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Pictures and Illustrations.

Plate 1. Defeat of Vasquez D'Ayllon by the Chicoreans, 1518.

Plate 2. De Soto, Tampa Bay, Florida, 1539.

Plate 44. Map of De Soto's Route in 1541-42.

Plate 3. Beggars' Dance.

Plate 4. Gathering Wild Rice.

Plate 5. Guarding the Corn-fields.

Plate 6. Striking the Post.

Plate 7. Costumes.

Plate 8. Costumes.

Plate 9. Costumes.

Plate 10. Costumes.

Plate 11. Costumes.

Plate 12. Snow-shoes.

Plate 13. Costume.

Plate 14. Ornaments Worn by the Indians of California and Oregon.

Plate 15. Quivers.

Plate 16. Gush-he-pe-ta-gons, or Tobacco-sacks.

Plate 17. Navaho Wigwams.

Plate 18. Inscription on Rock at Esopus, New York.

Plate 19. Esopus Landing, Hudson River.

Plate 45. Ornamented Pottery from Florida.

Plate 20. Antique Pottery from the Gila River.

Plate 41. Inscription on Rock, south Side of Cunningham's Island.

Plate 40. Inscription on Rock, north Side of Cunningham's Island.

Plate 21. Map Showing the Location of the Indian Tribes of the United States.

Plate 43. Humboldt Bay, California.

Plate 25. Red-Jacket.

Plate 26. Map of the Tribes in Oregon.

Plate 27. Worship of the Sun.

Plate 28. Modes of Obtaining Fire from Percussion.

Plate 29.Females Mode of Sitting.

Plate 30. Map of the Country formerly occupied by the Iowas.

Plate 31. Medicine Dance of the Winnebagoes.

Plate 32. View of Pittsburg, 1790.

Plate 33. Antiquities from Massachusetts.

Plate 34. Bows and Arrows from Oregon.

Plate 35. Indian Implements.

Plate 36. Gods of the Dakotahs.

Plate 37.Dance of the Giant.

Plate 38. Dance to the Giant (Indian Sketch).

Plate 39. Magic Dances of the Ontonαgons.

Plate 42. Rock Inscription in Utah Territory.


Third Report.

Washington, August 30, 1852.

To the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
Department of the Interior.


I have the honor to report to you the Third Part of my investigations respecting the Indians — their history, numbers, condition, and prospects.

As a general fact, the American Indians, however they may differ in some of their unimportant tribal peculiarities, fulfil, in a striking manner, the philosophic requisites of being a distinctive homogeneous variety of the human race. Both physically and mentally, there is a general resemblance, if not always a close identity, in all the tribes of the continent. Cranial development, as shown by the late Dr. Samuel George Morton, (vide Part II.,) denotes a considerable range between the highest and lowest grades, and also a striking modification of the crania from artificial compression, in some of the tribes, as in the ancient Peruvians of Atacama, and the various flat-headed groups of North and South America. But these developments did not indicate the degree of civilization to which the tribes reached; nor did the compressions, in the opinion of that eminent observer, at all interfere with, or limit their powers of intellectualization.

By a re-examination of his large collection of crania in the Academy of Natural Sciences, at Philadelphia, which I caused to be made, the results of which are published in my last Report, (Part II., p. 335,) it is shown that, while, as we should, ΰ priori, suppose, the Oregonian, Shoshonee, and other savage groups of the West, are generally inferior to the stocks of the Mississippi Valley and Atlantic borders; yet the cranial dimensions of some members of those groups exceed a little, by admeasurement, the


more advanced and well-known tribes of our history. Thus the Dacotas, who, in the ethnological chain of these examinations, stand as the type of the great prairie group of tribes east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Mississippi, reaching from the Arkansas to the Athabasca lake, disclose an average internal volume of brain somewhat exceeding the Algonquin and Apalachian groups respectively — two primary stocks, who formerly filled up nine-tenths of the whole geographical superficies of the original thirteen States, and who have, in all periods of our history, evinced a general character of superiority in their habits, manners, and policy.

In this result the average cranial admeasurements are expressed on the number of skulls actually examined. Individuals and whole tribes of the Algonquin and Apalachian groups compared, indicate a high intellectual capacity. Thus, two crania of the Chippewa and Sauk tribes, respectively, denote 91; being 7 1/4 above the average of the group. Four crania of the Outagami, or Fox, and two of the Potawatomie, respectively, reach still higher, being 92. The Miamis, whose history is identified with the Wabash valley, stand at 89; the Natic, a tribe so long and successfully (in the seventeenth century) under the teaching of Mr. Eliot, at 85; and the Menomonees, decidedly the most erratic of the home tribes, at 84.

In the Apalachian group, which is not well represented in the collection, three Muscogee crania give an average of 90. An Utchee and Miccosaukie, respectively, indicated 84 and 74; and five Seminoles average 88 1/2. But of all the stocks who have figured in our history, none have equalled, in their cranial capacity, the Iroquois; which includes the celebrated Five Nations and Six Nations of Indian history. They rise, in cranial volume, to an average of 3 1/2 above the most advanced groups east of the Mississippi, and 5 1/4 above the highest of the bold prairie-tribe west of it, and, in a single instance, 12 1/4. Of these tribes, an Oneida and a Cayuga, respectively, measure 95. Two Hurons, or Wyandots, denote 81; three Mohawks 84, and the lowest in the collection, labelled "Mingo," 80. An intellectual pre-eminence is given in these indications to which this genera of tribes appear to be most fully entitled by their energy and superiority in war, oratory, civil policy, and a high thirst for military glory, which places them far above the oppressed and down-trodden nations of ancient Mexico and Peru.

The Indian tribes of this continent are manifestly of oriental origin. Their mental and psychological, and their physical traits, abundantly denote this. But it is worthy of remark, that, while other races, who have exercised great and controlling influence, and attained a high rank in Europe — as all the tribes speaking the Indo-Germanic


type of languages, together with the Sclavonii, Magyars, and various Celts — are also of Oriental origin, the area of territory occupied by the American tribes should have been so immeasurably greater than that of the white-skinned races of all central Europe combined. The latter races, who, however variant, were all characterized in the scale of colors above brown, developed a high state of civilization in arts, letters, industry, and Christianity; while these red-skinned forest tribes, coming, as in all probability they did, in small parties, at successive eras, found a stimulus to their barbarism in this very immensity of area. They wandered over the entire continent, from one end to the other, from sea to sea, in the most profound state of moral degradation, and without having reached, by any monuments traceable to them, a state of much civilization in the highest instances noticed, or giving proofs of much apparent intellectuality.

The examinations made of their cranial volume by eminent physiologists, although these inquiries have not been carried as far as is desirable, denote no impediment to such rise in arts and improvements. Nor, since there is great evidence of antiquity, should the latent existence of such mental traits, it would seem, have led to the long-continued moral darkness which has marked their history and natural development. And this fact alone, setting aside all other evidence which is merely theoretical, and of little apparent value, presupposes a marked epoch, if not something like a national ostracism, in their history. But it at the same time gives full encouragement to the efforts making for their education and moral advancement. More than one-fourth of the geographical area of the globe was involved in the events of the discovery and settlement of America. The Indian population at the earliest known period is not given; but it probably never reached, in the most favorable state, five millions; of which the present area of the United States and of British America yielded not over seven hundred thousand, or one million, at farthest. They declined, and lost by death, in the scale of population, about the same numbers that they reproduced annually, the tendency being, for a long period before the discovery, to depopulation. If half a million be assumed to be the present aboriginal population of the Union, agreeably to its recently expanded limits — which is as large a proportion as the present state of the census returns appears at all to justify — it would assign an enormous area to each soul within the present acknowledged Indian territories and hunting-grounds; an area, indeed, which, in no probable or imaginable state of their affairs, could they till, improve, or profitably and permanently occupy, to the end of time.

This problem is merely thrown out as a theoretical question. However it may be


decided, it cannot alter the class of duties we owe to the race. Whatever defects may, in the eyes of the most ardent philanthropist, have at any time marked our system of Indian policy, nothing should, for a moment, divert the government or people, in their appropriate spheres, from offering to these wandering and benighted branches of the human race, however often rejected by them, the gifts of education, agriculture, and the gospel. There is one boon, beside, which their ignorance and instability, and want of business and legal foresight, requires, in their present and future state — it is protection.

The actual existing population of the whole number of tribes will be given in revised and perfected tables at the close of these investigations. In the mean time, data will be placed on record, from which definitive results on the entire topic are to be drawn. To these attention is invited. The progress which has been made since my last report in collecting and preparing facts and materials, is shown in the accompanying papers.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,



I. General History.

Generic View of the Indian Race.

THE Indian empire of the bow and arrow, in America, was not disturbed by Europe till the close of the 15th century. How many centuries it had existed previously, the pen of history has not told us. To the mind that regards the moral development and progress of mankind, the event seems to have been slow. Why, it is asked with more boldness perhaps than wisdom, should fifteen centuries of dark barbarism have been allowed to pass over America after the opening of the Christian era, before the lights of civilization and knowledge began to reach its shores? The answer is, that time is estimated by a different standard in the councils of omnipotence, from that usually applied by human scales, and that God is more tolerant of man's idiosyncracies than man.

But however this be determined, the problem of the existence of a new continent had no sooner been solved, and the singular manners and condition of the aboriginal tribes been discovered, than the deepest interest was felt in their history. How the old world should regard them, and with what measure of fellowship they should be treated, puzzled ecclesiastics, it seems, as well as statesmen. Commercial men had less scruples about the matter, and merely considered them a new element of traffic, and put them on the credit side of the ledger. In an age of great commercial enterprise, they did not trouble themselves to think whether man had first received his charter to run wild, and set up the hunter era on the summit of mount Ararat, or dated the causes of his dispersion in the fruitful plains of the Euphrates, a century later. All that was left to researches in history and philosophy. But he would try to turn the Indian to some account. And as these Indian hunting-grounds embowelled shining treasures of the precious metals, it may be well conceived how the account was kept. In proportion as time advanced — as the hunter man was seen in geographical positions farther north, where no gold or silver appeared, beaver-skins were seized


on, as the ready means of producing that treasure; and the intercourse with the tribes went on with as much avidity and sharpness of purpose, and with quite as effectual applications to kill, conquer, and destroy, as it did in the golden valley of Anahuac, or on the silver eminences of Potosi.

It is not proposed, in continuing these historical sketches, to narrate scenes of conquest, which lend such a charm to the Indian history of the South; a topic which is scarcely inferior, in the rapidity and splendor of its events, to the transforming power of the lamp of Aladdin. The scenes before us are far more commonplace and frigid in their character, spreading, as they do, from the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico over colder latitudes, where the wants of life are harder to be supplied. And even here, it is only proposed to notice events as they brought to light new tribes, or new modes of policy and dealing, which served to show characteristic traits, or turning points, from which a coup d'oeil of the Indian history may be seen. As a race, the Indian tribes of the United States appeal from the severe judgments of their conquerors. They do not admit that the acquisition of wealth and power was a good or wise reason for their overthrow and destruction, or to use their own figure, "that the light of their council-fires should have been put out." Of the great and momentous truths which hinge upon the introduction of civilization and Christianity, they have been utterly incompetent to judge. The voice of the few Indian sages who have at various periods of our history survived the shock of the conflict of races, and the triumph of civilization over barbarism, does not affirm the judgments which the warlike leaders of the mass have pronounced. An Occum, an Uncas, and a Skenandoah, have seen this matter in a higher light. And while history has shown them instances of severity and injustice in the settlement of the continent, these men have perceived the great causes of the decline of the race to exist in their inferiority of induction and forecast, want of industry, temperance, and arts; and above all, in the great principle of civilization and revealed truth. Few, solitary, and far apart, have been such voices in the land, it is true, while the popular and poetic views of a Garangula, a Logan, a Pontiac, and a Sagoyawαtha, or Red Jacket, resound.

Would not the same means, it may be inquired, which have led these wise men to the expression of such opinions, have been as efficacious in bringing the entire mass of aboriginal America to these just conclusions? It is believed they would. The great error of the discoverers and conquerors has been, from the first, to regard the Indians as wild men, devoid of reason, and without the pale of international rights, as they were of civilization and Christianity. No terms, it was contended, need therefore be kept with them. The first mariners who anchored on the coasts considered the natives as little less than wild beasts. They enticed them on board vessels, and carried them off to work in the mines, or to be sold as slaves. They were abused and deceived in various ways by the commercial class, who supplied them with a deleterious liquor, in the shape of ardent spirits, which crazed their brains,


paralysed their exertions, and led them to commit crimes. Yet a people so low in their moral attributes, and so gross in their conceptions, appear to have been dealt with as if they were of a much higher mental type, and held strictly accountable to the most stringent laws of ratiocination and induction, when they had, in fact, but little claim to either of these qualities. Worst of all, it was the mistaken policy of the times to attempt to drive them, instead of persuading them into the principles of Christianity.

§. Spain led the way in this blind and erroneous system of treating the natives. Las Casas, the eminent historian of a wrong-headed system of dealings with the Indians, may be appealed to, for the truth of these assertions. His denunciations were so unpalatable, that the largest part of his writings on the subject have never been permitted to see the light. He expatiates on the cruelty of the system of "repartimentos" by which they were conveyed as serfs, with the soil. He finally procured the abolition of this system by Charles V.; but it produced a rebellion in Peru, and that monarch was compelled to revoke the decree. Whether peonage is of this era, or dates from a more ancient form of vassalage, is doubtful.

The national tone of Spain was high and chivalric. It gloried in a fixed belief of the irrefragable truth and excellence of the public state system of treating the Indians economically and ecclesiastically. And in this belief it had been recently confirmed and strengthened by the doctrines of Loyola, who, at the sound of Luther's voice, had started up as a new light in guiding nations in the conversion of barbarians. It never entered into the conceptions of Cortez and Pizarro, and their cotemporaries and successors in the conquest of the new world, that they were not pursuing the very highest and noblest policy that had ever been exhibited for the subjugation of a heathen people. But whatever merits it really possessed, we cannot read the events of those days, without admitting that it lacked kindness, patience, justice, and forgiveness — that it placed too much stress on the importance and value of a submission to certain external rites — that it denied the natural possessory right to the soil, and that it transferred their liberties with it. They remained dogged, stolid, reserved, perfidious. Their hearts were little touched by a Christianity which permitted these things. The Caribs were the first to experience the Spanish policy. They were a gentle race, living with little labor, in a tropical climate. A few years served to sweep them away. The cruelty and vices of Ovando, and the harsh and unjust execution of their Queen Anacoana, revealed a system that was to prevail wherever the conquerors spread. The seizure of Montezuma, and the disgraceful execution of Guatemozin by Cortez — the horrid and foolish massacre ordered by Alvarado — the butchery by Pizarro of the attendants of the Inca Atahualpa, in violation of the hospitalities of a public visit — the solemn mockery of his subsequent


trial and execution — such were the fruits of a conquest of which the end was constantly asserted to justify the means.

True, these things were done by invaders who were engaged in carrying the lights of religion, letters, and arts, to an idolatrous and bloody nation. They were carrying blessings under the Christian dispensation. But did they not confound eras of progress in the human race of a widely different kind? Had the principles of the dispensation, and the imperative mandate indeed which guided Joshua on marching into Canaan, still existed in A. D. 1500 to guide the march of civilization, such a course might have been commended. Happily it had been succeeded by a milder or less summary system. If the heathen were still "to be dashed to pieces as a potter's vessel," wherever found, it admits of critical comment, whether it was not the principles, errors, and vices of heathendom that were prophetically inveighed against by the psalmist, rather than their persons. History demonstrates that all forms of religion that have been propagated by the sword, of a date subsequent to the wars of Palestine, were false, and the Christian church itself became tainted with errors at the precise point where it laid down the word of God as the sole arbiter, and grasped the sword of the conqueror. At any rate, examples of kindness, justice, mercy, benevolence, and humanity, have ever been found the most efficacious handmaids of truth.

It is impossible to take the aboriginal view of the question, and to judge calmly of the conduct of the discoverers of America, without making these preliminary concessions. Ignorant and degraded as the Indian was, from the Straits of Magellan to the Arctic Ocean, he had his natural conceptions of justice and elevation of character, and was in a remarkable degree sensitive to kind acts and humane treatment; and whoever has found the secret of swaying his opinions and feelings, has been most observant of these traits of his mind. Were they respected by the early discoverers? Let history answer this inquiry.

§. We pass over, as foreign to these local investigations, the history of the transference of civilization to South America. The two most striking and complete instances of it, have been narrated in a manner that does not require the thrilling and instructive tale to be repeated were it appropriate to the present plan.

The first attempt to found a government and plant a colony in North America, within the present territorial area of the United States, was in South Carolina. This was about six years before Cortez set sail for Mexico, some fifteen years prior to the descent of Narvaez on the Gulf coasts of Florida, and just a quarter of a century before the celebrated and well-known expedition of De Soto.

In 1512, Ponce de Leon, the governor of Porto Rico, sailed on a cruise among the northern group of the Caribbean islands. Robertson informs us, that he was led by the tale of a miraculous spring, which the natives represented to have such wonderful


virtues, that it would restore the youth of whoever bathed in the renovating fountain. Had we not such testimony, the incident might be doubted. In this voyage he fell in with the main land, on which he bestowed the name of Florida. In a second trip to this land of tropical plants and fancied wonders, he encountered the hostility of the natives. He roamed over the interior in search of the fabled spring, and lost his life in the attempt. Soon after, a Spanish sea-captain of St. Domingo, of the name of Miruelo, was driven on the Atlantic coasts of Florida, and in his traffic with the Indians received a small quantity of silver and gold, with which he returned to the then capital of the new world. The sight of this, and the reports brought with it, stimulated new adventure. A company of wealthy men was formed to traffic on that coast, and to obtain natives to work their mines in St. Domingo. Two vessels were dispatched on this errand, which steered for the same coasts. They made land at a point called St. Helena, and came to anchor at the mouth of a large river called Combahee. The country was called Chicorea, and the inhabitants Chicoreans. The Indians are described as kind, gentle, and hospitable. They fled away affrighted, but were soon induced to return and engage in traffic. Among the articles bartered by them, were some small quantities of gold and silver. When the trade was finished, the Indians were invited on board to view the vessels, and to go down to see their interior: as soon as the holds were well crowded, the hatches were closed, and the vessel weighed anchor and sailed away. One of them foundered on the return passage, but the other safely reached her port.

There was at this time living at St. Domingo a gentleman of some note and wealth, named Lucas Vasquez d'Ayllon, who exercised the functions of an auditor and judge. He was one of the company who had fitted out the vessels for kidnapping the Indians; and filled with the idea that the newly discovered province of Chicorea abounded in the precious metals, he visited the court of Spain, and solicited permission to conquer and govern it. Charles V. granted him the office of Adelantado, with the usual privileges and immunities pertaining to that office.

D'Ayllon, on reaching St. Domingo, fitted out three vessels, with men and supplies, going himself in the quality of governor, and placing Miruelo in command of one of the vessels. This person affected to be conversant with the coasts, and was intrusted with the post of pilot; but on reaching the land he was utterly at a loss for his true position, having in his prior voyage made no observations for latitude, which being thrown in his teeth, so mortified him that he became dispirited — sunk in deep despondency, and died.

The squadron, however, made St. Helena, and, entering the Sound of South Edisto Island, safely reached the mouth of the Combahee — the scene of the prior traffic and perfidy, where the largest of the three vessels was stranded. With the other two, and


all the men, he proceeded to sail a little further, where, finding the aspect of the country delightful, easy of access, and a harbour defended from the sea, he determined to found the capitol of the government of Chicorea, and took possession of the country for his sovereign, with the usual formalities. The Chicorean Indians, who had been treated with such cruelty on the prior voyage, dissembled their resentment, and acted towards D'Ayllon with marked kindness. It is believed he was now near the present site of Beaufort. He was so completely lulled and flattered by the kind appearance of the Indians, that he permitted his men to accept an invitation to visit their village, about six miles distant. Two hundred men were permitted to go on this visit. The Indians feasted them for three days. On the night of the third day, when they were drowned in sleep, they secretly arose, and massacred them to a man. They then pushed for the main station near the ships, where D'Ayllon remained, which they reached at daylight. The credulous Adelantado, who had expected his men back in raptures, was suddenly alarmed with shrill yells; and before he was well aware of his position, the savage band was upon him. The strife was sanguinary. It is uncertain whether he fell on the spot, or succeeded with his wounds, in gaining his ships, with the rest of his men. But the discomfited squadron fled, and this terminated the first attempt to plant a colony in North America. The facts are well attested, but as they could not be heralded among the brilliant triumphs of the Spanish arms in the New World, they have not been prominently recorded, and rather dropt out of sight.

The unjust and perfidious treatment of the Indians, on the seaboard of Carolina, was doubtless one cause of the determined hostility with which the Spaniards were afterwards received on the Florida coasts. Verbal information by their nimble runners, was communicated by the Indians with great celerity. And when people of the same nation reappeared at subsequent and separate periods, under the banners of Narvaez and De Soto, they encountered the most determined and unflinching hostility.

§. The Chicorean Indians, who thus defended their coasts from invasion, appear to have been the ancient Uchees, who are now merged as an inconsiderable element in the great Muscogee family; but who still preserve proud notions of their ancient courage, fame, and glory. This is the testimony of competent observers, and among them, the late Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, who was familiar with the Indian international affairs of the South, having in earlier life held public treaties with the tribes, and faced the most determined of them in battle.

We are informed by Col. Benjamin Hawkins, Creek Agent, that the Uchees formerly dwelt at Ponpon, Saltketchers, and Silver Bluffs, in the belt of country which is now partly in Georgia and partly in South Carolina; and that they were


continually at war with the Muscogees, Cherokees, and Catawbas. By the former nation they were vanquished and nearly annihilated, and the remainder of them were carried away and incorporated with themselves, where the name and a few of the people still remain. When De Soto in 1539 reached Silver Bluff on the Savanna, the ancient Cofatchique, the Indians of that place exhibited to him pieces of armour and arms, which the Spaniards determined to have belonged to D'Ayllon. That the Muscogees prevailed over the Uchees, is shown by the Muscogee words which are found in the names of the streams and places of the southern part of the sea-coast of South Carolina.

§. The defeat of Valasquez D'Ayllon (Plate 1) appears to have been about 1515 or 1516. It operated to discourage the Spanish from attempting further conquests in that quarter for many years, where, however, it appears from the map in the third volume of Navarette, that the limits of the discoveries of De Soto extended much further to the north than others have allowed him to have reached. Peter Martyr observes that the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico had been run in the year 1516. In 1521, the year of the final fall of Mexico, Francis Garay received a royal patent to colonize the region, which appears to have stretched north of the Panuco or Rio Grande on the Gulf. But it was not till six years afterwards that anything of note was done in the conquest of Florida proper. It is evident from several sources, that the Gulf coasts of Mexico at this time had been pretty well ranged by mariners, and began to furnish adventurers with an intense theme of excitement. In 1517, Francisco Hernandez de Cordova had discovered Yucatan, and the next year Juan de Grizalba began the discovery of the great Indian-Mexican empire, which was continued by Cortez in 1519, and finished with such fame and glory to himself in 1521. The very spirit of chivalry seemed to have broken loose anew; led, not by the righting of wrongs which Cervantes has so happily satirized, or by the example of the crusaders wresting Palestine from the hands of the Infidels, but for the purpose of snatching the bow and sceptre from the idolatrous Indian tribes and filling the pockets of the conquerors with gold and jewels. In 1525 and 1526 Pizarro, fired by the successes of Cortez, began those discoveries which led to the conquest of Peru, which he with such perfidy and cruelty completed in 1535.

This may serve to show the perfect furor of the glory of discovery, which filled the Spanish court and nation at this era, and will denote with what ideas the chivalric discoverers landed among the athletic Appalachian tribes of the northern coasts of Mexico. These tribes had no mines — no cities — no aqueducts — no palaces — no emperors — scarcely a road, or a path that could be traversed, without


the cunning of a fox. But they were brave and proud. They were democrats, having a simple government of chiefs and councils. Each warrior had his voice in public affairs. They had a high sense of natural right and tribal independence. They deemed the lands not only their own, but affirmed and thought that they had been given to them by the Great Spirit — thus creating a right that could not, they deemed, be disputed. And when they were recklessly invaded and treated with the harshness and inhumanity which marks the course of De Leon and Vasquez D'Ayllon on their eastern borders, they stood manfully by their forest arms. That these atrocities were known, and the details circulated among them, prior to the respective descents of Narvaez and De Soto, cannot be doubted. For fifteen years before this event, the waters of the Gulf and Caribbean seas had been traversed by the vessels of Spain, and wherever they landed, they created the impression among the natives, whether falsely or not, rather of freebooters and pirates, than anything else.

§. Pamphilio de Narvaez had been defeated by Cortez at Zempoala, in 1520. He was a man of wealth, of a tall and muscular form, commanding appearance, a red beard, fine, full voice — a graceful horseman, and a brave man. He went to Spain to complain of his rival in the conquest of Mexico, and after seven years spent at the court of Charles V., was appointed Adelantado of Florida, with full powers to conquer and govern the country. In the preparations for this, he invested, it seems, the greater part of his fortune. De Vaca affirms that he left Spain, on the 17th of July, 1527, with six hundred men, including cavaliers and gentlemen. But, owing to desertions of his men at St. Domingo — to incidental delays — and to storms and shipwreck, on the coasts of Cuba, his forces had been greatly reduced, and nine months had passed away.

It was not till the 13th of April, 1528, that he landed in Florida, with a force diminished to less than 400 men and 42 horses. The latter were lean and fatigued, and not fitted for a campaign. The Indians who had been descried from the ships' decks the day before, had fled, and left their wigwams in haste. As soon as his followers came ashore he raised the ensigns of Spain, and took possession of the country in the name of Charles V. His officers then presented him their commissions, and had them recognized, and thus offered a species of fealty to their civil and military governor. The next day the Indians who had fled came in, and made many signs, but as there was no interpreter, there could be but little exact information. This landing was made in a bay which they called La Cruz — being the west side of the modern Tampa Bay. The sea-coast of Florida was then, as it is at this day, a low alluvial tract, intersected with large indentations, bays, ponds, thickets, and streams, which offered the greatest impediments to the march of the troops. To avoid these, he kept inland, directing his naval forces to continue their explorations by water, and to meet him at


a more westerly point. He was employed from the 1st of May to the 17th of June, in reaching the main channel of the Suwanee river, which he crossed high up. He found its current very strong and deep, and lost a horse and horseman in crossing it, who were carried down the stream and drowned. Narvaez was now among the Appalachians — an important group of tribes, who spread from the present area of Georgia, Florida, and the southern part of South Carolina, to the banks of the Mississippi. Its chief members were the Muscogees or Creeks, Choctaws or Alabamas, and Chickasaws. It is clear from tradition and philology, that Florida, at that time, also contained a member of the Algonquin group, in the tribe of the Shawnees, who lived on friendly terms with the Creeks.

It would appear that the Indians on the banks of Suwanee represented themselves as "enemies" of the Appalachians of "Apalachia," against whom Narvaez was marching; but if so, he soon found that the general enmity of races, as existing against Europeans, was such as to overcome local strifes among the Indian group; for they had no sooner crossed the Suwanee, than they found a determined foe before them and around them. These were all expert bow-men; and although they would not stand their ground in bodies, they kept up a harassing war of details, wounding and killing men and horses at every opportunity; a trait in which they strikingly resemble their descendants of modern times. The whole history of the Florida war of 1836 bears witness to this.

§. The great error of Narvaez was the want of competent interpreters, or any interpreters at all. In consequence, he could open no negotiations with the Indians, who fled before him, or turned aside to let him advance. He appears to have been a man deficient in a knowledge of the Indian character, and wholly underrated the effects of kindness and a sense of justice on their minds. His barbarous mutilation of the chief of Hirrihigua, and his shocking cruelty to his mother, soon after entering the country, produced a feeling of deep-rooted hostility, and was well calculated to make him and his nation abhorred, wherever the story spread. It is related that Hirrihigua had offered a determined resistance to Narvaez, but afterwards formed a treaty of friendship with him. Becoming enraged for some subsequent conduct of the chief, which is unexplained, he directed his nose to be cut off, and caused his mother


to be torn to pieces by dogs. Eleven years afterwards De Soto encountered the deepest hostility from this chief, whom he used every means, in vain, to conciliate.

The march of Narvaez from the scene of these atrocities was one series of unbroken hostilities from the Indians. Some captives whom he took west of the Suwanee, were compelled to act as guides: they led him through vast forests encumbered with fallen timber, which imposed the greatest toils. Through these his army struggled heroically. Not only were they wandering they knew not whither among solitudes and morasses, but they suffered for the want of food and forage. To such a degree was this pressure felt, that they were often, when a horse gave out, compelled to kill him and feast on his carcase. Narvaez was only provisioned, on leaving Cuba, to reach the coasts. He supposed he was about to enter a country ample in resources, and promised himself to quarter on the enemy, as Cortez had done. He had but two days' provision when he left the waters of Tampa. He and his followers had landed with their imaginations highly excited by the golden provinces they supposed they were about to enter. Cities and towns flitted before their minds sparkling with the wealth of those of Mexico and Peru, and they expected to conquer lords and caciques who would supply them food and auxiliaries. Disappointed as they were at every step, hope still led them on. Their horses were mere skeletons when they landed, and were jaded by long and harassing marches, during which they had no time to recruit. The men fared little better. They marched fifteen days at the start with "two pounds of biscuit and half a pound of bacon" to a man; and there was no regular commissariat afterwards. They eat the soft exfoliation or cabbage of the palmetto, and were relieved at several points by fields of corn, a grain which was mature about the middle of June. The magic word which led them on was "Apalache," the name of an Indian town. Here they expected to find a solace for all their toils, and a reward for all their losses, struggles, and afflictions. It was, to their heated imaginations, the town of "food and gold."

§. In sight of Apalache at last they came, but it proved a damper to all their sanguine hopes. There were forty small Indian abodes of humble dimensions in sheltered situations, covered with thatch. They were surrounded by dense woods, and groves of tall trees, with large bodies of fresh water, the country being without roads, bridges, or any other proofs of civilization. They found indeed fields of maize fit for plucking, also some dried or ripe maize and mortars of stone for pounding it. The houses contained also dressed deer-skins, and coarse "mantelets of thread." The men had all precipitately fled, but they soon returned in peace for their women and children. This request was granted, but Narvaez detained a cazique, intending to make use of his authority as another Montezuma for swaying the Indians; but this step had a contrary effect. They were a more spirited people


than the Aztecs, and became much incensed by it, and returning the next day, attacked the Spaniards with great fury, and after firing the houses, fled to the lakes and corn-fields with the loss of but one man.

Having beat them off, Narvaez and his army remained masters of the town twenty-five days, in order to recruit themselves. He was now evidently on the waters of the Appalachicola. The detained chief of the Apalaches, and the captives before made, were inquired of respecting the country and its resources. They replied that the surrounding country was full of great lakes and solitudes — that the land was little occupied — the people few and scattered — and that there was no place at all equal in population and resources to Apalache itself. But that south of them it was only nine days' journey to the sea; and that there was a town in that direction called Aute, and the Indians there had "much maize, beans, pumpkins, and fish."

For Aute, therefore, Narvaez directed his march. His course was obstructed by large bodies of water, through which they had to wade. Here the Indians attacked them, captured their guide, and shot at them with their arrows, from behind logs and trees, sorely wounding the men and horses. The Indians are spoken of as men of fine stature, great activity, very expert and determined bowmen, and most excellent and unerring marksmen, who could hit their mark at the distance of two hundred yards. One of these difficult defiles of water and woods followed another. For nine days the Indians hung around their skirts, and harassed them, killing some of their men, wounding many more, and losing but two themselves. At the end of this time, they reached Aute, from which all the inhabitants had fled; but they found an abundance of maize, pumpkins and beans, ready for picking. By this time, all hopes of gold and dominion had fled. To add to their distress, disease now attacked the men, and it became a struggle for existence.

§. Narvaez now determined to search for the sea, which was near at hand; and having discovered it, without finding his fleet or hearing any tidings of it, he resolved to build boats, and continue his explorations along the shore. He was now at the extremity of his affairs. Unwell himself, and his men and animals wounded and exhausted; in an impassable country, with fierce enemies all around him; deserted by his fleet, and finding a conspiracy forming among his men, he was called to exercise some strong decisive act. To build boats, and embark with his miserable followers, seemed the best choice. But he was wholly without means for such a work. He had neither mechanics, tools, iron, pitch, or rigging. The next day, while he pondered in perplexity, one of his men came and said he could make pipes out of wood, which could be converted into bellows, by means of deer-skins. This idea was at once caught at. Stirrups, spurs, crossbows, &c. were converted into nails, saws, axes, and other tools. Pitch was obtained from the pine; a kind of oakum was made from the bark or fibre of the palmetto; the tails and manes of the horses served for ropes,


shirts for sails. They killed their horses for food. Such a heroic devotion, and adaptation of means to ends, should redeem the name of Narvaez and his misguided followers from all reproach. In sixteen days, by hard work, they had five boats ready, each of twenty cubits length. They were provisioned with oysters and maize, for which the men searched daily; and as the Indians laid in wait, ten of them lost their lives in this hazardous search. Water was provided by filling the skins of horses, flayed entire and partially tanned.

They had now marched about two hundred and eighty leagues. They had lost on the march forty men, and all of their horses but one. With the 281 men, the remains of that army which had landed at La Cruz, he embarked on the bay of Cavallos, at the mouth of a large river, which he had called Magdalena, and which is believed to be the Appalachicola. When all the men and lading was on board the boats, the gunwales were but "a span" above the water. It seemed impossible that they should not have been drowned, in such a trim. For seven days the men conducted these fragile vessels; sometimes wading through sounds, and shallow bays, which protected them from the surf, before they put out in the open sea.

They captured five canoes from the Indians, which enabled them to lighten the boats. They made "waist-boards" to the boats, which raised the gunwales. Often they entered and traversed shallow bays. Provisions and water having failed, they suffered incredible hardships. For thirty days, they proceeded westward towards the Mississippi; but their only safety was by creeping along the coast near the land. They encountered a double danger. The frailty and inadequacy of their boats would not permit them to hold out boldly. If they landed unwarily, they were in danger of being massacred by the Indians; who, with "bended bow," skirted all this coast, and manifested the most determined hostility. No intelligence was received by Narvaez of his fleet, nor any trace of it found. Some of the men became delirious from drinking sea-water, and four of them died from this cause. One night they were attacked in an Indian village, where they had been entertained on one of the islands, and Narvaez received a blow in the face from a stone. The Indians had but few arrows, and they beat them off. Their miseries were every day accumulating. Stormy weather succeeded, and they experienced hunger and thirst in their worst forms. They kept on in company till the 1st of November, when the boats parted company. One of them foundered, it is believed, at Pensacola. It appears to have been near the bay of Perdido that Narvaez was last seen. A storm was blowing off the land, and he told his officers and men that the time had arrived when each one must take care of himself. Many of the men were too weak to lift an oar. A


storm was gathering. This appears to have been the announcement of the dispersion and destruction of the flotilla. The wind increased, blowing off shore, — night came on. He was not afterwards seen by any person who survived to tell the story. The boat of De Vaca was cast by the waves on an island, a little to the west of this bay, where, famished and nearly lifeless, they were kindly received by the Indians; for the latter were no longer hostile, when their enemies were overthrown, and their humanities were appealed to. Thus terminated the expedition of Narvaez.

One remark occurs on the fate of this twice unsuccessful commander. The geography of Florida fought against him.

Cortez, in the worst state of his affairs, after the "noche triste" without food, defeated, and with fierce enemies around him and before him, was marching over lands elevated seven thousand feet above the sea. Pizarro had the Andes beneath him; but Narvaez was never a hundred feet probably above tide-water, and was most of the time wading his way through swamps and morasses, beneath the level of the sea. This fact should be remembered, in estimating toils and sufferings of so striking and melancholy a character. We derive these details from the narrative of De Vaca — the treasurer and high sheriff of the contemplated government of Florida, and the only surviving officer of the expedition, who, after eight years of captivity among the Indians, with three companions, passed on from one tribe to another, crossing the Mississippi, and the Rio Grande del Norte, till he traversed the coterminous parts of the continent, and arrived at Compostella, on the Gulf of California, and finally returned to Spain.

§. It was not till 1537, that De Vaca appeared at the court of Spain. He was hailed as one risen from the dead; for rumor had long consigned the whole expedition of Narvaez to destruction, and almost to oblivion. The tale of disastrous adventures De Vaca had to tell, one would have thought sufficient to deter any one from new expeditions into Florida. But it was far otherwise. The determined resistance of the Appalachians was but another incentive to Spanish chivalry. Their successes against the Indian race in America had been such, that nothing was deemed a task too hard or incredible to accomplish. The very extent and geographical magnificence of the regions De Vaca revealed, raised expectations of wealth and resources, which fired the imagination. Other Indian empires, doubtless, extended in the then unbounded precincts of Florida; at any rate, there were heathens and infidels to conquer and bring to the light of Christianity. Such were the anticipations which appeared to have brought Hernando de Soto to his resolution. He had been the right-hand man of Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. His share of the spoils of Atahualpa is stated to have been "a hundred and


eighty thousand crowns of gold." He was one of the wealthiest men in Spain — a Hidalgo by birth, a man of pre-eminent courage and conduct, an elegant horseman, a soldier without his peer. He had passed several years in Spain, after the conquest of Peru, in inglorious ease and elegant hospitality and refinement; celebrated and envied, in court and out of court. There was none equal to him for his gallant reputation and achievements; for other heroes and conquerors in the new world had mostly risen from low stations; but De Soto, it was affirmed, was doubly entitled to his honors, by the claims of gentle birth. He little dreamed that he was going to invade a people who paid small respect to hereditary descent; who lived in frail wigwams of reeds or bark — who were exclusively hunters and warriors — who raised no cotton, had no large towns, no public roads, no mines whatever; but who, at the same time, cherished a high spirit of bravery and independence, which had been goaded to great activity by the reckless, cruel, and perfidious deeds of such men as Vasquez and Narvaez. These tribes, too, possessed great cunning, secrecy of purpose, and stoical command of nerve. It was their darling policy to carry on their wars by ambuscades and guerilla parties; to destroy their foes in detail, and by no means to concentrate into columns, and stand the brunt of an open battle. They were not the subjects and slaves of a despotic ruler, like the trembling and taxed vassals of Montezuma, whose power was backed by the dreadful and sanguine rights of a horrid religious tyranny which held them to a double obedience. But they were free, bold, and unconsolidated Indian democracies, where every warrior's voice was heard, and where every one set the highest possible value on tribal freedom. They were, in fact, too poor to conquer in the sense of that age. The true wealth of the territory which they possessed consisted in the inherent fertility of its soil, its crystal streams, its fine climate, and its adaptation to all the solid and growing purposes of an agriculture and commerce, such as, under the Anglo-Saxons, the world has probably never seen. All this could not enter into the views of De Soto. It was, in fact, of greater intrinsic value than if the Appalachian chain had been a lump of unbroken gold, and the channel of the Mississippi river, which was destined to serve as his resting-place, had poured down a flood of liquid silver. Such were the Appalachians whom De Soto, with his share of the wealth of Peru, purposed to overthrow. He offered to conquer the country at his own cost. The Emperor readily granted his request, and conferred on him the title of Adelantado, with the usual powers and immunities. His standard at Seville was flocked to by the brave and ambitious from all quarters. Portugal, as well as Spain, sent her volunteers. In little more than a twelve-month his forces amounted to nine hundred and fifty men, including some of the choicest cavaliers, with twelve priests, eight inferior clergymen, and four monks; who embarked in seven large, and three small vessels, at San Lucas de Barrameda, on the 6th of April, 1538; being a little less than eleven years after Narvaez had embarked on his ill-starred expedition, from the same port, against the same people.


§. Everything favored his voyage to Cuba and his sojourn there, where he received a new accession of followers, and procured an ample recruit of the noblest horses. More than a year elapsed before he was ready to proceed hence on his conquest. In the meanwhile, he passed his time in entertainments, tournaments, and rejoicings, more befitting a conqueror before his entrance on some grand triumphal display than a descent among the hammocks and lagoons of Florida, where every thicket concealed vengeful bowmen, and the whole body of the irritated tribes were prepared to assail an invader with the direst hostility. Four Indians had been kidnapped on the coasts and brought to Cuba to serve as guides and interpreters prior to his embarkation; a point of great importance certainly, but the manner of obtaining which served further to irritate the Indians, and offend their natural sense of justice and fair dealing. He embarked all his forces about the middle of May, and after twelve or thirteen days spent on the transit, entered the waters of Tampa Bay — being the same body of water that Narvaez had entered and named La Cruz, but which De Soto now called Espiritu Santo. He remained in his vessels six days. Everything betokened a hostile reception from the Indians. They had abandoned the coast, along which bale-fires were left burning and sending up their columns of smoke to advise the distant bands of the arrival of their old enemy. On the last day of May, three hundred men were landed on arid ground, to take possession of the country for the crown, in the customary form. (Plate 2.) Not an Indian was in sight. But they were not long in showing their hostility. During the night, near dawn of day, while the men were bivouacked, the Indians rushed upon them with horrid yells, armed with bows and clubs. Several of the Spaniards were wounded, notwithstanding their armor, and the whole body rushed to the shore under a panic in the utmost confusion, where they were reinforced from the ships. The enemy were then dispersed with the loss of a single horse, which was shot with an arrow that had been driven with such force as to pass through the saddle and housings and pierce one-third of its length into the body. The whole army now debarked; and during several days which they reposed here after their sea-voyage, nothing more was seen of the Indians.

There was now something to be done besides tournaments and boasting. An army of more splendid equipments and appointments had never before landed in America. It was led by the most brilliant and chivalrous cavaliers. It glittered in the splendor of fresh-burnished armor. Its trumpets and drums wakened new echoes in the solitudes of Florida. Its horses, of Arabic blood, decorated with gaudy housings, presented an object to the natives before which they fled. The spear was a new and dreaded weapon in the hands of the horsemen; and they quailed before the deadly aim of the matchlock. But they were inferior to the Indians in the use of the


bow. The latter were relieved from the encumbrance of baggage. They were superior woodsmen, superior in minute geographical knowledge, and of the natural resources of the country. They were better enured to the fatigues and hardships of forest life. They imitated the sagacity of a fox in threading a forest, and the ferocity of a panther in pouncing on their prey. It was their policy not to meet their invaders in battle in concentrated bodies, but to fall on them unawares at night, or in difficult defiles. They sought to conquer by delay, and to enfeeble by a strict war of details. When consulted, they often gave vague answers. They were adepts at concealment. It is believed that they often led De Soto from place to place, to entangle him deeper in the forest. They perceived that he sought, above all other objects, gold and gold mines. Of these they had none; but ignorant themselves of metallic minerals, they might often deceive and mislead, when they did not intend it. To ignorant men, silvery and yellow mica, and pyrites of iron, have often appeared to be gold and silver. The Indians were deceived in the same way. Their attention was so perpetually called to these subjects, that they could not mistake the object of the invasion. Besides, it was never concealed by De Soto. He came as a conqueror. His monarch was boldly avowed as their monarch.

It is left to the narrators who described this expedition, to represent it, as they chose to proclaim it, with a very pardonable national vanity, as a conquest. It is not my purpose to follow the march, were that practicable, in all its minute details. Extraordinary as it was, and fruitful as it proved in scenes of high heroic daring and prowess, on the part of De Soto and his devoted followers, it is not without violence that it is pronounced "a conquest." A military reconnoissance, with battles, it certainly was. It was not possible, in so extended a line, to keep communications open with his initial point of landing; and although attempted, it was abandoned, and the Indians, with a sound policy and just judgment on their mode of warfare, parted before him, and immediately closed up behind him. The particular districts were no longer conquered, than during the time he actually remained on them. He made immense strides: at first towards the north-east, and north, and then the west, southwest, and south, and finally towards the north, till he reached the indomitable Chickasaws, and crossed the Mississippi. By marching so far inland from his starting point at Tampa Bay, and crossing the Withlacooche, and the lakes and lagoons at the sources of the St. John, where we must locate his Vitachucco, he avoided the difficulties that continually beset Narvaez on the Gulf coasts. The movements of his cavalry were irresistible; the Indians always quailed before it: but it appears evident that his infantry lacked drill, discipline, and order. He was a man as noted for his resource and policy, as for his bravery and personal presence in the field and council. He took great pains, on reaching the village of Hirrihigua, but two leagues from his point of debarkation, to appease the feelings of that chief, for the outrages perpetrated by Narvaez — most cruel and foolish act — which, if there was


no other, shows Narvaez to have been unfit for command; for cruelty such as this was like sowing dragons' teeth, and must ever yield a bitter crop. How successful these efforts were, is doubtful. But while negotiating with this chief, he heard of a Spaniard who was held in captivity by a neighbouring chief called Mucoso. This was Juan Ortez, a man who had been furtively landed from one of the ships of Narvaez. Ortez, who had learned the language, was, in his influence on the tribes, another Marie Marina, and was of the greatest use to De Soto in all his future negotiations. These two steps were auspicious, and denoted capacity for command. His first line of march, from Tampa Bay to Cofatchique on the Savannah river, which is in the territory of South Carolina, is a military and exploratory achievement of a singular and unique character. He was now near to the northern limits of the Creeks or Muscogees, as the names sufficiently denote. While at Cofatchique, he identifies, as we have before intimated, a dagger and certain articles of armor, which were determined to have been captured about twenty-four or five years previously from the ill-fated Vasquez D'Ayllon. Struck with the obedience yielded to a female ruler of that place whom he is pleased to call "queen," he thought he would facilitate his march westward, by carrying her along in a sort of state captivity. The idea is a repetition of that of Cortez when he carried Montezuma a captive to his quarters, and of Pizarro when he seized Atahualpa. This device seemed to have answered very well till the queen found herself getting beyond her proper bounds, or territorial influence, when she managed to escape.

§. De Soto's observation and experience of the Indian character had been founded altogether on the south and central American tribes. He had, during the conquest of Peru, witnessed their implicit obedience to Incas, by whom they had been subjected, and to whom they yielded both a feudal and hieratic submission. It was impossible for him to conceive of the spirit of independence of the free chieftaindoms and republican councils of the bold Appalachian tribes, whose territories he now invaded. But if he mistook their true character on landing in Florida, he was not long permitted to mistake their determined hostility and intense hatred. Having, as the Indians supposed, received their lands from the Great Spirit, of whom the sun and moon were only symbols, they could not conceive how their title could be bettered by acknowledging the gift from Charles V. It was not only Hirrihigua, who was still smarting under the atrocities of Narvaez, who refused every overture of peace, but the same spirit, although often concealed under deep guises, animated every tribe from the Gulf to the Mississippi. Hear what Acuera, a Muscogee chief, said, in reply to the messengers of De Soto, who had invited him to a friendly interview. "Others of your accursed race have, in years past, poisoned our peaceful shores. They have taught me what you are. What is your employment? to wander about, like vagabonds, from land to land — to rob the poor — to betray the confiding — to murder, in cold blood, the


defenceless. No! with such a people I want no peace — no friendship. War — never-ending war — exterminating war, is all the boon I ask.

"You boast yourselves valiant, and so you may be; but my faithful warriors are not less brave, and this too you shall one day prove — for I have sworn to maintain an unsparing conflict, while one white man remains in my borders. Not only in battle, though even thus we fear not to meet you, but by stratagem, ambush, and midnight surprisal.

"I am king in my own land, and will never become the vassal of a mortal like myself. Vile and pusillanimous is he who will submit to the yoke of another, when he may be free. As for me and my people, we choose death — yes! a hundred deaths — before the loss of our liberty, and the subjugation of our country.

"Keep on, robbers and traitors — in Acuera and Apalachee we will treat you as you deserve. Every captive will we quarter and hang up to the highest tree along the road."

This was the spirit in which De Soto was everywhere met, with the single exception of Mucoso, the protector of Juan Ortez. It was either suppressed for the moment, or openly manifested wherever the invaders could be attacked at disadvantage to his peculiar force. And consistently with savage warfare, it was carried out. During the twenty days that his army abode in Acuera to refresh themselves, fourteen Spaniards were picked off and slain, as they ventured from camp, and a great many wounded, without the possibility of the Spanish seeing or finding an enemy. Every close thicket and impenetrable hammock seemed armed with Indian vengeance, which it was impossible to retort. The bodies of the slain Spaniards, who were almost daily buried, were dug up the following night, cut to pieces, and hung upon trees. The Indians laid in wait in their canoes in every deep and winding stream, and let fly their deadly arrows whenever the invader attempted to cross.

Such determined resistance the Spaniards had not met in Mexico or Peru; and the noble sentiments uttered by Acuera should have taught them that there was a different class of Indians, hardy, athletic, and free, who had never yet been brought into subjection to any yoke, native or foreign.

De Soto was not insensible to the noble fire of these sentiments, but was not for a moment to be diverted from his task; unfortunately, as we think, he determined to strike terror into their hearts, by adopting the policy of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." Enraged by the peculiar kind of petty opposition he found at crossing the streams, and around his encampments, he let loose a noted blood-hound as the minister of his vengeance, who, in a few days, tore to pieces four of the offending Indians. This cruelty to the living exceeded all Indian notions of torture, and inflamed their rage to desperation. It was a similar cruelty that had rendered


Narvaez odious, and by repeating it, he made himself and his nation to be hated and abhorred.

What the twelve priests and four monks were doing at this time, we are not informed; but it was hard to teach the doctrines of Christianity, which are so full of promises and mercies, while its principles were daily contradicted by such inhuman practices. We adduce also what Vitachucco, another Creek Indian, at a more advanced point on his march, said to his two brothers who had been taken captive by De Soto, and who had sent messages to him advising submission. He was their elder brother, and the ruling chief.

"It is evident enough," he replies, "that you are young, and have neither judgment nor experience, or you would never have spoken as you have done, of these hated white men. You extol them greatly, as virtuous men, who injure no one. You say that they are valiant — that they are children of the sun, and merit all our reverence and service. The vile chains which they have hung upon you, and the mean and dastardly spirit which you have acquired during the short period you have been their slaves, have caused you to speak like women, lauding what you should censure and abhor.

"You remember not that these strangers can be no better than those who formerly committed so many cruelties in our country. Are they not the same nation, and subject to the same laws? Do not their manners of life and actions prove them to be children of the Evil Spirit, and not of the sun and moon — our gods? Go they not from land to land, plundering and destroying — taking the wives and daughters of others instead of bringing their own with them, and like mere vagabonds, maintaining themselves by the labors of others? Were they virtuous as you represent, they would never have left their own country, since there they might have practised their virtues, instead of roving about the world committing robberies and murders, having neither the shame of men nor the fear of God before them.

"Warn them not to enter my lines; for I vow that, as valiant as they may be, if they dare to put foot upon my soil they shall never go out of my land alive; the whole race will I exterminate."

"If you want to add to your favors," said four Muscogee captives taken south of the Suwanee," take our lives: after surviving the defeat and capture of our chieftain, we are not worthy to appear before him, nor to live in the world."

Such were the feelings and temper of the whole body of the Indian tribes, who, in 1540, occupied the wide area from the Atlantic shores of Florida and


Georgia, to the banks of the Mississippi. Separated as their tribes were into different communities, they sank all tribal differences, and united in a general opposition to the invaders. Fear of the common enemy drove them into a virtual union. They never omitted a good opportunity to strike; but they often concealed their hatred under the deepest secrecy and the profoundest motives of policy, which lulled the conqueror into partial security. The geographical terms which are employed, though obscured in false and imperfect forms of notation, show that there were seven different tongues spoken by the tribes in their circuitous line of march, from Tampa Bay to the banks of the Mississippi, at the lower Chickasaw bluffs, where the army crossed.

The ancient Creeks or Muscogees appear at that era to have occupied the entire territory of East Florida and Georgia, extending to the Appalachicola, and reaching eventually to the Coosahatchie river, in South Carolina.

§. De Soto passed his first winter in the vicinity of Tallahassee. The next year, he reached Cofaqui, which is believed to have been near the present site of Macon. The Creeks, who found him pushing under false expectations towards the northeast, where they had bitter enemies, were glad to facilitate his movements; furnished him with provisions, and took advantage of his marching across the elevated war-grounds at the extreme sources of the Altamaha, Oconee, and Savannah rivers, to send the war-chief Patofa, with a large body of warriors, under the idea of escorting him, but really to fall upon their enemies. These enemies were the ancient, proud, and high-spirited Uchees, who had defeated the Spaniards on the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. So soon as they reached the waters of the Savannah river, they secretly left De Soto's camp at night, and fell with the utmost cruelty on their unsuspecting enemies. This act was laid to the Spaniards. De Soto, finding himself compromitted and deceived by this perfidy, dismissed Patofa and his followers back to Cofaqui. They returned with their rich trophy of scalps. He then continued his march down the south banks of the river, and crossed over to the will-o'-the-wisp of his hopes ever since quitting Apalache, in the long-anticipated Cofatchique, where he expected to find mines of gold and silver. This is a Creek name, which was mentioned to them the year before at their winter-quarters near Tallahassee, by an Indian boy named Pedro, who, the narrator reports, De Soto had "proved to be a most elaborate liar, on various occasions." That the Creeks followed up the blow when De Soto had left the country, and finally conquered the Uchees, and brought off the remnant, whom they incorporated into their confederacy, is denoted by their traditions.

§. Disappointed in his hopes of finding the precious metals at Cofatchique, and of opening a communication with the "Queen-mother" of the Uchee tribe, he carried


a young sachemess, who then ruled the village, captive with him on his march from this point towards the Appalachian mountains. But she managed to escape on the way towards the country of her enemies. The Spanish and Portuguese narrators of this expedition are constantly on stilts. The words "king, queen, prince, and province," are continually misapplied to bold and free hunter tribes, who were ruled by simple democratic councils of chiefs and warriors, who lived in bark wigwams more or less substantial, and had no exact boundaries to their territories, but generally left a strip of hunting and war ground undisturbed between the tribes, as at this day.

Reports carried De Soto north and north-west towards the Appalachian mountains, where he passed through a part of the territory occupied by a tribe who are called "Achalaques," the modern Cherokees. This is the first notice we have of this tribe. While encamped among the barren eminences at Ichiaha, the Cherokees told him that about thirty miles north there was gold. He sent two men into the spurs of the mountain to search for this metal, who, after an absence of ten days, reported the discovery of a country of grain and pasturage; "the appearance of the soil indicated the probable presence of gold and silver in the neighborhood."

§ It is remarkable that in this part of his march De Soto should have passed over the region of Dahlonega, where gold has been recently found in such quantities in the detritus of the mountains, that the United States Government has located a mint at that place. It proves that the reports of the Indians, if often vague, were sometimes reliable.

He now marched south and re-entered the country of the Creeks, following down the fertile and beautiful banks of the Coosa. The spirit of Hirrihigua, Acuera, and Vitachucco, appeared to have died away; and, notwithstanding some difficulties, they were received with general friendliness, being heralded from one Indian village to another, as far at least as Coosa, their principal town. De Soto now approached the borders of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. In his triumphal march down the banks of the Coosa, the Creeks accompanied him, with hidden motives. They carefully concealed the plot which was revealed at Mauvila. The practice of making the ruling chief captive, and taking him along to secure the obedience of his warriors, who were compelled to carry the baggage of the army, was always grating to the natural feeling of independence of the aborigines. Yet no outbreaking opposition was made. The Spaniards regarded the tribes as conquered. They certainly relaxed their military diligence and discipline. They marched along, spreading out over large spaces. Their encampments were loosely guarded. It is evident that they often neglected to post sentinels. The "camp-master" was very remiss — so much so, that he was finally displaced.


There was, at that time, a noted chief living on the Coosa, of gigantic frame, and great courage and vigor of intellect, called Tuscaloosa, or the Black Warrior. He had been carried along by De Soto, a captive like the preceding chiefs, on their march down this magnificent valley. But he bore the indignity with a degree of impatience that nothing short of his Indian stoicism could control. As De Soto marched down the river towards the principal village, at Mauvila, he had some suspicions of his intentions, from the frequent Indian messengers he noticed; but there were no additional warriors to his train. The Spaniards entered the town in a straggling manner, and at intervals, which denoted that no direct hostility was anticipated: and certainly no additional guards were taken against such hostility. Tuscaloosa was brought a virtual captive to his own capital. But the hour foretold by Acuera had arrived. The day of Indian vengeance was near. Mauvila was a strongly fortified village, situated on a peninsula or plain, made by the windings of the Coosa. It was surrounded by stout palisades, with inner cross-ties and loop-holes for arrows, having an east and west gate. Eighty large and single-roomed houses, thatched in the Indian manner, stood around a square. Some of the trees about this enclosure retained their natural positions, and were covered with a dense foliage, which threw a pleasing shade over the square. It was an Indian stronghold. De la Vega's description is drawn in a manner to enhance our notions of its means of defence; and he certainly much overrates the number of its Indian defenders, all of which is done with the view of magnifying the glory of the hard struggle De Soto encountered here.

That one hundred foot and one hundred horse, not one of the latter of which could enter the town, should have sustained a conflict with "ten thousand" Indian warriors, would be sufficiently wonderful in itself, should we admit half the estimate of La Vega, which is as much as can be reasonably done. For it is perceived that even the small force with De Soto were, by the direction of Tuscaloosa, encamped "a bow-shot" outside of the walls, while his attendants and personal cortege were assigned quarters inside. Within the walls was also stowed all his baggage, provisions, and equipage, which had been brought in advance by the Indian burden-carriers. The rest of the army, consisting of some seven or eight hundred men, was left to come on by an easy, and it seems very careless march, under Moscoso, his camp-master.

§. It was now the 18th of October (1540), at an early hour in the morning, and while the troops were thus separated, and they were in the act of adjusting their encampment, that the war-cry of Tuscaloosa broke forth. In an instant hosts of Indians sallied from the houses, where they had been concealed. The place had previously been emptied of the matrons and children, and the ground about the town cleared as it were for battle. De Soto and his attendants were suddenly expelled from the fort, and its gates shut, leaving five dead. They were pressed so close that many of the horsemen could not get to their horses, which were unsaddled and tied to trees without, and forty noble animals were immediately pierced with arrows, and fell dead. The


Indians were divided in two columns, one of which attacked the horses, and the other the footmen. With the usual gallantry of himself and officers, De Soto led the remaining sixty horsemen and all his men to storm the fort. He was soon joined by some few of Moscoso's horse, and drove back the assailants. They found the gate closed, quite narrow, and well defended, and were dreadfully annoyed while before it, by the arrows which were shot from the walls and loop-holes with amazing force and accuracy. Some of his most gallant cavaliers were fatally pierced between the joints of their armor, and numbers of their horses killed. In the mean time the yells of the Indians were deafening; they beat their drums in loud defiance, and shook the spoils they had taken from the Spaniards in triumph at them, from the walls; and they were provided with stones to cast on such as came too near. De Soto could not maintain his position beneath the walls, and was compelled to retreat.

Seeing this, the courage of the Indians rose to the highest pitch of fury. Their yells and wild music were deafening; some of them sallied from the gates, others let themselves down from the walls, and rushed upon the Spaniards. The latter kept in close and compact bodies, and returned their charges. For three hours they fought in this manner; charging backward and forward, and over the plain; but the advantage, in point of numbers killed, was in favor of the Spaniards, who, although suffering severely, were cased in armor, while every blow was effective on their foes. At length the Indians withdrew from the plains, and shut themselves up in their fortress, and manned its walls.

De Soto now ordered his cavalry, being arrow-proof, to dismount, and taking battle-axes, to break open the gate. By this time the remaining horsemen had reached the field, and two hundred cavaliers dashed forward to his support. The gate was soon broken, though furiously defended by darts and stones, but was found too narrow to admit all. Some rushed in pell-mell, others battered the rude plastering from the walls and climbed over. The fight was furious. The Indians fought from the tops of their houses. They thronged the square. Lance, club, and missile, were wielded from every quarter. The struggle was so fierce, particularly from the roofs of the houses, that the Spanish soldiers, fearful lest the Indians should regain some houses that had been taken, set fire to them. This was a fatal act. As they were constructed of reeds and other combustible materials, fumes of smoke and flame soon spread through the place, and this added tenfold to the horrors of the scene. Those of the Indians whom the lance and battle-axe spared, were suffocated in the smoke, or leaped over the walls. The Indians fought with desperation; even their young women snatched up the swords of the slaughtered Spaniards, and mingled in the fight, showing more reckless desperation than even the men. The battle, in all its phases, lasted for nine hours. At length the Indians gave way. Those who left the fort fled in all directions, pursued by the cavalry. Those who were encountered within the walls, would neither give nor take quarter. They preferred to die on the spot, and to fight


till the last gasp. Not a man surrendered. The slaughter was immense. The Spaniards acknowledge a loss of eighty-two men; eighteen of whom were shot by an arrow in the eye or mouth, so unerring was the aim. They lost forty-two horses. They claim to have killed twenty-five hundred natives. This battle appears to have been fought by the combined forces of the Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws. Tuscaloosa fell, but his name has been perpetuated to the present day, though the traditions of his people do not reach back to the time of De Soto. Such a determined resistance De Soto had never met with. The feebler Peruvians had shown him no such instance of it. It was a victory dearly purchased, as in its practical effects it had all the evil consequences of a defeat. The worst thing that had befallen him was the loss of all his baggage and stores, and supplies. He had not even a scrap of lint left, to dress a wound. Clothing, extra equipage, goods which had been taken along as presents to Indians, or to repay their services, were all consumed. It made him moody and taciturn, and from this moment his whole plan of operation was changed. He had vested his ample fortune, acquired by the plunder of Atahualpa, in an adventure which had signally failed; hopes of golden empires appeared no longer to flit before his mind. He had been pushing on to reach the sea-coast, at the splendid harbor discovered by Moldenado, and now named Pensacola, or Perdido bay; where he supposed that commander to be awaiting his arrival, with new supplies from Spain. He had fixed on this as the capital of his projected settlement. He was now within less than a hundred miles of that point. But the battle of Mauvila had come like a dark cloud over his prospects. There were murmurs in his army; they had lost everything, even their clothes. He overheard some of his officers expressing the intention of embarking as soon as they reached the sea, and returning to Spain. He determined at once to balk this plan, and, as soon as the wounds of his men would permit, to change his course, and march towards the north. To the north he therefore wheeled, with all his forces, horse and foot. But an evil rumor went before him. The stand made by the Indians was heralded among them as a triumph. It had broken the charm of invincibility, and taught them the possibility of a victory even over the dreaded horse. And from this point, wherever he went, De Soto encountered nothing but hostility of the deepest kind. "War is what we want," said they; "a war of fire and blood." Such was his reception, at the various points at which he encamped, before reaching the Mississippi. But from none of the tribes did he encounter such a determined resistance as from the Chickasaws. This tribe, who are closely allied to the Choctaws, have ever maintained a high character for bravery and independence, which probably has its origin in the times of De Soto, although their traditions, as I am assured by them (1852), do not reach those times.

His track laid across the Tuscaloosa and Tombigbee, leading north-westwardly till


he came to the waters of the Yazoo. The village on the Tuscaloosa, at the site of the present capital of Alabama, was abandoned before him. But little opposition, indeed, was made till reaching the Tombigbee, where the Indians were found in force on its northern banks, to oppose his crossing. A messenger, who was despatched with offers of peace, was massacred in De Soto's sight; the Indians then fleeing, with loud shouts of triumph. Boats were constructed in two days, to cross the wide stream, after which the army marched on north-westwardly, which led them across the fertile uplands of Mississippi, till they reached a village called "Chicaza." This stood, apparently, on the banks of the Yazoo. It was now the 18th of December, an entire month after quitting the smoking ruins of Mauvila. The bleakness of autumn characterized the forest, and the season began to exhibit cold days and nights, before which the men shrunk. De Soto had not many days left the country of the Choctaws, and entered on that of the Chickasaws. The enemy vanished before him, and when pressed by the cavalry, retired into reedy thickets and positions, where they could not be followed. On entering the Chickasaw village, it was found completely deserted. There were some two hundred wigwams, occupying a gentle hill of oaks and walnuts, having a stream on either side. It was a favorable position for an encampment, and De Soto determined to occupy it for his winter quarters. For this purpose, he caused other and larger buildings to be erected with wood and straw, brought from neighboring hamlets. For two months he reposed in these quarters; sending out, however, almost daily, foraging and scouting parties into the adjacent forests.

§. At length the thought to burn the encampment appears to have entered the minds of the Chicaksaws, and well did they conceal their plan till they could carry it into effect. For several nights previously, they had made feint night attacks on the camp, as if, by the frequency of these alarms, to throw the Spaniards off their guard; in the course of which time, however, the rapacity and lawlessness of the soldiers brought the commander into some serious difficulties. A dark and wild night was chosen by the Indians for the attack, when the wind was blowing strongly from the north. They proceeded in three parties, moving cautiously, and choosing the intervening spaces between the sentinels, to penetrate the camp. They carried live embers in covered clay jars, and in separate places set fire to the light combustible materials of which the wigwams and barracks were made. The wind soon blew it into a flame, which being fed by the dry straw mats, raged with the fierceness of a prairie on fire. It was at the most profound part of the night, and the soldiers, suddenly aroused from their slumbers by a terrible outcry, were half bewildered. Some of them at first took to the woods; but being recalled, joined in the fight, and as day broke the assailants were chased into the woods, and the army kept its ground.

De Soto, who always slept on his arms, at least "in doublet and hose," fought valiantly, and was finally sustained by his principal officers and men. But this midnight attack turned out to be more disastrous than even the terrible battle of


Mauvila. From the suddenness of the flames, some of the men barely leapt out with their lives, leaving a part of their arms and equipments. Swords and lances required to be re-tempered, for which purpose a forge was built. Many of the saddles were burnt, and much of the furniture of the houses consumed. Forty Spaniards had fallen in the combat. One woman, the only Spanish female in the army — a soldier's wife — was burned to death. Fifty horses had perished, either by the dart or by the fire, as it was impossible in the melee to untie them from the stakes; and many more were wounded. Another grievous loss was the swine, that had been driven so far as an element in the contemplated agricultural settlement. They had been penned, and nearly all of them perished in the fire.

§. This disastrous battle, following so soon after the conflict at Mauvila, was enough to appal the stoutest heart. Yet it was amazing with what energy the Spaniards set to work to repair their losses. In three days they established a new camp, within a league of the old site, to which De Soto gave the name of Chicacilla, or Little Chickasaw. Not only were their armorers put to work in repairing their arms, but while they remained in this position, which was during the rest of the winter, they made saddles, shields, and lances. Here they suffered greatly from cold and the want of suitable clothing and bedding — for the conflagration had left them nothing but what they had on their backs. It was the 1st of April (1541) before De Soto was ready to quit his encampment. But it was to encounter new opposition. The hostile spirit of the Indians seemed to be deeply and generally aroused in every direction. An easy march of four leagues, through open plains with deserted hamlets, brought them in sight of a strongly stockaded fort, called Alabama, (situated on the banks of a stream,) which was carried by assault, after a desperate resistance. In this contest the Spaniards had many men wounded, of whom fifteen died; and although they killed great numbers of the Indians, those who remained were in no wise humbled, and never omitted an opportunity to fall on their enemies, when they could do so to advantage. They appeared to be the most accurate and powerful marksmen with the arrow that can be imagined; — this deadly weapon being sometimes driven with such force as to pass through the entire body of a horse. After a halt of four days, to attend to their wounded and dead, they again set forward, still marching north, but through tangled and dense forests and waters, till they came to the banks of the Mississippi, which they appear to have struck at the lower Chickasaw bluffs. This discovery was indeed the grand and crowning point of his expedition, and is destined to carry his name to the latest times. Mines of gold and silver had indeed eluded his grasp, but by the discovery of this great artery of the North American continent, he had found the high golden way that was destined, in after years, to carry down the products of a valley of far greater value to the commerce of the world, than that of the proudest streams of antiquity. In comparison with this channel of wealth, the brilliant mines of Mexico and Potosi shine with diminished lustre. Already fifteen States of the American Union cluster on


its mighty stream and innumerable branches, containing thrice the population of the dominions of old Spain, whose proud and chivalrous banners were first displayed to its breezes; and of the future population of this valley, this is hardly the centuple.

The village that was seated here was called Cheesca, ("Chisca.") Its chief had his lodgment on a high artificial mound, constructed for that purpose. The army, impatient of the continual attacks they had encountered, immediately rushed into it, and carried it by assault, making prisoners of the women and children, and taking whatever was found in it, and giving it up to the pillage of the soldiery. By this means the Spanish leader held in his hands hostages for good conduct; and he succeeded, on full negotiation, in concluding a peace. De Soto now desired peace. He had passed over the broad and magnificent area from Florida, verging far north, and traversing a very extensive line of country, to the banks of the Mississippi; and had learned, from hard experience, that his incessant conflicts with the Indians, though he might have killed double or treble his numbers, yet had the inevitable tendency to weaken his forces, exhaust his means, and dispirit his men. He had lost some of his best troops, nearly half of his noblest horses, and all his baggage; and, after his most chivalric battles, victory only gave him empty towns, or unbroken forests. The natural magnificence of the country kept up his hopes from encampment to encampment: but it was only the magnificence of woods, forests, and waters; occupied by a poor, brave, and hardy race, who were determined to sell their lives at the dearest rate, who had never submitted to the yoke of a conqueror. And he had found that every victory exhausted him, and that his army must at last melt away and be subdued by a continuation of such reverses.

But he determined, before coming to his final conclusion, to try one more excursion. It was to penetrate the undiscovered west, that separated him, he supposed, by no broad space, from the Pacific. The very boldness, width, and strength of the Mississippi, formed a barrier which invited his martial spirit to cross its channel. For this purpose he put his army in the best array, and, by slow marches, followed up the winding channel of the river for four days. To the joy of all his men, who had been threading dense forests, he deployed on a high open plain, on the immediate shores of the river, with high and steep banks. These were so abrupt, that he could neither ascend nor descend them. He was now evidently on the Chickasaw bluffs, opposite the first eligible grounds above the mouth of the St. Francis. Having determined to pass the river at this ancient crossing-place of the Indians, he halted for twenty days, and employed his men in constructing boats for this purpose. When they were completed, he launched them, and before daylight sent across a pioneer party, to gain the point of landing on the other side. The river was judged to be half a league in width, but deep and swift, carrying down on its surface uprooted trees and flood-wood. He effected his passage without molestation, and two hours before sunset, his whole force was safely across, and he thus turned his back on


the fierce Appalachian tribes, who had so stoutly opposed him. Here then was the first expedition to penetrate that mighty and unconquerable west, which has for three centuries continued to be the theatre of geographical explorations, by the Spanish, French, and Americans. It was not, indeed, till 1806, under the conduct of Lewis and Clark, that De Soto's object was finally attained, the Cordilleras of the Rocky mountains scaled, and the Pacific shores reached.

§. De Soto was a man not to be daunted by slight or ordinary obstacles. He lifted his eyes to the western horizon with the contemplation of a hero. After five days' march, partly through lagoons, he reached the highlands of Missouri; and here he found himself surrounded by the Casque, who are supposed to have been the Kaskaskias of the Algonquin group; a people who, on the settlement of Illinois by the French, were found entirely east of the Mississippi. He here fell into a mistake, similar to that which he had made in his march to Cofatchique, in relation to the Uchees. The Kaskaskias received him with friendship; glad to find an ally who might sustain them in a war with a neighboring tribe. They accompanied him in great force against their enemies the Capaha (Quappas), under the plea of aiding in carrying the baggage and acting as scouts and pioneers; but they had no sooner reached the vicinity of their enemies, than they stealthily pushed ahead of the Spaniards and fell without mercy on the place, killing and scalping all they met with, and plundering the previously deserted village.

This subtle step cost De Soto a war. He attacked the tribe in a strong-hold in an island to which they fled, in the Mississippi, where he was deserted by his allies, who fled. His new enemies belonged to a large and different genera or group of the aborigines, who are known to us, ethnologically, as the Dacotas; the nomades of the western prairies. From this attack he withdrew with difficulty. He then returned to Casque, on the St. Francis, a large village with abundance of food, where he remained many days to recruit his army. He then marched south; but hearing reports of mineral wealth at the North, countermarched to the wild granitical regions on the sources of the St. Francis. This was the highest northern point west of the Mississippi river reached by him. He sent out runners to the salt country and to the buffalo country. He ranged through the Ozark mountains and the defiles of White river. He then crossed a rough elevated district to Tula in these broad highlands, and wintered in the country west of it. He came to a country after several days' march, which assumed a milder and more fruitful character. It afforded good pasturage for his horses, and the neighboring Indian villages gave him supplies of maize. He encountered severe weather, with snow storms; and organised parties to supply his camp with fuel from the contiguous forests. He was now on the north banks of the Arkansas at a high point, where he wintered, and he resolved, in the spring, to descend the river, with a view to carry into effect his long-meditated project of a colony. He selected a site on


the eastern banks of the Mississippi for its capital, in the territory of a people who were sun-worshippers, and who were clearly by their language and religion the Natches. This tribe, which appears to have occupied a higher position on the Mississippi than they were found to possess at the period of the settlement of Louisiana, were called Quigualtangui. They manifested the deepest hostility, and ridiculed the idea of De Soto's being a child of the sun — an idea which he had thrown out in his message to them soliciting submission to his arms. "If you are a child of the sun," was the haughty reply, "return to him, dry up the Mississippi, and we will submit to you."

§. His affairs had now assumed a gloomy aspect; he regretted that he had not founded his contemplated settlement at Pensacola, or in Perdido bay. He determined to retrieve his position by building two vessels, to communicate with Cuba, and reinforce himself, and immediately began the work. In the midst of these activities, he was seized with a fever, and after a few days' confinement to his couch, sunk rapidly under its wasting fires, and yielded up his spirit.

He had previously appointed his successor in Moscoso, one of his chief officers. De Soto's death was carefully concealed from the Indians, from motives of policy. The Spaniards secretly buried him at midnight, and took every pains to conceal the spot of his interment, to prevent his body from being dug up and insulted by the Indians. It was finally determined to place it in a rude sarcophagus of wood, made from hewing out a heavy tree; and having done this, it was carefully rowed out into the centre of the channel of the Mississippi, and sunk.

Consternation was depicted on every brow. It was not immediately seen, that in the death of a man of his untiring energy, ready resource, and high heroic greatness of every kind, the expedition was in fact crushed. The maledictions of Acuero had been accomplished. Vitachucco and Tuscaloosa had not devoted their lives in vain, to defeat and destroy their proud conqueror. De Soto's death could not long be kept a secret from the Indians, and they gathered fresh courage in reflecting on his demise.

§. It had been a popular idea with the army, before De Soto's death, that they were within striking distance of the frontier settlements in Mexico; and Moscoso put the army once more in motion to realize this wild scheme. He persevered in the effort, marching towards the west. He everywhere encountered fierce and hostile tribes. These rude enemies had no property, no towns, no government; but were what they have remained to our days, — fierce nomades, living on game, and roving over immense spaces, as the seasons varied.

At length Moscoso became satisfied of the impracticability of reaching Mexico, and returned to the Mississippi, and resolved to build vessels and leave the country. This was accomplished by the greatest efforts of skill and labor. To take along their remaining horses, two wooden canoes, or boats, were lashed together. But the gathering Indians hung upon their rear, waylaid and attacked them in front, and


never gave them rest, day or night, till they had killed every horse, destroyed some of the boats, and chased them to the very mouth of the river.

§. The track of De Soto has been a question of much discussion.

The march west of the Mississippi has been generally deemed to be very obscure in the Spanish narrative. Having, in early life, made my first exploratory trip, in ranging among the semi-Alpine group of mountainous hills in Missouri and Arkansas, called Ozark, which were the scenes of De Soto's marches, the route has assumed, to me, a more definite character. This route was partly governed by the geological configuration of the country, and in some measure also by the ancient Indian trails and paths, which, later, gave direction to the routes of the earliest modern roads.

After crossing at the lower Chickasaw bluffs, he marched five days, on an Indian trail, over the alluvions of the Mississippi, west to the hill-country of the St. Francis, and reached the site of Casqui; probably a location of the Illinois Indians (Kaskaskias). He followed the wily chief of this village north-eastwardly, against his enemies the Capahas (Quappas), on a bayou of the Mississippi, difficult to approach from that quarter. This was, evidently, about seventy miles above his original landing point. He then returned south-west to the Casqui; then marched south to Quiguate, probably near Black river. Hearing fresh reports of mineral wealth, he now marched north-west to Coligoa, on the source of the St. Francis, to latitude about 35° 30' or 36°. This was his utmost northern point. He was now at the foot of the high granitical peaks of St. Francis county, Missouri; celebrated, in modern days, for the Iron Mountains, and the lead and cobalt mines of La Motte. He now marched south, in search of a rich province called Cayas (Kanzas); and probably crossed the White river valley at Tanico. He thence crossed a hill country to Tula, in the fine valley of Buffalo creek. The Indians here were ill-favored, tattooed, and ferocious. Recruiting at this place for twenty days, he passed an uninhabited region for five days, west, over the remaining elevations of the Ozark chain, and came to fertile prairies beyond, inhabited by Indians called Quipana, Pani, or Pawnee. A few days' further march brought him to the banks of the Arkansas, near the Neosho, which appears to have been about the present site of Fort Gibson. Here, in a fruitful country of meadows, he wintered. Next spring he marched down the north banks of the Arkansas, to a point opposite the present Fort Smith, where he crossed in a boat, previously prepared. He then descended the south bank of the river to Anilco (Little Rock), where the army crossed to the north bank, partly on rafts, and reached the mouth of the Arkansas, where he died.

These ancient lines of march will more distinctly appear in the diagram (Plate 44) herewith furnished.


Manners and Customs.



1. Dignity of Indian Thought.
2. The Indian pronounced very low in the Scale by Philosophers.
3. Testimony of the French Missionary Authors.
4. American Testimony on this Topic.
5. True State of the Hunter-man.
6. Basis of Character. On what Founded.
7. Imperturbability.
8. Taciturnity.


9. Scarifications on the Loss of Friends. Scalping.
10. Immortality in a Future State.
11. Primary Duality of the Deity.
12. A Persic Trait.
13. Not Buddhists.
14. Hebrew Customs.


15. Government Patriarchal.
16. Gathering Wild Rice.
17. Watching the Corn-fields.
18. Woman in the Savage State.
19. Striking the War Post.



20. General State of Indian Costume.
21. Moccasin.
22. Esquimaux Boot.
23. Leggin — Male and Female.
24. Characteristic Remarks.
25. War Coat.
26. Head Dress.
27. Winter Caps.
28. Agim, or Snow-Shoe.
29. Azian, or Breech-Cloth.
30. Necklace.
31. Ornaments from Oregon and California.


32. Quiver.
33. Shield.
34. War Flag.
35. Tobacco Pouch.
36. Navoho Wigwams. (1 PLATE.)

A. Generic Traits of Mind.

1. THE scope of thought of the Indian tribes, when they stand forth to utter their sentiments and opinions in public, is more elevated and high-minded, and evinces more readiness of expression, than is generally found among the lower uneducated classes of civilized nations. The talent for speaking is earnestly cherished. During a long intercourse with various tribes, I have often been surprised by the noble style of their thoughts, and their capacity to rise above selfishness, and assume a high heroic attitude. It is difficult sometimes for the interpreters to follow, or understand these veins of lofty thought, and to do justice to the aboriginal oratory. If these flights are not always sustained, it may be said that they are sometimes so; and we must judge the Indian as we do civilized nations, by their best examples. That a people who are often depressed, so as to be put to their wit's ends for means of subsistence, should rise to elevation of thought at all, is surprising.


The hunter mind is so deeply fascinated with its ideal of freedom, that it seeks occasion to burst through the fetters imposed by the irksome pressure of civilization; and, as a relief, it gives vent to these bold and free flashes of thought. Their forms of language would appear to be too narrow to permit this, were it not that the purposes of generalization are effected by bold and striking metaphors, which are often violent indeed, but sometimes surpassingly simple and appropriate. "I stand in the path," the exclamation of Pontiac to the commander of a British force marched into his country in 1763, is a metaphor denoting imperial sway in the West, worthy of Napoleon in the palmiest days of his wonderful career, of putting his feet on the necks of the kings and emperors of Europe.

2. This trait of intellectual vigor elicited early remark, on the settlement of America. But it is worthy of note that the best instances of it were not found in the elevated table-lands and heights of Anahuac, Caxamarca, and Cuzco, on the slope of the Andes, but among the free forest tribes who wielded the bow and arrow in North America. The absence of such traits in the Montezumas and Atahualpas, who were looked to as the earliest exponents of Indian sentiment, appears to be the most natural and tenable reason that can be assigned for such sentiments as were uttered by Buffon and De Pauw; who, on a survey of Mexican and Peruvian history, pronounced the human species in America, together with the whole animal creation on this continent, diminutive, despicable, and debased.

3. The opinions of French missionaries to New France were singularly in opposition to this dogma of the eminent philosophers named. Struck by the bold and manly bearing of the Indian sachems, and their ready powers of oratory, they sent back the most glowing accounts of the natural capacity of this people.

Pere le June, one of the earliest missionaries, remarks — "I think the savages, in point of intellect, may be placed in a high rank. Education and instruction alone are wanting. The powers of the mind operate with facility and effect. The Indians I can well compare to some of our own villagers who are left without instruction. Yet I have scarcely seen any person who has come from France to this country, who does not acknowledge that the savages have more intellect or capacity than most of our own peasantry."

Lafitau says — "They are possessed of sound judgment, lively imagination, ready conception, and wonderful memory;" and that "they are high-minded and proud; possess a courage equal to every trial; an intrepid valor, and the most heroic constancy under torments; and an equanimity which neither misfortune nor reverses can shake."


Pere Jerome Lallemant writes — "Many are disposed to despair of the conversion of this people, from their being prejudiced against them as barbarians, believing them to be barely human, and incapable of becoming Christians. But it is very wrong to judge them thus, for I can truly say that, in point of intellect, they are not at all inferior to the natives of Europe; and had I remained in France, I could not have believed that, without instruction, nature could have produced such ready and vigorous eloquence, or such a sound judgment in their affairs, as that which I have so much admired among the Hurons."

La Potherie observes that, "when they talk in France of the Iroquois, they suppose them to be barbarians, always thirsting for human blood. This is a great error. The character which I have to give of that nation is very different from what these prejudices assign to it. The Iroquois are the proudest and most formidable people in North America, and at the same time, the most politic and sagacious."

Charlevoix remarks — "The beauty of their imagination equals its vivacity, which appears in all their discourse: they are very quick at repartee, and their harangues are full of shining passages, which would have been applauded at Rome or Athens. Their eloquence has a strength, nature, and pathos, which no art can give, and which the Greeks admired in the barbarians."

4. Similar testimony is expressed by numerous other foreign writers of early periods, all of whom, with the exception of Buffon and De Pauw, concur in the position, that the Indian mind possesses great vigor, and strong powers of perception, eloquence, and imagination. American writers have approached the subject with more soberness of apprehension, and with a perpetual recollection, it would seem, of the Indians' general defects of induction, forecast, and stability of character. The aborigines are perceived to possess an imagination of a peculiar, apparently a very ancient and oriental, cast. Their natural eloquence has commanded general admiration, as possessing some of the very highest elements. Thought has seldom been brought home to human actions more forcibly, than it is seen in some of their more celebrated harangues and oratorical efforts. Mr. Jefferson has given us a most remarkable instance of their oratorical powers, in his Notes on Virginia. Mr. Cadwallader Colden had noticed this trait nearly forty years before, and expresses his opinion that the interpreters did injustice to the native speakers. "I must own," he says, "that I


suspect our interpreters may not have done justice to the Indian eloquence. For the Indians, having but few words and few complex ideas, use many metaphors in their discourses, which, interpreted by an unskilful tongue, may appear mean, and strike our imagination faintly, but under the pen of skilful representations, might strongly move our passions by their lively images."

De Witt Clinton, in his discourse before the New York Historical Society, in 1811, pays a tribute to the Iroquois stock of the Indian family. "No part of America contains a people which furnish more interesting information, and more useful instruction; which will display the energies of the human character in a more conspicuous manner, whether in light or shade; in the exhibition of great virtues or talents, or of great defects."

5. The Indian mind is not capable of strong powers of excogitation. It perceives quickly, and reasons very well on those topics which are familiar to the hunter state. Neither is it progressive at all. It rather reverts to what is past, than to what is to come; and it dwells on these reminiscences with a degree of satisfaction and approval, as if the age of hunting was the golden age of Indian history; and all that he sees around him tells him that that is past. There is but little disposition to pry into the future condition of human society, and none whatever to seek its improvement. Allusion is had, of course, to the most elevated minds. The common mass hardly think at all; and there is absolutely nothing, in any clan, of a progressive tendency. Its original conceptions are reproduced at intervals of one, two, and three centuries. It does not accumulate images and ideas, as happens in civilized and learned life, by the reading of books. The skies, the woods, and the waters, are the Indian's books. He reads them, and expresses himself poetically concerning them, as well, indeed, at the earliest points of his history, as he does at the present day. Acuera, Vitachucco, and Tuscaloosa, were as good interpreters of the Indian views and sentiments, as Powhatan, Tamanend, and Connassatego. The thought-work is, perhaps, improved a century later, if judged by the eloquent voices of Garragula, Myontonimo, and Pontiac. We get a sterner view of the effects of civilization on the Indian mind and institutions in our own day, by listening to the harangues of a Tecumseh, a Red Jacket, or a Thyendanegea. If there be an intellectual declension in aboriginal character, it is in those tribes who have come more immediately in contact with civilization, and fallen under the misconceptions and temptations of mixed society. In these cases, the change is not a mental progress, but a letting-go, as it were, of the Indian beau ideal of original thought. It is a step downward. The wild and unsubdued tribes are ever the boldest and freest in their oratory. But their


powers of oratory cannot be taken as a measure of their capacity for meeting the practical questions of life. To think closely and consecutively, to plan well, and to execute with firmness and perseverance, are the characteristics of the human mind in a high state of civilization. If the Indian mind could be taken apart, as a piece of mechanism, it would be found to be an incongruous and unwieldy machine, which had many parts that did not match, and which, if likened to a watch, only ran by fits and starts, and never gave the true time. The materials of which it is constructed would be found most diverse, — as "wood, clay, stubble," mud, and dross; bright and foul things would be found in close proximity, and they could not be cemented or bound firmly together.

6. What are the facts that the Indian mind has had to guard against? Physical suffering of the intensest character! This has made him to exhibit the most hardened and stoical qualities. Sometimes deception of a deep dye! This has made him eminently suspicious of every one and everything, even things without life; for, being a believer in necromancy and witchcraft, he has had to suspect all forms of life and matter. It became a prime object, in all classes, to suppress the exhibition of the feeling of nervousness, susceptibility, and emotion. He was originally eminently a man of concealments. He always anticipated harm, never good. Fear and suspicion put double guards upon him. A look or a word might betray him, and he therefore often had not a look or a word to bestow. This severe mental discipline made him a stoic of the highest character to his enemies, and to all whom he had reason to fear or suspect. It is the aged, the sedate, the experienced, to whom these traits peculiarly apply. If such men are dignified and reserved before strangers and councils, it is the dignity of Indian philosophy. No wonder the French missionaries and officers of the crown admired such a man, and made strong efforts to convert him, and transmitted enthusiastic reports of him to the court of France.

7. Imperturbability, in all situations, is one of the most striking and general traits of the Indian character. To steel his muscles, to resist the expression of all emotion, seems to be the point of attainment; and this is to be particularly observed on public occasions. Neither fear nor joy are permitted to break this trained equanimity. The newest and most ingenious contrivance placed before him, is not allowed to produce the least expression of wonder; and, although his language has provided him with many exclamations of surprise, he cannot, when placed in the gaze of public observation, be induced to utter any, even the slightest of them, to mark emotion. The mind and nerves are schooled to this from the earliest hours; and it is deemed to be a mark of timidity or cowardice to permit his countenance to denote surprise. In this stern discipline of the mind and nerves, there is no appreciable difference in the whole Indian race situated between the tropic and arctic zones. Heat of climate has


not been found to have had the effect to relax the habit, nor cold to make him forget the unvarying severity of cautiousness, or of what is conceived to be its manly requirements. The Inca Atahualpa ordered some of his warriors to be immediately put to death, because they had evinced some emotion of surprise at the sight of Pizarro's cavalry, who had been directed to curvet before him; although the horse was everywhere, on his first introduction, known to be the especial object of Indian wonder and fear.

8. Taciturnity is a habit of mind very consonant to the maxims and experiences of the hunter life. Where the punishment of hot or hasty words is often the knife or club, a man is compelled to deliberate well before he utters a sentiment. It is a maxim in Indian life, that a man who is sparing of his words is discreet. The habits of the forest tend to show this. Public speaking, and talking, are different acts. A speech or an oration is left for public councils and occasions; and is, therefore, thoughtfully prepared. There is always a private council to determine what shall be said, and a man appointed to speak, who is not always a chief. This preparation is often so carefully made, that it was customary in early times, on great occasions, to have a string of wampum, to serve as a memorial or symbol to every paragraph or topic. I have, in the course of more than twenty years' official dealings with them, found their private councils to precede every important measure to be discussed; and a public answer was seldom given, without first assembling by themselves to deliberate. The requirements of the highest diplomatic circle could hardly, indeed, prescribe greater caution and concealment than is observed in their public treaties; and in these two qualities we may take a Talleyrand and Metternich, and a Pontiac and Tecumseh, as the two extremes where barbarism and civilization meet: it would be difficult to determine in which two classes of diplomatists profound concealment and deception most abound.

B. Traces of Foreign Origin.

9. Nations between whom no intercourse or commingling of languages is supposed to have existed, may yet develope a similarity in certain manners and customs. The most that can be contended for, is that striking and general customs imply early intercommunication. Some shadowings of an Asiatic origin, it is thought, are to be seen in the existing customs and beliefs of the Indians. Such is the practice of cutting and scarifications of their arms and legs, to denote sorrow for the dead; a custom which is mentioned in the sacred writings, and also by Grecian and Roman writers, as


a characteristic of barbarians. The practice of scalping appears to have been a Hebrew custom.

10. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is distinctly taught by most of the North American Indians. No one can have been a witness to their funerals, and heard the address which it is customary to make to the corpse, while it is lying dressed out, ready for burial, in the best of habiliments, without being strongly impressed with this idea. And the customs and observances connected with its interment on elevated dry ground, with the implements and ornaments of life, and the lighting of the symbolical funeral fire, for several nights, on the grave, which is an Algonquin custom, appear to denote that the soul is believed to be observant of the respect paid to the body, and that a reunion of the two is believed in. A very ancient notion appears to reveal itself in the gift of food that is offered, for some time, to the dead — namely, the soul's duality. It would seem that they believed in a sensual and local soul, as distinguished from an ambient and absent spirit. They act only what they believe. Why make an offering which there is no belief to justify? The human mind rejects this.

11. One of the strongest, and, at the same time, the most ancient point of Indian belief, is that of the DUALITY OF GOD. This was the leading doctrine in the Zendavesta of Zoroaster; and was a common oriental notion long before the son of Terah was called from the plains of Persia to cross the Euphrates. Everywhere our Indians have upheld this idea of a duality of gods; giving one good, and the other evil powers; with its ancient developments of subordinate polytheisms.

12. Equally general has been the notion on this continent, in all its latitudes, that the sun is the symbol of the beneficent Creator and upholder of their great cosmogonic frame, imparting light and warmth for the benefit of mankind. Very incongruous and horrid rites of offering and sacrifice have, it is true, as was especially seen among the Aztecs and Toltecs, been built up on this foundation, obscuring its simpler ancient forms. Yet this belief was at the foundation of all their religious schemes. While victims were sacrificed to Huitzil Opochtli, the sun was still regarded as the symbol of beneficence. The duality of God was to be observed by the Toltecs and Aztecs; but it was only the malignant attributes that claimed the chief worship. And upon these, deeply associated as they were with the continuance of the earth, as marked in their astronomical system, the native priesthood relied for their power.

The ancient nations "sacrificed to their drag," and made gods of war and battle. Yet they had their Astarte, their Osiris, their priests of On, and their Baals, in every grove. Even the temple service did not escape the contamination of the sun-worship, in the days of its gross declension.


13. There seems but little, in their manners and customs, to connect the American Indians with the Hindoo race, notwithstanding the resemblances in some of their physical traits. They did not burn their dead, even in the torrid zone. Widows never ascended the funeral pyre. Old men were not committed to the sacred waves of the Amazon, the Orinoco, or the Mississippi. There was no western Ganges. They did not swing on hooks of steel. They did not fall before the car of a western Juggernaut. There is no infanticide. There are no traits of caste. The extreme excess of the polytheism of Buddhism was not practised, though each element had its attributed god.

Yet, like the Hindostanese, they worship the spirits of their ancestors. They both place cakes on their graves and sepulchres, and pour out libations. Vide Vol. I., p. 38.

14. The strong trait in Hebrew compound words, of inserting the syllable el or a single letter in the names of children, derived from either the primary or secondary names of the deity, does not prevail in any Indian tribes known to me. Neither are circumstances attending their birth or parentage, which were so often used in the Hebrew children's names, ever mentioned in these compounds. Indian children are generally named from some atmospheric phenomenon. There are no traces of the rites of circumcision, anointing, sprinkling, or washing, considered as consecrated symbols. Circumcision was reported as existing among the Sitkas, on the Missouri; but a strict examination proved it to be a mistake.

The practice of making a feast of the first animal killed at the opening of the hunting season, is well known to be quite general with the tribes. It is the remark of observers, that the animal devoted to this feast must be all eaten and nothing left. There is evidently some deep feeling or superstition, of luck to happen in the hunter's life after this feast; and its rites and ceremonies are regarded with the strictness of an old custom.

Whether the practice itself, or the custom of eating the entire carcase, would have been deemed a coincidence with the solemn Hebrew rite of eating the paschal lamb, had we not a pre-conceived theory of the Hebraic origin of the tribes (promulgated first, I think, by Grotius), may be questioned. What has been said of not breaking


the bones, is not confirmed by any observation of mine; on the contrary, it is common to preserve the head-bones, and garnish them in some way, as memorials of hunter triumph.

The most striking custom of apparently Hebraic origin, is the periodical separation of females, and the strong and universal idea of uncleanness connected therewith.

Some of the choruses of their religious dances are deemed by observers to excite the mysterious and awe-inspiring. But these choruses differ among the different stocks, and the sequence of syllables mentioned as being sacred, by Adair, is thought to be almost purely fanciful. They dance under any and every excitement, and there is nothing of moment concluded with them without a dance.

One of the most characteristic of their social dances, is what is vulgarly termed the Beggar's dance: (vide Plate 3.) This dance is got up in the native villages, whenever a specific contribution is required. At the towns and garrisons on the frontiers, the object is generally to solicit tobacco, food, or liquor.

C. Distinctive Phases of the Hunter State.

15. The extreme antiquity of Indian society appears to be attested by their adherence to the patriarchal state. The father of the family is the source of power and authority. He becomes in the various languages the Inca, the Micco, the Ogima, Sachem, Rakawana, or whatever form of language or power the chieftainship assumes. These are the legitimate words to be interpreted king, lord, emperor, czar, or whatever forms aristocratic or despotic systems of government may require. The Iroquois used the term Atotarho for the presiding officer of their league; but as to power, he was a mere moderator, and in his costume a simple baldric and feather could make him. Tecarahoga, a word which has been exhibited by writers on the Iroquois as an equivalent for generalissimo, was a mere term for a tribal war-captain, and did not denote an officer of the confederacy.

Mishinowa, in the Algonquin, signifies, a bringer; one who acts as an economical aid to the chief. The word is from the verb meezh, to bring. If he is to bring aid in war, he then takes the name of Ogimaus.

16. In the shallow waters of the rivers and lakes, extending north of the latitude 40°, the Zizania Palustris is found in such quantities as to furnish one of the principal means of Indian subsistence. It is thus still obtained in the principal shallow lakes and streams of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and in the valleys of the upper Mississippi and Missouri. It is ripe in September. The labor of gathering it is a care of the females. The places where each family is to gather it, are generally [missing pages]


D. Costume.

20. THROUGHOUT the plains and level forests of the tropical and southern latitudes of North America, the Indian wears little or no clothing, during a large part of the year. But it is different on the eminences elevated thousands of feet above the sea; and also very different as the observer extends his views over the temperate zone.

Nudity, where it is asserted of tribes within the present area of the United States, as is done by De Bry, of the Virginia Indians, implied generally uncovered limbs and body. But it permitted the azian or loin-cloth, a necklace of shells, claws, or wampum; feathers on the head, and armlets, as well as ear and nose jewels. The Powhatanese woman had, if nothing else, a short fringed kirtle of buck-skin; the bust was nude, but this was doubtless only the summer costume.

But even in summer, the northern Indians were less scantily clothed. The skins of beasts were adapted to every purpose of garment, and the severity of winter was warded against by the richest and warmest furs. Commerce immediately altered this, and taught the Indian the wastefulness of wearing skins and peltries, one tithe of the market price of which, would clothe him in woollen. It also urged him to throw by the bow and arrow, and his wooden traps; accepting instead, guns, gunpowder, and steel traps. With these he began an effective war on the whole race of quadrupeds, and soon rendered his hunting-grounds fit for nothing but the plough.

21. Moccasins have stood their ground as a part of the Indian costume, with more entire success, against European innovation, than perhaps any other part of the aboriginal dress. (See Plate 7.) They are made of buck-skin, or buffalo-skin, dressed and smoked after the Indian fashion. The different kinds of adz for removing rough hair from skins have been denoted in Figs. 6, 7, and 8, Plate 7, Vol. II. The skin is then macerated and dressed with the brains of the animal, till the harsher properties are well discharged, and it is brought to a soft, smooth, and pliant state. (See Plate 14, Vol. II.) If it is designed for a bride's moccasins, or to be worn by females on some ceremonial occasions, and to be ornamented with porcupine quills and ribbons, the dressing is continued till it is as soft and white as the finest white dressed doeskin; but if intended for ordinary use, it is smoked, and brought by the pyroligneous properties of the smoke to a brown color and compact texture, in which state it is fitted the better to repel moisture. This smoking is effected by burning hard wood chips in a smouldering fire, in the bottom of an orifice dug in the ground, the skin being suspended by a light frame around and above the orifice. For the


various forms of this article, see Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. There is a fashion in the cut, closing and pucker of the shoe, which denotes the different tribes. As a general remark, the puckered toe is indicative of the Iroquois and the Dacota stocks, and the Missouri tribes generally. In the Algonquin, and particularly in the Chippewa shoe, the pucker is very finely drawn and covered with ornamental quill-work. No attempt has been observed in any of the United States or British-American tribes, to macerate their skins in decoctions of oak, chestnut or hemlock bark, with a view to thicken or solidify the fibre; or to do anything towards the important art of tanning. Yet they have known the stringent principle of these barks, as we observe, in some rude and harsh attempts to apply them medically. Indeed, the moccasin and the leggin of skins, constitute one of the most characteristic arts of the true hunter state. The Spaniards, who have never failed to state, if not to over estimate, the semi-civilization of the Toltecs and Aztecs, have left us in the dark on this point, and to conclude that these tribes never had the art of tanning.

Figs. 9 and 10 represent the Indian personal or toilet paint-bag, and looking-glass.

22. The preparation of the Esquimaux boot, Fig. 8, equally with that of the Indian buck-skin shoe, manifests the want of any knowledge of the solidifying properties of tannin. It consists merely of seal-skin, doubled in a peculiar way under the foot, hanging but loosely around the leg, like a buskin, except that it is drawn at the top, and has small orifices for strings to keep it on, which are tied on the instep.

23. The buck-skin leggin — the "leather-stocking" of popular American literature — prevailed over the continent at the respective periods of tribal discovery; and is in use, at the present period, among all our hunter tribes. It is by far the most durable and appropriate article for the purpose known; being as light as it is strong. It resists the rough wear and tear of the woodsman's and hunter's life better than any fabric which has been substituted for it. Those designed for males are made precisely the length of the leg; the outer seam being cut so as to embrace the hip. When thus drawn on, it is fastened, by strings of the same material, to a main cord, or abdominal tie. The female leggin has no such appendage. It reaches a little below the knee, where it is fastened by a garter. See Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, Plate 8, male; and 5 and 6, female. Both kinds reach down closely on the moccasin, where they are fastened at the ankle, so that the convex part of the leg is quite covered, and the rain and snow kept out. Ornaments and fringes are permitted, agreeably to the size. The female leggin is only ornamented at the bottom. The male leggin is fringed and ornamented nearly its entire length. There is generally what is designed as a


military stripe, of quill-work, reaching from the ankle to half thigh. To give firmness, and serve at the same time for ornament, a colored worsted tasselled garter is tied below the knee: (Fig. 3.) At this point hawks' bells are attached, which produce a tinkling sound in walking.

The article offered and worn as a substitute for buck-skin leggins, by the trade, is made of strouds; a coarse blue cloth, red or green, coarse quality; coarse broadcloth, or white or spotted moulton.

24. In female hybrids of the Indian blood, who have been educated and introduced to the refinements of drawing-room life, there is often found some recognition of, or lingering taste for, some particular features of the native costume. There is worn by them a species of pantelet, the substitute of the leggin, which is made of thin Italian black silk, drawn over the stocking and slipper, and tied in graceful folds, gathered below the knee.

25. War-shirts, war-coats, and mantles, for use on ceremonial occasions, are often made from the skins of the fiercest and most renowned animals captured in the chase. Deer-skin and dressed buffalo-skin constitute their ordinary materials. They are elaborately wrought and profusely ornamented. In this department, dyed porcupine quills, sweet grass, and colored hair, are chiefly employed. The favorite colors in the ornaments of their dresses, are bright red and blue. Drawings of these garments have been carefully made, and are exhibited in Figs. 1 and 2, Plate 9. At the treaty of Prairie-du-Chien, on the Upper Mississippi, in 1825, a great variety of these dresses were exhibited. None, however, exceeded, in its majestical style, the robe of a Yankton chief, from the Minnesota river, who was called Wanita. He was a remarkably tall man, with features that might have done honor to a Roman emperor of early periods, as we see them figured on coins. He was clothed in a war-robe of buff-colored buffalo-skin, ornamented with porcupine quills, brilliantly dyed. This garment reached to his feet. He had bunches of red horse-hair tied above his elbows. His moccasins had appendages of the skin of the hystrix, which dangled at his heels. He carried gracefully a highly ornamented Sioux pipe-handle of four feet in length.

26. Nothing however creates so much pride, or receives such elaborate attention, or is purchased at such a cost, as the head-gear in which a chief or warrior presents himself. Taking his ideas probably from the male species of the feathered creation which are decorated by nature with the brightest and most gaudy colors, he devotes the greatest attention to this point. And the result is almost as various as these species, so far as respects form and color.

The primary point aimed at, is to denote his prowess and standing in war. The scale by which this merit is measured has been mentioned at page 57, Vol. II., and is


depicted in Plate 13, Vol. II. But this mode of denoting a specific honor does not interfere with or prevent persons from preparing a highly ornamented head-dress. The feathers of the eagle are generally chosen for the purpose. Sometimes there is a fillet of colored skins, with a feather of honor attached. Horns are often fastened to this. (Fig. 2, Plate 10.) Horns are symbolical of power. Where much pains have been bestowed in framing an elaborate head-dress of feathers which would be easily deranged, a case to contain and preserve it for ceremonial days, is constructed. (Vide Figs. 1, 2, 3, Plate 10; also Figs. 3, 4, Plate 11; also Fig. 4, Plate 13.)

27. During the heats of summer, and the mild weather of spring and autumn, no covering is required for the head. But it is far otherwise with the northern tribes, in winter. A cap of cloth is made to fit closely to the head, and falls down the neck, being tied over the shirt or coat in a manner to prevent the snow from reaching the neck and throat. (Vide Figs. 1, 2, Plate 11.)

28. It is also during the prevalence of the rigors of winter that the very singular appendage to the moccasin, called snow-shoe, is worn. (Vide Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Plate 12.) It is simply a contrivance to keep the foot from sinking in soft snow. For this purpose two bows of hard wood are formed and bent elliptically; the two ends of the bows being brought together, and closed behind the foot, forming a projection. Two cross-pieces are put to the front part for the foot to rest on, and a third piece behind the heel to give firmness to the frame. The whole surface is then laced over with deer's sinews or strips of hide. A thong of leather confines the foot to the thwarts, permitting it to play freely, and the whole appendage hangs from the toes, resembling a vast sandal, allowing the muscles the freest scope. (Fig. 5.)

Various sizes and shapes of the snow-shoe are worn by the different tribes. There is also always a female snow-shoe, which is shorter, and has some peculiarities of shape. The cording of the latter is often painted in fanciful colors, and furnished with light tassels.

29. No tribe in the United States dispenses with the azian. This is generally made of a quarter of a yard of strouds, drawn closely about the person, before and behind, and held up by the abdominal string, which also supports the leggins. A flap of the cloth hangs down an equal length behind and before. This flap is usually ornamented by needle-work, elaborately done. (Fig. 2, Plate 13.)

30. Over his shirt, or around his coat, if that garment be worn, the warrior winds his baldric or girdle, which is woven of worsted from beaded threads. The ends of these filaments depend as a tassel. (Vide Fig. 5, Plate 13.) The gaiter is generally constructed of similar materials. (Vide Fig. 5, Plate 13.) An ornament made of the


claws of the grizzly bear (Fig. 6), the most ferocious beast of the West, is much coveted by warriors, who fancy themselves, when carrying such a symbol, as being endowed with that animal's courage and ferocity. It is in this sense an amulet as well as an ornament. Indeed, there are but few of the ornaments of the Indians that have not this two-fold character.

31. Much variety exists in the department of costume that embraces Indian ornament. A peculiar line of fancy of individuals for personal decoration is seen in the several objects described in Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Plate 14.

E. Accoutrements.

32. THE quiver is variously constructed and ornamented, but is generally of leather or bark. It is suspended from the shoulders by a strap around the breast. An Indian's riches and efficiency, in war and hunting, consist greatly in the number of his arrows. These are generally fabricated, not by himself, but by another person who has the requisite skill in the business, and is known as a professed arrow-maker. He is rewarded for his services, and thus is relieved, in a great measure, from the necessity of hunting on his own account. (Vide Figs. 1, 2, 3, Plate 15.)

33. The shield is the only protection which the Indian possesses against the arrow. The Aztec had guarded himself by a wadded cotton doublet. But there was no such defence against rifles or arms, north of the Gulf of Mexico. The prairie tribes who employ the shield, use the thickest pieces of the hide of the buffalo. It is an appendage which they paint and decorate with the greatest nicety. The appended ornaments of eagles' feathers are represented in Figs. 4, 5, Plate 10.

34. The Indian ensign is formed by attaching the feathers of the eagle to a pole of some six feet in length, the bearer of which is conceived to be intrusted with a high honor. These feathers are attached longitudinally, by puncturing the quill, and drawing a line through the orifice. (Vide Fig. 1, Plate 13.)

35. Wherever the Indian goes in peace and war, and whatever he does, his pipe is his constant companion. He draws consolation from it in hunger, want, and misfortune; and "when fair skies betide him" — his constant expression for good fortune — it is the pipe to which he appeals, as if every puff of the weed were an acceptable oblation to the Great Spirit. The various sacks in which he carries this cherished plant, are ornamented with great skill and patience. The drawings in Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Plate 16, are taken from specimens of the Gush-kip-e-tan-gun, a tobacco pouch in our possession.



AN officer of the U. S. Army, who is stationed at one of the frontier posts of New-Mexico, transmits a description with a sketch of the wigwams of this tribe. It appears to relate to the dispersed and wandering portions of the tribe, and indicates little or no advance in the art of constructing lodges over our hunter tribes of the West. The wigwam is constructed of the tabular debris of rock, with dry earth laid on a circular frame of poles, which rest on a fulcrum, the ends of the poles flaring out, so as to describe a circle. A segment of the circle thus formed, makes the door. The fire for cooking is external. Captain Eastman has prepared the pencil-sketch of Lieutenant Long, transmitted by Major Backus, so as to embrace also the characteristic points. (Vide Plate 17.)

The more fixed and permanently located and sheep-raising bands of this tribe, are believed to have abodes better deserving the name of houses.




1. Antique Indian Pictographic Inscription on the Banks of the Hudson: (with two Plates.) By H. R. S.
2. Antique Pottery from the minor Mounds occupied by the Indians in Feasts to the Dead, on the Sea-coasts of Florida and Georgia. By H. R. S.
3. Antique colored Earthen-ware, from the Rio Gila, New Mexico. By H. R. S.
4. Erie Inscription in the Indian Character of the Kekeewin: (two Plates.) By H. R. S.
5. Notices of some Metallic Plates exhibited in annual Dances among the Muscogees: (one Cut.) By H. R. S.


THERE is a pictographic Indian inscription in the valley of the Hudson, above the Highlands, which from its antiquity and character appears to denote the era of the introduction of fire-arms and gunpowder among the aboriginal tribes of that valley. This era, from the well-known historical events of the contemporaneous settlement of New Netherlands and New France, may be with general accuracy placed between the years 1609, the date of Hudson's ascent of that stream above the Highlands, and the opening of the Indian trade with the Iroquois at the present site of Albany, by the erection of Fort Orange in 1614.

The first employment of fire-arms in a battle of aborigines against aborigines was undoubtedly that of the well-known conflict of the able and energetic Champlain, on the borders of the lake now bearing his name, in northern New York. It was the first successful blow struck with this new weapon in the long and sanguinary war


waged between the two leading tribes of the Indian race; namely, the Algonquins and the Iroquois, who so long held the balance of aboriginal power in this part of North America. It established his reputation with the Indians, and may be regarded by historians as but one of a series of measures which prove him to have been the ablest of all the Governors-General, and from his policy and efficiency the true founder of Canada.

But the Iroquois were quick to improve the lesson, and having been supplied with arms by the Dutch, visited with long and fearful retribution this well-managed essay of the French commander, to supersede their ancient arms. It is not our object in this notice to follow up the details of these early historical events. It may suffice to affirm the position, that the first six years after the opening of the era of the trade at Albany, was sufficient to put the gun into the hands of both the Mohikinder, or River Indians, and the Iroquois.

The Mohikinder, or children of the Mohigan sub-stock, were Algonquins of the Lenno Lenapi, or Delaware type. They had, prior to the discovery, been conquered by the Iroquois, and placed in the position of neutrals or allies. This is attested by all authorities; and were there no other evidence but that of the haughty speech of Canassatego, delivered in full council in their presence, at the treaty of July 12, 1742, nothing could be more conclusive of such ancient subjugation of the Delawares. Not a word was said, or permitted by the Iroquois to be said, in reply; but they were commanded by the Indian speaker to quit the council, and as a punishment for their audacity in presuming to sell lands, ordered to quit the Delaware river and remove instantly to Shaumokin, on the Susquehanna.

The location of the inscription (Plate 18) is on the western bank of the Hudson, at Esopus landing. My attention was first directed to it by Peter Force, Esq., of Washington, D. C., a gentleman who had passed his youth in the vicinity, and had frequently visited the declivity on which it is cut; being a convenient spot, as he told me, for undressing, as was the custom of the boys in the vicinity, to swim in the river. Other indications have been reported, at sundry times, of the skill of these ancient Indians in inscribing figures on rocks. Tracks of human feet are among these objects; but the progress of building in that vicinity, and the existence of but little curiosity on that head, appears to have destroyed these interesting traces of a people who once fancied themselves important, but who now live only in history. The traditions of


the residents of Ulster County do not refer to a period when this inscription was not there.

In a map published at Amsterdam, in Holland, in 1659, the country, for some distance both above and below Esopus creek, is delineated as inhabited by the Waranawankongs, who were a totemic division or enlarged family clan of the Mohikinder. They spoke a well-characterized dialect of the Mohigan; and have left numerous geographical names on the streams and physical peculiarities of that part of the river coast quite to and above Coxsackie. The language is Algonquin.

Esopus itself appears to be a word derived from Seepu, the Minsi-Algonquin name for a river.

In the Amsterdam map referred to, this river is made to connect itself with the Delaware — the country probably not having at that early date been carefully explored — the easy portage from one to the other being magnified to an actual inter-flowing of currents, which is not the case. The inscription may be supposed, if the era is properly conjectured, to have been made with metallic tools. The lines are deeply and plainly impressed. It is in double lines. The plumes from the head denote a chief, or man, skilled in the Indian medico-magical art. The gun is held at rest in the right hand; the left appears to support a wand. It is in the rampant Indian style. Such an inscription, recording the introduction of the gun, would not be made when that era had long past and lost its interest. Indians never resort to historical pictography when there is nothing new to tell. Thus the Indian pictography throws a little light on the most rude and unpromising scene; and if the sources of these gratifications are but small, we are indebted to them for this little. No attempt of rude nations to perpetuate an idea is ever wholly lost.

Plate 19 presents the landscape of the east shores of the Hudson, as seen from the locality of the inscription. Its fidelity will be recognized.


IT is known that, prior to 1492, the aborigines of this continent used vessels of clay in cooking such articles of their food as required boiling. There is no evidence whatever to prove that metal, of any kind, had been employed for this purpose, in


either North or South America, at an earlier period. The Peruvians and Aztecs had a method of hardening native copper, in the form of chisels and other tools; but this metal had never been rolled into sheets, so as to form culinary vessels; nor had even this art of hardening copper extended to the Mississippians and the Atlantic or Lake tribes. Pottery, and pottery alone, appeared to be the article relied on. Wherever the sites of their ancient residences are examined, we find fragments of it. Entire vessels of this material are frequently discovered in their tombs, mounds, and teocalli. The highest form of this art, on the continent, existed, as is well known, among the semi-civilized nations of the south; who, at the same time, excelled the other tribes in agriculture, architecture, and their knowledge of astronomy. In proportion as we recede from those centres of incipient art, the character of the native pottery becomes coarse and rude; and this fact also renders it probable that the state of civilization at those ancient points was the development of a pre-existing ruder art, which the other tribes had also possessed; for it did not diffuse itself among those ruder tribes, as it would have done, had they derived the first knowledge of it from these more modern centres; but it left them, as they originally were, in the possession of the hunter or nomadic branch of it. They still made the simple earth-kettle out of coarsely tempered clay. In other words, the migration, at early periods and prior to the Aztec period, appears to have been to those centres of future semi-civilization, and not from them. Thus the species of ancient pottery of the Rio Gila, and of Sonora, which have attracted the attention of travellers, is of an era prior to that of the valley of Mexico, and is to be regarded as the first form of improvement on the hunter's earth-kettle. Afterwards, when the art had received the highest form, to which it was indebted to Toltec and Aztec skill, though yet retaining a barbaric character, it becomes a means of tracing migrations towards the south, east and north-east from the newly-founded Indian capital.

Some of the vessels from South America, as those of Peru, figured by C. T. Falbe, in the Memoirs of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, 1843, evince much skill in their composition, and no little symmetry and beauty in their form and ornament. But there was no tribe in all the central latitudes of the continent, so destitute and degraded in point of art, as not to have some form of the article, however rude. They all made the globular akeek, or sand-bath kettle, and some of them, vases. This remark applies, certainly, in North America, to all the tribes on the Gulf of Mexico, and along the north Atlantic to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and north-west from this point as far, at least, as the continental summit, which gives origin to the Mississippi river, and down its broad valley to the Gulf. Indeed, one of the surest tests of the existence of an ancient town or village, in the great era denoted, is the finding of vessels or broken pieces of pottery in the soil. To knead a lump of clay and temper it with sand, or some silicious or felds-pathique material, and to dry it in the sun, or bake it by heat, appears to have been one of the earliest


and simplest arts among men. We may regard it as one of the primary arts of the western, as it confessedly was of the eastern continent; and its remains constitute at this day one of the peculiar branches of testimony, though not the strongest, by which the early races of the old and new world are to be compared.

In taking up for examination some articles and fragments of antique pottery, from the low mounds of the Gulf coasts of Florida, attention is called to a style of the art, which appears to hold a middle place between the more elaborate specimens of Mexican fabric, and the rude attempts of the hunter tribes of the north-western and north-eastern latitudes of the United States.

The principal articles were brought by Mr. Hitchcock, from Florida, who took them from the small antique mounds bordering on the Mexican Gulf, in that State.

They consist of pieces of broken jars, kettles, stewpans, and a kind of antique porringers; all designed, apparently, for use in the domestic or medical economy, and exhibiting a considerable degree of skill and art in their construction. Some of the vessels are nearly entire, and deficient only in having an orifice broken into the bottom of them. This orifice seems to have been broken in at the time of their deposit in the mound, manifestly to prevent their being taken out, and thus to insure their safety in the small circular mounds or barrows from which they were taken. Of others, the fragments enable us to determine their size and shapes. All are ornamented with figures of various kinds. Most of them were obtained in 1841, from the minor species of mounds on the Appalachicola bay. Such mounds are numerous in that vicinity, and apparently of great antiquity. They exist on the margins of streams, in the open pine-barrens, and also in the dense impenetrable hammocks; leading to the idea, that the country was generally inhabited by tribes who had fixed habitations and some of the arts of semi-civilization. Such were indeed the people represented by the narrators of De Soto's expedition, to be found here in 1538. They lived in villages, cultivated the zea maize, and yielded implicit obedience to chiefs and rulers.

The antiquity of these mounds is inferred from the growth of the live-oak on their summits; some of the trees of this species being two or three feet in diameter. The slow growth of this tree would hardly justify us in assigning for the largest of these species, a period of less than six hundred or seven hundred years from the time of the interments. This would indicate the 12th century as the period when this art of pottery flourished; agreeably to similar proofs, it may be observed, which correspond very well to the MOUND PERIOD of the Ohio Valley.

These Florida coast mounds are neither gigantic, like those of the Mississippi Valley, nor in the teocalli style, like those of Mexico. They are generally from thirty to fifty


feet in diameter, and from twelve to eighteen feet in height. They appear to have been, not places of worship, but of burial, as is everywhere proved by the human bones found along with the antique pottery. They are constructed of the rich black soil or sand of the river's bank or plains; and as many of these plains are subject to periodical inundation, they originated, perhaps, in the motive to preserve the localities of their burial-grounds dry, and a desire to prevent the bones of their relatives from being washed away and carried into the Gulf.

Similar mounds exist on the St. John's and the Ochlawaha. In one of these, the skeleton of a very large person was found in a horizontal position, with a skull of great lateral expansion. Around it were the bones of others, all in a sitting posture. In another mound two layers of skeletons were found, with their heads inclined to the centre — the heads being raised, and the feet forming the extremities of radii. Crania were obtained from these barrows.

The cavities of the skulls excavated, were filled with sand, and the dead were all supposed to have been interred in a sitting posture. The bones were so completely saturated with moisture, that it required the utmost care to raise them. After exposure to the sun and light, they acquired the hardness that they now present. All the mounds examined were circular and orbicular, with trenches; but these trenches were too shallow to admit the supposition that they were ever designed as works of defence. They arose simply from the excavations of earth necessary to cover the bones. In one of the barrows on the Appalachicola river, a bit of metal was found, supposed to be brass, but without any orifice or inscriptive marks; a piece of galena, and a clay pipe, were likewise found in one of the mounds. Some charred tobacco adhered in the bowl of the pipe.

In some of the mounds mentioned, all vestiges of bones whatever had disappeared — even the pottery had gone to decay, except some small fragments. Others disclosed large quantities of the conch, oyster, and clam — the latter of a very large species, and such as is not now to be obtained on the coast. These are locally called FEASTING MOUNDS; from an impression that they were the favorite sites of the aboriginal feasts to the dead. They are not otherwise, than by these ditches, distinguishable from the barrows or SEPULCHRAL MOUNDS, since human bones and vessels of pottery are alike disclosed by both kinds of tumuli. As a general remark, the skeletons appear to have been arranged in radiating circles from top to bottom, with the feet outwards, and the heads a little elevated, and the vessels placed beside them. Man, in all ages, has been averse to placing his dead in positions where the body is in low or damp places, particularly where exposed to immersion in water. Hence the custom of first burying on hills, and afterwards, when men began to occupy low alluvial places, of erecting the sepulchral mounds. This idea, wherever the ancient inhabitants of America came from, is indelibly imprinted on the character of the burial mounds.

One of the strongest evidences in favor of a considerable degree of art among the


ancient Floridians, is to be deduced from the discovery of a potter's wheel, and other vestiges of a pottery, mentioned by Mr. Hitchcock, as having been made near the banks of the Flint river, in Georgia, some years ago. This remarkable fact is stated by him in a letter, herewith submitted. These vessels were found in digging a well, several feet below the surface. There were present in the excavation, several vessels of pottery, in a perfect state. What is very remarkable, is the fact stated, that there was found in this Georgian excavation, an unfinished vessel on the wheel, as if the catastrophe, by which the labor was interrupted, had been sudden and instantaneous! It is doubtful, however, whether the discovery of this vestige of civilized arts is not due to the early attempts of the Spaniards to colonize Florida. In scanning the specimens of pottery from Florida, I have looked very carefully for the striae of the potter's wheel, such as are produced by its centrifugal motion on the plastic clay, but without satisfying myself of any such evidence. The ware itself is a mixture of silex with alumina, colored incidentally by the peroxide of iron. It is quite superior to the akeeks, or clay pots and vessels in use by our northern tribes on the discovery of the country. Still it is a question of moment, whether the Florida pottery had been baked in a potter's oven prior to use. Its full red color, in many pieces of the ware actually examined, favors the idea of such a process; as it is known that the oxides of iron existing in common clay, do not require an intense or very considerable and continued heat, to impart their color. If such a heat was applied to this ware from the Appalachicola, it is certain that the process was badly done; as the burning was not carried, in any instance examined, quite to the centre of the ware, where a dark line denotes the defect. In some of the pieces the color is umber or brown. In a single piece it is black; denoting that no fire whatever has been applied to this specimen. It is made from a clay having fine particles of mica, tempered with a silicious material, in a state of considerable fineness. Some fragments are in the condition, nearly, of a baked black marl. Articles designed for coarser purposes, are made from an argillaceous earthy mixture, in which there are gross particles of common quartz. These, from their abraded look, are such as would probably be gathered on a sea-beach. There appears among the fragments, no vase proper.

One of the vessels exhibits the union of a kind of porringer and a funnel. The purpose of the funnel is effected by a hollow, forked handle, through which we may suppose the prepared liquor could be poured into small vessels without liability to spill it. This care in its construction suggests the idea that the vessel may have been used to prepare a precious drink at feasts, or a liquid supposed to impart courage to warriors — such as the noted black drink of the Muscogees. At any rate, the shape of this antique vessel is, so far as we know, peculiar.

Such are the articles from Florida, to the consideration of which this paper is particularly directed. They have one characteristic which may be particularly mentioned. It is the style of the ornaments upon their exterior, in the shape of fillets,


circles, half circles, dots, parallels, slashed, upright, and waving lines, and other geometrical figures. These will be best understood by the accompanying drawings, numbered from one to twelve, which are taken from the fragments, and exhibit, it is believed, all that is characteristic in this respect.

Geometrical figures and ornaments must be confessed to supply a means of the comparison of the knowledge and ideas amongst nations, civilized or uncivilized.

Some of the curved figures cannot fail to recall similar combinations on ancient Etruscan and some other early forms of earthen-ware. This trait is plainly observable in the chain border, Fig. 1, which may be described as a combination of the letter S, elongated and arranged horizontally. The dots of the field containing this device, afford a good, although very simple relief. In Figs. 7 and 10, a waved fillet occupies the same species of ground. Fig. 2 is a plain border, slashed diagonally with a dotted stripe.

These devices may be regarded as derivative from architectural ornaments; an idea which is still more manifest, perhaps, in numbers four and six. Number four consists of five parallel lines, returned at fixed intervals, producing a half circle of five concentric lines. Number six consists of an exact semicircle of six concentric lines, separated at regular distances by five parallel lines. The relation, in the one case, of five parallels to five curves, and in the other, of five parallels to six curves, is the trait which, in each border, gives it completeness and demonstrates design.

In number three, this resemblance to forms early developed in the other hemisphere ceases; or rather, while the system of right lines and curves is still apparent, the combination reminds one rather of the curious principles of native architecture, which form so striking a feature in the monumental ruins of Yucatan. This border, if its character has been rightly apprehended, is a combination of the lines of rigid pillars, and semicircles, placed convex to convex, and ornamented in the dot-style of 1, 2, 7, 9, 10. This feature of the dot is, indeed, it may be said, the characteristic one of these borders, or at least that feature which denotes their identity of origin.

So far the devices appear to have been taken from artificial objects; but there are also a few traits derived from the natural history of the country. Such are, in most cases, in the fragments of the pottery examined, the ears of the cooking vessels, or those appendages on opposite sides of the rim, which are provided with orifices to insert a thong or bale by which these vessels might be suspended over a fire. In some of the fragments of separate vessels examined, the heads and beaks of a duck, a gull, and an owl, are respectively represented. It may, perhaps, also be thought that the ornamental devices in some of the fragments represent plumes of feathers.

In Fig. 8, there is a combination of segments of circles with ellipses and right-angled lines, inaccurately drawn. It is a drawing which exhibits a fixed theory, without much manual art. It is the rudest figure observed. Yet there is in it a


character which denotes it to be sui generis. It is the homogeneous style of dotted ground-work.

The particular type of the design of number nine is simply parallels; in number ten and number five, of circles irregularly drawn; in eleven, the chain figure of number one modified. In number twelve there is a representation of dotted arches and parallel fillets.

So much evidence of art in the combination of figures to produce agreeable results, would appear to betoken some advance in the tribes or people who erected the barrows, feasting mounds, and sepulchral monuments, from which these antique vessels were taken. The art of adjusting proportions is one of the clearest tokens which a people can give of the laws of design. There is nothing, in truth, more characteristic of the low state of art amongst the North American tribes, including the highest efforts of the ancient Mexicans, than the want of this principle. It seems difficult, indeed, to suppose that the Aztec head could ever have had its exact prototype among the "sons of men;" and with every allowance for craniological peculiarities, it is more consonant to reason and observation, to account for its excessive acuteness, on the theory of cranial compressure or bad drawing.

That pottery was a fixed art, and the business of a particular class of society, amongst the ancient Floridian and other American tribes, is thought to be evident from the preceding facts. No mere hunter or warrior could drop his bow and arrow, or war-club, at any time, and set to work to fabricate such vessels. The art of adjusting the mixture of alumine and silex, so as to counteract excessive shrinkage, and enable the ware to sustain the application of sudden heating and cooling, is one that requires skill and practice. Still more is the manipulation or handicraft of the potter one that demands continued practice. A hunter and a warrior, it is true, expected to make his arms and implements; yet there was ONE BRANCH of the requirement which demanded too much skill and mechanical dexterity for the generality of our tribes to succeed in. It was the chipping of flint and hornstone for darts, and spear and arrow heads. There was, according to Chippewa tradition, a particular class of men among our northern tribes, before the introduction of fire-arms, who were called MAKERS OF ARROW HEADS. They selected proper stones, and devoted themselves to this art, and took in exchange from the warriors for their flint-heads, the skins and flesh of animals. This is related by the Algonquins. The Iroquois affirm that pottery was the art of the women.

With respect to the style of the drawings above alluded to, it is the theory of the designs that appears to be entitled to particular notice. The execution is such as resembles the efforts of clumsy artists to copy good designs. And we are at liberty, in examining them, to suppose that they denote ancient forms of taste and beauty


lingering in the minds of a people, after they had partially retrograded to a condition of barbarism.

That the quality of the Florida pottery itself is quite superior, both in composition and manufacture, as well as ornament, to the common AKEEK, or Indian pot, and ONAGUN, of the Atlantic and Lake tribes, is strikingly shown by a large and entire specimen of the black earth-kettle of the Algonquins, which is figured in Plate 22, Vol. I. This ancient relic of the earthen-ware of the HUNTER PERIOD, as it existed immediately at and before the discovery, was obtained, many years ago, from a cave in an island of the straits of St. Mary's, Michigan. Nothing can exhibit a ruder condition of the potter's art. It is a coarse compound of aluminous earth and pounded fragments of silicious stone and feldspar, without any baking prior to use. It was evidently used as a retort in a sand-bath. Having no legs, by which a fire could be kindled under it, the fire was evidently built around it, the kettle itself resting on a bed of earth or ashes. By inspecting the interior, the carbonaceous and hardened remains of liquid food, probably boiled maize, will be noticed. This vessel is supposed to be two hundred and fifty or three hundred years old.

We thus have, in juxtaposition, the pottery of Florida and of the outlet of lake Superior — positions separated by sixteen degrees of latitude. They present two conditions of the art, which are widely different. If both the specimens before us were executed by the red race, as is commonly supposed, those inhabiting the Florida coast were superior, as potters, to our northern hunters.

But a single remark will be added in reference to the general question of these vestiges of ancient art in Florida. It is the tradition of the Shawanoes, which was recorded twenty-five years ago, in the first volume of the Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, p. 273, that Florida was anciently inhabited by white men, and that their ancestors found vestiges of arts, such as were not common to the red men. These ancient inhabitants appear to have had the use of iron tools. Stumps of trees cut off with such tools, they affirm, were found by them, covered with soil, together with other indications of civilization. It is but a few years since the gold-diggers in Davidson county, North Carolina, in excavating the gold debris of a valley, disinterred the remains of a rude house, in which was found a stone, excavated in its top, with a stone pestle lying therein, such as is used, at this day, by the native Mexicans, in making tortillas. Is this also to be regarded as part and parcel of this ancient supposed North American civilization?

Questions of this kind are readily propounded; but it is much safer and more in accordance with the sound deductions of history, to account for facts on more natural and common principles. It is far more probable that these vestiges of art may be due to earlier European attempts at settlement.



THE ancient Indian tribes who inhabited the banks of the river Gila have attested their residence in that valley very characteristically by fragments of pottery, which are profusely scattered in all parts of it. The remains of the ruins of buildings on the borders of that stream, are not more characteristic of the peculiar state of Indian art. The name of the river itself is stated to be derived from a tribe called Gilands, whose descendants still dwell on its upper waters; but these descendants do not hold a very high rank among the tribes who now rove over the elevated and broken plains, and sally out stealthily through the precipitous canons, and around the volcanic peaks, and often dry lateral valleys of the river. They are nicknamed Kiataws, or prairie-wolves, by the adventurous foresters and hardy emigrants, and by the United States military detachments who pass through that valley on their perilous route to Southern California. Whatever other characteristics they have at this time, they appear to be ignorant of the potter's art, and live a predatory, roving life, having the use of the horse; obtained from the Spanish, probably, about the time of Coronada's expedition.

For the specimens of antique pottery, figured in the annexed Plate 20, we are indebted to Lt.-Col. Emory, U. S. A. They were obtained by him (then a subaltern of Topographical Engineers) during the march of the army down that valley, pending the Mexican war, 1846-47. He has communicated the following description:


1. The under, or convex side, is of a dingy dove color, and flattened in numberless small planes, conforming to the general curved surface; appears to have been patted with a flat instrument while plastic. The concave surface represented is smooth; a slight glaze on it.

2. Piece of the rim of a pot; seems to have been much used for cooking; blackened on upper corner with heat and smoke; outside represented; inside, red color of No. 9; hard coarse earthen-ware; no glaze.

3. Convex side exhibited; coarse imperfectly baked ware; full of white quartz granules and silver mica.

4. Still coarser, and very slightly baked; contains mica and grains of quartz (a granule shown, eighth in. long); convex side exhibited, very slight curve; both sides of 3 and 4 alike in appearance.

5. Concave side exhibited (curved slightly across also); very smooth; a sort of glaze; the other side is darker; of a purplish hue; coarse and porous.


6. Concave side above, and the back below; both smooth; appears more so from use than a glaze; some minute species of white mica in the edges.

7. Concave side represented; same sort of ware as the preceding; convex side a dark dove color, with marks of heat and smoke (edge of a vessel).

8. Convex side coarse and porous; the white on it appears to have been rapidly brushed over, and the black executed rapidly with a full brush; concave side brick red.

9. Still coarser, and more imperfectly baked; smooth, apparently from use, on the back, and of a mouse color.

10. Convex side shown; quite good pottery; edges of thickness about a line deep; baked orange color; middle, dove; the white chearon edge appears to have been drawn with freedom; concave side red, color of the other.

11. Coarse, porous, and slightly baked; concave shown; this side, regular surface; the other, color of the stripes, and irregular.

12. A perforated piece, tube; the body is black, hard, and shining; looks like black quartz (gun-flint variety); covered with an exterior red coat of a line thick, which looks like red coral, and as smooth as that substance. Each black conchoidal break at the ends, has a fine white line through them; orifice, eighth in. diam.; it is slightly curved.

13. A crude lump of chloride of copper (or the silicate); earthy and heavy.

Of the fragments of pottery figured, we have not had the opportunity of personal inspection. This is the less to be regretted from the very characteristic notices given. Some variety in the composition of aluminous and silicious material is noticed, and a considerable range of variety in the ornaments, all which evince but a rude taste. It may be deemed a coarse species of the aboriginal terra cotta. One remark may be made of it; namely, that the vessels have all been made by hand, and not raised on the potter's wheel. This instrument is very old in its mode of construction; being a whirling disc of wood, with an upright iron crank and foot-board. Nothing can exceed its simplicity, and we have no evidence that it has been improved in its principles for five thousand years.

Pottery made without it is not geometrically true, and is of very unequal thickness. These are characteristics that distinguish all the ancient pottery of the Indian era of North America, from the valley of Anahuac, the rivers Gila and Culiacan, to the banks of the Hudson, the Connecticut, and the Penobscot.

The figures impressed upon this species of ware, were, however, more elaborate in the southern than the northern tribes. The articles made were also of more varied utility and application. None of the Gila pottery which has been seen is superior, if quite equal, in these respects, to the vases and earthen vessels found in the low tumuli


of Florida. Yet the latter was also hand-work, and made without the formative exactness of the potter's wheel.

Specimen No. 12 is manifestly a tube of coarse enamel, and not pottery, and has been brought to its present condition by the process of vitrification, and is consequently a higher species of art than the other articles. It resembles strongly, judging from the figure and description, a species of the same kind of ornament found in 1816 on the banks of the Niagara, in old graves.

No. 13 is labelled, "An ore of copper."


THE drawing of the figures and symbols composing this inscription, which was executed in 1851, having been copied on stout paper and numbered, was transmitted to Mr. George Johnston, of Sault de Ste. Marie, Michigan, a gentleman well versed in the Indian language, manners, and customs, and by him submitted to the examination of Shingwauk or the Little Pine, the aboriginal archaeologist, who, from his knowledge of the Indian pictography, interpreted a prior inscription incorporated in this work. (Vol. I., Plate 36.)

The Kekeewin or Kekeenowin symbolic drawings of the Indians, are an evidence of that general desire implanted in the human breast, which leads man to seek posthumous remembrance. It has been remarked, that these devices represent ideas — whole ideas; and their juxtaposition or relation on a scroll of bark, a tree, or a rock, discloses a continuity of ideas: (Part I., p. 340.) The highest object of this species of record is found in the Muzzinabiks, or rock inscriptions, and in the hieratic or juggler's art. In the American Indian, as in the Toltec and Aztec system, much was ever committed to memory. So that the lapse of time, and the demise of hieroglyphists, took away many of the circumstances that were more purely mnemonic. It is this feature which renders the mythologic and religious scrolls of the Mexican picture-writing, at this day, so obscure.

Something of this feeling was expressed by the Indian pictographist, on first casting his eye on this scroll — not so much perhaps from doubts as to the significancy of the principal symbols, but from the obscurity, or utter obliteration of others; and from the fact that they related to tribes and transactions he knew little or nothing of; who lived on Lake Erie at the time of the execution of the inscription.

He drew pencil-lines from A to B, and from C to D (Plate 41); observing, that from the obliterations or imperfect drawing of the figures included in this central part of


the drawing, and from his present reflection on them, he could not make fuller explanations of them than he now submitted.

The inscription is reproduced from Part II., and the figures are now inserted.

Figs. No. 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, &c., are included in this remark. He expressed the opinion that he believed the inscription related to the wars and history of the Eries, after the Indians became acquainted with the whites. The introduction of the symbol for a hat, in Figs. 6, 111, and 117, denotes this. By the same mode of interpretation, it may be said that the Indians had not yet received fire-arms from the Europeans, as no symbol for the gun is observed. Assuming what we believe to be correct, that the Iroquois first received guns from the Dutch, at Albany, in 1614, and that the Lake Indians did not receive them from the French for some years later, the date of the inscription cannot well be placed prior to 1625. The Eries were then in the country. Jefferson says that they lived on the Ohio, and were of the same original stock as the Five Nations. Le Moyne affirms that the war had newly broke out against them, in 1653, and that they were conquered two years after.

Of the unexplained part of the inscription, Shingwauk only speaks discursively. Nos. 84 and 27 are believed to be brothers. They are surveying a scene of carnage and battle. No. 27 holds his pipe (28) reversed, as if despairing and agonized. No. 84, on the contrary, sits calmly viewing the sanguinary field, with his foot removing a skull and the remains of a body. These are wild forest Indians, as they are drawn without hats.

No. 117 represents a great chief, evinced by his medal (113) and by his half moons or gorgets (114). His intercourse with Europeans, and consequent condition, are denoted by the square symbol for a hat on the head. He also retains his feathers. No. 112 denotes his pipe, which he holds in the attitude of smoking. No. 115 represents an inland Indian smoking. He wears his head-dress, and is one of the members of the ceremonial society for tattooing.

No. 117 denotes a chief and necromancer who tattoos; No. 118 is an ornament in his slit ear; No. 120, his medicine-sack; No. 121, his ceremonial instruments. By his also wearing a hat and three gorgets, like 114, he prefigures his rank, and his visits to the forts or trading-posts on the sea-board. He is evidently a man of consequence and power, which is further denoted by No. 119, a wand.

No. 116 symbolizes a dish of mixed colors, for the operation of tattooing. Figs. 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, represent objects to be copied, and placed pictorially on the chief (117, 119). Fig. 78 denotes a road, and 122, serpents who beset the path; symbolizing enemies, trouble, misery, and pain of the most pointed and stinging character. This completes the eastern end of the inscription.


The top figure, No. 6, opens the western portion of the pictograph. This is a chief and warrior of distinction. Fig. 7 denotes his pipe; he is smoking after a fast. Figs. 15, 16 are ornaments of leather, worn by distinguished warriors and chiefs; such as breech-cloths, with hoofs of the deer attached to them. This is further shown by No. 14, ornaments of feathers. Fig. 33 is a symbol for the number 10, and denotes ten days; the length of his fast. Fig. 34 is a mark for the number two, and designates two days; denoting that he fasted the whole time, except a morsel of food at sunset.

Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 35, 36, and 43, represent different objects relied on by the chief, in the exhibition of his magical and political powers; denoting, in him, the sources of long life and potent influence. Figs. 30, 39, and 41, denote a journey in snow-shoes. Figs. 31, 40 are (agreeably to the prior explanation on the Dighton Rock inscription) war-clubs. Part I., Plate 37.

Fig. 38 denotes a fast of twenty-one days, and 37 a fast of ten days, agreeably to the symbols for numbers before used. The hat and plume denote double influence with the White and Red races, and point him out as one of the leading and energetic actors in the events recorded.

Figures 79 and 80 appear to denote the position of lake Erie, and the connecting waters of Sandusky bay and river Huron as the scene of these transactions.

No. 1, Plate 40, denotes the exploits of a man who has performed several notable feats, at sundry times. Nos. 2 and 3 indicate a man of far-seeing intelligence. Nos. 4 and 5 are co-actors. No. 6 symbolizes the head of a man, held up by No. 7. No. 8 is the symbol of the moon. Figs. 9 and 10 are symbols of the sun. He assumes high influences and energies, and is an actor of note.


COPPER was in its virgin, or the native state of mineralogists, in general use by the North American tribes. It was hammered out in the cold into various implements and instruments, at the era of the discovery. Recent disclosures, made subsequent to 1842, in the basin of Lake Superior, prove that it was extensively worked at an ancient period in the trap-veins of that quarter. The ancient veins, which had been filled up with earth and covered by a new forest growth, denote an amount of labor and art in the prosecution, which have led to the opinion, that the ancestors of the Indians could not have been the authors of this ancient mining; and such would seem to be the inevitable conclusion, were we to conjecture these extensive remains of


mining industry to be the result of general and continuous labors, and not the slow remains of centuries. Certainly, the knowledge of the mechanical powers here displayed in raising, cutting, and transporting vast solid blocks of metal, is superior to that manifested in any ancient works which have been discovered.

But while the use of copper implements is shown to have been general, there is no evidence that the natives possessed the knowledge of forming brass. The only well-attested instance of its discovery in the Atlantic States which we have, namely the so-called "skeleton in armor," found at Fall River, in Massachusetts, in 1834, has been found far more suitable to poetic than historic uses.

Mr. George Gibbs has examined this subject with care (Part I., p. 127,) and establishes the extreme improbability of its being of the age of a very ancient interment, or at all the fabrication of the aborigines. The interment he conjectures to have been subsequent to 1620. To him the individual appears to have been one of the aborigines, and the articles found embrace nothing that might not have been obtained in trade from Europeans. This appears also to have been the opinion of Dr. Thomas H. Webb, who announced the discovery to the Northern Society of Antiquarians at Copenhagen.

A different opinion has however, on further search, been advanced by that Society. In conformity with the theory of a Scandinavian colony on the waters of Narragansett bay, and in the valley of the Assonet or Taunton river, the individual is conjectured to have been of that colony, and consequently the interment must have been made early in the 11th century.

The interment of the body in dry sand, the careful wrapping of it, the preservative qualities of acetate of copper, and the broad plate of brass, bound with a Scandinavian belt of copper tubes, linked with hempen fibre, appear to favor this. Analysis of the plate of armor, or breast-plate, by Berzelius, shows it, however, constituency to resemble not the old Danish, but modern brass or bronze. One fact seems clear; namely, that the brass plate found with the Fall River skeleton is of European manufacture, and can by no means be ascribed to the ancient arts of the American Indians.

The discovery of this plate of brass at Fall River is suggestive of both the European origin and armorial use of the larger part of the antique plates preserved with such scrupulous and mysterious care amongst the Muscogees.

The earliest notice of these plates appears to be in the work of Adair, who had passed many years as a trader among the Appalachian tribes. We are informed that on the 27th of July, 1759, a Mr. Balsover, a British trader in the Creek country, was told of the existence of these ancient relics by a very aged Muscogee chief. They consisted of seven pieces of copper and two of brass. They were regarded with


superstitious awe, guarded with great care, and exhibited but once a year. This was at the green-corn dance, which is celebrated as a sort of thanksgiving. This feast is called the busk, an Indian term peculiar to that tribe.

Le Clerk Milfort, who published his work at Paris, 1802, describes them as rare and cherished relics, to which the Indians attached a high value. Mr. Pickett affirms that there are eleven pieces. Two of these are articles of brass, eighteen inches in diameter, about the thickness of a dollar, and stamped with the Roman letters as AE with two dots. They are too large to justify the conjecture that they were cymbals, the only musical instrument to which they can be assimilated; and they were probably taken by the Indians from some of the early European marauders who landed on the Florida coasts. The other nine plates of copper may suggest some ancient form of breastplate used in similar forays; for the early adventurers stood in a hostile attitude to the tribes, held no terms with them, and only aimed to capture them to work the mines. The Bahama Isles were in a short time entirely cleared of the native inhabitants by the plundering expeditions to enslave Indians for this purpose. From the description and personal notices of Walter Lowrie, Esq., President of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, who examined these relics in the Choctaw country in 1852, compared with the figures in Pickett's History of Alabama, the following figures of these antique objects, as they now exist in the country west of the Arkansas, are drawn.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 2.

Muscogee tradition affirms that there were more of these plates possessed by them at former periods, of different kinds, some of which had letters or figures, but that the number was diminished by the custom of placing one or more of them with the body of a deceased chief of the pure or reigning blood. The plates remaining are placed in the hands of particular men. They are guarded with care, and kept from being touched by women.


The origin and use of these plates is a matter of conjecture. The Muscogees, who have no consecutive notions on the subject, and, like all the aborigines, are prone to hide every thing of this sort under figures and allegories, ascribe them to the gift of the Great Spirit; with just as much knowledge of a Deity, and no more absurdity, than the Greeks did their palladium and statue of Diana to the benignant hand of Jupiter.

Such was the opinion of Opothlahola, one of their most distinguished modern chiefs. There is a tradition that they were derived from the Shawnees, during the ancient period of the sojourn of that tribe in Florida, with whom the Muscogees were on the best terms. The incidents of the separate Spanish invasions of Narvaez and De Soto, early in the 16th century, have completely passed from their traditions, and there is no reference to them as spoils derived from the Spanish defeats. This is, however, the most probable origin of these enigmatical articles of metal. At the battle of Mauvila, on the Alabama, the Creeks are stated, in Spanish accounts, to have taken or destroyed all their baggage, military stores, and supplies; and nothing is more probable than that these are fragments of the armor or musical instruments of that era. Such has been the opinion of old traders who have lived with them; amongst whom may be mentioned Barent Dubois, an intelligent citizen of New York.


Physical Geography of the Indian Country.


1. Inquiries respecting the Character and Value of the Indian Country.
2. Indian Territories of the United States. (1 Map, 1 Plate.)
3. Series of Saline Strata in the Onondaga Country.
4. Journal of the Expedition of Colonel Redick M'Kee, United States Indian Agent, through North-western California. Performed in the Summer and Fall of 1851. By George Gibbs.


16. — What are the chief rivers in the district or territory occupied? State their length, general depth and breadth; where they originate; how far they are navigable; what are their principal rapids, falls and portages; at what points goods are landed, and into what principal or larger waters they finally flow.

17. — Are there any large springs, or lakes, in the district, and what are their character, size, and average depth; and into what streams have they outlets? If lakes exist, can they be navigated by steamers? if gigantic springs, do they afford water-power, and to what extent?

18. — What is the general character of the surface of the country? Is it hilly or level — fertile or sterile; abundant or scanty in wood and water — abounding or restricted in the extent of its natural meadows, or prairies? What grains or other products do the Indians raise in the district, and what are its general agricultural advantages, or disadvantages? What are its natural vegetable productions?


19. — Do the prairies and woods afford an abundant supply of herbage spontaneously — are wells of water to be had at moderate depths, where the surface denies springs or streams?

20. — Has the old practice of the Indians of burning the prairies, to facilitate hunting, had the effect to circumscribe the native forests?

21. — Are there any extensive barrens, or deserts, marshes or swamps, reclaimable or irreclaimable, and what effects do they produce on the health of the country; and do they offer any serious obstacles to the construction of roads?

22. — Is the quantity of arable land diminished by large areas of arid mountain, or of volcanic tracts of country, with plains of sand and cactus?

23. — Is the climate generally dry or humid? Does the heat of the weather vary greatly, or is it distributed, through the different seasons, with regularity and equability? What winds prevail? Is it much subject to storms of rain with heavy thunder, or tornadoes, and do these tempests of rain swell the streams so as to overflow their banks

24. — Does the district produce any salt springs of value; any caves, yielding saltpetre earth; or any beds of gypsum, plaster of paris, or marl?

25. — Has the country any known beds of stone coal, or of iron ores, or veins of lead, or copper ores, or any other valuable deposits of useful metals, or minerals?

26. — What is the general character and value of the animal productions of the district? What species of quadrupeds most abound?

27. — Do the Indian traditions make any mention of larger, or gigantic animals in former periods? Is there any allusion to the mastodon, megalonyx, or any of the extinct races, whose tusks, or bones, naturalists find imbedded in clay, or submerged in morasses?


THE quantity of land ceded by the Indians from the commencement of purchases in 1795, to the close of 1839, was 442,866,370 acres. The statements for the succeeding thirteen years have not been made up to the present year. The rate at


which the Indian population declines, is not certainly deducible from any body of published attainable facts; although the details are in the process of being collected and generalized. Nor has such decline been regular, for definite and equal periods, in our history; the fluctuations in the vital scale of Indian life having been, as we perceive them to be at this day, very great. That the early estimates were exaggerations, in many cases, is undeniable; and where the best and most probable results have been incidentally exhibited by writers, they are to be regarded as mere approximations to the truth. The means of human subsistence, and of reproduction, generally keep an equal pace in every well-regulated condition of society; but the Indian tribes were exempted, in some measure, from the operation of general laws of increase and decrease; while they were at all times subject to an additional element of decline, from their perpetual hostilities. The hunter state is adverse to fecundity. An Indian female does not produce, on the average, more than two children; and we cannot look back to a period, since the era of the discovery of North America by Cabot, when the Indian population of the area of the United States probably exceeded, if it ever reached, one million souls. Estimates, combined with census returns furnished in 1850, (Vol. I., p. 523,) render it probable that the Indian population of the United States of that year, did not much exceed 400,000 souls; and the most liberal estimates cannot place it, at this time, with every accession from explorations, that have been since made in New Mexico, Utah, California, and Oregon, much over 500,000.

But whatever be the date, or the rate of increase or decline at fixed periods, it is undeniable that the quantity of land possessed by even the largest tribes has been out of all proportion redundant and excessive to the population; granting that the Indian population, in the gross, has been industrial at any given period.

The sale of these redundant lands, the original Indian possession and title to which has ever been acknowledged by the American government, has been the great and common resource of the Indian tribes. They are, and ever have been, the great landholders of America; and while the cessions have furnished ample areas for our rapidly-expanding population, this system of cession and payments has had the effect to keep the body of the tribes from feeling the necessity of industry. Although they are not civilians and proprietors of the soil en franc allieu, the acknowledgment of their usufruct title has placed them in the position of original grantors. For this purpose they are regarded as foreign powers, holding the sovereignty, and treated with as such; while, for every other purpose, they are acknowledged as the public wards of the government, and as wards they are interdicted from parting with their title to any but the national power. This relation of wards, who are tribal annuitants, has placed them in the condition of privileged debtors on the frontiers. Every object of use or luxury is at the command of the tribes who have heavy annuities, and the effect of this system has been to uphold their natural repugnance to labor, and to weaken and lower the tone of the Indian mind. Its capacities are paralysed by the


periodical expectation of the government annuities, which are generally squandered in brief periods after they reach the Indians, on objects that do not invigorate or benefit, but tend to detract from its capacities of usefulness.

The accompanying Map, Plate 21, has been constructed with great pains and care, to exhibit the present territory occupied and owned by the Indians. It shows the recession of the tribes from the Atlantic, the Alleghanies, and the great lakes, towards the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific.

It is a mistake to suppose that any of the leading stock-tribes or primary generic groups of the aborigines have become extinct. Numerous small coast-tribes, extending at first along the shores of the Atlantic, through every latitude from the St. Lawrence to the capes of Florida, early fell before the triple touch of intemperance, indulgence and idleness, or their remnants retreated westward. But the parent languages were preserved in the body of the tribes who receded from the early points of European landing and settlement, thus preserving the historical line of the stocks. In this manner the numerous tribes of New England and the southern part of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, were speedily swept off; but nearly all these tribes spoke dialects of the great Algonquin tongue, or varieties of its sub-divisions, as the Mohegan, Lenno Lenape, and the Powhatanic. The Iroquois language, in its sevenfold dialects, has been perfectly preserved. The Mohegan exists fully in the existing Stockbridges and Munsees of the West; the Lenno Lenape in the Delaware; the Algonquin proper in the Chippewa, Ottowa, Shawnee, and Miami, of the Mississippi Valley, and of the great lake basins. Of the Powhatanic sub-type of the Algonquin, we must judge from the old travellers and writers, compared with the existing geographical terminology of Virginia. The Cherokees have preserved their language and nationality intact. The languages of the great Appalachian tribes north of the Gulf of Mexico have come down to modern times in the Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw. An hiatus, however, exists in the ancient history of tribes of the Chicorean group, who lived on the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia, and, to some extent, South Carolina, and appear to have been forcibly carried by the Spanish to work in the mines of St. Domingo; often from the coast direct, or from the Bahamas, Cuba, or others of the West India groups. In other cases, they were subjugated by, and incorporated with, the Muscogees.

The progress of purchase of the Indian territories herewith delineated, must, under the present expanding population of the United States, absorb these Indian territories wherever the lands have not been secured to them in perpetuity with the sovereignty thereof. For observations on the future prospects of the tribes, reference is made to section XI., herewith.




THE importance of recognizing the saliferous column in American geology, will give interest to the following memorandum of boring made at Lockpit, on the line of the Erie canal, by Mr. John Mead.

3 Alluvial soil 3
46 Alternate layers of quicksand and clay. Here the rock was struck 49
30 Gypsum rock interspersed with strata of clay slate. Here the first vein of salt water appeared. It rose and ran over the top in a tube of seventy-nine feet depth 79
44 Similar gypseous rock, with marl-clay slate. Salt water continued to rise in veins of strength 123
2 Blue limestone 125
4 Gypsum and clay strata. Here the second vein of salt water was struck at the depth of 129 feet. It appeared to be double the quantity of water, which ran over the top of the tube, and increased in strength from one to two per cent. 129
11 Gypseous and clay slate rock, 11 feet. Here the augers were loaded with a black substance adhering to them, depth 140 feet 140
11 Clay slate of a milk-white color 151
12 Indurated clay; it continued to grow harder to the bottom of the twelve feet 163
5 Softer cutting of the same kind 168
4 Harder cutting of the same kind 172
40 Same kind of rock, with an occasional hard streak. Here, at the depth of 212 feet, a hard streak of rock was passed through, and opened a vein of water and gas. Water discharged fifty gallons per minute, during the first hour; it then abated, and continued to run by turns, three times in twenty-four hours; it then continued to run regular or uniform 212
9 Gypsum and clay 221
3 Green rock 224
3 Blue rock 227
7 Of the above blue rock 234
2 Saliferous rock 236
2 Grey band 238
2 Grey band and red saliferous mixed a little 240
136 Red saliferous sandstone rock 376


At the depth of 242 feet the drill appeared to strike into a thin seam of rock-salt. At the depth of 250, a layer of fossil salt was reached, which raised the strength of the water from 38° to 58°, by the instrument graduated at 100°. At the depth of 270 feet the water stood at a strength varying from 13° to 17°, by an instrument graduated at 25°. At 280 feet the sediment was mixed with fossil salt, and the rock continued to grow salter as the auger descended. Samples of the rock, penetrated during the last twenty-three feet, were transmitted to you. By inspection with the microscope, they will be perceived to contain minute and regular crystals of sulphate of lime.

The boring was again renewed, and the well sunk 25 feet deeper in a continuation of the rock last mentioned, making it 401 feet deep; and the boring was then discontinued.

A tin tube 400 feet long was then run down the well, and water pumped up through it from the bottom of it, which stood at 25°, then 19°; as tested by an instrument graduated at 25°. Continued pumping until it ran down to 6°; discontinued the work for 24 hours, and again drew up water that stood at 25°; but on continuing to pump, the water diminished in strength as before.

The water continues to flow from the top of the tube, but in a more moderate degree than at first, at the strength of 6°; which, on evaporating, forms thin layers of salt.

The search for salt in the Onondaga country, appears to have been made at an early period. Accounts of its existence were carried to the sea-shore, by Indians, almost as soon as Europeans landed on the coast. There is little doubt, both from Indian and Spanish traditions, that the followers or successors of De Leon and De Soto were led into these northern regions under the delusive hope of finding glittering masses of silver; being misled by Indian reports of the incrustations of salt which were found on the low margin of Onondaga lake, when the saline springs were first discovered by the Indians. The natural production of a white and shining substance, was sufficient to fire the imaginations of adventurers who had left Europe pregnant with the idea of finding the hills, lakes, and forests of America, to conceal unbounded stores of silver and gold. There is hardly another interpretation to be given to a rude Spanish monument found in Manlius, a few years ago, with the date of 1520.

The earliest notices of the phenomena of the issue of salt water on the borders of Onondaga lake, were given by the French, about the middle of the seventeenth century. Le Moyne distinctly states the fact, in his journey into the Onondaga country, in 1652. The Indians were in the habit of manufacturing salt, by evaporating


the water in earthen pots. It does not appear that the French, in their zealous endeavors to possess themselves of the trade and commerce of the country, ever turned this discovery to national account.

The English listened, with interest, to the accounts which were brought to the banks of the Mohawk and the Hudson, by the Iroquois sachems; and it is well known that a grant of the precinct supposed to contain the most valuable salt-mines, was made to Sir William Johnson, about the year 1760. The actual remoteness of the position; the immense forests, and portages over difficult routes, which intervened; and finally, the war of the Revolution, which changed wholly the position and rights of the parties, prevented any practical results from this grant.

Grants from the Indians were terminated by the proclamation of George III., in 1763; and when the smoke of the Revolution cleared away, the State of New York, which had succeeded to the sovereignty of the country, claimed all public rights of this nature. It would be an interesting inquiry to determine the earliest attempts which were made to obtain the water by sinking wells on the shores of the lake, and the progress of discovery and manufacture which marks the history of these celebrated and permanent springs, during the last seventy years. Whether the wealth and resources yielded to the State, or the benefits derived to individuals, are the greatest, is a matter of doubt.

Every attempt to enlarge the area over which this precious fluid prevails, is intensely important; and the details of such labors are well worthy of record. These borings of Mr. Mead, if they lead to no other result, will tend to show that nature has not limited her productions, and may incite to renewed researches.



BENICIA, California, Feb. 23, 1852.

Sir: — Herewith you will receive a transcript of the diary kept by me during your recent expedition through the north-western part of this State, as also a map illustrating the country, and a few sketches and vocabularies of the languages in use among the Indian tribes through whom we passed.

With regard to the map, it is proper to state that it covers a district very little known, and heretofore never surveyed. Those portions adjacent to the route travelled


over, are believed to be laid down with sufficient accuracy for ordinary purposes. As regards the rest, the best information which could be obtained has been used. It will be readily understood, that in a rapid march through a region of such considerable extent, many details have been passed over, which, in some respects, are important; but the general features of the country may be relied on as accurate.

As to the opinions advanced in the journal, you will of course in no wise be considered as responsible.

I am, sir,

Very respectfully yours,

Colonel R. M'KEE.


Monday, Aug. 11. — Colonel M'Kee and party, escorted by Major Wessells, and a detachment of thirty-five mounted riflemen, left Sonoma this morning, and moved over to Santa Rosa, encamping a little beyond Carillo's ranch. An odometer attached to one of the wagons, gave the distance at about 19 3/4 miles. The general route proposed to be followed by the expedition, was up Russian river to its sources, down Eel river to Humboldt bay, and thence over to the Klamath, ascending that to the neighborhood of Shastι Valley, should the season permit.

A large number of Indians, belonging to this and the neighboring ranches, were collected in the afternoon, and informed of the objects of the agent, who promised, at a future time, to meet them for the purpose of making a formal treaty. Their neighborhood to the settlements, and the importance of first ascertaining the numbers and condition of those more distant, as well as the country suitable for a reservation, rendered any immediate action here undesirable. It is unnecessary to say, that these ranch Indians are entirely inoffensive, and perfectly under the control of the Spanish proprietors, who, in fact, have always treated them as pιons, and inculcated the idea of their obligation to labor. From their influence with these bands, or rancherias, the principal difficulty will evidently arise in disposing of the natives, or inducing them to remove to any other part of the country. The slovenly modes of cultivation in use, comparatively unproductive as they are, have yet the merit of requiring little or no expenditure of money in wages; the Indians receiving a bare support beyond what they can steal, and then only during the summer. Wretched as this system is, it would be difficult to eradicate it from a race so wedded to old habits and ideas. The class of extensive Spanish proprietors is, however, destined to be of short duration. The titles to their enormous possessions, which, under the imbecile administration of the Mexican laws, passed unexamined or overlooked, are now to be inquired into, and


many held originally merely by sufferance, will undoubtedly be rejected. But a more certain, and, perhaps, equally speedy agent is at work. Before the "breaking out of the mines," they possessed very little actual money. Immense herds of wild cattle, and bands of horses, constituted their wealth. Hides, for which the former were slaughtered in vast numbers, furnished a means of barter, and were, in fact, the currency of the country. A few acres of the rich soil in the valleys, barely scratched with a crooked log, produced their barley, melons, and vegetables; and they were fortunate when their Indian serfs left them even a sufficiency of these. The discovery of the hidden riches of the country, for the most part, added nothing to their prosperity. The toil required to develop them was foreign to their habits, and although the prices of what they could sell were enormously increased, necessities before unknown were at once introduced among them. The foresight of the newcomers, on the other hand, early led them to the acquisition of lands, and a few thousand dollars in money was a temptation too great for a Californian to resist. Ranch after ranch has thus been parted with to those more industrious or more sagacious; without counting the acres from which the hardier race has, by main force and obstinacy, shouldered its former claimants. Now that these, by a superior cultivation and greater labor, can undersell the Spaniard in all the productions of the soil, his ruin, and that not far distant, is certain. A sentiment of pity may lead us to commiserate the destiny of the ancient proprietor; but we cannot lament those occurrences which promise to convert an obscure province into a powerful State; or waste many tears upon the race which, grasping such vast possessions, was too indolent to nurture the agricultural wealth of the land, and had too little enterprise even to find the mineral that glittered at its feet.

Tuesday, Aug. 12th. — The Santa Rosa plains, here about a mile and a half in width, a short distance beyond widen out, connecting with the Petaloma valley, and extending westward toward Bodega for about twelve miles. A heavy sea-fog, which lingered on the plains throughout the morning, prevented our seeing them beyond a short distance; but the general character is similar to that of the Sonoma valley. The soil, though rich, bakes in the sun, cracking to the depth of several inches, and receiving the plough only during the wet season. The road, which at this time was good, wound along foot-hills, coming down from the right, and was shaded by oaks, here thickly scattered, from whose branches long festoons of moss depended. Five and a quarter miles beyond the Santa Rosa ranch, we came to that of Mrs. West, the San Miguel, situated like the first upon a small creek running into Russian river. The usual size of these estates in this part of California, appears to be from six to nine leagues of land; the league containing 5000 varas square, of thirty-three inches the vara. Around this, as elsewhere, we saw swarms of Indians idling about, or perched on high platforms of poles and bush, keeping away the crows, apparently less


numerous and troublesome than themselves. The common crop everywhere is barley, and the harvesting and treading out were in progress; the latter being performed by turning a drove of wild horses into a corral filled with the sheaves, and stirring them round by active use of the whip and vigorous shouting. The average yield of barley to the acre, we were told, was sixty bushels, and the price asked for it on the spot (the same, by the way, as the market value at San Francisco) was five cents a pound. This is the only staple; the small quantity of Indian-corn raised being more for domestic use, than as a marketable commodity, and being inferior to that of good localities in the Atlantic States. Potatoes and other vegetables were of fine quality, but, as a general thing, required irrigation.

The foot-hills coming down from the higher ranges, are usually fertile, and covered with a thick growth of wild oats, which at this season are of a clear yellow. This hue, spreading over the whole landscape, presents to our eye, accustomed to the verdure of the east, a singular, and at first by no means pleasing appearance; the only relief being the dark foliage of the various oaks which cluster in groves upon hill and valley.

Our march of to-day brought us to Russian river, the Slavianska of the Russians themselves, about a mile and a half below Fitch's ranch; and we encamped among the trees upon the bank, having travelled thirteen and three-quarters miles. This river, the valley of which we were now to ascend, is here about twelve yards in width, and a few inches only in depth, running on a gravelly bed. Its bottom, however, two or three hundred yards in width, and the marks upon its banks, indicate a very different size when the waters from the mountains come down in the rainy season. Between two and three leagues below this point, at Cooper's ranch, the river, which above runs a general south-easterly course, turns west toward the ocean, passing through a canon. It empties about nine miles below Fort Ross, without any bay at its mouth, which is obstructed by a bar formed of sand and imbedded logs, passable at low tide almost dry-shod. On the north bank commences the true Coast-range of mountains, which hereafter follows the shore of the Pacific to Cape Mendocino, where it terminates. Above that point the rivers run chiefly from the eastward, and the course of the mountain-chains is in accordance with them.

A number of Indians from the neighborhood came in, and a talk was held with them. The tribe to which they belong, and which has its head-quarters at Fitch's ranch, is called "Kai-na-meah," or, as the Spaniards pronounce it, "Kai-na-mι-ro." No opportunity afforded itself for collecting a vocabulary of their language; but I was informed that this dialect extends as far back as Santa Rosa, down Russian river about three leagues to Cooper's ranch, and thence across to the coast at Fort Ross, and for twenty-five miles above. On Bodega's bay, another tribe, the Tu-ma-leh-nias, use a different one. In appearance these Indians differ entirely from the Chinooks and other Coast tribes of Oregon, being taller and darker. They have quite heavy moustaches and


beards on the chin, but not much on the cheeks, and they almost all suffer it to grow. Several were noticed with grey heads and beards. They are an ugly and brutish race, many with negro profiles, and some of the old men resembling Chinese figures of their deities. Their traditions are said to be exceedingly vague, and their religious ideas even more obscure. They have no knowledge of a God, but believe in a sort of demon whom they call "Puys," and whom they propitiate by worship, throwing up piles of stones to him, to which each passer-by contributes. As to any notion of Christianity, they have received none. Each band has its chief, who is hereditary, and of the Kai-na-mιahs there are three. The total number of these appears to be about two hundred.

Wednesday, Aug. 13th. — The morning was again cloudy, and heavy dews had fallen during the night. A mile and a half beyond camp we crossed Russian river at Fitch's ranch, where it issues on the right from behind a high and steep bluff. Beyond the crossing, the road ran over low hills, covered with oaks, as below. The river here lay at some distance, a range of high hills intervening, and the valley having no longer the character of a continuous bottom, but being cut up by low spurs. Between seven and eight miles from the crossing, we struck the river again, and thence the route, now narrowed to a horse-trail, but passable for wagons, followed its course. We saw during the day great numbers of the blue or crested quail; coveys of from twenty to fifty, exceedingly tame, and perching in the bushes when started up. Although the young birds were nearly full grown, we had found a nest in our camp of last night containing eggs. These birds either unite in flocks of several families, or else, as has been stated, one male has two or three females in charge; for the number seen in a flock is far too great for a single brood. We passed another ranch, Piραs, and encamped on the river at a fine bend with abundance of wild oats around. The odometer gave us as our distance 15.67 miles.

The mountains opposite here come close down to the river. The valley since we last reached it, is generally narrow, well wooded with evergreen and other kinds of oak; and the soil, for the most part, good; though occasionally, as on the hills, gravelly. The redwood was now abundant on the mountains, to the left. The scenery was exceedingly picturesque, and many flowering plants of great beauty were every where in bloom. At camp we found recent signs of deer, and two were started within it. Two grizzly bears were also seen in the neighborhood.

Thursday, Aug. 14th. — To-day we remained in camp. The morning was again cloudy, and with what, in the Atlantic States, would have been sure signs of rain. Dew fell every night.

Two or three hundred yards above camp a strong soda spring rose in the bed of the river, and on the margin of the water, as it there ran. It boiled strongly, and tasted


something like those at the "Beer Springs," on Bear river. The temperature was 78°, while that of the stream within a yard was 76°, and of the atmosphere 73°. Several deer were killed to-day, and a bear chased. The Rocky Mountain hare, or, as it is libellously called, "jackass rabbit," was abundant, and with good dogs would afford fine sport. Quartz rock, in connection with serpentine in place, was noticed in the bed of the river.

Friday, Aug. 15th. — This morning, for the first time, was clear. We left camp about seven, our road still passing up the valley, and crossing the river four times. In this part it was heavy with sand and coarse gravel; the river at flood time evidently overflowing the whole bottom. A little beyond the last crossing we reached Barillιsαs ranch, situated on a spur projecting into the valley. At this point, which is called the Rincon, we should have taken a trail leading up the right-hand branch of the valley, as it would have thus avoided passing over a hill. Russian river here emerges from the long caρon, and one of the trails follows through that also. Keeping up the valley, which beyond Barillιsαs is a beautiful one, we came to our first experience of the mountains. The road ascends an exceedingly steep and long hill, where the wagons, though light, had to double teams. From the top of one of the ascents there was a fine view down the valley. A long descent followed, during which it was necessary to lock both wheels, and after a march of eleven miles we reached and camped in a little basin, finding good grass and sufficient water in pools in an arroya. All these little valleys afford fine pasturage and abundant oak timber. The lower hills also are covered with oats. Some deer were killed at this place, and we saw signs of bear. Great numbers of a handsome species of woodpecker frequent the oaks, chattering and quarrelling vehemently. A peculiarity of this species, common through California and Southern Oregon, is that it imbeds the acorn for winter food, in the dead limbs of the oak and the bark of the fir, which are often thus seen riddled with holes.

Saturday, Aug. 16th. — The morning was fine, our elevation being great enough to clear the fog, and to render the night cool. We ascended in a north-westerly course for about four and one-half miles from camp, where we had another fine view back, and from which a pretty steep, but regular descent, led us into a deep hollow or basin in the mountains. Fronting us was a peak which forms a landmark at the entrance of Russian river into the canon; and beyond, the still higher range, part of the chain separating it from Clear Lake. A succession of hills followed, until we struck the river again just above the mouth of the canon. The valley here is narrow and bordered by mountains, the stream itself running between better-defined banks, edged with willows and undergrowth. The hills passed to-day were covered with bunch grass, the wild oats having disappeared. On one of them the big-coned pine was noticed, which among the Indians elsewhere furnishes almost as important an article


of food as the acorn with those of this district. Following the bank of the river, our wagons were sometimes compelled to make detours to avoid the steep slopes of the foothills. About two miles from our first reaching it, however, the valley widened out into a fine bottom, and another mile brought us opposite to the last Spanish ranch on the river, that of Fernando Fιliz, an old Mexican, who claims here some four leagues of land. Our camp was established on the left bank of the river, near a fine clear brook, and much colder than below. Fιliz's house, like most of those of the lower class of Californians, was a miserable adobe hut, thatched with tulι, and connected with a sort of out-house by mud walls. A horde of Indians, all scantily dressed and many stark naked, were lounging in and about the enclosure, or perched in crows'-nests watching the corn. The old man received the party with a truly Spanish courtesy, and insisted in turn upon every one sitting down upon the only chair in the establishment. A more attractive spot to some of us was a pile of tulι under the shed, where were seated the two daughters and the daughter-in-law of the host, with a visitor, eating water-melons. The ladies were all tolerably pretty women, and their plump figures were shadowed forth agreeably beneath the thin folds of a chemisette and petticoat which constituted their costume. Fιliz's son, a tall and rather fine-looking Californian, did the honors of the melons. Fιliz appeared very poor, and indeed complained bitterly of his reduced state. He was too old to hunt, or to work himself. His cattle were almost all gone, his crop of barley was but small, and a little Indian-corn and a few melons and cantelopes, picked before they were ripe to save them from the Indians, were apparently his only other resources. On learning the business of the agent, he was in great tribulation; protesting that he should be utterly ruined were the Indians to be removed, as he could get no other labor, while at the same time he abused them as thieves who had killed his cattle and eaten his crop. His case seemed a hopeless one. It is that of many of his class, but the wheels of state must crush some victims in their inexorable career.

The distance travelled to-day was, by odometer, ten miles, to which one should be added for lockage, making the total from Sonoma a little over seventy-one and one-half miles.

Sunday, Aug. 17th. — Col. M'Kee started for Clear Lake, accompanied by Major Wessells and nine of the command as an escort, and a small pack-train carrying presents and provisions. Several gentlemen from the country below, who had come up on a hunting excursion, also went over. The men were mounted on mules to save the horses, as the road was a severe one; and the appearance of the cavalcade was amusing enough, with the heavy trappings of the mounted riflemen on their diminutive chargers, especially as some of the animals were exceedingly restive under the clattering of sabres and yagers. Our road after leaving the valley was an almost uninterrupted ascent to the summit of the great range which bounds the valley of the


lake on the west, the path being an Indian trail, distinctly enough marked. The morning had been cloudy, and towards noon it set in pretty steadily to drizzle, continuing through the day, an occurrence rare at this season. The ascent in all was a very great one, the crest of the mountains being covered only with chemisal, dwarf-oak, and marsanita bushes. Just before reaching the summit we entered on a pretty little valley, two or three miles in length, and completely circled in the mountain, containing fine grass. Passing the divide, we came upon a steep descent ending in an abrupt pitch into the canon of an arroya below, down which was a well-worn path, probably the equal labor of Indians and bears, guarded on either side by a thicket. Here was our almost entire descent to the level of the valley, which is probably not less than a thousand feet above that of Russian river. We wound down the arroya, now dry except in spots, and passing to the right of a couple of small tulι ponds, crossed some low hills into Clear Lake valley, towards its head. The bottom of the arroya widens out near these ponds, and bends to the left; the stream itself, when full, forming one branch of the principle tributary of the lake. At the ponds we saw a number of ducks and some deer, and a little beyond found the remains of a huge grizzly bear, which some vaqueros had, during the preceding spring, lassoed and baited with bulls. Striking the lake, our trail ran through the tulι marshes which border its western side to camp. This was in an oak grove in the bottom, upon a small stream, and some four miles from a high mountain which juts into the lake nearly equidistant from its extremities. The march to-day was estimated at fifteen miles.

Monday, Aug. 18th. — The morning was again threatening, and the sky did not clear till the afternoon. To-day about seventy-five Indians from the different bands on the lake, including the principal chiefs and head men, came into council. The objects and wishes of the government were explained to them by the agent, and some provisions distributed. They all appeared highly gratified, and grunted their approbation with perfect unanimity, particularly at the promise of beef. Most of these people were entirely naked, and very filthy, and showed less sense of decency in every respect, than any we had ever met with. Their women did not come with them; having, for the most part, been sent up to the hills. Towards evening we rode to the lake and visited the nearest rancheria. This, which was only a summer residence, was pitched in a clump of willow bushes in the tulι, and consisted of the rudest huts of twigs and rushes. A few old women only remained, who were pounding seeds in a pinolι; and they appeared to have a considerable stock both of these and of dried fish. Of fish, the lake abounds with different kinds, among which, a species of bass, so called at least, is considered the best. The fishing season is the fall and winter, when numbers of the adjoining tribes come down. The seeds, which are of anise and of various grasses, are collected by the women, who carry suspended on their backs a conical basket, holding about a bushel, and in the hand a smaller one, suitable for a scoop. With this they sweep among the ripe grass, with a motion


similar to that of a man cradling; throwing the seed over the left shoulder into the larger one. The pinolι is pounded in baskets of firm texture, having a hole in the bottom, which is placed upon a smooth stone, and is afterwards stored for winter use. The acorn, however, abundant everywhere, furnishes their chief article of food. Their principal ingenuity is shown in the making of baskets; some of these being of very fine and close texture, capable of holding water. In fact, they boil in them by dropping in heated stones. The women generally wear a small, round, bowl-shaped basket on their heads; and this is frequently interwoven with the red feathers of the woodpecker, and edged with the plume tufts of the blue quail. They appeared to have no earthen or stone utensils, nor any of wood, except pipes, ladles, and pestles. Their canoes, or rather rafts, are made of bundles of the tulι plant, a gigantic bulrush, with a round, smooth stem, growing in marshy grounds to the height of ten or twelve feet. The pipe is a straight stick, the bowl being a continuation of the stem enlarged into a knob, and is held perpendicularly. They use a species of native tobacco of nauseous and sickening odor. The winter houses, which are large lodges supported on poles, and covered with the universal tulι, they always burn on leaving them in spring, to get rid of the vermin. The only building of this band which remained was the "Ser-a-loo," or sweat-house. This, which is used by them as a species of daily indulgence, is heated simply by fires, without the aid of water, and on leaving it, they take to the stream to cool themselves. It is generally built in a conical form, and the one here was about twelve feet high by twenty wide, with the earth excavated for a couple of feet deep within. The circles or mounds on which they have been built, are found in many places around the lake not now inhabited, and, from their number, as well as the great size of some, afford evidence of a formerly much larger population.

As regards this fact, there is but little doubt, nor of the principal cause of the diminution in the ravages of the small-pox, at no very remote period. Some old Indians, who carry with them the marks of the disease, state it positively; and it is reported, by native Californians, that over 100,000 perished of this disease in the valleys drained by the Sacramento and the San Joaquin.

Concerning the religious belief of these, as well as the adjoining Indians, it is difficult to obtain conclusive information. One of this tribe, who had been for three or four years among the whites, and accompanied the expedition, on being questioned as to his own belief in a deity, acknowledged his entire ignorance on the subject. As regarded a future state of any kind, he was equally uninformed and indifferent; in fact, did not believe in any for himself. As a reason why his people did not go to another country after death, while the whites might, he assigned that the Indians burned their dead, and he supposed there was an end of them; a speculation, however, probably originating at the moment, and not forming part of the national faith. Some of those who, during our conference, were questioned on the subject, admitted, that as


there were good and bad men and animals, there might be good and bad spirits, and that it was reasonable that there should be a maker of what they saw around them; but they added, that these things were for white men to know about. Mr. Benjamin Kelsey, who had lived some time among these people, and whose intelligence and familiarity with Indian customs renders him a reliable informant, states, on the contrary, that among themselves the old men go through ceremonies, at night and morning, of a devotional character, singing, crying, and making signs; and that an Indian in his employment, who spoke Spanish, explained that it was like what the priests did. The custom of burning the dead is universal here, and through the length of Russian river; and, as we afterwards found, among cognate tribes at the head of Eel river.

In personal appearance, many of the Clear Lake Indians are of a very degraded caste; their foreheads naturally being often as low as the compressed skulls of the Chinooks, and their forms commonly small and ungainly. They, as well as the river tribes, cut their hair short. They have also considerable beard and hair on the person. Few of the men have any clothing at all. The women, however, wear, even from the earliest childhood, a short fringed petticoat, generally of deer-skin, around the loins, but suffer the upper part of the body to be exposed. Sore eyes and blindness, the result of smoke and dirt, were common. It may be noticed that phymosis is common among all the Indian tribes of this country.

A vocabulary of this language was obtained from the Indian who accompanied us, and who spoke Spanish sufficiently to be enabled to interpret with his people. It was carefully taken down, and may be relied on as tolerably accurate. Many of the words will be found identical with those of the Indians on the upper parts of Russian and Eel rivers; and indeed he was able to converse with most of these — understanding them, however, much better than he could reply. (Vide § IX., Language.)

Tuesday, Aug. 19. — The preliminaries of the treaty were agreed upon in council this morning, a larger assemblage being present than yesterday. In the mean time an examination of the country was made, as well as time and means afforded, with a view to a reservation. The length of the lake has generally been stated at 60 miles, but it probably does not exceed 30 or 35. The width near the head is from eight to ten miles. It is divided near the middle by a spur from the high mountain below our camp, which extends nearly across it, and the lower portion is much narrower than the upper. The general course is from north-west to south-east. Its waters empty by an outlet into Cache creek; a stream which heads in a high peak to the northward, and runs towards the Sacramento, losing itself in a tulι swamp nearly opposite the mouth of Feather river. The lake has been generally represented as lying within the Sacramento valley, but its actual position is in a great basin of the mountains which border it on the west; for although the waters of the lake run towards that river, it


is yet separated from it by a part of the chain, through a canon in which Cache creek forces its way. Surrounded on every side by mountains, this valley is completely isolated from the adjoining country, there being no access except by difficult trails. Of these there are several; the usual one being from Napa across to Putos creek, or the Rio Dolores, as sometimes called, which heads to the south-west, and runs nearly parallel to Cache creek towards the Sacramento; losing itself, like the former, in a swamp, except during the rainy season. The principal valley upon the lake is that upon which we encamped, lying on the western side, and extending from mount M'Kee towards the head. The extent of this may be stated at ten miles in length, by an average width of four. A more beautiful one can hardly be pictured. Covered with abundant grass, and interspersed with groves of superb oaks of the most varied and graceful forms, with the lake and its green margin of tulι in front, and the distance bounded everywhere by precipitous ranges, it combines features of surpassing grandeur and loveliness. Flowers of great variety and elegance abound, the woods are filled with game, and in the season innumerable flocks of water-fowl enliven the shores. Two or three other valleys lie within the mountains, which generally come down to the water, but none are of the size and value of this. Upon the lake are several islands, of which, the largest, called "Battle island," about a mile long, is at the northern end. Several mineral springs occur in the neighborhood, and at one of them, on the eastern shore, sulphur is found in great abundance, and in solid and pure deposits. Salt springs also exist among the mountains, from which, the Indians, during the dry season, procure what they require; and further to the north-east, near the southern head of Cottonwood creek, rock-salt is obtained, for which the Lake Indians trade.

A cattle ranch was formerly maintained in this valley, and the adobe house, erected by the owners, was still standing about three miles from our camp, but at this time unoccupied. It was here that Andrew Kelsey and Charles Stone were killed by the Indians, in December, 1849; a murder which was severely punished during the next spring, by a party of troops under Captain Lyons, who succeeded in bringing up a mountain howitzer and two boats from below. The Indians, who had forted upon the creek, at the upper end of the lake, being driven out by a shot, were pursued in the boats to the island by a detachment of infantry, and on their trying to escape to the shore, attacked by the dragoons, who met them waist-deep in the tulι. The utter rout and severe loss which they suffered, had effectually subdued them, and undoubtedly brought about the readiness with which they now met the overtures of the agent.

Wednesday, Aug. 20th. — The council was again assembled, and the treaty explained to them as engrossed. The tribes represented were the Hula-napo, Habe-napo, Dah-no-habe, Mφal-kai, She-kom, and How-ku-ma, belonging to the lake, and the Shanel-kaya and Bedah-marek, living in a valley situated to the north of it, on the east fork


of Russian river. Provision was also made for the admission of the Cho-tan-o-man-as, living toward the outlet of the lake, but not present; and for the settlement of any other tribes the government may remove from other places. These are all more properly bands than tribes; each village, as is the case generally with the Indians of this part of California at least, having its separate chief. The names have each its signification. Thus, "Habe-napo" means stone house, "Dahno-habe," stone mountain, "Bedah-marek," lower people, &c. They give to the first six tribes collectively the name of "Nα-po-batνn," or many houses; an appellation, however, not confined to themselves, as they term the Russian river tribes the "Boh-Napo-batνn," or western many houses. The name "Lu-pa-yu-ma," which, in the language of the tribe living at Coyote valley, on Putos river, signifies the same as Habe-napo, is applied by the Indians in that direction to these bands, but is not recognized by themselves. Each different tribe, in fact, seems to designate the others by some corresponding or appropriate word in its own language, and hence great confusion often arises among those not acquainted with their respective names. They have no name for the valley itself, and call the different spots where they reside after those of the bands. In fact, local names do not seem to be applied to districts of country, though they may be sometimes to mountains. Rivers seem to be rather described than named — thus Russian river is called here Boh-bid-ah-me, or "the river to the west."

The Shanel-kayas and Bedah-marek speak a language, or more probably dialect, different from the Napo-batνn, as do also the Indians of the portion of the lake south of Mt. M'Kee. That of the latter, perhaps, resembles more the Mu-tistul between the heads of Napa and Putos creeks, or some other of those lying between the lake and the bay of San Pablo. How many really different languages will ultimately be determined between the heads of the Russian river and San Francisco bay, it is impossible as yet to conjecture. On a cursory examination there appear to be several; but more critical enquiry will, perhaps, reduce them. That of the Napo-batνns, in its various dialects, seems to be one of the most extensive; reaching from the Sacramento range to the coast, and up as far as the head-waters of the Eel river.

It is difficult to ascertain the real numbers of these people. Common report had stated it at some 2500 or 3000; but the nearest approach which could be made to a count gave but 511 as the total of souls in the six tribes of the valley, and 150 to the two living in the mountains, who were represented by their chiefs only. To this twenty five per cent. was added, as the probable number of those not returned. The proportion of men, women, and children seemed to vary greatly. The men of the two nearest rancherias were with great difficulty persuaded to bring in their families, and their ratios were as follows: —

Huta-napo, 85 men, 81 women, 29 children.
Habe-napo, 29 do. 42 do. 13 do.


The details of the treaty appear elsewhere, and need not be repeated. It provided for the reservation of that part of Clear Lake valley lying to the northward of Mt. M'Kee, as designated on the accompanying maps, and for the assembling here of the tribes of Russian river, the coast and bay, and of the head of Eel river; the Indians to be furnished with teachers, agricultural implements, domestic animals, and seeds, and assisted in supporting themselves for the space of two years. As regards the suitableness of the reservation for its purpose, there can hardly be a doubt. The spot is isolated to a degree unusual even on the Pacific; abounds in all that is necessary for a large number of people in their savage state, and is capable of being made in the highest degree productive by cultivation. If the system pursued in this respect in the States is adhered to in California, (and in no other way can the condition of these Indians be elevated, or their extinction be averted,) it must be by removing at least their families from among the whites, and turning them to some fixed occupation. The central position of the lake country will easily enable such numbers as can be spared, to hire themselves out during the working season, while the stores provided at home will sustain them in the winter. They appear sufficiently tractable to admit of teaching, and to be averse to labor from indolence, rather than from pride. Great patience and tact will necessarily be requisite, and care should be exercised in selecting their teachers for these among other qualifications. We started on the return route about half past twelve, and reached the top of the mountain in four hours. The afternoon was fine, and we here enjoyed a magnificent view of the country and lake behind us. Some of the party left the trail by which we came up, at the head of the little valley, and descended by one leading to the left. An hour and a half of rapid travel brought us to Fιliz's, where we learned that the camp had moved up a mile and a half further for better grass. We reached it a little after dark, and found that the rest had already arrived. During our absence, some Spaniards and vaquιros had lassoed and killed five grizzly bears in the immediate vicinity of the ranch. This amusement, which may be considered the national one of California, is performed by from two to four men, all mounted. One of them rides towards the bear, and as he rears, catches a paw with the noose, takes a turn round the horn of his saddle, and immediately starts at speed. Another following, lassoes in like manner the other foot, and spurs in a contrary direction, to prevent the bear overhauling the first rope, which he would otherwise speedily do. If there are more, they secure his hind feet and head, and the bear, thus rendered powerless, is dragged to a tree and made fast. Sometimes a wild bull is coupled with the bear by a riata, and the two turned loose to fight it out, the conflict generally ending with the death of both parties. This pastime seems tolerably dangerous to the uninitiated, but it is pursued with astonishing fearlessness and dexterity by the Californians; nor are some of the American settlers much behind them in either.

To-day a large rattlesnake of a bright green color was noticed among the hills near


Clear Lake. A large yellow species is also said to be found. Ground-squirrels, in size resembling the common grey squirrel of the States, but having shorter legs and a black patch between the shoulders, are common. The pine grouse and quail, geese, ducks, and cranes, abound in their proper season. Elk, bears, and black-tailed deer, frequent the mountains throughout all this region.

Thursday, Aug. 21st. — Arrangements had been made the day before for bringing in the adjoining river tribes, and inducing them to consent to a removal to the lake. For this purpose also, three of the principal chiefs had come over with us to assure them of their friendly disposition. Accordingly, four bands consented to enter into a treaty, viz., the Sah-nel, Yukai, Pomo, and Masu-ta-kaya; numbering in all, as was supposed, 1042 souls. The chief of the Kai-no-mιahs, living at Fitch's ranch, who had come up from below, withdrew, being unwilling to consent to a removal, and the intermediate bands did not appear. These are believed to embrace the larger part of the population of the river; many of their people being at the ranches we had visited below. The estimate formed by Col. M'Kee of the whole number, from the head of Russian river down, was as follows: —

In the valleys of Sonoma and Russian river 1200
On Clear Lake and the adjacent mountains 1000
On the coast from Fort Ross southward to the bay 500

I obtained here a partial vocabulary from one of the Tukai band. These live in the vicinity of Parker's ranch, above here. The tribe at this place, the Sah-nels, as also the Boch-hιaf, Ubak-hιa, Tabah-tιa, and the Moi-ya, living between them and the coast, speak the same. The Ma-su-ta-kιa and Pomo, living further up on the west branch of the river, use the same as the Shanel-kaya of the east branch, who were treated with at the lake.

In general appearance there is a similarity among all the Indians between here and the bay, which indicates their common race. So little attention has been paid to their peculiar customs that we could gather very little information, and that not very definite.

The chiefdom is hereditary, but at present confined to small bands, each independent of the rest, though they often live together in winter. It is probable, however, that when more numerous, they had, as elsewhere, great head chiefs with more extended dominion; for in the Clear Lake language there is a distinct name for these. In one case we learned, where the males of a family had become extinct, and a female only remained, she appointed a chief. The custom of burning the dead is universal. The body is consumed upon a scaffold, built over a hole, into which the ashes are thrown and covered. Marriage lasts only during agreement, and they have but one wife at a time. If the parties separate, the children go with the wife. The practice of abortion, so common among the Chinooks, and some other tribes in


Oregon, is unknown here. The universal disease is said gradually to be finding its way among them, though we noticed no marks of it. A more intimate knowledge of their languages would probably discover many curious observances which have escaped observation. At some of their dances, for instance, we were told they avoid particular articles of food, even fowls and eggs. The flesh of the grizzly bear, few of them will eat at all. It is said that they believe the spirits of the dead enter them, and a story was related to us of their begging the life of a wrinkled-faced old she grizzly bear, as the recipient of some particular grandam's soul, whom they fancied it resembled. Parker, who was our informant, stated that an Indian wife he once had, used to speak of a god called Big-head, and when it thundered said that he was angry. Most of them, however, who have any faith, worship "Pooyah," (the Puys of the Spaniards.) One custom which had been noticed, was that of crying together night and morning, as was supposed for the dead, even after the lapse of some years. This may however be the same ceremony alluded to above as existing on Clear Lake. The wilder of these tribes hunt, but do not depend on game for subsistence. On great hunts they make brush fences of some extent with intervals containing snares, and drive the deer into them. Sometimes also they creep upon and kill them with arrows. Their principal food consists of acorns, roots and pinolι. Fish are taken in weirs, the salmon ascending far up Russian river.

Saturday, Aug. 23d. — It was decided to send the four wagons we had brought with us, back to Sonoma, although it was possible to carry them somewhat further. Indeed an attempt had previously been made to take a train through to Humboldt Bay; and it actually proceeded as far as the main Eel river, where the last of them was abandoned. The trail followed the river for a couple of miles, when it diverged, passing up a narrow lateral valley. About six miles from camp we crossed a range of low hills, and again reached the main valley, which here widened out into a handsome plain. A couple of miles beyond, we reached the last house on the river, that of George Parker Armstrong, or, as he is erroneously called, "John Parker," to whom reference has already been made. The house was a small building of logs, or rather poles filled in with clay, and thatched with tale. Its furniture was somewhat incongruous; for upon the earthen floor and beside a bulls' hide partition, stood huge china jars, camphor trunks, and lacquered ware in abundance, the relics of some vessel that had been wrecked on the coast during last spring. Parker, or Armstrong, was formerly a man-of-war's man in Captain Belcher's squadron, which he left during the exploration of this coast, some fourteen years ago, since when he had wandered about in California, and recently posted himself here in advance of the settlements. Near the house stood the rancheria of the Yukai band, with whom we had treated below. Three Indians had been implicated in the Clear Lake murder, and were accordingly


chastised by Captain Lyons on his return from Clear Lake, from which place he reached Russian river by a trail leading in here.

The valley at Parker's is some five miles in width by eight or ten long, but it is not as fertile as at Fιliz's. Above here the river during the dry season runs chiefly under the sand, and water is only to be obtained in occasional pools. We halted for the night at Lyons's encampment, having made between fourteen and fifteen miles. About a mile above, the east fork of Russian river comes in, after a winding course through the mountains. Upon it lies the valley inhabited by the Shanel-kayas and others before spoken of.

Sunday, Aug. 24th. — To obtain better grass we passed up the river for about six miles, finding the bottom narrow and worthless. Crossing the now dry bed of the stream, we sought for a camp on the right bank, intending to make a short march, as we desired the next day to reach the head of Eel river. Finding no water, however, we turned off to the right and halted in a small prairie, upon a spring branch. Several deer were killed near camp, but we were all surfeited with venison, and preferred beef. We saw during our march to-day a number of pines and firs, with the usual growth of mansanita and madroρa. The latter is a gigantic rhododendron, which occasionally attains a diameter of two or three feet at the butt. It is a very ornamental tree; the leaves being evergreen, and of a bright color, while the bark, which scales off annually like that of the sycamore, is red. The wood is valuable for several purposes, being very compact and fine-grained. It is much used for saddletrees. In our camp were several large bay trees, which filled the air with an odor too strong to be agreeable. This, which is also called the wild olive, bears a nut of the size of a hazel-nut, covered with a thick green rind, and is excessively oily. The Indians use it where it abounds, as a favorite article of food; roasting it, however, first. It should be mentioned that we were joined at Fιliz's by Mr. Thomas Sebring, one of the first party that traversed the route between here and Humboldt bay, and who now acted as our guide.

Monday, Aug. 25th. — We crossed the east fork of the river, and thence, by a high and steep ascent, gained the divide between that and the west fork; keeping, however, along the left side of the range, and looking down upon the valley of the latter. This is apparently narrow and broken, but is said to contain some good land and is well wooded. Water, however, is scarce during the summer. From these hills we could look back to a great distance, the peak at the entrance of the canon below Fιliz's standing up distinctly, with a back-ground of mountains, part of the Coast range, the continuation of which bounded on the other side the valley to our left. Near us, one point formed a very noticeable landmark, resembling, as it did in many respects, the basaltic formations on the upper Columbia. We found on our route the


hills well clothed with bunch grass and wild oats, as also water in springs, but not in quantities sufficient for any considerable number of animals. The culminating point on the divide between Russian and Eel rivers, may be considered as marked by an isolated rock, about thirty feet high, standing in a level plat of grass. From here our course ran northerly down a succession of hills, till about twelve miles from our last camp we descended into a valley running north-west and south-east. At the foot of the hills we found running water, in a branch under an alder thicket; but the grass had been burnt off by the Indians, for the purpose of collecting aniseed with greater ease, and we were obliged to proceed some four miles further down, and finally to encamp without water in our immediate vicinity, sending the animals back to it. This valley, which the Indians called Betumki, or big plain, is eight or ten miles long and four or five wide. Two streams come into it, which form the heads of the middle fork of Eel river, here called the Ba-ka-wha. These are not at this season continuous, but lose themselves in the plain. At the foot of the valley, a lagoon of a mile or two long forms in the winter, and thence the river passes out through a canon. The valley is level, fertile in soil and sufficiently wooded, particularly at the upper or southern end. Although its elevation is very considerable, the hills around are well clothed with grass and timber. As being more distant from any probable settlement of the whites, this and the next valley might have been considered as more advantageous points of reserve than the Clear Lake country. It, however, is destitute of water sufficient for a numerous population; is too inclement in the winter season for a southern population to exist in it, and would not furnish enough of the natural productions on which they live.

In leaving Russian river, it may be proper briefly to state its general extent and that of the country upon it. Taking its general course without reference to windings, it is less than a hundred miles in length, and the aggregate amount of tillable land upon it is not great. The largest single body of prairie country is that lying between Santa Rosa and Pitch's ranch; which, though not altogether upon the river, may yet be considered as a portion of the valley, and which embraces a tract of some fifteen miles in length, by as much in extreme width. Above Fitch's, the bottom consists of detached valleys, of at most a few square miles in extent, separated by wooded hills. Small basins are also scattered among the mountains, which, however, do not greatly add to the quantity. This country, like that around the bays of San Francisco and San Pablo, generally requires irrigation for the production of green crops, but is admirably adapted to the small grains. Beyond this its great value is for pasturage, the ranges on either side being very extensive and rich. Large herds of cattle were formerly kept there, but the improvidence of the owners has allowed them to be almost entirely destroyed.


The precaution had been taken of sending Indians on from Parker's to bring in those of this valley; and, with some trouble, they succeeded in collecting part of the men. The families abandoned their rancherias, and fled to the mountains on our approach. There are here five small bands, corresponding in appearance with those on Russian river, with whom, as well as those on Clear Lake, they are connected. They are much wilder than the others, having generally but little communication with the whites, though a few are said to have been employed as vaqueros. We found that they could make themselves understood by the Russian river Indians, and generally understood them; but their dialect is still different. A portion of their vocabulary was collected, and will be found in the Appendix. [§ IX. LANGUAGE.]

We remained in this camp two days. A considerable number of men were brought in, but all attempts to assemble their families served only to excite their suspicions. In fact, the object of the agent, in the process of double translation through which it passed, was never fairly brought before them. The speeches were first translated into Spanish by one, and then into the Indian by another; and this, not to speak of the very dim ideas of the last interpreter, was sufficient to prevent much enlightenment under any circumstances. But the truth was, that the gentlemen for whose benefit they were meant by no means comprehended any possible motive on our part but mischief. That figurative personage, the great father at Washington, they had never heard of. They had seen a few white men from time to time, and the encounter had impressed them with a strong desire to see no more, except with the advantage of manifest superiority on their own part. Their earnest wish was clearly to be left alone. To the last arguments brought forward, red flannel shirts and beef, their minds were more open, and they willingly performed many offices about camp, running for water, making fires, and waiting on the soldiers, who are sure to get work enough out of them always.

These men, like the other mountain tribes we afterwards met, though small, were well formed, with prominent chests, and the muscles of the legs and body well developed. Their arms, on the contrary, were diminutive. Some of them had shaved the hair from the person, and they almost all wore bits of stick, four or five inches long, through the ears. A few carried bows and arrows, and one had a spear, headed with obsidian, which is found scattered over these hills. The names of the bands in this valley were the Nabob, Chow-e-shak, Chau-te-uh, Ba-kow-a, and Sa-mun-da. One or two others were said to be absent. The numbers given by those who came in amounted in all to 127 men, 147 women, and 106 children. The total, including those absent, probably does not exceed 450 to 475.

From a high point to the west of our camp I obtained a fine view over the valley and surrounding hills. These are well timbered with oak and fir; which latter timber is now prevalent, and interspersed with fields of bunch grass and little valleys affording good pasturage. Water, however, is scarce.


Thursday, Aug. 28th. — We started rather earlier than usual, anticipating a heavy day's march, in which we were by no means disappointed. The first six or eight miles, though a series of constant ascents and descents, the former much preponderating, afforded a very fair trial. Small valleys lay scattered among the hills, covered with rich grass; and fine views opened behind, of the mountains between us and the Sacramento. At ten o'clock we halted for half an hour, while the guide sought for the route; no easy thing in a country presenting such an endless succession of hills, and cut up every where by Indian and deer trail. Unfortunately the wrong one was this time selected, and, after losing ourselves in a forest of redwoods, we turned directly up a mountain northward. Reaching the top with great difficulty, and on foot of course, the trail turned east and then south, and two hours of hard work brought us back to the starting point. The timber in these redwoods was very large; one tree that we passed measuring thirty-three feet in circumference, and a great proportion from twenty-five to twenty-eight. Scattered among them were firs, also of great size. On the top of the mountain we noticed, for the first time, the chestnut oak, and a species of chestnut, with leaves like those of the willow in form and size, the burrs being in clusters and containing fruit not much larger than the beach-nut.

Taking a fresh departure we reached, in about a mile, a little valley running east and west, and lying directly behind the mountain we had ascended. This we followed up, and again returning to our general north-westerly course, ascended to a point whence we could see the mountains beyond the Clear Lake valley, and among the intermediate peaks, "Loma Priιta," and Mount "M'Kee." A deep ravine or caρon lay on either hand. Here we again mistook our course, and instead of heading that to the left, kept up the divide between the two. After a still higher climb, and a futile attempt to descend, we turned back, and succeeded in finding the right course. From this divide a superb view opened of the Coast chain, upon one of the highest ridges of which we were travelling; range after range, heavily timbered, extending down towards the sea; and the sun, now in its decline, shone upon the distant ocean, the reflected rays illuminating the clouds above.

We formed camp near nightfall on the side of the mountain, with but poor grass and a scanty supply of water from a muddy hole. The animals, thirsty after their long march, had to be kept away by force, and groups of disconsolate mules stood, during the night, at a hardly respectful distance from the sentinel; their despairing bray mingling with the yelping of the coyotes. Our march was probably sixteen miles on our course, and twenty-four in all. It will be observed that we were crossing from the waters of the middle, towards those of the south fork of Eel river, on which is situated the valley we were next seeking. In consequence, however, of losing the trail, we were compelled to encamp short of the place intended, and upon the summit of one range of the Coast Mountains.


Friday, Aug. 29th. — The animals were much strayed this morning, having wandered off in search of grass and water. We marched only four miles, and finding both in abundance on a creek running towards the coast, concluded to encamp there, especially as all the dragoon horses had not been found. The herd of cattle, which formed part of our cavalcade, were driven on about two miles and a half to another arroya. A few Indians came into this camp, part of a band belonging to the next valley. They had with them a dog, the first we have seen among them, and of a breed not mentioned in Youatt, being apparently a cross between a turnspit and a coyote. When it is added that he was as great an adept in thieving as his masters, all praise of his capacity is exhausted.

The creek on which we were, seemed to be one of the sources of a river said to enter the coast thirty or forty miles below Cape Mendocino, and which among some of the sea charts is laid down as the R. des Marons. The deep ravine or canon facing our camp of last night, was evidently one of its heads, as during the march we perceived a gap extending to the ocean. We were afterwards told by persons who had passed near the coast, that a quite extensive agricultural country apparently lay near its mouth.

Saturday, Aug. 30th. — A general and very noisy mourning among the mules came off this morning, as the old white mare that had officiated as bell-wether, had fallen down the hill and broken her neck. Our course continued northward, up high grassy hills, and then over the wooded table-land, which forms the western side of the valley. We found the cattle camp a couple of miles beyond, upon a brook running into it, with water and grass abundant. The men accompanying it had started three bears and wounded one, which however escaped. Strangely enough, the mules, generally very much afraid of them, had taken it into their ears to have a little private diversion on this occasion, and surrounding a grizzly bear which they found in the tall bottom grass, had performed a war-dance round him, kicking and snorting, but keeping carefully beyond the reach of his paws.

About a mile and a half further we reached the stream which runs through the valley, and crossing it, encamped, finding sufficient water standing in pools. This valley, called by the Indians Ba-tem-da-kai, we supposed to be on the head of the south fork of Eel river, and so we were informed by our guide and other mountaineers; but a belief exists, as we afterwards found, among some of the parties who have traversed this country, that it is, on the contrary, the head of the river before spoken of as entering the coast to the westward. It is apparently twelve or fifteen miles in length, by four or five wide, the general course conforming to the bend of the Coast range, being from south-east to north-west. That part lying on the easterly side of the stream consisted entirely of open prairie, fertile and producing an abundance of fine grass, while the westerly side is mostly wooded. The timber, as on the hills around,


was of mixed oak and fir. A few Indians visited us, and were directed to call in the adjacent tribes.

The distance travelled to-day was four miles.

Sunday, Aug. 31st. — Quite a number of Indians were assembled and presents distributed, but no treaty attempted; for our Clear Lake interpreter, although able to comprehend them, could not explain freely in turn. Their language, however, is clearly of the same family as that of the tribes at the head of Russian river, and those last encountered. The total number in the vicinity, as near as could be ascertained, was about six hundred souls. In general appearance they resembled the Indians in the upper valley. They pluck their beards, and some of them tattoo. Many had their hair cut short, but others wore it turned up in a bunch in front, or occasionally on the back of the head. The practice of cutting the hair, so unusual among American Indians, is referred to by Jedediah S. Smith, one of the most adventurous of the whole class of far-traders, who, during his various expeditions, constructed a map of Oregon and California. An entry upon this, designates the tribes living on the west of the Sacramento range as the "Short-haired Indians." The average height of these men was not over five feet four or five inches. They were lightly built, with no superfluous flesh, but with very deep chests and sinewy legs. Their expression was mild and pleasant, and vastly better than their reputation warranted. We saw no women, and the proposal to bring them in, at once excited their fear and distrust.

I took the opportunity of to-day's halt, to ascend the hills on the eastern side of the valley. The view from this point was beautiful, the stream winding in serpentine form along the margin of the plain, fringed with oaks and firs, and the long slopes beyond diversified with forest and prairie. To the east rose heavy ranges of mountains, between which and the yet more distant Sacramento chain, a wide and deep gap indicated another valley, supposed to be the source of the main fork of Eel river. Returning to camp, Mr. Sebring pointed out a sulphur spring, the water of which was very strongly impregnated. The temperature proved to be 70°, while that of the air was 68°.

Monday, Sept. 1st. — Following the principal valley down for a mile or two, it narrowed and became broken by spurs and deep ravines coming down from the mountain, until at a distance of three or four miles from camp, the stream abruptly turned to the left into a canon. Beyond this the route became excessively mountainous, crossing deep arroyas and then ascending a broken ridge between the waters of the south and middle forks. The day proved cold and rainy, and the clouds prevented our seeing to any considerable distance, though occasionally we had glimpses of a vast circle of mountains closing around us. These seemed to follow the general chain, but were broken and erratic to a degree that rendered it almost impossible to trace


continuous chains. The character of the country, so far as vegetation was concerned, was the same as that recently passed over; the higher and steeper crests being covered with chemisal, dwarf oak, holly, and other similar shrubs, and the less elevated with fir and oaks of various kinds, but of smaller size than those in the lower country. Grass was abundant, even at considerable heights, and water was to be found frequently in the arroyas; but it is to be remembered that reports of water streams, derived from those who have travelled these mountain regions at an earlier season, where the snow was but lately melted, are seldom borne out during the later summer months. We passed to-day in a deep arroya the wrecks of some of the wagons which Mr. Huestas had attempted to take through to Humboldt bay. This expedition started from Sonoma, in the spring of 1850, following the discovery of that harbor, and unfortunately proved abortive. The last wagon was finally abandoned upon the main fork, and the company struck across the mountains for the mines on the Trinity. But one family of Indians were met with on our march, and they fled incontinently; the women carrying with them their few effects, the man gallantly waiting to cover their retreat. He was evidently under great alarm, and with difficulty could be induced to accept a present of tobacco which a soldier offered him. These had robes of deer skin, dressed with the hair on, over their shoulders. They belonged to a wild mountain tribe, the terror of the valley Indians, and with whom earlier parties of whites had one or two encounters. Even their women are said to wield the bow and arrows with dexterity and courage. Of their language and affinities, nothing is known.

We camped this night on a deep ravine, opposite to two remarkable crags called the "Pilot rocks." Our elevation was great, and the night cold and uncomfortable. The pine grouse, well known in Oregon, were now abundant, and seemed to gather in flocks, as the fall approached. Some of our people here prospected for gold, and believed that, in miner's phrase, they had "raised the color," but without any degree of certainty. The distance travelled was twelve miles.

Tuesday, Sept. 2d. — In the morning Indian signs were visible round our camp, but nothing was missing. The day was again cloudy and threatening. Our march was over a succession of ridges, separating the waters of the south and main forks of Eel river, and was severe, not only on the animals, but the men, who were continually obliged to dismount and lead. A dozen or twenty Indians appeared upon a large swell near the road, after the column had passed, vociferating abusively, but offering no actual molestation to those in the rear. Near this place a party, to which our guide belonged, had been attacked the year before, and had killed a chief and two others. These, apparently, had had no notice of our approach, having probably little communication with the tribes above, who fear them. Indeed, the valley Indians informed


us, that they were always whipped back when they attempted to penetrate the mountains.

A few miles from camp, the South Fork, other heads of which we had turned, passed behind a mountain to the left, and for some distance was entirely lost sight of, its course lying some ten or fifteen miles from the dividing ridge. The main fork had, apparently, an average distance of five or six miles, but was visible during the day but once, at a conspicuous point called "Saddle Rock." Beyond it a steep ascent led to another part of the divide, a sharp and very narrow comb, covered with chemisal and other shrubs, and exceedingly rough. Following this for five or six miles, we descended abruptly, and made camp about three o'clock on a ridge between two ravines. Here we found the skeleton of another wagon, and wondered at the obstinacy which had brought it thus far. It was the last relic of the ill-fated expedition which we encountered, as the party had here taken another route.

Our distance to-day was seventeen miles. Water was in sufficient quantity near camp, but the grass was poor, and we were compelled to tie up the animals, as well to prevent their straying, as from fear of Indians. The frequent occurrence of showers in these mountains during the summer months, seems probable, as we found new grass sprouting where it had been burnt over.

Wednesday, Sept. 3d. — We mounted a further continuation of the dividing ridge, and kept along its crest, still in a general north-westerly direction. Five or six miles on, we came to one of the most elevated points on our route, a mountain marked on its summit by a fir-tree, bearing a gigantic parasite. The scenery from here was magnificent, the mountains being interminable to view, and piled up in the wildest confusion. On the left lay the Coast range; on the right a vast basin opened, amidst which rose numerous peaks, sometimes in sharp serrated ridges, elsewhere in regular cones, surmounted with large bare rocks like truncated pyramids or broken columns. Here their tops were yellow with grass — there shrouded with the dark foliage of the chemisal, or crowned with forests of oak and fir. Deep ravines and canons intersected them, amidst which occasionally lay small green patches, whence the blue smoke of an Indian camp-fire curled upward, the rare signs of human life in this vast desert of mountains.

Our dogs started, this afternoon, a couple of half-grown grizzly bears, and chased them smartly up a hill, the bears lumbering along at a rapid though clumsy pace. A little further on, an old she, with two cubs, was roused from an arroya. A soldier who was in advance, broke her back with a rifle-shot, the cubs in the mean time escaping, pursued by one of the dogs. The other attacked the bear most resolutely. In the scuffle she rolled back into the water-course, and the soldier leaping in with his sabre, ran her twice through the heart. The fight, which lasted some minutes, created a general excitement, and some pistol-shooting was volunteered; but the credit of first


blood and the death-wound, was unanimously given to the rifleman. The meat was packed into camp, but proved tough and unsavory. Leaving the crown of the ridge, our trail ran alongside hills to its left for some distance, until, descending a long and very steep declivity, we came upon the South Fork, or, as it is now called, "Kelsey's river," at the junction of a small stream named, after our guide, "Sebring's creek." The river was, at this time, not more than thirty or forty feet wide, and about eight deep. The low bottom furnished good grass, but was of small extent; the hill-sides, however, almost everywhere afford pasturage. What little land there is upon the river is very loose, resembling, in fact, a bed of ashes; but there is nowhere enough to attract settlers, even could any convenient route be found through the country. The mountains are much more craggy than those on Russian river; huge rocks standing out on their sides and summits. A grey sandstone, noticed to-day upon the ridge, forms the caρons of the streams.

The Indians at this point, unlike those of the past two days' march, are said to have been friendly to the whites who have passed through, and to have visited them freely. Owing probably to the size of the party, we could not get them in. No estimate can be formed of their number, but it cannot be great; nor is it probable that a large population exists anywhere among these mountains. One of the rancherias was near our camp; a wretched affair, and with no character of permanence. The tribe is said to have a practice, so far as known, peculiar to itself, of cutting the tongue, and allowing the blood to stream down over the person. Whether the custom is a religious ceremony or not, is unknown; it seems to be too universal for a mark of mourning. Their dress, like that of the last seen, consists of a deer-skin robe thrown over the shoulders. The severity of the climate renders some clothing necessary; for in winter the snow lies here to a great depth, and for a considerable time.

Our march was about seventeen miles, and a severe one on the animals, as for the two nights past they had but little grass, and the trail was very mountainous. The day was cool, and some rain fell.

Thursday, Sept. 4th. — We remained in camp to recruit the animals, and with the hope of finding some Indians, but none were seen. The morning was again rainy. An elk and two or three deer were killed. This country seems to be the paradise of the grizzly bear, for their signs are visible everywhere. A high mountain, which rises a few miles from camp, takes its name of the "Bear Butte," from an attack made by two or three upon a man belonging to a former party. The man escaped with his life, though fearfully crippled.

Friday, Sept. 5th. — The trail here crossed the river, and, skirting a grove of redwoods, ascended the mountain beyond. This timber had now reappeared, and was abundant in the bottoms, often attaining a gigantic size. Higher on the hills the fir


and oak yet prevailed. The mountain sides and tops were generally very rich, and, where not wooded, covered with abundant and fine bunch grass; in fact, almost the only open country was upon these high slopes; the valleys, if the narrow bottoms can be so called, being generally filled with forest. Reaching the top of the ascent, we found the fog so dense that the advance party had stopped; and we were compelled to halt for about an hour. From this the trail descended to the foot of the Bear Butte, a high serrated crest, which forms a conspicuous landmark for many miles, and is even visible from the Bald Mountains, between Humboldt bay and the Klamath. Our route thence lay alongside hills, cut up by ravines coming down from the Butte, and running toward Caρon creek, a branch of which enters the river about a mile above our camp of last night. These were all living streams, and would afford good camping places, as grass is abundant. Leaving them, and crossing another ridge, we came upon the feeders of Wood's creek, another branch emptying some four miles above our next proposed camp, and which here ran on our right. The road was excessively bad, being a constant succession of ascents and descents upon sidelong hills intersected by arroyas, the beds of which lay deep below the surface. The ground too was soft, and added much to the labor of the animals.

During the day we met a party of half a dozen Indians, and induced them to stop. They were exceedingly pleased with the small presents given them, but could not be prevailed upon to accompany us into camp. Two or three of them were of larger stature than usual, and one was really a fine-looking young fellow. They wore the deer-skin robe over the right shoulder, and carried the common short bow, backed with sinew, and arrows pointed with stone, both tolerably well made. With all these Indians, the arrow-points are fastened into a short piece of wood, which in turn is fixed, though but loosely, into the shaft. The quiver, of dressed deer-skin, holds both bow and arrows. They had also, suspended round the neck, small nets, neatly made after the fashion of the common game-bag; the twine, which was very even, being of course their own work.

The last part of our march led us into a thick redwood forest, upon a mountain, through which we were obliged to cut our trail, the ground being covered with underbrush and fallen timber. A fatiguing climb and an excessively bad descent brought us again to the South Fork. On the other side was a small prairie of about eighty acres, from which, however, the grass was mostly burnt, a bare sufficiency only remaining. As it was already evening, and the march had been the most laborious we had yet made, we had no opportunity of seeking farther. It had drizzled a good part of the day, and the night was still wet. Our estimated distance was fifteen miles.

Saturday, Sept. 6th. — Frequent showers again fell to-day. A piece of grass having been found about a mile off, it was determined to remain over until something definite could be ascertained of the trail ahead, of which accounts from the hunting and


prospecting parties were unfavorable. Several Indians, among them some of our acquaintances of yesterday, came into camp. They were very dirty in person, and equally so in their habits; in disposition amiable and thievish. An attempt to collect the tribe proved futile; nor would it have been of any service except for the purpose of enumeration, as we could make them understand nothing, their language differing wholly from those above. They are said to be of a different tribe from the one so much dreaded by the valley Indians, but are probably of the same race. I endeavored in vain to get from them the names of articles at hand, parts of the body, &c, as they either could not or would not understand the object of the inquiry; nor was our Clear Lake Indian more successful after his method. We soon got tired of these gentry, as they did not render themselves useful, and required too much watching.

Our camp was a very pretty one, the little prairie being level and rich, and encircled by a magnificent redwood forest. One tree near the tents I measured, and found it to be fifty-two feet in circumference, at four or five feet from the ground, and this although the bark and a portion of the wood were burned away. It was still erect and alive at the top, notwithstanding the interior had been hollowed out to the height of probably eighty feet, and the smoke was even yet escaping from a hole in the side. The diameter, measured through a chasm at the bottom, was eighteen feet. Another, likewise much burnt, measured forty-nine feet in circumference, at five feet from the ground. The stump of a group rising from one root was twenty-two feet ten inches across. Those above mentioned were single trees, and without swell, the measurements given being the fair size of the shaft. Colonel M'Kee measured a fallen trunk near camp, which was three hundred and twenty-five feet in length, though not of extraordinary thickness. Larger trees than this are known to exist, but none were noticed by ourselves. Their shafts, often disposed in groups, rise to a vast height free from limbs, and their foliage is delicate and feathery. The bark is of an ash color, very thick, but not rough; the branches small in proportion, and the leaves resemble those of the hemlock rather than the cedar. The wood, however, is like that of the latter tree, and of a red color. It splits very readily; so much so, that the Indians, without the use of iron, get out immense planks for their huts. In a manufactured state, it is unsurpassed for shingles, ceiling, and weather-boarding. The redwood appears to belong exclusively to the coast region; nowhere, it is believed, at least in northern California, extending inland more than twenty-five or thirty miles, and it does not reach a more northern latitude than the parallel of 42°.

Sunday, Sept. 7th. — Our route to-day led down the bed of the river, crossing it some twenty times, and only occasionally turning into the woods. Some ten miles from camp we reached the junction of the South fork with the main Eel river, which had previously received other considerable branches. The two, at this time, however, contained nearly the same quantity of water. Below, the bed of the river is much


wider, consisting as before of sand and coarse gravel, or large rounded pebbles, of every variety of color, and intersected with quartz, over which it spreads, being fordable almost anywhere. In winter, however, both streams bring down immense quantities of water, the drainage of a vast mountain region. No falls occur in their course, or rapids of importance, and the salmon ascends far towards their sources. With the exception of the valleys already mentioned, and, perhaps, two or three others upon other branches, all of them too distant to be valuable, Eel river may, above this point, be considered as destitute of arable land; but should hereafter the wants of California demand, it affords facilities for a lumber trade of the first importance.

Near the forks, we met a canoe, the first seen on our journey. It was a dug-out, square at both ends, and sufficiently rude and clumsy. The river was now filled with stakes, driven into the sand at pretty regular intervals, to which the Indians fasten baskets of wicker-work to take the eels, with which at certain seasons it abounds, and which have given their name to the stream. These, smoked and dried, constitute a principal article of food among the natives.

We camped at a small fern prairie on the right bank, where we found good grass. The day's march was about seventeen miles, which, over the stony bed of the river, was a severe one.

Monday, Sept. 8th. — We pursued our route down the river. Except two small prairies, the banks afforded no open land till near the close of our day's march. Bluffs of sandstone occurred here and there, apparently resembling that in the Coast range of Oregon, and bearing fossils similar to those at the mouth of the Columbia. About fourteen miles from camp we reached "Van Dusen's Fork," a branch coming in from the east. Its bed was nearly as wide as that of the main river; and though an inconsiderable stream at the time, it is said, during the freshets, to supply about half as much water as the other. The two united were now about fifty yards in width; but when flooded are some six hundred yards across, and very deep.

This, the last large branch of Eel river, we are told heads with the Mad river; a stream entering the coast above Humboldt bay, and, with the south fork of the Trinity, in the Sacramento range of mountains. It resembles in general character the other eastern branches. Some prairie land occurs some fifteen or twenty miles above its mouth; but the greater part of its course is through mountains, except that on the upper waters, as is generally the case on the western slope of that chain, are rolling hills, wooded with oak, and affording good pasturage. A short distance above its junction with the main river, the open country commences on both, and extends to the mouth. This point is distant about twelve or fourteen miles above the entrance of Eel river into the sea. The tide backs up to it, and at low stages renders the water brackish to within four miles. Below the forks the river is crooked, generally covering


a wide space with sand and gravel. We encamped on the northern bank, about half a mile from the main stream. Our march was fifteen miles.

Tuesday, Sept. 9th. — As it was intended to remain in this neighborhood for some days, in order to recruit the animals, and hold a council with the Indians of the lower Eel river and of Humboldt bay, the party moved this morning in search of a suitable camp. About a mile out, the road ascended a high table prairie, exceedingly fertile, watered with springs, and well timbered. Here quite a settlement had been made; a number of houses built, or in the course of construction, and a considerable quantity of land enclosed, and under cultivation. Some crops of potatoes, planted late in the season, looked well; others were in bloom, or even just out of the ground; but the owners seemed to have no fear of their not reaching maturity. We were informed that rain had fallen occasionally during the summer, and that the same was the case last year; and the appearance of the vegetation indicated its frequency, as compared with the valley of the Sacramento. Some six miles from our starting place, we again struck the river, and followed it down, encamping a short distance off, upon a small branch, which we named "Communion Creek." — This camp was situated about eight miles from our last, as far from the sea, and twelve from the town of Humboldt. We here remained until the 15th.

Several of the neighboring settlers visited the camp soon after our arrival, and we learned that there were, including those on the south side of the river, about thirty. Preparations were made to call in the Indians; but unfortunately the only persons who spoke the language with any facility were absent. One or two others could barely communicate with them on a few subjects; but too short a time had elapsed since the arrival of the whites generally to have created any considerable intercourse. Still we were able to gather some particulars. The tribes on the coast from Cape Mendocino to Mad river speak substantially the same language, though the dialect of the Bay differs from that lower down. How far back this tongue extends we had no means of ascertaining. On Van Dusen's fork it constantly varies, so that they with difficulty understand the others. From the Indian wife of a settler on Eel river, I managed to procure some words, afterwards corrected and increased by another, which will be found among the vocabularies. No resemblance, as will be seen, exists between this and the Russian river languages; and, in fact, the appearance and habits of the Indians indicate a different race. As in all the others noticed on this coast, the f is wanting; and the Indians supply its place in pronouncing English names with the letter P. Unlike the Oregon and some of the California tongues, however, this contains the R, in which respect it is like those of the Klamath. No attempt could be made towards learning its construction; and there was much difficulty in obtaining even the words with certainty, owing to the indistinctness with which they pronounce; the first and last syllables being often hardly articulate. I noticed that


several words from the "Jargon" or trade language of Oregon were in use, undoubtedly obtained from Hudson's Bay trappers. Such is the word "ma-witch," a deer, by them applied to all kinds of meat, as well as to the animal, though they have a corresponding name of their own. The word "pappoose," too, has wandered from its Atlantic home, to become a familiar one on the lips of this race, long after those have passed away to whom it was vernacular. The name given to this people by their neighbors is Wee-yot, and Eel river is known by the same.

As salmon were abundant, the Indians were all fat. They are generally repulsive in countenance as well as filthy in person. The men, like those in the mountains, wore a deer-skin robe over the shoulder; but evidently not for purposes of decency. The women were usually naked to the waist, wearing round the loins the short petticoat of fringe. This dress, in its various modifications of fashion and change of material, from dressed deer-skins, often beautifully worked and ornamented, to a rude skirt of grass, or the inner bark of the cedar or redwood, prevails over an extensive country and among widely different tribes. The close round cap of basket-work, is likewise their ordinary head-dress. These Indians have as many wives as they please, or more probably, as they can purchase, and allow themselves the privilege of shooting such as they are tired of; a method of divorce that obviates all difficulty as to subsequent maintenance. One of the whites here, in "breaking in" his squaw to her household duties, had occasion to beat her several times. She complained of this to the tribe, and they informed him that he should not do so; that if he was dissatisfied he must kill her and get another. As this advice came from her brother, it is fair to suppose that there was no offence to the family in such a procedure. The women are said to be chaste, and especially to admit no intercourse with the whites except on permanent conditions; a peculiarity which, as elsewhere, will probably disappear with the advance of civilization. Both men and women generally crop their hair very short all over the head, giving it much the appearance of a well-worn blacking-brush. The former pluck their beards out, but leave the hair on the rest of the person. Their heads are disproportionately large; their figures, though short, strong and well developed. Both sexes tattoo: the men on their arms and breasts; the women from inside the under lip down to and beneath the chin. The extent of this disfigurement indicates to a certain extent, the age and condition of the person, whether married or single.

As far as regards their number, we could not ascertain it with any exactness. As usual, it was much overrated in general report, and it is probable that those on the Eel river below Van Dusen's fork, and around the bay, fall short of five hundred. Their food consists principally of fish, eels, shell-fish, and various seeds, which, like those in the southern valleys, they collect after burning the grass. A small species of sunflower furnishes a very abundant supply of these last. The sallal, salmon, and berries, hazel-nuts, &c, also abound. Occasionally the more enterprising snare the elk, which are very numerous. They do not appear to be warlike or disposed to aggression,


although one or two murders were committed when the whites began to come in. It appeared to us singular that at first they would not eat beef; but so few cattle had been brought here that the settlers used more themselves, and had probably spread the idea that it was not good, in order to save their stock. We found, however, that they readily learned the lesson when an opportunity was afforded them. The grizzly bear, which is found here in great numbers, they will not eat, because, as they say, it eats them, the lex talionis not applying in this case. The principal diseases noticed, were sore eyes and blindness, consumption, and a species of leprosy; not, however, the result of syphilis, which has never been introduced. From their own accounts, their numbers have been greatly thinned by a disease, from the description appearing to have been gastritis. Of the religious notions of these people nothing could be learned. They bury instead of burning their dead.

During our stay I devoted several days to an examination of the country; though a very complete one was impracticable for want of guides and facilities of transportation. The best portion is apparently that lying near the mouth of Van Dusen's fork, on either side of the margin stream. Lower down, the land on the right bank, with the exception of a narrow strip along the river, consists of rolling hills, covered with low shrubs, extending to the end of "Table Bluff," a promontory between the mouth of Eel river and the bay, and reaching back to the redwoods, behind the town of Humboldt. The soil of these hills is excellent; but the difficulty of breaking them up, the want of timber on the ground, and of running water, has hitherto prevented claims being taken there. On the south, what may be called the valley of Eel river is bounded by the Coast range, which terminates at Cape Mendocino. These mountains run back, in an easterly direction, some eighteen miles. They present a fine grazing country on the slopes, and good situations for farms at their base. The bottom land on the river is low and level, and in width averages perhaps five miles. Much of this is, however, covered with thickets of willows, &c., and is subject to floods in the rainy season. Those tracts above the reach of the freshets are generally of fern prairie, rich, but not easily subdued. In approaching the coast, the country is much cut up with sloughs, communicating with the river, and near the mouth consists of salt marsh and tide-land. The extent of the whole is not far from twenty miles square. For farming purposes, as carried on in the northern States, such as the production of green crops, the available portion of this is admirably calculated. On our return to the bay, later in the season, we were shown vegetables, particularly potatoes, turnips, beets, &c., of the finest quality, and of enormous size; some of the potatoes weighing from three to four pounds each. The climate, as has been mentioned, is much more moist than that of southern California, or the Sacramento valley. It is, however, apparently healthy. The winters are mild; snow never lying for any length of time, except in the mountains. Game is excessively abundant, including deer, elk, bears; and all the fall and winter, ducks, geese, brandt, cranes, and other water-fowl.


Partly from the difficulty of communicating with the Indians, and partly from the jealousy with which each little band seemed to view the rest, the efforts to collect them from the country around proved abortive, a few only visiting the camp from the nearest villages. It was an additional drawback, that the head chief of Eel river, to whom the whites have given the name of "Coon-skin," and who is said to possess considerable influence, was sick. To those who came in, small presents, together with hard bread, and beef, were distributed; but they could not be made to understand the object of our visit, and clearly remained to the last, in doubt whether the agent was simply a philanthropic individual, possessed of more red flannel shirts and cotton pocket-handkerchiefs than he knew what to do with, and who therefore indulged in the benevolent amusement of giving them away; or one who had some designs upon them, and was fishing for Indians with that particular bait. It being considered advisable, however, to bring in as many as possible, in order to produce an impression favorable to future efforts, I went down the river in a canoe, accompanied by Mr. Duperru, a gentleman of Humboldt, and Mr. Robinson, with three Indians, visiting the different rancherias on our way. These were very numerous, but consisting generally of only two or three families. Their appearance, as well as that of their inhabitants, was wretched, and we found sickness to prevail everywhere, the disease being apparently consumption. No inducement that we could offer would bring the Indians together, their dislike of one another amounting almost to hostility; each village assuring us that the next was very bad, and dissuading us from going on. Indeed, our own crew could hardly be forced to land at some places.

We descended as far as the tide-lands, a couple of miles from the mouth, where we had a fine view of the nearer, or "False Cape Mendocino," with its terraced sides. The banks of the river, to this point, were generally covered with thickets, occasionally interspersed with small prairies, bearing an enormous growth of fern. We attempted in one place to travel on shore; but after running out an old trail, lost ourselves in the rank weeds, and were glad to get back to our boat. Our Indians proved worthless boatmen, and the canoe leaking badly, we returned without going to the entrance. The river empties into the ocean through a sort of lagoon, made by the union of a number of large sloughs, or tide creeks, which intersect the low lands. A communication by one of these exists to within a mile of Humboldt bay, and with but little labor could be readily established throughout. The depth of water on the bar is sufficient to admit the smaller class of vessels. In fact, a schooner, called the "Jacob Ryerson," entered it in the spring of 1850, and proceeded up some miles; but the narrowness of the entrance, and the fact that the sea, except in very calm weather, breaks across it, will prevent its becoming available to any extent. The natural outlet for the produce of the country is, and will continue to be, the bay.

About nine o'clock in the evening, we reached the village from which we took the canoe, and stopped for the night, making our suppers of smoked eels, a cup of coffee,


and of course a pipe of tobacco. These Indians, by the way, do not smoke; a glaring evidence of ignorance and debasement, to remedy which, it is to be hoped the earliest efforts of their future guardians will be directed! The eels proved excessively fat and oily, and seem to be a more favorite article of food, with them at least, than the salmon. The river bed near their villages, was everywhere filled with stakes, to which the eel-pots are attached; and the lodges farther down had, in some places, erected strong weirs of well-driven posts, to sustain nets. The band with whom we were encamped appeared to be among the laziest of the race, and even they had an abundant supply. We had brought with us our blankets, as a usual precaution, and now spread them on the sand, not far from the huts. A nearly full moon shone down upon us, a good fire blazed at our feet, and we sat till a late hour, drying our boots, and listening to the wailings of a new-born savage, or watching with humane interest the semi-occasional fights of a swarm of dogs belonging to the village. Two imps, of about ten and fourteen years of age, persisted in giving us their company, entertaining us with information which might have proved valuable had we understood it, and finally amusing themselves by gambling for the shirts we had given them, their only garments. The largest, of course, won, but was magnanimous enough to permit the loser to wear his lost property for the night; and both tucking up the skirts, that the genial warmth of the fire might reach them without interruption, stretched themselves on the damp sand, and slept like innocence itself. The next morning, as it was Sunday, we directed a general washing of faces throughout the village; a ceremony evidently of rare occurrence, and which happily settled a question before agitated in our camp. The representative of the Van Dusen's Fork Indians, who was present, was not darker, but only dirtier than the rest.

Sunday, Sept. 14th. — As it had become evident that nothing could be effected with the Indians at present, for want of interpreters, it was concluded to break up camp the next day, and proceed on. With a view to the prevention of difficulty hereafter in the selection of a reserve, Colonel M'Kee decided upon setting apart provisionally, a tract sufficient for the tribes inhabiting Eel river, Humboldt bay, and generally the central portion of his district. — The reservation could at this time be made without embracing any land occupied by whites, and yet to include all the requisites for subsisting the Indians themselves. The tract was selected after obtaining the best information practicable, and comprised the country between Eel river and the Mendocino range, extending from the coast up to a point opposite to our camp. This it was believed would furnish sufficient agricultural land, together with the fisheries upon which they chiefly depend. An arrangement was also entered into, with a Mr. Charles A. Robinson, one of the settlers, on Eel river, to plant with potatoes a few acres of ground for the benefit of such Indians as could be induced to labor upon it.


Monday, Sept. 15th. — To-day the camp was broken up, and we moved down to "Humboldt City." The road, for the greater part of the distance, ran over hills covered with low brush. It is passable for wagons from the settlement near Van Dusen's fork, to an embarcadero on a slough putting up from the bay, whence produce is taken by water. The town, if it may be called so, is situated upon a little plateau of about forty acres, nearly opposite the entrance, and under a bluff, rising from the midst of a tract of low ground. It contains only about a dozen houses, and was at this time nearly deserted; Uniontown, at the head of the bay, having proved a more successful rival in the packing trade. Vessels of considerable size can lie close to the shore here; but the place is not destined to any importance, at least until the settlement and cultivation of the adjoining country shall make it a point of export for provisions.

Humboldt Bay (Plate 43) is probably a lagoon lying within a sand beach, and undistinguished by any prominent land-mark; for which reason it probably so long escaped observation from sea. Its extreme length is about eighteen miles; its width opposite the town not more than one, but greater near the upper end, averaging probably four or five. Somewhat singularly, no stream of any size enters it; the largest being Elk river, called Ka-sha-reh by the Indians, a creek emptying a mile or two above Humboldt. The bay was discovered, so far as we have any knowledge of its existence, in the fall of 1849, by a party under Dr. Josiah Gregg, well known as the author of a work entitled "The Commerce of the Prairies." This party had started from the Sacramento valley with a view of exploring Trinity valley, under the supposition that it emptied into Trinidad bay. Perceiving, however, that it finally turned to the northward, they left it, and crossed the country to that point, and subsequently came down upon this bay, which at first they supposed to be a lake. The party here divided, Dr. Gregg, with Mr. Charles Southard and some others, following down the coast to about lat. 39° 36', and thence striking over the mountains to Clear Lake, beyond which Dr. Gregg died, in the attempt to reach Napa valley. Others of the party, among whom was our guide, Mr. Thomas Sebring, and David A. Buck, took the route up Eel river, reaching Sonoma in February. Both parties experienced great suffering in their winter journey through the mountains. It is greatly to be regretted that Dr. Gregg's notes, which are said to have been very minute, and accompanied with observations of latitude and longitude, have never been published. In the spring of 1850, Mr. Sebring returned to the bay, guiding two parties; and the attempt to bring the wagon train across, the failure of which has been mentioned, was made by another. A vessel called the "Eclipse," started from San Francisco, chartered by some of the new settlers. Before her arrival, however, or that of the expeditions by land, information of the existence of the harbor was received at Trinidad, through a party of sailors who had been landed at the mouth of Eel river, and found their way thence up the coast; and the "Lama Virginia," Captain Ottinger, came down, entering first, and but


a little after Captains Dennison and Tichenor had entered Eel river in the Ryersen. Such seems to have been the history of the discovery of this bay and the adjoining country. It may be added that Van Dusen's fork, so named after one of Dr. Gregg's party, was explored to a considerable height by Captain Tichenor while the vessel lay in the river. Whether the existence of the bay was previously known to the Hudson's Bay Company, is doubtful. They certainly trapped in the mountains between it and the Sacramento range, and there seems to be some evidence of the previous visit of whites, but no record of it has been preserved.

Tuesday, Sept. 16th. — We started up the edge of the bay, over salt marshes, crossing Elk river near its mouth. This stream is only fordable at low water, and even then we found it over girth deep to our horses. Its width is about twenty-five yards. A mile beyond we reached Bucksport, a settlement of half a dozen houses, with a fine prairie behind it; and finding that we could reach no other camp that day, halted, making but a little over three miles.

Wednesday, Sept. 17th. — One trail ran for nine or ten miles, in some places through fern prairie, but chiefly in heavy forest of fir and redwood. Beyond this we came upon the salt marshes which border much of the bay on the landward side, rendering travel by land at all times difficult, and which in summer add to the annoyance of miry ground, that of myriads of mosquitoes. The distance from Bucksport to Union is about eighteen miles; there is another intermediate place named Eureka, which we did not visit, our trail running too far inland. Union is at the head of the bay, but at some distance from the water, and goods are brought in boats to an embarcadero, within half a mile of it. It is built upon a nearly level plateau under a low table-land, and contains about one hundred houses. Its population, which at one time was over five hundred, had fallen off; few persons remaining, except a company of State volunteers, recently called out. Its importance was derived from its trade with the Klamath and Trinity mines; and we learned that until recently, an average of an hundred mules a week had been packed, taking some four or five thousand dollars worth of goods. The miners, having lately moved higher up, into the neighborhood of the Sacramento and Oregon trails, the business had fallen off. Trinidad, upon the coast, eighteen miles distant, has been the principal rival of Union in this trade, and was suffering under the same depression. It contains about the same number of houses, and probably about the like population.

What available land there is upon Humboldt bay is of a similar character to that on Eel river. Too much of it is, however, covered with forest; the cost of clearing which would be much greater than its value afterwards. Near Union, and upon Mad river, a few miles distant, there is some fanning country, but as yet very little under cultivation.


We encamped upon the table-land behind the town, and found the grass much eaten and trampled; our animals suffered further from the swarms of mosquitos. The goods destined for the Klamath Indians had been sent to Trinidad; and as it was concluded to take the trail leading from here direct to the Klamath, without passing through that place, they were brought down in packs. A few of the Mad River Indians came in and received presents, but nothing was effected with them. I obtained a partial vocabulary of their language, which resembles substantially that used round the bay, and at Eel river. Beyond Mad river a different one prevails. The Bay Indians call themselves, as we were informed, Wish-osk; and those of the hills, Te-ok-a-wilk; but the tribes to the northward denominate both those of the Bay and Eel river, "We-yot, or Walla-walloo. The Indians of Trinidad are called by them Chori, and those of Gold Bluff, between Trinidad and the Klamath, Osse-gon. Of these two last we saw nothing.

Wednesday, Sept. 24th. — Major Wessells, with the command, had moved the day before to a camp on the Bald Hills, beyond Mad river; and to-day the agent followed with his party, starting about noon. We took, as a guide for our future route, Mr. Benjamin Kelsey, an old resident of California, and one of the most experienced mountaineers in the State, who had trapped, in former years, through the country we were about to enter on.

The trail, a short distance from town, turned into the redwoods. It had been cut out by the inhabitants for the convenience of packing, and at this season was pretty good; but during the rains, the soil in these forests becomes a deep and greasy mud, very difficult to pass over. About five miles out, we reached the crossing of Mad river. This stream, as has been mentioned, heads with the south fork of the Trinity, Van Dusen's Fork of Eel river, and Cottonwood creek, a tributary of the Sacramento. Its length is about one hundred miles, the general course being from east to west. It enters the sea six miles above Union, but it possibly once ran into the bay itself; for a dry channel remains, which, with but little cutting, would connect it with one of the sloughs near the town. Some fifteen or twenty miles from the coast, the redwood timber disappears, and oak-covered hills extend back to the foot of the mountains, affording good pasturage, and some farming land. The immediate bottom of the river is narrow, and covered with alder and balm of Gilead. At this time it was about thirty or forty feet across, and knee-deep to our horses; but in winter it swells to sixty or seventy yards in width. The Humboldt trail to the Trinity crosses it some fifteen miles farther up.

Leaving the river, we ascended a long spur of mountain to the top of the dividing ridge between it and Redwood creek, through alternate forest and prairie land. The character of the mountains, from this to the Klamath, differs widely from those we have before passed over. Their summits are broader, and the declivities less steep and


broken. Prairies of rich grass lie on their southern slopes, and especially on their tops, from whence their name of Bald Hills is derived. This grass was now yellow with ripeness, and the wind, sweeping over its long slender stems, gave it a beautiful appearance. The Indians use the stalks in their finer basket-work; and, when split, in the braids with which they tie up their hair, and other ornamental fabrics. The timber here becomes much more open, and fir, white and yellow, predominates over the redwood. This last is now chiefly confined to the immediate neighborhood of the coast. Springs of good water occur near almost all these prairies, and camps are therefore selected on their skirts. Late in the season, however, the grass is often burned, and dependence cannot always be placed upon the usual grounds. In winter, snow lies on them for several weeks, and to a considerable depth. Elk are very abundant in these mountains, and the ground was marked everywhere with their footprints.

We found the command encamped upon the summit of the mountain, at a point overlooking the whole of Humboldt bay and the ocean beyond. The men had here surprised a party of Indians, who fled at sight, leaving their squaws and baskets to follow as best they could. These Bald Hill Indians, as they are called, have a very bad reputation among the packers, and several lives, as well as much property, have been lost through their means. They appear to lead a more roving life than those of the Klamath and Trinity rivers; with the latter of whom they seem, however, to be connected.

Tuesday, Sept. 25th. — Our route to-day led down to a small branch of Mad river, and thence up another still higher mountain than the last, where we encamped upon another prairie. It had been our intention to go on to Redwood creek, but a train of packers returning, informed us that the only accessible camps there had been burnt over. Owing to the circuitous course of the trail, we made but about four miles on our direction, with some seven or eight of travel. From this summit there is even a more magnificent prospect than from our last camp; but unfortunately a dense fog had settled over the ocean and bay. Even this, however, afforded a superb spectacle; for it penetrated up between the different points of highland, lying only upon the bottoms, and from our elevated position, appeared itself a sea, whose long series of waves were as distinctly marked as in that it concealed and imitated. Our guide pointed out the position of the settlements on the coast, and the mouths of the streams, distinguishable by a break in the vapor.

Friday, Sept. 26th. — The first business of the morning was of course to descend the mountain which we had climbed the day before. About five miles from camp, we reached and crossed Redwood creek, a fine mountain stream, running over a stony bed, and now easily fordable, but which, in the wet season, is both deep and rapid. As we approached, we saw the signal-fires of the Indians, who had themselves decamped.


On the northern bank lay the small prairie we had intended to have reached last night. The trail now ran down the river for two or three miles, over very broken and rocky ground, and then again ascended the hills. We halted as before upon a mountain prairie, at a place known as "Indian camp;" making a distance of about twelve miles of travel, and with our last camp still in sight. From here the view opened, to the north, of the ranges dividing the Trinity from the Klamath, and the latter from the coast and Rogue's river; while to the south, the Bear Butte on Eel river, which we had passed on the 5th, was visible. It was too late in the afternoon to permit the ascent of "Kelsey's Point of View," a high craggy hill rising about a mile to the left of the trail, which would have given us a better view of this whole mountain region than any other we could have found.

Saturday, Sept. 27th. — Our march to-day was both as hilly and circuitous as before; the trail, after a long detour, descending to Pine creek, the first of the waters of the Klamath which we reached. The Trinidad trail, it should be mentioned, united with that from Union, about three miles from our last camp. Beyond Pine creek, which is a turbulent brook, with a very bad crossing, the route led over a ridge to a small branch in a deep ravine, and thence ascended another mountain beyond, on the summit of which we stopped. The place was known as "Bloody camp," from the murder of two whites, committed some time previous by the Indians of the hills. We passed to-day two other well-known halting places, — "French camp," between the junction of the trails and Pine creek, and "Burnt ranch," so called from an Indian village having been destroyed there, between Pine creek and the ravine. Our march was about twelve miles, and we had the satisfaction of finding that we were only two miles and a half from our next destination, the forks of the Klamath and Trinity. Water and grass were abundant, and it was accordingly determined to leave the animals here under a guard, while the talk was being held at the ferry. The next day we remained stationary, preparations in the mean time being made for assembling the Indians and for the accommodation of the party below.

Monday, Sept. 29th. — Col. M'Kee moved this morning to the ferry at the junction of the two rivers, Major Wessells remaining for a day or two longer at Bloody camp. The road was a continuous descent through woods, and our new camp was selected near the ferry, on the south bank, in a fine grove of bay trees. We were somewhat amused at finding a notice posted on the trail, advising whom it might concern, that Mr. Durkee, who kept the ferry, was at peace with his neighbors, and requesting that they therefore should not be killed without just provocation; a piece of intelligence to which our red guides carefully called our attention.

The Klamath river is here, during its lower stages, about fifty yards in width, and very swift. Its course in fact is obstructed at short distances by rapids throughout


its whole length, till within ten miles of the sea, the descent from the source to the ocean being very considerable. There are, however, no falls of any height; the largest, which is a few miles below the forks, being little more than a rapid. Much error has existed in maps relating to this river; its mouth having by many, (among others, Captain Wilkes and Col. Frιmont,) been placed in Oregon, about 42° 35' N. L., and it was for a long time supposed that Rogue's river, which actually empties about that latitude, was a branch of the Klamath. The distinctness of the two streams has since been ascertained, but the source of the mistake is nowhere noticed. The manuscript map of Oregon and California, by Jedediah S. Smith, which was, till lately, the best source of information as to this part of the country, although in general singularly accurate, considering the extent of the region traversed and laid down by him, gave rise to it. Smith in 1828 ascended the Sacramento valley, and crossing the mountains, struck on what apparently was the south fork of the Trinity. This he followed down to its junction with the Klamath, and to the mouth of the latter; thence pursuing his route up the coast to Rogue's river, and the Umpqua, and over into the Willamette valley. Supposing Rogue's river, or the Too-too-tutnis, to be the one which headed in Klamath lake, he so represented it on his map; and to the Klamath he gave the name of Smith's river, by which it is yet called upon all the English sea-charts. Smith was a fur-trader, and one of the most adventurous of that class; and was, as is believed, for some time at least, a partner of General Ashley of Missouri. His travels, from about the year 1821 to 1830, as traced upon his map, cover not only the heads of the Missouri, the Yellowstone, the two forks of the Columbia river, and the Colorado, but encircle the whole of the great basin of California, (which he moreover claims to have crossed in 1826 from San Francisco to the Great Salt Lake,) and on the Pacific extend from the Pueblo de los Angelos to Fort Vancouver. He was finally killed by the Camanches, and not, as is often supposed, on the river of his name. He however lost a party of fifteen men upon the Umpqua, on his route up from the Klamath, escaping himself with some difficulty. His furs and goods were recovered for him by Dr. M'Laughlin of the Hudson's Bay Company, who sent out a party for the purpose. Smith's map, it is believed, was recently purchased in Oregon by the Joint Commission of Army and Navy Officers, and is probably now in Washington.

The real course of the Klamath, after leaving the lesser lake of that name, is a little south of westerly, to about forty miles from the coast, where it turns nearly to the south of the forks, there again bending north-west to its mouth, which, as fixed by the United States Coast Survey, is in about latitude 41° 35', some fifteen miles below Point Saint George, and thirty-five from the junction of the Trinity. The whole of it, after leaving the lake, is therefore in California. The country traversed by the Klamath from near its head waters, is a succession of mountains coming down to its bunks, leaving but little, even occasional bottom land, and affording no inducement to others than miners. During the winter the snow falls to a great depth,


rendering travel difficult if not impracticable, and its tributaries are swollen to torrents. No settlement can be maintained at its mouth, as the shifting sands are liable during any severe storm, to close it almost entirely. An instance happened during the past winter, when a bar preventing any access, formed across it; although at the time of the Ewing's visit during the preceding summer, there was fifteen feet of water at the entrance.

The Trinity, so called by its more recent explorers, from the idea that it emptied into Trinidad bay, rises in the neighborhood of the Sacramento, and pursues a southwesterly course for a considerable distance, turning afterwards west and then northwest to its junction with the Klamath. It receives a number of branches, the largest of which come from the north, with one exception, the South Fork. This heads in the Sacramento range, its sources being near those of Bottomwood creek, and it joins the main river about thirty miles above the entrance of that into the Klamath. Like the Klamath, the Trinidad runs during its whole length through mountains; only two small valleys occurring oil its banks, of which the principal is between the south fork and its mouth. It is in size about half that of the Klamath, and its waters, likewise rapid, are of transcendent purity; contrasting with those of the latter stream which never lose the taint of their origin. The other principal branches of the Klamath, Salmon, Scott's, and Shastι rivers, will be spoken of hereafter.

The name of "Smith's river," which, as a matter of tradition, has been bandied from pillar to post, shifting from Eel to Rogue's river, has recently vibrated between a stream running into Pelican bay, and another, called by some Illinois river, and supposed to be the south fork of Rogue's river. Of the former, called by the Klamath Indians the Eenag'h-paha, or river of the Eenagh's, we received, at different times, information from those who had visited it. A small bay, or rather lagoon, lies within the beach at its mouth; and the river, where it falls into it, is some sixty yards wide. From fifteen to twenty miles from the coast, the principal forks occur; the northern taking its rise in the Rogue's river divide, and the southern, or more properly eastern, in that of the Klamath. Various other branches join it, draining quite an extensive tract. Near its mouth is said to lie a belt of good agricultural land, some fifteen miles in width, similar to that on Humboldt bay; and we were further informed, that immense quantities of iron ore are to be found on its branches; a fact which would account for the magnetic sand thrown up with the gold at Gold Bluff and other points on the coast, which could not have come from the Klamath.

Although the value of the country upon the Klamath and the Trinity, as an agricultural region, is too small ever to have attracted a population, it, notwithstanding, possesses great importance in its mines. The district through which gold is found, extends from the Shastι river, on the former, and the head-waters of the latter, to the forks. Below there, although it exists, the particles are fine, and the amount insufficient to pay for collecting. With perhaps one or two exceptions, the diggings have


not been as enormously rich as at points on the tributaries of the Sacramento, but they cover a very extensive region, afford a fair remuneration to labor, and will, apparently, be of considerable duration. The details of the subject will be hereafter given, in speaking of various points. At present it is sufficient to say, that the metal appears to be distributed, in greater or less quantities, throughout all these mountains; as it is found in most of the small streams, as well as the main rivers. The quantity is, however, greatest high up; and the apparent source of the most abundant supply is the group of granitic peaks at the head of Scott's, Salmon, and the Trinity. Approaching the coast, the amount diminishes or disappears. With regard to the origin of the gold at what is called "Gold Bluff," a high cliff of indurated sand and clay, upon the coast between Trinidad and the mouth of the Klamath, as well as at some other points on the Pacific, the accounts given of it all point to the Klamath. The metal, which is in very fine particles, is found on the beach only after northwesterly storms; and it is said that different objects, among them a human body, known to have been lost in the river, have at various times been drifted ashore, indicating the general set of the current. The extreme comminution of the dust is conclusive as to the distance from which it comes; and the presence of iron sand is accounted for, by its existence, in ore, upon the small river in Pelican bay.

The name of Klamath or Tlamath, belonging to the tribes on the lake where the river rises, is not known among those farther down; nor could I learn that any other name for the stream exists among them than that derived from relative position. Thus, at the forks, the Weits-peks call the river below Poh-lik, signifying down; and that above, Peh-tsik, or up; giving, moreover, the same name to the population, in speaking of them collectively. Three distinct tribes, speaking different languages, occupy its banks between the sea and the mouth of the Shastι, of which the lowest extends up to Bluff creek, a few miles above the forks. Of these there are, according to our information, in all, thirty-two villages. It was the opinion of some, who were acquainted with the river, that each village would average nine houses, of ten souls to the house; but this estimate, which would give a population of nearly three thousand, and a village to about every mile and a half on the river, seems clearly too large. It is probable that some are but summer residences; and a very liberal conjecture of the number of the inhabitants, would be fifteen hundred. The names of the principal villages may be useful in determining analogies. They are the Weits-pek (at the forks), Wah-sherr, Kai-petl, Morai-uh, Noht-scho, Mιh-teh, Schre-gon, Yau-terrh, Pec-quan, Kauweh, Wauh-tecq, Sche-perrh, Oiyotl, Nai-a-gutl, Schaitl, Hopaiuh, Rek-qua, and Weht'l-qua; the two last at the mouth of the river. The Weits-pek village, on the north bank at this point, as well as the two smaller ones, situated respectively between the forks, and opposite on the south side, were burnt during the last spring, in consequence of some murders committed in the neighborhood; and, at the time of our visit, had not been rebuilt, the people living in temporary huts. The first contained


about thirty houses, and was one of the most important of all. The same was the case with the Kai-petl, or, as it was called by the whites, Capel village, ten miles below. There was formerly a ferry there also, at which the trail then generally used from Trinidad, crossed; but the jealousy of the Indians being in some manner aroused, they attacked the house, killing four persons, and their town was therefore destroyed, and several of them shot.

Upon the Trinity, or Hoopah, below the entrance of the south fork or O-tah-wei-a-ket, there are said to be eleven ranches, the Oke-noke, Agaraits, Up-le-goh, Ollep-pauh'l-kah-teht'l and Pepht-soh, all lying in the little valley referred to; and the Has-lintah, A-hel-tah, So-kιa-keit, Tash-huan-ta, and Wits-puk, above it. A twelfth, the Mι-yemma, now burnt, was situated just above "New," or "Arkansas river." The total number of inhabitants belonging to these, is probably six hundred. They differ in no respect, except in language, from the lower Klamaths. Of the Indians above the forks on the main Trinity, or those on the south fork, we obtained no distinct information, except that they speak distinct languages and are both excessively hostile to the whites. The latter are described as large and powerful men, of a swarthier complexion, fierce and intractable, and are considered by the mountaineers as of another race, agreeing more with the wild tribes inhabiting the western base of the Sacramento range, and in the neighborhood of a large lake reported to lie there. The lower Trinity tribe is, as well as the river itself, known to the Klamaths by the name of Hoopah; of which, however, I could not learn the signification. A vocabulary of their language is appended; but it cannot be considered as altogether perfect, being obtained through the means of the Klamath interpreter.

Of the Indians of Redwood creek, called by the whites Bald Hill Indians, little was learned, and none of them could be induced to come in. They are termed Oruk by the Coast Indians, and Tcho-lo-lah by the Weits-peks. The general opinion is, that they are more nearly allied to the Trinity than to the Klamath tribes. The names of some of their bands, as given me by an Indian, were, commencing at the coast, the Cherr'h-quuh, Ot-teh-petl, Oh-nah, Oh-pah, and Roque-choh.

Still less is known of the Indians to the north of the Klamath; but we were informed that the first tribe on the coast were a warlike band called Tol-e-wahs, of whom the Klamaths stand in some awe. Above them on Smith's river are the Eenahs or Eenaghs, and on the head waters of that stream the Sians or Siahs. All these are said to speak different languages, or more probably dialects. Of the first I obtained a few words from an old Klamath, but they are hardly to be relied on.

With regard to their form of government, at least that of the Klamath and Trinity tribes, the mow-ce-ma, or head of each family, is master of his own house, and there is a sci-as-lau, or chief, in every village. There are also head chiefs to the different tribes; but whether their power has definite limits, is confined to peace or war, or extends to both, seems very doubtful. It certainly is insufficient to control the


relations of the several villages, or keep down the turbulence of individuals. The courage and energy of a warrior, as we saw, often gives greater influence than the rank of a head chief.

The lodges of these Indians are generally very well built; being made of boards riven from the redwood or fir, and of considerable size, often reaching twenty feet square. Their roofs are pitched over a ridge-pole, and sloping each way; the ground being usually excavated to the depth of three or four feet, and a pavement of smooth stones laid in front. The cellars of the better class are also floored and walled with stone. The door always consists of a round hole in a heavy plank, just sufficient to admit the body; and is formed with a view to exclude the bears, who in winter make occasional and very unwelcome visits. The graves, which are in the immediate neighborhood of the houses, exhibit very considerable taste, and a laudable care. The dead are inclosed in rude coffins, formed by placing four boards around the body, and covered with earth to some depth; a heavy plank, often supported by upright head and foot stones, is laid upon the top; or stones are built up into a wall, about a foot above the ground, and the top flagged with others. The graves of the chiefs are surrounded by neat wooden palings; each pale ornamented with a feather from the tail of the bald eagle. Baskets are usually staked down by the side, according to the wealth or popularity of the individual; and sometimes other articles, for ornament or use, are suspended over them.

The funeral ceremonies occupy three days, during which the soul of the deceased is in danger from O-mah-α, or the devil. To preserve it from this peril, a fire is kept up at the grave, and the friends of the deceased howl round it, to scare away the demon. Should they not be successful in this, the soul is carried down the river; subject, however, to redemption by Pιh-ho-wan on payment of a big knife. After the expiration of the three days it is all well with them. Such, at least, is their belief, as related to us by residents, so far as could be gathered from the Indians themselves. A qualification must probably be made on the score of incorrect translation and misunderstanding. In person these people are far superior to any that we met below; the men being larger, more muscular, and with countenances denoting greater force and energy of character, as well as intelligence. Indeed, they approach rather to the races of the plains, than to the wretched "diggers" of the greater part of California. Two young men in particular, a young chief and his brother, from a neighboring village on the Trinity, were taller than the majority of whites, superbly formed, and very noble in feature. The superiority, however, was especially manifested in the women, many of whom were exceedingly pretty; having large almond-shaped eyes, sometimes of a hazel color, and with the red showing through the cheeks. Their figures were full, their chests ample; and the younger ones had well-shaped busts, and rounded limbs; graces all profusely displayed, as their only dress was the fringed petticoat, or at most, a deer-skin robe thrown back over the shoulders, in addition.


The petticoat with the wealthier, or perhaps more industrious, was an affair on which great taste and labor were expended. It was of dressed deer-skin; the upper edge turned over and embroidered with colored grasses, the lower cut into a deep fringe, reaching nearly to the knee, and ornamented with bits of sea-shell, beads, and buttons. Sometimes an apron, likewise of, heavy fringe, made of braided grass, the ends finished off with the nuts of the pine, hung down in front, and rattled as they walked. These dames, though bearing a high, and apparently well deserved reputation for morals, were exceedingly social; coming up in bands to our camp, to beg for beads and trinkets, and playing off a thousand airs of wild coquetry. Indeed, for powers of wheedling and coaxing they are unsurpassed; and when a rustic beauty established herself beside one, her plump arms resting on his knees, and her large eyes rolled up to his, the stock in trade of the victim was pretty sure to suffer. They made themselves perfectly at home; bringing their basket-work, and sitting round the tents, or romping under the bay trees; their jolly laughter ringing through the woods, and their squeals echoing far and wide, as some mischievous young savage pinched a tempting spot, or hugged them in his tawny arms. The manner of these Indians towards one another was generally caressing, the young men lolling about in pairs, and the girls sitting with their arms round each other. In justice and truth, however, it must be added that this Californian Arcadia was not all sunshine, even during the halcyon days of treaty-making, and that various habits and customs indulged in, were the reverse of inviting.

The dress of the men consists, generally, of a pair of deer-skins with the hair on, stitched together. Sometimes, however, a noted hunter wears a couple of cougar skins, the long tails trailing behind him; and others again, on state occasions, display a breech-clout of several small skins, sewed into a belt or waistband. Their moccasins are peculiar, having soles of several thicknesses of leather. They are not as skilful in the preparation of dressed skins as the Oregon Indians, and the use of those dressed on both sides is mostly confined to the women. Their bows are short, and strongly backed with sinews, which are put on by means of a glue extracted from fish, and they are often neatly painted. The arrows are well made, the points of stone or iron being secured to a movable piece fitting into the shaft. Among the skins used for quivers, I noticed the otter, wild-cat, fisher, fawn, grey fox, and others. The skins of a species of raccoon, of the skunk, and a small animal called the cat fox, were also employed for different purposes. In dressing their hair, which the men wear clubbed behind, considerable taste is sometimes shown; wreaths of oak or bay leaves, or the broad tails of the grey squirrel, being twisted round the head. Their pipes were made of wood, generally eight or ten inches long, and tapering from a broad muzzle to the mouth-piece. They are held erect when smoking, and the same species of wild tobacco is used that was noticed at Clear Lake. Both sexes pierce the nose, and wear some kind of ornament in it; the favorite one being the shell known as the "haiqua,"


among the fur traders. This, under the name of the "ali-qua chick," or Indian money, is more highly valued among them than any other article. Their canoes are fashioned like those of the bay and of Eel river, blunt at both ends, with a small projection in the stern, for a seat; and they manage them with wonderful dexterity, by means of a sort of half pole, half paddle. The women are adepts in basket-making of various kinds, as well as the making of thread and twine from a species of grass. They also manufacture a very pretty kind of narrow ribbon, by interweaving grass and thread. In this, as well as in their basket-work, they use several colored dyes, apparently of vegetable origin. The same round basket-cap noticed before, is worn by the Klamath women, figures of different colors and patterns being worked into it. They tattoo the underlip and chin in the manner remarked at Eel river; the young girls in faint lines, which are deepened and widened as they become older, and in the married women are extended up above the corners of the mouth. It is somewhat singular, that the Mohahoes and others, on the lower waters of the Colorado, tattoo in the same fashion. The children are carried in baskets suspended from the head, after the manner shown in the sketch. Their persons are unusually clean, as they use both the sweat-house and cold-bath constantly.

The different bands, even of the same tribes, if not at actual war, are exceedingly jealous of each other; and it was with great difficulty that they could be prevailed upon to convene from any distance, or kept together when brought in. They have a reputation for treachery, as well as revengefulness; are thievish, and much disposed to sulk if their whims are not in every way indulged. Whether this character is stronger with them than with any other tribe, is, however, doubtful. Deception is always one of the shields of the weak or ignorant; and as to dishonesty, it must be remembered that the articles in commonest use among the whites, and often improperly exposed, are the very ones which have the greatest value in the eyes of the savage. An axe, a blanket, a large knife, or tin pan, are of almost incalculable value to him; and it is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that the temptation to steal is seldom resisted, or that the ingenuity displayed in doing so is very great. What capacity they may hereafter show for civilization, can hardly be foreseen; but there appears to be no greater obstacle than existed in some of the Oregon Indians, who are now partially domesticated, and who, under steadier and better directed auspices, would have been much more so. The objects of the Hudson's Bay Company, the best of their earliest instructors, tended rather to make those people useful servants in their own peculiar occupation, than cultivators of the soil; while the missions failed almost entirely. The Indians of the Klamath and its vicinity afford a field for a new experiment. Their country furnishes food of different kinds, and in quantity sufficient to supply their absolute wants. Game, fish, and acorns are abundant. Improvident, however, as are all savages, they have their seasons of scarcity; and the climate of their country renders clothing and shelter requisite. It is through their wants that the desire of


civilization can most readily be excited. Articles of dress and of food, at first mere objects of fancy or luxury, speedily become absolute necessaries; and an inducement to labor for these, especially when the obvious fruits of their industry are directly applied to their own use, arises as they become accustomed to them.

Dependence upon the whites follows invariably the discontinuance of their own habits. The bow and arrows are laid aside, and the blanket takes the place of the deerskin. The value of their own productions first, and the wages of their labor afterwards, become essential to procure those articles which they cannot manufacture or supply. Thus the Indians of the Willamette valley, when urged to remove to another place where they should be free from molestation by the whites, absolutely refused; saying that they should starve, that they had lost their old modes of subsistence, and were obliged to work for a living. Such a result would of course not be that of a day; but a persistence in the system would undoubtedly bring it about here also. The education of the savage should first be directed to the improvement of his physical condition. With the generation which is already grown, at least, conversion to Christianity, or, as is frequently attempted, the inculcation of the peculiar doctrines of some particular sect, is impossible. The millions that have been expended upon this object in past ages, have produced no more lasting impression than the tread of the moccasin on the sea-shore. These Indians already afford one great point, by means of which, the influence of civilization can be exerted in their fixed habitations. If collected as occasion may offer, and its advantage be shown to them, upon reservations, where their fisheries can still be carried on, where tillage of the soil shall be gradually introduced, and where the inducements to violence or theft will be diminished or checked, they may possibly be made both prosperous and useful to the country. They have as yet none of the vices which so generally follow intercourse with the whites. They have never acquired a taste for spirits, and their ideas of chastity, as well as their remote situation, have hitherto excluded disease. So far as regards treaties between them and the whites, however, it may well be doubted whether, even if made in good faith, they can be kept, unless in the neighborhood of small military posts, and under the surveillance of military authority. Broken up into small bands or villages, each having its separate chief, and with no common controlling head, there is no influence which can be made to reach all the individuals of any tribe.

We too often give a general character to savage races, derived from a few, and those most probably the worst of their nation; forgetting that there may be as great diversity of disposition among them as among ourselves. Thus the majority may be well disposed, and yet implicated in crime by the acts of a very few; for knowing by experience the indiscriminate manner in which punishment is meted out, they are driven in self-defence to abet or defend them. But besides this, a constant source of provocation is to be feared from such of the whites as, transiently passing


through their country, offer them insult and violence, without, perhaps, endangering themselves; but insuring revenge and retaliation upon others, and probably quite innocent persons. A population drawn together, like that of California, necessarily contains reckless and unprincipled characters, too many of whom regard the life of an Indian as of no more account than that of a dog; and who, in murdering them without provocation, give cause for the reprisals which have sacrificed many innocent lives and brought about expensive wars and barbarous devastation. That a protective military force should consist of regular troops there can be no question; for although volunteers may be more effective in revenging outrages committed, they can never afford security against their occurrence, and sometimes commit greater ones themselves. The mountainous and broken character of this country does not offer scope for cavalry in its usual form; but a light-armed force, especially if consisting of riflemen, provided with mules, would be highly effectual. The season for active operations is the winter, when flight to the mountains is impossible, and where the Indians are all concentrated in their villages upon the river. Troops moving upon the usual trails, would, if they did not reach the bands sought for, drive them among other and hostile tribes, who would soon cut them off. But it is as a preventive rather than an offensive force, that they would be needed. Possessing no fire-arms, these Indians are too much in awe of the whites not to remain quiet in the face of a permanent post; while, on the other hand, a source of trouble arising from needless provocation can thus only be put an end to. The proper strategic point for such a post on this frontier, is clearly at, or near, the forks of the Klamath or Trinity, where the principal trails from the coast to and up these rivers pass, and which commands the country lying below, that upon both rivers above, and also the Redwood, upon which a numerous and troublesome band are settled. Its supplies could be derived from a depτt established on Humboldt bay, or at Trinidad, and brought up by pack-mules. The ground immediately at the forks, though well enough adapted for buildings, does not afford the necessary pasturage for animals; but a small valley on the Trinity a few miles above, and included in the reservation made for the tribes, would give every necessary facility, as well as land for cultivation.

In leaving the subject, one remark seems not out of place. The policy early adopted by the Hudson's Bay Company, (who, better than any other body or individuals, succeeded in the management of the Indians with whom they came in contact,) was to break down the power and influence of petty chiefs, by placing in the hands of one man of energetic character, and secured to their interests, the supreme control of the whole tribe; governing entirely through him, raising him to the rank of a white man, and giving him the means of supporting the dignity and state of which the savage is so fond. Such was their course with COM-COMLY, and with CASE-NAU; and such should be adopted in the treatment of the wild and turbulent nations of the Klamath and Trinity.


Mr. Durkee, who owns the ferry at the forks, and who was to act as interpreter, was absent at our arrival, and did not return for several days. In the mean time, Mr. Thompson, of Gold Bluff, who had joined the party at Bloody camp, went down the river to induce the lower bands to come up; and Mr. Patterson, of Union, undertook to assemble the Trinity Indians. Both were partially successful; but full deputations, particularly of the Pohlik-Klamath villages, could not be got together. Some progress was, however, made in conciliation, and a pretty good feeling finally established. The Indians persisted in assuming that their burnt villages were to be paid for; and were in great doubt as to the propriety of a final settlement, while they remained one life in arrears. The chief, with great formality, displayed a bone, marked on one edge with twenty-six notches, being the number of white men admitted to have been killed upon the Klamath; while the other side of it contained twenty-seven, as the number of Indians killed by the whites. The difficulty was finally compromised by giving sixteen pairs of blankets for the extra Indian, and a squaw and child not enumerated, and furnishing four dozen axes, wherewith to rebuild their lodges. Their own jealousies, however, were the occasion of the greatest difficulty; and even after the treaty had been formally concluded, a portion of them refused to sign at the ferry, and had to be waited on at a point some distance down the river. The treaty embraced the usual stipulations of peace with the citizens of the United States; and provision to be made for them in a reserve. It unfortunately happened that during our stay the weather was too unfavorable to permit a survey being made of the district proposed. A description of this, with its natural boundaries, as laid down upon the map, was, however, obtained from the citizens present. In general terms, it embraced the country around the forks, extending on the Klamath, from the mouth of Pine creek, to the foot of Red-Cap's bar, as it is called, a distance of some fifteen miles; and on the Trinity to John's creek, about as far. It embraced the valley on the latter river, before spoken of, and which is supposed to contain six or seven miles of farming land. This latter track has always been the country of the Hoo-pahs; and at the time of our visit there were no white settlers upon any part of it, except Mr. Durkee, who kept the ferry, and who, possessing the confidence of the Indians, and speaking their language, will, no doubt, be permitted to remain.

Thursday, Oct. 9th. — The business of the treaty being concluded, the camp broke up to-day, and the train crossed, our route lying up the opposite bank. Since the destruction of the lower ferry, all travel on the Klamath has passed at this point, although further up many prefer the eastern side. The ferry is managed by a scow, working on a rope suspended over the river. The house is a log building, capable of standing against a siege, in which arrows alone are used, and covered with a huge tent which gives an additional room in front. The trail followed the stream, ascending and descending low, rugged points; but well made, considering the nature


of the ground, the short space of time that it has been travelled, and the circumstances that have called it forth. Indeed, when it is remembered that all these trails, forming as they do a network over this whole mountain region, have either been entirely cut out, or at least rendered passable for animals, within little more than a year; and that by men whose occupations and objects permitted no loss of time, one rather wonders at their not being worse. The main trails have in general been made by parties interested in the various towns from which goods are forwarded, or by the packers who carry them to the mines; and the expense of exploring and laying them out has been considerable. Much improvement could, however, be effected in all of them, both in distance and facility; as they are frequently carried over mountains, either to avoid rocky points, where a little blasting would afford a remedy, or to obtain places for observation. A couple of miles above the forks, we reached the Hai-am-mu village, and visiting one of the lodges, found the inhabitants engaged in cooking and eating. The meal consisted of fish and acorn porridge, made by mixing the flour in a basket, in which the water is kept boiling by means of hot stones. Of the acorn flour they likewise make a sort of bread, which they bake in the ashes. They had several spoons, very neatly made of bone or horn. At this village there was a large fish-dam; a work exhibiting an extraordinary degree both of enterprise and skill. It crossed the entire river, here about seventy-five yards wide, elbowing up stream in the deepest part. It was built by first driving stout posts into the bed of the river, at a distance of some two feet apart, having a moderate slope, and supported from below, at intervals of ten or twelve feet, by two braces; the one coming to the surface of the water, the other reaching to the string pieces. These last were heavy spars, about thirty feet in length, and were secured to each post by withes. The whole dam was faced with twigs, carefully peeled, and placed so close together as to prevent the fish from passing up. The top, at this stage of the water, was two or three feet above the surface. The labor of constructing this work must, with the few and insufficient tools of the Indians, have been immense. Slight scaffolds were built out below it, from which the fish are taken in scoop-nets; they also employ drag-nets, or spear them, the spear having the barb movable, and fastened to the shaft with a string, in order to afford the salmon play. Similar dams to this exist on the Klamath, a few miles below the forks, and about fifteen above this one; and there is another upon the Trinity, thirteen or fourteen miles from its mouth. They form a frequent cause of quarrel among the bands inhabiting different parts of the rivers. Some understanding, however, seems to exist as to opening portions of them at times, to allow the passage of fish for the supply of those above.

The salmon, which form so important an article of food to the Indian tribes inhabiting the rivers of the Pacific, are of several apparently distinct species. No naturalist, that I am aware of, has examined their varieties and habits, and there are some points in regard to them, about which much dispute exists. Seven kinds are


usually said to visit the Columbia; two of which, it is probable, are the bull trout and grey fin of the English waters, and another, perhaps, owes its peculiarities either to age or food. The spring salmon, which is by far the best, is apparently identical with that of the eastern States and of Europe. Towards fall, a darker colored kind makes its appearance, which, like the former, wends its way up such of the streams as afford sufficient water, and which is not the returning and exhausted fish. Later still comes the hump-backed salmon. This is hardly eatable, its flesh being dry and rank, and its appearance disgusting. The back, as its name indicates, is protuberant, the snout is depressed over the eyes, and the jaws furnished with large hooked teeth. Almost all the fish taken in the autumn have a diseased appearance; the skin being discolored in large blotches. The several species found in the Columbia, seem to inhabit the Klamath likewise. Besides the salmon, there is also the salmon trout, a beautiful fish, and excellent eating. Of the brook trout, the only variety I have noticed, differs from that of the eastern States in having black instead of red spots, and a narrow red line extending down each side, from the gills to the tail. The fins are also less bright than in the eastern fish. The salmon rarely, if ever, is taken in fresh water, with the fly or other bait; though in salt water at the bay, and in the mouths of the rivers, they will sometimes bite even at salt pork. The Indians dry them without salt, splitting them open, taking out first the backbone, next a thin slice of flesh on each side, for the whole length, leaving the skin covered with another layer. All parts, even the head and spine, are preserved alike.

Our march to-day, in consequence of a late start, and the distance of any grazing point above, was only five miles; the course being first north-west, and then changing to north. We camped opposite the high point which forms a land-mark from the Bald Hills, and which gives the name of Bluff creek to a stream entering from the northwest, called by the Indians Otche-poh. Upon the other side of the river was an Indian village, the Sehe-perrh; the first belonging to the tribe occupying the middle section of the river, and of which the Quoratem or Salmon river Indians may be considered as the type. The grass at this camp was scanty, except at a considerable height on the mountain behind us.

Friday, Oct. 10th. — About a mile and a half from camp, we reached Bluff creek, which is crossed on a bridge, erected by Mr. Durkee, and for which he has a toll license. The creek is about ten yards wide, with steep banks, and is not fordable in the rainy season. At this point the trail from the lower ferry comes in. The extent of the travel on the now united routes may be judged from the fact, that since March last, 6000 mules have crossed at this place. From the narrow ridge separating the creek and the river, we could look down on both; the latter being far below the level of the first, which has a rapid descent to the junction. Another mile and a half brought us to what is called Big Bar, where excavations had been made to a considerable


extent by the miners, but which were now abandoned. These bars, as they are called, are flats formed at the bends of the river, of boulders and sand; and it is upon them that most of the washings are carried on. The richest deposits are usually found on the bed-rock beneath the debris, or in crevices in the strata of slate, which here lies in place. In fine sand it cannot be obtained by mere washing, but is usually extracted by means of quicksilver. As a general thing, however, the gold of the Klamath is coarse. The more elevated spots are usually preferred, as they are less exposed to access of water, and the smaller bars are considered the richest. The space allowed, by "miner's law," to each man, as his "claim," is thirty feet square. On some bars, the earth pays with considerable equality throughout; but this is unusual. Most of them will yield from five to ten cents to the bucket; and an average of from eight to ten is good yield. The ordinary process is for one man to dig the earth, and another to wash it; each carrying one half from the hole to the water. To dig and wash 200 buckets is considered a fair day's work for two men, with the common rocker. This machine is shaped like a shallow cradle, having a movable cover of sheet-iron, pierced with holes, upon which the earth is thrown. It is moved with one hand, while the other is employed in throwing on water. The gravel is thrown off from the cover as it is washed, the greater part of the earth being carried away, while the gold remains in the reservoir below, from which, at the end of the day, it is taken and cleaned in a pan. Another process of washing is by what is called a Long-tom, a trough through which a stream of water is conducted. These, of course, are capable of producing more, with less labor, than the rocker; but their use depends on the convenience of the place, and they cannot, like the others, be easily transported. Miners usually work in parties of two or three; but several of these are often associated together, for protection or other purposes. Occasionally the heads of companies employ themselves in "prospecting" for good spots, while the others are at work; or in packing provisions and other necessaries from the towns to the diggings. Many men, whose want of experience will not insure them good returns, or who want the means of supplying themselves, hire out to others, either for specified wages, or on half profits; receiving, in each case, their board.

A couple of miles beyond, we came to Red-Cap's bar; so called from a sub-chief living there. Here we found a trading-post, and a small party of miners at work; a portion of whom were hired for $75 per month, and their board. The average yield was probably half an ounce a day per man. The price of provisions varied according to circumstances; flour having lately ranged from 12 1/2 to 25 cents a pound, and pork from 25 to 40 cents.

The village contained twelve or fourteen lodges, substantially built, and commodious. This band, the Oppegach, was included in the treaty made at the ferry. It belongs, like the rest of those above Bluff creek, to the Peh-tsik division; their language differing materially from that below the forks. At this place, however, they are said not to use


it in its purity; having, like other borderers, adopted words from their neighbors. "Red-Cap," so called from a greasy-looking woollen head-piece, with which some miner had presented him, and which ordinarily constituted his sole dress, was a short, thickset individual, with a droll countenance, reminding one of the most authentic likenesses of Santa Claus. He is a man of considerable influence, friendly to the whites, and enjoying a high character for honesty. An instance of his justice, coupled with a display of financial ability, was related to us, as exercised on the occasion of a gun being stolen by one of his band. The weapon could not be found, but Red-Cap promised that it should be paid for, the price being fixed at thirty dollars. To raise this, he imposed an excise on all salmon sold to the packers and miners, of fifty cents; which, besides the usual price in beads, was to be exacted in "waugie chick," or silver white man's money. The amount was soon raised and handed over, and the oppressive tax abated.

At this place there is a ferry, where trains bound for Salmon river usually cross, keeping up the eastern side of the Klamath. A creek of considerable size enters opposite the village, and takes its name, the "Oppegach," from it. Above, the river, for some distance, passes through a deep and wild caρon; and although an Indian trail follows it on the west side, it is rendered impassable for mules, by a point of projecting rock. To avoid this, the pack trail which we followed turned up the mountain behind the bar, over which, and at a considerable height above the water, it afterwards ran. This portion of the route was dangerous even now, and four of the animals fell over; two mules breaking their backs, and a dragoon-horse being so much injured that he was afterwards abandoned. From this we descended to a considerable flat, known as "Orleans bar," crossing another branch of some size, the Ocketoh, at the mouth of which there was another dam, similar to that already mentioned, and apparently in every respect its equal. Formerly a ferry was kept here also, and several houses had been commenced. Attached to one of them, a fine piece of ground had been broken up and planted, from which we obtained a few tomatoes, a very welcome addition to our supper. The miners had, however, all left, either in consequence of difficulty with the Indians, or attracted by the reports from Shastι and Scott's valleys above. There were, in fact, at the time of our passing, but few on the lower Klamath; for although a good average could be made almost anywhere, it is always the case, that discoveries of a large amount at any particular point will drain the whole neighboring country. So far as we could learn, the bars on the entire course of the river, from the forks of Trinity up, will yield from five to eight dollars per day. A few spots produce more, but as these are of comparatively limited extent, and soon exhausted, the mining in this part of the gold region may be considered as simply a matter of high wages for hard work; a much more desirable state of things, where it is permanent, than the occasional "finds" of other placers.

We were here visited by a number of Indians from the neighboring villages, of


which there are several on both sides of the river; the principal of which is the Tchai-noh, or Skeina, as commonly pronounced, also represented at the late council. Our camp was pitched opposite the ferry, the distance travelled being about twelve miles. Owing to the accident befalling the mules, the train did not arrive till late in the afternoon.

Saturday, Oct. 11th. — The march recommenced with the ascent of another mountain; the trail keeping along the ridge, at some distance from the river, and then down rolling hills to a small plat, about a mile above the entrance of Salmon river, a distance of about seven miles. Here we encamped, as it was the intention of the Agent to hold a council with the Indians of this neighborhood also.

Salmon river, or as it is called by the Indians, the "Quoratem," is the largest of the affluents of the Klamath, with the exception of the Trinity; and its general course is nearly parallel with that of the latter. It has two principal branches, which unite about fifteen miles from its mouth; the northernmost heading in the mountains, near Scott's river, the southern in the Trinity range. On both of these, mining operations have been extensively carried on, and they still continue productive. Trading posts are established at the forks, and at "Bestville," a mining village of some fifteen houses on the north fork, established by a trader of that name. Pack trails lead hence up both these streams to the head of Scott's river and the north fork of Trinity. The price of freight from the coast towns to these diggings, has at times been as high as two dollars a pound! The whole course of the Salmon is destitute of valleys, and some of the severest trials and sufferings which the miners have undergone, have been during their winter journeys through the high and broken mountain ranges which border it; many persons and whole trains of mules having perished in the snow.

The scenery at the mouth of the Salmon is exceedingly wild and picturesque. In the forks a high conical point of rock stands up, evidently once connected with the western bank of the Klamath; but which, broken off from the rest of the range by some convulsion, has now given passage to the river between; the strata of slate dipping abruptly to the south and west, showing the subsidence in that direction. Upon the Klamath, both above and below the junction, are Indian villages of some size, prettily situated on high platforms of rock projecting over the water, and shaded by groves of oaks and bay trees; while below, the river, compressed in its channel, rushes boiling over rapids. The accompanying sketches were taken, one from near our camp, representing the Tish-rαwa village, and the Klamath, below the entrance of the Salmon; the other from a mile higher up, showing the course of the Klamath through the mountains above the forks. The tree on the right hand of the latter represents one of the signal or "telegraph" trees of the Klamath Indians. These, which are among the most conspicuous features of the scenery upon the river, occur near every village. They are always selected upon the edge of some hill, visible to a considerable


distance in either direction. Two trees, one trimmed in the form of a cross, the other with merely a tuft on the top, represent each lodge; and in time of danger or of death, a fire kindled beneath them, informs the neighboring tribes of the necessity or misfortune of its occupants.

Sunday, Oct. 12th. — We remained in camp for the purpose of treating with the rest of the bands belonging to this division of the Klamath. They do not seem to have any generic appellation for themselves, but apply the terms "Kahruk," up and "Youruk," down, to all who live above or below themselves, without discrimination, in the same manner that the others do "Peh-tsik," and "Poh-lik." The name Quoratem, that of one of the bands on the Salmon river, and frequently used for the river itself, appears to be a suitable one to designate the dialect of the middle section and those speaking it. The language extends on the Klamath from Bluff creek to a considerable distance above here; according to some reports, to the Eenah-met, or Clear creek, between thirty and forty miles further up, and on the Salmon to the principal forks. Higher on the main river, the prevailing language is the Shastι, and on the Salmon is said to be one of those used on the Trinity.

It was proposed to bring the whole of these into the reserve on the Trinity; leaving the Shastι, upper Klamath, and upper Trinity Indians, to fall within that intended to be established above; and a treaty, supplemented to that at Durkee's ferry, was accordingly concluded on that basis. Four bands, the Sche-woh, Oppe-yoh, Eh-qua-nek, and Eh-nek, were present, numbering in all probably 250 souls. The total number of the Quoratems may perhaps be set down at 600 or 700. They are very much scattered, some of their villages having been burnt. On the Salmon river, for instance, there are said to be now not more than fifty below the forks. No difference, except in language, is noticeable between these and the lower Indians; and intermarriages frequently take place among them.

Monday, Oct. 13th. — To-day our route lay along the bank, occasionally crossing small bottoms, for about six miles. Here the river made a large bend, to avoid which the trail passed over the mountain. Another, also much travelled by packers, crosses the Klamath about a mile beyond, and follows the east bank for sixteen or eighteen miles, when it recrosses and joins that on the west side. Continuing on, over high spurs, we descended again to the river, and found camp after a march of twelve miles. A portion of the road was dangerous, and one mule rolled down with his pack, but was recovered.

Tuesday, Oct. 11th. — The trail followed the same general southerly course as yesterday, gradually diverging from the river, which, five or six miles from camp, makes another bend to the eastward. Here we again ascended, passing over high


mountain spurs, much of the route being rough and broken. Eight or nine miles from camp, a trail known as the "Serra-goin trail," now no longer used, comes in. It leaves the Klamath at a village of that name, a considerable distance below the mouth of the Trinity. A long descent brought us again to the river, which made a sharp turn round a spur from the other side. A considerable branch entered here on the west, which we crossed. The trail was excessively bad, running along the edge of the river, in short abrupt pitches, and over broken rocks. A fatigue party had been sent out in the morning to work the more dangerous places; but we were notwithstanding detained at one of these, known as the "Tent Rock," for an hour and a half. At low stages of the river however, as we afterwards learned, this can be passed through the water. From here we rode through scrub-oak thickets and low woods for two or three miles, and encamped on the river, the distance travelled being about fourteen miles. Much of the route was the worst we had passed over. We found very poor grass on the river bench where we halted, and the animals began to suffer, the feed having generally been poor since the start. The small benches, which occur at intervals on the river, are, for the most part, sterile, and being camps of necessity to the various pack trains, are easily exhausted. The mountains also bear evidence of a poorer soil in the diminished luxuriance of the forest, and the absence of those prairies which form so marked a feature south of the Trinity. The woods are much more open, and of a variety of timber; firs and pines being intermixed with various species of oak, the willow-leaved chestnut, the bay, and the madronia. Of the oaks there is a great variety; several of them evergreens, including the chestnut and live-oaks. The acorns, bay-nuts, and piρones, or nuts of the edible pine, all contribute to the subsistence of the Indians, who use them in various forms, roasted whole, or pounded into flour, and made into bread or porridge. Piles of the husks are to be seen round every lodge. We passed several small villages during the march, the inhabitants of which were of the poorer class, and appeared sickly. They complained too of hunger, though they had the usual store of acorns, and said that they were too weak to obtain fish or game. The principal complaint seemed to be a disease of the lungs. Blindness or sore eyes was universal among the aged, as in fact in almost every tribe we have visited. It struck me that there was a general aspect of decay among the Indians of this part of the Klamath, and we saw remains of numerous ruined lodges. These, however, are not of themselves conclusive evidence; as, although their habitations are generally permanent, they are accustomed to remove from a site where much sickness has occurred. Notwithstanding their poverty, they had the usual complement of wolfish-looking dogs, which came out of the lodges to look at us and went silently back. These fellows do not make much noise at any time, beyond a complaining yelp when kicked, unless they are engaged in one of their customary battles. Their voice, when they do bark, resembles that of the coyote. Their color is usually black and white, or brown and white. They have bushy tails and sharp noses, and in fighting,


snap viciously, much after the manner of the wolf. The Indians, we were told, used them in hunting to drive deer to their snares, but I saw no instance of their being employed in this or any other way. They are most arrant and expert thieves, and it is said, carry their plunder to the lodge; a statement probably true only as regards what is not eatable. One peculiarity which they exhibit is inquisitiveness. They will follow and watch strangers with no other apparent motive than curiosity. I was often much amused at the expostulations of the squaws with the dogs, who were usually in the way or in worse mischief, and paid but momentary attention either to the cuffs they received, or to the exclamations of "chishι, chishι," by which they were accompanied. For the rest, they usually wear an expression of misanthropy and disgust at the world, which, as they are always half starved, is by no means singular. Unfortunately salmon blood does not kill them, as it does dogs of a more generous breed. The Indians, it may be remarked, do not appear to confer proper names on animals.

Wednesday, Oct. 15th. — The trail, for the first two miles, followed the river bank upon a steep slope, and sometimes at a considerable height. It being very narrow, there is some danger of sliding off. Here we lost a mule carrying the whole kitchen furniture of our pack train; as he did not fall, but deliberately jumped into the water, it seemed probable that, disgusted with life, he had chosen the surest way of terminating his sufferings, and taking revenge on his persecutors. Beyond, the river made another great bend to the eastward, the road again taking up the mountains. This is, if not the highest, one of the most elevated points passed on the route. Though steep, the ascent was pretty good; but the toil, added to poor food, began to tell upon the dragoon-horses, which were now every day in a worse plight. Indeed, for American horses, even in better condition than ours were when we started from Sonoma, these trails are too severe; and the smaller and lighter California horses, or still better, mules, are the only fit animals. We were two hours in an almost continuous ascent of the mountain; another, winding upon its summit; and a fourth, in rapid and steep descent to the river. Here we encamped at the mouth of Clear creek, a stream some ten yards wide. Good grass was found about half a mile down the river, on to which the horses were sent, the mules being driven across the creek.

From the summit to-day we had a fine view of the mountains which everywhere surround us, the vastness of which appeared as we rose towards their level. Heavy ranges lay between us and the coast, and divided us from the Salmon and Trinity; while to the north was seen the chain separating the waters of the Klamath and Rogue rivers. In clear weather, "Mount Shastι" itself is visible. Our march to-day was twelve miles.

A few Indians, the remnant of a larger band that once lived on our camp-ground, and now were settled on the creek near by, came in. One of them, with great delight,


recognized a man in our party, and recalled himself to his recollection by signs. He had buried the Indian's child for him the year before, when sickness had prevented the father from doing it himself, and had hung beads over the grave. He evinced much gratitude, and a high sense of obligation for an Indian. These Indians complained of hunger, and seemed really destitute. As a temporary relief, by order of Colonel M'Kee, an ox was killed for them and the adjoining village.

Thursday, Oct. 16th. — Our departure was considerably delayed this morning, the mules having strayed in quest of grass. The last of the train did not, in fact, leave till nearly noon. Crossing the creek, we ascended a steep hill of some height; coming down to the river again about a mile above, at a place called "Wingate's bar," where we found a trading-house, and a party of miners. From this up, the number at work was greater. The amount made we presumed to be about half an ounce. Board was charged at twenty dollars per week. A little further on is another bar, known as the "Big Oak Flat," from a superb live-oak tree growing upon it, beyond which we again ascended, keeping along the brow of the mountain, on a very precarious path, and rising to the height of over a thousand feet from the river. A steep descent brought us to a deep hollow, only to climb another hill equally trying; and, after about four hours and a half of travel, we encamped, having made only eight miles. The animals were much exhausted, and a dragoon-horse and pack-mule were abandoned. Our camp was upon a level bottom, about a mile and a half long, and elevated fifteen or twenty feet above the river; sandy, but with better grass than we had met since leaving the ferry. Opposite us, a large creek entered, upon which there was also some level land.

During the marches of yesterday and to-day, we noticed, for the first time, a number of sugar-pines. This tree, which grows only on the mountains, resembles generally the large-coned pine, except that its bark is smoother. The cones are almost equally large, and the leaves long and coarse. The sugar is found exuding, in rough hard lumps, from the interior, but only where the tree has been partially burned, and is said not to follow the axe; though this may perhaps be questioned. Its color is an opaque white, its taste agreeable, partaking very slightly of a resinous flavor, and it is often used by mountaineers to sweeten their coffee. It is a very active purgative when dissolved in cold water, and much medicinal virtue is ascribed to it. The sugar found nearest the bark is of a darker color, and more vitreous in appearance, and is reputed to possess these properties in a greater degree than that taken from towards the heart. Some that was found had a peculiar sub-acid taste. While adhering to the tree, we were told, it withstands the changes of the weather; but after being separated from it, rapidly absorbs moisture, and falls to pieces. In some parts of the mountains, where the trees are numerous, a man can gather as much as five pounds a day. The piρon,


or nut of this species, is considered better even than that of the nut-pine. The tree produces pitch, in addition, as abundantly as other kinds.

Friday, Oct. 17th. — After our arrival in camp yesterday, it was found that a mule carrying bedding had strayed into the woods; and to-day it was arranged that Major Wessells with the command should move on, while the Agent's party waited to seek for it, Mr. Kelsey and Colonel Sarshel Woods were at the same time sent forward to Scott's valley to call in the Indians. The mule was found by the miners at Wingate's bar, and in the course of the day was brought in. Two gentlemen, Messrs. T. J. Roach and W. J. Stevens, came down to-day from "Murderer's bar," a short distance above, where they had been located for some time past. They, with others of their party, had prospected extensively in the neighborhood, and communicated much information respecting the country. The creek opposite our camp, called by the Indians the Yoteh, we learned from them heads in the mountains between the north fork of Salmon and Scott's river, and is of considerable length. Mr. Roach and Mr. Charles M'Dermit had recently also ascended the "Batinko," or Indian creek, a branch emptying from the west, two or three miles above, and heading in the Sis-kiu mountains, between the Klamath and Rogue's river. From thence they crossed to the head of Caρon creek, which runs into a larger stream, now called Illinois river. Of this last there has been much dispute; some supposing it to be a distinct river, emptying into the Pacific near the Oregon line. The better opinion, however, seems to be that it is a fork of Rogue's river, which it enters ten or twelve miles from its mouth. Upon it is a large and fertile valley. The country upon Rogue's river itself, is spoken of with great praise, by all who have seen it, as containing fine farming valleys. The Indians of the Illinois valley are said to speak the language of this part of the Klamath (the Shastι), and not that of Rogue's river. We were further informed that Joe, the head chief of the Rogue's river Indians, the same with whom Major Kearney had his contest during the past summer, and who is now living in peace with the whites, at the ferry on the Oregon trail, claims the Shastι tribes as properly his subjects, although they yield him no allegiance. Be this as it may, the fact of a pretty intimate connection between the Indians on the upper part of both rivers, is clear. We heard of one custom prevailing in the Illinois valley, which is different from the practice here: that of burning the bodies of those killed in battle, instead of burying them, as they do in cases of natural death.

Saturday, Oct. 18th. — Our trail ran through oak thickets for a couple of miles, to "Happy camp," as the station at Murderer's bar is called. Some seventy persons make this their head-quarters; a portion of them being, however, almost always absent, either in packing, or mining, and prospecting, at a distance. They were, at this time, living in tents, but preparations were making to erect log-houses for the winter.


The amount averaged a day, was about six cents to the bucket of 20 to 25 lbs.; but it has been much higher. This, however, is considered a good paying rate. The miners on this part of the Klamath have not only been led away by brilliant reports from other parts, but to some extent discouraged by the murders and robberies of the Indians, which have rendered mining in small parties dangerous. The bar itself takes its name from the killing of three men, by the people living on the creek opposite our last night's camp. Lately, however, the greater part of the Indians have themselves disappeared, some of their ranches having been burnt by the whites, and it is supposed have moved either to the valleys above, or to that on the Illinois river. Their number between Clear creek and the mouth of the Shastι, does not appear to have been great, and judging from the number and size of the ranches, is probably not now over 300 or 400. On the creeks there are a few more, but not many at any distance from the Klamath, except in Scott's and Shastι valleys. Of the numbers above the mouth of the Shastι, and extending up to the foot of the Cascade range, we had no definite information. The name of Shastι may perhaps be found applicable to the whole tribe extending from Clear creek up; as, with perhaps some trilling variation, the same language appears to prevail as in the valley of that name.

The bottom at Murderer's bar is one of the largest on the whole Klamath, being about two miles in length, and containing some little arable land. Good pasturage can also be obtained on the hills around Indian creek, which has been already mentioned, enters the Klamath just above the station.

Leaving here, we rode up the bottom for a couple of miles, and thence commenced an ascent over wooded hills to a high mountain, from the summit of which we had an extensive view. "Mount Shastι" was, however, not visible, nor had the weather been clear enough at any time as yet, to permit us to see it. The Klamath above Murderer's bar runs through a deep caρon, making a great bend to the south; its general course being here more westerly than southerly. It was seen at times from the mountain, much contracted by its narrow channel; but above, it again widened out apparently to its full volume, at the junction of the Trinity. So much of its water is in fact absorbed by the soil, or carried off by evaporation during its tortuous course, that it preserves a very uniform size, at, least from the mouth of Scott's river down. A very steep descent from the mountain top brought us again to its banks, and we encamped where Major Wessells had stopped the night before, having made about nine miles.

The pine, which till recently has formed no feature in the landscape, was now common; at least three distinct kinds being seen — the yellow or pitch-pine, the sugar-pine, and the big-cone. The true nut-pine was not noticed. Cedars of the large white-barked species, common in Oregon, were also frequent. The leaves of the deciduous trees were fast falling, and the maple which mingled with the growth


in the damp bottoms had assumed a brilliant yellow; almost the only approach to the gorgeous autumnal hues of the Atlantic that here meets the eye of the traveller.

Sunday, Oct. 29th. — About a mile beyond our camp we crossed a large brook or creek, which was afterwards fixed upon as part of the boundary of the "reservation," and as such is referred to in the treaty made at Scott's valley. We had no high points to pass to-day, the trail running along the river upon narrow benches. It was, however, rugged, and broken by ledges of slate, a part of it being excessively bad. About eight miles of travel brought us to what is known as the "Big Bottom," a tract covering a few miles square, which forms the nearest approach to a valley that we had seen upon the Klamath. Here is the usual trail for packers bound to Scott's and Shastι valleys, and a ferry or crossing to the eastern shore; the trail on the left bank being a dangerous one. It is kept by Indians, who pass goods in canoes, the animals swimming. Major Wessells had halted here the preceding night, expecting us to join him, and was to make but a short inarch beyond. As it would, however, take some time to cross the baggage, and there was fine grass in the bottom, we remained over. The mules were left on the north bank for the night, and we camped on the other side.

There were two Indian villages near this spot, but the lodges had been burnt by the whites. Messrs. Kelsey and Woods had visited them, and invited them to the council to be held in Scott's valley; but the men with a few exceptions had run off to the mountains on the approach of the command, leaving their families behind. These people were in a great state of destitution. Several of the early miners had been murdered in this neighborhood, and much property stolen, in revenge for which their successors had destroyed the lodges and killed some of the men. Of late they had been more peaceably disposed, but were still regarded with suspicion, having in their possession a few stolen animals and fire-arms. Those that we saw were evidently of the lowest caste, a little boy of nine or ten years of age being the solitary and remarkable exception. His features were regular, and even beautiful. These Indians keep up a constant intercourse with Rogue's river, whither it is probable many of them have recently gone. From many circumstances, it would appear that their place of residence, being the centre through which numerous trails led, has been a sort of common ground; the Alsatia of the neighboring country. We found here a young Indian, who spoke a few words of the Oregon jargon, and through him were enabled to communicate a little with the rest. By his means I collected enough of the language to ascertain its similarity to the Shastι, and also a partial vocabulary of his own tongue, which I presume to be one of the Rogue's river languages. His proper home he could not be made to tell; for although intelligent enough generally, he became very stupid when questioned as to where he belonged.

The bottom here seemed to be from two to three miles in length, and about a mile


wide; a portion of it affording good pasture, but none apparently fit for agriculture. Two creeks enter the Klamath here; one from the south-east, at our camp; the other from the north-east, a mile above. It is along the latter that the Rogue's river trail passes. A miner whom we found here informed us that he had crossed over by it to that stream.

Monday, Oct. 30th. — The morning broke with a heavy fog, which, however, cleared off about eight o'clock. The sky of this region, it may be remarked, is, when unobscured, of a blue as pure and deep as that even of the Rocky Mountains.

The trail during the day followed the river bank. It was exceedingly rocky, and much obstructed with brushwood. We made only about ten miles, passing the spot where the command had encamped about a mile and a half. The grass was very poor, but we were informed that none could be found elsewhere, within the distance which we could drive. In camping on the Klamath, it is necessary to seek the neighborhood of the brooks, especially at this season; as the water, never pure, is now offensive from the number of dead salmon. Fortunately springs and small streams are abundant, and of the finest quality. We passed to-day only one Indian village, a small one, and that deserted; but saw a number of the people upon a hill beyond the river, and sent a messenger, who, with some difficulty, brought them to a talk, and invited them to come in. Large heaps of the shells of a species of Unio lay along the banks of the river, at different places. These form a favorite article of food with the Indians, who boil them in baskets by means of hot stones.

The approach of winter was now indicated by the appearance of numbers of ducks in the river, and by flocks of the banded-tailed pigeon, on their way to the south. Except the omnipresent raven and fish crow, we have hitherto seen but few birds in this whole region; a bald eagle on the look-out for salmon, a blue heron starting with dissonant scream from his perch on a dead fir tree, a few hawks and jays, and now and then a sparrow, being all.

The prevailing rock is now the white granite, resembling that of New Hampshire, which forms many of the highest peaks, particularly those at the head of Salmon and Scott's rivers. The bed-rock of the Klamath is, however, still dark blue slate, containing veins and seams of quartz. Of this the strata are everywhere displaced and broken up. A coarse sandstone or conglomerate of volcanic formation occurs. Without attempting to give any scientific description of this region, it may not be unimportant to mention that the blue slate is continuous along the whole route followed. Talcose and mica slates and serpentine are likewise in place; the last in greatest abundance, and covering the greatest extent. Where gold is found in the original rock, it seems to be always in the quartz veins of the blue slate; and these are more abundantly interposed farther up, than in the lower district. Thus the gold of the upper Klamath is much coarser than that found below the Salmon. Where it


exists in the soil, independent of the gravelly bars of the rivers, it is most frequent in a reddish earth, as in the dry diggings in Shastι valley, and elsewhere. It is, however, impossible to account for the occurrence of large deposits in particular localities, while in others, seemingly as favorable, it is nearly or altogether absent.

Tuesday, Oct. 21st. — Passing over a point of mountain, we reached Scott's river, about a mile and a half from camp. This, which, next to the Shastι, is the largest of the upper forks of the Klamath, is here about fifteen yards wide, running through a narrow mountain gap, and over a bed filled with large boulders. Its sources are in the immediate neighborhood of the Trinity and the Salmon, and after their junction its general course is from south-west to north-east. Like all other mountain streams, its volume of water fluctuates greatly with the season; the amount brought down in winter being very considerable, while in the summer and fall it is fordable almost everywhere. It was formerly a well-known trapping ground of the Hudson's Bay Company, by whom it was called Beaver river. Its present name was given it from that of a miner who first developed its mineral wealth. Our trail now left the Klamath, and followed up this branch. Scott's river is the most thoroughly explored of all the gold-producing streams of northern California, and the extent of the works upon it is astonishing, even to those acquainted with the energy with which mining operations have been carried on. Between the mouth and the upper end of Scott's bar, three or four miles above, almost the whole river has been turned from its bed, and carried through canals, regularly built, with solid stone or log embankments, several feet in height and thickness. Many of these are from 100 to 200 yards in length. They were constructed by companies consisting usually of from ten to twenty persons; and we were informed, that at a court or convention of delegates, held in July to decide upon a contested claim, thirty-two companies were represented. The number of persons at work in the darns at the time of our passing, was small, certainly not exceeding a hundred; most of the miners having, at least temporarily, abandoned them. We made careful inquiries as to the productiveness of these enterprises, and were satisfied that, like most operations of the kind attempted elsewhere, they had been losing ones. Although very considerable sums had in some cases been taken out by single companies, and the total amount must have been very great, the average daily earnings for the whole working time was comparatively inconsiderable. It was variously estimated at from two to five dollars; the lowest being probably nearest the truth. Those who remained were doing better than this, the different dams yielding to the present workers from five dollars to an ounce a day. The gold was chiefly found in crevices of the bed-rock, and was very coarse. One piece was said to have weighed twelve, and another, found in the bank, fifteen pounds troy. Besides the dams, other washings were carried on with success, and the ground in front of the town of "Scott's bar" was literally riddled with what are called "coyote diggings."


This mining town contains Home fifty houses, and, when we passed, numbered perhaps 150 inhabitants. Through the summer, however, the population had been far greater. In September, 600 votes were polled in the two precincts of Scott's bar and the mouth of the river; and even this was only a partial representation. The packing from this place is chiefly carried on from Reading's springs, or, as it is now called, "Shastι city," near Clear creek, in the Sacramento valley; the traders being, for the most part, their own packers. The price of freight was at this time twenty-five cents a pound, and the time taken in the journey seven or eight days. Flour was selling at thirty-five, and pork at fifty cents; but during the year they had been respectively as high as $1.50 and $2.25, and as low as twenty and twenty-five cents. We saw here a fair supply of other commodities used by miners. Fluctuations in the prices of provisions, goods, and transportation, are constant at all these places; depending in some measure upon the state of the trails, as regards supply, and upon the rush of buyers for the time being, as to demand.

Leaving the town, and following the right bank of the river for two or three miles, over a very broken trail, we again crossed and passed the high mountain on the left, to avoid a caρon which extends from here to the valley. The descent, though considerable, was gradual, and the trail good, in contrast with the execrable path from our camp to its foot. An hour and a half brought us to the top, and we then caught a glimpse of the valley of Scott's river below us, with the mountains beyond, and the snowy peak of Shast&etilde; lying to the south-east, towering above all. The view was a beautiful one, and not the less so, from its being the first for many a weary day's travel, in which the habitations of civilized man seemed not out of place. A rapid descent led us down to the plain, and to the log-house of a settler, and here we saw another unwonted sight, an ox-wagon laden with hay. Again crossing the river, here rippling gently over a bed of sand and gravel, we reached Major Wessells's camp, pitched about a mile beyond, on a small branch entering from the south, at about half past three in the afternoon, our march being about fifteen miles.

Wednesday, Oct. 22d. — Thin ice formed in our buckets this morning, but the weather continued to be fine. To-day we rode across the valley to a ranch on the eastern side, a distance of about eight miles, stopping on our way to ascend a hill from which we had a good view of a portion of it.

Scott's valley is, with the exception of Shastι, the largest either on the Klamath, or any of its tributaries; and is the only one in which any considerable quantity of good soil is to be found. Its extreme length is, however, not more than twenty-five or thirty miles, and its width, at the northern end, from eight to ten, diminishing towards its head to a narrow strip. Its total area does not much exceed one hundred square miles. By far the greater part of this, even, is suited only to pasturage, being too dry and gravelly for cultivation. Tracts of a better quality are nevertheless


found chiefly upon the river, and the two or three small branches which continue to flow during the dry season; these seem well suited to the growth of potatoes and other vegetables, as well as small grain. The richest is in the neighborhood of old beaver-dams, and, by proper care, would become exceedingly productive. Timber is abundant on the hills on the western or northern sides; consisting of pine, of a quality not inferior to that of the Atlantic States. The slopes on the eastern side are covered with fine bunch-grass, affording excellent and most abundant pasturage. Salmon ascend the river in large numbers, before the waters subside in the spring. In the rainy season, travel in the valley is exceedingly difficult, and parts of it are even covered with water. Eight or ten houses, mostly small log buildings, had been put up at the northern end, and preparations were making for ranching animals on a pretty extensive scale. We found a good deal of hay mowed and stacked either for feeding at the corrals or transportation to Scott's bar, whither it is carried on mules. The price there was twenty-five cents a pound! The bunch-grass becomes a natural hay without cutting, and retains all its nutritive qualities. Animals, with any reasonable degree of work, will keep fat on it throughout the year. A second growth always springs up after the commencement of the rainy season. Wild clover abounds, also, in the valley. But little snow is said to fall here, and that does not remain long.

Thursday, Oct. 23d. — Mr. Kelsey returned last evening from Shastι valley, whither he had gone to invite the Indians. He found great difficulty in persuading them of the peaceful intentions of the expedition; as they had taken up the idea that the escort was a war party sent against them. Some of them, however, accompanied him a part of the way to satisfy themselves, but still lingered behind. Messengers sent to the neighboring lodges reported that the men had gone to the mountains to hunt. A few were finally collected, and the object of the Agent in visiting their country was explained to them through an Oregon Indian named "Swill," who lived with the tribe, and spoke their language. This man was afterwards dispatched with Mr. Abel, one of the interpreters, to make another effort to assemble the Shastι tribes, and Indian runners were sent to the Klamath and the upper lodges of Scott's river.

Several gentlemen from the neighborhood, among others, Major Theodore F. Rowe, Mr. Charles M'Dermit, Mr. Roach, and Dr. M'Kinney, visited our camp to-day, and were requested to remain for the purpose of giving information and advice regarding arrangements with the Indians. Col. M'Kee, further in view of the importance of rendering the treaty satisfactory to the miners and settlers, determined to invite them to be present from the different placers, either in person or by delegation, and notes to that effect were despatched both to Shastι, Butte city, and Scott's bar.

It had become evident immediately on our arrival, that more serious obstacles would interpose to a pacific arrangement with the Indians of this district, than at either of


those before visited. On the one hand, the number of all the tribes intended to be included, was very large, being variously estimated at from four to six thousand; and their disposition was decidedly hostile to the whites, against whom they had several grounds of complaint; some of them more or less just. The great influx of miners had crowded them from their fisheries and hunting-grounds, and the commencement of permanent settlements threatened to abridge their movements still more. Many of their villages had been burned and their people shot; generally, it is true, in retaliation for murders or robberies, but in some instances no doubt wantonly; the result in either case being the same in rendering their families destitute and stimulating their desire for revenge. Animals stolen from others and sold to them had been seized, and not least, their women had been occasionally taken away. On the other side, a number of whites had been killed; some under circumstances of atrocious barbarity. Several whole trains had been plundered, reducing their owners to actual ruin; and a large amount of property stolen from time to time, in blankets, tools, provisions, and animals, upon which the miners depended for their subsistence. The number of mules and horses, and the quantity of fire-arms in their possession furnished, to some extent, proofs of the Indian outrages. To such a degree had the feeling of exasperation risen on the part of the whites, that they had determined on the setting in of winter to wage a war of extermination against the Indians on the upper Klamath and its tributaries generally. Two or three men were not considered as safe anywhere; and as the mode in which mining is carried on here involved the scattering of detached parties or individuals through the hills, they conceived the only way of protecting themselves would be to extirpate or drive off the enemy altogether. Such was the state of things when the Agent arrived. Supposing, however, that a treaty of peace could be effected which the majority of the whites and Indians would respect, there was great danger that it might be broken by outlaws of one race or another, whose conduct was beyond control; and that as discrimination is out of the question in such cases, a renewal of the strife would follow, with more violence than before. Another very serious difficulty remained. To fix upon a reserve, into which the Indians could be collected where they could be placed under the government of suitable officers; where game and fish would be abundant, and a sufficient tract of agricultural country could afford the means of civilization and partial support, and where, at the same time, the interests of the whites would not tempt encroachment, seemed to be next to impossible. The removal of the Indians beyond the limits of the State was clearly so; for Oregon had its own savage population, and the introduction of others was not only beyond the authority of the Agent, but would have been resisted to the knife. The Territory of Utah furnished no suitable home for them, or means of maintenance, and the intervening country embraced in Shastι county had already a larger number than the safety of the whites rendered desirable. The only bodies of level land in their own country were known to be the valleys of Scott's and Shastι rivers, and the amount


of arable soil in either of them was comparatively small; far less than would suffice for a considerable number of permanent white settlers. A very considerable part of this was already taken up in claims, and to some extent improved. Further, it was impossible to find any district whatever, in which gold did not exist, or where miners were not carrying on their occupation. Under all these circumstances, the only possible method of accomplishing the proposed object, seemed to be for the Agent to invite the concert of the citizens themselves, and after obtaining the best information in his power, and hearing the suggestions and objections offered, to adopt such a course in reference to the reservation, as, with the least inconvenience to the whites, should furnish a refuge for the Indians. Into this it was proposed to collect them as speedily as possible, in order to prevent further collisions.

Friday, Oct. 24th. — Major Wessells having concluded to return from here by the way of Reading's springs and the Sacramento valley, started this morning; the reduced condition of his horses rendering it important to him to reach quarters before the rains set in; which, from the lateness of the season, might now be expected at any time. The route was up the valley, and following a branch of the north fork over the mountains to Trinity river, thence down nearly to Weaver-town, crossing to the head of Clear creek, and down that stream to the springs.

Mr. Kelsey and myself, accompanied by Colonel Woods and Mr. Marshall, left to examine the valley, following the branch on which the camp is situated to its head, and thence turning eastward towards the river. About four miles up, we stopped to examine a quartz vein in the hills to the left, which a company had opened, and were preparing to work. The quartz, which was quite solid, lay a few feet beneath the surface, under a bed of broken slate, dipping to the east under the hill. The gold was visible only in particular specimens; but was said to pervade the whole mass. No correct estimate could be formed of its productiveness, from the very imperfect trials made; but it was said to yield from five to forty cents to the pound of ore. The rock where the metal is not seen by the eye is, nevertheless, often as valuable, and yields more uniformly than the other. We found some good land in the little valley of a creek near by, which is about five miles long, and from half a mile to a mile wide. Crossing some low hills to the main valley, we followed the western side to the foot of a mountain, which afterwards was made one of the land-marks of the reserve, by the name of "Seino's hill." This part of the valley is little more than a pine barren, the laud being gravelly, and cut up with arroyas from the mountains. Here Colonel Woods and Mr. Marshall left us, and continued up. Six or eight miles above, they met a considerable creek, entering from the south-west, which they followed up. This stream forked three miles above; and upon one of the branches they found small prairies. Both headed in the high granite peaks separating the Salmon from Scott's river; Mr. Kelsey and myself struck across the valley to the main stream. We had


hitherto been accompanied by an Indian runner, who was sent out with invitations to some of the more distant villages. This man had kept our mules in a brisk trot during almost the whole distance, and he left us in the same long swinging walk which he had preserved from the first, apparently as fresh as when he started.

In crossing the valley we found ourselves at first entangled in the sloughs made by old beaver-dams, of which there seemed to be no end. Beyond these lay the main prairie, which afforded fine grazing; and here and there, in places upon the river, land well suited for cultivation, but in tracts comparatively limited. Considerable grass had here been cut and stacked for the use of the ranches. We followed the river down to camp, which we reached about dark.

Sunday, Oct. 26th. — Accompanied by Mr. Mulkey, one of our visitors, I rode to Shastι Butte city, a distance of about twenty-five miles from camp. This, it should be mentioned, is not to be confounded with Shastι city, or Reading's springs, near the junction of Clear creek and the Sacramento. Our route lay up narrow spurs of the valley, extending to the dividing ridge between the waters of the two streams, and crossing over descended by another. The arroyas in these were dry, water occurring only here and there in them. In both, but more particularly on the Shastι side, numbers of miners had been at work, and large quantities of earth were thrown up ready for washing when the rains should come on. These were almost all "surface diggings;" the gold being found very near the top of the soil, and most abundantly in the "gulches," or beds of small water-courses. The earth was of a reddish color, and generally free from stones of any size; though small fragments of quartz were interposed throughout. The hills here were well timbered; and I noticed another variety of pine, more nearly resembling the eastern white pine than those before seen. To-day being Sunday, but few of the miners were at work in the diggings; most of them were either engaged in cleaning up, or gone into town.

Shastι Butte city, as it is called, is a place of some 300 houses, built on two streets in the form of an L, and at this time numbered, including the immediate vicinity, about 1000 souls. It has sprung into existence since May last, in consequence of the rich diggings discovered here. It is situated, not on the river, but three or four miles from it, on a small creek, called by the Indians the Koostah, running into the Shastι from the west side some eight miles above its mouth. The diggings here are not merely in the hills, but in the valley itself, immediately round the town, and the ground was literally rooted up for many acres in extent; — large heaps of dirt having been collected, in anticipation of a supply of water. This is expected to yield ten cents a bucket on the average. We found in the town a plentiful supply of provisions, and in considerable variety; game being abundant, and beef, butter, and vegetables regularly supplied from Oregon. The price of board was three dollars a day, without bed, and a dollar for horses or mules standing at hay in a yard. The


restaurants were fitted up in approach to San Francisco style; and in the evenings, music invited the lovers of liquor and of montι.

The next morning, accompanied by Mr. Moses Dusenbury, of Peoria, Illinois, whom I met here, I rode to the top of a range of hills about four miles distant, for the purpose of obtaining a view of the country. The prospect here was very extensive, commanding the northern and eastern portions of the plain, and extending southeasterly, to Mount Shastι, which was distant about thirty miles. In this direction, however, it was intercepted by the ranges of hills which break the level of the valley. Mount Shastι, or, as it is usually called, the "Shastι Butte," is not situated upon any connected chain, but rises by itself near the connecting point of several; the head-waters of the Sacramento separating it from the great range bounding the western side of its valley, and from the peaks which form the source of the Trinity. It is this mountain, and not Mount Pitt, as was supposed by Mr. Greenhow, which was designated as Mount Jackson by the sponsors of the "President's Range;" and it is the same as the Rogers' Peak of Smith. By the Shastι Indians it is called Wy-e-kah. Its height is stated to be 14,300 feet. In form, it possesses singular beauty; far surpassing any of its Oregon sisters, and rising thus alone from the plain, is seen to the utmost advantage. The crater stands out from its western side in the form of a truncated cone. From the same point of view we could see Mount Pitt, or more properly Pitt mountain, so called from the traps formerly dug near it, by the Indians; and the noted land-marks of the Oregon trail, the "Pilot Knob," on the Siskire range to the north, and the "Black or Little Butte," to the south. Pitt mountain is the same as Mount Madison, and apparently as Mount Simpson of other geographers.

Shastι valley is of irregular shape, but its extent may be stated, in general terms, as thirty-five miles in length, by an average width of eight; though there are some points where it is much wider. It extends from the foot of the Butte in a north-westerly direction, to the caρon through which the river enters the Klamath. That portion lying toward the mountain is occupied by fine forests, and is represented as sterile and rocky. Through the centre runs a singular range of mounds or buttes, rising separately from the general level, and of every conceivable form and size; among which are said to be tracts covered with an alkaline deposit, similar to those found on the North Platte, and the Sweetwater. The western side of the valley is an extensive plain, covered with a fine growth of bunch-grass, but barren, and destitute of water or wood. The same remark applies both to the ranges of hills scattered through it, and to those on its sides. The grass being at this time ripe, gave them, at a distance, exactly the appearance of ridges of blown sand.

Shastι river, the highest considerable tributary of the Klamath, rises, not in the Butte, but considerably to the north of it, in the extensive plains beyond the low range bounding the valley to the east, through which it has found a way. It has


several brandies, some of considerable length, but all losing themselves in the soil during the dry season. The river itself, wandering through arid plains, becomes tepid and unfit for use. Through the whole extent of the valley, we could not learn that any lands fit for agriculture existed, even did its climate permit; for at this great elevation frost occurs during almost every month in the year. As a pasturing district, the want of water is the only drawback; for although snow falls occasionally in winter, it docs not remain long. Returning to town, we started in the afternoon on our return, and camped with some miners in the hills.

Tuesday, Oct. 28th. — On reaching camp, we found delegations from Shastι Butte city, and Scott's bar, present, together with other citizens from different parts of the valley, amounting in all to forty or fifty. But few Indians had as yet arrived, but towards evening the chiefs of the Shastι and Scott's river tribes, with some of the head men, came in. We learned from every quarter, that apprehensions existed that the object of assembling them was to kill the whole together; and this fear had prevented the chief of the Klamaths from coming. This man was the most important of all, from the number under his control, and his influence with the others. He had sent his son, a young man of seventeen or eighteen, to observe what was passing. A preliminary talk was held this evening, with those present, through the Indian "Swill."

At night we had a very beautiful aurora, first visible towards the north-east, and nearly in the direction of the town. It was of a rose color, and the light so brilliant that for some time we supposed Shastι Butte city to be on fire.

Wednesday, Oct. 29th. — Intelligence arrived of further depredations by the Pitt river Indians. That tribe, inhabiting a country difficult to penetrate, has long been considered as the worst of those of northern California. Their hostility to the whites has been unremitting; and their incursions being planned with great ingenuity and executed with daring and celerity, they have always been the terror of those pursuing the northern trails. Lately they had extended them into the mining region of Shastι and the Klamath. It has been supposed, and apparently with reason, that a number of white outlaws are connected with them, who furnish information and share the plunder. Some weeks before our arrival, a party had started from the Shastι to retake a large band of animals recently driven off; and as no tidings were heard from them, it was believed that they had been killed. Since then, several corrals, where mules and horses were ranched by the miners, had been robbed; and on one occasion forty were taken. Horse and mule stealing, both by Indians and whites, is, in fact, the most common, and one of the most serious crimes of the mining region; and as men's lives are constantly dependent upon their animals, the frequency of these occurrences creates great disquiet.

Another conference with the Indians took place to-day, when the subject was fully


entered into. They professed a willingness to divide their country with the whites, and to receive the Trinity and Klamath tribes into the reserve. They promised to desist from all hostilities, provided they were not molested in the first place. It was found impossible, at present, to effect anything with the Trinity Indians, as their distance and wild habits would prevent access to them in season; but the son of the head Klamath chief, "Ishack," was despatched after his father; first receiving the present of a blanket, and being provided with a safe conduct. Until he should return the council was adjourned.

In regard to the location and limits of a reserve, no conclusion could be arrived at, on consultation with the citizens present; and it was seen that private interests would interfere with any selection. Claimants, or squatters, had been rapidly occupying what tillable land existed in the country; and every mountain and stream seemed liable to the objection of producing gold. On the other hand, it was most essential to the observance of a treaty, that, if possible, it should be rendered generally satisfactory. All saw the justice of leaving to the Indians the means of support, and the opportunity of improving their condition; and all saw likewise the importance of secluding them, so that the occupations of the miners could be elsewhere pursued with safety; but there was no place known where the interests of some would not be affected. Suggestions were made of the small valleys upon the creeks emptying into the Klamath from the north; but these were clearly insufficient in extent, even if otherwise suitable; and an insurmountable obstacle presented itself in this locality. The line between Oregon and California had never been run; nor was the position of any land-mark known with certainty; but it was very certain that the 42° parallel could not lie far enough north of the Klamath to afford the necessary country. Under these circumstances, it was determined to make a further examination of Scott's and Shastι valleys, and the intermediate country, although little more information could be hoped for than that previously collected; and Messrs. Charles M'Dermit and Alva Boles were chosen by the citizens to accompany Mr. Kelsey, Colonel Woods, and myself, for that purpose, detailed by Colonel M'Kee. The time allowed us was, unfortunately, limited; but for this there was no remedy.

Thursday, Oct. 30th. — A hard rain fell during the night, and our departure was delayed until eleven o'clock, when it partially cleared off, but the day continued cloudy.

We followed the west side of the valley up as far as Seino's hill, and thence struck diagonally across it. Its width was here contracted to five or six miles. The soil on the river was good, and on the eastern side consisted of a light sandy loam, well adapted to potatoes and other roots. Farther up, the valley became still narrower, the land continuing good, but much broken by sloughs formed by the beaver-dams. This animal appears, since the discontinuance of trapping, to be again multiplying


throughout the country. We crossed back and forth several times, and towards dark camped nearly opposite the creek explored by Colonel Woods some days previous.

Friday, Oct. 31st. — We followed the course of the river for a couple of hours, the valley gradually becoming narrower and more broken and rocky. At its head the two principal branches, generally designated as the North and South Forks, unite at the foot of a high peak. The trail to Salmon river follows the latter; that to Trinity, one part of the former. On the south fork, about a mile and a half up, there is another quartz vein from which ore had been taken out. We had no time to visit it, but a number of specimens were shown us. The gold was not visible, and we did not learn the amount it yielded. About the same distance farther on, washings also occur. A trading shanty had been established at the forks, and we met several miners here. No diggings, it may be mentioned, are carried on in the valley itself, nor any in the hills around, excepting those already mentioned, at the northern end. It is, however, probable that in the high granite mountains lying between its head and the waters of Salmon river, gold will be found in numerous veins of the quartz, which appears to be abundant.

As regards the principal object of our journey, the agricultural capacity of the valley, its total extent is about one hundred square miles; of which not more than fifteen, or at farthest twenty, are of good tillable land, and of this a full half lies towards the southern end. A further portion might perhaps be rendered so by irrigation, but the only source from which water could be drawn would be the river.

We took the north fork, which turns sharply round the base of the eastern range. Between two and three miles above the junction, this again branches; the Trinity trail running up the right-hand branch. Our route lay up the left, on which there is a valley which we wished to examine. The course of this is from the north, and it runs almost exactly parallel to the main river, but in an opposite direction. The valley is nine or ten miles long, its width nowhere exceeding one. The soil is barren, and we found water but in one or two pools, the stream sinking into the ground. Grass was abundant, both in the bottom, and on the hills on either side. There was but little wood, and that pine. Reaching the head of the valley, we ascended the mountains to our right, and found ourselves at the top of a high ridge in turning to the northward and eastward; on the other side of which headed a corresponding branch, running into the lower end of the valley. Before us, at a distance of about three miles, stood the "Sheep-rock," a very remarkable point, which is visible for many miles around. We had supposed this to be on the dividing ridge between the waters of Scott's and Shastι rivers, but found it to lie within those of the former. It is said to be one of only three places, where the big-horn, or mountain sheep, is at present found, west of the Sierra Nevada. Another is a precipitous crag upon the Sacramento range, and the third, a mountain visible to the west of the Klamath, from some of the high


points of view on the trail, and situated probably on the sources of Smith's river. To our great regret, we had no time to visit the rock and hunt them. Turning to the right, we followed the crest of the ridge, ascending to one of the highest points of the mountains between the two valleys. From here, a superb view opened of the great chains around us; the heads of the Sacramento, the Trinity, and the Salmon, extending from south-east to south-west, and there dividing the Klamath from the coast, and from the waters of Rogue's river, on the west and north; while to the east, the Shastι peak loomed up, a slender horizontal cloud resting upon its summit. To the north-east, a wide gap was visible, between the Cascade range of Oregon, and its continuation in the Sierra Nevada, through which the Klamath emerges from the lesser Klamath lake. We had, however, but short time to spend in admiration, for the sun was near setting, and it was necessary to seek camp. Seeing no hope of obtaining water, without descending into the canon on our left, we finally halted for the night, upon the top, under the cover of a clump of red cedars. These trees, which, from the size of their gnarled trunks, must have been of enormous age, were not more than from twelve to fifteen feet high, and bore evidence of their long conflicts with wind and snow. From the dead limbs around, we made a fire that gleamed far and wide over the mountains; and having, with much pains, levelled a spot large enough to lie upon without rolling down the side, tied up our mules, and went, not exactly to bed, but to sleep.

Saturday, Nov. 1st. — We started at day-break, winding along the summit of the ridge in a north-easterly direction, enjoying the effects of a glorious sunrise upon the peak. It was not until after ten o'clock that we found water, and then only in a small hole. It sufficed, however, for our own breakfast, and to refresh our thirsty mules, after nearly twenty-four hours' abstinence. This done, we pushed down the mountain, starting, as we rode along, troops of black-tailed deer, which, after a stare at the unusual intruders, bounded away into the woods. About two o'clock we reached a narrow arm of the valley, where also we found a pool of water. The soil here, as it had been, in fact, on the mountains we had passed over, had the strongest appearances of yielding gold; being strewed with small fragments of rotten quartz, slate, and volcanic rock. The slate observed in place, on the summit, everywhere contained thin scams of quartz, and was often curled, as if by the action of fire. No prospecting seemed to have been attempted, probably on account of the absence of water. We followed this ravine to the main valley, which we struck at a point about west of Shastι Butte, and thence kept down its western side. Herds of antelopes sprang up from time to time before us, their sentinels alarmed by the clattering of our baggage mule, and scampered across the plain. These animals are here abundant, and we saw as many as a hundred at once. A couple of hours brought us to the main trail from Oregon, which we took. As the sun sunk behind the western range, its rays lingered


on the "Butte," gilding its summit, and turning the grey rock beneath to a burning crimson. Fading away, the snow assumed that peculiar death-like hue which nothing else in inanimate nature resembles; and then the grey veil of dusk fell over all. By dint of hard riding, or what to our tired mules was such, we reached the town of Shastι Butte city, an hour after dark.

Two of our number were already familiar with every part of the valley, and although the time allotted to us did not permit us to do more than traverse the principal plain, we had a full view of its entire extent, and saw enough to satisfy us fully, that it nowhere contained a suitable tract for "a reserve." It is utterly destitute of wood, except in the pine-barrens at its south-eastern extremity; and of water, except in the main stream. It affords none of the wild productions, such as acorns, berries, &c., from which the Indians derive so large a part of their subsistence, and its parched and barren soil would produce no substitute, by cultivation. On reaching town, we found that Colonel M'Kee had that evening addressed a large public meeting of the citizens, on the subject of the treaty, and that they had, with great unanimity, appointed a committee, to enforce its observance, on the part of the whites, should one be effected.

Sunday, Nov. 2d. — The weather, fortunately, still continued fine. We returned to camp by the trail usually travelled, a different one from our route on the previous occasion. Like that, it pursued a long and narrow arm to a gap in the dividing ridge, and thence down another, leading to the ranch before mentioned, at the lower end of Scott's valley. Wagons pass up these ravines on either side, to the foot of the mountain, and the road could easily be made passable across. A wagon road already exists from Oregon to Shastι Butte city, on which produce is brought in; and wagons also reach it from the great trail to the States; but none has, as yet, been cut to the Sacramento valley direct. It is the opinion, however, of Mr. Kelsey and other experienced mountaineers, that a perfectly practicable route exists over the low range to the east of Shastι Butte. The pack trail now travelled, runs to the west of that mountain, between it and the land-mark known as the "Black Butte."

We reached camp some time after dark. The distance from the town to Brown's ranch, by the route we took to-day, is usually called sixteen miles, and to our camp twenty-four or five.

Monday, Nov. 3d. — The day was spent in arranging the details of the treaty. Our exploring party united in a report to the Agent, stating the result of the journey, and our belief that Scott's valley would afford the only resource for the agricultural part of the reserve. Colonel M'Kee, upon consideration, accordingly decided to set apart the lower, or northern end of the valley, for that purpose. In determining the other limits, it was held important to embrace, in as compact a space as possible, a


tract which would afford sufficient hunting and fishing grounds for the expected population, and which should leave the most valuable mineral lands to the whites. As regarded the first object, a portion of the Klamath was essential for the fishery, and the northern boundary was therefore extended across it to the Oregon line, which, it was supposed, could not be far distant. As respects the latter, it was believed that, with the exception of the lower portion of Scott's river, the most valuable diggings lay upon Humbug creek, and eastward, including the Shastι valley; and these were therefore avoided. The earth already thrown up in the hills of Scott's valley would be washed out in the course of the winter, and no loss would therefore ensue to the miners there, the first of June being fixed as the period of occupancy. As to Scott's bar, and the river from thence to the mouth, they would probably be exhausted in a year; but that no real ground of complaint should be left, two years were stipulated for working them. The details of the "reserve" in other respects, will be seen from the accompanying map.

Into this reservation it was proposed to collect all the tribes on the Klamath, Scott's, and Shastι rivers, speaking the Shastι tongue, and also those of the upper Trinity river. A census of these was attempted, but the chiefs present were unable to proceed in arithmetic as far as the number of souls under them. They, however, gave that of "grounds" or villages, as follows: —

On the Klamath, the O-de-eilah tribe, at 24 grounds.
In Shaste valley, the Ika-ruck, 19 grounds.
  Kose-tah, and
  Ida-ka-riϊke, at
In Scott's valley, the Watsa-he-wa, and 7 grounds.
  E-eh, at

Affording a total of fifty grounds or villages, averaging, as was supposed, sixty souls each, or three thousand in all; in addition to which the Trinity Indians, it was calculated, would furnish another thousand, or perhaps fifteen hundred.

The reserve, though the only one that could be made, taking into consideration the rights and necessities of the Indians, of course was unsatisfactory to some of the miners and settlers. In fact, without sacrificing the former entirely, it was impossible to select a district which would not interfere with the interests of adventurers among the whites. Those who had taken claims with a view to permanent residence, (which in general means a residence of one or two years, a long period in California,) and cultivation of the soil, and who had erected rude improvements thereon, naturally viewed the selection of the agent with feelings of particular disappointment. Many of them had purchased preλmptions or claims from others at high prices, and no idea seemed to have been entertained that the land would not be open to settlement, and that the same rights would not be granted them, as had been given to the emigrants to Oregon. At the same time a laudable spirit of acquiescence in the necessity


of the case was everywhere shown, and petitions for indemnity, setting forth strongly the unexpected hardships sustained, were confided to the Agent, for presentment to the Indian Department or to Congress; petitions, it may not he impertinent to add, which have strong claims on the consideration of the national legislature. The Indians, though at first claiming the whole of the valley, appeared perfectly satisfied with the district allotted them, and expressed their desire to settle upon it at once. The promise that they should be instructed in the arts of the whites especially pleased them. A stipulation which was introduced, that they should deliver up all stolen animals, produced great disgust on the part of one chief whose reputation at home seemed to be a bad one; but he was reconciled by the threat, on the part of his own people, of killing him on the spot, if he declined to fulfil it, and thus endanger the general arrangement.

In regard to the number of reservations made in California, it is to be remembered that, so far, at least, as this portion of the State is concerned, the circumstances both of country and population are widely different from those existing in the frontier States of the Mississippi valley. No great neighboring hunting-grounds, covered with buffalo and other game, offer a place of removal of the Indians beyond interference with the whites, and without changing their mode of life, or affecting their means of subsistence; nor could they without horses or fire-arms obtain food there, did they exist. Broken up into comparatively insignificant tribes, speaking distinct languages, and varying greatly in their habits and character, the collecting them together would be impracticable, even if natural obstacles did not interpose. But the features of the country have a greater influence upon the savage than the civilized man. The one conquers them — the other is moulded by them; and it would prove almost as impossible to reconcile the Indian of the mountain to prairie life, as to naturalize the big-horn in the cattle pasture. These people are not nomadic. Even those without permanent habitations have at least permanent abiding places, or a country, and their attachment to localities is excessive. They may indeed be driven off, but they cannot be persuaded to go voluntarily. The singularly broken character of this whole region has tended more to render them distinct in every respect, by isolating them from all but very unfrequent, and then hostile, intercourse with one another, and this too prevents their being assembled in any one district; none existing which could contain them. So far as the Klamath country is concerned, moreover, the gold alone affords any attraction to the white man; and should this hereafter fail, it would soon be again abandoned to its former possessors. The true policy of the government is to allow to our own citizens every facility, consistent with justice and humanity to the Indian, of reaping that harvest which they alone know how to use, and by the establishment of small military posts, to check collisions or encroachments, which may endanger the safety of either. As respects those mineral lands which lie within


the reservation, licenses to work them might hereafter be issued, subject only to such control as the principal object would render necessary.

In the evening we were entertained with a grand peace-dance, by a party of about fifty. Its main features resembled those of most other performances of the kind. The majority contented themselves with performing the part of chorus, beating time with their feet to a monotonous chant. Two young men were the principal actors, and kept up the exercise with great spirit. Both were slightly built, but with forms of great perfection; clean-limbed, straight, and lithe. Two ladies also joined in; one of them the new bride of our interpreter. This dame had, according to custom, bewailed her virginity for the three nights past, and rivalled the coyotes in the melancholy variety of her howls. She was an immense woman, but with a superb figure; and her competitor, unmarried, though not so tall, was almost as robust and as well built, according to the embonpoint order of symmetry. One of the male dancers carried a sort of whistle in his mouth, on which he played, apparently much to his own satisfaction. This was the only musical instrument that we noticed among them, except a species of flute, open at both ends, and with three finger-holes, out of which a Klamath Indian contrived to extort a noise. In the morning, November 4th, the treaty was explained carefully as drawn up, and the bounds of the reservation pointed out on a plat. In the afternoon it was signed in the presence of a large concourse of whites and Indians, with great formality. The usual presents were then distributed, and they separated in very good humor, the Klamath chief "Ishack," and his son, remaining for the benefit of our escort home.

Thursday, Nov. 6th. — It had been arranged that Mr. John M'Kee, Secretary to the Commission, should remain here for the purpose of seeing to the delivery of the property stolen by the Indians, and to exercise a temporary supervision over them. Mr. Kelsey and Col. Woods also concluded to stay in the valley, and the balance of the party, now reduced to Col. M'Kee, Mr. Walter M'Donald, and myself, with three men, started about noon on our return. We camped that night on Scott's river, at the foot of the mountain. The next day it rained slightly, but our mules being light we reached the crossing of the Klamath, at the Big Bottom. In passing through Scott's bar, we had an opportunity of seeing the rapidity with which downfall, as well as rise, can take place in this region. The town was literally deserted, and upon the extensive dams on the river we did not see a dozen men at work. All had left for Humbug creek or Shastι valley! On the 8th, we made Happy camp, the rain continuing, and the road excessively bad. Here we remained over Sunday; and on the 10th, the weather having cleared, travelled to the further side of the mountain, about three miles above our camp of October 14th. We had been recommended to cross the Klamath near this place, and to take the eastern side for a day's journey, thereby avoiding the passing of "Tent rock" and the mountain beyond it. We


accordingly crossed the animals at an early hour on the 11th, the Indians ferrying ourselves and our baggage. The trail followed the river down for some distance, then diverging, crossed a high ridge, and again reached the water below the bend. From there it again pursued the course of the river, not leaving it for any great distance, though at times ascending high up on its banks. Although considerably shorter than the other route, and by no means so mountainous, it was excessively rough. We however made a rapid drive, and towards sunset reached the lower crossing, a distance probably of sixteen miles. The river, in places, was very winding, with narrow bottoms on the eastern side. We passed several Indian villages, mostly of two or three houses only, and exhibiting every trace of poverty. The sun at mid-day, notwithstanding the lateness of the season, was very warm, and the bay trees were everywhere coming into bloom. A few butterflies were still visible, and some late flowering plants still retained their blossoms. It should have been mentioned before, in connection with this part of the river, that in going up we noticed frequently near the trail, small piles of stone, generally consisting of three or four, placed upon one another; sometimes a dozen of them in a cluster. Supposing them to have some particular object or signification, I made particular inquiry through the interpreter, and was assured to the contrary; that they were merely built for amusement by idlers. They would naturally attract attention from a passenger by their frequency, and might be thought to have some connection with those built by the Puys worshippers of Russian river. The signal-trees, before spoken of, seem, however, to be the only monuments of the Klamath Indian, excepting their graves.

Wednesday, Nov. 12th. — We started in the morning to recross the river, and passed the baggage over in a canoe; but the mules proved troublesome, and on a second attempt, two of them, including my riding mule, got into a deep eddy, and were drowned. This crossing is a bad one; the water being swift, with a strong counter current on the west side, and a rapid just below. Our principal boatman was crippled in both legs, apparently by rheumatism, and walked only by the assistance of two sticks. His wife was a hunchback, the second deformed Indian of either sex that I saw on the Klamath. About a mile from the crossing we struck an old trail, and nearby saw the carcase of my unlucky saddle-mule lodged upon a bar. The accident had delayed us till late, and the mules were so much exhausted by their stay in the water, that we made but a short drive, camping at our old ground of a month before, near the mouth of the Salmon. Several of our old acquaintances among the Indians visited us; and I succeeded in persuading a pretty girl, the chief's daughter, to sit for her portrait. The likeness was sufficiently good to be recognised, though it certainly did not flatter the very gentle and pleasing expression of her face, or the plump graces of her figure. The operation caused very considerable interest in the savage portion of the bystanders, who, one and all, pronounced it "schoyeh." We found the Indians of the village


which had been burnt down, rebuilding their houses for the winter. The style was very substantial, the large poles requiring five or six men to lift. These lodges, it may be mentioned, are usually dismantled in summer, when the inhabitants live in temporary bush huts, probably to get rid of vermin. The salmon fishing was still going on; but the greater part of the fish exhibited an unhealthy appearance.

A miner who joined us during part of our journey, and who had lived some time in this neighborhood, mixing much with the Indians, described to us some of their customs. The marriage ceremony is thus conducted. The purchase of the wife is consummated by the payment of a certain quantity of "aliqua chick." After its delivery, however, the parties are not allowed to come together till the expiration of two days, during which the bride goes through the operation of the sweat-bath, the impatience of her lover being in the meanwhile moderated by confinement to a vegetable diet, such as acorn porridge and pinolι bread. The groom, moreover, must not club his hair after the usual fashion, but wears it loose; typical perhaps of his readiness to have it pulled, when occasion justifies. The season of probation closes with a dance, and the woman is thenceforward entitled to have the tattooing on her face extended above the corners of her mouth.

On the death of a person, the friends assemble, and raise a peculiar cry or wail, which is caught up from one to another, and can be heard to a great distance. The body is always kept over one night, before interment. If the deceased was one of any consideration, all the girls of the village unite in making baskets, to be placed round the grave; otherwise, one only is staked down at the head, and another at the foot. The "chick," or ready money, is placed in the owner's grave, but the bow and quiver become the property of the nearest male relative. Chiefs only receive the honors of a fence, surmounted with feathers, round the grave.

Their medical practice consists chiefly of pow-wows over the patient. One that my informant witnessed was held over a young girl, and was conducted, in the first place, by four maidens of her own age, relieved afterward by four old women. These stood one at either shoulder and foot, and went through a series of violent gesticulations, throwing up the arms, and stamping with the feet until exhausted, when they sat down, and went on with them in that posture, keeping up, all the time, a low cry; sucking the supposed seat of pain till they raised blisters, and kneading the flesh of the patient, or rather victim. This performance was sustained until they frothed at the mouth, and sank down almost insensible; the sick person meantime subsiding into a sort of stupor, from fatigue and excitement. Whether the result was what might have been expected, death, or not, the relator did not know. The raising blisters by suction of the mouth seems to be a favorite and common piece of surgery among them, and we heard of whites who had submitted to it for the relief of headache, with advantage.


Thursday, Nov. 13th. — Colonel M'Kee and myself started from a little below camp, in a canoe with three Indians, leaving the rest of the party to go on by the usual route. The Klamath, for some distance below the mouth of the Salmon, runs through a caρon, taking a bend to the eastward. Rapids occurred at short distances, down which we shot swiftly, the Indians managing the canoe with singular dexterity, by means of a sort of half pole, half paddle. At the most dangerous, or where the water was too shallow for our load to pass safely, they made us get out and walk. Our fellows chattered and shouted in great glee at the excitement, yelling the friendly salutation of "Ai-ye-quιh," as they passed the different villages, and were apparently much elated at the praises bestowed on their skill. The stoics of these woods are, in fact, anything but the impassive beings that poetry has handed down as the sole type of the Indian; and so far from being tearless, they can cry as naturally as a woman at the death of a friend, or, it is said by those who have tried the experiment, blubber like a school-boy at the application of a switch, or the end of a lariat.

The high banks of the river above us were clothed with the mixed growth of oak and fir, characteristic of the Klamath country. Huge masses of slate, broken up and inclining at every angle, here and there overhung us, while the stream was, throughout, confined between walls, on which the water-marks indicated the swelling height of the winter torrent, and the polished surfaces of the rocks, the terrific rapidity with which it speeds towards the ocean. In some of these caρons it is said to reach forty feet above the usual level. An hour and a half brought us to our old camp of October 10th. We stopped to visit the several villages here, and starting again, entered the caρon below Orleans bar; finding, to our regret, and, as we passed, nearly to our disaster, that the fish-dam at the mouth of Ocketoh creek had been washed away by a recent flood. From here to Red-Cap's bar, the river is again confined between precipices, and broken by rapids, and, indeed, with few interruptions, such continued its character to the ferry at Mr. Durkee's. We were compelled frequently to get out and follow the bank as best we could, while our boatmen sped merrily down. Nearing the Kaiammu fish-dam, we found that part of that also had been carried off. We reached Durkee's ferry about sunset, well pleased with the exchange from mule to canoe travel, and having accomplished about thirty miles by the course of the river. It should be noticed, as illustrating the relations of these Indians with one another, that we had considerable difficulty in inducing one crew to descend the whole distance with us; and that we succeeded only by promising to set them right with the Weits-peks for trespassing on their waters, and to prevent their stipulated reward from being taxed for "right of way;" the international principle not being recognised by them, that nations occupying part of the waters of a river, are entitled to the enjoyment of the whole.

We were detained at the ferry several days, a heavy rain occurring in the mean time, by which the river was raised with great rapidity to a height of about eight or ten


feet above the previous level. The mountains between the Trinity and Salmon rivers were at the same time whitened with snow. On the 19th, we left Durkee's and reached "French camp." The next night we stopped near our previous camp of September 25th, having had rain all day; and the succeeding afternoon got into Union. The latter part of the road, particularly that between Mad river and the town, was extremely bad, the deep black soil in the redwood timber becoming an unctuous and slipping paste in wet weather. After two or three days spent in Union, for the purpose of disposing of the mule train, &c., the party having been broken up, we proceeded to Humboldt. No opportunity, however, presented itself for leaving until the 8th of December, when the steamer "Sea-Gull" arrived on her way to Oregon; and as this might prove the last opportunity, we concluded to proceed in her as far, at least, as Port Orford, hoping to meet the "Columbia" on her way down. In this we were disappointed; and were finally compelled to go on to the Columbia river. An accident occurring to the machinery, we did not reach Portland till the 19th; and on the 23d, left in the Columbia for San Francisco, where we arrived December 28th, 1851; having been absent on the Expedition nearly five months.


Tribal Organization, History, and Government.


1. History of the Iroquois Republic; its Government, Power, and Policy. By H. R. S.
2. Indian Tribes of Oregon and California. By G. F. Emmons, U. S. N.
3. Sioux, or Dacotah Proper (Second Paper). By P. Prescott, U. S. Indian Interpreter.
4. Origin of the Mandan Tribe, and its Stock of Affiliation. By H. R. S.
5. Migrations of the Iowas. (With a Map.) By H. R. S.
6. History of the Iowa and Sac Tribes. By Rev. S. M. Irvin, and Rev. Wm. Hamilton.
7. Hochungara Family of the Dacotah Group. By H. R. S.
8. Winnebagoes. By J. E. Fletcher, Esq., U. S. Indian Agent.
9. Ancient Eries. By H. R. S.
10. Carolina Manuscript respecting the Origin of the Catawbas. Office of the Secretary of State of South Carolina.
11. History, Language, and Archaeology of the Pimos of the River Gila, New Mexico. By H. R. S.
12. Moqui Tribe of New Mexico. By H. R. S.


GREAT prominence has been given by historians to the Indian empires of Mexico and Peru. There has been, from the first, a strong predisposition to exalt the type of their semi-civilization, in order to enhance the glory of their conquest, and to challenge the admiration of mankind. Their labors and skill in building palaces and teocalli; their art of recording ideas by means of picture-writing; their municipal polity;


the fixity of their dynasties; and the social aggrandizement of their chief rulers, have been dwelt upon as furnishing the evidence of their high advance.

Such ideas were very natural three centuries ago, when Europe bowed to the most absolute forms of the feudal yoke; when Leo X. stretched his hieratic wand over the nations; when Charles V. swayed the empire of western Europe; and when Elizabeth ruled with a rod of iron over England; or gave, reluctantly, her sceptre to the bigoted, narrow-minded, and voluptuous Scottish dynasty, whose despotism, goading the Anglo-Saxon mind with unendurable tasks, led it to re-act, and assume its earliest form of republicanism.

That the Indian mind should, of its own monitions, pursue a similar track, concentrating the power of the many in the hands of a few, and loading with most intolerable burthens the slavish, unthinking masses, reproduced delight in the privileged circles of the old world. It was deemed a proof of the incapacity of man to govern himself by a mixed or republican system; without reflecting that the inherent feebleness of the Indian dynastic rule, with no sympathy or support from the masses, was the true cause of the speedy fall, after a short and inglorious resistance, of the glittering but incongruous and feeble empires of Mexico and Peru, which only cast the shadows of royal thrones.

The caciques and incas of Caxamarca and Cusco could build palaces and pyramids, and make roads and aqueducts — for all labor was compulsory and without reward; but the domicil of the laborer was a hut or a wigwam, made of the most light and perishable materials. The consequence of this inequality was, that when at a later age these regions of equatorial mildness and fruitfulness were examined, they were found strewed over with the monumental ruins of palaces and strongholds, once occupied by hereditary priests and rulers, but without any traces of the rights and comforts enjoyed by the people. These had, indeed, no rights and no comforts; and when the disproportioned and tottering framework of the aboriginal governments fell before civilization and Christianity, the common people were first placed on the basis of having some fixed rights, for which they had a guarantee. The conquest thus was a blessing.

Of the several governments existing in America when it was discovered and settled, none had a system which is at all comparable for its excellence and stability with the confederacy of the Iroquois. The tribes or cantons which originally composed it, were affiliated, not very closely perhaps or permanently, by history; though having the same language. Arrested in their wanderings, they became fixed to the soil. They still pursued war and hunting; but the field for war was external, and they returned in triumph to their respective cantons and villages, where their families pursued agriculture. A fixity of location, as in the two celebrated instances of Mexico and Peru, was the first fruit-bearing point in their social and political advance. The next was the absolute independence of the cantons. Each canton was, in fact, a military federal republic, in the councils of which the warriors were the representatives; and they were bound together by a general cordon of cantons. Unanimity was


urged in all public questions, by every consideration of interest and honor. But it is very clear, as resulting from the absolute independency of the confederates, that each canton had a power very like that described by the Roman term veto; for it could dissent from the central proceedings without being called in question. Its quota of men was freely offered, or refused. Contributions for a central government there were none. A high notion of military glory existed, but the voluntary principle supported that.

It has been remarked that there was a strong resemblance in the principle of the Iroquois confederacy to the Grecian Amphyctionic Council; and an acute and learned man has asserted, that the Iroquois language is mingled with Grecian roots.

Mr. Prescott has placed before the literary world, accounts of the two most celebrated Indian governments of the new world, as they were found to exist at the opening of the sixteenth century; viz., those of Mexico and Peru. He has described the principles by which they had been, for considerable epochs, held together and governed; and shown also their inadequacy, owing to defects of the Indian character, to withstand the shocks and severe discipline of a higher civilization.

But while these two world-renowned monarchies are displayed as exhibiting the highest efforts of Indian mind in architecture, arts, a knowledge of the solar recessions, and of the pseudo literature of pictographic records, and the general force of political concentration, they are apprehended to have fallen infinitely short of the power of thought and forecast, and public polity, which were secured at the same era for a century and a half later, in the IROQUOIS REPUBLIC, a confederacy of bold tribes, which guarantied to each tribe, while conceding general power, their tribal or cantonal independence and sovereignty; and at the same time to each man and warrior his equal rights. This is, in fact, the great political problem, which has since been solved, through a long series of Colonial and State mutations, by the American government; not more perfectly, perhaps, so far as equal rights, and a jealousy of, and verbal stipulations against hereditary immunities were concerned, but by a more stable, united, fixed, determined and powerful system, of the application of the political doctrine of a democratic imperium in imperio.

It is a memorable fact, that the Iroquois were so strongly impressed with the wisdom of the working of their system of confederation, that they publicly recommended a similar union to the British colonies. In the important conferences at Lancaster, in 1774, Canassatego, a respected Sachem, expressed this view to the commissioners of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. "Our wise forefathers," he said, "established union and amity between the Five Nations. This has made us formidable. This has given us great weight and authority with our neighboring nations. We are a powerful confederacy, and by observing the same methods our wise forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh strength and power. Therefore


I counsel you, whatever befalls you, never to fall out with one another." No sage of the brightest day of Greece could have more truly appreciated the secret of their own power and success.

Lescarbot, La Potherie, Charlevoix, and all the missionary writers and historians of New France, acknowledge, and appear to have felt, the potency of the power of this aboriginal confederacy, while deploring the dreadful barbarity of their general manners and customs while engaged in war. Yet this class of writers did not perceive that this potency arose, not like that of Montezuma and Atahualpa, from exactions, but from the real independence and freedom with which the Iroquois contributed their quota to the war-parties and means of offence. By a heart-warm nationality of plaudits, which was upheld through their dances and other popular assemblages, they created a high appreciation of military virtue and heroism. In council, they preserved the air and deliberation of perfect Solons; and their fiat, when it was given, decreed the extinction of nations. Canada itself maintained, for a long period, a doubtful struggle against such a power.

It remained for the Anglo-Saxon race, who had themselves been struggling for civil liberty and private rights, from the days of King John, to appreciate fully the true character of the Iroquois confederacy. No persons, so far as we have read, have so early and so fully expressed their sense of, or seem to have been better qualified by their civic talents to judge definitely of its merits, in their respective eras, as Cadwalader Golden and De Witt Clinton.

"The Five Nations," observes Golden, in 1747, (as their name denotes,) "consist of so many tribes or nations, joined together by a league or confederacy, like the United Provinces, and without any superiority of the one over the other. This union has continued so long, that the Christians know nothing of the original of it. The people in it are known to the English under the names of Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Sennekas.

"Each of these nations is again divided into three tribes or families, who distinguish themselves by three different arms, or ensigns — the tortoise, the bear, and the wolf; and the sachems, or old men of these families, put this ensign or mark of their family to every public paper, when they sign it.

"Each of these nations is an absolute republic by itself, and every castle in each nation makes an independent republic, and is governed, in all public affairs, by its own sachems or old men. The authority of these rulers is gained by, and consists wholly in, the opinion the rest of the nation have of their wisdom and integrity. They never execute their resolutions by force upon any of their people. Honor and esteem are their principal rewards; as shame, and being despised, their punishments. They have certain customs, which they observe in their public transactions with other nations, and in their private affairs among themselves, which it is scandalous for any one among them not to observe; and these always draw after them either public or private


resentment, whenever they are broke. Their leaders and captains in like manner obtain their authority by the general opinion of their courage and conduct, and lose it by a failure in those virtues.

"Their great men, both sachems and captains, are generally poorer than the common people; for they affect to give away and distribute all the presents, or plunder, they get in their treaties, or in war, so as to leave nothing to themselves. There is not a man in the magistracy of the Five Nations who has gained his office otherwise than by merit; there is not the least salary, or any sort of profit, annexed to any office, to tempt the covetous and sordid; but, on the contrary, every unworthy action is unavoidably attended with the forfeiture of their commission; for their authority is only the esteem of the people, and ceases the moment that esteem is lost. Here we see the natural origin of all power and authority among a free people; and whatever artificial power or sovereignty any man may have acquired by the laws and constitution of a country, his real power will be either much greater or less, in proportion to the esteem the people have for him.

"The Five Nations think themselves by nature superior to the rest of mankind, and call themselves ONGUE-HONWE; that is, men surpassing all others. This opinion, which they take care to cultivate and instil into their children, gives them that courage which has been so terrible to all the nations of North America; and they have taken such care to impress the same opinion of their people on all their neighbors, that they, on all occasions, yield the most submissive obedience to them. I have been told by old men in New England, who remembered the time when the Mohawks made war on their Indians, that as soon as a single Mohawk was discovered in the country, their Indians raised a cry from hill to hill, A Mohawk! a Mohawk! upon which they all fled like sheep before wolves, without attempting to make the least resistance, whatever odds were on their side. The poor New England Indians immediately ran to the Christian houses, and the Mohawks often pursued them so closely, that they entered along with them, and knocked their brains out in the presence of the people of the house; but if the family attempted to shut the door, they never tried to force it, and on no occasion did any injury to the Christians. All the nations round them have for many years entirely submitted to them, and pay a yearly tribute to them in wampum; they dare neither make war or peace without the consent of the Mohawks. Two old men commonly go about every year or two, to receive this tribute; and I have often had opportunity to observe what


anxiety the poor Indians were under, while these two old men remained in that part of the country where I was.

"An old Mohawk sachem, in a poor blanket and a dirty shirt, may be seen issuing his orders with as arbitrary an authority as a Roman Dictator. It is not for the sake of tribute, however, that they make war, but from the notions of glory, which they have ever most strongly imprinted on their minds; and the farther they go to seek an enemy, the greater glory they think they gain; there cannot, I think, be a greater, or a stronger instance than this, how much the sentiments impressed upon a people's mind conduce to their grandeur, or one that more verifies a saying often to be met with, though but too little minded, that it is in the power of the rulers of a people to make them either great or little; for, by inculcating only the notions of honor and virtue, or those of luxury and riches, the people, in a little time, will soon become such as their rulers desire. The Five Nations, in their love of liberty and of their country, in their bravery in battle, and their constancy in enduring torments, equal the fortitude of the most renowned Romans. I shall finish their general character by what an enemy, a Frenchman, says of them; Monsieur De la Poterie, in his History of North America. ‘When we speak,’ says he, ‘of the Five Nations, in France, they are thought, by a common mistake, to be mere barbarians, always thirsting after human blood; but their true character is very different. They are, indeed, the fiercest and most formidable people in North America, and at the same time are as politic and judicious as well can be conceived; and this appears from the management of all the affairs which they transact, not only with the French and English, but likewise with almost all the Indian nations of this vast continent.’

"Their matters of consequence, which concern all nations, are transacted in a general meeting of sachems of each nation. These conventions are commonly held at Onondaga, which is nearly the centre of their country; but they have fixed on Albany for the place of treating with the British Colonies. They strictly follow one maxim, formerly used by the Romans to increase their strength, that is, they encourage the people of other nations to incorporate with them; and when they have subdued any people, after they have satiated their revenge by some cruel examples, they adopt the rest of their captives; who, if they behave well, become equally esteemed with their own people, so that some of their captives have afterwards become their greatest sachems and captains. The Tuskaroras, after the war they had with the people of Carolina, fled to the Five Nations, and are now incorporated with them; so that they now, properly, indeed, consist of Six Nations, though they still retain the old name of the Five Nations, among the English. The Cowetas also, or Creek Indians, are in the same friendship with them.

"The Tuskaroras, since they came under the province of New York, behave themselves well, and remain peaceable and quiet; and by this may be seen the advantage of using the Indians well, and I believe, if they were still better used, (as there is room enough to do it,) they would be proportion ably useful to us. The cruelty the


Indians use in their wars, towards those who do not or cannot resist, such as women and children, and to their prisoners, after they have them in their power, is deservedly indeed held in abhorrence; but whoever reads the history of the so-famed ancient heroes, will find them, I'm afraid, not much better in this respect. Does Achilles's behavior to Hector's dead body appear less savage? This cruelty is also not peculiar to the Five Nations, but equally practiced by all other Indians. It is wonderful how custom and education are able to soften the most horrid actions, even among a polite and learned people; witness the Carthaginians and Phoenicians burning their own children alive in sacrifice; and several passages in the Jewish history; and witness, in later times, the Christians burning one another alive for God's sake.

"When any of the young men of these nations have a mind to signalize themselves, and to gain a reputation among their countrymen, by some notable enterprize against their enemy, they at first communicate their design to two or three of their most intimate friends, and if they come into it, an invitation is made, in their names, to all the young men of the castle, to feast on dog's flesh; but whether this be because dog's flesh is most agreeable to Indian palates, or whether it be as an emblem of fidelity, for which the dog is distinguished by all nations, that it is always used on this occasion, I have not sufficient information to determine. When the company is met, the promoters of the enterprize set forth the undertaking in the best colors they can; they boast of what they intend to do, and incite others to join, from the glory there is to be obtained; and all who eat the dog's flesh thereby enlist themselves.

"The night before they set out, they make a grand feast; to this all the noted warriors of the nation are invited, and here they have their war-dance, to the beat of a kind of a kettle-drum. The warriors are seated in two rows, in the house, and each rises up in his turn, and sings the great acts he has himself performed, and the deeds of his ancestors; and this is always accompanied with a kind of a dance, or rather action, representing the manner in which they were performed; and from time to time all present join in a chorus, applauding every notable act. They exaggerate the injuries they have at any time received from their enemies, and extol the glory which any of their ancestors have gained by their bravery and courage; so that they work up their spirits to a high degree of warlike enthusiasm. I have sometimes persuaded some of their young Indians to act these dances for our diversion, and to show us the manner of them; and even on these occasions they have worked themselves up to such a pitch, that they have made all present uneasy. Is it not probable that such designs as these have given the first rise to tragedy?

"They come to these dances with their faces painted in a frightful manner, as they always are when they go to war, to make themselves terrible to their enemies; and in this manner the night is spent. Next day they march out with much formality, dressed in their finest apparel; and in their march observe a proud silence. An officer of the regular troops told me that while he was commandant of Fort Hunter, the


Mohawks, on one of these occasions, told him that they expected the usual military honors as they passed the garrison. Accordingly, he drew out his garrison, the men presented their pieces as the Indians passed, and the drum beat a march; and with less respect, the officer said, they would have been dissatisfied. The Indians passed in a single row, one after another, with great gravity, and profound silence; and every one of them, as he passed the officer, took his gun from his shoulder, and fired into the ground near the officer's foot. They marched in this manner three or four miles from their castle. The women, on these occasions, always follow them with their old clothes; and they send back by them their finery in which they marched from the castle. But before they go from this-place where they exchange their clothes, they always peel a large piece of the bark from some great tree; they commonly choose an oak, as most lasting; upon the smooth side of this wood they, with their red paint, draw one or more canoes going from home, with the number of men in them paddling which go upon the expedition; and some animal, as a deer or fox, an emblem of the nation against which the expedition is designed, is painted at the head of the canoes; for they always travel in canoes along the rivers which lead to the country against which the expedition is designed, as far as they can.

"After the expedition is over, they stop at the same place in their return, and send to their castle to inform their friends of their arrival, that they may be prepared to give them a solemn reception, suited to the success they have had. In the mean time they represent on the same, or some tree near it, the event of the enterprize; and now the canoes are painted white, their heads turned towards the castle; the number of the enemy killed, is represented by scalps painted black, and the number of prisoners by as many withs (in their painting not unlike pot-hooks), with which they usually pinion their captives. These trees are the annals, or rather trophies of the Five Nations. I have seen many of them; and by them and their war-songs, they preserve the history of their great achievements. The solemn reception of these warriors, and the acclamations of applause which they receive at their return, cannot but have on the hearers the same effect, in raising an emulation for glory, that a triumph had on the old Romans.

"After their prisoners are secured, they never offer them the least mal-treatment; but, on the contrary, will rather starve themselves, than suffer them to want; and I have been always assured that there is not one instance of their offering the least violence to the chastity of any woman that was their captive. But, notwithstanding, the poor prisoners afterwards undergo severe punishments before they receive the last doom of life or death. The warriors think it for their glory to lead them through all the villages of the nations subject to them which lie near the road; and these, to show their affection to the Five Nations, and their abhorrence of their enemies, draw up in two lines, through which the poor prisoners, stark naked, must run the gauntlet; and


on this occasion, it is always observed, the women are more cruel than the men. The prisoners meet with the same sad reception when they reach their journey's end; and after this they are presented to those that have lost any relation in that, or any other former enterprize. If the captives be accepted, there is an end to their sorrow from that moment; they are dressed as fine as they can make them; they are absolutely free, (except to return to their own country,) and enjoy all the privileges the person had in whose place they are accepted; but if otherwise, they die in torments, to satiate the revenge of those that refuse them.

"If a young man or boy be received in place of a husband that was killed, all the children of the deceased call that boy father; so that one may sometimes hear a man of thirty say that such a boy of fifteen or twenty is his father.

"Their castles are generally a square, surrounded with palisadoes, without any bastions or out-works; for since the general peace their villages lie all open.

"Their only instruments of war are muskets, hatchets, and long sharp-pointed knives. These they always carry about with them. Their hatchet, in war-time, is stuck in their girdle behind them; and besides what use they make of this weapon in their hand, they have a dexterous way of throwing it, which I have seen them often practice in their exercise, by throwing it into a tree at a distance. They have, in this, the art of directing and regulating the motion, so that though the hatchet turns round as it flies, the edge always sticks in the tree, and near the place at which they aim it. The use of bows and arrows is now entirely laid aside, except among the boys, who are still very dexterous in killing fowls and other animals with them.

"They use neither drum nor trumpet, nor any kind of musical instruments, in their wars; their throats serve them on all occasions where such are necessary. Many of them have a surprising faculty of raising their voice, not only in inarticulate sounds, but likewise to make their words understood at a distance; and we find the same was practiced by Homer's heroes.

Thrice to its pitch his lofty voice he rears,
O friend! Ulysses' shouts invade my ears.

"The Five Nations have such absolute notions of liberty, that they allow of no kind of superiority of one over another, and banish all servitude from their territories. They never make any prisoner a slave; but it is customary to make a compliment of naturalization into the Five Nations; and considering how highly they value themselves above all others, this must be no small compliment. This is not done by any general act of the nation, but every single person has a right to do it, by a kind of adoption. The first time I was among the Mohawks, I had this compliment from one of their old sachems, which he did by giving me his own name, Cayenderongue. He had been a notable warrior; and he told me that now I had a right to assume to myself all the acts of valor he had performed; and that now my name would echo from hill to hill


all over the Five Nations. As for my part, I thought no more of it at that time, than as an artifice to draw a belly-full of strong liquor from me, for himself and his companions; but when, about ten or twelve years afterwards, my business led me again among them, I directed the interpreter to say something from me to the sachems; he was for some time at a loss to understand their answer, till he asked me whether I had any name among them: I then found that I was known to them by that name, and that the old sachem, from the time he had given me his name, had assumed another for himself. I was adopted at that time into the tribe of the bear, and for that reason I often afterwards had the kind compliment of brother Bear.

"The hospitality of these Indians is no less remarkable than their other virtues; as soon as any stranger comes, they are sure to offer him victuals. If there be several in company and come from afar, one of their best houses is cleaned, and given up for their entertainment. Their complaisance, on these occasions, goes even further than Christian civility allows of; as they have no other rule for it than the furnishing their guest with everything they think will be agreeable to him. For this reason, some of their prettiest girls are always ordered to wash themselves, and to dress in their best apparel, in order to be presented to the stranger for his choice; and the young lady who has the honor to be preferred on these occasions, performs all the duties of a fond wife, during the stranger's stay. But this last piece of hospitality is now either laid aside by the Mohawks, or, at least, they never offer it to any Christian.

"This nation, indeed, has laid aside many of its ancient customs; and so likewise have the other nations with whom we are best acquainted, and have adopted many of ours; so that it is not easy now to distinguish their original and genuine manners from those which they have lately acquired; and for this reason it is, that they now seldom offer victuals to persons of any distinction, because they know that their food and cookery is not agreeable to our delicate palates. Their men value themselves in having all kind of food in equal esteem. A Mohawk sachem told me with a kind of pride, that a man eats everything without distinction; bears, cats, dogs, snakes, frogs, &c., intimating that it is womanish to have any choice of food.

"I can, however, give two strong instances of the hospitality of the Mohawks, which fell under my own observation; and which show that they have the very same notion of hospitality which we find in the ancient poets. When I was last in the Mohawk country, the sachems told me that they had an Englishman among their people; a servant who had run from his master in New York. I immediately told them that they must deliver him up. ‘No,’ they answered, ‘we never serve any man so who puts himself under our protection.’ On this, I insisted on the injury they did thereby to his master; and they allowed it might be an injury, and replied, ‘though we will never deliver him up, we are willing to pay the value of the servant to the master.’ Another made his escape from the jail at Albany, where he was in prison on an execution for debt. The Mohawks received him, and, as they protected him against


the sheriff and his officers, they not only paid the debt for him, but gave him land, over and above sufficient for a good farm, whereon he lived when I was last there. To this it may be added, all their extraordinary visits are accompanied with giving and receiving presents of some value; as we learn likewise from Homer was the practice in old times.

"Polygamy is not usual among them; and, indeed, in any nation where all are on a par as to riches and power, plurality of wives cannot well be introduced. As all kind of slavery is banished from the countries of the Five Nations, so they keep themselves free also from the bondage of wedlock; and when either of the parties becomes disgusted, they separate without formality or ignominy to either, unless it be occasioned by some scandalous offence in one of them. And in case of divorce, the children, according to the natural course of all animals, follow the mother. The women here bring forth their children with as much ease as other animals, and without the help of a midwife, and, soon after their delivery, return to their usual employment. They alone also perform all the drudgery about their houses. They plant their corn, and labor it, in every respect, till it is brought to the table; they likewise cut all their fire-wood, and bring it home on their backs, and in the marches bear the burdens. The men disdain all kind of labor, and employ themselves alone in hunting, as the only proper business for soldiers. At times when it is not proper to hunt, one finds the old men in companies, in conversation; the young men at their exercises, shooting at marks, throwing the hatchet, wrestling, or running, and the women all busy at labor in the fields.

"On these occasions, the state of Lacedaemon ever occurs to my mind, which that of the Five Nations, in many respects, resembles; their laws or customs being in both formed to render the minds and bodies of the people fit for war.

"Theft is very scandalous among them; and it is necessary it should be so among all Indians, since they have no locks, but those of their minds, to preserve their goods.

"There is one vice which the Indians have all fallen into since their acquaintance with the Christians, of which they could not be guilty before that time, that is, drunkenness. It is strange how all the Indian nations, and almost every person among them, male and female, are infatuated with the love of strong drink; they know no bounds to their desire, while they can swallow it down, and then indeed the greatest man among them scarcely deserves the name of a brute.

"They never have been taught to conquer any passion, but by some contrary passion; and the traders, with whom they chiefly converse, are so far from giving them any abhorrence of this vice, that they encourage it all they can, not only for the profit of the liquor they sell, but that they may have an opportunity to impose upon them. And this, as they chiefly drink spirits, has destroyed greater numbers than all their wars and diseases put together.

"The people of the Five Nations are much given to speech-making, ever the natural


consequence of a perfect republican government. Where no single person has a power to compel, the arts of persuasion alone must prevail. As their best speakers distinguish themselves in their public councils, and treaties with other nations, and thereby gain the esteem and applause of their countrymen, (the only superiority which any of them has over the others,) it is probable they apply themselves to this art, by some kind of study and exercise. It is impossible for me to judge how far they excel, as I am ignorant of their language; but the speakers whom I have heard had all a great fluency of words, and much more grace in their manner than any man could expect among a people entirely ignorant of all the liberal arts and sciences.

"I am informed that they are very nice in the turn of their expressions, and that few of themselves are so far masters of their language, as never to offend the ears of their Indian auditory by an impolite expression. They have, it seems, a certain urbanitas, or atticism in their language, of which the common ears are ever sensible, though only their great speakers attain to it. They are so much given to speech-making, that their common compliments to any person they respect, at meeting and parting, are made in harangues.

"They have some kind of elegancy in varying and compounding their words, to which not many of themselves attain; and this principally distinguishes their best speakers. I have endeavored to get some account of this, as a thing that might be acceptable to the curious; but as I have not met with any one person who understands their language, and also knows anything of grammar, or of the learned languages, I have not been able to attain the least satisfaction. Their present minister tells me, that their verbs are varied, but in a manner so different from the Greek or Latin, that he cannot discover by what rule it was done; and even suspects that every verb has a peculiar mode. They have but few radical words, but they compound their words without end; by this their language becomes sufficiently copious, and leaves room for a good deal of art to please a delicate ear. Sometimes one word among them includes an entire definition of the thing; for example, they call wine, Oneharadeschoengtseragherie; as much as to say, a liquor made of the juice of the grape. The words expressing things lately come to their knowledge, are all compounds. They have no labials in their language, nor can they pronounce any word wherein there is a labial; and when one endeavors to teach them to pronounce these words, they say it is too ridiculous that they must shut their lips to speak. Their language abounds with gutturals and strong aspirations; these make it very sonorous and bold; and their speeches abound with metaphors, after the manner of the eastern nations, as will best appear by the speeches that I have copied. As to what religious notions they have, it is difficult to judge of them; because the Indians that speak any English, and live near us, have learned many things of us; and it is not easy to distinguish the notions they had originally among


themselves, from those they have learned from the Christians. It is certain they have no kind of public worship, and I am told that they have no radical word to express God; but use a compound word, signifying the Preserver, Sustainer, or Master of the universe; neither could I ever learn what sentiments they have of future existence after death. They make a large round hole in which the body can be placed upright or upon its haunches; which, after the body is placed in it, is covered with timber, to support the earth which they lay over, and thereby keep the body free from being pressed. They then raise the earth in a round hill over it. They always dress the corpse in all its finery, and put wampum and other things into the grave with it; and the relations suffer not grass nor any weed to grow on the grave, and frequently visit it with lamentations. But whether these things be done only as marks of respect to the deceased, or from a notion of some kind of existence after death, must be left to the judgment of the reader.

"They are very superstitious in observing omens and dreams; I have observed them show a superstitious awe of the owl, and be highly displeased with some that mimicked the cry of that bird in the night. An officer of the regular troops told me also, that while he had the command of the garrison at Oswego, a boy of one of the far westward nations died there; the parents made a regular pile of split wood, laid the corpse upon it, and burnt it; while the pile was burning they stood gravely looking on, without any lamentation, but when it was burnt down they gathered up the bones with many tears, put them into a box, and carried them away with them; and this inclination which all ignorant people have to superstition and amusing ceremonies, gives the popish priests a great advantage in recommending their religion beyond what the regularity of the Protestant doctrine allows of.

"Queen Anne sent over a missionary to reside among the Mohawks, and allowed him a sufficient subsistence from the privy purse; she sent furniture for a chapel, and a valuable set of plate for the communion-table; and (if I am not mistaken) the like furniture and plate for each of the other nations, though that of the Mohawks was only applied to the use designed. The common-prayer, or at least a considerable part of it, was translated also into their language, and printed; some other pieces were likewise translated for the minister's use: namely, an exposition of the Creed, Decalogue, Lord's Prayer, and Church Catechism, and a discourse on the Sacraments. But as that minister was never able to attain any tolerable knowledge of their language, and was naturally a heavy man, he had but small success; and his allowance failing by the Queen's death, he left them. These nations had no teacher from that time, till within these few years, that a young gentleman, out of pious zeal, went voluntarily among the Mohawks. He was at first entirely ignorant of their language, and had no interpreter except one of the Indians, who understood a little English, and had, in the late missionary's time, learned to read and write in his own language. He learned from him how to pronounce the words in the translations which had been


made for the late missionary's use. He set up a school to teach their children to read and write their own language; and they made surprizing proficiency, considering their master did not understand their language. I happened to be in the Mohawk country, and saw several of their performances. I was present at their worship, where they went through some part of the Common Prayer with great decency. I was likewise present several times at their private devotions, which some of them performed duly, morning and evening. I had also many opportunities of observing the great regard they had for this young man; so far, that the fear of his leaving them made the greatest restraint on them, with which he threatened them, after they had been guilty of any offence. Soon after that time, this gentleman went to England, received orders, and was sent by the Society, missionary to Albany, with liberty to spend some part of his time among the Mohawks.

"I had lately a letter from him, dated the 7th of December, 1641, in which he writes as follows: ‘Drunkenness was so common among them, that I doubt if there was one grown person of either sex free from it; seldom a day passed without some, and very often forty or fifty, being drunk at a time. But I found they were very fond of keeping me among them, and afraid I should leave them, which I made use of to good purpose, daily threatening them with my departure, in case they did not forsake that vice, and frequently requiring a particular promise from them singly; by which means (through God's blessing) there was a gradual reformation; and I know not that I have seen above ten or twelve persons drunk among them this summer. The women are almost all entirely reformed, and the men very much. They have entirely left off divorces, and are legally married. They are very constant and devout at church and family devotions. They have not been known to exercise cruelty to prisoners, and have in a great measure left off going a fighting, which I find the most difficult, of all things, to dissuade them from. They seem also persuaded of the truths of Christianity. The great inconveniency I labor under, is the want of an interpreter, which, could I obtain for two or three years, I should hope to be tolerably master of their language, and be able to render it easier to my successor.’

"This gentleman's uncommon zeal deserves, I think, this public testimony, that it may be a means of his receiving such encouragement as may enable him to pursue the pious purposes he has in view.

"The Mohawks, were they civilized, may be useful to us many ways, and, on many occasions, more than any of our own people can be; and this well deserves to be considered.

"There is one custom their men constantly observe, which I must not forget to mention; that if they be sent with any message, though it demand the greatest despatch, or though they bring intelligence of any imminent danger, they never tell it at their first approach, but sit down for a minute or two, at least, in silence, to recollect themselves before they speak, that they may not show any degree of fear or


surprize, by an indecent expression. Every sudden repartee, in a public treaty, leaves with them an impression of a light inconsiderate mind; but, in private conversation, they use, and are delighted with brisk, witty answers, as we can be. By this they show the great difference they place between the conversations of man and man, and nation and nation; and in this, and a thousand other things, might well be an example to the European nations."

This testimony of Mr. Cadwalader Colden, who had often been a commissioner to the Iroquois during the reign of George II., received from them the compliment of adoption; and as he was familiar with their history and customs, is entitled to all consideration. It is only to be regretted that he had not proceeded a little farther in the delineation of their character and institutions.

One of their most remarkable customs, and that which has perplexed civilians most to understand, is their descent of chiefs. And it is this trait that, more fully than any other, marks their jealousy of a privileged class in their government. The chiefs, who are never any more than the exponents of the popular will of the warriors, had only a life-tenure. The office died with the man. The descent was strictly in the female line. It was not the wife, but the sister next in birth to the chief, who transmitted the chieftainship. Her eldest male issue was the presumptive chief of the band; but even this required the ratification of the popular voice, and it was necessary that a public council should yield their assent. These councils had all the political effect of an installation. Crown or badge of office there was none. The simple garb of his ancestors marked the incumbent. If any difference was perceivable, it was rather in the neglect of everything like decoration. Feathers of honor he might wear, if these were the rewards of his bravery. But they were the every-day right of the warrior, and not the honor of the rakowana, chief, or sachem. At every mutation by the death of a chief, the hereditary line was broken, and returned into the body of the tribes. There was, therefore, no tendency to the aristocratic feature of feudalism, but the utmost jealousy to guard against it. It was only in the totemic tie, that the descent by blood-relationship was recognised, and carried the witness in itself; and this was equally strong in the female as the male. Totemically thus — a turtle totem denoted the brother or sister of a turtle family; a wolf totem of the wolf family; a bear totem of the bear family, &c. The appeal to the totem was a testimony unquestioned. It was a point of proud but stoical honor, and it was a testimony never doubted, whether in the social circle or wigwam, the grand council, or in life's last extremity at the stake; and it was recorded by a representative device at the grave.

The history of the world shows that it is one of the tendencies of bravery, to cause woman to be respected, and to assume her proper rank and influence in society. This was strikingly manifested in the history of the Iroquois. They are the only tribes in America, north and south, so far as we have any accounts, who gave to


woman a conservative power in their political deliberations. The Iroquois matrons had their representative in the public councils; and they exercised a negative, or what we call a veto power, in the important question of the declaration of war. They had the right also to interpose in bringing about a peace. It did not compromise the war policy of the cantons, if the body of the matrons expressed a decision in favor of peace. This was an extraordinary feature in a government organized on the war principle, and among a race which, both in the domestic circle and in the corn-field, laid heavy burdens on their females.

To such a pitch of power had the Iroquois confederacy reached on the discovery of New York, in 1609, that there can be little doubt that if the arrival of the Europeans had been delayed a century later, it would have absorbed all the tribes situated between the gulf of St. Lawrence and the mouth of the Ohio, if not to the gulf of Mexico. Such a process of extension was in rapid progress when they were first supplied with fire-arms by the northern colonists; and as this was in advance of the western tribes, the result was, for a long time, promoted by it.

In a map prefixed to Mr. Colden's History, published in 1747, the most southerly and westwardly points of their influence are placed at the mouth of the Wabash, and along the eastern shores of lake Michigan. In the elaborate map of Lewis Evans, published by Benjamin Franklin in 1755, the country subject to their sway is called "Aquanishuonig;" and reaches, on the map, from the Wabash to the St. Lawrence, including both sides of lakes Erie and Ontario. It extends to the source of the Illinois, and to the mouth of the Ohio; and tradition denotes that they extended their warlike incursions even to the entrance of lake Superior. Not that they had permanently conquered all this region, but they had rendered their name a terror to the tribes who lived far west, as well as east of the Alleghanies. They drove the Eries from the Ohio valley and the south shore of lake Erie, together with their allies, the so-called Neuter Nation of Canada; gave the Mississagues a location there, and reserved most of it as hunting-grounds. Not a village was suffered permanently to exist along the east banks of the Ohio, from the Monongahela to the Kentucky river; a territory which they ceded to Great Britain. They pushed their forays along the entire range of the Alleghany mountains, through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina, to Fort Hill, in South Carolina, the residence of the late Hon. John C. Calhoun, which was a Seneca station; waging the most inveterate war against the Catawbas and Cherokees. From the tables of Mr. Jefferson, their kindred, the Nottoways, Meherrins, and Toteloes, occupied the mountainous districts of Virginia; under the name of Tuscaroras, they spread over the interior of North Carolina. The pride and arrogance with which they addressed the nations whom they had subjugated east of the mountains,


particularly on the waters of the Susquehanna and Delaware, has no parallel in history. "Cousins," said Canassatego, addressing the once proud Lenno-Lenapes, at the treaty of Lancaster, in 1744, "let this belt of wampum serve to chastise you. You ought to be taken by the hair of the head and shaked severely, 'till you recover your senses, and become sober. You don't know on what ground you stand, nor what you are doing. Our brother Onas's cause is very just and plain, and his intentions are to preserve friendship. On the other hand, your cause is bad, and your heart far from being upright. You are maliciously bent on breaking the chain of friendship with our brother Onas and his people. We have seen with our eyes, a deed signed by nine of your ancestors above fifty years ago, for this very land; and a release signed not many years since by some of yourselves, and chiefs now living, to the number of fifteen or upwards. But how came you to take upon you to sell land at all? We conquered you; we made women of you! You know you are women, and can no more sell land than women; nor is it fit you should have the power of selling lands, since you would abuse it. This land that you claim is gone through your guts! You have been furnished with clothes, meat, and drink, by the goods paid you for it; and now you want it again, like children as you are! But what makes you sell land in the dark? Did you ever tell us that you had sold this land? Did we ever receive any part — even the value of a pipe-shank — from you for it? * * * You have told us a blind story! * * * You act a dishonest part, not only in this, but other matters. Your ears are ever open to slanderous reports about our brethren! You receive them with as much greediness as lewd women receive the embraces of bad men; and for all these reasons we charge you to remove instantly — we don't give you the liberty to think about it. You are women; take the advice of a wise man, and remove immediately. You may return to the other side of the Delaware, where you came from. But we do not know whether, considering how you have demeaned yourselves, you will be permitted to live there; or whether you have not swallowed that land down your throats, as well as the land on this side. We therefore assign you two places to go to, either to Wyoming or Shamokin; you may go to either of these places, and then we shall have you more under our own eye, and see how you behave. Don't deliberate; but remove away, and take this belt of wampum." This is the language of a conqueror flushed with success, and conscious of power. It is a proof of this power to add, that the mandate was immediately obeyed. The Delawares went to Shamokin.

After a pause, during which the speech was translated into the Iroquois and Delaware languages, Canassatego resumed his speech; and taking a string of wampum in his hand, added further, "After our just reproof and absolute order to depart from the land, you are now to take notice of what we have further to say to you.


This string of wampum serves to forbid you, your children, and grand-children, to the latest posterity for ever, meddling in land affairs; neither you, nor any who shall descend from you, are ever hereafter to presume to sell any land. For which purpose you are to preserve this string, in memory of what your uncles have this day given you in charge. We have some other business to transact with our brethren, and therefore depart the council; and consider what has been said to you." Thus finally terminated the sceptre of Lenape rule.

Such reproachful language was not often heard in the Iroquois councils. It reminds one of the ironical speech of Garangula to the Governor-General of Canada, on the failure of his vaunted expedition to the Onondaga country. They always deliberated with the utmost calmness, and uttered their opinions and sentiments with emphasis and gesture, but in language lofty and dignified. That they were sometimes pathetic, is proved by the speech of the Cayuga chief, Logan, the son of Skellelamus.

The Oneida sachem, Skenando, electrified the moral community, when an hundred years had cast their frosts around his noble and majestic brow, by views of the tenure and destinies of life, which were worthy of the lips of Job.

For readiness to perceive the true position of the Red Race, as civilization gathered around them, curtailed their hunting-grounds, and hemmed up their path in various ways; for quickness of apprehension, and breadth of forecast, and appositeness and sharpness of reply, no one of the leading groups of tribes of North America has equalled the Seneca orator Red Jacket, or Sagoyawata. (Plate 25.) Many persons of enlarged and cultivated minds are yet living, who have listened with admiration to his manly and eloquent orations.

Such were the Iroquois; and if this celebrated league had done nothing else to prove their capacities as thinking men, the instances alluded to, would justify us in pronouncing them to present some of the higher qualities of mind.

It is the observation of De Witt Clinton, a man of lofty intellect, and who is regarded as having been one of the greatest benefactors of his native State, that the Iroquois were the only people of the Indian stocks who possessed true eloquence.

There is more than one point of resemblance in this primitive Indian government to the principles of the articles of confederation which were first adopted for our own Union. In it, the States, like the Iroquois cantons, were all-powerful. And the same principles had made them so; namely, that military importance in the contest that had been just triumphantly finished. But there was one resemblance in their principles of union, which assimilates strongly with our present system. This is the principle of its extension. Every new canton which was added to the original Mohawk league, augmented its strength and durability, and took nothing away. When, after long experience of the working of the league, the five cantons admitted a sixth in the Tuscaroras, they were still more formidable to the surrounding nations. This was in 1712. Eleven years afterwards, in a full council at Albany, they received the seventh nation, in the


Necariages of Michillimacinac and Lake Huron; a people from whom they had been estranged since the first settlement of Lower Canada. They also received the Mississagues into their league, making the eighth nation. This was a people of five castles and eight hundred and fifty men. They were Algonquins, but faithfully adhered to the confederacy, and fought with them against their enemies to the end. They first lived, agreeably to Cusic, north of the Niagara river, but moved north, occupying the head of Lake Ontario in Canada, where their descendants still live. The Iroquois also brought off, and adopted the Tutelos from Meherrin river in Virginia, and some other tribes of the Monahoac stock. Their error appears to be this; that they did not admit to their confederacy, with equal rights, all the nations whom they conquered; whereby they would have become a most powerful confederacy, stretching from the banks of the Mississippi to the St. Lawrence. This error appears to have been almost perceived and announced by Cannassatego, when he gave that remarkable piece of advice to the Colonial Commissioners at Lancaster, in July, 1744; recommending union and agreement among themselves, and stating that this had been the cause of the Iroquois strength and power; a declaration, which, so far as the thought-work goes, may, indeed, for its political wisdom, be conceded to be the germ of our American Union.




[REMARK. — We prefix to this paper a quarto Map of Oregon, &c., which has been reduced by Captain Eastman from a large sheet prepared by him from the later manuscript authorities, for the daily administration of the Office of Indian Affairs.]


Washington, D. C., May 20th, 1852.

SIR: — Your printed circular calling for information in relation to the Indian tribes within the United States, is before me. The subject is one of such growing interest, independent of the duty we all owe in endeavoring to supply a void in the history of mankind, that I feel more regret than I can well express, that circumstances beyond my control prevented me from gaining much interesting information while among the tribes west of the Rocky Mountains. It was one of the primary objects of the expedition confided to me by the commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, in 1841, in passing through Oregon and Upper California, to the Bay of San Francisco.

As will appear upon reference to the printed Instructions in the fifth volume of the Narrative of the Exploring Expedition, and although my instructions, independent of this, gave me enough to do, it was owing mainly to the ague and fever that attacked nearly every officer and man in the party, and the subsequent hostility of the tribes, that I now find myself unable to answer many of the questions embraced in your circular.

Such as I can answer, I will now take again in the order propounded, confining myself to the following tribes, whose approximate numbers and localities are sufficiently described in the Narrative of the Exploring Expedition, Vol. V.

These names are variously spelled by different travellers, and the numbers differently estimated by those whose opportunities of forming a judgment were less favorable than those at the command of the different parties composing the Exploring Expedition. Therefore in these two particulars I shall copy verbatim from the above work: —


Chinooks 209 Mouth of the Columbia river, north side, including some 50 miles interior.
Klatsops 220 Mouth of the Columbia river, south side, and 20 or 30 miles of sea-coast.
Chickeeles 700 North and east of ditto.
Kilamukes 400 South and east of ditto, extending to the coast. Number, I think, overrated.
Callapuyas 600 Valley of the Willamette river.
Umpquas 400 Valley of the Umpqua river going south.
Rogues or Rascally 500 Valley of the Rogue river going south.
Klamets 300 Valley of the Klamet river going south.
Shaste 500 Mountainous country and dividing ridge between Oregon and California.
Kinkla 500 On Destruction river and head-waters of the Sacramento river.
Sacramento 8000 Valley of the Sacramento and its lower tributaries.
Tula or Tulara

N. B. These numbers, I presume, were intended to embrace the remnant of several other tribes also occupying this country.

"1. — What facts can be stated, from tradition, respecting the origin, early history, and migrations of the tribe; and what are the principal incidents known, or remembered since A. D. 1492?"

Relating to their origin, early history, migrations, &c., I could learn nothing from those I communicated with worthy of repetition.

The fact, now well established, that Japanese vessels have been driven across the Pacific Ocean upon our north-west coast, will, of course, suggest but one way that our country may have been first populated.

"2. — By what name are they called among themselves, and by what name, or names, are they known among other tribes; and what is the meaning of these respective names? State the various synonyms. Where did the tribe dwell, at the earliest date; what was its probable number, and the extent of territory occupied or claimed by it? How has their location, numbers, and the extent of lands or territories, varied since the earliest known period; and what are the general facts, on these heads, at the present time?"

The names of the tribes here given are the same as known by themselves in every


instance, I believe, but that of the Rogues, who were thus named by the whites, for several good reasons.

It will be observed that the principal river is generally of the same name as that of the tribe occupying the country through which it runs.

From their clanish habits, and peculiarities of language, I should conclude that they have seldom changed their location. Wars, too, so common among savage tribes, of which these are no exception, would naturally tend to confine each tribe within its original boundaries.

Their numbers must have been very much more numerous formerly, than appears by the preceding table, from their rapid decline since the whites have come among them.

The extent of territory claimed is usually bounded by rivers, mountains, prλeminent rocks or trees; and although their landed possessions do not appear to cause them much solicitude, I recollect upon one occasion a chief of the Callapuya came to my camp, and after pointing out the tops of certain hills, and other natural objects, as the boundaries of his country, expressed a hope that this would not be taken from them by the whites. Poor Indian! his country is already in the possession of the white man, or "pale-face," but it is very doubtful if he has lived to see it.

"4. — Is there any idea developed among them by tradition, allegory, or otherwise, that white people, or a more civilized race, had occupied the continent before them?"

They have allegorical traditions in regard to their origin, &c., and a confused idea of dates; I cannot now repeat anything in a tangible form.

"9. — Have they suffered any great calamity in past times, as from great floods, or wild beasts, from epidemic or pestilential diseases, or from fierce and sudden assailants?"

They have suffered great losses from the epidemic diseases since their first intercourse with the whites, which have exterminated whole tribes.

The introduction of the small-pox they attribute to the Hudson Bay Companies: the disease was very fatal to them in the year 1839.

The ague and fever, which also proves fatal to many every year, they say was never known among them until the year 1830, when an American captain, by the name of Dominis, arrived at Astoria, in a vessel, from the Sandwich islands; for these, and sundry other bodily complaints of modern date that they are subject to, they attribute altogether to the whites, whom, they appear to believe, have the power of withholding or communicating these diseases to them.

Hence one cause of their avowed hostility to the whites, and particularly to my party's passing through their country; to prevent which I received warnings by runners from the Shastι nation, long before I reached the Umpqua river, with threats of annihilation if I attempted it.


"9. — Does the tribe speak one or more dialects, or are there several languages spoken, or incorporated in it, requiring more than one interpreter, in transacting business with them?"

Of "Languages," &c. — I would respectfully refer you to the philological work of the Exploring Expedition, edited by a gentleman eminently qualified to do this subject justice, and whose opportunities were probably superior to those of any officer in the expedition.

"16. — What are the chief rivers in the territory or district occupied by the tribe? State their length, general depth and breadth — where they originate — how far they are navigable — what are their principal rapids, falls, and portages — at what points goods are landed, and into what principal or larger waters they finally flow."

The principal rivers traversing the country through which my route lay, were the Columbia, Willamette, Umpqua, Rogue's, Klamet, and Sacramento; the first and last only being navigable for large vessels for any considerable distance. All of these have their tributaries, that may be navigated by boats, and in several instances are worthy of the name of rivers. With the exception of the Willamette, that takes its rise to the southward, and flows north into the Columbia, their general direction is westerly to the Pacific ocean, until you pass the dividing ridge near the Shastι mountains, when you come upon the head-waters of Destruction river, that flow south into the Sacramento, the latter continuing in a south-westerly course to the bay of San Francisco.

"17. — Are there any large springs, or lakes, in the district, and what is their character, size, and average depth; and into what streams have they outlets?"

Passed many small lakes and ponds — most of them quite shoal. One place in Oregon — now quite filled up by the washings from the surrounding hills — was pointed out to me as formerly a lake, by an old gentleman by the name of McKay, who said he had formerly caught beaver there for the Company of John Jacob Astor, about 1811 and '12.

Springs are also quite numerous in the mountain districts; temperature generally between 40° and 50° F. Discovered one strongly chalybeate, south of the Shastι Peak. The gold region has since been discovered to extend north of this.

"18. — What is the general character of the surface of the country occupied by the tribe?"

The general features of this country, lying between a range of mountains running nearly parallel with the coast and the latter, and known as the President's range, is extremely mountainous after leaving the valley of the Willamette, until you descend into the valley of the Sacramento.


Immediately skirting the rivers, and occasionally removed from them, we passed over small prairie bottoms of rich soil; independent of which, but a small portion of the country is susceptible of cultivation. Neither wood nor water are very abundant, except in particular localities; the first, I think, is owing mainly to the annual fires set by the Indians; and the latter, evidently, to the annual drought, which dries up large streams of water.

With proper irrigation, all grains and vegetables that are common with us, would doubtlessly thrive; this, to a limited extent, has already been proven, through the exertions of our missionary establishment and the Hudson's Bay Company, in Oregon, and through Captain Sutter, and more recent American settlers, in Upper California; but in no instance, that I am aware of, through the efforts or industry of the Indians themselves.

"19. — Are cattle and stock easily raised — do the prairies and woods afford an abundant supply of herbage spontaneously — are wells of water to be had at moderate depths?"

Cattle and stock thrive admirably; sheep require watching on account of the wolves, &c. Wells were uncommon; two that I saw in Oregon were very deep — perhaps thirty feet to the surface of the water.

"21. — Are there any extensive barrens, or deserts, marshes or swamps, reclaimable or irreclaimable, and what effects do they produce on the health of the country, and do they offer any serious obstacles to the construction of roads?"

In my route, there were no very extensive barrens nor swamps; some of the latter, I have no doubt, had an unfavorable effect upon the health of the country, and might be reclaimed without much difficulty. They offer no serious obstacles to the construction of roads; but to make the latter suitable for travel in vehicles, and the transportation of goods, &c., much grading and bridging will be necessary.

"23. — Is the climate generally dry or humid? Does the heat of the weather vary greatly, or is it distributed, through the different seasons, with regularity and equability? What winds prevail? Is it much subject to storms of rain with heavy thunder, or tornadoes, and do these tempests of rain swell the streams so as to overflow their banks, and destroy fences and injure the crops? State the general character of the climate, giving meteorological tables if you can."

The six months' almost continual rain from fall to spring, and the remainder drought, will suggest the answer to the first part of this question. The variation of temperature within short intervals is greater than I have ever experienced elsewhere; for instance, the thermometer would stand at 100° F. during the heat of the day, in the shade, and descend to 32° or freezing, the same night. Upon one occasion, on the


bottom-land of the Klamet, in about latitude 42° west, it rose to 110° F. at meridian, in the shade. Had but little reason to suppose that this country was subject to frequent storms, tempests, or tornadoes; during the summer and fall months only experienced one, and this unattended with rain, thunder, or lightning; it happened in the month of October, while we were encamped near the Shastι mountains, and prostrated some giant trees. The country has not the appearance of being much subject to inundations, except on the navigable waters of the Columbia, Sacramento, and San Joaquin.

My route was evidently too far to the eastward, or too near the ridge of mountain already alluded to, to feel the influence of the regular land and sea breezes; and I did not discover that there was any prevailing wind.

Would respectfully refer to the Report of the Geologist, Mr. Dana, who accompanied me, for answers to the two next questions. See Vol. V., Ex. Ex.

"26. — What is the general character and value of the animal productions of the district? What species of quadrupeds most abound? State their number and kind, and what effect the fur trade has had in diminishing the value of the country for the purposes of hunting, and what species still remain?"

Elk, deer, bear — white, black, and grizzly; panther, calamenul, wolf, fox, raccoon, rabbit, porcupine, pole-cat, mountain sheep, beaver, otter (land and sea), squirrel, weasel, &c., are among their wild animals; the buffalo not having yet crossed the Rocky Mountains. For a more detailed account upon this subject, I must refer to the Naturalist who accompanied me on this expedition, Mr. T. R. Peale; whose work I believe has not yet been published.

An animal of a different species from any before seen in California has been taken by a Mr. Hill of Nevada. It is called the California cat. It is described as being very beautiful, and bearing a resemblance to the marten; differing from it, however, in color, being a dark grey, encircled with bright brown rings, similar to the raccoon. The fur is very soft and beautiful. Its body is about the size of the grey squirrel, but about fifteen inches long, and its tail sixteen or seventeen inches long. 1852.

The fur trade has evidently diminished the value of the country for hunting purposes; some of the most valuable animals having already become rare in many portions of the country, where, thirty-five years ago, they were quite numerous.

The beaver is among the first to disappear.

"31. — Are they expert in drawing maps or charts of the rivers, or sections of country which they inhabit?"

Should judge not. I endeavored upon more than one occasion to obtain some information of the unexplored country adjoining them by tracings in the sand; but could not.


"32. — Are there any antique works, or remains of any kind, which are the result of human industry in ancient times, in your district?"

Saw upon the tops of some of the hills in the Callapuya and Umpqua country, small mounds of earth, and occasionally a pile of stones, seldom exceeding three feet in height. Suppose them commemorative of some event. Upon some pre-eminent peaks found the stones so arranged as to adapt the place to a look-out station, and occasionally detected the Indians occupying such positions.

"34. — Has the progress of settlements west of the Alleghanies, and the felling of trees and clearing up of lands, disclosed any ancient embankments, ditches, or other works of earth or stone, having the character of forts, or places of military defence?"

Their only mode of fortifying, that came to my observation, was upon the banks of the Columbia river; by a circumvallation of palisades, placed close together, from ten to fifteen feet high, and between which there was occasionally a small loop-hole through which they could discharge their missiles. This fortification was so constructed as to afford those inside a covered way to the water or river.

"37. — Does the level surface of the prairie country, which is now partially over-run by forest, preserve any traces of a plan or design as of ancient furrows or garden-beds, which appear to have been abandoned at a definite period?"

None that I could discover. They would necessarily have to be very permanent, to remain long in existence in this country, where the soil abrades so much.

"39. — What is the general character of the antique implements, ornaments, or utensils of earthen-ware found in your district of the country?"

Saw but few implements of any kind. The water-tight basket, of various sizes and shapes, woven out of green bark or grass, is used by the tribes about the Columbia for almost all domestic purposes. I have been told that they even boil water in these, but this I never saw. They now begin to substitute our iron and tin vessels.

"40. — If pipes are found, what is the material — is it stone, steatite, or clay — how are they formed — to admit a stem, or to be smoked without, and what are their shapes, sizes, and ornaments?"

Their pipes are carved out of stone, steatite, or clay, generally so formed as to admit a stem, which is usually a piece of reed; they vary in size and shape, are generally ornamented by some animal figure in high relief upon the bowl or stem, or both. The weight of some I should judge to be six or eight ounces.

"41. — How many kinds were there? Describe them."

The stone pestle and mortar I noticed particularly among the Californian Indians;


the latter was frequently a fixture in the bed of the mountain streams, where holes had been worn or excavated in the rocks, and where water was always at hand.

Their use appeared to be confined principally to pulverizing acorns, roots, and seeds, for the manufacture of bread-stuffs.

"42. — MANUFACTURE OF DARTS, &c. What was the process of manipulation of these often delicately wrought articles? What species of mineral bodies were chiefly used — and how was the cleavage of them effected? Did the art constitute a separate trade or employment? If darts abound, what is the material and size? Do they differ much in size and apparent object, some being for war and others for hunting; and are there any elongated in the shape of spear-heads, or javelins? How many species of darts, spears, &c., were there? Describe them, and give figures of the size and descriptions of the uses of them."

Could learn nothing satisfactory in relation to the process of manipulation, which I was most anxious to do, regarding this as the highest order of art that I discovered among any of the tribes named. As many of their arrows are not armed, I should infer that one kind was intended for war, and the other for hunting or practice; their length appears, in most cases, to be graduated by the length of the bow, which among these tribes seldom exceeds four feet; the material most used is the wood of the yew or red-cedar, the strength and elasticity of which is considerably increased by a covering of the sinew of animals, the string used in projecting their arrows being of the same material.

From the samples of arrows already furnished you, you can judge of the material used in arming, obsidian being most common.

Spears, darts, or javelins are seldom seen. The bow and arrow is almost universally used in the mountains, while the tribes on the sea-coast are beginning to adopt our fire-arms.

"63. — How were accounts formerly kept? And how are they now kept? If the terms skin, plue, and abiminiqua, or others, are employed in the interior trade as synonymous, and as the standard of value, in which accounts are kept, what is the scale of the computation?"

The Hudson's Bay Company had established certain prices for certain skins, long previous to our arrival in the country; and having graduated these to certain articles of exchange, as, for example, a beaver-skin equal to one blanket, &c., skins, in the absence of coin, had become the currency of the country.

Their powers of computation, so far as my opportunities for judging, are very limited.

"96. — Are they moral, sober, and discreet?"

Neither "moral" nor "sober" when they can get liquor enough to get drunk; generally "discreet" in other things, but cannot be relied on as a rule.


"99. — Have the purposes of commerce, since the discovery of the continent, had the effect to stimulate the hunters to increased exertion, and thus to hasten the diminution or destruction of the races of animals whose furs are sought?"

Should think it had, the Hudson's Bay Company having found it necessary to make a rule to forbid the Indians killing animals while young.

"100. — Have the different races of animals declined rapidly since the prosecution of the trade? What animals flee first, or diminish in the highest ratio, on the opening of a new district of the remote forest, to trade?"

They have. The beaver first disappears: the buffalo is not found in this country.

"101. — Are the lands, when denuded of furs, of comparatively little value to the Indians, while they remain in the hunter state? Is not the sale of such hunted lands beneficial to them?"

Should conclude they were, from their always following the game; and under such circumstances a sale ought certainly to benefit them; and it will of course depend very much upon the manner the equivalent is applied, whether it does.

"103. — If the diminution or failure of wild animals lead the native tribes to turn their industry to agriculture, is not the pressure of commerce on the boundaries of hunting an efficient cause in the progress of Indian civilization?"

The diminution of game, or failure of wild animals altogether, would not, I think, be a sufficient stimulant to induce these tribes to cultivate the soil, so long as they can procure enough fish, roots, or berries, to subsist upon.

To the second question, I answer yes. Third question, do.

"104. — What evil effects, of a moral character, have resulted from the progress of the Indian trade? Has not the traffic in ardent spirits been by far the most fruitful, general, and appalling cause of the depopulation of the tribes? How has the introduction of gunpowder and fire-arms affected the principles of the trade, and what has been the general influence of this new element of the means of destruction, on their history and civilization?"

The introduction of liquor, which, although a fruitful source of depopulation among all savages, has among these been so much interdicted by the wise efforts and controlling influence of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers, headed by Governor McLaughlin, that they have evidently suffered less from this than the diseases which they attribute to the whites.

"Gunpowder and fire-arms," although much sought after by these Indians, more especially those having frequent intercourse with the whites, have likewise been withheld from them, to a very considerable extent. Hence the effect has principally been,


in adding to the powers of the former, and causing the latter to be more respectful and cautious in their intercourse. To this consciousness of the superiority of the whites, or their fear of fire-arms, I attribute having passed through the country of four hostile tribes, with only twenty-eight fighting men, without losing one.

After an interval of seven years, I visit this southern portion of my route again; mingle principally among the tribes inhabiting the Sierra Nevada mountains and valley of the Sacramento, which were regarded as friendly. The gold is discovered — civilization and liquor pour into the country — collisions between the white and red man, and murders, become common — and while but a week in the mines, have seen parties of whites going out with their rifles to hunt Indians, as in our country they are in the habit of hunting wolves and foxes.

This system, faithfully persevered in as it has been so far, will soon relieve Congress of legislating in their behalf; and only hasten the end, which all history teaches us could not be very remote, of this unfortunate and doomed race.

"105. — Are there any serious or valid objections, on the part of the Indians, to the introduction of schools, agriculture, the mechanic arts, or Christianity?"

I did not hear any objections raised, on the part of the Indians, to the introduction of schools, agriculture, the mechanic arts, or Christianity; but with the example of our missionaries before them, and their efforts in their behalf, but little had been effected up to the time of our visiting the country; and such, I predict, will be the result to the end of time.

"106. — What improvements can you suggest in the existing intercourse laws of the United States, as last revised, with the Indian tribes? Are these laws efficient in removing causes of discord, and preserving peace between the advanced bodies of emigrants or settlers on the frontiers, and the Indian tribes?"

I believe the general application of these laws, if properly enforced, would lead to good results; but it has not been my fortune to see their effect upon these tribes.

"111. — What provisions would tend more effectually to shield the tribes from the introduction of ardent spirits into their territories, and from the pressure of lawless or illicit traffic?"

I know of no law that will be likely to shield these Indians from the introduction of ardent spirits, so long as it is used by the whites. The operation of what we now call the "Maine Liquor Law," among those claiming the advantages of civilization, aids me in coming to this conclusion.

"112. — Is there any feature in the present system of negotiation with the tribes susceptible of amendment and improvement?"


What justice most demands for these Indians is, that they should have immediate protection from lawless whites, i. e. in their persons or lives; they require none in property, for they have none. And the country they occupy is, at the farthest, but a temporary home for them. And while we are discussing the propriety of Indian agencies and treaties, they are falling by tens, fifties, and hundreds, before the western rifle.

A war of extermination has been declared by the whites of Klamath against the Indians of that vicinity. A party of settlers and miners surrounded two lodges at Indian Ferry, and shot the men and several squaws, and destroyed the ranch, thirty to forty Indians having been killed.

"113. — Are the game, and wood, and timber, of the tribes subject to unnecessary or injurious curtailment or trespass from the intrusion of emigrating bands abiding for long periods on their territories? Are there complaints of any such trespasses?"

Think it quite possible — had not been — heard none.

"119. — What ideas have the Indians of property?"

They appear to have a distinct idea of their rights to territory and personal property; but I cannot go farther into this subject. In saying they have no property, as in my answer to question 112, I speak of them generally; some few have horses, others canoes, &c.; but the masses can carry all of their personal estate upon their backs without much inconvenience.

"159. — Are the ties of consanguinity strong?"

I had but few opportunities of judging of their ties of consanguinity, as my intercourse was almost altogether with the men separated from their families. But from the fact that one of the hired men of my party, who had an Indian wife, purchased a little squaw, about eight years of age, from her parents for two blankets, I infer that they are not always very strong. I merely mention this as a fact; not that I believe it to be a fair criterion of the general estimate in which they hold their offspring.

"160. — Does the hunter state insure abundance of food and clothing to the family? How is this state, in its domestic bearings, affected by polygamy, and what are the terms and relative affections of stepmothers and children? Are wives well treated under the actual state of the hunter life? Are they ever interfered with in the household affairs, and management of the domestic economy? Do they participate, in any degree, in the hunter's vocation, or forest labors, and to what extent?"

Between hunting and fishing, I not only believe that the country generally through which I passed will furnish sustenance for the Indians occupying it, but with their natural indolence, the very exercise necessary for obtaining this will best promote their health. My party lived principally on game for two months; and I seldom sent


out a hunter until after we had encamped in the evening. At one camp on the Sacramento, six grizzly bears and two deer were shot. It is true, game will soon disappear as the country becomes settled; and so will the Indians.

Clothing they rarely trouble themselves with; and when they do, it is generally some old cast-off garment, or skin, that rather disfigures them than otherwise.

Although I understood their laws punish infidelity in their wives with death, I was told that polygamy among their chiefs was not uncommon.

So far as I could learn, their general treatment to their wives is kind; and they are not interfered with in their household affairs; but they are expected to perform a good share of forest labors, and assist in preparing the winter's stock of food.

See answer to next question.

"161. — Are the labors of husband and wife equally or unequally divided?"

The labor of husband and wife, so far as I could judge among these tribes, operates the reverse of what it usually does in civilized life. The latter, independent of the usual household duties, goes into the fields to collect seeds, roots, acorns, &c., and not unfrequently joins the husband in piscatory excursions, besides occupying her leisure time in preparing the winter supply of food.

Hence I infer that these savages are no exception to the rule that, generally, obtains elsewhere among their race, in exacting a full, if not unequal share, of labor from their wives.

The males, I believe, in all instances, manufacture their hunting and war implements, including their canoes; while the females manufacture fish-nets, baskets, mats, &c. I am unable to say how far the latter are permitted to take part in the councils of the nation. I have seen them congregated in squads, and busily employed in pounding acorns, and preparing their winter's food, while all the males of the tribe, including boys, were painted and armed, waiting an expected attack from a neighboring tribe.

"164. — Are their appetites regular or capricious, admitting of great powers both of abstinence and of repletion?"

Never saw them refuse anything good to eat; from what I heard, more than from my own observation, believe they possess great powers of abstinence and repletion.

"168. — Are the changes of location, fatigue, cold, and exposure to the vicissitudes of climate, felt in the general result of Indian population? What is the highest number of children born? Are twins common?"

Learned but little in relation to courtship and marriage; should judge that barrenness was not unfrequent, that twins were very uncommon, and that the general average of families did not exceed two children; all of which I should attribute, in a great degree, to their precarious and exposed mode of life, in connection with the vicissitudes


of climate, &c., and to this may be added the unusual custom of the mother in weaning her children.

"169. — Are strangers announced before reaching the lodge, and how are visits ordered? Do parties of Indians stop at a short distance, and send word of their intended visit?"

Among the friendly tribes, Indians visited our camp without any ceremony or previous invitation; but among the hostile tribes, they usually despatched one or more, unarmed, to solicit or make known their wants. I recollect a green bush was held up, upon one occasion, as an emblem of peace.

"172. — Has the wife or husband the right of divorce?"

Have been informed that divorces might be effected upon the mutual consent of the parties.

"173. — At what age are children weaned?"

Children are sometimes not weaned until they are five years of age.

"173. — Is the domestic government left wholly to Indian mothers?"

The domestic government of children is left wholly with the mother.

"177. — What are the effects of the introduction and use of ardent spirits in the lodge, in deranging its order?"

The introduction of ardent spirits among these people is every way fatal to their peace, health, and happiness, and will finally prove one of the fruitful causes of their depopulation.

"179. — Have they degenerated into any customs or practices revolting to humanity? Do they eat human flesh, upon any occasion; and if so, under what circumstances?"

Saw no evidences of cannibalism, nor practices revolting to humanity.

"184. — What is the Indian mode of salutation?"

The only form of greeting I observed was the shaking of hands, which I believe to be imitation of the whites.

"187. — Is stoicism of feeling deemed a mark of manliness by the Indians?"

In common with the Indian race generally, stoicism and taciturnity are among the characteristics of these people, but in a less degree to the north than the south.

"188. — Is there extreme acuteness of the senses, and a nervous power of appreciating the nearness, or relative position of objects? These have excited general notice, but the subject is still a matter of curiosity and further information."


Quickness of sight, &c. One example. When we had progressed about half-way in our journey, and arrived in a mountainous portion of the country, where there was not the least sign of a path or trail to guide us, there arose some discussion among the pioneers of the party as to which was the right way. Not agreeing, it was finally left to an Indian woman who was the wife of one of the trappers belonging to my party; and who, with her husband, had, several years previously, accompanied a party of the Hudson's Bay Company, through this portion of the country. She did not hesitate a moment in pointing out the right way; and as an evidence that she knew where she was, she pointed to a crotched tree not far off, where she had placed a small stone some years previous as a land-mark; then riding up to the tree, produced the same.

"189. — Are the Indians very prone to be deceived by professed dreamers, or the tricks of jugglers, or by phenomena of nature, of the principles and causes of which they are ignorant?"

They are very superstitious, and liable to be deceived by jugglers or professed dreamers; but I very much question if they are more thoroughly bamboozled and mystified than a large portion of our own people are by another set of jugglers, who practise their art and make their living surrounded by all the intelligence and civilization of the age.

"190. — How do their physical powers compare with the strength of Europeans?"

The physical powers of some of the mountain tribes, whose muscles are considerably exercised, I should think would compare very favorably with those of Europeans. The prairie tribes are very inferior in this respect; but few of either knowing anything of the use of the axe or scythe. The men fast and endure fatigue well.

"191. — How is still hunting performed?"

Still hunting is usually performed by first getting to leeward of the game, and hunting to windward, as among many whites.

"193. — How is the antelope approached?"

The deer and antelope are frequently decoyed within the reach of their arrows, by an Indian secreting himself in the grass and then crawling towards the game, exhibiting only a small object on the end of a stick.

They also build large circular pens of bushes, having an entrance, to entrap large animals. Some that we saw, we concluded were constructed for wild cattle; and others, leaving a small outlet opposite to the entrance, we presume were intended for rabbits.

"194. — MODE OF DRYING AND CURING SKINS. This is a very important branch of


the hunter's art, and it would be interesting to know the process, the various methods, and the amount of labor and time required."

The only process of preparing skins that I witnessed, was in smoking deer-skins which had been previously cured. This was accomplished by spreading them on sticks placed over a hole dug in the ground, at the bottom of which a slow fire had been previously kindled.

After keeping them in this position, and exposing both sides to the smoke for two days, they were then considered suitable to be made into clothing; of which several of the gentlemen of the party obtained suits before leaving Oregon; the object of smoking being to counteract the shrinkage in case of drying, after they have been wet by rain or in washing.

"195. — How many modes have they of taking fish?"

They catch fish by constructing weirs and dams, by scoop-nets, spearing, and by firing their arrows into them. In the running season, several tribes are in the habit of assembling at the Willamette Falls, for the purpose of laying in a supply for the season. They rig out planks and pieces of timber just below the falls, upon which they stand and catch the salmon in their scoop-nets, as they flirt out of the water in their attempts to overcome the cascade.

Their success with the bow and arrow, in this particular, may perhaps be regarded as demonstrating something more than mere physical skill in the use of this weapon.

Their spear, or fish-gig, is something like the following — not always straight —

Spear or Fish-gig.

a split or crotched pole, from ten to twenty feet long, armed at the spear end with deer's horn; which is intended to slip off the ends of the spear after they have entered the fish, when they are held by a lanyard attached to the pole just above the crotch, and by this means secure the fish as by a toggle.

"196. — Are the arts of hunting taught the children at an early age? Do they commence with archery? And at what age are the boys generally competent to engage in the active labors of the chase? Have women, thus left alone, or deserted, ever been known to practise the use of fire-arms?"

Archery is taught the Indian boys when young; I have seen those whom I did not believe over twelve years of age, very expert with the bow. I have also seen them, at about this age, armed and painted for war. Some Indian women belonging


to my party carried fire-arms, as well as their husbands; and whenever we came to a bad place, where it was suspected Indians might be lying in wait for us, they took the precaution to examine their flint and priming.

"197. — What is the present state of the arms and implements used by the hunters of the tribe? Have they abandoned the bow and arrows, partially or altogether? Do they use the gun or rifle, in hunting deer or buffalo? Are they well supplied with ammunition, and at reasonable rates?"

Some of the tribes about the Columbia appear to have abandoned their own, and substituted fire-arms; but these have been but little used, owing partly to a scarcity of ammunition, and there being no necessity of their depending altogether upon them for their subsistence.

"198. — How are war-parties raised, subsisted, and marched?"

In regard to raising war-parties, I can only cite one instance, where it was accomplished in sight of our camp, by getting up a war-dance; which took place in the Rogue country, around a large fire, and lasted most of the night; resulting in their ambushing next morning, and final dispersion upon the near approach of the party.

"199. — How is the march of the party conducted after they are assembled? Do they move in a body, or separately in files or sub-parties?"

Have several times seen them in large bodies, without any particular order (unless it be no particular order) in marching; from their trails, I should judge they generally confine themselves to the order of single file. Sentinels were posted, when we encamped near their village on the head waters of the Sacramento.

"200. — To what extent do the chiefs exercise the duties and rights of officers?"

Chiefs evidently command, with the assistance of aids, or runners; but I could not discover evidences of any great degree of subordination and discipline among any of the tribes.

"201. — What are the usual devices of attack resorted to? What are the usual manoeuvres?"

Their usual mode of attacking parties of whites, in which they have several times been successful, has either been by first straying in and about their camp in large numbers, unarmed, but pretending friendship, and watching for the first favorable opportunity to seize upon and massacre the whole.

Or to select the most favorable time and place to secrete themselves in ambush, and rise upon, and fire into, the party at a time most favorable to create terror and confusion, and, if possible, to separate the animals from their owners; to do which I


am told that they usually wait until about one half of the party have got past, when they let fly their arrows, utter an indescribable yell, shake dried skins, &c. &c., and in this way usually secure many of the horses and packs, if they fail in destroying the party.

I could not learn that they had ever made a night attack.

"203. — Is personal servitude recognised? Are there any persons, who, having lost their liberty, or forfeited their lives, are reduced to slavery, or placed in the relative position of peons, or menials, who are compelled to work, and carry burdens?"

They have their slaves, male and female, who may, or may not, be captives, and whose relative position, I have been told, is much the same as that of a similar class among us, or the peons of Mexico.

"205. — What constitutes the ordinary dress of warriors, on a war excursion? What paints are used, and how are they applied to different parts of the person? What feathers are worn on the head, as marks of former triumphs? How is the hair dressed?"

For war costume, paint is freely used, the color principally red, applied to the face, arms, and chest. Feathers and leaves are also used to decorate the head. Some, I think, had the hair tied up in a knot; but my memory will not now permit me to enter into particulars; although these remarks, I believe, have a general application, I cannot, of my own knowledge, apply them but to one tribe that I saw in the Sierra Nevada mountains, some of whom were partially clad, while others were entirely naked. Some of these northern tribes wear, for their dress, a jacket of mail, something like the annexed cut, which covers them in front, and affords protection against arrows to the most vital portion of their bodies.

It is composed of thin parallel battens of very tough wood, woven together by a small cord; with arm-holes, and strings at the bottom corners, to fasten it around the waist.

Jacket of Mail.

"207. — How have these varied in the lapse of time? Are fire-arms substituted for the bow and arrow in war, as they are supposed to be, generally, in hunting? Are war-clubs, tomahawks, and knives, employed?"

Fire-arms are already substituted among the tribes having frequent intercourse with the whites. Knives are used. Saw no war-clubs nor tomahawks.

"208. — Is dancing a national trait of the tribe? Is it confined to males? How many kinds of dances are there?"


Saw but one war-dance, and one dance of honor. The first was among the Rogue Indians, and has already been alluded to; the latter was performed by Indian boys, on the banks of the Sacramento, in honor of our arrival; the latter were entirely naked, and averaging about twelve years each. Upon their body they had a variety of white chalk marks in front, something like those represented in the annexed cut. Think dancing was a characteristic mode of expressing popular feeling among all of these tribes. I did not hear of females being permitted to join in any of their dances.

Indian with Fire-arm.

"210. — How many kinds of games of chance exist? Is the tribe much addicted to these games?"

There are games of chance, where small sticks are used. I have only seen it practised by the males. The Valley Indians, and more particularly to the south, I think, are addicted to gambling. Never learned the modus operandi.

"211. — DEATHS AND BURIALS. What are the characteristic facts connected with these subjects? When a person dies, how is the corpse dressed and disposed of?"

The custom appears very general among the Oregon tribes, when burying their dead, to deposit with the corpse, or upon a stick or pole alongside of it, some implement or utensil formerly used by the deceased; but as these relics are above ground, and perishable, they do not afford a means of judging of the state of the arts far back.

High and dry places are usually selected for burying-grounds. The bodies of some of the tribes on the Columbia river were placed in the bottom of canoes, in a prostrate posture, and then covered over with poles and pieces of split wood; after which the canoe was elevated from three to four feet above the ground, and then supported upon a scaffold; the direction of the canoe, or body, lying east and west, as near as I can recollect.

"212. — Are burials usually made in high and dry grounds? Are the bodies buried east and west; and if so, what reason is assigned for this custom?"

I noticed one or more exceptions to this general rule of selecting a high and prominent position for a burying-ground. Here, the bodies appeared to have been deposited upon the surface of the earth in a prostrate position, without any reference to the cardinal points of the compass, that I could discover, and then covered over with brush and poles; but not sufficiently to afford sure protection from the wild animals of the country, or carnivorous birds.


"227. — What are the materials, form, size, and mode of construction, of their lodges?"

Some of the tents or lodges about the Columbia, were constructed of upright posts, or pieces of split timber, and covered with skins.

Those in southern Oregon, and western California, were much more slightly constructed — generally of poles, sometimes lying horizontally upon one another; at others, forming a semi-circle, with both ends in the earth; and again, by meeting at angles, to form a cone when in an upright position. All quite circumscribed in their dimensions, with a covering of poles and bushes; which must afford but poor shelter in the rainy seasons, and require frequent renewing.

"228. — Of what material are canoes or boats made, how are they constructed, and what is their usual capacity?"

All that I saw were made from one tree — dug out, and sharpened at either end. Those in Oregon were usually made from the pine tree, and some of them were large enough to carry twenty men.

Those in California were made from the pine, sycamore, and cotton-wood trees; about half the size, seldom so well finished, and never so well modelled, as the former. The larger canoes on the Columbia are sometimes propelled by short oars; all the others, by paddles which have long handles and short blades, and are steered by the same. All those I saw were probably excavated with modern implements obtained from the whites.

Those on the Rogue river were very roughly built — some of them scow fashion, with flat bottoms. Among the Klamats, a bunch of bulrushes was used as a substitute, lashed up in the shape of a sailor's hammock, but considerably larger; upon which I take for granted the Indian sits astride, and makes use of it principally in spearing fish.

"230. — Is raw meat ever eaten? Do they use metallic cooking vessels, generally, and if so, what kinds?"

They generally cook both meat and fish; have been told that they have been known to eat both raw.

They begin to use metallic cooking-vessels about the Columbia. Their mode of life must make them irregular in their meals generally.

"231. — Method of curing meats?"

They dry meat by cutting it in thin slices, and placing it on horizontal poles several feet above the earth; and in smoking it, have then only to build a fire underneath.


Their fish is cured very much in the same way; after which it is pounded quite fine, and closely packed, to be used upon certain occasions, and for their winter's supply.

"232. — To what extent do the purely hunter tribes rely on these? Give a catalogue of them, denoting the various kinds of roots, truffles, berries, and nuts relied on."

Among the roots most used, are the kamass and bulrush.
Among the nuts most used, are the acorns and hazel-nuts.
Among the berries most used, are the arbutus, service, whortle, and cranberries, black, straw, rasp, and gooseberries.
Among the seeds most used, are the pine cone, grass, and doubtless many others I know not of. Fox grapes may be added to the above list; and in seasons of great scarcity, I have been told, they resort to certain barks. With a moderate degree of industry, there would be no occasion for the last resort in the country through which I passed.

"234. — What is the ordinary dress of the tribe, male and female?"

The ordinary dress of the tribes having frequent communication with the whites, particularly in north Oregon, was a mixture of coarse cloth, skins, old cast-off garments, and blankets which only covered a portion of their bodies, and set loosely upon their persons. Going south from here, the amount of clothing diminishes; so that before you leave the Callapuya country, you frequently see the males with only a covering amidships. Continuing south until you arrive among the Umpquas, even this last excuse for a covering generally disappears; and you find them as nature has endowed them, apparently unconscious of what to us appears improper in such an exposι.

The females, however, appear more modest and shy, do not expose themselves unnecessarily; and those who have arrived at the age of puberty are seldom seen without some covering, extending from a little above to just below their hips, and equivalent to what is usually termed a "maro." This generally consists of a tasselled belt, made of bark, grass, and feathers, &c., that encircles the body just above the hips, and answers admirably for the purpose intended.

With the addition of a little tattooing, or an occasional daub of paint, nudity continues fashionable, until you arrive again within the influence of the whites on the Sacramento, which at this time did not extend above Captain Sutter's, or navigable waters.

"235. — Are there any other peculiar adaptations of dress to varying circumstances? Are there summer and winter dresses?"


About the Columbia, the thick blanket is worn in the summer as well as winter; and farther south, I should think, some covering would be found almost as necessary in protecting them from the sun's rays in the summer, as from the cold blasts in the winter; but from the preceding answer it will be seen they seldom provide against either.

"236. — Do they attach a peculiar value to ornaments? What kinds of ornaments are most desired?"

They appear to value ornaments, although they exhibit but few. Among those worn are feathers of different colors, beads, buttons, porcupine quills, rings, bracelets, and shells.

The latter, I was told, constitutes a kind of currency among them. Some puncture the lobes of their ears, and others, but more rarely, the central or cartilagineous portion of their nasal organ, for the purpose of suspending some ornament.

"237. — Are there any native dye-stuffs, or roots or vegetables, employed in coloring parts of their clothing, or ornaments?"

They use paints, dyes, and ochres, or colored clays, either upon their persons, dress, or implements.

Some of them tattoo their faces, as well as their arms and breasts; this habit is not confined entirely to the male, but, so far as I could see, is, to adults, much the most common with the males, and less so with either sex than among the nations of the Pacific islands generally.

"239. — What are the customs and fashions of wearing the hair and beard? Is the whole head shaved? Is the beard generally extirpated by the tweezers, or other mechanical means?"

Hair generally worn long, but not unfrequently tied up in a bunch: have seen it cut quite close on some of their boys. Beard very uncommon; suppose it to have been extirpated by some mechanical means.

"241. — What is the general scope and capacity of the Indian mind, as compared with other stocks of the human race?"

In regard to their mental capacity, believe them generally inferior to the tribes east of the Rocky Mountains, but superior to some tribes in South America; for more reliable data and particulars upon this subject, which I had but little opportunity of following up, I must again refer to the notes or work of Mr. Hale, the Philologist of the Exploring Expedition, which I have not yet seen, but presume it must convey some valuable information upon this subject, and others that I must pass over.


"258. — How far has knowledge, art, and commerce, and the general progress of civilization, affected the improvement of the Indians, and changed or modified their original manners, customs, and opinions?"

The effect of semi-civilization among some of these Indians, resulting from frequent intercourse among the whites, appeared to me to have produced but little other change than that of dress, and a more tame and friendly feeling toward the whites.

And when opposed to this, you throw in liquor and some other of the refinements attending civilization, it may be a question with some whether it would not have been better for them to have lived and died in their savage state.

This reflection forces itself upon me, as from day to day I now read of the continual murders and massacres among these same people.

Only to-day 150 are reported to have been massacred by the whites in the "Shastι" country.

"259. — What are the prominent effects, physical and intellectual, of the intermixture, by marriage, between the European and Indian races? Has the tribe been much affected by such intermarriages?"

Not affected by amalgamation with the whites.

The few white trappers who had Indian wives had generally taken them from the tribes farther east, and their children were yet young.

"260. — What is the present rate of progress of population of the tribe, compared with former periods? Are they advancing or receding?"

From causes already alluded to, I believe they are rapidly diminishing in numbers, that they cannot keep up their tribal organization many years longer, and if not removed, or reinforced by bands lying east of them, that very few will be found alive in 1870.

"262. — What general changes have taken place in regard to costume and cleanliness, in the tribe, and in their habits or modes of living, and general housewifery?"

See answer to question 258.

"263. — Is this test of the barbaric or hunter state still tolerated; and if so, to what extent?"

See answer to question 161.

"264. — What is the present state of the tribe in respect to Christianity?"

The tribes in the Willamette valley, and about the Columbia, from Astoria to Walla Walla, have several years enjoyed the advantages of Christian teachers, both Protestant and Catholic: up to the time of my visiting the country, they had been but


a few years operating, and very little had been accomplished; if they have been more successful since, the result will, I presume, be made known through reliable sources; civilization, with its concomitants, has perhaps thrown as many obstacles as aids in their way of accomplishing good.

"265. — Are the principles of temperance, in the use of ardent spirits, on the increase or decrease?"

The principles of temperance, which at one time were so much encouraged in Oregon by the Hudson Bay Company's officers, have been very much neglected with the increase of population and confusion growing out of the gold discovery, and it appears quite problematical if liquor will be again interdicted while the Indian lives.

"266. — What are the prominent facts in relation to the cause of education, in reclaiming and exalting the tribe? What means have been found most effective in the education of their children and youth? Have females duly participated in these means, and has any part of such means been applied to such branches as are essential to qualify them for the duties of mothers and housewives?"

Education, like religion, had made but little progress in Oregon, notwithstanding the earnest and laudable efforts of the American Baptist Mission, both male and female, who had succeeded in overcoming the prejudices of the Indian parents, and induced them to send their children to school; but like young partridges caged up, they were difficult to tame, and upon the first good opportunity would run away, swim the rivers, and return to their homes; sometimes their parents would carry them back, and the next good chance they would run again.

I did not hear that harsh treatment was resorted to in such cases. It would no doubt prove ineffectual.

The girls were reported more tractable than the boys, and some of the half-breeds, Canadian and Indian, were making considerable progress.

"268. — Is there any interest observable in the improved modes of agriculture?"

Have made no progress in agriculture, and so far as I could see, appeared perfectly indifferent about it.

"269. — Have the tribe provided for the construction of roads, bridges, and ferries, either by an appropriation of their general funds, or by imposing the duty of personal service or tax, on the residents of the several districts?"

Have literally done nothing.

"270. — To what extent is the English language spoken, and English books read, and what is the tendency of opinion and practice on this subject, in the tribe?"


Saw but two of the Klatsop tribe that pretended to speak the English language, and their knowledge in regard to it was very limited.

My opinion has already been expressed upon several of these points; their condition will not be much improved until our laws are enforced among them, restraining the whites as well as themselves.

"288. — Have there been any striking changes in the physical type of the Indian race, beyond that produced by latitudes and longitudes, and by their manner of subsistence?"

The physical difference between the Indians found at the mouth of the Columbia, and those inhabiting the upper valley of the Sacramento, is very striking; and very much in favor of the latter, who resemble the Pacific Islanders more than any I met with on the coast. This difference is, perhaps, as much due to their different manner of subsistence, as to latitude and climate: the language is also very different.

Many of the questions that follow I must pass over, having gained but little knowledge of the structure of their different languages, which vary very much, and to me appeared neither homologous nor homogeneous.

Through the assistance of an intelligent American, by the name of Rodgers, (who, with his young wife, was afterwards carried over the Willamette falls in a canoe, and drowned,) I endeavored to make out a vocabulary of the Callapuya language; but owing to their indolence and indifference, had not proceeded far when the former was taken sick, and left me. I afterwards employed a Canadian, who understood the jargon spoken about the Columbia river, but who could not interpret after leaving the Callapuya country. The language which I had previously heard most spoken about the Columbia was the Klatsop dialect, of which I can furnish the meaning to a few words, viz.: —

Ikaui, or Akaui Their principal god, or deity.
So-ole Another god, or name for same.
Ital-a-pus Another god of fish.
Tam-au-a-wa Another god of dancing.
Steokum Another god of evil.
Boston ships A general name for all ships.
Boston man A general name for all white men.
Co-at-la-li-kum Man.
Cloach-man Woman.
Chicks Friend.
Chu-ban Horse.
Moos-moos Cow.
Mo-u-ets Deer.
Cula-cula Bird.


Ka-wacks Dog.
Qua-wack Salmon.
Qua-qua Duck.
Su-bits Wood.
Suk-walella Musket.
Olern-bo, or boh Pipe.
Kin-tie, or kin-u-tle Tobacco.
Ma-ma-lus-te Dead.
Loosh Dying.
Wobu-kata Die.
Muc, or muck Eating.
Close-nau-ich Look-out.
Hi-as Great.
Sa-math Their future hunting-grounds.
E-to-ke-te Good.
Ni-ka I. Also, small.
Mi-ka You.
Yo-ka He.
A-ka She.
We-si-ka We — ours.
Mi-si-ka Ye — yours.
Klas-ka They — theirs.

I am not quite certain that I have, in every instance, adopted the spelling best suited to convey the sound.

The language is extremely guttural, and it requires some practice to catch the sounds.

Many words in this language, I presume, are common to the Chimook language, and, perhaps, to the Chickeeles, and Kilamukes, who mix with, and appear to understand each other.

Grimace, more than gesticulation, appears to aid them in their expression; a peculiarity less observable among the more southern tribes.

Finally, as a race, although they differ materially in language, in point of mental and physical development, and the color of their hair, eyes, and skin, I question if they differ more from each other than the people occupying the extremes of the United States. They are generally well formed, below the whites in stature, have an easy gait, but neither graceful nor handsome; their eyes and hair usually black — the latter occasionally brown, generally parted in the middle of the forehead, so as to hang down each side; noses broad and flat — some aquiline exceptions. The mouth large, lips thick, teeth fair, but in adults generally more or less worn.


They are wily, superstitious, lazy, indolent, and dirty. With these traits, united to an implacable hostility which they generally entertain towards the whites, it does not, I think, require much wisdom to predict their fate.

Facts that have developed themselves within the last year relating to these tribes, must, I think, convince the observing that Indian agencies and treaties cannot alone save them. It is melancholy to see them melting away so rapidly; but it does not appear to be intended that civilization should prevent it.

In conclusion, permit me once more to express my regret that I am able to furnish you with so little information in regard to these tribes, of whom so little is known.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Lieut. U. S. N.

Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.


[Second Paper, continued from "Contributions," p. 199, Vol. II.]




1. Religion.
2. Mythology.
3. Manners and Customs.


"135. — HAVE they a class of persons who affect to wield the power of necromancy or sorcery? Do they affect to remove diseases, or to inflict them? Do they believe in witchcraft?"

Disturbances and murders are committed every now and then, on account of the belief in supernatural powers. They believe they can kill each other in various ways. So, if a person dies, some individual is charged with the offence, and revenge sought. (See Nos. 74 and 133.)


"136. — Do they believe in vampyres or in premonitions from the dead, or in the theory of ghosts? What is the Indian theory of dreams? Are dreams regarded as revelations of the divine will? Do they exercise much influence over the practical affairs of the Indian life? Are good dreams courted under the influence of abstinence?"

The Indians are much afraid of vampyres and the bat, and say they are a bad omen when they fly about them — also the Ignis Fatuus, vulgarly called the Jack-o'-lantern — the Indians are very much afraid of them. Whoever sees one of these at night, it is a sure sign of death to some one of the family. Dreams are much believed in by them, and they talk over their dreams, but what causes them they cannot tell. One thing is certain, that their bad dreams are caused mostly by their over-eating at night and going to sleep soon after. I have known an Indian to go to two or three feasts of an evening, and eat all that was given him, which would amount to five or six pounds of venison, with the fat along with it. In good dreams they suppose some friendly spirit has been near them, giving them some good advice. Indians are often downcast and think some ill fate is going to happen them. I suppose there is hardly a day passes over an Indian family, but some omen is seen or heard; therefore they are very much troubled in their superstitious beliefs.

"137. — What species or degree of worship do they, in fine, render to the Great Spirit? Do they praise him in hymns, chants, or choruses? Do they pray to him, and if so, for what purpose? Is it for success in hunting, war, or any other avocation of life? Give, if you can, a specimen of their prayers."

To analyze the worship of Indians, in our view amounts to nothing at all. They are very tenacious and say they are right, and are very zealous and cling to their old habits like death, and will not give way to any kind of teaching. They pray, but their prayers are very short. The following is a sample. "Spirits or ghosts, have mercy on me and show me where I can find a deer or bear," (as the case may be,) and so with all things. Their prayers are to the creature and not to the Creator. I once was travelling with some Indians by water. We came to a lake. The Indians took their pipes and smoked, and invoked the winds to be calm, and let them cross the lake in safety.

"138. — Do they fast that they may acquire mental purity, or cleanliness to commune with him? Are the general feasts at the coming in of the new corn, and at the commencement of the general fall hunts, of a religious character? Are these feasts of the nature of thanksgivings? Are any of the choruses, or songs of the priests, sacred, or of a hieratic character? Is the flesh of the bear or dog which is sacrificed, used to propitiate favor? Is it true, that all the flesh, bones, and the ‘purtenance’ of the animals sacrificed in the feast, must be eaten or burned, as in the institution of the paschal supper?"


I never knew any of the Dacotahs to fast on religions principles, but for one or two things; that is, the worship of the sun and moon. I have known them to fast two and three days. The worship of the sun, (Plate 27,) is caused by some one having dreamed of seeing the sun. The worship is performed at intervals of about four or five minutes, by two young men in a most singular attitude. The two worshippers are almost in a state of nudity; only a piece of cloth about their loins. The worshippers have each of them a small whistle in their mouths, and face the sun. The mode of dancing is a kind of hitch of first one leg and then the other; but they keep time to the singing and beating upon raw hides or parchment. In their singing there are no words used, nothing but the chorus appropriate to such occasions. The nearest and best comparison that I can make of them when worshipping, is a frog held up by the middle, with its legs about half drawn up. This dance is kept up two and three days, during which time the worshippers eat no food. The feast of the new crop is made for what we would term a thanksgiving; but the Indians apply it in honor to their war-medicine and the medicine used among themselves. If a man makes a feast of new corn, it is in honor of his war medicine. If a woman makes a corn feast, it is in honor of the medicine they use among themselves. At these feasts, if a person does not eat all that is given him or her, they do not have to pay for it, as in some of their feasts; but otherwise, the one that eats up his dishfull first, will probably receive a present from the person who made the feast, of a gun or large kettle, or some traps. This being a common custom amongst them, there is always amongst the eaters a great strife to see who will eat up their portion first, and get the present. As soon as the word is given for them to commence eating, the work commences, and such blowing, stirring, eating, and sweating, as that the grunting animals could not surpass them. The music is vocal, but nothing but a chorus, but considered sacred amongst the Indians. In some of their feasts, everything is sacred. Not a morsel of the meat must fall to the ground. The spirits will be displeased and some great calamity will befall them. The bones are all gathered up, and either burnt or thrown into the water, so that the dogs cannot get them, nor be trampled upon by the women in particular; because they consider a woman very unclean at times, and it would be a great sin for them to step on or over any part of the remnants of their offerings.

"139. — Are the leaves of the tobacco plant, which are cast on the waters or burned in the pipe, offered as sacrifices to the Great Spirit?"

Tobacco is used in most of their ceremonies except the feasts above mentioned. I never saw them use any. Its perfumes are offered to the ghosts, or spirits, on many occasions, for good luck in hunting, for calm weather, for clear weather, &c.

"140. — Have you observed any traces of the Ghebir worship, or the idea of an eternal fire? It is seen in their pictorial scrolls of bark, that they draw the figure of


the sun to represent the Great Spirit. Is the sun the common symbol of the Great Spirit? Do they now, or did their ancestors, worship him through this symbol?"

These Indians have not many symbolic ideas. The answer to this question is given above.

"141. — What are the notions of the tribe on the nature and substance of fire, or caloric? Is fire obtained from the flint, or from percussion, deemed more sacred than from other sources?"

Fire obtained in any way appears to be all the same to them. Fire formerly was obtained by friction, (Fig. 1, Plate 28.) A piece of wood was squared or flattened, so as to make it lie steadily. A small hole was commenced with the point of a stone. Then another small stick was made, round and tapering at one end. The small end is placed in the small hole of the piece of wood first described. The Indian puts one hand each side of the small round stick, say six inches long, and commences turning it as fast as possible back and forth. Another person holds the under piece with one hand, and a piece of spunk in the other, so that where there is the least signs of fire, he is ready to touch the spunk, and kindle the fire by putting the lighted spunk into a bunch of dry grass that had been rubbed fine in the hands. In this way they say they have made a fire in a short time, when all the materials were ready.

"142. — Did the Indian priests, at former periods, annually, or at any set time, direct the fire to be extinguished in the Indian lodges, and ashes cast about to desecrate them, that they might furnish the people new and sacred fire to re-light them?"

The Indians, when they make their sacred feasts, remove all the fire from the lodge, and rekindle it from the flint and steel before the food is put on to cook, so as to be sure and not have anything unclean about the feast. For my part, I am forced to believe that these feasts are handed down from the children of Israel, but have through time lost all their original features and merits.

"143. — What notions have they of the planetary system? Are the stars or planets regarded as parts of a system?"

The Indians do not profess to know much about the stars, although they have names for a few of them.

"144. — How do signs affect them? Do omens and prognostications exercise a strong sway over the Indian mind? Do they ever influence councils in their deliberations, or war-parties on their march? Are predictions, drawn from the flight of birds, much relied on? Are auguries ever drawn from the sombre hue, shape, or motions of the clouds?"

The Dacotahs have many signs, as fowls flying, animals running, and sounds at night. In their war-excursions the Indians are often guided by signs and dreams.


"145. — Is there reason to believe the Indians to be idolaters? Are images of wood or stone ever worshipped? or is there any gross and palpable form of idolatry in the existing tribes, similar to that of the oriental world?"

The Dacotahs have no images of wood that they worship, nor have they any edifices for public worship. These Indians worship in their natural state. An Indian will pick up a round stone, of any kind, and paint it, and go a few rods from his lodge, and clean away the grass, say from one to two feet in diameter, and there place his stone, or god, as he would term it, and make an offering of some tobacco and some feathers, and pray to the stone to deliver him from some danger that he has probably dreamed of, or from imagination.

"146. — Do they believe in the immortality of the soul, and the doctrine of moral accountability to the Creator? Do they believe in the resurrection of the body? Do they believe, at all, in the doctrine of rewards and punishments in a future state?"

The Indians believe in the immortality of the soul, but as for accountability they have but a vague idea of it. Future rewards and punishments they have no conception of. All that they can say respecting the soul is, when it leaves the body, it goes southward, but of its abode they have no fixed idea. Everything appears to be dark and mysterious with them respecting the future state of both the soul and body.

"147. — What is the common notion of the Indian paradise? Do the virtuous and vicious alike expect to enjoy its fruitions? Are there any deaths in the Indian paradise? Or is it a final state? Will there be any giants or enchanters there? Will there be any wars?"

They believe that each soul acts for itself. As for the Indians' paradise, they have not looked far enough into futurity to give any kind of an idea about it. They think they will still continue to be at enmity with their former enemies. As many as four souls inhabit one person, like a bear, which the Indians say has four spirits; and believe some other animals have souls.

"148. — Is there not a perversion of the doctrine of immortality respecting the brute creation? Do the Indians believe in the resurrection of animals? Do they believe that the Great Spirit has given the brute creation souls and reasoning powers, as well as man? An Indian, in 1820, begged pardon of a bear, whom he had shot on the shores of Lake Superior. Did this imply that he was to encounter him, as an immortal being, in another life?

The Indians believe that many animals have the power to injure them, by a migrating movement. In many cases, where an Indian is taken sick, he lays his sickness to some biped, quadruped, or amphibious animal; but they charge some of their own people with the cause of some animals torturing them with sickness, and


the only way they have of driving the animal from the sick is to make something similar to it of bark, and shoot it to pieces. The following is a list of the Indians' laws of prohibition, and if not obeyed, some one of the family has to suffer; so they are most always in trouble. For instance, a turtle a woman must not step over. None of the family must stick an awl or a needle into the turtle: if they do, they are sure the turtle will punish them for it, at some future time. The same with a coon, a fisher, a bear, a wolf, a fish; in fact, as to almost all kinds of animals, they must not stick an awl or needle into them. Also with a stick of wood on the fire. No person must chop on it with an axe or knife, or stick an awl into it. If he does, some one will either cut himself, or run a stab in his feet, for so doing. Neither are they allowed to take a coal from the fire with a knife, or any other sharp instrument. A woman must not ride or bridle a horse. A woman must not handle the sack used for war purposes. A woman must remain out of doors during the time of her menstruation, and the war implements must hang out of doors during that time. The Indian, praying to the bear, was fearful that some other bear might take the wounded bear's part, and probably tear him to pieces. If a bear attacks an Indian, and tears him, the Indian will say at once the bear was angry with him. The fear that they have of them is in this life. As for animals having reasoning powers, I have heard Indians talk and reason with a horse, the same as with a person. I have known many instances of horses running away from their owners. The owner would say the horse was mad, or displeased, because they had not given him a belt, or a piece of scarlet cloth to wear about his neck.

The red hand spoken of by Mr. Stevens as seen on the walls of the ruins in Central America, is a very common thing amongst the Dacotahs. You will see sometimes a whole row of the stamp of the whole hand, with red paint, on their blankets. The paint that they use is oxide of iron. They pick it up in many places in this country, and burn it, then pulverise it, and it makes paint equal to Spanish brown. This represents that the wearer has been wounded in action by an enemy. If the stamp is with black paint, it denotes he has killed an enemy in action.

"149. — What peculiar societies characterize Indian life? Are these societies bound by the obligation of secrecy? What secret rites exist? Do they partake of a religious, festive, or other character? What knowledge do they profess to cultivate? Is the knowledge and practice of medicine confined to the members or professors of these societies?"

The clans in the great medicine dance are kept secret. The Indians that are not members of the dance, know no more about it than the white people. They have many feasts that they call religious feasts. There are two societies: one is the medicine society; the others are not members of the medicine society; still, out of these feasts and dances, they have no distinction — all are on an equal footing. I


cannot say these feasts are free from vice or bad people. In the great medicine dance, there are people of all sorts and morals; the murderer, the drunkard, the adulterer, the adulteress, the thief, &c., &c., are all associated in the great medicine dance. Still, it is a mysterious thing, and equally as secret, and probably more so, than Freemasonry; for there are instances where Free-masonry has been divulged, but the great medicine dance of the Dacotahs I never heard, nor has tradition handed down an instance, of their secrets having been divulged. (See No. 12.) We cannot perceive that there is any more wisdom amongst the medicine party, than there is in those that do not belong to it. Neither are they more artful, only to do mischief, and keep the people in ignorance. They oppose everything that tends to enlighten them. Could this absurd practice be broken up, no doubt this people would listen to good counsel; but the medicine party claim to be possessed of supernatural powers; therefore they fear each other, and so they end their days in mutual fear of this imaginary power. As for songs, they have no lengthy ones; three or four words is about the length of them. They have a number of tunes, or choruses, which they sing on many occasions at feasts, dances, &c.


"150. — What peculiar myths have the tribe? Do they believe that the great spirit of evil manifests himself on the earth, in the form of the serpent? Are the rattlesnake, and other venomous species, more than others, invested with fearful powers? Do the priests sometimes put these into their drums? Is the respect and veneration paid to serpents, the true cause of their lives being spared when encountered in the forest? Do they offer tobacco to appease the spirit of the snake?"

As to their belief of evil spirits, they do not understand the difference between a great good spirit and a great evil spirit, as we do. The idea that the Indians have is, that a spirit can be good when necessary, and do evil if it thinks fit. The rattlesnake is much feared by them, and in fact all kinds of snakes are looked upon with horror; still, they will not kill one of them. I never knew of any Indians putting the rattlesnake in their drums, but they use the skin in the great medicine dance. The rattles are also kept in their medicine-bags. The Indians say, if they kill the rattlesnakes, some other one will bite them for so doing. Indians sometimes smoke to serpents, and ask them to be friendly to them, and go away and leave them. Sometimes they will leave a piece of tobacco as a peace-offering.

"151. — Is the belief in metamorphosis general? Do they believe that various quadrupeds, birds, or reptiles, were transformed into men?"

These Indians have no such belief.


"152. — Do they believe in the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls?"

They have no belief of this kind.

"153. — What particular animals stand high in their mythology, and how does this belief affect their institutions? Do the respect and honor which are paid to the turtle, wolf, and bear, and to the clans who bear these devices, (vide 77,) arise from the supposed importance of ancient heroes or valiant men, who fell under the necromantic power of evil spirits or wizards? And what influence has this myth had on the original establishment of the totemic system of the clans?"

The honor that is paid to these animals, is to keep peace with them; for they fear that they can supernaturally send diseases upon them. This myth is kept up by the clans of the medicine party, and probably, in some instances, deters them from injuring each other.

"154. — What fabled gods, demigods, heroes, and viewless spirits, or genii of the air and earth, have they embraced in their oral traditions? Who were Inigorio and Inigohatatea? Are they allegorical representations of the Great Spirit's will in the moral world? What demigods, giants, or heroes, are denoted by the names Quetzalcoatl, Tarenyawago, and Manabozho?"

Nothing of this amongst these Indians, only the winds. They have a name for the four cardinal points, which are described as follows: the way of the setting sun is west, the situation of the pines is north, the way the sun rises is east, the downward direction is south. There is supposed to be an animal in the water, who has large horns, and which they call Unk-a-ta-he. The Indians pretend to be in possession of its bones, in small pieces, which they value very highly for medicine.

"155. — What are the names and classes of their principal local deities, or woodland spirits, and what analogy do they bear to the mythological creations of the old world? Is there a class of creations analogous to fairies? Are there fairies of the water, as well as of the land? Are the Indian puckwies visible or invisible? Are they vicious or benign? Do these creations delight to dwell in romantic retreats, or at picturesque points? Are there local spirits, or a kind of local nymphs and dryads, who reside in caves or at cascades, or inhabit cliffs or mountains? Do they protect or entrap travellers? Do the natives believe in mermaids or mermans?"

The Dacotahs believe in fairies of the water, and say they often see them in all shapes of animals; they think them vicious, and consider it an omen of some calamity that is to befall them. They believe there are fairies of the land, as well as in the water. There are local spirits inhabiting almost all singular places of the Indian country — as cliffs, mountains, rivers, lakes, &c., &c.; they believe these spirits trouble


them often. They believe in what they call Unk-a-ta-he of two kinds; one of the water, and one of the land. They say these animals have great power, and can even kill the thunder. They have a country for their spirits to go to. Some of their people have died, and returned back from the spirit land, and say they saw a large city, full of spirits of all classes of people.

"156. — Are the Indian allegories, fables and lodge stories, mentioned in Title V., fruitful in the revelation of their mythological notions? Are such oral tales and relations common? Do they form a species of lodge-lore, which the young early learn?"

The Indians have many oral tales that they tell in the lodge at night to their relations, in relation to all kinds of people and animals.

"157. — Is thunder personified? How many thunderers are there? Are they located in different quarters of the heavens? What is their various character, and origin?"

Thunder is a large bird, they say; hence its velocity. The rumbling noise of thunder is caused by an immense quantity of young birds; it is commenced by the old bird, and carried on by the young birds, or thunders; this is the cause of the long duration of the peals of thunder. The Indian says it is the young birds, or thunders, that do the mischief; they are like the young mischievous men who will not listen to good counsel. The old thunder or bird is wise and good, and does not kill anybody, nor do any kind of mischief.

"158. — What fabled monsters and dragons, with wings or horns, filled the antique epochs of the world; and who killed them, or how were the races extirpated? Has their system of mythology been affected by the introduction of Christianity? Something of this kind is thought to be observable in examining the ancient picture-writings of the Aztecs, written after the conquest of Mexico, and it is important to guard against this intermixture of original and interfused notions."

The only fabled monsters we hear of, are the Giant and the Unk-a-ta-he; the Giant surpasses all in power, and the Unk-a-ta-he next. The Giant, or Ha-o-kuh, can kill anything it looks at, merely by its piercing eyes. They are yet in existence. We do not perceive that the system of mythology has been affected by Christianity as yet. The Indians' notions in this country are mostty all premature; as yet, some few may have an intermixture of notions.


"159. — Are the ties of consanguinity strong? Are there terms for each degree of relationship, and what are they for the different degrees? Are the same names used


for collateral relatives by the father's as by the mother's side? Are the same terms used for elder and younger brother, and for elder and younger sister? Are the words aunt and uncle by the mother's side the same as aunt and uncle by the father's side? By what terms are the dead alluded to? State any peculiarities which may exist in the terms denoting kindred, age, or sex, or other particulars in the family names, which mark them, or distinguish the principles of speech in the family circle from those of other known nations."

They have a degree of relationship, three and four generations back. The old women generally keep this account, and are very correct. They have no surnames, but always live near together; their houses are not more than ten feet apart. They cannot well forget their relationship; the father's name, as well as that of the mother, is recollected for three or four generations. They are not named after either of the parents; an Indian may be called a White Spider, and his son a White Whale, or Red Buffalo; and so with a woman. The mother may be called the Checkered Cloud, and the daughter may be called Grey Hand, or Red Blanket. The same names are not used for elder brother and younger. The first male child may be named Chiska; the second, Hapan; third, Hape; fourth, Chahlun; fifth, Hah-ka: the first female, Wenvonah; the second, Hahpan; third, Hahpistinah; fourth, Wauska; fifth, Wehahka. If there are any more born, they have to give them some other name, for they have no more regular names for children; and after a short time, these names are changed to some outlandish things. Aunt and uncle are the same on both sides. The dead are alluded to, and their names left to be understood. The names of the deceased are seldom spoken by the Indians; they say such an one's brother or sister, uncle or aunt, as the case may be, is dead. All Indian names are peculiar to their habits and customs; the men have different expressions from the women, and new beginners are laughed at frequently by both men and women. To a man, they say you talk like a woman; and to a woman, they say you talk like a man. The languages of all the nations differ so much that they cannot understand each other.

"160. — Does the hunter state insure abundance of food and clothing to the family? How is this state, in its domestic bearings, affected by polygamy, and what are the terms and relative affections of stepmothers and children? Are wives well treated under the actual state of the hunter life? Are they ever interfered with in the household affairs, and management of the domestic economy?"

The hunter does not furnish abundance of food and clothing. Now and then an Indian will furnish a plenty of venison for his family for a month or two in the winter. Some of them do not kill more than from two to ten deer in the winter hunts. Some kill from ten to fifty. So those that have good luck feed the poor. The clothing the Indian takes in credit of the traders, for which he pays one-half to two-thirds of the amount. Polygamy is the cause of a great deal of their miseries and troubles. The


women, most of them, abhor the practice, but are overruled by the men. Some of the women commit suicide on this account. Some of their stepmothers are kind. Some are very bad, and the children are treated accordingly. Their wives, or dogs, as some of the Indians term them, are well treated, as long as they let the men have their own way, and do all the work, except hunting. They keep as many wives as they want; and if a woman remonstrates against this, (that is, polygamy,) she probably will get a beating. The men do not often interfere with the work of the women; neither will they help them if they can avoid it, for fear of being laughed at and called a woman.

"161. — Are the labors of husband and wife equally or unequally divided? Does the public security of their hunting-grounds, arising from council and warlike expeditions, enter into the views of the wife, as constituting an acceptable part of the husband's duty? Who makes the arms and implements of war? Who makes canoes, paddles, cradles, bowls, and dishes? Who plants, and hoes, and gathers the fruits of the field? Who makes fish-nets, weaves mats, and cuts rushes, and gathers wild rice? Run through the entire class of forest labors, and draw a comparison between the relative industry, or time, devoted by the husband and the wife."

The labors are not equally divided. Take the year round, probably, it is for a month or two in the winter, when the men are most busy; it is in the midst of the winter hunts. The women often upbraid one another for their cowardice, and think it is right for their husbands to defend their country and family. The men make all the arms and implements of war; and the women are not allowed to touch them, nor go near them, particularly when menstruation is with them. Men and women make canoes, paddles, cradles, bowls, and spoons. The women plant and hoe the corn, and gather it. The men sometimes help to husk the corn. The women make mats, pull rushes, gather wild rice, cut the wood, carry the lodge, cut the grass, cook, prepare the skins and furs for market, dress the skins, make moccasins, and mend them, mend clothing, and make them, dig roots, dress meat, pound and make pemican. In the summer a man does not work more than an hour in the day. Through the summer the women labor about six hours per day. In winter the men will average about six hours in a day, and the women about ten hours per day.

"162. — What are the usual causes of family jars in the Indian lodge? Are domestic discords common? Is the loss of youth and youthful attractions in the wife a cause of neglect? Does barrenness produce dissatisfaction? Do children give their mother an additional power over her husband's affections?"

Domestic discords are often in a village, not in every family. Some families live a long time without any serious quarrelling, and some are at it all the time. Some are passionate and cross, and scold. Barrenness does not appear to displease them in some


cases. As children increase, the parents appear to be more affectionate; but then this friendship is often broken up by the husband taking a second or third wife. At the age of forty, fifty, and sixty years, we see some of the Indians seeking to get a new wife. In the case of plurality of wives, the most vicious and strongest one is mistress of the lodge. The Indian is generally sedate and dignified. The Indian women are as fond of dress as any other people in the world; and put on all the finery they can get — silver brooches, wampum, ribbons, or blankets of fine cloth. I have seen a woman's dress that was all covered with large and small brooches, and garnished blankets and leggins, which cost them probably two hundred dollars. Where there is a plurality of wives, if one gets finer goods than the other, you may be sure there will be some quarrelling among the women; and if one or two of them are not driven off, it is because they have not strength enough to do so. The man sits and looks on, and lets them fight it out. If the one he loves most is driven off, he will go and stay with her and leave the others to shirk for themselves awhile, until they can behave better, as he says.

"163. — How is order preserved in the limited precincts of the lodge? Casual observers would judge there was but little. Inquire into this subject, and state what are the characteristic traits of living in the wigwam, or Indian house. How do the parents and children divide the space at night? How are wives, and females of every condition, protected in their respective places, and guarded from intrusion? Is there a prescribed or fixed seat, or abbinos, as it is called, for each inmate?"

There is but little order in the lodge. Children act much as they please, and every Indian is a king in his own lodge. The children generally roll themselves up in their blanket by themselves; that is, after they are four, five, or six years old. Under this age they generally sleep with their parents or grand-parents. Fear is the best protection. The fear of being punished is what keeps many of them from committing crimes. There is a fixed seat for the man and for the wife. The woman sits next the door and the man sits next to her, or in the back part of the lodge. As the woman has all the drudging to do, she sits next the door, so as to be handy to get out. The woman has one particular way of sitting. She always draws her feet up under her to the right side, and thus sits for hours sometimes; a position no white could remain in twenty minutes, I believe, (Plate 29.) The man does not sit in this position at all, but tumbles and lounges about as he pleases. They all sit flat upon the ground on some straw and skins of different kinds. This is in the lodge. The summer-house is from twenty to thirty feet long, and fifteen to twenty wide, with a platform on each side about two feet high and six wide. On this platform they all sleep in summer; generally four families in a lodge, sometimes more. If there are four families, each one will have a corner, and if there are more, (young married people, for instance,) they take the middle.


"164. — SOCIALITY IN THE LODGE CIRCLE. Are the inmates taciturn and formal, or do they, when relieved from the presence of strangers, evince a general ease and spirit of sociality? Is this observed particularly on their wintering grounds in remote parts of the forest? Do they eat at certain hours of the day? How many meals do they take in the twenty-four hours? Do they address the Great Spirit at any meal or feast, by way of prayer? Are their appetites regular or capricious, admitting of great powers both of abstinence and of repletion?"

We believe they are diffident, and have some respect for strangers, and are more modest before them than at other times, and are very secret in sleeping together. I have lived with them for many days and months at a time, and never saw an improper secret exposure. Their habits and customs are not the same in winter as in summer. The men say they do not sleep with their wives more than once or twice a month. In the winter they have no particular hours for eating. It is according to the quantity of food they have that determines how many times they eat in a day. If they have plenty, they cat often; if not, from one to two meals per day. The women are no eaters in comparison to them. In the common meals they seldom offer up thanks. Sometimes an Indian will say "Wah negh on she wan da;" which means, Spirits of the dead, have mercy on me. Then they will add what they want; if good weather, they say so; if good luck in hunting, they say so. This is about the amount of the Indian's prayer. Their appetites are capricious, admitting of great powers of abstinence and of repletion. Some Indians I suppose have eaten a gallon of food and probably more at one meal.

"165. — Is there any tradition of the institution of marriage? Has it the sanction of the Indian medas, or priests, or of the parents only? What are its ceremonies? Is the preparation of an abbinos in the mother-in-law's tent, to receive the bride, a part of these ceremonies? Is this act done with parade? Are the mats, skins, clothing, and ornaments, appropriated to it, where the parties can afford it, rich and costly?"

They have a marriage ceremony or form of marriage, which is considered lawful and binding. The parents or relations are the only persons consulted. The priests have nothing to say in the marriage affairs. There is very little ceremony inside the lodge. The ceremony is outside the lodge. The mother-in-law has something to say in the choice, and that is about all. The bride is received in the open air, and with some pomp and ceremony. The dress for the bride is as costly as can be obtained.

"166. — How are courtships managed? Are there regular visits to the lodge, or are the interviews casual? Do young persons, of both sexes, adorn themselves, to become more attractive? Do they use any peculiar paints or ornaments? Do young men play near the lodge, on the pibbigwun, or Indian flute? Are these chants appropriate? Do they make presents to the object of their esteem? Are presents made to the


parents? How is consent asked? When are the parents consulted? Are matches ever made without their consent?"

Courtships can be carried on at almost any time, owing to their being huddled together, and all the time meeting each other about the lodges. Some we may say, make their visits regularly to the lodge; others do not; and some may not visit the lodge at all, or ever have spoken to the woman, and the first thing she knows she is bought. Both sexes adorn themselves. Red is the most used. The young men play on the chotunkah, or flute. If they make presents, it is of little amount. Finger rings, or ear rings, are about the amount of presents to girls. Consent is asked by sending the price of the girl. If accepted, the girl is sent; if not, the goods are faithfully returned. I have known the goods to be returned because there was no powder-horn. There are many matches made by elopement, much to the chagrin of the parents.

"167. — At what age do the Indians generally marry? Are there bachelors, or persons who never marry? Are there beaux, or young men addicted to dress? Do widowers remarry, and is there any rule, or limit of propriety observed? Do young widows usually marry again? Are their chances of marriage affected by having previously had children?"

They marry at the age of from ten to twenty. I do not know of a bachelor among them. They have a little more respect for the women and themselves, than to live a single life. The young only are addicted to dress. Widowers and widows remarry, the most of them. They go almost always one year before they marry; some two or three years. A woman having many children, is a detriment to her getting married. Their having children does not appear generally to be much in the way of marriage.

"168. — How does a forest life affect the laws of reproduction in the species? Does the full or scanty supply of subsistence govern it? Are the changes of location, fatigue, cold, and exposure to the vicissitudes of climate, felt in the general result of Indian population; and at what age do women cease bearing? What is the highest number of children born? What is the earliest known age of parturition? Are twins common? Is barrenness frequent?"

There appears to be no difference. They have children at all times of the year, as whites do. No doubt those causes produce a large number of diseases. Many die in infancy, caused by exposure, and many die of consumption. The women cease bearing from thirty to fifty years of age. As the Indians do not know their age, we cannot tell the exact time or age of bearing children; but by all that we can see, we think from thirteen to fifteen is as early as they have children. Fifteen or sixteen is the largest families amongst the Dacotahs. Three to eight is a common family amongst the Indians. Twins are not common. Barrenness is not common.


"169. — Are strangers announced before reaching the lodge, and now are visits ordered? Do parties of Indians stop, at a short distance, and send word of their intended visit? How are the ceremonies arranged, and how are guests received and entertained? Is precedence always awarded to guests? Are social visits made, in which these ceremonies are set aside?"

Visitors are announced by the children, generally, some time before they reach the lodge. The Indians sometimes send word of an intended visit. The guests enter the lodge, and, sitting, wait for a pipe to be lighted. After a puff or two, the pipe is passed to the next one, and so on round. Sometimes twenty persons will smoke out of one pipe, after which some food is set before them, which is eaten by the guests alone, without any ceremony by many, by some a word of thanks is given to the host. Social visits are made in their own villages. They give supper sometimes, and at any time of the day a repast is given, in which there is but little ceremony. Probably some old-man will make a short speech of praise to the host. A messenger is always sent. Hospitality is a general characteristic among the Sioux. There have been instances of baseness and perfidy.

"170. — Are there persons who exercise the office of midwives? Are the labors of parturition severe? Are separate lodges provided? Are arrangements made in anticipation? Does any female friend attend as a nurse? Are cases of solitary confinement rare? Is there any rite analogous to circumcision?"

The grand-mothers, and the mothers of daughters, and when they are not at hand, other women are called in. The men scarcely ever interfere in midwifery. Sometimes the women are entirely alone, when they have children, and have no trouble, apparently. Sometimes, when out on a hunting excursion, a woman may have a child, and there will be no one present but the husband, and a very awkward business they make of it. The women often laugh at them in those cases. Arrangements are made, as far as can be, for people that have nothing in common. The infant, when it is born, is wrapped up in swan or goose down, then laid in a blanket, and wrapped up warm in it, and tied up for a short time, say one hour. The child is then taken and washed, and put back into the blanket, with a new band of down. There is a rite performed, which I should think was analogous to circumcision; that is, boring of the ears, which is a ceremony of considerable display of feeling. Horses, guns, cattle, &c., are given away on the occasion.

"171. — Are there any ceremonies at the naming of children? By whom is the name given, and from what circumstance? Does the father or mother bestow the name? Are these names usually taken from the objects or incidents of dreams, which have impressed the minds of the sponsors, and are supposed to be sacred? What are the usual names of males and females? Give specimens.


There is no particular time for naming children. From one day to a year, and sometimes longer, they have for naming children. The parents give names, sometimes others do it. The first sometimes give a name; their names are generally taken from objects seen and heard. Tah-tun-kah-dootah, Red Buffalo, Tasen-i-chah, Ground Squirrel, Nay-he-no-we-nah, or Spirit of the Moon. A woman's name, Hahzah-dootah-win, the Red Whortleberry. The word win is added to every woman's name, meaning feminine, to distinguish it or them from men's names. There is no secrecy in children's names, but when they grow up there is a secrecy in men's names. Etiquette, or respect for persons, is the cause of it. Nicknames are given for some trifling or mischievous conduct.

"172. — Has the wife or husband the right of divorce? Must there be good causes, and what are they generally? Must the chief of the village be consulted? What is the common practice? Which party takes the children?"

There are divorces from one to many, caused by polygamy. Some, no doubt, have cause for divorce. The chief seldom interferes. Both parties take the children sometimes. Other times the man, and sometimes the woman.

"173. — How are children nursed and attended? What is the kind of cradle used — how is it constructed — is it well adapted to the purposes of the forest, and the protection of the child from accident? Is it suited to promote the natural growth and expansion of the limbs? How do females become in-toed? Are the feet of female infants bound by their mothers in the cradle in such manner as to turn in, and do they thus determine their growth? At what age are children weaned? How do children address their parents? Do they abbreviate their words? How do mothers address their infants and children? Are there any terms of endearment?"

The children are nursed as well as could be expected for people in their situation. The cradle is a flat piece of board, with a bow over the head; it is well adapted for the life they live. The mode of lashing the children does not appear to affect their growth any. The men and women are all in-toed; I believe it is in their nature. The feet of the infant are not turned in when they are bound. Children are weaned at from one year to eighteen months. Father and mother; Ahta is father, Enah is mother. Some of their words are abbreviated. (My child. Mechuckshe, my son; Mechunckshe, my daughter.) They have words that they use for endearment.

"174. — Is the domestic government left wholly to Indian mothers? Is it well exercised? Is there any discrimination, in the discipline, between male and female children?"

The management of children is left mostly to women. A male child is not whipped as much as a female. Some women think it wrong to strike a boy any how.


"175. — How is the identity of their traditions kept up? Are children initiated in the knowledge or lore of their fathers, by the mother, in nursery tales, or are they left to pick it up, at later periods, from mingling in dances, congregations, and feasts?"

The children are taught by their parents all their customs; and then again, they see them acted out every day almost, so they cannot help but learn them. Grandmothers have much to say on the manners and customs, and traditions. There are many that tell stories, and a number of them will gather round and listen, and be much amused at the singular fictions they tell.

"176. — Are families often increased by the addition of white children, or youth who have been stolen in marauding excursions, on frontier settlements? State any known instances of this kind. Was the incorporation into the family in these cases complete, and were the persons reclaimed in after life?"

The Mendawahkantons have very few children, at present, that they have stolen or taken prisoners. In former times they used to take a great many women and children prisoners. The Sioux say they have taken a great many from the Iowas, and Indians of the Mississippi and Missouri. We know of no whites ever having been taken prisoners, except in one instance. Some people were coming from Red river to Saint Peters. The Sussetons attacked them, and killed several of the white people, and took one or two children prisoners, which were delivered up to Lieutenant Green, an officer of the 5th infantry, and brought down to Fort Snelling.

"177. — What are the effects of the introduction and use of ardent spirits, in the lodge, in deranging its order? Does it lead to broils and scenes of intoxication? Does it diminish the means of the hunter to procure food and clothing? Does it impair his capacity of hunting? Does it injure his health? Does it affect his reputation? Does it deprive his wife and children of necessary comforts? Do its excesses lead the victim, in the end, to want, to the murder of friends, killed in states of inebriation, and finally, to his own premature death?"

The effects of ardent spirits in the lodge are equal to the appearance of a grizzly bear amongst them. The men get drunk, and perfectly crazy; all at once, the Indian will grasp his gun and knife, and out he goes, in search of some one that has injured him. He drives through the women and children — they scream with fright, and fly to the woods; the maniac, if he cannot find the object he wishes, will take after the women and children; and many a night have they had to sleep out in the coldest winter nights, on account of these drunkards. The use of ardent spirits makes them unhealthy, and the effect is carried down to the children. An Indian, when he drinks, sleeps out very often, almost naked, which brings on disease. It makes him lazy; and what he ought to give to his children goes to buy whiskey. The amount paid for whiskey, in this country, if spent for corn, would feed all the Indians on the Saint


Peters river, full one half of the year. In the sight of the Indians, drunkenness is not looked upon as a great evil; that is, by the major part, for the most of them drink to excess, and try all means to get liquor. They come and make complaints about the whiskey traffic, and at the same time are carrying it secretly into the country. Indians are always poor enough; but by indolence and drinking, they suffer much more. There are thousands of people in the United States that have not half the advantages of the Indians who draw annuities, and would live a happy life if they had some advantages which those Indians have. But not so with the Indians themselves; they are all in misery and trouble, and always will be, until our government treats them as a father treats his children — judges and acts for them, and compels them to listen to the President, who is their guardian. They often kill each other in drunken broils, which news does not often reach the President. Many are the cases of premature deaths by intoxication, and the Dacotah nation is beginning to wane, and everything appears to be hopeless as to the future; and we have forebodings that it will be said, ere long, "This is where a fine-looking race of Dacotah Indians lived."

"178. — What means are taken to preserve the family identity? If the clan-marks or totems denote affinity, is it not rather the evidence of a general, and not a near family connexion?"

The Dacotahs have no marks of identity as noticed. The medicine-sack of a deceased Indian is given to the nearest relation; this is the only mark of identity. This sack is kept for two or three generations sometimes; but the names of the owners have no affinity to the former family. So all is kept in the memory; and when that fails, all is gone.

"179. — Has there been a declension of the tribes in the United States from any former probable condition, and what is the type and character of the hunter state, as it exists amongst these tribes? Are any of the tribes quite degraded in the scale of being? Have they degenerated into any customs or practices revolting to humanity? Do they eat human flesh, upon any occasion, and if so, under what circumstances?"

It is reported by the Indians themselves that there were once many more Siouxs than at present. The Indians of the Missouri have degraded themselves in the scale of human beings, and have habits and customs revolting to humanity and decency. Many of the Siouxs eat the heart of an enemy; all the war-party will get a mouthful if they can.

"180. — Is there any proof of the existence of infanticide among the American Indians? Are the lives of female children held in less esteem than those of males? Are widows ever doomed to death on the decease of their husbands? Is there any tradition that they were ever burned, on such occasions, as upon a funeral pyre? Are


devotees to religion ever known to sacrifice themselves to their gods, as is done in the East? Do they ever suspend themselves on hooks of iron, with the view of enduring meritorious sufferings? Do they wear particular spots on their foreheads to denote religious sects? Are there any castes among the North American tribes, or any vestiges of such an institution, or belief? Are any of the American waters, or great rivers, deemed sacred, and coveted in death?"

Infanticide is committed occasionally among the Dacotahs. The lives of female children are held in less estimation than the male children. The widows are not doomed to death on the decease of the husband. Some women die shortly after their husband, with a purer love than that of the man. We have no tradition of their burning any one after death. We know of no human sacrifices that are accredited. They do not suspend themselves on hooks, but sometimes run a knife through the fleshy part of the arm or thigh, as a token of mourning for deceased relatives. A few have marks for fancy mostly. Caste, among the Indians, does not seem to be noticed among the Dacotahs. A negro very black, they despise. The rivers and waters are not coveted in death.

"181. — Do they, in scalping persons slain in battle, use any ceremony, or adopt any practices which are of oriental character? Is the scalp-lock, which it is customary to cultivate, a usage of ancient origin; and is there any peculiar mode of tracing antiquity in its form and position?"

Any part of the head is scalped when in a hurry; but when they have time they scalp the whole head and face, except the nose, eyes, and mouth. This is a trophy for the women and children to dance about.

"182. — Is the patriarchal feature strongly marked in the Indian institutions? Note whether there be anything in their manners, customs, or opinions, resembling ancient nations of the eastern world. Observe, particularly, whether there be any customs respecting the sacrifice of animals, or the withdrawal of females, or any other well-known ancient trait, in which the Indian tribes coincide."

Meats forbidden, are strictly observed by the Indians, but all differ in the different kinds of meat forbidden, (see Deuteronomy, Chap. XIV.) Fish also, (Deuteronomy, Chap. IX.) Self-righteousness prevailed amongst them, (Leviticus, Chaps. XXII., XXX.) In some of the Indians' feasts they have to eat all the food cooked, (Leviticus, Chap. XXIII.) The feast of first fruits is strictly observed among these Indians. An Indian will not eat of his fruits until he has made a feast. All meats offered must be of the best kind, (Leviticus, Chaps. XV., XX.) This law respecting women is strictly observed. A woman cannot enter a lodge during her menstruation. When their issue ceases, they go and jump into the water up to their waist, and wash themselves thoroughly, and build a fire near by, and stand by it until dry. When they go


to the lodge, the fire is all removed from out the lodge. The woman enters, and a new fire is kindled, (Leviticus, Chap. XI.) There are some animals they consider unclean and will not eat them. In all the Indian feasts of spiritual forms, incense is offered in the following manner. After the feast is over, the host draws a large coal or two from the fire, and some leaves of the cedar are laid thereon, and all the dishes are perfumed. Then the Indians leave the lodge for home, taking with them the dishes.

"183. — Do the Indians swear, or use any form of oath? Is the Great Spirit ever appealed to by name, or is the name carefully suppressed, or some other substituted for it?"

They swear by Wakonda and the Earth. The Great Spirit is seldom named, only in forcing the truth, and not frequently. Also some appeal to the Earth.

"184. — What is the Indian mode of salutation? Have they any conventional terms for it? Do they shake hands? If so, is this an ancient custom, or is it done in imitation of Europeans? Do they greet each other by name? Did the Indians anciently rub or fold their arms together, as was witnessed on the first meeting of the northern tribes with Cartier in the St. Lawrence, A. D. 1535?"

They seldom greet each other, and seldom shake hands. Of late years, some of the old people shake hands. It is not an ancient custom. These Indians have no mode of greeting.

"185. — Is smoking a very ancient custom? Was there a time when their ancestors did not smoke? Did they bring the habit from abroad? Was the tobacco-plant given to them by the Great Spirit? How and when? State the tale. Was the gift made in the north, or did they bring the plant from the southern latitudes? If this plant will not grow, and come to perfection so as to bear seed, in high northern latitudes, is this not a proof that their general migration was from the southern or central latitudes?"

Smoking is a modern practice, and was introduced by the traders. Also the tobacco.

"186. — Approbativeness. Is this strongly developed in the Indian mind; and what forms of exhibition does it assume in the manners and customs? Is the warpath pursued as the chief avenue to fame? Are hunting and oratory pursued with the same ultimate ends? Are there any other modes in which an ambitious chieftain can gratify the passion?"

Many of them have strong, expressive looks. It is exhibited in many ways; in power, in anger, in love, in mischief, or in craftiness. War is often resorted to, to appease anger. If they cannot succeed in this way, they try their luck by quarrelling at home.


"187. — Is stoicism of feeling deemed a mark of manliness by the Indians? To what extent is the countenance a true exponent of the actual state of feeling? Does taciturnity proceed from a sense of caution, or is the mere act of silence deemed wisdom? What general theories of thought govern the manners of the sachems, and to what extent, and in what manner, are the maxims of conversation and of public speaking taught to the young?"

Stoicism is deemed necessary to form a brave man. You seldom hear an Indian complain. I once saw an Indian's arm amputated; and you could not perceive a muscle move in his face. As soon as the limb was off, the Indian asked for a pipe to smoke. Mock-peeah-mence, Walking-Cloud, was his name. Indians are generally cautious. This is caused by necessity and habit: also from the constant wars which are carried on and carried out, by men coming in, dispersing the enemy, and taking every advantage of them. Public speaking is a gift of nature. Generally there are many of the chiefs who are no orators.

"188. — Quickness of sight and acuteness of observation in threading the wilderness: these have excited general notice, but the subject is still a matter of curiosity. How are they guided when there is neither sun by day, nor moon by night? How is the precise time of the desertion of an encampment, and the composition and character of the party, determined? What are the elements of precision in this knowledge, so far as they are to be found in the plants, or forest, or in the heavens? Is there extreme acuteness of the senses, and the nervous power of appreciating the nearness, or relative position of objects?"

I have known Indians to get lost in their own hunting grounds, but it is not a frequent occurrence; and I believe the Indians are not as good judges of distance and direction as our white hunters, particularly in a country they are not acquainted with. They are guided by some foreknowledge of the country, tracks and traces. They are generally very correct in telling the time of passing or leaving camps. In summer when the grass is trodden down, it will soon wither, but will retain some color for several days; but if a rain should fall, the grass turns a dark color, and in this way they tell pretty accurately when any one is passing along. They say it is so many days since it rained, and the foot-tracks have either been made before or since, say three, four, five, or six days, as the case may be. In the winter they tell in the same way, by snow falling after the camp has been raised, or before; also when they cut wood, the cuts will change color. The strength of the camp is found by the number of lodges, and number of fires. They claim to have some extreme acuteness of the senses, and often pretend to tell when an enemy is near them.

"189. — Are the Indians very prone to be deceived by professed dreamers, or the tricks of jugglers, or by phenomena of nature, of the principles and causes of which


they are ignorant? Is not the surrounding air and forest converted, to some extent, by this state of ignorance of natural laws, into a field of mystery, which often fills their minds with needless alarms? Are their priests shrewd enough to avail themselves of this credulity, either by observing this general defect of character, or by penetrating into the true causes of the phenomena? Do the fears and credulity of the Indians generally nourish habits of suspicion? Do they tend to form a character for concealment and cunning?"

We say that they are deceived, but the Indians say they are not deceived, and do not believe in all the tricks of their jugglers. They will not acknowledge they are ignorant, particularly in religious opinion, and war. They say the whites are the greatest fools they ever saw, to go and stand up like a stump to be shot at. Indians are all cunning; and all their thoughts are upon war and strategy. The game they kill is killed in large quantities by cunning, in approaching within shooting distance. Once an Indian bet a keg of whiskey with a trader, that he could go into the open prairie and approach a deer and kill it. So one day an opportunity happened in sight of all the people at the trading house. The Indian approached the deer and killed it, and got his keg of whiskey. The Indians are very credulous. Phenomena, they say, are sent as omens from something that is angry with them. Meteors, Aurora Borealis, and things of this kind, they fear very much. They can conceal desires for a long time, and revenge the longest of all. An Indian had his niece killed by a Chippewa, who cut the girl's nose and upper lip off, after she was dead. Thirty years after, the uncle went to war, and they killed a Chippewa girl. The Sioux did as the Chippewa did, and got revenge, as he said, by cutting off the girl's nose and lip.

"190. — How do their physical powers compare with the strength of Europeans? How many pounds can they lift? What are their comparative powers in running, or rowing a boat? Are they expert and vigorous in handling the axe, or the scythe? What is the greatest burden which you have known an Indian to carry?"

Their physical powers are not to be compared with those of the whites in any way, but by travelling, or carrying on the head, and this is custom. One hundred and fifty pounds is a heavy lift for an Indian; still, I suppose an Indian would carry two hundred pounds on his head by a strap quite easy. I have seen white men beat the best of them running short races. Rowing a boat they know nothing about; but to paddle a canoe, there are but few to surpass them. They cannot chop or mow. The women beat the men very decidedly in chopping.




a. Mandans.
b. Crow Tribe.
c. Paunch Band or Clan.
d. Minnetarees Proper.
e. Minnetarees of the Willows.
f. Gros Ventres.
g. Big Bellies.
h. Mattasoons or Ahahaways.


HISTORY has but little that it can appropriate to itself, respecting most of our Indian tribes. One of the most common and striking facts respecting them, consists in that evolvement of one tribe from another, under some distinctive name, and the assumption of a position of independency, which has covered the broad country with a multiplicity of various dialects and languages, bands, tribes, and nations, and with its concomitant, endless wars. Most commonly these names are terms of reproach, from some other tribes; sometimes they are geographical terms, with local inflections, denoting the places where they dwell; never do they denote the ethnological chain which connects the great circles and groups. Tradition is soon exhausted, and the Indian mind is prone to take shelter in allegory and fiction.

The Mandans hold their place in this category: agreeably to a tradition which they communicated in 1805, they had a subterraneous origin. They were shut out from the light of heaven, and dwelt together, near a subterraneous lake. A grape-vine, which extended its adventurous roots far into the earth, gave them the first intimation of the light that gladdened the face of the earth. By means of this vine, one half of the tribe climbed up to the surface, and were delighted with its light and air, its wild fruits and game. The other half were left in their dark prison-house, owing to the bulk and weight of an old woman, who, by her corpulency, tore down the vine, and prevented any more of the tribe from ascending.


If we compare this relation in the only light in which sense can be made of it, namely, a figure or allegory, designed to show some important phase, or calamitous point in their history, it may be said that darkness is a symbol of woe and trouble. By this they were enveloped, and held, for a well-remembered time, from the benefits and advantages of subsistence, from which they had been excluded. Grapes and buffalo may be deemed symbolical of abundant fruits and game. Owing to the intervention of a female, one half of the tribe were actually excluded from these benefits. In short, they were, by some mischance, parted into two bands or tribes, and went different ways. The particular character of this mischance can only be conjectured; it is only inferable, symbolically, that it was intense, as the depth below the sunlight surface denotes.

The religion of the Mandans consists in a belief in one great presiding good spirit, who is observant of their destinies. Each individual selects for himself some animal, or other object of personal devotion. This animal, or other creative object, becomes his protector and intercessor with the Great Spirit. To please and propitiate it, every attention is bestowed, as he wanders in the forest. Success in war, hunting, and planting, is sought through this intercessor, who is ever regarded as his guardian spirit. The rites of this guardian worship are generally secret, and the favor sought is through the magic, or mysterious skill, or art, of the supplicant in simples and medicines. Every operation of the laws of nature, which is not palpable to the senses, is deemed mysterious and supernatural. By the ignorance of the darkened minds of the lower class of Canadians, who were the first to be brought into contact with them, this unseen action was called "a medicine." The Indians readily adopted this erroneous phrase, and are disposed to consider every phenomenon to be medical, which is mysterious.

Information given to the late General William Clarke, in his expedition up the Missouri, denotes that the Mandans have suffered greater vicissitudes of fortune than most of the American tribes. About a century ago, they were settled on both banks of the Missouri, some fifteen hundred miles above its mouth. They were then living in nine villages, surrounded by circular walls of earth, without the adjunct of a ditch. The ruins of one of the old villages observed in 1804, covered nearly eight acres, and denoted a comparatively large population. Two of these villages were on the east, and seven on the west side of the Missouri. They were first discovered and made known to us, in this position, in 1772. (Mitchell's letter herewith.) They appear to have been a hated tribe to the Dacotahs or Sioux, and Assineboins, who, from the earliest traditionary times, carried on fierce war against them. Finding themselves sorely pressed by this war, and having experienced the wasting inroads of the smallpox, the two eastern villages united into one, and migrated up the river, to a point opposite the Arickaras, 1430 miles above the mouth. The same causes soon pressed the other seven western villages, reducing them to five; they also afterwards migrated in a


body, and joined their tribes-men in the Arickara country, and concentrated and settled themselves in two large villages. Here they dwelt for a time, but were still subject to the fierce attacks of their enemies; and deeming the position unfavorable, they removed higher up the river, and took possession of a precipitous and tenable point of land, formed by an involution of the Missouri, where they formed one compact village, in 1776. The eastern Mandans had settled in two villages, but finding the attacks of the Sioux hard to be resisted, united also in one village. The two divisions of Mandan villages were still separated by the Missouri river, but seated directly opposite each other, about three miles apart, including low lands.

The position is estimated to be 1000 miles from the junction of the Missouri with the Mississippi. There they were visited by Lewis and Clarke, on the 27th October, 1804. This was a memorable, and an auspicious event in their history; as the intrepid American explorers determined to pass their first winter in this vicinity. They built Fort Mandan a few miles distant, on a heavily-wooded piece of bottom-land, which yielded trees of sufficient size for erecting quarters for themselves and the men. They immediately opened an intercourse with the Mandans, and established a friendship with them, which was strengthened by the incidents of a winter's residence. Captain Clarke, on one occasion, marched out with a body of men, to defend them against a murderous attack of the Sioux; and by this act of intrepidity secured their highest respect, and gave them a practical assurance of the fidelity of his counsels. In accordance with the policy of the government, he had counselled them against the fatal policy of those wars which had reduced their population from nine to two villages, and threatened their extinction. He recognised Poscopsahe, or Black Wild Cat, as their first, and Kagonamok as their second chief, with their subordinates; and distributed medals and flags, in accordance with these recognitions. Poscopsahe responded to his advice proposing a general peace among the prairie tribes, and admitted the good influences that must flow from this expedition through their country, and across the Rocky Mountains. The expedition remained some five months at Fort Mandan, and made a most favorable impression upon this tribe.

No estimate of the Mandan population is given by Lewis and Clarke. It is a point respecting which their chiefs seem to have been studiously silent. The population was doubtless depressed from their former numbers, dating back to any period of their separate points of residence on lower parts of the Missouri, and their pride and policy alike forbade reference to it. Of all people, the Indians are the most uncomplaining; they can calmly and stoically see themselves decline, tribally and personally, but it is a prime point of Indian character not to complain. It is also to be remarked, that the whole aboriginal population of the United States has, at all periods of their history, felt a strong repugnance to be numbered.

The Mandans are reported by the Indian Bureau, in 1836 — prior to the date of the commencement of these investigations — on doubtful data, at 3200. There is no period


known to us, when they could have reached that number. The judgment of persons best acquainted with them, places their gross numbers, in 1837, at 1600; an estimate as high as could be well made, when the considerable annual losses to which they have been subjected from war, are considered. The number of births among the prairie and non-industrial tribes is at best but adequate, and often inadequate, on the average, to repair the losses by deaths; — estimating war, at all times, greatly to swell the list. These losses carry the average above the ordinary list of Indian casualties.

Surrounded, as the Mandans were, by active enemies, and doomed, as they appear to be, to extinction, they might have resisted their course of depopulation a long period, had it not been for the re-occurrence of small-pox among them, in the summer of 1837. By this fatal calamity their numbers were reduced, in a few days, to less than one-sixteenth of their whole number. One of the reports of the disaster reduced the survivors to thirty-one, another to one hundred and twenty-five, another to one hundred and forty-five. (Vide Vol. II., p. 239.) They were compelled to abandon their villages, rendered pestilent by the decomposition of so great a number; and the survivors at first fled to the Minnetarees, and afterwards established a small village a few miles above the old site of Mandan. Mr. T. A. Culbertson, who visited the upper Mississippi in 1850, puts them in that year at fifty lodges, and one hundred and fifty souls. By the report of Col. D. D. Mitchell, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, dated two years later, which is hereto appended, the present number of the Mandans is shown to be three hundred and eighty-five.

The physical peculiarities described by Col. Mitchell, as well as the traditions stated by him, are worthy of careful examination. The late Dr. Samuel George Morton, who had elaborately examined the physiology of the Indian tribes, expresses the opinion (Vol. II., p. 322) that the grey hair of the Mandan denotes only a morbid state of it, analogous to that which supervenes in Albinos, and consequently that it does not take the case out of the operation of the general laws of the development of human hair. Four Mandan skulls in his extensive collection of Crania, in the Academy of Natural Sciences, at Philadelphia, whose admeasurements have been taken by Mr. Phillips, agreeably to Dr. Morton's system, give for that tribe an average facial angle of 74°, and an internal capacity of 80 1/2 cubic inches. (Vol. II., p. 335.) The highest average facial angle and internal capacity of the crania of any of our groups of tribes in the United States, is found to exist in the Iroquois, being respectively 76°, and 88 cubic inches, denoting the Mandans to have an inferior intellectual development to that celebrated group.

The origin of the Mandans has been a subject creating some diversity of opinion. In 1804-5, during the ascent of Lewis and Clarke's expedition, there lived four miles below the Mandan village, at a place called Mahaha, seated on a high plain at the mouth of Knife river, the remnant of a tribe called Ahahways, or "people


who dwell on a hill." They were called by the French, Soulier Noir, or Black Shoes, and by the Mandans, Wattasoons. This people, though regarded as a distinct tribe, appear to have many characteristics in their manners and history, in perfect accordance with the Mandans. They dwelt near them, at lower points of the Missouri, and were driven off, along with the Mandans, by the Siouxs and Assineboins, by whom the greater part of them were put to death. They coincide with them in their religious beliefs, and in their manners and customs, and were ever on good terms with them, and their allies, the Minnetarees. It is affirmed of the Wattasoons (Alcido's Geography, article Ahahaways) that they claim to have once been a part of the Absaroka, or Crow nation, whom they still acknowledge as relations. They understand the language of the Minnetarees, their near neighbors and friends; and it is presumed that they are affiliated to the latter.

The Minnetarees were found in their present position by Lewis and Clarke. They are the Gros Ventres and Ponch Indians of the French, and the Big Bellies and Fall Indians of the Hudson's Bay traders. The accounts given to these explorers, put them at 600 warriors, or 3000 souls, on the Missouri, in 1804. Mandan tradition asserts that the Minnetarees came out of the water to the east, and settled near them, when they occupied their position at the nine villages; that they were a numerous people, and settled themselves on the southern banks of the Missouri. While thus seated, a feud arose among them, and a separation took place; two bands of them went into the plains, under separate leaders, and were known by the name of Crow and Paunch Indians. The other bands moved up the Missouri, concurrently with themselves, to their present position. In these migrations, the Minnetarees and Mandans had the same friends and the same enemies.

This tradition the Minnetarees proper do not confirm. True to the general Indian principle of local origins and independency, which is a mere backer of title to the lands everywhere, they assert that they grew out of the ground where they now live. They also assert that the Metahartas, or Minnetarees of the Willows, whose language is the same, with little variations, came out and rejoined them from the plains, which gives confirmation to the Mandan tradition of their former dispersion while living below, near the nine villages.

Lewis and Clarke were informed that the Minnetarees were a part of the Fall Indians, who occupy the country between the Missouri, at Mandan, and the great Saskatchawine river of Hudson's Bay.

Mackenzie applies the term Fall Indians, or Big Bellies, to a tribe living on the south fork of the Saskatchawine, extending from that branch south-east across the plains from latitude 47° 32" north, to longitude 101° west, to the south bend of the Assineboin river. He places the number of men at 700; an estimate which, if we assume


half this number to be heads of families, would give a gross population of 1750, which, added to the cognate Minnetarees on the Missouri, before given, would denote a gross Minnetaree population of 4750. These estimates were made respectively in 1790 and 1804, although Mackenzie did not publish his work till 1801, nor Lewis and Clarke till 1814.

The Fall Indians are not to be confounded with the Sitkeas, consisting of Blackfeet, Piegan and Blood Indians, or Pawkees, who occupy the main Saskatchawine, reaching over southerly to the great bend of the Missouri. It is seen, from Umprevill's vocabulary, that the two languages are distinct, and they are proved by Mr. Gallatin, (vide Archaeologia, Vol. II., p. 373,) to have no words whatever in common.

From a vocabulary of the Minnetarees, collected by Mr. Say, in Major Long's first expedition, this language is perceived to have analogies with the Upsaroka, or Crow language. But, by a comparison of the Minnetaree and Mandan annexed (2.), there is but a slight resemblance between the inflections of these two languages, and a wide disagreement in radicals. Hitherto, our means of examining the Mandan language have been confined to ten compound words; being the names of chiefs who signed the treaty of July, 1825, which are extracted by Mr. Gallatin, at p. 379, Vol. II. Archaeologia Americana. A full vocabulary of the Mandan, consisting of three hundred words, (vide § IX.,) has recently been received from Colonel Mitchell, of St. Louis, which enables us to speak with more confidence of its character, and the position of this tribe among the Missouri Indians. This vocabulary has been prepared by Mr. James Kipp, an intelligent person, who has been, for a long time, engaged in commerce with the tribes of the upper Missouri, and is well versed in the Mandan and Minnetaree dialects.

By the table of the classification of the Indian languages, prepared by Mr. Gallatin in 1836, and herewith first published from the manuscript, the Mandans are arranged under his 10th, or Sioux family; the latter term corresponding, generally, with the "Dacotah group" of these investigations. We are still without a vocabulary of the Upsaroka language, except the short and fragmentary one of Mr. Say, in Long's First Expedition. But from the present cultivated state of the Dacotah language, and from Mr. Kipp's ample vocabulary of the Mandan, we are inclined to believe that this language cannot retain the position assigned to it by Mr. Gallatin, from very scanty materials of comparison in the Sioux or Dacotah group. At the same time, the probabilities are also lessened by its being cognate with the Upsaroka, to which its resemblances do not appear to be greater than mere propinquity of position would expose it. From the want of a full vocabulary of the Upsaroka, above referred to, this question cannot be satisfactorily settled; but the annexed comparisons (1.) go far to denote the claims of the Mandans to independency of linguistic position among the tribes of the Missouri. At the same time, it admits of little doubt that the Upsarokas


owe their origin to the Missouri Valley; from which, by the fortunes of war, or enterprise, they have in past times fled to the foot and spurs of the Rocky Mountains.

I annex to these remarks a letter of Colonel Mitchell, the present Superintendent of United States Indian Affairs on that important frontier, to which his knowledge of the tribes of Missouri, and the Plains generally, and his good judgment of the Indian character and movements in those bleak latitudes, give great weight.

WASHINGTON, January 28, 1852.

SIR: — In compliance with your request, I furnish you with a brief history of the Mandan Indians. The early portion of their history, I gather from the narration of Mr. Mackintosh; who, it seems, belonged to, or was in some way connected with the French Trading Company, as far back as 1772. According to his narration, he set out from Montreal, in the summer of 1773, crossed over the country to the Missouri river, and arrived at one of the Mandan villages on Christmas day. He gives a long, and somewhat romantic description of the manner in which he was received, and dwells at some length upon the greatness of the Mandan population, their superior intelligence, and prowess in war. He says, at that time the Mandans occupied nine large towns lying contiguous, and could, at short notice, muster 15,000 mounted warriors. I am inclined to think that the statistics of the author whom I have quoted are somewhat exaggerated; and at the time he visited the Missouri, the Mandans were not so numerous as he represents. There are, however, the ruins of five villages in the neighborhood of the present village, which were evidently, at one time, occupied by the Mandans; and judging from the space which these "deserted villages" cover, they must have been powerful communities; at least so far as numbers could make them powerful.

As far as we can learn, the Mandans seem to have been a warlike people; so much so, as to cause the neighboring tribes, the Sioux, Cheyennes, Assineboins, Crows, and other smaller tribes, to unite in a crusade against them. The operations of this military alliance against the Mandans (according to Indian history) were prosecuted with great vigor for three years; the Mandans, in the mean time, being driven from village to village, until the different bands became concentrated at the place which they now occupy. This village is situated on a high projecting cliff on the banks of the Missouri; the rocky barrier being an impregnable fortification for about two-thirds of the circular space occupied by their dirt lodges; the remaining space opening on the plains was strongly fortified, and in this position they were enabled to defend themselves against the combined forces of their numerous enemies. The Mandans were, however, not content to act on the defensive; but continued to send out, annually, war-parties against the Sioux, and other tribes by whom they were surrounded. In these warlike excursions, they lost many of their bravest young men, which prevented any increase of population. They remained in this independent position until the


summer of 1837, when an enemy, far more formidable than the Sioux, or other neighboring tribes, made his appearance: I allude to the small-pox, introduced among them, as well as the other prairie tribes, during that year. This fell pestilence swept off about one-half of all the prairie tribes, excepting the Crows and Mandans. The former escaped entirely by fleeing to the Rocky Mountains, and interdicting all communications with either whites or Indians, for more than a year. The Mandans remained in their ancient village, trusting to the potency of their "great medicine," and were almost entirely annihilated.

When the small-pox disappeared from the country, the once-powerful nation of Mandans was reduced to 125 souls! and these consisted mostly of women and children. The Arickaras (a neighboring and friendly tribe) moved in and took possession of the village; they were thus, for the time being, protected against their relentless enemies, the Sioux. As the Mandan children grew up, and intermarried, the population rapidly increased; so much so, that in 1847 the remnants of the tribe gathered together, and built a town or village for themselves, where they now reside on friendly terms with their neighbors, and are rapidly increasing in population. They now number about 385 souls.

The Mandans are a proud, high-toned tribe, and could not bear the idea of losing their name and nationality by being amalgamated with the Arickaras or any other nation.

There are great diversities of opinion as to what tribe or tribes the Mandans originally belonged. I am inclined to believe they are a distinct tribe, or at least their relationship to other tribes is so very remote, that it cannot now be traced. In their language, manners, customs, and mode of life, they are altogether different from the Indians occupying that region of country; and in fact differing from any Indians on the continent of America, so far as my observation extends; and I have some knowledge of a large majority of the existing tribes.

Apart from their peculiar language and habits, there is a physical peculiarity. A large portion of the Mandans have grey hair, and blue or light brown eyes, with a Jewish cast of features. It is nothing uncommon to see children of both sexes, from five to six years of age, with hair perfectly grey. They are also much fairer than the prairie or mountain tribes; though this may be somewhat attributable to the fact of their living in dirt lodges, and less exposed to the sun than the prairie tribes. Information as to some of their peculiar customs can be found in the Journal of Lewis and Clarke. The scenes described by Catlin, existed almost entirely in the fertile imagination of that gentleman.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,
Sup't. Ind. Affairs.

Washington City, D. C.


At a subsequent period, namely, 11th August, 1852, the same gentleman transmitted me the vocabulary of the Mandan language, to which allusion has been made. "You know," he observes, "I always contended that Mr. Gallatin was in error, in supposing the Mandan and Sioux descended from the same stock. Mr. Kipp, who has been well acquainted with both tribes, for upwards of thirty years, and speaks both languages with great fluency and correctness, fully concurs with me in opinion. There are a few words, that are somewhat similar in sound; but this Mr. Kipp accounts for by the fact of the Sioux and Mandans having been neighbors from time immemorial, and, during intervals of peace, visiting and intermarrying with each other."

The existence of the syllable "sub," in the Mandan language, and in the apparent sense in which we employ this Latin preposition, as signifying a less or subordinate degree, is a peculiarity which has not been found in any other Indian language in North America. It is noticed as a mere anomaly in Indian syllables, and not as denoting a foreign derivation. Thus, man, in the Mandan, is numankosh; boy, subnumankosh; woman, mihi; girl, submihi. The syllable is quite frequent, and always in this apparent sense. Another peculiarity is the sound of the Greek ipselon, as it is strongly heard in German, which may be represented by y y.

Good Eetshick Shish.
Bad Kabbeeaik Yiggosh.
Bison Beeshay Ptihnde (cow).
Bull Cheeraypay Perokι.
Beaver Beerappay Warappe.
Tobacco Opay Manashι.
Fear Namatay Tehansh.
Mountain Amay-thee-bay Aparash-yteksh.
Elk Eecheereecaty Umpa.
Knife Mitsee Mahi.
Near Ashkay Ashgash.
Friend Sheeka Manuka.
To eat Baboushmeek Woruth.
Little Eerokatay Yamahe.
Y. Woman Meekatay Submihι.
Water Meenee Minι.
Fire Beeday Warade.
Wood Monay Mana.
River Anshay Passanhe.
Horse Neecheeray Umpa manyse (like an elk).
No Baraytah Migosh.
Strong Batsatsh Zihush.


Wolf Harate Saijah.
Man Numankosh Matsa.
Arm Aadι Arrough.
Bear Mato Lahpeetze.
Bird Mareksuke Sacauga.
Boy Subnumankosh Shikauga.
Neck Itaino Apeeh.
Bison Perokι Keeeerepee.
Beaver Warappe Meerapa.


[With a Map.]

THE Iowas are noticed in the earlier French accounts of the Mississippi Valley. It is questionable whether they were known to the early Spanish adventurers who visited the lower part of that valley. The name "Ayennes," which appears in the narrative of Cabaca de Vaca's wanderings through Arkansas, after the unfortunate expedition of Narvaez in 1527, may, possibly, be an early reference to them. Their history, along with the other tribes of the Great Prairie, or Dacotah group, assigns them an origin in the south-west. The French usually called them Ayouas or Ajoues — an orthography which very well restores the existing sounds of the name.

In Alcedo's Spanish Geography, under the name of Ajoues, they are mentioned as a tribe of Louisiana, for whose government a garrison had been kept on the Missouri.

Mr. Irvin and Mr. Hamilton, to whose joint paper herewith annexed, attention is invited, are missionaries on the Missouri river, to the Iowa and a party of the Sac tribe. They are in the service of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, which is located, as its central point of action, in the city of New York, under the superintendence, for many years past, of Walter Lowrie, Esq.

The original outlines of the Indian map which is herewith exhibited, (Plate 30,) is due to those gentlemen, and is a singularly interesting document in Iowa history. It was drawn in the rough, by Waw-non-que-skoon-a, with a black-lead-pencil, on a large sheet of white paper, furnished at the mission-house, and has been reduced in size, and its rigid lines adapted to the surveys of the public lands on the Missouri and Mississippi


It furnishes a practical and affirmative reply to query No. 31, on the capacity of the Indians to execute geographical charts. The original is retained in the Indian Bureau.

The object of Waw-non-que-skoon-a was to denote the places where the Iowas had lived during the sixteen migrations which preceded their residence at their present location, the Missouri; and, in truth, it nearly exhausts their history. The marks to denote a fixed residence, are a symbol, for a lodge. These are carefully preserved, with their exact relative position. Their order, as given, is also preserved by figures. Could eras be affixed to these residences, it would give entire accuracy to the modern part of their history.

As it is, it depicts some curious facts in the history of predatory and erratic tribes, showing how they sometimes crossed their own track, and demonstrates the immense distances to which they rove.

The earliest date to which their recollection extends, as indicated by location No. 1, is at the junction of Rock river with the Mississippi. This was, manifestly, in or very near Winnebago territory, and confirms the traditions of several of the Missouri tribes, (vide Fletcher's paper.) From this point they migrated down the Mississippi to the river Des Moines, and fixed themselves at No. 2, on its south fork. They next made an extraordinary migration, abandoning the Mississippi and all its upper tributaries, and ascending the Missouri to a point of land formed by a small stream, on its east shore, called by the Indians Fish creek, which flows in from the direction of, and not far from, the celebrated Red Pipe stone quarry, on the heights of the Coteau des Prairies. No. 3.

They next descended the Missouri to the junction of the Nebraska, or Great Platte river, with that stream. No. 4. They settled on the west bank, keeping the buffalo ranges on their west. They next migrated still lower down the Missouri, and fixed themselves on the head-waters of the Little Platte river. No. 5.

From this location, when circumstances had rendered another change desirable, they returned to the Mississippi, and located themselves at the mouth of Salt river. No. 6. Here passed another period. They next ascended the Mississippi, and settled on its east bank, at the junction of a stream in the present area of Illinois. No. 7. Their next migration carried them still higher on that shore, to the junction of another stream, No. 8, which is well nigh to their original starting point at No. 1.

They receded again to the south and west, first fixing themselves on Salt river, No. 9, above their prior site, No. 6, and afterwards changing their location to its very source. No. 10. They then passed, evidently by land, to the higher forks of the river Chariton, of Missouri, No. 11, and next descended that stream to near its mouth. No. 12. The next two migrations of this tribe were to the west valley of the Grand river, and then to its forks. No. 14. Still continuing their general migrations to the south and west, they chose the east bank of the Missouri, opposite the present site of


Fort Leaven worth, No. 15, and finally settled on the west bank of the Missouri, between the mouth of the Wolf and Great Namahaw, No. 16, where they now reside.

These migrations are deemed to be all of quite modern date, not exceeding the probable period to which well-known tradition could reach. They do not, it would seem, aspire to the area of their ancient residence on the lower and upper Iowa rivers, and about the region of St. Anthony's falls. (See Prescott's paper.)

We are taught something by these migrations. They were probably determined by the facility of procuring food. They relied, ever, greatly on the deer, elk, and buffalo. As these species are subject to changes, it is probable they carried the Indians with them. It is not probable that their locations were of long continuance at a place. Not over a dozen years at a location, on the average. It might be longer at some places, and less at others. This would not give a period of more than 180 years, before their arrival at their present place. Marquette found them, in 1673, at the mouth of the Des Moines. This, it is seen, was their first location.

It is not probable that the game-pursuing Indians were more fixed in their ancient, than in their modern locations. Indeed, the very reverse is true; for the modern hunter tribes avail themselves of the proximity of military posts, and out-settlements, to guard themselves from the approaches of hostile bands.

The population of the Iowas, as given at early dates, is very uniform, having evidently been copied by one writer from another. In some ancient MS. data in the Royal Marine Office, at Paris, which were submitted to the inspection of the American Minister (General Cass) in 1842, their numbers were put down, for about 1730, at 1100. When Colonel Bouquet marched over the Alleghanies against the western Indians, in 1764, the same numbers are used. Each of these dates assigns their residence to the Missouri, and there had, evidently, no recent information been received. The French alone were at that time in communication with them, and their alliance with the western Indians, in this war, made it impracticable to obtain further data.

By the official returns transmitted to the Indian Bureau, in 1848, they are stated at a fraction under 750 souls. They are, from the subjoined report, subjected to the influence of ardent spirits, and other deteriorating causes. The vital statistics furnished in 1848, give 55 births, and 90 deaths; an unusual sickness having supervened. 100 men are put down as hunters, and 60 as agriculturists; 33 children attended school, and 10 could speak the English language. They possessed 150 horses; the whole number adhered to their native religion; two persons were pledged to temperance. They received a little over $7000 annuity, in coin, and could muster 150 warriors. They possessed a council-house, a school and church, and two missionaries, and assistants, beneficially employed to teach and reclaim them.

Messrs. Hamilton and Irvin are engaged, as the practical duties of their mission permit, in the investigation of the Iowa language, which is a well-marked dialect of


the generic Dacotah group, and have nearly completed a grammar and dictionary of that tongue. (For remarks upon it, see Section IX.)

The Iowas first entered into treaty relations with the United States, September 16, 1815. Their original right to the soil, with that of all the western tribes, is fully acknowledged. They have ceded considerable portions of territory. The whole annual sum required to fulfil treaty obligations with them, in 1851, was $7875. (Vide Part II., p. 569.)

The Iowa tribe gives name to one of the States of the Union; a territory of great beauty of surface and exuberant fertility, abounding in water-power, and possessing a fine climate.



[INTRODUCTORY NOTE. — From information derived from the Sac and Fox delegation, who visited Washington in the summer of 1852, the Sacs number, at this time, thirteen hundred souls; the Foxes about seven hundred. The tribe still retains its love of savage life and manners, beyond almost all others of the removed Indians on our borders. They dislike schools, missionaries, and even dwellings; and many of them yearn to go further west, that they may be still more distant from civilization, as well as nearer the buffalo, and other game. Their efforts at cultivation have been very feeble, though they inhabit a fine country, well adapted to successful agriculture. The tribe has a fund of $30,000.]


SIR: — Your circular of July 17th, together with the numerous queries on the Indian character and condition, reached us in due time. We were much gratified in contemplating the interest manifested by the Department in behalf of the poor Indians, and felt ourselves not only honored, but privileged in being invited to lend our mite to this desirable object. You were pleased to address us separately; but to better promote our object, with more ease to ourselves, we have concluded to respond jointly. We have for more than ten years been associated in the mission work, under the direction of the same society, and part of the time living as one family. As you are perhaps aware, we are under the direction of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign ^Missions, in New York, of which Walter Lowrie, Esq., is Corresponding Secretary. Our mission was commenced in 1837.

The time has fully come when we should have all our affairs relative to the Indian subject ready to send to you, and we at first thought that we would be certainly prepared by this time, but we find ourselves much disappointed in this. The business of the mission, and the boarding-school, and the press, and preparations for it, have


carried us along with almost unconscious rapidity. As it is, we propose to send on all we have in readiness that will be of any use or interest, and that we will continue our researches on the queries as fast and far as we can, until the first of April; sending you a few sheets at a time, as we may get them prepared. If we should not get through the subject by that time, and a continuation of them after that will be of any use, we will, as time and means may allow, continue to send on. If, on the contrary, their continuation after this date will not be of any advantage, you will be so good as to let us know.

We will only add a few general remarks, which may be kept in mind in examining what we may send you, and to which we may refer in what we write.

1st. Our acquaintance is mainly with the Iowas: though the Missouri band of Sacs have been our neighbors, yet they have refused our instructions, and kept their distance, so that we know but little comparatively of their real character, though they have always treated us with much respect. These, however, being a branch of the Mississippi tribes, and also of the same family with the Potawatomies, Kickapoos, and others, their character will, no doubt, be fully set before you from other sources.

2d. We will take up your questions in order, placing the number only in the margin on the left hand, and answer them as briefly as we can, to render any satisfaction; waiving all those which do not refer to our tribes, and such as we cannot answer with a good degree of certainty, to ourselves.

3d. In tracing their history, religion, &c., it will be exceedingly difficult to proceed with certainty and satisfaction, from the difference we find in the notions of different individuals: e. g. to-day we will sit down with an old Indian, who will enter into a plausible detail of their history, or religious belief, or some traditions of their fathers. Another of the same age and patriarchal rights will give quite a different statement about the same things; or perhaps the same individual would to-morrow give his own story quite a different shade. This is the reason why the reports of the transient observers vary so much. It requires long acquaintance, and close observation, to arrive at anything like just conclusions on these points; and it is only by collecting different and conflicting notions, and balancing them, that we can find which prevails.

4th. The Iowas are probably but a remnant of a once numerous and considerable nation, which has dwindled down to the present few; and these have lost much of their pure native character, if we may so term it. As their numbers diminish before the whites, so also are their native characteristics destroyed. Indeed, they complain of this themselves, that they are losing the great medicine of their fathers, that they do not now worship as they once did, and that much of their history and character is lost. It will be seen, therefore, that our inquiries will be attended with some difficulty; but what we can get worthy of credence we will cheerfully forward, hoping that it may serve a little to promote the benevolent design of the Department.

You will find herewith a copy of our elementary book, in the Iowa language, the


first that we have done at the station; some answers to a few of the first questions, and also to the last, on the subject of language; also a sheet just from the press, belonging to a little work in the form of a grammar of the Iowa language. This work will reach over, perhaps, 150 pages of the size before you. We did hope to have it through the press by this time, but having no help in printing, could not. We will send you the sheets as they get through the press, at least until we get through the "parts of speech," and if spared to complete it, send you a full copy.

We will also mail herewith a hymn, and question-book, and also a few prayers, all of which have been prepared and printed at this station. Wishing you every blessing, and especially that you may have abundant success in carrying out your benevolent designs for the good of the poor neglected and down-trodden Indians, we are, Hon. Sir,

Your obedient servants,



"1. — What facts can be stated, from tradition, respecting the origin, early history and migrations of the tribe; and what are the principal incidents known, or remembered since A. D. 1492? Can they communicate anything on this head, of ancient date, which is entitled to respect? What is the earliest event, or name, in their origin or progress, which is preserved by tradition, and from what stock of men have they sprung?"

But little worthy of credit can be gathered with regard to their origin and early history. Some, professing to be wise, among them, enter into long details of these subjects; but on examining more closely, and comparing views, it involves all their statements in complete doubt. The more honest, and not the less intelligent, agree in saying that the true history of the Iowas is in a great degree lost, and that nothing of their early history is any longer correctly known. The notion of their having descended from animals, seems to prevail, (which will be more fully given under their "religion,") and that all the tribes of Indians were originally one; that to obtain subsistence they scattered in families, and in this way became distinct tribes. The place where they lived, when all in one tribe, was on an island, or at least across a large water, towards the east, or sunrise. They crossed this water by skin canoes, and swimming. How long they were in crossing, or whether the water was salt or fresh, they do not know. No remarkable event of antiquity, worthy of note, is remembered


"2. — By what name are they called, among themselves, and by what name, or names, are they known among other tribes; and what is the meaning of these respective names? State the various synonyms. Where did the tribe dwell, at the earliest date; what was its probable number, and the extent of territory occupied or claimed by it? How have their location, numbers, and extent of lands or territories, varied since the earliest known period; and what are the general facts, on these heads, at the present time?"

The Iowas are, among themselves, and also among the neighboring tribes, called "Pa-hu-cha," or "Dusty-nose." When they separated from the first Indian tribe, or family, to hunt game, their first location was near the mouth of a river, where there were large sand-bars, from which the wind blew quantities of sand or dust upon their faces, from which they were called Pa-hu-chas or Dusty-noses. Here an old Iowa Indian, about sixty years old or more, speaks: "About sixty-six years ago, we lived on a river, which runs from a lake to the Mississippi, from the east, and on the east side of that river. Our fathers and great fathers lived there for a long time, as long as they could recollect. At that time we had about four hundred men fit to go to war, but we were then small to what we had been. Our fathers say, as long as they can recollect, we have been diminishing. We owned all the land east of the Mississippi. Whatever ground we made tracks through, it was ours. Our fathers saw white men on the lakes about 120 years ago; do not know where they came from. About the same time we first got guns. We were afraid of them at first, they seemed like the "Great Spirit." Our fathers also, at the same time, for the first received iron, axes, hoes, kettles, and woollen blankets. We, the old men of our nation, first saw white men between forty and fifty years ago, near the mouth of the Missouri."

"3. — Are they of opinion they were created by the Great Spirit on the lands, or are they conquerors, or possessors through the events of war, or from other causes? Can they recollect the first interview with whites, or Europeans — the first sale of lands, or treaty made by them — the introduction of fire-arms, woollen clothing, cooking vessels of metal, ardent spirits, the first place of trade, or any other prominent facts in their history?"

Nothing except what is conveyed in the preceding. They do not claim to have obtained lands by great conquest.

"4. — Have they any tradition of the creation, or the deluge, or of their ancestors having lived in other lands, or having had knowledge of any quadrupeds which are foreign to America, or crossed any large waters, in their migration? Is there any idea developed among them by tradition, allegory, or otherwise, that white people, or a more civilized race, had occupied the continent before them?"

Of the flood, hear the Indians: —


"Our fathers tell us, that a long time ago, it rained a long time; perhaps twenty or thirty days; and all animals and all Indians were drowned. The Great Spirit then made another man and woman out of red clay, and we came from them. Don't know what became of the whites in the flood: they may have been saved in boats or canoes. The Great Spirit told our fathers all this, or told the first man he made." No knowledge of a more enlightened race living in this country before them.

"5. — Have they any name for America? If there be no direct term applicable to the entire continent, search their oral traditions in the hope of detecting the name?"

Nothing to be found.

"6. — Did they, before the discovery, live in a greater degree of peace with each other — had they formed any ancient leagues; and if so, of what tribes did they consist, how long did these leagues last, and when and how were they broken? Did they build any forts or mounds in their ancient wars, or were the earth-works we find in the West erected before they arrived; and by whom, in their opinion, were these works erected?"

It would seem from their traditions that they have always been at war with each other; and indeed it would seem that it is fear, or considerations of policy alone, which prevents them from going to war with other nations; even those with which they have the greatest affinity. They had made treaties with other nations before they saw the whites; but they were always driven to it from fear, and hence those leagues were usually broken, even by the party first proposing peace, as soon as their strength would justify. The Iowas, however, have not upon record any important treaty with neighboring tribes, nor any noted violation of treaties made.

The manner in which their fathers made treaties was as follows. The nation desiring to make peace would collect all their principal men, and travel together until they came in sight of the enemy's village. They would then stop, and send forward into the village a single individual, bearing the peace-pipe, stem foremost, wailing as he went. The remaining company of the peace party would then follow at some distance. The pipe-bearer, on reaching the village, would be conducted by some one to the first chief's house. A favorable reception would be indicated by the chief thus visited, by taking a whiff of smoke from the extended pipe. Should he refuse, it was always considered hazardous to the chief himself; as it is supposed that such a refusal exposes him to an angry visitation of the Great Spirit, in taking away the life of the chief or some of his family. When the pipe-bearer has been thus received, as is always the case from the foregoing consideration, the whole peace company are received in the first chiefs lodge, and manifestations of friendship exchanged by shaking the right hand, while the left is passed down the other arm, from the shoulder, and rubbed forcibly over the breast. They also eat and stay several days together.


They have not made any great fortifications or breast-works, nor can they give any explanation of the great earth-works of the country, except that there is an allusion to a great fortification in one of their sacred songs, which appears to have been made or controlled by some of their great fathers.

"7. — What events have happened, in their history, of which they feel proud, or by which they have been cast down? What tribes have they conquered, or been conquered by, and who have been their great men? Have they suffered any great calamity in past times, as from great floods, or wild beasts, from epidemic or pestilential diseases, or from fierce and sudden assailants?"

The greatest victory in the recollection of the Iowas was about forty-five years ago, when they say they destroyed thirty houses of the Osages with all their inhabitants. Their greatest loss was thirty-three years ago. Twenty men were killed, and three women taken prisoners by the Sioux. Forty-five years ago, just after the Osage victory, the small-pox took off about one hundred men — women and children not counted. Thirty-three years ago, they lost about sixty men, besides women and children, with a disorder like the small-pox, perhaps measles or scarlet fever. Thirty-six years ago, they felt the shock of an earthquake; — one very considerable, and several less severe shocks.

"8. — Who is their ruling chief? Who are their present most noted chiefs, speakers, or war captains? State their names, and give brief sketches of their lives. When did the tribe reach their present location, and under what circumstances?"

White Cloud, known among the Indians by the name of Wi-e-wa-ha, or good disposition, is the first chief of the Iowa tribe. His father is spoken of as a great man among the Iowas; noted mainly for his courage and generosity. His son, the present chief, is not remarkable for any trait except an insatiable thirst for spirits. Indians usually indulge in drunkenness only occasionally, as opportunity and influence may favor such indulgences; but he is more sottish, and is disposed to keep it by him all the time. Very regardless of the interests of his nation, and much more notorious for keeping bad company than for repelling the irregularities of the vagrant of the nation. A man of no brilliancy of mind, or firmness of character; though great pains have been taken to make a contrary impression on the minds of strangers by a favorite interpreter, and a few others, hanging upon him for pecuniary considerations. Has sustained his influence in his nation, heretofore, by purchasing large quantities of goods and provisions on the credit of the nation, and giving them to a few braves (so called) and favorites in the tribe. Since the most wise and most just arrangement of the Department in dividing the annuity equally among the heads of families, has been adopted, it is hard to see how he will sustain himself. Most likely he will sink to the level which he ought to occupy. Offers no encouragement to the school. Has three


wives, and sometimes four. A man of middle size, one eye out from the constant use of liquor, about 35 or 36 years of age; a poor speaker, and says but little in council usually.

Na-che-ning-a, or No-heart-of-fear, is the second chief of the Iowas, and the principal business-man of the nation. He is at this time chief speaker. Not remarkable for strength of mind, but under good influence will always be a fine man. Shows some concern for the welfare of his people, a friend to the whites, and anxious to have his people adopt their customs. Very friendly to education. The school and mission owe much to him for his friendship and influence; he has always been their fast friend. A man of good appearance; has but one wife, with whom he has always lived in as much domestic happiness as perhaps is ever enjoyed among savages. Is almost 45 years of age.

Neu-mon-ga, or Walking-rain, is the third chief; a man of most dignified and fine appearance, and of a shrewd and cunning mind. Modest and well-behaved among the whites — ambitious and selfish among his people, and generally of doubtful reputation; though perhaps the most observing and calculating among the chiefs, and a ready speaker. Near 50 years of age; has one wife, with whom he has lived agreeably for a long time.

Waw-mo-moka, or "Thief," is the fourth chief, but a young man who takes but little part in the business affairs of the nation. A young man of a very fine disposition, and perhaps the only chief of the tribe not known to have ever been drunk. For his sobriety, he has received a neat temperance medal, sent from some friends in England to those of the nation worthy of them. Of good appearance, over 20 years of age, and has one wife.

He-wa-tho-cha, or One-who-sheds-his-hair, is regarded as the fifth chief of the tribe; quite deaf, and has but little mind. If he undertakes to speak in council, it is only to repeat something said by a predecessor. About 50 years of age, common appearance, one wife, and one son. A few others claim to be chiefs, but are not recognised as such by the nation. Would it not be well for government, as fast as the condition of the tribes may allow of it, to put down this system of chiefship altogether? This, no doubt, will and must be the final issue in the event of their improvement, allied as they are to our republican government; but might not this power be commenced much sooner, through the agency of our government? It would be a great spur to the rising generation, and a check to the existing tyrannical authorities.

At this time there is not any conspicuous "brave," or speaker, among the Iowas. A few years ago their great orator died. He was regarded by both Indians and whites as a very great speaker. The following brief and well-authenticated speech of his agrees well with this nation's oratorical powers. He once conducted a war party against the Osages, but without any success. On their way home, weary and dispirited, they passed near where were some white emigrants, and finding their horses


some distance from their houses, concluded to steal them, and ride home. The whites discovered the theft, and by a pushed march, soon overtook the Indians with the stolen horses. This speaker being head of the band, it fell upon him to reconcile the difficulty, which he did by at once, on hearing of the approach of the whites, turning to meet them in the most friendly manner, and, as soon as he could obtain audience, addressing them in substance as follows: "You are our friends and brothers, we are glad to see you. We are friends to the whites, and we know their ways. We know their way is, that when a friend or brother is in distress, they allow him to take such things as he needs to help him out of distress without asking for it, if it is necessary. We were weary and in distress to get home to our friends and families, and we took your horses as friends, intending to send them back as soon as we would get home. We know these horses are yours; we do not claim them, but we just borrowed them in our distress, feeling that we were all friends." The argument appears to have been sufficient, and a compromise was at once made. Few men, under the excitement of such an occasion, would have been able to adopt such a course. His name was Wa-cha-mon-ya, or One-who-kills-as-he-walks. He died two years ago, about sixty years of age, of good size, and most intellectual and noble appearance.

"9. — Does the tribe speak one or more dialects, or are there several languages spoken, or incorporated in it, requiring more than one interpreter, in transacting business with them? Are there aged persons who can state their traditions?"

There is but one language spoken in the Iowa tribe, and one interpreter answers all purposes. Their language is of the same family with the Winnebagoes, Kansas, Omahas, Punkas, Osages, and others.

There are a few aged persons who pretend to be able to state their traditions with great accuracy; but we find it is not the most pretending that is the most correct, or to be relied on. We hope, however, to find enough from various sources to be able to give about all that is existent on this subject.


"10. — What rank and relationship does the tribe bear to other tribes? Do their traditions assign them a superior or inferior position in the political scale of the tribes; and is this relationship sanctioned by the traditions of other tribes? To what mode can we resort to settle discordant pretensions to original rank and affinities of blood?"

The rank and relationship of the tribes is difficult to find, as they seem to be quite independent of each other, and each one disposed to claim superiority. At present, however, the Iowas do not seem to be very ambitious as to superiority of rank in this


respect; but the traditions of their fathers would make them to have been superior to many nations, and equal to the greatest, though it does not seem that they ever claimed for themselves superiority over all nations, either in numbers or wisdom. Their pretensions to equality with other great nations is, however, disputed by some of the neighboring nations, and a very inferior position in the scale of nations assigned them. The Sacs say that they found the Iowas a small band, driven before their enemies, and that it was through kindness extended from the Sac nation, that the Iowas exist. The Iowas, in return, say that they found the Sacs a small band of men only, almost exterminated by the Sioux, that they took them and gave them wives, and that, but for them, the Sac nation would have been extinct long ago. It will be difficult to adopt any successful mode to reconcile these discordant pretensions to original rank. As they, as tribes, have always lived more or less adjacent, perhaps a detail of the views of each nation, with regard to the strength and powers of all surrounding nations, regardless of what they might claim for themselves, might show what nation or nations have been superiors, at least in certain districts, or among neighboring tribes. The relation, rank, and friendship of the tribes are not expressed by the terms "brother, father," &c. The language is doubtless the most reliable means of tracing the original affinity of these scattered people. There is, however, another process, which, if rightly pursued, might throw great light on the origin of these people, as well as on their clouded history. Let the religious ceremonies of each principal tribe be carefully and particularly drawn out in detail, and diligently compared. This would lead to something more to be relied on, than the vague traditions of more modern times, most of which have sprung from vain bravadoes who told their own stories, and who are often regardless of truth. Their religion they held sacred, and their ceremonies are taught from father to son, and they have not been altered in the least, for at least many generations. They neither add to nor diminish from these, nor does it appear that they are in the habit of forming new ones. This would be going more to the law originally written on their hearts, if allowed the expression, than anywhere else, and upon this we might more rely. These ceremonies and songs are much more numerous than is generally supposed, and reference is had to many things which can be found nowhere else; e. g., see the inquiries after the cause of the strange earth-works in this country — nothing direct or indirect could be found, while on that subject. It was afterwards, however, found that there was a direct allusion to a great earth and wood fort, built and commanded by some great one of their ancestors. Thus many things might be got in this way, and in no other, which would throw light on their history and character, and by carefully comparing these, some clue might be obtained to their origin. Such an investigation would


probably settle the question whether they are of Jewish descent. It is difficult to think that they are the descendants of Abraham, in view of the difficulties in the way; but in their manners and customs we see many analogies, besides the fact that we have in this school, and at this time, two boys, one of about seven, and one of about four years old, who have been circumcised. These boys are half-breeds, said to be from the "Blackfeet tribe." Their father may have been a Jew, and had it done, but we know not. We may in future have an opportunity of getting more light on this subject.

The foregoing method would require much time and research, but it would not be necessary to trace out the mummery of each little band or division, in such an inquiry, only the leading tribes in each family of language. It would also be attended with some difficulty from two causes. 1st, the want of competent and faithful interpreters; for it must be borne in mind, that many interpreters who can do well in ordinary things, know nothing scarcely of their religion, for it has almost an independent vocabulary of its own. 2d, There is a great delicacy on the part of those most skilled in these things, to communicate fully and freely on these subjects, particularly to strangers. They fear that it may bring upon themselves, or on their nation, some great calamity. Still, however, pecuniary inducements could be brought to bear on this point, so that enough might be had to throw much light on their dark history and origin.

"11. — Are there belts of wampum, quippas, or monuments of any kind, such as heaps of stone, &c., to prove the former existence of alliances, leagues, or treaties among the tribes? If so, describe them, and the places where they are to be found."

No monuments, mounds, piles of earth or stones, or wampum, to mark the existence of former alliances or treaties with neighboring tribes. The "peace-pipe," so common among Indians, is the only external used on such occasions.

"12. — What is the badge, or, as it has been called, the totem of the tribe — or if it consist of separate clans, or primary families, what is the number of these clans, and what is the badge of each?"

There is no badge, or totem, peculiar to the Iowa tribe, except the peculiar cut of the hair; and even this is not peculiar to the Iowa alone, for other adjacent tribes cut the hair in the very same style.

The Iowa tribe is divided into primary clans; these clans bear the title or name of the particular animal or bird from which they are supposed to have sprung. The


Iowas recognize eight leading families, though some of them are now extinct. These families are,

1st, the Eagle family.
2d, the Pigeon family.
3d, the Wolf family.
4th, the Bear family.
5th, the Elk family.
6th, the Beaver family.
7th, the Buffalo family.
8th, the Snake family.

These families are known severally in the tribe by the particular manner in which their hair is cut: 1st, the Eagle family, is marked by two locks of hair on the front part of the head, and one on the back part left long: 3d, Wolf, scattered branches of hair left to grow promiscuously over the head, representing islands, whence this family is supposed to have sprung: 4th, Bear, one side of the hair of the head left to grow much longer than the other: 7th, Buffalo, a strip of hair left long from the front to the rear part of the head, with two branches on each side to represent horns.

The other families, with their peculiar badges, are lost. This manner of cutting hair is confined to the male children; as soon as they are grown, they adopt the common fashion of the tribe, which is to shave off all the hair except a small braid, or scalp-lock, left near the top of the head, with a small formation of cut hair surrounding it about two inches on the front and sides, and extending down the back of the head. This cutting is usually done about once a year, and is said, by them, to be of great advantage in expelling troublesome vermin.

"13. — Have geographical features, within the memory of tradition, or the abundance or scarcity of game, had anything to do with the division and multiplication of tribes and dialects, either among the Atlantic or Western tribes?"

According to tradition, the scarcity of game has had much to do with dividing the tribes. Rivalship and ambition among chieftains, and war leaders, has no doubt had also much to do in this affair. Divisions of this kind now exist among several of the frontier tribes, within the recollection of many who are now living. This was perhaps one cause of the small band of Sacs now on this river (Missouri) breaking off from the main band on the Mississippi. There is also a small band of Iowas separated from the main body, and living now on the Nemahaw river (of the Missouri), who broke off from the same cause.

"14. — What great geographical features, if any, in North America, such as the Mississippi river, Alleghany mountains, &c., are alluded to, in their traditions, of the original rank and movements of the tribe: and was the general track of their migrations, from or towards the north or the east?"


The Great Lakes east and north-east, perhaps Baffin's bay also, and the Mississippi river, are the only important geographical lineaments which appear to be referred to in their traditions; and hence their general movements in emigrating have been west or south-west.


"15. — Have the Indians any just ideas of the natural divisions of the earth into continents, seas, and islands? What ideas have they of the form of the earth?"

No correct ideas. They can hardly conceive of the earth being a globe; consequently they have very confused notions of the process which causes day and night and the seasons.

"16. — What are the chief rivers in the territory or district occupied by the tribe?"

The Missouri river is the eastern or north-eastern boundary of the lands of both the Sacs and Iowas. This stream requires no description, being already well known. The Great Nemahaw bounds the Iowas on the north. This stream is not far from thirty yards wide, deep, sluggish, and mazy, and can be forded in but few places.

"17. — Are there any large springs or lakes in the district, and what is their character, size, and average depth; and into what streams have they outlets?"

No lakes of size worthy of note on the lands of either of the nations. Some fine springs, but not large enough for driving machinery.

"18. — What is the general character of the surface of the country occupied by the tribe? Is it hilly or level — fertile or sterile; abundant or scanty in wood and water — abounding or restricted in the extent of its natural meadows or prairies?"

Beautifully diversified with gentle hills and plains, most of which are fit for cultivation, except on the immediate bluffs of the Missouri. The slopes inclining to the Nemahaw are usually gentle enough for cultivation, and the streams extensive. Soil generally very fertile; timber very scarce; springs of water and running brooks rather abundant. No restriction in the extent and resources of the prairies or natural meadows of the country. The main products of Indian agriculture are corn, beans, pumpkins, melons, &c. The soil is also well adapted to the growth of wheat, hemp, tobacco, oats, potatoes, &c.

"19. — Are cattle and stock easily raised — do the prairies and woods afford an abundant supply of herbage spontaneously — are wells of water to be had at moderate depths, where the surface denies springs or streams?"


Cattle and stock raised with great ease. Winters are often cold for cattle, but dry and fine. A superabundance of herbage, and pasturage fine. The Oregon Battalion passed by us, remaining nearly two weeks in our vicinity, with over 4000 animals to subsist upon the prairie grass; and a month after they left, we could not see the places where they had been, so abundantly and rapidly does the grass grow in the summer.

Water can be had by digging at from twenty to thirty feet usually. St. Joseph's, twenty-five or thirty miles distant, affords a market; but the great misfortune is, our poor people here have nothing to take to market.

"20. — Has the old practice of the Indians of burning the prairies to facilitate hunting, had the effect to injure the surface of the soil, or to circumscribe, to any extent, the native forests?"

This subject seems not to have been observed by the Indians so as to state anything satisfactory upon it.

"21. — Are there any extensive barrens, deserts, or swamps, reclaimable or irreclaimable, and what effects do they produce on the health of the country, and do they offer any serious obstacles to the construction of roads?"

None of any consequence, either to district roads, or endanger health. Marshy ground is always, by the Indians themselves, regarded as unhealthy; this, with a desire to be able more readily to see the approach of an enemy, causes them usually to select high grounds for villages and encampments, except in the winter season, when places are chosen sheltered, by hills or woodlands, from the winds.

"22. — Is the quantity of arable land diminished by large areas of arid mountain, or of volcanic tracts of country?"

See the foregoing.

"23. — Is the climate generally dry or humid? Does the heat of the weather vary greatly, or is it distributed, through the different seasons, with regularity and equability? What winds prevail? Is it much subject to storms of rain with heavy thunder, or tornadoes?"

The climate is generally dry and most beautiful, with clear and almost constant sunshine, but the temperature exceedingly variable, the thermometer at times falling 40° in a few hours, and again rising with the same rapidity. There are also great extremes in the general character of the seasons. Extremes of heat, cold, wet, and dry, for a long time together. The present winter is very remarkable for being warm. We have pursued our avocations in the office much of the winter without fire. Four years ago the winter was as remarkable for cold.


South winds generally prevail. Frequent storms of thunder and rain in the summer, with occasional tornadoes of great violence, generally attended with hail, and tremendous displays of electricity. These, however, are not generally very extensive, being narrow and soon exhausted.

"24. — Does the district produce any salt springs of value; any caves, yielding saltpetre earth; or any beds of gypsum, or plaster of paris, or of marl?"

None of these things have yet been discovered in this district, though the Indians find, east of the Missouri, (we know not exactly where,) sulphur in quite a pure state. We have seen specimens, but have none at hand; if we procure any, we will forward them as opportunity may offer.

"25. — Has the country any known beds of stone coal?"

Small beds of coal appear in several places, but not opened or examined to any extent.

"26. — What is the general character and value of the animal productions of the district? What species of quadrupeds most abound?"

Scarcely any wild animals to be found. A few deer, turkeys, prairie wolves, and occasionally a large grey wolf, may be found. Though, according to the Indian account, the streams once abounded with beaver, otters, and other furred animals, none are to be found now; farther north and south, there are said to be some panthers and badgers. No grizzly bear known or seen near this for many years. The buffalo, which, only forty years ago, abounded as far down the Missouri as St. Charles, is already driven 150 or 200 miles beyond us. All this great destruction of native game is doubtless owing, in a great measure, to the fur trade. The beaver and buffalo seem to recede more rapidly than most other animals, before the advance of civilization.

"27. — Do the Indian traditions make any mention of larger or gigantic animals in former periods? Is there any allusion to the mastodon, megalonyx, or any of the extinct races, whose tusks, or bones, naturalists find imbedded in clay, or submerged in morasses?"

None, so far, has as yet been discovered, nor is it likely there will be, as the Indians never explore those regions where such things are usually found.

"28. — What species are we to understand by the story, on this head, told to Mr. Jefferson, or by the names Ya-ga-sho, Quis-quis, Win-de-go, Bosh-ca-dosh, or others, which are heard in various dialects?"

Not acquainted with these stories.

"29. — Have they any peculiar opinions, or striking traditions, respecting the serpent, wolf, turtle, grizzly bear, or eagle, whose devices are used as symbols on their arms, or


dwellings, and how do such opinions influence their acts on meeting these species in the forest?"

No remarkable traditions respecting any of these animals, though it would seem that they pay a kind of religious adoration to some animals, reptiles, and birds. There is a small bird, a species of the hawk, which they never kill, except to obtain some portions of its body, to put with their sacred medicine. They say it inhabits the rocky cliffs of mountains, and is very difficult to take; that it has a remarkable faculty of remaining a long time upon the wing. This faculty seems to obtain for it the respect of the Indians, as it seems to soar with ease toward what they suppose is the land of the blessed.

Many of the Indians do not kill snakes; particularly such individuals as profess to be "snake doctors." If they meet a snake, particularly the rattlesnake, they usually stop and talk to it, and make it some offering or present, such as tobacco, or such things as may be at hand; propose friendship and peace between the snakes and the children of the nations, &c., &c. Soon after the Iowas commenced to build their village near the mouth of Wolf river, in 1837, a youth of the nation came into the village, and reported that he had seen a rattlesnake on the point of a hill near the village. The great snake doctor of the village immediately went out, taking some tobacco and such articles with him; and on finding the snake, made his presents, had a long talk, and on his return to his people, told them that now they might travel about in safety, as peace was made with the snakes.

The devices of bears, buffaloes, &c., found on skins, horsewhips, saddles, war-clubs, &c., are only a kind of heraldry, or hieroglyphic record of their adventures in killing such animals. The journeys of war-parties are sometimes recorded in the same way.

"30. — Have they any tradition respecting the first introduction of the horse upon this continent?"


"31. — Are they expert in drawing maps or charts of the rivers, or sections of country, which they inhabit? State their capacities on this subject, denoting whether these rude drawings are accurate, and whether they evince any knowledge of the laws of proportion, and transmit, if you can, specimens of them.

See the accompanying map, drawn by an Iowa, herewith enclosed. (Plate 30.)


"32. — Are there any antique works, or remains of any kind, which are the result of human industry in ancient times, in your district? And what traditions, or opinions, have the tribes, on the subject?"


None, except some very small mounds on a high prairie, in view of both the Wolf and Missouri rivers; which, however, are pretty certainly known to be the remains of earth houses, built by the Pawnees, or perhaps some other tribe in the habit of using such residences. The mounds, consequently, are very small. There is also a curiously formed circular trench, or ditch, on the south side of Wolf river. The earth appears to have been excavated, some depth below the surface, to considerable width, in the form of a ring, enclosing an area of perhaps half an acre. As there is the appearance of having been a village near this, the Indians say that this circular formation was a play-ground, as the Pawnees, they say, are now in the habit of forming such rings, in which to perform a certain sort of play for amusement. All this has been told to us, as we have neither seen the ring itself, nor been acquainted with the usages of the Pawnees. But we have had it from reliable sources.

"33. — What is generally thought by men of reflection, to be the probable origin and purpose of the western mounds?"

Upon this we cannot give any useful ideas, and there are none in our vicinity that we can describe.

"34. — Ancient fortifications. 35. — Circular works. 36. — Imitative mounds."

None of these things in our district.

"37. — Does the level surface of the prairie country, which is now partially overrun by forest, preserve any traces of a plan or design, as of ancient furrows or garden-beds?"

Nothing of this kind has been observed.

"38. — Is there any ancient or noted mark on rocks, or any artificial orifice or excavation in the earth, or other land-mark known in local tradition, which denotes historical events?"

None, that are known of.

"39. — What is the general character of the antique implements, ornaments, or utensils of earthen-ware found in your district of the country? 40. — If pipes are found, what is the material — is it stone, steatite, or clay?"

Nothing of the kind found or known. It might be remarked that this country is very new, so far as occupancy by the whites extends; consequently such things, being naturally imbedded below the surface, cannot soon appear. It is said, however, that about three miles below St. Joseph's, in the State of Missouri, near the bottom of a very high hill, called "King Hill," (on the top of which are the evident remains of a fortification,) are three broken pieces of potter's ware, of very rude and curious


formation, and evidently the work of an ancient and very rude people; but we have not seen any specimens, but believe that they exist.

"41. — How many kinds of utensils of stone were there? How was the axe usually formed, and from what materials? What was the shape and construction of the stone tomahawk? Was it always crescent-shaped, and pointed?"

No information on the subject. All the instruments used by our Indians are obtained from the whites, except bows, wooden bowls and ladles, and their wooden mortars for beating corn. They can give no account of the implements used by their fathers, nor have any of them been handed down, or kept in their families.

"42. — Manufacture of darts, arrow-points, and other missiles. What was the process of manipulation of these often delicately wrought articles?"

The arrow-points now in use, are of iron obtained from the whites, and those made expressly for going to war are sometimes bearded, and are called "angry arrows." It does not appear to be a trade: each one seems to be able to make for himself in proportion to his necessities. The file is the principal instrument used in manufacturing these points. As the country is new and but little cultivated, but few have yet been found; and those found do not differ materially from the common flint arrow-point generally found in the Eastern States.

"43. — What species of sea-shells have been found, in ancient graves or mounds, at remote points from the ocean?"

None found here.

"44. — Shell-coin, wampum, ancient currency?"

Nothing clear on this subject.

"45. — Was iron, copper, tin, or any other metal, used by the aboriginal tribes in America, for the purposes of art, prior to the discovery of the continent by Columbus?"

No mineral improved, refined, or used by these Indians, so far as we know. The arm-bands, &c., found here, have all been obtained from the whites.

"46. — Do the rocks of America, or any ancient architectural structures, disclose any ancient alphabet, hieroglyphics, or system of picture-writing, capable of interpretation, which promises to reflect light on the obscure periods of American history?"

Nothing discovered in this region.


On entering upon the subject of astronomy, and several others of like character, (and indeed I may say the whole Indian history,) we find it very difficult to obtain


what may be regarded as a correct synopsis of the views of the tribe on any particular point; particularly subjects that are obscure, and require the exercise of the mind. Each one appears to have his own views, which, in many points, differ from others, and, in some particular, may differ from all others. Hence, to give the notions of one in full, without consulting others, would be unfair. It is therefore necessary, in order to give a fair statement of what may be regarded as the prevailing notion of a tribe, on any subject doubtful and abstruse to them, to examine many different individuals, and compare their views. To do justice to all the subjects brought forward in these inquiries, would require years of close labor and attention. Other duties forbid us attending to this subject as we could wish, and as would make it more satisfactory and useful to you. We have therefore to advance slowly, but will try to embody what may be regarded as standards of their notions on these various subjects.

"47. — The earth and its motions. What is the amount of their knowledge on this subject? Do they believe the earth to be a plane, a globe, or a semi-circle?"

Very limited and confused. No idea of more than one continent. They have always thought that the earth was an island, surrounded on all sides by water. On inquiring what was on the other side of the water, the answer was "water." Cannot conceive of it having much, if any relation to the planets, except that we derive our heat from the sun; but how the sun, earth, and moon are retained in their respective places, cannot understand. Thought that the earth was flat, and did not think of it being round, until told so by the whites. A notion prevails among some of the Iowas, that the stars are a sort of living creatures like men. This arises from the following tradition. "Long ago, a child, when very young, observed a certain star in the heavens, which he regarded more than all others. As he grew up, his attachments for the star increased, and his mind became more and more set upon it. When able, he went out to hunt, and while travelling, weary and alone, not having very good success, this favorite star came down to him, and conversed with him, and conducted him to a place where he found bear, and plenty of game. After this he was always a great hunter."

"48. — Have they any idea of the universe, or other creations in the field of space, which have in their belief been made by the Great Spirit?"

All things visible were created, they think, by the Great Spirit; but cannot extend their thoughts, without much aid, to other systems in the vast field of space beyond our own globe.



THE name of Puants, as the cognomen for an Indian tribe, first appears in the French missionary authors, in 1669. The people on whom they bestowed it, lived on Green Bay of Wisconsin, and the bay itself was called after the tribe. By the Algonquins they were called Wee-ni-bee-gog, (plu. animate,) a term which has long been anglicized under the form of Winnebagoes, (plu.) The original is founded on two Algonquin words, namely, weenud, turbid, or foul, and nibeeg, the plural form for water. The same radicals are employed in the terms Winnipeg, and Winnepeag, — names for northern lakes, in which the meaning is simply, turbid water. It is found that both these lakes have a stratum of whitish muddy clay at their bottoms, which is disturbed by high winds, giving the waters a whitish hue, and imparting more or less turbidity. The termination in o, in the word Winnebago, stands in the place of the accusative, and renders the term personal.

By the tribe itself they are called Hochungara, which is said to mean Trout nation, and sometimes Horoji, or Fish-eaters. They have always maintained the character of manly brave men, and appear to have formerly exercised a considerable influence among the surrounding tribes. Their language shows them to belong to the great Dacotah stock of the west, and they were found in the van of that group of families of tribes, being the only one of its number who had crossed the Mississippi below Minnesota, in their progress eastward.

The Winnebagoes are a tribe of good stature, and a manly air and bearing, and coincide with the other tribes of Indian race in the United States, in possessing the characteristic straight black hair, black glistening eyes, and red skins. They have maintained their position as a tribe of independent feelings and national pride, during all the earlier periods of our acquaintance with them.

This claim of the Hochungaras to the possession of considerable mental capacity, is sustained by the cranial admeasurements which I have recently caused to be made at the Academy of Natural Sciences, at Philadelphia, (Vol. II. p. 335, of these Inquiries.) In these examinations they are placed at 89 cubic inches internal capacity, and 79° facial angle, on the skulls examined.

How long they had maintained their position at Green Bay before the arrival of the French, we know not. But they had receded from it towards the west, before the visit of Carver, in 1766, who found them on Fox river. Father Allouez says that it was a tradition in his days, that they had been almost destroyed, about 1640, by the Illinois. They have kept on good terms, within the period of history, with the Sacs and Foxes, the once noted and erratic Mascoutins, the Menomonies, Ottowas, Chippewas, and Potawatomies, denoting a wise and considerate policy on the part of their chiefs.


Their own traditions, and the accounts we have gathered from some of the tribes on the Missouri, denote them to be the ancestors of the Iowas, Missouries, Otoes, and Omahaws.

Their earliest traditions relate to their residence "at Red Banks — an ancient location on the east shore of Green bay — and to trade with the French. They have a tradition that they once built a fort; an event which appears to have made a general impression on the tribe, and which may, without improbability, be connected with the finding of the arch geological remains of an ancient work on Rock river; — perhaps, with the war with the Illinois, mentioned by Allouez. Geographically considered, they are the aborigines of central Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin, the Rock, and the Wolf rivers, flowed from this central height east, west, and south, and gave them the advantage of descending on their enemies at will. The French found them in league with the Menomonies; and these two powers gave shelter to the flying Sacs and Foxes, when they were finally expelled from lower Michigan. The event of this flight was not completed till the commencement of the Pontiac war — so late as the year 1760. With the French, notwithstanding the reception of these two fugitive tribes, they maintained friendly relations, and traded uninterruptedly. With the Chippewas, Ottowas, Potawatomies, Kickapoos, Mascoutins, and other tribes of the Algonquin group of families, who surrounded their possessions north, east, and south-east, they also kept on general terms of friendship; a point that required great address, as the Sacs and Foxes seemed to have been cut loose from their ancient natural Algonquin affinities, and were perpetually making inroads on these tribes, particularly on the Chippewas of Lake Superior, whom they united with the Sioux in opposing. Tradition represents the Sacs and Foxes to have engaged in battles against the Chippewas, at Lac View Desert, Lac du Flambeau, and the Falls of St. Croix, and Francis Eiver, on the upper Mississippi. They were defeated, along with the Sioux, by the Chippewas under Wabojeeg, in a great battle at the Falls of St. Croix. To preserve their relations with the French, under these circumstances, required skill and diplomacy; but in this, they had the great body of the Sioux, their relatives, immediately west of them on the Mississippi, to sustain them.

On the fall of the French power in Canada, in 1760, they were slow and cautious in entering into intimate relations with Great Britain. But the French had left the elements of their influence with the western Indians, in the metif population, which resulted from an amalgamation of the Canadian and the Indian female. This power was conciliated by the English agents and commanding officers, who thus mollified the Indian resentments, and replaced them by confidence in the conquerors.

The Winnebagoes were firm in their new fealty. They opened their country to English traders; and when the Americans rose, in 1776, to assert a new nationality,


the Winnebagoes sided with the Crown. In all the local questions of jurisdiction, at Prairie du Chien, Green Bay, and Michillimackinac, they were arrayed, without a single exception, on the side of the British authorities.

When the question of fealty assumed a new vitality, by the war of 1812, the same preferences prevailed. They sided with the Crown and flag of the Red Cross against the Americans. They helped to defeat Colonel Croghan at Michillimackinac, Colonel Dudley at the rapids of the Miami, and General Winchester at the river Raisin. They were brought into the field of action by Colonel Robert Dixon and Mr. Crawford, two prominent traders of leading minds and influence, who then resided at Prairie du Chien and St. Peter's. They hovered, with the other hostile lake tribes, around the beleaguered garrison of Detroit, and helped to render its forests vocal with the war-whoop. And they returned, in 1815, like the other tribes, to their positions in the north-western forests of Wisconsin, upper Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois, rather chap-fallen, to reflect that they had not in reality been fighting for their own independence, but merely to assist one white power to sustain itself against another. This was acknowledged at a public conference at Drummond island, in 1816, by the noted chief Waubasha.

In 1812, they had listened to the false revelations of the Shawnee prophet of the Wabash, Elksottawa, and his more celebrated brother Tecumseh, who told them, along with the whole mass of the western Indians, that the time had arrived for driving back the Americans in their progress westward, and for regaining, under the British standard, their lost dominion in the West. They accordingly contributed their auxiliaries in the bloody battles fought in lower Michigan and Ohio, in the, to them, delusive war that ensued. They, like the other Indians, reduced their population thereby; lost every practical and promised object, were wholly deserted, or unrecognised in the treaty of Ghent, with the extended groups of tribes of the Dacotahs and Algonquins, and returned to their homes gloomy and sour-minded against the Americans. They assumed some insolence, in the years immediately following, to travellers in the Fox and Wisconsin valleys. Hoo-choop, a stern chief at the outlet of Winnebago lake, assumed to be the keeper of the Fox river valley, and levied tribute, in some cases, for the privilege of ascent.

In the fall of 1821, a young Winnebago Indian, called Ke-taw-kah, killed Dr. Madison, of the United States army, by shooting him from a horse, under circumstances which gave the act the air of great cruelty, as it was wholly unprovoked. The murderer was promptly arrested, tried, and executed. The act was disavowed by the nation, and led to no interruption of peaceful relations. Deeds of this kind have not been of frequent occurrence with this tribe.

For some years after the war of 1812, in which the political hopes of all the tribes were wrecked, they were looked upon with distrust by travellers. But with the exception of the death of Dr. Madison, and that of another man named Ulric, at Green


Bay, they gave vent to few passionate outbreaks, and the tribes preserved peaceful relations with the United States. All the lake tribes had been misled by the war of 1812, supposing that its results, through their adherence to the mother country, would be to restore to them their hunting-grounds west of the Alleghanies, or, at least, to set bounds and metes to the encroachments of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic races. And when the contrary was made known to them, and they began to comprehend it, most of the tribes retired from the field of conflict to their native woods, like a bear who had been robbed of her cubs.

The Winnebagoes were not, therefore, peculiar in their moodiness in the elevated and central parts of Wisconsin, their old home and hunting-grounds after this war. The history of their dealings with the American government is brief and definite. They remained undisturbed masters of their territory in the centre of Wisconsin till recently. The first indication that they could not permanently remain there was, perhaps, given by the expedition to explore the country, in 1820. They gazed at that expedition silently, as not understanding it. Their first treaty with the United States was signed June 3d, 1816, about five months after the treaty of Ghent, in which they pledged themselves to peace, confirmed all prior grants to the British, French, and Spanish governments, and agreed to restore prisoners. On the 19th of August, 1825, and the 11th of August, 1827, they adjusted, at Prairie du Chien, and Butte des Morts, with the other tribes, and with the United States, their territorial boundaries. Their lingering surliness to the United States, and the unfriendly feeling produced by the war of 1812, broke out at Prairie du Chien, on the Mississippi, in the summer of 1827, when they fired on a barge descending that stream, and committed other outrages. This brought upon them the prompt movement of troops from St. Louis, which checked their outbreak; and Hoo-choop, their principal chief in east Wisconsin, with thirteen other principal men, affixed their signatures to the treaty of the 11th of August, 1827.

In the year 1828, the discovery of valuable lead-mines in their territory, north of Rock river, led the inhabitants of the frontiers of Illinois to pass over, and commence mining operations in that quarter. This produced alarms and collisions on both sides, which were settled by the treaty of Green Bay, of August 12th, 1828, by which a temporary line of boundary was established, and 20,000 dollars allowed them for depredations.

On the 1st of August, 1829, they ceded a tract south of the Wisconsin river, including the mineral district, for the consideration of 540,000 dollars, payable in coin, in thirty annual equal instalments: in addition, large appropriations were made for agricultural purposes, the introduction of smiths and agents, and the payment of claims.

In 1831-2 they unwisely connected themselves in a clandestine participation of some of the bands, with the schemes and dreams of Black Hawk. The war with the Sacs and Foxes was waged exclusively on the Winnebago territory; they, at its close, ceded all their remaining land in Wisconsin, lying south of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers; and accepted, in exchange for it, a tract west of the Mississippi, in Iowa, called the Neutral


Ground. The sum of 270,000 dollars, payable in coin, in twenty-seven annual payments of 10,000 each, was granted, to equalize the exchange of territory. By this treaty stipulations were made for the introduction of schools, the removal of shops and agencies, and their advance in agriculture and civilization. The treaty, which was concluded at Rock Island on the 15th of September, 1833, was one of great benefit to the tribe, who prospered and increased in population under its execution. The remarks of Mr. Lowry on this subject, Vol. II. p. 526, are referred to.

One of the worst acts flowing from their connection with the Sac war, and which stains their character by its atrocity, was the assassination of Mr. Pierre Pacquette, the interpreter at the agency, on the Wisconsin Portage. He was a man of Winnebago lineage, and was reputed to be one of the best friends and counsellors of the nation.

By a treaty concluded on the 1st of November, 1837, they agreed to remove to the Neutral Ground, the United States stipulating to transfer there the privileges for their civilization, and to establish manual labor schools for their instruction.

On the 23d of October, 1839, Governor Lucas of Iowa, reports that an exploring party of them had arrived in that Territory in the spring of that year, to the alarm of Keokuk, the head Fox chief, who complained of the movement, and requested that they might be sent south of the Missouri.

The Winnebagoes themselves disliked the removal, neither could they be induced to go south. The Commissioner, in his report of November 28, 1840, remarks, that after some of the contiguous bands had passed over the Mississippi, the rest manifested so much aversion to quitting their old homes in Wisconsin, that the emigration was committed to General Atkinson, who, eventually, extended the time to the spring of 1841. Great efforts were required, however, to overcome their reluctance to remove to the Neutral Ground. In September, 1840, the aged chief Karamanee, Weenoshaik, and other chiefs, made speeches to the Agent strenuously opposing it. At length the government determined to remove the agency, schools, and shops, to Turkey river, and directed the next annuities to be paid there. The nation still clung, as with a death-grasp, to the hills and valleys of Wisconsin, but these steps were effective. Governor Dodge reports that the effects of their remaining in Wisconsin, since the large increase of their annuities under the treaty of 1837, were demoralizing, and that they began rapidly to depopulate.

Mr. Lowry remarks, in 1842, that the depopulation from indulgence, drink, and disease, which had attended the removal, had been very great and demoralizing. He says that the number of children to each female in the tribe did not exceed the average of one; and that wretchedness and bloodshed were of so frequent occurrence as to cease to excite attention. Thirty-nine persons had perished in this way in a short time, and sometimes two or three were stabbed to death in a night.

Under this arrangement, subsequent removals were made to the stipulated grounds in


Iowa, till the whole tribe had migrated. During a period of ten or twelve years, while they occupied the Neutral Ground, they appear to have augmented in their numbers and means, and improved in habits.

It is observed by Mr. David Lowry, on the 15th of February, 1848, that their numerical strength increased while they were on the Neutral Ground, and has been in the process of increasing since they removed west of the Mississippi. There was a visible change in habits of cleanliness, and their opinions underwent a marked change respecting the subject of labor, so that the females were no longer expected or allowed alone to work in their fields.

On the 13th of October, 1848, in a treaty concluded with authorized delegates, the tribe ceded the "Neutral Ground" in Iowa, and agreed to accept an adequate tract of country north of the river St. Peter's, on the upper Mississippi. By this treaty, one hundred and ninety thousand dollars were agreed to be paid them in various forms, of which sum, the interest of eighty-five thousand dollars, at five per cent., was directed to be paid to them in annuities, during a period of thirty years.

In conformity with this treaty, the tribe has been removed to a tract on the upper Mississippi, fronting on the same, between the Watab and Crow-Wing rivers; which tract was purchased from the Chippewas by the treaty of the 2d of August, 1847. The seat of the agency is established at Long Prairie river, where buildings and shops have been put up for them, and extensive fields fenced and ploughed by the farmers appointed to teach them agriculture. Some difficulties have been encountered in inducing the entire tribe to concentrate on this position, and in overcoming the erratic habits of the tribe. But it is believed that these causes have been entirely overcome.

The earliest notice we have of the Winnebago population, is one found at Paris, in a manuscript list of Indian tribes, prepared by Mons. Chaurignerie, in 1736. He puts the Puants or Winnebagoes, at eighty warriors and seven hundred souls.

It is to be remembered, in relation to these small numbers, that Allouez had reported them to have been almost destroyed by the Illinois, at a prior period. In the estimates published by Colonel Boquet, in the narrative of his march west of the Alleghanies, in 1764, they are put down at 700 warriors, an evident mistake. Pike, the first American author on the subject, estimates the entire Winnebago population, in 1806, at 2000. In the tables accompanying the plan of removal west of the Mississippi, communicated to Congress on the 27th of January, 1825, they are given at 5800; an exaggeration, if Pike be correct, since, by principles of Indian reproduction, they could not have increased 3800 in twenty years, with the war of 1812 intervening.

In the project for a reorganization of the Indian Department, submitted by General P. B. Porter, in 1829, this estimate is repeated. In the statement of tribes east of the Mississippi, transmitted with the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in 1836, the number is reduced to 4500. This number is repeated in the tables of the


Commissioner's report for December 1, 1837, there having evidently been no effort to obtain new or correct estimates, within the year. The same stereotype figures appear in the official reports for 1839, and for 1840. It is not till the official report of November 16, 1842, that their number, from actual census on the Neutral Ground, is given, and they are found to be 2183; yet the old estimate of 4500 is still given as the total population, east and west. From the precision with which this census of 2183 is given by the Agent, and the known fact that all the Winnebagoes had then emigrated, it is believed to embrace the whole Winnebago population.

In the tables accompanying the report of November 25, 1844, the old estimate of 4500 again reappears, with the census number, 2183; leaving it to be inferred, either that in the two years from 1842 to 1844, there had not been a death or birth in the Winnebago nation, or that no attention had been paid to the topic. The same statements are served to Congress in the fall of 1845, but they are omitted in the report of 1846.

In the autumn of that year, several eminent citizens of New York, apprehending that but little reliance could be placed on the vital and general statistics, and other information respecting the Indian tribes, addressed a memorial to Congress, suggesting the collection and preparation of more full and authentic information. A clause was inserted in one of the acts, directing the Secretary of War to call the attention of the Agents on the frontier to the subject. The result was so encouraging, as it is shown in Doc. No. 33, House of Representatives, 29th Congress, 2d Session, that in the act reorganizing the Department, passed March 3d, 1847, Congress made provision for taking a census of the whole number of tribes within the boundaries of the United States.

The Winnebago population was reported in lists of families, as accurately taken from the pay-rolls, and from personal inspection by J. E. Fletcher, Esq., their Agent in 1848. These returns, which are published in Part I., page 498, designate the separate bands into which the tribe is geographically divided; indicating families, sexes, and ages. The total strength of the tribe, as shown in its new location on the tracts purchased from the Chippewas on the upper Mississippi, is 2531. Of this number, 1244 are men, 1202 women, including the children. Of these, there were about 400 souls who would not permanently remove to the new site on Long Prairie river, and who scattered south among the tribes on the Missouri. Replies of the Agent are also given to the queries directed to be circulated, discussing important points in their history, traditions, manners, and customs, which are believed to be entitled to every credence; they are, in part, herewith given.

The language of the Winnebagoes, as given by Mr. Lowry, is a peculiar modification of the generic Dacotah, with the sound of r very conspicuously used.





TURKEY RIVER, March 7th, 1848.

SIR: — I have the honor to enclose herewith such answers as I have been able to prepare to a few of the queries enclosed with your circular of July last.

I regret that I have not been able to comply with the request contained in said circular, that answers should be furnished by the 1st of February last. I intended to answer all of the queries which are applicable to the tribe under my charge, and with this view I conversed with most of the old chiefs, and accompanied by the Agency interpreter, visited the oldest persons of the tribe at their lodges, to collect information respecting the history and traditions of the tribe, but on examination of my notes I am unwilling to forward them to the Department until I shall have tested their correctness by availing myself of the services of a more competent interpreter.

I requested Mr. S. B. Lowry to furnish me answers to several chapters of your queries, which he consented to do; and has obligingly submitted replies relative to crime, hunting, and language, which you will please find enclosed herewith, together with his letter accompanying. (Vide Future Prospects, Vols. II. and III.)

I shall employ all the time I can spare from indispensable duties, in preparing other answers required; and will forward them as early as possible.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully, your obt. servt.


Indian Sub-agent.


"208. — Is dancing a national trait of the tribe?"

Dancing is a national trait of this tribe, and is a part of their religious, social, and military system.

The war-dance is celebrated before starting on a war-path; but although this tribe has not, for several years past, been engaged in war, this dance is still kept up, and frequently practised. The object of this seems to be the same as that sought to be


effected by martial music and military reviews among the whites; namely, to keep alive a martial spirit, and "in peace prepare for war." The old warriors sometimes join this dance; but usually only the middle-aged and young men engage in it: occasionally boys are allowed to join in it. Women do not engage in the war-dance, but encourage it by their presence as spectators. The dancers appear in their war-costume, with a weapon, or something to represent a weapon, in their hands. The musicians are seated around a flag in the centre: the music consists of drums, rattles, and singing. When the music commences, the dancers spring into the ring, and dance promiscuously, brandishing their weapons, and making menacing gestures. This exercise is violent, and cannot be long sustained without rest. Occasionally a warrior will step forward, and go through a pantomime of the discovery, ambuscade, attack, killing, and scalping of an enemy; another will give a history of his exploits, and accompany the recital with appropriate gestures.

When an officer of the government, or any distinguished person, visits their village, they assemble and dance; this is done ostensibly as an honor, but in reality with the expectation of receiving a present.

The scalp-dance affords a striking illustration of the vindictive and bloodthirsty spirit of the savage, and the means by which this spirit is imbibed and cherished in their children. I have witnessed but one dance of this kind. In the spring of 1851, a large party of Chippewa Indians were encamped near the Winnebago Agency; five of their warriors left the camp secretly, went into the country of the Sioux, and in the night surprised and murdered, in a most barbarous manner, a family consisting of two men, one woman, and two children, and took their scalps. I saw them on their return, remonstrated with them, and told them that their Great Father would be displeased when he heard of their conduct; they made this reply: "Last year we had a talk with our father, Governor Ramsay, and our brothers the Long Knives; they told us that we must not go to war; that if the Sioux made war on us, they would be punished: a short time after we had this talk, our enemy came to our village at Otter-tail lake, when our warriors were on a hunt, and killed several of our women and children: we sent word to our brothers, the Long Knives, and asked them to avenge our wrongs, according to their promises: we have waited a long time, and nothing has been done for us; the spirits of our dead could not rest, and we concluded to avenge them ourselves, and have done so. Our father, you know that we speak the truth." They had spoken truth, and I could only say, in reply, that if they had made war on men, their equals, I could not blame them, but that they had disgraced themselves, in the estimation of all brave men, by murdering unoffending women and children; and that the Great Spirit would be angry with them for such cruelty.

The Indians being now assembled, they proceeded with their dance; the scalps were hung up on sticks set in the ground, and men, women, and children, danced around them; occasionally the women and children would take a scalp and carry it round the


ring. This dance was continued for hours, with great excitement. One of the Chippewas killed his man with a spear; finding it difficult to extricate his weapon on account of the barb, he cut out a piece of flesh with his knife, and brought it home, still adhering to the spear; this flesh was cut in pieces, and given to the boys, who ate it raw.

The funeral dance is performed at the grave, when a sacrifice is made for the dead. They dance around the grave to the music of the drum and singing.

The pipe-dance, and other convivial dances, are joined in with spirit and glee by the old and young. The women in dancing have but one motion; they spring on the toes, both feet together; the body erect, and hands by the side. The men bound on the right and left foot alternately, with the body slightly bent forward.


THIS feast is an ancient custom or ceremony; it is accompanied with dancing, and is sometimes called the medicine dance. The members or communicants of this feast constitute a society having secrets known only to the initiated. Gentlemen of the Masonic fraternity have discovered unmistakeable evidence that there is a similarity between the secret signs used by the members of this society, and those of Free-masons; like them they have a secret in common with societies of the same order, wherever located; and like them, have different degrees, with secrets belonging to each respectively, in the same society; but, unlike Free-masons, they admit women and children to membership.

They have no regular or stated times for holding this feast; and all the members do not attend at the same time, but only such as are invited by the master of the feast. Persons desirous of joining this society will, in some cases, use the most rigid economy for years, to enable them to lay up goods to pay the initiating fee. This fee is not fixed at any stipulated amount; those who join pay according to their ability. Sometimes goods to the amount of two and three hundred dollars are given by an individual. Goods given for this purpose generally consist of blankets, broadcloths, calicoes, wampum, and trinkets, and are given to the medicine men, who perform the ceremony of initiating the member. When one or more persons make application to join the society, preparations are made for a feast and dance, which is held in an arched lodge, or bower, constructed of poles, and covered with tent-cloth and other materials. The size of the bower is made to conform to the number of persons to be invited, and this number depends much on the ability of the person who makes the feast. The width of a bower is about sixteen feet, the length varying from ten to seventy-five yards. The members of the society sit on each side of the bower, the centre being reserved for dancing. Candidates for admission into this society are required to fast three days previous to being initiated. At some period during this


fast they are taken by the old medicine men to some secluded secret spot, and instructed in the doctrines and mysteries of the society; and it is said that the candidates are during this fast subjected to a severe sweating process, by covering them with blankets, and steaming them with herbs; the truth of this saying is not here vouched for, but the appearance of the candidate, when brought forward to be initiated in public, corroborates it.

The public ceremony of initiation usually takes place about 11 o'clock, A. M. The public exercises of dancing, singing, praying, and exhorting, which precede the initiations, commence the previous morning. Before the candidates are brought forward, the ground through the centre of the bower is carpeted with blankets and broadcloth laid over the blankets. The candidates are then led forward and placed on their knees upon the carpet, near one end of the bower, and facing the opposite end. Some eight or ten medicine men then march in single file round the bower with their medical bags in their hands. Each time they perform the circuit they halt, and one of them makes a short address: this is repeated until all have spoken. They then form a circle and lay their medicine bags on the carpet before them. Then they commence retching and making efforts to vomit; bending over until their heads come nearly in contact with their medicine bags, on which they vomit, or deposit from their mouth a small white sea-shell about the size of a bean; this they call the medicine stone, and claim that it is carried in the stomach and vomited up on these occasions. These stones they put in the mouth of their medicine bags, and take their position at the end of the bower opposite to and facing the candidates. They then advance in line, as many abreast as there are candidates; holding their medicine bags before them with both hands, they dance forward slowly at first, and uttering low guttural sounds as they approach the candidates, their step and voice increasing in energy, until with a violent "Ough!" they thrust their medicine bags at their breasts. Instantly, as if struck with an electric shock, the candidates fall prostrate on their faces — their limbs extended — their muscles rigid and quivering in every fibre. Blankets are now thrown over them, and they are suffered to lie thus a few moments: as soon as they show signs of recovering from the shock, they are assisted to their feet and led forward. Medicine bags are then put in their hands, and medicine stones in their mouths; they are now medicine men or women, as the case may be, in full communion and fellowship. The new members, in company with the old, now go round the bower in single file, knocking members down promiscuously by thrusting their medicine bags at them, (Plate 31.) After continuing this exercise for some time, refreshments are brought in, of which they all partake. Dog's flesh is always a component part of the dish served on these occasions. After partaking of the feast, they generally continue the dance and other exercises for several hours. The drum and rattle are the musical instruments used at this feast. The most perfect order and decorum is observed throughout the entire ceremony. The members of this society are remarkably strict in their attendance at


this feast: nothing but sickness is admitted as an excuse for not complying with an invitation to attend. Members sometimes travel fifty miles, and even further, to be present at a feast, when invited.

The secret of the society is kept sacred. It is remarkable, that neither want nor a thirst for whiskey will tempt the members of this society to part with their medicine bags.

Whether these medicine men possess the secret of mesmerism or magnetic influence, or whether the whole system is a humbug and imposition, is difficult to determine. A careful observation of the ceremonies of this order for six years has been unable to detect the imposition, if there be one; and it is unreasonable to suppose that an imposition of this character could be practised for centuries without detection. There is no doubt that the tribe generally believe that their medicine men possess great power.


RECENT research denotes that the word Catawba is not of much antiquity, and cannot be relied on as a guide or clue in the investigation of their early history. It appears to have been bestowed, before the middle of the 17th century, by some tribe speaking the Algonquin language, in which the final syllables, awba, mean male. The Catawbas possessed, from the earliest notices, a fixed character for indomitable courage and consummate art in forest life.

By an apparently authentic manuscript memoir of their traditions, in the official archives of South Carolina, a copy of which is herewith submitted, they are stated to be a northern tribe, having been driven, about 1650, under a very perilous state of their affairs, from the line of the great lakes, by their inveterate enemies, the Connewangoes.

Connewango river enters the Alleghany river on the north, from the Great Valley, and is the ultimate outlet of Chatauque lake, through which an important ancient line of Indian portages existed to lake Erie. It draws its waters within seven miles of the southern borders of that lake. The Indians who occupied it were Seneca Iroquois, and bore, it appears from this tradition, the local appellation of Connewangoes. The Connewango is a copious stream, and is one of the true sources of the Ohio. The descendants of this branch of Senecas, who also occupied the Olean fork, constitute the modem band of Corn-planter, and still live near Warren, on the Alleghany,


others at Teonegono, or Coldspring, on the reserve of the Senecas, secured by the treaty of 1842.

The date given in the Carolina tradition, to the flight of the Catawbas from the north, coincides, within five years, with the last war and defeat of the Eries, agreeably to Le Moine. This war broke out afresh in 1653. In that war, the intrepid missionary to the Iroquois whom I have named, visited the Onondaga country. On the 9th of that month, agreeably to his journal, his ears were startled by a dismal wail, which the Iroquois set up for the loss of three men, who had been killed by the Eries, "about a day's journey from the latter;" i. e. Onondaga. They had also taken prisoner, and put to death, a great chief, called Annencraos.

In a formal address, which he subsequently makes to the Iroquois, on his mission to their country, and the French policy generally, he consoles them, in the Indian figurative language, for the loss of the Seneca chief taken by the Eries; and with the symbolic gift of a tomahawk to each of four cantons, he approves the renewal of the war by their cantons against the Eries, and concludes his address by urging them never to lie in wait, on the lakes, for any nation of the Algonquin or Huron stocks, while on their journey to the capital of New France.

It is clear that this renewal of the war against the Erie or Cat nation, was agreeable to the French. The latter never had any mission among them, and they were regarded as their enemies. Charlevoix places their final defeat and expulsion in 1655, only three years after the renewal of the war named by Le Moine. The tradition that they encountered the adverse influence of the French, in being driven south — that is, the power of the French Indians, so called — is a feature coincident with facts otherwise obtained.

That the Eries should send forays into the Iroquois country, east of the Genesee river, such as that mentioned by Le Moine, favors the idea that their residence was not remote. When Le Salle arrived on the Niagara river, in the beginning of 1679, twenty-seven years after Le Maine's trip to Onondaga, the Senecas occupied the entire southern banks of Niagara river, and the shores of Lake Erie, as high, at least, as the portage through the Chatauque and Connewango. The Attionandarons, or Neuter nation, were then unknown; and the destruction of the Eries was a tradition. Both tribes had fallen before the rising Iroquois power. The Neutral nation is not by any means to be confounded with the Eries, the latter of whom made forays, under their connivance, deep into western New York. But it is manifest that they were a cognate people. Cusic, in his Tuscarora pamphlet, places the Neutral nation, at an early day, on the Niagara ridge, and declares distinctly, that the neutrality which distinguished them for years, was at length violated, which brought upon them the ire of the Iroquois. It is stated by the French missionaries, that the principal village of this nation was


taken in 1651, when the tribe was destroyed, those who were not killed in battle being either incorporated with the Senecas, or dispersed.

Ha-sa-no-au-da, an educated Seneca chief, and a person well acquainted with the Iroquois history, in a communication, a part of which is hereto appended, is inclined to believe that the Cat tribe must have been the same as the Neuter nation; they only, however, spoke a kindred dialect, and concurred in a policy, at first kept secret, but afterwards being revealed, brought the whole power of the Iroquois on their backs, leading to their extirpation. From all authorities, the two tribes at least spoke a kindred dialect, namely, a dialect of the Wyandot branch of the Iroquois. It is fair to infer that they were closely affiliated. If so, the territory of the Neuter nation offered a point of treacherous concealment for the egress of occasional small marauding parties, who crossed the Genesee, in their secret and isolated inroads, in the manner mentioned by Le Moine, in 1653. The discovery of this treachery, by the reigning chieftainess, at the old stronghold of Kinuka, on the Niagara ridge, is distinctly stated by Cusic. It led to their downfall. Their treachery brought down the immediate vengeance of the Iroquois, who attacked and carried their chief position. The war against them was finished in two years, that is, by 1655, when, it is inferible, the survivors joined the Eries, on the sources of the Alleghany, and in the Ohio valley. Here, however, they were pursued by the conquering Iroquois, who, the very next year, (1656,) began their war against the Eries, or, as the Iroquois called them, Attionandarons. It is perceived, from the missionary relations, that this war with the Eries was ended in two years; so that by a vigorous prosecution of hostilities with these two cousin-bands, for four years, or by another authority, (which dates the taking of the queen's hold at Kinuka, in 1651,) six years, they had conquered and subdued these two tribes. So completely had their destruction and dispersion been effected, that neither the Neuter nation nor the Eries appear to have had a place in Indian history since, at least by these names.

But a more serious war, with a more considerable and also remotely affiliated people, now arose. The Andastes, or Guandostagues, occupied the area lying immediately west from the residence of the Neuter nation, between the Niagara river and Buffalo creek, extending west to the heads of the Alleghany.

They were, it is believed, called Kahquas by the Senecas. It is inferible from Cusic, and from the French missionary authors, that the Andastes or Kahquas, who were of remote kindred blood, sympathised in the destruction of the Eries and Attiondarons, and gave them secret aid in the war. The Iroquois now turned upon them with the uplifted tomahawk. A bloody and long-continued war ensued, which was not terminated till 1672 — full sixteen years from its commencement — when they also were subdued and expelled from the southern shore of lake Erie. There is no evidence now, but old ditches and embankments, and antiquarian relics, to show that these tribes had ever inhabited the country.


The Iroquois, who, by expelling the Neutral nation, and another tribe, the Mississagies, from the Ontario borders, had spread west of the Genesee, now extended their residence up the southern shore of lake Erie, from Deoseawa to the sources of the Alleghany, and to the Cuyahoga and Sandusky bay and river; the latter of which was, as we are informed by Lewis Evans, subsequently assigned to the Quaghtogies or Wyandots.

The war with the Andastes or Kahquas was of such a character that Iroquois tradition distinctly retains its memory. It was so marked a triumph of Iroquois bravery, that eighty years have still left some of its leading incidents fresh in the minds of the Senecas. When I visited the Iroquois cantons in 1845, to take their census, under the authority of the legislature of New York, I called the attention of the Senecas at Tonawanda, and on the Buffalo creek, and at Catteragas, and Alleghany reservations, to this subject. It was from them that I learned that the people with whom their ancestors fought, and who so stoutly resisted their arms in the ancient homestead of the Andastes, were called by them Kahquas.

Agreeably to the traditions of Hayekdiokun or Black-snake, important battles were fought on the Deosewa or Buffalo, and on the Eighteen-mile creeks, at both of which the Kahquas were defeated. They showed me some of the monuments of these defeats. The survivors fled, and were pursued to the Alleghany, called by them Ohιo, where they took shelter on an island, and partly through a finesse of the Senecas, were again defeated, and finally fled down the Alleghany river, and have never since appeared.

It is precisely at this point that the Carolina tradition of the Catawbas picks up the history of that enigmatical people, who exist as an anomaly in the southern Indian philology. Admitting their flight through the Alleghany river, from lake Erie, under the name denoted, and the vindiction with which they were pursued by the Connewango Senecas, as events which are satisfactorily established by concurrent Indian tradition, it only remains to determine whether the Catawbas are descendants of the Attionandarons or Neuters, the Eries or Cat nation, or the Andastes or Kahquas. The tradition of the year 1650, in the Carolina MSS., best agrees, in its general import, with the era of the subjugation of the Neuter nation of Niagara, and of the Eries of lake Erie. By one authority, the assault of the main citadel of the Neuters took place in 1651, and all the authorities coincide in fixing on 1655 as the termination of the war with the last tribe. The war with the Kahquas began the next year; but their expulsion did not occur until the lapse of some sixteen or seventeen years. In the mean time, the remnants of the two first conquered nations fled, as this document states, at first to Virginia and finally to the Carolinas.

That the Eries lived in the Ohio Valley before their final defeat, is quite certain. Mr. Jefferson, in his notices of the Indian tribes of the south, not only affirms this


tradition, but couples it with the assertion that they spoke a language cognate with the Iroquois, and its affiliated branch, the Monacan, or Tuscarora.

Lewis Evans published his celebrated map of the British colonies in 1755, just a century after the reputed expulsion of the Eries. In his analysis preceding it, he describes the Eries as having inhabited the Ohio and its branches, by certain boundaries, from which they had been expelled by the Senecas and their western allies. In this destructive contest, a part of the tribe were either extirpated, or incorporated in the Seneca tribe, or driven, indefinitely, westward.

The name of Catawbas, or Cuttawas, appears to have originated here. The map contains a line called "the common path to the Cuttawa country," which starts on the bank of the Ohio, opposite the mouth of the Scioto river, and runs to the head of the Kentucky river, which was an important point in all the early Indian migrations. This line denotes the ancient war-path between the northern and southern Indians.

It is perceived, from a survey of our Indian history, that the Iroquois language had, at the remotest era, elements remaining in some of the tribes occupying the slopes and summits of the southern Alleghanies or Appalachians. Of these, Mr. Jefferson enumerates all the Monacan dialects. The Tuscaroras, Nottoways, Tuteloes, Meherrics, Chowans, and Wyanokes, were included in this class. Nottowa, or Nadowa, is the Algonquin term for an Iroquois; and it may be conjectured that these elements of tribal developments were left behind in the original Iroquois migrations to the north.

The Tuscaroras were received into the Iroquois confederacy, after their ill-judged and most untoward rebellion against North Carolina, in 1712. The Tuteloes and Meherrics were subsequently received and allotted lands with the Cayugas. The Nottoways remained in Virginia. From a vocabulary of their language, which Mr. Jefferson transmitted to Mr. Duponceau, the latter immediately determined that it belonged to the Iroquois stock.

From a comparison of the Catawba language with the Woccoa, as recorded by Lawson, it is seen to be a dialect of that stock. Lawson, who travelled in 1700-1, from Charleston, South Carolina, to Pamlico Sound, by an interior route, mentions among the Indian tribes he found, the Kadapaws, a word in which we may probably recognize the modern cognomen of Catawba. This was more than half a century after the date of the defeat of the Eries and Attionandarons. In a subsequent part of his journey, he states an instance of the undying vengeance with which the Senecas and Oneidas followed these fragments of tribes into this remote quarter.

With these preliminary remarks, the Carolina manuscript, to which attention has been directed, will be the better understood.



THE Catawbas were a Canadian tribe. The Connewangos were their hereditary enemies, and, with the aid of the French, were likely at last to overwhelm them. The Catawbas, judging correctly of their perilous condition, determined on a removal to the vicinity of the English settlements. They set out from their ancient homes, about the year 1650, crossed the St. Lawrence, probably near Detroit, and bore for the head-waters of the Kentucky river. The Connewangos all the time kept in full pursuit. The fugitives, embarrassed with their women and children, saw that their enemies would overtake them, chose a position near the sources of the Kentucky, and then awaited the onset of their more powerful adversaries. Turning therefore upon their pursuers, with the energy desperation sometimes inspires, they gave them a terrible overthrow. This little nation, after their great victory, without proper regard to policy, divided into two bands, and remained on the Kentucky, which was called by the hunters the Catawba, and were in time absorbed into the great families of the Chickasaws and Choctaws. The other band settled in Bottetourt county, Virginia, upon a stream afterwards called Catawba creek. They remained there but a few years; their hunters pressing on to the south, discovered the Catawba river, in South Carolina, (Eswa Tavora,) and the entire Virginia band (about 1660) came in a body to effect a permanent settlement on that stream. Tradition states that the Cherokees, who assumed to be the true aborigines of the country, considering the Catawbas as invaders of their soil and freehold, marched in great force to meet them at or near the old nation ford, and a battle ensued between these brave and determined people, which lasted nearly an entire day. In the early part of the engagement, the Catawbas, having small-arms, gained a decided advantage; but in the latter part, the Cherokees changed the fortune of the battle, by superior numbers. It is said the Cherokees lost 1100 men, and the Catawbas about 1000. Victory was suspended, but the parties remained on the field, and it was expected the strife would be renewed on the following day. Early, however, in the morning, the Cherokees sent a deputation to the Catawbas, lauding their bravery, saluting them as brothers, and offering them a settlement anywhere upon the north-east side of the river. Hostilities ceased, a permanent peace was agreed upon, and to preserve it, Broad river was established as the dividing line south-westwardly, and the intermediate country declared neutral ground. Tradition holds that a pile of stones, monumental of the battle, was erected on the ground where it occurred. No account of this contest appears in any printed work, from Adair to Ramsay, or in any authentic manuscript. It is certain, however, that the Catawbas did settle on the north-east of the Catawba river, that they had fire-arms, that the


country between the Broad river and the Catawba was occupied by neither nation, presented fewer marks of ownership than any other portion of the State, and that Broad river was called by the Catawbas, Eswau Huppeday, or Line river. The two latter circumstances indicate a treaty, and in all probability the result of a bloody contest and a drawn battle.

The division of the tribe, as it came out of Canada, and the Cherokee war, will account for a large diminution of the numbers of the Catawba nation. They were scarcely settled in their new abode, when they fell upon a band of the Wassaws, who occupied the country about the Wassaw and Cane creek, in the district of Lancaster. There, it is said, after a noble resistance in their stronghold, the remains of which are still to be seen on Colonel Stewart's plantation, on the Wassaw creek, they (the Wassaws) were cut off to a man. The conduct of the Catawbas towards the Wassaws, furnishes the only disparagement I have ever heard of the national character of that people. The northern Indians, acting under French influence, occasionally hung upon the Catawba settlements, and carried on against them a sort of predatory and irregular warfare. A few warriors, from time to time, fell in these guerilla contests, which were kept up for many years. The hatred of the French towards the Catawbas, may be learned from the fact that, as late as 1753, the Canadian authorities determined to extirpate them; and that the Connewangos declared, in a great council at Albany, which was held about this time, that they never would make friends with the Catawbas, while the grass grew or the waters ran.

When Colonel Barnwell, about the year 1720, was sent against the Tuscaroras, who had broken up New Berne, then just founded by the Baron De Graffenreidt, upwards of 100 Catawbas accompanied him. A few warriors fell in the prosecution of that admirably conducted expedition. In the campaign against the Cherokees, during the Governorship of H. W. Littleson, undertaken without cause, except the gratification of his Excellency's heartless and guilty vanity, about 100 Catawbas marched under the Colonial flag, and several fell in different skirmishes. The campaign, as it deserved to be, was disgraceful and unsuccessful. About 1753, Governor Dinwiddie sent a message to the Catawbas, to induce them to unite their forces with the militia under the command of Colonel Washington. They promptly agreed to do so, but were restrained by the Carolina governor (Glen), who reminded them that peace was their true policy, as they were a little nation; so much had their ranks been thinned, even at that early day, by war. In an attack upon Sullivan's island, a full company of Catawbas, under the command of Colonel Thompson, participated in its defence. But as the British general on Long island entertained strange suspicions about the Colonel's 18-pounder, the loss of the Catawbas was inconsiderable. A company of Catawbas marched under Colonel Williamson, in his Cherokee expedition; during which, a few of their brave men perished. The Catawbas were always ready to engage in the American service, and always acquitted themselves like brave soldiers. The nation


was greatly reduced, in the early stage of the Revolution, by the small-pox. The Indians resolved to adopt a practice common to all the original tribes, of steaming themselves for the cure of this disease, almost into a state of fusion, and then plunging into the river. By this malpractice, hundreds of them died. Indeed, the woods were offensive with the dead bodies of the Indians; and dogs, wolves, and vultures were so busy, for months, in banqueting on them, that they would scarcely retreat from their prey, when approached by any one. In fact, so greatly were the Catawbas thinned by this malady, that at the close of the war, by the advice of their white friends, they invited the Cheraw Indians to move up, and form a union with them. The present nation is about equally composed of Catawbas and Cheraws. They have lived in great harmony. The Cheraws have retained their own language, but ordinarily use the Catawba.

Among the causes which tended to diminish the numbers of the Catawba nation, may be mentioned their wars and skirmishes, on their own account, and their adhesion to the military fortunes of their white friends; the ravages of the small-pox; the intemperate use of ardent spirits, by all ages and both sexes; the loss of their game, by the encroachments of the white hunters; the assassination of King Hagler, by a few Shawnees, about 1760 (so important is the life of an individual sometimes to a whole people); the fact of their being encircled on every side, and mixed in with a vastly more powerful and energetic race, whereby a distressing sense of inferiority and depression has been kept up among them; and, added to all, impolitic legislation, which gave them permission to lease their lands for long periods, securing to them a miserable subsistence, which exempted them from labor.

In the year 1735 the nation had in reservation only thirty acres of their large and fertile territory, not a foot of which was in cultivation. In the history of South Carolina, Ramsay solemnly invokes the people of South Carolina to cherish this small remnant of a noble race, always the friends of the Carolinians, and ready to peril all for their safety. They never have shed a drop of American blood, nor stolen property to the value of a cent. They have lost every thing but their honesty. Hagler was a great man, and the nation still speak of him with much feeling. They have never looked up since his death. Hagler was succeeded by King Prow, or Frow, who reigned but a short time. On his death, General Newriver, who had gained a splendid victory on New river, in Virginia, over the northern Indians, was called to rule over them; they having determined, in imitation of their white brethren, to repudiate royalty. He was succeeded by General Scott, and by Colonel Ayres. Scott was a considerable man. The Catawba language proper is a pretty good one; it corresponds in its general structure with the other aboriginal tongues of North America, which, Adelung says, are highly artificial and ingenious. The old set of Catawbas were a likely people; Major Cantry, for example, was a noble specimen of a man; and the wife of Joe Scott was a perfect Venus. Almost all my books and manuscripts were


lost on my passage from Charleston to Mobile. I have, consequently, been obliged to speak from memory; and I have no doubt, often am wrong as to dates. If your glorious State would purchase for this people (who make a strong appeal to the sympathies of every Carolinian) a good tract of land in a healthy part of the State, and place over them a white man of decided responsibility as their patron, to direct their conduct and settle their differences, they would do better than they have done for fifty years. If they love a man, he may make them do any thing, even toil for a livelihood, and keep decently sober. This would be doing a great deal; should this policy be pursued, the funeral yew will not be fixed over the last Catawba for a century.


THE earliest Spanish accounts of this people locate the tribe in the Gila Valley, very nearly in the same position which they now occupy. This is about 240 miles above the present site of fort Yuma, at the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers. They are at present intimately associated with the Coco Maricopas. This association has produced a general concurrence in manners and customs, dress, modes of living, the same kind of houses, and the same good and general policy; but the language is different; and the latter are an entirely distinct tribe, having, agreeably to their own traditions, come to their present position from the west. Their union with the Pimos is recent.

The Pimos assert that their ancestors migrated to their present position from the east, or as they phrase it, the rising sun. Like most of the Indian tribes, mingling fable with fact, and without analytical powers sufficiently strong to separate them, they assert that their first parent was caught up to heaven. After this, those of the tribe that remained on earth wandered west, and fixed their abode on the Gila.

The men and women of the Pimos and Coco Maricopas, have the custom of wearing long hair reaching to their waists. They put it up in twists, and sometimes coil it around their heads; with others, it is allowed to hang down the back. In front it is cut straight across the forehead, where it hangs in a thick mass, and protects their eyes from the glare of the sun. The sexes practise this custom alike, the only perceptible difference being, that the males wear their hair the longest. It grows very thick. They sometimes put it up as a turban, with a kind of clay, which serves to give permanency to the coil or folds of this species of tiara.

With respect to their history, it may be suggested, that, prior to the era of the


Spanish, the country they now occupy was inhabited by the Navajoes, or Moquis, who have passed north to their present positions. It is among the early traditions which are recorded by some of the Spanish missionaries, that the "Casas Grande" which stand upon Pimo territory, were erected by the Navajoes. Recent reports of the expedition of Col. Donophan, denote that such structures are yet to be observed among that people.

During the recent residence of Buckingham Smith, Esq., as Secretary of the American Legation in Mexico, this gentleman copied sundry documents from a collection of thirty-two manuscript volumes in the Archivo-General of the city of Mexico, made by order of the King of Spain, about the close of the last century. Of these, he has furnished for this work the following translations respecting the history of this tribe; of their predecessors in the occupancy of the Pimo country; and of the erection, by a nation from the north of the Gila, of the Casas Grande.


§ 121. As soon as the sun rose, there came the three Indians of Zuni, to whom I said that I would not now go to their towns, as the Yavipais would not accompany me; and I could no longer return by the Moqui, fearing what might happen to me from them, should I go back without the Yavipais. I was informed that the Yutas were the friends of the Spaniards, as well also as the Yavipais; but the journey was long, and even an escort and animals ("habio") necessary; of all of which there was need, and there were many doubts of getting any in New Mexico; for the Governor, or the Commandant Rivera, might hold perhaps my incursion pernicious, and in no degree for the service of the king; particularly might he do so, as it had not been expressly ordered by your excellency. At last I wrote to the father minister of Zuρi, although I did not know his name, informing him of my arrival at that town, and of the bad reception the people had given me in contrast with that by other nations, and charging him to send the letter, or a copy of it, to the Governor and the Reverend Father the Custodian, to whom I greatly commended myself.

Those of Zuρi went with this letter for me; and in a short time came my ancient Yavipai, with a chief of the village, urging me to go on and see the towns of the Moqui, where they would give me food, since they would not do so where I was. I saddled the mule, and accompanied by two Indians and by many staring boys and girls, I went down the side of the town to the east, where they showed me the road to the other towns. I hesitated to go, for want of company; but my ancient Yavipai


said to me, that I and the mule were hungry, and that he would wait for me there five days; for he had not yet done selling the mezcal and the other things he brought. Accordingly, I made up my mind to go alone, and entered on a very sandy plain, extending a great way to the south. On one side and the other I saw many fields of maize and beans ("frijol"), and many males occupied at their work. I went up another table-land, and on it found two young herdsmen watching sheep, and a woman with her axe, looking for wood. They ran away on drawing near me; from which I saw the ill will of that people to be general; and considering the evil known better than the good to be discovered, and that in the end my friends the Yavipais were at Oraibe, I determined to go back and return over the three leagues traversed.

At night I entered the Moqui, astonished at the sight of the many people on the roofs of the houses, looking at me as I passed with my mule, in search of the corner of the preceding night, which, after making some turns, I found.

In this town were two kinds of people, and two languages; the first is seen in the color and stature of the males and females, the second in their different manner of singing. Some are of a color clear and somewhat red, and are good looking; and others are small, black, and ugly. When they go out of town, they appear in clothing like Spaniards, wearing dressed skins, tight sleeves, pantaloons, boots and shoes. Their arms are "xavas" and lances. In town they wear shoes, and sleeves of colored cotton, ("manta pinta,") and a black blanket, of the sort they make. The women wear tunics as low as the ancle, without sleeves, and a black or white shawl over the head, like a square mantilla; the tunic confined by a belt, usually of a variety of colors. They do not pounce or paint themselves, nor did I see beads on them, or ear-rings. The old women wear the hair in two braids, and the young women in a tuft over each ear, or altogether drawn to one side, taking much care of it.

Notwithstanding that they did not favor me, I formed the idea that there were many good people among them, and that the bad were only those who governed. There might have been other reasons for this beside that of not wishing to be baptized, or of admitting Spaniards into their country; like that of knowing that I had come from the Tamajabs and from the Yumas, friends of their enemies, and consequently holding me as the spy of the Yavipais, Tejua, and Chemeguabas. They also knew that I came from, and was a minister among, the Pirnas, with whom they were at war, as I had been told by the Indians of my mission, and because of this and the ruins which are found on the river Gila, I have suspected that anciently the Moquis extended


as far as there. I asked of some old Sabaipuris of my mission, many years ago, who had made those houses which were fallen clown, and the earthen-ware that is found, broken in various places, on the river Gila; for neither the Pimas nor Apaches know how to make such. They answered me, the Moquis only know how to make those things; and they added, that these neighboring Apaches are not related among themselves, that there are some much farther to the north, where they used to go, long since, to fight; but had never been up into the plateau where they lived. This information was confirmed, in that the Yavipais took out for me a bowl of earthen, like the cups ("cows") found in the house of Montezuma; and I asking them whence they had gotten it, they said that in the Moqui there is much of that ware. As I did not go into a house, I could not see any in them; but from below I saw on the azoteas some large colored pots. So likewise the Gila Pimas have told me that anciently the Apaches came from the house, which is called of Montezuma, to give them battle; and it being certain that those whom we know for Apaches have no house or fixed habitation, I am inclined to think that they were the Moquinos who came to fight, the which made war upon by the Pimas, who have ever been numerous and brave, and that they forsook these habitations of the river Gila, as they have that ruined town which I found before coming to Moqui, retiring to where they now live, in that advantageous position, defended as it is with so many precautions against every attack.

Within the town there was no water, but on the side to the east, I saw an abundant spring, with a descending stairs of stone, and curbing of the same. In my corner I rested that night, and my mule was taken by the Yavipais to the pen of the preceding day.


On the 31st, the Commandant having determined that the people should rest for the day, we have had time to go and examine the great house which they call that of Montezuma, situated a league from the river Gila, and distant from the lagune some three leagues to the east-south-east, whither we have been accompanied by some Indians and the Governor of Utirituc, who, on the way, related to us a history or tradition which those Indians preserve from their forefathers on the subject of that house, the whole of which amounts to fables mixed confusedly with some Catholic truths.

I took an observation from this place of the great house, marked on the map with the letter A, and found it to be in 33° 3-5', and thus I say: in the Casa Grande of the river Gila, the 31st day of October, of the year 1775, the meridional altitude of the inferior limb of the sun 42-25°. We observed this edifice and its vestiges with all


care; the iconographic plan of it I give here; and for its being better understood I give the following description and explanation.

The Casa Grande, or Palace of Montezuma, may have, according to the accounts and scant information there are of it which the Indians give, an antiquity of five hundred years; for it appears that its foundation was laid by the Mexicans, when in their transmigration the devil took them through many lands, until arriving at the promised country of Mexico, where, in their extensive settlements, they raised edifices and planted a population. The place on which the house stands is level, separated from the river Gila to the distance of a league; the remains of the houses which formed the town extending more than a league to the eastward, and to the other points. All this ground is strewn with pieces of pots, jars, plates, &c.; some coarse, and others colored of a variety of tints — white, blue, red, &c.; a sign that it was once thickly inhabited, and by a people distinct from the Pimas of the Gila, as these know not how to make like ware. We made an exact survey of the edifice and its position; we took its measurement with a lance for the moment, which I afterwards reduced to geometrical feet, and is, a little more or less, the following.

The house is square, and sets exactly to the four cardinal points. About it are some ruins indicating a fence or wall which enclosed the house and other buildings, remarkable at the corners, where there appears to have been a structure like an interior castle or watch-tower; for at the corner which stands to the south-west, there is a piece up, with its divisions and one story. The exterior wall of the house is four hundred and twenty feet from north to south, and two hundred and sixty feet from east to west. The interior is composed of five halls: three in the middle, of equal size, and one at each extreme, of greater length. The three are twenty-six feet from north to south, and from east to west ten feet. The two at the ends are twelve feet from north to south, and thirty-eight from east to west. In height they are eleven feet, and in this are equal. The doors of communication are five feet high and two feet wide; are nearly all of the same size, excepting the four first, being the four outer, which appear to be as wide again. The thickness of the walls is four feet: they are well enclosed; those of the exterior are six feet. The house had a measurement on the outside from north to south, of seventy feet, and from east to west of fifty. The walls are scarped from without. Before the door on the east side, there is, apart from the house, another room, which is from north to south twenty-six feet, and from east to west eighteen feet, exclusive of the thickness of the walls. The wood-work was of pine, from what could be seen; and the nearest ridge of pines is some twenty-five leagues distant, which has also some mesquite. The entire structure is of earth, and, according to appearances, the tapia was made in blocks of different sizes. A very large canal leads up, a good distance, from the river, from which the population were supplied, and which is now much filled up. It is evident, however, that the edifice


has had three stories, and if that be true which could be gleaned from the Indians, and from the marks which were to be seen, there had been four; the lower floor of the house having been below, like that of a cellar. To give light to the rooms, there are only to be seen the doors and some round holes in the middle of the walls which look to the east and west; and the Indians said, that through those holes, which are somewhat large, the prince, whom they called the Bitter Ahan, looked out to salute the sun when it rose and set. No appearances of stairs were found; from which we judged that they had been consumed by the fire which had been set to the building by the Apaches.

On the first day of November, we sallied from the lagoon at half after nine o'clock in the morning, and at one in the afternoon we arrived at the town of San Juan Capistrans de Virtud, having travelled in a course to the west-north-west. The Indians, calculated at about a thousand in number, received us in two lines, the men on one side, and the women on the other; and we having dismounted, they all came to salute and shake hands with us — first the men and afterwards the women; showing great satisfaction at seeing us. They gave us an entertainment under a great arbor which they made for the purpose; before which, although they were heathen, they set up a large cross, and afterwards brought water to the camp for the people. These Gila Pimas are gentle and comely.


On the 17th, having heard mass as on the sabbath, leaving the plain by the mud holes of that river, which is capacious enough for a ship to sail in, and is shaded by the thick foliage of groves, we proceeded to the west, and ever in sight of the river, along a little ridge, from the summit of which we saw to the east the same mountain of Florida where the Apache enemy are accustomed to reside, and where, on another occasion, they were fought; and to the west we saw also the Casas Grande, which, from being at the distance of seventeen leagues, appeared to be castles; and travelling always through woods bearing the medicinal fruit of the jojobe, at the end of eight leagues we arrived at a round green hill, which appeared like a garden and cliffs, with a crystalline and cold spring of water on its top, which, leaping up in jets, irrigated all the sides. We called it San Gregoris Jaumalturgo; and taking some refreshment, we came down into the plain and valley of the river, and having travelled two leagues, we slept, keeping watch.

On the 18th, we continued to the west over an extensive plain, sterile and without pasture; and at the end of five miles, we discovered, on the other side of the river, other houses and edifices. The sergeant, Juan Bautista de Escalante, swam over with


two companions to examine them; and they said that the walls were two yards ("varas") in thickness, like those of a fort, and that there were other ruins about, but all of ancient date. We went on to the west, and at the end of four more leagues, we arrived, at mid-day, at Casas Grande, within which mass was said by Father Rino, who had travelled to that place fasting.

There was one great edifice, with the principal room in the middle, of four stories, and the adjoining rooms on its four sides, of three stories, with the walls two yards in thickness, of strong mortar and clay, so smooth and shining within, that they appeared like burnished tablets, and so polished that they shone like the earthen of Puebla. The windows are square and very true, are without hinges or bolts, ("sin quicios ni atravesados,") were made with a mould and arch, the same as the doors, although narrow, and in this particular might be recognized to be the work of Indians. It is thirty-six paces in length, and twenty-one in width, of good symmetry, as the following design, with the ground-plan, will show.

Great Edifice at Casas Grande.

Floor Plan of Great Edifice at Casas Grande.

At the distance of the shot of an arquebuss, twelve other houses are to be seen, also half-fallen; having thick walls, and all the ceilings burnt, except in the lower room of one house, which is of round timbers, smooth and not thick, which appeared to be of cedar or savin, and over them sticks (otales) of very equal size, and a cake of mortar and hard clay, making a roof or ceiling of great ingenuity. In the environs are to be seen many other ruins, and heaps of broken earth, which circumscribe it two leagues, with much broken earthen-ware of plates, and pots of fine clay, painted of many colours, and which resemble the jars of Guadalajara, in New Spain. It may be inferred that the population or city of this body politic was very large; and that it was one of government, is shown by a main canal, which comes from the river by the


plain, running around for the distance of three leagues, and enclosing the inhabitants in its area, being in breadth ten varas, and about four in depth, through which perhaps was directed one-half the volume of the river, in such a manner that it might serve for a defensive moat as well as to supply the wards with water, and irrigate the plantations in the adjacencies. The guides said that, at the distance of a day's journey, there are a variety of other edifices of the same construction toward the north, on the opposite side of the river, on another stream which flows to unite with this, and which they call Verde, built by a people who came from the region of the north, the chief of whom was called the Siba; which name, according to its definition in their language, is the Bitter man, or the Cruel; and that because of the sanguinary wars he held against the Apaches, and twenty other nations confederated with them. Many being killed on both sides, the country was abandoned; a portion of the inhabitants, dissatisfied, separated and returned to the north, whence they had come years before, and the rest went to the east and south. From this information we judge — and it is probable — that they are the ancestry of the Mexican nation, which is according to their structures and vestiges; and are like those that are spoken of as existing in the 34th degree of latitude, and in the environs of the fort of Janos, in 29 degrees, which are also called Casas Grande, and many others, of which we have notices, to be seen as far up as the 37th and 40th degrees north. On the margin of the river, distant one league from the Casas Grande, we found a town in which we counted 130 souls. * * *

Having heard mass on the 19th, we continued towards the west, over sterile plains. On all the grounds about these buildings, there is not a single pasture; but appear as if they had been strewn with salt. Having traversed four leagues, we arrived at a town, Tusonimon; which is so named from a great heap of horns, from the wild or sylvan sheep, which appears like a hill, and from the numbers that there are of the animals, they make the common subsistence of the inhabitants. From what can be seen from the highest of those houses, there appears to be a country of more than a hundred thousand hastas in extent.

The heathen Indians received us with jubilee, giving of their provision to the soldiers; and we counted two hundred persons, who were gentle and affable. Remaining there to sleep, the Father and I instructed them, through the interpreters, in the mysteries of our Holy Faith; on which they besought us that there might be baptized fifteen of their children, and seven sick adults.



THIS copious river, Gila, rises in 36° of latitude, and in rather more than 268° of longitude, in that part of the region which looks to the south from the mountain called El Mogollσn, the country of the Apaches. It comes out through the narrow passages, or from a long chasm in a place called Todos Santos, and afterwards traverses the valley of Santa Lucia, from which, as well as from the opposite side, on the north, it receives a small stream. Its course from its rising, is toward the south-west, although afterwards it is chiefly to the west, with the exception that in places, in consequence of the interposition of different ridges, it takes a course somewhat to the south and north-west; in which flow it runs to the east and west, through all the country of the Apaches ("Apacheria"), forming most fertile vales; some like the vale of Florida, over twenty leagues in width, for more than the distance of a hundred leagues. At the end of forty-six leagues from its origin, the river of San Francisco unites with it, which rises in the same mountain of Mogollσn, where it looks to the north, near the granaries ("troges") of the Apaches, and runs in a direction south-west, among sharp ridges, until coming to the Gila, at its entrance into the vale of Florida, about the distance of six leagues, and leaving, some ten leagues to the left, the mud springs in the mountains of Florida, which range with it, it comes out of that valley and country of the Apaches, breaking its way through some very precipitous mountains, at whose sides come to unite with it the river San Pedro, in the manner I have before described. Those granaries, the Spanish force discovered, in its march for the general campaign in the year 1737, on the road to Acome, and were well provided with grain.

From this junction, the Gila pursuing its stated course for the matter of twenty leagues, it leaves on the left, at the distance of a league, the Casa Grande, which they call that of Montezuma, from a tradition current among the Indians and Spaniards, of its having been one of the habitations where, in their wide transmigrations, the Mexicans rested. That building is of four stories, which are still standing; its ceiling is of the beams of cedar, or "hazcal," the walls of a material very solid, which appears to be the best of mortar. It is divided into many rooms and lodgings, of sufficient size to accommodate in them a travelling court.

At the distance of three leagues from this house, and to the right of the river, there is another house, but now much demolished, from the ruins of which it is inferred that it was of much finer material than the first. In the neighborhood of these houses, for


some leagues in every direction, wheresoever the ground is turned, are to be found fragments of pottery of a very fine quality, and of a variety of color. From a very large canal, higher up the river, still open for the distance of some two leagues, we are left to conclude that the people could not have moved very rapidly in passing here, as it appears to have supplied a city with water, and irrigated many leagues of the rich country of those beautiful plains. About the distance of half a league from that house, to the west, may be found a lake which empties into the river; and although its volume is not large, its depth is greater than it has been able to sound with the many strings that could be tied together.

These Pimas tell of another house, of a design and make more strange, which they say is to be found farther up on that river; its figure is that of a kind of labyrinth, the form of which, as the Indians trace it on the sand, is in the manner given in the accompanying cut; but it appears more likely to have been a house for recreation, than for a great lord to reside in.

House for Recreation with Figure Like that of a Labyrinth.

To other buildings of greater extension, more art and symmetry, I have heard the Father Ygnacio Xavier Keller refer, although I do not recollect in what part of his apostolic missions they were seen. I know that his reverence said that they came to a straight line in front, were built alike, and were nearly half a league in length, and the width appeared to him nearly as great; the whole divided into equal squares, and each house three or four stories in height, although then much disfigured from having fallen in many places; but that at one of the angles still was standing an edifice of a larger size, in the form of a castle or palace, of five or six stories in altitude. The canal, like that already described, the father said it not only passed along the front, but before it reached the houses, it was divided into many branches, through which the water might be admitted into all the streets, perhaps to cleanse them in their waste places at pleasure, as is done at Turin and other cities of Europe, and was even in Mexico in times past. This last Casa Grande is on the other side of the river, and may be the same with that which before is spoken of; for all who have seen it agree that it is the ruins, not of one structure only, but a place once extensively inhabited.


Between those Casas Grande inhabit the Pimas on one and the other margin of the Gila: the towns of that people, which occupy ten leagues of the mild vale along it, with some islands, abound in wheat, maize, &c., and yield so much cotton, to whom also is referred the fabrication of the finest kind of pottery, which is found at one of the archaeological indications of the Gila valley.


IN the month of August, 1852, a message reached the President of the United States, by a delegation of the Pueblos of Tesuque in New Mexico, offering him friendship and intercommunication; and opening, symbolically, a road from the Moqui country to Washington. This message, of which the leading points were communicated by figures or symbols, having fulfilled its object, and being gazed at as a curiosity in saloons, where ambassadors from higher courts are received, was referred to me, as falling more specifically within the cognizance of my inquiries.

This unique diplomatic pacquet consists of several articles of symbolic import. The first is the official and ceremonial offer of the peace-pipe. This is symbolized by a joint of the maize, five and a half inches long, and half an inch in diameter. The hollow of the tube is filled by leaves of a plant which represents tobacco. It is stopped, to secure the weed from falling out, by the downy yellow under plumage of some small bird. Externally, around the centre of the stalk, is a tie of white cotton twisted string of four strands, (not twisted by the distaff,) holding, at its end, a small tuft of the before-mentioned downy yellow feathers, and a small wiry feather of the same species. The interpreter has written on this, "The pipe to be smoked by the President." The object is represented in the following cut, (A.)

The second symbol consists of two small columnar round pieces of wood, four and a half inches long, and four-tenths in diameter, terminating in a cone. The cone is one and a half inches long, and colored black; the rest of the pieces are blue; a peace color among the Indians south, it seems, as well as north. This color has the appearance


of being produced by the carbonate of copper mixed with aluminous earth; and reminds one strongly of the blue clays of the Dacotahs. The wood, when cut, is white, compact, and of a peculiar species. A notch is cut at one end of one of the pieces, and colored yellow. A shuck of the maize, one end of which, rolled in the shape of a cone, is bound up by cotton strings, with a small bird's feather, in the manner of the symbolic pipe. There is also tied up with the symbolic sticks, one of the secondary feathers and bits of down of a bird of dingy color. The feather is naturally tipped with white. Together with this, the tie holds a couple of sticks of a native plant, or small seed of the prairie grass, perhaps. It may, together with the husk of the maize, be emblematic of their cultivation. The whole of the tie represents the Moquis. The following cut (B) represents this symbol.

The third object is, in every respect, like Fig. B, and symbolizes the President of the United States. A colored cotton cord, four feet long, unites these symbols. Six inches of this cord is small and white. At the point of its being tied to the long colored cord there is a bunch of small bird's feathers. This bunch, which symbolizes the geographical position of the Navajoes, with respect to Washington, consists of the feathers of six species, the colors of which are pure white, blue, brown, mottled, yellow, and dark, like the pigeon-hawk, and white, tipped with brown. (See the preceding cut, C.)

The interpreter appends to these material effigies, or devices, the following remarks.

These two figures represent the Moqui people and the President; the cord is the road which separates them; the feather tied to the cord is the meeting point; that


part of the cord which is white is intended to signify the distance between the President and the place of meeting; and that part which is stained is the distance between the Moqui and the same point. Your Excellency will perceive that the distance between the Moqui and place of meeting is short, while the other is very long.


The last object of this communication from the high plains of New Mexico, is the most curious, and the most strongly indicative of the wild, superstitious notions of the Moqui mind. It consists of a small quantity of wild honey, wrapped up in a wrapper or inner fold of the husk of the maize, as represented in Figure E. It is accompanied by these remarks:

"A charm to call down rain from heaven. — To produce the effect desired, the President must take a piece of the shuck which contains wild honey, chew it, and spit it upon the ground which needs rain; and the Moquis assure him that it will come."

It is thus perceived that the superstitions of the Moquis are identified with those of the erratic hunter tribes who occupy the continent north of their position on the elevated heights of New Mexico — a position which they have apparently occupied since the earliest discoveries of the Spaniards.

In 1540, Coronada, with 150 horsemen, and 200 footmen, having united his forces at Compostella, set out by the order of Mendoza, the viceroy of Mexico, to verify the


wild stories of cities and towns, silver and gold, and a high civilization, which had reached him, by runners, as existing in the region north of the Gila, which now bears the name of New Mexico. They were accompanied by 800 Indians, and took with them 150 European cows, and a large flock of sheep, to serve as food. This fact is alluded to for the purpose of adding, that the latter were probably the origin of the immense flocks of sheep at present possessed by the Moquis and Navajoes. Three hundred and twelve years have served greatly to multiply this species; and every year has probably only further convinced them of the importance and value of this animal, which is easily raised, in supplying them with sustenance. It has also given them the material for the manufacture of blankets; an article which they make, as we are informed, without the use of the distaff, but by a peculiar application of their native ingenuity.

But neither the raising of sheep, nor the making of blankets, have lifted from their minds the dark veil of ignorance and superstition, nor divested them of a belief in the degrading doctrines of magic, which mark the unreclaimed savage, wherever he dwells.


Intellectual Capacity and Character.



1. Hiawatha; an Iroquois Tradition. By Abraham Le Fort.
2. The Little Monedo, or Boy-man; an Odjibwa Tale. By Ba-bahm-wa-wa-gezhig-equa.
3. Trapping in Heaven; a Wyandot Tradition of 1637. By Paul Le Jeune.
4. The Great Snake of Canandaguia Lake; an Iroquois Tradition. By John M. Bradford, Esq.
5. Shingebiss; a Chippewa Allegory.


6. Song of the Okogis. By Ba-bahm-wa-wa-gezhig-equa.
7. Hawk Chant. By James Riley.

A. Oral Fictions.

THE capacity of the human mind to recuperate and amuse itself by fictitious recitals during states of repose, after scenes of toil and danger, is one of its most striking original developments; and we perceive traces of it in the earliest passages of human history. Sometimes allegory is employed. This trait was early observed by the missionaries to the North American Indians; and although lost sight of in the popular accounts of the tribes for a long time, it is found to characterize, so far as inquiries go,


the leading stocks of the United States. How far it may be traced west and south, it may be premature to inquire.

The tale of "Trapping in Heaven," now introduced, is gleaned from the missionary records of New France, in 1636. It has some features in common with the tale of the boy who caught the sun in a snare, found among the Algonquins, in 1822. We are informed that these oral tales are confined in their utterance by the Indians to the winter season; the reason for which is a mythological belief, as expressed by an aged Indian of Lake Michigan (Vide Demonology, § XII.), that the ground is then covered with a mantle of snow, and the genii, who are believed to inhabit all parts of the earth, cannot then hear the narratives in which their names are sometimes made free with.

In these imaginative relations of the Indian wigwam, allegory takes its widest range, and it is as singular as it is unexpected, to find that symbols sometimes conceal important moral truths. Thus, an individual, prefigured as the head of a family of hawks, one of the latter of whom is so unlucky as to break a wing, is made to uphold fraternal affection, by a line of self-sacrifice and prudential conduct, for a whole season of want, which is a pattern for human imitation. A warrior's soul travels from the field of battle, to discover whether its loss, in the shape of a brave man slain, will be missed and lamented as much as is usually supposed. An esteemed wife and sister return, as ghosts or spirits, to the earth, disguised in human form, to learn whether the regrets expressed for their untimely death were real and lively testimonials of human woe, such as society professes, generally, to feel on these occasions. These are touches of delicate irony on the sincerity of the professions of society, which are little to be looked for among savages.

The history of the American tribes soon enters the shadowy and gorgeous precincts of mythology, where the imagination has free scope in accounting for the origin and rise of nations, institutions, and customs. None of the tribes are so destitute of imagination as not to have something of this sort to cover many a wide hiatus in their history.


TARENYAWAGO taught the Six Nations arts and knowledge. He had a canoe which would move without paddles. It was only necessary to will it, to compel it to go. With this he ascended the streams and lakes. He taught the people to raise corn and beans, removed obstructions from their water-courses, and made their fishing-grounds clear.


He helped them to get the mastery over the great monsters which overran the country, and thus prepared the forests for their hunters. His wisdom was as great as his power. The people listened to him with admiration, and followed his advice gladly. There was nothing in which he did not excel good hunters, brave warriors, and eloquent orators.

He gave them wise instructions for observing the laws and maxims of the Great Spirit. Having done these things, he laid aside the high powers of his public mission, and resolved to set them an example of how they should live.

For this purpose, he selected a beautiful spot on the southern shore of one of the lesser and minuter lakes, which is called Tioto (Cross lake) by the natives, to this day. Here he erected his lodge, planted his field of corn, kept by him his magic canoe, and selected a wife. In relinquishing his former position, as a subordinate power to the Great Spirit, he also dropped his name, and, according to his present situation, took that of Hiawatha, meaning a person of very great wisdom, which the people spontaneously bestowed on him.

He now lived in a degree of respect scarcely inferior to that which he before possessed. His words and counsels were implicitly obeyed. The people flocked to him from all quarters, for advice and instruction. Such persons as had been prominent in following his precepts, he favored, and they became eminent on the war-path and in the council-room.

When Hiawatha assumed the duties of an individual, at Tioto, he carefully drew out from the water his beautiful talismanic canoe, which had served for horses and chariot, in his initial excursions through the Iroquois territories, and it was carefully secured on land, and never used except in his journeys to attend the general councils. He had elected to become a member of the Onondaga tribe, and chose the residence of this people, in the shady recesses of their fruitful valley, as the central point of their government.

After the termination of his higher mission from above, years passed away in prosperity, and the Onondagas assumed an elevated rank, for their wisdom and learning, among the other tribes, and there was not one of these which did not yield its assent to their high privilege of lighting the general council-fire.

Suddenly there arose a great alarm at the invasion of a ferocious band of warriors from the north of the Great Lakes. As they advanced, an indiscriminate slaughter was made of men, women, and children. Destruction threatened to be alike the fate of those who boldly resisted, or quietly submitted. The public alarm was extreme. Hiawatha advised them not to waste their efforts in a desultory manner, but to call a general council of all the tribes that could be gathered together from the east to the west; and he appointed the meeting to take place on an eminence on the banks of Onondaga lake.

Accordingly all the chief men assembled at this spot. The occasion brought together


vast multitudes of men, women, and children; for there was an expectation of some great deliverance. Three days had already elapsed, and there began to be a general anxiety lest Hiawatha should not arrive. Messengers were despatched for him to Tioto, who found him in a pensive mood, to whom he communicated his strong presentiments that evil betided his attendance. These were overruled by the strong representations of the messengers, and he again put his wonderful vessel in its element, and set out for the council, taking his only daughter with him. She timidly took her seat in the stern, with a light paddle, to give direction to the vessel; for the strength of the current of the Seneca river was sufficient to give velocity to the motion till arriving at So-hah-hi, the Onondaga outlet. At this point the powerful exertions of the aged chief were required, till they entered on the bright bosom of the Onondaga.

The grand council, that was to avert the threatened danger, was quickly in sight, and sent up its shouts of welcome, as the venerated man approached, and landed in front of the assemblage. An ascent led up the banks of the lake to the place occupied by the council. As he walked up this, a loud sound was heard in the air above, as if caused by some rushing current of wind. Instantly the eyes of all were directed upward to the sky, where a spot of matter was discovered descending rapidly, and every instant enlarging in its size and velocity. Terror and alarm were the first impulses, for it appeared to be descending into their midst, and they scattered in confusion.

Hiawatha, as soon as he had gained the eminence, stood still, and caused his daughter to do the same; deeming it cowardly to fly, and impossible, if it were attempted, to divert the designs of the Great Spirit. The descending object had now assumed a more definite aspect, and as it came down, revealed the shape of a gigantic white bird, with wide extended and pointed wings, which came down, swifter and swifter, with a mighty swoop, and crushed the girl to the earth. Not a muscle was moved in the face of Hiawatha. His daughter lay dead before him, but the great and mysterious white bird was also destroyed by the shock. Such had been the violence of the concussion, that it had completely buried its beak and head in the ground. But the most wonderful sight was the carcase of the prostrated bird, which was covered with beautiful plumes of snow-white shining feathers. Each warrior stepped up, and decorated himself with a plume. And it hence became a custom to assume this kind of feathers on the war-path. Succeeding generations substituted the plumes of the white heron, which led this bird to be greatly esteemed.

But yet a greater wonder ensued. On removing the carcase of the bird, not a human trace could be discovered of the daughter. She had completely vanished. At this the father was greatly afflicted in spirits, and disconsolate. But he roused himself, as from a lethargy, and walked to the head of the council with a dignified air, covered with his simple robe of wolf-skins; taking his seat with the chief warriors and


counsellors, and listening with attentive gravity to the plans of the different speakers. One day was given to these discussions; on the next day, he arose and said:

My friends and brothers; you are members of many tribes, and have come from a great distance. We have met to promote the common interest, and our mutual safety. How shall it be accomplished? To oppose these northern hordes in tribes singly, while we are at variance often with each other, is impossible. By uniting in a common band of brotherhood, we may hope to succeed. Let this be done, and we shall drive the enemy from our land. Listen to me by tribes.

You (the Mohawks), who are sitting under the shadow of the Great Tree, whose roots sink deep in the earth, and whose branches spread wide around, shall be the first nation, because you are warlike and mighty.

You (the Oneidas), who recline your bodies against the Everlasting Stone, that cannot be moved, shall be the second nation, because you always give wise counsel.

You (the Onondagas), who have your habitation at the foot of the Great Hills, and are overshadowed by their crags, shall be the third nation, because you are all greatly gifted in speech.

You (the Senecas), whose dwelling is in the Dark Forest, and whose home is everywhere, shall be the fourth nation, because of your superior cunning in hunting.

And you (the Cayugas), the people who live in the Open Country, and possess much wisdom, shall be the fifth nation, because you understand better the art of raising corn and beans, and making houses.

Unite, you five nations, and have one common interest, and no foe shall disturb and subdue you. You, the people who are as the feeble bushes, and you, who are a fishing people, may place yourselves under our protection, and we will defend you. And you of the south and of the west may do the same, and we will protect you. We earnestly desire the alliance and friendship of you all.

Brothers, if we unite in this great bond, the Great Spirit will smile upon us, and we shall be free, prosperous, and happy. But if we remain as we are, we shall be subject to his frown. We shall be enslaved, ruined, perhaps annihilated. We may perish under the war-storm, and our names be no longer remembered by good men, nor be repeated in the dance and song.

Brothers, these are the words of Hiawatha. I have said it. I am done.

The next day the plan of union was again considered, and adopted by the council. Conceiving this to be the accomplishment of his mission to the Iroquois, the tutelar patron of this rising confederacy addressed them in a speech elaborate with wise counsels, and then announced his withdrawal to the skies. At its conclusion, he went down to the shore, and assumed his seat in his mystical vessel. Sweet music was heard in the air at the same moment, and as its cadence floated in the ears of the wondering multitude, it rose in the air, higher and higher, till it vanished from the sight, and disappeared in the celestial regions inhabited only by Owayneo and his hosts.




THERE was once a little boy, remarkable for the smallness of his stature, living alone with his sister, who was older than himself. They were orphans, and lived in a beautiful spot on a lake shore; and many large and picturesque rocks were scattered around their rural habitation. The boy was not only very small, but he never grew larger as he advanced in years. There had never been seen a dwarf before, among his people, and they looked on him as a very insignificant being. Some thought him one of those little creations whom they call puk-wud-jinine, or fairies of the hills, who are seen to dance along over the ground, as light as the down of thistle. But the most of them said, "Nay, we all know this little fellow; he eats and drinks, like one of ourselves, and we knew his father." But the spirits, seeing him despised, had compassion on him, and determined to give him great power.

One day in winter, he asked his sister to make him a ball to play with along the shore, on the clear ice; she made one, but cautioned him not to go too far. Off he went, in high glee, throwing his ball before him, and running after it full speed, and he went as fast as his ball. At last, it flew to a great distance; he followed it as quick as he could, and after running for some time, he saw four dark substances on the ice, straight before him. When he came up to the spot, he was surprised to see four large tall men lying on the ice, spearing fish; the one nearest to him looked up, and in turn was surprised to see such a diminutive being, and calling to his brothers said, "Tia! look, see what a little fellow is here!" After they had all looked a moment, they resumed their position, and covered their heads, intent on searching for fish. The boy thought to himself, "These men are so large and tall, that they treat me with contempt, because I am little of stature; but I will teach them, notwithstanding, that I am not to be treated so lightly." After they were covered up, the boy saw that they had each a large trout lying beside them; he slyly took the one nearest him, and placing his fingers in the gills, and tossing his ball before him, ran off at full speed. When the man to whom the fish belonged looked up, he saw his trout sliding away, as if of itself, at a great rate; the boy being so small he could not be distinguished from the fish. He addressed his brothers, and said, "See how that tiny boy has stolen my fish; what a shame it is he should do so!" The boy reached home, and told his sister to go out and get the fish he had brought. She exclaimed, "Where could you have got it? I hope you have not stolen it?" "Oh! no," he replied, "I found it on the ice." "How," persisted the sister, "could you have got it there?" "No matter," said the boy; "go and cook it." He disdained to answer her again, but thought he would one day teach her how to appreciate him. She went to


the place where he said he had left the fish; and there, indeed, she found a monstrous trout. She did as she was bid, and cooked it for that day's consumption.

Next morning, he went off again, as at first, and when he came near the large men, who fished every day, he threw his ball with such force that it rolled into the ice-hole of the man of whom he had stolen the fish the day before. As he happened to raise himself at the time, the boy said, "Nejee (friend), pray hand me my ball." "No indeed," answered the man, "I shall not;" and he thrust the ball under the ice. The boy took hold of his arm, broke it in two in a moment, and threw him to one side; he then picked up his ball, which had bounded back from under the ice, and tossed it as usual before him, outstripping its speed. He got home, and remained within till next morning. The man whose arm he had broken halloed out to his brothers, told them his case, and deplored his fate. They hurried to their brother, and as loud as they could roar, threatened vengeance on the morrow; as they knew the boy's speed was too great for them to overtake him, and he was already almost out of sight. The boy heard their threats, and awaited their coming, in perfect indifference.

The four brothers the next morning prepared to take their revenge. Their old mother begged them not to go: "Better," said she, "that only one should suffer, than that all should perish; for he must be a Monedo, or he could not perform such feats;" but her sons would not listen; and taking their wounded brother along, started for the boy's lodge, having learnt that he lived at the place of rocks. The boy's sister thought she heard the noise of snow-shoes on the crusted snow, at a distance advancing, and she then saw the tall men coming straight to their lodge, or rather cave, for they lived in a large rock; and she ran in great fear, and told her brother the fact. He said, "Why do you mind them? give me something to eat." "How can you think of eating at such a time?" she replied. "Do as I bid you," he continued, "and be quick." She then gave him his dish, which was a large mis-qua-dau (turtle) shell, and he commenced eating; just then the men came to the door, and were about lifting the curtain placed there, when the boy-man turned his dish upside down, and immediately the door was closed with stone. The men tried hard to crack it with their clubs; and at length succeeded in making a slight opening, when one of them peeped in with one eye; the boy-man shot his arrow into his eye and brain, and he dropped down dead. The others, not knowing what had happened to their brother, did the same; and all fell in like manner, from their curiosity being so great to see what the boy was about. After they were all killed, the boy-man told his sister to go out and see them; she opened the door, but fearing they were not dead, turned back hastily and told her fears to her brother. He then went out and hacked them into small pieces, saying, "Henceforth let no man be larger than you are now." So men became of their present size.

When spring advanced, the boy-man said to his sister, "Make me a new set of arrows and bows." She obeyed, as he never did any thing himself that required manual


labor, though, he provided for their sustenance. After she made them, she again cautioned him not to shoot into the lake; but regardless of all admonition, he on purpose shot his arrow into the lake, and waded some distance till he got into deep water, and paddled about for his arrow, so as to attract the attention of his sister; she came in haste to the shore, calling him to return; but instead of minding her, he called out, "Ma-mis-quan-ge-gun-a, be wau-wa-coos-zhe-shin; "that is, You of the red fins, come and swallow me. Immediately that monstrous fish came and swallowed him; and seeing his sister standing on the shore in despair, he halloed out to her, "Me-zush-ke-zin-ance;" she wondered what he meant, but on reflection thought it must be an old moccasin; she accordingly tied the old moccasin to a string, and fastened it to a tree near the water's edge. The fish said to the boy-man under water, "What is that floating?" The boy-man said to the fish, "Go take hold of it, and swallow it as fast as you can." The fish darted towards the old shoe, and swallowed it; the boy-man laughed to himself, but said nothing till the fish was fairly caught; he then took hold of the line, and began to pull himself and fish to shore. The sister, who was watching, was surprised to see so large a fish; and hauling it ashore, she took her knife and commenced cutting it open, when, lo! she heard her brother's voice inside of the fish, saying, "Make haste and release me from this nasty place." His sister was in such haste that she almost hit his head with the knife, but succeeded in making an opening large enough for her brother to get out. When he was fairly released, he told his sister to cut up the fish, and dry it, as it would last a long time for their sustenance; and insisted that she should never again doubt his ability in any way. So ends the story.



In 1637, Paul le Jeune was a missionary to the Indian tribes who yet remained near the island of Hochelaga, on the St. Lawrence. He was the first of that devoted band of teachers, the history of whose labors constitutes so celebrated a figure in the settlement of New France. Although Canada had been discovered by Cartier in 1534, scarcely thirty years had elapsed since the first efforts to found settlements. The people amongst whom he labored, were the original tribe who occupied Hochelaga on Cartier's first visit to that place in 1535. There is full evidence that this tribe had stood at the head of that celebrated nation, on whom the French bestowed the Indo-Gallic name of Iroquois — a name which had for its root-form the national exclamation of "Yo-hah!"

It was on that occasion of the initial visit of the adventurous mariner of St. Malo, when these Indians carried him to the highest elevation upon their island, around which


the St. Lawrence poured its divided waters, that he bestowed upon it the name of Mont Royal, which it has since borne.

Le Jeune was surprised to observe that the natives were in the habit of entertaining themselves by fanciful tales, which, in a people who made war and hunting their boast, constituted a curious branch of mental phenomena.

"I have heard them," he observes, "relate a great many fables; at least I presume that the most intelligent among them consider these tales as fables. I will relate a single one, which seems to be very ridiculous. They tell a story that a man and a woman being in the woods, a bear came and fell upon the man and strangled him and eat him. A hare of wonderful size fell upon the woman and devoured her. He did not, however, touch her child which she bore in her womb, and of which she was near lying-in. A woman passing by this place shortly after this carnage, was much astonished at seeing this child living; she took it, brought it up as her son, calling him however her little brother, to whom she gave the name of Tcha-ka-bech. This child never increased in size, remaining always like a child in swaddling-clothes; but he attained such a wonderful strength, that the trees served for arrows to his bow. I should be too long in relating all the adventures of this man-child: he killed the bear which had devoured his father, and found still in its stomach his beard quite entire. He also killed the big hare which had eaten his mother, whom he recognized by the locks of hair which he found in his belly. This big hare was some genii of the day; for they call one of these genii, who, they say, was a great babbler, by the name of Mich-ta-bou-chion; that is to say, big hare. In short, this Tcha-ka-bech, wishing to go to heaven, climbed up a tree: being almost at the top, he blew upon this tree, which shot up and grew larger when this little dwarf blew upon it; the higher he climbed the more he blew, and the higher and larger the tree grew; so that he got to heaven, where he found the prettiest country that could be imagined. Everything in it was bewitching; the land excellent and the trees very beautiful. Having examined everything well, he came back to bring the news of all these to his sister, so as to induce her to go up to heaven and stay there for ever. He came down therefore by this tree, building cabins (wigwams) every here and there in its branches, where he might rest his sister whilst going up again. His sister, at first, was obstinate, but he described to her so glowingly the beauty of that country, that she took heart to surmount the difficulty of the journey. She brought with her little nephew, and climbed up this tree, Tcha-ka-bech following behind so as to catch them if they should fall. At each stopping place they always found their wigwam ready made, which was a great comfort to them. At last they got to heaven; and in order that nobody might follow them, this child broke off the stem of the tree pretty low down, so that nobody could get to heaven by it. After having much admired the country, Tcha-ka-bech went off to set his snares, or, as others call them, traps; in the hope, perhaps, of catching some animal. At night, on rising to go and see to his traps, he saw them all on fire, and did


not dare to go near them. He returned to his sister and said to her, ‘Sister! I do not know what it is in my traps; I can see nothing but a big fire, which I did not dare to go near to.’ His sister, suspecting what it was, said to him, ‘Oh brother! what a misfortune! assuredly you have caught the sun in the trap: go quick and let him out; perhaps in travelling by night he has fallen into it unawares.’ Tcha-ka-bech, much astonished, went back, and having looked carefully, found that in truth he had caught the sun in the trap. He tried to get him out, but did not dare to go near him. He found by a lucky chance a little mouse, caught it, blew upon it, and made it become so big that he made use of it to unbend his traps and let the sun out; who, finding himself freed, continued his course as usual. Whilst he was detained in these traps, the day failed down here on earth. To say how long ago, or what is become of this child, is what they do not and cannot know.

"I have only allowed myself to say, that the Mahometans believe that the moon once fell from heaven and broke. Mahomet, desiring to repair this accident, took it, put it into his sleeve, and by this movement mended it and sent it back to its place. This story of the moon is as credible as the one I have just told you of the sun. In conclusion, Beati oculi qui vident quae nos videmus. Happy are they whom the goodness of God has called to a knowledge of the truth."



[IN communicating this little legend of Seneca tradition, the writer remarks, under the date of Geneva, June 15th, 1852, "that he has no hope that it will be new to investigators of Indian history, but yet believes that, in its simple and undistorted shape, it might afford some new aspect. It has appeared," he says, "in various shapes, on various occasions. As it is now communicated to you, it has, for its authority, the old settlers of this region, and is founded on Indian tradition."]

A LONG time ago, from the bosom of the Nundowaga hill, where it looks down upon the waters of the Canandaigua lake, emerged the founders of the Seneca nation, who, seeing that the land was fair and goodly, on that hill took up their abode. And there they dwelt for many years, and occupying themselves entirely in such pursuits as were necessary for their livelihood, from very small beginnings, they increased to a numerous family. No hostile tribe disturbed their repose — nothing alarmed, nothing harassed them — peace reigned among the people of the hill.


One day some children, playing without the rude palisades which surrounded the town, found and brought within a snake, very small, very beautiful, and apparently harmless. Loved by the young, fondled by the old, cherished by all there, the snake remained and grew; so rapidly indeed, that the arrows of the boys failing to supply the demands of its increasing appetite, the hunters of the tribe day by day gave it some portion of the results of their more successful chase. Thus kindly cared for, it became great and strong, and then roaming through the forest, or plunging into the lake in quest of its own food, it so thrived, that ere long it became of length so enormous, as to be able quite to encircle the whole hill. Having attained this great size, it began to manifest an irascible, wicked disposition, and this upon so many occasions, that the people of the hill became greatly alarmed for their safety; and being also oppressed with the fear that, even if it did not actually consume them, it would, by its monstrous consumption of game, reduce the tribe to starvation, it was resolved, in solemn council, that the snake must die. The dawn of the next day was fixed upon for its destruction.

Just as the day was breaking, the monstrous reptile was seen lying all around the base of the hill, encircling the whole town with its length, closing every avenue of escape, its huge jaws wide opening just before the gateway. Vigorously did the whole tribe assail it; but neither arrows, spears, nor knives, could be made to penetrate its scaly sides. Some of the people, frightened, endeavored to escape by climbing over it, but were thrown violently back, rolled upon and crushed. Others, in their mad efforts, rushing to its very jaws, were devoured. Terrified, the tribe recoiled, and did not renew the attack till hunger gave them courage for a last desperate assault, in which all perished, and were swallowed, except a woman and her two children, who escaped into the forest while the monster, gorged with its horrible feast, was sleeping.

In her hiding place, the woman, by a vision, was instructed to make arrows of a peculiar form, and taught how to use them effectually for the killing of the destroyer of her tribe. Believing that the Great Spirit was her teacher, she made the arrows, and carefully following the directions she had received, she confidently approached the yet sleeping monster, and successfully planted the arrows in its heart. The snake in its agony lashed the hill-side with its enormous tail, tore deep gullies in the earth, broke down the forests, and rolling down the slope, plunged into the lake. Here, in the waters near the shore, it disgorged its many human victims, and then, with one great convulsive throe, sank slowly to the bottom. Rejoiced at the death of her enemy, the happy woman hastened with her children to the banks of the Canadesoga lake, and from them sprang the powerful Seneca nation.

The Indians affirm that the rounded pebbles, of the size and shape of the human head, to this day so numerous on the shores of the Canandaigua lake, are the petrified skulls of the people of the hill, disgorged by the great snake in its death-agony.



THERE was once a poor man, called Shingebiss, living alone in a solitary lodge, on the shores of a deep bay, in a large lake. Now Shingebiss, according to his name, was a duck when he chose to be so, and a man the next moment: it was only necessary to will himself one or the other. It was cold winter weather, and this duck ought to have been long off with the rest of his tribe towards the south, where the streams and lakes are open all winter, and food is to be easily got. But the power he had of changing himself into a man when he wished, made him linger a longer time, as the shingebiss always does, in the north, till every stream was frozen over, and the snow laid deep over all the land.

The blasts of winter now howled fiercely around his poor bark wigwam, and he had only four logs of wood to keep his fire during the whole winter. But he was a manly, cheerful, and trustful man, who relied on himself, and cared very little for any body, beyond treating all with kindness who called on him; and he always had something to offer them to eat, which is a very great point of attention and respect among his people.

How he managed to live no body knew. It was a perfect mystery to the wild foresters around who visited him. For the ice was very thick on the streams, and the weather was intensely cold. Yet in the coldest day, when every one thought he must starve and freeze, he would go out to places where flags and reeds grew up through the ice, and changing himself to a duck, pluck them up with his bill, and dive through the orifice in quest of fish. In this way he supplied himself plentifully, and went home to his lodge dragging strings of fish after him.

This independence of character, great hardihood, and power of resource, vexed Kabibonocca, the god of the north-west, who sends cold and storms; and he determined to freeze him out, and kill him for his obstinacy. "Why, he must be a wonderful man," says he; "he does not mind the coldest days, and seems to be as happy and content as if it were the moon of strawberries (June). I will give him cold and cold blasts to his heart's content." So saying, he poured forth tenfold colder blasts and snow-drifts, and made the air so sharp that it seemed to have the keenness of a knife. But still the fire of Shingebiss, poorly supplied, as it apparently was, did not go out. He did not even put on more clothing, for he had but a single strip of skins about his body; and he was seen with this in the coldest days, walking on the ice and carrying home loads of fish.

"Shall he withstand me?" said Kabibonocca, one day; "I will go and visit him, and see wherein his great power lies. If my presence does not freeze him, he must be made of rock." Accordingly, that very night, when the wind blew furiously, he came


to his lodge door, and listened. Shingebiss had cooked his meal of fish, and finished his supper, and was lying on his elbow before the fire, singing one of his songs. Kabibonocca listened attentively, and plainly heard these words: —

Kabibonocca, neej ininee,
We-ya, Ah-ya-ya-ia.
Kabibonocca, neej ininee,
We-ya, Ah-ya-ya-ia.
Iau, neej ininee, aa-ia,
Shingebiss, ia-ya, &c.

Windy god, I know your plan,
You are but my fellow-man;
Blow, you may, your coldest breeze,
Shingebiss you cannot freeze.
Sweep the strongest winds you can,
Shingebiss is still your man:
Heigh for life, and ho for bliss,
Who so free as Shingebiss!"

The hunter knew that Kabibonocca was at his door, but affected utter indifference, and went on singing his songs and varying them to suit his humor. At length Kabibonicca, not to be defeated in his object, entered the wigwam and took his seat without saying a word, opposite to him. But Shingebiss put on an air of the most profound repose. There was nothing to indicate, by a look or change of muscle, that he heard the storm or felt sensible of the least cold. Nor did he, by his calm and easy manner, evince a sense of the presence of his distinguished guest. But taking his poker, as if no one was present, he got up and poked the fire to make it burn brighter, and then resumed his reclining position again, singing out —

"Windy god, I know your plan,
You are but my fellow-man."

Very soon the tears began to flow down Kabibonocca's face, and increased so fast, that he presently said to himself, "I cannot stand this; the fellow will melt me if I do not go out." He did so, leaving the imperturbable Shingebiss to the enjoyment of his songs, but resolving at the same time, that he would put a stop to his music. He poured forth intenser blasts, and made the air so cold, that it froze up every flag-orifice, and increased the ice to such a thickness that it drove him from all his fishing-grounds. Still, by great diligence and enterprise in going to very distant places, and deep water, he contrived to get the means of subsistence, and managed to live. His four logs of


wood gave him plenty of fire, and the few fish he got sufficed him, for he eat them with great quietness and contentment. At last, Kabibonocca was compelled to give up the contest. "He must be some Monedo (a spirit). I can neither freeze him nor starve him. I will let him alone."

B. Poetic Development of the Indian Mind.

WAR is a natural state of barbaric society. It is thus depicted by the earliest writers, sacred and profane. In the earliest delineations of forest life, given of our Indians, a few petty communities, with little differences of language and manners, are found to have assumed the powers of a nation, and by far the most prominent evidence they have given of this nationality is seen to have been in the power to carry on war against each other. In the few and fitful pauses of peace, the ancient tribes are found to have been prone to recite, in some public manner, their exploits and feats of daring; as if acts of bravery alone were godlike, and could not be sufficiently praised. In this manner, the very earliest epochs of Indian history became filled with the names of forest heroes, who were not long, in the partial traditionary history of their descendants and kinsmen, in assuming the position of divinities and gods.

Time and history have not been sufficient, on this continent, to mature these antique names of savage wars into names as familiar to ourselves as the classic forms of Ammon, Mars, Saturn, and Hercules. But the process by which the Indian names were eliminated from the verbiage of early languages and traditions, has been very much the same. We observe this in the boastful and wild songs and mythologic traditions of the Algonquins, the Iroquois, and other leading genera of tribes and tongues which have enacted the chief scenes in the panorama of Indian history.

It is known that the seasons of leisure and recreation of all the American tribes are devoted, in no small part, to the songs and dances of their warlike deeds; and in this way they have fixed the public approbation strongly on military worth as the chief attainment. Through the influence of these gatherings and festivities, a new body of warriors is raised every decade, from the listening children who are to take the places of their fathers and progenitors on the war-path. To do as their forefathers did, is commendation beyond all praise. The songs are generally some wild boast of prowess or achievement, or violent symbolic expression of power, and allusions to their tutelary divinities, having for their theme triumph in battle. The chorus of these chants consists, for the most part, of traditionary monosyllables, which appear to admit often of transposition, and the utterance of which, at least, is so managed as to permit the words to be sung in strains, to suit the music and dance. This music is accurately kept, and the bars marked with full expression by the Indian ta-wa-e-gun and rattle, accompanying the voices of the choristers.


No collections and translations of their forest or war choruses and songs have been made, which at all do justice to the sentiments and ideas expressed. It is perhaps too early in our literary history to expect such collections. The expressions of warriors who join the dance with sharp yells, which are responded to by the actors already in the ring of the listeners to heroic exploits, are, to a large extent, mnemonic, and are intended to bring to mind known ideas and conceptions of war and bravery. Many of them appeal to the names of carnivorous birds or quadrupeds which are employed purely as symbols of speed, prowess, or carnage. All the concomitants of the Indian war-path are presented to the mind. The hearers are expected to know the mythological and necromantic theories and dogmas of the tribe, on which these expressions are founded, and but for which knowledge the expressions would lack all their force and pertinency.

Attention has been directed to this subject as one that is suited to illustrate Indian character, and it is hoped that a collection of authentic materials respecting it may be made among the tribes who yet rove the forests and prairies of the continent.

There is another department in which the feelings and sentiments of the Indian tribes have been poetically expressed — it is the memory of the dead. A fallen warrior is honored and lamented by the whole tribe; the gathered village attends his funeral. An address is uniformly made, which often partakes of the character of eulogy. A speaker, or a counsellor, is buried and lamented with equal respect; and the names of their brave and wise men are remembered with tenacity. There is no subject, perhaps, which calls forth more sympathy than the death of children.

In a subtle system of cosmogony and creative effort, in which concurring divinities are recognised as having either performed a part, or as having, by antagonistic powers, disturbed the work after it was completed, the whole universe (earth, planets, and sky) is regarded indeed as animated, either in part, or symbolically. Each class of creation is believed to have its representative deities, who have eyes and ears open to everything that exists, transpires, or is uttered. Viewed in this light, winds have voices — the leaves of the trees utter a language — and even the earth is animated by a crowd of spirits who have an influence on the affairs of men. Hence many of their chants and songs, accompanied with music, have allusion to this wide and boundless theory of created matter. In short, it may be affirmed that the Indians believe that every element is a part of the great creative God.

Wherever Indian sentiment is expressed, there is a tendency to the pensive — the reminiscent. It may be questioned whether hope is an ingredient of the Indian mind; all the tendency of reflection is directed towards the past. He is a man of reminiscences, rather than anticipations. Intellectualization has seldom enough influence to prevail over the present, and still more rarely over the future. The consequence is, that whenever the Indian relaxes his sternness and insensibility to external objects, and softens into feeling and sentiment, the mind is surrounded by fears of evil, and despondency. To lament, and not to hope, is its characteristic feature.


If poetry is ever destined to be developed in such minds, it must be of the complaining and plaintive, or the desponding cast. Discarding the single topic of war, such are, indeed, the specimens we possess; — words addressed to a dying man — to a lost child — death — the fear of evil genii — or a sympathy with nature. Most of the attempts to record poetic sentiments in the race have encountered difficulties, from the employment of some forms of the Grecian metres; or, still less adapted to it, English laws of rhyme. They have neither. It is far better suited, as the expression of strong poetic feeling, to the freedom of the Hebrew measure; the repetitious style of which reminds one of both the Indian sepulchral or burial chant, and eulogy. There is indeed in the flow of their oratory, as well as songs, a strong tendency to the figure of parallelism.

Ne-gau nis-sau — ne-gau nis-sau —
Kitchi-mau-li sau — ne-gau nis-sau.
I will kill — I will kill —
The Americans — I will kill.

Unattractive as the field is, there is yet something to be gleaned in it; and its gleaning is deemed to be within the object of these investigations, and worth the expenditure of the effort. Its results are important as appreciating the true intellectual state of the man, as a depressed family of the human race. The divine principles of Christianity entitle them to the blessings provided for the whole race; and the efforts to bring these benighted branches of it to a knowledge of its merciful provisions, should not be deemed as thrown away merely because they are not immediately or largely successful.

There is poetry in their very names of places: Ticonderoga, the place of the separation of waters; Dionderoga, the place of the inflowing of waters; Saratoga, the place of the bursting out of waters; Ontario, a beautiful prospect of rocks, hills, and waters; Ohio, the beautiful river — these, and a thousand other names which are familiar to the ear, denote a capacity for, and love of harmony in the collocation of syllables expressive of poetic thought. But the great source of a future poetic fabric, to be erected on the frame-work of Indian words, when the Indian himself shall have passed away, exists in their mythology, which provides, by a skilful cultivation of personification, not only for every passion and affection of the human heart, but every phenomenon of the skies, the air, and the earth. The Indian has placed these imaginary gods wherever, in the geography of the land, reverence or awe is to be inspired. Every mountain, lake, and waterfall is placed under such guardianship. All nature, every class of the animal and vegetable creation, the very sounds of life, the murmuring of the breeze, the dashing of water, every phenomenon of light or electricity, is made intelligent of human events, and speaks the language of a god.




SEE how the white spirit presses us, —
Presses us, — presses us, heavy and long;
Presses us down to the frost-bitten earth.
Alas! you are heavy, ye spirits so white,
Alas! you are cold — you are cold — you are cold.
Ah! cease, shining spirits that fell from the skies,
Ah! cease so to crush us, and keep us in dread;
Ah! when will ye vanish, and Seegwun return?



THE hawks turn their heads nimbly round;
They turn to look back on their flight.
The spirits of sun-place have whispered them words,
They fly with their messages swift,
They look as they fearfully go,


They look to the farthermost end of the world,
Their eyes glancing bright, and their beaks boding harm.

This chant reveals a mythological notion in the belief of the Indians, that birds of this family are intelligent of man's destiny. They believe that they are harbingers of good or evil, and often undertake to interpret their messages. Living in the open atmosphere, where the Great Spirit is located, it is believed the falcon family possess a mysterious knowledge of his will.


Topical History.


1. Upper Posts of Canada in 1778. By James Madison.
2. Western America beyond the Alleghanies, in 1785. Memoranda of a Journey in the Western Parts of the United States of America. By Lewis Brantz.
3. Indian Life in the North-western Regions of the United States, in 1783; with an Introduction by H. R. S. Being the Relation of the Voyages and Adventures of a Merchant Voyager, &c. By John Baptiste Perrault.
4. Personal Narrative of a Journey in the Semi-Alpine Area of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas, which were first traversed by De Soto, in 1541. By H. R. S.



THE following remarks are found among the unedited papers of Mr. Madison, in his peculiar handwriting. They were evidently the result of an interview with a trustworthy person, who, it is known, had passed years with the Indians in the capacity of a trader, and who was well acquainted with the lake defences. They serve to show the carefulness with which information was sought on the subject, at a peculiarly trying period of the Revolutionary struggle.

These posts, with the exception of Niagara, were rather designed to keep the Indians in check, than as capable of being defended against civilized armies. That they were in no fear of such armies is, however, improbable. Two years after the date of these memoranda, namely, in 1780, the post of Michillimackinac, which had remained in its


ancient position on the peninsula of Michigan, was removed to the island of that name, in lake Huron, as being a better position to resist attacks from the land.

It was at these posts that the lake Indians, who sided against the Americans, were supplied with arms and ammunition, to carry on their disastrous depredations against the frontiers; and it was deemed an important object to learn their strength and capacities of defence.


Michilimakinac, at the head of lake Huron, is a small stockaded fort with a few cannon and two block-houses. The garrison consists of eighty soldiers, commanded by Major S. C. Deposter.

From Michilimakinac to lake St. Clair, where was formerly a small fort now evacuated, is 280 miles. This lake is fifteen miles across. Nine miles from the southern extremity of it stands Detroit. This island is stockaded in with cedar. The pickets are nine feet above and two and a half beneath the ground. It has several small block-houses with cannon, and a ditch half-way round the citadel, eight feet wide and five feet deep. The citadel and town is stockaded in the same manner. The settlement, consisting of French, extends twenty or thirty miles along the straits. The militia, including all able to bear arms, amounts to 850: only one English captain among them. Detroit is the general rendezvous of the savages.

From Detroit to lake Erie is eighteen miles. This lake is 280 miles across from east to west. At the east end is Fort Erie, a small stockade fort, with two small block-houses defended "by two five-pounders. There are in lakes Erie and Huron four armed vessels, one carrying sixteen six and four pounders; the other three twelve-pounders. There are three small merchant vessels occasionally used by the commandant as look-outs. Eighteen miles from the east end of the lake is Fort Slucher, where is a command of men to guard the public stores and merchants' goods. The portage at the falls of Niagara is eight miles. At nine miles' distance, on the east side of the river, where it falls into lake Ontario, is Fort Niagara. This fort is naturally fortified. The walls are built with stone and mortar, twelve feet high, with a trench on the back part of it. The woods are cleared for a mile behind it, where the ground is very level. Here are two large block-houses, built with stone and mortar, with six twelve-pounders in each. There are twelve twelve-pounders on the rampart, and ten mortars of different sizes. The garrison consists of 250 soldiers, commanded by Col. Powel. Col. Butler, who commands the savages and 100 volunteers, is also here when not harassing the frontiers. Lake Ontario is 260 miles in extent. At the east end of it lies the old Fort Cataraqui or Frontenac, now evacuated. Twelve miles down the river St. Lawrence is Deer island, where are stationed 150 soldiers, without a fort. There are


two vessels in lake Ontario, which mount eighteen six and eight pounders, besides a few smaller ones carrying swivels, all very badly managed.

The whole regular force in Canada and the naval islands, including all the upper posts, amounts to 5533.

A large river, the Outawas, flowing into the St. Lawrence, a little above Montreal, heads so near lake Huron or the rivers running into it, that a communication might be maintained between Canada and Detroit, and the more western and north-western ports, even if the communication through the lakes Erie, Superior, and Ontario were intercepted. The traders at present frequently transport their goods through that channel.











THE following Journal, written in the German language, from which I have carefully translated it, came into my possession with the private papers of my valued friend, Mr. LEWIS BRANTZ, of Baltimore. I regard it as a most interesting memorial of the Great West, sixty-seven years ago. It displays the resources, and denotes the prospects of that magnificent region, as it then burst on the sight of an ardent, intelligent, and well-educated youth of seventeen.

The full description he gives of the post at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburg — his interesting sketch of that lonely frontier post — the narrative of his descent of the Ohio to the Falls at Louisville — his continued journey thence to the mouth of the Cumberland, and up that river to Nosh's Station, or Nashville — his perilous travel, with a


caravan and pack-horses, through the wilderness of Kentucky, "the dark and bloody ground," — to Baltimore, his minute itineraries, recording the travelling posts that then existed throughout those savage-haunted forests — his accurate topographical descriptions of the regions he traversed; their condition and resources, present as well as prospective — are all highly valuable to the student of the history of those early days; and, while they exhibit the hardy and intelligent energy of the young adventurer, deserve preservation in some permanent record. I cannot but think that such narratives are especially interesting at the present time, when the great effort of the day seems to be to connect the east and the west by public works, and thus to afford means of transportation for the rich productions which, in 1785, our young traveller saw hidden in the then untrodden wilderness.

Mr. Brantz was a German. Born at Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgard, in Wirtemburg, he was educated very thoroughly at Aarau, in Switzerland, where he was a schoolmate of the late Professor Hassler, the distinguished chief of our Coast Survey. At Aarau they formed an acquaintance, which was afterwards closely cemented by congenial scientific pursuits in the country to which they emigrated.

Mr. Brantz came to this country in early life, with many other enterprising Europeans, to push his fortunes. He was an accomplished linguist, and being, like most German youths, thoroughly instructed in the branches needed for a practical life, he soon attracted the attention of persons anxious to open a wider commerce with the West than had yet been accomplished by the ordinary trading journeys of that day. In addition to this, his enterprising employers desired to colonize with Germans, certain lands they possessed in the wilderness; and, accordingly, Mr. Brantz was despatched in the double trust of leading these foreigners to their home among the savages, and of examining the commercial resources of the valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio. Hence his journeys and his Journal. His picture of Fort Pitt, or Pittsburg, in 1790, displays his remarkable accuracy. Every house at the fort is minutely delineated and colored, in the original sketch in my possession; and forty-five years afterwards, sitting together on the hill opposite the modern and flourishing Pittsburg, I listened to his narrative of adventures in the woods, saw him point out every place of historical interest in a landscape which art and trade had so transformed, and learned the secret of his patient, just, and firm intercourse with the Indians, which had enabled him, while yet a boy, to deal with them successfully, and to pass unharmed through their romantic fastnesses.

But Mr. Brantz was not destined to grow up in the West, or to pass his life amid its bustling novelties. On his return to Baltimore, the stirring trade of that place after the peace, led him into an active commercial career. Believing that the life of a seaman would strengthen his rather delicate constitution, and, desirous to be independent


of others, he soon commanded his own vessels, and sold his own cargoes, during many years, in an extensive commerce with Europe and the Eastern and Western Indies. He had bold adventures in the Mediterranean during the European wars, or when our vessels went forth armed against Algerine pirates; and once, through the courageous management of Captain Jaheel Brenton, who afterwards became an admiral, and was knighted, he narrowly escaped slavery among the Moors, when wrecked near the town of Oran, in Africa.

After many years spent in successful commerce, Mr. Brantz at last found time to engage leisurely in his favorite scientific studies and pursuits. He devoted himself, for a long time, to surveying the Patapsco river, its branches, and part of the Chesapeake Bay; the engraved map of which is now found, by expert seamen, to be the best that has hitherto been prepared. For ten or fifteen years he kept a Meteorological Journal, the results of which he printed privately in a large volume of some 400 pages, deposited by me in the Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. It was the first thoroughly systematic work of the kind undertaken and published in the United States. At this period he also prepared a minute history of the growth of the trade of Baltimore, and a most comprehensive analysis of the resources of that city and vicinity, a work which I now possess in MS.

During the last ten years of his life, he made voyages to the west coast of South America, to China, and to Mexico; residing several years in the latter place. On his return to Baltimore, he was soon desired to take the Presidency of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad, which, under his care, was quickly completed, and the intercourse between the cities opened. He had just finished this road, in January, 1838, when he suddenly died.

He was a most accomplished gentleman, of quiet and dignified manners; thoroughly versed in all he attempted to master, whether in literature, science, commerce, or art. He was always a most instructive and entertaining companion. His modesty kept him back from that public arena in which he might have won most distinguished honors; and, dying, the last of his race, he left behind him no one who bore his name, except the person who offers this humble tribute to his honored memory.


BALTIMORE, 25th August, 1852.


I DEPARTED from Baltimore, on the Patapsco river in Maryland, and passing through Fredericktown, travelled towards Hagerstown, which is properly called Elizabethtown.


Both these small settlements are situated in the same State, and are almost exclusively peopled by Germans, who, like most of their countrymen, are much more wealthy and laborious than the Americans. The soil increases in fertility as we approach Hagerstown; and in its neighborhood, like that of the adjacent streams, is extraordinarily rich, producing the cereal grains in abundance. The inhabitants carry their produce to Baltimore, whence it is exported to the West Indies. The people lead the life of a hardy and laborious peasantry — each one on his own independent plantation, except such as dwell in small villages, and support themselves either by trade or by mechanical operations.

Within eight miles of Hagerstown, in a north-eastern direction, and at a spot where it would be least expected, though not very distant from the foot of the Blue Ridge, is found a most extraordinary cavern. Its aperture is a very depressed or flat arch, but the entrance is nevertheless sufficiently commodious; being nearly forty feet long, and eight feet high.

Flat Arch Aperture.

The interior of the cave is oval in shape; its greatest length being three hundred feet, and its breadth one hundred and thirty. In the midst of this fine vault, there is a pyramidal stalagmitic rock, with smaller ones on both sides of it. These stalagmites, like all the others within the cave, are formed by the drippings of petrifying water. On the roof, numerous pendent stalactites are beheld, which daily increase in size and number, and look like grotesque chandeliers. On the right side of the cavern, many small basins have been scooped out, resembling irregular waves formed by a lofty cascade. These basins are mostly filled with water of crystal clearness, whose surface, however, is covered with a sort of adhesive scum, which remains on the hands when dipped into it.

At the termination of this first chamber, there is a small opening, which affords admittance to a sort of alley three hundred feet in length, and about seventy high. As the air in this interior cavern is not so light, and possesses an extremely drying character, nothing is to be seen except some eighteen stalagmitic rocks, about thirty feet high, together with pyramids, stalactitic sheets and columns, all of which are formed by the petrifying fluids. The floor resembles a petrified river; while, in the rear of this alley or avenue, a beautiful lakelet spreads out, over whose silent waters no one has ever passed. Profound stillness reigns in this gloomy chamber, and not the slightest motion or current is perceptible in its lake. One of our party fired a pistol across the water, and the stunning echo reverberated far beyond its apparent limits, while the smoke of the weapon floated back lazily after a quarter of an hour. The darkness which reigns in this cavern, makes torches necessary. On the right side of the alley just described, a similar one of about two hundred feet in length penetrates the earth, but we found no water in it. The air of the cavern is truly heavy, and a vapor seems constantly to pervade it.


On leaving Conococheague, I struck upon a mountain range; and before passing it entirely, and reaching its western termination, I travelled nearly one hundred and twenty English miles in a north-western direction. I crossed the North Mountain, Sideling Hill, the Alleghanies, various spurs of the Appalachian chain, together with some other mountains, among which Laurel Hill is worthy of special mention. The Alleghany Mountains divide the waters which flow eastwardly into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which discharge themselves through the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico.

Almost all the fertile and well-watered valleys among these mountains are inhabited; but the people, mostly Americans, are rougher and more uncultivated than those dwelling further east. A region known as "The Glades," like a few other places on the route, is settled by Germans. Wild beasts were formerly numerous in these mountain ranges, but they are now almost entirely destroyed by the hunters. In one of the valleys, Bedford, a small town, is situated. Westwardly from these elevations, the soil is well-watered and fertile, particularly that portion lying in the forks of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, and another tolerably large region northwardly and eastwardly. Thence it is still forty miles' journey to Fort Pitt, and the inhabitants of that lonely place are quite similar in character to those I have just described.

Fort Pitt, formerly the strongest western fortification of the Americans, is situated at the junction of the above-named two rivers. A small garrison is still retained there, in order to keep up the fort; yet it is said, that next summer the troops will be relieved, and the fort razed to the ground. A settlement, called Pittsburg, has been commenced, and there are a considerable number of houses. The inhabitants live chiefly by traffic and entertaining travellers, though there are, as yet, but few mechanics.

The view enjoyed at this place, from two elevated spots, is, in truth, the most beautiful I ever beheld. Opposite the fort, and also at some distance towards the Monongahela, is a coal-hill, which furnishes this valuable mineral in abundance. Generally, the country on the Ohio river and beyond it is rich in this useful gift of nature.

During my sojourn at Fort Pitt, I twice made excursions by the Monongahela to Red Stone Old Fort, which lies in this vicinity. I found this to be the best grain country, yet its surface is not level, though it is not cut up by high mountains. It contains many fine mill-streams and sites. The flour, which is made here in great quantity, is exported to the Falls of the Ohio, to Illinois, and was sent even to New Orleans, before the navigation of the Mississippi was stopped. If this commerce of the great stream should not be made free, (as we hope it will be,) I do not know what the inhabitants of this region will do with their cereal productions; for Kentucky has begun to require no longer her supplies of flour and provisions from abroad. I have heard persons of experience, and who had made the adventure, declare, that grain,


purchased here, could be transported as cheaply to New Orleans, as from Lancaster to Philadelphia.

Red Stone is the spot from which emigrants from Virginia and Maryland embark for Kentucky. I remained in this country until the end of April, and then descended the Ohio. At that time the snow was three feet deep on the mountains, and at Fort Pitt the trees and fields were still in their winter dress; but when I had descended the Ohio about sixty miles, I found the trees already becoming green, and the whole bottoms covered with exquisite verdure. The magnificent Ohio, in its course towards the south-west, before it discharges itself into the Mississippi, receives the following considerable streams: — On the south side, Little and Big Kanawha, Kentucky, Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee or Cherokee. On the north side, the Muskingum, Scioto, Big and Little Miami, and Wabash, said to be navigable near 900 miles.

Upon the Ohio, as well as upon the Mississippi, the wind, during the spring, commonly blows up the stream, and frequently with such violence, that it becomes impossible for open boats to keep the middle of the river. This, of course, is of great


advantage to the ascending vessels, while it impedes so greatly the descending navigation, that even the stoutest oarsmen cannot force their vessels further than twenty-five miles daily, whenever the breeze is particularly strong. The wind commonly begins to blow about nine o'clock, A. M., and does not cease until about seven o'clock, P. M.: near three o'clock, P. M. it is usually most violent. I have observed waves in the Ohio as large as those in the Chesapeake bay; and I have been assured that they are even higher and larger still in the Mississippi. The night season, accordingly, is the best period for the descending navigation; yet good care must be taken not to steer or row, and to allow the boat to run its course with the strength of the stream, which will always carry it through the deepest channels. I know of one boat, which, in consequence of being rowed during the night, was run on the point of an island, upset, and the whole cargo damaged; while, if the current had been allowed to have its course, it would have carried the vessel around the island in perfect safety. My own boat was thus once run ashore in broad day. It is well, moreover, to traverse these rivers during the night, and to land as seldom as possible, in order to escape the danger of attack from Indians. Whenever it becomes absolutely necessary to go on shore, a good watch should always be kept, as scarcely any boat, either before or since I descended the river, has passed without being molested by the savages. In the boat which I have mentioned as having been wrecked on the island, before I arrived at the Falls, one man was killed, and four mortally wounded by the Indians.

The Ohio river merits justly the epithet of "beautiful," which has been bestowed on it; in many places its scenery is melancholy, and in some even terrible, particularly when the wind is tempestuous. Wherever, along its margin, a mountain or hill rises on one side of the river, the opposite shore is generally spread out in a valley, or fruitful bottom. At some places, mountains of a considerable elevation are found on both sides, while, at others, the land is perfectly level on either bank; in the latter places the river is straighter and broader, though, in the mountainous portion, it is curbed into a narrower space, and is correspondently deeper.

From Fort Pitt to the mouth of the Great Kanawha river, the land on the Ohio is very rich, and is settled on both sides by whites, who have established themselves in the wilderness, in consequence of their unwillingness to live under the restraints of law. They lead a savage life. Below the mouth of the Kanawha, the land is no longer so rich as that above, and is, moreover, overflowed oftener by the river, while, of course, but few inhabitants have hitherto clustered in the bottoms. My journey from Fort Pitt to the Falls consumed fourteen days. We travelled during three nights, and fortunately nothing extraordinary occurred, though we had stormy weather during the whole time. We met fifteen canoes, with passengers, bound to Fort Pitt from the Falls.


Louisville is located quite near the Falls. Some houses are already erected; yet this lonely settlement resembles a desert more than a town. The district of which Kentucky is a part, extends some distance back from the Ohio, and many small towns are already laid out in it. About sixty miles from the Falls, near Lexington, the country is thickly settled; this is also the case in the vicinity of Boonsborough, Danville, Harrodsburg, and other similar places. More than 20,000 inhabitants are already estimated to be settled in this region. This number may seem large, as it is not yet twelve years since this region was begun to be generally known. But the American who was devoted to liberty, or, at least, to a life without the stringent restraint of law, found in this remote wilderness a country suited to his tastes; and it is, therefore, not at all surprising that numerous followers have tracked him into the forest, and that the inhabitants will continue increasing in still greater numbers. In the beginning, Kentucky afforded, moreover, a refuge for many culprits who were unable to dwell with safety in the more populous parts of the nation, where law was vigilant. The industrious adventurer, greedy for independent wealth, also found here a region capable of gratifying his desires; and many land speculators are accordingly circulating among the settlers.

The "Falls of the Ohio" is the only landing place at present; and it abounds in merchandise. All the export trade which this rich district can expect at some day to realize, must be carried on with New Orleans; but this is now prevented by the Spaniards. The three counties of Lincoln, Jefferson, and Fayette, which compose this district, have sent a petition to the Legislature of Virginia, soliciting a separation from that State; and it is supposed that they will be erected into a new and independent sovereignty.

"The Falls of the Ohio" are about two miles in length. They are formed by a rocky ledge, which crosses the river, and produces a small cascade; but when the waters are high, I am told that no portion of this fall can be seen; yet when the waters have subsided, there is a channel by which boats are still enabled to pass this dangerous point. When the river is very low, four small islands are seen; while at an ordinary height of the stream, two only are visible. There are excellent pilots for the passage, who carry almost every boat through in perfect safety; though if proper skill is not used, serious accidents may easily occur.

After sojourning about a fortnight at the Falls, I embarked again on my boat in order to reach the Cumberland. It required only five days' floating along the stream to enable me to enter the mouth of this river, — a distance of about 500 miles. We were favored by most charming calm weather; and we found no obstruction during our whole journey, save from the Delawares, whom we frequently met on our way, and found encamped at the mouth of the Wabash. This nation, the whole of whose


territory has been taken possession of by the whites, has now no home, and live in the country of the Chickasaws. They number now only about five hundred warriors in their band. We sold them some brandy for beaver-skins; and we fortunately escaped paying for them with our lives. The Indians, in trading with strangers, are very suspicious and distrustful; nor is it by any means judicious to sell them ardent spirits; for they drink till they become drunk, when they know neither friends nor enemies, and behave like wild beasts.

About 150 miles below the Falls, the country becomes low, and nearly flat; while the Ohio, as well as the Wabash, inundates a wide district. Below the Falls, the Ohio is much wider, and its current not so strong.

The Cumberland river has its source near the Kentucky, but thence, making a curve, it runs in an entirely opposite direction; and, after a course of about 500 miles, discharges its waters into the Ohio. When it is high, or even tolerably high, it is navigable for more than 400 miles; but when the stream is low, it cannot be ascended more than 250. Its waters are said to be the quietest of all the western rivers. After passing a day at its mouth, we commenced ascending the stream, with the aid of eight oarsmen; but we found the current much stronger than we expected, and thus we passed fifteen days, laboring harder than galley-slaves, before arriving at Nashville, which is about 211 miles from the mouth of the Cumberland. No navigable streams discharge themselves into the Cumberland. The only considerable ones are the Little river, the Red river, and the Harpeth. Between the embouchure of the Cumberland and Nashville, there are some white settlements.

Nashville is a recently founded place, and contains only two houses which in truth merit that name; the rest are only huts that formerly served as a sort of fortification against Indian attacks.

It is only about five years since this country was begun to be developed; and in the civilized portion of the Union, there are at present but few who know even its name. During the war with the British, the inhabitants of this remote station suffered greatly from the inroads of the Indians, and were almost exterminated, when the peace of 1783 released them at once from their dreadful sufferings and horrid anxiety. The people resemble those whom I have already spoken of in Kentucky; but their reputation, for some time past, has been rather worse than that of their northern neighbors. It is said, however, that since they have come under the laws of North Carolina, their deportment has improved. Some distinguished official personages, whose duty required their continuance at this post, have in some degree polished these rough dwellers of the wilderness, who, in their lonely and distant fastness, had in truth begun to live very much like the Indians. Nevertheless, I am sorry to learn that magistrates are occasionally found here with their ears cut off!

Furs are the sole productions of this region with which the people supply their


wants. The traders who supply them with merchandise are mostly Frenchmen, either from Illinois, or the post of St. Vincennes. The Illinois traders obtain their dry-goods from Michillimackinac, on lake Michigan, and their liquors from New Orleans; while the St. Vincennes people purchase their articles of traffic (which are generally of a substantial character) from Fort Detroit, between lakes Erie and Huron, and transport them up the Miami, thence nine miles by land to the Wabash, and then down the Wabash to the post at St. Vincennes. The greater portion of the inhabitants at these two posts, live by the Indian trade. Like the population on the Cumberland, they obtain furs from the savages by barter, and carry them to certain places, where they traffic with them for suitable merchandise. The trade of the country on the Cumberland relies mainly on. the free navigation of the Mississippi; and, as I have already remarked, it is unfortunately still closed against us. Without it, this region, as well as that of Kentucky, will be badly off; for what can it produce for its necessities, even in time, save grain, provisions, tobacco, hemp, &c.; and as all these are heavy articles of trade, where can they be sent, except down that river to New Orleans? Yet it seems not at all probable that a single place will be allowed to impede the progress of two districts as large as those of which I am now writing. The cost of their supplies, in this region, in consequence of the great distance from any other sea-port, must therefore always be extremely high.

I may mention the following as the productions of the Cumberland country, no others having been yet attempted — viz.: Indian-corn, which succeeds best in a virgin soil: — I have understood that, in good years, the crop has yielded more than one hundred bushels per acre. Tobacco is also prolific in a new land, and it is reported to resemble the best qualities of Virginia. Grain and vegetables grow extremely well in soil that has been already tilled. Fine cotton can be made abundantly. Sheep, which are easily raised, produce excellent wool. Horned beasts find their forage in the woods in winter and summer, and fatten in both seasons. A certain kind of cane, which remains green the whole winter, is extremely nourishing for the cattle. Cows yield a very rich milk, and cheese is already made in large quantities; yet it is scarcely to be expected that this means of feeding stock will long continue. In Kentucky it has already ceased in many places. The inhabitants will soon be obliged to engage in the cultivation of meadows, which they do not seem to understand. Wood, suitable for building, is also one of the productions I may enumerate. There is an abundant yield of oak, hickory, maple, (from which tree a quantity of sugar may be extracted,) sycamore, poplar, red-cedar, and almost all other kinds of wood except the fir-tree, which is found in but few locations. If this country were peopled with men really fond of manual labor, and possessed, besides, a lucrative commerce, it might become one of the most flourishing in the nation.

I was near forgetting the numerous salt springs, which are some of the most extraordinary curiosities in this neighborhood. Salt is already made from them at Bullit's


Lick in Kentucky, about twenty-four miles from the Falls. It furnishes a sufficient supply for Kentucky, and even exports some to the Cumberland. The salt sells at the salt-works for ten shillings of Virginia currency. On the Cumberland there are also a number of these saline springs; yet they are not worked, the inhabitants preferring to pay ten or twelve dollars for the Kentucky article, when they might produce the same quantity for two dollars! The principal springs are at French Lick, near Nashville; another, less known, situated on the Red river, is very rich; and besides these, there are a number of other springs containing salt and sulphur, none of which are, however, used by the inhabitants except for their cattle, which fatten considerably by drinking of them. Some of these springs rise and fall every twenty-four hours, and hence it is supposed they communicate with the sea!

I remained in Nashville until the 10th of December, when I returned to Baltimore by land, accompanied by other travellers. During my stay on the Cumberland, I made two excursions with surveyors into the wilderness, where I obtained an excellent notion of the character, situation, and quality of the soil and territory. On my return to Baltimore, I travelled with a pack-horse, in order to carry my provisions and corn for myself and my beasts. We traversed an uninhabited region for about 140 miles, a great portion of which is known as "Barrens," wherein nothing grows but grass, which is greatly liked by the horses in spring. Here and there small trees and groves of oaks are found, along the small streams and rivers. The land in these barrens is commonly poor in comparison with that on the Cumberland; however, it is believed that it will produce good grain. Herds of buffaloes are found in these solitudes; but they have been considerably hunted by the woodsmen, and are diminishing in number. Varieties of elk and deer are found in numbers; yet during our journey we saw but a single elk, and that, too, at a distance, though we found large numbers of their bones.

Water is scarce in this region, and especially so at the end of summer. We rode, on one occasion, twenty-four miles without finding a drop for our animals. The streams rising therein, run but a short distance and disappear beneath the ground, whence they re-appear again, after coursing along for some distance in their subterranean concealment. The most remarkable springs are the Roaring springs, Dripping springs, Sink-hole springs, and Caving springs; and of the latter, there is one fifty feet below the surface of the earth. The most noteworthy rivers in the country between the inhabited parts of Kentucky and the Cumberland, are the Big Barren river and the Green river, into which the first debouches. Along the course of these streams, as well as in other spots, there are stretches of land of remarkably good character, and during this year some persons propose establishing settlements for the accommodation of travellers.


The part of Kentucky through which I returned, belongs to the district I have already described, and forms the southern portion thereof. I arrived there on the 18th of December, and I had to await the arrival of a caravan until the 26th. After we had formed a train of about one hundred persons, we chose two chiefs to command us during our perilous journey. On a route through an uninhabited wilderness of one hundred and fifty miles, there are scarcely five miles in which travellers have not been slain by Indians. The savages lie in ambush for the wayfarers on this abominable and almost impassable path, which is hardly wide enough for a horse, and attack them at daybreak if they linger on the road, killing almost always the greater part of the train, should it happen to be unprepared. Nevertheless it is quite astonishing to observe the vast number of persons emigrating with their families to Kentucky.

We set forth on the 27th of December, and, every night, we placed ten sentinels who watched continually. We reached the Holston after six days' travel, without the slightest mishap. As the country in this region is thickly settled, our caravan was quickly dispersed. My horses, in consequence of their extreme fatigue and want of forage, had suffered greatly, and required repose before I could venture to continue my journey of five hundred miles further east. Accordingly, I left the high-road, in order to reach a private dwelling, where I obtained good food and forage, and, at length, I reached Baltimore, after a fresh start, in twenty days, without accident.


The country along the Holston river, which has its sources in three spring-heads, viz., North, Middle, and South Holston, produces extremely fine grain. Corn succeeds only in good seasons. The soil, generally speaking, is not uncommonly good, though there is no want of fine mill-streams and particularly good water. The river Holston begins to be navigable at the junction of the north and south branches, and, after a south-westerly course, it debouches in the Tennessee, which flows into the Ohio. The "Muscle shoals" prevent the navigation of the Tennessee river by boats of deep draft; and, accordingly, it is only when the waters are high that it can be descended. Eastwardly from the source of the Holston, lies New river, a portion of the great Kanawha, which runs westwardly from the Appalachian chain to the Ohio. It appears to me that the land, eight or ten miles back from this river, is better than that on the Holston. The only trade carried on here is on the Holston, and with Richmond, in Virginia, where the inhabitants sell their butter, cheese, sarsaparilla, ginseng, snake-root, &c., and trade for merchandise in return. All transportation is made in wagons, and, accordingly, is very costly.

Eastwardly from the Alleghany mountains, at the sources of the Roanoke river, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, in North Carolina, and along the course of that stream, the soil is of excellent quality. Much tobacco is raised there and taken to


Richmond. From this spot, between the North, Blue, and South mountains, to the Potomac, the soil is almost invariably of the same quality. In the valleys, tobacco and grain are cultivated, which are partly sold in Baltimore, and partly in Richmond. Lexington, Staunton, Millerstown, Staufferstown, Newtown, and Winchester, lie on the road, and in all these places many Germans are settled.

Efforts are now making to render the falls of the Potomac navigable, but I cannot imagine that the present generation will derive much advantage from it.

Some Words from the Language of the Choctaws.
Howbeck A horse.
Chickamaw That is good.
Ohkΰ Brandy.
Babashiela Salutation of welcome.
Tshiaffΰ One.
Toccolς Two.
Detchenα Three.
Ostΰ Four.
Tashawθ Five.
Annalθ Six.
Ontocolς Seven.
Ondotchinΰ Eight.
Tschacalθ Nine.
Toccolΰ Ten.
Awa tschiafiΰ Eleven.
Awa toccolς Twelve, and so on to nineteen.
Boccole toccolς Twenty.
Boccole detchenΰ Thirty, and so on to 100.

In the greater part of these words the accent is placed on the last syllable, which almost always terminates with a vowel.

Itinerary from Baltimore to Fort Pitt. 1785.
From Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills 12 miles.
From thence to Simpson's 14 miles.
From thence to Hobbs's 10 1/2 miles.
From thence to Fredericktown 14 1/2 miles.
From thence to Middletown 9 miles.


From thence to Hagerstown 18 miles.
From thence to Dr. Schnebley's 5 miles.
From thence to Ronseg's 15 miles.
From thence to McConnell's 12 miles.
From thence to McDonnell's 11 miles.
From thence to Crossings of Juniata 10 miles.
From thence to Bedford 14 miles.
From thence to Burnet's 4 miles.
From thence to Grundlan's 15 miles.
From thence to Spicher's 8 miles.
From thence to Loud's 13 miles.
From thence to Dr. Peter's 12 miles.
From thence to Cherry's Mill 10 miles.
From thence to Millerstown 10 miles.
From thence to Ben Loud's 8 miles.
From thence to Widow Myers 10 miles.
From thence to Fort Pitt 12 miles.
Total from Baltimore to Fort Pitt 247 miles.
Itinerary from Fort Pitt to the Mouth of the Ohio, in the year 1785, by L. B.
From Fort Pitt to Big Beaver Creek, Fort McIntosh 30 miles.
From thence to Little Beaver Creek 13 miles.
From thence to Yellow Creek 9 miles.
From thence to Mingo Town 18 miles.
From thence to Grass Creek 2 miles.
From thence to Wheeling Creek 25 miles.
From thence to Grave Creek 10 miles.
From thence to Beginning of the Long Branch 16 miles.
From thence to End of the Long Branch 16 miles.
From thence to Muskingum River 23 miles.
From thence to Little Kanawha River 12 miles.
From thence to Hockhocking River 13 miles.
From thence to Big Kanawha River 83 miles.
From thence to Great Guyandotte River 24 miles.
From thence to Big Sandy Creek 13 miles.
From thence to Scioto River 45 miles.
From thence to The Three Islands 75 miles.
From thence to Limestone Creek 10 miles.


From thence to the Little Miami River 65 miles.
From thence to Licking River 8 miles.
From thence to Great Miami 27 miles.
From thence to Big Cone Creek 32 miles.
From thence to Kentucky River 44 miles.
Rapids of the Ohio 77 miles.
From thence to Salt River 23 miles.
From thence to Beginning of the low country 132 miles.
From thence to The first of the Five Islands 38 miles.
From thence to Green River 27 miles.
From thence to A large Island 58 miles.
From thence to Wabash River 40 miles.
From thence to The Great Cave 62 miles.
From thence to Cumberland River 33 miles.
From thence to Tennessee River 12 miles.
From thence to Fort Massac 11 miles.
From thence to Mouth of the Ohio 46 miles.
Total from the Big Cone Creek to the mouth of the Ohio 1172 miles.
Itinerary from the Mouth of the Cumberland to Nashville, in the year 1785, by L. B.
From the mouth to The Great Yellow Banks 30 miles.
From thence to The Little Yellow Banks 10 miles.
From thence to Little River 23 miles.
From thence to Red River 75 miles.
From thence to Harpeth River and Shoals 35 miles.
From thence to Nashville 38 miles.
Total from the mouth of the Cumberland to Nashville 211 miles.
Itinerary from Nashville to Baltimore, in the year 1785, by L. B.
From Nashville to Manco's Station 12 miles.
From thence to Maiden's Station 18 miles.
From thence to West Fork of Red River 7 miles.
From thence to Roaring Spring 18 miles.
From thence to Big Barren River 15 miles.
From thence to Dripping Spring 13 miles.
From thence to Sink-hole Spring 14 miles.
From thence to Blue Springs 9 miles.


From thence to the Little Barren River 12 miles.
From thence to the Green River 8 miles.
From thence to the Clay Lick 25 miles.
From thence to the Carpenter's Station in Kentucky 20 miles.
From thence to the Grape Orchard 20 miles.
From thence, through the Great Wilderness to Martin's Station 140 miles.
From thence to Valley Station 25 miles.
From thence to Block-house 35 miles.
From thence to Washington Court-house 30 miles.
From thence to Major Davis's 12 miles.
From thence to Atkins's 25 miles.
From thence to Fort Chissells 27 miles.
From thence to Crockett's 8 miles.
From thence to Ingraham's Mill 7 miles.
From thence to New River 8 miles.
From thence to Alleghany Mountains 15 miles.
From thence to Widow Kent's 4 miles.
From thence to John Smith's 9 miles.
From thence to Big Lick 15 miles.
From thence to Widow Breckenridge's 9 miles.
From thence to Anderson's Ferry, on James River 18 miles.
From thence to Captain Poll's 8 miles.
From thence to Lexington 15 miles.
From thence to James Loyell's 10 miles.
From thence to Burk's 14 miles.
From thence to Staunton 11 miles.
From thence to M'Machen's 10 miles.
From thence to Schneff's 12 miles.
From thence to Arnitz's 8 miles.
From thence to Roeck's 14 miles.
From thence to Colonel Bird's 16 miles.
From thence to Millerstown 10 miles.
From thence to Staufferstown 18 miles.
From thence to Winchester 12 miles.
From thence to James Stow's 11 miles.
From thence to Harper's Ferry, on the Potomac 19 miles.
From thence to Fredericktown 20 miles.
From thence to Hobbs's 14 miles.
From thence to Simpson's 11 miles.


From thence to Ellicott's Mills 14 miles.
From thence to Baltimore 12 miles.
Total from Nashville to Baltimore, Md. 837 miles.
Resumι of Journey in 1785.
From Baltimore to Fort Pitt, by land 247 miles.
From Fort Pitt to mouth of Cumberland, by water 1103 miles.
From Mouth of Cumberland to Nashville, by water 211 miles.
From Nashville to Baltimore, by land 837 miles.
Total journey 2398 miles.







THE life and manners of the troubadour, so far as they affected the simple and gay-hearted peasantry of France, were, at the opening of the 17th century, transferred to North America. This spirit was early developed by the magnificent and inspiring rivers and lakes of New France, over which its merchants roamed in pursuit of the adventurous and absorbing fur-trade. The Couriers du Bois, as they were at first called, fascinated with scenes so novel and animating, lightened their toils with songs as they swept, in boats and canoes, up and down the immense area of clear and sparkling waters. This area spread before their eyes as some fairy maze — stretching between the mountain heights of Quebec, and the fertile and far-stretching savannahs of Louisiana. In this new world of watery intercommunications — the noisy cascades


and rapids of the St. Lawrence — the great chain of interior lakes from Ontario to Superior, and the Lake of the Woods — the astonishing scenic display of the Falls of Niagara — the Mississippi, reaching for three thousand miles, and receiving tributaries like the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Arkansas, compared to which the Seine and the Loire were mere brooks — these were but elements in the great hydrographic panorama through which they swept by an easy stroke of the paddle. No wonder that a peasantry, and the adventurous bourgeois who led them, who were alike prone to be absorbed by the sublime scenes before them, should, as if the murmuring cataracts were but one great orchestra of nature, give vent to their gayety in chants and songs, to which the rapid strokes of their paddles kept time.

To add to these excitements, they were guided in their adventurous trips by one of the most picturesque races of mankind — the painted and plumed Indians, who, like themselves, were eminently bent on the enjoyment of the present scene with little thought for the future; and it cannot be deemed surprising that the American wilderness, and its freedom from restraints, had so many charms for the three classes who supplied perpetual elements to the fur-trade: namely, the voyageur, the trader, and the ambitious money-making bourgeois, who sought, in the fibre of the beaver, a treasure more reliable than that which had eluded the grasp of De Soto.

Besides all this, the French decidedly liked the Indian race. They admired his lofty step, keen eye, ready oratory, and independent, manly tone. They were more than half inclined to agree to his mythology. They respected his wild and often imposing mystical ceremonies, they assimilated with his manners, they chose their wives of these foresters, and as one of the French ecclesiastics observes of his countrymen, "they did not convert the Indians to the principles of Christianity, but the Indians converted them."

Among those who were, in youth, smitten with the charms of Indian life and the fur-trade, was the author of these "Relations." He was an educated young man, of one of the best French families in the city of Quebec, where his kindred still hold their rank and position in society. He went out, not in a menial capacity, but in the quality of a clerk, and consequently a bourgeois. He hied to the then great centre and metropolis of Indian trade, Michillimackinac, and after some primary trips to the much-admired region of the far-famed Illinois, he chose the North-west as the theatre of his life and adventures; and here he passed more than sixty years of his long life. He was always trustworthy; a man of urbanity and mildness, of good judgment, of a very retentive memory, ingenious in mechanics, interesting in conversation. He had, at an early period, married the daughter of one of the wild Indian sovereigns at the sources of the Mississippi, by whom he had a numerous family.

When he was far advanced in life, finding him possessing good memory and to be replete with anecdotes of Indian life, I invited him to pass a winter at my house at Elmwood, at a time when I was engaged in the study of the French language, with


the principles of which he was classically acquainted. To these recitals of study he always came into my room with his best coat on, and with the polite air and manners of a court official who waits on the prime minister. At my request, he recorded the outlines of his early journeys and residences among the Indian tribes of those remote regions; and it is from these manuscripts, which are often illustrative of the Indian manners and customs, that I submit the following translations. They have laid among my Indian papers twenty-five years. Mr. Perrault died at Sault Ste. Marie on the 12th of November, 1844, aged, it is believed, eighty-five.



MY deceased father was born at Quebec, in 1732, being of a respectable family of that city. He finished his studies at the age of twenty, under the French government, who gave him a situation at the foundery of St. Maurice. After the taking of the country by the English, he was stationed at Trois Rivieres, in the capacity of an Inspector, under General Haldimand. In 1770, he commenced merchandizing at Riviere du Loup, from whence I was sent, at a suitable age, in 1776, to the College of Quebec, where I remained until 1782.

My father, having dealings with Mr. W. Kay of Montreal, sent me, about the middle of March, 1783, to adjust them. Then I was first seized with the desire to travel, seeing the preparations making by M. Marchisseaux, merchant-voyager, a friend of my late father, who had recommended me to his house. I declared to my father my intentions on the subject, and, with his consent, I returned to Montreal the first of April, and agreed with that gentleman to go to the Illinois in the capacity of a clerk, at the price of a thousand livres and twenty sols, being exempt from all servile labor; to set out on the first intimation.

On the 16th of May, 1783, I received the orders I had long desired; for I had figured to myself the great advantages I should derive from that calling. M. Marchisseaux directed me to assemble the men whom he had engaged at Montreal for the voyage; namely, Sacharite, Quebec, St. Germain, Robιrt, Dupuis of Maskinongι, Antoine and Francis Beauchemin, Mιnard, L. Lavellι of Sorel and Yamaska: to conduct them to St. Francis, and take from the Wabanakis two canoes, and bring them to the house of M. Marchisseaux.


On the 12th of May, at one o'clock in the morning, I took leave of my mother, who pressed me to take supper, but my heart was too full to permit me. I had, at the time, a presentiment of what in reality took place before I again returned. I withdrew amidst a burst of tears, accompanied by theirs. I proceeded to St. Francis, to take the canoes; and arrived at Montreal on the 15th of May, at noon. On the 16th, I received orders to go and conduct the equipages to La Chien, where the waters from the north detained us till the 27th. On the next day we set out, and encamped at the lake of Two Mountains on the 28th. Our canoes were loaded too heavy. Our bourgeois (a term in general use among voyageurs for the master or proprietor of the adventure) was obliged to get a third to lighten us. We continued our route in safety, and with little detention. The water was, however, so high as to compel our bourgeois to engage two more hands; one of whom deserted during the following night.

We arrived at Mackinac on the 28th of June, and remained there until the 15th of July, (this being the anniversary of the establishment of the fort on the Island, which was owing to Governor St. Clair, who had been relieved the preceding year by Captain Robinson.) As the merchants of Mackinac had not yet all their buildings, (and consequently room was scarce,) M. Marchisseaux wanted to build a house with a small store, to occupy on his return from the Illinois. After the buildings were done, we continued our route towards La Baye (Green bay), with the intention of passing by the way of Prairie des Chiens, where we sojourned two days. On the third, being now en derive, we encamped at the Sauk village at Turkey river, about sunset; M. Marchisseaux being necessitated to pass here, instead of the direct route from Mackinac to St. Louis, by way of the Illinois, in order to collect his credits from the Indians. We continued our route, and passed St. Louis during the night, fearing a seizure from the Spaniards, who did not, at that time, suffer any persons to import merchandise into Louisiana from Great Britain. We arrived at Kaτs, then under the British government, on the 11th of August. M. Marchisseaux hired two apartments in the house of M. Soucier, in the village, to establish a store of French goods, and sold off his Indian goods to M. Choteau, merchant of St. Louis, who equipped on the Missouri, at an advance of 137 1/2 per cent., payable in peltries; namely, beaver at one dollar per pound; otters at one dollar and fifty cents; raccoons at twenty cents; bears at two dollars; deer-skins at fifty cents each; and in the same proportion for other furs.

The winter of '83 was very severe; there were two feet of snow; and the crust so strong that it bore men and dogs, so that deer were killed in the snow with the stroke


of a hatchet, in a way which had not before been seen by the oldest inhabitants. There was a bridge of ice opposite St. Louis, which held for an entire month, and gave the Creoles and Spaniards the pleasure of visiting. That year there were a number of gentlemen from Montreal, who had stores at Cahokia; namely, Messrs. James Grant, Meyers, Tabeau, and Guillon, who had but little business, on account of their having arrived too late. But they revenged themselves by entering into the amusements of the place; for the Creoles are, in general, indolent, and love dancing above every other people. That year M. Crozat was commandant at St. Louis.

About the 15th of April, the packs from the Missouri arrived. Our bourgeois settled his accounts with M. Choteau, and received seventy-four packs of furs. His retail store at Cahokia produced 500 Spanish dollars, and 400 pounds of tobacco. We left Cahokia on the 4th of May, for Mackinac. My directions were to pass by Chicago, having one barge and one canoe, and to await the arrival of M. Marchisseaux at Little Detroit, in lake Michigan, he having gone by the way of Prairie des Chiens, to terminate his business with the Sauks. After fourteen days' detention, he arrived, and continuing our route, we reached Mackinac the beginning of July, where I found myself at liberty.

In 1784, Mr. Alexander Kay came up from Montreal with two canoes, to enter the Fond du Lac of lake Superior, and Leech lake. I closed with him, in the capacity of clerk, for Pine river. It was his intention to go in late, to avoid making credits; and he resolved to send forward Mr. Harris, whom he had engaged, rapidly, in order to purchase wild rice of the Indians, with directions to return and meet him at Fond du Lac, about the middle of August.

We left Mackinac on the 29th of August in two canoes, well loaded. Having no person to serve as guide, who had knowledge of the route, we were compelled to go round the peninsula of Kewywenon (lake Superior), where the continual blowing of adverse winds, together with rain, detained us a considerable time. We reached La Pointe on the 1st of November; being a fκte, (All Saints' Day,) Mr. Kay invited us all to a repast, and afterwards, in the evening, had a party at his tent. Messrs. Laviollet, Caillargθ, and Graverott wintered there. The next day we had a light wind in our favor, in the morning, but it increased so rapidly, that we found it impossible to go ashore at night. We passed the river Boulθ, without being able to enter, and in consequence were obliged to go on all night, the sky being overcast, and the weather cold. Two hours before day, we attempted to enter the river of Fond du Lac, but


the fury of the waves rendered it impossible, and in attempting to make a neighboring bay, our canoes broke up on the waves. The goods were cast along the beach, scattered here and there, for six arpents on either shore, all wet and freezing. At the time, I could only deplore my fate. On the next day, with the aid of the men, I repaired the canoes, and collected the dispersed pieces of goods; but it was impossible to dry everything, or to restore completely the damages of this misadventure. On the next day, having entered the river, we saw, on doubling the point of the Little lake, a wintering house. It was that of Mr. Default, come from the Grand Portage, a clerk of the North-west Company. We stopped at his door. As Mr. Kay had indulged himself with a glass in the morning, he now took a second, which put him into an ill mood for receiving Mr. Default, who had come down to the beach to receive him, and whom he treated with rudeness. But Mr. Sayer, seeing the true cause of his disorder, kept silence, and gave him no information. The character of Mr. Kay was extravagant, haughty, prompt, arrogant, enthusiastic, taking counsel from no one; in fine, harebrained. I had told him, some days before, that he should not conduct in that manner, for we were about the same age, and I was on familiar terms with him for two years before, he having dwelt near my father's house at Riviθre du Loup, for the purpose of engaging voyageurs for his brother William. Without reflection, he ordered us to go to the Grand Portage, (of the river St. Louis.) I took the liberty to tell him that his enterprise was ill-judged, that he had not taken provisions for the number of mouths we had here, being already nearly exhausted; that Mr. Harris had not arrived, agreeably to expectation, and that it was now too late to go on. Mr. Default, fearing that we should remain, and become a burthen to him, offered to furnish provisions for several days; but he thanked him, saying he hoped very soon to see Mr. Harris.

We now departed at all hazards for the interior. The whole stock of provisions now consisted of one bag of flour, one keg of butter, and one of sugar for his own use. His retinue was composed of fourteen men, his savagesse, himself, and me, making seventeen persons in all, and nothing to eat. To crown our misfortune, we now encountered Mr. Harris, with three men, and an Indian called the Big Marten, with nothing in his canoe but part of a barrel of salt meat. At this Mr. Kay was much cast down. We encamped all together at the decharge of the Grand Portage. Mr. Kay requested Mr. Harris to render an account of the twenty pieces of goods he had put in his hands to procure food (wild rice, and dried meat). He replied that he had seen very few Indians; that the greater part of them had gone to pass the winter in the prairies west of the Mississippi; that they had no wild rice, the abundant rains having destroyed it; finally, that he had made some credits with the Indians, whom he


had supplied with the means of passing the winter; all of which was not very satisfactory to Mr. Kay, who saw himself without resources. I advised him to return to Fond du Lac, and go up to the Indians on the first opening of the navigation, at the time when they are rich in furs. But this gentleman would take advice from no one, but determined to follow his own caprice. It was his will absolutely to go inland; and after drinking, he menaced his men with a pistol, if they refused to follow him. His language to me was not without asperity; but I made no reply, knowing it would not avail to remonstrate, and having no doubt but he sought the death of himself and his men. His resolve being made, and Mr. Harris and his men only serving further to diminish our rations, we entered the Grand Portage forthwith. Mr. Kay determined to take Mr. Harris and seven men, with Big Marten for his guide, and go in advance, with the view of persuading the Indians to hunt for us, as moose were then abundant. And he left me behind with the baggage, with a promise that he would soon furnish me with provisions. The day after he left me, the snow fell over six inches in depth. I had very little provisions to go on, but they would not increase by delay.

The day after the snow fell, an Indian arrived with a letter from Mr. Kay, who informed me that he had determined to go to Pine river. He directed me to advance with the goods, as far as Savanne Portage, and, if possible, to pass the winter there; and to send three men with the Indian (who had killed a moose, and brought me a portion of it) to carry fifteen pieces, assorted for trade, to the portage aux Couteaux, where he would wait for them. I immediately complied with his order, by sending off the men. We were ourselves eleven days in getting to the Savanne, amidst ice and snow, and with nothing to eat. We lived on the seed-pods of the wild rose, and the sap of trees. I put the goods en cache with two small interior canoes, at the entrance of the Savanne Portage. I made a lodge with an oil-cloth, at the little lac de la Puise in the portage, where we lived many days on small tolibies; but they were soon exhausted as the ice became thick. Our only resource now was racine de guenouilla (flag-roots), which we boiled; and these we were necessitated to search at the bottom of the little lake, or in a marsh amidst snow. This resource failing, we were obliged to quit the place, for now it seemed as if all species of birds had flown away. Each one went, by turn, to hunt; but got nothing.

About Christmas, we could no longer resist our wants, and resolved to save ourselves by going to Pine river, although reduced to a feeble state for the journey. We set out


to descend the west Savanne creek, which leads into Sandy lake, travelling on blanket shoes, (souliers de couvertes.) We saw, in a bay, the poles of an Indian lodge, where they had encamped before the snow fell. I went a little farther, and chanced to find a frame for drying moose-skins, around the edges of which there was left a strip of the dried skin. As we were hungry, we did not amuse ourselves by boiling it, but forthwith roasted and eat it. We now proceeded across Sandy lake, to strike the Mississippi, and follow down it. I was continually in hopes of meeting some one who might effectually encourage us.

On the following day, about noon, we arrived at the river Vaseuse, which was about an arpent broad, shallow and open; but we had no means of passing it. The men forded it, without taking off their clothes. I took off mine, to preserve them dry, and swam over. On assembling on the other side, it was cold, and the men struck up a fire to warm themselves. At this moment our attention was arrested by hearing a gun fired close to us. It was the Big Marten, in chase of a deer for Mr. Kay and Mr. Harris. I was not slow in responding a shot, and in a moment he was with us. We were very happy to see him, for we had taken a very bad route. He said to me: "Friend, I was attracted hither by the shot you fired, being in chase of a deer, whom I have killed." He sold it to me. And after dividing the meat, we were not long in cooking it. We then slept.

I begged the Big Marten to conduct us to Mr. Kay's, to which he consented. And taking the direct Indian path, about mid-day, we fell upon the entrance to Lac du Lieore, three leagues distant from Pine river. We there met three men of Mr. Pinot, who wintered, as a trader, near Mr. Kay. They were come, in search of dried meat, to the lodge of Barrique'eau, (a Chippewa so called.) They presented us some of their food en passant. About sunset, we arrived at Mr. Kay's house, at Pine river. He was both pleased and surprised to see us, for he had despaired of us, not having been able to get a guide to conduct his men. We now rested. It was about the commencement of January when we arrived. I recounted all that had taken place, from the time of his departure till our arrival, at which he seemed to be moved. I saw that there was no good understanding between Mr. Harris and himself. This was his own fault, as, having no experience in this sort of enterprise, he would do everything out of his own head.

He said to me, the day after our arrival, that he would be flattered to have me set out, very soon, with three men and an Indian guide, to go and remain at Savanne portage, to await the opening of the navigation; and descend, with the goods, to Sandy lake, and there to await Mr. Harris and an Indian called Kitchemowa. Two days after, we departed, each carrying forty-five pounds of dried meat. Mr. Kay told me, as soon as I reached my post, to send back the Indian and two of the men; that he was going out with a party of Indians to pass the spring in my neighborhood. In fine, it was the Indians who gave us our subsistence, although it was not without pains, for


Mr. Harris had not used all his efforts to get supplies, and Mr. Kay himself was mortally hated by the Indians.

We reached the Savanne portage on the fourth day. Hunger now began to pinch us. What had been eaten on the route and at my post, together with the provisions necessary to carry the men back, had exhausted more than two-thirds of what each one originally had. Independent of which, I had but little time to wait for the Indians, who, I fancied, would soon supply me; and in consequence, I wrote to Mr. Kay that I should not keep the men, whom he might want to go to Sandy lake, and to send them to me to remain during the severe snows, and finally, to bring to my house the goods left in deposit, with the three canoes at the mouth of the Savanne. I sent back the men the next day, being the 26th of January. On the 27th, I set to work with my man, whose name was Lauzon, to cut the logs for building a house twelve feet long by ten in breadth, which was finished on the 7th of February, when we entered it.

We had but little food at that time, but I expected relief very soon, which did not however come; for the Indians were dispersed one way or another, as is their custom, and did not come together again for a long time, which reduced us, a second time, to fasting. Lauzon became so weak that he could not raise himself without pain. He was a great smoker. I told him that it was the tobacco that caused his weakness, but it was no time to give advice. It was with much difficulty I could chop and carry in the wood necessary to keep us warm.

About the 20th of February, early in the morning, while I was cutting the ice to set the nets, in front of our door, I cast up my eyes and saw with surprise an otter who had got upon a large stone and was eating a fish; for it was seldom that this animal was seen at this place. I ran to look for my gun. I fired, and killed it. Lauzon was quite re-animated by this adventure. We prepared to broil it, and eat heartily. Within an hour after, while I was cutting wood, having gone out with my gun in my hand, for we were in constant apprehension of the Indians, who were anthropophagi, I perceived an Indian approaching me. He came very nimbly, and had half a fawn-skin of wild rice. We now feared death or some imminent danger. But it turned out to be the Indian who had formerly served as our guide. He brought me a letter from Mr. Kay, who gave me but sad news on the subject of his affairs. The Indian told me that he had started before the men, who were on the way with


provisions, and would arrive in the course of a couple of days. I sent him back the next day. During the night of the same day, Mr. Harris's brother-in-law (an Indian) arrived, from the neighborhood of the portage aux Couteaux. He had killed a bear, which remained at his lodge. He gave me the tongue and the heart, and asked me to go with him with my man, to carry the carcase. I paid him in rum, and we set out early the next morning. He out-walked us. We got the meat, and returned very late, being greatly fatigued. About midnight, the Brechθt arrived, and gave me the half of a moose. The next day, the Big Marten came in and brought me an entire moose. They both came with their families, to encamp and to have a drinking bout, (un bolsson.) The same day, the men arrived with their charge, being well pleased to see abundance of food. The Indians continued to come in day by day, and were loaded with meat. I persuaded the brother of La Petite Rat to go across the country to Mr. Kay, to advise him that I should keep the men at the portage until the snow was gone. I put them to the trains to carry the goods and canoes from the little lake to the outer end of the portage.

The time of making sugar being now arrived, the Indians decided to make their sugar in the vicinity of my post. When Mr. Kay received my letter, he determined to come and join me, and to leave Mr. Harris with four lodges of Chippewas, to ascend Pine river by water, on the first opening of the navigation. As the Indians had retired to their sugar-camps (sucreries), I went to see them to apprize them of Mr. Kay's intended visit, which was verified on the third day after, when he arrived about noon. He was well pleased to find everything in order at my post, and I was delighted to see him again. He confided to me all the troubles he had had with the Indians, and told me he would revenge himself on Cul Blanc, who had insulted him, although he had, at the same time, beaten him, but that he would repay him on getting to Sandy lake, as well as Le Cousin, a noted rogue, who had remained below with Mr. Harris, and had spent all his time in going about, for mischievous purposes, among the Indians.

Now we had nothing to do, (the winter's hunt being over, and the Indians all gone to their sugar-camps,) we were happy in the enjoyment of tranquillity. I made a canoe of wood, out of a pine tree suitable for the purpose. It was large enough to contain two persons, with the necessary tackle. As Mr. Kay was desirous to reach Sandy lake, I proposed to him to make the attempt; to which he readily assented.


We left the post about the 15th of April; for the little river opened very early. The Indians had by this time come in, and were with us. The water being high, we ran the rapid of the Pine portage; Mr. Kay bid every one exert himself, but about half way down the rapid, the canoe turning square about, filled, and upset; he lost his baggage, and had been himself drowned, had not an Indian called le Petit Mort, his friend, swam to his relief. He had almost lost all recollection when he was brought ashore.

We arrived, the next day, at Sandy lake, and made towards the fish-dam at its entrance, before many Indians had got there; for the place afforded a great resource for fish. The Bras Cassι, chief of Sandy lake, was at the bottom of a bay, with many others, mending their canoes, and we did not see them. But we encamped on a peninsula at the entrance of the lake, where we had no sooner arrived, than the Indians made us a visit; each one carrying their beaver and dried meat, with a large present of game from the chief, who sent word that he would visit us as soon as his canoes were finished. We remained there from the 27th of April until the 2d of May, trading with the Indians, who came in from all quarters, and waiting the arrival of the men from Pine river. The same day, we heard a gun fired below; and within an hour after, Mig-a-zee (the Eagle) arrived. He had left Mr. Harris and his men below. Mr. Kay said he would go to them, although somewhat fatigued the night previous by the continual running of the Indians, as they arrived. On parting, he told me to draw some rum, of which he took a stout drink; and as he knew there was no more rum at the post of Pine river, when he left Mr. Harris, he thought a dram would be pleasing to him also; for which reason, he told me to fill one of the flagons of his liquor-case, to take with him. He also gave me orders to give the Indians no drink during his absence; which was difficult, because they were already tipsy.

The Indians had given me the name of the Writer, which they were accustomed to do to all whom they observed writing. As soon as Mr. Kay was gone, I did not want for visits; his savagesse remaining in the tent with me. A great many Indians came in; among the number was Katawabada and Mong-ozid (Loon's Foot), who said to me, Writer, give us rum! I told them that I could not — that I was not master. They tormented me a long time. The Loon's Foot threw to me a pair of metasses, which he had got on credit, and had not paid for, (for he was a poor paymaster,) demanding rum for them. I told him, No! He then talked with Mr. Kay's woman, who was tired of them, as well as myself. She begged me to give them a little, after which they went out of the tent.

Within an hour after, Le Barrique'eau arrived, and told me that Mr. Harris and


Mr. Pinot had actually arrived at the fish-dam. The Indians, one and all, set up a shout of joy, and ran to the beach to receive them. They did not, however, meet with a very good reception; the flagon Mr. Kay had taken with him, having intoxicated the whole party. They debarked; and while Mr. Harris was getting his tent pitched, Mr. Kay entered mine, and took a glass in my presence. Mr. Harris was quite noisy. To complete the scene, the ferocity of Cul Blanc had returned. He had persuaded Le Cousin to stab Mr. Kay in the course of the winter, saying to him, that he had not courage enough to do it. The other gloried in being equal to the commission of a crime, which he had promised to perpetrate when they came together. The Cul Blanc was sitting with many others on a hillock before the fire, smoking, directly in front of Mr. Kay's tent. Le Cousin got up, and went towards the tent, at the entrance of which he met Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay's bed was placed across, opposite the pole supporting the tail-piece of his tent. The barrel of rum was behind the bed, in the bottom of the tent. Mr. Kay saw him coming, as he was going to take a seat beside me, on his bed. At this moment, Le Cousin entered. He tendered his hand, and asked for rum. Mr. Kay, who did not like the man, answered "No! You do not pay your credits. You shall have none. Go out, immediately." With this, he took him by the arm, and conducted him out of the tent. On turning round to re-enter, the Indian, who was armed with a knife which he had concealed under a mantelet de calmande, gave him a stab on the back of the neck. He then retired towards the camp-fire, which was surrounded by a great many Indians, and our men. I got up immediately, on hearing the scream of his wife, whom I perceived in front of me. "Have you been stabbed?" I inquired of Mr. Kay. "Yes," he replied, "but he shall pay for it." So saying, he put his hand in the mess-basket, and drew out a large, pointed table-knife, with which he sallied furiously from the tent, without my being able to stop him. The Indians, seeing the knife in his hand, asked the cause of it. He said that Le Cousin had stabbed him, and that he was in search of him to kill him. But Le Cousin had taken refuge in his own lodge, which was near our camp. Mr. Kay went towards the lodge. We ran after him, to prevent some fatal accident. The tumult was, by this time, very great. Great numbers were collected from all sides; and all, both French and Indians, bereft of their reason, for it was in the midst of a general carouse. In a moment, every one seized his arms; and there was a motley display of knives, guns, axes, cudgels, war-clubs, lances, &c. I found myself greatly at a nonplus, for I had not before witnessed such a scene. I saw so many preparations, that I judged we should have a serious time.

Mr. Kay pursued Le Cousin, but before he could reach him, the passage to his lodge was blocked up by the crowd. Le Cousin's mother asked him what he wanted. "Englishman," said she, "do you come to kill me?" She made her way among the crowd, armed with a small knife, and reached the spot where Mr. Kay was standing, without any one's observing the knife; for she came in an humble attitude, imploring


Mr. Kay for the life of her son. In a moment, Mr. Kay cried out, in a loud voice, "I am killed!" and he fell. We entered, and found that she had struck him in the side, making an incision of more than three inches. We now took him to his tent, bathed in his blood. We laid him on his bed, which in a moment was soaking with his blood.

At this moment, his friend, Le Petit Mort, who had been tipsy and gone to sleep, started up. He ran to Mr. Kay's tent, where the first object he saw was his friend, pale and quivering. He went and embraced him, amidst a flood of tears, saying, "My friend, you are dead, but I survive to revenge you." In contemplating a calico nightgown which Mr. Kay had on when he received his wound, and which was all bloody, he could no longer restrain his anger. He took up the knife which Mr. Kay had at the time he was wounded, which had been brought back by his wife, who was present; he sallied out of the tent to seek revenge — not of Le Cousin, who was the instrument, but not the author of the murder — but of Cul Blanc, who was sitting before the fire, smoking his pipe. He seized him by the scalp-lock, drew his body back with one arm, exclaiming, "Die, thou dog!" and with the other hand he plunged the knife into his breast, while Cul Blanc begged for mercy.

This scene of carnage put a stop to the drinking. The women spilled out all the rum, of which there was still no small quantity in the different lodges. The stab Cul Blanc had received did not prove mortal, notwithstanding the ghastliness of the wound; the knife having passed out through the flesh,