volunteers which he had been able
to raise in and about the Ottawa Lake village. He was directly
implicated in this movement against the Sioux. Mozojeed's village was,
in fact, completely caught almost in the very act of sending out its
quota of warriors. They had, but a short time before, marched to join
the main party at Rica Lake on the Red Cedar Fork of the Chippewa. He
felt the embarrassment of his position, but, true to the character of
his race, exhibited not a sign of it in his words or countenance. Stolid
and unmoved, he pondered on his reply. Divested of its unnecessary
points and personal localisms, this speech was substantially as

MOZOJEED'S SPEECH.--"Nosa. I have listened to your voice. I have
listened to it heretofore at Kipesaugee. It is to me the voice of one
that is strong and able to do. Our Great Father speaks in it. I hear but
one thing. It is to sit still. It is not to cross the enemies' lines. It
is to drop the war club. It is to send word of all our disputes to him.

"Nosa. This is wise. This is good. This is to stop blood. But my young
men are foolish. They wish to go on the war path. They wish to sing
triumphs. My counsels too are weak and as nothing. It seems like trying
to catch the winds and holding them in my fists, when I try to stay
their war spirit. How shall we dance? How shall we sing? These are
their words.

"Nosa. I do not lift the war-club. My words are for peace. I helped to
draw the lines at Kipesaugee six years, ago. I will keep them. My advice
to my people is to sit still. You have shown, by bringing your flag here
and hoisting it with your own hands in my village, that you are strong,
and able, and willing. You are the Indian's friend. You encourage us by
this hard journey through our streams when the waters are low. You have
spied us out and see how we live, and how poor we are."

Waubezhais, the son of Miscomoneto, and bearing his medal and authority,
then spoke, responding frankly. Odebossa, of the Upper Pukwaéwa, spoke
also favorably to my object, and thanking me for my visit to his village
on the Namakagun, which he said, metaphorically, "had rekindled their
fires, which were almost out."

All agreed that the waters were too low to go to the Lac du Flambeau,
and that my proposed council with the Indians at that point must be
given up or deferred. Besides, if the war party on the Red Cedar or
Folavoine Fork of the Chippewa was to be arrested, it could only be done
by an immediate move in that direction. I therefore determined to leave
Ottawa Lake the same day. I invested Mozobodo with a silver medal of the
first class, and a U.S. flag. Presents of ammunition, provisions, iron
works, a few dry goods, and tobacco were given to all, and statistics of
their population and of their means taken. For a population of eighteen
men, there were forty-eight women and seventy-one children. Thirteen or
fourteen of the latter were Mozojeed's. Red Devil's son's band numbered
forty-nine men, twenty-seven women, and forty-six children. Odabossa's
village consisted of eighteen men, thirty-eight women, and seventy-one
children--making 406 souls, who were chiefly assembled at this point.

TECUMSEH.--I snatched this piece of history. During the late war
Tecumseh's messages reached this place, and produced their usual effect.
The Indians seized the post, took the goods, and burnt the building
occupied as a place of trade. Mr. Corban, having notice from friendly
Indians, escaped with his men to St. Mary's. This post stood opposite
the outlet, being on the present site of Mozojeed's village.

MOZOJEED'S LODGE--This fabric is quite remarkable, and yields more
comforts and conveniences than usual. It has also the mysterious
insignia of a prophet. The faces of four men or gods are carved at the
four cardinal points. A hole with a carved image of a bird is in front.
Three drums hang on the walls, and many rattles. At his official lodge
men are painted joining hands. A bundle of red sticks lies in
one corner.

INDIAN MOVEMENTS.--I was informed by M. and W. that the Lac du Flambeau
Indians were not on Chippewa River, and that the message from Yellow
Lake had not reached them. That many of the Chippewas were at Rice Lake
on the Red Cedar Fork. That they had received a message from Mr. Street,
Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien, and were in alarm on account of the

TRIP TO THE RED CEDAR FORK.--We embarked at four o'clock in the
afternoon in four canoes, one canoe of Indians to aid on the portages,
and two canoes of the military--Lieut. Clary's command. Mr. B. Cadotte
acted as guide as far as Rice Lake, the whole making quite a formidable
"brigade," to use a trader's term. Our course lay down the Little
Chippewa River. The water was very good and deep as far as the fish dam.
There our troubles began. Our canoes had to be led along, as if they had
been baskets of eggs, in channels made by the Indians, who had carefully
picked out the big stones. We met a son of old Misco's, having a fawn
and three muskrats recently killed. I gave him a full reward of corn and
tobacco for the former, which was an acceptable addition to our
traveling _cuisine_. It was observed that he had nothing besides in his
canoe but a gun and war club, a little boy being in the boat. We
descended the stream some seven or eight miles, and encamped on the
right bank. It rained hard during the night. Next morning (6th) we were
in motion at six o'clock, which was as early as the atmosphere would
permit. An hour's travel brought us to the mouth of a creek, which led
us in the required direction. It was a narrow and deep stream, very
tortuous, and making bends so short that we with difficulty forced our
canoes through. In two hours we came to the portage to the Ca Ta--a pond
at the distance of 1916 yards, which we crossed at two _pauses_.

LAKE CHETAC.--Before the canoes and baggage came up, I crossed over to
Lake Chetac. There is a portage road around the pond. After passing the
first _poze_ from it, the canoes may be put in a brook and poled down
two pozes--then they must be taken out and carried 1600 yards to Lake
Chetac. The whole portage is 5600 yards.

It was seven o'clock in the evening before we could embark on the lake.
We went down it four miles to an island and encamped. The lake is six
miles long, shallow, marshy, with some wild rice and bad water. Bad as
it was, we had to make tea of it.

INDIAN MANNERS.--We found but a single lodge on the island, which was
occupied by a Chippewa woman and a dog. I heard her say to one of our
men, in the Chippewa tongue, that there was no man in the lodge--that
her husband had gone out fishing. She appeared in alarm, and soon after
I saw her paddle away in a small canoe, leaving her lodge with a fire
burning. On awaking in the morning, I heard the sound of talking in the
lodge, and, before we embarked, the man, his wife, and two children, and
an old woman came out.

Four lodges of Indians, say about twenty souls, usually make their homes
at this lake, which yields them fish and wild rice. But at present the
whole tendency of the Indian population is to Rice Lake. The war party
mustering at that point absorbs all attention.



Betula Lake--Larch Lake--A war party surprised--Indian manners--Rice
Lake--Indian council--Red Cedar Lake--Speeches of Wabezhais and
Neenaba--Equal division of goods--Orifice for treading out rice--A live
beaver--Notices of natural history--Value of the Follavoine Valley--A
medal of the third President--War dance--Ornithology--A prairie country,
fertile and abounding in game--Saw mills--Chippewa River--Snake--La
Garde Mountain--Descent of the Mississippi--Sioux village--General
impression of the Mississippi--Arrival at Prairie du Chien.

1831. BETULA LAKE. LARCH LAKE.--The 7th of August, which dawned upon us
in Lake Chetac, proved foggy and cool. The thermometer at 4, 7 and 8
A.M., stood respectively at 50°, 52° and 56°. We found the outlet very
shallow, so much so, that the canoes could with difficulty be got out
while we walked. It led us by a short portage into a small lake called
Betula, or Birch Lake, a sylvan little body of water having three
islands, which we were just twenty-five minutes in crossing by free
strokes of the paddles. Its outlet was still too shallow for any other
purpose than to enable the men to lead down the empty canoes. We made a
portage of twelve hundred and ninety-five yards into another lake,
called Larch or Sapin Lake--which is about double the size of the former
lake. We were half an hour in crossing it with an animated and free
stroke of the paddle--the men's spirits rising as they find themselves
getting out of these harassing defiles and portages.

A WAR PARTY SURPRISED.--We took breakfast on the beach while the canoes
were for the last time being led down the outlet. We had nearly finished
it on the last morsel of the fawn, and were glancing all the while over
the placid and bright expanse, with its dark foliage, when suddenly a
small Indian canoe, very light, and successively seven others, with a
warrior in the bow and stern of each, glided from a side channel, being
the outlet into its other extremity. As soon as our position was
revealed, they stopped in utter amazement, and lighting their pipes
began to smoke; and we, nearly as much amazed, immediately put up our
flag, and Lt. Clary paraded his men. We were more than two to one on the
basis of a fight. A few moments revealed our respective relations. It
was the _Lac Courtorielle_ detachment of the Rice Lake war party, and
gave us the first intimation of its return. It was now evident that the
man on the Little Chippewa from whom we purchased the fawn was but an
advanced member of the same party. As soon as they perceived our
national character, they fired a salute and cautiously advanced. It
proved to be the brother of Mozojeed and two of his sons, with thirteen
other warriors, on their return. Each had a gun, a shot-bag and powder
horn, a scalping knife and a war club, and was painted with vermilion
lines on the face. The men were nearly naked, having little but the
_auzeaun_ and moccasons and the leather baldric that confines the knife
and necessary warlike appendages and their head gear. They had
absolutely no baggage in the canoe. When the warrior leaped out, it was
seen to be a mere elongated and ribbed dish of the white birch bark, and
a man with one hand could easily lift it. Such a display of the Indian
manners and customs on a war party, it is not one in a thousand even of
those on the frontiers is ever so fortunate as to see.

They still landed under some trepidation, but I took each personally by
the hand as they came up to my flag, and the ceremony was united in by
Lieut. Clary, and continued by them until every gentleman of my party
had been taken by the hand. The Indians understood this ceremony as a
committal of friendship. I directed tobacco to be distributed to them,
and immediately gathered them in council. They stated that the war party
had encountered signs of Sioux outnumbering them on the lower part of
the Chippewa River, and footsteps of strange persons coming. This inroad
of an apparently new combination against them had alarmed the moose,
which had fled before them; and that six of the party had been sent in
advance while the main body lay back to await the news. From whatever
cause the party had retreated, it was evidently broken up for the
season; and, the object of my official visit and advice accomplished, I
turned this to advantage in the interview, and left them, I trust,
better prepared to understand their true duties and policy hereafter,
and we crossed the lake with spirits more elevated.

RED CEDAR LAKE.--A short outlet conducted us into Red Cedar Lake, a
handsome body of water which we were an hour in passing through, say
four or five miles. The men raised their songs, which had not been heard
for some time. It presents some islands, which add to its
picturesqueness. Formerly there stood a single red cedar on one of
these, which gave the name to the lake, but no other tree of this
species is known in the region. Half a mile south of its banks the
Indians procure a kind of red pipe stone, similar to that brought from
the _Coteau des Prairies_, but of a duller red color. We met four
Indians in a canoe in passing it, who saluted us. The outlet is filled
with long flowing grass and aquatic plants. Two Indian women in a canoe
who were met here guided us down its somewhat intricate channel. We
observed the spiralis or eel weed and the rattlesnake leaf (scrofula
weed or goodyeara) ashore. The tulip tree and butternut were noticed
along the banks.

INDIAN MANNERS.---In passing down the outlet of the Red Cedar Lake we,
soon after leaving our guides, met three canoes at short distances
apart, two of which had a little boy in each end, and the third an old
woman and child. We next met a Chippewa with his wife and child on the
banks. They had landed from a canoe, evidently in fear, but, learning
our character, embarked and followed us to Rice Lake. The woman had her
hair hanging loose about her head, and not clubbed up in the usual
fashion. I asked, and understood in reply, that this was a fashion
peculiar to a band of Chippewas who live north of Rice Lake. On coming
into Rice Lake we found the whole area of it, except a channel, covered
with wild rice not yet ripe. We here met a number of boys and girls in a
canoe, who, on seeing us, put ashore and fled in the utmost trepidation
into the tall grasses and hid themselves.

RICE LAKE, or MONOMINEKANING.--As we came in sight of the village, every
canoe was put in the best trim for display. The flags were hoisted; the
military canoes paid all possible devotion to Mars. There were five
canoes. I led the advance, the men striking up one of their liveliest
songs--which by the way was some rural ditty of love and adventure of
the age of Louis XIV.--and we landed in front of the village with a
flourish of air (purely a matter of ceremony) as if the Grand Mogul were
coming, and they would be swallowed up. I immediately sent to the
chiefs, to point out the best place for encamping, which they did.

COUNCIL AT RICE LAKE.--As soon as my tent was pitched, Neenaba,
Wabezhais, and their followers, to the number of twenty-two persons,
visited me, were received with a shake of the hand and a "bon-jour," and
presented with tobacco. Notice was immediately given that I would meet
them in council at the firing of signal guns by the military. They
attended accordingly. This council was preliminary, as I intended to
halt here for a couple of days, in order to put new bottoms to my
canoes. I wished, also, some geographical and other information from
them, prior to my final council. Neenaba agreed to draw a map of the
lower part of the river, &c., denoting the lines drawn by the treaty of
Prairie du Chien, and the sites of the saw-mills erected, without leave,
by squatters.

NATIVE SPEECHES.--Next day (8th) the final council was held, at the
usual signal. Wabezhais and Neenaba were the principal speakers. They
both disclaimed setting themselves up against the authority or wishes of
the United States. They knew the lines, and meant to keep them. But they
were on the frontiers. The Sioux came out against them. They came up the
river. They had last year killed a man and his two sons in a canoe, on
the opposite banks of Rice Lake, where they lay concealed. Left to
protect themselves, they had no choice. They must strike, or die. Their
fathers had left them councils, which, although young and foolish, they
must respect. They did not disregard the voice of the President. They
were glad to listen to it. They were pleased that he had honored them
with this visit, and this advice. This is the substance of
both speeches.

Neenaba complained that the lumbermen had built mills on their land, and
cut pine logs, without right. That the Indians got nothing but civil
treatment, when they went to the mills, and tobacco. This young chief
appears to have drawn a temporary notoriety upon himself by his position
in the late war party, which is, to some extent, fallacious. His modesty
is, however, a recommendation. I proposed to have invested him with a
second class medal and flag; but he brought them to me again, laying
them down, and saying that he perceived that it would produce
dissatisfaction and discord in his tribe; and that they were not
necessary to insure his good influence and friendship for the United
States. On consultation with the band, these marks of authority were
finally awarded to WABEZHAIS. Presents, including the last of my dry
goods, were then distributed. Among them, was a small piece of fine
scarlet cloth, but too little to make a present to each. The divider of
the goods, which were given in camp, who was Indian, when he came to
this tore it into small strips, so as to make a head-band or baldric for
each. The utmost exactness of division was observed in everything.

ORIFICES FOR TREADING OUT RICE.--I saw artificial orifices in the ground
near our encampment. On inquiry, I learned that these were used for
treading out the wild rice. A skin is put in these holes which are
filled with ears. A man then treads out the grain. This appears to be
the only part of rice making that is performed by the men. The women
gather, dry, and winnow it.

A LIVE BEAVER.--The Indians brought into camp one morning, while I was
at Rice Lake, a young beaver; an animal more completely amphibious, it
would be difficult to find. The head and front part of the body resemble
the muskrat. The fore legs are short, and have five toes. The hind legs
are long, stout, and web-footed. The spine projects back in a thick
mass, and terminates in a spatula-shaped tail, naked and scale-form. The
animal is young, and was taken about ten days ago. Previously to being
brought in, it had been taken out in a canoe into the lake, and
immersed. It appeared to be cold, and shivered slightly. Its hair was
saturated with water, and it made use of its fore paws in attempts to
express the water, sometimes like a cat, and at others, like a squirrel.
It sat up, like the latter, on its hind legs, and ate bread in the
manner of a squirrel. In this position it gave some idea of the
kangaroo. Its color was a black body, brownish on the cheeks and under
the body. The eye small and not very brilliant. Its cry is not unlike
that of a young child. The owner said, it would eat rice and fish. It
was perfectly tamed in this short time, and would run to its owner.

NOTICES OF NATURAL HISTORY.--I took out of the bed of the river, in the
descent below Red Cedar Lake, a greenish substance attached to stone,
having an animal organization resembling the sponge. In our descent, the
men caught, and killed with their poles, a proteus. The wild rice, which
fills this part of the river, is monoecious. The river abounds in
muscles, among which the species of unios is common, but not of large
size, so far as we observed. The forest growth improves about this
point, and denotes a better soil and climate. Pine species are still
present, but have become more mixed with hard wood, and what the French
canoe-men denominate "Bois Franc."

VALUE OF THE FOLLEAVOINE FORK.--The name by which this tributary of the
Chippewa is called, on the Lake Superior side, namely, Red Cedar, is
quite inappropriate. Above Rice Lake it is characterized by the wild
rice plant, and the name of Folleavoine, which we found in use on the
Mississippi border, better expresses its character. The lower part of
the stream appears to be not only more plenteous in the class of
resources on which an Indian population rely, but far better adapted to
the purposes of agriculture, grazing, and hydraulics.

MEDAL OF THE THIRD PRESIDENT.--During the assemblages at Rice Lake, I
observed a lad called Ogeima Geezhick, or Chief Day, having a Jefferson
medal around his neck. I called him and his father, and, while inquiring
its history, put a new ribbon to it. It was probably given by the late
Col. Bolvin, Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, to the chief called
Peesh-a-Peevely, of Ottawa Lake. The latter died at his village, an old
man, last winter. He gave it to a young man who was killed by the Sioux.
His brother having a boy named after him, namely, Ogeima Geezhick, gave
it to him.

WAR-DANCE.--This ceremony, together with what is called _striking the
post_, was performed during our stay. The warriors, arrayed for war,
danced in a circle to the music of their drum and rattles. After making
a fixed number of revolutions, they stopped simultaneously and uttered
the sharp war yell. A man then stepped out, and, raising his club and
striking a pole in the centre, related a personal exploit in war. The
dance was then resumed, and terminated in like manner by yells, when
another warrior related his exploits. This was repeated as long as there
were exploits to tell. One of the warriors had seven feathers in his
head, denoting that he had marched seven times against the enemy.
Another had two. One of the young men asked for Lieut. Clary's sword,
and danced with it in the circle.

An old woman, sitting in a ring of women on the left, when the dancing
and drumming had reached its height, could not restrain her feelings.
She rose up, and, seizing a war-club which one of the young men
gallantly offered, joined the dance. As soon as they paused, and gave
the war-whoop, she stepped forward and shook her club towards the Sioux
lines, and related that a war party of Chippewas had gone to the
Warwater River, and killed a Sioux, and when they returned they threw
the scalp at her feet. A very old, deaf, and gray-headed man, tottering
with age, also stepped out to tell the exploits of his youth, on the
war path.

Among the dancers, I noticed a man with a British medal. It was the
medal of the late Chief Peesh-a-Peevely, and had probably been given him
while the British held the supremacy in the country. I explained to him
that it, was a symbol of nationality, which it was now improper to
display as such. That I would recognize the personal authority of it, by
exchanging for it an American silver medal of equal size.

ORNITHOLOGY.--While at Rice Lake, I heard, for the first time, the
meadow-lark, and should judge it a favorite place for birds obtaining
their food. The thirteen striped squirrel is also common. A quantity of
the fresh-water shells of the lake were, at my request, brought in by
the Indian girls. There was very little variety. Most of them were unios
of a small size.

I found the entire population to be one hundred and forty-two souls, of
whom eleven were absent.

One of the last acts of Neenaba was to present a pipe and speech, to be
forwarded to the President, to request him to use his power to prevent
the Sioux from crossing the lines. Having now finished repairing my
canoes, I embarked on the ninth, at three o'clock in the afternoon, and
went down the river four hours and a half, probably about eighteen
miles, and encamped. Encountered four Indians, from whom we obtained
some pieces of venison. During the night wolves set up their howls near
our camp, a sure sign that we were in a deer country.

A PRAIRIE COUNTRY.--The next morning (10th Aug.) we embarked at five,
and remained in our canoes till ten A.M., when we landed for breakfast.
We had now entered a prairie country, of a pleasing and picturesque
aspect. We observed a red deer during the morning; we passed many
hunting encampments of the Indians, and the horns and bones of
slaughtered deers, and other evidences of our being in a valuable game
country. These signs continued and increased after breakfast. The river
had now increased in volume, so as to allow a free navigation, and the
men could venture to put out their strength in following down a current,
always strong, and often rapid. We were passing a country of sylvan
attractions, of great fertility, and abounding in deer, elk, and other
animals. We also saw a mink, and a flock of brant. Mr. Clary shot a
turkey-buzzard, the first intimation that we had reached within the
range of that bird. As evening approached we saw a raccoon on a fallen
bank. We came at nightfall to the Kakabika Falls, carried our baggage
across the portage, and encamped at the western end, ready to embark in
the morning, having descended the river, by estimation, seventy miles.
These falls are over sandstone, a rock which has shown itself at all the
rapids below Rice Lake.

SAW MILLS.--The next morning (11th) we embarked at six o'clock, and,
after descending strong and rapid waters for a distance of about fifteen
miles, reached the site of a saw mill. A Mr. Wallace, who with ten men
was in charge of it, and was engaged in reconstructing a dam that had
been carried off by the last spring freshet, represented Messrs. Rolette
and Lockwood of Prairie du Chien. Another mill, he said, was constructed
on a creek just below, and out of sight.

I asked Mr. Wallace where the lines between the Sioux and Chippewas
crossed. He said above. He had no doubt, however, but that the land
belonged to the Chippewas. He said that no Sioux had been here for seven
years. At that time a mill was built here, and Sioux came and encamped
at it, but they were attacked by the Chippewas and several killed, since
which they have not appeared. He told us that this stream is called the

The country near the mills is not, in fact, occupied by either Chippewa
or Sioux, in consequence of which game is abundant on it. We saw a wolf,
on turning a dense point of woods, in the morning. The animal stood a
moment, and then turned and fled into the forest. After passing the
mills we saw groups of two, five and four deer, and of two wolves at
separate points. Mr. Johnston shot at a flight of brant, and brought
down one. The exclamations, indeed, of "_un loup! un chèvreuil!"_ were
continually in the men's mouths.

CHIPPEWA RIVER.--At twelve o'clock precisely we came to the confluence
of this fork with the main stream. The Chippewa is a noble mass of
water, flowing with a wide sweeping majesty to the Mississippi. It
excites the idea of magnitude. Wide plains, and the most sylvan and
picturesque hills bound the view. We abandoned our smallest canoe at
this point, and, pushing into the central channel of the grand current,
pursued for six hours our way to its mouth, where we encamped on a long
spit of naked sand, which marked its entrance into the Mississippi.

SNAKE.--The only thing that opposed our passage was a large serpent in
the centre of the channel, whose liberty being impinged, coiled himself
up, and raised his head in defiance. Its colors were greenish-yellow and
brownish. It appeared to be of the thickness at the maximum of a man's
wrist. The bowsman struck it with a pole, not without some trepidation
at his proximity to the reptile, but it made off, apparently unhurt, or
not disabled.

MONT LE GARDE.--The picturesque and grass-clad elevation called _Le
Garde_ by the canoe-men, attracted our notice. It is a high hill, the
top of which commands a view of the whole length of Lake Pepin, where
Chippewa war parties look out for their enemies. It was from this
elevation that Kewaynokwut's party spied poor Finley and his men in
1824, and there could have been no reason whatever for mistaking their
character, for he had a linen tent and other unmistakeable insignia of
a trader.

The Chippewa enters the Mississippi by several channels, which at this
stage of the water, are formed by long sand bars, which are but a few
inches above the water. The tracks of deer and elk were abundant on
these bars. We had found something of this kind on a bar of the
Folleavoine below the mills, where we landed to dry the doctor's
herbarium and press, which had been knocked overboard in a rapid. The
tracks of elk at that spot were as numerous as those of cattle in a barn
yard. There are high hills on the west banks of the Mississippi opposite
the entrance, and an enchanting view is had of the foot of Lake Pepin
and its beautiful shores.

Deer appear to come on to these sand bars at night, to avoid the
mosquitoes. Wolves follow them. We estimate our distance at forty miles,
inclusive of the stop at the mill. We had the brant roasted on a stick
for supper.

DESCENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI.--We embarked on our descent at four o'clock
A.M. We passed three canoes of Sioux men with their families. The
canoes were wooden. We stopped alongside, and gave them tobacco. The
women club their hair like the Chippewas, and wear short gowns of cloth.
Soon afterwards we overtook four Sioux of Wabashaw's band, in a canoe.
We stopped for breakfast at nine o'clock, under a high shore on the west
bank. Found fine unios of a large size, very abundant on a little sandy
bay. I found the _unio alatus, overtus, rugosus and gibbosus_, also some
_anadontas_. The Sioux came up, and gave us to understand that a murder
had been committed by the Menomonies in the mine country. Some of my
voyageurs laughed outright to hear the Sioux language spoken, the sound
of its frequent palatals falling very flat on men's ears accustomed only
to the Algonquin.

SIOUX VILLAGE.--About two o'clock, having taken a right-hand fork of the
river, we unexpectedly came to a Sioux village, consisting of a part of
Wabashaw's band, under Wah-koo-ta. Landed and found a Sioux who could
speak Chippewa, and serve as interpreter. I informed them of my route
and the object of my visit, and of my having communicated a message with
wampum and tobacco to Wabashaw. They told us that the Menomonies had
killed twenty-five Foxes at Prairie du Chien a few days ago, having
first made them drunk, and then cut their throats and scalped them. We
encamped, at seven o'clock in the evening, under high cliffs on the west
shore, having been fifteen hours in our canoes. Found mint among the
high grass, where our tent poles were put. On the next morning we set
off at half-past four o'clock, and went until ten to breakfast. At a low
point of land of the shore, we had a view of a red fox, who scampered
away gayly. He had been probably gleaning among the shell-fish
along shore.

At a subsequent point we met a boat laden with Indian goods, bound to
St. Peters, and manned by Canadians. The person in charge of it informed
us that it was Menomonies and not Foxes who had, to the number of
twenty-six, been recently murdered.

GENERAL IMPRESSION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.--The engrossing idea, in passing
down the Mississippi, is the power of its waters during the spring
flood. Trees carried from above are piled on the heads of islands, and
also lie, like vast stranded rocks, on its sand bars and lower shores.
Generally the butt ends and roots are elevated in the air, and remain
like gibbeted men by the roadside, to tell the traveler of the POWER
once exerted there.

We traveled till near ten o'clock (13th) in the morning, when we reached
and encamped at Prairie du Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe--Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the
Foxes--Descent to Galena--Trip in the lead mine country to Fort
Winnebago--Gratiot's Grove--Sac and Fox disturbances--Black Hawk--Irish
Diggings--Willow Springs--Vanmater's lead--An escape from falling into a
pit--Mineral Point--Ansley's copper mine--Gen. Dodge's--Mr.
Brigham's--Sugar Creek--Four Lakes--Seven Mile Prairie--A night in the
woods--Reach Fort Winnebago--Return to the Sault--Political changes in
the cabinet--Gov. Cass called to Washington--Religious changes--G.B.
Porter appointed Governor--Natural history--Character of the new
governor--Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter--Organization of a church.

1831, _Aug. 14th_. One of the first things we heard, on reaching Prairie
du Chien, was the death of ex-President Monroe, which happened on the
4th of July, at the City of New York. The demise of three ex-Presidents
of the revolutionary era (Jefferson, Adams, and Monroe), on this
political jubilee of the republic, is certainly extraordinary, and
appears, so far as human judgment goes, to lend a providential sanction
to the bold act of confederated resistance to taxation and oppression,
made in 1776.

The affray between the Foxes and Menomonies turns out thus. The Foxes
had killed a young Menomonie hunter, near the mouth of the Wisconsin,
and cut off his head. The Menomonies had retaliated by killing Foxes.
The Foxes then made a war party against the Menomonies, and went up the
Mississippi in search of them. They did not find them, till their
return, when they discovered a Menomonie encampment on the upper part of
the Prairie. They instantly attacked them, and killed seven men, five
women, and thirteen children. The act was perfectly dastardly, for the
Menomonies were some domestic lodges of persons living, as
non-combatants, under the guns of the fort and the civil institutions of
the town. The Menomonies complained to me. I told them to go to their
Agent, and have a proper statement of the massacre drawn up by him, and
transmitted to Washington.

I called on the commanding officer, Captain Loomis, and accepted his
invitation to dine. He introduced me to Mr. Street, the Indian Agent. At
four o'clock in the evening, I embarked for Galena, and, after
descending the Mississippi as long as daylight lasted, encamped on a
sand bar. The next morning (15th), we were again in motion before 5
o'clock. We passed Cassville and Dubuque at successive points, and,
entering the river of Galena, reached the town about half-past eight
o'clock, in the evening, and encamped on the banks of the river.

On the following day (16th) I dispatched my canoe back to the Wisconsin
in charge of Mr. Johnston, accompanied by Dr. D. Houghton, and Mr.
Melancthon Woolsey, with directions to meet me at the portage. I then
hired a light wagon to visit the mine country, taking letters from
Captain Legate, U.S.A., and Mr. C. Hemstead. Mr. Bennet, the landlord,
went with me to bring back the team. We left Galena about ten o'clock in
the morning (17th), and, passing over an open, rolling country, reached
Gratiot's Grove, at a distance of fifteen miles. The Messrs. Gratiot
received me kindly, and showed me the various ores, and their mode of
preparing and smelting them, which are, in all respects, similar to the
method pursued in Missouri, with which I was familiar.

Mr. Henry Gratiot was the sub-Indian agent for the Winnebagoes, and was
present at the late disturbances at the head of Rock Island. His band is
the Winnebagoes living on Rock River, which is the residence of their
prophet. He says the latter is a half Sauk, and a very shrewd, cunning
man. They are peaceable now, and disclaim all connection with Black
Hawk, for war purposes. Mr. G. assured me that he places no confidence
in these declarations, nor in the stability of the Sacs and Foxes. He
deems the latter treacherous, as usual, and related to me several acts
of their former villainy--all in accordance with their late attack and
murder of the Menomonies at Prairie du Chien. This murder was committed
by a part of Black Hawk's band, who had been driven from their villages
on the Mississippi below the rapids. They ascended the river to
Dubuque--from thence the party set out, and fell on the unsuspicious and
defenceless Menomonies.

Having examined whatever was deemed worthy of attention here, I drove on
about fifteen miles to Willow Springs. In this drive we had the Platte
Mounds, a prominent object, all the afternoon on our left. We stopped
at Irish Diggings, and I took specimens of the various spars, ores, and
rocks. Lead ore is found here in fissures in the rock. An extraordinary
mass of galena was recently discovered, in this geological position, by
two men named Doyle and Hanley. It is stated to have been twenty-two
feet wide by one hundred feet in length, and weighed many tons. It was
of the kind of formation called sheet mineral, which occupies what
appears to have once been an open fissure.

The face of the country is exceedingly beautiful, the soil fertile, and
bearing oaks and shagbark hickory. Grass and flowers cover the prairies
as far as the eye can reach. The hills are moderately elevated, and the
roads excellent, except for short distances where streams are crossed.
We passed the night at Willow Springs, where we were well accommodated
by Mr. Ray.

On the 18th it rained in the morning. We stopped at Rocky Branch
Diggings, and I obtained here some interesting specimens. We also
stopped at Bracken's Furnace, where I procured some organic remains. I
examined Vanmater's lead; it runs east and west nearly nine miles. There
was so much certainty in tracing the course of this lead, that it was
sought out with a compass. The top strata are thirty-six to forty
feet--then the mineral clay and galena occur.

While examining some large specimens which had been thrown out of an old
pit forty feet deep, whose edges were concealed by bushes, I had nearly
fallen in backwards, by which I should have been inevitably killed. The
fate that I escaped fell to the lot of Bennet's dog. The poor fellow
jumped over the cluster of bushes without seeing the pit beyond. By
looking down we could see that he was still living. Mr. Vanmater
promised to erect a windlass over the pit and get him out before Mr.
Bennet returned.

We reached Mineral Point about eleven o'clock. I immediately called on
Mr. Ansley, to whom I had a letter, and went with him to visit his
copper ore discovery. On the way he lost his mule, and, after some
exertions to catch the animal, being under the effects of a fever and
ague, he went back. A Mr. Black went with me to the diggings. Green and
blue carbonates of copper were found in rolled lumps in the clay soil,
much like that kind of lead ore which is called, from its abraded form,
gravel ore. Taking specimens of each kind of ore, I went back to the
town to dinner, and then drove on two or three miles to General
Dodge's. The General received me with great urbanity. I was introduced
to his son Augustus, a young gentleman of striking and agreeable
manners. Mrs. Dodge had prepared in a few moments a cup of coffee, which
formed a very acceptable appendage to my late dinner. We then continued
our way, passing through Dodgeville to Porter's Grove, where we stopped
for the night, and were made very comfortable at Morrison's.

On the 19th we drove to breakfast at Brigham's at the Blue Mounds. I
here found in my host my old friend with whom I had set out from
Pittsburgh for the western world some thirteen or fourteen years before,
and whom I last saw, I believe, fighting with the crows on the Illinois
bottoms for the produce of a fine field of corn. I went on to the mound
with him to view the extraordinary growth of the same grain at this
place. The stalks were so high that it really required a tall man to
reach up and pull off the ears.

Ten miles beyond Brigham's we came to Sugar Creek and a tree marked by
Mr. Lyon. From this point we found the trail measured and mile stakes
driven by Mr. Lyon's party, but the Indians have removed several. From
Sugar Creek it is ten miles to the head of the Four Lakes. We then
crossed the Seven Mile Prairie. To the left as we passed there rose a
high point of rocks, on the top of which the Indians had placed image
stones. Night overtook us soon after crossing this prairie. We took the
horse out of the shafts and tied him to the wagon. My friend Bennet,
though _au fait_ on these trips, failed to strike a fire. We ate
something, and made shift to pass the night.

Next morning we drove twelve miles to a house (Hasting's), where we got
breakfast. We drove through Duck Creek with some ado, the skies
threatening rain, and came in to Fort Winnebago by one o'clock, during a
pouring rain. The canoes sent from Galena had not yet arrived. I spent
the next day at the Winnebago agency, Mr. John H. Kinzie's, where I was
received with great kindness. The canoe with Dr. Houghton and his
companions did not arrive till the 23d, and I embarked the same day on
my return to St. Mary's. It will not be necessary to describe this
route. We were three days in descending the Fox River and its portages
to Green Bay. It required eight days to traverse the shores and bays to
Mackinack, and three more to reach St. Mary's, where I arrived on the
4th of September.

During my absence on this expedition, there were some things in my
correspondence that require notice. Gen. Cass had been transferred to
the War Office at Washington. He writes to me from Detroit (July 22d):
"Very much to my surprise I have found myself called to another sphere
of action. The change I am afraid will be not less unfavorable to my
health and comfort than it certainly is adverse to my pecuniary
interest. But I am forced by irresistible circumstances to accept the
appointment. I have no time to detail these now. When I next have the
pleasure of meeting you, I will fully lay them open to you. You will
then see and say that no other choice was before me."

Gen. Eaton, the former incumbent, goes out as minister to Spain. The
most important aspect is, perhaps, that we shall have a new governor,
under whose rule we shall be happy, if he does not rashly derange Indian
affairs in a too eager zeal to mend them. For a long and eventful era
Gen. Cass has presided as an umpire between the Indian tribes and the
citizens. His force and urbanity of character have equally inspired the
respect of both. He has equally secured the confidence of every class of
citizens in a wise civil administration of affairs. He has carried the
territory from a state of war and desolation, which it presented at the
close of 1815, when the whole population was less than three thousand
souls, to a state of sound prosperity, which, in a few years, will
develop resources that must class us one of the first of the
Lake States.

_July 26th_. The Rev. Absalom Peters, Sec. Home Miss. Society, holds out
the prospect of bringing our remote position, at the foot of Lake
Superior, within the pale of the operations of that society. He views
and describes a graduate of Dartmouth College, who may, probably, be
induced to venture himself on this frontier. He asks: "Please to say
whether you desire such a man as I have described? Will it be best for
him to go this fall, or wait until next spring? How much can you raise
for his support? How much will be necessary to sustain him and his
family with suitable economy? What will be his peculiar trials?"

_Aug. 23d_. It is announced that Mr. Geo. B. Porter, of Lancaster,
Penn., is to be the new governor.

_Oct. 4th_. The last mail brings me a letter from an early and esteemed
friend, a Prof. in the Med. Col. at New York, offering me
congratulations on the moral stand recently taken by me. Approvals,
indeed, of this act reach me from many quarters. The way seemed open,
with very little exertion on my part, to run a political course. But my
impressions were averse to it. There is so much of independent honest
opinion to be offered up by politicians--such continual calls to forsake
the right for the expedient--such large sacrifices to be made in various
ways to the god of public opinion, that a political career is rather
startling to a quiet, unambitious, home-loving individual like myself,
one, too, who is largely interested in other studies and pursuits, the
rewards of which are not, indeed, very prompt, very sure, nor very full;
but they are fraught with gratifications of a more enduring kind, and
furnish aliment to moral conceptions which exalt and purify the soul.

Dr. Torrey also alludes, in the same letter, to my recent journey in the
Indian country: "I am anxious to make some inquiries of you concerning
your expedition to the Falls of St. Anthony, &c. Though your principal
object was more important, perhaps, than natural science, I hope the
latter was not entirely neglected. I know that you have heretofore
devoted as much of your attention as possible to the observation of
natural objects, and the preservation of specimens, and your last
expedition was through a country well deserving of your highest
exertions. I know that part of it is the same as that explored while you
attended Gov. Cass, many years ago; but much of the ground, if I am
rightly informed, is new. You know that I have long devoted much of my
time to the study of N. American botany, and that I am collecting
materials for a general Flora of our country. Now, my dear sir, if you
or Mr. Houghton (the young gentleman whom, I am informed, accompanied
you) have made any collections in botany, I should esteem it a peculiar
favor to have the examination of the specimens.

"Our Lyceum prospers. We have removed to the N.Y. Dispensatory, a new
building lately erected in White Street, where we have excellent
accommodations. The Corporation of the city had use for the N.Y.
Institution, and nearly all the societies who occupied it have been
obliged to decamp. You doubtless have heard of the death of Dr.
Mitchell. Dr. Akerly will pronounce his eulogy soon, and probably Dr.
Hosick will give a more elaborate account of his life.

"Mr. Cooper now devotes himself to shells and birds. If you have
anything rare or new in these departments, we should be greatly obliged
to you for such specimens as you can spare.

"Dr. Dekay went to Russia with his father, Mr. Eckford, last summer."

_23d_. A friend and shrewd observer from Detroit, writes: "You ask how
we like our new Governor. Very well. He is a well-informed plain man,
unassuming in his manners and conciliatory, always ready for business,
and accustomed to do everything _en ordre_. His wife is a fine-looking
agreeable woman, with several pretty well-behaved children."

Another correspondent says: "Mr. Porter is very much such a man as A. E.
Wing, and will, no doubt, generally suit the citizens of the territory,"

_30th_. W. Ward, Esq., says: "I remove hence to Washington, with no
certain prospects, only hopes. I cannot go without thanking you for much
enjoyment in the hours passed with you, and for the manifestations of
interest and friendship."

_Nov. 12th_. Rev. W. S. Boutwell says: "I am happy to hear that my
friend and classmate, Porter, is at Mackinack, on his way to this
people. The Lord speed him on his way."

_22d_. Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia, communicating the results of
his analyses of the Lake Superior copper-ores.

_Dec. 31st_. The person named in a prior letter from the Home Missionary
Society, prefers a more southerly location, in consequence of which a
new selection has been made by Dr. Peters, in the person of Rev.
Jeremiah Porter, a graduate of Princeton and Andover, and a lineal
descendant, I understand, by the mother's side, of the great Dr.
Edwards. We have been favorably impressed by the manner and deportment,
and not less so by the piety and learning of the man. I felt happy, the
moment of his landing, in offering him a furnished chamber, bed and
plate, at Elmwood, while residing on this frontier. He has taken steps
to organize a church. He preaches in an animated and persuasive style,
and has commenced a system of moral instruction in detail, which, in our
local history, constitutes an era. It has been written that "where vice
abounds, grace shall much more abound," and St. Mary's may now be well
included in the list of favorable examples. The lordly "wassail" of the
fur-trader, the long-continued dance of the gay French "habitant," the
roll of the billiard-ball, the shuffle of the card, and the frequent
potations of wine "when it is red in the cup," will now, at least, no
longer retain their places in the customs of this spot on the frontier
without the hope of having their immoral tendencies pointed out. Some of
the soldiers have also shown a disposition to attend the several
meetings for instruction. The claims of temperance have likewise led to
an organized effort, and if the pious and gentle Mr. Laird were
permitted once again to visit the place, after a lapse of seven years,
he might fervently exclaim, in the language of the Gospel, "What hath
God wrought?"


Revival of St. Mary's--Rejection of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to
England--Botany and Natural History of the North-west--Project of a new
expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi--Algie
Society--Consolidation of the Agencies of St. Mary's and
Michilimackinack--Good effects of the American Home Missionary
Society--Organization of a new inland exploring expedition committed to
me--Its objects and composition of the corps of observers.

1832, _Jan. 31st_. I was now to spend a winter to aid a preacher in
promoting the diffusion and understanding of the detailed facts, which
all go to establish a great truth--a truth which was first brought to
the world's notice eighteen hundred and thirty-two years before, namely,
that God, who was incarnate in the Messiah, under the name of Jesus
Christ, offered himself a public sacrifice for human sins, amidst the
most striking and imposing circumstances of a Roman execution--a fact
which, in an age of extraordinary moral stolidity and ecclesiastical
delusion, was regarded as the behest of a mere human tribunal.

For this work the circumstances of our position and exclusion from
society was very favorable. The world, with all its political and
commercial care, was, in fact, shut out with the closing of the river.
Three hundred miles of a waste, howling wilderness separated us
south-easterly from the settlements at Detroit. Ninety miles in a
south-westerly direction lay the island and little settlement and
mission of Mackinack.

In addition to the exertions of Mr. Porter, who was our pastor, the
winter had enclosed, at that point, a zealous missionary of the American
Board, destined for a more northerly position, in the person of Mr.
Boutwell, who with the person, Mr. Bingham, in charge of the Indian
mission at the same point, maintained by the Baptist Convention,
constituted a moral force that was not likely to be without its results.
They derived mutual aid from each other in various ways, and directed
their entire efforts upon a limited community, wholly excluded from open
contact with the busy world, and having, by their very isolation,
much leisure.

The result was an awakened attention to the truth, to which I have
adverted, not as a mere historical event, but one personally interesting
and important to every person, without regard at all to their
circumstances or position. Severity of climate, deep snows, the
temperature often below zero, and frequently but little above, blinding
snow storms, and every inconvenience of the place or places of meeting,
appeared only to have the effect to give greater efficacy to the
inquiry, as the workings of unshackled mind and will. Early in the
season, a comparatively large number of persons of every class deemed it
their duty to profess a personal interest in the atonement, the great
truth dwelt on, and made eventually a profession of faith by uniting
with, and recording their names as members of some branch of the church.
Among these were several natives. Mrs. Johnston, known to her people by
the name of the Sha-go-wash-co-da-wa-qua, being the most noted. Also
four of her daughters, and one of her sons, one or two Catholic
soldiers, several officers of Fort Brady, citizens, &c., &c.

This statement will tend to render many of the allusions in my journal
of this winter's transactions intelligible. Indeed some of them would
not be at all understood without it. Historically considered, there was
deep instruction "hid" in this event. It was now precisely 222 years
since the Puritans, with the principles of the Scriptures for their
guidance, in fleeing to lay the foundation of a new government in the
West, had landed at Plymouth. It had required this time, leaving events
to develop themselves, for the circle of civilization to reach the foot
of Lake Superior. Ten years after the first landing at this remote spot
in 1822, had been sufficient to warm these ancient principles into life.
John Eliot, and the band of eminent saints who began the labor with him
in 1632, had been centuries in their tombs, but the great principles
which they upheld and enforced were invested with the sacred vitality
which they possessed at that day. Two truths are revealed by this
reminiscence. 1. That the Scriptures will be promulgated by human means.
2. That time, in the Divine mind, is to be measured in a more enlarged
sense; but the propagation of truth goes on, as obstacle after obstacle
is withdrawn, surely, steadily, unalterably, and that its spread over
the entire globe is a mere question of time.

_Jan. 31st_. Mr. Wing, delegate in Congress, writes from Washington,
that the nomination of Mr. Van Buren as minister to England has been
rejected by the Senate, by a majority of one--and that one the casting
vote of the Vice-President. A letter from Albany, Feb. 1, says: "Albany
(and the State generally) is considerably excited this morning in
consequence of the rejection of Mr. Van Buren. Nothing could have more
promoted the interest of Mr. Van Buren than this step of the Senate. New
York city has resolved to receive him, on his return from England, with
all the 'pomp and magnificence in its power, and to show that her
'favorite son' shall be sustained.' I heard this read in public from a
letter received by a person in this city."

"A report reached this a few days ago, stating that the 'cholera' had
been brought to New Orleans in a Spanish vessel."

"Mr. Woolsey, the young gentleman of your tour last summer, died at New
York a short time since." In a letter which he wrote to me (Sept. 27th),
on the eve of his leaving Detroit, he says: "Permit me now, sir, in
closing this note, again to express my gratitude for the opportunity you
have afforded me of visiting a very interesting portion of our country,
and for the uniform kindness that I have experienced at your hands, and
for the friendly wishes, that prosperity may crown my exertions
in life."

Dr. Houghton says (Feb. 8) respecting this moral young man: "The tears
of regret might flow freely for the loss of such true unsophisticated
worth, even with those who knew him imperfectly, but to me, who felt as
a brother, the loss is doubly great. We have, however, when reflecting
upon his untimely death, the sweet consolation that he died as he lived,
a Christian."

_Feb. 4th_. Dr. Torrey expresses his interest in the botany and natural
history, generally, of the country visited by me last summer. "Your kind
offer to place in my hands the botanical rarities which, from time to
time, you may acquire, in your interesting journeys, I fully appreciate.
It will give me great pleasure to examine the collections made by Dr.
Houghton during your last expedition.

"My friend Mr. William Cooper, of the Lyceum, will be happy to lend you
all the assistance in his power in determining the shells you have
collected. He is decidedly our beat conchologist in New York, and I
would rather trust him than most men--for he is by no means afflicted
with the mania of desiring to multiply new species, which, is, at
present, the bane of natural history.

"You speak of having discovered some interesting minerals, especially
some good native copper. Above all the specimens which you obtained, I
should like to see the native magnesia which you found in serpentine. I
am desirous of analyzing the mineral, to ascertain whether its
composition agrees with that of Hoboken and Unst (the only recorded
localities in our mineralogical works)."

_13th_. Submitted, in a letter to the department at Washington, A
PROJECT of an expedition to the North-west, during the ensuing season,
in order to carry out the views expressed in the instructions of last
year, to preserve peace on the western frontiers, inclosing the
necessary estimates, &c.

_16th_. Mr. W. H. Sherman, of Vernon, N.Y., communicates intelligence
of the death of my mother, which took place about ten o'clock on the
morning of this day. She was seventy-five years of age, and a
Christian--and died as she had lived, in a full hope. I had read the
letters before breakfast, and while the family were assembling for
prayers. I had announced the fact with great composure, and afterward
proceeded to read in course the 42d Psalm, and went on well, until I
came to the verse--"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who
is the health of my countenance, and my God."

The emotions of this painful event, which I had striven to conceal,
swelled up in all their reality, my utterance was suddenly choked, and I
was obliged to close the book, and wait for calmness to go on.

_28th_. The initial steps were taken for forming an association of
persons interested in the cause of the reclamation of the Indians, to be
known under the name of the Algic Society. Connected with this, one of
its objects was to collect and disseminate practical information
respecting their language, history, traditions, customs, and character;
their numbers and condition; the geographical features of the country
they inhabit; and its natural history and productions.

It proposes some definite means of action for furthering their moral
instruction, and reclamation from the evils of intemperance and the
principles of war, and to subserve the general purposes of a society of
moral inquiry. The place was deemed favorable both for the collection of
original information, and for offering a helping hand to missionaries
and teachers who should visit the frontiers in carrying forward the
great moral question of the exaltation of the tribes from barbarism to
civilization and Christianity.

_28th_. Instructions are issued at Washington, consolidating the
agencies of St. Mary's and Michilimackinack--and placing the joint
agency under my charge. By this arrangement, Col. Boyd, the agent at the
latter point, is transferred to Green Bay, and I am left at liberty to
reside at St. Mary's or Michilimackinack, placing a sub-agent at the
point where I do not reside.

This measure is announced to me in a private letter of this day, from
the Secretary of War, who says: "I think the time has arrived when a
just economy requires such a measure." By it the entire expenses of one
full agency are dispensed with--the duties of which are devolved upon
me, in addition to those I before had. By being allowed the choice of
selection, two hundred dollars are added to my salary. Here is opened a
new field, and certainly a very ample one, for exertions.

_April 8th_. The object contemplated by invoking the aid of the Home
Missionary Society, in the establishment of a church at this remote
point on the frontiers--in connection with the means already possessed,
and the aid providentially present, have, it will have been seen, had
the effect to work quite a moral revolution. The evils of a lax society
have been rebuked in various ways. Intemperance and disorder have been
made to stand out as such, and already a spirit of rendering the use, or
rather _misuse_ of time, subservient to the general purposes of social
dissipation, has been shown to be unwise and immoral in every view. More
than all, the Sabbath-day has been vindicated as a part of time set
apart as holy. The claims and obligations of the decalogue have been
enforced; and the great truths of the Gospel thus prominently brought
forward. The result has been every way propitious.

The Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, of Mackinack, writes (Feb. 21): "The intelligence
we have received by your letters, Mr. Boutwell, &c., of the Lord's
doings among you, as a people, at the Sault, has rejoiced our hearts
much. Surely it is with you a time of the right hand of the Most High."
"All of us," writes Mr. Robert Stuart (March 29) "who love the Lord,
were much pleased at the indications of God's goodness and presence
among you."

The Rev. J. Porter, in subsequently referring to the results of these
additions to the church, observes, that they embraced five officers and
four ladies of the garrison; two gentlemen and seven ladies of the
settlement, and thirty soldiers and four women of Fort Brady, numbering
fifty-two in all. Of these, twenty-six were adults added by baptism.

At Detroit a similar result was experienced. Mr. Trowbridge writes
(April 8th), that about seventy persons united themselves a few days
previous to Mr. Wells' church, to which the influence has been
principally, but not wholly confined. Among these were many who had,
unaffectedly, listened to the Gospel, if not all their lives, certainly
no small part of it.

_May 3d_. Public instructions are issued for my organizing and taking
command of an expedition to the country upon the sources of the
Mississippi River, to effect a pacification between the Indian tribes,
in order to carry out, with increased means, the efforts made in 1831.
Those efforts were confined to tribes living in latitudes south of St.
Anthony's Falls. It was now proposed to extend them to the Indian
population living north of that point, reaching to the sources of that
river. This opened the prospect of settling a long contested point in
the geography of that stream, namely, its actual source--a question in
which I had long felt the deepest interest.

The outbreak of Indian hostility, under Black Hawk, which characterized
the summer of 1832, was apprehended, and it became the policy of the
Indian Bureau, in the actual state of its information, to prevent the
northern tribes from joining in the Sac and Fox league under that
influential leader. I forwarded to the Superintendent and Governor of
the territory, a report of a message and war-club sent to the Chippewas
to join in the war, for which I was indebted to the chief, Chingwauk, or
Little Pine.

"Reports from various quarters of the Indian country," says the
Secretary of War, in a private letter so early as March 28th, "lead to
the belief that the Indians are in an unsettled state, and prudence
requires that we should advise and restrain them. I think one more tour
would be very useful in this respect, and would complete our knowledge
of the geography of that region."

"There is a prospect," says the official instructions (May 3d), "of
extensive hostilities among themselves. It is no less the dictate of
humanity than of policy to repress this feeling, and to establish
permanent peace among the tribe.

"It is also important to inspect the condition of the trade, and the
conduct of the traders. To ascertain whether the regulations and the
laws are complied with, and to suggest such alterations as may be
required. And, finally, to inquire into the number, standing,
disposition, and prospect of the Indians, and to report all the
statistical facts you can procure, and which will be useful to the
government in its operations, or to the community in the investigation
of these subjects."

Congress, during the session, passed an act for vaccinating the Indians.
This constituted a separate duty, and enabled me to take along a
physician and surgeon. I offered the situation to Dr. Douglass Houghton,
of Fredonia, who, in the discharge of it, was prepared to take
cognizance of the subjects of botany, geology, and mineralogy. I offered
to the American Board of Missions, at Boston, to take a missionary
agent, to observe the condition and prospects of the Indian tribes in
the north-west, as presenting a field for their operations, and named
the Rev. W.T. Boutwell, then at Michilimackinack, for the post, which
the Board confirmed, with a formal vote of thanks. Lieut. James Allen,
5th U.S. Infantry, who was assigned to the command of the detachment of
troops, assumed the duties of topographer and draughtsman. Mr. George
Johnston, of St. Mary's, was appointed interpreter and baggage-master. I
retained myself the topics of Indian history, archaeology, and language.
The party numbered about thirty souls. All this appeared strictly
compatible with the practical objects to be attained--keeping the
expenses within the sum appropriated for the object.

Some few weeks were required completely to organize the expedition, to
prepare the necessary supplies, and to permit the several persons to
reach the place of rendezvous. Meantime I visited Michilimackinack to
receive the agency from Col. Boyd; after which it was left temporarily
in charge of a sub-agent and interpreter, with the supervision of the
commanding officer of Fort Mackinack.

_4th_. The Secretary of War writes a private letter: "We have allowed
all it was possible, and you must on no account exceed the sum, as the
pressure upon our funds is very great."

Maj. W. writes from Detroit (May 7th): "I am glad to hear that you are
about going on another expedition, and that Mr. Houghton is to accompany
you. I hope you will find time to send us some specimens collected on
your former tour before you start."

Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia (May 12th): "I shall leave here
immediately after the twenty-fourth, and hope to see you as early as the
second or third of June. I have heard from Torrey, and have sent him a
suit of plants."

The Secretary of War again writes (May 22d): "It has been impossible
before now, to make you a remittance of funds, and they cannot yet all
be sent for your expedition. Our annual appropriation has not yet
passed, and when it will I am sure I cannot tell. So you must get along
as well as you can. I trust, however, the amount now sent will be
sufficient to enable you to start upon your expedition. The residue
promised to you, as well as the funds for your ordinary expenditures,
shall be sent as soon as the appropriation is made."

The sub-agent, in charge of the agency at Mackinack, writes (May 22d):
"Gen. Brook arrived yesterday from Green Bay, and has concluded to make
this post his head-quarters. I was up, yesterday, in the garrison, and
Capt. McCabe introduced me to him. I found him a very pleasant, plain,
unassuming man. Col. Boyd has handed me a list of articles which you
will find inclosed, &c."

"The committee," says the Rev. David Green, Boston, "wish me to express
to you the satisfaction they have in learning that your views respecting
the importance of making known the great truths of the Gospel to the
Indians, as the basis on which to build their improvement, in all
respects accords so perfectly with their own. It is our earnest desire
that our missionaries should act wisely in all their labors for the
benefit of the Indians, and that all the measures which may be adopted
by them, or by others who seek to promote the present or future welfare
of this unhappy and long-abused people, may be under the Divine
guidance, and crowned with great success."

These triple claims, which have now been mentioned, of business, of
science, and of religion, on my attention created not the least
distraction on my mind, but, on the contrary, appeared to have
propitious and harmonizing influences.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, the source of the
Mississippi River--Brief notice of the journey to the point of former
geographical discovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or Cass
Lake--Ascent and portage to Queen Anne's Lake--Lake Pemetascodiac--The
Ten, or Metoswa Rapids--Pemidgegomag, or Cross-water Lake--Lake
Irving--Lake Marquette--Lake La Salle--Lake Plantagenet--Ascent of the
Plantagenian Fork--Naiwa, or Copper-snake River--Agate Rapids and
portage--Assawa Lake--Portage over the Hauteur des Terres--Itasca
Lake--Its picturesque character--Geographical and astronomical
position--Historical data.

1832. _June 7th_. It was not until this day that the expedition was
ready to embark at the head of the portage at St. Mary's. I had
organized it strictly on temperance principles, observation having
convinced me, during frequent expeditions in the wilderness, that not
only is there no situation, unless administered from the medicine-chest,
where men are advantaged by its use, but in nearly every instance of
fatigue or exhaustion their powers are enfeebled by it, while, in a
moral and intellectual sense, they are rendered incapable, neglectful,
or disobedient. This exclusion constituted a special clause in every
verbal agreement with the men, who were Canadians, which I thought
necessary to make, in order that they might have no reason to complain
while inland of its exclusion. They were promised, instead of it,
abundance of good wholesome food at all times. The effects of this were
apparent even at the start. They all presented smiling faces, and took
hold of their paddles with a conscious feeling of satisfaction in the
wisdom of their agreement.

The military and their supplies occupied a large Mackinack boat; my
heavy stores filled another. I traveled in a _canoe-elège,_ as being
better adapted to speed and the celerity of landing. Each carried a
national flag. We slept the first night at Point Iroquois, which
commands a full view of the magnificent entrance into the lake. We were
fifteen days in traversing the lake, being my fifth trip through this
inland sea. We passed up the St. Louis River by its numerous portages
and falls to the Sandy Lake summit, and reached the banks of the
Mississippi on the third of July, and ascertained its width above the
junction of the Sandy Lake outlet to be 331 feet. We were six days in
ascending it to the central island in Cass Lake. This being the point at
which geographical discovery rests, I decided to encamp the men, deposit
my heavy baggage, and fitted out a light party in hunting canoes to
trace the stream to its source. The Indians supplied me with five canoes
of two fathoms each, and requiring but two men to manage each, which
would allow one canoe to each of the gentlemen of my party. I took three
Indians and seven white men as the joint crew, making, with the sitters,
fifteen persons. We were provisioned for a few days, carried a flag,
mess-basket, tent, and other necessary apparatus. We left the island
early the next morning, and reached the influx of the Mississippi into
the Lake at an early hour. To avoid a very circuitous bay, which I
called Allen's Bay, we made a short portage through open pine woods.

Fifty yards' walk brought us and our canoe and baggage to the banks of
Queen Anne's Lake, a small sylvan lake through which the whole channel
of the Mississippi passed. A few miles above its termination we entered
another lake of limited size, which the Indians called Pemetascodiac.
The river winds about in this portion of it--through savannas, bordered
by sandhills, and pines in the distance--for about fifteen miles. At
this distance, rapids commence, and the bed of the river exhibited
greenstone and gneissoid boulders. We counted ten of these rapids, which
our guide called the Metoswa, or Ten Rapids. They extend about twenty
miles, during which there is a gradual ascent of about forty feet. The
men got out at each of these rapids, and lifted or drew the canoes up by
their gunwales. We ascended slowly and with toil. At the computed
distance of forty-five miles, we entered a very handsome sheet of water,
lying transverse to our course, which the Indians called Pamidjegumag,
which means crosswater, and which the French call _Lac Traverse_. It is
about twelve miles long from east to west, and five or six wide. It is
surrounded with hardwood forest, presenting a picturesque appearance.

We stopped a few moments to observe a rude idol on its shores; it
consisted of a granitic boulder, of an extraordinary shape, with some
rings and spots of paint, designed to give it a resemblance to a human
statue. We observed the passenger-pigeon and some small fresh-water
shells of the species of unios and anadontas.

A short channel, with a strong current, connects this lake with another
of less than a third of its dimensions, to which I gave the name of
Washington Irving. Not more than three or four miles above the latter,
the Mississippi exhibits the junction of its ultimate forks. The right
hand, or Itasca branch, was represented as by far the longest, the most
circuitous, and most difficult of ascent. It brings down much the
largest volume of water. I availed myself of the geographical knowledge
of my Indian guide by taking the left hand, or what I had occasion soon
to call the Plantagenian branch. It expanded, in the course of a few
miles, into a lake, which I called Marquette, and, a little further,
into another, which I named La Salle. About four miles above the latter,
we entered into a more considerable sheet of water, which I named
Plantagenet, being the site of an old Indian encampment called
Kubbakunna, or the Rest in the Path.

We encamped a short distance above the upper end of this lake at the
close of the day, on a point of low land covered with a small growth of
gray pine, fringed with alder, tamarisk, spruce, and willow. A bed of
moss covered the soil, into which the foot sank at every step. Long moss
hung from every branch. Everything indicated a cold frigid soil. In the
act of encamping, it commenced raining, which gave a double gloom to the
place. Several species of duck were brought from the different canoes as
the result of the day's hunt.

Early the next morning we resumed the ascent. The river became narrow
and tortuous. Clumps of willow and alder lined the shore. Wherever
larger species were seen they were gray pines or tamarack. One of the
Indians killed a deer, of the species _C. Virginea_, during the morning.
Ducks were frequently disturbed as we pushed up the winding channel. The
shores were often too sedgy and wet to permit our landing, and we went
on till twelve o'clock before finding a suitable spot to breakfast.

About five o'clock we came to a high diluvial ridge of gravel and sand,
mixed with boulders of syenite, trap-rock, quartz, and sandstone.
Ozawandib, our guide, said we were near the junction of the Naiwa, or
Copper-snake River, the principal tributary of this branch of the
Mississippi, and that it was necessary to make a passage over this ridge
to avoid a formidable series of rapids. Our track lay across a
peninsula. This occupied the remainder of the day, and we encamped on
the banks of the stream above the rapids and pitched our tent, before
daylight had finally departed. The position of the sun, in this
latitude, it must be recollected, is protracted, very perceptibly, above
the horizon. We ascended to the summit in a series of geological steps
or plateaux. There is but little perceptible rise from the Cross-water
level to this point--called Agate Rapids and Portage, from the
occurrence of this mineral in the drift. The descent of water at this
place cannot be less than seventy feet. On resuming the journey the next
morning (13th) we found the water above these rapids had almost the
appearance of a dead level. The current is very gentle; and, by its
diminished volume, denotes clearly the absence of the contributions from
the Naiwa. About seven miles above the Agate Portage we entered Lake
Assawa, which our Indian guide informed us was the source of this
branch. We were precisely twenty minutes in passing through it, with the
full force of paddles. It receives two small inlets, the most southerly
of which we entered, and the canoes soon stuck fast, amidst aquatic
plants, on a boggy shore. I did not know, for a moment, the cause of our
having grounded, till Ozawandib exclaimed, "O-um-a, mikun-na!" here is
the portage! We were at the Southern flanks of the diluvial hills,
called HAUTEUR DES TERRES--a geological formation of drift materials,
which form one of the continental water-sheds, dividing the streams
tributary to the Gulf of Mexico, from those of Hudson's Bay. He
described the portage as consisting of twelve _pug-gi-de-nun_, or
resting places, where the men are temporarily eased of their burdens.
This was indefinite, depending on the measure of a man's strength to
carry. Not only our baggage, but the canoes were to be carried. After
taking breakfast, on the nearest dry ground, the different back-loads
for the men were prepared. Ozawandib threw my canoe over his shoulders
and led the way. The rest followed, with their appointed loads. I
charged myself with a spy-glass, strapped, and portfolio. Dr. Houghton
carried a plant press. Each one had something, and the men toiled with
five canoes, Our provisions, beds, tent, &c. The path was one of the
most intricate and tangled that I ever knew. Tornadoes appeared to have
cast down the trees in every direction. A soft spongy mass, that gave
way under the tread, covered the interstices between the fallen timber.
The toil and fatigue were incessant. At length we ascended the first
height. It was an arid eminence of the pebble and erratic block era,
bearing small gray pines and shrubbery. This constituted our first
pause, or _puggidenun._ On descending it, we were again plunged among
bramble. Path, there was none, or trail that any mortal eye, but an
Indian's, could trace. We ascended another eminence. We descended it,
and entered a thicket of bramble, every twig of which seemed placed
there to bear some token of our wardrobe, as we passed. To avoid this,
the guide passed through a lengthened shallow pond, beyond which the
walking was easier. Hill succeeded hill. It was a hot day in July, and
the sun shone out brightly. Although we were evidently passing an alpine
height, where a long winter reigned, and the vegetation bore every
indication of being imperfectly developed. We observed the passenger
pigeon, and one or two species of the _falco_ family. There were
indications of the common deer. Moss hung abundantly from the trees. The
gray pine predominated in the forest growth.

At length, the glittering of water appeared, at a distance below, as
viewed from the summit of one of these eminences. It was declared by our
Indian guide to be Itasca Lake--the source of the main, or South fork of
the Mississippi. I passed him, as we descended a long winding slope, and
was the first man to reach its banks. A little grassy opening served as
the terminus of our trail, and proved that the Indians had been in the
practice of crossing this eminence in their hunts. As one after another
of the party came, we exulted in the accomplishment of our search. A
fire was quickly kindled, and the canoes gummed, preparatory to

We had struck within a mile of the southern extremity of the lake, and
could plainly see its terminus from the place of our embarking. The view
was quite enchanting. The waters were of the most limpid character. The
shores were overhung with hard wood foliage, mixed with species of
spruce, larch, and aspen. We judged it to be about seven miles in
length, by an average of one to two broad. A bay, near its eastern-end,
gave it somewhat the shape of the letter y. We observed a deer standing
in the water. Wild fowl appeared to be abundant. We landed at the only
island it contains--a beautiful spot for encampment, covered with the
elm, cherry, larch, maple, and birch, and giving evidence, by the
remains of old camp-fires, and scattered bones of species killed in the
chase, of its having been much resorted to by the aborigines.

This picturesque island the party honored me by calling after my
name--in which they have been sanctioned by Nicollet and other
geographers. I caused some trees to be felled, pitched my tent, and
raised the American flag on a high staff, the Indians firing a salute
as it rose.

This flag, as the evidence of the government having extended its
jurisdiction to this quarter, I left flying, on quitting the island--and
presume the band of Ozawandib, at Cass Lake, afterwards appropriated it
to themselves.

Questions of geography and astronomy may deserve a moment's attention.
If we assume the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi to have been
made by Narvaez in 1527--a doubtful point!--a period of 305 years has
elapsed before its actual source has been fixed. If the date of De
Soto's journey (1541) be taken, which is undisputed, this period is
reduced to 290 years. Hennepin saw it as high as the mouth of the river
St. Francis in 1680. Lt. Pike, under the administration of Mr.
Jefferson, ascended it by water in 1805, near to the entrance of Elk
River, south of the Crow Wing Fork, and being overtaken at this spot by
frosts and snow, and winter setting in strongly, he afterwards ascended
its banks, on snow shoes, his men carrying his baggage on hand sleds, to
Sandy Lake, then a post of the North-west Company. From this point he
was carried forward, under their auspices, by the Canadian train
_de-glis,_ drawn by dogs to Leech Lake; and eventually, by the same
conveyance, to what is now denominated Cass Lake, or upper _Lac Cedre
Rogue_. This he reached in January, 1806, and it formed the terminus of
his journey.

In 1820, Gen. Cass visited Sandy Lake, by the way of Lake Superior, with
a strong party, and exploratory outfit, under the authority of the
government. He encamped the bulk of his party at Sandy Lake, depositing
all his heavy supplies, and fitted out a light party in two canoes, to
trace up the river to its source. After ascending to the point of land
at the entrance of Turtle River into Cass Lake, it was found, from
Indian accounts, that he could not ascend higher in the state of the
water with his heavy canoes, if, indeed, his supplies or the time at
his command would have permitted him to accomplish it, compatibly with
other objects of his instructions. This, therefore, constituted the
terminal point of his journey.

The length of the river, from the Gulf of Mexico to Itasca Lake, has
been estimated at 3,160 miles. Barometrical observations show its
altitude, above the same point, to be 1,680 feet--which denotes an
average descent of a fraction over six inches per mile.

The latitude of Itasca Lake has been accurately determined to be 47° 13'
35"--which is nearly two degrees south of the position assigned to it by
the best geographers in 1783, the date of the definite treaty of peace
between the United States and Great Britain.

The reason of this geographical mistake has been satisfactorily shown in
traversing up the stream from the summit of the Pemidjegomag, or
Cross-water Lake--during which, the general course of the ascent is
due south.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake--Traits
of its bank--Kabika Falls--Upsetting of a canoe--River descends by
steps, and through narrow rocky passes--Portage to the source of the
Crow-Wing River--Moss Lake--Shiba Lake--Leech Lake--Warpool Lake--Long
Lake Mountain portage--Kaginogomanug--Vermilion Lake--Ossawa Lake-Shell
River--Leaf River--Long Prairie River--Kioskk, or Gull River--Arrival at
its mouth--Descent to the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter's--Return
to St. Mary's.

1832, _July 14th_. I found the outlet of Itasca Lake to be about twelve
feet wide, and some twelve to fourteen inches deep. The water is of
crystal purity, and the current very rapid. We were urged along with
great velocity. It required incessant vigilance on the part of the men
to prevent our frail vessels from being dashed against boulders. For
about twelve miles the channel was not only narrow, but exceedingly
crooked. Often, where the water was most deep and rapid, it did not
appear to exceed ten feet in width. Trees which had fallen from the
banks required, sometimes, to be cut away to allow the canoes to pass,
and it required unceasing vigilance to avoid piles of drifted wood or
boulders. As we were borne along in vessels of bark, not more than
one-eighth of an inch thick, a failure to fend off, or hit the proper
guiding point, in any one place, would have been fraught with instant
destruction. And we sat in a perfect excitement during this distance.
The stream then deployed, for a distance of some eight miles, into a
savannah or plain, with narrow grassy borders in which its width was
doubled, its depth decreased, and the current less furious. We went
through these windings with more assurance and composure. It was one of
the minor plateaux in which this stream descends. The channel then
narrowed and deepened itself for another plunge, and soon brought us to
the top of the Kabika Palls. This pass, as the name imports, is a
cascade over rocks. The river is pent up, between opposing trap rock,
which are not over ten feet apart. Its depth is about four feet, and
velocity perfectly furious. It is not impossible to descend it, as there
is no abrupt pitch, but such a trial would seem next to madness. We made
a portage with our canoes of about a quarter of a mile across a
peninsula, and embarked again at the foot of the falls, where the stream
again expands to more than double its former width, and the scenery
assumes a milder aspect. It is another plateau.

Daylight had departed when we encamped on a high sandy bank on the left
shore. We were perfectly exhausted with labor, and the thrilling
excitement of the day. It seemed, while flying through its furious
passes, as if this stream was impatient for its development, and, like
an unrestrained youth, was bent on overthrowing every obstacle, on the
instant, that opposed its advance and expansion. A war horse could not
have been more impatient to rush on to his destiny.

We were in motion again in our canoes at five o'clock the next morning.
At an early hour my Indian guide landed to fire at some deer. He could
not, however, get close enough to make an effectual shot. Before the
animals were, however, out of range, he loaded, without wadding, and
fired again, but also without effect. After passing a third plateau
through which the river winds, with grassy borders, we found it once
more to contract for another descent, which we made without leaving our
canoes, not, however, without imminent peril and loss. Lieut. Allen had
halted to make some observations, when his men incautiously failed for a
moment to keep his canoe direct in the current. The moment it assumed a
transverse position, which they attempted to fix by grasping some bushes
on the opposite bank, the water dashed over the gunwales, and swept all
to the bottom. He succeeded in gaining his feet, though the current was
waist high, and recovered his fowling piece, but irretrievably lost his
canoe-compass, a nautical balanced instrument, and everything besides.
Fortunately I had a fine small land-compass, which Gen. Macomb had
presented to the late John Johnston, Esq., of St. Mary's, many years
before, and thus I measurably repaired his loss. On descending this
channel, the river again displayed itself in savannas, and assumed a
width which it afterwards maintained, and lost its savage ferocity of
current, though still strong.

On this plateau, the river receiving on its left the War River, or
Piniddiwin (the term has relation to the mangled flesh of those slain in
battle), a considerable stream, at the mouth of which the Indian reed
first shows itself. We had, the day previous, noticed the Chemaun, or
Canoe River, tributary from the right bank. Minor tributaries were not
noticed. The volume of water was manifestly increased from various
sources. At a spot where we landed, as evening came on, we observed a
species of striped lizard, which our guide called Okautekinabic, which
signifies legged-snake. Various species of the duck and other water fowl
were almost continually in sight. We reached the junction of the
Plantagenet Fork about one o'clock at night (15th), and rapidly passing
the Irving and Cross-water Lakes, descended to Cass Lake, reaching our
encampment at nine o'clock in the morning.

A day's rest restored the party from its fatigues, and we set out at ten
o'clock the following day (16th) for Leech Lake, by the overland route.
Two hours rowing brought us to a fine sandy beach at the head of a bay,
which was named Pike's Bay, from Lieut. Pike having approached from this
direction in the winter of 1806. Here the baggage and canoes were
prepared for a portage. A walk of nine hundred and fifty yards, through
open pine forest, brought us to the banks of Moss Lake, which we passed
in canoes. A portage of about two miles and a-half was now made to the
banks of a small lake, which, as I heard no name for it, was called
Shiba, from the initials of the names of the five gentlemen of the
party.[62] This lake has an outlet into a large stream, which the
Pillager Chippewas call Kapuka Sagitawag. It was nearly dark when we
embarked on this stream, which soon led, by a very narrow and winding
channel, into the main river. Pushing on, we reached and crossed an arm
of the lake to the principal Indian village of Guelle Plat, Leech Lake,
which we reached at ten o'clock at night.

[Footnote 62: Schoolcraft, Houghton, Johnston, Boutwell, Allen.]

The next day (17th) was passed in council with them, till late in the
afternoon, when I embarked, and went a couple of leagues to encamp, in
order to rid myself fully of the village throng, and be ready for an
early start in the morning. It was my determination to pass inland
south-westerly by an Indian trail, so as to strike the source of the
Crow Wing or De Corbeau River, one of the great tributaries of the
Mississippi which remained unexplored.

We found the entrance to this portage early the next morning (18th).
After following the trail about three-fourths of a mile we reached and
crossed a small lake called Warpool. A small and intricate outlet led
successively to Little Long Lake, the Two Lakes, and the Lake of the
Mountain. Here commenced a highland portage of over 900 yards to the
Lake of the Island--another portage of some 2000 yards was then made to
Midlake, and finally another of one _puggidenun_, partly through a bog,
but terminating on elevated grounds at the head of a considerable and
handsome body of water called Kaginogamaug, or The Long Water. This is
the source of the De Corbeau River, and here we encamped for the night.
We had how crossed the summit between Leech Lake and the source of the
Crow Wing River. We commenced the descent on the morning of the 19th,
and passed successively through eleven lakes, connected by a series of
short channels. The names of these in their order, are Kaginogamaug,
Little Vermilion, Birch, Ple, Assawa, Vieu Desert, Summit, Longrice,
Allen's, Johnston's, and Kaitchibo Sagitawa. Two tributary streams enter
the river in this distance, the principal of which is Shell River; the
stream assumes an ample size, and there is no further apprehension of
shallows. Next day (20th) we passed the influx of six rivers, the
largest of which is Leaf River, coming in from the West. The channel has
now attained a bold and sweeping force. It required part of another day
to reach its mouth, in the course of which it is joined by the Long
Prairie River from the right, and the Kioshk or Gall River from the
left. An alluvial island, with a heavy forest, exists at the point of
its confluence with the Mississippi River. We encamped at the Pierced
Prairie, eighteen miles below the junction, and were less than two days
in a high state of the water, in reaching St. Anthony's falls.

_24th_. I arrived at St. Peter's about two o'clock in the afternoon, and
entered and encamped on the open common on the banks of the river. The
Indian agent (Mr. Tallieferro) was absent. I found Captain Jouett in
command of the fort, and in charge of Indian affairs. He received me in
a cordial manner, and offered every facility in his power to effect the
objects of my mission among the hostile tribes. No recent news from the
seat of operation against the Black Hawk and his adherents was known.
Recent details were, however, imprecise. Captain Jouett had kept up, I
think, the mail communication with Prairie du Chien, by a canoe sent
once a fortnight. The murder of St. Vrain, the events on the Rock River
with the Illinois militia, and the movements on foot to chastise the
hostile Sauks and Foxes, were among the latest items of intelligence.
But nothing was known of the actual position of the Black Hawk and his
followers. My determinations, therefore, as to the route to be pursued,
in returning home, were made in entire ignorance of the fact, that at
that time, the Black Hawk had been driven before Gens. Atkinson and
Dodge to the banks of the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Badaxe
River--where he completely intercepted all communication between the
posts of St. Peter's and Prairie du Chien.

_25th_. I held a council with the Sioux at the Agency Buildings; at
which the tribe disclaimed, by their speakers, having any connection
with the Sauk and Fox league, or having permitted any of their warriors
to join in it. They professed a readiness to furnish warriors to aid the
government in suppressing it.

On returning to my tent, I sat down and wrote to the editor of a Western
paper, as follows:--

ST. PETERS, _July 25th_, 1882.

SIR:--I arrived at this place yesterday, from an expedition through the
Chippewa country on the sources of the Mississippi, accompanied by a
detachment of troops under Lieut. Allen of the 5th Infantry. I have
traced this river to its actual source. On reaching the point to which
it had been formerly explored, I found the water in a favorable state
for ascending; and I availed myself of this circumstance to carry into
effect the desire of visiting its actual source, a point which has
continued to be problematical in our geography. Pike placed it at Leech
Lake in 1806. Gov. Cass carried it much further north, and left it at
Upper Red Cedar Lake in 1820. But it was then ascertained that its
sources were considerably north and west of that lake, which is in lat.
47° 25'. I encamped the expedition, the troops and heavy baggage, at
this lake, and proceeded up the river in five small birch canoes,
capable of containing one man and his bed, in addition to the Indian and
Canadian who conducted it. The Mississippi expands into several lakes,
the largest of which is called Lac Traverse. A few miles above this
occurs the junction of its south-west and north-west branch. The former
I called the Plantagenet, and ascended it through La Salle, Marquette,
and Assawa Lakes to a small creek at the foot of the Hauteur des Terres.
From this point a portage was made over difficult ascents, and through
defiles for about six miles, when we reached the banks of Itasca Lake,
the source of the other and longer branch. To this point we transported
our canoes and baggage. It is a most beautiful and clear lake, about
seven miles long, and lying somewhat in the shape of a y. I found an
island in it, upon which I landed and encamped, and, after causing some
trees to be felled, hoisted the United States flag. I left this flag
flying, and returned down the Itascan branch to my starting point.

I found the Indians friendly, and having no apparent connection with the
movements of Black Hawk, although they are subject to an unpropitious
influence from the Hudson's Bay Company, the agents of which allure them
to carry their trade into that province. The American traders complain
of this with great reason. Many of the Chippewas visit the British posts
in Canada, and their old prejudices are kept alive in various ways; but
I was everywhere received with amity and respect.

_26th_. Having concluded my affairs at St, Peters, I determined to
return to the basin of Lake Superior, by ascending the river St. Croix
to its source, and passing across the portage of the Misakoda, or
Burntwood River, into the Fond du Lac Bay. This I accomplished with
great toil, owing to the low state of the water, in ten days; and, after
spending ten days more in traversing the lengthened shores and bays of
Lake Superior from _La Pointe_, returned to Sault St. Marie on the 14th
of August.

_Aug. 15th_. I had now accomplished the discovery of the true source of
the Mississippi River--and settled a problem which has so long remained
a subject of uncertainty in the geography of this celebrated river. If
De Soto began it (and of this there seems little question, for Narvaez
perished before reaching it), and Marquette and Joliet continued it; if
Hennepin and Pike and Cass carried these explorations higher, I, at
least, went to its remoter points, and thence traced the river to its
primary forks--ascended the one, crossed the heights of Itasca to the
other, and descended the latter in its whole length. This has been done
in a quiet way, without heralding or noise, but under the orders and at
the expense of the United States.


Letter from a mother--Cholera--Indian war--Royal Geographical
Society--Determine to leave the Sault--Death of Miss Cass--Death of Rev.
Mr. Richard--Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at
the--The Sault a religious place--Botany and Natural History--New
University organized--Algic Society--Canadian boat song--Chaplains in
the army--Letter from a missionary--Affairs at Mackinack--Hazards lake
commerce--Question of the temperance reform--Dr. D. Houghton--South
Carolina resists--Gen. Jackson re-elected President.

1832. _Aug. 25th_. To clear my table of the correspondence accumulated
during my absence, and report my proceedings to government, required my
first attention. Among the matters purely personal, was a letter of
inquiry from a mother anxious to learn the fate of an apparently wayward
son (named George J. Clark). "I had a letter from him, dated 24th June,
1881, in which he stated he was about to start with you on an expedition
to the Upper Mississippi, and this is the last intelligence we have ever
had of him.

"If he went with you on that expedition, you have, probably some
information to give relative to his present condition, if alive, or of
his fate, if dead.

"Will you be kind enough to give the information desired by letter to
me, at this place (Canandaigua, N. Y.)? By so doing you will confer a
favor on a fond mother and many friends." Not a lisp had ever been heard
of such a person, at least by that name.

The whole country, it was found, had now been in commotion for a month
or more, owing to the ravages of the cholera and the Black Hawk war. The
cholera had first broken out, it appears, in the Upper Lakes, on board
the steamers Sheldon Thompson and Henry Clay, containing troops for the
war. Its ravages on board of both were fearful. One of the boats landed
several soldiers at the island of Michilimackinack, who died there. A
boatman engaged in the fur trade took the disease and died after he had
reached the Little Rapids, and another at _Point aux Pins_, at the foot
of Lake Superior. But the disease did not spread in that latitude. "We
have heard," says a correspondent (25th July), "from Chicago, that the
ravages of the cholera are tenfold worse than the scalping-knife of the
Black Hawk and his party. A great many soldiers died, while on their way
to Chicago, on board the steamers."

_27th_. The agent of the dead-letter post-office, at Washington,
transmits me a diploma of membership of the Royal Geographical Society
of London, which appears to have been originally misdirected and gone
astray to St. Mary's, Georgia. The envelope had on it the general
direction of "United States, America"--a wide place to find a man in.

_Sept. 11th_. A letter, of this date, from the head of the Department,
at Washington, leaves it optional with me, under the consolidation of
agencies, to choose my place of residence. "You can make your own choice
of residence between the Sault and Mackinack, and arrange your
subordinate offices as you think proper."

I determined to remove the seat of the agency to Mackinack next spring,
and to make this my last winter at the Sault. I have now been ten years
a resident of this place.

The most serious inroad upon my circle of friends, made by death during
my absence, was the sudden death, at Detroit, of the eldest daughter of
the Secretary of War. Miss Elizabeth Selden Cass was a young lady of
bright mental qualities, and easy, cultivated manners and deportment,
and her sudden removal, though prepared by her moral experience for the
change, must leave a blank in social circles which will be long felt
and deplored.

Her father writes, upon this irreparable loss: "A breach has been made
in our domestic circle which can never be repaired. I can yet hardly
realize the change. It has almost prostrated me, and I should abandon
office without hesitation were it not that a change of climate seems
indispensable to Mrs. C., and I trust she will avoid in Washington those
severe attacks to which she has been subject for the last five winters."

_12th_. Mr. Trowbridge writes: "Mr. Richard is dead. He was attacked by
a diarrhoea, and neglected it too long." Mr. R. was the Catholic priest
at Detroit, and as such has been a prominent man in the territory for
many years. He was elected Delegate to Congress in 1824, I think, and
served two years in that capacity. I once heard him preach nearly two
hours on the real presence. He finally said, "that if this doctrine was
not true, Jesus Christ must be a fool." These, I think, were the precise
words. When attending, by rotation, as one of the chaplains for the
Legislative Council while I was a member, he used to pray very shrewdly
"that the legislators might make laws for the people and not for
themselves." He spoke English in a broken manner and with a false
accent, which often gave interest to what he said when the matter was
not otherwise remarkable.

_22d_. Rev. John Clark, of Northville, Montgomery Co., N.Y., of the
Methodist Connection, writes: "Should it please Divine Providence, I
hope to be at your place in May or June next, for the purpose of opening
a permanent mission and school among the Chippewas at such place, and as
early as may be advisable."

_27th_. Rev. W. T. Boutwell, of the A. B. Commissioners for Foreign
Missions, now at La Pointe, Lake Superior, writes: "I could not, to a
degree, help entering into all your anxieties about the cholera, which
reports were calculated to beget, but rejoice, not less than yourself,
that the Lord has spared those who are dear to us both. My fears, I
rejoice to say, have not been realized, in relation to my friends at
Mackinack and the Sault, when I heard of the disease actually existing
at Mackinack. Were it not that the Lord is righteous and knoweth them
that are his, the righteous even might fear and tremble, when judgments
are abroad in the land.

"I was happy indeed to learn that you remain at the Sault, the present
winter. Happy for brother Porter's sake, and for the sake of those whose
hands you may and will strengthen, and hearts encourage. I never think
of the Sault but I wish myself there. 'It is now a happy spot--a place
favored of heaven,' said one of my Mackinack friends to me once in
conversation; 'I once felt as though I could never see that place, as I
always associated with it everything wicked, but now I should love to go
there--the Lord is there.'"

_Oct. 5th_. Dr. Torrey writes from N.Y.: "I rejoice to learn that you
have returned in safety from your fatiguing and perilous journey to the
north-west. Dr. Houghton wrote me a letter which I received a few days
ago, dated Sault de St. Marie, stating the general results of the
expedition, but I have read, with great satisfaction, the account which
was published in the _Detroit Journal_ of Sept. 26th. A kind Providence
has preserved you during another absence, and I hope He will cause the
results of your labors to prove a blessing to our Red brethren, as well
as the United States at large."

"Dr. Houghton sent me some of the more interesting plants which he
brought with him last year, but he said the best part of your
collections were destroyed by getting wet.

"By all means send Mr. Cooper your shells. He knows more about fresh
water shells than any naturalist in New York. By the way, have you seen
Mr. Lea's splendid monograph (with colored plates) of Unios, in the
_Transactions of the American Philosophical Society?"_

"Are we to have a narrative of the two expeditions in print? I hope you
consent to publish, and let us have an appendix containing descriptions
of the objects in natural history.

"You have heard, perhaps, something about the University of the City of
New York, which was planned about two years ago. It went into operation
a few days ago, under the most favorable prospects. The council have
given me a place in it (Prof. Chem. Bot. and Mineralogy), the duties of
which I can discharge in addition to those which I attend to in the
medical college, as the latter occupies only four months in the year."

About the middle of September I embarked at the Sault for Detroit, for
the purpose chiefly of meeting the Secretary of War--taking with me thus
far, my little sister Anna Maria, on her way to school at Hadley, in
Massachusetts. While at Detroit, several meetings of benevolent
individuals were held, and the constitution of the Algic Society was
signed by many gentlemen of standing and note, and an election of
officers made. Having been honored with the presidency, I delivered a
brief address at one of these meetings. This, together with the
following resolutions, which were passed at the same time, indicate the
contemplated mode of action.[63] It was not intended to be exclusively a
missionary or educational society, but also, to collect scientific and
statistical information essential to both objects, and to offer
facilities to laborers on the frontiers, and answer inquiries made by
agents authorized by the General Boards from the old States. The effort
was appreciated and warmly approved by the friends of missions and
humanity; but it required great and continual personal efforts to enlist
a sufficient number of persons in the true objects, and to keep their
minds alive in the work. It demanded, in fact, a kind of literary
research, which it is always difficult to command on the frontiers. To
act, and not to pursue the quiet paths of study, is the tendency of the
frontier mind.

[Footnote 63: _Resolved_, That the thanks of the society be presented to
Henry R. Schoolcraft, Esq., for the valuable introductory remarks
offered by him, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of the same
for publication.

_Resolved_, That the Domestic Secretary, be directed to prepare and
submit for the approbation of the Official Board, a Circular, to be
addressed to such persons as have been elected members of this society,
and others, setting forth its objects, its organization, constitution,
and initial proceedings, which circular, when so prepared, shall be
printed for the purpose of distribution.

_Resolved_, That the Official Board be directed to prepare a succinct
Temperance and Peace Circular, suited to the wants and situation of the
North-western Tribes, to be addressed, through the intervention of the
Hon. the Secretary of War, to the Agents of the Government and Officers
commanding posts on the frontiers, and also to persons engaged in the
fur trade; to travelers, and to gentlemen residing in the country,
requesting their aid in spreading its influence.

_Resolved_, That it is expedient for this society to procure an exact
statistical account of the names, numbers and location of the different
bands of Indians, of the Algonquin stock, now living within the limits
of the United States:--also, the number of missionaries who are now
amongst them, and the extent of the field of labor which they present.

_Resolved_, That this society will aid in sending a winter express to
the missionaries who are now stationed near the western extremity of
Lake Superior.

_Resolved_, That the members of this society residing at Sault St. Marie
and at Michilimackinack, shall constitute a standing committee of this
society, during the ensuing year, with power to meet for the transaction
of business, and shall report from time to time, such measures as they
may have adopted to promote the objects of this institution: which
proceedings shall be submitted to the society at any stated or special
meeting of the same, and if approved by them, shall be entered on the
records of the society.

_Resolved_, That the President of this society be requested to deliver,
at such time as shall be convenient to himself, a course of Lectures on
the Grammatical construction of the Algonquin language, as spoken by the
North-Western Tribes, and to procure, from living and authentic sources,
a full and complete Lexicon of that language, for the use of
the society.

_Resolved_, That the Rev. Beriah Green, of the Western Reserve College,
be requested to deliver an address before the society at its next annual
meeting: and, that Henry R. Schoolcraft, Esq., be requested to deliver a
poem on the Indian Character, at the same meeting.

_Resolved_, That the first anniversary of this society be held at
Detroit, on the second Thursday of October, A. D. 1833.]

I returned to St. Mary's about the middle of October. It was a proof of
the care and precision with which my friends looked out for me, that I
was met by my "_canoe-elège"_ with a French crew and flag flying at the
Detour, before the vessel had dropped anchor, so that I went up the
river with the accustomed gayety of a song. These French songs have been
often alluded to. One of them, the measure of which is adapted, by its
music, to the short stroke of the paddle, is given below.[64]

[Footnote 64: Omitted.]

_15th_. Dr. Peters, Secretary of Home Missions, writes to me, from on
board a steamboat on Lake Erie, proposing a plan for bringing the
subject of chaplaincies in the army to the notice of the Secretary
of War.

A letter from a missionary (Boutwell) at La Pointe, L.S., says: "I
endeavor daily to do something at the language. But imagine for one
moment, what you could do with a boy (his interpreter) who knows neither
English, French nor Indian, and yet is in the habit of mangling all.
Still I am satisfied he is the best Brother F. could send, though but
_one_ remove from none. Of one thing I am determined, that if I cannot
teach him English, I can to cut bushes. However, I find, by daily
visiting the lodges, that I may retain, and probably add a little now
and then. I find there is a trifling difference between the language
here, and as spoken at the Sault. The difference consists principally in
the accent. I find the interchangeables, if possible, more irregular
here than there.

"The old chief (Pezhiki) is very pleasant and kind. I find him a very
good standard for testing accents. His enunciation is very distinct."

_25th_. The sub-agent in charge at Mackinack writes: "The schooner
'White Pigeon' came in this afternoon from Green Bay, having on board
Major Fowle's Company. She is to sail early to-morrow morning for
the Sault.

"The Indians appear satisfied with their treatment at this office, and
it has been observed by them, that more work has been done for them
since my arrival here than Colonel B. did for them in one year."

His Excellency, Gov. Porter, called here (on his way to Green Bay) and
examined the buildings and rooms of the agency. Casting a hasty look, he
observed that the building would bring an income of four or five hundred
dollars annually, were it at Detroit, for rent. He was of opinion that
the outer steps required repairs, &c.

"Gen. Brook sailed on board the 'Black Hawk' for Green Bay on Sabbath
last, accompanied by Lieut. Stockton, and Messrs. Dousman, Abbott, and
King. Major Thomson (who relieves him) arrived on Monday last, with the
whole of his troops and the officers under his command, Captain Cobbs,
Lieut. Gallagher, and Lieut. Patten.

"Lieut. Gallagher joined us at our evening social prayer meeting last
night, and it was really cheering and reviving to hear him pray. He is
gifted with talent and abilities, and withal meekness and humility."

_Nov. 1st_. The same agent writes: "I forward to you the chief
Shaubowayway's map of that section of the country lying between the
Detour and Point St. Ignace, including all the islands on that coast. I
am now waiting for the chief to proceed to Chenos as a guide, to enable
us to strike in a straight line from thence to Muddy Lake River. Messrs.
David Stuart and Mitchell will accompany me."

_19th_. Mr. Johnston writes: "I volunteered my services to accompany Mr.
Ferry to get off the partial wreck of the mission schooner 'Supply,'
near the second entrance of the Chenos, eighteen miles from this. Major
Thompson furnished a detachment of fifteen men under Captain Cobbs.
George Dousman went also with three of the Company's men. Four days'
efforts were cheerfully rendered, and the vessel saved and brought into
the harbor."

_25th_. As commerce increases, and stretches out her Briarean hands into
the stormy roads and bays of these heretofore uninhabited lakes, losses
from wrecks annually redouble. And the want of light-houses, buoys, and
harbors is more strongly shown. James Abbott, a licensed trader, was
cast ashore by the tempests of Lake Superior, at La Pointe, and, being
unable to proceed to his designated post, was obliged to winter there.
He gave out his credits, and spread his men, therefore, in another
man's district. The agent at Mackinack (E. Stuart) writes, complaining
of, and requesting me to interpose in the matter, so as "to confine his
trade to such limits as may be equitable to all." It would be impossible
to foresee such accidents, and appears almost equally so to correct the
irregularities, now that they are done. The difficulty seems rather to
have been the employment of a clerk, whose action the Company could not
fully control.

_29th_. Mr. B. E. Stickney, of Vistula (now Toledo), writes: "A few days
ago I received from the author, with which I was much pleased, 'an
Address before the Chippewa County Temperance Society on the Influence
of Ardent Spirits on the Condition of the North American Indians.' We
conceived it to be the most fortunate effort of your pen upon the
greatest subject. While we have so much reason to approve, we hope you
will permit us to be frank. We conceive that, although you have been
more cautious than is common, in touching sectarianism, yet, if you had
not named, or made any kind of allusion to any religious sect,
Christian, Jew, Pagan, or Mohammedan, you would have produced more
effect. There are many individuals who neither touch, taste, nor handle
this most dangerous of all poisons, who yet refuse to join in the
general effort to destroy, prevent the use, or furnish an antidote,
because they conceive that the sectarian poison is not an inferior evil,
unless it may, perhaps, be so to the use of alcohol."

The true, but concealed, objection of this class of non-concurrents in
the cause is not, it is apprehended to "sectarianism," _per se,_ or in
any other sense than that it is an evidence of practical
Christianity--of morals and axioms based on the teachings of the great
Founder of the system--of a belief in a moral accountability to give all
influence possessed to advance the adoption of its maxims among men--in
fine, of a living, constant, undying faith, not only in the truth of
these maxims, but in the divinity of the sublime UTTERER of them.

_Dec. 10th_. Dr. Houghton, my companion in two expeditions into the
Indian country, writes from Detroit: "You will undoubtedly be a little
surprised to learn that I am now in Detroit, but probably not more than
I am in being here. My passage through Lake Huron was tedious beyond
endurance; and so long was I detained in consequence of it, that it
became useless for me to proceed to New York. Under these circumstances,
after having visited Fredonia, I determined to engage in the practice
of my profession, in this place, at least until spring. It is only these
three days since I arrived here and I am not yet completely settled, but
probably will be in a few days."

[Here are the initial motives of a man who became a permanent and noted
citizen of the territory, and engaged with great ardor in exploring its
physical geography and resources. For two years, he was intimately
associated with me; and I saw him under various circumstances of fatigue
and trial in the wilderness, but always preserving his equanimity and
cheerfulness. He was a zealous botanist, and a discriminating geologist.
Assiduous and temperate, an accurate observer of phenomena, he
accumulated facts in the physical history of the country which
continually increased the knowledge of its features and character. He
was the means of connecting geological observations with the linear
surveys of the General Land Office, and had been several years engaged
on the geological survey of Michigan, when the melancholy event of his
death, in 1846, in a storm on Lake Superior, was announced.]

_12th_. E.A. Brush, Esq., of Detroit, writes: "Everybody--not here only,
but through the Union--seems to think with just foreboding of the result
of the measures taken by South Carolina. Their convention have
determined to resist, after the first day of (I think) February.

"Gov. Cass's family are well, but he has not been heard from personally
since he left here. He is too much occupied, I suppose, with the affairs
of his department, at the opening of the session. Of course, you know
that General Jackson and Van Buren are in."


An Indian woman builds a church--Conchology--South Carolina prepares to
resist the revenue laws--Moral affairs--Geography--Botany--Chippewas and
Sioux--A native evangelist in John Sunday--His letter in English; its
philological value--The plural pronoun _we_--An Indian battle--Political
affairs--South Carolina affairs--Tariff compromise of Mr. Clay--Algic
Society; it employs native evangelists--Plan of visiting
Europe--President's tour--History of Detroit--Fresh-water shells--Lake

1833. _Jan. 1st_. A remarkable thing recently transpired. Mrs. Susan
Johnston, a widow--an Indian woman by father and mother--built a church
for the Presbyterian congregation at this place. The building, which is
neat and plain, without a steeple, was finished early in the fall, and
has been occupied this season for preaching, lectures, &c. Certainly, on
the assumption of theories, there is nothing predicted against the
descendants of Shem ministering in good things to those of Japhet; but
it is an instance, the like of which I doubt whether there has happened
since the Discovery. The translation of the Indian name of this female
is Woman of the Green Valley; or, according to the polysyllabical system
of her people, O-shé-wush-ko-da-wá-qua.

_2d_. Mr. John M. Earle, of Worcester, Mass., solicits contributions to
his collection of fresh-water shells. "I have a higher object in view,"
he remarks, "than the mere making of a collection--viz., doing what I
can to ascertain what new species remain undescribed, and what ones of
those already described may be only varieties of others; and, in fine,
by a careful examination of a large number of shells, brought together
from various localities, to fix, more accurately than it has heretofore
been done, the nomenclature of the several genera and species, and so
particularly to define their specific characteristics as to leave little
doubt on the subject. The great variety of our fresh-water shells,
exceeding that of any other country, seems to require something of this
kind, in addition to the valuable labors of Say, Barnes, Lea, and
others, who, although they have done much, have yet left much to be done
by others, and have made some mistakes which require rectifying."

_14th_. Mr. Trowbridge writes from Detroit: "The period intervening
since your last visit to this place has been an eventful one to the
nation. South Carolina, driven on by a few infatuated men, has made a
bold effort to shake off the bonds of Union and Federal Law, and, to the
minds of some in whom you and I repose the utmost confidence, a happy
government seems to totter on the brink of dissolution. It is a long
story, and the papers will tell you all. God grant that the impending
evil may be averted, and that the moral and religious improvement of
this government may not be retarded by civil war." It is thought that
this event, and the course taken by the President, will produce a great
reaction in his favor, and that he will be supported by his old
political opponents. The governor is much occupied. It is supposed the
proclamation is from his pen.

_18th_. M. Merrill announces the opening of an infant school, in which
he is to be assisted by Mrs. Merrill, on Monday next.

_21st_. Rev. J. Porter, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, reports to
the Algic Society, that there is but little in the present state of
religion here that is propitious. "Of the little church gathered here
during the last year, ten persons are absent, scattered wildly through
our land. There now remain twenty-six or twenty-eight communicants.
These seem, in a measure, discouraged by the present indifference. The
recent apparent conversion of three or four soldiers, and the increasing
interest in their prayer-meetings and Bible class, give us some promise.
The Sabbath School, taught entirely by members of the church, is now in
a state of pleasing prosperity. And the infant school, lately organized
under the direction of an admirably qualified teacher, promises to
gratify the hearts of parents."

_22d_. The geography of the line of country between Sault St. Marie and
the shores of Lake Huron, opposite to the island of Mackinack, is a
perfect terra incognita. It has been passed in the winter only on snow
shoes. The distance in a direct line from N.E. to S.W. is about forty
or forty-five miles. It is about double that distance by the St. Mary's
River and Lake Huron--which is and has been the ordinary route, from
the earliest French days, and for uncounted centuries before. Mr. G.
Johnston, who has just passed it, with Indian guides on snow shoes,
writes: "I reached this place at half-past twelve this day, after
experiencing great fatigue, caused by a heavy fall of snow and the river
rising. I inclose herein a rough sketched map of the region through
which I passed, that is, from Lake Superior to Lake Huron in a direct
southerly line.

"The banks of the Pe-ke-sa-we-see, which we ascended, are elevated and
pretty uniform. From its mouth to the first fork, is a growth of cedar,
on either bank, intermixed with hemlock, pine, birch, and a few
scattered maples. Thence to the third fork, denoted on the map, the
growth is exclusively pine and fir. This river is sluggish and deep, and
is navigable for boats of ten to fifteen tons burden, without any
obstruction to the third forks. Its width is uniform, about sixty to
seventy feet wide.

"From this point to Pine River of Lake Huron, is invariably level,
gently rising to a maple ridge, and susceptible of a road, to be cut
with facility.

"The banks of Pine River are very high. The river we found open in many
places, indicating rapids. It is obstructed in many places with drift
wood. The pine ridge, on either bank, indicates a vigorous growth of the
handsomest pine trees I ever beheld. The water marks are high--say ten
to twelve feet, owing to the spring freshets.

"I reached the mouth of the river on the Sabbath, and encamped, which
gave the Methodist Indian an opportunity of revealing God's Holy Word to
Cacogish's band, consisting of thirty souls. We were very kindly
received, and supplied with an abundance of food--hares, partridges,
trout, pork, corn and flour. We had clean and new mats to sleep on."

_Feb. 4th_. The American Lyceum at New York invite me, by a letter from
their Secretary, to prepare an essay on the subject of educating in
the West.

_6th_. Dr. John Torrey, of N.Y., writes on the eve of his embarkation
for Europe: "I shall take with me all very rare and doubtful plants, for
examination and comparison with the celebrated herbaria of Europe.

"Your boxes and packages of specimens must have been detained on the
way by the closing of the (N. Y.) canal, as I have as yet received
nothing from you. The plan of your proposed narrative I like much, and I
hope the work will be given to the public as early as possible. Dr.
Houghton did not come to New York, but has settled himself (as you
doubtless know) at Detroit."

_10th_. Lyman M. Warren writes from Lake Superior: "Our country at
present is in a very unsettled state, caused by the unhappy wars between
the Sioux and Chippewas. The latter have been defeated on Rum River--six
men and one woman killed. All our Chippewas are looking to you for
protection, as they consider themselves wronged by the Sioux, the latter
being, and constantly hunting within the Chippewa territory. I am afraid
that a very extensive war will commence the ensuing summer, through this
region, and the whole upper country, if some effectual method is not
adopted to stop it."

This war has all the bitterness of a war of races--it is the great
Algonquin family against the wide-spread Dacota stock--the one powerful
in the east, the other equally so in the west. And the measures to be
adopted to restrain it, and to curb the young warriors on both sides,
who pant for fame and scalps, must ever remain, to a great extent,
ineffective and temporary, so long as they are not backed up by strong
lines of military posts. Mr. Calhoun was right in his policy of 1820.

The Rev. Mr. Boutwell writes from the same region: "We rejoice that you
enter so fully into our views and feelings relative to the intellectual
and moral improvement of the Indians, and rest assured we can most
heartily unite with you in bidding God speed, to such as are willing to
go and do them good."

_14th_. John Sunday, a Chippewa evangelist from Upper Canada among the
Chippewas of Lake Superior, writes from the Bay of Keweena, where he is
stationed during the winter:--

"I received your kind letter. I undersand you--you want here the Indians
from this place. I will tell you what to the Indians doing. They
worshiped Idol God. They make God their own. I undersand Mr. D., he told
all Indians not going to hear the word of God. So the Indians he
believed him. He tell the Indians do worship your own way. Your will get
heaven quick is us. So the Indians they do not care to hear the word
of God.

"But some willing to hear preaching. One family they love to come the
meeting. That Indian, by and by, he got ligion. He is happy now in his
heart. After he got ligion that Indian say, Indian ligion not good. I
have been worship Idol god many years. He never make happy. Now I know
Jesus. His ligion is good, because I feel it in my heart. I say white
people ligion very good. That Indian he can say all in Lord's prayer and
ten commandments, and apostle creed by heart. Perhaps you know him. His
name is Shah-wau-ne-noo-tin.

"I never forget your kindness to me. I thing I shall stay here till the
May. I want it to do what the Lord say."

Aside from his teaching among the Chippewas, which was unanswerably
effective, this letter is of the highest consequence to philology, as
its variations from the rules of English syntax and orthography, denote
some of the leading principles of aboriginal construction, as they have
been revealed to me by the study of the Indian language. In truth he
uses the Indian language to a considerable extent, according to the
principles of the Chippewa syntax.

Thus it is perceived from the letter, which is printed verbatim--

1. That the letter _t_ is not uttered when standing between a consonant
and vowel, as in "understand."

2. The want and misuse of the prepositions _of, from_, and _to_.

3. The use of the participial form of the verb for the indicative.

4. The use of pronouns immediately after nouns to which they refer.

5. The interchange of _d_ for _t_, and _g_ for _k_, as in _do_ for _to_,
and "_thing_" for _think_.

6. The suppression of the sound of _r_ altogether, as heard in _re_, and
_re_ligion, &c.

7. Confounding the perfect past with the present tense.

8. The misuse of the indefinite article, which is wanting, in the

9. The habitual non-use of the imperative mood.

10. The transitive character of verbs requiring _objective_ inflections,
for the nominative, &c.

11. The absence of simple possessives.

12. The want of the auxiliary verbs _have, are, is_, &c.

John Sunday came to St. Mary's in the autumn of 1832. His prayers and
exhortatory teaching completely non-plussed the Chippewas. They heard
him refute all their arguments in their own language. He had, but a
short time before, been one like themselves--a Manito worshiper, an
idler, a drunkard. He produced a great sensation among them, and
overthrew the loose fabric of their theology and mythology with a strong
hand. I had never before heard the Chippewa language applied to
religion, and listened with great interest to catch his phrases. I was
anxious to hear how he would get along in the use of the dual pronoun
_we_, as applied to inclusive and exclusive persons. He spoke at once of
the affections as they exist between a father and his children, and
addressed the Deity at all times as Nosa, which is the term for my
father. He thus made God the inclusive head of every family, and brushed
away the whole cobweb system of imaginary spirits, of the native
Jossakeed, Medas, and Wabanos.

_March 7th_. "My heart was made glad," writes Mr. Boutwell from Lake
Superior, "that Providence directed you to Detroit at a season so
timely, bringing you into contact with the great and the good--giving
you an opportunity of laying before them facts relative to the condition
of the Indians, which eventuated in so much good. We do indeed rejoice
in the formation of the 'Algic Society,' which is, I trust, the
harbinger of great and extensive blessings to this poor and
dying people."

_8th_. Mr. L. M. Warren reports from La Pointe, at the head of Lake
Superior: "Since my last, Mr. Ayer has arrived from Sandy Lake. He
reports that there have been two war parties sent out against the Sioux,
by the Sandy Lake Band, thirty or forty men each, without accomplishing
anything. Afterwards a third party of sixty men assembled and went out
under the command of Songegomik--a young chief of distinguished
character of the Sandy Lake Band. They discovered a Sioux camp of
nineteen lodges, and succeeded in approaching them before daylight
undiscovered, until they reached, in the form of a circle, within ten
yards. They then opened a tremendous fire, and, as fast as the Sioux
attempted to come from their lodges, they were shot dead, The yelling of
Indians, screaming of women, and crying of children were distressing.
One Sioux