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The English Title Page of The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated.

The German Title Page of Das Illustrirte Mississippithal, 1854.

The German Title Page of Das Illustrirte Mississippithal, 1858.

Henry Lewis. Oil by John B. Irving, Jr., About 1856.

Half Title Used in the German Editions.

Plate 1. St. Louis, Missouri.

Plate 2. The Steamboat "Grand Turk" Wooding at Night.

Plate 3. Indian Deputation.

Plate 4. Fort Snelling.

Plate 5. The Mouths of the Mississippi.

Plate 6. The Falls of St. Anthony.

Plate 7. Rolling Prairie.

Plate 8. The St. Peter's River Valley

Plate 9. The Little Falls.

Plate 10. St. Paul, Minnesota.

Plate 11. Little Crow's Village.

Plate 12. Red Rock Prairie.

Plate 13. Medicine Bottle's Village.

Plate 14. The Mouth of the St. Croix River.

Plate 15. Red Wing's Village.

Plate 16. An Indian Cemetery.

Plate 17. Lake Pepin.

Plate 18. The Maiden Rock.

Plate 19. The Camp of the United States Troops at Wabasha Prairie.


Plate 20. The Indians' Grand Council.

Plate 21. The Mouth of the Chippewa River.

Plate 22. The Indian Camp at Wabasha Prairie.

Plate 23. An Indian Hunting Party.

Plate 24. The Dog Dance.

Plate 25. A Prairie Fire.

Plate 26. The Battle of Bad Axe.

Plate 27. Indians Spearing Fish.

Plate 28. Indians Hunting Deer by Moonlight.

Plate 29. Scalping Scene on the Mississippi.

Plate 30. Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1830.

Plate 31. The Mouth of the Wisconsin River.

Plate 32. Cassville, Wisconsin, in 1829.

Plate 33. The Indian's Lookout.

Plate 34. Dubuque, Iowa.

Plate 35. The Tete des Morts River.

Plate 36. Galena, Illinois.

Plate 37. View of the Fever River.

Plate 38. Bellevue, Iowa.

Plate 39. Savanna, Illinois.

Plate 40. Port Byron, Illinois, and Berlin, Iowa.

Plate 41. The Rapids.

Plate 42. Fort Armstrong.

Plate 43. Fort Armstrong on Rock Island.

Plate 44. Muscatine, Iowa.

Plate 45. Great Muscatine Prairie in Iowa.

Plate 46. Burlington, Iowa.

Plate 47. Fort Madison, Iowa.

Plate 48. Nauvoo, Illinois.

Plate 49. The Mormon Temple.

Plate 50. Warsaw, Illinois.

Plate 51. The Artist's Encampment.

Plate 52. Quincy, Illinois.

Plate 53. A View on the Mississippi Near Quincy.

Plate 54. Keokuk, Iowa.

Plate 55. Hannibal, Missouri.

Plate 56. Louisiana, Missouri.

Plate 57. Grafton, Illinois.

Plate 58. The Piasa Rock.

Plate 59. Balustrade Bluffs with the Grand Staircase.


Plate 60. Alton, Illinois.

Plate 61. The Mouth of the Missouri River.

Plate 62. The Great Fire in St. Louis.

Plate 63. Carondelet, Missouri.

Plate 64. Herculaneum, Missouri.

Plate 65. Cairo, Illinois, and the Mouth of the Ohio River.

Plate 66. New Madrid, Missouri.

Plate 67. Memphis, Tennessee.

Plate 68. The Mouth of the Arkansas River.

Plate 69. Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Plate 70. A Cotton Plantation.

Plate 71. General Taylor's Plantation.

Plate 72. Natchez, Mississippi.

Plate 73. The Mouth of the Red River.

Plate 74. Bayou Sara, Louisiana.

Plate 75. The Convent of the Sacred Heart.

Plate 76. Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Plate 77. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Plate 78. The Pilot's Station.


Editor's Introduction.

THE DRAMATIC SCENERY of the Mississippi Valley has never been better portrayed than by Henry Lewis, whose illustrated book on the subject appeared in the 1850s. This American artist of English birth assembled his data while living on the Mississippi itself, and then removed to Düsseldorf on Europe's romantic Rhine to organize his material and give it permanent form. There his descriptive narrative was translated into German, and in 1854 publication began under the title Das illustrirte Mississippithal. Embellished with nearly fourscore brilliant lithographs in full color, the work of 431 pages revealed the wonders of mid-America to the German-speaking audience in both words and pictures. A beginning was made, too, on an English edition, but this proved abortive, and only a sixth of the text was published in the author's native tongue as The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated. Now, more than a hundred years after its first appearance in print, this fragment has been once more united with the bulk of Lewis' narrative in a retranslation designed to harmonize as closely as possible with the surviving sample of his English text. They combine to give American readers a vivid description of the country spanned by the great river as it appeared to an alert and talented observer in the mid-nineteenth century.

Few complete copies of the German work, which was issued in twenty parts between 1854 and 1857, survived. Nevertheless, the book commanded sufficient interest among collectors and scholars to justify a second German edition in 1923. Although it was published by H. Schmidt and C. Gunther at Leipzig and Otto Lange at Florence as Number 3 of their Reprints of Rare Americana, the series title is misleading, for the text was completely reset from the "very good copy" then included in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek of Berlin. An English prospectus issued at the time of publication announced that the "whole of the original German text has been reset and the pictures are executed by the same lithographic process as the original and


coloured by hand." To contribute an introduction, dealing chiefly with the author, his career, and his book, the publishers enlisted the services of the distinguished American librarian and bibliophile, J. Christian Bay of the John Crerar Library in Chicago. Like the first printing of the 1850s, the 1923 edition has become a collector's prize, found in important libraries on both sides of the Atlantic.

A compilation, rather than an original literary achievement, Das illustrirte Mississippithal consists in large part of extracts, often quoted without credit, from pertinent books, articles, newspapers, and other publications, loosely strung together with bits of Lewis' own prose. To enhance and explain the river scenes pictured in his lithographs, the artist selected for reprinting descriptions from the pens of skilled observers who knew the area at firsthand. It may thus be deduced that the German edition was intended as an elaborately illustrated Mississippi reader, designed to attract European immigrants to the vast and sparsely settled valley in the heart of North America.

Henry Lewis was uniquely equipped to compile and illustrate such a work. Apparently it was planned while he was engaged in a far more extensive and completely different project which brought him fame, if not fortune, some years before any part of his book appeared in print. This was a huge moving panorama picturing in two parts the upper and lower courses of the Mississippi River. Primitive movies of this type, painted on enormous rolls of canvas that could be unwound from one cylinder and rewound onto another, were popular entertainment features of the mid-nineteenth century. Measuring 12 feet in width and more than 1,300 in length, Lewis' panorama reflected the vastness of his subject -- the gigantic Mississippi itself. When this travelogue was unrolled before highly appreciative audiences in the United States and Europe, viewers doubtless enjoyed the illusion of sailing on the river aboard one of the popular steamboats that plied its waters at mid-century. Lewis himself assembled material for his panorama of


the river above St. Louis by "taking the towns" and scenes along its course in the three successive seasons of 1846, 1847, and 1848, while in the latter year an associate named Rogers went downriver to sketch views of the stream's lower reaches. During the long winter months spent in St. Louis between trips, it seems more than likely that Lewis read widely about the Mississippi, assembling background material which eventually was to find its way into Das illustrirte Mississippithal.

Habits of extensive reading had been established by young Lewis in Boston, where he lived after emigrating at ten years of age from Shropshire, England, with his father, Thomas, in 1829. The boy's education must have been meager, for within five years he was indentured to a carpenter. While learning this trade, however, he joined a library, reading fifty or sixty books a year. Included were many of James Fenimore Cooper's works, which doubtless stimulated young Henry's desire to go west -- a move that father and son made in 1836, following other members of the Lewis family who were already settled in St. Louis. It was in this Midwest city that Thomas Lewis took out his citizenship papers (a step from which young Henry, as a minor, also benefited), and there, too. Henry decided to take up art as a profession. Although he was almost entirely self-taught, by 1845 he had attained a local reputation as a "landscape painter of more than ordinary merit." It was not long before his imagination was stirred by the vast river at his very doorstep, suggesting the subject for the moving panorama that was to occupy his time and energy for some years to come. Early in the summer of 1846 he embarked on his first voyage upstream, making a "preliminary tour to decide which views should be taken."


The season of 1847 saw Lewis again on the Upper Mississippi implementing plans devised during the previous winter. He took advantage of an opportunity to explore the St. Croix Valley with David Dale Owen, the geologist who had recently received an appointment to survey the area under federal auspices, and he paused at the head of Mississippi River navigation to paint and to visit with Captain Seth Eastman, the gifted soldier-artist who was then in command at Fort Snelling. From this frontier military post on the heights dramatically overlooking the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Henry wrote on September 25, 1847, to his brother George, always the artist's confidant and sympathetic supporter. The Fort Snelling letter seems to be the first in a long series, preserved by George and members of his family, which reveals more about the career of Henry Lewis than any other single source of information. In this early record of his frontier experience. Henry told his brother that "I am very comfortably fix'd up here having the entire quarters of the Commanding officer[,] the building, room and even the bed, formerly occupied by Gen Z[achary] Taylor" while he was commandant of the post in 1828-29. "Think of that," exclaimed Henry, referring to Taylor's current tame as the nation's top military hero. "I find Cap Eastman a gentleman of very fine taste and also a splendid Artist," continued Lewis. "He has the very sketches we want and ... I have a first-rate and highly important proposition from him which may render our affair of much more ease and importance than we thought he has 150 highly finish'd water colour'd drawings between here and the mouth of the Ohio also about 80 on the Ohio." Eastman himself explained the situation to a correspondent on November 1, 1847, when he noted that several artists had visited the fort during the previous summer, among them one or two who wanted him to join "in painting a panorama of the Mississippi, from the Falls of St. Anthony to New Orleans." At the moment, the officer had "not yet decided" whether to accept the proposal; when he did, his reply was in the negative. Nevertheless, Lewis' sojourn at Fort Snelling was profitable, for he remained until early November in order to complete five or six important views, and the visit resulted in a deep and lasting friendship with Eastman and his gifted wife.

For his sketching trip of 1848, Lewis had the congenial companionship of John S. Robb, an experienced journalist who sent to his newspaper, the St. Louis Reveille, long and vivid reports about his experiences at Fort Snelling and on the voyage downstream. Robb's accounts, which did much to give advance publicity to Lewis' moving picture, combine with the artist's detailed


journal to provide a lively description of the southward voyage. It was made aboard a strange craft known as the "Mene-ha-hah," or, to use a modern spelling, the "Minnehaha," which Lewis built by topping two large canoes with a connecting cabin, not unlike a pontoon float. Probably on July 10, it left Fort Snelling carrying a party that included not only Lewis and Robb, but two voyageurs or boatmen, John Power and Francois Chenevert, who had been engaged to serve as navigators. Their contract with Lewis, dated at St. Paul on June 27, 1848, and witnessed by a prominent local pioneer, Louis Robert, specified that they were to receive twenty-five dollars a month for their services, payable upon arrival at St. Louis. From a vantage point atop the cabin of the "Minnehaha," Lewis could see both sides of the river while floating southward, and there he spent much of his time sketching the cities and villages, the dramatic bluffs, and the many scenic wonders that lined the shores of the mighty stream. Rogers, who had been assembling material on the lower river, joined the group at Galena, Illinois, on July 21, and less than ten days later Robb left the party at Keokuk, Iowa. The others, however, continued to St. Louis on their slow-moving craft, reaching their destination on August 5.

Lewis remained in his home city only a short time; by September 20, 1848, he was in Cincinnati working on his panorama. With the help of several assistants, he completed the section dealing with the Upper Mississippi by the middle of May, 1849, and finished that picturing the lower river in August. Showings in Cincinnati and Louisville, with admission charges of fifty cents for adults and twenty-five cents for children, did not prove especially profitable, causing Henry to express "fear of the market being over-stock'd with panoramas." A successful run in St. Louis from September 1 to 26, however, renewed his enthusiasm and stimulated a long American tour extending eastward from Milwaukee and Chicago to cities in upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. Included also was Washington, D. C., where the panoramist hoped to "get the testimony of many influential and important witnesses." Evidence of his success is to be found in Lewis' preface of


Das illustrirte Mississippithal; its impressive list of those who signed testimonials begins with the name of President Zachary Taylor. In the nation's capital, too, Lewis had an opportunity to visit with his "old friend Cap Eastman." Financially, however, washington was a failure, the proceeds from the entertainment barely paying the owner's expenses. By the time Lewis reached Bangor, Maine, he was wishing he "could find some one who would buy us out." Nevertheless, he pushed on into Canada, showing his picture, among other places, in Toronto (where he called on the Canadian artist, Paul Kane), Kingston, and Montreal. By October 2, 1851, he was thoroughly discouraged. "We have no alternative but to go abroad," he wrote to George, announcing that he planned to ship the "painting directly for England by the first good ship leaving Montreal." Sometime between October 10 and 20, he loaded his bulky showpiece aboard the "Anne" bound for Liverpool, while he and his business partner, Washington King of St. Louis, proceeded to Boston to catch a speedier vessel. The artist asked George to send his "Indian curiosities" there by express; the many books collected on his travels he planned to "box up" in Boston and ship to St. Louis. After a voyage of twenty-four days, apparently on the "new and magnificent ship call'd the Danl Webster," Lewis and King reached Liverpool on November 25, well in advance of the freighter that carried the panorama.

The partners showed their American travelogue in England during the winter months, and took it to Holland in the spring. There it was well received by reviewers at The Hague in May, 1852. Business must have been brisk enough to warrant the publication in Dutch of a booklet to replace Charles Gayler's Description of Lewis' Mammoth Panorama, published at Cincinnati in 1849. Reviews quoted in the Dutch pamphlet indicate that crowds attending the show greeted it with applause and stamping. Many in the audiences were "seized with the desire to emigrate," according to one commentator, who expressed a fear that if Lewis continued to tour in Holland "our whole population, in the grip of a fanatical love for the United States, will embark for his magnificent country." A newspaper published at The Hague suggested that anyone having a yen for travel could realize his fondest dreams by attending a showing of the Mississippi picture, endorsing the entertainment as the "finest trip you will ever make .... It is a succession


of picturesque views, superb towns, frightful rocks, woods, forests, fairy-like scenes, matchless vistas, light effects. In short, it is indescribable."

Such enthusiastic endorsement notwithstanding, financial failure followed the panorama to Europe. After the partners took it to Germany, King returned to St. Louis, and there in 1855 he was elected mayor. Lewis, however, remained in Europe with his picture, and by 1853 he had settled in Düsseldorf, where he was henceforth to make his home. There, as elsewhere, he encountered competition. Pictures like the "Original Reisen-Cyclorama des Mississippi-Flusz" by James Tosh, which was advertised in the Düsseldorfer Zeitung from March 28 to 31, 1852, had familiarized Germans with Lewis' subject, and the new attraction failed to show a profit. As late as 1854, however, Lewis was still displaying it in cities as widely separated as Berlin and London. If he was to retrieve anything from the disastrous venture, he realized that he must sell the picture, and his efforts to dispose of it filled the years that followed with high hopes and bitter disappointments. In the summer of 1857 he was finally able to announce to George that he had found a buyer -- "a wealthy planter from the Island of Java, a Hollander by birth" named Hermens, who planned to take the "panorama over with him [to Java] merely as a speculation to sell but not to exhibit." The purchaser had already made a small down payment on the asking price of $4,000 in American money. And so, wrote Henry, "I think you can really congratulate me in being rid of the monster." But Hermens' departure for Java was long delayed, as were his payments, and as late as April, 1859, he had given Lewis only a fifth of the total price. Finally, on June 25, 1860, Hermens sailed for Calcutta, taking the panorama with him and leaving Lewis with a note for a still unpaid half of the purchase price. By the following December the note had come due, but Lewis had been unable to collect on it. There is no evidence that the debt ever was paid, and what became of the panorama itself can only be guessed. According to an account published many years later and probably largely fictitious, the picture was displayed in India and then taken "to Java, where one of the native princes became so enamored with the mighty canvas that he bought it ... and it is said that to this day


[1881] when he wishes to offer a guest an unusual treat he has the Mississippi River unwound from its roller while he explains its beauties." The fate of the panorama in the Far East remains a mystery. Its disappearance from the European scene, however, brought to a close Henry Lewis' career as an entertainer. .

No more successful financially was the publishing venture that occupied Lewis' early years as an American artist in Germany. Scarcely was he settled in Düsseldorf when he turned his attention to his Mississippi reader, which he probably compiled and illustrated after going there. It is not unlikely that the opportunity to produce such a work influenced Lewis' selection of the German city as a place of residence. There he could not only promote his career as an artist (for the city was then the art capital of the world), but he could find a publisher like the famed lithographic institute of Arnz and Company, which issued the handsome annual Düsseldorf Kunstler-Album and other elaborate works illustrated in color. Here was a firm uniquely qualified to produce in book form with a descriptive text the views assembled for Lewis' panorama.

Such a book probably was contemplated long before Henry Lewis went to Europe, since an opening section is outlined in a brief record among the notes at the back of his journal of 1848. "Arrang[e]ment with Mr Arst [Arnz] for a work on the Mississippi," it reads, and there follows a plan for a title-page vignette and four illustrations that, with one exception, match those in the first twenty-four pages of Das illustrirte Mississippithal.

With certain books on the Mississippi in mind, did Heinrich Amz, head of Arnz and Company, visit the United States in 1848 in search of an artist-author who could produce a book in German about the Mississippi and illustrate it in full color? And did he arrive in St. Louis or Cincinnati -- two


strongly German communities -- at a time when Henry Lewis had in his studio scores of sketches and oils of scenes and cities along the river's course from the Falls of St. Anthony to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as notes and journals describing them? Such an array of material might well have convinced the German publisher that he had found an ideal illustrator and author. It is possible that Lewis was lured to Düsseldorf in 1853, at least in part, to implement plans made five years earlier in America.

The questions here raised, as well as others pertaining to the writing and publishing of Das illustrirte Mississippithal, probably could be answered if the letters that Henry Lewis wrote to his brother between October, 1851, and December, 1855, were available. Unfortunately they have disappeared, and the only clues to the artist-author's activities during these years are found in three of George's replies. They make it clear that as early as August, 1854, Henry was having difficulties with Amz and Company, and that in December there was already some doubt about the completion of the book, which was issued in parts in accordance with a popular publication practice of the period. His relations with the publishers were still unsatisfactory in March, 1855. Then, on June 1, 1856, Henry reported that "my business with my publishers is not yet settled. I have it is true ... got my money from them, but I have yet to receive $1000 worth in books. The work is not yet finished ... but I think now it is in a fair way to be so soon." Actually, at this time only 136 pages of text in six parts had been printed, three in 1854 and three in 1855. Each part was accompanied by tour lithographs, making a total of twenty-four illustrations. Of these six parts, as will be seen later, only the first three seem to have been issued in both German and English.

Not until July, 1857, could Henry tell his brother that the "publishers have just begun again, I hope for the last time, to print my work." And it was only then that the German text was pushed to completion. By the autumn of 1857, Parts 7 to 20, consisting of pages 137 to 431, with 54 lithographs, were off the press, and some copies of the 20 parts in German had been assembled, bound in boards, and offered for sale as a single volume.


But the final blow was yet to fall - the "failure and defalcation of Arnz and Co." The firm "not only failed badly," wrote Henry on January 4, 1858, but its owners were guilty of "forging the signitures [sic] of well known and wealthy firms which means they have defrauded and robb'd many persons to the amount of a quarter of a million Thalers. They have absconded, and it is supposed they have gone to Australia. The concern, which was one of the largest in Germany, is continued in a small way by the creditors." Though Henry expressed doubts that his book ever would be completed, he nevertheless announced that "They had finished the German edition, which I saw for the first time yesterday." Obviously, it was the English edition that was left unfinished. Lewis went on to complain that the book "is got up in a very common way, totally different from the contract I had with them." In closing, he told George: "I shall try however, to procure you a copy bad as it is and send [it] to you, as a remembrance of my first and probably last book publishing speculation."

Doubtless of vital concern to Lewis was an event that he failed to mention in extant correspondence - the death of Heinrich Amz in 1854, the year when the first sections of Das illustrirte Mississippithal appeared in print. Generally inept in business matters, Lewis may have had only a verbal contract with his publisher, and it is possible that their agreement received little recognition from those who succeeded Arnz. For a time at least they included his widow, Catherine. After 1860 the firm was engaged in both printing and lithographing, whereas earlier it produced only the lithographed illustrations for its publications. That C. H. Muller of Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, printed Lewis' book is recorded on the reverse of both the English and German title pages of 1854. Whether this long-established and highly respected press, which could trace its history back to the seventeenth century, completed


the work is somewhat doubtful. Parts 7 to 20, issued in 1857, are printed, with the exception of eight pages, on an inferior grade of paper, and they are marked by numerous variations in the type faces used, especially when Latin fonts replace the usual German Fraktur. Such peculiarities could well indicate that more than one printer was involved in producing the book. And one might wonder whether the Arnz firm was in debt to Muller when the presses stopped in 1855.

The English Title Page of the Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated.

The continuing search for an English edition of Lewis' book, which has long posed a problem for bibliographers, has been based in large measure on a statement that accompanies each announcement of the work published in Eduard Avenarius' Messkatalog or bibliographical yearbook issued annually for the German book fairs at Leipzig. Printed in reduced type, it reads: "1st auch mit englischem Texte zu gleichem Preise zu haben" ("available


also with English text at the same price"), suggesting that all twenty parts appeared in English as well as in German. Another bit of evidence that at least part of the work was printed in English was provided by an advertisement in the New York Daily Tribune of May 17 and 18, 1854, for Part 1 of a book on the Mississippi by Henry Lewis bearing an English title. Priced at seventy-five cents, it was offered for sale by John Wiley, a prominent New York book dealer and publisher. Its title suggested progress northward "from the Gulf of Mexico to the Falls of St. Anthony," rather than southward from the falls to the gulf, as stated in the German title. Optimistically, Wiley announced that the work would "be published in twenty monthly numbers, each number containing four illustrations and from sixteen to twenty-four pages of letterpress, forming when complete a beautiful volume of eighty illustrations and 480 pages of reading matter. It is now almost certain, however, that the English publication was discontinued before the end of 1854, after only three parts comprising seventy-two pages had been printed. Copies of these sections, and these only, are now available. Thus it seems likely that after printing a line of type regarding an English text with his first two announcements, Avenarius simply continued to run it.

Two copies of the English text for the first seventy-two pages of Lewis' book have been located. The first, which was acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1951, consists of nine consecutively numbered, unsewed, and untrimmed signatures of eight pages each, most of them uncut. They comprise the first three parts, which sold in the United States at seventy-five cents each. Included are the English title page, the author's testimonials, and the preface. The illustrations are missing, and there is nothing to indicate where they might have been placed. When this fragment came to light, the existence of some part of an English edition of Lewis' book could be confirmed for the first time.


A second example of the English fragment was located in Düsseldorf -- the city where it originated -- in response to a letter of inquiry in December, 1951. That the local Landesund Stadtbibliothek should own a copy was to be expected, but it was surprising to learn that this example reached the German city by way of the United States at a comparatively recent date. An examination of the accessions record in May, 1961, disclosed that the book was received on October 7, 1938, from Mrs. C. S. Hessenbruch of Philadelphia. Attempts to locate or identify this donor have met with failure.

The Düsseldorf copy is far more informative and significant than the unbound signatures owned by the Minnesota Historical Society. In addition to seventy-two pages of English text, it includes a like number of pages of the work in German, plus ten illustrations. Of the latter, all with the English section, eight are in color, and two (views of "St. Paul's, Minnesotah Territory" and of "Red Rock Prairie") are in black and white -- the only such examples I have seen. Missing is the half title of the complete German edition, with its vignette of an "Indian Funeral," but a frontispiece of the Falls of St. Anthony has been added. Although the English title is identical with that of the Minnesota copy, there is a challenging variation in the imprint, which has been expanded from "Düsseldorf. Arnz & Comp." to read: "Published and lithographed by Amz & Comp. at Düsseldorf. Philadelphia Weik & Wieck." One may well ask whether the inclusion in Joseph Sabin's Dictionary of a work by H. Lewis entitled Valley of the Mississippi and published at Philadelphia can be traced to this imprint.

The authorship of Das illustrirte Mississippithal is still another of the baffling puzzles encountered by bibliographers interested in Lewis' book. This problem is reflected in the existence of two title pages for otherwise similar copies of the original German edition. The first, obviously printed in 1854 with Part i, implies that H. Lewis, a landscape painter from St. Louis, Missouri, produced the lithographed illustrations for the book, and that one George B. Douglas wrote, both in English and in German, the accompanying narrative describing the Mississippi Valley. Lewis' name, which is centered on this title page, is followed by a qualifying statement that reads: "Nebst einer historischen und geographischen Beschreibung der den Flusz begranzender Lander, mit besonderer Rucksicht auf die verschiedenen den obern Mississippi bewohnenden Indianerstamme (Deutsch und english.) Von George B. Douglas," or translated: "With a Historical and Geographic


Description of the Areas Adjoining the River, Giving Particular Attention to the Various Indian Tribes Living on the Upper Mississippi (German and English.) By George B. Douglas." It appears also in most of the surviving copies of Das illustrirte Mississippithal, more than twenty of which have been located.

The German Title Page of Das Illustrirte Mississippithal, 1854.

The German Title Page of Das Illustrirte Mississippithal, 1858.


There are, however, two exceptions -- the Minnesota Historical Society's copy and the one once owned by Henry Lewis. The latter is a treasured item in the library of Mr. Wilson Lewis of St. Louis, who inherited it from his father, John A. Lewis, a nephew of the artist-author. In these copies the title is followed by Lewis' name in large boldface and a statement in reduced type which reads: "Nach dem engl. Original-Text von H. Lewis deutsch bearbeitet von George B. Douglas," or, in translation, "Revised in German from the original English text of H. Lewis by George B. Douglas." Typographically, the page design differs from that of the 1854 title page; the border is unlike others used throughout the book; the paper stock does not match that used elsewhere; and the date 1858 has been added to the imprint. Obviously, this page was inserted after the book was completed, and


it seems safe to assume that the substitution was ordered by Lewis in an effort to obtain proper credit for his work. Much of his dissatisfaction with the book could have stemmed from the wording of the original title page. Perhaps he was responsible, too, for a change in the description of his book appearing in the Avenarius catalogue for the autumn of 1854 and repeated in that for 1855, both of which credit him with authorship and name Douglas as the translator. In the autumn, 1857, number, however, Parts 7 to 20 are credited to Douglas. Since the Library of Congress catalogue card states that Douglas translated Parts 1 to 6 and wrote Parts 7 to 20, it is probably based on the records in Avenarius' bibliographical yearbooks.

The wording of the English title page, however, leaves no room for doubt about authorship. There one name only -- H. Lewis -- is printed in large boldface type. Although "Historical and Geographical Descriptions in English and German" are mentioned, the name of George B. Douglas is completely absent. The evidence provided by the English title page transforms Douglas' role from that of author and compiler to translator of a narrative written in English by the landscape artist from St. Louis. References to the author in the text -- references that obviously point to Lewis -- confirm this conclusion, as does a footnote signed "D[er] Uebersetzer" (the translator), pointing to Douglas. That his translation was neither full nor entirely accurate is proved by comparing the available portion of the English original with the German text. Evident, too, throughout the work, is his lack of American vocabulary, particularly that of the frontier, indicating clearly that Douglas was incapable of producing the original English narrative. Lewis had good reason to complain that the German text "was a great disappointment to me, as the translation left much to be wished."

The identity of this bilingual George B. Douglas, whose English or Scottish name and German linguistic skill seem so entirely contradictory, remains a mystery. Although his role in the production of Das illustrirte Mississippithal has been much discussed, efforts to identity him continue to meet with failure. An extensive examination of available records in Düsseldorf resulted in only one meager clue. His name appears in the city directory or Adress-Buch for 1855, where he is listed as a "Rentn[er]" living at 27 Jagerhofstrasse. In the 185os the term was applied both to an old-age pensioner and to a man of private means, though it is now generally used in referring to a retired worker. This is the only directory of the period to carry Douglas' name, and the most that can be said for the entry is that it confirms his existence and provides proof that he was residing in Düsseldorf when the early installments of Das illustrirte Mississippithal were rolling off


the press. Did he go there as a temporary resident to carry out a special translating assignment, and leave when it was completed? Was he engaged by Lewis or by his publishers? Two footnotes in Das illustrirte Mississippithal serve as evidence that Douglas was interested in the American West, for they credit him with the authorship of two volumes of German verse about the Indians. No other records of these titles have been unearthed, however. Thus Douglas remains a vague figure, whose name will be forever linked with that of the author and illustrator of Das illustrirte Mississippithal.

The excessive rarity of Das illustrirte Mississippithal and the beauty of the colored lithographs which illustrate the work have combined to make it a collector's prize eagerly searched for. Its unusual publishing history and the failure of the firm that produced it account in large measure for the book's almost total disappearance from the market. Bay reports that after the Arnz firm failed, the remaining stock of Das illustrirte Mississippithal was purchased by Mathias Lempertz, an antique book and art dealer in Bonn, who stored the edition in a warehouse and eventually sold the text as waste paper, while distributing the plates among students and customers in the university town. Lewis recalled that three hundred copies of the book were issued before the publishers failed and "were sent for sale to, I believe New York or Philadelphia." His figure may well have included the English sections that reached Wiley in New York in 1854, and perhaps also some sent to Weik and Wieck in Philadelphia. That few of these survived doubtless was due to their fragmentary character. Of the German volumes known today, practically all are in America.

Such copies of Das illustrirte Mississippithal as were preserved in libraries in Germany seem to have been destroyed in the bombings of World War II. Among those known to have been thus lost were volumes in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek of Berlin, the Gottingen University library, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek of Munich. Definitive collections like those of the British Museum and the Bibliotheque Nationale lack the work. Requests for information about existing copies in Europe were placed in 1962 in the English Notes and Queries and Das Antiquariat of Vienna, but they brought only one response. It came from a collector who reported that he purchased


a copy while living abroad "a few years ago." It seems safe to say that in Europe the original German edition of 1854-57 has almost disappeared.

In the United States, however, the book is available in some twenty libraries and private collections, and copies appear on the market occasionally. According to Bay, it was "almost entirely unknown" in America before 1908, when a copy was offered at auction in New York. Nevertheless some collectors were aware of the work almost twenty years earlier. The Minnesota Historical Society, for example, purchased its copy from a New York dealer for $4.61 in 1898. As early as 1889 the society refused to purchase a copy offered for $20 by its owner, C. J. Knauf of Adrian, Minnesota. Evidently this was the volume described by Newton H. Winchell in a publication of the previous year as the "only known copy extant of this rare book." It has proved, of course, to be far from unique. Recently, for example, a bookseller discovered a copy while examining the discards of a little circulating library in New Bern, North Carolina. The book eventually found a more appropriate home in a university library, and with the proceeds the New Bern library was enabled to purchase numerous works of greater usefulness to its patrons. Among privately owned copies is that in the library of Mr. Emerson L. Conzelman of Ashfield, Massachusetts, whose mother was a niece of Henry Lewis. Unlike Mr. Wilson Lewis' copy, this book was not acquired through the author, but was purchased by the owner's father. A copy acquired in 1922 by the late Edward C. Gale of Minneapolis is now in the library of his son, Mr. Richard P. Gale of Mound, Minnesota. Copies were obtained in 1966 by the libraries of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and the New-York Historical Society at record prices.

Extant copies of Das illustrirte Mississippithal are marked by many variations in the binding, in the lithographs -- their arrangement, number, and titles -- and even in the text, all doubtless traceable to the haphazard manner in which the book was produced. In most cases, the original board binding


described in the Messkatalog for 1857 has been discarded in favor of something more pretentious -- full leather, three-fourths leather, or cloth. Copies in the Huntington Library and the New-York Historical Society and that owned by Mr. Gale have the original binding.

That the arrangement of the plates varies is to be expected, since they probably were slipped into the signatures without tipping, and could have readily fallen out. Nevertheless, eight of a dozen copies checked are arranged either exactly, or with very few variations, like that in the Minnesota Historical Society library. Could the eight have been among the books bound by the publishers in 1857? And are those in the Newberry Library of Chicago and the Library of Congress, which vary drastically, examples of books assembled and bound by individuals who acquired the parts as they were issued?

The fact that the title page of Das illustrirte Mississippithal calls for eighty illustrations poses a much-discussed problem, for no copy with more than seventy-eight has come to light. Eighty plates were likewise specified in the advance announcements of the book, which was to consist of twenty parts, each accompanied by four views. One writer expressed the belief that the figure included the lithographed half title and counted as two the view of New Orleans -- a double folded plate. It seems more likely, however, that in the complicated process of publication, extending over almost four years, two or more plates were dropped or omitted. Evidence that such was the case is present in the text, which refers to three illustrations that never appeared in print -- views of Jefferson Barracks (p. 330), the Grand Tower and Devil's Bake Oven (p. 338), and a sugar plantation (p. 408). It is only logical to assume that they were among the pictorial subjects considered in the original plans for the volume.

Even before the surviving bit of Lewis' English text was identified in 1951, John Francis McDermott raised a question about the "bilingual irregularity of the picture captions," some of which are in English, some in German, and some in both languages. "Does this variation and lack of uniformity ... suggest that two different language editions were at least thought of?" he asked. His question can now, of course, be answered in the affirmative, though strangely enough four of the ten illustrations in the Düsseldorf copy of the English fragment have German captions. Even more singular is the fact that each of the four was available with an English title, as is proved in most of the known copies of the 1854-57 German edition, including that owned by the Minnesota Historical Society. The latter has forty-four pictures with titles in English only, four in German only, and thirty in both English and German.


Another puzzling feature of the book is the presence in the 1923 edition of a description of "Das Medicinflaschen-Dorf" (Medicine Bottle's Village). This bit of text, filling out page 72, is missing from all copies of the original German edition that have been located. It does, however, appear on the last page of the English fragment. Was it included in the Berlin copy, on which the 1923 edition was based? Or did the publishers find it in a copy of the English section and translate it for inclusion in their new edition? They were familiar with two other first editions in Germany -- one in Gottingen and the other in Munich. Since the three books were lost in World War II, it is impossible to determine whether any of them included the narrative prepared to accompany Lewis' lithograph of Medicine Bottle's Sioux village. Unless more evidence comes to light, this and other riddles relating to Das ilhistrirte Mississippithal will remain unsolved.

Despite the financial difficulties that plagued Lewis in Düsseldorf, the city became ever more and more attractive to him as the 1850s advanced and a new decade approached. The failure of his panorama and book publishing ventures notwithstanding, life there, he discovered, had many advantages, stemming from the city's position as the seat of the most famous and successful school of painting in all Europe. There the struggling landscape painter from St. Louis found many of his compatriots -- young American artists who like himself were seeking instruction and inspiration in this European mecca of their profession with its distinguished Kunstakademie, or academy of fine arts. Dean of the group was the spectacularly successful Emanuel Leutze, famed for his huge portrayals of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" and various other historical and patriotic themes. Living was cheap; life was gay and relaxed; companions were congenial and numerous. As early as 1858 Henry hinted to George, "The longer I stay here the more I become attached to the place, and I do not know but what ultimately I may make my home here."

Henry's letters to his brother are full of comments about this great art capital and the Americans who shared with him the advantages of a city that was to the artists of the 1850s and 1860s what Paris became for those of later decades. In February, 1857, the expatriate artist enjoyed the festivities that marked the pre-Lenten season in Düsseldorf, with balls, dances, and plays. An opera with a dozen characters was being staged at the artists' club; all the parts were played by members and they were responsible also for


the scenery, staging, costumes, music, and the like. Some ten Americans were then studying in Düsseldorf, among them the famed Missouri genre painter, George Caleb Bingham, who was busily filling an order for his state's capitol in Jefferson City. Another Missouri artist of great promise, Charles Wimar, had returned to St. Louis after spending four years in the Düsseldorf colony. A great favorite among his colleagues there, he was pictured by Lewis as "one of the most comical characters you can imagine," who "often astonished the natives here, by giving representations in our little theatre ... of the natives at home, in full costume with war dance &c." His friends expected that he would soon return to Düsseldorf, though they feared he would be "minus his hair," for they knew that he intended "to make studies among the Indians," and they were sure he would be scalped. Should Wimar return "with the usual accompaniment of hair, there will be serious doubt express'd as to the truth of this Indian ‘study reisen,’ " warned Lewis. In their hope of once more welcoming Wimar to Düsseldorf, his friends were to be tragically disappointed, for he died in St. Louis in 1862.

Another popular and gifted figure in the Düsseldorf circle, Albert Bierstadt, was characterized by Lewis as a striking example of what travel can do for a man, since he went abroad in 1853 as a "timid, awkward, unpolished specimen of a yankee" and returned to his Massachusetts home four years later to be lionized and richly patronized. His pictures were soon commanding prices in four figures, particularly after a journey to the Rocky Mountains, where he found his most appealing subjects. The association with Lewis of a Düsseldorf student from Charleston, South Carolina -- John B. Irving, Jr. -- found expression in his sympathetic portrait of Henry, "very well painted ... good in colour and drawing," which their friends considered a "most excellent likeness." Transported to St. Louis by Wimar, it is still treasured by a member of the Lewis family. Henry warned his brother that the portrait might surprise him. "I have not shaved my moustache for 3 years nor my beard for nearly one," he announced; consequently "you may expect to see me something patriarchal, venerable, and goat like."

Bits from his correspondence reveal Lewis as a man who could wield a pen as well as a paint brush. We can picture him too from the writings of some of his Düsseldorf colleagues, among them Worthington Whittredge, a landscape painter from Cincinnati who went abroad to study in 1849, about when Lewis arrived in that city to work on his panorama. Since the two men


shared a common background, it was perhaps natural that they should become close friends in Germany. Thus the "well known painter of the panorama of the Mississippi river" was one of a group of young American artists-a "band of jolly fellows"-who joined Whittredge on a sketching jaunt to a picturesque village on the River Nahe, a tributary of the Rhine, probably in late June, 1854. "There was a little ‘Wirthaus’ in the village where we were to put up," Whittredge recalled, describing it as "one of those peculiar inns found no where but in Germany where the landlord gives himself up body and soul to make his house and all under its roof comfortable and happy." The inn was "too small to accommodate many guests[,] but as strangers were few in that neighborhood," the American visitors had the whole house to themselves.

Henry Lewis. Oil by John B. Irving, Jr., about 1856.

"My love of the woods," Whittredge reported, "soon led me into a large hunting reserve where there was a thick growth of trees overshadowing a small stream ... forming clear pools in the middle of which ... could


be seen great numbers of trout ... Mentioning this to Lewis[,] who possessed some piscatorial accomplishments, he said at once that he must see that place. I took him there and on the way we met the Gamekeeper ... We saw instantly the difficulties in the way of ever getting hold of these fish." But "the 4th of July was near at hand, the day which we had all thought should be appropriately celebrated" with a trout dinner. So "a council of war was held. Lewis said the fish could be caught," though he declared that "no such thing as a fly or harpoon was of any use." Doubtless with tongue in cheek, he suggested instead that trout "liked to be tickled when they could get their heads into some dark place, that the pools were shallow and if he could get there unobserved he could wade in and follow them up with his hand and tickle them until he could get his forefinger in their gills and pull them out. The day before the 4th of July was fixed upon for the experiment. Lewis got himself up as the most innocent sketcher of us all, pipe in his mouth, his white umbrella under his arm and his knapsack on his back[,] but his sketch box was not in his knapsack. He went alone and returned late in the afternoon whistling Yankee doodle. The fish were in the knapsack.

"It was now a question of how we could get them cooked for our dinner next day," Whittredge continued. "We were afraid our landlord had no sympathy with poachers and that he knew the peril of being caught with trout on his table. As I spoke more German than any of my friends at that time I was deputed to have some conversation with him. I set forth that the next day was the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and in our country was always celebrated by a dinner with Champaign, and to my surprise he said he had heard of it. I then said that Herr Lewis had some fish which he desired to have cooked for our dinner ... He answered that it would give him the greatest pleasure to help us in the celebration of our great national holiday and although there was no Champaign in that part of Germany he would ... get it if we would allow him a little time. I told him that was impossible[,] that the celebrations must take place tomorrow.

"The next day the fish came on the table, tolerably well cooked and plenty of wine, the wine of the neighborhood which was very good, and we had a most jolly time, but on the following morning when we waked up we found that we had celebrated the wrong day! The 4th of July was the day then opening upon us. We tried to sing over again ‘Hail Columbia’ and "The Star Spangled banner," ... but our throats were somewhat stiff and our spirits tamed. One celebration of the day was enough we thought and we held no more celebrations of the 4th of July that year."

We see Henry Lewis and his German environment also through the eyes of Sanford R. Gifford, a landscape and portrait painter from New York, who visited Düsseldorf in June, 1856, and described his experience there in long


and detailed letters home. He pictured the social life of the American artists as revolving about their club, the "Malkasten (or ‘Paint Box’)" where they congregated "in the evening to sup, smoke, talk, drink beer, play billiards, and amuse themselves in various ways." In connection with the club, there was a theater "where comical plays and operas, composed and acted by the artists" were staged. The visitor observed that "artists of all grades of merit meet here on terms of the most perfect and genial social equality," and that a "true brotherhood seems to reign among them." With Henry Lewis, Gifford went to still "another club of which he is a member composed of the officers of the garrison and the chief citizens" and located in the "old palace of the electors." He also walked with Lewis to the village of Graffenberg, where he saw the "walls of one of the cafčs ... covered with charcoal sketches by the artists." Upon their return they "stopped a little while in a summer theater in one of the public gardens" where the atmosphere was truly gemütlich, for the "audience sat at little tables, taking coffee or refreshments, while the play went on." All these attractions and the relaxed charm of the city's surroundings could be enjoyed even by those in the most modest circumstances, for, according to Gifford, "Living in Düsseldorf costs about half what it does in Paris or New York."

Upon arriving in Düsseldorf, Gifford found Lewis painting "in a little house" in the garden of Leutze's charming studio, in close association with the group of Americans who were studying with the master. Within two years Lewis had joined the students. "I am now painting in the Atelier of Mr. Leutze, who has very kindly offered to instruct me without charge," he told George in the spring of 1858. "He has a beautiful studio very large with a green house and garden attached. He has also 5 other pupils working under him, so together we make a merry company." That he himself would be living in Leutze's pretentious quarters within a year probably did not occur to Lewis at this time. Early in 1859, however, Leutze left for America, "having given into my charge," wrote Henry, "his beautiful studio and garden, with the privilege of using what I like for myself and renting the rest. It consists of one very large atelier and two smaller ones, with an antiroom [sic], and a fine hot house." And best of all, from the impecunious artist's viewpoint, this stroke of good fortune, coming as it did just when he received part payment for his panorama, made it possible for him to marry.


When Henry Lewis asked Maria Jones to be his wife in August, 1857, he hoped to collect from Hermens the money still owed on his panorama -- a sum that, wisely invested, would produce almost enough in interest to live on. As the months stretched into years, and the debt remained unpaid, the possibility of marriage became more and more remote. Then came Leutze's offer, giving the couple the opportunity of living in luxurious surroundings, rent free. Sometime during the summer or autumn of 1859, Henry and Maria (or Marie, as she was usually known), were married, and by December they were comfortably settled in Leutze's house. "To have the use of a furnished house, studio, greenhouse full of beautiful plants, and a gardener to take charge of them handed over to you for a thank you, is a streak of luck which does not often fall to the lot of a poor artist," exclaimed Lewis happily.

It was in Hermens' home, where Marie was employed as an English governess, that Henry met his wife. Upon announcing their engagement, he described her for George in one of those vivid word portraits that are sprinkled through his letters. "She is nearly as tall as I am, with a slender, delicate figure," he wrote, "graceful and feminine, but capable of great fatigue and always industrious. Her face is a long oval[,] the features tolerably regular but not what would be call'd pretty; excepting the eyes which are dark and lustrous and deep hazel. Her hair is dark and she always wears it in curls in the english fashion. In fact she has all the outward marks both in dress, walk, and manner, of the English lady. She was born in London [,] is now no longer what the world calls young. I do not know her exact age, but I should say about 32. (These things in women are mighty uncertain.)" Pictures of Marie bear testimony to the accuracy of this description.

The marriage, though childless, proved to be a very happy one, and it seemed to mark a turn for the better in the artist's fortunes. After a comfortable honeymoon in Leutze's house. Henry and Marie were ready to strike out on their own. It was her idea to take a house of some size, furnish it, and rent rooms, and in this way they succeeded not only in paying their own rent, but in providing for many other expenses. Henry had time to paint, while Marie took charge of the house and their tenants. The artist's letters to his brother reflect his contentment, as well as his reluctance to consider returning to St. Louis, as George often suggested. "I am so comfortable here -- the climate[,] the people[,] and the place are so much to my liking that I am every day getting a greater distaste to move," he wrote in 1863. And a year later he declared: "My life glides on in such [a] quiet


stream of tranquil happiness, that my dear wife and myself ask ourselves every day, if we are not too happy! If it can last ... Blest with moderately good health, and with enough of the necessaries, and many of the luxuries and refinements of life, with a small circle of true friends, and a very large number of acquaintances of congenial tastes with my own -- with no debts and a little to spare, what have the richest and the greatest in the land more than we have!! Where is there one in a hundred that has as much. Truly we have much to be thankful for."

Eventually, probably about 1866, the Lewises moved into the residence at 26 Alexanderstrasse in which they were to spend the remainder of their days. Almost ten years later. Henry had "nearly 2000$ still to pay" on the house, but he was otherwise out of debt, and he was concentrating on paying for this property so that his wife would have a clear title in the event of his death. The couple continued to take in boarders, and in December, 1875, Henry reported to George that "My home has been more than full all the winter, I having now four persons living with me besides my sister in law." Two additional men dined with them every day, making "quite a dinner party numbering nine persons. And yet such is the industry and managing qualities of my good Wife," added Henry, "that I only have one servant, altho' I have 14 rooms occupied in my house, and eight fires to keep going every day." The artist wrote in glowing terms of "our comfortable home," declaring with pride that "Everyone who enters it exclaims -- How like an English house!" A photograph pictures a gas-lighted interior, walls plastered with row upon row of oil paintings, an ornate table crowded with trinkets and flanked by two enormous Ming vases, a whatnot filled with bibelots, and a single straight-back chair.

As a professional artist, Henry Lewis never shared the success enjoyed by many of his contemporaries, particularly by disciples of the Düsseldorf school like Bingham and Bierstadt. Perhaps Leutze's instruction was of benefit to them, but to Lewis it may have proved a hindrance. His style, which was marked by a certain fresh liveliness in his Mississippi sketches and lithographs and early works in oil like his views of St. Louis, the Falls of St. Anthony, and the St. Croix Valley, became labored and stilted under the tutelage of Leutze, with his passion for detailed realism and his use of what has been described as the "vicious coloring of the Düsseldorf School."


The mentor, however, prospered by catering to the taste for vast heroic scenes that characterized his times, while the student was never able to find a ready market for his modest landscapes.

During his early years in Düsseldorf, Henry Lewis shipped more than twenty paintings to George, but few of them found buyers, and after a time the artist gave up hope that "the day will yet come when I shall receive many orders from St. Louis, and when it will be fashionable to have one of my pictures." Then, in the spring of 1858, he disposed of his "first picture ... for the German Market," and sales followed "to an amnt that will nearly support me ... without sending any of my work out of Düsseldorf." That market must have been soon exhausted, however, for before long Lewis was again shipping his canvases to dealers, art unions, exhibitions, friends, and relatives in the United States in Charleston, Cincinnati, New York, Boston, New Bedford, and Springfield, as well as in Dublin, Manchester, London, and even Sydney, Australia, where Marie had two brothers. The sale of three pictures for $500 in 1863 and of two more the following year at $250 each caused Henry to consider saving something for his old age. To augment his income from picture sales, Lewis went into the art exhibition business, on one occasion displaying, for a New York dealer, Karl Friedrich Lessing's enormous canvas depicting the "Martyrdom of Huss." For this service Lewis received 500 thalers in the three months preceding the sale of Lessing's picture for 15,000 thalers.

From Leutze, who returned to Düsseldorf for a visit at the height of the Civil War, Lewis learned that "Art was never before so flourishing in America." This was true, reasoned Lewis, because money was plentiful; double the usual amount, he noted in a letter to George, is "afloat now (such as it is) than there ever was before," and "thousands of persons have made fortunes out of the war that do not know what to do with their money," and "are anxious to get rid of it ... even if they buy pictures with it." That his own share in this art boom was meager doubtless caused Henry to comment somewhat sanctimoniously: "it seems to me a sort of wicked folly for the people to be buying pictures and other costly luxuries when the country is plunged in war and debt." His envy of successful artists like Leutze and Bierstadt was undisguised. Not only did Lewis fail to sell his pictures in


America when others were prospering, but in 1870 the European market was cut off by the Franco-Prussian War. Customers stopped going to Germany to buy pictures, and Lewis was once more forced to send his work elsewhere for sale.

At the same time Lewis was encountering another obstacle in the path to success as an artist -- a drastic change in style and public taste. He recalled in the mid-1870s that "When I came here 20 years ago, the Düsseldorf school was in its glory, and the pictures from here were more sought after by Americans than any other school." But, he reasoned, "There is fashion in Art as in every thing else and it is astonishing to mark the great changes that have taken place in taste and style of pictures since I have been residing here. Grand subjects are no more the rage. Alpine scenery once so popular now finds few purchasers." The grandiose historical themes painted with romantic realism by the Düsseldorf masters had been replaced by the "simplest of subjects" as depicted by the French artists of the Barbizon school, like Corot and Millet. Lewis complained that they "paint mostly rainy, gloomy weather -- with a flat low horison [sic] and a sloppy piece of country road, with a long vista of naked poplars -- and a figure or two as miserable as the landscape." For Henry Lewis, such scenery had slight appeal, but he found that "from the very newness and originality of the subject the public wonder and buy. And so," he revealed, "I have had to change my style and am now trying to do something in the same way, altho' I am loath to leave the sunny mountain ranges, with the trout stream in the valley, that I delight in." He decided, however, to "try and please this public that I must live by."

"So far as selling pictures goes," Henry reported to George, the year 1875 "has been the worst I have had since I have been in Germany." Nevertheless, the artist had "been enabled to keep out of debt," thanks to his boarders and to still another activity that had provided both income and prestige during the past eight years. It was in the spring of 1867 that Lewis applied for an appointment as consular agent in Düsseldorf, and was recommended for the post by W. H. Vesey, the American consul at Aix-la-Chapelle. He characterized the artist as a "person of high respectability," adding that he was "an American citizen, residing permanently with his family at Düsseldorf." Vesey's nomination was approved by the Department of State in Washington, and a certificate of appointment was forwarded to Lewis on June 1, 1867. From the day of its arrival in Düsseldorf until early in 1884,


the American flag floating over the doorway of 26 Alexanderstrasse indicated the presence of an official of the United States government within.

Henry Lewis continued to serve his government as consular agent in Düsseldorf after the consulate was removed first to Barmen in 1869 and to Crefeld in 1880. In letters of recommendation addressed to the Department of State on various occasions, the artist was described as a long-time resident of Düsseldorf who "occupies a high social position," and as a "gentleman of culture and refinement" who "will reflect credit on the Govt. he represents." Lewis himself evaluated his role in the consular service as follows: "being myself by profession an Artist, and as numbers of my Country-men come here for the purpose of study or to purchase or commission pictures ... I have been enabled, from my long residence here, to afford them valuable aid." He pointed out that he had been especially active in giving advice and assistance to young art students who were "ignorant of the language, and of the method of proceeding to obtain admission into the Academy," since he was personally acquainted with all the professors there. The artist's fees as consular agent usually amounted to about a thousand dollars a year -- a substantial addition to his meager income.

Consular changes notwithstanding, Lewis continued to serve the Düsseldorf agency until July, 1881, when the city's status was raised to that of a commercial agency. Since William D. Wamer, who received the appointment as agent, resided in Cologne, he asked that Lewis, with his background of long experience in the consular agency, be named vice and deputy commercial agent. The appointment was made, and at least one report prepared by Lewis in his new official capacity survives. But the artist was dissatisfied with the arrangement under which he was obliged to divide his fees with a superior who lived elsewhere. In his attitude toward and his relations with Wamer, Lewis demonstrated a lack of diplomacy that eventually led the commercial agent to ask for his deputy's removal, since, wrote Wamer, "I can place no further confidence in him." By the close of 1883, their relationship had become so strained that Lewis presented his resignation, which was accepted on February 2, 1884. About the same time, Düsseldorf became a full consulate, and Lewis applied, without success, for the position of consul. Dwight J. Partello was appointed to the post in December, 1885. On one


occasion when he found it necessary to leave Germany for a short period, he suggested that Lewis be designated vice consul to act in his absence. Although the aging artist was duly appointed, his commission was delayed by a technicality, and there is no proof that he ever served. Apparently he was not considered for the consulate when it became vacant in 1892.

While Lewis was enjoying the comparative prosperity provided by the consular agency, he made his one visit to his family in the United States. Although he often mentioned a desire to take Marie on such a journey, he went alone in the autumn of 1881, stopping with members of the numerous Lewis clan in Victor, Iowa, where George then resided, St. Louis, and New York. Henry's visit must have been brief, for after his departure George complained that it "seems more like a dream than reality, it was so short and hurried and his mind was so much taken with his business affairs [rather] than lots of things I would have liked to speak about." When Henry left, he took with him to St. Louis and New York George's youngest daughter, Marion, or Minnie, as she was called. The visitor from Germany found that St. Louis had "grown beyond all recognition" in his long absence. Few of his old friends and relatives remained there, and the community paid little attention to the return of the once famed panorama painter. It is evident that he was not considered newsworthy, for there is only one brief interview in a local weekly to record his visit. In New York, Minnie remained as the guest of her elder sister, Emily Koehler, while her uncle took passage on the "City of Chester," a "fine ship," with "every provision for the comfort of travelers that money can secure." From time to time. Henry welcomed various Lewis connections to Düsseldorf, but he never again set foot on American soil.

Lewis spent his declining years in the house at 26 Alexanderstrasse, living in modest comfort and surrounded by devoted friends. Even after his connection with the consulate was terminated, his home seems to have continued to be a gathering place for artists and their patrons. Marie died on March 14, 1891, and thereafter her sister Augusta, who had long lived with the couple, became the artist's housekeeper. She "has been a perfect treasure to me since


I lost my dear wife," declared Lewis in 1895. Christmas and Henry's birthday were festive occasions that called for appropriate celebrations. In 1899, for example, he reported "a large party on my birthday when we were very jolly, and good wishes enough were showered on me to keep me going for another eighty years." Failing eyesight interfered for a time with his work, but after a cataract operation he was again able to paint. In his last years, after the opening of the new century, he turned once more to his Mississippi Valley sketches, and at this late date he succeeded in selling a number of oil paintings based on them to American collectors.

His income during the last years of his life, though modest, included a "life annuity," which he considered "sufficient for my actual needs." His estate must have been fairly substantial, for as early as 1895 he had "amply provided" for Augusta, and he was also arranging bequests for his brother George and his family "after the sale of my effects and putting all my affairs in as much order as care and forethought will permit." Henry believed that a substantial sum could be raised by selling his gallery of pictures, which included "upwards of 100 paintings, many by celebrated artists & of great value," as well as about twenty of his own works, "mostly in handsome frames." It was doubtless some years later, probably after George died in the late 1890s, that the elderly artist addressed to Minnie the following undated "Postscriptum": "At my death, which in the nature of things cannot be much prolonged, I hope you and other members of my Brother's family will come into possession of a nice little sum. I cannot say how much, but my house. Gallery, Library, and Furniture, ought to realize a good sum, if properly managed by my executors." Just what happened to most of Henry Lewis' possessions after his death is unknown, but many of his sketchbooks, scrapbooks, manuscripts, prints, drawings, and other personal items were shipped to a nephew, Alexander Lewis of St. Louis, for distribution among members of the Lewis family. Fortunately, most of the heirs carefully saved these mementos of their uncle's career or placed them in art and historical collections. But some items that might well have thrown light on aspects of the artist's career received less favorable treatment. For example, Alexander's son, Mr. John G. Lewis, recalls that in his boyhood after his uncle's effects were received, he "was given a book with a large number of pencil sketches in it to use as a colouring book," and he believes he "made short work of it."


Highly respected and no doubt deeply revered as the patriarch of the Düsseldorf art colony, Lewis continued to reside in the Rhenish city until he died on September 16, 1904. His death notice, measuring five inches square and heavily bordered in black, was inserted in the Düsseldorfer Zeitung of September 18 by officials of the local art association. Members of the same group may well have been responsible for a memorial card "in affectionate remembrance" of the landscape painter, which was distributed among his American correspondents. It closed with the remark "His works do follow him." Certainly they disappeared rapidly from the European continent, where traces of this American artist's career in Germany seem to have been almost completely wiped out by the passage of time and two world wars. The few art galleries that once hung his canvases no longer own his pictures; the libraries that once listed his book now lack the rare first edition; the site of Leutze's imposing studio is now occupied by a large department store; the house at 26 Alexanderstrasse was bombed in World War II, and the ground on which it stood was used as a parking lot in 1961. Still intact are a few of the residences in which Lewis lived earlier, like that at 12 Inselstrasse; the building where the publishing firm of Arnz and Company had its offices, on Ratingerstrasse, near the Lambertus Kirche with its picturesque twisted spire; and the mammoth Kunstakademie, which reflected the city's stature in the world of art. Brief biographical notes in two dictionaries of art and some directory listings are among the few printed reminders in German of Lewis' long residence in Düsseldorf.

Henry Lewis and his work are more widely known, however, in the United States, and especially in the great valley he chose to picture and describe. Even before his death, St. Paul and Minneapolis newspapers were printing accounts of his career; an obituary appeared in the American Art Annual for 1905-06; the artist's life is reviewed in the introduction to the 1923 edition of Das illustrirte Mississippithal; his panorama was the subject of an article by the librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri in 1933; and the journal recording the Upper Mississippi canoe voyage of 1848 was published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1936. Among narratives centering on Lewis to appear in print more recently, the most informative is in Mr. McDermott's book on Mississippi panoramas. Many of Lewis' letters, sketchbooks,


scrapbooks, and similar items have found permanent homes in libraries, historical societies, and art galleries in St. Paul, St. Louis, and Ann Arbor; others, including his 1848 journal, are still treasured by members of his family living in the United States and Canada. Though he never was considered an artist of first rank, some of his oil paintings found permanent places in well-known art and historical museums. Nine are owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, which "has by far the largest collection," according to Mr. McDermott; and others are among the holdings of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minneapolis Public Library, and the City Art Museum and the Missouri Historical Society, both of St. Louis.

It is, however, for his Mississippi reader, with its vivid portrayals of the great valley in words and pictures, that Henry Lewis is best remembered. Drawing upon the foremost authorities of his day, he assembled within the covers of a single volume descriptions of the geographic features, the cities and the villages, along the mammoth stream's course between the Falls of St. Anthony and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as reports of the "manners, habits and customs of the numerous Indian tribes still found upon its upper waters." When he combined these with his original lithographs of "views taken on the spot," Lewis produced a work that, according to one authority, "is without parallel in our literature." Others recounted the valley's history or described its spectacular features; it remained for Henry Lewis to review and picture its entire sweep from the pine forests of the North to the cotton plantations of the South. After the lapse of more than a hundred years, this unique work is here presented for the first time in a complete English edition based upon the German translation of 1854-57.


Minnesota Historical Society
St. Paul


Half Title Used in the German Editions


Author's Preface.

THE FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS in the first number do not follow each other in regular succession, but represent points on the river, far distant from each other. They have been selected in order to show at one glance the great variation of scenery on this magnificent river, which climate and latitude as well as the ever working and fresh creating hand of civilization produce. The reader can therefore judge of the general scope and intention of the author, both as regards the execution of the views and the size and contents of the work. With the second number, beginning at the Falls of St. Anthony (the head of navigation), the illustrations will follow each other in regular succession to the mouth of the Mississippi, where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, so as to form one continued panorama of this mighty stream for a distance of 2,300 English miles, the variety and beauty of whose scenery is not to be equaled by any river on the globe.

It is also the intention of the author to render each single number, as far as practicable, complete in itself, with regard to the history and geography of that particular region. To satisfy everyone concerning the truthful execution of these drawings from nature, the annexed "Testimonials" are given from the late president of the United States, Gen. Z[achary] Taylor, and the Members of Congress residing on the shores of the Mississippi, also of Gov. [James D.] Doty of Wisconsin and the captains and pilots of the Mississippi steamboats. So that in presenting this work to the public, the author hopes


it will be found all it is represented, namely, a fine work of art, as well, as a correct delineation of the "Great Father of Waters."


LEWIS' PANORAMA OF THE MISSISSIPPI. By invitation of the gentlemanly proprietor of the above magnificent work of art, the undersigned had the gratification of viewing it at a private exhibition.

To those of us who are familiar with the Mississippi River, the illusion was so perfect, that we could hardly divest ourselves of the idea, that we were actually passing along its waters. We recognized the locations as readily as if the reality was before us; all the different cities, towns and plantations were there, with countless other things and places, as familiar to us as our own dwellings, or the houses of our childhood.

As a work of art, this panorama is not surpassed, if equaled, by any that have ever been exhibited in the country. It is every way worthy of the fame it has acquired wherever it has been shown. The full and lucid verbal explanations accompanying its exhibitions by Mr. Lewis, its proprietor, are, in themselves, very interesting, and worthy of being listened to as a historical lecture on the Mississippi, were there nothing further to attract attention. Mr. Lewis is the accomplished artist who made all the sketches of which the panorama is composed, and placed them on the canvas. We assure the citizens of Washington, that they cannot pass an evening more instructively, than by paying a visit to this truthful and beautiful work of an American artist.

Z. Taylor, President of the United States. Ja[me]s Duane Doty, Governor of Wisconsin. W[illiam K.] Sebastian, Senator from Arkansas. Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois. J[acob] Thompson, of Mississippi. Ja[me]s S. Green, W[illard] P. Hall, J[oh]n S. Phelps, Ja[me]s B. Bowlin, of Missouri. W[illiam] H. Bissell, J[oh]n A. McClernand, of Illinois. W[illiam] S. Ashe, of North Carolina. John Wentworth, of Illinois.

H[enry] H. Sibley, delegate from Minnesota. Capt. S[eth] Eastman, U. S. Army. B[enjamin] B. French, Esq., and fifteen others.


Milwaukee, Nov. 9, 1849

DEAR SIR! Allow me to express to you the great pleasure I have received from the exhibition of your Panorama of the Mississippi River. You have succeeded in transferring to the canvas some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States, and with a wonderful accuracy. To my eye a more faithful sketch cannot be given of the hills and bluffs, prairies and woodland, and the deep gorge through which this stream runs. I immediately recognized many of the points with which I have been familiar for nearly thirty years past. Prairie du Chien, with its fort and Canadian hamlets and new town, and its bluffs marked by regular lines of white sandstone, is a beautiful picture, and, from the early history of the place, one of great interest. I cannot but offer you my thanks, as an early settler of Wisconsin, well acquainted with the scenery you represent, for the great service you have rendered our country, as well as the public, by this painting, which I am well aware could only have been executed with great labor and expense. I hope you may be, as you deserve, amply rewarded for your enterprise. With much respect,

I am truly yours,
James Duane Doty

This is to certify, that we have visited Mr. H. Lewis' Panorama of the Mississippi River, and take pleasure in stating that we consider it an accurate representation of the various towns and cities on its banks, and the character of its shores and islands. As a work of art, we consider it superior to any panorama of this subject we have ever seen, and we cordially recommend it to the patronage of the public.

Captains: J[oseph] Throckmorton. Ja[me]s E. German. Leroy Dodge. D[aniel] S[mith] Harris. A. C. Montfort. A. Randolf. W. W. Green. Hiram Bersie. Z. S. Battelle.

Pilots: H. Warren. N. W. Parker. E. W. Turner. Samuel B. Harlow. P. R. Cormack. James Gormby.

Clerks: R. R. Abrams. R[ussell] Blakely. J. H. Conn, and thirty others.


Chapter 1. St. Louis.

Plate 1. St. Louis, Missouri.

THE CITY OF ST. Louis, destined in all probability to become the largest inland commercial city in the United States, is situated in latitude 38° 37', longitude 90° 15' on the west bank of the Mississippi River -- 1,300 miles from the mouth of the river at the gulf, and 1,200 miles from the city of New Orleans. It is 180 miles above the mouth of the Ohio and 15 miles below that of the Missouri; so the Upper and Lower Mississippi, the Missouri, the Ohio, and the countless other smaller streams are all more or less tributary to St. Louis, pouring the wealth of these immense regions into her lap. The present population is about 100,000, while in 1830 it was scarcely 30,000. As the early history and settlement of this town are exceedingly interesting, the subjoined condensed account is given from the best authorities.

["]In 1762, Monsieur d'Abadie, director general as well as civil and military commander of Louisiana, granted to a company of merchants of New Orleans the exclusive privilege of the fur trade with the Indian nations of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This company bore the title of the firm of Pierre Ligueste Laclede, Antoine Maxan and Co. Thus commissioned, the company lost no time in fitting out an expedition, well supplied with all the necessary


articles for Indian trade, and which were to aid in forming new and permanent establishments on both rivers.

["]Mr. Laclede, the principal projector of the company and withal a man of great intelligence and enterprise, was placed in charge of the expedition. Leaving New Orleans on August 3, 1763, he arrived at Ste. Genevieve three months afterward, namely on November 3.

["]At this period the French colony, established sixty years before in Illinois, was in a prosperous condition. But when Mr. Laclede arrived in the country, Louis XV had already signed the everlastingly shameful treaty of peace by which was most inconsiderately ceded to Great Britain one of the finest regions on the habitable globe, the possession of which had been obtained after nearly a century of efforts and discoveries, and at the sacrifice of much blood and money. This portion of country, embracing what are now the two Canadas, the immense watery expanse of the northern lakes, and the fertile regions of Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico, passed under the dominion of Great Britain.

["]In the midst of these difficulties, Mr. Laclede, greatly embarrassed under the new aspect of things, found himself, however, relieved when the commanding officer at Fort Chartres, Mons. Neyon de Villiers, allowed him the use of the stores at the fort until the final surrender of the place. Laclede gladly accepted the offer, and lost no time in apportioning his squad and distributing his flotilla along the river, so as to render them most effective either for defense or for trade.

["] Having accomplished this preliminary arrangement, it became necessary to look out for a central establishment. Mr. Laclede, therefore, left Fort Chartres on a voyage of exploration to the junction of the Missouri with the Mississippi, and it was not long before he discovered that the bluff upon which St. Louis now stands was the spot that would best answer the purposes of the company.

["] Deferring for the present a more particular account of the geological situation of St. Louis, it may be remarked in this place that the hill upon which the city is situated is composed of limestone rocks, covered by a deep deposit of alluvial soil of great fertility. The limestone bluff rises to an elevation of about eighty feet over the usual recession of the waters of the Mississippi, and is crowned by an upland, or plateau, extending to the north and west, and presenting scarcely any limit to the foundation of a city entirely secure from the invasions of the river. It was on this spot that the prescient


mind of Mr. Laclede foresaw and predicted the future importance of the town to which he gave the name St. Louis, after that of Louis XV, then reigning king of France.

["]But winter had now set in (December) and the Mississippi was about to be closed by ice. Mr. Laclede could do no more than cut down some trees, and blaze others, to indicate the place which he had selected. Returning afterward to Fort Chartres, where he spent the winter, he occupied himself in making every preparation for the establishment of the new colony. Accordingly, at the breaking up of winter, he equipped a large boat, which he manned with thirty hands. Auguste Chouteau, who had accompanied Mr. Laclede on his first excursion, was directed to carry out his plans, and on February 15, 1764, had arrived at his point of destination with all his men, whom he immediately set to work. The present old market place of St. Louis is the spot where the first tents and log cabins were erected upon the site of this important city of the West.

["]But, on October 10 of the same year (1764), an incident occurred which threw the colony into great alarm. The remnants of the Missouri tribe of Indians, who occupied an extensive prairie upon the west bank of the river of the same name, suddenly made their appearance before St. Louis, numbering in all more than four hundred individuals, men, women, and children, and counting upward of one hundred warriors. Although they did not present themselves in hostile array, still they became troublesome by their importunate demands for provision and their more vexatious pilferings. Unable to foresee what would be the result of this unexpected visit, the colonists of Illinois, who, abandoning the British dominion, had nocked to join those of St. Louis, took the alarm and recrossed the Mississippi. Auguste Chouteau then found himself reduced to his original company of thirty or thirty-five men, one of whom he dispatched as a messenger to Mr. Laclede, who was still tarrying at Fort Chartres. Laclede arrived; and the result of his negotiation with the Indians proved that he had a great knowledge of the Indian character and possessed much tact in managing it.

["]The chiefs having appeared before him, addressed him in these terms: ‘We are worthy of pity; for we are like ducks and geese, seeking some clear water upon which to rest themselves and to obtain an easy existence. We know of no better place than where we are. We mean to build our wigwams around your village. We shall be your children and you will be our father.’ Laclede here closed the talk, promising them a reply at a meeting to take place the next day, on which occasion he addressed them thus: ‘You told me


yesterday that you were like the ducks and geese who go on traveling until they find a fine country, where they can rest themselves and obtain an easy living. You told me that you were worthy of pity; that you were looking out for a spot to settle upon, and had not found one more suitable than this; that you would build your village around me, and that we should live together like friends. I wish to answer you like a good father and I must say that, if you imitate the ducks and geese, you follow guides that have no forethought; tor if they had any, they would not settle on clear water, where they can be seen by the eagle, who would catch them. This would not be the case were they to select a retired spot, well shaded by trees. You, Missourias, would not be devoured by birds of prey, but by the red men, who have been so long warring against you, and have already so much reduced your numbers. They are at this moment not far from here, watching the English, to prevent them from taking possession of their grounds. If they discover that you are here, they will kill your warriors, and will make slaves of your wives and children. This is what will happen to you, if, as you say, you mean to follow the example of ducks and geese, instead of listening to the counsels of men who reflect. You, chiefs and warriors, think now, whether it is not more prudent that you leave here quickly, rather than be crushed by the superior number of your enemies, in sight of your butchered old men, and your women and children torn to pieces, and their limbs scattered to the dogs and vultures. Recollect that it is a good father who speaks to you. Meditate well what he has said, and come back tonight with your answer.’

["]Accordingly, toward evening, the whole nation, in mass, presented itself, announcing that they had determined to follow his advice, yet, as customary, asked him to take pity upon their women and children, soliciting provisions for them, and powder and shot for the warriors. Mr. Laclede acceded liberally to this prayer, and the day following the next the unfortunate remnants of the Missouri nation ascended the river of their fathers, and returned to their village.

["]All anxieties being now dissipated, the colonists of Illinois, recovered from their alarm, returned to add numbers to the new colony of St. Louis. Lands were allotted to them, which they set about tilling, and upon which they built their cabins.

["]But Louis XV in 1762 had entered into another treaty, by which he ceded to Spain the rest of his possessions in North America. Yet, it was not until August 11, 1768, that the Spanish troops took possession of St. Louis.

["]On July 17, 1765, Mons. [Louis] de St. Ange de Bellerive surrendered


the country [east of the Mississippi], and passed over to St. Louis with his troops and the civil officers. This arrival was a favorable event for the organization of the colony. St. Louis became the capital of Upper Louisiana, under the command of Mons. de St. Ange, who had charge of the execution of the laws and ordinances by which the French possessions were governed.

["]Had St. Louis been destined to remain an Indian trading post, her history might have been told in a few lines. But future generations will inquire of us all that concerns the origin of the ‘River Queen,’ the destined queen of the Western Empire.

["]In 1778, on June 20, Pierre Ligueste Laclede, the founder of St. Louis, died in the village called the Post des Arkansas on Arkansas River. Mr. Laclede had continued to reside in St. Louis in a house situated in what is now Main Street, between Market and Walnut streets, and opposite the old market square; his house became after his death the property of the late Col. A. Chouteau, who enlarged it, adorned the premises with a fine garden, and created that splendid mansion till lately admired by strangers, as well as by the inhabitants of the city. It was pulled down in the month of October, 1841, and might be regretted, did it not make room for more modern buildings, better suited to the commercial extension of the city.["]

On this occasion the following beautiful poem was written and published in a newspaper of the day by the late M[atthew] C. Field.

By the late M. C. Field

Touch not a stone! An early pioneer
Of Christian sway, founded his dwelling here,
Almost alone:
Touch not a stone! Let the great West command
A hoary relic of the early land;
That after-generations may not say,
"All went for gold in our forefathers' day,
And of our infancy we nothing own."
Touch not a stone!

Touch not a stone! let the old pile decay,
A relic of the time now passed away.
Ye heirs, who own
Lordly endowment, of the ancient hall,


Till the last rafter crumbles from the wall
And each old tree around the dwelling rots
Yield not your heritage for "building lots."
Hold the old ruin for itself alone.
Touch not a stone!

Built by a foremost western pioneer,
It stood upon St. Louis Bluff, to cheer
New settlers on.

Now o'er it tow'rs majestic spire and dome,
And lowly seems the forest trader's home,
All out of fashion like a time-struck man,
Last of his age, his kindred and his clan,
Lingering still a stranger and alone;
Touch not a stone!

Spare the old house. The ancient mansion spare,
For ages still to front the Market Square;
That may be shown,
How those old walls of good St. Louis rock
In native strength, shall bear against the shock
Of centuries! There shall the curious see
When like a fable shall our story be,
How the Star City of the West has grown.
Touch not a stone!

["]In 1780, on May 6, St. Louis was attacked by a party of Indians and British, who had been ordered to take possession of the towns on the west side of the Mississippi in consequence of the part which Spain had taken in favor of the independence of the United States. The French, who had preserved a good understanding with all the Indian nations, very little expected this blow, and were not prepared to resist it. However they succeeded in repulsing the enemies, who threw themselves upon those of the inhabitants that, engaged in the cultivation of their fields, had not had time to reach the palisades, and, with characteristic ferocity killed sixty of them and made thirteen prisoners. The year this attack took place is called by the French: ‘L'Annče du grand coup’ -- the year of the great blow.

["]In the month of April, 1785, the waters of the Mississippi rose fifteen or twenty feet above the highest mark they had ever been known to reach at St. Louis, and at some narrow points of the river as high as thirty feet. The whole region of country drained by the Mississippi to its mouth presented the aspect


of an immense sheet of water studded with islands. The villages of Ste. Genevieve. Fort Chartres, Kaskaskia, San Philippe, Cahokia, etc., were totally submerged, and the inhabitants had to flee to the hills that overlook the rich bottom, and interchanged visits by water from the rocky bluffs of the right side of the river to the hills that border the Kaskaskia. This year is called ‘L'Annče des grandes eaux,’ the year of the great water.

["]In 1788, the traders between St. Louis and New Orleans, having been frequently attacked and plundered of their merchandise by bands of Mississippi pirates headed by Culbert and Margillivray, who used to lie in wait for them at the mouth of the Riviere au liaras (Cottonwood Creek), the governor of New Orleans took measures against them, and ordered ten large boats to be equipped. They succeeded in breaking up the haunt of the pirates, and returned in triumph to St. Louis. This year is called ‘L'Annče des dix Ba-teaux’ -- the year of the ten boats.

["]On July 9, 1803, at seven o'clock P. M. -- and the precision with which this date is registered indicates the profound sensation with which the news were received -- the inhabitants of St. Louis learned that Spain had retroceded Louisiana to Napoleon, and that the latter had sold it to the United States.

["]The good natured Missourians, up to that period, had not kept pace with the march of civilization. Their existence had become, as it were, so isolated and simplified that they had lost sight of the advantages of a social compact, which, whilst it imposes salutary restraints, invites emulation and stimulates ambition. There were no public schools in the colony; no regular church, as it was but rarely that the villages were visited by some venerable missionaries, whose number was very small, considering the vast extent of the country. All the purposes of life were embraced within the domestic circle, where virtue, religious faith, and strict honesty were proverbial. Notaries public, lawyers, judges, and tribunals were unknown. There was no other prison than the guardhouse of the small Spanish garrison; and it is asserted that, during upward of thirty years, there was not a solitary instance of civil delinquency, or of crime. Bargains were sealed by a grasp of the hand, and the currency of the country consisted of deerskins, furs, and other peltries. The French descendants of the present day still retain numerous anecdotes of their ancestors that graphically describe the unsophisticated nature of the Missourians; among which we may be permitted to select one.

"A genuine Missourian was hovering for some time around the stall of a Negro dealer situated on the bank of the Mississippi, in lower Louisiana. The dealer was a Kentucky merchant, who, on observing him, asked if he wished to purchase anything. ‘Yes,’ said the Missourian, ‘I should like to buy a Negro.’


He was invited to walk in, made his choice, and inquired for the price. ‘Five hundred dollars,’ said the dealer, ‘but according to custom, you may have one year's credit upon the purchase.’ The Missourian at this proposition became very uneasy; the idea of having such a load of debt upon him for a whole year was too much. ‘No, no,’ said he, ‘I'd rather pay you six hundred dollars at once, and be done with it.’ ‘Very well,’ said the obliging Kentuckian, [‘]anything to accommodate you.’

["]But to return to the narrative of events. The treaty having been finally ratified on April 30, 1803, Captain Amos Stoddart took possession of the country, which the Spanish troops evacuated on November 3, 1804. In 1820 it was admitted into the Union as the state of Missouri, and its constitution sanctioned by Congress in 1821. ["]

Up to this time, St. Louis remained little more than an Indian trading post, with a population consisting mainly of adventurers, such as miners, trappers, hunters, etc., and it was not until the arrival of the first steamer that it began to assume some commercial importance. This event took place in -19 [1817], when the "Gen. Pike" ["Zebulon Pike"], the first steamer that ever ploughed the bosom of "The Father of Waters," arrived in St. Louis, having accomplished the voyage from New Orleans -- a distance of 1,200 miles, against the current -- in eighteen and a half days. It is stated that Mr. Laclede in 1763 took three months to come from New Orleans to Ste. Genevieve with his flotilla -- a distance of 1,140 miles -- and papers are still extant, in which it is advertised "that the fast running keelboat ‘Maria’ would leave St. Louis for New Orleans warranted to be back in seven months," whereas it is not an uncommon thing now, for large steamboats, to reach St. Louis in five or six days. Such tacts say more than the most eloquent pen could describe. There are now about four hundred steamers plying between the ports above and below St. Louis, on the Upper and Lower Mississippi and its tributaries.

In the year 1844, another great flood took place, which even surpassed that of "L'Annče des grandes eaux." An extract from the traveling journal of Mr. [Edmund] Flagg will give the reader a pretty good idea of the appearance of the country during this second deluge.

"After all on our boat had retired last night, we were roused by the roaring


of a perfect tornado of wind, rain and hail, accompanied by thunder and lightning, to such a degree, that our boat was forced to ‘tie up’ to a tree, just below Hamburg, for some hours. The only event of much importance in my own private history, during the night, was the imminent peril to which I was at one time exposed, of being crushed by my fellow traveler above me -- the shelf on which he was deposited evincing evident dispositions to give up, or rather to give down its deposit. On looking from my window after rising, a morning cheerless and misty enough presented itself. The river was swollen to a perfect flood, and rolled on in the magnificence of a deluge. Large trees, overturned or broken off midway of their tall shafts, presenting their rifted and splintered fragments in every direction, gave evidence of the resistless fury of the midnight storms. The river seemed spread out inimitably on either side into the dense forest, without bank, bourne, or boundary. Far as the eye could reach, nothing but water was to be seen -- and the aspect of the forest and islands growing out of or apparently floating on the surface of the stream, was most novel and curious. The bluffs meanwhile, were shrouded in mist from which they rose like island cliffs. At times large masses of cordwood strewed the surface of the swollen stream for miles -- indicating the ravages of the flood, and ominous of the fate of the extensive stacks which stood deep in water along the shore. Some of these woodpiles bade fairly, in steamboat parlance, to ‘leave at ten o'clock precisely,’ and with far more certainty in the promise, than usually attends these aquatic engagements. No detention from want of water, or opposition of tide was to be apprehended, most assuredly. One of these woodpiles our boat approached and took possession of, by a sort of amplification, or liberal interpretation of preemption law. Now and then we passed a farm with its dwelling and all of its outhouses surrounded by water, with droves of pigs wading about and squealing forth the most dolorous, yet ludicrous dismay. The larger cattle stood quietly up to their knees in water, gazing in solemn and philosophical wonder on their barnyards and stable homes submerged. On the backs of the cattle, for safety, sat perched the poor fowls which were cackling forth their wrath and disaffection most pertinaciously. In fine, the only living things which seemed at all satisfied with the state of affairs were divers young ducks, which paddled about in thoughtless ecstasy, and bowed, and wriggled, and quacked to certain


squalling, unfeeling, and selfish sand birds, and snipes, flitting about from stump to stump, with their long bills, wings and legs, bidding defiance to fate and the waters!"

Having so far given the most remarkable events of the early history of St. Louis up to this present day, we will now proceed to describe the aspect of this glorious city of the West, as represented in the adjoining illustration [Plate 1].

St. Louis is here seen as it appeared after the great fire, which took place on the night of May 17, 1849, and proved one of the most destructive conflagrations that ever occurred in America. The amount of property destroyed was more than $5,000,000. Six hundred and forty houses and twenty-eight steamboats were swallowed up by the devouring element in one night. And yet such was the energy displayed by the inhabitants, and such the demand for buildings to replace those which had been burnt, that in eighteen months scarcely a vestige of the fire was to be seen. (In a following number a vivid illustration [Plate 62]. of this terrible catastrophe will be given.) The city at this present time is one of the most flourishing in America and is very aptly termed the Queen City.

The present population is nearly 100,000 inhabitants, of whom 30,000 are Germans, 4,000 French -- and about 5,000 of other foreign nations. The balance consists of Americans. Ten daily newspapers are printed here, and seven weekly and triweekly journals. The numerous churches and public buildings would do credit to any city in the Old or New World.

The principal buildings seen in the illustration -- commencing on the left-hand side -- are the Catholic Cathedral, the first Presbyterian Church, the Courthouse with its great dome, the Episcopalian Church, the Planter's Hotel, which can accommodate two hundred guests, the Unitarian Church, the theater with the flag on the roof, the Methodist Church, St. George's Church, the Odd Fellows Hall, the second Presbyterian Church, St. Xavier's Cathedral, with its Jesuit College, and Mound Church. In the upper part of the view appear the chimneys of the various foundries and engine manufactories and the tall shot tower of Mr. F[erdinand] Kennett -- the most extensive and complete establishment of the kind in the world. A little farther to the right is seen the old Indian mound, of which many are found in the


immediate neighborhood of the city. In the extreme distance appear some of the country houses of the wealthier classes, occupying a beautiful plateau commanding a fine view of the river and neighboring shore. The long lines of warehouses that front the water are mostly of limestone quarried on the spot -- and on the extreme left near the water stands the old brick Market House, with its green blinds, which occupies the site of the first log house that was erected by Mr. Laclede, in 1764.

The Landing of St. Louis presents at all times a scene of great bustle and animation, but particularly in the spring and autumn, when the rich products of the Upper Mississippi are landed from a hundred steamboats. One of the principal causes of the prosperity of St. Louis is the fact that all the large steamboats plying between New Orleans and St. Louis never go above this city, while all the smaller boats, connected with the upper river trade, rarely go below, so that St. Louis becomes the great point of transshipment between the two vast regions watered by this mighty stream and its tributaries. The forwarding and commission business forms one of the most lucrative and extensive that is followed here.

The point of the island on the right is known by the ominous name of "Bloody Island" -- so called from the numerous duels that used to be fought upon its sandy shores. This practice of showing your love for a friend by making a hole through his body with a bullet, was once fashionable in St. Louis; but the progress of civilization -- and common sense -- has happily done away with that "good old custom." The view of the city is taken from the Illinois shore, at the present day nearly as complete a wilderness as when the first white man explored it; and it forms a singular contrast -- a dense primeval forest on one, and a great commercial city on the other side of the river.


Chapter 2. Steamboat Wooding at Night.

THE OBJECT OF THE PRESENT ILLUSTRATION [Plate 2] is to give the appearance and construction of a Western steamboat -- a class of watercraft peculiar only to the Mississippi and its tributaries. The object sought for particularly in a steamboat of this class is light draft, speed, and capability for carrying freight. The boats are therefore built with a perfectly flat bottom without keel and very sharp at the bow. The hold in the largest class of boats is rarely more than six feet deep and the engine and boilers are placed on the deck, and not in the hold of the vessel as is usually the practice. The boilers vary in number from two to eight according to the size of the vessel and are placed side by side forward, the mouths of the fireplaces being just under the chimneys. The engines, of which there are usually two, are back of the boilers. These are always horizontal high-pressure engines, as it has been found that none other will answer owing to the immense amount of sediment found in the waters of the Mississippi, and which directly cuts to pieces the peculiarly constructed valves of the low-pressure engines.

Back of the engines is the place called the deck, where all that class travels who cannot afford to go in the cabin. It is a wretched place, usually crowded to such excess that there is not room for a fourth to sleep at a time, and in case of accident these poor emigrants and deck passengers are commonly the principal sufferers. The boats on the Mississippi all burn wood, and such are the immense quantities destroyed in this manner that, had not nature provided an inexhaustible supply, some other fuel would have had long since to take its place. The deck hands are always employed to assist in the operation


of wooding, in consequence of which they get their passage at a very low rate, being brought up from New Orleans to St. Louis -- a distance of 1,200 miles -- for $2.50 to $3.00.

The ladies and gentlemen's cabin extends the whole length of the boat, over the boilers and machinery, and there are no steamboats in the world which supply such comfortable accommodations and such good fare as those on the Mississippi. The whole of each side of the boat is occupied by the staterooms (as the sleeping apartments are called). These rooms accommodate two persons each and, although not large, are exceedingly convenient. There are two doors to each room, one opening to a sort of veranda that runs round the boat and the other to the cabin, so that on a warm summer's day you can sit in your stateroom and see and hear everything that is going on in the cabin, at the same time watching the rapid and ever-varying panorama as you rapidly pass the shore. The prices of traveling here in the cabin are very low considering the accommodations the traveler enjoys. From New Orleans to St. Louis the average price is $15, American currency (about four shillings sterling to the dollar). For this you receive your stateroom, three meals a day, all attention -- and no servants or stewards to be feed -- a practice the Americans do not believe in, and if any servant either in a hotel or steam-boat is ever known to have asked for money, he is immediately discharged.

The upper deck of the boat or, as it is called, the hurricane deck, is the general promenade for the cabin passengers; no spot can offer more inducements after the heat of the day, and during a fine moonlight night, especially to the smoker and the lover; for many a delicate Havana has there wasted its fragrance on the desert air, and many a young heart has yielded itself up -- a willing captive -- to the tender influence. The high tower-like building between the chimneys is the pilothouse, elevated in this manner so that the person steering can see ahead and detect the breaks and ripples in the water that indicate the presence of the dangerous snags, sawyers, and other impediments. The rooms underneath are occupied as sleeping rooms for the pilots and engineers, and the high pole fixed on the bow of the boat with the large black ball is for the pilot to take the range of objects ahead.

The time occupied in making the voyage from New Orleans to St. Louis is, at a good stage of water, about four and a half days, and if the water is low the boat has to run slower. From St. Louis to the Falls of St. Anthony, 1,000 miles, the time taken is usually six days; at low water eight or ten, owing to delay at the rapids, where the boat has to take out a great part of her cargo to lighten her. The price charged is from six to eight dollars. The largest and finest


boats are all found running below St. Louis, as there is generally not water enough for them above. These boats will average a speed of thirteen miles an hour against the current, while those that run above St. Louis, being smaller and of less power, will make only from eight to ten. The Western boats, even with care and without serious accident, will not last more than four or five years; this is owing to the wear and tear in getting over sand bars, etc., at low water, and the frail construction of the boat; the engine and boilers are then taken out and placed in a new hull and the old boat is used as a wharf boat for landing goods and passengers upon, at the various small towns; sometimes they are turned into floating hotels and shops. The largest boats will carry from 1,200 to 1,400 tons, and some of them are more than 300 feet in length.

The illustration [Plate 2] represents one of the largest New Orleans boats wooding at night -- a singularly wild and striking scene, which shows the character of the country below the mouth of Red River, where the Spanish moss, as it is called, is hanging in immense festoons from the trees, giving to the landscape a solemn and funeral-like appearance.


Chapter 3. Trempealeau Mountain.

Plate 3. Indian Deputation.

THREE MILES BELOW WABASHA VILLAGE on the west side, and 550 miles above St. Louis, on an island in the middle of the stream, stands the famous "La montagne qui se trempe ŕ l'eau," or the mountain which steeps in the water. It is about one mile in circumference, and the ascent to the summit of Mount Trempe, or Mount Trompolo, as it is familiarly known, is exceedingly difficult. But the scene from the summit richly repays the explorer. As far as the eye can reach, to the north and south, the Mississippi is perceived winding among its thousand emerald islands, while on the east and west, prairie after prairie, forest on forest, hilltop on hilltop, sweep off in grand magnificence into the limitless horizon. The summit of the mountain is a narrow ridge but a few yards wide, but extends about 200 yards north and south. On the west is a precipice, on the east an abrupt wooded slope, on the summit is not "a lake of fine fish," as tradition has delighted falsely to say, and some have fondly believed. Rattlesnake bites are the only bites that an enterprising disciple of old Izaak is likely to obtain there. The reptile abounds among these rocks.

By the Indians of the present day, it is called "Mi-ri-nay chon-ke-hah," or "Bluff in the Water," and, as a Manito, it is resorted to with offerings at the opening of the wild geese season each year, in order to propitiate the Wakan for success in the hunt.


Opposite Mount Trompolo is another hill several hundred feet high. Tradition says that an old Indian, who had resolved never to leave his native home, one day ascended to the summit of this hill with his pipe and rifle (for the Indians are great smokers) and some days afterward on being missed, was there found dead.

There are several other prominent cliffs in this group as: "Catlin's Rock," "Lewis Bluff," and "Solitaire Peak," the latter two called after the author of these prints and his companion. This illustration [Plate 3] gives a good idea of the appearance of these curious hills -- Mount Trompolo in the distance -- and in the same view is a representation of a deputation of Dakota Indians on their way to sign a treaty with the pale faces, from a sketch by Major S. Eastman, U. S. A.

This beautiful ceremony is one very rarely witnessed. When the chiefs arrive near the spot where the treaty is to be signed, they draw their canoes up in a line and fasten them together. The orator of the tribe then arises and makes a long speech to them, stating the objects and conditions of the treaty; a final vote is then taken, and if agreeable to all, the treaty is signed, if not, they return to their villages and have another great talk. In the one boat may be seen the flag of the United States, showing that they are treating with that government, and in the other, their own curious national standard made by fastening the tail feathers of the war eagle round a crooked stick. These feathers are worn by the Indians as marks of great deeds performed, and no Indian is allowed to wear one of them in his headdress until after he has killed an enemy in battle -- and for every one so slain, an additional feather is allowed. It is from contributions of these feathers given by the most eminent chiefs of the tribe that the great national standard is formed.

In looking at the headdress of an Indian therefore, not only his success as a warrior can be told, but on the white portion of each feather is given a sort of hieroglyphical history of each particular encounter. For instance: Should


an Indian kill his enemy in battle by shooting him with a rifle, there will be a small red spot made on the feather about the size of a rifle ball; if he himself should get wounded in the encounter, immediately under the red spot will be seen a small black mark; and if he has succeeded in taking the scalp of the enemy after killing him, a notch is cut out of the edge of the feather which is touched with red; these and many other marks are used, so that an Indian's headdress, to one who can understand it, gives a complete history of his military career.

The two Indians on the sand bar belong to the Chippewa tribe; all the Indian nations differ from each other in the way of dressing, especially so in the shape of their moccasins; also their boats are differently constructed, and the Chippewa particularly can be recognized by the light and graceful form of their canoes, made out of birch bark; while the Dakota always use the wooden canoe, or "dugout," made from a single tree. The Chippewa, before arriving at their place of destination, leap on shore ere the boat touches the ground, and, taking it carefully up, turn it over on the sand, so as not to injure the bottom.

These bark boats are so light that a canoe, that will carry conveniently eight men, can be transported on the head of a single Indian.


Chapter 4. Fort Snelling.

Plate 4. Fort Snelling.

FORT SNELLING is located on the rocky point at the confluence of the Mississippi with the St. Peter's [Minnesota River]. This bluff consists of three different formations: the first of limestone abounding with organic remains, a second of sandstone, and the third of limestone without organic remains.

Looking to the right of the fort, we behold a continuation of the valley of the Mississippi, whilst to the left begins that of the St. Peter's. At our feet, directly in front, to the east, lies a small island, shaped like a triangle. This island was originally covered with timber, but it is now nearly cleared so as to afford no cover to an enemy approaching the fort. It seems to be a continuation of the point on which the fort stands, from which it has been severed by a new channel connecting the two rivers. At the foot of the island the two streams fully unite and are seen gliding on in one bed at the base of towering heights on one side, and forest and prairie, alternating with bluffs, on the other.

Fort Snelling is at present one of the most northerly stations maintained by our government in the valley of the Mississippi, and is noted for possessing far more regularity of design and execution than any of the other frontier fortifications. Its history is this: In 1806 the spot where Fort Snelling now stands was visited by Col. [Zebulon M.] Pike, who was then a lieutenant, and a description of it was given. In 1817 Major [Stephen H.] Long visited the place and recommended it to the War Department as a favorable site for a permanent post. He made a purchase of the land on which the fort stands, from the Sioux. In the month of August, 1819, Col. [Henry] Leavenworth arrived with a part of the Fifth Regiment of Infantry, and the works were


subsequently commenced and completed under Col. [Josiah] Snelling, then a lieutenant.

The outline of the fort is a hexagon, the outer wall of stone enclosing an area of land surrounded by the barracks and the other structures for officers. At the western extremity stands the magazine, and on the eastern, looking down on the magnificent scene of the confluence below, is the residence of the commandant. A half-moon battery surrounds the cliff at this point, which is about one hundred feet above the river. At the southeastern angle of the fort rises an octagonal tower and the western line is defended by a bastion. The officers' quarters are quite elegant and those of the men, accommodating two hundred at a time, convenient and comfortable.

The small houses on the south of the fort are inhabited by some government officers connected with the Indian trade; such as the Indian agent, the interpreter, the storekeeper, etc.

Descending from the fort by the road which leads down the declivity on the southeast, a broad bottom is reached, which, for some distance, extends up the St. Peter's. Here is the steamboat landing and the highest navigable point on the Mississippi, 1,000 miles below the source of the river, 1,000 miles above St. Louis, and 2,300 miles from the Gulf of Mexico; a place which has witnessed many exciting scenes. The one presented on this illustration [Plate 4] representing the whole plain under the fort covered with the lodges of the Winnebago, who had thus far unwillingly advanced toward their new homes, but not without a demonstration of compulsion on the part of the United States troops, was picturesque and novel in the extreme; at the same time two bands of Sioux Indians being encamped on the opposite bank of the St. Peter's.

Equally exciting was the scene, on the same spot, in the month of July, 1837, when a treaty was negotiated by Gov. [Henry] Dodge, with the Chippewa


Indians for all their lands on the Mississippi. They were 1,400 in number and had their camp west of the fort. There were also 600 Sioux encamped on the south bank of the St. Peter's; and, as the two tribes were constantly at war, a conflict was apprehended as soon as the treaty would be concluded. A few days previous, an attack had been made by the Sioux on a party of Chippewa, descending the Chippewa River to attend a council, in which six warriors were slain. The tribe to which the murdered Indians belonged was of course highly excited, vowing the deepest vengeance, and it was feared that a collision would take place between them during the treaty. Gov. Dodge accordingly took prompt measures for bringing about a conciliatory feeling, and was partially successful. The Chippewa, who were encamped about one mile west of Fort Snelling, invited the Sioux warriors, whose lodges were on the opposite bank of the St. Peter's, to visit them, which they accordingly did, and great was the dancing and the feasting upon "roasted dogs" which ensued, to say nothing of the most grandiloquent speeches which were delivered on both sides. These speeches breathed the very spirit of war and nothing else, and it was only necessary for one of those bellicose orators to be understood by the opposite party, to deluge the whole dancing ground in blood!

The whole of the region west and north of the fort has, by a treaty signed in 1851 by the Sioux Indians, come in possession of the government and is now rapidly filling up with an adventurous and hardy population. A small Indian trading post, called St. Paul's, which at the time this sketch [Plate 10] was taken contained only some forty or fifty families, has now a population of more than 5,000. St. Paul's has become the capital of the new territory called Menesotah, formed out of part of the new purchase and partly out of the state of Wisconsin.


The winters in this region are exceedingly cold, but dry. The soil is very fertile, yielding all the cereal grains and roots in great perfection. The river and small lakes abound in the finest fish, while the forest and prairies furnish capital hunting. The buffalo, however, cannot now be found nearer than six days' journey from the fort. The climate here is looked upon as one of the most healthy in the United States and, since the purchase, the country is very rapidly settling.

In 1852 a small steamboat was built above the Falls of St. Anthony, which succeeded in ascending the Mississippi three hundred miles, when further progress was stopped by falls and rapids.


Chapter 5. The Mississippi.

Plate 5. The Mouths of the Mississippi.

THE BEST GENERAL DESCRIPTION that has ever been written of this great river is from the pen of Mr. [Timothy] Flint; we shall therefore give the greater part of it in his own words.

["]The Mississippi is the largest and most magnificent river in the United States. Its source is in a small lake, called Itasca, situated in a region of swamps and wild rice lakes, 1,500 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, near the 48° of north latitude, and empties into it, in 29° north latitude. It is formed of many small branches, but soon becomes a broad stream, moving a wide expanse of waters, with a current scarcely perceptible, sometimes along a marshy bed, through interminable swamps; at others, ‘it is compressed to a narrow and rapid current, between ancient and hoary limestone bluffs.’ A great number of streams, rising in the same plateau, and interlocking with the waters of Red River [of the North] and other streams of Lake Winnipeg, unite to form the St. Peter's and Mississippi.

["]The following are among the most considerable of its tributaries: The Rapid, St. Croix, Cannon River, Buffalo, Bluff, Black, Root, Upper Iowa, Yellow, Bad Axe, Wisconsin, Turkey River, La Mine, Fever [Galena] River,


Tete des Morts, Wapsipinicon, Little Loutour, Rock River, Iowa, Des Moines (or Moingona, one of the largest tributaries above the Missouri, with a boatable course of 300 miles), Waconda, Fabian, Justioni, Oahaka or Salt River, Boeuf or Cuivre, Dardenne, Illinois (a noble, broad, and deep stream, having a course of about 400 miles, and beatable almost the whole distance), Missouri, Merrimac, Kaskaskia, Big Muddy, Ohio, Wolf, St. Francis, White River, Arkansas, Yazoo, Red River [of the South], and Bayou Sara. Eleven hundred miles below its source and 771 above St. Louis, are the Falls of St. Anthony. Here the river is about 600 yards wide, and is precipitated over a ledge of limestone 17 feet high. The scenery around the falls is grand and imposing, and affords a fine treat to tourists, many of whom travel here every year to witness this sublime and beautiful spot. Below this point, the river is bounded by limestone bluffs, from 100 to 400 feet high, and first begins to exhibit islands. Its current is broken by the rapids at the mouth of the Rock River and Des Moines, which partially obstruct navigation for a portion of the summer. The scenery along the Upper, or Rock River Rapids, is most beautiful. On the west side, the land rises in gentle slopes, which are terminated in the distance by a beautiful chain of hills. On the opposite side, a broad, flat plain, of more than a mile in width and several miles in length, presents itself. There was a small village of the Sauk and Fox Indians on this plain. The celebrated Black Hawk War originated in the determination of these Indians to maintain possession of this beautiful tract of country. ‘Below the rapids, the river assumes its medial width and character from that point to the entrance of the Missouri. It is a still more beautiful river than the Ohio; somewhat gentler in its current, a third wider, with broad, clean sand bars, except in time of high water, when they are all covered. At every little distance there are islands,


sometimes a number of them parallel, and broadening the stream to a great width. These islands are, many of them, large, and have, in the summer season, an aspect of beauty, as they swell gently from the clear stream a vigor and grandeur of vegetation which contributes much to the magnificence of the river.’

["]‘Where it receives the Missouri, it [the Mississippi] is a mile and a half wide. The Missouri itself enters with a mouth not more than half a mile wide. The united streams below have thence, to the mouth of the Ohio, a medial width of little more than three-quarters of a mile. This mighty tributary seems rather to diminish, than increase its [the Mississippi's] width; but it perceptibly alters its depth, its mass of waters, and, what is to be regretted, wholly changes its character. It is no longer the gentle, placid stream, with smooth shores, and clean sand bars; but has a furious and boiling current, a turbid and dangerous mass of sweeping waters, jagged and dilapidated shores, and, wherever its waters have receded, deposits of mud. It remains a sublime object of contemplation; but its character of calm magnificence, that so delighted the eye above, is seen no more.’ The surface of the river is covered with huge boils or swells, which render it a matter of considerable difficulty in some places to navigate a boat. In its course, accidental circumstances shift the impetus of its current, and propel it upon the point of an island, bend, or sand bar. In these instances, it tears up the island, removes the sand bars, and sweeps away the tender, alluvial soil of the bends, with all their trees, and deposits the spoils in another place. At the season of high water, nothing is more familiar to the ears of the people on the river than the deep crash of a landslip, in which larger or smaller masses of the soil on the banks, with all the trees, are plunged into the stream. Such is its character, from the Missouri, to the Balize -- a wild, furious, whirling river, never navigated, except with great danger.

["]No person who descends this river for the first time receives clear and adequate ideas of its grandeur, and the amount of waters which it carries. If it be in the spring, when the river below the mouth of the Ohio is generally over its banks, although the sheet of water that is making its way to the gulf is perhaps thirty miles wide, yet finding a channel through deep forests and swamps that conceal all from the eye, no expanse of water is seen, but the width that is curved out between the outline of woods on either bank; and it seldom exceeds, and oftener falls short of a mile. But when he sees, in


descending from the Falls of St. Anthony, that it swallows up one river after another, with mouths as wide as itself, without affecting its width at all-when he sees it receiving in succession the mighty Missouri, the broad Ohio, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers, all of them of great length, depth, and volume of water -- when he sees this mighty river absorbing them all, and retaining a volume apparently unchanged, he begins to estimate rightly the increasing depth of current that must roll on in its deep channel to the sea. Carried out of the Balize, and sailing with a good breeze for hours, he sees nothing on any side but the white and turbid waters of the Mississippi, long after he is out of sight of land.

["]Between the mouth of the Ohio and St. Louis, on the west side of the river, the bluffs are generally near it, seldom diverging from it more than two miles. They are for the most part, perpendicular masses of limestone; sometimes shooting up into towers and pinnacles, presenting, as Mr. Jefferson well observed, at a distance, the aspect of the battlements and towers of an ancient city. Sometimes the river sweeps the base of these perpendicular bluffs, as happens at the Cornice Rocks, and at the cliffs above Ste. Genevieve. They rise here between two and three hundred feet above the level of the river. There are many imposing spectacles of this sort near the western bank of the Mississippi, in this distance. We may mention among them that gigantic mass of rocks, forming a singular island in the river, called the "Grand Tower," and the shot tower at Herculaneum.

["]‘From the sources of the river to the mouth of the Missouri, the annual flood ordinarily commences in March, and does not subside until the last of May, and its medial height is fifteen feet. At the lowest stages, four feet of water may be found from the Des Moines Rapids to the mouth of the Missouri. Between that point and the mouth of the Ohio, there are six feet in the channel of the shallowest places at low water; and the annual inundation may be estimated at twenty-five feet. Between the mouth of the Ohio and the St. Francis, there are various shoal places where pilots are often perplexed to find a sufficient depth of water when the river is low. Below that point, there is no difficulty for vessels of any draught, except to find the right channel. Below the mouth of the Ohio, the average flood is fifty feet; the highest, sixty. Above Natchez, the flood begins to decline. At Baton Rouge, it seldom exceeds thirty feet; and at New Orleans, twelve. Some have supposed this gradual diminution of the flood to result from the draining of the numerous effluxes of the river that convey away such considerable portions of its waters by separate channels to the sea. To this should be added, no doubt, the check which the


river at this distance begins to feel from the reaction of the sea, where this mighty mass of descending waters finds its level.’

["]The banks of the river, from Cairo down, are clothed, in many instances, with a rich verdure of trees, down to the water's edge, interspersed here and there with towns and fine plantations. About five hundred miles below commences the great cotton growing region, and, below the mouth of Red River, the sugar plantations. From thence to New Orleans the banks of the river are lined with a succession of beautiful plantations, with fine dwellings, delightfully surrounded with shrubbery. From Columbia, Arkansas, the forests of cotton[wood] and other trees present a most singular appearance, being in many places covered with a peculiar kind of moss, which depends from the branches, in long, thick masses, and gives an almost funeral aspect to them. It is the moss commonly used, when manufactured, for mattresses, etc.

["]A traveler, in some well-written sketches, very truthfully remarks, that, ‘No person can pass down the Mississippi, and view the immense bodies of uncultivated lands, lying contiguous to its banks, without reflecting on the great changes which time will produce. In a century, or two at the most, the banks of the river will present continuous lines of cultivated plantations, similar to those on the coast. The lands are as rich as nature can make them, being all of alluvial formation; and the soil of such a depth that there is no danger of its ever being exhausted. When we read of the myriads of people who formerly existed in the valley of the Nile, and compare the capabilities of the Mississippi Valley with it, we can comprehend the great destiny, awaiting only the development of time, in store for this already far-famed region.’["]


Chapter 6. The Falls of St. Anthony.

The Falls of St. Anthony.

THE FIRST EUROPEAN who visited this romantic and beautiful spot [Plate 6] was Father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan friar. As a missionary among the Indians about Fort Frontenac, [Ontario], and in his frequent visits among the Iroquois, south of Lake Ontario, and on the sources of the Allegheny, he had become familiar with Indian character and customs. Ambitious, enterprising, and bold, it is not surprising that he should have offered his services to La Salle, when about starting out on his second expedition, together with two other Recollect monks, to administer to the spiritual wants of this company and to aid in the enterprise.

The exploring party for the Upper Mississippi consisted of Father Hennepin and seven other Frenchmen as oarsmen and woodsmen. Leaving Fort


Crčvecoeur, situated on the Illinois near to where Florissant, [Missouri], now stands [sic], on February 28, 1680, they descended to the Mississippi. Then ascending the ice-clad stream in their canoes, a distance of eight hundred miles, in the month of May their further progress was arrested by a cataract of which the worthy father says "it is indeed, of itself, terrible and has something very astonishing." In honor of his patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, the cataract was named by the Franciscan, "The Falls of St. Anthony," and on a neighboring tree he engraved a crucifix and hung the arms of France, as was customary in taking possession. For some weeks Hennepin rambled about the falls, until, at length, the whole party was taken captive by the Sioux, from whom, however, they shortly escaped and hastened down the river. Thence by way of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers, they arrived at the French mission at Green Bay, on Lake Michigan. On November 17, 1767 [1766}, the spot [the falls] was visited by "Captain Jonathan Carver of the Provincial troops in America," in company with a chief of the Winnebago Indians. The chief, who had never before visited the spot, at once mounted the loftiest crag he could find, and having addressed a long harangue to the Great Spirit, threw all his ornaments into the stream, as a propitiatory offering, and concluded with a long and loud petition.

The river, at this point, is divided into two unequal parts by an island, which stretches both above and below the falls. From the island to the right [west] bank, by actual survey, is a distance of 634 feet, while to the left bank it is 300 feet. The island itself is 276 feet wide and about 1,200 feet in length. It is called "Grand [Hennepin] Island." There are three others called "Spirit," "Cataract," and "Rock [Upton] Island." The outline of the falls is very irregular owing to the washing away of the sandstone beneath the superincumbent strata of limestone. Immense blocks are constantly falling, and the foot of the falls and the bed of the river for some distance below are filled with these titanic masses. The whole breadth of the river at this point, as determined by trigonometrical measurement, is 1,520 feet. The height of the fall varies from 17 to 20 feet.

At a short distance above the falls commences a structure of rock through which the water will not so easily work its way. The height of the falls seems less on the south side of the island than on the north, owing to the mass


of limestone slabs below. The ledge of rock over which the water pours is said to be as smooth as a floor. In July, 1823, several of the gentlemen attached to Major Long's party forded the stream to the island, along the edge of the parapet, and thence to the left bank of the river; their route was within a few yards from the fall. They found only about two feet and a half of water, but the current was extremely powerful and the danger considerable of being carried over. The island is covered with a dense growth of forest trees which impart a gloomy and picturesque aspect to the scene. Carver describes "a small island of about an acre and a half below the falls, on which grow a great number of cedar [oak] trees, every branch of which, able to support the weight, was full of eagles' nests"; and assigns as the cause of these birds resorting in such numbers to the spot, that they are here secure from the attack of man, or beast, their retreat being guarded by the rapids which the Indians never attempt to cross; and, also, that they there find a constant and abundant supply of food for themselves and their young, from the remains of animals and fish dashed to pieces by the falls and thrown upon the shore. Grand Island is stated by Carver to be about forty feet wide and somewhat longer, standing in the middle of the fall, and on it only a few ragged cedar and spruce trees. Below the falls the rapids extend for some miles, and the entire descent of the water to their foot is estimated to about a hundred feet. There, the water rushes through a narrow gorge, with cliffs on either side, rising to a perpendicular altitude from the stream of nearly a hundred feet. On the right, beneath the crags, stand the ruins of an old mill, erected many years ago for the use of the garrison at Fort Snelling. Another structure of the same kind, which was there as late as 1823, has entirely disappeared. A sergeant's guard was


constantly stationed at these mills, to protect them from destruction by the Indians.

The distance from the fort to the falls is seven miles by land and nine by water. The roar of the cataract can be distinctly heard of a calm evening at Fort Snelling. Carver says he distinguished it "full fifteen miles" before reaching the spot; while Featherstonhaugh also heard it "distinctly" at more than twice that distance, when ascending the river and just above the mouth of the St. Croix at the "Trading Post."

To the geologists the Falls of St. Anthony present a spot deeply interesting, almost as much so as to the poet and the lover of natural scenery. Here the calcareous deposit that characterizes the shores of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Wisconsin ceases, and the rocky formations assume a new and altogether different type. The scenery around the falls is picturesque and beautiful in the highest degree. But to this no pen could do justice. A high prairie sweeps off on all sides in gentle undulations to the horizon. A town has been laid off on the left bank of the river by a Boston company and a dam and mill have been constructed, since this drawing was taken. "The City of the Falls


of St. Anthony" is the name which the town has received; and by the certificates which have been issued, its lots are stated to be 100 feet by 25 each and valued at $50. Only a few years, doubtless, will elapse before the roar of machinery will contend with that of the cataract, but the poetic charms which invested this spot will be gone forever.

To the Indians the Falls of St. Anthony are known by several names -- each nation having a different one, but all highly poetical. The Chippewa call them Ka-Ka-bi-kah, meaning Cleft-Rock, the Dakota Me-ne-ha-ha, or Laughing Wa-ter; also, Ha-ha-wo-tepa, Ra-ra, and O-wa-me-ne. Each nation, too, has its legend associated with this beautiful spot, and some are exceedingly thrilling. The Dakota narrate the following:

Ampata Saba, or the First Wife.

Ampata Saba, or the Dark Day, was the wife of a brave young warrior and hunter, by whom she had two children. They lived together in great happiness which was only varied by the changes in their wandering life. Sometimes they lived on the prairies, sometimes they built their wigwam in a forest near the banks of a stream and they paddled their canoe together up and down the rivers. In these trips they got fish when they were tired of wild meats. In the summer season they kept on the open grounds; in the winter they fixed their camp in a sheltered position in the woods. The very change of their camp was a source of pleasure, for they were always on the lookout for something new. They had plenty and they wanted nothing. In this manner the first years of their marriage passed away.

But it so happened, that as years went by, the reputation of the warrior in the tribe increased, and he soon came to be regarded as a Weetshahstshy Atapee, or chief. This opened a new field for his ambition and pride. The fame


of a chief, it is well known, is often increased by the number of his wives. His lodge was now thronged with visitors. Some came to consult him, some to gain his favor. All this gave Ampata Saba no uneasiness, for the red people like to have visitors and to show hospitality. The first thing that caused a suspicion in her mind was the rumor that her husband was about to take a new wife. Desirous of strengthening their interest with him, some of his tribe invited him to form a connection with their families, observing at the same time, that a man of his talent and importance required more than one woman to wait upon the numerous guests, whom his reputation induced to visit his lodge. Indeed they assured him, that, as a chief, a second wife was quite indispensable. This was like poison in her veins, for she had a big heart; she was much attached to her husband, and she could not bear the idea of sharing his affections with another. But she found that the idea had already got strong hold of his mind, and her remonstrances did little good. Fired with the ambition of obtaining higher honors, he resolved to increase his importance by a union with the daughter of an influential chief of his tribe. He defended himself on the ground that it would give him greater influence in the tribe if he took the daughter of a noted chief. He had accordingly taken a second wife without having ever mentioned the subject to his former companion.

Being desirous of bringing his wife into his lodge in the manner which should be least offensive to the mother of his children, for whom he still retained much regard, he introduced the subject in these words: "You know," said he, "that I can love no woman so fondly as I love you. Of late I have seen you subjected to toils which must be oppressive to you, and from which I would gladly relieve you; yet I know no other way of doing so, than by associating with you in the household duties one who shall relieve you from the trouble of entertaining the numerous guests whom my growing importance in the nation collects around me. I have therefore resolved on taking another wife; but she shall always be subject to your control, as she always ranks in my affections second to you."

With the utmost anxiety and deepest concern did his companion listen to this proposal. She expostulated in the kindest terms and entreated him with all the arguments which undisguised love and the purest conjugal affection could suggest. She replied to all the objections which his duplicity led him to raise. Desirous of winning her from her opposition, the chief still concealed the secret of his union with another, while she redoubled all her efforts to convince him that she was equal to the task imposed upon her. When he again spoke on the subject, she pleaded all the endearments of their past life; she spoke of his former fondness of her, of his regard for her happiness and that of their mutual offspring; and she bade him beware of the consequences of this fatal purpose of his.

Finding her bent upon withholding her consent to his plan, he informed


her that all opposition on her part was now useless, as he had already taken another wife; and that if she could not see his bride as a friend, she must receive her as an incumbrance, for he resolved she should be an inmate of his lodge.

But, before he had time to bring his bride to his lodge, Ampata Saba had fled from it, taking her two children, and had returned to her father's wig-wam. Her father lived at some distance and here she remained a short time in quiet. The whole band soon moved up the Mississippi to their hunting ground. She was glad to go with them, and would indeed have been glad to go anywhere, to get further from the lodge of her faithless husband.

The winter wore away; when the spring opened, the tribe came back again to the banks of the river, and mended and fitted up their canoes, which they had left in the autumn. Into these they put their furs and descended to the Falls of St. Anthony. Ampata Saba lingered behind a short distance as they began to draw near the rapids which precede the great plunge. She then put her canoe in the water and embarked with the children. As she approached the falls, the increased velocity of the current rendered her paddle of but little use. She rested at length with the paddle suspended in her hands, while she rose and thus uttered her death lament:

"It was him only that I loved with the love of my heart. It was for him that I prepared with joy the forest-killed meat and swept with boughs my lodge fire. It was for him I dressed the skin of the noble deer, and worked with my hands the moccasins that grace his feet. I waited while the sun ran his daily course for his return from the chase, and rejoiced in my heart when I heard his manly footstep approach the lodge. He threw down his burden at the door; it was a haunch of the deer; I flew to prepare the meat for his use. My heart was bound up in him, and he was all the world to me. But he has left me for another, and life is now a burden which I cannot bear. Even my children add to my griefs -- they look so much like him. How can I support life when all its moments are bitter? I have lifted up my voice to the master of life. I have asked him to take back that existence which he gave and which I no longer wish. I am on the current that hastens to fulfill my prayer. I see the white foam of the water. It is my tomb! I hear the deep murmur from below. It is my funeral song! Farewell!" Her voice was drowned in the roar of the cataract; the current carried down her frail bark with frightful rapidity. It was too late to arrest her course. She had approached too near the abyss before her purpose was discovered by her friends. They beheld her enter the foam; they saw the canoe, for an instant, on the verge of the precipice, and then it disappeared forever! Never after was seen a trace of the canoe or its passengers!

Such was the end of Ampata Saba. Yet they say that some have beheld her canoe by moonlight plunging over the falls; and some, that early in the morning


they have heard her mournful lament, as her spirit glided along through the mists of the cataract clasping her babes to her breast!

With the beautiful poem by Mrs. Hemans, on the same subject, all are familiar; it commences:

"Roll swiftly to the Spirit's land,
Thou mighty stream, and free!
Father of ancient waters, roll,
And bear our lives with thee!"

The following verses form part of a poem of some length also describing the same incident.


She launched her frail bark on the swift-rolling stream,
And sang her death song with a maniac scream,
That pierced the lone caves of that desolate shore,
And rose over the din of the cataract's roar.

The bald eagle sprung from his perch at the sound,
And, poised high in air, circled watchfully round;
The panther crouched low in his brush-covered bed,
And the timid doe rushed from her thicket and fled.

She saw not the eagle, she marked not the deer,
The echo that scared them is mute to her ear;
So wild was her sorrow, so wretched her doom,
She seemed a lone spirit, escaped from her tomb.

Her babes clung around her with timorous cry,
Alarmed by the glance of her fierce-rolling eye;
And still o'er those dear ones impassioned she hung,
And madly she kissed them, as wildly she sung:
"Oh, children forsaken, wife, mother, forlorn!
The heart that should foster ye, spurns you in scorn;
Expelled from his bosom, and banished his door
The father, the husband, shall clasp us no more!"


As she sang, the sad strain came prolonged o'er the cliff,
Each cave, as in sympathy, echoed her grief;
So deep each response as it murmured along,
No mortal e'er heard so terrific a song.

And onward the bark swiftly glides o'er the spray,
No hand gave the motion or guided the way;
But headlong through breakers it swept as the wind,
No pathway before it, no trace left behind!

A moment it paused on the cataract's brow,
Then sank into fathomless caverns below;
And the bark, and the song, and the singer no more
Were seen on the wild wave, or heard on the shore!!


Chapter 7. The Prairies.

THE ANNEXED DRAWING [Plate 7] gives a good idea of these great plains. There are two kinds, the rolling and flat prairies. As an illustration of the latter [Plate 25] will be given in a subsequent number, we shall confine our remarks for the present to the rolling prairies.

They are found throughout all the Western states; but in that part of the country, stretching from the western boundaries of Missouri and Iowa toward the setting sun, the rolling prairies are seen in their greatest sublimity. There, without seeing a tree or stream of water, the traveler may wander for days and discover nothing but a grassy ocean, bounded on all sides by the horizon. In the dry season the Indians set fire to the grass, and the wide conflagration which ensues often surprises the buffalo, deer, and other wild animals, who, unable to escape from the flames, are burned to death. The grass on the rolling prairies is usually not more than six or eight inches in height -- very sweet and nutritious, and as it forms the principal food of the buffalo it is also known as "buffalo grass."

Of the animals found on these vast plains, the buffalo is the most numerous, although incredible numbers are annually slaughtered merely for their skins. The wild horse is also met with in considerable numbers, but their range is farther south, in Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. The horse is not a native of America, yet the wild horses of the Western country deserve particular notice here. Herds of these animals, the offspring of those which have escaped from the Spanish possessions in Mexico, are not uncommon on the extensive prairies that lie to the west of the Mississippi. They were once numerous on the


Kutenai lands, near the northern sources of the Columbia, on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, but of late have become almost extinct in that quarter. These wild horses are very much coveted by the Indian tribes living on the plains, particularly the Sioux, the Osage, Pawnee, and Comanche.

For the purpose of obtaining these animals, who in their wild state preserve all their fleetness, the Indians go in large parties to the country where they mostly abound. When they discover a troop of horses, they distribute themselves into three parties, two of which take their stations at different and proper distances on the route, which by previous experience they know the horses will most probably take when endeavoring to escape. This arrangement being completed, the first party commences the pursuit in the direction of their colleagues, at whose position they at length arrive. The second party then continues the chase with fresh horses, and pursues the fugitives to the third party, which generally succeeds in so far running them down as to noose or lasso them, and capture a considerable number. The Indians very soon tame the wild horses by keeping them several days without food and then mounting, ride them till the poor animals are nearly exhausted. After this they are tolerably obedient, although preserving many of their vicious qualities.

As horses are generally used in the chase of the buffalo, they are naturally highly prized; besides they are used for transporting tents and whole families from place to place; but one of the highest objects of a young Indian is to possess a good horse for the buffalo hunt. To steal a horse belonging to an adverse tribe is considered nearly as heroic an exploit as killing an enemy on the field of battle, and the distances they occasionally travel, and the privations they undergo on their horse-stealing excursions, are almost incredible. Although an Indian always sleeps with his gun by his side and his horse tethered near him, the forefeet of the animal being tied with thongs of leather, still, with all this precaution, he will sometimes be awakened by the noise of the thief galloping off on his animal. A hunter losing his horse on one of these vast plains is in almost as forlorn a situation as a shipwrecked sailor on a raft.

The following account of the buffalo or bison is from the pen of Dr. [John] Richardson.

"At the period when the Europeans began to make settlements in North America, this animal was occasionally met with on the Atlantic coast; but eve then it appears to have been rare to the eastward of the Appalachian Mountains. They still exist, however, in vast numbers, and roam in countless herds


over the prairies that are watered by the Arkansas, La Platte, Missouri, and upper branches of the Saskatchewan and Peace rivers. This animal does not appear to have excited much attention in Europe until lately, when several specimens were exhibited in England, under the attractive title of Bonasus, which, though described by the ancients, was asserted to have been lost to the moderns, until recognized in the American buffalo. The American bison has in fact much resemblance to the aurochs of the Germans identified by Cuvier, with the bonasus of Aristotle, the bison of Pausanias and Pliny, and the urus of Caesar, and which, down to the reign of Charlemagne, was not rare in Germany, but is now nearly confined to the hilly country lying between the Caspian and Black Sea.

["]The bison wander constantly from place to place, either from being disturbed by hunters, or in quest of food. They are much attracted by the soft tender grass which springs up after a fire has spread over the prairie. In winter, they scrape away the snow with their feet to reach the grass. The bulls and cows live in separate herds for the greater part of the year; but at all seasons, one or two bulls generally accompany a large herd of cows. The bison is in general a shy animal, and takes to flight instantly on winding an enemy, which the acuteness of its sense of smell enables it to do from a great distance. They are less wary when they are assembled together in numbers, and will then often blindly follow their leaders, regardless of, or trampling down, the hunters posted in their way. It is dangerous for the hunter to show himself after having wounded one, for it will pursue him, and although its gait is heavy and awkward, it will have no difficulty in overtaking the fleetest runner.

["]The flesh of a bison in good condition is very juicy and well flavored, much resembling that of well-fed beef. The tongue is considered a delicacy and may be cured so as to surpass in flavor the tongue of an English cow. The hump of flesh covering the long spinous processes of the first dorsal vertebrae is much esteemed. It is named bos by the Canadian voyageurs; wig by the Orkney-men in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company, and by the American hunters it is known as the hump. The wig has a fine grain, and when salted and cut transversely, it is almost as rich and tender as the tongue. The fine wool which clothes the bison renders its skin, when properly dressed, an excellent blanket; and they are valued so highly that a good one sells for one to three pounds in Canada, where they are used as wrappers by those who travel over the snow in carioles. The wool has been manufactured in England into a remarkably fine and beautiful cloth, and in the colony of Assiniboia on the Red River, a warm and durable coarse cloth is made of it. Much of the


pemmican used by the voyageurs attached to the fur companies is made of buffalo meat, procured at their posts on the Red River and Saskatchewan. One bison cow in good condition furnishes good meat and fat enough to make a mass of pemmican weighing about ninety pounds. The bison which frequent the woody parts of the country form smaller herds than those which roam over the plains, but are said to be individually of a greater size."

The following extracts are from Dr. [John D.] Godman.

"The herds of bison wander over the country in search of food, usually led by a bull most remarkable for strength and fierceness. While feeding, they are often scattered over a great extent of country, but when they move in mass, they form a dense and almost impenetrable column, which, once in motion, is scarcely to be impeded. Their line of march is seldom interrupted even by considerable rivers, across which they swim without fear or hesitation, nearly in the order that they traverse the plains. When flying before their pursuers, it would be in vain for the foremost to halt, or attempt to obstruct the progress of the main body as they throng in the rear; still rushing onward, the leaders must advance, although destruction awaits the movement. The Indians take advantage of this circumstance to destroy great quantities of their favorite game, and, certainly, no mode could be resorted to more effectually destructive, nor could a more terrible devastation be produced, than that of forcing a numerous herd of these large animals to leap together from the brink of a dreadful precipice, upon a rocky and broken surface, a hundred feet below.

["]When the Indians determine to destroy bison in this way, one of their swiftest footed and most active young men is selected, who is disguised in a bison skin, having the head, ears, and horns adjusted on his own head, so as to make the deception very complete, and thus accoutred, he stations himself between the bison herd and some of the precipices that often extend for several miles along the rivers. The Indians surround the herd as nearly as possible, when, at a given signal, they show themselves and rush forward with


loud yells. The animals being alarmed, and seeing no way open but in the direction of the disguised Indian, run toward him, and he taking to flight, dashes on to the precipice, where he suddenly secures himself in some previously ascertained crevice. The foremost of the herd arrives at the brink -- there is no possibility of retreat, no chance of escape; the foremost may, for an instant, shrink with terror, but the crowd behind, who are terrified by the approaching hunters, rush forward with increasing impetuosity, and the aggregated force hurls them successively into the gulf, where certain death awaits them.

["]We have already adverted to the great numbers of these animals which live together. They have been seen in herds of three, four, and five thousand, blackening the plain as far as the eye could reach. Some travelers are of [the] opinion that they have seen as many as eight or ten thousand in the same herd, but this is merely a conjecture. At night it is impossible for persons to sleep near them who are unaccustomed to their noise, which, from the incessant lowing and roaring of the bulls, is said very much to resemble distant thunder. Although frequent battles take place among the bulls, as among domestic cattle, the habits of the bison are peaceful and inoffensive, seldom or never offering to attack man or other animals, unless outraged in the first instance."

In the foreground of the accompanying picture [Plate 7], on the left, is seen an Indian encampment, with a party going to the hunt. The tents which the Indians carry with them on their hunting and fishing excursions are made of buffalo skins, the hair or wool shaved off, six and sometimes eight being sewn together, to form one covering; a number of poles, ten feet long, are then fixed in a circle of some nine feet in diameter, into the ground, the tops of the poles are tied together, but not bent -- and around the frame thus formed, the covering is fastened with wooden pegs. The whole, when completed, makes a very good temporary dwelling, being quite impervious to rain. A fire is kindled in the middle and the smoke escapes through an opening at the top. It is called among the Dakota a "tepee."

Hanging near the tent are seen some gaily colored cloths, enclosing guns, bows, and quivers of arrows. These, however, are not for use, but are placed there as medicine. The reader must not imagine that this term has the same signification among the Indians as with us. Medicine among the red men is more potent, and consists of any article that has been blessed by the medicine man or priest. When thus blessed it is supposed to protect the owner from the influence of evil spirits, whom the Indians always imagine to be prowling round, seeking whom they might devour. The blessing of these sacred articles is rather expensive, and if it is to be made very potent -- spirit-proof, if we may


use the expression -- two good horses and a number of buffalo robes are frequently given. Any object may thus become sacred, but those mostly used for this purpose are: bows, guns, shields, or war clubs, which have rendered good service in battle or the chase, and are considered lucky. The medicine never must be touched excepting by the owner, and the touch of a white man or a woman is considered particularly ruinous to the efficacy of the medicine; and nothing offends an Indian so much as the touch of this sacred emblem. Indeed, after a white man has touched it, the medicine must be reblessed. The author knew a young man who came very near losing his life in thus inadvertently handling some of these things; he was fired at by two Indians, but fortunately the distance was too great and the arrows fell short.

In this view also is seen a chief, mounted on one of the wild horses which he has taken on the prairies and domesticated; they are a small breed, but exceedingly well formed, active, and capable of much endurance. We have known such horses to perform a journey of three thousand miles at an average of thirty miles a day, with no other food than the prairie grass, and no other shelter or stable but the sky and ground.


Chapter 8. The St. Peter's River.

The St. Peter's River.

Plate 8. The St. Peter's River Valley.

THE FIRST EUROPEAN WHO ENTERED THIS STREAM is supposed to have been Mons. [Pierre Charles] Le Sueur, who explored this region in 1695, by order of the Count de Frontenac, governor general of Canada or New France. Having ascended the river about 130 miles to the Makato, or Blue Earth River, he there discovered a copper mine. In the month of October, 1702, he made a second visit to the Makato, built a fort, and in less than a month got out 30,000 pounds of copper ore.

The origin of the name of St. Pierre or St. Peter's, which this river has borne from its earliest discovery, seems to be doubtful. By Long it is surmised to have been named by its first explorer, Le Sueur, in honor of Mons. St. Pierre de Repantigni, who is supposed to have accompanied him. One ingenious individual imagines the name to have originated in the words: sans pierres, no stones being found on its banks for some distance from its mouth! [Pierre F. X. de] Charlevoix mentions the river by its name, but says nothing of its origin.

By the Sioux the station of St. Peter's is called Mdote-minnisotah, and the river itself is called Watapan-minni-sotah, "the river of blear water." The


Chippewa call it Ash-ki-bo-gi-si-bi, "the Green-Leaf river." The width of the St. Peter's, at its mouth, is 125 yards, where it is a deep stream. Ascending, however, it rapidly diminishes both in depth and breadth. Its course is exceedingly tortuous. Its bottoms are broad and composed of rich alluvium. The color of its waters is gray and turbid, strongly contrasting with the clear and sparkling Mississippi. Its general direction for 130 miles from its mouth is southwest, thence northwest to its source. It takes its rise in a small lake, called Polecat Lake, about three miles in circumference, situated at the base of Coteau des Prairies -- a, remarkable ridge dividing the waters of the Mississippi from those flowing into the Missouri and Hudson Bay in latitude 45°. This ridge is 2,000 feet above the level of the sea and 500 above that of the Missouri, and it is a remarkable fact that within a few days' journey from this point may be visited the main springs and tributaries of five of the largest rivers in the world: viz. the Mississippi, Missouri, the Red River of the North which empties into Hudson Bay, the Des Moines, and the St. Peter's.

The length of this latter river, pursuing the wanderings of its exceedingly serpentine course, is estimated at 500 miles to accomplish an extent of half that distance. Its course is obstructed by several rocky ridges which occasion falls. It passes through many lakes of considerable extent, the principal of which are the Big Stone Lake and the Lac qui Parle, or the Echo Lake. Its chief tributaries are the Spirit Mountain [Yellow Bank], the Makato, and the Yellow Medicine rivers. The aggregate descent of the St. Peter's is estimated at 150 feet, the summit level at its source being 80 feet above the river. Its bluffs do not average more than 200 feet above its bottoms, but run in parallel ranges. Its valley is about a mile and a half in breadth [Plate 8]. The average breadth of the stream is from 60 to 80 yards for about 40 miles from its mouth, when it becomes more contracted. Nicollet states this river to have a course of 470 miles, and to be navigable for 250.

About 50 miles above the mouth there is a series of rapids in the stream, and it narrows to 80 feet in breadth. Villages of the Dakota are numerous on its banks, there being half a dozen of them within 20 miles of Fort Snelling, all of which are deserted at the hunting seasons, and inhabited only during


those of cultivation. The valley of the St. Peter's is described as exceedingly beautiful in its scenery, having a fertile soil, well watered by numerous fine streams which enter the main river. The lower portion is marshy and liable to inundation; but farther up the prairies are extensive and high. Rocks are by no means abundant.

At the mouth of the St. Peter's, nearly opposite Fort Snelling, is one of the principal trading posts of the American Fur Company; it is called Mendota, or the Meeting of the Waters. The scene presented here when a steamboat arrives is an exceedingly picturesque and varied one, especially as there are generally many camps of Indians in the neighborhood (coming down to trade) on the banks of these two mighty rivers, which here, mingling their currents, form uninterrupted inland navigation of more than two thousand miles, extending through twenty degrees of latitude.

Nicollet, the most reliable authority, in speaking of this river, says: "The name of St. Peter's (the St. Pierre of the French) it appears, has been immemorially given to the spot or landing at the mouth of the River St. Peter's; but whence the name is not known. Father Hennepin, who was the first to visit the Falls of St. Anthony, in 1680, makes no mention of this river; but his book is written very confusedly, and, as he gives no details of his route, perhaps had no occasion to visit it, and as he was also molested by the Sioux, the omission is explicable. On the other hand, Le Sueur, in the journal of his third journey, in 1700, names the St. Peter's as familiarly known and acknowledged by traders. As for my part, I have no hesitation in assigning its origin to a Canadian by the name of de St. Pierre, who resided for a long time thereabout. Carver, in referring to the supposed fortifications which he visited below Lake Pepin, mentions a Mr. de St. Pierre; but this was sixty-four years after the travels of Le Sueur. However, waiving any further inquiry into the origin of this name, it is desirable that it should not be changed, because it is an important link in the history of the geographical discoveries made in this region, as well as a constant point of reference by travelers over it; so that any change would throw additional obscurity upon the early history of the country.

["]The name which the Sioux give to the St. Peter's River is Mini-so-tah; and to St. Peter's as a station, Mdote-mini-sota. The adjective sotah is of difficult translation. The Canadians translate it by a pretty equivalent French


word, brouillé -- perhaps most properly rendered into English by blear; as for instance, mini-sotah, blear water, or the entrance of the blear water.

["]From actual measurements made by Mr. H. Sibley and myself, the width of the St. Peter's at the crossing place, above its confluence, is 320 feet;that of the Mississippi, below Fort Snelling, and outside of the gorge whence it issues, is 576 feet.["]

One of the brightest attractions of a scenic character in this neighborhood is a group of beautiful lakes, situated a few miles west of the fort, among which some have received the names of Lake of the Isles, Lake Cass, Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, &c. &c.

The Little Falls.

Plate 9. The Little Falls.

From the Falls of St. Anthony sweeps off an undulating prairie in every direction. On the north and west, it is lost on the horizon, or is skirted by distant elevations; on the south, it extends to the St. Peter's, across the point of land formed by that stream and the Mississippi, to a distance of eight miles, terminated by the bluffs on the former river, and to the south [also] it rolls off toward Fort Snelling situated on the high promontory at the junction of the two rivers.

There are many objects of interest to the lover of natural scenery which are to be seen in this neighborhood. Among these are several waterfalls; one of them situated about two and a half miles from the fort, known by the various names of "Brown's Falls," "Little Falls," or "Calhoun's Falls," is surpassingly beautiful [Plate 9]. The stream proceeds from Lake Calhoun, a placid sheet of water, among several others of similar character, some eight or ten miles west of the garrison. This stream, originally, no doubt, fell into the Mississippi over its rocky bank, about two miles above the fort; but it has worn its way a short distance back through the limestone rock, and now descends from a broad, flat surface or ledge about twenty feet wide, to a dark wooded ravine, more than twice that depth. The spray arising from this fall is constant, and spans the scene with a brilliant iris when the sun rays pour down at the proper angle. The concussion of the particles of water against


the rock over which it flows has so undermined it as to form a huge arch, which, together with the projection of the water as it throws itself over the cliff, forms quite a large chamber, which may be easily entered from below, and a passage from one side of the fall to the other be obtained. A complete drenching by the whirling spray is the only inconvenience to be encountered. This chamber is, indeed, precisely of the character of the "Cave of the Winds" behind the great cataract at Niagara, which is so often visited and which, doubtless, owes its origin to the same natural causes.

A peculiarity of many of these smaller sheets of water is that they have no streams running into them nor any outlet; yet the height of the water never varies, neither is there much change in the temperature. The shores of these lakes generally consist of fine gravel or sandy bottom and form beautiful laces for bathing.

Of the numerous springs that issue from the foot of the adjoining bluffs, there is one deserving particular notice; it is very abundant, perfectly shaded, and known as Baker's Spring. Mr. Nicollet took the temperature of it, during twenty days of the month of July, 1836, and then again during the following winter months, three times a day, and he found it never to vary more than to 46° in July, and 45.5° in January; either cipher may then be taken as the mean annual temperature of the climate of this part of the country and the result accords with the observations made for many years at Fort Snelling.


Chapter 9. St. Paul.

St. Paul.

Plate 10. St. Paul, Minnesota.

THIS TOWN IS BEAUTIFULLY SITUATED in the bluffs on the eastern shore and was formerly the most northern settlement of white men on the Mississippi. It is some tour or five miles below Fort Snelling, and there is a good road leading from this place to the fort and the Falls of St. Anthony. The settlement was commenced six years ago, and has now a population of 500. Some fine farms have been opened in the neighborhood. The soil is fertile and the timber and prairies well distributed. Until recently the land on which this town is built belonged to the United States. In the month of August last, there was a government land sale at which the site was purchased by an agent of certain associates -- some 200 in number -- who had, before the sale, agreed upon the ownership of the several lots, and thus rendered the business of conveying from the agent to the associates a very easy matter. The whole was arranged in a most amicable manner -- all parties were satisfied, and the titles perfect. The price paid to the government by the town's agent was a little over $200, or $1.25 an acre, for the ground embraced in the site. The town was very fully represented at the sale, there being encamped on the ground nearly 200 St. Paulites, who had come there "to see justice done"; in other words, to frown indignantly on any "outsiders" who should presume to bid against their agent! Some of these lots, only 50 by 150 feet, are held as high as $500.

St. Paul must become a very nourishing town. At the head of navigation,


it must be the depot and place of transit for a large amount of merchandise. It will also be a convenient point for the distribution of the large Indian annuities, amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, paid to the Northern Indians; and it stands the best chance of being the capital of the new Territory of Minnesota. It was at this place that the steamer "Dr. Franklin" landed three hundred Winnebago, which she brought up from Wabasha Prairie, about one hundred miles below, on their reluctant route to the new home provided for them by the government in the month of June last. During the same month no less than forty wagons arrived at this place, and at the fort, from the Selkirk settlement, situated on the Red River of the North, containing peltry, buffalo tongues, Indian curiosities, &c., which they exchanged for dry goods, groceries and whisky. A very important trade will, doubtless, thus be created in a few years.

Below St. Paul is a range of white sandstone cliffs, which present a beautiful view in the distance.

The view of St. Paul as given in the illustration [Plate 10] is as it appeared in 1849 [1848]. Since that time great changes have taken place; the title to a very large tract of Indian territory has been extinguished, or in other words, the land has been bought by the government. This land extends north and west of Fort Snelling, and out of a portion of it a new territory has been formed, called Minnesota, the name given by the Indians to the St. Peter's River, the meaning of which has been explained in a preceding article. There is no part of the valley of the Mississippi that has been settled so rapidly as Minnesota, and St. Paul having been chosen as the capital, has received a great


impulse. At the time we were there the town was little more than an Indian trading post, occupied by Canadian voyageurs, half-breeds, hunters, and trappers, nearly all of whom had taken to their bosoms the prettiest squaws they could choose from among the Indians, and they were fast raising a new and hardy race of voyageurs and trappers, to fill their places when too old to follow the dangers of the chase, or to stem the wild rapids of the river. But the sale and transfer of this land to the white man has completely changed the face of things, and as the class of people mentioned can only live among the Indians, they were threatened to be driven out altogether by their more enterprising rivals, who are buying up and cultivating the country very rapidly, driving away the game and rendering the place fit only for the abode of these "church-going" and "city-white" men, as these newcomers are derisively called. The Indians, too, are being removed farther west, so that the only chance for the original settlers of St. Paul or "Pig's Eye," as it is commonly called, is to follow in the way of their old friends and patrons, the Indians. Such has been the fate of all the old French settlements that were established on the frontiers; the inhabitants, instead of amalgamating with the newcomers -- as one might suppose they naturally would -- look upon them with distrust and suspicion, with their schoolteachers, their lawyers, and other newfangled notions. Indeed, the French creole seems the only being who can live among, and adapt himself to, the manners and habits of the red man. The moment the Saxon arrives, all is changed; either the nation they settle among must conform to their manners and usages, or they must remove from among them.

Originally the American Fur Company's establishment at Mendota, just above St. Paul, gave ample employment, directly and indirectly, to the inhabitants of this village, but it is now probable that, under the new state of things, the establishment will be broken up and pushed farther west.

It may well be in place to say a few words about the trappers and voyageurs of this vast wilderness, as but few persons have any idea of the extent of the trade and the number of persons employed in it. In the olden time, most of the hunting and trapping was prosecuted on, or near, the large rivers and their tributaries that were navigable for their greater distance for canoes and bateaux; but as new companies sprung up and the beaver got scarce, it became necessary to look tor the game in the more remote streams that take their rise in the gorges and ravines of the Rocky Mountains; before this time, however, the voyageurs or boatmen were the rank and file in the service of the trader, and even those hardy "Men of the North," those great rufflers and game birds, were fain to be paddled from point to point in their migrations.


A totally different class has now sprung up, the "Mountaineers"; the traders and trappers that scale the vast mountain chains, and pursue their hazardous vocations amidst those wild recesses. They move from place to place on horse-back. The equestrian exercises in which they are continually engaged, the nature of the countries they traverse -- vast plains and mountains, pure and exhilarating in atmospheric qualities -- seem to make them physically and mentally a more lively and mercurial race than the fur traders and trappers of former days, the self-vaunting "Men of the North."

A man who bestrides a horse must be essentially different from a man who cowers in a canoe. We find them, accordingly, hardy, lithe, vigorous, and active; extravagant in word, and thought, and deed; heedless of hardship; daring of danger; prodigal of the present; and thoughtless of the future. A difference is to be perceived even between these mountain hunters and those of the lower regions along the waters of the Missouri. The latter, generally French Creoles, live comfortably in cabins and log huts, well sheltered from the inclemencies of the season.

They are within the reach of frequent supplies from the settlements; their life is comparatively free from danger, and from most of the vicissitudes of the upper wilderness. The consequence is that they are less hardy, self-dependent, and game-spirited than the mountaineer. If the latter, by chance, comes among them on his way to and from the settlements, he is like a game-cock among the common roosters of the poultry yard. Accustomed to live in tents, or to bivouac in the open air, he despises and is impatient of the comforts of the log house. If his meal is not ready in season, he takes his rifle, hies to the forest or the prairie, shoots his own game, lights his fire, and cooks his repast. With his horse and his rifle, he is independent of the world, and spurns at all its restraints. The very superintendents at the lower ports will not put him to mess with the common men, the hirelings of the establishment, but treat him as something superior.

"There is, perhaps, no class of men on the face of the earth, who lead a life of more continued exertion, peril, and excitement, and who are so much enamored of their occupations, as the free trappers of the West. No toil, no danger, no privation can turn the trapper from his pursuit. His passionate excitement at times resembles a mania. In vain may the most vigilant and cruel savages beset his path; in vain may rocks and precipices, and wintry torrents oppose his progress; let but a single track of a beaver meet his eye, and he forgets all dangers and defies all difficulties.

["]At times, he may be seen with his traps on his shoulder, buffeting his way across rapid streams, amidst floating blocks of ice; at other times, he is to be found with his traps swung on his back, clambering the most rugged mountains, scaling or descending the most frightful precipices, searching by routes inaccessible to the horse, and never before trodden by white man,


for springs and lakes unknown to his comrades, and where he may meet with his favorite game. Such is the mountaineer, the hardy trapper of the West; and such, as we have slightly sketched it, is the wild, Robin Hoodkind of life, with all its strange and motley populace, now existing in full vigor among the Rocky Mountains."

But to return to St. Paul. The population at the time we speak of, 1849, was, as before stated, not more than 500. Now mark the change -- to a European almost incomprehensible -- in 1852 the census was taken and showed a population of more than 5,000 souls. Such was the great rush to this new paradise, that, at one time, there were more than 1,300 persons living in tents who could not get houses to shelter themselves.

A statehouse, court house, churches, schoolhouses, library, and Athenaeum have all been built, and St. Paul now begins to assume the appearance of a large and flourishing town.

At the time we made the sketch of this place, it was Indian territory, but the persons residing there had taken out preemption rights, in anticipation of the new state of things. One of the principal holders of the land, who had some taste for art as well as knowledge of Indian trade, made the proposition to the author that, if he would paint him a small picture of St. Paul in which his house and trading post should be shown conspicuously, he would, in return, give a block in the town of some 900 square feet; however, the author, having no time, nor being in the humor to speculate -- not having the power to look into the future -- declined the offer; this very square of land could not be bought now for less than $3,000. It is in this way that many persons accumulate immense fortunes in a short time in America, in buying land by the acre and then laying off a town and selling it by the foot.

There are two remarkable caves near St. Paul, one is called "the Fountain Cave"; the other is the celebrated "Carver's Cave"; we proceed to give a description of these grottoes.

Fountain Cave.

Three miles below Fort Snelling, on the eastern shore, commences an escarpment of white sandstone bluffs, which wind and water for centuries


have worn into such grotesque and fanciful, yet regular, shapes, that the range has been called "The Cornice Cliffs." This formation extends for several miles and is said to contain a number of curious caverns. One of them called the Fountain Cave, which was discovered in 1811, is worthy of note. The entrance stands on a level with the river, and is approached by a ravine of a hundred yards, down which trickles a limpid streamlet, bright and sparkling, from the depths of the cliff. This cave is, doubtless, of comparatively recent formation and owes its origin to the stream of water breaking through the fissures of the plate of limestone which forms the roof, disintegrating and washing out the stratum of soft sandstone beneath. The Indians do not regard it as venerable for antiquity, nor do they view it as an object of religious regard, like other natural curiosities of the kind.

Ascending the ravine from the river, the route is shortly arrested by a circular facade of soft sandstone about 40 feet high; then turning to the right, the visitor enters the cave. Its arch is about 20 feet high and 30 in breadth at the base. But it rapidly diminishes in size, and, at the depth of 50 feet, is but 6 feet high and 10 wide. The stream of water on the contrary deepens as the cave is penetrated and seems to owe its origin to a large spring. The mean temperature of this spring in summer and winter corresponds with that of all other springs in this vicinity, and is about 46° Fahrenheit; the walls, roof, and floor are composed of exceedingly soft sandstone, white as snow, and to this snowy whiteness, together with the sparkling purity of the gushing streamlet, the cavern is indebted for most, if not all, its attractions. The walls yield readily to the knife and are, of course, covered with names of visitors, among which are those of General [Governor Lewis] Cass and Mr. [Henry R.] Schoolcraft, who explored it many years ago. Nicollet designates this cavern on his map as "New Cave." The Indians call it "the house of stone." "The house of sand" would be quite as appropriate, and much more true.

By Featherstonhaugh this cave has been considered as the same described by Carver in 1766. But aged Indians say that it did not then exist, and, indeed, it is widely different from Carver's Cave described in the following lines.


Carver's Cave.

Two miles below St. Paul there is a cavern which Carver informs us was a general rendezvous for the band of the Naudowessies (Dakota, or Sioux), when they annually repaired to this spot to deposit their dead, and, at the same time, to hold a grand council for the determination of all their public affairs for the ensuing year.

Of this cavern Carver says: "About thirty miles (!) below the Falls of St. Anthony is a remarkable cave of amazing depth. The Indians term it ‘Wakan-teepee’ that is, ‘the Dwelling of the Great Spirit.’ The entrance into it is about ten feet wide, the height of it, five feet. The arch within is nearly fifteen feet high and about thirty feet broad; the bottom of it consists of fine clear sand. About twenty feet from the entrance begins a lake, the water of which is transparent and extends to an unsearchable distance; for the darkness of the cave prevents all attempts to acquire a knowledge of it. I threw a small pebble toward the interior part of it with my utmost strength; I could hear that it fell into the water, and, notwithstanding it was of a small size, it caused an astonishing and horrible noise, that reverberated through all these gloomy regions. I found in this cave many Indian hieroglyphics, which appeared very ancient, for time had nearly covered them with moss, so that it was with difficulty I could trace them. They were cut in a rude manner upon the inside of the walls, which were composed of a stone so extremely soft, that it might easily be penetrated with a knife; a stone everywhere to be found near the Mississippi. The cave is only accessible by ascending a narrow, steep passage, that lies near the brink of the river."

In 1817 this cave was revisited by Major Long and could only be entered by creeping on the hands and knees. Its dimensions were found greatly less than those given by Carver. This was caused, doubtless, by the falling of the debris of the cliffs, composed of alternating strata of limestone and sandstone. Subsequently to Major Long's visit, the entrance to the cave became entirely closed, and thus remained until July 5, 1837, when it was reopened by Nicollet,


assisted by his Sioux and Chippewa interpreters. Nicollet says that, although he did not entirely disencumber the cave of its rubbish, he saw enough to convince him of the accuracy of Carver's description.

A Chippewa brave, in the enthusiasm of the occasion, flung his knife into the subterraneous lake, as an offering to Wakan-teepee, and made a long harangue. Indeed this place seems famous for harangues. Carver tells us that on the first day of May, 1767, he made a speech at the great cave to the assembled bands of Naudowessies sitting in council, on his return from the valley of the River St. Pierre; and even favors us with a report thereof from his own pen. The ascent to the mouth of this cave is now, as in Carver's time, by "a narrow steep passage" and the walls on the left are covered with "many Indian hieroglyphics which appear very ancient."


Chapter 10. Little Crow's Village.

Little Crow's Village.

SOME FOUR OR FIVE MILES BELOW ST. PAUL, on the west side, there is an ancient village of the Sioux built on a bend of the river [Plate 11]. It has, of course, several names, as has every village, river, cave, lake, or hill in this region. The Sioux call it Crow's village or Ka-ho-jah's or Je-hay-pe-hah-mo-nee; their visitors call it Little Crow's village.

A description of a visit to this village some years ago may not prove inappropriate.

"Ascending the Mississippi we arrived at a large Indian village, called the Crow's village, containing about three hundred Sioux. Boats so rarely stop here, that when we made demonstrations of landing, it excited surprise, and the Indians poured in from the hills and cliffs in great numbers, arranging themselves on the bank. A large portion seemed to consist of women and children. The abrupt feeling of intimidation, which seemed to last but for a moment, subsided when the two races mingled harmoniously together; it was a grotesque and interesting scene. The entrances to the wigwams were closed; but they allowed us to enter and examine the interior of two or three of them. The fireplace is in the center, and a range of banks, or platforms, about five feet wide, and elevated about three feet, are made round it, and mostly covered with skins, on which they sit and sleep; placed in the corners and hung promiscuously about, are seen their various implements of war and chase and different utensils, many of which we could not comprehend the use of.

["]Our attention before reaching the shore had been attracted by a range


of various colored objects elevated on poles about six feet high, extending from tree to tree, on the bluff back of the village. Ascending the hill, which is some two or three hundred feet high, we found it was their cemetery, and the different colors to be boxes, parts of canoes and coffins, covered with red, blue, and other cloths, each containing a dead body; there were thirteen of these, arranged and ornamented according to the taste of these simple people. I observed on one of these scaffolds of the usual size nothing but simply an ornamented Indian cradle. It is said the bodies are kept thus about a year, and then placed on the ground and a roof erected over them, in the manner we saw near by.

["] Returning from the graves we witnessed a most lively scene. A lady had procured shreds of high colored cloths, beads, and perhaps other trinkets, which she was distributing among the many children; this caused them to collect around her in such numbers, that she threw them into the crowd, and in the scramble feats of agility were performed quite surprising; the antics of the fortunate ones were most amusing. They followed us after the boat had left the landing, some on shore, others in the water, when someone threw several packs of cards among them, which the wind separated and wafted about in every direction; the next throw of cards was so near the water that many were carried into it; nothing daunted, they plunged in, and, with noisy glee, secured them amid the shouts of merriment. I regret we had not more time to examine the modes and customs of this interesting people."

In 1823, when Major Long passed this village on his expedition to the source of the St. Peter's, it consisted of about a dozen huts, constructed of upright posts in the ground with a roof of bark, and with exterior scaffolds on each side, for the purpose of drying pumpkins, maize, &c.

The village was then called "Petit Corbeau," or "Little Raven," which was the name of the father and grandfather of the chief who then ruled, and whose appellation was " Che-tau-wa-ko-ma-ne," or "the good sparrow hunter." The designation of the band was "Ka-po-jah," implying "an active race."

This spot has long been noted as the burial place of several bands of the Dakota. As long since as 1766, when Carver was here, this cemetery was ancient; and, although these savages had then, as they now have, no fixed abiding places -- pursuing a nomadic life, and dwelling in tents but a few months of each year -- yet every spring, from the distant sources of the St. Peter's and the Mississippi, to this sacred spot they gathered, bearing their dead. The


bodies were conveyed here bound up in buffalo skins, and were deposited on scaffolds, or hung in the branches of trees in any mode agreeable to the wishes of the deceased before his death. If it was impossible to convey the body to the cemetery before decomposition, the flesh was consumed by fire and the bones preserved for burial rites. The friends and relatives often visited the spot till the corpse began to decay. They then shook hands with it and bade it a last farewell, although they continued annually to visit it. There are numerous mounds in this vicinity, in which, probably, were deposited the bones when all else was dust. Steamboats seldom stop at this village, and to visit it the better plan is to go to it by land from St. Paul, a distance of only three miles.

It may be in place here and not uninteresting to the reader, to say a few words on the dances, songs, and amusements of the Indians; we cannot, therefore, do better than transcribe some account of these ceremonies from the work of that indefatigable traveler and archaeologist, H. Schoolcraft, Esq., whose great work on the aboriginal tribes is now in course of publication by the government, and to which work we refer our readers for more full details of these people than our space will admit of.

Indian Music, Songs, and Poetry.

["]The North American tribes have the elements of music and poetry. Their war songs frequently contain flights of the finest heroic sentiment clothed in poetic imagery, and numbers of the addresses of the speakers, both occasional and public, abound in eloquent and poetic thought. ‘We would anticipate eloquence,’ observes a modern American writer, ‘from an Indian. He was animating remembrances -- a poetry of language, which exacts rich and apposite metaphorical allusions, even for ordinary conversation -- a mind which, like his body, has never been trammeled and mechanized by the formalities of society, and passions which, from the very outward restraint imposed upon them, burn more fiercely within.’ Yet, it will be found that the records of our literature, scattered as they are, in periodicals and ephemeral publications, rather than in works of professed research, are meager and barren on these topics. One of the first things we hear of the Indians, after


their discovery, is their proneness to singing and dancing. But however characteristic these traits may be, and we think they are eminently so, it has fallen to the lot of but few to put on record specimens, which may be appealed to, as evidences of the current opinion on these heads. With favorable opportunities of observation among the tribes, we have but to add our testimony to the difficulties of making collections in these departments, which shall not compromise the intellectual character of the tribes, whose efforts are always oral, and very commonly extemporaneous. These difficulties arise from the want of suitable interpreters, the remoteness of the points at which observations must be made, the heavy demands made upon hours of leisure or business by such inquiries, and the inconvenience of making notes and detailed memoranda on the spot. The little that is in our power to offer will therefore be submitted as contributions to an inquiry which is quite in its infancy, and rather with the hope of exciting others to future labors, than of gratifying, to any extent, an enlightened curiosity on the subject.

["]Dancing is both an amusement and a religious observance among the American Indians, and is known to constitute one of the most widely spread traits in their manners and customs. It is accompanied, in all instances, with singing, and, omitting a few cases, with the beating of time on instruments. Tribes the most diverse in language, and situated at the greatest distances apart, concur in this. It is believed to be the ordinary mode of expressing intense passion, or feeling on any subject, and it is a custom which has been persevered in, with the least variation, through all the phases of their history, and, probably, exists among the remote tribes, precisely at this time as it did at the era of Columbus. It is observed to be the last thing abandoned by bands and individuals, in their progress to civilization and Christianity. So true is this, that it may be regarded as one of the best practical proofs of their advance, to find the native instruments and music thrown by, and the custom abandoned.

["]Everyone has heard of the war dance, the medicine dance, the Wabeno dance, the dance of honor (generally called the begging dance) and various others, each of which has its appropriate movements, its air, and its words. There is no feast and no religious ceremony among them which is not attended with dancing and songs. Thanks are thus expressed for success in hunting, for triumphs in war, and for ordinary providential cares. Public opinion is called to pressing objects by a dance, at which addresses are made; and in fact, moral instructions and advice are given to the young in the course of their being assembled at social feasts and dances. Dancing is indeed the common resource, whenever the Indian mind is to be acted on. And it thus stands viewed in its necessary connection with the songs and addresses, in the room of the press, the newspaper, and the periodical. The priests and prophets have, more than any other class, cultivated their national songs and dances,


and may be regarded as the skalds and poets of the tribes. They are generally the composers of the songs, and the leaders in the dances and ceremonies, and it is found that their memories are the best stored, not only with the sacred songs and chants, but also with the traditions and general lore of the tribes.

["]Dancing is thus interwoven throughout the whole texture of Indian society, so that there is scarcely an event important or trivial, private or public, which is not connected, more or less intimately, with this rite. The instances where singing is adopted without dancing are nearly confined to occurrences of a domestic character. Among these are wails for the dead and love songs of a simple and plaintive character. Maternal affection evinces itself by singing words to a cheerful air over the slumbers of the child, which, being suspended in a kind of cradle, receives at the same time a vibratory motion. Children have likewise certain chants, which they utter in the evenings while playing around the lodge door, or at other seasons of youthful hilarity. Some of the Indian fables are in the shape of duets, and the songs introduced in narrating their fictitious tales are always sung in the recital.

["]Their instruments of music are few and simple. The only wind instrument existing among them is the Pibbegwon, a kind of flute, resembling in simplicity the Arcadian pipe. It is commonly made of two semi-cylindrical pieces of cedar, united with fish glue, and having a snake skin, in a wet state, drawn tightly over it, to prevent its cracking. The holes are eight in number, and are perforated by means of a bit of heated iron. It is blown like the flageolet, and has a similar orifice or mouth piece.

["]The Taywa'egun (struck-sound-instrument) is a tamborine, or one-headed drum, and is made by adjusting a skin to one end of the section of a moderate sized hollow tree. When a heavier sound is required, a tree of larger circumference is chosen, and both ends closed with skins. The latter is called Mittigwukeek, i.e. wood-kettle-drum, and is appropriately used in religious ceremonies, but is not, perhaps, confined to this occasion.

["]To these may be added a fourth instrument, called the Sheshegwon, or rattle, which is constructed in various ways, according to the purpose or means of the maker. Sometimes it is made of animal bladder, from which the name is derived, sometimes of a wild gourd; in others, by attaching the dried hoots of the deer to a stick. The instrument is employed both to mark time, and to produce variety in sound.

["]ORAL COMPOSITION. Common as the Indian songs are, it is found to be no ordinary acquisition to obtain accurate specimens of them. Even after the difficulties of the notation have been accomplished, it is not easy to satisfy the requisitions of a correct taste and judgment in their exhibition. There is


always a lingering fear of misapprehension, or misconception, on the part of the interpreter -- or of some things being withheld by the never sleeping suspicion, or the superstitious fear of disclosure, on the part of the Indian. To these must be added the idiomatic and imaginative peculiarities of this species of wild composition -- so very different from every notion of English versification. In the first place there is no unity of theme, or plot, unless it be that the subject, war for instance, is kept in the singer's mind. In the next place both the narration and the description, when introduced, are very imperfect, broken, or disjointed. Prominent ideas flash out, and are dropped. These are often most striking and beautiful, but we wait in vain for any sequence. A brief allusion, a shining symbol, a burst of feeling or passion, a fine sentiment, or a bold assertion come in as so many independent parts, and there is but little in the composition to indicate the leading theme which is, as it were, kept in mental reserve, by the singer. Popular, or favorite expressions are often repeated, often transposed, and often exhibited with some new shade of meaning.

["]The structure and flexibility of the language is highly favorable to this kind of wild improvisation. But it is difficult to translate, and next to impossible to preserve its spirit. Two languages more unlike in all their leading characteristics than the English and the Indian were never brought into contact. The one monosyllabic, and nearly without inflections -- the other polysyllabic, polysynthetic, and so full of inflections of every imaginative kind as to be completely transpositive -- the one from the north of Europe, the other, probably, from Central Asia, it would seem that these families of the human race had not wandered wider apart, in their location, than they have in the sounds of their language, the accidence of their grammar, and the definition of their words. So that to find equivalent single words in translation, appears often as hopeless as the quadrature of the circle.

["]The great storehouse of Indian imagery is the heavens. The clouds, the planets, the sun, and moon, the phenomena of lightning, thunder, electricity, aerial sounds, electric or atmospheric, and the endless variety produced in the heavens by light and shade and by elemental action -- these constitute the fruitful themes of allusion in their songs and poetic chants. But they are mere illusions, or broken description, like touches on the canvas, without being united to produce a perfect object. The strokes may be those of a master, and the coloring exquisite; but without the art to draw, or the skill to connect, it will still remain but a shapeless mass.

["]In war excursions great attention is paid to the flight of birds, particularly those of the carnivorous species, which are deemed typical of war and bravery, and their wing and tail feathers are appropriated as marks of honor


by the successful warrior. When the minds of a war party have been roused up to the subject, and they are prepared to give utterance to their feelings by singing and dancing, they are naturally led to appeal to the agency of this class of birds. Hence the frequent allusions to them, in their songs. The following stanza is made up of expressions brought into connection from different fragments, but expresses no more than the native sentiments:

The eagles scream on high,
They whet their forked beaks;
Raise -- raise the battle cry
'Tis fame our leader seeks.

["]Generally the expressions are of an exalted and poetic character, but the remark[s] before made of their efforts in song, being discontinuous and abrupt, apply with peculiar force to the war songs. To speak of a brave man, of a battle, or the scene of a battle, or of the hoverings of birds of prey above it appears sufficient to bring up to the warrior's mind all the details consequent on personal bravery or heroic achievement. It would naturally be expected that they should delight to dwell on scenes of carnage and blood; but however this may be, all such details are omitted or suppressed in their war songs, which only excite ideas of noble daring.

The birds of the brave take a flight round the sky,
They cross the enemy's line,
Full happy am I -- that my body should fall,
Where brave men love to die.["]

We give in conclusion a short poem called the Chant to the Firefly in the native Chippewa language with both a literal and a poetical translation.

["]CHANT TO THE FIREFLY. In the hot summer evenings, the children of the Chippewa Algonquins, along the shores of the upper lakes, and in the northern latitudes, frequently assemble before their parents' lodges, and amuse themselves by little chants of various kinds, with shouts and wild dancing. Attracted by such shouts of merriment and gambols, I walked out one evening, to a green lawn skirting the edge of the St. Marys River, with the fall in full view, to get hold of the meaning of some of these chants. The air and the plain were literally sparkling with the phosphorescent light of the firefly. By dint of attention, repeated on one or two occasions, the following succession of words was caught. They were addressed to this insect:

Wau wau tay see!
Wau way tay see!


E mow e shin
Tshee bwau ne baun-e wee!
Be eghaun- be eghaun-ewee!
Wa wau tay see!
Wa wau tay see!
Was sa koon aim je gun
Was sa koon ain je gun.

["]LITERAL TRANSLATION. ‘Flitting-white-fire-insect! waving-white-fire-bug! give me light before I go to bed! give me light before I go to sleep. Come, little dancing white-fire-bug! Come little flitting-white fire-beast! Light me with your bright white-flame-instrument -- your little candle. [’]

["]Meter there was none, at least, of regular character: they were the wild improvisations of children in a merry mood.


Firefly, firefly! bright little thing,
Light me to bed, and my song I will sing.
Give me your light, as you fly o'er my head,
That I may merrily go to my bed.
Give me your light o'er the grass as you creep,
That I may joyfully go to my sleep.
Come little firefly -- come little beast --
Come! and I'll make you tomorrow a feast.
Come little candle that flies as I sing,
Bright little fairy-bug -- night's little king;
Come, and I'll dance as you guide me along,
Come, and I'll pay you, my bug, with a song.["]

Red Rock Prairie.

Plate 12. Red Rock Prairie.

This place is a celebrated resort among the Indians for religious worship, and owes its name to the fact that here is found a boulder of primitive rock which is held in high veneration by the savages, and on account of being painted by them with red pigment, is called the Red Rock. It is a fragment


of granite about four feet and a half in diameter, and is the first boulder of primitive rock, says Long, which has been discovered west of Rock River. To the fact of its singularity in this region, it, probably, owes the reverence with which it is viewed. The Indians often visit this stone, and at its base leave their offerings to the Great Spirit.

The Red Rock Prairie lies on the eastern shore, about two miles below Little Crow's village. In the foreground [Plate 12] are seen a group of Dakota Indians in the full and beautiful costume of this tribe; the way in which the women carry heavy burdens with a strap passed across the forehead, and their method of conveying children from place to place, is also shown. The child when six months old is fastened upon a small board with a little shelf at the bottom for the feet to rest on; a projecting bow with a cover of cloth protects the head and face of the child from sun and rain; this bow is made movable like the top of a gig, and attached along the rim there are little bells, beads, and bits of gaily colored cloth for the child to amuse itself with -- by "looking at them," for it cannot touch them, the hands, as well as the feet, being securely bound down. A strap passes over the shoulders of the mother and in this way the young "papoose" is carried sometimes on a march of days. On arriving at the camping ground, as the women have to erect the lodge, cook the meal, and to chop and fetch the wood, there is generally but little time to attend to the child until after all this is done, and one frequently sees the little ones hanging up by the strap in their prison cradles to the branches of the trees round the camp. Indian children seldom cry; we presume this arises from the fact that, if they did, the mothers would not pay the slightest attention to them, and so they are fain to wait till their turn comes to be attended to.

Polygamy is frequent among all the Indian tribes and we have met with some chiefs who had five wives; the general number however is two. This seems necessary under the present state of things, for the Indian warrior considers himself degraded if he does anything more than hunt and go to war.

An Indian woman will generally carry a pack of fifty pounds during a march averaging fifteen miles a day, and yet they are a small race. But the habit of marrying very young and carrying such burdens soon breaks them down, makes them round shouldered and prematurely old.


In the distance are seen two small islands. The one on the left has received the name of Virgin Island, from the fact that here is held the virgin feast by the Indians, in which none are allowed to participate who are not qualified. Tradition relates that here an Indian maiden, who had been excluded from this festival upon the accusation of a discarded lover, went and hanged herself.

Chastity was once held the chief gem of woman, whether married or single, among the Dakota. Suicide has always been common with them, especially with the females; although by their system of ethics, all women are entitled to the Blessed Land after death, save those who have been unchaste, or have committed suicide or infanticide. As most suicides commit the deed by hanging, they are said to go to the home of the Evil Spirit, dragging after them by the neck the tree to which they were suspended, which they are forever doomed to drag! Not unwisely, therefore, does the Dakota woman, when bent on suicide, select for her purpose the smallest tree that can possibly sustain her weight! The following legend may serve to illustrate this subject.

["]LOVE AND WAR. More than two hundred winters have passed away since the fame of Wawanosh was sounded along the shores of the Mississippi. He was a chief of an ancient line who had preserved the chieftainship in their family from the remotest times, and he cherished a lofty pride of ancestry. To the reputation of his birth he added the advantages of a tall and commanding person, and the dazzling qualities of great personal strength, courage, and activity. His heavy bow was renowned for its dimensions throughout the surrounding tribes; and he was known to have shot one of his flint-headed arrows through the bodies of two buffaloes. His counsel was as much sought as his prowess was feared; so that he came in time to be equally famed as a hunter, a warrior, and a sage. But he had now passed the meridian of his days, and the term Akkeewaizzee, one who has been long above the earth, was familiarly applied to him. Such was Wawanosh, to whom the united voice of the nation awarded the first place in their esteem, and the highest seat in authority. But pride was his ruling passion.

["]Wawanosh had an only daughter, who had now lived to witness the budding of the leaves for the eighteenth spring. Her father was not more


celebrated for his deeds of strength than she for her gentle virtues, her slender form, her beaming eyes, and her dark and flowing hair.

"And through her cheek
The blush would make its way, and all but speak;
The sun-born blood suffused her neck, and threw
O'er her clear nut-brown skin a lucid hue,
Like coral reddening through the darkened wave,
Which draws the diver to the crimson cave."

["]Her hand was sought by a youth of humble parentage, who had no other merits to recommend him, but such as might arise from a tall and graceful person, a manly step, and an eye beaming with the tropical fires of youth and love. These were sufficient to attract the favorable notice of the daughter; but were by no means satisfactory to the father, who sought an alliance more suitable to his rank and the high pretensions of his family.

["]‘Listen to me, young man,’ he replied to the trembling hunter, who had sought the interview, ‘and be attentive to what you hear. You ask me to bestow upon you my daughter, the chief solace of my age, and my choicest gift from the master of life. Others have asked of me this boon, who were as young, as active, and as ardent as yourself. Some of these persons have had better claims to become my son-in-law. Young man! have you considered well who it is that you would choose for a father-in-law? Have you reflected upon the deeds which have raised me in authority, and made my name known to the enemies of my nation? Where is there a chief who is not proud to be considered the friend of Wananosh? Where is there a hunter that can bend the bow of Wawanosh? Where is there a warrior who does not wish he may some day be equal in bravery to Wananosh? Have you not heard that my fathers came from the far east, decked with plumes and clothed with authority? And what, young man, have you to boast, that you should claim an alliance with my warlike line? Have you ever met your enemies on the field of battle? Have you ever brought home a trophy of victory? Have you ever proved your fortitude by suffering protracted pain, enduring continued hunger, or sustaining great fatigue? Is your name known beyond the humble limits of your native village? Go then, young man and earn a name for yourself. It is none but the brave that can ever hope to claim an alliance with the house of Wawanosh. Think not my ancient blood shall mingle with the humble mark of the Awaussees, fit totem for fishermen.’


["]The intimidated lover departed; but he resolved to do a deed that should render him worthy of the daughter of Wawanosh, or die in the attempt. He called together several of his young companions and equals in years, and imparted to them his design of conducting an expedition against the enemy, and requested their assistance. Several embraced the proposal immediately; others were soon brought to acquiesce; and before ten suns had set he saw himself at the head of a formidable party of young warriors, all eager, like himself, to distinguish themselves in battle. Each warrior was armed, according to the custom of the period, with a bow and a quiver of arrows, tipped with flint or jasper. He carried a mushkeemoot upon his back, provided with a small quantity of parched and pounded corn, mixed with a little pemmican or pounded meat. He was furnished with a puggamaugun, or war club, of hardwood, fastened to a girth of deerskin, and a kind of stone knife. In addition to this, some carried the ancient sheemaugun, or Indian lance, consisting of a smooth pole about a fathom in length, with a spear of flint firmly tied on with splints of hardwood, bound down with deer sinews. Thus equipped, and each warrior painted in a manner to suit his fancy, and ornamented with appropriate feathers, they repaired to the spot appointed for the war dance.

["]A level grassy plain extended for nearly a mile from the lodge of Wawanosh toward the point of land called Shogwoimakoong. Lodges of bark were promiscuously interspersed over this green, with here and there a cluster of trees, or a solitary pine which had escaped the fury of the tempest for uncounted years. A belt of yellow sand skirted the lake shore in front, and a tall forest of oaks, pines, and poplars formed the background. In the center of this green stood a large shattered pine, with a clear space around, renowned as the scene of the war dance time out of mind. There the youths assembled with their tall and graceful leader, distinguished by the feathers of the white eagle which he wore on his head. A bright fire of pine wood blazed upon the green; he led his men twice or thrice in a circular manner around this fire, with a measured step and solemn chant. Then suddenly halting, the war whoop was raised, and the dance immediately begun. An old man, sitting at the head of the ring, beat time upon the drum, while several of the warriors shook their sheesheegwuns, and ‘ever and anon’ made the woods re-echo with their yells. Each warrior chanted alternately the verse of a song, all the rest joining in chorus.

The eagles scream on high,
They whet their forked beaks;


Raise, raise the battle cry,
'Tis fame our leader seeks.

["]Thus they continued the dance for two days and nights, with short intermissions; when dropping off, one by one, from the fire, each sought his several way to the place appointed for the rendezvous on the confines of the enemy's country. Their leader was not among the last to depart; but he did not quit the village without bidding a tender adieu to the daughter of Wawanosh. He imparted to her his firm determination to perform an act that should establish his name as a warrior, or die in the attempt. He told her of the bitter pangs he had felt at her father's taunts -- and that his soul spurned the imputations of effeminacy and cowardice implied by his language. He declared that he never could be happy, either with or without her, until he had proved to the whole tribe the strength of his heart, which is the Indian term for courage. He said his dreams had not been so propitious as he could wish; but that he should not cease to invoke the favor of the Great Spirit in his behalf. He repeated his protestations of inviolable attachment, which she returned, and pledging vows of mutual fidelity, they separated.

["]All she ever heard of her lover after this interview was that he had received an arrow in his breast after having distinguished himself by the most heroic bravery. The enemy fled, leaving many of their warriors dead on the field. On examining his wound, it was perceived to be beyond their power to cure. He languished a short time, and expired in the arms of his friends. From that hour no smile was ever seen in the once happy lodge of Wawanosh. His daughter pined away by day and by night. Tears and sighs, sorrow and lamentation, were heard continually. No efforts to amuse were capable of restoring her lost serenity of mind. Persuasions and reproofs were alternately employed, but in vain. It became her favorite custom to fly to a sequestered spot in the woods, where she would sit under a shady tree, and sing her mournful laments for whole hours together. The following fragment of one of her songs is yet repeated:
["]‘Oh! how can I sing the praise of my love? His spirit still lingers around me. The grass that is growing over his bed of earth is yet too low; its sighs cannot be heard upon the wind. Oh he was beautiful! Oh he was brave! I must not break the silence of this still retreat; nor waste the time in song, when his spirit still whispers to mine. I hear it in the sounds of the newly budded leaves. It tells me that he yet lingers near me, and that he loves me the same in death, though the yellow sand lies over him. Whisper, spirit. Whisper to me. I shall sing when the grass will answer to my plaint; when its sighs will respond to my moan. Then my voice shall be heard in his praise. Linger, lover! linger; stay, spirit, stay. The spirit of my love will soon leave me. He


goes to the land of joyful repose, to prepare my bridal bower. Sorrowing must I wait, until he comes to conduct me there. Hasten, lover; hasten! come, spirit, come!’

["]Thus she daily repeated her pensive song. It was not long before a small bird of beautiful plumage flew upon the tree beneath which she usually sat; and with its sweet and artless notes, seemed to respond to her voice. It was a bird of a strange character, such as she had never before seen. It came every day and sang to her, remaining until it became dark. Her fond imagination soon led her to suppose that it was the spirit of her lover, and her visits were repeated with greater frequency. She did nothing but sing and fast. Thus she pined away.["] At length, one day, she disappeared. Another and another passed, and she did not return. Her father sought her and at last traced her to an island in the Mississippi. And there in the forest depths he found her suspended to the smallest sapling quite dead. The life the Great Spirit had given she resigned to him -- ["]the death she had so fervently desired came to her relief. After her decease, the bird was never more seen; and it became a popular opinion that this mysterious bird had flown away with her spirit to the land of bliss. But the bitter tears of remorse fell in the tent of Wawanosh; and he lived many years to regret his false pride and his harsh treatment of the noble youth.["] And ever after, that green island in the Mississippi was called by her tribe "the Virgin Island."

Medicine Bottle's Village.

This small, but prettily situated Indian village [Plate 13] is about seven miles below Red Rock Prairie, and has received this singular name from a chief who professes to be a great medicine man, carrying tied round his neck a small bottle, or vial, by the agency of which he pretends not only to cure, but also to "give" all kinds of diseases. Wacon Ogaga, such is the name of this chief, formerly lived in a village some distance below; but one night, having been commanded in a dream to establish a new village, he settled on the spot where the Medicine Bottle village now stands, taking with him all who believed in the efficacy of his medicine bottle. This is always the case


among the Indians, and religious charlatans are found here as among the whites. As soon as a preacher or pseudo prophet of this kind gets followers enough, he either takes command of the whole tribe or a branch of it, and sets himself up for an independent chief and "Medicine Man."

Opposite this village there is a very large island, called Gray Cloud Island, celebrated for its great variety of wild fruits, and a wood, by the Indians believed to possess supernatural power; hence it is sometimes called Wetah-noch-pua-othak, or "the Spirit-Wood Island."


Chapter 11. The St. Croix River.

Plate 14. The Mouth of the St. Croix River.

LIKE ALL RIVERS IN NORTHWESTERN AMERICA, the St. Croix rises in a series of small lakes. Many little streams leading out of these lakes join to form the St. Croix. After a quiet course of fifty miles, the river runs through a series of small rapids for another fifty miles, until at last it results in a waterfall of considerable height. At this place the St. Croix Lumber Company, composed mainly of capitalists from the eastern states, built sawmills from which rafts of considerable value are sent to St. Louis and other cities on the Mississippi. The pine forests along the St. Croix are no longer equaled on the entire American continent, except along the Penobscot and the Kennebec rivers in Maine. Furthermore, this part of Wisconsin has excellent facilities for transporting the wood to its destination entirely by water -- a circumstance that may well make it the most important section of the territory. It is already attracting significant numbers of immigrants and considerable capital, especially from the New England states. Important copper mines are also believed to exist on the banks of the river. Carver says that he found several deposits of "virgin copper" at the sources of the St. Croix.

The scenery in the vicinity of St. Croix Falls, as in general along the entire St. Croix River, easily compares with that of any other river in the Northwest. Below the waterfall, at the head of navigation, the river winds alternately


between rocky bluffs and through prairie for about sixty [forty-five] miles, until at last it widens into beautiful Lake St. Croix. Many people consider this lake to be even more attractive than Lake Pepin. The rocks along its shores are not so steep and dark; the hills are lower and are better suited to cultivation; and the lake is not so wide. Two miles below the lake, the St. Croix again narrows down to a river before emptying into the Mississippi at 44° 45' north latitude [Plate 14]. At that point it is about 360 feet wide. A few miles below the mouth of the St. Croix, the Mississippi has a reddish color in shallow places, but a very dark color in deeper places, a phenomenon which can doubtless be attributed to the soil that is carried in by the St. Croix.

The name of the river comes originally from a Frenchman who was ship-wrecked at its mouth. Father Hennepin called it "La Riviere du Tombeau" because there was an Indian mound at its mouth. Carver says that when he visited the river, three bands of Sioux Indians known as river bands had villages at its mouth.

The stretch of river extending from the Mississippi to St. Croix Falls -- sixty-five miles -- is navigable for steamboats, and there is a regular steamboat connection between Galena and Stillwater.

Besides lumber, cranberries and wild rice are important exports. Stillwater is at the upper end of Lake St. Croix and is accessible by steamboat at all seasons of the year. The distance from here to the Falls of St. Anthony by land is seventeen miles, but by water it is probably four times as great. The city has 8,000 inhabitants and two hotels. The region around Stillwater is particularly famous for its trout streams, and game exists here in great abundance.

Trade with the Indians and the lumber business constitute the main wealth of this new territory. The latter employs a large number of people -- mainly from the New England states. Since the details of this kind of business are probably known to few outside of those who engage in it, we will try, in a few words, to describe it for our readers.

"The immense virgin forests of the interior of this country furnish materials for a great trade in beams, masts, boards, posts, spars, poles, laths, and so forth. In addition, large quantities of fuel are exported [from Maine] to Boston and to other New England seaports.


["]In the interior, trees are usually felled in winter. In the coldest season, small bands of the inhabitants penetrate deep into the woods, where they build bark-roofed huts and, even though the snow is sometimes 5 to 6 feet deep and the thermometer stands at 18 to 20 degrees below the freezing point, they begin their hard labor. After the trees are cut into logs about 18 feet long, they are dragged over the snow by oxen to the bank of the river and rolled down onto the ice. There, thousands of logs accumulate, which, as soon as the spring sun has melted the ice, float downstream to the sawmills. But since the upper rivers are narrow and winding, it often happens that as many as 80,000 to 100,000 logs get clogged between the banks, causing an obstruction known as a ‘jam.’ To break up a jam is extremely difficult and dangerous. This is done by cutting away the foremost logs with an ax. When this has been accomplished, the whole weight of the logs with the accumulated mass of water rushes forward, carrying with it everything in its path. As soon as the logs reach the sawmills, each owner selects his property, which was previously marked with his name, and saws it up on the spot. The wood-cutters, called lumberers or river drivers, often earn from $5 to $6 a day; but no occupation is harder, nor more destructive to health and morals, than this. The hardships endured by lumberjacks while living in quarters built on frozen snow are nothing when compared with the penetrating cold of the snow water in which they must sometimes wade up to their necks. To protect themselves against the cold, and to fortify their bodies for such hardships, these people drink enormous quantities of whisky (ardent spirits), and an early old age and shortened life are the usual result. Nevertheless, they enjoy their way of life and, once accustomed to it, can never be lured away from it. The money so laboriously earned is wasted with the utmost imprudence as soon as they sell their wood. Until they take up their hard work once more with the return of winter, they spend their time in sweet idleness."

The winter in the St. Croix Valley is indeed long and cold, but it is also dry and salubrious, and for those who live here, it is the main season for amusement. Balls, sleighing parties, ice fishing, hunting, etc., alternate, or rather follow one another, without interruption.

The summer is short and warm, and plants grow with a rapidity that those living in other climates can hardly imagine. The following excerpt from the diary of the author characterizes this region exactly:


"August 18, 1847. Visited Willow River Falls [Wisconsin] and made an oil sketch of it. The Willow River rises out of a series of lakes deep in a beautiful pine forest, eighty miles above the waterfall. In the vicinity of the latter someone had broken and planted a small piece of prairie land with a view to making a ‘pre-emption’ claim. There was no house anywhere near; the field was not fenced and, since the sowing, had neither been weeded nor in any other way cultivated. Our guide assured us that scarcely six weeks had passed since this land had been broken, yet we found corn six feet high, potatoes in bloom, watermelons nearly ripe, and turnips so big that we couldn't resist taking one along. In Stillwater we found that it had a circumference of eleven and one-half inches, weighed seven and one-half pounds, and was sound throughout."

There are very good fish in the little lakes; carp, pike, and trout are found in enormous quantities. While we were busy sketching, our guide caught 185 such fish with a hook in two hours. Together they must have weighed about 100 pounds. He picked out the best ones and threw the rest away. When we criticized his cruel and wasteful behavior, he answered simply, "Where they come from there will be more for a long time."


Chapter 12. Red Wing's Village.

Red Wing's Village.

Plate 15. Red Wing's Village.

FOUR MILES ABOVE LAKE PEPIN, on the left [west] bank of the Mississippi at the mouth of the Cannon River, is the old Indian village of Red Wing. The origin of this name is not precisely known. Major Long attributes it to a chief who lived there in 1823 when the explorer visited the village on his way from Prairie du Chien to Fort Snelling. This chief was called "Shakea" or "the man who paints himself red"; whereupon Long called the village "L'aile rouge," or "Red Wing."

Featherstonhaugh went there in 1837 [1835] and the chief who ruled at that time was called "Mahpayah Muzah" -- "Iron Cloud." The famous old chief Red Wing had died. Major Long said that Shakea or Red Wing was the most distinguished leader the Dakota ever had, even though his birth did not qualify him for the status of a chief. His son, called Tatankamini, or "Walking Buffalo," had however inherited few of his father's good qualities. Although Shakea was already rather old when Major Long and his party visited his village, the chief received them with great ceremony and smoked the "calumet" or peace pipe with them. This ceremony is one of the most remarkable among the savages of the Northwest and is used mainly to honor the most outstanding members of the tribe. If one sees a bundle of richly ornamented pipes standing in a corner of a wigwam, he can be sure


that he is in the dwelling of a great man -- one who has taken from a feared enemy the scalp which hangs on a pole by the door, or who has suffered exceptional dangers and difficulties on a raid against the enemies of his tribe.

When a warrior is to be honored by the presentation of the calumet, all the members of the tribe, except the pipe candidate, are informed of the day on which the ceremony is to take place. Then, at the appointed hour, the whole tribe goes to the lodge of the chosen individual in corpore, surrounds the entire family amid shouting, singing, and dancing, and nearly crushes them with endearments. In the meantime the calumet (with which every hero and warrior has been previously provided) is handed around; and one after another they all tell him "that he is indeed a remarkably great man.["] Thereupon he expresses his gratitude, says that this is the best day of his life, and of course ends his long speech with the assurance that the distinction was wholly unmerited, etc.

However, the strangest part of the whole affair does not come until later. As soon as the pipe is smoked out, the "chosen one" begins to distribute among the crowd all his belongings and those of his family. He does not stop until he has nothing left; he gives away even his flint and steel for fire making, so that he stands there as poor as when he was born. But that is the moment of his greatest nobility and the indisputable proof of his "great heart." Anyone who thereafter could doubt his power or contradict his counsels would be a "barbarian," and a squaw would eternally disgrace herself if she ever cast her eyes on such a man. Then some of the crowd give the chosen individual small gifts in return for those received, whereupon he at once sets out to rebuild his household to its former status, which he sooner or later always accomplishes. As incredible as all this may sound, it is still a fact, and the Indians value this honor above money and goods. Even the stingiest among them would not for a moment hesitate to give up his last horse or his last blanket in order to win such honors.

Another custom, almost as absurd, consists in giving gifts of more or less value at certain family events. For instance, if a child falls ill, the father sends a horse or some other valuable object to his nearest neighbor. In return, the neighbor undertakes to inform the whole village of the misfortune and to receive the expressions of sympathy of the people. To omit this ceremony would be simply too mean and despicable, and the father would be shunned and despised as a man with a "soft heart."

When a child reaches the age at which his ears are pierced, presents are also given. The operation must be performed by a stranger -- not a blood relative -- who usually receives a horse for his trouble. The same is true when a youth has killed his first game or is admitted to a feast for men. In the latter case, as in the calumet ceremony, everything often is given away except articles that are indispensable for life.


In the vicinity of Red Wing village there are many Indian mounds which clearly prove how densely this area must once have been populated. The Mississippi flows into Lake Pepin through three channels formed by two large islands at the upper end of the lake. Red Wing village is located on the channel between the left [west] bank and a long island covered with trees and underbrush. Many years ago a mission station was put up there under the direction of a Swiss missionary, Mr. Dentan.

During the summer the village stands on the opposite bank, and the high, cone-shaped wigwams are then made of buffalo skin.

Those of the Chippewa are usually long and low and are made of birch bark, which is easily obtained in this region in huge quantities.

In this village we experienced an Indian adventure which is interesting enough to bear telling here. We take it verbatim from our diary: "Before we left the village we visited several wigwams, smoked with their owners, and observed ways of Indian cooking, particularly the preparation of young dogs. We also examined the Indians' weapons, adornments, etc. of which we obtained several interesting specimens.

["]One of the chiefs took us to his tepee and invited us to be seated on buffalo skins. His family, consisting of his wives, children, and several relatives, seated themselves around the kettle which hung over the fire in the middle of the wigwam, and we found ourselves truly in the midst of a real, savage Indian family as comfortable as one can imagine. A little child lay in a small willow basket which served as a cradle and looked out through a hole in the buffalo skin wall, apparently amazed that the world is so big. One of the squaws was cutting a young dog into small pieces in preparation for a dog stew, while the men smoked kinnikinnick in their stone pipes. After we had conversed with them for a while, we amazed them no little with our guncotton. We told them that it was a new kind of cha-cha-dee or gunpowder, which, by the way, they did not want to believe. I exploded a little piece on the palm of my hand, at which they all exclaimed together,


‘Hoh! Hoh!’ One who couldn't seem to understand the situation, unloaded his pistol and asked us to use it for an experiment. It was loaded with guncotton and the whole company went out before the door of the wigwam. The Indian took the pistol, pulled the trigger, and -- nothing happened. While the Indians thought they could have a good laugh at our expense, I realized why the gun had not gone off. The pistol had a firelock! I twisted a little piece of cotton to a point, stuck it into the touchhole, and returned the pistol to the Indian. At the second try it went off -- with a big bang. Once again the exclamation ‘Hoh! Hoh!’ was heard, and there was no end to the Indians' astonishment. They all declared it was Wakon Cha-cha-dee or ‘spirit powder.’

["]Later we visited the highest chief and here we met with a little misfortune.

["]A naked and somewhat tipsy, or in plain language, roaring drunk Indian chased us unceremoniously into the lodge of the chief. The chief, also drunk, lay asleep on a buffalo skin. I [Robb] was the last to get into the lodge and, since it happened to have a door, I slammed it shut after me just as the Indian stuck out his hand to grab me by the scalp. Thus he got badly pinched. He let out a yell which half resembled a cry of pain and half a war whoop, and probably was quite a bit of both. He tried to tear open the door, but one of the women gave me a stout wooden peg which was used for fastening the door from the inside. In this way I succeeded in preventing the entrance of the belligerent redskin, whose name was ‘Chun-dah-kee’ or Rattler. When he saw that he could not get at us, he decided to wait until we came out. So, after he had ‘rattled’ a war dance, to our great entertainment, he lay down quietly in front of the door.

["]A loud snoring soon convinced us that the whisky god had overcome the fearsome warrior. He slept so soundly that we could step right over him without fear of ‘waking the sleeping lion.’

["]We also visited the missionary stationed there and learned that more spirits than Bibles are brought in for the Indians. So far as domestic conditions among the Indians are concerned, the more they come into contact with the whites, the lazier and more intemperate the men become, and the crueler toward their wives. The cause of these deplorable changes and other resulting evils is the introduction of spirituous liquor.["]

La Grange.

On the left side of the accompanying illustration [Plate 15] is pictured the remarkable mountain known as



It has a circumference of about a mile and, seen from a distance in its isolated location, it very much resembles the object for which it was named. Like the Indians, the French are known for the expressive names which they have given to various places and objects in many parts of the Mississippi Valley.

La Grange is, by the way, also known as "Sugar Loaf" and "Twin Mountain." The latter name owes its origin to the following Indian legend:

"Many hundreds of years ago a mountain twice as big as the present Twin Mountain stood in this place. At that time the inhabitants of two Dakota villages, who had formerly always lived in peace, got into a quarrel over the possession of this mountain. They had reached the point of settling their dispute with tomahawks, when, to prevent bloodshed, the Great Spirit intervened. On the night on which the battle was to be fought he divided the mountain into two parts. He left half in its old place and moved the other half forty miles downstream to Wabasha Prairie, where the second village lay. Thus he satisfied both sides with a coup."

We will not inquire whether this tradition is true or false. In any case the two mountains look so much alike that one cannot blame the superstitious Indians for attempting to explain this strange phenomenon by means of a legend.

On the summit of La Grange is an Indian mound about four feet high. The view from this height is indescribably beautiful. The visitor is surrounded by a charming landscape -- and at the same time by a mass of rattle-snakes. The statement of many travelers that these snakes are not encountered above Lake Pepin is thus groundless! Some have even been found and killed at the Falls of St. Anthony and at the sources of the St. Peter's River. Major Long was probably the first white man to climb this mountain (1817), if Carver did not precede him (1766). Apparently the latter had this same mountain in mind when writing the following passage in his journal: "In many places whole pyramids of rocks appeared, resembling old high ruined towers; at others amazing precipices and hollows. But what is most remarkable, while this scene presented itself on one side, the opposite side of the same mountain was covered to its summit with the finest herbage. From


thence the most beautiful prospect that imagination can form opens to your view. Verdant plains, fruitful meadows, and numerous islands abound with the most varied trees, vines loaded with rich grapes, and plum trees bending under their precious burdens. But above all, reaching as far as the eye can extend, is the majestic, softly flowing river. All these fill the spectator with admiration and wonder."

Eighty years have passed since Carver climbed La Grange and, with few exceptions, his description still holds true today; for in the year 1852 the mountain looked just as it did in 1766, when it was first described by a white man.


Chapter 13. Indian Burial.

THE MANNER OF BURYING OR KEEPING THE DEAD, illustrated On the Opposite page [Plate 16], is, of all the tribes of the West, peculiar to the Dakota and Chippewa. The coffin is made of birch bark or from an old canoe, or, where they can be obtained, of boards. It is painted with many bright colors or covered with pieces of bright colored cloth. In this condition it is kept from twelve to eighteen months on a scaffold built for the purpose. Sometimes the coffins are left there until there is no room for new ones, and one usually finds from six to eight coffins on such a scaffold. When the last to be buried has been there for the prescribed time, all the bones are taken out of the coffins and buried at the foot of the scaffold. Every family has its own burial place (usually on the top of a nearby hill), and nothing can be so insulting to an Indian as to have a white man desecrate this place by visiting it.

The following custom shows clearly the character of Indian spiritual teachings: As soon as the coffin has been placed on the scaffold, baskets of food and drink are fastened around it, so that the spirit, which must stay there for the first twenty (some say thirty) days, may not suffer from lack of nourishment. In winter, a good-sized fire is kept burning under the scaffold, so that the spirit will not freeze. The relatives of the deceased give him offerings to take along into the hereafter. Therefore one always finds a number of peace pipes, spears, blankets, guns, and similar valuable objects hanging on the scaffolds. The Indians guard their burial places constantly, for they always fear (not without cause) that the places could be desecrated by white men and the offerings stolen. Many of these memento moris really present a moving spectacle. For instance, we found glass beads, shells, little bells, etc. fastened to the coffin of a child -- objects with which he had played during


his lifetime. This was certainly the work of a loving mother, for whether the heart beats under a red or a white skin, mother love is the same everywhere.

Where a warrior is buried, one always finds a little red flag waving over the coffin, but over the coffins of women and children there are white flags. Among the Chippewa, the coffins are customarily fastened in the branches of trees. The origin of the procedure for both tribes no doubt arises out of the fact that in these regions countless packs of wolves roam. If the people were to bury the dead in the earth, the wolves would dig them up in less time than it would take the Indian, with his primitive tools, to make the grave.

There is not nearly so much to the stoicism of the Indians as many travelers maintain. In their burial ceremonies they make such horrible sounds and show their grief in such loud and ostentatious ways that one is tempted to doubt their sincerity. Other circumstances show, however, that the Indian feels the loss of a friend or relative deeply and painfully. The women often remain for days and nights at the burial place without taking any nourishment, and they cut and tear themselves with sharp shells while uttering the most moving cries. The men frequently thrust their knives through the fleshy part of their arms and legs and, by shedding their own blood, show their deep-felt grief.

The most remarkable mourning ceremony is found among the Chippewa. The bereaved person takes a piece of wood, burns it to charcoal, and blackens his face, chest, and hands with it every morning until the whole piece has been used up. Not once during this time does he wash himself. The size of the piece of wood, of course, reflects the extent of his grief. This mode of mourning is certainly the cheapest, though not the cleanest.

Many Indian tribes bury their dead in caves; others build crude burial houses; and still others follow customs much like our own.

An important "necropolis" was discovered near Hamilton in western Canada. Schoolcraft visited the place and gives the following description of it:

"About six years ago a storm blew down a large tree here [Hamilton, Ontario], by the exposed roots of which a quantity of human bones were discovered. Repeated excavations were made and a massive number of human skeletons, which were really astonishing, were found. To what people they belonged and how such a huge number came to be buried here together are questions which have until now remained unanswered. The situation is of increased interest because the bones are not deposited separately as is


done now, but all lie together in long trenches and rude vaults piled longitudinally on each other. In this respect they resemble the burials found on Isle Ronde in Lake Huron and, as is the case with the latter, they seem to have been gathered here after the flesh had completely decayed and been reinterred in corpore. Not one of the oldest inhabitants remembers that Indians ever lived in this locality, nor does tradition give any explanation. The usual view among the inhabitants is that a great battle took place here in former times. This assumption, however, is contradicted by the fact that not a single skeleton shows marks of having been wounded nor, in general, of any violence. Besides this, the grave contained the skeletons of women and children and a considerable number of articles of domestic use, such as are ordinarily deposited with the dead. It is more plausible to assume that a pestilence could have caused so many deaths. But then it would be hard to determine whether Indians had existed in such numbers that sickness could have killed so many at one time. The trenches, so far as they have been examined, extended across the entire plain. One seemed to include no less than 1,500 square feet. This entire stretch had once been dug over by curiosity-seekers. Among other things, several copper kettles were found, in one of which were five infant skulls. If one could determine accurately the time required for the beeches and black oaks on the graves to reach a diameter of sixteen to twenty-four inches, one could with considerable certainty fix the date when those graves were completed or abandoned.

["]! am inclined to think, however, that these trees grow more rapidly in temperate latitudes and fertile soil than one would commonly suppose. After superficial examination, I believe that this city of the dead is the result of the natural accumulation of single burials and the periodical deposit of skeletons disinterred in neighboring villages and hunting camps. Pestilences may, of course, have contributed to it. The burials are located on the highest tableland of the region, which is therefore a suitable spot. The continually roving Indian bands never leave their dead behind in their travels but always carry them along to the common burial place.

["]In any case, the surrounding country afforded in abundance everything that the Indians needed in order to live. Deer and bear were most numerous here and are still encountered in great numbers. One also finds very many old, abandoned beaver dams, and we heard that in the northern and eastern sections of the country there were numerous evidences of small furred animals. The sugar maple, which grows here in abundance, is another element of Indian subsistence. In this vicinity there are certain enigmatic walls of earth, which extend five to eight miles across the plain. I did not see these myself, but I heard that they are about six feet high and are broken through at intervals. There is no doubt that these walls, remote as they are from the great waters and from the main water highways, were built for nonmilitary


use. Their purpose was probably to intercept, to some extent, the passage of game, so that the animals were compelled to pass through the doorlike openings. There they would the more surely fall prey to the hunters hidden behind the walls.

["]The Iroquois tradition, as preserved by [Cadwallader] Golden, represents this section of Canada, extending to Three Rivers, as occupied by the Adirondacks, a numerous, fierce, and warlike race, who carried on a constant war with the Iroquois. The French classed these people as Algonquian, in spite of the fact that they spoke a different type of language. They had three chief villages on the Utawas [Ottawa] and its sources, and when the Iroquois power increased, they retired farther toward the northwest. Whatever people may have hunted and buried their dead here, it is certain that they occupied the land before the discovery of Canada and continued to occupy it after the French had introduced the fur trade, since the primitive and the manufactured articles found in the graves clearly attest to two entirely different periods. The antique bone beads which we scraped from beneath the roots of the trees, along with crania, etc., are in every respect similar to those excavated from the Grave Creek mound, which have been improperly called ivory. Amulets of bone and shell, as well as pipes of fine steatite and indurated red clay all date from the first period, and were always made by the ancient inhabitants prior to the introduction of manufactured wampum or sewan, beads of porcelain and glass, and ornamented pottery pipes. I examined several large marine shells, corroded and nearly decayed, which had apparently been brought from the shores of the Atlantic.

["]After we had extended our excavations as far as the limited time and a single spade would allow, we returned to Dundas, which we did not reach until after nightfall, tired, but satisfied with the result of the examination of an object which connects the antiquities of Canada with those of the United States."


Chapter 14. Lake Pepin.

Lake Pepin.

FATHER LOUIS HENNEPIN DISCOVERED LAKE PEPIN [Plate 17] when he went from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to the Falls of St. Anthony and to the St. Francis River two hundred miles above it, in April, 1680. Hennepin was taken prisoner by the Isanti or Chippewa with his two companions Antoine Auguelle, called Picard du Gay, and Michel Accault, and taken back downstream. At Lake Pepin a council was held to decide the fate of the prisoners. Those Indians who voted for the death of the white men spent the entire night in loud wailing, as is their custom, in order to win their friends over to their viewpoint. But these tears were shed in vain. Hennepin and his companions were freed and, in memory of this circumstance, they called the lake Lac de[s] Pleurs. Charlevoix gave it the name Lac de bon Secours, and Le Sueur, the discoverer of the St. Peter's River, called it Lac de Pepin. Among the Dakota Indians it is known as Meneh-tongo or Tongo-meneh. The origin of the word "Pepin" is not known for certain, but it probably originated with the French. Carver says, "Actually the lake which is in the St. Croix River just above its confluence with the Mississippi ought to be called by this name; however I have given the name of Pepin to the lower lake, in spite of information to the contrary from the


Indians, because the traders who live along the river call it thus." Others attribute the naming to a French Jesuit missionary named Pepin.

Lake Pepin is about thirty-five miles long and two to four miles wide and on the average follows a southeastern direction. It is the only lake in the whole Mississippi below the Falls [of St. Anthony], and is formed by a widening of the stream in a short stretch free of islands. Below the lake the valley is six miles wide. Half of the width is taken up by the river, which is thickly dotted with islands. Everyone who has sailed Lake Pepin knows that it is notorious for its storms and breakers, and its current is so slow that it can hardly be detected. But at the upper and lower ends it does become rapid, the course of the water becomes winding, and the lake is dotted with islands and sand bars.

One cannot imagine a more lovely expanse of water than Lake Pepin in quiet, clear weather, and no wilder scene than when, whipped by the storm, its waves bound against the rocky cliffs, rising two to four hundred feet above the water, which forever defy its fury.

Lake Pepin is divided into an upper and lower lake at its widest point by a rocky cape which projects from the left bank above Pointe au Sable opposite Maiden Rock. It is often dangerous to navigate around this cape, particularly at times of high wind and water, which occur most often during the day. At sunset the wind usually goes down again, and the navigator waits for the night to continue his journey by moonlight. Pointe au Sable is famous


for its pebbles, among which are found numerous carnelians, agates, jaspers, eagle stones, and others. The lake is deep, but the water is so clear and clean and transparent that even at a fairly great depth the pebbles can be easily seen on the bottom.

Among the numerous fish found here, particular mention should be made of the paddlefish. It has a fairly long nose, like a paddle, which serves it well in plowing up the sand for insects. Great flocks of wild waterfowl, such as geese, ducks, mud hens, etc., cover the water in certain seasons, and innumerable wild turkeys nest in the forests which border the lake. The largest buffaloes were formerly killed on the prairie near the lake. As late as 1817, buffaloes were found on the Buffalo River, which empties into the Mississippi near the foot of the lake. Captain St. Pierre, a fur trader from Canada for whom Le Sueur named the St. Peter's River, built a trading post on Pointe au Sable, remains of which were found by Carver in 1767.


Maiden Rock.

Plate 18. The Maiden Rock.

The shores of Lake Pepin have long been a favorite camping ground for the Indians of the Northwest, and there are several legends associated with this locality which have the stamp of real Indian poetry and of the savage's power of imagination. The following is interesting enough to be told here in some detail.


On the high bank of the Upper Mississippi, about sixty miles below famous Lake Pepin, is a little Indian village called Wabasha. A hundred years ago, when the first palefaces were plying the great river, Keoxa ruled there -- the mightiest chief in the whole Dakota tribe. This old Indian king had an only daughter. She was named "Winona" or "the first-born," but the young men and girls of the tribe called her "Oa-la-i-ta" or "Dark Day." As the daughter of a chief, Winona did not suffer the restrictions to which women are subject in Indian society and which they regard and endure as the usual lot of women. Oalaita was an ideal of savage beauty. Her slender form unlike the usual square figures of the Indian women -- had a sensual grace, a litheness, which would have ornamented the most fashionable salon. Her raven hair fell in long braids over her beautiful neck. Her bright eyes sparkled with the fire of awakening vigor, and her whole bearing had the natural freedom and nobility characteristic only of the children of the wilds in this part of the world. It matters little for this account whether (as in less uncivilized states) it was Keoxa's kingly power and great riches which caused his daughter to be honored by all, or whether it was the unusual beauty of the girl herself. In any case, Winona was the ideal of all the young men of the tribe. The most distinguished chiefs had lighted their torches before Winona's wigwam, but they were received only with chill courtesy. In other words they were flatly rejected.

Winona had reached her eighteenth year when one of those ravaging wars, which have decimated the Indian peoples far more than the sword of


the white man, broke out between the Dakota and the heroic Menominee. The hostilities were carried on mainly between wandering hordes of warriors. Even though the most unheard of cruelties were practiced on both sides, the main body of the people quietly followed their everyday life and activities.

It was on a beautiful summer morning that Winona took her bow and quiver and, with a light step and lighter heart, went out into the forest. She was already so far from the village that she could no longer see the smoke rising from the wigwams, when a loud "Ugh" close beside her startled her from her reverie. In the next moment a young Menominee warrior, painted and decorated as a spy, stood before her. The gods of classical antiquity could hardly have provided a sculptor with more beautiful models for an Apollo and his favorite wood nymph than these two, as they suddenly encountered one another with wonder and admiration.

It is needless -- if it were indeed possible -- to tell how these two young people, separated by language and custom and belonging to mutually hostile tribes, were able to communicate with one another. Suffice it to say that the young savages did not part until they had confessed the peculiar feelings which had overcome their hearts at this chance meeting. In any case we know that such things can happen and, to end all argument about the subject, we must acknowledge that Winona carried in her bosom a heart which took her where humans in other parts of the earthly Eden have often been led.

The shadows of the setting sun lengthened over the wild, beautiful landscape as Winona turned back to her village. "An unknown joy, never felt before" stirred her young heart as though an unseen visitor from the spirit land had taken up his abode there and were creating pictures of unearthly charm. How happily Winona's days now sped by! Like a hidden brook winding through its sandy bed from out a mossy forest dale, pictures of future happiness flowed through her soul. Thus days and weeks passed, and each new sun which rose over the eastern mountains shone on the two lovers in the forest solitude.

Talangamane -- "Red Wing" -- was a Menominee brave who by his heroic deeds had acquired the status of a chief at an early age. In the hope of high adventure, he had stolen up to Keoxa's village as a spy and, without resisting, he had been taken prisoner by the chief's beautiful daughter. His hostile intentions were forgotten and all former passions were concentrated into an ecstasy which this savage son of the wilds had never before experienced. No wonder then, that the love-smitten Menominee, forgetting everything, day after day wandered through the ancient forests hand in hand with his beautiful enemy. No wonder that the proud Talangamane took the finest decorations from his battle garments to adorn Oalaita and knelt humbly to kiss the moccasins which he put on her tiny feet. No wonder that the instant fulfillment of her smallest wish made a deep impression on Winona, who had


never before experienced such attention. She heartily returned the assurances of her beloved Menominee, whose proud grace she regarded as nothing less than the embodiment of one of Wyacondah's braves. And finally, no wonder that these savage lovers soon pledged eternal troth, not for an instant thinking of the consequences of such a promise under the existing hostile relationship between their tribes. But such imprudence is also found among people more civilized than the Dakota and Menominee.

Even though such a thought had entered her mind, why should Winona care that the darling of her heart was an enemy chief who had sought out her village with hostile intentions? She regarded him as the realization of a vision that had long filled her imagination -- as a being who was destined and created to fill the void that she had long felt in her heart. She knew nothing and wanted to know nothing more than that she loved him eternally. Talangamane felt the same toward her -- and if the recollection of unfulfilled duties ever darkened his brow, then a smile from the lips of his companion at once sufficed to drive the shadows away.


Months passed. But here, as so often, safety finally led to carelessness. Winona's frequent and ever longer absences from the village aroused the suspicions of her brothers, and one morning they followed her. What resulted can easily be guessed. Talangamane was captured and, regardless of Winona's tears and pleas, was condemned to a cruel death. He heard the verdict with equanimity, and looked on at the preparations for his execution with the stoical calm which under such circumstances is characteristic only of his race. He had long known for what high stakes he was gambling, and he knew that his life was in one side of the balance and his love in the other. He was prepared. However, his fierce love had made his life doubly dear to him. The mere thought of separation from Winona was enough to make him forget the agony of death by fire, and to fill his heart with sorrow and anguish. But his countenance betrayed no sign of emotion.

It was not so with the unhappy maiden. Before her stood her young hero -- the one to whom her maiden heart had first responded, to whom she had committed her whole life and all her tenderness -- as a sacrifice for her fervent love. Her senses were clouded when she thought of his horrible fate. She used pleas and tears, as only a woman can, to obtain mercy from her father, but in vain. The dark eye of the old warrior regarded his weeping daughter coldly. Filled with a passion which he had never controlled, and thinking only of the disgrace brought on him by his daughter's love for an enemy, he left her hastily. This showed her clearly that his decision was unalterable.



During the night before the execution Winona, knowing that according to the custom of the tribe her beloved's martyrdom would begin at daybreak, left her wigwam and stole quietly to the lodge where Talangamane was being guarded. The night was cold, and black as pitch. The whole village lay in a deep sleep and only a few old Indians were stationed as a guard around the lodge of the prisoner. Her request for entrance was silently granted, for it is a custom that anyone may visit a prisoner during the night before his death, and Winona's love for the enemy chief had been kept secret from the tribe by her family for fear of disgrace. At her entrance the prisoner hardly glanced at her. The guard withdrew -- and the lovers were alone.


Morning dawned in the eastern sky as the people of the village began emerging from their wigwams to witness the cruel spectacle. The sleepy guards assured the many questioners that the prisoner was secure, for no one had visited him except the daughter of Keoxa, and she had been seen leaving at the darkest hour, just before daybreak. Therefore, when the chief gave the order they opened the door of the lodge with great self-confidence. The chief entered with his braves, but recoiled as though struck by a snake, for before him stood -- instead of the enemy chieftain -- his own child, dressed in the battle garments of him who had fled!

The old chief's rage and fury at this discovery were indescribable. The consequences appeared for a moment to be doubtful. The daughter of the chief was above ordinary insult and public punishment, however, and the furious people had to withdraw unsatisfied. Even the proud Keoxa did not reprimand his daughter. He quietly commanded her to prepare for her wedding, a few days later, to a chief of the tribe whose suit she had long rejected. The old warrior did not suspect that, by using his power to rescue his daughter from the wrath of the people, he was imposing a punishment which to her was worse than death on the pyre.

Tahtunker, or Buffalo, the chief to whom Keoxa had betrothed his daughter, was a warrior of high rank and great influence. He was well past the bloom of his youth and had, during his fighting days, always shown such mettle, such savage strength, and cruel bravery that the tribe unanimously recognized his status as chief. He had long borne Winona's indifference as his repeated proposals were rejected. Therefore, it was with a particularly malicious joy that he had hastened the death of the enemy warrior whom his sharp eye quickly recognized as a rival. His wrath was the greater when he was disappointed in his devilish anticipation, through Winona's courageous sacrifice. He repeated his proposal and made it very clear that, if the old chieftain still


denied him his daughter, he would use all his power and his almost limitless influence with the angry tribesmen to get revenge.

In vain was Winona's pleading, in vain her protests against marriage with a man she hated. In vain did she recall her promise to the Menominee. Keoxa was determined, and resistance only served to confirm his resolution. The brothers of Winona, whose favorite she had always been, disapproved of a forced marriage and tried, with pleas and caresses -- such as can come only from the hearts of loving brothers -- to change the girl's mind, but they failed. They heaped the most costly gifts in her wigwam and made all possible arrangements for a pleasant life for her. In order to get her consent, even the uncouth Tahtunker promised that all earlier inmates of his wigwam should be her slaves -- but in vain.

The persistent urging of her friends and the protestations of love by Tahtunker finally made Winona weary of life and, to conclude the matter, she consented to the marriage. When the tribesmen received this news, there was great rejoicing, and the preparations for a grand wedding celebration were at once begun. In order to be near a supply of the beautiful blue paint with which the Indians decorated themselves on such festive occasions, they decided to celebrate the wedding on the banks of Lake Pepin, where this material could be found in abundance.


It was a mild autumn evening as the wedding company launched their festively decorated canoes on Lake Pepin, a beautiful expanse of water about thirty miles long and two to four miles wide. On the left [east] bank rise perpendicular, sheer cliffs, some of which resemble the forms of fortresses, towers, and strongholds [Plate 18]. On the right bank stretches the wide prairie whose high grass and bright flowers can be seen for miles. In the distance appears the dim outline of the chain of hills which borders the plain.

The misty beams of an Indian October sun slanted down on the distant hilltops and turned the rock-bordered shore to dull gold. The beautiful moccasin flower and the flaming Indian pink swayed happily in the morning breeze which rippled the prairie grass, sweeping wave after wave toward the blue horizon. The fortresslike cliffs cast their giant shadows over the blue lake, on whose sandy bottom the sturgeon plowed through agates and carnelians, seeking less stony prey.

With a vacant and listless gaze Winona observed all these scenes which only a few weeks before would have filled her with delight and joy. During the entire passage she sat motionless on the soft pelts which had been heaped in


her canoe. The rainbow-colored craft, shaped in a fairy form, was the wedding present of her brothers. Winona's beauty had faded noticeably. The red roses in her soft cheeks had given way to a deathly pallor. The sound of singing was not heard from her lips. Her dark eyes, dimmed by tears, no longer sparkled. Only occasionally did she glance at the serious face of her warlike father, as though begging for mercy. But the old chieftain sat rigid and motionless as a marble pillar. His face was as calm as the placid surface of the deep lake, and his heart was as cold and unrelenting as the rocks which surrounded it. If Winona's brothers could have suspected the terrible storm raging in the heart of their sister, they would surely have halted this unnatural wedding and have freed Winona forever from the hated bridegroom. But they did not understand the feelings which rent the heart of the poor maiden. They attributed her peculiar antipathy to Tahtunker, by whose proposal every daughter of the tribe would have felt honored, to a maidenly stubbornness which time and experience could surely conquer.

The company had now reached its destination -- a point of land jutting out into the water, halfway up the lake. After entering a small wooded bay, the travelers beached their canoes at the foot of a steep rock which towered sky-high above their heads. The following morning the Indian camp was the scene of lively activity. The women prepared the wedding feast while the men paddled across the lake to Pointe au Sable, the sandy beach which projects far out into the lake. They went there to look for carnelians and agates to decorate the bride. Winona sat alone in her wigwam. She had stipulated that her bridegroom might not visit her until he had a legal right to claim her person. To grant her this favor, Tahtunker had gone to a nearby forest with other braves to hunt game for the wedding banquet.

As soon as all were occupied with their various duties, Winona arose and decorated herself with the gifts of her beloved Talangamane. Then she left the wigwam and slowly followed the path which led up the rock. Upon arriving at the summit, she sang her death song in clear, bell-like tones, so that it sounded far out over the lake and the forest. Aroused by the sound of her voice, her friends raised their eyes to the cliff. With horror they saw the unfortunate maiden standing on the topmost point of rock. The mild morning breeze carried the words of her song across the lake to her despairing brothers. In the wild poesie of the Indians, she sang of her unhappy love. She invited her beloved Menominee chief to a speedy reunion in the blessed realm of the spirits. She took her leave of father and brothers in the tenderest terms, and she warned the young maidens of the tribe of the consequences of imprudent love. She had few words for the savage Tahtunker, but they were bitter. She advised him to seek another bride to take her place. With her head held high, she sang farewell to her beautiful fatherland, to the sunshine, the blue heavens, the silver stars, the hills shrouded in mist, and the shining lake. (A French


fur trader, who happened to be gliding down the lake in his fur-laden canoe, witnessed the tragedy. He related that the song of the unhappy maiden was so heart-rending that even his uncouth, half-savage companions of the hunt could not keep back their tears.)

As soon as Winona's death song was heard, her friends rushed toward the cliff -- some with a view to climbing the rock to rescue her, others intending to catch her in their arms as she fell. Weeping and imploring, her brothers entreated her not to carry out her cruel intention; no power on earth should prevent her union with the enemy chief. Alas, their remorse came too late. When the last sounds trembled from the lips of the unhappy girl, she cast herself down from the fearful height and found her grave in the waves of the lake.

WINONA'S ROCK (A Fragment)

Who stands on yonder rocky height
All dressed in white and singing?
What cry of mighty anguish there
Sounds forth so wild and ringing?

Winona 'tis, the chieftain's child,
Who, like a spirit being,
Ascendeth nigh unto the clouds
The earthly kingdom fleeing.

She flees the land where wrong has won
And faithfulness is doomed,
Where virtue pure is overcome
And true love is entombed . . . .

What is it saps the tender bud
While still it is unfolding,
Before her sweet perfume is shed --
Honor from her god withholding?

It is a worm which ever gnaws,
Which strikes within the heart;
It is the power of lover's grief
Which breaks the bloom apart . . . .

What signifies the happy dance
In Pepin's valley bright?
The braves without their swords and spears,
The wigwam snowy white?

It is Winona's wedding day;
The wigwam is her dwelling.


The lake today will be her grave,
The dancers thus dispelling.

She wooed her lover ardently,
As friend, and as a foe,
He was condemned to fiery death,
Because he loved her so.

The curse of friends, the father's ire
Her steadfast heart repaid;
Surrendered to the hated one,
By useless wrath betrayed.

To flee her fate, to find escape,
With such courageous might,
When others wander toward the wood,
She climbs the rocky height.

Her greetings to the distant love-
She sends them to the sky.
Then turns she to the Manito
With this despairing cry: . . .


The hour of death is drawing nigh;
Soon I shall cease to be;
I call on thee. Oh Manito,
To take me unto thee."

She speaks, and from the rocky height
She leaps, for she is brave:
"Winona found in Pepin's lake
Her early, watery grave."


Chapter 15. Wabasha's Village.

Wabasha's Village.

Plate 19. The United States Troops at Wabasha Prairie.

Plate 20. The Indians' Grand Council.

ON THE LOWER PART OF WABASHA PRAIRIE stands an old Dakota village which, like the prairie itself, owes its name to a famous old Dakota chief who ruled there forty years ago. He was called Wabasha or Red Leaf and he was famous throughout the entire tribe as a wise counselor and talented orator. The village lies on a broad prairie at the foot of high rocky hills. Behind it a beautiful valley, bordered by steep cliffs a hundred feet high, leads back between the hills. As far as the eye can see, the magnificent view is bounded by natural rock walls. The high wigwams of the Dakota on the shore of the mighty river, whose clear waves roll past the innumerable islands, make a highly romantic and pleasant impression, and the countless mounds, enthroned on the hilltops like monuments of a long-gone race, form an immeasurable cordon along the blue horizon.

In 1823 Wabasha was about fifty years old. The present chief has the same name and is a son of Wabasha. He is the one who in 1848 persuaded the Win-nebago to break their agreement and go no farther. For that he was arrested by Lieutenant [Cyrus] Hall and taken to Fort Snelling. He was, however, freed at the request of his uncle, Winneshiek, after the Winnebago had continued on their journey.

The scene on Wabasha Prairie when the Winnebago and Dakota Indians


were camped there and refused to go farther was indeed most picturesque and interesting. General [Jonathan E.] Fletcher had held a council at Fort Atkinson in which the Winnebago set a day for their departure. As the time drew near, they made excuses and set another day. The time was up and still the Indians did not move. The government agent finally issued definite orders for them to leave the prairie [sic] and go on, because he believed they scorned his friendly warnings. In response, the Indians showed hostile intentions and some of them ran off to Wisconsin and toward Missouri. However, most of them were finally prevailed upon to move farther upstream -- some overland and some in canoes. When they reached Wabasha Prairie, the Dakota tried by every possible means to persuade them not to proceed farther. They suspected, and rightly so, that the Winnebago would not only do considerable, even though temporary, damage while passing through the land of the Dakota, but would also considerably strengthen their hereditary enemies by a union with the Chippewa -- a union which was expected because of their location on the border of Chippewa territory.

On June 14, 1848, Mr. [Henry M.] Rice, a fur trader, arrived at Fort Snelling bringing news that nothing more could be accomplished with the Winnebago by friendly means, since they were encamped on Wabasha Prairie about 140 miles below Fort Snelling and stubbornly refused to continue their journey to their new home. Mr. Rice suggested that, if some of the troops stationed at Fort Snelling would march to Wabasha Prairie, the Indians could perhaps be persuaded to leave. Then Major Eastman (at that time Captain Eastman and commandant of the fort) left Fort Snelling with twenty-one soldiers, a sergeant, a corporal, and about a hundred allied Dakota Indians, and embarked on the steamboat "Dr. Franklin," which was just going downstream. On its arrival at Wabasha Prairie they found there a company of mounted volunteers and a detachment of infantry (also volunteers) -- about two hundred men in all. The Indians appeared to be little concerned about the


troops accompanying them, for they did exactly what, and as, they pleased. They soon discovered, however, that they were now dealing with a man who was not to be trifled with.

On his arrival Captain Eastman at once took over the command of all the troops, which probably now numbered three hundred, and began to make his preparations for dealing with the Indians, who were between seven and eight hundred strong, nearly all more than six feet tall, well armed, and mounted. They wore robes and bright colored clothes decorated with shells, scalps, and so forth; and, as a result of their long sojourn in the vicinity of Prairie du Chien, they carried rifles and pistols; very few had only bows and arrows in addition to their spears. Captain Eastman was not disturbed by all this warlike pomp; he had long lived among the Indians, was well acquainted with their character and customs, and knew very well what was behind this masquerade. He at once constructed an enclosure, the three land sides of which consisted of the wagons in which baggage and provisions for the Indians had been transported, while a large keelboat containing ammunition and provisions for the troops made up the fourth side on the water [Plate 19]. He did this so that, if he were defeated on the prairie, he could retreat into the wagon fortress. If this also were taken, he could then retreat in the large keelboat.

After all arrangements for defense had been made, he called the Winnebago as well as the Dakota to a council. The Indians' camp was two miles from that of the troops and between them lay a deep slough [Plate 22]. Since it could not be crossed by horses, the Indians had to go a considerable way around in order to reach the white men. During the night one of the captain's spies brought word that the Indians were leading their horses around the slough and were keeping their weapons hidden in the high prairie grass on the other side of the camp. It was now clear that they intended to attack the whites at the council or perhaps to surprise them the same night. Captain


Eastman at once ordered all horses saddled and all troops armed. The two cannons were loaded, the guard was doubled, and all possible precautions were taken to prevent the Indians from carrying out their intentions.

When morning dawned, it was seen that the spy's report had been well founded. The whole plain near the camp was covered with horses. They appeared to be grazing; nevertheless, the Indians were trying to hide behind them and some were already mounted. At that moment the captain's command was heard. The troops deployed themselves diagonally across the plain, which is about a mile wide at this point. The left flank extended to the wagon fort; the right reached almost to the hills. In the center, the sixty volunteer cavalry soldiers were stationed between the two cannons. When the Indians saw that their plan had been discovered, they seized their weapons, jumped on their horses, and, with frightful war cries, galloped to within a short distance of the troops. Their intention was to break through the line and then, in the resulting confusion, ride down the individual soldiers. Captain Eastman took all possible pains to keep his troops from firing, for, in case a battle was unavoidable, he was particularly anxious that the first shot should be fired by the Indians. He knew very well that the commotion and war whoops of the Indians meant nothing; their joke, however, had been carried a little too far.

In order to put an end to the matter, Captain Eastman and his interpreter rode up to the front and called the main chief to account, reminding him that the Indians had been called to a peaceful council and now they had come mounted and armed as though with hostile intentions. His Great Father, the president, said Eastman, wanted peace with the red men, but if they preferred war they would be responsible for the consequences. He then commanded one of his men to plant a flag ninety feet ahead of the front, and made it clear to the Indians that if the line were crossed he would give the command to open fire. The parley had the desired effect. The Indians saw that the white men were determined to stand their ground and they withdrew a short distance in order to discuss the matter. A short time later they sent several of their chiefs to tell the captain that they had not wanted to fight their white brothers but only wanted to frighten them in order to see whether or not the palefaces had "strong hearts" (courage), and the whole demonstration had been held in honor of the great chief Chaska, Captain Eastman, of whom their Dakota friends had told them so much. They would be glad to attend the council in order to talk with their white brothers and smoke the peace pipe. Thus the matter naturally took a friendly turn and the occasion concluded with endless handshaking,, assurances of friendship on both sides, and so forth.

That same morning, however, an incident took place which might have led to general bloodshed. A somewhat tipsy volunteer had offended one of the


allied Indians. He raised his rifle and was about to fire when Mr. Rice, one of the interpreters [sic], threw himself on the man with lightning speed and grabbed his rifle just in time. The Indian's shot very likely would have been the signal for a general attack, for the soldiers were so eager to fight that it had required the greatest effort to keep them under control throughout the morning.

In this way Captain Eastman, through cold-blooded courage and firm determination, subdued the savage Winnebago who had done more damage and caused more trouble for the government than any other tribe in the whole Northwest. At two o'clock that afternoon the COUNCIL was held. Among the Indians, but particularly among the Dakota, there are some really excellent orators. They argue logically and proceed directly to the point without any circumlocution. The following description of a famous orator of the Dakota tribe is taken from a very interesting work entitled Legends among the Sioux by Mrs. Mary Eastman, whose husband. Major Eastman, was long in command at Fort Snelling.

Sha-Co-Pee, The Dakota Orator.

["]Sha-co-pee (Six) is a Dakota chief, and his village lies about twenty-five miles from Fort Snelling. His band was called ‘Men-da-wa-kon-ton,’ the people of the Spirit Lake.

["]No one who has lived at Fort Snelling will ever forget Sha-co-pee, for at what house has he not called to shake hands and smoke with the owner, to say that he is a great chief and that he is hungry and must eat before he starts for home? If the hint is not immediately understood, he adds ‘The shadows of the sun are lengthening, and it is time for Sha-co-pee to go home.’

["]Sha-co-pee is not so tall as Bad Hail, another orator, nor has he fine Roman features like Old Man in the Cloud, a chief famous for his Roman features. His face is decidedly ugly, but there is so much intelligence and friendliness in his fiery black eye and on his high forehead that, notwithstanding his many troublesome qualities, one must be fond of him.

["]At present he is in mourning; therefore his face is painted black. He never combs his hair, but wears a black silk handkerchief tied around his head.

["]He always accompanies his words with suitable gestures; he speaks well


and, for the most trifling occasion, assumes an air as though he were deciding matters of life and death.

["]His hands are small and well formed, but so dirty that he does not have to use black paint during his mourning. Cleanliness is really beneath his dignity.

["]Some years ago our government expressed the wish that the Chippewa and Dakota should conclude a treaty of peace. These two bands have made peace frequently, but, following the European custom, rarely have they kept it any length of time. On this occasion all kinds of promises were made on both sides -- promises which would perhaps be broken in a few days by some inconsiderate young warrior.

["]Sha-co-pee has great influence among the Dakota, and therefore he had to come along to Fort Snelling to be present at the council. Early in the morning he and twenty other warriors left his village on the banks of the St. Peter's River for the fort.

["]When they were near, they fastened their canoes together side by side, so that all might hear their chief's speech. They raised the Stars and Stripes as well as their own standard, which consisted of a crooked staff adorned with eagle feathers. The sun's rays gilded the Indians' bright colored garments and feather ornaments. Sha-co-pee rose, straight as a pine and proud as a king, as the canoes glided beneath the walls of the fort.

["]‘My boys,’ he said, in his usual manner of address, ‘the Dakota are all brave. Never has there been a coward among the people of the Spirit Lake. Women and children may fear their enemies, but we will face them and conquer them.’

["]‘We are going to talk with the white men, for our Great Father wishes us to be at peace with our enemies. We have long enough shed the blood of the Chippewa. We have danced around their scalps, and our children have trodden their heads into the dust. What more do we want? Therefore let us go to the council, mark well the words of the interpreter as he tells us what our Great Father says, and I will answer for you. Then when we have eaten and have smoked the pipe of peace, let us return to our village.’

["]After this speech Sha-co-pee took his seat again, convinced that he was a public benefactor. He had done all the talking himself and had arranged matters according to his own ideas, but he did it with the utmost condescension, and his warriors were well satisfied.

["] Besides being an orator, Sha-co-pee is also a beggar, and indeed de premičre force, for he will neither take offense nor a refusal. Tell him today that you will not give him flour and meat and the next day he returns, shakes your hand, and asks for meat and flour. He always gains his point, for you are obliged to give in to get rid of him. He takes up his quarters at the interpreter's, and comes down regularly every day for a week just at noontime.


And as he is always blessed with an appetite, it is much better to capitulate and come to terms by giving him what he wants and letting him go. And when you think you are rid of him, he comes back once more to say he wants to shoot some ducks and bring them to you out of gratitude, and one is actually compelled to give him powder and shot.["]

["]Sha-co-pee came, a few days ago, with twenty other warriors on a visit to the commanding officer of Fort Snelling. The Dakota had heard that the Winnebago had sold their lands to the government, and that they were to pass through the Dakota's hunting grounds on the way to their future homes. They did not approve of this arrangement by the government. Last summer the Dakota took some Winnebago scalps, and as atonement for the act the Dakota had to pay $4,000 of their annuities for the land ceded to the government. This naturally caused much suffering among the Dakota. They lacked the most needed food, and fever made great havoc among them. This circumstance was still fresh in their memories, and they thought they should really have been consulted before their lands were made a thoroughfare for their enemies.

["]They accordingly assembled, and, accompanied by the government agent and the interpreter, came to Fort Snelling to make their complaint. When all but one, who looked most uncomfortable mounted on a high chair, were seated on the floor, the agent presented their complaint and the discussion was opened. The Dakota paid the most profound attention, although they could not understand a word, and after a short pause the chiefs rose, each in turn, to protest against the Winnebago passing through their country. They all spoke sensibly and with dignity, and when one finished the others all cried ‘Ho! Ho!’ (Bravo!). At last Sha-co-pee arose. His manner seemed to say, ‘I am the great oracle.’ He shook hands with all present. Then, assuming a serious expression on his ugly face, he addressed the officer:

["]‘We are the children of our Great Father, the president of the United States; look down upon us, for we are your children, too. You are placed here to protect the rights of the Dakota, and to shield them from harm.’

["]While the Indians cried ‘Ho! Ho!’ with great emphasis, Sha-co-pee shook hands all around again, and then resumed his speech:

["]‘Once this country all belonged to the Dakota. Where had the white man a place to call his own on our prairies? He could not even pass through our country without our permission!’

["]‘Our Great Father signified to us that he needed our lands. We sold some of them to him, and we did it gladly. But he promised to be our friend and to protect us as a father does his children.’

["]‘When the white man wishes to visit us, we open the door of our country to him, we treat him with hospitality. He looks at our rocks, our rivers, our


trees, and we do not disturb him. The white man is the friend of the Dakota.’

["]‘But the Winnebago are not our friends. We suffered because of them not long ago. Our children cried for food; our wives were sick; they could not sow corn or plant potatoes. Many of our nation died; their bodies are still resting on the scaffolds. The night birds rise, clamoring, as the winds howl over the dead.’

["]‘We have heard that our Great Father will let the Winnebago make a path through our hunting grounds. They will subsist on our game; every bird or deer they kill will be a loss to us.’

["]‘The Dakota's land is not a highway for the Winnebago. If our Great Father wishes to make use of our lands, he should pay us. We object to our enemies passing through our country; but if it is too late to prevent this, then we demand a thousand dollars for every village they shall pass through.’

["]‘Ho! Ho!’ cried the Indians with enthusiasm, and Sha-co-pee, after shaking hands for the third time with all those present, took his seat.

["]I doubt that you will ever be paid the thousand dollars per village, Sha-co-pee, but I like the spirit that induces you to demand it. May you live long to make speeches and to beg flour and meat -- you greatest orator and greatest beggar of the Dakota! ["]

In a council the chiefs sit or stand in a circle on the ground and behind them are the warriors and young men. They all smoke while the orator standing in the middle of the circle makes his speech. A pipeful of tobacco usually suffices for three or four smokers. Each one smokes a few puffs and then hands the pipe to the one sitting next to him. As soon as the pipe is smoked out, the one belonging to the next person is filled, and so on down the line.

An Indian seldom speaks longer than twenty minutes; usually his talk lasts only ten minutes. He uses short sentences and nearly always speaks in allegories. If the listeners agree, they all cry, "Ho!" at the end of each sentence. And at the end of the whole speech they express their satisfaction through a loud and prolonged "How!" Then the speaker sits down again in the circle and smokes for several minutes with the others. The next speaker then rises, quietly lays aside his blanket and pipe, and steps into the circle. Everything | takes place with such quiet and dignity that many public orators in civilized countries could use it as a model.

As a result of this council [at Wabasha Prairie] the Indians promised to proceed to the lands which the government had designated for them, and Captain Eastman solemnly promised them that if, on their arrival, they did not find the lands as described, they could return, or be compensated with other lands. The steamboat "Dr. Franklin," which was taking supplies to Fort Snelling, was stopped, and Captain Eastman went on board with his troops and about fifty chiefs, well aware that if the chiefs found themselves in his


power, the Indians who were left behind under the protection of the volunteers would not make trouble. A few days later the same boat took the rest of the tribe, together with the troops, up the river.

The illustrations for this number represent:
"The Council" [Plate 20]
"The Camp of the Indians" [Plate 22]
"The Camp of the Troops" [Plate 19]
"The Winona Rock" [Plate 18]

The scenes were taken on the spot and are as detailed as possible in view of the limited time and dangerous circumstances.


Chapter 16. The Chippewa River.

ABOUT TWELVE MILES BELOW MAIDEN ROCK, at the foot of Lake Pepin, the Chippewa River empties into the Mississippi on the left [east] bank [Plate 21]. Featherstonhaugh says that the width of the mouth is from 1,200 to 1,500 feet. In 1767 Carver found it to be only 240 feet wide, but he observed that it "is much wider as you advance into it." Navigation is interrupted by waterfalls 60 miles upstream from the mouth of the Chippewa. The stream rises out of a chain of small lakes from which flow many branches that combine to form the Chippewa River. The most important is the Manidowish [Red Cedar River]. The Indians called the lakes which form the source of the Chippewa the Ottawa lakes. The so called warpath of the Chippewa and Sioux Indians lay between the two main branches of the river. The number of fighting men of the former tribe was estimated to be 25,000 in 1823. The banks of the Chippewa are bordered by vast prairies on which, up until now, great herds of buffalo and other game could be found. At the source of the river (on the bank of the lake) stands an old Chippewa village which was formerly very important. The area watered by the Chippewa River is one of the most promising parts of the new state of Wisconsin.

It is maintained (and surely not without reason) that all the lands on the east bank of the Mississippi for a stretch of two hundred miles below the Falls of St. Anthony belong to a company [of] ------ American citizens, most of whom live in New York and Philadelphia. Jonathan Carver, an agent of the English government, bought the fertile lands now known as the "Carver Tract" from the Sioux Indians. This property was transferred to Carver with the customary Indian ceremonies, by the tribal chiefs Otchlougoomlicheau and Haronapajtou.


The title to these lands was transferred by sale from Carver's heirs to a certain Dr. [Samuel] Peters in New York. He transferred it to the above mentioned company after he had sold several thousand acres to another company, of which ex-President Martin Van Buren was a member. The Carver Tract extended from the waterfall 200 miles southward along the left bank of the Mississippi, from there 120 miles eastward to the source of the Pine River, then 150 miles northward, and then in a straight line westward back to the falls. It comprised one of the richest, most beautiful and fertile, and best watered spots in the world. In this region are found lead and copper mines of enormous value and equally marvelous lakes filled with fish of all kinds. St. Croix Lake is thirty miles long and has an average width of about two miles. At the upper end is a trading post. Lake Che-chac [Chetac] is very large and it also has a trading post on its shore. The same on lakes Lac de [du] Flambeau and Lac de Courtierville [Lac Court Oreilles]. Besides this there are many other lakes, such as Summer Lake, Pagunyahawn, etc., and many rivers and creeks. Carver's right to these lands is established beyond doubt, for he obtained them under the English government and before the war with, and the existence of, the American government. Carver bought and owned them as a British subject. The Indians relinquished the land to him legally, with the customary ceremonies, and according to the English law "relative to purchasing land of the Indian tribes."

When the American government had Wisconsin Territory surveyed, the Carver Tract was noted as such on the map; thus its ownership was tacitly acknowledged. The company that owns the land decided to survey the part lying between 45° and 55° north latitude and divide it into tracts of six square miles. Considering that the land is surrounded by large bodies of water and includes lakes and rivers of considerable size, the climate here is not as cold


and not as much subject to frosts as in some parts of the United States which lie at 42° north latitude. Communities are being founded in various parts of the area, and settlement along the Chippewa River gives the region the appearance of an area that has long been under cultivation. Fruit trees, mills, substantial dwellings, corn, barley, wheat, rye, potatoes, and vegetables of all kinds are found here in abundance. On the St. Peter's River there are also important settlements where everything necessary for human existence is produced.

Considerable quantities of lumber come from the Chippewa River Valley. The way of life of the raftsmen is no less romantic than that of the boatmen of yore, which has provided entertaining material for so many novelists. Near the mouth of the Chippewa, a small stream called Bogus Creek empties into the Mississippi. It was along the bank of this stream that a notorious band of counterfeiters at one time operated. Two miles below the mouth of the Chippewa, also on the left bank, is Nelson's Landing or Buttsville, where there is a warehouse for raftsmen, etc. On the opposite shore, a little below Buttsville, is a big half-breed reservation, and a mile below that begins the famous Wabasha Prairie with Pratte's [Cratte's] Landing, or Wabasha City. The next interesting places are: Grand Encampment Island and Point. The name is derived from the fact that the Dakota Indians used to hold their councils there.

Not far from there are the old fortifications first described by Carver and later rediscovered by Featherstonhaugh. These consisted of a tremendously large semicircular barrier (presumably breastworks), each flank reaching the river. It was a mile long, four feet high, and surrounded by a trench, and would provide protection for 5,000 men. Carver says, "this breastwork appeared to have been constructed with such skill that Vauban himself could


have planned it." There has been a great deal of discussion about the existence of these ruins, but Featherstonhaugh maintains positively that he found the place which was described by Carver. He landed on the right [west] bank at a place overgrown with cedars, near a small village of Indians of Wabasha's band, eight miles southeast of Rousque's [Augustin Rocque's] trading post. There he climbed the rather steep bank up to the broad prairie. He found the ruins about two miles south of this place.


Chapter 17. Indian Hunting Camp.

Indian Hunting Camp.

Plate 22. The Indian Camp at Wabasha Prairie.

Plate 23. An Indian Hunting Party.

THE INDIANS TAKE THEIR TENTS OR WIGWAMS along on all their wanderings. When they travel by water they even take the tent poles; then the wigwam can be put up in a short time [Plate 23]. Otherwise the poles first have to be cut in the forest, which naturally causes more or less delay, depending on the circumstances. While the women are busy putting up the wigwams, the Indian takes his gun and goes after game. His success determines whether the hungry mouths will be fed, for these savage people seldom provide for the future, but live from hand to mouth. They fulfill the adage: "Take no thought for the morrow. Sufficient unto the day, etc. ..." If the hunt is successful and the Indian has the luck to bring down one or more deer, then he spends his time in eating and sleeping until hunger drives him out once more. And so it goes on. As long as game is plentiful, he will remain in the same place, but when it begins to grow scarce, he pulls up stakes and goes elsewhere. During the summer the Indian lives like a bird in a berry patch; but when the long winter comes his fortunes change. Instead of having plenty, he suffers want; hunger and cold are his unwelcome guests. The more prudent families, who have stored up a supply of corn and melons during the summer, move to their permanent winter villages. There the dwellings are somewhat more substantial and are better adapted to the season. Even so, they are inadequate for a region where the thermometer sometimes registers from 10° to 20° below zero.

Domestic Arrangements of the Tribes and the Condition of the Indian Family.

The following information about the domestic arrangements of the Indians is taken from Schoolcraft's work, The Indian in His Wigwam. It has the advantage of being more authoritative than many similar works, because Schoolcraft reports on what he himself saw and experienced during his long residence among the Indians, while many others give only superficial impressions of Indian life acquired during short pleasure trips.



["]There is a similarity in the condition, relative circumstances, and obligations of the Indian family among all the tribes of North America of whom I have personal knowledge. Climate and position, the abundance or want of food, and other accidental conditions have created certain gradations of well being in the various tribes. One tribe may excel in speed in hunting or bravery in war, but these circumstances have done little to alter the general characteristics, or to abridge or enlarge the rights and claims of each inmate of the lodge. The tribes who cultivate maize in the rich valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi have better means of both physical and mental development than those who were, and still are, obliged to pick a scanty subsistence in the frigid regions north of the Great Lakes. The well-fed Muskogee, Cherokee, or Choctaw, who lived in the sunny valleys of upper Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee; the robust Osage, reveling in the abundance of corn and wild meat south of the Missouri; and the lean and serious Montagnais, Muskegos, and Kenistenos, who toilsomely pushed their canoes through waters choked with aquatic weeds and wild rice, present very different pictures of home and comfort within their wigwams. But everywhere one finds the same concepts, sentiments, and duties, and the same relationships between father and mother, sister and brother, husband and wife. The original type of the human family was preserved among them, indeed better than might have been expected in a state of barbarism and among branches of a race which has been so long separated from civilized peoples and has been subjected to so many vices. It would therefore be useless to draw a parallel between the members of a family within, and without, the pale of civilization. Nothing of the kind could be done without conjuring up pictures of suffering and want which are peculiar to the hunter's life, but which are wholly unknown in the agriculture state.

["]The ties of consanguinity, it not exactly stronger than those among civilized peoples, are yet very strong, and are free of all selfish circumstances which may weaken or even totally dissolve the relationships, as unfortunately happens all too often in civilized society.

["]The fundamental principle of matrimony in Indian life is also very well set forth, although marriage has been reduced through centuries of unsettled living, shorn of its most important ceremonies, and weakened in its sacred character. I have observed that polygamy among the Northern tribes is found only among bands who live in a land which is endowed by nature to provide


a generous subsistence. But even here one finds individuals who do not think that the practice is right or reputable; and even in the worst state of Indian society there is always a glimmer of truth. If the conscience of the Indian may be compared to a tallow candle, it may be said to have burned low, but not yet to be entirely extinguished.

["]The relationship between husband and wife is based on circumstances which are generally uniform. Various incidents or motives may result in a union. Sometimes it is brought about by the intervention of friends of two families; sometimes from a sudden impulse of admiration either with or without the approval of the graver and more prudent relatives of the parties. When a man who has not been married before -- which covers the majority of cases -- is accepted as a son-in-law in a family, he comes to live for a time after the marriage in the lodge of his parents-in-law; and this relationship generally lasts until an increase in the family or other circumstances make it necessary to set up a new lodge. Presents still open the way into any wigwam for the Indian who wishes to marry. There are some instances where considerable ceremony and the invitation of friends attend the marriage, but these are in most cases confined to matches of state. A famous hero, a man who, through success in war or in some other way has earned the gratitude of the state, thereby gives his village reason to assume that his merits deserve the reward of a wife.

["]Generally, the marriage ceremonies are confined to a visit of the bride-groom to the wigwam of the chosen one. The result depends on how he is accepted by the latter and whether her parents give their expressed or tacit consent. An ordinary marriage of this kind is naturally made entirely in a private way. The only ceremonial observance of which I have heard is the assigning of what is called an abbinos (invitation to be seated), when the mother of the bride, who has charge of all domestic arrangements, gives the bridegroom a permanent seat in the wigwam. Thereafter, he is regarded as an installed inhabitant of the wigwam and a member of the family. The simple rule is: he who has a right to sit by the bride is her bridegroom.

["]The lodge itself, with all its arrangements, is the precinct of the wife, and stands under her sole rule and government. She assigns to each member his or her place to sleep and put his effects. These places are permanent, and are only changed at her will, as sometimes happens if there are guests to be cared for, etc. In a space as small as a lodge, this system is absolutely necessary to preserve order. The husband has no voice in this matter, and I have never heard of an instance in which he so far forgot his position as to interfere in these minor particulars. The forest is his precinct; the wigwam belongs to the wife.

["] There is no law or force to prevent an Indian from decreeing his own divorce -- that is to say, leaving his wife and taking another when he sees


cause. And there are instances where such steps can be taken and, if confirmed, can be justified. The Indian woman's children provide the best protection against such incidents. Their innocent endearments soften the wrath of the offended father sooner than the most moving plea of a faithless wife. And truly the Indian is no less ready to follow the dictates of love and mercy than is the civilized man. The latter, often only for political reasons, wants some pretext for divorce even if ever so superficial.

["] Indian women, on the average, bear only two children who reach adult-hood. This unusual circumstance is no doubt caused by the unsettled mode of life of the Indians and by the frequent lack of food. Another reason is the crude manner of treatment and the many accidents to which the children are liable, but principally to the Indians' shocking ignorance of medicine. I know a man called Attuck whose three-year-old child died from an over-dose of an astringent tincture of hemlock, administered by the father to cure a stomach ailment. This man was surely a very solicitous father, but even in the eyes of the Indians he was grossly ignorant. He was a member of the Indian people living northeast of Lake Superior variously called Gens des Terres, Montagnais, and Muskegos.

["]The chief laba-Waddick, who lived on a small bay at the foot of Lake Superior and always had an abundance of means of subsistence, had fourteen children by one wife. He had married young, was a very temperate man, an excellent hunter, and therefore always had the means of providing his family with adequate food and clothing. Not one of his children died at a tender age, and he himself lived to be silver-haired without having experienced any real decline in his vital powers.

["]The duties and labors of Indian life are not unequally, as has been generally thought, but rather equally divided between the husband and wife. Such a division is very natural, and results from the fact that the man is exclusively a hunter. It is the duty of the man to provide food and of the woman to prepare it. This arrangement in itself confines the realm of the man to the outside world, and restricts the life of the woman to the home, just as it is in civilized life. The man is not only obligated to hunt, but to maintain and defend the land, build canoes, and make implements for hunting and war. The wife's duties consist of doing the cooking and dressing the skins of wild animals and having the entire care and control of the lodge, with its setting up and removal. A good wife of a hunter takes pride in doing everything well and quickly and in always keeping her wigwam neat and clean, so that she may properly entertain her husband's guests. The wigwam is not built of heavy beams and massive carpentry, but of light


poles, which any child could carry, set in the ground in a circle, with the tops bent over and tied together, and then covered with white birch bark. A pole of cedar wood runs down from these sheaths and is fastened to a round piece of wood or to a stone at the bottom, in order to hold it firm in stormy weather. This stick also serves as a mat roller, for when the lodge is to be taken down, the bark mats are rolled on it and are thus transported. The poles are left standing, for it would be superfluous to fill the canoe with what can be easily obtained in a forest country. The hunter's wigwam is in the form of a half globe. Such lodges are very light and are constructed like basketwork. The entire transportable material of such a house consists of a half dozen sheets of birch bark and an equal number of mats. The latter serve as floor mats and also as the underlayer of the sleeping couch. They are woven like a net of the common bulrush (lacustris) or of sword lilies, and form a special article for barter with the traders. Part of this vegetable woof is dyed and woven into many-colored patterns.

["]Lodges like this can always be seen on the upper lakes. The traveler who takes a trip in those regions still inhabited by Indians during the lovely summer months will find daily opportunity to see the construction of these simple dwellings, especially near the trading posts of Michilimackinac, Sault Ste. Marie, and Green Bay. At Michilimackinac, where it is difficult to get fresh poles for building wigwams without dragging them a long distance, or even trespassing on the rights of others, the Indians have in recent years adopted an ingenious plan by which their object is accomplished and the labor of the women dispensed with in getting new poles. The bark canoes are too lightly built to carry a heavy load on a long journey without previously having a number of poles laid longitudinally in the bottom and on the sides, as a kind of support. The canoe can, however, be used without the poles on short trips, like those for fishing, etc. When the canoe is landed, these poles are taken out and set up in a circle and tied together at the top, thus forming the skeleton of a conical wigwam. The mats and sheets are then unrolled, as described above, and the dwelling is ready. All this is done in as little time as it would take the most expert soldier to pitch a tent.

["]Before we confirm the assumption that the preparation of mats and the setting up and taking down of the wigwam is too heavy a labor for the women, it is necessary to explain some other circumstances of Indian domestic life.

["]Generally speaking, the Indian women have very little to do, and during certain seasons of the year they have almost nothing to do. The hunter's wife does not, like our farmer's wife, have to milk cows, make butter and cheese, and spin flax. She does not have to wash and comb her children and prepare them for school. She does not have to take care of an extensive wardrobe,


nor read novels. How fast or how slowly time goes by, it is all the same to her. Altogether, this has less importance to the Indian than to the white man. Time is not money for him. If the Indian woman has anything to do, it is, at the most, plain sewing. When the sheathing and mats have once been made, there is nothing similar to be done for a long time, for these furnishings are kept and used as long as possible. If a skin has once been tanned and a garment made of it, it is worn until it falls from the body in pieces. Frequent ablutions, cleaning, and changing clothes are characteristics of a higher civilization, but occur little in the hunter's life. However industrious a squaw may be, she still has, nolens volens, an excessive amount of free time, and she does not know how to utilize it and is not concerned about it, while her husband traverses the forest for game, and has to protect his home and his hunting grounds against attack by white and red enemies. He constantly holds his life in his hands and must often be absent from his family for weeks at a stretch. At such times the main work falls to the lot of the woman. Then she leaves the wigwam, takes her children with her in the canoe, or, if she has none, she takes a neighbor woman for a companion, and goes to cut rushes for making mats at her leisure during the winter. Another task for the woman is the gathering of fuel. Her principal aim is always to keep a good fire so that when her husband returns from the hunt he can dry his wet moccasins and comfortably smoke his pipe the while she cuts up the game he has brought home and prepares a succulent roast.

["]The very idea that the women have to chop wood must fill many of our readers with abhorrence. For the word woman calls up poetic ideas of physical and intellectual (ladylike) gentleness and delicacy. The hunter's life, however, which these people have pursued since time out of mind, and the customs and necessities which it entails give the Indian woman but a slender claim to this characteristic, even though it is otherwise common to the female sex. Furthermore, their wood chopping is very different from what is generally understood by the term. The immigrant swings his six-pound ax from early morning until late at night against immense trees until he has opened a path for the sun's rays in the dense primeval forest. Not until then can he build his substantial house and earn his daily bread ‘by the sweat of his brow’ on the land which he has cleared of trees and brush by exerting Herculean power. But the hunter clears no forests; on the contrary, he is concerned with maintaining them so that his game may be assured of a preserve. He builds his wigwams on the edge of the forest on a fertile plain, and with little effort raises a few hills of maize. Before 1492 he never knew any iron tool with which he could fell a tree, and before 1854 he never wielded any kind of ax except a tomahawk. His wife always made her fire with sticks, which she


had only to pick up under the tree, and she still does so. She gathers the wood in the forest, breaks it into lengths suitable for her fire with a small hatchet, and carries it home in little bundles at her leisure. She needs only a few sticks to make her kettle boil. The air in the small wigwam is soon warmed; and the Indian is amazed at the huge roaring fire in the house of the farmer. The few fields the Indians cultivate are in natural openings in or near the forest and have been gradually enlarged. I have noticed that, in comparison with the extent of the lands they have relinquished, the Indians place an enormously high value on any small piece of cultivated land, as though there were really some merit in having cultivated only half an acre instead of ten. And this half acre may be regarded as the industrial sum of every age and sex during perhaps ten generations. Even if this entire labor could be traced to female hands -- which could hardly be the case, because old men and boys sometimes help -- it would still not be an excessive imposition.

["]Enough has been said in this view of Indian life to mitigate to some extent the judgment which has generally been visited on the proud, labor-hating hunter. In our opinion, he certainly has to bear the greatest and most important part of the joint duties. In the lodge he is a mild, considerate man, retiring and always peaceful, and he may indeed be regarded rather as his wife's guest than, as he is often represented, her tyrant. He is recognized as the master less because of his own behavior than because of the attention and respect which she shows him. He is a man of few words. When his wife is impatient, he remains calm. When it no longer pleases him to remain in the wigwam, he departs. His entire manner shows that he recognizes his wife's dominion in the lodge, that he is subject to it, and that in his manly pride he feels himself above the folly of a dispute with her.["]

The Dog Dance.

Plate 24. The Dog Dance.

We remarked earlier that the dances of the Indians are not amusements, but religious ceremonies and, in their eyes, just as holy and as necessary to spiritual welfare as the church ceremonies of the whites.

Every important undertaking of the Indians either is preceded by a dance or, if the circumstances require, is immediately followed by one.

Thus there is a corn dance when the corn is ripe, a buffalo dance when the hunters depart for the buffalo hunt, a war dance before a war is undertaken, and a scalp dance when the warriors return victorious from battle. Besides these there are the bear dance, the wolf dance, and the dog dance, the last of which is the subject of the accompanying illustration [Plate 24].

The religion of the Indians is a peculiar mixture of curious and mysterious ceremonies, and one of their main principles consists in the belief that the spirit of evil (i.e. the evil spirit) reveals itself in dreams in the form of various


animals. Such a dream is regarded as an evil omen, and a dance must be given to appease the evil spirit or to destroy its power.

The Indians think of thunder as a great bird, and there are many remarkable ceremonies and dances in honor of his supposed power. Although the dances vary greatly in form, taken together they have so much in common that, from the description of a particular dance, one can get an idea of the others by changing the object for which the dance is given.

One of the most remarkable is the fish dance, which the Indians call Ho-saw-kah-u-tap-pe, in which raw fish are eaten or rather, as the following description will show, are gulped down.

"Some days ago an Indian from Sha-co-pee's village had a dream in which he saw a cormorant. He woke up alarmed, and told one of his friends to catch him a fish.

"The Indian soon brought a large pike, which was at once painted with blue clay, and, to ward off the danger which might threaten the one who had dreamed, preparations were made for the fish dance.

"A circle was formed of brush, on one side of which a wigwam was erected. Then the Indian placed war implements in the middle of the circle, where a pole had been erected on which hung the raw fish, painted blue.

"The men then entered the ring, almost naked. They were entirely painted black, except for the arms and breast, which each had tattooed in various colors according to his fancy. Inside the ring was a bush (which was supposed to represent a cormorant's nest) for each dancer. Outside the circle an Indian, who had changed himself into a wolf, was loitering about. He had a wolf's skin drawn over him, and on his hands were fastened a kind of round shoes to enable him to run more easily on all fours. In order to play his role well, he remained outside the ring and acted as though he were out to steal.

"All being ready, the medicine men inside the wigwam began to beat the drum and sing. This was the signal for the Indians inside the ring, who were metamorphosed into cormorants and were posted beside their nests, to start the dance. Now began a general quacking, singing, and flapping (at any rate they sought to imitate the latter with their arms and continued it during the entire dance). In this manner they danced around the fish for some time, until finally one of the young heroes gained the courage to snap at the pike with his mouth. If he had good teeth he probably succeeded in biting off a piece. If not, he had to let go and flap on.

"Another then sought to seize a piece of this delicious food (covered with blue clay), and so it continued until at last a beginning was made. Then, one after another, the cormorants flapped up to the pole, bit off a piece of the fish,


and hurried back to their nests to conceal it there so that the wolf could not find it.

"After a while the wolf also appeared, painted so hideously that the children were frightened away. When the cormorants saw him, they ran to their nests with fearful quacking and flapping to protect their food. There they must eat the fish, bones and all, while it is lying on the ground, without using their hands and while continuously flapping their wings.

"While they were thus occupied, the wolf approached the pole, seized the rest of the fish hanging on it, made his way out of the ring with it as fast as possible on all fours -- and so ended the fish dance!"

The thunder dance, or U-mi-ne-wa-chippe, is no less remarkable. It is given by a man who fears thunder. The dance serves to appease the spirit and thus to save the man's life. The description of this dance also is taken from the writer quoted above.

"A number of saplings are stuck into the ground in a circle about sixty feet in diameter. Their tops are bent toward the center and tied together. In the middle stands a pole about fifteen feet high, painted red. From it swings a piece of birch bark on a string -- that is the thunder. At the foot of the pole stand two boys and two girls.

"The former are painted red and hold war clubs in their hands. They represent war. The latter are painted with blue clay and represent peace.

"On one side of the circle is a booth, and about twenty feet from it is a wigwam. The circle has four entrances.

"When all arrangements have been made, the man who is giving the dance comes out of the wigwam. He is painted as hideously as possible and crawls toward the booth on hands and feet. He may, however, not reach it until he has sung four songs or tunes.

"In the meantime the medicine men, who are sitting in the wigwam, beat the drum and the young men and squaws dance in time to it. They hop around in the circle as fast as possible, first on one foot and then on the other, until the music stops. After a short pause, the second tune begins, and it also lasts a few moments. Then comes the third and, at last, the fourth dance. The end of each dance is marked by a fearful whoop on the part of the men. During this time the Indian has reached the booth. Having arrived, he must again sing four tunes, and as soon as he has finished his singing, the squaws run out of the ring, head over heels. They must leave by the same opening through which they entered. The other three entrances are reserved for the men. Since they carry the war implements, they may not be touched by the women, for the war implements of the Dakota have never been defiled by the touch of a woman. For that reason, during the dance the men form


the inner circle next to the post at the foot of which the sacred implements lie.

"When the last (eighth) dance has ended, the young men shoot at the thunder, which is hanging on the post. As soon as it falls, all rush upon it and try to get hold of it. At the foot of the pole is a bowl filled with water and blue clay. While they seize the god, they at the same time endeavor to drink the water out of the container, of which not one drop must remain. When this has been done, they seize the boys and girls who represent war and peace, take the pipes and war clubs from the former, and roll all foul around in the dirt until the red and blue paint has been entirely rubbed off their faces. Little as the poor children enjoy this part of the dance, they nevertheless submit to the ceremony willingly, because through it the power of the thunder is destroyed.

"Now after the water has been drunk, and the guardians of the thunder have been deprived of their war clubs and pipes, a terrible wailing commences. It is simply impossible to convey in words an idea of the noise made by this crying and lamentation. Everyone exerts himself to the utmost at it, and it apparently occurs to no one to spare his lungs in the least.

"Before the men shoot at the thunder, the women must have left the ring. Also, during the entire ceremony, no one may sing except the one who gives the dance. The dancers, the medicine men, and also the spectators are all arrayed in their finest clothes, while the principal person in the whole ceremony, the Indian who fears the thunder, is dressed in his very worst clothes and in general tries to make himself as hideous as possible.

["]In the Ahahkah Kayah, or elk dance, the image of the thunder is also fought against. The Dakota have a high opinion of the majesty of thunder and consequently of their own cleverness in their battle against it -- a battle presumably crowned with victory.

["]A dream in which elk appear disturbs the Dakota not a little, and he does not rest until he has convinced a friend to assist him in dancing. Those who dance must lay aside all clothing and paint their bodies a reddish-gray color (like that of an elk). They must provide themselves with saplings about twelve feet high, leaving the boughs and leaves on. These are to aid them in running or jumping and in the battle with the image of thunder, which is fastened to a pole.

["]The dancers run galloping around the post at a distance of about two hundred paces. They gradually draw near the pole and strike at the thunder with their saplings, dancing all the while, until they succeed in knocking the thunder down.

["]Thus the ceremony ends, and the dreamer has nothing more to fear from elk until they appear to him again."

The dog dance is given by young men who are going to war for the first


time. As in the thunder dance, here, too, a circle is drawn. Inside it a tunnel, fifteen to twenty feet long and five feet high, is built of buffalo hides. The medicine men, with their magical objects, sit in the tunnel and keep up a continuous drumming and singing. In the meantime a dog is killed, the liver is torn out of the body and is fastened to a pole five feet high. With their hands behind their backs, the young warriors then attempt to bite off pieces of the liver. No matter how difficult this is, they do eventually succeed. When the first liver has been consumed, another dog is killed, and the performance begins anew. As long as anyone throws a dog into the circle, the future braves must devour the raw liver.

Major Eastman, to whom the author of this work is indebted for numerous sketches and much information about the condition of the Indians, tells the following comical anecdote:

"I once heard that a dog dance was to take place near Fort Snelling and I wanted to take this opportunity to find out how many dog livers these warriors' sons could dispose of. For that reason I sent to a neighboring village to buy a dozen dogs, and with these I went to the place where the dance was being held, arriving as the third or fourth liver had been consumed. I sacrificed one of my dogs, and the dance continued at once with renewed vigor, for the Indians felt themselves not a little flattered that a white man, and such a great chief, not only honored them with his presence, but had also taken part in their festivity. Four more unfortunate dogs had their livers taken out, and I was already thinking of having the sixth one thrown in, when the Indians began to lose their enthusiasm. They apparently had stomachache, and the prospect of another seven livers was too much for them. They became sick and withdrew, in spite of the enthusiastic encouragement of the medicine men.

["]Since no more raw livers could be eaten, a big stew was made out of the rest of the dogs, to which the Indians invited me. I had to eat with them, for whoever has accepted the hospitality of the red men must eat whatever is set before him. A departure from this rule would be a fatal insult. Besides, dog meat is not to be disdained; that is, when it is cooked!"

The death dance takes place after the death of a chief, on which occasion all the property of the deceased is divided among his relatives. Ordinarily the cost of the dance and the accompanying meal comes to as much as the entire value of the property, and the heirs get nothing.


Chapter 18. A Prairie Fire.

Plate 25. A Prairie Fire.

THE PURPOSE OF THE PRAIRIE FIRE is TWOFOLD: to make it possible to kill game in larger numbers, and (especially near settlements) to destroy the old grass so that the tender, nourishing, young grass which comes up in the spring can more quickly grow long enough for the cattle to eat. Prairie fires also prevent the growth of trees, which would otherwise result.

When (as in the accompanying [Plate 25] emigrants are surprised by a prairie fire, they mow down the grass on a patch of land large enough for the wagon, horses, etc., to stand on. Then they pile up the grass and light it. The same wind which is sweeping the original fire toward them now drives the second fire away from them. Thus, although they are surrounded by a sea of flame, they are relatively safe. Where the grass has been cut, the fire has no fuel and goes no farther. Prairie grass usually reaches a height of eight to twelve inches, but where the ground is marshy it sometimes grows eight to ten feet high.

In this way experienced people may escape a terrible fate. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that emigrants who do not understand these conditions venture out onto the prairie, and then, because they lack experience or guides who know the country, they perish miserably in the flames.

Prominent among the phenomena which characterize western America are the prairies which exist in nearly all parts of the country. They are of two


kinds: rolling and flat. The former were described in an earlier part of this work. The lines which follow deal with the latter.

["]Flat prairies are plains with very fertile alluvium. They bear a kind of high grass with straight stalks, and they are sometimes broken by lakes, and here and there one finds clumps of wild apple trees or common forest trees which give the appearance of islands in a green, grassy ocean. There are prairies of various sizes, from one to thousands of miles in extent. The largest are in the Far West, the home of the buffalo and the red hunters. Trees soon grow on prairie soil where the land is partly under cultivation and the grass is not burned off every year, as is the case in the ‘States’ (the area east of the Mississippi). With few exceptions the soil is very fertile and yields good annual crops of Indian corn and other produce. Near settlements, the prairies are used mainly as pasture for horses, cattle, and swine, where one also finds large herds of elk and deer. These animals multiply rapidly in the vicinity of settlements because their chief enemies -- Indians and wolves -- decrease in proportion to the growth of culture and civilization. Wild turkeys, ducks, partridges, snipe, and rabbits are found in large numbers, and provide great sport for the hunter. There are also many other animals on the prairie, such as raccoons, opossums, moles, etc. The deep stillness which nearly always characterizes the wide prairie is sometimes broken by a noise which sounds like a pack of dogs, and the astonished traveler looks around to see a noble sixteen-pointer bounding past, pursued by a pack of hungry wolves. His glance sweeps the horizon in vain for a glimpse of a human hunter, for even the redskin is rarely seen on this waterless sea.

["] Scientists assume that these prairies were originally covered with water-seas or lakes -- and this opinion is substantiated by the character of the alluvium and by the shells found throughout the limestone hills.

["]Most prairie land is burned off annually, late in November, when the grass is ripe. Sometimes the fire is the result of accident; usually, however, fires are ignited purposely by hunters.

["]The dry grass, which often reaches the height of a man on horseback, burns with terrific speed, and in a few minutes the flames spread for miles. If there is a strong wind, whole clumps of burning grass sail through the air like fiery meteors, and as far as the eye can reach, the horizon is shrouded in a black cloud of smoke, under which a sea of flame covers the earth. Here and there, bunches of burning grass, blown through the air by the wind, whirl around fantastically, reminding one of lost souls, purgatory, etc.

["]The bewildered birds flutter above the flames with anguished cries; the terrified stag forsakes his lair in alarm and flees the conflagration with


lightning speed. The hungry wolf, forgetting his prey, rushes howling toward the distant forests.

["]When an experienced hunter is overtaken by a prairie fire, he quickly ignites the grass near him (like the old trapper in [James Fenimore] Cooper's ‘Prairie’); the wind carries the flame rapidly along and opens the way to a safe place for him. So he conquers fire with fire and, through his cold-blooded determination, escapes certain death in the flames.

["]A prairie fire can be seen for a distance of fifty miles. The fire lasts until the grass is entirely consumed. Sometimes the wind sweeps it into a nearby forest, where it roars ahead furiously until at last the opposing element puts a halt to its destructiveness.

["]In the spring the prairies become green once more, and long before the next autumn all traces of last year's fire have disappeared. Only an occasional blackened, wormy, old tree trunk is a faint reminder of the fury of the unbridled element.

["]One may behold the prairie in the most widely contrasting seasons and circumstances, but it will always fill the beholder with feelings of highest admiration and liveliest interest.

["]It appears either in magnificent beauty or in fearful majesty. Seen in the bright noonday sun, it resembles a giant lake with softly undulating waves. Its many-colored flowers reflect the sun's rays like phosphorous sparks on the surface of water. And when the silvery moon rises in the firmament, the grassy sea looks so soft and quiet that one is transported to the lagoons of Venice. The wanderer asks himself in astonishment why the stars of heaven are not mirrored in the clear depths. During a storm the thunderclouds seem to be ‘closer to the earth than usual,’ and the lightning sweeps over the grassy expanse as though an invisible reaper were mowing with a scythe of fire, while the wind whistles through the long stalks which sigh and moan like the strings of Aeolus' harp as they bend before its irresistible power.

["]In the midst of such a prairie, the traveler may rise at dawn and travel in a straight line until sunset without reaching the border, which ever retreats on the distant horizon. He hears the humming of the busy bees, and enjoys the bright butterflies and thousands of other kinds of insects which buzz around him. In the distance he sees herds of grazing buffalo extending as far as the eye can see, and the savage, but peaceful, Indian busily occupied with the hunt. He hears the cheery whinnying of the wild horses under whose unshod hoofs the earth rumbles as they spread over the plain, their manes flowing like streamers in the morning breeze. At times fleet-footed game crosses his path; the wolf emerges growling from his lair, and the little prairie dog barks at the passer-by from his mound before disappearing into his subterranean abode. Although the wanderer may not meet one of his own kind even on a long journey, yet he is not alone, for life is stirring all around him


and, to use the emphatic language of the Indian, ‘the Great Spirit dwells upon the prairie.’["]



In the spring, when all vegetation comes to life again,
unfolds, and bursts forth,
As though Nature would give birth to Nature,
Covering the almost boundless prairie
With a gigantic carpet of a thousand kinds of wild flowers,
(More beautiful than East Indies' tapestries);
And when the sun breaks through the mist,
And a host of sweet perfumes
Rises to heaven like morning incense,
Then man feels keenly, how great
Is the Creator of such a creation.


In summer the mighty prairie
Stands nearly in full bloom.
Words do not suffice to describe
Its powerful impact upon us.
But here the burning rays of the sun
Are impossible to bear,
And man and beast flee
To the cool restfulness of the forests.


The prairie's time of greatest beauty
Comes shortly before its life ebbs away.
For not until the autumn
Do the purple blooms unfold completely
So that the sun's mild beams
Can reflect in their golden chalices.
And the leaves, rimmed with silver,
Wear a brilliant diadem


Of dewy pearls --
Not to be likened to diamonds.
Sweet zephyrs breathe through the grasses
Like spirit voices,
Whispering sweetly to the flowers.
And a thousand birds, brightly feathered,
Rise and sing their Maker's praise
In clear and joyous tones . . .
But, as so often occurs, to man's sorrow, in life
Where two extremes meet,
(And never with favorable results),
So it happens here -- that sorrow follows joy.
Man's unbridled greed is never satisfied
With Nature's generous gifts.
To satisfy his love of sport
He puts his hand to the untamed element
Which, once unleashed,
His weak hand cannot recapture.
And so the grandeur of the prairie succumbs in an in
A raging sea of flame consumes
The brightest ornament of the West,
Proceeding in its unobstructed path
Until another element bars the way.
Just yesterday the proud ocean of grass
Bloomed brightly and scented the air.
Today black clouds of smoke
Rise from the ashes.


It is winter! Instead of a carpet of flowers
An ample shroud covers the prairie.
The zephyrs have disappeared;
The songs of the birds are stilled.
Instead of the busy humming of the bees,
A dreary stillness reigns.
The sun casts its glaring light
On a great white mirror,
And after a brief day of dominion
Sinks cold and shuddering in the West.
No tree, no straw, no blade of grass
Exists to relieve the weary eye.
Even the starry heavens
Are veiled by swirling snow.


The traveler on the desolate prairie hears his heart
beat louder.
It seems to him as though the world has died,
As though he were the only creature.
For wherever his eye wanders
He sees a memento mori,
The prairie -- like a corpse
Wrapped in its shroud.
But he knows that death is not death
Where there is a resurrection;
And the world has not died;
The prairie is not dead.
Soon the spring will awaken it
With a soft kiss.


Chapter 19. The Battle of Bad Axe.

Plate 26. The Battle of Bad Axe.

THE MOUTH OF THE BAD AXE RIVER is famous as the place where the Black Hawk War ended, and no less famous than that historic event itself is the beauty of the surrounding area. A chain of ten to twelve hills, rising there to a considerable height, is particularly noteworthy. The luxuriant growth which covers them is interrupted at a certain height by a rather wide stratum of limestone. This rock forms a sharp contrast with the grass and shrubbery above and below it and, seen from a distance, it looks like a leather belt. Between the Bad Axe and Raccoon rivers lies a large prairie, which provides an excellent camping ground for the traveler. The two rivers flow into the Mississippi on the east side. Opposite the mouth of the former is a large island. It was here, in the summer of 1832, that the last battle in the Black Hawk War [Plate 26] was fought between the Americans and the Sauk and Fox Indians.

Muckatah Mis-haki-acki-ah, "the black sparrow hawk" (Black Hawk), who caused the war and also gave it its name, was as famous and exceptional a chief as Pontiac or Tecumseh. He possessed all the characteristics of a true hero and only a few of the vices usually found among Indian chiefs. The hostilities which caused the war began with the Indians. On July 30, 1827, Red Bird, a Dakota [Winnebago] chief, with Black Hawk and several Indians of both tribes, attacked two keelboats going upstream to Fort Snelling with provisions. In June, 1827, a company of twenty-four Chippewa, on


their way to pay a visit at Fort Snelling, had been surprised by the Dakota, and eight of the Chippewa men were killed. The commandant of Fort Snelling then seized four Dakota and handed them over to the Chippewa, who at once shot them. To avenge this. Red Bird, who had formerly suffered another defeat from the Chippewa, went downstream to Prairie du Chien, killed two white men, and wounded a third. Then he bought a bottle of brandy from a fur trader, hid himself at the mouth of the Bad Axe, and waited for the keelboats to return from Fort Snelling. One was ambushed, but escaped after a four-hour battle in which two men were killed and four wounded. At midnight the second boat appeared but, protected by the darkness, proceeded on its journey unmolested.

In September General [Henry] Atkinson came with his brigade, captured Red Bird and six Winnebago, and took them to Prairie du Chien. Red Bird died in prison; the six Winnebago were tried in October, and in December they were shot.

Black Hawk was also captured and charged with the attack on the boats. He was freed for lack of evidence, but later he admitted his part in the misdeed.

In July, 1830, Keokuk, "the wary water fox," sold to the United States all the Sauk and Fox Indian lands east of the Mississippi. The transaction took place at Prairie du Chien. For 150 years the village of the Sauk had been located on the point of land formed by the confluence of the Rock and the Mississippi rivers. Round about were seven hundred acres of fertile fields which extended for two or three miles along the Mississippi. The entire landed property of the Sauk Indians extended from the mouth of the Wisconsin to Portage des Sioux at the mouth of the Missouri, and thus had a circumference of about seven hundred miles.

This treaty filled Black Hawk with great anger and bad feeling. He would willingly have surrendered all the other property of his tribe, rather than give up the old village with its fine cornfields which the squaws of his nation had tilled peacefully for so many years, and the burial place where the bones of his ancestors rested. At no price did he want these in the possession of the palefaces. Therefore, in the spring of 1831, he and his band crossed the river and quietly set up their lodges on the old camping grounds. However, in June he was attacked and driven back by General [Edmund P.] Gaines, commanding 1,000 men. In the spring of 1832 he returned again and was


driven out for the second time by General Atkinson. Soon afterward General [Samuel] Whiteside burned the city of the Prophet [White Cloud] on Council River, and on May 14 Black Hawk and 40 Indians drove Major [Isaiah] Stillmann and his 270 volunteers 30 miles to Dixon's Ferry! The whites lost about 12 men, whose bodies were frightfully mutilated; the Indians lost only 2 men.

On June 6, there were 3,000 armed white men as against 500 Indians. Even so, Congress sent out 600 mounted riflemen "to protect the border."

Several skirmishes took place between June 14 and 29, but with indecisive results. At the beginning of June, cholera had broken out, taking a fearful toll among both whites and Indians. On the twenty-first, Black Hawk lost 60 men in a battle with General [Major Henry] Dodge and determined therefore to retreat across the Mississippi with his whole tribe at the mouth of the Bad Axe. He reached this point on July 31 with his tribe of about 400 men, women, and children. However, the steamboat "Warrior," Captain [Joseph] Throckmorton, with 40 men and a six pounder, blocked their way. The Indians went ashore unarmed and set out two white flags, whereupon the captain commanded that a canoe be sent to the steamboat. Since the Indians did not obey the command, the captain suspected treachery and opened a murderous fire on the group. The next morning General Atkinson came up by land. Thus the Indians found themselves between two fires and, after a stubborn fight of three hours, suffered a loss of 150 men. Twenty-seven Americans were killed and nearly as many wounded. Fifty Indian women and children were taken captive, and a large number fell during the battle. One young squaw of nineteen years was suckling her infant when a musket ball was shot through her arm and into her breast. She died still clutching her child!

When Black Hawk saw that all was lost, he fled upstream to Prairie du Chien with the Prophet and the remains of his band and surrendered to the Winnebago. The latter had joined the Menominee and Dakota against the Sauk and Fox Indians. The squaws made him and the Prophet suits of white doeskin in which they were surrendered to General [Joseph M.] Street in Prairie du Chien on August 27. He handed them over to Colonel Z. Taylor, later president, who commanded Fort Crawford at that time. He sent them downstream to Jefferson Barracks below St. Louis, where they arrived September 7


and were locked in irons. Eleven chiefs and fifty warriors who had been taken prisoner on Rock Island were freed.

So ended the famous Black Hawk War, which had lasted three months. In September, 1832, General [Winfield] Scott concluded a treaty with Keokuk at Rock Island, according to which the lands from the Missouri state border, north to neutral territory, comprising 6,000,000 acres, were ceded to the United States. Keokuk, by the way, reserved for himself 40 square miles of land on the Iowa River, besides his old village. At the same time the Winnebago ceded to the government their lands lying south of the Wisconsin and east of the Mississippi, comprising 4,600,000 acres. For the two areas $600,000 was paid and various other things were promised.

In 1833 Black Hawk and five other chiefs traveled to the Eastern cities and paid General [Andrew] Jackson a visit in Washington. On this occasion the following stanzas appeared in a newspaper:


Is not your heart far away in the dense forests
Where your slender wigwam stands?
Where the Great Spirit hovers
Over the graves of your ancestors?
Have you forgotten the savage battle, O hero?
Do you want to learn the power of peace here?
When morning dawns, the hunters go forth,
Following the game with hasty step.
But where are you, the finest hunter of all?
Where is your bow; where your shield?
The forest resounds with the joyous cries of the hunters.
But where are you? I do not see you there.
The day draws to a close, and with it the joy of the chase.

There is brisk activity around the evening campfire.
Around it the tired hunters lounge at ease,


Satisfied with the day's booty.
And where are you? Your bow is unbent,
Your empty quiver hangs peacefully on the wall.

Alas, you are far removed from prairie, lake, and forest --
A guest of the white men in Washington.
But the noisy crowds of the Capital City leave you unimpressed.
For here you have neither room nor peace.
You miss the mild sunshine of the mountains.
You cannot be happy as a civilized man.

In 1848 [1838] Black Hawk died in Keokuk's village. Keokuk himself had died of poison (some say it was of whisky) in 1847 [1848]. Many years after the unfortunate battle, the bones of the fallen Indians lay bleaching on the shore. Even today it is not unusual to find such remains in the vicinity of the mouth of the Bad Axe. Not far from this place stands an unoccupied hut, once the lodging of an old fur trader named Patwell. Dark memories and terrible tales of robbery and murder are associated with this hut. It stands forsaken, and it is with a shudder that the traveler to this spot hears the gruesome stories of it from his guide.

Just below this place, at the foot of a high cliff, was once the village of the great Winnebago chief Win-ni-sheek. Now only a fur trader named Bonbare lives there and carries on the trade with the few Indians who visit the region.


Chapter 20. The Chippewa Indians.

Spearing Fish.

Plate 27. Indians Spearing Fish.

Plate 28. Indians Hunting Deer by Moonlight.

SPEARING FISH is one of the favorite occupations of the Indians, particularly of the Chippewa. Indeed, in most tribes, it is one of the chief means of securing food.

For spearing, the Indians usually choose a place along the shore where fish are found in large numbers and the water is deep. There they build a big fire. Attracted by the light, the fish gather in great numbers and easily fall prey to the fishermen, who are armed with spears that are tipped with barbs [Plate 27]. An Indian's aim is so good that he seldom withdraws his weapon without seeing a fish struggling on the end of it. Sometimes this kind of fishing is carried on from a boat which moves about on the river, usually manned by three Indians. One wields the lance; the second holds the burning torch; and the third rows the boat. Sometimes fish are shot with arrows to which thin lines have been attached.

Deer also are sometimes hunted by using firelight [Plate 28]. These animals have established haunts to which they repair when plagued by mosquitoes, standing for hours with only their heads above water. Near such places the Indians will build a fire. Instead of being frightened away by this, as one might assume, the animals stand and gaze with curiosity at the bright flames. The hunter, either lying in the grass or hidden behind a bush, has little difficulty in bringing down the game which thus has been rooted to the spot by the fire and the mosquitoes. An Indian on the St. Croix River claims to have shot nine deer in one evening in this manner.

Chippewa Life and Legends.

We are now in the land formerly occupied by the Chippewa. This tribe is one of the most powerful of all the Indian nations and still has 20,000 to 30,000 members. Their lands once stretched eastward from the Mississippi


to the shores of the Great Lakes and northward to the property of the Hudson's Bay Company. Among all the Indian tribes, the Chippewa who live near the sources of the Mississippi seem to be most favored by nature. They have fish of all kinds, wild rice, maple sugar, and game in abundance; the climate is particularly well suited to the cultivation of corn, wheat, barley, and maize; and potatoes grow much better here than in the more central states of the Union. Hunting provides a particularly profitable trade, for the following animals are found here in large numbers: bear, deer, elk, wolves, foxes, wolverines, otter, polecats, raccoons, marten, weasels, beaver, etc., although the latter has for some time been caught less frequently in this region. The American moose is also sometimes found here, and one may assume that this is the only area in the United States where the finer sorts of pelts are to be found. The American Fur Company, operating through the firm of Pierre Chouteau [Jr.,] and Company, deals exclusively with these Indians.

As a nation, the Chippewa are completely different from the Dakota, and indeed from all other Indian tribes. In language, customs, dress, and facial type they differ entirely from their neighbors, and their houses and canoes are also built in a style which is very characteristic. Physically the Chippewa are lean, well formed, and active, although not strong. Modesty is the least of their virtues. It is taken for granted among them that the Chippewa are the noblest of all earth's creatures; the white men exist only to provide the necessities of life for them. Therefore one often hears them make the unflattering remark: "as stupid as a white man"!

The Chippewa and some of their related tribes have a system of totems for which they use the forms of such animals as deer, swans, fish, etc. The members of two families who have the same totem may never intermarry, for they are regarded as blood relatives. They have various feasts, legends, and songs and, like all Indians, believe in dreams. They hold death feasts, dream feasts, medicine (or magic) feasts, and youth feasts. The last mentioned feast takes place when a young man has killed his first game. But among the Chippewa there are not only feast days, but also fast days. These Indians take pains, with praise and other rewards, to encourage their children to fast from two to three days. In that way they can, in later years, more easily


endure the periods of hunger that necessity forces upon them -- periods that become more frequent as the giant arm of civilization pushes back the Indians, decreasing the amount of game and other natural products. Fish and rice, their main articles of food, are nearly always available.

Since the nature of the land is unsuitable for supporting people living together in large tribes, the Chippewa separated into families. A continuous and irreconcilable enmity exists between them and the Sioux.

The Baptist Missionary Society has chosen this area [of the Chippewa] as its field of activity, and it is said that its work has brought some satisfying results. The way to a more fruitful faith, better living arrangements, and more suitable occupations is being opened to them. To be sure progress is rather slow, and for the present is confined to separate individuals.

Although the Chippewa believe in a higher being, a "Master of Life," they have no idea of moral responsibility. Polygamy is permitted, and marriage ceremonies do not exist. The relatives among themselves take care of the preliminary arrangements for a union. While the bridegroom is absent, the bride is taken to his wigwam. If he comes home and is satisfied with the marriage partner that has been left for him, he sits down beside her and the matter is settled. If he is not pleased, he expresses his disapproval by leaving the lodge.

As described earlier, the Chippewa first place their dead either on scaffolds or in trees, and later, after a certain time, bury the bones. During the first nights after the burial a fire is lighted over the grave, a custom which owes its origin to the following legend:
"The Chippewa warriors once encountered their enemies on a broad plain, and a bloody battle ensued. Their leader was a famous hero who exhibited more strength and courage on that day than he ever had before. While the enemies fled, and the victory cry of the Chippewa sounded, an arrow pierced the breast of this chieftain and he fell dead. A brave who falls in battle is not buried, but is left sitting on the ground, his back leaning against a tree, facing in the direction in which his enemies fled. Headdress, articles of clothing, and weapons are carefully arranged close by, just as though the person


were only sleeping and would reach for them upon awaking. Having placed their chief in this position, the Chippewa left. Contrary to all expectations, however, the wound which he had received was not fatal. Although bereft of the power of speech, and too weak to move, the supposed dead man heard all that went on around him. He clearly heard the death wails of his braves without being able to inform them of their error. When he felt his friends pressing his hand, as they took leave of him one after the other, and finally found himself alone and forsaken, a terrible fear seized him, and he exerted his utmost power to follow them. He eventually succeeded in raising himself, and it seemed to him as though he were moving in the direction in which his friends had gone. His body, however, was invisible to them, a fact which only served to increase his suffering. He spared himself no pains, but journeyed along with them. When they walked, he walked also; when they rested, so did he. When they slept, he slept; and when they awoke, he also awoke. In short, he did everything they did. But, except for sleep, he was unable to join them in any of the ways in which they refreshed themselves. And he was denied the joy of talking with them, for they heard no syllable, no matter how much he talked. ‘Is it possible,’ he cried, ‘that you do not see me? Don't you hear me talk to you? Do you want to let me bleed to death without making any effort to bind my wounds? Must I starve while you have plenty? Is there none among you, whom I so often led into battle, who will give me a piece of bread in my need?’ And so he continued talking to his friends at every stopping place, but no one heard his pleas. It is true that they sometimes heard low murmuring, but they thought it was the wind whispering in the trees or leaves falling from the branches.

["]Finally the warriors reached their village. The women and children came to meet them, to welcome them and sing their praise, as is the custom. Kumaudjeewug! Kumaudjeewug! Kumaudjeewug! -- ‘They saw the enemy, fought, and were victorious!’ -- was their song, and the news of their arrival traveled like lightning through the nearby villages. Anyone who had lost a friend came to inquire about the circumstances of his death. The old father comforted himself at the loss of his son by the fame which he had won in battle. Even the young widow forgot her suffering when she heard of the heroic deeds of her husband, and the smallest children joined the cries the meaning of which they scarcely understood. But no one suspected the presence of the wounded chieftain. He heard people asking about his fate, heard it said that he had fought bravely, had been hit by an arrow, and lay dead on the battlefield. That was too much for him. Enraged, he stepped in among his mourning friends and cried with a loud voice, ‘It's not true that I was killed and remained lying on the battlefield. I am here! I am alive! I am moving! Just look! Touch me! I will swing my lance in battle for many more years, and beat my drums at the feasts!’ But no one saw or heard him; all was in vain.


Finally it occurred to him to go to his wigwam. There he found his wife tearing her hair and wailing bitterly over his fate. He tried to get her attention, but she took no notice of him. He begged her to bind up his wounds, but she did not stir. He cried into her ear with all his might, ‘Give me something to eat; I am hungry!’ She heard only a low murmur; that was all. Filled with wrath at her stubborn silence, he struck her on the head with his fist -- and the good woman said to one of her neighbors who was there, ‘I have a headache.’

["]Then at last a thought struck him: he remembered, as a boy, having heard that a spirit is sometimes permitted after death to wander about over the earth. It occurred to him that his body might have remained on the battle-field, while his spirit accompanied the warriors to the village. So he decided to return to the scene of the battle, even though it was a journey of four days, and he started out at once. The first three days passed without his encountering anything unusual, but on the evening of the fourth day, when he arrived in the vicinity of the battlefield, he saw a fire burning in the path before him. He stepped aside to avoid it, but the fire moved also and was once more directly in front of him. He stepped to the other side, and there the fire also blocked his path. It seemed determined to bar his way to the battle-field. Then he finally lost his patience and cried out angrily, ‘You demon! Why do you block my way? Don't you know that I too am a spirit and want to go back into my body? Do you think I will allow myself to be hindered in my intention? Let me tell you that I have always conquered the enemies of my nation, and I can conquer you too!’ And with a sudden jump he sprang over the fire. This exertion awakened him from his eight days of unconsciousness, and he found himself sitting on the ground with his back against a tree and his weapons at his side just as his warriors had left him on the battlefield. Raising his eyes, he saw in the branches of the tree above him a large war eagle, which he had seen previously in a dream and had chosen as his guardian spirit. This bird had protected him during the whole time and had kept other beasts of prey away from his body.

["]He raised himself and tried to walk, but he was too weak. The clotted blood had closed his wound, but he did not dare to exert himself before it had healed or had been bound up. With the help of various herbs whose healing power he knew, he was soon able to accomplish this. Finally he had recovered to such an extent that he was able to begin the journey. On the way he was plagued with hunger, for he saw no large game. He did, however, succeed in shooting several small birds which he roasted over the fire at night. In this way he dragged himself forward painfully until at last he reached a stream which separated him from his village. He gave the familiar call which signifies the return of an absent friend, whereupon a canoe was at once launched from the other side to come and get him. The entire village was aroused, and everyone tried to guess who the new arrival might be, since the warriors had


returned long ago, and only the dead had been left behind. Some thought it was hunters from a neighboring village. Others thought it was enemies who were using trickery to get the scalps of the Chippewa. The old people expressed their disapproval that they were not first called into council before the canoe was launched, etc. In the meantime, the chieftain who was believed to be dead landed and stepped into the circle of his astonished friends. Each wanted to be the first to welcome him, and when he told his story there was no end to the joy and amazement. He closed with the remark that it would be best if a fire were kept burning over a grave for the first four nights after a burial, because a spirit must travel four days to reach the land of the living, and during this time he needs a fire. The friends of the deceased could spare him the pains of having to make it himself, and then he could enjoy its warmth and light so much sooner. ["]

Since then it has been the custom among the Chippewa to keep a fire for the dead during the first four days and nights, but this is done less for the spirit than for the body. The real reason is no doubt because the wolves would dig up the body in less than four nights, and wandering spirits would then find it hard to return to their bodies.

The Indians often attempt to explain in a highly ideal and even poetic manner old customs or natural phenomena which they do not understand. An example is the above legend of the chief who returned to life. The following tale also serves as an excellent illustration of the savage poesy of these untutored beings:
"An old man with gray hair and a long beard, leaning on his staff, roved through all lands and all zones. One day, after he had traveled without stopping for four months, he found a place where he could rest himself for a while. He had just settled himself when he saw standing before him a young man with a handsome form, rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes. His head was crowned with a wreath of flowers and his breath was as fragrant as the wild flowers of the mountains. The old man with the long beard said to him, ‘Let us rest ourselves here and talk together. But first let us build a fire and gather much wood, tor we will need it to keep us warm.’ Soon the flame blazed up brightly and the two sat before it and each told the other where he had come from and what his adventures had been. Then the young man began to feel cold, and he leaned his head on his hands to keep warm. In that


momerit the old man spoke, ‘When I wish to cross a river, I breathe on the waves; they grow hard and I walk over the surface. I need only to command the waters and they stand still; or I touch them with my finger and they become as hard as stone. Under my feet soft things become hard, and my might is unbounded.’

["]The cold became more intense, and the boasting of the old man seemed to bore the youth. Then, when the morning began to break in the east, he spoke: ‘Now, my friend, I would like to say something.’ ‘Speak,’ answered the old man, ‘my ear is indeed old, but it is open, and I can hear you.’

["]‘I also,’ continued the young man, ‘travel through the whole world. I saw the earth covered with snow and the water hard as stone. But I had only to breathe over it and the snow melted, the ice broke up, the mountain springs began to bubble up, and the streams to move. Under my footsteps the earth grew green. Flowers bloomed, the birds sang happy songs, and all that your great power had created blew away like chaff before the wind!’

["]The old man sighed deeply and, shaking his head, he spoke to the youth: ‘I know you. You are Spring.’ ‘Right,’ answered the other. ‘Look at my head. It is crowned with flowers; my cheeks bloom like roses. Come and touch me. You,’ said Spring, ‘are Winter! I know that your power is great. But you dare not enter my domain. Your beard would fall off; your strength would wane, you would die.’ The old man felt the truth of these words, and before the sun rose in the heavens, he had disappeared. But before they parted, each said, ‘Farewell, till we meet again.’["]

Two hills appearing in the background of the scene which follows [Plate 29] are known as Cap ŕ l'Ail and Cap aux Puants


Plate 29. Scalping Scene on the Mississippi.

This barbaric custom is still fashionable among all the Indian tribes of the West. They not only scalp the warriors killed in battle, but also women and children. Captain Eastman of Fort Snelling showed us five scalps the Dakota had taken from the Winnebago a short time before our arrival at the fort. It is, by the way, not the custom among the Indians (as is frequently assumed) to shave their heads and leave only a tuft of hair (the scalp lock). At any rate many travelers, among them the author of these sketches, maintain that they have never seen this among the Indians or heard of it from them. The five scalps at Fort Snelling consisted of the entire headskin, with all the hair and even the ears still on. Each scalp was stretched onto a round


frame of willow wood, which was provided with a handle for the scalp dance. Their unfortunate owners had been scalped by mistake. The Dakota believed they had come upon some Chippewa, and for their mistake they had not only to give up the scalps, but also relinquish to the Winnebago $4,000 of their annuity as "blood money."

By the way, there are people, even though they are the exception, who have survived scalping.

A Spaniard was once traveling from Santa Fe to St. Louis with a caravan of wagons and mules. One day when he went on ahead of the train with an American to hunt game, the two were unexpectedly attacked by Pawnee Indians. They defended themselves bravely but were finally overcome, scalped, and left for dead. Their unusually long absence aroused the anxiety of the entire camp, and several hunters were sent in search of them and soon succeeded in finding them. The American was dead; but the Spaniard, even though he had been hit by an arrow, pierced by a spear, and scalped, was still alive. He was taken back to camp, his wounds were bound up, and he was nursed for several days. Then he was taken in a wagon to the nearest city (Providence), [Kentucky?], where he recovered so completely that after some time he could again take up his former way of life. From then on, of course, he wore a wig. He values it as a means of defense even above his trusty gun, for when he was again attacked by Indians, he calmly took off his "scalp" and beat them in the face with it. The Indians thought he was the devil and quickly fled.

It is worth noting that the scalps of whites are treated with more consideration than those of Indians, whether out of respect or shrewdness. The warrior who has obtained one can demand the victory dance, but it is confined to the braves who were present when the scalp was taken. After the concluding dance, the scalp is taken down and in its place a piece of skin from the forehead of a buffalo is handed over to the people for their sport.

The dances and feasts of the Dakota are not regarded as amusements, but as religious ceremonies. They all have purpose and meaning and take place annually; tor the Indians are completely convinced that if the ceremonies should be omitted, the Great Spirit would punish them with sickness, want, etc., or even deliver them into the hands of their enemies. We quote the following description of a scalp dance from an interesting work about Indian life entitled "The Legends of the Dakotahs" by Mary Eastman, wife of Major Eastman, former commandant at Fort Snelling.


"As revolting as a scalp dance may seem to us, the Indians regard it as a sacred duty not only for the men but also for the women and children. The medicine men sing to it, beat the drum, or rattle the gourd. Anything that gives forth a sound is considered music and can be used as such.

["]The squaws dance around the scalps in circles, in groups of four or five. They turn their backs on one another and at every stroke of the drum raise themselves from a stooping position to their utmost height. At the same time they hop or slide a short distance to the left, keeping time perfectly, and singing their ear-piercing song with the medicine men. The pole to which the scalps are attached is either stuck in the ground in the middle of the circle or carried on the shoulders of one of the squaws. The scalp is stretched on a wooden hoop, and this is fastened to a pole or peg several feet long. These victory trophies are usually covered with red earth and ornamented with feathers, ribbons, beads, and similar treasures. On a woman's scalp there is usually a pair of scissors and a comb.

["]After dancing for a few minutes, the squaws stop to rest. During this interval one of them relates the fate of her husband, son, or brother who was killed by the tribe from which these scalps were taken. She winds up her speech by saying, ‘Whose scalp have I now on my shoulders?’ At this moment the others answer with fearful cries, and the dance again begins. The ceremony continues thus, although with interruptions, for months, especially during the summer. Later the scalps are buried or are preserved with the body of a warrior killed in battle."


Chapter 21. Prairie du Chien.

THIS OLD, FAMOUS FRENCH VILLAGE [Plate 30] lies on a beautiful plain ten miles long and from one to two miles wide on the left [east] side of the Mississippi. The river is a mile wide here and nearly filled with islands. On the south side the plain is bordered by the Wisconsin River, which empties into the Mississippi there through a deep mouth. On the east side the plain is bordered by a four-hundred-foot cliff consisting of various layers of limestone and sandstone, and on its top are a number of rounded hills which further appear crowned by a chain of Indian mounds running parallel to the river for two miles. On the right side, across from the prairie, a similar chain of rocks rises from the surface of the water. A small river, called Bloody Run, flows out of a deep ravine here. This river was named for an Indian battle which took place on its shores. The village of Prairie du Chien is four or five miles northwest of the Wisconsin, from which it is clearly visible. Carver explains its origin in the following manner:

"About five miles from the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers I observed the ruins of a city in a very pleasing situation. I questioned the neighboring Indians about the cause of this phenomenon, and they gave me the following explanation:

" ‘About thirty years ago, the Great Spirit appeared on the top of a pyramid of rocks located west of the city. He commanded the Indians to forsake their habitations, for the land on which they had built their houses belonged to him, and he needed it for another purpose. To prove that he, who was giving


them this command, really was the Great Spirit, he assured them that grass would immediately spring up on the rock where he stood, which they knew was as bare and barren as only a stone can be. The Indians obeyed, and soon discovered that the predicted miraculous change in the nature of the rock had really occurred. After they had abandoned the place, they built a town on the Mississippi near the mouth of the Wisconsin on the plain which the French called La prairie des chien (the dog meadow).’

["]‘It is a large town numbering about three hundred families. The houses are well built after the Indian manner. The soil on which they stand is very rich, so that the inhabitants can raise every necessary of life in great abundance. I also saw many large, well-built houses [sic] here. The town is at the same time a great mart where not only all adjacent tribes, but even those who inhabit the most remote branches of the Mississippi assemble annually in the month of May to dispose of their furs to the traders. There has long been an agreement among them (without which there could be no trading) that, although the various nations to which they belong may be engaged in feuds, they abstain from all hostilities during their stay here. This same rule is effective at the red mountains on the St. Peter's River where they obtain the stones from which they make their pipes.’ "

That was in 1766. It is said, however, that La Salle's men had settled here as early as 1734, at the same time that Philadelphia was founded. The name of the town comes from an Indian chief whom the French called "Le Chien." The town was formerly a busy trading post with nearly 2,000 inhabitants-all half-breeds (the offspring of white fathers and Indian mothers) -- except for a few Frenchmen. In 1823 Major Long found houses here that were falling to pieces, some warehouses, and about 150 inhabitants, including women and children.

Ten years later, when Latrobe came, things had retrogressed even more at Prairie du Chien, for the whole town then consisted of "a few ancient-looking houses and trade buildings, neither the architecture nor the location of which was at all impressive."

At present the town has about four hundred people, but instead of being a place where "all the adjacent tribes, even those who inhabit the most remote


branches of the Mississippi" assemble annually, in recent years only the Winnebago have come here to trade, and even these no longer come. Prairie du Chien has lost its importance as an Indian trading post, but since it is a source of farm produce and metals, it will probably sooner or later take a considerable turn upward, for the soil is inexhaustibly fertile, and recently very respectable copper and lead mines are supposed to have been discovered here.

The distance from here to St. Louis is 600 miles, and to the St. Peter's River is 260 miles. Prairie du Chien lies at 43° north latitude and 91° east longitude.

In earlier times a military post was established here for the protection of the northwestern border. The first fortification consisted of blockhouses and was located several hundred feet from the river, north of the village. This was a very unsuitable location, for during the frequent floods the whole valley was under water, and the garrison had to seek refuge on the tops of the hills.

Fort Crawford, built of stone twenty years ago, is still standing. When the Indian mounds were leveled, where the blockhouse had stood, forty-eight skeletons were found in caskets of birch bark. The blockhouse stood where the parade ground is now located, and was the only fortification when Prairie du Chien was taken by the English and the Indians in 1812 [1814].

The barracks are large enough to house a whole regiment of infantry. However, as a result of the army order of September, 1848, only two companies of the Sixth Regiment -- the usual number -- were ordered there. Fort Crawford is useless as a border fortification. It commands only the prairie on which it is built, while all the neighboring hills within cannon range command the fort.

Near Prairie du Chien, as well as in the vicinity of Petit Cap au Gris a few miles away on the Wisconsin and on Kickapoo Creek, are innumerable Indian mounds of every possible shape and size. These are proof that this part of the Mississippi Valley must have been heavily populated with Indians from


earliest times. It is not known which tribe or tribes were born and buried here. It is said that the Winnebago once came down the Wisconsin and exterminated nearly the whole tribe of the Chien Indians, and that the few who succeeded in escaping returned to their village after the enemy had left. That is where they were found by the earliest discoverers of the Wisconsin.

In one of the caves of Kickapoo Creek, according to legend, stands a giant stone figure. It is today still regarded by the Indians with the greatest reverence, and they never approach it except to bring peace offerings. The story of the stone figure confirms the legend just mentioned of the extermination of the Chien by the Winnebago. The Indians tell it as follows:

"Many years ago the Chien were attacked by the Winnebago and a great number were massacred. A few succeeded, even though wounded, in escaping to the mountains. Among these was an old, universally respected squaw. She starved to death in a cave. But before she died, the Great Spirit came and turned her into stone. From that time on, no Winnebago could enter the cave without being turned into stone like her. Finally the Great Spirit had mercy on the Winnebago and took from the giant figure the fearful power of turning men into stone. But the figure still stands to the present day, surrounded by the sacrifices to her revenge -- an eternal monument to the murderous Winnebago!"

The prairie is covered with the graves of the present-day Indians. They have no information about the old mounds except that they are too deep to have been made by their own tribe, and none of the utensils which they buried with their dead are to be found in the graves. Several years ago, when a cellar was dug, eight giant skeletons were found lying side by side a few feet below the surface, but the bones fell to dust as soon as they were brought out into the air.


Chapter 22. The State of Wisconsin.


THIS NEWLY FORMED STATE borders Illinois on the south. Lake Michigan on the east, the Mississippi on the west, and Minnesota Territory on the north-[west]. It has an area of 53,924 square miles. It is thus nearly as large as Illinois, but does not have as much arable land.

["]The part of Wisconsin that lies between the northern border of Illinois and the Wisconsin River and between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi is free of all claims by the Indians, and some of it has already been surveyed and sold. The land in these regions is unusually fertile and is very well watered. There are offices for the sale of public lands at Mineral Point and Green Bay, where land is put up for public sale. Various trees used for lumber and for fuel grow in the neighborhood of Lake Michigan. Particularly numerous are the white, red, black, and burr oaks, beech, ash, linden, poplar, hemlock, walnut and white American walnut (hickory), the sugar and white maple, the elm, pine, and many others. The soil is not so deep and dark as in the prairies of Illinois, but it is fertile and easily cultivated. It is sandy only in the vicinity [of the town] of Green Bay. Near the body of water known as Green Bay, and Sturgeon Bay which is connected with it, and between these two points, are extensive swamps and cranberry bogs. Wild rice, tamarack, and spruce fir also grow here. Near Rock River and from there to the Mississippi the land is exceptionally good and besides is thinly wooded. Lead, copper, and perhaps other minerals are found in great quantity here. Extending for more


than fifty miles north and east of the Four Lakes are swamps and sandy areas which the French called ‘Terre tremblante,’ a name that describes the character of the land rather well.

["]There are also several small lakes in this region, the largest of which is Lake Winnebago, thirty to fifty miles south of Green Bay. It is ten miles long, three miles wide, and is full of wild rice. The Fox River flows through this lake. Kushkanong [Koshkonong] Lake lies near the Rock River between the Catfish [Yahara] and the Whitewater. It is six to eight miles in diameter, and there are several swamps and marshes in the vicinity.

["]The Four Lakes, which form a chain connected by the Catfish River, are six to eight miles long, exceptionally full of fish, and surrounded by very good farm land. The Catfish empties into the Rock River twenty-five to thirty miles above the border of Illinois.

["]Green Bay settlement and village are located at 44° 44' north latitude, 230 miles north of Chicago, 220 miles northeast of Galena, and 120 miles from Fort Winnebago.

["]Navarino, a town established a few years ago, has an excellent harbor, is making good progress, and promises to become an important trading center.

["]Fort Winnebago, a military post, is located on the right bank of the Fox River, in a bend of the stream just across from the portage. From here to the Wisconsin stretches a low, swampy prairie three-fourths of a mile wide, through which a company has been chartered to build a canal. It was by this route that the first explorers reached the Mississippi in 1673.

["]The following rivers rise in the eastern part of Wisconsin and empty into Lake Michigan north of the Illinois border:

["]Pipe [Pike] Creek, a small stream near the border; Root River; then the Milwaukee, 90 miles from Chicago; Oak Creek, 9 miles below [the city of] Milwaukee, going northward on the lake; Sauk Creek, a small river, 20 miles farther; Shab-wi-wi-a-gun [Sheboygan], 70 miles from Milwaukee. Here grow white pine, maple, beech, birch, and spruce, but few oaks. The land is flat and sandy. Pigeon River, 15 or 20 miles farther on, flows through excellent land.


Among the trees growing there, ash, beech, linden, elm, and maple are the most numerous. The Manatowok [Manitowoc] is 40 to 50 miles from Green Bay. Here are found hemlock and especially pine. Beyond is Twin [Two] Rivers. Although the land is sandy, many pines and other trees grow there. The distance from Milwaukee to Green Bay -- according to the road laid out by the state -- is 112 miles. By way of the Indian trail, which is more commonly used, it is 135 miles. Crawford County, of which Prairie du Chien is the county seat, is north of the Wisconsin River.

["]From the great bend at Fort Winnebago a chain of hills stretches across the country to the Mississippi, rising several hundred feet and heavily forested with elm, linden, oak, ash, sugar maple, walnut, etc. The soil is rich, but the land is too hilly for cultivation and there is no alluvial soil or grass in these forests. ["]

Immigrants from Europe seem to prefer to settle in Iowa and Wisconsin. More than half of the inhabitants of these states are Germans, Norwegians, and Swedes, and people of these nationalities make up the population of several cities and communities. Besides English, they speak their own languages and retain many of their old customs. Very good land can still be purchased here for from $1 to $2 an acre, and the farmer needs only to plow and fence this land. The first year's crop usually suffices to cover the cost of the land and fencing. The climate is more healthful here than in any other part of the West. Hunting and fishing are unexcelled. In 1840 the population of the state of Wisconsin was 30,945; according to the last census (1850), it is 305,391.

The Mouth of the Wisconsin River.

Nearly straight across the Mississippi from Prairie du Chien is McGregor's Landing, [Iowa], and a few miles below this village the Wisconsin empties into the Mississippi on the left [east] bank [Plate 31]. Across from the mouth is the well-known mountain called "Pike's Tent," which is four to five hundred feet high and was named in honor of General Zebulon Pike. Pike climbed to the top on an exploring expedition and, in his journal, recommended the


place as an excellent location for a fort commanding both rivers. Toward the north and south, rows of giant cliffs stretch on both sides of this promontory, while toward the west the mountain gradually declines, merging with the bordering hills. On the east side it forms a steep rock wall, rising perpendicularly from the water. The view from the top is indescribably magnificent. At the foot of the bluff the water of the Mississippi, flowing down through its deep bed from afar, mingles with the water of the Wisconsin, which is shaded by towering cliffs and is covered with snowy [wild] rice fields from which resound the shrill cries of myriads of waterfowl.

The Wisconsin rises in a small lake [Lac Vieux Desert] called by the Indians Minnekette-kittigan, which, after breaking into a series of rapids, forms a lovely lake two miles wide. From here on, it follows a winding course for several hundred miles and finally empties into the Mississippi through numerous channels. The scenery along the Wisconsin Valley is grand and impressive. Hills and rocks, valleys and plains constantly alternate on its banks, and dense pine forests cast their shadows over its springs. Wild rice (Zizania) grows on all its islands in luxurious abundance. When in full bloom, the rice looks like fields of buckwheat. This water plant grows to a height of three to tour feet. The kernel tastes sweetish and resembles oats in appearance. It grows in great abundance in the rivers and lakes of the Northwest and serves as the main item of diet for both the Indians and the countless waterfowl of the region.

The Indians navigate the Wisconsin in their canoes, but loaded barks are also seen on the river, and even steamboats sometimes go up as far as Fort Winnebago. Still the Wisconsin is a shallow stream with many sand bars. It is never more than half a mile wide, though the valley, measured from hill to hill, is from one to six miles across.

At the end of the Black Hawk War some of the Indians fled down the Wisconsin, intending to cross the Mississippi at its mouth. They wanted to join the rest of their tribe at a certain point on the right bank of the river. Most of their canoes capsized, however, and many women and children drowned. The rest were either captured or died of starvation or cholera.

It was decided to dredge the bed of the Wisconsin 150 miles up from its mouth to make it navigable for steamboats, and a company was licensed for


the purpose. Then, by means of a canoe over the one- to two-mile portage, connection could be made with the Fox River, which flows into Lake Michigan, and it would be possible to establish a water communication between the Mississippi and the northeastern lakes. For the past fifty years, during times of high water, the portage has been used as a temporary canal to connect the two streams, and it has been traversed in canoes by hunters, fur traders, naturalists, and Indians. By widening the narrows or dalles and dredging out the sand bars, it would be possible to make the river navigable for steam-boats to Point Bas, three hundred miles from the mouth. It is said that steamboats have already reached this point at high water.

Ten miles below the Wisconsin on the right bank is Mineral Hill, and two miles below that are the ruins of an old fortification presumably dating back to a French trading post. The next interesting place is Multin's Island and residence, and a few miles from there (still on the right bank) is the pleasant village of Prairie la Forte -- now the town of Guttenberg. Eight miles farther south the Turkey River flows into the Mississippi. Just across from there lies Cassville, a small town that will be described in the next section. Fifteen miles below Cassville, on the left bank, is the mouth of the Grant River. On its bank, a short distance from the Mississippi, is the village of Potosi near which are the most important ore diggings in Grant County and perhaps the most important in the state of Wisconsin.

Here begins a chain of limestone bluffs which look like pillars ranging from the Doric to the Corinthian style. They rise about six to eight feet above the surface of the water and present such an appearance of regularity that one could almost believe they had been carved by human hands to support the hills which rest on them. A few miles below here the town of Sinipi was established some years ago, but it failed to prosper. A row of picturesque cliffs extends for eight miles down the right bank of the Mississippi to Dubuque.


Cassville, Wisconsin.

Plate 32. Cassville, Wisconsin, in 1829.

This is a small settlement and a former trading post about thirty-five miles below Prairie du Chien. The location is ideal for a picture, but less practical for a town, because the prairie on which it is situated is too narrow. On one side the growth of the town is hindered by the river and on the other by mountains. In 1841 [1836], during a big townsite speculation and swindle, this place was purchased by a company which promptly established the town of Cassville and built a huge hotel at a cost of $30,000 in the hope that settlers and travelers would be attracted by it. At that time, however, the vicinity of Cassville was very sparsely settled and the project collapsed completely. No hotelkeeper could be found who was stupid enough to rent and furnish the hotel. When we visited Cassville in 1849 the elaborate building was still unoccupied and was rapidly falling to pieces.

In recent years, however, lead was discovered in this vicinity, not only in the hills back of the little town, but also on the left bank of the Mississippi, along the Turkey River. This fact has lent some importance to the town, and for this reason Cassville may some day become a significant trading center.

When we sailed by here on the steamer "Senator" to the Falls of St. Anthony, the captain told us the following humorous incident which occurred when he was still pilot on the boat. He swore that it was true:

"An honest Irishman had taken a deck passage on the boat, after asking the captain to agree that he would not be required to help ‘wood up’ on the way, as passengers often are. ‘You know, my dear captain,’ he said, ‘that in Old Ireland there are neither snakes nor toads nor other biting beasts, for St. Patrick (God bless him) banned them all from the Emerald Isle. And, if you must know, Captain, I am scared to death of such creatures.’ The captain appeared to agree to the condition, and the steamboat weighed anchor with the Irishman on board. When we wanted to land at Cassville it was already getting dark. The Irishman was told to go on shore with the hawser and tie it to a tree or attach it in some other way. At first he refused, but then the boatswain assured him (in not very delicate language) that since there was a town nearby, there were no wild animals to be feared. So he disembarked and climbed up the steep bank. At the top he looked around for something to which to attach the hawser.


["]At that time one of the residents of the town kept a big black bear which was rather tame. It lay chained before his house. Fez was slumped down in a deep sleep when the Irishman, mistaking him for a stump in the darkness, tied the cable around him. The Irishman then turned toward the ship and called out, ‘Captain, the line is fastened, but I don't know whether the block will hold. Pull and see!’ The men on deck pulled, thus awakening the bear rather rudely. When the bear saw the Irishman he quietly raised himself on his hind legs and greeted his disturber with a rib-crushing embrace. The Irishman turned his head, and who can picture his horror when his nose touched the cold snout of the bear! With a piercing shriek and superhuman effort, he got loose from the beast, sprang over the bushes along the bank, and plunged into the river. There he would surely have drowned if a sailor had not fished him out. It took a while before he came to, but when he did, his first act was to assure the captain ‘that the next bear might eat him entirely it he ever again set foot on land before the boat returned to St. Louis.’["]

In the accompanying illustration [Plate 32], Cassville is shown as an Indian trading post in 1829, at which time it was a more interesting place than at present. The sketch was taken by Major Eastman, who was then conducting a division of troops to Prairie du Chien.


Chapter 23. The Indian's Lookout.

Plate 33. The Indian's Lookout.

THIS ROCK IS THE HIGHEST POINT in a chain of hills which extends along the right bank of the Mississippi River from Cassville, [Wisconsin], to Dubuque, [Iowa], a distance of thirty miles. The hills are known by various names, among them Eagle Bluffs, Castle Rock, Coffin Rock, and Palisades. They are formed of a chalky clay which contains many fossils.

The subject of our illustration [Plate 33], "The Indian's Lookout," derived its name from the fact that, until several years ago, the Indians had a village at the foot of this rock . Every day they climbed to the top where they could see for a long distance and thus guard against possible attack from enemies.

The rock consists of thin layers, at the most two inches thick, which offer little resistance to a chisel. Petrified shellfish are found here in great abundance. At the foot of the cliff the impact of the waves has formed many caves, which appear to be separated by pillars and which provide raftsmen and boatmen with comfortable camping sites for the night.

One of the later illustrations in this work [Plate 58] shows a curiously painted rock near St. Louis, and it may be fitting here to prepare the reader for it by telling him something about the hieroglyphics or rather pictographs of the Indians.

The following explanation of this subject is taken from an interesting article


which appeared in an American newspaper. Because of his research among the Indians, the article is dedicated to H. Schoolcraft:

"The practice of the North American Indians of drawing figures and pictures on skins, trees, and other substances was known to the earliest travelers. Among the more northerly tribes, the bark of the betula papyracea or white birch usually replaces the papyrus bush of the ancients. Birch bark has a smooth white surface and is very flexible; thus it can easily be preserved in rolls. Sometimes these hieroglyphics are drawn in colors on the trunks of trees or blazed on the trunks, more rarely on rocks or boulders. According to [Cadwallader] Golden and [Joseph François] Lafitau, such inscriptions were formerly seen on the trees marking the ancient paths and portages which led from the sources of the Atlantic rivers into the interior or into the valley of the St. Lawrence. But after satisfying a fleeting curiosity, these have long since succumbed to the fate of all such simple and unenduring monuments. Pictures and symbols are now to be found only on the borders of the real Indian lands west of the Alleghenies, on the shores of the Great Lakes, on the wild prairies of the West, and along the Missouri and Upper Mississippi. It is known that, at the time of their discovery, such hieroglyphics were found among all the tribes living between the latitudes of the capes of Florida and Hudson Bay, but they can be regarded as peculiarly characteristic of the Algonquian tribes. In only a few instances were such pictures found on rocks or scattered boulders and only very seldom cut into the surface, as is the case at Dighton, [Massachusetts], and Venango, [Pennsylvania]. Those who are particularly interested in researches of this nature will at the present time still find such inscriptions on the grave posts or coffin scaffolds in the North and West. The tribes who live on the prairies inscribe them on buffalo skins. North of latitude 42° the bark of the birch, from which canoes, wigwams, coffins, water dippers, and such articles are also made, is used as material on which to write. Tablets of hardwood are used only by priests, prophets, and medicine men for writings of a mystical or religious nature. But an Indian map, with various kinds of inscriptions drawn on stone, and found on one of the tributaries of the Susquehanna, proves that the Indians also used this material for inscriptions. A copy of the map appears in the first volume of the collections of the Historical Committee of the American Philosophical Society. This discovery was made on the land belonging to the Lenapees [Delaware Indians].


["]Colden, in his ‘History of the Five Nations,’ says that when, in 1696, the Count de Frontenac marched his well-appointed army into the land of the Iroquois, with artillery and all other military means necessary for offense, he found, on the banks of the Onondaga (now the Oswego) River, a tree on the trunk of which the Indians had depicted the French army. Under the tree lay two bundles of rushes, which together contained 1,434 pieces. In this manner the Indians informed the French that they defied their might and were prepared to battle with 1,434 warriors (in two divisions?). In describing other characteristics of the ‘Five Nations,’ Golden mentions that, before going to war, the Mohawk drew in red paint on the trunk of a tree, signs and symbols from which their intention can be closely discerned. Among other devices he found a canoe which was pointed toward the enemy's country. On their return these Indians were accustomed to visit the same place and to symbolize the result of their expedition. In this case the canoe was turned around so that its bow pointed in the opposite direction.

["]Lafitau, in his ‘Account of the Peoples of Canada,’ to which we shall refer in greater detail later, gives information on this subject. Other historians, dating back as far as [John?] Smith and de Bre [Theodor de Bry?], also bear testimony, although only in passing, to the existence of this custom among the northern tribes. Few, however, have done more than to note the circumstance, and none has until now produced connected details about it.

["]A single element has attracted the notice of historians since earliest times. I allude to the custom of the totem (arms), which existed among the Algonquian tribes at the time Canada was discovered. By this totem the first missionaries observed how the tribes are divided into clans and these into families. Thus distinctions are clearly preserved, and relationships denoted and kept up, long after the tradition has been forgotten. These distinctions, which somewhat resemble the heraldic figures of the feudal system in their certainty, represent the arms, the lodge, and trophies of the chief and warrior. In like manner, when used on a grave post or ad-je-da-teg, they indicate the clan to which the deceased belonged. A few strokes or geometric lines denoted the number of warriors that he had slain in battle. Other details are not given on it.


["]In none of the writings to which I have had access is the view expressed that there was either a pictorial alphabet or a series of homophonous figures in which, by the juxtaposition of symbols representing acts as well as objects of action, and by the use of simple connected signs, a series of disjunctive, yet generally connected ideas, could be stated; or that there is a medium by which the most important incidents could be recorded and transmitted to future generations, at least as long as monuments and nations endured.

["]Above all, it has not been anticipated that, as can be seen by the following remarks, a system of symbolic notation existed for preserving the songs and incantations of the Indian metas and priests, to assist the memory in retaining the language, or rather the text.

["]Persons familiar with the state of the western tribes, and particularly with those living in the northern latitudes, remarked long ago that the Indian priests and wabenoes read or sang their songs from pictures drawn on birch bark. This is a fact which has often been observed by officers stationed on the frontier and by others performing civil duties in those regions. But among all those acquainted with the situation, the best informed are the fur traders, trappers, and interpreters who visit those regions or who live permanently in Indian villages. I have never conversed with any of these people to whom the fact of such inscriptions, made in various ways, was not so familiar as to excite no surprise or even demand remark.

["]My attention was first called to the subject in 1820. In the summer of that year I was on an exploring journey through the Great Lakes region. One day at the mouth of the Huron River, on the bank of Lake Superior [Erie], I noted a grave fenced around with saplings and obviously protected with much care. At its head stood a post on which was drawn the figure of the animal which was the symbol of the clan to which the deceased chief had belonged. Several strokes of red paint denoted either the number of battles in which he had engaged or the number of scalps he had taken from his enemies. Our interpreter, who was himself tinctured with Indian blood, gave the latter as the true import of the marks.

["]From the St. Louis River, which flows into the head of Lake Superior at Fond du Lac, we had to follow a path which led through dense forests and deep swamps, in order to cross the chain of hills which separate the sources of this river from those of the Mississippi. The weather was dark and rainy, so that for several days we hardly saw a warming ray of sunshine. Our party


consisted of sixteen people, including two Indian guides. The latter, however, in spite of their natural skill in finding their way, could not find the thread leading out of the maze and were lost for an entire day in the swamps. Fortunately, toward evening, we had reached a spot which was elevated a few inches above the level of the swamp. There we spent the night on ground that was bare, but at least dry. The next morning, as we prepared to leave the camp, we noticed an eight- to ten-foot pole on the top of which was a piece of birch bark with figures drawn on it. The lower end of the pole was thrust into the ground and the upper part leaned in the direction in which we were to go. With the help of the interpreter, we learned that the circumstances of our journey, and particularly those of the foregoing night, were presented thereon. Each one of us was characterized; the soldiers were clearly distinguished from the officer in command, and the latter from the savants of the party. The Indians were depicted without hats, since these, as we observed, are attributed only to white men or Europeans. The whole was complete according to their mutual conventions and was so correctly presented that any Indian whom chance might lead this way must at once understand the circumstances. The inscription was as follows:

["]Fig. I shows the subaltern officer who was in command of the troops. He holds a sword, to distinguish him from the latter.

["]Fig. II denotes the secretary; he has a book in his hand.


["]Fig. III denotes the geologist and mineralogist of the party. He is shown with a hammer.

["]Figs. IV and V represent the two attaches.

["]Fig. VI represents the interpreter.

["]Figs. VII and VIII represent the two Indian guides. To distinguish them from the white men, they are shown without hats. The one with the arrow is pointing the way.

["]Fig. IX represents the eight infantrymen who accompanied the party.

["]Fig. X represents their muskets.

["]Figs. XI and XII represent a green turtle and a partridge, the result of the preceding day's chase.

["]Figs. XIII and XIV show that the Indians had a camp and a fire separate from the white men.

["]Fig. XV denotes that the turtle and the partridge were roasted and consumed at the fire.

["]Fig. XVI shows the totem or arms of the Indian who led the way. He was called Chamees or Pounding Hawk.

["]Below the scroll of bark were three hacks in the post to indicate the estimated length of the journey from Portage aux Couteaux [Knife Portage] on the St. Louis River to the shores of Sandy Lake, the Ka-ma-ton-go-gom-ag of the Ojibway (Chippewa) Indians.

["]The story was thus simply and briefly told. Our guides had set up this memorial to inform any of their countrymen who might pass the place about the adventure -- for it is evident, from this writing and from the really adventurous wanderings of the previous day, that they regarded the journey as such -- and to claim credit for having executed it.

["] Before we had quite reached the summit of the mountain, we had occasion for a second time to see evidence of the Indians' skill -- namely at one of the so-called Man-i-to-wa-teg, or Manito poles. When we caught sight of this structure, our guides shouted, whether from religious superstition or for joy at finding something they could recognize is not certain. We judged the latter. The structure consisted of eight round poles of equal length, shaved smooth, and painted with yellow ocher. They were placed so as to form a square, and appeared to have been one of those rude temples or places of


incantation or worship known only to the metas or priests where certain ceremonies are performed. But it was not an ordinary medicine lodge, and one could see that more than ordinary care had been taken in its construction.

["]In the village of Sandy Lake we found likenesses of animals, birds, and other figures on the coffins which rested on scaffolds in the vicinity of the fort and on the shores of the lake. Both here and in other regions, we observed similar devices on the arms, war clubs, canoes, and various other pieces of movable property of the Indians.

["]Upon descending the Mississippi, we passed several rocks covered with such inscriptions. One of these was at the mouth of [Little] Elk River, another was near that place, and a third was on a rocky island at Little Falls. In the course of our journey to the Falls of St. Anthony we observed, on the right shore, another roll of birch bark suspended on a high pole standing on an elevation. On this spot, where we encamped for the night, were a number of wigwam poles which the Dakota had left behind, across from a highly crystallized hornblende rock. The inscription on the birch bark had reference to a negotiation for bringing about a permanent peace between the Dakota and the Chippewa. A large number of Dakota from the St. Peter's Valley, headed by a famous chief, had proceeded thus far in the hope of meeting the Chippewa on their summer hunt. Colonel Leavenworth, commandant of the fort which was then being erected, had encouraged them in this step. The Chippewa chief, Babesacundabee, who accompanied us, read off at once the inscription on the birch bark. It gave the name of the Dakota chief who was here with his warriors and the assurance that a peace mission would be favorably received.

["]In the vicinity of the Falls of St. Anthony we found that this system of picture writing was as familiar to the Dakota as it was to the Algonquian tribes. The same was true at Prairie du Chien and Green Bay among the Menominee and Winnebago; at Chicago among the Potawatomi, and at Michilimackinac among the Chippewa and Ottawa who resort to that island in great numbers. While at the latter place, on my return, I saw the grave of a famous Menominee chief who was widely known by his French name of Toma. He was buried on a hill west of the village, and on his ad-je-da-teg or grave post I found the most noteworthy achievements of his eventful life presented in hieroglyphics.

["]These signs served to direct my full attention to the picture writing of the Indians when I returned to the country in 1822. The figure of a deer,


a bear, a turtle, or a crane, according to this system, stands for the name of a man and preserves the language perfectly, since the person conversant with it at once recalls the corresponding words of Addick, Muckwa, Mickenock, and Adjeejauk. Marks, circles, or dots of various kinds designate a number of heroic deeds. Adjunct devices stand for related acts. Even though the system were extended no further, the Indian who had no letters, but was expert in the meaning of these symbols, could obtain sufficient and useful information from such writings. And the reading or interpretation of the writing is easy and precise in proportion as the signs are general, conventional, and understood. On my first journey, I had obtained enough evidence of the general knowledge and manner of use of this mode of communication among the northern tribes, but at that time it seemed to me hardly likely that it could be used for further purposes than those already mentioned.

["]Not until, on my second journey, I made the acquaintance of one of their metas -- a very intelligent man well versed in the customs of their religion and history -- did I see clearly the possibility of a further extension of this system. In the hands of this man I first saw a wooden tablet covered on both sides with various signs. The devices were cut between parallel lines, and he used them in his medicine and mystical songs as though they were music. I heard these songs and noticed that their succession and rhythm seemed to be definite and regular. After I had treated him with special attention for some time, and had given him several presents now and then as the occasion rendered proper, he consented to explain the various figures, the symbolized objects, and the words attached to each symbol. By this revelation, which was made behind closed doors, I became a member of the Medicine Society and the Wabeno Society. I wrote down the songs, line for line, in the Indian language, and then translated them verbatim into the English. When I had completed this work, I found that this system was clearly mnemonic and that any person can sing from these devices accurately if he has previously committed them to memory.

["]Each of these figures related exclusively either to the medicine dance or to the wabeno dance, and just so the complete figures or sections. There could be absolutely no interchanging or commingling, although the figures could be used for both songs. This classification of the symbols, as I later perceived, also extended to war, the hunt, and similar topics. The entire system of hieroglyphics, from the rude characters on the ad-je-da-tegs to the complete inscriptions of the priests and prophets on rolls of birch bark, shows that accurate observations and research were necessary to invent such


an interesting and instructive method of corresponding and to bring it to general acceptance. It may be thought that a simple statement of these circumstances would be sufficient to answer the end in view, instead of premising a more formal and profound introduction. In analyzing the elements of the symbols it seems to me, however, after mature reflection, that a few remarks about the general character of this art might not be out of place, for simple as they are, we see them as the natural substitutes for letters. By this means, not only certain general ideas can be communicated but also every possible class of ideas, such as their notions of war, hunting, religion, magic, and necromancy. Considered from this standpoint, one sees this picture writing as a new and unexpected means of obtaining light on their ideas of deity, of the cosmogony and structure of the world, of astronomy, of natural phenomena, of the immortality of the soul, of the state of the soul after death, and the union of the spiritual with the material. Indeed the importance of this picture writing is so extensive that one may regard it as the key to the innermost thoughts and most secret conditions of the Indians.

["]Subjects which they could not reveal because of their stoical and suspicious character, or things they would perhaps like to communicate but which cannot be easily or fully expressed in their limited language can be clearly and intelligibly expressed through symbols and figures. The Indian is not afraid to describe his god; he symbolizes him as a figure and presents him as such. He sees the snake, the turtlr, or the wolf as the ideal of wisdom, strength, and evil, and conceives the picture of the sun as the supreme, all-seeing intelligence. But he cannot discuss these things. What he believes about them he will declare to no white man or stranger. His entire success in life depends on the secrecy with which he surrounds his knowledge of the Creator and the Indian's view of good and evil spirits. If he would reveal these secrets, even to a fellow tribesman, he would expose himself to the adverse influence of the spirits from whose existence he gets (or, more correctly, hopes to get) knowledge by his superstition and by practicing his necromantic art. And he would hazard success and even life itself. That fact is the main reason why the Indian is fearful, suspicious, and secretive. In his picture writing, however, he lays these characteristics aside. The figures represent ideas -- whole ideas -- and their juxtaposition or relation on a roll of birch bark, a tree, or a rock reveals a continuous series of ideas. This is the basis of the entire system.

["]The picture writings can indeed be regarded as the literature of the Indians. It is impossible to translate them without completely penetrating the thoughts and beliefs of the redskin. The writings reflect the intelligence


of these peoples and they take the place of letters for the Unishinaba. They show the Indian at all periods of our history as he was and as he still is; for it is surely true that, with few exceptions, in which Indians embraced experimental Christianity, there has not been a time when they held more firmly to their mysterious religion than at present. ["]


Chapter 24. Dubuque, Iowa.

Dubuque, Iowa.

DUBUQUE [Plate 34], which was established in 1833, is the seat of justice for the county of the same name. Located on the right bank of the Mississippi River, the city is the center for the lead trade.

Tremendous quantities of lead are mined in this region. The number of people who were attracted to the place as soon as the news of lead discoveries became known was so great that in a short time the market was ruined. Lead was first discovered in this part of the state in 1827, and the next year the area was literally filled with miners, smelters, merchants, speculators, gamblers, and similar characters. In 1829 such people made up the entire population of Dubuque, which until that time had been quite unknown and unsought. The lead business was completely ruined by the fact that the population increased too rapidly. Now, however, it is conducted on a more solid foundation and is highly profitable. The annual yield, at present, is 9,000,000 pounds.

The early history of this community is not without interest and we will present it here in a few words: "A Frenchman named Julien Dubuque, one of the men who accompanied the famed La Salle, founded this


picturesquely located, and now important, city. On September 22, 1788, four Fox chiefs signed a treaty at Prairie du Chien ceding to their French friend ‘la petite nuit’ 150,000 acres of land on the right bank of the Mississippi, 450 miles above St. Louis. At that time the place was called ‘the Spanish mines’ and it stretched from the heights of the Little Maquaquetois [Maquoketa] to those of the Mesqualiemanque [Tete des Morts]. It was seven French miles long, three French miles wide, and had an area of twenty-one French miles.

["]The Spanish governor, Baron de Carondelet, approved of this land transfer on November 10, 1796. On March 24, 1810, Julien Dubuque died at the age of forty-five. His earthly remains were laid in a lead casket and put on a stone monument decorated with a cross. Shortly before his death, Dubuque had had the monument erected for this purpose on a steep hill. The casket rested on a flat block of limestone, and in the monument was a window with an iron grating. The Indians often visited the grave and for many years kept a lamp burning there. The casket no longer exists, for visitors to the grave carried it off bit by bit by cutting off little pieces for souvenirs. The Indians believed that Dubuque could cure the bite of a rattler and held him in high regard for that reason. It was said that the lead casket had been made by them. Since his death, however, no evidence remains of his ever having lived among them.

["]Lead was first found near Dubuque by Peosta, the wife of a Fox chieftain, long before Dubuque came into possession of the land. The first lead vein was discovered in the summer of 1830 and more than half a million pounds of ore were mined. The miners were soon driven off by the military, because the Indians still claimed the land. In 1832 the first smelting furnace was built, but the miners were again expelled -- for the same reason. The Indians finally withdrew in 1833 and the city was laid out."

Since that time Dubuque has progressed with giant strides. It will doubtless become the metropolis of the lead mining region of the Northwest and one of the most important cities on the Upper Mississippi. The city is located on a beautiful broad plateau, just across from the border between Illinois and Wisconsin, about 450 miles above St. Louis and 300 miles below the Falls of St. Anthony. The population is now 4,000, and the city has a bank, a courthouse, and several churches. Dubuque is also the seat of the United States surveyor general's office for Wisconsin and Iowa, and of the land office for the northern district of Iowa. The town has two daily papers.


The soil here is sandy alluvium. Between the town and the river is a broad stretch of such land which prevents steamboats from landing directly at or in the city. A canal cuts through this deltalike shore, however, thus alleviating some of the difficulty. In the background of the city are some beautiful hills from the summits of which the surrounding area appears ineffably lovely. The hills extend for miles along the river and are called the Eagle Bluffs.

The Tete des Morts River.

The Tete des Morts [Plate 35], a small but pleasant stream, rises in Jackson County and empties into the Mississippi on the right bank twelve miles below Dubuque. At the mouth of the river is a rock approximately 150 feet high. An incident which took place here accounts for the name of both the rock and the river. Many years ago the Sauk and Fox Indians were at war with the Dakota. A number of the latter had made a raid into enemy country and lay in ambush at the foot of the rock. There, however, they were discovered and attacked by the Sauk. At daybreak the Dakota attempted to retreat, but were hemmed in by an even greater number of foes. All they could do was either swim across the river or climb to the top of the rock and there defend themselves as well as they could. They chose the latter. But when the sun rose they found themselves entirely surrounded, for the enemy numbered no fewer than 400. The Dakota saw that there was no escape and determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible. If they surrendered, they knew that they could expect only death by the most gruesome torture. Forming a solid column, they began to sing their death songs. When the enemy approached from every side, they rushed forward and all fell in the battle. Not one survived to take the sad news home to his people. Their corpses were scalped and thrown over the cliff. When the French colonists arrived many years later they found the sun-bleached skulls and bones of the slain warriors at the foot of the rock. For this reason they called the rock Tete des Morts, and gave the same name to the river.

The following interesting description of an Indian massacre was taken from the oft-quoted volume of Dakota legends by Mary Eastman.

"In the summer of 183[9] a rather large party of Chippewa came to Fort


Snelling. At that time they were living in peace with the Dakota, who had arranged great feasts in honor of their guests. Their canoes sped together over the glassy stream, while the women prepared the game which they had brought in together. The young Dakota warriors discovered a special taste for the oval faces of the Chippewa maidens, and the Chippewa braves found (what is actually the case) that the daughters of the Dakota are far more charming than those of their own nation.

["]But as the time of departure approached, many a Chippewa maiden wept when she remembered that she must, at the same time, bid adieu to her dearest hopes; for a Chippewa's life is not long safe among the Dakota and -- doubtless -- the reverse is also true.

["]The Chippewa finally started for home, traveling in two parties. One group went along the Mississippi, and the other journeyed by way of the St. Croix. They gave presents to the Dakota, receiving gifts in return, and parted from them with mutual assurance of deepest friendship.

["]But with the Chippewa were some marauders who had less friendship for the Dakota than did their companions. Such Indian vagabonds acknowledge no laws, and follow the impulses of their thieving and vengeful hearts. They let the Chippewa go ahead and then concealed themselves near Lake Calhoun, about seven miles from Fort Snelling. They had hardly been there for an hour when two Dakota, father and son, came by. The robbers fired, and the old man was killed, but the son escaped unharmed and reached his village in safety. He at once told his mother of the sad event, and the poor woman's weeping aroused the whole village. News of the death of the Dakota flew from village to village with the speed of lightning. Indian runners hurried in every direction, and after twenty-four hours three hundred warriors were ready to pursue the Chippewa. Not a single tribesman who was able to bear arms but vowed to avenge the death of his friend with his own hand. The wife of the murdered man dried her very tears in the confident hope of vengeance.

["]Woe to the innocent Chippewa! Ignorant of the murder, they quietly went on their way, while the murderers escaped with the scalp of the Dakota.

["]The Dakota raced day and night until their overtook the Chippewa. Nothing but blood could quench their thirst for revenge. Defenseless women and children were massacred first; while the Chippewa men, having no fear and aware of no guilt, pursued their way. They had encamped between the Falls of St. Anthony and the Rum River. After they had been refreshed, the men had gone ahead, leaving the women to follow slowly with the children. All were happy to be going home, to tell those who had remained behind of the


friendly reception and the feats of the Dakota. The women moved along slowly, with the infants sleeping on their breasts. The children played, hiding themselves behind the forest trees, to frighten the others as they passed by. And the maidens rejoiced that their rivals, the daughters of the Dakota, could no longer seduce their lovers.

["]Then suddenly the Dakota burst out of the forest and fell upon the defenseless women with a hideous cry of revenge. The children were scalped before their mothers' eyes, and the infants were dashed against the rocks, which could not be more insensible to their cries than were the hearts of the bloodthirsty murderers.

["]A battle between men and women! Stern warrior, spare the effort! You need not kill the mother as well. She dies a hundred fold in the death of her children. In vain do the maidens clasp their small hands -- no mercy is to be had from the madmen. On their knees they implore those same men for mercy who had only the day before showered them with protestations of love -- but in vain. Neither beauty nor youth avails. Vengeance is their only thought; blood their only desire.

["]The shrieks of the dying women finally reached the ears of their husbands and brothers. Quickly their retraced their steps and bravely stood their ground. But the Dakota were too powerful. Terrible was the struggle!

["]The Chippewa finally seized their wives and children and fled. One of them placed his child on his back after his wife had fallen dead at his feet, and fought his way through. Two Dakota followed him, thinking he would abandon the boy and seek to escape. But he fired, and one Dakota fell. The other would not give up. Having no burden to encumber him, he must become the victor. A father's love, however, is stronger than the fear of death, and the second Dakota followed his comrade. The Chippewa reached home safely with his son, there to mourn the loss of those whom he had loved.

["]The setting sun cast its rays over a terrible scene. There lay the Chippewa, young and old piled together, covered with blood, and amid hoarse croaking the scavenger birds fell upon their ghastly fare. The Dakota had taken fearful revenge.

["]The other party of Chippewa who had gone up the St. Croix were over-taken by a similar fate. Their carefree slumber was broken by the war cry of the Dakota and -- although the Chippewa fought bravely -- nearly a hundred scalps give witness to the midnight massacre.

["]The Dakota returned to their villages in triumph. The scalps were divided amid general rejoicing, and preparations were made for the dance. The men put on mourning for their fallen enemies -- as is the custom among the Dakota -- and the women danced around the many war trophies for months."


Chapter 25. Galena, Illinois.

Plate 36. Galena, Illinois.

THIS CITY, which is 416 miles above St. Louis, is not on the Mississippi, but on a tributary which the French called "La riviere aux feves," a name that was soon converted into the English Fever River. This change, made by giving an English pronunciation to the French word, is so simple that a further philological explanation is superfluous.

Galena [Plate 36] is the principal city in the lead mining district of northwestern Illinois and the county seat of Jo Daviess County. The city is pleasantly located seven miles above the mouth of the Fever River. It was platted in 1826 and owes its origin to the lead mines in the immediate vicinity. The present population is 15,000, and the annual yield of lead is 70,000,000 pounds. The ore found here is of excellent quality, having an average lead content of 80 per cent and a silver content of 5 per cent. Besides this, copper mines of considerable importance also were recently discovered here. These will doubtless prove to be a continuous source of prosperity for the city.

Such large quantities of lead have not been found at any other place on earth as in Galena and within a radius of sixty miles of the city. The profit is, however, greatly reduced by the fact that the smelters are ignorant of the chemical procedures for treating the ore. The silver in the ore is disregarded altogether, although English experiments with American lead have established


the fact that it would be worth extracting. The smelting of lead ore is carried on in such a careless and wasteful manner that the more intelligent miners only concern themselves with resmelting the discarded ash and slag and make a fairly decent profit out of that. The searching and digging for ore are also carried on in a hurried and really sloppy manner, and the land is thus ruined by holes and pits. The loosened and scattered lumps of ore are hastily collected, while whole veins are often left untapped. In this way thousands of acres of land are torn up, quickly examined for ore, and then left in a ruined condition without having been at all exhausted. The people here lack technical knowledge. If the mining and smelting had been carried on, as it is in Europe, by the application of chemical and geological knowledge, thousands of dollars and thousands of acres of land could have been saved. In short, the entire population consists of miners and farmers. Every farmer is also a miner. If he has no success in his lead gamble, he still has his fields and pastures, hoping for betters results from them. In the same way, every miner is usually also a farmer. Anyone who visited the mines of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri only a few years ago must surely have been convinced that, in the horrible confusion found there, more effort was wasted than would have been necessary for regular mining. If any ruler had demanded such exertions from his people for the building of a palace or monument, he would surely have been regarded as a great tyrant, whereas here the time, strength, and effort were voluntarily and almost futilely squandered. The man who ruins himself digging for lead ore, like the gambler, can blame only himself.

As in all cities of its kind, great wealth and great poverty exist in Galena, and the miserable cabin of the poor miner stands next to the grand mansion of the rich speculator. A glaring contrast, but nevertheless true.

A remarkable instance of a sudden change from wretched poverty to great wealth occurred here a short time ago. Two laborers, an Englishman from Cornwall and an Irishman, had saved a few dollars and decided to try their luck at prospecting for lead. Since the land belongs to the government, every one who wishes may dig. He must, however, first go to the land office and get a permit. This entitles him to dig on a designated piece of land, usually 600 feet square. After the two men had taken this first step, they started out for the new "El Bleiado." Their entire wealth consisted of a pick, a rope, two spades, and a crude windlass. First they set to work to sink a shaft. They dug down


six or seven feet, but found no ore. Finally, after much labor, they came upon rock in their third shaft. Beginning to doubt that they would ever find lead, they had almost decided to give up the whole business and return to their regular work, when the man at the bottom of the pit believed he saw a crack in the stone. He struck his pick against it and, to his astonishment, the tool slid out of his hands and disappeared. After the men had carefully cleared away the dirt with their spades, they found themselves on the roof of a rocky cave with an opening large enough to admit a man. Now they tied the rope to the handle of the spade, attached a burning torch to it, and lowered it through the opening to find out whether the cave contained oxygen. To their joy they found that the flame burned brightly but flickered, from which they deduced the presence of an underground air current. Now one of the men climbed down into the cave, and imagine, if you can, his joy and astonishment when he found himself in a chamber literally filled with pure lead. It lay in great quantities on the floor and hung on the walls, shining and glistening like a million diamonds. If either of these poor (but now rich) men had ever read "A Thousand and One Nights," he would certainly have regarded this moment as the realization of one of the tales from that interesting and credible book, but those good people knew nothing about that. In fact they had no time to think of anything, but hurried to establish legal claim to the land before its value became known. Not until they had done that did they tell their friends the story of their lucky discovery. Naturally no one believed their tale. But it did not take long to verify the story, whereupon the two owners sold their rights to a speculator for $30,000. The buyer soon disposed of $45,000 worth of lead without having even begun to exhaust the deposit. We saw a two-hundred-pound piece of lead from this cave and found it to be almost pure. It was a fine chunk which gave one a pretty good idea of how the cave must have looked at the moment when the two miners first entered it.

Such an event occurs occasionally, but not often. And it must not be forgotten that where one succeeds, hundreds usually fail.

Here we wish to add a letter written to the editor of the "St. Louis Republican" which may contain useful information for those of our readers who are interested in lead mining and in the geological composition of this area.


Near the Sinsinnawa Mound, Grant County, Wisconsin, November, 1852 DAVID A. NEAL, Esq., V. Pres., Illinois Central R. R.

SIR: To you, as the principal director and agent in the carrying out of a vast enterprise, which has the double object in view of handsomely rewarding its projectors and at the same time of developing the agricultural capacities and mineral wealth, and thus considerably to encourage the manufacturing and commercial interests of a great state, I address this communication.

It concerns the lead mines of the Northwest, a subject of prime importance to your undertaking. I feel confident that, because of your wide and varied experience, you will see it in that light at once and be inclined to aid every further commonsense and practical plan for the development of their wealth.

I am a practical miner and have spent the last nine years in prospecting and operating for veins of lead ore in the mineral region. I early became interested in the study of geology, and I may say that the ease with which I acquired a knowledge of the lead formations of the so-called upper mines is remarkable. For years I was buried in the geological and mineralogical cabinet. By combining what I learned from personal observation with what books of geology taught me, I was enabled to discover certain fixed laws which governed the formation of lead deposits in the Northwest.

It may be proper here to state that this whole mining region is formed of limestone interlaid with sandstone, which evidently rests on a granitic or porphyritic base at a depth of 2,000 feet. The nearest rocks of volcanic origin that come to the surface are found in the bed of the Wisconsin River, about 60 miles north of the Platte Mounds, which stand nearly in the center of the mining region.

The entire lead-bearing stratum was disturbed by volcanic forces. The maximum of the uplift is about 300 feet above the low water level of the Mississippi, while the average level of the surface of the mining region is about 200 feet above the same point. The disturbing influences of this lead region have thus been very moderate, and herein consists the wide difference between it and those of Cornwall, where the maximum of the uplift is nearly 2,000 feet.

Simultaneously with this elevating, abrading forces of vast magnitude occurred, carrying off the superficial limestone to a depth of about 200 feet. Only in the mounds did the strata remain in their original state. Thus they form points where neither declivities nor abrading forces produced a change. They are solitary monuments, witnesses to the fearful power that acted around them, their tops having once been washed by the waves of the primeval ocean.

Thus the lead stratum is formed as a natural amphitheater or circular valley of elevation. This valley is 70 miles wide and is bounded on the north and east by outcrops of sandstone. In contrast, on the west and south, it is mantled by a circular plateau about 200 feet high. In the center of this vast arena are the conical elevations known as the Platte Mounds. Surrounding these, at a distance of 25 miles, are 5 others.


According to Owen's survey of this district, the cliff limestone consists of three parts. The top layer contains especially shells; the middle layer, petrified coral; the lowest layer is formed of the lead-bearing beds. The lower formation includes all the lead-bearing rocks above the sandstone layers, which are generally called the upper magnesia limestone. I subdivided this lower bed into four strata, namely: first, the top stratum; second, yellow, sandy, magnesian limestone; third, limestone with flint nodules; and fourth, blue limestone as the lowest stratum.

These layers, each of which is about 100 feet thick, contain three strata of ore. The two lower ones occur in the blue limestone and in the flint layer; the third forms vertical veins. The ores traverse the beds of limestone similar to thin layers of coal in coal basins. There are about 100 such layers of ore connected by the dip of the rocks and forming great centers which are marked by the mounds.

After these preliminary remarks, I proceed to the presentation of the fixed laws noted above:

I. The directions of the flowing waters traverse the lines of the elevating forces and correspond to those forces.

II. The dip of the lead-bearing rocks is governed by the distance of those lines to the forces; the nearer the lines of forces or watercourses, the greater the dip, and vice versa.

III. The formation of the ore layers is horizontal; they dip in the direction of the watercourses.

IV. The anticlinal lines carry the outcrop of ores, and the synclinal lines carry the principal wealth of the basin.

V. The lines of the elevating forces form concentric circles, the radii of which are the watercourses.

VI. The ridges also form radii.

VII. Beds of pipe clay and slate overlie portions of the layer, but are found only where the upper beds of magnesia limestone were left undisturbed.

VIII. East or west vertical veins are only found where the upper layers of magnesia limestone remained in their original position.

IX. The size of the beds of rock, other things being equal, is a criterion of the amount of ore the beds contain.

Our mining thus far has been confined to the smaller basins and to the ends of the larger ones, and not more than 5 per cent of the profitably accessible wealth has been taken out since their discovery. The value of the lead taken from the beds has been estimated by competent judges to be between $35,000,000 and $40,000,000. The production of lead has steadily fallen off since 1847, so that in 1852 it amounted to only a little more than half that of 1847. I am giving here an authentic and reliable survey of the number of pigs produced during the last six years, commencing in 1846. The number of pigs sent forward in 1852, up to November 25, is exactly known. I have estimated the remaining production for that year. The total production, compared with that of 1851, shows a falling off of almost 75,000 pigs. According


to all appearances, an even greater decline is to be expected from 1852 to 1853.

Notwithstanding this constant falling off, which, if continued at this rate, will close the mines in a few years, the price of lead has been steadily rising. In 1847 the average price was $3.60 per 100 pounds, and in 1852 it was $4.10 on the levee at Galena. The question now arises: how is it that, with increasing prices and such a great wealth of ore calling for such a small expenditure of labor and capital, the production of lead is decreasing at such speed? Of the many causes, we will mention only the following:

1st. The craze for emigrating to California has carried off half the original mining population.

2d. The failures in sinking for ore below the water level in the small rock beds.

3d. The mining population being citizens of foreign birth, a large portion of them took no interest in mining except for wages.

4th. The want of suitable agricultural machinery to drain the wet grounds, and

5th. This cause may be stated as the great primary one -- the want of sufficient capital and of a more general knowledge of the location of the lead basins.

The operations of mining and smelting at this time (and heretofore) have been carried on as unprofitably, in comparison with what might be done with the aid of capital and science, as the primitive spinning and weaving of Judea, or the manner of manufacturing cotton and wool fifty years ago in New England, when compared with the magic labor of the looms of Manchester and Lowell.

A shaft sunk at random, a primitive windlass with a rope and a bucket, and a man to turn it, another man below digging down or drifting as the whim may seize him -- that is the whole sum and substance of mining as pursued in these ore pits.

I purposely avoid making this communication a lengthy one, and withhold a great deal to which anyone addressing me can have access. I think that I have adequately shown that here is a great field for the profitable employment of labor and capital, and as such, the development of the wealth of these lead basins is a matter in which the Illinois Central Railroad is deeply interested.

I am aware, sir, how largely your attention must be drawn to greater affairs, but in conclusion, suffer me to solicit as much of it to this subject as its magnitude demands.


Chapter 26. On the Fever River.


Plate 37. View on the Fever River.

THIS RIVER RISES IN A CHAIN OF HILLS eighty miles north of Galena and is well known because of the large lead mines located on its banks. It is not navigable above the city; it is used, however, by raftsmen who bring down great quantities of wood for building and it also serves as a connecting channel between Galena and the more distant lead mines, from which ore is brought down to the city on rafts.

In the foreground of the sheet [Plate 37] is one of our overnight camps as well as the unusual little boat which we used to ply the river, making sketches at leisure for the present work. A vessel like it had probably never before been seen on the Mississippi, and every place we stopped on our journey, it aroused no small sensation.

When we arrived at Fort Snelling, we secured two Indian canoes. These we fastened firmly together, leaving an open space of four feet between them. We then boarded over the middle section of the boats, thus making a platform eight feet wide and ten feet long. Over this we built a roof, and on the sides we hung temporary walls of canvas for protection against sun and rain. Inside, various compartments were built to hold books, weapons, a tent, provisions, etc. Do not forget, gentle reader, that we had to travel three hundred miles from the fort before coming to a settlement. We therefore had to take a considerable supply of food on board, for the crew consisted of three men, namely two sailors and the editor.


The "Minnehaha" (for so we christened the boat, in memory of the water-fall at St. Anthony, which the Indians knew by this name) served its purpose perfectly. She sailed along quietly and safely, never rocking, so that there was no difficulty in making sketches on board.

The first three hundred miles of our journey were through Indian territory. This has often brought up the question whether we had nothing to fear from the Indians, whether they did not molest us, etc. (Many of our worthy readers might also like to ask us this.) To answer such questions, we need only refer to the fact that our government has such control over the Indians that one has absolutely nothing to fear (at least from the tribes living along the Mississippi) if one treats them decently and always acts with firmness and authority. The worst that happens is that they may steal small articles, but even this can be prevented if one leaves nothing lying around in camp, or constantly keeps an eye on one's property. It is certainly a fact that an Indian would think nothing of robbing and scalping a white man; however, they know that such conduct would result in a thousand times more loss than gain for them. Whenever such an incident occurs, the government compels the tribal chief to surrender the criminal and withholds payment to the tribe until its demands are met. Since these payments consist mainly of food, want is inevitable if they are withheld. Then the whole tribe must suffer because of the wrongdoing of one member. Under such circumstances the Indian finds it wisest to leave the white man alone, for he faces both the certain punishment of the government and the enmity of his whole tribe, from which flight or concealment is simply impossible. Thus the white man is as safe here as in any European city, and much safer than in many American frontier cities, if he happens to be carrying a considerable sum of money.

We spent five months [weeks] in and on this boat and, as might be expected, had to endure many hardships and privations. But in spite of all that, we look back upon those days as the happiest of our lives.

When evening came we would look for a pleasant place to camp. There we pitched our tent, surrounded by the most magnificent scenery. In such a situation, fire building, cooking, etc., were a special pleasure. And really, a meal never tastes so good as when one has developed a greater than usual appetite through the hard work occasioned by such an undertaking. We covered the ground in our tents with oilcloth and on that laid several buffalo skins. Then our beds were ready. But no prince slept better in a bed of eiderdown than we did on these buffalo robes. We slept almost under the stars, the wild beasts of the forest for our neighbors, and the murmur of the stream for our slumber


song. With the break of day, new life and activity began in our tent once more. One man prepared the breakfast; one struck the tent; the third packed up. When the sun had risen above the hills we were already afloat. Only the glowing embers of our fire and a few bones from which the meat had been eaten showed that white men -- perhaps for the first time in history -- had been there.

In order to sketch, we always had to cast anchor. That is speaking figuratively, for instead of an anchor we used a heavy stone tied to a rope to bring our boat to a standstill. So passed day after day until we had traversed the entire distance from the Falls of St. Anthony and had drawn all interesting points on both shores. The foregoing account may suffice to convince the reader that the drawings presented here are true to nature, and thus no further commentary is needed.

Sometimes we made small side trips in order to explore the interior of that distant region. On one of these trips [in 1847] we visited a place sacred to the Indians -- the Great Manito. A description of it may prove of interest and herewith follows, in as condensed a form as possible.

The Great Manito.

This is a natural obelisk which, above all other natural phenomena, is held sacred by both the Dakota and the Chippewa. It would be almost impossible to find the way to this place without a guide. The path at first follows the course of the Kinnikinnic River, which empties into Lake St. Croix about fifteen miles above the mouth of the St. Croix River. It then bends north-easterly and ends ten miles from the river in a rather large prairie surrounded by symmetrical hills. In the middle of this area stands the "Great Manito."

We visited this place in the company of two officers of the geological corps, and were told that we were the first white men ever to undertake the trip. Our party consisted of five men, including the guide, an Indian named Peter, who had been converted to Christianity, and a porter. When we met Dr. Shuhmann and Dr. Wilson at Lake St. Croix, they at once expressed their willingness to accompany us on the trip to the Great Manito. Our chief difficulty was in finding a guide, for no Indian would take us to the sacred place which, as we said, had never before been visited by white men. Finally we found Peter, an Indian who had exchanged the religion of his ancestors for Christianity, and after we had given him his pay in advance -- five shining silver dollars -- he promised to show us the way. Since the monument was forty miles from Stillwater we decided to camp overnight and made the necessary arrangements. Each one provided himself with woolen blankets, some food,


and, of course, weapons, and so at midday we set out. We had traveled about eighteen miles when our porter began to get tired. Dr. Wilson had hired him as a voyageur, and it turned out that he was a very able boatman, but had little endurance for land travel. Because of trouble with one foot, he was unable to go farther. Since it was already nearly sundown we were, willy-nilly, forced to make camp and spend the night here. We succeeded in finding a good place by the springs of the Kinnikinnic. These are rather large and are filled with excellent trout, but unfortunately we had no fishing tackle with us. We tried to catch some fish with our hands, but the water was so cold that we could hardly stand it for ten minutes. For all this, the stream never freezes over; even when the thermometer stands at ten degrees below zero, it goes steaming through the prairie. Since fishing failed completely, we had to be satisfied with wild pigeons for our supper instead of trout. We found, however, that if our appetite increased as fast as our provisions decreased, we would either have to look for larger game or return to Stillwater as "hungry antiquarians."

We spent the night in singing, telling stories, etc., until one after the other rolled himself more snugly in his blanket and announced by loud snoring that a refreshing sleep had ended the day's troubles. I lay quietly on my back, watching the play of shadows which the flames cast among the leaves overhead. Suddenly it seemed as though I heard a noise behind me. I turned very quietly. About twenty paces away, I saw a pair of round fiery eyes staring at me. My gun was close by, leaning against a tree. I reached out my hand to get it. In spite of all my caution I must have made a sound, because the animal vanished. My imagination was so stimulated by the experience that I lay for a long time, plagued with thoughts of hidden enemies, scalping knives, etc. Not until I had smoked a pipe did I succeed in settling down. Finally I got to sleep, and did not awake until the sun was quite high in the sky. We soon noticed that during the night we had had a pack of wolves as neighbors. We also found the tracks of a large bear. Several of us started to make breakfast, while the Indian guide and Wilson went looking for game. The Indian soon returned empty-handed, saying, "You sing too much in night. Chase away all game." The crack of a gun was, however, heard in the distance, and the barking of a dog convinced us that Wilson had brought down a big animal. I grabbed my gun and hurried in the direction from which the shot had come. I soon found my friend Wilson, who was finishing off a fine fat buck. We dragged it triumphantly into camp and then began such roasting and stewing as can occur only in a group of hungry hunters. The Indian


had skinned, drawn, and quartered the animal in less time than it took me to write these notes.

After we had had a hearty breakfast we told the porter, who still could not travel, to guard the camp until our return; then we continued on our way to the monument. After a difficult march of twenty-two miles over rough terrain, we finally came in sight of it. As we approached it, a storm, which had been threatening all day, broke. The lightning played around the pinnacle of the rock as though the Great Spirit were angry at the obtrusiveness of the white men and wished to end our frivolous intention of desecrating his sanctum by our visit. The superstitions of his old faith now appeared to take a strong hold of our guide. He regarded the storm as a bad omen and suggested that we turn back instead of wantonly provoking the wrath of the Great Spirit. We tried as well as possible to quiet his fears and finally succeeded in convincing him to go on. It was a grand and impressive sight when the storm died down and a beautiful rainbow arose over the giant idol, casting a halo around his head. Now the Indian was completely satisfied, for he was convinced that the Great Spirit had taken this way to show his approval of our visit.

We remarked earlier that innumerable Indian mounds of all possible shapes are found in this vicinity. On one of the square mounds, seventy-five feet high, rises a forty-foot column of white sandstone. The base is thirty feet in diameter and the top is eighteen feet. On the column rests a square block of stone which extends eight feet beyond the edge in every direction. In the middle of this block a cedar tree grows. On the whole plain, as far as the eye can see, there is no tree, except for this cedar and a small number of oaks which grow on the mound around the foot of the monument. The Indians believe that these trees were planted and made fireproof by the Great Spirit himself, for the prairie is burned over every year, but these oaks are always spared. This fact is, however, easily explained. The sand washed from the monument by rain stretches around its base and covers the sides of the hills. This prevents grass from growing long enough to keep a flame burning for any length of time. Thus the roots of the trees growing on the hills are unaffected. The Indian refused to accept our explanation, but laid particular emphasis on the fact that the "spirit-planted" trees were still thriving. This shows clearly that the man who purported to be "a good


Catholic" still clung to the superstitions of his race and was disposed not to exchange his prejudices for the "pure" religion of the "strong hearts."

After we had made a true sketch of the monument, we started back and reached our camp at sunset, tired and hungry as wolves. Our porter had prepared an excellent supper for us. After spending another night in our pleasant camp we started at dawn for Stillwater, where we arrived the same day.


Chapter 27. Iowa and Illinois Cities.

Bellevue, Iowa.

Plate 38. Bellevue, Iowa.

Plate 40. Port Byron, Illinois, and Berlin, Iowa.

Plate 41. The Rapids.

BELLEVIEW, or Bellevue, [Iowa], three miles from Galena, is one of the more important towns of Jackson County, Iowa. It is located on the right bank of the Mississippi, has a good boat landing, and is surrounded by very fertile land. From the shore to the hills back of the city stretches a prairie about a mile wide, so that for the present there is nothing to hinder expansion. From the hills one looks out over extensive forests, and in the stone quarries a very useful, marble like, white limestone is found. Bellevue was established in the year 1835 and, just as soon as a few houses had been put up, building sites were selling at from one to two dollars a foot. Some years ago this place was notorious as the hideout of various horse thieves and counterfeiters. The other inhabitants of the city, however, drove them out before long, after they had lynched (hanged without trial) the ringleaders.

The old saying, "Justice though slow, is sure," was illustrated here in a remarkable way. Two years before the above-mentioned incident occurred, Colonel [George] Davenport of Rock Island was murdered. He was one of the first settlers in this region, and a man universally respected and loved. So great was the indignation aroused by this crime that the entire population of Rock Island set out to find the murderers. They did succeed in catching one of them and he, in order to save his life, offered to name his accomplices. His offer was accepted. The criminals were caught, sentenced, and executed. Their leader, a man named [William] Fox, who had turned "state's evidence" went free, and nothing more was heard from him for a long time until he was recognized again as the ringleader of the thieves and counterfeiters


in Bellevue. The gang owned a large frame house in the city, which soon attracted general attention by the coming and going of questionable individuals at all hours of the night.

Finally the suspicion became certainty, and the citizens of Bellevue, as well as several neighboring farmers who had suffered particularly from the thievery of the band, surrounded the house and demanded permission to search it. The answer was a salvo of shots which killed one of the citizens and wounded several others. The fire was returned, and with good results, for one of the thieves staggered back from the window and fell. Preparations were then made to set fire to the house. But the occupants preferred being hanged to being roasted, and gave themselves up. Three or four of the most widely known rogues were strung up after they had confessed to several murders. The others got fifty lashes each and were banished forever from the land under the threat of the gallows. The man who was shot at the window was none other than Fox, the murderer of Colonel Davenport. Certainly no one regretted his death, and even those citizens of Iowa who opposed the lynching method most were pleased that this double-dyed scoundrel had got his just dues.

When the floor of the house was broken open in the search for counterfeit money, the skeletons of two men who had doubtless been murdered by the criminals were found.

It was a beautiful August evening when we dropped anchor opposite Bellevue and at once began sketching. It wasn't long till a brisk activity was noticeable on the shore. First two or three people showed up, who viewed the strange boat with obvious curiosity. Their intent staring out over the river soon drew a crowd of curious people who, without knowing what was actually going on, also turned their noses to the opposite bank. Finally a boat, manned by four or five armed persons, took off from the shore and approached us cautiously. When they had come within hailing distance, we called to them to come on board, and in a few minutes they drew alongside. The conversation opened with the customary greeting, "How goes it, stranger?" "I reckon you're prospecting," said one of the Bellevuers, doubtless the chosen speaker for the group. "No," was the answer. "Government surveyors, perhaps," he continued, and got a negative answer for the second time. "Well then," he called out, "What in the world are you doing?" "I take the Mississippi." "Take the Mississippi?" he cried out in astonishment. "Well, why not? Where in the d---l do you want to take it?" We


finally explained that this was a matter of "taking a picture and not the actual Father of Waters." But who can describe his astonishment when we showed him the sketchbook which contained Bellevue [Plate 38]. He looked alternately at the book and then at the town and cried out repeatedly, "Yes, that's it. Yes, indeed; d----d natural!" etc. Next he turned several pages and found neighboring scenes and landscapes which he also recognized. Then we told him that in this way the entire Mississippi was to be taken, and finally it was to be painted on a great canvas several hundred yards long. "Well I swan, stranger," he exclaimed, "You are one!" He meant that to be a great compliment, which we did not fail to recognize and answered with a pleasant smile. "But you will surely not pass by without stopping in to see us," he continued. "That wouldn't do. It would be unneighborly, unchristian, and unnatural. You must come with us, stranger, and take a horn with us," that is, have a drink. We could not resist this hospitable invitation and rode along to the other shore. It would be hard to say what was more of a sensation to the simple and good-natured folk -- the boat, the sketches, or we ourselves. After we had answered a hundred questions and "drunk a round" several times, we left Bellevue and, assured that we were at least a "one," and accompanied by a thousand good wishes, we returned to the "Minnehaha."

Savanna, Illinois.

This is a small town [Plate 39] in Carroll County, with about three hundred inhabitants, twenty miles below Bellevue.

Above St. Louis, on each side of the Mississippi, are a considerable number of such small towns. In fact, every settlement that has as many as twenty houses, a tavern, and a store is honored by the name of "city," or at least "town." The settlements were usually called into being by the fact that the people living in these backwoods had to have a trading place nearby. Many small farmers are not able to take their products down to market in St. Louis and find it more convenient to sell or barter in the nearest community. Here is a fertile field for the urge to speculate which is so characteristic of the American. When a region is well populated -- that is, when the farms are not more than two or three miles apart -- a speculator is always sure to appear on the scene and decide to start a town. He buys a piece of land where the riverbank is elevated enough not to be flooded during high water, and where the stream is deep enough so that a steamboat can land. There he builds a mill and a store -- the latter stocked with every article that could possibly be needed by a farmer. He provides the farmers with boots, shoes, manufactured goods, groceries, etc., and accepts their products in lieu of cash. He naturally does very well by himself in such transactions,


for he usually takes a 50 per cent profit on his goods and figures the corn and other produce at the lowest market prices.

For the convenience of the farmers, he gives them credit until the next harvest. Since the accounts are sure to pile up during the year, he always has the people more or less in his power. After some time he invites a smith and a wagonmaker to settle there with him. He offers to build them living quarters and workshops (naturally of wood) and as bait, so to speak, lets them occupy these buildings rent free for the first three or four years. Until then, the community is called the "landing" or "landing place," and is known as such to the steamboat captains. The situation is then declared favorable for building a town, and one is platted. This procedure is very simple. If, for instance, the town is to be located on a prairie, it is only necessary to mark with stakes the places where the streets are to intersect; if it is to be in a forest, trees must be felled and a clearing made large enough for the town. Lots are usually set aside for a courthouse and a schoolhouse. No one thinks of parks, boulevards, and so forth. It is left to coming generations to provide such aids to public welfare and recreation. The main purpose of the founder is to plat as many lots on his land as possible and then sell them. Next, the town is christened. In order to provide a fitting name, not only ancient and modern history, but even the Bible may be called upon. Oftentimes the owner takes this opportunity to make himself known to posterity by giving the town his own name, followed by "ville" or "burg." Now the plan of the town is lithographed with mathematical exactitude and the "magnificent buildings" (still to be erected) are drawn on it. Of course the question always remains whether these buildings ever will be put up. In all the local papers (and in America their name is legion) the announcement is made that on a certain day some of the lots of the town of ------burg will be sold at public auction, and (to stimulate the speculating public to take part in this profitable undertaking) a prospective buyer may come and look over the town before the auction and obtain any necessary information. The sale itself is not held at the place in question, but usually in a larger town several hundred miles away. Thus people buy these lots without ever having seen the town, depending wholly on hearsay. Since such lots, 100 feet long and 25 wide, rarely sell for more than $25 to $100, the buyer goes it blind, as they say here, hoping for at least some results. "Even though I may not win much," he thinks, "I can't lose much either." He uses the same reasoning that one would use in a lottery.

In 1832 there were not more than three or four such small towns above St. Louis. Now there are more than 30, among them a few places of 14,000 and over. Many of these small towns are still so unimportant that they may


be properly omitted in a description like this. We therefore limit ourselves to giving only the name and population of each. We must, however, add that tradesmen, and especially small capitalists, will find more opportunity for advancement in such towns than in the larger cities where more money is required to set up a business because of the competition. In the West one is usually able to start a business worth at least twice the amount of one's cash outlay. It is not difficult to get $6,000 worth of credit for a cash investment of $3,000, if it is known that one intends to settle permanently and one has a letter of introduction from a recognized citizen of the town. Nor is it considered a crime if one goes bankrupt (as is the case in Europe). There are always people who are glad to give a helping hand to the disappointed beginner if he can explain his failure as being due less to any fault of his own than to the circumstances. One hopes that he will get along better the next time. Since there is still room enough, and no trade is as yet overcrowded, sober and industrious people are always given support, particularly if they display any amount of enterprising spirit.

Other Cities.

One mile below Savanna lies CHARLESTOWN or SABULA, IOWA, a small town with 30 to 40 houses. Twenty miles farther south are the pleasant little towns of LYONS, IOWA, and FULTON CITY, ILLINOIS, on opposite sides of the river. Lyons has about 250 inhabitants and Fulton City about 500. A few miles from here is NEW ALBANY, ILLINOIS, a fine settlement in Whiteside County with about 400 inhabitants. New Albany was founded in 1837 and has enjoyed a rapid growth. The location of the town and the immediate vicinity are exceptionally pleasant. On a flat stretch of prairie almost straight across from New Albany lies CAMANCHE, IOWA, which, because it is located on low ground, is subject to annual floods. For this reason it is almost totally deserted. Four miles farther downstream the Wapsipinicon or White Swan River flows into the Mississippi on the right [west] bank.

Leaving Camanche, one approaches the Upper or Rock River Rapids. In July and August, when the water level is usually low, steamboats unload their cargoes before crossing the rapids. The goods are taken across in keel-boats and then reloaded onto steamboats. This circumstance provides business and support for several small towns located at or near the rapids. Two of these are at the upper end of the rapids and are shown in the accompanying illustration [Plate 40]. They are PORT BYRON, ILLINOIS, and BERLIN,


IOWA, which are not as large as might be expected from the names. Berlin was formerly called Parkhurst. The rapids extend intermittently fourteen miles downstream from here, and the river falls about twenty-six feet over this distance. At low stages of water they present a great hindrance to steam-boat navigation, and the government has repeatedly made arrangements to have the situation corrected. Until now, whether from lack of funds or from lack of technical knowledge, very little has been done. It has, however, been decided that both these and the Lower Rapids will be circumvented by canals so that ships can pass through at any time without having to reload. The accompanying view [Plate 41] represents THE RAPIDS at a low stage of water. Nicollet says the following about their geology:

["]1. The Lower or Des Moines Rapids are 204 miles above St. Louis and beyond the mouth of the Des Moines River, whose name they share -- a name given to them by the first French traders who carried on the fur trade here long before it was known that there were rapids in this river.

["]The spot at which the first rapids are encountered is about three-quarters of a mile above Keokuk and four miles above the mouth of the Des Moines. Thence the rapids ascend nearly up to Montrose, where, but a few years back, was situated Fort Des Moines, and across from it the town of Commerce, later Nauvoo, the main settlement of the Mormons.

["]In 1838 Congress ordered a survey of the rapids, which was entrusted to Captain R[obert] E. Lee of the corps of engineers. By his estimate, the length of the rapids is eleven miles, with a fall of twenty-tour feet. Here the Mississippi tumbles over ledges of blue limestone which are at all times more or less covered with water and through which many crooked channels have been worn. During low stages of water the passage of this stretch becomes very difficult, in consequence of the shallowness of the river as well


as of the narrow windings of the channel, so that for three months of the year steamboat navigation faces considerable difficulty and is sometimes brought to a complete standstill.

["]The improvements commenced by Captain Lee were soon suspended, to the great detriment of the country. So long as steamboat navigation is obstructed in this manner (which would have been prevented by the completion of the improvements so judiciously devised and commenced) the fertile regions of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin lying north of the rapids will be outrageously hindered in the sale of their products and thus put at a considerable disadvantage in trade and industry. In the winter of 1836-37 I myself witnessed that flour sold for $15 and salt pork for $25 [at Mendota] which in St. Louis probably cost $5 and $8, respectively. This was solely because the steamboats loaded with winter provisions had not been able to cross the rapids during the autumn.

["]2. The Upper or Rock River Rapids derived their name from the Rock River, which has its mouth in the Mississippi below them. When one approaches these rapids in ascending the Mississippi, they present such a magnificent view as cannot be equaled in the entire West. There one sees Rock Island in the middle of the stream, with its luxuriant vegetation and the ruins of the old fort. Then on both sides are flourishing cities -- Davenport on the left [west] and Stephenson on the right. (The latter is also called Rock Island City.) Two ranges of beautiful hills are in the background. The charm of the landscape alone would suffice to attract hordes of settlers, and the fertile land round about makes no small contribution to promoting the rapid increase of settlement.

["]The length of the rapids is from fourteen to fifteen miles from Rock Island to a little below Port Byron on the left [east] bank of the river and Parkhurst on the right [west] bank. According to the survey made by Captain Lee, the fall of the Mississippi from the head to the foot of the rapids is twenty-five and three-fourths feet. The water flows over limestone rocks which at places extend from one shore to the other. In some places they have interlocking grooves so that at low water they form a difficult, shallow, and dangerously winding channel.

["]The fall of the river is not regular, but, as at the Lower Rapids, it is greater over the reefs than in the channel, so that the velocity of the current, greater or less according to the circumstances, together with the narrow rocky


bed of the river, creates difficulties that are not easily overcome. The short turns and narrow passes between the rock reefs are particularly to be regarded as such, for there ships are obliged to cross the current in an oblique direction, thus running the risk of being dashed to pieces against the rocks. As a matter of course, the descending boats run the greatest risk. But Captain Lee has shown that these obstacles can be removed and a safe passage afforded for ships whether going upstream or down.

["]It is certainly in the interest of the government to remove these difficulties through rapid improvement, since considerable supplies must be sent annually to the frontier forts at Prairie du Chien, St. Peter's, and others that will soon be built, and to judge by the onward march of civilization, repeated transactions with the Indians are soon in prospect. ["]

The Lower Rapids are 204 miles from St. Louis and the Upper 344 miles. At the foot of the latter, or at least not far from there, are the fine cities of DAVENPORT, IOWA, and ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS. On the south point of Rock Island is FORT ARMSTRONG [Plate 42], [Plate 43], which is of interest as one of the oldest frontier forts of the West still standing. It is made of red cedar logs and commands both branches of the river. A garrison is no longer stationed here, but the fort is used as a munitions depot. In a few years this remnant of former times will probably no longer exist, for it is already so dilapidated that it is more a ruin than a fortress. As long as it stands, however, it is a worthy memorial from the time of the Indian wars, reminding the peaceful farmer of the dangers and hardships endured by his predecessors when the tribes of the red men were still camped round about.

Few Europeans and even few Americans have a correct concept of the character and customs of the Western frontiersmen. For that reason the following authentic description of these people, by S. G. Goodrich, may be welcomed by our readers. It is devoted more to the native-born emigrants, particularly those from the northern and southern states, than to the European immigrant.


Chapter 28. The Western Frontiersmen: Their Character and Customs.

Plate 42. Fort Armstrong.

Plate 43. Fort Armstrong on Rock Island.

THE WESTERN STATES ["]are thoroughly mixed in character; Virginia and New England traits, however, are predominant. Kentucky was settled by immigrants from Virginia and North Carolina, and Ohio is an offspring of New England. From time to time, residents of these two states have pushed farther westward. The Kentucky character is more or less predominant in the Western states, and it does honor to the citizenry in spite of its rugged nature. In order to judge the sons we must describe their fathers and some of the surviving first settlers. The ‘Big Knives’, as the Indians called them because of their swords, did not know the meaning of fear. Even a forest in which so many massacres had taken place that it was called a ‘dark and bloody ground’ held no terrors for them. The bloody ground was Kentucky. Beautiful as that state now is, it was even more beautiful in its uncultivated condition, when ‘the wilderness blossomed as a rose.’ Such a forest solitude can never again exist on earth. Trees that had no parallel east of the mountains and tall grasses that nourished herds of deer and buffalo made a great natural park and a tremendous hunting ground for nations of wild hunters. Everything in this area was created on a magnificent scale. Giant trees cast their shadows over the banks of the streams, and enormous caves, as large as many Eastern counties, stretched out under the river beds. The bones of the mammoth, found around springs, bear witness to a mighty and wonderful animal world. This earthly paradise, which seems to have had all the characteristics of an Eden, was the hunting ground, not the dwelling place, of the savages.

["]The earliest white explorers returned from this region filled with astonishment and wonder, and their reports were received with as much surprise as the Spaniards' first accounts of the New World. In earlier times, North America was not fully revealed, although navigators had long before penetrated bays and inlets, and the coasts were dotted with settlements. The


true discoverers of this land, the true Argonauts of this Hesperides, were [John] Finley and Daniel Boone, men of little education, but of natural poetic feeling, cool, cautious, and of unsurpassed courage. They loved the solitude of the forest passionately, without being misanthropists. To quote the poet: ‘They loved not man the less, but nature more! The springtime of their lives was spent in the green woods, and they regarded danger a small price to pay for their favorite occupation, which had become second nature to them.

["]These adventurers risked more than Cortez and Pizarro, for they went alone and unaccompanied to invade nations. [James] Harrod, one of these first settlers, had so accustomed himself to this wild life that he would spend weeks at a time in the dense forest long after he was a rich and respected man surrounded by a happy family. Every tree seemed to him like an old friend, and the forest was his true home. He died, as he had lived, never returning from the last journey into his beloved woods. The cause and circumstances of his death remain a mystery. If he had disappeared thus in ancient Greece, Ovid would no doubt have sung of his metamorphosis into an alder tree. Boone also died in his forest. He fled from civilization as a deer flees from a hunter, and died at an advanced age, far from humankind. Death apparently overtook him while he was at his favorite pastime. His body was found sitting on the ground; his gun was resting on a fallen tree trunk; and his unseeing eye was still, in death, taking aim. In any case Boone was an extraordinary man, a mighty Nimrod, and a good patriot withal. But his idea of human society was one consisting solely of hunters, and he who could boast of the coolest disposition, the steadiest eye, and the strongest fist was master of them all. Roads and canals, agriculture and trade were words not found in his lexicon. To be happy, he had to be far from anything suggesting civilization, living in the most dense forest. Kentucky, so long his favorite, degenerated, and he forsook it for more remote regions.

["]The composite character of the West has much in common with the state of Kentucky. It is, of course, impossible to apply a hard and fast rule. All the European countries sent emigrants over here, and there are whole communities of such foreigners. Generally speaking, settlers who are in many ways


different live together peaceably and thus gradually form a unified group. Society here moves more in its natural element than it does in the older settlements, and class distinction either does not exist at all or is negligible. The various classes are all more or less interdependent. The feeling of independence rests on a firm foundation here. People begin to carry on farming early in life and, since there is less social pressure on the individual than in New England, they establish their own characters. Continually dependent on their own resources, they are always prepared to make quick decisions and to act with dispatch. In their state of society, they feel an equality which every circumstance tends to strengthen. The laborer is just as sure of himself and just as independent in his attitude as the merchant or landowner. Very few are really poor, with the exception of the wandering emigrants, and many of these are completely destitute.

["]Flint gives the following description of their condition: In Cincinnati I found a great number of emigrants from the North. Most of them had little money or other possessions necessary for a long trip. It appeared as though these people believed that it they once got to the "land of milk and honey" everything would automatically be provided for them. This year, however, the autumn brought with it an unusual amount of disease, and the poor emigrants had to suffer great hardships on the way. Having arrived here, their circumstances degenerated further. Whole families were crowded together into a single and often small room. Many were ill, died, and were buried at public expense, and there were numerous examples of unprecedented suffering under the most painful conditions. The poor people were often friendless and without money, widows, orphans, and minor children in a strange land, unknown and forsaken. In a large city so many such incidents occur that they cannot be heeded or arouse the general sympathy, no matter how humane the individual inhabitants may be. In the first house I came to I found a large family from Maine cooped up in one small room. The father lay dying, and did in fact die while I was there. The mother lay ill in the same bed and, either from fear or from exhaustion, was unable to speak a word. Three of the children were ill of fever. Add to this the fact that they were in the home of a poor man and had spent their last dollar, and one can get a good idea of their terrible plight. It is an unfortunate fact that the productive settlements of the new states and territories cannot be developed without many such unhappy incidents.

["]I will take this opportunity to relate another such occurrence, which is no less moving. In New Madrid, [Missouri,] we took three children into the


Sunday school who had come here under the following circumstances: A man rowed down the river in a small boat with his three children. On a cold December evening they had landed on an uninhabited island from which they could see two houses in the distance on a small prairie on the opposite shore. The man wanted to get a fresh supply of whisky (ordinary liquor), although he had already had too much. Heedless of the pleas of his crying children, he got into the boat to row across the river. He told his children that he would soon return, and started on his way in spite of the rough weather. Before he was halfway across, the poor little ones saw the boat capsize and their father drown. So they stood forsaken on an uninhabited island in the middle of the river, without shelter and without fire. They had nothing but their ragged clothes as protection against the wind and weather, for the heartless father had taken his last blanket with him and had left behind only some uncooked pork and some unground corn for food. The oldest child was a girl of six, unusually intelligent for her age. The second child, also a girl, was four; and the third, a boy, was two years old.

[" ‘]It was really touching to hear the older girl tell the story of their sufferings. When night came, she laid her smaller brother and sister together on the ground and covered them with leaves and branches. She herself lay down with her head in the opposite direction and wrapped their bare feet in her own clothes. So they spent the night. In the morning she cut the raw meat into small pieces and gave it to the little ones and let them chew some corn with it. Then the girl walked to and fro on the island with them to try as well as she could to keep them from freezing, and then she gave them meat and corn again. It seems as though Providence watched especially over these poor creatures, for in the course of the day some Indians landed on the island and found the three. Since they were going to New Madrid, they took the children along to the town.[’]

["]The traveler in the Western states apparently judges the character of the people by the behavior of his traveling companions. Among these he may find a too great appetite for ‘rude mirth,’ but he will also learn to value a universal courtesy and an endeavor to be mutually helpful.

["]The boatmen once found by the thousands on the Western rivers have entirely disappeared since steamboats have come into use. They were a debauched, corrupted, and depraved class of people. Although gouging was not common among them and was indeed not customary anywhere in the West, the boatmen did have many evil traits. One look at their characters in general was enough to confirm any accusations made against them.

["]The customary vocabulary of these men is as novel as the form of their


boats. One hears of dangerous ‘riffles,’ (probably meaning ripples); whirlpools; planters, referring to tree trunks stuck fast in the river bed and projecting out of the water; sawyers, the crooked floating tree trunks that make a sawlike motion; points, or promontories; bends, curves in the river; and shoots, a corruption of the French word ‘chute,’ meaning rapids or small waterfalls.

["]One who goes on board a boat is told to bring his ‘plunder’ on board, and one hears of moving ‘fernenst’ the stream, and gradually he becomes familiar with a whole vocabulary of such words and expressions. The customs of the boatmen are as strange as their language. Their peculiar way of life has brought forth not only a new dialect, but also new modes of enjoyment, carousing, and fighting. On almost any boat lying at anchor one can hear one or more fiddles playing, to which the boatmen are trying to dance. It is no wonder that their way of life brings with it irresistible temptations and corruptions which are extremely dangerous to the young people with whom they come into contact. Often for days their lives are without danger and exertion, and then suddenly for weeks on end strenuous and dangerous. They are seldom short of food and are always well supplied with whisky.

["]Many of the settlers on the westernmost frontier are rough and unprincipled men. The adventurous life and the dangers of the wilderness have, however, permitted few such reckless fellows to survive. In the most remote regions some maintain themselves by hunting and by trading with the Indians. Michael Shuckwell or Mike Shuck may be regarded as an example of such voluntary barbarians. The earliest settlers of Kentucky saw him grow up among them as a white-headed urchin, whom no one claimed, and who sought kin with no one. During the Indian wars of that time, he was inured to hard-ships and became acquainted with danger at an early age; and when the famous Colonel Boone came to this area, Mike Shuck was to be found among his companions. With the increasing pressure of civilization at his back, he was driven ever farther westward, until he was pushed beyond the state boundary into Indian territory. Mike Shuck carries his citizenship in his pocket. The place where he lays his head down at night is his dwelling place. The place where he decides to stay for a while is his home. His trusty gun was his best and only friend from the time of his first campaign under General George Rogers Clark. He has a detailed knowledge of trapping, and the autumn days find him loaded with traps, searching along all the tributaries and in the bays


of the Missouri above the settlements. He can often be seen at break of day, barefooted and bareheaded, following the winding stream to see if his bait has attracted beaver or to reset his traps in new places. He understands this kind of hunting so thoroughly that he can collect a pack of beaver pelts in a place which the Indian, with all his cunning and knowledge of these beasts, has long since found hopeless.

["]A hunter who was looking for elk in this area about the middle of November, 1831, met this modern Robinson Crusoe one evening carrying a load of furs that would have done honor to a pack horse. The hunter suggested spending the night in the old trapper's company. Mike muttered agreement and went on ahead to show the way. First they went through a long stretch of hazel brush in a deep ravine; then, following a path which branched off, they went through a forest of swamp ash, and finally reached a place where a fire, which Mike had kindled earlier, burned brightly. Without it, the place would have been as dreary as purgatory. The owls themselves had not found their way to this dark labyrinth, and thus Mike was safe here with his ‘plunder,’ a word here used correctly, since the furs he got rightfully belonged to the Indians. Mike Shuck threw down his pack and, with a malicious smile -- or, rather, a hysterical grin -- invited his guest to sit down. The meal was soon on the table (that is, if a bearskin spread on the ground deserves the name) and consisted of a beaver tail and the marrow bone of an elk which the host himself had roasted.

["]As mentioned before, Mike Shuck had no relatives; he therefore has no reason to lay up treasures for the enrichment of heirs. But, whenever he condescends to make use of his tongue, he mutters something about making provisions for a quiet old age. He acts as though that time were still a long way off, although he is nearly eighty years old. When the trapping season ends, he gets into his craft, as he calls his little cottonwood canoe, and, with his usual disregard for the elements, takes his pelts to market. Then he returns to the wilderness and resumes the occupation he loves.

["]In the remote settlements, where society is hardly organized, criminals are punished without due process of law by the so-called Regulators. In the following case related by Audubon, this Regulator system appears to be both practical and permissible:


["] On my return from the Upper Mississippi, I found myself obliged to cross one of the wide prairies which are so often encountered in this portion of the United States. The weather was fine, all around me as fresh and blooming as if it had just issued from the bosom of nature. My knapsack, my gun, and my dog were all I had for baggage and company. But, although well moccasined, I moved slowly along, attracted by the brilliancy of the thousands of kinds of wild flowers and the gambols of the fawns around their dams, to all appearances as thoughtless of danger as I felt myself. I saw the sun sinking beneath the horizon long before I could perceive any appearance of woodland, and nothing in the shape of a man had I met with that day. The track which I followed was only an old Indian trace, and as darkness overshadowed the prairie, I hoped to reach at least a copse in which I might lie down. The nighthawks were skimming over and around me, attracted by the buzzing wings of insects, and the distant howling of wolves gave me some hope that I should soon arrive at the skirts of some woodland.

["] I soon came upon a dark mass of trees and, almost at the same instant, a firelight attracting my eye, I moved toward it, full of confidence that it proceeded from the camp of some wandering Indians. I soon found that I was mistaken. The fire burned on a hearth, and a slender figure passed between it and me as if busily engaged in household arrangements. When I reached the spot, I found that it was a woman. Her voice was gruff and her attire negligent. I inquired if I might take shelter under her roof for the night, and she answered in the affirmative. I walked in, took a wooden stool, quietly seated myself by the fire, and looked around. The next object that attracted my notice was a finely formed young Indian, sitting in a corner leaning his head on his hands with his elbows on his knees. Back of him rested a long bow, and a few raccoon skins and a number of arrows lay at his feet. He moved not, and seemed hardly to breathe. Accustomed to the habits of the Indians, and knowing that they pay little attention to the approach of a civilized stranger, I addressed him in French, a language not unfrequently partially known to the people in that neighborhood. He raised his head, pointed to one of his eyes with his finger, and gave me a significant glance with the other. His face was covered with blood. The fact was, that on that day he had shot a raccoon sitting in the top of a tree, the arrow had hit a branch, sprung back, and entirely destroyed his right eye.

["] I was tired and hungry, and therefore inquired of my hostess for food and a place to lie down. Such a thing as a bed was not to be seen, but many large untanned bear and buffalo hides lay piled in a corner. I drew a fine watch from my pocket, and told the woman that it was late. The watch made a visible impression on her. She told me that there was plenty of venison and buffalo meat, and that under the ashes was a fresh corn bread. My watch had aroused her curiosity, and she wanted another sight of it. I took off the golden


chain that secured it from around my neck, and presented it to her. She seemed all ecstasy, praised its beauty, asked me its value, and put the chain around her sunburned neck, saying how happy the possession of such a watch should make her. Secure, as I fancied myself, I paid little attention to her talk or her gesticulations. I cut my dog a good chunk of venison, and set about enthusiastically satisfying the demands of my own appetite.

["] The Indian rose from his seat, as if in suffering. He passed and repassed me several times, and once pinched me on the arm so violently that the pain nearly brought forth an exclamation. I looked at him. His eye met mine, but his look was so full of warning that it suddenly struck a chill into me. He then seated himself, drew his butcher knife from its greasy scabbard, examined its edge as I would that of a razor, then replaced it. Taking his tomahawk from his shoulder, he filled the pipe of it with tobacco and began to smoke. At the same time he sent me expressive glances whenever our hostess chanced to have her back toward us. Never until that moment had I considered myself to be threatened by the slightest danger. I returned the glances of the Indian and rested well assured that, whatever enemies I might have, he was not of their number. I asked the woman for my watch and, under pretense of wishing to see how the weather might be, took up my gun and walked out of the cabin. There I slipped a ball into each barrel, screwed the flints in tighter, and renewed the primings. Then I returned and told the woman that the prospect was excellent! I took a few bearskins, made myself a pallet of them, and calling my dog to my side, lay down with my gun in my hand, and in a few minutes was, to all appearances, fast asleep.

["] A short time had elapsed when several voices were heard, and I saw two athletic youths make their entrance bearing a stag on a pole. After disposing of their burden they asked for whisky, which they received, and to which they helped themselves freely. Observing me and the Indian, they asked who I was, and why the d----- that rascal of an Indian (who, they knew, understood not a word of English) was in the house. The mother bade her sons speak less loudly, made mention of my watch, and took them to a corner, where a conversation took place the purport of which it required little shrewdness in me to guess. I tapped my dog gently. He moved his tail, and I saw his fine, intelligent eyes alternately fixed on me and raised toward the trio in the corner. I felt that he perceived danger. The Indian exchanged a last glance with me. The lads had eaten and drunk themselves into such condition that I already looked upon them as hors de combat; and the mother's frequent visits to the whisky bottle made me expect that she would soon be in a like state. Judge of my astonishment, reader, when I saw this incarnate fiend take a large carving knife from the wall and go to the grindstone to whet its edge. I saw her pour the water on the turning stone, and watched all her movements until, despite my determination to defend myself to the last drop of blood, the cold sweat


covered every part of my body. When the old woman had finished her task, she said to her sons, "There, that'll soon settle him. Go on, boys, kill him. And then for the watch!"

[" ‘]I turned, silently cocked my gunlocks, and lay ready to shoot down the first who might approach me with hostile intentions. My last hour would then no doubt have come, had not Providence decreed otherwise. All was ready. The old hag advanced slowly, probably contemplating the best way of dispatching me, while her sons would throw themselves on the Indian. I had already planned to put a bullet through her head, when suddenly the door opened and there entered two stout travelers armed with long guns. I bounced up on my feet, and making them most heartily welcome, told them the whole story in a few words. The drunken fellows and their mother were bound and secured, in spite of the desperate defense of the latter. The Indian fairly danced with joy, and gave us to understand that, as he could not sleep for pain, he would watch over us. We lay down, but were naturally too excited to sleep much. The two strangers gave me an account of their once having been themselves in a very similar situation. Day came, fair and rosy, and with it the punishment of our now quite sober captives. Their feet were unbound, but their hands were still securely tied behind their backs. We marched them into the woods off the road, and having used them as Regulators were wont to use such delinquents, we set fire to the cabin, gave the skins and implements to the young Indian, and proceeded, well pleased, toward the next settlements.’

["]Since the Kentucky character is the one that prevails in the West, it may not be out of place here to describe a few more of its main traits. It has branched off the Virginia character, but is distinguished from the latter by its love of an adventurous, though secluded, way of life. The Kentuckian's manner is bold and his behavior lofty. His dignity is, however, somewhat reduced by his wit and gaiety. He possesses the degree of modest self-confidence which is always found in a man who is satisfied with his own accomplishments. According to his way of thinking, one man is as good as the next. Rank does not exist for him. He never mars an undertaking through lack of self-reliance; he believes himself capable of doing anything, and this faith actually gives him the power to do it. He does not regard hospitality and generosity as virtues; for him they are instinctive, the results of a natural urge which he is at a loss to explain. He disdains falsehood, for he knows no fear. He is courteous to those who are civil, but rough with those who are forward. He fights as hard when he has a reason as when he has none, but, in either case, he is never the one who starts the fight. Pride is part of his life, and he knows how to defend it; his honor is his dearest possession, and he will let absolutely no one encroach on it. In one respect, however, he is unfortunate -- he does not have enough to do. There are no more Indians to fight, no more forests to clear, and his restless spirit sometimes drives him to debauchery because of boredom.


["] The rifle is an important source of enjoyment for the citizen of the West. He uses it universally and indeed with unerring skill. The smallest possible target that is visible within range is sure to be hit, and the quality of the guns gives rise to frequent wagers. To kill a squirrel with shot would be no small disgrace. ‘Luck is like a shotgun, mighty uncertain,’ is a universal proverb. Audubon relates several interesting adventures which we will add here in order to illustrate the character of the Kentuckian more clearly.

["] Having become acquainted with the sports of the inhabitants in a sojourn of some years in Kentucky, I will call particular attention to rifle shooting, which is carried on here in a great way.

["] Several young people who wish to display their skill as marksmen put up a target in the center of which a common nail is hammered for about half its length. After they have measured off their proper distance, which may be 100 to 120 feet, each man wipes his gun and places a ball in the palm of his hand, pouring as much powder on it as is needed to cover it. This quantity is supposed to be sufficient for any distance within 300 feet. Whoever comes very close to the nail is a poor marksman; whoever bends it is considered to be somewhat better; but nothing less than hitting it right on the head and driving it completely into the center can count as a good shot. One out of three shots generally hits the nail, and should the shooters amount to half a dozen, two nails are frequently needed before each can have a turn. The best shots have a further trial among themselves for the prize, and the affair ends with a banquet, where they set a time and place for another trial. This kind of target shooting is termed "Driving the nail."

["]"Barking off squirrels" is another hunting sport and, in my opinion, requires even more skill than driving the nail. I witnessed it for the first time near the town of Frankfort. The marksman was the celebrated Daniel Boone. We walked together along the rocky shore of the Kentucky River until we reached a dense forest of black and white walnut and oak trees. The acorn mast was good this year, and for that reason one had not to go far to find squirrels. They were seen on all the trees. My companion was a stout, hale man, of athletic build, dressed in a homespun hunting shirt and moccasins. He carried a long, heavy rifle which, as he told me while loading, had always done its duty, and would certainly not fail him on this occasion, as he wished especially to prove his skill to me. The gun was wiped, the powder measured, and the ball patched with 600-thread linen. Boone pointed to one of the squirrels which observed us, and which was crouched on a branch about fifty paces distant. He bade me mark well the spot where the ball should hit. He


raised the gun gradually until the head (for so the sight is called in Kentucky) was brought in line with the spot which he intended to hit, and then pulled the trigger. The shot cracked and resounded through the woods in repeated echoes. But judge of my surprise when I perceived that the ball splintered the bark of the branch immediately under the squirrel, and the concussion had killed the animal and sent it whirling through the air as if it had been blown up with a powder magazine. Boone kept up his firing, and in a few hours had shot as many squirrels as we wanted, for loading a rifle requires very little time, and if it is wiped after each shot, it can be used for days. Since that day, I have often had opportunities to see this feat performed.

[" ‘]"Snuffing the candle" with a ball I first saw on the banks of the Green River. One evening when it was already very dark, I heard many rifle shots and went in the direction from which the sound came to ascertain the cause. I found about ten to twelve tall, stout men, who welcomed me heartily and told me that they were practicing "snuffing the candle" to enable them better to hunt by night, when they have to aim at the light reflected from the eyes of an animal. A good fire was blazing under the trees, and at a distance of about 150 feet stood a burning candle, the flame of which was hardly distinguishable. A man stood near it to light the candle should it chance to go out, or to replace it with another should the shot cut it across. Each marksman shot in his turn. Many of them hit either the wick or the candle at every shot. One of them snuffed the candle three times out of seven shots, while the others either put out the candle or shot it quite in two.’["]


Chapter 29. More Illinois and Iowa Cities.

Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island City, Illinois.

This is one of the loveliest regions along the entire Mississippi. Here the river is more than a mile wide due to the fact that the mouth of the Rock River forms a kind of natural basin or lake. Rich people who live in the larger cities along the Mississippi, like New Orleans or St. Louis, spend part of the summer here, because the climate is very healthful, and nature has provided opportunity for all kinds of recreation, such as fishing, hunting, bathing, and sailing.

Rock Island City has more than 2,000 inhabitants and is considered to be an important business center. It is located on the spot where Senisepo Kebe-saukie (Rock River Peninsula), a village of the Sauk Indians, once stood. On the north side of the city the Rock River empties into the Mississippi, a circumstance which assures the city of traffic on both rivers.

Interesting though gloomy recollections are associated with this place. It was once the home of Black Hawk, the famous Indian chief, and his ancestors. For centuries their quiet village stood where the busy city now stands. Here the Indians were accustomed to gather around their firesides, their altars, and the graves of their loved ones. Only by the sacrifice of many men and millions of dollars could they be driven from this place. In recent times someone made the praiseworthy suggestion that the bones of the Indians who fell in that war should be gathered together, buried here, and a simple monument be erected over a common grave.

The boundaries of the city embrace an extensive area, even including the village of Stephenson, which is the county seat. A company organized for the


purpose was authorized to build a canal from the Mississippi through the Rock River to the Upper Rapids, by which a tremendous water power is gained.

Davenport lies just across from Rock Island City, halfway between Burlington, Iowa, and Galena, Illinois, almost in the middle of Scott County, of which it is the county seat. The city was founded in 1836. It lies 371 miles above St. Louis, 136 miles above the Lower Rapids, and 80 miles above Burlington. Because of its location at the foot of the Upper Rapids, Davenport can be regarded as the natural harbor for steamboats which during low water must stop and transfer their cargoes to small boats for transport over the rapids.

The location of this city is indeed excellent. The ground rises gradually from the river to the hills in the background, so that within an hour after the hardest rain the streets are dry. We should also like to call special attention to a circumstance which particularly contributes to making Davenport one of the most flourishing commercial centers of the West. It is the tremendous water power provided by the Upper Rapids, which end here. The enormous forests of the Wisconsin and St. Croix valleys above Davenport, from which millions of logs are rafted down annually, the ease with which cotton can be brought up from the South, the inexhaustible coal and iron mines near the city, and the relatively low wage scale for laborers -- all these circumstances create an exceptionally lively commerce in Davenport.

The land of the interior is fertile prairie, which is enjoying a rapid increase in population. The emigrant who builds his log cabin on the edge of the forest does not have to go far to find rich land for his fields. A broad expanse stretches out before him and, instead of having to fell trees and grub out underbrush, he needs only to plow up the spongy prairie loam to be able to expect a bountiful harvest.

The landscape around Davenport is no less attractive to the artist than the quality of the soil is to the farmer. And, more than any other point along the Mississippi above St. Louis, this region is famous for its magnificent natural setting and its beautifully developed parks.

Muscatine, Iowa.

Plate 44. Muscatine, Iowa.

This place was formerly called Bloomington. It lies on the right bank of the Mississippi River and, seen from the river, it stands out very pleasantly.


At the time the accompanying view [Plate 44] was taken, the population was a little over 1,800. It has, however, grown rapidly and by now is probably twice that number. Muscatine is the county seat for Muscatine County, Iowa, and, as far as population and trade are concerned, is one of the most important cities of this state. It is the landing place for all goods destined for Iowa City, the capital of the state, and for many other inland towns. No other part of this nourishing state is more inviting for the farmer, craftsman, and merchant. Fertile lands can be purchased for $1.25 per acre from the government. The land is composed of first-rate prairie bordered by forests, and the area is about evenly divided between forests and fields. There is no lack of wood for building and for fuel, and the prairie needs only fences to transform it into the finest farms.

The following excerpt from the journal of the author provides an interesting glimpse of life there and the circumstances of the often strange inhabitants of the region.

"July 23, [1848]. After a cloudy morning, it began to rain hard at tour o'clock. Since I had no desire to spend a stormy night in my tent if I could find a house, I looked around sharply for one as we sailed downstream.

["]After a while I saw two old log cabins and when we had come closer I saw, only a short distance from them, a new, attractive cottage which looked just like a little English villa. Such a thing is indeed a rarity in this region, for here when people build a house to live in they think only of making it comfortable inside. They never give a thought to architectural beauty or outer ornament. I presumed that the old log houses might have formerly served as living quarters for the owner of the villa. In some way blessed by earthly goods, I supposed that he had improved his circumstances and had exchanged the humble cabins for the charming country house. Judging from the style of the latter, I conjectured that the owner was an Englishman, and of a higher class than most of the adventuresome inhabitants of this area. We shall soon see that my conjectures proved to be right.

["]We landed, and fastened the boat to one of the vacant cabins. After I had told my men to leave everything in the boat until I returned, I set out for the villa. As I approached, two big dogs, obviously of a foreign breed, jumped out at me. The one formed a great attachment to my coattail and the


other to my trousers. I had a large umbrella with me, and I couldn't help remembering the traveler who had frightened off a tiger by suddenly opening his umbrella. I tried the same expedient, and behold! the dogs put their tails between their legs and ran. I walked through a gate and found myself before the vine-covered villa. I knocked bravely at the door. An elderly but decidedly distinguished-looking woman opened the door and (in a broad Scottish dialect) asked me what I wanted. I asked her whether her husband was at home. She invited me in, while she went up to wake him, for it was Sunday and the good man seemed indeed to have carried out the dictates of Holy Writ and made this ‘a day of rest.’ Unfortunately this was not true of me. The man soon appeared, rubbing his eyes, and seemingly not in the best humor. This was certainly to be excused in one who had been unceremoniously disturbed in his afternoon nap. After I had explained my business, he looked at me closely, but did not seem very much inclined to have a neighbor like me for the night. And to tell the truth, my appearance could hardly have made a good impression. For the three months previous, I had left my hair and beard ‘unshorn,’ and my face was so tanned by the wind and weather that it looked more like an Indian's than like a white man's. I wore a red wool shirt, coarse wide trousers, long boots reaching above the knees, and a belt in which I had stuck two long pistols and a big knife. The reader will no longer be astonished when I say that my (future) host did not seem very much inclined to comply with my request. After a long consideration he finally said that he had rented both cabins, but since the renters were absent just then he did not know what he should do. At the urging of his wife he did, however, finally consent, and after I had persuaded him to accompany me to my boat, I soon succeeded in making him somewhat more talkative. I found that my men, tired of waiting, had taken possession of one of the huts, brought my chests, rugs, and buffalo robes from the boat, and had kindled a good fire. Just as we entered, they were making coffee. I laughingly invited my host to come into ‘his house’ and sit down. Since the deed could not be undone, he accepted it good-naturedly and soon we were engaged in the friendliest conversation. After I had answered innumerable questions for him, he told his own interesting story.

["]‘Captain Jackson,’ for that was my host's name, belonged to one of the best families in Glasgow. He had enjoyed a superior education, had joined the navy, and had in a few years been promoted to captain. Through an incident (which, however, he did not deign to discuss further) he had fallen into disfavor and had lost his post. Thereupon he went abroad. After some time, his friends in England succeeded in restoring the position for him once more. He returned, was assigned to a ship, and during the Revolution he was sent to Canada. Overcome by his feelings, he went over to the rebels and when they were defeated he had again lost his position and almost his freedom


as well. He did succeed, however, in fleeing to the United States and settling here, where I had found him.

["]The English naval officer, Canadian rebel, and hospitable gentleman is now a farmer on the banks of the Mississippi, and he cuts wood for steamboats in order to earn his living. Yet he assured me that he would not exchange this way of life for the finest frigate ever built of English oak."

Muscatine Prairie.

Plate 45. Great Muscatine Prairie in Iowa.

This is one of the loveliest and largest prairies on the banks of the upper Mississippi. It is about forty-five miles long and fifteen miles wide. A small creek flows through the middle of it, and the few trees along its banks are the only objects which provide any interruption to the view on this plain. The soil is exceptionally fertile and was doubtless gradually deposited by the river. Many people assume that the prairie was once a large lake, like Lake Pepin, through which the Mississippi flowed. Then, it is believed, the river gradually formed a new bed, and the dried lake bed became the prairie.

Because it is so low, the land is liable to periodic flooding by the Mississippi. This fact, combined with the illnesses which are caused by the decay of the lush vegetation in the fall, is a hindrance to the colonization of this fertile stretch of prairie. One may, however, believe that if all the rank vegetation were cleared away and the ground were plowed, this evil could be eliminated.

The city of Muscatine is located on a hill at the upper end of the prairie, and the annexed view of the latter [Plate 45] was taken from the highest point of that hill. The prairie provides a good hunting ground for the residents of Muscatine, for here one finds in abundance prairie hens, snipe, pheasants, wild geese and ducks, deer, and wolves. The prairie is also an excellent pasture for cattle and horses. Besides, hay for the winter can be cut on the prairie merely for the cost of mowing and transporting it.


Twenty miles below Muscatine, at the foot of the prairie, is PORT LOUISA, a small settlement.

Seven miles farther south is NEW BOSTON, ILLINOIS, a small town built on speculation. Although it is the county seat for Mercer County, Illinois, it does not appear to enjoy an unusual growth. Nearly across from it is the mouth of the Iowa River, one of the main tributaries of the Mississippi. Iowa City, the capital of this state and a rapidly growing place, is located on the banks of the river in the middle of a very fertile region. There is a government building there, a university, an academy, a United States land office, and several churches. Population 3,000.

Twenty miles below New Boston is OQUAWKA, ILLINOIS. This town serves as a main depot for goods between the Des Moines River and the Rock River Rapids. It was founded 14 years ago. At that time the land where it stands was purchased for $200. A short time later it was sold to an enterprising speculator for $24,000, and soon after, he had recovered his entire capital outlay by the sale of a part of the land. The town bears the name of Oquawka in memory of an Indian chief who once lived on this site with his tribe.

Fifteen miles farther downstream, one comes to BURLINGTON, IOWA [Plate 46]. It is the county seat of Des Moines County and the principal city in southern Iowa. Burlington enjoys a brisk and increasing trade and is situated in a densely populated area. The location of the city is particularly attractive and pleasant. The bank is 15 to 18 feet above the highest water level and the land gradually rises from the shore to a height of 50 feet. Half a mile west of the shore at this point the view is unusually grand and romantic, extending over dense forests and wide prairies. The population of the town is 3,000. The


main section is formed like an amphitheater. The neighboring heights, however, are being rapidly covered with buildings. The attractive little white houses, interspersed here and there with larger buildings, offer a strange contrast to the forest covered hills which surround the scene.

FLINT HILLS, ILLINOIS, opposite Burlington [sic], is an elevation which General Pike suggested as the site for a fort in 1805.

DALLAS, ILLINOIS, a small town fifteen miles below Burlington.

PONTOOSUC, ILLINOIS, four miles below Dallas.

FORT MADISON, IOWA [Plate 47], twenty miles from Burlington and the county seat for Lee County, is located in a bend of the stream, about twelve miles above the Des Moines Rapids. In commerce, Fort Madison takes fourth place among the cities of Iowa. It is a city, and consequently has the right to elect a mayor and a board of aldermen. Population 2,000.

In 1805, the site on which Fort Madison is built was suggested by General Pike as the location for a fort. Fort Madison was, however, not built until three years later. At that time the Sank, Fox, Chippewa, Ottawa, Winnebago, Potawatomi, and Kickapoo Indians were in alliance with the English. During the war between Great Britain and the United States which followed, they were, therefore, very troublesome and dangerous to the people living on the frontier. The erection of the fort was thus of great benefit to these people. It completely fulfilled its purpose, even though the garrison had to suffer very often from the hostile cunning of the Indians. When all attempts to overpower the fort had failed, the redskins resorted to fire. They fastened combustible material to their arrows and then shot them onto the wooden roofs of the blockhouses and set them on fire. The means which the commander of the fort devised for putting out these fires were just as new and ingenious as the Indians' methods of siege. He had a number of old muskets demounted and had sprayers made out of the barrels. With these the flames could be extinguished as soon as they started. When supplies had not been received for some time, however, the enemy outside the walls was joined by an enemy within -- namely, hunger. Then the commandant, after mature consideration, decided to give up the fort. In order to make it possible to retreat without interference, he had a trench dug from the southeast block-house


to the river, the remains of which can still be seen today. As soon as the boats were ready, he ordered the fort set on fire. These maneuvers were conducted so quietly and in such an orderly manner that the Indians who occupied the neighboring hills had not yet assembled when the troops had reached safety and the entire fort was in flames. This happened in 1813. The supply of provisions had been so drastically reduced that during the last days of the siege the daily ration for each soldier consisted of one small potato. When the troops reached the present site of Warsaw, they met a boat loaded with provisions bound for Fort Madison. This circumstance gave them such courage that they decided at once to build a new tort. In this way Fort Edwards was established.

Today all that can be seen of Fort Madison are a few depressions in the earth where the blockhouses and the magazine stood and here and there a charred palisade -- ruins of the fortifications. It may give many people an unpleasant impression that these transient objects -- perhaps already long gone -- are the only evidences which can recall to the traveler the important history of this place. Surely a simple monument would not be out of place here, to set at rest all future doubt that "A frontier fort stood here in 1813 when Madison County [sic] was still the most northerly settlement of the white man!"

Two or three years after the destruction of Fort Madison, the Indians, continually annoyed by the progress of the white men and influenced by British emissaries, who were only making an appearance of engaging in the fur trade, decided to destroy Fort Edwards also. Knowing well that they could not accomplish their purpose by force, the Indians resorted to cunning -- a weapon which in their hands was really dangerous. They often approached the fort under friendly pretexts, laid down their weapons, and danced and played games quasi for the amusement of the officers and soldiers. For this they were usually rewarded with whisky, tobacco, and similar items. A few succeeded not only in getting themselves especially well liked by the military, but in gaining free access to the fort. Among these was the old Sauk chieftain Quashaquama, who by artfully cloaked pretense had secured the


full confidence of the commandant. When the Indians finally knew that the troops had lost most or all of their distrust of them, they decided on a day for carrying out their plan. One afternoon several hundred Indians camped near the fort, apparently with no hostile intentions. The old chief paid his usual visit to the officers with several others, and suggested that they put on a big dance that evening in front of the main gate. The arrangements were made at once, and as soon as it was dark the Indians appeared dressed for the occasion, and the dance began. In the meantime a young squaw, to whom one of the officers had paid particular attention, arrived at the fort. As soon as she reached the home of her friend, she began to weep violently. When asked the cause of her anguish, she revealed the whole conspiracy. A six pounder, loaded with pieces of iron, was at once aimed at the entrance and a strong guard was stationed at the gate with orders to admit only one Indian at a time. If the Indians tried to crowd in, the soldiers should close the entrance and withdraw. Quashaquama and a number of his best braves were soon inside the stockade, while outside the dance proceeded with mounting intensity. At a designated point, the whole throng suddenly threw itself upon the gate in an attempt to enter. At that critical moment the commandant, who had closely observed the entire spectacle, uncovered the cannon, and showed the Indians their dangerous situation, while calling the chief to account for his disgraceful perfidy. The threatening cannon and the glowing matches of the soldiers, requiring only a signal to bring death and destruction to the tightly packed throng of Indians before the gate, filled them with fear and trembling, and they tried to make a hasty retreat. Old Quashaquama succeeded in escaping. The rest were taken prisoner, and it was discovered that they had concealed tomahawks, knives, and clubs under their robes. They confessed the conspiracy, and expected nothing less than death. The commandant, however, let them go after telling them that the white men enjoyed a special protection from the Great Spirit, who revealed to them the plans of the redskins. He also said that they would be fearfully punished if they ever again tried to oppose the whites. After that, the Indians kept a respectful distance from the fort and treated the soldiers, when they met them outside the palisade, with the greatest deference and courtesy.


Chapter 30. Nauvoo, Illinois: The Mormon City.


Plate 49. The Mormon Temple.

THE ACCOMPANYING SKETCH OF NAUVOO [Plate 48] was made about eighteen months after the partial destruction of this city. Several thousand of the nearest neighbors had gathered and, after a short battle with the Mormons, had taken the city and partially destroyed it. The motives for these unlawful and rash proceedings are too complex to be explained fully here. It must suffice to mention one of the main reasons which the "Regulators" (as they called themselves) gave. They said that Nauvoo was becoming the home and main refuge of all kinds of rabble, such as horse thieves, counterfeiters, gamblers, etc. Besides this, they said that these rascals, who joined the Mormon faith for a while, were protected by the authorities, or were at least treated indulgently. Some even maintained that the public officials were in league with the criminals and that, because of their great number, the Mormons always had a majority at elections. Thus they could elect their fellow Mormons to positions of authority by which they could rule over those who despised their faith. The latter thought it a disgrace that a number of officials who were unbelievers (for so they regarded the Mormons) should, so to speak, rule over a Christian people. They complained publicly that they could never get justice if a Mormon were involved in a matter, because the Mormon judge would always favor his own people!!


Of such and a similar nature were the complaints made against this sect, which was increasing with such great speed and was so unusually dangerous. There was no law by which these abuses could be corrected, for the Mormons had elected their candidates by the required majority and their courts were organized according to the state laws -- a situation that helped to antagonize the inhabitants and neighbors who were not Mormons. What was to be done? Either the Christians had to sell their farms (and of course at a considerable loss because only Mormons would have been willing to buy) and leave the region, or the Mormons would have to leave. Of hundreds of incidents we will quote just one here. It is given word for word as it was told by the person concerned, as an example of the daily occurrences of that time.

"A valuable horse was stolen from a farmer living thirteen miles from Nauvoo. He soon, however, discovered the track of the thieves and followed it to Nauvoo, where he actually found the stolen horse. He immediately went to the magistrate to get a warrant of arrest, which was at once granted to him, and the matter came before the Prophet [Joseph Smith] The farmer swore that the horse belonged to him and had been stolen from him. One of his neighbors, who accompanied him, declared that the animal belonged to the plaintiff and also strengthened his statement with an oath. But these oaths were of no avail. The thieves, who had forseen all this, had four or five witnesses in readiness who swore that one of them had owned the horse for several months and had bought it from one of the other witnesses. A false receipt, which had been made for this purpose, was produced. The farmer lost the case and also, of course, lost his horse. Besides, he had to pay the costs and was fined twenty dollars for false accusation." The farmer who had been thus cheated was known and respected in the whole region as an honest and upright man.

Taken as a political unit, the Mormons consisted for the most part of poor, but honest and industrious, people from England and Wales who in any other place could be useful members of society. Generally speaking, they can be exonerated of being an accessory in such cases. However, it is hard to remonstrate with a furious mob which has been driven to extremes, and to show them the difference between the guilty and the innocent. In the eyes of the badly wronged people, all were guilty who were called Mormons, and there could be no peace until the last Mormon had left the state.


Added to this was the fact that the Mormons organized a considerable body of troops from among their own numbers -- a circumstance which caused the governor of the state to interfere. But instead of calling up a sufficient number of militia, and declaring a state of war in the city, he contented himself with going to the seat of the trouble, accompanied by a few soldiers. There he found the entire population under arms, determined to drive the Mormons out of Illinois, just as they had previously been driven out of Missouri.

To ward off the storm which threatened the Mormons, the governor requested the Prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith to surrender as prisoners of the state and to answer the charges against them in court. They agreed to this suggestion and were taken to the small town of Carthage, the county seat [of Hancock County]. There they were placed in a blockhouse which served as a jail. On June 27, 1844, however, an armed mob appeared before this place, overpowered the guard stationed there, and murdered the Prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith.

This act of violence was a disgrace to the state and, as might be expected, had terrible consequences. The Mormons were almost beside themselves with fury when they learned of the shameful death of their Prophet, and now there was no end to the disturbance. Then the people of the vicinity assembled again, attacked the Mormons, took the city, destroyed it in part, and drove the Mormons -- more than 18,000 in number -- out of the state. Many of the latter returned, poor and weakened through hard work and privation, to their former homes in [other parts of] the United States. Most of them, however, journeyed over the great prairies to Oregon [sic] with the view to building there a "New Zion" which should take the place of the ill-fated Nauvoo.

In all these tribulations the Mormons had displayed a strength of faith which would have done honor to a better cause.

In order to provide food for the great number of people who joined the trek to Oregon, a group was sent on ahead to cultivate a piece of land on the edge of the Great Plains. Then they were to go five hundred miles farther,


winter there, and in the spring cultivate a similar field. The main body of the people, leaving in the spring, would thus arrive at the first food supply at the right time. There they would spend the winter, and the following spring leave for the second source of supply. In this manner the journey, considering the circumstances, proceeded rather well. When the first group went through the recently discovered South Pass of the Rocky Mountains they found, at an altitude of several thousand feet, a broad, beautiful, and fruitful valley in the middle of which lies the famous Salt Lake. Since nature had provided here everything that could be desired for a settlement, the Mormons decided to pitch their tents here, build their "New Jerusalem," and erect a new temple. They had hoped to be safe from persecution by their enemies in this primitive solitude and be able to practice their faith in peace and quiet. When the main body of the people arrived, the project was at once begun with great energy. In a short time, almost magically, there was a city of 18,000 people 1,200 miles from the nearest white settlement.

The Indian looks about his land in astonishment;
The forests disappear as if by magic.
He sees the farmer happily following his plow,
And on the prairie domestic herds are grazing.
Where formerly everything was lonely and forsaken,
He sees towers, houses, and streets.
And where he once raised his war cry,
Majestic organ tones sound to the praise of God.

The Mormons, however, did not seem destined to vegetate in complete isolation and oblivion. Hardly had their settlement taken on an appearance of permanence when the news of gold in California reached the United States. The reports, which at first seemed like fairy tales, were confirmed, and the great migration to the new El Dorado began. The city of the Mormons, which is located exactly on the route to California, became the halfway point for the emigrants. Hundreds of them who did not know the dangers of such a long journey and who possessed few of the necessities required along the way would certainly have perished miserably if they had not been hospitably taken in by the persecuted Mormons and given loving care. To


return good for evil is one of the main principles of Christianity, and in this case the Mormons showed that the most difficult dogma of true Christianity can be fulfilled. It may, however, be true that in other respects the Mormons deviate as radically from the true teaching as in this case they held fast to it.

The exodus to California has had no small effect on the Mormon city, for the New Jerusalem already has 30,000 residents.

When this view of Nauvoo was made, the town had no more than 300 inhabitants. The whole region round about presented a truly sad sight, for the ruins of the city were strewn around over the entire plain, grass and weeds grew rank in the streets, and moss covered the walls of the wrecked houses. Only the Temple was still standing in all its glory. Since then it, too, has been destroyed by what may have been a deliberately set fire. The Temple was built of white limestone, which was quarried locally, but looked almost like marble, for the Mormons, in the hope of having found a peaceful asylum in Illinois, had taken pains to give the stones a high polish. The Temple was built entirely by Mormons, and by voluntary labor at that. If the work had been paid for at the usual rate, the estimated cost of the Temple would have amounted to $800,000.

The Temple (including the entry) was 175 feet long, 80 feet wide, and to the top of the tower 180 feet high. Although the style in some ways resembled the Roman, it was mixed with various others, and, taken all together, the building presented an imposing appearance. It was surrounded by pilasters and at the foot of each shaft was the design of a half moon [inverted crescent]. Each capital was in the form of a head surrounded by rays of light, representing the rising sun; two hands holding trumpets, prototypes of dooms-day, supported it. In a recess above the main entrance the following inscription shone in golden letters: "The House of the Lord, built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Commenced April 6th, 1841. Holiness to the Lord!" The weather vane on the steeple represented the Archangel Michael. On the lowest floor was the baptismal font. This was oval and rested on the backs of 12 life-size oxen. It was 14 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 6 feet deep. Two stone stairs led to the rim of the font. Above the pulpit


were the following words: "The Lord has beheld our sacrifice; come after us." In the fall of the year 1848 this monument of blind fanaticism and of Mormon architecture was destroyed by fire. An exact picture of the Temple is attached [Plate 49].

In these few lines we have described the Mormon city as we found it. We have abstained from all commentary on Mormonism itself, the settlement of the Mormons in Illinois, and their banishment from that state. We cannot, however, refrain from making a few remarks about the person of the Prophet, the golden vessels of the Temple, etc. -- a subject which many of our readers will undoubtedly find of interest.

We are indebted to the friendly co-operation of Mr. Flagg of St. Louis, Missouri, for the following description of the city of Nauvoo, of the Prophet, etc.

["]NAUVOO, the ‘holy city’ of the Mormons and once the capital city of their projected kingdom, is located in the northwestern part of Illinois on the left bank of the Mississippi. A small prairie extends from the river to the hills in the background. It is about two miles long and somewhat less than two miles wide. The Mormon city is located on this plain. The houses, mostly built of wood, are scattered not far from each other over the area. Each is surrounded by a garden of about an acre. Before the Mormons came here this place was called Commerce. It was, however, merely a little-known village of about 20 houses. The population increased so rapidly that only three years after the Mormons settled there the town had 7,000 inhabitants. At the same time an additional 3,000 ‘Saints’ were living nearby. The ground on which Nauvoo is located is very uneven, although there are no great elevations. A few feet below the surface of the earth one comes upon a considerable layer of limestone which could provide an undetermined quantity of excellent building material.

["]The main buildings of Nauvoo are the Temple and a hotel which is


still unfinished, called the Nauvoo House. The latter is built of bricks on a stone foundation and has a facade of 120 feet and a depth of 60 feet. The Mormon Temple is an exceptionally magnificent building. The stone blocks of which it is built were quarried very near the city. Nauvoo is a Hebrew word. The Mormons came to Illinois in the spring of 1839. They had been driven out of the state of Missouri because of their privateering and manifold wickedness. In 1840 they received permission to build the city of Nauvoo. In 1844 this city had a population of 20,000 and in 1849 it lay in ruins. ["]

The Prophet.

["]Joseph Smith , prophet, priest, prince of the Mormons, generalissimo of the armies of the faithful and -----!! number one innkeeper of the holy city!


["]On April 26, 1844, we had the honor to be presented to this high and mighty ruler. Our party consisted of twelve young people, one of whom boasted of a long-standing and intimate friendship with the ‘general’ and who did indeed pride himself not a little about it.

["]Conducted by this worthy, who was, by the way, considerably ‘lit up,’ we were ushered with repeated scrapings, countless bowings, and similar compliments into the ‘Mansion House’ (inn) of Nauvoo. The Prophet received us at the threshold and welcomed us within his four walls with an appearance of utter benevolence and with expressions of extreme courtesy.

["]The first impression the Prophet made on us was not at all satisfactory to me and certainly not flattering to our host. ‘Is this the Mormon hero,’ we thought, the far-famed founder of the new and strange sect, the Mohammed of the nineteenth century, the ‘veiled Prophet’ (if all the tales are true), the prince of Nauvoo? Truly this was not the man we had expected to see. But one is usually disappointed in such cases by one's preconceptions.

["]‘General Smith,’ for as such he announced himself, is a tall, well proportioned man. His figure could be called a fine one, although by no means distinguished for symmetry or grace; his gait and movements are really awkward. On that day he was dressed entirely in black, with no ornament, and with a clumsily knotted, ordinary chintz cravat tied around his throat, pressing a small collar, stiff as a board, tightly against his cheeks. His chest and shoulders are broad and muscular, although his arms and hands seem never


to have been developed by physical toil, and the latter are very small for his proportions. His foot, however, is large and broad enough to make up for the symmetry disturbed by the size of the hands. His head is a long oval in shape, with a high crown, indicating a determined will; the nape bone and back of the head full, denoting powerful impulses; and the forehead low and receding, although the region which phrenologists declare to be the seat of capacity for thought stands out unusually. He said that his head had often been examined by phrenologists, but he did not believe in this science. Indeed, he entered into a long (but unintelligible) argument to prove that neither phrenology nor mesmerism had the slightest claims to be called science. His forehead is white and smooth and, notwithstanding the small facial angle, almost symmetrical. It was impossible to detect a single line of care or of thought in his face, or a single cloud on its smooth expanse. His hair is very light and fine, complexion pale, cheeks full, temperament evidently sanguine, lips thin rather than thick and definitely not indicative of boldness or determination of character, teeth white but not regular, and one of the right incisors was missing -- a lack which is noticed at once and somewhat mars the expression of the mouth. But the Prophet's most remarkable feature is his eye; not because it is very large, bright, thoughtful, or restless, or particularly expressive or deep-set -- for strangely enough, it does not possess any of these characteristics -- but because anyone accustomed to reading character in the eye would surely see at first glance that the Prophet's eye did not belong to an ordinary man. The color is light hazel, and it is shaded by long, thick, but light lashes. His beetle brows are light and thick, and the general expression of the Prophet's eyes shows the utmost degree of cunning and craft, especially when he half closes them, which he often did during our conversation, as though he wanted to conceal his innermost thoughts from us. Taken all together, the general's figure and aspect are genteel, and his manners, though dignified, easy and courteous. He may be about forty years old. The Prophet's voice in ordinary conversation is soft and low, and his smile would be exceptionally agreeable if his appearance were not marred by the loss of a front tooth as soon as he opens his mouth. We were several times on the point of advising the holy man to put himself for a few hours into the hands of our friend, the dentist Dr. [Edward] H[ale] of St. Louis, and have the lost tooth replaced by a little piece of ivory.

["]Our conversation with the Prophet, which extended over the greatest variety of subjects, was fortunately uninterrupted; thus we had sufficient


time to observe him carefully -- a fact which can hardly have escaped him. In the course of the conversation the Prophet mentioned the unusually rapid increase of the Mormon colony. ‘Four years ago,’ he said, ‘there was hardly a habitation on the site of Nauvoo, and now the city extends over six square miles, and has a population of 25,000 souls!’ -- an estimate exaggerated at least by 10,000. He declared the fighting strength of the Mormons to be 4,000 men -- a figure which doubtless also was exaggerated. After the exodus of his people from Mount Zion in Missouri, he himself had bought the site on which Nauvoo stands, but since he was unable to make the payments on time, part of the land went back to its former owners. For this and other reasons, a large part of the plain on the west shore of the Point is still unoccupied.

["]In the course of the conversation, we asked the Prophet whether, in his capacity as mayor, he ever experienced difficulty in keeping peace and order. This question served as an excuse to test the Prophet, for we knew very well that only the day before he had been called to quell a revolt against his person and authority, on which dangerous occasion he had conducted himself most courageously. ‘Only yesterday,’ he said, ‘an infuriated man who sought my life held a loaded double-barreled pistol to my heart.’ Thereupon he related the details of the incident as follows: A certain [Orson] Spencer, a poor, crippled, but worthy and intelligent man, brought a complaint against his brother [Augustine Spencer] for beating and otherwise maltreating him in his own house. The Prophet at once sent an official to arrest the accused, and, in the meantime, he prepared the warrant. Spencer resisted arrest without a writ from the mayor, though the arrest would have been legal in accordance with an express ordinance of the city. Thereupon an armed posse of Mormons started out, led by the Prophet and his coadjutor [Orrin P.] Rockwell. The Prophet ordered the arrest of Spencer. Instantly three men, a certain [Chauncey L.] Highbee and the two Foster brothers [Robert D. and Charles], came to Spencer's rescue. A hand-to-hand fight ensued, and the younger Foster drew his pistol, and swore that he would shoot the Prophet on the spot, calling him a villain, murderer, impostor, and tyrant. An eye-witness told us that the Prophet calmly approached the enraged man, seized the pistol by the breech, and wrenched the weapon from his grasp. In doing so, he hurt his hand somewhat on the sharp angle of the lock. The result was that the rioters were arrested and taken [before the mayor] in the Masonic


Hall, [tried,] pronounced guilty, and each of them fined $100. Besides, they had to deposit considerable sums for bail, to insure their peaceful behavior during the next six months. After this verdict, the Prophet rose from his judgment seat and addressed the crowd. He said that he was not a despot, assassin, swindler, nor scoundrel, and they could be sure that he was also no coward, for the fear of man was not in him. He loved his people, he said, and mourned the delusions of his foes. It grieved him to have to use severity, but sooner than have his authority resisted and his laws broken, he would risk his life -- yes, he would do that as long as he lived! Then he informed the offenders that they were ‘blind fools’ and told them to go home. The ones who had been punished obeyed humbly enough; the crowd dispersed; order was restored, and -- the Prophet in triumph returned to his tavern to deal out whisky, three cents a glass! !["]

The Relics.

["]On approaching the home of the Prophet one notices a sign above the left side of the door on which the words ‘Ancient Records -- Egyptian Mummies’ are painted in large letters. We were mystified as to what this singular announcement might mean, though we had firmly resolved not to be amazed at anything we might behold in Nauvoo and especially in the Prophet's house. During our conversation with the Prophet we mentioned this sign and asked its meaning. Thereupon he rose and led us into a room opposite the public parlor, where several ladies were variously engaged. Two of them were young and pretty; a third, who was rather elderly, was introduced to us as the Prophet's mother. A single syllable about the ‘antiquities’ was enough to loosen the tongue of the old lady in a flood of words hardly to be expected from one of her age and dignity. Obviously this was one of her favorite topics, or perhaps it was the only one on which she had expended time or thought or on which she could express an opinion. Opening the folding doors of a wardrobe, she showed us four blackened, ghastly looking Egyptian mummies, from which emanated a peculiar odor of balsam that can hardly be as agreeable to the olfactory nerves of a lady as the perfume of the herbs with the


help of which the ‘mortal is made immortal.’ There they stood, the dry and shriveled hulls of those who, perhaps four thousand years ago, walked about the sands of Egypt as dwellers in an ancient Nile city. What a flood of associations is called forth by these old relics if one thinks for a moment about their origin and their history! Century after century has passed; revolution has followed revolution; conquerors and kings, dynasties and kingdoms, have succeeded each other, and written their histories in fire and blood, and ceased to exist -- yet here, in a new world, thousands of miles from the spot of their birth and burial, and thousands of years after they saw the light of day and then exchanged the palace for the grave, these human hulls still remain, hardly less mortal than the spirits which once occupied them.

["]The main features of these mummies were fairly well preserved, and even a certain amount of expression remained on their faces -- an expression of pain, or at least an expression which is painful to behold. The lips were entirely shriveled, but they were sufficiently parted to expose the teeth, which in two or three of the mummies appeared to be quite sound. The limbs and extremities were dried down to the bone. Fragments of the fine linen in which they had been embalmed stuck to these parts and to the heads and breasts of the mummies. On the head of one there even remained a small quantity of fire-red hair. The skulls were small, and would seem shrunken, if that were possible, like other parts of the body. In addition to the mummies that were intact, there were some fragments of others, including a leg which, we were told with complete certainty, was unquestionably a limb of that Pharaoh's daughter who rescued Moses when he had been exposed to the crocodiles in the bulrushes of the Nile! The mummies themselves, we were told with the same assurance, were great monarchs, Pharaohs, kings, and queens of Egypt! Two were in perfect condition, but the other two were badly mutilated. The skull of one was fractured and a piece of the chest had been torn from the other. This had been caused by the following circumstance:
["]A soldier serving in the East had sent these mummies to one of his relatives in New York -- an ignorant Irishman who hoped that the contents of the big box would repay him for the large freight bill he had paid. When he opened the box, however, and found only a couple of shrunken human cadavers, he became so enraged that he would surely have torn all the mummies to pieces if he had not been stopped by a chance passer-by, a more sensible man, who apprised him of their value. We do not know how these mummies came into the possession of the Prophet, but we believe that they were sent to the erudite author of the ‘Book of Mormon’ in order that he might translate the hieroglyphics on the bundles of papyrus which, as is usual, had been deposited with the bodies. The Prophet actually had accomplished this task. At any rate his venerable mother -- the good woman! -- exhibits half a dozen such papyrus sheets pasted on sheets of paper and reads out of a large octavo


(author, Prophet Joseph Smith) the translation of the mysterious hieroglyphics [which those ancient records are declared to contain]. Important and highly interesting events from the lives of the patriarchs of Israel and from the earlier history of the Hebrews are read from these records. The absurdity of believing this never seems to have occurred to any of those connected with it. They seem to think it not unlikely that the bodies of the Pharaohs were chosen to convey to posterity the history of the people whom they oppressed and unjustly en-slaved! Of course this is an imposture of the most shameless kind. It has, however, not yet occurred to any Mormon in Nauvoo to accuse the Prophet of deception because of this, and this ridiculous, absurd tale is believed by thousands as the uncontestable truth.["]

The Golden Plates.

["]The ‘Golden Plates’ said to have been disinterred some years ago in the western part of New York State, covered all over with hieroglyphics on which the Prophet maintains that he based his ‘Book of Mormon,’ are surely sufficiently well known and in any case so notorious that their story can be passed over here. It is not, however, generally known that certain other plates of brass have been unearthed recently near the village of Kinderhook in Pike County, Illinois, nor is the fact that the Prophet was occupied with deciphering the mysterious characters (with which, like the ‘Golden Plates,’ they are covered) just at the time of our visit. A description of these brass plates and the circumstances surrounding their unearthing may be interesting enough to be recounted here briefly.

["]In the latter half of April, 1843, a certain Robert Wiley, a respectable merchant of Kinderhook, dreamed on three successive nights that in an ancient mound in the vicinity were concealed treasures which he could discover by digging. He dug for a whole day alone, but finding it too difficult to excavate the mound from the top down, he asked a dozen friends to help him. At a depth of eleven feet the treasure diggers came upon a layer of stone which had apparently been exposed to fire, for there they found a mingled mass of charcoal, ashes, and human remains. Two feet deeper they found a bundle


of six brass plates, each four inches long, two inches wide at the top and three at the bottom. At the pointed end of each plate was a small hole through which was drawn a wire by which they were fastened together. The wire crumbled at the first touch. Upon submitting the plates to a chemical process, it was found that they were covered with hieroglyphics! No one could read these characters, and for that reason they were sent to the Mormon Prophet to be translated. They seem to have been intelligible enough to him, and a second Mormon Bible will very likely appear as a result of the deciphering of these hieroglyphics. The facts of this story are confirmed by written testimony of a number of the most respectable citizens of the place in the neighborhood of which the plates were found and brought forth. The mound must have been one of the oldest in this region, for there were trees growing on it that were two and a half feet in diameter.

["]The existence of the plates is in any case unquestionably proved, as well as the fact that they were made of brass and covered with strange, unintelligible characters. They were publicly displayed in Quincy and noticed in the newspapers there. It seems also equally unquestionable that these plates were actually taken out of one of the most ancient of those mysterious burial places which are so numerous from one end of the Western valley to the other, and that they were discovered in a place which circumstances indicate was once the burial place of a personage of power and rank. If one assumes this, then the question at once arises: ‘What is the meaning of the mystical characters on the plates?’ The most plausible answer seems to us to be that these characters, like the hieroglyphics on the walls of old mausoleums, pyramids, temples, obelisks, and sarcophagi of Egypt, present the biography of a potentate with whose remains the plates were buried and the history of the times in which he lived, and if so, the deciphering of these characters could shed a flood of light on a subject which even in this century of knowledge and research remains shrouded in a midnight of ignorance and doubt -- the early history of the Western continent, and the character, origin, and descent of the aborigines of the New World. But such a result, desirable as it might be, can hardly be expected soon, for these remarkable records, the archives of a bygone era and of a race long since vanished from the earth, are in the possession of the archcharlatan of our century; and the only result that can be reasonably anticipated from his pretended translation of these hieroglyphics is another delectable little book, something like the ‘Book of Mormon,’ only perhaps even more absurd and ridiculous than this is!

["]It is a melancholy thing to consider the aberrations of the human mind


and heart which almost daily are brought before our eyes in one form or another. We call our century a great age, the age of improvement and enlightenment. In many respects it is so. Practical philosophy has surely made the most wonderful advances during the last half of the nineteenth century; but whether that can also be said of moral and higher philosophy is, to say the least, rather doubtful. For when we behold such absurdities as Millerism and Mormonism counting tens and hundreds of thousands of intelligent human beings among their converts, we are tempted to think that some peculiarities of our famous era of enlightenment would not have disgraced the darkest era of medieval darkness. And yet the chief absurdity of Mormonism is belief in the pretended attributes and works of its prophet, priest, and prince. The religion of the Mormons, so far as we know its peculiarities, is much like that of the Protestant church. It embodies faith in original sin, regeneration, atonement, the continuation of the soul, and the reward and punishment of the soul after death as taught in the New Testament. The Mormons do not believe in infant baptism, nor in any kind of baptism as a necessity for salvation. With them the efficacy of this sacrament depends on the attitude of the person who submits to it. Generally speaking, we do not think that the most conservative Protestant would seriously quarrel with their religious creed as taught and exhibited, but so far as the practical application of these teachings is concerned -- that is something quite different.

["]We are not well enough informed to report with exactitude on the distinguishing characteristics and features of their social system, but we are inclined to believe that in this respect the Mormons have been much abused. We have not the remotest intention of wishing to uphold the Prophet's moral character, but the whole congregation of Nauvoo does not consist of prophets. Many of his followers condemn and publicly denounce him. Dissensions of all kinds are not only numerous in Nauvoo, but new ones are incessantly breaking out among the Saints, and it is therefore hard to know whether the Prophet's authority is on the wax or on the wane -- whether it is greater or less than it was in the beginning, and whether this new faith will fall with its founder or some new Elijah will appear who can take up his mantle and wear it. Quite recently a group of Mormons renounced the authority of Prophet Smith, basing their defection on the fact that Smith, although once a true prophet, has lost his dignity and is no longer worthy to be their spiritual ruler. These people changed only their prophet, not their religious belief. The new shepherd is one named William Law, incidentally a very important name; this is, in fact, the name of the famous Law who a half century ago projected the idea of Mississippi steamboat navigation [sic].


["]It can hardly be doubted that the Mormon community is not now a happy one, even though it is definitely increasing. There is a dejected, subdued, and sullen air and aspect about the men, and a timid, retiring, and abashed manner about the women indicating anything but a proud, enterprising, and independent spirit in either -- a spirit conscious of rectitude and honor, and determined to uphold them. What we thought when we saw these ‘peculiar people,’ we often later heard others say: namely, that many Mormons would surely not hesitate to separate from the group if they could find an asylum in the world to which they could flee and where they could regain their former dignity and reputation. But this is hardly possible.

["]There is little hope for worldly prosperity in Nauvoo. The city is neither a commercial mart in itself, nor does it supply the markets of others. It is to a certain extent quite isolated, and has absolutely no principle of aggregation -- if we except that of accumulating population. And in this respect, it surely takes the prize! During the last three months, immigration has added no fewer than four to five hundred people to the population of Nauvoo; and strangely (perhaps significantly), those who have swelled the ranks of the New Jerusalem are mainly transatlantic emigrants.

["]The average Mormon woman has much personal charm, and Nauvoo is famous for the beauty of its women. One of our friends who visited the theater there assured us that he was quite dazzled by the beauty of the ladies who crowded the dress circle. To judge from the playbill lying before us, this theater must be very entertaining. The announcement on the playbill reads: [‘]"MASONIC HALL." Nauvoo, April 24, 1844. "A Grand Moral Entertainment" will be presented for lifting a debt of President Joseph Smith, which he had to contract because of the odious persecution and vexatious lawsuits of Missouri. His friends, as well as the honored public, will gladly respond to such a laudable call, in patronizing the efforts of those who offer rational amusement combined with a practical purpose. The historical drama, a tragedy in five acts, is entitled PIZARRO, or The Death of Rolla. The whole to conclude with a very humorous farce, JOHN JONES, or The War Office. New scenery, costumes, and decorations. Directed by Thomas A. Lyne of the theaters of the Eastern states. Price per seat: 50 cents. Box office opens at 6 o'clock. First act begins at 7 o'clock. Good music; strict order; no smoking allowed; front seats reserved for ladies. [’]


["]This handbill was given to us by the colporteur of the newspaper who was at the same time distributing the Mormon organ, the ‘Nauvoo Neighbor,’ a small semiweekly sheet. The ‘Times and Seasons’ is another Mormon newspaper; it appears monthly or semimonthly, occasionally or semi occasionally, or even -- according to the circumstances -- not at all.["]

We will close our remarks on the Mormons with an extract from a letter which appeared in "Galignani's Messenger of Paris, November 16, 1853." It was written by Mr. L[azarus] H. Read, who had just been appointed chief justice of Utah by the government of the United States. In it he informed his friends of his journey to Utah, his installation, and his acquaintance with the Mormon governor, Brigham Young.

ON MONDAY, JUNE 6, I made my official call on His Excellency, Governor Young. After I presented my commission, he administered the oath in legal form and I was installed as Chief Justice of Utah. The governor received me with marked politeness and respect and put forth every imaginable effort to make my stay in Utah pleasant.

Mr. Young is a polished gentleman in every respect. His clothes are neat and tasty, his manner animated and pleasant. I believe he is a man of decided talent, endowed with considerable intelligence. I had an opportunity to hear him preach; he spoke on man as a free agent. He is a first-rate speaker. His gestures are uncommonly graceful, his articulation distinct, and his speech pleasant. I was very much edified by his intelligent address and agreeable manner. Besides this, the governor is also a very capable businessman. He owns several grist and sawmills, and farms of considerable size, the management and cultivation of which he always superintends personally. I have made up my mind that no man has been more grossly misrepresented than Governor Young, and that he is a man who returns courtesy and good treatment as sincerely and heartily as anyone -- but it abused and crowded, he will certainly be found bold and determined.


It is scarcely six years since the first settlers penetrated this valley. At that time there was neither a civilized inhabitant nor the least vestige of civilization within five hundred miles. At first the immigrants had absolutely nothing except what they had brought along in their wagons over the Great Plains. The soil is naturally hard and dry, and does not easily produce without irrigation. Lack of food and shelter at first caused the colonists to suffer great hard-ships. They subsisted mainly on roots, and were sometimes compelled to eat dogs and horses. Now, however, there is a surplus of all kinds of vegetables and grain, and the finest beef that I have ever seen in my life.

The most prosperous inhabitants are New Yorkers and New Englanders. I became acquainted with most of them and found them courteous and educated. Nearly the whole population of Salt Lake City and the Territory of Utah consists of Mormons. I doubt whether more than two hundred outsiders can be found here.

The state of society is different from anything we have been accustomed to. All religious and domestic affairs are regulated by the church court. Controversies of all kinds are settled by an ecclesiastical council. The plurality system, as it is called here (or polygamy, in fact) prevails extensively; but those who suppose that this practice promotes dissolute living and indecency are mistaken. The women are exceedingly modest and circumspect in their deportment. I had the pleasure of being introduced to several of them, and found them very sensible and agreeable. I think they compare fully with the well-bred ladies of the States. To judge by what I have seen, I can assure you that there is far less licentiousness and vulgarity in this territory and this city than in any other place of equal population in the United States. The men tolerate absolutely no interference with their rights, and seduction and adultery are punished by death. Some cases of this kind have already occurred.


Chapter 31. Cities and Islands.

Warsaw, Illinois.

WARSAW, ILLINOIS. This city [Plate 50] is located on the east bank of the Mississippi, in Hancock County, Illinois, 175 miles above St. Louis. It is a small, vigorous, rapidly growing city, surrounded by numerous settlements and a farming population which together exert a favorable influence on the development of the community. Fort Edwards, a well-known frontier post mentioned in an earlier chapter, formerly stood on the hill on the other side of the city. In 1851 the population was about five hundred. During the Mormon war this place was the scene of many disturbances.

Our Encampment.

The attached view [Plate 51] shows one of the old islands of the Mississippi River, with the dense woodlands which are found in luxurious abundance on these alluvial land masses. These islands are of unequal size, from half an acre to eight hundred acres in area, and are formed by the alluvial deposits of the river and by sand banks. The latter are produced by snags, sawyers, or some other obstruction in the river bed. Snags are among the most dangerous enemies of navigation on the Mississippi. Every year more ships are lost by striking snags than from any other cause. Sometimes the tree trunks which form the snags break off two or three feet below the surface of the water. Then the pilot has no guide for avoiding these dangerous spots except the broken waves on the surface. Driftwood floating over the snags sometimes


wears them to a sharp point, so that they pierce the hull of the strongest ship. Sawyers are tall slender trees lodged in the river bed with the tops sticking out of the water. The current gives them an up-and-down motion like that of a man in a saw pit, from which they derive their name. When they are under water they can become very dangerous. We once had an experience with one that pierced the bottom of a ship, went up through the stateroom, and extended fifteen to twenty feet above the boat. The islands do not originate in the middle of the river, but since its bed is constantly changing, the current hurls itself against the islands and drags them into the flood along with their trees and brush. The power of the current is so irresistible that we can cite an example in which an island of twenty-five acres was swept away in less than three weeks, and the deepest part of the river bed is now in its place. Thousands of trees thrown into the stream in this way form the snags and sawyers. From the Falls of St. Anthony to New Orleans there are more than three thousand islands that were formed thus, and only two of them rest on rock. The trees usually found on the new islands are willow and cottonwood, a tree similar to the sycamore (plane tree) which grows to a considerable height. If an island is not disturbed by a change in the direction of the current, it is soon covered with a dense growth of such trees as one sees on both banks of the river -- oak, walnut, maple, elm, and other kinds. Nearly all the trees of the entire West are gracefully wound about with climbing vines, among which the wild grape should be mentioned particularly. The fruit is usually small and sour, but some kinds are tasty. Their dissemination throughout the area where they grow wild shows that the soil and climate are peculiarly suited to the cultivation of grapes. Many emigrants from the Rhine are successful in cultivating grapevines along the Mississippi. The happy success of their efforts is evident in the following letter which an emigrant addresses to the publisher of the Western Magazine, an esteemed periodical published monthly in St. Louis by Mr. [Micajah] Tarver.

["]The facts given in the following communication of Mr. Poeschel in answer to our inquiries about grapevine cultivation in Hermann are completely reliable. It is astonishing that so many of our countrymen subject themselves to the privations and hardships of a trip to California to seek gold, when it may so easily be obtained by cultivating grapevines and pressing out the precious juice from the ripe grapes among the beautiful hills and charming valleys of southern Missouri. No employment can give a man of taste more


enjoyment than the cultivation of a vineyard, and we are convinced that no tillage, in this or any other country, can produce even half the profit that can be realized by grape growing in Missouri during the next twenty years.

["]This assertion is not an ill-advised or exaggerated opinion. We have carefully considered the importance of the subject and everything that we have said about it, and we beg our readers to give their attention to Mr. Poeschel's communication.

Hermann, Missouri, May 31, 1851 [1849]
MESSRS. TARVER & RISK, St. Louis, Missouri

Gentlemen: A few weeks ago I received your favor of April 20, and I will cheerfully give you now the desired information regarding the culture of the grapevine in this part of the country, as far as this is in my power.

The first attempts to introduce vineyards were made here about eight years ago by people from the Rhine, but they, adhering to their old prejudices, did not succeed well. Other settlers, finding out where the error lay, tried it in another way, and succeeded better, treating their vines more after the Cincinnati manner, and many followed their example. In 1845 about 50,000 vines were planted; in 1846, more than 150,000; in 1847, more than 300,000; in 1848, more than 500,000, and now there are at least 700,000 vines in full thrift.

Three years ago I commenced my little plantation, planting about 1,000 rootlings, on seven-eighths of an acre, raised them on espaliers, and they grew wonderfully, six to eight feet apart, but the soil was well prepared for them, as I had dug furrows two feet deep and two feet wide, throwing the fertile soil underneath and covering the surface all over with the yellow clay, which admits no weeds. In 1847, I earned from my little vineyard nearly $700 in grapes, and $400 from wood (that is, slips and yearlings). I have planted my vines six by eight feet, but now I shall plant them eight by eight, finding them too much crowded; the vine will bear more freely and have more perfect grapes if air is admitted. The southern and southeastern exposures are preferred to others.

My mode of pressing is very simple. I wash my grapes, then let them stand twenty-four hours, press them in my wooden press; when pressed let the juice run into a suitable cask, let it then stand quietly until the fermentation is


over, for which a cool place is best. For this the bunghole should be covered with a wet rag. After the fermentation has continued nine or ten days, pour the liquid over softly in prepared casks, let it stand slightly closed until a second fermentation is over, which requires about three days, and then shut it tight till February or March, when the young wine is drinkable. If you want to improve it further, let it lay undisturbed until April, then bottle it.

I am from the northern part of Germany, therefore had no knowledge of the culture of the grape before I came to Hermann; the same is true of the settlers of this section of the country; they are from all parts of Germany.

Foreign wine will not do here; the plants freeze in winter, and dry up in summer. The only grape that will make good wine here, as far as our experience tells us, is the Catawba. Wine from this variety surpasses the best hock in flavor and strength, and has no acid. The Catawba wine weighs ten degrees, whereas the best hock ever imported did not come up to eight and a half degrees. Our wine was readily sold at $2 per gallon in St. Louis and elsewhere this spring, and I think the world will be our market after a short while, though not at the same prices; but we will strive to diminish importation of foreign wines. The grape has never failed here, as long as this settlement exists. I cut my vines in the month of November, and plant new ones early in spring. The rot among the grapes, which you stress, is trifling and imperceptible among the abundance of grapes which remain. Our prospects for a good harvest this year are greater than ever they have been before.

Cheerfully would I and my neighbors subscribe for your periodical it we were only better acquainted with the English language. I am most respectfully your obedient servant,


Quincy, Illinois.

Plate 53. A View on the Mississippi Near Quincy.

This city is the subject of our next illustration [Plate 52]. Viewed from the river, it truly imparts a rather poor appearance, but if the traveler lingers here, he will be pleasantly surprised and even astonished when he reaches the summit of the hill and discovers it to be such a large and charmingly situated place. The city was laid out according to an orderly plan. The houses are uniform, and built in rows; the streets and byways are suitable and well paved. We happened to be there in the summer and found that the streets were even sprinkled with water, which is seldom done in a country town. Quincy resembles Cincinnati more than any other city we have seen, only it is much cleaner than the latter. It fully deserves this praise, since Cincinnati is called the Philadelphia of the West. At the time that our drawing was made, the place had about 8,000 inhabitants. One may expect that in the meantime this number has increased considerably, since few cities in the West are enjoying a more rapid flowering than Quincy. There are plans to build dockyards and


cotton and wool factories, and if these should be pushed forward with energy, Quincy could become one of the first metropolises of the land. It is the seat of jurisdiction for Adams County, lies 150 miles above St. Louis, and has one of the best steamboat landings on the Mississippi. The view from the top of the hill, over forests reaching as far as the eye can see, is beautiful beyond all description.

The seat of the county government is here also. The main exports at present are Hour, maize, and pork.

Right here is a fitting place for an excerpt from a daily paper, obtained through Mr. E. Flagg, which gives a description of the appearance of Quincy and some other cities on the Upper Mississippi during the big flood in the spring of 1844. This is to be preferred to many other accounts of the affair.

"Of all the cities on the Western or Southern waters which came to mind as I approached the city of Quincy, I was reminded most of Natchez. In many respects these two cities are similarly situated, principally in that each has an upper and lower town -- one on the hill and one under the hill. A traveler debarking from a steamboat stopping here can hardly imagine the elegance and good taste that he would encounter everywhere on a walk of less than half a mile.

["]Quincy is without doubt one of the most refined and beautiful cities on the Upper Mississippi, and it bears the same relation to this region that Natchez does to the southwest. In this vicinity and its environs we were astonished by the enormous extent of the flood. A vast meadow extending along the river as far as the eye could see, called, I think, ‘Bosworth's Prairie,’ which was some six to eight miles long and perhaps as many in breadth, was completely submerged up to the surrounding forests, except for a narrow peninsular strip of land upon which hundreds of horned cattle had been driven from their rich pastures. The mirror like surface gave the impression of an inland sea. But if the extended and swollen waters displayed an imposing sight by day, the spectacle was one of surpassing magnificence when the full moon cast its soft, magical light over the flood. Our swift boat glides on and on over the mirror like expanse, cutting through wave after wave, which sparkled in our wake until, after many miles, they sank into quietude once more. Dense island groves seen in the distance floating upon the flood like shadows here and there, appearing then disappearing; the dim and indistinct outlines of the riverbank; the far-off, forest-crowned bluffs shimmering in the moonlight; the deep blue of the heavens; and the silent splendor of the moonlight -- all these produce a drama which a pen can never adequately describe. The traveler can spend enjoyable hours on the upper deck of the steamboat, seized


with wonder, and gazing at the unforgettable scene. Now he barkens to the clattering noise of the steamboat; now he observes the fiery stars escaping from the smokestack; and now lifts his eyes to those brighter stars which bestrew the heavens. Then steamboats hurrying by, far and near, claim his attention, and his thoughts are busy with their whence and whither until they disappear from view around some wooded point. Yes, for hours one might thus employ himself, and, on a mild and balmy evening such as when we left Quincy, feel no disposition to retire to his bertli even at the risk of being deemed more romantic than wise by his matter-of-fact fellow travelers, who prefer a game of euchre to the most imposing beauties of nature, and a whisky punch to the loveliest moonshine that ever glowed. Good heavens! How such a judgment sounds!

["]Between Quincy and the mouth of the Des Moines [River], we passed several prosperous villages, landings, and similar places whose names I cannot remember. Among them, however, I believe, are La Grange, Smoot's Landing, and Tully. Then one comes to Warsaw and Churchville, situated on opposite sides of the river. The latter place was half flooded, and every one of its warehouses looked like a Noah's ark. Warsaw is, as the inhabitants themselves say, a flourishing town, as are all these towns, large and small. Here one sees the beginnings of a railroad running from this place down along the rocky shore, designed to connect Warsaw with Galena and thus to avoid the obstacle to navigation [the rapids] at low stages of water.

["]On a bleak and naked bluff above Warsaw, opposite the mouth of the Des Moines, one notices a dilapidated building along with a string of equally decayed outhouses, all vacant and roofless, turned into ruins by the wind and weather, leading one to instinctively believe that they were inhabited only by ghosts. These old structures are the remains of Fort Edwards, long well known, which became an outpost for defense against the savages of the Northwest, but has long since been abandoned.

["]Fort Armstrong on Rock Island, Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien, and Fort Snelling at the mouth of the St. Peter's rapidly and regularly succeeded


one another, and as outposts of civilization have been pushed into the wilderness since 1848. Fort Edwards, once no doubt the scene of some special pride and pomp, is now an ancient and feeble ruin.

["]Keokuk [Plate 54] at the foot of the rapids hardly seemed to me to be such an extensive hamlet, if anything, as it was some six or seven years ago when I saw it last, as well as first. Situated on the steep side of a bare clay bank, which slopes precipitously down to the water's edge, its dilapidated, rickety dwellings remind one of a flock of sheep hurrying to the water -- as someone, I believe, once said of Galena, of which it is even more true. This much is certain -- hills and houses crowd each other, and one can hardly be distinguished from the other."

Note: This description was made in the year 1848 [1844], since which time, however, many changes have taken place.

Crescent Island.

A large and beautiful island, located seven miles below Quincy, which, because of its shape, we have given the name of Crescent (half moon) [Plate 53], disregarding the tact that the navigators designate most of the islands in the Mississippi by numbers. This island is about four miles long and is covered with dense woods, in the midst of which is a small lake. In the spring and tall hundreds of waterfowl gather on this lake. The spot is a favorite preserve for hunters, for not only ducks and geese, but also red deer and turkeys, are found here in great numbers. The island contains about 1,200 acres, but it is not settled because it can easily be inundated during the main flood season. Almost exactly across from this island, on the west or Missouri side, the remains of a town which had the high-sounding name of Marion City can be seen. It was originally founded by the Reverend Mr. [Ezra Stiles] Ely of Philadelphia, who sacrificed a considerable fortune to establish a kind of socialistic community. But the unhealthful location, the floods to which the place was exposed, and the quarrels which arose among the members led to the dissolution of this settlement. Now some few dilapidated buildings mark the place where more than a hundred families once made their homes. Quantities of goods which are forwarded to Palmyra, the county seat, are unloaded at this place.

The reader will be interested to find here a general description of the state of Illinois, which we have taken from the newest and best works.


Chapter 32. The State of Illinois.


SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, AND EXTENT. ["]The state of Illinois is situated between 37° and 42° 30' north latitude; and between 10° 25', and 14° 30' west longitude from Washington city. It is bounded on the north by Wisconsin Territory, northeast by Lake Michigan, east by Indiana, southeast and south by Kentucky, and west by the state and territory of Missouri. Its extreme length is 380 miles; and its extreme width, 220 miles; its average width, 150 miles. The area of the whole state, including a small portion of Lake Michigan within its boundaries, is 59,300 square miles.

["]The water area of the state is about 3,750 square miles. With this, deduct 5,550 square miles for irreclaimable wastes, and there remains 50,000 square miles, or 32,000,000 acres of arable land in Illinois -- a much greater quantity than is found in any other state. In this estimate, inundated lands submerged by high waters, but which may be reclaimed at a moderate expense, are included.

["]FACE OF THE COUNTRY AND QUALITY OF SOIL. The surface is generally level, but a good deal is rather undulating terrain; the northern and southern portions are broken and somewhat hilly, but no portion of the state is traversed with ranges of hills or mountains. At the verge of the alluvial soil on the margins of rivers, there are ranges of bluffs intersected with ravines. The bluffs usually reach a height of from 50 to 150 feet, and from there a tableland covered with prairies and forests of various shapes and sizes extends into the distance.

["]We wish to examine more closely the several varieties in the surface of this state, and describe them briefly.


["]RIVER BOTTOMS OR ALLUVION. The surface of our alluvial bottoms is not entirely level. In some places it resembles waves of the ocean, and looks as though the waters had left their deposit in furrows and retired.

["]The portion of bottom land capable of present cultivation, and on which the waters never stand, if, at an extreme freshet, it is covered, is a soil of exhaustless fertility; a soil that for centuries past has been gradually deposited by floods. Its average depth is from twenty to twenty-five feet. Logs of wood and other indications of its origin are found to that depth. The soil dug from wells on these bottoms produces luxuriantly the first year.

["]The most extensive and fertile tract of this class of soil in this state is the American Bottom, a name it received when it constituted the western boundary of the United States and which it has retained ever since. It commences at the mouth of the Kaskaskia River, 5 miles below the town of Kaskaskia, and extends northwardly along the Mississippi to the bluffs at Alton, a distance of 90 miles. Its average width is 5 miles, and [it] contains about 450 square miles, or 288,000 acres. Opposite St. Louis, in St. Clair County, the bluffs are 7 miles from the river and filled with inexhaustible beds of coal. The soil of this bottom is either an argillaceous or a silicious loam, according as clay or sand happened to predominate in its formation.

["]On the margin of the river and of some of its marshes is a strip of heavy timber with a thick undergrowth which extends from half a mile to two miles in width; but from thence to the bluffs it is principally prairie. It is interspersed with sloughs, lakes, and ponds, the most of which become dry in autumn.

["]The soil of the American Bottom is inexhaustibly rich. About the French towns it has been cultivated for more than a century without exhausting its fertilizing powers. The unhealthful character of this tract is the only objection to its colonization, but this has improved considerably within eight or ten years. The geological feature noticed in our last report -- that all our bottoms are higher on the margin of the stream than toward the bluffs -- explains why so much standing water is on the bottom land, which stagnates during the summer and develops noxious effluvia. These marshes are usually full of vegetable matter undergoing decomposition, filling the air with miasma. Some of the lakes are clear and of a sandy bottom, but the most are of a


different character. The French usually settled near any lake or river, apparently in unhealthy places, and yet their constitutions seemed little affected, and they usually enjoyed good health, though dwarfish in their form and shriveled in features.

["]The villages of Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, and Cahokia were founded by their industry in places where Americans would have perished. Cultivation has, no doubt, rendered this tract more salubrious than formerly; and an increase of it, together with the construction of drains and canals, will finally make it one of the most excellent in the American states. The old inhabitants advise the immigrants not to plant corn in the immediate vicinity of their dwellings, as its rich and massive foliage prevents the sun from dispelling the deleterious vapors.

["]PRAIRIES. Much the largest proportion is undulating, dry, and extremely fertile. Other portions are level, and the soil in some cases proves to be wet, because the water cannot run off freely, but is left to be absorbed by the soil or evaporated by the sun. Crawfish throw up their hillocks in this soil, and the farmer who cultivates it finds his labors brought to naught by the water.

["]In the southern part, that is, south of the National Road leading from Terre Haute to the Mississippi, the prairies are comparatively small, for in contrast with those several miles in width, they contain only a few acres. As we go northward, we find them on more elevated ground between the water courses and frequently extending from 6 to 12 miles in length and width. Their borders are by no means uniform. Long points of timber project into the prairies and line the banks of the streams, and points of prairie lose themselves in the timber between these streams, offering variety to the eye. In many instances there are copses and groves of timber from 100 to 2,000 acres, isolated in the midst of prairies like islands in the ocean. This is the character of the country between the Sangamon River and Lake Michigan, and in the northern parts of the state. The lead mine region, both in this state and the Wisconsin Territory, abounds with these groves.

["]The origin of these prairies has caused much speculation. We might as well dispute about the origin of forests, or assume that the natural covering of the earth was grass. Probably half of the earth's surface, in a state of nature, was prairies or steppes. At least it is certain that, like our Western prairies, most of it was covered with a luxuriant coat of grass and herbage. The steppes of Tartary, the pampas of South America, the savannas of the Southern region, and the prairies of the Western states designate similar tracts of country. Mesopotamia, Syria, and India had their ancient prairies on which the patriarchs grazed their flocks. Missionaries in Burma and travelers in the interior of


Africa mention the same kind of country. Where the tough sward of the prairie is once formed, timber will not take root. Destroy this by the plow, and it is easily converted into forest land. There are large tracts of country in the older settlements, where thirty or forty years since the farmers mowed their hay, that are now covered with a forest of young timber of rapid growth. Fire annually sweeps over the prairies, destroying the grass and herbage and leaving a deposit of ashes on the blackened surface to enrich the soil.

["]FOREST OR TIMBERED LAND. In general, Illinois is abundantly supplied with timber, and were it only equally distributed, there would be no lack in any section. The apparent scarcity of timber where the prairie predominates is not so great an obstacle to the settlement of the country as one could suppose. For many of the purposes for which timber is used, substitutes are found. The rapidity with which the young growth pushes itself forward, without a single effort on the part of man to accelerate it, and the speed with which the prairie becomes converted into thickets and then into a forest of young timber, shows that in another generation timber will not be wanting in any part of Illinois.

["]We will enumerate here the kinds of timber which are most abundant. They are various species of oaks, black and white walnut, several kinds of ash, elm, sugar maple, honey locust, hackberry, linden, hickory (white walnut), cottonwood, pecan, mulberry, buckeye, sycamore, wild cherry, box elder, sassafras, and persimmon. In the southern and eastern parts of the state there are yellow poplar and beech; near the Ohio there is cypress; and in other regions there are clumps of yellow pine and cedar. On the Calamick [Calumet River], near the end of Lake Michigan, is a small forest of white pine. Its under-growth consists of redbud, pawpaw, sumac, plum, wild apple, grapevines, dogwood, spicebush, greenbrier, hazelnut, &c.

["]The alluvial soil of the rivers produces cottonwood and sycamore timber of amazing size. For ordinary purposes there is now timber enough in most parts of the state, without taking into consideration its artificial production, which may be effected with little trouble and expense. The black locust, a native of Ohio and Kentucky, may be raised from seed with less labor than a nursery of apple trees. It is of rapid growth, and, since it is a valuable and lasting timber, cannot be disregarded by our farmers. It provides a beautiful shade, and when in blossom gives a rich prospect and sends abroad a most delicious fragrance.


["] Ravines lie between the bluffs, and often border the prairies which lead down to the streams.

["]Sinkholes are circular depressions in the surface, like a basin. They are of various sizes, from ten to fifty feet deep, and one hundred or even two hundred yards in circumference. Frequently they contain a drainage canal for the water received by the rains. Their existence shows that the substratum is secondary limestone, abounding with subterraneous cavities.

["]There are but few tracts of stony ground in the state; that is, where loose stones are scattered over the surface and imbedded in the soil, and these are only toward the northern part of the state. Stone quarries, however, exist plentifully in the bluffs, on the banks of the streams, and in the ravines.

["]The soil is porous, easy to cultivate, and exceedingly productive. A strong team is required to break up the prairies, on account of the dense, firm, grassy sward which covers them. But when subdued, they become fine, arable lands.

["]RIVERS. This state is everywhere surrounded and intersected by navigable streams. The Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers are on three sides; the Illinois, Kaskaskia, Sangamon, [Big] Muddy, and many smaller streams are within its borders; and the Kankakee, Fox, Rock, and Vermilion of the Wabash run part of their course within this state; while the Mississippi meanders its western border for seven hundred miles.

["]PRODUCTS. These are usually classed into mineral, animal, and vegetable.

["]MINERAL PRODUCTS. The northern portion of Illinois is inexhaustibly rich in mineral productions, while coal, secondary limestone, and sandstone are found in every part. Iron ore has been found in the southern part of the state, and is said to exist in considerable quantities in the northern part. Native copper has been found in small quantities on Muddy River, in Jackson County, and back of Harrisonville in the bluffs of Monroe County. Crystallized gypsum has been found in small quantities in St. Clair County. Quartz crystals exist in Gallatin County.

["]Silver is supposed to exist in St. Clair County, ten [two] miles from Rock Spring, from whence Silver Creek derives its name. In early times, a shaft was sunk here by the French, and tradition tells of large quantities of this metal being obtained. In the southern part of the state, several sections of land were reserved from sale because of the silver ore they are supposed to contain.

["]Bituminous coal abounds in Illinois. It may be seen, frequently, in the ravines and gullies, and in the points of the bluffs. Exhaustless beds of this article exist in the bluffs of St. Clair County, bordering on the American Bottom, and large quantities are transported to St. Louis. Large beds are


said to exist near the Vermilion of the Illinois and in the vicinity of the rapids of the latter.

["]VEGETABLE PRODUCTS. The principal kinds of trees and shrubs of Illinois have been noticed under the head of ‘Forest or Timbered Land.’ Here we may add the oaks, of which there are several species, as overcup, burr oak, swamp or water oak, red or Spanish oak, post oak, and black oak of several varieties, with the blackjack, a dwarfish, gnarled-looking tree, good for nothing but burning. The black walnut is much used for building materials and cabinetwork, because it sustains a fine polish.

["]In most parts of the state, grapevines, indigenous to the country, are abundant, which yield grapes that might advantageously be pressed and made into excellent wine. Foreign vines are susceptible of easy cultivation. These are cultivated to a considerable extent at Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, and at new Harmony on the Wabash. [Indigenous vines] are found in every variety of soil; interwoven in every thicket in the prairies and barrens; and climbing to the tops of the very highest trees on the bottoms. The French in early times made so much wine as to export some to France, upon which the proper authorities prohibited the introduction of wine from Illinois, lest it might injure the sale of French wine. I think the act was passed in 1774. The editor of the Illinois Magazine remarks, ‘We know one gentleman who made twenty-seven barrels of wine in a single season, from wild grapes gathered with but little labor, in his immediate neighborhood.’

["]The wild plum is found in every part of the state; but in most instances the fruit is too sour for use, unless for preserving. Crab apples are equally prolific, and make fine preserves with double their bulk of sugar. Wild cherries are equally productive. The persimmon is a delicious fruit only after the frost has destroyed its astringent properties. The black mulberry grows in most parts, and is used with success for the feeding of silkworms. They appear to thrive and spin as well as on the Italian mulberry. The gooseberry, strawberry, and blackberry grow wild everywhere in great profusion. Of our nuts, the hickory (white walnut), black walnut, and pecan deserve recommendation. The last is an oblong, thin-shelled, delicious nut


that grows on a high tree, a species of the hickory (Carya olivaeformis of Nuttall). The pawpaw grows in the bottoms, and in the rich, timbered uplands, and produces a large, pulpy, and sweet fruit. Of domestic fruits, the apple and peach are chiefly cultivated. Pears are plentiful in the French settlements, and quinces are cultivated with success by some Americans. Apples are easily cultivated, and are very productive. They can be made to bear fruit to considerable advantage in seven years from the seed. Many varieties are of fine flavor, and grow to a large size. I have measured apples, the growth of St. Clair County, that were thirteen inches in circumference. Some of the American settlers provided themselves with orchards very early, of which they now reap the advantages. But a large proportion of the population of the frontiers is content without this indispensable article in the comforts of a Yankee farmer. Cider is made only in small quantities in the old settlements. In a few years, however, a sufficient supply of this beverage will be available in almost all parts of Illinois. Peach trees grow with great rapidity, but decay proportionately soon. From ten to fifteen years may be considered the life of this tree. These peaches are delicious, but since the bud swells prematurely it is often destroyed in the germ by winter frosts. This often causes great damage to the harvest.

["] Garden vegetables are produced here in vast profusion and of excellent quality.

["]That we have few of the elegant and well-dressed gardens of gentlemen in the old states is admitted; which is not owing to climate or soil, but to the want of leisure and means.

["]Examples of the great fertility of the soil follow: a cabbage head two or three feet in diameter is no wonder on this soil. Beets or other root vegetables often exceed twelve inches in circumference. Parsnips will penetrate our light, porous soil to the depth of two or three feet.

["]The cultivated vegetable products in the field are maize or Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rye for horse feed and distilleries, tobacco, cotton, hemp, flax, the castor bean, and every other production common to the Middle States.

["]Maize is a staple production. No farmer can live without it, and hundreds raise little else. This is chiefly owing to the ease with which it is cultivated. Its average produce is fifty bushels to the acre, but I have oftentimes seen it produce seventy-five bushels to the acre, and in a few instances, exceed a hundred.


["]Wheat yields a good and sure crop, especially in the counties bordering on the Illinois River. It weighs up to sixty pounds per bushel; and flour from this region not only has preference in the New Orleans market, but is more carefully inspected than the same article from Ohio and Kentucky.

["]ANIMALS. Of wild animals there are several species. First we will mention the buffalo, which thirty-five years ago was found in large numbers roaming the Illinois prairies free and undisturbed. But now one sees the buffalo neither on large stretches on this side of the Mississippi nor within a hundred miles of St. Louis. Wolves, panthers, and wildcats still exist on the frontiers and through the unsettled portions of the country, and greatly annoy the farmer by destroying his sheep and pigs.

["]Deer are very numerous, and are valuable, particularly to the frontiersmen, the flesh affording them food, and the skins clothing. Fresh venison hams usually sell for twenty-five cents (about nine silver groschen) each, and when properly cured make a delicious roast. Many of the frontier people dress their skins and make them into pantaloons and hunting shirts. Such clothing is indispensable to all who have occasion to travel in viewing land, or for any other purpose, beyond the settlements, as ordinary garments, in the shrubs and vines, would soon be in strings.

["]It is a novel and pleasant sight to a stranger to see the deer in herds of ten or fifteen, feeding, jumping about, or bounding away at the sight of a traveler.

["]The brown bear is also an inhabitant of the unsettled parts of the state, although he is continually retreating before the advance of civilization.

["] Foxes and squirrels are also numerous, as are muskrats, otter, and occasionally also the beaver, which lives about our rivers and lakes. Raccoons are very common, and frequently do great mischief to our corn in the fall. Opossums are also unwelcome guests in poultry yards.

["]The gopher is a singular little animal, almost like a squirrel. It burrows in the ground, is seldom seen, and only its works make it known. It labors during the night in digging subterranean passages in the rich soil of the prairies, or throws up hillocks of fresh earth within a few feet from each other, and from twelve to eighteen inches in height.

["]The gray and fox squirrels also do mischief in the cornfields, but they are much pursued by boys, who make a sport of hunting them.

["]Common rabbits exist in almost every thicket, and since they annoy nurseries and young orchards exceedingly, these animals can be kept out only by taking precautions against them. The evil can be prevented, for instance,


by building tight fences, or one can secure young apple trees at the approach of winter by tying straw or cornstalks around their trunks for two or three feet in height, so that the bark will not be stripped off by these animals.

["]Wild horses are found ranging the prairies and forests in some parts of the state. They are small in size, of the Indian or Canadian breed, but are very hardy. They are usually found in the lower end of the American Bottom, near the junction of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers, called the point. They are the offspring of the horses brought by the first settlers, and which were suffered to run at large. The Indians of the West have many such horses, which are commonly called Indian ponies.

["]GENERAL REMARKS, 1. Farms that are somewhat improved are almost daily exchanging owners, since a considerable spirit of speculation has been awakened within the past year or two. The prices of farms and improved tracts are not fixed, and are much influenced by factitious and local circumstances. From St. Glair County northward, they average probably from $5 to $10 per acre and higher in value. In some counties, however, farms cost only from $2 to $5 per acre. It should be said here that a farm in Illinois means a tract of land, much of it in a state of nature, with some cheap and, frequently, log buildings, with 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100 acres fenced and cultivated. Good dwellings of brick, stone, or wood, now begin to be erected. Among the older residents, but few barns have been made. The want of adequate supplies of lumber and of mechanics renders good buildings more expensive than in the new countries of New England and New York.

["]2. Merchant's goods, groceries, household furniture, and almost every necessary for a comfortable household can be purchased here; and many articles retail at about the same prices as in the Atlantic states.

["]3. The following table provides an example of the cost of 320 acres of land at Congress price, and preparing 160 acres of prairie land for cultivation:

Cost of 320 acres at $1.25 per acre $ 400
Breaking up 160 acres of prairie at $2 per acre 320


Fencing it into 4 fields with a Kentucky fence of 8 rails high, with cross stakes 175
For sheds, corncribs, stables, &c. 250
Total cost of the farm, $1,145

["]Now one must also consider that there are instances when a single crop of wheat will pay for the land, for breaking up, cultivating, harvesting, thrashing, and taking to market.

["]4. All kinds of mechanical labor, especially those in the building line, are in great demand, and at the highest wages. A mechanic gets $2 per day. To do first-rate business and soon become nicely independent, a carpenter or brick mason wants no other capital than a set of tools and habits of industry, sobriety, economy, and enterprise.

["]5. Common laborers on a farm obtain from $12 to $15 per month, including board. Any young man with industrious habits can begin here without a dollar in his pocket, and in a very few years become a substantial farmer. A good cradler in the harvest field will earn from $1.50 to $2.00 per day.

["]6. Most of what we have stated in reference to Illinois will equally apply to Missouri, or every other Western state. General principles have been laid down and facts exhibited with respect to the general description of the state, soil, timber, kinds of land, and other characteristics, under Illinois, and, to save repetition, are omitted elsewhere. ["]

The population of this state, according to the census of 1850, was 851,470 souls, while in 1810 the number was only 12,282. This means a pro rata increase of 78.81. The area of the state is 55,405 square miles, which means an average of 15.37 persons per square mile. The number of deceased was 11,619 in 1850, which is 73.28 per thousand of population.


Chapter 33. Cities, Rivers, and Cliffs.


HANNIBAL [Missouri. Plate 55] is a flourishing city and a commercial site of considerable importance. It lies on the west side, 120 English miles above St. Louis. Its distance from the latter city is 147 miles [by river] and from Marion City 10 miles.

["]As the traveler approaches Hannibal, his glance is arrested by a long line of rocky, wooded bluffs which rise precipitously from the edge of the shore, terminating in a cliff whose rocky crest projects some hundred feet into the air. This cliff is called the lover's leap -- not because any lover actually made use of the facilities it offers for ‘a dance on air,’ but because these facilities are so inviting to persons who ‘love well but not wisely,’ or, in any case, unhappily. There are half a dozen cliffs with this name on the Mississippi, and [several away down East in Maine]; one, near the lumber city of Bangor, has a particularly romantic aspect. Although this ‘sentimental leap’ near the worthy little hamlet of Hannibal was never actually the scene of a tragedy, it nevertheless achieved fame, for it was on the summit of this hoary cliff that a young gentleman from a neighboring village some years ago made a resolution to destroy himself, on account of unrequited or disappointed love. After spending the lonely hours of a day and night there, however, he gave up the resolution, only to carry it out subsequently by shooting himself in his chamber.["]

LOUISIANA, a busy little town in Missouri, 105 English miles above St. Louis, is famous for its flour mills. In 1851 it had a population of about 300. The


aspect of the town, which we sketched for our illustration at sunrise [Plate 56], was one of the most charming of our entire journey.

Several communities lie between this town and the subject of our next illustration. But since they do not offer any picturesque material, we will mention them only briefly.

SALT RIVER rises in the Iowa region and flows south, curving eastward toward the border of Rails County. From there it begins a winding course, flows northeast, then southwest until, eighty-five miles above the Missouri, it joins the Mississippi. It is beatable up to a certain point.

CLARKSVILLE, [Missouri] on the west side a hundred miles above St. Louis, was formerly a trading post for the American Fur Company, but seems to have fallen into decay, even though much farm produce is still being shipped from there. The next place is the little German settlement of

HAMBURG on the east side of the Mississippi, in Calhoun County, Illinois. It has a good landing and a growing population. Just below this place, on the opposite side, the boiler of "The Edward Bates" exploded, killing thirty people and burning far more, many of whom later died. This terrible event occurred on August 12, 1848, and was solely attributable to the negligence of the engineer.

WESTPORT, in Jackson County, Missouri, is situated on the west side of the state, about six miles south of the Missouri River. The place has between three and four hundred inhabitants.

BAILEY'S LANDING, [Missouri] lies on the west side [of the Mississippi], in Lincoln County, Missouri, nearly eighteen miles below Westport. Across from this point one sees a row of high rocks which bear the name "Cap au Gris," but which the Americans call "Grindstone Cape." It is the site of an old French village.

Grafton, Illinois.

Our next illustration [Plate 57] deals with Grafton.


The city of Grafton stands on a plateau under the bluffs on the east side of the river, at the confluence of the Illinois and the Mississippi, forty miles above St. Louis. Gratton has a good landing and also possesses wide and fertile environs, besides inexhaustible quarries which provide material suitable for building, so that, generally speaking, the place has favorable prospects for becoming a center of extensive trade.

Directly below the village, across from the cliffs which border the river, is one of the many caves found here and there along a stretch of several miles. It is reached by means of a rough footpath along the shore, where quantities of limestone have fallen from the overhanging cliffs at this point rising vertically to a height of several hundred feet. The opening of this cave is elliptical in outline and nearly regular, since the excavation was probably wrought by the action of whirling water on the soft surface of the slope. The opening is approximately twenty feet high and as many in width. When one steps over the threshold of the entrance he is at once in a spacious hall, about forty to fifty feet deep and of about the same height. About in the center of the hall, a perpendicular column of solid rock rises from floor to ceiling. From this point the cave extends for several hundred feet into a row of apartments with two lesser entrances in line with that in the middle and continuing at regular intervals. The walls of the cave are composed of limestone which, like all the rocks in this district, contains many fossils. The site provides clear evidence that it was once exposed to diluvial action; and the cave itself, as we said, seems to be little more than a hollow created by the uplifting of a huge mass of rock and stone. A great number of human bones of all sizes have been found in this cave, and there is little doubt that the place served as a catacomb for the earlier inhabitants of this fair land.

The Illinois River.

This beautiful river joins the Mississippi on the east side some twenty miles above the mouth of the Missouri. It bears this name only from the junction of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers, and its boatable length, without reckoning the bends in the river bed, is about a 60 miles. At an average stage of water, steamboats can reach the foot of the rapids, 210 miles from the mouth. At high water they can go nine miles farther to Ottawa. Here is the beginning


of the Illinois and Chicago canal, which connects the [Great] Lakes with the Western waters. The surface of the Illinois has almost no current;its standing water is not pleasing to the taste. But aside from these peculiarities, it is one of the pleasantest streams that wind through the [Mississippi] valley. It can truly not be given a more fitting name than "La belle riviere" of the Western states. Its bed is deep and seldom offers obstructions to navigation by larger boats. Its banks are low and exposed to yearly floods, and its bottoms are from one to five miles wide. One need not wonder that such a region breeds illnesses. Yet never could the poet's fantasy have conjured up more magical scenes than the many which unfold before one's eyes along its banks.

Here follow a few stanzas on the beauty of this river, composed by Mr. Edmund Flagg of St. Louis and translated as faithfully as possible.


Oh lovely stream! How quietly you glide along
Toward the dark abyss -- to disappear forever
In the wide and desolate ocean, full of waves and storms.
To follow the call of fate is your bitter lot!

Like a mirror wreathed in roses,
You reflect the flower-bedecked shore;
On your bosom the sun's golden rays beam
With gentle laughter, which never leaves you more.

But irresistibly, without repose, you hurry on and on,
To drown your magic image in the swelling sea,
Never again, with youthful vigor,
To wind gracefully through these fair valleys.

But nature, with a loving hand, has carefully
Nourished the source from which comes the flood
Of flowers which cover your shores,
And offers new crowns to your eternal beauty.

The Indian, who once greeted you happily
As he softly rocked on your waters,


Now looks down on you with tearful eye,
His people banned forever from your shores.

And when the pale moon, surrounded by starry beams,
Enlivens the dancing waves with silver gleam,
His sorrowing glance seeks out the ancestral graves
Where the warriors who battled for their homelands lie.

The golden rays of morning do not greet the stranger
Who visits in solitude the grave of his forebears.
No longer here, but at the Missouri's springs,
The Indian weeps for his lost paradise.

Over your waters the battle song is heard no more,
No war cry echoes from off your shores.
Only the gentle hunter's horn, happy and peaceful,
Rings through the forest with magic tones.

But oh! Without repose, you hurry on and on,
To lose your magic image in the swelling sea.
Never more with youthful grace and vigor
To wind through these fair valleys.

Piasa Rock.

The row of hills in which this cave is found extends below Grafton in an unbroken chain from the mouth of the Illinois above, [downstream] to the city of Alton at the point of the American Bottom. In several places the hills rise as much as a hundred feet and are so strangely shaped that they have been given the name of Colonnade Cliffs, but they are also called Piasa Bluffs [Plate 58]. A small river, the Piasa Creek, flows through a deep, narrow gorge in these bluffs.

["]This name is of aboriginal derivation; in the Illinois language it denotes ‘the bird that devours men.’ Near the mouth of this little stream rises a precipitous bluff, and upon its smooth face, at an elevation seemingly unattainable by human art, is graven the figure of an enormous bird with extended pinions. The Indians called this bird ‘Piasa’; hence the name of the stream.


The legend of the ‘Piasa’ is said to be still extant among the Indian tribes of the Upper Mississippi, and is thus related:

["]A thousand moons before the arrival of the Europeans (palefaces), when the great Megalonyx and mastodon, whose bones are now turned to dust, were still living in the land of the green prairies, there existed a bird of such dimensions that he could easily carry off in his talons a full-grown deer. Having on some occasion obtained a taste of human flesh, from that moment on he would prey upon nothing else. He was as artful as he was powerful. He would dart upon an Indian with the speed of an arrow, bear him off to one of the caves in the bluffs, and devour him. Hundreds of warriors pursued him for years in an attempt to destroy him, but in vain. Whole villages were depopulated, and consternation spread throughout all the tribes of the Illinois. At length a chief appeared named Owatoga whose fame as a warrior extended even beyond the Great Lakes. He separated himself from the rest of his tribe, fasted in solitude for the space of a whole moon, and prayed to the Great Spirit, the Master of Life, that he would protect his children from the Piasa. On the last night of his fast the Great Spirit appeared to him in a dream, and directed him to select twenty of his warriors, each armed with a bow and sharpened arrows, and conceal them in a designated spot. Near the place of their concealment another warrior was to stand in open view, as a victim for the Piasa, which they must shoot the instant he pounced upon his prey. When the chief awoke in the morning he thanked the Great Spirit, returned to his tribesmen, and told them his dream. The warriors were quickly selected and placed in ambush. Owatoga offered himself as the victim, to die for his tribe; and, placing himself in open view of the bluff, he saw the Piasa perched on the cliff, eyeing his prey. Owatoga arose in manly dignity, and, placing his feet firmly upon the earth, began to chant the death song of the warrior. A moment later the Piasa rose in the air, and swift as the lightning darted down upon the chief. Scarcely had he reached his victim when at once every bow was sprung with perfect aim, and every arrow penetrated the Piasa's body. The Piasa uttered a fearful scream that resounded far over the opposite side of the river, and expired. Owatoga was saved! Not an arrow, not even the talons of the bird had touched him, for the Master of Life had protected him with an invisible shield. In memory of this event, the image of the Piasa was engraved on the face of the bluff.

["]Such is the Indian tradition. It matters not whether true or false, the figure of the bird, with expanded wings, is nevertheless still to be seen graven upon the surface of solid rock at a completely inaccessible height. To this day no Indian glides beneath the spot in his canoe without discharging his gun at this figure.

["] Connected with this legend, at the spot to which the Piasa used to convey his human victims, is one of those caves to which we have already alluded.


Another at the mouth of the Illinois, situated about fifty feet from the water and exceedingly difficult of access, is said to be crowded with human remains to the depth of many feet in the earth of the floor. The roof of the cavern is vaulted. It is about twenty-five feet in height, thirty in length, and in form is very irregular. There are several other cavernous fissures in these cliffs not unworthy of description. ["]

When several explorers who were examining the country descended the Illinois by boat, they reached the waters of the Upper Mississippi. The following description of this bold undertaking from the pen of Judge [John M.] Peck of Illinois, recently published in a St. Louis periodical, will be welcomed by the reader.


Chapter 34. Explorations of the Mississippi Valley, by J. M. Peck.

Part 1.

THE "GREAT RIVER" that drains this Central Valley is really a natural wonder. Its discovery and exploration by Europeans were among the romantic adventures of a heroic age. The recently published work of Professor J. G. Shea has lifted the veil that shrouded the early history of these explorations and cast light on several points heretofore regarded as mythical by historians.

After carefully examining this new work entitled "Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley," and after having compared it with such authorities as are accessible, we express great satisfaction in the thoroughness of the investigations and correctness of the views of the author.

Professor Shea has demonstrated and referred to authorities that De Soto was not the first Spaniard, nor Jolliet and Marquette the first Frenchmen, who explored the waters of the Mississippi. Besides original authorities in the Spanish language, inaccessible to most English and American writers, he refers to the "Historical Collections of Louisiana." We propose, in this number, to give some of these facts.


Though Christopher Columbus entered the Gulf of Mexico, his discoveries and explorations were only along its southern coast, and the islands of Haiti, Cuba, and the West Indies. Who visited the northern shores is not known with certainty. A map printed at Venice in 1513 has the outline of the Florida and Louisiana coast, with the delta of the Mississippi tolerably accurate; enough to show it had been visited by Europeans at that early period.

Juan Ponce de Leon, an old comrade of Columbus, sailed along the coast near [St.] Augustine in 1512, on Easter Sunday, and in honor of the day, and because the trees were covered with blossoms, he gave the name of Florida to the newly discovered country, and for a long time it was the common name for North America among Spaniards. De Leon was in search of gold and the "Fountain of Life," which previous explorers reported to exist in the forests of North America. This fountain was reported to have the power of rejuvenizing those who drank its salubrious waters.

Don Diego Miruelo, a roving Spaniard who commanded a ship, visited the coast and obtained gold and silver in barter, and on his return he spread abroad extravagant stories of the wealth of the interior.

The northern coast of the gulf was more fully examined by Garay in 1518. Three years later a map was drawn up by the official appointed to decide between the claims of rival discoverers, on which the Mississippi River was traced, the name of which was subsequently changed to "Rio del Espiritu Santo," or River of the Holy Ghost (Shea, p. viii).

Ten years after Garay, Panfilo de Narvaez undertook the conquest and colonization of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. He was excited by the astonishing success of the conquest of Mexico by Cortez. He landed a force of five or six hundred men, made long and fruitless marches from tribe to tribe during a period of six months, the gold he sought always retreating farther into the interior as his army approached. Disease and famine swept off his men; and after crossing rivers and wading swamps he returned toward the gulf and attempted to reach Tampico, then a Spanish colony, in boats. Storms intercepted his passage, many of the boats were lost, and the bones of his men whitened the shore, and but a remnant of his men ever reached Tampico to tell the tale of their disasters.

A few of his men, under the leadership of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, were shipwrecked on an island, probably near the coast of Texas, and were taken prisoners by the Indians and held in captivity four years, when De Vaca with a Negro slave and four companions made his escape. The party directed their course inland, and passed themselves off among the natives as Indian jugglers, and were honored as "medicine men" among the aborigines. Protected by the superstitious awe with which they inspired the natives, they passed across the Great Plains, where countless numbers of buffalo roamed, until they came to the adobe houses of the semicivilized natives of New


Mexico, and the singularly constructed mud-walled towns, with solid walls along entire squares, now known by the name of "Gila." In this direction they reached the Gulf of California, and finally came to a colony of their own countrymen on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. De Vaca declared they passed through "the richest country in the world." Either he or the party of Narvaez must have crossed the Mississippi River, for they passed many large rivers, but no one is particularly described.

De Vaca was the first European known to have passed across the continent of North America to the waters of the Pacific. The adobe houses, walled towns, the peculiar dress and manners of the inhabitants, the topography of the country with the profusion of gold and silver among the natives, all prove this narrative, hitherto regarded as a fairy tale, to be authentic. It is, indeed, to some extent like a romantic fairy tale. The marvelous accounts of De Vaca and his companions, and the mysterious secrecy they observed, awakened a tremendous excitement in the minds of their countrymen in that adventurous age. Shea refers to Barcia's [Andres Gonzales Bdrcia] collection for the narrative of De Vaca in Spanish; and to those of [H.] Ternaux-Compans in French. He also mentions an English version of the "Shipwrecks of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca," translated by Buckingham Smith, and printed in 1851 for private distribution at Washington by G. W. Riggs, Jr.

A monk named Marco, who was a native of Nice in Italy, inspired with the impulse common to a class of Catholic priests to convert to their faith and thereby save the souls of the savages of North America, departed with a company of friendly natives from the Mexican town Culiacan and crossed the deserts to the Colorado. He had a Negro companion, one of De Vaca's followers, as his guide. From a mountain height, he gazed on the towers of the town of Cibola, its houses in a continuous wall rising story above story, and its massive gates shutting out all intruders.

The Mexicans not only refused him entrance to the town, but alienated the party of friendly Indians who accompanied him and killed his Negro servant. Friar Marco escaped, and on his return raised the aspiration of the Spanish authorities so high by his statements, apparently true in themselves, that a new expedition was projected to conquer the mud-walled city, gather the rich harvest of gold and silver, and convert the idolatrous natives into decent Christians.

The wild, romantic, and adventurous adventurers of men are excited to activity by various and often by complicated motives. Humboldt justly observes:


"They err who believe Spanish adventurers were incited by mere love of gold, and religious fanaticism. Perils always exalt the poetic life, and besides, this remarkable century, unfolding as it did new worlds to men, gave every enterprise the natural impressions awakened by distant travels, the charm of novelty and surprise."

A second expedition was fitted out from California under command of Coronado, with Friar Marco as chaplain and guide. The party took the town of Cibola, which furnished them little of value. They then ascended the valley of the Colorado and the Gila, and came to a river which they mistook for the Mississippi, calling it Rio Grande. There they found an Indian from Florida, who described the Mississippi as a much larger river on the bank of which they could travel ninety days through an inhabited country. The party, led by treacherous guides, wandered up and down the Great Plains on the head-waters of the Platte and the Arkansas without making progress, where, in 1542, they heard from some Indians of the approach of some of their own countrymen. These were the followers of De Soto, under his successor Moscoso. Despairing of finding the "Great River," they started back to the Spanish settlements in Mexico.

For the narrative of Friar Marco, Mr. Shea refers us to the appendix to the narrative of Castaneda de Nagera, in Ternaux-Compans.

Part 2.

Coeval with the expedition of Coronado and Friar Marco from the waters of the Pacific for the conquest of Florida, as North America was then called, was the expedition of De Soto which proceeded from the Gulf of Mexico.

Hernando de Soto was a native of Xerez, in the province of Badajos in old Spain. He had been the companion of Pizarro in the conquest of Peru, in which he had displayed valor and amassed a princely fortune. His ambition prompted him to rival Cortez in conquest and Pizarro in wealth. Having married a daughter of one of the nobility and gained the special favor of the emperor, Charles V, he was appointed governor and captain general of Cuba, and obtained from the emperor permission to conquer Florida at his own cost. His project excited the wildest hopes, and men of noble birth sold their estates to join the expedition. Leaving his wife in the command of Cuba, De Soto selected six hundred young men, the flower of Spain, and with a fleet of


vessels and three hundred horses, landed at Tampa Bay, called then the Bay of the Holy Ghost. Like Cortez, he sent back his ships that there might be no means of retreat, and began the march through an uninhabited wilderness. This was about the crudest crusade ever undertaken in the days of romance, and gave full proof that an epidemical monomania afflicted the Spaniards at that period. An inordinate thirst for gold and a ferocious religious fanaticism were their ruling passions. They had not only cavalry and foot soldiers for war, cattle and swine for their sustenance, but also chains and manacles for captives, and bloodhounds against the unoffending natives. Twelve priests and other ecclesiastics, with the vestments, ornaments, and utensils employed in the sacrifice of Mass, were taken as the means of converting the aborigines to the Catholic faith during the scenes of robbery and carnage.

Their march the first season, from June to October, 1539, was from Tampa Bay to the country of the Apalachee, east of Flint River. They had traversed pine barrens and hummocks, waded morasses, and crossed rivers to no purpose. The Indians were hostile on finding their country invaded, and those they employed for guides led them astray. They passed the first winter not far from the Bay of Pensacola.

In the spring of 1540, led by an Indian guide who promised to show them a land of gold, they pursued a northeastern course, crossed the Altamaha and the Ogeechee, and for several months wandered among the hills of Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. In the latter part of July they were on the Coosa River, one of the few streams that retains its aboriginal name. In October, they were at the Indian town of Mauvila, made of comfortable cabins and surrounded with a wall of logs and earth. This town was on the Alabama River above its junction with the Tombigbee. Its name has been corrupted, as all aboriginal names have been, into Mobile, now situated at the head of the bay of that name.

Becoming desperate in their misfortunes, the Spaniards made a ferocious attack on this town. A battle was fought, while both sides were nerved with a spirit of desperation, and, if we may give credit to the Portuguese narrative, 2,500 Indians were slain, suffocated, and burned. The Spaniards lost 18 men, while 150 were wounded with arrows, 12 horses killed and 150 injured, and all their baggage burned.

At the same time, ships sent from Cuba to their relief arrived in the Bay of Pensacola, but De Soto was too proud to acknowledge his failure. He had made no valuable discoveries, found no gold that might tempt to new adventures, and the fire at Mobile had consumed all the valuable curiosities they had gathered. While thousands of savages had perished by the barbarities of the spaniards, none had been converted to the Catholic faith. If he had not


been fired with insatiate cupidity, governed by the most indomitable pride, and influenced by the most egotistical ambition -- in short, if De Soto had not been a maniac -- he would have availed himself of this opportunity to return to Cuba, for he firmly believed without a shade of evidence that immeasurable stores of wealth, the dreamed-of laurels of victory, and the triumph of the Cross over the wilderness of paganism awaited him in the interior.

Below Mauvila were populous and hostile nations; but the country was a pine barren, and the people too poor to look there for gold. He turned his course northward, his followers now reduced by disease and battles to less than five hundred men. In a month he reached Chicaca, a town in the state of Mississippi, probably on the Yazoo. The winter was severe, snow tell, the Indian corn was not yet gathered, and the Spaniards found it difficult to obtain provisions. When the spring opened, De Soto, as was customary, demanded two hundred men to carry the burdens of the invading army. The Indians hesitated, and in the midst of the night set fire to their own village where the invaders lay encamped. Had the Chickasaw acted with more calmness and presence of mind, they might have obtained an easy victory and cut off their enemies at a single blow. Many of the horses broke loose and ran terrified through the forests; others were burned to death in their stalls; eleven of the Spaniards were burned or lost their lives in fighting; their clothing, saved from the flames at Mauvila, was consumed, and they were left naked and defenseless. Had the Chickasaw made a resolute onset, they might have destroyed the Spaniards; but in one week De Soto and his men had refurnished themselves with arms of their own manufacture and clothing from skins and mats, and were on their march westward. For seven days they had to summon all their power to struggle through forests and morasses, when they reached the Mississippi, which, as a correct translation of the aboriginal name, they called the "Rio Grande."

It was then described as half a French mile broad, with a strong muddy current, and bearing on its bosom trees and floating wood. They were guided to a customary crossing place, which was probably at the lower Chickasaw Bluff, near the city of Memphis, and about the thirty-fifth parallel of latitude. Here they were compelled to construct ferryboats to cross themselves and horses, which took a whole month. On the west side of the Great River they turned their course northward, until they reached the Indian town of Pa-ca-ha, where the adventurers remained forty days, from June 19 to July 29, 1541. An exploring party sent to examine the country reported unfavorably. They were intercepted by swamps and lakes in the southeastern part of Missouri. The most northern point reached in this direction was probably Little Prairie, below New Madrid. They were now among the Kaskaskia Indians.

From here De Soto and his companions turned a northwesterly course, and


reached the highlands on White River. Turning again northward they found themselves among the wandering Indians of the plains, with their mats and tents on the backs of their women. From here they may have reached the western part of Missouri, and perhaps the Indian territory. Turning again to tlie southwest, and passing through the province of Tula, they came to the town of Autiamque, from which it appears that they must have passed the winter on the Arkansas.

This province is represented as being very fertile, with a scattered but war-like population. Our travelers were harassed by ambuscades and isolated skirmishes until they reached the town of Autiamque. This town was on a fine plain, watered by wide flowing rivers, bordered on both sides by meadows that furnished excellent pasturage for their horses. It was deserted by its inhabitants, except a few whom they made prisoners. "The houses were well stored with maize, beans, nuts and plums." De Soto formed his encampment on an open space in the center of the village, surrounded it with palisades, and laid in ample provisions and fuel. It was the most comfortable winter they passed in the country.

The feelings and views of De Soto began to experience a great change. Disappointed in his hopes and in the objects of his ambition; having lost more than half of his men and a large number of his horses, by fighting and sickness; having discovered no gold, reaped no honors, and converted none of the Indians; his spirits, naturally buoyant, began to sink, and his iron constitution to give way. The want of interpreters and the treachery of the natives led him in continual errors of the country, the course of the rivers, the productions of the soil, and character of the people. With a contrite spirit, De Soto now repented he did not make use of his ships in the Bay of Pensacola and establish a colony there. Thus brooding over his adverse fortunes, he came to the determination to retrace his steps to the Rio Grande (Mississippi), construct boats, and proceed down that river to the gulf.

In the spring of 1542, he passed across the country to the Saline Springs of Washita, and down the valleys of that stream to its junction with Red River, in the province of Guachoya, and from thence he reached the Mississippi. Despairing of the acquisition of wealth and the passion for gold, and finding no glory in his conquests of savage wilderness, De Soto reluctantly abandoned his extravagant hopes and turned southward to find the Gulf of Mexico by land.

On inquiry of the natives, the distance to the ocean and the prospect of reaching it in that direction, he received the most disheartening accounts of vast swamps, impassable bayous, and impenetrable forests. Unwilling to rely on Indian testimony, he dispatched eight horsemen with a skillful leader, who in eight days made but thirty miles, and returned with hopeless prospects. The indomitable spirit of De Soto was quite broken down, and he sank into


a state of distressing melancholy. His men and horses were dying around him, his dreams of wealth, conquest, glory, and power faded away into the dark night, and his health was entirely prostrated. A fever attacked him, and his followers no longer regarded him as they had done, a superior being whom they were bound to obey. Forewarned of his end, he appointed for his successor as governor and captain general of the kingdom and province of Florida, Don Luis de Moscoso de Alvarado, and gave charge to him and his followers to continue the conquest of Florida for the crown of Spain, and convert its inhabitants to the Catholic faith. On the next day (May 21, 1542) he died, and to prevent the Indians from mutilating the body, as was their custom with their enemies, he was sunk in the river he had explored.

Bancroft eloquently says: "His soldiers pronounced his eulogy by grieving for their loss; the priests chanted over his body the first requiem ever heard on the waters of the Mississippi. To conceal his death, his body was wrapped in a mantle, and, in the stillness of midnight, was sunk in the middle of the stream. The adventurer of the Mississippi slept beneath its waters. He had crossed a large part of the continent in search of gold, and found nothing so remarkable as his burial place."

Moscoso, his successor, called a council to deliberate on the course to be taken, and requested from each one a written opinion. Juan de Anasco was for executing the plans of De Soto, and successfully urged a further exploration westward.

After various hostile encounters with the Indians of Naguatex (supposed to have been those of Natchitoches), they continued their march westward for more than one hundred French miles, when they heard from the Indians in that quarter tidings of Spaniards in the Far West. This was the expedition led by Friar Marco. Both parties wandered over the Great Plains, in contact with buffaloes and Indians in hunting camps. From the description of their manners and personal appearance, Moscoso must have been among the Comanche.

Three exploring groups were dispatched in different directions; they penetrated about one hundred French miles farther and found the country sterile and destitute of inhabitants. They came in sight of mountain ranges and forests, heard of the expedition of De Vaca, and of the walled towns and gold and silver, but being destitute of provisions and the prospect peculiarly disheartening, Moscoso resolved to return to the "Great River."

By forced marches, and after repeated hostile encounters with the Indians, they reached the Mississippi at the town of Aminoya. McCulloh, who did researches in examining both the Portuguese and Spanish narratives of this


expedition, has located this ancient village at Helena, a seat of justice of Phillips County, about thirty English miles above the mouth of Arkansas River. At this place, during the ensuing winter, they constructed seven brigantines. The natives were friendly, and supplied them with provisions.

In March, 1543, the Mississippi rose above its banks and inundated the country for many miles around, and it was two months before the waters subsided within their natural channel. In the meanwhile, neighboring tribes made hostile attacks. On July 2, the remnant of De Soto's army embarked in their brigantines to find their way to the ocean. Of the splendid expedition that started from Tampa Bay 4 years previous, only 322 broken-down and dispirited men and 8 horses sailed down the strong current of the Mississippi. These soon found themselves among hostile Indians, who attacked them from the shore and pursued them in canoes. Their horses perished, and many of their men were lost in these contests. They were eighteen days in reaching the gulf, and after many dangers and hardships, in storms and shipwrecks, not half the number who left Aminoya reached the harbor of Panuco, the present Tampico, in Mexico.

The ancient authorities in this ill-fated expedition are two works, differing somewhat in details and in proper names, but they corroborate each other in the principal facts. The first was written by a Portuguese born in Elvas, who was one of the survivors of the expedition. He claims to have been an eye witness of the events he narrates, and it is probable he wrote from memory, indeed his history is less exaggerated and more deserving of confidence than the other. It was first published in the Portuguese language in 1557.

An English translation was published by Hakluyt in 1609. There is an imperfect abridgment in Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. 4, [p.] 1528-1556.

The next authority, and the principal one employed by Theodore Irving, Esquire, in his "Conquest of Florida," is the more elaborate work in Spanish by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. He was a Peruvian by birth; his father was a Spanish adventurer of noble descent, and his mother was a sister of Huayna


Capac, the last of the renowned Incas. Hence he is called by historians the Inca. He went to Spain, became a resident of Cordova, a man of letters, and was held in high estimation as a historian. For this history his sources of information were, first, an old Spanish cavalier with whom he held long and confidential interviews, and questioned and cross-questioned him minutely as to persons, places, and transactions. This, however, was more than twenty years after the events. Besides the oral information of this cavalier, the Inca came into possession of two written documents or journals kept by two soldiers engaged in the expedition. These were incorporated, almost entire, by Herrera, the Spanish historian, in his discovery of America. Biedma's version is now referred to as more accessible than that of the Inca.

Our American historians who have given the substance, or an outline, of De Soto's expedition and its fate, are the following: In priority of time is the Honorable F. X. Martin, the historian of Louisiana, vol. 1, p. 9-13. Next is the distinguished and eloquent historian of the United States, George Bancroft, vol. 1, chap. 2, p. 36-60. Coeval with him, but apparently without knowledge of the labors of Bancroft, is the "Conquest of Florida," by Theodore Irving, Esquire, in two volumes, 12mo, published by Carey, Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1835. Mr. Irving, while at the court of Spain with his distinguished uncle, was led to complete this work by finding a copy of the work of De la Vega in Madrid. He follows the Inca, but previous to the publication of his work he examined the Portuguese work [of the gentleman of Elvas] and used it to make some corrections. Dr. J. W. Monette, in the "History of the Discovery and Settlement of the Mississippi," vol. 1, chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4, p. 1-64, has given the expedition of De Soto sufficiently in detail.

Shea's last work did not call for anything further than a brief sketch of De Soto as one of the discoverers and explorers of the "Great River" at a period previous to knowledge of it by the French of the Northwest.


Part 3.

We know not who first outraged Indian literature so grossly as to rechnsten the aboriginal name of Mississippi to the Father of Waters. If one of the old natives who first gave the sound that symbolized their mighty river to French ears could now hear it called the "Father of Waters," lie would express his disgust and indignation by an emphatic "Hugh," thereby showing his astonishment as well as his contempt. "Father of Waters" may sound poetic to refined ears, but the appellation is false in the highest degree.

There is not the least mystery about the meaning of the name of this river, which is regarded as a great natural wonder. The greenest student of the Algonquian language knows its meaning and how to translate it into English. "Sepe" or, in the French orthography "Sipi," means water and nothing else. It is used to express the generic idea of a river or lake, and is a common form in the Indian language. The prefix Messe or Missi forms a part of many Indian proper names; it means great. Thus Mississippi means "Great River" and nothing else, just as we heard from the Indians themselves.

Schoolcraft, the indisputable authority on this subject, says: "The name of this river is derived from the Algonquian language, one of the original tongues of our continent, which is now spoken nearly in its primitive purity by different bands of Chippewa; less so by the Knistinieaux and Ottawa; with great corruptions by the Foxes, Sauk, and Potowatomi, and some other tribes;and in various dialects by the five bands of Iroquois of New York. It is a compound of the words Missi, great, and Sepe, a river. The former is variously pronounced Missil or Michil, as in Michilimackinac; Michi, as in Michigan; Missu, as in Missouri; and Missi, as in Mississeneway and Mississippi. The variations do not seem to be greater than one would expect from an unwritten language."

Schoolcraft further says of the Chippewa: "They have no other word to express the highest degree of magnitude, either in a moral or physical sense, and it may be considered as synonymous not only with our word great, but also magnificent, supreme, stupendous, sublime, enormous, extensive, prodigious, ample, etc., etc." These words are not synonymous in our language, but there is only one term by which they can be translated into the Algonquian language, and that is used with the suffix Sepe for the designation of the "great river" of this Central Valley. Missouri and Mississippi have the same root meaning in the aboriginal language.

The Missouri River is written We-essouret on the original map of


quette, and Ou-missouri by Thevenot. The Indians of the Illinois called it Pekitanoui, or Muddy, and so it is written in the journal of Marquette.

Approximately a hundred years after the Spaniards in the South had abandoned the Lower Mississippi and had renounced their search for gold and for the Fountain of Youth, and had relinquished the conquest of Florida, the Frencli missionaries and traders of Canada heard from the northern Indians, through the name of Mississippi, of a "great river" far toward the west which they believed must flow into the Pacific. Captain James [Jacques] Cartier was the first Frenchman to explore the St. Lawrence River. With three small boats he sailed up the gulf three hundred leagues to a great and precipitous waterfall, where he built a fort and wintered. He and his men were well received by the natives, but scurvy broke out among them and twenty-five of his men died.

In 1600 Commander Chauvin traveled to Canada and returned with a rich cargo of pelts. The French government now turned its attention toward this part of the New World, and regarded it as a valuable conquest for the French crown. In 1603 Chauvin again sailed to Canada and continued trading for some years. Admiral Champlain established a colony here, founded the city of Quebec in 1608, and was made the governor general of the country. This is the first link in the chain of events that led to the exploration and settlement of the Mississippi Valley. Champlain was soon joined by a company of Minorite monks, a branch of the Franciscan order. He explored Lower Canada, the land of the Seneca in New York, and gave his name to the lake in the northeastern part of that state.

In 1616 a Franciscan named Le Caron penetrated the country of the Huron, and in 1634 the Franciscans invited the Jesuit missionaries to aid them in converting the aborigines to the Catholic faith. Two Jesuits erected a mission on Lake Huron and seven years later they met with the Indians in council at Sault Ste. Marie. It is noteworthy that the Jesuits deserved credit


for their explorations of the northern part of North America. They were the first to found a colony and mission on the coast of Maine; they thoroughly explored the Saguenay River and Lake St. John; and they were the first Europeans who journeyed overland from Quebec to Hudson Bay. One of them penetrated the wilderness of New York, and discovered and reported the salines near Syracuse.

These Jesuit missionaries were men of learning accustomed to making careful and correct observations; and while they pursued their calling as missionaries by converting the savages, they carefully recorded the events that transpired, the topography of the country, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants. These documents, in the form of letters, were sent to Europe and for a long period regularly issued from the press. These "Relations," as they are now called, are invaluable sources of historical research.

Professor Shea, in his late work, has shown that Sieur Nicolet was the first European who reached the waters of the Upper Mississippi, in 1639. Nicolet came to Canada in 1618 and was employed by the government for most of his subsequent life. He was distinguished as an exceptional peacemaker in the struggles between the hostile Indian tribes.

Canada was captured by the English in 1629, but it was again restored to the French crown in 1632. Thereupon, Nicolet was named interpreter and commissary of the colony. In 1639 [1634] he was sent on an expedition of exploration to Green Bay, beyond the Hurons, in the land of Quinipegon (Winnebago). There he met with 4,000 to 5,000 Indians in a council, and concluded a treaty of friendship and commerce. From there he ascended the Fox River to the portage, crossed to the Wisconsin River, and came within three days' journey of the sea. He mistook the Indian name Mississippi (Great Water) for the ocean. (Father Vimont records the information in his "Relations," 1639-40, p. 132-135.)

The news of a "Great Water" and of a river that led to it, as reported by Nicolet, aroused the attention of both missionaries and traders and inspired them to explore the New World and reach the Great Water, where unknown nations could be converted. The hope of reaching the Pacific Ocean by this route was a new and inspiring thought. Father Vimont exclaimed prophetically:


"Perhaps this voyage is of importance to us, who have such a meager knowledge of the Algonquian language."

Fathers Isaac Jogues and Charles Raymbault were sent to the Sault Ste. Marie in 1641, where they heard of the Sioux (Dakota) and of the Great River. But the war between the Iroquois and the Indians of the Northwest and their allies, the French, interrupted the exploration and compelled the missionaries and traders to retreat down the St. Lawrence River to the lower part of the province. This war raged for nearly twenty years, and had disastrous consequences for some of the mission stations. No traders or missionaries dared to go beyond Montreal.

The Indians were driven from all their towns, and six French missionaries were killed by the Iroquois. To give some idea of the barbarities that were perpetrated, we present the following brief description of scenes of horror at St. Joseph, the station among the Hurons in Michigan, near Mackinac.

Early in the morning of July 4, 1648, while the Christian Indians were celebrating early Mass, they heard the war cries of their enemies, the Iroquois. The Jesuit Father F. Antoine Daniel was conducting religious services in the church. Most of the Huron warriors were absent. The Iroquois rushed into the center of the town, set fire to the cabins, and murdered all, regardless of sex or age.

The unbaptized Hurons hurried into the church and begged Father Daniel to prepare them for death. He prayed, dipped a towel into water, and performed the ceremony in utmost haste. Now the Iroquois broke through the palisades which enclosed the church. The old men fought with desperate courage to defend women and children. The heroic missionary urged the Hurons to flee for their lives; some escaped; others urged him to save his own life. But he knew that some Hurons lay sick in their cabins and could neither flee nor come to him in the church, and he went and baptized them while the destruction of the village was going on. Then he returned to the church and gave absolution to all who asked for it, after which he stood ready to receive the death blow. The Iroquois saw the priest standing motionless before the altar and were amazed at his calm and lack of fear. He stood there unarmed, but he raised a mighty cry, exhorting the Iroquois to repent of the terrible crimes they were committing by murdering unarmed and unoffending Christians, or God would punish them in hell! But one of them, bolder than the rest, rushed at him with a spear, pierced his breast, and the unfortunate man fell at his feet! Instantly, a number of Iroquois warriors


danced on his body and bathed their hands in his blood. In their frenzied hatred, they mutilated the body, and, after plundering the church, reduced it to ashes. The body of the priest, and those of many of his followers, were burned within its walls.

The Hurons were inconsolable at the death of Father Daniel, whom they loved. Seven hundred men, women, and children perished in this massacre. Those who escaped went to Ste. Marie (the Sault), which now became a kind of metropolis for the Hurons, and the St. Joseph mission was never renewed.

Ten years after this blood bath (1658), Des Groseilliers and another Frenchman made their way to Lake Superior, where they wintered. They heard from the fugitive Hurons more definite accounts of the "Great River," which they had seen while fleeing from the fierce Iroquois, and which they described as large, broad, and deep, like the St. Lawrence River. Jesuit missionaries in New York saw war parties of Iroquois depart to attack a nation on a river named "Beautiful" (La Belle), which they described. This is the first intimation of the Ohio River given by Europeans.

Father Menard, who also had been among the Hurons, commenced a mission in 1660 on the rocky, pine-clad shores of Lake Superior, but in 1664 he perished in the Michigan wilderness. He too had heard of the "Great River" and had resolved to reach its shores.

Part 4.

A recent publication that has attracted some attention and came from the archives of the diocese of Quebec has given an account of missions, the names of missionaries, and explorations into the Illinois country from 1653 to 1673, the contents of which are a tissue of errors and mistakes. This publication is from a manuscript register, in two volumes quarto, compiled by F. X. Noiseux, vicar general of Quebec. It purports to be a register of the names of the various priests and missionaries in Canada and the Northwest from 1611 to 1628.

The compilers of these documents may have been influenced by pure motives, but it is certain they made great mistakes in names, dates, and localities. No Jesuit or other missionary ever entered the Illinois country until Marquette made his exploration of the Mississippi in 1673. [Jacques] Viger of Montreal, in a pamphlet which is on our table, and Professor J. G. Shea have fully and faithfully censured the mistakes of the Noiseux records.


Father Allouez was the successor of Father Menard at the mission on Lake Superior. He heard and reported many particulars of the Great River, and is the first writer to give its aboriginal name, as he writes it, Mes-sipi. He also gives some account of the nations of "Ilimouck" (Illinois), and "Naudouessiouak" (Sioux). He conjectured that the "Messipi" entered the sea by Virginia. Father Claude Dablon was appointed superior of the mission to the Ottawa in 1668, and under his superintendence, an exploration of the Great River and a mission to the Illinois was determined on, and Father Marquette named as the agent. With this object in view, he commenced the study of the dialect of the Illinois. From an Indian who assisted him, he learned more definitely the course of the river, and also gained some knowledge of the Missouri River. At the same time they re-established the mission at the Sault Ste. Marie. In 1670, [Jean] Talon, the intendant, sent Nicolas Perrot on a voyage of discovery and exploration to Lake Michigan. He reached Chicago the same season, and was the first European who touched the soil of Illinois or saw its beautiful prairies.

The same year. Father Allouez, who had spent the preceding winter among the Sauk, Foxes, Potawatomi, Menominee, and Winnebago at Green Bay, in April ascended Fox River to Winnebago Lake, and passed through that to another river which issued from a Wild Cat Lake. He continued his explorations until he reached the town of "Mascoutench" (Mascouten), whose inhabitants he denominates Fire Indians. The name, however, signified prairie in French, or meadow in English, and the mistake may have occurred from imperfect knowledge of their language, or from incorrect interpretation from the fires on the prairies. He describes the river as a beautiful one, running southwest, without any rapids, and only six days' journey from the Great River, which he calls "Messipi."

Another war broke out between the Sioux and Hurons and Ottawa. The latter had been supplied with firearms, but they sustained a sore defeat by the superior cunning and prowess of their ancient enemy, the Sioux. The missions at Lake Superior were again broken up, and Marquette and his fugitive flock were obliged to retreat to Mackinac. Dablon published the


"Relations" of 1670-71 with a rude map of Lake Superior; and in his description he refers to the Mississippi as follows:

"To the south flows the great river, which the Indians call the Mississippi, and which can have its mouth only in the Florida sea . . . . Some Indians assured us that this river is so beautiful that more than three hundred leagues from its mouth it is larger than that which flows by Quebec, as they make it more than a league wide. They say, moreover, that all this vast extent of country is nothing but a prairie without trees or woods, which obliges the inhabitants of those parts to use turf and sun-dried dung for fuel, till you come about twenty leagues from the sea. There the forests begin to appear again." (Relations, 1670-71).

It now appears that the course of the Mississippi southward to the Mexican gulf, its prominent features, and the character and general aspect of the country along its banks were well known to the French missionaries and traders before the present exploration was actually attempted. Among the traders who had learned the course of the river and penetrated the country near to its waters was M. Jolliet, a secular of the Jesuit order.

M. Talon, about to return to France, recommended Jolliet to the new governor, Frontenac, as the leader of the exploring party on the Great River. In this projected enterprise there was nothing rash or imprudent. It was the result of a patient gathering of facts and of thorough investigation. Father Marquette had long waited for the opportunity, with burning zeal and untiring patience. Whatever of despotism belonged to the Society of Jesus, of which he was a devoted member, or of superstition and idolatry in the devout adoration he paid to the Blessed Virgin, as Protestants maintain, Marquette was certainly a disinterested Christian philanthropist. Few men in any age have exhibited more self-denial and enduring fortitude. His voluntary privations and arduous labors for what he regarded as the spiritual well being of the rude savages command our complete admiration and respect.

Of M. Jolliet, we know not the place of his birth. The first we hear of him is at the Jesuit college at Quebec, where he was educated, and being connected with that order, might have been intended for the priesthood. Professor Shea thinks he was an assistant in the college. Later, we find him engaged in the fur trade in the Northwest.

He was on friendly terms with the missionaries, and he had energy, prudence, experience, and knowledge of the Indians, which induced Talon to recommend and Frontenac to appoint him to the responsible station of the


leader in the exploring expedition to the Great River. After his return he lost all his papers, including his journal on the voyage of discovery, by upsetting his canoe in the rapids above Montreal. He made a verbal report to the government, which he later reduced to writing, with a map drawn from his recollection. These documents he transmitted to France, where, we should infer, he had enemies, or, at least, ambitious rivals, for his papers remained unpublished, and he was thrown aside by other adventurers. The island called Anticosti in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was granted him, and there he built a fort, a dwelling for his family, and storehouses for his trade. This was an inhospitable region, and we have reason to think he derived little profits from the royal bounty. In 1689 we find him there in the employment of government, rendering important services in the country on the lakes. In 1693 [1690?] the island was captured by the English, and he, his wife, and her mother fell into the hands of the British Admiral [William] Phips. His property was an entire loss, but he gained his liberty when the British retired from Quebec. Only a few traces can be found of his later history.

Part 5. The Voyage of Jolliet and Marquette.

The winter of 1672-73 was spent by Marquette at the mission station of St. Ignace, in the vicinity of Mackinac, where he reviewed and re-examined all that had been previously learned by the missionaries from the Indians of the Great River and the tribes on its borders. He had the aid of Indians who had been over that country, and he drew a map of the course of the river and its tributary streams.

All this, we know, is quite contrary to the romantic notions generally entertained. Unlike the Spaniards, who ran mad with excitement and dreamed only of gold and glory in their wild attempt of the "conquest of Florida," these French missionaries and traders had common sense and applied it to their projected enterprise.

The facts recorded of this expedition and those gleaned from written and printed documents within a few years past are now before the public. We are much indebted to the careful researches of Drs. Sparks and Bancroft, and more recently to Professor Shea, for placing this subject in the light of truthful history.

While Marquette was studying the Algonquian language, of which he learned six dialects, to qualify him to instruct the nations he expected to discover, Jolliet was engaged in selecting voyageurs and preparing their outfit.


In the spring of 1673, the little party under the command of Sieur Jolliet, with priest Marquette and five Frenchmen, left Mackinac in two bark canoes on the perilous expedition. They went as far as Green Bay, the last village on Fox River. Here they rested for the night, and obtained two Indians as guides, who, however, deserted them before they reached the Mississippi. On June 10 they crossed the portage to the Wisconsin, carrying their canoes and luggage on their backs. Down that river, between alternate cliffs and prairies, they proceeded seven days, when with inexpressible joy the first Europeans finally entered that part of the Great River.

They saw no inhabitants on their route until they had proceeded down the current 315 miles. They were now at the Lower Rapids, near Keokuk. Here they first saw the footprints of men on the western shore. Leaving the canoes in the care of their companions, Jolliet and Marquette walked six miles across the country to another river, where they found three Indian villages. The principal one was called Peouarea.

The name of this river, as given by Shea, in the journal of Marquette, was Mo-ing-we-na, and in that published by Thevenot (1681), Mou-ing-we-na, and subsequently, by explorers, Mon-in-gon-na. It has finally been corrupted into Des Moines.

The natives announced themselves as "Illinois," that is, "real men," and doubtless, from the name of their principal village, were of the Peoria tribe.

The travelers were received with tokens of friendship; the sacred calumet (the great Indian pipe), symbol of peace, decorated with brilliant plumes, was borne by four old men, who advanced with measured pace to greet the strangers and bid them welcome. These were the first aborigines they had seen since leaving the waters of the St. Lawrence, and their friendly reception was cheering. They were guided to the cabin of an aged chief, who on their entrance with upraised hands, exclaimed, "How beautiful is the sun. French-men, when you come to visit us! Our whole village awaits you; enter all our dwellings in peace."

The missionary called a grand council, in which he published the one only true God, their creator, and his son, Jesus Christ, their savior. He spoke of the great captain of the French, the governor of Canada, who had chastized (as he stated) the Five Nations, the enemies of the Illinois, and commanded peace. He propounded questions respecting the Great River they wanted to descend, and the tribes on its borders. They told him of overhanging cliffs,which would fall on them, of the monster that devoured men, of eddies


and whirlpools; and if they persisted in their downward course, they never would return; and urged the priest to stay with their nation and teach them how to worsllip the true God. Marquette responded that they feared no monsters, not even death; that they must go onward, for the Great Spirit whom they worshipped would protect them, and that in a few moons they would return and give them beautiful goods for skins, and he would then teach them the way of salvation.

For these messengers of peace who brought tidings of the conquest of their ancient enemies, the Iroquois (a pious fiction), a magnificent feast was provided of hominy, fish, choice game from the prairies; also not lacking were the luscious buffalo roast and the indispensable dog, the climax of Indian hospitality on festival occasions. They tarried six days with these friendly savages, when they were escorted to their canoes by hundreds of warriors, painted and bedizened in the most approved Indian fashion. The largest calumet in the countryside, decorated with the head and neck of a beautiful bird and feathered over with plumage of various hues, was hung around Marquette, as the sacred and mysterious arbiter of peace and a perfect safeguard among the nations on the Great River.

They passed the mouth of the Illinois and guided their canoes under the perpendicular cliffs, where, freshly painted, was the monster Piasa -- half bird, half beast -- that the friendly Indians had told them would devour all who passed without paying their adorations, and appeasing his vengeance by their choicest gifts. Marquette thus describes the two figures of this monster, the rude outlines [of which] we have seen on the perpendicular rocks a short distance above Alton city:

"As we coasted along rocks frightful for their height and length, we saw two monsters painted on one, of these rocks, which startled us at first, and on which the boldest Indians dare not gaze long. They are as large as a calf, with horns like a deer, a fearful look, red eyes, bearded like a tiger, the face somewhat like a man's, the body covered with scales, and the tail so long that it twice makes the turn of the body, passing over the head and down between the legs, and ending at last in the tail of a fish. Green, red, and a kind of black, are the colors employed["] (Shea, p. 39). A sketch was taken, most likely by Jolliet, and lost with his other papers.


Major Stoddard says in his historical sketches of Louisiana, p. 17: "The painted monsters, on the side of a high perpendicular rock, apparently inaccessible to man, between the Missouri and Illinois, and known to the moderns by the name of Piesa [sic] still remain (1805) in a good state of preservation." The cliff has been recently excavated, previous to which the paintings were nearly obliterated by time.

While rowing their canoes down the smooth gentle current, four miles below the pictured monsters, they were alarmed by the noise of the water like a rapid, and perceived "a mass of large trees, with branches entire, resembling floating islands, rushing into the Great River from the Pe-ki-tan-oui so impetuously that they could not expose themselves to pass across without great danger." This is an accurate description of the Missouri, when in a high June flood, its muddy waters, descending from the Rocky Mountains, rush across the channel of the Mississippi to its eastern shore. We have seen it covered with huge trees and other drift, foaming, boiling and tearing away the mineral bottom on the left bank of the Great River. Before they reached the mouth of the Ohio, they passed a place much dreaded by the Indians, because, as they think, a "manito" (spirit), is hidden there -- a demon who devours all who pass. This was about the Grand Tower and the Devil's Oven, places well known to all our boatmen. Marquette describes the place as "a small bay, full of rocks, some twenty feet high, where the whole current of the river is whirled; hurled back against that which follows; and, checked by a neighboring island, the mass of water is forced through a narrow channel."

They soon reached the mouth of the "Ouboukigou" (Onabache), as the Ohio was called by the French voyageurs until 1720. They had now reached the country of canebrakes, where they were tormented day and night with mosquitoes. They also saw on the left many Indians armed with guns, to whom the missionary extended his feathered calumet but received no corresponding sign. He then hailed them in the Huron language, but obtained no answer, and expected a hostile attack. Soon, however, the Indians made signs for the canoes to land, and held out food as a sign of welcome. The party responded and entered their cabins, where they were hospitably regaled with roast buffalo, bear's oil, and wild plums.


They were probably Shawnee, for they had guns, axes, hoes, knives, beads, and glass bottles in which they kept their powder; and pointed eastward when asked from whence these articles were obtained.

Proceeding on down the Mississippi, they lost sight of the prairies, and found the river lined on both sides with lofty timber. Cottonwood, elm, poplar, and cypress then, as now, grew on its banks.

A little below latitude 33° north, as they estimated (but in reality about 35°, for all their estimates of latitude and distances on the river are incorrect) they came to a village of "Michigamea," who exhibited a hostile attitude and threatened to attack the canoes. Marquette displayed the calumet for some time before hostile demonstrations ceased, and they were invited on shore. The name indicates these Indians as belonging to the Illinois tribe, but there was only one old man who knew a little of the dialect of the Illinois and could hence converse with the missionary. The Michigamea tribe was in the vicinity, and gave the name to Lake Michigan, and spoke a dialect of the Algonquian tongue. But in pronunciation, rather than in etymology, these dialects differed, so as to prove a handicap to intercourse among the tribes of Illinois. It is possible that in preceding generations, a branch of that tribe might have wandered down the Mississippi, as a band of the Kaskaskia Indians (Casquins) was in contact with De Soto at Little Prairie, below New Madrid. (Irving's Conquest of Florida, vol. II, p. 121.)

The Michigamea Indians were armed with bows, arrows, tomahawks, war clubs, and bucklers. They gave the explorers hominy and fish, and told them of another great village a few leagues below called Akamsea. They embarked next morning, with the old man for an interpreter; ten Indians having preceded them in a canoe. Halt a league from the village they were met by two canoes and a chief who held up the calumet as the strangers approached and invited them to smoke out of it as a token of friendship. They were cordially received at their landing, and preparations made for a great council, and a grand feast. A mat made of rushes was spread on the ground, on which all were seated. A young man was in the village who spoke Illinois and made a good interpreter. The missionary told them of God, and the mysteries of his faith. They desired to keep him as their instructor. During the council


the Indians brought plentiful supplies of hominy, Indian corn, dog's flesh, and watermelons, and the day was spent in feasting. It was here that Jolliet and Marquette, after due consultation about continuing their journey, satisfied themselves that the Great River, as they had previously supposed, ended in the Florida Gulf, and that by continuing their course farther, they [would] run the risk of failure in securing what they had discovered. They wisely resolved on returning.

We find no data to determine with absolute certainty the site of the "Akamsea" village. It was certainly above the mouths of the White and Arkansas rivers. From all the information we can gather, we place it in the vicinity of Helena, the county seat of Phillips County, where were recently found the marks of a large Indian town.

On July 17, they turned their canoes northward, and had no small difficulty in stemming the strong current as they ascended the river. Arriving at the mouth of the Illinois, the party went by that river, and crossed the portage to the Lake of Illinois, as Michigan was then called. The journalist [Marquette] says: "We had seen nothing like this river for the fertility of the land, its prairies, woods. We saw wild cattle, stags, deer, wildcats, bustards, swans, ducks, parrots, and even beaver."

On the Illinois River they found an Indian village of seventy-four cabins, called "Kaskaskia." This village subsequently became the site of a mission, first under Marquette, then under his successor. Father Allouez, and was the first spot settled by the French in Illinois, in 1678, when it became a trading post. Frenchmen married Indian wives, and the elements of civilization first germinated here. This town was on the right bank of the Illinois River, between the termination of the canal at La Salle and Ottawa, in the vicinity of Rockport. In 1677, it contained 351 Indian cabins, which would average 4 families to a cabin, making the population about 6,000. The Kaskaskia with which our readers are conversant, on the river of that name sixty miles south of St. Louis, though named for the same tribe of Indians, is another town, and [was] made a mission and trading post some ten or twelve years later.

Jolliet and Marquette were escorted from the Indian town up the Illinois


and Des Plaines rivers and across the portage to [the] Chicago by one of the chiefs and a number of young braves, whence they returned to Lake Michigan and Green Bay, where their journey of exploration ended near the close of September.

Dr. Sparks, in his life of Marquette, has estimated the distance these men passed in their bark canoes in less than six months to have been 2,767 English miles.


Chapter 35. Alton and the Bluffs.

Balustrade Bluffs.

This remarkable chain of rocks starts at Alton and stretches upstream for a distance of thirteen miles to the mouth of the Illinois. The rocks which extend for two miles immediately above Alton have been given the name Balustrade because of their regular contour. A section represented in our accompanying illustration [Plate 59] is called "the grand staircase," and actually, on close examination, it does have the appearance of a gigantic ruined staircase. The height of this chain of rocks is eighty to one hundred feet above the surface of the river. The rock mass itself is composed of limestone covered here and there with sandstone. In some places this limestone is light blue in color, which serves to heighten the effect of the strange form. It is hard to explain how the water could wear down the rocks to their present shape, but apparently no force other than the atmosphere has worked on them. The traveler who passes by has difficulty distinguishing this work of nature from a work of art.

Besides the cave described in an earlier number, several small caves are also found in this rocky range. The Piasa Rock is on the small stream which discharges into the river at the foot of the staircase.

Almost exactly opposite is situated the small French village of


Portage des Sioux, Missouri.

This old French village is located a few miles below Alton, a short distance east of the riverbank, on the large, beautiful Mammelle Prairie, which forms a point at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri. The place itself has no importance and is of some interest only because of its age. It was originally a settlement of immigrants from Cahokia, and was founded half a century ago. It has a population of about eight hundred souls. The village owes its name to the cunning of a band of Sioux who were engaged in a campaign against the Missouri Indians. The legend goes as follows: Once when the Sioux were carrying on a war with a tribe of the Missouri, a company of them descended the Upper Mississippi on a marauding expedition. The Missouri, who learned of the intention, lay in ambush in the forests and at the mouth of the Missouri River, intending to pounce upon the enemy as soon as they rounded the point in their canoes on the way upstream. In the meantime the Sioux, guided by the natural cunning of the Indians, feared just such a maneuver. Hence, instead of proceeding as far as the confluence of the rivers, they landed at the portage, concealed their canoes on the banks of the stream, and hastened diagonally across the prairie to the Indian village a few miles up the Missouri River. By means of this stratagem, they accomplished their purpose and had successfully returned to their canoes, laden with booty, long before the Missouri, who steadfastly expected their arrival, learned of it.

Alton, Illinois.

Our next illustration [Plate 60] concerns the flourishing city of ALTON, ILLINOIS.

This is an incorporated city on the east shore of the Mississippi in Illinois, and it has been maintained that, so far as commerce is concerned, it can compete with any other in the state. The city is situated two and a half English miles above the mouth of the Missouri and eighteen miles below the mouth of the Illinois, at a place where the business and commerce of the extensive regions of the Northeast, the North, and the Northwest form an important center.


Lower Alton has the best steamboat landing on the east side of the river, consisting of a flat rock of the right height, which forms a natural wharf. The rapid development of the city of Alton from its original condition to its present prosperous state is not easily matched in enterprising Western America. Commerce, which now produces such profits, was first established in 1831. Until 1832 the city consisted only of a few houses and a steam mill. In that year, also, a penitentiary was established. After that Alton grew rapidly and many fine buildings were erected. The city has wide, attractive streets, several excellent houses of worship, and numerous mercantile establishments which do an extensive business. It is also surrounded for several miles by dense and heavy timber, which provides much lumber for building. There is an abundance of bituminous coal a short distance from the city. Inexhaustible limestone deposits for building are found in the vicinity, and are easily quarried. A kind of freestone, which is easily worked and is fittingly used for imposing edifices, and a particular kind of lime that is used for water cement also abound in the vicinity. The corporate limits extend two English miles along the river and half a mile inland. The plat of the city was laid off by its proprietors in generous style. Beautiful squares have been reserved for public purposes. A large piece of land was set aside along the river for a public landing and promenade. For several years Alton grew really amazingly. No place in the West had more attraction for settlers who were craftsmen and businessmen of all kinds. As a result of the great influx, this commercial city had a superfluity of businesses and precisely for that reason commerce suffered a great setback; now, however, it is again flourishing. In 1837 there was a riot here, brought about by the Reverend [Elijah] Lovejoy, who published a periodical of religious opinion. His press was attacked one night by a band of armed men, but the workers answered with musket fire from within the building, and both sides fired at each other tor several hours. The alarm was sounded and all the inhabitants were terrified. After several people were killed in the fray, at last Mr. Lovejoy also fell, pierced by five bullets, and with that the matter ended.


Chapter 36. The Missouri River.

Plate 61. The Mouth of the Missouri River.

THE MISSOURI rises in mountainous regions and has a strong current of about four English miles an hour. It is very muddy and marshy, and easily overflows its banks. The strong current makes navigation upstream, even with steamboats, very difficult. This is not the sole problem, for in addition the rapid flow of the river constantly creates sand bars. These are characteristic of all Western streams, except for the Des Moines and Rock rivers, which have rocky shores. Besides the fact that the sand accumulates and often shifts, this circumstance causes the river to be filled with snags and sawyers. Actually, these are one and the same -- namely a piece of driftwood, half buried in the sand, that may stick up and reach the surface of the water, exposing a point on which boats are wrecked. The variant names arise out of the differing positions in which the snags and sawyers are stuck fast. The original name of this great river was Pekitanoui. The confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi affords one of the fairest prospects of the Western valleys [Plate 61]. Twenty miles above this point [St. Louis?] the river divides into two branches; on one shore it has white, clayey, and cloudy water, and on the other the color is dark blue. The river washes the banks of Bloody Island in two separate streams, which extend for fifteen miles beyond St. Louis. Even several miles downstream the two kinds of water are not mixed. When, at intervals, the mighty mass rolls on and great eddies and floods of turbid water are dashed about on its surface, it presents an aspect not unlike the sea, darkened by clouds and tossed about on a stormy day.

Charlevoix, the historian of the first French expedition in North America a century ago, says of this gigantic confluence:

"In my opinion this is the most beautiful meeting of streams in the world.


Both rivers have approximately the same width, about half a mile. But the Missouri is by far the most rapid and seems to enter the Mississippi like a conqueror, hurling its white waves against the opposite bank without mingling them. Farther downriver it imparts to the Mississippi its hue, which persists until the stream reaches the ocean." This report did not entirely agree with our own opinion of the confluence, at least not as we observed it. Indeed the Missouri does roll its flood across the quiet surface of its rival with the force and in the manner of a conqueror. But since it flows in at a right angle, its waters meet great resistance along the full length of the current, and for an instant it is rolled back by the moving power of the other flood. This explains the light, muddy color which extends from shore to shore through the mouth, is bordered by the dark blue of the Upper Mississippi, and gradually in a long dark strip, like a fringe, spends itself on the western bank. The width of the mouth is about one English mile, and the channel lies approximately in the center between large sandbanks laid down by the water. The alluvium, which is considerable, also accumulates near the confluence, forming numerous islands, while the streams spread out in a limitless sea. As the steamboat glides downstream among these islands opposite the Missouri, a scene unfolds which is ineffably grand and beautiful. On a high bluff which commands a wide view over the stream stands a structure marking the military post of Bellefontaine which once was located here, while on the other side, from a heavily wooded point, the great and beautiful Mammelle Prairie is spread out before one's eyes. Along the Illinois shore, just across from the confluence of the two rivers, extends a chain of hills from whose summit, like a painting, one of the most incomparable panoramas on earth meets the eye.

As noted earlier, the Mississippi is a clear, sparkling, and beautiful stream above its union with its turbid tributary. Shedding its bright luster over the white sand bars, and then withdrawing into the deep bays along its shadowy banks, it spreads its quiet waters in a lakelike basin which is dotted with fair islands for miles around.

Approximately across from the confluence, on the Illinois side, is the Wood River. It rises in Macoupin County and, flowing through that and Madison counties, discharges into the Mississippi. In 1814 a fort stood on the banks of this stream about four miles from the mouth. At that time a farm settlement


of eight to ten families was found at the forks of the river. It is said that the post road from Alton to Vandalia now passes this place, while at that time it could be reached only by a trail which led through a dense forest.

In 1814 this place was the scene of an outrage perpetrated by Indians under revolting circumstances against Mrs. Reagan and her two children. This was the last occurrence of such a nature in the state of Illinois. Eight miles below Wood River, on the same side, is the little village of Madison, and seven miles farther downstream, in St. Clair County and across from the region north of St. Louis, is the town of Brooklyn.

In his history of the West, Mr. Flint gives the following description of this [the Missouri] river, probably the best ever composed up to now:

["]This river is the largest tributary of the Mississippi, bringing down more water than the Upper Mississippi itself. In fact, it is a longer river than the Mississippi from its farthest source to the Mexican gulf. There are many circumstances which render it one of the most interesting rivers; and it is clearly the longest tributary stream on the globe. Many have thought that from its length, the amount of its waters, and the circumstance of its communicating its own character in many respects to the Mississippi below the junction, it ought to have been considered the main river and to have continued to bear its own name to the sea. In opposition to this claim, we remark that the valley of the Missouri seems, in the grand scale of conformation, to be secondary to the Mississippi. The Missouri has not the general direction of that river, which it joins nearly at right angles. The valley of the Mississippi is wider than that of the Missouri, and the river is broader than the latter. The course of the river and the direction of the valley are the same above and below the junction with the Missouri. From these and many other considerations, the ‘Father of Waters’ seems entitled to the name which it has borne for so long.

"The prodigious length of the Missouri's course, its uncommon turbidness, its impetuous and wild character, and the singular nature of the country through which it runs impart to this river an impressive grandeur. We have never crossed it without experiencing a feeling of that sort; nor without experiencing an almost laborious effort of the imagination to trace its immense course through its distant regions to the lonely and stupendous mountains from which it springs.


["]It rises in the Rocky Mountains, nearly [in the same] parallel with the Mississippi. The most authentic information we now have of [the sources of] this mighty river is from its first intrepid American discoverers, Lewis and dark. What may properly be called the Missouri seems to be formed by three considerable branches, which unite not far from the bases of the principal ranges of the Rocky Mountains. To the northern they gave the name of Jefferson, to the middle, Gallatin, and to the southern, Madison. Each of these branches forks again into a number of small mountain streams. The source is but a short distance from some of the headwaters of the Columbia which rise on the other side of the mountains and flow into the Pacific Ocean. A person may drink from the spring sources of each without traveling more than one English mile. After this junction, the [Missouri] river continues for a considerable distance to be a foaming mountain torrent. It then spreads into a broad, comparatively lovely stream full of islands. Precipitous peaks of blackish rock frown above the river in perpendicular elevations of a thousand feet. The mountains whose bases it sweeps are covered with turpentine trees, such as pines, cedars, and firs; and mountain sheep are seen bounding on their summits, where they are apparently inaccessible. In this distance the mountains have an aspect of inexpressible loneliness and grandeur.

["]From here on, the river becomes almost a continuous cataract for about 17 English miles. In this distance its descent is 362 feet. The first fall is 98 feet; the second, 19; the third, 47; the fourth, 26. It continues rapid for a long distance beyond. Not far below these falls, Marias River enters from the north. This is also a considerable stream. Still farther down, on the opposite side, the following streams enter: Dearborn and Fancy, each about 150 yards wide, the Manoles, 100 yards, Big Horn, 100, Muscle Shell, 100, Big Dry, 400, Dry, 100, Porcupine, 112; all these enter from the south side.


Below these enters the Roche Jaune or Yellowstone, probably the largest tributary of the Missouri. It rises in the same range of mountains as the main river, and has many points of resemblance to it. It enters from the south by a mouth 850 yards wide. It is broad and deep and has a rapid current, and at its junction it appears to be the larger of the two streams. Its course is commonly calculated at 1,600 English miles. But the sizes and lengths of all these tributaries are probably overrated. Its shores, for a long distance above its entrance, are heavily timbered, and its landings are wide and of the most fertile soil. Its entrance is deemed to be 1,880 English miles above the mouth of the Missouri; and this point was selected by the government as an eligible situation for a military post and an extensive settlement. White bears, elk, and mountain sheep are the principal animals seen along this part of the river.

["]At the point of junction with the Yellowstone, the Missouri has wide and fine bottoms. Unfortunately its banks are for the most part destitute of timber, and this for a long series of years will prevent its capacity for habitancy. The White Earth River, entering from the north, is a small stream. Goose River, 300 yards wide, comes in from the south side. Little Missouri is shallow and rapid, and is about 130 yards wide. Knife River comes in from the south side, just above the Mandan villages. Winnipenhu, south side. Sewarserna, south side. Chienne [Cheyenne] is represented to be beatable for 800 miles, and enters from the south side by a mouth 400 yards wide. Tyber's [Tylors] River. White River on the south side, boatable 600 miles, is a very beautiful stream, and has a mouth 300 yards wide. Ponca, south side. Qui Courre, a fine stream with a short course, south side. Riviere a Jaque [James] a noted resort for traders and trappers. White Stone, Big Sioux, and Floyd River. The Platte enters from the south and has a longer course than any other river of the Missouri. It rises in the same range of mountains with the parent stream, and measured by its meanders is supposed to have a course of 2,000 English miles before it joins that river. It is nearly a mile in width at its entrance, but is, as its name imports, shallow, very gentle, and not boatable except at a high stage of water. Nodowa[y], north


side. Little Platte, north side. Kansas is a very large tributary from the south, has a course of about 1,200 miles, and is boatable most of the distance. Blue Water [Blue River] and two or three small streams come in on the south side. Grand River is a large, long, and deep stream, boatable for a great distance, and joins the Missouri on the north side. The two Charitons come in on the same side. The Lamine enters on the south side. [Petite] Bonne Femme and Manitou [Moniteau] enter on the north side, and Salt River on the south.

["]The Osage, which enters from the south side, is a large, important tributary of the Missouri, boatable 600 miles, and interlocks with the water of the Arkansas. Three or four inconsiderable streams enter on the opposite side, as Miry [Auxvasse], Otter [Loutre], and Cedar rivers. On the south side enters the Gasconade, boatable for sixty-six miles, and is important for having on its banks extensive pine forests from which the great supply of plank and timber is brought on it to St. Charles and St. Louis. On the south side, below the Gasconade, are a number of inconsiderable rivers, as Buffalo [Boeuf Creek], St. John's, Wood River, and Bonhomme, etc., and on the other side, the Charette, Femme Osage, and one or two small branches, before it precipitates itself into the Mississippi.

["]The bottoms of this river have a character distinguishable from those of the Upper Mississippi. They are higher, not so wet, more sandy, with trees which are not so large, but taller and straighter. Its alluviums are somewhat narrower; that is to say, they have for the first five hundred miles a medial width of something more than four English miles. Its bluffs, like those of the other river, are generally limestone, but not so perpendicular, and have more tendency to run into rounded forms. The bottoms abound with deer, wild turkeys, and small fowl. The river seldom overflows any part of its banks in this distance. It is little inclined to be swampy. There are fewer lakes, bayous, and small ponds [than] along the Mississippi. Within the first four hundred miles of its course, prairies are scarce along the [Missouri] river; in contrast, the banks are heavily timbered, and yet from the softness of the wood, easily cleared. The water, though uncommonly turbid with a whitish earth, soon and easily settles, and is then remarkably clear, pleasant, and healthy for use. The river is so rapid and sweeping in its course, and its bed has such masses of sand, that its sand bars are continually shifting. A chart of the river, as it runs this year, gives no ground for calculation in navigating it the next. It has numerous islands, and ships generally find it difficult to


avoid them. Still more than the Mississippi below its mouth, it tears up in one place in order to deposit in another; and makes more powerful and frequent changes in its channel than any other Western river.

["]Its bottoms are settled for a distance of four hundred miles above its mouth. Chariton [Missouri] is a compact settlement. But the most populous settlement is that called Boone's Lick. Indeed, there are American settlers here and there on the bottoms above the Platte, and even far beyond the limits of the state of Missouri. Above the Platte the open and prairie character of the country begins to develop. The prairies come quite in to the banks of the river, and stretch from it indefinitely in naked grass plains, where the traveler may wander for days without seeing either wood or water. The ‘Council Bluffs,’ an important military station, lies about six hundred miles up the Missouri. Beyond this point commences a country of interest for its grandeur and for many other reasons, which to distinguish it is called the Upper Missouri. The country is composed of vast and almost boundless grass plains through which the Platte, the Yellowstone, and the other rivers of this ocean of grass take their course. The savages of this region have a peculiar physiognomy and mode of life. There are also new classes of plants. It is the home of buffaloes, elk, white bears, antelopes, and mountain sheep. Sometimes the river washes the bases of the dark hill of a friable and crumbling soil. Here are found, as Lewis and dark and other respectable travelers relate, large and singular petrifactions, both animal and vegetable. On the top of one of these hills they found the petrified skeleton of a huge fish, forty-five feet in length. The herds of buffaloes are innumerable. Such is the general advantageous character of the country until we come to the ‘Spurs of the Rocky Mountains.

["]As far as the limits of the state, this river is capable of insuring sufficient advantages to a dense population for a considerable distance from its banks. Above those limits, however, it is too destitute of wood to become habitable by any people other than hunters and shepherds. All the great tributaries of this river are copies, more or less exact, of the parent stream. One general remark applies to the whole country: the rivers have narrow margins of fertility. The country as it recedes from the river becomes more and more barren, sandy, and destitute of water, until it approximates in character the sandy deserts of Arabia.


["]The Osage, as we have remarked, is one of the principal tributaries of the Missouri in this state. It enters the Missouri from the south side, and at its mouth is nearly four hundred yards wide. Its general course is from south to north; and the best cotton country in the state of Missouri is on its head-waters. Its principal branches are the Mary [Maries], Big Bone, Yungar [Niangua], Potato [Pomme de Terre], and Grand Fork [Grand] rivers. The Yungar is nearly as wide as the parent stream and is navigable for small craft, except at its grand cascade, for nearly one hundred miles. The cascade, tumbling from a height of ninety feet, can be heard far through the desert, and the country through which the river winds is fair and fruitful. ["]

The entire length of the Missouri, from its source to its confluence with the Mississippi, is judged to be 2,285 English miles. It is navigable to the foot of its great falls, nearly 3,800 miles from the ocean, and steamboats have ascended it for 2,200 miles.


Chapter 37. The Great Fire in St. Louis.

Plate 62. The Great Fire in St. Louis.

SINCE WE PRESENTED A VIEW and a description of St. Louis in an earlier part of this work, we will confine ourselves here to a description of this terrible event.

This great fire, one of the most dreadful that ever visited the United States, took place on May 7, 1849, about ten o'clock in the evening, and before the devouring element could be brought under control, more than six hundred buildings and twenty-five steamboats had been destroyed by it. The fire originated on the steamboats, whence it was communicated to the enormous piles of hemp, tobacco, and produce which are heaped up at the shipping place at this season of the year. From there the fire spread to the city [Plate 62]. Many fires had broken out on the steamboats before this, and in such cases it is customary to cut the burning boat adrift and give it up to the current of the stream, which then carries it to the middle of the river.

This expedient was also to be used on this occasion, but unfortunately there was a very stiff wind, so that, instead of being carried to the middle of the stream, the burning boat was driven down river and ignited all the boats with which it came in contact. Twenty-seven boats lay below the burning vessel, and of those, only two escaped the menacing danger. This is easily explained by the fact that the boats lie so close together, as is shown on our illustration [Plate 1] of the city of St. Louis in an earlier part of this work. We have no docks or wharves at the landings of our Western cities along the Mississippi. The street or "levee" (also loading place), as it is called, along the water is a bank which descends steeply by steps down to the level of the water. When the river rises, the street gradually grows narrower. During the great flood in


1844. we saw the water rise to the second stories of the warehouses. When the fire broke out, the water was quite high and the street was therefore very narrow. This narrow space was, as we remarked earlier, covered with a great mass of wares and produce which had been discharged from the upper river boats and awaited reloading onto those going south, and vice versa. Among the wares unloaded the previous day were 2,000 bales of hemp heaped up in a great pile. When they caught fire, the flames ignited the nearest houses. At this moment the wind, which had risen to a great violence, drove the flames from north to northeast and brought to naught all human efforts to check it until fortunately, at four o'clock in the morning, the wind suddenly veered and swept over the burning part of the city. Thereby the southern section was spared, and toward eight o'clock the fire began to respond to human efforts.

But now a dismal sight met the eye: nearly all the most beautiful part of the city lay in ashes, and the loss of property ran to more than $5,000,000. The native energy of the people was not, however, prostrated by this terrible affliction, for even before the stones had grown cold, hundreds had already gone to work to clear away the ruins and make preparations for new buildings. After a year, scarcely a trace of the calamity could be seen. A new and more beautiful city had risen from the ground, and many improvements, such as straight and wide streets, which had been too costly earlier, could now be constructed more easily. Since the fire raged in the more affluent part of the city, the poorer classes were little affected by the calamity. So far as we know, there was no bankruptcy or other business stoppage. And although several thousand dollars were collected in various cities for the relief of the sufferers, no claims were made against the fund, and the entire sum was divided among various charitable institutions.

The following detailed account of this event is taken from a newspaper published in St. Louis; and although this report, written during the event, contained many errors, it should be of interest.

"About ten o'clock last night fire broke out on the steamer ‘White Cloud,’ lying near the head of the levee. At the time, there was a stiff breeze blowing from the northeast, which quickly carried the flames over the ‘Edward Bates,’ the next boat below, and spread from there to the ‘Eudora,’ lying above them. In this instant one or two boats were dropped downstream, leaving a space between the burning boats and those uninjured. Thereupon the ‘Edward Bates,’ being about half burned up, was cast loose and went floating down the levee, setting fire to two more boats. Thirteen other steamboats, besides a great number of wood boats and other vessels, became victims of the flames, and only nine were saved.


["]The heat from this conflagration, which extended from the head of the levee to the head of Duncan's Island, was so great that it set fire to several buildings on the levee and at other points, and many wharves between Locust and Vine streets were destroyed. Entire blocks between various streets and a great number of houses on the west side of Main Street are wrapped in flames, which are spreading with fearful intensity in all directions. It is impossible to foresee the end of this terrible catastrophe, the like of which has never before struck any city west of the Allegheny Mountains.

["]Besides the property enumerated, grain in sacks, hemp, bacon, etc. on the levee also caught fire and were dumped into the water. On one pile of such goods, which was covered by a tarpaulin, it is said that four persons were sleeping who were apparently ringed by flames and there met their deaths. We ourselves saw one of the victims. There were also kegs of powder on board several boats, and as soon as the ravaging element reached them, they exploded with terrific crashes, scattering burning fragments. Several people were injured or killed by burning pieces, but it would be difficult to guess how many poor wretches may have been destroyed as they sought to escape from [the flames sweeping from] ship to ship and from house to house.

["]Meanwhile, a horrible and grand spectacle was exhibited by the burning boats at Duncan's Island, floating along for three-quarters of a mile, their pillars of flame and clouds of smoke mingling in confusion. On the other hand, long rows of warehouses threw out a fiery rain of red flames; a gruesome picture in deep, dark night, where all souls, in horrible suspense, awaited the worst; where one saw men running around half frantic, dragging out their bit of property in despair, followed by a weeping wife and wailing infant. Then the fire progressed farther from the levee, westward to Second Street, and from Locust southward to Elm Street. This entire space is not totally burned down, but before the fire will have been entirely extinguished, the destruction will be complete.

["]Since it is not possible to list all the houses that were burned, we will name only the main buildings. They are: the Telegraph office, the United States Hotel, the Reveille office, the Republican office, the [People's] Organ office, and the New Era office. Thus all the English newspaper presses in the city were destroyed except our own [the Daily Union], which is located on the north side of Locust and fortunately escaped the danger. We can make no estimate of the loss caused by this fire, but it will presumably amount to about $5,000,000. ["]

The fire broke out on the shore at the end of Locust Street and the levee, where three houses caught fire at once. The flames then spread along Locust,


igniting every house except one, and swept over the houses located across from the levee and Main Street. Then it progressed from Locust Street southward to Chestnut Street, a distance of three squares. At Chestnut Street the fire turned to the nearest southern section where Commercial Alley meets this street, and from the Alley to Main, down toward Market, consuming everything with the exception of two buildings on the corner of Market and Commercial Alley. Where Market adjoins Main Street, the flames took a diagonal direction toward the Markethouse, and followed both sides of Market to Second Street. Then turning across Main, the flames caught every house from Locust to Market, except a row of fireproof warehouses below Locust.

The ravaging element swept over Pine Street, Chestnut Street, and Market, consuming every house in its course, up to half of the section north of Olive. In that part of the city the destruction was stayed. But before the flames could be checked, several houses had to be blown up, whereby three people lost their lives. The remains of one body were found on the opposite side of the street. The thigh bone and the foot of another were found at the entrance of Walnut Street three squares away from the house that was blown up.

Now we turn more toward the south, to the entrance of Elm Street, where the fire had fashioned a new hearth. The flames veered diagonally over the complex, laid hold of Main Street, up to Spence [Spruce] Street, a distance northward and southward of two squares, and devastated everything almost to Third Street, three squares west of its origin.

In Main Street the flames progressed to Elm Street and consumed a fourth of the section north of Elm and west of Main. No house remains standing between Elm [and Myrtle and Main] and Second streets. Through this sad calamity hundreds of families were made homeless, and wealthy men were plunged into poverty.

The South Market and the City Hall were at one time in great danger but, through the efforts of several persons there, they were saved.

The shock which resulted from blowing up the houses with powder broke almost every windowpane within half a block of the corner of Market and Second streets. Furthermore, about fifty people were jailed for looting during the conflagration. There have also been varying reports as to the loss of life. We mourn the loss of two or three of our old, respected fellow citizens, and beyond doubt no inquiries will be made concerning many of the unfortunate ones who were killed, or the many strangers who were on the boats and in the city.

The destruction caused by the conflagration stretches over an area some two blocks wide and almost a mile long. The streets of our city are covered with wreckage of all kinds. We saw neither New York nor Pittsburgh after their great fires, but it is maintained that after our present calamity nothing exceeds the destruction and ruins of our city. As concerns the proportion


of loss, we have as yet no definite data. Meanwhile, we do not recall that the loss suffered in New York or Pittsburgh exceeded $5,000,000. If that is so, then St. Louis lost more than either of those cities.

The following list of steamboats that were burned is presented as correct, and the estimates of their values were compiled with the greatest possible accuracy.

Taglioni, Marshall master, valued at $20,000; insured in Pittsburgh.

Boreas No. 3, Bernard master, Missouri River, valued at $14,500; insured for $11,500.

Alice, Kennett master, Missouri River, valued at $18,000; insured for $12,000.

American Eagle, Cossen master. Upper Mississippi, valued at $11,000; insured for $3,500.

Sarah, Young master. New Orleans, valued at $35,000; insured for $20,000; cargo valued at $30,000.

Montauk, Legrand Morehouse master. Upper Mississippi, valued at $16,000; cargo valued at $20,000.

Kit Carson, Goddin master, Missouri River, valued at $16,000; cargo valued at $3,000.

Timour, Miller master, Missouri River, valued at $25,000; insured for $18,000.

Acadia, John Russell master, Illinois River, valued at $4,000; insured for $4,000; cargo valued at $1,000.

Mameluke, Smithers master, New Orleans, valued at $30,000; insured for $20,000.

Prairie State, [Jerry H.] Baldwin master, Illinois River, valued at $26,000; insured for $18,000.

White Cloud, [Orlean M.] Adams master. New Orleans, valued at $3,000.

Edward Bates, Randolph master. Upper Mississippi, valued at $22,500; insured for $15,000.

Eudora, Ealer master. New Orleans, valued at $16,000; insured for $10,500.

St. Peters, [James] Ward master. Upper Mississippi, valued at $12,000; insured for $9,000.


Red Wing, [Charles] Barger master. Upper Mississippi, valued at $6,000; cargo valued at $3,000.

Alex. Hamilton, [W. H.] Hooper master, Missouri River, valued at $15,000; insured for $10,500.

Martha, D. Finch master, Missouri River, valued at $10,000; insured for $10,000; cargo valued at $30,000.

Eliza Stewart, H. McKee master, Missouri River, valued at $9,000; insured for $9,000.

Mandan, Beers master, Missouri River, valued at $14,000; insured for $10,500.

Belle Isle, Smith master. New Orleans, valued at $10,000; insured for $8,000.

General Brook[e], [A. J.] Ringling master, towboat, valued at $1,500. Frolic, Ringling master, towboat, valued at $1,500.

Estimated value of all the steamboats $318,000
Estimated value of all the cargo $150,00
Estimated value of all the produce destroyed $ 50,000

The steamboat "Sarah" was insured for $20,000 in Cincinnati. The "American Eagle" was insured for $3,000 in Pittsburgh, the "Mameluke" for $8,000 in Louisville, and the rest, we think, were insured with agencies in this city.


Chapter 38. Carondelet, Missouri.

Carondelet, Missouri.

AS WE SEE ON THE SUBJOINED ILLUSTRATION [Plate 63], this is a picturesquely situated little French village. It is located in Missouri, six miles from St. Louis, and as it was founded in 1767 by a Frenchman named Delor Detergette, it is about as old as St. Louis. The example of Delor, who first settled here, was followed by many others, but since they were not loaded with wealth, they often came to St. Louis where friends usually greeted their appearance with the cry: "Voila les poches vides qui viennent" (there come the empty pockets). They answered to the satirical nickname "les vides poches" (pocket emptiers) with the words "pain court" (short of bread), an expression by which the city of St. Louis was often designated in times of need.

The village kept the nickname of "Vide poches" until 1776 [1796], when it was named for Carondelet, then governor general of Louisiana. In recent times several substantial brick buildings were erected there, which contrast sharply with the dilapidated shacks of the early French settlers. Immediately above the shore rises an enormous bluff, similar to the one of Selma, and on its summit several attractive dwellings may be seen. One of the buildings is a well-known seminary for young ladies. It has a rather striking style of architecture and is located on a site formerly occupied by an old windmill. At some distance from it, standing alone on top of the bluff, is another structure


with a matching exterior. Called Montesano House, this is an amusement place for the residents of St. Louis, who in good weather can travel the five miles from Carondelet over the macadamized road by wagon or on horse-back. Approaching closer to St. Louis one sees, down the bluffs, several shot towers built in a peculiar style of architecture.

The inhabitants, who have long lived with the Indians and have had many dealings with them, have retained many of their customs and usages. Their language is a patois of French and Indian which they alone can understand. They have an abhorrence for innovations, and have remained more or less as they were a century ago, retaining their native French cheerfulness and good humor, which have blended with the Indian indifference to divers turmoils and suffering, yet excluded the vindictive disposition and cruelty which characterize the red man. Their form of government is simple and patriarchal, and was sufficient for their needs before the coming of the Americans, who are a thorn in their flesh. The cultivated land of every village was the common property of all, and was also managed by all. It was enclosed by a single fence, without inner divisions. Every family was allowed a certain part of the field, depending on the number of its members. Each one was obligated to help the other at the times of sowing and harvesting. The land had to be cleared by a designated time, and when this liad been done the horses and cattle of the entire village were driven to this common pasture for the winter. Every hamlet has its small church, but little attention is paid to schooling, and one seldom finds an older inhabitant who can read or write. The activities of the young men usually consisted of journeying about and hunting, for this kind of occupation, which demanded a hardy physique, suited them well. After they had spent the best years of their lives as hunters in the mountains, occasionally visiting their homes after an absence of a year or two, they would sometimes finally return to their native hamlet, accompanied by an Indian wife and half a dozen children, and settle down for good.


Thus their lives passed, untroubled and unknown, until the rich plains of the West lured the American settlers out of the Northern states. And now everything has been suddenly transformed. A new generation has sprung up in their midst; new customs, new laws, and even a new religion have been established among them. They see that their day has passed and that the world has left them at least half a century behind. When Americans bought land there and settled in their villages, the old inhabitants shook their heads. Either they wished to retreat to a distant village where they might die in peace, or they pointed to the handsomely dressed strangers and warned their children not to forget the religion and customs of their forebears, lest it should finally come to pass that they would look like those strangers. There are many French villages in this part of the country, of which Cahokia, three and a half miles from St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois, is one of the oldest. This place was occupied by the Caoquias [Cahokia], an Indian tribe from Illinois, long before the discovery of the Mississippi by the white men. The French settled here about 1683 [1699]. In 1766 there were forty families here and at present there are about fifty. Most of the houses are only one story high and are made of cedar poles placed perpendicularly. The houses are provided with entrance-ways on both sides and, since they are whitewashed, present a pleasing appearance. Most of the inhabitants are French. By an act of Congress passed in 1788, every family was awarded a tract of four hundred acres of land adjoining the village. The hamlet lies somewhat elevated, but the region is damp and noxious, and the Americans seldom spend a season there without feeling the ill effects of the miasma from the nearby hollows. There is no lack of coal deposits here.

With regard to the French emigrating to America these days, we can do no better than to quote the words of Mr. [Francis G.] Grund, whose excellent work on American life and activity deserves to be better known.

"We must say a few words about the French in the United States. Not only is emigration from France limited, but those few who do emigrate are so little inclined to interfere with the policy of the country that, as a political body (with the exception of the French Creoles in Louisiana), they are hardly forcing themselves on the notice of Americans. The French do not take an active


part in politics, at least nothing to compare with the English, Irish, or Germans, and, where they cannot conform to the customs of the country, follow their own with so much modesty and so little intrusion on the established rules of society, that their conduct is approved and commended in every part of the country.

["]In Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, and New Orleans, French society is not only numerous, but of the highest respectability; and as much may be said of the French society of New York. But in all these places except New Orleans, they have exchanged the fashions of France for the more suitable customs of America; or, at least, blended them with the English, and thereby produced a mixture which I cannot but think an improvement on social intercourse in general.

["]As to the less affluent or poor French who resort to America as a means of improving their condition, they are known to be remarkably peaceful and industrious. More than almost any other people, they possess the art of being contented with little, and their whole lives often show instances of the utmost frugality and continued self-denial. This applies also to the French emigrants who have seen better days in Europe. It has been my good fortune to become acquainted with some of these gentlemen who, during the empire, held high ranks in Bonaparte's army. They were all distinguished by a peculiar flexibility of demeanor, and a total absence of that acidity of temper which is but too frequently engendered by sudden reverses of fortune. When questioned as to the cause of their exile, they would answer with the utmost patience, and accompany their explanations with some of those smiles of which it was difficult to determine whether they were produced by the irony of their fate or the unsuspecting simplicity of the inquirer. They evinced an entire resignation to their lot, which enabled them to enjoy life in a new form and under different auspices, though the affections of their hearts were still fastened to the beautiful land of their nativity.

["]Yet, with all these amiable qualities of the French, the English are generally preferred to them in almost every employment except the teaching of their native language and other accomplishments in which they are known to excel. A Frenchman, on his arrival in the United States, must depend more on the patronage of his own countrymen, or such Americans as have visited or resided in France, than on a popular feeling in his favor. The Americans have inherited the prejudice from their ancestors that gravity of deportment is inseparable from solidity of character; and they cannot, therefore, persuade themselves that the French, with their fondness for public amusements, can combine those essential domestic virtues with the continuance of which they associate the welfare of their country and the stability of their political institutions. Neither are the Americans at all favorable to the philosophy of Rousseau


and Voltaire; but are, unfortunately, in the habit of beholding in every Frenchman a disciple of these masters.

["]French reasoning and French doctrines are not in vogue in the United States; neither is the political experience of France in very high repute with our statesmen. If the French Revolution has advanced the cause of liberty in Europe, it has had a chilling influence on the ardor of its votaries in America. It has made a portion of the Americans doubt their own sentiments, and filled even the mind of Washington with anxious apprehensions of the future. The battle victims of the French Revolution were nigh acting on the Americans as Caesar's wounds on the Romans, and their spirits are, to this moment, haunting the halls of the Capitol. Were not the awful warning of the modern history of France set forth in their books, democracy in America would have met with less opposition, and would have been established quietly, without the assistance of a party.

["]The French are therefore looked upon with suspicion, though, in a certain national point of view, they are to some extent admired and honored. The Americans are too honest and just not to bow to their genius, but they are slow of imitation while having the example of the British. They prefer English routine to French philosophy, and are more willing to follow a precedent set up for them than to embrace a new doctrine. I do not think that the French will ever make proselytes in America; though the agreeableness of their manners, and the charm of their conversation, will always insure them the most favorable reception in the drawing rooms."

Jefferson Barracks.

Twelve English miles below St. Louis is one of the largest and finest military posts of the Southwestern states. In our country it is not the custom to build barracks in the cities; they are always erected at some distance from large cities. Military service is burdensome in the United States, even though the troops are paid and treated better here than in Europe, since they are removed to the most remote forts on the frontiers of the Western and Southern states for their entire tour of duty (seven years), during which they are quartered neither in a village nor a city. This service, combined with the conditions and peculiarities of a frontier post, results in a great many desertions. In active service, however. United States troops can compare with the best European soldiers. The commanders and other officers are well qualified to maintain the high repute which the army of this young republic has already attained. They are not inferior to the English in bravery, and their courage is best shown in a hard


fight and by the ease with which they close ranks when their battle array is occasionally broken. Their appearance is not so prepossessing as that of the European troops, since they are never presented in a public parade, as is done in Europe. This fact, however, does not detract from their effectiveness, and is even less a deterrent to their spirits.

The United States does not maintain more troops than are needed to man the forts and to protect the frontiers against hostile attacks from the Indians. The soldiers are therefore always occupied and have neither the time nor the inclination to display themselves. At the frontier stations the soldiers have to fell all their own wood and make their own gardens, as well as cultivate fields for themselves and their horses. The total number of regular troops in the United States runs to fewer than 10,000 men. The buildings of Jefferson Barracks are mostly constructed of bricks and cover the broad summit of a high bluff (as the illustration shows), rising by steps from the water level. The main structure forms a quadrangle, which encloses a paradeground. The auxiliary buildings are scattered about in a picturesque manner on the somewhat rolling terrain. Viewed from the river, the whole presents an impressive sight.

Now follows the view of a small town twenty miles below these barracks which bears the ancient name of

Herculaneum, Missouri.

Plate 64. Herculaneum, Missouri.

It is located twenty-nine miles from St. Louis on a gently sloping hill at the mouth of Chien [Joachim] Creek. A great deal of lead is shipped out of here and there are many shot towers in the vicinity. They are constructed in a peculiar manner which reduces, or rather saves, the great outlay required to manufacture shot in the usual way. One of the highest cliffs, about 100 to 120 feet high, with the upper part overhanging the base, is selected for this purpose. On the top, a wooden framework, 30 to 40 feet high, is constructed extending over the cliff and open on the bottom. At the top of the framework a stove to melt the lead, as well as the equipment for preparing the shot, are placed. From here the shot falls into a water container at the foot of the cliff. It is said


that this method of making shot is perfect, and that shot thus made by falling through the air is better and heavier than that manufactured by the old method. Our illustration shows one of these shot towers.

On the American Bottom, across from St. Louis, are a great number of hills known as Indian mounds. These strange hills have attracted the attention of antiquarians. The following description of one of the most prominent will be of interest to our readers.


Chapter 39. Indian Mounds in Illinois.

Indian Mounds and Other Ruins.

ABOUT SIX MILES FROM THE MISSISSIPPI, east of St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois, is a group of these mounds, the most prominent of which will be discussed in this chapter.

["]They rise from the level of the prairie of the American Bottom 2 or 3 miles from the bluffs or highlands and range in a semicircle along the margin of the prairies. The largest, or Monks Mound, is in the form of a parallelogram and is estimated to be 125 feet high. Its top is flat and has an area of about a acres, laid out in a garden with fruit and shade trees and containing the residence of the proprietor. On the south side, a terrace about 250 yards long and 90 yards wide has been made; it is perfectly level and is elevated about 45 feet above the surface of the prairie. About a quarter of a mile to the northeast, Cantine Creek joins Cahokia Creek, and the latter winds within 150 yards of the northern base of the mound. On a small mound about 250 yards to the west was formerly the principal residence of a community of monks of the order of La Trappe, from whom the name Monks Mound originated. To the south are 2 more mounds about 60 feet apart at the base and 60 feet high. One of them rises like a tower, in a conical shape, and has a large tree growing near the top. Seen from a certain distance, it resembles a helmet decorated with a feather. On the west side of this mound, and immediately at its base, is a large pond, and apparently the earth used to build the mound was taken from this pond. The number of mounds on the American Bottom has been


estimated at 200. They are of various forms and sizes, and some have trees growing on them, giving witness to the centuries. They are all composed of the same kind of earth, without stones, but a few have some flint pieces. The earth from which they are made is identical with the alluvial soil which the Mississippi constantly deposits on its shores. With the exception of Monks Mound and one on which there is an enclosed churchyard with gravestones, all these mounds are uninhabited.

["]We have not heard that any of the mounds have been opened for the purpose of examining their contents and method of construction, but during the digging of a well sixty feet deep, about halfway up the side of Monks Mound, a few decayed bones, flint arrowheads, and fragments of pottery were found. On the same occasion it was discovered that the upper part of the mound, about the top thirty feet, was composed of layers of peat, for lines clearly showed the various thicknesses of the layers. On the surface of a small mound, the artist gathered halt a peck of broken bones, pottery fragments, and flint within a few minutes. One of the bones was apparently the armbone of a human being. The potsherds are of the same material as the urns found in the mounds of Ohio, of which [Caleb] Atwater speaks in his work on American antiquities, and without doubt they were of the same shape. A few years ago near Florissant, Missouri, a mound much like many others on the American Bottom was opened by a group of antiquarians, and in it they found a human skeleton in a sitting position, the skull of which is formed differently from those of the present race of Indians. The jawbones are lower, the forehead higher, and the entire aspect indicates a primitive Caucasian race. This skull is like one which the writer found in a mound on the southwestern border of Missouri near Arkansas, and that in turn closely resembles a skull found in a mound in Peru, South America, which was presented to Professor J[oseph] N. McDowell of the St. Louis Medical School by [John] Delafield, the author of an interesting memoir on the antiquities of this continent.


["]Apparently the American Bottom was once a lake, and has doubtless been flooded since white people settled in this land. Marine shells are found in abundance in the bluffs which form the southern and eastern borders of the region. The mighty Mississippi must formerly have poured its fearful torrents over the entire plain, and, whether these mounds were formed by alluvial deposits from the eddies of the retreating stream, or whether the plain was an ancient Waterloo where rival armies of a bygone race battled and the victors erected these mounds to immortalize their heroic deeds -- all this can only be surmised.

["]Monks Mound, when viewed from the west, has the appearance of a strong castle and fort which the hand of time has reduced to a ruin. The muddy creek of Cahokia that winds around its base may be compared with a moat, and the rough platform of planks which spans it can easily be taken for a draw-bridge, while the terraces which rise one above the other with great regularity on either side look as though they were intended for armed visitors to parade upon and appear as though no jutty, frieze, or pillar were omitted in their construction. The view from the top of the mound is magnificent. The prairie stretching its grassy carpet for miles into the distance is decorated with the most beautiful flowers, and here and there with clumps of trees that from a distance look like emeralds set in a rich embroidery, while domestic cattle now graze where once the wild buffalo wandered and the war song of the savage was heard. The following lines are appropriate:
"Peace is tinkling on the shepherd's bell, And singing with the reapers."

["]The spires of St. Louis can be seen in the distance six miles away; to the north is a dense forest with Cahokia Creek winding in and out like a huge silver serpent, and here and there one catches a glimpse of the houses of the Cantine settlement with smoke rising from them. Six or seven miles to the south a lake gleams in the sunshine, the proud pelican flapping its broad wings over the expanse, and the white houses of the French village lining its banks. Beyond them one sees the bare rocky and clay bluffs which border the American Bottom in a semicircle. Topped with oak forests, they form an impenetrable wall guarded by a forest sentinel in rich green and gold livery, and present an appearance of majesty.

["]During the French Revolution a community of monks of the order of La Trappe emigrated from a town of the same name near Paris to the Gruyeres Alps, whence they sent some of their number to Amsterdam as colonists. Finding


that the French motto ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’ had spread even there and threatened the land with its doctrines of atheism, they thereupon wandered through France, and at last determined to seek asylum in the United States. After a tedious voyage, during which they almost perished from hunger, they reached Baltimore, where they were hospitably received and lovingly cared for by Archbishop [John] Carroll and Dr. [Peter] Chatard. For the time being, they sought a resting place in Pennsylvania, and from there they betook themselves to Kentucky, where they settled on a farm. But after a short stay, and the loss of their savings and crops through a flood, they removed to Florissant near St. Louis, where they stayed about eighteen months and finally, in 1807, settled on the mounds on the American Bottom in Illinois. A large tract of land was given to them, and soon they had property of a hundred acres fenced, tilled, and stocked with horses and slaughter animals. They built a horse mill and several log houses for dwellings and workshops, and also a log church. But of all this, hardly a trace remains. It was their intention to educate youth gratuitously in all branches of literature and mechanics. A number of pupils from nearby towns came to them for instruction, and some of them are today counted among the best merchants and artisans in the Western regions. These monks were the first to discover coal in the bluffs, and one of the mines they found now supplies St. Louis with most of its coal. One day their blacksmiths complained that they lacked suitable fuel. Shortly thereafter an Indian informed them that the soil at the foot of a tree that had been struck by lightning was burning, and when they went there, they dug up the earth and found a layer of coal immediately under the soil. This incident was also exploited as a miracle.

["]Originally the group consisted only of six monks and seven lay brethren, under the leadership of Father Urban Guillet, but it was increased to thirty-six by additions from France and from other parts of the United States. Their prospects seemed to be most promising, when suddenly an infectious fever broke out among them, snatching away three of their members in one night. Since the region remained unhealthful, in 1816 [1813] the monks who were left returned their land to the donor, Mr. [Nicholas] Jarrot, and went back to France. During the time they lived on the mounds, these monks observed


the same austere monastic life which John [Armand Jean] le Bouthillier de Ranee, the ascetic founder of the Cistercian [Trappist] order, had instituted. None was ever allowed to speak to another, or to a stranger, except in direst need; and they could not even address the father superior without first requesting his permission through a sign and receiving his consent. They were not allowed to receive letters or news from the world, and were forced to obey the smallest sign of even the lowest lay brother, though they might at that moment be performing work that would thereby be spoiled or lost. Their clothing consisted entirely of woolen cloth; they ate no meat, and had only two meals a day. Their noon meal consisted of soup made of turnips, carrots, or some other vegetable, and was seasoned only with salt. Their evening meal consisted of two ounces of bread with water. They slept in their clothes, having boards for beds and wood blocks for pillows, but in winter they were permitted to have as many covers as they desired. When a stranger visited them he was graciously received by their guestmaster, who attended to him hospitably and freely showed and explained everything to him, and when he passed one of the monks, the latter made a deep bow without looking at the visitor. During the day they worked in the field or in the workshops, without speaking a word. This rule was not binding on the one assigned to receive strangers, or on those who gave instruction. When one of them became ill, he was released entirely from the monastic discipline. He would be carefully nursed and, if his life could not be saved, he was laid on a board on which the superior had placed ashes in the form of a cross. Then the entire group gathered around him and prayed for the salvation of his soul. The dead were buried in their clothes, near the dwelling. As soon as a member had been buried, a fresh grave was at once prepared nearby to be ready for the next visit of death. It is now twenty-five years since these ascetic fathers left the mounds, but the older inhabitants of the neighborhood often still speak of the many beneficent and Christian deeds of the monks and cherish their memory with genuine childlike affection. ["]

Nineteen miles below Herculaneum, in Randolph County, Illinois, are the ruins of an old fort known as FORT CHARTRES. It was built in 1724 [1719-20] for defense against the Spanish, who were then in possession of the land along the Mississippi. It was restored in 1756, and in 1762, by the peace treaty of Fontainebleau between Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal, the regions east of the Mississippi, including all the cities of the Northwest, came into the possession of Great Britain. In 1765 Captain [Thomas] Sterling took


possesssion of Fort Chartres in the name of his majesty, the king of England. He issued a proclamation promising religious freedom to the Catholics of the West, and giving them the right to leave the country or to remain and enjoy the privileges of Englishmen. The circumstances, character, form, and history of this fort are matters of considerable interest, because they are closely bound up with the history of the country. Once it was a great mass of masonry the materials of which were hauled from the bluffs three or four miles away. Originally it was an irregular rectangle, with an outer circumference of 490 feet. Inside the walls were the residence of the commandant, the guardhouse, and the prison. But since 1776 it has become a complete ruin, because the Mississippi undermined the side walls. Above the fort site is a considerable grove of trees.

STE. GENEVIEVE, 11 miles farther down, is the county seat of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. It has a pleasant and healthful location; has extensive industry, especially the mining of lead, iron, and copper, of which considerable deposits exist in the vicinity; and a population of about 500 souls. The town was long ago laid out by the French, and it is maintained that this was the first white settlement on the banks of the river. In 1774 the population, including Negroes, was 440.

The Kaskaskia River.

["] Fourteen miles downstream is the southern boundary of the great American Bottom, which extends for eighty miles northward along the river. On this bottom the first French settlements were established. Seven miles from the mouth of the Kaskaskia River is the city of Kaskaskia, the county seat of Randolph County, Illinois. It was founded in 1683, shortly after La Salle explored the Mississippi, by Father [Jacques] Gravier, a Catholic missionary in Illinois, and it was the capital of the Illinois country for the entire duration of French dominion there. In 1763 France ceded it to England, and in 1778 the fort on the east side of the river was taken by Colonel George Rogers Clark. Thereafter, until a few years ago, the town gradually declined. At present, however,


it is in a flourishing condition. The houses are scattered over an extensive plain, and most of them are built of wood, in the French style.["]

Chester, Illinois.

["]A mile below the mouth of the Kaskaskia is the town of Chester, located on an elevated stretch of bottom land at the foot of the bluffs. It is a depot for the interior country as well as an important town, with about eight hundred inhabitants.["]

The above-mentioned places are located between Herculaneum and the subject of our next illustration, namely

The Grand Tower and Devil's Bake Oven.

This famous spot lies one hundred miles below St. Louis and is of particular interest. Judge [James] Hall described it in the following manner ["]in his valuable work ‘on the West. Approaching from above, one discovers a rocky ridge which projects a bold promontory into the stream on the Illinois shore, on the extreme point of which is a large rounded mass of rock, fifty to sixty feet high, shaped like an oven, and thence termed the Devil's Bake Oven. A low neck of land connects this with a range of perpendicular rocks, ending in rugged precipices which frown over the stream and whose summits are crowned with beautiful vegetation. As the stream sweeps abruptly around this cape, another promontory is seen jutting out from the opposite shore. Against this the current beats with fearful velocity, and by its force has worn it away until a large fragment is left standing alone in the midst of the flood. This is the Grand Tower, which may be fifty to sixty feet in height and the same in diameter. Its contour is remarkably exact and symmetrical, forming a nearly circular column which appears to have been marked out by the hand of art. The sides are nearly perpendicular, but the different strata stand out clearly. The whole has the appearance of a regular column, whose height is equal to its diameter. The top of the rock, which is flat, supports a stratum of soil out of which springs a short but rich growth of trees and shrubs.

[" ‘]In our earlier history, this was a noted spot. The boats, which before the application of steam were with difficulty propelled upstream, were unable


to ascend this rapid pass with oars and poles. Not only was the current too strong for this operation, but the danger of being dashed against the rocks was imminent. To pass the place safely, it was necessary for a portion of the crew to land, and this gave the Indians an opportunity to attack them when escape was impossible. They therefore formed their ambuscades here, and many a crewman was slain to gratify the savage lust for plunder and revenge, while many boats were wrecked by the violence of the waves. [’]

["]The Devil's Tea Table and other appurtenances of the dominion of his Satanic majesty are found in this neighborhood.

The Cornice Rocks.

["]These are really a kind of curiosity. The perpendicular sides of these limestone walls have been worn into irregular shapes by the water, and in some places one sees a continuous formation resembling a handsome cornice overhanging the cliffs, whose sides represent columns and other architectural devices. ["]

In conclusion, we present a condensed, but general, survey of the state of Missouri.


Chapter 40. The State of Missouri.

THIS STATE ["]is 278 miles long, has a medium [median] breadth of 235 miles, and contains 64,500 square miles and 41,280,000 acres.

["]On the north it is bounded by the Des Moines country, or New Purchase, attached to Wisconsin Territory, on the west by the Indian territory, on the south by Arkansas, and on the east by the Mississippi. Its location is between 36° and 40° 37' north latitude, and 11°15' and 17° 30' west longitude.

["]The constitution is the same as that of the state of Illinois in its broad concept, with the exception of slaveholding, which is legal here, and the general assembly has no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners or paying them an equivalent. It is the duty of the general assembly to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them humanely and to abstain from all injuries to life and limb. Slaves shall not be deprived of impartial trial by jury. In 1832 there were 32,184 slaves and 661 free colored persons in the state. Every free white male citizen has the right of suffrage after a residence in the state of one year.["]

["]EDUCATION. In the Western states, everything possible is done for education. The importance of the subject is seriously considered by every


legislator. The number of those who can neither read nor write is small, and common school education is available to all.

["] RELIGION. In none of the Western states do the laws provide for the promotion of religion. Religion receives little from the legislature other than protection for its corporations. According to most of the constitutions, clergymen are incapable of holding offices of honor or trust that depend on the favor of the people. There are, however, stationary clergymen in cities, especially in Ohio, and there are so many missionaries and traveling preachers that there is no need for other religious instruction. The courthouse is the usual meeting place, and there is no lack of that eloquence which has the greatest influence on a new people. The principal religious sects are the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Catholics. In Arkansas and in some other Western states, billiards are played and horse races are held on Sunday in the vicinity of houses of worship, and oftentimes people go from one to the other. This, however, happens only in regions where the population is sparse.["]

Camp meetings, a description of which follows from the pen of Mr. Flint, are attended in great numbers and are truly tremendous.

["]None but one who has seen them can imagine the interest these camp meetings arouse in the people of a district perhaps fifty miles in extent, and how well the preachers, who play the principal role, understand how to choose the means that will produce an effect to suit their purpose. Thus it occurred when one of the most important meetings of that kind to take place in the past two years assembled in a beautiful valley of the mountains of Tennessee. It was announced two or three months in advance. On the appointed day, coaches, people on horseback, multitudes, and wagons full of provisions, mattresses, and tents are seen approaching from a distance to camp here for a week. In the midst of a forest of beautiful and lofty trees usually seen in the Tennessee Valley, the central spot of the ceremonies has been set up beside a spring shaded by dark verdure.

["]The ambitious and the wealthy are there because in this region opinion is all-powerful, and their purpose is either to strengthen their political influence or at least not to weaken it by their absence. Aspirants for offices or for election are there to gain popularity. Vast numbers come to satisfy their curiosity and to enjoy viewing the spectacle. The young and beautiful are there with mixed motives, which we prefer not to censure with the severity they deserve. Children whose eyes glisten with eager curiosity, mature fathers and mothers with the views of people whose goal in life has been attained and who calmly await the sermon, hoary-haired men and women with the


thoughts their years invite -- such is the congregation consisting of thousands.

["]A host of preachers of all kinds are there, some in earnest vigor and aspiration of youth, waiting an opportunity for display; others, Bible in hand, coming as pilgrims of the Cross from the remotest North of our vast country to the shores of the Mexican Gulf, preparing to utter the words, the feelings, and the experiences of fifty years of traveling ministry. Their voices, weakened by age, even more impressively than their words, announce that they will soon depart and give up preaching on earth. Such are the preachers!

["]The tents are pitched in rows, and the religious city rises in a few hours under the trees beside the stream. Lamps are hung in the branches, and their light produces a magical effect on the surrounding forest and the groups in it. The scenery of the most brilliant theater in the world is a painting only for children compared with this. Meanwhile the multitudes, with feelings of highest excitement and expectation added to enthusiastic hope, throng from tent to tent exchanging apostolic greetings and embraces and talk of the coming solemnities. Their coffee and tea are prepared, and their supper is finished. Meanwhile the silver disk of the moon (for these meetings are always arranged at the proper time of the moon) begins to rise above the summits of the mountains, and a few stars glimmer through the intervals of the branches. The whole constitutes a temple worthy of the grandeur of God. An old man in the simplest dress ascends the platform, wipes the dust from his spectacles, and in a voice of suppressed emotion gives out the hymn, of which the entire multitude knows the words, and thus all can join in the singing. We should deem poorly of the heart that would not thrill as the song is heard, like the sound of many waters echoing among the hills and mountains. Such are the scenes and associations, and such the influence of external things which affect a nature so wonderfully and movingly constituted as ours, that the powerful force of religion requires little effort to fill the heart and the eyes in such a place and under such circumstances. The hoary orator talks of God, of eternity, of a judgment to come, and all this has an impressive effect. He speaks of his experiences, his toils, his travels, his persecutions, his welcomes, and of how many he has seen in hope, in peace, and triumph gathered to their fathers; and when he speaks of the short space that remains to him, his only regret is that he can no more proclaim, in the silence of the grave, the mercy of the Redeemer.

["]In such a place, where the heart is most deeply moved, the orator needs no studied effect. No wonder that when the speaker pauses, he wipes his moist eyes and his audience is dissolved in tears or utters penitent sighs. Nor is it astonishing that many who considered themselves of higher intellect and nobler insensibility than the common crowd experience sympathetic


feelings, and become like women and children; and those who came to mock remain to pray.["]

["]SURFACE, SOIL, AND PRODUCTIONS. The surface of this state is greatly diversified. South of Cape Girardeau, with the exception of some bluffs along the Mississippi, the soil is entirely alluvial, and a large portion of it consists of swamps and inundated land, most of which is timbered. Thence to the Missouri and westward to the dividing grounds between the waters of the Osage and Gasconade rivers, the country is generally timbered, rolling, and in some parts quite hilly. No part of Missouri, however, is strictly mountainous. Along the banks of the Gasconade and Black rivers, the hills are frequently abrupt and rocky with strips of rich alluvion along the water courses. This region abounds in minerals of all kinds: lead, iron, coal, gypsum, manganese, zinc, antimony, cobalt, ocher of various kinds, common salt, niter, graphite, porphyry, jasper, chalcedony, marble, and freestone of various qualities. The lead and iron ore are literally exhaustless and of a rich quality. One may maintain that this region is rich enough in iron ore to supply the United States for the next hundred thousand years. There is also water power in abundance, rapid streams with pebbly beds, forests for timber, and exhaustless beds of coal. The only difficulty is to get these immeasurable products to the Mississippi. The streams of this region take their courses in various directions to the Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Arkansas, but they are too rapid and too winding to afford safe navigation.

["]Were the rafts now lodged in the St. Francis River removed by the government, as was done in the Red River, the lower section of this mineral-rich country could be reached by steamboats. The citizens of St. Louis recently conceived the plan of building a railway from that city through the heart of this country to the fine farming lands in the southwestern part of the state. Such a project, carried into effect, could open a boundless field of wealth in Missouri.

["]The western part of the state is divided into prairie and forest land, most of which is fertile. Along the Osage it is hilly, and the whole is undulating. It is regarded as a healthy region, abounding in salt springs and limestone. North of the Missouri the face of the country assumes a different appearance, with a mixture of prairie and timber. From the Missouri to Salt River, good springs are scarce, and it is difficult to obtain a permanent supply of good water by digging wells. Artificial wells, as they are called, are made by digging holes forty to fifty feet deep and filling them with rain water


which runs off the roof of the dwelling house. Much of the prairie land of this region is inferior to that of Illinois, since the soil is more clayey and does not so readily absorb the water. Between the Salt River and the Des Moines is a beautiful and rich country. The counties of Marion, Monroe, Lewis, and Shelby are first rate. The counties of Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone, Howard, and Chariton, all lying on the north side of the Missouri, are rolling, and in some places there are bluffs and hills with much good prairie and considerable timber. Farther west, the proportion of prairie increases to the boundary line, as it does to the northward of Boone, Howard, and Chariton counties. Even if we make ample deductions for inferior soil, barren hills, and large tracts of swamp, as in the south, the state of Missouri still contains a great area of excellent farm land. The people generally are enterprising, hardy, and industrious, and most of those who own slaves perform labor with them. Emigrants from every state and several parts of Europe are found here, but the basis consists of settlers who have come from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The natural products of Missouri are similar to those in the states already described, and the agricultural products are the same as in Illinois, except that more tobacco is produced in the middle and a considerable quantity of cotton in the southern counties. ["]

The population of this state, according to the last census, was 682,043, and the area 67,380 square miles (English), which makes 10 to 12 people per square mile. The above population figure includes 87,422 slaves and 2,544 free Negroes.


Chapter 41. Cairo, Illinois, and the Ohio River.

Cairo, Illinois.

THIS TOWN ["] is situated at the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers [Plate 65], 180 miles below St. Louis. As a result of repeated attempts to build a great city on this spot, the place has achieved considerable fame. It cannot be denied that, since its location commands the confluence of two mighty streams, it offers the finest imaginable point for the establishment in the Western states of a city which would become queen of an immeasurable and incalculable commerce for the entire West, Northwest, and South. There are, however, local and regional difficulties which would have to be overcome before that goal could be reached; also immense capital and great effort would be required. There is no doubt that, eventually, all exertions will be crowned with success; but it cannot be maintained that this would occur as quickly as in other places. The banks of the river are very low here, and the surrounding region is even lower. Both are subject to frequent inundations, and from the marshy nature of the soil miasmas are generated which are injurious to the health. All these difficulties could, however, be overcome by building a suitable system of dikes, and by filling and drainage. The place is already protected to a large extent by a levee built for this purpose. At first glance, anyone can understand that the situation of New Orleans must formerly have been very much like this, and that, if similar structures were built here, this place would be as well protected against high water as New Orleans now is. There can be no dispute about the suitability of the location, but repeated failures seem to have led to the belief that any attempt to found a city here would be in vain. These failures, however, were largely due to the manner in which the English company which bought the site some years ago monopolized not only the terrain on which the city


was to be built but also the land for miles into the interior. It began operations by building a levee around the point, erecting a foundry and a number of buildings, all of which remained in the company's possession, and giving the settler only the right to lease. A number of settlers emigrated here, but when the unhealthful season of the year arrived, they suffered severely, and their health was undermined. Since no interest bound them to the land, they became discouraged and left, and the place gradually reverted almost to a wilderness. Not long ago, another company undertook to build it up again in the hope of creating something useful. It emigrants could be induced to settle here and remain, under a wise system of improvements the ideas of the original founders could to some extent be carried out. At present, however, only a few houses are left standing -- the remnants of an earlier settlement, which are now occupied by some enterprising people.["] There is also a good daily paper here. The population numbers about 250.

Two great railroads will meet at this place, the one taking its direction through the Southern states, the other through the Western states. Because of this fact, Cairo will become a place of great importance in the future.

The Ohio River.

["]The Ohio is formed by the union of the Allegheny and the Monongahela. No river in the world has, in a like distance, such a uniform, smooth, and placid course. Its banks are generally high and steep, forming bluffs and cliffs sometimes three hundred feet high. Between these bluffs and the river there is usually a strip of land known as a bottom. These bluffs or rocky hills exhibit a wild and picturesque grandeur which can hardly be imagined by those who have never seen nature in its original, unspoiled state. Dense, endless forests, gigantic trees, the broad shadows of which are mirrored in the placid stream, the luxuriant and miraculous growth of tree trunks in the bottoms, the windings and many curves of the river, and the countless beautiful wooded islands all following closely upon one another present to the eye an ever-changing and varying view. As we slowly glide down the endless labyrinth which lies before us, it is disposed to make an indelible impression on our spirits.


["]Between Pittsburgh and the mouth of the Ohio one encounters a hundred islands of considerable size and a great number of shoals and sand bars. Some of these islands are of exceptional beauty, covered with trees of the most delicate green and particularly suited to a secluded life. Tributaries and mountain streams to the number of seventy-five empty into the Ohio between Pittsburgh and its mouth. A great number of cities and flourishing towns are situated on both banks of the stream.

["]The Allegheny rises in the northern part of Pennsylvania, flows northward into New York, and thence southward to Pennsylvania. It is navigable to Olean in New York State, and to Waterford on French Creek, its main tributary, 14 miles from Lake Erie. Small steamboats have even succeeded in going as far as Olean, 240 miles from its mouth. Its influx comes from French Creek, Conewango, Mahoning, and Kiskiminetas. Much of the country along the river is uneven and barren, but it has an inexhaustible abundance of the finest lumber, which supplies the needs of the entire region below. It is understood that 30,000,000 feet of lumber are shipped from this territory annually. The river is about 400 yards wide at its mouth.

["]The Monongahela rises in the Allegheny [range] at Morgantown, Virginia, and flows northwesterly to Pittsburgh.

["]Pittsburgh, the principal city of western Pennsylvania, is situated on a point of land formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. It lies 201 miles west of Harrisburg, the capital of the state, 223 miles northwest of the city of Washington, and 297 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Its site is perhaps unequaled in the world. The city is surrounded by inexhaustible deposits of coal, iron, etc., and its navigation extends for some 50,000 miles, giving it access to the richest and most fertile regions of the world. The early history of Pittsburgh is very interesting.

["]When the governor of Canada (which was then under French dominion) conceived the plan of connecting that province with Louisiana by means of a line of defenses extending from the Lakes to the Mississippi, he established a post [Venango] at the mouth of French Creek, and was on the point of taking possession of ‘the Forks,’ as the site of Pittsburgh was then called. But in October, 1753, the governor of Virginia, [Robert] Dinwiddie, dispatched George Washington to ask the French commandant what his intentions were. On his way, Washington stopped at ‘the Forks,’ and considering the place suitable for the erection of a fort, he communicated this to the governor. The following spring the Ohio Company of Virginia began to lay out fortifications here. While this was happening, on April 17, 1754, a French officer, M. [Pierre] de Contrecoeur, arrived with 300 canoes and


1,000 Frenchmen and Indians, besides 18 cannon, and forced the garrison to surrender. This was the beginning of the French and Indian wars, which lasted nine years. The French called the post Fort Duquesne. They occupied it until November 24, 1758, when General [John] Forbes of Pennsylvania and Colonel George Washington, who had marched against it, burned the fort and drove out the enemy. The next day General Forbes took possession of it and named it Fort Pitt in honor of the Earl of Chatham. Few improvements were made in it until after the Revolution. In 1755 the number of houses did not exceed thirty. In 1786 the first newspaper was printed here. When an insurrection, usually called the Whisky Insurrection, broke out in 1794, the governor sent a large number of troops there to put it down. Many of the latter were so pleased with the country that, after their service in the army ended, they returned and settled there. From that time on, the city progressed rapidly. In 1801 James Berthoud and Company began to build ships, and within three years five or six were finished and sent to sea.

["]Pittsburgh is now the great mart for the western part of New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The city is connected with Philadelphia and the Atlantic cities by three different routes. One goes by way of Brownsville on the Cumberland Road and the Baltimore and Ohio Railway to Baltimore, and thence by rail to Philadelphia; another leads over the Allegheny Mountains to Chambersburg, and thence by railroad through Carlisle and Harrisburg to Philadelphia; and a third route goes by way of the Pennsylvania Canal to Johnstown, thence over the mountains by the Portage Railway on ten inclined planes, and then by canal to Harrisburg and by railroad to Philadelphia. The population of the city itself is about 40,000. On the opposite side of the Allegheny is Allegheny City. It has a population of about 20,000 souls and is connected with Pittsburgh by three bridges, a canal, and an aqueduct. On the opposite side of the Monongahela is Birmingham, which is also connected with the city by a magnificent bridge. This place has a large number of manufactories and is growing rapidly. Adjacent to it is a new borough called South Pittsburgh. The district within five miles of the center of Pittsburgh, including Allegheny City, Manchester, Birmingham, Sligo, Minersville, East Liberty, Scottsfield, South Pittsburgh, etc. is estimated to have a population of 150,000. ["]


Chapter 42. Entering the South.

New Madrid, Missouri.

JUST AFTER PASSING a great number of small settlements of [no] particular interest, we arrive at NEW MADRID, MISSOURI [Plate 66].

This is a small town 251 miles from St. Louis, but it attracted considerable interest as the center of an earthquake in 1811. It is situated on a high alluvial bank which the stream continually washes away. The following report of this unfortunate event comes from the pen of Dr. [Samuel P.] Hildreth of Marietta, Ohio.

["]The center of the earthquake was near Little Prairie, twenty-five or thirty miles below New Madrid. Its vibrations were felt through the entire Ohio Valley, as high up as Pittsburgh. The first shock was noticed in the night of December 16, 1811, and was repeated at intervals, but with decreasing violence, until the following February. New Madrid, having suffered from its effects more than any other town on the Mississippi, was considered as lying near the focus from whence the undulations proceeded.

["]From an eyewitness who was then about forty miles below that town in a flatboat, on his way to New Orleans with a load of produce, and who described the scene to me, I learned that the agitation convulsed the earth and the waters of the mighty Mississippi and filled every living creature with terror. The first shock took place in the night, while the boat was lying at the shore in company with several others. At this period, it being soon after the battle of Tippecanoe, fear of the Southern Indians was general, and, for safety, several boats kept in company for mutual defense in case of an attack. In the middle of the night there was a terrible shock and a jarring of the boats, so that the crews were all awakened and hurried on


deck with their weapons in their hands, thinking the Indians were rushing on board. The ducks, geese, swans, and various other aquatic birds, whose numberless flocks were quietly resting in the eddies of the river, were thrown into the greatest tumult, and with loud screams expressed their alarm in accents of terror. The noise and commotion soon became hushed, and nothing could be discovered to excite apprehension, so that the boatmen concluded that the shock was occasioned by the falling in of a large mass of the bank near them.

["]As soon as it was light enough to distinguish objects, the crews got up, making ready to depart. Directly a loud roaring and hissing was heard, like the escape of steam from a boiler, accompanied by the most violent agitation on the shores and a tremendous boiling up of the waters of the Mississippi in huge swells, rolling the waters below back on the descending stream. The boats bounced against each other so violently that only with difficulty could the crewmen keep on their feet. The sand bars and points of the islands gave way and disappeared in the tumultuous bosom of the river, carrying down with them the cottonwood trees, cracking and crashing, tossing their arms to and fro as if sensible of their danger before disappearing into the flood. The water of the river, which the day before was tolerably clear, being rather low, changed to a reddish hue, and became thick with mud thrown up from the bottom; while the surface, lashed violently by the agitation of the earth beneath, was covered with foam, which, gathering into masses the size of a barrel, floated along on the trembling surface. The earth on the shores opened in wide fissures, and closing again, threw water, sand, and mud in huge jets, higher than the tops of the trees. The atmosphere was filled with a thick vapor or gas, to which the light imparted a purple tinge, but altogether different in appearance from the autumnal haze of Indian summer.

["]From the temporary check to the current, caused by the heaving up of the bottom, the disappearance of the shores and sandbanks into the bed of the stream, the river rose in a few minutes five or six feet; and, impatient of the restraint, again rushed forward with redoubled impetuosity, hurrying along the boats. These, however, were now set loose by the horror-struck boatmen, as being in less danger on the water than at the shore, where the banks threatened every moment to destroy them by the falling earth or to carry them down in the vortices of the sinking masses. Many boats were sunk in this manner, and their crews perished with them. It required the utmost exertion of the men to keep the boat of which my informant was the owner in the middle of the river, as far from the shore and the sandbanks as possible, and to keep it in balance. Numerous boats were wrecked on the snags and old trees which were thrown up from the bottom of the Mississippi, where they had quietly rested for centuries; others were sunk


or stranded on sandbanks or islands. At New Madrid several boats were carried back by the reflux of the current into a small stream just above the town, and were left by the returning water on dry ground, a considerable distance from the Mississippi.

["]A man who belonged to one of the company boats was left tor several hours in danger of his life on the upright trunk of an old snag in the middle of the river, against which his boat had been wrecked and sunk. It stood with the roots a few feet above the water and to these he managed to cling, while every fresh shock threw the agitated waves against him, causing the tree gradually to sink deeper and deeper into the mud on the bottom, bringing him nearer and nearer to the deep muddy waters which, to his terrified imagination, showed a great desire to swallow him up. In this painful situation, calling with piteous shouts for aid, he saw several boats pass him by without being able to rescue him. Finally a well-manned skiff, a short distance above his dangerous location along the stream, rowed by near the snag, and at the moment that it floated past he tumbled into the boat.

["]The scenes which occurred for several days during the repeated shocks were horrible. Those, however, which caused the greatest destruction took place at the beginning of the catastrophe, although they were repeated for several weeks with gradually diminishing intensity, until they finally died away in slight vibrations like the jarring of steam in an enormous boiler. The sulphurous gases which developed during the earthquake tainted the air with their noxious effluvia, and so strongly impregnated the water of the river to a distance of 150 miles below that it could not be used for any purpose for a long time.

["]New Madrid, which stood on a rocky bank fifteen to twenty feet above the summer floods, sank so low that the next rise covered it to a depth of five feet. The bottoms of several fine lakes in the vicinity were elevated so as to become dry land, and have since been planted with grain. Mild oscillations and shocks were felt in these regions for years, and this is even now sometimes the case.["]

Memphis, Tennessee.

Plate 67. Memphis, Tennessee.

After passing many small cities and landings on our journey, we reach the flourishing city of


["]This city in Shelby County, Tennessee [Plate 67], is beautifully situated on the Third [Fourth] Chickasaw Bluff just below the mouth of the Wolf River. The spot was formerly the location of Fort Assumption, which was intended to guard the countryside against the Chickasaw. For their chastisement, a French army of nearly 4,000 men, white, red, and black, was gathered


here. They remained from the summer of 1739 until the spring of 1740, completely inactive, and during this time hundreds of them sickened and died until, in March of that year, peace was concluded. The bluff on which the city is located is 30 feet above the highest watermark, and its base is washed by the river for 3 miles; while a layer of sandstone, the only known rock stratum below the Ohio, juts straight into the river, thus forming a suitable landing. From the Ohio to Vicksburg, a distance of 650 miles, this is the only fitting location for a commercial mart on either side of the Mississippi.

["]The view of Memphis from the waterside is very beautiful and impressive. A short distance from the top of the bluff a handsome array of structures extends into various sections, lending it such an appearance of activity as is presented by few places of its size. This point was chosen by the United States government for the erection of a new navy yard, and the construction necessary to it is now being carried out on a grand scale. The fine location of the city of Memphis, its close connection with a beautiful country-side, as well as its great distance from every other point on the river where a large city could be built, guarantees it overwhelming advantages in becoming a place of importance. An immense quantity of cotton is raised in the interior, and this is the principal market and shipping point for it. A hundred and twenty thousand bales of cotton are shipped from here annually. At present the city has six churches, one academy, two medical colleges, a number of private schools, a large number of stores, some of which do a considerable business, an electric telegraph office, and a population of 15,000.["]

The Southern States.

Now we come to the point where the Southern states begin; their border with the Western [Northern] states is formed by the Ohio. All states south of this line are slave states, while those to the [north]west, with the exception of Missouri, are free states. The Southern states with which we will now concern ourselves are those bordering the Mississippi and forming a part of the great Mississippi Valley. These are Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, states famous for rich cotton and sugar production, whose boundaries and interiors we will describe more fully on our journey through them.


Most rivers which flow through these states have a sluggish current, and the land through which they take their course is flat. Their outlets are usually obstructed by sandbanks. The climate in the more northern and in the mountainous regions is temperate and healthful, but by far the greatest part of this region is hot, moist, and unhealthful.

["]NATURAL PRODUCTS. Especially in these states nature exhibits its power through the greatest luxuriance and variety. Here one sees the magnificence of the primeval forest and the rich vegetation of the swampy alluvion. The coasts of Carolina, Georgia, and Florida offer to the eye a succession of pleasure groves which seem to float upon the waters. We have already spoken of the yellow pine forests. The cypress swamps are gloomy, inaccessible regions. The cypress itself has a trunk composed of four or five huge buttresses -- as one might call them -- which rise from the surface of the water and join at a height of seven to eight feet to form a candlelike shaft sixty to eighty feet high. From the top it sends out horizontal brandies which interlace with the adjoining trees and are covered with a foliage of darkest green. Seen from a distance, a cypress forest looks like a green scaffold floating high in the air.

["]The palmetto (plum palm) is a beautiful tree, and may serve as a symbol of the personification of charm, just as the [live] oak is the sign of strength. The trunk sometimes rises to a height of fifty feet, and its circumference hardly decreases even at the top. This crown consists of a dense, hanging tuft of brilliant fanlike leaves, more than four feet long, and almost as wide. A few of the upper leaves stand upright, but the rest hang down like the branches of a willow, gracefully waving back and forth like long hair in a soft wind. At a distance, a dense cluster of these palmettos, of uniform height, resembles the pillars and beams of a ruined temple.

["]The live oak is a fit symbol of strength. Its leaves are very small, but the moss on its trunk gives the appearance of a dense foliage. It is a venerable gray and hangs down several feet in length from the branches. The trunk of the live oak is seldom straight or tall, but the tree seems rather to extend its branches horizontally, thereby covering a large space. The knees of this tree make the best timber for shipbuilding. In general this tree's shape and mossy covering make it such a curious phenomenon that the stranger gladly lingers to regard it more closely.

["]The laurel or magnolia is much admired for its beauty, but it still has not been praised sufficiently. It grows on a small, weak stem to a considerable height, but its leaves and flowers give the tree its beauty. The leaves are a dark, brilliant green, six or eight inches long, and three inches wide. There is no leaf in any part of New England which can be compared with that of this


laurel, and the entire tree is covered with beautiful white flowers. These dazzling blooms are several inches in diameter, and somewhat resemble water lilies. The flower is followed by a carmine red cone, which upon opening exhibits spherical seeds of the most beautiful coral red, suspended by delicate filaments. The tree is often more than one hundred feet high.

["]The dogwood is a large shrub, which is covered with countless brilliant white flowers in spring and with berries of fine scarlet in autumn. It is encountered frequently from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. The persimmon is another large shrub, with a fruit which, while still green, has an unusually astringent taste. The cottonwood tree is a kind of poplar the trunk of which sometimes is twelve feet in diameter. Its blossoms contain a downy substance resembling cotton. The catalpa is indigenous to Louisiana. The papaw or Indian fig, the Chickasaw plum, prairie plums of various kinds, as well as many sorts of grapes are found wild in these states. The Cherokee rose (Rosa multi-flora) twines itself around even the tallest trees, decorating their foliage with festoons of the fairest flowers. The lakes and rivers produce aquatic vegetation, which has given rise to legends of floating islands. The leaves and delicate white blossoms of the Pistia float on the surface and are connected with the bottom by stems many yards long. The bow of a vessel makes a furrow through broad fields of this floating vegetation, while fish dart forth with the speed of arrows and young alligators play in the depths. The Nymphaea Nelumbo is the queen of flower-bearing aquatic plants. It springs from a root which resembles a large cabbage stump and sometimes grows in water that is ten feet deep. It has a soft, elliptical leaf, often the size of an umbrella. The flower is a foot in diameter, is brilliant white and yellow like the New England water lily, but lacks the fragrance of the latter.

["]The canebrakes are another remarkable feature in the vegetable kingdom. The cane grows on low ground and in rich soil. It sometimes equals the bamboo in size. The seed is farinaceous and is often used for bread. The leaves are long and dagger-shaped, and a dense canebrake forms an impervious roof of verdure in the air, like a solid layer. A canebrake is almost impenetrable for man, but it is a favorite haunt for bears and other animals. When the cane has been cut and dried, it affords the Negroes great amusement to set fire to it. The rarefied air in the hollow compartments of the cane bursts them with a report like a discharge of musketry, and the burning of a canebrake sounds like the noise of battle. The land thus burned is admirably prepared for raising corn.

["]ANIMALS. The Virginia deer is common in all wooded areas of the Southern states, but it is particularly abundant in Louisiana. The American elk is sometimes, though not frequently, found in the Southwestern regions. One occasionally encounters the bear, wolf, and other wild animals. Red and gray foxes are abundant. Besides these, the following quadrupeds are found in the


Southern states: the raccoon, opossum, Maryland marmot, skunk, hare, fox squirrel, and various other kinds of squirrels mentioned in the chapter on the Western states. The bison does not extend its migrations as far as Louisiana, and is not met with east of the Mississippi. The pouched rat is seen in great numbers in Florida and Georgia, and has its burrows in various places. The cotton rat is at home in [East] Florida, where it digs its burrows in deserted plantations and gardens. It makes its nest of cotton. The wood rat is also found in Florida.

["]The alligator is common in the larger rivers of the Southwest, and is present in great numbers especially in Louisiana. Mr. Audubon gives us the following report, which refers to that state. All our lagoons, bayous, lakes, hollows, ponds, and rivers are filled with these animals. They are found wherever there is a sufficient amount of water to conceal them or to provide them with nourishment. Accordingly they exist in vast numbers to the mouth of the Arkansas River, eastward to North Carolina, and as far west as I have penetrated. Before the Red River was navigated by steamboats, they were so abundant that it was common to see hundreds at once along the shores or on the immense quantities of floating or stranded logs, the smaller on the backs of the larger, roaring and bellowing like thousands of excited bulls facing battle, but all so unconcerned about man that, unless shot at or seriously disturbed, they remained motionless, and patiently allowed boats and canoes to pass within a few yards of them, without noticing them in the least. The shores are so trampled by them that their tracks are as plentiful as those of sheep in a sheepfold. When alligators are hunting for fish, one can hear the pounding of their tails for half a mile. But to describe this more exactly, I must beg the gentle reader to accompany me on a hunting party, with various friends and Negroes.

["] In the immediate neighborhood of Bayou Sara on the Mississippi are extensive shallow lakes and marshes. These are annually overflowed by the dreadful floods of that river, and thus are stocked with fish of all kinds, among which the trout, white perch, catfish, and alligator gars or devilfish are most numerous. When, at the beginning of autumn, the heat of the Southern sun has reduced the water through evaporation, the squatter, the planter, and the hunter betake themselves here to hunt. The lakes are then about two feet deep, have a fine sandy bottom, and are often overgrown with grass which yields a generous harvest of seeds, for which a host of waterfowl gather in these places. The edges of these lakes are deep swamps, up to some distance muddy, overgrown with large, heavy timber, principally cypress, from which Spanish moss hangs, and tangled with vines of many kinds, creeping plants,


and cane, so densely entwined that day resembles night, greatly impeding the hunter. Occasionally one sees islands in the lakes with clusters of similar trees on which whole flocks of snakebirds, wood ducks, and various kinds of herons build their nests.

["] The hunter provides himself only with fishing tackle, guns, and rifles, some salt, and water. This is all he takes along. Two Negroes precede him. The woods are crossed; the fugitive deer flees; the raccoon and opossum cross our path; the black, gray, and fox squirrels are heard barking. On a nearby tree an old squirrel is seen hotly pursuing a younger one and being seized by him. They struggle desperately, but the old squirrel meets his death vincit castraque juniorem. Now, sirs, if that is not an example of superior power of spirit, what shall one call it? As we proceed, we hear from several directions the hunk-hunk of the lesser ibis, as they rise from the muddy water which provides them with crayfish. At last the opening into the lake appears, and now it becomes necessary to work our way as well as possible through the deep mud. With heads down, we creep through the low undergrowth, caring for naught save the lock of our gun. The long, narrow Indian canoe, which is just right for hunting on these lakes and is used on them during high water, now enters the lake, and the company settles down in the bottom to spy out aquatic game. The boat is set in motion with paddles and poles. Suddenly one sees hundreds of alligators playing about on the surface of the lake, but with only the upper part of their heads and bodies visible. Oftentimes they resemble logs so closely that only one accustomed to seeing them can make the distinction.

["] Millions of large wood ibis are seen stalking about, muddying the water and removing fish from it with deadly blows of their beaks. Here one sees a flock of blue herons, the sandhill cranes rising with their hoarse cry, and the snakebirds perched here and there on the dead branches of a tree. Cormorants look for fish; buzzards and [carrion] crows resemble a funeral procession, patiently waiting for the water to dry up and leave food for them; and on the distant horizon an eagle overtakes a lone wood duck which has separated from the numerous flocks that were bred there. Then one sees and hears the alligator at his work. Each lake has a spot deeper than the rest which has been grubbed out by the alligators. It is always at the lower end of the lake, near the connecting bayous. Since the water drains through all these lakes and sometimes discharges many miles below where it enters, the alligators thus ensure having water as long as any remains. The hunters call these places alligator holes. There one sees the animals lying close together.

[" ‘]Upon reaching a lagoon or creek, the cattle drivers from the


Opelousas and the mule drivers from Mexico send several of the party into the water, armed each with a club, to drive the alligators away from the cattle; and so one may see men, mules, and these monsters all swimming together in confusion, the men striking the alligators that would otherwise attack the cattle, for which they have a great fondness, and the alligators hurrying toward the opposite shore to escape their powerful enemies. They would sooner swim in pursuit of a dog, a deer, or a horse, than to try to attack a man, whom, I have always maintained, they fear if the man has no fear of them.[’ "]

Besides the alligators, there are several small animals of the lizard family in the Southwestern states. Among these, Mr. Flint mentions several kinds of small chameleons, which in the course of half an hour will display all colors of the rainbow. Scorpions are also found here, which are a larger kind of lizard and which people deem to be very poisonous.

["]The rattlesnake is encountered in all parts of our country, but in the Southern states it reaches a greater circumference. Some are as thick as a man's thigh and six to seven feet in length. As long as it is in its native haunts, it moves along majestically, neither endeavoring to attack larger animals, nor seeming to fear attack from them. If unprovoked, it concerns itself only with its natural prey, but if it is accidentally stepped upon, or its life is sought, it makes a desperate defense. It raises itself on its tail, throws back its head, and wounds on the instant; then draws back and inflicts a second wound. After that, some say, it remains torpid and motionless, without trying to escape. At the instant when the wound is inflicted, one feels no more pain than from the sting of a bee. But far from abating, this pain, so suddenly felt, becomes every moment more excruciating and dangerous. The limb swells; the venom reaches the head, which soon assumes a monstrous size; the eyes grow red and fiery; the heart beats hard, with frequent interruptions; the pain becomes unendurable, and some people succumb in five or six hours; but others who have stronger constitutions survive the agony a few hours longer, only to sink under a general mortification which corrupts the whole body. The usual motion of the rattlesnake is with the head toward the ground, but when it is alarmed it coils its body into a circle, with the head erect, and casts fearful burning glances about. But it cannot pursue its enemy rapidly, and has no power to spring on him.

["]There are three or four varieties of moccasin snake, which have a general resemblance to the rattlesnake in size and color. Some of them live in the uplands;


others prefer water or swamps. They are indolent, unconcerned creatures neither fleeing from man nor pursuing him. As a poisonous animal, the moccasin snake is classed with the rattler. The Negroes on the rice plantations are compelled to take precautions against them, but it is said that they never bite at night, and hunters who go out for ducks or other waterfowl wander through marshes at that time without fear.["]

The copperhead snake inhabits the Southern states, although it certainly is not common. It resembles polished copper in color and is more poisonous than the rattlesnake.

The hissing snake is brown and is six to eight inches long; it makes a hissing sound like that of a goose, and is deemed to be poisonous.

The whip snake, so-called because of its resemblance in form and length to a coachman's whip, is said to be very common in these states.

A description of birds will be presented in one of the chapters to follow.

["] INHABITANTS, RACES, CLASSES, &c. The population is mixed, although the people are predominantly of English descent. There are, however, not only the descendants of the French, Spanish, Germans, &c., but there are also settlements of the original foreigners. There also are inhabitants from various European states who emigrated to America. The Negroes not only make up a considerable portion of the population, but form a separate class, and most of them are held in slavery. They are mainly native-born, although many were imported from Africa. The Indians consist mainly of some Nottoway and Catawba in Virginia and South Carolina, Creeks in Alabama, Seminole and others in Florida, and thirteen tribes, mainly the Natchez, Apalachee, Alibamu, Pascagoula, etc. in Louisiana.

["]DRESS. The mode of dress is in general the same as in other sections, although in the South the materials are lighter and hat brims are broader.

["]LANGUAGE. The English tongue is not the universal language. German, French, and Spanish are used in many settlements, and in Louisiana laws and


daily papers are printed both in English and in French. The Cherokee language has likewise been reduced to writing, and a daily paper has already appeared in that tongue.

["]ARCHITECTURE. The dwellings here are less substantially built than in the Central and Northern states. Few country houses are of brick, and there is no stone in the lowlands. What Jefferson said of Virginia, can be applied elsewhere: ‘that the genius of architecture seems to have shed its maledictions over this land.’ The only public buildings in Virginia are churches and court-houses, and these make no pretension to an elegant style of architecture. The old churches, built of imported brick during the period of Colonial government, have all crumbled. In all the Southern states, the houses of the planters have much uniformity. They consist of one or two stories, with a veranda (covered balcony) in the front, and chimneys at the end of the house. Kitchens and other serving rooms are in separate buildings behind the house. The houses for Negroes have fireplaces and two rooms, and the poorest of them are better than the huts in Ireland or in the Scottish Highlands. In several regions there are also many log houses, which are common to both Negroes and whites. There are also a great number of country houses that are roomy and in good taste, but they lack elegance. If one rides past at a rapid speed in a steamboat, the buildings on a plantation resemble a village. They are often either white-washed or painted. In the foreground stands the proprietor's house; on either side and in the rear are the hospital, the coach house, the kitchen, and the storehouses; and farther back is a double row of dwellings for the Negroes.

["]FOOD AND DRINKS. There is a significant difference between the food in the Southern states and that in the Northern states. The former includes but few garden vegetables, and the Irish potato is not raised. Rice is much used, especially boiled, and is often substituted for bread. Hominy is a preparation of maize or Indian corn, coarsely ground and boiled, which is served in every tavern. Hoecake, the johnnycake of New England, and ash pone, a coarse cake baked under the ashes, are in common use as bread. Ham is a general item of food, and it is often set before the traveler three times a day. In Virginia it is an everyday dish at noon, served with greens. In Louisiana, gumbo, a compound soup, is much liked, and in New Orleans it is sold in the streets.

["]Whisky is used more than any other intoxicating beverage, and much of


it is consumed. The poorer classes of whites are less temperate tlian the same classes in New England and the Middle States. Peach and apple brandy are common, as in many regions are cider, beer, and porter. Imported spirits are much used in the cities, and the rich bestow great care and much money on their wines, which consist chiefly of sherry and Madeira, except in Louisiana, where more claret (French wine) is drunk. In the Southern states, where the ague is a very common and troublesome malady, where fogs are frequent, and dews lieavy, it has become customary to fortify the body against attacks of this disease either by means of juleps or what are called antifogmatics. A fogmatic is a dram of any ardent spirit, but the julep is made by breaking a sprig of tansy or several kinds of mint into straiglit liquor. In the cities this custom is perhaps more honored in the breach than in the observance; but in the country it is a common and, with certain local modifications, a daily practice to indulge in these drinks. In the hotels of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, mint juleps, which were first introduced from the South and West, are now regularly set before all who ask for them. They consist of spirits, sugar, and mint, with small pieces of ice, and are mixed by being rapidly poured back and forth several times from one large glass into another.

["]DISEASES. The diseases that are most prevalent are bilious fever and ague. They plague all the lowlands from the Potomac, which empties into the Atlantic, to the Sabine River, which discharges into the Gulf of Mexico. In many districts, all the white population who have the means depart at the approach of summer and do not return until the beginning of frost. Those who remain appear sallow, thin, and weak. Yellow fever is a ravaging pestilence in New Orleans, but in other cities it is less destructive. The Negroes are not sickly in summer, except on the rice plantations, where they must work much in the water; but in winter many of them die of pulmonary disorders.

["]TRAVEL. People who travel in the Southern states go either for business or health, for few would travel for pleasure. The three great requisites for comfortable traveling are entirely wanting as soon as one departs from the large rivers. They are: good roads, good vehicles, and good inns. The roads often consist of alternations of sand and swamp; and in the latter, where a good road could be built only at great expense, tree trunks are laid crosswise, over which the vehicle bounces unceasingly. These are called corduroy roads, and they are often under water. The public coaches are seldom comfortable or well appointed, and the best way to travel is on horseback.

["]With the exception of those in large cities, the inns are very humble, and the service is wretched. In many states the charges are set by law. The land is sparsely populated, and the traveler seldom fares better than upon the customary food of the common country folk. At best this consists of bacon, eggs, hominy, and yams. In many districts inhabited by rich planters, the hospitality


is such that one hardly needs an inn. Any decent traveler is received as though he were bestowing a favor on his host. In less affluent districts, almost every house will take in a traveler for a modest compensation. An Englishman, and not one of the most gracious even in his own class, who journeyed through the Southern states partly on a little frequented route, expresses himself as follows: ‘Hospitality we were sure to meet with in every corner, no matter how remote.’["]


Chapter 42. The South and Slavery.

The Mouth of the Arkansas.

THE MOUTH OF THE ARKANSAS. This river [Plate 68], from which the state derives its name, is, next to the Missouri, the largest and longest tributary of the Mississippi. It rises deep in the Rocky Mountains and is 2,000 miles long. With a broad, deep current, it plunges from the mountains down to the arid and sandy plains. The sand and the surrounding dry atmosphere absorb the water to such an extent that in many seasons it is possible to ford the river hundreds of miles below the mountains. Some of its tributaries are so impregnated with salt that, even for a considerable distance below their confluence with the main stream, they make its water unpotable. These streams attract large herds of buffalo and other wild animals which lick the earth along the banks. It is said that they sometimes imbibe such quantities that it kills them.

But the main waters of the Arkansas (pronounced "Arkansaw") and the small tributaries are the favorite hunting grounds of both the white men and the Negroes, and many connected with the military spend the winter here after having followed game during the summer in the higher regions of the Rocky Mountains. From the mouth of the Arkansas for a distance of four hundred miles there are many lakes and bayous.


At a high stage of water the river is boatable for steamboats as far as Fort Gibson, at the mouth of the Grand River, a distance of 750 miles. The capital of the state of Arkansas -- the city of Little Rock -- is situated on this river [the Arkansas] 300 miles from the mouth. The bends in the stream are so considerable that the latter place is only 120 miles from Little Rock by land.

Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Between the mouth of the Arkansas and Vicksburg, the subject of our next illustration [Plate 69], are many small cities and landings. Since none of them, however, is distinguished by any picturesque aspect, a mere listing will suffice. Columbia, Arkansas, is a town of some three hundred inhabitants. Here begins the region of real cotton cultivation, and the banks of the river are an almost unbroken series of plantations. Here, also, we see Spanish moss for the first time, which will be described in detail in a later chapter. Point Chicot and Greenville are little more than small villages, residences of well-to-do planters. Lake Providence, in Concordia [East Carroll] Parish, Louisiana, is quite a pretty village and does a considerable business in cotton shipping and transporting goods into the interior. It has about three hundred inhabitants. Immediately behind the village is a lake, whence it derives its name. Tompkin's settlement, Brunswick Landing, and Millikin's settlement are planters' colonies which, with their houses for Negroes, have the appearance of small towns.

["]The Yazoo River, 8 miles farther down, in Mississippi, rises in the north-eastern part of the state and bears this name from the point where the Yalobusha and Tallahatchie join, 260 miles above the mouth. Leflore is the chief town at the mouth of the Tallahatchie and the Yalobusha, and is at the head of steamboat navigation. Small steamboats, however, can proceed farther upstream in high water. The land along this beautiful river has improved incomparably in agriculture and wealth during the last few years. About ten steamboats ply regularly between Leflore and New Orleans in the cotton season and pass the flourishing towns of Yazoo City and Tchula, the first of which is 100 and the latter 190 miles from the confluence of the river with the Mississippi. Navigation on the Yazoo River is safer than on any other river


in the South or West. The importance of the Yazoo district can best be judged by its cotton production, which is 140,000 bales annually. ["]

Next we come to a pretty row of hills known as the Walnut Hills. It extends for about two miles along the river, rising boldly but gradually to about five hundred feet, and affording a beautiful prospect because of the carefully cultivated plantations.

["]The city of Vicksburg, the county seat of Warren County, Mississippi, is located in the lower part of this chain of hills, two and a half miles downstream. It is situated on a hill, the highest point of which rises 200 feet above the water. The business district of the city is at one end along the river. Vicksburg was incorporated as a town in 1825 and as a city in 1836. The country surrounding it has a black, loamy soil, very well suited to the cultivation of all kinds of grain, tobacco, cotton, etc. But the principal product is cotton, 75,000 bales of which are shipped from here annually.

["]Within the last few years, Vicksburg has grown rapidly, and the excellent soil of the surrounding countryside, as well as the beautiful site of the place and the fine harbor of the river, which is 90 to 300 feet deep here, all give the city superior advantages for a rapid and healthy growth. There is a railroad from here to Jackson, the seat of the government, which is 50 miles distant. The city has a courthouse, 5 churches, 3 academies, a hospital, a theater, 12 schools, and 2 foundries, all in a flourishing condition. The population is about 5,000.

["]A few years ago the city became notorious because of the summary proceedings instituted against gamblers. Gambling had become so extensive that it threatened to destroy the welfare and morality of the entire community. The citizens held a public meeting and warned all gamblers who frequented the city to depart within a given time. They refused, and attempted to intimidate the citizens and to break down public authority. Thereupon the citizens united, seized a number of the gamblers, took them outside the city, and publicly executed several of them by means of the rope.["]

The land around Vicksburg is very well cultivated to a distance of fifty miles, and presents to the traveler an unbroken stretch of cotton plantations. In general, the houses of the planters display no particular architectural beauty, but they are very comfortable dwellings, especially designed to be cool and well ventilated. Since native stone is not abundant, most of them are built of brick and wood. The houses have green window shutters, and porches or


verandas on all sides. All have gardens. The magnificent flowers and the deep green of the magnolias and other flowering trees provide a pleasing contrast with the light, neatly painted buildings. Nevertheless, all is not as pleasant and comfortable as it may appear to the reader at first glance. For, not to mention the heat of the sun, one is sorely plagued by mosquitoes and other insects, and this is true not only at night, but there also are daytime mosquitoes. It is a curious sight for a stranger, when he enters the drawing room of one of these houses, to see the entire family sitting under a mosquito screen, namely, a gauze net which starts at the ceiling and pretty well fills the entire room, leaving only a narrow aisle along the wall. The feminine members of the family are usually found reclining on divans or resting in rocking chairs, fanned by their black servants or busy with needlework. It is quite impossible for a Northerner to move about out of doors during the heat of the day, and it is equally dangerous for him to expose himself to the night air. In the winter months, when the heat is not so intense, one has to contend constantly with mud and dust. Since the soil consists of deep black loam, it is impassable after a hard rain, while two or three weeks of good weather turn it to dust into which one sinks up to the ankles. Fine, macadamized highways, which in England and the rest of Europe contribute so much to the comfort of the traveler, are out of the question here. And so, the Northerner who must forego some of the comforts enjoyed by his Southern brothers also has fewer vexations to battle.

A Cotton Plantation and the Lives of the Slaves.

A COTTON PLANTATION. This is a view [Plate 70] of one of hundreds of plantations which the traveler sees on this part of the river. The cotton plant grows to a height of six feet, and the stalk is almost as thick as an arm. The blossoms are large and yellow, so that a cotton field in bloom affords a very brilliant spectacle. The cotton itself is formed on the top of the blossom, and it is the substance or rather the fluff which envelops the seed. The planting is done in rows six feet apart. The stand is thinned by suitable means and must be kept very free of weeds. The cotton is picked from time to time, as the bolls begin to ripen.

It is then drawn through the cotton hatchel, which detaches it from the seeds. Next, it is packed in bales and sent to New Orleans. There it is carefully repacked and, by means of steam presses, reduced to half its former bulk. Then it is ready for export. The number of hands used for a planting varies naturally according to the methods of the owner, but it is not considered profitable to undertake the cultivation of a cotton field with fewer than fifty hands.

These are, as you know, slaves, and many of our readers might be curious


to know more of the actual way of life of the Negro in the United States, without the false shimmer of romanticism which is customarily thrown over this subject. In a book such as the one before you, we have neither the inclination nor the space to go into a discussion of the political right or the moral wrong of the slavery question. That has already been done by others and, for most, the question is settled. But we will take the reader to a plantation and show him how the thing really looks.

We will first study the character of the master a little, for the situation of the slave depends on him. We lived in slave states for twenty years and must say that we seldom met a character such as St. Clare and never one like Legree, who are so skillfully described in the novel by Mrs. Stowe. In the Southern states there are several traits which are universal, even though for various reasons, always modified. The most common and noticeable modification is produced by the system of domestic slavery, which is equally unfavorable to master and slaves. All intercourse between these two distinctly unequal parties must, to say the least, consist of authority on one side and submission on the other. They stand in relation to one another, and when authority degenerates into despotism, submission must result in a complete surrender of will and a destruction of conscience. The soul will be degraded accordingly, and to be a slave will mean not only to toil without reward, but also to deceive, to lie, and to steal without shame. Where the master's character is already formed in childhood, it may easily happen that he who "feels the power," also "forgets the right," and may as easily torment out of caprice as punish out of a sense of justice. From such characters one can expect less control of emotion and will than from people who spend their lives among their equals. Under slavery one can expect deceit and cheating -- greater evils indeed than the loss of freedom.

["]But the more odious characteristics of slavery are not often found in the Southern states, for the system there, perhaps, has already achieved every mitigation which is consistent with security. The slaves are mostly content and cheerful; their greatest evils are those they do not feel -- namely, the moral ones which condemn their entire race to ignorance and degradation.

["]In describing the character of the people, we will look principally at the planters who have the most influence in forming society. The small farmers,


or those who have no slaves, are in some parts of the country hardly above the slaves themselves, even though they constitute a respectable class in the upper or Northern part of the United States and in some other districts. All cultivate the land, for there is little trade or manufacturing. In many states they are called foresters or crackers, the latter because of the custom attributed to them of cracking their whips when arriving at a town or tavern. They are on the whole ignorant, but can usually read, although their houses contain little to be read except perhaps newspapers and Methodist tracts. They live wholly for themselves, and consume little except sugar that they do not produce. They are not unsociable, and they grow up with more individuality than those who live in towns, where the particular character is often merged in the universal. They are sallow, and, although it would be unjust to call them ugly, they are certainly not distinguished for beauty. What the French call ‘beaute du diable,’ or youth and health, they do not seem to possess. The young look old, and the old are not lightly marked with the trace of years.

["] Perhaps the character of Virginia and South Carolina is in some respects superior to that of the other Southern states, but the principal traits are common to all. In Virginia many of the old English customs are retained, and the domains of the landowner are as extensive as the old English baronies. The country residences have particular names, such as Hunter's Hill, Mount Pleasant, Monticello, and Mount Vernon. People seldom travel beyond the few meeting places in their commonwealth; hence they are more closely attached to home and to all that is included in that concept. At the same time they have a strongly marked, though not unpleasantly pronounced, character. They are hospitable to a degree unknown in New England, generous and honorable.

["]The people of Carolina who live in the lower country are frequently compelled to leave their homes in an unusual manner, despite a great attachment for them. No one can travel without gaining knowledge and losing prejudices, and the people of Carolina are liberal and intelligent to an exceptional degree. To remain on the plantations in summer is to risk one's life; and they, therefore, go to the northern and eastern states and to Europe during that season. They are sociable, and in general closely united. In New England, people in neighboring cities often do not know each other, but in Carolina, the acquaintance often extends over the state. This results from intercourse in the capital, where they all meet in the spring, and from the contacts formed on shipboard or while residing or traveling in other states.

["]One might think that the life of a Southern landowner is one of indolence and ease. But exactly the reverse is true; it is far more active than the life led


by rich people elsewhere. Managing the plantation takes up the entire day, and the planter is often on horseback in his fields until evening. His notions of space are so liberal that he will readily ride a dozen miles to dine, and he has a singular interest in hunting. No one rides so fearlessly, and game is pursued at full gallop through dense woods, among holes, horizontal branches, and fallen trees. The social relations are admirable. The season for visiting never ends, and since sociability, like any other principle, can be increased by cultivation, it attains its finest flower here. Among kinsmen, a very friendly and loving association exists, and the circle embraced is wider than in New England. So far as affinity can be traced, anyone can ‘Claim kindred there, and have his claim allowed.’ The men gather a good deal in clubhouses, often built in the woods, where the entertainment is furnished by each in turn.

["]The people of the South have more haughtiness, courtesy, and respect for personal dignity than those of the North. Pride is the natural consequence of superiority of station, even though it is generally incompatible with meanness. A planter would rather do something he would regret than something he would be ashamed of. A slight wound to pride is more strictly avenged than a greater injury to property, and a lack of courtesy is perhaps censured as severely as a breach in morals. Dueling is a natural result of such a situation, and although it is not frequent, it is all too well established by custom. The one who is challenged must fight, even though he harbors no resentment and has committed no offense; and he often risks his life simply for the sake of expediency. As he would put it to some risk to save his property, he believes that he must do so also to save his character.

["]Social life in Louisiana is somewhat different from that in the other states. It derives its character from the French, and is more gay and also freer. Here one plays more, drinks more, and has less education. The planters are exceedingly hospitable, generous, and pleasure loving, though at the same time rather emotional and haughty. So far as influence is concerned, the French and American elements are pretty well balanced. The following extracts are descriptive of social life and manners in some of the Southern states. The first is taken from the ‘New England Magazine’; the second from ‘Letters from the South and West.’

["] The Carolinian is widely different from the Yankee, but I know not that he is better. If he does not have our faults, he may not possess all our virtues. Our stay was not long enough for us to discover many of his faults, and truth to say he has very few that appear in his association with his friends, while he is said to be quite blunt toward his enemies. In his manner and


character, he has something of the don, yet he is republican, and would not exact of another what he would not gladly do in return. Be generous and trusting, and he will outdo you in those qualities, but be passionate and pugnacious, and he will indeed achieve a no less enviable victory. He is not apt to offend one, for he is courteous; but he will answer a provocation with a stronger remonstrance than is customary in New England. He will peril his life for a word, but will fight for principle no longer than the Northern race we have mentioned. His faults are those of his institutions; his virtues are his own, and they excite general admiration. In the city he lives among his peers like a modern and a gentleman; in the country he also lives like a gentleman, but after the manner of a patriarch of old who is entrusted with everything relating to the happiness and welfare of hundreds of his fellow men who are not exactly convicts but are "guilty of a skin not colored like his own." He is prompt in administering justice, for he unites in his person the powers of judge, attorney general, and sheriff; in general, however, he does not abuse the trust placed in him by any of these various incompatible relations. He has grown up among his slaves; many of them have the tenacious hold on his affection that comes from early companionship as playmates, and some of them are his foster brothers.

"We twa hae paidlet in the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine."

["] I have never seen elsewhere, and I fear I never shall, such an overflowing joy as I saw on the arrival of the "young master" or the "young mistress." Even I had a share in it, in my position as cousin to the young heir apparent. A hundred black arms were extended to clasp him, and he was patted, petted, and thrice blessed. This is a feeling that you can hardly comprehend in New England, for it cannot exist between a man and his herd of cattle; but in Carolina it raised my respect for the master and my sympathy for the slaves. The slave has nearly all the good qualities of the African, and his faults may be attributed to his circumstances and the institutions that have "reduced his soul to his condition." The worst of his traits are deceit and cunning, but his is a life of incessant and unrequited toil, and it is natural that he should seek to avoid his task by deceiving his overseer. In contrast to this, he is kind and cheerful, and nothing makes him happier than when he can contribute to the pleasure of a white man. When riding, I often have known boys of fourteen or fifteen to run along beside me for miles in order to open gates and fences; and a Negro's joy is complete when he is permitted "to take his pleasure," that is, if he can fish or hunt with his master or any white. The old women, who are left in charge of the huts, will offer the tired traveler yams and nuts with as much pleasure as he feels in receiving them.

[" ‘]One can best learn to know a planter on his own plantation. There he


is independent of all modes and circumstances, "as free as nature first made man," and more powerful than it is wholesome for a man to be. His will knows almost no restraints but those of prudence and his sense of justice. In New England and in other "foreign parts," he may sometimes feel an air of constraint, for he is

"Lofty and sour to those who love him not, But to all such as seek him sweet as summer."

Yet in his own field, he is entirely himself, and what one sees of him there, one may consider, as we say, genuine. If you are his guest, he tells you that his plantation is yours, and while you remain it is really so, except for the title deeds. You cannot stay too long, nor drink too much of his choice old wines.[’ "]

["] Virginia seems like a new settled, not like an old state. There one sees no stone walls, but at most a hedge, or an irregular, zigzag wattled cedar fence on the main roads. In the South, a few houses are called a town, though not incorporated. When one visits a plantation, one turns off the main road and follows up or down the banks of the long rivers which flow from the Western mountains to the seacoast, or climbs into the forest ridges. It makes a strange impression when one suddenly comes upon a house and outbuildings on a cleared spot in the middle of the woods, surrounded by wheat and cornfields;not 15 or 20 acres of arable land, but from 100 to 500, not tilled by 5 or 6 hired hands, but by from 30 to 100 or 200 slaves; and during the harvest, 20 to 50 reapers are in motion -- men, women, and children.

[" "]As to the manners of the Virginians, they are a sallow, mercurial, and liberal race. They have much of the suaviter in modo, as well as of fortiter in re. Outside the home, they are extravagant in dress; indoors, they slouch in homespun; the children of rich planters do not disdain wearing ordinary blue and white checked canvas. They ride fine horses, a wealthy landowner keeping his saddle, racing, carriage, and work horses in first-class condition. They teach their riding horses to pace over the soft sand flats; they dislike trotters; ride without cruppers, and, unless making a long trip away from home, they ride with one spur, thinking with Sir Hudibras that if they get one side along, the other will not remain behind. Instead of a four-seated wagon, they use a chair, which is very light and at the same time unsocial, for it usually has only one seat and, being without a top, offers no protection against the weather. Wherever a Virginian goes, one or two slaves follow him like a shadow to hold his horse and pull off his boots and pantaloons at bedtime, and when it is cold, to blow up the fire in the bedroom with their mouths, for bellows are unknown in a slave state.

[" ‘]They all love fox and duck hunting. Some maintain game parks; others


raise grouse for hunting. Since game is plentiful near their enclosures, on any cloudy, drizzly day, or on a clear, frosty night, when the hounds can scent the trail of the game in the dew, the young lads start out and bring back partridges, ground hogs, rabbits, and opossum with their young no bigger than a bean clinging to the nipples in the pouch. Formerly there was a small bounty on crow hides, which was taken in part for the land tax. Accustomed from boyhood to a great variety of athletic sports, the Virginians are muscular and lithe, and when they leave such games as whist, backgammon, or chess, they are out at slingfist and sling-foot, or are outjumping or outrunning each other. I saw a young man run a race in which the stake was $500. Indeed everything is decided by means of wagers. The Virginians are fierce marksmen, and dueling is not discountenanced. Sometimes they meet and shoot at a target for a fish fry. During the fishing season, fish fries are held about once a fortnight. On these occasions, twenty to thirty men collect to regale on whisky, fresh fish, and soft crabs just out of their sloughs, cooked by the slaves under a spreading tree near a running stream. [’ "]

["]The best gifts that nature has bestowed on the Southern states are mixed with evils. The sun that ripens the orange and the pomegranate draws pestilent vapors from the surface of the earth, and a pestilential breath mingles with the scent of the jasmine and the rose. It is perilous to breathe the fresh morning air, or to expose oneself to the rays of the noonday sun, or to enjoy the evening dews. The insects can become an intolerable annoyance; they must be kept at bay by means of nets which obstruct the circulation of air, and the sleeper rises in the morning weary and unrefreshed. Vermin increase in venom, and nature provides its creatures with ever more harmful characteristics, as the distance to the equator diminishes. Hurricanes ruin the harvests, and lightning rends the forests. ["]

Now we will consider the treatment of slaves and examine their food, clothing, amusements, etc.

["]The citizen who lives in the Southern states cannot shut his eyes to the fact that he is surrounded by a population which any prospect of success would excite to a war of extermination. But he is not a master from choice, but from necessity; it is an inherited curse with which he is burdened. If things were


different, one could say that the Almighty possesses no attribute which might help him in such a conflict. Considering the slave question as it now exists, it may be said generally that the comforts of the slaves depend on the humanity of their owners, to whose interest it is, indeed, to keep them in good health and full strength. Their food and clothing vary little in the different districts, but generally they receive a peck of Indian corn per week. This is the main staple of their diet, although sometimes sweet potatoes, red peas, or broken rice are substituted for a month. On the plantations where it is raised, rice is of course the main food. No one is held to provide more than the stated amount, but the same law of custom prescribes a provision ground and garden. The food for the children is cooked and delivered by an old woman who is assigned to this department; she usually puts everything into a wooden vessel shaped like a trough; sometimes the food is delivered in small piggins or bottles. Humane slave owners give their workers molasses to eat with hominy or a salted fish each day, but these are withheld in case of bad behavior. The slaves raise poultry, but only to sell; eggs and chickens are too flavorless for their


taste, which is more gratified with salt meat, fish, molasses, and rum. The young lads who work in the fields, if only as scarecrows, get their full food ration. The banks are covered with oysters, the streams abound with fish, and the woods with game, all of which the slaves may freely take. In fact they have so many opportunities for acquiring a few possessions, that even with the lowest grade of human intelligence they acquire many comforts; but being a slave means being careless of tomorrow and hopeless of the future. They sell their bit of produce to the family, or elsewhere, as they choose.

["]So far as clothing is concerned, the men are allowed six yards of woolen stuff annually, and the women five; the children are measured from crown to heel and receive twice their height in cloth. In winter the women are given a handkerchief and the men a Kilmarnock cap. The summer allowance of clothing, if indeed there is any, consists of six yards of homespun for each working hand. The old and infirm are given red flannel. There is more clothing on a plantation, however, than is given by the owners. When a boat or wagon goes to market, the Negro sends his little produce along if he has not already sold it nearer home, and the proceeds are often used for finery. The women then make themselves calico gowns, and have handkerchiefs for turbans; the men buy old clothes, and when they appear in their self-devised costumes, on Sundays or holidays, it looks almost like a masquerade. Here, for instance, a youth struts along wearing a coat which dates from the previous century, a woman's apron, and a raccoon-skin cap with the tail hanging down between his shoulders. There, an aged man wears an old military dress coat, and next to him may be a woman wearing a man's fur hat on her head and a sailor's jacket over a gaudy petticoat. The children wear little or no clothing in summer except a shirt, and many also take that off. On every plantation there is a nurse; and the overseer, who must be white, in the absence of the owner has charge of a medicine chest. Holidays are few. The slaves have three days at Christmas, with enough meat, tobacco, pipes, and rum to celebrate. Then they also have Sundays, New Year's Day, and one day off for the harvest. They may, and often do, gain a day by doing three days' work in two, and every female slave who has seven children gets Saturday off for washing and mending. A female slave with five children has every third Saturday for those tasks. The work is seldom hard, except in separating the seeds from the cotton and at harvest on the rice plantations. In summer and spring the Negroes often leave the fields at three or four o'clock, and in winter at one o'clock, though of course in some places it is much later.

["]The Negroes customarily bury their dead in a very noisy manner, and rum, tobacco, candles, and bacon are consolations to the survivors which are seldom offered in vain. They are happy if they can secure a piece of white cloth in which to bury the dead. Funerals are held at night. Originally, the Negroes had very few superstitions, but they adopted nearly all those of


the whites. They are too ignorant to be superstitious. Many believe that the soul may be separated from the body even in life; that when a man sleeps, the spirit has left his fleshly case for a time, just as it leaves the body forever when he dies or the soul sets out on its long journey to what they call ‘shut-eye-town.’ According to their view, the spirit has the privilege of returning to earth on missions either wicked or charitable. But they believe that the ghost must turn its head away from the direction in which it is going; it must look in one way and move in the other. They believe that crows and owls give omens of death, and that when domestic animals, particularly cows, make soft, moaning sounds, they perform the same banshee office. They have no obeah men, although they fear an evil prediction, which they call ‘putting a bad mouth’ upon a person. They never use the wood of a tree that has been struck by lightning. It is not strange that they regard heaven as something entirely different from what they experience on earth, and they have no conception of it other than as a place where they shall rest from their labors. They sometimes speak of their deceased children as still theirs. If a mother who has lost three children and has seven living is asked how many children she has, she says ten.

["]Their marriages are mere civil contracts, and are too often of little force. In towns, many have their children baptized. On the plantations the preacher is usually some respectable and fluent person who harangues wildly and seldom connects his religious views with morality. Among amusements, of which the slaves have few, dancing is foremost. Many of them know enough about music to be able to play some tunes on the violin, and they dance with much vigor. The Negroes are aristocrats and they behave toward a good master as Highlanders do toward their chief. They despise the poor whites and sometimes give them food in a truly patronizing manner. They attach importance to being born on the estate, and are mortified if they are sold for a small sum. In the upper country and on small estates, the slaves live nearly on terms of equality with their masters. They prefer to have their children named by their owners, and it is customary to give them renowned Roman names. Thus one finds a Caesar, a Pompey, and a Cato on every plantation. Often, however, several Negroes may have the same name, and to distinguish them, something descriptive is added, such as Long Tom, Short Tom, Fat Tom, Lame Tom, Diana's Tom, etc.["]


Chapter 44. General Taylor's Residence.

THE VIEW SHOWN HERE [Plate 71] gives a clear idea of the plantation of General Taylor, former president of the United States. To European eyes it must indeed appear to be a very modest dwelling for the holder of the highest office of a great republic. But it is the nature of the American situation that, in choosing a man for this exalted office, title and wealth are not considered. Is he capable? Is he upright? Only such questions are asked by the conscientious voter. Since the story of General Taylor is exactly like that of many of our great men (a proof and an example of what can be accomplished in the United States by a man of talent and energy), it may be of interest to our readers if we present a short sketch of his life.

The immediate ancestors of General Zachary Taylor belonged to the first families of Virginia and were connected with those whose names attained enviable fame in the nation's earlier history, as for instance the Madisons, Lees, Barbours, Conways, Gaines, Pendletons, etc. His father, Richard Taylor, was a man of unusual moral and physical mettle. While still a very young man, he journeyed westward on his own from Virginia in the direction of the Mississippi, without a companion or guide. After various explorations, which took him southward as far as Natchez, he turned eastward and fearlessly returned to his old abode. Later he became a colonel in the Virginia line, and in that capacity he was highly valued during the Revolution. At the age of thirty-five, he married Sarah Strother, a young lady of a distinguished family, who was fifteen years younger than he. Their third child is the subject of this sketch. He was born in Orange County, Virginia, on November 24, 1784, and was named Zachary after an ancestor on his mother's


side. A year later Colonel Taylor emigrated to Kentucky and settled in Jefferson County about five miles from Louisville. There the boy spent his childhood among the dauntless emigrants and the dangers of their mode of life. The sparseness of the population of Kentucky at that time made it impossible to maintain proper schools, and so the burden of the boy's early education lay entirely on the parents. The result was that his earliest years were devoted more to the observation of, and instruction in, physical experiments than to studies. This lack was later overcome by an active and tireless mind which knew how to master every task. Instructed in farming, young Taylor pursued this goal with industry and energy. He nevertheless had an irresistible desire to join the army and thus to take up a life more pleasing to his taste, for he was really a chip off the old block, reared amid the unrest and dangers which agitated and surrounded the daring emigrants. An opportunity for military service soon presented itself. When the operations of Aaron Burr in the West aroused mistrust and alarm, young Taylor with one or two of his brothers formed a volunteer corps in order to oppose those presumed traitorous designs. But this proved unnecessary, and Zachary turned back to his farm. After the death of his brother. Lieutenant [William] Taylor, who was an officer with the regular troops of the United States, President Jefferson appointed Zachary on May 3, 1808, to the vacant place of first lieutenant in the Seventh United States Infantry regiment. He was then twenty-four years old and owned property sufficient for his needs. He nevertheless preferred to give up the quiet life of a farmer and take up the dangerous calling of a military man. He was ordered to proceed to General [James] Wilkinson, who was then in New Orleans. This almost cost him his life, for he had to endure a severe case of yellow fever. At the first attack by England, which had incited the Indian tribes against the frontier settlements, General [William Henry] Harrison, at that time governor of the Northwest Territory, was ordered to advance against the Indians with an appropriate force.

Lieutenant Taylor belonged to this expedition, and his bravery in the bloody battle at Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811, won him the highest esteem of his superiors. His achievements were recognized by President Madison, who rewarded him with a captaincy.

During the winter, violent hostilities ceased, and in the early spring of 1812 Captain Taylor became commandant of Fort Harrison on the Wabash.


This was the beginning of his career as a military commander. Fort Harrison was the object of the first attack by the Indian chief Tecumseh. The enraged Indians attacked the fort by night, but Captain Taylor, although he had only fifty men, held out with great energy, skill, and presence of mind. The fame of this military exploit and the brave man who accomplished it resounded through the land, and the president at once made Taylor a major. After the end of the war, the injustice of the government caused him to give up military service. He withdrew to his family and took up agricultural pursuits once more.

The influence of powerful friends and the public knowledge of his great service to the fatherland brought about Taylor's reinstatement in the service by President Madison during the course of 1815, and a year later he was again called out of the bosom of his family into the privations and hardships of the field. He was ordered to Green Bay, in which region he commanded for four [two] years. In 1819 Taylor was promoted to lieutenant colonel. From this time on until 1832 he was continuously in the service of his country on the Western and Northwestern frontier, with the exception of temporary absences caused by the illness of his wife. In 1822 he established Fort Jesup [Louisiana] and opened a military road to it. He was called to Washington in 1824 to become a member of the board for the planning and erection of Jefferson Barracks. In 1826 he was a member of a board of officers of the army and militia (of which General [Winfield] Scott was chairman), whose task it was to submit to the secretary of war a plan for the reorganization of the militia of the United States. Soon after the disbanding of this commission, he again took his place on the Northwestern frontier, though without having an opportunity to engage in battle with the enemy.

In 1832 Taylor was promoted to the rank of colonel by President Jackson, in which capacity he distinguished himself through his usual skill and bravery in the frontier conflict known as the Black Hawk War.

Soon thereafter, Taylor was ordered to Prairie du Chien to take over the command of Fort Crawford, which fortification was built under his supervision. He stayed there until 1836, and then the government sent him to Florida to help subdue the Seminole Indians. The [second] war with the Seminole began in 1835, and it had been conducted with indifferent success


until Colonel Taylor went to Florida. General [Thomas S.] Jesup, who was in command there at that time [1837], had made futile attempts to bring it to an end. Since all peace negotiations with the chiefs had miscarried, it was decided in the fall of 1837 to institute sterner measures against the Indians. For this purpose Colonel Taylor was given unlimited power to capture or destroy the savages wherever they might be found. The first battle was fought in a cypress swamp, and it required more than an hour before the Indians could be driven from their position to their camp on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. When they saw that they were being hotly pursued and were near defeat, they delivered one final volley from their rifles and then fled, hard pressed by regulars and volunteers until [well] into the night. The battle of Okeechobee will be remembered in the annals of the Indian wars as one which was distinguished by bravery and dexterity on both sides. The loss suffered by the Indians could not be positively ascertained; it is only known to have been great. On the American side, it amounted to 14 officers and 124 common soldiers killed and wounded -- about a fifth of the entire number of white troops. Colonel Taylor received the congratulations of the secretary of war and the thanks of the president of the United States, which were officially conveyed to him by General [Alexander] Macomb, then commander-in-chief of the Army of the United States. Soon thereafter he was promoted to brigadier general, according to the patent: "for distinguished service in the battle at Okee-cho-bee and Florida."

Not long after this promotion, in 1838, Taylor was entrusted with the command of the troops in Florida, since General Jesup had been relieved at his own request. For two years he battled fevers and swamps in that region, continuously skirmishing with the Indians but without "being able to win a peace." For this reason he asked to be relieved of the command, and General [Walker K.] Armistead came to take his place in April, 1840. Not long afterward [in 1844] he was appointed to the command of the First Department of the United States Army in the Southwest. The department comprised the extreme Southwestern part of the Union -- Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He made his headquarters at Fort Jesup until 1841, when he was ordered to Fort Gibson, to relieve General [Matthew] Arbuckle. Taylor remained there nearly five years, continually occupied in raising the discipline of the troops and fulfilling the other obligations of his service conscientiously.


The union of Texas with the United States in March, 1845, aroused the anger of Mexico, as is well known. As early as the beginning of that month, General Taylor received an order from the secretary of war to place all the troops that were under his command as well as those that would be entrusted to him in a position where they might most effectively defend Texas. Mexico became suspicious as a result of these measures taken by the United States. The war followed. Entrusted with the command of the army of occupation, General Taylor developed a brilliant tactic and skill in the battles at Resaca de la Palma on May 9, at Monterrey on September 21 and 23, 1846, and at Buena Vista on February 22 and 23, 1847. After several offensive and defensive movements in the neighborhood of the battlefield of Buena Vista, General Taylor moved to his camp at Walnut Springs, where he tarried, inactive, until December, 1847, and then returned home. In New Orleans and in other cities located on his homeward journey to his family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he was greeted with the most enthusiastic ovations. After his brilliant war exploits at Monterrey and Buena Vista, such admiration for General Taylor's skill, wisdom, and bravery seized the hearts of his countrymen that in every corner of the United States the strongest desire seemed to be awakened to reward him with the presidency of the republic. Had he not upheld the honor of its arms so brilliantly! In the Whig convention, which met in Philadelphia on June 7, 1848, he was named to that honor, and in the following November was elected to this highest position which a people bestows. Millard Fillmore of New York became vice-president. The opposing candidates were General [Lewis] Cass (Democrat) and Martin Van Buren (Free Soil party). General Taylor's inauguration took place on March 5, 1849, and the day thereafter he formed his cabinet. His further conduct was aimed at fulfilling the hopes of his political friends. A life that had been full of hardship, however, and years which approached sixty were not a suitable preparation for the strains which came with his new position. In doffing the battle dress of the general and assuming the raiment of the president, he was freed of the hardships of war, only to take up the even more tiring battles, jealousies, and responsibilities of civil government. Nevertheless he resigned himself to his task with soldierly determination and fell like a genuine hero, wearing his armor. He was born on November 24, 1784, and died on July 9, 1850. His last words were: "I am prepared; I have endeavored to do my duty." If one could only hear such an avowal, spoken with an equal right, at every deathbed!

Taylor was of medium height in stature, with a slight tendency toward corpulency. Benevolence was stamped on his countenance as its main characteristic, and in that respect it faithfully mirrored his heart.


Chapter 45. Natchez Mississippi.

NATCHEZ [Plate 72] was founded in 1700 by D'Iberville. It is located in the state of Mississippi, is 918 miles from St. Louis, and about 300 miles from New Orleans.

["]The city is romantically situated on a very high bluff on the east bank of the river and is by far the largest town in the state. The river business is transacted in that part of the city known as ‘under the Hill.’ Great numbers of boats are always lying there, and some of the most respected merchants live in this part of the city. The upper town is located on the summit of the bluff, 300 feet above the water, and commands a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. The country on the eastern bank is hilly, fertile, and beautiful, the heights presenting woods and vineyards, with here and there friendly looking country houses. This part of the town is quiet; the streets are broad; some of the public buildings are handsome; and the entire scene makes an impression of comfort and opulence. Many rich planters live here, and the society is polished and respectable. Natchez is the most important city in this region for shipping [cotton], and during the proper season the streets are almost barricaded with bales. It is also the market for the trade of the numerous population of the surrounding area. Notwithstanding its elevation and seemingly healthful site, the place is often visited by yellow fever. This circumstance accounts for the fact that the population does not increase as fast as one might expect in such a favorable location. At present the number of houses is estimated at 1,500, and the population is judged to be about 8,000. The city has three churches, a handsome court-house, four banks, two bookstores, three printing offices, and the usual number


of mercantile stores. Several extensive foundries and factories operate successfully, and in recent years much attention has been given to the manufacturing of engines, cotton presses, sugar mills, and other articles which tend to increase the prosperity of the city. In 1840 Natchez was visited by a tremendous tornado, which destroyed many of the finest buildings and left behind a great mass of ruins. The city has, however, recovered from this shock, and now one can scarcely see traces of it.["]

Since the early history of this place is very interesting, we will give a condensed summary of it, taken from the best sources.

["]Natchez, as already noted, was founded by D'Iberville in 1700. He had been sent from France to continue the explorations begun by La Salle, but which were unfortunately interrupted by his death. D'Iberville suggested that a city be established here which might be named in honor of the Countess of Pontchartrain, Rosalie. In 1714 [1716] the fort bearing the name Rosalie was established on this spot. But then it was captured by the Natchez, a powerful and cunning Indian tribe in the Mississippi Valley. They were sun worshipers and had a temple and an altar dedicated to that luminary on which a perpetual fire burned. At first they treated the French colonists with great friendliness. In 1722 the Chickasaw gave the Natchez trouble, attacking them and destroying a fort on the Yazoo. The friendly exertions of the Natchez saved the settlers. But the next year the commandant of Fort Rosalie treated them with indignity and injustice. The quarrel began between an old Natchez warrior and a soldier about some corn. The Natchez challenged the French-man to single combat, but the latter raised an alarm and cried murder. When the Natchez turned to depart, he was fired upon by the guard and mortally wounded.

["]No punishment followed this incident, while in other respects the commandant behaved in an odious manner toward the Natchez. The murder of the warrior aroused the whole tribe to seek revenge, and they attacked the French in all quarters and killed many of them. At last Stung Serpent, an influential chief, interposed his authority; a treaty of peace was made, and former confidence restored. The peace lulled the Natchez into security and gave the French opportunity to meditate and execute one of the blackest acts of treachery. The governor of Louisiana, [Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de] Bienville, ratified the treaty, and soon thereafter, in a most cautious


and dastardly manner, went to Fort Rosalie with seven hundred men and attacked the defenseless natives in a four-day blood bath. From that time on, the Natchez despaired of living in peace with the French and secretly and silently plotted their destruction. In 1729 M. de Chopart, the commandant of Fort Rosalie, stung them almost to madness by his attempt to build a town on the site of the village of White Apple, a large Indian town about twelve miles below the city of Natchez and three miles from the Mississippi, which the Indians regarded as a sacred place. He ordered their huts to be removed and the Indians to leave the village.

["]Among the fruitful expedients to gain time till they could unite the warriors of their nation and devise means to take vengeance on their enemies, they proposed that each give the French commandant one fowl and one basket of corn for permission to remain until the harvest. They held frequent and secret councils and invited the Chickasaw [Choctaw] to join them. Not-withstanding their secrecy, one of their women suspected the plot and revealed it to a soldier. Still M. Chopart disregarded the warning. The plot being matured, the Grand Sun and his warriors repaired to the fort on November 28, 1729, with the tribute of corn and fowls. They advanced upon the gate, disarmed the soldiers, and commenced an indiscriminate massacre. Only the slaves and a few women and children were spared; the men were all killed. But not a chief nor a warrior would stain his hands with the blood of M. Chopart, and so one of the meanest Indians was ordered to kill him with a wooden tomahawk. The settlement contained about seven hundred Frenchmen, of whom very few escaped. The forts and settlements on the Yazoo and the Washita shared the same fate.

["]The news of this massacre filled New Orleans with fear and alarm, but Commandant Perier was very active in devising means of redress. The French gained the Chickasaw to their side, who furnished 1,500 warriors, and they were met in the neighborhood of Natchez with a detachment of troops from New Orleans under the command of M. Loubois.

["]The Natchez expected to be attacked and had strongly fortified themselves in the fort. They professed to be desirous of peace, and much finesse was employed on both sides. At last the Natchez contrived to desert the fort in the night and, loaded with plunder, they crossed the Mississippi and returned to a position on the Red River a few miles below Natchitoches. Here they erected a fort. M. Perier, who had received reinforcements from France, marched a strong force with artillery against them. They defended themselves bravely, and made several desperate sallies, but were repulsed with great slaughter. Now defense and attempts to negotiate a peace were


all in vain, and they finally surrendered at discretion. The women and children were reduced to slavery and dispersed among the plantations. The remnants of this once powerful nation were finally sent to Santo Domingo. Thus perished the most enlightened, civilized, and noble tribe of this continent. A few fugitives who escaped the general massacre went to the Chickasaw and Creeks, and became amalgamated with those tribes.

["]We have already stated that the religion of the Natchez was idolatrous. One of their customs was barbarous. On the death of a chief, or sun, as they were called, and on some other occasions, human sacrifices were offered. Their chiefs were invested with absolute power, and they had inferior suns which constituted a kind of subordinate nobility. The Natchez have been represented by various authors as being just, humane, and generous. Charlevoix, who spent some time with them in 1721, gives details of their manners, customs, and religion. He reports that, at the death of a chief, or sun, his nurse and often also his bodyguards to the number of a hundred or more were put to death that he might be followed to the ‘spirit land’ with a retinue worthy of his rank on earth. Besides the sun and fire, they worshiped little wooden gods in the shape of monkeys and rattlesnakes, placed on the altars.

["]Thus Judge Peck, in his sketches of the Mississippi Valley, expresses himself on the customs and the destruction of this mighty tribe. The ruins of Fort Rosalie were still visible in 1823, at which time the city had seven hundred inhabitants. ["]


Chapter 46. The Mouth of the Red River.

THE PRESENT ILLUSTRATION [Plate 73] has as its subject that one of the two outlets of the Red River which is customarily used for navigation.

We have taken the description of this river and of the interesting regions bordering it from an excellent American work -- the Flint geography.

["]The Red River rises in the Sierra Obscura, a chain of hills near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and soon after entering the plains it receives the Blue River and the False Washita. From here on it follows its winding course through a series of prairies on which huge herds of buffaloes, wild horses, and other game graze peacefully. The prairies along the Red River have reddish soil and are covered with high grass and white vines, which latter bear most delicious grapes. The innumerable tributaries and small streams which empty into this river water boundless stretches of prairie and forests, as well as bottoms and highlands. Much of this country is very fertile and produces cotton, sugar cane, grapes, indigo, rice, tobacco, Indian corn (maize),


and most of the grains of the Northern zone. The width of the Red River for four hundred miles above its union with the Mississippi does not correspond to its length, or to the immense mass of water which it collects in its river bed in its long, winding course from the Rocky Mountains. In high water, when it has arrived within four hundred miles of its mouth, the stream divides into several channels which supply water to a great number of lakes and bayous, so that the volume of the lower part of the stream, in proportion to the upper part, does not, by far, correspond to its natural breadth and depth. About ninety miles above Natchitoches, Louisiana, commences what is called the raft, which is an immense alluvial swamp about twenty or thirty miles in extent. Here the river, dividing into many channels which are frequently shallow, has for ages been heavily clogged by a mass of timber which is continuously floating down from the forest regions above. Between these masses the river has a channel which is sometimes lost in a lake and found again by following the outlet of that lake back to the parent channel. The water is never so low in the raft, however, that an experienced pilot cannot guide his keelboat through the open channel at any season of the year. This is true even though the river, sometimes for a stretch of sixty to seventy miles, is so filled with the masses of floating tree trunks -- on which willows, grass, and aquatic flowers in full bloom have often taken root -- that in many places one can detect only by the motion that one is on water and not on dry land. In other places the breadth and depth of the river decreases so much that it can be crossed comfortably on horseback. This condition does incalculable harm to navigation and commerce on the river itself and to the immense stretches of country bordering it. There is probably no area in the whole United States which could boast of a superior location, soil, climate, intermixture of prairies and forests, and other inducements to population. If the just mentioned circumstance did not place such great difficulties in the way of commerce, the river would be accessible to steamboats for almost a thousand miles above the raft. The state of Louisiana has, however, finally determined to remove this obstruction and has obtained agreement for a survey and an appropriation from the United States government.

["]The valley of the Red River has an average width of three or four miles as high as Kiamichi, about a thousand miles from its mouth. It broadens as it approaches its mouth, reaching a width of nearly eighteen miles. Of all the fertile alluviums of the Mississippi tributaries, none can compare


with the Red River Valley. In many respects the Red River resembles the Nile more than the Mississippi, although the latter is often compared with the sacred river of ancient Egypt!

["]Alexandria [Louisiana] is situated on the right (south) bank of the Red River, half a mile below the falls and at the mouth of Bayou Rapide. By way of the river, Alexandria is 150 miles from the Mississippi, and by land it is 70 miles. This town forms the center of the fertile cotton region of Bayous Rapide, Robert, and Boeuf. It has a bank, a courthouse, a newspaper, and a number of stores and warehouses. ["]

It is noteworthy that all the various nations which in turn possessed this land left behind something of their national character among the people. Only the Spaniards left no memorials which might have been created through improvements, or through literature, legislation, etc. Nicollet expresses himself about this circumstance as follows:

"In concluding this historical sketch, some sad reflections involuntarily force themselves upon me. Is it not surprising that during the thirty-two-year rule of Spain no Spaniards other than some officials and a few fur traders settled in the land? The inhabitants were French or the descendants of French from Canada or Lower Louisiana, and the Spaniards left no remembrances of themselves except their land register -- no institutions, no works, not even any legislation which might be of value to those who followed. Doubtless the golden treasures of Mexico and South America were too attractive to the avaricious Spaniards to allow the emigrants to give up their greedy expectations and take up agriculture and cattle raising in the blessed Mississippi Valley. If one looks back to the time when Spain was the greatest maritime power, when Ferdinand and Isabella's navigators discovered new worlds, making them rulers of an empire on which the sun never set, and the formidable Armada caused haughty Queen Elizabeth to tremble -- then truly even the strictest republican must cry out: ‘What pity that such a mighty empire so foolishly, for the sake of a chimera, gave up dominion over a great, new world. To what fearsome heights Spain's power would have risen; how terrible, in contrast, was her fall!’["]


Chapter 47. Louisiana Sites and Birds of the South.

Bayou Sara.

BAYOU SARA [Plate 74] is a small, flourishing town at the mouth of the bayou of the same name, which serves as outlet for several lakes in the interior and which is navigable for steamboats for quite a long distance. The region through which this bayou passes is fertile, densely populated, and particularly well cultivated. One of its principal products is cotton, considerable quantities of which are shipped from here annually. Bayou Sara, with a population of eight hundred, has a bank, several churches, and a newspaper, and is one of the prettiest little towns on the Mississippi.

Birds of the Southern States.

In an earlier section we discussed the quadrupeds which are found in the Southern states, and we now make it our task to list the most noteworthy birds of these regions.

["]THE MOCKINGBIRD is found in a large part of North and South America. A warm climate and low terrain are most congenial to his nature; these birds are therefore most numerous in the Southern states. Their favorite food consists of berries, among which are particularly the berries of the cedar, the myrtle, the holly, and the gallberry, the gumberry, and others which grow


in profusion in these swampy regions. Winged insects also, which abound here even in winter, form a favorite part of their food.

["]The mockingbird builds his nest in various places, according to the latitude in which he resides. A lone bramble, an impenetrable thicket, a cedar, an orange tree, or a holly bush is usually selected as the place of its abode. Always ready to defend his nest, but never very anxious to conceal it, he often builds very close to human dwellings, in an apple or pear tree, rarely more than six to seven feet above the ground. The nest is composed of dry twigs, weeds, straw, wool, and tow woven together in the most ingenious manner, and lined with fine fibrous roots. As long as the female is sitting, neither human beings nor animals can approach the nest without being attacked by the anxious male, flapping his wings and pecking. He especially regards the black snake as his deadly enemy. Whenever he spies one of them, he darts upon it with the speed of an arrow and strikes his bill deep into the snake's head, thus dexterously eluding its deadly bite. The snake recognizes the danger, and endeavors to escape, but the belligerent bird doubles his exertions, and as the snake's strength begins to flag, he deftly seizes it in his beak, raises it from the ground, and kills it by beating it with his wings. He then returns to his nest, perches proudly on the farthest point of a twig, and pours forth a torrent of song in token of victory.

["]The plumage of the mockingbird is not especially beautiful; what makes him so interesting is his full and lovely voice, which is capable of every modulation. He imitates all birds with the greatest ease and most deceptively, from the mellow tones of the wood thrush to the savage scream of the bald eagle. If, on a beautiful spring morning, one wanders into the forest alive with all kinds of songbirds, one can definitely distinguish the clear, sweet song of the mockingbird, and can easily follow his notes without interruption to the end, regardless of the musical hubbub. His song, however, does not consist merely of imitations of other birds, as one might deduce from his name. He sings mainly an original song of two, three, four, five, or six syllables interspersed, however, with imitations of the songs of other birds, in all possible variations, and continued for as much as an hour without pause and with undiminished energy. At the same time his white pinions and rump feathers glisten in the golden morning sun, and his graceful movements arrest the eye to the same extent that his magnificent song affects the ear. He soars along with enthusiastic spirit, mounting and descending by turns with the rhythm of his song. As [William] Bartram rightly says of him: ‘he bounds aloft with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recover or recall his very soul which fled with his song!’ So perfect are his imitations of the


songs of other birds that the listener who does not see him might believe he is hearing a contest of the feathered chorus of the whole world.

["]Audubon makes the following comparison between the mockingbird and the nightingale: ‘Many who love the songs of birds, at large as well as in confinement, maintain that the song of the nightingale fully equals that of the mockingbird. I have frequently had opportunity to hear and to observe both species in confinement and in the wild state, and I can say without prejudice that I consider it completely absurd to compare the insignificant musical attempts of the nightingale with the finished talent of the mocking-bird.’

["]In confinement this bird loses little or nothing of the original power and beauty of his song, and it is simply impossible to stand before its cage without being moved most deeply by it. Many, however, look upon his predilection for variation as a fault. His really sublime imitation of the brown thrush is frequently interrupted by the crowing of a cock, and the warbling of the bluebird, which he can imitate most naturally, is mixed with the screaming of swallows and the cackling of hens. Sometimes the quiet simple melodies of the robin sound forth; then suddenly one hears the calls of the whippoorwill, the killdeer, the blue jay, the martin, the Baltimore [oriole], and twenty others in an unbroken series, so truly natural that one unconsciously looks around for the various musicians and perceives with amazement that the mockingbird alone makes up the complete orchestra for this impromptu concert. As soon as the moon rises, the mockingbird begins to present his Etudes brillantes. His clear magnificent song lasts not a half or a whole hour, but all through the night. The mockingbird is about nine and a half inches long. The upper part of the head, neck, and back are dark brown, and the under parts a brownish white. His figure is well proportioned, and may even be called handsome. ["]

["]THE CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW. This bird is rarely found north of Virginia and Tennessee and is occasionally confused with the whippoorwill. The words chuck-will's-widow exactly match the sounds of the bird's song, and hence the name. It commences its call in the evening shortly after sundown, continues it for several hours without interruption, and then toward sunrise begins anew. Its tones never fail to attract the attention of the stranger, for they are strikingly different from those of the whippoorwill. As we said, in both sound and articulation, it seems plainly to express the words from which the bird derives his name. He utters each syllable slowly and distinctly, with


a strong, full voice, especially stressing the last word. The whippoorwill, on the contrary, pronounces the words of his name much more rapidly. The chuck-will's-widow flies slowly and keeps very close to the earth, like the swallow before a storm. He usually roosts on old tree trunks or on fences, whence he pursues winged insects which fly around here at night in great numbers. Like the whippoorwill, he prefers steep hills and other deeply shady places for his abode. The female lays two eggs on the bare earth in the forest; the bird makes no nest. The chuck-will's-widow is twelve inches long, and there are numerous stout bristles on each side of its head. The head and back are dark brown, rust colored, and in places yellow-gold mixed with black. The breast is black and powdered with rust.["]

["]THE CAROLINA PIGEON OR TURTLEDOVE. During the summer this bird inhabits all parts of North America, from Florida to Canada and from the shores of the Atlantic to the banks of the Mississippi, and still farther west ward to the Rocky Mountains. Turtledoves in great numbers pass the winter in North and South Carolina. They are the favorite of all who love to wander in the woods in the spring and listen to their melancholy melodies. One may hear many a remarkable concert in life, but surely never such mournful music as this. The turtledove produces four separate tones; the first and highest seems to be a preliminary to the real feeling expressed in the three notes which follow, for it emerges from such depth in the bird's breast that one could think the sad little creature had only just recovered from the last tones uttered in desperation. This is followed by three low, mournful, long-drawn sighs which surely no one can hear without heartfelt sympathy. After a pause of a few moments, the funeral song begins anew and is repeated in this manner endlessly. One is mistaken, however, to believe that these tones really express the creature's feelings. Quite the reverse. The bird which utters it so sadly struts blissfully beside his beloved or invites her in such an ill-chosen poetic expression to shady seclusion in their favorite haunt.

["]The nest of the turtledove is very rudely constructed, usually in an evergreen, in the dense foliage of a wild vine, in an apple tree, and sometimes on the bare earth. It consists of twigs and roots, and is almost flat. The flesh of this bird is considered to be much more tasty than that of the wild pigeon. The turtledove is twelve indies long, and it has beautiful glossy black eyes. The bird's plumage is mainly slate blue, sometimes glittering with gorgeous green, gold, and crimson. The legs and feet are red, seamed with white.["]

["]THE HUMMINGBIRD. This little bird is remarkable for the beauty of its plumage, its minuteness, manner of feeding, and lack of musical talent. There are more than seventy [400] species of hummingbirds on the American continent and adjacent islands, but only one of them [the ruby-throat] is found in great numbers in North America, chiefly in Canada, to which it migrates from the South every year. It is remarkable that such a tiny creature can


make its way over such immense seas and forests, but its very minuteness, its swift flight, its amazing instinct and courage serve as guides and protectors.

["]The nest of this little bird is usually found on the branch of a tree; sometimes also, though rarely, on an old, moss-covered tree trunk or on a stout weed stalk in a garden. It is an inch in diameter and about an inch deep. The female lays two snow white eggs. If anyone approaches the nest, the little proprietors dash out, approach the head of the intruder, frequently passing within a few inches of it, buzzing fiercely as though they would take him to task for his discourtesy. A single chirp is all that the hummingbird can articulate, except for his humming, and even that is no louder than the chirp of a cricket or a grasshopper.

["]The hummingbird is very fond of cup-shaped flowers, especially trumpet flowers, from which he particularly likes to sip his nourishment. When he finds a thicket of such flowers, he poises in the air for several seconds so steadily that his wings become quite invisible or only appear as a faint mist; the glossy green of his back and the fire of his throat glistening in the sun then present a noteworthy spectacle. When he has finished his repast, he perches on a small, dead twig of some bush to preen his brilliant plumage and restore it to order. This is one of the few birds admired and loved throughout the whole world. Sometimes he flies into a house through an open window, carefully examines the bouquets he finds there, and then sans gene takes his leave in the same manner. It was formerly supposed that this bird subsisted only on the honey which he extracted from flowers. Recently, however, he has not seldom been observed pursuing flying insects for as long as half an hour, and seizing them with the skill of a flycatcher.["]

["]THE CEDARBIRD [cedar waxwing]. A charming bird which is found in all North America, particularly the Southern states. Its sustenance consists mainly of berries of all kinds, and it is very partial to cherries and other pitted fruits. In the spring these birds are of considerable value to the farmer, for then they rid the trees of beetles, caterpillars, and other insects. They live on the best of terms with others of their kind, and not infrequently one finds several nests of these birds in one tree.["]

["]THE CAROLINA PARROT is the only species of parrot found native in the United States. The vast luxuriant regions of the torrid zone seem to be the favorite habitat of these numerous and gorgeously plumaged birds. The Carolina parrot inhabits the interior of Louisiana and the banks of the Mississippi and Ohio west of the Alleghenies. It is seldom encountered north of Maryland. These birds are found in abundance in low, fertile districts, on the banks of small creeks, along the salines or licks, as they are called, which are so numerous here, and in impenetrable marshes overgrown with cypress and sycamore trees. Many of their favorite fruits grow here, and they eagerly seek cypress seeds and beechnuts. Thirty to forty of these parrots usually nest


together in the hollow trunks of old sycamores, to the sides of which they cling by their claws and beaks. They appear to be fond of sleep, for they crawl into their holes several times a day, apparently to take a siesta there after their labors. The Carolina parrot is about thirteen inches long. The forehead and the cheeks are orange and red; the neck is a pure light yellow;the shoulders and bend of the wing are also edged with orange and red. The remainder of the plumage is bright yellowish green, with brilliant, light blue reflections. This parrot far surpasses many foreign kinds in beauty of plumage as well as in form. Besides this, it is very sociable and easily tamed. Audubon reports that these Carolina parrots do much damage to tree fruits. He says: ‘They frequent apple and pear trees when the fruit is still very small and far from ripe, merely for the sake of the seeds. They pluck off an apple, open it up and, disappointed in their expectation, since the seed is still soft and composed of a milky substance, drop it and break off the next one, and proceed thus until the entire tree is stripped of fruit!’

["]The same author also says that ‘these birds are entirely at ease on trees, and all kinds of plants, moving sidewise and climbing or hanging from them in every imaginable posture, using their bills very dexterously. They usually alight in great numbers at a place selected for nesting. I have sometimes seen the branches of large trees completely covered with them. On the ground they move awkwardly and clumsily, as though the tail hindered their walking. If a sportsman suddenly approaches them, they make no attempt to flee; but when they see him at a distance, they lose no time trying to hide or scramble up a tree, in doing which they are greatly aided by their bills. [’ "]

["]OWLS. There are several kinds of owls in the Southern states. The great horned owl deserves special mention before all others. It prefers to dwell in dark, lonely swamps overgrown with giant trees. There, as soon as evening approaches and mortals go to rest, it sends forth such music as might come from an entirely different world than the one we inhabit.

["]On my lonely wanderings ‘along the mountainous shores of the Ohio,’ says [Alexander] Wilson, ‘and amidst the deep forests of Indiana, this ghostly watchman often announced the approach of morning and amused me with his strange cries. Sometimes he came very close, and circled my campfire with hoarse croaking, uttering his Waugh O! Waugh O! with enough power to alarm a whole garrison. Besides this cry, he produces other noises, which sound exactly like the half-suppressed groans of a choking man -- a highly entertaining serenade for a lonely traveler in the midst of this primitive wilderness. [’]


["]The barred owl, which is very numerous in Louisiana, is described by Audubon as follows: ‘Often when I had set up my encampment for the night under the boughs of a large oak, and was preparing to roast a piece of game on a wooden spit, this bird greeted me with his arid melodies. He never failed, then, to fly around me the whole night, disturbing the repose which, but for his interference, I would surely have found here. I often saw him alight on a tree trunk only a few steps from my campfire. Then I could observe him closely as he, apparently most astonished at my existence, eyed me from all sides in such a comical manner that, had it been possible, I should have felt impelled to invite him to my evening repast and thus formed a better acquaintance with him. The liveliness of his glance and the oddness of his behavior led me to assume that his society must in any case be more agreeable than that of many of the buffoons one meets in life.’["]

["]THE PELICAN is very abundant on the shores of the Southern states. They are all extremely sluggish and indolent, and only their gluttony exceeds their laziness. Hunger, alone, stimulates them to exertion; otherwise they would surely spend their lives in eternal repose. When they have risen thirty to forty feet above the water, they turn their heads so that one eye is directed downward, and continue to fly in this position. When they see a fish, they bolt down with the speed of an arrow, seize it without fail, and then with great exertion rise into the air again. Whereupon they continue watching in the manner just described. It is said that they sometimes go fishing in flocks and cleverly maneuver in such a manner that together they can make a large catch. To accomplish this, they are said to form a circle, which they gradually narrow until the fish have pretty well been forced together into a small space. Then, at a given signal, the birds suddenly drop down upon their prey, fill their pouches, and then retire to land, where they consume the fish con amore.

["]Their whole life is spent between eating and sleeping. The female pelican does not prepare a nest in which to lay her eggs, but drops them -- usually five or six -- any place she likes, and hatches them there. Her attachment to the young brood is remarkable, though natural. Young pelicans have often been tied by the legs to trees, so that it could be observed how the parent birds would behave in such a situation. In spite of the presence of human beings, they never failed to come up and feed their young, stay with them most of the day, and spend the night on a branch of the tree at the foot of which the young birds were bound. After a short time they became so tame that one could easily approach them, and they would eat fish out of one's hand. They always first put the fish into their pouches, and after some time swallowed them at leisure. For the fable that pelicans nourish


their young with their own blood, we are indebted to the imagination of some missionaries who came to this part of the New World with the first colonists. The pelican does press its blood-red beak against its breast to force up some of the food stored in the pouch with which to feed its young. A superficial observation of this fact may have given rise to the belief in such an unnatural process.["]

["]THE GREAT WHITE HERON [egret] inhabits the marshes and large flooded meadows of the Southern states in summer, but it is so shy and cautious that one can very seldom approach within range of it.["]

["]THE GREAT HERON is a constant inhabitant of the Atlantic coast, from New York to Florida. These birds breed in the lonely cedar swamps of North and South Carolina and New Jersey, where, if unmolested, they return annually for that purpose. They build their nests of sticks on the tops of the tallest trees. This bird's food consists mainly of fish, which he pursues tirelessly and catches with amazing skill. ["]

["]THE LOUISIANA HERON is somewhat rarer and has a more delicate form than the other varieties of heron. It is encountered mostly on the banks of the Mississippi, but sometimes also in South Carolina.["]

["]THE NIGHT HERON or quabird lays its eggs in the loneliest and shadiest parts of the cedar swamps. The males repair to the swamps every evening as soon as darkness falls, sounding a hoarse and hollow cry which resembles the syllables qua qua. Hence the name quabird. If one approaches a swamp inhabited by these birds, to judge by the uproar, one might suppose that one is near an Indian battlefield where a couple of hundred redskins are having a little massacre. If the screamers discover an intruder, they rise into the trees without a sound and from time to time send out parties of eight to ten herons as delegates to encircle the place where the disturbance occurred and to see what is going on.["]

["]THE WHOOPING CRANE is the tallest and most stately of all birds of the United States. It inhabits the extensive salt marshes and remote swamps near the seacoast. Its migrations are regular and extensive, reaching from the coasts of South America to the Arctic. During these periodic journeys, the birds soar to such enormous heights that they can hardly be seen by the naked eye. In the winter they are frequently found in the deep bottoms and rice fields of the Southern states, where they feed on seeds and insects. These birds are extremely shy and vigilant, and even the most wily hunter can seldom approach them. They sometimes rise above the earth to a great height, and fly around in wide circles, as though wishing to reconnoiter the distant plain and spy out a more favorable feeding ground. The flesh of the whooping crane is said to be very tasty. The birds eat rats, mice, moles, etc. They build their nests about a foot above the ground in solitary swamps.["]


["]THE SAND-HILL CRANE, according to Flint, is a fine, stately bird, as majestic as a swan in the water, and considerably taller, with sleek, oily plumage of a fine whitish-gray color. They are found in countless numbers on the banks of the Mississippi and Missouri, seeming from a distance to resemble herds of sheep. They migrate in company with the pelicans and, like the whooping crane, soar to a height at which they can hardly be identified by the human eye, at the same time uttering a deep, hollow cry.["]

["]THE FLAMINGO. This extraordinary bird, which is abundant in America, is particularly numerous in Florida and in the Southern states. The flamingo formerly inhabited all the coastlands of Europe, but its beauty, size, and the delicacy of its flesh caused it to be hunted so much that it has long since exchanged those regions for the shores of less populated continents. When the Europeans first came to America, they found the flamingo quite tame and fearless, but it is now not only one of the scarcest, but also one of the most cautious and shy birds of the world, and it is almost impossible to approach this creature. It usually dwells on the banks of the most remote and uninhabitable salt water lakes and on swampy islands. The breeding season of the flamingo depends on the climate where the birds reside. In North America they breed in summer; on the other side of the equator they choose the corresponding season of the year. They build their nests in places where they hope to be quite undisturbed. The nest is indeed no less curious than the bird itself. It is formed of mud which is hardened by the sun or by the body heat of the bird itself, and has the shape and height of a somewhat pointed felt hat. The top is hollowed out, to hold the body of the bird, whose long legs, hanging down on both sides, are in the water. The female lays two eggs in this nest. It is a long time before the young are able to fly, but they can run with great swiftness. Occasionally it is possible to capture a young flamingo, which can be easily tamed -- a circumstance hardly to be expected from the nature of the adult birds.["]

["]THE ROSEATE SPOONBILL inhabits the seacoasts of America from Brazil to Georgia, and is sometimes also encountered in the state of Mississippi during the summer. The spoonbill is found as well in the West Indies, but only on the banks or at the mouths of rivers, where it hunts shellfish, marine insects, small crabs, and fish, sometimes swimming and diving in pursuit of them.["]

["]THE BLACK-BELLIED DARTER, or snakebird, is common from North and South Carolina to Guiana. The head, throat, and breast of this bird are light brown; the belly and tail, deep black. It customarily nests in the brush along riverbanks and sometimes frightens passers by suddenly stretching out its long, thin neck, which, in the first moment of surprise, can be easily mistaken for a snake.


["]THE BLACK VULTURE is sometimes confused with the turkey buzzard, but it has much darker plumage than the latter, and the two kinds of birds are never found together. They may further be fairly well distinguished by their mode of flight. The turkey buzzard approaches towns, but never dares to enter them. It can endure cold much better than the black vulture, and is also less indolent than the latter. The black vulture good-naturedly struts around the streets of towns and villages in the Southern states, or suns itself on the roof tops or garden fences. In winter it roosts on chimneys to get warm, for it is very sensitive to cold. Both kinds of vultures under discussion are especially protected by law. Although their dirty habits do not make them popular with the inhabitants, the latter were moved to set up a heavy penalty for their destruction, for these birds help to keep the area of the settlements free of carrion and animal refuse. This service is of incalculable value in Southern climates.

["]The turkey buzzard is very useful as a tireless exterminator of all creeping animals, and besides, like the black vulture, it devours carrion. This bird is about the size of the turkey; the head and neck are bare and reddish in color, and the sides of the head are warted, like that of the turkey. The plumage is almost entirely brownish black, mixed here and there with a little purple and green. The turkey buzzards live in flocks, peacefully and harmlessly, never attacking any living creature, and hence doing absolutely no harm in chicken yards. These birds have a very keen sense of smell and can perceive carrion at a distance of several miles. When they find a carcass, they will often remain nearby, along with others of the flock, until the body has been entirely devoured. On those occasions the bird eats so much that often it cannot rise into the air, and may be easily caught, but few who know its habits will care to try it. In Delaware, a man once noticed several turkey buzzards on a dead horse which was already in an advanced state of decay. He wanted to catch one to present to his children, and he did succeed in seizing one, but he had proceeded only a few steps with the bird in his arms when the buzzard suddenly disgorged such a torrent of filth right into the poor man's face that he quickly released his prize and abandoned all desire for such sport.

["]The wild turkey is found principally in the less populated regions of the Southern states.["]

Besides the birds already listed, countless flocks of swans, wild geese, cormorants, and several kinds of ducks are found in the Southern states. Due to lack of space, however, we cannot discuss them further.


The Convent of the Sacred Heart.

This convent [Plate 75] is located a short distance below Baton Rouge. The inhabitants of this region are, for the most part, adherents of the Roman Catholic faith. For that reason there are numerous Catholic churches in the cities and villages on this part of the Mississippi. A large girls' school, which can accommodate up to two hundred students, is connected with the convent. It is mostly the daughters of the rich planters in the neighborhood who are educated here. Contrelle Church, Bonnet Quarre [Carre] Church, and Red Church are likewise Catholic churches in the vicinity of important settlements. Red Church is supposed to be the first house of worship erected in this land, and it is said that some of the very earliest colonists and missionaries lie buried in the adjoining churchyard.

Donaldsonville is fifty miles below Baton Rouge and was formerly the capital of Louisiana. It is situated just at the mouth of the Bayou [Lafourche] and has the courthouse of Ascension Parish, a town hall, an arsenal, a land office, several other public buildings, etc. Donaldsonville obviously has much trade and wealth, and a considerable increase in the wealth of the place was apparent from year to year as long as it was the capital of the state. Now, since Baton Rouge [Plate 76] was made the seat of government, the importance of this place continually declines. Population: 1,200.

Baton Rouge, Lousiana.

Plate 76. Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The capital of the state of Louisiana lies 1,067 miles below St. Louis and is built on the last bluff that is seen in going downstream. The bluff rises gradually, spreading out from the bank of the river. In summer, when everything is green and blooming, the town affords a remarkable sight when viewed from shipboard. One is really inclined to take the city, with its old Spanish and French houses and its beautiful squares filled with trees and plants of all kinds, for a charming landscape painting of olden times, rather rather than for a real American city of the nineteenth century.


The United States government has a large arsenal here, with handsomely built barracks for 400 men and a hospital. The view from the esplanade is incomparably beautiful. From there one can see both banks of the river as well as the back country, dotted with houses, villages, and plantations. Besides the buildings mentioned above. Baton Rouge has a land office, where government lands are sold, a state penitentiary, four churches, an academy, a college, and a splendid statehouse. Population: 5,000.

Carrollton, Louisiana.

Carrollton lies 76 miles below Baton Rouge and 7 miles above New Orleans. Living here are many of the most prominent merchants of New Orleans, which is connected with Carrollton by railroad. An exceedingly beautiful large public garden, connected with a most elegantly appointed hotel, serves as the principal promenade for the pleasure-loving residents of New Orleans during the greater part of the year. Among the beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers, the dense green groves, and the tastefully arranged walks with trees alive with all kinds of brilliantly feathered songbirds, one forgets the proximity of that great metropolis with its thousands of ships and stores, and residents from all zones of the world, where the senses are numbed by busy bustle and din. The most famous race track in the Southern states is in Carrollton, and -- strange to say -- races are always held here on Sundays.

Population: close to 2,000.


Chapter 48. New Orleans.

New Orleans.

THIS GREAT CITY ["] lies 1,200 miles from St. Louis on a big bend in the stream, which forms a crescent here [Plate 77]. New Orleans is the principal city in the South, and the third commercial mart in the United States. The city stands on a swampy plain, about two to four feet below the level of the river at high water mark. A levee, or embankment, provides protection against flooding. On entering the city the traveler is struck by the ‘old narrow streets, the high houses, ornamented with tasteful cornices, iron balconies, and many other circumstances peculiar to towns in France and Spain, and pointing out the past history of this city, fated to change its masters so often.’ The newer parts of the city, however, are built more on the American style, with streets that are wide and regularly laid out. Many dwellings are built in a style of magnificence and beauty that will rival those of any city, while the beautiful grounds attached to them, filled with the luxuriant foliage of the South, lend an air of comfort and ease seldom found in a city.

["]New Orleans has four public squares, tastefully laid out, enclosed with handsome fencing, and adorned with the greatest variety of trees and shrubs. They afford a pleasant retreat from the heat and glare of the streets, and besides tend to improve the health of the city. In contrast, the old city is built in the form of a parallelogram. This part of the city consists of the so called faubourgs of St. Mary, Annunciation, and Lacourse (to which may be added


the city of Lafayette) above the city, the suburbs of Marigny, Daunois, and Declouet below the city, and the suburbs of Treme and St. John's in the rear. The entire city is divided into districts, of which there are three, called municipalities. Including the [faubourgs and] Lafayette, the city extends along the river front for a distance of five miles and back from the river for half a mile. It is 105 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and is at all times easily accessible for large ocean vessels, which are towed up by steamboats.

["]The shipping traffic in New Orleans is easily twice as great as that in any other city on earth. By means of the basin, the canal, and the Bayou St. John, the city communicates with Lake Pontchartrain, the coast of Florida, Mobile, Pensacola, and the entire coast of the gulf. It also communicates, by means of Bayous Plaquemine and Lafourche, with Attakapas, and it is connected through numerous bayous and lakes with the lower parts of Louisiana. At all seasons of the year its wharves may be seen lined with craft of all kinds -- rough flatboats which have come from the Allegheny Mountains with lumber, or from farther west, with provisions, etc.; steamboats from the hundred navigable rivers which flow into the Mississippi; ships and schooners from all corners of the globe which here land products from all climes and bring together people of all countries, colors, and languages.

["]The commerce of New Orleans is already very great, and if our guess is right, this place will become the greatest commercial city of the world, when time shall have fulfilled the promises of the present, and every acre has been wrested from the dominion of the forests and lakes of the Mississippi Valley and made available for cultivation. Now, when this great aim is only in the process of gradual realization, its commerce is already gigantic; how immensely great it will be on the consummation of what is still in reserve. Most of the business is transacted between October and June. During the summer the city is usually unhealthful, and is visited by that scourge, the yellow fever, which has carried off thousands of its inhabitants. This circumstance has no doubt retarded the growth of the city considerably; but may it not be entirely overcome in a few years, when scientific efforts now being made to drain the countless swamps in the vicinity will prove successful? During the winter and spring the climate is generally healthy, and thousands pour in from all corners of the world -- some for their health, others for pleasure, but by far the most in connection with the immense business of all kinds transacted here. The value of goods imported into New Orleans from 1841 to 1842 was estimated to be $35,764,477. In December, 1843, there were 600 ships in port here at one time, taking freight from all parts of the world. The exports for that year were


estimated at $50,000,000. In 1845, the value of imports from the interior of the United States alone was estimated at $57,199,122; in 1846, at $77,193,264; in 1847, at $90,044,256. From this one can get an idea of the extent of the city's commerce. Many of the public buildings of New Orleans are constructed in a large and beautiful style. The new customhouse, which is now being built near the old one at the corner of Canal Street and the levee, may, after its completion, be the finest of its kind in the United States.

["]Much has been said against the morals of New Orleans. But there are numerous churches here, all of which are as well attended as those of any city in the Union. The New Orleans police [force] is acknowledged to be the best of any city of the United States, and the perfect peace and order which reign in the city at night is a subject of general observation. In no city of the same size is the protection of person and property more complete than here. In the matter of public charity. New Orleans has yet to find its equal. The numerous public and private hospitals which afford help and comfort to the sick and destitute are a fine commentary on the general attitude toward charity. To enumerate all the places of interest in the city would surely be too tedious. We will let a few suffice. The [Catholic] cathedral is a massive structure dating from 1790. Its outer appearance might suggest a much earlier period than its actual age warrants. It reminds one strongly of the old cathedrals of Europe, which have existed for ages. The St. Louis Hospital, the courthouse, the United States mint, the post office, the City Exchange, the Episcopal [Christ] church on Canal Street, the barracks, the charity hospital, the Ursuline Convent, the College of Orleans, the St. Charles and Orleans theaters, the St. Charles Hotel, the St. Louis Hotel, etc., are all splendid buildings which would do credit to any city.

["]Three railroads lead from the city. One is intended to extend to Mobile by way of the battlefield; one goes to Lake Pontchartrain, five miles away; and the third to the Carrollton Gardens, seven miles distant. All three, besides the fine Shell Road leading to Lake Pontchartrain, afford pleasant excursions to those who wish to flee the city for a few hours. Across from New Orleans, and connected with it by ferry, is the town of Algiers, the principal workshop of


the city. Here are large shipbuilding yards where great numbers of artisans are busy building and repairing vessels. A little above is the United States Marine Hospital, a splendid building whose name indicates its purpose. Despite the notorious unhealthfulness of New Orleans, the population has increased rapidly. It was incorporated as a city in 1804 [1805], and in 1810 it had a population of 17,242; in 1820-27,176; in 1830-46,310; in 1835-70,000, not counting the 40,000 or 50,000 strangers who are there during the winter. At present the population is estimated to be 150,000.

["]Almost every stranger who remains any length of time in New Orleans visits the cemeteries of the city. Several of them are laid out in a handsome manner. The most celebrated are the ‘French Cemetery’ in the city itself, and the ‘Cypress Grove Cemetery,’ about three miles from the metropolis on the Shell Road leading to Lake Pontchartrain. The taste and elegance displayed in many of the vaults, and the constant attention manifested to show respect for the memory of departed friends, are truly gratifying to the finer feelings. Because of the swampy condition of the soil, it is impossible to dig graves, as they would be filled with water a foot below the surface. In order to avoid this, the tombs are built entirely above ground, and are well cemented, with openings just large enough for a single coffin, and often rising up to the height of three or four tiers. Some are encased by a marble wall, and others are stuccoed, to suit the taste and the means of the survivors. The walks between the vaults are covered with beautiful white shells from the seashore, and along the borders of them may be found almost all the varieties of shrubs and flowers which grow so luxuriantly in the South. These cemeteries are open to visitors, and no one who comes to the growing metropolis should fail to pay a visit to these ‘cities of the dead.’

["]The early history of New Orleans, and its connection with the discovery and settlement of the Mississippi Valley, is a very interesting item in the history of our country. In 1718, while Louisiana was under French rule, colonists were sent from Europe who laid out New Orleans with great ceremony. This colony was under the direction of John Law, the noted financier. The Mississippi Company under Law received its charter in 1717, and it granted the exclusive right of trading in the Mississippi country for twenty-five years, with the monopoly of the Canadian beaver trade. In 1718 the company's members were also granted the tobacco monopoly. In 1719 the company was granted exclusive right to trade in Asia and the East Indies, and soon after the farming


of public revenue, together with the extension of all these rights to the year 1770, and the same for the exclusive right of coining for nine years. The company also had the grant, formerly given to [Antoine] Crozat, but resigned by him, of an exclusive monopoly of Louisiana for fifteen years, and the absolute ownership of all mines that might be opened, for this was indeed the great object of all explorers of the Mississippi country. They did not rely so much on the fertility of the soil, as on the immeasurable wealth to be realized from the rich mines of precious metals which they hoped to find.

["]In 1717 about 2,000 inhabitants of the Western [Duchy] embarked from Europe under the direction of the company. In 1720 the company failed and the Germans, thus deserted, dispersed to various parts of the country. Large sums were advanced by the crown to uphold the company and to furnish military protection against the Indians. But all in vain. In 1731 the government obtained a judgment against them in which they were sentenced to pay 20,000,000 francs, and in order to raise this sum their entire property and all their privileges were reconveyed. In 1721 the Council General was moved from Biloxi to New Orleans. In January, 1722, Charlevoix, writing from New Orleans, says: ‘If the 800 houses and five parishes that were represented by the journals to exist here two years since have shrunk to about 100 rudely built huts, a large wooden magazine, two or three houses that would do little credit to a French village, and an old storehouse which was to be used as a chapel but to which the priests preferred an ordinary tent -- even if all this is true, yet how pleasant to think of what this city will one day be, and, instead of weeping over its decay and ruin, to look forward to its growth to opulence and power.’ ‘The best idea you can form of New Orleans is to imagine 200 people sent to build a city, but who, instead, encamped on the riverbank, scantily protected from the weather, and waiting for houses. They have a beautiful and regular plan for this metropolis, but it will prove harder to execute than to draw.’

["]For many years the colony grew but slowly. In April, 1763 [November, 1762], France ceded Louisiana to Spain by a secret treaty. The French on the Mississippi were not informed of this until more than a year later. Five years later the Spanish commander in chief, Don Antonio de Ulloa, arrived. The colony was so dissatisfied with the transfer that Ulloa's successor, [Alexandro] O'Reilly, found it necessary to keep 3,000 soldiers in New Orleans to maintain peace, and 6 of the most important citizens were hanged, and 5 officers of the crown were shot. In 1765 many of the inhabitants abandoned the city and went to Santo Domingo to settle, preferring to obey the French laws and


customs rather than the Spanish. In 1769 the city was first scourged by yellow fever. In 1778 [1788] a fire broke out which destroyed nearly 1,000 houses. In 1785 the population was 4,780. In 1795 the king of Spain permitted New Orleans to become a depot for American products for three years, and this arrangement according to a mutual agreement continued until October 16, 1802. On October 1, 1800, a treaty was signed at San Ildefonso between France and Spain, by virtue of which Louisiana was ceded to Napoleon. It was confirmed and reiterated in the treaty of Madrid on March 21, 1801. Thus France gained dominion over this territory for the second time.

["]In order to prevent the English from conquering the territory, Bonaparte resolved to sell it to the United States. Without any knowledge of this intention, President Jefferson sent Mr. [James] Monroe to negotiate for the island of Orleans. Upon arriving in France, Mr. Monroe was surprised to learn that the French had decided to sell all of Louisiana, and the only matter that remained to be settled was the price. On April 30, 1803, the commissioners signed the treaty by the authority of which the United States paid 80,000,000 francs for the land, deducting 20,000,000 for spoliations upon our commerce.

["]When the deeds of transfer were signed, the commissioners, [FranÇois] Barbe-Marbois, Mr. [Robert R.] Livingston, and Mr. Monroe, were so filled with joy that they sprang up and shook hands with each other with utmost enthusiasm. Mr. Livingston is said to have exclaimed: ‘We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our lives. The treaty which we have just signed has not been obtained by art nor dictated by force. Equally advantageous to both parties, it will change vast solitudes into flourishing districts. The United States will re-establish the maritime rights of all the world, which are now usurped by a single nation. The instruments which we have just signed will cause no tears to be shed. They prepare ages of happiness for innumerable generations of human creatures.’ Napoleon with his own hand drew up articles guaranteeing protection to property, and the enjoyment of religious freedom. In conclusion, he said: ‘Let the Louisianians know that we separate from them with regret; that we stipulate in their favor everything that they can desire; and let them hereafter, happy in their independence, recollect that they have been Frenchmen, and that France, in ceding them to another state, has secured for them advantages which they could not obtain from a European power, no matter how paternal it might have been. Let them retain for us sentiments of affection; and may our common origin, language, and customs perpetuate our friendship.’

["]The Spaniards were now required to execute the treaty of San Ildefonso. They accordingly delivered the forts and posts on the Mississippi to M. [Pierre-Clement]


Laussat and his agents on November 30, 1803. The reign of France was short and provisional. On December 20 the French prefect, the American governor [William C. C.] Claiborne, and General [James] Wilkinson, commanding the United States troops which had moved into the city as the Spaniards embarked, assembled at the city hall. Laussat made a formal transfer of the province, and Claiborne received it in execution of the treaty. During this ceremony at the city hall, the American flag was brought to the foot of the flagstaff, at the top of which the French colors floated. As one rose, the other descended, and meeting midway remained some moments, mutually entwined. As the flag of the Union rose in the air, the Americans could no longer suppress their shouts of joy; but the French guard, present at the scene, expressed their deepest regrets, and as a last homage to the glorious banner of their country, their leader wrapped it about himself and paraded through the streets at the head of his troops, and finally deposited this symbol of the power and glory of France with the late prefect, M. Laussat.

["]On May 20 [March 26, 1804] Congress divided the Territory of Louisiana into two parts, attaching the upper part to Indiana. On January 20 [April 30], 1812, the state of Louisiana was formed by adopting a republican constitution. In August, 1814, Colonel [Edward] Nicholls, the British commandant at Pensacola, issued an address to the citizens of Louisiana and Kentucky, declaring that he was at the head of a large body of Indians under the command of British officers, with a large train of artillery supported by a numerous squadron of British and Spanish vessels and warships; and calling upon all to second him in his efforts to crush the Americans, at the same time giving notice that a Spanish, French, or British flag on a house would guarantee protection. A short time after this had become known, on September 15, the citizens of New Orleans held a meeting and resolved to uphold the authority of the government and the honor of the American arms to the best of their ability. A committee of public safety was appointed to assist the governor in providing the necessary measures for the defense of the city, and a proclam