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Title: The Indian: On the Battle-Field and in the Wigwam

Author: John Frost

Illustrator: Croome

Release Date: April 14, 2014 [EBook #45385]
Last Updated: November 6, 2016

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by David Widger from page images generously
provided by the Internet Archive



By John Frost

Wentworth & Company,







































These sketches are drawn from a great variety of sources, and are intended, not only to exhibit the Indian character in all its phases, but to comprise in a small compass a valuable collection of narratives of Indian warfare, embracing views of their peculiar methods of strategy, ambuscades, and surprises—their treatment of prisoners, and their other characteristic manners and customs.

By the aid of Mr. Croome, and other eminent artists, I have been able to illustrate the volume quite profusely with engravings. I trust that the work will be found a useful as well as interesting contribution to historical literature.






OT long after Connecticut began to be settled by the English, a stranger Indian came one day to a tavern in one of its towns in the dusk of the evening, and requested the hostess to supply him with something to eat and drink; at the same time he honestly told her that he could not pay for either, as he had had no success in hunting for several days; but that he would return payment as soon as he should meet with better fortune.

The hostess, who was a very ill-tempered woman, not only flatly refused to relieve him, but added abuse to her unkindness, calling him a lazy, drunken fellow, and told him that she did not work so hard herself, to throw away her earnings upon such vagabonds as he was.

There was a man sitting in the same room of the tavern, who, on hearing the conversation, looked up, and observing the Indian’s countenance, which plainly showed that he was suffering severely from want and fatigue, and being of a humane disposition, he told the woman to give the poor wanderer some supper, and he would pay for it.

She did so: and when the Indian had finished his meal, he turned towards his benefactor, thanked him, and told him that he should not forget his kindness. “As for the woman,” he added, “all I can give her is a story—if she likes to hear it.” The woman, being now in a rather, better temper, and having some curiosity to hear what he had to tell, readily consented, and the Indian addressed her as follows:

“I suppose you read the Bible?” The woman assented. “Well,” continued the Indian, “the Bible say, God made the world, and then he took him, and looked on him, and say, ‘It’s all very good.’ Then he made light, and took him, and looked on him, and say, ‘It’s all very good.’ Then he made dry land, and water, and sun, and moon, and grass, and trees, and took him, and say, ‘It’s all very good.’ Then he made beasts, and bird, and fishes, and took him, and looked on him, and say, ‘It’s all very good.’ Then he made man, and took him, and looked on him, and say, ‘It’s all very good.’ And last of all he made woman, and took him, and looked on: him, and he no dare say one such word.” The Indian, having told his story, departed.

Some years after, the man who had be friended the Indian had occasion to go some distance into the wilderness between Litchfield and Albany, which is now a populous city, but then contained only a few houses. Here he was taken prisoner by an Indian scout, and carried off into Canada. When he arrived at the principal settlement of their tribe, which was on the banks of the great river St. Lawrence, some of the Indians proposed that he should be put to death, in revenge for the wrongs that they had suffered from the white men; and this probably would have been his fate, had not an old Indian woman, or squaw, as they are called, demanded that he should be given up to her, that she might adopt him in place of her son, whom she had lately lost in war. He was accordingly given to her, and, as it is customary under such circumstances, was thenceforth treated in the same manner as her own son.

In the following summer, as he was one day at work in the forest by himself, felling trees, an Indian, who was unknown to him, came; up and asked him to meet him the following day at a certain spot which he described. The white man agreed to do so, but not without some apprehension that mischief was intended. During the night these fears increased to so great a degree, as effectually to prevent his keeping his appointment.

However, a few days after, the same Indian, finding him at work, mildly reproved him for not keeping his promise. The man made the best excuse he could, but the Indian was not satisfied until he had again promised to meet him the next morning at the place already agreed on.

Accordingly, when he arrived at the spot, he found the Indian already there, provided with two muskets and powder, and two knapsacks. The Indian ordered him to take one of each, and to follow him. The direction of their march was southward. The man followed without the least knowledge of what he was to do, or whither he was going, but he concluded that if the Indian intended to do him harm, he would have despatched him at the first meeting, and certainly would not have provided him with a musket and powder for defence. His fears, therefore, gradually subsided, although the Indian maintained an obstinate silence when he questioned him concerning the object of their expedition.

In the day time they shot and cooked as much game as they required, and at night they kindled a fire by which they slept. After a fatiguing journey through the forest for many days, they came one morning to the top of a hill from which there was the prospect of a cultivated country, interspersed with several snug farm-houses.

“Now,” said the Indian to his joyful companion, “do you know where you are?”

“Yes,” replied he, “we are not ten miles from my own village.”

“And do you not remember a poor Indian at the tavern?—you feed him—you speak kind to him—I am that poor Indian;—now go home.” Having said this, he bade him farewell, and the man joyfully returned to his own home.





OME of the earlier settlers of Virginia acted in the most barbarous manner towards their Indian neighbors, and it is, therefore, not wonderful that they sometimes received a terrible punishment. But though revenge was usually uppermost in the breasts of the injured ones, instances occurred in which the sacred feeling of friendship triumphed over that passion and the prejudice of the race.

On one occasion, Colonel Bird was employed by the English government to transact some business with the tribe of Cherokees. It unfortunately happened that a short time before he went among them, some white people had seized two Indians, who had given them some trifling offence, and had put them to death; and the Indians, indignant at the outrage, determined to take revenge whenever the opportunity offered. The appearance of Colonel Bird presented the wished-for opportunity, and consultations were held as to the most effectual means of getting him into their power, and of making him the sacrifice.

Colonel Bird perceived their intentions, and felt that he had just cause for alarm, as he was in their country, without the means of escape. Among the neighboring Cherokees, was one named Silouee, celebrated as a chief and pow-wow, or medicine man. He had known Colonel Bird for some time, had eaten with him, and felt a deep friendship for him. Silouee told Colonel Bird not to be alarmed, and even assured him that the Indians should not injure him. At length, in a general council of the chiefs and old men of the tribe, it was determined in spite of Silouee’s earnest remonstrances, that Colonel Bird should be put to death in revenge for the loss of their countrymen.

Two warriors were despatched to Colonel Bird’s tent, to execute the cruel sentence. Silouee insisted on accompanying them. On reaching the tent, Silouee rushed in before them, threw himself on the bosom of his friend, and as the warriors approached, he exclaimed, “This man is my friend; before you take him, you must kill me.”

Awed by Silouee’s determined magnanimity, the warriors returned to the council, and related what had occurred. Indians generally respect a faithful friend as much as they esteem one who is implacable in his revenge. The consultation was reversed. Silouee’s noble conduct altered their purpose. They therefore released Colonel Bird, and bade him go to his home in peace. Silouee acted as his guide and protector until Colonel Bird came in sight of his tent. As they parted, the Indian’s last words to his friend were, “When you see poor Indian in fear of death from cruel white men, remember Silouee.”

Some years after Colonel Bird’s life had been saved by Silouee, he became a Virginia planter, and took up his residence near the James river. Silouee retained his friendship for him, becoming his near neighbor. Like many of his nation, he had, by intercourse with the whites, acquired a great taste for “strong waters,” or ardent spirits, and the dignity of the chief was frequently lowered by drunkenness. On one occasion, Colonel Bird had gone to another part of the country, on business, and had left the care of his plantation to his overseer. The tobacco had obtained some size, and a long drought coming on, there was a prospect that the crop would be much injured. We have stated that Silouee was a pow-wow, or Indian medicineman and conjurer. One day when he came to the plantation, the overseer expressed his opinion that the tobacco crop would be entirely lost, if rain did not soon fall.

“Well,” said the Indian, “what will you give me if I bring rain?”

You bring rain,” said the overseer, laughing.

“Me can,” said the Indian. “Give me two bottles of rum—only two, and me bring rain enough.”

The overseer cast his eye towards the heavens, but could discern no appearance that foretold rain. To gratify the Indian, he promised to give him the two bottles of rum when Colonel Bird arrived, in case the rain should come speedily and save the crop of tobacco.

Silouee now fell to pow-wowing with all his might, making grimaces, contorting his body, and uttering strange, unintelligible ejaculations.

It was a hot, close day, and it so happened that towards evening, the sky, which had been clear for some weeks, clouded over, and the appearance of the heavens was strongly in favor of rain. Before midnight thunder was heard, and heavy showers of rain watered the colonel’s plantation thoroughly; while it was remarked that the showers were so partial that the neighboring plantations were left almost as dry as they were before. The Indian waited quietly till the rain was over, and then walked away. A few days after, the colonel returned to the plantation, and, when Silouee heard of his arrival, he went immediately to visit him.

“Master Bird,” said he, “me come for my two bottles of rum.”

“Your two bottles of rum,” exclaimed the colonel, pretending not to know any thing of the matter; “pray do I owe you two bottles of rum?”

“You do,” replied the Indian.

“How so?” inquired the colonel.

“Me bring you rain—me save your crop,” said the Indian.

“You bring rain,” said the colonel; “no such thing.”

“Me did,” persisted the Indian; “me loved you; me tell overseer to give me two bottles of rum, and then me bring rain. Overseer say he would; me bring cloud, then rain; now me want rum.”

“You saw the cloud,” said Colonel Bird; “you are a sad cheat.”

“Me no cheat,” said the Indian; “me saw no cloud; me bring cloud.”

“Well, well,” said the colonel, “you are an old friend, and you shall have the rum, since you beg so hard for it. But mind you, it is not for the rain. The Great Spirit sent the rain, not you.”

“Well,” said the Indian, “your tobacco had rain upon it—why others have none? Answer that, colonel, if you can.”





NSTANCES are recorded in which white children have been captured and brought up by the Indians, and have so far forgotten early associations as to become identified in habits and manners with their red captors. In most of these cases, the adopted Indian could not be induced to return to the haunts of civilization and the friends of his or her race; which fact would seem to prove that, either the life of the Indian is happier than that of the civilized white man, or, the qualities of our nature may be altered by the power of habit.


In 1778, the family of Mr. Jonathan Slocum, near Wilkesbarre, (Campbell’s Wyoming,) Pennsylvania, was attacked by Indians. Within the house were two girls, aged nine and five years, a son of thirteen, a little boy of two and a half, and their mother. The men were working in the field, and two youths were in the porch grinding a knife. One of the latter was shot and scalped with his own knife. The eldest sister seized the little boy and ran with him towards the fort. The Indians took the boy who had been turning the grindstone, young Slocum, and his sister Frances, and prepared to depart. Little Slocum being lame, they set him down, and proceeded on their way. One of the Indians threw the little girl over his shoulder, and her weeping face was the last object of the mother’s gaze.

About a month afterwards, the savages returned, murdered the aged grandfather, shot a ball into the leg of the lame boy, and then plunging into the woods were heard of no more. Years passed away; the mother died of grief for her lost child. The two remaining brothers, grown to manhood, resolved to ascertain the fate of their sister. They made every inquiry, travelled through the west and into the Canadas, but all in vain; and for fifty-eight years, the captive’s fate was unknown.

At length, in 1836, accident discovered what inquiry could not. The Hon. G. W. Ewing, United States agent to Indian Territory, while travelling on the banks of the Mississiniwa, lost his way and was benighted, and compelled to take shelter in an Indian wigwam. The agent was kindly received, and after supper, entered into conversation with the hostess. He was soon surprised by observing that her hair was fine and flaxen-colored, and that, under her dress, her skin appeared to be white. Upon inquiry, she informed him that she was the daughter of white parents, that her name was Slocum, that when five years old she had been carried captive, by Indians, from a house on the Susquehanna. All else was forgotten.

On reaching home, Ewing wrote an account of the affair, and sent it to Lancaster for publication. Through neglect, however, it was not published for two years afterwards; but it was then seen by Mr. Slocum, of Wilkes-barre, the little boy who had been saved by the girl, sixty years before. He immediately started for Indiana, accompanied by the sister who had saved him, at the same time writing to his brother to meet him at the wigwam. The incidents connected with this visit have been preserved, and are interesting.

On entering the cabin, they beheld an Indian woman, apparently seventy-five years old, painted and jewelled. Yet her hair was as the agent had described it, and her skin beneath her dress appeared white. They obtained an interpreter and began to converse. We may imagine the feelings of the little party, while they listened to the Indian wo-an’s tale. The incidents of the assault and capture—too well known already—were disclosed with a faithfulness which left no room for doubt. “How came your nail gone?” inquired the sister. “My elder brother pounded it off when I was a little child in the shop.”

“What was your name then?” She did not remember. “Was it Frances?” She smiled on hearing the long-forgotten sound, and promptly answered, “Yes.” All were now satisfied that they were of one family, and yet there was little joy in that meeting. There was a sadness, not merely through remembrance of the past, but of a kind present, deep, painful; for though the brothers were walking the cabin unable to speak, and the sister was sobbing, yet there sat the poor Indian sister, no throb of emotion disturbing her equanimity.

Her previous history may soon be told. It was the Delaware tribe who had taken her captive, and when she grew up among them, she married one of their chiefs. He died or deserted her, and she then married a Miami. She had two daughters, who both grew up and married Indians. They all lived in one cabin. The brothers and sisters tried to persuade their sister to return with them, and, if she desired it, to bring her children. She answered that she had always lived with the Indians; that they had always been kind to her; that she had promised her late husband, on his death-bed, never to leave them, and that promise she was resolved to keep. The three generous relatives then retraced their steps, sorrowing that they were compelled to leave their sister in the wilderness.

The Indian sister died in 1847. Her manners and customs were those of the Indians until her death, yet she was admired alike by the red and white men. Her grave is on a beautiful knoll, near the confluence of the Mis-sissiniwa and the Wabash, a spot which had been her residence for nearly thirty years.




URING the frequent wars between the Indians and the early settlers of New England, the former defeated a party of English soldiers. Their retreat was without order; and a young English officer, in attempting to escape, was pursued by two savages. Finding escape impracticable, and determined to sell his life as dearly as possible, he turned round to face his foes. A violent struggle commenced, and he must have fallen, if an old chief had not thrown himself between the combatants. The red men instantly retired with respect. The old man took the young officer by the hand, dispelled his fears, and led him through the forest to his wigwam, where he treated him with the greatest kindness. He seemed to take pleasure in the youth’s company; he was his constant companion; he taught him his language, customs, and arts. Thoughts of home would sometimes haunt the young Englishman. At these times, Wanou would survey his young friend attentively, and the tears would fill his eyes.


When the spring returned, the war was renewed, and Wanou whose strength was still sufficient to bear the toils of war, set out with the rest of the braves, and his white prisoner.

When the Indians arrived in sight of the English camp, Wanou showed the young officer his countrymen, observing his countenance the while. “There are thy brethren,” said he, “waiting to fight us. Listen to me. I have saved thy life. I have taught thee to make a canoe, and bow and arrows; to hunt the bear and the buffalo; to bring down the deer at full speed, and to outwit even the cunning fox. What wast thou when I first led thee to my wigwam? Thy hands were like those of a child; they served neither to support nor to defend thee; thou wert ignorant, but from me thou hast learned every thing. Wilt thou be ungrateful, and raise up thy arm against the red man?”

The young man declared with warmth that he would rather lose his own life than shed the blood of his Indian friends. The old warrior covered his face with his hands, bowed his head and remained in that posture for some time, as if overcome by some painful recollection. Then with a strong effort, he said to the young man, “Hast thou a father?”

“He was living,” said the young man, “when I left my native country.”

“Oh! how fortunate he is still to have a son!” cried the Indian; and then, after a moment’s silence, he added, “Knowest thou that I have been a father; but I am no longer so! I saw my son fall in battle; he fought bravely by my side; my son fell covered with wounds, and he died like a man! but I revenged his death; yes, I revenged his death!”

Wanou pronounced these words with a terrible vehemence; but at length he became calm, and turning towards the east, where the sun had just risen, he said, “Young man, thou seest that glorious light—does it afford thee any pleasure to behold it?”

“Yes,” replied the officer, “I never look upon the rising sun without pleasure, or without feeling thankful to our great father who created it.”

“I am glad thou art happy, but there is no more pleasure for me,” said Wanou. A moment after, he showed the young man a shrub in full bloom, and said, “Hast thou any pleasure in beholding this plant?”

“Yes, great pleasure,” replied the young man.

“To me, it can no longer give pleasure,” said the old man; and then embracing the young Englishman, he concluded with these words, “Begone! hasten to thy country, that thy father may still have pleasure in beholding the rising sun, and the flowers of spring.”

Poor chief; the death of his beloved son had broken his heart.






ANY years ago, a Scotchman and his wife, named M’Dou-gall, emigrated to America. Having but very little money, he purchased some land upon the verge of civilization, where it was sold for a low price. By great exertions and the aid of his neighbors, M’Dougall soon had a comfortable farm, well stocked. But the inconvenience of distance from the church, market, and mill, were felt, and caused discontent with the location.

One day, while the farmer was away at the mill, the duty of driving up the cows to milk devolved on the wife, and that thrifty and industrious woman went out in quest of them. Not accustomed to going far from the house, she wandered through the woods, got bewildered, and just before dark sank upon the ground in despair. An Indian hunter soon came along, and guessing her situation, induced her to follow him to his wigwam, where she was kindly fed and lodged for the night by the hunter’s wife.

In the morning, the Indian conducted his guest to her cattle, and thence home. M’Dou-gall, grateful for his service, presented him with a suit of clothes, and invited him to become his frequent visitor. Three days afterwards he returned, and endeavored, partly, by signs, and partly in broken English, to induce M’Dougall to follow him; but the Scotchman refused. Time was precious to him who owed all his comforts to hard labor, and the Indian repeated his entreaties in vain. The poor fellow looked grieved and disappointed; but a moment after, a sudden thought struck him.

Mrs. M’Dougall had a young child, which the Indian’s quick eye had not failed to notice; and finding that words and gestures would not persuade his Scotch friend, he approached the cradle, seized the child, and darted out of the house with the speed of the antelope. The father and mother instantly followed, calling loudly on him to return; but he had no such intention. He led them on, now slower, now faster, occasionally turning towards them, laughing and holding up the child to their view. After proceeding in this manner for some time, the Indian halted on the margin of a most beautiful prairie, covered with the richest vegetation, and extending over several thousand acres. In a moment after, the child was restored to its parents, who, wondering at such strange proceedings, stood awhile panting for breath. On the other hand, the Indian seemed overjoyed at the success of his manoevre, and never did a human being frisk about and gesticulate with greater animation.

At length his feelings found vent in broken English, nearly in these words:—“You think Indian treacherous; you think him wish steal the child. No, no, Indian has child of his own. Indian knew you long ago; saw you when you not see him; saw you hard working man. Some white men bad and hurt poor Indian. You not bad; you work hard for your wife and child; but you choose bad place; you never make rich there. Indian see your cattle far in the forest; think you come and catch them; you not come; your wife come. Indian find her faint and weary; take her home; wife fear go in; think Indian kill her! No, no! Indian lead her back; meet you very sad; then very glad to see her. You kind to Indian; give him meat and drink and better clothes than your own. Indian grateful; wish you come here; not come; Indian very sorry; take the child; know you follow child; if Indian farm, Indian farm here. Good ground; not many trees; make road in less than half a moon; Indian help you. Indians your friends; come, live here.”

M’Dougall instantly saw the advantages of the change, and taking the red man’s advice, the day was soon fixed for the removal of his log-house, along with the rest of his goods and chattels; and the Indian, true to his word, brought a party of his red brethren to assist in one of the most romantic removals that ever took place. A fertile spot was selected in the “garden of the desert,” a fine farm soon smiled around, and M’Dougall had no cause to regret the Indian’s friendly manoeuvre.




RAND-SUN was a chief of the Natchez tribe. Sun was a common name for all chiefs of that nation; this chief was particularly distinguished in the first war with the French, in which the Natchez engaged, and the title of Great-Sun was given him by his people. He was brave, wise, and generous, and a friend to the whites until the haughty and overbearing disposition of one man brought ruin upon the whole colony. The affair occurred in 1729.

Grand-Sun resided in the beautiful village called White Apple, near the French post of Natchez, the commandant of which was M. Chopart. This officer had been removed from his post on account of his misconduct and and abominable injustice towards the Indians, but had been reinstated, and his conduct had been the same as before. He projected the building an elegant village, and none appeared to suit his purpose so well as the White Apple of Grand-Sun. He sent for the chief to the fort, and unhesitatingly told him that he must give up his village, and remove elsewhere. Grand-Sun stifled his surprise, and replied, “that his ancestors had lived in that village for as many years as there were hairs in his double queu, and, therefore, it was good that they should continue there still.” This was interpreted to the commandant, and he became so enraged, that he threatened Grand-Sun with punishment if he did not comply.

A council of the Natchez was held. They saw that all was hopeless, unless they could rid themselves of Chopart by some stratagem. They decided to attempt it. To gain time, an offer was made to the commandant, of tribute, in case he should permit them to remain on their lands until harvest. The offer was accepted, and the Indians matured their plan. Bundles of sticks were sent to the neighboring tribes, and their meaning explained. Each bundle contained as many sticks as days before the massacre of the French at Natchez; and that no mistake should arise in regard to the fixed day, every morning a stick was drawn from the bundle and broken in pieces, and the day of the last stick was that of the execution.

The secret was confided to none but the older warriors, who could be depended upon. But Grand-Sun was compelled to make a great sacrifice of private feeling in revenging the wrongs of his countrymen. He had won the respect and esteem of several of the French hunters by his generosity and other noble qualities; and the very intimate acquaintance of one of them in particular. This was Armand Griffin, whose family resided at Natchez, while he engaged in the laborious but profitable business of hunting. Grand-Sun and Griffin had become close friends. The hospitable door of the chief’s wigwam was ever open to the hunter, and the latter frequently visited him, Grand-Sun had instructed him in all the mysteries of woodcraft, and Griffin being naturally of a daring and restless temper, had become one of the boldest and best hunters in that part of the country. In return, he instructed Grand-Sun in many of the arts of the white man, and thus mutual services strengthened the links of friendship.

When Grand-Sun had matured his scheme of revenge, he thought of the situation of Griffin’s family, and without hinting his purpose, advised the hunter to remove them for a time. But he either would not or could not, disregarding the earnest entreaties of the chief to that effect. As the appointed day approached, and the security of feeling among the French promised success to the scheme of massacre, Grand-Sun renewed his entreaties, but still without daring to disclose the secret intent. Griffin not only said that his family must remain at the post, but that he himself must be there upon the day which the chief knew was fixed for the dreadful revenge. After a struggle between friendship and patriotism, the chief with stoic fortitude resolved to sacrifice his friend rather than disclose his scheme and thus trust to the white man’s faith for keeping such a secret.

About sunset the day before the massacre, Griffin and Grand-Sun, who had been out hunting during the day, arrived at the verge of the village of White Apple. A crowd of red men were assembled to welcome their great chief. The friends stopped upon an elevated piece of ground near the Indians. Grand-Sun had just been urging upon his friend the removal of his family from the fort. But as Griffin had given signs of beginning to suspect something wrong, he suddenly checked his persuasive appeal and taking his hand, thus bade him farewell for ever.


“White man, you are my friend. We have eat, slept, and hunted together. My wigwam ever welcomed you, and you repaid me. The belt of friendship has been brighten between us, and it should not be soiled. The great fire of day is fast going out, and you must return to your pretty wife and children. When it shall again be kindled, many things may be done which may part us for ever. Farewell!” The bold hunter was affected by the manner of the chief, and for a while hung his head as if a gloom had come over him. But rousing himself, he bade the chief farewell, and returned to the post at Natchez.

Suspecting what he should have suspected long before, Griffin, as soon as he returned to the fort, bade his wife and children prepare themselves for leaving the place, and she complied, with many questions concerning the reason for this strange movement. Griffin could not exactly say. But he had resolved to leave the fort, and take shelter in a neighboring Indian village belonging to the Natchez, and in an opposite direction from White Apple. Here he had a friend, and he would feel secure. The escape was accomplished.

The next day the fort was surprised and the whole body of the French within the fort and its neighborhood were massacred. Griffin and his family, and a few hunters alone escaped, and all these through the interposition of Grand-Sun, who thus remained true to friendship, while he maintained and executed his scheme for relieving his countrymen from the oppressor. This great chief not long afterwards, was taken prisoner by a French expedition from Louisiana, his people almost annihilated, and he, the “last of his line,” died in his dungeon! Griffin ever cherished his memory, and exerted himself to save him, but in vain. The white man was relentless.






ECUMSEH, (the Crouching Panther,) was one of the greatest chiefs who ever led the red men to battle. He was by birth a Shawanee, a tribe which has ever been noted for its aversion to the whites. He was born about 1770, and first became distinguished in 1792, when, at the head of a small band of warriors, he surprised and murdered a party of whites upon Hacker’s Creek. From that time he continued to acquire a reputation for all the qualities, which, in the estimation of the Indians, make up a great leader.

In 1809, Governor Harrison, agreeably to instructions from government, purchased of the Delawares, Miamis, and Shawanees, the country on both sides of the Wabash, and extending sixty miles above Vincennes. Tecumseh demurred to the sale, and Harrison, wishing to conciliate him, appointed the 12th day of August, 1810, as the time, and Vincennes, as the place, for holding a council to settle his claims. In this council, Tecumseh delivered a speech, which eloquently unfolded his views of the aggressions of the white men, and urged that the sale of the land was invalid, because not made with the consent of all the red men living upon it. After Tecumseh had concluded his speech, and was about to seat himself, he observed that no chair had been placed for him. Harrison immediately ordered one, and as the interpreter handed it to him, he said, “Your father requests you to take a chair.”

“My father!” said Tecumseh, with sublime dignity, “the sun is my father, and the earth is my mother, and on her bosom will I repose,” and immediately seated himself upon the ground. When the council had concluded, Tecumseh expressed his intention to fight rather than yield the ground. “It is my determination,” said he, “nor will I give rest to my feet until I have united all the red men in the like resolution.”

The threat was soon executed. The active chief visited all the western tribes from the Winnebagoes to the Creeks, and made use of all means of persuasion to unite them, with one aim, the maintenance of their country free from the rule of the white man. Superstition is mighty among the red men, and Tecumseh had the means of turning it to his purpose. His brother, the well-known Prophet, (Ellskwatawa,) had obtained a reputation among the neighboring Indians, as a medicine-man and conjurer. He announced that the Great Spirit had conversed with him, and commissioned him to restore the red men to their primitive power. The Indians believed in the truth of the commission, and the Prophet, by his craft and eloquence succeeded in gaining an influence among them, second only to that of his great-spirited brother. A formidable confederacy was soon formed of which Tecumseh was the head.

The battle of Tippecanoe was fought on the night of November 6, 1811, in which sixty-two Americans were killed and one hundred and twenty-six wounded. The Prophet is said to have conducted the attack, but did not expose himself to danger. The vigilance of Harrison, and the bravery of his men, repulsed the Indians, inflicting upon them a severe loss. Tecumseh was not in the battle.


When the war broke out between Great Britain and the United States, Tecumseh seized the opportunity to join the British general with a large body of his warriors. He received the commission of brigadier-general in the British army. During the latter part of his active life, he was under the direction of General Proctor; but is said to have been greatly dissatisfied with his proceedings. After Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, Proctor abandoned Detroit, and retreated up the Thames, pursued by General Harrison, with the American army. Harrison overtook him near the Moravian town, on the 5th of October, 1813. By a novel manoeuvre, ordered by Harrison, and executed by Colonel Johnson, the British line was broken and put to flight.


The Indians, commanded by Tecumseh, maintained their ground, with a noble determination. The great chief fought with desperation, until a shot in the head from an unknown hand, laid him dead upon the field. His warriors, as if they had lost their spirit, then fled, leaving about one hundred and twenty men dead upon the field.


Tecumseh was about forty-four years of age when he fell. He was about five feet ten inches in height, and of a noble appearance. His carriage was erect and lofty—his motions quick—his eyes keen, black, and piercing—his visage stern, with an air of hauteur, which expressed his pride of spirit. He is said to have been reserved and stern in his manners. After his fall, the Indians became anxious to secure peace, convinced that their cause was hopeless. The Prophet lost their confidence, and sunk into insignificance.





BOUT 1687, the Iroquois, from some neglect on the part of the governor of New York, were induced to join the French interest; and in a council which was held in the Iroquois country, the hatchet was buried and a treaty concluded, by which the Indians promised to become the firm allies of the French. The Dinondadies, a tribe of the Hurons, were considered as belonging to the confederate Indians, but from some cause they were dissatisfied with the league with the French, and wished by some exploit to indicate that they preferred the English interest.

Adaris, nicknamed by the French, “the Rat,” was the head chief of the Dinondadies, and famous for his courage and cunning. He put himself at the head of one hundred warriors, and intercepted the ambassadors of the Five Nations at one of the falls in Hadarakkin river, killing some and taking others prisoners. These he informed that the French governor had told him that fifty warriors of the Five Nations were coming that way to attack him. They were astonished at the governor’s perfidiousness, and so completely did Adaris’s plot succeed, that these ambassadors were deceived into his interest. The Five Nations did not doubt that this outrage upon their ambassadors was owing to the treachery of the French governor, and they immediately formed a scheme of revenge, the object of which was the destruction of Montreal.

At that time the island of Montreal contained the largest and most flourishing settlement in Canada. It contained about fifteen hundred inhabitants, and many flourishing plantations. The Indians thought that if they could destroy Montreal, the French power in Canada might easily be annihilated They assembled about twelve hundred of their bravest warriors, and marched for the banks of the St. Lawrence, with great secrecy and rapidity. The time fixed for the attack was the 26th of July, 1688, when the harvest was approaching.

Just before day break, on the morning of the 26th, the whole body of the Indians crossed the river, and advanced towards the settlement, endeavoring to make their march as secret as possible. The great body of the French settlers were reposing in security, but here and there an early and industrious farmer was abroad, looking after his farm and cattle. One of these, named Boulard, was the first to discover the approach of the enemy. He was walking down his lane, between a thicket and his wheat-field, when he heard a strange rustling in the bushes, at a little distance, and he stopped and leaned against a fence to observe what caused it. Boulard had not waited long before he caught sight of the form of two or three red men coming through the wood, and he was discovered by them at the same time.


As one of them rushed toward him, gun in hand, he sprang into his wheat-field and endeavored to conceal the direction he took. A volley of musketry followed him, and he was wounded, yet he kept on, fear giving him extraordinary strength, and he reached the house of a neighbor. The alarm was given; but it was too late. Twelve hundred red men, like so many bloodhounds, were let loose upon unprepared settlers. An awful silence followed. Houses were burned, plantations destroyed and the inhabitants butchered. But little resistance was offered to the Indians, and that was soon crushed. About four hundred persons were killed upon the spot, and the Indians retreated carrying with them a large number of prisoners, who were doomed to a more dreadful death. The loss of the Indians in the expedition was trifling.


The destruction of Montreal was a terrible blow to the French, and it was so well fol: lowed up by the powerful Iroquois, that it is thought, if the Indians had been acquainted with the art of attacking fortified places, the enemy would have been forced to abandon Canada. But they had not the necessary knowledge; and the English were not wise enough to supply them with it. The French maintained their ground, and the Iroquois were afterwards punished for their unscrupulous warfare.






HE buffalo hunt, next to the Indian battle, is the most intensely exciting scene which may be witnessed among the wilds of the west. To the buffalo, the Indian looks for food, for clothing, and for religious and household implements. He regards the hunting of that animal not only as a pleasure, but a duty; and when once it is rumored through a village that a herd of buffalo is in sight, their warriors who have faced death in a hundred forms, bring out their swiftest horses, and spring upon them; and when the whole party rush across the field eager to engage the bellowing herd, a scene is presented for which it would be in vain to look for a parallel, even among the cane-brakes of Africa, or the jungles of India.

The Indians have several methods of attacking buffaloes. The most exciting as well as the most dangerous one is that in which they run round the herd for the purpose of destroying it. The hunters, well-mounted with bows and lances, divide themselves into two columns, take opposite directions, and at the distance of a mile or two, draw gradually around the herd, and having formed a circle, close upon their prey at regular distance, On seeing the danger, the herd run in the opposite direction, where they are met by the other party. The circle is gradually closed, and the parties unite. By this time, the buffaloes are wheeling about in a crowded and confused mass, wounding and climbing upon each other. Then their destruction commences. Galloping round, the hunters drive the arrows and lances to the hearts of their victims. Sometimes, the animals, furious from their wounds, plunge forward, and bear down horse and rider, goring and crushing the former, while the active Indian escapes. Sometimes the herd divides in two, and the hunters, blinded by clouds of dust, are wedged in among the crowding beasts, when their only chance of escape is to leap over the backs of the herd, leaving the horse to his fate. Occasionally, a buffalo selects a particular horseman, and pursues him at full speed, until, when stooping to lift the horse upon his horns, he receives in the side the warrior’s shaft. Some of the Indians, when pursued, throw their buffalo robe over the horns and eyes of the furious animal, and, dashing by its side, drives the weapon to its heart. Others dash off upon the prairie, in pursuit of the few who got separated from the herd. In a few moments, the hunt is changed into a desperate battle, and gradually the whole mass of buffaloes sink in death.

The hunters then dismount from their horses, and claim their prey by drawing the arrows or lances from the sides of the dead beasts, and showing their private marks. Quarrels are generally avoided by this plan. After all the animals have been claimed, the warriors hold a council, and after smoking a few pipes, ride into the village and announce the result. Of course, every thing there is in commotion, and soon long processions of dogs and women issue forth, skin and cut up the prey, and return amid loud acclamations to their homes.






HOSE who have had the best opportunities for knowing the real character of the Indians, have remarked, among many other good traits, the great affection they have for their children, and the respect which young people pay, not only to their parents, but to all elderly people.

Before the little papoose can walk alone, it is confined in a cradle, which is carried on the mother’s back while she is at her work, or set upright against the wall, or a tree. The mother teaches her children how to make leggins, moccasins, and many other things that have already been described; and if she be a good mother, as many of the squaws are, she is particular in keeping her daughters constantly employed, so that they may have the reputation of being industrious girls, which is a recommendation to the young men to marry them; Corporal punishment is seldom used for the correction of children; but if they commit any fault, it is common for the mother to blacken their faces, and send them out of the lodge. Sometimes they are kept a whole day in this situation, as a punishment for their misconduct. They think that corporal punishment breaks the spirit of the child, and in this they appear to be wiser than their white brethren. Parental love should persuade and guide the bold of spirit, not destroy their courage.

When the boys are six or seven years of age, a small bow and arrows are put into their hands, and they are sent out to shoot birds around the lodge or village; this they continue to do for five or six years, and then their father procures for them short guns, and they begin to hunt ducks, geese, and small game. They are then gradually instructed in the whole art of hunting, and lastly of warfare.

The Indians generally appear to be more afflicted at the loss of an infant, or young child, than at that of a person of mature years. The latter, they think, can provide for himself in the country whither he has gone, but the former is too young to do so. The men appear ashamed to show any signs of grief, at the loss of any relation, however dear he might have been to them; but the women do not conceal their feelings; and on the loss of either husband or child, they cut off their hair, disfigure their face and limbs with black paint, and even with cuts, and burn all their clothes except a few miserable rags.




HE colonists of New England, and especially of New Hampshire, were rarely free from apprehension of attack from their savage neighbors. A desultory warfare was carried on, even when treaties seemed to have secured peace. Houses were burned, farms, teeming with the fruits of toil, destroyed, and the inhabitants either murdered or made captive. Many instances are recorded, of suffering and torture inflicted upon families, which have been thus attacked. One of the most remarkable has been preserved in the words of one of the victims, Mrs. Elizabeth Hanson.


On the 27th of June, 1724, a party of Indians were discovered in the neighborhood of the house of John Hanson, in Dover township, New Hampshire. They had been lurking in the fields several days, watching their opportunity, when Mr. Hanson and his men should be out of the way. At the favorable moment, thirteen Indians, all naked, and armed with tomahawks and guns, rushed into the house, killing one child as soon as they entered the door. The leader came up to Mrs. Hanson, but gave her quarter. At the time of the attack, she had a servant and six children. Two of the little ones were at play in the orchard, and the youngest child, only fourteen days old, was in the cradle.

The Indians set about rifling the house, fearing to be interrupted by the return of some of the men, and packed up every thing that pleased them, and which they could conveniently carry. The two children running in from the orchard, the Indians killed one to prevent its shrieking, and gave the other to the mother. The dead children were scalped, and the mother, the servant, and the remaining children, were taken hastily from the house. Mrs. Hanson was weak, yet she had no alternative but to go, or die, and her children were frightened into silence. After wading through several swamps, and some brooks, and carefully avoiding every thing like a road, the party halted at night-fall, about ten miles from Mrs. Hanson’s house. A fire was lighted, and a watch set, while the rest of the party sought repose.

Just as the day appeared, the Indians were awake, and, with their captives, set out again and travelled very hard all that day through swamps and woods without a path. At night all lodged upon the cold ground, wet and weary. Thus for twenty-six days, day by day, the party travelled, over mountains, through tangled thickets, and across rivers and swamps, sometimes without any food but pieces of beaver skin, and enduring hardships, to which the Indians were accustomed, but which the poor captives could scarcely bear.

At the end of twenty-six days, the party reached the borders of Canada, and as they were compelled to separate, the captive family was divided between them. This was a sore parting, but the mother had become resigned to her fate, and taught her children by example how to suffer. The eldest daughter, about sixteen years of age, was first taken away, and soon after, the second daughter and the servant, at that time very weak for want of food, were divided between Indians going to different parts of the country. The mother, her babe and little boy remained with the chief, and soon arrived at his village.

The captives were now well provided with food, but were compelled to sleep upon the cold ground in a wigwam. As the wigwam was often removed from place to place for the convenience of hunting, and the winter was approaching, the lodging became disagreeable, and the small children suffered severely. When the chief arrived at the Indian fort, he was received with great rejoicing, and every savage manifestation of respect. The shouting, drinking, feasting, and firing of guns continued several days.

The chief had not long been at home, before he went out on a hunting excursion, and was absent about a week. Mrs. Hanson was left in his wigwam, and ordered to get in wood; gather nuts, &c. She diligently performed what she had been commanded; but when the chief returned, he was in an ill-humor; not having found any game. He vented his spleen upon the poor captives, of course. Mrs. Hanson was roughly treated, and her son knocked down. She did not dare to murmur, however, fearing his anger.

The squaw and her daughter, sympathized with the captives, informed them that the chief was anxious now to put them to death, and that they must sleep in another wigwam that night. During the night Mrs. Hanson slept very little, being in momentary expectation that the chief would.=come to execute his threat. But the chief, weary with hunting, went to rest and forgot it. The next morning he went out hunting again, and returned with some wild ducks. He was then in a better humor, and all had plenty to eat. The same state of things occurred very frequently, and Mrs. Hanson was in constant fear of death. Sometimes she suffered much from want of food.

By this time, hard labor, mean diet, and want of natural rest, had reduced Mrs. Hanson so low, that her milk was dried up, and her babe thin and weak. By the advice of an Indian squaw, she made some nourishing broth for her babe, by broiling some kernels of walnuts, and mixing them with water and Indian meal. But her joy at the success of this invention was clouded by the action of the chief. Observing the thriving condition of the child, he made the mother undress it, and told her he intended to eat it as soon as it was fat enough. This was a terrible blow to the hopes which Mrs. Hanson had begun to conceive, and his cruel treatment of her and her children was aggravated every day, till, at length, he fell violently ill, and for a time lingered on the brink of death. He thought that this was a judgment of God upon him for his cruelty, and he professed repentance. After this he soon recovered, and the captives were better treated.

The chief, a few weeks after his recovery, made another remove, journeying two days upon the ice, while the snow was falling. Mrs. Hanson soon perceived the object of his journey. The chief, with the hope of obtaining a ransom for his captives, wished to get nearer to the French. He visited the latter, but returned in a very bad humor. Mrs. Hanson was compelled to lodge in a sort of hole made in the snow, and covered with boughs, in order to keep from his presence.

At length the captives were taken to the French, and after some trouble and delay, ransomed for six hundred livres. They were treated very kindly and furnished with all those things of which they had been so long destitute. One month after they fell into the hands of the French, Mr. Hanson came to them with the hope of ransoming the other children and servant. With much difficulty he recovered his younger daughter, but the eldest was retained by the squaw to whom she had been given, as she intended to marry her to her son. No means could induce the squaw to surrender the daughter, and the party were forced to return without her. The servant was ransomed. On the 1st of July, 1725, the party arrived home, having been among the Indians and French more than twelve months, and, having suffered every hardship which the captive of the Indian generally endures.

Mr. Hanson could not rest while his daughter remained in the hands of the Indians, and he resolved to make another attempt to ransom her. On the 19th of February, 1727, he set out on his journey, but died on the way, between Albany and Canada. In the meantime, a young Frenchman interposed, and by marrying the daughter himself, secured her freedom; the Indians acknowledging the freedom of their captives as soon as married by the French. The daughter returned to her anxious and suffering mother and sisters, and thus gave them some consolation for the loss of Mr. Hanson.






R. CATLIN met with many interesting adventures, while visiting the numerous and savage tribes of the great west, for the purpose of seeing and judging for himself, of their habits and modes of life. One of these he details in his valuable work, as “The Story of the Dog,” and as it is a fine illustration of the dangers encountered by adventurers among the Indians, and of the certainty of revenge which follows an injury, we here insert it:

I had passed up the Missouri river, on the steamboat Yellow Stone, on which I ascended the Missouri to the mouth of Yellow Stone river. While going up, this boat, having on board the United States Indian agent, Major Sanford—Messrs. Pierre, Chouteau, McKenzie of the American Fur Company, and myself, as passengers, stopped at this trading-post, and remained several weeks; where were assembled six hundred families of Sioux Indians, their tents being pitched in close order on an extensive prairie on the bank of the river.

This trading-post, in charge of Mr. Laidlaw, is the concentrating place, and principal depot, for this powerful tribe, who number, when all taken together, something like forty or fifty thousand. On this occasion, five or six thousand had assembled to see the steamboat, and meet the Indian agent, which, and whom they knew were to arrive about this time. During the few weeks that we remained there, I was busily engaged painting my portraits, for here were assembled the principal chiefs and medicine-men of the nation. To these people, the operations of my brush were entirely new and unaccountable, and excited amongst them the greatest curiosity imaginable. Every thing else, even the steamboat, was abandoned for the pleasure of crowding into my painting-room, and witnessing the result of each fellow’s success, as he came out from under the operation of my brush.

They had been at first much afraid of the consequences that might flow from so strange and unaccountable an operation; but having been made to understand my views, they began to look upon it as a great honor, and afforded me the opportunities that I desired; exhibiting the utmost degree of vanity for their appearance, both as to features and dress. The consequence was, that my room was filled with the chiefs who sat around, arranged according to the rank or grade which they held in the estimation of their tribe; and in this order it became necessary for me to paint them, to the exclusion of those who never signalized themselves, and were without any distinguishing character in society.

The first man on the list, was Ha-wan-ghee-ta, (one horn,) head chief of the nation, and after him the subordinate chief, or chiefs of bands, according to the estimation in which they were held by the chief or tribe. My models were thus placed before me, whether ugly or beautiful, all the same, and I saw at once there was to be trouble somewhere, as I could not paint them all. The medicine-men or high priests, who are esteemed by many the oracles of the nation, and the most important men in it—becoming jealous, commenced their harangues, outside of the lodge, telling them that they were all fools—that those who were painted would soon die in consequence; and that these pictures, which had life to a considerable degree in them, would live in the hands of white men after they were dead, and make them sleepless and endless trouble.

Those whom I had painted, though evidently somewhat alarmed, were unwilling to acknowledge it, and those whom I had not painted, unwilling to be outdone in courage, allowed me the privilege; braving and defying the danger that they were evidently more or less in dread of. Feuds began to arise too, among some of the chiefs of the different bands, who, (not unlike some instances among the chiefs and warriors of our own country,) had looked upon their rival chiefs with unsleeping jealousy, until it had grown into disrespect and enmity. An instance of this kind presented itself at this critical juncture, in this assembly of inflammable spirits, which changed in a moment, its features, from the free and jocular garrulity of an Indian levee, to the frightful yells and agitated treads and starts of an Indian battle. I had in progress at this time, a portrait of Mah-to-tchee-ga, (little bear;) of the Onc-pa-pa band, a noble fine fellow, who was sitting before me as I was painting. I was painting almost a profile view of his face, throwing a part of it into shadow, and had it nearly finished, when an Indian by the name of Shon-ka, (the dog,) chief of the Caz-a-zshee-ta band, an ill-natured and surly man—despised by the chiefs of every other band, entered the wigwam in a sullen mood, and seated himself on the floor in front of my sitter, where he could have a full view of the picture in its operation. After sitting a while with his arms folded, and his lips stiffly arched with contempt, he sneeringly spoke thus:

“Mah-to-tchee-ga is but half a man.”

Dead silence ensued for a moment, and nought was in motion save the eyes of the chiefs, who were seated around the room, and darting their glances about upon each other in listless anxiety to hear the sequel that was to follow! During this interval, the eyes of Mah-to-tchee-ga had not moved—his lips became slightly curved, and he pleasantly asked in low and steady accent, “Who says that?”

“Shon-ka says it,” was the reply, “and Shonka can prove it.” At this the eyes of Mah-to-tchee-ga, which had not yet moved, began steadily to turn, and slow, as if upon pivots, and when they were rolled out of their sockets till they had fixed upon the object of their contempt; his dark and jutting brows were shoving down in trembling contention, with the blazing rays that were actually burning with contempt, the object that was before them. “Why does Shon-ka say it?”

“Ask We-chash-a-wa-kon, (the painter,) he can tell you; he knows you are but half a man—he has painted but one half of your face, and knows the other half is good for nothing!”

“Let the painter say it, and I will believe it; but when the Dog says it let him prove it.”

“Shon-ka has said it, and Shon-ka can prove it; if Mah-to-tchee-ga be a man, and wants to be honored by the white men, let him not be ashamed; but let him do as Shon-ka has done, give the white man a horse, and then let him see the whole of your face without being ashamed.”

“When Mah-to-tchee-ga kills a white man and steals his horses, he may be ashamed to look at a white man until he brings him a horse! When Mah-to-tchee-ga waylays and murders an honorable and brave Sioux, because he is a coward and not brave enough to meet him in fair combat, then he may be ashamed to look at a white man till he has given him a horse! Mah-to-tchee-ga can look at any one; and he is now looking at an old woman and a coward!”

This repartee, which had lasted for a few minutes, to the amusement and excitement of the chiefs, being thus ended: The Dog suddenly rose from the ground, and wrapping himself in his robe, left the wigwam, considerably agitated, having the laugh of all the chiefs upon him.

The Little Bear had followed him with his piercing eyes until he left the door, and then pleasantly and unmoved, resumed his position, where he sat a few minutes longer, until the portrait was completed. He then rose, and in a most graceful and gentlemanly manner, presented to me a very beautiful shirt of buckskin, richly garnished with quills of porcupine, wringed with scalp-locks (honorable memorials) from his enemies’ heads, and painted, with all his battles emblazoned on it. He then left my wigwam, and a few steps brought him to the door of his own, where the Dog intercepted him, and asked, “What meant Mah-to-tchee-ga, by the last words that he spoke to Shon-ka?”

“Mah-to-tchee-ga said it, and Shon-ka is not a fool—that is enough.” At this the Dog walked violently to his own lodge; and the Little Bear retreated into his, both knowing from looks and gestures what was about to be the consequence of their altercation.

The Little Bear instantly charged his gun, and then, as their custom is, threw himself upon his face, in humble supplication to the Great Spirit for his aid and protection. His wife, in the meantime, seeing him agitated, and fearing some evil consequences, without knowing any thing of the preliminaries, secretly withdrew the bullet from the gun, and told him not of it.

The Dog’s voice, at this moment, was heard, and recognized at the door of Mah-to-Shee-ga’s lodge, “If Mah-to-tchee-ga be a whole man, let him come out and prove it; it is Shon-ka that calls him!”

His wife screamed; but it was too late. The gun was in his hand, and he sprang out of the door—both drew and simultaneously fired. The Dog fled uninjured; but the Little Bear lay weltering in his blood (strange to say!) with all that side of his face shot away, which had been left out of the picture; and, according to the prediction of the Dog, “good for nothing;” carrying away one half of the jaws, and the flesh from the nostrils and corner of the mouth, to the ear, including one eye, and leaving the jugular vein entirely exposed. Here was a “coup;” and any one accustomed to the thrilling excitement that such things produce in an Indian village, can form some idea of the frightful agitation amidst several thousand Indians, who were divided into jealous bands or clans, under ambitious and rival chiefs! In one minute a thousand guns and bows were seized! A thousand thrilling yells were raised; and many were the fierce and darting warriors who sallied round the Dog for his protection—he fled amidst a shower of bullets and arrows; but his braves were about him! The blood of the Onc-pa-pas was roused, and the indignant braves of that gallant band rushed forth from all quarters, and, swift upon their heels, were hot for vengeance! On the plain, and in full view of us, for some time, the whizzing arrows flew, and so did bullets, until the Dog and his brave followers were lost in distance on the prairie! In this rencontre, the Dog had his arm broken; but succeeded, at length, in making his escape.

On the next day after this affair took place, Little Bear died of his wound, and was buried amidst the most pitiful and heart-rending cries of his distracted wife, whose grief was inconsolable at the thought of having been herself the immediate and innocent cause of his death, by depriving him of his supposed protection.

This marvellous and fatal transaction was soon talked through the village, and the eyes of all this superstitious multitude were fixed on me as the cause of the calamity—my paintings and brushes were instantly packed, and all hands, Traders and Travellers, assumed at once a posture of defence.

I evaded, no doubt, in a great measure, the concentration of their immediate censure upon me, by expressions of great condolence, and by distributing liberal presents to the wife and relations of the deceased; and by uniting also with Mr. Laidlaw and the other gentlemen, in giving him honorable burial, where we placed over his grave a handsome Sioux lodge, and hung a white flag to wave over it.

On this occasion many were the tears that were shed for the brave and honorable Mah-to-tchee-ga, and all the warriors of his band swore sleepless vengeance on the Dog, until his life should answer for the loss of their chief.

On the day that he was buried, I started for the mouth of the Yellow Stone, and while I was gone, the spirit of vengeance had pervaded nearly all the Sioux country in search of the Dog, who had evaded pursuit. His brother, however, a noble and honorable fellow, esteemed by all who knew him, fell in their way in an unlucky hour, when their thirst for vengeance was irresistible, and they slew him. Repentance deep, and grief were the result of this rash act, when they beheld a brave and worthy man fall for so worthless a character; and as they became exasperated, the spirit of revenge grew more desperate than ever, and they swore they never would lay down their arms or embrace their wives and children until vengeance, full and complete, should light upon the head that deserved it. This brings us again to the first part of my story, and in this state were things in that part of the country, when I was descending the river, four months afterwards, and landed my canoe, as I before stated, at Laidlaw’s trading-post.

The excitement had been kept up all summer among these people, and their superstitions bloated to the full brim, from circumstances so well calculated to feed and increase them. Many of them looked at me at once as the author of all these disasters, considering I knew that one half of the man’s face was good for nothing, or that I would not have left it out of the picture, and that I must have foreknown the evils that were to flow from the omission; they consequently resolved that I was a dangerous man, and should suffer for my temerity in case the Dog could not be found. Councils had been held, and in all the solemnity of Indian medicine and mystery, I had been doomed to die! At one of these, a young warrior of the Onc-pa-pa band, arose and said, “The blood of two chiefs has been sunk into the ground, and a hundred bows are bent which are ready to shed more! on whom shall we bend them? I am a friend to the white man, but here is one whose medicine is too great—he is a great medicineman! his medicine is too great! he was the death of Mah-to-tchee-ga! he made only one side of his face! he would not make the other—the side that he made was alive; the other was dead, and Shon-ka shot it off! How is this? Who is to die?”

After him, Tah-zee-kee-da-cha (torn belly,) of the Yankton band, arose, and said, “Father, this medicine-man has done much harm! You told our chiefs and warriors, that they must be painted—you said he was a good man, and we believed you! you thought so, my father, but you see what he has done!—he looks at our chiefs and our women and then makes them alive!! In this way he has taken our chiefs away, and he can trouble their spirits when they are dead!—they will be unhappy. If he can make them alive by looking at them, he can do us much harm!—you tell us that they are not alive—we see their eyes move!—their eyes follow us wherever we go, that is enough! I have no more to say!” After him arose a young man of the Onc-pa-pa band. “Father! you know that I am the brother of Mah-to-tchee-ga!—you know that I loved him—both sides of his face were good, and the medicine-man knew it also! Why was half of his face left out? He never was ashamed, but always looked white man in the face! Why was that side of his face shot off? Your friend is not our friend, and has forfeited his life—we want you to tell us where he is—we want to see him!”

Then rose Toh-ki-e-to (a medicine-man,) of the Yankton band, and principal orator of the nation. “My friend, these are young men that speak—I am not afraid! your white medicine-man painted my picture, and it was good—I am glad of it—I am very glad to see that I shall live after I am dead!—I am old and not afraid!—some of our young men are foolish. I know that this man put many of our buffaloes in his book! for I was with him, and we have had no buffaloes since to eat, it is true—but I am not afraid!! his medicine is great and I wish him well—we are friends.” Thus rested the affair of the Dog and its consequences, until I conversed with Major Bean, the agent for these people, who arrived in St.

Louis some weeks after I did, bringing later intelligence from them, assuring me that the Dog had at length been overtaken and killed, near the Black-hills, and that the affair might now for ever be considered as settled.





ANONCHET was the sachem of the powerful tribe of Narragansetts, who inhabited a part of New England claimed by the government of Connecticut. In the war between the Indians and the colonists, which began in 1675, and is commonly called “King Philip’s war,” the Narragansetts were led by their own wrongs and the arts of Philip to join in the Indian confederacy. But they suffered severely for their hostility. Their fort was attacked by a large force of colonists, under Governor Winslow, and the greater part of them perished by the guns of the English, or in the flames of the burning fort.

The remnant of the Narragansetts fled, under the command of Canonchet and Punno-quin, both of whom were filled with inveterate hatred of the colonists. Canonchet was the son of the celebrated Miantonomoh, and the remembrance of his father’s fate rankled in his breast, and rendered him fierce and cruel beyond his nature. The Narragansetts reached the Wachusetts hills in safety, where they united with the Nipmucks and other friendly tribes. But they were in a destitute condition, and Canonchet was obliged to make great exertions to supply them with food, in order to keep them faithful to him.

Early in April, 1676, he proposed the daring design of an expedition to Seekonk, to procure seed corn to plant along the Connecticut river, where he had taken refuge. At the head of about fifty men, he marched towards Seekonk, and soon reached Black Stone river. There he encamped, and imagining that no colonial force was nearer than Plymouth, dismissed twenty of his men.

On the 27th of March, Captain Dennison had left Stonington, with a body of troops, on an exploring expedition, in search of Indians. When near Seekonk, he captured two squaws, who informed him of Canonchet’s encampment. The captain quickened his march, and as Canonchet’s men, instead of giving the alarm, fled in different directions, the colonists were in his camp before he knew of their approach. The chief, seeing his men run, sent out two or three to ascertain the cause. One of these returned to the wigwam, crying out that the English were upon them.

Canochet fled. While running around the hill near his camp, he was recognized by the Nanticks, who commenced a vigorous pursuit. The chase was long and exciting. One by one, the chief threw off’ his blanket, his silver-laced coat, and his belt of peag. His pursuers gained upon him; and giving up all hope of reaching the woods, he hurried towards the river. Monopoide, a Pequot, noted for his swiftness, pursued in such a way as to force the chief to cross or be caught. Canonchet plunged into the stream, and swam for the opposite shore. The English, filled with rage and fearful of being baffled, hurried to the river’s bank, in order to shoot him if an opportunity offered; but Canonchet would have escaped, had not an accident occurred, which, to use his own words, “made his heart and bowels turn within, so that he became like a rotten stick, and void of strength.” As he reached a shallow part of the stream, he began to wade, when his foot struck against a stone, and he fell into the water. His gun became useless.

Monopoide, seeing the accident, leaped into the water, and daringly swam towards the chief, who was probably intimidated by superstition. When seized, Canonchet did not resist, although he was a man of great size, strength, and courage. A young man, named Staunton, now approached and asked the chief some questions in regard to his conduct during the war. For a while Canonchet treated him with silent contempt. But when the other had ceased, he replied, “You much child—no understand matters of war. Let your brother or chief come, him I will answer.”

Canonchet was then brought before Dennison. The latter offered the chief his life on condition that he would induce his nation to submit. But he rejected the offer with contempt. He was commanded to comply. He answered that killing him would not end the war. Some of the soldiers reminded him that he had threatened to burn the English in their houses; and that in spite of a late treaty, he had boasted that he would not give up a Wampanoag, or the paring of the nail of a Wampanoag. He replied that others were as forward for the war as himself, and that he wished to hear no more about it.

Dennison, filled with joy at his good fortune, soon after returned to Stonington. Canonchet was not kept long in suspense, in regard to his fate. The officers decided that he should be shot. The sentence was announced to him, and his reply was, “I like it well. I shall die before my heart is soft, or I shall say any thing unworthy of myself.” When charged with cruelty and treachery, he reminded his foes that they had killed his father, and burned his people at Narragansett. Through all his captivity, Canonchet evinced a pride of soul that danger could not fright nor suffering bend.

The “last of the Narragansetts,” as Canonchet has been termed, was led out to die, “and that all might share in the glory of destroying so great a prince, and come under the obligation of fidelity, each to the other, the Pequots shot him, the Mohegans cut off his head, and quartered his body, and the Nan-ticks made the fire and burned his quarters; and as a token of fidelity to the English, presented his head to the council at Hartford.”


The modern reader views the detail of this execution with disgust. But the colonists then thought them wise and just.

The death of Canonchet was a severe loss to the Indians. Endowed with a high and generous spirit, he had obtained a great and rare influence-among his own and other tribes, and could at any time summon to the aid of Philip, many faithful and efficient men. He bound men to his interest by appealing to their love of what is great and heroic, rather than their fears, and of all Philip’s captains, he was the most skilful leader, and the bravest warrior. Notwithstanding his treaty with the English, he refused to give up the fugitive Wampanoags to them; but this refusal was owing as much to humanity of feeling as to a violation of his word. The records of his conduct while free and among his tribe, and while a captive with the whites, lead us to lament the fate of so able, so noble, and generous a man.






FTER the great destruction of the Narragansett Indians, in King Philip’s War, by the Connecticut forces, the remnant of the tribe were pursued in all directions. Winslow, with the main body of the troops, advanced rapidly towards the Nipmuck country. During the pursuit, the celebrated Captain Benjamin Church met with a singular and almost fatal adventure.

Church had been removed with the other wounded to the Narragansett’s fort. But partially recovered, and being very restless, he had again joined the army, and was persuaded by Winslow to aid him in the pursuit of the Narragansetts. On the route they reached an Indian town, situated on a small island, which was surrounded by a swamp. The water in the swamp was frozen, which prevented the soldiers from charging the wigwam. A spirited fire of musketry commenced, under cover of which the troops began to cross the ice. The Indians defended themselves until the assailants reached the island, when they broke and fled. A Mohegan, friendly to the English joined in the pursuit, and capturing one of the enemy, who had been wounded in the leg, brought him to Winslow.

Winslow examined him, but could not draw from him the wished for knowledge concerning the designs of his countrymen. The captive was threatened; he said he had revealed all he knew. Many standing, around demanded that he should be tortured; but by the advice of Church, the demand was refused. The army commenced its march. But as the Narragansett’s wound prevented him from keeping pace with the troops, it was resolved to “knock him in the head.” The Mohegan who captured him was appointed his executioner. Church, taking no delight in such things, withdrew.

The Mohegan, elated with the honor conferred upon him, advanced towards his victim, flourishing his tomahawk, and evincing, by distortions of limb and feature, the extremity of his satisfaction. Suddenly, he aimed a tremendous blow at the prisoner’s head, but the latter skilfully dodged it, and the hatchet flying from the Mohegan’s hand, “had like to have done execution, where it was not designed.” Seizing the favorable moment, the Narragansett broke from those who held him, and ran for his life. Taking the same direction that Church had done, he unexpectedly ran directly upon him. Church grappled with him; a short but furious scuffle ensued, but the Narragansett, being destitute of clothing, slipped from his adversary’s grasp, and again ran. Church followed, the Indian stumbled and fell, and the bold volunteer again seized him. They fought and wrestled until the Indian slipped through Church’s hands, and set out upon his third race. Church was close behind him, “grasping occasionally at his hair,” which was all the hold could be taken of him.

They soon reached a wide surface of ice, which being in some places hollow, caused a rumbling noise, which induced Church to hope that some of his friends might hear it and come to his relief. Unfortunately for the Indian, it began to grow dark, and while running at full speed, he came abreast of a fallen tree of great thickness. Why he did not overleap it is not known; but having probably became intimidated, he suddenly stopped and cried aloud for aid. Church was soon upon him. The Indian seized him by the hair, and tried to break his neck. Church also laid hold of his adversary’s hair with both hands, repaying twist for twist. While in this attitude, hanging by each other’s hair, the volunteer contrived to butt the Indian vigorously with his head in the face.

While this sharp scuffle was in progress, the ice was heard crackling at a distance, and soon after some person ran towards them. The combatants were kept in suspense, as the darkness prevented the new comer from being seen. The stranger reached them, and without speaking a word began to feel first Church and then the Indian. Amid the same ominous silence, he raised his hatchet, and sunk it in the head of the savage. It was the Mohegan who had acted as executioner. Overjoyed at having gratified his cruelty, he hugged Church again and again, thanked him for having caught his prisoner, and conducted him in triumph to the camp. Throughout this struggle for life, Church acted with his usual dauntless spirit, and the capture of the Narragansett was owing entirely to his persevering courage. The Indian was unjustly put to death, he being fully entitled to be considered as a prisoner of war. But the colonists thought by appointing a Mohegan to be his executioner, to heighten the friendly feeling existing between that tribe and the English.






HEN the famous King Philip had lost the greater part of his warriors in the struggle for life and death between them and the English, and he himself was hunted like a wild beast from place to place, he formed the strange resolve of visiting the ancient haunt of his ancestors at Mount Hope, With a few of his best friends he retired into that swamp which was destined to be a prison for him. His retreat was betrayed to Captain Church, by an Indian deserter, whose brother Philip had killed in a fit of passion.

Church, accompanied by Major Sandford, and Captain Golding, and about twenty men, prepared to follow the great chief to the swamp. He crossed Trip’s ferry in the evening, and about midnight, a consultation was held as to the best mode of attack. Church offered Golding a small force that he might go in advance and discover the real situation of Philip. Golding promptly accepted it. Church then instructed him to be careful in his approach to the enemy, and be sure not to show himself until by daylight, that they might know their own men from the enemy; to creep as close to the ground as possible, until they came quite near to the swamp, in order to fire upon the Indians as soon as they arose; and that when the enemy should start for the swamp, he should pursue them with speed. He was to shout as loud as he could, for the ambuscade would receive orders to fire upon any one who should approach in silence. A colonist and an Indian were placed behind each shelter. The arrangements made it impossible for any one to pass from the swamp without being seen.

The swamp in which Philip was concealed is thus described by Carne.—“It was a fit retreat for a despairing man, being one of those waste and dismal places to which few ever wandered, covered with rank and dense vegetation. The moist soil was almost hidden by the cypress and other trees, that spread their gloomy shades over the treacherous shallows and pools’ beneath. In the few drier parts, oaks and pines grew, and, between them, a brushwood so thick that the savage could hardly penetrate: on the long, rich grass of these parts, wild cattle fed, unassailed by the hand of man, save when they ventured beyond the confines of the swamp. There were wolves, deer, and other animals; and wilder men, it was said, were seen here; it was supposed that the children of some of the Indians had either been lost or left there, and had thus grown up like denizens of this wild. Here the baffled chieftain gathered his little band around him, like a lion baited by the hunters, sullenly seeking his gloomy thickets only to spring forth more fatally. His love was turned to agony; his wife was in the land of his enemies; and would they spare her beauty? His only son, the heir of a long line, must bow his head to their yoke; his chief warriors had all fallen, and he could not trust the few who were still with him.”

Early on the moaning of the 12th of August, Church approached Major Sandford, and taking him by the hand, said that he had placed his men so that it was scarcely possible for Philip to escape. At this moment, a single shot was heard in the distance, and a ball whistled through the air over their heads. Church imagined that it had been fired by accident; but before he could speak, an entire volley was discharged.

The battle had been hastened by the indiscretion of Golding. An Indian, having retired at some distance from his companions, stood for a while looking around him, and as Golding supposed, directly at him. The captain immediately fired; and his men poured a volley into the Indian camp, which, as the savages were asleep, passed clear over them. Philip’s men, thus unexpectedly aroused, ran into the swamp, and the chief, throwing his belt and powder horn over his head, seized his gun and fled. Unaware of the ambush, he ran directly towards one of Church’s men. When he was quite near, the colonist levelled his gun, but missed fire. He bade the Indian fire, which he did with effect, one of the balls passing through the sachem’s heart, and another through his lungs. He bounded into the air and fell upon his face in the mud.

The battle continued, though the Indians fought against great odds. They were rallied and encouraged to stand, by an old chief, who frequently repeated in a loud voice, the exclamation, “Iootash,” a sort of war-cry in time of danger. Church, surprised by the boldness of this chief, and the loudness of his voice, asked his Indian servant, Peter, who it was. He answered that it was Philip’s great captain, Annawon, “calling on his soldiers to stand to it, and fight stoutly.” But the efforts of the chief failed; the greater part of the men, discovering that a part of the swamp was not surrounded, made their escape.

Alderman, the Indian who had shot Philip, immediately informed Church of his exploit; but the captain told him to keep silence until they had driven all the Indians from the swamp. The skirmishing continued until sun rise, when Annawon and the few who remained with him, escaped. In this encounter five Indians were killed, among whom was a son of the great Philip.

Church, glad of having accomplished the main object of the expedition, thought it useless to pursue the fugitives, and hence collected his men in the place where the Indians had passed the night. Here he informed them of Philip’s death, which was greeted with three loud cheers; after which the sachem’s body was dragged from the mud to the upland. In the moment of victory, Church forgot the magnanimity which had hitherto distinguished him, and joined in the jests, with which his men insulted the corpse of the man, at whose name they had formerly trembled. The captain ordered him to be beheaded and quartered, which was accomplished by an old Indian executioner, the pieces being hung on trees. One of the hands which had been scarred by the splitting of a pistol, was given to Alderman “to show to such gentlemen as would bestow gratuitous alms upon him, and accordingly, he got many a penny by it,” The head was placed in a conspicuous part of the town of Plymouth, where it remained many years.

The war was considered as ended with the death of the leading spirit on the part of the Indians. It had been one of extermination upon both sides, but the red men had suffered far more than the English. The character of Philip has been frequently drawn by able pens, and full justice has been rendered to his memory. Activity, courage, skill in war and diplomacy, were the remarkable features of his well-known character. His ends were lofty and startling, and he was wise in the choice of means. To great qualities of mind, he added the strongest feelings, and no part of his life excites our sympathies more than his latter days, when, bereft of friends and relations, he returned, broken-hearted, to the haunts of his youth. His hatred of the English, was early and lasting—founded upon just cause, and followed up with unrelenting cruelty. He was a savage, untaught in the arts and refinements of civilization, and in estimating his character this should be considered. Then will it be clear, that Philip was one of the greatest of Indians and the noblest of the unlearned children of the forest.





HE Mandans, have dignitaries whom they call “rain makers,” and “rain stoppers,” because they believe in their powers to bring rain in case of drought, or to stop the rain when too strong and violent. Catlin gives a very interesting account of an instance in which the powers of these men were tested.

The Mandans, says Catlin, raise a great deal of corn; but sometimes a most disastrous drought visits the land, destructive to their promised harvest. Such was the case when I arrived at the Mandan village, on the steamboat Yellow Stone. Rain had not fallen for many a day, and the dear little girls and ugly old squaws, altogether, (all of whom had fields of corn,) were groaning and crying to their lords, and imploring them to intercede for rain, that their little patches, which were now turning pale and yellow, might not be withered, and they be deprived of the customary annual festivity, and the joyful occasion of the “roasting ears,” and the “green corn dance.”

The chiefs and doctors sympathized with the distress of the women, and recommended patience. Great deliberation, they said, was necessary in these cases; and though they resolved on making the attempt to produce rain for the benefit of the corn; yet they very wisely resolved that to begin too soon might ensure their entire defeat in the endeavor: and that the longer they put it off, the more certain they would be of ultimate success. So, after a few days of further delay, when the importunities of the women had become clamorous, and even mournful, and almost insupportable, the medicine-men assembled in the council-house, with all their mystery apparatus about them—with an abundance of wild sage, and other aromatic herbs, with a fire prepared to burn them, that their savory odors might be sent forth to the Great Spirit. The lodge was closed to all the villagers, except some ten or fifteen young men, who were willing to hazard the dreadful alternative of making it rain, or suffer the everlasting disgrace of having made a fruitless essay.

They, only, were allowed as witnesses to the hocus focus and conjurations devised by the doctors inside of the medicine lodge; and they were called up by lot, each one in his turn, to spend a day upon the top of the lodge, to test the potency of his medicine; or, in other words, to see how far his voice might be heard and obeyed amongst the clouds of the heavens; whilst the doctors were burning incense in the wigwam below, and with their songs and prayers to the Great Spirit for success, were sending forth grateful fumes and odors to Him “who lives in the sun and commands the thunders of Heaven.” Wah-kee, (the shield,) was the first who ascended the wigwam at sun rise; and he stood all day, and looked foolish, as he was counting over and over his string of mystery-beads—the whole village were assembled around him, and praying for his success. Not a cloud appeared—the day was calm and hot; and at the setting of the sun, he descended from the lodge and went home—“his medicine was not good,” nor can he ever be a medicineman.

Om-pah, (the elk,) was the next; he ascended the lodge at sunrise the next morning. His body was entirely naked, being covered with yellow clay. On his left arm he carried a beautiful shield, and a long lance in his right; and on his head the skin of a raven, the bird that soars amidst the clouds, and above the lightning’s glare—he flourished his shield and brandished his lance, and raised his voice, but in vain; for at sun set the ground was dry, and the sky was clear; the squaws were crying, and their corn was withering at its roots.

War-rah-pa, (the beaver,) was the next; he also spent his breath in vain upon the empty air, and came down at night—and Wak-a-dah-ha-hee, (the white buffalo’s hair,) took the stand the next morning. He was a small, but beautifully proportioned young man. He was dressed in a tunic, and leggings of the skins of the mountain-sheep, splendidly garnished with the quills of the porcupine, and fringed with locks of hair taken by his own hand from the heads of his enemies. On his arm he carried his shield, made of the buffalo’s hide—its boss was the head of the war-eagle—and its front was ornamented with “red chains of lightning.” In his left hand he clinched his sinewy bow and one single arrow. The villagers were all gathered about him; when he threw up a feather to decide on the course of the wind, and he commenced thus: “My friends! people of the pheasants! you see me here a sacrifice—I shall this day relieve you from great distress, and bring joy amongst you; or I shall descend from this lodge when the sun goes down, and live amongst the dogs and old women all my days. My friends! you saw which way the feather flew, and I hold my shield this day in the direction where the wind comes—the lightning on my shield will draw a great cloud, and the arrow, which is selected from my quiver, and which is feathered with the quill of the white swan, will make a hole in it. My friends! this hole in the lodge at my feet, shows me the medicine-men, who are seated in the lodge below me and crying to the Great Spirit and through it comes and passes into my nose delightful odors, which you see rising in the smoke to the Great Spirit above, who rides in the clouds and commands the winds! Three days they have sat here, my friends, and nothing has been done to relieve your distress. On the first day was Wah-kee, (the shield,) he could do nothing; he counted his beads and came down—his medicine was not good—his name was bad, and it kept off the rain. The next was Om-pah, (the elk;) on his head the raven was seen, who flies above the storm, and he failed. War-rah-pa, (the beaver,) was the next, my friends; the beaver lives under the water, and he never wants it to rain. My friends! I see you are in great distress, and nothing has yet been done; this shield belonged to my father the White Buffalo; and the lightning you see on it is red; it was taken from a black cloud, and that cloud will come over us to-day. I am the White Buffalo’s Hair—and am the son of my father.”

It happened on this memorable day about noon, that the steamboat Yellow Stone, on her first trip up the Missouri river, approached and landed at the Mandan village. I was lucky enough to be a passenger on this boat, and helped to fire a salute of twenty guns of twelve pounds calibre, when we first came in sight of the village, some three or four miles below. These guns introduced a new sound into this strange country, which the Mandans first supposed to be thunder; and the young man upon the lodge, who turned it to good account, was gathering fame in rounds of applause, which were repeated and echoed through the whole village; all eyes were centred upon him—chiefs envied him—mother’s hearts were beating high whilst they were decorating and leading up their fair daughters to offer him in marriage, on his signal success. The medicine-men had left the lodge, and came out to bestow upon him the envied title of “medicine-man, or doctor,” which he had so deservedly won—wreaths were prepared to decorate his brows, and eagles’ plumes and calumets were in readiness for him; his friends were all rejoiced—his enemies wore on their faces a silent gloom and hatred; and his old sweethearts, who had formerly cast him off, gazed intently upon him, as they glowed with the burning fever of repentance.

During all this excitement, Wak-a-dah-hahee kept his position, assuming the most commanding and threatening attitudes; brandishing his shield in-= the direction of the thunder, although there was not a cloud to be seen, until he, poor fellow, being elevated above the rest of the village, espied, to his inexpressible amazement, the steamboat ploughing its way up the windings of the river below; puffing her steam from her pipes, and sending forth the thunder from a twelve-pounder on her deck!

The White Buffalo’s Hair stood motionless and turned pale, he looked awhile, and turned to the chief and to the multitude, and addressed them with a trembling lip—“My friends, we will get no rain! there are, you see, no clouds; but my medicine is great—I have brought a thunder boat! look and see it! the thunder you hear is out of her mouth, and the lightning which you see is on the waters!”

At this intelligence, the whole village flew to the tops of their wigwams, or to the bank of the river, from whence the steamer was in full view, and ploughing along, to their utter dismay and confusion.

In this promiscuous throng of chiefs, doctors, women, children, and dogs, was mingled Wak-a-dah-ha-hee, (the white buffalo’s hair,) having descended from his high place to mingle with the frightened throng.

Dismayed at the approach of so strange and unaccountable an object, the Mandans stood their ground but a few moments; when, by an order of the chiefs, all hands were ensconced within the piquets of the village, and all the warriors armed for desperate defence. A few moments brought the boat in front of the village, and all was still and quiet as death; not a Mandan was to be seen upon the banks. The steamer was moored, and three or four of the chiefs soon after, walked boldly down the bank and on to her deck, with a spear in one hand and the calumet or pipe of peace in the other. The moment they stepped on board, they met (to their great surprise and joy) their old friend, Major Sanford, their agent, which circumstance put an end to all their fears. The villagers were soon apprized of the fact, and the whole race of the beautiful and friendly Mandans was paraded on the bank of the river, in front of the boat.

The “rain maker,” whose apprehensions of a public calamity brought upon the nation by his extraordinary medicine, had, for the better security of his person from apprehended vengeance, secreted himself in some secure place, and was the last to come forward, and the last to be convinced that the visitation was a friendly one from the white people; and that his medicine had not in the least been instrumental in bringing it about. This information, though received by him with much caution and suspicion, at length gave him much relief, and quieted his mind as to his danger. Yet still in his breast there was a rankling thorn, though he escaped the dreaded vengeance which he had a few moments before apprehended as at hand; as he had the mortification and disgrace of having failed in his mysterious operations. He set up, however, (during the day, in his conversation about the strange arrival,) his medicines, as the cause of its approach; asserting every where and to every body, that he knew of its coming, and that he had by his magic brought the occurrence about. This plea, however, did not get him much audience; and in fact, every thing else was pretty much swallowed up in the guttural talk, and bustle, and gossip about the mysteries of the thunder boat; and so passed the day, until just at the approach of evening, when the “White Buffalo’s Hair,” more watchful of such matters on this occasion than most others, observed that a black cloud had been jutting up in the horizon, and was almost directly over the village! In an instant his shield was on his arm, and his bow in his hand, and he again upon the lodge! stiffened and braced to the last sinew, he stood, with his face and shield presented to the cloud, and his bow drawn. He drew the eyes of the whole village upon him as he vaunted forth his super-human powers, and at the same time commanding the cloud to come nearer, that he might draw down its contents upon the heads and the cornfields of the Mandans! In this wise he stood, waving his shield over his head, stamping his foot and frowning as he drew his bow and threatening the heavens, commanding it to rain—his bow was bent, and the arrow drawn to its head, was sent to the clond, and he exclaimed, “My friends, it is done! Wak-a-dah-ha-hee’s arrow has entered the black clond, and the Mandans will be wet with the waters of the skies!” His predictions were true; in a few moments the clouds were over the village, and the rain fell in torrents. He stood for some time wielding his weapons and presenting his shield to the sky, while he boasted of his power and the efficacy of his medicine, to those who had been about him, and were now driven to the shelter of their wigwams. He, at length, finished his vaunts and threats, and descended from his high place, (in which he had been perfectly drenched,) prepared to receive the honors and the homage that were due to one so potent in his mysteries; and to receive the style and title of “medicine-man.” This is one of a hundred different modes in which a man in Indian countries acquires the honorable appellation.

This man had “made it rain,” and of course was to receive more than usual honors, as he had done much more than ordinary men could do. All eyes were upon him, and all were ready to admit that he was skilled in the magic art; and must be so nearly allied to the Great or Evil Spirit, that he must needs be a man of great and powerful influence in the nation, and was entitled to the style of doctor or medicine-man.

During the memorable night of which I have just spoken, the steamboat remained by the side of the Mandan village, and the rain that had commenced falling continued to pour down its torrents until midnight; black thunder roared, and vivid lightning flashed until the heavens appeared to be lit up with one unceasing and appalling glare. In this frightful moment of consternation, a flash of lightning buried itself in one of the earth-covered lodges of the Mandans, and killed a beautiful girl. Here was food and fuel fresh for their superstitions; and a night of vast tumult and excitement ensued. The dreams of the new-made medicine-man were troubled, and he had dreadful apprehensions for the coming day; for he knew that he was subject to the irrevocable decree of the chiefs and doctors, who canvass every strange and unaccountable event, with close and superstitious scrutiny, and let their vengeance fall without mercy upon its immediate cause.

He looked upon his well-earned fame as likely to be withheld from him; and also considered that his life might perhaps be demanded as the forfeit for this girl’s death, which would certainly be charged upon him. He looked upon himself as culpable, and supposed the accident to have been occasioned by his criminal desertion of his post, when the steamboat was approaching the village. Morning came, and he soon learned from some of his friends, the opinions of the wise men; and also the nature of the tribunal that was preparing for him; he sent to the prairie for his three horses, which were brought in, and he mounted the medicine lodge, around which, in a few moments, the villagers were all assembled. “My friends,” said he, “I see you all around me, and I am before you; my medicine, you see, is great—it is too great; I am young, and was too fast—I knew not when to stop. The wigwam of Mah-siah is laid low, and many are the eyes that weep for Ko-ka, (the antelope;) Wak-a-dah-ha-hee gives three horses to gladden the hearts of those who weep for Ko-ka; his medicine was great—his arrow pierced the black cloud, and the lightning came, and the thunder-boat also! who says that the medicine of Wak-a-dah-ha-hee is not strong?”

At the end of this sentence an unanimous shout of approbation ran through the crowd, and the “Hair of the White Buffalo” descended amongst them, where he was greeted by shaken of the hand; and amongst whom he now lives and thrives under the familiar and honorable appellation of the “Big Double Medicine.”





ANY years ago when the great valley of the Mississippi was rarely trodden by the white men, there lived upon the southern frontier of Kentucky, then nearly a wilderness, an old hunter, named Johnson. He was one of the pioneers of the region in which he had built his log cabin, and had long procured a comfortable subsistence for a wife and child by the aid of a good rifle and his snares. Mrs. Johnson had become accustomed to the privations of her situation; and her daughter, Sarah, having arrived at the age of young womanhood, contributed to relieve the monotony of a life in the wilderness. The cares of the family were slight. Their simple food and clothing were easily procured, and their wishes for the conveniences of civilized life had ceased, when it was found that they could not be gratified. In short, we may say, the Johnson family lived happily in their wilderness home.

Sarah Johnson was about eighteen years of age, when she was first brought to our notice. She was not handsome, but she was tolerably “good looking,” and possessed a stock of good sense, which is somewhat rarer than beauty. Old Johnson said she was a “likely girl,” and her mother thought she deserved a good husband. This desert seemed to be about to receive its reward. Two or three miles from Johnson’s cabin, lived another hunter, named John Blake. Like Johnson, Blake had long followed hunting for a subsistence, had married, and had one child. The wife was dead; but the child had grown to manhood, and Samuel Blake was now regarded as quite equal to his father in hunting.

As Johnson and Blake had been very intimate friends for a long time, their children were frequently thrown into each other’s company; and a strong attachment had sprung up between them. The fathers looked favorably upon this perpetuation of their intimacy, and it soon became a settled matter that Samuel Blake and Sarah Johnson should be man and wife.

Both the old hunters had always kept up a friendly intercourse with the neighboring Indians, and many of the latter had visited the cabins and partaken of their hospitalities. Johnson had obtained a great reputation among the red men for his skill in hunting. His company was sought by the young men of the tribe, and always with profit. Samuel Blake was also regarded as a brave and skilful hunter, and admired by the Indians. Among those who frequently visited Johnson’s cabin, was young Oconostota, son of the chief of the neighboring tribe. He was already distinguished as a warrior and hunter, and his personal appearance was so admirable that many an Indian maiden’s heart beat high with the hope that she might be the fortunate one who should share his wigwam.

But Oconostota’s eyes and thoughts were fixed elsewhere. He had seen and conversed with Sarah Johnson, and he burned with the desire to secure her for his wife. Sarah could not help seeing the admiring looks he gave her during his frequent visits; but she did not suspect the real state of his feelings; probably, because her thoughts found occupation enough in thinking of Samuel Blake.

At length, however, the young brave ventured to disclose his wishes to old Johnson, during a hunting excursion, in which they were engaged together. The old hunter was surprised; but considering that Oconostota might easily be irritated and dangerous consequences ensue, he calmly and deliberately made known to him that Sarah had long been engaged to Samuel Blake, and that that engagement could not be broken.

Love cannot listen to reason. Oconostota urged his suit still further, offering, with true Indian simplicity, two splendid horses for the hunter’s daughter. He increased the number to ten, but the hunter remained firm, and the young brave was forced to give up entreaty. When Johnson reached his cabin, he found young Blake and his father there, both having been invited by Mrs. Johnson to remain and take supper with them. The venison was broiling before the coals in the large fire-place, the table was neatly spread, and every thing had a cheerful appearance. Oconostota had refused Johnson’s invitation to spend the evening with him, and returned to his village. The hunter thought he would have done better to have accepted the invitation.

While old Johnson and old Blake talked over the doings of the day, and the adventures of many previous ones, young Blake, Sarah, and Mrs. Johnson, talked of matters less stirring, but more important to the females—cooking, house-keeping, &c. The pewter dishes soon received their smoking, savory weight, and all seated themselves around the table. Johnson then introduced the subject which had been troubling his thoughts for some time previous. The whole party was informed of the proposal of Oconostota, and of his rejection by the father on behalf of his daughter. The young couple were both surprised, and Samuel Blake laughed outright. The old men looked grave, and Mrs. Johnson troubled. They knew the Indian character well enough to know that the matter would not end there. In fact, serious consequences might be expected to result from the refusal.

Some discussion ensued, when old Blake recommended that Samuel and Sarah should be married as soon as possible, and then conciliatory measures might secure the agreement of Oconostota and his friends to what could not be changed. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson agreed to this proposition, and the young people almost “jumped” at it. Before that meal was concluded, the day for the wedding was fixed, and it was arranged that the parties should proceed to a settlement about ten miles from the cabin of Johnson, where the ceremony would be performed. Then a new cabin was to be erected between Blake’s and Johnson’s, spacious enough for Samuel and Sarah, and old Blake.

Meanwhile, Oconostota deeply felt the sting of rejected love. He strove to conquer his feelings, and thought of taking an Indian wife. But his nature was too passionate, and he resolved to gain the object of his love, either by fair means or foul. He visited the Johnsons several times afterwards, and was informed that the wedding day had been appointed; and nothing remained for him but to acquiesce, or strive to get possession of Sarah by force or stratagem. His plan was soon laid.

Ascertaining the particular day upon which the wedding was to take place, the young chief resolved to get the aid of a few young men of his tribe, and carry off the bride the night before it. The day approached and the happy couple were all joyful expectation. They believed that the wishes of long years were about to be gratified. Samuel Blake spent the day before the happy one, at Johnson’s cabin, arranging with Sarah things that had been arranged very frequently before; and he did not leave it until the shades of evening were thickening around. Old Blake intended to remain all night with Johnson, to be ready for the journey of the morrow. Sarah accompanied Samuel to a considerable distance from the cabin, and he reluctantly bade her adieu. She then turned to pursue her way home.

Oconostota, with his friends had been lurking around the neighborhood during the afternoon. He had seen the lovers leave the cabin together, and he followed them at a short distance, like a beast of prey, watching his opportunity. When he saw Samuel Blake leave Sarah, he gave a signal, resembling the voice of a well-known forest-bird, and collected his accomplices. He then stole silently to the edge of the wood near which he knew Sarah must pass, and waited for her. The young girl came on trippingly, as if she had no care in the world. Suddenly, she was seized, and before she could shriek, hurried into the wood. She saw the forms of the red men, and guessed their object. She shrieked for help, as they hurried her swiftly through the wood; but there appeared no help near. On they went, until they reached the end of the wood, where the prairie opened before them. Horses were waiting. The red men mounted, Oconostota placing the almost fainting form of Sarah upon the horse, before him. Away they went like the wind. It was a moonlight evening, and as Oconostota turned to see if any one was pursuing, he caught sight of a blaze, rising above the dark trees, and knew at once that one of his men, more devilish than the rest, had contrived to set fire to Johnson’s cabin. He thought he heard the sound of other horses’ feet far behind; but could not distinguish any one in the hasty glance he cast behind him. The sounds increased, and seemed to grow nearer. Then Oconostota turned and saw the forms of three mounted men urging their horses to the greatest speed.

At this critical moment, the young chief’s horse stumbled and fell, Oconostota, with Sarah in his arms, leaping to the ground just in time to save himself from being crushed. This checked the progress of the whole party, and ere Oconostota could resume his seat, he saw the pursuers were close upon his party. It was in vain to think of escape by flight. The Indians were six in number, and the pursuers were but three. The chances were in Oconostota’s favor. But the pursuers all had rifles, while two of the Indians had only bows and arrows.

On came the hunters, and a volley was exchanged. Two of the Indians fell from their horses, and it was evident that a third was seriously, if not fatally wounded. Samuel Blake received an arrow in his left arm, but it did not disable him. Old Johnson and Blake reloaded, and delivered their fire with an unerring aim. Then they rushed upon them with their rifles, clubbed and laid about them with tremendous effect. Oconostota, leaving Sarah upon the horse which he had ridden, and mounted that of one of his fallen friends. Young Blake soon distinguished his form and fired his rifle as he rushed upon him. The shot broke the arm of the young chief, but he gallantly drew his knife and closed with his antagonist. A desperate struggle ensued. The young men fell to the ground almost beneath the horses’ feet, and rolled over and over like wild cats in a death struggle. At length Blake obtained the knife, and plunged it into the breast of his foe. Then he arose to look around for his friends. But one of the Indians had escaped by flight; the rest were all dead. Johnson was unhurt, and standing beside his daughter’s horse. Old Blake was wounded in the shoulder, and leaning against his horse.

No time was to be lost. The Indian who had escaped would inform his people of the death of Oconostota, and a war-party might be expected to set out in pursuit of them. Samuel Blake first ascertained that Sarah was unhurt, then helped his father to mount his horse, and then mounted himself. Johnson placed his daughter upon his horse, and the party dashed off on their return. After a hard ride, they reached the edge of the wood, dismounted and hurried through it with almost the speed that the Indians had used in carrying off the bride. Their course was directed towards Blake’s cabin, where they intended to join Mrs. Johnson, and at once set off for the settlement. They passed, near Johnson’s cabin, and saw that it was almost reduced to ashes. They arrived at Blake’s cabin, and there found Mrs. Johnson, who was filled with anxiety for the fate of her child. Congratulations and tears of joy followed the meeting. But there was little time for indulging in these.

Things were soon arranged for starting for the settlement, though most of the party were suffering severely from fatigue. They started. We need not detail the trials and dangers of that journey. They were terrible, but borne with patience and fortitude. The whole party reached the settlement just after daylight, were kindly received by the inhabitants, and their wants supplied. Old Blake’s wound in the shoulder was not dangerous, and with the careful attention of his friends, he soon recovered. His son suffered much from the wound in his arm, which was too long neglected. Samuel and Sarah were married as soon as they could find it convenient to seek the minister of the village.

The Indians were for a short time much exasperated at the death of their young prince and his friends; but his father was a wise and noble man. He told his warriors that Oconostota had merited death by his treacherous conduct; and that they would have acted in the same manner as the white hunters did, had any of their children been stolen from them. He sent a messenger to Johnson, professing the continuance of his friendship, and inviting him and his friends to return to their homes, where he would ensure their protection. After some delay, they complied with the wishes of the generous chief, and returned to their cabins in the wilderness. Johnson’s old cabin was re-built; Blake removed to a clearing nearer Johnson’s, and occupied by Sarah and her husband.

It remains to be explained how the hunters received timely notice of the abduction of Sarah. When Samuel Blake left her to pursue his route homeward, he walked rather slowly, busy thinking of his happy future. Suddenly it occurred to him, that there was one little matter he had forgotten to mention to Sarah, and he returned swiftly with the hope of overtaking her before she reached her house. A shriek broke on his ear before he had proceeded far, and with strange conviction, he knew it came from Sarah. He hurried swiftly onward, reached the cabin, and inquired for Sarah. She was not there. The mother guessed the startling truth; because she thought she had seen the Indians lurking near the cabin during the day. Old Johnson, Blake, and Samuel grasped a rifle each; Mrs. Johnson was directed to take her two bold and faithful dogs, and an extra gun, and proceed towards Blake’s cabin, where she would be safer than in her own; and then the hunters hurried out, secured the horses which had been caught upon the prairie and kept in a small stable near the cabin, and proceeded through the wood towards the Indian village. They reached the prairie, caught sight of the flying Indians, and after a hard ride and fight, rescued the bride as before described.

The cabin was not set on fire until some time after the hunters had left it. Mrs. Johnson possessed a bold and masculine spirit, and she ventured upon her dangerous journey without fear. She met with no obstruction and reached Blake’s cabin a considerable time before the return of the pursuing party. Oconostota’s death was regretted by the young men of his tribe, but his father effectually screened the white men from their vengeance, and lived in peace with them until his death.

The young couple lived happily together in their forest home. Samuel Blake continued to hunt for a livelihood, and his rewards were sufficient to bring plenty and content to his household. He often visited the village of the tribe to which Oconostota belonged, and by favors and presents soon won the esteem and regard of the red men; they being fully convinced that the young chief was justly punished for a wilful wrong.






HE inhabitants of the settlement of Cocheeco, in New Hampshire, lived for a few years in large blockhouses, well adapted for the purpose of defence against the Indians. But a few of the bolder spirits, encouraged by the long peace with the red men, moved their families into log houses of their own construction. The furthest of the huts from the garrison was built by a Mr. Bray, an Englishman. On one occasion, Mr. Bray and his wife left home, leaving Rebecca, their only child, in charge of her Aunt Mary.

Little Rebecca was, of course, the pet of her aunt. When the work of the house had been completed, the latter would teach the little girl some mysteries of needle work, or explain some passages in the Scriptures for her benefit. One day, Aunt Mary had just finished reading the verse, in the fifth chapter of Matthew, which says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” when an Indian burst into the room, and throwing himself panting at her feet, exclaimed, in broken English, “for mercy’s sake, hide me, the warriors are on my path.”

Aunt Mary was not disposed to grant his request. In common with all the early settlers, she hated and feared the Indians. But Rebecca earnestly plead for him, saying that he would be killed by Major Waldron’s men from the garrison. A loud shout was heard in the distance, and the Indian renewed his entreaties for a refuge. “Blessed are the merciful, for they—shall obtain mercy,” repeated Rebecca, and Aunt Mary then expressed her wish to secrete the Indian from his pursuers. The little girl then took the red man by the hand, led him up into the loft, made him get into a box containing shelled corn, and then spread the corn over him in such a manner, that he could not be seen. She then descended, and resumed her reading to Aunt Mary as if nothing had occurred. A moment after, the door was burst open, and the pursuers entered, exclaiming, “Is the villainous redskin here?”

The little girl expressed her surprise, and asked what redskin.

“The Indian who has escaped,” answered a youth; “we have lost his track; but Mr. Gove says he saw the top of his head through the wood, and we came here.”

Rebecca strove to divert their attention by saying she heard a noise, just then, of something running around the house. Mr. Gove persisted in saying that he believed the Indian to be in the house, and to satisfy him one of the young men proposed that he should go up stairs and search for him. Rebecca accompanied him. Gove searched every nook and corner of the loft, and even lifted up some of the corn from the box where the Indian was concealed; but at length gave it up, descended the stairs and joined his friends. The pursuers then sought their victim elsewhere.

That night, Rebecca brought the red man from his hiding-place, and making him promise to spare the mothers and babes who might fall into his power, let him go, with a heart filled with gratitude.

In explanation of the Indian’s situation, we may say that the colonial government, fearful of another outbreak among the Indians, and jealous of their numbers, had ordered Major Waldron, the commander of the post, to put the strange red men, who came there, to death, and by a stratagem, the Major had succeeded in killing all but this one, who was preserved by the efforts of little Rebecca.

Time flew by, and Rebecca grew to be a fine specimen of feminine maturity. Her parents died, and she was left to the guardianship of Major Waldron. She resided with Aunt Mary, to whose care she had been confided by a mother’s dying breath; and though the major had made many efforts to convince them that the garrison was a much safer place, they still kept the old house. The flower in the wilderness did not “waste its sweetness on the desert air.” On the contrary, Rebecca’s charms had already made several captives, one of whom was the only son of Major Waldron.

George Waldron had been educated in England, had moved in refined circles, travelled three years, and returned to America, with personal advantages which might have made many a conquest in the field of love. He saw Rebecca soon after his arrival, and was immediately “smitten to the heart.” But the beauty could only give him a sister’s love; for her heart was in possession of another. Morris Green had been her playmate in childhood, and in riper years, her confidant and friend. They had not been formally plighted, but they felt that they were united by stronger bonds than words. A few days after Waldron’s arrival, Morris saved him from the gripe of a bear, that was about to spring upon him, by shooting the animal, and from that time the two young men became warm, self-denying friends. A few weeks after the adventure with the bear, George Waldron obtained for Morris Green, a midshipman’s warrant for his Majesty’s frigate Cyclops, then lying at Portsmouth, with orders to join the squadron in the West Indies.

Morris quickly and joyfully informed Rebecca of his good fortune, and prepared to start for Portsmouth. Hand-in-hand he and Rebecca visited the grave-yard, where slept the remains of her loved parents. There they exchanged vows of constancy, and parted sadly, though hopefully. Rebecca watched he retreating form of her lover until it was lost in the forest, and then, as she sank upon her mother’s grave, her tears flowed freely.

A voice near Rebecca, exclaimed, “A pretty scene, upon my word!” She sprang to her feet and faced the intruder. A mixture of scorn and fear was upon her features, and she at length turned to fly. But the bold intruder seized her hand, and said, “Now my pretty bird, this meeting is too opportune to part so soon. What with your own shyness, the constant watch of that old hypocrite, Waldron, who means to coax or force you to marry the sapient George, and the close attentions of that very sentimental youth who has just left you, I have not the smallest chance of urging my own suit.”

“Oh, that can never, never be,” answered Rebecca, hardly conscious of what she said, “for I already love another.”

“Hear me, Rebecca,” said the other, “your beauty would become a higher sphere than that stripling can give you to move in. At the death of my father, I shall become Lord Marsden; and at the death of my uncle, who is much his senior, his title of Marquis of Winchelsea will also revert to me. Think how different would be your position as Marchioness of Winchelsea, surrounded with wealth and splendor, than as the wife of that poor boy.”

“I have promised to become the wife of another,” replied Rebecca, “and I would not break the promise, if I could. I can love you as a sister, but never as your wife!”

“It is enough, Rebecca,” said the young man, “you reject the love of a man whom you could have moulded to your will. But I am not to be slighted with impunity. You are in my power, and shall rue the hour when you dared to scorn me.” As he uttered these words, he sprang towards her, but stumbled over the head-stone of her mother’s grave and fell headlong; while Rebecca, pale with terror, fled, and never paused until safe within the cottage.

Edward Sinclair, the intruder upon Rebecca’s privacy, had been residing at Waldron’s about a year; consigned to the Major’s care, it was whispered, by his father, as a sort of penance for certain conduct which was unbecoming the future Lord of Marsden Hall. Well-informed, frank, and jovial, he soon rendered himself a favorite with all those in the settlement, who considered eccentricity natural to a jovial companion, and did not question the justice of his acts. Being fond of hunting, Sinclair soon made friends of the Indians, with whom he would hunt for weeks at a time. They called him Neddo. That Sinclair was in love with Rebecca, the reader may gather from his language towards her. But there was ever a something evil in his nature which made her shun his presence.

A few days after Morris’s departure, when Rebecca thought him “far o’er the briny deep,” she was surprised to see him enter the cottage, covered with dust, and throw himself upon a chair. She and Aunt Mary expressed their surprise, and asked why he was not in the frigate. In reply, he handed Rebecca a letter, which, he said, would explain the matter better than he could. The letter was read as follows:

     “If Morris Green really feels but half the love he professes
     for Rebecca Bray, he will not, by leaving the country,
     expose her to the schemes of a crafty villain. The writer of
     this has heard from Waldron’s own lips that he only assisted
     to get rid of him, and that before the frigate will have
     joined the squadron, she will either by persuasion or force,
     be made the wife of George Waldron. If you are wise, you
     will act upon this warning of

     “A Secret Friend.”

“At first,” said Morris, “I thought this all a hoax; but soon began to regard it as a timely and truthful warning. I was down at the shoals last week, and I knew that the ship would pass near the islands, that a good swimmer could easily reach the shore, where there were two or three fishing schooners anchored, which could bring me back. In the middle of the night, I slipped through a port, and swam ashore. As the ship sailed like a race horse, they will get so far before they miss me, they will not turn back for a single man.” Morris said much more to silence the fears of his anxious friends, who at length set about preparing food for the half-famished runaway, when the door opened, and Edward Sinclair rushed in, crying, “Run, Morris, run! the bloodhounds are at your heels.” Morris sprang to his feet, and rushed to the back door, which opened on the forest; but Sinclair pushed him back, and in a few moments a party of men entered, arrested Morris, as a deserter, and bore him off, leaving Aunt Mary and Rebecca wringing their hands, and crying bitterly. As soon as they had left the house, Rebecca fell on the floor in a fainting fit. When she recovered, Sinclair was bending over her, with compassion and respect upon his features.

Sinclair explained that he had tried to put the pursuing party upon a false scent, and save Morris; that the deserter would be condemned by a court-martial; yet in consideration of the motive, they would certainly recommend him to the mercy of his majesty; in which case he would appeal to his father, whose influence he represented as all powerful at court, and a pardon could easily be procured. Rebecca grasped eagerly at such a hope, and began to look upon the one who held it forth as a brother.

The court-martial was held in Boston harbor; the proof of desertion was positive, and Morris was sentenced to death, without a hint being given of any appeal to royal mercy. Rebecca received the terrible news, as the lily receives the blast of the tempest—it almost crushed her spirit. She did not—could not weep until the morning of the day that was to give her lover to the arms of death. Her feelings then found vent in tears. She left the cottage, and walked quickly towards the house of Major Waldron, where she found the old man writing. Throwing herself before him, she clasped his knees, and implored him to save Morris Green. Waldron answered that he could not. Morris had had a fair trial, and it would be unjust in him, supposing he could, to change the verdict. Rebecca continued—“You can if you will. I know you have wished me to marry George instead of Morris Green; and now I will promise, that if you will procure a pardon for Morris, the day he is free from prison I will marry George.”

This chimed in with Waldron’s schemes. It had long been his aim to bring about a union between his son George and Rebecca. He snatched eagerly the opportunity, and said he would try what he could do. A messenger was sent in all haste to Portsmouth, and the officers composing the court-martial were eagerly persuaded to reprieve the prisoner until a petition could be sent to the king. But months were to pass before an answer would be received, during which Morris must remain in prison, leaving the field clear to his rivals.

Sinclair now spent much of his time with Rebecca, who regarded him with the most friendly feelings, except when he urged his suit, when a revulsion of feeling made her suspect that self-interest was at the root of all his vaunted service for her and Morris. As for George Waldron, his feelings were in a state of confusion not to be described. He loved Rebecca, deeply—devotedly; and to secure her happiness and that of his friend Morris, he felt that no sacrifice could be too great. Yet he hoped to make Rebecca his wife, and could not resolve to break the engagement his father had made.

At length a vessel arrived, bearing a full pardon for the deserter; and Major Waldron now required of Rebecca the performance of her part of the contract. It was agreed that the marriage should not take place until the day after Morris’s return. Morris had been aware that a petition had been sent to the king on his behalf, but he knew nothing of the terms until the morning of his release, and then he felt that he would much rather have died than consented to live upon such terms. However, he resolved to see Rebecca once more, and then leave the country for ever.

He reached the cottage, where he expected to meet Rebecca, but found it deserted, and in the utmost confusion. Surprised, he turned from the cottage to seek an explanation, when a footstep caused him to raise his head, and he stood face to face with George Waldron. They each grasped the other’s hand; for friendship was still strong in both.

“I have been very wrong and wicked,” said George Waldron, “but I have suffered for it. Yesterday, after a long struggle, I resolved to release Rebecca from an engagement, into which I knew she had been forced. I did so. But now she is gone. Last night Aunt Mary awoke and found herself alone; she gave the alarm, and people have hunted for lier ever since. I fear she has been carried off by the Indians.”

Morris was almost stunned by this unlooked for calamity. At length he grasped the hand of his friend and said, “We are friends—brothers; together we will go and rescue her or share her fate.” A slight noise at this instant caused them to turn, and standing near them, his arms folded on his breast, his keen eye fixed upon them, was an Indian, whom they recognised as one who was often about the settlement.

“Has the pale-face’s council fire gone out, or are their braves turned squaws, that the foe enters the wigwam and steals their ‘Wild Rose,’ and no warriors start on the trail?”

“Do you know any thing of Rebecca Bray,” demanded Morris.

Yondeega’s eyes were open. Neddo’s trail and the Wild Rose’s trail were one.

George started. He knew that Edward Sinclair had two days previous, joined a hunting party; but he supposed that he had gone away to avoid being present at Rebecca’s nuptials. “The false-hearted villain!” said he, “I will follow him, and he shall yet feel the weight of my arm.”

“No, no,” said Yondeega, with a flashing eye and knotted brow. “No pale-face touch him. Yondeega’s tomahawk is sharp, and his rifle never fails it aim. Yondeega will kill him like a dog.” The features of the Indian then assumed an expression of sorrow. “Yondeega had a daughter; she was fair as the spring flowers, and cheerful as the song of birds. The Yengese came and spake with his forked tongue, the maiden listened, and her heart changed. She has left the wigwam of her tribe to follow the stranger.”

From this the young men gathered that Sinclair had been as false to his red as to his white friends, and having signified to the Indian that they would follow where he led, they set off in pursuit of the lost flower.

Rebecca had risen early, and was taking a short walk near the cottage, when she was seized and borne off by some Indians. They marched about eight hours, bearing Rebecca on a rude litter, until they came to a large sheet of water called Lake Winnipiseogee, where they embarked in a canoe and rowed to an island, on which stood two or three deserted Indian huts. In one of these, Rebecca was left, with two Indians. In a moment, the door opened, and Edward Sinclair, stripped of his Indian disguise, stood before her. He confessed that he had stolen her. But it was because he could not live without her, and he wanted to take her to Europe with him. In vain the young girl entreated, plead her attachment to another, and her want of affection for Sinclair.

“And do you think,” said he fiercely, “that I could bear to see you the wife of Morris Green? It was I who advised him to desert, and who attempted to prevent him from getting a pardon. But I will be revenged yet. In the meantime, you are in my power, and from this place you shall never go, except as my wife—”

The sound of light footsteps interrupted his words, and the next instant a young Indian girl, breathless with haste, rushed into the hut, exclaiming, “Fly, fly! the pale-faces are in pursuit.” Sinclair sprang forward, as if meditating flight; but a moment’s pause seemed to alter his intention, and he said, pointing to Rebecca, “Hide her, Yarro, and I will meet them here.”

The young Indian frowned, as she replied, “Yarro no hide her; pale-face no hurt her.” A deep-breathed curse escaped the young man, and a fierce glance shot from his eye; but the next moment it yielded to a mild, tender expression, as he spoke a few words to Yarro in her own tongue.

Yarro smilingly listened to his false words, which were, in fact, no less than a promise, that if she would hide Rebecca, he would marry her, join the tribe and become a great chief. She instantly advanced towards the white maiden, and in spite of her struggles, bandaged her mouth, and drew her into a covert close to the hut. Sinclair saw all this, and then taking his rifle, he advanced to meet Morris and George, who had just emerged from the forest into the clearing in front of the hut. “What is the matter, George?” he asked.

“Edward,” demanded George, sternly, “do you know any thing of Rebecca Bray?”

“How can I know any thing of her?” mildly replied Sinclair; “you know I started off to hunt the day before you were to be married but—”

The speaker paused; the bullet of Yondeega, who, having tarried behind to secure the canoe, had just caught sight of his foe, had started on its fatal errand; but it did not not reach its destined victim. Yarro, who saw all that had passed, gave a slight scream, and throwing her arms around the neck of her beloved, shielded him from danger by receiving the ball herself. They laid her upon the grass. Sinclair bent over her, grief and remorse painted on his features, while the rest of the party, including Rebecca, who had contrived to unbandage herself, stood looking on in mournful silence. Yarro opened her eyes, a smile of joy stole over her features, as she met the gaze of Sinclair, and she murmured—“Yarro very happy, for the Great Spirit has smiled on her;” and with that happy smile still lingering on her features, the poor girl passed to the “spirit land.”

A moment of silence ensued, and the next, Sinclair sprang to his feet, and darted into the forest, pursued by Yondeega, who soon, however, returned, completely baffled. This was the last that was seen of Edward Sinclair in this country; although a rumor came two years afterwards that he had fallen in a duel, in England, with an officer as reckless as himself.

Yarro was buried on the island, and then the party returned to the settlement. The remainder of the story is soon told. Major Waldron yielded to the entreaties of Rebecca and Morris, assisted by the virtuous energy of George, and consented to a union of the lovers, who amid all trials, had remained true to each other. At the-wedding, among the number of pale and red faces that of Yondeega was recognised, and many thanks were returned to him for his generous conduct.

“Pale-face no need feel grateful. Wild Rose hide Yondeega; Yondeega save Wild Rose; that all,” said the Indian. In answer to eager questioning, he then informed them, that he had known of Neddo’s designs in regard to Rebecca, and as soon as he saw her upon the island, he recognised her as the little girl who had saved his life, and resolved to save her. He hurried to inform her friends, and the result is known. When he had finished his story, Rebecca exclaimed, “I then found mercy by the very person to whom I had shown mercy.”






HE destruction of Deerfield, Massachusetts, during the French and Indian war, which began in 1689, was one of the most daring exploits performed by the Indians during that exterminating struggle. In 1703, the plan was laid by the French and their savage allies, to cut off the frontier inhabitants of New England, from one extremity to the other; but the design was not fully executed. Though the eastern settlements from Casco to Wells were destroyed, yet the western ones remained unmolested. This lulled them into a fatal security. Colonel Schuyler, the noted English agent among the Indians, received intelligence of a design in Canada to fall upon Deerfield, he immediately informed the inhabitants of that settlement, that they might prepare for an attack. The design was not carried into execution during the summer, and the intelligence was considered as a false alarm. But their destruction was reserved for the winter of 1704, when they least expected it.

Deerfield was at that time the most northerly settlement on the Connecticut river, a few families at Northfield excepted. Against this place, M. Yaudrieul, governor of Canada, sent out a party of about three hundred French and Indians. They were put under the command of Hertel de Roueville, assisted by his four brothers, all of whom had been well trained in partisan warfare by their father, who had been a famous partisan in former wars. They marched by way of Lake Champlain, till they came to the stream, now called Onion river. Advancing up that stream till they passed over Connecticut river, and travelled on the ice till they came near to Deerfield.

The Rev. John Williams, the minister of Deerfield, was apprehensive of danger, and attempted to impress the minds of the people with a sense of it; but did not succeed. Upon his application, the government of the province sent twenty soldiers to aid in the defence of the town. The fortifications were some slight works thrown around two or three garrison houses. These were nearly covered in some places with drifts of snow.

On the 29th of February, Roueville and his party approached the town. Hovering near it, he sent out spies to gain intelligence. The watch kept the streets of the town till about two hours before day, and then, unfortunately, all of them went to sleep. Roueville, perceiving all to be quiet, marched silently to the attack. The snow was so high that they had no difficulty in jumping over the walls of the fortification; and they immediately separated into small parties so as to appear before each house at the same time.

The place was completely surprised; and the foe was entering the houses before the inhabitants, suspected their approach. The resistance was trifling in most parts of the town, but one block-house being able to hold out against the enemy. The whole settlement was in their possession in a short time after their arrival. Forty-seven of the inhabitants, some of whom fought bravely, were slain, and all the rest captured. For awhile, the village was given up to plunder, and then, to complete the work, it was set on fire. The victors, with their captives, hastily retreated an hour after sunrise. A small party of the English pursued them, and a skirmish ensued, in which a few were lost on both sides.

But the enemy could not be checked in their retreat.

The distance from Deerfield to Chambly, Canada, which was the nearest French settlement, was about three hundred miles. The number of prisoners was one hundred and twelve. Among the number was the Rev. John Williams. As the Indians entered his room, he took down his pistol and presented it to the breast of the foremost, but it missed fire. They then took hold of him and bound him, naked as he was, and thus kept him for an hour. In the meantime two of the children and a negro woman were killed. Mrs. Williams, who was hardly recovered from childbed, was, with the rest, marched for Canada. The second day, in wading a stream, Mrs. Williams fainted and fell, but was assisted along a little further when, at the foot of a hill, she began to falter, her savage master, with one blow of his tomahawk, put an end to her miseries. The party was twenty-five days on its march from Deerfield to Chambly. As they depended upon hunting for their support, the prisoners often suffered for want of food; and the severity of the season added to their trials. At length they reached Chambly, where they were humanely treated by the French and their governor, Vaudrieul. At different times, most of the prisoners were redeemed and returned home. Mr. Williams and fifty-seven others arrived at Boston, from Quebec, in 1706. One of the minister’s daughters, Eunice, married an Indian, and became a convert to the Catholic religion, which she never would consent to forsake. She frequently visited her friends in New England; but uniformly persisted in wearing the blanket, and counting her beads. Deerfield was rebuilt soon after its destruction, and became a flourishing settlement.





F the red men have been benefited by their intercourse with the whites, they have also received much degradation from the same cause. Created with strong and active physical powers, united with keen sensibility, they have an innate love of excitement, of which the white man has taken advantage to work their ruin. For a few bottles of any kind of ardent spirits, which the Indians term “firewater,” keen traders have purchased the produce of weeks of hunting and toil, and even the land which contains within its bosom the bones of the red man’s ancestors. How many of these noble children of the woods, whose native powers of intellect rivalled those of the most distinguished orators, statesmen, and warriors, among the civilized nations, have become degraded in mind and weakened in body through the influence of the evil spirit sent to them by the avaricious and wiser white men! See Logan, whose qualities of mind, and whose misfortunes have excited so much admiration and sympathy, spending the evening of his days in beastly intoxication! See the mighty Sagona, more widely known as Red Jacket, who maybe considered as the Demosthenes of his race; whose judgment and foresight guided his nation in many an intricate negotiation, and whose eloquence has been compared to the Niagara, near whose thundering tumult he was reared, weakened in body and mind by the “firewater” given him by those who feared his influence! This bane of the red man has ever been extended to him by the hand of civilization; and those tribes which inhabit the country nearest the citizens of the western states are fast melting away under its blighting breath. Occasionally a chief has arisen who despised the “fire-water,” and who indignantly denounced those who introduced it among his people. Of one of these we are about to speak.


Pontiac was a chief of the Ottawas, a tribe which inhabited the neighborhood of Lake Erie, in the territory now included in the state of Michigan. But at one time, he was the chief of a confederacy, consisting of the Ottawas, Miamis, Chippewas, Wyandottes, Pot-towatomies, Missisagas, Shawanese, Ottaga-mies, and Winnebagoes—all powerful tribes. Pontiac was gifted with a great and noble spirit, which fitted him for command. He possessed a daring courage, tempered and guided by wisdom and judgment. Fertile in the invention of means to gain an end, he was generally successful in his undertakings, and became a formidable enemy to the whites, whose encroachments roused his hatred.

In the Indian war, which broke out in 1763, which is justly denominated “Pontiac’s War,” the great chief appointed a commissary, and began to make and issue bills of credit, all of which he carefully redeemed. He made his bills or notes of bark, on which was drawn the figure of the commodity he wanted for it The shape of an otter was drawn under that of the article wanted, and an otter was the insignia of his nation. He had also, with great sagacity, urged upon his people the necessity of dispensing entirely with European commodities, of having no intercourse with the whites, and of depending entirely upon their ancient modes of procuring sustenance.

Some English traders, with a considerable quantity of brandy in bottles, were detected among the Indians, bartering “fire-water” for skins, and, by order of Pontiac, brought into his presence. The noble chief stood in state, gaudily dressed, and with a lofty mein, in front of his highly decorated wigwam. A guard of warriors were upon each side of him, and subordinate chiefs waited the command of the mighty forest king. The traders were bold men, but they trembled when led into his presence. They knew his power, the ferocity of the men whom he ruled, and the criminal nature of the business in which they were engaged.

Pontiac spoke the English tongue sufficiently well to make himself understood, and he asked the traders if they were not aware that he had forbidden his people to have any intercourse with the whites, and warned the latter to leave his territory. He then alluded to the many services he had done the whites, and the many acts of hospitality his people had performed. “And how have you repaid them?” continued he. “They gave you shelter and venison, and you gave them poison—fire-water, to burn away their strength, and blind their eyes, so that you could cheat them out of their skins and furs, and perhaps their land.”

The white traders attempted to excuse themselves, by saying that they had only given the Indians the liquor at their own earnest entreaty. But Pontiac indignantly commanded their silence. “You knew what the fire-water could do, what it has done, and what it will do; and yet you gave it to them.” The chief raised himself to his full height. He was a tall and noble-looking man. His brow was high and broad, his eye black, keen, and lively, and his nose aquiline and prominent. The compressed mouth expressed the firmness of his will. “For your fault,” said he, “you have deserved a severe punishment, and were you at the mercy of many of my people, death would quickly be your lot. I spare your lives now, and my warriors shall conduct you safely out of my country. But if you again are found upon this land, expect to burn at the stake. Go! Pontiac has said.” The white men concealed the joy which they felt at their escape from death. They had expected nothing less. Pontiac directed some of his warriors to accompany the traders and then retired to his wigwam. The traders, once safely out of his country were very careful not to revisit it while he lived. A war broke out soon after this event, in which Pontiac displayed the skill and courage of a great commander. He was victorious on many occasions, but was at last forced to conclude a peace, by the superior numbers and discipline of the whites. His exertions could not prevent his people from using the “fire-water” occasionally; and consequently, he could not prevent their becoming weakened, and so blinded to their own interest as to sell the land of their forefathers, and aid the encroachments of the whites. The people whom he governed, have either entirely melted away before the influence of war and the use of ardent spirits, or greatly reduced in numbers, have removed far beyond the Mississippi.




NECDOTES of men who have been distinguished for their bravery, whether friend or foe, civilized or savage, seldom fail to excite an interest.

During the second war with England, the Seneca nation of Indians, who resided in the neighborhood of Buffalo, were employed by the American government, and attached themselves to the army, then about to enter Canada, under the command of General Brown. The principal chief of this tribe was “Farmer’s Brother”—a stout, athletic warrior. The frosts of eighty winters had passed over his head; and yet he retained his faculties in an eminent degree. He possessed all the ardour of his young associates, and was uncommonly animated at the prospect which a fresh harvest of laurels presented to his mind.

This celebrated chief, in the war between England and France, was engaged in the service of the latter. He once pointed out, to the writer of this account, the spot where, with a party of Indians, he lay in ambush—patiently waiting the approach of a guard that accompanied the English teams, employed between the Falls of Niagara and the British garrison; the fort had lately surrendered to Sir William Johnson. The place selected for that purpose is now known by the name of the “Devil’s Hole,” and is three and a half miles below the famous cataract, upon the United States side. The mind can scarcely conceive a more dismal looking den. A large ravine, occasioned by the falling in of the perpendicular bank, made dark by the spreading branches of the birch and cedar, which had taken root below, and the low murmurings of the rapids in the chasm, added to the solemn thunder of the cataract itself, conspire to render the scene truly awful. The English party were not aware of the dreadful fate which awaited them. Unconscious of danger, the drivers were gaily whistling to their dull ox-teams. On their arrival at this spot, Farmer’s Brother and his band rushed from the thicket that had concealed them, and commenced a horrid butchery. So unexpected was the attack, and so completely were the English deprived of all presence of mind, but a feeble resistance was made. The guard, the teamsters, the oxen, and the wagons, were precipitated into the gulf. But two of them escaped; a Mr. Steadman, who lived at Schlosser, above the falls, being mounted on a fleet horse, made good his retreat; and one of the soldiers, who was caught on the projecting root of a cedar, which sustained him until—assured by the distant yells of the savages—they had left the grounds. He then clambered up, and proceeded to Fort Niagara, with the intelligence of this disaster. A small rivulet, which pours itself down this precipice, was literally colored with the blood of the vanquished—and has ever since borne the name of “The Bloody Run.”

In the war of the Revolution, Farmer’s Brother evinced his hostility to the Americans upon every occasion that occurred; and with the same zeal, he engaged in the late war against his former friends—the British.

Another anecdote of this chief will show, in more glaring colors, the real savage. A short time before the United States army crossed the Niagara, Farmer’s Brother chanced to observe an Indian, who had mingled with the Senecas, and whom he instantly recognised, as belonging to the Mohawks—a tribe living in Canada, and then employed in the enemy’s service. He went up to him, and addressed him in the Indian tongue:—“I know you well—you belong to the Mohawks—you are a spy—here is my rifle—my tomahawk—my scalping knife—I give you your choice, which of them shall I use?—but I am in haste!” The young warrior, finding resistance vain, chose to be despatched with the rifle. He was ordered to lie upon the grass; while, with the left foot upon the breast of his victim, the chief lodged the contents of the rifle into his head.

With so much of the savage, Farmer’s Brother possessed some estimable traits of character. He was as firm a friend, where he promised fidelity, as a bitter enemy to those against whom he contended; and would rather lose the last drop of his blood, than betray the cause he had espoused. He was fond of recounting his exploits, and, savage-like, dwelt with much satisfaction upon the number of scalps he had taken in his skirmishes with the whites.

In company with several other chiefs, he paid a visit to General Washington, who presented him with a silver medal. This he constantly wore, suspended from his neck; and, so precious was the gift in his eyes, that he often declared, he would lose it only with his life. Soon after the battles of Chippewa and Bridgewater, this veteran paid the debt of nature, at the Seneca village; and, out of respect to his bravery, he was interred with military honors from the fifth regiment of United States infantry.





N the year of 1798, one of the missionaries to the Indians of the north-west was on his way from the Tuscarora settlement to the Senecas. Journeying in pious meditation through the forest, a majestic Indian darted from its recess, and arrested his progress. His hair was somewhat changed with age, and his face marked with the deep furrows of time; but his eye expressed all the fiery vivacity of youthful passion, and his step was that of a warrior in the vigor of manhood.

“White man of the ocean, * whither wanderest thou?” said the Indian.

     * The Indians at first imagined that the white men
     originally sprang from the sea, and that they invaded their
     country because they had none of their own. They sometimes
     called them in their songs, “The froth, or white foam of the
     ocean and this name is often applied contemptuously by the
     savages of the north-west.

“I am travelling,” replied the meek disciple of peace, “towards the dwellings of thy brethren, to teach them the knowledge of the only true God, and to lead them to peace and happiness.”

“To peace and happiness!” exclaimed the tall chief, while his eye flashed fire—“Behold the blessings that follow the footsteps of the white man! Wherever he comes, the nations of the woodlands fade from the eye, like the mists of the morning. Once over the wide forest of the surrounding world our people roamed in peace and freedom; nor ever dreamed of greater happiness than to hunt the beaver, the bear, and the wild deer. From the furthest extremity of the great deep came the white man, armed with thunder and lightning, and weapons still more pernicious. In war he hunted us like wild beasts; in peace, he destroyed us by deadly liquors, or yet more deadly frauds. Yet a few moons had passed away, and whole nations of invincible warriors, and of hunters, that fearless swept the forest and the mountain, perish, vainly opposing their triumphant invaders, or quietly dwindled into slaves and drunkards—and their names withered from the earth. Retire, dangerous man! Leave us all we yet have left—our savage virtues, and our gods; and do not, in the vain attempt to cultivate a rude and barren soil, pluck up the few thrifty plants of native growth that have survived the fostering cares of the people, and weathered the stormy career of their pernicious friendship.” The tall chief darted into the wood, and the good missionary pursued his way with pious resolution.

He preached the only true divinity, and placed before the eyes of the wondering savages the beauty of holiness, &c.

The awe-struck Indians, roused by these accumulated motives—many of them adopted the precepts of the missionary, as far as they could comprehend them; and, in the course of eighteen months, their devotion became rational, regular, and apparently permanent.

All at once, however, the little church, in which the good man was wont to pen his fold, became deserted. No votary came, as usual, to listen, with decent reverence, to the pure doctrines which they were accustomed to hear; and only a few solitary idlers were seen, of a Sunday morning, lounging about, and casting a wistful yet fearful look at their little peaceful and now silent mansion.

The missionary sought them out, inquired into the cause of this mysterious desertion, and told them of the bitterness of hereafter to those who, having once known, abandoned the religion of the only true God. The poor Indians shook their heads, and informed him that the Great Spirit was angry at their apostacy, and had sent a Prophet from the summit of the Alleghany mountains, to warn them against the admission of new doctrines; that there was to be a great meeting of the the old men soon, and the Prophet would there deliver to the people the message with which he was entrusted. The zealous missionary determined to be present, and to confront the imposter, who was known by the appellation of the Prophet of the Alleghany. He obtained permission to appear at the council, and to reply to the Prophet. The 12th of June, 1802, was fixed for determining whether the belief of their forefathers or that of the white men was the true religion.

The council-house not being large enough to contain so great an assemblage of people, they met in a valley west of Seneca Lake. This valley was then embowered under lofty trees. On almost every side it is surrounded With high rugged hills, and through it meanders a small river.

It was a scene to call forth every energy of the human heart. On a smooth level, near the bank of a slow stream, under the shade of a large elm, sat the chief men of the tribes, Around the circle which they formed, was gathered a crowd of wondering savages, with eager looks, seeming to demand the true God at the hands of their wise men. In the middle of the circle sat the aged and travel-worn missionary. A few gray hairs wandered over his brow; his hands were crossed on his bosom; and, as he cast his hope-beaming eye to heaven, he seemed to be calling with pious fervor upon the God of Truth, to vindicate his own eternal word by the mouth of his servant.

For more than half an hour there was silence in the valley, save the whispering of the trees in the south wind, and the indistinct murmuring of the river. Then all at once, a sound of astonishment ran through the crowd, and the Prophet of the Alleghany was seen descending one of the high hills. With furious and frenzied step he entered the circle, and, waving his hands in token of silence, the missionary saw, with wonder, the same tall chief, who, four years before, had crossed him in the Tuscarora forest. The same panther-skin hung over his shoulder; the same tomahawk quivered in his hand; and the same fiery and malignant spirit burned in his eye. He addressed the awe-struck Indians, and the valley rung with his iron-voice.

“Red Men of the Woods! Hear what the Great Spirit says of his children who have forsaken him!

“Through the wide regions that were once the inheritance of my people—and for ages they roved as free as the wild winds—resounds the axe of the white man. The paths of your forefathers are polluted by the their steps, and your hunting-grounds are every day wrested from you by their arts. Once on the shores of the mighty ocean, your fathers were wont to enjoy all the luxuriant delights of the deep. Now, you are exiles in swamps, or on barren hills; and these wretched possessions you enjoy by the precarious tenure of the white man’s will. The shrill cry of revelry or war, no more is heard on the majestic shores of the Hudson, or the sweet banks of the silver Mohawk. There where the Indian lived and died, free as the air he breathed, and chased the panther and the deer from morning until evening—even there the Christian slave cultivates the soil in undisturbed possession; and as he whistles behind the plough, turns up the sacred remains of your buried ancestors. Have you not heard at evening, and sometimes in the dead of night, those mournful and melodious sounds that steal through the deep valleys, or along the mountain sides,’ like the song of echo? These are the wailings of those spirits whose bones have been turned up by the sacrilegious labors of the white men, and left to the mercy of the rain and the tempest. They call upon you to avenge them—they adjure you, by motives that rouse the hearts of the brave, to wake from your long sleep, and, by returning to these invaders of the grave the long arrears of vengeance, restore again the tired and wandering spirits to their blissful paradise far beyond the blue hills. *

     * The answering voices heard from the caves and hollows,
     which the Latins call echo, the Indians suppose to be the
     wailings of souls wandering through these places.

“These are the blessings you owe to the Christians. They have driven your fathers from their ancient inheritance—they have destroyed them with the sword and poisonous liquors—they have dug up their bones, and left them to blanch in the wind, and now they aim at completing your wrongs, and insuring your destruction, by cheating you into the belief of that divinity, whose very precepts they plead in justification of all the miseries they have heaped upon your race.

“Hear me, O deluded people, for the last time!—If you persist in deserting my altars—if still you are determined to listen with fatal credulity to the strange pernicious doctrines of these Christian usurpers—if you are unalterably devoted to your new gods and new customs—if you will be the friend of the white man, and the follower of his God—my wrath shall follow. I will dart my arrows of forked lightning among your towns, and send the warring tempests of winter to devour you. Ye shall become bloated with intemperance; your numbers shall dwindle away, until but a few wretched slaves survive; and these shall be driven deeper and deeper into the wild—there to associate with the dastard beasts of the forest, who once fled before the mighty hunters of your tribe. The spirits of your fathers shall curse you, from the shores of that happy island in the great lake, where they enjoy an everlasting season of hunting, and chase the wild deer with dogs swifter than the wind. Lastly, I swear by the lightning, the thunder, and the tempest, that, in the space of sixty moons, of all the Senecas, not one of yourselves shall remain on the face of the earth.”

The Prophet ended his message—which was delivered with the wild eloquence of real or fancied inspiration, and, all at once, the crowd seemed to be agitated with a savage sentiment of indignation against the good missionary. One of the fiercest broke through the circle of old men to despatch him, but was restrained by their authority.

When this sudden feeling had somewhat subsided, the mild apostle obtained permission to speak, in behalf of Him who had sent him. Never have I seen a more touching, pathetic figure, than this good man. He seemed past sixty; his figure tall and bending, his face mild, pale, and highly intellectual, and over his forehead, which yet displayed its blue veins, were scattered at solitary distances, a few gray hairs. Though his voice was clear, and his action vigorous, yet there was that in his looks, which seemed to say his pilgrimage was soon to close for ever.

With pious fervor he described to his audience the glory, power, and beneficence of the Creator of the whole universe. He told them of the pure delights of the Christian heaven, and of the never-ending tortures of those who rejected the precepts of the Gospel.

And, when he had concluded this part of the subject, he proceeded to place before his now attentive auditors, the advantages of civilization, learning, science, and a regular system of laws and morality. He contrasted the wild Indian, roaming the desert in savage independence, now revelling in the blood of enemies, and in his turn, the victim of their insatiable vengeance, with the peaceful citizen, enjoying all the comforts of cultivated life in this happy land; and only bounded in his indulgences by those salutary restraints, which contribute as well to his own happiness as to that of society at large. He described the husbandman, enjoying, in the bosom of his family, a peaceful independence, undisturbed by apprehensions of midnight surprise, plunder, and assassination; and he finished by a solemn appeal to heaven, that his sole motive for coming among them was the love ot his Creator and of his creatures.

As the benevolent missionary closed his appeal, Red Jacket, a Seneca chief of great authority, and the most eloquent of all his nation, rose and enforced the exhortations of the venerable preacher. He repeated his leading arguments, and—with an eloquence truly astonishing in one like him—pleaded the cause of religion and humanity. The ancient council then deliberated for the space of nearly two hours; after which the oldest man arose, and solemnly pronounced the result of their conference—“That the Christian God was more wise, more just, more beneficent and powerful, than the Great Spirit, and that the missionary who had delivered his precepts, ought to be cherished as their best benefactor—their guide to future happiness.” When this decision was pronounced by the venerable old man, and acquiesced in by the people, the rage of the Prophet of the Alleghany became terrible. He started from the ground, seized his tomahawk, and denouncing the speedy vengeance of the Great Spirit upon their whole recreant race, darted from the circle with wild impetuosity, and disappeared in the shadows of the forest.





ETER OTSAQUETTE was the son of a man of consideration among the Oneida Indians of New York. At the close of the Revolution, he was noticed by the Marquis de Lafayette, who, to a noble zeal for liberty, united the most philanthropic feelings. Viewing, therefore, this young savage with peculiar interest, and anticipating the happy results to be derived from his moral regeneration, he took him, though scarcely twelve years old, to France. Peter arrived at that period when Louis XVI. and Maria Antoinette were in the zenith of their glory. There he was taught the accomplishments of a gentleman;—music, drawing, and fencing, were made familiar to him, and he danced with a grace that a Vestris could not but admire. At about eighteen, his separation from a country in which he had spent his time so agreeably and profitably, became necessary. Laden with favors from the Marquis, and the miniatures of those friends he had left behind, Peter departed for America—inflated, perhaps, with the idea, that the deep ignorance of his nation, with that of the Indians of the whole continent, might be dispelled by his efforts, and he become the proud instrument of the civilization of thousands.

Prosecuting his route to the land of his parents, he came to the city of Albany; not the uncivilized savage, not with any of those marks which bespoke a birth in the forest, or spent in toiling the wilds of a desert, but possessing a fine commanding figure, an expressive countenance, and intelligent eye, with a face scarcely indicative of the race from which he was descended. He presented, at this period, an interesting spectacle; a child of the wilderness was beheld about to proceed to the home of his forefathers, having received the brilliant advantages of a cultivated mind, and on his way to impart to the nation that owned him, the benefits which civilization had given him. It was an opportunity for the philosopher to contemplate, and to reflect on the future good this young Indian might be the means of producing.

Shortly after his arrival in Albany—where he visited the first families—he took advantage of Governor Clinton’s journey to Fort Stanwix, where a treaty was to be held with the Indians, to return to his tribe. On the route, Otsaquette amused the company, among whom were the French Minister, Count de Moustiers, and several gentlemen of respectability, by his powers on various instruments of music. At Fort Stanwix, he found himself again with the companions of his early days, who saw and recognised him. His friends and relations had not forgotten him, and he was welcomed to his home and to his blanket.

But that which occurred soon after his reception, led him to a too fearful anticipation of an unsuccessful project; for the Oneidas, as if they could not acknowledge Otsaquette, attired in the dress with which he appeared before them, a mark which did not disclose his nation, and, thinking that he had assumed it, as if ashamed of his own native costume, the garb of his ancestors, they tore it from him with a savage avidity, and a fiend-like ferociousness, daubed on the paint to which he had been so long unused, and clothed him with the uncouth habiliments held sacred by his tribe. Their fiery ferocity, in the performance of the act, showed but too well the bold stand they were about to take against the innovations they supposed Otsaquette was to be the agent for affecting against their immemorial manners and customs, and which from the venerable antiquity of their structure, it would be nothing short of sacrilege to destroy.

Thus the reformed savage was taken back again to his native barbarity, and, as if to cap the climax of degradation to a mind just susceptible of its own powers, was married to a squaw.

From that day Otsego was no longer the accomplished Indian, from whom every wish of philanthrophy was expected to be realized. He was no longer the instrument by whose power the emancipation of his countrymen from the thraldom of ignorance and superstition, was to be effected. From that day he was an inmate of the forest; was once more buried in his original obscurity, and his nation only viewed him as an equal. Even a liberal grant from the state, failed of securing to him that superior consideration among them which his civilization had procured for him with the rest of mankind. The commanding pre-eminence acquired from instruction, from which it was expected ambition would have sprung up, and acted as a double stimulant, from either the natural inferiority of the savage mind, or the predetermination of his countrymen, became of no effect, and, in a little time, was wholly annihilated. Otsaquette was lost. His moral perdition began from the hour he left Fort Stanwix. Three short months had hardly transpired, when intemperance had marked him as her own, and soon hurried him to the grave. And, as if the very transition had deadened the finer feelings of his nature, the picture given him by the Marquis—the very portrait of his affectionate friend and benefactor himself—he parted with.

Extraordinary and unnatural as the conduct of this uneducated savage may appear, the anecdote is not of a kind altogether unique; which proves, that little or nothing is to be expected from conferring a literary education upon the rude children of the forest: An Indian named George White-Eyes, was taken, while a boy, to the college at Princeton, where he received a classical education. On returning to his nation, he made some little stay in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to some genteel families. He was amiable in his manners, and of modest demeanor, without exhibiting any trait of the savage whatever; but, no sooner had he rejoined his friends and former companions, in the land of his nativity, than he dropped the garb and manner of civilization, and resumed those of the savage, and drinking deep of the intoxicating cup, soon put a period to his existence.

Many other instances might be adduced to show how ineffectual have been the attempts to plant civilization on savage habits, by means of literary education—“Can the leopard change his spots?”




N the early part of the revolutionary war, a sergeant and twelve armed men, undertook a journey through the wilderness of New Hampshire. Their situation was remote from any settlements, and they were under the necessity of encamping over night in the woods. In the early part of the struggle for independence, the Indians were numerous, and did not stand idle spectators to a conflict carried on with so much zeal and ardour by the whites. Some tribes were friendly to our cause, while many upon our borders took part with the enemy, and were very troublesome in their savage manner of warfare,—as was often learned from the woful experience of their midnight depredations. The leader of the above mentioned party was well acquainted with the different tribes, and—from much intercourse with them, previous to the war—was not ignorant of the idiom, physiognomy, and dress, of each; and, at the commencement of hostilities, was informed for which party they had raised the hatchet.

Nothing material happened, the first day of their excursion; but early in the afternoon of the second, they from an eminence, discovered a body of armed Indians advancing towards them, whose number rather exceeded their own. As soon as the whites were perceived by their red brethren, the latter made signals, and the two parties approached each, other in an amicable manner. The Indians appeared to be much gratified with meeting the sergeant and his men, whom, they observed, they considered as their protectors; said they belonged to a tribe which had raised the hatchet with zeal, in the cause of liberty, and were determined to do all in their power to injure the common enemy. They shook hands in friendship, and it was, “How d’ye do, pro?” that being their pronunciation of the word brother. When they had conversed with each other for some time, and exchanged mutual good wishes, they separated, and each party travelled in different directions. After proceeding a mile or more, the sergeant halted his men, and addressed them in the following words:

“My brave companions! we must use the utmost caution, or this night may be our last. Should we not make some extraordinary exertion to defend ourselves, to-morrow’s sun may find us sleeping, never to wake. You are surprised, comrades, at my words, and your anxiety will not be lessened, when I inform you, that we have just passed our inveterate foe, who, under the mask of pretended friendship you have witnessed, would lull us into fancied security, and, by such means, in the unguarded moments of our midnight slumber, without resistance, seal out fate!” The men were astonished at this harangue, for they supposed the party they had encountered were friends. They resolved for their own preservation to adopt the following scheme: Their night’s encampment was near a stream. They felled a large tree, before which a brilliant fire was made, and each individual cut a log of wood the size of his body, rolled it into his blanket, and placed it before the fire, that the enemy might take it for a man. The fire was kept burning until near midnight, when it was expected an attack would be made. Soon a tall Indian was seen through the glimmering fire, cautiously moving towards them. His actions showed that he was suspicious of a guard being posted to give an alarm; but finding all quiet, he moved forward, and was seen to move his finger as he numbered each log, or, what he supposed to be a man asleep. To satisfy himself as to the number, he recounted them, and retired. A second Indian went through the same movements.

The whole party, sixteen in number, now cautiously advanced, and eagerly eyeing their supposed victims. The sergeant’s party could scarcely be restrained from firing upon them; but the plan was to remain silent until the guns of the savages were discharged, so that their own might be more effectual.

Their suspense was short. The Indians approached, till within a short distance; they then halted, took deliberate aim, fired upon the logs, and rushed forward with scalping knife, to take the scalps of the dead. As soon as they were collected in a close body, more effectually to execute their horrid intentions, the party of the sergeant, with unerring aim, discharged their muskets upon the savages; not one of whom escaped destruction.






T was on the first of May, 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness, and left my family and peaceful habitation on the Yadkin river, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucky, in company with John Finley, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Monay, and William Cool.

On the 7th of June, after travelling in a western direction, we found ourselves on Red River, where John Finley, had formerly been trading with the Indians, and from the top of an eminence saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucky. For some time we had experienced the most uncomfortable weather. We now encamped, made a shelter to defend us from the inclement season, and began to hunt and reconnoitre the country. We found abundance of beasts in this vast forest. The buffaloes were more numerous than cattle on their settlements, browsing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping the herbage on these extensive plains. We saw hundreds in a drove, and the numbers around the salt springs were amazing. In this forest, the habitation of beasts of every American kind, we hunted with great success until December.


On the 22d of December, John Stuart and I had a pleasing ramble; but fortune changed the day at the close of it. We passed through a great forest, in which stood myriads of trees, some gay with blossoms, others rich with fruits. Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight. Here she displayed her ingenuity and industry in a variety of flowers and fruits, beautifully colored, elegantly shaped, and charmingly flavored; and we were favored with numberless animals presenting themselves perpetually to our view. In the decline of the day, near Kentucky river, as we ascended the brow of a small hill, a number of Indians rushed out of a cane brake and made us prisoners.

The Indians plundered us and kept us in confinement seven days. During this time we discovered no uneasiness or desire to escape, which made them less suspicious; but in the dead of night, as we lay by a large fire in a thick cane brake, when sleep had locked up their senses, my situation not disposing me to rest, I gently awoke my companion. We seized this favorable opportunity and departed; directing our course towards the old camp, but we found it plundered and our company destroyed or dispersed.

About this time as my brother with another adventurer, who came to explore the country shortly after us, were wandering through the forest, they accidentally found our camp. Notwithstanding our unfortunate circumstances, and our dangerous situation, surrounded by hostile savages, our meeting fortunately in the wilderness gave us the most sensible satisfaction.

Soon after this, my companion in captivity, John Stuart, was killed by the savages, and the man who came with my brother, while on a private excursion, was soon after attacked and killed by the wolves. We were now in a dangerous and helpless situation, exposed daily to perils and death, among savages and wild beasts, not a white man in the country but ourselves.

Although many hundred miles from our families, in the howling wilderness, we did not continue in a state of indolence, but hunted every day, and prepared a little cottage to defend us from the winter.


On the 1st of May, 1770, my brother returned home for a new recruit of horses and ammunition; leaving me alone, without salt, bread, or sugar, or even a horse or a dog. I passed a few days uncomfortably. The idea of a beloved wife and family, and their anxiety on my account, would have disposed me to melancholy if I had further indulged in the thought.

One day I undertook a tour through the country, when the diversity and beauties of nature I met with in this charming season, expelled every gloomy thought. Just at the close of the day, the gentle gales ceased; a profound calm ensued; not a breath shook the tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and looking around with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains and beauteous tracts below. On one hand I surveyed the famous Ohio rolling in silent dignity, and marking the western boundary of Kentucky with inconceivable grandeur. At a vast distance I beheld the mountains lift their venerable brows and penetrate the clouds, All things were still. I kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the line of a buck which I had killed a few hours before. The shades of night soon overspread the hemisphere, and the earth seemed to gasp after the hovering moisture. At a distance I frequently heard the hideous yells of savages. My excursion had fatigued my body and amused my mind. I laid me down to sleep, and awoke not until the sun had chased away the night. I continued this tour, and in a few days explored a considerable part of the country, each day equally pleasing as the first. After which I returned to my old camp, which had not been disturbed in my absence. I did not confine my lodging to it, but often reposed in thick cane brakes to avoid the savages, who I believe frequently visited my camp, but fortunately for me in my absence. No populous city, with all its varieties of commerce and stately structures, could afford such pleasure to my mind, as the beauties of nature which I found in this country.


Until the 27th of July, I spent my time in an uninterrupted scene of sylvan pleasures, when my brother, to my great felicity, met me, according to appointment, at our old camp. Soon after we left the place and proceeded to Cumberland river, reconnoitring that part of the country, and giving names to the different rivers.

In March, 1771, I returned home to my family, being determined to bring them as soon as possible, at the risk of my life and fortune, to reside in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise.

On my return I found my family in happy circumstances. I sold my farm on the Yadkin, and what goods we could not carry with us, and on the 25th of September, 1773, we took leave of our friends, and proceeded on our journey to Kentucky, in company with five more families, and forty men that joined us in Powel’s Valley, which is one hundred and fifty miles from the new settled parts of Kentucky. But this promising beginning was soon overcast with a cloud of adversity.

On the 10th of October, the rear of our company was attacked by a party of Indians; who killed six, and wounded one man. Of these my eldest son was one that fell in the action. Though we repulsed the enemy, yet this unhappy affair scattered our cattle and brought us into extreme difficulty. We returned forty miles to the settlement on Clench river. We had passed over two mountains, Powel’s and Walden’s, and were approaching Cumberland mountain, when this adverse fortune overtook us.


These mountains are in the wilderness, in passing from the old settlement in Virginia to Kentucky; are ranged in a south-west and north-east’ direction; are of great length and breadth, and not far distant from each other. Over them nature has formed passes less difficult than might be expected from the view of such huge piles. The aspect of these cliffs is so wild and horrid, that it is impossible to behold them without horror.

Until the 6th of June, 1774, I remained with my family on the Clench, when myself and another person were solicited by Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, to conduct a number of surveyors to the Falls of Ohio. This was a tour of eight hundred miles, and took sixty-two days.

On my return, Governor Dunmore gave me the command of three garrisons during the campaign against the Shawanese. In March, 1775, at the solicitation of a number of gentlemen of North Carolina, I attended their treaty at Wataga with the Cherokee Indians, to purchase the lands on the south side of Kentucky river. After this, I undertook to mark out a road in the best passage from the settlements through the wilderness to Kentucky.


Having collected a number of enterprising men, well armed, I soon began this work. We proceeded until we came within fifteen miles of where Boonesborough now stands, where the Indians attacked us, and killed two and wounded two more of our party. This was on the 22d of March, 1775. Two days after we were again attacked by them, when we had two more killed and three wounded. After this we proceeded on to Kentucky river without opposition.


On the 1st of April we began to erect the fort of Boonesborough, at a salt lick sixty yards from the river, on the south side. On the 4th, the Indians killed one of our men. On the 14th of June, having completed the fort, I returned to my family on the Clench, and whom I soon after removed to the fort. My wife and daughter were supposed to be the first white women that ever stood on the banks of Kentucky river.

On the 24th of December, the Indians killed one of our men and wounded another; and on the 15th of July, 1776, they took my daughter prisoner. I immediately pursued them with eight men, and on the 16th overtook and engaged them. I killed two of them, and recovered my daughter.

The Indians having divided themselves into several parties, attacked in one day all our infant settlements and forts, doing a great deal of damage. The husbandmen were ambushed and unexpectedly attacked while toiling in the field. They continued this kind of warfare until the 15th of April, 1777, when nearly one hundred of them attacked the village of Boonesborough, and killed a number of its inhabitants. On the 16th Colonel Logan’s fort was attacked by two hundred Indians. There were only thirteen men in the fort, of whom the enemy killed two and wounded one.

On the 20th of August, Colonel Bowman arrived with one hundred men from Virginia, with which additional force we had almost daily skirmishes with the Indians, who began now to learn the superiority of the “long knife,” as they termed us the Virginians; being outgeneraled in almost every action. Our affairs began now to wear a better aspect, the Indians no longer daring to face us in open field, but sought private opportunities to destroy us.

On the 7th of February, 1778, while on a hunting excursion alone, I met a party of one hundred and two Indians and two Frenchmen, marching to attack Boonesborough. They pursued and took me prisoner, and conveyed me to Old Chilicothe, the principal Indian town on Little Miami, where we arrived on the 18th of February, after an uncomfortable journey. On the 10th of March I was conducted to Detroit, and while there, was treated with great humanity by Governor Hamilton, the British commander, at that post, and intendant for Indian affairs.

The Indians had such an affection for me that they refused one hundred pounds sterling offered them by the governor, if they would consent to leave me with him, that he might be enabled to liberate me on my parole. Several English gentlemen then at Detroit, sensible of my adverse fortune, and touched with sympathy, generously offered to supply my wants, which I declined with many thanks, adding that I never expected it would be in my power to recompense such unmerited generosity.

On the 10th of April, the Indians returned with me to Old Chilicothe, were we arrived on the 25th. This was a long and fatiguing march, although through an exceeding fertile country, remarkable for springs and streams of water. At Chilicothe I spent my time as comfortably as I could expect; was adopted according to their custom, into a family where I became a son, and had a great share in the affection of my new parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. I was exceedingly familiar and friendly with them, always appearing as cheerful and contented as possible, and they put great confidence in me. I often went a hunting with them, and frequently gained their applause for my activity at our shooting matches. I was careful not to exceed many of them in shooting, for no people are more envious than they in this sport. I could observe in their countenances and gestures the greatest expressions of joy, when they exceeded me, and when the reverse happened, of envy. The Shawanese king took great notice of me, and treated me with profound respect and entire friendship, often entrusting me to hunt at my liberty. I frequently returned with the spoils of the woods, and as often presented some of what I had taken to him, expressive of duty to my sovereign. My food and lodging was in common with them, not so good indeed as I could desire, but necessity made every thing acceptable.

I now began to meditate an escape, and carefully avoided giving suspicion. I continued at Chilicothe until the 1st day of June, when I was taken to the salt springs on the Sciota, and there employed ten days in the manufacturing of salt. During this time I hunted with my Indian masters, and found the land, for a greats extent about this river, to exceed the soil of Kentucky.

On my return to Chilicothe, one hundred and fifty of the choicest warriors were ready to march against Boonesborough. They were painted and armed in a frightful manner. This alarmed me, and I determined to escape.

On the 18th of June, before sun rise, I went off secretly, and reached Boonesborough on the 20th, a journey of one hundred and sixty miles, during which I had only one meal. I found our fortress in a bad state, but we immediately repaired our flanks, gates, and posterns, and formed double bastions, which we completed in ten days. One of my fellow, prisoners escaped after me, and brought advice that on account of my flight the Indians had put off their expedition for three weeks.

About the first of August I set out with nineteen men, to surprise Point Creek Town, on Sciota, within four miles of which we fell in with forty Indians, going against Boonesborough. We attacked them and they soon gave way without any loss on our part. The enemy had one killed and two wounded. We took three horses and all their baggage. The Indians having evacuated their town, and gone altogether against Boonesborough, we returned, passed them on the 6th, and on the 7th arrived safe at Boonesborough.

On the 9th the Indian army, consisting of four hundred and forty-four men, under the command of Captain Duquesne, and eleven other Frenchmen and their own chiefs, arrived and summoned the fort to surrender. I requested two days’ consideration, which was granted. During this we brought in through the posterns all the horses and other cattle we could collect.

On the 9th, in the evening, I informed their commander that we were determined to defend the fort while a man was living. They then proposed a treaty, they would withdraw. The treaty was held within sixty yards of the fort, as we suspected the savages. The articles were agreed to and signed; when the Indians told us it was their-custom for two Indians to shake hands with every white man in the treaty, as an evidence of friendship. We agreed to this also. They immediately grappled us to take us prisoners, but we cleared ourselves of them, though surrounded by hundreds, and gained the fort safe, except one man, who was wounded by a heavy fire from the enemy.


The savages now began to undermine the fort, beginning at the water mark of the Kentucky river, which is sixty yards from the fort; this we discovered by the water being muddy by the clay. We countermined them by cutting a trench across their subterraneous passage. The enemy discovering this by the clay we threw out of the fort, desisted. On the 20th of August, they raised the siege, during which we had two men killed and four wounded. We lost a number of cattle. The enemy had thirty-seven killed, and a much larger number wounded. We picked up one hundred and twenty-five pounds of their bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of the fort.

In July, 1779, during my absence, Colonel Bowman, with one hundred and sixty men, went against the Shawanese of Old Chilicothe. He arrived undiscovered. A battle ensued which lasted until ten in the morning, when Colonel Bowman retreated thirty miles. The Indians collected all their strength and pursued him, when another engagement ensued for two hours, not to Colonel Bowman’s advantage. Colonel Harrod proposed to mount a number of horses, and break the enemy’s line, who at this time fought with remarkable fury. This desperate measure had a happy effect, and the savages fled on all sides. In these two engagements we had nine men killed and one wounded. The enemy’s loss uncertain. Only two scalps were taken.

June 23d, 1780, five hundred Indians and Canadians, under Colonel Bird, attacked Riddle and Martin’s station, on the forks of Licking river, with six pieces of artillery. They took all the inhabitants captives, and killed one man and two women, loading the others with the heavy baggage, and such as failed in the journey were tomahawked.

The hostile disposition of the savages caused General Clark, the commandant at the Falls of Ohio, to march with his regiment and the armed force of the country against Peccaway, the principal town of the Shawa-nese, on a branch of the Great Miami, which he attacked with great success, took seventy scalps, and reduced the town to ashes, with the loss of seventeen men.

About this time I returned to Kentucky with my family; for during my captivity, my wife thinking me killed by the Indians, had transported my family and goods on horses through the wilderness, amidst many dangers, to her father’s house in North Carolina.

On the 6th of October, 1780, soon after my settling again at Boonesborough, I went with my brother to the Blue Licks, and on our return he was shot by a party of Indians, who followed me by the scent of a dog, which I shot and escaped. The severity of the winter caused great distress in Kentucky, the enemy during the summer having destroyed most of the corn. The inhabitants lived chiefly on buffalo’s flesh.

In the spring of 1782, the Indians harassed us. In May, they ravished, killed, and scalped a woman and her two daughters, near Ashton’s station, and took a negro prisoner. Captain Ashton pursued them with twenty-men, and in an engagement which lasted two hours, his party were obliged to retreat, having eight killed, and four mortally wounded. Their brave commander fell in the action.

August 18th, two boys were carried off from Major Hoy’s station. Captain Holden pursued the enemy with seventeen men, who were also defeated, with the loss of seven killed and two wounded. Our affairs became more and more alarming. The savages infested the country and destroyed the whites as opportunity presented. In a field near Lexington, an Indian shot a man, and running to scalp him, was himself shot from the fort, and fell dead upon the ground. All the Indian nations were now united against us.

August 10th, five hundred Indians and Canadians came against Briat’s station, five miles from Lexington. They assaulted the fort and all the cattle round it; but being repulsed, they retired the third day, having about eighty killed; their wounded uncertain. The garrison had four killed and nine wounded.

August 18th, Colonels Todd and Trigg, Major Harland and myself, speedily collected one hundred and seventy-six men, well armed, and pursued the savages. They had marched beyond the Blue Lick, to a remarkable bend of the main fork of Licking river, about forty-three miles from Lexington, where we overtook them on the 19th. The savages observing us, gave way, and we being ignorant of their numbers, passed the river. When they saw our proceedings, having greatly the advantage in situation, they formed their line of battle from one end of Licking to the other, about a mile from the Blue Licks. The engagement was close and warm for about fifteen minutes, when we being overpowered by numbers, were obliged to retreat, with the loss of seventy-seven men, seven of whom were taken prisoners. The brave and much lamented Colonels Todd and Trigg, Major Harland, and my second son were among the dead. We were afterwards informed that the Indians on numbering their dead, finding that they had four more killed than we, four of our people that they had taken were given up to their young warriors, to be put to death after their barbarous manner.

On our retreat we were met by Colonel Logan, who was hastening to join us with a number of well armed men. This powerful assistance we wanted on the day of battle. The enemy said one more fire from us would have made them give way.

I cannot reflect upon this dreadful scene, without great sorrow. A zeal for the defence of their country led these heroes to the scene of action, though with a few men, to attack a powerful army of experienced warriors. When we gave way, they pursued us with the utmost eagerness, and in every quarter spread destruction. The river was difficult to cross, and many were killed in the fight, some just entering the river, some in the water, and others after crossing, in ascending the cliffs. Some escaped on horseback, a few on foot; and being dispersed every where, in a few hours, brought the melancholy news of this unfortunate battle to Lexington. Many widows were made. The reader may guess what sorrow filled the hearts of the inhabitants, exceeding any thing that I am able to describe. Being reinforced, we returned to bury the dead, and found their bodies strewed everywhere, cut and mangled in a dreadful manner. This mournful scene exhibited a horror almost unparalleled: some torn and eaten by wild beasts; those in the river eaten by fishes; and all in such a putrid condition that no one could be distinguished from another.



When General Clark, at the Falls of the Ohio, heard of our disaster, he ordered an expedition to pursue the savages. We overtook them within two miles of their town, and we should have obtained a great victory had not some of them met us when about two hundred poles from their camp. The savages fled in the utmost disorder, and evacuated all their towns. We burned to ashes Old Chilicothe, Peccaway, New Chilicothe, and Wills Town; entirely destroyed their corn and other fruits, and spread desolation through their country. We took seven prisoners and fifteen scalps, and lost only four men, two of whom were accidentally killed by ourselves. This campaign dampened the enemy, yet they made secret incursions.

In October, a party attacked Crab Orchard, and one of them being a good way before the others, boldly entered a house in which were only woman and her children, and a negro man. The savage used no violence, but attempted to carry off the negro, who happily proved too strong for him, and threw him on the ground, and in the struggle the woman cut off his head with an axe, whilst her daughter shut the door. The savages instantly came up and applied their tomahawks to the door, when the mother putting an old rusty gun barrel through the crevices, the savages immediately went off.

From that time till the happy return of peace between the United States and Great Britain, the Indians did us no mischief. Soon after this the Indians desired peace.

Two darling sons and a brother I have lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me forty valuable horses, and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer’s sun, and pinched by the winter’s cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness.




N the month of August, 1758, five hundred men were employed, under the orders of Majors Rogers and Putnam, to watch the French and Indians, near Ticonderoga. At South Bay, they separated the party into two equal divisions, and Rogers took a position on Wood creek, twelve miles distant from Putnam.

Upon being, sometime afterwards, discovered, they formed a re-union, and concerted measures for returning to Fort Edward. Their march through the woods, was in three divisions, by files, the right commanded by Rogers, the left by Putnam, and the centre by Captain D’Ell. The first night they encamped on the banks of Clear river, about a mile from old Fort Ann, which had been formerly built by General Nicholson.

Next morning, Major Rogers and a British officer, named Irwin, incautiously suffered themselves, from a spirit of false emulation, to be engaged in firing at a mark. Nothing could have been more repugnant to the military principles of Putnam than such conduct, or reprobated by him in more pointed terms. As soon as the heavy dew which had fallen the preceding night would permit, the detachment moved in one body, Putnam being in front, D’Ell in centre, and Rogers in the rear. The impervious growth of shrubs, and underbrush, that had sprung up, where the land had been partially cleared some years before, occasioned this change in the order of march. At the moment of moving, the famous French partisan, Molang, who had been sent with five hundred men, to intercept our party, was not more than a mile and a half distant from them. Having heard the firing, he hastened to lay an ambuscade precisely in that part of the wood most favorable to his project. Major Putnam was just emerging from the thicket, into the common forest, when the enemy rose, and with discordant yells and whoops, commenced an attack upon the right of his division. Surprised, but undismayed, Putnam halted, returned the fire, and passed the word for the other divisions to advance for his support. D’Ell came. The action, though widely scattered, and principally fought between man and man, soon grew general and intensely warm. It would be as difficult as useless to describe this irregular and ferocious mode of fighting. Rogers came not up; but, as he declared afterwards, formed a circular file between our party and Wood creek, to prevent their being taken in rear or enfiladed. Successful as he commonly was, his conduct did not always pass without unfavorable imputation. Notwithstanding, it was a current saying in the camp, “that Rogers always sent, but Putnam led his men to action,”—yet, in justice, it ought to be remarked here, that the latter has never been known, in relating the story of this day’s disaster, to fix any stigma upon the conduct of the former.

Major Putnam, perceiving it would be impracticable to cross the creek, determined to maintain his ground. Inspired by his example, the officers and men behaved with great bravery: sometimes they fought collectively in open view, and sometimes individually under cover; taking aim from behind the bodies of trees, and acting in a manner independent of each other. For himself; having discharged his fuzee several times, at length it missed fire, whilst the muzzle was pressed against the breast of a large and well proportioned savage. This warrior, availing himself of the indefensible attitude of his adversary, with a tremendous war-whoop sprang forward, with his lifted hatchet, and compelled him to surrender; and having disarmed and bound him fast to a tree, returned to the battle.


The intrepid Captains D’Ell and Harman, who now commanded, were forced to give ground for a little distance; the savages, conceiving this to be the certain harbinger of victory, rushed impetuously on, with dreadful and redoubled cries. But our two partisans, collecting a handful of brave men, gave the pursuers so warm a reception as to oblige them in turn, to retreat a little beyond the spot at which the action had commenced.

Here they made a stand. This change of ground occasioned the tree, to which Putnam was tied, to be directly between the two parties. Human imagination can hardly figure to itself a more deplorable situation. The balls flew incessantly from either side, many struck the tree, while some passed through the sleeves and skirts of his coat. In this state of jeopardy, unable to move his body, to stir his limbs, or even to incline his head, he remained more than an hour. So equally balanced, and so obstinate was the fight! At one moment, while the battle swerved in in favor of the enemy, a young savage chose an odd way of discovering his humor. He found Putnam bound. He might have despatched him at a blow; but he loved better to excite the terrors of the prisoner, by hurling a tomahawk at his head, or rather it should seem his object was to see how near he could throw it without touching him—the weapon struck in the tree a number of times at a hair’s breadth distant from the mark. When the Indian had finished his amusement, a French officer, (a much more inveterate savage by nature, though descended from so humane and polished a nation,) perceiving Putnam, came up to him, and levelling a fuzee within a foot of his breast, attempted to discharge it; it missed fire—ineffectually did the intended victim solicit the treatment due to his situation, by repeating that he was a prisoner of war. The degenerate officer did not understand the language of honor or of nature; deaf to their voice, and dead to sensibility, he violently and repeatedly pushed the muzzle of his gun against Putnam’s ribs, and finally gave him a cruel blow on the jaw with the butt of his piece. After this dastardly deed he left him.

At length the active intrepidity of D’Ell and Harman, seconded by the persevering valor of their followers, prevailed. They drove from the field the enemy, who left about ninety dead behind them. As they were retiring, Putnam was untied by the Indian who had made him prisoner, and whom he afterwards called master.

Having been conducted for some distance from the place of action, he was stripped of his coat, vest, stockings, and shoes; loaded with as many packs of the wounded as could be piled upon him: strongly pinioned, and his wrists tied as closely together as they could be pulled with a cord. After he had marched through no pleasant paths, in this painful manner, for many a tedious mile, the party, who were excessively fatigued, halted to breathe. His hands were now immoderately swelled from the tightness of the ligature; and the pain had become intolerable. His feet were so much scratched that the blood dropped fast from them. Exhausted with bearing a burden above his strength, and frantic with torments exquisite beyond endurance, he entreated the Irish interpreter to implore as the last and only grace he desired of the savages, that they would knock him on the head and take his scalp at once, or loose his hands.

A French officer, instantly interposing, ordered his hands to be unbound, and some of the packs to be taken off. By this time the Indian who captured him, and had been absent with the wounded, coming up, gave him a pair of moccasins, and expressed great indignation at the unworthy treatment his prisoner had suffered.

That savage chief again returned to the care of the wounded, and, the Indians, about two hundred in number, went before the rest of the party to the place where the whole were, that night, to encamp. They took with them Major Putnam, on whom (besides innumerable other outrages) they had the barbarity to inflict a deep wound with a tomahawk, in the cheek. His sufferings were in this place to be consummated. A scene of horror, infinitely greater than had ever met his eyes before, was now preparing. It was determined to roast him alive. For this purpose they led him into a dark forest, stripped him naked, bound him to a tree, and piled dried brush with other fuel, at a small distance, in a circle round him. They accompanied their labors, as if for his funeral dirge, with screams and sounds inimitable but by savage voices. Then they set the piles on fire. A sudden shower damped the rising flame. Still they strove to kindle it, until, at last, the blaze ran fiercely round the circle. Major Putnam soon began to feel the scorching heat. His hands were so tied that he could move his body. He often shifted sides as the fire approached. This sight, at the very idea of which all but savages must shudder, afforded the highest diversion to his inhuman tormentors, who demonstrated the delirium of their joy by corresponding yells, dances, and gesticulations. He saw clearly that his final hour was inevitably come. He summoned all his resolution and composed his mind, as far as the circumstances could admit, to bid an eternal farewell to all he held most dear.

To quit the world would scarcely have cost a single pang, but for the idea of home; but for the remembrance of domestic endearments, of the affectionate partner of his soul, and of their beloved offspring. His thought was ultimately fixed on a happier state of existence, beyond the tortures he was beginning to endure. The bitterness of death, even of that death which is accompanied with the keenest agonies, was, in a manner, past—nature, with a feeble struggle, was quitting its last hold on sublunary things—when a French officer rushed through the crowd, opened the way by scattering the burning brands, and unbound the victim. It was Molang himself—to whom a savage, unwilling to see another human sacrifice immolated, had run and communicated the tidings. That commandant spurned and severely reprimanded the barbarians, whose nocturnal powwows and hellish orgies he suddenly ended. Putnam did not want for feeling and gratitude. The French commander, fearing to trust him alone with them, remained until he could deliver him in safety into the hands of his master.

The savage approached his prisoner kindly, and seemed to treat him with peculiar affection. He offered him some hard biscuit, but finding that he could not chew them, on account of the blow he had received from the Frenchman, this more humane savage soaked some of the biscuit in water and made him suck the pulp-like part. Determined, however, not to lose his captive (the refreshment being finished) he took the moccasins from his feet and tied them to one of his wrists; then directing him to lie down on his back upon the bare ground, he stretched one arm to its full length, and bound it fast to a young tree; the other arm was extended and bound in the same manner—his legs were stretched apart and fastened to two saplings. Then a number of tall, but slender poles were cut down; which, with some long bushes, were laid across his body from head to foot: on each side lay as many Indians as could conveniently find lodging, in order to prevent the possibility of his escape. In this disagreeable and painful posture he remained until morning. During this night, the longest and most dreary conceivable, our hero used to relate that he felt a ray of cheerfulness come casually across his mind, and could not even refrain from smiling, when he reflected on this ludicrous group for a painter, of which he himself was the principal figure.

The next day he was allowed his blanket and moccasins, and permitted to march without carrying any pack, or receiving any insult. To allay his extreme hunger, a little bear’s meat was given him, which he sucked through his teeth. At night, the party arrived at Ticonderoga, and the prisoner was placed under a French guard. The savages, who had been prevented from glutting their diabolical thirst for blood, took other opportunities of manifesting their malevolence for the disappointment, by horrid grimaces and angry gestures; but they were suffered no more to offer violence or personal indignity to him.

After having been examined by the Marquis de Montcalm, Major Putnam was conducted to Montreal, by a French officer, who treated him with the greatest indulgence and humanity.

At this place were several prisoners. Colonel Peter Schuyler, remarkable for his philanthropy, generosity, and friendship, was of the number. No sooner had he heard of Major Putnam’s arrival, than he went to the interpreter’s quarters, and inquired whether he had a provincial major in his custody. He found Major Putnam in a comfortless condition—without hat, waistcoat, or hose—the remnant of his clothing miserably dirty, and ragged—his beard long and squalid—his legs torn by thorns and briers—his face gashed with wounds, and swollen with bruises. Colonel Schuyler, irritated beyond all sufferance at such a sight, could scarcely restrain his speech within limits consistent with the prudence of a prisoner, and the meekness of a Christian. Major Putnam was immediately treated according to his rank, clothed in a decent manner, and supplied with money by that liberal and sympathetic patron of the distressed.

The capture of Frontenac, by General Brad-street, afforded occasion for an exchange of prisoners: Colonel Schuyler was comprehended in the cartel. A generous spirit can never be satisfied with imposing tasks for its generosity to accomplish. Apprehensive if it should be known that Putnam was a distinguished partisan, his liberation might be retarded, and knowing that there were officers, who, from the length of their captivity, had a claim of priority to exchange; he had, by his happy address, induced the governor to offer, that whatever officer he might think proper to nominate, should be included in the present cartel. With great politeness in manner, but seeming indifference as to object, he expressed his warmest acknowledgments to the governor, and said: “There is an old man here, who is a provincial major, and he wishes to be at home with his wife and children. He can do no good here, or any where else: I believe your excellency had better keep some of the young men, who have no wife or children to care for, and let the old fellow go home with me.” This justifiable finesse had the desired effect.





IT belonged to a member of the once dominant sect of Catholics to glorify his creed and clime, and to set an example to the world, in the establishment of complete religious liberty. To George Calvert, the originator of the scheme for colonizing Maryland, this honor belonged; but, alas! he was not permitted to execute the plans his noble heart conceived, for death snatched him from his labors, ere the boon he contemplated for the world was ready to be given.

But Cecil Calvert was a worthy son of so great a father. He at once entered into all the plans of his deceased parent, and with a veneration that does him credit, resolved that they should be carried out to the fullest extent; and the slightest wish the old lord had expressed in regard to the new colony should be religiously complied with. Bigots sneered at him, enemies maligned, but, conscious of the rectitude of his purpose, he steadily pursued his plans.

Under the guidance of Leonard Calvert, (a brother of the proprietor), some two hundred English gentlemen, and their servants, mostly of the catholic persuasion, sailed for the province, in November, 1633, and after the usual vicissitudes and adventures of a sea voyage at that period, arrived in the Potomac in the spring of 1634. A small party was despatched into the interior to explore the country previous to effecting a permanent settlement; the woods were then all joyous and teeming with grandeur, and loveliness of spring tinting the fair face of nature with that peculiar and fascinating beauty which is better felt than described.

To the sea-worn colonists, the country opened before them as a broad fair haven, where they might worship God free as the air and feel themselves men. The scouts soon returned, and, according to their direction, the party moved up to a spot they had selected on the banks of a clear and silvery stream flowing into the broad river they had first entered. Here, with the usual ceremonies, Calvert took possession, naming the surrounding country “Marie-land,” in honor of “our glorious ladye, the queene;” and in gratitude for their success thus far, they named the river St. Mary.

But the good Cecil, in the wise provision for the wants of his people had not forgotten the rightful lords of the soil, the Indian aborigines. “Entreat them kindly always, I conjure you, endeavor assiduously to cultivate their friendship, and above all take no land from them but what ye might pay therefor,” Such were the mild and benevolent instructions of the proprietor, and faithfully were they carried into execution by his brother, the governor.

Anxious, therefore, to secure his settlement on a firm basis, and to obtain an acknowledged title to the soil, Calvert submitted to a neighboring chief, his propositions to purchase land of him, but received an answer of sullen indifference, “I will neither bid you go nor ask you to stay.” Such was the address and courtesy of the governor, however, and the just and pacific policy of his people, that not only was the stoic warrior won over to their interests, but he also exerted his influence with the neighboring tribes, on behalf of the new comers.

Through his aid a council of the neighboring Indians was soon convened. The governor appeared in pomp, and addressed them, calling them brothers, and asking for a piece of ground, that he and his people might plant corn, and the red man and the pale face would live together in peace and unity. He described to them, in their own exaggerated rhetoric, the power of the King of England, and his master, the Lord of Baltimore, and told them the kind messages he had sent to his forest children.

The Indians replied in the language of kindness and conciliation. “The white man should have land—room enough for both people—plenty room—White chief very good to send word to the Indians.” The governor and chief then embraced each other, and the pipe of peace was passed round the circle, each one gravely taking a few whiffs. A treaty was then made, giving to the settlers a considerable tract of land, within which was the Indian town of Taocomoco.

To this town they gave the name of St. Mary’s, in honor of the Virgin, and the first building erected was a chapel dedicated to her worship. The Indians looked upon the colonists with surprise, they mingled freely with them, and had many curious and amusing questions to ask concerning every thing they saw, and which was all new to them.

One morning a party of them wandered into the church, and gazed with bewildered air upon the pictures and crucifixes with which it was decorated. Shortly after this, one of their number being on a visit to the governor, he presented him with a rosary, having a small crucifix attached; the happy fellow received it with a yell of delight, and ran off to his comrades, whirling up his prize, and they immediately commenced kneeling and crossing themselves in the same manner they had observed the worshippers do in the chapel.

It is something refreshing and ennobling, amid the dark and sickening catalogue of bigotry, slaughter, and desolating wars which disgraced the history of too many of our states, to look back on one green spot, where fellow men were not spurned and despised on account of their creed, and where the poor Indian was treated with kindness.

Many of the tribes in the vicinity, attracted by curiosity, and the good name given to these new people, came to the settlement, and their chiefs were entertained with a sumptuous feast on board a ship, which lay anchored in the river, the King of Patuxent being seated at the table between the Governor of Maryland, and the Governor of Virginia, who was also present on a friendly mission.

When the storehouse was finished, and it became necessary to unload the ships, the governor, in order to gratify his Indian friends, and make a proper impression on all who were inclined to be enemies, directed it to be done with all due solemnity. The colors were displayed, and the colonists clad in military costume, paraded under arms, to the strains of martial music, the sound of which so delighted the Indians, that they clapped their hands in glee, and struck off in one of their national festive dances.

Volleys of musketry were fired on shore, and answered by discharges of cannon on board the ship, which terrified the Indians so highly, that they fled some distance into the woods; but finding no harm done, they returned greatly impressed with the power of the people who could bring “the big thunder” to their aid. Some of the sachems from a distance, being present at this exhibition, took occasion to warn the Indians of Yaocomoco, (or St. Mary’s, as it was now called,) to keep the league they had made with the English.

The old King of Patuxent in particular showed undecided partiality for the “good men,” as he called them. He remained in town several days, during which he was treated with becoming attention, and when about to leave, made use of this remarkable expression, to the governor: “I love the English so well, that if they should go about to kill me, I would command the people not to avenge my death; for I know they would do no such a thing, except it were through my own fault.”


At length the ship sailed, leaving the colonists alone with their red brethren. Before he left, however, the captain called the Indians together, and told them he was going, and they must be kind to the people he left behind, and he would tell his great lord how good they were.

The Indians seemed much affected when he told them he was going, and pressed around to take a farewell. They accompanied him to the boat, and brought some of their forest furs, and bows, and ornamented pipes, which they begged him to give “to great white chief, and tell him how much his Indian children love him—thank him very much, for the good people he send to live among Indians,—we love him much, and we love his people. We be all English.”

No community could now be happier than the little colony on the St. Mary’s. It seemed as if the golden age was realized, when all men should dwell together in peace and unity. The English and the Indians lived together in St. Mary’s, each occupying half the town according to a stipulation between them, and the utmost harmony prevailed.


Once a party of them visiting the governor’s, they were shown a portrait of the proprietor, Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, which they regarded in silence for some time, and then exclaimed, “great father, good father—He love us much—we love him,” and eagerly inquired if he would ever come over and see them.

Frequently they would enter the chapel when the congregation was at worship, and would look with respectful attention on the ceremonies. The worthy pastor of the colonists, early took a great interest in the welfare of the Indians. He delighted to see them in the chapel, and would tell them to come often. A class of native children was soon formed to learn the catechism, and some few of the adults were won over to the catholic faith, and were received into the church by baptism, with becoming ceremony. The good priest was very kind to his Indian charge; he would enter their wigwams and talk to them, and give them little pictures of the saints, and small rosaries, which they stuck up in conspicuous places and highly esteemed.

In this way he won their gratitude and affection, until he came to be regarded by them with dutiful awe and reverence, and received the title of father, the same which the whites gave him. They would say, “big chief great man—Father also great, he be good—talk kind to Indian—Indian sick—he give him good medicine make him well. Father great medicine-man, him big doctor beat Indian medicine-man.”

The natives testified their friendly disposition, by going every day into the woods with their new neighbors, pointing out the best resorts of game, joining in the chase with them, and when the whites were too busy to hunt, they would go alone, and bring home venison and wild turkies in abundance, which they would lay at the feet of the settlers, and go away well satisfied with the cheap requital of knives, beads, and toys.


Observing that the whites, one day in the week, use fish instead of meat, and were desirous of obtaining a sufficient supply of it, they would go and fish for them, and bring every Friday morning an abundance for the whole settlement.

They likewise showed them the best places in the river for fishing stations, and instructed them in their own methods of catching the various kinds of fish that inhabited the shallow waters.

From these resources, the colonists were so abundantly supplied, and the provisions they had brought with them so extended, that every one enjoyed plenty through the entire winter, and the times of starving and desolation so common in the history of other colonies were unknown in the homes of the peaceful Marylanders.

Altogether, the settlers and the aborigines were so thoroughly mixed in friendship and intercourse, that they seemed as one people in thought and feeling, differing only in the distinctions which nature herself had imposed. The Indians were allowed freely to enter the dwellings of the whites, at any time they chose, the doors never being fastened against them. They would frequently come and eat with them, and sleep under their roofs, and many of the whites would pay similar visits to the lodges at the other end of the town.

Their women also instructed the wives of the colonists in making bread of maize, which soon became a staple article of diet, and the cultivation of corn was extensively entered into. As a certain mark of entire confidence of the Indians, their women and children became in a great measure domesticated in the the English families, and were treated in every respect on a perfect equality with the whites.

During the cold weather, when the men were in a great measure unemployed, the natives instructed them in the various ways of pursuing game, the snares laid for them, and the best method of approaching the unsuspecting prey. One very singular mode of gaining on the deer, in which they initiated the whites, until they became by practice almost as expert as themselves, deserves particular mention: An Indian hunter and a party of whites, go into the woods together, and presently discover a deer in the distance, feeding, and warily watching for danger, the whites, as directed, would hide themselves behind a rock, and the Indian, putting on the skin of a deer, to which the head and horns were left attached, would creep along, in a circuitous direction, towards the deer, mimicking to perfection the gait and appearance of that animal. Cautiously advancing, pretending all the time to be feeding, he would approach the animal, until he had excited its attention, when it would raise its head and look curiously at him, when he was within a few feet of it, he would partially, disengage himself from his covering, and drawing out his bow and arrow, with which he was previously provided, would take deliberate and fatal aim, and speedily bring the noble beast to the ground.


In the following spring, the natives from a distance assembled to carry on a trade with the strangers, which was conducted to the mutual advantage of both parties. The articles exchanged were deer skins, and the furs of smaller animals, on the one side, and strips of cloth, tools, and various trinkets on the other, and by these means a considerable quantity of peltries was collected.

Shortly after this, to the joy of all parties, a ship arrived with stores and reinforcements from England, and having on board a no less distinguished personage than the noble Lord of Baltimore. He was welcomed with an enthusiastic delight, and the highest honors their little state could bestow.

Nor were the Indians less pleased to hear of his arrival. The representations of the governor, and the amiable conduct of his people, had so favorably impressed them that they were willing to reverence him before they had seen him.

The next day a large party desired an interview with his lordship, and he was pleased to gratify them. They had brought with them many tokens of good feeling and respect, which they deposited before him. Some brought a whole deer, others a package of dried fish, wampum belts, tobacco, and such other things as valuing themselves they thought would be pleasing to him. They presented their offerings with such genuine expressions of gratitude and devoted attachment that the good Calvert was highly moved at his reception by these rude foresters.

One of the chiefs then made a speech to him, in which he expressed on behalf of himself and companions, the great joy they felt on being permitted to behold their great father, they thanked him for the good message he had sent them from the first, declared their willingness to serve him in any manner they were able.

Calvert replied in an appropriate style, of which they expressed their approbation by the wild gesticulations of their own race; he then invited them to a grand entertainment, prepared for them in the garden, at which he presided, with the chiefs on his right hand, and completely won their hearts by his dignified bearing, his sweetness of manners, and the interest he appeared to take in his guests. After the feast was over, they performed for his diversion a number of their national dances. A circle was formed, and the assurances of friendship renewed, the pipe of peace was then produced, and passed around from mouth to mouth, Baltimore, to their delight, indulging in a few whiffs; they then separated and returned to their places.

Nothing could exceed the kindly interest this good nobleman displayed in the welfare of the Indians. Almost as soon as he landed he made himself active in their cause, the first business he engaged in being an inquiry into the treatment of the Indians.

He professed himself highly gratified, by the faithful manner in which his instructions had been carried out by the colonists, and commended them therefor. He immediately renewed and extended, all the rights and privileges originally retained by them, and decreed that all offences committed against them should be punished exactly as aggressions against the whites. He visited them in their wigwams, distributing a large quantity of valuable presents he had brought with him for the purpose.

He endeavored to make himself acquainted with their internal arrangements, and to observe their manners and customs, he went with them into the woods, to witness their mode of hunting and fishing, which they were proud to display before him, and in token of the esteem his conduct had won from them, they bestowed upon him the endearing title of “our own chief.” With the assistance of the good padre, the proprietor perfected many plans for ameliorating the condition of his Indian subjects, for their moral and intellectual culture, a school was at once opened, and thither resorted a number of children of the surrounding tribes.

One day a great chieftain from beyond the mountains, in the most western part of the colony, repaired to St. Mary’s, to make his obeisance to the proprietor, the fame of whose merits and condescension had reached his ears. He heard with wonderment, the many strange stories told him by his friends, who lived among the whites, and approached the palace of the governor with superstitious awe.

By command of Baltimore he was received with as much show and parade as they could assume, and it seemed to have had its intended effect upon him; everything in the place attracted his attention, and called forth expressions of delight. Seeing the fondness he evinced for bright things, the governor presented him with a shining pewter dish, which he suspended around his neck and seemed to regard it as a peculiar mark of honor and distinction.

More settlers continued to arrive, and under the fostering care of Lord Baltimore, aided by the friendship of the Indians, the new colony in a short time became exceedingly flourishing and prosperous.

Not very long after the arrival of Baltimore, the good priest, whom the Indians loved, contracted a fatal disease, while visiting them, and in a short time died, deeply lamented by both his white and red friends. To testify their respect for him, they, attended his funeral in a body, and looked on with a tearful eye, while the remains of their friend were lowered in the grave. When the funeral service was over, one of them stepped forth, and in an appropriate speech, signified to the governor their sincere sorrow and condolence in the loss which both parties had sustained.

They then retired to their lodges, where a solemn fast and lamentation for the dead was held, the squaws beating their breasts and tearing their hair in a frantic manner, while the men sat around in solemn and dignified silence.

Thus happily were the seeds of the future commonwealth of Maryland planted; thus kindly and considerately were the natives treated, and nobly did they repay it, in the peace, good-feeling, and fellowship they long entertained for the settlers.





HE famous Red Jacket was a chief of the Senecas. His Indian name, Sagouatha, or, one who keeps awake, was affixed to many of the important treaties concluded between the Senecas and the white people, and he became renowned among both races for his wisdom and eloquence. Without the advantages of illustrious descent, and with no extraordinary military talents, Red Jacket rose to a high position in the esteem of the red men. In the year 1805, a council was held at Buffalo, New York, at which many of the Seneca chiefs and warriors were present. At this council, Red Jacket made a speech, in answer to a missionary from Massachusetts, which in force and eloquence was worthy of the great orators of antiquity. The following is the most remarkable portion of this great effort:

Friend and Brother: It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things, and he has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness upon us; our eyes are opened, that we see clearly; our ears are unstopped, that we have been able to hear distinctly the words that you have spoken; for all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and him only.

“Brother, this council-fire was kindled by you; it was at your request that we came together at this time; we have listened with attention to what you have said; you request us to speak our minds freely; this gives us great joy, for we now consider that we stand upright before you, and can speak what we think; all have heard your voice, and all speak to you as one man; our minds are agreed.

“Brother, you say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from home, and we do not wish to detain you; but we will first look back a little, and tell you what our fathers have told us, and what we have heard from the white people.

“Brother, listen to what I say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He made the bear, and the beaver, and their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the country, and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this he had done for his red children because he loved them. If we had any disputes about hunting-grounds, they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood: but an evil day came upon us: your forefathers crossed the great waters, and landed on this island. Their numbers were small; they found friends, and not enemies; they told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men, and come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat; we took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down amongst us; we gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return. The white people had now found our country, tidings were carried back, and more came amongst us; yet we did not fear them, we took them to be friends; they called us brothers; we believed them, and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased; they wanted more land; they wanted our country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds became uneasy. Wars took place; Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquors among us: it was strong and powerful, and has slain thousands.”

The effect of this speech was such that the missionaries who had called the council, were forced to give up all attempts at making converts among the Senecas. Red Jacket took part with the Americans in the war of 1812, and on all occasions displayed a cool and deliberate bravery, which contrasted well with the rashness of Tecumseh and other great chiefs. He became attached to some of the American officers, and after the war regretted much to part with them.

Like Tecumseh, Red Jacket made a skilful use of superstition to obtain an influence over his tribe. Having, in some way, lost the confidence of his red brethren, he prevailed upon his brother to announce himself a prophet, commissioned by the Great Spirit to restore his countrymen to their lost land and power. By skilful reasoning, Red Jacket persuaded the superstitious Indians to believe in his brother’s infallibility. Good resulted from this deception. The Onondagas were at that period the most drunken and profligate of the Iroquois. They were now persuaded to abstain from ardent spirits, became sober and industrious, and observed and obeyed the laws of morality. But the imposture was at length exposed by the extremes into which it led many of the red men. Many were denounced as possessed by evil spirits, and would have been burned by the superstitious, if the whites had not interfered.


In a council of Indians held at Buffalo creek, Red Jacket was denounced as the author of these troubles, and brought to trial; but his eloquence saved his life and greatly increased his fame. In a speech of three hours’ length, he completely overthrew the accusations of his enemies, and was triumphantly acquitted. This was one of the most remarkable displays of eloquence to be found in history.

Many anecdotes are related of Red Jacket, which illustrated his qualities of head and heart. When at Washington he visited the rotunda of the capitol, and was shown, the panel which represented the first landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth, with an Indian chief presenting them with an ear of corn, in token of welcome. Red Jacket said, “That was good; he knew they came from the Great Spirit, and was willing to share the soil with his brothers.” But when he turned to view another panel, representing Penn’s Treaty, he said, “Ah’! all’s gone now!” These few words expressed a deal of truth and a feeling of regret.

When Lafayette was at Buffalo, in 1825, among those who called upon him was Red Jacket, who resided near that town, and by years and intemperance had been much worn down. He remembered Lafayette, having seen him at an Indian council held at Fort Schuyler, 1784. He asked the general if he recollected that meeting. The general replied that he had not forgotten it, and asked Red Jacket if he knew what had become of the young chief, who, in that council, opposed with such eloquence the burying of the tomahawk. Red Jacket replied, “He stands before you!” The general observed that time had much changed them since that meeting. “Ah,” said Red Jacket, “time has not been so severe upon you as it has upon me. It has left you a fresh countenance, and hair to cover your head; while to me—behold!” And taking a handkerchief from his head, he showed that it was entirely bald.

Red Jacket always opposed the introduction of missionaries among his people, and with a force of reasoning, the white agents could not resist. He believed that the whites should first practice the virtues they preached to the red men; and he had seen too much evil follow in the white man’s steps to wish his men to tread the same path.

Not long before his death, Red Jacket was visited by Mr. Catlin, the celebrated author of a most complete work upon the Indians of North America. He then resided near Buffalo, and was the head chief of all the remaining Iroquois.


Mr. Catlin painted his portrait, and represented him as he wished, standing on the Table Rock, at the Falls of Niagara; about which place he thought his spirit would linger after his death. Red Jacket died in 1836. A handsome and appropriate monument was erected over his grave, by Mr. Henry Placide, the comedian; and more lasting monuments, in historical form, have been written by distinguished authors. As an orator, this gifted chief was equal to any of modern times. His speeches display the greatest sagacity and sublimity of ideas, with the greatest force and condensation of expression. His gestures while speaking are said to have been singularly significant; and the features of his face, particularly his piercing eyes, full of expression. He was in truth, a “forest-born Demosthenes.”




EATHERFORD was the principal chief of the

Creeks during the war in which the power of that nation was broken and destroyed by General Jackson. In his character was found that union of great virtues and vices which has made up the character of many celebrated men among civilized nations. With avarice, treachery, lust, gluttony, and a thirst for blood, nature gave Weatherford, genius, eloquence, and courage. Seldom has an Indian appeared, more capable of planning and executing great designs. His judgment and eloquence secured him the respect of the old; his vices made him the idol of the young and unprincipled. In his person, he was tall, straight, and well proportioned; his eyes black, lively, and piercing; his nose aquiline and thin; while all the features of his face, harmoniously arranged, spoke an active and disciplined mind.

It was Weatherford’s talents and determined spirit which prolonged the war against the whites, which began in August, 1813. When the power of the Creeks had been broken, and great numbers of them had fallen, many of their chiefs and warriors came to General Jackson, and surrendered themselves prisoners. Weatherford, with a few followers, boldly maintained his hostile attitude. General Jackson, to test the fidelity of those chiefs who submitted, ordered them to deliver, without delay, Weatherford, bound, into his hands, that he might be dealt with as he deserved. The warriors made known to Weatherford what was required of them. His noble spirit would not submit to such degradation; and he resolved to yield himself without compulsion.


Accordingly, Weatherford proceeded to the American camp, unknown, and under some pretence, was admitted to the presence of the commanding general. He then boldly said: “I am Weatherford, the chief who commanded at Fort Mimms. I desire peace for my people, and have come to ask it.” Jackson was surprised that he should venture to appear in his presence, and told him, for his inhuman conduct at Fort Mimms, he well deserved to die; that he had ordered him to be brought to the camp, bound, and had he been so bound, he would have been treated as he deserved. To this Weatherford replied:

“I am in your power—do with me as you please. I am a soldier. I have done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought them and fought them bravely. If I had an army, I would yet fight; I would contend to the last. But I have none. My people are all gone. I can only weep over the misfortunes of my nation.”

General Jackson was pleased with his boldness, and told him that, though he was in his power, yet he would take no advantage; that he might yet join the war party, and contend against the Americans, if he chose, but to depend upon no quarter if taken afterward; and that unconditional submission was his and his people’s only safety. Weatherford rejoined in a tone as dignified as it was indignant,—“You can safely address me in such terms now. There was a time when I could have answered you—there was a time when I had a choice—I have none now. I have not even a hope. I could once animate my warriors to battle—but I cannot animate the dead. My warriors can no longer hear my voice. Their bones are at Tallahega, Tallushatchee, Emuckfaw, and Tohopeka. I have not surrendered myself without thought. While there was a single chance of success, I never left my post, nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone, and I now ask it for my nation, not for myself. I look back with deep sorrow, and wish to avert still greater calamities. If I had been left to contend with the Georgia army, I would have raised my corn on one bank of the river, and fought them on the other. But your people have destroyed my nation. You are a brave man. I rely upon your generosity. You will exact no terms of a conquered people, but such as they should accede to. Whatever they may be, it would now be madness and folly to oppose them. If they are opposed, you shall find me amongst the sternest enforcers of obedience. Those who would still hold out, can be influenced only by a mean spirit of revenge. To this they must not, and shall not sacrifice the last remnant of their country. You have told our nation where we might go and be safe. This is good talk, and they ought to listen to it. They shall listen to it.”


The treaty concluded between the Creeks and the whites was faithfully observed by the former, and Weatherford’s conduct proved, that he could be a warm friend if conciliated, as well as a formidable and determined foe in war. Passionately fond of wealth, he appropriated to himself a fine tract of land, improved and settled it. To this he retired occasionally, and relaxed from the cares of his government, indulging in pleasures, censurable and often disgusting. The character of this chief reminds us of some of the old Roman heroes and politicians. The same genius, activity, ambition, and love of vicious pleasures belonged to those Cæsars and Antonys who have received more historical encomiums than is rightfully their due.






O event is oftener mentioned in New England story than the memorable fight between the English and Indians, at Saco Pond. The cruel and barbarous murders almost daily committed upon the inhabitants of the frontier settlements, caused the general court of Massachusetts to offer a bounty of £100 for every Indian’s scalp. This reward induced Captain John Lovewell to raise a volunteer company, and make excursions into the Indian country for scalps. He was very successful and returned to Boston with scalps for which he received £1000.

The Indians, however continued their depredations, and the Pequawkets, under the terrible chief, Paugus, especially distinguished themselves for their frequent predatory incursions. About the middle of April, 1725, Captain Lovewell, with forty-six men, marched on an expedition against Paugus. The party arrived near the place where they expected to find the Indians, on the 7th of May; and and early the next morning, while at prayers, heard a gun, supposed to be fired by one of the Indians, and immediately prepared for the encounter. Divesting themselves of their packs, they marched forward, but in an opposite direction from where the Indians were posted.

This mistake gave Paugus an advantage. He followed the track of the English, fell in with their packs, and learned their numbers. Encouraged by superiority, he having eighty men with him, he pursued the English, and courted a contest. Lovewell, after marching a considerable distance, during which time he took one scalp, and was mortally wounded by the last fire of the Indian who had been scalped, ordered his men to return for their packs. The wary Paugus expected this, and lay in ambush to cut them off. When the English were completely encircled, the Indians rose from the coverts, and advanced towards them with arms presented. They expected the English to surrender to their superior force, and accordingly threw away their first fire. But Lovewell, though wounded, led on his men to the attack. The Indians were driven back several rods, and many killed and wounded. But they soon returned and attacked their white foes vigorously; killed Lovewell and eight men, and wounded three others. The English then retreated to the shore of Saco Pond, so as to prevent their being surrounded. The banks afforded a kind of breastwork, behind which they maintained the contest until night, when the Indians drew off and they saw no more of them. Only nine of the English escaped unhurt, though several that were wounded lived to return to Dunstable.

Paugus was killed in the course of the fight by one John Chamberlain, a noted hunter. It is said that they both came to the shore of the pond to quench their thirst, when the encounter took place, in which Paugus was shot through the heart.

A son of the chief, after peace was restored, came to Dunstable, to revenge his father’s death, by killing Chamberlain; but not going directly to him his design was suspected by some one, and communicated to the intended victim, who kept himself upon his guard, and had a hole cut through the door of his house. Through this hole, Chamberlain one morning discovered an Indian, behind a pile of wood, with his gun pointed toward the door. Making use of his advantage, he fired upon and killed the son of Paugus.

In the ballad, in which the events of Love-well’s fight are commemorated, we find some singular details of the escape of the wounded white men. Solomon Keyes, having received three wounds, said he would hide himself and die secretly, so that the Indians could not get his scalp? As he crawled upon the shore of the pond, a short distance from the battle-ground, he found a canoe, into which he rolled himself, and was drifted away by the wind. To his astonishment, he was cast ashore near Fort Ossippee, to which he crawled, and there found several of his companions, with whom he returned home. The most of those who escaped did not leave the battle-ground till near midnight. When they arrived at the fort, they expected to find refreshment, and the few men they had left in reserve. But a deserter had so frightened the men left in the fort, that they fled in dismay towards Dunstable.

Fifty New Hampshire volunteers afterwards marched to the scene of action, and buried the dead. They found but three Indians, one of whom was Paugus. The remainder were supposed to have been taken away when they retreated. The pond, on the banks of which the battle was fought, has ever since received the name of Lovewell’s Pond. Some rural Homer, the author of the ballad to which we have alluded, thus pathetically concludes his narrative:

Ah, many a wife shall rend her hair,

And many a child cry, “Woe is me,”

When messengers the news shall hear,

Of Lovewell’s dear-bought victory.

With footsteps slow shall travellers go,

Where Love well’s pond shines clear and bright

And mark the place where those are laid,

Who fell in Love well’s bloody fight.

Old men shall shake their heads, and say,

Sad was the hour and terrible,

When Lovewell, brave, ‘gainst Paugus went,

With fifty men from Dunstable.





INGINA was the first chief known to the English settlers of Virginia. The voyagers, Amidas and Barlow, sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, in the summer of 1584, landed upon the island of Wokoken, adjacent to Virginia. They saw several of the natives, and made them presents. Wingina was at this time confined in his cabin, from wounds received in battle, and did not see the English. He had not much faith in their good intentions, and would not trust them far.

Soon after the return of Amidas and Barlow to England, Sir Richard Grenville intruded upon the territories of Wingina. It was he who committed the first outrage upon the natives, which excited their constant and deadly hostility. He made one short excursion into the country, during which, to revenge the loss of a silver cup, which had been stolen by an Indian, he burned a town. Grenville left one hundred and eight men to found a settlement on the island of Roanoke, and appointed Ralph Lane, governor. The English made several excursions into the country, in hopes of discovering mines of precious metal, of which the Indians, to delude them, spoke, and encouraged them to seek.

Wingina bore the insults and provocations of the intruders, until the death of the old chief, Ensenore, his father. Under pretence of honoring his funeral, he assembled eighteen hundred of his warriors, with the intent, as the English say, of destroying them. The English were informed of the deadly design, by Skiko, the son of the chief Menatonon; and Governor Lane resolved to anticipate it. Upon a given signal, his men attacked the natives on the island where Wingina lived, having secured the canoes to prevent their escape. But five or six of the Indians were killed, and the rest escaped to the woods, where Lane knew it would be dangerous to follow them.

This attack was the signal for the commencement of hostilities. The English were few in number, but their skill and bravery in war was well known to the red men, and they dreaded them, as if they had been superior in number. Lane aimed at securing the person of Wingina, and thus striking terror into his people; and accordingly watched every opportunity to gain information of his whereabouts. At length he ascertained that the chief had not been able to escape from the island, and that with a number of his chiefs and warriors, he was lurking in the forests of the island which was his capital. The English captain taking with him about one half of his men, placed them in ambush near the spot which Wingina frequented daily. It was the burial place of his father, and the chief, with a few companions, came there to give himself to weeping and mournful reflection.

The English had little consideration for the place or the purpose of the chief’s visit. When they saw he was fairly within their power, they rushed from their concealment, and before the chief and his warriors could recover from their surprise and attempt to escape, shot them down. Lane then returned to the remainder of his men. The bodies of Wingina and his braves were found by his people, attracted to the spot by the report of the fire-arms; and for a time, it seemed as if the desire of revenge would induce them to follow the English and attack them. But the wiser portion of them, knowing the advantage which the English possessed in the use of fire-arms, restrained them. But Lane was not suffered to remain quiet in the enjoyment of his triumph. Conspiracies were detected in various quarters, and finally, the Indians compelled the whole English party to return to Europe. We cannot wonder at the rooted enmity to the whites which the Indians afterwards displayed. Not content with invading and taking possession of the country, the early visitors from England burned the towns and murdered the natives upon the slightest provocation. Early impressions are most lasting, and what could the English expect after giving the red men such an idea of their character?





HE Indian ever regards the constant pursuit of revenge for an injury an evidence of a high character. Instances are many, in which years have intervened between a revengeful resolve, and the favorable opportunity, yet no sign of relenting would be found in the injured one. Such a disposition is natural to those who are taught to look on war as the chief business of life, and mercy to foes as despicable weakness. The following narrative will illustrate this feature of the Indian character.

About the period of the first settlement of the disciples of George Fox, on the banks of the Delaware, a party of young men, of respectable families, filled with the hopes excited by the glowing accounts of the new country, and having a love of adventure which could not be gratified in their thickly settled and strictly governed native land, resolved to come to America; and putting their resolve in execution they arrived on the banks of the Delaware. The reasons for their preferring to visit Penn’s settlement were very pardonable. Although they loved adventure, they preferred to seek it where the red men were least disposed to use the hatchet and scalping knife, and where there was the clearest prospect of making a good settlement if they felt so disposed.

The party consisted of six young gentlemen of the average age of twenty-two years. Their names were Harold Dean, George Sanford, William Murdstone, James Ballybarn, Richard Gwynne, and Morton Williams. The first was a daring, quick, and restless spirit, and by general consent the leader of the party. He was a winning companion, but selfish, and seemed to have cut loose from all moral principle. The character of the others contained no extraordinary features. They were all possessed of good intentions, and a considerable degree of intelligence; but being destitute of that activity and force of will which belonged to the character of Harold Dean.

The young men arrived in Penn’s settlement, as we have said, and being well provided with all the necessaries of a hunter’s life, resolved to build some cabins on the the banks of the beautiful Schuylkill. But first, Harold Dean succeeded in making the acquaintance of the neighboring Indians. These red men belonged to the great tribe, which the English named the Delawares. They, however, called themselves the Leni Lenape. They were generally well disposed towards the whites, on account of the honorable and peaceful conduct of the founder of the settlement, and received the young Englishmen with every testimonial of friendship and respect. The chiefs assured the young men that they might build their cabins and hunt without the fear of being disturbed by the red men.

Accordingly, Dean selected a high bank, rocky and castellated at the water’s side, and bare of trees for a considerable distance inland, for the site of two cabins. The labor of building log cabins was novel to the young men. Yet, though difficult, its novelty and romantic character made it pleasing. James Ballybarn was a regularly taught carpenter and joiner, and his knowledge was brought into use. Dean planned the cabins in the simplest but most comfortable manner, and all hands worked hard at cutting down trees and hewing them into the proper size and form. While the cabins were preparing, the young pioneers slept in a rude hut constructed of their chests and tools, and covered with the boughs of small trees.

The cabins were finished, much to the gratification of the workmen. They stood within about five yards of each other and presented quite a fine appearance, amid the solitude of the wilderness. Each one was occupied by three young men. By the aid of a friendly Delaware, two canoes were also constructed in the usual Indian style by hollowing out the trunks of large trees. And now the real hardships of the hunter’s life were to be endured; and though our young pioneers succeeded very well for beginners supplying themselves with food, and skins for sale, yet the labor was more difficult than they had expected. One or two began to compare their situation with what it had been in England, and the result of the comparison, was by no means favorable to their remaining in the wilderness. But Harold Dean had fallen in love with the hunter’s life. It offered plenty of exciting occupation to his quick and daring spirit; and he forgot friends and relations at home. His influence over his companions was undisputed. He had a love of being first in every thing, and never spared labor to make himself such. His companions submitted to his lead, and after a little argument, were persuaded that there was no life like a hunter’s.

The party had become very intimate with the Indians, and Harold Dean especially was a general favorite among them. He had cultivated the friendship of a young Indian hunter, named Pakanke. Pakanke was brave, adventurous, and skilled in all the mysteries of woodcraft. He instructed Harold Dean in that art, which was to him so necessary, and joined the young Englishmen in many a hunting excursion.

But other attractions induced Harold to seek the company of Pakanke, and frequently to spend a day at his wigwam. The Indian hunter had a sister, who was one of the most beautiful young women of her tribe, and decidedly the most intelligent. Her father had been killed in battle, and her brother was necessarily her guardian. Many of the young Delawares, foremost in war and the chase, coveted the beautiful Narramattah, but she had refused to share the wigwam of the bravest. Harold Dean met her at the cabin of her brother, and was charmed with her appearance and manners. His fine person and winning attentions also captivated the guileless maid. Pakanke regarded the growing attachment of his English friend and sister with undisguised pleasure, and did all in his power to increase it.

Harold’s friends were now frequently deprived of his company, yet as he told them of the beauties of the sister of Pakanke, they guessed the reason and readily excused him. But was it a fact that Harold loved Narra-mattah? That she loved him there could not be a doubt; she was never happier than when in his presence, and she told him that he had became her Manito, or idol. Harold admired her—that he confessed to himself. But he laughed to scorn the assertions of his friends that he really loved an Indian girl.

At length the precise state of his feelings was divulged. Richard Gwynne rallied him one evening, after the return from the day’s hunting, upon being captivated by a dusky forest beauty.

“Pshaw!” replied Harold, with a contemptuous expression of features, “Gwynne, have you no idea of whiling away the time with women, apart from falling in love with them? You are completely fresh. I love an ignorant savage! I have known too many of the intelligent and enchanting girls of merry old England, to be so foolish. I’ll beguile the time with this Narramattah, but could not for a moment think of loving her, or of going through the Indian sanction of a marriage ceremony.”

So saying, Harold turned away from Gwynne, and entered the cabin. But what he had said had struck one ear and touched one heart for which it was not intended. Pa-kanke had parted from Harold a moment before Gwynne had spoken to him, and hearing his sister’s name mentioned, had checked his pace to hear what was said of her. Eavesdropping is a vice practised by the untutored children of the forest as well as by civilized men, and it is sometimes pardonable. Pa-kanke understood sufficient English to comprehend that Harold Dean was confessing that he was trifling with Narramattah’s love, and never intended to marry her. In an instant, all his esteem and friendship for the young Englishman had turned to the gall of hatred and revenge. He at first thought of seeking him at once, and demanding redress for the insult offered to his family and race. But reining his passion, he resolved to wait a more promising opportunity.

The next day, Harold Dean and Pakanke went upon the hunt together, and the Indian took the earliest occasion, when they were alone, to explain to the Englishman the extent of his sister’s affection for him, and to demand that he should marry her. Harold endeavored to soothe the indignant feelings of the red man, and told him that he could love his sister, but could not marry her, as he had a wife already in England. Pakanke told him that he was deceitful; that he was a snake, whose bright colors lured simple maidens near that he might sting them; that he had seemed a friend, but to be a more deadly foe; and that he should marry Narra-mattah, or feel that the red man can revenge an insult as he can repay a kindness. He concluded in these forcible words: “Take to your wigwam, pale face, the maiden you have loved; keep and take care of the wild flower which you have sought and trained to await your coming, or the big wind shall hurl you to the earth!”

Harold evaded the demand, and finally induced the young Indian to wait until the next day, when they should see Narramattah together, and then he would decide. But the deceitful Englishman did not intend to see the maiden, he had wronged, again. It was a mere ruse to escape the Indian’s vengeance for a time. The next day, when Pakanke came for Harold he was not to be found at the cabin; and Pakanka turned to Narramattah, to tell her of her wrongs, and his burning resolve to revenge them. The poor, trusting forest maiden seemed as if struck speechless by the information that Harold had fled, after declaring that he never intended to take her to his wigwam. The wild flower was crushed by the ruthless blast; and her mind, unable to withstand the shock, became distracted. When Pakanke arose in the morning, his sister was gone. He searched eagerly every where in the neighborhood of the village for her, but in vain. At length news was brought him that Narrantattah’s mangled body had been found at the foot of a high precipice, near the Wissahicon creek. He hurried to the spot, and found the information true.

The distracted girl had either thrown herself from the precipice, or accidentally fallen from it in her wanderings. Pakanke paused to drop the few tears of grief forced from his eyes; and then, over his sister’s body, bade the Great Spirit mark his vow, never to rest until the murderer of his sister had met the fate he deserved. The body of Narramattah was given to her friends to be placed in the cold grave near her father; and many were the tears shed for her unhappy fate, by the Delaware women.

Pakanke, alone, again sought the cabins of the Englishmen, and this time, he found the object of his search. Harold Dean, calculating the exact time of Pakanke’s visit on the day before, had gone with his friends on a hunting expedition far into the country, and had returned with them to the cabins just before Pakanke arrived. He calculated that the Indian would be satisfied with any trifling excuse invented for the occasion, and did not dream that the affair had reached a tragic crisis. Pakanke’s appearance in the cabin surprised him. The Indian was unusually calm and collected, and betrayed no sign of any but the most peaceable intentions. He said he came for Harold to fulfil his promise to accompany him to the wigwam; and finding there could be no further evasion, Harold consented to accompany him.

The two hunters left the cabins and proceeded through the woods, as Harold thought, towards the Delaware village, but as Pakanke knew, in a different direction. They spoke occasionally, concerning hunting and the game of the season; but the Indian was afraid to trust himself to many words, and Harold was meditating some plan of escape from the proposed marriage. At length they approached what seemed to be a deep ravine, and Harold’s eye wandered around for the best place for crossing. They were nearing the high over-hanging precipice, and Pakanke knew it. “This is the best crossing,” said he to Harold, as they approached the tree-covered edge of the rock from which Narramattah had thrown herself, or fallen. “This is rather a disagreeable path, I think,” said Harold, as he looked over to the opposite bank of the creek. “It leads to thy grave!” shrieked Pakanke, as, with an effort, made giant strong by passion, he snatched Harold’s rifle, stabbed him in the back, and hurled him from the rock. Then he leaned over its edge to look down. The rock was about one hundred feet high, and its top projected far beyond its base. Harold shrieked as he was thrown from the rock, but all was soon over. Pakanke saw, as he leaned over the edge, that his victim had been literally dashed to pieces; and a smile of gratified revenge appeared upon his lips as he turned away to descend to the spot, to secure the scalp. After this customary trophy from a conquered foe had been obtained, Pakanke returned to the Delaware village, and gladdened the ears of the chiefs and warriors with the circumstances of his exploit. He then sent information of it to Harold’s friends, accompanied with an assurance that if they were snakes they would be served in the same way, but if friends, they would not be disturbed.

The terrible death of Harold appalled the young Englishmen, and they were so mistrustful of the good intentions of the red men, that they unanimously resolved to quit the vicinity and return to the settlement at once. Accordingly, the most valuable of their skins and all their necessary articles of clothing, and their fire-arms, were packed up, the cabins set on fire, and they set out for the settlement. Two of them remained in Philadelphia, the others returned to England, and conveyed the news of the death of Harold Dean to his parents. They were not disconsolate, although they wept for him. He had always been a wild spirit and a bad son, and his treachery to poor Narramattah was but one additional item in a catalogue of such deeds, which had made his fame ignoble in England.






AFTER the destruction of the power of the Natchez Indians, by the French, in 1731, the remnant of that nation took refuge among the powerful and ferocious tribe of Chickasaws, who were the determined and uncompromising enemies of the colonists of Louisiana. The united nations could bring a large and efficient force into the field; and besides, they had five strong palisaded forts, and many fortified villages. Bienville, governor of Louisiana, could only command about three hundred Frenchmen at the commencement of the war; but the Choctaws were his allies, and although not the best and bravest of warriors, their aid was valuable. A desultory warfare was carried on until early in 1736, when the French government sent additional troops to Bienville, and ordered him to undertake an expedition against the Chickasaws.

In obedience to these instructions, Bienville had sent word to the younger D’Arta-guette, the commander of the Illinois district, to collect all the French and Indian forces he could control, and to meet him on the 31st of March, 1736, at the Chickasaw villages. In the month of January of that year, Bienville drew from Natchez, Natchitoches, and the Balize all the officers and soldiers he could muster, without weakening too much the garrisons stationed at those places. He formed a company of volunteers, composed of traders and transient persons then in New Orleans, and another company of unmarried men belonging to the city, and which was called the “company of bachelors.” A depot of ammunition, provisions, and all that was necessary for the intended campaign was established on the Tombigbee, at the distance of two hundred and seventy miles from Mobile, where the several detachments of the army were sent, through the Lakes, as fast as conveyances could be procured. Several large vessels containing provisions and utensils of every sort were despatched down the Mississippi to Mobile, and on the 4th of March, Bienville departed from New Orleans, leaving behind him only four companies of regulars under Noyan, which were to follow him as soon as they could be transported. The boats having to struggle against adverse winds, the whole of the French forces did not reach Mobile before the 22d, and it was only on the 28th, that the last of the vessels carrying provisions entered the harbor, when it was discovered that her cargo had been much damaged by the sea. On the 1st of April, the expedition left Mobile, and it was only on the 23d that the army reached the Tombigbee depot, after having had to contend against currents, freshets, storms, and constant rains.

While waiting for the arrival of the Choctaws, Bienville reviewed his troops, and found them to consist of five hundred and forty-four white men, excluding the officers, forty-five negroes, and a body of Indians. At length six hundred Choctaw warriors arrived, and the army resumed its march. On the 22d of May, it encamped about twenty-seven miles from the Chickasaw villages. On the 23d, Bienville ordered fortifications to be constructed for the protection of his boats, and placed twenty men under Captain Vanderck in them. The next day, the army with provisions for twelve days, marched six miles further, and encamped on account of a tempest. On the 25th, within the space of twelve miles, the army had to cross three deep ravines running through a thick cane-brake, and had to wade through water rising up to the waist. It then emerged on a beautiful open prairie, on the edge of which they encamped, at the distance of six miles from the Chickasaw villages.

The intention of Bienville was to turn round those villages of the Chickasaws to march upon the village of the Natchez, which was in the rear, and to attack first those whom he considered as the instigators of the Chickasaw war. But the Choctaws insisted with such pertinacity upon attacking the Villages which were nearer, and which, they said contained more provisions than that of the Natchez, and they represented with such warmth, that, in the needy condition in which they were, it was absolutely necessary they should take possession of these provisions, that Bienville yielded to their importunities. The prairie, in which these villages were situated, covered a space of about six miles. The villages were small, and built in the shape of a triangle, on a hillock sloping down to a brook which was almost dry; further off was the main body of the Chickasaw villages, and the smaller ones seemed to be a sort of vanguard. The Choctaws having informed Bienville that he would find water no where else, he ordered the army to file off close to the wood which enclosed the prairie, in order to reach another hillock that was in sight. There the troops halted to rest and take nourishment. It was past twelve o’clock.

The Indian scouts whom Bienville had sent in every direction to look for tidings of D’Artaguette, whom he had expected to operate his junction with him on this spot, had come back and brought no information. It was evident, therefore, that he could no longer hope for the co-operation on which he had relied, and that he had to trust only to his own resources. It was impossible to wait; and immediate action was insisted upon by the Choctaws and the French officers, who thought that the three small villages, which have been described, and which were the nearest to them, were not capable of much resistance. Bienville yielded to the solicitations of his allies and of his troops, and at two in the afternoon, ordered his nephew Noyan, to begin the attack, and to put himself at the head of a column composed of a company of grenadiers, of detachments of fifteen men taken from each one of the eight companies of the French regulars, of sixty-five men of the Swiss troops, and forty-five volunteers.

The French had approached within carbine shot of the forts, and at that distance, could plainly distinguish Englishmen, who appeared to be very active in assisting the Chickasaws in preparing their defence, and who had hoisted up their flag on one of the forts. Bienville recommended that they should not be assailed, if they thought proper to retire, and in order to give them time, should they feel so disposed, he ordered to confine the attack to the village, named Ackia, which flag was the most remote from the one under the English flag.

The order of the attack being given, the division commanded by Noyan moved briskly on, and under the protection of mantelets carried by the company of negroes, arrived safely at the foot of the hill on which the villages stood. But there, one of the negroes being killed, and another wounded, the rest flung down the mantelets, and took to their heels. The French pushed on, and penetrated into the village, with the company of grenadiers at their head. But being no longer under cover, and much exposed to the fire of the enemy, their losses were very heavy. The noble and brilliant Chevalier de Contre Coeur, a favorite in the army, was killed, and a number of soldiers shared his fate, or were disabled. However, three of the principal fortified cabins were carried by the impetuosity of the French, with several smaller ones which were burned. But as a pretty considerable intervening space remained to be gone over, to assail the chief fort and the other fortified cabins, when it became necessary to complete the success obtained, Noyan, who had headed the column of attack, turning round, saw that he had with him only the officers belonging to the head of the column, some grenadiers, and a dozen of volunteers. The troops had been dismayed by the death of Captain De Lusser, of one of the sergeants of the grenadiers, and of some of the soldiers of this company who had fallen, when they had attempted to cross the space separating the last cabin taken from the next to be taken; seeking for shelter against the galling fire of the enemy, they had clustered behind the cabins of which they had already taken possession, and it was impossible for the officers who commanded the tail of the column, to drive them away, either by threats, promises, or words of exhortation, from their secure position. Pitting themselves at the head of a few of their best soldiers, in order to encourage the rest, the officers resolved to make a desperate attempt to storm the fortified block-house they had in front of them. But in an instant, their commander, the Chevalier de Noyan, D’Hauterive, the captain of the grenadiers, Grondel, lieutenant of the Swiss, De Yelles, Montbrun, and many other officers were disabled. Still keeping his ground, De Noyan sent his aid-de-camp, De Juzan, to encourage and bring up to him the wavering soldiers, who had slunk behind the cabins. But, in making this effort, this officer was killed, and his death increased the panic of the troops.

Grondel, who had fallen near the walls of the enemy, had been abandoned, and a party of Indians was preparing to sally out to scalp him, when a sergeant of grenadiers, ashamed of the cowardice which had left an officer in this perilous and defenceless position, took with him four of his men, and rushed to the rescue of Grondel, without being intimidated by bullets as thick as hail. These five intrepid men reached in safety the spot where Grondel lay, and they were in the act of lifting him up to carry him away, when a general discharge from the fort prostrated every one of them dead by the side of him they had come to save. But this noble deed was not lost upon the army; the electrical stroke had been given, and was responded to by the flashing out of another bright spark of heroism. A grenadier, named Regnisse, rather inflamed than dastardized by the fate of his companions, dashed out of the ranks of his company, ran headlong to the place where Grondel lay weltering in his blood, from the five wounds he had received, took him on his athletic shoulders, and carried him away in triumph, amid the general acclamations and enthusiastic bravos of those who witnesses the feat. To the astonishment of all, he had the good luck to pass unscathed through the fire which was poured upon him by the enemy, but the inanimate body of Grondel which he was transporting received a sixth wound. So generously saved from the Indian tomahawk, this officer slowly recovered, and when subsequently raised to a high rank in the French army.

Noyan, seeing at last that he was exposing himself and his brave companions in vain and fainting from the effects of his wounds, ordered a retreat from the open field, and taking shelter in one of the cabins, sent word to Bienville, that he had lost about seventy men, and that if prompt relief was not sent the detachment would be annihilated. On hearing this report, Bienville sent Beauchamp with a reserve of eighty men, to support the troops engaged, and to bring off the wounded and dead. Beauchamp reached the spot where the little band of Frenchmen was concentrated, and where the strife had been hottest. Seeing that no headway could be made he covered the retreat of the band, and brought off to the French camp most of the wounded and dead. The Choctaws, who had left the French to shift for themselves, seeing them retreat, wished to show their spirit, and made a movement, as if to storm the village. But a general discharge from the enemy, killing twenty-two of their men caused them to make a retrogade movement, much to the amusement of the French. The battle had lasted during three hours, and when evening came, the scene was as quiet as if the blast of war had never scared the birds from the trees or the cattle from the plain.

After the severe repulse which the French had met, nothing remained but for them to retreat. Bienville saw that he could not depend upon the Choctaws, and the fortifications of the Chickasaws were too strong to be carried without cannon and mortars. On the 22d of May, the day following that of the battle of Ackia, Bienville had litters made to transport the wounded; and at one in the afternoon, the army formed itself into two columns, which had been the order of marching in coming, it began its retrogade movement. The troops were much worn out with the fatigue they had undergone, and the labor of transporting the baggage and wounded was difficult. Slow marching disgusted the Choctaws, and one portion of them, headed by the chief Red Shoe, wished to abandon the French. But the more numerous part, aided by the eloquence of Bienville, succeeded in inducing them to remain.

On the 29th, the French reached the place where they had left their boats. They found the river falling fast, and they hastened to embark the same day. After a laborious passage, they arrived at Tombigbee on the 2d of June, and from, thence returned to New Orleans. The expedition had been well planned, and vigorously executed, but unforseen circumstances defeated it. The Chickasaws had proven much better warriors than they had been thought to be, and had defended themselves with an obstinacy as unexpected as it was successful. The English supported that tribe in their war with the French, and they were thus enabled to main-themselves against all the expeditions sent against them.


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