Pictures and Illustrations.
Journal of a Tour, in the "Indian Territory".
IT is unnecessary to detail the result of applications for funds. The collections are reported in the "Spirit of Missions." The severity of the winter having cut off the southern communication by the Potomac, the Secretary returned from Washington, the authorities there having furnished every facility for his visit to the "Indian Territory," and sailed on 2d February, 1844, from New York to Charleston, which he reached some days in advance of the mail: visited the Rev. Rectors of the Churches at Columbia and Camden: had the privilege, in connection with his Rev. Brother, the Secretary for Foreign Missions, of submitting the necessities of the Missionary field to the Churchmen of South Carolina, then assembled in Convention: conferred with Bishop Elliott and his presbyters at Savannah: crossed to Montgomery, Alabama, and thence to Mobile, where he received a most cordial reception from the Rector of Christ Church, who, though an invalid, seemed to have lost none of his devotion to the cause of Missions — and, "like priest, like people," a most cheering response was made to the Secretary's appeal, in a collection of $663 73. At New Orleans, found the Church much interested in extending itself in the city — certainly the most important part of our Domestic field, as the heart of the great valley of the Mississippi. When it is remembered that the waters of 35,000 miles of navigable stream pass this point, — that by it, communication is had with Texas, indeed with the world — is it possible to overrate the importance of occupying it strongly, and maintaining
2there a Missionary whose duty it should be to minister to the boatmen and sailors — and, well furnished with bibles, tracts, and prayer-books, send them thence, as bread upon the waters?
Was happy to meet the Right Rev. the Bishop of Tennessee, with whom, on the 8th March, embarked on board the Belle of Red River for the great Raft. As this river is one of the great highways to the Indian Territory, a description of it may be borne with.
Its mouth is 232 miles above New Orleans, whence it can be reached in 1-1Ë days, 800 miles below the mouth of the Ohio, whence it can be reached in 3 or 4 days.
Its natural divisions are, 1st, The narrow sluggish part of about 45 miles from the bluffs above to Shreveport, within which are the formations of the drift; 2d, the river above; 3d, the river below. The upper river manifests all the features of a short stream, collecting from a wide expanse of country a great amount of water, therefore rising and falling with suddenness and rapidity; while, on the contrary, the lower river has the character of a very long stream, continuing steadily up after being once filled.
The drift having been once stopped, each rise brings down all that the caving in of the banks and other causes have prepared. The raft extends up. The lower portion, by the pressure from above, and after some years becoming water-soaked, sinks. Two consequences ensue: 1st. The water being obstructed, and seeking outlets, opens large bayous; these carry off a great proportion of the river, leaving but a small sluggish stream on the original channel, which accommodates itself to it. When the water returns to its proper bed, it is, of course, widened in proportion to the amount restored. The other consequence is, that the sinking of the raft extends up, forming innumerable snags planted in all directions, and at every angle in the bed of the river. The bayous overflow a great extent of the country on each side, forming very large lakes, which every obstruction to the river has tended to increase and deepen, for when a country is overflowed the banks become higher.
It is of great importance, not only to our citizens and to Texas, but to the Chickasaws and Choctaws, many of whom raise cotton, that Government should continue its appropriations to remove these formidable obstructions to the navigation of this river.
Having broken a shaft and run aground, we did not reach the mouth or Red River till Sunday afternoon, 9th March; and were soon furnished with a melancholy illustration of the uncertainly of life upon these waters. Hailed from the shore, a few miles from the mouth, we discovered, on approaching, the wreck of the steamer Buckeye.
A few days previous, as she was descending the river, with 300 passengers, just at the hour when sleep is most profound, she was run into by the De Soto, and in five minutes sunk, carrying 100 of her passengers to a watery grave. The shore was strewed with her wreck. Many persons were attracted there by the sad event, seeking for and interring the dead. Sixty bodies were found and placed in a common grave. One was there, desolate indeed, and almost crazed, looking for the bodies of his wife and seven children! The Cypress, fringed with the long dark pendant moss of that country, looking like Nature's pall, thrown over these graves in the wilderness, formed a fitting grove for their sepulture, for friend and kinsfolk there were none, save the well-nigh maniac father and husband, to perform the last sad rites. Had the Church Missionary ever sounded in their ears while living the cheering word of GOD — "I am the resurrection and the Life?"
We left them, commending ourselves to His care, who speaks sweetly to the Christian, "All things are yours, whether life or death."
The evening was hallowed by the word of GOD, and prayer, and a sermon from Bishop Otey.
After some delay at the great Red River Raft, where we made a portage of 3 miles and took another boat, which, going into some of the bayous for the cotton deposited, brought us back again; we at last reached Fulton on the 20th March, took horses to Washington, 14 miles, over an indescribable, but ever-to-be-remembered
4road, on which we became painfully initiated to the saddle.
Bishop O. held service, and baptized the children of a family, taking occasion to explain some of the misconceptions of our offices. We enjoyed the attentions of several of the citizens, and found here a candidate for orders. It would be very hasty to determine the state of society from simply passing up the river. The interior conveys a very different impression, and it was not a little refreshing after "hearing and seeing" what we were compelled to on the route, to find ourselves in the presence of a Virginia lady, who, in the good providence of her Lord, was here.
Took horses on the 21st for Fort Towson, and made forty miles. On the next morning came to Ultima Thule, yes, Ultima Thule, the very jumping-off place, where our journal properly commences — for, whether the West or the Far West, a question difficult to settle; just beyond commenced the "Territory," the south-eastern portion of the Choctaw Nation.
March 22. — On crossing the Choctaw line, came almost immediately to the farms of the Messrs. Harris, brothers from the States, who had married sisters in one of the first Choctaw families — the Pitchlynn. Every thing wore the appearance of neatness, plenty, and comfort, a fine peach orchard in blossom, fields broken up by the plough, a cotton gin, &c. &c. &c. An interesting incident marked our entrance into the Territory: The Bishop asked one of the Messrs. Harris, if he, some years previous, had written to the minister of the church in Little Rock, Arkansas, requesting baptism for his children. His reply was "yes," and on learning who we were, gave us a most hearty welcome, insisted upon our alighting, and introduced us to the comforts of his house. His children had become ill, and failing in his application in Arkansas, he had recourse in the extremity to an estimable clergyman of the Presbyterian Church. One child, an infant, had never received baptism. The relatives were called in; each seemed to be supplied with a book of prayer; the parents and sponsors turned to the service, and with responses as audible and fervent as I ever heard, their little Lucy, sweet as the red buds which marked their opening spring, was dedicated to the blessed Trinity. Nothing could have been more grateful to our feelings than at the very threshold of the "Territory," to be called upon to thank GOD for regenerating one of its daughters by his Holy Spirit. May it prove but the earnest of our Church's efforts in folding to her bosom these too long neglected, future mothers of the red man. No wonder that the efforts to civilize them have been crowned with but partial success, while female education was almost wholly overlooked. When the Indian youth returned from his place of education in the east, no home like that for which he had been fitted, welcomed him — no mother's or sister's influence to retain him at the point to which he had advanced — his tender friend must be selected from those who have no sympathy with civilization, — is it any marvel that he should retrograde?
5But educate the squaw, and you form the sister, the wife, the mother, who will change as if by magic their homes.
One of the brothers politely rode with us to our resting-place for the night, imparting much valuable information upon the subject of our errand. It is a ground of felicitation that the cause of morals, education, and the church, has such friends on this very important point of the frontier. They are determined, and their family connexion, joined to their own energy, gives them much weight, to keep at a distance all unworthy intruders, and traffic, and lend their warm co-operation to all efforts to improve those among whom they have cast their lot. They speak highly of Choctaw improvement, and could they only keep whiskey from the lines, all would be well. Can not men enough of tone and principle be found in Arkansas, to resolve that so mean and vile a traffic shall not jeopard this noble experiment to rescue a RACE. Alas, if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall these ungodly traders and sinners appear? The Choctaws are making great efforts on behalf of education, and have given their brethren the noble example of devoting their annuity ($18,000,) wholly to schools.
It was a test question at the elections, and the education party triumphed! The Choctaw language is giving way rapidly before the English. Some thousands still remain east of the Mississippi, 2000 of whom expect soon to emigrate. Our ride was through a rolling country, covered with oak, dogwood, and pine, — the latter dead, and much of it then burning.
March 23. — We spent the previous night under the hospitable roof of the Rev. Mr. Byington, at Stockbridge, a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M.; he had made an extensive tour of the Indian country in '37 with the Rev. Mr. Kingsbury, — is well acquainted with the Choctaw, and gives himself, so far as other engrossing duties permit, to the work of translation, having rendered the Acts of the Holy Apostles into Choctaw, and being now engaged upon the Book of Genesis. I hazarded the remark that his labours tended to perpetuate the language, and make more remote the very desirable period when the English alone would be the sole medium of communication between themselves and other tribes, thus hastening their civilization. That, he remarked, was the view once taken by the Missionary Society, but they had adopted other views from consideration of the large class of adults who had a repugnance to changing their native tongue.
He was their physician too, and, while sitting with him, a fine looking Choctaw applied to him for medicine for a sick wife. This enables him to make kindly inquiries after their spiritual wants, and in connexion with his
6labours as their preacher, his mild, affectionate course as he goes in and out among them, has secured for him very enviable opportunities of usefulness.
We could not but admire the cheerfulness with which his lady shared his labours, and gave the natives the example of a cheerful Christian home in the wilderness. Aloof from politics, whether of church or state, and occupied solely with the duties of their charge, they did not seem to be aware of the privations they endured; the candle of the Lord shone brightly upon them; and we left them deeply impressed with the riches of that grace which can form character of eminent sweetness and simplicity under apparently untoward circumstances; not, however, before we had commended the Church universal, and those specially dear to us, to Him who makes the families who call upon him his special care. Mr. B.'s labours as a preacher had not been without a blessing. He preaches in Choctaw, and his congregation here is full blood. He mentioned a remarkable instance of GOD'S power and grace to an Indian, intelligent, and well educated, who from reading infidel books, had become skeptical, gave up his intercourse with the Missionaries, and attended the Indian ball-plays on Sunday, where he was heartily welcomed by his Heathen friends. As he rode alone, he came suddenly upon a beautiful prairie, filled as they usually are with the loveliest of Flora's treasures, and as his horse's feet separated the grass, beneath which many of them hid their modest petals, each step revealing new beauties, his attention was arrested; his heart, true to nature, was touched by nature's GOD; he was melted, subdued, and he resolved at once to go to the Missionary and ask more of that Good Being, "who so arrayed the lilies of the field." He is now a devoted Christian of commanding influence, and is preparing for the ministry.
He had within a few days lost a much loved sister, an eminent Christian. His letter to the Missionary communicating the event was filled with a glowing contrast of his present and former state, when such a loss would have plunged him in despair; he could now repose upon the "Resurrection and the Life," and in his bleeding heart find already the precious balm, which soothed and healed.
It was a letter so full of native pathos — such resignation — so much gratitude, we could not but feel with the Missionary, that one such trophy of the Cross far outweighed the silver and gold which the Mission may have cost, nay, the prayers and tears, and patient waiting upon GOD which had been instrumental in winning it.
Mr. B. kindly rode with us to Eagletown, where we crossed a fork, and were introduced to Captain Hudson, a member of the Choctaw bar. He looked as though he might be an eloquent pleader. He was certainly a graceful man, commanding in his appearance, and six feet high. Were shown the site of the female boarding-school which is to go into operation next fall, udder the auspices of the A. B.C. F. M. The position is a very fine one, not far from a new residence just erected for Mr. B., who is to have supervision of the school.
The Bishop made some suggestions to Mr. B., which were kindly received, in reference to securing the fruits of their labours, and, after much conversation upon Indian matters, we parted from this devoted cross-bearer with the most unaffected regard and esteem.
We had proceeded but a few yards when an Indian, led by the hand by a boy, stood in the road before us, and presented a paper. He was blind, and lived by the road-side, that he might ask alms of those who passed. The paper contained a line from the Agent, commending his appeal. He spoke a little English. The Bishop endeavoured to lead him to think of GOD, as we gave him our mite. Passed on and forded mountain fork and little river — country rolling, pine, oak, black jack, dog wood — some fine cotton land — salamander hills abundant — some beautiful knolls. Came to Wheelock, the residence of the Rev. A. Wright, a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., kindred in spirit and alike efficient and esteemed with his Rev. brother whom we left in the morning. He has charge of a female boarding-school of about 50 scholars (selected from the several clans), sustained chiefly by the funds of the Choctaw Nation. He is assisted by his lady, now in delicate health, we regretted to learn, and by Mr. and Mrs. Copeland, with Miss Kerr.
The buildings were to some extent erected by the Board before the present arrangement went into effect. The usual plan among the Choctaws is for the nation to erect the buildings and sustain four-fifths of the annual expense of the establishment; the Missionary Board to which it is confided the remaining one-fifth. Mr. Wright devotes himself particularly to preaching and translating the Scriptures, giving his chief attention to the New Testament, while Mr. Byington translates the Old. The Church at Wheelock consists of 116 members, connected with five different stations — 3 natives studying for the ministry. Two of these were educated in New England, and one at Henrietta, Ohio.
Had the pleasure of being presented to Miss Burnham, who, in the true spirit of a Missionary, for many years kept a school quite alone on the Red River — an example which it would be safer perhaps to admire than to imitate. Miss Kerr is also a teacher, and seemed perfectly happy in the duties of her calling — told her we should provoke our Churchwomen to similar labours of love by informing them, not of trials, for in this light a residence in the wilderness, with its duties, did not seem to be viewed; but of the many cheerful and happy faces we saw, upon which GOD'S peace seemed to be written.
It was Saturday afternoon; we had not, therefore, the pleasure of seeing the children in school, but observed them, very neatly dressed, walking about the grounds. Mr. W. rode with us to the residence of Col. Pitchlynn, one of the principal men of the Choctaw nation, to whom I had letters from the Hon. John C. Spencer. We found him in deep grief, having recently lost his wife, the sister of the interesting young man alluded to above. He received us very kindly, and remarked that any thing he could do to promote the education of his people would be cheerfully done. "You will find all friends
8here. Had you come two years sooner, before our funds had been appropriated, there would have been no difficulty. I wished to see Episcopalians among us. I thought of them, but there were none here. The Presbyterians have been longer among us." Mr. W. courteously remarked that there was still abundant room for our labours. We took leave of him, and rode on to Fort Towson, passing over some beautiful prairie, a large tract of which was broken up and fenced for cotton. On the left were fine eminences — at length the Kiamicha hills came in view, though it was quite dark when we reached the Fort, having travelled 46 miles to-day. The cordial reception of Major Andrews and his command, soon made us forget the toils of the way.
March 24, (Sunday.) — Divine Service held in the school-room, which was filled with an attentive congregation of officers and men: sermon by the Bishop. In the afternoon the same congregation, addressed by their former comrade. The Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., who had an appointment there, politely made a request that one of us would take the services. After service, rode over with Mr. Wright, who has charge of a female boarding-school at Pine Ridge, to visit the establishment, and after tea rode to Dokesville, between his house and the Fort: read service and preached to a congregation made up of the residents at that place and soldiers from the garrison, chiefly members of Mr. K.'s flock. In addition to his offices among the Indians, he has rendered very efficient service in the garrison, and his labours have extended even into Texas, where they have been rendered at no little risk of his life: 333 members have professed themselves followers of the Redeemer, under his ministry since 1837 — more than 50 of them from the garrison: ample evidence that devoted ministrations in that region are not without their fruits. We took tea with the family, including the Indian children, about 25 boarders — the school having recently gone into operation under the auspices of the National Council. After tea, the children, led by Miss Arms, sang a hymn in Choctaw and read alternately a verse in the New Testament.
To see these once Heathen children united in singing sweetly the praises of the Saviour on his own Holy day was very affecting. Mrs. K.'s maternal cares are not without their impression upon them: she pointed out one little girl, who on first coming to the school was almost heart-broken. Mrs. K. found her suffering from a contusion, nursed her assiduously and successfully, and now the little thing follows her like a shadow and can scarcely be separated from her side long enough to attend school.
March 25. — Rode over from the garrison to Pine Ridge with some of the gentlemen of the Fort: the Bishop examined the school, consisting of 39 girls, day scholars included, in reading, spelling, geography, and grammar. They acquitted themselves very creditably: observed that some of the full blood Indians were quite as ready as the mixed blood. A young lady, Miss Dickinson, has charge of the children when not in school. The buildings seemed rather small, but this is an evil which, in the progress of the institution, can
9be corrected. Mr. K. estimated the cost of adequate buildings for 50 girls at $2000; a girl can be boarded for $1 per week, and clothed for $15 per annum; term 40 weeks. There are 5 of these schools for girls among the Choctaws: 3 in the Puckshanubbe district (Byington, Wright, and Kingsbury), 1 in Pushmataha (Hotchkin), and 1 connected with Fort Coffee Academy, which has not yet been opened, but will be ere long.
Conferred with Mr. K. and others fully on the subject of Indian affairs: introduced to Col. D. Folsom, who, in common with all the Choctaws we met, was deeply interested for the education of the rising generation. Indeed, the danger is that the nation expects too much from education in its narrow sense; and but that it has fallen into the hands of men who will see to it that religious culture is not neglected, they would be sadly disappointed in the result. Returned to the Fort.
March 26. — The rain prevented us from paying our respects to the Rev. Mr. Potts and others, a few miles from the garrison. The Bishop addressed a communication to his Mend, A. M. M. Upshaw, Esq., Agent for the Chickasaws at Washita, on the subject of our Mission, regretting that his engagements in Arkansas did not permit him to visit that post.
In the afternoon, rode out with Rev. Mr. Kingsbury, and had an interview with Major C—, one of the first men of the Chickasaw nation. He was understood to have been educated under Quaker influence, and had all the gentleness and amenity which one looks for in that school.
He is a very large and very successful farmer, and an enterprising man: sent some goods out to the Rocky Mountains, but found the British influence so omnipotent there, was compelled to bring every thing back unsold. He listened very kindly to what I had to say, and replied, pointing to Rev. Mr. W, "Come in, sir, as these gentlemen have done, and work; you will find no difficulty."
It has been said, rather erroneously we think, that the Chickasaws are equal to the Choctaws. They will, no doubt, soon overtake them. Their annuities are now becoming due, and applicable to education, &c.
The country (bought of the Choctaws) is a very fine one, and, when the obstructions in Red River are removed, they will be encouraged to raise cotton.
Some of these Southern tribes have been very much cheated in various ways — for evidence of which see a faithful and fearless report to Government by one of its most accomplished officers, Col. Hitchcock. Why the publication of a portion of this truth-telling document was suppressed by Congress, those concerned best know; and why gentlemen implicated in rather questionable transactions in that quarter were retained in their places of honour and profit, is a question that belongs rather to politics than to morals.
The Bishop held service at the garrison in the evening.
March 27. — Took leave of our hospitable friends at the garrison, who had not confined their attentions to our stay among them, but provided us now
10with tents, and all the other comforts usual in campaigning; we found fine saddle-horses placed at our disposal, in addition to a waggon and four, for our camp equipage, &c.
It was impossible for the most delicate and thoughtful hospitality, to have done more for our comfort than did Major Andrews and Captain Collins. Dr. Baylis, we found, had even anticipated the possibility of sickness, and put up various prescriptions, accompanied with minute directions. Lieut. Wetmore, who, since his Florida campaign, had been sighing over the inglorious repose of a garrison life, mounted his charger, and volunteered to accompany us. The Bishop's first visit to a military station, made, as well it might, a most favourable impression upon him. He made Major Andrews fight the battle of Okechobee over again, discussed Napoleon's campaigns, shewed himself perfectly familiar with the various struggles in this country, and fully satisfied the officers that, at the call of duty, he could fight a brigade with no less skill, and vigour, and fearlessness, than he evinced in doing battle with them for the Lord of Hosts. We parted with regret from these gentlemen, who, on the bishop's recommendation, had elected a chaplain, and rode 12 miles to Spencer Academy.
This is the principal institution among the Choctaws for the education of boys, and went into operation on the 1st February. It is under the control of the Choctaw authorities, who have taken great pride in its establishment, and appropriate $8,000 per annum for its support.
The buildings are not yet completed upon the requisite scale, but so impatient was the tribe to send the children, they were compelled to make a commencement. Many of the boys are boarded by their parents within a few miles, that they may not lose the advantages it even now offers.
The Rev. Mr. McKenney, a presbyterian, is the Rector, assisted by Messrs. Wilson and Wright, Mr. Dwight interpreter, the scholars in attendance at present, about 75. Rev. Mr. McK. politely shewed us through the establishment. The school-room was quite crowded with Indian boys, intently pursuing their studies, while some were reciting; the quiet and order of the Indian schools is astonishing, and the pupils are said to he tractable in the highest degree. As the bell rang for dinner, we were ushered into the common dining-room; we have seen no commons, not even excepting that of the Military Academy, where greater neatness, cleanliness, comfort, and plenty, seemed to prevail. The steward Oliver was the presiding genius here; and we are confident, that if these youth are ever civilized, Oliver may claim a pretty large share in the result, for no one could mess for a month under such a caterer, and not have some aspirations after neatness, order, and a well-supplied larder. Oliver, however, in one instance, lost sight of the adage, "de gustibus," and, like most reformers, was too abrupt in the changes he sought to effect. Amid the generous plenty of their board, the Indians sighed for their "Tom Fuller," a preparation of Indian corn (like hominy,) which is left in the water they boil it in, and serves, under different names,
11both for food and drink among almost all Indians. Some of these poor little fellows, unable to do without their beloved Tom Fuller, ran off to their homes, two days' journey, and bivouacked at night among pigs in order to keep warm. They were brought back, however, and the steward, warned by this significant hint, that his labours would be in vain, if Tom Fuller was not admitted to his table, gave it a place there; the boys were satisfied, and we saw them dividing their attentions between Tom Fuller and other rival preparations, not lacking in devotion to any. The consumption of Oliver's stores was said to be immense, but I afterwards learned that it is only at first, and until they become quite habituated to our more substantial fare, that they make such havoc as we were witness to.
The boys work 1 1/2 hour in the morning, and 1 1/2 in the evening; are employed at present in improving the grounds, but will, ere long, be made to raise sufficient cotton to keep them in groceries and clothing.
As a general remark, the school-rooms and dormitories of most of the institutions we have seen, are not sufficiently ventilated, and not enough attention given to provide backs to the benches. Fresh air, and easy position, can not with impunity be overlooked in civilizing these boys.
We regretted to perceive that the health of the Rector's lady was impaired by the climate. Our prayers ought to abound, not only that labourers may be sent into this wilderness, but that their hearts may be comforted and their faith strengthened under this severest of trials, the prostration of those dear to them.
Pursuing our journey, we made 22 miles; the first part of our road destitute of pine, black jack abundant; the most beautiful violets and cardinals along our path, and the dwarf plumb in blossom. Reached the middle of the Seven Brothers — a series of hills so called — and encamped on the banks of a small stream, in which, after supper, and by torch light, we caught fish enough for our breakfast.
March 28. — Broke up the camp quite early, after enjoying our fine fish for breakfast, and crossed the remainder of the Seven Brothers. Along our route was strewed the most beautiful sand-stone, resembling that of which Trinity Church is built, much of it in blocks as though hewn by art: passed the crest of the Kiamicha mountains, presenting the most beautiful views — country hilly — pine abundant, and the scrub oak looking like orchards — the wild gooseberry in great abundance: a novel chase of a rabbit by two crows. Crossed the Kiamicha in fine style, and encamped near Mr. Anderson's having made 31 miles. The weather had been excessively warm, and we had scarcely pitched oar camp, when rain came on, which, during the night, poured in torrents: but that our tents were well pitched we should have paid dearly for neglecting the precaution of digging trenches: our tarpaulin kept us dry; and on the 29th, having been joined by Mr. Randolph, a gentleman of New Orleans, who, hearing at Fort Towson of our departure, had hastened to come up with us, left camp quite early, the rain continuing and
12wind blowing. My capote, the envy of the party, although the Bishop threatened to have me lithographed en costume, did me fine service, the great difficulty in riding in the rain being to keep the water from one's neck. Came upon a beautiful high prairie: forded several streams, which were much swollen by the rain: stopped by one about 17 miles from our camp, 12 feet water, and still raining: encamped in a perfect mudhole: no pine timber, and of course no light wood save a small piece brought with us. The stern realities of the Missionary work now came upon us — a furious snow-storm — smoky fire: we fared much better, however, than our poor horses, who were exposed to the weather all night.
March 30. — Snow this morning 2 inches deep: icicles a foot long: a very cold but bright morning: forded the stream at 9 o'clock, and at noon crossed the dividing ridge between the waters that flow to Red River on one side, and the Arkansas on the other: passed a number of rapid streams almost too much for the horses. The Poteau ford, about 25 miles from our last encampment, was the point selected for the next, till that stream should run down.
Riding in advance of the party, came to a slough filled with back-water from the Poteau, which was half a mile distant: as there was no current, rode in, and very soon the horse was swimming — this was a sufficient hint to look before leaping: returned to the party, which had halted at Mr. T.'s, from whom they had learned the state of the slough: fortunately for comfort, the Lieutenant had a spare suit — to be sure, it was a full dress uniform. Here we determined to rest for the night in one of Mr. T.'s log cabins. He was an educated Choctaw: had been at the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Ct.: could speak English very well, and swore almost as fluently as a white man: had a well cultivated farm, and many comforts around him: raised corn and sufficient cotton for family use: had a loom under his piazza in operation: his partner seemed very industrious: all dressed in American costume. On being asked by the Bishop if he did not bring some books with him from the east, replied, "Yes, a trunk full, as far as Augusta, Ga., but had to leave them there, and had not since recovered them." No Bible in the house? "Yes, believed there was." Did he read it with his family? "No." Did he not think it his duty? "Yes, perhaps it was." He knew all the Missionaries in the country, and seemed in the course of his life to have enjoyed abundant opportunities of attaining the Truth: said they had meetings at Cornwall three times on Sunday, and on Wednesday evening: seemed to have no very pleasant recollections of his Sunday fare at the Mission School, "nothing but a biscuit for dinner."
March 31, (Palm Sunday.) — A bright and glorious Sabbath: our teamster rode over to the Poteau, and brought back word that he had found 17 feet water, which might not run down before Tuesday. Finding our log but not so pleasant as the tents with their noble log fires in front, we pitched our camp: dried our blankets, rested the horses, and sent many thoughts to our Brethren in the east, who were going up to the Sanctuary; would they remember
13the Missionary cause on this day? think of gladdening these solitudes with the tidings of salvation? Service was held every third Sunday at a few miles distance, but not to-day.
Our late host, now our neighbor, took his rifle, and went out with a friend, to look, as he said, for a stray animal: we suspected that if the stray animal proved a deer, the rifle would come in play to assist in securing it. In the evening they returned with a noble buck, but no other animal that we could perceive.
April 1. — Detained still by high water: rode out to visit some Indians six miles distant: lost the trail: started a fox: recovered the trail, which brought us to the house of Mrs. —, a Choctaw widow, with a large and interesting family of children, the daughters dressed in white cotton of their own manufacture: a black woman interpreted: had been brought up in the family: was quite intelligent and useful. There are a number of people of colour among them, who seem to be very happy: fare as well as the Indians, and are of great service to them in many ways. About the house and grounds there was the appearance of great neatness, thrift and comfort: a well stocked, well worked farm: the same remark applies to other houses and grounds we saw in the neighbourhood: one of the sons is at Spencer Academy: two on horseback, in conjunction with six dogs, were engaged in a very animating pig drive and chase.
A Choctaw, educated at the east, preaches once in three weeks.
Returning to the camp found the Poteau had fallen 7 feet.
April 2. — Broke up camp and forded the Poteau without difficulty: rode to-day for the most part through a prairie country, some of it truly beautiful. Sugar Loaf mountain soon came in sight; ten miles from our camp, came to Col. McK—'s, an influential Choctaw, to whom we had letters. He expressed a very lively interest in the education of Choctaw youth, and tendered us a hearty welcome to their country. After conferring with him, rode on, passing several well looking farms; started some deer, turkey, and grouse; found the heat excessive, and made 30 miles. Much to our disappointment, found no fodder for our horses, and were compelled to ride on — the nearest house 10 miles; fortunately met a waggoner, who supplied us, and we encamped within 18 miles of Fort Smith.
April 3. — A bright moonlight morning; breakfasted and in the saddle before sunrise; passed first through a beautiful prairie, the remainder timber. It was evident that we were now approaching the abodes of civilized man and crossing the line which separated the Indian Territory from Arkansas: unequivocal proof of this was presented by half a dozen empty whiskey barrels standing around the cabin. Could we rejoice, now that we had exchanged barbarism for civilization, Heathenism for Christianity? cruel, treacherous, blood-thirsty red men for the high-minded, magnanimous, chivalrous, gentle white men of our western frontier? With such joy as the traveller on first discovering a gallows. Controuled our feelings of satisfaction, however, in
14observing these instruments of civilization, and rode on to Fort Smith, where Government has recently expended some S200,000 in commencing the erection of brick quarters for troops, surrounded by a strong stone wall to keep out the fresh air and Indians. This is very thoughtful and praise-worthy in Government. $200,000 expended for schools, or chaplains, would ruin any administration that should recommend it; but when our frontier-men kindly furnish the Indians with whiskey, and are satisfied with their blankets, guns, horses, &c. when they have no money to pay; it would be hard not to furnish them with some strong place to run to, on occasions when the Indians drink too much, and become rude and quarrelsome. This work, Fort Smith, reflects so much credit upon those who successfully carried out the design of it, viz. to spend public money, it is not a little surprising that no one can be found to father the plan. The buildings are half finished, and will of course require an additional appropriation. If one half the funds absorbed on the frontier by such defences, were applied to educate and christianize either the whites or Indians there, the results would be far greater. We were informed that not far from Fort Smith, (a town near the garrison,) six hundred barrels of whiskey were stored, and Indians came in daily and carried away any quantity they could pay for.
The garrison at present occupies a well shaded eminence, a mile from the new fort: we arrived at 9 A. M. and were kindly welcomed and entertained by the officers.
April 4. — Leaving the Bishop to receive the attentions courteously extended by General Taylor, rode out with Major Hunter to the Choctaw Agency, (Major Armstrong's,) who is at the same time the Superintendent of Affairs in the south-west. Passed through a noble cane-brake, vegetation very luxuriant, a grape vine eighteen inches in diameter; delivered my letters, and stated the object of our visit; the presence of others on business also, curtailed our opportunity, the less to be regretted as Major Armstrong proposed taking the same boat with Bishop Otey, to descend the Arkansas. After dinner, rode on to Fort Coffee, beautifully situated on a projecting rocky point of the Arkansas, 75 or 100 feet above the level of the river, and now occupied by the Methodists as a manual labour school for boys. The principal, the Rev. Mr. Good, was absent; Mr. Benson was hearing the boys spell; 33 were in attendance, they rise at dawn, breakfast one hour after, work till half past eight o'clock; school from nine to twelve, and from half past one to half past four: work till sun down; use Goodrich's books. Looked at the dormitory and kitchen. This school promises very well; the police was much inferior to that at Spencer Academy, but it is fairly attributable to the mistake of patching up the old quarters instead of pulling them down and building new ones. It was humiliating to hear that the Government had required the Methodists, a body co-operating with them for the improvement of the Indians, to pay for the old buildings at Fort Coffee, which were not worth the powder it would require to blow them up. This is the most beautiful site for a school any
15where met with; the boys appeared to be very happy, and were said to improve rapidly. Returned to the garrison, the day's ride 35 miles.
April 5. — At reveille took horse for Van Buren, 5 miles from the Fort, to pay respects to Bishop Otey, who was there visiting the parish, and to take leave of him. It was gratifying to know that his general health had improved by the journey. Whatever of fatigue or inconvenience it may have cost him, was forgotten in the pleasant contacts to which it gave rise, and the Church will reap the benefit, not only from his ministrations in that region, but in the deliberations of the House of Bishops upon Indian Missions. Put horse on steamer and returned to Fort Smith, whence we ascended the river towards Fort Gibson, a party of officers making it very pleasant — touched at Fort Coffee, and had the pleasure of seeing the principal, the Rev. Mr. Good, and also the Rev. Mr. Browning, who is about establishing a Female Boarding School near the Agency.
April 6. — Ascending the Arkansas. This river is one of the avenues to the Indian Territory — perhaps, the best when the water is high. You may generally find it in boating order from 1st Dec. to 1st June. Travelling with little baggage, you can, even in summer, by stage, reach Fort Smith, or Van Buren — the mouth of the Arkansas being but 450 miles from that of the Ohio, and 670 from New Orleans; it is a central highway to persons from the south or north. The Arkansas is sometimes up when the Red river is down, and free from ice when the Missouri is not navigable. Fort Gibbon, near its banks, is more central to the Indian Territory than the Forts on either of the other highways.
April 7, (Easter Sunday). — Reached Fort Gibson on the Neosho, 6 miles from its mouth, at 7 A. M., and had the gratification of proclaiming the risen Saviour to my former brethren in the army. 4 companies of infantry and 2 of dragoons are stationed here under the command of Lieut. Col. Loomis, a devoted Christian, who extended a cordial welcome, and did every thing in his power to promote the object of my visit.
April 8. — Had a talk with Micanopy, principal chief of the Seminoles, through the interpreter Gopher John. Told him what I wanted: he said, there had been a man talking something about a school, but he did not know much about it — could not tell whether his people would send their children or not. The "governor," as Gopher John called him, seemed rather sleepy, and to care more about the contents of a bottle he carried with him; than whether his people were educated or not.
Rode to the Seminole camp, half a mile from Fort Gibson; found 200 of the most miserable looking men, women and children, I had ever seen; the men had been on a drunken frolic, from the effects of which they had not yet recovered; the women usually select some day, when their lords are sober, and do not require their care, to enjoy their frolic. The night previous, there had been a severe thunder shower, which failed however to break up their
16dance. One who recollects how they have been hunted and driven about in Florida, for some years, can readily conceive the appearance their camp presented — the reflection was, is it possible for any agency to raise such creatures as these, even from their physical degradation, — and why not? Who will venture to say they are beyond the reach of a single-hearted persevering effort to save?
The country assigned to them is between forks of the Canadian: too cold in winter and too hot in summer, for those who have been accustomed to the equable climate of Florida. That they were not permitted to remain in the southern peninsula of Florida, where whites cannot live, but which is a perfect paradise to them, is much to be regretted; and still more, that having been assigned to a home, they should not be compelled to live there, and settle down to the cultivation of the soil. Much to the annoyance of the Cherokees, whose cattle suffer, this large band have settled down here, where they do nothing but depredate and carouse, and yet the Agent left them in this predicament, and went to Washington. Could not a requisition have been made upon the troops to remove them there? It is perfect folly for the Government to have designated the boundaries of Indian tribes in such close contact with each other, unless it compels respect to them. The Seminoles complain of the Creeks, and of the Government for not keeping its pledges to them — the Cherokees of the Seminoles, &c. &c.; and yet, a little firmness, (which is true humanity) on the part of those who are solemnly bound to carry out the plans and purposes of Government, would remote these causes of irritation, which may lead to serious misunderstanding.
The Seminoles, who have settled in the Canadian Fork, raise corn and rice; have 1000 blacks among them, slaves for the most pan, who pay a small tribute to their master, say 2 or 3 bushels of corn, or, when they raise stock, a beef or two.
Near the camp was a slough, 3 or 4 feet deep. The children of the band were indulging in all the luxury of paddling about in this mudhole, as they soon made it, taking an early lesson upon making themselves at home in this element. It was quite amusing to witness their various feats. With children so trained, letters must be presented here a little, there a little.
April 9. — Rode out with Adjutant Belger of the 6th, to pay our respects to Judge —, of the Cherokee bench. He had just finished a very fine and commodious house, on a commanding eminence, but received us at his cabin. His lady, a Philadelphian, of Quaker parentage — his daughter, educated at the east, very attractive. While there, Micanopy, Alligator, and Wild Cat, followed by a troop of braves and canaille, some on foot, some two on a horse, squaws at a respectable distance, with the usual allowance of dogs, came up to hold a council in regard to their matters.
Micanopy, (the "Governor,") brought an empty bottle, which, with some significant gestures, he handed to the Judge. The interpreter (Gopher John) signified that the Governor was growing sleepy, whereupon something was produced to quicken the old gentleman's faculties. This, after partaking himself, he handed to his brother chiefs, but not a drop to the parched throats of his followers, who, from the nodding in the course of the council, did not seem to have recovered from their late frolic. The Governor began his speech by complaining that for some time past councils had been held by the band near the fort, without consulting him, and then alluded to a power of attorney given by some, not all of the chiefs to their agent, Mr. — to negotiate for them with the Government in reference to sundry points of interest. Among these was entire discretion as to the point of their submitting to the Creek laws. Old Micanopy was alarmed lest his people would not submit to that rule, and had some apprehensions, no doubt, as to the two or three hundred blacks called "Micanopy's slaves." He asked advice.
The Judge replied that it was none of his (the Judge's) business, but having been consulted by Wild Cat, as a friend he had given his opinion, and was ready to repeat it. He then explained to them the nature of the power of attorney, and said, the only course left was to revoke so much of that power as embraced the question of their coming under Creek rule. As they had so many points of interest to press upon the consideration of Government, he suggested their sending on a delegation to Washington, which has since visited that city, with what effect we have not learned.
The Judge (and others bore the same testimony), spoke of the Cherokees as not having advanced, but on the contrary, retrograded within ten years: ascribed it to circumstances growing out of their removal: alluded to the course of Government in their difficulties, and contended that the only policy befitting a great nation was to hear the opposing factions, so far as they claimed funds, but for the rest, to tell them they must settle it for themselves — Government would not listen to them.
Left the Seminoles debating among themselves what course they would take, and returned to the fort. In the afternoon, Col. Loomis kindly drove 18 miles to Park Hill, one of the stations of the A.B.C.F.M., under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Worcester, whose devotion to Indian improvement, ere yet the Cherokees left Georgia, and his patient sufferings there for what he deemed
18truth and duty, enlisted the respect and sympathy of Christians every where and yet we learned afterward that even this friend of the red man, unto bonds and imprisonment, was more than once on the eve of being expelled the country, on the suspicion of dissatisfaction with some one of the parties into which the Cherokees are split. That one so long in the school of Christ, and so evidently led by his spirit, should have done any thing to merit suspicion or dissatisfaction, is hard to believe. Mr. W. confines himself to preaching and translating. He presented a copy of the Gospels printed in Cherokee, after the alphabet of Mr. Guess.
This extraordinary man, jealous of the increasing influence of the whites, ascribed it to their possession of letters, and concluded that if Cherokees could make paper talk, they would soon compare with the whites.
He first tried an alphabet of words, but soon found it was too copious for memory. Had he been acquainted with the letters of our alphabet, he had doubtless made his second experiment with them; but he was not, and failing in his alphabet of words, he next tried one with syllables. Here his success was complete. All syllables in Cherokee terminate in an open vowel sound: the combinations are of course limited: by the aid of 86 characters he was enabled to express the language. When these are mastered it can be both written and read. Mr. W. informed me that a young Cherokee left home determined to learn the language as soon as possible, and return: on the evening of the day, he addressed a note to his teacher in Cherokee to the following effect, "My dear Teacher, I began to learn this morning; I now write this and hope I shall go on to perfection." Although thus easy to read and write, the acquisition of the language itself is difficult.
The Missionaries at once seized upon the invention of Guess, much to his annoyance, for he was understood to say that had he anticipated such an application of it, he would never have made it. The press at Park Hill, which we inspected, was first set up at Union in 1835, and removed to Park Hill in 1837; a number of books and pamphlets in Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw, and a small primer in them, have been printed there — H. Candy, native printer.
Miss Avery instructs the day school, of about 25 scholars; Miss Thompson is also connected with the Mission.
Ventured to suggest a doubt to Mr. W., whether in thus perpetuating their language by his translations, he was not postponing their civilization. Would it not be better for them, more conducive to the happiness and civilization of the race, to drop their mother tongue as soon as possible, and take up ours? The sooner the various tribes in that Territory become one people, under the operation of our language and institutions, the better? He said the A.B.C.F.M. acted under views of this kind at first, and would have nothing but English taught: they changed it, he thought, for good reason. He could reach the old Indians only in this way.
Met Mr. F—, to whom I had been introduced at Judge —'s; a Chickasaw himself, he had married a Cherokee; they lived near Mr. F.
19had been with the Chickasaws previous to their removal from the east, and knew their deep feeling of repugnance to that measure: none were in favour of it till they saw it was inevitable, their feeling to the whites for compelling it was any thing but cordial; even the white men who married Indian wives did not escape the odium of their race. When they removed to the west, no Missionaries were encouraged to come with them. This accounts for their present destitution of religious teachers.
We spent the evening very pleasantly with the Missionary family: much information was gained from Mr. W.: the ladies seemed very happy and very devoted to the spiritual concerns of their Indian friends. No Christian can be permitted to mingle in the family worship of a devoted Missionary without feeling it to be a privilege, and a season too of refreshing to his soul.
April 10. — Walked out with Mr. W. to look at the schoolhouse, church, and printing office; the two former occupy a building erected by the unfortunate Boudinot for his residence: the spot was pointed out to me where this excellent and distinguished man was killed.
Having met him many years ago at the residence of his patron and friend, Dr. Boudinot, in Burlington, N. J., the story of his tragic end was listened to with peculiar interest. At a period when the Cherokee laws and Cherokee authorities were set aside by those of Georgia, Boudinot with others, signed a treaty of cession. This was death by the Cherokee law, now prostrated by Georgia. No one doubted the purity of his motives, very few, perhaps, the wisdom of his course, under the circumstances in which the nation was placed. The emigration was effected, and Boudinot looked up to as one of the most promising men in the nation. He was warned that his life would pay the forfeit of the act of cession. He said, if he had done any thing worthy of death he was ready to die. Two Indian men called to ask him for medicine for the sick; as he walked with them to obtain it, one of them levelled him with a blow upon the back of his head. The tree at whose foot fell was pointed out, between his house and that of Rev. Mr. Worcester. This increased the discontent already existing, and scarce one with whom I conversed believed it possible now to unite the Cherokees as one people.
Returned to the Fort, regretting that it was not possible to visit the Rev. Dr. Butler, at —, to whom letters had been kindly given me by Rev. Mr. Brigham, of the American Bible Society.
Crossed the river, and rode to the residence of Captain Dawson, U. S. Agent for the Creeks. He entertained the subject of my visit very cordially, and is extremely solicitous that schools should be introduced among them. Among the Cherokees, in addition to the Mission schools, there is a system of common or district schools, two for the smaller and three for the larger of the eight districts into which their country is divided; but nothing of the kind exists among the Creeks; they are, however, in some respects, in a far more hopeful condition than their neighbours — less dissension and bad feeling among them. Their chief, M'Intosh, has hitherto been opposed to much innovation,
20and prefers that the Indians should retain their usages, &c., rather than with the intelligence of the whites to learn also some of their vices.
There is an orphan's fund, which has accumulated till it amounts to $150,000. Those for whom it was designed are dead or out of the way; $4000 per annum are now locked up in Col. Johnson's school in Kentucky, to which they very wisely decline (taught by experience) to send their children. Here is a fund, $11,000, which might support four common two large schools.
It is not a little mortifying that a gentleman of Col. Johnson's standing and aspirations should have permitted himself for so long a time to stand in the way of the Indian's desire to have their children educated among themselves. Could not but blush for him at hearing the remarks of some intelligent Indians upon himself and his institution, and for the Government, that could barter the best interests of its unfortunate wards for a mess of political pottage. The Lord have mercy upon our men in high places, who, charged with a generous nation's benefactions for a race struggling to emerge from Heathenism, misapply them. They will need mercy in the day of the Lord.
April 11. — Returned to the fort, and addressed the following note to the counsellor to the principal chief, General McIntosh:
"The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, feeling a deep interest in the measures adopted or projected in the Indian Territory, for the extension of religion and learning, has directed the undersigned to make a visit to the Territory, with a view to ascertain in what way it can best co-operate in so good a work. Captain Dawson has informed me, how much you have at heart the best interests of the Creek Nation, and recommends me to address you on the subject of my Mission.
Belonging to the Church himself, he can give you the necessary exposition of its character and aims. Upon its mode of operation, a decision will perhaps be made after it shall have received my report of the wishes and feelings of those who are entitled to speak for the several tribes. It has been presumed that sending a Bishop to collect and form a Church from the Indian population, and relying upon a Church so formed to perpetuate and extend itself, would be most agreeable to you, as involving the least possible number of white men as its agents, and, of course, the least possible occasion of offence on their part.
The experiment has never yet been tried of an Indian Church, relying for its ministry, its catechists, its officers of every kind, with one exception, and that only till an Indian Bishop could be raised up to govern it, upon the materials found among you. The work might be slow, but would it not best accord with your views and feelings — with that proper national pride which desires its institutions, religious, as well as civil, to be nourished from its own bosom.
In regard to education, it strikes me, that female boarding schools, under the direction of a lady, well qualified for so important a station, whose husband might attend to the concerns of the farm connected with it, under the charge of trustees appointed by the Nation, and aided by the general supervision of
the Bishop, who should visit it occasionally during the year, would promise the most good, and be attended with the least evil results. Such is a mere outline of the plan it is my purpose to suggest to the Church, provided the openings at different points are sufficient to warrant a scheme so simple, and yet so comprehensive, — one which will rather insinuate, than force upon the tribes, religion or education, and entail upon you the least possible amount of foreign interference, and that easily withdrawn, when its necessity ceases.
Your position, sir, is one of great interest, because of great influence in moulding the institutions of a nation in its transition state from the hunting to the agricultural life. Alive to its interest, allow me to invoke your influence for the consideration and furtherance of the views herein suggested, and to refer you to Captain Dawson, with whom I have had an interview on the subject, and who has kindly promised to communicate your wishes when the time for action shall arrive."
At half past three, all our arrangements having been completed, took leave of our hospitable friends at Fort Gibson. Though unable from the pressure of duties to accept the attentions proffered here and elsewhere, they were enjoyed, nevertheless, as feeling tributes to "Auld lang syne." Lieutenants Wharton and Kirkham kindly volunteered to make an excursion to Fort Leavenworth; two dragoons accompanied us in search of health, and one was detailed as a guide. The road being for the most part now on the prairies, the Lieutenants selected a light waggon as their conveyance, the rest of the party on horseback. Proceeded 12 miles over a very rocky road, our general course N.E. to the house of Mr. L—, a sturdy yeoman from New York; he had married a Cherokee, and opened a farm in the nation; his house, log, two stories; some acres in corn; had set out 100 apple trees, and a fine peach orchard in front of his house; the walk from his gate, of fine gravel; taken from the cellar, secured by a border of hewn logs: improvements, though not completed, very promising; country rolling, prairie interspersed with timber; lime-stone; water excellent. Such a farm invaluable as a pattern to the Indians, many of whom had profited by it. He spoke of the lamentable divisions of the Cherokees, and the oppressive treatment of the Western Cherokees; did not believe that the breach would be healed, and that the only course was to divide the country between the parties. Ross' party constituted about two-thirds; the remaining one-third, perhaps, the most intelligent. The country was first ceded to the Western Cherokees, and again to the Eastern.
Population rather sparse here; the rule among Choctaws and Cherokees is, that a man may select a position for his residence and improvements where he pleases, and no one can then settle within half a mile without his consent; here, however, farms were usually within five miles of each other; this rendered it difficult in some neighbourhoods, to send their children to
22school; the system of common schools prevails here, but politics, he observed, exerted a baneful influence even on these. Boarding being very high, ($1 per week,) he would send his boys to New York for their education. Obtained much information from him.
April 12. — Made an early start; much of the way through a beautiful prairie, here and there an improvement; started two deer; partridges abundant. Encountered one of the most severe thunder storms ever experienced; the prairies looked like an immense body of water; the little knolls with their fringes of hazel, like so many islets; the rain fell in torrents, brooks much swollen. Came to Mr. —'s, a half breed, father a Scotchman, mother a Cherokee many of the principal men here have received their descent in this way, a number of Scotchmen having left the British army at the close of the war, and settled among the Cherokees.
Left the party here for the night, and rode on — rain still pouring in torrents, (Mr. — said he had never seen such before,) — to a Moravian Missionary, five and a half miles in advance. The country here was singularly beautiful, deep indentations on either side of the road, which was like a gravelled walk, firm and fine along the ridge till it sunk into a lovely valley, which might have satisfied the longings of the poet, when he sighed "for a lodge in some vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity of shade;" though, with another, he might have cried, "Jam satis," so far as the rain was concerned. Emerging from this, came in view of the Missionary's establishment, on a fine hill; the bell so elevated that its tones might be heard afar off, being the welcome sign to the traveller; gaining the eminence came to two log huts, one a school-house, the other the humble but hospitable abode of Rev. Z. Smith, who gave me a cordial welcome. For six months, the only companion of his solitude was a cat; at present a fine Cherokee lad shared it, the son of pious parents, at whose family altar he had learned the wonderful grace of the Saviour of the world, and touched by his Spirit, purposed to devote himself to the Ministry.
Soon after the greetings were over, the Missionary kneaded some flour, prepared some fish he had taken from the brook, and with the help of a few eggs discovered by me in putting up my horse, we made a sumptuous repast. It was a great treat to commune with this excellent young man; his father before him was a Missionary, the first among the Cherokees; and he, reared among them, commands their entire confidence; about seventy-seven souls constitute his cure. He ministers on Sundays in holy things, and during the week instructs the children of his flock, about fifteen full-blood Cherokees, who are, he thinks, more apt than white children in receiving instruction.
The feelings of the Cherokees against the Missionaries was much stronger two years ago than since. An attempt was made upon the life of the Rev. Mr. —, who was thought to have taken too much interest in politics; Rev. Mr. — was supposed to be equally warm on the other side, and he was restricted
23to five acres of land, and twenty-five head of cattle. The whole body of Missionaries became obnoxious for the supposed, or rather alleged interference of one or two in secular affairs.
The Upper Cherokees were those who in the old country inhabited the hills — the Lower, the valleys. They now live together; the Upper are generally more poor, uneducated, and opposed to the Gospel. The Lower have more half-breeds among them, and are better farmers. They have two dialects, the Upper hare r where the Lower have l; in some cases the word is quite different. They can understand each other, but sometimes with difficulty; all that has been written yet, is in Lower Cherokee.
The orphan children of this nation have a fund, from which they are boarded out (75c. per week) and enjoy the benefit of public schools.
The Missionary establishment, — himself, Cherokee boy, and horse, — cost at the rate of $150 per annum, clothing not included.
April 13. — It had rained all night: rising early, we enjoyed our devotions together. The Moravians have a text for every day, on which they are expected to meditate.
Mr. S. prepared our breakfast. Though his larder was not as well stocked as that of the Clerk of Copmanhurst, he produced a slice of dried venison, which, having been hung at the top of his chimney for three or four days in the winter, was delightfully cured, and we doubt whether he of the Lion heart could have done it better justice. Saddled our horses and essayed to cross Spring Creek; before reaching its channel, however, wet feet admonished us that it was swimming, and we turned back: rode over to Mr. — to turn back Lt. W. if he should have set out: found he had concluded to remain where he was: at noon, however, it cleared. The party set out, and on reaching the Creek, which had its source but five miles off, found it fordable: proceeded 15 miles to Mosely Creek, which was also deep: here the waggon encountered a log. The Lieutenant whipped up the horses, and away went the swingle-tree: this officer and a dragoon jumped in, waist deep, and extricated the horses: every thing wet: passed on to the Espavanau in advance of the carriage: reached it about dark and found it running with quite a current, and deep, the opposite landing being also unfavourable: no house here: took a trail to the right: still no house: retraced our steps, struck the road, and then tried a left-hand trail, which brought us to the house of Jo Walker, a Cherokee. Lt. Kirkham went back to find the carriage and guide it; his horse, being a white one was a good directory.
Lt. W. proved himself a fine driver: the marvel next morning was how he came in safely: our horses fared well — so did we: restricting Jo and his family to their kitchen, we felt we had a palace in a hut 12 by 15: then commenced the preliminary process of drying: the Lieutenant's wardrobe, put up with great solicitude for his comfort, without his knowledge, contained a little of every thing and a great deal of many things; and then the display of soaked biscuit, &c. &c. A cup of water eked out our tea, at which, with
24appetites that nothing could purchase, and scarcely any thing satisfy, we forgot our cares in these creature comforts, and committed ourselves in the sweet Evening Hymn, of our Church to the guardian care of the Great Shepherd.
A few drops of rain upon us made us sensible, how much less comfortable we should have been out of doors. We gave the invalid men the beds, and stretched ourselves before the fire on our blankets.
Jo Walker did not speak a word of English, nor we of Cherokee, yet we contrived to understand each other. He is a specimen perhaps of a Cherokee in the very early stages of civilization, yet has comforts around him which vindicate the superiority of the agricultural to the hunter state. He had 200 bushels of corn secured in a substantial log crib: stock sufficient for all his wants: children the picture of health, looked as though they never lacked Tom Fuller, or, as it is called here, Sophky. The boys had their blow-guns and bows and arrows, and seemed as wild as fawns. In our cabin was one piece of embroidery, and that stitched in blue and red upon the only cotton tapestry in the room; what name to give it would have baffled Adam: it might have been intended to represent a boy in the act of catching a horse. Over it hung the glass: this was the place of the toilette, and the Cherokee matron had put her taste in requisition to make it the attractive corner of her dominion. At one of the Roman Catholic schools I afterwards learned, this fondness of the Indian for embroidery is cultivated with success; by this one instinct, so to speak, they may be led on to perfection. In some instances we have felt pained by a well-meant, certainly, but most unwise crushing and quenching of Indian tendencies. Better to train and direct, and make use of them for good.
April 14, (Sunday.) — Showers still. Two of the men went to inspect the river, and judged it to contain 8 feet water; crossing was, therefore, out of the question. This was a disappointment, as I had purposed to spend the day with the Moravian Missionary at Beattie's prairie, 4 miles beyond the other bank: found that God does not confine himself to temples made with hands. Oh, how precious is his word in the wilderness: how delightful to experience even in a miserable Indian hut, away from the public and honoured means of grace, that the spirit can take of the things of Christ and reveal them: this makes the wilderness and the solitary place GLAD. When will the bright and morning star dawn upon our Red Brethren? When will the mention of that beloved name kindle their hearts and inspire their songs?
April 15. — Rained during the night, so that all hope of taking the carriage across vanished. The Lieutenant permitted me to take a dragoon and attempt to cross with our horses: all rode down, accompanied by Jo Walker on his poney, to the bank: river had fallen but a foot since Saturday: ford pronounced impracticable.
The Indian then led the way to another ford, which he intimated was better: pointed out the course we must take to strike, if possible, where a slough joined the river. The dragoon's horse was soon swimming. We watched
25him with great anxiety, but he was the best swimmer, and carried over his rider very handsomely. My turn came next; the horse took a wrong "chute" and came out on the same side: nor willing to risk him by my inexperience in swimming, gave him to Jo Walker to swim and took his poney, substituted slippers for heavy boots, tied coat to the saddlebow, strapped on an air pillow and went in again. Jo made the landing very well: the poney being somewhat barrel-formed, after getting me fairly into the river, rolled first on one side and then on the other, till he unhorsed me, and a swimming match commenced, which, no doubt, amused Mr. Walker more than either of the parties concerned: the poney reached the brush first, and hung there with his nose out of water, eyeing me swimming for a tree, about waist deep, which I succeeded in reaching: he remained perfectly quiet in his position, waiting for the word of command, which his master no sooner gave in a low tone, that an enemy within 50 yards could not have heard, than he made one effort and extricated himself from the channel. Remounting, the slough was crossed without difficulty, and ascending a steep hill, a trail conducted us to the military road: leaving our kind friends, the Lieutenants and the invalid dragoons, on the opposite bank till the stream should run down.
Found the water had penetrated pocket compass and field glass — conglomerating Mr. Stanford's Pastilles Å Paris &c. &c. &c.
The exercise of riding was quite pleasant after the hath, and gave the air a good opportunity to dry us pro tem. Passed Beattie's prairie and the Wet prairie, well named: came to Honey Creek, also swimming, but the banks on both sides being good, our horses passed it without difficulty, and with the risk only of being carried by the force of the current against the trees and bushes below the ford: passed on to Cow-skin river, and struck it a little above the falls, where we found a flat boat, the appearance of things, however, not very inviting. With the aid of poles and boughs of trees, whose trunks were immersed, ascended several hundred yards, and then shot across to the opposite shore, the passage very handsomely effected; the prospect of having to try the falls made every one do his duty. In the midst of the stream the tholepin threatened to give way, and a voice roared out to me, "Captain, hold on to that pin, or we are gone." The "Captain" did his best.
Crossed the Cherokee line, and, without instruments, knew we were in the States once more, by coming upon a large distillery which can "turn out" its one hundred barrels of whiskey per week. Hard by is the grist mill of the Senecas, and two miles beyond came to Buffalo creek, in fine swimming order. Divesting ourselves of all incumbrances, the dragoon led the way, but the current was too rapid for him. He attempted by dashing water in his horse's face to turn his head up the stream, but he came ashore below the ford. The rider threw his arms around a tree, and thus enabled his horse to obtain a foot-hold, which he kept, and brought him out. My horse behaved very well, kept his head up-stream, and, though he came in a little too low, his fine swimming elicited the admiration of the dragoon, and secured the palm of having made the best passage.
Soon came to the welcome shelter of Mrs. Adams's house in the Seneca nation. India rubber could not resist what we had gone through to-day.
Our hostess, a Stockbridge, formerly from New York, had recently lost her husband, Mr. Daniel Adams, a Mohawk Indian, a man of piety and influence. He came there with the view of imparting religious instruction, but found difficulties in the way, which constrained him to become an agriculturalist. The house abounded with comforts, and the farm gave evidence of having been carefully worked. Altogether, the appearance of things was in advance of any establishment we had seen.
Mrs. A. was well acquainted with our respected Missionary to the Oneidas (the Rev. Sol. Davis) and lady, of whom she retained a most grateful recollection: showed me an Indian book of prayer, in which Mrs. D. had written her name. There are no schools here, and no public means of grace. Inquired in vain for Episcopalians among the Senecas, and understood that, save this family, there was but one other that felt any interest in religion.
She assembled her household, and invited me to conduct their evening devotions. It was not a little affecting to witness the Christian resignation of this child of GOD, under her trials; her solicitude for the education of her children, and the sensibility with which she alluded to the spiritual destitution around her. She is abundantly qualified, and would doubtless devote herself, if encouragement were extended, to the care of a female school.
April 16. — After again invoking a blessing from GOD upon the fatherless and the widow, resumed our journey, and rode through a most beautiful country. The road, fine and gravelly, wound its way through an enchanting valley, with gently rolling hills on either hand. Timber, white and black oak; crossed some prairies. Saw a few deer, quail, and grouse: beautiful flowers every where — the violet, the pink, the carnation; the strawberry blossom, very abundant. Came to the Seneca Agency, B. B. R. Baker, Esq.; not at home. Rode on to Lost Creek, much swollen. The ford the wrong way for us.
Very soon his two sons made their appearance, not much embarrassed with raiment, or by the want of it. One of them might have served as a noble model for the statuary. Swam to us, and beckoning us to follow them on horseback, wound their way, through bushes and briars, and vines of the bottom, then three or four feet under water, to a bend of the creek, two hundred yards below the ford, where the water, confined within a narrow channel, dashed furiously along, but across which a large tree had been felled;
27making a bridge, over which they carried our saddles, &c. With wet feet only, we crossed ourselves, when they led the horses above the ford, put them in, and swam them to the opposite bank. We smoked a pipe with the old gentleman, Mr. Jackson, who appeared to live very comfortably, with a fine family around him, the youngest strapped to a board. He had some of his children at the Shawnee school, further north, — the only ones of the tribe who are receiving an education.
At a little distance, fifteen or twenty youth, unencumbered by dress, were enjoying their favorite game of ball. The farms here looked well.
Came to one which, from its neatness, and the fine finish of the house, struck us as the pattern farm, and so it proved to be. Such a pattern, for the Indians, so vastly more comfortable than their own houses, and yet within the reach of their emulation, is worth far more to them than the amount of its cost spent directly upon themselves. Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Baker, the agent of the Senecas, Senecasand Shawnees and Quapaws,(the Neosho sub-agency), in company with the Rev. Mr. Patterson, a Methodist clergyman, who has a fine school, though not very well located, five miles west of the farm, and enjoys the reputation of a devoted and successful laborer. The agent appears to have exerted himself faithfully, to carry out the purposes of the Government, and sets his face, like a flint, against the whiskey traffic, which is so disastrous upon the prospects of the Indian. In paying the annuity to them, he advised not to pay the whiskey dealers, as the debt was an unlawful one. They adopted the suggestion, in consequence of which their kind friends have not since been so solicitous to promote their comfort in this way. He has done all in his power to change the feelings of the Senecas of New-York, who are still hostile to education. They have funds, which they might, if so disposed, apply as the Choctaws have done, to the purposes of education, as they have a mill which brings them in a revenue, a farmer, and a blacksmith.
Mr. Baker said they must send on a deputation to see about some of their lands in New-York. He would accompany them, and call at the office in New-York, to see what arrangements could be made with them on the subject of education. Here are found representatives of the Six Nations.
The proportion of children among the Quapaws is said to be greater than among other Indians. They have 60 less adults on his pay roll than at a previous payment. They have a fine body of land. Government sent out some looms, the use of which they did not understand. A Frenchman became possessed of some of them. He did not know what they were; and they now lie as useless lumber about his premises.
The agent politely accompanied me to the house of Mr. R—, who, with thirty Cherokee families, resides on a portion of the Cherokee lands, detached from the main body, — a tract of 800,000 acres, purchased for $500,000 — more, it is thought, than it was worth, three-fourths of it being prairie, — the remaining fourth, however, very fine. 1000 Cherokees, from the east of
28the Mississippi, are expected to remove here this season. This portion of the Cherokees does not receive any of the annuities of its tribe, — is much dissatisfied, and is willing to separate. Their agent is too far off (at Fort Gibson), and often not at home, when they go to see him. They would prefer being attached to the Osage, or Neosho sub-agency. Justice, too, is difficult of administration. The Indians have to go to Little Rock, Arkansas. The establishment of a Circuit Court near this frontier would be preferable. Between Indians of different tribes, it is not promptly administered. When the Indian complains to the Agent, the reply is, "Keep quiet," and so the injury goes without redress. The Osages, for instance, are troublesome, and do not respect the right of property. As game disappears, they must either suffer, themselves, or make others suffer, unless they give up their roving habits, and become cultivators of the soil.
April 17. — Mr. — has selected a beautiful spot on the Spring river, a tributary of the Pomme de Terre, which flows south-west into the Neosho and erected a substantial and commodious edifice: his children have not access to schools, nor is there one in this portion of the Cherokee nation: he desires one that may unite the acquisition of a trade with that of letters. When the expected Cherokees shall arrive, unless they bring teachers with them, this would be a good point for a school, the remainder of the tribe being, to some extent, provided.
It is much to be regretted that white trespassers are allowed to cut the timber on this tract, which has not more than enough for its future population. On this, and other points of interest, we reserve comment for the present.
Afternoon. — Commenced the passage of Spring river with the intention (the distance to Fort Scott being 57 miles) of making 15 to-day and going in tomorrow. The river was higher than Mr. — thought it easy to swim, but to wait until the morning would have made but little, difference. Kessinger's horse was first made to swim by the canoe: the poor animal was nearly exhausted, and only saved by floating him some yards after he had ceased to swim, when he recovered. My charger gained fresh laurels by the fine style in which he crossed, his only false step being into the canoe at starting, which had well nigh reversed our relative positions.
Proceeded fifteen miles over a beautiful prairie, here and there a little timber, till we came to the creek, on whose banks we proposed to bivouac. There was no house within 28 miles of the other side, and the whole distance prairie; so that this was the only spot at which we could have a fire. We collected some of the tender brush for our beds, and to extract what little comfort we could from "a bed of roses" filled the interstices with the wild flowers that grew luxuriantly around us: spread our blankets, picquetted our horses, and, under the canopy of a clear and beautiful sky, laid down to rest, after commending ourselves to HIM who made the Heavens. There is something inexpressibly fine in this mode of repose: the foliage of the surrounding trees, the clear vault of Heaven, with its spangled firmament, the occasional howl
29of the prairie wolf, the note of the whipper-will,
April 18. — In our saddles very soon after the sun lighted up the scene with his splendours: a hasty lunch of corn bread and bacon, with water from the brook, prepared us for the ride, and the freshness of the air lent its invigorating influence to man and horse: our course lay over a prairie, now joyous in its livery of green, with Flora's choice treasures scattered profusely over it; flocks of plover were feeding: the prairie hen would now and then be roused by our approach: the lark fly up and circle round us, ever reminding one of Bishop Taylor's beautiful comparison in his lines on prayer: the whole scene leading one "to think of the bright plains, where the noontide of glory eternally reigns." We pursued our solitary way over this sea of beauties and sweets for 28 miles, when a narrow strip of timber occurred, and then another prairie, and a small stream, fordable only since yesterday, (we learnt at the house on its banks) and arrived at Fort Scott, making over 42 miles, by 1 1/2 o'clock.
Major Graham and his officers received us with their wonted courtesy.
April 18. — Fort Scott is on the Marmiton, a small stream, and fronts upon a wide expanse of prairie, from which the air freighted with health, comes in and renders its otherwise exposed situation not only tolerable but pleasant.
The garrison was placed here ostensibly
30This tribe as well as the Kansas, who are virtually the same people, is indigenous to this country.
It need not excite surprise therefore, that they are in a more unsettled state than their brethren, removed from the east of the Mississippi, to this vicinage. Had heard sad accounts of the failure of efforts to make them fond either of schools, religion or agriculture; that their Agent had been recently displaced, and therefore fell hopeless of gaining any thing by a visit to them. Understanding at the Fort, however, that a new agent had been appointed, and was expected at the Osage village this evening, — furnished through the politeness of Captain Swords with a fresh horse, rode out in company with Lieutenant Norton, and 2 dragoons as guides, in the direction of the Osage village, 45 miles distant.
The prairie hen, partridge, a few deer and an occasional wolf, skulking away over the hills, were all the moving things we met. Reached the Neosho nearly opposite the village, through a fine belt of timber, hickory, ash, and oak, about 3 o'clock, and found a number of Indians on this side, to which they had brought their horses to ride out and meet the agent when he should approach. We learned however, by a runner, that he would not be in before the morrow, and therefore made preparations to cross the Neosho, which was very full.
We preferred seeing the Osages take across our horses to attempting if ourselves — and sport they made of it — taking the halters between their teeth, they swam before the horses, hand over hand, and not as we do, with the simultaneous stroke of both arms. One of the horses tried to overtake his guide, who, entering into the spirit of the chase, after shewing that he was not to be outdone by the horse of a pale face, gave up the halter, swam round, caught the horse by the tail, and clambered upon his back. Another with the halter in one hand, and bracing himself by a foot against the side of the animal, swam with the other hand and foot. Right merry, active and graceful fellows they were — very tall, and painted in various styles. We crossed in a canoe and came to a village of about 50 lodges, containing about 10 each, of the wildest kind of Indians. Whiskey had done its work the day previous, and the women, many of them, were in the corn field, so that the camp was comparatively quiet. The lodges were elliptical and formed by poles covered with mats. Those we entered were very neatly kept. Baptiste Mongrain introduced us to his, which contained many comforts and luxuries. A young squaw, who, from her dress and general air of quiet satisfaction, seemed to be a favourite bride, was stretched flat upon the floor, her heels in the air, eating, with much seeming goul, a bowl of corn, with a wooden spoon; our entrance did not seem to disturb her at all.
Walked round the village, which was built without plan — some of the lodges nearly 100 feet long, others not more than 30. The young squaws many of them engaged in playing ball — they manage their blankets very gracefully. We were entertained by Monsieur Papin, of the American Fur Company, who has spent nearly all his life in the Indian country. It has been made a matter of charge against the Company, that "they discourage the Indians from following agricultural pursuits telling them they do not want to buy corn or cattle, but buffalo skins and furs; thus prompting them to keep up the chase. They also advise them not to have schools or any religious instruction among them. Hence there are no schools or Missionaries among them at this time."
There can be no doubt that these gentlemen are alive to their own interests, but some system of trade must prevail and we do not believe that they are in worse hands now than they would be if Messrs. A. B. & C. could eject them from the country, and introduce their own friends. Their repugnance to Protestant Missionaries arises more, we think from the fact, that most of the persons who, in the employ of the Company, come in contact with the Indians, are either Romanists, or strongly biased towards them. I discovered that at a council to be held in a few days, a Missionary of this Church was invited, by a trader to be present, and have no doubt that efforts will be made to secure to them a foothold there. There was a Protestant Mission some years since (Harmony,
There was recently a large amount of appropriation paid this tribe in cattle, swine, and agricultural implements. The Indians not being acquainted with the use of them, and having no one furnished to teach them, soon sold and gave away all their ploughs, killed the cattle and swine, and the whole plan was frustrated.
The pigs arrived just as the Indians were going upon their summer hunt. The corn was up, but no fences. Holes are made here and there in the ground with a hoe by the squaws, and the maize deposited. If they left the pigs, they might find them on their return, but would certainly find no corn. They could not take such pets with them. The only alternative was to kill them on the spot, with some contempt for those who, affecting to know so much, knew not that they were without fences. Had the pigs reached their destination some days later, they would have fattened at the expense of the Indians'
33supplies for the winter, and we should have heard of savages starving, because they were too fond of hunting to raise corn.
If execration could ever be justified, it would be an observing and hearing in how many instances a generous nation's benefactions to the red man have been squandered, misapplied, or pocketed, by those in whom it confided to discharge the debt of humanity. Let no spot stain the escutcheon of our country, which has done its duty, but the brand of infamy marks such unworthy sons, "because they did this thing, and because they had no pity."
Mr. P.'s housekeeper, an Indian woman, did the honours with a great deal of savoir faire, and spread me a couch of mats, skins, and blankets, on which I enjoyed a repose which was proof against all the dancing and pow-wowing, &c.; of my exoteric red brethren, or as the Chinese would say of us, outside barbarians.
Saturday, 19th. — Was introduced to the chief of the band Pah-sha-sha, who courteously invited us to tarry some days with him, as he could show us all the bands of the nation when they assembled to receive their annuities. He is a fine-looking man, and expressed himself favourably disposed to the improvement of his people.
The camp was alive this morning with preparations to receive their new agent. The former one had been very unpopular, and at last, after the efforts of a year or more to remove him, their wish had been complied with, a new father had been sent to them, and now every horse was in requisition to go forth and give him welcome. Here you might see a group of these fine fellows, with their (pocket?) glasses before them, carefully painting their faces with vermilion; others adjusting their head gear or furbishing and ornamenting their lances, and decorating their horses. As we walked round the village, a runner had been dispatched to the lower village, six miles distant, to summon that band to meet them on the opposite bank. On finishing breakfast, a little more than an hour afterwards, this man was pointed out to me as having performed his journey and returned. There were no indications of fatigue about him, his respiration as calm as though he had not stirred from the log on which he was lounging. That a man should have run 12 miles in less than 1 1/2 hours, seemed incredible to me, but the interpreter insisted it was so.
We crossed the river in the same manner, and with the same amusement as yesterday, and took the trail by which the agent was expected. It was a bright morning, and after emerging from the belt of woods, and proceeding a short distance on an elevated prairie, one of the wild scenes of Indian life burst upon us. The band, arrayed in various costume, all of them bold riders, and most of them fine-looking men, rushed with shouting and yelling as though they would have swept the advancing party with them in their mad career, but opening, passed to the right and left, and renewed their race, as had been before concerted, for a horse which had been promised the successful rider.
Coming up, we were introduced to the Agent, Major Edwards of Virginia, and rode on his course with him some miles; it was a rich scene for the painter. The Major, much pleased with his reception en Mameluke, and for the first time brought in contact with border life, was surrounded by the delighted Indians, who, in seeing two well-filled waggons of specie and goods, and the face of a new father, were in the highest spirits. The Agents of the Fur Company contemplating their annual harvest,
The Major expressed himself determined to exert all his influence in favour of schools and Missionaries; a communicant in the Church, he would feel it some compensation for the loss of accustomed means of grace, to procure them for others. Enjoyed a very pleasant interview with him, and only regretted that I could not participate in the Indian festivities of the following week.
Regained our trail, and reached the garrison about "retreat" without any incident worthy of note; found an old friend had arrived the day previous, in the person of Major W— from Jefferson Barracks. In talking over old times, entirely forgot the day's ride.
April 20. — Addressed the following note to Major Edwards:
"Availing myself of your kind permission to address you on the subject of my visit to this country, I would state, that our beloved Church has sent me to explore, with reference to the openings for schools, &c., the Indian Territory, previous to the meeting of the General Convention in October next, at Philadelphia, when it will decide upon the whole subject of its Indian Missions. The plan to be submitted for their consideration, so far as I have been enabled to mature one, will be the following:
1. A Bishop to be consecrated for the Indian Territory and supported by the Church.
2. Female boarding schools in the various tribes, where openings present themselves, to be conducted by pious ladies of our Church. If married, their husbands to superintend the various out-door concerns; school to be governed by trustees chosen by the Indians, the Agent to be one ex-officio, the Bishop one ex-officio, with the power of nominating the teachers, and others connected with the schools, in order to secure a state of things friendly to religion. The
tribe to be at four-fifths of the annual expense, after erecting the buildings, the church at the remaining one-fifth.
3. The female schools being in operation, one central manual labour boarding school, for boys, to be under the controul of the Bishop, assisted by a sufficient number of teachers — the cost of the building to be borne by the Church, and the school supported,
1st. By the manual labour of the boys during three hours of the day;
2d. By parents who wish their sons to learn trades, paying $— per annum;
3d. By Churches, Sunday schools,
or individuals paying $— per ann. for a scholarship, with the privilege of nomination;
4th. By any tribe paying an annual sum, for which they may send boys at the rate of $— per boy sent.
Some of the advantages of the above plan will occur to you — and 1st, the Bishop being the only clergyman, and he only visiting the schools for girls, the Indian's jealousy (which I find very strong) of the white Missionary's residence in the country, will be avoided, while at the same time a religious influence will be secured.
2d. The main effort will be directed, in the first place towards female education, the neglect of which I am satisfied has been the true source of former failures in civilizing and christianizing the Indians, Let the Indian mother be fitted to raise her children, and all will eventually come right.
3d. The boys, while they are not taken out of the Indian Territory, will be removed sufficiently far from home to give full effect to the plans for educating them. Attachment will be formed among young Indians of different tribes, and thus a foundation be laid for lasting peace among those who will be looked to to give a future direction to their affairs, while we may reasonably hope by the divine blessing, to obtain from this source some young Missionaries, with whom an Indian Church may be collected — a Church of course not liable to the constant changes, interruptions, and vexations incident to one in which white men are Missionaries.
This is a mere outline. In applying it to the Osages, reference must be had to their present wild state. The transition must be easy and slow with them. The female school would, necessarily at first, confine itself to spinning, weaving, and the various branches of domestic economy. If the Indians were encouraged to break up their large villages and settle, when not on their hunts, in small groups of two or three families, a commencement would be made favourable to the application of what the girls would learn at school.
I have only space left to beg you to give these few hints your careful attention, and point out to me by 1st September, such modifications as your experience then may enable you to suggest — also, to secure for our Church the offer of conducting a female school among the Osages, and the setting apart of an annual sum to educate some boys at the central school." * * * *
April 22. — Took leave of Major Graham and his officers, much refreshed by their kind hospitality; Major W. and some discharged soldiers in company. During the two past nights 3 inches of rain had fallen, and we ferried across the Marmiton, which was much swollen: we feared the Little Osage and Marie des Cygnes would be swimming, in which we were agreeably disappointed. The country traversed to-day was chiefly rolling prairie; but little timber, and that skirting the river and creeks we passed; reached the Marie des Cygnes, 28 miles, early in the afternoon: a Pottawatomie village of 1000 souls is 14 miles from this point: their agent, Mr. Carpenter, was absent at St. Louis. The Romanists have a Mission among them. The principal, Rev. Dr. Verryett, had repaired to the Osage village. For these reasons, and because unable to obtain a fresh horse, did not visit it. The school, consisting of two departments, especially the female, taught by ladies of the order of the "Sacred Heart," was highly spoken of. "Besides spelling, reading, writing and cyphering, these ladies have taught their scholars carding, spinning, sewing, knitting, marking, embroidery, and even some of the accomplishments which are only taught in some of the most fashionable boarding-schools in the States, such as fancy work and artificial flower making, although the more important and useful objects relating to domestic economy have not been neglected on that account. The girls have been instructed how to cut and make every article of dress and apparel, to bake good bread, make butter,
Dr. Verryett is of opinion that the nation would be greatly benefitted if the oldest boys attending the school could be instructed in some of the mechanical arts.
My room-mate to-night was a Canadian engageée, with whom I contrived to hold a little conversation. He had no copy of the Sacred Scriptures, but told me he was a catechumen of the Missionary: of whom he spoke in raptures: "when Indian sick, priest lie on the floor and give him his bed; if he have no covering he cover him; do any thing for Indian."
A Pawnee girl was in attendance. She had been taken prisoner, (by the Osages, perhaps,) and purchased from them for a gun or blanket. Among the Indian tribes there are many captive boys and girls, who might, at very little expense, be redeemed, and, after-spending a few years at the schools in the "Territory," be sent home Missionaries perhaps to their friends, and thus one institution be made the propaganda for the race.
Saw and conversed with some Delaware Indians on the opposite side of the
37river. After dark, torches were lighted, spears seized, and fishing parties organized. The rapids of the Marie des Cygnes presented a fine place for the attempt, but no success attended it.
April 23. — Early in the saddle: rode through prairies which seemed to have no end: a wolf the only animal we saw. At mid-day came to "a strip of timber" surrounding "Cold Water Grove," a most inviting place to noon — a spring of the very coldest water was shaded by a magnificent tree; but alas! even in such a spot the spirit of mischief and vandalism must shew itself; six feet of bark had been stripped from it, the work, evidently, of a white man's axe. Reached Bartleston's, 40 miles from the Marie des Cygnes.
April 24. — Took leave of Major W. and his party, and rode over to Major Cummins, U.S. Agent, for the Shawnees, Dalawares, Kanzas, and Kickapoos, — informed me that there were three missions among the Delawares, a Methodist, Moravian and Baptist. Three among the Shawnees, Methodist, Baptist and Friends. One among the Stockbridge, Baptist. One among the Kickapoos. None among the Kanzas. The Methodists tried for many years to establish one without success.
Passed on to the Methodist Manual Labour School among the Delawares, for boys and girls. Rev. Mr. Berryman is at the head of it. He was absent at the East, and the Rev. Mr. Peery, Superintendent of Missions in that quarter, received us and shewed us the institution.
It would provoke all Christians to good works, to witness the energy, liberality, and success with which this effort has been carried on.
Here were extensive brick buildings, adapted to all the wants of such an institution. A steam grist-mill, which not only was adequate to the supply of flour for their large family, but to all the Indians round about, who formerly knew not what to do with their corn but pound it, but who are now encouraged to raise grain, because they could here have it ground. Here, also, they find a market for their wood, which they sell at $1 50 per cord. Carpenter and wheel-wright and blacksmith shops, a brick yard, looms, dairies — in short, every facility for imparting instruction, not only in letters, but in the mechanical
38arts. Five fields, of 100 acres each, were under the cultivation of the School, and every thing wearing a most promising aspect.
That a communion not reputed to possess much of this world's goods, in addition to its other missionary operations, should have generously expended $70,000 — (but $10,000 of which came from Government,) upon this one institution for the red man, may well lead to self-examination in other quarters. It is a central school for all the tribes among whom they operate. Their itinerant preachers among the surrounding Indians, find no difficulty in obtaining children for the school, which averages one hundred pupils — 60 boys, and 40 girls. The latter make the boys' clothing; candles, soap — they wash and cook — in short, are taught to be useful. In April and September, the planting and gathering seasons, the children, after performing these offices on the farm, are allowed vacation to see their parents, and assist them on their farms. This being the spring vacation, we saw but few of the children.
English alone is taught. Mr. P. thinks their idolatry connected with their language, and the sooner the English supplants it the better. On stating my previous impressions, that the Indians were nor idolators in the usual sense of the word, he replied, that the Delawares worship a Northern deity, who sends cold weather — a Southern, (a female,) who blows softly and sends warm, — between whom, there is a constant struggle; a deity who presides over hunting, &c., &c., &c.
Ventured to submit to the matron as a matter of taste, that the Indian girls should retain their costume, ours not becoming very well those whom I had seen arrayed in it. She replied, they would not receive one who did not consent to lay it aside for ours, which was far less expensive.
A number of teachers, both male and female, are connected with the school. All seemed happy and much interested in their charge.
Mr. P. kindly accompanied me to the Baptist Mission School and printing press. Rev. Mr. Barker, preacher, and Mr. Pratt, printer, who, with their families, occupy a portion of the building, in which fifteen children, now enjoying a vacation, are taught. Mr. Pratt gave me specimens of their books in the Delaware and Shawnee upon a new system.
This mission was originated in 1830, by Rev. Isaac McCoy, of the Baptist persuasion, a gentleman with whom seems to have originated the plan now so successfully carried out, of colonizing the Indians. The first efficient step taken by Government towards it was in May 1830. The progress of this theory, from its first conception to its consummation is described in his very interesting book on Indian Missions; which shows how much is allowed even one man to accomplish, who has a single steady aim and indomitable perseverance. The country was much divided at the time on this subject of colonization; the A.B.C.F.M. exerted all its influence to prevent it, chiefly from concern for the Cherokees, while Mr. M. satisfied that it was the last remaining hope of the red man, persevered till it was effected. The intelligent Indians with whom I met, though they seemed still to feel sore upon this point, acknowledged that the Government consulted their true interests in sending them west.
The Rev. gentleman just named, has not abated his interest for the race to which he has proved so good a friend; and is now at Louisville, Ky. the Secretary of an Indian Mission Association.
After enjoying a very pleasant interview with Mr. Pratt, rode over to the "Friends Shawnee School for Indian children." Above 20 were present in school, but much to our regret, Mr. Wells had ridden out, and Mr. Stanley, the superintendent, had gone to the East. They have 212 acres under fence, one half of which is cultivated by boys, under the eye of Mr. Stanley and his assistant. The proceeds arising from the farm for this year, defray the expenses of the institution, except salaries and building. These are provided by the yearly meetings of Friends of Baltimore, Ohio and Indiana, who, at the request of the Indians, instituted the school.
Otherwise it would be a matter of regret, that in a field, some parts of which demand so many labourers, schools should be crowded together as they are here.
Passed on to the Kansas river — the boundary between the Shawnees and Delawares. The farms here bore marks of work, and were finely situated. The bottom lands are very valuable; on either side is a good ferry boat, managed by the Indians. The Delawares are great rovers and successful hunters. Those over whom the missionaries have acquired an influence, however, remain at home and cultivate the soil. About 15 per cent. was stated as the proportion of the pious. A fine field was pointed out to me which had not been touched this spring: its master had gone on a hunt in the winter, and no tidings of him yet.
Leaving the road on our left, a few minutes brought us to the house of the Rev. Mr. Peery, whose hospitality we enjoyed for the night, and from whom much information was derived. He has been many years in this country with the gratification of seeing much effected, and much more in train for the benefit of the red man.
Within 2 miles of his house is a remnant of the Munsees, a branch of the Delawares, formerly residing on the Lehigh — among whom the Moravians, for more than half a century interested in them, halve a missionary — the venerable Brother Micksch. Some are mixed with the Stockbridges, others among the Shawnees, a few at Green Bay — they number perhaps 200, and have a school of 15 or 20. The bell that summons them to church on Sunday, is their signal for school during the week — in short, it is a parochial school, and it is in this way that the Moravians invariably operate. At this moment he is building a new church.
The rain excessive last night, and the roads heavy — for the most part, a succession of beautiful prairie. In a clear day, you may see, as you approach Fort Leavenworth, at a distance of 16 miles, the "star-spangled banner" floating from the staff.
Within seven miles of the fort, and at the edge of the prairie, the little band of Stockbridges have erected their very neat and well finished cabins, and promise to be a model of thrift and comfort to their surrounding brethren.
The Wyandotts, from Ohio, have established themselves further to the south, on land purchased from the Delawares, who generously added some as a gift. They are much dissatisfied that Government should demur at paying the price fixed on by the appraisers for their lands in Ohio. The Report of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs places the matter in a very clear light.
"In pursuance of the above [treaty] stipulation appraisers or valuers were appointed, whose report not having been received when the estimates were sent to Congress at the commencement of the last session, the sum of $20,000 was put down as the supposed value of the Wyandott improvements. On the 22d February last the report was received, showing the aggregate of valuations to be $125,937 25. This sum, though deemed to be enormously high, it was believed the Government could not decline to pay, because it was ascertained in the mode pointed out by the treaty, and being so found, fixed the
United States for the payment of the amount, from which nothing short of the existence of fraud could absolve them. Of that there was neither evidence nor allegation."
And yet the Government WILL NOT PAY IT! The Indians say they left their improvements, their homes, confiding in the faith of our country, and emigrated to the West.
Reached the Fort in time to avoid a severe thunder storm, and enjoyed the hospitality of its commandant, Major Wharton. Impossible to forget that on this spot, some 17 years since, my tent had been pitched. The forest, then, in its unpruned luxuriance; the turkey, the wild-cat, the bear, no unfrequent visitors. How different now! The well built garrison, the beautiful hospital, with its alleviations and comforts for the sick; the rides and the walks in every direction, where then the impenetrable hazel thicket seemed to bid defiance to Yankee penetration — an old friend, how changed! Where are the generous companions of those early days — the indomitable chief whose name it bears? The kind open hearts, and patient, uncomplaining spirits, pioneers in this work? The western sun set unclouded, as in those bright days. but how many who then used to gaze upon its glories have since fallen asleep!
April 26. — Rode with Lieut. Smith to the Kickapoo village. These (500) are intimately mixed with about the same number of Potawatomies — are highly spoken of for their correct conduct and industry. Their houses and farms, like those of the Stockbridges, are superior.
The Kickapoo prophet was once a Methodist. He had a plurality of wives, and it was insisted that he should give up all but one. This he declined doing, and was expelled the communion. He then formed a party took an additional wife; said that he believed in God, and in his Son, but that Jesus Christ was Saviour only of the white, not of the red man. He was the Jesus Christ of the red man. His party is a strong one.
In the course of this morning's ride, saw what struck me as something new under the sun, "a portable store," which a trader among the Kickapoos had shipped at Cincinnati, with the goods it now contained, and erected in one morning, where it now stands, with the aid of three men.
It was of pannel-work, thirty-three feet long, and sixteen feet broad, cost $250. Answered the purpose very well, — proof against the weather, A number of Indians were examining its ample supply of goods, and making purchases. Here is something for a missionary, or catechist, going to those wilds. Some liberal congregation or Sunday school puts into his hand $250, for a Sunday school, or chapel, and $250 for the parsonage. He stops a few moments at Cincinnati, giving the requisite orders to Mr. P. Hinkle, who, ere the missionary has exchanged greetings with, the brethren, has shipped the school-house and parsonage. In six hours after reaching his place of destination, the buildings are erected, and he ready to commence his labours. If no encouragement is given to remain, the next boat takes away missionary,
42school-house, and parsonage, to where they will be better received. In the pattern seen in Cincinnati, there were two partitions, making three rooms in this portable house.
Having touched upon the cost of erecting a house, we would add some further memoranda. Well-seasoned lumber can be had delivered, here, for $21 50 per 1000 feet, or $15 at the mill; $4 per 1000 for brick; stone about as costly; $30 for a carpenter per month, and found; $12 for day labourers; oxen $25 per yoke; freight from St. Louis 25 cents per hundred. The expense of a given plan for building may hence be arrived at.
The Sacs of Missouri (414), and the Iowas(470), live together north of the Kickapoos. Rev. W. Hamilton, Presbyterian, has for two years past held the office of teacher under Government, and during that time the efforts made to induce them to send their children to school proved unsuccessful. They are turning their thoughts, however, now to manual labour schools. Mr. S. M. Irvin and Mrs. Irvin have also been labouring here. Mr. F. Irvin the farmer. Station, on the Nemaba river. 25 boys, 25 girls on the rolls. Very few attended during the winter. A small printing-press has enabled them to translate St. Matthew, first eleven chapters of Genesis, and the Commandments.
The Otoes and Missouris (931) occupy the northern portion of the territory. They claim, indeed, to own on the north of the Platte, but in a fit of desperation at their ill luck, or "evil genius," in 1841, burned their villages there, and now reside on the south side of the river Platte.
Rev. A. Edson (Baptist) re-opened a school with 13 pupils at Bellevue. But the Indians being intemperate and quarrelsome, and the prospect of usefulness very discouraging, he withdrew from the Mission, and the station was discontinued.
Not conceiving a visit to these last named tribes of any consequence, and having duties at the office in New-York before the (June) meeting of the Board, merely addressed a note of inquiry to William P. Richardson and Daniel Miller, Esqs., their agents, and a similar one to R.S. Elliott, agent for the Northern Pottawatomies, and to Major Beach, agent for the Mississippi Sacs and Foxes, who may be removed into the territory; and taking leave, 27th April, of a spot endeared by many recollections, descended the Missouri, 450 miles, to St. Louis.
Paid a very pleasant visit to Kemper College, which is admirably situated for the education of Indians desiring a collegiate or theological course. The
43spiritual fruit of the institution, yet in a vigorous infancy, must endear it to the Church. There is none in the country where the standard of scholarship is higher. The police too is admirable.
Arranged with Mr. Murphy the best plan for a pontoon waggon, in which the country could be traversed safely and without delays, no matter what the stage of the waters — and pausing a moment at Cincinnati to inspect Mr. P. Hinkle's portable house, &c., reached New-York, a tour of many miles, without accident or detention, (the Lord be praised,) on the 14th May.
Before parting with the reader, a few remarks may be hazarded:
1."THE INDIAN TERRITORY" IS A FAIR FIELD FOR THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE OF THE CHURCH.
It may be said of its population generally, that they are in a process of transition from the hunter to the agricultural state — necessarily so, game having almost entirely disappeared.
They are not apathetic, but aroused to do for themselves all they can. Their available resources are in most cases freely proffered for education, but they are not yet in a condition to carry on this work for themselves. They are thrown upon us to cheer and assist them.
To some extent (vide Appendix) aid has been extended. As a body, it may be said of the Missionaries now there, they are intelligent, well educated, self-sacrificing, godly men. Their labours have been blessed. But by their own admission, and palpably from the facts detailed, there is abundant room for more labourers. Whether pious or not, the natives are willing to place this matter in the hands of pious men — no others take interest enough in them to come forward. Ought we, dare we, having the means, withhold our efforts?
2. HAVE WE NOT THE MEANS?
There are other portions of the field loudly calling for aid. No one can pass through the West, or inform himself of its condition, without feeling sad at the apathy of the Church towards its crying wants. But are we to let pass unimproved the favourable moment — the critical moment for doing something, and that within our ability, for a struggling race, whose shores our fathers colonised expressly, as their charters say, that they might extend to them the rich boon of salvation; because we have not done all that we ought to do for the West? Are not the words of the Saviour applicable, "This ought ye to have done, and not leave the other undone?"
A system of Indian Missions, simple and yet far-reaching, may be constructed without taxing too heavily either the ministry, or the annual offerings of the Church for Missions — viz.:
1. A Head, whose support shall be secured at once by endowment.
2. Male and female schools taught by the laity, whose support shall come in the first place, and chiefly from those to be benefitted; and in the second place, and to a less degree, by calling out resources at present to some extent dormant: from sewing circles and Sunday schools.
3. Relying upon these agencies (Indian Schools) for materials to build up the Church, 1st, In the Territory; 2d, Among the tribes without the Territory, but within our jurisdiction; and 3d, Among the race, wherever found on the continent — not only the most economical, but the only feasible mode of attaining the end under existing circumstances.
Without discussing the question, whether the Indians within the territory may not within a period not very remote be merged in our own race, it is evident that the fertile region in question must be the home of a large population of some kind — among which the foundations of the Church will in this way be early, firmly, and dutifully laid, and thus the advocates of both Foreign and Western Missions may unite to promote this.
Indian tribes and fragments of tribes have been so often removed, and are so intermixed, that it is becoming a work of labour and difficulty to take that distinct view of them which is desirable. For the purpose, however, of creating an increased interest for the Red Race in the church, leading ultimately to Missionary effort, it has been deemed best to present them classified as follows:
III. The state of the Tribes beyond and without the Territory, but within the jurisdiction of the United States.
For information under the FIRST head, we have republished a portion of Bancroft's History of the Colonization of the United States, Vol. III, from page 236 to 253, with a map.
To illustrate the SECOND, we have made a compilation from an article in the "Democratic Review," for February, 1844, from "Travels in the Great Western Prairies, &c." by Thomas J. Farnham, from notes and observations in a tour through the Territory, the journal of which is prefixed, with maps, and from other sources.
To bring the THIRD before the reader, will be the aim of another compilation, not required now; for the present question is the occupation of the "Indian Territory," which invites our first attention. That done, the field beyond should be explored, reported to the Church, and occupied.
After which, a FOURTH head should be taken up, viz: The Indian Tribes in North America without the jurisdiction of the United States. These are variously estimated at three, four, or four and a half millions.
Does not the duty of sending the Gospel to all these — to this Red Race — devolve especially upon the American Church? If so, can we begin too soon to do something? What shall that something be? These are questions to be taken up by the Board of Missions and the General Convention of the Church. If the publications herewith connected furnish the materials for a judgment in the case, be that what it may, their purpose is answered.
We present the classification, and (for the present) notices under heads I. and II.
No. 1. — ALGONQUIN.
Sacs and Foxes.
No. 2. — DAHCOTA.
No. 3. — HURON IROQUOIS.
No. 4. — CATAWBAS.
No. 5. —
No. 6. — UCHEES.
No. 7. — NATCHEZ.
No. 8. — MOBILIAN.
Otoes & Missourias.
Cheyenes, or Shtenes.
|NAMES OF TRIBES||Number of each tribe indigenous to the country west of the Mississippi.||Present western population of each tribe, wholly or partially removed.||Number remaining east of each tribe.|
|Chippewas, Ottowas, and Pottawatomies, and Pottawatomies of Indiana||2,298||92|
|Florida Indians (Seminoles)||3,824|
|Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas||62||113|
|Ottawas and Chippewas, together with Chippewas of Michigan||7,055|
|Stockbridges and Munsees and Delawares and Munsees||278||320|
|Sacs and Foxes of Mississippi||2,348|
|Sacs of Missouri||414|
|Peorias and Kaskaskias||150|
|Senecas from Sandusky||251|
|Senecas and Shawnees||211|
|Wyandots of Ohio||50|
|Chippewas of the Lakes||2,564|
|Oneidas of Green Bay||675|
|Stockbridges of Green Bay||207|
|Wyandots of Michigan||75|
|Pottawatomies of Huron||100|
|RECAPITULATION — Indigenous to the West||168,909|
|Removed to the West||83,594|
I. — Aboriginal Tribes East of the Mississippi.
The earliest books on America contained tales as wild as fancy could invent or credulity repeat. The land was peopled with pygmies and giants: the tropical forests were said to conceal tribes of negroes, and tenants of the hyperborean regions were white, like the polar bear or the ermine. Yet the first aspect of the original inhabitants of the United States was uniform. Between the Indians of Florida and Canada the difference was scarcely perceptible. Their manners and institutions, as well as their organization, had a common physiognomy; and before their languages began to be known, there was no safe method of grouping the natives into families. But when the vast variety of dialects came to be compared, there were found east of the Mississippi not more than eight radically distinct languages, of which five still constitute the speech of powerful communities, and three are known only as memorials of tribes that have almost disappeared from the earth.
I. The primitive language, which was the most widely diffused, and the most fertile in dialects, received from the French the name of ALGONQUIN. It was the mother tongue of those who greeted the colonists of Raleigh at Roanoke, and of those who welcomed the Pilgrims to Plymouth. It was spoken, though not exclusively, in a territory that extended through sixty degrees of longitude, and more than twenty degrees of latitude.
The Micmacs held possession of Nova Scotia and the adjacent isles, probably never much exceeding three thousand in number.
The Etchemins, or Canoemen, dwelt on the St. John's river on the St. Croix, and extended as far west at least as Mount Desert.
Next to these came the Abenakis, of whom one tribe has left its name to the Penobscot, and another to the Androscoggin; while a third, under the auspices of Jesuits, had its chapel, and its fixed abode in the fertile fields of Norridgewock.
Of the Sokokis, who appear to have dwelt near Saco, and to have had an alliance with the Mohawks, many, at an early day, abandoned the region where they first became known to European voyagers, and placed themselves under the prelection of the French in Canada. The example of emigration was often followed; the savage shunned the vicinity of the civilized. The forests beyond the Saco, with New Hampshire, and even as far as Salem, constituted the sachemship of Pennacoock, or Pawtucket, and often afforded a relief to the remnants of feebler nations around them. The tribe of the Massachusetts, even before the colonization of the country, had almos disappeared from the shores of the bay that bears its name.
Next come the Pokanokets, who dwelt round Mount Hope, and were sovereigns over Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and a part of Cape Cod: the Narraghansetts, who dwelt between the bay that bears their name and the present limits of Connecticut, holding dominion over Rhode Island and its vicinity, as well as a part of Long Island, the most civilized of the northern nations; the Pequods, the branch of the Mohegans that occupied the eastern part of Connecticut, and ruled a part of Long Island — the earliest victims to the Europeans. The country between the banks of the Connecticut and the Hudson was possessed by independent villages of the Mohegans,
52kindred with the Manhattans, whose few smokes once arose amidst the forests on New York island.
The Lenni Lenape, in their two divisions of the Minsi and Delawares, occupied New Jersey, the valley of the Delaware far up towards the sources of that river, and the entire basin of the Schuylkill.
Beyond the Delawares, on the eastern shore, dwelt the Nanticokes, who disappeared without glory, or melted imperceptibly into other tribes; it is possible also, that the Corees or Coramines, who dwelt to the southward of Neuse River, spoke a kindred language — thus establishing Cape Fear as the southern limit of the Algonquin speech.
In Virginia, the same language was heard throughout the whole dominion of Powhattan. The Shawnees connect the southeastern Algonquins with the west. The basin of the Cumberland river is marked by the earliest French geographers as the home of this restless nation of wanderers.
The Miamis were more stable, and their own traditions preserve the memory of their ancient limits. "My forefather," said the Miami orator, Little Turtle, at Greenville, "kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lines to the head waters of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash, and from thence to Chicago on Lake Michigan. These are the boundaries within which the prints of my ancestors' homes are everywhere to be seen." And the early French narratives confirm his words.
The Ottawas, Algonquin fugitives from the basin of the magnificent river whose name commemorates them, fled to the Bay of Saginaw, and took possession of the whole north,of the peninsula; yet the Miamis occupied its southern moiety, and their principal mission was founded on the banks of the St. Joseph, within the present State of Michigan.
The Illinois were kindred to the Miamis, and their country lay between the Wabash, the Ohio, and the Mississippi; and Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Peoria, still preserve the names of the principal bands, of which the original strength has been greatly exaggerated. The vague tales of a considerable population vanished before the accurate observation of the early Missionaries,
In the early part of the eighteenth century, the Potawatomies had crowded the Miamis from their dwellings at Chicago; the intruders came from the islands near the entrance of Green Bay, and were a branch of the great nation of the Chippewas. That nation, or, as some write, the Ojibways, — the Algonquin tribes, of whose dialect, mythology, traditions, amd customs, we have the fullest accounts — held the country from the mouth of Green Bay to the head waters of Lake Superior, and were early visited by the French at Sault St. Marie, and Chegoimegon. They adopted into their tribes many of the Ottawas from Upper Canada, and were themselves often included by the early French writers under that name. Ottawa is but the Algonquin name for "trader," and Mascoutins are but "dwellers in the prairie." The latter hardly implies a band of Indians distinct from the Chippewas; but history recognizes as a
53separate Algonquin tribe near Green Bay, the Menomonies, who were found there in 1669, who retained their territory long after the period of French and of English supremacy, and who prove their high antiquity as a nation by the singular character of their dialect.
Southwest of the Menomonies, the restless Sacs and Foxes, ever dreaded by the French, held the passes from Green Bay and Fox River to the Mississippi, and with insatiate avidity roamed in pursuit of conquest over the whole country between the Wisconsin and the upper branches of the Illinois. The Pawnees are said to have an affinity with this nation: that the Kickapoos, who established themselves by conquest in the north of Illinois, are but a branch of it, is demonstrated by their speech.
So numerous and so widely extended were the tribes of the Algonquin family, they were scattered over a moiety, or perhaps more than a moiety, of the territory east of the Mississippi and south of the St. Lawrence, and constituted about one half of the original population of that territory.
II. Northwest of the Sacs and Foxes, west of the Chippewas, bands of the SIOUX, or DAHCOTAHS, had encamped on prairies east of the Mississippi vagrants between the head-waters of Lake Superior and the Falls of St. Anthony. They were a branch of the great family which, dwelling for the most part west of the Mississippi and the Red River, extended from Saskatchawan to lands south of the Arkansas. There seemed to exist hereditary warfare between them and the Chippewas. But one little community of the Dahcotah family had purchased the territory of the Algonquins; the Winnebagoes, dwelling between Green Bay and the lake that bears their name, preferred rather to be environed by Algonquins than to stay in the dangerous vicinity of their own kindred. Like other western and southern tribes, their population appears of late to have greatly increased.
III. The nations which spoke dialects of the HURON IROQUOIS, or as it has been also called, of the Wyandot, were, on the discovery of America, found powerful in numbers, and diffused over a wide territory. The peninsula enclosed between Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario, had been the dwelling place of the five confederated tribes of the Hurons. After their defeat by the Five Nations, a part descended the St. Lawrence, and their progeny may still be seen near Quebec; apart were adopted on equal terms with the tribes of their conquerors; the Wyandots fled beyond Lake Superior and hid themselves in the dreary wastes that divided the Chippewas from their western foes. In 1671, they retreated before the powerful Sioux, and made their home first at St. Mary's and at Michilimackinac and afterwards near the port of Detroit. Thus the Wyandots, within our borders, were emigrants from Canada. Having a mysterious influence over the Algonquin tribes, and making treaties with the Five Nations, they spread along Lake Erie; and leaving to the Miamis the country beyond the Miami of the Lakes, they gradually acquired a claim to the whole territory from that river to the western boundary of New York.
The immediate dominion of the Iroquois — where the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas were first visited by the trader, the Missionary, or the war parties of the French — stretched, as we have seen, from the borders of Vermont to Western New York, from the lakes to the head-waters of the Ohio, the Susquehannah, and the Delaware. The number of their warriors was declared by the French in 1660 to have been two thousand two hundred; and in 1577, an English agent, sent on purpose to ascertain their strength) confirmed the precision of the statement.
The Huron tribes of the north were environed by Algonquins. At the south, the
54Chowan, the Meherrin, the Nottoway, villages of the Wyandot family, have left their names to the rivers along which they dwelt; and the Tuscaroras, kindred with the Five Nations, were the most powerful tribe in North Carolina. In 1708, its fifteen towns still occupied the upper country on the Neuse and Tar, and could count twelve hundred warriors as brave as their Mohawk brothers.
IV. — South of the Tusearoras, the midlands of Carolina sheltered the CATAWBAS. Its villages included the Woccons, and the nation spoke a language of its own. That language is now almost extinct, being known only to less than a hundred persons. who linger on the banks of a branch of the Santee. Imagination never assigned to the Catawbas, in their proudest days, more than twelve hundred and fifty warriors, the oldest enumeration was made in 1743, and gives but four hundred. It may therefore be inferred that on the first appearance of Europeans their language was in the keeping of not more than three thousand souls. History knows them chiefly as the hereditary foes of the Iroquois Tribes, before whose prowess and numbers they dwindled away.
V. — The mountaineers of aboriginal America, were the CHEROKEES, who occupied the upper valley of the Tennessee River, as far west as Muscle Shoals, and the highlands of Georgia, Carolina, and Alabama — the most picturesque and most salubrious region east of the Mississippi. Through this region were scattered the little villages of the Cherokees, nearly fifty in number, each consisting of but a few cabins, erected where the bend in the mountain stream offered at once a defence, and a strip of alluvial soil for culture. Their towns were always by the side of some creek or river, and they loved their native land; but above all, they loved its rivers, the Keowee, the Tugeloo, the Flint, and the beautiful branches of the Tennessee. Running waters, inviting to the bath, tempting the angler, alluring wild fowl, were necessary to their paradise. The "beloved people" of the Cherokees were a nation by themselves. Who can tell for how many centuries, safe in their undiscovered fastnesses, they had decked their war-chiefs with the feathers of the eagle's tail, and listened to the counsels of their "old beloved men"?
VI. — South east of the Cherokees dwelt the UCHEES. They claimed the country above and below Augusta, and at the earliest period seem not to have extended beyond the Chatahoochee; yet they boast of being the oldest inhabitants of that region. They now constitute an inconsiderable band in the Creek confederacy, and are known as a distinct family, not from political organization, but from their singularly harsh and guttural language.
VII. — The NATCHEZ also are now merged in the same confederacy; but they with the Taensas were known to history as a distinct nation, residing in scarcely more than four or five villages, of which the largest rose on the banks of the Mississippi. The tradition has been widely received, that the dominion of the Natchez once extended even to the Wabash; that they are emigrants from Mexico, the kindred of the Incas of Peru. A close observation of the state of the arts among them tends to dispel these illusions; and history knows them only as a feeble and inconsiderable nation, the occupants of a narrow territory round the spot where the Christian Church and the dwellings of emigrants from Europe and Africa have displaced the rude abode of their Great Sun, and the artless cabins of the chosen guardians of the sacred fire, which they vainly hoped would never die.
VIII. — With these exceptions of the Uchees and the Natchez, the whole country south-east, south, and west of the Cherokees, to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, to
55the Mississippi and the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio, was in possession of one great family of nations, of which the language was named by the French, the MOBILAN or the MUSKHOGEE-CHOCTA. It included three considerable confederacies, each of which still exists, and perhaps even with some increase of numbers.
The country bounded on the Ohio at the north, on the Mississippi at the west, on the east by a line drawn from the bend in the Cumberland river to the Muscle shoals of the Tennessee, and extending at the south into the territory of the state of Mississippi, was the land of the cheerful, brave Chickasas, the faithful, the invincible allies of the English. Their chosen abodes were on the upland country, which gives birth to the Yazoo and the Tombecbee, the finest and most fruitful on the continent, — where the grass is verdant in mid-winter, the blue-bird and the robin are heard in February; the springs of pure water gurgle up through the white sands, to flow through natural bowers of evergreen holly; and if the earth be but carelessly gashed to receive the kernel of maize, the thick corn springs abundantly from the fertile soil. The region is as happy as any beneath the sun; and the love which it inspired made its occupants, though not numerous, yet the most intrepid warriors of the south.
Below the Chickasas, between the Mississippi and the Tombeebee, was the land of the Choctas, who were gathered on the eastern frontier into compact villages, but elsewhere were scattered through the interior of their territory. Dwelling in plains, or among gentle hills, they excelled every North American tribe in their agriculture — subsisting chiefly on corn, and placing little dependence on the chase. Their country was healthful, abounding in brooks. The number of their warriors, perhaps exceeded four thousand. Their dialect of the Mobilian so nearly resembles that of the Chickasas, that they almost, seemed but one nation. The Choctas were allies of the French, yet preserving their independence: their love of country was intense, and in defending it they utterly contemned danger.
The ridge that divided the Tombecbee from the Alabama was the line that separated the Choctas from the groups of tribes which were soon united in the confederacy of the Creeks or Muskhogees. Their territory, including all Florida, reached on the north to the Cherokees, on the north east and east to the country on the Savannah and to the Atlantic. Along the sea, their Northern limit seems to have extended almost to Cape Fear. Their population, spread over a four-fold wider territory, did not exceed that of the Choctas in number. Their towns were situated on the banks of beautiful creeks, in which their country abounded; the waters of their bold rivers, from the Coosa to the Chatahoochee, descended rapidly, with a clear current, through healthful and fertile regions; they were careful in their agriculture, and before going to war, assisted their women to plant. In Florida, they welcomed the Spanish Missionaries, and throughout their country, they derived so much benefit from the arts of civilization, that their numbers soon promised to increase; and being placed between the English of Carolina, the French of Louisiana, the Spaniards of Florida, — bordering on the Choctas, the Chickasas, and the Cherokees — their political importance made them esteemed as the most powerful nation north of the Gulf of Mexico.
Such is a brief account of the aboriginal Indians of this vast continent. It is not so easy to estimate their numbers at the period of their discovery. Many of them, the Narragansets, the Illinois — boasted of the superior strength of their former condition; and from wonder, from fear, from the ambition of exciting surprise, early travellers often repeated the exaggerations of savage vanity. The Hurons of Upper
56Canada were thought to number many more than thirty thousand, perhaps fifty thousand souls, yet, according to the more exact enumeration of 1639, they could not have exceeded ten thousand. In the heart of the wilderness, a few cabins seemed like a city, and to the pilgrim who had walked for weeks without meeting a human being, a territory would appear densely populated, where in every few days a wigwam could be encountered. Vermont and north-western Massachusetts, with much of New-Hampshire, were solitudes, Ohio, part of Indiana, the largest part of Michigan, remained open to Indian emigration, long after America began to be colonized by Europeans. In Illinois, so friendly to the habits of savage life, the only large village is described as containing seven or eight thousand souls. Kentucky, after the expulsion of the Shawnees, remained the wide park of the Cherokees. The banished tribe easily fled up the valley of the Cumberland river, to find a vacant wilderness in the highlands of Carolina, and a part of them for years roved to and fro in the wilderness west of the Cherokees. On early maps, the low country, from the Mobile to Florida, is marked as vacant. The oldest reports from Georgia, exult in the entire absence of Indians from the vicinity of Savannah, and will not admit that there were more than a few within four hundred miles. There are hearsay and vague accounts of Indian war-parties composed of many hundreds those who write from knowledge, furnish the means of comparison and correction. The whole population of the Five Nations could not have varied much from ten thousand, and their warriors strolled as conquerors from Hudson's Bay to Carolina, — from the Kennebec to the Tennessee. Very great uncertainty must attend any estimate of the original number of Indians east of the Mississippi, and south of the St. Lawrence and the chain of lakes. We shall approach, and perhaps exceed, a just estimate of their numbers two hundred years ago, if to the various tribes of the Algonquin race we allow about ninety thousand; of the Eastern Sioux, less than three thousand; of the Iroquois, including their Southern kindred, about seventeen thousand; of the Catawbas, three thousand; of the Cherokees, twelve thousand; of the Mobilian confederacies and tribes, — that is of the Chickasas, Choctas, and Muskhogees, — fifty thousand; of the Uchees, one thousand; of the Natchez, four thousand; in all, it may not be far from one hundred and eighty thousand souls.
II. — The State of the Indian Tribes Now Occupying the "Indian Territory."
The removal of the Indian tribes within our State boundaries to the west of the Mississippi, their present condition, and probable ultimate fate, have been the topic of such frequent speculation, misunderstanding, and, may we not add, misrepresentation, within a few years past, both at home and abroad, that we suppose some notice of them, and particularly of the territory they occupy, and the result, thus far, of their experiment in self-government, drawn from authentic sources, may prove not unacceptable to the public.
It must needs have happened, that where the Saxon race went the principles of law, justice, and freedom, must prevail. These principles, as they existed in England at
57the beginning of the sixteenth century, were transferred to America with the Cavaliers, the Pilgrims, and the Quakers, precisely, as to the two first topics as they existed at home. Private rights were as well secured, and public justice as well awarded here as there. But they also brought over the aristocratic system, which was upheld by the royal governors, who were the immediate representatives of the crown. The doctrine was imprescriptible, that the fee of all public or unpatented lands was in the crown, and all inhabitants of the realm owed allegiance and fealty to the crown. This doctrine, when applied to the native tribes in America left them neither fee-simple in the soil, nor political sovereignty over it. It cut them down to vassals, but by a legal solecism, they were regarded as a sort of free vassals. So long as the royal governments remained, they had the usufruct of the public domain — the right of fishing, and hunting, and planting upon it, and of doing certain other acts of occupancy; but this right ceased just as soon and as fast as patents were granted, or the public exigency required the domain. The native chiefs were quieted by presents from the throne, through the local officers, and their ideas of independence and controul were answered by the public councils, in which friendships were established, and the public tranquillity looked after. Private purchases were made from the outset, but the idea of a public treaty of purchase of the soil under the proprietary and royal governors, was not entertained before the era of William Penn.
It remained for the patriots of 1775, who set up the frame of our present government, by an appeal to arms, to award to the aboriginal tribes the fall proprietary right to the soil they respectively occupied, and to guarantee to them its full and free use, until such right was relinquished by treaty stipulations. So far they were acknowledged as sovereigns. This is the first step in their political exaltation, and dates in our records from the respective treaties of Fort Pitt, September 17, 1778, and of Fort Stanwix, of October 22,1784. The latter was as early after the establishment of our independence as these tribes — the Six Nations, who, with the exception of the Oneidas, sided with the parent country — could be brought to listen to the terms of peace. They were followed by the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Otto was in January, 1785; by the Cherokees, in November of the same year; and by the Choctaws and Shawanoes in January, 1786. Other western nations followed in 1789; the Creeks did not treat till 1790. And from this era the system has been continued up to the present moment. It may be affirmed that there is not an acre of land of the public domain of the United States, sold at the land offices, from the days of Genera Washington, but what has been acquired in this manner. War in which we and they have been frequently involved since that period, has conveyed no territorial right. We have conquered them in the field, not to usurp territory, but to place them in a condition to observe how much more their interests and permanent prosperity would be, and have ever been, promoted by the plough than the sword. And there has been a prompt recurrence; at every mutation from war to peace, punctually, to that fine sentiment embodied in the first article of the first treaty ever made between the American Government and the Indian tribes, namely, that all offences and animosities "shalt be mutually forgiven, and buried in deep oblivion, and never more be had in remembrance."
The first step to advance the aboriginal man to his natural and just political rights, namely, the acknowledgment of his right to the soil, we have mentioned; but those
58that were to succeed it were more difficult and complex in their bearings. Congress, from the earliest traces of their action, as they appear in their journals of public acts, confined the operation of the civil code to the territory actually acquired by negotiation, and treaties duly ratified by the Senate, and proclaimed agreeably to the constitution by the President. So much of this public territory as fell within the respective state lines, fell, by the terms of our political compact, under state laws, and the jurisdiction of the state courts; and as soon as new tracts of the Indian territory, thus within state boundaries, were acquired, the state laws had an exact corresponding extension until the whole of such Indian lands had been acquired. This provided a definite and clear mode of action, and if it were sometimes the subject of doubt or confliction, such perplexity arose from the great extension of the country, the smallness of its population, and the haste or ignorance of local magistrates. And these difficulties were invariably removed whenever the cases came into the Supreme Court of the United States.
Without regard to the area of the states, but including and having respect only to the territories and to the vast and unincorporated wilderness called the "Indian country," Congress provided a special code of laws, and from the first held over this part of the Union, and holds over it now, full and complete jurisdiction. This code was designed chiefly to regulate the trade carried on at these remote points between the white and red men, to preserve the public tranquillity, and to provide for the adjudication of offences. The Indian criminal code, whatever that is, also prevails there. The only exception to it arises from cases of Americans, maliciously killed within the "Indian country," the laws of Congress providing that the aggressors should be surrendered into the hands of justice, and tried by the nearest United States' Courts.
These preliminary facts will exhibit some of the leading features of the mixed system alluded to. Its workings were better calculated for the early stages of society, while population was scanty, and the two races as bodies kept far apart, than for its maturer periods. As the intervening lands became ceded, and sold and settled, and the tribes themselves began to put on aspects of civilization, the discrepancies of the system, and its want of homogeneousness and harmony, became more apparent.
We shall now devote a few moments to the present condition and prospects of the more prominent tribes.
1. The Choctaws, beginning at the extreme South of the territory, are the first in position. They occupy the country above the state of Arkansas, extending from the Arkansas to the Red River, following up the Canadian branch of the former, comprising an area of about 150 miles in breadth, by 200 in length. They are bounded by Texas south-west. The country is well adapted for grain and the raising of stock, in its middle and northern parts, and for cotton in the south. Many of the natives have large fields, where but a few years since the forest was untouched. Salt is manufactured by an intelligent Choctaw. Iron ore has been found, and specimens of gold have been picked up in various places. The western portion of it is poorly supplied with timber, but all the distance from the Arkansas frontier westward, 200 miles, and extending 120 miles from its northern to its southern boundary, the country is capable of supporting a population as dense as that of England 19,200,000 acres of soil suitable for immediate settlement, and a third as much more to the westward that would produce the black locust in ten years after planting, of sufficient size for fencing the very considerable part of it which is rich enough for agricultural purposes,
59will doubtless sustain any increased population of this tribe that can reasonably be looked for during the next 500 years.
The Council of thirty appoint their own speaker and clerk, and keep a journal. They meet in a large and commodious council house, fitted up with scats for members and spectators, and committee-rooms. Their sessions are usually ten days in duration. They are paid two dollars per diem for their services, out of public funds.
In addition to this evidence of capacity for self-government, there are judicial districts established, the right of trial by jury is secured, and there is an appeal to the highest tribunal. The Council has passed many good and wholesome laws; among them one against intemperance and the sale of ardent spirits. The collection of debt is at present not compulsory, being regulated by questions of credit, punctuality, and honour, which are to be adjusted between the buyer and seller. The country is too thinly settled, and the popular odium against incarceration too strong to permit a resort to it. Thus, it will be seen, this tribe exhibit in their frame of government the elements of a representative republic, not a pure democracy, with perhaps sufficient power to guard against sudden popular effervescence.
There are four public blacksmith shops, two of which are exclusively worked by natives. The strikers, or assistants at all the shops, are natives. Shops hare also been erected in various parts of the nation, which are occupied only in the spring and summer, in planting and crop time. The mechanics in these are natives, who are paid, not by the individuals requiring aid, but out of public funds. This tribe, we learn by the report of the Secretary of War, appropriated $18,000 of their annuities in l843 to educational purposes.
The Choctaws have several schools. Under the control of A.B.G.F.M. are the following: Wheelock, Rev. A. Wright, Mrs. W.; Mr. H.K. Copeland, Mrs. C.,
60Miss Kerr. Stockbridge, Rev. C. Byington, Mrs. B. Pine Ridge, C. Kingsbury, Mrs. K., Miss Arms, Miss Dickinson. Norwalk, Mr. C. Copeland, Miss Burnham, Goodwater, Rev. E. Hodgkin, Mrs. H. Mount Pleasant, J. Potter, Mrs. P. Baptists — Providence, Rev. R.D. Potts, Mrs. P. Methodists — Fort Coffee Academy, Rev. W. H. Good, Mr. Benson, Nunnawaya Academy, Rev. Mr. Browning, and also several local preachers. Government Schools, Puckshenubbee District, Mr. H.G. Rind, Mayhew; on Boggy, J.P. Kingsbury. Spencer Academy, Rev. Mr. McKenney (Presbyterian), Messrs. Wilson and Wright — Mr. Dwight, interpreter.
2. The Chickasaws have become merged in the Choctaws. When they sold to the Government their lands, east of the Mississippi, they agreed to furnish themselves with a home. This they have done in the western part of the Choctaw country, for the sum of $530,000. It is called the Chickasaw District, and constitutes an integral part of the Choctaw body politic in every respect, except that the Chickasaws, like the Choctaws, receive and invest for their own sole use, the annuities and other moneys proceeding from the sale of their lands east of the Mississippi.
The treaty of 1830 provides for keeping 40 Chickasaw youths at school, under the direction of the President of the U.S., for the term of 2O years. Also, the sum of $2500 is to be applied to the support of three teachers of schools among them, for the same length of time. There is also an unexpended balance of former annuities, amounting to about $25,000, which is to be applied to the support of schools, at twelve different places. School-houses have been erected for this purpose, and paid for out of this fund. Also, by the treaty of 1825, they are entitled to an annuity of $6000 for the support of schools within the Choctaw district.
The aggregate amount of the vested funds of this tribe in 1840, was $515,230 44, of which $146,000 is devoted to orphans. The annual interest paid by the Government is $2,706 83. They participate equally in the advantages of the Choctaw Academy,
3. Next in geographical position to the united Choctaws and Chickasaws, are the Muskogees, more generally known under the name of Creeks. They occupy a territory one hundred and fifty miles in length, by ninety in breadth, a rich tract, well adapted to the growth of corn, vegetables and esculents, and the raising of stock. It is not as abundantly watered by running streams as some of the tracts, or rather it is a characteristic of some of its smaller streams, that they run dry or stand in pools during the latter part of summer. In place of these it has some good springs. Of the latter Creek emigrants who reached Arkansas in the winter and spring of 1837, about 200 died on the road, and before the first of October succeeding their arrival, about 3500 more fell victims to bilious fevers. In the same year 300 of the earlier emigrants died. They own salt springs, cultivate corn, vegetables, &c., spin, weave and sew, and follow other pursuits of civilized people. Many of them have large stocks of cattle. Before the crops of 1837 had been gathered, they had sold corn to the amount of $39,000, and vast quantities still remained unsold. Even the emigrants who arrived in their country during the winter and spring previous to the cropping season of 1837, broke the turf, fenced their fields, raised their crops for the first time on the soil, and sold their surplus of corn for $10,000. The government of the Creeks is still essentially the same which they exercised on the banks of the Chattahoochee and the plains of Georgia. They exist in chieftainships, each head of which
61has his own local jurisdiction, civil and criminal. Each ruling chief has his village and his adherents, and the condition of things partakes of what we shall be understood by designating feudal traits. They have no written constitution, their laws are, however, now reduced in part to writing.
The Creeks had, for many years prior to their removal, been divided into upper and lower towns — a distinction which has been transferred to the west. Opothleyoholo is the chief of the Upper, and Roly McIntosh of the Lower Creeks. These two chieftainships embrace the lesser ones, and divide the nation into two parties. It was the lower towns, headed by the father of the present chief, that ceded the Georgian territory, and thus sided in the policy of that State. The condition in which the tribe existed in portions of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, was in other respects peculiar. In emerging from the hunter to the agricultural state, the institution of slavery by which they were surrounded, and in which they participated, gave a peculiar developement to their industry. Chiefs who were unable to work themselves, employed slaves, and thus the relation between planter and slave was established long before the question of their removal occurred. The effects of this were to exalt a portion of the nation above, and to depress others below the average standing. The disparity which took place in laborious habits and in wealth, also impressed itself on education, dress, manners, and information generally. Although the idea of slavery was well known to the red race from the earliest times, and they all have a word for it in their native vocabularies, and practised it on their prisoners, yet the result we are considering was accelerated by an admixture of European blood in their chieftains. Hence it is that this tribe, and one or two others in the south, have for years been able to put forth intelligent chiefs to transact their public business, who have astonished the circles at Washington. Yet, if they were followed to the huts of the common people at home, there was a degree of barbarity, even below the standard of our leading northern tribes. Two kinds of testimony, respecting the condition of the southern tribes, both very different, and both true, could therefore be given.
The Creeks came west, soured and disappointed, and but little disposed for the effort before them. They had suffered in various ways, and they had left the southern slopes and sunny vallies of the southern Alleganio with "a longing, lingering look." They had never manifested a general interest in schools, and none whatever in religion. The latter is still the prevalent feeling.
4. Seminoles. — This tribe is of the language and lineage of the Creeks. They are
62appropriately placed on a tract within the general area of the latter, bounded on the South by the Canadian fork of the Arkansas, and the lands of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The tract has an extent of seventy miles from east to west, and is fully equal to their wants. A blacksmith's shop is maintained for them; they are furnished with agricultural implements, and have been gratuitously subsisted as other tribes one year at the public expense. It is thought to have been unfavourable to their progress that they have been allowed to migrate with their slaves,
5. Cherokees. — This tribe is prominent among the native stocks in the United States, and is foremost in the efforts it has made to take rank among civilized nations. In this effort it has passed through some severe and tragic ordeals from internal dissensions; from which it would seem, that in proportion as the prize is brought within their grasp, are the trials multiplied which delay its seizure. And notwithstanding its strong claims to consideration on this head, they have, it must be admitted, much to attain. The original position of the Cherokees, in the valleys of the western spurs of the Alleganies, and remote from the disturbing causes which agitated the other tribes, was highly favourable to their increase and advance. No tribe in North America had remained so long and so completely undisturbed by red or white men up to the year 1836. They were early, and to a considerable extent, cultivators; and whatever they were in ancient times, they have been a nation at peace for a very long period. Soon alter the close of the late war of 1812, a portion of this tribe went over the Mississippi, and by a compact with Government, placed themselves between the
63waters of the White River and the Arkansas. This advance formed the nucleus of that political party who have mingled in their recent assemblies under the name of Western Cherokees, and who deemed themselves to be entitled to some rights and considerations above the Eastern Cherokees. The principal dissensions, however, grew out of the question of the cession of the territory east of the Mississippi. This was a broad question of sale or no sale, emigration or no emigration. At the head of the affirmative party was Ridge, at the head of the negative Ross. The latter, in addition to his being the leading chief and most prominent man, was in a large majority, and for a time successfully resisted the measure. The former drew a number of the best educated chiefs and men to his side. Availing himself of the temporary absence of his antagonist, Ross, he ceded the country, and sealed the fate of his tribe east of the Mississippi. It was a minority treaty, but the consideration was ample; it secured large prospective advantages, besides an extensive and rich domain in the West. It was therefore sustained by the Government; the United States' Senate ratified it, adding some further immunities, and further compensation, at the instance of Ross.
The territory of the Cherokees is between that of the Creeks and Osages. It is ample beyond their wants, fertile, and generally well-watered. The Arkansas crosses it centrally; it has the Neosho and the State of Arkansas as its eastern boundary. It is well adapted to the cereal grains. Corn, wheat, and oats succeed well, together with melons and culinary vegetables of all descriptions. They own numerous salt-springs, three of which are worked by Cherokees. The amount of salt manufactured is probably about 100 bushels per day. They also own two lead mines: both the salt works and lead mines are in the eastern section of their country. All the settlements yet formed are there also. It embraces about 2,500,000 acres. They own about 20,000 head of cattle, 3,000 horses, 15,000 hogs, 600 sheep, 110 waggons, often several ploughs to one farm, several hundred spinning-wheels, and 100 looms. Their fields are enclosed with rail fences. They have erected for themselves good log dwellings with stone chimneys and plank floors. Their houses are furnished with plain tables, chairs, and bedsteads, and with table and kitchen. furniture nearly or quite equal to the dwellings of white people in new countries. They have nine native merchants and one regular physician, beside several "quacks." Houses of entertainment, with neat and comfortable accommodations, are found among them.
The prairies, which are interspersed through the tract, yield a fine summer range for cattle, and produce a species of grass which, when properly cured, is little inferior to timothy. With a country which has thus the elements of prosperity within itself, and an intelligent and industrious population, this tribe must, ere long, present the gratifying spectacle of a civilized race.
It is stipulated in the treaty of the 6th May, 1823, that the United States will pay
64$2000 annually to the Cherokees, for ten years, to be expended under the directions of the President of the United States, in the education of their children, in their own country, in letters and mechanic arts; also, $1000 towards the purchase of a printing press and types.
The Government consists of a principal and assistant Chief, and an, Executive Council of five members. There are eight districts, each sending two Committee and three Council men to the Legislature. The Judiciary consists of one Chief Justice and four associate Judges. The Superior Court holds its session annually at Tahlequah, commencing on the first Monday in October. Any Judge of the Supreme Court may call a Court at any time and place, for trial of any person accused of murder.
The Cherokee Schools are sixteen in number. There are two in each of the three large districts, viz: Delaware, Going-snake, and Flint — one each in Skin-bayou, Illinois, Canadian, Tahlequah, and Sabine districts. Scholars number in all of these nearly five hundred, which, with the several Mission and other neighboring schools, says Mr. Foreman, the late Superintendent of Common Schools, do not more than half supply the demand. From five to ten orphan children are supported at each of these schools. The Moravians have two stations, Beattie's Prairie and Spring Creek, Rev. Messrs. Vogler, Bishop and Schmidt. The A.B.C.F.M. have three stations: Dwight, Mr. Hitchcock, Mrs. H., Mr. Day, Mrs. D., Miss Stetson and Miss Moore. Fairfield, Dr. Butler, Mrs. B., Miss Smith. Park Hill, Rev. Mr. Worcester, Mrs. W., Miss Thompson, Miss Avery. Baptists, Cherokee — Rev. E. Jones; Mrs. J., T., Frye, W. P. Upham, Miss S.H. Hibbard, H. Upham. Delaware — Miss E.S. Moore; Flint — J. Bushyhead, native preacher. Methodists have among the Upper Cherokees, 10 local preachers, 9 exhorters, 13 class-leaders, and about 600 members. Among the Lower Cherokees, 6 local preachers, 6 exhorters, about 700 members.
6. The Osages. — This tribe is indigenous, and formerly owned a large part of the territory which is now assigned to others. Their habits and condition have been, however, but little benefitted by the use which they have made of their annuities. Their fields are small and badly fenced. Their huts are constructed of poles inserted in the ground, bent together at the top, and covered with bark, mats, &c.; some of them are covered with buffalo and elk skins. These huts are built in villages, and crowded together without order or arrangement, and destitute of furniture of any kind, except a platform raised about two feet upon stakes set in the ground. This extends along the side of the hut, and may serve for a seat, a table, or a bedstead. Great exertions have been made by the local agents
65erratic mode of life, and become agriculturists. To this end stock
The Osages were, when the whites first knew them, brave, warlike, and, in the Indian sense of the term, in affluent circumstances. They were the hardiest and fiercest enemies of the terrible Sioux. The Government has been and is making the most generous efforts to elevate them. The treaty of 1825 provides that "the President of the United States shall employ such persons to aid the Osages in their agricultural pursuits as to him may seem expedient."
7. The Senecas consist of three bands, to wit: Senecas 200, Senecas and Shawanoes 211, Mohawks 50; in all, 461. The lands of the Senecas adjoin those of the Cherokees on the south, and, abutting on the Missouri border the distance of 13 miles, extend northward to the Neosho River. The lands of the mixed band of Senecas and Shawanoes extend north between the State of Missouri and Neosho River so far as to include 60,000 acres. These people also are in some measure civilized. Most of them speak English. They have fields enclosed with rail-fences, and raise corn and vegetables sufficient for their own use. They own about 800 horses, 1200 cattle, 13 yoke of oxen, 200 hogs, 5 waggons, and 67 ploughs — dwell in neat hewed log-cabins, erected by themselves, and furnished with bedsteads, chairs, tables, &c., of their own manufacture, and own one grist and saw mill, erected at the expense of the United States.
The band of Quapaws was originally connected with the Osages. Their lands lie immediately north of the Senecas and Shawanoes, and extend north between the State of Missouri on the east, and Neosho River on the west, so far as to include 96,000 acres. Their country is south-east of and near to the country of the Osages. Their habits are somewhat more improved, and their circumstances more comfortable than those of the last named tribe. They subsist by industry at home, cultivate fields enclosed with rail fences, and about three-fourths of them have erected for themselves small log dwellings with chimneys. Unfortunately for the Quapaws, they settled on the lands of the Senecas and Shawnees, from which they must soon remove to their own. A small band of them, forty or fifty in number, have settled in Texas; and about thirty others live among the Choctaws.
Among the Quapaws there is a Methodist Mission, and a school, which was opened 27th March, 1843, with 9 scholars — soon increased to 16 — subsequently to 23; average number of attendants, 16. Conducted on the manual labour system. Rev. S.G. Patterson, Superintendent of the School.
The Pottawatomies, in emigrating to the west, have unfortunately been divided into bands. One thousand or fifteen hundred have located themselves on the north-east side of the Missouri River, 240 miles from the country designated by Government as their permanent residence. Negotiations have been had to effect their removal to their own lands, but without success. About fifteen hundred others have settled near the Sauks on the Mississippi, and manifest a design to remain there. The country designated for them lies on the sources of the Osage and Neosho rivers. It commences 16 miles and 4 chains west of the State of Missouri, and in a width of 4 miles, extends west 200 miles. By the treaty of 1833, they are allowed the sum of $70,000 for purposes of education and the encouragement of the useful arts. Also by the same treaty, is secured to them the sum of $150,000, to be applied to the erection of mills, farm-houses, Indian houses, and blacksmith's shops — to the purchase of agricultural implements and live stock, and for the support of physicians, millers, farmers, and blacksmiths, which the President of the United States shall think proper to appoint to their service.
The Romanists have a Mission on Sugar Creek, with schools, both male and female. The boys' school numbers 61 scholars. The female academy has 61 pupils, 40 of whom may be called regular. Rev. Dr. Verryett, Rector, assisted by Rev. C. Hoecken, Rev. A. Eysvogels, Mr. A. Magelli, five ladies of the order of the "Sacred Heart," and two schoolmasters. The Rev. R. Simmerwell and Mrs. S. (Baptists) have services at Potawatomie.
The Weas and Piankeshaws are bands of Miamis. Their country lies north of the Pottawatomies, adjoins the State of Missouri on the east, the Shawanoes on the north, and the Peorias and Kaskaskias on the west, and contains 16,000 acres. Their people own a few cattle and swine. About one half their dwellings are constructed
67of logs; the remainder of bark, in the old native style. Their fields are inclosed with rails, and they cultivate corn and vegetables sufficient for comfortable subsistence. The Piankeshaw band is less improved than the Weas. The former have a field of about fifty acres, made by the Government The latter have made their own improvements.
The Peorias and Kaskaskias are also bands of Miamis. Their land lies immediately west of the Weas; adjoins the Shawanoes on the north, and the Ottowas on the west. They own 96,000 acres. They are improving, live in log cabins, have small fields, generally enclosed with rail fences, and own considerable numbers of cattle and swine.
The lands of the Ottowas lie immediately west of the Peorias and Kaskaskias, and south of the Shawanoes. The first band of emigrants received 36,000 acres, and one which arrived subsequently, 40,000 acres, adjoining the first. They all live in good log-cabins, have fields enclosed with rail fences, raise a comfortable supply of corn and garden vegetables, are beginning to raise wheat, have horses, cattle and swine, a small grist-mill in operation, and many conveniences that indicate an increasing desire among them to seek from the soil, rather than from the chase, the means of life. Their government is based on the old system of Indian Chieftaincies.
Rev. J. Meecker, (Baptist,) is a Missionary and teacher.
Immediately on the north of the Weas and Piankeshaws, the Peorias and Kaskaskias, andOQttowas, lies the country of the Shawnees or Shawanoes. It extends along the line of the State of Missouri, north 28 miles to the Missouri River, at its junction with the Kanzas, thence to a point 60 miles on a direct course to the lands of the Kanzas, thence south on the Kanzas line 6 miles; and from these lines, with a breadth of about 19 miles, to a north and south line 120 miles west of the State of Missouri, containing 1,600,000 acres. Their principal settlements are on the north-eastern corner of their country between the Missouri border and the Kanzas River. Most of them live in neat hewn log-cabins, erected by themselves, and partially supplied with furniture of their own manufacture. Their fields enclosed with rail fences, and sufficiently large to yield plentiful supplies of corn and culinty vegetables. They keep cattle and swine, work oxen, and use horses for draught, and own some ploughs, waggons, and carts. They have a saw and grist-mill erected by Government at an expense of about $8000. This, like many other emigrant tribes, is much scattered. Besides two bands the Neosho, there is one on Trinity River, in Texas, and others in divers places.
Under the superintendence of Missionaries of various denominations, these people are making considerable progress in education and the mechanical arts.
They enjoy the benefit of the Methodist manual labour school, which, located among them, embraces, at the same time, children from other tribes.
The lands of the Delawares lie north of the Shawanoes, in the forks of Kanzas and Missouri Rivers, extending up the former to the Kansas lands; thence north 24 miles, to the north-east corner of the Kanzas survey, up the Missouri 23 miles,
68in a direct course to Fort Leavenworth, thence with a line westward to a point 10 miles north of the north-east corner of the Kanzas survey, and then, in a slip not more than 10 miles wide, it extends westwardly along the northern boundary of the Kanzas, 210 miles from the State of Missouri.
They live in the eastern portion of their country, near the junction or the Kanzas and Missouri rivers; have good hewn log-houses, and some furnitures in them; enclose their fields with rail fences, keep cattle and hogs; apply horses to draught; use oxen and ploughs; cultivate sufficient corn and vegetables for use; have commenced the culture of wheat, and own a grist and saw mill, erected by the United States. The treaty of September, 1829, provides that 36 sections of the best land within the district, at that time ceded to the United States; be selected and sold, and the proceeds applied to the support of schools for the education of Delaware children. In the year 1838, the Delawares agreed to a commutation of $2 per acre, which secures to them an Education Fund of $46,000.
The Moravians have a Mission among these Indians, under the charge of the Rev. J. C. Micksh, whose labours are especially directed to the Munsees. The Rev. J. D. Blan hard, assisted by Mrs. B. and Miss Case, have a Mission and School under the patronage of the Baptist Board.
The country of the Kanzas lies on the Kanzas River. It commences 60 miles west of the State of Missouri, and thence, in a width of 30 miles, extends westward as far as the plains can be inhabited. It is well watered and timbered, and in every respect delightful. They are a lawless, dissolute race. Formerly they committed many depredations upon their own traders, and other persons ascending the Missouri River. In language, habits and condition in life, they are in effect the same as the Osages. In matters of war and peace the two tribes are blended. They are virtually one people.
Like the Osages, the Kanzas are ignorant and wretched in the extreme, uncommonly servile, and easily managed by the white men who reside among them. Almost all of them live in villages of straw, bark, flag, and earth huts. These latter are in the form of a cone, with a wall two feet in thickness, supported by wooden pillars within. Like the other huts, these have no floor except the earth. The fire is built in the centre of the interior area. The smoke escapes at an opening in the apex of the cone. The door is a mere hole, through which they crawl, closed by the skin of some animal suspended therein. They cultivate small patches of corn, beans, and melons. They dig with hoes and sticks, and in general their fields are not fenced. They have one, however, of 300 acres, which the United States six years ago ploughed and fenced for them, and the principal Chiefs have log-houses built by the Government Agent.
It is encouraging, however, to know that these miserable creatures are beginning to yield to the elevating influences around them. A missionary was formerly among
69them, and induced some of them to leave the villages, make separate settlements, build log-houses, &c.
The Kickapoo lands lie on the north of the Delawares; extend up the Missouri 30 miles direct, thence westward about 45 miles, and thence south 20 miles, to the Delaware line, embracing 768,000 acres.
They live on the south-eastern extremity of their lands, near Fort Leavenworth. In regard to civilization, their -condition is similar to that of the Peorias. They are raising a surplus of the grains, &c., have cattle and hogs, $700 worth of the latter, and 340 head of the former, from the United States, in obedience to treaty stipulations; have about 30 yoke of oxen, l4 yoke of them purchased chiefly with the produce of their farms; have a saw and grist mill erected by the United States. Nearly one half of this tribe are unsettled and seattered — some in Texas, others with the southern tribes, and still others ranging the mountains. The treaty of October, 1832, provides that the United States shall pay $500 per annum, for ten successive years, for the support of a school, purchase of books, &c., for the benefit of the Kickapoo tribe on their own lands. A school house and teacher have been furnished in conformity with this stipulation. The same treaty provides $1000 for labour and improvements on the Kickapoo lands.
The Sacs and Iowas speak the same language, and are so perfectly consolidated by intermarriage and other ties of interest as to be in fact one nation. They formerly owned the north-western half of the State of Illinois, and a large part of the State of Missouri No Indian tribe, except the Sioux, has shown such daring intrepidity, and such implacable hatred towards other tribes. Their enmity, once excited, was never known to be appeased till the arrow and tomahawk had forever prostrated their foes. For centuries the prairies of Illinois and Iowa were the theatre of their exterminating prowess; and to them is to be attributed the almost entire destruction of the Missouris, the Illinois, Cahokias, Kaskaskias, and Peorias. They were, however, steady and sincere in their friendship to the whites, and many is the honest old settler on the borders of their old dominion, who mentions with the warmest feelings the respectful treatment he has met with from them, while he cut the logs for his cabin and ploughed his "potato patch" on that lonely and unprotected frontier.
Like all other tribes, however, this also dwindles away at the approach of the whites. A saddening fact. The Indians' bones must enrich the soil before the plough of civilized man can enter it.
In 1832 their friendly relations with their white neighbors were for the first time seriously interrupted. A treaty had been formed between the chiefs of the tribe and Commissioners representing the United States, containing, among other stipulations,
70the sale of the lands north of the Rock River, &c., in the State of Illinois. This tract of country contained the old villages and burial places of their tribe. It was indeed, the sanctuary of all that was venerable and sacred among them. They wintered and summered there long before the date of their historical legends. And on these flowering plains the spoils of war — the loves of early years — everything that delights man in remembrance of the past, clung closely to the tribe, and made them dissatisfied with the sale. Black Hawk was the principal chief: he, too, was unwilling to leave his village in a charming glen, at the mouth of Rock River, and he increased the already existing dissatisfaction of his people by declaring that "the white chiefs had deceived himself and the other contracting chiefs" in this, "that he had never, and the other chiefs had never, consented to such a sale as the white chiefs had written, and were attempting to enforce upon them." They dug up the painted tomahawk with great enthusiasm, and fought bravely by their noble old chief for their beautiful home. But, in the order of nature, the plough must bury the hunter. And so it was with this truly great chief and his brave tribe.
The country assigned them as their permanent residence, adjoins the northern boundary of the Kickapoos, and on the north and north-east of the Mississippi River. They are but little improved. Under treaty stipulations, they have some few houses and fields made for them by the United States, and they are entitled to more. Some live stock has been given them, and more is to be furnished.
The main body of the Sacs or Sauks, usually denominated the Sacs and Foxes, estimated at 4600 souls, reside on the Iowa River, in Iowa Territory. They will ultimately be removed to unappropriated lands adjoining those already occupied by their kindred within the Indian Territory. Both of these bands number 12,400. By the treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1830, the Sacs are entitled to $500 per annum, for educational purposes. By the treaty of September, 1830, they are entitled to a schoolmaster, a farmer, and a blacksmith, as long as the United States shall deem proper. Three comfortable houses are to be erected for them, 200 acres of land fenced and ploughed, such agricultural implements furnished as they may need for five years, one ferry-boat, 205 head of cattle, 100 stock hogs, and a flouring mill.
The country of the Iowas contains 128,000 acres, adjoining the north-eastern boundaries of the Sacs, with the Missouri River on,the north-east, and the great Nemaha River on the north. Their condition is similar to that of the Sacs. The aid which they have received, and are to receive, from the Government, is about the same in proportion to their numbers. The villages of the Sacs and Iowas are within two miles of each other.
The Rev. S. M. Irving and Mrs. I. have charge, under the supervision of the Presbyterian Board, of the Mission, located on the Nemaha River, west of the State of Missouri. The Rev. Mr. Hamilton recently retired from this Mission. Mr. F. Irving and the two Mrs. Irving assist. The schools are not very well attended.
The Otoes are the descendants of the Missourias, with whom they united after the reduction of the latter tribe by the Sacs and Foxes. They claim a portion of land lying in the forks between Missouri and Great Platte rivers. The Government of the United States understands, however, that their lands extend southward from the Platte down the Missouri to Little Nemaha River, to its sources, and thence due west. Their western and northern boundaries are not particularly defined.
71Their southern boundary is about twenty-five miles north of the Iowas' land. By treaty, such of their tribe as are related to the whites, have an interest in a tract adjoining the Missouri River, and extending from the Little Nemaha to the Great Nemaha, a length of about twenty-eight miles, and ten miles wide. No Indians reside on this tract.
The condition of this people is similar to that of the Osages and Kanzas. The United States' Government has fenced and ploughed for them 130 acres of land. In 1838, they cultivated 300 acres of corn. They own six ploughs, furnished by Government. Their progenitors, the Missourias, were, when the French first knew the country, the most numerous tribe in the vicinity of St. Louis; and the great stream, on whose banks they reside, and the State which has risen upon their hunting grounds, when the race is extinct, will bear their names to the generations of coming time. They are said to have been an energetic and thrifty race before they were visited by the small pox and the destroying vengeance of the Sacs and Foxes. The Osages consider them their inferiors, and treat them, often times, with great indignity.
With the materials now before the reader, he can draw his own inferences of the probable result of an experiment to elevate a portion of our red brethren from the manifold evils of their lot. We fear the difficulties connected with this question have not been sufficiently appreciated. The first wrong step was taken by those who came in contact with them, years before our federal compact was formed. The Sovereigns of Europe, not recognizing their title to the soil, partitioned it among themselves, and assigned it by patent to their subjects. The founders of our several States, in such ways as seemed expedient to them, established themselves on this soil — never, however, abandoning the claims derived from their charters. With these they entered into confederation, and entailed them upon the Government of the United States, which has ever shown as sacred a regard to the rights of the Aborigines as these charter claims would permit.
The unexampled increase of our population within the States, soon brought these respective rights (is the Government was bound to consider them) into a close antagonism, and the only practical solution of the difficulty that presented itself was the removal of the tribes within the States to a Territory without them, and over which no charter claims could be set an. There the Government might discharge its obligations to the red man — there the attempt is now being made to do so, and some hints of the result so far may be gathered from the Journal and Appendix. It is yet an experiment, and the issue stilt rests, (under God) not more upon the Indians themselves, than in the interest which patriotic, humans and Christian men can be induced to take in them.
It is not to be disguised that in consequence of the want of interest among such men, the noble provisions of our Government have fallen far short of the result which might reasonably have been anticipated from them. While these have slept, the place-hunter and the covetous of every name and rank have made their harvest from the Indian Appropriations. Perhaps in no department of our Government could greater corruption be proved than in the Indian, and in none has more been covered up beyond the reach of proof, indeed, but not of just suspicion.
The blood and the treasure which the imbecile and corrupt administration of Indian affairs
The organization of the Indian Department we think susceptible of improvement. How many changes have we had in the incumbents within a few years? and every change of administration introduces new ones. This, whatever may be its advantages elsewhere, is a sad thing in Indian affairs.
To gain the confidence of the natives is a work of time, to say nothing of that requisite to become familiar with their peculiarities, wants, &c. Change interferes with all this, and its anticipation unavoidably diminishes the interest of the incumbent in his duties.
This state of things might be guarded against in two ways, either by attaching the agents to the army as an Indian staff, giving them commissions, or by assigning their duties to the army.
There is a sort of divided responsibility now, in consequence of which the system lacks that simplicity and efficiency essential to its success. The Indian knows that after all the war chief and his troops keep the peace. To him he looks either as protector or avenger, why then, except as subordinate to him, introduce an agency, that has very little moral and no physical power independent of him. The officer, acting only at the instance of the agent, waits for that. The agent sometimes mistakes the relation in which he stands to the officer, and misunderstanding results, to the prejudice of the service. But attach them as staff officers to the army, and change, confusion, and a host of other evils is avoided.
Again, to Commanding Officers of Departments in which Indian tribes are located, might be assigned the duties now discharged by the Indian Department. —
73The staff of the army no one will deny is sufficient for each an arrangement. The Quarter-Master's Department might contract to supply the Indiana as it does now the troops, with the estimated amount of clothing, tools, &c., due them — the Commissariat with provisions; through the Paymasters they could receive their annuities, or through the Quarter-Masters of posts.
We prefer the first plan, because it will apply as well where there are no troops as where there are, and secure the experience already acquired in- the Indian Department. It gives the guarantee of a commission, as well as the second, that the interests of the Indian will be cherished.
It has been urged, we are aware, that the presence of troops in that country is demoralizing and oppressive — more has been said on these points than is justified by the facts of the case. So long as men require physical as well as moral treatment, the presence of some force is necessary. Granting the Indian to have full jurisdiction in the country assigned him, in which he should not be overawed by a foreign force, is not Government bound to keep peace between the tribes, to protect them from, the trespasses of her own citizens. A force is necessary. Two regiments of dragoons are now mounted and in service. The duty on the frontier was too much for one, and cavalry is the only effective arm for the prairie. But what is the necessity, with two regiments of dragoons in service, to keep large infantry garrisons in the Indian country? Were a single company kept at every post to secure it in the absence of the dragoons, and the remainder concentrated at two or more points on the Mississippi, (Jefferson Barracks one of them), the evils of a large force in the Indian country would be avoided, the discipline of the troops be improved, and their comfort promoted. Such disposition of the military force would indeed be disapproved by those who are interested to have large garrisons near them.
The system of trade and intercourse is allowed by all to be a bad one. The Government has been appealed to in every form to change it. It is easier, however, to demolish the present system than construct one against which no objection can be urged. The factor system, to which there seems a disposition to return, had its evils.
If a system of agencies modified as above suggested were adopted, there would be no greater difficulty than in supplying the wants of the soldier. Beyond those supplied by the commissariat, quarter-master's, pay, and medical departments, these are satisfied, by the sutler, whose prices are fixed by a board of three senior officers. The same system might prevail in Indian trade and intercourse — the staff of the army, or the Indian staff, be responsible foe the application of the Government supplies — the council of the nearest military post be charged with fixing the prices, and the sutler with sending a clerk or partner to a point convenient to the Indians — the whole under the regulations of the War Department, and subject to the inspections, &c. which prevail in that.
In its efforts to meliorate the condition of the Indian, Government often finds
74the influence of traders (necessarily very great) exerted against it.
So long as the whiskey traffic continues, great difficulties will be presented, to the efforts of the humane for Indian civilization. The appetite of the Indian and the covetousness of the white man concur here to set existing laws at defiance. Much is hoped from the establishment of temperance societies within the tribes. This influence should be strengthened by all other available means. For the "Indian Territory," the constant patrol of parties of the two regiments of dragoons on the frontiers of Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, by day and by night, has been recommended.
By placing the country north of 37° under the change of the colonel of the 1st, and south of it under that of the 2d dragoons, and establishing one or more United States' Courts along the frontiers, or giving to those officers the power of civil magistrates also, much might be done to suppress the traffic.
Strong representations should be made to the authorities of Texas, and to the legislatures of Missouri and Arkansas, to restrain their own citizens by efficient legislation, and the efforts of the temperate and order loving in these districts put forth to form a healthy public opinion.
Something should be done, and that speedily. The cries of outraged humanity are wafted by every breeze from the frontier — the noble and last experiment to repair the wrongs of a wasting race — to bestow the blessings of this life, and inspire the hopes of a life to come, are jeoparded by the dark deeds of men who bear the name, but know nothing of the spirit of Christian freemen. If the pleadings of honour, the cries of humanity, the dictates of patriotism, have proved thus far powerless to stay the evils that betide the race, let the Church of the Living God come up to the rescue, and send an appeal through the length and breadth of the land, that will take no denial, and bring every one to his post, with true heart and hand, to fight the good fight of faith, till the Indian "redeemed, regenerated, disenthralled, by the irresistible [because Heaven-commissioned] genius of universal emancipation," stands forth in the glorious liberty of a child of God.
We met one on board who had emigrated to the Red River country, from North Carolina, where he had always attended on the services of the Church. For twelve years he had not heard our service, nor, until the Sunday passed on board, an "Episcopal sermon." Unwilling to be deprived of all public religious service, he had been liberal supporter of the Methodist Society — had his children baptised by their preachers, with the distinct understanding, he said, that when a man of the "true grit" came along, he should do it over again. The Methodists had strong hopes of attaching him permanently to their communion, and almost despairing of seeing the Church of his affections planted near him, he had promised that he would take six months to consider.
Assaults upon our Church and its ministers were brought him by the circuit rider, and among others the attempts of — to answer the three sermons of Bishop Otey on the Church. Captain B. declared that he must now see Bishop O.'s sermons, and decide between them. He went to New Orleans and searched the city in vain for them. Judge of this gratification when informed that Bishop O. was on board, and a copy of the sermons was handed him for perusal.
He was completely satisfied, and returned home with the determination of establishing, if possible, a Church, and having it represented in the Convention about to assemble at Natchitoches.
He spoke in the highest terms of the devotion, energy and success of the Methodist Missionaries in this district, through which many Churchmen are scattered; mentioned that one widow living near him had been waiting many years for a minister deemed by her, authorized to baptize her children. Of all which Bishop Polk was duly informed.
"Did I tell you," said the Captain, "how I excoriated a Methodist neighbour who had always been at me about our set forms of prayer? When I went to New Orleans a year since, I purchased three or four copies of the Prayer Book. I always like to have them about the house, and sometimes use them at family worship. I lent a copy to my neighbor, with whom, and others, I used to meet once a week at prayer meeting. That is a thing I always went for — all Christians can unite in prayer. For a week or two I was lame and could not attend; but when I did, what do you think? My neighbour prayed pretty near the whole Evening Service, and some of the people didn't know what to make of it, for every now and then he would come, as it were, to a close, and then they would begin to rise up, but then he would start off again like. I understood it though and told him afterwards that he must cut off the ends of those prayers and then they would go. He laughed and said, Yes, he would, and that he was mighty near using the prayer for protection at night, though it was only 11 o'clock in the morning, and he meant to get the whole Evening Service by heart. I tell you, he never said another word to me about set forms of prayer."
There was present at the interview, one of the constituency, just drunk enough to be honest, who listened with as much patience as he could, to the "ostensible" reasons, why and wherefore a Fort should be established, till murder must out. "Governor, I say the people must have troops here, for if they can't do any thing else, they can eat our provisions and fodder." How often have our troops been moved and removed at great expense, for some very good "ostensible" reasons. Some cry of "Indians, Indians," "defenceless women and children," — "tomahawk and scalping knife," when the real trouble has been the want of a market for "our provisions and fodder." Some troops are doubtless necessary to keep Indian tribes at peace among themselves, or the whites from depredating on Indian lands, and carrying their infernal firewater to poison the poor red man in this place of refuge — but that any thing is to be apprehended from the half civilized Indians on the frontier, unless provoked by whites, crossing the line and interfering with them, is nonsense.
Their funds are vested in our stocks — they have arid and worthless prairies in their rear, traversed by doubtful friends — a populous frontier in front. What can they do? On the contrary, they are a cordon to protect us from prairie Indians. White men disguised as Indians, have been known to depredate upon white men, to get up the cry of Indians! Indians!
The following is a specimen of the tone and temper of the frontier —
"The citizens of Crawford county, Arkansas, assembled in public meeting, thus depict their exposed and somewhat perilous position. The meeting was called to ask of Congress further protection on the frontier. That the public may know who their "pleasant neighbours" are, they thus enumerate them: —
The half conquered Creek, brought here by constraint, with treasured vengeance festering in his breast, the chased and hunted down Seminole, panting for another display of his wonted ferocity; the Cherokee — half a century in advance of his neighbours in culture and civilization, but negotiated out of his wits and his temper, and warmed by the excitement of turmoil and facttion; together with a cloud of tribes and fractions of tribes not indigenous to the soil, who, if they could but tutor themselves to concert of action, and that concert resolved itself into hostility, might desolate our frontier And not our frontier only, for in one Wild outbreak they have the physical power to bear their ravages to the Mississippi. This is not the language of panic; but we appreciate our position, and call on the Government to save us from the imminent danger it has brought to our doors." — Army & Navy Chronicle.
In the following season it was determined to send a second Mission to the Little Osages. When this became known, more than one hundred persons, both male and female, volunteered their services in this laborious and self-denying enterprise. Twenty-five were sent, making, with the children, a Mission family of forty-six souls.
They made very fair promises, and, I think, they intended to comply with them at the time; but unfortunately Mr. Johnson on his way down to the Manual Labour School, with eleven Kanzas boys in company with me, at the crossing of the Walkness, where we encamped for the night, was taken sick, of which he never recovered. The death of this man, whom I considered the best I had become acquainted with, was, I believe, the greatest loss the Kanzas Indians ever met with — Agent's Report to Secretary at War.
Every uncompounded sound which can be distinguished by the ear is indicated by a character. These sounds in Indian languages usually amount to about eight or ten, the greater part of which, but not all, what in the system of spelling would be denominated vowel sounds; other sounds are, such for instance as the hissing sound of the letter s, in which consists its real value, the sound obtained by ek, as in chuck. The other characters, usually in number 12 or 14, merely indicate the positions of the organs of speech preceding or following the sounds by which the beginning or ending of sounds is modified; thus the character p would require the lips to be pressed together with a slight pressure within; thus o would indicate a sound which could be heard by the ear, say the short sound of o; thus t would require the end of the tongue to be pressed hard to the roof of the mouth. Now if the sound of o intervenes between the pressure of the lips and the pressure of the tongue, as above indicated, the word pot is necessarily pronounced, transpose the characters and adhere to the same rules, and the word top is unavoidably pronounced
Hence, as soon as the learner acquires a knowledge of the uses of the characters, more than twenty three of which have not yet been found necessary in writing any Indian language, he is capable of reading; because by placing the organs of speech, or uttering a sound as is indicated by each character as it occurs, he is actually reading — McCoy's History of Indian Missions, p. 472.
The number of Indians still alive in North America is estimated at about four and a half millions. These are spread over a country much more extensive than that settled by men of European descent. None on this vast region can be said to be in settled residences, except the few included within the Indian Territory. * * * * *
It is desirable that, as far as practicable, the Indian converts be employed in imparting religious instruction to the people, their identity of thought, language and habits, with their kindred, qualify them for great usefulness, and they are willing to work. * * * — Journal of the Association.
"Savannah, Georgia, June 12th, 1843
To the Domestic Committee of the Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
BRETHREN IN THE LORD:
Several gentlemen of the Associate Congregations of Christ Church and St. John's Savannah, have authorized me to send you their pledge for Five Hundred Dollars annually, in support of a Bishop among the Indian tribes recently collected by the United States Government west of the Mississippi. This pledge to continue for five years, and its payment to commence with the election and consecration of a Bishop over that missionary field.
They feel that the Indian Mission has peculiar claims upon the Church in Georgia, in as much as the Creeks and Cherokees are remnants of natives that once inhabited the soil which is embraced within its limits. Gladly would they do more, but the demands upon an infant diocese for missionary service and church building are such as to prevent the indulgence of their earnest desire to render to the Indians spiritual things for the worldly things which they have received at their hands. May this work of righteousness go on and prosper.
Very affectionately, in the bonds of the Gospel,
Your brother and fellow-laborer,
STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Jr.,
Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia"