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Title: Sketches of Indian Character - Being a Brief Survey of the Principal Features of Character - Exhibited by the North American Indians; Illustrating the - Aphorism of the Socialists, that "Man is the creature of - circumstances"
Author: Bailey, James Napier
Language: English
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                               SKETCHES OF
                            INDIAN CHARACTER:

                       BEING A BRIEF SURVEY OF THE
                     PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF CHARACTER
                              EXHIBITED BY
                       THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS;
            ILLUSTRATING THE APHORISM OF THE SOCIALISTS, THAT
                 “MAN IS THE CREATURE OF CIRCUMSTANCES.”

                    COMPILED BY JAMES NAPIER BAILEY.

    “In order to complete the history of the human mind, and attain
    to a perfect knowledge of its nature and operations, we must
    contemplate man in all those various situations in which he
    has been placed. We must follow him in his progress through
    the different stages of society, as he gradually advances
    from the infant state of civil life towards its maturity and
    decline. We must observe at each period, how the faculties of
    his understanding unfold; we must attend to the efforts of
    his active powers, watch the various movements of desire and
    affection as they rise in his breast, and mark whither they
    tend, and with what ardour they are exerted.”

                                                   ROBERTSON.

                                 Leeds:
         PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY JOSHUA HOBSON, MARKET STREET,
       BRIGGATE; SOLD BY ABEL HEYWOOD, OLDHAM STREET, MANCHESTER;
     PATON AND LOVE, NELSON STREET, GLASGOW; JOHN CLEAVE, SHOE LANE,
               FLEET STREET, LONDON; AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.

                                  1841.



SKETCHES OF INDIAN CHARACTER.


The history of nations fully establishes the fact, that the character
of man results from the operation of circumstances on his organism.
This great and important truth is written in such broad and legible
characters on the face of human annals, as may easily be distinguished
and can scarcely be mistaken. Among rude and savage tribes we discern
features of character, which are distinctly referable to the influence of
causes peculiar to the savage state; and among the members of civilized
communities, we behold the manifestation of virtues, vices, and talents,
which are also traceable to the operation of circumstances differing
from those which determine the character of barbarous nations. There is
a marked dissimilarity between the barbarian of Labrador and the native
of London or Paris; yet this difference is more the child of accident
than of nature, and would probably disappear in course of time were the
parties to be subjected to the influence of similar institutions.

Among no people do we find more striking confirmations of the truth
of the above doctrine than among the Aborigines of the North American
Continent. In the character of that unhappy, but noble, race of men,
we find many striking peculiarities which can be ascribed only to
the influence of those circumstances in which the Indian tribes are
placed, and which mark them out as objects of peculiar interest to the
philosophic historian.

The European is polished, sagacious, and cunning; the Asiatic vainly
proud and ostentatiously voluptuous; the African, patient, servile and
debased; and the North American Indian, haughty, warlike and independent.
Undoubtedly there are causes for all these varied peculiarities of
national character, the developement of which, in relation to the Indians
of America, shall form the subject of the present treatise.

In endeavouring to prove that man is the creature of circumstances by
rapidly surveying the condition of the North American Indians, there are
two methods which present themselves to our attention. The first and
most obvious, consists in selecting the principal features of Indian
character, and tracing them to the operation of causes peculiar to the
Indian tribes. The second method consists in taking a view of the efforts
made by white men for the civilization of the Americans, and the good
or ill success which has attended their exertions. In discussing the
subject, therefore, we shall adopt both these methods as far as our space
and ability will allow.

The Indian character may be said to be a compound of the virtues and
vices of savage life. Brave, generous, haughty and cruel, the North
American savage moves with a firmness of step and a dignity of bearing,
which distinguish him as the monarch of the wilderness. The African
submits to slavery; the North American Indian prefers banishment, and
even death to it. We pity and oppress the former, because his patient
endurance of labour renders him of importance, while we endeavour by
cruel encroachments to exterminate the latter, because his lands are
serviceable, and he scorns to become our servant. Such has ever been
the policy of professed Christians, and such the efforts of European
civilization with respect to this unhappy race of men.

The Red Indian is fast disappearing from his native forests. The Prairie
which once echoed with his shrill warwhoop now resounds with the roar of
the Western rifle. His hunting grounds have become the prey of the pale
faces; the big knife has prevailed over the tomahawk; and the grave of a
freeman already yawns to receive the savage of the wilds.

When Las Casas appeared before the Emperor Charles V. to dispute with
Quevedo, Bishop of Darien, on the capacity of the South American Indians
for social improvement, “he rejected,” says Robertson, “with indignation,
the idea that any race of men was born for servitude; and contended that
the faculties of the Americans were not despicable but unimproved; that
they were capable of receiving instruction in the principles of religion,
as well as of acquiring the industry and arts which would qualify them
for the various offices of social life; and that the mildness and
timidity of their nature rendered them so docile and submissive that
they might be led and formed with a gentle hand.” On the contrary, the
Bishop of Darien contended “that they were a race of men marked out
by the inferiority of their talents for servitude; and whom it would
be impossible to instruct or improve, unless they were kept under the
continual inspection of a master.”[1] To the disgrace of the Spanish
name, the sentiments of Quevedo obtained more general credence than the
truths uttered by the impassioned, and eloquent Las Casas. The Indians
were still kept in a state of servitude, by the discoverers and tyrants
of the West; and under pretext of reclaiming them from idolatry, and
instructing them in the principles of the _Christian faith_ they were
obliged to endure the most galling servitude, and compelled to perform a
variety of unwholesome labours which soon terminated their existence, and
left scarcely a remnant of their devoted race to tell the story of their
oppression and their sufferings!

Such has ever been the policy of those who, spurred on by an exorbitant
and all grasping selfishness, desire to tyrannize over their fellow
beings, and trample on their rights, their liberties and their lives.
Nor is this policy wanting on the part of those who either are, or
desire to be, the oppressors of the North American Indians. The whites
have, with few exceptions, denounced the savages of America as a cruel,
blood-thirsty, and treacherous race of men—incapable of improvement,
and therefore unworthy of that attention which has been devoted to the
civilization of other barbarians. That this is a mere pretext under
colour of which the most horrid crimes might be perpetrated,—an opiate
for a guilty and accusing conscience,—must be evident to all who have
made the Indian character the subject of their peculiar study. But
because Europeans, blessed with all the lights of civilization, and all
the influence of a religion purporting to be from heaven, have not only
endeavoured, but are continually endeavouring, to encroach on the hunting
territories of the Indians, some excuse must of course be invented to
palliate their enormities, and screen their conduct from that general
reprobation which it deserves. The Aborigines of America are therefore
represented as false, cruel and blood-thirsty, as well as incapable of
emerging from their present state of ignorance and barbarism.

Before the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Bill, the opponents of
that measure were accustomed to represent the inhabitants of Ireland,
as factious, discontented, and rebellious. Admitting, for the sake of
argument, the truth of these allegations, we ask why did the inhabitants
of Ireland evince these national characteristics? Simply because they had
been galled and oppressed for a long course of time, by the enactments of
an illiberal government. And if we admit that the Indians of America are
still in a state of barbarism, and that they exhibit most, if not all,
the vices incident to the savage state, may we not enquire the reason
why they continue in this condition? The answer we think is obvious. The
whites have seldom attempted to raise them from their state of original
wildness; for almost all the measures they have adopted, in relation to
the Indians, have been better adapted to oppress than to reclaim, to
destroy than to regenerate.

In attempting to lay before the reader a rough delineation of Indian
character, it is necessary that we should attend to all the elements
which enter into its composition. We shall therefore treat in the first
place—



_Of the bodily constitution of the North American Indians, and of the
measure of their intellectual faculties._


Robertson, in his graphic representations of Indian character, affirms or
rather insinuates, that the constitution of the American Indian labours
under some physical defect. But that this defect is an accident arising
from the influence of peculiar institutions, and the mode of training
prevalent among the Indian tribes, is evidenced by the facts which that
historian himself relates. The American Indian may be indolent during
a season of peace. Extreme lassitude and an apparent want of physical
energy may form the more prominent traits in his character. But when war
demands his exertions in the field, or when pressed by the necessities
of nature to go in quest of food, he displays a courage, an address, and
an amount of bodily energy which prove him to be possessed of physical
strength equal to that which the natives of more polished and civilized
climes exhibit. It is during a season of hunting or of war that the most
strenuous exertions of courage, force, and activity are called forth.
The savage of America, at such a time, appears to shake off the native
indolence of his disposition. He becomes patient, active, courageous and
indefatigable. All the powers of his mind and of his body are roused into
exertion; and he performs feats of agility and of strength, and exhibits
a degree of perseverance, which prove him to be in these respects equal
to the natives of Europe.

It is true the exhibition of perseverance and strength, on the part of
the American savage, is not constant but casual. It is only when fierce
passions stimulate him to exertion, that he puts forth all his powers.
Nevertheless the casual exhibition of this strength and perseverance
proves, that the opposite qualities are not essential to his nature; and
seemingly warrants the conclusion that the indolence and want of energy
which mark his character, are the results of that peculiar system of
training to which he has been subjected.

Of the persevering speed of the Americans many instances are on record.
Adair mentions a Chikkasah warrior who ran through woods and over
mountains, three hundred computed miles in a day and a half and two
nights. “I have known the Indians,” he observes in another place, “to
go a thousand miles for the purpose of revenge, in pathless woods, over
hills and mountains, through huge cane swamps, exposed to the extremities
of heat and cold, the vicissitudes of seasons, to hunger and thirst.
Such is their over-boiling revengeful temper, that they utterly contemn
all these things as imaginary trifles, if they are so happy as to get
the scalp of the murderer or enemy to satisfy the craving ghosts of
their deceased relations.” Robertson, in the notes to his History of
America, states that “M. Godin le Jeune, who resided fifteen years among
the Indians of Puru and Quito, and twenty years in the French Colony of
Cayenne, in which there is a constant intercourse with the Galibis, and
other tribes on the Orinoco, observes, that the vigour of constitution
among the Americans is exactly in proportion to their habits of labour.
The Indians, in warm climates, such as those on the coasts of the South
Sea, on the river of Amazons, and the river Orinoco, are not to be
compared for strength with those in cold countries; and yet, says he,
boats daily set out from Para, a Portugese settlement on the river of
Amazons, to ascend that river against the rapidity of the stream; and
with the same crew they proceed to San Pablo, which is eight hundred
leagues distant. No crew of white people or even of negroes, would be
found equal to a task of such persevering fatigue as the Portugese have
experienced; and yet the Indians, being accustomed to this labour from
their infancy, perform it.”[2]

These facts prove, that whatever may be the accidental indolence of the
Indian tribes, they do not labour under any physical defect essential
to them as men, and not peculiar to the natives of other climes. The
fine gentleman of Europe, who has been nursed in the lap of luxury and
refinement, would, if compelled to labour, exhibit as great a want of
physical strength as the Indian of America. The difference in this
respect between the Aborigines of the Western world, and the inhabitants
of more civilized regions, is purely accidental. Reared within the pale
of a civilized community, and surrounded with innumerable objects adapted
to awaken thought, stimulate curiosity, and call his mental and bodily
powers into exertion, the European feels a variety of wants, and is
subject to a variety of influences to which the savage is a stranger.
Experience gives him foresight and wisdom, and induces him to act with
a view to remote advantage, as well as to present gratification. The
numerous casualties and reverses of fortune which happen to individuals
in civilised society, teach him to be provident for the future. The
simple necessities of nature, as well as the more numerous class of wants
which follow in the train of civilization, stimulate him to engage in
long courses of action by which his mental faculties are enlarged, his
bodily strength disciplined, and his power of persevering increased. But
with the Indian of America the case is in many respects reversed. His
food and drink are in most cases obtained with little trouble, and his
natural wants, which are few, are easily satisfied. The flesh of the wild
animals he ensnares or kills in the chase, the roots of native plants and
vegetables, and a small proportion of maize or Indian corn, along with
fruits and other things obtained with as little art, serve him for food;
the skins of beasts for clothing; and a week-wam, constructed with a
small amount of skill and labour, affords him shelter from the inclemency
of the weather. Surrounded with abundance of hunting territory, wherein
the (to him) staple commodities of life are plentiful, he is satisfied,
and lives in a state of comparative independence. Believing that his own
lot is the happiest, and accustomed to roam the forest from his infancy,
he feels not the force of those powerful motives which affect the bosoms
of other men. The love of gain is in his case modified by the extent of
his information respecting it; and as the commodities, which to him are
articles of wealth, are easily procured, he consequently becomes indolent
when surrounded by abundance.

We do not attempt to insinuate that the North American Indian is equal
to the European in address, wisdom, or even physical ability, at the
present time. We only contend that the lack of physical energy, which
some authors say the Aborigines of America exhibit, proceeds not from any
constitutional defect peculiar to them as a race, but from accidental
causes over which they have but little control. Let these causes be
removed—let the Indians be subjected to a different mode of treatment—let
them be placed under those influences which affect the inhabitants of
civilized communities, and we have reason to opine that they would
exhibit a character as vigorous as that of Europeans.

The following general description of the physiological part of Indian
character we quote from a modern writer:—“the natives of this part of the
world are in general of a robust frame, and a well proportioned figure.
Their complexion is of bronze, or reddish copper hue—rusty coloured, as
it were, and not unlike cinnamon. Their hair is black, long, coarse, and
shining, but not thickly set on the head. Their beard is thin and grows
in tufts. Their forehead is low, and their eyes are lengthened out, with
the outer angles turned up towards the temples; the eyebrows high, the
cheekbone prominent; the nose a little flattened but well marked; the
lips extended, and the teeth closely set and pointed. In their mouth
there is an expression of sweetness, which forms a contrast with the
harsh character of their countenance. Their head is of a square shape,
and their face is broad, without being flat, and tapers towards the chin.
Their features viewed in profile, are prominent and deeply sculptured.
They have a high chest, massy thighs, and arched legs: their feet are
generally large, though some have been noticed to have small feet and
hands; and their whole body is squat and thick-set. Though the shape of
the forehead and of the vertex frequently depends on artificial means,
yet independently of the custom which prevails among them of disfiguring
the heads of infants, there is no other people in the world in whom the
frontal bone is so much flattened above; and generally speaking, the
skull is light. Such are said to be the general characteristics of all
the natives of America, with the exception, perhaps, of those who occupy
the two extremities. The Northern Esquimaux, for instance, are below the
middle stature; the Abipones, it is said, and still more the Patagonians,
exceed the ordinary height. This muscular constitution, with a tall
figure, is in some degree met with among the natives of Chili, as well as
the Caribbeans, on the banks of the Caroni, a tributary of the Orinoco,
and amongst the Arkansas, who are esteemed the handsomest natives of this
continent.

“The copper or bronze hue of the skin is, with some slight exceptions,
common to all the natives of America, upon which the climate, the
situation, or the mode of living appear not to exercise the slightest
influence. Some of the tribes in Guiana are described as nearly black,
though easily distinguished from the negro. The colour of the natives
of Brazil and of California is deep, although the latter inhabit the
temperate zone, and the former live near the tropic. The natives of New
Spain are darker than the Indians of Quito and New Granada, who inhabit
a precisely analogous climate. The nations dispersed to the North of the
Rio Gola are darker than those that border on the kingdom of Guatemala.
The Indians who, in the torrid zone, inhabit the most elevated table
land of the Cordilleras of the Andes, have a complexion as much copper
coloured as those who cultivate the Banana under a burning sun in the
narrowest and deepest valleys of the equinoctial regions. The Indians who
inhabit the mountains are clothed, and were so long before the conquest;
while the Aborigines that wander on the plains of South America, are
perfectly or nearly naked, and consequently are always exposed to the
sun. These facts show that the colour of the American depends very little
on the local situation which he actually occupies; and never, in the same
individual, are those parts of the body that are constantly covered, of a
fairer colour than those in contact with the air; the infants, moreover,
are never white when they are born.

“It was formerly supposed that the Americans were without beards, and
certainly there are many among them who have neither beard nor hair on
any part of their person except the head. But the Indians who inhabit the
torrid zone and South America, have generally a small beard which becomes
longer by shaving; and among the Patagonians there are many who have
beards. A late traveller (Temple) asserts that the Chiriguano Indians of
the province of Tarija are beardless, without stating any opinion as to
this being natural or the effect of plucking out the hair. Almost all the
Indians near Mexico, and some on the North West coast, wear moustachios.
An inference has been drawn that the Indians have a larger quantity of
beard in proportion to their distance from the equator. The deficiency
of beard does not exclusively belong to the Americans, nor is it by any
means a certain sign of degeneracy; for some beardless races, such as the
negroes of Congo, are very robust and of colossal size.”[3]

Another description of Indian character we borrow from Adair’s “History
of the Aborigines of North America.” We quote it with great pleasure, as
fully bearing out our own argument with respect to the physical capacity
of the North American Indians, and as being the testimony of a man who
resided long among them.

“As the American Indians,” he observes, “are of a reddish or copper
colour, so, in general, they are strong, well proportioned in body and
limbs, surprisingly active and nimble, and hardy in their own way of
living.

“They are ingenious, witty, cunning and deceitful; very faithful indeed
to their own tribes, but privately dishonourable and mischievous to the
Europeans and Christians. Their being honest and harmless to each other,
may be through fear of resentment and reprisal, which is unavoidable in
case of any injury. They are very close and retentive of their secrets;
never forget injuries; and are revengeful of blood to a degree of
distraction. They are timorous and consequently cautious; very jealous
of encroachments from their Christian neighbours; and likewise content
with freedom in every turn of fortune. They are possessed of a strong
comprehensive judgement, can form surprisingly crafty schemes, and
conduct them with equal caution, silence, and address; they admit none
but distinguished warriors and old beloved men, into their councils.
They are slow, but very persevering, in their undertakings; commonly
temperate in their eating, but excessively immoderate in drinking.
They often transform themselves by liquor, into the likeness of mad
foaming bears. The women, in general, are of a mild, amiable, and soft
disposition; exceedingly modest in their behaviour, and very seldom noisy
in the single or married state.

“The men are expert in the use of fire arms—in shooting the bow and
throwing the feathered dart into the flying enemy. They resemble the
lynx with their sharp penetrating black eye, and are exceedingly swift
of foot, especially in a long chase. They will stretch away through
the rough woods, by the bare track, for two or three hundred miles, in
pursuit of a flying enemy, with the continued speed and eagerness of a
staunch pack of bloodhounds, till they shed blood. When they have allayed
this burning thirst, they return home at their leisure, unless they
chance to be pursued, as is sometimes the case; whence the traders say,
‘that an Indian is never in a hurry, but when the Devil is at his heels.’

“It is remarkable that there are no deformed Indians; however, they are
generally weaker and smaller bodied, between the tropics, than in higher
latitudes; but not in an equal proportion: for though the Chikkasah and
Choktah countries have not been long divided from each other, as appears
by the similarity of their language, as well as other things; yet the
Chikkasah are exceedingly taller and stronger bodied than the latter,
though their country is only two degrees farther north. Such a small
difference of latitude, in so healthy a region, could not make so wide a
difference in the constitution of their bodies. The former are a comely,
pleasant looking people; their faces are tolerably round, contrary to the
visage of the others, which inclines much to flatness, as is the case
with most of the other Indian Americans. The lips of the Indians, in
general, are thin.

“Their eyes are small, sharp, and black; and their hair is lank, coarse,
and darkish. I never saw any with curled hair, but one, in the Choktah
country, where was also another with red hair; probably, they were a
mixture of the French and Indians. Both sexes pluck all the hair off
their bodies with a kind of tweezers, made formerly of shells, now of
middle-sized wire, in the shape of a gunworm; which being twisted round a
small stick, and the ends thereof fastened therein, after being properly
tempered, keeps its form: holding this Indian razor between their
forefinger and thumb, they deplume themselves after the manner of the
Jewish novitiate priests and proselytes.

“Their chief dress is very simple, like that of the patriarchal age;
of choice, many of their old head men wear a long wide frock, made of
the skins of wild beasts. They seem quite easy and indifferent in every
various scene of life, as if they were utterly divested of passions
and of the sense of feeling. Martial virtue and not riches is their
invariable standard for preferment; for they neither esteem nor despise
any of their people one jot more or less on account of riches or dress.
They compare both these to paint on a warrior’s face; because it incites
others to a spirit of martial benevolence for their country, and pleases
his own fancy, and the eyes of spectators for a little time, but is
sweated off, while he is performing his war dances, or is defaced by the
change of weather.

“They formerly wore shirts made of dressed deer-skins for their summer
visiting dress; but their winter hunting clothes were long and shaggy,
made of the skins of panthers, bucks, bears, beavers, and otters; the
fleshly side outwards, sometimes doubled, and always softened like
velvet cloth, though they retained their fur and hair. The needles and
thread they used formerly, (and now at times) were fish bones, or the
horns and bones of deer, rubbed sharp, and deer’s sinews, and a sort of
hemp that grows among them spontaneously, in rich open lands. The women’s
dress consists only in a broad softened skin, or several small skins
sewed together, which they wrap and tie round their waist, reaching a
little below their knees: in cold weather they wrap themselves in the
softened skins of buffalo calves, with the wintery shagged wool inward,
never forgetting to anoint and tie up their hair except in their time of
mourning. The men wear for ornament and for the convenience of hunting,
thin deer skin boots well smoked, that reach so high up their thighs, as
with their jackets to secure them from the brambles and braky thickets.
They sew them about five inches from the edges, which are formed into
tassels, to which they fasten fawn’s trotters and small pieces of
tinkling metal, or wild turkey cock’s spurs. The Braves used to fasten
the like to their warpipes, with the addition of a piece of an enemy’s
scalp, with a tuft of long hair hanging down from the middle of the stem,
each of them painted red: and they still observe that old custom, only
they choose bell buttons to give a greater sound.

“The young Indian men and women, through a fondness of their ancient
dress, wrap a piece of cloth round them, that has a near resemblance to
the Roman toga, or prætexta. It is about a fathom square, bordered seven
or eight quarters deep, to make a shining cavalier of the _Beau Monde_,
and to keep out both heat and cold. With this frantic apparel the red
heroes swaddle themselves, when they are waddling whooping and prancing
it away around the reputed holy fire. In a sweating condition they will
thus incommode themselves frequently for a whole night, actuated by the
same principle of pride which actuates the Spaniard to wear his winter
cloak in summer.…

“They make their shoes for common use, out of the skins of the bear
and elk, well dressed and smoked to prevent hardening; and those for
ornament, out of deer-skins, done in the like manner: but they chiefly
go bare-footed, and always bare-headed. The men fasten several different
sorts off beautiful feathers, frequently in tufts, or the wing of a red
bird, or the skin of a small hawk, to a lock of hair on the crown of
their heads. And every different nation when at war, trim their hair
after a different manner, through contempt of each other; thus they can
distinguish an enemy in the woods so far off as they can see him.

“The Indians flatten their heads in divers forms; but it is chiefly the
crown of the head they depress, in order to beautify themselves, as their
wild fancy terms it; for they call us long heads by way of contempt.
The Choktah Indians flatten their foreheads from the top of the head
to the eyebrows with a small bag of sand; which gives them a hideous
appearance; as the forehead naturally shoots upwards according as it
is flattened: thus the rising of the nose instead of being equidistant
from the beginning of the chin to that of the hair, is, by their wild
mechanism, placed a great deal nearer to the one and further from the
other. The Indian nations round South Carolina, and all the way to New
Mexico, to effect this, fix the tender infant on a kind of cradle, where
his feet are tilted, above a foot higher than a horizontal position,
his head bends back into a hole, made on purpose to receive it; where
he bears the chief part of his weight on the crown of the head, upon a
small bag of sand without being in the least able to move himself. The
skull, resembling a fine cartilaginous substance, in its infant state,
is capable of taking any impression. By this pressure, and their thus
flattening the crown of the head, they consequently make their heads
thick and their faces broad. May we not to this custom and as a necessary
effect of this cause attribute their fickle, wild, and cruel tempers?
Especially when we connect therewith, both a false education and great
exercise to agitate their animal spirits. When the brain, in cooler
people, is disturbed, it neither reasons nor determines with proper
judgment. The Indians thus look on every thing around them through their
own false medium; and vilify our heads because they have given a wrong
turn to their own.”

The preceding description of Indian character is more deserving of
attention on account of its simplicity, correctness, and the information
it affords, than on account of the beauty of its style. Adair is indeed
a harsh writer; yet he narrates facts and occurrences which fell beneath
his own observation; and therefore his testimony is of considerable
value. His history of the American Indians, whatever value we may attach
to his theory respecting their origin affords many striking confirmations
of the position we have assumed, namely, that the American Indians are
not naturally and essentially inferior in physical capacity to any other
race of men. Nor is Adair the only author who either adopts this opinion,
or furnishes the facts from which it may be inferred. These facts may be
found in the narratives of missionaries, traders, and almost all writers
who have visited the Indian tribes.

James Buchanan, formerly his Britannic Majesty’s Consul for the State of
New York, has some excellent observations on the evidences of general
capacity among the Indians, in the first volume of his Sketches of
their History and Customs. After describing the hospitable and polite
reception which he met with from the children of the celebrated Mohawk
Indian Chief, Captain Brandt, he observes:—“My thus becoming acquainted
with this young lady and her brother, fully establishes in my mind all I
was anxious to prove by the education of a young Indian: and many such
instances might be adduced which would evince that wisdom, science, and
exaltation of character, are not the exclusive property of any colour,
tribe, or nation. The bravery, political sagacity, and knowledge of
government, manifested by the negroes who now govern in St. Domingo,
(not to mention other well known instances,) are calculated to allay
the doubts which used to prevail as to the capacity of the African.
But between the Indian of North America, and the African, there is a
remarkable difference. The former never can be bowed to become the slave
of man, to pay tribute, or to submit, by any hope of reward to live
in vassalage. Free, like the son of Ishmael, he will die rather than
yield his liberty; and he is, therefore, hunted down by the people who
_boast of civilisation and christianity, and who, while they value their
own freedom, do not hesitate to extend their lands and property by the
merciless destruction of the unoffending proprietor_. But let not those
who still claim the British name, nor the citizens of the United States
deceive themselves in the belief that because the poor Indians, whose
lands they possess, and whose rivers they navigate, have no powerful
voice to blazon their wrongs, and hold them up to the abhorence of
mankind, they will always rest unavenged; or that the civilization, which
is pompously carried on, but which is in fact a slow consuming system of
extinction, will avert the retributive justice which God will assuredly
render. The poor Indians confess that for their crimes they are now
placed by the Great Spirit under the feet of the white men, and in the
midst of their sufferings, they pathetically warn their cruel oppressors
that the time may come when the Lord will have pity on them, and in turn
punish the Europeans. Truly the ways of the Almighty are wonderful!
The apparent prosperity of the wicked are among the most unaccountable
features of the will of our creator, and would be utterly without a
solution had we not the Bible to guide us into a right understanding
of his designs. However the Deist may scoff, or the philosopher doubt,
yet therein we see that, though the wrath of God may be long delayed,
the punishment of iniquity will assuredly come to pass. The reaction of
crime and punishment is to be seen in the history of all nations. Let the
European oppressors of the Indian savage, as he is called, look to it
in time; and while the diffusion of the true principles of Christianity
throughout the British Empire, is followed by clemency and mercy to the
African, it is to be hoped the same benevolent spirit will extend itself
to the noble-minded Aborigines of North America; and that instead of
supplying arms, ammunition, blankets and rum, we may lead them to the
arts and blessings of peace, and to the improvement of their admirable
native talent.”[4]

Mr. Buchanan displays in this passage more of the piety of the saint,
than of the wisdom of the philosopher. In our opinion, _the Lord_ has but
little to do with the oppression and gradual extirpation of the Indian
tribes. These are the natural results of that peculiar system of policy
pursued by the white people towards the Aborigines of America. As the
tide of white population rolls on and extends itself inwards, the native
tribes must disappear before it by retiring into the inaccessible forests
and waste territories of the transatlantic world. Nor can they hope to
successfully assert their rights until they become more highly civilized
and more skillfully warlike than their oppressors. Then indeed, the Lord,
aided by the puissant arms of thousands of Indian warriors, might inflict
that retributive justice on Europeans, which Mr. Buchanan speaks of. The
ample possession of the munitions of war, the diffusion of intelligence,
and the union of all the Indian tribes, would more effectually curb the
rapacity of white Christians than all the aid which the Lord affords.

Nor is it to be expected, that religion, as it is found in the Old
and New Testaments, will effect the melioration of their condition.
The chosen people of the Lord made slaves of some of the nations they
conquered; and those they did not enslave they destroyed with a cruelty
as relentless as it was atrocious. What more natural than for those who
believe in the same God and draw their religion from the same source,
to act in the same manner? The examples of murder, pillage, bloodshed,
profligacy, and abominations of all kinds to be found in the Old
Testament, would rather tend to deteriorate the character of the Indians
than improve it, were the contents of that book made known to them. Bad
as the Indians are, they have some nobility of mind among them. They
do not betray the person with whom they have smoked the _calumet_, or
pipe of peace, or the man to whom they have plighted their friendship.
But in the Old Testament we find this done, as in the case of Jael and
Sisera, and the action attributed to divine prompting. What good end
can be answered by teaching the North American Indians a religion which
has ever been followed by destruction, pillage, rapacity and bloodshed,
persecution for opinion, and a long catalogue of evils? and which,
however good it may be in some of its precepts, is nevertheless utterly
unable to restrain the avarice and cruelty of its followers.

The celebrated French Essayist, Montaigne, between two or three hundred
years ago, wrote as follows:—

“I find that there is nothing barbarous and savage in this nation, by
anything I can gather, excepting that every one gives the title of
barbarity to every thing that is not in use in his own country: as indeed
we have no other level of truth and reason than the example and idea of
the opinions and customs of the place wherein we live. _There_ is always
the true religion; _there_ the perfect government, and the most exact
and accomplished usance of things. They (the Indians) are savages at the
same rate that we say fruits are wild which nature produces of herself
and by her own ordinary progress; whereas, in truth, _we ought rather
to call those wild whose natures we have changed by our artifice_ and
diverted from the common order.… These nations, then, seem to me to be
so far barbarous, as having received but very little form and fashion
from art and human invention, and consequently not much remote from their
original simplicity. The laws of nature, however, govern them still, not,
_as yet_, much vitiated with any mixture of ours; but in such purity that
I am sometimes troubled we were no sooner acquainted with these people,
and that they were not discovered in those better times, when there
were men much more able to judge of them than we are. I am sorry that
Lycurgus and Plato had no knowledge of them; for to my apprehension, what
we now see in those natives, does not only surpass all the images with
which the poets have adorned the golden age, and all their inventions
in feigning a happy estate of man; but moreover the fancy and even the
wish of philosophy itself. So native and so pure a simplicity, as we, by
experience, see to be in them, could never enter into the imagination
of the ancient philosophers, nor could they ever believe that human
society could have been maintained with so little artifice. Should I
tell Plato that it is a nation wherein there is no manner of traffic,
no knowledge of letters, no science of numbers, no name of magistrate
nor political superiority, no use of service, no riches or poverty, no
contracts, no successions, no dividends, no proprieties, no employments
but those of leisure, no respect of kindred but of common, no clothing,
no agriculture, no metal, no use of corn or wine, and where so much as
the very words which signify lying, treachery, dissimulation, avarice,
destruction, and pardon were never heard of,—how much would he find his
imaginary Republic short of this perfection.”[5]

This description is too highly coloured, and is in many respects
incorrect. The savages of America are not in such a blissful state as
Montaigne would leave the reader to infer; neither can it be said with
truth that they are free from deceit, treachery, and avarice. It is true
they exhibit many noble traits of character which might be copied with
profit by their more civilized brethren; but these traits are generally
associated with the vices peculiar to the savage state. In conducting
our researches respecting them, therefore, we should carefully ascertain
what amount of credibility is due to the statements of those writers
who affirm their condition to be almost paradisiacal. Extremes ought
to be avoided in most cases, especially with regard to the American
Indians. Some authors have represented them as the vilest of men; cruel,
blood-thirsty, and rapacious, and incapable of being civilized; while
others have depicted them as a noble, high-minded, virtuous race, with
scarcely a single vice in their character, or evil in their physical
condition. If we adopt the mean of these extremes, we shall not be far
from the truth.

Before we close this section of our treatise, a few remarks upon the
oratory of the Indians may not be deemed inappropriate or unimportant.
Even the thunders of Demosthenes, and the eloquent harangues of the
sweet-lipped and silver-tongued Cicero did not produce more wonderful
effects on Athenian or Roman audiences, than are occasionally produced
by the bold and pathetic discourses of an American warrior on the minds
of his hearers. Governor De Witt Clinton, in his discourse to the New
York Society, speaking of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, informs us that
“their exterior relations, general interests, and national affairs were
conducted and superintended by a great council, assembled annually in
Onondaga, the central canton, composed of the chiefs of each Republic;
and eighty Sachems were frequently convened at this national assembly. It
took cognizance of the great questions of war and peace; of the affairs
of the tributary nations, and of their negociations with the French
and English colonies. All their proceedings were conducted with great
deliberation, and were distinguished for order, decorum, and solemnity.
In eloquence, in dignity, and in all the characteristics of a profound
policy, they surpassed an assembly of feudal barons, and were perhaps
not far inferior to the great Amphyctionic Council of Greece.”[6] In
another place he speaks of the sublime display of intellectual power
in the address of Garangula, an Onondaga chief, to M. Delabarre, a
French general, who in 1683, marched with an army against the Iroquois.
This rhetorical talent, however, is declared by the same authority to
be peculiar to the Five Nations. “The most remarkable difference,” he
states, “existed between the confederates and the other Indian nations,
with respect to eloquence. You may search in vain in the records and
writings of the past, _or in events of the present times, for a single
model of eloquence among the_ Algonkins, the Abenaquis, the Delawares,
the Shawanese, or any other nation of Indians except the Iroquois.”[7]
On the other hand, the Rev. Mr. Heckewelder, who has spent the greater
portion of a long life among the Lenni Lenapé, or Delawares, has
affirmed, in his historical account of the Indian nations, (of which
the Lenni Lenapé and the Iroquois form the two great divisions), that
the Delawares are also conspicuous for oratorical ability. He quotes
a speech of Captain Pipe, a chief of that nation, and has made use
of the following words, in commenting on it. “Here we see boldness,
frankness, dignity, and humanity happily blended together, and most
eloquently displayed. I am much mistaken if the component parts of this
discourse are not put together much according to the rules of oratory
which are taught in the schools, and which were certainly unknown to
this savage. The peroration is short, but truly pathetic, and I would
say, sublime; and then the admirable way in which it is prepared! I
wish I could convey to the reader’s mind only a small part of the
impression which this speech made on me and on all present when it was
delivered.”[8] The assertion of Governor Clinton, seems to have resulted
from his knowing more of the Five Nations than of any other tribe of
Indians. The Shawanese no less than the Delawares, are among the list
of exceptions; and yet, we find, in the book published by Mr. Hunter, a
most splendid example of eloquence in a speech of Te-cum-seh, a Shawanee
warrior.[9] The effect it had upon his hearers, one of whom was Mr.
Hunter himself, was electrical; and we will quote his account of it, in
order to show that the high opinion of Indian oratory is not derived
from any one authority which might be exaggerated, or through the medium
of professed translators, who might be disposed to manufacture these
harangues, after a given model, into the European tongues; but that it
operates upon all alike, and shines with the same character through
every variety and accident of interpretation. The Indian orations have
been rendered by illiterate persons sent among them to conciliate their
favour; by prisoners male and female, who learnt the language during
their captivity; by learned missionaries; by traders, who will not
perhaps be suspected of romantic enthusiasm; by Dutchmen, Frenchmen,
Englishmen, and Americans; and the result, in all cases, has been very
similar. The doubts, therefore, which have been, and still continue to
be, entertained as to Indian eloquence, are, to say the least of them,
inconsiderate. The probability is, that they are injured rather than
improved, by transmission into European languages. “I wish it was in my
power,” says Mr. Hunter, speaking of Te-cum-seh, “to do justice to the
eloquence of this distinguished man; but it is utterly impossible. The
richest colours, shaded with a master’s pencil, would fall infinitely
short of the glowing finish of the original. The occasion and subject
were peculiarly adapted to call into action all the powers of genuine
patriotism; and such language, such gestures, such feelings, and fulness
of soul contending for utterance, were exhibited by this untutored,
native of the forest in the central wilds of America, as no audience, I
am persuaded, either in ancient or modern times, ever before witnessed.
His discourse made an impression on my mind, which I think, will last as
long as I live.”[10]

The occasion on which this oration was delivered, was as follows; it
appears from Mr. Hunter’s account, that “some of the white people among
the Osages were traders, and others were reputed to be runners from their
great Father beyond the waters, to invite the Indians to take up the
tomahawk against the settlers. They made many long talks, and distributed
many valuable presents; but without being able to shake the resolution
which the Osages had formed, to preserve peace with their Great Father,
the president. Their determinations were, however, to undergo a more
severe trial: Te-cum-seh now made his appearance among them.

“He addressed them in long, eloquent, and pathetic strains; and an
assembly more numerous than had ever been witnessed on any former
occasion, listened to him with an intensely agitated, though profoundly
respectful, interest and attention. In fact so great was the effect
produced by Te-cum-seh’s eloquence, that the chief adjourned the council
shortly after he had closed his harangue, nor did they finally come to a
decision on the great question in debate for several days afterwards.[11]
His proposals were, however, in the end rejected.”


THE ORATION OF TE-CUM-SEH.

“_Brothers_,—We all belong to one family; we are all children of the
Great Spirit; we walk in the same path; slake our thirst at the same
spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern leads us to smoke the
pipe around the same council fire!

“_Brothers_,—We are friends; we must assist each other to bear our
burdens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water
on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white men. We, ourselves,
are threatened with a great evil; nothing will pacify them but the
destruction of all the red men.

“_Brothers_,—When the white men first set foot on our grounds, they were
hungry; they had no place on which to spread their blankets, or to kindle
their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves.
Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them
whatever the Great Spirit had given his red children. They gave them
food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on,
and gave them grounds, that they might hunt and raise corn. Brothers,
the white men are like poisonous serpents; when chilled, they are feeble
and harmless; but invigorate them with warmth, and they sting their
benefactors to death.

“The white people came among us feeble; and now we have made them strong
they wish to kill us, or drive us back, as they would wolves and panthers.

“_Brothers_,—The white men are not friends to the Indians; at first, they
only asked for land sufficient for a wigwam, now nothing will satisfy
them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting
sun.

“_Brothers_,—The white men want more than our hunting grounds; they wish
to kill our warriors; they would even kill our old men, women, and little
ones.

“_Brothers_,—Many winters ago, there was no land; the sun did not rise
and set: all was darkness. The Great Spirit made all things. He gave
the white men a home beyond the great waters. He supplied these grounds
with game, and gave them to his red children; he gave them strength and
courage to defend them.

“_Brothers_,—My people wish for peace; the red men all wish for peace;
but where the white people are, there is no peace for them, except it is
on the bosom of our mother.

“_Brothers_,—The white men despise and cheat the Indians; they abuse and
insult them; they do not think the red men sufficiently good to live.

“The red men have borne many and great injuries; they ought to suffer
them no longer. My people will not; they are determined on vengeance;
they have taken up the tomahawk; they will make it fat with blood; they
will drink the blood of the white people.

“_Brothers_,—My people are brave and numerous; but the white people are
too strong for them alone. I wish you to take up the tomahawk with them.
If we all unite, we will cause the rivers to stain the great waters with
their blood.

“_Brothers_,—If you do not unite with us, they will first destroy us, and
then you will fall an easy prey to them. They have destroyed many nations
of red men because they were not friends to each other.

“_Brothers_,—The white people send runners among us; they wish to make us
enemies, that they may sweep over and desolate our hunting grounds, like
devastating winds, or rushing waters.

“_Brothers_,—Our Great Father, over the great waters, is angry with the
white people, our enemies. He will send his brave warriors against them:
he will send us rifles, and whatever else we want—he is our friend, and
we are his children.

“_Brothers_,—Who are the white people that we should fear them? They
cannot run fast and are good marks to shoot at; they are only men; our
fathers have killed many of them; we are not squaws, and we will stain
the earth red with their blood.

“_Brothers_,—The Great Spirit is angry with our enemies; he speaks
in thunder, and the earth swallows up villages, and drinks up the
Mississippi. The great waters will cover the lowlands; their corn cannot
grow; and the Great Spirit will sweep those who escape to the hills from
the earth with his breath.

“_Brothers_,—We must be united, we must smoke the same pipe; we must
fight each others’ battles; and more than all, we must love the Great
Spirit; he is for us; he will destroy our enemies, and make all his red
children happy.”

In Jefferson’s notes on the state of Virginia, we find a speech reported
to have been made by Logan, a Mingo chief to Lord Dunmore when governor
of the State of Virginia. The circumstances under which it was made were
the following:—

“In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery was committed by some Indians
on certain land adventurers on the river Ohio. The whites in that
quarter, _according to their custom_, undertook to punish this outrage in
a summary way. Captain Michael Cresap, and a certain Daniel Greathouse,
leading on these parties, surprised at different times travelling and
hunting parties of the Indians having their women and children with
them, and murdered many. Among these were, unfortunately, the family of
Logan; a chief celebrated in peace and war, and long distinguished as
the friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked his vengeance.
He accordingly signalised himself in the war which ensued. In the autumn
of the same year a decisive battle was fought at the mouth of the great
_Kanhaway_, between the collected forces of the Shawanese, Mingoes, and
Delawares, and a detachment of the Virginia militia. The Indians were
defeated, and sued for peace.

“Logan, however, disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But lest the
sincerity of a treaty should be disturbed, from which so distinguished a
chief absented himself, he sent the following speech to be delivered to
Lord Dunmore.

“‘I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan’s cabin
hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he
clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan
remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for
the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, ‘Logan
is the friend of the white men.’ I had even thought to have lived with
you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in
cold blood and unprovoked murdered all the relations of Logan, not even
sparing my women and children. _There runs not a drop of my blood in the
veins of any living creature._

“‘This called on me for revenge, I have sought it; I have killed many. I
have glutted my vengeance: for my country I rejoice at the beams of peace.

“‘But do not harbour a thought that mine is the _joy of fear_; Logan
never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is
there to mourn for Logan? Not one.’”

Who can blame Logan the Mingo warrior for his deeds when the provocation
he received is taken into consideration? “Not one!”



_Of the Political state and Institutions of the American Indians._


Among savage nations there is generally a degree of individual
independence which is highly unfavourable to the establishment and
consolidation of regular government. Men accustomed to victory and the
use of arms, and inured to danger and fatigue, are not likely to submit
to those restraints of law and jurisprudence which exist in civilized
communities. The will of the savage is, in most cases, the only law which
he acknowledges or submits to. It is only when the tribe to which he
belongs is menaced by some foreign foe that he submits to follow a leader
to the field and to be controuled by his mandates. Even then, his actions
are not constrained, but voluntary. His natural ardour, and warlike
disposition, hurry him on to battle more than any compulsory edict issued
by the council of his nation. But in a season of peace he is his own
master. Scarcely any rule except that of custom does he deign to follow;
hence his actions spring spontaneously from the impulses of his own mind.

In considering the political institutions of any people, our first
enquiry should relate to their mode of subsistence. “According as that
varies,” to use the language of Robertson, “their laws and policy must
be different. The institutions suited to the ideas and exigencies of
tribes which subsist chiefly by fishing or hunting, and which have as yet
acquired but an imperfect conception of any species of property, will
be much more simple than those which must take place when the earth is
cultivated with regular industry, and a right of property, not only in
its productions but in the soil itself, is completely ascertained.”

The American nations live chiefly by hunting, fishing, and the
spontaneous products of their bountiful soil. Agriculture is but little
practised amongst them. A large tract of territory, therefore, is
requisite for the support of a tribe. “The chase,” observes Robertson,
“even where prey is abundant, and the dexterity of the hunter much
improved, affords but an uncertain maintenance; and at some seasons it
must be suspended altogether. If a savage trusts to his bow alone for
food, he and his family will be often reduced to extreme distress. Hardly
any region of the earth furnishes man spontaneously with what his wants
require. In the mildest climates and most fertile soils, his own industry
and foresight must be exerted in some degree to secure a regular supply
of food. Their experience of this surmounts the abhorence of labour
natural to savage nations, and compels them to have recourse to culture
as subsidiary to hunting. In particular situations, some small tribes may
subsist by fishing, independent of any production of the earth raised by
their own industry. But throughout all America we scarcely meet with any
nation of hunters which does not practice some species of cultivation.”

This is the condition of most of the American tribes at the present time.
Their agriculture, however, is neither extensive nor laborious. Among
some tribes as the Oneidas and Senecas, agriculture prevails more than
among others. This is to be attributed to the benevolent efforts of the
Quakers, which shall be described in a subsequent part of this work. The
Indians in the interior of America, who are less exposed to the influence
of the whites, subsist chiefly by hunting and fishing. Agriculture is
only accounted subsidiary to these. It is adopted as a resource against
famine, and to supply the deficiency of game. It is not pursued as
the chief mode of obtaining subsistence, and as a consequence has not
risen to that state of perfection among the Indians, as among civilized
nations. Hunting and fishing may be said to be the staple business of
life among the more primitive tribes in North America. The character,
therefore, of their political institutions, may be deduced from their
peculiar mode of obtaining subsistence.

Robertson, in treating this subject has expressed himself with such
clearness, and reasoned upon facts with such accuracy, that it would be
impossible for us to do better than to quote his remarks.

He observes, “They were divided into small independent communities. While
hunting is the chief source of subsistence, a vast extent of territory
is requisite for supporting a small number of people. In proportion
as men multiply and unite, the wild animals, on which they depend for
food, diminish, or fly at a greater distance from the haunts of their
enemy. The increase of a society in this state is limited by its own
nature, and the members of it must either disperse, like the game which
they pursue, or fall upon some better method of procuring food, than by
hunting. Beasts of prey are by nature solitary and unsocial; they go
not forth to the chase in herds, but delight in those recesses of the
forest where they can roam and destroy undisturbed. A nation of hunters
resembles them both in occupation and in genius. They cannot form into
large communities, because it would be impossible to find subsistence;
and they must drive to a distance every rival who may encroach on those
domains which they consider as their own. This was the state of all
the American tribes: the numbers in each were inconsiderable, though
scattered over countries of great extent; they were far removed from
one another, and engaged in perpetual hostilities or rivalship. In
America, the word nation is not of the same import as in other parts
of the globe. It is applied to small societies, not exceeding perhaps,
two or three hundred persons, but occupying provinces greater than some
kingdoms in Europe. The country of Guiana, though of larger extent than
the kingdom of France, and divided among a greater number of nations, did
not contain above twenty-five thousand inhabitants.[12] In the provinces
which border on the Orinoco, one may travel several hundred miles in
different directions, without finding a single hut, or observing the
foot steps of a human creature.[13] In North America, where the climate
is more vigorous, and the soil less fertile, the desolation is still
greater. There, journeys of some hundred leagues have been made through
uninhabited plains and forests.[14] As long as hunting continues to be
the chief employment of man to which he trusts for subsistence, he can
hardly be said to have occupied the earth.

“Nations which depend upon hunting are, in a great measure, strangers
to the idea of property. As the animals on which the hunter feeds are
not bred under his inspection, nor nourished by his care, he can claim
no right to them, while they run wild in the forest. Where game is
so plentiful that it may be catched”—[caught] “with little trouble,
men never dream of appropriating what is of small value, or of easy
acquisition. Where it is so rare, that the labour or danger of the chase
requires the united efforts of a tribe, or village, what is killed is
a common stock, belonging equally to all, who, by their skill or their
courage, have contributed to the success of the excursion. The forest, or
hunting grounds are deemed the property of the tribe, from which it has a
title to exclude every rival nation. But no individual arrogates a right
to any district of these, in preference to his fellow-citizens. They
belong alike to all; and thither, as to a general and undivided store,
all repair in quest of sustenance. The same principle by which they
regulate their chief occupation, extends to that which is subordinate.
Even agriculture has not introduced among them a complete idea of
property. As the men hunt, the women labour together; and after they have
shared the toils of the seed time, they enjoy the harvest in common.[15]
Among some tribes, the increase of their cultivated lands is deposited
in a public granary, and divided among them at stated times, according
to their wants.[16] Among others, though they lay up separate stores,
they do not acquire such an exclusive right of property, that they can
enjoy superfluity, while those around them suffer want.[17] Thus the
distinctions arising from the inequality of possessions are unknown. The
term rich or poor enter not into their language; and being strangers to
property, they are unacquainted with what is the great object of laws and
policy, as well as the chief motive which induced mankind to establish
the various arrangements of regular government.[18]

“People in this state retain a high sense of equality and independence.
Wherever the idea of property is not established, there can be no
distinction among men, but what arises from personal qualities. These can
be conspicuous only on such occasions as call them forth into exertion.
In times of danger, or in affairs of intricacy, the wisdom and experience
of age, are consulted, and prescribe the measure which ought to be
pursued. When a tribe of savages takes the field against the enemies
of their country, the warrior of most approved courage leads the youth
to the combat.[19] If they go forth in a body to the chase, the most
expert and adventurous hunter is foremost, and directs their motions. But
during seasons of tranquility and inaction, when there is no occasion
to display those talents, all pre-eminence ceases. Every circumstance
indicates that all the members of the community are on a level. They feed
on the same plain fare. Their houses and furniture are exactly similar.
No distinction can arise from the inequality of possessions. Whatever
forms dependence on one part, or constitutes superiority on the other, is
unknown. All are freemen; all feel themselves to be such, and assert with
firmness the rights which belong to that condition.[20] This sentiment of
independence is imprinted so deeply in their nature, that no change of
condition can eradicate it, and bend their minds to servitude. Accustomed
to be absolute masters of their own conduct, they disdain to execute
the orders of another; and having never known control, they will not
submit to correction. Many of the Americans, when they found that they
were treated as slaves by the Spaniards, died of grief; many destroyed
themselves in despair.[21]

“Among people in this state, government can assume little authority,
and the sense of civil subordination must remain very imperfect. While
the idea of property is unknown or incompletely conceived; while the
spontaneous productions of the earth, as well as the fruits of industry,
are considered as belonging to the public stock, there can hardly be any
such subject of difference or discussion among the members of the same
community, as will require the hand of authority to interpose, in order
to adjust it. Where the right of separate and exclusive possession is
not introduced, the great object of law and jurisdiction does not exist.
When the members of a tribe are called into the field, either to invade
the territories of their enemies, or to repel their attacks; when they
are engaged together in the toil and dangers of the chase, they then
perceive that they are a political body. They are conscious of their
own connexion with the companions in conjunction with whom they act;
and they follow and reverence such as excel in conduct and valour. But,
during the intervals between such common efforts, they seem scarcely to
feel the ties of political union.[22] No visible form of government is
established. The names of _magistrate_ and _subject_ are not in use.
Every one seems to enjoy his natural independence almost entire. If
a scheme of public utility be proposed, the members of the community
are left at liberty to choose whether they will or will not assist in
carrying it into execution. No statute imposes any service as a duty,
no compulsory laws oblige them to perform it. All their resolutions are
voluntary, and flow from the impulse of their own minds.[23] The first
step towards establishing a public jurisdiction has not been taken in
these rude societies. The right of revenge is left in private hands.[24]
If violence is committed, or blood is shed, the community does not assume
the power either of inflicting or of moderating the punishment. It
belongs to the family or friends of the person injured or slain to avenge
the wrong, or to accept of the reparation offered by the aggressor. If
the elders interpose, it is to advise, not to decide, and it is seldom
their councils are listened to; for as it is deemed pusillanimous to
suffer an offender to escape with impunity, resentment is implacable
and everlasting.[25] The object of government is rather foreign than
domestic. They do not aim at maintaining interior order and police by
public regulation, or the exertions of any permanent authority; but
labour to preserve such union among the members of their tribe, that they
may watch the motions of enemies, and act against them with concert and
vigour.

“Such was the form of political order established among the greater part
of the American tribes. In this State were almost all the tribes spread
over the provinces extending eastward of the Mississippi, from the mouth
of the St. Lawrence to the confines of Florida. In a similar condition
were the people of Brazil, the inhabitants of Chili, several tribes in
Paraguay and Guiana, and in the countries which stretch from the mouth of
the Orinoco to the Peninsula of Yucatan. Among such an infinite number
of petty associations, there may be peculiarities which constitute a
distinction, and mark the various degrees of their civilization and
improvement. But an attempt to trace and ennumerate these would be in
vain, as they have not been observed by persons capable of discerning
the minute and delicate circumstances, which serve to discriminate
nations resembling one another in their general character and features.
The description which I have given of the political institutions that
took place among those rude tribes in America, concerning which we have
received most complete information, will apply, with little variation,
to every people, both in its Northern and Southern division, who have
advanced no farther in civilization than to add some slender degree of
agriculture to fishing and hunting.[26]

“But these political institutions, however defective, did not exist among
all the American tribes. The system of government adopted by some of
them approximated more closely the system which prevails in civilized
communities. Thus, “among the Natchez, a powerful tribe, (now extinct,)
formerly situated on the banks of the Mississippi, a difference of rank
took place with which the Northern tribes were altogether unacquainted.
Some families were reputed noble, and enjoyed hereditary dignity.
The body of the people was considered as vile, and formed only for
subjection. This distinction was marked by appellations which intimated
the high elevation of the one state, and the ignominious depression
of the other. The former were called _respectable_; the latter the
_stinkards_. The great chief, in whom the supreme authority was vested,
was reputed to be a being of a superior nature—the brother of the sun,
the sole object of their worship. They approached this great chief with
religious veneration, and honoured him as the representative of their
deity. His will was law, to which all submitted with implicit obedience.
The lives of his subjects were so absolutely at his disposal, that if
any one had incurred his displeasure, the offender came with profound
humility and offered him his head. Nor did the dominion of the Chiefs
end with their lives: their principal officers, their favourite wives,
together with many domestics of inferior rank, were sacrificed at their
tombs, that they might be attended in the next world by the same persons
who served them in this; and such was the reverence in which they were
held, that those victims welcomed death with exultation, deeming it a
recompence of their fidelity and a mark of distinction, to be selected
to accompany their deceased master. Thus a perfect despotism, with its
full train of superstition arrogance and cruelty, was established among
the Natchez; and by a singular fatality, that people tasted of the
worst calamities incident to polished nations, though they themselves
were not far advanced beyond the tribes around them in civility and
improvement.”[27]

In the political institutions of the Natchez, however despotic and
imperfect they may be considered, we discover a bond of union which did
not exist among other tribes who trusted for subsistence to hunting and
fishing without any species of cultivation. Their wants were few and
simple; they therefore formed into separate tribes, and acted together
from instinct or habit rather than from any formal concert or contract.
Hence their political institutions were as simple as their wants; and
hardly any appearance of regular government could be discerned among them.

From the foregoing statements it may be inferred that the political
institutions of the American Indians arise from the peculiarity of their
condition. Their military tactics, their form of government, their
peculiar religious opinions, and their unconquerable spirit of revenge,
all spring out of their peculiar state of semi-civilization. That the
circumstances around them determine the character of their political
and other institutions will be fully proved by us when we come to speak
of the efforts of the Quakers in civilizing the Oneidas and Senecas of
the Five Nations. The Socialist will readily perceive how the foregoing
statements, respecting the political institutions of the American
Aborigines confirm and illustrate the truth of his principles.



_Of the Military Tactics of the North American Indians._


There are two motives which stimulate savage nations to war; these are
_interest_ and _revenge_. The latter operates with a fierceness among
rude nations, unknown among civilized people. The desire of vengeance is
the first and almost only principle which the savage instils into the
mind of his children. This grows with his growth and strengthens with
his strength, and acquires a force and a preponderance over all other
passions, which causes it to resemble the instinctive rage of a tiger or
hyæna. “When under the dominion of this passion,” says Robertson, “man
becomes the most cruel of all animals. He neither pities, nor forgives,
nor spares. The force of this passion is so well understood by the
Americans themselves, that they always apply to it in order to excite
the people to take up arms. If the elders of any tribe attempt to rouse
their youth from sloth, if a chief wishes to allure a band of warriors
to follow him in invading an enemy’s country, the most persuasive topics
of their martial eloquence are drawn from revenge. ‘The bones of our
countrymen,’ say they, ‘lie uncovered; their bloody bed has not been
washed clean. Their spirits cry against us; they must be appeased. Let us
go and devour the people by whom they were slain. Sit no longer inactive
upon your mats; lift the hatchet, console the spirits of the dead, and
tell them that they shall be avenged.’”

Animated with such exhortations, the youth snatch their arms in a
transport of fury, raise the song of war, and burn with impatience
to embrue their hands in the blood of their enemies. Private chiefs
assemble small parties, and invade a hostile tribe, without consulting
the rulers of the community. A single warrior, prompted by caprice or
revenge, will take the field alone, and march several hundred miles to
surprise and cut off a straggling enemy. The exploits of a noted warrior,
in such solitary excursions, often form the chief part in the history
of an American campaign; and their elders connive at such irregular
sallies, as they tend to cherish a martial spirit, and accustom their
people to enterprise and danger.[28] But when a war is national, and
undertaken by public authority, the deliberations are formal and slow.
The elders assemble; they deliver their opinions in solemn speeches;
they weigh with maturity the nature of the enterprise, and balance its
beneficial or disadvantageous consequences with no inconsiderable portion
of political discernment or sagacity. Their priests and soothsayers are
consulted, and sometimes they ask even the advice of their women.[29] If
the determination be for war, they prepare for it with much ceremony. A
leader offers to conduct the expedition, and is accepted. But no man is
constrained to follow him; the resolution of the community to commence
hostilities, imposes no obligation upon any member to take part in
the war. Each individual is still master of his own conduct, and his
engagement in the service is perfectly voluntary.[30]

The maxims, by which they regulate their military operations, though
extremely different from those which take place in more civilized and
populous nations, are well suited to their own political state, and the
nature of the country in which they act. They never take the field in
numerous bodies, as it would require a greater effort of foresight and
industry, than is usual among savages, to provide for their subsistence
during a march of some hundred miles through dreary forests, or during a
long voyage upon their lakes and rivers. Their armies are not encumbered
with baggage or military stores. Each warrior, besides his arms, carries
his mat and a small bag of pounded maize, and with these, is completely
equipped for any service. While at a distance from the enemy’s frontier,
they disperse through the woods, and support themselves with the game
which they kill, or the fish which they catch. As they approach nearer
the territories of the nation which they intend to attack, they collect
their troops, and advance with great caution. Even in their hottest
and most active wars, they proceed wholly by stratagem and ambuscade.
They place not their glory in attacking their enemies with open force.
To surprize and destroy is the greatest merit of a commander, and
the highest pride of his followers. War and hunting are his only
occupations, and they conduct both with the same spirit and the same
arts. They follow the track of their enemies through the forest. They
endeavour to discover their haunts; they lurk in some thicket near to
these, and, with the patience of sportsmen lying in wait for game, will
continue in their station day after day, until they can rush upon their
prey when most secure, and least able to resist them. If they meet no
straggling party of the enemy, they advance towards their villages, but
with such solicitude to conceal their own approach, that they often creep
on their hands and feet through the woods, and paint their skins of the
same colour as the withered leaves, in order to avoid detection.[31] If
so fortunate as to remain unobserved, they set on fire the enemy’s huts
in the dead of night, and massacre the inhabitants, as they fly naked and
defenceless from the flames. If they hope to effect a retreat without
being pursued, they carry off some prisoners whom they reserve for a more
dreadful fate. But if, notwithstanding all their address and precautions,
they find that their motions are discovered, that the enemy has taken the
alarm, and is prepared to oppose them, they usually deem it most prudent
to retire. They regard it as extreme folly to meet an enemy who is on his
guard, upon equal terms, or to give battle in an open field. The most
distinguished success is a disgrace to a leader if it has been purchased
with any considerable loss of his followers; and they never boast of a
victory, if stained with the blood of their own countrymen.[32] To fall
in battle, instead of being reckoned an honourable death, is a misfortune
which subjects the memory of a warrior to the imputation of rashness or
imprudence.[33]

Buchanan in his Sketches of the North American Indians, speaking of the
military tactics of the Five Nations observes, “Previous to setting out
on any warlike expedition they have a feast, to which all the noted
warriors of the nation are invited; when they have their war-dance to the
beat of kettle drums. The warriors are seated on two rows; each rises in
turn, and sings the deeds he has performed; so that they work up their
spirits to a high degree of enthusiasm. They come to these dances with
faces painted in a frightful manner, to make themselves look terrible
to their enemies. By these war-songs they preserve the history of their
great achievements. The solemn reception of these warriors, and the
acclamation of applause which they receive at their return, cannot but
have on the hearer the same effect in raising an emulation for glory,
that a triumph had on the old Romans. After their prisoners are secured
they never offer them the least bad treatment, but on the contrary,
will rather starve themselves than suffer them to want; and I have been
always assured that there is not one instance of their offering the
least violence to the chastity of any woman that was their captive. The
captives are generally distributed among those who have lost a member
of their family in battle: if they are accepted, they enjoy all the
privileges which the person had; but if otherwise, they die in torment to
satiate the revenge of those who refuse them.

“They use neither drum nor trumpet, nor any kind of musical instruments
in their wars; their throats serve them on all occasions. We find the
same was practised by Homer’s heroes:—

    ‘Thrice to its pitch, his lofty voice he rears,
    O friend! Ulysses’ shouts invades my ears’”!

The mode of torturing prisoners taken in battle, alluded to in the
preceding extract, prevails among all the Indian tribes in North America.
_Heckewelder_, a Moravian Missionary, who had acquired a great deal of
information respecting Indian customs, during a residence of the greater
part of his life among the Indians of Pennsylvania and the adjoining
states, thus speaks of this custom:—

“Much has been said on the subject of the preliminary cruelties inflicted
on prisoners, when they enter an Indian village with the conquering
warriors. It is certain that this treatment is very severe when a
particular revenge is to be exercised; but otherwise I can say with
truth, that in many instances, it is rather a scene of amusement than
of punishment. Much depends on the courage and presence of mind of the
prisoner. On entering the village, he is shown a painted post at the
distance of from twenty to forty yards, and told to run to it and catch
hold of it as quickly as he can. On each side of him stand men, women
and children, with axes, sticks, and other offensive weapons, ready to
strike him as he runs, in the same manner as is done in the European
armies, when soldiers, as it is called run the gauntlet. If he should
be so unlucky as to fall in the way, he will probably be immediately
despatched by some person, longing to avenge the death of some relation
or friend slain in battle; but the moment he reaches his goal, he is safe
and protected from farther insult, until his fate is determined.

“If a prisoner in such a situation shows a determined courage, and when
bid to run for the painted post, starts at once with all his might,
and exerts all his strength and agility until he reaches it, he will
most commonly escape without much harm, and sometimes without any
injury whatever, and on reaching the desired point, he will have the
satisfaction to hear his courage and his bravery applauded. But woe to
the coward who hesitates, or shows any symptoms of fear! He is treated
without much mercy, and may consider himself happy, at last, if he escape
with his life.

“In the month of April, 1782, when I was myself a prisoner at Lower
Sandusky, waiting for an opportunity to proceed with a trader to Detroit,
I witnessed a scene of this description, which fully exemplified what I
have above stated. Three American prisoners were one day brought in by
fourteen warriors, from the garrison of Fort M’Intosh. As soon as they
had crossed the Sandusky river to which the village lay adjacent, they
were told by the Captain of the party, to run as hard as they could
to a painted post which was shown to them. The youngest of the three,
without a moment’s hesitation, immediately started for it, and reached
it, fortunately, without receiving a single blow; the second hesitated
for a moment, but recollecting himself, he also ran as fast as he could,
and likewise reached the post unhurt; but the third, frightened at seeing
so many men, women, and children, with weapons in their hands, ready to
strike him, kept begging the Captain to spare his life, saying he was a
mason, and he would build him a fine large stone house, or do any thing
for him that he should please. ‘Run for your life,’ cried the chief to
him, ‘and don’t talk now of building houses’! But the poor fellow still
insisted, begging and praying to the Captain, who at last finding his
exhortations vain, and fearing the consequences, turned his back upon
him, and would not hear him any longer. Our mason now began to run,
but received many a hard blow, one of which nearly brought him to the
ground, which, if he had fallen, would at once have decided his fate.
He, however, reached the goal, not without being sadly bruised, and he
was besides, bitterly reproached and scoffed at all round as a vile
coward, while the others were hailed as brave men, and received tokens of
universal approbation.”



_Of the Religion of the North American Indians._


S. F. Jarvis, D. D., A. A. S., of New York, in his discourse on the
religion of the North American Indians, details many facts illustrating
the notions which they entertain respecting Deity and a future state.
His statements on this head exhibit both research and accuracy; though
in the first part of his discourse he has digressed from the subject for
the purpose of discharging a clerical arrow at the memory of Volney and
Voltaire. This however, is pardonable in an individual holding the title
of Doctor of Divinity. After indulging in many speculations respecting
the true religion, and the modes in which it became corrupted, he
observes:—

“Having thus seen that all false religions are, in a greater or less
degree, departures from the true; that there is a tendency in the human
mind to form low and limited views of the Supreme Being; and that,
in fact, all nations have fallen into the corruptions of polytheism
and idolatry, we should conclude, even in reasoning _à priori_, that
the religion of the Indians would be found to partake of the general
character. Accordingly, the fact is amply attested, that while they
acknowledge one Supreme Being, whom they denominate the _Great Spirit_,
or the _Master of Life_, they also believe in subordinate divinities, who
have the chief regulation of the affairs of men.

“Charlevoix, who had all the opportunities of obtaining information which
personal observation, and the united testimony of the French missionaries
could give, is an unexceptionable witness with regard to the Hurons, the
Iroquois, and the Algonquins. Nothing, says he, is more certain, though
at the same time obscure, than the conception which the American savages
have of a Supreme Being. All agree that he is the Great Spirit, and that
he is the master, creator, and governor of the world.[34] The Hurons call
him Areskoui; the Iroquois, by slight variation, Agreskooue. He is with
them the god of war. His name they invoke as they march. It is the signal
to engage, and it is the war-cry in the hottest of the battle.[35]

“But, beside the Supreme Being, they believe in an infinite number of
subaltern spirits, who are the objects of worship. These they divide into
good and bad. The good spirits are called by the Hurons, _Okkis_, by the
Algonquins, _Mannitous_. They suppose them to be the guardians of men,
and that each has his own tutelary deity. In fact, every thing in nature
has its spirit, though all have not the same rank nor the same influence.
The animals they hunt have their spirits. If they do not understand any
thing, they immediately say it is _a spirit_. If any man performs a
remarkable exploit, or exhibits extraordinary talents, he is said to be
_a spirit_, or in other words, his tutelary deity is supposed to be of
more than ordinary power.[36]

“It is remarkable, however, that these tutelary deities are not supposed
to take men under their protection till something has been done to merit
the favour. A parent who wishes to obtain a guardian spirit for his
child, first blackens his face, and then causes him to fast for several
days. During this time it is expected that the spirit will reveal himself
in a dream; and on this account, the child is anxiously examined every
morning with regard to the visions of the preceding night. Whatever
the child happens to dream of the most frequently, even if it happen to
be the head of a bird, the foot of an animal, or any thing of the most
worthless nature, becomes the symbol or figure under which the _Okki_
reveals himself. With this figure, in the conceptions of his votary,
the spirit becomes identified; the image is preserved with the greatest
care—is the constant companion on all great and important occasions, and
the constant object of consultation and worship.[37]

“As soon as a child is informed what is the nature or form of his
protecting deity, he is carefully instructed in the obligations he is
under to do him homage, to follow his advice communicated in dreams, to
deserve his favours, to confide implicitly in his care, and to dread the
consequences of his displeasure. For this reason, when the Huron or the
Iroquois goes to battle or to the chase, the image of his _Okki_ is as
carefully carried with him as his arms. At night, each one places his
guardian idol on the palisades surrounding the camp, with the face turned
from the quarter to which the warriors, or hunters, are about to march.
He then prays to it for an hour, as he does also in the morning before he
continues his course. This homage performed, he lies down to rest, and
sleeps in tranquility, fully persuaded that his spirit will assume the
whole duty of keeping guard, and that he has nothing to fear.

“With this account of Charlevoix, the relations which the Moravian
missionaries give, not only of the Iroquois, but also of the Lenapés,
or Delawares, and numerous tribes derived from them, perfectly accord.
‘The prevailing opinion of all these nations is,’ says Loskiel, ‘that
there is one God, or as they call him, one great and good spirit, who
has created the heavens and the earth, and made man and every other
creature. But beside the Supreme Being, they believe in good and evil
spirits, considering them as subordinate deities. Our missionaries have
not found rank polytheism, or gross idolatry, to exist among the Indians.
They have, however, something which may be called an idol. This is the
_manitto_, representing in wood, the head of a man in miniature, which
they always carry about them, either on a string round their neck, or
in a bag. They hang it also about their children, to preserve them
from illness, and ensure to them success. When they perform a solemn
sacrifice, a _manitto_, or a head as large as life, is put upon a pole
in the middle of the house. But they understand by the word _manitto_,
every being to which an offering is made, especially all good spirits.
They also look upon the elements, almost all animals, and even some
plants, as spirits; one exceeding the other in dignity and power. The
manittoes are also considered as tutelar spirits. Every Indian has one
or more, which he conceives to be peculiarly given to him to assist
him and make him prosper. One has, in a dream, received the sun as his
tutelar spirit, another the moon; a third, an owl; a fourth, a buffalo.
An Indian is dispirited, and considers himself as forsaken by God, till
he has received a tutelar spirit in a dream; but those who have been thus
favoured, are full of courage and proud of their powerful ally.”[38]

This account is corroborated by Heckewelder, in his late interesting
history of the Indian nations.

“It is a part of their religious belief” says he, “that there are
inferior _manittoes_ to whom the great and good being has given the
rule and command over the elements; that being so great, he, like their
chiefs, must have his attendants to execute his supreme behests: these
subordinate spirits, (something in their nature between God and man) see
and report to him what is doing upon earth; they look down particularly
upon the Indians, to see whether they are in need of assistance, and
are ready at their call to assist and protect them against danger. Thus
I have frequently witnessed Indians, on the approach of a storm or
thunder-gust, address the _manitto_ of the air to avert all danger from
them; I have also seen the Chippeways, on the lakes of Canada, pray to
the _manitto_ of the waters, that he might prevent the swells from rising
too high, while they were passing over them. In both these instances they
expressed their willingness to be grateful, by throwing tobacco in the
air or strewing it on the waters. ‘But amidst all these superstitious
notions, the supreme _manitto_, the creator and preserver of heaven
and earth, is the great object of their adoration. On him they rest
their hopes; to him they address their prayers, and make their solemn
sacrifices.’[39]

“The Knistineaux Indians who inhabit the country extending from Labrador,
across the continent, to the Highlands which divide the waters on
Lake Superior, from those of Hudson’s Bay, appear, from Mackenzie’s
account, to have the same system, of one great Supreme, and innumerable
subordinate deities. ‘The great master of life,’ to use their own
expression, is the sacred object of their devotion. But each man carries
in his medicine bag a kind of household god, which is a small carved
image, about eight inches long. Its first covering is of down, over which
a piece of beech bark is closely tied, and the whole is enveloped in
several folds of blue and red cloth. This little figure is an object of
the most pious regard.

“It is remarkable, that the description given by Peter Martyr, who was
the companion of Columbus, of the worship of the inhabitants of Cuba,
perfectly agrees with this account of the Northern Indians, by Mackenzie.
They believed in the existence of one supreme, invisible, immortal and
omnipotent Creator, whom they named _Jocahuna_, but at the same time
acknowledged a plurality of subordinate deities. They had little images
called Zemes, whom they looked upon as only a kind of messengers between
them and the eternal omnipotent and invisible God. These images they
consider as bodies inhabited by spirits, and oracular responses were
therefore received from them as uttered by the divine command.”[40]

“The religion of Porto Rico, Jamaica, and Hispaniola, was the same as
that of Cuba; for the inhabitants were of the same race, and spoke the
same language. The Caribbean Islands, on the other hand, were inhabited
by a very fierce and savage people who were continually at war with the
milder natives of Cuba and Hispaniola, and were regarded by them with the
utmost terror and abhorence. Yet ‘the Charaibeans,’ to use the language
of the elegant historian of the West Indies, ‘while they entertained an
awful sense of the one great Universal Cause, of a superior, wise, and
invisible Being of absolute and irresistible power, admitted also the
agency of subordinate divinities. They supposed that each individual
person had his peculiar protector, or tutelar deity; and they had
their laws and penalties, gods of their own creating.’ Hughes, in his
history of Barbadoes, mentions many fragments of Indian idols, dug up
in that island, which were composed of the same materials as their
earthen vessels. ‘I saw the head of one,’ says he, ‘which alone weighed
above sixty pounds. This, before it was broken off, stood upon an oval
pedestal, about three feet in height. The heads of all the others were
very small. These lesser idols were, in all probability, made small for
the ease and conveniency of being carried with them in their several
journeys, as the larger sort were perhaps designed for the stated places
of worship.’”[41]

“Thus, in this vast extent of country, from Hudson’s Bay, to the West
Indies, including nations whose languages are radically different,
nations unconnected with, and unknown to, each other, the greatest
uniformity of belief prevails, with regard to the supreme Being, and
the greatest harmony in their system of polytheism. After this view,
it is impossible not to remark, that there is a similar departure from
the original religion among the Indians of America, as among the more
civilized nations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The idea of the Divine
Unity is much more perfectly preserved; the subordinate divinities
are kept at a much more immeasurable distance from the Great Spirit;
and, above all, there has been no attempt among them to degrade to
the likeness of men the invisible and incomprehensible Creator of the
universe. In fact, theirs is exactly that milder form of idolatry which
‘prevailed everywhere from the days of Abraham, his single family
excepted,’ and which, after the death of that patriarch and of his son
Isaac, infected, from time to time, even the chosen family itself.”[42]

“The belief of a future state of rewards and punishments, has been kept
alive among all heathen nations, by its connection with the sensible
enjoyments and sufferings, and the consequent hopes and terror of men.

“Its origin must have been in divine revelation;[43] for it is impossible
to conceive that the mind can have attained to it by its own unassisted
powers. But the thought, when once communicated, would in the shipwreck
of dissolving nature, be clung to with the grasp of expiring hope. Hence
no nation have yet been found, however rude and barbarous, who have not
agreed in the great and general principle of retributive immortality.
When, however, we descend to detail, and inquire into their peculiar
notions with regard to this expected state, we find that their traditions
are coloured by the nature of their earthly occupations, and the opinions
they thence entertained on the subject of good and evil.

“This remark is fully verified by the history of the American Indians.
‘The belief most firmly established among the American Savages,’ says
Charlevoix, ‘is that of the immortality of the soul. They suppose that
when separated from the body, it preserves the same inclinations which
it had when both were united. For this reason, they bury with the dead
all that they had in use when alive. Some imagine that all men have
two souls, one of which never leaves the body, unless it be to inhabit
another. This transmigration, however, is peculiar to the souls of those
who die in infancy, and who therefore have the privilege of commencing a
second life, because they enjoyed so little of the first. Hence children
are buried along the highways, that the women as they pass may receive
their souls. From this idea of their remaining with the body, arises the
duty of placing food upon their graves;[44] and mothers have been seen
to draw from their bosoms that nourishment which these little creatures
loved when alive, and shed it upon the earth which covered their
remains.’”[45]

“When the time has arrived for the departure of those spirits which leave
the body, they pass into a region which is destined to be their eternal
abode, and which is therefore called the country of souls. This country
is at a great distance towards the West, and to go thither costs them
a journey of many months. They have many difficulties to surmount, and
many perils to encounter. They speak of a stream in which many suffer
shipwreck; of a dog from which they with difficulty defend themselves; of
a place of suffering where they expiate their faults; of another in which
the souls of those prisoners who have been tortured are again tormented,
and who therefore linger on their course, to delay as long as possible
the moment of their arrival. From this idea it proceeds that after the
death of these unhappy victims, for fear their souls may remain around
the huts of their tormentors from the thirst of vengeance, the latter are
careful to strike every place around them with a staff, and to utter such
terrible cries as may oblige them to depart.”[46]

“To be put to death as a captive, is, therefore, an exclusion from the
Indian paradise; and, indeed, the souls of all who have died a violent
death, even in war, and in the service of their country, are supposed
to have no intercourse in the future world with other souls. They,
therefore, burn the bodies of such persons, or bury them, sometimes
before they have expired. They are never put into the common place of
interment, and they have no part in that solemn ceremony which the Hurons
and the Iroquois observe every ten years, and other nations every eight,
of depositing all who have died during that period in a common place of
sepulture.

“To have been a good hunter, brave in war, fortunate in every enterprise,
and victorious over many enemies, are the only titles to enter their
abode of bliss. The happiness of it consists in the never-failing supply
of game and fish, an eternal spring, and an abundance of every thing
which can delight the senses without the labour of procuring it. Such are
the pleasures which they anticipate, who often return weary and hungry
from the chase, who are often exposed to the inclemencies of a winter
sky, and who look upon all labour as an unmanly and degrading employment.

“The Chippewayans live between the parallels of lat. 60 and 65 north, a
region of almost perpetual snows; where the ground never thaws, and is so
barren as to produce nothing but moss.[47]

“To them, therefore, perpetual verdure and fertility, and waters
unincumbered with ice, are voluptuous images. Hence they imagine that,
after death, they shall inhabit a most beautiful island in the centre of
a most extensive lake. On the surface of this lake they will embark in
a stone canoe, and if their actions have been generally good, will be
borne by a gentle current to their delightful and eternal abode. But if,
on the contrary, their bad actions predominate, the stone canoe sinks,
and leaves them up to their chins in the water to behold and regret the
reward enjoyed by the good, and eternally struggling, but with unavailing
endeavours, to reach the blissful island from which they are excluded for
ever.[48]

“On the other hand the Arrowauks, or natives of Cuba, Hispaniola, Porto
Rico, Jamaica, and Trinidad, would naturally place their enjoyments in
every thing that was opposite to the violence of a tropical climate. They
suppose, therefore, that the spirits of good men were conveyed to the
pleasant valley of _Coyaba_; a place of indolent tranquillity, abounding
with _Guavas_ and other delicious fruits, cool shades, and murmuring
rivulets; in a country where drought never rages, and the hurricane is
never felt.[49]

“While these voluptuous people made the happiness of the future state
to consist in these tranquil enjoyments, their fierce enemies, the
Charaibes, looked forward to a paradise, in which the brave would
be attended by their wives and captives. The degenerate and the
cowardly they doomed to everlasting banishment beyond the mountains;
to unremitting labour in employments that disgrace manhood—disgrace
heightened by the greatest of all afflictions, captivity and servitude
among the Arrowauks.”[50]

“To all the inferior deities, whether good or malevolent, the Hurons,
the Iroquois, and the Algonquins, make various kinds of offerings. To
propitiate the God of the waters, says Charlevoix, ‘they cast into the
streams and lakes, tobacco, and birds which they have put to death. In
honour of the sun, and also of inferior spirits, they consume in the
fire a part of every thing they use, as an acknowledgement of the power
from which they have derived these possessions. On some occasions they
have been observed to make libations, invoking at the same time, in a
mysterious manner, the object of their worship. These invocations they
have never explained; whether it be, that they have in fact no meaning,
or that the words have been transmitted by tradition, unaccompanied by
their signification, or that the Indians themselves are unwilling to
reveal the secret. Strings of wampum, tobacco, ears of corn, the skins,
and often the whole carcases of animals, are seen along difficult or
dangerous roads, on rocks, and on the shores of rapids, as so many
offerings made to the presiding spirit of the place. In these cases, dogs
are the most common victims; and are often suspended alive upon trees by
the hinder feet, where they are left to die in a state of madness.’[51]

“What Charlevoix thus affirms with regard to the Hurons, Iroquois
and Algonquins, is mentioned by Mackenzie, as practised among the
Knisteneaux. ‘There are stated periods’ says he ‘such as the spring
and autumn, when they engage in very long and solemn ceremonies. On
these occasions dogs are offered as sacrifices: and those which are
fat and milk-white are preferred. They also make large offerings of
their property, whatever it may be. The scene of these ceremonies,
is in an open enclosure, on the banks of a river or lake, and in the
most conspicuous situation, in order that such as are passing along,
or travelling, may be induced to make their offerings. There is also
a particular custom among them, that on these occasions if any of the
tribe, or even a stranger, should be passing by, and be in real want of
any thing that is displayed as an offering, he has a right to take it,
so that he replaces it with some article he can spare, though it be of
far inferior value; but to take or touch any thing wantonly is considered
as a sacrilegious act, and highly insulting to the _great master of
life_, who is the sacred object of their devotion.’ At the feasts made by
their chiefs, he further observes, ‘a small quantity of meat or drink is
sacrificed before they begin to eat, by throwing it into the fire, or on
the earth.’[52]

“A similar account is given by Adair of the practice among the Creeks,
Katàbahs, Cherokees, Chocktaws, and other Southern Indians. ‘The Indian
women,’ says he, ‘always throw a small piece of the fattest of the meat
into the fire, when they are eating, and frequently before they begin to
eat. They pretend to draw omens from it, and firmly believe that it is
the mean of obtaining temporal blessings, and averting temporal evils.
The men, both in their summer and winter hunt, sacrifice in the woods a
large fat piece of the first buck they kill, and frequently the whole
carcase. This they offer up, either as a thanksgiving for the recovery of
health, and for their former success in hunting, or that the divine care
and goodness may still be continued with them.’[53]

“The song of the Lenapé warriors, as they go out to meet their enemy,
concludes with the promise of a victim if they return in safety.

    O! Thou Great Spirit above!
    …
    Give me strength and courage to meet my enemy;
    Suffer me to return again to my children,
    To my wife,
    And to my relations!
    Take pity on me and preserve my life.
    And I will make to thee a sacrifice.

“Accordingly, ‘after a successful war,’ says Heckewelder, ‘they never
fail to offer up a sacrifice to the great Being, to return him thanks
for having given them courage and strength to destroy or conquer their
enemies.’”[54]

“Loskiel, who has given a minute account of the sacrifices offered by
the Lenapés or Delawares and who is said by Heckewelder to have almost
exhausted the subject, affirms that they are offered on all occasions,
the most trivial as well as the most important. ‘They sacrifice to a
hare,’ says he, ‘because according to report, the first ancestors of
the Indian tribe had that name.’ To Indian corn they sacrifice bear’s
flesh, but to deer and bears Indian corn; to the fishes, small pieces of
bread in the shape of fishes; but they positively deny that they pay any
adoration to these subordinate good spirits, and affirm that they only
worship the true God through them: ‘for God,’ say they, ‘does not require
men to pay offerings or adoration immediately to him.’ He has, therefore,
made known his will in dreams, notifying to them what beings they have to
consider as _manittoes_, and what offerings to make to them.”[55]

When a boy dreams that he sees a large bird of prey, of the size of a
man, flying towards him from the North, and saying to him ‘roast some
meat for me,’ the boy is then bound to sacrifice the first deer or bear
he shoots to this bird. This sacrifice is appointed by an old man, who
fixes on the day and place in which it is to be performed. Three days
previous to it, messengers are sent to invite the guests. These assemble
in some lonely place, in a house large enough to contain three fires.
At the middle fire, the old man performs the sacrifice. Having sent for
twelve straight and supple sticks, he fastens then into the ground, so as
to enclose a circular spot, covering them with blankets. He then rolls
twelve red-hot stones in the enclosure, each of which is dedicated to one
god in particular. The largest belongs, as they say, to the great god in
heaven; the second to the sun, or the god of the day; the third, to the
sun or the moon; the fourth, to the earth; the fifth, to the fire; the
sixth, to the water; the seventh, to the dwelling or house of God; the
eighth, to Indian corn; the ninth, to the West; the tenth, to the South;
the eleventh, to the East; the twelfth to the North. The old man then
takes a rattle, containing some grains of Indian corn, and leading the
boy, for whom the sacrifice is made, into the enclosure, throws a handful
of tobacco upon the red-hot stones, and as the smoke ascends, rattles his
calabash, calling each god by name, and saying:—‘This boy (naming him)
offers unto thee a fine fat deer, and a delicious dish of sapan! Have
mercy on him, and grant good luck to him and his family.’[56]

“All the inhabitants of the West Indies offered sacrifices; and of these
the Charaibes were accustomed, at the funerals of their friends, to offer
some of the captives who had been taken in battle.[57] I scarcely need
advert to the well-known fact, that human sacrifices were offered by
the Mexicans. Of these, all the Spanish historians have given the most
horrible and disgusting account, and they are described more especially
by Bernal Diaz, who was an eye-witness, with the most artless and
affecting simplicity. Of this practice, however, there are no traces
among the present Indian tribes, unless the tormenting of their captives,
as Charlevoix seems to intimate, be considered as a sacrifice to the god
of war.

“Having seen that Sacrifice is practised among the Indians, we are
naturally led to consider the question, whether they have among them a
priesthood: and on this point, the testimony of travellers is somewhat
discordant. Mackenzie mentions that the Chipewyans have high-priests;[58]
yet he describes the public sacrifices of the Knisteneaux, as offered by
their chiefs, and the private, by every man in his own cabin, assisted
by his most intimate friend.[59] Charlevoix says, that among the Indians
of whom he writes, ‘in public ceremonies, the chiefs are the priests;
in private, the father of each family; or where there is none, the most
considerable person in the cabin. An aged missionary,’ he says, ‘who
lived among the Ottàwas, stated that with them an old man performed the
office of priest.’ Loskiel says of the Lenapé, or Delaware Indians,
that ‘they have neither priests regularly appointed, nor temples. At
general and solemn sacrifices the oldest men perform the offices of
priests; but in private parties, each man bringing a sacrifice is priest
himself. Instead of a temple, a large dwelling-house is fitted up for
the purpose.’ He afterwards speaks of the place of offering under the
name of ‘the house of sacrifice,’ and mentions it as being ‘in a lonely
place.’[60]

“On the other hand, Bartram, in his account of the Southern tribes,
says, ‘there is in every town, or tribe, a high-priest, with several
inferior or junior priests, called by the white people jugglers, or
conjurers.’[61] To the same purpose, Adair asserts, that they ‘have
their high priests, and others of a religious order.’ ‘Ishtahoollo,’ he
observes, ‘is the name of all their priestly order, and their pontifical
office descends by inheritance to the eldest.’[62]

“Notwithstanding this diversity, however, the difference is more in
appearance than in reality. Various meanings attached to the same words,
in consequence of arbitrary associations, may produce a diversity of
description. If a priest be one whose exclusive duty it is to celebrate
the rites of religion, then it must be admitted that a priesthood exists
among the Indians; for those who deny that they have priests, allow that
in their public sacrifices the chiefs are the only persons authorized
to officiate. The only difference, then, lies in this, whether the
priesthood be, or be not, connected with the office of the magistrate.

“Among Christians, as among the Jews, the priesthood is distinct from the
civil authority; but previous to the separation of the family of Aaron,
these two offices were generally united. Melchizedeck was both king of
Salem and priest of the most High God. Jethro was, at the same time,
priest and prince of Midian; and Abraham himself, who is called a prince,
performed the sacerdotal functions. We find this union of the regal and
sacerdotal characters existing among heathen nations. Homer described the
aged Pylian king as performing religious rites;[63] and Virgil tells of
the monarch of Delos, who was both priest and king:—

    ‘Rex Anius, rex idem, hominum Phœbique sacerdos.’[64]

“Among the Creeks and other Southern Indians, a monarchical form of
government seems to prevail; among the Northern Indians, a republican.
In both, the sacerdotal office may be united with civil authority; and
therefore partake of its peculiar character. Among the one, it may be
hereditary; among the other elective. If this be not sufficient to
reconcile the discordant accounts, we are bound, I think, to respect the
united testimony of Charlevoix and Loskiel, in preference to any other,
as they do not appear to have had any system to serve which might give
a bias to their statements. And if this be so, it will be seen that
the religion of the Indians approaches much nearer to the patriarchal,
than to that of the Jews. Their public sacerdotal offices are performed
by their chiefs, and in their private, the head of every family is its
priest.

“But there is another office which Carver, Bartram and others have
confounded with the priesthood, which exists among all the Indian
tribes, and concerning which there is no diversity in the statements of
travellers. To this class of men the French missionaries gave the name
of _Jongleurs_, whence the English have derived that of jugglers or
conjurers. To use the definition of Charlevoix, they are those servants
of their God, whose duty it is to announce their wishes, and to be their
interpreters to men: or, in the language of Volney, those ‘whose trade
it is, to expound dreams, and to negotiate between the _Manitto_ and
the votary.’ ‘The Jongleurs of Canada,’ says Charlevoix, ‘boast that by
means of the good spirits whom they consult, they learn what is passing
in most remote countries, and what is to come to pass at the most remote
period of time; that they discover the origin and nature of the most
secret disorders, and obtain the hidden method of curing them; that they
discern the course to be pursued in the most intricate affairs; that
they learn to explain the obscurest dreams, to give success to the most
difficult negociations, and to render the gods propitious to warriors and
hunters.’ ‘I have heard,’ he adds, ‘from persons of the most undoubted
judgment and veracity, that when these imposters shut themselves up in
their sweating stones, which is one of their most common preparations
for the performance of their sleight of hand, they differ in no respect
from the descriptions given by the poets, of the priestesses of Apollo,
when seated on the Delphic Tripod. They have been seen to fall into
convulsions, to assume tones of voice, and to perform actions, which
were seemingly superior to human strength, and which inspired with
an unconquerable terror even the most prejudiced spectators.’ Their
predictions were sometimes so surprisingly verified, that Charlevoix
seems firmly to have believed that they had a real intercourse with the
father of lies.[65]

“This account of the Jongleurs of Canada, is confirmed by Mr.
Heckewelder, in his late work on the Indian tribes. ‘They are a set,’
he observes, ‘of professional impostors, who availing themselves of the
superstitious prejudices of the people, acquire the name and reputation
of men of superior knowledge, and possessed of supernatural powers. As
the Indians in general believe in witchcraft, and ascribe to the arts
of sorcerers many of the disorders with which they are afflicted in the
regular course of nature, this class of men has arisen among them, who
pretend to be skilled in a certain occult science, by means of which they
are able, not only to cure natural diseases, but to counteract or destroy
the enchantments of wizards or witches, and expel evil spirits.’[66]

“There are jugglers of another kind, in general old men and women, who
get their living by pretending to supernatural knowledge, to bring down
rain when wanted, and to impart good luck to bad hunters. In the summer
of 1799, a most uncommon drought happened in the Muskingum country.
An old man was applied to by the women to bring down rain, and after
various ceremonies, declared that they should have rain enough. The sky
had been clear for nearly five weeks, and was equally clear when the
Indian made this declaration. But about four in the afternoon the horizon
became overcast, and, without any thunder or wind, it began to rain, and
continued to do so till the ground became thoroughly soaked. Experience
had doubtless taught him to observe that certain signs in the sky or in
the water were forerunners of rain; yet the credulous multitude did not
fail to ascribe it to his supernatural power.[67] It is incredible to
what a degree the superstitious belief in witchcraft operates on the mind
of the Indian. The moment his imagination is struck with the idea that
he is bewitched, he is no longer himself. Of this extraordinary power
of their conjurers, of the causes which produce it, and the manner in
which it is acquired, they have not a very definite idea. The sorcerer,
they think, makes use of some deadening substance, which he conveys
to the person he means to strike, in a manner which they can neither
understand or describe. The person thus stricken is immediately seized
with an unaccountable terror. His spirits sink, his appetite fails, he is
disturbed in his sleep, he pines and wastes away, or a fit of sickness
seizes him, and he dies at last, a miserable victim to the workings of
his own imagination.[68]

“A remarkable instance of this belief in the power of these sorcerers,
and of the wonderful effects of imagination, is related by Hearne, as
having occurred during his residence among the northern or Chepewyan
Indians. Matonabbee, one of their chiefs, had requested him to kill one
of his enemies, who was at that time several hundred miles distant. ‘To
please this great man,’ says he, ‘and not expecting that any harm could
possibly arise from it, I drew a rough sketch of two human figures on a
piece of paper, in the attitude of wrestling; in the hand of one of them
I drew the figure of a bayonet, pointing to the breast of the other.
This, said I, to Matonabbee, pointing to the figure which was holding the
bayonet, is I, and the other is your enemy. Opposite to those two figures
I drew a fine tree, over which I placed a large human eye, and out of
the tree projected a human hand. This paper I gave to Matonabbee, with
instructions to make it as public as possible. The following year when he
came to trade, he informed me that the man was dead. Matonabbee assured
me, that the man was in perfect health when he heard of my design against
him, but almost immediately afterwards became quite gloomy, and, refusing
all kinds of sustenance, in a very few days died.’[69]

“Bartram, in his account of the manners and habits of the tribes which
inhabit Florida and the south of the United States, relates, as their
general belief, that their seer has communion with powerful invisible
spirits, who have a share in the government of human affairs, as well
as of the elements. His influence is so great, as frequently to turn
back an army when within a day’s journey of their enemy, after a march
of several hundred miles. ‘Indeed,’ he adds, ‘the predictions of these
men have surprised many people. They foretell rain or drought, pretend
to bring rain at pleasure, cure diseases, exercise witchcraft, invoke or
expel evil spirits, and even assume the power of directing thunder and
lightening.’[70]

“The power, then, of these imposters, is supposed to consist in the
miraculous cure of diseases; the procuring of rain, and other temporal
blessings, in the same supernatural manner; the miraculous infliction of
punishment upon the subjects of their displeasure, and the foretelling
of future events. It will immediately be seen, that these are, in fact,
the characteristics of the prophetic office; those I mean, which are
external, which produce therefore, a lasting impression on the senses of
men, and from the force of ocular tradition, would naturally be pretended
to, even after the power of God was withdrawn.”



_Of the mode in which the North American Indians educate their children._


Many of the Asiatic nations and African tribes sell their children
without compunction; but no emolument or hope of advantage can induce
a North American Indian to part with his child to strangers. Of the
tenderness with which the American Indians regard their offspring,
Buchanan witnessed the following manifestation:—

“A mother with an infant at her breast, and two other children, one
about eleven and the other eight or nine years of age, were in a canoe
near a mile from land, during a violent squall. The wind came in sudden
gusts, and the waves dashed in rapid succession over the frail vessel.
The poor woman, with a small oar in one hand and the other surrounding
her babe, directed the two young ones, who each had a paddle, to get the
head of the canoe to the wind while the squall lasted; which, with much
labour on the part of these tender little mariners, aided by the mother,
was at length effected; but during the effort it was very touching to
see the strong emotions of maternal love, evidenced to the poor infant
at her breast. She would clasp it tightly to her agitated bosom, then
cast a momentary look at her other children, and with an anxious and
steady gaze, watch the coming wave. In this scene was exhibited such
high degrees of fortitude, dexterity, and parental affection, that I
would have wished many of our civilized mothers, who look and think with
contempt on the poor Indian, had beheld her.”

It might be expected that those who display such tenderness to their
offspring, should be particularly careful of their subsequent education.
Accordingly, we find that the Indians pay particular attention to this
matter. “It may be justly a subject of wonder,” says Mr. Heckewelder,
“how a nation without a written code of laws or system of jurisprudence,
without any form or constitution of government, and without even a single
elective or hereditary magistrate, can subsist together in peace and
harmony, and in the exercise of the moral virtues; how a people can be
well and effectually governed, without any external authority, by the
mere force of the ascendency which men of superior minds have over those
of a more ordinary stamp; by a tacit, yet universal submission to the
aristocracy of experience, talent, and virtue! Such, nevertheless, is
the spectacle which an Indian nation exhibits to the eye of a stranger.
I have been a witness to it for a long series of years, and after much
observation and reflection to discover the cause of this phenomenon, I
think I have reason to be satisfied that it is in a great degree to be
ascribed _to the pains which the Indians take to instil at an early age
honest and virtuous principles into the minds of their children, and to
the method which they pursue in educating them_. This method I will not
call a system, for systems are unknown to these sons of nature, who,
by following alone her dictates, have at once discovered, and followed
without effort, that plain obvious path which the philosophers of Europe
have been so long in search of.”[71]

The manner of this education is described by our good missionary as
follows:—

“The first step that parents take towards the education of their
children, is to prepare them for future happiness, by impressing upon
their tender minds, that they are indebted for their existence to a
great, good, and benevolent spirit, who not only has given them life,
but has ordained them for certain great purposes. That he has given them
a fertile extensive country, well stocked with game of every kind for
their subsistence; and that by one of his inferior spirits he has also
sent down to them from above, corn, pumpkins, squashes, beans, and other
vegetables for their nourishment; all which blessings their ancestors
have enjoyed for a great number of ages. That this great spirit looks
down upon the Indians, to see whether they are grateful to him and make
him a due return for the many benefits he has bestowed, and therefore,
that it is their duty to show their thankfulness by worshiping him, and
doing that which is pleasing in his sight.

“This is in substance the first lesson taught, and from time to time
repeated to the Indian children, which naturally leads them to reflect
and gradually to understand that a being which hath done such great
things for them, and all to make them happy, must be good indeed, and
that it is surely their duty to do something that will please him. They
are then told that their ancestors, who received all this from the hands
of the Great Spirit and lived in the enjoyment of it, must have been
informed of what would be most pleasing to this good being, and of the
manner in which his favour could most surely he obtained; and they are
directed to look up for instruction to those who know all this, learn
from them, and revere them for their knowledge and the wisdom which they
possess; this creates in the children a strong sentiment of respect for
their elders, and a desire to follow their advice and example. Their
young ambition is then excited by telling them that they were made the
superiors of all other creatures, and are to have power over them; great
pains are taken to make this feeling take an early root, and it becomes,
in fact, their ruling passion through life; for no pains are spared to
instil into them, that by following the advice of the most admired and
extolled hunter, trapper, or warrior, they will at a future day acquire
a degree of fame and reputation equal to that which he possesses; that
by submitting to the counsels of the aged, the chiefs, the men superior
in wisdom, they may also rise to glory, and be called _wise men_, an
honorable title to which no Indian is indifferent. They are finally told
that if they respect the aged and infirm, and are kind and obliging to
them, they will be treated in the same manner when their turn comes to
feel the infirmities of old age.”

When this first and important lesson is thought to be sufficiently
impressed upon children’s minds, the parents next proceed to make them
sensible of the distinction between good and evil; they tell them that
there are good and bad actions, both equally open to them to do or
commit; that good acts are pleasing to the Good Spirit which gave them
their existence; and that on the contrary, all that is bad proceeds from
the Bad Spirit who has given them nothing, and who cannot give them
anything that is good, because he has it not, and therefore he envies
them that which they have received from the good spirit, who is far
superior to the bad one.

“This introductory lesson, if it may be so called, naturally makes them
wish to know what is good and what is bad. This the parent teaches them
in his own way, that is to say, in the way in which he was himself taught
by his parents. It is not the lesson of an hour or of a day; it is
rather a long course more of practical than of theoretical instruction;
a lesson, which is not repeated at stated times and seasons, but which
is shown, pointed out, and demonstrated to the child, not only by those
under whose immediate guardianship he is, but by the whole community, who
consider themselves alike interested in the direction to be given to the
rising generation.

“When this instruction is given in the form of precepts, it must not be
supposed that it is done in an authoritative or forbidding tone, but,
on the contrary, in the gentlest and most persuasive manner: nor is the
parent’s authority ever supported by harsh or compulsive means; no whips,
no punishments, no threats are ever used to enforce commands or compel
obedience. The child’s _pride_ is the feeling to which an appeal is made,
which proves successful in almost every instance. A father needs only
to say in the presence of his children: ‘I want such a thing done; I
want one of my children to go upon such an errand; let me see who is the
_good_ child that will do it!’ this word _good_ operates, as it were, by
magic, and the children immediately vie with each other to comply with
the wishes of their parent. If the father sees an old decrepit man or
woman pass by, led along by a child, he will draw the attention of his
own children to the object by saying: ‘what a good child that must be,
which pays such attention to the aged! That child, indeed, looks forward
to the time when it shall be old!’ or he will say: ‘may the Great Spirit,
who looks upon him, grant this _good_ child a long life!’

“In this manner of bringing up children, the parents, as I have already
said, are seconded by the whole community. If a child is sent from his
father’s dwelling to carry a dish of victuals to an aged person, all in
the house will join in calling him a _good_ child. They will ask whose
child he is; and on being told, will exclaim, what! ‘has the _Tortoise_,
or the _Little Bear_ (as the father’s name may be) got such a _good_
child?’ If a child is seen passing through the streets leading an old
decrepit person, the villagers will in his hearing, and to encourage all
the other children who may be present to take example from him, call on
one another to look on and see what a _good_ child that must be. And
so, in most instances, this method is resorted to, for the purpose of
instructing children in things that are good, proper, or honorable in
themselves; while, on the other hand, when a child has committed a _bad_
act, the parent will say to him, ‘O! how grieved I am that my child has
done this bad act! I hope he will never do so again.’ This is generally
effectual, particularly if said in the presence of others. The whole of
the Indian plan of education tends to elevate rather than depress the
mind, and by that means to make determined hunters and fearless warriors.

“Thus, when a lad has killed his first game, such as a deer or a bear,
parents who have boys growing up will not fail to say to some person
in the presence of their own children: ‘that boy must have listened
attentively to the aged hunters, for, though so young, he has already
given a proof that he will become a good hunter himself.’ If, on the
other hand, a young man should fail of giving such a proof, it will be
said of him: ‘that he did not pay attention to discourses of the aged.’

“In this indirect manner is instruction on all subjects given to the
young people. They are to learn the arts of hunting, trapping, and making
war, by listening to the aged when conversing together on those subjects;
each in his turn relating how he acted; and opportunities are afforded to
them for that purpose. By this mode of instructing youth, their respect
for the aged is kept alive, and it is increased by the reflection that
the same respect will be paid to them at a future day, when young persons
will be attentive to what they shall relate.

“This method of conveying instruction is, I believe, common to most
Indian nations; it is so, at least, amongst all those that I have become
acquainted with, and lays the foundation for that voluntary submission
to their chiefs, for which they are so remarkable. Thus has been
maintained for ages, without convulsions and without civil discords,
this traditional government, of which the world perhaps does not offer
another example; a government in which there are no positive laws, but
only long established habits and customs; no code of jurisprudence, but
the experience of former times; no magistrates, but advisers, to whom the
people nevertheless pay a willing and implicit obedience; in which age
confers rank, wisdom gives power, and moral goodness secures a title to
universal respect. All this seems to be effected by the simple means of
an excellent mode of education, by which a strong attachment to ancient
customs, respect for age, and the love of virtue are indelibly impressed
upon the minds of youth, so that these impressions acquire strength as
time pursues its course, and as they pass through successive generations.”

What can afford stronger proof of the Socialist’s doctrine, that the
character of man results from the peculiar mode of training to which
he may be subjected, than the forgoing statements of the missionary
Heckewelder? Robert Owen and his disciples assert that man is the
creature of circumstances; that the quality of his character corresponds
to the quality of the associations under the influence of which he has
been trained. And in the statements of a minister of the Gospel, we
find ample proof of the truth of these assertions. O! that men were
wise enough to perceive the benefits that would result from the proper
application of a principle, the truth of which is thus warranted by the
condition, character, and training of the Aborigines of America!



_Further particulars respecting the Cruelty of the Indians, their
Hospitality, their sense of Justice, and the mode in which the Whites
have acted towards them._


A great deal has been said respecting the cruelty of the North-American
Indians. That they are in some instances cruel, may be admitted; but
this need not be wondered at, when we consider the atrocities which the
whites have perpetrated upon them. “Cruelty and eager desire for revenge”
says Buchanan, “are the chief, if not the only deformities of their
nature; and these are scarcely ever manifested, except in their open
hostilities, the causes of which are precisely similar to those which
actuate civilized nations. Then indeed their ferocity breaks out with
almost demoniacal fury; their captives are generally doomed to death;
but it is not until they have undergone the most exquisite tortures,
the most ingenious, unutterable and protracted agony, that the final
blow is given. These atrocious practices are not however peculiar to
our unlettered Indians. The metal boot and wedge; the thumb screw; the
rack; the gradual burnings of Smithfield; the religious butchery of the
bloody Piedmontese who rolled Mother with Infant down the rocks; the
dismemberment by horses; Luke’s iron crown; Damien’s bed of steel;” and
the kiss of the virgin; “sufficiently attest the claims of enlightened
man to distinction in the art of torture.”[72]

Governor Clinton in his discourse to the New York Society, says that “the
five nations, notwithstanding their horrible cruelty, are in one respect,
entitled to singular commendation for the exercise of humanity; those
enemies they spared in battle they made free; whereas, with all other
barbarous nations slavery was the commutation of death. But it becomes
not us, if we value the character of our forefathers; it becomes not the
civilized nations of Europe who have had American possessions, to inveigh
against the merciless conduct of the savage. His appetite for blood
was sharpened and whetted by European instigation and his cupidity was
enlisted on the side of cruelty by every temptation.”[73]

On the cruelty of the Indians, and the provocation they have received
from the Whites, Mr. Heckewelder in his 44th chapter, has the following
observations—

“The Indians are cruel to their enemies!—In some cases they are, but
perhaps not more so than white men have sometimes shown themselves.
There have been instances of white men flaying or taking off the skins
of Indians who had fallen into their hands, then tanning those skins
or cutting them up in pieces, making them up into razor-straps, and
exporting them for sale, as was done at or near Pittsburg sometime during
the revolutionary war. Those things are abominations in the eyes of the
Indians, who indeed, when strongly excited, inflict torments on their
prisoners and put them to death by cruel tortures, but never are guilty
of acts of barbarity in cold blood. Neither do the Delawares and some
other Indian nations, ever on any account disturb the ashes of the dead.

“The custom of torturing prisoners is of ancient date, and was first
introduced as a trial of courage. I have been told, however, that among
some tribes it has never been in use; but it must be added that those
tribes give no quarter. The Delawares accuse the Iroquois of having been
the inventors of this piece of cruelty, and charge them further with
eating the flesh of their prisoners after the torture was over. Be this
as it may, there are now but few instances of prisoners being put to
death in this manner.

“Rare as these barbarous executions now are, I have reason to believe
that they would be still less frequent, if proper pains were taken to
turn the Indians away from this heathenish custom. Instead of this, it is
but too true that they have been excited to cruelty by unprincipled white
men, who have joined in their war-feasts and even added to the barbarity
of the scene. Can there be a more brutal act than, after furnishing those
savages, as they are called, with implements of war and destruction, to
give them an ox to kill and to roast whole, to dance the war dance with
them round the slaughtered animal, strike at him, stab him, telling the
Indians at the same time, ‘Strike, stab! thus you must do to your enemy!’
Then taking a piece of the meat and tearing it with their teeth, ‘So you
must eat his flesh!’ and sucking up the juices, ‘Thus you must drink his
blood;’ and at last devour the whole as wolves do a carcass. This is what
is known to have been done by some of those Indian agents that I have
mentioned.

“Is this possible? the reader will naturally exclaim. Yes! it is
possible! and every Indian warrior will tell you that it is true. It has
come to me from so many credible sources that I _am forced_ to believe
it. How can the Indians now be reproached with acts of cruelty to which
they have been excited by those who pretended to be Christians and
civilized men, but who were worse savages than those whom, no doubt, they
were ready to brand with that name.

“When hostile governments give directions to employ the Indians against
their enemies, they surely do not know that such is the manner in which
their orders are to be executed; but let me tell them and every other
government who will descend to employ these auxiliaries, that is the
only way in which their subaltern agents will and can proceed to make
their aid effectual. The Indians are not fond of interfering in quarrels
not their own, and will not fight with spirit for the mere sake of a
livelihood which they can obtain in a more agreeable manner by hunting
and their other ordinary occupations. Their passions must be excited;
and that is not easily done when they themselves have not received any
injury from those against whom they are desired to fight. Behold then,
the abominable course which must unavoidably be resorted to—to induce
them to do what?—to lay waste the dwelling of the peaceable cultivator of
the land, and to murder his innocent wife and helpless children! I cannot
pursue this subject farther, although I am far from having exhausted it.
I have said enough to enable the impartial reader to decide which of
the two classes of men, the Indians or the Whites, are the most justly
entitled to the epithets of brutes, barbarians, and savages. It is not
for me to anticipate his decision.”

The cruelty of the Indians need not be wondered at, when the provocations
they have received are taken into account. The white settlers usually
treat them as inferiors, as lawful prey, as beings only fit to be
trampled on and oppressed. Of the truth of this statement, the following
extracts will afford abundant proof. We quote them from Buchanan’s
Sketches of the Manners and Customs of the North-American Indians;
Heckewelder’s Historical Account, and the Report on the Condition of the
Indians of Upper-Canada, published recently by the Aborigines Protection
Society. These extracts, it will be seen, contain a narration of events,
more creditable to the character of the Indians, than to the character of
their white oppressors.

Mr. Buchanan says: “In passing down the St. Lawrence in the summer of
1819, I stopped my batteaux at a tavern, where I proposed to remain all
night. Two squaws were there with a basket of wild strawberries for
sale, and I directed the mistress of the tavern to purchase some, that
I might have them with cream for my supper. It was soon, however, to be
perceived by the conversation in bargaining, that my landlady and the
Indian women could not come to terms. There seemed to be much harshness
in the manner of the former; but the replies of the latter were so
meek, and their demeanour so submissive, that had I been making the
bargain under the impression of my feelings, few words would have been
necessary. The Christian purchaser, however, continued so extortionate
in her demands, that the poor disappointed heathens turned away from
her. Truly unreasonable indeed must the lady have been; for there was
neither village, nor other house near likely to afford a market for the
poor Indian hawkers, who it seemed had come to this very tavern with
the hope of selling their fruit. Under this impression I followed the
poor women, put a small sum into the hands of one of them, and hastily
passed on, while they gazed at me with astonishment at so unexpected _a
largess_, for so it appeared to them. On my return from a walk along the
river, I was surprised to see the two squaws standing at the corner of
the house patiently waiting for me; when, eyes sparkling with emotions
which I could not misunderstand, but which I am incapable of portraying,
they presented me with a bowl top-full of picked strawberries, which I
rejected at first, being desirous of convincing them there were some, if
not many, white men who felt kindly towards them. But their expression
of entreaty was so vehement, their importunity so great, that I felt it
necessary to their happiness to accept their present; for they had no
other way of showing their gratitude. This humble offering furnished my
supper, and sweet indeed would my meal have been, had not commiseration
for the wrongs of these sorely abused, persecuted, forlorn, abandoned
people, mingled with my enjoyment. I am so fully impressed with their
undeserved misery, and with the nobleness of their character, that I
should esteem the devotion of my life in their cause the most honourable
way in which it could be employed; but alas, years and circumstances
prevent my doing more than making this feeble effort to rouse the
energies of youthful talent in their behalf; and as benevolence pervades
the youthful mind more powerfully than that of the aged, I am not without
a hope that thousands will yet start up to advocate the cause of the Red
Indians, and prosecute measures for the amelioration of their state.

“The above instance of want of charity, nay, of common decency on the
part of white people in their intercourse with the Indians, is not by any
means of rare occurrence. My reader will already have seen the complaints
and pathetic appeals of justice which the poor children of the wilderness
are so frequently compelled, by the treachery of their civilized
neighbours, to make; and I am sorry to add another specimen to the long
list of these atrocious outrages, which, in large and petty aggressions,
is daily swelling and becoming more and more enormous. In passing, on
the very day I have just adverted to through the Thousand Islands, one
of the boatmen who were rowing me, hallooed to a canoe in which some
Indians were fishing, who immediately came towards us, and a barter
commenced between them and the boatmen. The boatmen held up a piece of
cold pork and a loaf, for which they were to receive fish. The poor young
Indians, (for the eldest was not above fourteen, and there were two
little girls younger) showed what fish they would give; yet warily kept
at a distance, fearing what, in spite of their precaution, actually took
place. The boatmen struck suddenly at the canoe with their oars, and in
the confusion which this attack caused, grasped the fish; the bread and
the pork they at first offered were, I need hardly say, withheld. Having
achieved this noble enterprise they shouted and assailed the unresisting
and defenceless children (who paddled off evidently fearful of further
outrage,) with taunts and mockery. These men were Canadians; there were
four of them; and I had no other means of punishing them on this occasion
than by withholding the usual pecuniary fee. I was in some measure at
their mercy; but though compelled to be a calm spectator of so dastardly
a theft, I confess I was still more incensed at seeing how heartily some
inhabitants of Canada, who were my fellow passengers, seemed to enjoy
the joke. The fact is, the Indians are esteemed lawful prey. Such is the
feeling of thousands of men called Christians, who boast of civilization,
but who derive their subsistence by intercourse with the Indians; and
however just many in the United States are, and however careful the
British government is to guard the rights of the red men, yet as this
guardianship is chiefly committed to those who are partakers in the
spoils of the Indians, the care, instead of being wise and benign, is
rather to debauch their untutored mind by the introduction of spirits
among them. Every cup to them is indeed ‘unblessed, and the ingredient
is a devil!’ Gradually, therefore, are they diminishing, and receding
from the haunts of what we term _civilization_! That this charge does not
apply to all, and rarely to the _heads_ of these departments, I rejoice
to admit; but still those heads of departments are responsible for all
the acts of their subordinate agents, and should exercise a vigilant
superintendence, impartially punishing any, the least, infringement of
their regulations. No man should be connected with the Indian department
who is directly or indirectly interested in trade with the Indians.”

The following facts derived from Heckewelder’s historical account speak
volumes. Eternal God can white men be so cruel! Can the professors of
religion be so depraved!!

“In the summer of the year 1763, some friendly Indians from a distant
place, came to Bethlehem to dispose of their peltry for manufactured
goods and necessary implements of husbandry. Returning home well
satisfied, they put up the first night at a tavern, eight miles
distant.[74] The landlord not being at home, his wife took the liberty of
encouraging the people who frequented her house for the sake of drinking,
to abuse the Indians, adding, that she would freely give a gallon of rum
to any one of them that should kill one of the black devils. Other white
people from the neighbourhood came in during the night, who also drank
freely, made a great deal of noise, and increased the fear of the poor
Indians who, for the greatest part, understanding English, could not
but suspect that something bad was intended against their persons. They
were not, however, otherwise disturbed; but in the morning, when after
a restless night they were preparing to set off, they found themselves
robbed of some of the most valuable articles they had purchased, and on
mentioning this to a man who appeared to be the bar-keeper, they were
ordered to leave the house. Not being willing to lose so much property,
they retired to some distance into the woods, where, some of them
remaining with what was left them, the others returned to Bethlehem and
lodged their complaint with a justice of the peace. The magistrate gave
them a letter to the landlord pressing him without delay to restore to
the Indians the goods that had been taken from them. But behold! when
they delivered that letter to the people at the inn they were told in
answer, ‘that if they set any value on their lives, they must make off
with themselves immediately.’ They well understood that they had no other
alternative, and prudently departed without having received back any of
their goods. Arrived at Nescopeck on the Susquehannah, they fell in with
some other Delawares, who had been treated much in the same manner, one
of them having had his rifle stolen from him. Here the two parties agreed
to take revenge in their own way, for those insults and robberies for
which they could obtain no redress; and that they determined to do as
soon as war should be again declared by their nation against the English.

“Scarcely had these Indians retired, when in another place, about
fourteen miles distant from the former, one man, two women and a child,
all quiet Indians, were murdered in a most wicked and barbarous manner,
by drunken militia officers and their men, for the purpose of getting
their horses and the goods they had just purchased.[75] One of the women,
falling on her knees, begged in vain for the life of herself and her
child, while the other woman seeing what was doing, made her escape to
the barn, where she endeavoured to hide herself on the top of the grain.
She however was discovered, and inhumanly thrown down on the thrashing
floor with such force that her brains flew out.

“Here, then, were insults, robberies and murders, all committed within
the short space of three months, unatoned for and unrevenged. There was
no prospect of obtaining redress; the survivors were therefore obliged
to seek some other means to obtain revenge. They did so; the Indians,
already exasperated against the English in consequence of repeated
outrages, and considering the nation as responsible for the injuries
which it did neither prevent nor punish, and for which it did not even
offer to make any kind of reparation, at last declared war; and then the
injured parties were at liberty to redress themselves for the wrongs
they had suffered. They immediately started against the objects of their
hatred, and finding their way unseen and undiscovered to the inn which
had been the scene of the first outrage, they attacked it at day-break,
fired into it on the people within who were lying on their beds. Strange
to relate! the murderers of the man, two women, and child, were among
them. They were mortally wounded, and died of their wounds shortly
afterwards. The Indians, after leaving this house, murdered by accident
an innocent family, having mistaken the house that they meant to attack,
after which they returned to their homes.

“Now a violent hue and cry was raised against the Indians; no language
was too bad, no crimes too black to brand them with. No faith was to
be placed in those savages; treaties with them were of no effect; they
ought to be cut off from the face of the earth! Such was the language
in everybody’s mouth; the newspapers were filled with accounts of the
cruelties of the Indians; a variety of false reports were circulated in
order to rouse the people against them; while they, the really injured
party, _having no printing presses among them, could not make known the
story of their grievances_.

“‘No faith can be placed in what the Indians promise at treaties; for
scarcely is a treaty concluded than they are murdering us.’ Such is our
complaint against these unfortunate people; but they will tell you that
it is the white men in whom no faith is to be placed. They will tell
you that there is not a single instance in which the whites have not
violated the engagements that they have made at treaties. They say that
when they had ceded lands to the white people, and boundary lines had
been established, ‘firmly established,’ beyond which no whites were to
settle; scarcely was the treaty signed when white intruders again were
settling and hunting on their lands! It is true that when they preferred
their complaints to the government, the government gave them many fair
promises, and assured them that men would be sent to remove the intruders
by force from the usurped lands. The men, indeed, came, but with chain
and compass in their hands, taking surveys of the tracts of good land,
which the intruders, from their knowledge of the country, had pointed out
to them!

“What was then to be done, when those intruders would not go off from
the land, but, on the contrary increased in numbers! ‘Oh!’ said these
people, (and I have myself frequently heard this language in the Western
country,) ‘a new treaty will soon give us all this land; nothing is now
wanting but a pretence to pick a quarrel with them!’ Well, but in what
manner is this quarrel to be brought about? A David Owen, a Walker, and
many others, might, if they were alive, easily answer this question. A
precedent however, may be found, on perusing Mr. Jefferson’s appendix to
his notes on Virginia. On all occasions, when the object is to murder
Indians, strong liquor is the main article required; for when you have
them dead drunk, you may do to them as you please, without running the
risk of losing your life. And should you find that the laws of your
country may reach you where you are, you have only to escape or conceal
yourself for a while until the storm has blown over! I well recollect the
time when thieves and murderers of Indians fled from impending punishment
across the Susquehannah, where they considered themselves safe; on which
account this river had the name given to it of ‘_the rogues’ river_.’ I
have heard other rivers called by similar names.

“In the year 1742, the Rev. Mr. Whitefield offered the Nazareth Manor,
(as it was then called) for sale to the United Brethren. He had already
begun to build upon it a spacious stone house, intended as a school-house
for the education of Indian children. The Indians, in the meanwhile,
loudly exclaimed against the white people for settling in this part of
the country, which had not been legally purchased of them, but, as they
said, had been obtained by fraud.[76] The Brethren declined purchasing
any lands on which the Indian title had not been properly extinguished,
wishing to live in peace with all the Indians around them. Count
Zinzendorff happened at that time to arrive in the country; he found that
the agents of the proprietors would not pay to the Indians the price
which they asked for that tract of land; he paid them out of his private
purse, the whole of the demand which they made in the height of their ill
temper; and moreover, gave them permission to abide on the land, at their
village, (where, by the by, they had a fine large peach orchard,) as long
as they should think proper. But among those white men, who afterwards
came and settled in the neighbourhood of their tract, there were some who
were enemies to the Indians; and a young Irishman, without any cause or
provocation, murdered their good and highly respected chief, _Tademi_, a
man of such an easy and friendly address, that he could not but be loved
by all who knew him. This, together with the threats of other persons ill
disposed towards them, was the cause of their leaving the settlement on
this manor, and removing to places of greater safety.

“It is true, that when flagrant cases of this description occurred, the
government, before the revolution, issued proclamations offering rewards
for apprehending the offenders; and in later times, since the country has
become more thickly settled, those who had been guilty of such offences,
were brought before the tribunals to take their trials. But these
formalities have proved of little avail. In the first case, the criminals
were seldom, if ever, apprehended; in the second, no jury could be found
to convict them; for it was no uncommon saying among many of the men of
whom juries in the frontier counties were commonly composed, that no man
should be put to death for killing an Indian; for it was the same thing
as killing a wild beast!

“In the course of the revolutionary war, in which (as in all civil
commotions) brother was seen fighting against brother, and friend against
friend; a party of Indian warriors, with whom one of those white men,
who under colour of attachment to their king, indulged in every sort of
crimes, was giving out against the settlers on the Ohio, to kill and
destroy as they had been ordered. The chief of the expedition had given
strict orders not to molest any of the white men who lived with their
friends the Christian Indians; yet as they passed near a settlement of
these converts, the white man, unmindful of the orders he had received,
attempted to shoot two of the missionaries who were planting potatoes
in their field, and though the captain warned him to desist, he still
obstinately persisted in his attempt. The chief, in anger, immediately
took his gun from him, and kept him under guard until they had reached a
considerable distance from the place. I have received this account from
the chief himself, who on his return sent word to the missionaries that
they would do well not to go far from home as they were in too great
danger from the _white people_.

“Another white man of the same description, whom I well knew, related,
with a kind of barbarous exultation, on his return to Detroit from a war
excursion with the Indians, in which he had been engaged, that the party
with which he was, having taken a woman prisoner who had a sucking babe
at her breast, he tried to persuade the Indians to kill the child, lest
its cries should discover the place where they were; the Indians were
unwilling to commit the deed, on which the white man at once jumped up,
tore the child from its mother’s arms, and taking it by the legs dashed
its head against the tree, so that the brains flew out all around! The
monster in relating this story said: ‘the little dog all the time was
making _wee_!’ He added, that if he were sure that his old father, who
some time before had died in Old Virginia, would, if he had lived longer,
have turned rebel, he would go all the way into Virginia, raise the body,
and take off his scalp!

“Let us now contrast with this the conduct of the Indians. Carver tells
us in his travels with what moderation, humanity, and delicacy they treat
female prisoners, and particularly pregnant women.[77] I refer the reader
to the following fact, as an instance of their conduct in such cases.
If his admiration is excited by the behaviour of the Indians, I doubt
not that his indignation will be raised in an equal degree by that of a
white man who unfortunately acts a part in the story.

“A party of Delawares, in one of their excursions, during the
revolutionary war, took a white female prisoner. The Indian Chief, after
a march of several days, observed that she was ailing, and was soon
convinced (for she was far advanced in her pregnancy) that the time of
her delivery was near. He immediately made a halt on the banks of a
stream, where, _at a proper distance from the encampment_, he built for
her a close hut of peeled barks, gathered dry grass and fern to make
her a bed, and placed a blanket at the opening of the dwelling as a
substitute for a door. He then kindled a fire, placed a pile of wood near
it to feed it occasionally, and placed a kettle of water at hand where
she might easily use it. He then took her into her little infirmary,
gave her Indian medicines, with directions how to use them, and told her
to rest easy, and she might be sure that nothing should disturb her.
Having done this, he returned to his men, forbade them from making any
noise, or disturbing the sick woman in any manner, and told them that he
himself should guard her during the night. He did so; and the whole night
kept watch before her door, walking backward and forward, to be ready at
her call at any moment, in case of extreme necessity. The night passed
quietly; but in the morning, as he was walking by on the bank of the
stream, seeing him through the crevices she called to him and presented
her babe. The good chief, with tears in his eyes, rejoiced at her safe
delivery; he told her not to be uneasy, that he should lay by for a few
days, and would soon bring her some nourishing food, and some medicines
to take. Then going to his encampment he ordered all his men to go out a
hunting, and remained himself to guard the camp.”

After citing this account a modern writer observes: “forgive me, reader,
if, for a moment, I disturb the order of my extract. There is nothing
that I know within the whole scope of anecdotal history more affecting
than the present narration. How exalted was the humanity of this Indian
Chief! how refined his delicacy! how watchful and tender his care! The
pathos, though deep, is sweet; and Mr. Heckewelder has communicated the
story in a style of feeling and simplicity worthy of it. He has made us
witnesses of the transaction. We see through the darkness of the night,
the swarthy warrior walking anxiously backward and forward before the hut
of bark—the ‘little infirmary’ of the labouring woman. The morning comes;
and in the pale dawn, behold! the poor creature, pointing, in a state of
utter exhaustion to her babe, delivered in the wilderness—in night and
solitude! Yet was she not entirely without support; for, over and above
the secret aid which came to her pangs from high, see! she meets with
sympathy in a wild man, a stranger, a warrior, who melts into tears at
the sight! My heart, too, swells as I read. Bear with me——we will resume
our extract.”

“Now for the reverse of the picture. Among the men whom this chief had
under his command, was one of those white vagabonds whom I have before
described. The captain was much afraid of him, knowing him to be a bad
man; and as he had expressed a great desire to go a hunting with the
rest, he believed him gone, and entertained no fears for the woman’s
safety. But it was not long before he was undeceived. While he was gone
to a small distance to dig roots for his poor patient, he heard her
cries, and running with speed to her hut, he was informed by her that the
white man had threatened to take away her life if she did not immediately
throw her child into the river. The captain, enraged at the cruelty of
this man, and the liberty he had taken with his prisoners, hailed him as
he was running off, and told him, ‘that the moment he should miss the
child, the tomahawk should be in his head.’ After a few days this humane
chief placed the woman carefully on a horse, and they went together to
the place of their destination, the mother and the child doing well. I
have heard him relate this story, to which he added, that whenever he
should go on an excursion, he never would suffer a white man to be of his
party.

“Yet I must acknowledge that I have known an Indian Chief who had been
guilty of the crime of killing the child of a female prisoner. His name
was Glikhican. In the year 1770, he joined the congregation of the
Christian Indians; the details of his conversion are related at large
by Loskiel, in his ‘History of the Missions’.[78] Before that time he
had been conspicuous as a warrior and a counsellor, and in oratory it is
said he never was surpassed. This man having joined the French in the
year 1754 or 1755, in their war against the English, and being at that
time out with a party of Frenchmen, took, among other prisoners, a young
woman, named Rachel Abbott, from the Conegocheague settlement, who had at
her breast a sucking babe. The incessant cries of the child, the hurry
to get off, but above all, the persuasions of his _white_ companions,
induced him much against his inclination to kill the innocent creature;
while the mother in an agony of grief, and her face suffused with tears,
begged that its life might be spared. The woman, however, was brought
safe to the Ohio, where she was kindly treated and adopted, and some
years afterwards was married to a Delaware Chief of respectability, by
whom she had several children, who are now living with the Christian
Indians in Upper Canada.

“Glikhican never forgave himself for having committed this crime,
although many times, and long before his becoming a Christian, he had
begged the woman’s pardon with tears in his eyes, and received her
free and full forgiveness. In vain she pointed out to him all the
circumstances that he could have all edged to excuse the deed; in vain
she reminded him of his unwillingness at the time, and his having been in
a manner compelled to do it by his French associates; nothing that she
did say could assuage his sorrow or quiet the perturbation of his mind;
he called himself a wretch, a monster, a _coward_, (the proud feelings
of an Indian must be well understood to judge of the force of this
self-accusation,) and to the moment of his death the remembrance of this
fatal act preyed like a canker worm upon his spirits. I ought to add,
that from the time of his conversion he lived the life of a Christian,
and died as such.”

In the “Report on the condition of the Indians of Upper Canada,”
published by the Aborigines Protection Society, we find the following
statements respecting the attempts which have been made to civilize them:—

“It is an important additional fact in regard to the light in which
the Indians of North America were once looked upon, that their rights
are stipulated for in the treaty of Utrecht. But on the other hand,
modern writers on the laws of nations seem inclined to exclude them from
its benefits. And modern statesmen carry this theory further, so as
to sacrifice them by positive injustice in practice. Sir Francis Bond
Head recommended the discontinuance of payment due by treaty to certain
tribes, on the ground of those tribes being at war with our present
allies, the people of the United States; a matter undoubtedly deserving
grave consideration, in reference to the point especially raised, namely,
the supply of arms; but which also involves a question of international
rights, on this occasion much too summarily disposed of by the Canadian
governor. Lord Glenelg hesitated to adopt his recommendation, but his
lordship does not seem to have taken entirely a just view of the case.[79]

“It is strictly within the limits of truth to say, that neither the Home
government, nor the Colonial authorities have acted up to the injunctions
of those two documents of 1670, and 1763, which are unquestionably
binding to this day; and the extent to which these injunctions have been
neglected, fully accounts to us for the ruin of the Indians. That extent
is proved,

“First,—By the unjust and improvident manner in which the land of the
Indians has been dealt with by us, their insecurity of title, and their
actual removal from it in late remarkable cases under an oppressive and
fraudulent treaty, and by unjust contracts.

“Second,—By the neglect of obvious means of securing justice to Indians
in courts of law, in their participation of civil rights; and in just
regulations of trading with them. And

“Third,—By the small provision of direct means of improving the Indians,
in missions, in schools, and other institutions.

“Unquestionably the various benefits contemplated by the royal
instructions of 1670, have not been conferred: and the frauds and abuses
mentioned in the proclamation of 1760, have been repeated down to a very
late period by the government itself, instead of being repressed.

“We shall prove the unworthiness of this course of neglect and injustice,
by producing incontrovertible evidence of the capacity of the Indians
to become civilized, and of their desire to accept the elements of
civilization at our hands, as well to be gradually incorporated with the
Colonists.

“We shall also show, that numerous Colonists are anxious to promote the
civilization of the Indians.”

The undue acquisition of the Indians’ land, and encroachments upon it,
are not new; and the personal appeals of their delegates to the crown,
have been frequent. More than thirty years ago such a delegate, John
Norton, had the countenance of the late Mr. Wilberforce.[80] In 1822, the
younger Brant, and Colonel Kerr, came to London on such a mission for the
six nations. Subsequently, the Rev. Peter Jones has come over more than
once for the Mississaguas, of the river Credit, on the like errand. And
the visit of Heshtona-quet, has shewn the Indians of the river St. Clair
to be in the same danger.

Other examples might be cited, and it is believed that none have produced
proper results. The case however of the river Credit Indians, has some
favourable aspects; and it will be mentioned fully.

But these visits have exhibited Indians to the impartial English public
most favourably; and they in that respect, as well as in some others to
be mentioned hereafter, deserve particular attention.

We pass by the earlier cases of alienation of land from the Indians of
Upper Canada, amounting for example in the years 1818, 1819, and 1820, to
4,680,000 acres acquired by the government for annuities of £512.[81]

The sum due annually to these Indians from the crown for lands acquired
from them; was stated in the “Parliamentary Papers” of 1834, at £5106
currency, or £4426 sterling.[82]

Those earlier cases, appear to be more remarkable for general neglect
of a proper system of treatment of the Indians, than for any extreme
oppression and injustice in the bargains made. They did not involve the
REMOVAL of the Indians from the unimproved land sold, and still less the
alienation of their improvements and forms. On the contrary, in the year
1823, a general reform of the old system was very seriously contemplated
by the Secretary of State of that time, Earl Bathurst. One of the
Sub-Committee was in fact employed by the Secretary of State in 1823, to
draw up a general plan for that reform, which had the approbation of the
late Bishop of Quebec, the Honourable Dr. Stuart. But it was not acted
upon.

Before 1828, however, a reform was begun by the government, in addition
to what had been long doing usefully by the Moravians, the New England
Company, and other societies. It was pursued during eight or nine years
with great success, although the plan was defective in several material
points.

The character of what was accomplished may be inferred from the following
extracts from the Parliamentary papers of 1834, No. 617.

In 1828, General Darling reported to Earl Dalhousie as follows on the
subject:—

The Mississaquas of Rice Lake, consisting of 317 souls, and the Mohawks
of Bay of Quinti, and the Rice Lake have recently been converted to
Christianity by the Methodist society, who have introduced missionaries
among the Indians here, and in every part of Upper Canada, where they
have been able to obtain a footing. These missionaries come chiefly
from the United States, and belong to the “Canada Conference Missionary
Society,” auxiliary to the “Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal
Church of the State of New York,” from which they receive a small salary,
seldom exceeding £40 a year. It is undoubted that they have done some
good, by influencing the Indians to embrace Christianity, and have
inculcated the first principles of civilization, particularly in the
tribes now under consideration, which shows itself in the desire which
they have expressed to be collected in a village, and have lands allotted
them for cultivation.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinti were separated from the Mohawk nation
about the year 1784, and settled in the Bay of Quinti; amongst these are
some becoming tolerable farmers. They have in many instances assumed the
dress of the European, which is sometimes mixed with their native attire,
presenting a curious compound of barbarism and civilization.

_Chippawas under the Chief Yellow head._—These Indians amount, upon an
average, to 550 souls; they occupy the lands about Lake Simcoe, Holland
River, and the unsettled county in the rear of York. They have expressed
a strong desire to be admitted to Christianity, and to adopt the habits
of civilized life; in these respects they may be classed with the
Mississaquas of the Bay of Quinti, and Rice Lake, but are at present in a
more savage state.

_Mississaquas of the Credit._—The present state of this tribe, amounting
to 180 souls, who were lately notorious for drunkenness and debauchery,
affords, in my humble opinion, the strongest encouragement to extend
to the other tribes now disposed to Christianity and civilization, the
experiment that has been tried by his Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland,
with every promise of success with these Mississaquas.

They are now settled in a delightful spot on the banks of the Credit,
about sixteen miles from York, in a village consisting of twenty
substantial log huts, eighteen feet by twenty-four, having an upper story
or garret to each. They have a school-house for the boys (in which is
combined decent arrangement for the performance of divine service, which
is regularly attended,) and another for the girls.

The progress made in the former is highly creditable to the
superintendent, considering the short time it has been established. I
found it attended by thirty-one boys, mostly very young, who spelt and
read fluently in English; they also answered several questions which I
put to them promiscuously from the church catechism, and sung a hymn,
remarkable for the loyalty of its sentiments. Finding the houses built
for them too few for their numbers, they have added some of their own
construction similar to those first erected.

They have two enclosures of about seven acres of wheat, and a field on
the banks of the river, containing about thirty-five acres of Indian
corn, in a promising state of cultivation. A small plot is attached to
each house for their potatoes or other garden stuff.

The expense of these buildings has not exceeded, I believe, £14 currency
each, say £250 sterling on the whole. A respectable Englishman, now a
Methodist missionary, who receives a pension from the British government
for the loss of an arm in the late war, when he served in the provincial
marine of Upper Canada, resides amongst these Indians, and as his
feelings towards Great Britain have been well tried, there is every
reason to hope that his exertions for the perfect civilization of his
flock will be crowned with success.

_Mohawks and the Six Nations._—Under 2000 souls are settled on the banks
of the Ouse, or Grand River, a fine and fertile tract of country, which
was purchased from the Chippawas (the Aborigines) exclusively from them
when they were brought to this country from the Mohawk River, in the
State of New York, at the termination of the revolutionary American war.

The proclamation of Sir F. Haldimand, which constitutes, I believe, their
only title, allots them “six miles deep from each side of the river,
beginning at Lake Erie, and extending in that proportion to the head of
the river.”

They are now considered as having retained about 260,000 acres of
land, mostly of the best quality. Their possessions were formerly more
extensive, but large tracts of land have been sold by them, with the
permission of his majesty’s government; the monies arising from which
sales were either founded in England, or lent on interest in this
country. The proceeds amount to about £1500 per annum.

The principal village, or Mohawk Castle, as it is called, consists now of
half a dozen miserable huts, scattered without any order, and a paltry
church.

The town was formerly more respectable; but the increasing scarcity of
fuel in its neighbourhood, and the fine quality of the soil, induced
them by degrees to separate and settle on the bank of the river, where
they cultivate the ground in companies or bands, a certain number of
families divided amongst them the produce of certain numbers of acres.
Their knowledge of farming is exceedingly limited, being chiefly confined
to the cultivation of Indian corn, beans and potatoes; but those of more
industrious habits follow the example of their white neighbours, and have
separate farms, on which they raise most kind of English grain.

Were I to offer to your lordship all the observations which appear to
me worthy of attention respecting these ancient allies of his majesty,
this report would assume the character of a history and far exceed the
expected limits. I hasten, therefore, to submit a statement, which has
been compiled with great attention, showing their present possessions in
houses, horses, cattle, &c.; viz.

    Dwelling-houses                                        416
    Computed number of acres of land in cultivation       6872
    Horses                                                 738
    Cows                                                   869
    Oxen                                                   613
    Sheep                                                  192
    Swine                                                 1630

I have already adverted to the introduction of Methodist Missionaries and
teachers amongst the Indians of Upper Canada, several of whom are found
in this neighbourhood.

There is also an English Protestant Missionary, lately sent out from
London by the New England Corporation, a young man whose zeal and
devotion to the cause in which he has embarked promise the best results,
the Indians giving in all cases the preference to whatever is given or
recommended by their great father, to whatever comes from any other
quarter. In earnest of their disposition to profit by and assist the
labours of this minister, they have readily agreed, on my recommendation,
to allot one hundred acres of land to each school that may be established
on the Grand River, under his direction.

I submit, with all deference, whether it is not worthy the liberality of
the British government to encourage the disposition now shown generally
amongst the resident Indians of the province, to shake off the rude
habits of savage life, and to embrace Christianity and civilization.

It appears to me that this would not be attended with much expence. A
small sum, by way of salary, to a schoolmaster wherever a school may be
formed, say four or five in the whole, a trifling addition to the salary
of the present missionary, who is paid by a society, and of a second if
appointed, which I believe is contemplated by the Lord Bishop of the
diocese; and some aid in building school houses.

There are Chippawas who have prayed urgently for a missionary and
schoolmaster to be sent amongst them.



_Of the attempts which have been made to civilize the American Indians._


The Indians of America owe very few obligations to the white people that
have settled among them. The latter have endeavoured to exterminate the
former, and by violence or fraud, to get possession of their territories.
They have slaughtered a great part of the American Aborigines in open
war, endeavoured to enslave the rest, and multiplied so rapidly, and
spread themselves so regularly over the face of the transatlantic world,
as to render the Indian mode of procuring subsistence exceedingly
precarious. “While the diminution of their supplies” observes a writer
in the _Edinburgh Review_ “was thus sowing the seeds of decay, the
lessons which they learnt from their new neighbours, drunkenness and
other excesses, with several diseases which they imported, tended to
accelerate their utter extinction. It appeared indeed quite obvious, that
if the Indians did not, by imitating the whites learn new habits and
occupations, their race in a few years would be completely destroyed.”

“From these considerations a duty devolved upon the European settlers,
which several bodies of men in the United States, seem to have felt
extremely urgent. They were called upon to contribute as much as lay
in their power towards the alleviation of the sufferings which their
own increased prosperity was daily entailing upon the original and
rightful proprietors of the country. They were called upon to prevent,
if possible, the utter extinction of a race, which their own progress
in wealth and in numbers, was constantly depriving of the means of
subsistence. Accordingly, various plans were adopted with this view,
sometimes by the government, sometimes by individuals, and public bodies.
Pensions were granted to certain tribes, whose hunting had been destroyed
by the clearing of the forests. Such a relief, unaccompanied by any
change in their character and habits, was at best but temporary, and,
in the end, rather did evil than good; for the same people who bestowed
the annuity, had taught the Indians to drink, and continued to supply
them with spirituous liquors: the temptations of which, those savages
had not fortitude to resist. Another means adopted, with somewhat more
wisdom, was the employment of missionaries among them, for the purpose
of converting and instructing them. But this plan was involved in one
radical mistake, and was also injudiciously pursued. The Indians had a
religion of their own, to which, as the inheritance of their ancestors,
they were strongly attached. The evils of their situation lay not in the
errors of their faith, but of their practice. They might be converted
to Christianity, without leaving off the habits of the hunting state;
and it by no means followed, that their growth in grace must be attended
with a proportionate improvement in the arts of common life. Yet the
missionary scheme hinged entirely on religious points. Its object was to
send a multitude of preachers among the Indians; to preach them, not out
of their ignorance and idleness, but out of their theological errors; to
convert them, not to the life of husbandmen and shepherds, but to the
knowledge of the life to come. Add to this, that the missionaries who
could be found, in a country so little prone to any but commercial and
agricultural labours as America, were necessarily zealots; persons of
narrow views; ignorant and superstitious, and ill natured; and, in the
affairs of this world, idle. They had no success at all. They preached
the gospel to men already satisfied with their spiritual condition, and
only anxious for food and raiment; they despised and intolerantly cried
down all the notions held sacred by a people as prejudiced and bigoted
as themselves; they recommended sobriety as a religious duty, to men
whose former faith did not prohibit the use of strong liquors, and whose
tastes all point to bodily intoxication as a greater blessing than the
holy raptures of their new instructors. Thus the missionaries always
quarrelled with their flocks, and made but few converts; nor among these
produced any real improvement.

“The instruction of the Indians in schools, among the Europeans settled
at the great towns, was another method which was adopted with the same
view, and with no better success. After receiving in part the education,
and in whole the vices of civilized life, those pupils returned to their
naked and hunting brethren, from corruption the most profligate, and from
necessity the most idle, members of the Indian community. They found a
society in the woods, to which they originally belonged by blood, but for
the manners and pursuits of which they had been altogether incapacitated
by education. We need go no further, to illustrate the absurdity of this
plan of inoculating the Indian tribes with civilization, than the remarks
of a person in this predicament. He had been educated at Prince town; and
upon being asked by an American commandant in the neighbourhood of his
tribe, why his countrymen continued so perversely addicted to a savage
life, he replied: ‘it is natural that we should follow the footsteps of
our forefathers; and when you white people undertake to divert us from
this path, you teach us to eat, drink, dress, and write like yourselves,
and then turn us loose, to beg, starve, or seek our native forests,
without alternative; and, outlawed from your society, we curse you for
the feelings you have taught us, and resort to excess, that we may forget
you.’

“Such having been the necessary consequence of the feeble and ill-planned
attempts, both of government and other societies, to civilize the
Indians, we had begun to despair of ever seeing this laudable undertaking
prosper. Men seemed resolved (as appears from the foregoing statement,
which we have prefixed to the present article, as a proper introduction)
to begin at the wrong end, and to neglect the only plain and simple
method by which these savage tribes ever can be reclaimed from their
barbarism, or made the partakers, and not the victims of the civilization
that surrounds them. Happily our fears have proved groundless. The people
called Quakers, a society in many respects by far the most meritorious
and amiable among our religious sects, seems to have solved the problem;
and, by a close attention to the principles above sketched out, they
appear to have laid a very solid foundation for the rapid civilization of
those unhappy natives. The little tract now before us, contains a plain
unvarnished detail of their benevolent and most judicious proceedings. It
was printed originally at Philadelphia, and is now reprinted in London.
We trust it will meet with due attention, as it is, in fact, one of the
most interesting publications which has appeared of late years. We shall
now present our readers with a short account of what the Quakers have
done. The scene of their operations was among the Indians of the Five
Nations, who inhabit a tract of country about three hundred miles North
West, from Philadelphia; and of these nations, the experiments now to be
described, were performed on the Oneidas and Senecas.

“The Quakers appear to have proceeded upon the fundamental assumption
that the only means of civilizing those tribes, and indeed of preserving
their existence, must be sought in a well planned attempt to reclaim
them from the precarious and idle life of hunters. For this purpose,
they conceived that the settlement of a few missionaries among them was
absolutely necessary. But the missionaries, whom they choose, were not
preachers; they were artizans, carpenters, blacksmiths, and ploughmen.
They likewise imagined that a very small number of such persons, chosen
for their quiet conduct and industrious regular habits, and sent to
settle among the Indians without parade or pomp, would do more good than
the most splendid scheme of colonization, by means of the greatest and
wealthiest body of settlers. Example was to be their great engine—and
example, they well knew, works slowly, gradually, and quietly.

“Proceeding upon these principles, they waved, for the present, every
idea of converting the Indians to Christianity. The remarks of the
committee, to whose care we owe this publication, are particularly
judicious and enlightened on this point. ‘It is probable,’ they observe,
‘that some readers may think every scheme of civilization defective, that
does not immediately attempt to plant Christianity. Of the infinite value
of Christianity, our Pensylvanians are doubtless aware; but here, though
not directly acting the part of missionaries, they are preaching religion
by example; and are probably preparing the Indians, by more means than
one, for the reception and acknowledgment of the gospel.’

“Their first step was to address circular letters to the different tribes
in 1796, accompanied by one from the executive government of the United
States, expressive of its approbation. The letters merely contained an
offer to instruct such as should apply to them, in husbandry. The Oneidas
were the only tribe that at first made the application; and accordingly
three Quakers repaired to their country, and settled there. At first, the
natives were quite averse to labour of every kind; and the Quakers only
cultivated their own ground, and worked a saw-mill for themselves. By
degrees their example had its effect, and the use of the saw-mill became
familiar to the tribe. In winter they opened a school for the children;
and in summer they found the Indians beginning to assist their wives in
cultivating little pieces of ground; a labour which had formerly devolved
entirely on the latter. The want of a blacksmith being very greatly felt,
a Quaker of that profession volunteered his services to settle there;
and his wife accompanied him, to instruct the Indian girls. A number
of the young men were hired and boarded by the Quakers, to assist them
in working. The spirit of labour and taste for husbandry became more
prevalent; the blacksmith’s work was generally attended to; the women
learned to sew and spin. Implements of husbandry were judiciously and
sparingly distributed. The use of these was acquired, and, in 1799, the
natives began to clear lands for themselves, and sow wheat.

“Having proceeded thus far in reclaiming the tribe from the hunting
state, and its attendant misery and idleness, an incident occurred, which
displays in a remarkable manner, the happy mixture of judgment with which
the promoters of this admirable plan tempered their zeal. The whites
of other sects had not failed to spread abroad stories unfavourable to
the scheme of the Quakers; and the Indians, naturally mistrustful, like
all savages, began to entertain suspicions that these surmises were
well founded. They knew that the labours of the Quakers must have cost
money; and, as they never before saw any example of Europeans working for
nothing, they suspected that the new settlers had a design of making a
permanent establishment, and then laying claim to their lands. As soon as
this notion came to the ears of the Quakers, they resolved to withdraw
instantly, and leave the natives in the natural course of improvement,
to benefit by the civilization which they had already planted among
them. After a residence of three years, therefore, they disclosed
their intentions in a council of the nation, and they left the place,
accompanied by the unanimous thanks and good wishes of those rude tribes.
A similar instance of suspicion afterwards occurred, and it was allayed
with equal judgment. The Indians of another tribe having received many
benefits from them, were afraid lest repayment should be demanded at some
future time. A speedy and frank explanation from men whose honesty they
never had even reason to doubt, at once allayed these apprehensions.

“The observations of what had been done among the Oneidas, induced the
Senecas to send an invitation, requesting a similar assistance from the
society. Three Quakers immediately repaired thither: they were welcomed
with great joy; and thanks were given by the nation to the Great Spirit,
for their safe arrival among them. Here, as in every other hunting tribe,
the women and girls are left to the labour of rearing such vegetables as
their husbandry affords, and in hewing timber for fuel. The chase, and
amusements of different sorts, occupied the men and boys. The Quakers
exhorted them constantly to give up such practices; and never failed to
set before them, in the strongest light, the necessity both of general
industry and temperance; a virtue almost unknown among the Indians at
the commencement of the Quaker missions. The progress of improvement in
the arts and comforts of life, uniformly kept pace with the disuse of
spirituous liquors; and the speeches and other communications of thanks
from the chiefs of the tribe, to the society and its emissaries, never
fail to mark the state of morals, and especially of sobriety among the
natives. The sketch of improvement given above, relative to the Oneidas,
is also applicable to its history among the Senecas. But we shall be
excused for extracting the following discourse, delivered by the Quakers
to those Indians, in a council. It is, in our apprehension, the right
model of a right missionary sermon. We shall also subjoin the answer of
the chief:—

“‘Brothers,—It has afforded us satisfaction, in passing through your
town, to notice marks of industry taking place; that you are building
better and warmer houses to live in; and that so much of your cleared
land is planted with corn, beans, potatoes, &c.; and to see these
articles kept in good order.

“‘Brothers,—We observe, where your new houses are building, that the
timber is very much cut off a rich flat, which we wish you encouraged to
clear and make fit for ploughing. We hope more of your men will assist in
clearing and fencing land, and planting it with corn; also sowing it with
wheat; you will then have a supply of provision, more certain to depend
upon than hunting.

“‘Brothers,—We are pleased to see your stock of cattle increased. The
rich bottoms on the river will be plenty for them to live on in the
summer season; but, as your winters are long and cold, it will require
something for them to live on in the winter. The white people keep their
cattle on hay, on straw, and on corn fodder. Straw you cannot get, until
you have raised wheat or other grain; the rich bottoms, if put in order,
would produce a great deal of hay. But, for an immediate supply, we
think, that, as soon as you gather the corn, if you would cut the stalks
close at the ground, bind them up in small bundles, and put them in
stacks, as our young men do, they would keep your cattle part of the cold
weather.

“‘Brothers,—We are pleased to see a quantity of fence made this summer,
and we would not have you discouraged at the labour it takes; for, if you
will clear a little more land every year, and fence it, you will soon get
enough to raise what bread you want, as well as some for grass, to make
hay for your cattle in winter.

“‘Brothers,—We understand you are desirous to discourage whiskey from
being brought among you, with which we are much pleased, and should be
glad you could entirely keep it away. To get it, you give your money,
with which you should buy clothing, oxen, &c.’

“The Indians were also informed that one of the young men, who had been
there since the settlement was first formed, (about sixteen months)
appeared most uneasy to leave them, and return to his friends before
winter. They hoped another would supply his place.

“Cornplanter, on behalf of the nation, made a reply, in substance as
follows:—

“‘That, when our young friends first settled among them, many of his
chiefs were averse to it; but they had this summer several councils among
themselves respecting the young men, and all the chiefs seeing their good
conduct and readiness to assist Indians, were now well satisfied. He
hoped, several of his young men would do more at farming than heretofore;
and friends must not be discouraged because so little was done; but
exercise patience towards them, as it was hard for them to make much
change from their ancient customs. He regretted the loss of the friend
who expected to leave them soon; he said he had been useful to him in
keeping whisky, and other strong liquors, out of the town; that they now
drank much less than formerly; but feared, when the friend was gone, he
should keep it away so well as he had lately done.’ p.p. 18, 21.

“We add the following passage, as an interesting account of the progress,
in one of the grand circumstances which distinguishes the civilized from
the barbarous state of society.

“‘In the ninth month of this year, (Sept. 1801), three of the committee
visited the settlement, being accompanied by a young friend, a
blacksmith, who went to instruct some of the Indians in that useful
and necessary occupation. Two of the visitors had been there before.
The preceding spring, the Indians first began to use a plough; and the
men performed the labour with a little instruction and assistance from
friends. They took a very cautious method of determining whether it was
likely to be an advantageous change for them or not. Several parts of a
very large field were ploughed; and the intermediate spaces prepared by
their women with the hoe, according to ancient custom. It was all planted
with corn; and the parts ploughed besides the great saving of labour,
produced much the heaviest crop; the stalks being more than a foot
higher, and proportionably stouter, than those on the hoed ground. The
corn was now ripe and gathering in; and as their stock of cattle was much
increased, instead of letting the stalks and leaves perish on the ground
as heretofore, they preserved them for winter fodder. Several of them
had mown grass, and made small stacks of hay; and they had made a fence
about two miles long, which encloses the lower town, and a large body of
adjacent land fronting on the river; also several other fences within it,
to separate the corn ground from the pasture, &c.

“‘The cabins which they used to live in, were generally either gone to
decay, or pulled down. Most of them had built good log houses, with
shingled roofs, and some of them with stone chimneys.

“‘With the exception of houses and fences, the improvements at
Jeneshadago did not bear a comparison with the upper settlements, where
the Indians lived more scattered. Their thus settling separate and
detached from each other, was already manifestly more to their advantage
than living together in villages. A chief, who is not ashamed to be seen
at work by the women of his own family, would be probably much mortified,
were he discovered by a number of females, who, on such occasions, do
not always refrain from ridicule. Yet this false shame on the part of
the men, and ridicule of the women, is wearing away, in proportion as
they become familiarized to each other’s assistance in their little
agricultural labours.

“‘Friends requested a council with the chief women of the Jeneshadago
town, which was readily granted, when they were favoured to make some
communications pertinent to their situation. The women expressed their
thankfulness to the Great Spirit for affording them this council; the
words, they said, had sunk deep into their hearts, and they hoped would
never be forgotten by them. Cornplanter and his brother Conedieu were
present.

“‘The Indians were become very sober, generally refraining from the use
of strong drink, both at home and when abroad among the white people. One
of them observed to our committee, “no more bark cabin, but good houses;
no more get drunk now this two year.”’—p.p. 24, 25, 26.

“We shall only add one proof more of the progress which industry had
made among these tribes, by the laborious and judicious example of the
Quakers. A single tribe had formed a road of twenty-two miles in length;
and a few families, in one place, had cleared and fenced sixty acres of
good land.

“It is impossible to contemplate the signal success which has attended
these experiments, without remarking that it was owing in part to the
character of the Quakers, as well as to the wisdom of the plans which
they here adopted. The general reputation of that sect for peacefulness
and honesty, and the quiet manner of those whom they sent to reside
among the Indians, could not fail to disarm any repugnance of the savage
natives towards strangers, and to conciliate their confidence and esteem.
Even their taciturnity was favourable to the end in view. ‘Your young
men,’ said a chief in one of their councils, ‘do not talk much to us,
but when they do, they speak what is good, and have been very helpful in
keeping us from using spirituous liquors.’ Their punctual performance of
engagements, and the regularity of all their habits had the same good
effects in gaining the respect of the Indians. ‘Brothers,’ said they,
in a conference which had been held for the purpose of explaining some
differences, ‘Brothers, we are well satisfied with your conduct towards
us. You have always done what you promised.’ We subjoin the following
anecdote as illustrative of the influence which the character of the sect
has had on the success of their experiment and as interesting in itself.
‘In the evening, when friends were sitting with the chief warrior, he
said he wished to ask them a question, but was almost afraid. They
desired him to speak, and they would give him such information as they
were able. It was, Do the Quakers keep any slaves? He was told they did
not. He said he was very glad to hear it; for if they had kept any, he
could not think so well of them as he now did. That he had been at the
city of Washington last winter, on business of the nation, and found many
white people kept blacks in slavery, and used them no better than horses.’

“From these causes, as well as from the admirable discretion and sound
sense which directed the formation of these plans, this small society
of Quakers have, at an expence inconceiveably trifling, secured the
civilization of the Indian tribes, and laid the foundation of their
entire conversion to the state of peaceful and industrious husbandmen,
from that of wandering and turbulent and idle hunters. The missionaries
left those children of their care mutually satisfied with the progress
and result of their labours. For the first time Europeans had resided
amongst them with no interested ends in view; for the first time they had
learnt no bad lesson, and received no injury from intercourse with more
polished communities; for the first time since the voyage of Columbus,
a stranger and a friend became compatible appellations—the natural
antipathy to new faces vanished in the course of further acquaintance—and
he who had been welcomed with distrust, was only suffered to depart with
tears. The Indian tribes view the departure of the Quaker missionaries as
a national calamity, and are not afraid to consult with their society on
all matters of general import.”[83]

The success which attended the benevolent exertions of the Quakers,
affords demonstrable proof of the possibility of reclaiming the American
Aborigines from the savage state. It must not, however, be supposed
that the efforts of other missionaries have been equally successful;
nor ought the reader to conclude that even the efforts of the Quakers
were productive of any considerable and abiding change in the condition
of the red men. However anxious we may be for the civilization of the
American Savages, there is no historic fact more certain than that
they are not yet civilized. Missionaries and preachers are not the men
likely to produce any great change in the condition of these children of
nature. That the efforts of the missionaries have, in most cases, proved
ineffectual, the following letter from an Indian Chief will abundantly
show:—


LETTER FROM RED JACKET.

                                       Canandaigua, 18th. Jan., 1821.

    “Brother Parrish,

    “I address myself to you, and through you to the governor.

    “The chiefs of Onondaga have accompanied you to Albany, to
    do business with the governor; I also was to have been with
    you, but I am sorry to say that bad health has put it out of
    my power. For this you must not think hard of me. I am not to
    blame for it. It is the will of the Great Spirit that it should
    be so.

    “The object of the Onondagas is to purchase our lands at
    Tonnewanta. This, and all other business that they may have
    to do at Albany, must be transacted in the presence of the
    governor. He will see that the bargain is fairly made, so that
    all parties may have reason to be satisfied with what shall be
    done, and when our sanction shall be wanted to the transaction,
    it shall be freely given.

    “I much regret that at this time the state of my health should
    have prevented me from accompanying you to Albany, as it was
    the wish of the nation that I should state to the governor some
    circumstances, which show that the chain of friendship between
    us and the white people is wearing out and wants brightening.

    “I proceed now, however, to lay them before you by letter, that
    you may mention them to the governor, and solicit redress.
    He is appointed to do justice to all, and the Indians fully
    confide that he will not suffer them to be wronged with
    impunity.

    “The first subject to which we would call the attention of the
    governor, is the depredations that are daily committed by the
    white people upon the most valuable timber on our reservations.
    This has been a subject of complaint with us for many years;
    but now, and particularly at this season of the year, it
    has become an alarming evil, and calls for the immediate
    interposition of the governor in our behalf.

    “Our next subject of complaint is, the frequent thefts of our
    horses and cattle by the white people, and their habit of
    taking and using them whenever they please, and without our
    leave. These are evils which seem to increase upon us with the
    increase of our white neighbours, and they call loudly for
    redress.

    “Another evil arising from the pressure of the whites upon us,
    and our unavoidable communication with them, is the frequency
    with which our Chiefs, and Warriors, and Indians, are thrown
    into jail, and that too for the most trifling causes. This is
    very galling to our feelings, and ought not to be permitted to
    the extent to which, to gratify their bad passions, our white
    neighbours now carry this practice.

    “In our hunting and fishing too, we are greatly interrupted
    by the whites. Our venison is stolen from the trees, where we
    have hung it to be reclaimed after the chase. Our hunting camps
    have been fired into; and we have been warned that we shall no
    longer be permitted to pursue the deer in those forests which
    were so lately all our own. The fish, which in the Buffalo and
    Tonnewante Creeks, used to supply us with food, are now by the
    dams and other obstructions of the white people, prevented
    from multiplying, and we are almost entirely deprived of that
    accustomed sustenance.

    “Our Great Father, the President, has recommended to our young
    men to be industrious, to plough and to sow. This we have
    done; and we are thankful for the advice, and for the means
    he has afforded us of carrying it into effect. We are happier
    in consequence of it; but another thing recommended to us,
    has _created great confusion among us, and is making us a
    quarrelsome and divided people; and that is the introduction
    of preachers into our nation_. These black-coats continue to
    get the consent of some of the Indians to preach among us, and
    wherever this is the case, confusion and disorder are sure to
    follow, and the encroachments of the whites upon the lands, are
    the invariable consequence. The governor must not think hard of
    me for speaking thus of the preachers; I have observed their
    progress, and when I look back to see what has taken place of
    old, I perceive that whenever they came among the Indians, they
    were the forerunners of their dispersion; that they always
    excited enmities and quarrels among them; that they introduced
    the white people on their lands, by whom they were robbed and
    plundered of their property; and that the Indians were sure to
    dwindle and decrease, and be driven back in proportion to the
    number of preachers that came among them.

    “Each nation has its own customs and its own religions. The
    Indians have theirs, given to them by the Great Spirit, under
    which they were happy. It was not intended that they should
    embrace the religion of the whites, and be destroyed by the
    attempt to make them think differently on that subject from
    their fathers.

    “It is true these preachers have got the consent of some of the
    chiefs to stay and preach among us, but I and my friends know
    this to be wrong, and that they ought to be removed; besides
    we have been threatened by Mr. Hyde, who came among us as a
    school master and a teacher of our children, but has now become
    a black-coat, and refused to teach them any more, that unless
    we listen to his preaching and become Christians, we shall be
    turned off our lands. We wish to know from the governor if this
    is to be so, we think _he_ ought to be turned off our lands,
    and not allowed to plague us any more. We shall never be at
    peace while he is among us.

    “We are afraid too that these preachers, by and by, will
    become poor, _and force us to pay them for living among us and
    disturbing us_.

    “Some of our chiefs have got lazy, and instead of cultivating
    their lands themselves, employ white people to do so. There
    are now eleven white families living on our reservations at
    Buffalo; this is wrong, and ought not to be permitted. The
    great source of all our grievances is that the white men
    are among us. Let them be removed, and we will be happy and
    contented among ourselves. We now cry to the governor for help,
    and hope that he will attend to our complaints, and speedily
    give us redress.

                                                        “RED JACKET.”

This letter was dictated by Red Jacket, and interpreted by Henry Obeal,
in the presence of the following Indians:—

    “RED JACKET’S SON, CORN PLANTER,
    JOHN COBB,
    PETER, YOUNG KING’S BROTHER,
    TOM THE INFANT,
    BLUE SKY,
    JOHN SKY,
    JEMMY JOHNSON,
    MARCUS,
    BIG FIRE,
    CAPTAIN JEMMY.”[84]

To this may be added the testimony of Timothy Flint, who had ample
opportunities of judging of the effects of the proselyting scheme on the
character of the Indians.

“During my long residence,” he observes, “in the Mississippi valley,
I have seen them [the Indians] in every point of view, when hunting,
when residing in their cabins, in their permanent stations, wild and
unsophisticated in the woods, in their councils and deputations, when
making treaties in our towns. I have seen their wisest, bravest, and
most considered; and I have seen the wretched families that hang round
the large towns, to trade and to beg, intoxicated subdued, filthy, and
miserable, the very outcasts of nature. I have seen much of the Creeks
and Cherokees, whose civilization and improvement are so much vaunted. I
have seen the wretched remains of the tribes on the lower Mississippi,
that stroll about New Orleans. I have taken observations at Alexandria
and Nachitoches of the Indians of those regions, and from the adjoining
country of New Spain. I have resided on the Arkansas, and have been
conversant with its savages. While I was at St. Charles, savages came
down from the rocky mountains, so untamed, so unbroken to the ways of the
whites, that they were said never to have eaten bread until on that trip.
While I was at St. Louis, a grand deputation from the northern points of
the Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Lakes, comprising a selection of
their principal warriors and chiefs, to the number of 1800, was there
for a length of time. They were there to make treaties and settle the
relations which had been broken during the war, in which most of them
had taken a part hostile to the United States. Thus I have inspected the
Northern, the Middle, and Southern Indians for a length of ten years, and
I mention it only to prove that my opportunities of observation have been
considerable, and that I do not undertake to form a judgment of their
character, without at least having seen much of it.”

After thus stating the circumstances which qualified him to give an
opinion on the subject of Indian civilization, he asserts that the
efforts of religious missionaries have not met, in the long run, with
any apparent success. Nor does he seem to think very differently of the
result of two Romanist Missions, of which glowing and animated accounts
were published some years ago.

“The Catholics,” he observes, “have caused many to hang a crucifix around
their necks, which they show as they do their medals and other ornaments;
but this too often is all that they have to mark them as Christians.
I have conversed with many travellers that have been over the stony
mountains into the Great Missionary Settlements of St. Peter and St.
Paul. These travellers,—and some of them were professed Catholics,—unite
in affirming that the converts will escape from their mission whenever
it is in their power, fly into their native deserts, and resume at once
their old modes of life. The vast empire of the Jesuits, in Paraguay,
has all passed away, and, we are told, the descendants of their convert
Indians are no way distinguished from the other savages. It strikes me
that Christianity is the religion of civilized man, that the savages must
first be civilized, and that as there is little hope that the present
generation of Indians can be civilized, there is but little more that
they will be Christianized.”[85]

To the foregoing I will add the testimony of Sir Francis Bond Head, who,
in one of his despatches to Lord Glenelg, thus depicts the effects which
have resulted from the efforts of the missionaries.

“Whenever and wherever the two races come in contact it is sure to prove
fatal to the red man. However bravely for a short time he may resist
our bayonets and fire arms, sooner or later he is called upon by death
to submit to his decree. If we stretch forth the hand of friendship,
the liquid fire it offers him to drink proves still more destructive
than our wrath; and lastly if we attempt to Christianize the Indians,
and for that sacred object congregate them in villages of substantial
log houses, lovely and beautiful as such a theory appears, it is an
undeniable fact, to which I unhesitatingly add my humble testimony, that
as soon as the hunting season commences, the men (from warm clothes and
warm houses having lost their hardihood) perish, or rather rot in numbers
by consumption; _whilst, as regards their women, it is impossible for
any accurate observer to refrain from remarking that civilization, in
spite of the pure, honest, and unremitting zeal of our missionaries, by
some accursed process has blanched their babies faces; in short, our
philanthropy, like our friendship, has failed in its professions_.…
I believe that every person of sound mind in this country, who is
disinterested in their conversion, and who is acquainted with the Indian
character will agree

“First,—That the attempt to make farmers of the red men has been,
generally speaking, _a complete failure_.

“Second,—That congregating them for the purpose of civilization, has
implanted many more vices than it has eradicated; and consequently,

“Third,—The greatest kindness we can perform towards this intelligent and
simple minded people, is to remove and fortify them as much as possible
from any communication with the whites.”[86]

In reply to these statements, many articles have appeared in the
newspapers, chiefly written by missionaries and divines who are
interested in the missionary scheme, and who, we may be sure, would
say nothing on the subject likely to prevent the religious from coming
forward with their subscriptions. Their statements, however should
be received with caution, and considered with impartiality. Men of
comparatively weak intellect (it is not often that any other description
of missionaries are sent out) and who are interested in the success of
their schemes, ought not to be trusted implicitly, unless their evidence
be confirmed by other authorities. In the present case the statements
of the Methodist and other missionaries are in direct opposition to the
statements of more impartial persons, who have enjoyed equal facilities
for forming an accurate judgement. Though the evidence given by both
sides is flatly contradictory, yet for my own part I adopt that which
has the sanction of the church, _inasmuch as I cannot find in all the
records of history, an example of lying or forgery on the part of
religious men_!(?) From time immemorial they have _told the truth_ when
the interest of their religion required it, and it would indeed be an
anomaly if they were in the present age to depart from the course they
have pursued for the last eighteen centuries.

I have now taken a survey of the principal features of character
exhibited by the Aborigines of America, as far as my information and as
well as my ability would permit. If I could have procured Mr. Catlins’s
Travels or work on the Indians, which is now in the press, while I was
compiling these sketches, I should have been able to have said a great
deal more respecting the manners, customs, religion, and civilization
of the unhappy and oppressed red men. As that work however has not yet
been published, I must endeavour to conclude this treatise with a few
reflections suggested by the preceding narrative.

It must be obvious to the reader, that the character of the Indians
is proportionate to the associations under the influence of which
they are trained. “The Aborigines of America,” to use the language of
Timothy Flint, “are a moody and musing race, whose familiarity with the
wilderness renders them sullen and grave. How could they be otherwise?
They are more accustomed to behold the rocks and forests and mighty
rivers of the transatlantic world than those objects which excite the
loquacity of mankind.” Whatever some individuals may say about the inward
power of “mind” and “will” and “volition” in forming the human character,
it will be admitted by all who have travelled through scenes of physical
majesty and grandeur, that scenery exercises an extensive influence over
human beings. The sight of the mighty Maranon or St Lawrence rolling
their immense volumes of water towards the ocean, tends to excite a
feeling of sublimity, rather than that light-heartedness of spirit which
vents itself in loud peals of laughter, and which is generally connected
with a keen perception of the ridiculous. The North American Indian is
forced to associate with rocks and rivers and almost boundless forests
from his infancy; he hears the tempest roll, and fancies that his Manitto
speaks in thunder from the clouds; and the natural consequence of this
constant familiarity with the wilderness is a certain degree of gravity
and sullenness in his deportment. The mode in which he is educated or
trained fosters this habit, and all the circumstances around him, whether
of a physical, mental, or moral description, tend to render it an element
in his character. Indeed if the circumstances which surround these
children of the wilds, their mode of procuring a subsistence, the manner
in which they are educated, the nature of their religion, and their
method of waging war, be taken into account and duly considered, it will
not appear surprising that they should exhibit a degree of gravity and
sullenness which is seldom found among polished nations.

It is a mournful and painful truth that the whites have acted towards
the savages of America in such a way as to prejudice them against
the benefits and arts of civilization. The white people have robbed,
plundered, and murdered the Indians, thrown their chiefs into jail, and
treated them as if they were made to be trampled on; and then raised the
hue and cry whenever the Indians attempted to retaliate. Nor have the
Christian Missionaries acted towards the unfortunate red men as became
their professions of peace and philanthropy. This is evident from the
letter written by Red Jacket, an Indian chief, who was well acquainted
with the conduct of the missionaries, and whose evidence is more worthy
of credit than the _ex parte_ statements of these propagators of the
gospel. The conduct of the whites towards the Indians, the rapacity with
which they have treated them, and the manner in which they have broken
all their promises, presents a powerful barrier to the progress of Indian
civilization. The experiments of the Pensylvanian Quakers prove, however,
that this barrier is not impassable. The same thing is evidenced by the
partial success which has attended the efforts of some of the Wesleyan
Missionaries in Canada. Though we ought not to give implicit credence
to all that these holy men say respecting the success of their efforts,
there is nevertheless good reason to believe that they have some ground
for their exaggerated statements. Some of the Indian tribes, for a time
at least, have been partially civilized; and this fact proves that their
entire civilization is not impossible. But the “_black-coats_,” to use
the language of Red Jacket, are not the men likely to accomplish such an
undertaking. They may indeed convert the Indians to Christianity, and
by this means inflict on them all the evils resulting from the spread
of a dogmatic sectarianism; but as it regards the civilization of these
savages the efforts of Christian Missionaries are sure to prove abortive,
unless they alter their plan of operation. Artizans and mechanics of
upright character, faithful to their promises, and fully imbued with
the “milk of human kindness,” would be the best missionaries that could
be sent among the Indian tribes. The example of such persons would, in
a short time work wonders among the Indians. The success of the Quaker
experiment warrants this supposition.

It may seem strange that the good people who tell such _melting stories_
about the love of Christ, as exhibited in the conduct of the converted
heathen, and who publish such marvellous accounts of the unprecedented
success which attends missionary exertions, _ad captandum vulgus_, should
have met with so little success among the Indians. This phenomenon,
however, is not at all surprising to any one who has studied the Indian
character. It is agreed on all hands that whatever vices may deform the
character of the Indian warrior, he is in some respects characterized by
a nobility of soul which is rarely met with in civilized nations. This
very nobility causes him to look down upon the whites as a deceiving and
treacherous race. He keeps his word sacred; if he pledges himself he
performs his promise. The whites have broken almost every treaty they
have made with the Indians. With them political expediency obtains the
mastery over justice, honour, and truth. The missionaries, too, have in
many cases endeavoured to wriggle into office and to lead an idle life
instead of “learning and labouring truly to get their own living, and
doing their duty in that state of life unto which it hath pleased God to
call them.” It is natural for men who hate injustice and detest lying, to
despise the ministrations of such teachers. This appears to be one among
the many causes which have prevented the efforts of the missionaries from
being successful.

And truly if the Indians had wisdom enough to anticipate the consequences
likely to result from the success of missionary schemes, they would not
only reject the ministrations of such teachers, but expel them from their
territories. The “pale faces” are always dangerous to the man of America.
Wherever the sound of the Asiatic gospel has been heard, the roar of the
European cannon has speedily followed. _Brandy_, _Small Pox_, and the
_Gospel_, are the three principal blessings we have given to the red men.
The consequences resulting from the two former, have been more extensive
than those resulting from the latter. The whites must abandon their own
vices before they can expect to civilize the Aborigines of America.

    [Joshua Hobson, Printer, 5, Market Street, Briggate, Leeds.]



FOOTNOTES


[1] Robertson’s History of America, vol. 1. b. 3.

[2] Robertson’s History of America, Note 46.

[3] Penny Cyclopædia, Art. America.

[4] Buchanan’s Sketches of Indian History, vol. 1, p. 37.

[5] Montaigne’s Essay’s, Book, 1, Chap. 30, Cotton’s Translation.

[6] Discourse to the New York Society, p.p. 49, 50.

[7] Discourse to the New York Society, p. 71.

[8] Heckewelder’s Historical account of the Indian Nations, p. 124.

[9] Hunter’s Memoirs of a Captivity among the North American Indians, p.
43, &c.

[10] Buchanan’s Sketches, North American Indians, Introduction, p. 14.

[11] Hunter’s Memoirs, p. 48.

[12] Voyages de Marchais, iv. 353.

[13] Gumilla, ii. 101.

[14] M. Fabry, quoted by Buffon, iii. 488.

[15] Dr. Fergusson’s Essay, 125.

[16] Gumilla, i. 265. Brickell’s Hist, of N. Carol. 327.

[17] Deny’s Hist. Natur. ii. 392, 393.

[18] P. Martyr. Decad. p. 45. Veneg. Hist. of Californ. i. 66, Lery,
Navig. in Brasil, c. 17.

[19] Acosta, Hist. lib. vi. c. 19. Stadius, Hist. Brazil, lib. ii. c. 13.
De Bry, iii. p. 110. Biet 361.

[20] Labat. vi. 124. Brickell. Hist, of Carol. 310.

[21] Oviedo, lib. iii. c. 6, p. 97. Vega. Conquist. de la Florida, i. 30,
ii. 416. Labat. ii. 138. Benzo, Hist. Nov. Orb. lib. iv. c. 25.

[22] Lozana, Descr. del Gran. Chaco, 93. Melendez Teforos Verdaderos, ii.
23.

[23] Charlev. Hist. N. France, iii. p.p. 266, 268.

[24] Herrera, Dec. 8 lib. 4. c. 8.

[25] Charlev. Hist. N. France, iii. 271, 272. Lafit. i. 486. Cassani,
Hist. de Nuevo. Reyno de Granada, 226.

[26] Robertson’s History of America, vol. 2, b. 4.

[27] Robertson’s History of America, vol. 2, b. 4, p. 23.

[28] Bossu, i. 140. Lery ap de bry, 215. Hennepin, Mœurs des Sauv. 41.
Lafitau, ii. 169.

[29] Charlev. Hist. N. Fr. 215, 268. Biet. 367, 380.

[30] Charlev. Hist. N. Fr. 217, 218.

[31] Charlev. Hist. N. Fr. iii. 237, 238. Hennep. Mœurs des sauv. p. 59.

[32] Charlev. Hist. N. Fr. iii. 238, 307. Biet. 381. Lafitau, Mœurs des
Sauv. ii. 248.

[33] Charlev. iii. 376. Robertson Hist. Amer. &c.

[34] Charlevoix, Journal, &c. let. xxiv, p. 343.

[35] Charlevoix, Journal, &c. let. xxiv, p. 344.

[36] Charlevoix, Journal, &c. let. xxiv, p. 345-6.

[37] Charlevoix, ut supr. p. 346.

[38] Loskiel, Part 1, Chap. 3, p.p. 34, 35, 39, 40. London, 1794.

[39] Heckewelder, p. 205-6.

[40] Pet. Mart. Decad i. lib. ix. apud Stillingfleet’s Origines Sacræ,
vol. i. p. 3. Edward’s West Indies, vol. i. p. 883.

[41] Edwards, vol. i. p. 48-9, and Hughes, p. 7. apud Edwards ut sup.

[42] Horsley’s Dissertation, supr. ut. p. 47.

[43] We leave national theologians to reply to this.

[44] Journal Historique, p. 351.

[45] Charlev. Journal, ut supr. p. 372-3.

[46] Journal Historique, ut supr. p. 352.

[47] Mackenzie 8vo. vol. 1, p. 155-7.

[48] Mackenzie’s Gen. Hist. Fur Trade, vol. 1, p. 145-6.

[49] Edwards, West Indies, vol. 1, p. 73.

[50] ibid. vol. 1, p. 47.

[51] Charlev. Journal, p. 347-8.

[52] Gen. Hist of Fur Trade, 4to. p. c. ci. cii. civ. 8vo. vol. 1, p.p.
123, 124, 128.

[53] Adair’s History of North American Indians, p.p. 115, 117.

[54] Heckewelder’s Historical Account of India, p.p. 204, 207.

[55] Loskiel, p. 40.

[56] Loskiel, Part 1, cap. iii. p.p. 42, 43.

[57] Edwards’ West Indies, p.p. 47, 51.

[58] Mackenzie, 8vo. vol. 1, p. 153.

[59] Ibid, p.p. 124, 128, 129.

[60] Loskiel, p.p. 39, 40, 42, ad calc.

[61] Bartram’s Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East
and West Florida, &c. London, 1792, 8vo. p. 495.

[62] Adair’s History of North American Indians, p.p. 80, 81.

[63] Odyss, lib. iii, c. 418, 460.

[64] Æneid. lib. iii, 1. 80.

[65] Charlevoix Journal, p.p. 361, 362.

[66] Heckewelder’s Hist. Account, ut supr, p. 224.

[67] Heckewelder’s Historical Account of Indians, ut supr. p.p. 229, 234.

[68] Heckewelder’s Hist. Account of Indians, p.p. 232, 233.

[69] Hearne’s Journey to the Northern Ocean. Dublin, 1796, p. 221.—Note.

[70] Bartram’s Travels, ut supr. p. 415.

[71] Heckewelder’s Historical Account, p. 93.

[72] Sketches of Indian Char. vol. 1, p. 18.

[73] De Witt. Clinton’s Discourse, p. 56.

[74] This relation is authentic; I have received it, says Mr.
Heckewelder, from the mouth of the chief of the injured party, and
his statement was confirmed by communications made at the time by two
respectable magistrates of the county.

[75] Justice Geiger’s Letter to Justice Horsfield, proves this fact.

[76] Alluding to what was at that time known by the name of the _long
day’s walk_.

[77] Carver’s Travels, chap. 9, p. 196.

[78] Loskiel, chap. 3 p. 3.

[79] Message of Sir Francis Bond Head, to the Legislature of Upper
Canada, 29 January, 1838.

[80] Life of Wilberforce, vol. iii.

[81] Martin’s North America, Vol. iii, p. 261.

[82] House of Commons Papers, 1834, No. 617, p. 54.

[83] Edinb. Rev. vol. 8, p. 442, et seq. Article on Civilization of
American Savages, by Pensylvanian Quakers.

[84] Buchanan’s Sketches, vol. 1, p. 97.

[85] Flint’s Ten Years Resid. Mississ. vid Quarterly Review, No. XCV. p.
214.

[86] Letter of Sir Francis Bond Head to Lord Glenelg, Nov. 20th, 1836.





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