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Title: Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XVIII
Author: Various
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.

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  Early Western Travels

  Volume XVIII

  Early Western Travels


  A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best
  and rarest contemporary volumes of travel, descriptive
  of the Aborigines and Social and
  Economic Conditions in the Middle
  and Far West, during the Period
  of Early American Settlement

  Edited with Notes, Introductions, Index, etc., by

  Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D.

  Editor of "The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents," "Original
  Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," "Hennepin's
  New Discovery," etc.

  Volume XVIII

  Pattie's Personal Narrative, 1824-1830; Willard's Inland Trade
  with New Mexico, 1825, and Downfall of the Fredonian
  Republic; and Malte-Brun's Account of Mexico.

  [Illustration: (Publisher's logo)]

  Cleveland, Ohio
  The Arthur H. Clark Company



  The Lakeside Press


  PREFACE. _The Editor_                                             9

  PERSONAL NARRATIVE during an Expedition from St. Louis,
  through The Vast Regions between that place and the Pacific
  Ocean, and thence back through the City of Mexico to Vera
  Cruz, during journeyings of six years; in which he and his
  Father, who accompanied him, suffered unheard of Hardships
  and Dangers, had Various Conflicts with the Indians,
  and were made Captives, in which Captivity his Father died;
  together with a Description of the Country, and the Various
  Nations through which they passed. _James O. Pattie_, of
  Kentucky, edited by _Timothy Flint_.

      Copyright notice                                             24
      The first Editor's Preface. _Timothy Flint_                  25
      Author's Introduction                                        29
      Text                                                         37
      The first Editor's Note. _Timothy Flint_                    325

  Inland Trade with New Mexico. _Doctor Willard_, edited by
  _Timothy Flint_                                                 327

  Downfall of the Fredonian Republic. _Doctor Willard_, edited by
  _Timothy Flint_                                                 365

  Mexico. Some Account of its Inhabitants, Towns, Productions,
  and Natural Curiosities. _Conrad Malte-Brun_                    370


  Facsimile of title-page, Pattie's Narrative                      23

  "Rescue of an Indian Child"                                      57

  "Mr. Pattie wounded by an Indian Arrow"                         161

  "Shooting Mr. Pattie's Horse"                                   185

  "Messrs. Pattie and Slover rescued from Famish"                 217

  "Burial of Mr. Pattie"                                          243


Upon the return, in 1806, of the Lewis and Clark exploring expedition,
the first successfully to penetrate from the Mississippi River to the
Pacific Ocean, the Western imagination was aroused by visions of wealth
to be acquired from commercial relations with the Indians of the far
Northwest. Fur-trading expeditions were accordingly soon dispatched
up the Missouri and its tributaries; and, throughout several years,
the equally rich opportunities for Southwestern Indian commerce and
exploration were neglected.

Far to the Southwest lay the Spanish settlements of New Mexico,
isolated islands of a sluggish civilization. Practically all of their
imports were brought in by way of the Gulf of Mexico and Vera Cruz,
thence travelling a difficult road of over fifteen hundred miles from
the coast, making their cost almost prohibitive to the mixed race
of Spaniards and Mexicans who dwelt in the valleys of the upper Rio
Grande. Yet within easy reach of their frontier lay one of the chief
commercial peoples of the age, to be reached over a wilderness road
passing for the most part across level plains, watered by numerous
streams--the upper tributaries of the great western affluents of the
Mississippi. The common interests of these people and of the Americans
lay in an interchange of commodities; but the government of New Spain
looked with hostile suspicion upon the aggressive, vigorous race that
was even then forcing its borders. Behind the prospect of profit for
the overland Southwest trader, loomed the possibility of a gruesome
Spanish prison, and confiscation of the adventured goods.

After Zebulon M. Pike returned (1807) with his account of arrest and
detention in Santa Fé and Chihuahua, no American trader appears to
have sought this region for five years. A party then outfitting from
St. Louis was seized at the New Mexican frontier, hurried to an inland
dungeon, and kept in durance nine miserable years. News of this harsh
treatment, and of the revolutionary movement which was upheaving the
social structure of all New Spain, proved sufficiently deterrent to
keep any organized expeditions from risking the hazard of the Southwest
trade, until the third decade of the nineteenth century. More favorable
reports being then received, several caravans were fitted out, and the
real history of the Santa Fé trail began.

Among the early merchants of St. Louis, the name of Bernard Pratte,
near relative of the Chouteaus and Labbadies, was connected with
important fur-trading enterprises. In the summer of 1824 Pratte's
eldest son headed a caravan destined for the Santa Fé, his party being
rendezvoused at the company's post upon the Missouri, not far from the
present site of Omaha. There, while waiting for its final equipment,
the expedition was reinforced by four free-traders who had left their
home upon the Gasconade River, the frontier of Missouri settlement,
and with a small outfit had ascended the river to this point, bent on
trading and hunting upon its upper waters. Barred from their enterprise
by the lack of an authoritative license for dealing with the Indians,
the little band were easily persuaded to join Pratte's party. Two of
these recruits were the heroes of our tale--Sylvester Pattie and his
son James Ohio.

For three generations the Patties had been frontiersmen. Restlessly
they moved onward as the border advanced, always hovering upon the
outskirts of civilization, seeking to better their condition by taking
up fresh lands in untilled places, and remorselessly fighting the
aborigines who disputed their invasion. They longed unceasingly for new
adventures in the mysterious West, that allured them with its strange
fascination. Brave, honest, God-fearing, vigorous in mind and body,
dependent on their own resources, for food and for defense chiefly
dependent on the familiar rifle, the Patties belonged to that class of
Americans who conquered the wilderness, and yearly pushed the frontier

The career of the grandfather and father of our author, as in simple
phrase he relates it in his Introduction, is typical of those of the
founders of Kentucky, and the early settlers of the rich valley of
the Missouri. To have early emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, to
have aided in the defense of Bryant's Station, and to have served
under Colonel Benjamin Logan, and the still more renowned Kentuckian,
George Rogers Clark, was unquestionable guaranty to the proud title of
pioneer. It was typical, also, that the grandfather, having acquired
some local fame and position, and attained the rank of magistrate, the
father, tiring of Kentucky, should, like the Boones, join the stream
of emigration to Missouri. There, history repeated itself. The War of
1812-15 breaking out, the frontier blockhouses must again withstand
the assaults of savages. Lieutenant Pattie's relief of Cap-au-Gris,
upon the Missouri, takes rank with Logan's Revolutionary exploits at
St. Asaph's. The war ended, and the country filling up, "Mr. Pattie,
possessing a wandering and adventurous spirit," once more removed to
the utmost borders of civilization, and built a mill upon the rapid
Gasconade. Here he was in a fair way to prosperity, when domestic
affliction sent him forth into the wilderness, taking with him his
eldest son, who "inheriting the love of a rifle through so many
generations, and nursed amid such scenes, he begged so earnestly of
his father that he might be allowed to accompany the expedition, that
he prevailed." Thus began that long series of adventures, so full
of hazard and suffering that their unvarnished narration would seem
the invention of romance, did not one often find counterparts in the
experiences of other Western wanderers.

Recruited to the number of a hundred and sixteen, Pratte's caravan
advanced first toward the Pawnee villages of the Platte. Because of
his long experience in border warfare, Sylvester Pattie was now chosen
commander, and thereafter arranged the details of march and guard.
The Pawnee were inclined to be friendly, their chiefs having recently
visited the Great Father at Washington; but in rescuing an ill-treated
native child, captured by them on a recent raid against a hostile
tribe, the whites were nearly embroiled with these pirates of the
plains. Securing the little waif, also some Indian guides, the Pawnee
were left behind August 11, 1824, and the advance to the Southwest
begun. Day after day the party toiled across the plains, their journey
filled with stirring incident. Once, prepared to fight a band of from
six to eight hundred well-mounted Comanche, the whites were rescued by
a rival tribe of horsemen, who, "with a noise like distant thunder,"
swept in between the hostile lines, and won the battle for them. Again,
amid a vagrant party of Indians, the father of the little captive
suddenly appeared, and presented the captain of the expedition with
tokens of his gratitude for the rescue. Upon the twentieth of August,
buffalo were first encountered; and twenty days later, on the ridge
between the waters of the Kansas and the Arkansas, young Pattie was
introduced to that then formidable enemy, the grizzly bear. From that
time forward, these fierce creatures attacked the camp almost nightly;
on one occasion, a member of the party was caught and so maimed by a
grizzly that he shortly after died of his wounds.

On the twentieth of October the caravan reached the mountains, and
after a difficult crossing descended into the attractive valley of
Taos, the New Mexican frontier. Pattie was surprised at the primitive
life and customs of the inhabitants of New Mexico, of which in a few
unadorned sentences he gives us a vivid picture. Passing on to Santa
Fé, the ancient capital, our adventurers were just in time to join
a punitive expedition against a hostile band of Indians, wherein the
junior Pattie had the good fortune to rescue from the hands of the
savages a charming young Spanish maiden, daughter of a former governor
of the province. The gratitude of the fair captive and of her father
was profusely expressed, and their friendship proved of lasting value
to the gallant narrator.

Obtaining permission from the New Mexican government to trap upon the
Gila River, the Patties organized a small party for that purpose.
Leaving Santa Fé on November 22, they passed down the Rio del Norte to
Socorro, and then struck across country to the Gila, visiting en route
the famous copper mines of Santa Rita. The trip extended through nearly
five months, and the hunters were probably the first Americans to visit
the upper valley of the Gila. Many of the natives having never seen
a white man, fled at their approach; but others were more bold, and
viciously attacked them with their arrows. James's appearance upon his
return to the New Mexican settlements was so haggard that the rescued
Spanish girl shed tears upon observing his plight.

Securing fresh supplies, the party set out to bring in their buried
furs from the Gila, only to find that the Indians had discovered and
rifled their cache; thus had their hardships and sufferings gone for
naught. Returning to the mines, they succeeded in repelling an attack
thereon by hostile Apache, and in wringing from them a treaty which
ensured the peaceful working of the deposits; whereupon the Spaniards
rented these works to Sylvester Pattie, whose American methods enabled
him to derive from them a profit unknown to their former operators. But
the tranquil life at Santa Rita proved too monotonous for the younger
Pattie. He was seized with "an irresistible desire to resume the
employment of trapping," and despite paternal remonstrances set out
January 26, 1826, with a few companions, for the Gila valley, where he
had already suffered and lost so much.

During the following eight months, the range of the trappers' journey
was wide. Passing down the Gila to its junction with the Colorado, they
ascended the banks of the latter stream, seeing in its now world-famous
cañons only walls of highly-colored rock that debarred them from the
water's edge. Crossing the continental divide, probably at the South
Pass, they emerged upon the plains, and once more hunted buffalo in
their native habitat. Turning north to the Big Horn and Yellowstone,
the adventurers pursued a somewhat ill-defined course, coming back
upon the upper Arkansas, and crossing to Santa Fé, where Pattie was
again deprived of the harvest of furs gathered with such wearisome
labor--this time by the duplicity of the Spanish governor, who claimed
that the young man's former license did not extend to this expedition.
After once more visiting the gentle Jacova, his young Spanish friend,
Pattie sought his father at Santa Rita. Delaying there but three days
for rest, he set forth upon another excursion afield--this time to
Sonora, Chihuahua, and other provinces of northern Mexico, returning by
way of El Paso, and reaching the mines by the middle of November.

The winter and spring were spent in occasional hunting excursions,
and in visits to the Spanish haciendas. In the spring, a new turn was
given to the fortunes of the Patties, by the embezzlement and flight
of a trusted Spanish subordinate, through whom were lost the savings
of several years. Forced to abandon their mining operations, father
and son sought to rehabilitate themselves by another extended trapping
expedition, and set forth with a company of thirty, again in the
direction of the Gila.

Engagements with hostile Indians were of frequent occurrence. Early in
November, many of their party having deserted and all of their horses
being stolen, the remainder built themselves canoes, and embarked upon
the river. Communication with the natives being only possible through
the sign language, our adventurers misunderstood their informants to
declare that a Spanish settlement existed at the mouth of the Colorado;
and in expectation of here finding succor, they continued down that
great waterway to its mouth. There they met with nothing but deserted
shores, and tidal waves which seriously alarmed and disturbed these
fresh-water voyagers. Finding the ascent of the swift current beyond
their powers, they had now no recourse but to bury their store of furs,
and strike across the rugged peninsula of Lower California toward
the Spanish settlements on the Pacific coast. The story of their
sufferings in the salt lakes and deserts of this barren land is told
with more vigor than delicacy. Arrived at a Dominican mission on the
western slope of the mountains, the weary travellers were received with
suspicion rather than hospitality. Being placed under surveillance,
they were forwarded to San Diego, then the residence of the governor of
the Spanish settlements of California.

We now come to a most interesting portion of Pattie's book--his
residence in California, in the time of the Mexican régime, and his
report of conditions and events in the "land of the golden fleece."
According to his account, he and his companions were at first treated
with severity, being imprisoned at San Diego for lack of passports,
and there detained for many months. The elder Pattie died in his cell,
without being permitted to see the son for whose presence he had
piteously pleaded in his latest hours. Young Pattie's hatred for the
Mexican governor was not unnatural; but the consequent bitterness of
expression quite distorts his narrative. A Mexican tradition reports
that the Patties were received by the inhabitants with wonder, and
treated kindly; also that the elder Pattie embraced the Catholic faith
before his death, and expressed his appreciation of the hospitality
shown them. We may infer even from the son's statements, since his
chief anathemas are reserved for the officers and the priests, that the
unofficial population disapproved of the governor's measures.

Pattie was at last released, in recognition of his services as an
interpreter, and in order that he might vaccinate the natives of the
missions, among whom a smallpox epidemic had broken out. The adventurer
now set forth up the coast, stopping in turn at each mission and
presidio, and presenting us with a graphic picture of the pastoral life
of the neophytes and rancheros. Arrived at San Francisco, he pushed on
to the Russian fort on Bodega Bay, returning to Monterey in time to
describe and participate in the Solis revolt of 1829. Here he consorted
with the small American colony, and in his narrative probably magnifies
his own part in this affair, which, seen through the mists of memory,
bulked larger than the facts would warrant. At Monterey he encountered
his old enemy, Governor Echeandia, who with apparent surprise found his
former captive among those who had aided in suppressing the revolt.
Proffered Mexican citizenship, Pattie represents himself as showering
reproaches on the governor for the indignities he had suffered. Advised
by his new friends to make a formal statement of his injuries, and the
losses suffered by refusal to permit the securing of his furs, Pattie
embarked for Mexico in May, 1830, together with the revolutionists
who were being sent to the capital for trial. Upon his departure he
conveys his impressions of Alta California in a few striking sentences:
"Those who traverse it [the California coast] ... must be constantly
excited to wonder and praise. It is no less remarkable for uniting the
advantages of healthfulness, a good soil, a temperate climate, and
yet one of exceeding mildness, a happy mixture of level and elevated
ground, and vicinity to the sea." He then proceeds to animadvert
upon the inhabitants and the conduct of the mission padres in their
treatment of the natives. The companions of his long and adventurous
journey he left settled among the Mexicans; most of them made
California their permanent home.

At the City of Mexico, Pattie visited the American diplomatic
representative, also the president of the republic, but failed to
obtain satisfaction for his losses or injuries. On the way to Vera
Cruz, Pattie's travelling party met with an incident then common
to travel in Mexico--being halted by the outlawed followers of the
recently-deposed president, their arms seized, one of their number
hanged, and the remainder relieved of their valuables. From Vera Cruz
our adventurer found passage to New Orleans; thence, through the kindly
help of compatriots, who loaned him money for the steamboat passage,
he ascended the Mississippi to Cincinnati and his early Kentucky
home. Here the narrative closes. The only clue we have in reference
to his after life, is the one given by H. H. Bancroft, the historian,
who thinks he was again in San Diego, California, after the American

When poor Pattie arrived in Cincinnati, August 30, 1830, he not only
was penniless, but long incarceration in Mexican prisons had broken his
health and spirits. The tale of his adventures was doubtless received
with slight credence by his simple relatives. But the Reverend Timothy
Flint, the young editor of the _Western Monthly Review_ of Cincinnati,
who was already enamored of stories of Western pioneering, prevailed
upon Pattie to write an account of his curious experiences. Thus
originated the _Personal Narrative_, which we now republish in full for
the first time.[2]

Pattie appears to have written from memory, without the aid of notes
taken on the journey--a fact which accounts for the occasional
discrepancies in dates, and the obvious confusion of events. Upon the
whole, however, the narrative impresses the reader with a sense of its
verity, and has the charm of simplicity and vigor. The emendations of
the editor, we are assured, were chiefly in the matters of orthography
and punctuation, "with the occasional interposition of a topographical
illustration, which my acquaintance with the accounts of travellers
in New Mexico, and published views have enabled me to make." It is
probable that we thus owe to Flint most of the descriptions of scenery,
for there is abundant textual evidence that Pattie was not possessed of
a poetic fancy. To expand the dimensions of the book, Flint added an
article on "Inland Trade with New Mexico," composed chiefly of extracts
from the journal of a Doctor Willard, who in May, 1825, set out from
St. Charles, Missouri, with an overland party bound for Santa Fé.
Thence, practicing medicine on the way, he visited Chihuahua and the
northeastern provinces of Mexico, ending his journey at Matamoras. This
article, together with another by the same author, on the "Downfall
of the Fredonian Republic," also included in the volume, had appeared
three years before in Flint's magazine. The volume closes with an
extract on Mexican manners and customs, from Malte-Brun's _Géographie

A thrilling tale of pure adventure, ranging all the way from encounters
with grizzly bears, and savages who had never before seen a white man,
to a revolution in a Latin-American state, Pattie's narrative has long
been a classic. Its chief value to the student of Western history
depends upon the vast extent of country over which the author passed,
the ethnological data which he presents, especially in relation to the
Southwestern tribes, and his graphic picture of the contact between
two civilizations in the Southwest, with the inevitable encroachments
of the more progressive race. One sees in his pages the beginnings of
the drama to be fought out in the Mexican War--the rich and beautiful
country, which excited the cupidity of the American pioneer; the
indolence and effeminacy of the inhabitants, which inspired the virile
backwoodsmen's contempt; and the vanguard of the American advance,
already touching the Rockies, and ready to push on to the Pacific.
The Spanish-American official, displaying his little brief authority,
but irritated the restless borderer, whose advent he dreaded, and
whose pressure finally proved irresistible. As a part of the vanguard
of the American host that was to crowd the Mexican from the fair
northern provinces of his domain, Pattie's wanderings are typical, and
suggestive of more than mere adventure. His book is well worthy of
reproduction in our series.

The present Editor is under obligations to Louise Phelps Kellogg,
Ph.D., and Edith Kathryn Lyle, Ph.D., for assistance in preparing this
volume for the press.

  R. G. T.
  MADISON, WIS., July, 1905.

FOOTNOTES to Preface:

[1] Bancroft, _History of California_, iii, p. 171, note 44.

[2] The first edition was published at Cincinnati in 1831; this is,
however, less commonly seen than one dated 1833. Both are, however,
from the same plates, and differ only in date and style of title-page
and form of copyright clause. We follow the earlier edition, in these
respects. In 1847, one Bilson published a book in New York under the
title, _The Hunters of Kentucky; or, the trials and toils of traders
and trappers during an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, New Mexico
and California_, in which much of Pattie's narrative was incorporated
verbatim. _Harper's Magazine_, xxi, pp. 80-94, also gives a résumé of
Pattie's adventures, with slight embellishments.

MEXICO JUNE 20, 1824--AUGUST 30, 1830

Reprint of the original edition: Cincinnati, 1831

  [Illustration: (Facsimile of Title-page, Pattie's Narrative )]













[Illustration: (small logo with L. S. in the center)]

     Be it Remembered, that on the 18th day of Oct., Anno Domini 1831;
     John H. Wood, of the said District, hath deposited in this office,
     the title of a Book, the title of which is in the words following,
     to wit:

     "The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, of Kentucky, during an
     expedition from St. Louis, through the vast regions between that
     place and the Pacific ocean, and thence back through the city of
     Mexico to Vera Cruz, during journeyings of six years; in which he
     and his father who accompanied him, suffered unheard of hardships
     and dangers; had various conflicts with the Indians, and were made
     captives, in which captivity his father died, together with a
     description of the country, and the various nations through which
     they passed."

     The right whereof he claims as proprietor, in conformity with
     an act of Congress, entitled "An act to amend the several acts
     respecting copyrights."

  _Attest_, WILLIAM MINER,
  _Clerk of the District_.


It has been my fortune to be known as a writer of works of the
imagination. I am solicitous that this Journal should lose none of
its intrinsic interest, from its being supposed that in preparing it
for the press, I have drawn from the imagination, either in regard
to the incidents or their coloring. For, in the literal truth of the
facts, incredible as some of them may appear, my grounds of conviction
are my acquaintance with the Author, the impossibility of inventing a
narrative like the following, the respectability of his relations, the
standing which his father sustained, the confidence reposed in him by
the Hon. J. S. Johnston,[2] the very respectable senator in congress
from Louisiana, who introduced him to me, the concurrent testimony
of persons now in this city, who saw him at different points in New
Mexico, and the reports, which reached the United States, during the
expedition of many of the incidents here recorded.

When my family first arrived at St. Charles' in 1816, the fame of the
exploits of his father, as an officer of the rangers, was fresh in the
narratives of his associates and fellow soldiers. I have been on the
ground, at Cap au Gris, where he was besieged by the Indians. I am not
unacquainted with the scenery through which he passed on the Missouri,
and I, too, for many years was a sojourner in the prairies.

These circumstances, along with a conviction of the truth of the
narrative, tended to give me an interest in it, and to qualify me in
some degree to judge of the internal evidences contained in the journal
itself, of its entire authenticity. It will be perceived at once, that
Mr. Pattie, with Mr. McDuffie, thinks more of action than literature,
and is more competent to perform exploits, than blazon them in eloquent
periods. My influence upon the narrative regards orthography, and
punctuation {iv} and the occasional interposition of a topographical
illustration, which my acquaintance with the accounts of travellers
in New Mexico, and published views of the country have enabled me to
furnish. The reader will award me the confidence of acting in good
faith, in regard to drawing nothing from my own thoughts. I have found
more call to suppress, than to add, to soften, than to show in stronger
relief many of the incidents. Circumstances of suffering, which in many
similar narratives have been given in downright plainness of detail,
I have been impelled to leave to the reader's imagination, as too
revolting to be recorded.

The very texture of the narrative precludes ornament and amplification.
The simple record of events as they transpired, painted by the hungry,
toil-worn hunter, in the midst of the desert, surrounded by sterility,
espying the foot print of the savage, or discerning him couched behind
the tree or hillock, or hearing the distant howl of wild beasts, will
naturally bear characteristics of stern disregard of embellishment.
To alter it, to attempt to embellish it, to divest it of the peculiar
impress of the narrator and his circumstances, would be to take from
it its keeping, the charm of its simplicity, and its internal marks of
truth. In these respects I have been anxious to leave the narrative as
I found it.

The journalist seems in these pages a legitimate descendant of those
western pioneers, the hunters of Kentucky, a race passing unrecorded
from history. The pencil of biography could seize upon no subjects of
higher interest. With hearts keenly alive to the impulses of honor and
patriotism, and the charities of kindred and friends; they possessed
spirits impassible to fear, that no form of suffering or death could
daunt; and frames for strength and endurance, as if ribbed with brass
and sinewed with steel. For them to traverse wide deserts, climb
mountains, swim rivers, grapple with the grizzly bear, and encounter
the savage, in a sojourn in the wilderness of years, far from the
abodes of civilized men, was but a spirit-stirring and holiday mode of

{v} To me, there is a kind of moral sublimity in the contemplation of
the adventures and daring of such men. They read a lesson to shrinking
and effeminate spirits, the men of soft hands and fashionable life,
whose frames the winds of heaven are not allowed to visit too roughly.
They tend to re-inspire something of that simplicity of manners, manly
hardihood, and Spartan energy and force of character, which formed
so conspicuous a part of the nature of the settlers of the western

Every one knows with what intense interest the community perused
the adventures of Captain Riley,[3] and other intrepid mariners
shipwrecked and enslaved upon distant and barbarous shores. It is far
from my thoughts to detract from the intrepidity of American mariners,
which is known, wherever the winds blow, or the waves roll; or to
depreciate the interest of the recorded narratives of their sufferings.
A picture more calculated to arouse American sympathies cannot be
presented, than that of a ship's crew, driven by the fierce winds
and the mountain waves upon a rock bound shore, and escaping death
in the sea, only to encounter captivity from the barbarians on the
land. Yet much of the courage, required to encounter these emergencies
is passive, counselling only the necessity of submission to events,
from which there is no escape, and to which all resistance would be

The courage requisite to be put forth in an expedition such as that in
which Mr. Pattie and his associates were cast, must be both active and
passive, energetic and ever vigilant, and never permitted to shrink,
or intermit a moment for years. At one time it is assailed by hordes
of yelling savages, and at another, menaced with the horrible death
of hunger and thirst in interminable forests, or arid sands. Either
position offers perils and sufferings sufficiently appalling. But fewer
spirits, I apprehend, are formed to brave those of the field,

    'Where wilds immeasurably spread,
    Seem lengthening as they go.'

than of the ocean, where the mariner either soon finds rest beneath its
tumultuous bosom, or joyfully spreads his sails again to the breeze.


The grandfather of the author of this Journal, was born in Caroline
county, Virginia, in 1750. Soon after he was turned of twenty-one, he
moved to Kentucky, and became an associate with those fearless spirits
who first settled in the western forests. To qualify him to meet the
dangers and encounter the toils of his new position, he had served in
the revolutionary war, and had been brought in hostile contact with the
British in their attempt to ascend the river Potomac.

He arrived in Kentucky, in company with twenty emigrant families, in
1781, and settled on the south side of the Kentucky river. The new
settlers were beginning to build houses with internal finishing. His
pursuit, which was that of a house carpenter, procured him constant
employment, but he sometimes diversified it by teaching school. Soon
after his arrival, the commencing settlement experienced the severest
and most destructive assaults from the Indians. In August, 1782, he was
one of the party who marched to the assistance of Bryant's station,[4]
and shared in the glory of relieving that place by the memorable defeat
of the savages.

Not long afterwards he was called upon by Col. Logan[5] to join a party
led by him against the Indians, who had gained a bloody victory over
the Kentuckians at the Blue Licks.[6] He was present on the spot, where
the bodies of the slain lay unburied, and assisted in their interment.
During his absence on this expedition, Sylvester Pattie, father of the
author, was born, August 25, 1782.

In November of the same year, his grand-father was summoned to join a
party commanded by Col. Logan, in an expedition against the Indians at
the Shawnee towns, in the limits of the present state of Ohio.[7] They
crossed the Ohio just below {viii} the mouth of the Licking, opposite
the site of what is now Cincinnati, which was at that time an unbroken
forest, without the appearance of a human habitation. They were here
joined by Gen. Clark[8] with his troops from the falls of the Ohio, or
what is now Louisville. The united force marched to the Indian towns,
which they burnt and destroyed.

Returning from this expedition, he resumed his former occupations,
witnessing the rapid advance of the country from immigration. When the
district, in which he resided, was constituted Bracken county, he was
appointed one of the judges of the court of quarter sessions, which
office he filled sixteen years, until his place was vacated by an act
of the legislature reducing the court to a single judge.

Sylvester Pattie, the father of the author, as was common at that
period in Kentucky, married early, having only reached nineteen. He
settled near his father's house, and there remained until there began
to be a prevalent disposition among the people to move to Missouri.
March 14, 1812, he removed to that country, the author being then eight
years old. Born and reared amidst the horrors of Indian assaults and
incursions, and having lived to see Kentucky entirely free from these
dangers, it may seem strange, that he should have chosen to remove a
young family to that remote country, then enduring the same horrors of
Indian warfare, as Kentucky had experienced twenty-five years before.
It was in the midst of the late war with England, which, it is well
known, operated to bring the fiercest assaults of savage incursion upon
the remote frontiers of Illinois and Missouri.

To repel these incursions, these then territories, called out some
companies of rangers, who marched against the Sac and Fox Indians,
between the Mississippi and the lakes, who were at that time active
in murdering women and children, and burning their habitations
during the absence of the male heads of families.[9] When Pattie was
appointed lieutenant in one of these companies, he left his family at
St. Charles' where he was then residing.[10] It may be imagined, that
the condition of his wife was sufficiently lonely, as this village
contained but one American {ix} family besides her own, and she was
unable to converse with its French inhabitants. His company had several
skirmishes with the Indians, in each of which it came off successful.

The rangers left him in command of a detachment, in possession of
the fort at Cap au Gris.[11] Soon after the main body of the rangers
had marched away, the fort was besieged by a body of English and
Indians. The besiegers made several attempts to storm the fort, but
were repelled by the garrison.--The foe continued the siege for a
week, continually firing upon the garrison, who sometimes, though not
often, for want of ammunition, returned the fire. Lieutenant Pattie,
perceiving no disposition in the enemy to withdraw, and discovering
that his ammunition was almost entirely exhausted, deemed it necessary
to send a despatch to Bellefontaine,[12] near the point of the junction
of the Missouri and Mississippi, where was stationed a considerable
American force. He proposed to his command, that a couple of men should
make their way through the enemy, cross the Mississippi, and apprize
the commander of Bellefontaine of their condition. No one was found
willing to risk the attempt, as the besiegers were encamped entirely
around them. Leaving Thomas McNair[13] in command in his place, and
putting on the uniform of one of the English soldiers, whom they had
killed during one of the attempts to storm the fort, he passed by
night safely through the camp of the enemy, and arrived at the point
of his destination, a distance of over forty miles: 500 soldiers were
immediately dispatched from Bellefontaine to the relief of the besieged
at Cap au Gris. As soon as this force reached the fort, the British and
Indians decamped, not, however, without leaving many of their lifeless
companions behind them.

Lieutenant Pattie remained in command of Cap au Gris, being essentially
instrumental in repressing the incursions of the Sacs and Foxes, and
disposing them to a treaty of peace, until the close of the war.[14] In
1813 he received his discharge, and returned to his family, with whom
he enjoyed domestic happiness in privacy and repose for some years. St.
Louis and St. Charles {x} were beginning rapidly to improve; American
families were constantly immigrating to these towns. The timber in
their vicinity is not of the best kind for building. Pine could no
where be obtained in abundance, nearer than on the Gasconade, a stream
that enters on the south side of the Missouri, about one hundred and
fifty miles up that river. Mr. Pattie, possessing a wandering and
adventurous spirit, meditated the idea of removing to this frontier and
unpeopled river, to erect Mills upon it, and send down pine lumber in
rafts to St. Louis, and the adjoining country. He carried his plan into
operation, and erected a Saw and Grist Mill upon the Gasconade.[15] It
proved a very fortunate speculation, as there was an immediate demand
at St. Louis and St. Charles for all the plank the mill could supply.

In this remote wilderness, Mr. Pattie lived in happiness and
prosperity, until the mother of the author was attacked by consumption.
Although her husband was, as has been said, strongly endowed with the
wandering propensity, he was no less profoundly attached to his family;
and in this wild region, the loss of a beloved wife was irreparable.
She soon sunk under the disorder, leaving nine young children. Not long
after, the youngest died, and was deposited by her side in this far

The house, which had been the scene of domestic quiet, cheerfulness
and joy, and the hospitable home of the stranger, sojourning in these
forests, became dreary and desolate. Mr. Pattie, who had been noted
for the buoyancy of his gay spirit, was now silent, dejected, and
even inattentive to his business; which, requiring great activity and
constant attention, soon ran into disorder.

About this time, remote trapping and trading expeditions up the
Missouri, and in the interior of New Mexico began to be much talked
of. Mr. Pattie seemed to be interested in these expeditions, which
offered much to stir the spirit and excite enterprize. To arouse him
from his indolent melancholy, his friends advised him to sell his
property, convert it into merchandize and equipments for trapping and
hunting, and to join in such an undertaking. To a man born and reared
under the circumstances {xi} of his early life--one to whom forests,
and long rivers, adventures, and distant mountains, presented pictures
of familiar and birth day scenes--one, who confided in his rifle, as a
sure friend, and who withal, connected dejection and bereavement with
his present desolate residence; little was necessary to tempt him to
such an enterprise.

In a word, he adopted the project with that undoubting and unshrinking
purpose, with which to will is to accomplish. Arrangements were soon
made. The Children were provided for among his relations. The Author
was at school; but inheriting the love of a rifle through so many
generations, and nursed amid such scenes, he begged so earnestly of his
father that he might be allowed to accompany the expedition, that he
prevailed. The sad task remained for him to record the incidents of the
expedition, and the sufferings and death of his father.


I pass by, as unimportant in this Journal, all the circumstances of
our arrangements for setting out on our expedition; together with
my father's sorrow and mine, at leaving the spot where his wife and
my mother was buried, the place, which had once been so cheerful,
and was now so gloomy to us. We made our purchases at St. Louis. Our
company consisted of five persons. We had ten horses packed with traps,
trapping utensils, guns, ammunition, knives, tomahawks, provisions,
blankets, and some surplus arms, as we anticipated that we should be
able to gain some additions to our number by way of recruits, as we
proceeded onward. But when the trial came, so formidable seemed the
danger, fatigue, distance, and uncertainty of the expedition, that not
an individual could be persuaded to share our enterprize.

June 20, 1824, we crossed the Missouri at a small town called
Newport,[16] and meandered the river as far as Pilcher's fort,[17]
without any incident worthy of record, except that one of our
associates, who had become too unwell to travel, was left at Charaton,
the remotest village on this frontier of any size.[18] We arrived at
Pilcher's fort, on the 13th day of July. There we remained, until the
28th, waiting the arrival of a keel boat from below, that was partly
freighted with merchandize for us, with which we intended to trade with
the Indians.

On the 28th, our number diminished to four, we set off for a trading
establishment eight miles above us on the Missouri, belonging to
Pratte, Choteau and Company.[19] In this place centres most of the
trade with the Indians on the upper Missouri. Here we met with
Sylvester, son of Gen. Pratte,[20] who was on his way {14} to New
Mexico, with purposes similar to ours. His company had preceded him,
and was on the river Platte waiting for him.

We left this trading establishment for the Council Bluffs, six miles
above.[21] When we arrived there, the commanding officer demanded to
see our license for trading with the Indians. We informed him, that
we neither had any, nor were aware that any was necessary. We were
informed, that we could be allowed to ascend the river no higher
without one. This dilemma brought our onward progress to a dead stand.
We were prompt, however, in making new arrangements. We concluded to
sell our surplus arms in exchange for merchandize, and change our
direction from the upper Missouri, to New Mexico. One of our number
was so much discouraged with our apparent ill success, and so little
satisfied with this new project, that he came to the determination to
leave our ranks. The remainder, though dispirited by the reduction of
our number, determined not to abandon the undertaking. Our invalid
having rejoined us, we still numbered four. We remained some time at
this beautiful position, the Council Bluffs. I have seen much that is
beautiful, interesting and commanding in the wild scenery of nature,
but no prospect above, around, and below more so than from this spot.
Our object and destination being the same as Mr. Pratte's, we concluded
to join his company on the Platte.

We left the Bluffs, July 30th, and encamped the night after our
departure on a small stream, called the Elkhorn.[22] We reached it at a
point thirty miles S. W. from the Bluffs. The Pawnee Indians sometimes
resort upon the banks of this stream. The country is so open and bare
of timber, that it was with difficulty we could find sufficient wood to
cook with, even on the banks of the river, where wood is found, if at
all, in the prairie country.

Early the next morning we commenced our march up the bottoms of the
stream, which we continued to ascend, until almost night fall, when we
concluded to cross it to a small grove of timber that we descried on
the opposite shore, where we encamped {15} for the night, securing our
horses with great care, through fear that they would be stolen by the

In the morning, as we were making arrangements to commence our march,
we discovered a large body of Indians, running full speed towards us.
When they had arrived within a hundred yards of us, we made signs, that
they must halt, or that we should fire upon them. They halted, and
we inquired of them, as one of our number spoke their language, to
what nation they belonged? They answered the Pawnee.[23] Considering
them friendly, we permitted them to approach us. It was on our way, to
pass through their town, and we followed them thither. As soon as we
arrived at their town, they conducted us to the lodge of their chief,
who posted a number of his warriors at the door, and called the rest of
his chiefs, accompanied by an interpreter. They formed a circle in the
centre of the lodge. The elder chief then lighting a pipe, commenced
smoking; the next chief holding the bowl of his pipe. This mode of
smoking differed from that of any Indians we had yet seen. He filled
his mouth with the smoke, then puffed it in our bosoms, then on his
own, and then upward, as he said, toward the Great Spirit, that he
would bestow upon us plenty of fat buffaloes, and all necessary aid on
our way. He informed us, that he had two war parties abroad. He gave
us a stick curiously painted with characters, I suppose something like
hieroglyphics, bidding us, should we see any of his warriors, to give
them that stick; in which case they would treat us kindly. The pipe was
then passed round, and we each of us gave it two or three light whiffs.
We were then treated with fat buffaloe meat, and after we had eaten, he
gave us counsel in regard to our future course, particularly not to let
our horses loose at night. His treatment was altogether paternal.

Next morning we left the village of this hospitable old chief,
accompanied by a pilot, dispatched to conduct us to Mr. Pratte's
company on the Platte. This is one of the three villages of the
Republican Pawnees. It is situated on the little Platte River,[24] in
the centre of an extensive prairie plain; having near{16} it a small
strip of wood extending from the village to the river. The houses are
cone-shaped, like a sugar loaf. The number of lodges may amount to six

The night after we left this village, we encamped on the banks of a
small creek called the Mad Buffaloe. Here we could find no wood for
cooking, and made our first experiment of the common resort in these
wide prairies; that is, we were obliged to collect the dung of the
buffaloe for that purpose. Having taken our supper, some of us stood
guard through the night, while the others slept, according to the
advice of the friendly chief. Next morning we commenced our march at
early dawn, and by dint of hard travelling through the prairies, we
arrived about sunset, on the main Platte, where we joined Mr. Pratte
and his company. We felt, and expressed gratitude to the pilot, who,
by his knowledge of the country, had conducted us by the shortest and
easiest route. We did not forget the substantial expression of our good
will, in paying him. He started for his own village the same evening,
accompanying us here, and returning, on foot, although he could have
had a horse for the journey.

At this encampment, on the banks of the Platte, we remained four days,
during which time we killed some antelopes and deer, and dressed their
skins to make us moccasins. Among our arrangements with Mr. Pratte, one
was, that my father should take the command of this company, to which
proposition my father and our associates consented. The honor of this
confidence was probably bestowed upon him, in consequence of most of
the company having served under him, as rangers, during the late war.
Those who had not, had been acquainted with his services by general

In conformity with the general wish, my father immediately entered upon
his command, by making out a list of the names of the whole company,
and dividing it into four messes; each mess having to furnish two men,
to stand guard by reliefs, during the night. The roll was called,
and the company was found to be a hundred and sixteen. We had three
hundred mules, and some {17} horses. A hundred of them were packed with
goods and baggage. The guard was posted as spies, and all the rest
were ordered to commence the arrangements of packing for departure.
The guard was detached, to keep at some distance from the camp,
reconnoitre, and discover if any Indians were lurking in the vicinity.
When on the march, the guards were ordered to move on within sight
of our flank, and parallel to our line of march. If any Indians were
descried, they were to make a signal by raising their hats; or if not
in sight of us, to alarm us by a pistol shot. These arrangements gave
us a chance always to have some little time to make ready for action.

It may be imagined, that such a caravan made no mean figure, or
inconsiderable dust, in moving along the prairies. We started on the
morning of the 6th of August,[25] travelling up the main Platte, which
at this point is more than a hundred yards wide, very shallow, with a
clean sand bottom, and very high banks. It is skirted with a thin belt
of cotton-wood and willow trees, from which beautiful prairie plains
stretch out indefinitely on either side. We arrived in the evening at a
village of the Pawnee Loups.[26] It is larger than the village of the
Republican Pawnees, which we had left behind us. The head chief of this
village received us in the most affectionate and hospitable manner,
supplying us with such provisions as we wanted. He had been all the
way from these remote prairies, on a visit to the city of Washington.
He informed us, that before he had taken the journey, he had supposed
that the white people were a small tribe, like his own, and that he had
found them as numberless as the spires of grass on his prairies. The
spectacle, however, that had struck him with most astonishment, was
bullets as large as his head, and guns of the size of a log of wood.
His people cultivate corn, beans, pumpkins and watermelons.

Here we remained five days, during which time Mr. Pratte purchased six
hundred Buffalo skins, and some horses. A Pawnee war party came in
from an expedition against a hostile tribe of whom they had killed and
scalped four, and taken twenty horses. We were affected at the sight of
a little child, taken {18} captive, whose mother they had killed and
scalped. They could not account for bringing in this child, as their
warfare is an indiscriminate slaughter, of men, women and children.

A day or two after their arrival, they painted themselves for a
celebration of their victory, with great labor and care. The chiefs
were dressed in skins of wild animals, with the hair on.--These skins
were principally those of the bear, wolf, panther and spotted or ring
tailed panther. They wore necklaces of bear's and panther's claws. The
braves, as a certain class of the warriors are called, in addition
to the dress of the other chiefs, surmounted their heads with a
particular feather from a species of eagle, that they call the war
eagle.[27] This feather is considered worth the price of ten ordinary
horses. None but a brave is permitted to wear it as a badge. A brave,
gains his name and reputation as much by cunning and dexterity in
stealing and robbing, as by courage and success in murdering. When by
long labor of the toilette, they had painted and dressed themselves
to their liking, they marched forth in the array of their guns, bows,
arrows and war clubs, with all the other appendages of their warfare.
They then raised a tall pole, on the top of which were attached the
scalps of the foes they had killed. It must be admitted, that they
manifested no small degree of genius and inventiveness, in making
themselves frightful and horrible. When they began their triumphal
yelling, shouting, singing and cutting antic capers, it seemed to us,
that a recruit of fiends from the infernal regions could hardly have
transcended them in genuine diabolical display. They kept up this
infernal din three days. During all this time, the poor little captive
child, barely fed to sustain life, lay in sight, bound hand and foot.
When their rage at length seemed sated, and exhausted, they took down
the pole, and gave the scalps to the women.

We now witnessed a new scene of yells and screams, and infuriated
gestures; the actors kicking the scalps about, and throwing them
from one to the other with strong expressions of rage and contempt.
When they also ceased, in the apparent satisfaction of gratified
revenge, the men directed their attention {19} to the little captive.
It was removed to the medicine lodge, where the medicine men perform
their incantations, and make their offerings to the Great Spirit. We
perceived that they were making preparations to burn the child. Alike
affected with pity and horror, our party appealed, as one man, to
the presiding chief, to spare the child. Our first proposition was to
purchase it. It was received by the chief with manifest displeasure.
In reply to our strong remonstrances, he gravely asked us, if we,
seeing a young rattlesnake in our path, would allow it to move off
uninjured, merely because it was too small and feeble to bite? We
undertook to point out the want of resemblance in the circumstances
of the comparison, observing that the child, reared among them, would
know no other people, and would imbibe their habits and enmities,
and become as one of them. The chief replied, that he had made the
experiment, and that the captive children, thus spared and raised, had
only been instrumental, as soon as they were grown, of bringing them
into difficulties. 'It is' said he, 'like taking the eggs of partridges
and hatching them; you may raise them ever so carefully in a cage; but
once turn them loose, and they show their nature, not only by flying
away, but by bringing the wild partridges into your corn fields: eat
the eggs, and you have not only the food, but save yourself future
trouble.' We again urged that the child was too small to injure them,
and of too little consequence to give them the pleasure of revenge in
its destruction. To enforce our arguments, we showed him a roll of red
broad cloth, the favorite color with the Indians. This dazzled and
delighted him, and he eagerly asked us, how much we would give him. We
insisted upon seeing the child, before we made him an offer. He led us
to the lodge, where lay the poor little captive, bound so tight with
thongs of raw hide, that the flesh had so swelled over the hard and
dried leather, that the strings could no longer be perceived. It was
almost famished, having scarcely tasted food for four days, and seemed
rather dead than alive. With much difficulty we disengaged its limbs
from the thongs, and perceiving that it seemed to revive, we offered
him {20} ten yards, of the red cloth. Expatiating upon the trouble
and danger of his warriors in the late expedition, he insisted, that
the price was too little. Having the child in our possession, and
beginning to be indignant at this union of avarice and cruelty, our
company exchanged glances of intelligence. A deep flush suffused the
countenance of my father. 'My boys,' said he, 'will you allow these
unnatural devils to burn this poor child, or practice extortion upon
us, as the price of its ransom?' The vehemence and energy, with which
these questions were proposed, had an effect, that may be easily
imagined, in kindling the spirits of the rest of us. We carried it by
acclamation, to take the child, and let them seek their own redress.

My father again offered the chief ten yards of cloth, which was refused
as before. Our remark then was, that we would carry off the child,
with, or without ransom, at his choice.--Meanwhile the child was sent
to our encampment, and our men ordered to have their arms in readiness,
as we had reason to fear that the chief would let loose his warriors
upon us, and take the child by force. The old chief looked my father
full in the face, with an expression of apparent astonishment. 'Do you
think' said he, 'you are strong enough to keep the child by force?'
'We will do it,' answered my father, 'or every man of us die in the
attempt, in which case our countrymen will come, and gather up our
bones, and avenge our death, by destroying your nation.' The chief
replied with well dissembled calmness, that he did not wish to incur
the enmity of our people, as he well knew that we were more powerful
than they; alledging, beside, that he had made a vow never to kill any
more white men; and he added, that if we would give the cloth, and
add to it a paper of vermillion, the child should be ours. To this we
consented, and the contract was settled.

We immediately started for our encampment, where we were aware our men
had been making arrangements for a battle. We had hardly expected,
under these circumstances, that the chief would have followed us alone
into a camp, where every thing appeared hostile. But he went on with us
unhesitatingly, {21} until he came to the very edge of it. Observing
that our men had made a breast work of the baggage, and stood with
their arms leaning against it ready for action, he paused a moment,
as if faltering in his purpose to advance. With the peculiar Indian
exclamation, he eagerly asked my father, if he had thought that he
would fight his friends, the white people, for that little child? The
reply was, that we only meant to be ready for them, if they had thought
to do so. With a smiling countenance the chief advanced, and took my
father's hand exclaiming, that they were good friends. 'Save your
powder and lead,' he added, 'to kill buffaloes and your enemies.' So
saying he left us for his own lodge.

This tribe is on terms of hostility with two or three of the tribes
nearest their hunting grounds. They make their incursions on horseback,
and often extend them to the distance of six or seven hundred miles.
They chiefly engage on horseback, and their weapons, for the most
part, consist of a bow and arrows, a lance and shield, though many of
them at present have fire arms. Their commander stations himself in
the rear of his warriors, seldom taking a part in the battle, unless
he should be himself attacked, which is not often the case. They show
no inconsiderable military stratagem in their marches, keeping spies
before and behind, and on each flank, at the distance of a few days
travel; so that in their open country, it is almost impossible to come
upon them by surprise. The object of their expeditions is quite as
often to plunder and steal horses, as to destroy their enemies. Each
one is provided with the Spanish noose, to catch horses. They often
extend these plundering expeditions as far as the interior of New
Mexico. When they have reached the settled country, they lurk about
in covert places, until an opportunity presents to seize on their
prey. They fall upon the owner of a large establishment of cattle
and horses, kill him during the night, or so alarm him as to cause
him to fly, and leave his herds and family unprotected; in which case
they drive off his horses, and secrete them in the mountains. In these
fastnesses of nature they consider them safe; {22} aware that the
Mexicans, partly through timidity, and partly through indolence, will
not pursue them to any great distance.

We left this village on the 11th of August, taking with us two of its
inhabitants, each having a trap to catch, and a hoe to dig the beavers
from their burrows. During this day's march we traversed a wide plain,
on which we saw no game but antelopes[28] and white wolves. At five
in the evening, our front guard gave the preconcerted alarm by firing
their pistols, and falling back a few moments afterwards, upon the
main body.--We shortly afterwards discovered a large body of Indians
on horseback, approaching us at full speed. When they were within
hailing distance, we made them a signal to halt: they immediately
halted. Surveying us a moment, and discovering us to be whites, one of
them came towards us. We showed him the painted stick given us by the
Pawnee Republican chief. He seemed at once to comprehend all that it
conveyed, and we were informed, that this was a band of the Republican
Pawnee warriors. He carried the stick among them. It passed from
hand to hand, and appeared at once to satisfy them in regard to our
peaceable intentions, for they continued their march without disturbing
us. But our two associate Indians, hearing their yells, as they rode
off, took them to be their enemies, from whom they had taken the child.
They immediately disappeared, and rejoined us no more. We travelled
a few miles further, and encamped for the night on a small stream,
called Smoking river. It is a tributary stream of the main Platte.
On this stream a famous treaty had been made between the Pawnees and
Shienne;[29] and from the friendly smoking of the calumet on this
occasion it received its name.

Next morning we made an early start, and marched rapidly all day, in
order to reach water at night. We halted at sunset to repose ourselves,
and found water for our own drinking, but none for our mules and
horses. As soon as the moon arose, we started again, travelling hard
all night, and until ten the next morning. At this time we reached a
most singular spring fountain, forming a basin four hundred yards in
diameter, in the centre {23} of which the water boiled up five or six
feet higher, than it was near the circumference. We encamped here, to
rest, and feed our mules and horses, the remainder of the day, during
which we killed some antelopes, that came here to drink.

Near this place was a high mound, from which the eye swept the whole
horizon, as far as it could reach, and on this mound we stationed our

Next morning we commenced the toil of our daily march, pursuing a S. W.
course, over the naked plains, reaching a small and, as far as I know,
a nameless stream at night, on the borders of which were a few sparse
trees, and high grass. Here we encamped for the night. At twelve next
day we halted in consequence of a pouring rain, and encamped for the
remainder of the day. This was the first point, where we had the long
and anxiously expected pleasure of seeing buffaloes. We killed one,
after a most animating sport in shooting at it.

Next day we made an early start, as usual, and travelled hard all day
over a wide plain, meeting with no other incidents, than the sight
of buffaloes, which we did not molest. We saw, in this day's march,
neither tree nor rising ground. The plains are covered with a short,
fine grass, about four inches high, of such a kind, as to be very
injurious to the hoofs of animals, that travel over it. It seems to
me, that ours would not have received more injury from travelling over
a naked surface of rock. In the evening we reached a small collection
of water, beside which we encamped. We had to collect our customary
inconvenient substitute for fuel, not only this evening, but the whole
distance hence to the mountains.

On the morning of the 17th, we commenced, as usual, our early march,
giving orders to our advance guard to kill a buffaloe bull, and make
moccasins for some of our horses, from the skin, their feet having
become so tender from the irritation of the sharp grass, as to make
them travel with difficulty. This was soon accomplished, furnishing
the only incident of this day's travel. We continued the next day to
make our way over the same wearying plain, without water or timber,
having been obliged {24} to provide more of our horses with buffaloe
skin moccasins. This day we saw numerous herds of buffaloe bulls. It is
a singular fact, in the habits of these animals, that during one part
of the year, the bulls all range in immense flocks without a cow among
them, and all the cows equally without the bulls. The herd, which we
now saw, showed an evident disposition to break into our caravan. They
seemed to consider our horses and mules, as a herd of their cows. We
prevented their doing it, by firing on them, and killing several.

This evening we arrived on one of the forks of the Osage,[30] and
encamped. Here we caught a beaver, the first I had ever seen. On
the 20th, we started late, and made a short day's travel, encamping
by water. Next morning we discovered vast numbers of buffaloes, all
running in one direction, as though they were flying from some sort
of pursuit. We immediately detached men to reconnoitre and ascertain,
whether they were not flying from the Indians. They soon discovered a
large body of them in full chase of these animals, and shooting at them
with arrows. As their course was directly towards our camp, they were
soon distinctly in sight. At this moment one of our men rode towards
them, and discharged his gun. This immediately turned their attention
from the pursuit of the game, to us. The Indians halted a moment, as if
in deliberation, and rode off in another direction with great speed.
We regretted that we had taken no measures to ascertain, whether they
were friendly or not. In the latter case we had sufficient ground to
apprehend, that they would pursue us at a distance, and attack us in
the night. We made our arrangements, and resumed our march in haste,
travelling with great caution, and posting a strong guard at night.

The next day, in company with another, I kept guard on the right flank.
We were both strictly enjoined not to fire on the buffaloes, while
discharging this duty. Just before we encamped, which was at four in
the afternoon, we discovered a herd of buffaloe cows, the first we had
seen, and gave notice on our arrival at the camp. Mr. Pratte insisted,
that we had mistaken, and said, that we were not yet far enough
advanced into the country, {25} to see cows, they generally herding
in the most retired depths of the prairies. We were not disposed to
contest the point with him, but proposed a bet of a suit of the finest
cloth, and to settle the point by killing one of the herd, if the
commander would permit us to fire upon it. The bet was accepted, and
the permission given. My companion was armed with a musket, and I with
a rifle. When we came in sight of the herd, it was approaching a little
pond to drink. We concealed ourselves, as they approached, and my
companion requested me to take the first fire, as the rifle was surer
and closer than the musket. When they were within shooting distance,
I levelled one; as soon as it fell, the herd, which consisted of a
thousand or more, gathered in crowds around the fallen one. Between us
we killed eleven, all proving, according to our word, to be cows. We
put our mules in requisition to bring in our ample supply of meat. Mr.
Pratte admitted, that the bet was lost, though we declined accepting it.

About ten at night it commenced raining; the rain probably caused us to
intermit our caution; for shortly after it began, the Indians attacked
our encampment, firing a shower of arrows upon us. We returned their
fire at random, as they retreated: they killed two of our horses, and
slightly wounded one of our men; we found four Indians killed by our
fire, and one wounded. The wounded Indian informed our interpreter,
that the Indians, who attacked us, were Arrickarees.[31] We remained
encamped here four days, attending our wounded man, and the wounded
Indian, who died, however, the second day, and here we buried him.

We left this encampment on the 26th, and through the day met with
continued herds of buffaloes and wild horses, which, however, we did
not disturb. In the evening we reached a fork of the Platte, called
Hyde Park.[32] This stream, formerly noted for beavers, still sustains
a few. Here we encamped, set our traps, and caught four beavers. In
the morning we began to ascend this stream, and during our progress,
we were obliged to keep men in advance, to affrighten the buffaloes
and wild horses {26} from our path. They are here in such prodigious
numbers, as literally to have eaten down the grass of the prairies.

Here we saw multitudes of prairie dogs.[33] They have large village
establishments of burrows, where they live in society. They are
sprightly, bold and self important animals, of the size of a Norwegian
rat. On the morning of the 28th, our wounded companion was again unable
to travel, in consequence of which we were detained at our encampment
three days. Not wholly to lose the time, we killed during these three
days no buffaloes, of which we saved only the tongues and hump ribs.

On the morning of the 31st, our wounded associate being somewhat
recovered, we resumed our march. Ascending the stream, in the course
of the day we came upon the dead bodies of two men, so much mangled,
and disfigured by the wild beasts, that we could only discover that
they were white men. They had been shot by the Indians with arrows, the
ground near them being stuck full of arrows. They had been scalped.
Our feelings may be imagined, at seeing the mangled bodies of people
of our own race in these remote and unpeopled prairies. We consoled
ourselves with believing that they died like brave men. We had soon
afterwards clear evidence of this fact, for, on surveying the vicinity
at the distance of a few hundred yards, we found the bodies of five
dead Indians. The ground all around was torn and trampled by horse and
footmen. We collected the remains of the two white men, and buried
them. We then ascended the stream a few miles, and encamped. Finding
signs of Indians, who could have left the spot but a few hours before,
we made no fire for fear of being discovered, and attacked in the
night. Sometime after dark, ten of us started up the creek in search
of their fires. About four miles from our encampment, we saw them a
few hundred yards in advance. Twenty fires were distinctly visible.
We counselled with each other, whether to fire on them or not. Our
conclusion was, that the most prudent plan was to return, and apprize
our companions of what we had seen. In consequence of our information,
on our return, sixty men were chosen, headed by my father, who set off
in order {27} to surround their camp before daylight. I was one of the
number, as I should have little liked to have my father go into battle
without me, when it was in my power to accompany him. The remainder
were left in charge of our camp, horses, and mules. We had examined
our arms and found them in good order. About midnight we came in sight
of their fires, and before three o'clock were posted all around them,
without having betrayed ourselves. We were commanded not to fire a gun,
until the word was given. As it was still sometime before daylight,
we became almost impatient for the command. As an Indian occasionally
arose and stood for a moment before the fire, I involuntarily took
aim at him with the thought, how easily I could destroy him, but my
orders withheld me. Twilight at length came, and the Indians began
to arise. They soon discovered two of our men, and instantly raising
the war shout, came upon us with great fury. Our men stood firm,
until they received the order which was soon given. A well directed
and destructive fire now opened on them, which they received, and
returned with some firmness. But when we closed in upon them they fled
in confusion and dismay. The action lasted fifteen minutes. Thirty of
their dead were left on the field, and we took ten prisoners, whom we
compelled to bury the dead. One of our men was wounded, and died the
next day. We took our prisoners to our encampment, where we questioned
them with regard to the two white men, we had found, and buried the
preceding day. They acknowledged, that their party killed them, and
assigned as a reason for so doing, that when the white men were asked
by the chief to divide their powder and balls with him, they refused.
It was then determined by the chief, that they should be killed, and
the whole taken. In carrying this purpose into effect, the Indians lost
four of their best young men, and obtained but little powder and lead,
as a compensation.

We then asked them to what nation they belonged? They answered the
Crow.[34] This nation is distinguished for bravery and skill in war.
Their bows and arrows were then given them, and they were told, that we
never killed defenceless prisoners, but {28} that they must tell their
brothers of us, and that we should not have killed any of their nation,
had not they killed our white brothers; and if they did so in future,
we should kill all we found of them, as we did not fear any number,
they could bring against us. They were then allowed to go free, which
delighted them, as they probably expected that we should kill them,
it being their custom to put all their prisoners to death by the most
shocking and cruel tortures. That they may not lose this diabolical
pleasure by the escape of their prisoners, they guard them closely day
and night. One of them, upon being released, gave my father an eagle's
feather, saying, you are a good and brave man, I will never kill
another white man.

We pursued our journey on the 1st of September. Our advance was made
with great caution, as buffaloes were now seen in immense herds, and
the danger from Indians was constant. Wandering tribes of these people
subsist on the buffaloes, which traverse the interior of these plains,
keeping them constantly in sight.

On the morning of the 2d, we started early. About ten o'clock we saw a
large herd of buffaloes approaching us with great speed. We endeavored
to prevent their running among our pack mules, but it was in vain. They
scattered them in every direction over the plain; and although we rode
in among the herd, firing on them, we were obliged to follow them an
hour, before we could separate them sufficiently to regain our mules.
After much labor we collected all, with the exception of one packed
with dry goods, which the crowd drove before them. The remainder of the
day, half our company were employed as a guard, to prevent a similar
occurrence. When we encamped for the night, some time was spent in
driving the buffaloes a considerable distance from our camp. But for
this precaution, we should have been in danger of losing our horses and
mules entirely.

The following morning, we took a S. S. W. course, which led us from the
stream, during this day's journey. Nothing occurred worthy of mention,
except that we saw a great number of {29} wolves, which had surrounded
a small herd of buffaloe cows and calves, and killed and eaten several.
We dispersed them by firing on them. We judged, that there were at
least a thousand. They were large and as white as sheep. Near this
point we found water, and encamped for the night.

On the morning of the 4th, a party was sent out to kill some buffaloe
bulls, and get their skins to make moccasins for our horses, which
detained us until ten o'clock. We then packed up and travelled six
miles. Finding a lake, we encamped for the night. From this spot, we
saw one of the most beautiful landscapes, that ever spread out to the
eye. As far as the plain was visible in all directions, innumerable
herds of wild horses, buffaloes, antelopes, deer, elk, and wolves,
fed in their wild and fierce freedom. Here the sun rose, and set, as
unobscured from the sight, as on the wastes of ocean. Here we used the
last of our salt, and as for bread, we had seen none, since we had left
the Pawnee village. I hardly need observe, that these are no small

[Illustration: Rescue of an Indian Child]

The next day we travelled until evening, nothing occurring, that
deserves record. Our encampment was near a beautiful spring, called
Bellefontaine, which is visited by the Indians, at some seasons of the
year. Near it were some pumpkins, planted by the Indians. I cooked one,
but did not find it very palateable: The next day we encamped without
water. Late in the evening of the following day we reached a stream,
and encamped. As we made our arrangements for the night, we came upon
a small party of Indians. They ran off immediately, but we pursued
them, caught four, and took them to the camp they had left, a little
distant from ours. It contained between twenty and thirty women and
children, beside three men. The women were frightened at our approach,
and attempted to run. The Indians in our possession said something to
them in their own language, that induced them to stop; but it was some
time, before they were satisfied, that we intended them no harm. We
returned to our camp, and were attending to our mules and horses. Our
little Indian boy was playing about the camp, as usual. {30} Suddenly
our attention was arrested by loud screams or cries; and looking up,
we saw our little boy in the arms of an Indian, whose neck he was
closely clasping, as the Indian pressed him to his bosom, kissing him,
and crying at the same time. As we moved towards the spot, the Indian
approached us, still holding the child in his arms; and falling on his
knees, made us a long speech, which we understood only through his
signs. During his speech, he would push the child from him, and then
draw it back to him, and point to us. He was the father of this boy,
whom we saved from being burnt by the Pawnees. He gave us to understand
by his signs, that his child was carried off by his enemies. When the
paroxysm of his joy was past, we explained, as well as we could, how
we obtained the child. Upon hearing the name Pawnee, he sprang upon
his feet, and rushed into his tent. He soon came out, bringing with
him two Indian scalps, and his bow and arrows, and insisted, that we
should look at the scalps, making signs to tell us, that they were
Pawnee scalps, which he took at the time he lost his child. After he
finished this explanation, he would lay the scalps a short distance
from him, and shoot his arrows through them, to prove his great enmity
to this nation. He then presented my father a pair of leggins and a
pipe, both neatly decorated with porcupine quills; and accompanied by
his child, withdrew to his tent, for the night. Just as the morning
star became visible, we were aroused from our slumbers, by the crying
and shouting of the Indians in their tent. We arose, and approached it,
to ascertain the cause of the noise. Looking in, we saw the Indians all
laying prostrate with their faces to the ground. We remained observing
them, until the full light of day came upon them.--They then arose, and
placed themselves around the fire. The next movement was to light a
pipe, and begin to smoke. Seeing them blow the smoke first towards the
point where the sun arose, and then towards heaven, our curiosity was
aroused, to know the meaning of what we had seen. The old chief told
us by signs, that they had been thanking the Great Spirit for allowing
them to see another day. We then purchased a few beaver {31} skins of
them, and left them. Our encampment for the evening of this day, was
near a small spring, at the head of which we found a great natural
curiosity. A rock sixteen yards in circumference, rises from eighty to
ninety feet in height, according to our best judgment, from a surface
upon which, in all directions, not the smallest particle of rock, not
even a pebble can be found. We were unable to reach the top of it,
although it was full of holes, in which the hawks and ravens built
their nests. We gave the spring the name of Rock Castle spring. On the
morning of the 9th, we left this spot, and at night reached the foot
of a large dividing ridge, which separates the waters of the Platte
from those of the Arkansas.[35] After completing our arrangements for
the night, some of us ascended to the top of the ridge, to look out for
Indians; but we saw none.

The succeeding morning we crossed the ridge, and came to water in the
evening, where we encamped. Here we killed a white bear,[36] which
occupied several of us at least an hour. It was constantly in chase of
one or another of us, thus withholding us from shooting at it, through
fear of wounding each other. This was the first, I had ever seen. His
claws were four inches long, and very sharp. He had killed a buffaloe
bull, eaten a part of it, and buried the remainder. When we came upon
him, he was watching the spot, where he had buried it, to keep off the
wolves, which literally surrounded him.

On the 11th, we travelled over some hilly ground. In the course of the
day, we killed three white bears, the claws of which I saved, they
being of considerable value among the Indians, who wear them around
the neck, as the distinguishing mark of a brave. Those Indians, who
wear this ornament, view those, who do not, as their inferiors. We came
to water, and encamped early. I was one of the guard for the night,
which was rather cloudy. About the middle of my guard, our horses
became uneasy, and in a few moments more, a bear had gotten in among
them, and sprung upon one of them. The others were so much alarmed,
that they burst their fastenings, and darted off at full speed. Our
camp was soon aroused, and {32} in arms, for defence, although much
confused, from not knowing what the enemy was, nor from what direction
to expect the attack. Some, however, immediately set off in pursuit of
our horses. I still stood at my post, in no little alarm, as I did not
know with the rest, if the Indians were around us or not. All around
was again stillness, the noise of those in pursuit of the horses being
lost in the distance. Suddenly my attention was arrested, as I gazed
in the direction, from which the alarm came, by a noise like that of
a struggle at no great distance from me. I espied a hulk, at which I
immediately fired. It was the bear devouring a horse, still alive. My
shot wounded him. The report of my gun, together with the noise made by
the enraged bear, brought our men from the camp, where they awaited a
second attack from the unknown enemy in perfect stillness.--Determined
to avenge themselves, they now sallied forth, although it was so dark,
that an object ten steps in advance could not be seen. The growls of
the bear, as he tore up the ground around him with his claws, attracted
all in his direction. Some of the men came so near, that the animal
saw them, and made towards them. They all fired at him, but did not
touch him. All now fled from the furious animal, as he seemed intent
on destroying them. In this general flight one of the men was caught.
As he screamed out in his agony, I, happening to have reloaded my gun,
ran up to relieve him. Reaching the spot in an instant, I placed the
muzzle of my gun against the bear, and discharging it, killed him. Our
companion was literally torn in pieces. The flesh on his hip was torn
off, leaving the sinews bare, by the teeth of the bear. His side was
so wounded in three places, that his breath came through the openings;
his head was dreadfully bruised, and his jaw broken. His breath came
out from both sides of his windpipe, the animal in his fury having
placed his teeth and claws in every part of his body. No one could have
supposed, that there was the slightest possibility of his recovery,
through any human means. We remained in our encampment three days,
attending upon him, without seeing any change for the worse or better
in his situation. {33} He had desired us from the first to leave
him, as he considered his case as hopeless as ourselves did. We then
concluded to move from our encampment, leaving two men with him, to
each of whom we gave one dollar a day, for remaining to take care of
him, until he should die, and to bury him decently.

On the 14th we set off, taking, as we believed, a final leave of our
poor companion. Our feelings may be imagined, as we left this suffering
man to die in this savage region, unfriended and unpitied. We travelled
but a few miles before we came to a fine stream and some timber.
Concluding that this would be a better place for our unfortunate
companion, than the one where he was, we encamped with the intention of
sending back for him. We despatched men for him, and began to prepare a
shelter for him, should he arrive. This is a fork of Smoke Hill river,
which empties into the Platte.[37] We set traps, and caught eight
beavers, during the night. Our companions with the wounded man on a
litter, reached us about eight o'clock at night.

In the morning we had our painful task of leave taking to go through
again. We promised to wait for the two we left behind at the Arkansas
river. We travelled all day up this stream.--I counted, in the course
of the day, two hundred and twenty white bears. We killed eight, that
made an attack upon us; the claws of which I saved. Leaving the stream
in the evening we encamped on the plain. A guard of twenty was relieved
through the night, to prevent the bears from coming in upon us. Two
tried to do it and were killed.

In the morning we began our march as usual: returning to the stream,
we travelled until we came to its head.[38] The fountain, which is its
source, boils up from the plain, forming a basin two hundred yards in
circumference, as clear as crystal, about five feet in depth. Here we
killed some wild geese and ducks. After advancing some distance farther
we encamped for the night. Buffaloes were not so numerous, during this
day's journey, as they had been some time previous, owing, we judged,
to the great numbers of white bears.

{34} On the 17th we travelled until sunset, and encamped near water. On
the 18th we found no water, but saw great numbers of wild horses and
elk. The succeeding morning we set off before light, and encamped at 4
o'clock in the afternoon by a pond, the water of which was too brackish
to drink. On the 20th we found water to encamp by. In the course of
the day I killed two fat buffaloe cows. One of them had a calf, which
I thought I would try to catch alive. In order to do so, I concluded
it would be well to be free from any unnecessary incumbrances, and
accordingly laid aside my shot-pouch, gun and pistols. I expected it
would run, but instead of that, when I came within six or eight feet
of it, it turned around, and ran upon me, butting me like a ram, until
I was knocked flat upon my back. Every time I attempted to rise, it
laid me down again. At last I caught by one of its legs, and stabbed
it with my butcher knife, or I believe it would have butted me to
death. I made up my mind, that I would never attempt to catch another
buffaloe calf alive, and also, that I would not tell my companions what
a capsizing I had had, although my side did not feel any better for
the butting it had received. I packed on my horse as much meat as he
could carry, and set out for the camp, which I reached a little after
dark. My father was going in search of me, believing me either lost, or
killed. He had fired several guns, to let me know the direction of the
camp. We travelled steadily on the 21st, and encamped at night on a
small branch of the Arkansas. During the day, we had seen large droves
of buffaloes running in the same direction, in which we travelled, as
though they were pursued. We could, however, see nothing in pursuit.
They appeared in the same confusion all night. On the 22d, we marched
fast all day, the buffaloes still running before us. In the evening we
reached the main Arkansas, and encamped. The sky indicating rain, we
exerted ourselves, and succeeded in pitching our tents and kindling
fires, before the rain began to fall. Our meat was beginning to roast,
when we saw some Indians about half a mile distant, looking at us from
a hill. We immediately tied our {35} mules and horses. A few minutes
after, ten Indians approached us with their guns on their shoulders.
This open, undisguised approach made us less suspicious of them, than
we should otherwise have been. When they were within a proper distance,
they stopped, and called out _Amigo_, _Amigo_. One of our number
understood them, and answered _Amigo_, which is friend, when they came
up to us. They were Commanches,[39] and one of them was a chief. Our
interpreter understood and spoke their language quite well. The chief
seemed bold, and asked who was our captain? My father was pointed out
to him. He then asked us to go and encamp with him, saying that his
people and the whites were good friends. My father answered, that we
had encamped before we knew where they were, and that if we moved now,
we feared that the goods would be wet. The chief said, this was very
good; but that, as we now knew where his camp was, we must move to
it. To this my father returned, that if it did not rain next morning,
we would; but as before, that we did not wish to get the goods wet to
night. The chief then said, in a surly manner, 'you don't intend then
to move to my camp to night?' My father answered, 'No!' The chief said
he should, or he would come upon us with his men, kill us, and take
every thing we had. Upon this my father pushed the chief out of the
tent, telling him to send his men as soon as he pleased; that we would
kill them, as fast as they came. In reply the chief pointed his finger
to the spot, where the sun would be at eight o'clock the next morning,
and said, 'If you do not come to my camp, when the sun is there, I
will set all my warriors upon you.' He then ran off through the rain
to his own camp. We began, immediately, a kind of breastwork, made by
chopping off logs, and putting them together. Confidently expecting
an attack in the night, we tied our horses and mules in a sink hole
between us and the river. It was now dark. I do not think an eye was
closed in our camp that night; but the morning found us unmolested;
nor did we see any Indians, before the sun was at the point spoken
of. When it had reached it, an army of between six and eight hundred
mounted {36} Indians, with their faces painted as black as though they
had come from the infernal regions, armed with fuzees and spears and
shields appeared before us. Every thing had been done by the Indians to
render this show as intimidating as possible. We discharged a couple
of guns at them to show that we were not afraid, and were ready to
receive them. A part advanced towards us; but one alone, approaching
at full speed, threw down his bow and arrows, and sprang in among us,
saying in broken English 'Commanches no good, me Iotan, good man.'
He gave us to understand, that the Iotan nation was close at hand,
and would not let the Commanches hurt us, and then started back. The
Commanches fired some shots at us, but from such a distance, that we
did not return them. In less than half an hour, we heard a noise like
distant thunder. It became more and more distinct, until a band of
armed Indians, whom we conjectured to be Iotans,[40] became visible
in the distance. When they had drawn near, they reined up their horses
for a moment, and then rushed in between us and Commanches, who charged
upon the Iotans. The latter sustained the charge with firmness. The
discharge of their fire arms and the clashing of their different
weapons, together with their war-yell, and the shrieks of the wounded
and dying were fit accompaniments to the savage actors and scene. I do
not pretend to describe this deadly combat between two Indian nations;
but, as far as I could judge, the contest lasted fifteen minutes. I was
too deeply interested in watching the event, to note it particularly.
We wished to assist the Iotans, but could not distinguish them from
the mass, so closely were the parties engaged. We withheld our fire
through fear of injuring the Iotans, whom we considered our friends. It
was not long before we saw, to our great satisfaction, the Commanches
dismounted, which was the signal of their entire defeat. The Iotans
then left the Commanches, and returned to their women and children,
whom they had left some distance behind. They brought them to our camp,
and pitched their own tents all around us, except that of the chief,
which was placed in the centre with ours. A guard of warriors was then
posted around {37} the encampment, and an order given for the wounded
Iotans to be brought into the tent of the chief. There were ten, two
of whom died before night. A message was now sent to the chief of the
Commanches, in obedience to which he came to the Iotan chief. A council
then seemed to be held, and a peace was made, the terms of which were,
that the Iotan chief should pay the Commanche chief two horses for
every warrior, he had lost in the battle, over the number of Iotans
killed. We gave the Iotan chief goods to the amount of one hundred
dollars, which pleased him exceedingly. He expressed himself perfectly
satisfied with this recompense for the warriors he had lost in our
defence. The knowledge, that a party as large as ours was traversing
the country, had soon spread in all directions from the reports of
Indians, who had met with us, and we became to these savage tribes a
matter of interest, as a source of gain to be drawn from us by robbing,
kindness or trade.--Our movements were observed. The Commanches
determined to possess themselves of their object by force; and the
Iotans interfered in our defence, that they might thus gain their point
by extortion from friends.

Not a single Commanche was allowed to enter our camp, as arrangements
were making for the Iotans to trade with us. All, who had any beaver
skins, or dressed deer skins, were sent for. A guard was placed around
in a circle, inside of which the skins were thrown down. Each Indian
then inquired for the article he wanted. In this way we exchanged with
them butcher knives, paint, and powder and ball, for beaver and deer
skins, to the amount of fifteen hundred dollars, allowing them what we
considered the value of the skins.

The old Commanche chief came to the Iotan chief to ask permission
to talk with us, but was forbidden; and we were told not to have
any dealings with him. We did not. The Iotan chief then gave us the
character of the Commanche chief. He seemed to be thinking some time
before he began. 'I know,' said he, 'you must think it strange that I
should fight with the Commanches, and then pay them for their warriors
killed, over {38} our own number lost, and make peace with them. I will
give you my reasons for doing so. Four years ago, this Commanche chief
with his followers, went in company with my father, who was a chief,
and a few of his followers, in search of buffaloes. After they had
killed what they wanted, they divided the meat. The Commanche took all
the best of it, leaving the remains for my father. The old man put up
with it, and said nothing. On their return, close to this place they
met a band of Nabahoes,[41] a nation that had long been at war with
ours, and killed a great number of our people. My father wanted to kill
them, and began to fire upon them. The Commanches joined the Nabahoes,
and together they killed my father and most of his men. He then paid
for the lives he had taken, in horses, giving twenty for my father,
and four for each warrior. I only give two horses for a warrior. I am
now happy. I have killed three times as many of them, as they did of
us, and paid less for it. I know they can never get the upper hand
of me again. This Commanche chief is a mean man, for whenever he has
power, he makes others do as he pleases, or he kills them, and takes
all they have. He wanted to act in this way with you; but I do not
think he could, for you know how to shoot better than he does; and
you would not give up, as long as you had powder and ball and one man
alive.' My father as commander, said, 'his men were all good soldiers,
and knew how to get the advantage in fighting; and that we had plenty
of ammunition and good guns, and were not in the least afraid of being
beaten by them.' 'I think so,' replied the chief; 'But I thank the
Great Spirit, that it happened as it did. I have taken revenge for the
death of my father, and his people, and gained, I hope, at the same
time the love of a good and brave people by defending them.' We assured
him that he had, expressing our thanks for his aid, and regret for
those who had been killed in our defence. 'Yes,' said the chief, 'they
were brave men; but they loved my father, whom they have now gone to
see, where they will have plenty to eat, and drink, without having to
fight for it.' These were his thoughts, as near as I can express them.

The Commanche chief made a second application for permission to talk
with us, which was now granted. His object in conversing {39} with
us, was, as he said, to make friends with us, and induce us to give
him some powder and ball. We told him that we would willingly make
peace with him; but not give him any thing, as we did not break the
peace. He had threatened to kill us, and take our property without any
provocation from us, and certainly, if any present was necessary, it
must come from him. We did not, however, wish any present from him,
and would make peace with him, provided he promised never to kill, or
try to kill a white man. He answered, that he had neither done it, or
intended to do it; that with regard to us, he only sought to frighten
us, so that we should come to his camp, before the Iotans came up, whom
he knew to be not far distant, in order that he might precede them
in trading with us, adding that as he had been so disappointed, he
thought we ought to give him a little powder and ball. Our answer was,
that we had no more ammunition to spare; and that we could not depart
from our resolution of not purchasing a treaty from him; but we would
give him a letter of recommendation to the next company that came in
this direction, by means of which he might trade with them, and obtain
what he wanted of these articles. He consented to a treaty on these
conditions, and lighting his pipes we smoked friends.

He then asked us if we came through the Pawnee village? We answered in
the affirmative. His next question was, had they plenty of ammunition?
Our reply was again, yes. We were then given to understand, that he was
then at war with them, and had been for a number of years, and that he
should soon either make peace with them, or have a general engagement.
He would prefer peace, as they were at war with the Spaniards, as well
as himself. By uniting forces, they could beat the Spaniards, though in
case of a treaty or not, he intended to go against the Spaniards, as
soon as he should return from the country of the Pawnees. He added, 'I
suppose you are friends with the Spaniards, and are now going to trade
with them.' Our commander replied, that we were going to trade with
them, but not to fight for them. That, said the chief, is {40} what
I wanted to know. I do not want war with your people, and should we
accidentally kill any of them, you must not declare war against us, as
we will pay you for them in horses or beaver skins. We did not express
our natural feeling, that the life of one man was worth more than all
the horses or beaver skins, his nation could bring forth; but told him,
that we would not injure his people, unless they did ours, on purpose.
He returned, apparently satisfied, to his camp. We were detained here
until the fourth of November by our promise of awaiting the arrival of
the two men, we had left with our wounded companion. They came, and
brought with them his gun and ammunition. He died the fifth day, after
we had left him, and was buried as decently, as the circumstances would

On the 5th of November[42] we again set off in company with a party of
Iotans. The Arkansas is here wide and shallow, like the Platte; and
has wide but thinly timbered bottoms on both sides. Extending from the
bottom ten or twelve miles on the south side, are low hills composed
principally of sand. We found travelling upon them very fatiguing,
particularly as we met with no water. Late in the evening we reached
water, and encamped.

The next morning we resumed our journey. We were exceedingly diverted,
during the day, to see the Iotan Indians in company with us, chase
the buffaloes on horseback. They killed them with their arrows. The
force, with which they shoot these arrows, is astonishing. I saw one
of them shoot an arrow through a buffaloe bull, that had been driven
close to our camp. We were again upon level plains, stretching off
in all directions beyond the reach of the eye. The few high mounds
scattered over them could not but powerfully arrest the curiosity. From
the summit of one I again looked down upon innumerable droves of wild
animals, dotting the surface, as they seemed to forget their savage
natures, and fed, or reposed in peace. I indulged the thoughts natural
to such a position and scene. The remembrance of home, with its duties
and pleasures, came upon my mind in strong contrast with my actual
circumstances. {41} I was interrupted by the discharge of guns, and the
screams and yells of Indians. The Iotans had found six Nabahoes a half
a mile from us, and were killing them. Three were killed. The others,
being well mounted, made their escape. The Iotans came to our camp with
their scalps, leaving their bodies to be eaten by wild animals. My
father sent men to bury them. The Iotans danced around these scalps all
night, and in the morning took up the bodies, we had buried, and cut
them in pieces. They then covered themselves with the skins of bears
and panthers, and, taking the hearts of the dead men, cut them into
pieces of the size of a mouthful, and laid them upon the ground, and
kneeling put their hands on the ground, and crawled around the pieces
of hearts, growling as though they were enraged bears, or panthers,
ready to spring upon them, and eat them. This is their mode of showing
hatred to their enemies. Not relishing such detestable conduct, we so
manifested our feelings, that these Indians went to their own camps.

We encamped the evening of the next day near water. Nothing worthy of
record occurred during the journey of the four succeeding days, except
that we came to a small creek called Simaronee.[43] Here we encamped,
and killed some buffaloes, and shod our horses. We travelled up this
stream some distance, and left it on the 15th.

On the 16th we encamped on a creek, where we found four gentle mules,
which we caught. I could not account for their being there. Nothing of
importance occurred in the two last days.

From the 17th to the 20th, we journied without interruption. The
latter day we came in view of a mountain covered with snow, called
Taos mountain. This object awakened in our minds singular but pleasant
feelings. On the 23d we reached its foot. Here Mr. Pratte concealed a
part of his goods by burying them in the ground. We were three days
crossing this mountain.

On the evening of the 26th, we arrived at a small town in Taos, called
St. Ferdinando,[44] situated just at the foot of the mountain on the
west side. The alcalde asked us for the invoice {42} of our goods,
which we showed him, and paid the customary duties on them. This was
a man of a swarthy complexion having the appearance of pride and
haughtiness. The door-way of the room, we were in, was crowded with
men, women and children, who stared at us, as though they had never
seen white men before, there being in fact, much to my surprize and
disappointment, not one white person among them. I had expected to find
no difference between these people and our own, but their language.
I was never so mistaken. The men and women were not clothed in our
fashion, the former having short pantaloons fastened below the waist
with a red belt and buck skin leggins put on three or four times
double. A Spanish knife is stuck in by the side of the leg, and a small
sword worn by the side. A long jacket or blanket is thrown over, and
worn upon the shoulders. They have few fire arms, generally using upon
occasions which require them, a bow and spear, and never wear a hat,
except when they ride. When on horse back, they face towards the right
side of the animal. The saddle, which they use, looks as ours would,
with something like an arm chair fastened upon it.

The women wear upon the upper part of the person a garment resembling
a shirt, and a short petticoat fastened around the waist with a red
or blue belt, and something of the scarf kind wound around their
shoulders. Although appearing as poorly, as I have described, they are
not destitute of hospitality; for they brought us food, and invited us
into their houses to eat, as we walked through the streets.

The first time my father and myself walked through the town together,
we were accosted by a woman standing in her own door-way. She made
signs for us to come in. When we had entered, she conducted us up a
flight of steps into a room neatly whitewashed, and adorned with images
of saints, and a crucifix of brass nailed to a wooden cross. She gave
us wine, and set before us a dish composed of red pepper, ground and
mixed with corn meal, stewed in fat and water. We could not eat it.
She then brought forward some tortillas and milk. Tortillas {43} are a
thin cake made of corn and wheat ground between two flat stones by the
women. This cake is called in Spanish, _metate_. We remained with her
until late in the evening, when the bells began to ring. She and her
children knelt down to pray. We left her, and returned. On our way we
met a bier with a man upon it, who had been stabbed to death, as he was
drinking whiskey.

This town stands on a beautiful plain, surrounded on one side by the
Rio del Norte,[45] and on the other by the mountain, of which I have
spoken, the summit being covered with perpetual snow.

We set off for Santa Fe on the 1st of November. Our course for the
first day led us over broken ground. We passed the night in a small
town, called Callacia, built on a small stream, that empties into the
del Norte. The country around this place presents but a small portion
of level surface.

The next day our path lay over a point of the mountain. We were the
whole day crossing. We killed a grey bear, that was exceedingly fat.
It had fattened on a nut of the shape and size of a bean, which grows
on a tree resembling the pine, called by the Spanish, pinion. We took
a great part of the meat with us. We passed the night again in a town
called Albukerque.[46]

The following day we passed St. Thomas,[47] a town situated on the
bank of the del Norte, which is here a deep and muddy stream, with
bottoms from five to six miles wide on both sides. These bottoms
sustain numerous herds of cattle. The small huts of the shepherds, who
attend to them, were visible here and there. We reached another town
called Elgidonis, and stopped for the night. We kept guard around our
horses all night, but in the morning four of our mules were gone. We
hunted for them until ten o'clock, when two Spaniards came, and asked
us, what we would give them, if they would find our mules? We told
them to bring the mules, and we would pay them a dollar. They set off,
two of our men following them without their knowledge and went into a
thicket, where they had tied the mules, and returned with them to us.
As may be supposed, we gave them both a good whipping. It seemed at
first, that the whole {44} town would rise against us in consequence.
But when we related the circumstances fairly to the people, the officer
corresponding to our justice of the peace, said, we had done perfectly
right, and had the men put in the stocks.

We recommenced our journey, and passed a mission of Indians under the
control of an old priest. After crossing a point of the mountain, we
reached Santa Fe,[48] on the 5th. This town contains between four and
five thousand inhabitants. It is situated on a large plain. A handsome
stream runs through it, adding life and beauty to a scene striking and
agreeable from the union of amenity and cultivation around, with the
distant view of the snow clad mountains. It is pleasant to walk on the
flat roofs of the houses in the evening, and look on the town and plain
spread below. The houses are low, with flat roofs as I have mentioned.
The churches are differently constructed from the other buildings and
make a beautiful show. They have a great number of large bells, which,
when disturbed, make a noise, that would almost seem sufficient to
awaken the dead.

We asked the governor for permission to trap beaver in the river Helay.
His reply was that, he did not know if he was allowed by the law to
do so; but if upon examination it lay in his power, he would inform
us on the morrow, if we would come to his office at 9 o'clock in the
morning. According to this request, we went to the place appointed,
the succeeding day, which was the 9th of November. We were told by the
governor, that he had found nothing, that would justify him, in giving
us the legal permission, we desired. We then proposed to him to give us
liberty to trap, upon the condition, that we paid him five per cent on
the beaver we might catch. He said, he would consider this proposition,
and give us an answer the next day at the same hour. The thoughts of
our hearts were not at all favorable to this person, as we left him.

About ten o'clock at night an express came from the river Pacus,[49]
on which the nobles have their country seats and large farming
establishments, stating, that a large body of Indians had come upon
several families, whom they had either robbed, or {45} murdered. Among
the number two Americans had been killed, and the wife of one taken
prisoner, in company with four Spanish women, one of whom was daughter
of the former governor, displaced because he was an European. The
drum and fife and French horn began to sound in a manner, that soon
awakened, and alarmed the whole town. The frightened women, and the
still more fear-stricken men, joining in a full chorus of screams and
cries, ran some to where the drum was beating in the public square, and
others to our quarters. Upon the first sound of alarm we had prepared
to repel the enemy, whatever it might be, provided it troubled us. When
this group came rushing towards us, the light of the moon enabled us to
discern them with sufficient clearness to prevent our doing them any
injury. We did not sleep any more that night, for the women, having got
the wrong story, as most women do in a case of the kind, told us that
the Commanches were in town, killing the people. We awaited an attack,
without, however, hearing any sound of fire arms. Our conclusion was,
that they were skulking around, dealing out death in darkness and
silence with their arrows; and in the feelings, which were its natural
result, the remainder of the night passed. The first light of morning
showed us a body of four hundred men ready to mount their horses. At
sunrise the governor came to us to ask, if we would aid in the attempt
to recapture the prisoners taken by the Commanches, relating to us the
real cause of the alarm of the preceding night. We complied readily
with his request, as we were desirous of gaining the good will of the
people. Our arrangements were soon made, and we set off in company with
the troops I have mentioned.

The 12th was spent in travelling. We stopped for the night at St.
John's, a small town.[50] On the 13th we reached the spot, where the
murders and robbery were committed. Here we took the course the Indians
had marked in their retreat, stopping only for refreshments. We pressed
on all night, as we found their fires still smoking. At eight on the
morning of the 15th, the trail being fresh, we increased our speed, and
at twelve came in sight of them, as they advanced toward a low gap in
{46} the mountains. We now halted, and counselled together with regard
to the next movements. The commander of the Spaniards proposed, that my
father should direct the whole proceedings, promising obedience on his
own part and that of his troops.

The gap in the mountains, of which I spoke, was made by a stream. The
Indians were now entering it. My father formed a plan immediately, and
submitted it to the Spanish commander, who promised to aid in carrying
it into effect. In conformity to it, the Spaniards were directed to
keep in rear of the Indians, without being seen by them. We took a
circuitous route, screened from sight by the highland, that lay between
us and the Indians, in order to gain unobserved a hollow in advance
of them, in which we might remain concealed, until they approached
within gunshot of us. Our main object was to surprize them, and not
allow them time to kill their captives, should they be still alive.
The party in the rear were to close in, upon hearing the report of our
guns, and not allow them to return to the plain. Our plan seemed to
assure us success. We succeeded in reaching the hollow, in which we
placed ourselves in the form of a half circle, extending from one side
of it to the other, our horses being tied behind us. Every man was then
ordered to prime, and pick his gun afresh. The right flank was to fire
first, the left reserving theirs to give a running fire, that should
enable the right to re-load. The Indians, surrounding the prisoners,
were to be taken as the first aim, to prevent the immediate murder of
them by their captors. My post was in the centre of the line. We waited
an hour and a half behind our screens of rocks and trees, before our
enemies made their appearance. The first object, that came in sight,
were women without any clothing, driving a large drove of sheep and
horses. These were immediately followed by Indians. When the latter
were within thirty or forty yards of us, the order to fire was given.
The women ran towards us the moment they heard the report of our guns.
In doing this they encountered the Indians behind them, and three fell
pierced by the spears of these savages. The cry among us now was, 'save
the women!' Another young man and {47} myself sprang forward, to rescue
the remaining two. My companion fell in the attempt. An Indian had
raised his spear, to inflict death upon another of these unfortunate
captives, when he received a shot from one of our men, that rendered
him incapable of another act of cruelty. The captives, one of whom was
a beautiful young lady, the daughter of the governor before spoken of,
both reached me. The gratitude of such captives, so delivered, may be
imagined. Fears, thanks and exclamations in Spanish were the natural
expression of feeling in such a position. My companions aided me in
wrapping blankets around them, for it was quite cold; and making the
best arrangements in our power for their comfort and safety. This was
all done in less time, than is required to relate it, and we returned
to our post.

The Indians stood the second fire, and then retreated. We pursued
keeping up a quick fire, expecting every moment to hear the Spaniards
in the rear following our example to check them in their retreat; but
we could discover the entrance upon the plain, before we heard any
thing from our Spanish muskets. The Indians then began to yell; but
the Spaniards, after one discharge from their fire arms, fled. Being
mounted on good horses the Indians did not pursue them, but satisfied
as to our numbers, now that we were upon the plain, they rallied,
and rushed upon us. Our commander now ordered us to retreat into the
woods, and to find shelter behind trees, and take aim that every
shot might tell, as it was of the utmost importance, not to waste
ammunition, saying, 'stand resolute, my boys, and we make them repent,
if they follow us, although those ---- Spaniards have deserted us, when
we came to fight for them. We are enough for these ---- devils alone.'
As they came near us, we gave them a scattering though destructive
fire, which they returned bravely, still pressing towards us. It was
a serious contest for about ten minutes, after they approached within
pistol shot of us. From their yells, one would have thought that the
infernal regions were open before them, and that they were about to be
plunged in headlong. They finally began to retreat again, and we soon
{48} put them completely to flight. The Spaniards, though keeping a
safe distance, while this was going forward, saw the state of affairs,
and joined us in the pursuit, still taking especial care not to come
near enough to the Indians, to hurt them, or receive any injury
themselves. After the Indians rallied, we lost ten men, and my father
received a slight wound in the shoulder.

We removed our horses and the rescued captives into the plain, and
encamped. The Spaniards had killed an Indian already wounded, and were
riding over the dead bodies of those on the ground, spearing them and
killing any, who still breathed. My father commanded them to desist,
or he would fire upon them, and the Spanish officer added his order to
the same effect. The latter then demanded of us, the two women, whom
we had rescued, with as much assurance, as though himself had been the
cause of their deliverance. My father replied, by asking what authority
or right he had, to make such a request, when his cowardice withheld
him from aiding in their release? The officer became enraged, and said,
that he was unable to rally his men, and that he did not consider the
captives any safer in our hands than in those of the Indians, as we
were not christians. This insult, coupled with such a lame apology,
only made my father laugh, and reply, that if cowardice constituted a
claim to christianity, himself and his men were prime and undoubted
christians. He added further, that if the rescued women preferred to
accompany him, rather than remain, until he should have buried his
brave comrades, who fell in their defence, and accept his protection,
he had nothing to say. The subjects of our discussion, being present
while it took place, decided the point before they were appealed
to. The youngest said, that nothing would induce her to leave her
deliverers, and that when they were ready to go, she would accompany
them, adding, that she should pray hourly for the salvation of those,
who had resigned their lives in the preservation of hers. The other
expressed herself willing to remain with her, and manifested the same
confidence and gratitude. The enraged officer and his men set off on
their return to Santa Fe.

{49} The sun was yet an hour from its setting. We availed ourselves
of the remaining light to make a breastwork with the timber, that had
drifted down the stream, that we might be prepared for the Indians,
in case they should return. We finished it, and posted our sentinels
by sunset. The governor's daughter now inquired for the individual,
who first met her in her flight from the Indians, and so humanely and
bravely conducted her out of danger, and provided for her comfort. I
cannot describe the gratitude and loveliness, that appeared in her
countenance, as she looked on me, when I was pointed out to her. Not
attaching any merit to the act, I had performed, and considering it
merely as a duty, I did not know how to meet her acknowledgments, and
was embarrassed.

On the morning of the 16th we buried our dead. My father's shoulder
was a little stiff, and somewhat swollen. We saddled our horses, and
began our return journey. I gave up my horse to one of the ladies, and
made my way on foot. We drove the sheep, which escaped the balls,
before us. Our last look at the ground of our late contest gave a
view sufficiently painful to any one, who had a heart; horses and
their riders lay side by side. The bodies of robbers surrounded by the
objects of their plunder would probably remain, scattered as they were,
unburied and exposed to the wild beasts.

We halted in the evening for the refreshment of ourselves and horses.
This done, we again set off travelling all night. The sheep giving out,
we were obliged to leave them. At twelve next day we reached Pacus.
Here we met the father of the youngest of the two ladies accompanied
by a great number of Spaniards. The old man was transported almost
to frenzy, when he saw his daughter. We remained here for the day.
On the morning of the 18th we all set off together, the old governor
insisting, that my father and myself must ride in the carriage with
him; but we excused ourselves, and rode by the side of it with the
interpreter. The father caressed us exceedingly, and said a great many
things about me in particular, which I did not think, I deserved.

{50} The next day at two in the afternoon, we arrived at Santa Fe.
We were received with a salute, which we returned with our small
arms. The governor came in the evening, and invited my father and the
interpreter to sup with him. He ordered some fat beeves to be killed
for the rest of us. The father of Jacova, for that was the name of
the young lady, I had rescued, came, and invited us all to go, and
drink coffee at his son-in-law's, who kept a coffee-house. We went,
and when we had finished our coffee, the father came, and took me by
the hand, and led me up a flight of steps, and into a room, where
were his two daughters. As soon as I entered the room, Jacova and her
sister both came, and embraced me, this being the universal fashion of
interchanging salutations between men and women among these people,
even when there is nothing more, than a simple introduction between
strangers. After I had been seated an hour, looking at them, as they
made signs, and listening to their conversation, of which I did not
understand a syllable, I arose with the intention of returning to
my companions for the night. But Jacova, showing me a bed, prepared
for me, placed herself between me and the door. I showed her that my
clothes were not clean. She immediately brought me others belonging to
her brother-in-law. I wished to be excused from making use of them, but
she seemed so much hurt, that I finally took them, and reseated myself.
She then brought me my leather hunting shirt, which I had taken off to
aid in protecting her from the cold, and begged the interpreter who was
now present, to tell me, that she intended to keep it, as long as she
lived. She then put it on, to prove to me that she was not ashamed of

I went to bed early, and arose, and returned to my companions, before
any of the family were visible. At eight the governor and my father
came to our quarters, and invited us all to dine with him at two in
the afternoon. Accordingly we all dressed in our best, and went at
the appointed time. A band of musicians played during dinner. After
it was finished, and the table removed, a fandango was begun. The
ladies flocked in, in great numbers. The instruments, to which the
dancers moved, were {51} a guitar and violin. Six men and six women
also added their voices. Their mode of dancing was a curiosity to me.
The women stood erect, moving their feet slowly, without any spring or
motion of the body, and the men half bent, moved their feet like drum
sticks. This dance is called _ahavave_. I admired another so much, that
I attempted to go through it. It was a waltz, danced to a slow and
charming air. It produces a fine effect, when twenty or thirty perform
it together. The dancing continued, until near morning, when we retired
to rest.

At eight the following morning we received a license, allowing us to
trap in different parts of the country. We were now divided into small
parties. Mr. Pratte added three to our original number, they making the
company, to which my father and myself belonged, seven. On the 22d, we
set off. Our course lay down the del Norte to the Helay, a river never
before explored by white people.[51] We left our goods with a merchant,
until we should return in the spring. Our whole day's journey lay over
a handsome plain covered with herds of the different domestic animals.
We reached Picacheh a small town in the evening. Jacova and her father
overtook us here, on their way home, which was eighty miles distant
from Santa Fe.

In the morning we began our journey, together. During the day we passed
several small villages and stopped for the night in one called St.
Philip, situated on the banks of the del Norte, surrounded by large
vineyards. Jacova's father insisted upon our drinking plentifully of
the wine made at this place.

The morning of the 24th saw us again on our journey. Our companion, the
old governor, was much amused at seeing us kill wild geese and prairie
wolves with our rifles, the latter being abundant in this country.
In the evening we reached another small town, called St. Louis. All
these inconsiderable villages contain a church. The succeeding day we
traversed the same beautiful plain country, which had made our journey
so far, delightful. The same multitude of domestic animals still grazed
around our path.

{52} On the 27th, we arrived at the residence of Jacova and her
father. It was a large and even magnificent building. We remained here
until the 30th, receiving the utmost attention and kindness. At our
departure, the kind old governor pressed a great many presents upon us;
but we refused all, except a horse for each one of us, some flour and
dried meat.

Seven hunters coming up with us, who were going in our direction,
we concluded to travel with them, as our united strength would
better enable us to contend with the hostile Indians, through whose
country our course lay. We made our way slowly, descending the river
bank, until we reached the last town or settlement in this part of
the province, called Socoro.[52] The population of the part of the
country, through which we travelled was entirely confined to a chain
of settlements along the bottoms of the del Norte, and those of some
of the rivers, which empty into it. I did not see, during the whole of
this journey, an enclosed field, and not even a garden.

After remaining one day here, in order to recruit our horses, we
resumed our course down the river, Dec. 3d. The bottoms, through
which we now passed, were thinly timbered, and the only growth was
cotton-wood and willow. We saw great numbers of bears, deer and
turkeys. A bear having chased one of our men into the camp, we killed

On the 7th we left the del Norte, and took a direct course for the
Copper mines.[53] We next travelled from the river over a very
mountainous country four days, at the expiration of which time we
reached this point of our destination. We were here but one night,
and I had not leisure to examine the mode, in which the copper was
manufactured. In the morning we hired two Spanish servants to accompany
us; and taking a north-west course pursued our journey, until we
reached the Helay on the 14th. We found the country the greater part
of the two last days hilly and somewhat barren with a growth of pine,
live oak, _pinion_, cedar and some small trees, of which I did not know
the name. We caught thirty beavers, the first night we encamped on this
river. The next morning, accompanied by another man, {53} I began to
ascend the bank of the stream to explore, and ascertain if beaver were
to be found still higher, leaving the remainder of the party to trap
slowly up, until they should meet us on our return. We threw a pack
over our shoulders, containing a part of the beavers, we had killed,
as we made our way on foot. The first day we were fatigued by the
difficulty of getting through the high grass, which covered the heavily
timbered bottom. In the evening we arrived at the foot of mountains,
that shut in the river on both sides, and encamped. We saw during the
day several bears, but did not disturb them, as they showed no ill
feeling towards us.

On the morning of the 13th we started early, and crossed the river,
here a beautiful clear stream about thirty yards in width, running
over a rocky bottom, and filled with fish. We made but little advance
this day, as bluffs came in so close to the river, as to compel us to
cross it thirty-six times. We were obliged to scramble along under the
cliffs, sometimes upon our hands and knees, through a thick tangle of
grape-vines and under-brush. Added to the unpleasantness of this mode
of getting along in itself, we did not know, but the next moment would
bring us face to face with a bear, which might accost us suddenly. We
were rejoiced, when this rough ground gave place again to the level
bottom. At night we reached a point, where the river forked, and
encamped on the point between the forks. We found here a boiling spring
so near the main stream, that the fish caught in the one might be
thrown into the other without leaving the spot, where it was taken. In
six minutes it would be thoroughly cooked.

The following morning my companion and myself separated, agreeing to
meet after four days at this spring. We were each to ascend a fork of
the river. The banks of that which fell to my lot, were very brushy,
and frequented by numbers of bears, of whom I felt fearful, as I had
never before travelled alone in the woods. I walked on with caution
until night, and encamped near a pile of drift wood, which I set on
fire, thinking thus to frighten any animals that might approach during
the night. {54} I placed a spit, with a turkey I had killed upon it,
before the fire to roast. After I had eaten my supper I laid down by
the side of a log with my gun by my side. I did not fall asleep for
some time. I was aroused from slumber by a noise in the leaves, and
raising my head saw a panther stretched on the log by which I was
lying, within six feet of me. I raised my gun gently to my face, and
shot it in the head. Then springing to my feet, I ran about ten steps,
and stopped to reload my gun, not knowing if I had killed the panther
or not. Before I had finished loading my gun, I heard the discharge
of one on the other fork, as I concluded, the two running parallel
with each other, separated only by a narrow ridge. A second discharge
quickly followed the first, which led me to suppose, that my comrade
was attacked by Indians.

I immediately set out and reached the hot spring by day break, where
I found my associate also. The report of my gun had awakened him, when
he saw a bear standing upon its hind feet within a few yards of him
growling. He fired his gun, then his pistol, and retreated, thinking,
with regard to me, as I had with regard to him, that I was attacked by
Indians. Our conclusion now was, to ascend one of the forks in company,
and then cross over, and descend the other. In consequence we resumed
the course, I had taken the preceding day. We made two day's journey,
without beaver enough to recompense us for our trouble, and then
crossed to the east fork, trapping as we went, until we again reached
the main stream. Some distance below this, we met those of our party
we had left behind, with the exception of the seven, who joined us on
the del Norte. They had deserted the expedition, and set off upon their
return down the river. We now all hastened on to overtake them, but it
was to no purpose. They still kept in advance, trapping clean as they
went, so that we even found it difficult to catch enough to eat.

Finding it impossible to come up with them, we ceased to urge our
poor horses, as they were much jaded, and tender footed beside, and
travelled slowly, catching what beaver we {55} could, and killing some
deer, although the latter were scarce, owing, probably to the season of
the year. The river here was beautiful, running between banks covered
with tall cotton-woods and willows. This bottom extended back a mile on
each side. Beyond rose high and rather barren hills.

On the 20th we came to a point, where the river entered a cavern
between two mountains. We were compelled to return upon our steps,
until we found a low gap in the mountains. We were three day's
crossing, and the travelling was both fatiguing and difficult. We found
nothing to kill.

On the 23d we came upon the river, where it emptied into a beautiful
plain. We set our traps, but to no purpose, for the beavers were all
caught, or alarmed. The river here pursues a west course. We travelled
slowly, using every effort to kill something to eat, but without

On the morning of the 26th we concluded, that we must kill a horse,
as we had eaten nothing for four day's and a half, except the small
portion of a hare caught by my dogs, which fell to the lot of each
of a party of seven. Before we obtained this, we had become weak in
body and mind, complaining, and desponding of our success in search of
beaver. Desirous of returning to some settlement, my father encouraged
our party to eat some of the horses, and pursue our journey. We were
all reluctant to begin to partake of the horse-flesh; and the actual
thing without bread or salt was as bad as the anticipation of it. We
were somewhat strengthened, however, and hastened on, while our supply
lasted, in the hope of either overtaking those in advance of us, or
finding another stream yet undiscovered by trappers.

The latter desire was gratified the first of January, 1825. The stream,
we discovered, carried as much water as the Helay, heading north. We
called it the river St. Francisco.[54] After travelling up its banks
about four miles, we encamped, and set all our traps, and killed a
couple of fat turkies. In the morning we examined our traps, and found
in them 37 beavers! This success restored our spirits instantaneously.
Exhilarating {56} prospects now opened before us, and we pushed on with
animation. The banks of this river are for the most part incapable of
cultivation being in many places formed of high and rugged mountains.
Upon these we saw multitudes of mountain sheep.[55] These animals are
not found on level ground, being there slow of foot, but on these
cliffs and rocks they are so nimble and expert in jumping from point
to point, that no dog or wolf can overtake them. One of them that
we killed had the largest horns, that I ever saw on animals of any
description. One of them would hold a gallon of water. Their meat
tastes like our mutton. Their hair is short like a deer's, though fine.
The French call them the _gros cornes_, from the size of their horns
which curl around their ears, like our domestic sheep. These animals
are about the size of a large deer. We traced this river to its head,
but not without great difficulty, as the cliffs in many places came so
near the water's edge, that we were compelled to cross points of the
mountain, which fatigued both ourselves and our horses exceedingly.

The right hand fork of this river, and the left of the Helay head in
the same mountain, which is covered with snow, and divides its waters
from those of Red river. We finished our trapping on this river, on the
14th. We had caught the very considerable number of 250 beavers, and
had used and preserved most of the meat, we had killed. On the 19th we
arrived on the river Helay, encamped, and buried our furs in a secure
position, as we intended to return home by this route.

On the 20th we began to descend the Helay, hoping to find in our
descent another beaver stream emptying into it. We had abandoned the
hope of rejoining the hunters, that had left us, and been the occasion
of our being compelled to feed upon horse flesh. No better was to be
expected of us, than that we should take leave to imprecate many a
curse upon their heads; and that they might experience no better fate,
than to fall into the hands of the savages, or be torn in pieces by
the white bears. At the same time, so ready are the hearts of mountain
hunters to relent, that I have not a doubt that each man of us would
{57} have risqued his life to save any one of them from the very fate,
we imprecated upon them.

In fact, on the night of the 22d, four of them, actually half starved,
arrived at our camp, declaring, that they had eaten nothing for five
days. Notwithstanding our recent curses bestowed upon them, we received
them as brothers. They related that the Indians had assaulted and
defeated them, robbing them of all their horses, and killing one of
their number. Next day the remaining two came in, one of them severely
wounded in the head by an Indian arrow. They remained with us two
days, during which we attempted to induce them to lead us against the
Indians, who had robbed them, that we might assist them to recover what
had been robbed from them. No persuasion would induce them to this
course. They insisted at the same time, that if we attempted to go on
by ourselves, we should share the same fate, which had befallen them.

On the morning of the 25th, we gave them three horses, and as much
dried meat as would last them to the mines, distant about 150 miles.
Fully impressed, that the Indians would massacre us, they took such a
farewell of us, as if never expecting to see us again.

In the evening of the same day, although the weather threatened a
storm, we packed up, and began to descend the river. We encamped this
night in a huge cavern in the midst of the rocks. About night it began
to blow a tempest, and to snow fast. Our horses became impatient under
the pelting of the storm, broke their ropes, and disappeared. In the
morning, the earth was covered with snow, four or five inches deep.
One of our companions accompanied me to search for our horses. We soon
came upon their trail, and followed it, until it crossed the river. We
found it on the opposite side, and pursued it up a creek, that empties
into the Helay on the north shore. We passed a cave at the foot of the
cliffs. At its mouth I remarked, that the bushes were beaten down, as
though some animal had been browsing upon them. I was aware, that a
bear had entered the cave. We collected some pine knots, split them
with our tomahawks, and kindled torches, with which I proposed to
{58} my companion, that we should enter the cave together, and shoot
the bear. He gave me a decided refusal, notwithstanding I reminded
him, that I had, more than once, stood by him in a similar adventure;
and notwithstanding I made him sensible, that a bear in a den is by no
means so formidable, as when ranging freely in the woods. Finding it
impossible to prevail on him to accompany me, I lashed my torch to a
stick, and placed it parallel with the gun barrel, so as that I could
see the sights on it, and entered the cave. I advanced cautiously
onward about twenty yards, seeing nothing. On a sudden the bear reared
himself erect within seven feet of me, and began to growl, and gnash
his teeth. I levelled my gun and shot him between the eyes, and began
to retreat. Whatever light it may throw upon my courage, I admit,
that I was in such a hurry, as to stumble, and extinguish my light.
The growling and struggling of the bear did not at all contribute to
allay my apprehensions. On the contrary, I was in such haste to get
out of the dark place, thinking the bear just at my heels, that I fell
several times on the rocks, by which I cut my limbs, and lost my gun.
When I reached the light, my companion declared, and I can believe
it, that I was as pale as a corpse. It was some time, before I could
summon sufficient courage to re-enter the cavern for my gun. But having
re-kindled my light, and borrowed my companion's gun, I entered the
cavern again, advanced and listened. All was silent, and I advanced
still further, and found my gun, near where I had shot the bear. Here
again I paused and listened. I then advanced onward a few strides,
where to my great joy I found the animal dead. I returned, and brought
my companion in with me. We attempted to drag the carcass from the
den, but so great was the size, that we found ourselves wholly unable.
We went out, found our horses, and returned to camp for assistance.
My father severely reprimanded me for venturing to attack such a
dangerous animal in its den, when the failure to kill it outright by
the first shot, would have been sure to be followed by my death.

Four of us were detached to the den. We were soon enabled {59} to drag
the bear to the light, and by the aid of our beast to take it to camp.
It was both the largest and whitest bear I ever saw. The best proof,
I can give, of the size and fatness is, that we extracted ten gallons
of oil from it. The meat we dried, and put the oil in a trough, which
we secured in a deep crevice of a cliff, beyond the reach of animals
of prey. We were sensible that it would prove a treasure to us on our

On the 28th we resumed our journey, and pushed down the stream to reach
a point on the river, where trapping had not been practised. On the
30th, we reached this point, and found the man, that the Indians had
killed. They had cut him in quarters, after the fashion of butchers.
His head, with the hat on, was stuck on a stake. It was full of the
arrows, which they had probably discharged into it, as they had danced
around it. We gathered up the parts of the body, and buried them.

At this point we commenced setting our traps. We found the river
skirted with very wide bottoms, thick-set with the musquito trees,[56]
which bear a pod in the shape of a bean, which is exceedingly sweet. It
constitutes one of the chief articles of Indian subsistence; and they
contrive to prepare from it a very palatable kind of bread, of which we
all became very fond. The wild animals also feed upon this pod.

On the 31st we moved our camp ten miles. On the way we noted many
fresh traces of Indians, and killed a bear, that attacked us. The
river pursues a west course amidst high mountains on each side. We
trapped slowly onward, still descending the river, and unmolested by
the Indians. On the 8th of February, we reached the mouth of a small
river entering the Helay on the north shore. Here we unexpectedly
came upon a small party of Indians, that fled at the sight of us, in
such consternation and hurry, as to leave all their effects, which
consisted of a quantity of the bread mentioned above, and some robes
made of rabbit skins. Still more; they left a small child. The child
was old enough to distinguish us from its own people, for it opened
its little throat, and screamed so lustily, that we feared it would
have fits. The poor thing meanwhile made its {60} best efforts to fly
from us. We neither plundered nor molested their little store. We
bound the child in such a manner, that it could not stray away, and
get lost, aware, that after they deemed us sufficiently far off, the
parents would return, and take the child away. We thence ascended the
small river about four miles, and encamped. For fear of surprize, and
apprehending the return of the savages, that had fled from us, and
perhaps in greater force, we secured our camp with a small breast-work.
We discovered very little encouragement in regard to our trapping
pursuit, for we noted few signs of beavers on this stream. The night
passed without bringing us any disturbance. In the morning two of us
returned to the Indian camp. The Indians had re-visited it, and removed
every thing of value, and what gave us great satisfaction, their child.
In proof, that the feelings of human nature are the same every where,
and that the language of kindness is a universal one; in token of their
gratitude, as we understood it, they had suspended a package on a kind
of stick, which they had stuck erect. Availing ourselves of their
offer, we examined the present, and found it to contain a large dressed
buck skin, an article, which we greatly needed for moccasins, of which
some of us were in pressing want. On the same stick we tied a red
handkerchief by way of some return.

We thence continued to travel up this stream four days in succession,
with very little incident to diversify our march. We found the banks
of this river plentifully timbered with trees of various species,
and the land fine for cultivation. On the morning of the 13th, we
returned to the Helay, and found on our way, that the Indians had
taken the handkerchief, we had left, though none of them had shown any
disposition, as we had hoped, to visit us. We named the stream we had
left, the deserted fork, on account of having found it destitute of
beavers. We thence resumed our course down the Helay, which continues
to flow through a most beautiful country. Warned by the frequent traces
of fresh Indian foot-prints, we every night adopted {61} the expedient
of enclosing our horses in a pen, feeding them with cotton-wood bark,
which we found much better for them than grass.

On the 16th, we advanced to a point, where the river runs between high
mountains, in a ravine so narrow, as barely to afford it space to pass.
We commenced exploring them to search for a gap, through which we might
be able to pass. We continued our expedition, travelling north, until
we discovered a branch, that made its way out of the mountains. Up
its ravine we ascended to the head of the branch. Its fountains were
supplied by an immense snow bank, on the summit of the mountain. With
great labor and fatigue we reached this summit, but could descry no
plains within the limits of vision. On every side the peaks of ragged
and frowning mountains rose above the clouds, affording a prospect of
dreariness and desolation, to chill the heart. While we could hear
the thunder burst, and see the lightning glare before us, we found
an atmosphere so cold, that we were obliged to keep up severe and
unremitting exercise, to escape freezing.

We commenced descending the western declivity of the mountains, amidst
thick mists and dark clouds, with which they were enveloped. We pitied
our horses and mules, that were continually sliding and falling, by
which their limbs were strained, and their bodies bruised. To our great
joy, we were not long, before we came upon the ravine of a branch,
that wound its way through the vast masses of crags and mountains.
We were disappointed, however, in our purpose to follow it to the
Helay. Before it mingled with that stream, it ingulfed itself so deep
between the cliffs, that though we heard the dash of the waters in
their narrow bed, we could hardly see them. We were obliged to thread
our way, as we might, along the precipice, that constituted the banks
of the creek. We were often obliged to unpack our mules and horses,
and transport their loads by hand from one precipice to another. We
continued wandering among the mountains in this way, until the 23d. Our
provisions were at this time exhausted, and our horses and {62} mules
so worn out, that they were utterly unable to proceed further. Thus we
were absolutely obliged to lie by two days. During this time, Allen and
myself commenced climbing towards the highest peak of the mountains in
our vicinity. It was night-fall, before we gained it. But from it we
could distinctly trace the winding path of the river in several places;
and what was still more cheering, could see smokes arising from several
Indian camps. To meet even enemies, was more tolerable, than thus
miserably to perish with hunger and cold in the mountains. Our report
on our return animated the despair of our companions. On the morning
of the 25th we resumed our painful efforts to reach the river. On the
28th, to our great joy, we once more found ourselves on its banks. A
party of Indians, encamped there, fled at our approach. But fortunately
they left a little mush prepared from the seeds of grass. Without
scruple we devoured it with appetites truly ravenous. In the morning
we took ten beavers in our traps, and Allen was detached with me to
clear away a path, through which the pack horses might pass. We were
obliged to cross the river twelve times in the course of a single day.
We still discovered the fresh footprints of Indians, who had deserted
their camps, and fled before us. We were continually apprehensive,
that they would fire their arrows upon us, or overwhelm us with rocks,
let loose upon us from the summits of the high cliffs, directly under
which we were obliged to pass. The third day, after we had left our
company, I shot a wild goose in the river. The report of my gun raised
the screams of women and children. Too much alarmed to stop for my
game, I mounted my horse, and rode toward them, with a view to convince
them, or in some way, to show them, that we intended them no harm. We
discovered them ahead of us, climbing the mountains, the men in advance
of the women, and all fleeing at the top of their speed. As soon as
they saw us, they turned, and let fly a few arrows at us, one of which
would have despatched my companion, had he not been infinitely dextrous
in dodging. Hungry and fatigued and by no means in the best humor, my
companion returned {63} them abundance of curses for their arrows. From
words he was proceeding to deeds, and would undoubtedly have shot one
of them, had I not caught his gun, and made him sensible of the madness
of such a deed. It was clearly our wisdom to convince them, that we
had no inclination to injure them. Some of them were clad in robes of
rabbit skins, part of which they shed, in their hurry to clamber over
the rocks.

Finding ourselves unable to overtake them, we returned to their camp,
to discover if they had left any thing that we could eat. At no great
distance from their camp, we observed a mound of fresh earth, in
appearance like one of our coal kilns. Considering it improbable, that
the Indians would be engaged in burning coal, we opened the mound,
and found it to contain a sort of vegetable that had the appearance
of herbage, which seemed to be baking in the ground, to prepare it
for eating. I afterwards ascertained, that it was a vegetable, called
by the Spanish, mascal, (probably maguey.)[57] The Indians prepare
it in this way, so as to make a kind of whiskey of it, tasting like
crab-apple cider. The vegetable grows in great abundance on these

Next day we came to the point, where the river discharges its waters
from the mountains on to the plains. We thence returned, and rejoined
our company, that had been making their way onward behind us. March
3d, we trapped along down a small stream, that empties into the Helay
on the south side, having its head in a south west direction. It being
very remarkable for the number of its beavers, we gave it the name of
Beaver river. At this place we collected 200 skins; and on the 10th
continued to descend the Helay, until the 20th, when we turned back
with as much fur, as our beasts could pack. As yet we had experienced
no molestation from the Indians, although they were frequently descried
skulking after us, and gathering up the pieces of meat, we had thrown
away. On the morning of the 20th we were all prepared for an early
start, and my father, by way of precaution, bade us all discharge our
guns at the word of command, and then re-load them afresh, {64} that
we might, in case of emergency, be sure of our fire. We were directed
to form in a line, take aim, and at the word, fire at a tree. We gave
sufficient proofs, that we were no strangers to the rifle, for every
ball had lodged close to the centre of our mark. But the report of
our guns was answered by the yell of more than an hundred savages,
above us on the mountains. We immediately marched out from under the
mountains on to the plains, and beckoned them to come down, by every
demonstration of friendship in our power. Nothing seemed to offer
stronger enticement, than to hold out to them our red cloth. This we
did, but without effect, for they either understood us not, or were
reluctant to try our friendship. Leaving one of our number to watch
their deportment, and to note if they followed us, we resumed our
march. It would have been a great object to us to have been able to
banish their suspicions, and make a treaty with them. But we could
draw from them no demonstrations, but those of fear and surprize. On
the 25th we returned to Beaver river, and dug up the furs that we had
buried, or cashed,[58] as the phrase is, and concluded to ascend it,
trapping towards its head, whence we purposed to cross over to the
Helay above the mountains, where we had suffered so much in crossing.
About six miles up the stream, we stopped to set our traps, three being
selected to remain behind in the camp to dry the skins, my father to
make a pen for the horses, and I to guard them, while they were turned
loose to feed in the grass. We had pitched our camp near the bank of
the river, in a thick grove of timber, extending about a hundred yards
in width. Behind the timber was a narrow plain of about the same width,
and still further on was a high hill, to which I repaired, to watch my
horses, and descry whatever might pass in the distance. Immediately
back of the hill I discovered a small lake, by the noise made by the
ducks and geese in it. Looking more attentively, I remarked what gave
me much more satisfaction, that is to say, three beaver lodges. I
returned, and made my father acquainted with my discovery. The party
despatched to set traps had returned. My father informed {65} them of
my discovery, and told them to set traps in the little lake. As we
passed towards the lake, we observed the horses and mules all crowded
together. At first we concluded that they collected together in this
way, because they had fed enough. We soon discovered, that it was owing
to another cause. I had put down my gun, and stepped into the water,
to prepare a bed for my trap, while the others were busy in preparing
theirs. Instantly the Indians raised a yell, and the quick report of
guns ensued. This noise was almost drowned in the fierce shouts that
followed, succeeded by a shower of arrows falling among us like hail.
As we ran for the camp leaving all the horses in their power, we
saw six Indians stealthily following our trail, as though they were
tracking a deer. They occasionally stopped, raised themselves, and
surveyed every thing around them. We concealed ourselves behind a large
cotton-wood tree, and waited until they came within a hundred yards of
us. Each of us selected a separate Indian for a mark, and our signal
to fire together was to be a whistle. The sign was given, and we fired
together. My mark fell dead, and my companions' severely wounded. The
other Indians seized their dead and wounded companions, and fled.

We now rejoined our company, who were busily occupied in dodging the
arrows, that came in a shower from the summit of the hill, where I had
stationed myself to watch our horses. Discovering that they were too
far from us, to be reached by our bullets, we retreated to the timber,
in hopes to draw them down to the plain. But they had had too ample
proofs of our being marksmen, to think of returning down to our level,
and were satisfied to remain yelling, and letting fly their arrows at
random. We found cause both for regret and joy; regret, that our horses
were in their power, and joy, that their unprovoked attack had been
defeated with loss to themselves, and none to us.

At length they ceased yelling, and disappeared. We, on our part, set
ourselves busily to work to fortify our camp for the night. Meanwhile
our savage enemy devised a plan, which, but for the circumspection
of my father, would have enabled {66} them to destroy us. They
divided themselves into two parties, the one party mounted on horses,
stolen from us, and so arranged as to induce the belief, that they
constituted the whole party. They expected that we would pursue them,
to recover our horses. As soon as we should be drawn out from behind
our fortification, they had a reserve party, on foot, who were to rush
in, between us and our camp, and thus, between two fires, cut us all
off together. It so happened, that I had retired a little distance from
the camp, in the direction of the ambush party on foot. I met them, and
they raised a general yell. My father, supposing me surrounded, ran in
the direction of the yell, to aid me. He, too, came in direct contact
with the foot party, who let fly a shower of arrows at him, from which
nothing but good providence preserved him. He returned the fire with
his gun and pistols, by which he killed two of them, and the report
of which immediately brought his companions to his side. The contest
was a warm one for a few minutes, when the Indians fled. This affair
commenced about three in the afternoon; and the Indians made their
final retreat at five; and the succeeding night passed without further
molestation from them.

In the morning of the 26th, we despatched two of our men to bring
our traps and furs. We had no longer any way of conveying them with
us, for the Indians had taken all our horses. We, however, in the
late contest, had taken four of theirs, left behind in the haste of
their retreat. As our companions were returning to camp with the
traps, which they had taken up to bury, they discovered the Indians,
sliding along insidiously towards our camp. We were all engaged in
eating our breakfast in entire confidence. Our men cried out to us,
that the enemy was close upon us. We sprang to our arms. The Indians
instantly fled to the top of the hill, which we had named Battle-hill.
In a few minutes they were all paraded on the horses and mules stolen
from us. They instantly began to banter us in Spanish to come up to
them. One of our number who could speak Spanish, asked them to what
nation they belonged? They answered, _Eiotaro_. In return, they asked
us, who we were? We answered _Americans_. Hearing this, they stood in
apparent {67} surprise and astonishment for some moments. They then
replied, that they had thought us too brave and too good marksmen, to
be Spaniards; that they were sorry for what they had done, under the
mistake of supposing us Spaniards. They declared themselves ready to
make a treaty with us, provided that we would return the four horses,
we had taken from them, and bring them up the hill, where they promised
us they would restore us our own horses in exchange. We were at once
impressed, that the proposal was a mere trick, to induce us to place
ourselves in their power. We therefore answered their proposal by
another, which was, that they should bring down our horses, and leave
them by the pen, where they had taken them, and we in return would
let their horses loose, and make friendship with them. They treated
our proposal with laughter, which would have convinced us, had we
doubted it before, that their only purpose had been to ensnare us. We
accordingly faced them, and fired upon them, which induced them to
clear themselves most expeditiously.

We proceeded to bury our furs; and having packed our four horses with
provisions and two traps, we commenced our march. Having travelled
about ten miles, we encamped in a thicket without kindling a fire, and
kept a strict guard all night. Next morning we made an early march,
still along the banks of the river. Its banks are still plentifully
timbered with cotton-wood and willow. The bottoms on each side afford
a fine soil for cultivation. From these bottoms the hills rise to an
enormous height, and their summits are covered with perpetual snow. In
these bottoms are great numbers of wild hogs, of a species entirely
different from our domestic swine. They are fox-colored, with their
navel on their back, towards the back part of their bodies. The hoof of
their hind feet has but one dew-claw, and they yield an odor not less
offensive than our polecat. Their figure and head are not unlike our
swine, except that their tail resembles that of a bear. We measured
one of their tusks, of a size so enormous, that I am afraid to commit
my credibility, by giving the dimensions. They remain undisturbed {68}
by man and other animals, whether through fear or on account of their
offensive odor, I am unable to say. That they have no fear of man,
and that they are exceedingly ferocious, I can bear testimony myself.
I have many times been obliged to climb trees to escape their tusks.
We killed a great many, but could never bring ourselves to eat them.
The country presents the aspect of having been once settled at some
remote period of the past. Great quantities of broken pottery are
scattered over the ground, and there are distinct traces of ditches
and stone walls, some of them as high as a man's breast, with very
broad foundations. A species of tree, which I had never seen before,
here arrested my attention.[59] It grows to the height of forty or
fifty feet. The top is cone shaped, and almost without foliage. The
bark resembles that of the prickly pear; and the body is covered with
thorns. I have seen some three feet in diameter at the root, and
throwing up twelve distinct shafts.

On the 29th, we made our last encampment on this river, intending to
return to it no more, except for our furs. We set our two traps for the
last time, and caught a beaver in each.--We skinned the animals, and
prepared the skins to hold water, through fear, that we might find
none on our unknown route through the mountains to the Helay, from
which we judged ourselves distant two hundred miles. Our provisions
were all spoiled. We had nothing to carry with us to satisfy hunger,
but the bodies of the two beavers which we had caught, the night
before. We had nothing to sustain us in this disconsolate march, but
our trust in providence; for we could not but foresee hunger, fatigue
and pain, as the inevitable attendants upon our journey. To increase
the depression of our spirits, our moccasins were worn out, our feet
sore and tender, and the route full of sharp rocks.

On the 31st, we reached the top of the mountain, and fed upon the last
meat of our beavers. We met with no traces of game. What distressed
me most of all was, to perceive my father, who had already passed the
meridian of his days, sinking with fatigue and weakness. On the morning
of the first of April, {69} we commenced descending the mountain, from
the side of which we could discern a plain before us, which, however,
it required two severe days travel to reach. During these two days
we had nothing either to eat or drink. In descending from these icy
mountains, we were surprised to find how warm it was on the plains. On
reaching them I killed an antelope, of which we drank the warm blood;
and however revolting the recital may be, to us it was refreshing,
tasting like fresh milk. The meat we put upon our horses, and travelled
on until twelve o'clock, before we found water.

Here we encamped the remainder of the day, to rest, and refresh
ourselves. The signs of antelopes were abundant, and the appearances
were, that they came to the water to drink; from which we inferred,
that there was no other drinking place in the vicinity. Some of our
hunters went out in pursuit of the antelopes. From the numbers of these
animals, we called the place _Antelope Plain_. The land lies very
handsomely, and is a rich, black soil, with heavily timbered groves in
the vicinity.

On the morning of the 3d, though exceedingly stiff and sore, we resumed
our march, and reaching the opposite side of the plain, encamped at a
spring, that ran from the mountain. Next day we ascended this mountain
to its summit, which we found covered with iron ore. At a distance we
saw a smoke on our course. We were aware that it was the smoke of an
Indian camp, and we pushed on towards it. In the evening we reached
the smoke, but found it deserted of Indians. All this day's march was
along a country abundant in minerals. In several places we saw lead
and copper ore. I picked up a small parcel of ore, which I put in my
shot-pouch, which was proved afterward to be an ore of silver. The
misfortune of this region is, that there is no water near these mineral
hills. We commenced our morning march half dead with thirst, and pushed
on with the eagerness inspired by that tormenting appetite. Late in the
evening we found a little water, for our own drinking, in the bottom
of a rock. Not a drop remained for our four horses, that evidently
showed a thirst no less devouring than ours. {70} Their feet were
all bleeding, and the moment we paused to rest ourselves, the weary
companions of our journey instantly laid down. It went still more to
my heart, to see my two faithful dogs, which had followed me all the
way from my father's house, where there was always _bread enough and to
spare_, looking to me with an expression, which a hunter in the desert
only can understand, as though begging food and water. Full gladly
would I have explained to them, that the sterile wilderness gave me no
means of supplying their wants.

We had scarcely commenced the next morning's march, when, at a little
distance from our course, we saw a smoke. Supposing it an Indian camp,
we immediately concluded to attack it. Adopting their own policy, we
slipped onward in silence and concealment, until we were close by it.
We found the persons women and children. Having no disposition to harm
them, we fired a gun over their heads, which caused them instantly to
fly at the extent of their speed. Hunger knows no laws; and we availed
ourselves of their provision, which proved to be mascal, and grass
seed, of which we made mush. Scanty as this nutriment was, it was
sufficient to sustain life.

We commenced an early march on the 6th, and were obliged to move
slowly, as we were bare-footed, and the mountains rough and steep.
We found them either wholly barren, or only covered with a stinted
growth of pine and cedar, live oak and barbary bushes. On the 8th, our
provisions were entirely exhausted, and so having nothing to eat, we
felt the less need of water. Our destitute and forlorn condition goaded
us on, so that we reached the Helay on the 12th. We immediately began
to search for traces of beavers, where to set our traps, but found
none. On the morning of the 13th, we killed a raven, which we cooked
for seven men. It was unsavory flesh in itself, and would hardly have
afforded a meal for one hungry man. The miserable condition of our
company may be imagined, when seven hungry men, who had not eaten a
full meal for ten days, were all obliged to breakfast on this nauseous
bird. We were all weak and emaciated. But I was young {71} and able to
bear hardships. My heart only ached for my poor father who was reduced
to a mere skeleton. We moved on slowly and painfully, until evening,
when we encamped. On my return from setting our two traps, I killed a
buzzard, which, disagreeable as it was, we cooked for supper. In the
morning of the 18th, I found one of the traps had caught an otter.

This served for breakfast and supper. It seemed the means of our
present salvation, for my father had become so weak, that he could no
longer travel. We therefore encamped early, and three of us went out
to hunt deer among the hills. But in this sad emergency we could find
none. When we returned, my father had prepared lots, that we should
draw, to determine who of us should kill one of the dogs. I refused
through fear that the lot would fall to me. These faithful companions
of our sufferings were so dear to me, that I felt as though I could not
allow them to be killed to save my own life; though to save my father,
I was aware that it was a duty to allow it to be done.

We lay here until the 18th, my father finding the flesh of the dog
both sweet, nutritive and strengthening. On the 18th, he was again
able to travel; and on the 20th, we arrived at Bear creek, where we
hid the bears oil, which we found unmolested. We lay here two days,
during which time we killed four deer and some turkies. The venison we
dried, and cased the skin of one of the deer, in which to carry our
oil. We commenced an early march on the 23d, and on the 25th reached
the river San Francisco, where we found our buried furs all safe. I
suffered exceedingly from the soreness of my feet, giving me great pain
and fever at night. We made from our raw deer skins a very tolerable
substitute for shoes. The adoption of this important expedient enabled
us to push on, so that we reached the Copper mines on the 29th.

The Spaniards seemed exceedingly rejoiced, and welcomed us home,
as though we were of their own nation, religion and kindred. They
assured us, that they had no expectation ever to see us again. The
superintendent of the mines, especially, who appeared to me a gentleman
of the highest order, received {72} us with particular kindness, and
supplied all our pressing wants. Here we remained, to rest and recruit
ourselves, until the 2d of May. My father then advised me to travel
to Santa Fe, to get some of our goods, and purchase a new supply of
horses, with which to return, and bring in our furs. I had a horse,
which we had taken from the Indians, shod with copper shoes, and in
company with four of my companions, and the superintendent of the
mines, I started for Santa Fe. The superintendent assured us, that he
would gladly have furnished us horses; but the Appache Indians[60]
had recently made an incursion upon his establishment, stealing all
his horses, and killing three men, that were herding them. This
circumstance had suspended the working of the mines. Besides he was
unable to procure the necessary coal, with which to work them, because
the Appaches way-laid the colliers, and killed them, as often as they
attempted to make coal.

We arrived at the house of the governor on the 12th. Jacova, his
daughter, received us with the utmost affection; and shed tears on
observing me so ill; as I was in fact reduced by starvation and
fatigue, to skin and bone. Beings in a more wretched plight she could
not often have an opportunity to see. My hair hung matted and uncombed.
My head was surmounted with an old straw hat. My legs were fitted with
leather leggins, and my body arrayed in a leather hunting shirt, and
no want of dirt about any part of the whole. My companions did not
shame me, in comparison, by being better clad. But all these repulsive
circumstances notwithstanding, we were welcomed by the governor and
Jacova, as kindly, as if we had been clad in a manner worthy of their

We rested ourselves here three days. I had left my more decent apparel
in the care of Jacova, when we started from the house into the
wilderness on our trapping expedition. She had had my clothes prepared
in perfect order. I once more dressed myself decently, and spared to
my companions all my clothes that fitted them. We all had our hair
trimmed. All this had much improved our appearance. When we started
{73} on the 15th, the old gentleman gave each of us a good horse,
enabling us to travel at our ease.

On the 18th we arrived at Santa Fe, where we immediately met some of
our former companions. It hardly need be added, that the joy of this
recognition was great and mutual. We found Mr. Pratte ill in bed. He
expressed himself delighted to see me, and was still more desirous to
see my father. He informed me, that four of the company that he had
detached to trap, had been defeated by the Indians, and the majority of
them killed. He had, also, despaired of ever seeing us again. I took
a part of my goods, and started back to the mines on the 21st. None
of my companions were willing to accompany me on account of the great
apprehended danger from the Indians between this place and the mines.
In consequence, I hired a man to go with me, and having purchased what
horses I wanted, we two travelled on in company. I would have preferred
to have purchased my horses of the old governor. But I knew that his
noble nature would impel him to give them to me, and felt reluctant
to incur such an obligation. When I left his house, he insisted on my
receiving a gold chain, in token of the perpetual remembrance of his
daughter. I saw no pretext for refusing it, and as I received it, she
assured me that she should always make mention of my father and me in
her prayers.

I left this hospitable place on the 24th, taking all my clothes with
me, except the hunting shirt, which I had worn in the battle with the
Commanches. This she desired to retain, insisting, that she wished
to preserve this memorial to the day of her death. We arrived at the
mines the first day of June, having experienced no molestation from
the Indians. We continued here, making arrangements for our expedition
to bring in the furs, until the 6th. The good natured commander gave
us provisions to last us to the point where our furs were buried, and
back again. Still more, he armed ten of his laborers, and detached them
to accompany us. The company consisted of four Americans, the man hired
at Santa Fe, and the commander's ten men, fifteen in all.

{74} We left the mines on the 7th, and reached Battle-hill on Beaver
river on the 22d. I need not attempt to describe my feelings, for no
description could paint them, when I found the furs all gone, and
perceived that the Indians had discovered them and taken them away. All
that, for which we had hazarded ourselves, and suffered every thing but
death, was gone. The whole fruit of our long, toilsome and dangerous
expedition was lost, and all my golden hopes of prosperity and comfort
vanished like a dream. I tried to convince myself, that repining was of
no use, and we started for the river San Francisco on the 29th. Here
we found the small quantity buried there, our whole compensation for
a year's toil, misery and danger. We met no Indians either going or

We arrived at the mines the 8th of July, and after having rested two
days proposed to start for Santa Fe. The commander, don Juan Unis,
requested us to remain with him two or three months, to guard his
workmen from the Indians, while pursuing their employment in the woods.
He offered, as a compensation, a dollar a day. We consented to stay,
though without accepting the wages. We should have considered ourselves
ungrateful, after all the kindness, he had rendered us at the hour
of our greatest need, either to have refused the request, or to have
accepted a compensation. Consequently we made our arrangements to stay.

We passed our time most pleasantly in hunting deer and bears, of which
there were great numbers in the vicinity. We had no other duties to
perform, than to walk round in the vicinity of the workmen, or sit by
and see them work. Most of my time was spent with don Juan, who kindly
undertook to teach me to speak Spanish. Of him, having no other person
with whom to converse, I learned the language easily, and rapidly. One
month of our engagement passed off without any molestation from the
Indians. But on the first day of August, while three of us were hunting
deer, we discovered the trail of six Indians approaching the mines. We
followed the trail, and within about a mile from the mines, we came
up with them. {75} They fled, and we pursued close at their heels.
Gaining upon them, one of them dodged us, into the head of a hollow.
We surrounded him. As soon as he saw that we had discovered him, and
that escape was impossible, he sprung on his feet, threw away his bow
and arrows, and begged us most submissively not to shoot him. One of
our men made up to him, while the other man and myself stood with our
guns cocked, and raised to our faces, ready to shoot him, if he made
the least motion towards his bow. But he remained perfectly still,
crossing his hands, that we might tie them. Having done it, we drove
him on before us. We had advanced about a hundred yards from the point
where we took him, when he pointed out to us a hollow tree, intimating
that there was another Indian concealed there. We bade him instruct
his companion to make no resistance, and to surrender himself, or we
would kill him. He explained our words to his companion in the tree. He
immediately came forth from his concealment with his bow, and we tied
his hands in the same way as the other's. We marched them before us to
the mines, where we put them in prison. The Spaniards, exasperated with
their recent cruelties and murders, would have killed them. We insisted
that they should be spared, and they remained in prison until the next

We then brought them out of prison, conversed with them, and showed
them how closely we could fire. We instructed one of them to tell his
chief to come in, accompanied by all his warriors, to make peace. We
retained one of the prisoners as a hostage, assuring the other, that
if his chief did not come in to make peace, we would put the hostage to
death. In regard to the mode of making it, we engaged, that only four
of our men should meet them at a hollow, half a mile from the mine. We
enjoined it on him to bring them there within the term of four days. We
readily discovered by the tranquil countenance of our hostage, that he
had no apprehensions that they would not come in.

Afterwards, by way of precaution, my father put in requisition all
the arms he could find in the vicinity of the mines, with {76} which
he armed thirty Spaniards. He then ordered a trench dug, at a hundred
yard's distance from the point designated for the Indians to occupy.
This trench was to be occupied by our armed men, during the time of the
treaty, in case, that if the Indians should be insolent or menacing,
these men might be at hand to overawe them, or aid us, according to

On the 5th, we repaired to the place designated, and in a short time,
the Indians to the number of 80, came in sight. We had prepared a
pipe, tobacco, and a council fire, and had spread a blanket, on which
the chief might sit down. As soon as they came near us, they threw
down their arms. The four chiefs came up to us, and we all sat down
on the blanket. We commenced discussing the subject, for which they
were convened. We asked them, if they were ready to make a peace with
us; and if not what were the objections? They replied, that they had
no objections to a peace with the Americans, but would never make one
with the Spaniards. When we asked their reasons, they answered that
they had been long at war with the Spaniards, and that a great many
murders had been mutually inflicted on either side. They admitted, that
they had taken a great many horses from the Spaniards, but indignantly
alleged, that a large party of their people had come in to make peace
with the Spaniards, of which they pretended to be very desirous; that
with such pretexts, they had decoyed the party within their walls, and
then commenced butchering them like a flock of sheep. The very few who
had escaped, had taken an unalterable resolution never to make peace
with them. 'In pursuance,' they continued, 'of our purposes of revenge,
great numbers of our nation went in among the Spaniards, and were
baptized. There they remain faithful spies for us, informing us when
and where there were favorable opportunities to kill, and plunder our

We told them in reply, that if they really felt disposed to be at peace
with the Americans, these mines were now working jointly by us and
the Spaniards; that it was wrong in them to revenge the crimes of the
guilty upon the innocent, and that {77} these Spaniards had taken no
part in the cowardly and cruel butchery, of which they had spoken; and
that if they would not be peaceable, and allow us to work the mines
unmolested, the Americans would consider them at war, and would raise
a sufficient body of men to pursue them to their lurking places in the
mountains; that they had good evidence that our people could travel
in the woods and among the mountains, as well as themselves; and that
we could shoot a great deal better than either they or the Spaniards,
and that we had no cowards among us, but true men, who had no fear and
would keep their word.

The chiefs answered, that if the mines belonged to the Americans, they
would promise never to disturb the people that worked them. We left
them, therefore, to infer that the mines belonged to us, and took them
at their word. We then lit the pipe, and all the Indians gathered in
a circle round the fire. The four chiefs, each in succession made a
long speech, in which we could often distinguish the terms Americans,
and Espanola. The men listened with profound attention, occasionally
sanctioning what was said by a nod of the head. We then commenced
smoking, and the pipe passed twice round the circle. They then dug a
hole in the ground in the centre of the circle, and each one spat in
it. They then filled it up with earth, danced round it, and stuck their
arrows in the little mound. They then gathered a large pile of stones
over it, and painted themselves red. Such are their ceremonies of
making peace. All the forms of the ceremony were familiar to us, except
the pile of stones, and spitting in the hole they had dug, which are
not practised by the Indians on the American frontiers. We asked them
the meaning of the spitting. They said, that they did it in token of
spitting out all their spite and revenge, and burying their anger under
the ground.

It was two o'clock before all these ceremonies were finished. We then
showed them our reserve force in the trench. They evinced great alarm
to see their enemies the Spaniards so close to them, and all ready for
action. We explained to them, that we intended to be in good faith, if
they were; and that these {78} men were posted there, only in case they
showed a disposition to violence. Their fears vanished and tranquility
returned to their countenances. The chiefs laughed, and said to each
other, these Americans know how to fight, and make peace too. But were
they to fight us, they would have to get a company entirely of their
own people; for that if they took any Spaniards into their company,
they would be sure to desert them in the time of action.

We thence all marched to the mines, where we killed three beeves to
feed the Indians. After they had eaten, and were in excellent humor,
the head chief made a present to my father, of ten miles square of
a tract of land lying on a river about three miles from the mines.
It was very favorable for cultivation, and the Spaniards had several
times attempted to make a crop of grain upon it; but the Indians had
as often either killed the cultivators, or destroyed the grain. My
father informed them, that though the land might be his, he should be
obliged to employ Spaniards to cultivate it for him; and that, having
made the land his, they must consider these cultivators his people, and
not molest them. With a look of great firmness, the chief said 'that
he was a man of truth, and had given his word, and that we should find
that nothing belonging to the mines would be disturbed, for that he
never would allow the treaty to be violated.' He went on to add, 'that
he wanted to be at peace with us, because he had discovered, that the
Americans never showed any disposition to kill, except in battle; that
they had had a proof of this in our not killing the two prisoners we
had taken; but had sent one of them to invite his people to come in,
and make peace with us, and that he took pleasure in making known to
us, that they were good people too, and had no wish to injure men that
did not disturb or injure them.'

All this farce of bringing the Indians to terms of peace with this
establishment was of infinite service to the Spaniards, though of none
to us; for we neither had any interest in the mines, nor intended
to stay there much longer. But we were glad to oblige don Juan who
had been so great a benefactor {79} to us. He, on his part, was most
thankful to us; for he could now work the mines without any risk of
losing men or cattle. He could now raise his own grain, which he had
hitherto been obliged to pack 200 miles, not without having many of
those engaged in bringing it, either killed or robbed. The Indians now
had so much changed their deportment as to bring in horses or cows,
that they found astray from the mines. They regularly brought in deer
and turkies to sell, which don Juan, to keep alive their friendship,
purchased, whether he needed the articles or not. Every day more or
less Indians came into the settlement to go and hunt deer and bears
with us. They were astonished at the closeness of our shooting; and
nothing seemed to delight them so much, as our telling them, we would
learn them to shoot our guns. My father had the honor to be denominated
in their language, _the big Captain_.

Don Juan, apprehending that the truce with the Indians would last no
longer than while we staid, and that after our departure, the Indians
would resume their former habits of robbery and murder, was desirous
to retain us as long as possible. We agreed to stay until December,
when our plan was to commence another trapping expedition on the
Helay, following it down to its mouth. With every disposition on the
part of don Juan to render our stay agreeable, the time passed away
pleasantly. On the 16th of September, the priest, to whose diocese the
mines belonged, made a visit to the mines, to release the spirits of
those who had died since his last visit, from purgatory, and to make
Christians by baptising the little persons who had been born in the
same time.

This old priest, out of a reverend regard to his own person, had fled
from this settlement at the commencement of the Indian disturbances;
and had not returned until now, when the Indians had made peace. A body
of Indians happened to be in, when the priest came. We were exceedingly
amused with the interview between the priest and an Indian chief, who,
from having had one of his hands bitten off by a bear, was called
_Mocho Mano_. The priest asked the one handed chief, why {80} he did
not offer himself for baptism? Mocho remained silent for some time, as
if ruminating an answer. He then said, 'the Appache chief is a very big
rogue now. Should he get his crown sprinkled with holy water, it would
either do him no good at all, or if it had any effect, would make him a
greater rogue; for that the priests, who made the water holy, and then
went sprinkling it about among the people for money, were the biggest
rogues of all.' This made the priest as angry as it made us merry.

When we had done laughing, Mocho asked us, how we baptised among our
people? I answered that we had two ways of performing it; but that
one way was, to plunge the baptised person under water. He replied
promptly, 'now there is some sense in that;' adding that when a great
quantity of rain fell from the clouds, it made the grass grow; but
that it seemed to him that sprinkling a few drops of water amounted to

The priest, meanwhile, prophesied, that the peace between the Spaniards
and Indians would be of very short duration. On the 18th, he left the
mines, and returned to the place whence he had come. On the 20th, we
started with some Indian guides to see a mountain of salt, that they
assured us existed in their country. We travelled a northerly course
through a heavily timbered country, the trees chiefly of pine and live
oak. We killed a great number of bears and deer on the first day; and
on account of their reverence for my father, they treated me as if I
had been a prince. On the second we arrived at the salt hill, which is
about one hundred miles north of the mines. The hill is about a quarter
of a mile in length, and on the front side of it is the salt bluff,
eight or ten feet in thickness. It has the appearance of a black rock,
divided from the earthy matters, with which the salt is mixed. What was
to me the most curious circumstance of the whole, was to see a fresh
water spring boiling up within twenty feet from the salt bluff, which
is a detached and solitary hill, rising out of a valley, which is of
the richest and blackest soil, and heavily timbered {81} with oak,
ash and black walnut. I remained here two days, during which I killed
fifteen deer, that came to lick salt.

An Indian woman of our company dressed all my deer skins, and we loaded
two mules with the salt, and started back to the mines, where we
arrived the first of October. Nothing could have been more seasonable
or acceptable to don Juan, than the salt we brought with us. Having
mentioned these mines so often, perhaps it may not be amiss, to give a
few details respecting them. Within the circumference of three miles,
there is a mine of copper, gold and silver, and beside, a cliff of load
stone. The silver mine is not worked, as not being so profitable, as
either the copper or gold mines.

We remained here to the last of December, when the settlement was
visited by a company of French trappers, who were bound for Red
river.[61] We immediately made preparations to return with them, which
again revived the apprehensions of don Juan, that the Indians would
break in upon the settlement as soon as we were gone, and again put an
end to the working of the mines. To detain us effectually, he proposed
to rent the mines to us for five years, at a thousand dollars a year.
He was willing to furnish provisions for the first year gratis, and
pay us for all the improvements we should make on the establishment.
We could not but be aware, that this was an excellent offer. My
father accepted it. The writings were drawn, and my father rented the
establishment on his own account, selecting such partners as he chose.

I, meanwhile, felt within me an irresistible propensity to resume the
employment of trapping. I had a desire, which I can hardly describe, to
see more of this strange and new country. My father suffered greatly in
the view of my parting with him, and attempted to dissuade me from it.
He strongly painted the dangers of the route, and represented to me,
that I should not find these Frenchmen like my own country people, for
companions. All was unavailing to change my fixed purpose, and we left
the mines, January 2d, 1826.

We travelled down the river Helay, of which I have formerly {82}
given a description, as far as the point where we had left it for
Battle-hill. Here, although we saw fresh Indian signs, we met with no
Indians. Where we encamped for the night, there were arrows sticking
in the ground. We made an early start on the 16th, and at evening
came upon the self same party of Indians, that had robbed us of our
horses, the year past. Some of them had on articles of my father's
clothes, that he had left where we buried our furs. They had made our
beaver skins into robes, which we now purchased of them. While this
bargain was transacting, I observed one of the Indians mounted on the
self same horse, on which my father had travelled from the States. My
blood instantly boiled within me, and, presenting my gun at him, I
ordered him instantly to dismount. He immediately did as I bade him,
and at once a trepidation and alarm ran through the whole party. They
were but twenty men, and they were encumbered with women and children.
We were thirteen, well mounted and armed. The chief of the party came
to me, and asked me, 'if I knew this horse?' I answered, that 'I did,
and that it was mine.' He asked me again, 'if we were the party, whose
horses and furs they had taken the year before?' I answered, that I
was one of them, and that if he did not cause my furs and horses to be
delivered up to me, we would kill them all on the spot. He immediately
brought me 150 skins and three horses, observing, that they had been
famished, and had eaten the rest, and that he hoped this would satisfy
me, for that in the battle they had suffered more than we, he having
lost ten men, and we having taken from them four horses with their
saddles and bridles. I observed to him in reply, that he must remember
that they were the aggressors, and had provoked the quarrel, in having
robbed us of our horses, and attempting to kill us. He admitted that
they were the aggressors, in beginning the quarrel, but added, by way
of apology, that they had thought us Spaniards, not knowing that we
were Americans; but that now, when he knew us, he was willing to make
peace, and be in perpetual friendship. On this we lit the pipe of
peace, and smoked friends. I gave him some red {83} cloth, with which
he was delighted. I then asked him about the different nations, through
which our route would lead us? He named four nations, with names,
as he pronounced them, sufficiently barbarous. All these nations he
described as bad, treacherous and quarrelsome.

Though it was late in the evening, we resumed our march, until we had
reached the point where the river runs between mountains, and where I
had turned back the year before. There is here little timber, beside
musqueto-wood, which stands thick. We passed through the country of
the first two tribes, which the Indian chief had described to us,
without meeting an individual of them. On the 25th, we arrived at an
Indian village situated on the south bank of the river. Almost all the
inhabitants of this village speak Spanish, for it is situated only
three days journey from a Spanish fort in the province of Sonora,[62]
through which province this river runs. The Indians seemed disposed
to be friendly to us. They are to a considerable degree cultivators,
raising wheat, corn and cotton, which they manufacture into cloths. We
left this village on the 25th, and on the 28th in the evening arrived
at the Papawar village, the inhabitants of which came running to meet
us, with their faces painted, and their bows and arrows in their hands.
We were alarmed at these hostile appearances, and halted. We told them
that we were friends, at which they threw down their arms, laughing
the while, and showing by their countenances that they were aware that
we were frightened. We entered the village, and the French began to
manifest their uncontrollable curiosity, by strolling about in every
direction. I noted several crowds of Indians, collected in gangs, and
talking earnestly. I called the leader of my French companions, and
informed him that I did not like these movements of the Indians, and
was fearful that they were laying a plan to cut us all up. He laughed
at my fears, telling me I was a coward. I replied, that I did not think
that to be cautious, and on our guard, was to show cowardice, and that
I still thought it best for us to start {84} off. At this he became
angry, and told me that I might go when I pleased, and that he would go
when he was ready.

I then spoke to a Frenchman of our number, that I had known for a long
time in Missouri; I proposed to him to join me, and we would leave the
village and encamp by ourselves. He consented, and we went out of the
village to the distance of about 400 yards, under the pretext of going
there to feed our horses. When the sun was about half an hour high, I
observed the French captain coming out towards us, accompanied by a
great number of Indians, all armed with bows and arrows. This confirmed
me in my conviction that they intended us no good. Expressing my
apprehensions to my French companion, he observed in his peculiar style
of English, that the captain was too proud and headstrong, to allow him
to receive instruction from any one, for that he thought nobody knew
any thing but himself.

Agreeing that we had best take care of ourselves, we made us a fire,
and commenced our arrangements for spending the night. We took care not
to unsaddle our horses, but to be in readiness to be off at a moment's
warning. Our French captain came and encamped within a hundred yards
of us, accompanied by not less than a hundred Indians. They were all
exceedingly officious in helping the party unpack their mules; and in
persuading the captain, that there was no danger in turning them all
loose, they promised that they would guard them with their own horses.
This proposal delighted the lazy Frenchmen, who hated to go through
the details of preparing for encampment, and had a particular dislike
to standing guard in the night. The Indian chief then proposed to
the captain to stack their arms against a tree, that stood close by.
To this also, under a kind of spell of infatuation he consented. The
Indian chief took a rope, and tied the arms fast to a tree.

As I saw this, I told the captain that it seemed to me no mark of their
being friendly, for them to retain their own arms, and persuade us to
putting ours out of our power, and that one, who had known Indians,
ought to be better acquainted with their character, than to encamp with
them, without his men having {85} their own arms in their hand. On this
he flew into a most violent passion, calling me, with a curse added
to the epithet, a coward, wishing to God that he had never taken me
with him, to dishearten his men, and render them insubordinate. Being
remarkable neither for forbearance, or failing to pay a debt of hard
words, I gave him as good as he sent, telling him, among other things
no ways flattering, that he was a liar and a fool, for that none other
than a fool would disarm his men, and go to sleep in the midst of armed
savages in the woods. To this he replied, that he would not allow me
to travel any longer in his company. I answered that I was not only
willing, but desirous to leave him, for that I considered myself safer
in my own single keeping, than under the escort of such a captain,
and that I estimated him only to have sense enough to lead people to

He still continued to mutter harsh language in reply, as I returned
to my own camp. It being now dusk, we prepared, and ate our supper.
We had just finished it, when the head chief of the village came to
invite us to take our supper with them, adding, by way of inducement,
that they had brought some fine pumpkins to camp, and had cooked them
for the white people. We told him, we had taken supper; and the more
he insisted, the more resolutely we refused. Like the French captain,
he began to abuse us, telling us we had bad hearts. We told him,
that when with such people, we chose rather to trust to our heads
than our hearts. He then asked us to let some of his warriors come
and sleep with us, and share our blankets, alleging, as a reason for
the request, that the nights were cold, and his warriors too poor to
buy blankets. We told him, that he could easily see that we were poor
also, and were no ways abundantly supplied with blankets, and that we
should not allow them to sleep with us. He then marched off to the
French camp, evidently sulky and in bad temper. While roundly rating us
to the French captain, he gave as a reason why we ought not to sleep
by ourselves, that we were in danger of being killed in the night by
another tribe of Indians, with whom he was at war.

{86} The captain, apparently more calm, came to us, and told us, that
our conduct was both imprudent and improper, in not conciliating the
Indians by consenting to eat with them, or allowing them to sleep
with us. My temper not having been at all sweetened by any thing that
had occurred since we fell out, I told him, that if he had a fancy to
eat, or sleep with these Indians, I had neither power nor the will
to control him; but that, being determined, that neither he nor they
should sleep with me, he had better go about his business, and not
disturb me with useless importunity. At this he began again to abuse
and revile me, to which I made no return. At length, having exhausted
his stock of epithets, he returned to his camp.

As soon as we were by ourselves, we began to cut grass for our horses,
not intending either to unsaddle, or let them loose for the night. My
companion and myself were alike convinced, that some catastrophe was in
reserve from the Indians, and seeing no chance of defending ourselves
against an odds of more than twenty to one, we concluded, as soon as
all should be silent in the camp, to fly. We packed our mules so as to
leave none of our effects behind, and kept awake. We remained thus,
until near midnight, when we heard a fierce whistle, which we instantly
understood to be the signal for an attack on the French camp. But a
moment ensued, before we heard the clashing of war clubs, followed by
the shrieks and heavy groans of the dying French, mingled with the
louder and more horrible yells of these treacherous and blood thirsty
savages. A moment afterwards, we heard a party of them making towards
us. To convince them that they could not butcher us in our defenceless
sleep, we fired upon them. This caused them to retreat. Convinced that
we had no time to lose, we mounted our horses, and fled at the extent
of our speed. We heard a single gun discharged in the Indian camp,
which we supposed the act of an Indian, who had killed the owner. We
took our direction towards a high mountain on the south side of the
river, and pushed for it as fast as we thought our horses could endure
to be driven. We reached the mountain at day break, {87} and made our
way about three miles up a creek, that issued from the mountain. Here
we stopped to refresh our horses, and let them feed, and take food
ourselves. The passage of the creek was along a kind of crevice of the
mountain, and we were strongly convinced that the Indians would not
follow upon our trail further than the entrance to the mountain. One
of us ascended a high ridge, to survey whatever might be within view.
My companion, having passed nearly an hour in the survey, returned to
me, and said he saw something on the plain approaching us. I ascended
with him to the same place, and plainly perceived something black
approaching us. Having watched it for some time, I thought it a bear.
At length it reached a tree on the plain, and ascended it. We were
then convinced, that it was no Indian, but a bear searching food. We
could see the smokes arising from the Indian town, and had no doubt,
that the savages were dancing at the moment around the scalps of the
unfortunate Frenchmen, who had fallen the victims of their indolence
and rash confidence in these faithless people. All anger for their
abuse of me for my timely advice was swallowed up in pity for their
fate. But yesterday these people were the merriest of the merry. What
were they now? Waiting a few moments, we saw the supposed bear descend
the tree, and advance directly to the branch on which we were encamped.
We had observed that the water of this branch, almost immediately
upon touching the plain, was lost in the arid sand, and gave no other
evidence of its existence, than a few green trees. In a moment we saw
buttons glitter on this object from the reflected glare of the sun's
rays. We were undeceived in regard to our bear, and now supposed it
an Indian, decorated with a coat of the unfortunate Frenchmen. We
concluded to allow him to approach close enough to satisfy our doubts,
before we fired upon him. We lay still, until he came within fair rifle
distance, when to our astonishment, we discovered it to be the French
captain! We instantly made ourselves known from our perch. He uttered
an exclamation of joy, and fell prostrate on the earth. Fatigue and
{88} thirst had brought him to death's door. We raised him, and carried
him to our camp. He was wounded in the head and face with many and deep
wounds, the swelling of which had given him fever. I happened to have
with me some salve, which my father gave me when I left the mines.
I dressed his wounds. Having taken food, and sated his thirst, hope
returned to him. So great was his change in a few hours, that he was
able to move off with us that evening. In his present miserable and
forlorn condition, I exercised too much humanity and forbearance to
think of adverting to our quarrel of the preceding evening. Probably
estimating my forbearance aright, he himself led to the subject. He
observed in a tone apparently of deep compunction, that if he had had
the good sense and good temper to have listened to my apprehensions and
cautions, both he and his people might have been now gaily riding over
the prairies. Oppressed with mixed feelings, I hardly knew what reply
to make, and only remarked, that it was too late now to lament over
what was unchangeable, and that the will of God had been done. After a
silence of some time, he resumed the conversation, and related all the
particulars of the terrible disaster, that had come to his knowledge.
His own escape he owed to retaining a pocket pistol, when the rest of
their arms were stacked. This he fired at an Indian approaching him,
who fell, and thus enabled him to fly; not, however, until he had
received a number of severe wounds from their clubs. I had not the
heart to hear him relate what became of the rest of his comrades. I
could easily divine that the treacherous savages had murdered every
one. Feelings of deep and burning revenge arose in my bosom, and I
longed for nothing so much as to meet with these monsters on any thing
like terms of equality. About sunset we could distinctly discern the
river bottom about five miles distant from us. When it became dark, we
descried three fires close together, which we judged to be those of
savages in pursuit of us. Like some white people, the Indians never
forgive any persons that they have outraged and injured. We halted, and
took counsel, what {89} was to be done. We concluded that my companion
and myself should leave our wounded companion to take care of the
horses, and go and reconnoitre the camp, in which were these fires, and
discover the number of the Indians, and if it was great, to see how
we could be most likely to pass them unobserved. When we had arrived
close to the fires, we discovered a considerable number of horses tied,
and only two men guarding them. We crawled still closer, to be able to
discern their exact number and situation.

In this way we arrived within fifty yards of their camp, and could see
no one, but the two, any where in the distance. We concluded, that all
the rest of the company were asleep in some place out of our view. We
presumed it would not be long before some of them would awake, it
being now ten at night. Our intention was to take aim at them, as they
should pass between us and their fire, and drop them both together.
We could distinctly hear them speaking about their horses. At length
one of them called to the other, in English, to go and wake their
relief guards. Words would poorly express my feelings, at hearing these
beloved sounds. I sprang from my crouching posture, and ran towards
them. They were just ready to shoot me, when I cried _a friend_, _a
friend_! One of them exclaimed, 'where in God's name did you spring
from.' 'You seem to have come out of the earth.' The surprise and joy
upon mutual recognition was great on both sides. I gave him a brief
sketch of the recent catastrophe of our company, as we followed them
to camp. The company was all roused and gathered round us, eagerly
listening to the recital of our recent disaster. At hearing my sad
story, they expressed the hearty sorrow of good and true men, and
joined us in purposes of vengeance against the Indians.

We were now thirty-two in all. We fired twelve guns, a signal which the
wounded captain heard and understood, for he immediately joined us.
We waited impatiently for the morning. As soon as it was bright dawn,
we all formed under a genuine American leader, who could be entirely
relied upon. {90} His orders were, that twenty should march in front of
the pack horses, and twelve behind. In the evening we encamped within
five miles of the Indian village, and made no fires. In the morning
of the 31st, we examined all our arms, and twenty-six of us started
to attack the village. When we had arrived close to it, we discovered
most fortunately, what we considered the dry bed of a creek, though we
afterwards discovered it to be the old bed of the river, that had very
high banks, and ran within a hundred yards of the village. In this bed
we all formed ourselves securely and at our leisure, and marched quite
near to the verge of the village without being discovered. Every man
posted himself in readiness to fire. Two of our men were then ordered
to show themselves on the top of the bank. They were immediately
discovered by the Indians, who considered them, I imagine, a couple of
the Frenchmen that they had failed to kill. They raised the yell, and
ran towards the two persons, who instantly dropped down under the bank.
There must have been at least 200 in pursuit. They were in a moment
close on the bank. In order to prevent the escape of the two men, they
spread into a kind of circle to surround them. This brought the whole
body abreast of us. We allowed them to approach within twenty yards,
when we gave them our fire. They commenced a precipitate retreat, we
loading and firing as fast as was in our power. They made no pause in
their village, but ran off, men, women and children, towards a mountain
distant 700 yards from their village. In less than ten minutes, the
village was so completely evacuated, that not a human being was to be
found, save one poor old blind and deaf Indian, who sat eating his mush
as unconcernedly as if all had been tranquil in the village. We did not
molest him.

We appropriated to our own use whatever we found in the village that
we judged would be of any service to us. We then set fire to their
wigwams, and returned to our camp. They were paid a bloody price for
their treachery, for 110 of them were slain. At twelve we returned to
the village in a body, and retook all the horses of the Frenchmen, that
they had killed. {91} We then undertook the sad duty of burying the
remains of the unfortunate Frenchmen. A sight more horrible to behold,
I have never seen. They were literally cut in pieces, and fragments of
their bodies scattered in every direction, round which the monsters
had danced, and yelled. We then descended the river about a mile below
the village, to the point where it enters the Helay from the north. It
affords as much water at this point as the Helay.

In the morning of the 1st of February, we began to ascend Black
river.[63] We found it to abound with beavers. It is a most beautiful
stream, bounded on each side with high and rich bottoms. We travelled
up this stream to the point where it forks in the mountains; that is
to say, about 80 miles from its mouth. Here our company divided, a
part ascending one fork, and a part the other. The left fork heads
due north, and the right fork north east. It was my lot to ascend the
latter. It heads in mountains covered with snow, near the head of the
left hand fork of the San Francisco. On the 16th, we all met again at
the junction of the forks. The other division found that their fork
headed in snow covered mountains, as they supposed near the waters of
Red river. They had also met a tribe of Indians, who called themselves
_Mokee_.[64] They found them no ways disposed to hostility. From their
deportment it would seem as if they had never seen white people before.
At the report of a gun they fell prostrate on the ground. They knew
no other weapon of war than a sling, and with this they had so much
dexterity and power, that they were able to bring down a deer at the
distance of 100 yards.

We thence returned down the Helay, which is here about 200 yards wide,
with heavily timbered bottoms. We trapped its whole course, from where
we met it, to its junction with Red river. The point of junction is
inhabited by a tribe of Indians called Umene.[65] Here we encamped for
the night. On the morning of the 26th, a great many of these Indians
crossed the river to our camp, and brought us dried beans, for which we
paid them with red cloth, with which they were delighted beyond {92}
measure, tearing it into ribbands, and tieing it round their arms and
legs; for if the truth must be told, they were as naked as Adam and Eve
in their birth day suit. They were the stoutest men, with the finest
forms I ever saw, well proportioned, and as straight as an arrow.
They contrive, however, to inflict upon their children an artificial
deformity. They flatten their heads, by pressing a board upon their
tender scalps, which they bind fast by a ligature. This board is so
large and light, that I have seen women, when swimming the river with
their children, towing them after them by a string, which they held in
their mouth. The little things neither suffered nor complained, but
floated behind their mothers like ducks.

At twelve we started up Red river, which is between two and three
hundred yards wide, a deep, bold stream, and the water at this
point entirely clear. The bottoms are a mile in general width, with
exceedingly high, barren cliffs. The timber of the bottoms is very
heavy, and the grass rank and high. Near the river are many small
lakes, which abound in beavers.

March 1st we came among a tribe of Indians, called Cocomarecopper. At
sight of us they deserted their wigwams, one and all, and fled to the
mountains, leaving all their effects at our discretion. Of course we
did not meddle with any thing. Their corn was knee high. We took care
not to let our horses injure it, but marched as fast as we could from
their village, to deprive them of their homes [in] as little time as
possible. About four miles above the town we encamped, and set our
traps. About twelve next day it began to rain, and we pitched our tents.

We had scarce kindled our fires, when 100 Indians came to our camp,
all painted red in token of amity. They asked fire, and when we had
given it, they went about 20 yards from us, and as the rain had been
heavy and the air cool, they made a great fire, round which they all
huddled. We gave them the bodies of six large fat beavers, which
they cooked by digging holes in the ground, at the bottom of which
they kindled fires, and on the fires threw the beavers which they
covered with dirt. This dainty, thus prepared they greedily devoured,
entrails {93} and all. Next morning, fearful that our guns might have
experienced inconvenience from the rain, we fired them off to load them
afresh. They were amazed and alarmed, to see us make, what they called
thunder and lightning. They were still more startled, to see the bullet
holes in the tree, at which we had aimed. We made signs to them, that
one ball would pass through the body of two men. Some of our men had
brought with them some scalps of the Papawars, the name of the tribe
where our French captain lost his company. They informed us that they
were at war with that tribe, and begged some of the scalps to dance
round. They were given them, and they began to cut their horrid anticks
about it.

Our traps had taken thirty beavers the last night. We gave them the
meat of twenty, with which present they were delighted, their gratitude
inducing them to manifest affection to us. They ate and danced all
day and most of the night. On the morning of the 3d, they left us,
returning to their camps. We resumed our march, and on the 6th arrived
at another village of Indians called Mohawa. When we approached their
village, they were exceedingly alarmed. We marched directly through
their village, the women and children screaming, and hiding themselves
in their huts. We encamped about three miles above the village. We had
scarcely made our arrangements for the night, when 100 of these Indians
followed us. The chief was a dark and sulky looking savage, and he
made signs that he wanted us to give him a horse. We made as prompt
signs of refusal. He replied to this, by pointing first to the river,
and then at the furs we had taken, intimating, that the river, with
all it contained, belonged to him; and that we ought to pay him for
what we had taken, by giving him a horse. When he was again refused,
he raised himself erect, with a stern and fierce air, and discharged
his arrow into the tree, at the same time raising his hand to his
mouth, and making their peculiar yell. Our captain made no other reply,
than by raising his gun and shooting the arrow, as it still stuck
in the tree, in two. The chief seemed bewildered with this mark of
close {94} markmanship, and started off with his men. We had no small
apprehensions of a night attack from these Indians. We erected a hasty
fortification with logs and skins, but sufficiently high and thick,
to arrest their arrows in case of attack. The night, contrary to our
fears, passed without interruption from them. On the morning of the
7th, the chief returned on horse back, and in the same sulky tone again
demanded a horse. The captain bade him be off, in a language and with
a tone alike understood by all people. He started off on full gallop,
and as he passed one of our horses, that was tied a few yards from the
camp, he fired a spear through the animal. He had not the pleasure to
exult in his revenge for more than fifty yards, before he fell pierced
by four bullets. We could not doubt, that the Indians would attempt
to revenge the death of their chief. After due consideration, we saw
no better place in which to await their attack, than the one we now
occupied. On the rear we were defended by the river, and in front by an
open prairie. We made a complete breastwork, and posted spies in the
limbs of the tall trees, to descry the Indians, if any approached us,
while still at a distance. No Indians approached us through the day,
and at night a heavy rain commenced falling. We posted sentinels, and
secured our horses under the river bank. We kindled no fires, and we
passed the night without annoyance. But at day break, they let fly at
us a shower of arrows. Of these we took no notice. Perhaps, thinking
us intimidated, they then raised the war whoop, and made a charge
upon us. At the distance of 150 yards we gave them a volley of rifle
balls. This brought them to a halt, and a moment after to a retreat,
more rapid than their advance had been. We sallied out after them, and
gave them the second round, which induced all, that were not forever
stopped, to fly at the top of their speed. We had killed sixteen of
their number. We returned to our camp, packed, and started, having made
a determination not to allow any more Indians to enter our camp. This
affair happened on the 9th.

We pushed on as rapidly as possible, fearful that these red {95}
children of the desert, who appear to inherit an equal hatred of
all whites, would follow us, and attack us in the night. With
timely warning we had no fear of them by day, but the affair of the
destruction of the French company, proved that they might become
formidable foes by night. To prevent, as far as might be, such
accidents, we raised a fortification round our camp every night,
until we considered ourselves out of their reach, which was on the
evening of the 12th. This evening we erected no breast-work, placed no
other guard than one person to watch our horses, and threw ourselves
in careless security round our fires. We had taken very little rest
for four nights, and being exceedingly drowsy, we had scarcely laid
ourselves down, before we were sound asleep. The Indians had still
followed us, too far off to be seen by day, but had probably surveyed
our camp each night. At about 11 o'clock this night, they poured upon
us a shower of arrows, by which they killed two men, and wounded two
more; and what was most provoking, fled so rapidly that we could not
even give them a round. One of the slain was in bed with me. My own
hunting shirt had two arrows in it, and my blanket was pinned fast to
the ground by arrows. There were sixteen arrows discharged into my bed.
We extinguished our fires, and it may easily be imagined, slept no more
that night.

In the morning, eighteen of us started in pursuit of them, leaving the
rest of the company to keep camp and bury our dead. We soon came upon
their trail, and reached them late in the evening. They were encamped,
and making their supper from the body of a horse. They got sight of us
before we were within shooting distance, and fled. We put spurs to our
horses, and overtook them just as they were entering a thicket. Having
every advantage, we killed a greater part of them, it being a division
of the band that had attacked us. We suspended those that we had killed
upon the trees, and left their bodies to dangle in terror to the rest,
and as a proof, how we retaliated aggression. We then returned to our
company, who had each received sufficient warning not to encamp in the
territories {96} of hostile Indians without raising a breast-work round
the camp. Red river at this point bears a north course, and affords an
abundance of the finest lands. We killed plenty of mountain sheep and
deer, though no bears. We continued our march until the 16th, without
seeing any Indians. On that day we came upon a small party, of whom
the men fled, leaving a single woman. Seeing herself in our power, she
began to beat her breast, and cry _Cowera_, _Cowera_; from which we
gathered, that she belonged to that tribe. We treated her kindly, and
travelled on. On the 23d, we came to a village of the Shuena Indians.
As we approached it, they came out and began to fire arrows upon us.
We gave them in return a round of rifle balls. In the excitement of
an attack, we laughed heartily to see these sons of the desert dodge,
and skulk away half bent, as though the heavens were falling upon
them. From their manner we inferred, that they were in fact wholly
unacquainted with white people, or at least they never before heard the
report of a gun. The whole establishment dispersed to the mountains,
and we marched through the village without seeing any inhabitants,
except the bodies of those we had killed. We had received more than one
lesson of caution, and we moved on with great circumspection. But so
much of our time was taken up in defence and attacks, and fortifying
our camps, that we had little leisure to trap. In order that our grand
object should not be wholly defeated, we divided our men into two
companies, the one to trap and the other to keep guard. This expedient
at once rendered our trapping very productive. We discovered little
change in the face of the country. The course of the river still north,
flowing through a rich valley, skirted with high mountains, the summits
of which were white with snow.

On the 25th we reached a small stream,[66] emptying into Red river
through the east bank, up which we detached three men, each carrying
a trap, to discover if beavers abounded in that stream. They were to
return the next day, while we were engaged in shoeing our horses. The
next day elapsed, but none returned. We became anxious about their
fate; and on the {97} 27th, started to see what had become of them.
At mid-day we found their bodies cut in pieces, and spitted before a
great fire, after the same fashion which is used in roasting beaver.
The Indians who had murdered them, saw us as we came on, and fled to
the mountains, so that we had no chance of avenging the death of our
unfortunate companions. We gathered the fragments of their bodies
together and buried them. With sadness in our hearts, and dejection
on our countenances, we returned to our camp, struck our tents, and
marched on. The temperature in this region is rather severe, and we
were wretchedly clad to encounter the cold.

On the 28th, we reached a point of the river where the mountains
shut in so close upon its shores, that we were compelled to climb a
mountain, and travel along the acclivity, the river still in sight, and
at an immense depth beneath us.[67]--Through this whole distance, which
we judged to be, as the river meanders, 100 leagues, we had snow from a
foot to eighteen inches deep. The river bluffs on the opposite shore,
were never more than a mile from us. It is perhaps, this very long and
formidable range of mountains, which has caused, that this country of
Red river, has not been more explored, at least by the American people.
A march more gloomy and heart-wearing, to people hungry, poorly clad,
and mourning the loss of their companions, cannot be imagined. Our
horses had picked a little herbage, and had subsisted on the bark of
shrubs. Our provisions were running low, and we expected every hour to
see our horses entirely give out.

April 10th, we arrived where the river emerges from these horrid
mountains, which so cage it up, as to deprive all human beings of the
ability to descend to its banks, and make use of its waters. No mortal
has the power of describing the pleasure I felt, when I could once more
reach the banks of the river.--Our traps, by furnishing us beavers,
soon enabled us to renew our stock of provisions. We likewise killed
plenty of elk, and dressed their skins for clothing. On the 13th we
reached another part of the river, emptying into the main river from
the {98} north. Up this we all trapped two days. During this excursion
we met a band of hostile Indians, who attacked us with an unavailing
discharge of arrows, of whom we killed four.

On the 15th, we returned to the banks of Red river, which is here a
clear beautiful stream. We moved very slowly, for our beasts were too
lean and worn down, to allow us to do otherwise. On the 16th we met
with a large party of the Shoshonees,[68] a tribe of Indians famous for
the extent of their wanderings, and for the number of white people they
had killed, by pretending friendship to them, until they found them
disarmed, or asleep. One of our company could speak their language,
from having been a prisoner among them for a year. They were warmly
clad with buffaloe robes, and they had muskets, which we knew they
must have taken from the white people. We demanded of them to give up
the fire arms, which they refused. On this we gave them our fire, and
they fled to the mountains, leaving their women and children in our
power.--We had no disposition to molest them. We learned from these
women, that they had recently destroyed a company of French hunters on
the head waters of the Platte. We found six of their yet fresh scalps,
which so exasperated us, that we hardly refrained from killing the
women. We took from them all the beaver skins which they had taken from
the slain French, and five of their mules, and added to our provisions
their stock of dried buffaloe meat. We had killed eight of their men,
and we mortified the women excessively, by compelling them to exchange
the scalps of the unfortunate Frenchmen for those of their own people.

We resumed our march, and ascended the river to the point where it
forked again, neither fork being more than from twenty-five to thirty
yards wide. On the 19th, we began to ascend the right hand fork, which
pursues a N. E. course.[69] On the 23d, we arrived at the chief village
of the Nabahoes, a tribe that we knew to be friendly to the whites.
We enquired of them, if we could cross the Rocky Mountains best at
the head of this fork or the other; and they informed us, that the
mountains {99} were impassable, except by following the left hand fork.
Knowing that they were at war with the Shoshonee, we let them know how
many of them we had killed. With this they were delighted, and gave
us eight horses, one for each man we had slain. They sent with us,
moreover, ten Indians to point out to us the route, in which to cross
the mountains.

On the 25th, we started up the left hand fork, and arrived on the
30th, in the country of the Pewee tribe,[70] who are friendly to the
Nabahoes. Their chief village is situated within two days' travel
of the low gap, at which we were to cross the mountains, at which
gap we arrived on the first of May.[71] The crossing was a work, the
difficulty of which may be imagined from the nature of the case and
the character of the mountains.--The passage occupied six days, during
which we had to pass along compact drifts of snow, higher than a man on
horseback. The narrow path through these drifts is made by the frequent
passing of buffaloes, of which we found many dead bodies in the way.
We had to pack cotton-wood bark on the horses for their own eating,
and the wood necessary to make fires for our cooking. Nothing is to be
seen among these mountains, but bare peaks and perpetual snow. Every
one knows, that these mountains divide between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans. At the point where we crossed them, they run in a direction a
little north of west, and south of east, further than the eye can reach.

On the 7th, we struck the south fork of the Platte, near Long's
Peak,[72] and descended it five days. We then struck across the plain
to the main Platte, on which we arrived on the 16th. In descending it
we found the beavers scarce, for all these rivers had been thoroughly
trapped. The river is skirted with only a few small willows, and the
country is open prairie, entirely destitute of trees. We saw immense
droves of elk, buffaloes, and white bears, which haunt the buffaloe
range to prey upon those noble animals. We had the merriest sport
imaginable, in chasing the buffaloes over these perfectly level plains,
and shooting them with the arrows we had taken from the Indians {100}
we had killed. I have killed myself, and seen others kill a buffaloe,
with a single shot of an arrow. The bows are made with ribs of
buffaloes, and drive the arrows with prodigious force. On the 20th, we
left this river and started for the Big Horn,[73] a fork of the Yellow
Stone, itself a considerable river of the Missouri. We reached the Big
Horn on the 31st, and found but few beavers. June 2d, we struck over
towards the main Yellow Stone,[74] and on the 3d entered the country of
the Flat Heads, who were entirely friendly.[75] We purchased some furs
of them. They are Indians of exceedingly handsome forms, were it not
for the horrid deformity of their heads, which are transversely from
ear to ear but a few inches in diameter, and in the other direction
monstrous, giving them the appearance of wearing a military cap with
all its plumage. This plumage is furnished by their matted tresses of
hair, painted and skewered up to a high point. This monstrosity is
occasioned by binding two pieces of board on each side of the head of
the new-born infant, which is kept secure with bandages, until the
child is three years old, at which time the head bones have acquired
a firmness to retain their then shape during life. On the 11th, we
reached the Yellow Stone, and ascended it to its head; and thence
crossed the ridges of the Rocky Mountains to Clarke's fork of the
Columbia.[76] But all these streams had been so much trapped, as to
yield but few beavers. Clarke's fork is a hundred yards wide, a bold,
clear, pleasant stream, remarkable for the number and excellence of
its fish, and most beautiful country of fertile land on its shores.
We ascended this river to its head, which is in Long's Peak, near the
head waters of the Platte. We thence struck our course for the head
waters of the Arkansas, on which we arrived July 1st. Here we met a
band of the Grasshopper Indians, who derive their name from gathering
grasshoppers, drying them, and pulverizing them, with the meal of which
they make mush and bread; and this is their chief article of food.
They are so little improved, as not even to have furnished themselves
with {101} the means of killing buffaloes. At sight of us, these poor
two-legged animals, dodged into the high grass like so many partridges.

We marched up this stream, trapping for the few beavers which it
afforded. Its banks are scantily timbered, being only skirted with
a few willows. On the 5th, we met a war party of the Black Foot
Indians,[77] all well mounted. As soon as they saw us, they came
fiercely upon us, yelling as though the spirit of darkness had loaned
them the voices of all his tenants. We dismounted, and as soon as
they were within shooting distance, we gave them our fire, which they
promptly returned. The contest was fierce for something more than 20
minutes, a part of the time not more than 50 yards apart. They then
retreated, and we mounted our horses, and gave them chase, though
unavailingly, for their horses were as fleet as the wind, compared
with ours. We soon desisted from so useless a pursuit, and returned to
the battle ground. We found sixteen Blackfeet dead, and with infinite
anguish, counted four of our own companions weltering in their blood.
We buried them with sorrowful hearts, and eyes full of tears. Ah! Among
those who live at home, surrounded by numerous relations and friends,
in the midst of repose, plenty and security, when one of the number
droops, and dies with sickness or age, his removal leaves a chasm that
is not filled for years. Think how we must have mourned these brave
men, who had shared so many dangers, and on whose courage and aid we
had every day relied for protection. Here on these remote plains, far
from their friends, they had fallen by the bloody arrow or spear of
these red, barbarous Ishmaelites of the desert, but neither unwept nor
unrevenged. Having performed the sad task of depositing the bodies of
these once warm hearted friends in the clay, we ascended to the head
of this river, and crossed the mountain that separates its waters
from those of the Rio del Norte, which river we struck on the 20th.
We began to descend it, and on the 23d met a band of the Nabahoes,
who accompanied us {102} quite to their chief village. It will be
seen, that all these streams upon which we have been trapping, rise
from sources which interlock with each other, and the same range of
peaks at very short distances from each other. These form the heads of
Red river of the east, and the Colorado of the west, Rio del Norte,
Arkansas, Platte, Yellow Stone, Missouri and Columbia. The village of
these Indians is distant 50 miles from the Rio del Norte. We remained
at it two days, and rested our horses, and refreshed ourselves. This
tribe some years since had been at war with the Spanish, during which
they plundered them of great numbers of horses, mules and cattle, which
caused that they had now large stocks of these animals, together with
flocks of sheep. They raise a great abundance of grain, and manufacture
their wool much better than the Spanish. On the first of August we
arrived at Santa Fe, with a fine amount of furs. Here disaster awaited
us. The Governor, on the pretext that we had trapped without a license
from him, robbed us of all our furs. We were excessively provoked, and
had it not been from a sense of duty to our own beloved country, we
would have redressed our wrongs, and retaken our furs with our own arms.

Here I remained until the 18th, disposing of a part of my goods,
and reserving the remainder for a trip which I contemplated to
the province of Sonora. I had the pleasure once more of receiving
the affectionate greeting of Jacova, who gave me the most earnest
counsels to quit this dangerous and rambling way of life, and settle
myself down in a house of my own. I thanked her for her kindness
and good counsel, and promised to follow it, after rambling another
year in the wilderness.--Thence I went to the mines, where I had the
inexpressible satisfaction again to embrace my dear father, whom I
found in perfect health, and making money rapidly. I remained there
three days, and, accompanied with one servant, arrived in Hanas on the
first of September. This is a small town situated in the province of
Biscay, between the province of Sonora and New Mexico, in a direction
S. W. from the copper mines.[78] {103} The country is generally of
that character, denominated in Kentucky, barren. The soil is level
and black. These people raise a great quantity of stock, such as
horses, cows, sheep and goats. Their farming implements are clumsy and
indifferent. They use oxen entirely in their agriculture. Their ploughs
are a straight piece of timber, five feet long and eight inches thick,
mortised for two other pieces of timber, one to be fitted to the beam,
by which the oxen draw, and another to the handle, by which the man
holds the plough. The point that divides the soil, is of wood, and
hewed sloping to such a point, that a hollow piece of iron is fastened
on it at the end. This is one inch thick, and three inches broad at
top, and slopes also to a point.

Their hoes, axes and other tools are equally indifferent; and they are
precisely in such a predicament, as might be expected of a people who
have no saw mills, no labor saving machinery, and do every thing by
dint of hard labor, and are withal very indolent and unenterprising.

I amused myself at times with an old man, who daily fell in my way,
who was at once rich and to the last degree a miser; and yet devotedly
attached to the priests, who were alone able to get a little money
out of him. He often spoke to me about the unsafeness of my religion.
Instead of meeting his remarks with an argument, I generally affronted
him at once, and then diverted myself with his ways of showing his
anger. I told him that his priest treated him as the Spanish hostlers
do their horses. He asked me to explain the comparison. I observed,
'you know how the hostler in the first place throws his lasso over
the mule's neck. That secures the body of the beast. Next the animal
is blindfolded. That hinders his seeing where he is led. Next step he
binds the saddle safe and fast. Then the holy father rigs his heels
with spurs. Next come spur and lash, and the animal is now restive to
no purpose. There is no shaking off the rider. On he goes, till the
animal under him dies, and both go to hell together!' At this he flew
into such a violent rage, as to run at me with his knife. I dodged out
of his {104} way, and appeased him by convincing him that I was in
jest. The rich, in their way of living, unite singular contrasts of
magnificence and meanness. For instance, they have few of the useful
articles of our dining and tea sets, but a great deal of massive
silver plate, and each guest a silver fork and spoon. The dining room
is contiguous to the kitchen. A window is thrown open, and the cook
hands a large dish through the window to a servant, who bears it to the
table. The entertainer helps himself first, and passes the dish round
to all the guests. Then another and another is brought on, often to
the number of sixteen. All are savored so strong with garlic and red
pepper, that an American at first cannot eat them. The meat is boiled
to such a consistency that a spoon manages it better than a knife. At
the close of the dinner they bring in wine and cigars, and they sit and
smoke and drink wine until drowsiness steals upon them, and they go
to bed for their siesta. They sleep until three in the afternoon, at
which time the church bell tolls. They rise, take a cup of chocolate,
and handle the wine freely. This short affair over, they return and
sit down on the shaded side of the house, and chatter like so many
geese till night, when they divide, a part to mass, and a part to the
card table, where I have seen the poor, betting their shirts, hats and
shoes. The village contains 700 souls.

On the 6th, I departed from this town, travelling a west course through
a most beautiful country, the plains of which were covered with
domestic animals running wild. On the 8th I arrived at the foot of the
mountain, that divides the province of Sonora from Biscay. I slept at
a country seat, where they were making whiskey of a kind of plantain,
of which I have spoken before, which they called Mascal (Maguey). Here
were assembled great numbers of Spaniards and Indians. They were soon
drunk, and as a matter of course, fighting with knives and clubs. In
the morning, two Spaniards and one Indian were found dead. Late in the
morning, a file of soldiers arrived, and took the suspected murderers
to prison.

In the morning I commenced climbing the mountain before {105} me, and
in the evening arrived at a small town in Sonoro, called Barbisca;[79]
situated on the bank of a most beautiful little stream, called Iago,
which discharges itself into the Pacific ocean, near the harbor of
Ymus. Its banks are not much timbered, nor is the soil uncommonly
good. The morning of the 9th was a great religious festival, or famous
Saint's day, which collected a vast crowd of people. After breakfast
and mass, the image of the virgin Mary was paraded round the public
square in solemn procession, during which there was a constant crash
of cannon and small arms. Then an old priest headed a procession,
bearing the image of Christ, nailed to a cross. After these images
were returned to their church, they brought into a square enclosure,
strongly fenced for that purpose, a wild bull, which they threw down,
tied and sharpened its horns. The tops of the houses were all covered
with people to see the spectacle that was performing. The bull was
covered with red cloth, and two men entered the enclosure, each holding
in the right hand a bundle of sky rockets, and in the left a red
handkerchief. The rockets were lashed to a stick a foot long, in the
end of which was a small nail, a half an inch long, with a beard at the
end, like that of a fish hook. They then untied the fierce animal. No
sooner was he on his feet, than he sprang at one of his assailants, who
avoided his attack, by dextrously slipping aside, and as the animal
darted by him, stuck in his neck two small rockets, one on each side.
The other assailant then gave a sharp whistle to draw the infuriated
animal upon him. The bull snorted and dashed at him. He dodged the
animal in the same manner, as the other had done, and left sticking
in his forehead, as he passed, a garland of artificial flowers, made
of paper, beautifully cut and painted, and large enough to cover his
whole forehead. In this way they kept alternately driving him this
way and that, sticking rockets in him as he dashed by them, until he
was covered with eight or ten, clinging to his neck and shoulders.
They then touched the crackers with a lighted match. Words would not
paint the bull's expressions of rage and terror, as he bounded round
the enclosure, covered with fire, {106} and the rockets every moment
discharging like fire arms. After this, a man entered with a small
sword. The bull bellowed and darted at him. As the bull dropped his
head to toss him, he set his feet upon the horns, and in a twinkling,
thrust his sword between the shoulder blades, so as to touch the spinal
marrow. The animal dropped as dead as a stone. The drum and fife then
struck up, as a signal for the horsemen to come and carry off the
dead animal, and bring in a fresh one. All this was conducted with
incredible dispatch. In this way seven bulls were successively tortured
to death, by footmen.

After this, four men entered on horseback, equipped with spears in the
shape of a trowel, and a handle four feet long. With this spear in the
one hand, and a noose in the other, they gallopped round the bull. The
bull immediately made at the horsemen passing him, who moved just at
such a pace, as not to allow the bull to toss the horse. The horseman
then couched his spear backwards, so as to lay it on the bull's neck.
The bull instantly reared and tossed, and in the act forced the spear
between his fore shoulders, so as to hit the spinal marrow. If the
spear is laid rightly, and the animal makes his accustomed motions, he
drops instantly dead. But to do this requires infinite dexterity and
fearlessness. If the man be clumsy, or of weak-nerves, he is apt to
fail in couching the spear right, in which case, as a matter of course,
the horse is gored, and it is ten to one that the man is slain. In this
way fourteen bulls were killed, and with them, five horses and one man,
during this festival. At night commenced gambling and card playing, and
both as fiercely pursued as the bull fighting. This great feast lasted
three days, during which, as the people were in a very purchasable
humor, I sold a number of hundred dollar's worth of my goods.

On the morning of the 12th, I left this place, and in the evening
arrived at a small town called Vassarac, and remained there one day.
The country in the vicinity is well timbered and very hilly. The woods
are full of wild cattle and horses. On the 13th, I travelled through a
fine rich country, abounding with cattle, and arrived in the evening
at a town called Tepac, {107} situated on a small creek, near a
mountain, in which there is a gold mine worked by the Iago Indians,[80]
a nation formerly under the protection of an old priest. He attempted
to practice some new imposition upon them, and they killed him some
years ago. On this the Spaniards made war upon them, and the conflict
was continued some years. They lost the best and bravest of their men,
and the remnant were obliged to submit to such terms as the Spaniards
saw fit to impose. They were either condemned to the mines, or to raise
food for those who wrought them.

I remained in this town three days, and purchased gold in bars and
lumps of the Indians, at the rate of ten dollars per ounce. The
diggings seldom exceed twenty feet in depth. Most of the gold is found
on the surface after hard rains. Their mode of extracting the gold
from the earth with which it is mixed, or the stone in which it is
imbedded, is this. The stone is pulverised or ground, still keeping
the matter wet. It is carefully mixed with mercury, and kneaded with
the hands, until the water is separated from the mass, and the mercury
is perfectly incorporated with it. This process is repeated, until
the water runs off perfectly clear. They then grind or triturate the
mass anew until all the particles of earthy matter are washed away.
The remaining matter is amalgam, of the color of silver, and the
consistency of mush. They then put it into a wet deer skin, and strain
the mercury by pressure through the pores of the skin. The gold is
left, still retaining enough mercury to give it the color of silver.
The coarse way of managing it afterwards, is to put it in the fire, and
evaporate all the mercury from it, and it is then pure virgin gold.
There is a more artificial way of managing it, by which the mercury is

This province would be among the richest of the Mexican country, if it
were inhabited by an enlightened, enterprising and industrious people.
Nothing can exceed the indolence of the actual inhabitants. The only
point, in which I ever saw them display any activity, is in throwing
the lasso, and in horsemanship. In this I judge, they surpass all other
people. Their great {108} business and common pursuit, is in noosing
and taming wild horses and cattle.

On the 15th, I left this place and travelled through a country well
timbered and watered, though the land is too broken to be cultivated,
and in the evening arrived in a town called Varguacha. This is a place
miserably poor, the people being both badly fed and clothed. But their
indolence alone is in fault. The land in the immediate vicinity of the
town is good, and the woods teem with wild cattle. But they are too
lazy to provide more meat than will serve them from day to day. On the
17th I continued my course through a beautiful country, thinly settled
by civilized Indians, who raise sugar cane and abundance of stock. They
are obviously more enterprising and industrious than the Spaniards.
Approaching the shore of the great Pacific, I found the country more
level and better settled. Some rich and noble sugar farms lay in my

On the 22d I arrived in Patoka, which is a considerable town, and the
capital of this province.[81] It is two day's travel hence to Ymus. The
people here seemed to me more enlightened, and to have a higher air
of civilization than any I had seen in the whole country. It probably
results from the intercourse they have with foreigners, from their
vicinity to the Pacific. Most of them are dressed in the stile of
the American people. Their houses are much better furnished, and the
farmers are supplied with superior farming utensils, compared with any
thing I saw in the interior. The chief manufactures are soap and sugar,
the latter of an inferior quality, I imagine, in consequence of the
clumsy mode of manufacturing it. From the port of Ymus they also export
considerable quantities of tallow and hides, for which the farmers are
repaid in merchandize at an enormous advance. A great many horses and
mules are driven from the interior to this port. Many also are taken to
the American states. The price of mules in this province is from three
to four dollars a head.

I remained here until I had disposed of all my goods. On the 26th,
I left this town, and travelled on to port Ymus, at which {109} I
arrived on the 28th, and first saw the waters of the vast Pacific.[82]
I spent a day here on board an American ship, the master of which was
surprised at the account I gave of myself, and would hardly believe
that I had travelled to this place from the United States. I was
equally amazed at hearing him relate the disasters which had befallen
him at sea. On the 29th, I left this port, and travelled a N. W.
course, through a country full of inhabitants, and abounding in every
species of fruit. Snow never falls, although the general temperature
is not so warm but that woollen garments may be worn. To add to its
advantages, it is very healthy. On the 7th of October, I arrived at
a town called Oposard. The population amounts to about 8000 souls. I
here became acquainted with one of my own countrymen, married to a
Spanish woman. He informed me, that he had been in this country thirty
years, eight of which he had spent in prison. The sufferings he endured
from the Spaniards were incredible; and I internally shuddered, as he
related, lest I, in travelling through the country might fall into
similar misfortunes. As some palliation of their cruelty, he observed,
that he was made prisoner at the period when the revolution was just
commencing in that country.[83] At that time the Inquisition was still
in force, and committed many a poor mortal to the flames, for his
alleged heresy. He assured me, that he should have met the same fate,
had he not become a member of their church. He afterwards married a
lady, who had gained his affections by being kind to him in prison.

I remained with this man two days, and on the third resumed my journey,
travelling an easterly course, and part of the time over a very
rough country. I met no inhabitants, but Indians, who were uniformly
friendly. On the 10th, I arrived at the mines of Carrocha,[84] which
were in the province of Chihuahua, situated between two mountains, and
considered the richest silver mines in New Mexico. There are about 800
miners working this mine, and they have advanced under ground at least
half a mile. On the 12th, I started for the capital, and reached it on
the 16th, passing over great tracts of good and bad land, all {110}
untilled, and most of it an uninhabited wilderness. This city is the
next largest in New Mexico.[85] It is the largest and handsomest town I
had ever seen, though the buildings are not so neat and well arranged
as in our country. The roofs are flat, the walls well painted, and the
streets kept very clean. Here they smelt and manufacture copper and
silver, and several other metals. They have also a mint. The terms of
their currency are very different from ours. They count eight rials, or
sixteen four pence half pennies, to the dollar. Their merchandize is
packed from Ymus, or Mexico.

I have heard much talk about the Splendid churches in this city. It is
for others, who think much of such immense buildings, wrung from the
labors of the poor, to describe them. For my part, having said it is
a large and clean town, I present a result of their institutions and
manners, which I considered the more important sort of information.
During a stay of only three days here, ten dead bodies were brought
into town, of persons who had been murdered in the night. Part of the
number were supposed to have been killed on account of having been
known to carry a great deal of money with them, and part to have had a
quarrel about some abandoned women. This last is a most common occasion
of night murders, the people being still more addicted to jealousy, and
under still less restraints of law, than in old Spain, in the cities of
which, assassinations from this cause are notoriously frequent.

I asked my informant touching these matters, if there was no police
in the city? He answered, that the forms of the law were complete,
and that they had a numerous guard, and that it was quite as likely
they committed the murders themselves, as not. I came to the same
conclusion, for in a small and regular city like this, it was
impossible that so many guards, parading the streets by night, should
not be aware of the commission of such deeds, and acquainted with the
perpetrators. No inquest of any sort was held over the bodies. They
were, however, paraded through the streets to beg money to pay the
priests for performing funeral rites at their burial. This excited in
me {111} still more disgust, than the murders. I expressed myself in
consequence, with so much freedom, in regard to this sort of miserable
imposition, as to give great offence to my host, who, like most of
the people, was rigidly devoted to the religion of the church. On
the evening of 16th, I left this city, and travelled through a fine
country, thickly inhabited by shepherds, who live in small towns, and
possess a vast abundance of stock. It is well watered, but thinly
timbered. The most magnificent part of the spectacle is presented in
the lofty snow covered mountains, that rise far in the distance, and
have their summits lost in the clouds, glistening in indescribable
brilliance in the rays of the rising and setting sun.

The road at this time was deemed to be full of robbers, and very
dangerous. I was so fortunate as to meet with none. On the 18th,
I arrived at a small town, called San Bueneventura,[86] which is
surrounded with a wall. In fact, most of the considerable villages are
walled. They are called in Spanish, Presidio, the English of which
is, a garrison. In the forenoon, I crossed a small river called Rio
Grande,[87] and travelled down this stream all day, the banks of which
were thickly settled, and in high cultivation, with wheat, corn and
barley. On the 22d, I arrived at a village called Casas Grandes, or the
Great Houses.[88] On the 23d, I pursued an east course towards Passo
del Norte, situated on the banks of the Rio del Norte. I travelled over
a very rough country with some high mountains, inhabited by a wandering
tribe of the Appache Indians, that live by seizing their opportunities
for robbery and murder among the Spaniards, riding off upon the stolen
horses, to the obscure and almost inaccessible fastnesses of their
mountains, where they subsist upon the stolen horseflesh.

I know not, whether to call the Passo del Norte, a settlement or a
town.[89] It is in fact a kind of continued village, extending eight
miles on the river. Fronting this large group of houses, is a nursery
of the fruit trees, of almost all countries and climes. It has a
length of eight miles and a breadth of nearly three. I was struck with
the magnificent vineyards of this place, from {112} which are made
great quantities of delicious wine. The wheat fields were equally
beautiful, and the wheat of a kind I never saw before, the stalks
generally yielding two heads each. The land is exceedingly rich, and
its fertility increased by irrigation.

On the 28th, I started for the Copper mines, wrought by my father.
This day my course led me up the del Norte, the bottoms of which are
exceedingly rich. At a very short distance from the Passo, I began to
come in contact with grey bears, and other wild animals. At a very
little distance on either side are high and ragged mountains, entirely
sterile of all vegetation. I had no encounter with the bears, save in
one instance. A bear exceedingly hungry, as I suppose, came upon my
horses as I was resting them at mid-day, and made at one of them. I
repaid him for his impudence by shooting him through the brain. I made
a most delicious dinner of the choice parts of his flesh. My servant
would not touch it, his repugnance being shared by great numbers in
his condition. It is founded on the notion, that the bear is a sort of
degenerated man, and especially, that the entrails are exactly like
those of human beings.

On the 30th, I struck off from the del Norte, and took my course
for the Copper mines directly over the mountains, among which we
toiled onward, subsisting by what we packed with us, or the product
of the rifle, until the 11th of November, when I had once more the
satisfaction of embracing my father at the Copper mines. He was in
perfect health, and delighted to see me again. He urged me so earnestly
to remain with him, though a stationary life was not exactly to my
taste, that I consented from a sense of filial duty, and to avoid
importunity. I remained here until the first of December, amusing
myself sometimes by hunting, and sometimes by working in the gold
mine, an employment in which I took much pleasure.

In a hunting excursion with a companion who was an American, he one
morning saw fit to start out of bed, and commence his hunt while I
was yet asleep in bed. He had scarcely advanced a league, before he
killed a deer on the top of a high ridge. He was so inadvertent, as to
commence skinning the animal, before {113} he had re-loaded his rifle.
Thus engaged, he did not perceive a bear with her cubs, which had
advanced within a few feet of him. As soon as he saw his approaching
companion, without coveting any farther acquaintance, he left deer and
rifle, and ran for his life. He stopped not, until he arrived at the
mines. The bear fell to work for a meal upon the deer, and did not
pursue him. We immediately started back to have the sport of hunting
this animal. As we approached the ridge, where he had killed the deer,
we discovered the bear descending the ridge towards us. We each of us
chose a position, and his was behind a tree, which he could mount, in
case he wounded, without killing her. This most ferocious and terrible
animal, the grizzly or grey bear, does not climb at all. I chose my
place opposite him, behind a large rock, which happened to be near a
precipice, that I had not observed. Our agreement was to wait until
she came within 30 yards, and then he was to give her the first fire.
He fired, but the powder being damp, his gun made long fire, whence
it happened that he shot her too low, the ball passing through the
belly, and not a mortal part. She made at him in terrible rage. He
sprang up his tree, the bear close at his heels. She commenced biting
and scratching the tree, making, as a Kentuckian would phrase it, _the
lint fly_. But finding that she could not bite the tree down, and being
in an agony of pain, she turned the course of her attack, and came
growling and tearing up the bushes before her, towards me. My companion
bade me lie still, and my own purpose was to wait until I could get a
close fire. So I waited until the horrible animal was within six feet
of me. I took true aim at her head. My gun flashed in the pan. She gave
one growl and sprang at me with her mouth open. At two strides I leapt
down the unperceived precipice. My jaw bone was split on a sharp rock,
on which my chin struck at the bottom. Here I lay senseless. When I
regained recollection, I found my companion had bled me with the point
of his butcher knife, and was sitting beside me with his hat full of
water, bathing my head and face. It was perhaps an hour, before I
gained full recollection, {114} so as to be able to walk. My companion
had cut a considerable orifice in my arm with his knife, which I deemed
rather supererogation; for I judged, that I had bled sufficiently at
the chin.

When I had come entirely to myself, my companion proposed that we
should finish the campaign with the bear. I, for my part, was satisfied
with what had already been done, and proposed to retreat. He was
importunate, however, and I consented. We ascended the ridge to where
he had seen the bear lie down in the bushes. We fixed our guns so that
we thought ourselves sure of their fire. We then climbed two trees,
near where the bear was, and made a noise, that brought her out of her
lair, and caused her to spring fiercely towards our trees. We fired
together, and killed her dead. We then took after the cubs. They were
three in number. My companion soon overtook them. They were of the
size of the largest rackoons. These imps of the devil turned upon him
and made fight. I was in too much pain and weakness to assist him.
They put him to all he could do to clear himself of them. He at length
got away from them, leaving them masters of the field, and having
acquired no more laurels than I, from my combat with my buffaloe calf.
His legs were deeply bit and scratched, and what was worse, such was
the character of the affair, he only got ridicule for his assault of
the cubs. I was several weeks in recovering, during which time, I ate
neither meat nor bread, being able to swallow nothing but liquids.

The country abounds with these fierce and terrible animals, to a
degree, that in some districts they are truly formidable. They get into
the corn fields. The owners hear the noise, which they make among the
corn, and supposing it occasioned by cows and horses that have broken
into the fields, they rise from their beds, and go to drive them out,
when instead of finding retreating domestic animals, they are assailed
by the grizzly bear. I have been acquainted with several fatal cases
of that sort. One of them was a case, that intimately concerned me.
Iago, my servant, went out with a man to get a load of {115} wood.
A bear came upon this man and killed him and his ass in the team. A
slight flight of snow had fallen. Some Spaniards, who had witnessed
the miserable fate of their companion, begged some of us to go and aid
them in killing the bear. Four of us joined them. We trailed the bear
to its den, which was a crevice in the bluff. We came to the mouth and
fired a gun. The animal, confident in his fierceness, came out, and we
instantly killed it. This occurred in New Mexico.

This stationary and unruffled sort of life had become unendurable,
and with fifteen Americans, we arranged a trapping expedition on
the Pacos.[90] My father viewed my rambling propensities with stern
displeasure. He had taken in a Spanish superintendent, who acted as
clerk. This person had lived in the United States from the age of 18
to 30, and spoke English, French and Spanish. This man arranged the
calculations, and kept the accounts of my father's concerns, and had
always acted with intelligence and fidelity. The concern was on the
whole prosperous; and although I felt deep sorrow to leave my father
against his wishes, I had at least the satisfaction to know, that I was
of no other use to him, than giving him the pleasure of my society.

On the 7th, our company arrived on the del Norte, and crossed it in
the evening to the eastern shore. On the evening of the 8th, we struck
the Pacos about twenty miles above its junction with the del Norte.
This day's travel was through a wild and precipitous country, inhabited
by no human being. We killed plenty of bears and deer, and caught
some beavers. On the 9th, we began to ascend the river through a rich
and delightful plain, on which are to be seen abundance of deserted
sheep folds, and horse pens, where the Spanish vachers once kept their
stock. The constant incursions of the Indians compelled this peaceful
people to desert these fair plains. Their deserted cottages inspired a
melancholy feeling. This river runs from N. E. to S. W. and is a clear,
beautiful stream, 20 yards wide, with high and dry bottoms of a black
and rich soil. The mountains run almost parallel to the river, and at
the distance of {116} eight or ten miles. They are thickly covered with
noble pine forests, in which aspen trees are intermixed. From their
foot gush out many beautiful clear springs. On the whole, this is one
of the loveliest regions for farmers that I have ever seen, though no
permanent settlements could be made there, until the murderous Indians,
who live in the mountains, should be subdued.

[Illustration: Mr. Pattie wounded by an Indian Arrow]

We advanced slowly onward, until the 15th, without meeting any Indians.
At day break of this day, our sentinels apprized us, that savages
were at hand. We had just time to take shelter behind the trees,
when they began to let their arrows fly at us. We returned them the
compliment with balls, and at the first shot a number of them fell.
They remained firm and continued to pour in their arrows from
every side. We began to find it exceedingly difficult to dodge them,
though we gave them some rounds before any one of our men was struck.
At length one man was pierced, and they rushed forward to scalp him.
I darted from behind my tree to prevent them. I was assailed by a
perfect shower of arrows, which I dodged for a moment, and was then
struck down by an arrow in the hip. Here I should have been instantly
killed, had not my companions made a joint fire at the Indians, who
were rushing upon me, by which a number of them were laid dead. But
the agony of my pain was insupportable, for the arrow was still fast
in my hip. A momentary cessation of their arrows enabled me to draw
out the arrow from my hip, and to commence re-loading my gun. I had
partly accomplished this, when I received another arrow under my right
breast, between the bone and the flesh. This gave me less pain than the
other shot, and finding I could not by any effort extract the arrow, I
snapped it off, and finished loading my gun. The Indian nearest me fell
dead, and I hobbled off, glad to be once more sheltered by a tree. My
companions were not slow in making their rifles crack, and in raising
mutual cheers of encouragement. The Indians were vastly our superiors
in numbers, and we found it convenient to slip under the river bank.
We were now completely sheltered {117} from their arrows. After we had
gained this security, they stood but a few shots more, before they
fled, leaving their dead and wounded at our mercy. Truth is, we were
too much exasperated to show mercy, and we cut off the heads of all,

Our loss was one killed, and two wounded, another beside myself though
neither of us dangerously. The Indians had 28 killed. Luckily our
horses were on an island in the river, or we should have lost every
one of them. Our only loss of property was a few blankets, which they
took, as they fled by our camp. During the 20 minutes that the contest
lasted, I had a fragment of an arrow fast in my breast, and the spike
of the other in my hip. I suffered, it may be imagined, excruciating
pain, and still severer pain during the operation of extraction. This
operation, one of my companions undertook. He was some minutes in
effecting it. The spike could not be entirely extracted from my hip,
for being of flint, it had shivered against the bone.

The Indians that attacked us, were a tribe of the Muscallaros,[91] a
very warlike people, although they have no other arms except bows and
arrows, which are, however, the most powerful weapons of the kind. They
are made of an elastic and flexible wood, backed with the sinews of a
buffaloe or elk. Their arrows are made of a species of reed grass, and
are very light, though easily broken. In the end is stuck a hard piece
of wood, which is pointed by a spike of flint an inch in length, and a
quarter of an inch in width, and ground to the sharpest point. The men,
though not tall, are admirably formed, with fine features and a bright
complexion inclining to yellow. Their dress is a buckskin belt about
the loins, with a shirt and moccasins to match. Their long black hair
hangs in imbraided masses over their shoulders, in some cases almost
extending to the heels. They make a most formidable appearance, when
completely painted, and prepared for battle.

On the 16th, having made our arrangements for departure, I applied
my father's admirable salve to my two severe wounds, {118} and to my
companion's slight wound in the arm, and we both felt able to join our
companions in their march. We travelled all this day and the following
night a west course, and the following day, without stopping longer
than was necessary to take a little food. After this we stopped and
rested ourselves and horses all night. I need not attempt to describe
the bitter anguish I endured, during this long and uninterrupted ride.
It will be only necessary to conceive my situation to form a right
conception of it. Our grand object had been to avoid another contest
with the Muscallaros. In the evening we fell in with a party of the
Nabahoes, who were now out on an expedition against the Muscallaros,
who had recently killed one of their people, and against whom they
had sworn immediate revenge. We showed the manifest proof of the
chastisement they had received from us. Never had I seen such frantic
leaps and gestures of joy. The screams and yells of exultation were
such as cannot be imagined. It seemed as though a whole bedlam had
broke loose. When we told them that we had lost but one man, their
screams became more frantic still. Their medicine man was then called,
and he produced an emollient poultice, the materials of which I did
not know but the effect was that the anguish of our wounds was at once
assuaged. By the application of this same remedy, my wounds were quite
healed in a fortnight.

The scalps, which some of our number had taken from the Muscallaros,
were soon erected on a pole by the Nabahoes. They immediately commenced
the fiercest dancing and singing I had yet seen, which continued
without interruption three days and nights. During all this time, we
endured a sort of worship from them, particularly the women. They
were constantly presenting us with their favorite dishes, served in
different ways, with dried berries and sweet vegetables, some of which,
to people in our condition, were really agreeable.

In size and complexion these people resemble the Muscallaros, and their
bows and arrows are similar; though some of the latter have fire arms,
and their dress is much superior.--{119} Part of their dress is of
the same kind with that of the former, though the skins are dressed
in a more workmanlike manner, and they have plenty of blankets of
their own manufacturing, and constituting a much better article than
that produced by the Spaniards. They dye the wool of different and
bright colors, and stripe them with very neat figures. The women are
much handsomer, and have lighter complexions than the men. They are
rather small in stature, and modest and reserved in their behaviour.
Their dress is chiefly composed of skins made up with no small share
of taste; and showily corded at the bottom, forming a kind of belt of
beads and porcupine quills.--They are altogether the handsomest women
I have seen among the red people, and not inferior in appearance to
many Spanish women. Their deportment to our people, was a mixture of
kindness and respect.

On the 21st, we started back to the river, accompanied by the whole
party of Nabahoes, who assured us that they would guard us during the
remainder of our hunt. We returned to the river through a beautiful
and level country, most of it well timbered and watered. On our
return we killed several bears, the talons of which the Indians took
for necklaces. On the 26th, we arrived at our battle ground. The
view of the bodies of the slain, all torn in pieces by wild beasts,
inexpressibly disgusting to us, was equally a spectacle of pleasure to
our red friends. We pointed out the grave of our companion. They all
walked in solemn procession round it, singing their funeral songs. As
they left it, every one left a present on the grave; some an arrow,
others meat, moccasins, tobacco, war-feathers, and the like, all
articles of value to them. These simple people believe that the spirit
of the deceased will have immediate use for them in the life to come.
Viewing their offerings in this light, we could not but be affected
with these testimonies of kind feeling to a dead stranger. They then
gathered up the remains of their slaughtered enemies, threw them in
a heap, and cut a great quantity of wood, which they piled over the
remains. They then set fire to the wood. We struck our tents, {120}
marched about five miles up the river, set our traps, and encamped for
the night. But the Nabahoes danced and yelled through the night to so
much effect, as to keep all the beavers shut up in their houses, for,
having been recently trapped, they were exceedingly cautious.

On the morning of the 27th, we informed them why we had taken no
beavers, and during the following night they were perfectly quiet.
We marched onward slowly, trapping as we went, until we reached the
Spanish settlements on this river. On New Year's eve, January 1st,
1827, the Spaniards of the place gave a fandango, or Spanish ball.
All our company were invited to it, and went. We appeared before the
Alcalde, clad not unlike our Indian friends; that is to say, we were
dressed in deer skin, with leggins, moccasins and hunting shirts, all
of this article, with the addition of the customary Indian article
of dress around the loins, and this was of red cloth, not an article
of which had been washed since we left the Copper Mines. It may be
imagined that we did not cut a particular dandy-like figure, among
people, many of whom were rich, and would be considered well dressed
any where. Notwithstanding this, it is a strong proof of their
politeness, that we were civilly treated by the ladies, and had the
pleasure of dancing with the handsomest and richest of them. When the
ball broke up, it seemed to be expected of us, that we should each
escort a lady home, in whose company we passed the night, and we none
of us brought charges of severity against our fair companions.

The fandango room was about forty by eighteen or twenty feet, with a
brick floor raised four or five feet above the earth. That part of
the room in which the ladies sat, was carpetted with carpetting on
the benches, for them to sit on. Simple benches were provided for the
accommodation of the gentlemen. Four men sang to the music of a violin
and guitar. All that chose to dance stood up on the floor, and at the
striking up of a certain note of the music, they all commenced clapping
their hands. The ladies then advanced, one by one, and stood facing
their partners. The dance then changed to a waltz, each {121} man
taking his lady rather unceremoniously, and they began to whirl round,
keeping true, however, to the music, and increasing the swiftness of
their whirling. Many of the movements and figures seemed very easy,
though we found they required practise, for we must certainly have made
a most laughable appearance in their eyes, in attempting to practise
them. Be that as it may, we cut capers with the nimblest, and what we
could not say, we managed by squeezes of the hand, and little signs of
that sort, and passed the time to a charm.

The village, in which was this ball, is called Perdido, or the lost
town, probably from some circumstances in its history. It contains
about 500 souls and one church. The bishop was present at this ball,
and not only bestowed his worshipful countenance, but _danced before
the Lord, like David, with all his might_. The more general custom
of the ladies, as far as I observed, is to sit cross legged on the
floor like a tailor. They are considerably addicted to the industry
of spinning, but the mode has no resemblance to the spinning of our
country. For a wheel, they have a straight stick about a foot long,
rounded like the head of a spool. In the middle of the stick is a hole,
through which the stick is fastened. Their mode of spinning with this
very simple instrument reminded me strongly of the sport of my young
days, spinning a top, for they give this spinning affair a twirl, and
let it run on until it has lost its communicated motion to impart
it anew. This shift for a spinning wheel they call necataro. They
manufacture neither cotton nor wool into cloth, and depend altogether
on foreign trade for their clothing. The greatest part of this supply
comes over land from the United States. On the 2d, we started for San
Tepec, through a country generally barren, though abounding in water.
We saw plenty of bears, deer and antelope. Some of the first we killed,
because we needed their flesh, and others we killed for the same
reason that we were often obliged to kill Indians, that is, to mend
their rude manners, in fiercely making at us, and to show them that we
were not Spaniards, to give them the high sport of seeing us run. We
arrived in the above named town {122} on the 5th, and sold our furs.
Here I met again some of the companions who came with me in the first
instance from the United States. I enquired about others, whom I held
in kind remembrance. Some had died by lingering diseases, and others
by the fatal ball or arrow, so that out of 116 men, who came from the
United States in 1824, there were not more than sixteen alive. Most
of the fallen were as true men, and as brave as ever poised a rifle,
and yet in these remote and foreign deserts found not even the benefit
of a grave, but left their bodies to be torn by the wild beasts, or
mangled by the Indians. When I heard the sad roll of the dead called
over, and thought how often I had been in equal danger, I felt grateful
to my Almighty Benefactor, that I was alive and in health. A strong
perception of the danger of such courses as mine, as shown by the death
of these men, came over my mind, and I made a kind of resolution, that
I would return to my home, and never venture into the woods again.
Among the number of my fallen companions, I ought not to forget the
original leader of our company, Mr. Pratte, who died in his prime, of a
lingering disease, in this place.

On the 10th, I commenced descending the Del Norte for the Copper Mines,
in hopes once more to have the pleasure of embracing my father, and
relate to him what I had suffered in body and mind, for neglecting to
follow his wise and fatherly counsel. I now travelled slowly and by
myself, and on the 12th, arrived at the house of my old friend the
governor, who met me at his door, and gave me such an embrace, as to
start the blood from my scarcely healed wound. I did not perceive at
the moment, that his embrace had produced this effect, and entered the
house, where I met Jacova, who received me with a partial embrace, and
a manner of constrained politeness. She then sat down by me on the
sopha, and began asking me many questions about my adventure since
we had parted, often observing that I looked indisposed. At length
she discovered the blood oozing through my waistcoat. She exclaimed,
putting her hand on the wound, 'and good reason you have to look {123}
so, for you are wounded to death.' The look that accompanied this
remark, I may not describe, for I would not be thought vain, and the
stern character of my adventures forbids the intermixture of any thing
of an entirely different aspect. I was not long, however, in convincing
her that my wound was not really dangerous, and that I owed its present
bleeding to the friendship of her father, a cause too flattering to be
matter of regret. This drew from me a narrative of the occasion of my
wound, which I related in the same simple terms and brief manner in
which it is recorded in my journal. A long conversation of questions
and replies ensued, of a nature and on subjects not necessary to
relate. On the 20th, imploring God that we might meet again, we parted,
and I resumed my journey, travelling slowly for my father's residence
at the Copper Mines. I paused to rest and amuse myself in several of
the small towns on my way. On the 26th, I had the high satisfaction
once more to hold the hand of my father, and to find him in health and
prosperity, and apparently with nowise abated affection for me, though
I had rejected his counsels. This affection seemed to receive a warmer
glow, when he heard my determination not to take to the woods again.
I then in return wished to make myself acquainted with the true state
of his affairs. He had established a vacherie on the river Membry[92]
where he kept stock. He had also opened a farm on the land which the
old Appache chief had given him, which enabled him to raise grain for
the use of his own establishment at the mines. He had actually a supply
of grain in advance for the next year. He had made similar improvements
upon every thing appertaining to the mines. The result of the whole
seemed to be, that he was making money rapidly.

He still retained the Spaniard, of whom I have spoken before, as clerk
and superintendent, believing him to be a man of real stability and
weight of character, and placing the most entire reliance both upon his
capacity and integrity. I was less sanguine, and had my doubts, though
having seen no decided facts, {124} upon which to ground them, I did
not deem myself justified in honor to impart my doubts to my father.

On the 10th of February, my father requested me, on his account, to
take a trip to Alopaz, to purchase for his establishment some wine
and whiskey, which articles sell at the mines at a dollar and a half
a pint. I started with one servant and six pack mules, each having a
couple of small barrels fastened over their saddles, after the manner
of our panniers. On the 16th, I reached the place, and purchased my
cargo, but the weather was so inclement, that I thought it best not
to return until it softened. I became acquainted with an American,
married in this place. He was by pursuit a gunsmith, and had been up
the upper Missouri with Col. Henry,[93] and an old and noted trader
on that river. The mutual story of what we two had seen and suffered,
would probably appear incredible, and beyond the common order of
things, to most people, except those who have hunted and trapped in the
western parts of this continent, among the mountains and savages, and
has nothing upon which to depend, but his own firmness of heart, the
defence of his rifle, and the protection of the all present God. To
such persons, the incidents which we mutually related, would all seem

I remained here until the 1st of April. Spring in its peculiar splendor
and glory in this country, had now wakened the fields and forests
into life, and was extending its empire of verdure and flowers higher
and higher up the mountains towards their snowy peaks. On this day I
commenced my journey of return to the mines, with my servant and my
cargo bestowed on my mules. Though the face of the country was all
life and beauty, the roads so recently thawed, were exceedingly muddy
and heavy. One of my mules in consequence gave out the second day. My
servant packed the load of the tired mule upon his riding one, and
walked on foot the remainder of the day. During the day we discovered
fresh bear tracks in the wood, and my servant advised me to have my
gun loaded. At this remark I put my hand in my shot pouch, and found
but a single ball, and {125} no lead with which to make more. At this
discovery I saw at once the uselessness of self reproach of my own
carelessness and neglect, though it will be easily imagined, what
anxiety it created, aware that I had to travel through a long and
dreary wilderness, replenished with grizzly bears and hostile Indians.
Neither did I dare disclose a particle of what was passing in my mind
to my servant, through fear that he would be discouraged, in which
case, I knew his first step would be to turn back, and leave me to make
the journey alone. It would have been impossible for me to do this, as
we were both scarcely able to arrange the affairs of the journey. We
advanced cautiously and were unmolested through the day. But I passed a
most uncomfortable night through fear of the bears, which, thawed out,
were emerging from their winter dens with appetites rendered ravenous
by their long winter fast. We and our mules would have furnished them a
delicious feast, after the hunger of months. No sleep visited my eyes
that night.

At ten o'clock of the 3d, we met a Spaniard on horse back. I accosted
him in the usual terms, and asked if he had met any Indians on his way?
He answered that he had, and that there was a body of friendly Appaches
encamped near the road, at a distance of a little more than a league.
I was delighted with this information, for I supposed I should be able
to purchase a horse of them, on which I might mount my servant. While
I was reflecting on this thought, my servant proposed to purchase his
horse, and offered him a blanket in exchange. He instantly dismounted,
took the blanket, and handed over the horse. Happy to see the poor
fellow once more comfortably mounted, we bade the easy Spaniard adieu,
and gaily resumed our journey. In a short time, according to his
information, we saw the Indian camp near the road, from which their
smokes were visible. We were solicitous to pass them unobserved and
pushed on towards a stopping place, which we might reach at twelve
o'clock. Here we stopped to enable our horses to rest, and eat, for the
grass was fine. I ordered my servant to spancel the mules, and tether
the horse to a shrub by a long rope. {126} My gun reclined upon the
packs. We ate a little ourselves, and afterwards I spread my blanket on
the grass, close by the horses, and lay down to repose myself, though
not intending to go to sleep. But the bright beams of the sun fell upon
me in the midst of the green solitude, and I was soon in a profound
sleep. A large straw hat on the side of my face shaded my head from the

While enjoying this profound sleep, four of the Appaches came in
pursuit of us. It seems our Spaniard had stolen his horse from them, a
few hours before. They came upon us in possession of the horse, and
supposed me the thief. One of them rode close to me, and made a dart at
me with his spear. The stroke was aimed at my neck, and passed through
my hat, nailing it to the ground just back of my neck, which the cold
steel barely touched. It awakened me, and I sprang to my feet. Four
Indians on horse back were around me, and the spear, which had been
darted at me, still nailed my hat to the ground. I immediately seized
the spear and elevated it towards the Indian, who in turn made his
horse spring out of my reach. I called my servant, who had seen the
Indians approaching me, and had hidden himself in the bushes. I then
sprang to my gun, at the distance of ten or fifteen paces. When I had
reached and cocked it, I presented it at an Indian who was unsheathing
his fusil. As soon as he discovered my piece elevated, he threw himself
from his horse, fell on his knees, and called for mercy. What surprized
me, and arrested my fire, was to hear him call me by my Christian
name. I returned my rifle to my shoulder and asked him who he was?
He asked me, if I did not know Targuarcha? He smote his breast as he
asked the question. The name was familiar. The others dismounted, and
gathered round. An understanding ensued. When they learned the manner
in which we came by the horse, their countenances were expressive of
real sorrow. They had supposed me a Spaniard, as they said, and the
thief of their horse. They begged me not to be angry, with a laughable
solicitude, offering me the horse as the price of friendship. Above
all, they were {127} anxious that I should not relate the affair to my
father. They seemed to have an awe of him, resembling that due to the
Supreme Being. This awe he had maintained by his steady deportment,
and keeping up in their minds the impression, that he always had a
large army at command, and was able, and disposed at the first insult,
or breach of the treaty on their part, to bring it upon them to their
utter destruction.

To all their apologies and kind words and excuses, I answered that I
knew them as well as any other man, and that they were not to expect
to atone for a dastardly attempt to take my life, and coming within
a hair's breadth of taking it, by offering me a present, that I
believed that they knew who I was, and only wanted an opportunity, when
they could steal upon me unarmed, and kill me, as they had probably
committed many other similar murders; that they were ready enough to
cry pardon, as soon as they saw me handling my rifle, hoping to catch
me asleep again, but that they would henceforward be sure to find me on
my guard.

At this the Indian who had darted the spear at me, exclaimed that he
loved me as a brother, and would at any occasion risk his life in my
defence. I then distinctly recollected him, and that I had been two
months with the band, to which he belonged, roving in the woods about
the mines. Targuarcha had shown a singular kind of attachment to me,
waiting upon me as if I had been his master. I was perfectly convinced
that he had thrust his spear at me in absolute ignorance, that it was
me. Still I thought it necessary to instil a lesson of caution into
them, not to kill any one for an imagined enemy, until they were sure
that he was guilty of the supposed wrong. Consequently I dissembled
distrust, and told him, that it looked very little like friendship, to
dart a spear at the neck of a sleeping man, and that to tell the plain
truth, I had as little confidence in him, as a white bear. At this
charge of treachery, he came close to me, and looking affectionately in
my face, exclaimed in Spanish, 'if you think me such a traitor, kill
me. Here is my breast. Shoot.' At the same time he bared his breast
with his hand, with such a {128} profound expression of sorrow in his
countenance, as no one was ever yet able to dissemble. I was softened
to pity, and told him that I sincerely forgave him, and that I would
henceforward consider him my friend, and not inform my father what he
had done. They all promised that they would never attempt to kill any
one again, until they knew who it was, and were certain that he was
guilty of the crime charged upon him. Here we all shook hands, and
perfect confidence was restored.

I now called again for my servant, and after calling till I was hoarse,
he at length crawled from behind the bushes, like a frightened turkey
or deer, and looking wild with terror. He had the satisfaction of being
heartily laughed at, as a person who had deserted his master in the
moment of peril. They are not a people to spare the feelings of any one
who proves himself a coward by deserting his place. They bestowed that
term upon him without mercy. All his reply was, sullenly to set himself
to packing his mules.

Now arose a friendly controversy about the horse, they insisting that
I should take it, as the price of our renewed friendship, and I, that
I would not take it, except on hire or purchase. They were obstinate
in persisting that I should take the horse along with me, and finally
promised if I would consent, that they would return to camp and bring
their families, and escort me to the mines. To this I consented, though
I had first taken the precaution to procure some rifle balls of them.
We then resumed our journey, and travelled on without incident till the
5th, when they overtook us, and we travelled on very amicably together,
until we reached the Membry, which runs a south course, and is lost
in a wide arid plain, after winding its way through prodigious high,
craggy mountains. It affords neither fish nor beavers, but has wide and
rich bottoms, of which as I have mentioned, they gave my father as much
as he chose to cultivate.

From the point where the road crosses this river to the mines, is
reckoned 15 miles. Here we met the chief of this band of the Appaches,
with a great number of his people. They were {129} all delighted
to see us, and not the less so, when they discovered that we had
spirituous liquors, of which they are fond to distraction. There was
no evading the importunities of the chief to stay all night with him,
he promising, if I would that he would go in next day with me to my
father. I had scarcely arrived an hour, when I saw the Indian, that
had darted his spear at me, come to the chief with shirt laid aside,
and his back bare. He handed the chief a stout switch, asking him to
whip him. The chief immediately flayed away about 50 lashes, the blood
showing at every stroke. He then asked me, if the thing had been done
to my satisfaction? I told him that I had no satisfaction to demand.
The chief who had whipped him, was positively ignorant of the crime,
for which he had suffered this infliction. But he said, when one of his
men begged a flogging, he took it for granted, that it was not for the
good deeds of the sufferer, and that he deserved it. When I learned
that it was a voluntary penance for his offence to me on the road, I
felt really sorry, and made him a present of a quart of whiskey, as
an internal unction for the smart of his stripes, a medicine in high
esteem among the Indians in such cases.

When we arrived at the mines, the old chief enquired what had been done
to me on the road? As soon as he was informed, he sprang up, tore his
hair, and seized a gun to shoot the poor culprit. I interposed between
them, and convinced him, that Targuarcha had not been really to blame
in any thing but his haste, and that if I had really been the thief, he
would have done right to kill me, and get back his horse, and that not
even my father would have thought the worse of him, but that we should
both now like him better, as well as his people, for what had happened.

On the 15th, my father proposed to give me a sum of money, with which
to go into the United States to purchase goods for the mines. The
laborers much preferred goods, at the customary rate, to money, and
the profit at that rate was at least 200 per cent on the cost. I was
reluctant to do this, for my thoughts still detained me in that
country. It was then concluded to {130} send the before mentioned
Spanish clerk on the commission, with sufficient money to pay for the
goods, consigned to merchants in Santa Fe, to be purchased there,
provided a sufficient quantity had recently arrived from the United
States to furnish an assortment, and if not, he was recommended to
merchants in St. Louis, to make the purchases there.

On the 18th, he started under these orders, under the additional one,
that on his arriving at Santa Fe, and learning the state of things
there, he should immediately write to the mines to that effect. In
the customary order of things, this letter was to be expected in one
month from the day he left the mines. After he was departed, he left
none behind to doubt his truth and honor, nor was there the least
suspicion of him, until the time had elapsed without a letter. A dim
surmise began then to grow up, that he had run off with the money. We
were still anxiously waiting for intelligence. During this interval I
had occupied the place of clerk in his stead. It was now insisted that
I should go in search of the villain, who had obtained a good start
of a month ahead of us, and 30,000 dollars value in gold bullion to
expedite his journey. On the 20th, I started in the search, which I
confess seemed hopeless, for he was a man of infinite ingenuity, who
could enact Spaniard, which he really was, or Russian, Frenchman or
Englishman, as he spoke the languages of these people with fluency.
Still I pushed on with full purpose to make diligent and unsparing

On the 30th, I arrived at Santa Fe. I made the most anxious and careful
enquiry for him, and gave the most accurate descriptions of him
there. But no one had seen or heard of such a person. I sorrowfully
retraced my steps down the Rio del Norte, now without a doubt of his
treachery, and bitterly reflecting on myself for my heedless regard of
my father's request. Had I done it, we had both secured an affluence.
Now I clearly foresaw poverty and misfortune opening before us in the
future. For myself I felt little, as I was young and the world before
me; and I felt secure about taking care of myself. {131} My grief
was for my father and his companions, who had toiled night and day
with unwearied assiduity, to accumulate something for their dear and
helpless families, whom they had left in Missouri; and for the love
of whom they had ventured into this rough and unsettled country, full
of thieves and murderers. My father in particular, had left a large
and motherless family, at a time of life to be wholly unable to take
care of themselves, and altogether dependent on him for subsistence.
There is no misery like self condemnation; and I suffered it in all its
bitterness. The reflections that followed upon learning the full extent
of the disaster, which I could but charge in some sense upon myself,
came, as such reflections generally come, too late.

I arrived at the Passo del Norte on the 10th of May, and repeated the
same descriptions and enquiries to no purpose.--Not a trace remained
of him here; and I almost concluded to abandon the search in despair.
I could imagine but one more chance. The owner of the mines lived at
Chihuahua. As a forlorn hope I concluded to proceed to that city, and
inform the governor of our misfortune. So I pushed to Chihuahua, where
I arrived on the 23d.

I found the owner of the mines in too much anxiety and grief of mind
on his own account, to be cool enough to listen [to] the concerns of
others. The President of the Mexican republic had issued orders, that
all Spaniards born in old Spain, should be expelled from the Mexican
country, giving them but a month's notice, in which to settle their
affairs and dispose of their property. He being one of that class,
had enough to think of on his own account. However, when he heard of
our misfortune, he appeared to be concerned. He then touched upon the
critical state of his own affairs. Among other things, he said he had
all along hoped that my father was able and disposed to purchase those
mines. He had, therefore, a motive personal to himself, to make him
regret my father's loss and inability to make the purchase. He was now
obliged to sell them at any sacrifice, and had but a very short time in
which to settle his {132} affairs, and leave the country. He requested
me to be ready to start the next day in company with him to the mines.

Early on the 24th, we started with relays of horses and mules. As we
travelled very rapidly we arrived at the mines on the 30th, where I
found my father and his companions in the utmost anxiety to learn
something what had happened to me. When they discovered the owner of
the mines, whose name was Don Francisco Pablo de Lagera, they came
forth in a body with countenances full of joy. That joy was changed to
sadness, as soon as Don Pablo informed them the object of his visit.
They perceived in a moment, that nothing now remained for them but to
settle their affairs, and search for other situations in the country,
or return to the United States in a worse condition than when they left
it. My father determined at once not to think of this. Nothing seemed
so feasible, and conformable to his pursuits, as a trapping expedition.
With the pittance that remained to him, after all demands against the
firm were discharged, and the residue according to the articles of
agreement divided, he purchased trapping equipments for four persons,
himself included. The other three he intended to hire to trap for him.

On the 1st of July, all these matters had been arranged, and my father
and myself started for Santa Fe, with a view to join the first company
that should start on a trapping expedition from that place. On the
10th, we arrived at Santa Fe, where we remained until the 22d, when a
company of thirty men were about to commence an expedition of that
sort down Red river. My father joined this company, and in the name of
the companions made application for license of safe transit through the
province of Chihuahua, and Sonora, through which runs the Red river,
on which we meant to trap. The governor gave us a passport in the
following terms:

{133} Custom House of the frontier town of Santa Fe, in the territory
of New Mexico.

  _Custom House Certificate._

  Allow Sylvester Pattie, to pursue his journey with certain
  beasts, merchandize and money, in the direction of Chihuahua
  and Sonora; to enter in beasts and money an amount
  equal to this invoice, in whatsoever place he shall appear,
  according to the rules of the Custom House, on his passage;
  and finally let him return this permit to the government of
  this city in           days. Do this under the established

  Given at Santa Fe, in New Mexico.


  _September 22d_, 1827.

On the 23d, my father was chosen captain or commander of the company,
and we started on our expedition. We retraced our steps down the del
Norte, and by the mines to the river Helay, on which we arrived on the
6th of October, and began to descend it, setting our traps as we went,
near our camp, whenever we saw signs of beavers. But our stay on this
stream was short, for it had been trapped so often, that there were but
few beavers remaining, and those few were exceedingly shy. We therefore
pushed on to some place where they might be more abundant, and less
shy. We left this river on the 12th, and on the 15th reached Beaver
river. Here we found them in considerable numbers, and we concluded to
proceed in a south course, and trap the river in its downward course.
But to prevent the disagreement and insubordination which are apt to
spring up in these associations, my father drew articles of agreement,
purporting that we should trap in partnership, and that the first one
who should show an open purpose to separate from the company, or desert
it, should be shot dead; and that if any one should disobey orders, he
should be tried by a jury of our number, and if found guilty should
be fined fifty dollars, to be paid in fur. To this instrument we all
agreed, and signed our names.

{134} The necessity of some such compact had been abundantly discovered
in the course of our experience. Men bound only by their own will
and sense of right, to the duties of such a sort of partnership are
certain to grow restless, and to form smaller clans, disposed to
dislike and separate from each other, in parties of one by one to three
by three. They thus expose themselves to be cut up in detail by the
savages, who comprehend all their movements, and are ever watchful
for an opportunity to show their hatred of the whites to be fixed and
inextinguishable. The following are some of the more common causes
of separation: Men of incompatible tempers and habits are brought
together; and such expeditions call out innumerable occasions to try
this disagreement of character. Men, hungry, naked, fatigued, and in
constant jeopardy, are apt to be ill-tempered, especially when they
arrive at camp, and instead of being allowed to throw themselves on
the ground, and sleep, have hard duties of cooking, and keeping guard,
and making breast-works assigned them. But the grand difficulty is the
following. In a considerable company, half its numbers can catch as
many beavers as all. But the half that keep guard, and cook, perform
duties as necessary and important to the whole concern, as the others.
It always happens too, in these expeditions, that there are some
infinitely more dextrous and skilful in trapping and hunting than
others. These capabilities are soon brought to light. The expert know
each other, and feel a certain superiority over the inexpert. They know
that three or four such, by themselves, will take as many beavers as a
promiscuous company of thirty, and in fact, all that a stream affords.
A perception of their own comparative importance, a keen sense of self
interest, which sharpens in the desert, the mere love of roving in the
wild license of the forest, and a capacity to become hardened by these
scenes to a perfect callousness to all fear and sense of danger, until
it actually comes; such passions are sufficient to thicken causes of
separation among such companions in the events of every day.

Sad experience has made me acquainted with all these causes {135} of
disunion and dissolution of such companies. I have learned them by
wounds and sufferings, by toil and danger of every sort, by wandering
about in the wild and desolate mountains, alone and half starved,
merely because two or three bad men had divided our company, strong and
sufficient to themselves in union, but miserable, and exposed to almost
certain ruin in separation. Made painfully acquainted with all these
facts by experience, my father adopted this expedient in the hope that
it would be something like a remedy for them.

But notwithstanding this, and the prudence and energy of my father's
character, disunion soon began to spring up in our small party. Almost
on the outset of our expedition, we began to suffer greatly for want
of provisions. We were first compelled to kill and eat our dogs, and
then six of our horses. This to me was the most cruel task of all. To
think of waiting for the night to kill and eat the poor horse that
had borne us over deserts and mountains, as hungry as ourselves, and
strongly and faithfully attached to us, was no easy task to the heart
of a Kentucky hunter. One evening, after a hard day's travel, my
saddle horse was selected by lot to be killed. The poor animal stood
saddled and bridled before us, and it fell to my lot to kill it. I
loved this horse, and he seemed to have an equal attachment for me.
He was remarkably kind to travel, and easy to ride, and spirited too.
When he stood tied in camp among the rest, if I came any where near
him, he would fall neighing for me. When I held up the bridle towards
him, I could see consent and good will in his eye. As I raised my gun
to my face, all these recollections rushed to my thoughts. My pulses
throbbed, and my eyes grew dim. The animal was gazing at me, with a
look of steady kindness, in the face. My head whirled, and was dizzy,
and my gun fell. After a moment for recovery, I offered a beaver skin
to any one who would shoot him down. One was soon found at this price,
and my horse fell! It so happened that this was the last horse we
killed. Well was it for us that we had these surplus horses. Had it
been otherwise, we should all have perished with hunger.

[Illustration: Shooting Mr. Pattie's Horse]

{136} It was now the 15th of November, and while the horse flesh
lasted, we built a canoe, so that we could trap on both sides of the
river; for it is here too broad and deep to be fordable on horseback.
One of our number had already been drowned, man and horse, in
attempting to swim the river. A canoe is a great advantage, where the
beavers are wild; as the trapper can thus set his traps along the shore
without leaving his scent upon the ground about it.

On the 17th, our canoe was finished, and another person and myself took
some traps in it, and floated down the river by water, while the rest
of the company followed along the banks by land. In this way, what with
the additional supply which the canoe enabled our traps to furnish, and
a chance deer or wolf that Providence sometimes threw in our way, with
caution and economy we were tolerably supplied with provisions; and the
company travelled on with a good degree of union and prosperity, until
the 26th.

Here the greater part of the company expressed disinclination to
following our contemplated route any longer. That is, they conceived
the route to the mouth of the Helay, and up Red river of California too
long and tedious, and too much exposed to numerous and hostile Indians.
They, therefore, determined to quit the Helay, and strike over to Red
river by a direct route across the country. My father reminded them
of their article. They assured him they did not consider themselves
bound by it, and that they were a majority, against which nothing
could be said. My father and myself still persevered in following the
original plan. Two of the men had been hired on my father's account.
He told them he was ready to pay them up to that time, and dismiss
them, to go where they chose. They observed, that now that the company
had commenced separating, they believed that in a short time, there
would be no stronger party together than ours; that they had as good a
disposition to risk their lives with us, as with any division of our
number, and that they would stay by us to the {137} death. After this
speech four others of the company volunteered to remain with us, and we
took them in as partners.

On the 27th, we divided the hunt, and all expressing the same regret
at the separation, and heartily wishing each other all manner of
prosperity, we shook hands and parted! We were now reduced to eight in
number. We made the most solemn pledges to stand by each other unto
death, and adopted the severest caution, of which we had been too
faithfully taught the necessity. We tied our horses every night, and
encamped close by them, to prevent their being stolen by the Indians.
Their foot-prints were thick and fresh in our course, and we could
see their smokes at no great distance north of us. We were well aware
that they were hostile, and watching their opportunity to pounce upon
us, and we kept ourselves ready for action, equally day and night.
We now took an ample abundance of beavers to supply us with meat, in
consequence of our reduced numbers. Our horses also fared well, for
we cut plenty of cotton-wood trees, the bark of which serves them
for food nearly as well as corn. We thus travelled on prosperously,
until we reached the junction of the Helay with Red river.--Here we
found the tribe of Umeas,[94] who had shown themselves very friendly
to the company in which I had formerly passed them, which strongly
inspired confidence in them at present. Some of them could speak the
Spanish language. We made many inquiries of them, our object being
to gain information of the distance of the Spanish settlements. We
asked them where they obtained the cloth they wore around their loins?
They answered, from the Christians on the coast of the California. We
asked if there were any Christians living on Red river? They promptly
answered, yes. This information afterwards proved a source of error and
misfortune to us, though our motive for inquiry at this time was mere

It was now the 1st of December; and at mid-day we began to see the
imprudence of spending the remainder of the day and the ensuing night
with such numbers of Indians, however friendly in appearance. We had
a tolerable fund of experience, in {138} regard to the trust we might
safely repose in the red skins; and knew that caution is the parent
of security. So we packed up, and separated from them. Their town was
on the opposite shore of Red river. At our encampment upwards of two
hundred of them swam over the river and visited us, all apparently
friendly. We allowed but a few of them to approach our camp at a time,
and they were obliged to lay aside their arms. In the midst of these
multitudes of fierce, naked, swarthy savages, eight of us seemed no
more than a little patch of snow on the side of one of the black
mountains. We were perfectly aware how critical was our position, and
determined to intermit no prudence or caution. To interpose as great
a distance as possible between them and us, we marched that evening
sixteen miles, and encamped on the banks of the river. The place of
encampment was a prairie, and we drove stakes fast in the earth, to
which we tied our horses in the midst of green grass, as high as a
man's head, and within ten feet of our own fire. Unhappily we had
arrived too late to make a pen for our horses, or a breast work for
ourselves. The sky was gloomy. Night and storm were settling upon
us, and it was too late to complete these important arrangements. In
a short time the storm poured upon us, and the night became so dark
that we could not see our hand before us. Apprehensive of an attempt
to steal our horses, we posted two sentinels, and the remaining six
lay down under our wet blankets, and the pelting of the sky, to such
sleep as we might get, still preserving a little fire. We were scarcely
asleep before we were aroused by the snorting of our horses and mules.
We all sprang to our arms, and extinguished our little fire. We could
not see a foot before us, and we groped about our camp feeling our way
among the horses and mules. We could discover nothing; so concluding
they might have been frightened by the approach of a bear or some other
wild animal, some of us commenced rekindling our fires, and the rest
went to sleep. But the Indians had crawled among our horses, and had
cut or untied the rope by which each one was {139} bound. The horses
were then all loose. They then instantly raised in concert, their
fiendish yell. As though heaven and earth were in concert against us,
the rain began to pour again, accompanied with howling gusts of wind,
and the fiercest gleams of lightning, and crashes of thunder. Terrified
alike by the thunder and the Indians, our horses all took to flight,
and the Indians repeating yell upon yell, were close at their heels. We
sallied out after them, and fired at the noises, though we could see
nothing. We pursued with the utmost of our speed to no purpose, for
they soon reached the open prairie, where we concluded they were joined
by other Indians on horseback, who pushed our horses still faster; and
soon the clattering of their heels and the yells of their accursed
pursuers began to fade, and become indistinct in our ears.

Our feelings and reflections as we returned to camp were of the
gloomiest kind. We were one thousand miles from the point whence
we started, and without a single beast to bear either our property
or ourselves. The rain had passed. We built us a large fire. As
we stood round it we discussed our deplorable condition, and our
future alternatives. Something was to be done. We all agreed to the
proposition of my father, which was, early in the morning to pursue
the trails of our beasts, and if we should overtake the thieves, to
retake the horses, or die in the attempt; and that, failing in that,
we should return, swim the river, attack their town, and kill as many
of the inhabitants as we could; for that it was better to die by these
Indians, after we had killed a good number of them, than to starve,
or be killed by Indians who had not injured us, and when we could not
defend ourselves.

Accordingly, early in the morning of the 2d, we started on the trail in
pursuit of the thieves. We soon arrived at a point where the Indians,
departing from the plain, had driven them up a chasm of the mountains.
Here they had stopped, and caught them, divided them, and each taken
a different route with his plundered horses. We saw in a moment that
it was impossible to follow them farther to any purpose. We abandoned
{140} the chase, and returned to our camp to execute the second part
of our plan. When we arrived there, we stopped for a leisure meal of
beaver meat. When we had bestowed ourselves to this dainty resort, a
Dutchman with us broke the gloomy silence of our eating, by observing
that we had better stuff ourselves to the utmost; for that it would
probably, be the last chance we should have at beaver meat. We all
acquiesced in this observation, which though made in jest, promised
to be a sober truth, by eating as heartily as possible. When we had
finished our meal, which looked so likely to be the last we should
enjoy together, we made rafts to which we tied our guns, and pushing
them onward before us, we thus swam the river. Having reached the
opposite shore, we shouldered our rifles, and steered for the town,
at which we arrived about two in the afternoon. We marched up to the
numerous assemblage of huts in a manner as reckless and undaunted as
though we had nothing to apprehend. In fact, when we arrived at it, we
found it to contain not a single living being, except one miserable,
blind, deaf, and decrepid old man, not unlike one that I described
in a hostile former visit to an Indian village. Our exasperation of
despair inclined us to kill even him. My father forbade. He apparently
heard nothing and cared for nothing, as he saw nothing. His head was
white with age, and his eyes appeared to have been gouged out. He may
have thought himself all the while in the midst of his own people. We
discovered a plenty of their kind of food, which consisted chiefly of
acorn mush. We then set fire to the village, burning every hut but
that which contained the old man. Being built of flags and grass, they
were not long in reducing to ashes. We then returned to our camp,
re-swimming the river, and reaching the camp before dark.

We could with no certainty divine the cause of their having evacuated
their town, though we attributed it to fear of us. The occurrences
of the preceding day strengthened us in this impression. While they
remained with us, one of our men happened to fire off his gun. As
though they never had heard {141} such a noise before, they all fell
prostrate on the earth, as though they had all been shot. When they
arose, they would all have taken to flight, had we not detained them
and quieted their fears.

Our conversation with these Indians of the day before, now recurred to
our recollections, and we congratulated ourselves on having been so
inquisitive as to obtain the now important information, that there were
Spanish settlements on the river below us. Driven from the resource of
our horses, we happily turned our thoughts to another. We had all the
requisite tools to build canoes, and directly around us was suitable
timber of which to make them. It was a pleasant scheme to soothe our
dejection, and prevent our lying down to the sleep of despair. But
this alternative determined upon, there remained another apprehension
sufficient to prevent our enjoying quiet repose. Our fears were, that
the unsheltered Indians, horse-stealers and all, would creep upon us
in the night, and massacre us all. But the night passed without any
disturbance from them.

On the morning of the 3d, the first business in which we engaged, was
to build ourselves a little fort, sufficient for defence against the
Indians. This finished, we cut down two trees suitable for canoes, and
accomplished these important objects in one day. During this day we
kept one man posted in the top of a tall tree, to descry if any Indians
were approaching us in the distance. On the morning of the fourth we
commenced digging out our canoes, and finished and launched two. These
were found insufficient to carry our furs. We continued to prepare,
and launch them, until we had eight in the water. By uniting them in
pairs by a platform, we were able to embark with all our furs and
traps, without any extra burden, except a man and the necessary traps
for each canoe. We hid our saddles, hoping to purchase horses at the
settlements, and return this way.

We started on the 9th, floating with the current, which bore us
downward at the rate of four miles an hour. In the evening we passed
the burnt town, the ruins of which still threw up {142} smouldering
smoke. We floated about 30 miles, and in the evening encamped in the
midst of signs of beavers. We set 40 traps, and in the morning of
the 10th caught 36 beavers, an excellent night's hunt. We concluded
from this encouraging commencement, to travel slowly, and in hunters'
phrase, trap the river clear; that is, take all that could be allured
to come to the bait. The river, below its junction with the Helay, is
from 2 to 300 yards wide, with high banks, that have dilapidated by
falling in. Its course is west, and its timber chiefly cotton-wood,
which in the bottoms is lofty and thick set. The bottoms are from six
to ten miles wide. The soil is black, and mixed with sand, though the
bottoms are subject to inundation in the flush waters of June. This
inundation is occasioned by the melting of the snow on the mountains
about its head waters.

We now floated pleasantly downward at our leisure, having abundance of
the meat of fat beavers. We began in this short prosperity, to forget
the loss of our horses, and to consider ourselves quite secure from the
Indians. But on the 12th, at mid-day, by mere accident, we happened,
some way below us, to discover two Indians perched in a tree near the
river bank, with their bows and arrows in readiness, waiting evidently
until we should float close by them, to take off some of us with their
arrows. We betrayed no signs of having seen them, but sat with our guns
ready for a fair shot. When we had floated within a little short of a
hundred yards, my father and another of the company gave them a salute,
and brought them both tumbling down the branches, reminding us exactly
of the fall of a bear or a turkey. They made the earth sound when they
struck it. Fearful that they might be part of an ambush, we pulled our
canoes to the opposite shore, and some of us climbed trees, from which
we could command a view of both shores. We became satisfied that these
two were alone, and we crossed over to their bodies. We discovered that
they were of the number that had stolen our horses, by the fact, that
they were bound round the waist with some of the hemp ropes with which
our horses had been tied. We hung the bodies of the thieves {143} from
a tree, with the product of their own thefts. Our thoughts were much
relieved by the discovery of this fact, for though none of us felt
any particular forbearance towards Indians under any circumstances,
it certainly would have pained us to have killed Indians that had
never disturbed us. But there could be no compunction for having slain
these two thieves, precisely at the moment that they were exulting in
the hope of getting a good shot at us. Beside they alarmed our false
security, and learned us a lesson to keep nearer the middle of the

We continued to float slowly downwards, trapping beavers on our way
almost as fast as we could wish. We sometimes brought in 60 in a
morning. The river at this point is remarkably circuitous, and has a
great number of islands, on which we took beavers. Such was the rapid
increase of our furs, that our present crafts in a few days were
insufficient to carry them, and we were compelled to stop and make
another canoe. We have advanced between 60 and 70 miles from the point
where we built the other canoes. We find the timber larger, and not
so thick. There are but few wild animals that belong to the country
farther up, but some deer, panthers, foxes and wild-cats. Of birds
there are great numbers, and many varieties, most of which I have never
before seen. We killed some wild geese and pelicans, and likewise an
animal not unlike the African leopard,[95] which came into our camp,
while we were at work upon the canoe. It was the first we had ever seen.

We finished our canoe on the 17th, and started on the 20th. This day
we saw ten Indians on a sand bar, who fled into the woods at the sight
of us. We knew them to be different people from those who had stolen
our horses, both by their size and their different manner of wearing
their hair. The heads of these were shaved close, except a tuft, which
they wore on the top of their head, and which they raised erect, as
straight as an arrow. The Umeas are of gigantic stature from six to
seven feet high. These only average five feet and a half. They go
perfectly naked, and have dark complexions, which I imagine {144} is
caused by the burning heat of the sun. The weather is as hot here at
this time, as I ever experienced. We were all very desirous to have a
talk with these Indians, and enquire of them, how near we were to the
Spanish settlements; and whether they were immediately on the bank, for
we began to be fearful that we had passed them.

Three days passed without our having any opportunity of conversation
with them. But early on the morning of the 24th, we found some families
yet asleep in their wigwams, near the water's edge. Our approach to
them was so imperceptible and sudden, that they had no chance to
flee. They were apparently frightened to insanity. They surrendered
without making any further effort to escape. While they stared at us in
terrified astonishment; we made them comprehend that we had no design
to kill, or injure them. We offered them meat, and made signs that
we wished to smoke with them. They readily comprehended us, and the
ghastliness of terror began to pass from their countenances. The women
and children were yet screaming as if going into convulsions. We made
signs to the men to have them stop this annoying noise. This we did by
putting our hands to our mouths. They immediately uttered something to
the women and children which made them still. The pipe was then lit,
and smoking commenced. They puffed the smoke towards the sky, pointed
thither, and uttered some words, of course unintelligible to us. They
then struck themselves on the breast, and afterwards on the forehead.
We understood this to be a sort of religious appeal to the Supreme
Being, and it showed more like reverence to him, than any thing we had
yet seen among the Indians; though I have seen none but what admit that
there is a master of life, whom they call by a name to that import, or
that of Great Spirit.

When the smoking was finished, we began to enquire of them by signs,
how far we were from the Spanish settlement? This we effected by
drawing an image of a cow and sheep in the sand and then imitating the
noise of each kind of domestic animals, that we supposed the Spaniards
would have. They appeared {145} to understand us, for they pointed
west, and then at our clothes, and then at our naked skin. From this
we inferred that they wished to say that farther to the west lived
white people, as we were. And this was all we could draw from them on
that subject. We then asked them, if they had ever seen white people
before? This we effected by stretching open our eyes with our fingers,
and pointing to them, and then looking vehemently in that direction,
while we pointed west with our fingers. They shook their heads in the
negative. Then stretching their own ears, as we had our eyes, striking
themselves on the breast, and pointing down the river, they pronounced
the word _wechapa_. This we afterwards understood implied, that their
chief lived lower down the river, and that they had heard from him,
that he had seen these people.

We gave the women some old shirts, and intimated to them as well as we
could, that it was the fashion of the women to cover themselves in our
country, for these were in a state of the most entire nudity. But they
did not seem rightly to comprehend our wish. Many of the women were not
over sixteen, and the most perfect figures I have ever seen, perfectly
straight and symmetrical, and the hair of some hanging nearly to their
heels. The men are exceedingly active, and have bright countenances,
and quick apprehension. We gave them more meat, and then started. They
followed our course along the bank, until night. As soon as we landed,
they were very officious in gathering wood, and performing other
offices for us. They showed eager curiosity in examining our arms,
and appeared to understand their use. When my father struck fire with
his pistol, they gave a start, evidencing a mixture of astonishment
and terror, and then re-examined the pistol, apparently solicitous to
discover how the fire was made. My father bade me take my rifle, and
shoot a wild goose, that was sitting about in the middle of the river.
He then showed them the goose, and pointed at me, as I was creeping to
a point where I might take a fair shot. They all gazed with intense
curiosity, first at me, and then at the goose, until I fired. At the
moment of the report, {146} some fell flat on the ground, and the rest
ran for the bushes, as though Satan was behind them. As soon as the
fallen had recovered from their amazement, they also fled. Some of our
company stopped them, by seizing some, and holding them, and showing
them that the goose was dead, and the manner in which it had been
killed. They gradually regained confidence and composure, and called to
their companions in the bushes. They also came forth, one by one, and
when the nature of the report of the gun had been explained to them,
they immediately swam into the river and brought out the goose. When
they carried it round and showed it to their companions, carefully
pointing out the ball hole in the goose, it is impossible to show more
expressive gestures, cries and movements of countenances indicative of
wonder and astonishment, than they exhibited. The night which we passed
with them, passed away pleasantly, and to the satisfaction of all
parties. In the morning their attention and curiosity were again highly
excited, when we brought in our beavers, which amounted in number to
thirty-six. After we had finished skinning them, we left the ample
supply of food furnished by the bodies of the beavers, in token of our
friendship, to these Indians, and floated on. On the 27th, we arrived
at the residence of the chief. We perceived that they had made ready
for our reception. They had prepared a feast for us by killing a number
of fatted dogs. As soon as we landed, the chief came to us, accompanied
by two subordinate chiefs. When arrived close to us, he exclaimed,
_wechapa_, striking himself on the breast, pointing to our company,
and repeating the same phrase. We understood from this, that he wished
to know who was our captain? We all pointed to my father, to whom the
chief immediately advanced, and affectionately embracing him, invited
us to enter his wigwam. We shouldered our rifles, and all followed
this venerable looking man to his abode. There he had prepared several
earthen dishes, in which the flesh of young and fat dogs was served up,
but without salt or bread. We all sat down. The pipe was lit, and we,
and the thirty Indians present began to smoke. While we were smoking,
they used many gesticulations and signs, the {147} purport of which we
could not make out, though, as they pointed often at us, we supposed we
were the subjects of their gestures. The pipe was then taken away, and
the chief arose, and stood in the centre of the circle which we formed
by the manner in which we all sat around the fire. He then made a long
harangue, and as we understood not a word, to us rather a tedious one.
We took care to make as many gestures indicative of understanding it,
as though we had comprehended every word.

The oration finished, a large dish of the choice dog's flesh was set
before us, and signs were made to us to eat. Having learned not to
be delicate or disobliging to our savage host, we fell to work upon
the ribs of the domestic barkers. When we had eaten to satisfaction,
the chief arose, and puffing out his naked belly, and striking it
with his hand, very significantly inquired by this sign, if we had
eaten enough? When we had answered in the affirmative, by our mode
of making signs, he then began to enquire of us, as we understood
it, who we were, and from whence we came, and what was our business
in that country? All this we interpreted, and replied to by signs as
significant as we could imagine. He continued to enquire of us by
signs, if we had met with no misfortunes on our journey, calling over
the names of several Indian tribes in that part of the country, among
which we distinctly recognized the name of the Umeas? When he mentioned
this name, it was with such a lowering brow and fierce countenance as
indicated clearly that he was at war with them. We responded to these
marks of dislike by an equal show of detestation by making the gesture
of seeming desirous to shoot at them, and with the bitterest look of
anger that we could assume; making him understand that they had stolen
our horses. He made signs of intelligence that he comprehended us, and
made us sensible of his deep hatred, by giving us to understand that
they had killed many of his people, and taken many more prisoners;
and that he had retaliated by killing and taking as many Umeas. He
pointed at the same time to two small children, and exclaimed Umea!
We {148} pointed at them with our guns, and gave him to understand,
that we had killed two of them. Some of our people had brought their
scalps along. We gave them to him, and he, looking first towards us,
and then fiercely at them, seemed to ask if these were the scalps of
his enemies? To which we replied, yes.--He then seized the hair of the
scalps with his teeth, and shook them, precisely as I have seen a dog
any small game that it had killed. He then gave such a yell of delight,
as collected all his people round him in a moment, and such rejoicing,
yelling, and dancing ensued from both men and women, as I shall forbear
to attempt to describe. Their deportment on this occasion was in fact
much nearer bestial than human. They would leave the dance round the
scalps in turn, to come and caress us, and then return and resume
their dance.

The remainder of this day and the ensuing night passed in being in some
sense compelled to witness this spectacle. In the morning of the 28th,
when we brought in the contents of our traps, we found we had taken
twenty-eight beavers. When my father enquired this morning anew for the
direction of the Spanish settlements, and how far they were distant, we
could make out from the signs of the chief no information more exact
than this. He still pointed to the west, and then back at us.--He then
made a very tolerable imitation of the rolling and breaking of the
surf on the sea shore. Below he drew a cow and a sheep. From this we
were satisfied that there were Spanish settlements west of us; and our
conclusion was, that they could not be very distant.

At mid-day we bade these friendly Indians farewell, and resumed our
slow progress of floating slowly down the stream, still setting our
traps, whenever we found any indications of beavers. We met with no
striking incident, and experienced no molestation until January 1st,
1828. On this day we once more received a shower of arrows from about
fifty Indians of a tribe called Pipi, of whom we were cautioned to
beware by the friendly Indians we had last left. I forgot at the time
to mention the name of that people, when speaking of them, and {149}
repeat it now. It is Cocopa.[96] When the Pipi fired upon us, we were
floating near the middle of the river. We immediately commenced pulling
for the opposite shore, and were soon out of the reach of their arrows,
without any individual having been wounded. As soon as our crafts
touched the shore, we sprang upon the bank, took fair aim, and showed
them the difference between their weapons and ours, by levelling six
of them. The remainder fell flat, and began to dodge and skulk on all
fours, as though the heavens had been loaded with thunder and mill
stones, which were about to rain on them from the clouds.

We re-loaded our guns, and rowed over to the opposite, and now deserted
shore. The fallen lay on the sand beach, some of them not yet dead.
We found twenty three bows and the complement of arrows, most of them
belonging to the fugitives. The bows are six feet in length, and made
of a very tough and elastic kind of wood, which the Spaniards call
_Tarnio_. They polish them down by rubbing them on a rough rock. The
arrows are formed of a reed grass, and of the same length with their
bows, with a foot of hard wood stuck in the end of the cavity of the
reed, and a flint spike fitted on the end of it.--They have very
large and erect forms, and black skins. Their long black hair floats
in tresses down their backs, and to the termination of each tress is
fastened a snail shell. In other respects their dress consists of their
birth-day suit; in other words, they are perfectly naked. The river
seems here to run upon a high ridge; for we can see from our crafts a
great distance back into the country, which is thickly covered with
musquito and other low and scrubby trees. The land is exceedingly
marshy, and is the resort of numerous flocks of swans, and blue cranes.
The rackoons are in such numbers, that they cause us to lose a great
many beavers, by getting into our traps and being taken instead of the
true game. They annoy us too by their squalling when they are taken.

From the junction of the two rivers to this place, I judge to be about
a hundred miles. We find the climate exceedingly warm, {150} and
the beaver fur, in accommodation to the climate, is becoming short.
We conclude, in consequence, that our trapping is becoming of less
importance, and that it is our interest to push on faster to reach
the settlements. A great many times every day we bring our crafts to
shore, and go out to see if we cannot discover the tracks of horses
and cattle. On the 18th, we first perceived that we had arrived on the
back water of the tide; or rather we first attributed the deadness of
the current to the entrance of some inundated river, swollen by the
melting of the snow on the mountains. We puzzled our brains with some
other theories, to account for the deadness of the current. This became
so entirely still, that we began to rig our oars, concluding that
instead of our hitherto easy progress of floating gently onward, we had
henceforward to make our head-way down stream by dint of the machinery
of our arms.

We soon were thoroughly enlightened in regard to the slackness of the
water. It began to run down again, and with the rapidity of six miles
an hour; that is, double the ordinary current of the stream. We were
all much surprised, for though I had seen the water of the Pacific at
Ymus, none of us had ever felt the influence of the tides, or been in a
craft on the ocean waters before. People of the same tribe, upon which
we had recently fired, stood upon the shore, and called loudly to us
as we passed, to come to land, making signs to us, that the motion of
the water would capsize our crafts. They showed a great desire that we
might come to shore, we had no doubt, that they might rob and murder
us. We preserved such a distance from them, as to be out of the reach
of their arrows, and had no intention to fire upon them. Had we wished
for a shot, they were quite within rifle distance. We floated on,
having had a beautiful evening's run, and did not come to land, until
late; we then pitched our camp on a low point of land, unconscious,
from our inexperience of the fact, that the water would return, and run
up stream again. We made our canoes fast to some small trees, and all
lay down to sleep, except my father, who took the first watch. He soon
aroused us, and called on us all {151} to prepare for a gust of wind,
and a heavy rain, which he thought betokened by a rushing noise he
heard. We realized in a few moments, that it was the returning tide.
Still, so strongly impressed were we, that a shower was approaching,
that we made all the customary arrangements of preparation, by
stretching our blankets to keep out the water from above. But our
enemy assailed us from another quarter. Our camp was inundated from
the river. We landsmen from the interior, and unaccustomed to such
movements of the water, stood contemplating with astonishment the rush
of the tide coming in from the sea, in conflict with the current of
the river. At the point of conflict rose a high ridge of water, over
which came the sea current, combing down like water over a mildam.
We all sprang to our canoes, which the rush of the water had almost
capsized, though we held the fasts with our hands. In twenty minutes
the place where we lay asleep, and even our fire place was three feet
under water, and our blankets were all afloat. We had some vague and
general ideas of the nature of the tide, but its particular operations
were as much unknown to us, as though we never had heard of it at all.
In the consternation of our ignorance, we paddled our crafts, as well
as we could, among the timber, not dreaming that in the course of a
few hours, the water would fall again. As it was, we gathered up our
floating blankets, got into our canoes, and held fast to the brushes,
until the water fell again, leaving us and our canoes high and dry. We
were now assailed by a new alarm, lest the Indians, taking advantage of
this new position in which we were placed, would attack and murder us.

In such apprehensions we passed the night, until the morning shone upon
us with a bright and beautiful sun, which enabled us to dry all our
wet things, and re-animated us with the confidence which springs from
the view of a bright firmament and a free and full survey of our case.
When the tide returned we got into our crafts, and descended with it,
still expecting to find Spanish settlements. We continued in this way
to descend, when the tide ran out, until the 28th, when the surf came
up the {152} river so strong that we saw in a moment, that our crafts
could not live, if we floated them into this tumultuous commotion of
the water.

Here we were placed in a new position, not the least disheartening or
trying, among the painful predicaments, in which fortune had placed
us. The fierce billows shut us in from below, the river current from
above, and murderous savages upon either hand on the shore. We had a
rich cargo of furs, a little independence for each one of us, could we
have disposed of them, as we had hoped, among the Spanish people, whom
we expected to have found here. There were no such settlements.--Every
side on which we looked offered an array of danger, famine and death.
In this predicament, what were furs to us? Our first thought was to
commit our furs to the waters, and attempt to escape with our lives.
Our second resolve was to ascend the river as far as we could, bury our
furs, and start on foot for some settlement. We saw that the chances
were greatly against us, that we should perish in the attempt; for the
country yielded little to subsist on, and was full of Indians who are
to the last degree savage and murderous, and whom nothing can subdue to
kindness and friendship. We had no idea of ever putting ourselves in
their power, as long as one of us could fire a pistol, or draw a knife.

We now began to ascend with the tide, when it served us, and lay by
when it ran down, until we arrived at the point where it ceased to
flow. We then applied our oars, and with the help of setting-poles,
and at times the aid of a cordelle, we stemmed the current at the rate
of one, and sometimes two miles an hour, until the tenth of February,
when we met a great rise of the river, and found the current so strong,
that we had no power to stem it in any way. So we concluded to abandon
our canoes, come to shore, bury our furs, and make our way across
the peninsula to the coast of California, which we thought from the
information of the Indians, could not be very distant.

On the 16th, we completed the burying of our furs, and started on foot
with our packs on our backs. The contents of these {153} packs were two
blankets for each man, a considerable quantity of dried beaver meat,
and a rifle with the ammunition. Our first day's journey was through a
country to the last degree trying to our strength and patience. It was
through the river bottom, which was thick set with low, scrubby brush,
interwoven with tall grass, vines and creepers. The making our way
through these was excessively slavish and fatiguing. We had a single
alleviation. There was plenty of fresh water to drink. We were so
fatigued at night, that sleep was irresistible. The weather was warm,
and we kindled no fire, through fear of the savages. We started on the
morning of the 18th, all complaining much of stiffness and soreness of
our limbs. We had been unused to walking for a great length of time;
and this commencement was a rude experiment of resuming the habit. At
two in the afternoon, we reached the edge of a large salt plain, which
runs parallel with the river. Here we struck a north west course, and
travelled the remainder of this hot and fatiguing day without finding
any water. We began to suffer severely from thirst. The earth, also,
was so loose and sandy, that at every step we sank up to our ankles,
the sun beaming down a fierce radiance the while; which made it seem
as if the heavens and the earth were on fire. Our tongues became so
parched, that not a particle of moisture flowed into our mouths. In
this miserable and forlorn condition, abandoned by strength, courage
and hope, we found some little alleviation of our misery, when the
blaze of the sun was gone, and the cool night enabled us to throw down
our weary and exhausted bodies under its dewy shade.

We made an early start in the morning, and pushed on as men, as thirsty
as we were, naturally would, in the hope of finding water, until two
in the afternoon. What a sight of joy! I have no words to express our
delight at the sight of a little lake before us. We sprang greedily
to it. The water was salt, too salt to be drank! Not the slightest
indication of any other water course, or any omen of fresh water
was any where in view. Far in the distance a snow-covered mountain
glittered in the {154} sun, and on the opposite shore of this salt
lake, and at a distance of three or four miles from it, rose some hills
of considerable height. We thought that from the summit of these hills
we might possibly discover some water. We gathered dry flags, of which
there was a great abundance about us, and made a kind of raft, on which
each one of us put his pack, and swam the lake, pushing the little
rafts that carried our packs, before us. The lake is about two hundred
yards wide, and contains a great variety of fish. In length the lake
stretches north and south, bounded on each shore with high, level and
well timbered land, though apparently affording no fresh water.

When we reached the west shore of the lake, we saw fresh Indian
foot-prints in the sand. This assured us, that there was water at no
great distance. One of our company and myself started and ascended the
highest peak of the hills in our view. We were not long in descrying
a smoke in the south, at the distance of about ten miles. This sight
gave us great courage and hope; for we felt assured that there must be
water between us and the Indian camp. In a moment we started back with
a vigorous step, to inform our companions, who were resting themselves
under the shade of a tree. The information re-animated them, as it
had us. We all shouldered our packs with a degree of alacrity, and
pushed on toward the smoke.--We arrived about three in the afternoon
on a small mound, within a quarter of a mile of the Indians. We could
distinctly number them, and found them between forty and fifty in
number, and their women and children were with them.

Here again was anxious ground of debate, what course we should pursue?
should we attempt the long and uncertain course of conciliation, before
the accomplishment of which we might perish with thirst? or should we
rush among them, and buy the delicious element which we had full in
view, at the hazard of our lives? Men as thirsty as we were, would be
likely to fix upon the latter alternative, and we did so. We examined
our arms to see that we were prepared to attack, or repel, according
to circumstances, determined to fire upon them, if they {155} showed
either a disposition for fight, or to keep us from the water.

We were within a hundred and fifty yards of them before they perceived
us. As soon as they saw us they all fled to the bushes, men, women and
children, as though satan was behind them. We had no disposition to
arrest them, but rushed forward to the water, and began to slake our
burning thirst. My father immediately cautioned us against drinking too
much, pointing out at the same time the hurtful consequences. But men
have always proved themselves slow to resist their appetites at the
command of their reason. Most of us overloaded our empty stomachs with
water, and soon became as sick as death. After vomiting, however, we
were relieved. My father told us that we had better stand to our arms;
for that the Indians had probably only fled to hide their women and
children, and prepare themselves to return and fight us.

Scarcely had he finished these remarks, when we discovered them bearing
down upon us, painted as black as a thunder cloud, and yelling like so
many fiends. Some of them were armed with clubs, some with bows and
arrows. We all arranged ourselves to receive them, behind the top of
a large fallen tree. When they were within rifle shot, we made signs
to them to halt, or that otherwise we should fire upon them. They
comprehended us, halted and ceased yelling, as though they wished
to hear what we had to say. We made signs that we were friendly. At
this they gazed in apparent confusion of thought, and seemed to be
questioning each other, touching the meaning of our signs. These signs
we continued to repeat. At length one of them called aloud in Spanish,
and asked us who we were? How delightful were these sounds! We answered
_Americans_. They repeated the name, asking us if we were friendly and
Christians? To these questions we made a ready affirmative. They then
proposed a treaty with us. Nothing could be more agreeable to us. At
the same time we perceived that only eight of their people came to
us, and the remainder of their company kept back. These eight that
seemed to be their chief {156} men, advanced to us, while the rest,
with extreme anxiety painted upon their countenances, stood ready for
action. We all sat down on the ground, and commenced talking. They
enquired with great precision, who we were, whence we came, how we
arrived here, what was our object, and whether we had met with any
misfortunes? We answered these questions to their satisfaction; and
soon the pipe was lit, and we commenced smoking. They then dug a hole
in the ground, in which they buried their war axe, and professed to
deposite all ill feelings with it. The Indian of their number, who
spoke the Spanish language, was a fugitive from the Mission of St.
Catherine.--Threatened with the punishment of some misdemeanor, he had
fled from the establishment.

After we had finished smoking, they asked us if the remainder of their
number might not come and converse with us. This we objected to, unless
they would bring their women and children with them. To this order they
expressed great reluctance. This reluctance by no means tended to allay
our previous jealousy of their pretended friendship. We asked them
their reasons for being unwilling to bring their women and children?
They answered promptly that they did not feel it safe to put their
women and children in our power, until they were more acquainted with
us. There seemed reason in this. We observed, that their men might
come, provided they would leave their arms behind. To this they readily
assented, and called out to their men to come on, leaving their arms
behind. A part of them seemingly much delighted, threw down their arms
and came on. The remainder equally dissatisfied, wheeled about, and
walked moodily away.

The new comers sat down in a circle round us. The pipe was again lit
and circled round. Again the terms of the treaty were repeated, and
they all expressed their satisfaction with them. They observed, that
their head chief was absent, at the distance of two day's journey
to the south, that in three or four days he would come and see us,
desiring us to remain with them until he should come. Nothing could be
more opportune for {157} us, for we were all excessively fatigued, and
needed a few days rest. After this they went and brought their women
and children, who, like the other Indians we had seen, were all stark
naked. At first they were excessively shy of us. This shyness wore off,
and in the course of the day changed to an eager curiosity to examine
us, and an admiration of our red flannel shirts, and the white skin
_under them_; for little show of whiteness was to be seen in our faces.
They soon ventured close to us, and with their own hands opened our
bosoms, uttering exclamations of curiosity and admiration, especially
on feeling the softness of our skins, in comparison of theirs. They
certainly seemed to prefer our complexion to theirs, notwithstanding it
had not the stamp of their fashion.

At length they made up to one of our companions, who was of a
singularly light complexion, fair soft skin, and blue eyes. They wanted
him to strip himself naked that they might explore him thoroughly,
for they seemed to be doubtful of his being alike white in every part
of his body. This, but as mildly as possible, he refused to do. They
went off and brought a quantity of dried fish of excellent quality,
and presented him. We persuaded him to oblige these curious and good
natured women, by giving them a full view of his body. He was persuaded
to strip to his skin. This delighted them, and they conversed and
laughed among themselves, and they came one by one and stood beside
him; so as to compare their bodies with his. After this, as long as we
staid, they were constantly occupied in bringing us cooked fish and the
vegetables and roots on which they are accustomed to feed. On the 25th,
the head chief came. He was a venerable looking man, whom I judged to
be about fifty years old. His countenance was thoughtful and serious,
and his hair a little gray. At his return his people greeted him with
an acclamation of yells, that made the wild desert echo. The pipe was
lit, and we all sat down by him and smoked again. He was a man of but
few words, but of sound judgment. After the smoking was finished, he
asked us the same questions which had been asked us before. We {158}
made him similar answers, adding, that we wanted to travel to the
Spanish settlements and purchase horses, upon which we might ride
home to our own country, and that we would pay him well if he would
send some of his men to guide us to those settlements. He asked us in
reply, what we had to give him? We showed him our blankets, and he
expressed himself delighted with them, observing at the same time, that
he would have preferred to have had red cloth. On this we pulled off
our red shirts and stripped them into small pieces like ribbons, and
distributed them among the people. They tied the strips round their
legs, arms and heads, and seemed as much overjoyed with these small
tatters of worn red flannel, as we should have been, to have brought
our furs to a good market among our own people. In giving away our
red shirts, we gave away, what in this warm climate was to us wholly
unnecessary. To carry our blankets on our backs was a useless burden.
We gave two of them to the chief. The two guides that he was to send
with us we were to pay after our arrival at the Spanish settlements.
These points of contract between us were settled to the mutual
satisfaction of all.

We started on the 26th, with our two guides, neither of whom could
speak Spanish, and of course we had nothing to do but follow them in
silence. We struck off a south west course, which led in the direction
of the snow covered mountain, which still loomed up in its brightness
before us. Our guides made signs that we should arrive at the foot
about midnight, though the distance appeared to us to be too great
to be travelled over in so short a time. We were yet to learn, that
we should find no water, until we drank that of the melted snow. We
perceived, however, that their travelling gait, worn as we were,
was more rapid than ours. We pushed on as fast as we could a league
further, when we were impeded by a high hill in our way, which was
about another league to the summit, and very precipitous and steep.
When we reached the top of it we were much exhausted, and began to be
thirsty. We could then see the arid salt plain stretching all the way
from the foot of this hill to the snow covered mountains.

{159} We thought it inexpedient to enquire of our guides, if there was
no water to be found between us and the mountain. It appeared but too
probable, that such was the fact. To know it to a certainty, would only
tend to unnerve and dishearten us. If there was any, we were aware that
we should reach it by travelling no more distance than as if we knew
the fact. We found it best to encourage the little hope that remained,
and hurried on through the drifted sand, in which we sank up to our
ankles at every step. The cloudless sun poured such a blaze upon it,
that by the scorching of our feet, it might have seemed almost hot
enough to roast eggs in. What with the fierce sun and the scorching
sand, and our extreme fatigue, the air seemed soon to have extracted
every particle of moisture from our bodies. In this condition we
marched on until nearly the middle of the day, without descrying any
indication of water in any quarter. A small shrubby tree stood in our
way, affording a tolerable shade. We laid ourselves down to get a few
minutes rest. The Indians sternly beckoned us to be up and onward, now
for the first time clearly explaining to us, that there was no water
until we reached the mountains in view. This unseasonable and yet
necessary information, extinguished the last remainder of our hope, and
we openly expressed our fears that we should none of us ever reach it.

We attempted to chew tobacco. It would raise no moisture. We took our
bullets in our mouths, and moved them round to create a moisture, to
relieve our parched throats. We had travelled but a little farther
before our tongues had became so dry and swollen, that we could
scarcely speak so as to be understood. In this extremity of nature, we
should, perhaps, have sunk voluntarily, had not the relief been still
in view on the sides of the snow covered mountains. We resorted to one
expedient to moisten our lips, tongue and throat, disgusting to relate,
and still more disgusting to adopt. In such predicaments it has been
found, that nature disburdens people of all conditions of ceremony and
disgust. Every thing bends to the devouring thirst, and the love of
life. The application of this {160} hot and salt liquid seemed rather
to enrage than appease the torturing appetite. Though it offered such
a semblance of what would satisfy thirst, that we economized every
particle. Our amiable Dutchman was of a sweetness of temper, that was
never ruffled, and a calmness and patience that appeared proof against
all events. At another time, what laughter would have circulated
through our camp, to hear him make merry of this expedient! As it was,
even in this horrible condition, a faint smile circulated through our
company, as he discussed his substitute for drink. 'Vell, mine poys,
dis vater of mein ish more hotter as hell, und as dick as boudden, und
more zalter as de zeas. I can't drink him. For Cod's sake, gif me some
of yours, dat is more tinner.'

Having availed ourselves to the utmost of this terrible expedient,
we marched on in company a few miles further. Two of our companions
here gave out, and lay down under the shade of a bush. Their tongues
were so swollen, and their eyes so sunk in their heads, that they were
a spectacle to behold. We were scarcely able, from the condition of
our own mouths, to bid them an articulate farewell. We never expected
to see them again, and none of us had much hope of ever reaching the
mountain, which still raised its white summit at a great distance from
us. It was with difficulty that we were enabled to advance one foot
before the other. Our limbs, our powers, even our very resolutions
seemed palsied. A circumstance that added to our distress, was the
excessive and dazzling brightness of the sun's rays, so reflected
in our eyes from the white sand that we were scarcely able to see
our way before us, or in what direction to follow our guides. They,
accustomed to go naked, and to traverse these burning deserts, and be
unaffected by such trials, appeared to stand the heat and drought,
like camels on the Arabian sands. They, however, tried by their looks
and gestures to encourage us, and induce us to quicken our pace. But
it was to no purpose. However, we still kept moving onward, and had
gained a few miles more, when night brought us shelter at least from
the insupportable radiance of the sun, and something of coolness and

{161} But it was so dark, that neither we or our guides could discover
the course. We stopped, and made a large fire, that our companions,
if yet living, and able to move, might see where we were, and how to
direct their own course to reach us. We also fired some guns, which,
to our great relief and pleasure, they answered by firing off theirs.
We still repeated firing guns at intervals, until they came up with
us. They supposed that we had found water, which invigorated their
spirits to such a degree, that it aroused them to the effort they had
made. When they had arrived, and found that we had reached no water,
they appeared to be angry, and to complain that we had disturbed their
repose with false hopes, and had hindered their dying in peace. One
of them in the recklessness of despair, drew from his package a small
phial, half full of laudanum, and drank it off, I suppose in the hope
of sleeping himself quietly to death. We all expected it would have
that effect. On the contrary, in a few moments he was exhilarated, like
a man in a state of intoxication. He was full of talk, and laughter,
and gaiety of heart. He observed, that he had taken it in hopes that
it would put him to sleep, never to wake again, but that in fact, it
had made him as well, and as fresh, as in the morning when he started;
but that if he had imagined that it would prove such a sovereign remedy
for thirst, he would cheerfully have shared it with us. We scraped down
beneath the burning surface of the sand, until we reached the earth
that was a little cool. We then stripped off all our clothing and lay
down. Our two Indians, also lay down beside us, covering themselves
with their blankets. My father bade me lay on the edge of one of
their blankets, so that they could not get up without awakening me.
He was fearful that they would arise, and fly from us in the night. I
implicitly conformed to my father's wish, for had this event happened,
we should all undoubtedly have perished. But the Indians appear to have
meditated no such expedient, at any rate, they lay quiet until morning.

As soon as there was light enough to enable us to travel we started,
much refreshed by the coolness of the night, and the {162} sleep we
had taken. We began our morning march with renewed alacrity. At about
ten in the forenoon we arrived at the foot of a sand hill about a
half a mile in height, and very steep. The side was composed of loose
sand, which gave way under our feet, so that our advancing foot steps
would slide back to their former places. This soon exhausted our
little remaining strength; though we still made many an unavailing
effort to ascend. The sun was now so high, as to beam upon us with the
same insufferable radiance of yesterday. The air which we inhaled,
seemed to scald our lungs. We at length concluded to travel towards
the north, to reach, if we might, some point where the hill was not
so steep to ascend. At two in the afternoon we found a place that was
neither so steep nor so high, and we determined here to attempt to
cross the hill. With great exertions and infinite difficulty, a part
of us gained the summit of the hill; but my father and another of our
company, somewhat advanced in years, gave out below, though they made
the most persevering efforts to reach the summit of the hill with the
rest. Age had stiffened their joints, and laid his palsying hand upon
their once active limbs, and vigorous frames. They could endure this
dreadful journey no longer. They had become so exhausted by fruitless
efforts to climb the hill, that they could no longer drag one foot
after the other. They had each so completely abandoned the hope of ever
reaching the water, or even gaining the summit of the hill, that they
threw themselves on the ground, apparently convinced of their fate, and
resigned to die. I instantly determined to remain with my father, be it
for life or death. To this determination he would by no means consent,
as he remarked it would bring my destruction, without its availing him.
On the contrary, he insisted, that I should go on with the rest, and
if I found any water near at hand, that I should return with my powder
horn full. In this way he assured me, I might be instrumental in saving
my own life, and saving him at the same time. To this I consented, and
with much fatigue gained the summit of the hill, where my companions
were seated waiting for us. They seemed undetermined, {163} whether
to advance onward, or wait for my father, until I related his
determination. My purpose was to proceed onward only so far, as that,
if the Almighty should enable us to reach water, I might be able to
return with a powder horn full to him and Mr. Slover, (for that was the
name of the elderly companion that remained with him.)

This resolution was agreed to by all, as a proper one. Being satisfied
by our consciences as well as by the reasoning of my father and his
companion, that we could render them no service by remaining with them,
except to increase their sufferings by a view of ours; and aware, that
every moment was precious, we pushed on once more for the mountain.
Having descended this hill, we ascended another of the same wearying
ascent, and sandy character with the former. We toiled on to the top
of it. The Eternal Power, who hears the ravens when they cry, and
provideth springs in the wilderness, had had mercy upon us! Imagine
my joy at seeing a clear, beautiful running stream of water, just
below us at the foot of the hill! Such a blissful sight I had never
seen before, and never expect to see again. We all ran down to it, and
fell to drinking. In a few moments nothing was to be heard among us,
but vomiting and groaning. Notwithstanding our mutual charges to be
cautious, we had overcharged our parched stomachs with this cold snow

[Illustration: Messrs. Pattie and Slover rescued from Famish]

Notwithstanding I was sick myself, I emptied my powder horn of its
contents, filled it with water, and accompanied by one companion, who
had also filled his powder horn, I returned towards my father and Mr.
Slover, his exhausted companion, with a quick step. We found them in
the same position in which we had left them, that is, stretched on the
sand at full length, under the unclouded blaze of the sun, and both
fast asleep; a sleep from which, but for our relief, I believe they
would neither of them ever have awakened. Their lips were black, and
their parched mouths wide open. Their unmoving posture and their
sunken eyes so resembled death, that I ran in a fright to my father,
thinking him, for a moment, really dead. But he easily awakened,
and drank the refreshing water. My companion {164} at the same time
bestowed his horn of water upon Mr. Slover. In the course of an hour
they were both able to climb the hill, and some time before dark we
rejoined the remainder of our company. They had kindled a large fire,
and all seemed in high spirits. As for our two Indians, they were
singing, and dancing, as it seemed to us, in a sort of worship of
thankfulness to the Great Spirit, who had led them through so much
peril and toil to these refreshing waters. We roasted some of our
beaver meat, and took food for the first time in forty-eight hours,
that is to say, from the time we left our Indian friends, until we
reached this water. Our Dutchman insisted that the plain over which we
passed, should be named the devil's plain, for he insisted, that it was
more hotter as hell, and that none but teyvils could live upon it. In
fact, it seemed a more fitting abode for fiends, than any living thing
that belongs to our world. During our passage across it, we saw not
a single bird, nor the track of any quadruped, or in fact any thing
that had life, not even a sprig, weed or grass blade, except a single
shrubby tree, under which we found a little shade. This shrub, though
of some height, resembled a prickly pear, and was covered thick with
thorns. The prickly pears were in such abundance, that we were often,
dazzled as our eyes were with the sun's brightness, puzzled to find a
path so as neither to torment our feet or our bodies with the thorns of
these hated natives of the burning sands. This very extensive plain,
the Sahara of California, runs north and south, and is bounded on each
side by high barren mountains, some of which are covered with perpetual

On the 28th, we travelled up this creek about three miles, and killed
a deer, which much delighted our two Indian guides. At this point we
encamped for the night. Here are abundance of palm trees and live oaks,
and considerable of mascal. We remained until the 3d of March, when
we marched up this creek, which heads to the south, forming a low gap
in the mountain. On the 7th, we arrived at the point, and found some
of the Christian Indians from the Mission of St. Catharine. They were
roasting mascal and the tender inside heads of the {165} palm trees for
food, which, when prepared and cooked after their fashion, becomes a
very agreeable food. From these Indians we learned that we were within
four days' travel of the mission mentioned above.

Here we concluded to discharge our guides, and travel into the
settlement with the Christian Indians. We gave them each a blanket, and
they started back to their own people on the morning of the 8th. At
the same time we commenced our journey with our new guides, and began
to climb the mountain. This is so exceedingly lofty, as to require
two days' travel and a half to gain its summit. During this ascent, I
severely bruised my heel. We none of us wore any thing to shield our
feet from the bare and sharp rocks, which composed almost the whole
surface of this ascent, but thin deer skin moccasins. Obliged to walk
on tip toe, and in extreme anguish, the severe fatigue of scrambling
up sharp stones was any thing, rather than agreeable. But I summoned
patience and courage to push on until the 12th. My leg then became so
swollen and inflamed that it was out of my power to travel farther.
The pain was so severe as to create fever. I lay myself down on the
side of a sharp rock, resigning myself to my fate, and determined to
make no effort to travel further, until I felt relieved. My companions
all joined with my father, in encouraging me to rise, and make an
effort to reach the mission, which they represented to be but three
miles distant. It was out of the question for me to think of it, and
they concluded to go to the settlement, and obtain a horse, and send
out for me. I kindled me a fire, for I suffered severe chills. The
Indians gave me the strictest caution against allowing myself to go to
sleep in their absence. The reason they assigned for their caution was
a substantial one. The grizzly bear, they said, was common on these
mountains, and would attack and devour me, unless I kept on my guard.
I paid little attention to their remarks at the time. But when they
were gone, and I was left alone, I examined the priming, and picked the
flints of my gun and pistol. I then lay down and slept, until sometime
in the early part of the night, when {166} two Indians came out from
the settlement, and informed me that the corporal of the guards at
St. Catharines[97] wished me to come in. Being feverish, stiff, sore
and withal testy, I gave them and their corporal no very civil words.
They said that the corporal only wanted me to come in, because he was
afraid the grizzly bears would kill me. I asked them why they did not
bring a horse for me? They informed me, that the Mission had none at
disposal at that time, but that they would carry me on their backs. So
I was obliged to avail myself of this strange conveyance, and mounted
the back of one of them while the other carried my arms. In this way
they carried me in, where I found my companions in a guard house. I was
ordered to enter with them by a swarthy looking fellow, who resembled a
negro, rather than a white.

I cannot describe the indignation I felt at this revolting breach of
humanity to people in suffering, who had thrown themselves on the
kindness and protection of these Spaniards. We related the reasons
why we had come in after this manner. We showed them our passport,
which certified to them, that we were neither robbers, murderers, nor
spies. To all this their only reply was, how should they know whether
we had come clandestinely, and with improper views, or not? Against
this question, proposed by such people, all reasonings were thrown
away.--The cowardly and worthless are naturally cruel. We were thrown
completely in their power; and instead of that circumstance exciting
any generous desires to console and relieve us, their only study seemed
to be to vex, degrade, and torment us.

Here we remained a week, living on corn mush, which we received once
a day; when a guard of soldiers came to conduct us from this place.
This mission is situated in a valley, surrounded by high mountains,
with beautiful streams of water flowing from them. The natives raise
sufficient corn and wheat to serve for the subsistence of the mission.
The mission establishment is built in a quadrangular form; all the
houses forming the quadrangle contiguous to each other; and one of the
angles is a large church, adjoining which are the habitations of {167}
the priests; though at this time there happened to be none belonging to
this at home. The number of Indians belonging to the mission at this
time, was about five hundred. They were destitute of stock, on account
of its having been plundered from them by the free, wild Indians of the
desert. The air is very cool and temperate, and hard frosts are not
uncommon. This cool temperature of the atmosphere I suppose to be owing
to the immediate proximity of the snowy mountains.

On the 18th, we started under the conduct of a file of soldiers, who
led us two days' travel, over very high mountains, a south west course,
to another mission, called St. Sebastian, situated near the sea coast,
in a delightful valley, surrounded, like the other, by lofty mountains,
the sides of which present magnificent views of the ocean. This mission
contains six hundred souls. This mission establishment, though much
richer and neater than the other, is, however, built on a precisely
similar plan. Here they have rich vineyards, and raise a great variety
of the fruits of almost all climates. They also raise their own
supplies of grain, and have a tolerable abundance of stock, both of the
larger and smaller kinds.

A serjeant has the whole military command. We found him of a dark and
swarthy complexion, though a man of tolerable information. He seemed
disposed to conduct towards us with some courtesy and kindness. He
saluted us with politeness, conducted us to the guard house, and begged
us to content ourselves, as well as we could, until he could make
some more satisfactory arrangements for our comfort and convenience.
To put him to the proof of his professed kindness, we told him that
we were very hungry. They soon had a poor steer killed, that reeled
as it walked, and seemed sinking by natural decay. A part of the blue
flesh was put boiling in one pot, and a parcel of corn in the other.
The whole process reminded me strongly of the arrangements which we
make in Kentucky, to prepare a mess for a diseased cow. When this
famous feast was cooked, we were marched forth into the yard, in great
ceremony, to eat it. All the men, women and children clustered round
us, and {168} stood staring at us while we were eating, as though they
had been at a menagerie to see some wild and unknown animals.--When
we were fairly seated to our pots, and began to discuss the contents,
disgusted alike with the food, with them, and their behaviour, we could
not forbear asking them whether they really took us to be human beings,
or considered us as brutes? They looked at each other a moment, as if
to reflect and frame an answer, and then replied coolly enough, that
not being Christians, they considered us little superior to brutes.
To this we replied, with a suitable mixture of indignation and scorn,
that we considered ourselves better Christians than they were, and
that if they did not give us something to eat more befitting men, we
would take our guns, live where we pleased, and eat venison and other
good things, where we chose. This was not mere bravado, for, to our
astonishment, we were still in possession of our arms. We had made no
resistance to their treating us as prisoners, as we considered them
nothing more than petty and ignorant officers, whom we supposed to have
conducted improperly, from being unacquainted with their duty. We were
all confident, that as soon as intelligence of our arrival should reach
the commanding officer of this station, and how we had been detained,
and treated as prisoners, we should not only be released from prison,
but recompensed for our detention.

This determination of ours appeared to alarm them. The information
of our menaces, no doubt with their own comments, soon reached the
serjeant. He immediately came to see us, while we were yet at our
pots, and enquired of us, what was our ground of complaint and
dissatisfaction? We pointed to the pots, and asked him if he thought
such food becoming the laws of hospitality to such people? He stepped
up to the pots, and turning over the contents, and examining them with
his fingers, enquired in an angry tone, who had served up such food
to us? He added, that it was not fit to give a dog, and that he would
punish those who had procured it. He comforted us, by assuring us that
we should have something fit to eat cooked for us. We immediately
returned quietly to the guard house. But a {169} short time ensued
before he sent us a good dish of fat mutton, and some tortillas. This
was precisely the thing our appetites craved, and we were not long in
making a hearty meal. After we had fed to our satisfaction, he came
to visit us, and interrogated us in what manner, and with what views
we had visited the country? We went into clear, full and satisfactory
details of information in regard to every thing that could have any
interest to him, as an officer; and told him that our object was to
purchase horses, on which we might return to our own country; and that
we wished him to intercede in our behalf with the commander in chief,
that we might have permission to purchase horses and mules among them,
for this purpose. He promised to do this, and returned to his apartment.

The amount of his promise was, that he would reflect upon the subject,
and in the course of four days write to his commander, from whom he
might expect an answer in a fortnight.--When we sounded him as to the
probability of such a request being granted, he answered with apparent
conviction, that he had no doubt that it would be in our favor. As our
hopes were intensely fixed upon this issue, we awaited this answer
with great anxiety. The commander at this time was at the port of San
Diego. During this period of our suspense, we had full liberty to hunt
deer in the woods, and gather honey from the blossoms of the Mascal,
which grows plentifully on the sea shore. Every thing in this strange
and charming country being new, we were continually contemplating
curiosities of every sort, which quieted our solicitude, and kept alive
the interest of our attention.

We used to station ourselves on the high pinnacles of the cliffs, on
which this vast sea pours its tides, and the retreating or advancing
tide showed us the strange sea monsters of that ocean, such as seals,
sea otters, sea elephants, whales, sharks, sword fish, and various
other unshapely sea dwellers. Then we walked on the beach, and examined
the infinite variety of sea shells, all new and strange to us.

Thus we amused ourselves, and strove to kill the time until the 20th,
when the answer of the commander arrived, which {170} explained itself
at once, by a guard of soldiers, with orders to conduct us to the port
of San Diego, where he then resided. We were ordered to be in immediate
readiness to start for that port. This gave us unmingled satisfaction,
for we had an undoubting confidence, that when we should really have
attained the presence of an officer whom we supposed a gentleman, and
acting independently of the authority of others, he would make no
difficulty in granting a request so reasonable as ours. We started on
the 2d, guarded by sixteen soldiers and a corporal. They were all on
horseback, and allowed us occasionally to ride, when they saw us much
fatigued. Our first day's journey was a north course, over very rough
mountains, and yet, notwithstanding this, we made twenty-five miles
distance on our way.

At night we arrived at another mission, situated like the former, on
a charming plain. The mission is called St. Thomas.[98] These wise
and holy men mean to make sure of the rich and pleasant things of the
earth, as well as the kingdom of heaven. They have large plantations,
with splendid orchards and vineyards. The priest who presides over
this establishment, told me that he had a thousand Indians under his
care. During every week in the year, they kill thirty beeves for the
subsistence of the mission. The hides and tallow they sell to vessels
that visit their coast, in exchange for such goods as they need.

On the following morning, we started early down this valley, which
led us to the sea shore, along which we travelled the remainder of
the day. This beautiful plain skirts the sea shore, and extends back
from it about four miles. This was literally covered with horses and
cattle belonging to the mission. The eye was lost beyond this handsome
plain in contemplating an immeasurable range of mountains, which we
were told thronged with wild horses and cattle, which often descend
from their mountains to the plains, and entice away the domesticated
cattle with them. The wild oats and clover grow spontaneously, and in
great luxuriance, and were now knee high. In the evening we arrived
at the port of Todos Santos, and there passed the night. Early on the
23d, we marched on. This day we {171} travelled over some tracts that
were very rough, and arrived at a mission situated immediately on the
sea board, called St. Michael.[99] Like the rest, it was surrounded
with splendid orchards, vineyards and fields; and was, for soil,
climate and position, all that could be wished. The old superintending
priest of the establishment showed himself very friendly, and equally
inquisitive. He invited us to sup with him, an invitation we should
not be very likely to refuse. We sat down to a large table, elegantly
furnished with various dishes of the country, all as usual highly
seasoned. Above all, the supply of wines was various and abundant. The
priest said grace at the close, when fire and cigars were brought in
by the attendants, and we began to smoke. We sat and smoked, and drank
wine, until 12 o'clock. The priest informed us that the population of
his mission was twelve hundred souls, and the weekly consumption, fifty
beeves, and a corresponding amount of grain. The mission possessed
three thousand head of domesticated and tamed horses and mules. From
the droves which I saw in the plains, I should not think this an
extravagant estimation. In the morning he presented my father a saddle
mule, which he accepted, and we started.

This day's travel still carried us directly along the verge of the sea
shore, and over a plain equally rich and beautiful with that of the
preceding day. We amused ourselves with noting the spouting of the
huge whales, which seemed playing near the strand for our especial
amusement. We saw other marine animals and curiosities to keep our
interest in the journey alive. In the evening we arrived at a Ranch,
called Buenos Aguos, or Good Water, where we encamped for the night.

We started early on the 25th, purchasing a sheep of a shepherd, for
which we paid him a knife. At this Ranch they kept thirty thousand head
of sheep, belonging to the mission which we had left. We crossed a
point of the mountain that made into the water's edge. On the opposite
side of this mountain was another Ranch, where we staid the night.
This Ranch is for the purposes of herding horses and cattle, of which
{172} they have vast numbers. On the 26th, our plain lay outstretched
before us as beautiful as ever. In the evening we came in sight of
San Diego, the place where we were bound.[100] In this port was one
merchant vessel, which we were told was from the United States, the
ship Franklin, of Boston. We had then arrived within about a league of
the port. The corporal who had charge of us here, came and requested us
to give up our arms, informing us, it was the customary request to all
strangers; and that it was expected that our arms would be deposited in
the guard house before we could speak with the commander, or general.
We replied, that we were both able and disposed to carry our arms to
the guard house ourselves, and deposite them there if such was our
pleasure, at our own choice. He replied that we could not be allowed
to do this, for that we were considered as prisoners, and under his
charge; and that he should become responsible in his own person, if he
should allow us to appear before the general, bearing our own arms.
This he spoke with a countenance of seriousness, which induced us to
think that he desired no more in this request than the performance of
his duty. We therefore gave him up our rifles, not thinking that this
was the last time we should have the pleasure of shouldering these
trusty friends. Having unburdened ourselves of our defence, we marched
on again, and arrived, much fatigued, at the town at 3 o'clock in the
evening. Our arms were stacked on the side of the guard house, and we
threw our fatigued bodies as near them as we could, on the ground.

An officer was dispatched to the general to inform him of our arrival,
and to know whether we could have an immediate audience or not? In a
short time the officer returned with an answer for us, that we must
remain where we were until morning, when the general would give us a
hearing. We were still sanguine in seeing only omens of good. We forgot
our past troubles, opened our bosom to hope, and resigned ourselves to
profound sleep. It is true, innumerable droves of fleas performed their
evolutions, and bit all their pleasure upon our bodies.--{173} But so
entire was our repose, that we scarcely turned for the night. No dreams
of what was in reserve for us the following day floated across our
minds; though in the morning my body was as spotted as though I had the
measles, and my shirt specked with innumerable stains of blood, let by
the ingenious lancets of these same Spanish fleas.

On the 27th, at eight A.M., we were ushered into the general's office,
with our hats in our hands, and he began his string of interrogations.
The first question was, who we were? We answered, Americans. He
proceeded to ask us, how we came on the coast, what was our object,
and had we a passport? In answer to these questions we again went
over the story of our misfortunes. We then gave him the passport
which we had received from the governor of Santa Fe. He examined this
instrument, and with a sinister and malicious smile, observed, that
he believed nothing of all this, but considered us worse than thieves
and murderers; in fact, that he held us to be spies for the old
Spaniards, and that our business was to lurk about the country, that
we might inspect the weak and defenceless points of the frontiers, and
point them out to the Spaniards, in order that they might introduce
their troops into the country; but that he would utterly detect us,
and prevent our designs.--This last remark he uttered with a look of
vengeance; and then reperused the passport, which he tore in pieces,
saying, it was no passport, but a vile forgery of our own contrivance.

Though amazed and confounded at such an unexpected charge, we firmly
asserted our innocence in regard to any of the charges brought against
us. We informed him that we were born and bred thorough and full
blooded republicans; and that there was not a man of us who would not
prefer to die, rather than to be the spies and instruments of the
Spanish king, or any other king; and that but a few years since, we
had all been engaged in fighting the forces of a king, allied with
savages, and sent against the country of our home; and that on this
very expedition we had been engaged in a great many battles with the
Indians, hostile to his people, redeeming their captives, {174} and
punishing their robberies and murders. In distress, and in want of
every thing from the robbery of these hostile Indians, we had taken
refuge in his country, and claimed its protection. We told him we
considered it an unworthy return for such general deportment, and
such particular services to their country, that we should be viewed
as spies, and treated as prisoners. He stopped us in the midst of our
plea, apparently through fear that representations, which must have
carried conviction to his prejudiced mind, might tend to soften his
obdurate heart, and unnerve his purpose towards us. He told us he did
not wish to hear any more of our long speeches, which he considered no
better than lies; for that if we had been true and bona fide citizens
of the United States, we should not have left our country without a
passport, and the certificate of our chief magistrate. We replied
that the laws of our country did not require that honest, common
citizens, should carry passports; that it did not interfere with the
individual business and pursuits of private individuals; that such
persons went abroad and returned unnoted by the government; and in
all well regulated states, sufficiently protected by the proof that
they were citizens of the United States; but that there were in our
country two classes of people, for whom passports were necessary,
slaves and soldiers; that for the slave it was necessary to have one,
to certify that he was travelling with the knowledge and permission of
his master; and for the soldier, to show that he was on furlough, or
otherwise abroad with the permission of his officer. As we spoke this
with emphasis, and firmness, he told us that he had had enough of our
falsehoods, and begged us to be quiet. He ordered us to be remanded to
our prison, and was immediately obeyed.

As we were driven out of his office, my father, who was exceedingly
exasperated, observed, 'my boys, as soon as we arrive in the guard
house, let us seize our arms and redress ourselves, or die in the
attempt; for it seems to me that these scoundrels mean to murder us.'
We all unanimously agreed to this advice, and walked back with a
willing mind, and an alert step. {175} But our last hope of redressing
ourselves, and obtaining our liberty was soon extinguished. On entering
the guard house, our arms had been removed we knew not where. They had
even the impudence to search our persons and to take from us even our
pocket knives. The orderly sergeant then told us, that he was under the
necessity of placing us in separate apartments. This last declaration
seemed the death stroke to us all. Affliction and mutual suffering and
danger had endeared us to each other, and this separation seemed like
rending our hearts. Overcome by the suddenness of the blow, I threw
my arms round the neck of my father, burst into tears, and exclaimed,
'that I foresaw, that the parting would be forever.' Though my father
seemed subdued, and absorbed in meditation, he reproved this expression
of my feelings, as weak and unmanly. The sergeant having observed
my grief, asked me, pointing to him, if that was my father? When he
learned that it was, he showed himself in some degree affected, and
remarked, that it seemed cruel to separate father and child, and that
he would go and explain the relationship to the general, and see if he
could not obtain permission for us to remain together. On this he set
off for the general's office, leaving me in the agony of suspense, and
the rest gazing at each other in mute consternation and astonishment.
The sergeant returned, informing me, that instead of being softened,
the general had only been exasperated, and had in nothing relaxed
his orders, which were, that we must immediately be put in separate
confinement. He accordingly ordered some soldiers to assist in locking
us up. We embraced each other, and followed our conductors to our
separate prisons. I can affirm, that I had only wished to live, to
sustain the increasing age and infirmities of my father. When I shook
hands with him, and we were torn in sunder, I will say nothing of my
feelings, for words would have no power to describe them. As I entered
my desolate apartment, the sergeant seemed really affected, and assured
me, that neither my companions nor myself should suffer any want of
food or drink, as far as he could prevent it, for that he did not
consider us guilty, nor worthy of such treatment.

{176} My prison was a cell eight or ten feet square, with walls and
floor of stone. A door with iron bars an inch square crossed over
each other, like the bars of window sashes, and it grated on its iron
hinges, as it opened to receive me. Over the external front of this
prison was inscribed in capital letters _Destinacion de la Cattivo_.
Our blankets were given us to lie upon. My father had a small package
of medicines which he gave in charge to the sergeant, binding him on
his word of honor not to part with it to any one. My door was locked,
and I was left to reflect upon our position and my past misfortunes;
and to survey the dreary walls of my prison. Here, I thought, was my
everlasting abode. Liberty is dear to every one, but doubly dear to
one, who had been from infancy accustomed to free range, and to be
guided by his own will. Put a man, who has ranged the prairies, and
exulted in the wilderness, as I have for years, in a prison, to let
him have a full taste of the blessings of freedom, and the horror of
shackles and confinement! I passed the remainder of the day in fierce
walking backwards and forwards over my stone floor, with no object to
contemplate, but my swarthy sentinel, through the grate. He seemed
to be true to his office, and fitly selected for his business, for
I thought I saw him look at me through the grate with the natural
exultation and joy of a bad and malicious heart in the view of misery.

When the darkness of night came to this dreary place, it was the
darkness of the grave. Every ray of light was extinct. I spread my
blankets on the stone floor, in hopes at least to find, for a few
hours, in the oblivion of sleep, some repose from the agitation of my
thoughts. But in this hope I was disappointed. With every other friend
and solace, sleep too, fled from me. My active mind ranged every where,
and returned only to unavailing efforts to imagine the condition and
feelings of my father and what would be our ultimate fate. I shut my
eyes by an effort, but nature would have her way, and the eyelids would
not close.

At length a glimmer of daylight, through my grate, relieved this long
and painful effort to sleep. I arose, went to my grate, {177} and took
all possible survey of what I could see. Directly in front of it was
the door of the general's office, and he was standing in it. I gazed on
him awhile. Ah! that I had had but my trusty rifle well charged to my
face! Could I but have had the pleasure of that single shot, I think I
would have been willing to have purchased it by my life. But wishes are
not rifle balls, and will not kill.

The church bell told eight in the morning. The drum rolled. A soldier
came, and handed me in something to eat. It proved to be dried beans
and corn cooked with rancid tallow! The contents were about a pint. I
took it up, and brought it within the reach of my nostrils, and sat
it down in unconquerable loathing. When the soldier returned in the
evening to bring me more, I handed him my morning ration untasted and
just as it was. He asked me in a gruff tone why I had not eaten it? I
told him the smell of it was enough, and that I could not eat it. He
threw the contents of the dish in my face, muttering something which
amounted to saying, that it was good enough for such a brute as I was.
To this I answered, that if being a brute gave claims upon that dish, I
thought he had best eat it himself. On this he flung away in a passion,
and returned no more that night, for which I was not sorry. Had the
food even been fit to eat, my thoughts were too dark and my mind too
much agitated to allow me appetite. In fact, I felt myself becoming

At night I was visited by the serjeant, who asked me about my health
and spirits in a tone and manner, that indicated real kindness of
feeling. I trusted in the reality of his sympathy, and told him, I was
not well. He then questioned me, if I had eaten any thing? I told him
no, and explained to him the double reason, why I had eaten nothing.
He answered that he would remove one of the causes, by sending me
something good. I then asked him if he had seen my father? He said he
had, though he had been unable to hold any conversation with him, for
want of his understanding Spanish. I thanked him for this manifestation
of friendship, and he left me. In a {178} short time he returned with
two well cooked and seasoned dishes. I begged him to take it first
to my father, and when he had eaten what he wished, he might bring
the remainder to me, and I would share it among my companions. He
assured me that my father was served with the same kind of food, and
that my companions should not be forgotten in the distribution. While
I was eating, he remained with me, and asked me, if I had a mother,
and brothers, and sisters in my own country? My heart was full, as I
answered him. He proceeded to question me, how long it had been since
I had seen them or heard from them, and in what I had been occupied,
during my long absence from my country? My misfortunes appeared to
affect him. When I had finished eating, he enquired how I had passed
the preceding night? In all his questions, he displayed true humanity
and tenderness of heart. When he left me, he affectionately wished me
good night. This night passed as sleepless and uncomfortable as the
preceding one. Next day the kind serjeant brought my dinner again,
though from anxiety and growing indisposition I was unable to eat. At
night he came again with my supper, and to my surprise accompanied by
his sister, a young lady of great personal beauty. Her first enquiry
was that of a kind and affectionate nature, and concerned my father.
She enquired about my age, and all the circumstances that induced
me to leave my country? I took leave to intimate in my answer, my
extreme anxiety to see my relatives, and return to my country, and in
particular, that it was like depriving me of life, in this strange
land, and in prison, to separate me from my old and infirm father.
She assured me that she would pray for our salvation, and attempt to
intercede with the general in our behalf, and that while we remained in
prison, she would allow us to suffer nothing, which her power, means or
influence could supply. She then wished me a good night, and departed.
I know not what is the influence of the ministration of a kind spirit,
like hers, but this night my sleep was sound and dreamless.

She frequently repeated these kind visits, and redeemed to the letter
all her pledges of kindness. For I suffered for nothing {179} in regard
to food or drink. A bed was provided for me, and even a change of
clothing. This undeviating kindness greatly endeared her to me. About
this time, Captain John Bradshaw, of the ship Franklin, and Rufus
Perkins, his supercargo, asked leave of the general, to come and visit
us. The general denied them. But Captain Bradshaw, like a true hearted
American, disregarded the little brief authority of this miserable
republican despot, and fearless of danger and the consequences, came
to see me without leave. When I spoke to him about our buried furs, he
asked me about the chances and the means we had to bring them in? And
whether we were disposed to make the effort, and if we succeeded, to
sell them to him? The prisoners, as he separately applied to them, one
and all assured him, that nothing would give them more pleasure. He
assured us, that he would leave nothing in his power undone, in making
efforts to deliver us from our confinement. We thanked him for this
proffered friendship, and he departed.

His first efforts in our favor were directed to gaining the friendship
of the general, in order to soften his feelings in regard to us. But in
this he entirely failed. He then adopted an innocent stratagem, which
was more successful. He informed the general that he had business with
a Spanish merchant in port, which he could not transact for want of
some one who could speak the language fluently, who would interpret
for him, that he understood that one of the American prisoners could
speak the language perfectly well, and that if he would allow that
prisoner to come and interpret for him a few hours, he would bind
himself in a bond to any amount, that the prisoner at the expiration
of his services, would return voluntarily to his prison. To this the
general gave his consent. Captain Bradshaw came to my prison, and I was
permitted by the general's order to leave my prison.

When I went abroad, Captain Bradshaw conducted me to the office of an
old captain, who had charge of the arms. We begged him to intercede
with the general to obtain his permission, that we might go out and
bring in our furs. We informed {180} him, that Captain Bradshaw and
the supercargo, Rufus Perkins, would be our security in any amount,
that the general was disposed to name, that we would return, and
surrender ourselves to him, at the close of the expedition. He was at
once satisfied of our honor and integrity, and that we were by no means
those spies, whom the general took us for, and he promised to use all
his influence with the general, to persuade him to dispatch us for our
furs. We assured him, that in addition to our other proofs, that we
were bonafide Americans, and true republicans, we had documents under
the proper signature of the President of the United States, which we
hoped, would be sufficient to satisfy him, and every one, who we were.
He asked to see those papers, of which I spoke. I told him they were
my father's commission of first lieutenant in the ranging service,
during the late war with England, and an honorable discharge at the
close of the war. He promised to communicate this information to the
general, and departed, proposing to return in half an hour. During this
interval, we walked to my father's cell, and I had the satisfaction of
speaking with him through the grates. He asked me if I had been visited
by a beautiful young lady? When I assented, he replied, that this
charming young woman, as a ministering angel, had also visited his cell
with every sort of kindness and relief, which she had extended to each
one of our companions. I had the satisfaction afterwards, of speaking
with each one of our companions. I need not add, how much delighted we
were to speak with one another once more. From these visits I returned
to the office of the captain of arms.

We found him waiting with the most painful intelligence. Nothing could
move the general, to allow us to go out and bring in our furs. He
expressed a wish, notwithstanding, to see the commission of which I
had spoken, and that I should return to my cell. I gave the papers to
Captain Bradshaw, requesting him to return them to my father, after
the general should have examined them. This he promised, and I took my
leave of him, returning to my dreary prison, less buoyant and more
completely desponding of my liberty than ever.

{181} In a few moments Captain Bradshaw and Perkins came again to my
cell, and said that the general had no faith in our papers, and could
not be softened by any entreaty, to give us our liberty. As he said
this, the sentinel came up, and stopped him short in his conversation,
and ordered them off affirming, that it was the general's express
command, that he should not be allowed to see or speak with me again.
They however pledged their honor as they left me, that whenever an
occasion offered, they would yield us all the assistance in their
power, and wishing me better fortune, they departed.

A fortnight elapsed in this miserable prison, during which I had no
other consolation, than the visits of the young lady, and even these,
such was the strictness of the general's orders, were like all angel
visits, _few and far between_. At length a note was presented me by the
serjeant, from my father. What a note! I appeal to the heart of every
good son to understand what passed within me. This note was written on
a piece of paste board torn from his hat. The characters were almost
illegible, for they were written with a stick, and the ink was blood,
drawn from his aged veins! He informed me that he was very ill, and
without any hope of recovery, that he had but one wish on this side
the grave, and that was, to see me once more before he died. He begged
me to spare no entreaties, that the general would grant me permission
to come and see him a last time; but, that if this permission could
not be obtained, to be assured, that he loved me, and remembered me
affectionately, in death.

This letter pierced me to the heart. O, could I have flown through my
prison walls! Had I possessed the strength of the giants, how soon
would I have levelled them, even had I drawn down destruction on my own
head in doing it. But I could own nothing in my favour, but a fierce
and self devouring will. In hopes that the heart of the general was
not all adamant, I entreated the serjeant to go and inform him of my
father's illness, and his desire to see me once more, and to try to
gain permission that I might have leave to attend upon him, or if that
might not be, to visit him once more, according to his wish. He went
{182} in compliance with my entreaties, and in a few minutes returned
with a dejected countenance, from which I at once inferred what was
the fate of my application. His voice faltered as he related that the
general absolutely refused this request. Oh God! of what stuff are
some hearts made! and this was a republican officer! What nameless
tortures and miseries do not Americans suffer in foreign climes from
those miserable despots who first injure and oppress, and then hate the
victims of their oppression, as judging their hearts by their own, and
thinking that their victims must be full of purposes of revenge.

The honest and kind hearted serjeant hesitated not to express manly and
natural indignation, in view of this inhuman brutality of the general,
in refusing a favor, called for by the simplest dictates of humanity,
a favor too, in the granting which there could be neither difficulty
nor danger. All he could do in the case he promised to do, which was
to see that my father should want no sort of nourishment, or aid which
he could render him. I tried to thank him, but my case was not of a
kind to be alleviated by this sort of consolation. When I thought of
our expectations of relief, when we threw ourselves in the power of
these vile people, when I took into view our innocence of even the
suspicion of a charge that could be brought against us, when I thought
of their duplicity of disarming us, and their infamous oppression as
soon as we were in their power, and more than all, when I thought of
this last brutal cruelty and insult, my whole heart and nature rose in
one mingled feeling of rage, wounded affection, and the indignation
of despair. The image of my venerable father, suffering and dying
unsolaced and unrelieved, and with not a person, who spoke his
language, to close his eyes, and I so near him, was before me wherever
I turned my eyes.

What a horrible night ensued at the close of this day! As the light
was fading, the excellent young lady presented herself at my grate.
She repeated all that her brother had related to me, in regard to the
cruel refusal of the general. While she discussed this subject, the
tears fell from her eyes, and I had the consolation to know, that one
person at least felt real sympathy {183} for my distress. She added, in
faltering tones, that she was well aware that in a case like this words
were of but little avail, but that I might be assured of the kindest
attention to all the wants of my father, that she could relieve; and
that if it was the will of God, to take him out of this world of sorrow
and change, that he should be buried decently and as if he were her
own father. Judge what I must have felt towards this noble minded and
kind hearted young lady! As she withdrew, my prayers at this time were
hearty, if never before, that God would reward her a thousand fold in
all good things, for her sympathy with our sufferings.

Thus passed away these days of agony and suspense. The young lady
visited me as often as it was understood the general's orders would
permit, that is, once in two or three days, bringing me food and drink,
of which in the present state of my thoughts, I had little need. In
fact, I had become so emaciated and feeble that I could hardly travel
across my prison floor. But no grief arrests the flight of time, and
the twenty-fourth of April came, in which the serjeant visited me and
in a manner of mingled kindness and firmness told me that my father
was no more. At these tidings, simple truth calls on me to declare, my
heart felt relieved. I am a hunter, and not a person to analyze the
feelings of poor human nature. My father now was gone, gone where the
voice of the oppressor is no more heard. Since the death of my mother,
I have reason to think, that life had been to him one long burden.
He had been set free from it all, and set free too, from the cruelty
of this vile people, and the still viler general. I felt weak, and
exhausted myself, and I expected to rejoin him in a few days, never
to be separated from him. Life was a burden of which I longed to be

After I had given vent to natural feelings on this occasion, the
serjeant asked me touching the manner in which we bury our dead in our
country? I informed him. He then observed that the reason why he asked
that question was, that his sister wished, that my father's body might
be interred in a manner conformable to my wishes. I could only thank
him for all this {184} kindness and humanity to me, as he left me. I
passed the remainder of this day in the indulgence of such reflections
as I have no wish to describe, even had I the power.

At night the serjeant's sister again visited my prison. She seemed
neither able nor disposed to enter upon the subject before us, and
reluctant to call up the circumstance of my father's death to my
thoughts. At length she presented me with a complete suit of black,
and begged that I would wear it on the following day at my father's
funeral. I observed, in astonishment, that she could not doubt what a
melancholy satisfaction it would be to me to follow the remains of my
father to the grave, but that between me and that satisfaction were the
walls of my prison, through which I could not break. She remarked, that
by dint of importunity, she had prevailed on the general to allow me
to attend the funeral. The fair young lady then undertook the duties
of minister and philosopher, counselling me not to grieve for that,
for which there is no remedy, proving to me that it was the will of
God, that he should thus obtain deliverance from prison, and all the
evils of this transitory life, and abundance of common place language
of this sort, very similar to what is held in my own country on like
occasions. Having finished her kindly intended chapter of consolations,
she wished me a good night and left me to my own thoughts. The night I
spent in walking the floor of my prison.

At eight in the morning, a file of six soldiers appeared at the door of
my prison. It was opened, and I once more breathed the fresh air! The
earth and the sky seemed a new region.--The glare of light dazzled my
eyes, and dizzied my head. I reeled as I walked. A lieutenant conducted
the ceremonies: and when I arrived at the grave he ordered the crowd to
give way, that I might see the coffin let down, and the grave filled. I
advanced to the edge of the grave, and caught a glimpse of the coffin
that contained the remains of the brave hunter and ranger. The coffin
was covered with black. No prayers were said. I had scarce time to
draw a second breath, before the grave was half filled with earth. I
was led back to my prison, {185} the young lady walking by my side in
tears. I would gladly have found relief for my own oppressed heart
in tears, if they would have flowed. But the sources were dried, and
tears would not come to my relief. When I arrived at the prison, such a
horrid revulsion came over me at the thoughts of entering that dreary
place again, that I am sure I should have preferred to have been shot,
rather than enter it again. But I recovered myself by reflecting that
my health was rapidly declining, and that I should be able in a short
time to escape from the oppressor and the prison walls, and rejoin my
father, and be at rest.

[Illustration: Burial of Mr. Pattie]

This thought composed me, and I heard the key turn upon me with a
calm and tranquilized mind. I lay down upon my bed, and passed many
hours in the oblivion of sleep. The customary habit of sleep during
the night returned to me; and my strength and appetite began to return
with it. I felt an irresistible propensity to resume my former habit
of smoking. I named my inclination to my friend the serjeant. He
was kind enough to furnish me cigars. This was a new resource to aid
me in killing the time. Apart from the soothing sensation of smoking,
I amused myself for hours in watching the curling of my smoke from the
cigar. Those who have always been free, cannot imagine the corroding
torments of thoughts preying upon the bosom of the prisoner, who has
neither friend to converse with, books to read, or occupation to fill
his hours.

On the 27th of June, Captain Bradshaw's vessel was seized, on the
charge of smuggling. There were other American vessels in this port
at the same time, the names of the captains of which, as far as I can
recollect, were Seth Rogers, Aaron W. Williams, and H. Cunningham.
These gentlemen, jointly with their supercargoes, sent me five ounces
of gold, advising me to keep this money secret from the knowledge of
the Spaniards, and preserve it as a resource for my companions and
myself, in case of emergencies.

About this time the general received several packages of letters in
English, the contents of which, not understanding the {186} language,
he could not make out. There was no regular translator at hand; and he
sent orders to the serjeant to have me conducted to the office for that
purpose. When I entered the office he asked me if I could read writing?
When I told him yes, he procured a seat, and bade me sit down. He then
presented me a letter in English, requesting me to translate it into
Spanish. Though I put forth no claims on the score of scholarship, I
perfectly comprehended the meaning of the words in both languages. I
accomplished the translation in the best manner in my power; and he was
pleased entirely to approve it. He proceeded to ask me a great many
questions relative to my travels through the Mexican country; how long
I had been absent from my own country, and what had been my occupation,
during that absence? To all which questions I returned satisfactory
answers. When he bade the guard return me to prison, he informed me
that he should probably call for me again.

I returned to my prison somewhat cheered in spirits. I foresaw that
he would often have occasion for my services as a translator, and if
I showed an obliging disposition, and rendered myself useful, I hoped
to obtain enlargement for myself and my companions. As I expected,
I was summoned to his office for several days in succession. On my
entering the office he began to assume the habit of saluting me
kindly, giving me a seat, enquiring after my health, and showing me
the other customary civilities. When I found him in his best humor,
I generally took occasion remotely to hint at the case of our being
detained as prisoners. I tried, gently and soothingly, to convince
him of the oppression and injustice of treating the innocent citizens
of a sister republic, as if they were spies. He generally showed a
disposition to evade the subject; or alleged as a reason for what he
had done, that he regretted exceedingly that circumstances on our part
seemed so suspicious, that, obliged as he was, to execute the laws of
his country, he felt himself compelled to act as he had done; that it
was far from his disposition to desire to punish any one unjustly,
and without cause; and that he would be glad if we could produce any
substantial {187} evidence to acquit us from the suspicion of being

Though, as a true and honest man, I knew that every word he pronounced
was a vile and deceitful lie, yet such is the power of the oppressor,
I swallowed my rising words, and dissembled a sort of satisfaction.
Waiving the further discussion of our imprisonment, I again recurred to
the subject of permission to bring in our furs, persuading him, if he
had any doubts about our good faith in returning to this place, to send
soldiers to guard us; assuring him, that on obtaining our furs we would
pay the soldiers, and indemnify him for any other expense he might
incur on the occasion; and that, moreover, we would feel ourselves as
grateful to him as if he had bestowed upon us the value of the furs
in money. He heard me to the close, and listened with attention; and
though he said he could not at present give his consent, he promised
that he would deliberate upon the subject, and in the course of a week,
let me know the result of his resolution. He then bade his soldiers
remand me to prison. I begged him to allow me to communicate this
conversation to my companions. This he refused, and I re-entered my

From these repeated interviews, I began to acquaint myself with
his interior character. I perceived, that, like most arbitrary and
cruel men, he was fickle and infirm of purpose. I determined to take
advantage of that weakness in his character by seeming submissive to
his wishes, and striving to conform as far as I could to his capricious
wishes; and more than all, to seize the right occasions to tease him
with importunities for our liberty, and permission to bring in our
furs. Four days elapsed before I had another opportunity of seeing
him. During this time I had finished the translation of a number of
letters, some of which were from Capt. Bradshaw, and related to the
detention of his ship and cargo, and himself. When I had finished these
translations, and was re-admitted to his presence, I asked him if he
had come to any determination in regard to letting us go to bring in
our furs? He answered in his surliest tone, no! How different were my
reflections on returning to my prison from those with which I had left
it! How earnestly I wished that {188} he and I had been together in the
wild woods, and I armed with my rifle!

I formed a firm purpose to translate no more letters for him. I
found that I had gained nothing by this sort of service; nor even
by dissembling a general disposition to serve him. I was anxious
for another request to translate, that I might have the pleasure of
refusing him, and of telling him to his face that though I was his
prisoner, I was not his slave. But it was three days before he sent
for me again. At their expiration I was summoned to his office, and
he offered me a seat, according to former custom. When I was seated,
with a smiling countenance he handed me a packet of letters, and bade
me translate them. I took one, opened it, and carelessly perused a few
lines, and returning the packet back, rose from my seat, and told him
I wished to return to my prison; and bowing, I moved towards the door.
He darted a glance at me resembling that of an enraged wild beast; and
in a voice, not unlike the growl of a wounded, grizzly bear, asked me
why I did not put myself to the translation of the letters? Assuming a
manner and tone as surly as his own, I told him my reasons were, that
I did not choose to labor voluntarily for an oppressor and enemy; and
that I had come to the determination to do it no longer. At this he
struck me over the head such a blow with the flat of his sword, as well
nigh dropped me on the floor; and ordered the soldiers to return me
to prison, where he said I should lay and rot. The moment I recovered
from the stunning effect of the blow I sprang toward him; but was
immediately seized by the guards, and dragged to the door; he, the
while, muttered abundance of the curses which his language supplies. In
return, I begged him to consider how much it was like an officer and
gentleman to beat an unarmed prisoner in his power, but that if I only
had a sword to meet him upon equal terms, I could easily kill as many
such dastards as he was, as could come at me. He bade me be silent, and
the soldiers to take me off. They shoved me violently on before them to
prison. When it closed upon me I never expected to see the sun rise and
set again.

{189} Here I remained a week without seeing even the young lady, who
was justly so dear to my heart. She was debarred by the general's
orders not only from visiting me, but even sending me provisions! I
was again reduced to the fare of corn boiled in spoiled tallow, which
was brought me twice a day. At this juncture came on Capt. Bradshaw's
trial. The declaration of the Captain, supercargo and crew was to be
taken, and all the parties separately interrogated by a Spaniard.
Not an individual of them could speak a word of Spanish, except the
Captain, and he was not allowed to translate in his own case. The
general supposed that by interrogating the parties separately, he
should be able to gain some advantage from the contradictions of the
testimony, and some positive proof of smuggling. Capt. Bradshaw being
denied the privilege of interpreting for his crew, requested the
general to procure some one who might be allowed to perform that office
for him. The general told him that I was capable of the office, if I
could be gained to the humor; but that he would as willingly deal with
a devil, as with me, when out of humor. Capt. Bradshaw asked him if he
might be allowed to converse with me on the subject? He consented, and
Capt. B. came to my prison. In reference to the above information, he
asked me what had taken place between me and the general which had so
exasperated him against me? I related all the circumstances of our last
interview. He laughed heartily at my defiance of the general. I was
ready, of course, to render any service by which I could oblige Capt.
B. He returned to the general, and informed him that I was ready to
undertake to translate or interpret in his case.

In a short time my door was opened, and I was once more conducted to
the office of the general. Capt. B. was sitting there in waiting. The
general asked me if I had so far changed my mind, as to be willing to
translate and interpret again? I told him I was always ready to perform
that office for a _gentleman_. I placed such an emphasis on the word
gentleman, as I purposed, should inform him, that I intended that
appellation for the {190} Captain, and not for him. Whether he really
misunderstood me, or dissembled the appearance of misunderstanding me,
I know not. He only named an hour, in which he should call on me for
that service, cautioning me to act in the business with truth and good
faith. I told him that my countrymen in that respect, had greatly the
disadvantage of his people; for that it was our weakness, not to know
how to say any thing but the truth. At this he smiled, ordering me back
to prison, until I should be called for next day.

At eight the next morning, I was again summoned to his office, where he
proceeded, through me, to question Captain B. touching the different
ports at which he had traded, and what was his cargo, when he left the
U.S.? He added a great many other questions in relation to the voyage,
irrelevant to the purposes of this journal. The clerk on this occasion
was an Indian, and a quick and elegant writer. Capt. B. produced
his bill of lading, and the other usual documents of clearing out a
ship; all which I was obliged to translate. They being matters out
of the line of my pursuits, and I making no pretensions to accurate
acquaintance with either language, the translation, of course, occupied
no inconsiderable time. It was nearly twelve, when he bade us withdraw,
with orders to meet him again at his office at two in the afternoon.
Capt. B. accompanied me to prison, and as we went on, requested me to
make the testimonies of his crew as nearly correspond, and substantiate
each other, as possible; for that some of them were angry with him, and
would strive to give testimony calculated to condemn him. I assured
him that I would do any thing to serve him, that I could in honor. I
entered my prison, and slept soundly, until the bells struck two.

I was then reconducted to the general's office; where he continued to
interrogate Capt. B., until three. The Supercargo, Mr. R. Perkins, was
then called upon to produce his manifesto, and cautioned to declare the
truth, in relation to the subject in question. This manifesto differed
in no essential respect from the account of the Captain. At sunset
they were {191} dismissed, and I remanded to my prison. Day after day
the same task was imposed, and the same labors devolved upon me. I
at length summoned courage to resume the old question of permission
to go out and bring in our furs. To my surprise he remarked, that as
soon as he had finished taking all the evidence in relation to Capt.
Bradshaw's ship and cargo, he would not only allow us to go, but would
send soldiers to prevent the Indians from molesting us. I informed him,
that his intended kindness would be unavailing to us, if he did not
allow us to depart before the month of August; for that in that month
the melting of the snow on the mountains at the sources of Red river
caused it to overflow, and that our furs were buried in the bottom, so
that the river, in overflowing, would spoil them. He replied, that it
was out of his power to grant the consent at this time, which was the
19th of July.

On the 28th he had finished taking all the depositions, and I again
asked him for permission to go and bring in our furs. He still started
delays, alleging that he had made no arrangements for that purpose
yet. Capt. B. was present, and asked him to allow me to stay with him
on board his vessel, promising that he would be accountable for me.
To my astonishment the general consented. I repaired to the house of
the young lady, who had been so kind to me. She received me with open
arms, and manifested the most unequivocal delight. She congratulated
me on being once more free from my dismal prison, and asked me a
thousand questions. The Captain and myself spent the evening with her;
and at its close, I repaired with him on board his beautiful ship, the
first sea vessel I had ever been on board. It may be imagined what a
spectacle of interest and eager curiosity the interior of this ship,
the rigging, masts, awning, in short, every thing appertaining to it,
would be to a person raised as I had been, and of a mind naturally
inquisitive. What a new set of people were the sailors! How amusing
and strange their dialect! They heartily shook me by the hand, and
commenced describing the several punishments they would inflict upon
the general, if they had him in their {192} power. Among the different
inflictions purposed, none seemed to please them better, than the idea
of tarring and feathering him, all which I would gladly have seen him
endure, but the worst of it was, after all, the general was not in
their power.

I spent the greater part of the night with the captain and supercargo,
conversing about the oppressions and cruelties of the general, and
the death of my father, for, during the time of his sickness, Captain
Bradshaw had sailed to Monte el Rey, and had not returned, until after
his death. He intended, he said, if his vessel was condemned, to slip
his anchors, and run out of the harbor, at the risk of being sunk,
as he passed the fort. He promised me, if I would take passage with
him, that I should fare as he did, and that, when we should arrive at
Boston, he would obtain me some situation, in which I could procure a
subsistence. I thanked him for his very kind offer, but remarked, that
my companions had suffered a great deal with me, that we had had many
trials together, and had hazarded our lives for each other, and that
now I would suffer any thing rather than desert them, and leave them in
prison, probably, to have their sufferings enhanced, in consequence of
my desertion.

In the morning we all three went on shore together, and took breakfast
at the house of my friend, the brother of the young lady. We passed
from breakfast, to the office of the general. I asked leave of him
to visit my companions in prison. His countenance became red with
anger, and he ordered the guard to search me, and take me to prison. I
perceived that he thought I had arms concealed about me, and assured
him I had none. This did not hinder the guard from searching me, before
they put me in prison.

I heard no more from him, and remained shut up in prison until
the 28th of August. On that day the general ordered me again to be
conducted to his office, where, according to his request, I translated
some letters for him. When I had finished, he asked me if I still had
an inclination to go for my furs? I replied, that I had reason to
suppose that they had been covered {193} before this time, with the
waters of Red river, and were all spoiled; but that nevertheless, I
should be glad to be certain about it, and at least we should be able
to bring in our traps. He asked me what adequate security I could give
for our good behavior, and the certainty of our return, provided he
should allow us the use of our arms for self defence? I replied, that
I knew no one, who could give the security required, but that the
soldiers he would send with us, would be his security for our return;
but that it was out of the question to think of sending us on a trip,
so dangerous under any circumstances, without allowing us to go armed.
He remanded me to prison, saying, that he would reflect upon it, and
let me know the result of his reflections in the morning. I reflected
as I walked to prison, that I could have procured the security of
Captain Bradshaw, merely for the asking. But I knew the character of
my companions, and was so well aware, how they would feel when all
should be once free again, and well armed, that I dared not bind any
one in security for us. Such had been the extent of the injuries we
had suffered, and so sweet is revenge, and so delightful liberty, when
estimated by the bondage we had endured, that I was convinced that
Mexico could not array force enough to bring us back alive. I foresaw
that the general would send no more than ten or twelve soldiers with
us. I knew that it would be no more than an amusement to rise upon
them, take their horses for our own riding, flea some of them of their
skins, to show them that we knew how to inflict torture, and send the
rest back to the general on foot. Knowing that the temptation to some
retaliation of this sort would be irresistible, I was determined that
no one of my countrymen should be left amenable to the laws on our
account. Such thoughts passed through my mind as I told the general, I
could offer him no security.

Next morning, immediately after eight, I was allowed to walk to the
general's office without being guarded. What a fond feeling came back
to my heart with this small boon of liberty! How much I was exalted in
my own thoughts, that I {194} could walk fifty yards entrusted with
my own safe keeping! When I entered the general's office, he saluted
me with ceremonious politeness. 'Buenas dias, don Santiago,' said he,
and showed me to a seat. He proceeded to make known his pleasure, in
respect to me and my companions. In the first place he told us, we were
all to be allowed the use of our arms, in the next place, that he would
send fifteen of his soldiers with us; and in the third place, that we
should all be allowed a week, in which to exercise ourselves, before
we set out on our expedition. All this good fortune delighted us, and
was more almost, than we would have dared to wish. My companions, in
an ecstacy of satisfaction, soon joined us from their prisons. We
met with as much affection and gladness of heart, as if we had been
brothers. They looked more like persons emancipated from the prison
of the grave, than human beings; and I am perfectly aware, that my
spectre like visage must have been equally a spectacle to them. We had
the privilege of walking in the vicinity of the port, accompanied by a
guard of soldiers. Our only immediate restriction was the necessity of
returning to our guard house to sleep at night. In this way our time
passed pleasantly.

On the 3d of September, the general sent for me to his office. When I
entered, he presented me a note, and bade me accompany a soldier to
a mission at the distance of thirty miles, where he stated I was to
deliver this note to a priest, and that he perhaps would be able to
furnish us with horses and mules for our expedition to bring in our
furs. I started with the soldier, each of us well mounted. The note was
unsealed, and I read it of course. The contents were any thing, rather
than encouraging. It contained no demand for the horses, as I had
hoped. It simply stated to the priest, what sort of person the general
supposed me to be, that we had furs buried on Red river, and wished
horses on which to ride out and bring them in, and that if the priest
felt disposed to hire his horses to us, he would send soldiers with us
to bring us back.

{195} Discouraging as the note was, we pushed ahead with it, and
arrived at the priest's mission some time before night. I handed the
note to the old priest, who was a very grave looking personage. He read
the note, and then asked me to come in and take some wine with him,
of which they have great plenty. I followed him into a large parlor,
richly adorned with paintings of saints, and several side boards,
abundantly stored with wines, which I took it for granted, were not
unacceptable to the holy man. The glass ware, the decorations of the
parlor, and the arrangement of every thing showed me at a glance, that
this priest was a man of taste and fashion. So I was on my guard not
to let any of my hunting phrases and back-wood's dialect escape me. He
asked me a great many questions about the circumstances of my passage
across the continent, to all which I responded in as choice and studied
words as I could command. He then asked me how many beasts we should
want? I replied that there were seven of us, and that we should each
need a pack mule, and a horse to ride upon, which would be fourteen in
all. He then asked how many days it would require to go, and return?
I answered, that this was a point upon which I could not pronounce
with certainty, since I was unacquainted with the road, and accidents
might change the issue. He then proposed to charge what was tantamount
to 25 cents of our money a day for each mule, that carried a saddle,
during the expedition, longer or shorter. To this I consented, and he
drew an article of agreement to that effect. He then wrote a note to
send by me to the general, in reply to his. By this time the sun was
setting, and the church bells began to strike. On this he knelt, and
commenced his prayers. He was repeating the Lord's prayer. According
to the customs of his church, when he had commenced a member of a
sentence, I finished it, by way of response. Such are their modes of
repeating their prayers, when there are two or more in company. When
we had finished, he turned to me, and asked me why I had prayed? I
answered for the salvation of my soul. He said, that it had a Christian
appearance, but that he had been {196} informed, that the people of
our country did not believe that man had a soul, or that there is a
Saviour. I assured him, that he had been entirely misinformed, for
that we had churches on every side through all the land, and that the
people read the Scriptures, and believed all that was taught in the
Gospel, according to their understanding of it. But he continued, 'your
people do not believe in the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary.'
I replied, that what the general faith of the people upon this point
was, I could not say, and that for myself, I did not pretend to have
sufficiently studied the Scriptures, to decide upon such points. My
assumed modesty soothed him, and he told me, that it was evident, I had
not studied the Scriptures, for that if I had, I could not be in doubt
about such obvious articles of faith. I acquiesced in his supposition,
that I had not studied the Scriptures, remarking, that I was aware that
they contained many mysteries, about which the people in my country
entertained various opinions. He said that he was truly sorry, that I
was not more conversant with the Scriptures, for that if I had been, I
could not have been led astray by the Protestants. His time, however,
he added was now too limited to enlighten me, but he laughed, as he
said he hoped to have the pleasure of baptising me on my return.
To this I replied with a smile, for the truth was, I was fearful of
disgusting him, and breaking off the bargain. Glad was I, when he
dismissed this subject, and began to chat about other matters. We had
an excellent supper, and I was shown to my bed.

In the morning I took leave of the old father, and arrived on the
following evening at San Diego. My companions were delighted with the
apparent complete success of my mission. The general informed us, that
we should have permission to start on the 6th, and that our beasts
would be ready for an early start on that day. On the evening of the
5th, he called us to his office, and asked us, how many days we thought
the expedition would require? We informed him, as near as we could
conjecture. He then said, that he could not spare any soldiers to
accompany us. We answered, that it was a point of {197} indifference
to us, whether he did or not. 'To insure your return however,' he
rejoined, 'I shall retain one of you as a hostage for the return of the
rest,' and pointing to me, he informed me, 'that I was the selected
hostage,' and that I must remain in prison, during their absence, and
that if they did not return, it would convince him, that we were spies,
and that in consequence he would cause me to be executed.

At this horrible sentence, breaking upon us in the sanguine rapture
of confidence, we all gazed at each other in the consternation of
despair. Some of our company remarked, that they had better abandon
the expedition altogether, than leave me behind. Others stood in mute
indecision. We had all in truth confidently anticipated never to return
to this place again. My indignation, meanwhile, had mounted to such a
pitch, as wholly to absorb all sense of personal danger, or care about
myself. It seemed as if Providence had put the unrelenting seal of
disappointmont to every plan I attempted to devise. I told them to go,
and not allow my detention to dishearten, or detain them, for that I
had no fear of any thing, the general could inflict, that I had little
left, but life to relinquish, and that their refusal to go, as things
now were, would be taken for ample proofs, that we were spies, and
would ensure our condemnation and the conviction, that we never had
intended to return.

On this they all agreed to go, and began to pledge their honor and
every thing sacred, that they would return, if life was spared them. I
told them to follow their own inclinations, as to returning, for that I
would as willingly be buried by the side of my father, as any one else;
that, however, I did not believe the laws of the country would bear the
general out, in putting me to death. The general now bade us arrange
every thing to start early in the morning. I was again locked up in
my prison, though my companions spent the greater part of the night
in conversing with me. In the morning, when they were ready to start,
they came and shook hands with me. When the Dutchman, as good hearted a
fellow as ever lived, took my hand he burst into tears, and said, 'goot
py Jim, if I ever does come {198} back, I will bring an army mit me,
and take yours and your daddy's bones from dis tammed country, for it
is worse as hell.' I should have laughed heartily at him, had not his
tears prevented me, for I knew, that they came from his heart. Mounting
their mules they now set off. Their only arms were old Spanish muskets,
which, when fired, I would almost as soon have stood before as behind.
Under such circumstances, knowing, that they would be obliged to pass
through numbers of hostile tribes of Indians, I was very doubtful of
their return.

On the 8th, Captain Bradshaw came to my prison, and asked me, why I was
in prison, and my companions at liberty? I told him the whole story.
When he had heard it, he expressed doubts in regard to their returning.
I replied to him, that I was not at all in doubt of their return, if
they lived. He then told me, that he intended to go to the general,
and demand his papers on the 11th, and if they were not given up to
him, he would cut cable, and run out in spite of any one, adding his
advice to me, which was, that I should write to the consul at Wahu and
inform him of my imprisonment. He seemed to think, I might thus obtain
my release. Mr. R. Perkins would undertake, he said, to place it in the
hands of the consul, as he was acquainted with him. I answered, that I
had neither ink nor paper. He said I should have some in a few minutes,
and took leave of me. A soldier soon entered with writing materials,
and I wrote my letter to Mr. Jones, for that was the name of the
consul, stating every circumstance relative to our imprisonment, and
the death of my father, giving the names of all our party, and begging
him, if it was not in his power to obtain our freedom, that he would
inform our government of our situation. I supposed it was in his power
to grant my first request, placed as he was, in the midst of a foreign

On the 11th, at the request of the general, I was conducted to his
office, to serve as interpreter for the captain and Mr. P. The papers
were now demanded by them. The general refused to comply with the
demand, and told them, that both the vessel and cargo were condemned,
but that if they would discharge {199} the cargo, and deliver it to
him, he would allow them to clear the vessel, to go and seek redress,
wherever they pleased. The captain's answer to this was, that it was
not in his power to do so, and that the laws of his country would
hang him, if he thus gave up his ship and cargo at the request of an
individual. The general now became enraged, and repeating the words,
at the request of an individual, added, the ship and cargo have both
been lawfully condemned, and if they are not given up peaceably, I have
soldiers enough to take the ship, and every thing belonging to it. In
reply the captain remarked, that he came to trade on the coast, and
not to fight, that if he was disposed to seize the vessel or cargo,
he had nothing to say farther, than that he should not aid, or advance
in any shape the unlading of the vessel himself, and taking up his hat
walked away. I asked permission of the general to go to Miss. Peaks,
to get a change of clothing, which was granted. He, however, told me
to be in haste. My principal business there was to give my letter to
Mr. P., for I knew that captain B., would set sail with the first
breeze, of which he could avail himself. I found both the gentlemen in
the house, when I entered. I was assured by M. P., that he would give
the letter to the consul, and endeavor to interest him in my behalf. I
thanked him, and was upon the point of taking leave, when captain B.
asked me to take a note from him to the general, and to tell him that
he would like to have an answer, and would wait an hour for it. I took
the note and went to the general's office, gave him the note and told
him what the captain had said. He bade me sit down, after he had read
the note, for a few minutes. I obeyed, and he passed into the adjoining
room, and ordered his porter to call the ensign Ramirez. The porter
hastened to execute his commission, and in a few minutes the ensign
entered. The general and ensign then began to converse, drawing near
the door, behind which I was seated. I heard distinctly the former tell
the latter, that captain B., and Mr. P., were both at Peak's awaiting
an answer from him, and that he would send me to tell them that he was
engaged at {200} present, but at the expiration of an hour and a half
they should have their answer through me. Meantime he, the ensign, was
to provide a guard of soldiers, with which to take them prisoners, and
then the vessel and cargo would be sure. All this, as I have said, I
heard distinctly. He then came in, and told me to go and inform them,
as he told the ensign, he should direct me. I hastened to captain
B., and told him what I had heard from the general concerning him. I
advised him to go to the vessel immediately, for that the ensign and
guard would soon be upon the spot. Both he and Mr. P. went directly to
the vessel, and I returned to the general, to inform him that I had
delivered his message. He then ordered me to return to prison. It was
now three o'clock.

In a few hours the ensign returned from the pursuit of captain B., and
as he passed the prison on his way to the general's office he shook his
sword at me with vengeance in his face, saying, 'Oh! you traitor!' I
inferred from this, that he supposed I had informed the captain of the
projected attempt to take him prisoner. My situation now seemed to me
desperate. I thought more of my comrades than myself, for I could not
expect to live. Concluding that I should soon be executed, I feared,
that when they returned, they would be put to death also. In a few
minutes I was summoned to the general's office. I expected to hear my
sentence. When I entered the general bade me stand by the door, near a
large table, at which several of his clerks were seated writing, and
he then gravely asked me if I had overheard the conversation which
took place between himself and the ensign, after he had read the note
brought by me to him from captain B? I replied that I did not see the
ensign at that time, and furthermore could not say positively, whether
he had held any conversation with the ensign, since my arrival on the
coast or not. The general proceeded to question me, as to the fact of
my having advised the captain to go on board his ship, and if I knew
the motives, which induced him to do so, after saying that he would
wait for an answer to his note.

{201} He tried to extort an answer from me such as he wished,
threatening me with death if I did not relate the truth. I regarded all
this as no more than the threats of an old woman, and went on to state
what was most likely to be favorable to my cause. I was now remanded
to prison with the assurance, that if found guilty, death would be my

A few days only elapsed before, the breeze serving, the Captain slipped
anchor, and ran out of the port.[101] He was compelled to perform
this under a heavy shower of cannon balls poured forth from the fort,
within two hundred yards of which he was obliged to pass. When he came
opposite it, he hove to, and gave them a broadside in return, which
frightened the poor engineers from their guns. His escape from the
port was made without suffering any serious injury on his part. Their
shots entered the hull of the vessel, and the sails were considerably
cut by the grape. I was greatly rejoiced when I heard of their escape
from these thieves. The General pretended great disgust at the cowardly
conduct of the engineers, but, I believe, had he been there, he would
have run too. I have no faith in the courage of these people, except
where they have greatly the advantage, or can kill in the dark, without
danger to themselves. This in my view is the amount of a Spaniard's

But to return to myself, I remained in prison, until a sufficient time
had elapsed, as I thought, for the return of my companions. I still
did not entirely despair of seeing them; but the Spaniards came daily
and hourly to my prison with delighted countenances to tell me that my
companions had deserted me, and that the General would soon have me
executed. Some consoled me with the information, that at such an hour
or day, I was to be taken out, and burnt alive; and others, that I was
to be stationed at a certain distance, and shot at, like a target,
or hung. These unfeeling wretches thus harrassed and tormented me,
until the arrival of my companions on the 30th Sept. put an end to
their taunts, with regard to their desertion of me. They brought no
fur however, it having been all spoiled {202} as I had expected, by an
overflow of the river. Our traps which they did bring, were sold, and a
part of the proceeds paid to the old priest for the hire of the mules.

I have failed to remark, that my comrades had returned with the loss
of two of their number, one of whom we learned, had married in New
Mexico.[102] When the party reached the river, these two concluded that
rather than return to prison, they would run the risk of being killed
by the Indians, or of being starved to death; and set forth on their
perilous journey through the wilderness to New Mexico on foot. The
probability of their reaching the point of their destination was very
slight, it being a great distance and through great dangers. Happily
for us, their not returning, did not appear to strengthen the General,
in his opinion of our being spies. I had the pleasure of conversing
with my companions an hour, or more, after which they were again
disarmed, and all of us returned to our separate places of confinement.
I had now no prospect before me, but that of lingering out a miserable
and useless life in my present situation; as I was convinced, that
the only inducement, which operated in the General's mind, to allow
a part of us to go in search of our property was the hope of taking
a quantity of furs and other valuables from us. I was thankful that
he obtained nothing but the traps, which, as he knew no more how to
use, than a blind horse, could be of no utility to him. This feeling
may seem a poor gratification, but it was certainly a natural one.
In this condition we remained for months, never seeing the outside of
our prison, deprived of the pleasure we had received from the visits
of the charitable young lady, formerly allowed entrance to us, and the
advantage we had derived from the generous nourishment she so kindly
furnished us, and compelled by hunger to eat the food set before us by
our jailors; and confined principally to dried beans, or corn boiled in
water, and then fried in spoiled tallow.

At length the small pox began to rage on the upper part of the coast,
carrying off the inhabitants by hundreds. Letters {203} from the
distressed people were continually arriving, praying the general
to devise some means to put a stop to the disease, which seemed to
threaten the country with destruction. The general was thus beset by
petitions for several weeks, before he could offer a shadow of relief
for them. He was much alarmed, fearing that the disorder might extend
its ravages to that part of the coast where he resided.

One day the soldiers, through mere inquisitiveness, asked the Dutchman
if he knew any remedy for the complaint? He answered that he did; but
that he had none of the article that constituted the remedy. He added,
however, that he thought that my father had brought some of it with
him, as he recollected his having vaccinated the people at the copper
mines. This conversation was communicated to the general immediately,
who sent a sergeant to me to inquire if I had any of the remedy
spoken of by the Dutchman, as brought by my father? I answered in the
affirmative; I then showed him where I had been vaccinated on the right
arm, and assured him that it had effectually protected me from the
small pox. Upon his demand whether I knew the method of applying it, I
again answered in the affirmative; but when he asked me to show him the
remedy, and let him have it to apply to his own arm, as he was fearful
of losing his life from the spread of this dreadful disease, I told
him I would not. This sergeant, who wished the matter, was my friend,
and brother of the charitable young lady who had procured my father's
burial, and for whom I would have sacrificed my life.[103] But thinking
this my only chance for regaining liberty, I refused it to him,
saying, that I would neither show it to any one, nor apply it, unless
my liberty and that of my companions was rendered secure; and that in
sustaining this resolution I would sacrifice my life. I also mentioned
that I must be paid, over and above my liberty. My object in this, was
to influence the fears of the general. If he acceded to my proposition,
my friend and his sister would share the benefit in common with others.
If I granted the request of the sergeant to inoculate him, I might
lose my advantage; but my gratitude decided me {204} against allowing
himself and his sister to be exposed to an imminent danger, which I
could avert. I told him that if he would pledge himself, solemnly, for
his own part, and that of his sister, that he would not communicate
the matter to another individual, I would secretly vaccinate them.
He replied that I need not fear his betraying me, as he would much
rather aid me in my design, which he thought excellent, and likely to
accomplish my wishes. He then left me to communicate the result of our
conversation to the general.

This incident, so important in its influence upon my fortunes, occurred
December 20th. The sergeant had not been absent more than a half hour,
when he returned and told me that the general said he would give me a
passport for a year, if I would vaccinate all the people on the coast;
and furthermore, if I conducted properly during that period, that he
would at the expiration of it, pay me for my services, and give me my
liberty. His countenance was bright with delight, as he related this
to me, not dreaming that I could refuse what seemed to him so good an
offer. When I repeated, in reply, my resolution not to vaccinate any
one, except on the conditions I had stated, and added that I would not
agree to any terms without an audience from the general, his pleasure
vanished, giving place to gloom as he told me he did not think the
general would accede to the proposal to set my companions and myself
at liberty upon parole for one year, for any consideration; but that,
if I persisted in my refusal, he feared I should incur some violent
punishment, and perhaps death. My answer was, that in my present
situation I did not dread death. I then requested him to tell the
general I wished to talk with him personally upon the subject.

He went, and in a few minutes returned with orders to conduct me to the
General's office. Upon my arrival there, the General questioned me with
regard to the efficacy of the remedy of which he had been much informed
in the same manner as I have related in the conversation between the
sergeant and myself; and he then repeated the same terms for the matter
{205} and the application of it, that he had transmitted me through my
friend, to which I replied as before. When I had finished, he asked me
in a surly manner, what my own terms were? I told him, as I had done
the sergeant, that I would vaccinate all the inhabitants on the coast,
provided he would allow myself and companions to leave our prison on
parole for one year, with liberty to travel up or down the coast,
in order to find some occupation, by which we could obtain food and
clothing. Upon hearing this his rage burst forth. He told me I was a
devil; and that if I did not choose to take the offer he had made,
he would compel me to perform its conditions, or put me to death. I
replied, that he could take my life; but that it was beyond his power
to compel me to execute his commands, adding, that life or liberty
would be no object to me, if my companions were denied the enjoyment of
them with me. They had had the alternative in their power of leaving me
in prison to suffer alone, or returning to share my captivity, and had
chosen the latter; I concluded by saying, that rather than accept of
liberty while they remained in prison, I would undergo all the torments
his _excellency_ could devise. He said he might as well let loose
so many wolves to ravage his country, as give myself and companions
the liberty I required; adding, that he gave me twenty-four hours
to reflect on the alternative of his wrath, or my liberty upon the
conditions he had proposed. I was now remanded to prison. As I walked
out, I remarked to the General, that my resolution was fixed beyond the
possibility of change. He made no reply, and I proceeded to prison.
The soldiers who accompanied me, tried to induce me to conform to the
General's wishes, saying, that he was a terrible man when enraged. I
made them no answer, and entered my prison, where I remained until 8
o'clock the next day; when I was again escorted to the office, and
asked by the General, what security I would give for the good behaviour
of myself and companions, if he let us out on parole for one year? I
told him I would give none, for no one here knew me. He then ordered
me back to prison, where he said I should lay and rot, calling me a
_carracho_ {206} _picaro_, and similar names, which I did not regard.
I walked to my prison as undauntedly as I could. I now felt somewhat
encouraged; for I perceived he was not inflexible in his resolutions,
and by adhering firmly to mine, I hoped finally to conquer him.

In the course of the night he received a letter containing information
of the death of one of his priests, and that great numbers were ill of
the small pox. Early in the morning of the 23d I received a summons
to attend him at the usual place. When I arrived, he said he wanted
to see my papers, that is, those I had mentioned as being my father's
commission, and his discharge from the service of a ranger. I told him
they were at Miss Peak's, which was the name of the young lady who had
been so kind to me. He sent a soldier for them, who soon returned with
them. I translated them to him. He said that was a sufficient proof of
my being an American; and asked if my companions could produce proofs
of their belonging to the same country? I replied that I did not know.

He sent orders for them to come to the office; and before their
arrival, told me that all he now wanted, was proof that they were
Americans, to let us go on a parole, as all Americans were tolerated
in his country. My opinion with regard to his motive in the case was,
that he was less unwilling to grant our liberty, as the payment for my
services in spreading the vaccine disease, now that he knew we had no
property for him to extort from us.

He talked, too, about rendering himself liable to suffer the rigor
of the laws of his country, should he set us free, without our
establishing the fact of our being Americans.

My companions entered: I was glad to see them. Their beards were
long, and they were haggard and much reduced in flesh. I gave them to
understand what was wanting, and they readily produced some old black
papers, furnishing in themselves proof of any thing else, as much as
of their owners being American citizens. I, however, so interpreted
them, that they established the point with the General. I believe he
{207} had as firmly credited this fact from the first hour he saw us,
as now. He concluded to let us out a week upon trial, before he gave us
freedom on parole, although he compelled me to engage to vaccinate all
the people in the fort. He then directed us to endeavor to find some
employment around the fort, which would procure us food, and to return
every night to the guard house to sleep. The guard bell now tolled
eight o'clock, and according to the permission given, we walked in the
direction of our inclinations.

I went directly to Miss Peak's, who was much astonished, and apparently
delighted to see me at liberty. She had expected, she said, every day
to see me on my way to be shot, or hung. The manifestation of kindness
and benevolence to us having been forbidden by our jailors, she now
indemnified her humanity and good feeling by telling me how much she
had regretted not being allowed to send me proper food, asking me if
I was not hungry? and proceeding, before I could answer, to spread a
table with every thing good, of which I partook plentifully; after
which we had a pleasant conversation together. My enjoyment of my
fortunate change of situation was, however, mingled with uncertainty,
as to the length of its duration. I felt that I was still in the lion's
jaws, which might close upon me from the first impulse of petulance or

I therefore, endeavoured to devise some way of availing myself of my
momentary freedom, to place myself beyond the possibility of losing
it again. That one which suggested itself to me, was to prevail upon
the officer, who had our rifles in charge to allow us possession of
them for a short time, to clean them. When we should once more have
them in our hands, I hoped we would have resolution to retain them,
until death rendered them useless to us. I went to my companions, and
imparted my plan to them. They agreed with me upon all points. The only
difficulty now was, to lay our hands upon our arms. I went directly to
the apartment of the officer, in whose care they were, one of the best
hearted Spaniards I have ever seen. I appealed to his goodness of heart
in order to obtain my purpose, telling {208} him, that we only wanted
the rifles a few minutes, in order to rub off the rust, and dirt, which
must have accumulated upon them. I told him after this was done, they
should be returned to him. He did not answer for some minutes; and
then said, that if he complied with my request, and was discovered by
the General to have done so, he should be punished. I replied that
there was no danger of an act of this kind, a mere kindness of this
sort being known by any, but those immediately concerned; concluding
by slipping ten dollars in silver, which had been given me by Capt.
B., into his hand. He then handed me the rifles, and all belonging to
them, through a back door, cautioning me not to let my having them in
possession be known. I answered, that I would be upon my guard. I was
now joined by my companions. We found an old and unoccupied house, into
which we entered, and soon put our guns in order, and charged them
well, resolving never to give them into the hands of a Spaniard again.
We had been so treacherously dealt with by these people, that we did
not consider it any great breach of honour to fail in our promise of
returning our arms, particularly as the officer had taken my money.

We then concluded to conceal our rifles in a thicket near at hand, and
to keep our pistols, which the officer had also given us as a part of
our arms, concealed around our persons. At night we went to the guard
house to sleep, as we had been commanded to do. The officer who gave
me the rifles, came to me, and asked why I had not returned the arms
according to promise? I told him that I had not finished cleaning them,
and repeated, that the General should not know I had them. He charged
me to fulfil my former promise of returning the arms on the succeeding
morning. I satisfied him, thinking as before, that it made no great
difference what is said to such persons, in a position like ours.

Early the next morning we met a countryman by the name of James Lang,
who had come upon the coast to smuggle, and to kill sea otters for
their skins, which are very valuable.[104] He was now here secretly,
to enquire if sea otters were to be found in {209} abundance higher up
the coast; and to obtain information on some other points connected
with his pursuits. He told us he had a boat distant eighty miles down
the coast, with men in search of otters, and proposed that we should
accompany him to it, offering to furnish every thing required for this
species of hunting, and give us half of whatever we caught, adding,
that when his brig returned from the Gallipagos islands, where it had
gone in search of tortoise shell, he would give us a free passage to
our own country.

We all considered this an offer advantageous to us, as it held out the
prospect of our being enabled to obtain something in the way of gain,
after which a way would be open for our return to our homes, and we
agreed to meet him on a certain day at _Todos Santos_, in English All
Saints. This took place on the 24th. Our new friend set off to rejoin
his companions, and we fell to consultation upon the best method of
conducting in our present circumstances. We did not wish to do any
thing, that would render us amenable to the laws of the country, should
we be detected in our attempt to escape. We were consequently precluded
from relying on horses to aid us in hastening beyond the reach of
pursuers. The night was chosen, as the time for our experiment; but
in the course of an hour after this determination was made, all my
companions excepting one, receded from it, pronouncing the plan of
running off without any cover for our intentions, not a good one. They
proposed instead of it, that we should ask permission of the General to
go a hunting, assigning as our reason for this request, that we were
barefoot, and wanted to kill some deer in order to obtain their skins
to dress, to make us moccasins. I consented to this plan, and to try
its efficacy immediately, I went to the General's office. It was late,
but I related my errand. He asked me, where I could get arms, to kill
deer with? I replied, that if he would not allow us to use our own
arms, we could borrow some. He refused the permission, I had asked of

On Christmas night, the one among my companions, whom I {210} have
mentioned, as agreeing with me, in regard to the original plan for
our escape, set off with me at 12 o'clock, while the people, who were
all Catholics, were engaged in their devotions at church. We were
obliged to leave our comrades, as they would not accompany us in our
enterprise. We travelled entirely by night, and reached the before
mentioned place of rendezvous on the 28th. We found Mr. Lang and his
men in confinement, and his boat taken by the Spaniards. We gained this
information in the night, without committing ourselves. We retreated
to the woods, in which we remained concealed through the day. At night
our necessities compelled us to enter a house, in order to obtain some
food. It was occupied by a widow and her two daughters. They gave us
bread, milk and cheese, treating us with great kindness. We spent a
week passing the day in the woods, and going to this friendly house
to get food in the night; in the hope of hearing of some vessel, by
means of which we might escape from this hated coast. But no such good
fortune awaited us.

We then concluded to return, and see our comrades, whom we supposed
to be again in prison; although we were determined never again to be
confined there ourselves alive, with our own consent. So we walked
back to San Diego, killing some deer by the way, the skins of which
we carried to the fort. To our great admiration and surprize, we
found our companions at liberty. They informed us, that the General
was exceedingly anxious for my return, and that our arms had not been
demanded, although the officer, through whose means we obtained them,
had been placed under guard.

I felt grieved by the latter part of this information, as I had
deceived the unfortunate man, when he intended to do me a kindness,
of the utmost importance to my interests, as I viewed it. He would
probably, be severely punished. But I nevertheless was firm in my
purpose to retain my arms. It was late in the day; but the companion
of my flight and myself proceeded to present ourselves before the
General, leaving our rifles concealed in a safe place. Our pistols
we carried in our {211} bosoms, determined not to be taken to prison
without offering resistance.

The General appeared much surprised to see us, and asked where we had
been? I told him, that we had been out upon a hunting expedition; upon
which he wished to know if we had killed any thing? We answered in the
affirmative. He then looked serious, and demanded of me, if I was not
aware that it was wrong to go off, without taking leave of him? My
reply was, that I did; and that he refused it to me; and that then I
concluded to go without permission, knowing it could not be a crime.
His next question was, how I obtained my arms? I told him the truth
with regard to this point. The succeeding demand was, why I did not
return them, according to my promise? To which I replied, that I did
not intend to return them from the first; and I now declared that they
should never be taken from me for the time to come, while I drew my
breath. He smiled, and said he did not want them; but that I must begin
to vaccinate the people of the garrison; for that he wished me to go up
the coast soon to practice vaccination there.

On the 18th of January, 1829, I began to vaccinate; and by the 16th
of February had vaccinated all the people belonging to the fort, and
the Indian inhabitants of the mission of San Diego, three miles north
of the former place.[105] It is situated in a valley between two
mountains. A stream runs through the valley, from which ships obtain
fresh water. An abundance of grain is raised at this mission. Fruit
of all kinds, growing in a temperate climate, is also plentiful. The
climate is delightfully equal. The husbandman here does not think of
his fields being moistened by the falling rain. He digs ditches around
them, in which water is conveyed from a stream, sufficient to cover the
ground, whenever the moisture is required. Rains seldom fall in the
summer or autumn. The rainy season commences in October; and continues
until the last of December, and sometimes even through January; by
which time the grass, clover and wild oats are knee high. When the rain
does come, it falls in torrents. The gullies made in the sides of the
mountains by the rains are of an enormous size.

{212} But to return to my own affairs. Having completed my vaccinations
in this quarter, and procured a sufficient quantity of the vaccine
matter to answer my purpose, I declared myself in readiness to proceed
further. I communicated the matter to one thousand Spaniards and
Indians in San Diego.

February 28th, the General gave us each a legal form, granting us
liberty on parole for one year, at the expiration of which period it
was in his power to remand us to prison, if he did not incline to grant
us our freedom. He likewise gave me a letter to the priests along the
coast, containing the information that I was to vaccinate all the
inhabitants upon the coast, and an order providing for me all necessary
supplies of food and horses for my journey. These were to be furnished
me by the people, among whom I found myself cast. They were, also,
directed to treat me with respect, and indemnify me for my services,
as far as they thought proper. The latter charge did not strike me
agreeably; for I foresaw, that upon such conditions my services would
not be worth one cent to me. However, the prospect of one whole year's
liberty was so delightful, that I concluded to trust in Providence, and
the generosity of the stranger, and think no more of the matter. With
these feelings I set forth to the next mission, at which I had already
been. It was called San Luis.[106]

I reached it in the evening. I found an old priest, who seemed glad
to see me. I gave him the General's letter. After he had read it, he
said, with regard to that part of it which spoke of payment, that I
had better take certificates from the priests of each mission, as I
advanced up the coast, stating that I had vaccinated their inhabitants;
and that when I arrived at the upper mission, where one of the high
dignitaries of the church resided, I should receive my recompense for
the whole. Seeing nothing at all singular in this advice, I concluded
to adopt it.

In the morning I entered on the performance of my duty. My subjects
were Indians, the missions being entirely composed of them, with the
exception of the priests, who are the rulers. {213} The number of
natives in this mission was three thousand, nine hundred and four. I
took the old priest's certificate, as had been recommended by him,
when I had completed my task. This is said to be the largest, most
flourishing, and every way the most important mission on the coast.
For its consumption fifty beeves are killed weekly. The hides and
tallow are sold to ships for goods, and other articles for the use of
the Indians, who are better dressed in general, than the Spaniards.
All the income of the mission is placed in the hands of the priests,
who give out clothing and food, according as it is required. They are
also self constituted guardians of the female part of the mission,
shutting up under lock and key, one hour after supper, all those, whose
husbands are absent, and all young women and girls above nine years of
age. During the day, they are entrusted to the care of the matrons.
Notwithstanding this, all the precautions taken by the vigilant
fathers of the church are found insufficient. I saw women in irons for
misconduct, and men in the stocks. The former are expected to remain
a widow six months after the death of a husband, after which period
they may marry again. The priests appoint officers to superintend the
natives, while they are at work, from among themselves. They are called
_alcaides_, and are very rigid in exacting the performance of the
allotted tasks, applying the rod to those who fall short of the portion
of labor assigned them. They are taught in the different trades; some
of them being blacksmiths, others carpenters and shoe-makers. Those,
trained to the knowledge of music, both vocal and instrumental, are
intended for the service of the church. The women and girls sew, knit,
and spin wool upon a large wheel, which is woven into blankets by
the men. The alcaides, after finishing the business of the day, give
an account of it to the priest, and then kiss his hand, before they
withdraw to their wigwams, to pass the night. This mission is composed
of parts of five different tribes, who speak different languages.

The greater part of these Indians were brought from their native
mountains against their own inclinations, and by compulsion; {214} and
then baptised; which act was as little voluntary on their part, as the
former had been. After these preliminaries, they had been put to work,
as converted Indians.

The next mission on my way was that, called St. John the Baptist.[107]
The mountains here approach so near the ocean, as to leave only room
enough for the location of the mission. The waves dash upon the shore
immediately in front of it. The priest, who presides over this mission,
was in the habit of indulging his love of wine and stronger liquors
to such a degree, as to be often intoxicated. The church had been
shattered by an earthquake. Between twenty and thirty of the Indians,
men, women and children, had been suddenly destroyed by the falling of
the church bells upon them. After communicating the vaccine matter to
600 natives, I left this place, where mountains rose behind to shelter
it; and the sea stretched out its boundless expanse before it.

Continuing my route I reached my next point of destination. This
establishment was called the mission of St. Gabriel. Here I vaccinated
960 individuals. The course from the mission of St. John the Baptist
to this place led me from the sea-shore, a distance of from eighteen
to twenty miles. Those, who selected the position of this mission,
followed the receding mountains. It extends from their foot, having
in front a large tract of country showing small barren hills, and yet
affording pasturage for herds of cattle so numerous, that their number
is unknown even to the all surveying and systematic priests. In this
species of riches St. Gabriel exceeds all the other establishments on
the coast. The sides of the mountains here are covered with a growth of
live oak and pine. The chain to which these mountains belong, extends
along the whole length of the coast. The fort St. Peter stands on the
sea coast, parallel to this mission.

My next advance was to a small town, inhabited by Spaniards, called
the town of The Angels.[108] The houses have flat roofs, covered with
bituminous pitch, brought from a place within four miles of the town,
where this article boils up from the earth. As the liquid rises,
hollow bubbles like a shell of a {215} large size, are formed. When
they burst, the noise is heard distinctly in the town. The material is
obtained by breaking off portions, that have become hard, with an axe,
or something of the kind. The large pieces thus separated, are laid on
the roof, previously covered with earth, through which the pitch cannot
penetrate, when it is rendered liquid again by the heat of the sun. In
this place I vaccinated 2,500 persons.

From this place I went to the mission of St. Ferdinand, where I
communicated the matter to 967 subjects. St. Ferdinand is thirty miles
east of the coast, and a fine place in point of position.[109]

The mission of St. Buenaventura succeeded.[110] Not long previous to
my arrival here, two priests had eloped from the establishment, taking
with them what gold and silver they could lay their hands upon. They
chose an American vessel, in which to make their escape. I practised my
new calling upon 1000 persons in this mission.

The next point I reached was the fort of St. Barbara.[111] I found
several vessels lying here. I went on board of them, and spent some
pleasant evenings in company with the commanders. I enjoyed the
contrast of such society with that of the priests and Indians, among
whom I had lately been. This place has a garrison of fifty or sixty
soldiers. The mission lies a half a mile N. W. of the fort. It is
situated on the summit of a hill, and affords a fine view of the great
deep. Many are the hours I passed during this long and lonely journey,
through a country every way strange and foreign to me, in looking on
the ceaseless motion of its waves. The great Leviathan too played
therein. I have often watched him, as he threw spouts of water into the
air, and moved his huge body through the liquid surface. My subjects
here amounted to 2600. They were principally Indians.

The next mission on my route was that called St. Enos.[112] I
vaccinated 900 of its inhabitants, and proceeded to St. Cruz,[113]
where I operated upon 650. My next advance was to St. Luis
Obispes.[114] Here I found 800 subjects. The mission of St. Michael
followed in order. In it I vaccinated 1850 persons.[115] {216} My next
theatre of operations was at St. John Bapistrano.[116] 900 was the
number that received vaccination here. Thence I went to La Solada, and
vaccinated 1685, and then proceeded to St. Carlos, and communicated the
matter to 800.[117]

From the latter mission I passed on to the fort of Monte El Rey,
where is a garrison of a hundred soldiers.[118] I found here 500
persons to vaccinate. The name of this place in English signifies the
King's mount or hill. Forests spread around Monte El Rey for miles in
all directions, composed of thick clusters of pines and live oaks.
Numberless grey bears find their home, and range in these deep woods.
They are frequently known to attack men. The Spaniards take great
numbers of them by stratagem, killing an old horse in the neighborhood
of their places of resort. They erect a scaffold near the dead animal,
upon which they place themselves during the night, armed with a gun or
lance. When the bear approaches to eat, they either shoot it, or pierce
it with the lance from their elevated position. Notwithstanding all
their precautions, however, they are sometimes caught by the wounded
animal; and after a man has once wrestled with a bear, he will not be
likely to desire to make a second trial of the same gymnastic exercise.
Such, at any rate, is the opinion I have heard those express, who have
had the good fortune to come off alive from a contest of this kind. I
do not speak for myself in this matter, as I never came so near as to
take the _close hug_ with one in my life; though to escape it, I once
came near breaking my neck down a precipice.

From Monte El Rey I advanced to the mission of St. Anthony, which
lies thirty miles E. from the coast.[119] In it I found one thousand
persons to inoculate. I had now reached the region of small pox,
several cases of it having occurred in this mission. The ruling priest
of this establishment informed me, that he did not consider it either
necessary or advisable for me to proceed farther for the purpose of
inoculating the inhabitants of the country, as the small pox had
prevailed universally through its whole remaining extent. As I had
heard, while in {217} San Diego, great numbers had been carried off by
it. I then told him that I wished to see the church officer who had
been described to me by the first priest whom I had seen on my way
up the coast. He furnished me a horse, and I set off for the port of
San Francisco, vaccinating those whom I found on the way who had not
had the small pox. I reached the above mentioned place,[120] on the
twentieth of June, 1829. Finding the person of whom I was in search, I
presented him all the certificates of the priests of the missions in
which I had vaccinated, and the letter of the General. I had inoculated
in all twenty-two thousand persons. After he had finished the perusal
of these papers, he asked me, what I thought my services were worth? I
replied, that I should leave that point entirely in his judgment and
decision. He then remarked, that he must have some time to reflect upon
the subject, and that I must spend a week or two with him. I consented
willingly to this proposal, as I was desirous of crossing the bay of
San Francisco to the Russian settlement, called the Bodego.[121]

I proceeded to carry my wish into execution on the 23rd, accompanied
by two Coriac Indians, whose occupation was the killing of sea otters
for the Russians, who hire them into their service. Those who pursue
this employment, have water crafts made of the sea lions' skins, in
the shape of a canoe. Over this spreads a top, completely covered in
such a manner as to preclude the possibility of the entrance of any
water. An opening is left at the bow and stern, over which the person
who has entered draws a covering of the same material with that of
the boat, which fastens firmly over the aperture in such a manner, as
to make this part entirely water proof, as any other portion of the
boat. Two persons generally occupy it. No position can be more secure
than theirs, from all the dangers of the sea. The waves dash over them
harmless. The occupants are stationed, one at the bow, and the other at
the stern; the latter guides the boat, while the other is provided with
a {218} spear, which he darts into the otter whenever he comes within
its reach. Great numbers are thus taken.

But to return to myself: We crossed the bay, which is about three miles
in width. It is made by the entrance of a considerable river, called
by the Spaniards Rio de San Francisco. After we reached the north
shore, we travelled through a beautiful country, with a rich soil,
well watered and timbered, and reached the Russian settlement in the
night, having come a distance of thirty miles. As our journey had been
made on foot, and we had eaten nothing, I was exceedingly fatigued
and hungry. I accompanied my fellow travellers, who belonged here, to
their wigwams, where I obtained some food, and a seal skin to sleep
upon. Early in the morning I arose, and learning from one of my late
companions where was the dwelling of the commander of the place, I
proceeded towards it. I had become acquainted with this person while I
was vaccinating the inhabitants of San Diego. He came there in a brig,
and insisted upon my promising him that I would come and communicate
the remedy to the people of his establishments, offering to recompense
me for my services. I agreed to do what he wished, should it be in my
power. Accordingly, finding that the Spaniard did not intend to keep a
strict guard over my movements, I availed myself of this opportunity
of fulfilling the expressed wish of Don Seraldo, for so was he called.
I reached the place pointed out to me by the friendly Indian, and was
received by the above mentioned gentleman with the warmest expressions
of kindness and friendship. He said that so long a time had elapsed
since he saw me, he was afraid I had forgotten our conversation
together, and that circumstances had rendered my coming to him
impossible. He had suffered greatly from the fear that the small pox
would spread among his people, before he should be enabled to prevent
danger from it, through the means of the kine pox.

After breakfast, he circulated an order among the people, for all
who wished to be provided with a safe guard against the terrible
malady that had approached them so near, to come to {219} his door.
In a few hours I began my operations; and continued to be constantly
occupied for three days, vaccinating during this period fifteen hundred
individuals. I reminded them all that they must return on the fourth
day, provided no signs of the complaint appeared; and that they were
not to rub, or roughly touch the spot, should the vaccine matter have
proper effect.

This done, Don Seraldo offered to accompany me through the fort and
around the settlement, in order to show me the position, and every
thing which might be new and interesting to me. Its situation is one
of the most beautiful that I ever beheld, or that the imagination can
conceive. The fort stands on the brow of a handsome hill, about two
hundred feet above the level of the sea. This hill is surrounded on
all sides for two miles with a charming plain. A lofty mountain whose
sides present the noblest depth of forest, raises a summit, glittering
with perpetual ice and snow on one hand, and on the other the level
surface is lost in the waves of the sea. Clear cold streams pour down
the mountain, unceasingly from different points, and glide through the
plain, imparting moisture and verdure. The same multitudes of domestic
animals, that are every where seen in this country, graze around in
the pastures. They find abundant pasturage in the wild oats, which
grow spontaneously upon this coast. Very little attention is paid to
cultivation, where so many advantages are united to favor it. The
amount of produce of any kind raised is small, and the inhabitants
depend for bread entirely upon the Spaniards.

I remained in this delightful place one week. At the expiration of
this time Don Seraldo gave me one hundred dollars, as payment for my
services, and then mounted me upon a horse and conducted me back to the
bay himself, and remained on the shore, until he saw me safe upon the
other side.

I soon saw myself again in the presence of the Spanish priest, from
whom I was to receive my recompense for the services performed on my
long tour. He was not aware where I had been, until I informed him.
When I had told him, he asked {220} me what Don Seraldo had paid me?
I stated this matter as it was. He then demanded of me, how I liked
the coast of California? I answered, that I very much admired the
appearance of the country. His next question was, how I would like the
idea of living in it? It would be agreeable to me, I returned, were it
subject to any other form of government. He proceeded to question me
upon the ground of my objections to the present form of government? I
was careful not to satisfy him on this point.

He then handed me a written piece of paper, the translation of which is
as follows:

     I certify, that James O. Pattie has vaccinated all the Indians
     and whites on this coast, and to recompense him for the same, I
     give the said James O. Pattie my obligation for one thousand head
     of cattle, and land to pasture them; that is, 500 cows and 500
     mules. This he is to receive after he becomes a Catholic, and a
     subject of this government. Given in the mission of St. Francisco
     on the 8th of July, in the year 1829.

                           JOHN CABORTES

When I had read this, without making use of any figure of speech, I
was struck dumb. My anger choked me. As I was well aware of the fact,
that this man had it in his power to hang me if I insulted him, and
that here there was no law to give me redress, and compel him to pay me
justly for my services, I said nothing for some time, but stood looking
him full in the face. I cannot judge whether he read my displeasure,
and burning feelings in my countenance, as I thus eyed him, and would
have sought to pacify me, or not; but before I made a movement of
any kind, he spoke, saying, 'you look displeased, sir.' Prudential
considerations were sufficient to withhold me no longer, and I answered
in a short manner, that I felt at that moment as though I should
rejoice to find myself once more in a country where I should be justly
dealt by. He asked me, what I meant when I spoke of being justly dealt
by? I told him {221} what my meaning was, and wished to be in my own
country, where there are laws to compel a man to pay another what he
justly owes him, without his having the power to attach to the debt,
as a condition upon which the payment is to depend, the submission
to, and gratification of, any of his whimsical desires. Upon this the
priest's tone became loud and angry as he said, 'then you regard my
proposing that you should become a Catholic, as the expression of an
unjust and whimsical desire!' I told him 'yes, that I did; and that I
would not change my present opinions for all the money his mission was
worth; and moreover, that before I would consent to be adopted into the
society and companionship of such a band of murderers and robbers, as I
deemed were to be found along this coast, for the pitiful amount of one
thousand head of cattle, I would suffer death.'

When I had thus given honest and plain utterance to the feelings, which
swelled within me, the priest ordered me to leave his house. I walked
out quickly, and possessed myself of my rifle, as I did not know,
but some of his attendants at hand might be set upon me; for if the
comparison be allowable the priests of this country have the people as
much and entirely under their control and command, as the people of our
own country have a good bidable dog. For fear they should come barking
at me, I hastened away, and proceeded to a _ranch_, where I procured a
horse for three dollars, which I mounted, and took the route for Monte
El Rey. I did not stop, nor stay on my journey to this place. I found
upon my arrival there, an American vessel in port, just ready to sail,
and on the point of departure.

Meeting the Captain on shore, I made the necessary arrangements
with him for accompanying him, and we went on board together. The
anchor was now weighed, and we set sail. In the course of an hour,
I was thoroughly sick, and so continued for one week. I do not know
any word, that explains my feelings in this case so well as that of
heart sickness. I ate nothing, or little all this time; but after I
recovered, my appetite {222} returned in tenfold strength, and I never
enjoyed better health in my life. We continued at sea for several
months, sailing from one port to another, and finally returned to that
of Monte El Rey, from which we had set sail.

It was now the 6th of January, 1830, and I felt anxious to hear
something in relation to my companions, from whom I had so long been
separated. I accordingly went on shore, where I met with a great number
of acquaintances, both Americans and English. The latter informed me,
that there was a revolution in the country, a part of the inhabitants
having revolted against the constituted authorities. The revolted party
seemed at present likely to gain the ascendency. They had promised the
English and Americans the same privileges, and liberty in regard to
the trade on the coast, that belonged to the native citizens, upon the
condition, that these people aided them in their attempt to gain their
freedom, by imparting advice and funds.

This information gladdened my very heart. I do not know, if the feeling
be not wrong; but I instantly thought of the unspeakable pleasure I
should enjoy at seeing the general, who had imprisoned me, and treated
me so little like a man and a Christian, in fetters himself. Under the
influence of these feelings, I readily and cheerfully appropriated a
part of my little store to their use, I would fain have accompanied
them in hopes to have one shot at the general with my rifle. But the
persuasions of my countrymen to the contrary prevailed with me. They
assigned, as reasons for their advice, that it was enough to give
counsel and funds at first, and that the better plan would be, to see
how they managed their own affairs, before we committed ourselves,
by taking an active part in them, as they had been found to be a
treacherous people to deal with.

On the 8th of the month, Gen. Joachim Solis placed himself at the head
of one hundred and fifty soldiers well armed, and began his march from
Monte El Rey to the fort of St. Francisco.[122] He was accompanied by
two cannon, which, he said, he should make thunder, if the fort was
not quietly given up to him. Gen. Solis had been transferred from a
command in the city of Mexico {223} to take command of the insurgents,
as soon as they should have formed themselves into something like an
organized party, and have come to a head. He had left Monte El Rey with
such a force as circumstances enabled him to collect, recruiting upon
his route, and inducing all to join him, whom he could influence by
fair words and promises. As has been said, he threatened the fort of
St. Francisco with a bloody contest, in case they resisted his wishes.
He carried with him written addresses to the inhabitants, in which
those, who would range themselves under his standard, were offered
every thing that renders life desirable. They all flocked round him,
giving in their adhesion. When he reached the fort, he sent in his
propositions, which were acceded to, as soon as read by the majority.
The minority were principally officers. They were all imprisoned by
General Solis, as soon as he obtained possession of the place. He then
proceeded to make laws, by which the inhabitants were to be governed,
and placed the fort in the hands of those, upon whom, he thought he
could depend.--These arrangements being all made, he began his return
to Monte El Rey, highly delighted with his success.

There now seemed little doubt of his obtaining possession of the whole
coast in the course of a few months. He remained at Monte El Rey
increasing his force, and drilling the new recruits, until the 28th
of March, when he again marched at the head of two hundred soldiers.
The present object of attack was Santa Barbara, where the commander
under the old regime was stationed. The latter was Gen. Echedio, my
old acquaintance of San Diego, for whom I bore such good will.[123] He
was not in the least aware of the visit intended him by Gen. Solis;
the latter having prevented any tidings upon the subject reaching him,
by posting sentinels thickly for some distance upon the road, that
lay between them, to intercept and stop any one passing up or down.
The insurgent General had as yet succeeded in his plans; and was so
elated with the prospect of surprising Gen. Echedio, and completely
dispossessing him of his power, and consequently having all in his
own hands, that he {224} did not consider it necessary any longer to
conceal his real character. The professions of the kind purposes of
the insurgent towards the English and Americans will be recollected;
and also, that it was at a time when application was made by these
Spaniards to them for aid. The tone was now changed. Threats were
now made, with regard to the future treatment, which we, unfortunate
foreigners, might expect, as soon as Gen. Solis became master of the

We learned this through a Mexican Spaniard, whose daughter Captain
Cooper had married.[124] This old gentleman was told by the General,
that he intended either to compel every American and Englishman to
swear allegiance to the government, which should be established,
or drive them from the country. This information was, however,
not communicated to us, until the General had departed. We held a
consultation upon the subject, to devise some means, which should
render him incapable of carrying his good intentions towards us into
effect. No other expedient suggested itself to us, but that of sending
General Echedio information of the proposed attack, in time to enable
him to be prepared for it. We agreed upon this, and a letter was
written, stating what we deemed the points most necessary for him
to know. The signatures of some of the principal men of the place
were affixed to it; for those who think alike upon important points
soon understand one another; and the character of Solis had not been
unveiled to us alone. It was important, that General Echedio should
attach consequence to our letter, and the information, it contained,
would come upon him so entirely by surprize, that he might very
naturally entertain doubts of its correctness. I added my name to
those of the party to which I belonged. The object now was to have
our document conveyed safely into the hands of Gen. Echedio. We sent
a runner with two good horses and instructions, how to pass the army
of Solis in the night undiscovered. All proceedings had been conducted
with so much secrecy and caution, that the matter so far rested
entirely with ourselves. We occasionally heard the citizens around
{225} us express dislike towards the insurgent General; but as they did
not seem inclined to carry their opinions into action, we concluded
these were only remarks made to draw out our thoughts, and took no
notice of them. From after circumstances I believe, that the number
of his enemies exceeded that of his friends; and that the remarks, of
which I have spoken, were made in truth and sincerity. Mean while we
impatiently awaited some opportunity of operating to the disadvantage
of the General, and to hear what had taken place between him and Gen.
Echedio. A messenger arrived on the 12th of April with the information,
that the commander of the insurgents had ranged his men for three days
in succession before the fort upon the plain. A continual firing had
been kept up on both sides, during the three days, at the expiration
of which Gen. Solis, having expended his ammunition, and consumed his
provisions, was compelled to withdraw, having sustained no loss, except
that of one horse from a sustained action of three days! The spirit
with which the contest was conducted may be inferred from a fact,
related to me. The cannon balls discharged from the fort upon the enemy
were discharged with so little force, that persons arrested them in
their course, without sustaining any injury by so doing, at the point,
where in the common order of things, they must have inflicted death.

Upon the reception of this news, we joined in the prevalent expression
of opinion around us. The name and fame of Gen. Solis was exalted to
the skies. All the florid comparisons, usual upon such occasions, were
put in requisition, and all the changes were sung upon his various
characteristics wit, honor and courage. The point was carried so far
as to bring him within some degrees of relationship to a supernatural
being. Then the unbounded skill he displayed in marshalling his force,
and his extreme care to prevent the useless waste of his men's lives
were expatiated upon, and placed in the strongest light. The climax
of his excellence was his having retreated without the loss of a man.
This was the burden of our theme to his friends, that is, the fifty
soldiers, in whose charge he had left the command of the {226} fort.
The Captain Cooper, of whom I have spoken, looked rather deeper into
things, than those around him; and consequently knew the most effectual
means of operating upon the inefficient machines, in the form of men,
which it was necessary for our present purpose, to remove out of the
way for a time. Accordingly he rolled out a barrel of good old rum,
inviting all the friends of the good and great Gen. Solis to come,
and drink his health. The summons was readily obeyed by them. Being
somewhat elevated in spirit by the proceedings of their noble general,
previous to swallowing the genuine inspiration of joy, the feeling
afterwards swelled to an extent, that burst all bounds, and finally
left them prostrate and powerless. We, like good Christians, with the
help of some of the inhabitants, conveyed them into some strong houses,
which stood near, while they remained in their helpless condition,
locking the doors safely, that no harm might come to them. In our pity
and care for them, we proposed, that they should remain, until they
felt that violent excitements are injurious, from the natural re-action
of things. We now proceeded to circulate another set of views, and
opinions among the inhabitants in the vicinity of the fort; and such
was our success in the business of indoctrination, that we soon counted
all their votes on our side.

General Solis was now pitched down the depths, as heartily as he had
before been exalted to the heights. Huzza for Gen. Echedio and the
Americans! was the prevailing cry.

The next movement was to make out a list of our names, and appoint
officers. Our number including Scotch, Irish, English, Dutch and
Americans, amounted to thirty-nine. The number of Americans, however,
being the greatest, our party received the designation of American.
Captain Cooper was our commanding officer. We now marched up to the
castle, which is situated on the brink of a precipice, overlooking the
sea, and found four brass field pieces, mounted on carriages. These
we concluded to carry with us to the fort. The remainder placed so as
to command a sweep of the surface of water below, and the surrounding
ground, we spiked fearing, if they fell into the {227} hands of Solis,
that he might break down our walls with them. This done, we went to
the magazine, and broke it open, taking what powder and ball we wanted.
We then posted sentinels for miles along the road, to which we knew
Solis was hastening in order to prevent news of our proceedings from
reaching him, before it was convenient for us, that he should know
them. We were aware of his intention to return here to recruit again,
and it was our wish to surprize him by an unexpected reception, and
thus obtain an advantage, which should counterbalance his superiority
of numbers. In so doing, we only availed ourselves of the precedent,
he had given us, in his management with regard to Gen. Echedio. He had
not derived benefit from his plan, in consequence of his too great
confidence of success, which led him to discover his real feelings
towards our people.

We hoped to avail ourselves of what was wise in his plan, and profit
by his mistakes. We shut up all the people, both men and women, in
the fort at night, that it might be out of their power to attempt
to make their way, under the cover of darkness, through our line of
sentinels, to give information, should the inclination be felt. Our
precautions were not taken through fear of him, should he even come
upon us, prepared to encounter us as enemies: but from the wish to take
both himself and army prisoners. Should they learn what we had done,
we feared, they would pass on to St. Francisco, to recruit, and thus
escape us.

Our designs were successful; for in a few days General Solis and his
men appeared in sight of the first of our sentinels, who quickly
transmitted this information to us. Our preparations for receiving him
were soon made, with a proper regard to politeness. A regale of music
from air instruments, called cannons, was in readiness to incline him
to the right view of the scene before him, should he seem not likely to
conform to our wish, which was, simply, that he should surrender to us
without making any difficulty.

Our fortification was in the form of a square, with only one entrance.
From each side of this entrance a wall projected at {228} right angles
from it fifty yards. The Spaniards call them wings; and it seems to
me a significant and fitting name for them. We intended to allow the
approaching party to advance between these walls, before we began our
part. Our cannons were charged with grape and balls, and placed in a
position to produce an effect between the walls. Every man was now at
his post, and General Solis approaching within sight of the fort, a
small cannon which accompanied him was discharged by way of salute.
No answer was returned to him. The piece was reloaded, and his fife
and drum began a lively air, and the whole body moved in a quick step
towards the fort, entering the space between the wings, of which I have
spoken. This was no sooner done than our matches were in readiness for
instant operation. Captain Cooper commanded them to surrender. He was
immediately obeyed by the soldiers, who threw down their arms, aware
that death would be the penalty of their refusal. The General and six
of his mounted officers fled, directing their course to St. Francisco.
Six of our party were soon on horseback with our rifles, and in pursuit
of them. I had been appointed orderly sergeant, and was one of the six.
We carried orders from the principal Spanish civil officer, who was in
the fort, and had taken an active part in all our proceedings, to bring
the General back with us, either dead or alive. The commands of our
military commander, Captain Cooper, spoke the same language.

I confess that I wanted to have a shot at the fugitive, and took
pleasure in the pursuit. We went at full speed, for our horses were
good and fresh. Those belonging to the party we were so desirous to
overtake, would of course be somewhat weary, and jaded by their long
journey. We had not galloped many miles, before we perceived them in
advance of us. As soon as we were within hearing distance of each
other, I called upon them to surrender. They replied by wheeling their
horses and firing at us, and then striking their spurs into their
horses' sides, to urge them onward. We followed, producing more effect
with our spurs than they had done, and calling upon {229} them again
to surrender, or we should fire, and give no quarter. They at length
reined up, and six dismounted and laid down their arms. The seventh
remained on horse back, and as we came up, fired, wounding one of
our number slightly in the right arm. He then turned to resume his
flight; but his horse had not made the second spring, before our guns
brought the hero from his saddle. Four of our balls had passed through
his body. The whole number being now assembled together, victors and
vanquished, General Solis offered me his sword. I refused it, but told
him, that himself and his officers must accompany me in my return to
the fort. He consented to this with a countenance so expressive of
dejection, that I pitied him, notwithstanding I knew him to be a bad
man, and destitute of all principle.

The man who had lost his life through his obstinacy, was bound upon
his horse, and the others having remounted theirs, we set out upon
our return. Our captives were all disarmed except General Solis, who
was allowed to retain his sword. We reached the fort three hours
before sunset. The General and his men were dismounted, and irons put
upon their legs, after which they were locked up with those who had
forgotten themselves in their joy at the good fortune of their poor

These events occurred on the 18th of March. On the 20th the civil
officer of whom I have before spoken, together with Captain Cooper,
despatched a messenger to General Echedio, who was still in Santa
Barbara with written intelligence of what we had accomplished. It was
stated that the Americans were the originators of the whole matter,
and that their flag was waving in the breeze over Monte El Rey, where
it would remain, until his excellency came himself to take charge of
the place; and he was requested to hasten his departure, as they who
had obtained possession were anxious to be relieved from the care and
responsibility they found imposed upon them.

We were very well aware that he would receive our information with
unmingled pleasure, as he expected Solis would return in a short time
to Santa Barbara, to give him another battle. {230} It was said, that
upon the reception of the letter he was as much rejoiced as though he
had been requested to come and take charge of a kingdom. As soon as he
could make the necessary arrangements he came to Monte El Rey, where
he arrived on the 29th. We gave the command of the place up to him;
but before he would suffer our flag to be taken down, he had thirty
guns discharged in honor of it. He then requested a list of our names,
saying, that if we would accept it, he would give each one of us the
right of citizenship in his country.[125] A splendid dinner was made
by him for our party. On the night of the 29th a vessel arrived in
the port. In the morning it was found to be a brig belonging to the
American consul at Macho, John W. Jones, esq., who was on board of
it. This was the same person to whom I wrote when in prison at San
Diego by Mr. Perkins. I met with him, and had the melancholy pleasure
of relating to him in person my sufferings and imprisonment, and
every thing, in short, that had happened to me during my stay in this
country. This took place in my first interview with him. He advised me
to make out a correct statement of the value of the furs I had lost
by the General's detention of me, and also of the length of time I
had been imprisoned, and to take it with me to the city of Mexico,
where the American minister resided, and place it in his hands. It
was probable, the consul continued, that he would be able to compel
the Mexican government to indemnify me for the loss of property I had
sustained, and for the injustice of my imprisonment.

The probability of my success was not slight, provided I could
establish the truth of my statement, by obtaining the testimony of
those who were eye witnesses of the facts. I informed the consul that
I had not means to enable me to reach the city of Mexico. A gentleman
who was present during this conversation, after hearing my last remark,
mentioned that he was then on his way to that place, and that if I
would accompany him he would pay my expenses; and if circumstances
should happen to induce me to think of returning thence to the United
States, I should do so free of expense. I expressed my thanks {231} for
this offer, and said that if I succeeded in recovering only a portion
of what I had lost I would repay the money thus kindly expended in my
behalf; but the obligation of gratitude imposed by such an act, it
would be impossible for me to repay.

In conformity to Mr. Jones' advice and instruction, I sat myself down
to make out an account for the inspection of the American minister.
When I had completed it, I obtained the signatures, of some of the
first among the inhabitants of Monte El Rey, and that of the civil
officer before mentioned, testifying as to the truth of what I said, so
far as the circumstances narrated had come under their observation. The
General having received the list of our names, which he had requested,
he now desired, that we might all come to his office, and receive the
right of citizenship from his hand, as a reward for what we had done.
I put my paper in my pocket, and proceeded with my companions and Mr.
Jones to the indicated place. The General had been much surprized to
find my name in the list furnished him; but as I entered the room, he
arose hastily from his seat and shook my hand in a friendly manner,
after which I introduced him to the consul. He seemed surprised as he
heard the name of this gentleman, but said nothing. After pointing us
to seats, he walked out of the room, saying he should return in a few
moments. I concluded, that he thought, I had brought the consul, or
that he had accompanied me for the purpose of questioning him on the
subject of my imprisonment and that of my companions. He returned, as
soon as he had promised, having some papers in his hand. After he had
seated himself, he began to interrogate me with regard to what had
happened to me, during the long time that had elapsed since he had last
seen me, adding, that he did not expect ever to have met me again; but
was happy to see me a citizen of his country. My answer in reply to the
last part of his remarks was short. I told him, he had not yet enjoyed
any thing from that source, and with my consent never should.

He looked very serious upon this manifestation of firmness, or {232}
whatever it may be called on my part, and requested to know my
objections to being a citizen of the country?

I replied that it was simply having been reared in a country where
I could pass from one town to another, without the protection of
a passport, which instead of affording real protection, subjected
me to the examination of every petty officer, near whom I passed,
and that I should not willingly remain, where such was the order of
things. Besides, I added, I was liable to be thrown into prison like a
criminal, at the caprice of one clothed with a little authority, if I
failed to show a passport, which I might either lose accidentally, or
in some way, for which I might not have been in the least in fault.

The General, in reply, asked me if in my country a foreigner was
permitted to travel to and fro, without first presenting to the
properly constituted authorities of our government, proof from those
among the officers of his own government appointed for that purpose,
of his being a person of good character, who might safely be allowed to
traverse the country? I told him I had once attempted to satisfy him on
that head, and he very abruptly and decidedly contradicted my account;
and that now I did not feel in the least compelled, or inclined to
enter upon the matter a second time. All which I desired of him, and
that I did not earnestly desire, was, that he would give me a passport
to travel into my own country by the way of the city of Mexico. If
I could once more place my foot upon its free soil, and enjoy the
priceless blessings of its liberty, which my unfortunate father, of
whom I could never cease to think, and who had died in his prison,
assisted in maintaining, I should be satisfied.

While I thus spoke, he gazed steadily in my face. His swarthy
complexion grew pale. He read in my countenance a strong expression of
deep feeling, awakened by the nature of the remembrances associated
with him. He felt that there was something fearful in the harvest
of bitterness which the oppressor reaps in return for his injuries
and cruelties. I thought, he {233} feared, if he did not grant my
request for a pass, that I might carry into execution the purposes of
vengeance; to which I used to give utterance in my burning indignation
at his conduct at the time of my father's death. Whenever I saw him
pass my prison I seized the opportunity to tell him, that if my time
for redress ever came, he would find me as unflinching in my vengeance
as he had been in his injuries. I only expressed the truth with regard
to my feelings at the time, and even now I owe it to candor and honesty
to acknowledge, that I could have seen him at the moment of this
conversation suffer any infliction without pity.

He did not hesitate to give the pass I desired; but asked me what
business led me out of my way to the United States around by the city
of Mexico? My direct course, he remarked, lay in a straight direction
through New Mexico. For reply, I drew out of my pocket the paper I
had written before coming to his office, and read it to him, telling
him that was the business which led me to the city of Mexico. I then
asked him if all the facts there stated were not true? His answer was
in the affirmative; 'but,' added he, 'you will not be able to recover
any thing, as I acted in conformity to the laws of my country. If you
will remain in this country I will give you something handsome to
begin with.' I assured him that I would not stay, but I wished him
to show me the laws which allowed, or justified him in imprisoning
myself and my companions for entering a country as we did, compelled by
misfortunes such as ours. In return, he said he had no laws to show,
but those which recommended him to take up and imprison those whom
he deemed conspirators against his country. 'What marks of our being
conspirators did you discover in us,' rejoined I, 'which warranted
your imprisoning us? I am aware of none, unless it be the evidence
furnished by our countenances and apparel, that we had undergone the
extreme of misfortune and distress, which had come upon us without any
agency on our part, and as inevitable evils to which every human being
is liable. We were led by the hope of obtaining relief, to seek refuge
in your protection. {234} In confirmation of our own relation, did not
our papers prove that we were Americans, and that we had received legal
permission from the very government under which we then were, to trade
in the country? The printed declaration to this effect, given us by the
governor of Santa Fe, which we showed you, you tore in pieces before
us, declaring it was neither a license nor a passport.' The General
replied, that he did tear up a paper given him by us, but that in fact
it was neither a passport nor a license.

"Now sir," said I, "I am happy that it is in my power to prove, in the
presence of the American consul, the truth of what I have said with
regard to the license." I then produced another copy of the paper torn
up by him, which had been given my father by the governor of Santa Fe,
at the same time with the former. He looked at it, and said nothing
more, except that I might go on, and try what I could do in the way of
recovering what I had lost.

The consul and myself now left him, and returned to Capt. Cooper's.
The consul laughed at me about my quarrel with the General. In a few
moments the latter appeared among us, and the remainder of the day
passed away cheerfully in drinking toasts. When the General rose to
take leave of us, he requested the consul to call upon him at his
office; as he wanted to converse with him upon business. The consul
went, according to request, and the General contracted with him for
the transportation of Gen. Solis, and sixteen other prisoners to San
Blas, on board his vessel, whence they were to be carried to the city
of Mexico. The 7th of May was fixed for the departure of the brig, as
the General required some time for making necessary arrangements, and
preparing documents to accompany the transmission of the prisoners.
When I heard that this delay was unavoidable, I went to the General
and returned my passport, telling him I should want another, when the
vessel was ready to sail, as I intended to proceed in it as far as San
Blas. He consented to give me one, and then joked with me about the
{235} honor, I should enjoy, of accompanying Gen. Solis. I replied in
the same strain, and left him.

Captain William H. Hinkley and myself went to the mission of San
Carlos, where we spent three days.[126] During the whole time, we did
little beside express our astonishment at what we saw. We had fallen
upon the festival days of some saint, and the services performed in
his honor all passed under our eyes. They were not a few, nor wanting
in variety, as this was a noted festival. Our admiration, however, was
principally excited by the contest between grizzly bears and bulls,
which constitutes one of the exhibitions of these people.

Five large grey bears had been caught, and fastened in a pen built
for the purpose of confining the bulls, during a bullbaiting. One of
the latter animals, held by ropes, was brought to the spot by men on
horseback, and thrown down. A bear was then drawn up to him, and they
were fastened together by a rope about fifteen feet in length, in such
a manner, that they could not separate from each other. One end of it
is tied around one of the forefeet of the bull, and the other around
one of the hind feet of the bear. The two were then left to spring
upon their feet. As soon as this movement is made, the bull makes at
the bear, very often deciding the fate of the ferocious animal in this
first act. If the bull fails in goring the bear, the fierce animal
seizes him and tears him to death. Fourteen of the latter lost their
lives, before the five bears were destroyed. To Captain Hinkley this
was a sight of novel and absorbing interest. It had less of novelty for
me, as since I had been on the coast, I had often seen similar combats,
and in fact worse, having been present when men entered the enclosure
to encounter the powerful bull in his wild and untamed fierceness.
These unfortunate persons are armed with a small sword, with which they
sometimes succeed in saving their own lives at the expense of that of
the animal.

I once saw the man fall in one of these horrible shows; they are
conducted in the following manner: the man enters to the bull with the
weapon, of which he avails himself, in the right {236} hand, and in the
left a small red flag, fastened to a staff about three feet in length.
He whistles, or makes some other noise, to attract the attention of
the animal, upon hearing which the bull comes towards him with the
speed of fury. The man stands firm, with the flag dangling before him,
to receive this terrible onset. When the bull makes the last spring
towards him, he dexterously evades it, by throwing his body from behind
the flag to one side, at the same time thrusting his sword into the
animal's side. If this blow is properly directed, blood gushes from the
mouth and nostrils of the bull, and he falls dead. A second blow in
this case is seldom required.

Another mode of killing these animals is by men on horseback, with a
spear, which they dart into his neck, immediately behind the horns. The
horse is often killed by the bull. When the animal chances to prefer
running from the fight to engaging in it, he is killed by the horseman,
by being thrown heels over head. This is accomplished by catching hold
of the tail of the bull in the full speed of pursuit, and giving a turn
around the head of the saddle, in such a manner, that they are enabled
to throw the animal into any posture they choose.[127]

After we returned to the fort, it took us some time to relate what we
had seen, to the consul. Feeling it necessary to do something towards
supporting myself, during the remaining time of my stay in this part of
the country, I took my rifle, and joined a Portuguese in the attempt
to kill otters along the coast. We hunted up and down the coast, a
distance of forty miles, killing sixteen otters in ten days. We sold
their skins, some as high as seventy-five dollars, and none under
twenty-five. Three hundred dollars fell to my share from the avails of
our trip. Captain Cooper was exceedingly desirous to purchase my rifle,
now that I should not be likely to make use of it, as I was soon to
proceed on my journey to the city of Mexico. I presented it to him, for
I could not think of bartering for money, what I regarded, as a tried
friend, that had afforded me the means of subsistence and protection
for so long a time. My {237} conscience would have reproached me, as
though I had been guilty of an act of ingratitude.

The period of my departure from this coast was now close at hand,
and my thoughts naturally took a retrospect of the whole time, I had
spent upon it. The misery and suffering of various kinds, that I had
endured in some portions of it, had not been able to prevent me from
feeling, and acknowledging, that this country is more calculated to
charm the eye, than any one I have ever seen. Those, who traverse
it, if they have any capability whatever of perceiving, and admiring
the beautiful and sublime in scenery, must be constantly excited to
wonder and praise. It is no less remarkable for uniting the advantages
of healthfulness, a good soil, a temperate climate, and yet one of
exceeding mildness, a happy mixture of level and elevated ground, and
vicinity to the sea. Its inhabitants are equally calculated to excite
dislike, and even the stronger feelings of disgust and hatred. The
priests are omnipotent, and all things are subject to their power. Two
thirds of the population are native Indians under the immediate charge
of these spiritual rulers in the numerous missions. It is a well known
fact, that nothing is more entirely opposite to the nature of a savage,
than labor. In order to keep them at their daily tasks, the most rigid
and unremitting supervision is exercised. No bondage can be more
complete, than that under which they live. The compulsion laid upon
them has, however, led them at times to rebel, and endeavor to escape
from their yoke. They have seized upon arms, murdered the priests, and
destroyed the buildings of the missions, by preconcerted stratagem, in
several instances. When their work of destruction and retribution was
accomplished, they fled to the mountains, and subsisted on the flesh of
wild horses which are there found in innumerable droves. To prevent
the recurrence of similar events, the priests have passed laws,
prohibiting an Indian the use or possession of any weapon whatever,
under the penalty of a severe punishment.

On the 25th I addressed the companions of my former journeyings and
imprisonment in San Diego by letter. They had {238} remained in the
town of Angels, during the months which had elapsed since my separation
from them, after our receiving liberty upon parole. I had kept up a
constant correspondence with them in this interval. My objects at
present were to inform them of my proposed departure for my native
country, and request them, if they should be called upon so to do, to
state every thing relative to our imprisonment and loss of property,
exactly as it took place. I closed, by telling them, they might expect
a letter from me upon my arrival in the city of Mexico.[128]

On the 8th of May I applied for my passport, which was readily given
me, and taking leave of the General and my friends, I entered the
vessel, in which I was to proceed to San Blas, at 8 o'clock in the
morning. The sails of the brig, which was called the Volunteer, were
soon set, and speeding us upon our way. The green water turned white,
as it met the advance of our prow, and behind us we left a smooth
belt of water, affording a singular contrast to the waves around. I
watched the disappearance of this single smooth spot, as it was lost
in the surrounding billows, when the influence of the movement of
our vessel ceased, as a spectacle to be contemplated by a land's man
with interest. But no feeling of gratification operated in the minds
of the poor prisoners in the hold. They were ironed separately, and
then all fastened to a long bar of iron. They were soon heard mingling
prayers and groans, interrupted only by the violent vomiting produced
by sea sickness. In addition to this misery, when fear found entrance
into their thoughts during the intervals of the cessation of extreme
sickness, it seemed to them, as if every surge the vessel made must be
its last. In this miserable condition they remained, until the 19th,
when we arrived at San Blas. The prisoners here were delivered into the
charge of the commanding officer of the place.

Captain Hinkley, his mate, Henry Vinal, and myself disembarked at
this place, in order to commence our journey over land to Mexico. The
necessary arrangements for our undertaking occupied us three days. We
found the season warm on our arrival here. Watermelons were abundant,
and also green {239} corn, and a great variety of ripe fruit. Two crops
of corn and wheat are raised in the year. A precipice was shown me,
over which, I was told, the Mexicans threw three old priests at the
commencement of the revolt against the king of Spain.--This port is
the centre of considerable business in the seasons of spring and fall.
During the summer, the inhabitants are compelled to leave it, as the
air becomes infected by the exhalations, arising from the surrounding
swamps. Myriads of musquitos and other small insects fill the air
at the same time, uniting with the former cause to render the place

Great quantities of salt are made upon the flats in the vicinity of
San Blas. I did not inform myself accurately, with regard to the
manner, in which it is made; but as I was passing by one day, where
the preparation of it was carried on, I observed what struck me as
being both curious and novel. The earth was laid off in square beds.
Around their edges dirt was heaped up, as though the bed, which I have
mentioned, was intended to be covered with water.

We began our journey well armed, as we had been informed that we
should, in all probability, find abundant occasion to use our arms, as
we advanced. Our progress was slow, as we conformed to the directions
given us, and kept a constant look out for robbers, of whom there are
said to be thousands upon this route.

On the 25th we reached a small town called Tipi, where we remained one
day to rest from our fatigue, and then set off again for Guadalaxara,
distant eight days' journey. Our path led us through a beautiful
country, a great portion of which was under cultivation. Occasionally
we passed through small villages. Beggars were to be seen standing at
the corners of all the streets, and along the highways. They take a
station by the road side, having a dog or child by them, to lead them
into the road when they see a traveller approaching. They stand until
the person reaches the spot upon which they are, when they ask alms
for the sake of a saint, whose image is worn suspended around their
neck, or tied around the wrist. {240} This circumstance of begging for
the saint, and not for themselves, struck me as a new expedient in the
art of begging. At first we gave a trifle to the poor saint. As we
went on we found them so numerous that it became necessary for us to
husband our alms, and we finally came to the conclusion that the large
brotherhood of beggars could occasionally diversify their mode of life
by a dexterous management of their fingers, and shut our purses to the
demands of the saints. The country for some time before we drew near
Guadalaxara, was rather barren, although its immediate vicinity is

We reached that city on the 2d of June, and spent three days in it. It
is situated upon a fine plain, which is overspread by the same numbers
of domestic animals that I had seen in New Mexico and California.
The city is walled in, with gates at the different entrances. These
gates are strongly guarded, and no one is allowed to enter them until
they have been searched, in order to ascertain if they carry any
smuggled goods about them. The same precaution is used when any one
passes out of the city. A passport must be shown for the person, his
horse, and arms, and a statement from the principal peace officer,
of the number of trunks with which he set out upon his journey, and
their contents. This caution is to prevent smuggling; but it does not
effect the purpose, as there is more contraband trade here, than in
any place I was ever in before. I was not able to ascertain the number
of inhabitants of this city. The silver mines of Guanaxuato are near
Guadalaxara. They are carried on at present by an English company. The
evening before our departure we went to the theatre. The actresses
appeared young and beautiful, and danced and sung charmingly.

The 5th day of June we resumed our journey to the city of Mexico. Again
we travelled through a charming country, tolerably thickly settled. On
our way we fell in company with an officer belonging to the service
of the country. He had ten soldiers with him. Upon his demanding to
see our passports we showed them to him, though he had no authority
to make {241} such a demand. After he had finished their perusal he
returned them with such an indifferent air, that I could not resist an
inclination to ask him some questions that might perhaps have seemed
rude. I first asked him what post he filled in the army? He answered,
with great civility, he was first lieutenant. I then requested to
know, to what part of the country he was travelling? He said, still
in a very civil manner, that he had had the command of some troops
in Guanaxuato, but was now on his way to the city of Mexico, to take
charge of the 6th regiment, which was ordered to the province of
Texas, to find out among the Americans there, those who had refused
obedience to the Mexican laws. He added, that when he succeeded in
finding them, he would soon learn them to behave well. The last remark
was made in rather a contemptuous tone of voice, and with something
like an implied insult to me. This warmed my blood, and I replied in
a tone not so gentle as prudence might have counselled a stranger in
a foreign land to have adopted, that if himself and his men did not
conduct themselves properly when they were among the Americans, the
latter would soon despatch them to another country, which they had not
yet seen; as the Americans were not Mexicans, to stand at the corner of
a house, and hide their guns behind the side of it, while they looked
another way, and pulled the trigger. At this he flew into a passion. I
did not try to irritate him any further, and he rode on and left us.
We pursued our way slowly, and stopped for the night at Aguabuena, a
small town on the way. We put up at a house, a sort of posada, built
for lodging travellers.--Twenty-five cents is the price for the use of
a room for one night. It is seldom that any person is found about such
an establishment to take charge of it but an old key bearer. Provisions
must be sought elsewhere. It is not often necessary to go further
than the street, where, at any hour in the day until ten o'clock at
night, men and women are engaged in crying different kinds of eatables.
We generally purchased our food of them. After we had finished our
supper two English gentlemen entered, who were on their way to the
city of Mexico. {242} We concluded to travel together, as our point
of destination was the same, and we should be more able to resist any
adversaries we might encounter; this country being, as I have before
mentioned, infested with robbers and thieves, although we had not yet
fallen in with any.

These gentlemen informed us that the greatest catholic festival of the
whole year was close at hand. If we could reach the city of Mexico
before its celebration, we should see something that would repay us for
hastening our journey. As we were desirous to lose the sight of nothing
curious, we proceeded as fast as circumstances would permit, and
reached the city on the 10th, late in the evening, and put up at an inn
kept by an Englishman, although, as in the other towns in which we had
been, we were obliged to seek food elsewhere, the only accommodation
at the inn being beds to sleep in, and liquors to drink. We found
supper in a coffee house.

We were awakened early in the morning by the ringing of bells. As we
stepped into the street we met three biers carried by some men guarded
by soldiers. Blood was dropping from each bier. The bearers begged
money to pay the expenses of burying the bodies. I afterwards learned
that these persons were murdered on the night of our arrival, upon
the Alameda, a promenade north of the city, in one of the suburbs. We
visited this place, and found it covered with thousands of people, some
walking, and others sitting on the seats placed around this public
pleasure ground. Small parties are sheltered from view by thickets of
a growth, like that in our country, used for hedges. The open surface
is surrounded by a hedge of the same shrub. These partially concealed
parties are usually composed of men and women of the lowest orders,
engaged in card playing. Such are to be seen at any hour of the day,
occupied in a way which is most likely to terminate the meeting in an
affray, and perhaps murder. Blood is frequently shed, and I judged from
what I saw of the order of things, that the accounts of the numerous
assassinations committed among this populace, were not exaggerated.
One of the characteristics of this people {243} is jealousy.
Notwithstanding the danger really to be apprehended from visiting this
place after certain hours, my two companions and myself spent several
evenings in it without being molested in the slightest degree. But one
evening as we were returning to our lodgings, we were compelled to
kneel with our white pantaloons upon the dirty street, while the host
was passing. We took care afterwards to step into a house in time to
avoid the troublesome necessity.

We attended a bull baiting, and some other exhibitions for the
amusement of the people. Being one evening at the theatre, I had the
misfortune to lose my watch from my pocket, without being aware when
it was taken. It would have been useless for me to have thought of
looking around for it, as I stood in the midst of such a crowd that it
was almost an impossibility to move.

The accounts of this city which I had met with in books led me to
expect to find it placed in the midst of a lake, or surrounded by a
sheet of water. To satisfy myself with regard to the truth of this
representation, I mounted a horse, and made the circuit of the city,
visiting some villages that lay within a league of it. I found no
lake; but the land is low and flat. A canal is cut through it, for the
purpose of carrying off the water that descends from the mountains
upon the level surface, which has the appearance of having been
formerly covered with water. A mountain which is visible from the city,
presents a circular summit, one part of which is covered with snow
throughout the year: upon the other is the crater of a volcano, which
is continually sending up proof of the existence of an unceasing fire

Early upon the first day of my arrival in this city, I waited upon Mr.
Butler, the American charge d'affairs.[129] After I had made myself
known to him he showed me a communication from President Jackson to the
President of this country, the purport of which was, to request the
latter to set at liberty some Americans, imprisoned upon the coast of
California. I then handed him the statement I had made according to the
advice {244} of Mr. Jones. He asked me many questions relative to the
losses I had sustained, which I answered, and then took my leave.

A number of coaches were to leave the city for Vera Cruz on the 18th
of June. My companions and myself took places in one of them. On the
15th I again called upon Mr. Butler to obtain a passport to Vera Cruz,
where I intended to embark for America. He took me to the palace of the
President, in order that I might get my passport. This circumstance
was agreeable to me, as I was desirous to see this person, of whom I
had heard so much. Upon arriving at the palace I found it a splendid
building, although much shattered by the balls discharged at it by
the former President Guerero, who is now flying from one place to
another with a few followers, spreading destruction to the extent of
his power. A soldier led me into the presence of the President.[130]
He was walking to and fro when I entered the room, apparently in
deep meditation. Several clerks were present, engaged in writing. He
received me politely, bowing as I advanced, and bade me sit down.
In answer to his inquiry what I wished of him? I told my errand. He
then asked me from what direction I came? I replied, from California.
California! said he, repeating the word with an air of interest. I
answered again, that I left that part of the country when I began my
present journey. You must have been there then, rejoined he, when the
late revolution took place, of which I have but a short time since
received information. I remarked, that I was upon the spot where it
occurred, and that I took my departure from the coast in the same
vessel that brought sixteen of the captives taken in the course of
its progress, and that I disembarked at St. Blas at the same time that
they were taken from the vessel. He resumed the conversation by saying,
you were probably one of the Americans who, I am told, assisted in
subduing the revolted party. I told him, he was correct in his opinion;
and by so doing I had had the good fortune to gain my liberty. His
countenance expressed surprise at the conclusion of my remark; and he
proceeded {245} to ask me, what meaning I had, in saying that I had
thus regained my own liberty? I then related my story; upon which he
said he had understood that General Echedio had acted contrary to the
laws, in several instances, and that, in consequence, he had ordered
him to Mexico to answer for his conduct.[131] I was surprised at the
condescension of the President in thus expressing to me any part of
his intentions with regard to such a person. I accounted for it by
supposing that he wished to have it generally understood, that he did
not approve of the unjust and cruel treatment which the Americans
had received. The president appeared to me to be a man of plain and
gentlemanly manners, possessing great talent. In this I express no more
than my individual opinion; to which I must add that I do not consider
myself competent to judge of such points, only for myself. He gave me a
passport, and I returned to Mr. Butler's office, who informed me that
he wished me to take a very fine horse to Vera Cruz, for the American
consul at that place. He said that I would find it pleasant to vary
my mode of travelling, by occasionally riding the horse. I readily
consented to his wish, requesting him to have the horse taken to the
place from which the coach would set off, early in the morning, when I
would take charge of it. I now took leave of Mr. Butler and proceeded
to my lodgings.

I found both my companions busily engaged in packing, and arranging
for departure. I immediately entered upon the same employment. I had
two trunks; one I filled with such articles as I should require upon
my journey; and in another I placed such as I should not be likely
to use, and a great many curiosities which I had collected during my
long wanderings. The latter trunk I did not calculate to open until I
reached my native land.

At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 16th our coach left the city,
in company with two others. We were eight in number, including the
coachman. Three of the party were ladies. One was a Frenchwoman,
a married lady travelling without her husband. Another was a
Spanishwoman, who had married {246} a wealthy Irishman, and was
accompanied by her husband. The third was the wife of a Mexican
officer, also one of the eight. This gentleman was an inveterate enemy
of the displaced President General Guerero. We journeyed on very
amicably together, without meeting with the slightest disturbance,
until the second day, when, about three o'clock in the afternoon, we
were met by a company of fifty men, all well mounted and armed. At
first sight of them we had supposed them to be a party which had been
sent from the city in search of some highwaymen who had committed
murder and robbery upon the road on which we were travelling, a few
days previous to our departure. A few minutes served to show us our
mistake.--They surrounded the coaches, commanding the drivers to
halt, and announcing themselves as followers of General Guerero. They
demanded money, of which they stated that they were in great need.
The tone of this demand was, however, humble, such as beggars would
use. While they addressed us in this manner, they contrived to place
themselves among and around the persons of our party in such a way
as to obtain entire command of us. The instant they had completed
this purpose, they presented their spears and muskets, and demanded
our arms. We resigned them without offering an objection, as we saw
clearly, that opposition would be unavailing. They now proceeded to
take from us what they thought proper. I was allowed to retain my
trunk of clothing for my journey. The Mexican officer was sitting by
his wife in the coach. Some of the soldiers seized him, and dragged
him from his almost distracted wife out of the carriage. His fate was
summarily decided, and he was hung upon a tree. When this dreadful
business was terminated, we were ordered to drive on. We gladly
hastened from such a scene of horror. But the agony of the unfortunate
wife was an impressive memorial to remind us of the nature of the late
occurrence, had we needed any other than our own remembrances. We left
this afflicted lady at Xalapa, in the care of her relations. A great
quantity of jalap, which is so much used in medicine, is obtained from
this place. {247} After leaving Xalapa, we advanced through a beautiful
country. We passed many small towns on this part of our route.

Our course had been a continued descent, after crossing the mountain
sixteen miles from the city of Mexico. The road is excellent, being
paved for the most part. It is cut through points of mountains in
several places. This work must have been attended with immense labor
and expense.

We reached Vera Cruz on the 24th. On the 27th Captain Hinkley and his
mate embarked for New York. I remained with the consul Mr. Stone, until
the 18th of July. A vessel being in readiness to sail for New Orleans
at this time, I was desirous to avail myself of the opportunity to
return to the United States. Mr. Stone and some others presented me
money sufficient to pay my passage to the point to which the vessel was
bound. It was very painful to me to incur this debt of gratitude, as I
could not even venture to hope that it would be in my power to repay
it, either in money or benefits of any kind. The prospect, which the
future offered me, was dark. It seemed as if misfortune had set her
seal upon all that concerned my destiny. I accepted this offering of
kindness and benevolence with thanks direct from my heart, and went on
board the vessel.

It would be idle for me to attempt to describe the feelings that
swelled my heart, as the sails filled to bear me from the shores of a
country, where I had seen and suffered so much. My dreams of success
in those points considered most important by my fellow men, were
vanished forever. After all my endurance of toil, hunger, thirst and
imprisonment, after encountering the fiercest wild beasts in their
deserts, and fiercer men, after tracing streams before unmeasured
and unvisited by any of my own race to their source, over rugged and
pathless mountains, subject to every species of danger, want and misery
for seven years, it seemed hard to be indebted to charity, however kind
and considerate it might be, for the means of returning to my native

{248} As we sped on our way, I turned to look at the land I was
leaving, and endeavored to withdraw my thoughts from the painful train
into which they had fallen. Vera Cruz is the best fortified port I have
ever seen. The town is walled in, and well guarded on every side with
heavy cannon. The part of the wall extending along the water's edge, is
surmounted by guns pointing so as completely to command the shipping in
the harbour. A reef of rocks arises at the distance of half a mile from
the shore opposite the city, and continues visible for several miles in
a south direction, joining the main land seven or eight miles southwest
of Vera Cruz. A fort stands upon that part of the reef which fronts
the town. Ships in leaving or entering the harbour are obliged to pass
between the fort and the town.

We reached New Orleans on the first of August, although the wind had
not been entirely favorable. It blew a stiff breeze from a direction
which compelled us to run within five points and a half of the wind.
As I approached the spot where my foot would again press its native
soil, my imagination transported me over the long course of river
which yet lay between me, and all I had left in the world to love. I
cannot express the delight which thrilled and softened my heart, as
I fancied myself entering my home; for it was the home I had known
and loved when my mother lived, and we were happy that rose to my
view. Fancy could not present another to me. There were my brothers
and sisters, as I had been used to see them. The pleasant shade of
the trees lay upon the turf before the door of our dwelling. The
paths around were the same, over which I had so often bounded with
the elastic step of childhood, enjoying a happy existence. Years and
change have no place in such meditations. We landed, and I stood upon
the shore. I was aroused by the approach of an Englishman, one of my
fellow passengers, to a sense of my real position. He asked me if I had
taken a passage in a steamboat for Louisville? I immediately answered
in the negative. He then said he had bespoken one in the Cora; and as
I had {249} not chosen any other, he would be glad if I would go on in
the same one with him, and thus continue our companionship as long as
possible. So saying he took me by the arm to lead me in the direction
of the boat of which he spoke, that we might choose our births. As we
advanced together, it occurred to me to ask the price of a passage
to Louisville? I was answered, forty dollars. Upon hearing this I
stopped, and told my companion I could not take a birth just then, at
the same time putting my hand in my pocket to ascertain if the state
of my funds would permit me to do so at all. The Englishman seeing my
embarrassment, and conjecturing rightly its origin, instantly remarked,
that the passage money was not to be paid until the boat arrived at
Louisville. I was ashamed to own my poverty, and invented an excuse to
hide it, telling him, that I had an engagement at that time, but would
walk with him in the evening to see about the passage. He left me in
consequence. I then discovered, that so far from being able to take a
cabin passage I had not money enough to pay for one on the deck.

I re-entered the vessel in which I had arrived. As I approached the
captain I saw him point me out to a person conversing with him, and
heard him say, 'there is the young man I have been mentioning to you.
He speaks Spanish, and will probably engage with you.' When I was near
enough he introduced me to the stranger, whom he called Captain Vion.
The latter addressed a few remarks to me, and then requested me to
accompany him into his vessel. I consented and followed him on board.
He then told me, that he wished to engage a person to accompany him to
Vera Cruz, and aid in disposing of his vessel and cargo; and asked if
I was inclined to go with him for such a purpose? I said, in reply,
that it would depend entirely upon the recompense he offered for the
services to be performed. He remarked, that he would give a certain
per cent upon the brig and cargo, in case it was sold. I partly agreed
to his proposal, but told him that I could not decide finally upon it
until I had considered the matter. He then requested {250} me to come
to him the next day at 12 o'clock, when I would find him at dinner.

I left him, after promising to do so, and wandered about looking at the
city until evening, when I met the Englishman from whom I had parted
in the morning. He said he would now accompany me to the steam boat,
that we might choose our births according to our engagement. I had no
longer any excuse to offer, and was compelled to acknowledge that the
contents of my purse were not sufficient to justify me in contracting
a debt of forty dollars. I added, that I had an idea of returning to
Vera Cruz. He replied, that in regard to the passage money I need have
no uneasiness, nor hesitate to go on board, as he would defray my
expenses as far as I chose to go. In respect to my plan of returning to
Vera Cruz, he said that it would be exceedingly unwise for me to carry
it into execution; as the yellow fever would be raging by the time I
reached the city, and that it was most likely I should fall a victim
to it. I had, however, determined in my own mind that I would run
the risk, rather than ask or receive aid from a person to whom I was
comparatively unknown, and accordingly I refused his kindly proffered
assistance, telling him at the same time, that I felt as grateful to
him as though I had accepted his offered kindness, and that I would
have availed myself of his benevolent intentions towards me, had he
been a resident of my country; but as I knew him to be a traveller
in a foreign land, who might need all his funds, he must excuse me.
He then asked me if I had no acquaintance in New Orleans, of whom I
could obtain the money as a loan? I replied, that I did not know an
individual in the city; but if I carried my plan of returning to Vera
Cruz into execution, I should probably be enabled to proceed to my
friends without depending on any one. Upon this we separated, and each
went to his lodging.

At ten the succeeding morning my English friend came to my boarding
house, accompanied by Judge Johnston, who accosted me with a manner of
paternal kindness, enquiring of me how long I had been absent from my
country and relations? {251} I naturally enquired in turn, if he was in
any way acquainted with them? He replied, that he was; and advised me
to ascend the river, and visit them. I expressed to him how pleasant
it would be to me to visit them, but assured him that it was out of my
power to enjoy that pleasure at present. He enquired why? I avoided a
direct answer, and remarked, that I proposed returning to Vera Cruz.
He not only urged strong objections to this, but offered to pay my
passage up the river. It may be easily imagined how I felt in view of
such an offer from this generous and respectable stranger. I thankfully
accepted it, only assuring him that I should repay him as soon as it
was in my power. He replied that it was a matter of no consequence. He
advised me to go on board the steam boat and choose my birth, alleging,
that he had business in the city which would not allow him to accompany
me on board.

My English friend seemed highly gratified by this good fortune of mine,
and went with me on board the steam boat, where I chose a birth. The
name of this gentleman was Perry, and he was one of the two whom I have
already mentioned, who had travelled in company with me from the city
of Guadalaxara to Mexico. On the fourth, at nine in the morning, the
starting bell rung on the steam boat, and Judge Johnston, Mr. Perry and
myself went on board. This was the first steam boat on which I had ever
been. Scarcely was the interior of the first ship I was ever on board
at San Diego, a spectacle of more exciting interest. How much more
delighted was I to see her stem the mighty current of the Mississippi.

As I remarked the plantations, bends and forests sinking in the
distance behind me, I felt that I was rapidly nearing home; and at
every advance my anxiety to see my relations once more, increased.
To the many enquiries, made by Judge Johnston, touching the interior
of the continent where I had been wandering, I am sure I must have
given very unsatisfactory answers, much as I wished to oblige him. My
thoughts dwelt with such constant and intense solicitude upon home,
that I felt myself unable to frame answers to questions upon any other
subjects. {252} Home did I say? I have none. My father and mother
sleep--widely separated from each other. They left nine orphans without
resources to breast this stormy and mutable world. I, who ought to
supply the place of a parent to them, shall carry to them nothing but
poverty, and the withering remembrances of an unhappy wanderer, upon
whom misfortune seems to have stamped her inexorable seal.

I parted with Judge Johnston at Cincinnati, who gave me a line of
introduction to Mr. Flint, for which I felt under renewed obligations
to him, hoping it would be of service to me. I left Cincinnati; and on
the 30th of August arrived at the end of my journey. I have had too
much of real incident and affliction to be a dealer in romance; and yet
I should do injustice to my feelings, if I closed this journal without
a record of my sensations on reaching home. I have still before me,
unchanged by all, that I have seen, and suffered, the picture of the
abode of my infant days and juvenile remembrances. But the present
reality is all as much changed, as my heart. I meet my neighbors, and
school fellows, as I approach the home of my grandfather.--They neither
recognize me, nor I them. I look for the deep grove, so faithfully
remaining in my memory, and the stream that murmured through it. The
woods are levelled by the axe. The stream, no longer protected by the
deep shade, has almost run dry. A storm has swept away the noble trees,
that had been spared for shade. The fruit trees are decayed.

I was first met by my grandmother. She is tottering under the burden
and decline of old age, and the sight of me only recalls the painful
remembrance of my father, worn out by the torture of his oppressors,
and buried in the distant land of strangers and enemies. I could hardly
have remembered my grandfather, the once vigorous and undaunted hunter.
With a feeble and tremulous voice, he repeats enquiry upon enquiry,
touching the fate of my father? I look round for the dear band of
brothers and sisters. But one of the numerous group remains, and he
too young to know me; though I see enough to remind me, how much he
has stood in need of an efficient protector.--I hastily enquire for
the rest. One is here, and another is there, and my head is confused,
in listening to the names of the places of their residence. I left
one sister, a child. She is married to a person I never knew; one,
who, from the laws of our nature, can only regard me with the eye of a
stranger. We call each other brother, but the affectionate word will
not act as a key, to unlock the fountains of fraternal feeling.

They, however, kindly invite me to their home. I am impelled alike
by poverty and affection, to remain with them for a time, till I can
forget what has been, and weave a new web of hopes, and form a new
series of plans for some pursuit in life. Alas! disappointments, such
as I have encountered, are not the motives to impart vigor and firmness
for new projects. The freshness, the visions, the hopes of my youthful
days are all vanished, and can never return. If any one of my years has
felt, that the _fashion of this world passeth away_, and that all below
the sun is vanity, it is I. If there is a lesson from my wanderings, it
is one, that inculcates upon children, remaining at the paternal home
in peace and privacy; one that counsels the young against wandering far
away, to see the habitations, and endure the inhospitality of strangers.



The following articles are given, as containing fresh and important
information with regard to the countries, through which the Author
passed. Dr. Willard's 'Tour' was extensively quoted, by the periodicals
of the day, at the time of its publication.[132] Views taken, upon the
spot, by an impartial observer, of this comparatively unknown country,
so interesting in itself, and from its vicinity to our own country,
and the increasing relations, which connect us with it cannot fail
to interest the reader. By comparing the statements of individuals
differing entirely in training, position, and circumstances, and the
purpose for which a country is observed, such statements, in short as
are comprised in this volume, the real advantages and disadvantages
of a country, its healthfulness, fertility, climate, beauty and the
character of its inhabitants, and institutions may be known.

These travellers note down what passed under their eyes, "nothing
extenuating, nor setting down aught in malice." It probably did not
occur to them, that the imagination might almost work at will, without
fear of being caught in the fact, in the desert and unvisited regions
of which they speak.


Into what nook of our globe can we penetrate, and not find our citizens
with their 'trade and traffic?' We not long since read in a paper,
that a Yankee captain was running a steam boat in the Yellow sea.
In farthest India--in the islands of the gentiles--along the new
countries recently discovered in the Antarctic sea, the undisputed
throne of winter, and the habitation of sea monsters--wherever winds
can waft, human foot-step be imprinted, or the Argus ken of industry
and enterprise discover the most distant prospect of a harvest, there
we shall find Americans. We delight to consort, as a listener, among
the crowds of American tars. Their peculiar dress and step, walking
the firm earth as if 'she' reeled; their frank, reckless and manly
port; their voice, formed to its tones and expression amidst the
roar of the winds and the dash of the waves; their dialect, their
outlandish phrase, all furnish food for imagination. We hear them
speak of China, of Japan, of Borneo, the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape
Horn, as familiarly as the transit from New York to Greenwich. Their
language seems to imply that distance and space are ideas unknown to
them. Imagination follows them in their long and dangerous course {256}
through the trackless brine, and realizes how many storms they have
encountered, how many hardships endured, and deaths dared, during these
passages; of which they speak as familiarly as of their diurnal visits
on shore.

Though the adventures and voyages of the mariner furnish most food
for the imagination; though the immense distances and the mysterious
depths, that he traverses, and the indifferent hardihood, with which
he encounters his perils and toils, naturally inspire an undefined
admiration; yet the real exposure, toils and dangers of the interior
journeys of our adventurous landsmen are, probably, quite as numerous,
though they elicit much less of that feeling of romance and homage to
daring, which is so readily called forth in the case of the other.
The sailor carries his home with him. The fathomless and swelling
cerulean is to him as the scenery of his birth place. No verdure, no
enclosures of his paternal home are more pleasant, desired or natural,
than good sea room. The winds and waves are chartered alike to convey
him from danger, and to furnish him with the spectacles, varieties
and pleasures of new ports. Not so with the landsman, far from home
in the land of the stranger. Every new object, every variety of soil,
climate, vegetation, strange plants and trees, strange men, dresses,
religions, modes of building, strange customs, and, more than all,
strange speech, awaken every moment those feelings, which made the
Romans denominate the strange host by a word, that implies an enemy.
At every step nature puts on new forms of hostility, and warns him
against uncalled espionage of her privacy, and familiarity with her
secrets. His weary steps, his worn down horse or mule, furnish no
facilities of escape from those combinations of danger that imagination
so readily creates, where they do not really exist. A whole community,
with all their innate and national likes and dislikes, are always
ready to yield to the natural human repugnance to whatever is a
departure from its own ways, and to make a war of extermination upon
the defenceless and desolate strangers. The ancient bard admired the
temerity of {257} those, who first dared, with only a thin plank to
interpose, between them and death, to commit themselves to the winds
and waves. If we viewed the daring in all its aspects and bearings
it would furnish equal ground for admiration, to contemplate one or
a few solitary travellers setting forth on a journey of a thousand
leagues, through strange countries, among people at war with each
other, and in language, manners and religion furnished with a
radical and unchangeable ground of jealousy, dislike and hostility.
How happens it, under such circumstances, that men ever break the
tender ties, the natural and strong charities of home, and go far
away, to enter askance, embarrassed and afraid, the habitation of
the stranger, knowing nothing of his language and character, and
only knowing that the stranger has a religion and customs, not only
different, but hostile? The love of gain, curiosity, the disposition
to meet adventures, and the wandering protuberance can only furnish
adequate motives.--We believe, that Americans, and particularly the
New Englanders have more ample endowments of these combinations, than
any other people. If we have ever for a moment given place to the
traveller's vanity, in thinking, that in visiting some new and distant
region, we had achieved an exploit,--on reaching the desired point,
that vanity has been instantly corrected by finding compatriots there
before us, who seemed quite at home, and wholly unconscious, that the
attainment of their new domicil had given them any claims to celebrity.

We were recently indulged with the reading of a manuscript journal of
an overland tour from Jackson, in Tennessee, by way of Memphis, the
Arkansas, and one of its long and undescribed branches, over the wide
prairies to the mountains that separate between our territory and that
of New Mexico; to Santa Fe and the towns in that vicinity; and thence
back, over the arid plains between Santa Fe and the Council Bluffs,
on the Missouri. The caravan noted in their journal, as a common
matter, that their trip had extended between five and six thousand
miles. It was not a little amusing, or furnishing moderate excitement
of interest and play of the imagination, to become {258} acquainted
with the thoughts of these hardy denizens of the forests of Tennessee,
as they first emerged from the dark woods upon the ocean prairies of
the Arkansas. Their reasonings upon the strange country over which
they past, in one place covered with countless buffaloes, in another
with moving sands, and still in another offering the temperature of
winter in summer, in parallels south of their nativity; upon the
different soils, temperatures and configurations of the country, have
an intrinsic interest. They are not the reasonings of cosmogonists, or
geologists, or chemists, or botanists, or philosophers; but of men,
who reason from first impressions,--who make short work of knotty and
debateable points, and where they cannot untie the Gordian knot, make
no ceremony in cutting it with the hunter's knife. Nothing could be
more interesting, than to witness this little caravan surrounded by
hordes of the ruthless red Tartars of the desert, brandishing their
lances on horseback, and scenting the plunder with panther keenness
of instinct. Forewarned by the fate of caravans that had preceded
them, how little they had to hope, except from the fears of these
Ishmaelites, they poise themselves on their native intrepidity, arrange
their little phalanx, and remind the classical reader of the deportment
of the ten thousand amidst the strange and innumerable hordes of
barbarians, through which, partly by battle, and partly by policy,
they made their way. The interest does not diminish, when we see them
intermix with the Spanish strangers, equally ignorant and bigoted; the
one calling in act cupidity and cunning, to countervail the cupidity
and cunning of the other. What a spectacle must be furnished by the
encounter of such a band with countless thousands of buffaloes! What
scenes are witnessed in their encampments for a month, with no other
itinerary, than the windings of an unknown river, the course of the
planets, or the distant blue mountains, whose peaks yet want a name!
How different their incidents, thoughts, views, food and rest--their
nightly encamping and morning departure along the grass plains,
that vision cannot measure, from the pursuits and themes of us, who
dwell in towns! Yet painful {259} and laborious and hazardous as are
these distant excursions, those who engage in them, soon acquire an
invincible attachment to them, that renders all other pursuits in
comparison stale and tedious!

After wandering six or eight weeks over these prairies, living on
buffalo meat without bread or salt, and begrimmed with grease, smoke
and the fine dust of the prairies to a brotherly resemblance with
the red men, and not at all particular about making their toilet of
a dress, which in the first instance smacked nothing of dandyism,
nothing can be more amusing, than their ablutions, and beautifyings,
and conversations, as, in a mountain-bounded vale, with a rivulet for
mirror, they talk of the Spanish beauties, and lustrate and prepare for
entering upon the scene of their profits and conquests.

In an article before us, we propose to take a brief survey of the
journal of Dr. Willard, an amiable and very correct young man, now
residing in our city, and calculating to become a permanent inhabitant,
of a journey to the interior of New Mexico, and a residence for some
years in the interior, and, more than all, a descent of the Rio del
Norte from its head springs to Matamoras, at its mouth,--an immense
extent of interesting country, as far as our reading extends, wholly
unexplored. Our regret is equal to his own, that while passing down
this long, interesting and undescribed river, he had not been more
particular in noting the physical aspect of the country, the character
of the soil and productions, animal and vegetable, on his route. But,
not contemplating any thing beyond refreshing his own recollections,
by noting down obvious and diurnal facts and incidents, the journal
wants that fulness and variety, which he would probably give to it,
were he privileged to travel over the same ground again. How much it is
to be desired, that travellers should remember, while traversing new
and unexplored regions, that what may seem trivial and common, while
under the eye, will assume a different interest and importance, when
surveyed anew by memory. No journal of travels in a new country can be
uninteresting, so that the traveller is full and faithful in noting
{260} down, in the freshness of vision and actual occurrence, what is
passing and spread under his eye.

Dr. Willard was a citizen of St. Charles, on the Missouri; and joined a
Missouri caravan to New Mexico, as it appears, with mixed inducements.
He had something of the common American propensity to seek his fortune;
and seems to have been disposed to make his _debut_ and perform his
first quarantine among the Spaniards, choosing to make his first
experiment in spoiling the tents of the Philistine, rather than the
children of his own people.

Dr. Willard left St. Charles, May 6, 1825. The caravan consisted of
thirty-three persons. He had not journeyed beyond the settlements of
the Missouri until the 16th, when he records in his tablets, that he
slept under a tent for the first time in his life. The greater part of
the long distance between St. Charles and the mountains at the sources
of the Arkansas, is a country of rolling prairies, until we reach the
great plains of the Arkansas, generally covered with grass, and of but
moderate fertility. A narrow belt of the last portion of the distance
is not unlike the deserts of Arabia,--a sterile plain of sand heaps,
with but here and there a few of the hardier weeds and plants, which
seem to have settled here, as outcasts from more fertile and genial
regions. The route, laying across the head sources of the larger rivers
of the Missouri and Arkansas, traverses but few rivers or creeks, that
are not fordable.[133] Although it has the reputation of being an
exceedingly arid region, one of the most frequent occurrences noted in
his journal, is being drenched with rains. On the 22d, he remarks, that
the earth, over which they travelled, was completely saturated with
rain; it having rained every day, save two, since their departure.
Another occurrence, which we have noted in all similar journals, and
one of the most unpleasant character, is the escape, or what is called
the breaking away of the horses. One mode of securing them on these
boundless grass plains is technically called 'hoppling'--we imagine a
corruption of the word 'hobbling.' The fore and hind legs of the horse
are fastened by a kind of fetter, generally {261} of leather. Horses
accustomed to this kind of impediment can travel with ease far enough
to feed; but with not sufficient facility to evade the owner. But the
more general security is the feeling of companionship with each other,
and with their owners, which these generous animals soon acquire;
and which has so much influence, that affright, or the calls of wild
horses, or some extraneous circumstance, is necessary to overcome it.
But these circumstances frequently occur; and though the caravans have,
or should have a guard of one eighth of the company, of sleepless
vigilance, to guard against such disasters, it often happens, that the
horses break away; and we can imagine few employments, except dunning
and borrowing, more irksome and hopeless, than that of turning out upon
the great buffalo pasture a thousand leagues by five hundred in extent,
in pursuit of horses, which after all make it a matter of choice, even
if discovered, whether they will be taken or not. But it so happens,
that these animals, with the municipal habits of settled life, and
certain remembrances of country and home, start back on the track of
their outward march, and with their heads towards the natal spot; and
from this circumstance it seldom happens, that, when overtaken by their
owners, they are not persuaded to be retaken.

On the 22d they see droves of elk, antelopes and deer; and of the
latter kill two. Here is the view of prairies boundless to vision, of
only moderate fertility, but covered with grass, and adorned with a
great variety of flowering plants. A number of ravines, filled with
water, are crossed with difficulty. It is mentioned as a difficulty
of frequent occurrence, that they could not find sufficient wood for
cooking. 24th, see two droves of elk--20 in each. Some deer among
them; of which one is killed. At night they encamp on the banks of
a creek, supposed to be a branch of the Verdigris of the Arkansas.
Friday, 27th, depending on their guns, and game having failed, they
start without breakfast. Between 10 and 11, a fine buck is killed;
and they feast high again. This night encamped on the waters of the
main Verdigris.[134] Here they find a skirt {262} of timber. Among the
plants are noted wild onion, hog potatoe, wild tansy, prickly pears,
and a great variety of flowering plants and shrubs. It is recorded
on the 28th, that they went three miles out of their way, to arrive
at wood and water. On the 29th they encamped by a little cotton wood
tree, the only one in sight on the plain. They cut it down for fuel.
Every one knows the difficulty of burning green cottonwood. The rains
are still frequent. On the 30th they see the first signs of buffaloes.
Delighted with the fragrance of the flowering prairies over which they
pass. On the 31st they passed mounds, composed of rocks resembling
lumps of iron ore. They encamped on a small creek, skirted with a few
lonely trees.

June 1st, they discover buffaloes. He thinks that they could not
have been less than 100,000 before noon. Killed eight or ten. Dine
upon buffalo soup and steaks; which, although eaten without bread or
salt, he considers delicious. Continual exercise on horseback, and
associations with the sterility and desolation of the desert, would
probably render any food such. This day they passed a very large
town, or community of the animals called prairie dogs (_arctomys
ludoviciana_.) Dr. Willard describes them, as larger than they have
been commonly represented, and of the size of a domestic cat. They
considerably resemble a dog in appearance, except about the head, which
bears a close analogy to that of the squirrel. Their community contains
some hundred burrows; the surface of their town being kept perfectly
clean and smooth. On the eminences made by the dirt carried out of
their burrows, they sit, and fiercely bark defiance at the approaching
traveller. Their form seems rather clumsy; and their hair is short, and
of a light red color.

In crossing the creek before them they found two buffaloes mired in
the mud. They humanely endeavored to assist one of the unfortunate
animals out, and restore him to his free plains; but he was spent; and
drowned notwithstanding their efforts to disengage him. On the opposite
shore of the creek, the buffaloes covered the plains, as far as their
eyes could reach. Wolves and antelopes were bounding among them in
all directions. {263} In the distance were red sand hills, which
reflected the sun's rays, and seemed like a burning wall, bounding this
magnificent park of nature. On the 7th they passed several dog towns;
fed upon buffaloe flesh; and found no other material for fuel, but the
dried manure of the animal. On the 8th they reached the main Arkansas;
which they found nearly half a mile wide, although it must have been,
by its meanders, 1,200 miles from its mouth. The velocity of the river
at this point was from three to three and a half miles an hour. The
western reader will not need to be informed, that this is the full
width, and more than the velocity of the river at its mouth. He found
the waters potable; which it is well known, they are not in its lower

An unpleasant accident occurred here. In firing upon droves of
buffaloes, they turned them out of their direction upon the course
of the caravan. Six pack horses broke from their ranks, probably
in affright. After pursuing them ten miles, three were recovered.
The other three, loaded with goods to the amount of three hundred
dollars, and with clothing and provisions, were never recovered. A Mr.
Andrews, of their company, who had gone out to hunt, was captured by
the Indians; and after being detained unharmed eight days, escaped from
them, and overtook his company.

On the 15th they crossed the Arkansas, to hunt, and lay in a stock of
provisions, on the opposite shore. On the 18th they left the Arkansas;
having thus far accomplished something more than twenty miles a day,
on an average. Hence they travelled, part of the way over sand hills,
forty-five miles; in which distance they found some water, though it
is commonly destitute. This brought them to the small river called
the Semirone.[135] The 23d brought them to a fine spring, surrounded
with huge rocky knobs, on which were interesting, ancient, Indian
fortifications. Small timber, wild plumbs, grapes and currants skirt
the borders; affording a charming variety to the eye, after the long
and dreary expanse of prairie, which they had traversed. They inhaled
the fragrance of various aromatic flowers, and {264} listened to the
singing of birds. They here left the small creek, called the Semirone,
upon which they had been travelling since they left the Arkansas, and
took their direction for the mountains. On the 24th the summits of the
Rocky mountains visible in the distance. On the 29th, mountains in
view, white with snow, and supposed to be distant 100 miles. Passed a
creek, which they judged to be a water of Red river.

The last day of June, they began to ascend the mountains. The latitude
of their point of ascent is not laid down. But we should suppose
their general course to have been west from the point, whence they
started. This was an interesting point of their journey. From a vast
expanse of naked plains they now began to ascend high mountains. Alpine
scenery surrounds them. They inhale a highly oxygenated atmosphere.
The sighing of the wind in mountain pines and evergreens is heard,
and they rapidly pass from the dominions of scorching summer to the
cool and brisk spring breeze. The atmosphere is that of March, and the
strawberries, and vegetation of a similar character, are in blossom.

They here perform a lustration, preparatory to entering into the
Spanish settlements. They wash away the dirt and grease coated on
them, during their long march over the hot and dusty plains, and put
themselves in trim to show themselves in presence of people of a
certain degree of civilization. Here they met a party of ten or twelve
Spaniards, who had come out from Taos to prevent them from smuggling
their goods.

Their reception by the people would not furnish much interest in the
description. We presume the chief effort between the parties was, to
determine which should be most dextrous in circumventing the other. Dr.
Willard boarded with a Spaniard of the name of Pablo Sucero, at twelve
dollars a month. The country hilly, mainly destitute of timber, and by
no means fertile. The church is a large mud building; and the people do
not seem to him to be very attentive to the ceremonial and duties of
their religion.

We think, the article would not be destitute of interest, if we {265}
were able to enter into ample details of Dr. Willard's residence among
this people, where he remained two months, in the practice of physic.
On the fourth of July, the American traders in that region, who then
made a considerable of a showy concourse, turned out to celebrate
the great festival of the natal day of their liberties. Dr. Willard
prepared a flag with the American eagle. They went through their
evolutions and firings much to the credit of their own patriotism;
and no doubt, to the edification and delight of the good people, men,
women and children, of Taos. The people received them in the different
quarters of the town with shouts of '_Viva la Republica!_' Much of the
journal is occupied with accounts of difficulties with the officers of
the customs, in relation to the duties demanded by the Spaniards upon
their goods.

Dr. Willard manifested a prudent regard to the observances of the
Catholic ceremonial; and was soon in full practice of physic among
the people. Among some hundreds of cases, which he records, there
were all sorts of complaints, that flesh is heir to; and not a few
bore evidence, that depravity had found its way, with its attendant
penalties, to these remote recesses of the interior mountains, and
among this simple and pastoral people, where such results ought not
to have been expected. Among other patients, he prescribes for the
acknowledged concubine of a priest; and in another case, a reverend
personage, sworn of course to celibacy, hesitated not to admit the
claims of his offspring. Some of his patients, as would be the case
among us, disputed his charges. Others in gratitude repaid him far
beyond his claims. He seems to us to have been a very discreet and
sober faced young gentleman, prudently disposed to consult _Our Lady of
good counsel_; in other words, to keep professional secrets; for the
ladies trusted him. The old ladies, in particular, gave him the masonic
and confidential grip, advised him to shrive and take a conversion,
marry a young lady of the country and become one of them. These amiable
_old Christians_ thought, no doubt, that a man can take a conversion
when he chooses; and that nothing more is necessary, as many {266}
of our enlightened friends here believe, than to feel, that it was a
point of interest to become a good Catholic, really to become so. He
very frequently attends _fandangoes_, which appear to be of a character
similar to our country balls. His practice seems to have been constant
and extensive. Among his patients, he numbers priests, the governor,
the military; young and old, male and female; and not a few Indians,
and among them some chiefs. He notes in his tablets very frequent
attendance upon religious festivals; and they seemed to him poor and
cheap shows, only capable of furnishing interest and curiosity for a
people a little above the Indians in point of refinement. Though decent
and respectful in his deportment, while among the people, and in view
of the solemnities, he speaks of them with sufficient indifference,
when away, and in communion with his own thoughts. He probably was not
sufficiently aware of the influence of such a religion of forms and
observances, in keeping in order a rude and ignorant people, who were
incapable of a more spiritual service. However immoral they may have
been with this superstition and these observances, we have no doubt,
they would have been still more so without them.

While Dr. Willard shows an evident disposition to think kindly and
respectfully of the people, among whom he sojourned, it is obvious
from various incidental circumstances, noted in the journal, that the
fandangoes and evening amusements were conducted in a style of the
coarsest simplicity,--removed, it is true far above the intercourse of
their red neighbors, but probably quite as far from that of our people
in the same condition. Very few of the ladies were even tolerably
pretty; and most of them were coarse, sufficiently forward, and not at
all remarkable for attractions either of persons or manners. Some few
were delicate, and some even beautiful.

From his recorded intercourse with the priests, it would seem, that he
was almost uniformly treated with kindness and liberality. In fact,
they evinced, so far as can be inferred from their deportment, a good
degree of liberality. There can be little doubt, that the superstition
of the people reacts upon them, {267} and compels them to a seeming
devotion to the formal and ceremonial part of their worship, from
which they would gladly escape. With the progress of free inquiry, we
confidently anticipate a consequent gradual triumph over the influence
of bigotry.

One trait among them is worthy of all praise--a simple, unostentatious
and noble hospitality. It is recorded in Dr. Willard's tablets, that
one day he dined with the governor; and on another was invited to
spend the evening with some _donna_, or family of respectability; that
his patients and friends often called upon him, to invite him to ride
with them to this point and to that; and that a horse or carriage was
always provided on such occasions. Such hospitalities, it is true, are
unexpensive in a country, where farmers have six or eight thousand
horses or mules, forty thousand cattle, and twice as many sheep. But
churlish and boorish people will always be inhospitable, cost the
efforts to be otherwise little or much. This single trait in their
character went far with us to conciliate kind feeling and good will
towards them.

Writers on this country have generally represented its climate as
variable and unequal. Dr. Willard found Taos, Sante Fe and Chihuahua
to possess a very agreeable climate. It was never so warm there, as
in some days of our summer. The temperature seemed to him equable,
and seldom falling much below, or rising far above our temperate
summer heat. The country suffers much from aridity, and the want of
the shelter of our trees and noble forests. A few miserable, stinted
shrubberies of a diminutive growth, like that which covers our
shrub-oak plains, called musqueto wood, is only found at intervals.
These countries are so elevated, that beyond 28° north latitude, the
ground is sometimes whitened with snow and frost. Muriates of soda
and lime, and nitrate of potash, and other saline substances, abound
on the surface, and often so encrust the soil, as to bid defiance to
cultivation. The mountains at the sources of the Arkansas are sublime
elevations. There are sometimes cultivable table summits on their
peaks. That the soil is underlaid with strata of calcareous rock, is
manifest from a very astonishing {268} recorded phenomenon. In 1752 the
Rio del Norte became dry for an extent of 150 leagues. The water had
sunk, and passed through subterranean channels, and so continued to
flow for some weeks; when, no doubt, the chasm became choked, and the
river resumed its former bed. Among the most important Indian tribes
are the Commanche, Appache and Navijo. They live on horseback, and
keep the inhabitants constantly on the alert and alarm. They are the
Ishmaelites and Tartars of these deserts. It seldom rains; and when
rains happen, the spring of that country may be said to have commenced.
The naked, red and rolling surface of the wide prairies, only limited
by rude and rugged mountains, become at once covered with a tender
and deep verdure. This spring happens in September. The whole country
becomes as an ocean of verdure. Few frosts occur. When the dry season
returns, this grass may be said to be cured standing. The cattle
feed and fatten upon it, when in its state of verdant tenderness.
It afterwards sustains them as substantial hay. Hence, and from the
mildness and salubrity of the climate, and its destitution of storms,
its advantages for a grazing and a shepherd's country. Hence its
infinite numbers of fine mules, horses, cattle and sheep; and hence,
also, its innumerable droves of antelopes, deer and buffaloes.

All cultivation is carried on only by artificial irrigation; and it
seems wonderful, how providence has adapted a country, which could
produce but few of the edible cerealia without it, for irrigation.
Abundant rains fall on the mountains; and the flush waters are
collected in the Rio del Norte, which rolls down these arid plains
in such a channel, and by such a gentle slope, that each of the
inhabitants along this water course can command just as much water as
his necessities of cultivation require. Where the soil is fertile, it
will naturally be imagined, how delightful and luxuriant those fields
and gardens will be, when the owners can command just as frequent
waterings as they choose. Art works a miniature sample; but it has a
neatness and finish, which we look for in vain in the great scale
of nature's rough operations. In Chihuahua, their trees, planted for
ornament and shade, require to be irrigated; and a person {269} is
appointed by a municipality, whose business it is to take care of the
trees, and see that they want not for water. Of course, native trees
can only be expected on the misty and cool tops of the hills, and near
the constant moisture of streams and ponds. It will not be difficult
to imagine, that in a very windy climate--and this is such,--where,
too, it rains moderately only a few days in the year, they will have
ample opportunities to know what dust means. But it so happens, that
there is little travel,--little cause to break the sward, or disturb
the tranquil monotony of nature; and the people have become accustomed
to look on the brown-yellow and sear surface, during a great portion of
the year, with the same patient composure of endurance, with which we
regard the mud, desolation and frost of winter.

These people live, as the honest Irishman said of his farm on Lake
Erie, "a thousand miles from home, and five hundred from any place!"
They are nearly a thousand miles from Matamoras, still farther from
Mexico; and as far from the settled parts of our country. The mail
goes and returns, so as that an answer can be had from Mexico in about
two months. Our municipal arts are almost unknown to them. They make
whiskey it is true; but all the saw they know, and all the water or
steam power, for making building plank, is the human steam power of a
broadaxe, or an awkward hatchet, applied to the cloven sections of a
log. It seems incredible, that such can be the state of the mechanic
arts among a policed people, living under a government; but such is
the fact. Not a word need be said about the external improvement, the
buildings, and finishings of dwellings, exterior and interior, when the
plank are made with a broadaxe. Yet Dr. Willard mentions a splendid
stone church at Chihuahua, which cost 300,000 dollars, was supported
by Corinthian pillars, and glittered with gilding. The houses in the
towns are generally built of unburnt bricks; in many instances in the
form of a parallelogram, or hollow square, making the fronts at once
mural defences, and the fronts of dwellings. The floors are, for the
most part, brick or composition,--that is {270} to say, clay, lime,
&c. pulverized, and cemented with blood, or other glutinous and sizy

Dr. Willard's narrative incidentally brings to light, with a great
degree of _naivete_, many of the interior lights and shades of their
social intercourse and manners. Nothing can well be imagined, more
unlike ours; and yet there are many points of resemblance, in which
all civilized people must possess a similarity of manners. It is
wonderful, how, with their extreme bigotry, they could so readily have
admitted an unknown stranger to their intimacy and confidence. They
evidently are a dancing generation; for fandangoes are matters of very
frequent occurrence. Our young physician generally noted the presence
of the minister at these places, which a reverend gentleman here has
denominated 'squeezes,'--a word which, however, seems more vulgar and
less respectable than fandango.

Upon surveying the state of society, and the progress of improvement,
cultivation and refinement in these countries, we can hardly forbear
something like a feeling of exultation, on comparing our condition
with theirs. What an immense distance between the state of society in
this place and Chihuahua, a place of nearly half the size, and thrice
the age, and the same distance from the sea! What would a Cincinnatian
think of building a house, if the planks were to be hewed from our
oaks by a broadaxe? What a spectacle would be the state of things
here to a citizen of that place! What surprise and astonishment would
the _don creole_ of that country experience, if transported to Lowell
in Massachusetts, with its million wheels flying in dizzying, and at
first view, inexplicable confusion! Yet they have mines innumerable,
and ingots of silver; and one farmer owns ten thousand horses and
mules,--and still sleeps under the puncture of fleas, on a wretched
bed, supported upon an earth floor--without chairs, without hearths,
and chimneys and fire places; in short, the lower classes dwell in
habitations like the comfortless dens of Indians.

They want freedom. They want the collision of rival minds. They want
liberty, that cannot be supplied either by constitutions, {271} or
laws, or enactments. So long as bigotry reigns, so long as the terrors
of perdition are held up as determents from all freedom of thinking,
and all mental elasticity, their condition cannot ameliorate. Let a
miserable, ignorant priest lay down the law, and prescribe just how
men may think and act--when they shall go to church, and when stay
at home--when they must stand, kneel, or sit, and we should soon be
here the same mischievous grown up infants, that they seem to be, with
all the appetites and passions and stubbornness of men, and all the
mental laziness and imbecility of children. Our free institutions are,
no doubt, attended with their disadvantages; and there may be some
peculiar pleasures belonging to such a state of society as exists at
Chihuahua. But with all the licentiousness of our press, with all the
bitterness of the hundred tongues of calumny, with all our rivalry
and competition, and disposition to pull each other down, that we
may fill the vacancy, give us our free institutions, with all their
scourges and all their curses; where men may be truly men; where the
mind need not feel itself shut up between two adamantine walls; where
no one need fear to think because a stupid doctor in divinity assures
him he will be damned, if he dares to think. Give us freedom, with
all its appendant drawbacks. Deliver us from the abominations of a
dominant church establishment. Deliver us from a submission, and a
cringing conformity, which is not enjoined by the voluntary movement
of a free mind, but which is extorted by a creed maker, armed with
a little brief and bad authority. It seems to us, as if even the
sincere prayers of the people, who are compelled by law to pray,
could not ascend acceptably to Him, whose only temple is the free
heart. It is evident, that the hierarchy of New Spain has received an
incurable shock from the revolution there. But it has been grafted
on the ignorance and bigotry of centuries. It operates as cause and
effect, acting and reacting for its own benefit; and it will be ages
to come, before its bad predominance will pass away. We would not be
understood to object to the Catholic church, as such. We believe it at
present {272} among the most tolerant and liberal churches; and they
are wretchedly mistaken, who think, that bigotry belongs exclusively to
that profession. It is a cheering consideration in our country, that
the bigotry of one denomination neutralizes that of another; so that
"all nature's discord makes all nature's peace." Heaven defend us from
a dominant religion, or a worship enforced by law!

Various Spanish writers, Malte-Brun, Humboldt, Gen. Pike, and others,
have described this country superficially; Gen. Pike, perhaps, more
satisfactorily, and more to the common apprehension, than any who
preceded him. Baron Humboldt, only travelled it, and rapidly, in one
direction.[136] Pike was a kind of a state prisoner, while in it, and
was necessarily, much restricted in his means for making observations.
Perhaps no person has had more ample chances of this kind, than Dr.
Willard. Unfortunately, he was there with the feeling and temperament,
which are usually appended to the people from his section of the
country, and whose principle object is to secure, what the New
Englander calls the main chance. He now bitterly regrets, that he did
not more highly appreciate, while he was in that interesting, and in a
great measure undescribed and unexplored country, his opportunities to
have made a book of travels of very high interest.

As it was, he remained in the country nearly three years, made his
first essays at operating on the living fibre among the New-Mexicans,
traversed the whole extent of country from Taos to Matamoras, a
distance by the travelled line, of more than 2000 miles. He travelled
leisurely, and at intervals, through the country, practising physic
at the more important towns, making some stay at Santa Fe, Chihuahua,
Monterey, Saltilleo, Maspimi, Matamoras, &c. We note in his journal,
which details the events and journeyings of each day, proofs of
the hospitality of the higher classes of the citizens, and of the
readiness of the people to trust themselves to an American stranger,
who appears among them in the character of a physician, {273} although
they consider him a heretic. This is evidence conclusive of their
deep respect for the supposed learning, acuteness and talents of the
people from our division of the continent. He made money rapidly,
as a physician among them. But it seems, he looked from the 'leeks
and fleshpots' of this distant and strange country, with a filial
remembrance, towards the common mother of us all, the land of his
birth; and preferred to return, and encounter the scramble and
competition of an over crowded profession, certainly with inferior
prospects of present pecuniary advantage. We admire that feeling,
in our countrymen, which prompts them, in remote and foreign lands,
still to turn their thoughts towards home, as the place of the
charities, views and motives, that render life desirable. A true
hearted American, living or dying, as long as pulsation lasts, _dulces
reminiscitur Argos_. It will gratify the reader to learn, that our
enterprising, modest and amiable traveller spoiled the Philistines, in
an honorable and honest way, of a sum of dollars, which to a young,
sober and calculating New-Englander, may be considered the embryo germ
of a future fortune.

We left him last at Chihuahua. He left this place, August 5, 1827.
Unfrequent as rains are, he records being wet with a shower on the
way to San Pablo. On the 11th, another shower is recorded. From these
casual records, we should infer, that the aridity of the country has
been overstated, as the records of rains occur in this journal almost
as frequently, as they would in our country at the same period. The
loss of four mules is mentioned on the night of the 12th. The loss of
horses stolen is also mentioned, as a frequent occurrence. Once or
twice all his clothes, save those he wore, were taken off, during his
sleep, at his place of encampment. It is noted often, as a circumstance
of hardship, that he encamps at night without water; and, once or
twice, that the beasts travel all day, without finding either grass,
or other feed. Frequent mention is made of _haciendas_, _ranchos_,
and small villages. Among them are noted Vera Cruz, San Blas and San
Bernardo. He arrives at Mapimi, September 7th. The night before his
arrival his {274} best horse was stolen. He stays on the 14th at San
Lorenzo, where the grape is cultivated to a considerable extent; wine,
brandy, and dried fruit being important articles of their commerce.
The large establishment here occupies from 150 to 200 hands. The whole
of this magnificent and expensive establishment is owned by a young
widow. He thinks the wine rich, and of a fine flavor, describing it,
as having the sweetness of a Greek wine. On the 19th he arrives at
Saltillio.[137] This town he supposes to contain 10,000 souls; a great
proportion of them Indians. The valley, in which it is situated, he
describes, as one great beauty; deeply verdant, and productive of rich
fruits. It is surrounded by rugged and lofty mountains. Great part of
Baring's famous purchase lies between Paras and this place, a distance
of 88 miles. He considers the intermediate country by no means a
fertile one. In all these places he meets Americans, whom he names; and
notes the places of their birth. On the 21st he records passing many
fine farms, and in one instance a line of stone wall, laid perfectly
regular and straight three miles in length, and enclosing a rich wheat

There is little in the subsequent notes of the journal, which would so
much interest the general reader, as the mass of information, thrown
together in the notes upon the country, which follow. We recommend them
to the attentive perusal of the reader, as we give them substantially
in the author's own words. The reader will not find in them the manner
of Baron Humboldt, or Malte Brun. They have no resemblance, either,
to the remarks of Gen. Pike. But they have the piquancy and freshness
of being the views of a shrewd, and intelligent young man, who had
his eyes open, and was accustomed to make observations, although to
make money was his first vocation. It is, perhaps, from views like the
following, that we form more definite and adequate conceptions of a
country, than from the scientific and ambitious writings of practised
scholars, and travellers, who commence their career with the professed
purpose to make a book.

  {275} General aspect of the country embraced in a tour from Council
  Bluffs, Mo. to Santa Fe, New-Mexico, thence down the general course of
  the Rio del Norte to its mouth, comprising a distance of 2000 miles.

The physical appearance of that part of the country, lying between the
limits of Missouri and the Rocky mountains, is generally well known
to be, comparatively speaking, an illimitable expanse of prairie. That
portion of country, situated between the Missouri and the head waters
of the Osage rivers, is considerably undulating; the lower situations
of which abound, more or less, with timber, grass and small streams;
the higher portions are usually covered with grass only.

When arriving at the termination of this immense valley, we meet
abruptly the Rocky mountains, or the southern extremity of that chain
so celebrated for eternal snows and rocks. These mountains are mostly
covered with pines, some spruce, hemlock and white birch. On the top of
the mountain we found several vallies abounding with natural meadow,
and having the appearance of receiving daily showers and heavy dews.
Here the atmosphere was delightfully cool, while the plains on each
side were so destitute of rain, as to render the air sultry, and to
require irrigation for all the common products of agriculture.

The province of New Mexico is rather more mountainous, than that
part formerly called New Biscay, now state of Chihuahua; but is
interspersed with some rich vallies, particularly those bordering on
the Rio del Norte. The city of Santa Fe is situated 25 miles from the
river, at the barren foot of a mountain. It was established about
the beginning of the 17th century, and seems to have been formerly a
place of considerable importance, as a rendezvous for troops. It now
contains perhaps not far from two thousand souls, the most of whom
have the appearance of penury. The mines in the neighborhood of Santa
Fe were formerly worked, but are now abandoned. The principal articles
of commerce are sheep, blankets, buffalo hides, and sometimes their
meat and tallow, peltry, salt, and {276} the common production of
agriculture, as corn, wheat, beans, onions, &c.

At the Passo del Norte, an important village, the grape is cultivated
to a very considerable extent, of which they prepare excellent wine
and brandy, making use of hides for mashing vats. For these articles
they find market at Santa Fe and Chihuahua. Dried grapes, apples,
onions, &c. are taken down in great abundance. Chihuahua and its
vicinity, with all the territory north of it, is supplied with salt
from a lake in the neighborhood of the Passo. There is, also, about
two day's ride west of this place, an exceedingly rich copper mine,
which was worked for many years by Pablo Guerra, an European Spaniard,
who realized some hundred _talegas_ [a bag of 1000 dollars] from
its proceeds. In consequence of the late law of expulsion, he was
obliged to relinquish it.[138] It is now worked by two Americans, Mr.
Andrew Curcier, a merchant in Chihuahua, from Philadelphia, and Robt.
McKnight, from St. Louis, Mo. A considerable amount of gold is found in
this same mine; but, I believe, not incorporated with the copper.

That part of the republic called Sonora, bounded by the gulf of
California, is celebrated for its rich mines of silver and gold. These
metals, together with mules, horses, beeves, hides, and peltry, are
exchanged for articles of merchandize, which are mostly supplied by the
Americans from Missouri. They, however, procure some part by arrivals
by sea in the port of Guimus, situated on the Gulf. It was in this
part of the country that the Indians were most troublesome, during my
residence there.

The tribe then hostile belonged to the _Yacqui_ nation, united, I
believe, to some of the Navajo tribe; both of which are exceedingly
numerous and rapacious. Pitica, Arrispe, and Guimus are the principal
towns or villages within that state. Upper California apparently has
but little correspondence with that, or any other country; as brave
Indian tribes inhabit the head of the Gulf, the Rio Colorado and
adjacent country, so {277} that the inhabitants are in a measure cut
off from correspondence with the rest of the world.

Chihuahua is an incorporated city of about nine thousand souls, and the
largest north of Durango. It is regularly laid out, but indifferently
built; containing five or six churches, of which the Paroque is
splendid, it being constructed of hewn stone, from base to spire.
The temple of Guadaloupe, is also elegant but smaller. The numerous
paintings, of course religious, which are suspended within, do honor
to the nation in the art of painting; they being according to my
taste, better executed, than the celebrated painting of Mr. West at
Philadelphia. This town seems to have been established by the Jesuits,
at an early day; and located to suit the convenience of the mining
country. There is yet remaining abundant evidence of their superior
skill and perseverance, in the arts of building, mining, &c. The place
now contains about thirty smelting furnaces, the most of which are
generally in blast, and which, in the course of the year separate
a great quantity of the precious metals. The most part of the ore
smelted at this place is brought from La Roche, some 150 miles, over
an exceedingly mountainous country. Their only mode of transportation
is on the back of mules, which are made to carry 300 lbs. each.
These loads produce from 25 to 50 and $100 each, according to their
quality. Price of smelting per load is $14; freight from 6 to $7. This
mineral is bought and sold at the mines, as an article of merchandise,
according to its purity. In regard to manufactures, there are few in
Chihuahua; and, I believe, not many north of the city of Mexico; though
in this place there is no lack of carpenters, shoemakers, hatters,
tailors, blacksmiths, jewellers and painters. But they are of the most
ordinary kind. The city is under municipal regulation. A board of
twelve Alcaldes, constituting a junta, execute justice, according to
common sense, and their notion of right and wrong, provided interest
or partiality do not happen to preside.--Law, I believe, is seldom
consulted in matters of common place litigation. They, however, have
higher tribunals to which appeals {278} can be taken, and by which
criminal causes are tried; but an appeal is almost an unheard of issue.
The _carcel_ or jail, abounds with old and young, male and female,
mostly committed under charges of theft, assassination and murder. The
court recently ventured to pass sentence of death on a man between 25
and 30 years of age, after having acknowledged that he had committed
ten murders; yet a great deal of commiseration was excited for his case
by the priests and lower orders of society. They have now a workhouse,
where all the lower classes of criminals are made to labor.

The lawyers are few, as likewise the physicians; the former are
commissioned by the general government, and allowed a salary of $2000.
Their province seems to be to expound the law, or rather decide, as
judges of it. All bonds, notes, agreements, &c. have to be passed under
the official seal; and cost, according to the value, from 6 1/4 cents
to eleven dollars, and the proceeds go to support the revenue. Every
village or settlement has its priest and alcalde. The former presides
over their morals, and arrogates to himself the dictatorship of their
consciences, while the latter wields the sceptre of civil justice, and
decrees, and executes with all the dignity of a governor. If parties
aggrieved enter a complaint, he dispatches a foot page with his
official cane, which is a process of compulsion, or _forthwith_; and in
case of non-compliance the party is made liable to a discretionary fine.

Although these modes of judicature may seem to us despotic yet they
constitute, no doubt, the most salutary system for that people. In
regard to their national constitution, they have copied it from ours,
or nearly so, excepting religious intolerance. This they are aware, is
anti-republican; and yet their universal and bigoted attachment to
this faith, and their peculiar situation in a civil, religious, and
military point of view, at the close of the revolution, seem to have
demanded it.

The constitution may be altered in the year 1830, by the concurrence
of two thirds of the members of congress; and at which time, it was
expected by many, with whom I conversed, an attempt {279} will be made
to tolerate all religious denominations.[139] Their sources of revenue
are the following; on all merchandize they impose an enormous duty. I
think according to their last assessment, this duty is from 15 to 50
per cent. according to the species of goods. Another very considerable
revenue accrues from the culture and manufacture of cigars. This
business is monopolized by the government, who furnish all parts of
the republic with this the greatest of their luxuries. To give an idea
of the quantity consumed in Chihuahua, and the adjacent villages, I
publish a note made at the time of my residence there, which states,
that on the 16th October, 1826, one caravan of mules brought to the
custom house, cigars valued at $95,000; and that a few days after,
another arrived and brought $25,000 more; and at the same time it
was remarked by good judges, that it was but about half the quantity
consumed in the year. This may be well imagined, when we consider, that
all smoke, both old and young, male and female. The duties arising
from the precious metals smelted, which are 2 per cent., amount to
something very considerable. All monies removed from one state to
another are liable to 2 per cent; and if taken out of the government,
another 3 1/2 per cent. Formerly each state claimed 2 or 3 per cent.
on all merchandize, sold within its limits; but this tax was repealed
more than a year ago; and was merged in the international duties. All
produce of the farm, as beef, pork, grain, fruit, vegetables, &c.
is subject to duty. And then comes the 'severest cut of all,' the
_tithes_. Thus the poor farmer may at once make up his mind to devote
himself a willing slave to the minions of superstition and credulity.
But oppression does not stop here. It may be traced through the minute
ramnifications of all social and religious intercourse. To explain
these bearings, it would be necessary to pause in these remarks, and
notice such characteristics, as compose, or help to compose, a body
politic; and which comprise a variety of materials, which directly
or indirectly influence the happiness or prove the bane of society.
In illustrating this hint, it will be necessary to pass in review a
subject, which, though variously {280} understood, is nevertheless
sacred to every Christian believer. I shall, therefore, aim at _due
deference_ for _every_ religious sect; and particularly that one, of
which I am about to speak. Its claim I am assuredly not disposed to
deny. But when I reflect on the situation of a people by nature free,
and as a body, endowed with all the moral and physical advantages to
make them great, wise, and happy, I can but enquire into the causes of
the great and obvious distress, which pervades this fair portion of our

During my residence with that people, no situation could be better
calculated than mine, to facilitate the objects of this enquiry. My
profession naturally led me into the sphere of intimacy and confidence,
which brought into view, the most generous and noble traits of the
human mind; while, at the same time, I was obliged to witness with
disgust, the thousand meannesses incident to human nature, which found
their way through all the avenues of avarice, prejudice, interest and

In the first place, we find them bound to observe all the enjoined
feast days, amounting to more than one hundred, during which, they
are not permitted to labor. Among these, Sundays are included. About
fifty days in the year are devoted nominally to their patron saints.
We will now suppose, that out of seven millions (the supposed amount
of the population in Mexico,) three sevenths are laborers, at the
moderate price of twenty-five cents per day, the loss would amount
to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and in the course of a
year, to thirty-seven million five hundred thousand dollars! Added
to this prodigality of time, no doubt some 12-1/2 cents at least
would be spent by each, by way of drinking, recreation, or otherwise,
which would amount to thirty thousand dollars per day, and for the
year, one million five hundred thousand dollars; making an aggregate
of thirty-nine millions of dollars of lost time in this way to the
community. Added to this sum, would be the expense of rockets,
illuminations, artificial bowers, church expenditures, civil and
military uniforms, and a thousand other collateral expenses, that grow
out of this established usage.

{281} This of itself would seem to be sufficient to impoverish a
nation. But we have yet to consider a few other items; such as pertain
to births, deaths, marriages, &c. &c. In regard to baptisms, I have
often witnessed them, but am unacquainted with the expense. The
ceremonies of a common marriage are not considered decent, unless
they cost one hundred dollars; burials about the same price, though
regulated by the style, number of priests, musicians, part of the
_campo sato_, in which the interment is made, and the number of masses
subsequently said, &c. The funeral rites of infants usually cost from
20 dollars upwards. The high or low cross makes a great difference in
the expense. All children who die before the age of accountability, are
considered (and, I think, very properly) to have taken their departure
for a better world. Hence the supposed propriety of festivity and
rejoicing at such obsequies, and a grave solemnity at those of adults.
The most exhilarating music is played at the house of the little
innocent sojourner, and also on the way to the potter's field, together
with discharge of rockets, accompanied by a rabble of boys, paupers,
mendicants and priests.

It may not be uninteresting to notice some few of these civil and
religious customs, inasmuch as they differ from our own; and border on
what our people are apt to consider a puerile superstition.

The greatest personage of their adoration, is called _Nuestra Senora
de Guadaloupe_, whom they esteem their patroness saint. She is said
to have appeared near the city of Mexico, soon after the conquest of
Cortez; calling herself by this name, and at the same time averring
herself to be the true Mary, mother of Jesus. Her appearance was made
to a poor Indian, who was civilized, and had some office in the church

He was by her ordered to go to the bishop of Mexico, and make known
to him the wonderful apparition, and deliver him the following verbal
message: 'That she had descended to the earth, the guardian protectress
of that happy nation. That a temple must be built to her name in the
vicinity of Mexico, where her {282} benign influence would be shed to
the healing of the nation.' This command seems to have much surprised
the poor native, who declined being the messenger of this heavenly
mission, alleging his lowness of birth, and the probability of his
being considered an impostor by the bishop, when stating a circumstance
so contrary to the common order of things. Whereupon she bade him not
fear, but do as she should command him; and that she would suitably
reward him. She then told him, that in order to convince the bishop,
that the message was from heaven, he must go on to a neighboring
mountain, where he should find in great abundance, a variety of
blossoms, which at that time of the year, it being winter, could
not naturally exist, and hence the evidence of a miracle. Many more
mysterious circumstances are related in the history of this renowned
personage, comprising a very considerable volume. But it is sufficient
to say, that the message was received, the temple erected on the spot
by her pointed out; and that she is now the object of devotion, and
made the principal object of their mediatorial rites.

The anniversary of her appearance is the 12th of December, when
a painting of her is taken from the temple, and carried to the
_paroguia_, followed by a promiscuous procession. The next day
she is returned to her temple; though there is always a duplicate
representative kept at the church, which is carried out to visit the
sick, and ward off disease. When any one falls sick, a greater or
lesser catalogue of painted and wax images surround the patient's bed,
which they almost incessantly implore.

Being naturally a credulous people, they place the most implicit
confidence in all superiors; but more particularly in the priests and
physicians. All such as are visited with sickness, usually meet with
ample hospitality and commiseration. As it is a generally received
opinion that the Spanish character is fraught with stealth, jealousy,
perfidy, rapine and murder, I feel it an incumbent duty to contradict,
or rather palliate it in a great measure. I grant, we find this a
predominant feature in the lower ranks of society, and too much
countenanced by the {283} higher order. But where is the country that
is not more or less afflicted in the same way? Even our own country is
not without crimes from these sources. Though they are not perpetrated
with impunity, they are suffered to rankle in the bosom of society. So,
while we there find the suspicious rabble of the community addicted to
these vices, we oftener find them here confined to those who assume
the importance of gentlemen, who openly or covertly practice their
crimes under the protection of the public countenance. The Spanish
Don is generally a high minded, honorable and dignified character,
who would not descend to meanness. Like all other nations, the people
here watch their interest with tenacity. But so far as my experience
goes, a respectable stranger meets with a hospitable reception, and
is often loaded with favour. Among the wealthy we not unfrequently
find the liberal heart and hand, to as great an extent as any other
part of America can boast. Another beautiful trait in their character
is a universal respect for seniority. Thus you find the elder brother
respected and obeyed; while the parents command the most profound
reverence to the end of their life. Common salutations are exceedingly
cordial and polite. An embrace with the head uncovered, is the usual
ceremony. If a servant is spoken to, he uncovers, before he makes his
reply. Thus you find the most illiterate heathen looking characters
among them, well versed in etiquette. The stranger is struck with the
great discrepancy of dress between the high and low classes; as the
former abounds more or less, with gold lace or rich embroidery, and the
latter, polished with smoke and grease, is little more than a blanket.

As a people they seem to me to possess less versatility of genius,
than perhaps, any other people. Such traditions as their forefathers
sanctioned, are in no case questioned; but remain incorporated with
their religion. All their manual labor appears to be conducted in the
ancient routine of almost savage simplicity; even their women, to
this day, are made the efficient instruments in reducing all their
maize to meal, of which their {284} bread is mostly constituted. Every
other process of labour is conducted with equal embarrassment and

Having thus far hinted at their customs, I shall have to consider the
country lying between Chihuahua and the mouth of the Rio del Norte,
both in a geographical and agricultural point of view. The reader will
understand, that there is a great sameness in most of the Mexican
Republic; as the general aspect is that of alternate low plains, high
mountains of barren heaths, interspersed with arid plains, that would
be productive, but for the want of seasonable rains, so necessary
to fertility.--Those mountains lying S. W. between Chihuahua and the
Pacific, are said to be much higher and more productive of timber,
having great supplies of rain.

But in travelling from Chihuahua to the Atlantic coast, we seldom
meet with water, more than once a day; and that furnished by trifling
streams, or springs; and frequently from deep wells, where live a few
shepherds, to water the flocks and sell water to passengers.

On almost all the streams, we find more or less inhabitants, according
to the advantages of water and soil. On the rivers St. Pedro, Conchez,
Guajaquilla, Parral, Napas, Parras, Pattas, Santa Catarina, &c. which
are very small streams, we find more or less agriculture, conducted by
irrigation, and for the most part, sufficient for the consumption of
the inhabitants of the immediate vicinity. But the mining towns are
mostly dependent on their supplies from abroad. Santa Cruz and St.
Pablo, sixty miles from Chihuahua, on the river St. Pedro, afford many
good farms. Parral, containing perhaps eight thousand, is altogether
a mining town. St. Bartolomeo and Guajaquilla, 180 miles south of
Chihuahua, containing two thousand souls, are mining villages, having
some wealthy European Spaniards, who were the proprietors of the mines,
but who were about to leave the country under the late law of expulsion.

In going from Mapimi to Parras, distance 120 miles, we cross Nassas, a
small river which soon loses itself in a little lake. After crossing
this river we enter extensive plains, as barren as {285} the deserts
of Arabia. It was in these I travelled three successive days, without
being able to procure my horses and mules a single feed, as the country
was literally dried up. At Parras I was delighted with the sudden
change of scene. I should suppose this place and St. Lorenzo, which
are contiguous, might contain six or eight thousand inhabitants, who
cultivate the grape in great abundance, supplying all the adjacent
country as far as Chihuahua and Durango with the articles of wine,
brandy, and all kinds of dried fruit. I here noticed one vineyard, of,
I should judge, 250 acres, owned by a young widow, which, together with
the other farming departments, occupied 200 laborers the year round.
From this place to Saltillio, distance 140 miles, we passed over a
broken and mostly sterile country. This is the tract purchased by the
house of Baring, London; said to contain 140, by not far from 200 miles
square, for which, I was informed by his principal overseer, living
at Pattas, he was to pay a little short of one million dollars, but
had paid 100,000, and refused further payment from some dispute about
the title. The haciendas are all worked under his direction. Saltillio
is situated at the head of a large valley, affording a beautiful
landscape, it being surrounded by a chain of picturesque mountains,
which enclose the city, and an expanded series of cultivated farms.
This place, I think something larger than Chihuahua, and better built,
constitutes the Parogue, which is supposed to be the best of its size
within the republic.

A great portion of the population of Saltillio, are civilized Indians.
They occupy a large suburb of the city, and merit no small applause for
their industry and ingenuity. I was delighted while passing their neat
and even elegant cottages. Their little enclosures appeared teeming
with verdure and fruit trees, which bespoke the frugal husbandman. I
was pleased to observe the remarkable difference between the dress of
these natives, and those of Chihuahua.

Here were similar fashions, but under an entirely different aspect;
the Indian women were all clad in blue petticoats, {286} a cotton
_camisas_, with bosom and sleeves ruffled; then thrown gracefully
over a blue and white striped _revoza_ or scarf, all of their own
manufacture. These revozas they likewise manufacture of the common
sewing silk, which they so variegate, as to throw their work, when
finished, into beautiful uniform, fancy figures. These are worth from
thirty to fifty dollars each.--Blankets are also made in a similar
manner and with equal elegance. Their apparatus for each consists of a
little more than a few rods and strings, with one end of their piece
fastened to a permanent stake, set in the ground; while the other is
fastened by a strap, that goes round their waist, that they constitute
at least half of the loom. Their position is that of a tailor, in which
they sit, and fill in the various and beautiful colors, according to
the sample before them.

I here met with several French and American merchants, though none
permanently settled. They were about leaving for Durango and Chihuahua.
I was also visited by an Italian, by the name of Don Jose Rose, who had
resided here for many years. It being Friday, the market was destitute
of meat, but said he, if there is any fish to be had, I shall expect
you to dine with me; and I will let you know accordingly. It was not
long before word came, that I should be expected precisely at 12
o'clock, and to bring my comrade with me. Accordingly, I waited on him
at the time appointed, and sat down to a dinner served up in excellent
style; and it concluded with a desert and wines of excellent quality.
This gentleman (some forty-five years of age) had never seen proper to
change a state of celibacy for that of a matrimonial life; but chose to
govern alone his peaceful domicil in single blessedness.

From Saltillio to Montelrey, 60 or 70 miles distance, we pass Rinconada
and Santa Catarina, which are small villages. The country is quite
broken, rocky and sterile. At Montelrey, I remained eight or ten
days. This place is about the same importance as Saltillio; but not
quite so populous.[140] They are both mostly built of stone; at this
place the mountains diminish; and extensive valleys commence, here
was a great abundance of {287} oranges and lemons in their prime. In
its vicinity the cane is cultivated largely, which supplies all the
country to Santa Fe with the article of sugar. It was worth at this
place from five to six cents per lb. according to quality. I also found
several French and American merchants residing here, who spoke of it
as only a tolerable place for business. I also became acquainted with
Col. Guttierez, former governor of Tamulipas, who now resides here
in command over the troops. He spoke of himself, as having been the
principal agent in the proscription of the Emperor Iturbide,[141] which
proceedings he gave me in detail; his appearance and manner clearly
indicate military enthusiasm and promptitude of decision. His volatile
and unsophisticated look and manner, reminded me of the celebrated
_Ringtail Panther of Missouri_. He certainly managed with great energy
at that eventful crisis, when the fate of the nation depended on the
decision of a moment.

From Montelrey to the coast the country lies exceedingly level,
abounding more or less with musquito bushes, black ebony, and many
other shrubs. In most part of the route the palm tree abounds, but
they are much larger from Saltillio east.--This tree seems to be of a
character, partaking of the shrub and plant in point of consistence,
and general appearance, growing from six to thirty feet high. The
Maguey, is a plant, that grows in many parts spontaneously, and from
which they derive a liquor, called _pulk_, which is much used in large
cities. They obtain this juice, by cutting off the plant, which is
from six inches to eighteen in diameter; and at the same time they
so excavate the stump, as that it will retain the juice, as it exudes
upwards. This is afterwards laded out, and suffered to ferment for use.
It is of this juice they make a kind of whiskey, called _vino meschal_.

Between Montelrey and the Rio del Norte, we passed a few small
villages, of which Cadarota was the most considerable, it being a great
sugar region. At Quemargo, we struck the del Norte, which I last saw at
El Passo, more than a thousand miles above. A great part of the river
between these two points traverses {288} a savage country. Quemargo
is something more than one hundred miles from the sea, and from which
place to Matamoras it is thinly settled.

The village of Matamoras, formerly called Refugio, is forty miles from
the harbour of Brassos Santiago;[142] and stands immediately on the
bank of the river, and is said to contain ten thousand inhabitants;
but, I should think, not more than eight thousand. There are some two
hundred Americans and French in this place, most of whom are merchants
and mechanics. They have erected several very good brick buildings,
and the place begins to wear the aspect of enterprise. There is a
company or two of Mexican troops stationed here, which make great ado
about nothing. A portion of them are kept at the Brassos, to protect
the Custom-House, and prevent smuggling. But Americans have seen too
much territory, to be deterred from saving 3 1/2 per cent. either by
stratagem or by bribery; both of which are easily practised with the
unconscionable Spaniard. In fact the American party is so strong in
that place, that they do as they please. The consul (Daniel W. Smith)
has great influence among them; as, whatever he says is law and gospel.

In regard to the harbour, it is both ample and safe, when once entered;
but of dangerous entrance, owing to the channel being shallow, say six
or eight feet water. It nevertheless commands considerable commerce
during the year. There has been little exported from this port, except
during the last two or three years. Since that, it has consisted mostly
of passengers and their money: many of the European Spaniards embarked
from this port, carrying with them large fortunes of silver and gold,
on which the ship masters impose a tax of one per cent. They likewise
export some hides, horns, mules, ebony, and some colouring woods. But
these exports bear but a small proportion to the amount of specie taken


We were removed scarcely a hundred miles from the scene, where was
witnessed, during the past winter, the downfall of the Fredonian
republic. The crash, however appalling in our ears, at that distance,
was hardly heard at Washington, and if some better historian than
ourselves, do not take the matter in hand, we fear that this
catastrophe will perish from history. Although we do not expect the
fame, and do not gird ourselves for the task of the historian of '_the
decline and fall of the Roman Empire_,' yet it was no unimportant
business of the _original fifteen_, who upreared the pillars of this
short lived empire.

The fine country of Texas beyond our western frontier, from its
peculiar configuration, its vast prairies, its long range of sea coast,
and its numerous rivers on the south, and its range of unexplored
mountains on the north, and from its peculiar position between the
settled countries of the United States on the one hand, and those of
the Mexican Republic, beyond the Rio del Norte, on the other, will
always be a resort for outlaws, and desperate speculators from our
country. Those who wish to get away from their conscience, and those
who have visions of a _paradise in the wild_, in short, the 'moving
generation' of the country will press to that region to find range.
Until the Rio del Norte be our boundary, or a Chinese wall rise between
the two states, or a continued line of military posts, interdicting
transit, be kept up, it will be the refuge of negro-stealers, and the
Elysium of rogues. During the past winter, it witnessed the rise and
fall of a republic, which numbered fifteen citizens, and endured fifty
days. They must allow us in this country, to have a wonderful faculty
to over-stocking all kinds {290} of markets, with the articles which we
furnish. Every profession has three aspirants for one that is needed.
We furnish more orations, than all the other people on the globe, and
we overdo, and parody every thing, that is great and noble.

We acknowledge, that the materials for this, our history, were no more
than the common parlance of the people, the passing conversations
of village news-mongers. We give as we have received. As we have
understood it, a Mr. Edwards was the Romulus of this new republic.[144]
He had somehow obtained, or imagined that he had obtained at Mexico
the conditional grant of some millions of acres, between the Sabine,
and the grant of Col. Austin.[145] We saw multitudes of emigrants
repairing to this land of promise. Among others, there was a Mr.
Chaplin, who, we believe, was a respectable man. He married a sister of
Edwards, a beautiful woman, over the events of whose life is spread no
small coloring of romance. Mr. Chaplin was appointed by Mr. Edwards,
the proprietor, and was elected by the people, chiefly Americans,
_Alcaide_, and commandant of Nacogdoches, the only place, that had any
resemblance to a town in the country.[146] It seems that the Mexicans
wanted to have a hand in the management of this business, and they
appointed another _Alcaide_, and commandant. Hence arose a feud, and a
collision of authorities between the old and the new '_residenters_.'
The warm blood of the emigrants was roused. Fifteen men, among them
Col. Ligon, a man whom we had known elsewhere, in a respectable office
and standing, took counsel from their free born minds, their stout
hearts, and probably from the added influence of the cheering essence
of the '_native_.' They repaired, on a set time, not without due pomp,
and as they say, under desperate apprehensions of enormous bodily harm,
to a stone house, the only one, we believe, of any consequence in the
village. Here they promulgated a declaration of independence, adopted
national banners and insignia, swore the customary oaths, pledged their
'lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor,' earnestly invoked the
aid of their fellow citizens in the {291} United States, formed their
constitution, and appointed their officers; and the offices were so
numerous, that, we believe, every citizen of the republic held at least
one. The aid of another republic, a band of renegade Cherokees, was
invoked with as much form, as Æneas used in soliciting the alliance
of Evander. The chief of these Indians was introduced under the most
imposing formalities. Among the names of the Cherokee plenipotentiaries
we observe the name of the thrice-famous _John Dunn Hunter_.[147]

The Fredonians had expected aid from Col. Austin's settlement, about
two hundred miles south west of them, on the Brassos and Colorado.
Not a few of the people of this colony were disposed to give in their
adhesion to the new republic. But the shrewd Col. Austin was aware, on
which side of the bread the butter lay, and he remained staunch in his
loyalty to his adopted country. He issued a thundering proclamation,
not unlike Gen. Hull's on the invasion of Canada, inviting his people
to range themselves under the standard of the Mexican government. The
Cherokee chain parted its links, like _a rope of sand_. The '_fifteen_'
had inadvertently caused the death of one man, and otherwise shed some
blood by dint of fist. Some of their more provident men said with the
famous Dutch refugee,

    'Timens lædi,
    His posteriora dedi.'

In other words, made the best of their way east of the Sabine. The
Mexicans embodied a small creole force, regained the '_stone house_,'
and over-took some of the Fredonians, wisely treating them with a
lenity, which rather savoured of contempt.

Some of the first magistrates of the fallen republic, on regaining the
eastern shore of the Sabine, betook themselves to school-keeping, like
Dyonisius, exchanging the sceptre for a rod. The Spanish vacher cracks
his thong, as sonorously, and as carelessly, as before, and the surface
of the vast prairies is at rest, like that of a lake, a few minutes
after a projected stone has ruffled its sleeping waters. '_Sic transit
gloria mundi_.'

{292} MEXICO


[Extracted from the Universal Geography.][148]

_Moral qualities of the_ INDIANS.--In his present condition,
the Mexican Indian is grave, melancholy, and taciturn, as long as he
is not under the influence of intoxicating liquors. This gravity is
particularly remarkable in the children of Indians, who, at the early
age of four or five years, display infinitely greater intelligence
and development of mind than the children of whites. They delight in
throwing an air of mystery over their most trifling remarks. Not a
passion manifests itself in their features. At all times sombre, there
is something terrific in the change, when he passes all at once from
a state of absolute repose to violent and ungovernable agitation. The
energy of his character, to which every shade of softness is unknown,
habitually degenerates into ferocity. This is especially the case with
the inhabitants of Tlascala. In the midst of their degradation, the
descendants of these republicans are still distinguished by a certain
haughtiness with which they are inspired by the remembrance of their
former greatness. The indigenous natives of Mexico, like all other
nations who have long groaned under civil and religious despotism, are
attached, with an extreme degree of obstinacy, to their habits, their
manners, and their opinions.

_Assimilation of their Religious Belief._--The introduction of
Christianity among them has scarcely produced any other effect than
merely substituting new ceremonies, the symbols of a mild and
humane religion,--for the ceremonies of a sanguinary worship. From
the earliest periods, semibarbarous {293} nations have received new
laws, and new divinities from the hands of their conquerors. The
indigenous and vanquished gods give place to foreign deities. Indeed,
in a mythology so complicated as that of the Mexicans, it was easy
to discover an affinity between the divinities of Atzlan and those
of the east. The Holy Spirit, for instance, was identified with the
sacred eagle of the Aztecs. The missionaries not only tolerated, they
even favored this mixture of ideas, by which the Christian worship
became more speedily established. The English collector, Mr. Bullock,
readily obtained leave from the clergy and authorities, in 1823, to
disinter and take casts from the image of the sanguinary goddess
_Teoyamiqui_.[149] During the time it was exposed, he adds, "the court
of the University was crowded with people, most of whom expressed the
most decided anger and contempt. Not so, however, all the Indians. I
attentively marked their countenances; not a smile escaped them, or
even a word--all was silence and attention. In reply to a joke of one
of the students, an old Indian remarked, 'It is true we have three very
good Spanish gods, but we might still have been allowed to keep a few
of those of our ancestors.' I was informed that chaplets of flowers had
been placed on the figure by natives, who had stolen thither unseen,
in the evening, for that purpose; a proof that notwithstanding the
extreme diligence of the Spanish clergy for 300 years, there still
remains some taint of heathen superstition among the descendants of
the original inhabitants." Yet it was, probably, a nobler impulse than
superstition that wove the chaplet for the statue of Teoyamiqui; rather
that mystery of nature, by which she links the present to the past
with veneration, and to the future with anxiety,--that awful reverence
with which the rudest nations look back to their origin and ancestors,
and which even now, among the most enlightened, still consecrates the
relics of Montmorillon and Stonehenge.

_Their talent for Painting and Sculpture._--The Mexicans have preserved
a particular taste for painting and for the art of carving on stone
and wood. It is truly astonishing to see what {294} they are capable
of executing with a bad knife, upon the hardest wood and stone. They
exercise themselves in painting the images, and carving the statues
of saints; but from a religious principle, they have continued too
servilely intimate for 300 years, the models which the Europeans
brought with them at the period of the original conquest. In Mexico
as well as in Hindoostan, the faithful are not allowed to make the
smallest change in their idols; every thing connected with the rites of
the Aztecs was subjugated to immutable laws. It is on this very account
that the Christian images have preserved in some degree, that stiffness
and hardness of feature which characterised the hieroglyphical pictures
of the age of Montezuma. They display a great deal of aptitude for the
exercise of the arts of imitation, and still greater for those of a
purely mechanical nature.

_Want of Imagination._--When an Indian has attained a certain degree
of cultivation, he shows great facility of acquiring information,
a spirit of accuracy and precision, and a particular tendency to
subtilize, or to seize on the minutest differences in objects that are
to be compared with each other. He reasons coldly and with method;
but he does not evince that activity of imagination, that lively
freshness of sentiment, that art of creating and of producing, which
characterises the people of Europe, and many tribes of African negroes.
The music and dancing of the indigenous natives partake of that want
of cheerfulness which is so peculiar to them. Their singing is of a
melancholy description. More vivacity, however, is observed in their
women than in their men; but they share the evils of that state of
subjection to which the sex is condemned among most of those nations
where civilization is still imperfect. In the dance women take no part;
they are merely present for the sake of offering to the dancers the
fermented drinks which they themselves had prepared.

_Their taste for Flowers._--The Mexican Indians have likewise preserved
the same taste for flowers that Cortez noticed in his time. We are
astonished to discover this taste, which, doubtless, {295} indicates a
taste for the beautiful, among a people in whom a sanguinary worship,
and the frequency of human sacrifices, appear to have extinguished
every feeling connected with sensibility of mind and the softer
affections. In the great market of Mexico, the native does not even
sell fish, or ananas, or vegetables, or fermented liquor, without his
shop being decked out with flowers, which are renewed every succeeding
day. The Indian shopkeeper appears seated behind a perfect entrenchment
of verdure, and every thing around him wears an air of the most refined

_Wild Indians._--The Indian hunters, such as the _Mecos_, the
_Apaches_, and the _Lipans_, whom the Spaniards comprehend under the
denomination of _Indios bravos_, and whose hordes, in their incursions,
which are often made during night, infest the frontiers of New Biscay,
Sonora, and New Mexico, evince more activity of mind, and more strength
of character, than the agricultural Indians. Some tribes have even
language, the mechanism of which appears to prove the existence of
ancient civilization. They have great difficulty in learning our
European idioms, while, at the same time, they express themselves
in their own with an extreme degree of facility. These same Indian
chiefs, whose gloomy taciturnity astonishes the observer, will hold a
discourse of several hours, whenever any strong interest rouses them to
break their habitual silence.

_Prerogatives of the_ WHITES.--The greater or less quantity
of European blood, and the skin being more or less clear, are at once
decisive of the consideration which a man enjoys in society and of the
opinion which he entertains of himself. A white who rides barefooted,
fancies that he belongs to the nobility of the country. Colour even
establishes a certain equality between those who, as every where
happens where civilization is either a little advanced, or in a state
of retrograde movement, take pleasure in refining on the prerogatives
of race and origin.--When an individual of the lower orders enters
into a dispute with one of the titled lords of the country, it is
no unusual thing {296} to hear him exclaim to the nobleman, "It is
possible that you really thought yourself whiter than I am?" Among the
Metis and Mulattoes, there are many individuals who, by their colour,
their physiognomy, and their intelligence, might be confounded with the
Spaniards; but the law keeps them down in a state of degradation and
contempt. Possessing an energetic and ardent character, these men of
colour live in a state of constant irritation against the whites; and
resentment too often hurries them into vengeance. It frequently occurs,
too, that families who are suspected of being of mixed blood, claim,
at the high court of justice, a declaration that they appertain to the
whites. In this way, very dark colored Mulattoes have had the address
to get themselves _whitened_, according to the popular expression.
When the judgment of the senses is too palpably in opposition to the
solicitations of the applicant, he is forced to content himself with
somewhat problematical terms; for, in that case, the sentence simply
states, that "such and such individuals may _consider themselves as

NEW-MEXICO.--Many French writers, and, among others, the Abbe
Raynal, have spoken in pompous terms of what they term the _Empire
of New-Mexico_;[150] and they boast of its extent and riches. Under
this denomination they appear to comprehend all the countries between
California and Louisiana. But the true signification of this term is
confined to a narrow province which, it is true, is 175 leagues in
length, but not more than thirty or forty in breadth.

_Towns._--This stripe of country, which borders the Rio del Norte, is
thinly peopled; the town of _Santa Fe_ containing 4000 inhabitants;
_Albuquerque_, 6000; and _Taos_, 9000, comprise almost one-half of the
population. The other half consists of poor colonists, whose scattered
hamlets are frequently ravaged by the powerful tribes of Indians who
surround them, and overrun the province. It is true that the soil is
amongst the finest and most fertile of Spanish America.

_Productions._--Wheat, maize, and delicious fruits, especially {297}
grapes, grow most abundantly. The environs of _Passo-del-Norte_,
produce the most generous wines. The mountains are covered with pine
trees, maples, and oaks. Beasts of prey are met with in great numbers.
There are also wild sheep, and particularly elks, or at least large
deer, fully the size of a mule, with extremely long horns. According
to the Dictionary of _Alcedo_,[151] mines of tin have been discovered.
There are several hot springs. Rivers with a saline taste, indicate the
existence of rich beds of rock-salt.

_Mountains._--The chain of mountains that border the eastern parts of
New Mexico, seem to be of a moderate degree of elevation. There is a
pass through them, called the _Puerto de don Fernando_, by which the
Paducas have penetrated into New Mexico.[152] Beyond this chain extend
immense natural meadows, on which buffaloes and wild horses pasture
in innumerable herds. The Americans of the United States hunt these
animals, and sometimes pursue them to the very gates of Santa Fe. The
principal mountains coast Rio del Norte, following its western banks.
Some peaks, or _cerros_, are to be distinguished. Further to the north,
in the country of _Nabaho_, the map of Don Alzate has traced mountains
with flat summits, denominated in Spanish _mesas_, that is, _tables_.

_The Apache Indians._--The _Apache_ Indians originally inhabited the
greater part of New Mexico, and are still a warlike and industrious
nation. These implacable enemies of the Spaniards infest the whole
eastern boundary of this country, from the black mountains to the
confines of Cohahuila, keeping the inhabitants of several provinces
in an incessant state of alarm.--There has never been any thing
but short skirmishes with them, and although their number has been
considerably diminished by wars and frequent famine, the Spaniards are
obliged constantly to keep up an establishment of 2000 dragoons, for
the purpose of escorting their caravans, protecting their villages,
and repelling these attacks, which are perpetually renewed. At first
the {298} Spaniards endeavoured to reduce to slavery those who, by
the fate of war, fell into their hands; but seeing them indefatigably
surmount every obstacle that opposed their return to their dear native
mountains, their conquerors adopted the expedient of sending their
prisoners to the island of Cuba, where, from the change of climate,
they speedily perished. No sooner were the Apaches informed of this
circumstance than they refused any longer either to give or receive
quarter. From that moment none have ever been taken prisoners, except
those who are surprised asleep, or disabled during the combat.

_Manner of making war._--The arrows of the Apaches are three feet
long, and are made of reed or cane, into which they sink a piece of
hard-wood, with a point made of iron, bone, or stone. They shoot
this weapon with such force, that at the distance of 300 paces they
can pierce a man. When the arrow is attempted to be drawn out of the
wound, the wood detaches itself, and the point remains in the body.
Their second offensive weapon is a lance, fifteen feet long. When they
charge the enemy they hold this lance with both hands above their head,
and, at the same time, guide their horse by pressing him with their
knees. Many of them are armed with firelocks, which, as well as the
ammunition, have been taken in battle from the Spaniards, who never
sell them any. The archers and fusileers combat on foot but the lancers
are always on horseback. They make use of a buckler for defence.
Nothing can equal the impetuosity and address of their horsemen. They
are thunderbolts, whose stroke it is impossible to parry or escape.

We must cease to feel astonished at the invincible resistance which the
Apaches oppose to the Spaniards, when we reflect on the fate to which
they have subjected those other Indians who have allowed themselves to
be converted.

_The Intendency of Mexico._--The intendency of _Mexico_, the principal
province of the Empire of Montezuma, formerly extended from one sea to
the other; but the district of _Panuco_, {299} having been separated
from it, it no longer reaches the gulf of Mexico. The eastern part,
situated on the plateau, contains several valleys of a round figure;
in the centre of which there are lakes at present dried up, but waters
appear formerly to have filled these basins. Dry and deprived of its
wood, this plateau is at once subject to an habitual aridity, and to
sudden inundations, occasioned by heavy rains and the melting of the
snow. Generally speaking, the temperature is not so hot as it is in
Spain; in fact, it enjoys a perpetual spring. The mountains with which
it is surrounded still abound in cedars and other lofty trees, in
gums, drugs, salts, metallic productions, marble and precious stones.
The flat country is covered the whole year through with delicate and
exquisite fruits, lint, hemp, cotton, tobacco, aniseed, sugar, and
cochineal, with which they support an extensive commerce.

_Natural Curiosities._--Besides the numerous volcanoes of which we have
already spoken, some natural curiosities are met with. One of the most
remarkable is the _Ponte-Dios_, or the bridge of God, a rock, under
which the water has hollowed itself a canal, situated about one hundred
miles to the southeast of Mexico, near the village of Molcaxac, on the
deep river Aquetoyac. Along this natural bridge, the traveller may
continue his journey as if he were on a high road. Several cataracts
present a romantic appearance. The great cavern of Dante, traversed
by a river; the porphyritic organ-pipes of Actopan; and many other
singular objects excite the astonishment of the traveller in this
mountainous region, where he is obliged to cross foaming rivers upon
bridges formed of the fruit of the _Crescentia pinnata_, tied together
with ropes of Agava.

_City of Mexico._--On the very ridge of the great Mexican plateau, a
chain of porphyritic mountains encloses an oval valley, the general
level of which is elevated 6700 feet above the surface of the ocean.
Five lakes fill the middle of this valley. To the north of the united
lakes of Xochimilco, and Chalco, on the eastern side of the lake
Tezcuco, once stood the ancient {300} city of _Mexico_, to which the
traveller arrived by causeways constructed on the shallow bottom of the
lake. The new city, although placed on the same spot, is situated on
firm ground, and at a considerable distance from the lakes, the waters
of which have retired, and the town is still intersected by numerous
canals, and the public edifices are erected on piles. The draining of
the lakes is further continued, by means of a canal which has been
opened for that purpose, through the mountains of Sincoq, in order to
protect the town from inundations. In many places however, the ground
is still soft, and some buildings, amongst others the cathedral, have
sunk six feet. The streets are wide and straight, but badly paved.
The houses present a magnificent appearance, being built of porphyry
and amygdaloid. Several palaces and private mansions have a majestic
effect, and its churches glitter with metallic riches. The cathedral
surpasses, in this respect, all the churches in the world; the
ballustrade which surrounds the great altar being composed of massive
silver. A lamp of the same metal, is of so vast a size that three men
go into it when it has to be cleaned; and it is enriched with lions'
heads, and other ornaments, of pure gold. The statues of the Virgin
and the saints are either made of solid silver, or richly gilded, and
ornamented with precious stones. Palaces, mansions of great families,
beautiful fountains, and extensive squares, adorn the interior of
this city. To the north, near the suburbs, is the principal public
promenade, or _Alameda_. Round this walk flows a rivulet, forming a
fine square, in the middle of which there is a basin with a fountain.
Eight alleys of trees terminate here, in the figure of a star. But
in consequence of an unfortunate proximity, immediately in front of
alameda, the eye discovers the _Quemadero_, a place where Jews and
other victims of the terrible Inquisition, were burned alive.



[1] Timothy Flint (1780-1840) was a native of Reading, Massachusetts.
Graduated from Harvard College (1800), he became a Congregational
minister, and in 1815 went as a missionary to the Far West. Until
1822 his headquarters were at St. Charles, Missouri; in that year he
descended the Mississippi in a flatboat and settled in Louisiana,
conducting a seminary on Lake Pontchartrain. Ill health compelled him
to return to the North (1825), and thereafter he gave his attention
to literature. For three years he edited the _Western Review_ at
Cincinnati; but later, removing to New York (1833), conducted the
_Knickerbocker Magazine_. In addition to publishing a number of
romances and biographies of Western life, he was the author of two
well-known books on the West: _Recollections of the Last Ten Years
Passed in the Valley of the Mississippi_ (1826), and _Condensed History
and Geography of the Western States_ (1828).--ED.

[2] Josiah Stoddard Johnston was born in Salisbury, Connecticut
(1784), but when a small boy removed with his parents to Washington,
Kentucky. He was graduated from Transylvania University (1805), and
soon after began the practice of law in Alexandria, a frontier village
of Louisiana. Gaining reputation as a lawyer, he served as district
judge from 1812-21, was elected to the 17th congress, and in 1823
became a member of the federal senate, where he supported a protective
tariff and the other measures advocated by Henry Clay. In 1833,
Johnston was killed in the explosion of the steamboat "Lyon," on Red

[3] James Riley (born in Connecticut, 1777, died at sea, 1840) was
a sea captain, who experienced some romantic adventures. In 1815 he
sailed from Hartford on the brig "Commerce," was shipwrecked on the
coast of Africa, and for eighteen months held as a slave by the Arabs
until ransomed by the British consul at Mogadove. In 1817, Anthony
Bleecker published from Riley's journals _An Authentic Narrative of the
Loss of the American Brig Commerce, on the Western Coast of Africa, in
the Month of August, 1815 ... with a Description of Tombuctoo_. The
book had a wide circulation both in England and America, but until
other survivors of the vessel returned and confirmed the account, was
popularly supposed to be fictitious. In 1821 Riley settled in Van Wert
County, Ohio, founding the town of Willshire, and in 1823 was elected
to the legislature. He resumed a seafaring life (1831), and an account
of his later voyages and adventures was published by his son (Columbus,

[4] This station, five miles northeast of Lexington, had been
established in 1779 by four Bryan (later, Bryant) brothers from North
Carolina, one of whom married a sister of Daniel Boone. It contained
about forty cabins in 1782 when, August 16, it was attacked by a force
of Canadians and Indians under the leadership of Simon Girty. Failing
to draw the men out of the stockade, as had been planned, the Indians
besieged the station until the following day, when they withdrew. For
a full account, see Ranck, "Story of Bryant's Station," Filson Club
_Publications_, xii.--ED.

[5] For a brief sketch of Colonel Benjamin Logan, see A. Michaux's
_Travels_, volume iii of our series, p. 40, note 34.--ED.

[6] An account of the battle of the Blue Licks may be found in Cuming's
_Tour_, in our volume iv, pp. 176, 177.--ED.

[7] This expedition, to avenge the battle of the Blue Licks and the
attack on Bryant's Station, rendezvoused at the mouth of the Licking. A
force of a thousand mounted riflemen under George Rogers Clark marched
thence against the Shawnee towns in the neighborhood of the present
Chillicothe. These were completely destroyed, the expedition meeting
with no resistance.--ED.

[8] A footnote cannot do justice to the services of General George
Rogers Clark in Western history. Born in Albemarle County, Virginia
(1752), he became a surveyor on the upper Ohio. Serving in Dunmore's
campaign in 1774, the following year he settled in Kentucky. Returning
to Virginia to urge upon the legislature the conquest of the Illinois
territory, he was made a lieutenant-colonel and authorized to raise
troops for the undertaking. June 24, 1778, he set out from the Falls
of the Ohio, upon his memorable campaign, capturing Kaskaskia July 4,
and Vincennes the following February. See Thwaites, _How George Rogers
Clark won the Northwest, etc._ (Chicago, 1903). The attack upon the
Shawnee towns in 1782 was his last important work; an expedition up
the Wabash against Detroit, was undertaken in 1786; but part of the
troops mutinied, and Clark was forced to turn back before reaching
his destination. He died at his sister's home, "Locust Grove," near
Louisville, in February, 1818.--ED.

[9] The war with the Sauk and Foxes was part of the general War of
1812-15. These Indians had in 1804 signed a treaty at St. Louis, by
which they surrendered all their lands in Illinois and Wisconsin. But
the cession was repudiated by the Rock River band of the united tribes,
who eagerly joined with the British in the hope of saving their hunting
grounds. The noted warrior Black Hawk accepted a commission in the
British army.--ED.

[10] For the early history of St. Charles, see Bradbury's _Travels_,
volume v of our series, p. 39, note 9.--ED.

[11] Cap-au-Gris is situated on the Mississippi a few miles above the
mouth of Cuivre River. In 1812 Fort Howard was erected near that point,
for the protection of the Missouri frontier; its name was in honor of
the governor, Benjamin Howard. Fort Howard was a shipping port of some
importance until the advent of the railroads into that region, but it
now exists only in name. The event here related was an attack upon Fort
Howard by Black Hawk and his band, immediately after the siege of Fort
Meigs (July, 1813).--ED.

[12] Fort Bellefontaine was established (1805) by General James
Wilkinson, governor of Louisiana, on the site of an old Spanish fort
named Charles the Prince. It was on the Missouri River, four miles
above its junction with the Mississippi, and was occupied by United
States troops until the construction of Jefferson Barracks in 1827.
For further details, see Thwaites, _Original Journals of the Lewis and
Clark Expedition_, v, p. 392, note 2.--ED.

[13] Thomas McNair was a son of Robert, a blacksmith living at Troy,
about eighteen miles west of Cap-au-Gris; and a nephew of Alexander
McNair, governor of Missouri (1820-24). The family had emigrated to St.
Louis from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, about 1800.--ED.

[14] As Pattie obtained his discharge in 1813, he must have yielded his
command to Lieutenant John McNair, brother of Thomas, who was stationed
at Cap-au-Gris during the latter part of the war. See Goodspeed,
_History of Lincoln County, Missouri_ (Chicago, 1888), p. 224.

The Sauk and Foxes signed a treaty of peace in May, 1816, wherein
they acknowledged the cession of 1804; but the consequent removal
across the Mississippi was one of the causes of the Black Hawk War

[15] Gasconade River rises in southern Missouri, and flowing northeast
empties into the Missouri about a hundred miles above the latter's
junction with the Mississippi.--ED.

[16] Newport, now Dundee, is a small town on the Missouri, at the mouth
of Buffalo Creek, some sixty miles above St. Louis.--ED.

[17] This was an important place during the fur-trading era. It was
more commonly known as Bellevue, and was situated about nine miles
above the mouth of the Platte. The first post was established about
1810, and soon passed into the control of the Missouri Fur Company,
under Joshua Pilcher--hence the name of Pilcher's Post. For a sketch of
Pilcher, see James's _Long's Expedition_, in our volume xiv, p. 269,
note 193.--ED.

[18] Chariton was about two hundred and twenty miles up the Missouri,
at the mouth of Chariton River. In 1818 the sale of government land
began in that region, and the town sprang up with extraordinary
rapidity. Many lots in St. Louis were exchanged for lots in Chariton,
but the site of the latter is now a farm.--ED.

[19] This was Cabanne's Post, nine or ten miles (by land) above Omaha.
It was established about 1822 for the American Fur Company, by J. P.
Cabanne. He remained in charge until 1833, and soon thereafter the
company moved its trading station to Bellevue.--ED.

[20] Silvester Pratte was born in St. Louis (1799), the son of Bernard
Pratte, a partner in the American Fur Company. He did not return from
this expedition, but died in New Mexico; see _post_.--ED.

[21] For the early history of Council Bluffs, see Brackenridge's
_Journal_, volume vi of our series, p. 78, note 28.--ED.

[22] For Elkhorn River, see James's _Long's Expedition_, in our volume
xiv, p. 240, note 182.--ED.

[23] For the Pawnee Indians, consult Brackenridge's _Journal_, in our
volume vi, p. 61, note 17.--ED.

[24] This is not the stream now known as the Little Platte, for which
see James's _Long's Expedition_, in our volume xiv, p. 174, note 141.
Possibly it was Maple Creek, a stream which rises in the southern
part of Stanton County, Nebraska, and flowing westward through Dodge
County joins the Elkhorn nearly opposite the town of Fontenelle. At
the time of Major Long's expedition (1820), all the Pawnee villages
were situated within a few miles of each other, on the Loup fork of the
Platte (see volume xv of our series, pp. 144-149), while Pattie finds a
Republican Pawnee village within a day's march of the Elkhorn. Probably
this was but a temporary village, as Colonel Henry Dodge (1835) and
later travellers describe the location on the main Platte (see _Senate
Doc._, 24 Cong., 1 sess., 209). Pattie is also the only person who
mentions more than one Republican Pawnee village. It seems likely
that he erroneously classed as Republican the other Pawnee villages,
excepting that of the Loups (which he mentions separately)--namely, the
Grand and the Tapage villages.--ED.

[25] The definiteness with which Pattie gives his dates, lends to
his account an appearance of accuracy, which an examination of the
narrative does not sustain. By his own enumeration of days after
leaving Council Bluffs, this should be August 8. There is no indication
that Pattie kept a journal, or that he wrote any account of his travels
before reaching California.--ED.

[26] For the Pawnee Loups see Bradbury's _Travels_, volume v of our
series, p. 78, note 44. An account of the visit of the Pawnee chiefs to
Washington may be found in Faux's _Journal_, volume xii of our series,
pp. 48-52.--ED.

[27] This is the golden eagle (_Aquila chrysaëtos_). The tail-feathers
are about a foot long, and were especially prized by the Indians for
decorative purposes.--ED.

[28] This animal is not, correctly speaking, an antelope, but
constitutes a separate family. The scientific name, _Antilocapra
americana_, was assigned to it (1818) by the naturalist Ord, upon data
furnished by Lewis and Clark.--ED.

[29] For the Cheyenne Indians, see Bradbury's _Travels_, volume v of
our series, p. 140, note 88.--ED.

[30] Pattie is altogether too far north and west to meet the Osage
River. The distance from the Platte makes it fairly certain that he was
on the Republican fork of the Kansas. This stream rises in Colorado,
and flows eastward across the arid plains of southern Nebraska as far
as longitude 98°; it there enters the state of Kansas, and following a
southeasterly course unites with the Smoky Hill River at Junction City,
to form the Kansas. Its name arose from the fact that the village of
the Republican Pawnee was located upon it until about 1815, when these
tribesmen joined the Pawnee upon the Platte.--ED.

[31] For a brief description of the Arikara Indians, see Bradbury's
_Travels_, volume v of our series, p. 127, note 83.--ED.

[32] Pattie's geography is confused by his apparent ignorance of the
Kansas and its branches. Hyde Park is probably a tributary of the
Republican--possibly Beaver Creek, which rises in western Kansas and
flowing northeasterly discharges into the Republican in Harlan County,

[33] The journals of Lewis and Clark contain a good description
of the prairie dog (_Cynomys_ or _arctomys ludovicianus_). See
Thwaites, _Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_,

[34] A short account of the Crow Indians may be found in Bradbury's
_Travels_, in our volume v, p. 226, note 121.--ED.

[35] Pattie is still among the tributaries of the Kansas. This must be
the dividing ridge between the sources of the Republican and Smoky Hill

[36] This is the grizzly bear (_Ursus horribilis_), described
satisfactorily for the first time by Lewis and Clark, who also called
it the white bear.--ED.

[37] Smoky Hill River, the main southern fork of the Kansas, takes its
rise in Colorado, and receiving numerous tributaries in its eastward
course of nearly four hundred miles, unites with the Republican, to
form the Kansas, about one hundred and twenty miles from the mouth of
the latter.--ED.

[38] In Cheyenne County, Colorado.--ED.

[39] For the Comanche Indians, see James's _Long's Expedition_, in our
volume xvi, p. 233, note 109.--ED.

[40] Ietans (Iotans) is another name for the Comanche, the latter being
originally the Spanish appellation. See James's _Long's Expedition_, in
our volume xiv, p. 223, note 179.--ED.

[41] The Navaho Indians are closely related to the Apache, both
belonging to the Athabascan family. At this time they numbered nearly
ten thousand people, their territory being west of the Rio del Norte,
between the San Juan River and latitude 35°. Their manner of life was
more settled than that of the Comanche and Apache; and the blankets
they manufacture have gained a wide notoriety. They are now located,
to the number of about one thousand five hundred, on the Navaho
reservation in northwest New Mexico.--ED.

[42] Manifestly a slip, since the subsequent dates show that it was the
fifth of October.--ED.

[43] For the Cimarron River, see Nuttall's _Journal_, volume xiii of
our series, p. 263, note 203.--ED.

[44] San Fernandez de Taos was one of two small Spanish towns in the
fertile valley of Taos, about seventy-five miles northeast of Santa Fé.
This valley formed the Mexican boundary for those who came up Arkansas
River, and crossed to New Mexico from the north. The first Spaniard
to settle in Taos valley, so far as records show, came about the
middle of the eighteenth century; for his story, see Gregg's _Commerce
of the Prairies_, in our volume xx. Fernandez de Taos is at present
the seat for Taos County, with a population of fifteen hundred. See
_Report of the Governor of New Mexico to the Secretary of the Interior_
(Washington, 1903), p. 287.

The Indian pueblo of Taos, discovered in 1541 by Barrionuevo, one
of Coronado's lieutenants, lies about three miles northwest of San
Fernandez, and has had a varied history. A Franciscan mission was
established here before 1617, when was built the church which suffered
bombardment from the American army in 1847. The great Pueblo revolt of
1680 was largely fomented at Taos; and again, in 1837, a half-breed
from Taos, José Gonzales, was the leader of a revolt against the
Mexican government. There is still a community of Indians at this
pueblo, where in 1847 the final stand was made against Price's

[45] The Rio del Norte rises in the San Juan mountains, in southwestern
Colorado. Closely hemmed in by mountains, it flows almost directly
south as far as El Paso, where it reaches the plains and thence forms
the western boundary of Texas. From El Paso it is called the Rio
Grande, or Rio Bravo.--ED.

[46] Pattie could not have passed the town of Albuquerque, as that
is seventy-five miles south of Santa Fé. He probably means Abiquiu,
a town on the Chama, a western affluent of the Rio del Norte, and
on the well-known trail leading from Santa Fé to Los Angeles,
California. Pike passed down the valley of the Rio del Norte (1807),
and his descriptions of places and of Mexico are as a whole valuable.
See Coues, _Expeditions of Zebulon M. Pike_ (New York, 1895),

[47] This was the mission of St. Thomas de Abiquiu.--ED.

[48] Santa Fé is one of the oldest towns within the present limits of
the United States. The site was first visited by Coronado in 1541; but
the founding of the town was the work of Oñate, who established the
colony of New Mexico in 1598. The date of the founding of Santa Fé
is uncertain, owing to the destruction of the records by the revolt
of 1680; but it was sometime between 1605 and 1609. By 1630, Santa
Fé had one thousand inhabitants; its first church was built on the
site of the present cathedral, in 1622-27; the ancient governmental
palace, still existing, dates from the seventeenth century. In 1680 the
Spaniards were expelled, but twelve years later returned under Diego de
Vargas. From that time to the present, Santa Fé has been continuously
inhabited. In the eighteenth century, French traders found their way
thither, and by the early nineteenth the American trade began. In 1822,
the Mexican standard was raised over the town, and in 1846 General
Stephen W. Kearny secured its surrender to the United States. Santa
Fé has always been the capital of the territory. It has now (1905) a
population of about eight thousand. At the time of Pattie's visit the
governor of New Mexico, the first under republican rule, was Bartolome

[49] The Rio Pecus is the largest branch of the Rio Grande. Rising in
the Santa Fé mountains immediately east of Santa Fé, and following a
south-southeast course for about eight hundred miles, it enters the Rio
Grande in latitude 29° 41'. The name is derived from an old pueblo,
situated on one of the mountain tributaries about twenty-five miles
southeast of Santa Fé. In 1540 this was the largest Indian village in
New Mexico, containing a population of about two thousand souls; but
the United States troops in 1846 found it desolate and in ruins. A
small modern village has grown up near the ancient site.--ED.

[50] This small town, presumably to the east of Santa Fé, cannot be the
well-known San Juan, on the Rio del Norte opposite the mouth of the
Chama River and about thirty miles north of Santa Fé. This latter San
Juan was made the capital of New Mexico by Oñate in 1598-99, and so
remained until the founding of Santa Fé.--ED.

[51] "The Gila was known to the whites before the Mississippi
was discovered; it was long better known than the Rio Grande and
down to the present century was far better known than the Rio
Colorado."--(Coues, _Expeditions of Zebulon M. Pike_, ii, p. 374.) The
first name, Rio del Nombre de Jesus, was given to it by Oñate in 1604;
the present name dates from 1697. The stream heads in the mountains of
western New Mexico, and traversing Arizona empties into the Colorado
at Fort Yuma (32° 43' north latitude). See _post_, notes 54,

[52] This name, meaning succor, was given by Oñate to the Indian pueblo
of Teipana, about eighty miles south of Albuquerque, because of the
supplies of maize furnished by the inhabitants on his expedition up the
Rio del Norte (1598-99). The old pueblo was destroyed in 1681, and the
modern town founded in 1817. It is now the seat of Socorro County, and
contains over 1,500 inhabitants. The home of the Spanish ex-governor
and his daughter must have been in the neighborhood of the present city
of Albuquerque, the largest town in New Mexico. Pattie's course quite
closely followed the line of the Santa Fé railroad.--ED.

[53] The mines were the well-known "Santa Rita de Cobre," in the
western angle of the Sierra de Mogoyon, near the headwaters of the Gila
and about one hundred miles west of the Rio del Norte. Mexicans began
to work them in 1804. They proved very profitable (see _post_, p. 350),
although the difficulty of obtaining supplies was great, owing to the
plundering Apache. In 1838 these Indians entirely cut off the supply
trains, and the mines were abandoned. They were for a time (1851) the
headquarters of the boundary commission for the United States and
Mexico. See Bartlett, _Personal Narrative of Explorations_ (New York,
1854), i, pp. 226-239. Mining was resumed in 1873; the property is now
operated by the Santa Rita Company, and is among the best equipped
mines in the territory.--ED.

[54] The present name of this stream, one of the initial forks of the
Gila. The confluence is in Arizona, a few miles over the New Mexican

[55] The Rocky Mountain sheep (_Ovis montana_) was well described by
Lewis and Clark.--ED.

[56] There are at least three varieties of mesquit-tree (_prosopis_)
in New Mexico and Arizona. It is related to the acacia and locust; and
the fruit, consisting of ten or twelve beans in a sweet, pulpy pod, is
gathered by the Indians, pounded in a mortar, and made into bread. A
prolific tree will yield ten bushels of beans in the hull. The Comanche
also concoct an intoxicating drink from this bean.--ED.

[57] The maguey is the American aloe (_Agave americana_). The Mexicans
and Indians cut off the leaves near the root, leaving a head the size
of a large cabbage. The heads are placed in the ground, overlaid with
earth, and for a day a fire is kept burning on top of them; they are
then eaten, tasting something like a beet. The roasted heads are also
placed in a bag made of hides, and allowed to ferment, producing the
liquor known as "mescal."--ED.

[58] For the method of making a "cache," see Thwaites, _Original
Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, index.--ED.

[59] This is apparently the giant cactus (_Cereus giganteus_). The
height to which it grows varies with the nature of the soil, the
average being from twenty to thirty feet.--ED.

[60] The Apache were long the scourge of New Mexico, Arizona, and
northern Mexico. Living by plunder alone, they systematically robbed
and killed Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans. They belong to the
Athabascan family, and comprise many tribes and sub-tribes. At present
they number about six thousand souls, and are located on five different

[61] The Red is here used as one of the rather infrequent names for the

[62] The Mexican province of Sonora had then nearly the same boundaries
as now, save for a northern strip--the Gadsden Purchase--which was
transferred to Arizona in 1803. Along its northern frontier stretched
a line of five forts, to protect the ranches and villages from Apache
raids. The tribe of Indians which behaved so treacherously towards
the French companions of Pattie were the Papago (Papawar), who still
inhabit this region, being herdsmen in southern Arizona and northern
Sonora. See Bandelier, "Final Report of Investigations among the
Indians of the Southwestern United States," American Archæological
Institute Papers, American Series, iii, pp. 250-252.--ED.

[63] This river is still called the Black, but more frequently
the Salt. It is a considerable fork of the Gila, uniting with it
a short distance below Phoenix, Arizona. The left branch of the
Salt is the Verde, the principal river of central Arizona. Pattie's
geography is correct in describing the source of these two great

[64] The habitat of the Hopi Indians (the more commonly-used Moki is
an opprobrious nickname), has been the same for two hundred years--a
plateau in northeastern Arizona, about fifty miles from the Little
Colorado River. They are of Shoshonean stock, but became separated from
their kindred and established themselves in six pueblos, forming the
Tusayan confederacy. A seventh village was later added, composed of
Tañoan Indians from the Rio Grande. These pueblos were visited by Don
Pedro de Tobar, a lieutenant of Coronado, in 1540. In 1599 they gave
their formal allegiance to Juan de Oñate, who six years later again
visited their country. They appear to have taken part in the rebellion
of 1680, being reconquered in 1692-94. A delegation visited Santa Fé in
1700, and Garces is known to have travelled to their villages in 1776.
With the rise of the Apache the Hopi were necessarily cut off from
contact with the New Mexicans, which accounts for their surprise at the
appearance of Pattie's comrades. For their present habits and customs,
consult Bandelier, "Final Report," _op. cit._, iii, iv; also Bourke,
_Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona_ (New York, 1884).--ED.

[65] The Indians whom Pattie meets in this region--the Mohave, on the
Colorado, at the mouth of the Mohave River; the Yuma, or Cuchans, at
the mouth of the Gila; the Cocopa near the mouth of the Colorado;
and the Coco-Maricopa, or Maricopa, along the southern bank of the
Gila--are the principal members of the Yuman family, the three latter
being originally united in a confederacy. They were generally hostile
to Americans, and Forts Yuma and Mohave were erected to keep them
in subjection. Early travellers frequently commented upon their
physical beauty, but contact with the whites rapidly pauperized and
debauched them. At present some fifteen hundred Mohave are located
at the Colorado River and San Carlos reservations, in Arizona; the
Yuma, to the number of about a thousand, are at the Mission Agency of
California, and at San Carlos; and about three hundred Maricopa are
living on the Pima reservation, in Arizona.--ED.

[66] This is now known as Bill Williams's Fork. It is composed of
two main branches, the Santa Maria and the Big Sandy, and drains
west-central Arizona, uniting with the Colorado at the present Aubrey
City. The villages just passed were probably those of the Coconino
(properly Havasupai), a distinct Indian family, although speaking a
Yuman dialect. See Bandelier, _op. cit._, iv, pp. 381-833.--ED.

[67] Pattie reaches at this point the fort of Black Cañon, and
traverses the southern bank of the cañons of the Colorado for their
entire length, a distance which he accurately estimates at three
hundred miles. Apparently the beauty and wonder of the great chasm did
not appeal to the weary traveller. The cañons of the Colorado were
first visited by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, of Coronado's party, in
1540. Again, in 1583, Antonio de Espejo reports his visit thither. It
was two centuries before another white traveller is recorded as seeing
the Grand Cañon of the Colorado; and Pattie is apparently the first
known American to traverse its banks. In 1857 Lieutenant Ives ascended
in a steamer as far as Black Cañon, and then proceeded overland to
Grand Cañon; twelve years later Major J. W. Powell descended the entire
gorge in boats; see Dellenbaugh, _Romance of the Colorado River_ (New
York, 1902). The cañons are now much frequented by tourists. See for
example, Monroe, "Grand Cañon of the Colorado," in _Atlantic Monthly_,

[68] For the Shoshoni Indians, see Bradbury's _Travels_, our volume
v, p. 227, note 123. The river up which they trapped for two days
was probably the Little Colorado, which comes in from the southeast.
Pattie's "north" is a misprint for "south."--ED.

[69] This was San Juan River, which heads in northwest New Mexico;
entering southeastern Utah, it passes around the base of Mount Navaho,
and unites with the Colorado in Kane County. It formed the northern
boundary of the Navaho territory; see _ante_, note 41.--ED.

[70] As they held possession of the mountains of Colorado, these
were probably Paiutes. The numerous tribes of Ute are of Shoshonean
stock; they extended along the Colorado River from California to its
sources, and occupied nearly all of the present states of Utah and

[71] Pattie is not sufficiently definite for us to determine whether
or not he crossed the divide by the now famous South Pass, which
was already known to Rocky Mountain trappers. According to Coues
(_Henry-Thompson Journals_, ii, p. 884), Stuart, Crooks, and four other
Astorians discovered it on an overland journey from Astoria in 1812.
The fur-trader Andrew Henry passed through it in 1823, but it was first
made known to the world at large by John C. Frémont (1842), and is in
consequence most often associated with his name.--ED.

[72] For further information concerning Long's Peak, see James's
_Long's Expedition_, volume xv of our series, p. 271, note

[73] The Bighorn is one of the three largest tributaries of the
Yellowstone. It rises in the Shoshone and Wind River Mountains, in
Wyoming, and following a northerly course enters the Yellowstone at
about 46° 15' north latitude. At its mouth, Manuel Lisa established
the first trading post on the Yellowstone (1807). One of its branches
has become famous as the scene of the Custer massacre.--ED.

[74] For the Yellowstone River, see Bradbury's _Travels_, volume v of
our series, p. 100, note 68.--ED.

[75] A brief account of the Flathead Indians may be found in
Franchère's _Narrative_, in our volume vi, p. 340, note 145. For the
method of compressing the children's heads, consult illustration in
Thwaites,_ Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_,

[76] On the return journey of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Clark
passed from the Bitterroot fork of Clark's branch of the Columbia,
across the continental divide, through Gibbon's Pass, thence by way
of Bozeman Pass and Jefferson and Gallatin rivers to the Yellowstone,
reaching the latter near the present site of Livingston, Montana, about
forty-five miles north of Yellowstone Park. See Thwaites, _Original
Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, v, p. 262.

There is at this point some strange mistake or hiatus in Pattie's
journal. Clark's Fork of the Columbia takes its rise in the Bitterroot
Mountains, and does not flow within a thousand miles of Long's Peak;
nor would the time allowed--less than three weeks--have admitted of so
extensive a journey. The trappers must have become confused among the
northern rivers, and returned on their steps up the North Fork of the

[77] For the Blackfeet Indians, see Bradbury's _Travels_, volume v of
our series, p. 225, note 120.--ED.

[78] The province of Biscay was, properly speaking, Nueva Vizcaya.
Originally extensive, and including Sonora, it by this time comprised
only the present states of Chihuahua and Durango. Hanas is doubtless
Janos (named for an Indian tribe), one of the fortified towns of
Chihuahua, situated on the Casas Grandes River.--ED.

[79] The mountains crossed were the Sierra Madre. Bavispe (Barbisca)
was a presidio in the northeastern part of Sonora; it is situated on
the river of the same name, one of the main forks of the Yaqui, the
largest Sonoran river, which follows a southwest course and falls into
the Gulf of California below Port-Guaymas. The village was destroyed by
an earthquake in May, 1887.--ED.

[80] The Yaquis Indians, living along the Yaqui River, have been
difficult to keep in subjection; they revolted in 1740, and again in
1825. At present constituting the laboring class of Sonora, although
living apart from whites, in their own villages, they are much employed
in the gold mines, in which Sonora abounds, being one of the richest
mining districts in the world. The mine described by Pattie was
evidently near the present village of Tepache, northeast of the centre
of the state, which is still strewn with abandoned shafts.--ED.

[81] Sonora has had several capitals, and it is uncertain to which
Pattie here refers. The present executive town is Hermosillo, on the
Sonora River. Its earlier rival was Ures, some miles up the same

[82] Pattie sees here the Gulf of California, whose principal port
is still Guaymas, with a population of about five thousand five

[83] The Mexican revolt against Spain began with the rising of Hidalgo
in 1810, and was carried on with varying success until apparently
quelled in 1817. But the Spanish revolution of 1820 was the signal
for a new and successful outbreak, and Mexico became independent the
following year.--ED.

[84] These were probably the mines of Cosihuiriachi, located in the
Sierra de Metates, about ninety miles west of the capital of Chihuahua.
Accidentally discovered at the end of the eighteenth century, they
became highly profitable, the number of persons living there in Spanish
times being estimated at ten thousand. As in the case of the copper
mines, the plundering of the Apache caused a decline, and by 1850 most
of them had been abandoned. For further details, see Wislizenus, "A
Tour to Northern Mexico" (_Senate Misc._, 30 Cong., 1 sess., 26, pp.

[85] Chihuahua, the capital of the state of that name, is attractively
situated in a valley of the Sierra Madre Mountains, about a hundred
miles west of the Rio Grande River. It was settled about 1691, the
population being considerably greater in Spanish than in Mexican
times. The most noteworthy building is the cathedral, perhaps the
richest and most beautiful in Mexico. A second large church was begun
by the Jesuits, but never completed; it served as a prison for the
patriot Hidalgo before his execution. See Wislizenus, _op. cit._, pp.

[86] San Buenaventura was originally a Franciscan mission about a
hundred and eighty miles northeast of Chihuahua. It was frequently
disturbed by Apache attacks, and about 1775 was moved a short distance
and made one of the frontier presidios.--ED.

[87] From its location this river would seem to be the Santa Maria, a
small stream which rises in the mountains south of San Buenaventura,
and flowing northward loses itself in a lake not far from El

[88] Casas Grandes is a short distance south of Janos (see _ante_,
note 78). Near the Mexican village are the famous ruins of large,
several-storied dwellings built by an Indian tribe that has passed
away. Evidence of a canal which conveyed the water supply is also to
be seen, and at some distance from the cluster of buildings is a kind
of watch-tower. Similar ruins have been discovered in Arizona, all the
work of Pueblo Indians, although of a tribe having attained a somewhat
higher culture than those of to-day. See Bandelier, "Final Report," iv,
pp. 544-575.--ED.

[89] The town of El Paso dates from about 1680, when the Spanish were
driven out of Santa Fé by the great Pueblo revolt. For Indian, trapper,
trader, and miner it has been a gateway between the Atlantic and
Pacific river systems. Its name arose from the fact that there the Rio
del Norte emerges from the mountains to the plains. The modern El Paso,
Texas, is across the river from the old town.--ED.

[90] This is not the Pacos (Pecos), previously mentioned by Pattie (see
_ante_, note 49), but the Puerco, a western tributary of the Rio del
Norte. Puerco was also a common, though mistaken name, for the Pecos,
hence the confusion. The Puerco is a narrow, shallow stream, about
seventy-five miles in length, which, rising in the mountains west of
Santa Fé and flowing southward, unites with the Rio del Norte a few
miles above Socorro.--ED.

[91] The Mescalero were among the most treacherous and murderous tribes
of the Apache. Their favorite haunts were the mountains bordering the
Rio del Norte on the east. Some five hundred of them are now on the
Mescalero reservation in New Mexico.--ED.

[92] The Mimbres River flows between Mimbres Mountain and the copper
mines, being but a short distance from the latter.--ED.

[93] This is probably Andrew Henry, a pioneer trader on the Missouri,
for whom see our volume xv, p. 246, note 107.--ED.

[94] See _ante_, note 65.--ED.

[95] The jaguar (_Felis onca_) most resembles the leopard of the
old world. It inhabits the wooded parts of America, from Texas to

[96] For the Cocopa Indians, see _ante_, note 65. The Pipi were
probably Pimi, a distinct linguistic family, occupying southern Arizona
and northern Mexico. They lived a settled life in villages, and were
generally well-disposed toward the whites.--ED.

[97] Santa Catalina was the last mission founded in Lower California.
It was established by the Dominicans (1797) in the mountains, back from
the coast, about latitude 31° 20', on the headwaters of River St.

[98] The mission of Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded by the Dominicans
in 1790. It is situated about fifty miles northwest of Santa Catalina,
on a river to which it gives a name, Rio Santo Tomas.--ED.

[99] San Miguel, established in 1782, is about thirty miles south of
San Diego.--ED.

[100] A presidio was established at San Diego in 1769, and troops
stationed there. Although not the capital at the time of Pattie's
imprisonment, Governor Echeandia preferred its climate to that of
Monterey, and made it his permanent residence. The present city of San
Diego dates only from 1867, and is five or six miles distant from the
old site.--ED.

[101] This account of Captain Bradshaw and the "Franklin" does not
agree in chronology with the evidence presented by Bancroft from
official sources (_History of California_, iii, pp. 133, 134).
The "Franklin" escaped on July 16, Bradshaw having been warned by
a French captain that the governor intended to place a guard on
board the vessel. Pattie wrote from memory, some time after the
occurrences, but except in the matter of time his evidence tallies
with that of the Mexican manuscripts, wherein his name is mentioned as

[102] The names of Pattie's companions appear in the archives, and
are given by Bancroft, _California_, iii, p. 163, as Nathaniel Pryor,
Richard Laughlin, William Pope, Isaac Slover, Jesse Ferguson, James
Puter. Of these, the first is the name of one of the sergeants in the
Lewis and Clark expedition, for whose earlier career see Wheeler, _On
the Trail of Lewis and Clark_ (New York, 1904), i, pp. 92-95. See also
Bancroft, iv, p. 785; and Vallejo, "Ranch and Mission Days in Alta
California," in _Century Magazine_, xix, p. 190. Most of them became
residents of California; William Pope gave his name to Pope Valley,
Napa County, where he lived and died.--ED.

[103] Pattie elsewhere gives the name of this young woman who
befriended him, as Miss Peaks. Bancroft conjectures (_California_, ii,
p. 165) that she was Señorita Pico, sister of a sergeant by that name,
figuring in the records of the time.--ED.

[104] For the career of Charles (not James) Lang, see Bancroft, _op.
cit._, iii, pp. 139, 140.--ED.

[105] The mission of San Diego de Alcala was the first of the
Franciscan establishments begun by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. In
1774 it was removed inland three miles from the presidio of the same
name; and at the time of Pattie's visit, it had attained the height
of its prosperity. Six years after it was founded (1775), an Indian
revolt occurred, in which there was bloodshed on both sides, and the
church was burned and pillaged. It was re-established in 1777, and
six years later was built the church, of which little yet remains
but the façade. Remains of an aqueduct may also be traced, to whose
use in irrigating Pattie refers. On the entire subject of mission
history, consult in addition to Bancroft, and the standard histories,
Victor, "Studies of the California Missions" in _The Californian_, v,
vi; Helen Hunt Jackson, "Father Junipero and his Work," in _Century_,
iv, pp. 3-18, 199-215; Doyle, "Missions of Alta California," _ibid._,
xix, pp. 389-402; Jackson, _Glimpses of California and the Missions_
(Boston, 1902); Carter, _Missions of Nueva California_ (San Francisco,
1900), and Clinch, _California and its Missions_, (San Francisco,

[106] The mission of San Luis Rey de Francia, situated on the coast,
about eighty-five miles southeast from Los Angeles, was founded in
1798, and named in honor of Louis IX of France. The church, the largest
among the missions, was completed in 1802. At the time of Pattie's
visit, it was the most prosperous mission in California, possessing
twenty-five thousand sheep and over two hundred thousand acres of
land, on which were annually raised twelve thousand bushels of grain.
The founder, Padre Antonio Peyri, was still in charge, and to his
fine character and administrative ability was due the success of the
enterprise. The old church, the finest among the missions, was recently
repaired and occupied by the Franciscans, the dedication (1893) of the
re-established mission taking place with much ceremony.--ED.

[107] This should be San Juan Capistrano; San Juan Bautista was
further north, see note 119, below. This mission was founded with
much difficulty, the Indians being hostile, and upon the news of the
revolt at San Diego (1775) the first attempt was abandoned. The second
(1776) was more successful, but the mission made but slow progress. Its
beautiful stone church was begun in 1797, and dedicated in 1806, only
to be partially destroyed by the earthquake, to which Pattie refers,
in 1812. The ruins of San Juan Capistrano are among the most beautiful
of all the California missions; they are situated near a small town
of that name, on the Southern California Railroad, fifty-eight miles
southeast of Los Angeles.

San Gabriel was the fourth mission founded on the southern coast by
the Franciscans. It was established in 1771, near San Pedro Bay, where
had been recorded a miracle upon the unfurling of a banner bearing a
painting of the Virgin. Somewhat later the mission was removed to the
foothills, and being on the road from Monterey to San Diego, attained
considerable wealth and importance. In 1832 the Spanish government
secured from this mission a forced loan of $120,000 in gold. The
existing church of the mission is much visited, being but nine miles
east of Los Angeles.

San Pedro was the port both of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel mission.
The bay was named by Viscaino (1602), and next to the four presidial
ports it was the most important on the coast, and the spot where
much smuggling took place. In 1846, during the American conquest of
the province, a battle was fought not far from San Pedro, between
Californians and Americans; the latter under Captain William Mervine,
were defeated.--ED.

[108] Los Angeles was the second pueblo (municipality) founded by the
Spaniards in Upper California. A colony of forty-six persons came
overland from Mexico in 1781, and established itself at this point
(September 4). By Pattie's time the town had about eighty houses and
seven hundred inhabitants. The ancient Spanish church, facing the plaza
in this city, dates from 1822, eleven years being occupied in its

[109] The Franciscans proposed to establish a chain of missions some
distance inland from the coast. As part of this plan, was founded
(1797) the mission of San Fernando, twenty miles north of Los Angeles,
named in honor of King Ferdinand III of Spain (1217-1251). During
the years 1820-30, it was in a flourishing condition, the warehouse
containing merchandise to the value of $50,000. The mission was sold
(1846) to Eulogio Celis to help defray the expenses of the war with the
United States, but the title was not sustained by the American courts.
San Fernando has suffered little from the hands of the restorer, the
buildings belonging still to a ranch, and affording a good picture of
the general aspect of a Franciscan mission.--ED.

[110] Soon after the founding of San Diego, Serra had wished to erect
a mission in honor of San Buenaventura. But various reasons hindered
his purpose, which was not accomplished until 1782; it was the last
mission erected during his lifetime. The church, the only building now
standing, was begun in 1797; it was much damaged by the earthquake of
1812, but later being repaired, now stands in the midst of the busy
American city of Ventura. The two friars who fled from this mission
in January, 1828, were Ripoll and Altmira, who went on board the
"Harbinger" at Santa Barbara, and never returned. It is believed they
ultimately reached Spain.--ED.

[111] The presidio of Santa Barbara, one of the four forts by which
the Spaniards held California, was founded in 1782. The mission itself
was not begun until four years later. It became one of the most
important of all the missions, and by 1800 was wealthy. The church
was so much damaged by the earthquake of 1812 that a new structure
was erected, which to-day is in a perfect state of preservation, and
one thoroughly typical of mission architecture. After secularization
(1834), the mission was neglected for twenty years; but the Franciscans
again took possession of the property, and established a religious
community therein, which is still maintained for the education of

[112] By "St. Enos," Pattie refers to the mission of Santa Inez,
the nineteenth to be established (1804), it being at first an
offshoot of Santa Barbara. Its first church was destroyed in the
earthquake of 1812; the present building is plain and uninteresting.
At Santa Inez was started the great Indian revolt of 1824. At the
time of secularization it was one of the smaller missions, valued
at only $56,000. Because of its inaccessibility within the Santa
Inez mountains, forty miles from Santa Barbara, it is now little

[113] Pattie here makes a mistake in his itinerary. Either he is
referring to La Purissima mission, established in 1787 (re-established
1812), on Santa Inez River, eighteen miles from the mission of that
name, or he has misplaced his visit to Santa Cruz mission (founded
1791), north of Monterey.--ED.

[114] San Luis Obispo was one of the early missions, being founded by
Serra in 1772, about midway between Monterey and Santa Barbara. Its
buildings were several times destroyed by fire, and its prosperity
was of slower growth than that of the more southern missions. The
present buildings, in the flourishing modern town of its name, retain
but little of the early mission architecture, having been completely
changed by frequent restorations.--ED.

[115] San Miguel mission (in honor of Michael the archangel) was
founded in 1797, in the valley of Salinas River. The present church was
begun in 1800, and is chiefly interesting for its interior decoration,
designed and executed by Indians. Pattie has here exaggerated the
number of neophytes (or else this is a misprint), the largest
enrollment in 1814 being 1,076.--ED.

[116] It is evident, from the context, that Pattie has transposed the
names of the two missions, San Juan Bautista (see note 119) and San
Antonio. It was the latter which he visited on the way to Monterey.
Situated in the beautiful valley of the San Antonio River, it was the
third of all the missions founded by Serra (1771). One of the most
flourishing of the early missions, at the time of secularization it was
valued at $90,000. The present church dates from about 1809. It is fast
falling into ruin, owing to isolation and neglect.--ED.

[117] La Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude), founded in 1791, was one
of the smaller missions, thus Pattie's numbers are incorrect. Its
buildings are now almost in ruins.

The mission of San Carlos was founded at the same time as the presidio
of Monterey; but the following year (1771) was removed several miles
into the country, upon the Carmelo River (named for the Carmelite
friar who visited this place in 1602); from its location, the mission
was usually spoken of as Carmel. It was the central mission, the home
of the president, and was important rather from this fact and its
neighborhood to Monterey than from the number of its neophytes. In 1784
Father Junipero Serra, founder of the missions, died, and was buried at
this place. Nearly a hundred years later his tomb was re-opened, and
found intact. The present church, easily visited from Monterey, was
dedicated in 1797; restored in 1882, it is still in good condition, and
service is held there monthly.--ED.

[118] The harbor of Monterey was discovered by the Spanish expedition
under Cabrillo, in 1542; but rediscovered and named by Viscaino,
in 1602. The first land expedition sent out from San Diego (1770)
failed to recognize the bay. The presidio was built in June of that
year, and made the capital of the new province. It consisted of a
stockaded enclosure, with cannon at the corners. By 1778 a stone wall
had been built, and the safety of the place ensured. Thenceforward,
the history of Monterey was the history of Alta California. After
the American conquest, it remained for many years a Mexican town.
See Stevenson, "Old Pacific Capital," in _Across the Plains_ (New
York, 1895), pp. 77-107. More recently, Monterey has become a seaside

[119] This was San Juan Bautista (see note 116), whose site, thirty
miles northeast of Monterey, was chosen in 1786. A mission was not
founded there until 1797, when was begun the chapel which was dedicated
in 1812; it still stands, although much altered from its first
appearance. Music was a feature of San Juan Bautista; there is still
to be seen within the building an old barrel organ which was made
in England in 1735. As this was a prosperous mission at the date of
Pattie's visit, no doubt his figures are correct. He omitted from his
tour the northern missions of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San José, San
Rafael Archangel, and Solano de Sonoma.--ED.

[120] It is usually conceded that none of the early
explorers--Cabrillo, Sir Francis Drake, or Viscaino--sighted the
present San Francisco Bay, although that name had been applied to the
harborage under Point Reyes, now known as Drake's Bay. Therefore it was
the land expedition under Portata (1769-70), who first saw the southern
shore of the great bay, and attempted to pass around it to old Port San
Francisco. Failing in this, the party turned back to Monterey and were
succeeded by two more exploring parties in 1773 and 1774. The following
year (1775) Ayala first entered the bay from the ocean. Serra had long
wished to found a mission in honor of Saint Francis; he therefore
besought a colony from Mexico, to establish a presidio which should
guard such an outlying mission. This being arranged, an expedition
under the lead of Moraga set forth in 1776, and in September of that
year formally installed the presidio, the mission being dedicated in
October. The mission lay south of the fort, and is now included in the
limits of the city, where the church (dedicated in 1795) still stands.
It was never a prosperous mission, owing partly to the climate, and
partly to the character of the Indians. Moraga continued as commandant
of the presidio until his death in 1785. Fort San Joaquin was finished
in 1794, when there was a total population of about one thousand.
The United States flag was raised on the plaza in 1846. Under the
Spaniards, San Francisco was always an outpost maintained for defense;
its importance began with the discovery of gold in 1848.--ED.

[121] The Russian Fur Company, having under Rezanof explored the coast
in 1806, desired to erect thereon a trading post, and in 1812 Baranof
dispatched an expedition to Bodega Bay. A site for the settlement
was selected about eighteen miles above the bay, and a fort with
ten cannons was erected, named Ross. Although the Spanish officials
protested against this occupation of their territory there was never
an open collision, and the trade was profitable to the Californians.
The Russian settlement was therefore maintained until 1841, being then
voluntarily abandoned.--ED.

[122] Joaquin Solis was a convict ranchero, living near Monterey.
He had served in the war of independence from Spain, and had been
sentenced to California for brutal crimes which were thus lightly
punished because of his military services to the republic. For an
account of this revolt, from manuscript sources, see Bancroft,
_California_, iii, pp. 67-86. Pattie's dates are erroneous, Solis
having left Monterey for San Francisco in November, 1829.--ED.

[123] José Maria de Echeandia was the first governor of California
after it passed under the Mexican government. A lieutenant-colonel in
the army, he had been director of the college of engineers at the City
of Mexico, and arrived at San Diego in October, 1825, to assume his new
official duties. By establishing his official residence at San Diego,
he gave offense to the Montereyans, and thus promoted the Solis revolt.
His successor was appointed in 1830, but did not assume office until
January, 1831. The same year, Echeandia himself became concerned in a
revolt which placed him practically at the head of the government in
California until January 14, 1833, when a new appointee arrived from
Mexico, bearing orders to Echeandia to proceed thither. The latter
thereupon sailed from San Diego, May 14, 1833, never again to visit
California. He thereafter devoted his time to engineering duties, and
is known to have been so occupied in 1856, and to have died before
1871. A somewhat indolent man, of infirm temper, he was nevertheless
popular with the Mexican party in California.--ED.

[124] Captain John Roger Cooper was an American who in 1823 arrived in
California from Boston, master of the ship "Rover." Selling his vessel
to the governor, he continued his trading voyages until 1826, when he
settled at Monterey and turned merchant. Being naturalized in 1830,
he became one of the well-known characters of the Mexican capital.
In 1839, he returned to sea-faring, and continued therein for ten or
eleven years more, returning to Monterey as harbor-master in 1851. He
died at San Francisco in 1872.

Cooper's father-in-law was Ignacio Vallejo, one of the earliest and
best known of the Mexican residents. Vallejo was born in Guadalaxara
(1748), of pure Spanish descent, and went to California with the first
expedition (1769); he died at Monterey in 1831. Being the only civil
engineer of the province, he devoted much time to irrigating works. See
Shinn, "Pioneer Spanish Families in California," in _Century Magazine_,
xix, pp. 377-389.--ED.

[125] Pattie's account of this interesting historical event seems
in the main to be accurate, except in the matter of dates, in which
his own narrative is inconsistent. Bancroft appears to think that he
deliberately falsified the account of the capture of Solis, in order to
exalt his own part therein.--ED.

[126] Captain William S. Hinckley was well known to the California
coast, appearing there as master of a trading vessel in 1830. He
visited the same ports in 1833-34, and aided Alvarado in his revolution
of 1836. For several years thereafter he was in trouble with the
revenue agents at San Francisco, charged with smuggling. Becoming a
permanent resident of that place in 1840, he was naturalized, married,
and made an alcalde, as well as captain of the port. He died just
previous to the advent of the Americans in 1846.--ED.

[127] For another description of these fights, consult Bidwell, "Life
in California before the Gold Discovery," in _Century Magazine_, xix,
pp. 163-182.--ED.

[128] For the later history of Pattie's companions, see Vallejo, "Ranch
and Mission Days in Alta California," _ibid._, pp. 183-192. Bancroft
possessed his letter written from Mexico, June 14, 1830; see his
_California_, iii, p. 170.--ED.

[129] Anthony Butler was a native of South Carolina, who early in the
nineteenth century removed to Logan County, Kentucky. In the War of
1812-15, he served first as lieutenant-colonel of the 28th infantry,
then as colonel of the 2nd rifle corps, and was at New Orleans with
Jackson, a warm personal friend. In 1818-19 he served in his state
legislature. Upon Jackson's accession to power, Butler was appointed
(1829) chargé d'affaires at Mexico, where, already deeply involved in
speculation in Texan land-scrip, he attempted to secure annexation
by various means not wholly reputable. Having deceived Jackson, and
attempted to outwit the Mexican ministers, his recall was demanded by
Santa Anna (1836), but Jackson had already dismissed him. See _Memoirs
of John Quincy Adams_, xi, pp. 359, 360.--ED.

[130] Vicente Guerrero was installed president of the Mexican Republic
in 1829. In the summer of that year the Spanish sent an expedition to
retake Mexico, and he, espousing their cause, was granted dictatorial
powers. The vice-president, Anastasio Bustamante, thereupon styled
himself preserver of the constitution, and in December organized a
revolt. Guerrero fled from the capital, and in 1831 was captured
and shot. Bustamante remained president until 1832, when a counter
revolution, led by Santa Anna, drove him from power.--ED.

[131] Although Governor Echeandia's successor was appointed in 1830,
he did not return to Mexico until three years later. See note 123,

[132] Flint, the first editor of this volume, here refers to the
previous publication of the succeeding article, entitled "Inland Trade
with New Mexico," in the periodical of which he was editor, _Western
Monthly Review_, ii, pp. 597, 649 (April and May, 1829). This journal
enjoyed but three years of life, the first number appearing in May,
1827, the last in June, 1830.--ED.

[133] For an account of the Santa Fé trail, along which this caravan
passed, see Gregg, _Commerce of the Prairies_, in our volumes xix and

[134] For the Verdigris River, see Nuttall's _Journal_, in our volume
xiii, p. 234, note 193.--ED.

[135] This is the Cimarron River, see note 43, _ante_.--ED.

[136] Flint here refers to the most available authorities on Mexico.
Conrad Malte-Brun was a Danish geographer (1775-1826), banished from
his native country because of zeal for French revolutionary ideas.
Settling in Paris, he devoted himself to geographical sciences,
and issued _Précis de la géographie universelle_ (Paris, 1810-29),
which went through many editions and was long accepted as a standard
authority. Alexander, Baron von Humboldt (1769-1859), was the most
distinguished geographer of his time. His famous journey to South
America and Mexico (1799-1804) first made Spanish America known to the
world. Armed with official permission from Madrid his Mexican journey
lasted about a year, in which he made a large collection of historical
and scientific facts. The journals of his travels were published as
part of his thirty-volume work on New Spain. He also published _Essai
Politique sur le Royaume du Nouveau Espagne_ (Paris, 1811). For Pike's
work, see Brackenridge's _Journal_, in our volume vi, p. 155, note 56;
also note 46, _ante_.--ED.

[137] Saltillo was founded in 1586. During the war for independence
this place suffered considerably, a battle being fought here in 1811;
later, the town served as headquarters for the insurgents under
Jiminez. In 1846 General Zachary Taylor occupied the place without

[138] After the Spanish attempt to recover Mexico in 1829, a law was
passed by the republic, according to which all persons resident in the
country, but born in Spain, were expelled from Mexican dominions.

The mines were those of Santa Rita; see pp. 86, 110-119, 178-180,
_ante_. The Spanish owner there referred to as Don Francisco Pablo de
Lagera, is the same person here mentioned.--ED.

[139] Religious toleration was finally secured in Mexico by the decree
of 1873 pronouncing separation between church and state.--ED.

[140] Monterey, the capital of the province of Nuevo Leon, was founded
in 1596, and named in honor of the fifth Spanish viceroy of Mexico. The
town changed hands several times during the revolutionary struggle;
but the important event of its history was the siege by the American
army in September, 1846. The place made a gallant defense, but finally
capitulated upon honorable terms.--ED.

[141] Agustin Iturbide was a native of Valladolid province, who
entered the militia and rose to a colonelcy. In 1820, as military
chief, he succeeded in combining the various Mexican parties, and
drove the Spanish viceroy and army from the country. He was hailed as
"Liberator," and shortly (May, 1822) had himself proclaimed emperor.
But his arbitrary rule and the general desire for a republic, united
his late allies against him, and in less than a year he was compelled
to abdicate and submit to banishment. In 1824 he imprudently returned
unheralded, being thereupon arrested and executed by the republican

[142] Matamoras, the chief town on the lower Rio Grande, has been the
theatre of many important historical events. Upon the revolt of Texas
(1835) it was the base of supplies for the Mexican army. Taylor entered
Matamoras with the American army in June, 1846. Much of the contest
over the Franco-Mexican invasion under Maximilian, centred in this
city, which was finally evacuated by the imperial army in June, 1866.
The revolution which placed President Diaz in power, took its rise at
Matamoras (1876).

Brasos de Santiago is on one of the coast islands at the mouth of the
Rio Grande.--ED.

[143] The following article appeared in _Western Monthly Review_, i,
pp. 69-71. Modern historians do not discuss this movement with the
persiflage and flippancy with which Flint regards it. Consult on this
subject, Garrison, _Texas_ (Boston, 1903); Bancroft, _Northern Mexican
States and Texas_; Foote, _Texas and Texans_ (Phila., 1841); and
Winkler, "The Cherokee Indians in Texas," in Texas State Historical
Association _Quarterly_, vii, pp. 120-151.--ED.

[144] Hayden Edwards was a Kentuckian who had formerly lived near
Frankfort, in that state. Removing with his family to Louisiana, he
was impressed by the colonizing opportunities offered in Texas, and
sought a grant of land. His first application at the capital of Mexico
was unsuccessful; later, he obtained a grant from the state government
of Coahuila and Texas (1825). Edwards was an honorable man, of strict
moral character, and had embarked a considerable fortune in this
enterprise. But he became involved in disputes with former Mexican
settlers and some American outlaws, who united in such representations
to their government that the grant was arbitrarily revoked. Edwards
thereupon (1826) raised the standard of independence, expecting to be
seconded by all the American colonists of Texas, and by recruits from
Louisiana. Flint was at this time a resident of Louisiana, where he
probably heard of the enterprise.--ED.

[145] For the originator of Austin's colony in Texas, see Bradbury's
_Travels_, in our volume v, p. 255, note 141. His son, Colonel Stephen
F. Austin, had in large measure the qualities needed for successful
colonization. Obtaining a grant of land on the Colorado and Brazos
rivers (1821) from the authorities of Mexico, together with extended
powers of government, Austin laid the foundation for American expansion
in Texas. He died at his Texan home in 1836.--ED.

[146] Chaplin was a son-in-law of Edwards, not his brother-in-law.

Nacogdoches was one of the earliest Spanish settlements of this region.
In 1715 a mission was established in the near neighborhood, and by
1765 a few permanent inhabitants had collected in the locality. With
the Spanish acquisition of Louisiana (1762), the place took on new
consequence, emigrants from the former province were invited to remove
thither under the official tenure of the commandant, Gil y Barbo, a
man of energy and enterprise. Under his rule was built (1778) the
"stone house" which played a rôle in the history of Fredonia, but
has recently been razed. In 1805, Nacogdoches was fortified against
American advance, and the following year is reported with five hundred
inhabitants. During the Mexican revolution, however, Nacogdoches
suffered severely, and after 1819 was wholly abandoned for several
years. Included in Edwards's grant, the town became the rallying point
both for the adherents and opponents of the Fredonian republic. In
1832 Nacogdoches was once more a battle-ground between the republican
and monarchical forces of Mexico. After Texan independence (1836), its
importance rapidly declined. It is now (1905) the seat of a county of
that name, and has a population of about 1,800.--ED.

[147] The career of John Dunn Hunter was a remarkable one, even if
he be considered an impostor. According to his own statements, he
was of white parentage, but captured when a child by Indians, among
whom he grew to manhood. Abandoning his tribe in 1816, he went to New
Orleans, placed himself in school, and acquired sufficient command of
English to edit a book concerning his adventures. This was published
under the title, _Manners and Customs of Several Indian Tribes located
West of the Mississippi_ (Philadelphia, 1823). The same year it was
issued in London as _Memoirs of a Captivity among the Indians of
North America from Childhood to the age of nineteen_. It was also
translated into German and Swedish. About this time Hunter went to
Europe, and was lionized and praised in both London and Paris. He
gave it to be understood that his life work was to ameliorate the
condition of the North American Indians, and about 1824 went to Texas
and joined the band of Cherokee located near Nacogdoches. He remained
true to his engagements with the Fredonians, even after their cause
began to decline, and was therefore shot by a renegade Indian, under
circumstances of considerable barbarity. American pioneers pronounced
Hunter an impostor, and his book a forgery. The evidence to that effect
by Lewis Cass, William Clark, and Auguste Chouteau seems conclusive.
See _North American Review_, xxii, p. 94.--ED.

[148] The following extract is from an English translation (1828)
of Malte-Brun, _Précis de la géographie universelle_; see note 140,

[149] William Bullock was an English traveller, naturalist, and
antiquary who visited Mexico in 1822-23, and returned with a collection
of antiquities and curiosities which were exhibited in London. The
following year (1824) he published _Six Months' Residence and Travels
in Mexico_. See our volume xix, preface.--ED.

[150] Guillaume Thomas François Raynal (1713-96). The work here cited
is _Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du
commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes_ (Paris, 1770).--ED.

[151] Antonio de Alcedo y Bexarano, a Peruvian historian and soldier,
published _Diccionario geográfico-histórico de las Indias Occidentales_
(Madrid, 1786-89).--ED.

[152] For the Paduca Indians, see James's _Long's Expedition_, in our
volume xiv, note 179. Evidently the Comanche are the tribe referred to
in this passage.--ED.


  The text includes Original Edition page numbers in { }.
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  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected after
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  consultation of external sources.

  Inconsistent spelling of a word or word-pair within the text has
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  headwaters head waters.

  Spelling has been left as found in the text, except for those changes
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  Pg 23  'THRUOGH' changed to 'THROUGH'.
  Pg 50  'Theherd' changed to 'The herd'.
  Pg 59  'sometime' changed to 'some time'.
  Pg 67  'Jotans' changed to 'Iotans'.
  Pg 84  apostrophe removed from 'dancers''.
  Pg 102 apostrophe removed from 'their's'.
  Pg 103 'battlehill' changed to 'Battle-hill'.
  Pg 128 'couching' changed to 'crouching'.
  Pg 160 'vachers' retained; probably vaqueros.
  Pg 177 'Taguarcha' changed to 'Targuarcha'.
  Pg 184 'at' inserted into 'gazing at me'.
  Pg 190 'past' changed to 'passed'.
  Pg 196 'ther' changed to 'their'.
  Pg 213 'ther' changed to 'their'.
  Pg 257 bad end quote removed from 'executed.''.
  Pg 302 'eply' changed to 'reply'; also 'beforet' changed to 'before';
  also 'tha' changed to 'that'.
  Pg 321 {151} changed to correct number {251}.
  Pg 340 'curlish' changed to 'churlish'.
  Pg 345 'Malte Brun' changed to 'Malte-Brun'.
  Pg 365 redundant 'the' removed from 'of the _the decline ..._'.
  Pg 369 'vacher' retained; probably vaquero.

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