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´╗┐Title: Stories About Indians
Author: Merrill, Rufus
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories About Indians" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



  STORIES
  ABOUT
  INDIANS.

  CONCORD, N. H.
  RUFUS MERRILL.



  STORIES
  ABOUT
  INDIANS.

  [Illustration]

  CONCORD, N.H.:
  PUBLISHED BY MERRIAM & MERRILL
  1854.

[Illustration: The above picture represents Indians hunting Buffalo.]



STORIES ABOUT INDIANS.



The Indians were formerly lords of the soil we now occupy, and
obtained a subsistence principally by hunting and fishing.

They generally lived in villages, containing from fifty to five
hundred families. Their houses, called _wigwams_, were usually
constructed of poles, one end being driven into the ground, and the
other bent over so as to meet another fastened in like manner; both
being joined together at the top, and covered with the bark of trees.
Small holes were left open for windows, which were closed in bad
weather with a piece of bark. They made their fire in the centre of
the wigwam, leaving a small hole for a chimney in the top of the roof.

[Illustration: Indian Village.]

They had no chairs, but sat upon skins, or mats, spread upon the
ground, which also served them for beds. Their clothes were
principally made of the skins of animals, which in winter were sewed
together with the fur side turned inwards.

The Indians were very fond of trinkets and ornaments, and often
decorated their heads with feathers, while fine polished shells were
suspended from their ears.



A PAWNEE BRAVE.


The following anecdote is related of a Pawnee brave, or warrior, (son
of Red Knife).

At the age of twenty-one, the heroic deeds of this brave had acquired
for him in his nation the rank of the bravest of the braves. The
savage practice of torturing and burning to death their prisoners
existed in this nation. An unfortunate female of the Paduca nation,
taken in war, was destined to this horrid death.

[Illustration: Pawnee Brave.]

Just when the funeral pile was to be kindled, this young warrior,
having unnoticed prepared two fleet horses, with the necessary
provisions, sprang from his seat, liberated the victim, seized her in
his arms, placed her on one of the horses, mounted the other himself,
and made the utmost speed toward the nation and friends of the
captive! The multitude, dumb and nerveless, made no effort to rescue
their victim from her deliverer. They viewed it as the immediate act
of the Great Spirit, submitted to it without a murmur, and quietly
retired to their village.



INDIAN GRATITUDE.


As an Indian was straying through a village on the Kennebec, he passed
a gentleman standing at his store door, and begged a piece of tobacco.
The person stepped back, and selected a generous piece, for which he
received a gruff "tank you," and thought no more of the affair. Three
or four months afterwards, he was surprised at an Indian's coming
into the store and presenting him with a beautiful miniature birch
canoe, painted and furnished with paddles to correspond. On asking
the meaning of it, he was told, "Indian no forget; you give me
tobacco; me make this for you." This man's gratitude for a trifling
favor had led him to bestow more labor on his present than would have
purchased him many pounds of his favorite weed.

[Illustration: Indian Chief.]



INDIAN OBSERVATION.


On his return home to his hut one day, an Indian discovered that his
venison, which had been hung up to dry, had been stolen. After going
some distance, he met some persons, of whom he inquired if they had
seen a _little_, _old_, _white_ man, with a short gun, and accompanied
by a small dog with a bob-tail. They replied in the affirmative; and
upon the Indian's assuring them that the man thus described had stolen
his venison, they desired to be informed how he was able to give such
a minute description of a person whom he had not seen. The Indian
answered thus:

"The thief I know is a _little_ man, by his having made a pile of
stones in order to reach the venison from the height I hung it
standing on the ground; that he is an _old_ man, I know by his short
steps, which I have traced over the dead leaves in the woods; that he
is a _white_ man, I know by his turning out his toes when he walks,
which an Indian never does; his gun I know to be short by the mark
which the muzzle made by rubbing the bark of the tree on which it
leaned; that his dog is small, I know by his tracks; and that he has
a bob-tail I discovered by the mark of it in the dust where he was
sitting at the time his master was taking down the meat."



INDIAN STRATAGEM.


In one of the frequent wars among the different tribes of Indians, a
Pequot was pursued by a Naraganset Indian. The Pequot skulked behind a
rock, and raising his hat on his gun, held it up just above the rock,
so that the hat alone was visible on the other side.

The Narraganset, who was at some distance, perceiving the hat, and
supposing of course that the head of the Pequot was in it, crept softly
up within a few feet and fired. But directly he had the mortification to
find that he had thrown away his powder. The Pequot's gun was still
loaded, and he discharged it to effect upon the poor Narraganset.

[Illustration: Oregon Indians.]



RED JACKET.


It happened, during the Revolutionary war, that a treaty was held with
the Indians, at which Lafayette was present. The object was to unite the
various tribes in amity with America. The majority of the chiefs were
friendly, but there was much opposition made to it, more especially by a
young warrior, who declared that when an alliance was entered into with
America, he should consider the sun of his country as set forever. In
his travels through the Indian country, when lately in America, it
happened at a large assemblage of chiefs that Lafayette referred to the
treaty in question, and turning to Red Jacket, said, "Pray, tell me, if
you can, what has become of that daring youth, who so decidedly opposed
all our propositions for peace and amity? Does he still live--and what
is his condition?" "I myself am the man," replied Red Jacket, "the
decided enemy of the Americans as long as the hope of opposing them with
success remained, but now their true and faithful ally until death."

[Illustration: Red Jacket Chief.]



INDIAN SHREWDNESS.


When General Lincoln went to make peace with the Creek Indians, one of
the chiefs asked him to sit down on a log. He was then desired to
move, and in a few minutes to move still further. The request was
repeated until the general got to the end of the log. The Indian still
said, "Move further," to which the general replied, "I can move no
further." "Just so it is with us," said the chief; "you have moved us
back to the water, and then ask us to move further."

[Illustration: Indian Council, with white men, making a treaty.]



AN INDIAN'S JOKE.


During the time of Indian troubles, a friendly Indian visited Governor
Jenks, of Rhode Island, when the governor took occasion to request him
to let him know if any strange Indian should come to his wigwam. This
the Indian promised to do, and the governor agreed to give him a mug
of flip if he should give such information. Some time after, the
Indian came again, and said, "Well, Mr. Gubernor, strange Indian come
to my house last night." "Ah," said the governor, "what did he say?"
"He no speak," replied the Indian. "What, not speak at all?" inquired
the governor. "No, he no speak at all." "That looks suspicious," said
his excellency, and inquired if he was there still. Being told that he
was, the governor ordered the promised mug of flip. When this was
disposed of, and the Indian was about to depart, he mildly said, "Mr.
Gubernor, my squaw have child last night." The governor, finding the
strange Indian was a new-born pappoose, was glad to find there was no
cause for alarm.

[Illustration: Indian with his Bow and Arrow.]



INDIAN CHARACTER.


The following striking display of Indian character occurred some years
since in a town in Maine. An Indian of the Kennebec tribe, remarkable
for his good conduct, received a grant of land from the state, and
fixed himself in a township, where a number of families settled.
Though not ill treated, yet the common prejudice against the Indians
prevented any sympathy with him. This was shown at the death of his
only child, when none of the people came near him. Shortly afterwards
he went to some of the inhabitants, and said to them, "When white
man's child die, Indian man be sorry--he help bury him: when my child
die, no one speak to me--I make his grave alone--I can't live here."

He gave up his farm, dug up the body of his child, and carried it with
him two hundred miles through the forest, to join the Canada Indians.
What energy and depth of feeling does this specimen of Indian
character exhibit!

[Illustration: Indian with his Tomahawk.]



INDIAN INTEGRITY.


A Spanish traveller met an Indian in the desert; they were both on
horseback. The Spaniard, fearing that his horse, which was none of the
best, would not hold out till the end of his journey, asked the
Indian, whose horse was young, strong, and spirited, to exchange with
him. This the Indian refused. The Spaniard therefore began a quarrel
with him. From words they proceeded to blows. The aggressor being well
armed, proved too powerful for the native. He seized his horse,
mounted him, and pursued his journey.

       *       *       *       *       *

He was closely followed to the nearest town by the Indian, who
immediately complained to a judge. The Spaniard was obliged to appear,
and bring the horse with him. He treated the Indian as an impostor,
affirming that the horse was his property, that he had always had him
in his possession, and that he had raised him from a colt.

There being no proof to the contrary, the judge was about dismissing
the parties, when the Indian cried out,--"The horse is mine, and I'll
prove it!" He immediately took off his mantle, and with it instantly
covered the head of the animal; then addressing the judge,--"Since
this man," said he, "affirms that he has raised the horse from a colt,
command him to tell of which eye he is blind." The Spaniard, who would
not seem to hesitate, instantly answered, "Of the right eye." "He is
neither blind of the right eye," replied the Indian, "nor of the left."

The judge decreed him the horse, and the Spaniard to be punished as a
robber.



INDIAN POLITENESS.


The politeness of these people in conversation is indeed carried to
excess; since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth
of what is asserted in their presence. By this means they indeed
avoid disputes; but then it becomes difficult to know their minds, or
what impression you make upon them. When any of them come into our
towns, our people are apt to crowd around them, gaze upon them, and
incommode them when they desire to be private; this they esteem great
rudeness, and the effect of the want of instruction in the rules of
civility and good manners. "We have," say they, "as much curiosity as
you, and when you come into our towns, we wish for opportunities of
looking at you; but for this purpose we hide ourselves behind bushes
where you are to pass, and never intrude ourselves into your company."



MERRILL'S TOY AND JUVENILE BOOKS.

ILLUSTRATED WITH ABOUT 1000 ENGRAVINGS.


First Series.--Price One Cent.

     This series contains twelve kinds, to be continued to eighteen or
     more.


Second Series, or Two Cent Toys.

     THE BOOK OF FIFTY PICTURES.

     MY FLOWER POT.

     INDIAN ANECDOTES.

     GIRLS' AND BOYS' PRIMER.

     NURSERY RHYMES.

     PEOPLE OF THE OLD WORLD.

     BOOK ABOUT ANIMALS.

     THE CHILD'S PICTURE BOOK.

     BOOK ABOUT BIRDS.

     BOOK ABOUT AMERICA.

     STORIES ABOUT DOGS.

     GEMS FOR GIRLS AND BOYS.


Third Series, or No. 4 Toys.--Price Six Cents.

     THE GOOD CHILD'S STORY BOOK.

     CHILD'S BOOK OF SONGS, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

     HISTORY OF QUADRUPEDS, WITH TWENTY ENGRAVINGS.

     HISTORY OF BIRDS, WITH TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS.

     SAILOR BOY STORY AND SONGS.

     STORIES AND HYMNS FOR CHILDREN.

     A PEEP AT THE OLD WORLD.

     STORIES ABOUT INDIANS.

     STORIES ABOUT THE WHALES.

     THE CHILD'S A B C PICTURE BOOK.

     THE POETICAL ALPHABET.

     MOTHER'S ASSISTANT, OR SCHOOL PRIMER.


Pictorial Gallery Series.--Price Eight Cents.

     THE BIJOU GIFT FOR GIRLS AND BOYS.

     JUVENILE CASKET OF MORAL AND INTERESTING TALES.

     GEMS OF POETRY FOR GIRLS AND BOYS.

     THE PANORAMA OF THE EAST.

     THE BIRD CAGE.

     THE GIRL'S CASKET.

     YOUTH'S ZOOLOGY.

     PEEP AT OLD ASIA.

     TALK ABOUT INDIANS.


Juvenile Books.

     THE MUSEUM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, containing about one hundred pages,
     square 12mo. Beautifully Illustrated. Bound in cambric, stamped.

     THE CASKET FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, containing about one hundred
     pages, 18mo. With Illustrations. Bound in cambric, stamped sides.

R. M. also publishes the NEW ENGLAND PRIMER, in its original and
Puritanical style.



Transcriber's Note


    * Pg 5 Moved period to end of sentence in "warrior, (son of Red
    Knife.)".

    * Pg 26 Added period after "more" in "continued to eighteen or
    more".

    * Added missing periods to illustration comments for consistency.





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