Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers eBook (2024)

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Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers by Henry Schoolcraft

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Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—­Eventspreliminary to a knowledge of western life—­Embarkationon the source of the Alleghany River—­Descentto Pittsburgh—­Valley of the Monongahela;its coal and iron—­Descent of the Ohio inan ark—­Scenes and incidents by the way—­Cincinnati—­Somepersonal incidents which happened there.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth—­Ascentof the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum—­Itsrapid and turbid character, and the difficulties ofstemming its current by barges—­Some incidentsby the way.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to thefounder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr.Austin—­His character—­Continuationof the journey on foot to St. Louis—­Incidentsby the way—­Trip to the mines—­Surveyof the mine country—­Expedition from Potosiinto the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter’sabsence, to Potosi.


Sit down to write an account of the mines—­Medicalproperties of the Mississippi water—­Expeditionto the Yellow Stone—­Resolve to visit Washingtonwith a plan of managing the mines—­Descendthe river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans—­Incidentsof the trip—­Take passage in a ship forNew York—­Reception with my collection there—­Publishmy memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington—­Resultof my plan—­Appointed geologist and mineralogiston an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west—­Remaina few weeks at New York—­Visit Niagara Falls,and reach Detroit in the first steamer—­Preparationsfor a new style of traveling—­Correspondents—­Generalsketch of the route pursued by the expedition, andits results—­Return to Albany, and publishmy narrative—­Journal of it—­Preparationfor a scientific account of the observations.


Reception by the country on my return—­Reasonsfor publishing my narrative without my reports fora digested scientific account of the expedition—­Delaysinterposed to this—­Correspondents—­Localityof strontian—­Letter from Dr. Mitchell—­Reporton the copper mines of Lake Superior—­Theoreticalgeology—­Indian symbols—­Scientificsubjects—­Complete the publication of mywork—­Its reception by the press and thepublic—­Effects on my mind—­Receivethe appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commissionat Chicago—­Result of the expedition, asshown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the WabashValley—­Cross the grand prairie of Illinois—­Revisitthe mines—­Ascend the Illinois—­Fever—­Returnthrough the great lakes—­Notice of the “Trio”—­Letterfrom Professor Silliman—­Prospect of an appointmentunder government—­Loss of the “Walk-in-the-Water”—­Geologyof Detroit—­Murder of Dr. Madison by a WinnebagoIndian.


New-Yearing—­A prospect opened—­Poemof Ontwa—­Indian biography—­Fossiltree—­Letters from various persons—­Noticeof Ontwa—­Professor Silliman—­Gov.Clinton—­Hon. J. Meigs—­ColonelBenton—­Mr. Dickenson—­ProfessorHall—­Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson,and Adams on geology—­Geological notices—­Planof a gazetteer—­Opinions of my NarrativeJournal by scientific gentlemen—­Theimpostor John Dunn Hunter—­Trip up the Potomac—­Mosaicalchronology—­Visit to Mount Vernon.


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the UnitedStates at Saint Mary’s—­Reasons forthe acceptance of the office—­Journey toDetroit—­Illness at that point—­Arrivalof a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establisha new military post at the foot of Lake Superior—­Incidentsof the voyage to that point—­Reach our destination,and reception by the residents and Indians—­AEuropean and man of honor fled to the wilderness.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment ofthe now post at St. Mary’s—­Life ina nut-shell—­Scarcity of room—­Highprices of everything—­State of the Indians—­Theirrich and picturesque costume—­Council andits incidents—­Fort site selected and occupied—­Theevil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians—­Notefrom Governor De Witt Clinton—­Mountainash—­Curious superstitions of the Odjibwas—­Language—­Manitopoles—­Copper—­Superstitious regardfor Venus—­Fine harbor in Lake Superior—­Starfamily—­A locality of necromancers—­AncientChippewa capital—­Eating of animals.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the headof the falls—­Indian mode of interment—­Indianprophetess—­Topic of interpreters and interpretation—­Modeof studying the Indian language—­The Johnstonfamily—­Visits—­Katewabeda, chiefof Sandy Lake—­Indian mythology, and oraltales and legends—­Literary opinion—­Politicalopinion—­Visit of the chief Little Pine—­Visitof Wabishkepenais—­A despairing Indian—­Geography.


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior—­Canoe—­Scenery—­Descentof St. Mary’s Falls—­Etymology ofthe Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and LakeSuperior—­The wild rice plant—­Indiantrade—­American Fur Company—­Distributionof presents—­Death of Sassaba—­Epitaph—­Indiancapacity to count—­Oral literature—­Research—­Self-reliance.


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior—­Coppermines—­White fish—­A poetic namefor a fish—­Indian tale—­Polygamy—­Areminiscence—­Taking of Fort Niagara—­Mythologicaland allegorical tales among the aborigines—­Chippewalanguage—­Indian vowels—­A politeand a vulgar way of speaking the language—­Publicworship—­Seclusion from the world.


Amusem*nts during the winter months, when the temperatureis at the lowest point—­Etymology of theword Chippewa—­A meteor—­The Indian“fireproof”—­Temperature andweather—­Chippewa interchangeables—­Indiannames for the seasons—­An incident in conjugatingverbs—­Visiting—­Gossip—­Thefur trade—­Todd, McGillvray, Sir AlexanderMackenzie—­Wide dissimilarity of the Englishand Odjibwa syntax—­Close of the year.


New Year’s day among the descendants of theNorman French—­Anti-philosophic speculationsof Brydone—­Schlegel on language—­Apeculiar native expression evincing delicacy—­Graywackein the basin of Lake Superior—­Temperature—­Snowshoes—­Translation of Gen. i.3—­Historicalreminiscences—­Morals of visiting—­Odjibwanumerals—­Harmon’s travels—­Mackenzie’svocabularies—­Criticism—­MungoPark.


Novel reading—­Greenough’s “Geology”—­Thecariboo—­Spiteful plunder of private propertyon a large scale—­Marshall’s Washington—­St.Clair’s “Narrative of his Campaign”—­Etymologyof the word totem—­A trait of transpositivelanguages—­Polynesian languages—­Ameteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter’stemperature—­Spafford’s “Gazetteer”—­Holmeson the Prophecies—­Foreign politics—­Mythology—­Gnomes—­TheOdjibwa based on monosyllables—­No auxiliaryverbs—­Pronouns declined for tense—–­Esprella’sletters—­Valerius—­Gospel of St.Luke—­Chippewayan group of languages—­Homepolitics—­Prospect of being appointed superintendentof the lead mines of Missouri.


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction ofa northern spring—­News from the world—­TheIndian languages—­Narrative Journal—­Semi-civilizationof the ancient Aztec tribes—­Their arts andlanguages—­Hill’s ironical review ofthe “Transactions of the Royal Society”—­Atest of modern civilization—­Sugar making—­Tripto one of the camps—­Geology of ManhattanIsland—­Ontwa, an Indian poem—­Northernornithology—­Dreams—­The Indianapowa—­Printed queries of General Cass—­Prospectof the mineral agency—­Exploration of theSt. Peter’s—­Information on that head.


Rapid advance of spring—­Troops commencea stockade—­Principles of the Chippewa tongue—­Ideaof a new language containing the native principlesof syntax, with a monosyllabic method—­Indianstandard of value—­Archaeological evidencesin growing trees—­Mount Vernon—­Signsof spring in the appearance of birds—­Expeditionto St. Peter’s—­Lake Superior open—­Apeculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson—­Truesounds of the consonants—­Philology—­Adventof the arrival of a vessel—­Editors andeditorials—­Arrival from Fort William—­Ahope fled—­Sudden completion of the spring,and ushering in of summer—­Odjibwa language,and transmission of Inquiries.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823—­Glanceat the geography of the lake country—­Concretionof aluminous earth—­General Wayne’sbody naturally embalmed by this property of the soilof Erie—­Free and easy manners—­BoundarySurvey—­An old friend—­Westerncommerce—­The Austins of Texas memory—­Collisionof civil and military power—­Advantages ofa visit to Europe.


Incidents of the year 1824—­Indian researches—­Diverseidioms of the Ottawa and Chippewa—­Conflictof opinion between the civil and military authoritiesof the place—­A winter of seclusion wellspent—­St. Paul’s idea of languages—­Examplesin the Chippewa—­The Chippewa a pure formof the Algonquin—­Religion in the wilderness—­Incidents—­Congressionalexcitements—­Commercial view of the coppermine question—­Trip to Tackwymenon Falls,in Lake Superior.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas—­Firstassemblage of a legislative council in Michigan—­Mineralogyand geology—­Disasters of the War of 1812—­Characterof the new legislature—­Laconic note—­Narrativeof a war party, and the disastrous murders committedat Lake Pepin in July 1824—­Speech of afriendly Indian chief from Lake Superior on the subject—­Noticesof mineralogy and geology in the west—­Ohioand Erie Canal—­Morals—­Lafayette’sprogress—­Hooking minerals—­Aphilosophical work on the Indians—­Indianbiography by Samuel S. Conant—­Want of bookson American archaeology—­Douglass’sproposed work on the expedition of 1820.


Parallelism of customs—­Home scenes—­Visitto Washington—­Indian work respecting theWestern Tribes—­Indian biography—­ProfessorCarter—­Professor Silliman—­Spitefulprosecution—­Publication of Travels in theMississippi Valley—­A northern Pocahontas—­Returnto the Lakes—­A new enterprise suggested—­Impressionsof turkeys’ feet in rock—­Surrenderof the Chippewa war party, who committed the murdersin 1824, at Lake Pepin—­Their examination,and the commitment of the actual murderers.


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi—­Largeassemblage of tribes—­Their appearance andcharacter—­Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas,&c.—­Striking and extraordinary appearanceof the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas—­Keokuk—­Mongazid’sspeech—­Treaty of limits—­Whiskyquestion—­A literary impostor—­Journeythrough the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers—­Incidents—­Menomonies—­Abig nose—­Wisconsin Portage.


Descent of Fox River—­Blackbirds—­Menomonies—­Ricefields—­Starving Indians—­Thunderstorm—­Dream—­An Indian struckdead with lightning—­Green Bay—­Deathof Colonel Haines—­Incidents of the journeyfrom Green Bay to Michilimackinack—­Reminiscencesof my early life and travels—­Choiswa—­Furtherreminiscences of my early life—­Ruins ofthe first mission of Father Marquette—­ReachMichilimackinack.


Journey from Mackinack to the Sault Ste. Marie—­OutardPoint—­Head winds—­Lake Huronin a rage—­Desperate embarkation—­St.Vital—­Double the Detour—­Returnto St. Mary’s—­Letters—­“Indiangirl”—­New volume of travels—­Guess’Cherokee alphabet—­New views of the Indianlanguages and their principles of construction—­Georgiaquestion—­Post-office difficulties—­Glimpsesfrom the civilized world.


General aspects of the Indian cause—­Publiccriticism on the state of Indian researches, and literarystorm raised by the new views—­Politicalrumor—­Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.—­Delegateelection—­Copper mines of Lake Superior—­Instructionsfor a treaty in the North—­Death of Mr.Pettit—­Denial of post-office facilities—­Arrivalof commissioners to hold the Fond du Lac treaty—­Tripto Fond du Lac through Lake Superior—­Treaty—­Return—­Deathsof John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit—­Deathof Henry J.
Hunt and A.G. Whitney, Esqrs.—­Diaryof the visits of Indians at St.
Mary’s Agency—­Indian affairs on thefrontier under the supervision of
Col. McKenney—­Criticisms on the stateof Indian questions—­Topic of
Indian eloquence—­State of American researchesin natural science—­Dr.
Saml. L. Mitchell.


Mineralogy—­Territorial affairs—­Vindicationof the American policy by its treatment of the Indians—­NewYork spirit of improvement—­Taste for cabinetsof natural history—­Fatalism in an Indian—­Deathof a first born son—­Flight from the house—­Territorialmatters—­A literary topic—­Preparationsfor another treaty—­Consolations—­Boundaryin the North-west under the treaty of Ghent—­Naturalhistory—­Trip to Green Bay—­Treatyof Butte des Morts—­Winnebago outbreak—­Intrepidconduct of General Cass—­Indian stabbing—­Investmentof the petticoat—­Mohegan language.


Treaty of Butte des Morts—­Rencontre ofan Indian with grizzly bears—­Agency siteat Elmwood—­Its picturesque and sylvan character—­Legislativecouncil of the Territory—­Character of itsparties, as hang-backs and toe-the-marks—­CriticalReviews—­Christmas.


Retrospect—­United States Exploring Expeditionto the South Sea—­Humanity of an Indian—­Tripto Detroit from the Icy Straits—­Incidentalaction of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island HistoricalSocieties, and of the Montreal Natural History Society—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition—­Climatology—­Lakevessels ill found—­Poetic view of the Indian—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition—­Theory of theinterior world—­Natural History—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition—­History ofearly legislation in Michigan—­Return toSt. Mary’s—­Death of Governor De WittClinton.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse—­Questionof freedmen, or persons not bonded for—­Indianchiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut, Tems Couvert,Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle—­Furthernotice of Wampum-hair—­Red Devil—­Biographicalnotice of Guelle Plat, or Flat Mouth—­Brechet—­Meeshug,a widow—­Iauwind—­Mongazid, chiefof Fond du Lac—­Chianokwut—­WhiteBird—­Annamikens, the hero of a bear fight,&c. &c.


Natural history of the north-west—­Northernzoology—­Fox—­Owl—­Reindeer—­Adastardly attempt at murder by a soldier—­Lawlessspread of the population of northern Illinois overthe Winnebago land—­New York Lyceum of NaturalHistory—­U.S. Ex. Ex.—­Fiscalembarrassments in the Department—­Medicalcause of Indian depopulation—­Remarks ofDr. Pitcher—­Erroneous impressions of theIndian character—­Reviews—­Deathof John Johnston, Esq.


Treaty of St. Joseph—­Tanner—­Visitsof the Indians in distress—­Letters fromthe civilized world—­Indian code projected—­Causeof Indian suffering—­The Indian cause—­Estimationof the character of the late Mr. Johnston—­Autobiography—­HistoricalSociety of Michigan—­Fiscal embarrassmentsof the Indian Department.


Political horizon—­Ahmo Society—­Incomingof Gen. Jackson’s administration—­Amusem*ntsof the winter—­Peace policy among the Indians—­Revivalat Mackinack—­Money crisis—­Ideaof Lake tides—­New Indian code—­Anti-masonry—­Missionsamong the Indians—­Copper mines—­Thepolicy respecting them settled—­Whisky amongthe Indians—­Fur trade—­Legislativecouncil—­Mackinack mission—­Officersof Wayne’s war—­Historical Societyof Michigan—­Improved diurnal press.


The new administration—­Intellectual contestin the Senate—­Sharp contest for mayoraltyof Detroit—­Things shaping at Washington—­Periloustrip on the ice—­Medical effects of thisexposure—­Legislative Council—­Visitto Niagara Falls—­A visitor of note—­History—–­Characterof the Chippewas—­Ish-ko-da-wau-bo—­Rotarysails—­Hostilities between the Chippewasand Sioux—­Friendship and badinage—­Socialintercourse—­Sanillac—­Gossip—­Expeditionto Lake Superior—­Winter Session of theCouncil—­Historical disclosure—­HistoricalSociety of Rhode Island—­Domestic—­FrenchRevolution.


Lecture before the Lyceum—­Temperature inthe North—­Rum and taxes—­A mildwinter adverse to Indians—­Death of a friend—­Christianatonement—­Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianizedwhite man—­Indian emporium—­Bringingup children—­Youth gone astray—­MountHope Institution—­Expedition into the Indiancountry—­Natural History of the United States—­Areminiscence—­Voyage inland.


Lake Superior—­Its shores and character—­Geology—­Brigadeof boats—­Dog and porcupine—­Burrowingbirds—­Otter—­Keweena Point—­Unfledgedducks—­Minerals—­Canadian resourcein a tempest of rain—­Tramp in search ofthe picturesque—­Search for native copper—­IsleRoyal descried—­Indian precaution—­Theiringenuity—­Lake action—­NebungunowinRiver—­Eagles—­Indian tomb—­KaugWudju.


Lake shores—­Sub-Indian agency—­Indiantransactions—­Old fort, site of a tragedy—­MaskigoRiver; its rapids and character—­Great WunnegumPortage—­Botany—­Length of theMauvais—­Indian carriers—­LakeKagenogumaug—­Portage lakes—­NamakagunRiver, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.—­Pukwaewavillage—­A new species of native fruit—­Incidentson the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.


Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake—­Policyof the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825—­Speechof Shaiwunegunaibee—­Mounds of Yellow River—­Indianmanners and customs—­Pictography—­Naturalhistory—­Nude Indians—­Geology—­Portageto Lac Courtorielle—­Lake of the Isles—­OttawaLake—­Council—­War party—­Mozojeed’sspeech—­Tec*mseh—­Mozojeed’slodge—­Indian movements—­Trip tothe Red Cedar Fork—­Ca Ta—­LakeChetac—­Indian manners.


Betula Lake—­Larch Lake—­A warparty surprised—­Indian manners—­RiceLake—­Indian council—­Red CedarLake—­Speeches of Wabezhais and Neenaba—­Equaldivision of goods—­Orifice for treading outrice—­A live beaver—­Notices ofnatural history—­Value of the FollavoineValley—­A medal of the third President—­Wardance—­Ornithology—­A prairie country,fertile and abounding in game—­Saw mills—­ChippewaRiver—­Snake—­La Garde Mountain—­Descentof the Mississippi—­Sioux village—­Generalimpression of the Mississippi—­Arrival atPrairie du Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe—­Affair of the massacreof the Menomonies by the Foxes—­Descentto Galena—­Trip in the lead mine countryto Fort Winnebago—­Gratiot’s Grove—­Sacand Fox disturbances—­Black Hawk—­IrishDiggings—­Willow Springs—­Vanmater’slead—­An escape from falling into a pit—­MineralPoint—­Ansley’s copper mine—­Gen.Dodge’s—­Mr. Brigham’s—­SugarCreek—­Four Lakes—­Seven Mile Prairie—­Anight in the woods—­Reach Port Winnebago—­Returnto the Sault—­Political changes in the cabinet—­Gov.Cass called to Washington—­Religious changes—­G.B.Porter appointed Governor—­Natural history—­Characterof the new governor—­Arrival of the Rev.Jeremiah Porter—­Organization of a church.


Revival of St. Mary’s—­Rejection ofMr. Van Buren as Minister to England—­Botanyand Natural History of the North-west—­Projectof a new expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi—­AlgicSociety—­Consolidation of the Agencies ofSt. Mary’s and Michilimackinack—­Goodeffects of the American Home Missionary Society—­Organizationof a new inland exploring expedition committed tome—­Its objects and composition of the corpsof observers.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, thesource of the Mississippi River—­Brief noticeof the journey to the point of former geographicaldiscovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or CassLake—­Ascent and portage to Queen Anne’sLake—­Lake Pemetascodiac—­TheTen, or Metoswa Rapids—­Pemidgegomag, orCross-water Lake—­Lake Irving—­LakeMarquette—­Lake La Salle—­LakePlantagenet—­Ascent of the PlantagenianPork—­Naiwa, or Copper-snake River—­AgateRapids and portage—­Assawa Lake—­Portageover the Hauteur des Terres—­Itasca Lake—­Itspicturesque character—­Geographical and astronomicalposition—­Historical data.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Laketo Cass Lake—­Traits of its bank—­KabikaFalls—­Upsetting of a canoe—­Riverdescends by steps, and through narrow rocky passes—­Portageto the source of the Crow-Wing River—­MossLake—­Shiba Lake—­Leech Lake—­WarpoolLake—­Long Lake Mountain portage—­Kaginogomanug—­VermilionLake—­Ossawa Lake—­Shell River—­LeafRiver—­Long Prairie River—­Kioskk,or Gull River—­Arrival at its mouth—­Descentto the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter’s—­Returnto St. Mary’s.


Letter from a mother—­Cholera—­Indianwar—­Royal Geographical Society—­Determineto leave the Sault—­Death of Miss Cass—­Deathof Rev. Mr. Richard—­Notice of the establishmentof a Methodist Mission at the Sault—­TheSault a religions place—­Botany and NaturalHistory—­New York University organized—­AlgicSociety—­Canadian boat song—­Chaplainsin the army—­Letter from a missionary—­Affairsat Mackinack—­Hazards of lake commerce—­Questionof the temperance reform—­Dr. D. Houghton—­SouthCarolina resists—­Gen. Jackson re-electedPresident.


An Indian woman builds a church—­Conchology—­SouthCarolina prepares to resist the revenue laws—­Moralaffairs—­Geography—­Botany—­Chippewasand Sioux—­A native evangelist in John Sunday—­Hisletter in English; its philological value—­Theplural pronoun we—­An Indian battle—­Politicalaffairs—­South Carolina affairs—­Tariffcompromise of Mr. Clay—­Algic Society; itemploys native evangelists—­Plan of visitingEurope—­President’s tour—­Historyof Detroit—­Fresh-water shells—­Laketides—­Prairie—­Country—­Reminiscence.


Earliest point of French occupancy in the area ofthe Upper Lakes—­Removal of my residencefrom the Sault St. Marie to the island of Michilimackinack—­Tripto New York—­Its objects—­AmericanPhilosophical Society—­Michilimackinack;its etymology—­The rage for investment inwestern lands begins—­Traditions of Saganosh—­OfPorlier—­Of Perrault—­Of CaptainThorn—­Of the chief, Old Wing—­OfMudjekewis, of Thunder Bay—­Character ofIndian tradition respecting the massacre at old FortMackinack in 1763.


Anniversary of the Algic Society—­Traditionsof Chusco and Mukudapenais respecting Gen. Wayne’streaty—­Saliferous column in American geology—­Factin lake commerce—­Traditions of Mrs. Dousmanand Mr. Abbott respecting the first occupation ofthe Island of Michilimackinack—­Questionof the substantive verb in the Chippewa language—­Meteoricphenomena during the month of December—­Historicalfact—­Minor incidents.


Population of Michilimackinack—­Noticesof the weather—­Indian name of the Wolverine—­Harborclosed—­Intensity of temperature which canbe borne—­Domestic incidents—­Stateof the weather—­Fort Mackinack unsuccessfullyattacked in 1814—­Ossiganoc—­Deathof an Indian woman—­Death of my sister—­Harboropen—­Indian name of the Sabbath day—­Horticulturalamusem*nt—­Tradition of the old church door—­Turpidconduct of Thomas Shepard, and his fate—­Wind,tempests, sleet, snow—­A vessel beachedin the harbor—­Attempt of the American FurCompany to force ardent spirits into the country,against the authority of the agent.


Visit to Isle Bond—­Site of an ancient Indianvillage—­Ossarie—­Indian prophet—­Traditionsof Chusco and Yon respecting the ancient village andbone deposit—­Indian speech—­Traditionof Mrs. La Fromboise respecting Chicago—­Etymologyof the name—­Origin of the Bonga family amongthe Chippewas—­Traditions of Viancour—­OfNolan—­Of the chief Aishquagonaibe, andof Sagitondowa—­Evidences of antique cultivationon the Island of Mackinack—­View of affairsat Washington—­The Senate an area of intellectualexcitement—­A road directed to be cut throughthe wilderness from Saginaw—­Traditionsof Ossaganac and of Little Bear Skin respecting theLake Tribes.


Trip to Detroit—­American Fur Company; itshistory and organization—­American Lyceum;its objects—­Desire to write books on Indiansubjects by persons not having the information to renderthem valuable—­Reappearance of cholera—­Missionof Mackinack; its history and condition—­Visitof a Russian officer of the Imperial Guards—­Chicago;its prime position for a great entrepot—­Areaand destiny of the Mississippi Valley.


Philology—­Structure of the Indian languages—­Letterfrom Mr. Duponceau—­Question of the philosophyof the Chippewa syntax—­Letter from a Russianofficer on his travels in the West—­Querieson the physical history of the North—­LeslieDuncan, a maniac—­Arwin on the force ofdissipation—­Missionary life on the sourcesof the Mississippi—­Letter from Mr. Boutwell—­TheologicalReview—­The Territory of Michigan, tiredof a long delay, determines to organize a State Government.


Indications of a moral revolution in the place—­Politicalmovements at Detroit—­Review of the stateof society at Michilimackinack, arising from its beingthe great central power of the north-west fur trade—­Aletter from Dr. Greene—­Prerequisites ofthe missionary function—­Discouragements—­Thestate of the Mackinack Mission—­Problemof employing native teachers and evangelists—­Letterof Mr. Duponceau—­Ethnological gossip—­Translationof the Bible into Algonquin—­Don M. Najera—­Premiumoffered by the French Institute—­PersistentSatanic influence among the Indian tribes—­Boundarydispute with Ohio—­Character of the StateConvention.


Requirements of a missionary laborer—­Otwin—­Americanquadrupeds—­Geological question—­Tasteof an Indian chief for horticulture—­Swissmissionaries to the Indians—­Secretary ofWar visits the island—­Frivolous literary,diurnal, and periodical press—­Letter ofDr. Ives on this topic—­Lost boxes of mineralsand fresh-water shells—­Geological visitof Mr. Featherstonehaugh and Lieut. Mather—­Mr.Hastings—­A theological graduate.


Rage for investment in western lands—–­Habitsof the common deer—­Question of the punishmentof Indian murders committed in the Indian country—­Achief calls to have his authority recognized on thedeath of a predecessor—­Dr. Julius, of Prussia—­Gen.Robert Patterson—­Pressure of emigration—­Otwin—­Dr.Gilman and Mr. Hoffman—­Picturesque tripto Lake Superior—­Indians desire to cedeterritory—­G.W. Featherstonehaugh—­Sketchof his geological reconnoissance of the St. Peter’sRiver—­Dr. Thomas H. Webb—­Questionof inscriptions on American rocks—­Antiquities—­Embarkfor Washington, and come down the lakes in the greattempest of 1835.


Florida war—­Startling news of the Massacreof Dade—­Peoria on the Illinois—­Abanakilanguage—­Oregon—­Things shapingfor a territorial claim—­Responsibilityof claim in an enemy’s country—­A truesoldier—­Southern Literary Messenger—­Missionarycause—­Resources of Missouri—­Indianportfolio of Lewis—­Literary gossip—­SirFrancis Head—­The Crane and Addik totem—­Treatyof March 28th, 1836, with the Ottawas and Chippewas—­Treatywith the Saginaws of May 20th—­Treaty withthe Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas of May 9th—­Returnto Michilimackinack—­Death of Charlotte,the daughter of Songageezhig.


Home matters—­Massachusetts Historical Society—­Questionof the U.S. Senate’s action on certaintreaties of the Lake Indians—­Hugh L. White—­Dr.Morton’s Crania Americana—­Letter fromMozojeed—­State of the pillagers—­Visitof Dr. Follen and Miss Martineau—­Treatymovements—­Young Lord Selkirk—­Characterand value of Upper Michigan—­Hon. John Norvell’sletter—­Literary items—­Executionof the treaty of March 28th—­Amount of moneypaid—­Effects of the treaty—­Baronde Behr-Ornithology.


Value of the equivalent territory granted to Michigan,by Congress, for the disputed Ohio boundary—­Rapidimprovement of Michigan—­Allegan—­Indianlegend—­Baptism and death of Kagcosh, a veryaged chief at St. Mary’s—­New systemof writing Indian, proposed by Mr. Nash—­Indiannames for new towns—­A Bishop’s notionof the reason for applying to Government for educationfunds under Indian treaties—­Mr. Gallatin’spaper on the Indians—­The temperance movement.


Difficulties resulting from a false impression ofthe Indian character—­Treaty with the Saginaws—­Ottawasof Grand River establish themselves in a colony inBarry County—­Payments to the Ottawas ofMaumee, Ohio—­Temperance—­Assassinationof young Aitkin by an Indian at Leech Lake—­Mackinackmission abandoned—­Wyandots complain ofa trespass from a mill-dam—­Mohegans ofGreen Bay apply for aid on their way to visit Stockbridge,Mass.—­Mohegan traditions—­HistoricalSociety—­Programme of a tour in the East—­Parentaldisobedience—­Indian treaties—­Dr.Warren’s Collection of Crania—­Hebrewlanguage—­Geology—­“Goodsoffer”—­Mrs. Jameson—­Mastodon’stooth in Michigan—­Captain Marryatt—­TheIcelandic language—­Munsees—­Speechof Little Bear Skin chief, or Mukonsewyan.


Notions of foreigners about America—­Mrs.Jameson—­Appraisem*nts of Indian property—­LeJeune’s early publication on the Iroquois—­Troopsfor Florida—­A question of Indian genealogy—­Annuitypayments—­Indians present a claim of salvage—­Deathof the Prophet Chusco—­Indian sufferings—­Gen.Dodge’s treaty—­Additional debt claims—­Gazetteerof Michigan—­Stone’s Life of Brant—­Universityof Michigan—­Christian Keepsake—­Indianetymology—­Small-pox breaks out on the Missouri—­Missionaryoperations in the north-west—­Treaty of FlintRiver with the Saginaws.


Tradition of Pontiac’s conspiracy and death—­Patriotwar—­Expedition of a body of 250 men toBoisblanc—­Question of schools and missionsamong the Indians—­Indian affairs—­Stormat Michilimackinack—­Life of Brant—­Interpretershipsand Indian language—­A Mohegan—­Affairof the “Caroline”—­Makons—­Planof names for new towns—­Indian legends—­Floridawar—­Patriot war—­Arrival of Gen.Scott on the frontiers—­Resume of the difficultiesof the Florida war—­Natural history and climateof Florida—­Death of Dr. Lutner.


Indians tampered with at Grand River—­Small-poxin the Missouri Valley—­Living history athome—­Sunday schools—­Agriculture—­Indiannames—­Murder of the Glass family—­Dr.Morton’s inquiries respecting Indian crania—­Necessityof one’s writing his name plain—­MichiganGazetteer in preparation—­Attempt to makethe Indian a political pack-horse—­Returnto the Agency of Michilimackinack—­Indianskulls phrenologically examined—­J.Toulmin Smith—­Cherokee question—­Tripto Grand River—­Treaty and annuity payments—­Thedepartment accused of injustice to the Indians.


Missions—­Hard times, consequent on over-speculation—­Questionof the rise of the lakes—­Scientific theory—­Tripto Washington—­Trip to Lake Superior andthe Straits of St. Mary—­John Tanner—­Indianimprovements north of Michilimackinack—­Greatcave—­Isle Nabiquon—­Superstitiousideas of the Indians connected with females—­Scotchroyals—­McKenzie—­Climate of theUnited States—­Foreign coins and naturalhistory—­Antique fort in Adams County, Ohio—­RoyalSociety of Northern Antiquaries—­Statisticsof lands purchased from the Indians—­Sun’seclipse—­Government payments.


Descendant of one spared at the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s—­Deathof Gen. Clarke—­Massacre of Peurifoy’sfamily in Florida—­Gen. Harrison’shistorical discourse—­Death of an emigranton board a steamboat—­Murder of an Indian—­Historyof Mackinack—­Incidents of the treaty of29th July, 1837—­Mr. Fleming’s accountof the missionaries leaving Georgia, and of the improvementsof the Indians west—­Death of Black Hawk—­Incidentsof his life and character—­Dreadful crueltyof the Pawnees in burning a female captive—­Cherokeeemigration—­Phrenology—­Returnto Detroit—­University—­Indianaffairs—­Cherokee removal—­Indiansshot at Fort Snelling.


Embark for New York—­A glimpse of Texanaffairs—­Toltecan monuments—­Indianpopulation of Texas—­Horrible effects ofdrinking ardent spirits among the Indians—­Mr.Gallatin—­His opinions on various subjectsof philosophy and history—­Visit to theSouth—­Philadelphia—­Washington—­Indianaffairs—­Debt claim—­Leave tovisit Europe—­Question of neutrality—­Mr.Van Buren—­American imaginative literature—­Knickerbocker—­Resumeof the Indian question of sovereignty.


Sentiments of loyalty—­Northern AntiquarianSociety—­Indian statistics—­ RhodeIsland Historical Society—­Gen. Macomb—­Linesin the Odjibwa language by a mother on placing herchildren at school—­Mehemet Ali—­Mrs.Jameson’s opinion on publishers and publishing—­Heropinion of my Indian legends—­False reportof a new Indian language—­Indian compoundwords—­Delafield’s Antiquities—­AmericanFur Company—­State of Indian disturbancesin Texas and Florida—­Causes of the failureof the war in Florida, by an officer—­Deathof an Indian chief—­Mr. Bancroft’sopinion on the Dighton Rook inscription—­Skroellingsnot in New England—­Mr. Gallatin’sopinion on points of Esquimaux language, connectedwith our knowledge of our archaeology.


Workings of unshackled mind—­Comity of theAmerican Addison—­Lake periodical fluctuations—­Americanantiquities—­Indian doings in Florida andTexas—­Wood’s New England’s Prospect—­Philologicaland historical comments—­Death of Ningwegon—­Creeks—­Brothertonsmade citizens—­Charles Fenno Hoffman—­Indiannames for places on the Hudson—­ChristiansIndians—­Etymology—­Theodoric—­Appraisem*ntsof Indian property—­Algic researches—­Planand object.


American antiquities—­Michilimackinack asummer resort—­Death of Ogimau Keegido—­Brothertons—­AnIndian election—­Cherokee murders—­Boardof Regents of the Michigan University—­Archaeologicalfacts and rumors—­Woman of the Green Valley—­Anew variety of fish—­Visits of the Austrianand Sardinian Ministers to the U.S.—­Mr.Gallup—­Sioux murders—­A remarkabledisplay of aurora borealis—­Ottawas of Maumee—­Extentof auroral phenomena—­Potawattomie cruelty—­Mineralogy—­Deathof Ondiaka—­Chippewa tradition—­Fruittrees—­Stone’s preparation of the Lifeand Times of Sir William Johnson—­Dialecticdifference between the language of the Ottawas andthe Chippewas—­Philological remarks on theIndian languages—­Mr. T. Hulbert.


Popular error respecting the Indian character andhistory—­Remarkable superstition—­Theodoric—­Amissionary choosing a wild flower—­Pietyand money—­A fiscal collapse in Michigan—­Missionof Grand Traverse—­Simplicity of the school-girl’shopes—­Singular theory of the Indians respectingstory-telling—­Oldest allegory on record—­Politicalaspects—­Seneca treaty—­Mineralogy—­Farmingand mission station on Lake Michigan.


Death of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft—­Perilsof the revolutionary era—­Otwin—­Mr.Bancroft’s history in the feature of its Indianrelations—­A tradition of a noted chief onLake Michigan—­The collection of informationfor a historical volume—­Opinions of Mr.Paulding, Dr. Webster, Mr. Duer, John Quincy Adams—­Holyonand Alholyon—­Family monument—­Mr.Stevenson, American Minister at London—­JoannaBaillie—­Wisconsin—­Ireland—­Detroit—­Michilimackinack.


Philology of the Indian tongues—­Its difficulties—­Belleslettres and money—­Michigan and Georgia—­Numberof species in natural history—­Etymology—­Nebahquam’sdream—­Trait in Indian legends—­Pictography—­Numerationof the races of Polynesia and the Upper Lakes—­Loveof one’s native tongue—­Death of Gen.Harrison—­Rush for office on his inauguration—­Ornamentaland shade trees—­Historical collections—­Missionof “Old Wing”.


Popular common school education—­Iroquoisname for Mackinack—­Its scenic beautiespoetically considered—­Phenomenon of twocurrents of adverse wind meeting—­Audubon’sproposed work on American quadrupeds—­Adario—­Geographicalrange of the mocking-bird—­Removal fromthe West to the city of New York—­An eraaccomplished—­Visit to Europe.



Life of Henry A. Schoolcraft.

* * * * *

The early period at which Mr. Schoolcraft enteredthe field of observation in the United States as anaturalist; the enterprise he has from the outsetmanifested in exploring the geography and geology ofthe Great West; and his subsequent researches as anethnologist, in investigating the Indian languagesand history, are well known to the public, and maybe appropriately referred to as the grounds of thepresent design, in furnishing some brief and connectedsketches of his life, family, studies, and literarylabors. He is an example of what early and continuedzeal, talent, and diligence, united with energy ofcharacter and consistent moral habits, may accomplishin the cause of letters and science, by the forceof solitary application, without the advantage ofhereditary wealth, the impulse of patronage, or theprestige of early academic honors. Ardentin the pursuit of whatever engaged his attention,quick in the observation of natural phenomena, andassiduous in the accumulation of facts; with an everpresent sense of their practical and useful bearing—­fewmen, in our modern history, have accomplished so much,in the lines of research he has chosen, to renderscience popular and letters honorable. To himwe are indebted for our first accounts of the geologicalconstitution, and the mineral wealth and resourcesof the great valley beyond the Alleghanies, and heis the discoverer of the actual source of the MississippiRiver in Itasca Lake. For many years, beginningwith 1817, he stirred up a zeal for natural historyfrom one end of the land to the other, and, afterhis settlement in the West, he was a point of approachfor correspondents, as his personal memoirs denote,not only on these topics, but for all that relatesto the Indian tribes, in consequence of which he hasbeen emphatically pronounced “The Red Man’sfriend.”

Mr. Schoolcraft is a native of New York, and is thedescendant in the third generation, by the paternalline, of an Englishman. James Calcraft had servedwith reputation in the armies of the Duke of Marlboroughduring the reign of Queen Anne, and was present inthat general’s celebrated triumphs on the continent,in one of which he lost an eye, from the prematureexplosion of the priming of a cannon. Owing tothese military services he enjoyed and cherished ahigh reputation for bravery and loyalty.

He was a descendant of a family of that name, whocame to England with William the Conqueror—­andsettled under grants from the crown in Nottinghamshireand Lincolnshire—­three separate branchesof the family having received the honor of knighthoodfor their military services.

In the reign of George the Second, consequently after1727, he embarked at Liverpool in a detachment ofveteran troops, intended to act against Canada.He was present in the operations connected with thebuilding of Forts Anne and Edwards, on the North River,and Fort William Henry on Lake George.

At the conclusion of these campaigns he settled inAlbany county, N.Y., which has continued to be theresidence of the family for more than a century.Being a man of education, he at first devoted himselfto the business of a land surveyor, in which capacityhe was employed by Col. Vroman, to survey theboundaries of his tract of land in the then frontiersettlement of Schoharie. At the latter place hemarried the only daughter and child of Christian Camerer,one of the Palatines—­a body of determinedSaxons who had emigrated from the Upper Rhine in 1712,under the assurance or expectation of a patent fromQueen Anne.[1] this marriage he had eight children—­namely,James, Christian, John, Margaret, Elizabeth, Lawrence,William, and Helen.

[Footnote 1: Simms’ Schoharie.]

For many years during his old age, he conducted alarge school in this settlement, being the first Englishschool that was taught in that then frontier partof the country. This appears to be the only tenablereason that has been assigned for the change of thefamily name from Calcraft to Schoolcraft.

When far advanced in life, he went to live with hisson William, on the New York grants on Otter Creek,in the rich agricultural region south of Lake Champlain—­whichis now included in Vermont. Here he died at thegreat age of one hundred and two, having been universallyesteemed for his loyalty to his king, his personalcourage and energy, and the uprightness of his character.

After the death of his father, when the revolutionarytroubles commenced, William, his youngest son, removedinto Lower Canada. The other children all remainedin Albany County, except Christian, who, when thejangling land disputes and conflicts of titles arosein Schoharie, followed Conrad Wiser, Esq. (a nearrelative), to the banks of the Susquehanna. Heappears eventually to have pushed his way to BuchananRiver, one of the sources of the Monongahela, in LewisCounty, Virginia, where some of his descendants muststill reside. It appears that they became deeplyinvolved in the Indian wars which the Shawnees keptup on the frontiers of Virginia. In this strugglethey took an active part, and were visited with theseverest retribution by the marauding Indians.It is stated by Withers that, between 1770 and 1779,not less than fifteen of this family, men, women, andchildren, were killed or taken prisoners, and carriedinto captivity.[2]

[Footnote 2: Chronicles of the Border Warfarein North-western Virginia. By Alex Withers,Clarksbury, Virginia, 1831. 1 vol. 12mo. page 319.]

Of the other children of the original progenitor,James, the eldest son, died a bachelor. Lawrencewas the ancestor of the persons of this name in SchoharieCounty. Elizabeth and Helen married, in that county,in the families of Rose and Haines, and, Margaret,the eldest daughter, married Col. Green Brush,of the British army, at the house of Gen. Bradstreet,Albany. Her daughter, Miss Francis Brush, marriedthe celebrated Col. Ethan Allen, after his returnfrom the Tower of London.

John, the third son, settled in Watervleit, inthe valley of the Norman’s Kill—­or,as the Indians called it, Towasentha—­AlbanyCounty. He served in a winter’s campaignagainst Oswego, in 1757, and took part also in thesuccessful siege and storming of Fort Niagara, underGen. Prideaux [3] and Sir William Johnson, in thesummer of 1759. He married a Miss Anna BarbaraBoss, by whom he had three children, namely, Anne,Lawrence, and John. He had the local reputationof great intrepidity, strong muscular power, and unyieldingdecision of character. He died at the age of64. Lawrence, his eldest son, had enteredhis seventeenth year when the American Revolutionbroke out. He embraced the patriotic sentimentsof that era with great ardor, and was in the firstrevolutionary procession that marched through and canvassedthe settlement with martial music, and the Committeeof Safety at its head, to determine who was Whig orTory.

[Footnote 3: This officer was shot in the trenches,which devolved the command on Sir William.]

The military element had always commanded great respectin the family, and he did not wait to be older, butenrolled himself among the defenders of his country.

He was present, in 1776, when the Declaration of Independencewas read to the troops drawn up in hollow square atTiconderoga. He marched under Gen. Schuyler tothe relief of Montgomery, at Quebec, and continuedto be an indomitable actor in various positions, civiland military, in the great drama of the Revolutionduring its entire continuance.

In 1777, the darkest and most hopeless period of ourrevolutionary contest, he led a reinforcement fromAlbany to Fort Stanwix, up the Mohawk Valley, thenalive with hostile Indians and Tories, and escapedthem all, and he was in this fort, under Col.Ganzevoort, during its long and close siege by Col.St. Leger and his infuriated Indian allies. Thewhole embodied militia of the Mohawk Valley marchedto its relief, under the bold and patriotic Gen. Herkimer.They were met by the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas,and British loyalists, lying in ambush on the banksof the Oriskany, eight miles from the fort. Adreadful battle ensued. Gen. Herkimer was soonwounded in the thigh, his leg broken, and his horseshot under him. With the coolness of a Blucher,he then directed his saddle to be placed on a smallknoll, and, drawing out his tobacco-box, lit his pipeand calmly smoked while his brave and unconquerablemen fought around him.

This was one of the most stoutly contested battlesof the Revolution. Campbell says: “Thisbattle made orphans of half the inhabitants of theMohawk Valley.” [4] It was a desperate strugglebetween neighbors, who were ranged on opposite sidesas Whig and Tory, and it was a triumph, Herkimer remainingmaster of the field. During the hottest of thebattle, Col. Willett stepped on to the esplanadeof the fort, where the troops were paraded, and requestedall who were willing to fight for liberty and joina party for the relief of Herkimer, to step forwardone pace. Schoolcraft was the first to advance.Two hundred and fifty men followed him. An immediatesally was made. They carried the camp of SirJohn Johnson; took all his baggage, military-chest,and papers; drove him through the Mohawk River; andthen turned upon the howling Mohawks and swept andfired their camp. The results of this battle werebrilliant. The plunder was immense. The linesof the besiegers, which had been thinned by the forcessent to Oriskany, were carried, and the noise of firingand rumors of a reinforcement, animated the heartsof the indomitable men of that day.

[Footnote 4: Annals of Teyon County.]

After the victory, Herkimer was carried by his men,in a litter, thirty or forty miles to his own house,below the present town of Herkimer, where he died,from an unskillful amputation, having just concludedreading to his family the 38th Psalm.

But the most dangerous enemy to the cause of freedomwas not to be found in the field, but among neighborswho were lurking at midnight around the scenes ofhome. The districts of Albany and Schoharie wasinfested by Tories, and young Schoolcraft was everon the qui vive to ferret out this most insidiousand cruel of the enemy’s power. On one occasionhe detected a Tory, who had returned from Canada witha lieutenant’s commission in his pocket.He immediately clapped spurs to his horse, and reportedhim to Gov. George Clinton, the Chairman of theCommittee of Safety at Albany. Within three daysthe lieutenant was seized, tried, condemned and hanged.Indeed, a volume of anecdotes might be written ofLawrence Schoolcraft’s revolutionary life; sufficeit to say, that he was a devoted, enthusiastic, enterprizingsoldier and patriot, and came out of the contest withan adjutant’s commission and a high reputationfor bravery.

About the close of the Revolutionary war, he marriedMiss Margaret Anne Barbara Rowe, a native of Fishkill,duch*ess County, New York, by whom he had thirteenchildren.

His disciplinary knowledge and tact in the governmentof men, united to amenity of manners, led to his selectionin 1802, by the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, as directorof his extensive glass works at Hamilton, near Albany,which he conducted with high reputation so many years,during which time he bore several important civil andmilitary trusts in the county. The importanceof this manufacture to the new settlements at thatearly day, was deeply felt, and his ability and skillin the management of these extensive works were widelyknown and appreciated.

When the war of 1812 appeared inevitable, Gen. Ganzevoort,his old commanding officer at Fort Stanwix, who wasnow at the head of the U.S. army, placed him in commandof the first regiment of uniformed volunteers, whowere mustered into service for that conflict.His celebrity in the manufacture of glass, led capitalistsin Western New York to offer him large inducementsto remove there, where he first introduced this manufactureduring the settlement of that new and attractive partof the State, in which a mania for manufactories wasthen rife. In this new field the sphere of hisactivity and skill were greatly enlarged, and he enjoyedthe consideration and respect of his townsmen formany years. He died at Vernon, Oneida County,in 1840, at the age of eighty-four, having lived longto enjoy the success of that independence for whichhe had ardently thirsted and fought. A handsomemonument on the banks of the Skenando bears the inscription

“A patriot, aChristian, and an honest man.”

A man who was never governed by expediency but byright, and in all his expressions of opinion, originaland fearless of consequences. These details ofthe life and character of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft,appeared proper in proceeding to speak of one of hissons, who has for so considerable a period occupiedthe public attention as an actor in other fields,requiring not less energy, decision, enterprise andperseverance of character.

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born in Albany County,on the 28th of March, 1793, during the second presidentialterm of Washington. His childhood and youth werespent in the village of Hamilton, a place once renownedfor its prosperous manufactories, but which has longsince verified the predictions of the bard—­

“That trade’sproud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweepsthe labored mole away.”

Its location is on one of the beautiful and sparklingaffluents of the Towasentha or Norman’s Kill,popularly called the Hongerkill, which he has in oneof his occasional publications called the Iosco, froman aboriginal term. That picturesque and loftyarm of the Catskills, which is called the Helderberg,bounds the landscape on the west and south, whilethe Pine Plains occupy the form of a crescent, betweenthe Mohawk and the Hudson, bearing the cities of Albanyand Schenectady respectively on its opposite edges.Across this crescent-like Plain of Pines, by a lineof sixteen miles, was the ancient Iroquois war andtrading path. The Towasentha lies on the southborders of this plain, and was, on the first settlementof the country, the seat of an Indian population.Here, during the official term of Gen. Hamilton, whosename the village bears, the capitalists of Albanyplanted a manufacturing village. The positionis one where the arable forest and farming lands arebounded by the half arabic waste of the pine plainsof the Honicroisa, whose deep gorges are still infestedby the wolf and smaller animals. The whole valleyof the Norman’s Kill abounds in lovely and ruralscenes, and quiet retreats and waterfalls, which aresuited to nourish poetic tastes. In these heindulged from his thirteenth year, periodically writing,and as judgment ripened, destroying volumes of manuscripts,while at the same time he evinced uncommon diligenceat his books and studies. The poetic talent was,indeed, strongly developed. His power of versificationwas early and well formed, and the pieces which werepublished anonymously at a maturer period, as “Geehale,”and “The Iroquois,” &c., have long beenembodied without a name in our poetic literature.But this faculty, of which we have been permitted tosee the manuscript of some elaborate and vigorous trainsof thought, did not impede a decided intellectualprogress in sterner studies in the sciences and arts.His mind was early imbued with a thirst of knowledge,and he made such proficiency as to attract the noticeof persons of education and taste. There wasdeveloped, too, in him, an early bias for the philosophyof language. Mr. Van Kleeck, a townsman, in arecent letter to Dr. R.W. Griswold, says:—­

“I revert with great pleasure to the scenesof my residence, in the part of Albany County whichwas also the residence of Henry R. Schoolcraft.I went to reside at the village of Hamilton, in thetown of Guilderland, in 1803. Col. LawrenceSchoolcraft, the father of Henry, had then the directionof the large manufactories of glass, for which thatplace was long noted. The standing of young Henry,I remember, at his school, for scholarship, was thenvery noted, and his reputation in the village mostprominent. He was spoken of as a lad of greatpromise, and a very learned boy at twelve. Mr.Robert Buchanan, a Scotchman, and a man of learning,took much pride in his advances, and finally came to

his father and told him that he had taught him allhe knew. In Latin, I think he was taught by CleanthusFelt. He was at this age very arduous and assiduousin the pursuit of knowledge. He discovered greatmechanical ingenuity. He drew and painted in watercolors, and attracted the notice of the Hon. JeremiahVan Rensselaer, Lt. Governor of the State, whobecame so much interested in his advancement, thathe took the initial steps to have him placed witha master. At an early age he manifested a tastefor mineralogy and natural science, which was then(I speak of about 1808) almost unknown in the country.He was generally to be found at home, at his studies,when other boys of his age were attending horseraces,co*ck-fights, and other vicious amusem*nts for whichthe village was famous.

“At this time he organized with perseveringeffort, a literary society, in which discussions tookplace by the intelligent inhabitants on subjects ofpopular and learned interests. At an early age,I think sixteen, he went to the west, and the firstthat was afterwards heard of him was his bringingto New York a splendid collection of the mineralogyand natural history of the west.” [5]

[Footnote 5: Letter of L.L. Van Kleeck,Esq., to Dr. R.W. Griswold, June 4th, 1851.]

In a part of the country where books were scarce,it was not easy to supply this want. He purchasedseveral editions of English classics at the sale ofthe valuable library of Dirck Ten Broeck, Esq., ofAlbany, and his room in a short time showed the elementsof a library and a cabinet of minerals, and drawings,which were arranged with the greatest care and neatness.Having finished his primary studies, with high reputation,he prepared, under an improved instructor, to enterUnion College. It was at the age of fifteen thathe set on foot, as Mr. Van Kleeck mentions, an associationfor mental improvement. These meetings drew togetherpersons of literary tastes and acquirements in thevicinity. The late John V. Veeder, Wm. McKown,and L.L. Van Kleeck, Esqs., Mr. Robert Alsop,the late John Schoolcraft, Esq., G. Batterman, JohnSloan, and other well-known gentlemen of the town,all of whom were his seniors in age, attended thesemeetings.

Mineralogy was at that time an almost unknown sciencein the United States. At first the heavy driftstratum of Albany County, as seen in the bed of Norman’sKill; and its deep cuttings in the slate and otherrocks, were his field of mineralogical inquiries.Afterwards, while living at Lake Dunmore, in AddisonCounty, Vermont, he revised and systematized the studyunder the teaching of Professor Hall, of MiddleburyCollege, to which he added chemistry, natural philosophyand medicine. Having now the means, he erecteda chemical furnace, and ordered books, apparatus,and tests from the city of New York. By thesemeans he perfected the arts which were under his directionin the large way; and he made investigations of thephenomena of the fusion of various bodies, which heprepared for the press under the name of Vitriology,an elaborate work of research. Amongst the factsbrought to light, it is apprehended, were revealedthe essential principles of an art which is said tohave been discovered and lost in the days of TiberiusCaesar.

He taught himself the Hebrew and German, with theaid only of grammars and lexicons; and, with the assistanceof instructors, the reading of French. His assiduity,his love of method, the great value he attached totime, and his perseverance in whatever study or researchhe undertook, were indeed indomitable, and serve toprove how far they will carry the mind, and how muchsurer tests they are of ultimate usefulness and attainment,than the most dazzling genius without these moral props.Self-dependent, self-acting, and self-taught, it isapprehended that few men, with so little means andfew advantages, have been in so peculiar a sense thearchitect of their own fortunes.

He commenced writing for the newspapers and periodicalsin 1808, in which year he also published a poetictribute to a friend, which excited local notice, andwas attributed to a person of literary celebrity.For, notwithstanding the gravity of his studies andresearches, he had indulged an early poetic tastefor a series of years, by compositions of an imaginativecharacter, and might, it should seem, have attaineddistinction in that way. His remarks in the “Literaryand Philosophical Repertory,” on the evolvementof hydrogen gas from the strata of Western New York,under the name of Burning Springs, evinced an earlyaptitude for philosophical discussion. In a noticeof some archaeological discoveries made in Hamburgh,Erie County, which were published at Utica in 1817,he first denoted the necessity of discriminating betweenthe antique French and European, and the aboriginalperiod in our antiquities; for the want of which discrimination,casual observers and discoverers of articles in ourtumuli are perpetually over-estimating the state ofancient art.

About 1816 he issued proposals, and made arrangementsto publish his elaborated work on vitreology, which,so far as published, was favorably received.

In 1817 he was attracted to go to the Valley of theMississippi. A new world appeared to be openingfor American enterprise there. Its extent andresources seemed to point it out as the future residenceof millions; and he determined to share in the explorationof its geography, geology, mineralogy and generalethnology, for in this latter respect also it offered,by its curious mounds and antiquities and existingIndian tribes, a field of peculiar and undevelopedinterest.

He approached this field of observation by descendingthe Alleghany River from Western New York to the Ohio.He made Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville centresof observation. At the latter place he publishedin the papers an account of the discovery of a bodyof the black oxide of manganese, on the banks of theGreat Sandy River of Kentucky, and watched the returnpapers from the old Atlantic States, to see whethernotices of this kind would be copied and approved.Finding this test favorable, he felt encouraged inhis mineralogical researches. Having descended

the Ohio to its mouth one thousand miles, by its involutionsbelow Pittsburgh, and entered the Mississippi,he urged his way up the strong and turbid channelof the latter, in barges, by slow stages of five orsix miles a day, to St. Louis. This slowness oftravel gave him an opportunity of exploring on footthe whole of the Missouri shore, so noted, from earlySpanish and French days, for its mines. Aftervisiting the mounds of Illinois, he recrossed the Mississippiinto the mineral district of Missouri. MakingPotosi the centre of his survey and the deposit ofhis collections, he executed a thorough examinationof that district, where he found some seventy minesscattered over a large surface of the public domain,which yielded, at the utmost, by a very desultoryprocess, about three millions of pounds of lead annually.Having explored this region very minutely, he wishedto ascertain its geological connection with the Ozarkand other highland ranges, which spread at the footof the Rocky Mountains, and he planned an exploratoryexpedition into that region. This bold and hazardousjourney he organized and commenced at Potosi earlyin the month of November, 1818, and prosecuted itunder many disadvantages during that fall and thesucceeding winter. Several expert and practicedwoodsmen were to have been of this party, but whenthe time for setting out came all but two failed,under various excuses. One of these was finallyobliged to turn back from Mine au Breton witha continued attack of fever and ague. Ardentin the plan, and with a strong desire to extend thedominions of science, he determined to push on witha single companion, and a single pack-horse, whichbore the necessary camp conveniences, and was ledalternately by each from day to day. A pocketcompass guided their march by day, and they oftenslept in vast caverns in limestone cliffs at night.Gigantic springs of the purest crystaline water frequentlygushed up from the soil or rocks. This tracklaid across highlands, which divide the confluentwaters of the Missouri from those of the Mississippi.Indians, wild beasts, starvation, thirst, were thedangers of the way. This journey, which led intothe vast and desolate parts of Arkansas, was repletewith incidents and adventures of the highest interest.

While in Missouri, and after his return from thisadventurous journey, he drew up a description of themines, geology, and mineralogy of the country.Conceiving a plan for the better management of thelead mines as a part of the public domain, he determinedto visit Washington, to submit it to the government.Packing up his collections of mineralogy and geology,he ordered them to the nearest point of embarkationon the Mississippi, and, getting on board a steamerat St. Genevieve, proceeded to New Orleans. Thencehe took shipping for New York, passing through theStraits of Florida, and reached his destination duringthe prevalence of the yellow fever in that city.He improved the time of his quarantine at Staten Islandby exploring its mineralogy and geology, where heexperienced a kind and appreciating reception fromthe health officer, Dr. De Witt.

His reception also from scientific men at New Yorkwas most favorable, and produced a strong sensation.Being the first person who had brought a collectionof its scientific resources from the Mississippi Valley,its exhibition and diffusion in private cabinets gavean impulse to these studies in the country.

Men of science and gentlemen of enlarged minds welcomedhim. Drs. Mitchell and Hosack, who were thenat the summit of their influence, and many other leadingand professional characters extended a hand of cordialencouragement and appreciation. Gov. De WittClinton was one of his earliest and most constantfriends. The Lyceum of Natural History and theNew York Historical Society admitted him to membership.

Late in the autumn of 1819, he published his workon the mines and mineral resources of Missouri, andwith this publication as an exponent of his views,he proceeded to Washington, where he was favorablyreceived by President Monroe, and by Mr. Calhoun andMr. Crawford, members of his cabinet. At therequest of the latter he drew up a memoir on the reorganizationof the western mines, which was well received.Some legislation appeared necessary. MeantimeMr. Calhoun, who was struck by the earnestness ofhis views and scientific enterprise, offered him thesituation of geologist and mineralogist to an exploringexpedition, which the war department was about dispatchingfrom Detroit to the sources of the Mississippi underthe orders of Gen. Cass.

This he immediately accepted, and, after spendinga few weeks at the capital, returned in Feb., 1820,to New York, to await the opening of the interiornavigation. As soon as the lakes opened he proceededto Detroit, and in the course of two or three weeksembarked on this celebrated tour of exploration.The great lake basins were visited and explored, thereported copper mines on Lake Superior examined, andthe Upper Mississippi entered at Sandy Lake, and,after tracing it in its remote mazes to the highestpractical point, he descended its channel by St. Anthony’sFalls to Prairie du Chien and the Du Buque lead mines.The original outward track north-westward was thenregained, through the valleys of the Wisconsin andFox Rivers, and the extended shores of Lake Michiganand Huron elaborately traced. In this he was accompaniedby the late Professor David B. Douglass, who collectedthe materials for a correct map of the great lakesand the sources of the Mississippi.

It was late in the autumn when Mr. Schoolcraft returnedto his residence at New York, when he was solicitedto publish his “narrative journal.”This he completed early in the spring of 1821.This work, which evinces accurate and original powersof observation, established his reputation as a scientificand judicious traveler. Copies of it found theirway to England, where it was praised by Sir HumphreyDavy and the veteran geographer, Major Rennel.His report to the Secretary of War on the copper mines

of Lake Superior, was published in advance by the AmericanJournal of Science, and by order of the Senate of theUnited States, and gives the earliest scientific accountof the mineral affluence of the basin of that lake.His geological report to the same department madesubsequently, traces the formations of that part ofthe continent, which gives origin to the MississippiRiver, and denotes the latitudes where it is crossedby the primitive and volcanic rocks. The ardorand enthusiasm which he evinced in the cause of science,and his personal enterprise in traversing vast regions,awakened a corresponding spirit; and the publicationof his narratives had the effect to popularize thesubject of mineralogy and geology throughout the country.

In 1821, he executed a very extensive journey throughthe Miami of the Lakes and the River Wabash, tracingthose streams minutely to the entrance of the latterinto the Ohio River. He then proceeded to explorethe Oshawanoe Mountains, near Cave-in-Rock, with theirdeposits of the fluate of lime, galena, and othermineral treasures. From this range he crossedover the grand prairies of the Illinois to St. Louis,revisited the mineral district of Potosi, and ascendedthe Illinois River and its north-west fork, the DesPlaines, to Chicago, where a large body of Indianswere congregated to confer on the cession of theirlands. At these important conferences, he occupiedthe position of secretary. He published an accountof the incidents of this exploratory journey, underthe title of Travels in the Central Portions ofthe Mississippi Valley. He found, in passingup the river Des Plaines, a remarkably wellcharacterized specimen of a fossil tree, completelyconverted to stone, of which he prepared a descriptivememoir, which had the effect further to direct thepublic mind to geological phenomena.

We are not prepared to pursue minutely these firststeps of his energetic course in the early investigationof our natural history and geography. In 1822,while the lead-mine problem was under advisem*nt atWashington, he was appointed by Mr. Monroe to the semi-diplomaticposition of Agent for Indian Affairs on the North-westFrontiers. This opened a new field of inquiry,and, while it opposed no bar to the pursuits of naturalscience, it presented a broad area of historical andethnological research. On this he entered withgreat ardor, and an event of generally controllinginfluence on human pursuits occurred to enlarge thesestudies, in his marriage to Miss Jane Johnston, a highlycultivated young lady, who was equally well versedin the English and Algonquin languages, being a descendant,by the mother’s side, of Wabojeeg, a celebratedwar sachem, and ruling cacique of his nation.Her father, Mr. John Johnston, was a gentleman ofthe highest connections, fortune, and standing, fromthe north of Ireland, who had emigrated to Americaduring the presidency of Washington. He possessed

great enthusiasm and romance of character, unitedwith poetic tastes, and became deeply enamored ofthe beautiful daughter of Wabojeeg, married her, andhad eight children. His eldest daughter, Jane,was sent, at nine years of age, to Europe to be thoroughlyeducated under the care of his relatives there, and,when she returned to America, was placed at the headof her father’s household, where her refineddignified manners and accomplishments attracted thenotice and admiration of numerous visitors to thatseat of noble hospitality. Mr. Schoolcraft wasamong the first suitors for her hand, and marriedher in October, 1823.

Mr. Johnston was a fine belles lettres scholar,and entered readily into the discussions arising fromthe principles of the Indian languages, and plansfor their improvement.

Mr. Schoolcraft’s marriage into an aboriginalfamily gave no small stimulus to these inquiries,which were pursued under such singularly excellentadvantages, and with untiring ardor in the seclusionof Elmwood and Michilimackinack, for a period of nearlytwenty years, and, until his wife’s lamenteddeath, which happened during a visit to her sister,at Dundas, Canada West, in the year 1842, and whilehe himself was absent on a visit to England.Mr. Schoolcraft has not, at any period of his life,sought advancement in political life, but executedwith energy and interest various civic offices, whichwere freely offered to him. From 1828 to 1832,he was an efficient member of the Territorial Legislature,where he introduced a system of township and countynames, formed on the basis of the aboriginal vocabulary,and also procured the incorporation of a historicalsociety, and, besides managing the finances, as chairmanof an appropriate committee, he introduced and securedthe passage of several laws respecting the treatmentof the native tribes.

In 1828, the Navy Department offered him a prominentsituation in the scientific corps of the United StatesExploring Expedition to the South Seas. Thiswas urged in several letters written to him at St.Mary’s, by Mr. Reynolds, with the approbationof Mr. Southard, then Secretary of the Navy.However flattering such an offer was to his ambition,his domestic relations did not permit his acceptanceof the place. He appeared to occupy his advancedposition on the frontier solely to further the interestsof natural history, American geography, and growingquestions of philosophic moment.

These particulars will enable the reader to appreciatethe advantages with which he commenced and pursuedthe study of the Indian languages, and American ethnology.He made a complete lexicon of the Algonquin language,and reduced its grammar to a philosophical system.“It is really surprising,” says Gen. Cass,in a letter, in 1824, in view of these researches,“that so little valuable information has beengiven to the world on these subjects.”

Mr. Duponceau, President of the American PhilosophicalSociety, translated two of Mr. Schoolcraft’slectures before the Algic Society, on the grammaticalstructure of the Indian language, into French, forthe National Institute of France, where the prize forthe best essay on Algonquin language was awarded tohim. He writes to Dr. James, in 1834, in referenceto these lectures: “His description of thecomposition of words in the Chippewa language, isthe most elegant I have yet seen. He is an ableand most perspicuous writer, and treats his subjectphilosophically.”

Approbation from these high sources had only the effectto lead him to renewed diligence and deeper exertionsto further the interests of natural science, geography,and ethnology; and, while engaged in the active dutiesof an important government office, he maintained anextensive correspondence with men of science, learning,and enterprise throughout the Union.

The American Philosophical, Geological, and AntiquarianSocieties, with numerous state and local institutions,admitted him to membership. The Royal GeographicalSociety of London, the Royal Society of Northern Antiquariesat Copenhagen, and the Ethnological Society of Paris,inscribed his name among their foreign members.In 1846, the College of Geneva conferred on him thedegree of LL.D.

While the interests of learning and science thus occupiedhis private hours, the state of Indian affairs onthe western frontiers called for continued exertions,and journeys, and expeditions through remote regions.The introduction of a fast accumulating populationinto the Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins,continually subjected the Indian tribes to causesof uneasiness, and to a species of reflection, ofwhich they had had no examples in the long centuriesof their hunter state.

In 1825, 1826, and 1827, he attended convocationsof the tribes at very remote points, which imposedthe necessity of passing through forests, wildernesses,and wild portages, where none but the healthy, therobust, the fearless, and the enterprising can go.

In 1831, circ*mstances inclined the tribes on theUpper Mississippi to hostilities and extensive combinations.He was directed by the Government to conduct an expeditionthrough the country lying south and west of Lake Superior,reaching from its banks, which have from the earliestdates been the fastnesses of numerous warlike tribes.This he accomplished satisfactorily, visiting theleading chiefs, and counseling them to the policyof peace.

In 1832, the Sauks and Foxes resolved to re-occupylands which they had previously relinquished in theRock River Valley. This brought them into collisionwith the citizens and militia of Illinois. Theresult was a general conflict, which, from its prominentIndian leader, has been called the Black Hawk war.From accounts of the previous year, its combinationsembraced nine of the leading tribes. It

was uncertain how far they extended. Mr. Schoolcraftwas selected by the Indian and War Department, toconduct a second expedition into the region embracingthe entire Upper Mississippi, north and west of St.Anthony’s Falls. He pursued this streamto the points to which it had been explored in 1806,by Lieut. Pike, and in 1820, by Gen. Cass; andfinding the state of the water favorable for ascending,traced the river up to its ultimate forks, and toits actual source in Itasca Lake. This point hereached on the 23d July, 1832; but a fraction under300 years after the discovery of its lower portionsby De Soto. This was Mr. Schoolcraft’s crowninggeographical discovery, of which he published an account,with maps, in 1833. He is believed to be theonly man in America who has seen the Mississippi fromits source in Itasca Lake to its mouth in the Gulfof Mexico.

In 1839, he published his collection of oral legendsfrom the Indian wigwams, under the general cognomenof Algic Researches. In these volumesis revealed an amount of the Indian idiosyncrasies,of what may be called their philosophy and mode ofreasoning on life, death, and immortality, and theirsingular modes of reasoning and action, which makesthis work one of the most unique and original contributionsto American literature. His love of investigationhas always been a characteristic trait.

The writer of this sketch, who is thoroughly acquaintedwith Mr. Schoolcraft’s character, habits, andfeelings, has long regarded him the complete embodimentof industry and temperance in all things. He risesearly and retires early, eats moderately of simplefood, never uses a drop of stimulant, and does noteven smoke a cigar. In temperament he is amongthe happiest of human beings, always looks at the brightside of circ*mstances—­loves to hear ofthe prosperity of his neighbors, and hopes for favorableturns of character, even in the most depraved.The exaltation of his intellectual pursuits, and hissincere piety, have enabled him to rise above allthe petty disquietudes of everyday life, and he seemsutterly incapable of envy or detraction, or the indulgenceof any ignoble or unmanly passions. Indeed, oneof his most intimate friends remarked “thathe was the beau-ideal of dignified manlinessand truthfulness of character.” His mannerspossess all that unostentatious frankness, and self-possessedurbanity and quietude, that is indicative of refinedfeelings. That such a shining mark has not escapedenvy, detraction, and persecution, will surprise noone who is well acquainted with the materials of whichhuman nature is composed. “Envy is thetoll that is always paid to greatness.”

Mr. Schoolcraft has had enemies, bitter unrelentingenemies, from the wiles of whom he has lost severalfortunes, but they have not succeeded, in spite ofall their efforts, in depriving him of an honored name,that will live as the friend of the red man and anaboriginal historian, for countless ages.

Some twenty years ago he became a professor of religion,and the ennobling influences of Bible truth have mellowed,and devoted to the most unselfish and exalted aimshis natural determination and enthusiasm of character.God has promised to his people “that their righteousnessshall shine as the light, and their just dealing asthe noonday.” Protected in such an impregnabletower of defence from the strife of tongues, Mr. Schoolcrafthas been enabled freely to forgive, and even befriend,those narrow-minded calumniators who have aimed somany poisoned arrows at his fame, his character, andhis success in life. These are they who hateall excellence that they themselves can never hopeto reach.

Mr. Schoolcraft’s persevering industry is soindomitable, that he has been known to write fromsun to sun almost every day for many consecutive years,taking no recreation, and yet these sedentary habitsof untiring application being regulated by system,have not impaired the digestive functions of his usuallyrobust health. One of his family remarks, “thatshe believed that if his meals were weighed every dayin the year they would average the same amount everytwenty-four hours.” He has, however, beenpartly lame for the last two years, from the effects,it is thought, of early exposure in his explorationsin the west, where he used frequently to lie downin the swamps to sleep, with no pillow save clumpsof bog, and no covering but a traveling Indian blanket,which sometimes when he awoke was cased in snow.This local impediment, however, being entirely withoutneuralgic or rheumatic symptoms, has had no effectwhatever upon his mental activity, as every momentof his time is still consecrated to literary pursuits.

In 1841 he removed his residence from Michilimackinackto the city of New York, where he was instrumental,with Mr. John R. Bartlett, Mr. H. C. Murphy, Mr. Folsomand other ethnologists, in forming the American EthnologicalSociety—­which, under the auspices of thelate Mr. Albert Gallatin, has produced efficient labors.In 1842 he visited England and the Continent.He attended the twelfth meeting of the British Associationfor the Advancement of Science at Manchester.He then visited France, Germany, Prussia, Belgium,and Holland. On returning to New York he tookan active interest in the deliberations of the NewYork Historical Society, made an antiquarian tourto Western Virginia, Ohio, and the Canadas, and publishedin numbers the first volume of an Indian miscellanyunder the title of “Oneota, or the Indian inhis Wigwam.”

In 1845 the Legislature of New York authorized himto take a census, and collect the statistics of theIroquois, or Six Nations, which were published, togetherwith materials illustrating their history and character,in a volume entitled, NOTES ON THE IROQUOIS.

This work was highly approved by the Legislature,and copies eagerly sought by persons taking an interestin the fortunes of this celebrated tribe. Contraryto expectation, their numbers were found to be considerable,and their advance in agriculture and civilization ofa highly encouraging character; and the State hassince made liberal appropriations for their education.

In 1846 he brought the subject of the American aboriginesto the notice of the members of Congress, expressingthe opinion, and enforcing it by facts drawn frommany years’ experience and residence on the frontiers,that it was misunderstood, that the authentic publishedmaterials from which the Indians were to be judgedwere fragmentary and scanty, and that the public policyrespecting them, and the mode of applying their funds,and dealing with them, was in many things false andunjust. These new views produced conviction inenlightened minds, and, during the following session,in the winter of 1847, an appropriation was made,authorizing the Secretary of War to collect the statisticsof all the tribes within the Union; together withmaterials to illustrate their history, condition,and prospects. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected bythe government to conduct the inquiry, in connectionwith the Indian Bureau. And he immediately preparedand issued blank forms, calling on the officers ofthe department for the necessary statistical facts.At the same time a comprehensive system of interrogatorieswas distributed, intended to bring out the true stateand condition of the Indian tribes from gentlemenof experience, in all parts of the Union.

These interrogatories are founded on a series of somethirty years’ personal observations on Indiansociety and manners, which were made while livingin their midst on the frontiers, and on the data preservedin his well-filled portfolios and journals; and thecomprehensive character of the queries, consequently,evince a complete mastery of his subject, such asno one could have been at all prepared to furnish,who had had less full and favorable advantages.In these queries he views the Indian race, not onlyas tribes having every claim on our sympathy and humanity,but as one of the races of the human family, scatteredby an inscrutable Providence, whose origin and destinyis one of the most interesting problems of Americanhistory, philosophy, and Christianity.

The first part of this work, in an elaborate quartovolume, was published in the autumn of 1850, withillustrations from the pencil of Capt. Eastman,a gentleman of the army of the United States, and hasbeen received by Congress and the diurnal and periodicalpress with decided approbation. It is a workwhich is national in its conception and manner ofexecution; and, if carried out according to the planexhibited, will do ample justice, at once to the Indiantribes, their history, condition, and destiny, andto the character of the government as connected withthem. We have been reproached by foreign pensfor our treatment of these tribes, and our policy,motives, and justice impugned. If we are notmistaken, the materials here collected will show howgratuitous such imputations have been. It is believedthat no stock of the aborigines found by civilizednations on the globe, have received the same amountof considerate and benevolent and humane treatment,as denoted by its laws, its treaties, and generaladministration of Indian affairs, from the establishmentof the Constitution, and this too, in the face ofthe most hostile, wrongheaded, and capricious conducton their part, that ever signalized the history ofa barbarous people.

In January, 1847, he married Miss Mary Howard, ofBeaufort District, South Carolina, a lady of majesticstature, high toned moral sentiment, dignified polishedmanners, gifted conversational powers and literarytastes. This marriage has proved a peculiarlyfortunate and happy one, as they both highly appreciateand respect each other, and she warmly sympathizesin his literary plans. She also relieves him ofall domestic care by her judicious management of hishousehold affairs. Most of her time, however,is spent with him in his study, where she revises andcopies his writings for the press. She is thedescendant of a family who emigrated to South Carolinafrom England, in the reign of George the Second, fromwhom they received a large grant of land, situatednear the Broad River. Upon this original grantthe family have from generation to generation continuedto reside. It is now a flourishing cotton andrice growing plantation, and is at present owned byher brother, Gen. John Howard. Her sister marrieda grandnephew of Gen. William Moultrie, who was sodistinguished in the revolutionary war, and her brothera granddaughter of Judge Thomas Heyward, who was aripe scholar and one of the signers of the Declarationof Independence. Although one of her brotherswas in the battle of San Jacinto, she is herself thefirst permanent emigrant of her family from SouthCarolina to the North, having accompanied her husbandto Washington, D.C., where he has ever since beenengaged in conducting the national work on the historyof the Indians. To this work, of which the secondpart is now in the press, every power of his extensiveobservation and ripe experience is devoted, and withresults which justify the highest anticipations whichhave been formed of it. Meantime it is understoodthat the present memoirs is the first volume of arevised series of his complete works, including histravels, reviews, papers on natural history, Indiantales, and miscellanies.

To this rapid sketch of a man rising to distinctionwithout the adventitious aids of hereditary patrimony,wealth, or early friends, it requires little to beadded to show the value of self-dependence. Suchexamples must encourage all whose ambitions are sustainedby assiduity, temperance, self-reliance, and a consistentperseverance in well weighed ends.



Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—­Eventspreliminary to a knowledge of western life—­Embarkationon the source of the Alleghany River—­Descentto Pittsburgh—­Valley of the Monongahela;its coal and iron—­Descent of the Ohio inan ark—­Scenes and incidents by the way—­Cincinnati—­Some personal incidents whichhappened there.

Late in the autumn of 1809, being then in my seventeenthyear, I quitted the village of Hamilton, Albany County(a county in which my family had lived from an earlypart of the reign of George II.), and, after a pleasantdrive of half a day through the PINE PLAINS, accompaniedby some friends, reached the city of Schenectady,and from thence took the western stage line, up theValley of the Mohawk, to the village of Utica, wherewe arrived, I think, on the third day, the roads beingheavy. The next day I proceeded to Vernon, thesite of a busy and thriving village, where my fatherhad recently engaged in the superintendency of extensivemanufacturing operations. I was here within afew miles of Oneida Castle, then the residence of theancient Oneida tribe of Iroquois. There was,also, in this town, a remnant of the old Mohigans,who, under the name of Stockbridges, had, soon afterthe Revolutionary War, removed from the Valley ofthe Housatonic, in Massachusetts, to Oneida.Throngs of both tribes were daily in the village,and I was thus first brought to notice their mannersand customs; not dreaming, however, that it was tobe my lot to pass so many of the subsequent yearsof my life as an observer of the Indian race.

Early in the spring of 1810, I accompanied Mr. AlexanderBryan Johnson, of Utica, a gentleman of wealth, intelligence,and enterprise, to the area of the Genesee country,for the purpose of superintending a manufactory fora company incorporated by the State Legislature.After visiting Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario, it wasfinally resolved to locate this company’s worksnear Geneva, on the banks of Seneca Lake.

During my residence here, the War of 1812 broke out;the events of which fell with severity on this frontier,particularly on the lines included between the Niagaraand Lake Champlain, where contending armies and naviesoperated. While these scenes of alarm and turmoilwere enacting, and our trade with Great Britain wascut off, an intense interest arose for manufacturesof first necessity, needed by the country, particularlyfor that indispensable article of new settlements,window glass. In directing the foreign artisansemployed in the making of this product of skill, myfather, Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, had, from anearly period after the American Revolution, acquiredcelebrity, by the general superintendency of the notedworks of this kind near Albany, and afterwards inOneida County.

Under his auspices, I directed the erection of similarworks in Western New York and in the States of Vermontand New Hampshire.

While in Vermont, I received a salary of eighteenhundred dollars per annum, which enabled me to pursuemy studies, ex academia, at Middlebury College.In conversation with President Davis, I learned thatthis was the highest salary paid in the State, he himselfreceiving eleven hundred, and the Governor of theState but eight hundred.

The extensive and interesting journeys connected withthe manufacturing impulse of these engagements, reachingover a varied surface of several hundred miles, openedup scenes of life and adventure which gave me a foretasteof, and preparedness for, the deeper experiences ofthe western wilderness; and the war with England wasno sooner closed than I made ready to share in theexploration of the FAR WEST. The wonderful accountsbrought from the Mississippi valley—­itsfertility, extent, and resources—­inspireda wish to see it for myself, and to this end I madesome preliminary explorations in Western New York,in 1816 and 1817. I reached Olean, on the sourceof the Alleghany River, early in 1818, while the snowwas yet upon the ground, and had to wait several weeksfor the opening of that stream. I was surprisedto see the crowd of persons, from various quarters,who had pressed to this point, waiting the openingof the navigation.

It was a period of general migration from the Eastto the West. Commerce had been checked for severalyears by the war with Great Britain. Agriculturehad been hindered by the raising of armies, and a harassingwarfare both on the seaboard and the frontiers; andmanufactures had been stimulated to an unnatural growth,only to be crushed by the peace. Speculationhad also been rife in some places, and hurried manygentlemen of property into ruin. Banks exploded,and paper money flooded the country.

The fiscal crisis was indeed very striking. Thevery elements seemed leagued against the interestsof agriculture in the Atlantic States, where a seriesof early and late frosts, in 1816 and 1817, had createdquite a panic, which helped to settle the West.

I mingled in this crowd, and, while listening to theanticipations indulged in, it seemed to me that thewar had not, in reality, been fought for “freetrade and sailors’ rights” where it commenced,but to gain a knowledge of the world beyond the Alleghanies.

Many came with their household stuff, which was tobe embarked in arks and flat boats. The childrenof Israel could scarcely have presented a more motleyarray of men and women, with their “kneadingtroughs” on their backs, and their “littleones,” than were there assembled, on their wayto the new land of promise.

To judge by the tone of general conversation, theymeant, in their generation, to plough the MississippiValley from its head to its foot. There was notan idea short of it. What a world of golden dreamswas there!

I took passage in the first ark that attempted thedescent for the season. This ark was built ofstout planks, with the lower seams caulked, forminga perfectly flat basis on the water. It was aboutthirty feet wide and sixty long, with gunwales of someeighteen inches. Upon this was raised a structureof posts and boards about eight feet high, dividedinto rooms for cooking and sleeping, leaving a fewfeet space in front and rear, to row and steer.The whole was covered by a flat roof, which formeda promenade, and near the front part of this deckwere two long “sweeps,” a species of giganticoars, which were occasionally resorted to in orderto keep the unwieldy vessel from running against islandsor dangerous shores.

We went on swimmingly, passing through the Senecareservation, where the picturesque costume of theIndians seen on shore served to give additional interestto scenes of the deepest and wildest character.Every night we tied our ark to a tree, and built afire on shore. Sometimes we narrowly escapedgoing over falls, and once encountered a world oflabor and trouble by getting into a wrong channel.I made myself as useful and agreeable as possibleto all. I had learned to row a skiff with dexterityduring my residence on Lake Dunmore, and turned thisart to account by taking the ladies ashore, as we floatedon with our ark, and picked up specimens while theyculled shrubs and flowers. In this way, and bylending a ready hand at the “sweeps” andat the oars whenever there was a pinch, I made myselfa*greeable. The worst thing we encountered wasrain, against which our rude carpentry was but a poordefence. We landed at everything like a town,and bought milk, and eggs, and butter. Sometimesthe Seneca Indians were passed, coming up stream intheir immensely long pine canoes. There was perpetualnovelty and freshness in this mode of wayfaring.The scenery was most enchanting. The river ranhigh, with a strong spring current, and the hillsfrequently rose in most picturesque cliffs.

1818. I do not recollect the time consumed inthis descent. We had gone about three hundredmiles, when we reached Pittsburgh. It was the28th of March when we landed at this place, whichI remember because it was my birthday. And Ihere bid adieu to the kind and excellent proprietorof the ark, L. Pettiborne, Esq., who refused to receiveany compensation for my passage, saying, prettily,that he did not know how they could have got alongwithout me.

I stopped at one of the best hotels, kept by a Mrs.McCullough, and, after visiting the manufactoriesand coal mines, hired a horse, and went up the MonongahelaValley, to explore its geology as high as Williamsport.The rich coal and iron beds of this part of the countryinterested me greatly; I was impressed with their extent,and value, and the importance which they must eventuallygive to Pittsburgh. After returning from thistrip, I completed my visits to the various workshopsand foundries, and to the large glassworks of Bakewelland of O’Hara.

I was now at the head of the Ohio River, which isformed by the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela.My next step was to descend this stream; and, whilein search of an ark on the borders of the Monongahela,I fell in with a Mr. Brigham, a worthy person fromMassachusetts, who had sallied out with the same view.We took passage together on one of these floatinghouses, with the arrangements of which I had now becomefamiliar. I was charmed with the Ohio; with itsscenery, which was every moment shifting to the eye;and with the incidents of such a novel voyage.Off Wheeling we made fast to another ark, from theMonongahela, in charge of Capt. Hutchinson, an

intelligent man. There were a number of passengers,who, together with this commander, added to our socialcircle, and made it more agreeable: among these,the chief person was Dr. Selman, of Cincinnati, whohad been a surgeon in Wayne’s army, and whohad a fund of information of this era. My acquaintancewith subjects of chemistry and mineralogy enabled meto make my conversation agreeable, which was afterwardsof some advantage to me.

We came to at Grave Creek Fleets, and all went upto see the Great Mound, the apex of which had a depression,with a large tree growing in it having the names anddates of visit of several persons carved on its trunk.One of the dates was, I think, as early as 1730.We also stopped at Gallipolis—­the siteof a French colony of some notoriety. The riverwas constantly enlarging; the spring was rapidly advancing,and making its borders more beautiful; and the scenerycould scarcely have been more interesting. Therewas often, it is true, a state of newness and rudenessin the towns, and villages, and farms, but it was everaccompanied with the most pleasing anticipations ofimprovement and progress. We had seldom to lookat old things, save the Indian antiquities. Themost striking works of this kind were at Marietta,at the junction of the Muskingum. This was, Ibelieve, the earliest point of settlement of the Stateof Ohio. But to us, it had a far more interestingpoint of attraction in the very striking antique worksnamed, for which it is known. We visited the elevatedsquare and the mound. We gazed and wondered asothers have done, and without fancying that we werewiser than our predecessors had been.

At Marietta, a third ark from the waters of the Muskingumwas added to our number, and making quite a flotilla.This turned out to be the property of Hon. J.B.Thomas, of Illinois, a Senator in Congress, a gentlemanof great urbanity of manners and intelligence.By this addition of deck, our promenade was now ample.And it would be difficult to imagine a journey embracinga greater number of pleasing incidents and prospects.

When a little below Parkersburgh, we passed Blennerhasset’sIsland, which recalled for a moment the name of AaronBurr, and the eloquent language of Mr. Wirt on thetreasonable schemes of that bold, talented, but unchastenedpolitician. All was now ruin and devastation onthe site of forsaken gardens, into the shaded recessesof which a basilisk had once entered. Some stacksof chimneys were all that was left to tell the tale.It seemed remarkable that twelve short years shouldhave worked so complete a desolation. It wouldappear as if half a century had intervened, so thoroughhad been the physical revolution of the island.

One night we had lain with our flotilla on the Virginiacoast. It was perceived, at early daylight, thatthe inner ark, which was Mr. Thomas’s, and whichwas loaded with valuable machinery, was partly sunk,being pressed against the bank by the other arks, andthe water was found to be flowing in above the caulkedseams. A short time must have carried the wholedown. After a good deal of exertion to save theboat, it was cut loose and abandoned. It occurredto me that two men, rapidly bailing, would be ableto throw out a larger quantity of water than flowedthrough the seams. Willing to make myself useful,I told my friend Brigham that I thought we could savethe boat, if he would join in the attempt. Mytheory proved correct. We succeeded, by a reliefof hands, in the effort, and saved the whole machineryunwetted. This little affair proved gratifyingto me from the share I had in it. Mr. Thomaswas so pleased that he ordered a sumptuous breakfastat a neighboring house for all. We had an abundanceof hot coffee, chickens, and toast, which to voyagersin an ark was quite a treat; but it was still lessgratifying than the opportunity we had felt of doinga good act. This little incident had a pleasingeffect on the rest of the voyage, and made Thomasmy friend.

But the voyage itself was now drawing to a close.When we reached Cincinnati, the flotilla broke up.We were now five hundred miles below Pittsburgh, andthe Valley of the Ohio was, if possible, every daybecoming an object of more striking physical interest.By the advice of Dr. Sellman, who invited me to dinewith a large company of gentlemen, I got a good boarding-house,and I spent several weeks very pleasantly in thiscity and its immediate environs. Among the boarderswere Dr. Moorhead (Dr. S.’s partner), and JohnC.S. Harrison (the eldest son of Gen. Harrison),with several other young gentlemen, whose names arepleasingly associated in my memory. It was customary,after dinner, to sit on a wooden settle, or long bench,in front of the house, facing the open esplanade onthe high banks of the river, at the foot of whichboats and arks were momentarily arriving. Oneafternoon, while engaged in earnest conversation withHarrison, I observed a tall, gawky youth, with whitehair, and a few stray patches just appearing on hischin, as precursors of a beard, approach furtively,and assume a listening attitude. He had evidentlyjust landed, and had put on his best clothes, to goup and see the town. The moment he stopped tolisten, I assumed a tone of earnest badinage.Harrison, instantly seeing our intrusive and raw guest,and humoring the joke, responded in a like style.In effect we had a high controversy, which could onlybe settled by a duel, in which our raw friend mustact as second. He was strongly appealed to, andtold that his position as a gentleman required it.So far all was well. We adjourned to an upperroom; the pistols were charged with powder, and shots

were exchanged between Harrison and myself, while theeyeballs of young Jonathan seemed ready to start fromtheir sockets. But no sooner were the shots firedthan an undue advantage was instantly alleged, whichinvolved the responsibility of my antagonist’sfriend; and thus the poor fellow, who had himselfbeen inveigled in a scrape, was peppered with powder,in a second exchange of shots, while all but himselfwere ready to die with smothered laughter; and he wasat last glad to escape from the house with his life,and made the best of his way back to his ark.

This settle, in front of the door, was a capital pointto perpetrate tricks on the constantly arriving throngsfrom the East, who, with characteristic enterprise,often stopped to inquire for employment. A fewdays after the sham duel, Harrison determined to playa trick on another emigrant, a shrewd, tolerably well-informedyoung man, who had evinced a great deal of self-complacencyand immodest pertinacity. He told the pertinaciousemigrant, who inquired for a place, that he had not,himself, anything that could engage his attention,but that he had a friend (alluding to me) who wasnow in town, who was extensively engaged in millingand merchandizing on the Little Miami, and was inwant of a competent, responsible clerk. He addedthat, if he would call in the evening, his friendwould be in, and he would introduce him. Meantime,I was informed of the character I was to play in rebukingassumption. The man came, punctual to his appointment,in the evening, and was formally introduced.I stated the duties and the peculiar requisites andresponsibilities of the trust. These he foundbut little difficulty in meeting. Other difficultieswere stated. These, with a little thought, healso met. He had evidently scarcely any otherquality than presumption. I told him at lastthat, from the inhabitants in the vicinity, it wasnecessary that he should speak Dutch. Thisseemed a poser, but, after some hesitancy and hemming,and the re-mustering of his cardinal presumption,he thought he could shortly render himself qualifiedto speak. I admired the very presumption of thetheory, and finally told him to call the next dayon my agent, Mr. Schenck, at such a number (MartinBaum’s) in Maine Street, to whom, in the meantime, I transferred the hoax, and duly informing Schenckof the affair; and I do not recollect, at this time,how he shuffled him off.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth—­Ascentof the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum—­Itsrapid and turbid character, and the difficulties ofstemming its current by barges—­Some incidentsby the way.

1818. At Cincinnati, I visited a sort of giganticchimney or trunk, constructed of wood, which had beencontinued from the plain, and carried up against theside of one of the Walnut Hills, in order to demonstratethe practicability of obtaining a mechanical powerfrom rarefied atmospheric air. I was certainthat this would prove a failure, although CaptainBliss, who had conducted the work under the auspicesof General Lytle, felt confident of success.

When I was ready to proceed down the Ohio, I wentto the shore, where I met a Mr. Willers, who had comethere on the same errand as myself. Our objectwas to go to Louisville, at the falls of the Ohio.We were pleased with a well-constructed skiff, whichwould conveniently hold our baggage, and, after examination,purchased it, for the purpose of making this partof the descent. I was expert with a light oar,and we agreed in thinking that this would be a verypicturesque, healthful, and economical mode of travel.It was warm weather, the beginning of May, I think,and the plan was to sleep ashore every night.We found this plan to answer expectation. Thetrip was, in every respect, delightful. Mr. Willerslent a ready hand at the oars and tiller by turns.He possessed a good share of urbanity, had seen muchof the world, and was of an age and temper to ventno violent opinions. He gave me information onsome topics. We got along pleasantly. Oneday, a sleeping sawyer, as it is called, rose up inthe river behind us in a part of the course we hadjust passed, which, if it had risen two minutes earlier,would have pitched us in the air, and knocked ourskiff in shivers. We stopped at Vevay, to tastethe wine of the vintage of that place, which was thenmuch talked of, and did not think it excellent.We were several days—­I do not recollecthow many—­in reaching Louisville, in Kentucky.I found my fellow-voyager was a teacher of militaryscience, late from Baltimore, Maryland; he soon hada class of militia officers, to whom he gave instructions,and exhibited diagrams of military evolutions.

Louisville had all the elements of city life.I was much interested in the place and its environs,and passed several weeks at that place. I foundorganic remains of several species in the limestonerocks of the falls, and published, anonymously, inthe paper some notices of its mineralogy.

When prepared to continue my descent of the river,I went to the beautiful natural mall, which existsbetween the mouth of the Beargrass Creek and the Ohio,where boats usually land, and took passage in a fineark, which had just come down from the waters of theMonongahela. It was owned and freighted by twoadventurers from Maryland, of the names of Kemp andKeen. A fine road existed to the foot of the fallsat Shippensport, a distance of two miles, which mynew acquaintances pursued; but, when I understoodthat there was a pilot present, I preferred remainingon board, that I might witness the descent of thefalls: we descended on the Indiana side.The danger was imminent at one part, where the entirecurrent had a violent side action, but we went safelyand triumphantly down; and, after taking our ownerson board, who were unwilling to risk their lives withtheir property, we pursued our voyage. It wasabout this point, or a little above, that we firstnoticed the gay and noisy parroquet, flocks of whichinhabited the forests. The mode of attachingvessels of this kind into flotillas was practicedon that part of the route, which brought us into acquaintancewith many persons.

At Shawneetown, where we lay a short time, I wentout hunting about the mouth of the Wabash with oneHanlon, a native of Kentucky, who was so expert inthe use of the rifle that he brought down single pigeonsand squirrels, aiming only at their heads or necks.

After passing below the Wabash, the Ohio assumed atruly majestic flow. Its ample volume, greatexpanse, and noble shores, could not fail to be admired.As we neared the picturesque Cavein-Rock shore, I tookthe small boat, and, with some others, landed to viewthis traveler’s wonder. It recalled tome the dark robber era of the Ohio River, and thetales of blood and strife which I had read of.

The cave itself is a striking object for its largeand yawning mouth, but, to the geologist, presentsnothing novel. Its ample area appears to havebeen frequently encamped in by the buccaneers of theMississippi. We were told of narrow and secretpassages leading above into the rock, but did notfind anything of much interest. The mouth of thecave was formerly concealed by trees, which favoredthe boat robbers; but these had been mostly felled.As the scene of a tale of imaginative robber-life,it appeared to me to possess great attractions.

Our conductor steered for Smithfield, I think it wascalled, at the mouth of the Cumberland River, Tennessee,which was thought a favorable place for transferringthe cargo from an ark to a keel-boat, to prepare itfor the ascent of the Mississippi River; for we werenow drawing closely towards the mouth of the Ohio.Here ensued a delay of many days. During thistime, I made several excursions in this part of Tennessee,and always with the rifle in hand, in the use of whichI had now become expert enough to kill small gamewithout destroying it. While here, some of GeneralJackson’s volunteers from his wars against theCreeks and Seminoles returned, and related some ofthe incidents of their perilous campaign. Atlength a keel-boat, or barge, arrived, under the commandof Captain Ensminger, of Saline, which dischargedits cargo at this point, and took on board the freightof Kemp and Keen, bound to St. Louis, in Missouri.

We pursued our way, under the force of oars, whichsoon brought us to the mouth of the Ohio, where thecaptain paused to prepare for stemming the Mississippi.It was now the first day of July, warm and balmy duringthe mornings and evenings, but of a torrid heat atnoon. We were now one thousand miles below Pittsburgh—­adistance which it is impossible for any man to realizefrom the mere reading of books. This splendidvalley is one of the prominent creations of the universe.Its fertility and beauty are unequaled; and its capacitiesof sustaining a dense population cannot be overrated.Seven States border on its waters, and they are sevenStates which are destined to contribute no little partto the commerce, wealth, and power of the Union.It is idle to talk of the well-cultivated and garden-like

little rivers of Europe, of some two or three hundredmiles in length, compared to the Ohio. There isnothing like it in all Europe for its great length,uninterrupted fertility, and varied resources, andconsequent power to support an immense population.Yet its banks consist not of a dead level, like thelower Nile and Volga, but of undulating plains andhills, which afford a lively flow to its waters, andsupply an amount of hydraulic power which is amazing.The river itself is composed of some of the prime streamsof the country. The Alleghany, the Monongahela,the Muskingum, the Miami, the Wabash, the Cumberland,and the Tennessee, are rivers of the most noble proportions,and the congregated mass of water rolls forward, increasingin volume and magnificence, until the scene delightsthe eye by its displays of quiet, lovely, rural magnitudeand physical grandeur.

Yet all this is but an element in the vast systemof western waters. It reaches the Mississippi,but to be swallowed up and engulfed by that turbidand rapid stream, which, like some gaping, giganticmonster, running wild from the Rocky Mountains andthe Itasca summit, stands ready to gulp it down.The scene is truly magnificent, and the struggle notslight. For more than twenty miles, the transparentblue waters of the Ohio are crowded along the Tennesseecoast; but the Mississippi, swollen by its summerflood, as if disdainful of its rural and peace-likeproperties, gains the mastery before reaching Memphis,and carries its characteristic of turbid geologicpower for a thousand miles more, until its final exitinto the Mexican Gulf.

I had never seen such a sight. I had lost allmy standards of comparison. Compared to it, mylittle home streams would not fill a pint cup; and,like a man suddenly ushered into a new world, I wasamazed at the scene before me. Mere amplitudeof the most ordinary elements of water and alluvialland has done this. The onward rush of eternalwaters was an idea vaguely floating in my mind.The Indians appeared to have embodied this idea inthe word Mississippi.

Ensminger was a stout manly fellow, of the characteristictraits of Anglo-Saxon daring; but he thought it prudentnot to plunge too hastily into this mad current, andwe slept at the precise point of embouchure, where,I think, Cairo is now located. Early the nextmorning the oarsmen were paraded, like so many militia,on the slatted gunwales of the barge, each armed witha long and stout setting pole, shod with iron.Ensminger himself took the helm, and the toil and struggleof pushing the barge up stream began. We wereobliged to keep close to the shore, in order to findbottom for the poles, and whenever that gave out, themen instantly resorted to oars to gain some point onthe opposite side, where bottom could be reached.It was a struggle requiring the utmost activity.The water was so turbid that we could not perceiveobjects an inch below the surface. The current

rushed with a velocity that threatened to carry everythingbefore it. The worst effect was its perpetualtendency to undermine its banks. Often heavy portionsof the banks plunged into the river, endangering boatsand men. The banks consisted of dark alluvionten to fifteen feet above the water, bearing a densegrowth of trees and shrubbery. The plunging ofthese banks into the stream often sounded like thunder.With every exertion, we advanced but five miles thefirst day, and it was a long July day. As eveningcame on, the mosquitos were in hordes. It wasimpossible to perform the offices of eating or drinking,without suffering the keenest torture from their stings.

The second day we ascended six miles, the third dayseven miles, the fourth day six miles, and the fiftheight miles, which brought us to the first settlementon the Missouri shore, called Tyawapaty Bottom.The banks in this distance became more elevated, andwe appeared to be quitting the more nascent region.We noticed the wild turkey and gray squirrel ashore.The following day we went but three miles, when thesevere labor caused some of the hands to give out.Ensminger was a man not easily discouraged. Helay by during the day, and the next morning foundmeans to move ahead. At an early hour we reachedthe head of the settlement, and came to at a spotcalled the Little Chain of Rocks. The fast landsof the Missouri shore here jut into the river, andI examined, at this point, a remarkable bed of whiteclay, which is extensively employed by the local mechanicsfor chalk, but which is wholly destitute of carbonicacid. We ascended, this day, ten miles; and thenext day five miles, which carried us to Cape Girardeau—­atown estimated to be fifty miles above the mouth ofthe Ohio. Here were about fifty houses, situatedon a commanding eminence. We had been landed buta short time, when one of the principal merchants ofthe place sent me word that he had just received somedrugs and medicines which he wished me to examine.I went up directly to his store, when it turned outthat he was no druggist at all, nor wished my skillin this way, but, having heard there was a doctoraboard, he had taken this facetious mode of invitingme to partake of some refreshments. I regret thatI have forgotten his name.

The next day we ascended seven miles, and next thesame distance, and stopped at the Moccason Spring,a basin of limpid water occupying a crevice in thelimestone rock. The day following we ascendedbut five miles, and the next day seven miles, in whichdistance we passed the Grand Tower, a geological monumentrising from the bed of the river, which stands totell of some great revolution in the ancient face ofthe country. The Mississippi River probably brokethrough one of its ancient barriers at this place.We made three unsuccessful attempts to pass GarlicPoint, where we encountered a very strong current,and finally dropped down and came to, for the night,

below it, the men being much exhausted with theseattempts. We renewed the effort with a cordellethe next morning, with success, but not without exhaustingthe men so much that two of them refused to proceed,who were immediately paid off, and furnished provisionsto return. We succeeded in going to the mouthof the Obrazo, about half a mile higher, when we layby all day. This delay enabled Ensminger to recruithis crew, and during the three following days we ascendedrespectively six, seven, and ten miles, which broughtus to the commencement of Bois-brule bottom. Thisis a fertile, and was then a comparatively populous,settlement. We ascended along it about sevenmiles, the next day seven more, and the next eleven,which completed the ascent to the antique town ofSt. Genevieve. About three hundred houses werehere clustered together, which, with their inhabitants,had the looks which we may fancy to belong to the timesof Louis XIV. of France. It was the chief martof the lead mines, situated in the interior.I observed heavy stacks of pig lead piled up aboutthe warehouses. We remained here the next day,which was the 20th of July, and then went forwardtwelve miles, the next day thirteen, and the nextfive, which brought us, at noon, to the town of Herculaneum,containing some thirty or forty buildings, excludingthree picturesque-looking shot towers on the top ofthe rocky cliffs of the river. This was anothermart of the lead mines.

I determined to land definitively at this point, purposingto visit the mines, after completing my ascent byland to St. Louis. It was now the 23d of July,the whole of which, from the 1st, we had spent in adiligent ascent of the river, by setting pole and cordelle,from the junction of the Ohio—­a distanceof one hundred and seventy miles. We were stillthirty miles above St. Louis.

I have detailed some of the incidents of the journey,in order to denote the difficulties of the ascentwith barges prior to the introduction of steam, andalso the means which this slowness of motion gave meof becoming acquainted with the physical characterof this river and its shores. A large part ofthe west banks I had traveled on foot, and gleanedseveral facts in its mineralogy and geology which madeit an initial point in my future observations.The metalliferous formation is first noticed at thelittle chain of rocks. From the Grand Tower, thewestern shores become precipitous, showing sectionsand piled-up pinnacles of the series of horizontalsandstones and limestones which characterize the imposingcoast. Had I passed it in a steamer, downwardbound, as at this day, in forty-eight hours, I shouldhave had none but the vaguest and most general conceptionsof its character. But I went to glean facts inits natural history, and I knew these required carefulpersonal inspection of minute as well as general features.There may be a sort of horseback theory of geology;but mineralogy, and the natural sciences generally,must be investigated on foot, hammer or goniometerin hand.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to thefounder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr.Austin—­His character—­Continuationof the journey on foot to St. Louis—­Incidentsby the way—­Trip to the mines—­Surveyof the mine country—­Expedition from Potosiinto the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter’sabsence, to Potosi.

1818. The familiar conversation on shore of myfriendly associates, speaking of a doctor on boardwho was inquiring into the natural history and valueof the country at every point, procured me quite unexpectedlya favorable reception at Herculaneum, as it had doneat Cape Girardeau. I was introduced to Mr. Austin,the elder, who, on learning my intention of visitingthe mines, offered every facility in his power to favormy views. Mr. Austin was a gentleman of generalinformation, easy and polite manners, and enthusiasticcharacter. He had, with his connections, theBates, I believe, been the founder of Herculaneum,and was solicitous to secure it a share of the leadtrade, which had been so long and exclusively enjoyedby St. Genevieve. He was a man of very decidedenterprise, inclined to the manners of the old schoolgentlemen, which had, I believe, narrowed his popularity,and exposed him to some strong feuds in the interior,where his estates lay. He was a diligent readerof the current things of the day, and watched closelythe signs of the times. He had lived in the capitalof Virginia, where he married. He had been engagedextensively as a merchant and miner in Wyeth county,in the western part of that State. He had crossedthe wilderness west of the Ohio River, at an earlyday, to St. Louis, then a Spanish interior capital.He had been received by the Spanish authorities withattentions, and awarded a large grant of the mininglands. He had remained under the French periodof supremacy, and had been for about sixteen yearsa resident of the region when it was transferred bypurchase to the United States. The family hadbeen from an early day, the first in point of civilizationin the country. And as his position seemed towane, and clouds to hover over his estates, he seemedrestless, and desirous to transfer his influence toanother theatre of action. From my earliest conversationswith him, he had fixed his mind on Texas, and spokewith enthusiasm about it.

I left my baggage, consisting of two well-filled trunks,in charge of Mr. Ellis, a worthy innkeeper of thetown, and when I was ready to continue my way on footfor St. Louis, I was joined in this journey by Messrs.Kemp and Keen, my fellow-voyagers on the water fromLouisville. We set out on the 26th of the month.The weather was hot and the atmosphere seemed to belifeless and heavy. Our road lay over gentlehills, in a state of nature. The grass had butin few places been disturbed by the plough, or thetrees by the axe. The red clay soil seemed fitterfor the miner than the farmer.

At the distance of seven miles, we came to a remarkablelocality of springs strongly impregnated with sulphur,which bubbled up from the ground. They were remarkablyclear and cold, and deposited a light sediment ofsulphur, along the little rills by which they foundan outlet into a rapid stream, which was tributaryto the Mississippi.

Five miles beyond these springs, we reached the valleyof the Merrimack, just at nightfall; and notwithstandingthe threatening atmosphere, and the commencement ofrain, before we descended to the stream, we prevailedwith the ferryman to go down and set us over, whichwe urged with the view of reaching a house withinless than a mile of the other bank. He landedus at the right spot; but the darkness had now becomeso intense that we could not keep the road, and gropedour way along an old wheel-track into the forest.It also came on to rain hard. We at last stoodstill. We were lost in utter darkness, and exposedto a pelting storm. After a while we heard afaint stroke of a cow bell. We listened attentively;it was repeated at long intervals, but faintly, asif the animal was housed. It gave us the direction,which was quite different from the course we had followed.No obstacle, though there were many, prevented usfrom reaching the house, where we arrived wet and hungry,and half dead with fatigue.

The Merrimack, in whose valley we were thus entangled,is the prime outlet of the various streams of themine country, where Renault, and Arnault, and otherFrench explorers, expended their researches duringthe exciting era of the celebrated illusory Mississippischeme.

The next day we crossed an elevated arid tract fortwelve miles to the village of Carondalet, withoutencountering a house, or an acre of land in cultivation.On this tract, which formed a sort of oak orchard,with high grass, and was a range for wild deer, JeffersonBarracks have since been located. Six miles furtherbrought us to the town of St. Louis, over an elevatedbrushy plain, in which the soil assumed a decidedlyfertile aspect. We arrived about four o’clockin the afternoon, and had a pleasant evening to viewits fine site, based as it is on solid limestone rock,where no encroachment of the headlong Mississippi canever endanger its safety. I was delighted withthe site, and its capacity for expansion, and cannotconceive of one in America, situated in the interior,which appears destined to rival it in population,wealth, power, and resources. It is idle to talkof any city of Europe or Asia, situated as this is,twelve hundred miles from the sea, which can be namedas its future equal.

It was now the 27th of July, and the river, whichhad been swollen by the Missouri flood, was rapidlyfalling, and almost diminished to its summer minimum.It left a heavy deposit of mud on its immediate shores,which, as it dried in the sun, cracked into fragments,which were often a foot thick. These cakes ofdried sediment consisted chiefly of sand and sufficientaluminous matter to render the whole body of the depositadhesive.

I was kindly received by R. Pettibone, Esq., a townsmanfrom New York, from whom I had parted at Pittsburgh.This gentleman had established himself in businesswith Col. Eastman, and as soon as he heard ofmy arrival, invited me to his house, where I remaineduntil I was ready to proceed to the mines. Iexamined whatever seemed worth notice in the townand its environs. I then descended the Mississippiin a skiff about thirty miles to Herculaneum, andthe next day set out, on foot, at an early hour, forthe mines. I had an idea that every effectivelabor should be commenced right, and, as I purposedexamining the mineralogy and geology of the mine tract,I did not think that could be more thoroughly accomplishedthan on foot. I ordered my baggage to follow meby the earliest returning lead teams. True itwas sultry, and much of the first part of the way,I was informed, was very thinly settled. I wentthe first day, sixteen miles, and reached the headof Joachim Creek. In this distance, I did not,after quitting the environs of the town, pass a house.The country lay in its primitive state. For thepurpose of obtaining a good road, an elevated aridridge had been pursued much of the way. In crossingthis, I suffered severely from heat and thirst, andthe only place where I saw water was in a rut, whichI frightened a wild turkey from partaking of, in orderto stoop down to it myself. As soon as I reachedthe farm house, where I stopped at an early hour,I went down to the creek, and bathed in its refreshingcurrent. This, with a night’s repose, perfectlyrestored me. The next day I crossed Grand River,and went to the vicinity of Old mines, when a suddenstorm compelled me to take shelter at the first house,where I passed my second night. In this distanceI visited the mining station of John Smith T. at hisplace of Shibboleth. Smith was a bold and indomitableman, originally from Tennessee, who possessed a markedindividuality of character, and being a great shotwith pistol and rifle, had put the country in dreadof him.

After crossing Big or Grand River, I was fairly withinthe mine country, and new objects began to attractmy attention on every hand. The third day, atan early hour, I reached Potosi, and took up my residenceat Mr. W. Ficklin’s, a most worthy and estimableKentuckian, who had a fund of adventurous lore offorest life to tell, having, in early life, been aspy and a hunter “on the dark and bloody ground.”With him I was soon at home, and to him I owe muchof my early knowledge of wood-craft. The dayafter my arrival was the general election of the (then)Territory of Missouri, and the district elected Mr.Stephen F. Austin to the local legislature. Iwas introduced to him, and also to the leading gentlemenof the county, on the day of the election, which broughtthem together. Mr. Austin, the elder, also arrived.This gathering was a propitious circ*mstance for myexplorations; no mineralogist had ever visited thecountry. Coming from the quarter I did, and withthe object I had, there was a general interest excitedon the subject, and each one appeared to feel a desireto show me attentions.

Mr. Stephen F. Austin invited me to take rooms atthe old Austin mansion; he requested me to make oneof them a depot for my mineralogical collections,and he rode out with me to examine several mines.

He was a gentleman of an acute and cultivated mind,and great suavity of manners. He appreciatedthe object of my visit, and saw at once the advantagesthat might result from the publication of a work onthe subject. For Missouri, like the other portionsof the Mississippi Valley, had come out of the LateWar with exhaustion. The effects of a peace wereto lower her staples, lead, and furs, and she alsoseverely felt the reaction of the paper money system,which had created extensive derangement and depression.He possessed a cautious, penetrating mind, and wasa man of elevated views. He had looked deeplyinto the problem of western settlement, and the progressof American arts, education, and modes of thinkingand action over the whole western world, and was thenmeditating a movement on the Red River of Arkansas,and eventually Texas. He foresaw the extensionin the Mississippi Valley of the American system ofcivilization, to the modification and exclusion ofthe old Spanish and French elements.

Mr. Austin accompanied me in several of my explorations.On one of these excursions, while stopping at a planter’swho owned a mill, I saw several large masses of sienite,lying on the ground; and on inquiry where this materialcould come from, in the midst of a limestone country,was informed that it was brought from the waters ofthe St. Francis, to serve the purpose of millstones.This furnished the hint for a visit to that stream,which resulted in the discovery of the primitive tract,embracing the sources of the St. Francis and Big Rivers.

I found rising of forty principal mines scatteredover a district of some twenty miles, running parallelto, and about thirty miles west of, the banks of theMississippi. I spent about three months in theseexaminations, and as auxiliary means thereto, builta chemical furnace, for assays, in Mr. Austin’sold smelting-house, and collected specimens of thevarious minerals of the country. Some of my excursionswere made on foot, some on horseback, and some ina single wagon. I unwittingly killed a horsein these trips, in swimming a river, when the animalwas over-heated; at least he was found dead next morningin the stable.

In the month of October I resolved to push my examinationswest beyond the line of settlement, and to extendthem into the Ozark Mountains. By this term ismeant a wide range of hill country running from thehead of the Merrimack southerly through Missouri andArkansas. In this enterprise several personsagreed to unite. I went to St. Louis, and interesteda brother of my friend Pettibone in the plan.I found my old fellow-voyager, Brigham, on the Americanbottom in Illinois, where he had cultivated some largefields of corn, and where he had contracted fever

and ague. He agreed, however, to go, and reachedthe point of rendezvous, at Potosi; but he had beenso enfeebled as to be obliged to return from thatpoint. The brother of Pettibone arrived.He had no tastes for natural history, but it was aseason of leisure, and he was prone for the adventure.But the experienced woodsmen who had agreed to go,and who had talked largely of encountering bears andOsage Indians, and slaughtering buffalo, one by onegave out. I was resolved myself to proceed, whoevermight flinch. I had purchased a horse, constructeda pack saddle with my own hands, and made every preparationthat was deemed necessary. On the 6th of NovemberI set out. Mr. Ficklin, my good host, accompaniedme to the outskirts of the settlement. He wasan old woodsman, and gave me proper directions abouthobbling my horse at night, and imparted other precautionsnecessary to secure a man’s life against wildanimals and savages. My St. Louis auxiliary stoodstoutly by me. If he had not much poetry in hiscomposition, he was a reliable man in all weathers,and might be counted upon to do his part willingly.

This journey had, on reflection, much daring and adventure.It constitutes my initial point of travels; but, asI have described it from my journal, in a separateform, it will not be necessary here to do more thansay that it was successfully accomplished. Afterspending the fall of 1818, and the winter of 1819,in a series of adventures in barren, wild, and mountainousscenes, we came out on the tributary waters of theArkansas, down which we descended in a log canoe.On the Strawberry River, my ankle, which I had injuredby leaping from a wall of rock while hunting in theGreen Mountains four years before, inflamed, and causedme to lie by a few days; which was the only injuryI received in the route.

I returned to Potosi in February. The first manI met (Major Hawking), on reaching the outer settlements,expressed surprise at seeing me, as he had heard fromthe hunters, who had been on my trail about eightymiles to the Saltpetre caves on the Currents River,that I had been killed by the Indians. Everyone was pleased to see me, and no one more so thanmy kind Kentucky host, who had been the last to bidme adieu on the verge of the wilderness.


Sit down to write an account of the mines—­Medicalproperties of the Mississippi water—­Expeditionto the Yellow Stone—­Resolve to visit Washingtonwith a plan of managing the mines—­Descendthe river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans—­Incidentsof the trip—­Take passage in a ship forNew York—­Reception with my collection there—­Publishmy memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington—­Resultof my plan—­ Appointed geologist and mineralogiston an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.

1819. I now sat down to draw up a descriptionof the mine country and its various mineral resources.Having finished my expedition to the south, I felta strong desire to extend my observations up the Mississippito St. Anthony’s Falls, and into the copper-bearingregions of that latitude. Immediately I wroteto the Hon. J.B. Thomas, of Illinois, the onlygentleman I knew at Washington, on the subject, givinghim a brief description of my expedition into the Ozarks.I did not know that another movement, in a far distantregion, was then on foot for exploring the same latitudes,with which it was my fortune eventually to be connected.I allude to the expedition from Detroit in 1820, underGeneral Cass.

I had, at this time, personally visited every mineor digging of consequence in the Missouri country,and had traced its geological relations into Arkansas.I was engaged on this paper assiduously. Whenit was finished, I read it to persons well acquaintedwith the region, and sought opportunities of personalcriticism upon it.

The months of February and March had now glided away.Too close a confinement to my room, however, affectedmy health. The great change of life from campingout, and the rough scenes of the forest, could notfail to disturb the functional secretions. Anobstruction of the liver developed itself in a decidedcase of jaundice. After the usual remedies, Imade a journey from Potosi to the Mississippi River,for the purpose of ascending that stream on a barge,in order that I might be compelled to drink its turbid,but healthy waters, and partake again of somethinglike field fare. The experiment succeeded.

The trip had the desired effect, and I returned ina short time from St. Louis to Mine au Breton in completelyrestored health.

At Herculaneum, I was introduced to Major StephenH. Long, of the United States Topographical Engineers,who was now on his way, in the small steamer WesternPioneer, up the Missouri to the Yellow Stone.I went on board the boat and was also introduced toMr. Say, the entomologist and conchologist, Mr. Jessupthe geologist, and other gentlemen composing the scientificcorps.

This expedition was the first evidence to my mindof the United States Government turning attention,in connection with practical objects, to matters ofscience, and the effort was due, I understand, to theenlightened mind of Mr. Calhoun, then Secretary ofWar.

It occurred tome, after my return to Potosi, thatthe subject of the mines which I had been inquiringabout, so far as relates to their management as apart of the public domain, was one that belonged properlyto the United States Government; Missouri was but aterritory having only inchoate rights. The wholemineral domain was held, in fee, by the General Government,and whatever irregularity had been seen about thecollections of rents, &c., constituted a question whichCongress could only solve. I determined to visitWashington, and lay the subject before the President.As soon as I had made this determination, everythingbowed to this idea. I made a rapid visit, on horseback,to St. Louis, with my manuscript, to consult a friend,who entirely concurred in this view. If the mineswere ever to be put on a proper basis, and the publicto derive a benefit from them, the government mustdo it.

As soon as I returned to Potosi, I packed my collectionof mineralogy, &c. I ordered the boxes by thelead teams to St. Genevieve. I went to the samepoint myself, and, taking passage in the new steamer“St. Louis,” descended the Mississippito New Orleans. The trip occupied some days.I repassed the junction of the Ohio with deep interest.It is not only the importance of geographical eventsthat impresses us. The nature of the phenomenais often of the highest moral moment.

An interesting incident occurred as soon as I goton board the steamer. The captain handed me aletter. I opened it, and found it to containmoney from the secretary of a secret society.I was surprised at such an occurrence, but I confessnot displeased. I had kept my pecuniary affairsto myself. My wardrobe and baggage were such aseverywhere to make a respectable appearance.If I economized in travel and outlay, I possessedthe dignity of keeping my own secret. One night,as I lay sleepless in a dark but double-bedded room,an old gentleman—­a disbanded officer, Ithink, whose health disturbed his repose—­begana conversation of a peculiar kind, and asked me whetherI was not a Freemason. Darkness, and the distanceI was from him, induced a studiedly cautious reply.But a denouement the next day followed. Thisincident was the only explanation the unwonted andwholly unexpected remittance admitted. A stranger,traveling to a southern and sickly city to embarkfor a distant State, perhaps never to return—­theact appeared to me one of pure benevolence, and itreveals a trait which should wipe away many an errorof judgment or feeling.

The voyage down this stream was an exciting one, andreplete with novel scenes and incidents. Theportion of the river above the mouth of the Ohio,which it had taken me twenty days to ascend in a barge,we were not forty-eight hours in descending.Trees, points of land, islands, every physical objecton shore, we rushed by with a velocity that left butvague and indistinct impressions. We seemed floating,as it were, on the waters of chaos, where mud, trees,boats, were carried along swiftly by the current,without any additional impulse of a steam-engine,puffing itself off at every stroke of the piston.The whole voyage to New Orleans had some analogy tothe recollection of a gay dream, in which objectswere recollected as a long line of loosely-connectedpanoramic fragments.

At New Orleans, where I remained several days, I tookpassage in the brig Arethusa, Captain H. Leslie, forNew York.

While at anchor at the Balize, we were one night underapprehensions from pirates, but the night passed awaywithout any attack. The mud and alluvial driftof the Mississippi extend many leagues into the gulf.It was evident that the whole delta had been formedby the deposits made in the course of ages. Buriedtrees, and other forms of organic life, which havebeen disinterred from the banks of the river, as high,

not only as New Orleans and Natchez, but to the mouthof the Ohio, show this. It must be evident toevery one who takes the trouble to examine the phenomena,that an arm of the gulf anciently extended to thispoint; and that the Ohio, the Arkansas, Red River,and other tributaries of the present day, as wellas the main Mississippi, had at that epoch enteredthis ancient arm of the gulf. I landed at thelight-house at the Balize. We had to walk onplanks supported by stakes in the water. A seaof waving grass rose above the liquid plain, and extendedas far as the eye could reach. About twelve orfourteen inches depth of water spread over the land.A light-house of brick or stone, formerly built onthis mud plain, east of the main pass, had partiallysunk, and hung in a diagonal line to the horizon,reminding the spectator of the insecurity of all solidstructures on such a nascent basis. The presentlight-house was of wood. It was evident, however,that here were deposited millions of acres of therichest alluvion on the globe, and in future timesanother Holland may be expected to be rescued fromthe dominions of the ocean. As we passed outinto the gulf, another evidence of the danger of thechannel met our view, in the wreck of a stranded vessel.The vast stain of mud and alluvial filth extendedfor leagues into the gulf. As the vessel beganto take the rise and swell of the sea, I traversedthe deck diligently, and, by dint of perseverancein keeping the deck, escaped sea-sickness. Ihad never been at sea before. When the land hadvanished at all points, and there was nothing in sightbut deep blue water around us and a sky above, thescene was truly sublime; there was a mental reaction,impressing a lesson of the insignificance of man, whichI had never before felt.

We passed the Gulf of Florida, heaving in sight onone side, as we passed, of the Tortugas, and, on theother, of the Mora Castle of Havana, after which therewas little to be noticed, but changes in the GulfStream, fishes, sea-birds, ships, and the constantmutations from tempests to the deep blue waters ofa calm, till we hove in sight of the Neversinks, andentered the noble bay of New York.

It was the third of August when I reached the city,having stayed out my quarantine faithfully on StatenIsland, the mineralogy and geological structure ofwhich I completely explored during that period of municipalregimen—­for it was the season of yellowfever, and there was a rigid quarantine. Dr.Dewitt, the health officer, who had known my father,received me very kindly, and my time wore off imperceptibly,while I footed its serpentine vales and magnesianplains.

On reaching the city, I fixed my lodgings at a pointon the banks of the Hudson, or rather at its pointof confluence with the noble bay (71 Courtland), whereI could overlook its islands and busy water craft,ever in motion.

I had now completed, by land and water, a circuitof the Union, having traveled some 6000 miles.My arrival was opportune. No traveler of moderntimes had thrown himself upon the success of his scientificobservations, and I was hailed, by the scientific public,as the first one who had ever brought a collectionof the mineral productions of the Mississippi Valley.My collection, which was large and splendid, was themeans of introducing me to men of science at New Yorkand elsewhere. Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell and Dr.D. Hosack, who were then in the zenith of their fame,cordially received me. The natural sciences werethen chiefly in the hands of physicians, and therewas scarcely a man of note in these departments ofinquiry who was not soon numbered among my acquaintances.Dr. John Torrey was then a young man, who had justpublished his first botanical work. Dr. A.W.Ives warmly interested himself in my behalf, and Ihad literary friends on every side. Among theseGov. De Witt Clinton was prominent.

I had fixed my lodgings where the Hudson River, andthe noble bay of New York and its islands, were infull view from my window. Here I opened my collection,and invited men of science to view it, I put to pressmy observations on the mines and physical geographyof the West. I also wrote a letter on its resources,which was published by the Corresponding Associationof Internal Improvements, The Lyceum of Natural History,and the Historical Society, each admitted me to membership.My work was published about the 25th of November.As soon as it was announced, I took copies of it,and proceeded to Washington, where I was favorablyreceived. I lost no time in calling on Mr. Monroe,and the Secretaries of War and of the Treasury.Mr. Monroe took up his commonplace-book, and madememorandums of my statements respecting the mines.Mr. Calhoun received me cordially, and said that thejurisdiction of the mines was not in his department.But he had received a memoir from General Cass, Governorof Michigan, proposing to explore the sources of theMississippi, through the Lakes, and suggesting thata naturalist, conversant with mineralogy, should accompanyhim, to inquire into the supposed value of the LakeSuperior copper mines. He tendered me the place,and stated the compensation. The latter was small,but the situation appeared to me to be one which wasnot to be overlooked. I accepted it. It seemedto be the bottom step in a ladder which I ought toclimb. Small events, it has been said, lead aman, and decide his course in life; and whether thisstep was important in mine, may be better judged of,perhaps, when these notes shall have been read.

In the mean time, while I accepted this place, thesubject of the management and superintendence of thewestern mines appeared to be fully appreciated byMr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, the latter of whom requesteda written statement on the subject; and it was heldfor further consideration.[6] I found during this,my first visit to the capital, that the intelligenceof my favorable reception at New York, and of my tourin the West, had preceded me. Friends appeared,of whom, at this distance of time, I may name theVice-President, D.D. Tompkins, Judge Smith Thompson,of the Supreme Court, Colonel Benton, Senator electfrom Missouri, Hon. John Scott, the delegate, Hon.Jesse B. Thomas, Senator from Illinois, John D. Dickinson,Esq., Representative from Troy, N.Y., Hon. JosiahMeigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office, Gen.Sol. Van Rensselaer, and Dr. Darlington, Rep.from Pennsylvania. To each of these, I have eversupposed myself to be under obligations for aidingme in my object of exploration, and I certainly wasfor civilities and attentions.

[Footnote 6: This effort became the cause ofthe government finally taking definite action on thesubject. Mr. Monroe presented it to the considerationof Congress in the fall, and a superintendent wassubsequently appointed.]

Mr. Calhoun addressed a letter to Governor Cass, ofMichigan, and I proceeded immediately to the North,to be ready to avail myself of the first opportunityof ascending the lakes to the place of departure.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west—­Remaina few weeks at New York—­Visit Niagara Falls,and reach Detroit in the first steamer—­Preparationsfor a new style of traveling—­Correspondents—­Generalsketch of the route pursued by the expedition, andits results—­Return to Albany, and publishmy narrative—­Journal of it—­Preparationfor a scientific account of the observations.

1820. I left Washington on the 5th of February,exactly one year from my return to Potosi from theOzarks; proceeded to New York, where I remained tillearly in March; traveled by sleigh over the Highlands,was at Niagara Falls on the 1st of May, and reachedDetroit in the steamer “Walk-in-the-water”on the 8th of May. Captain D.B. Douglass,of West Point Academy, was appointed topographer,and joined me at Buffalo. We proceeded up LakeErie in company, and were received in a most cordialmanner by General Cass and the citizens generally ofthat yet remote and gay military post.

Arrangements were not completed for immediate embarkation.We were to travel in the novel Indian bark canoe.Many little adaptations were necessary, and whilethese things were being done we spent a couple ofweeks very agreeably, in partaking of the hospitalitiesof the place. My correspondence now began toaccumulate, and I took this occasion of a little pauseto attend to it. The publication of my work on

the mines had had the effect to awaken attention tothe varied resources of the Mississippi Valley, andthe subject of geographical and geological explorations.It also brought me a class of correspondents who aresimply anxious for practical information, and alwaysset about getting it in the most direct way, whetherthey are personal or introduced acquaintances or not.I determined at once to reply to these, wherever theyappeared to be honest inquiries for geographical facts,which I only, and not books, could communicate.

Mr. Robert Bright, of Charleston, S.C., an Englishemigrant, having got a copy of my work, wrote (Jan.11) as to the business prospects of St. Louis, intendingapparently to go thither. Not knowing my correspondent,but, on a moment’s reflection, believing thecommunication of such information would not make mepoorer and might be important to him, by helping himon in his fortunes in the world, I wrote to him, givingthe desired information, assigning to that spot, inmy estimation, a highly important central influenceon the business and affairs of the Mississippi Valley.

The Hon. John Scott, delegate in Congress, from Missouri,speaking of the work on the mineralogy, &c., of thatterritory, says, “Those sources of individualand national wealth, which I have no doubt you havewell developed, have been too long neglected, andI trust that your well-directed efforts to bring themto notice will be amply rewarded, not only in theemoluments derived from the work, but what is stillmore gratifying to the author, and the enlightenedand patriotic statesman, in seeing this portion ofour resources brought into full operation.”

Mr. Robert C. Bruffey, of Missouri, writes (March14th), giving a sketch of a recent tour into the southernpart of Arkansas:—­

Health of Southern Climates.—­WhenI returned from the Arkansas, which was not till the6th of October, with some few others, I brought aparticular ‘specimen’ of the country, namely,the ague and fever, which I endured for two months,and until the commencement of cold weather.

“I continued but three weeks at the Springs(Hot Springs of Wachita); could I have spent the wholesummer in the use of the water, no doubt I shouldhave been much benefited, if not entirely relievedfrom my irksome complaint. I saw your friendStephen P. Austin, at the Springs, just recoveredfrom a dangerous sickness, namely, fever and vomitingblood. He inquired after you particularly.

A New Field for Exploration.—­WhenI was in the lower country, I was sorry you had nottime to visit that interesting section of countryprevious to the publication of your work (which, Iunderstand, has been received and appreciated withavidity); for I assure you, as relates to scientificresearches, you would have collected materials thatwould have come within its purview, and repaid youliberally for your labor, and the specimens addedrichly to your collection.

“I will now give you a description, so far asmy feeble abilities will admit, of the things whichI think worthy the attention of a devotee of science.In the first place, the springs are worthy of notice,in a natural as well as medical point of view.They contain in their different issues all the differenttemperatures, from boiling, down to a pleasure bath.They contain a combining principle, or the qualityof petrifying and uniting various substances thatmay come in contact with them, such as flint, earth,stone, iron, &c. The bluff from which they flowout is principally of an apparent calcareous substance,formed by the water. In some of the springs ared, in others a green and yellow, sediment is produced.The waters will remove rheumatism, purge out mercury,and produce salivation, in those who have it in theirsystem previously; cure old sores and consumptions,in their early stages; cure dropsies, palsies, &c.,if taken in time.

“The next curiosity is the loadstone, a specimenof which I have with me; you can examine it when youvisit this country. The next rock crystal, ofwhich I have two specimens.[7] The fourth is alum,of which I procured a small quantity, as I did notvisit the cave where it is to be obtained. Thefifth is oil and whetstone, of which there is a greatabundance in that quarter. The sixth is asbestus.In a word, the subjects are worthy the attention ofthose who wish to be instrumental in enlarging ordeveloping that branch of science.”

[Footnote 7: Now in my cabinet.]

Mr. William Ficklin, one of the pioneers of Kentucky,but now a resident of Missouri, writes: “Iam pleased to hear of your appointment, and wish Icould be with you on the route, as you will visit asection of the country but little known to our government.I must advise you to be on your guard against theIndians, the best of whom will murder a man for atrifle, if they can meet him alone, or off his guard.

“A Mr. Nabb, a few months ago, brought me somewhite metal, which, he says, he smelted in a commonforge—­it was as bright as silver, but toohard to bear the hammer. I think it must be zinc.”

March 18th.—­Mr. Amos Eaton writesfrom Troy: “A second edition of my Indexto Geology is in the press—­about thirty-sixpages struck off. I have written the whole overanew, and extended it to about two hundred and fiftypages 12mo. I have taken great pains to collectfacts, in this district, during the two years sincemy first edition was published. But I am ratherdeficient in my knowledge of secondary and alluvialformations; I wish to trouble you with a few inquiriesupon that subject.

“From what knowledge I have been able to obtainin that department, I am inclined to arrange the secondaryclass thus:—­

“Breccia: compact, or shell limestone;gypsum, secondary sandstone.

“I leave much, also, for peculiar local formations.

“A gentleman presented specimens to the TroyLyceum, from Illinois, of gypsum and secondary sandstone,and informed me that the latter overlaid the formerin regular structure. Myron Holly, and others,have given me similar specimens, which they representas being similarly situated, from several localitiesin the western part of this State. This secondarysandstone is sometimes more or less calcareous.I believe it is used for a cement by the Canal Company,which hardens under water. Will you do me thefavor to settle this question?

“On your way to Detroit, you may perhaps, withoutmaterial inconvenience, collect facts of importanceto me, in relation to secondary and alluvial formations.Anything transmitted to me by the middle of Aprilon these subjects will be in season, because I shallnot have printed all the transition part before thattime.

“Have you any knowledge of the strata constitutingRocky Mountains? Is it primitive, or is it graywackelike Catskill Mountains? I have said, in a note,that, after you and Dr. E. James set foot upon it,we shall no longer be ignorant of it.

“I intend to kindle a blaze of geological zealbefore you return. I have adapted the style ofmy index to the capacities of ladies, plough-joggers,and mechanics.”

March 28th.—­While here, I receiveda notice of my election as a member of the Academyof Natural Sciences at Philadelphia.

April 28th.—­James T. Johnston, Esq.,of N.Y., writes on the interesting character of themineralogy of the interior of Georgia.

The spirit of inquiry denoted by these letters givesbut a faint idea of the interest which was now awakenedin the public mind, on the exploration of the west,and it would require a reference to the public printsof the day to denote this. If the delay had servedno other purpose, it had brought us into a familiaracquaintance with our commander, who was frank andstraightforward in his manners, and fully disposed,not only to say, but to do everything to facilitatethe object. He put no veto on any request ofthis kind, holding the smiths and mechanics of thegovernment amenable to comply with any order.He was not a man, indeed, who dealt in hems and haws—­didnot require to sleep upon a simple question—­andis not a person whose course is to be stopped, asmany little big men are, by two straws crossed.

At length the canoes, which were our principal causeof delay, arrived from Lake Huron, where they wereconstructed, and all things were ready for our embarkation.It was the 24th of May when we set out. A smalldetachment of infantry had been ordered to form a partof the expedition, under Lieutenant Aeneas Mackay.Eight or ten Chippewa and Ottowa Indians were takenin a separate canoe, as hunters, and gave picturesquenessto the brigade by their costume. There were tenCanadian voyagers of the north-west stamp. ProfessorDouglass and myself were the only persons to whomseparate classes of scientific duties were assigned.A secretary and some assistants made the governor’smess consist of nine persons. Altogether, wenumbered, including guides and interpreters, aboutforty persons; a truly formidable number of mouthsto feed in the “waste howling wilderness.”

Having kept and published a journal of the daily incidentsof the expedition, I refer to it for details.[8] Toplunge into the wilderness is truly to take one’slife in his hand. But nobody thought of this.The enterprise was of a kind to produce exhilaration.The route lay up the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers,and around the southern shores of Lakes Huron andSuperior to Fond du Lac. Thence up the St. LouisRiver in its rugged passage through the Cabotian Mountainsto the Savannah summit which divides the great lakesfrom the Mississippi Valley. The latter was enteredthrough the Comtaguma or Sandy Lake River.From this point the source of the Mississippi wassought up rapids and falls, and through lakes andsavannahs, in which the channel winds. We passedthe inlet of the Leech Lake, which was fixed uponby Lieutenant Pike as its probable source, and tracedit through Little Lake Winnipeg to the inlet of TurtleLake in upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake, in north lat.47 deg.. On reaching this point, the waters werefound unfavorable to proceeding higher. The riverwas then descended to the falls of St. Anthony, St.Peters, and Prairie du Chien. From the latterpoint we ascended the Wisconsin to the portage intoFox River, and descended the latter to Green Bay.At this point, the expedition was divided, a part goingnorth, in order to trace the shores to Michilimackinack,and part steering south, by the shores of Lake Michiganto Chicago. At the latter place, another divisionwas made, Governor Cass and suite proceeding on horseback,across the peninsula of Michigan, and Captain Douglassand myself completing the survey of the eastern coastof Michigan, and rejoining the party detached to strikeMichilimackinack. The Huron shores were coastedto the head of the River St. Clair and Detroit.

[Footnote 8: A Narrative Journal of Travels throughthe American Lakes to the Sources of the MississippiRiver. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 419: Albany, 1821.]

About four thousand miles were traversed. Ofthis distance the topography was accurately tracedby Captain Douglass and his assistant, Mr. Trowbridge.This officer also took observations for the latitudeat every practical point, and collected with muchlabor the materials for a new and enlarged map.Its geology and mineralogy were the subjects of adetailed report made by me to the War Department in1822. Of the copper deposits on Lake Superior,a detailed report was made to the same departmentin November 1820. The Indian tribes were the subjectof observation made by General Cass. Its botany,its fresh water conchology, and its zoology and ichthyology,received the attention that a rapid transit permitted.Its soil, productions, and climate were the topicsof daily observation. In short, no explorationhad before been made which so completely revealedthe features and physical geography of so large aportion of the public domain. And the literaryand scientific public waited with an intense desirefor the result of these observations in every department.

The first letter I received on my return route fromthat eventful tour, was at the post of Green Bay,where a letter from J.T. Johnston, Esq., of NewYork, awaited me: “Since you departed,”he observes, “nothing of importance has occurred,either in the moral or political world. The disturbanceswhich disgrace the kingdom of Great Britain are, andstill continue to be, favored by a few factionists.Thistlewood, and the members of the Cato Street conspiracy,have been tried for high treason, and condemned, andI presume the next arrivals must bring us an accountof their execution. The Cortes has been establishedin Spain, and there floats a rumor that the Saint,the adored Ferdinand, has fled to France. Thepublic debates in France seem to me to thunder forth,as the precursor of some event which will yet violentlyagitate the country. (Napoleon was now in St.Helena.) The stormy wave of discord has not subsided.The temple of ambition is not overthrown, and partyspirit will rush to inhabit it. The convulsivestruggle for independence in the South (America) stillcontinues, but civil war appears about to interruptit* progress. At home all is quiet. A virtuouschief magistrate and a wise administration must benefita people so PRONE TO DOMESTIC FACTION.”

This gave me the first glimpse of home and its actualities,and the letter was refreshing for the sympathies itexpresses, after long months of tugging over portages,and looking about to arrange in the mind stratifications,to gather specimens of minerals, and fresh water shells,and watch the strange antics which have been cut overthe whole face of the north-west by the Boulder Groupof Rocks.

Sept. 6. Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writesfrom Michilimackinack: “I forward the specimenscollected by Mr. Doty and myself, on the tour (fromGreen Bay, on the north shore, to Michilimackinack).The most interesting will probably be the organicremains. They were collected in Little NoquetBay, on the N.E. side, where ridges of limestone showthemselves frequently. Near the top of the packageyou find a piece of limestone weighing about two pounds,of which the upper stratum was composed; there aretwo pieces of the lower stratum, resembling blue pipestone.The middle stratum was composed of these remains.About ten miles N.E. of Great Bay de Noquet, we foundflint, or hornstone, in small quantities in the limestonerocks. There is also a specimen of the marble,which we saw little of; but since our arrival I aminformed that a large bluff, composed of the same,is seen 30 to 40 miles from this. The gypsumI picked up on St. Martin’s Islands.”

On reaching Detroit, Gov. Cass invited Capt.Douglass and myself to recruit ourselves a few daysat his “old mansion of the ancient era.”I examined and put in order my collection of specimens,selecting such as were designed for various institutions.A local association of persons inclined to fosterliterary efforts, under the name of “DetroitLyceum,” elected me a member. The intrepidand energetic officer who had planned and executedthis scheme of western exploration gave me a copy ofhis official letter to the Secretary of War, warmlyapprobating the conduct of Capt. Douglass andmyself, as members of the expedition. All itsresults were attended with circ*mstances of high personalgratification.

I left Detroit on the 13th of October at 4 o’clockP.M., in the steamer “Walk-in-the-Water,”the first boat built on the Lake waters, and reachedBlack Rock at 7 o’clock in the morning of the17th, being a stormy passage, in a weak but elegantboat, of eighty-seven hours. Glad to set my footon dry land once more, I hurried on by stage and canal,and reached Oneida Creek Depot on the 21st at 4 o’clockin the morning, stopped for breakfast there, and thenproceeded on foot, through the forest, by a very muddypath, to Oneida Castle, a distance of three miles—­mytrunk being carried by a man on horseback. ThenceI took a conveyance for Mr. W.H. Shearman’s,at Vernon, where I arrived at ten o’clock A.M.

Capt. Douglass, who had preceded me, wrote fromWest Point Military Academy, on the 27th, that inthe sudden change of habits he had been affected witha dreadful influenza. My own health continuedto be unimpaired, and my spirits were buoyant.After a few days’ rest, I wrote a report (Nov.6th) to the Secretary of War on the metalliferouscharacter of the Lake Superior country, particularlyin relation to its reported wealth in copper.I proceeded to Albany on the 7th of December, andarrived the day following, and was cordially greetedby all my friends and acquaintances. It was myintention to have gone immediately to New York, butthe urgent entreaties of Mr. Carter and others inducedme to defer it. Very little had been said by themembers of the party about a publication. Welooked to Capt. Douglass, who was the topographerand a professor at West Point, to take the lead inthe matter. The death of Mr. Ellicott, Professorof Mathematics at that institution, who was his father-in-law,and his appointment to the vacant chair, from thatof engineering, placed him in a very delicate andarduous situation. He has never received creditfor the noble manner in which he met this crisis.He was not only almost immediately required to teachhis class the differential calculus, but the Frenchcopy—­a language with which he was not familiar—­wasthe only one employed. He was therefore not onlyobliged to study a comparatively new science, butto do it in a new language; and when the course began,he had to instruct his class daily in tasks whichhe committed nightly. Most men would have sunkunder the task, but he went triumphantly through it,and I have never heard that the students or othersever had cause to suspect his information or questionhis abilities. He wrote to me, and perhaps tome only, on this subject.

There was something like a public clamor for the resultsof the expedition, and the narrative was hurried intopress. A new zeal was awakened upon the subjectof mineralogy and geology. A friend wrote tome on the mineral affluence of upper Georgia.Several letters from the western district of the State,transmitting specimens, were received. “Theunexampled success of your expedition,” observesone of these correspondents, “in all respectsis a subject of high congratulation, not only forthose of whom it was composed, but also to a greatportion of the people of the United States, and tothis State in particular, as we are the grand linkthat unites that vast region to our Atlantic border.”[9] These feelings appear in letters from near andfar. Captain Douglass was aware of this interest,and anxious, amidst his arduous duties, to get thenecessary time to arrange his notes and materials.He wrote to me (December 25) to furnish ProfessorSilliman some sketches for the American Journalof Science. On the topic of topography hesays:—­

[Footnote 9: W.S.D.Z., 9th Dec. 1820.]

“With regard to our daily occurrences, oughtnot something to be done? I intended to havehad a conversation with Governor Cass and yourselfon the subject before I parted from you, but it escapedme, and I have since written about it.

“I should be glad to receive your delineationof the Mississippi below Prairie du Chien, and yourlevels through the Fox and Wisconsin (I believe inthese we agree pretty nearly) would enable me to consolidatemine.

“While I think of it, let me tell you I havemade some calculations about the height of the PorcupineMountains. My data are the distance at whichthey were seen from Kewewena portage, under the influenceof great refraction, and the distance on the followingday without unusual refraction, and I am convincedthey cannot be less than 2000 feet high; if, however,this staggers you, say 1800, and I am confident youare within the real elevation.

“Estimates of heights, breadths of rivers, &c.,and, in looking over your journal, any other topographicalfacts which you may have to dispose of, will be veryacceptable to me. Will you be able to spare me(that is, to let me copy) any of your drawings?You know, I believe, my views in asking are to embellishmy map and memoir with landscape views in a lightstyle.”


Reception by the country on my return—­Reasonsfor publishing my narrative without my reports fora digested scientific account of the expedition—­Delaysinterposed to this—­Correspondents—­Localityof strontian—­Letter from Dr. Mitchell—­Reporton the copper mines of Lake Superior—­Theoreticalgeology—­Indian symbols—­Scientificsubjects—­Complete the publication of mywork—­Its reception by the press and thepublic—­Effects on my mind—­Receivethe appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commissionat Chicago—­Result of the expedition, asshown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.

1821. Governor Clinton offered me the use ofhis library while preparing my journal for the press.Mr. Henry Inman, who was then beginning to paint,re-drew some of the views. One of the leadingbooksellers made me favorable proposals, which I agreedearly in January to accept. I began to transcribemy journal on the 8th of the month, and very assiduouslydevoted myself to that object, sending off the sheetshurriedly as they were written. The engravingswere immediately put in hands. In this way, thework went rapidly on; and I kept up, at the same time,an industrious correspondence with scientific menin various places.

It was at this time an object of moment, doubtless,that the results of this expedition should have beencombined in an elaborate and joint work by the scientificgentlemen of the party. The topography and astronomyhad been most carefully attended to by Captain Douglass,and the materials collected for an improved map.Its geology and mineralogy had formed the topic ofmy daily notes. Its aboriginal population hadbeen seen under circ*mstances rarely enjoyed.Its fresh water conchology had been carefully observedby Douglass and myself, and fine collections made.Something had been done respecting its botany, andthe whole chain of events was ready to be linked togetherin a striking manner.

But there was no one to take the initiative.Governor Cass, who had led the expedition, did notthink of writing. Professor Douglass, who wasmy senior, and who occupied the post of topographer,by no means underrated the subject, but deferred it,and, by accepting the Professorship of Mathematicsat West Point, assumed a duty which made it literallyimpossible, though he did not see it immediately, thathe should do justice to his own notes. I simplywent forward because no one of the members of theexpedition offered to. I had kept a journal fromthe first to the last day, which I believe no oneelse had. I had been diligent in the morningand evening in observing every line of coast and river.I never allowed the sun to catch me asleep in my canoeor boat. I had kept the domestic, as well asthe more grave and important events. I was importunedto give them to the public. I had written to Douglassabout it, but he was dilatory in answering me, andwhen at last he did, and approved my suggestion fora joint work in which our observations should be digested,it was too late, so far as my narrative went, to withdrawit from my publishers. But I pledged to him atonce my geological and mineralogical reports, andI promptly sent him my portfolio of sketches to embellishhis map. This is simply the history of the publicationof my narrative journal.

My position was, at this time, personally agreeable.My room was daily visited by literary and scientificmen. I was invited to the mansions of distinguishedmen, who spoke of my recent journey as one implyingenterprise. Nothing, surely, when I threw myselfinto the current of western emigration, in 1817, wasfarther from my thoughts than my being an instrumentalcause, to much extent, in stirring up and awakeninga zeal for scientific explorations and researches.The diurnal press, however, gave this tone to thething. The following is an extract:—­[10]

[Footnote 10: A New York Statesman, Jan. 1821.]

“During the last year, an expedition was authorizedby the National Government, which left Detroit sometime in the month of May, under the personal ordersof Governor Cass, of the Michigan Territory, providedwith the necessary means of making observations uponthe topography, natural history, and aborigines ofthe country. We have had an opportunity of conversingwith one of the gentlemen who accompanied GovernorCass in the expedition, Mr. H.R. Schoolcraft,who has recently returned to this city, bringing alarge collection of mineral and other substances,calculated to illustrate the natural history of theregions visited. We learn that the party passedthrough Lake Superior, and penetrated to the sourcesof the Mississippi, which have been, for the firsttime, satisfactorily ascertained. In returning,they passed down the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien,and thence came across to Green Bay, by means of theOuisconsin and Fox Rivers. Indian tribes werefound in every part of the country visited, by whomthey were generally well received, except at the SaultSt. Marie, where a hostile disposition was manifested.The country was found to present a great variety inits soil, climate, productions, and the characterof the savages, and the information collected mustprove highly interesting both to men of business andmen of science.

“It will be seen, by referring to an advertisem*ntin our paper of to-day, that Mr. Schoolcraft contemplatespublishing an account of the expedition, under theform of a personal narrative, embracing notices ofinteresting scenery, the Indian tribes, topographicaldiscoveries, the quadrupeds, mineral productions,and geology of the country, accompanied by an elegantmap and a number of picturesque views. From aninspection of the manuscript map and views, we arepersuaded that no analogous performances, of equalmerit, have ever been submitted to the hands of theengraver in this country. We have always beensurprised that, while we have had so many travelersthrough the Valley of the Ohio and Lower Mississippi,no one should have thought of filling up the chasmin our north-western geography. The field iscertainly a very ample one—­we cannot butfelicitate the public in having a person of the acknowledgedtalents, industry, and original views of Mr. S. tosupply the deficiency.”

At length Professor Douglass (Feb. 9th) respondedto my proposition to club our wits in a general work.“Your propositions relative to a joint publication,meet my views precisely, and of course I am inclinedto believe we may make an interesting ‘work.’In addition to the usual heads of topographical andgeographical knowledge, which I propose to treat of,in my memoir on that subject, I am promised by Dr.Torrey some of the valuable aid which it will be inhis power to render for the article ‘Botany,’and our collections should furnish the materials ofa description of the fresh water conchology.”His proposition was based on giving a complete accountof the animal and mineral constituents of the country,its hydrography and resources; the paper on the aboriginaltribes to be contributed by General Cass.

A difficulty is, however, denoted. “Myduties here,” he writes, “as they engrosseverything at present, will force me to delay a little,and I am in hopes, by so doing, to obtain some furtherdata. I enter, in a few days, on the dischargeof my professional duties, under considerable disadvantages,owing to the late introduction into our courses ofsome French works on the highest branches of mathematics,which it falls to my lot first to teach. BetweenFrench, therefore, and fluxions, and moreover, theFrench method of fluxions, which is somewhatpeculiar, I have had my hands pretty full. Ilook forward to a respite in April.”

The professor had, in fact, to teach his class ashe taught himself, and just kept ahead of them—­avery hard task.

In the mean time, while this plan of an enlarged publicationwas kept in view, I pushed my narrative forward.While it was going through the press, almost everymail brought me something of interest respecting theprogress of scientific discovery. A few itemsmay be noticed.

Discovery of Strontian on Lake Erie.—­Mr.William A. Bird, of Troy, of the Boundary Survey,writes (Jan. 22d):—­

“On our return down the lake, last fall, wewere becalmed near the islands in Lake Erie.I took a boat, and, accompanied by Major Delafield,Mr. A. Stevenson, and Mr. De Russey (who was to beour guide), went in search of the strontian to themain shore, where Mr. De Russey says it wasfound in the summer of 1819. After an unsuccessfulsearch of an hour, we gave it up, and determined toreturn to our vessel. On our way we stopped atMoss Island, when, immediately on landing, we foundthe mineral in question. I wandered a little fromthe others, and found the large bed of which I spoketo you. We there procured large quantities, andsome large crystals.

“This strontian was on the south side of MossIsland, in a horizontal vein of three feet in thickness,and from forty to fifty feet in length. I hadno means of judging its depth into the rock. Thebase of the island is wholly composed of limestone,in which shells scarcely, if ever, appear.”

Conchology—­Mineralized Fungus, &c.—­Dr.Samuel L. Mitchell, of New York, writes (Jan. 30th):“I was glad to receive your letter and the accompanyingarticles, by the hand of Colonel Gardiner; but I amsorry your business is such as to prevent your meditatedvisit to the city until spring.

“I had a solemn conference with Mr. Barnes,our distinguished conchologist, on the subject ofyour shells. We had Say’s publication onthe land and fresh water molluscas before us.We believed the univalves had been chiefly describedby him; one, or probably two of the species were notcontained in his memoir. It would gratify me verymuch to possess a complete collection of those molluscas.I gave Mr. Barnes, who is an indefatigable collector,such duplicates as I could spare.

“I showed your sandy fungus to my class at thecollege yesterday. Our medical school was neverso flourishing, there being nearly two hundred students.In the evening, I showed it to the lyceum. Allthe members regretted your determination to stay theresidue of the winter in Albany.

“The little tortoise is referred, with a newand singular bird, to a zoological committee for examination.The sulphate of strontian is elegant.

“I am forming a parcel for Professor Schreibers,curator of the Austrian emperor’s cabinet atVienna; the opportunity will be excellent to senda few.”

Report on the Copper of Lake Superior.—­ProfessorSilliman, in announcing a notice of my work on themines, for the next number of the Journal of Science,Feb. 5th, says: “I have written to the Secretaryof War, and he has given his consent to have your reportappear in the Journal of Science.”

Governor Cass, of Michigan (Feb. 20th), expresseshis thanks for a manuscript copy of the MS. report.“I trust,” he adds, “the report willbe published by the government. It would be noless useful and satisfactory to the public than honorableto yourself.” Geology of Western New York.—­Mr.Andrew McNabb, of Geneva (Feb. 26th), sends me twoseparate memoirs on the mineralogy and geology of thecountry, to be employed as materials in my contemplatedmemoir. The zeal and intelligence of this gentlemanhave led him to outstrip every observer who has enteredinto this field of local knowledge. Its importanceto the value of the lands, their mines, ores, resources,water power, and general character, has led him totake the most enlarged views of the subject.

“Pursue,” he says, “my dear sir,your career, for it is an honorable one. Theworld, bad as it is, has been much worse than now forauthors; and through the great reading public, thereare many generous souls, whose views are not confinedto sordidness and self. May all your laudableexertions be crowned with ample success—­withpleasure and profit to yourself and fellow-citizens!”

Boulder of Copper.—­A large specimenof native copper from Lake Superior, procured by me,forwarded to Mr. Calhoun, by General Stephen Van Rensselaer,representative in Congress, was cut up by his directions,and presented to the foreign ministers and gentlemenfrom abroad; and thus the resources of the countrymade known. In a letter of Feb. 27th, Mr. Calhounacknowledges the receipt of it.

Theoretical Geology.—­Mr. McNabb,in forwarding additional papers relative to westerngeology, observes: “Have you seen Greenough’sEssays on Geology? The reviewers speak of itas well as critics usually do on such occasions.President Greenough has given a shock to the ‘Werneriansystem;’ his battery is pretty powerful, buthe seems more intent on leveling than on building.The Wernerian system is very beautiful, ingenious,and plausible, and I would almost regret its demolition,unless it should be found to stand in the way of truth.

“Without some system or order in the investigationof nature’s works and nature’s laws, themind is puzzled and confounded, wandering, like Noah’sdove, over the face of the deep, without finding aresting-place. What a pity that human knowledgeand human powers are so limited!”

Indian Symbolic Figures.—­ProfessorDouglass (March 17th) writes, making some inquiriesabout certain symbolic figures on the Sioux bark letter,found above Sank River.

Expedition to the Yellow Stone.—­Ifancy those western expeditions intend to beat usall hollow, in tough yarn, as the sailors haveit; for it seems the Indian affair has got into theform of a newspaper controversy already: videAurora and National Gazette.

Mineralogy of Georgia.—­J. T.Johnston, Esq., of New York, writes (March 23d) thathe has made an arrangement for procuring minerals forme from this part of the Union.

Scientific Subjects.—­Mr. McNabbwrites (March 27th): “I deeply regret thatso little attention is bestowed by our legislatures(State and National) on objects of such importanceas those which engage your thoughts, while so muchtime, breath, and treasure are wasted on frivoloussubjects and party objects. How long must thepatriot and philanthropist sigh for the terminationof such driveling and delusion!”

After a labor at my table of about fourteen weeks,the manuscript was all delivered to my printers; andI returned to New York, and took up my abode in myold quarters at 71 Courtland. The work was broughtout on the 20th of May, making an octavo volume of419 pages, with six plates, a map, and engraved title-page.Marks of the haste with which it was run through thepress were manifest, and not a few typographical errors.Nobody was more sensible of this than myself, and ofthe value that more time and attention would haveimparted. But the public received it with avidity,and the whole edition was disposed of in a short time.Approbatory notices appeared in the principal papersand journals. The New York Columbian says:—­

“The author has before given the public a valuablework upon the Lead Mines of Missouri, and, if we mistakenot, a book of instructions upon the manufacture ofglass. He is advantageously known as a man ofscience and literary research, and well qualifiedto turn to beneficial account the mass of informationhe must have collected in his tour through that interestingpart of the country, which has attracted universalattention, though our knowledge of it has hithertobeen extremely limited. We think there is nofear that the just expectations of the public willbe disappointed; but that the book will be found tofurnish all the valuable and interesting informationthat the subject and acquirements of the writer promised,conveyed in a chaste and easy style appropriate forthe journalist—­occasionally enlivened byanimating descriptions of scenery. The author

has not suffered his imagination to run wild froma foolish vanity to win applause as a fine writer,when the great object should be to give the readera view of what he describes, as far as language willpermit, in the same light in which he beheld it himself.He aims to give you a just and true account of whathe has seen and heard, and his book will be referredto as a record of facts by the learned and scientificat home and abroad. It is a production honorableto the country, and, if we mistake not, will advanceher reputation in the opinion of the fastidious reviewersof Scotland and England, in spite of their deep-rootedprejudices.”

Mr. Walsh, of the National Gazette, deems ita valuable addition to this class of literature.

“Public attention,” he remarks, “wasmuch excited last year by the prospectus of the expedition,of which Mr. Schoolcraft formed a part as mineralogist,and whose journey he has now described. He remarks,in his introduction, with truth, that but little detailedinformation was before possessed of the extreme north-westernregion of the Union—­of the great chainof lakes—­and of the sources of the MississippiRiver, which continued to be a subject of disputebetween geographical writers. In the autumn of1819 Governor Cass, of Michigan Territory, projectedan expedition for exploring what was so imperfectlyknown, and yet so worthy of being industriously surveyed.

“The Secretary of War—­to whom Mr.Schoolcraft’s book is appropriately dedicated,with a just testimony to the liberal and enlightenedcharacter of his official administration—­notonly admitted the plan of Governor Cass, but furnishedhim with the means of carrying it into full effectby providing an escort of soldiers and directing thecommandants of the frontier garrisons to furnish everyaid, of whatever description, which the party mightrequire. To the Governor, as chief of the expedition,he associated several gentlemen qualified to accomplish*ts objects; which were—­a more correct knowledgeof the names, numbers, customs, history, mode of subsistence,and dispositions of the Indian tribes—­thecollection of materials for an accurate map of thecountry—­the investigation of the subjectof the north-western copper and lead mines, and gypsumquarries; and the acquisition, from the Indians, ofsuch tracts as might be necessary to secure the benefitof them to the United States.

“In the course of last March, we published aletter of Governor Cass to the Secretary of War, describingin a happy manner some of the scenes and occurrenceswhich fell within the observation or inquiry of theexpedition. Mr. Schoolcraft states, at the endof his introductory remarks, that he does not professto communicate all the topographical informationcollected, and that a special topographical reportand map may be expected, together with other reportsand the scientific observations of the expeditionin general. We anticipate, therefore, an ampleand valuable accession to our stock of knowledge respectingso important a portion of the American territory;and such evidence of the utility of enterprises ofthe kind, as will inspire every branch of the governmentwith a desire to see them repeated with equipmentsand facilities adapted to the most comprehensive research,and fitted to render them creditable in their fruitsto the national character abroad.

“The present narrative does not exhibit theauthor in his capacity of mineralogist alone.In this he appears indeed more distinctively, and toparticular advantage; but he writes also as a generaldescriber and relater, and has furnished lively andample accounts of the natural objects, and novel,magnificent scenery which he witnessed; and of thehistory, character, condition, and habits of the variousIndian bands whom he encountered in his route, orwho belong especially to our north-western territories.”

I was deeply sensible of the exalted feelings andenlarged sentiments with which these and other noticeswere written. The effect on my mind was a senseof literary humility, and a desire to prove myselfin any future attempts of the kind in some measureworthy of them. Literary candidates are not ever,perhaps, so much pleased or gratified by those whor*nder them exact justice, of which there is alwayssome notion, as by warm, liberal, or high-minded thoughtsand commendations, which are incentives to futurelabors.

May 22d.—­General Cass had, beforeleaving Detroit, offered me the situation of Secretaryto the Commissioners appointed to confer with theIndians at Chicago in the summer of 1821, with a view,primarily, to the interesting and circuitous journeywhich it was his intention to make, in order to reachthe place of meeting. This offer, as the timedrew on, he now put in the shape of a letter, whichI determined at once to accept, and made my arrangementsto leave the city without loss of time.

It was proposed to be at Detroit the 1st of July.The tour would lie through the valleys of the Miamiof the lakes, and the Wabash, which interlock at theFort Wayne summit; then across the Grand Prairie ofthe Illinois to St. Louis, and up the Illinois Riverfrom its mouth to its source. This would giveme a personal knowledge of three great valleys, whichI had not before explored, and connect my former southernexplorations in Arkansas and Missouri with those ofthe great lake basins and the upper Mississippi.I had been at the sources and the mouth of that greatriver, and I had now the opportunity to complete theknowledge of its central portions. It was withthe utmost avidity, therefore, that I turned my faceagain towards the West.

Mr. Calhoun, who was written to on the subject, concurredin this plan, and extended the time for the completionof my geological report.

Joint Work on the Scientific Results of the Expeditionof 1820.—­ General Cass, who had beenwritten to, thus expresses himself on this subject:—­

“Captain Douglass has informed me that you andhe meditate a joint work, which shall comprise thoseobjects, literary and scientific, which could notproperly find a place in a diurnal narrative.At what time is this work to appear, and what areits plan and objects? My observations and inquiriesrespecting the Indians will lead me much further thanI intended or expected. If I can prepare anythingupon that subject prior to the appearance of the work,I shall be happy to do it.”

Geological Survey of Dutchess County.—­Dr.Benjamin Allen, of Hyde Park, writes to me (June 4th)on this subject, urging me to undertake the survey;but the necessity of closing my engagements in theWest rendered it impossible.

Expedition of 1820.—­Dr. Mitchellfurnishes me opinions upon some of the scientificobjects collected by me and my associates in the north-westin 1820:—­

“The Squirrel sent by General Cass is a speciesnot heretofore described, and has been named by Dr.Mitchell the federation squirrel, or sciurustredecem striatus.

“The Pouched Rat, or mus bursarius, hasbeen seen but once in Europe. This was a specimensent to the British Museum from Canada, and describedby Dr. Shaw. But its existence is rather questionedby Charles Cuvier.

“Both animals have been described and the descriptionspublished in the 21st Vol. of the Medical Repositoryof New York, p. 248 et seq. The specimensare both preserved in my museum. Drawings havebeen executed by the distinguished artist Milbert,and forwarded by him at my request to the administratorsof the King’s Museum, at Paris, of which he isa corresponding member. My descriptions accompanythem. The originals are retained as too valuableto be sent out of the country.

“The Paddle Fish is the spatularia ofShaw and polyodon of Lacepede. It livesin the Mississippi only, and the skeleton, though incomplete,is better than any other person here possesses.It is carefully preserved in my collection.

“The Serpent is a species of the Linnaean genusAnguis, the orveto of the French, and the blindworm of the English. The loss of the tailof this fragile creature may render an opinion a littledubious, but it is supposed to be an ophias aureusof Dandin, corresponding to the Anguis ventralis ofLinn, figured by Catesby.

“The shells afford a rich amount of undescribedspecies. The whole of the univalves and bivalvesreceived from Messrs. Schoolcraft and Douglass, havebeen assembled, and examined with all I possessed before,and with Mr. Stacy Collins’s molluscas broughtfrom Ohio. Mr. Barnes is charged with describingand delineating all the species not contained in Mr.Say’s memoir on these productions of the landand fresh waters of North America. The finishedwork will be laid before the Lyceum, and finally beprinted in Silliman’s New Haven Journal.The species with which zoology will be enriched willamount probably to nine or ten. We shall endeavorto be just to our friends and benefactors.

“The pipe adorns my mantelpiece, and is muchadmired by connoisseurs.”


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the WabashValley—­Cross the grand prairie of Illinois—­Revisitthe mines—­Ascend the Illinois—­Fever—­Returnthrough the great lakes—­Notice of the “Trio”—­Letterfrom Professor Silliman—­Prospect of an appointmentunder government—­Loss of the “Walk-in-the-Water”—­Geologyof Detroit—­Murder of Dr. Madison by a WinnebagoIndian.

1821. I left New York for Chicago on the 16thJune—­hurried rapidly through the westernpart of that State—­passed up Lake Erie fromBuffalo, and reached Detroit just in season to embark,on the 4th of July. General Cass was ready toproceed, with his canoe-elege in the water. Wepassed, the same day, down the Detroit River, and throughthe head of Lake Erie into the Maumee Bay to PortLawrence, the present site, I believe, of the cityof Toledo. This was a distance of seventy miles,a prodigious day’s journey for a canoe.But we were shot along by a strong wind, which wasfair when we started, but had insensibly increasedto a gale in Lake Erie, when we found it impossibleto turn to land without the danger of filling.The wind, though a gale, was still directly aft.On one occasion I thought we should have gone to thebottom, the waves breaking in a long series, aboveour heads, and rolling down our breasts into the canoe.I looked quietly at General Cass, who sat close onmy right, but saw no alarm in his countenance.“That was a fatherly one,” was his calmexpression, and whatever was thought, little was said.We weathered and entered the bay silently, but withfeelings such as a man may be supposed to have whenthere is but a step between him and death.

We ascended the Miami Valley, through scenes renownedby the events of two or three wars. I walkedover the scene of Dudley’s defeat in 1812; ofWayne’s victory in 1793; and of the sites offorts Deposit and Defiance, and other events celebratedin history. From Fort Defiance, which is at thejunction of the River Auglaize, we rode to FortWayne, sleeping in a deserted hut half way. Wepassed the summit to the source of the Wabash, horseback,sleeping at an Indian house, where all the men weredrunk, and kept up a howling that would have done creditto a pack of hungry wolves. The Canadians, whomanaged our canoe, in the mean time brought it fromwater to water on their shoulders, and we again embarked,leaving our horses at the forks of the Wabash.The whole of this long and splendid valley, then wildand in the state of nature, till below the Tippecanoe,we traversed, day by day, stopping at Vincennes, Terrehaute,and a hundred other points, and entered the Ohio andlanded safely at Shawneetown. Here it was determinedto send the Canadians with our canoe, round by waterto St. Louis, while we hired a sort of stage-wagonto cross the prairies. I visited the noted localityof fluor spar in Pope County, Illinois, and crossingthe mountainous tract called the Knobs, rejoined theparty at the Saline. Here I found my old friendEnmenger, of Kemp and Keen memory, to be the innkeeper.On reaching St. Louis, General Cass rode over thecountry to see the Missouri, while I, in a sulky,revisited the mines in Washington, and brought backa supply of its rich minerals. We proceeded inour canoe up the River Illinois to the rapids, atwhat is called Fort Rock, or Starved Rock, and from

thence, finding the water low, rode on horseback toChicago, horses having been sent, for this purpose,from Chicago to meet us. There was not a housefrom Peoria to John Craft’s, four miles fromChicago. I searched for, and found, the fossiltree, reported to lie in the rocks in the bed of theriver Des Plaines. The sight of Lake Michigan,on nearing Chicago, was like the ocean. We foundan immense number of Indians assembled. The Potawattomies,in their gay dresses and on horseback, gave the scenean air of Eastern magnificence. Here we werejoined by Judge Solomon Sibley, the other commissionerfrom Detroit, whence he had crossed the peninsulaon horseback, and we remained in negotiation withthe Indians during fifteen consecutive days.A treaty was finally signed by them on the 24th ofAugust, by which, for a valuable consideration inannuities and goods, they ceded to the United Statesabout five millions of acres of choice lands.

Before this negotiation was finished, I was seizedwith bilious fever, and consequently did not signthe treaty. It was of the worst bilious type,and acute in its character. I did not, indeed,ever expect to make another entry in a human journal.But a vigorous constitution at length prevailed, andweeks after all the party had left the ground, I waspermitted to embark in a vessel called the Decaturon the 23d of September for Detroit. We reachedMichilimackinack the seventh day of our voyage, andreturned to Detroit on the 6th of October. Theincidents and observations of this journey have beengiven to the public under the title “Travelsin the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley”(1 vol. pp. 459, 8vo.: New York).

I still felt the effects of my illness on reachingDetroit, where I remained a few days before settingout for New York. On reaching Oneida County,where I stopped to recruit my strength, I learned thatsome envious persons, who shielded themselves underthe name of “Trio,” had attacked my NarrativeJournal, in one of the papers during my absence.The attack was not of a character to demand a verygrave notice, and was happily exposed by Mr. Carter,in some remarks in the columns of the Statesman,which first called my attention to the subject.

“A trio of writers,” he observes, in hispaper of 17th August, “in the Daily Advertiserof Wednesday, have commenced an attack on the NarrativeJournal of Mr. Schoolcraft, lately published inthis city. We should feel excessively mortifiedfor the literary reputation of our country, if ittook any three of our writers to produce sucha specimen of criticism as the article alluded to;and ’for charity’s sweet sake,’we will suppose that by a typographical error the signatureis printed Trio instead of Tyro.At any rate, the essay, notwithstanding all its wesand ours, bears the marks of being the effortof one smatterer, rather than the joint productionof three critics, as the name imports.”

The Trio (if we admit there are tria juncta inuno, in this knot of savans) pretend to be governedby patriotic motives in attacking Mr. Schoolcraft.’In what we have said, our object has been toexpose error, and to shield ourselves fromthe imputation which would justly be thrown upon ourselves.’The construction of this sentence reminds us of theexordium of Deacon Strong’s speech at Stonington—­’thegenerality of mankind in general endeavor to tryto take the disadvantage of the generality of mankindin general.’ But not to indulge inlevities on so grave a subject, we are happy in thebelief that the reputation of our country does notdemand the condemnation of Schoolcraft’s Journal,as a proof of our taste, nor need such a shield asthe trio have interposed, to protect it from the attacksof foreign reviewers:—­

’Non tali auxilio,nec defensoribus istis
Tempus eget.’

It affords us great pleasure to relieve the anxietyof the Trio on the subject of shielding ’ourselvesfrom the imputation which would be justly thrown uponourselves,’ by stating that one of the mostscientific gentlemen in the United States wrote tothe publishers of Schoolcraft’s Journal,not a week since, for a copy of the work to send toParis, adding to his request, the work is so valuablethat I doubt not it would be honorably noticed.

“We have not taken the trouble to examine thepassages to which the Trio have referred; for, admittingthat a trifling error has been detected in an arithmeticalcalculation—­that a few plants (or vegetables,as this botanist calls them) have been described asnew, which were before known—­and that inthe haste of composition some verbal errors may haveescaped the author, yet these slight defects do notdetract essentially from the merit of the work, orprove that it has improperly been denominated a scientific,valuable, and interesting volume. Our sage criticsare not aware how many and whom they include in thedenunciation of ’a few men who pretendto all the knowledge, all the wisdom of the country;’if by a few they mean all who have spoken inthe most favorable terms of Mr. Schoolcraft’sbook.

“One word in respect to the ‘candor’of the Trio, and we have done. It would seemto have been more candid, and the disavowal of ’anintention to injure’ would have been more plausible,if the attack had been commenced when the author waspresent to defend himself, and not when he is in thedepth of a wilderness, remote from his assailants andignorant of their criticisms. But we trust hehas left many friends behind who will promptly andcheerfully defend his reputation till his return.”

On reading the pieces, I found them to be based ina petty spirit of fault-finding, uncandid, illiberal,and without wit, science, or learning. It issaid in a book, which my critics did not seem to havecaught the spirit of—­“Should not themultitude of words be answered, and should a man fallif talk be justified? Should thy lies make menhold their peace, and when thou mockest shall no manmake thee ashamed?” (Job xi. 2, 3.) My bloodboiled. I could have accepted and approved candidand learned and scientific criticism. I repliedin the papers, pointing out the gross illiberalityof the attack, and tried to provoke a discovery ofthe authors. But they were still as death; themask that had been assumed to shield envy, hypercriticism,and falsehood, there was neither elevation of moralpurpose, courage, nor honor, to lay aside.

In the mean time, all my correspondents and friendssustained me. Men of the highest standing inscience and letters wrote to me. A friend ofhigh standing, in a note from Washington (Oct. 24th)congratulating me on my recovery from the fever atChicago, makes the following allusion to this concealedand spiteful effort: “When in Albany I procuredfrom Mr. Webster copies of them (the pieces), witha view to say something in the papers, had it beennecessary. But, from their character and effect,this would have been wholly unnecessary. Theyhave fallen still-born from the press.”

Mr. Carter (Oct. 28th) says: “G. C.was at my room, and spoke of the numbers with theutmost contempt, and thought they were not worth noticing.The same opinion is entertained by everyone whom Ihave heard speak on the subject. Chancellor Kenttold me that your book is the most interesting hehas ever read, and that the attack on it amounts tonothing. Others have paid it the same compliment,and I think your fame is in no danger of being injuredby the Trio.”

Mr. Baldwin, a legal gentleman of high worth and standing,made the following observations in one of the citypapers, under the signature of “Albanian":—­

“True criticism is a liberal and humane art,and teaches no less to point out and admire what isdeserving of applause, than to detect and expose blemishesand defects. If this be a correct definition ofcriticism, and ‘Trio’ were capable of fillingthe office he has assumed, I am of opinion that adifferent judgment would have been pronounced uponMr. Schoolcraft’s book of travels; and that theywould have been justly eulogized, and held up forthe perusal of every person at all anxious about acquiringan intimate knowledge of the interesting country throughwhich he traveled, and which he so ably and beautifullydescribed. It is certainly true, that we aboundin snarling critics, whose chief delight is in findingfault with works of native production; and thoughit is not my business to tread upon their corns, Icould wish they might ever receive that castigationand contempt which they merit from a liberal and enlightened

public. In the first article which appeared inyour useful paper, over the signature of ‘Trio,’I thought I discovered only the effervescence of apedantic and caviling disposition; but, when I findthat writer making false and erroneous statements,and drawing deductions therefrom unfavorable to Mr.Schoolcraft, I deprecate the evil, and invite the publicto a free and candid investigation of the truth.Not satisfied with detracting from the merits of Mr.Schoolcraft’s work, ‘Trio’ indulgesin some bitter and illiberal remarks upon those gentlemenwho composed the Yellow Stone River expedition; andto show how little qualified he is for the subject,I will venture to declare him ignorant of the veryfirst principles upon which that expedition was organized.”

So much for the “Trio.” No actualdiscovery of the authors was made; but from informationsubsequently obtained, it is believed that their namesare denoted under the anagram LENICTRA.

Other criticisms of a different stamp were, however,received from high sources, speaking well of the work,which may here be mentioned. Professor Sillimanwrites from New Haven, November 22d: “Iperused your travels with great satisfaction; theyhave imparted to me a great deal of information andpleasure. Could any scientific friend of yours(Captain Douglass, for instance) prepare a notice,or a review, I would cheerfully insert it.

“In reading your travels, I marked with a pencilthe scientific notices, and especially those on mineralogyand geology, thinking that I might at a future periodembody them into an article for the journal. Wouldit not be consistent with your time and occupationsto do this, and forward me the article? I wouldbe greatly pleased also to receive from you a noticeof the fluor spar from Illinois; of the fossil tree;and, in short, any of your scientific or miscellaneousobservations, which you may see fit to intrust tothe pages of the journal, I shall be happy to receive,and trust they would not have a disadvantageous introductionto the world.”

How different is this in its spirit and temper fromthe flimsy thoughts of the Trio!

Literary Honors.—­Dr. Alfred S. Monson,of New Haven, informs me (November 23d) of my electionas a member of the American Geological Society.Mr. Austin Abbott communicates notice of my electionas a member of the Hudson Lyceum of Natural History.

Appointment under Government.—­Afriend in high confidence at Washington writes (November4th): “The proposition to remove from Sackett’sHarbor to the Sault of St. Mary a battalion of thearmy, and to establish a military post at the latterplace, has been submitted by Mr. Calhoun to the President.The pressure of other subjects has required an investigationand decision since his return; so that he has notyet been able to examine this matter. Mr. Calhounis himself decidedly in favor of the measure, andI have no doubt but that such will be the result ofthe Presidential deliberation. The question istoo plain, and the considerations connected with ittoo obvious and important, to allow any prominentdifficulties to intrude themselves between the conceptionand the execution of the measure. If a post beestablished, it is almost certain that an Indian agencywill be located there, and, in the event, it is quitecertain that you will be appointed the agent.”

Loss of the “Walk-in-the-water."—­Thisfine steamer was wrecked near the foot of Lake Erie,in November. A friend in Detroit writes (November17th): “This accident maybe considered asone of the greatest misfortunes which have ever befallenMichigan, for in addition to its having deprived usof all certain and speedy communication with the civilizedworld, I am fearful it will greatly check the progressof emigration and improvement. They speak ofthree new boats on Lake Erie next season; Ihope they may be erected, but such reports are alwaysexaggerated.”

Geology of Detroit.—­“No accuratemeasurement that I can find has ever been made ofthe height of the bank of the river at this place.As near as I can ascertain, however, from those whohave endeavored to obtain correct information respectingit, and from my own judgment, I should suppose thebase of the pillars at the upper end of the market-house,which stand three hundred feet from the water’sedge, to be thirty-three feet above the surface ofthe river. The bank is of a gentle descent towardsthe water, and gradually recedes from the river forone mile above the lower line of the city.

“In digging a well in the north-east part ofthe city, in the street near the Council House, theloam appeared to be about a foot and a half deep.The workmen then passed through a stratum of blue clayof eight or ten feet, when they struck a vein of coarsesand, eight inches in thickness, through which thewater entered so fast, as to almost prevent them fromgoing deeper. They, however, proceeded throughanother bed of blue clay, twenty or twenty-two feet,and came to a fine yellow sand, resembling quicksand,into which they dug three feet and stopped, havingfound sufficient water. The whole depth of thewell was thirty-three feet.

“The water is clear, and has no bad taste.No vegetable or other remains were found, and onlya few small stones and pebbles, such as are on theshores of the river. A little coarse dark sandand gravel were found below the last bed of clay,on the top of the yellow sand.”

The boring for water in 1830 was extended, on theFort Shelby plateau, 260 feet. After passingten feet of alluvion, the auger passed through 115feet of blue clay, with quicksand, then two of beachsand and pebbles, when the limestone rock was struck.It was geodiferous for sixty feet, then lies sixty-five,then a carbonate of lime eight feet, at which depththe effort was relinquished unsuccessfully.—­Historicaland Scientific Sketches of Michigan.

Bed of the Detroit River.—­Iam induced to believe the bed of the River Detroitis clay, from the fact that it affords good anchoragefor vessels. Neither limestone nor any otherrock has ever been discovered in it.”

Murder of Dr. Madison.—­A gentlemanat the West writes to me (Nov. 17): “Asto the murder of Dr. Madison, the facts were, thathe started from Green Bay, with three soldiers, togo to Chicago, and from thence to his wife in Kentucky,who, during his absence, had added ‘one’to the family. The Indian Ke-taw-kah had leftthe bay the day previous, had passed the Indian villageon the Manatoowack River, on his way to Chebioganon the west side of Lake Michigan, to see a relative,but had turned back. When the Doctor met him,he was standing by the side of a tree, apparentlyunemployed. The Indian, says the Doctor, addressedhim, and said something, from which he understoodthey wanted them to guide him to Chicago. Ashe knew he should get something to eat from them, heconcluded he would go with them as far as Chebiogan.Accordingly, he fell in with the party about 2 P.M.,and walked on until they had passed the ManatoowackRiver, about three miles.

“They came to a small rise of ground, over whichtwo of the soldiers had passed, and the other wasby the side of the Doctor’s horse, and bothwere just on the top. The Indian was about tworods in the rear, and was at the foot of the hill,when a gun was fired in the rear, and Madison receivedthe charge in his shoulders and in the back of hisneck, and immediately fell from his horse. TheIndian instantly disappeared. The Doctor exclaimed,’Oh! why has that Indian shot me? I neverdid him or any of them any injury. To kill me,too, when I was just returning to my wife and my littlechild, which I have never seen! It is more painfulthan death.’ His conversation was very pathetic,as related by the soldier, and all who heard him weregreatly affected.

“The Indian says he shot him without any causeor malice; that the thought came into his head, abouttwo minutes before, that he would kill one of thefour; and when he saw the Doctor on the top of thehill, he concluded he would fire at him, to see howpretty he would fall off his horse.”

These things transpired late in the fall. I didnot reach Albany till late in December, and immediatelybegan to prepare my geological report.


New-Yearing—­A prospect opened—­Poemof Ontwa—­Indian biography—­Fossiltree—­Letters from various persons—­Noticeof Ontwa—­Professor Silliman—­Gov.Clinton—­Hon. J. Meigs—­ColonelBenton—­Mr. Dickenson—­ProfessorHall—­Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson,and Adams on geology—­Geological notices—­Planof a gazetteer—­Opinions of my NarrativeJournal by scientific gentlemen—­Theimpostor John Dun Hunter—­Trip up the Potomac—­Mosaicalchronology—­Visit to Mount Vernon.

1822. Jan. 1st.—­I spent this daya New-Yearing. Albany is a dear place for thefirst of January; not only the houses of everyone, but the hearts of every one seem openon this day. It is no slight praise to say thatone day out of the three hundred and sixty-five isconsecrated to general hospitality and warm-heartedcordiality. If St. Nicholas was the author ofthis custom, he was a social saint; and the customseems to be as completely kept up on the banks of theHudson as it ever could have been on the banks ofthe Rhine.

Jan. 5th.—­My experience is thathe who would rise, in science or knowledge, must toilincessantly; it is the price at which success sellsher favors. During the last four years, I havepassed not less than ten thousand miles, and in allthis time I have scarcely lain down one night withouta feeling that the next day’s success must dependupon a fresh appeal to continued effort. My pathwayhas certainly not lain over beds of gold, nor my pillowbeen composed of down. And yet my success hasserved to raise the envy and malignity of some minds.True, these have been small minds; while a just appreciationand approval have marked the course of the exaltedand enlightened. A friend writes from Washington,this day, assuring me that I am not forgotten in highquarters. “The occupation,” he says,“of the Sault has been decided on, andI have but little doubt of your appointment to theagency. Make your mind easy. I am certainthe government will not forget you, and I never can.I shall not lose sight of your interest a moment.”

Thus, while an envious little clique here has, inmy absence, clandestinely thrown most uncandid censureupon me and my labors, a vista of honor is presentedto my hopes from a higher source.

While recovering from the prostrating effects of myChicago fever, I had drawn up a memoir for the AmericanGeological Society, which had made me a member, onthe fossil tree observed in the stratification of theDes Plaines, of the Illinois, and took the occasionof being detained here in making my report, to printit, and circulate copies. It appeared to be agood opportunity, while calling attention to the factdescribed, to connect it with the system of secondaryrocks, as explained by geologists. In this way,the occurrence of perhaps a not absolutely uniquephenomenon is made a vehicle of conveying geologicalinformation, which is now sought with avidity in thecountry. This step brought me many correspondentsof note.

Mr. Madison (Ex-President United States) writes (Jan.22): “The present is a very inquisitiveage, and its researches of late have been ardentlydirected to the primitive composition and structureof our globe, as far as it has been penetrated, andto the processes by which succeeding changes havebeen produced. The discoveries already made areencouraging; but vast room is left for the furtherindustry and sagacity of geologists. This issufficiently shown by the opposite theories whichhave been espoused; one of them regarding water, theother fire, as the great agent employed by naturein her work.

“It may well be expected that this hemisphere,which has been least explored, will yield its fullproportion of materials towards a satisfactory system.Your zealous efforts to share in the contributionsdo credit to your love of truth and devotion to thecause of science, and I wish they may be rewardedwith the success they promise, and with all the personalgratifications to which they entitle you.”

Mr. Jefferson (Ex-President United States) sends anote of thanks (Jan. 26th) in the following words:“It is a valuable element towards the knowledgewe wish to obtain of the crust of the globe we inhabit;and, as crust alone is immediately interesting tous, we are only to guard against drawing our conclusionsdeeper than we dig. You are entitled to the thanksof the lovers of science for the preservation of thisfact.”

Mr. John Adams (Ex-President United States, Jan. 27th)says: “I thank you for your memoir on thefossil tree, which is very well written; and the conjectureson the processes of nature in producing it are plausibleand probable.

“I once lay a week wind-bound in Portland road,in England, and went often ashore, and ascended themountain from whence they get all the Portland stonethat they employ in building. In a morning walkwith some of the American passengers from the Lucretia,Captain Calehan, we passed by a handsome house, atthe foot of the hill, with a handsome front yard beforeit. Upon the top of one of the posts of this yardlay a fish, coiled up in a spiral figure, which caughtmy eye. I stopped and gazed at it with some curiosity.Presently a person, in the habit and appearance ofa substantial and well-bred English gentleman, appearedat his door and addressed me. ’Sir, I perceivethat your attention is fixed on my fish. Thatis a conger eel—­a species that abounds inthese seas; we see them repeatedly, at the depth oftwelve feet water, lying exactly in that position.That stone, as it now appears, was dug up from thebowels of this mountain, at the depth of twenty feetbelow the surface, in the midst of the rocks.Now, sir,’ said he, ’at the time of thedeluge, these neighboring seas were thrown up intothat mountain, and this fish, lying at the bottom,was thrown up with the rest, and then petrified, inthe very posture in which he lay.’

“I was charmed with the eloquence of this profoundphilosopher, as well as with his civility, and saidthat I could not account for the phenomenon by anymore plausible or probable hypothesis.

“This is a lofty hill and very steep, and inthe road up and down, there are flat and smooth rocksof considerable extent. The commerce in Portlandstone frequently calls for huge masses, from ten tofifteen tons weight. These are loaded on verystrong wheels, and drawn by ten or twelve pair ofhorses. When they come to one of those flat rockson the side of the hill where the descent is steep,they take off six or eight pair of horses, and attachthem behind the wagon, and lash them up hill, whileone or two pair of horses in front have to drag thewagon and its load and six or eight pair of horsesbehind it, backwards.

“I give you this history by way of comment onDr. Franklin’s famous argument against a mixedgovernment. That great man ought not to havequoted this as a New England custom, because it wasan English practice before New England existed, andis a happy illustration of the necessity of a balancedgovernment.

“And since I have mentioned Dr. Franklin, Iwill relate another fact which I had from his mouth.When he lived at Passy, a new quarry of stone wasopened in the garden of Mr. Ray de Chaumont, and, atthe depth of twenty feet, was found among the rocksa shark’s tooth, in perfect preservation, whichI suppose my Portland friend would account for as hedid for his conger eel, though the tooth was not petrified.”

Thus, my memoir was the cause of the expression ofopinions and facts from distinguished individuals,which possess an interest distinct from the bearingof such opinions on geology.

Mr. Carter, who has just transferred the publicationof the Statesman from Albany to New York, writes(Jan. 10th) from the latter city, urging me to hastenmy return to that city.

Poem on the theme of the Aborigines.—­“Ihave,” he remarks, “read Ontwa, the Indianpoem you spoke to me about last summer. The notesby Governor Cass are extremely interesting, and writtenin a superior style. I shall notice the workin a few days.”

Geology of New York Island.—­“Iwish you to give me an article on the mineralogy andgeology of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letterpurporting to be by a foreign traveler. (See Appendix,No. 2.) It is my intention to give a series of letters,partly by myself and partly by others, which shalltake notice of everything in and about the city whichmay be deemed interesting. I wish to begin atthe foundation by giving a geographical and geologicalsketch of the Island.”

Indian Biography.—­“ColonelHaines also wishes you to unite with him and myself,in writing a series of sketches of celebrated Indians.”

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 20th), acknowledgingthe receipt of a memoir on the fossil tree of theRiver Des Plaines, which was prepared for the AmericanGeological Society. He requests me to furnishhim a copy of my memoir on the geology of the regionsvisited by the recent expedition, or, if it be toolong for the purposes of the American Journal,an abstract of it.

Animal Impressions in Limestone.—­“Iam much obliged to you for your kind intention offurnishing me with a paper on the impressions in limestone,and I hope you will bear it in mind, and execute itaccordingly.

“I have observed the appointment which the newspapersstate that you have received from the government,and regret that it carries you so far south,[11] intoan unhealthy climate; wishing you, however, healthand leisure to pursue those studies which you havehitherto prosecuted so successfully.”

[Footnote 11: This is evidently an allusion toSt. Mary’s, in Georgia, instead of Michigan.]

Professor Frederick Hall, of Middlebury College, addressesme (Jan. 14th) on the same subject. He alludesto my treatise “On the Mines, Minerals, &c.,of the western section of the United States;”a work for which our country and the world are deeplyindebted to your enlightened enterprise and unrelaxingzeal. Before reading it, I had a very inadequateconception of the actual extent and riches of the leadmines of the West. It seems, according to youraccount, that these mines are an exhaustless sourceof wealth to the United States. “I shouldfeel glad to have them put under your superintendence;and to have you nurture up a race of expert mineralogists,and become a Werner among them.”

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 25th): “WhenI wrote you last, I had not been able to procure yourmemoir on the fossil tree. I read it, however,immediately after, and was so much pleased with it,that I extracted the most important parts in the AmericanJournal, giving credit, of course, to you andto the Geological Society.”

Jan. 29th. Chester Dewy, Professor, &c.,in Williams College, Mass., writes a most kind andfriendly letter, in which he presents various subjects,in the great area of the West, visited by me.

Chalk Formation.—­“Mr. Jessup,of Philadelphia, told me that he believed you doubtedrespecting the chalk of Missouri, in which youfound nodules of flints. I wish to ask if thisbe fact. From the situation, and characters anduses, you might easily be led into a mistake, forsuch a bed of any other earth would be far less tobe expected, and be also a far greater curiosity.”

Petrosilex, &c.—­“By the way,I received from Dr. Torrey a curious mixture of petrosilexand prehnite in radiating crystals, which was senthim by you, and collected at the West. He didnot tell me the name, but examination showed me whatit was.”

Tufa from Western New York.—­“Today, a Quaker from Sempronius, New York, has shownme some fine tufa. I mention it, because you may,in your travels, be able to see it. He says itcovers an acre or more to a great depth, is burnedinto excellent lime with great ease, and is very valuable,as no good limestone is found near them. Someof it is very soft, like agaric mineral, and wouldbe so called, were it not associated with beautifultufa of a harder kind.”

Geology of America.—­“You haveexplored in fine situations, to extend the knowledgeof the geology of our country, and have made greatdiscoveries. I congratulate you on what you havebeen able to do; I hope you may be able, if you wish*t, to add still more to our knowledge.”

Jan. 29th. Mr. McNabb says: “Ihave just received a specimen of excellent pit-coalfrom Tioga county, Pennsylvania, near the head of thesouth branch of the Tioga River, and about twenty milessouth from Painted Post, in Steuben County. Thequantity is said to be inexhaustible, and what rendersit of still greater importance is, that arks and raftsdescend from within four or five miles of the mines.”

New Gazetteer of New York.—­Mr. Carterwrites (Feb. 5th) inauspiciously of the course ofaffairs at Washington, as not favoring the spiritof exploration. He proposes, in the event of mynot receiving the contemplated appointment, the planof a Gazetteer of New York, on an enlarged and scientificbasis. “I have often expressed to you myopinion of the Spafford Gazetteer of this State.It is wholly unworthy of public patronage, and wouldnot stand in the way of a good work of the kind; andsuch a one, I have the vanity to believe, our jointefforts could produce. It would be a permanentwork, with slight alterations, as the State mightundergo changes. My plan would be for you to travelover the State, and make a complete mineralogical,and geological, and statistical survey of it, whichwould probably take you a year or more. In themean time, I would devote all my leisure to the collectionand arrangement of such other materials as we shouldneed in the compilation of the work.”

Feb. 18th. Professor Dewy writes, vindicatingmy views of the Huttonian doctrines, respecting theformation of secondary rocks, which he had doubted,on the first perusal of my memoir of the fossil treeof Illinois.

Feb. 20th. Caleb Atwater, Esq., of Circleville,Ohio, the author of the antiquarian papers in thefirst volume of Archaeologiae Americana, writeson the occasion of my geological memoir. He completelyconfounds the infiltrated specimen of an entire tree,in the external strata, and of a recent age, whichis prominently described in my paper, with ordinarycasts and impressions of organic remains in the eldersecondary rock column.

Feb. 24th. Mr. McNabb communicates furtherfacts and discoveries of the mineral wealth, resources,and prospects of Western New York and Pennsylvania.

* * * * *

Narrative Journal.—­Professor Silliman(March 5th) communicates an extract of a letter tohim from Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., of Hartford, to whomhe had loaned my Narrative.

“I have been very much entertained with thetour to the western lakes. I think Mr. Schoolcraftwrites in a most agreeable manner; there is such anentire absence of affectation in all he says, as wellas his manner of saying it, that no one can help beingexceedingly pleased, even if the book had not in anyother respect a great deal of merit. The wholeseems such real and such absolute matter of fact, thatI feel as if I had performed the journey with thetraveller.

“All I regret about it is that it was not consistentwith his plans to tell us more of what might be consideredthe domestic part of the expedition, the characterand conduct of those who were of the party, theirhealth, difficulties, opinions, and treatment of eachother, &c. &c. As his book was a sort of officialwork, I suppose he thought this would not do, andI wish he now would give his friends (and let us beamongst them) a manuscript of the particulars thatare not for the public. Mrs. W. has also beenas much pleased as myself.”

Under the date of March 22d, Sir Humphrey Davy, ina private letter to Dr. Hosack, says:—­

“Mr. Schoolcraft’s narrative is admirable,both for the facts it develops and for the simplicityand clearness of the details; he has accomplishedgreat things by such means, and offers a good modelfor a traveler in a new country. I lent his bookto our veteran philosophical geographer, Major Rennel,who was highly pleased with it; copies of it wouldsell well in England.”

Dr. Silliman apprises me that Professor Douglass expectsmy geological report as part of his work.

Having now finished my geological report, I determinedto take it to Washington. On reaching New York,I took lodgings at the Franklin House, then a privateboarding-house, where my friends, Mr. Carter and ColonelHaines, had rooms. While here, I was introducedone day to a man who subsequently attracted a gooddeal of notice as a literary impostor. This wasa person named Hunter. He said that he derivedthis name from his origin in the Indian country.He had a soft, compliant, half quizzical look, andappeared to know nothing precisely, but dealt in vagueaccounts and innuendoes. Having gone to London,the booksellers thought him, it appears, a good subjectfor a book, and some hack was employed to prepareit. It had a very slender basis in any observationswhich this man was capable of furnishing; but aboundedin misstatements and vituperation of the policy ofthis government respecting the Indians. Thisfellow is handled in the Oct. No. of the NorthAmerican Review, for 1825, in a manner which givesvery little encouragement to literary adventurersand cheats. The very man, John Dunn, of Missouri,after whom he affected to have been named, denies thathe ever heard of him.

I had, thus far, seen but little of the Atlantic,except what could be observed in a trip from New Orleansto New York, and knew very little of its coasts bypersonal examination. I had never seen more ofthe Chesapeake than could be shown from the head ofthat noble bay, and wished to explore the Valley ofthe Potomac. For this purpose, I took passagein a coasting vessel at New York, and had a voyageof a novel and agreeable kind, which supplied me withthe desired information. At Old Point Comfort,I remained at the hotel while the vessel tarried.In ascending the Potomac one night, while anchored,a negro song was wafted in the stillness of the atmosphere.I could distinctly hear the following words:—­

Gentlemen, he come from de Marylandshore,
See how massa gray mare go.
Go, gray, go,
Go, gray, go;
See how massa gray mare go.

I reached Washington late in March, and sent in mygeological report on the 2d of April. Mr. Calhoun,who acknowledged it on the 6th, referred it to theTopographical Bureau. Some question, connectedwith the establishment of an agency in Florida, complicatedmy matter. Otherwise it appeared to be a merequestion of time. The Secretary of War left meno room to doubt that his feelings were altogetherfriendly. Mr. Monroe was also friendly.

Additional Judicial District in Michigan.—­J.D.Doty, Esq., wrote to me (April 8th) on this subject.So far as my judgment and observation went, they werefavorable to this project. Besides, if I was tobecome an inhabitant of the district, as things nowboded, it would be desirable to me to dwell in a countrywhere the laws, in their higher aspects, were periodicallyadministered. I had, therefore, every reasonto favor it.

Skeptical Views of the Mosaical Chronology.—­BaptisteIrvine, Esq., in referring to some criticism of hisin relation to the discovery of fossils by a distinguishedindividual, brings this subject forward in a letterof April 19th. This individual had written tohim, impugning his criticisms.

“I regret,” he observes, “the cause,and shall endeavor to give publicity to his (my friend’s)observations; though hardly necessary to him, theymay yet awaken some ideas in the minds of the peopleon the wonders of physics I had almost said the slowmiracles of creation. For if ever there wasa time when matter existed not, it is pretty evidentthat millions of years were necessary to establishorder on chaos, instead of six days. Let Cuvier,&c., temporize as they may. However, it is thehumble allotment of the herd to believe or stare; itis the glory of intelligent men to acquire and admire.”“For the memoir I am very thankful, and I perceiveit alters the case.”

April 22d. Mount Vernon.—­Ina pilgrimage to this spot, if political venerationmay assume that name, I was accompanied by HonorableAlbert H. Tracy, Mr. Ruggles, and Mr. Alfred Conklingof the House of Representatives, all of New York.We took a carriage, and reached the hallowed placein good season, and were politely admitted to all theapartments and grounds, which give interest to everytread. I brought some pebbles of common quartzand bits of brown oxide of iron, from the top of therude tomb, and we all broke branches of the cedarsgrowing there. We gazed into the tomb, throughan aperture over the door, where bricks had been removed,and thought, at last, that we could distinguish thecoffin.

Human Feet figured on Rock at St. Louis.—­TheHonorable Thomas H. Benton, in a letter of 29th April,expresses the opinion that these are antiquities,and not “prints,” and that they are ofthe age of the mounds on the American bottom.

Mineralogy.—­J.D. Doty, Esq.,transmits (May 6th) from the vicinity of Martinsburg,New York, specimens of the geological structure ofthat neighborhood.

Austin’s Colony.—­“Whatyou have said to me heretofore, concerning Mr. Austin’ssettlement in Texas, has rather turned my attentionin that direction. Have you any means of communicatingwith your friend? What are your views of thatcountry?”


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the UnitedStates at Saint Mary’s—­Reasons forthe acceptance of the office—­Journey toDetroit—­Illness at that point—­Arrivalof a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establisha new military post at the foot of Lake Superior—­Incidentsof the voyage to that point—­Reach our destination,and reception by the residents and Indians—­AEuropean and man of honor fled to the wilderness.

1822. At length Congress passed an act, whichleft Mr. Calhoun free to carry out his intentionsrespecting me, by the creation of a separate Indianagency for Florida. This enabled him to transferone of the western agencies, namely, at Vincennes,Indiana, where the Indian business had ceased, tothe foot of the basin of Lake Superior, at the ancientFrench village of Sault de Ste. Marie, Michigan.Had not this act passed, it would have been necessaryto transfer this agency to Florida, for which Mr.Gad Humphreys was the recognized appointee. Mr.Monroe immediately sent in my nomination for this oldagency to the Senate, by whom it was favorably actedon the 8th of May. The gentleman (Mr. J.B.Thomas, Senator from Illinois) whose boat I had beeninstrumental in saving in my descent of the Ohio inthe spring of 1818, I believe, moved its confirmation.It was from him, at any rate, that I the same dayobtained the information of the Senate’s action.

I had now attained a fixed position; not such as Idesired in the outset, and had striven for, but onethat offered an interesting class of duties, in theperformance of which there was a wide field for honorableexertion, and, if it was embraced, also of historicalinquiry and research. The taste for natural historymight certainly be transferred to that point, wherethe opportunity for discovery was the greatest.At any rate, the trial of a residence on that remotefrontier might readily be made, and I may say it wasin fact made only as a temporary matter. It wasan ancient agency in which General Harrison had longexercised his superior authority over the fierce andwild tribes of the West, which was an additional stimulusto exertion, after its removal to Lake Superior.

I called the next day on Mr. Calhoun, to express myobligation, and to request instructions. Forthe latter object, he referred me to General Cass,of Detroit, who was the superintendent of Indian affairson the North-Western frontier, and to whom the policyof pushing an agency and a military post to that pointis, I believe, due.

I now turned my face to the North, made a brief stayin New York, hurried through the western part of thatState to Buffalo, and ascended Lake Erie to Detroit.At this point I was attacked with fever and ague,which I supposed to have been contracted during a temporarylanding at Sandusky. I directed my physicianto treat it with renewed doses of mercury, in quicksuccession, which terminated the fever, but completelyprostrated my strength, and induced, at first tic douloureux,and eventually a paralysis of the left cheek.

The troops destined for the new post arrived aboutthe beginning of July. They consisted of a battalionof the 2d Regiment of Infantry, under Colonel Brady,from garrison duty at Sackett’s Harbor, and theypossessed every element of high discipline and themost efficient action, under active officers.Brady was himself an officer of Wayne’s waragainst the Indians, and had looked danger steadilyin the face on the Niagara frontier, in the Late War.In this condition, I hastily snatched up my instructions,and embarked on board the new steamer “Superior,”which was chartered by the government for the occasion.It was now the 2d of July.

Before speaking of the voyage from this point, itmay be well to refer to another matter. The probabilityof Professor Douglass publishing the joint resultsof our observations on the expedition of 1820, appearednow unfavorable. Among the causes of this, I regardedmy withdrawal to a remote point as prominent but notdecisive. Two years had already elapsed; theprofessor was completely absorbed in his new professorship,in which he was required to teach a new subject ina new language. Governor Cass, who had undertakenthe Indian subject, had greatly enlarged the platformof his inquiries, which rendered it probable thatthere would be a delay. My memoir on the geologyand mineralogy only was ready. Dr. Barnes hadthe conchology nearly ready, and the botany, whichwas in the hands of Dr. Torrey, was well advanced.But it required a degree of labor, zeal, and energyto push forward such a work, that admits of no abatements,and which was sufficient to absorb all the attentionof the highest mind; and could not be expected fromthe professor, already overtasked.

Among the papers which were put in my hands at Detroit,I found a printed copy of Governor Cass’s Indianqueries, based on his promise to Douglass, by whichI was gratified to perceive that his mind was earnestlyengaged in the subject, which he sought a body of originalmaterials to illustrate. I determined to be alaborer in this new field.

Our voyage up Lake Huron to Michilimackinack, andthence east to the entrance of the Straits of St.Mary’s, at Detour, was one of pleasant excitement.We ascended the straits and river, through Muddy Lakeand the narrow pass at Sailor’s Encampment,to the foot of the great Nibeesh [12] rapids.Here the steamer came to anchor from an apprehensionthat the bar of Lake George [13] could not be crossedin the existing state of the water.

[Footnote 12: This name signifies strong water,meaning bad for navigation, from its strength.Here Nebeesh is the derogative form of Nebee,water.]

[Footnote 13: The depth of water on this barwas then stated to be but six feet two inches.]

It was early in the morning of the 6th of July whenthis fact was announced. Colonel Brady determinedto proceed with his staff in the ship’s yawl,by the shorter passage of the boat channel, and invitedme to a seat. Captain Rogers, of the steamer,himself took the helm. After a voyage of aboutfour or five hours, we landed at St. Mary’s atten o’clock in the morning. Men, women,children, and dogs had collected to greet us at theold wharf opposite the Nolan House—­the ancient“chateau” of the North-West Company.And the Indians, whose costume lent an air of thepicturesque to the scene, saluted us with ball, firingover our heads as we landed. The Chemoquemonhad indeed come! Thus the American flag was carriedto this point, and it was soon hoisted on a tall staffin an open field east of Mr. Johnston’s premises,

where the troops, as they came up, marched with inspiringmusic, and regularly encamped. The roll of thedrum was now the law for getting up and lying down.It might be 168 or 170 years since the French firstlanded at this point. It was just 59 since theBritish power had supervened, and 39 since the Americanright had been acknowledged by the sagacity of Dr.Franklin’s treaty of 1783. But to the Indian,who stood in a contemplative and stoic attitude, wrappedin his fine blanket of broadcloth, viewing the spectacle,it must have been equally striking, and indicativethat his reign in the North-West, that old hive ofIndian hostility, was done. And, had he beena man of letters, he might have inscribed, with equaltruth, as it was done for the ancient Persian monarch,“MENE, MENE, TEKEL.”

To most persons on board, our voyage up these widestraits, after entering them at Point de Tour, had,in point of indefiniteness, been something like searchingafter the locality of the north pole. We woundabout among groups of islands and through passageswhich looked so perfectly in the state of nature that,but for a few ruinous stone chimneys on St. Joseph’s,it could not be told that the foot of man had evertrod the shores. The whole voyage, from Buffaloand Detroit, had indeed been a novel and fairy scene.We were now some 350 miles north-west of the lattercity. We had been a couple of days on board, inthe area of the sea-like Huron, before we entered theSt. Mary’s straits. The Superior, beingthe second steamer built on the Lakes,[14] had provedherself a staunch boat.

[Footnote 14: The first steamer built on theLakes was called the “Walk-in-the-Water,”after an Indian chief of that name; it was launchedat Black Rock, Niagara River, in 1818, and visitedMichilimackinack in the summer of that year.]

The circ*mstances of this trip were peculiar, andthe removal of a detachment of the army to so remotea point in a time of profound peace, had stimulatedmigratory enterprise. The measure was, in truth,one of the results of the exploring expedition tothe North-West in 1820, and designed to curb and controlthe large Indian population on this extreme frontier,and to give security to the expanding settlements southof this point. It was in this light that Mr.Calhoun, the present enlightened Secretary of War,viewed the matter, and it may be said to constitutea part of his plan for throwing a cordon ofadvanced posts in front of the wide area of our westernsettlements. From expressions heard on our route,the breaking up in part of the exceedingly well-quarteredgarrison of Madison barracks at Sackett’s Harbor,N.Y., was not particularly pleasing to the officersof this detachment, most of whom were married gentlemen,having families, and all of whom were in snug quartersat that point, surrounded as it is by a rich, thriving,farming population, and commanding a good and cheapmarket of meats and vegetables. To be ordered

off suddenly a thousand miles or more, over threeof the great series of lakes, and pitched down here,on the verge of the civilized world, at the foot ofLake Superior, amid Indians and Indian traders, wherebutchers’ meat is a thing only to be talked about,and garden vegetables far more rare than “blackberries,”was not, certainly, an agreeable prospect for officerswith wives and mothers with babies. It might,I am inclined to think from what I heard, be betterjustified on the grounds of national than ofdomestic policy. They determined, however,on the best possible course under the circ*mstances,and took their ladies and families along. Thishas given an air of gayety and liveliness to the trip,and, united with the calmness of the season, and thegreat novelty and beauty of the scenery, renderedthe passage a very agreeable one. The smoothnessof the lakes, the softness and purity of the air,the wild and picturesque character of the scenes,and the perfect transparency of the waters, have beenso many themes of perpetual remark and admiration.The occasional appearance of the feather-plumed Indianin his sylph-like canoe, or the flapping of a coveyof wild-fowl, frightened by the rushing sound of asteamboat, with the quick pulsation of its paddle-strokeson the water, but served to heighten the interest,and to cast a kind of fairy spell over the prospect,particularly as, half shrouded in mist, we passedamong the green islands and brown rocks, fringed withfir trees, which constituted a perfect panorama aswe entered and ascended the Straits of the St. Mary’s.

We sat down to our Fourth-of-July dinner on boardthe Superior, a little above the Thunder Bay Islands,in Lake Huron, and as we neared the once sacred islandof Michilimackinack, and saw its tall cliffs startup, as it were by magic, from the clear bosom of thepellucid lake, a true aboriginal, whose fancy hadbeen well imbued with the poetic mythology of hisnation, might have supposed he was now, indeed, approachinghis fondly-cherished “Island of the Blest.”Apart from its picturesque loveliness, we found it,however, a very flesh and blood and matter-of-factsort of place, and having taken a pilot on board, whoknew the sinuosities of the Saint Mary’s channel,we veered around, the next day, and steered into thecapes of that expanded and intricate strait, wherewe finally anchored on the morning denoted, and wherethe whole detachment was quickly put under ordersto ascend the river the remainder of the distance,about fifteen miles, in boats, each company underits own officers, while the colonel pushed forwardin the yawl. It was settled, at the same time,that the ladies and their “little ones”should remain on board, till matters had assumed somedefinite shape for their reception.

We were received by the few residents favorably, ashas been indicated. Prominent among the numberof residents who came to greet us was Mr. John Johnston,a gentleman from the north of Ireland, of whose romanticsettlement and adventures here we had heard at Detroit.He gave us a warm welcome, and freely offered everyfacility in his power to contribute to the personalcomfort of the officers and their families, and thegeneral objects of the government. Mr. J. is slightlylame, walking with a cane. He is of the mediumstature, with blue eyes, fair complexion, hair whichstill bears traces of its original light brown, andpossesses manners and conversation so entirely easyand polite as to impress us all very favorably.

Colonel Brady selected some large open fields, notsusceptible of a surprise, for his encampment.To this spot, as boat after boat came up, in finestyle, with its complement of men from the steamer,the several companies marched down, and before nightfall,the entire command was encamped in a square, withtheir tents handsomely pitched, and the whole coveredby lines of sentinels, and under the exact governmentof troops in the field. The roll of the drumwhich had attracted but little attention on the steamer,assumed a deeper tone, as it was re-echoed from theadjoining woods, and now distinctly announced, fromtime to time, the placing of sentinels, the hour forsupper, and other offices of a clock, in civil life.The French population evinced, by their countenancesand gestures, as they clustered round, a manifestsatisfaction at the movement; the groups of Indianshad gazed in a sort of silent wonder at the pageant;they seemed, by a certain air of secrecy and suspicion,to think it boded some evil to their long supremacyin the land. Night imperceptibly threw her darkmantle over the scene; the gazers, group by group,went to their lodges, and finally the sharp roll ofthe tattoo bid every one within the camp to his tent.Captain Alexander R. Thompson, who had claimed thecommandant as his guest, invited me also to spendthe night in his tent. We could plainly hearthe deep murmur of the falls, after we lay down torest, and also the monotonous thump of the distantIndian wabeno drum. Yet at this remotepoint, so far from the outer verge of civilization,we found in Mr. Johnston a man of singular energyand independence of character, from one of the mostrefined circles of Europe; who had pushed his wayhere to the foot of Lake Superior about the year 1793;had engaged in the fur trade, to repair the shatteredfortunes of his house; had married the daughter ofthe ruling Ogima or Forest King of the Chippewas;had raised and educated a large family, and was thenliving, in the only building in the place deservingthe name of a comfortable residence, with the mannersand conversation of a perfect gentleman, the sentimentsof a man of honor, and the liberality of a lord.He had a library of the best English works; spentmost of his time in reading and conducting the affairsof an extensive business; was a man of social qualities,a practical philanthropist, a well-read historian,something of a poet, and talked of Europe and itsconnections as things from which he was probably foreverseparated, and looked back towards it only as theland of reminiscences.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment ofthe new post at St. Mary’s—­Life ina nut-shell—­Scarcity of room—­Highprices of everything—­State of the Indians—­Theirrich and picturesque costume—­Council andits incidents—­Fort site selected and occupied—­Theevil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians—­Notefrom Governor De Witt Clinton—­Mountainash—­Curious superstitions of the Odjibwas—­Language—­Manitopoles—­Copper—­Superstitious regardfor Venus—­Fine harbor in Lake Superior—­Starfamily—­A locality of necromancers—­AncientChippewa capital—­Eating of animals.

1822. July 7th. We left our palletsat the sound of the reveille, and partook of a richcup of coffee, with cream, which smoked on the campbreakfast-board of our kind entertainer, Captain Thompson.[15]The ladies and children came up from the steamer,under due escorts, during the day, and were variouslyaccommodated with temporary quarters. Dr. Wheatonand lady, Captain Brant, quartermaster, and myself,were received eventually at the table of Mr. Johnston.Captain Brant and myself hired a small room hard byfor an office to be used between us. This roomwas a small log tenement, which had been occupied byone of Mr. J.’s hands. It was about twelveby fourteen feet, with a small window in front andin rear, and a very rural fire-place in one corner.It is astonishing how much comfort can be enjoyed ina crowded and ill-fitted place on a pinch. Wefelicitated ourselves at even this. We reallyfelt that we were quite fortunate in getting such alocality to hail from. Captain N.S. Clarkgot an adjoining tenement, of similar constructionand use, but much larger, for his numerous family.Some of the ladies took shelter at the domicil ofan intelligent American family (Mr. E.B. Allen’s)who had preceded us a short time with an adventureof merchandise. One or two of the ladies abodetemporarily in the tents of their husbands. Theunmarried officers looked for nothing better thanlife in camp. I accepted an invitation at themess-table of the officers. Besides this suddeninflux of population, there were followers and huckstersof various hues who hoped to make their profits fromthe soldiery. There was not a nook in the scraggy-lookinglittle antique village but what was sought for withavidity and thronged with occupants. Whoeverhas seen a flock of hungry pigeons, in the spring,alight on the leaf-covered ground, beneath a forest,and apply the busy powers of claw and beak to obtaina share of the hidden acorns that may be scratchedup from beneath, may form some just notion of the pressinghurry and bustle that marked life in this place.The enhanced price that everything bore was one ofthe results of this sudden influx of consumers andoccupants.

[Footnote 15: This officer fell at the battleof Ochechubby, in Florida, as colonel of the sixthinfantry, gallantly leading his men to battle.]

8th. I went to rest last night with theheavy murmuring sound of the falls in my ears, brokenat short intervals by the busy thump-thump-thump ofthe Indian drum; for it is to be added, to the otherwisecrowded state of the place, that the open grounds andriver-side greens of the village, which stretch alongirregularly for a mile or two, are filled with thelodges of visiting Indian bands from the interior.The last month of spring and the early summer constitute,in fact, a kind of carnival for the natives. Itis at this season that the traders, who have winteredin the interior, come out with their furs to the frontierposts of St. Mary’s, Drummond Island, and Michilimackinack,to renew their stocks of goods. The Indians, whohave done hunting at this season, as the furred animalsare now changing their hair, and the pelt becomesbad, follow them to enjoy themselves along the openshores of the lakes, and share in the good things thatmay fall to their lot, either from the traders at theirplaces of outfit, from presents issued by the Britishor American governments at their chief posts, or frommerchants in the towns, to whom a few concealed skinsare still reserved to trade. An Indian’stime appears to be worth but little to him at thisseason, if at any season. He lives most precariouslyon small things, such as he can pick up as he travelsloitering along the lake shores, or strolls, with easyfootsteps, about the forest precincts of his lodge.A single fish, or a bird or squirrel, now and then,serves to mitigate, if it does not satisfy, hunger.He has but little, I am told, at the best estate;but, to make amends for this, he is satisfied andeven happy with little. This is certainly a philosophicway of taking life, but it is, if I do not mistakeit, stoic philosophy, and has been learned, by painfullessons of want, from early youth and childhood.Where want is the common lot, the power of endurancewhich the race have must be a common attainment.

9th. This day I hired an interpreter forthe government, to attend at the office daily, a burly-faced,large man of some five-and-forty, by the name of Yarns.He tells me that he was born at Fort Niagara, of Irishparentage, to which an originally fair skin, blue eyes,and sandy hair, bear testimony. He has spentlife, it seems, knocking about trading posts, in theIndian country, being married, has metif children,and speaks the Chippewa tongue fluently—­Ido not know how accurately.

The day which has closed has been a busy day, havingbeen signalized as the date of my first public councilwith the Indians. It has ushered in my firstdiplomatic effort. For this purpose, all the bandspresent were invited to repair to camp, where ColonelBrady, at the appointed hour, ordered his men underarms, in full dress. They were formed in a hollowsquare in front of his marque. The American flagwaved from a lofty staff. The day was bright

and fine, and everything was well arranged to havethe best effect upon the minds of the Indians.As the throng of both resident and foreign bands approached,headed by their chiefs, they were seated in the square.It was noticed that the chiefs were generally talland striking-looking persons, of dignified manners,and well and even richly dressed. One of thechiefs of the home band, called Sassaba, who was generallyknown by the sobriquet of the Count, appearedin a scarlet uniform, with epaulets and a sword.The other chiefs observed their native costume, whichis, with this tribe, a toga of blue broadcloth, foldedand held by one hand on the breast, over a light-figuredcalico shirt, red cloth leggins and beaded moccasons,a belt or baldric about the waist, sustaining a knife-sheathand pouch, and a frontlet of skin or something ofthe sort, around the forehead, environed generallywith eagles’ feathers.

When the whole were seated, the colonel informed themthat I had been sent by their great father the Presidentto reside among them, that respect was due me in thatcapacity, and that I would now address them.I had directed a quantity of tobacco to be laid beforethem; and offered them the pipe with the customaryceremonies. Being a novice in addresses of thiskind, I had sat down early in the morning, in my crowdedlog hut, and written an address, couched in such amanner, and with such allusions and appeals, as Isupposed would be most appropriate. I was notmistaken, if I could judge by the responses made atthe close of each sentence, as it was interpreted.The whole address was evidently well received, andresponded to in a friendly manner, by the ruling chief,a tall, majestic, and graceful person named Shingabawossin,or the Image Stone, and by all who spoke except theCount. He made use of some intemperate, or ill-timedexpressions, which were not interpreted, but whichbrought out a strong rebuke from Mr. Johnston, who,being familiar with the Indian language, gave ventin their tongue to his quick and high-toned feelingsof propriety on the occasion. Colonel Brady thenmade some remarks to the chiefs, dictated by the positionhe occupied as being about to take post, permanently,in their country. He referred to the treaty ofpurchase made at these falls two years before by GovernorCass. He told the Indians that he should not occupytheir ancient encamping and burial-ground on the hill,but would select the next best site for his troops.This announcement was received with great satisfaction,as denoted by a heavy response of approbation on thepart of the Indians; and the council closed to theapparent mutual satisfaction of all. I auguredwell from all I heard respecting it, as coming fromthe Indians, and was resolved to follow it up zealously,by cultivating the best understanding with this powerfuland hitherto hostile tribe, namely the Chippewas,or, as they call themselves, Od-jib-wae.[16] To thisend, as well as for my amusem*nt, I commenced a vocabulary,and resolved to study their language, manners, customs,&c.

[Footnote 16: This word has its pluraling thus,Od-jib-waeig.]

10th. On examining the topography andadvantages of the ground, Colonel Brady determinedto take possession of a lot enclosed and dwelling,originally the property of the North West Company,and known as the Nolin House, but now the propertyof Mr. C.O. Ermatinger.[17] To this place thetroops were marched, soon after the close of the Indiancouncil mentioned, and encamped within the area.This area was enclosed with cedar pickets. Thedwelling-house, which occupied an eminence some eighthof a mile below the falls, was in old times regardedas a princely chateau of the once powerful lords ofthe North West Fur Trade, but is now in a decayedand ruinous state. It was nick-named “HotelFlanagan.” Dilapidated as it was, therewas a good deal of room under its roof, and it affordedquarters for most of the officers’ families,who must otherwise have remained in open tents.The enclosure had also one or two stone houses, whichfurnished accommodations to the quartermaster’sand subsistence and medical departments. Everynerve was now directed to fit up the place, completethe enclosure, and furnish it with gates; to builda temporary guard-house, and complete other militaryfixtures of the new cantonment. The edifice alsounderwent such repairs as served to fence out, asmuch as possible, the winds and snows of a severewinter—­a winter which every one dreads theapproach of, and the severity of which was perhapsmagnified in proportion as it was unknown.

[Footnote 17: For the property thus taken possessionof, the United States Government, through the Quartermaster’sDepartment, paid the claimant the just and full amountawarded by appraisers.]

11th. What my eyes have seen and my earshave heard, I must believe; and what is their testimonyrespecting the condition of the Indian on the frontiers?He is not, like Falstaff’s men, “food forpowder,” but he is food for whisky. Whiskyis the great means of drawing from him his furs andskins. To obtain it, he makes a beast of himself,and allows his family to go hungry and half naked.And how feeble is the force of law, where all areleagued in the golden bonds of interest to break it!He is indeed

“Like some neglectedshrub at random cast
That shades thesteep and sighs at every blast.”

12th. I received by to-day’s maila note from De Witt Clinton, Governor of New York.America has produced few men who have united civicand literary tastes and talents of a high order morefully than he does. He early and ably investigatedthe history and antiquities of Western New York.He views with a comprehensive judgment the great areaof the West, and knows that its fertility and resourcesmust render it, at no distant day, the home of futuremillions. He was among the earliest to appreciatethe mineralogical and geographical researches which

I made in that field. He renewed the interest,which, as a New Yorker, he felt in my history andfortunes, after my return from the head of the Mississippiin 1820. He opened his library and house to mefreely; and I have to notice his continued interestsince my coming here. In the letter which hasjust reached me, he encloses a favorable notice ofmy recent Narrative of the Expedition to the Sourcesof the Mississippi, from Sir Humphrey Davy.If there were nothing else, in such a notice fromsuch a source but the stimulus it gives to exertion,that alone is worth to a man in my position “pearlsand diamonds.”

Colonel Brady, who is active in daily perambulatingthe woods, to make himself acquainted with the environs,seeking, at the same time, the best places of findingwood and timber, for the purposes of his command,brought me a twig of the Sorbus Americana, a new speciesof tree to him, in the American forest, of which heasked me the name. This tree is found in occasionalgroups extensively in the region of the upper Lakelatitudes, where it is called the mountain ash.In the expedition to the sources of the Mississippiin 1820, it was observed on the southern shores ofLake Superior, which are on the average a little northof latitude 36 deg. 30’. This tree doesnot in these straits attain much size; a trunk ofsix to eight inches diameter is large. Its leaves,flowers, and fruit all tend to make it a very attractivespecies for shade and ornament. It must havea rich soil, but, this requisite granted, it delightsin wet moist lands, and will thrive with its rootsin springy grounds.

15th. One of the curious superstitionsof the Chippewas, respecting the location of spiritualexistences, revealed itself to-day. There isquite an eminence nearly a mile back of the new cantonment,which is called La Butte de Terre by the French, andWudjuwong,[18] or Place of the Mountain, by the natives.This eminence is covered with a fine growth of foresttrees, and lies in the track of an ancient Indianhunting path. About half way between the browof the hill and the cantonment, there formerly stooda large tree of this species, partly hollow, fromthe recesses of which, Indian tradition says, thereissued, on a calm day, a sound like the voice of aspirit or monedo. It resembled the sounds oftheir own drum. It was therefore considered asthe residence of some powerful spirit, and deemed sacred.To mark their regard for the place, they began todeposit at its foot bows and twigs of the same speciesof tree, as they passed it, from year to year, toand from their hunting-grounds. These offeringsbegan long before the French came to the country,and were continued up to this time. Some yearsago, the tree had become so much decayed that it blewdown during a storm, but young shoots came up fromits roots, and the natives continued to make theseofferings of twigs, long after the original trunkhad wholly decayed. A few days ago, Colonel Brady

directed a road to be cut from the cantonment to thehill, sixty feet wide, in order to procure wood fromthe hill for the garrison. This road passed overthe site of the sacred tree, and the men, withoutknowing it, removed the consecrated pile of offerings.It may serve to show a curious coincidence in thesuperstitions of nations, between whom, however, thereis not the slightest probability of national affiliation,or even intercourse, to remark that this sacred manitotree was a very large species of the Scottish rowanor mountain ash.

[Footnote 18: Wudijoo, a mountain—­ongdenotes locality.]

16th. I this day left the mess-table ofmy kind friends, the officers of the second infantry,and went to the hospitable domicil of Mr. Johnston,who has the warm-hearted frankness of the Irish character,and offers the civilities of life with the air andmanner of a prince. I flatter myself with theopportunity of profiting greatly while under his roof,in the polished circle of his household, and in hisripe experience and knowledge of the Indian character,manners, and customs, and in the curious philosophicaltraits of the Indian language. It is refreshingto find a person who, in reference to this language,knows the difference between the conjugation of averb and the declension of a noun. There is aprospect, at least, of getting at the grammaticalprinciples, by which they conjoin and build up words.It has been intolerable to me to converse with Indiantraders and interpreters here, who have, for halftheir lives, been using a language without being ableto identify with precision person, mood, tense, orany of the first laws of grammatical utterance.

17th. It is customary with the Chippewasat this place, when an inmate of the lodge is sick,to procure a thin sapling some twenty to thirty feetlong, from which, after it has been trimmed, the barkis peeled. Native paints are then smeared overit as caprice dictates. To the slender top arethen tied bits of scarlet, blue cloth, beads, or someother objects which are deemed acceptable to the manitoor spirit, who has, it is believed, sent sicknessto the lodge as a mark of his displeasure. Thepole is then raised in front of the lodge and firmlyadjusted in the ground. The sight of these manitopoles gives quite a peculiar air to an Indian encampment.Not knowing, however, the value attached to them,one of the officers, a few days after our arrival,having occasion for tent poles, sent one of his menfor one of these poles of sacrifice; but its losswas soon observed by the Indians, who promptly reclaimedit, and restored it to the exact position which itoccupied before. There is, in fact, such a subtleand universal belief in the doctrine and agency ofminor spirits of malign or benignant influence amongthe Indians who surround the cantonment, or visit theagency, and who are encamped at this season in greatnumbers in the open spaces of the village or its vicinity,

that we are in constant danger of trespassing againstsome Indian custom, and of giving offence where itwas least intended. It is said that one causeof the preference which the Indians have ever manifestedfor the French, is the respect which they are accustomedto pay to all their religious or superstitious observances,whereas an Englishman or an American is apt, eitherto take no pains to conceal his disgust for theirsuperstitions, or to speak out bluntly against them.

18th. Sulphuret of Copper.—­Ireceived a specimen of this mineral, which is representedto have been obtained on the Island of Saint Joseph’s,in these straits (Saint Mary’s). It hasthe usual brass yellow color of the sulphurets ofthis metal, and furnishes a hint for seeking thathitherto undiscovered, but valuable species of theore in this vicinity. Hitherto, we have foundthe metal chiefly in the native form, or in the conditionof a carbonate, the first being a form of it whichhas not in Europe been found in large quantities, andthe second not containing a sufficient per centageto repay well the cost of smelting.

20th. Superstitious regard for Woman.—­Someof the rites and notions of these northern barbariansare curious. The following custom is stated tome to have been formerly prevalent among the Chippewas:After their corn-planting, a labor which falls tothe share of the women, and as soon as the young bladesbegan to shoot up from the hills, it was customaryfor the female head of the family to perform a circuitaround the field in a state of nudity. For thispurpose, she chose a dark evening, and after divestingherself of her machecota, held it in her hands draggingit behind her as she ran, and in this way compassedthe field. This singular rite was believed toprotect the corn from blight and the ravages of wormsand vermin, and to insure a good crop. It wasbelieved that neither worms nor vermin could crossthe mystic or enchanted ring made by the nocturnalfootsteps of the wife, nor any mildew or canker affectthe growing stalks and ears.

21st. Grand Island, in Lake Superior,lies transversely in the lake, just beyond the terminationof the precipitous coast of the Pictured Rocks.Its southern end is crescent-shaped, and forms a singularlyfine harbor for vessels, which will one day be appreciated.The Indian band occupying it was formerly numerous.There are many stories still current of their formerprowess and traits of hospitality and generosity, andof the skill of their old seers, and divining-men,i.e. Jossakeeds. Its present Indianpopulation is reduced to forty-six souls, of whom tenare men, sixteen women, and twenty children.Of the men, nine are married, one of whom has twowives, and there are two widows.

Of this band the Star family, so called, have longpossessed the chieftainship, and are remarkable onseveral accounts. There are eleven children ofthem now living, five of whom are males, all by onemother, who is still living. Sabboo is the principalman. The South Bird, his elder, and the rulingchief, has removed to Bay de Nocquet. At thisisland, story says, formerly lived the noted warriorand meta, Sagima; and it was also, according to Indianmythology, the residence of Mishosha, who owned amagic canoe, that would shoot through the water byuttering a charmed word.

22d. I have heard much of the ancientChippewa capital of La Pointe, as the French callit, or Chegoimegon, in Lake Superior, situated nearits west end, or head. The Chippewas and theirfriends, the old traders and Boisbrules, andCanadians, are never tired of telling of it. Alltheir great men of old times are located there.It was there that their Mudjekewis, king or chiefruler, lived, and, as some relate, that an eternalfire was kept up with a sort of rude temple service.At that place lived, in comparatively modern times,Wabojeeg and Andaigweos, and there still lives oneof their descendants in Gitchee Waishkee, the GreatFirst-born, or, as he is familiarly called, Pezhickee,or the Buffalo, a chief decorated with British insignia.His band is estimated at one hundred and eighteensouls, of whom thirty-four are adult males, forty-onefemales, and forty-three children. Mizi, the Catfish,one of the heads of families of this band, who hasfigured about here this summer, is not a chief, buta speaker, which gives him some eclat.He is a sort of petty trader too, being credited withlittle adventures of goods by a dealer on the opposite,or British shores.

23d. There are few animals which the Indiansreject as food. On this subject they literallyfulfil the declaration of Paul, “that everycreature of God is good, and nothing to be refused;”but I fear the poor creatures, in these straits, doanything but show the true spirit of thanksgivingin which the admonition is given. There is nothingapparently in the assertion respecting Indians distinguishingbetween clean and unclean beasts; I have heard, however,that crows and vultures are not eaten, but, when theyare pushed by hunger, whatever can sustain life istaken.

The truth is, the calls of hunger are often so pressingto these northern Indians, that anything in the shapeof animal fibre, that will keep soul and body together,is eaten in times of their greatest want. A strikinginstance of this kind has just occurred, in the caseof a horse killed in the public service. Theanimal had, to use the teamster’s phrase, beensnagged, and was obliged to be shot. To preventunpleasant effects in hot summer weather, the carcasswas buried in the sand; but as soon as the numerousbands of Indians, who are encamped here, learned thefact, they dug up the animal, which was, however, nowisediseased, and took it to their camp for food.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the headof the falls—­Indian mode of interment—­Indianprophetess—­Topic of interpreters and interpretation—­Modeof studying the Indian language—­The Johnstonfamily—­Visits—­Katewabeda, chiefof Sandy Lake—­Indian mythology, and oraltales and legends—­Literary opinion—­Politicalopinion—­Visit of the chief Little Pine—­Visitof Wabishkepenais—­A despairing Indian—­Geography.

1822. July 26th. A tragic occurrence tookplace last night, at the head of the portage, resultingin the death of a Chippewa, which is believed to bewholly attributable to the use of ardent spirits inthe Indian camps. As soon as I heard the facts,and not knowing to what lengths the spirit of retaliationmight go, I requested of Colonel Brady a few men,with a non-commissioned officer, and proceeded, takingmy interpreter along, to the spot. The portageroad winds along about three-fourths of a mile, nearthe rapids, and all the way, within the full soundof the roaring water, when it opens on a green, whichis the ancient camping ground, at the head of thefalls. A footpath leads still higher, by clumpsof bushes and copsewood, to the borders of a shallowbay, where in a small opening I somewhat abruptly cameto the body of the murdered man. He was a Chippewafrom the interior called Soan-ga-ge-zhick, or theStrong Sky. He had been laid out, by his relatives,and dressed in his best apparel, with a kind of capof blue cloth and a fillet round his head. Hislodge, occupied by his widow and three small children,stood near. On examination, he had been stabbedin several places, deeply in both thighs. Thesewounds might not have proved fatal; but there wasa subsequent blow, with a small tomahawk, upon hisforehead, above the left eye. He was entirelydead, and had been found so, on searching for himat night, by his wife. It appeared that he hadbeen drinking during the evening and night, with anIndian half-breed of the Chippewa River, of the nameof Gaulthier. This fellow, finding he had killedhim, had taken his canoe and fled. Both had beenintoxicated. I directed the body to be interred,at the public charge, on the ancient burial hill ofthe Chippewas, near the cantonment. The usualshroud, on such occasions, is a new blanket; a gravewas dug, and the body very carefully dressed, laidin the coffin, beside the grave. Before the lidwas fastened, an aged Indian came forward, and pronounceda funeral oration. He recited the traits of hischaracter. He addressed the dead man direct.He told him that he had reached the end of his journeyfirst, that they should all follow him soon to theland of the dead, and again meet. He gave himdirections for his journey. He offered a briefadmonition of dangers. He bid him adieu.The brother of the deceased then stept forward, and,having removed the head-dress of the slain man, pulled

out some locks of hair as a memento. The head-dresswas then carefully replaced, the lid of the coffinfastened, and the corpse let down into the ground.Two stout poles were then laid over the open grave.The brother approached the widow and stood still.The orator then addressed a few words to both, tellingthe survivor to perform a brother’s part bythe widow. He then took her by the hand, and ledher carefully across the open grave, over the twopoles. This closed the ceremony, and the gravewas then filled, and the crowd of white and red mendispersed. At night a small flickering fire wasbuilt by the Indian relatives of the murdered man,at the head of the grave.

27th. Making inquiries respecting thefamily of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, in order to direct someprovisions to be issued to them, I learned that thewidow is a prophetess among her people, or in otherwords a female Jossakeed, and is supposed to havemuch influence in this way. This denotes thatthe prophetic office is not, as has been supposed,confined to males. I cannot better indicate themeaning of the word Jossakeed than to say that itis a person who makes oracular responses from a closelodge of peculiar construction, where the inmate issupposed to be surrounded by superhuman influences,which impart the power of looking into futurity.It is, manifestly, the ancient office of a seer, andafter making interrogatories about it, from personssupposed to be best acquainted with the manners andcustoms of the people, the existence of such an orderof persons among them offers a curious coincidencewith one of the earliest superstitions of mankind.I further learn that there is nothing hereditary inthe descent of such priestly functions; that any one,who acquires a character for sanctity or skill thereinamong the bands, may assume the duties, and will securea rank and respect in proportion to his supposed skilltherein. Having spoken of descent, it is added,by my informants, that the widow of Strong Sky, isa granddaughter of the noted war-chief Wabodjeeg,[19]of Chegoimegon, Lake Superior, who, some half a centuryago, had obtained a high reputation with his peoplefor his military skill and bravery, in the war againstthe Ottogamies and Sioux. They talk of him ashaving been a sort of Rajah, who could at any timeget men to follow him.

[Footnote 19: White Fisher. The fisher isa small furred animal resembling the mustela.]

28th. I have had an interview to-day withKa-ba-konse (Little Hawk), brother of the murderedStrong Sky.

It does not seem possible to obtain much informationrespecting their secret beliefs and superstitionsdirect from the Indians. The attempts I havemade thus far have, at least, been unsuccessful, partly,perhaps, because the topic was not properly apprehendedby them, or by my ordinary office interpreter, who,I find, is soon run a-muck by anything but the plainestand most ordinary line of inquiry. A man of the

Indian frontiers, who has lived all his life to eatand drink, to buy and sell, and has grown old in thisdevotion to the means necessary to secure the materialnecessaries of life is not easily roused up to intellectualardor. I find this to be the case with my presentinterpreter, and he is, perhaps, not inferior to thegeneral run of paid interpreters. But as I find,in my intercourse, the growing difficulties of verbalcommunication with the Indians on topics at all outof the ordinary routine of business, I begin to feelless surprised at the numerous misapprehensions ofthe actual character, manners, and customs of theIndians, which are found in books. I speak asto the communication of exact ideas of their beliefs.As to literal exactitude in such communications, myinquiries have already convinced me that there mustbe other and higher standards than a hap-hazard I-au-ne-kun-o-tau-gade,or trade interpreter, before the thing can be attempted.Fortunately, I have, in my kind and polite friend Mr.Johnston, who has given me temporary quarters at hishouse, and the several intelligent members of hisfamily, the means of looking deeper into the powersand structure of the language, and am pressing theseadvantages, amidst the pauses of business, with allmy ardor and assiduity.

The study of the language, and the formation of avocabulary and grammar have almost imperceptibly becomean absorbing object, although I have been but a shorttime at the place, and the plan interests me so much,that I actually regret the time that is lost from it,in the ordinary visits of comity and ceremony, whichare, however, necessary. My method is to interrogateall persons visiting the office, white and red, whopromise to be useful subjects of information duringthe day, and to test my inquiries in the evening byreference to the Johnstons, who, being educated, andspeaking at once both the English and Odjibwa correctly,offer a higher and more reliable standard than usual.

Mr. Johnston’s family consists of ten persons,though all are not constantly present. He ishimself a native of the county of Antrim, in the northof Ireland, his father having possessed an estate atCraige, near the Giant’s Causeway. He cameto America in the last presidential term of GeneralWashington, having a brother at that time settled atAlbany, and after visiting Montreal and Quebec, hefell into company with the sort of half-baronial classof north-west fur traders, who struck his fancy.By their advice, he went to Michilimackinack and LakeSuperior, where he became attached to, and subsequentlymarried the younger daughter of Wabojeeg, a northernPowhatan, who has been before mentioned. Thereare four sons and four daughters, to the educationof all of whom he has paid the utmost attention.His eldest son was first placed in the English navy,and is now a lieutenant in the land service, havingbeen badly wounded and cut in the memorable battle

with Commodore Perry on Lake Eric, in 1813. Thenext eldest is engaged in commerce. The eldestdaughter was educated in Ireland, and the two nextat Sandwich, near Detroit. These constitutedthe adults; there are two sons and a daughter, stillin their school-days. All possess agreeable, easymanners and refinement. Mrs. Johnston is a womanof excellent judgment and good sense; she is referredto on abstruse points of the Indian ceremonies andusages, so that I have in fact stumbled, as it were,on the only family in North West America who could,in Indian lore, have acted as my “guide, philosopherand friend.”

30th. I received yesterday a second visitfrom Ka-ta-wa-be-da, or the Broken Tooth chief ofSandy Lake, on the Upper Mississippi, who is generallyknown by his French name of Breshieu, and at the closeof the interview gave him a requisition on the commissaryfor some provisions to enable him to return to hishome. The Indians must be led by a very plainpath and a friendly hand. Feeling and preferenceare subsequent manifestations. I took this occasionto state to him the objects and policy of the governmentby the establishment at these falls of a post andagency, placing it upon its true basis, namely, thepreservation of peace upon the frontiers, and thedue observance, by all parties, of the laws respectingtrade and intercourse with the tribes, and securingjustice both to them and to our citizens, particularlyby the act for the exclusion of ardent spirits fromthe Indian country. By the agency, a door wasopened through which they could communicate their wishesto the President, and he was also enabled to statehis mind to them. All who opened their ears trulyto the voice of their American father would be includedamong the recipients of his favors. He felt kindlyto all, but those only who hearkened to his councilwould be allowed, as he had been, to sharein the usual privileges which the agency at this placesecured to them. Having drawn his provisions,and duly reflected on what was said by me, he returnedto-day to bid me adieu, on his setting out to go home,and to express his thanks for my kindness and advice.The old chief, who has long exercised his sway in theregion of Sandy Lake, made a well-considered speechin reply to mine of yesterday, in which he took theground of neutrality as between the United Statesand Great Britain, and averred that he had ever beenthe friend of the white race and of traders who cameinto the country, and declared himself the friendof peace.

At the conclusion of this interview, I gave him asmall sea-shell from my cabinet, as a mark of my respect,and a token which would remind him of my advice.I remembered that the Indians of the continent havealways set a high value on wampum, which is made solelyfrom sea-shells, and have attributed a kind of sacrednessfor this class of productions.

31st. Indian Mythology.—­Nothinghas surprised me more in the conversations which Ihave had with persons acquainted with the Indian customsand character, than to find that the Chippewas amusethemselves with oral tales of a mythological or allegoricalcharacter. Some of these tales, which I haveheard, are quite fanciful, and the wildest of themare very characteristic of their notions and customs.They often take the form of allegory, and in thisshape appear designed to teach some truth or illustratesome maxim. The fact, indeed, of such a fund offictitious legendary matter is quite a discovery, andspeaks more for the intellect of the race than anytrait I have heard. Who would have imagined thatthese wandering foresters should have possessed sucha resource? What have all the voyagers and remarkersfrom the days of Cabot and Raleigh been about, notto have discovered this curious trait, which liftsup indeed a curtain, as it were, upon the Indian mind,and exhibits it in an entirely new character?

August 1st. Every day increases the interestwhich the question of the investigation of the Indianlanguages and customs assumes in my mind. Myfacilities for pursuing these inquiries and for thegeneral transaction of the official business has beenincreased this day by my removing into a new and moreconvenient office, situated some ninety or a hundredyards west of my former position, but on a line withit, and fronting, like the former room, on an ancientgreen on the river’s banks. The St. Mary’sRiver is here about three-fourths of a mile wide, andthe green in front of my office is covered with Indianlodges, and presents a noble expanse. I havenow a building some thirty-six feet square, builtof squared timber, jointed with mortar and whitewashed,so as to give it a neat appearance. The interioris divided into a room some twenty feet by thirty-six,with two small ante-rooms. A large cast iron Montrealstove, which will take in three feet wood, occupiesthe centre. The walls are plastered, and theroom moderately lighted. The rear of the lothas a blacksmith shop. The interpreter has quartersnear by. The gate of the new cantonment is somethree hundred yards west of my door, and there isthus brought within a small compass the means of transactingthe affairs of the agency during the approaching andexpected severe winter. These are the best arrangementsthat can be made, better indeed than I had reasonto expect on first landing here.

3d. I wrote to-day to Dr. Hosack, expressingmy thanks for the extract of a letter, which he hadenclosed me from Sir Humphrey Davy, dated London,March 24th, 1822, in which this eminent philosopherexpresses his opinion on my Narrative Journal,a copy of which Dr. Hosack had sent him. “Schoolcraft’sNarrative is admirable,” observes SirHumphrey Davy, “both for the facts it develops,and for the simplicity and clearness of the details.He has accomplished great things by such means, andoffers a good model for a traveler in a new country.I lent his book to our veteran philosophical geographer,Major Kennel, who was highly pleased with it.Copies of it would sell well in England.”

A friend sends me a prospectus for a paper under thetitle of “Washington Republican,”which has just been established at the seat of government,earnestly advocating the election of John C. Calhounfor the presidency in 1824.

4th. A chief of a shrewd and grave countenance,and more than the ordinary cast of thought, visitedme this morning, and gave me his hand, with the ordinarysalutation of Nosa (my father). The interpreterintroduced him by the name of Little Pine, or Shingwalkonee,and as a person of some consequence among the Indians,being a meta, a wabeno, a counselor, a war chief,and an orator or speaker. He had a tuft of beardon his chin, wore a hat, and had some other traitsin his dress and gear which smacked of civilization.His residence is stated to be, for the most part,on the British side of the river, but he traces hislineage from the old Crane band here. I thoughthim to be a man of more than the ordinary Indian forecast.He appeared to be a person who, having seen all themilitary developments on these shores during the lastmonth, thought he would cross over the channel witha retinue, to see what the Chemoquemon [20] was about.He had also, perhaps, a shrewd Indian inkling thatsome presents might be distributed here during theseason.

[Footnote 20: Chemoquemon, an American; fromGitchee great, moquemon a knife.]

10th. A strange-looking Indian came infrom the forest wearing an American silver medal.He looked haggard and forsaken. It will be recollectedby those who have read my Narrative Journalof the expedition of 1820, that Governor Cass becamelost and entangled among the sharp mountainous passesof the River Ontonagon, in his attempts to reach theparty who had, at an early part of the day, gone forwardto the site of the Copper Rock; and that he bestoweda medal on a young Chippewa, who had rendered hisparty and himself services during its stay on thatriver. This individual was among the earlier visitorswho presented himself at my office. He recognizedme as one of the party on that occasion. He wasintroduced to me by the name of Wabish-ke-pe-nace,or the White Bird, and seemed to rouse up from a settledlook of melancholy when referring to those events.It appears that his conduct as a guide on that occasionhad made him unpopular with the band, who told himhe had received an honor for that which should be condemned.That it was a crime to show the Americans their wealth,and the Great Spirit did not approve it. Hisdress had something wild and forlorn, as well as hiscountenance.

17th. A week or two ago, an Indian, calledSa-ne-baw, or the Ribbon, who encamped on the greenin front of my office, fell sick. I requestedDr. Wheaton to visit him, but it did not appear thatthere was any disease of either an acute or chroniccharacter which could be ascertained. The manseemed to be in a low desponding state. Some smallmedicines were administered, but he evinced no symptomsof restoration. He rather appeared to be piningaway, with some secret mental canker. The veryspirit of despair was depicted in his visage.Young Wheaton, a brother of the Doctor, and LieutenantC. Morton, United States Army, visited him daily incompany, with much solicitude; but no effort to rallyhim, physically or mentally, was successful, and hedied this morning. “He died,” saidthe former to me, “because he would die.”The Indians seem to me a people who are prone to despond,and easily sink into frames of despair.

I received a letter to-day from the veteran geographer,Mr. W. Darby, of Philadelphia, brought by the handsof a friend, a Mr. Toosey, through whom he submittedto me a list of geographical and statistical queriesrelating to some generic points, which he is investigatingin connection with his forthcoming Gazetteer of theUnited States.


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior—­Canoe—­Scenery—­Descentof St. Mary’s Falls—­Etymology ofthe Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and LakeSuperior—­The wild rice plant—­Indiantrade—­American Fur Company—­Distributionof presents—­Death of Sassaba—­Epitaph—­Indiancapacity to count—­Oral literature—­Research—­Self-reliance.

1822. August 20th. I Went with a pic-nicto Gross Cape, a romantic promontory at the foot ofLake Superior. This elevation stands on the northshore of the straits, and consequently in Canada.It overlooks a noble expanse of waters and islands,constituting one of the most magnificent series ofviews of American scenery. Immediately oppositestands the scarcely less elevated, and not less celebratedpromontory of Point Iroquois, the Na-do-wa-we-gon-ing,or Place of Iroquois Bones, of the Chippewas.These two promontories stand like the pillars of Herculeswhich guard the entrance into the Mediterranean, andtheir office is to mark the foot of the mighty Superior,a lake which may not, inaptly, be deemed another MediterraneanSea. The morning chosen to visit this scene wasfine; the means of conveyance chosen was the noveland fairy-like barque of the Chippewas, which theydenominate Che-maun, but which we, from a corruptionof a Charib term as old as the days of Columbus, callCanoe. It is made of the rind of the betulapapyracea, or white birch, sewed together with thefine fibrous roots of the cedaror spruce, and is madewater-tight by covering the seams with boiled pinerosin, the whole being distended over and supported

by very thin ribs and cross-bars of cedar, curiouslycarved and framed together. It is turned up, ateither end, like a gondola, and the sides and gunwalesfancifully painted. The whole structure is light,and was easily carried by two men on their shoulders;yet will bear a weight of more than a ton on the water.It is moved with cedar paddles, and the Canadianswho managed it, kept time in their strokes, and regulatedthem to the sonorous cadence of some of their simpleboat songs. Our party consisted of several ladiesand gentlemen. We carried the elements of a pic-nic.We moved rapidly. The views on all sides werenovel and delightful. The water in which the menstruck their paddles was pure as crystal. Theair was perfectly exhilarating from its purity.The distance about three leagues. We landed afew moments at Point aux Pins, to range along the cleansandy shore, and sandy plains, now abounding in finewhortleberries. Directly on putting out fromthis, the broad view of the entrance into the lakeburst upon us. It is magnificent. A lineof blue water stretched like a thread on the horizon,between cape and cape, say five miles. Beyondit is what the Chippewas call Bub-eesh-ko-be,meaning the far off, indistinct prospect of a waterscene, till the reality, in the feeble power of humanvision, loses itself in the clouds and sky. Thetwo prominences of Point Iroquois and Gross Cape arevery different in character. The former is abold eminence covered with trees, and having all theappearance of youth and verdure. The latter isbut the end, so to say, of a towering ridge of darkprimary rocks with a few stunted cedars. Thefirst exhibits, on inspection, a formation of sandstoneand reproduced rocks, piled stratum super stratum,and covered with boulder drifts and alluvion.The second is a massive mountain ridge of the northernsienite, abounding in black crystaline hornblende,and flanked at lower altitudes, in front, in someplaces, by a sort of trachyte. We clambered upand over the bold undulations of the latter, till wewere fatigued. We stood on the highest pinnacle,and gazed on the “blue profound” of Superior,the great water or Gitchegomee of the Indians.We looked down far below at the clean ridges of pebbles,and the transparent water. After gazing, andlooking, and reveling in the wild magnificence ofviews, we picked our way, crag by crag, to the shore,and sat down on the shining banks of black, white,and mottled pebbles, and did ample justice to thecontents of our baskets of good things. Thisalways restores one’s spirits. We forgetthe toil in the present enjoyment. And havingdone this, and giving our last looks at what has beenpoetically called the Father of Lakes, we put out,with paddles and song, and every heart beating inunison with the scene, for our starting-point at Ba-wa-teeg,or Pa-wa-teeg, alias Sault Ste. Marie. Butthe half of my story would not be told, if I did notadd that, as we gained the brink of the rapids, andbegan to feel the suction of the wide current thatleaps, jump after jump, over that foaming bed, ourinclinations and our courage rose together to go downthe formidable pass; and having full faith in thelong-tried pilotage of our guide, Tom Shaw, down wewent, rushing at times like a thunderbolt, then turnedby a dab of the pole of our guide, on a rock, shootingoff in eschelon, and then careering down another schute,or water bolt, till we thus dodged every rock, andcame out below with a full roaring chorus of our Canadians,who, as they cleared the last danger, hoisted our starryflag at the same moment that they struck up one oftheir wild and joyous, songs.

22d. I have questioned the Indians closelyfor the names of Sault Ste. Marie and Lake Superior.They are destined to hold an important rank in ourfuture geography. But the result is not agreeableto preconceived poetic notions. When the Frenchfirst came to these falls, they found the Chippewas,the falls signifying, descriptively, Shallow waterpitching over rocks, or by a prepositional form ofthe term, at the place of shallow water, pitchingover rocks. Such is the meaning of the wordsPa-wa-teeg and Pa-wa-ting. The terms cover moreprecisely the idea which we express by the word cascade.The French call a cascade a Leap or Sault; but Saultalone would not be distinctive, as they had alreadyapplied the term to some striking passes on the St.Lawrence and other places. They therefore, inconformity with their general usage, added the nameof a patron saint to the term by calling it Sault deSte. Marie, i.e. Leap of Saint Mary,to distinguish it from other Leaps, or Saults.Now as the word Sainte, as here used, is feminine,it must, in its abbreviated form, be written Ste.The preposition de (the) is usually dropped.Use has further now dropped the sound of the letterl from Sault. But as, in the reforms ofthe French dictionary, the ancient geographical namesof places remain unaffected, the true phraseology isSAULT STE. MARIE.

Having named the falls a Sault, they went astep further, and called the Odjibwa Indians who livedat it, Saulteurs, or People of the Sault.Hence this has ever remained the French name for Chippewas.

In the term Gitchegomee, the name for Superior, wehave a specimen of their mode of making compounds.Gitche signifies something great, or possessingthe property of positive magnitude. Gomee isitself a compound phrase, denoting, when so conjoined,a large body of water. It is the objective memberof their term for the sea; but is governed by itsantecedent, and may be used in describing other andminor, even the most minute liquid bodies, as we hearit, in the compound term mushkuagomee, i.e.strong drink. Under the government of the termgitchee, it appears to express simply the senseof great water, but conveys the idea, to the Indian

mind, of sea-water. I have cast about, to finda sonorous form of elision, in which it may come intopopular use, but find nothing more eligible than I-go-mee,or Igoma. A more practical word, in theshape of a new compound, may be made in Algoma, aterm in which the first syllable of the generic nameof this tribe of the Algonquin stock, harmonizes verywell with the Indian idea of goma (sea), giving us,Sea of the Algonquins. The term may be objectedto, as the result of a grammatical abbreviation, butif not adopted practically, it may do as a poeticalsynonym for this great lake. Such is, at least,the result of a full discussion of these names, withthe very best speakers of the language.

30th. The Wild Rice Plant.—­Havingreceived a request for some of this native grain tosend abroad, and knowing that the smoked rice, suchas the Indians usually bring in, will not germinate,I this day dispatched my interpreter in a canoe, withsome Indians, to the northern shores of the straitsto gather some of it for seed; the result was successful.This plant may be deemed a precious gift of natureto the natives, who spread over many degrees of northernlatitude. They call it mon-o-min, a compounddescriptive phrase, which differs only from their namefor the zea maize in putting an o—­thethird syllable—­for the imperative futurein dau.

Sept. 1st. Indian Trade.—­Congresshas provided a code of laws to regulate this, theobject of which is a good one, and the provisions ofthe various enactments appear to be founded on thehighest principles of justice and benevolence.It is still a question, it appears to me, whethersome of these provisions do not merely sanction bythe forms of law what was formerly done, not alwayswell, without it, and whether the measure of protectionwhich they afford to the tribes against the cupidityof the whites is very efficacious. It was heretoforepretended by the British traders that all this countrybelonged to Great Britain, and they told the Indiansthat the war of 1812 would settle all this. Itdid so; but, contrary to their wishes and the predictionsto the Indians, it settled it precisely on the basisof the treaty of 1783, which ran the boundary linethrough the straits of Saint Mary’s and LakeSuperior to the Lake of the Woods. As soon asthe smoke of the war cleared off, namely, in 1816,Congress enacted that British traders and capitalshould be excluded from the American lines, that noBritish subjects should receive licenses to trade,and that all such persons who went inland in subordinatecapacities should be bonded for by the American traderswho employed them. This law seemed to bear particularlyon this section of country, and is generally understoodto have been passed to throw the old North West Company,and other British traders, trading on their own account,out of this hitherto very lucrative branch of trade.John Jacob Astor, of New York, went immediately to

Montreal and bought out all the posts and factoriesof that company, situated in the north-west, whichwere south of the lines. With these posts, thefactors, trading clerks, and men were, as a matterof course, cast on the patronage and employment ofthat eminent German furrier. That he might covertheir employment, he sent an agent from Montreal intoVermont to engage enterprising young men, in whosenames the licenses could be taken out. He furnishedthe entire capital for the trade, and sent agents,in the persons of two enterprising young Scotch gentlemen,from Montreal and New York to Michilimackinack, tomanage the business. This new arrangement tookthe popular name of the American Fur Company.In other respects, except those related, the mode oftransacting the trade, and the real actors therein,remained very much as they were. American lads,whose names were inscribed in the licenses at Michilimackinack,as principals, went inland in reality to learn thebusiness and the language; the engagees, orboatmen, who were chiefly Canadians or metifs, werebonded for, in five hundred dollars each. Inthis condition, I found things on my arrival here.The very thin diffusion of American feeling or principlein both the traders and the Indians, so far as I haveseen them, renders it a matter of no little difficultyto supervise this business, and it has required perpetualactivity in examining the boats and outfits of thetraders who have received their licenses at Mackinack,to search their packages, to detect contraband goods,i.e. ardent spirits, and grant licenses, passports,and permits to those who have applied to me. Tome it seems that the whole old resident populationof the frontiers, together with the new accessionsto it, in the shape of petty dealers of all sorts,are determined to have the Indians’ furs, atany rate, whether these poor red men live or die;and many of the dealers who profess to obey the lawswish to get legally inland only that they may do asthey please, law or no law, after they have passedthe flag-staff of Sainte Marie’s. Theremay be, and I trust there are, higher motivesin some persons, but they have not passed this way,to my knowledge, the present season. I detectedone scamp, a fellow named Gaulthier, who had carriedby, and secreted above the portage, no less than fivelarge kegs of whisky and high wines on a small invoice,but a few days after my arrival. It will requirevigilance and firmness, and yet mildness, to secureanything like a faithful performance of the dutiescommitted to me on a remote frontier, and with verylittle means of action beyond the precincts of thepost, and this depends much on the moral influenceon the Indian mind of the military element of power.

6th. First Distribution of Presents.—­Infulfilment of a general declaration of friendly purposes,made on my opening speech to the Chippewas in Julylast, the entire home band of St. Mary’s, men,women, and children, were assembled on the green infront of my office, this morning, to receive a smallinvoice of goods and merchandise, which were distributedamongst them as presents. These goods were thebest that could be purchased in the Detroit market,and were all of the best description; and they werereceived with a lively satisfaction, which betokenedwell for my future influence. Prominent amongthe pleased recipients were the chiefs of the village,Shin-ga-ba-was-sin, the Image Stone, She-wa-be-ke-tone,the Man of Jingling Metals, Kau-ga-osh, or the Birdin Eternal Flight, Way-ish-kee, or The First Born Son,and two or three others of minor note. Behindthem were the warriors and young men, the matronsand maids; and peppered in, as it were, the childrenof all ages. All were in their best attire.The ceremony began by lighting the pipe, and havingit passed by suitable officials to the chiefs andwarriors in due order, and by placing a pile of tobaccobefore them, for general use, which the chiefs withgreat care divided and distributed, not forgettingthe lowest claimant. I then stated the principlesby which the agency would be guided in its intercoursewith them, the benevolence and justice of the viewsentertained by their great father, the President,and his wishes to keep improper traders out of theircountry, to exclude ardent spirits, and to secure theirpeace and happiness in every practicable way.Each sentence, as it was rendered into Indian, wasreceived with the response of Hoh! an exclamation ofapprobation, which is uttered feebly or loud, in proportionas the matter is warmly or coldly approved. Thechiefs responded. All looked pleased; the presentswere divided, and the assembly broke up in harmonyand good will. It does seem that, accordingto the oriental maxim,[21] a present is the readiestdoor to an Indian’s heart.

[Footnote 21: “Let thy present go beforethee.”—­Proverbs of Solomon.]

25th. The Indian mind appears to lackthe mathematical element. It is doubtful howfar they can compute numbers. The Chippewas countdecimally, and after ten, add the names of the digitsto the word ten, up to twenty; then take the wordfor twenty, and add them as before, to thirty; andso on to a hundred. They then add them to theterm for a hundred, up to a thousand.

They cannot be made to understand the value of anAmerican dollar, without reducing it to the standardof skins. A striking instance of this kind happenedamong the Potowattomies at Chicago last year (1821).The commanding officer had offered a reward of thirtydollars for the apprehension of a deserter. ThePotowattomies pursued and caught him, and receiveda certificate for the reward. The question with

them now was, how much they had got. They wishedto sell the certificate to a trader, and there werefive claimants. They sat down and counted offas many racoon skins. They then made thirty equalheaps, substituting symbols for skins. Takingthe store price of a racoon at five skins to the dollar,they then found they had received the equivalent ofone hundred and fifty racoons, and at this price theysold the order or certificate.

26th. Death of Sassaba,[22] or the Count.—­Thischief, who has from the day of our first landing here,rendered himself noted for his sentiments of oppositionto the Americans, met with a melancholy fate yesterday.He was in the habit of using ardent spirits, and frequentlyrose from a debauch of this kind of two or three days’continuance. Latterly he has exhibited a singularfigure, walking through the village, being divestedof every particle of clothing except a large gray wolf’sskin, which he had drawn over his body in such a manneras to let its tail dangle down behind. It wasin this unique costume that I last saw him, and ashe was a tall man, with rather prominent features,the spectacle was the more striking. From thisfreak of dress he has been commonly called, for sometime, My-een-gun, or the Wolf. He had been drinkingat Point aux Pins, six miles above the rapids, withOdabit and some other boon companions, and in thispredicament embarked in his canoe, to come to the headof the portage. Before reaching it, and whilestill in the strong tide or suck of the current, herose in his canoe for some purpose connected withthe sail, and tipped it over. Odabit succeededin making land, but the Count, his wife and child,and Odabit’s wife, went over the rapids, whichwas the last ever seen of them. Sassaba appearedto me to be a man of strong feelings and an independentmind, not regarding consequences. He had takena deep prejudice against the Americans, from his brotherhaving been shot by his side in the battle under Tec*msehon the Thames. This appeared to be the burdenof his complaints. He was fond of European dress,and articles of furniture. It was found that hehad in his tent, which was of duck, a set of silvertea and tablespoons, knives, forks, cups and saucers,and a tea tray. Besides his military coat, sword,and epaulets, and sash, which were presented to him,he had some ruffled linen shirts, gloves, shoes andstockings, and an umbrella, all of which were kept,however, in the spirit of a virtuoso, and he tooka pride in displaying these articles to visitors.

[Footnote 22: The word means finery.]

Many a more worthless man than Sassaba has had hisepitaph, or elegiac wreath, which may serve as anapology for the following lines:—­

The Falls were thy grave,as they leapt mad along,
And the roar of theirwaters thy funeral song:
So wildly, so madly,thy people for aye,
Are rapidly, ceaselessly,passing away.
They are seen but amoment, then fade and are past,
Like a cloud in thesky, or a leaf in the blast;
The path thou hast trodden,thy nation shall tread,
Chief, warrior, andkin, to the Land of the Dead;
And soon on the lake,or the shore, or the green,
Not a war drum shallsound, not a smoke shall be seen.

27th. Oral Literature of the Indians.—­“Iam extremely anxious,” writes a friend, “thatMr. Johnston and his family should furnish full anddetailed answers to my queries, more particularly uponall subjects connected with the language, and, ifI may so speak, the polite literature of the Chippewas(I write the word in this way because I am apprehensivethat the orthography is inveterately fixed, and notbecause I suppose it is correct)[23]. There isno quarter from which I can expect such full informationupon these topics as from this. I must beg youto aid me in the pursuit. Urge them during thelong winter evenings to the task. The time cannotbe more profitably or pleasantly spent, and, as Iam told you are somewhat of an aboriginal scholar,you can assist them with your advice and judgment.A perfect analysis of the language is a great desideratum.I pray you, in the spring, to let me have the fruitsof their exertions.”

[Footnote 23: I had written, announcing the wordOd-jib-wa to be the true Indian pronunciation,and recommending its adoption.]

With a strong predisposition to these inquiries, withsuch additional excitement to the work, and with thevery highest advantages of interpretation and no littlefixity of application from boyhood, it must go hardwith me this winter if I do not fish up something fromthe well of Indian researches and traditionary lore.

Go, student, search,and if thou nothing find,
Go search again; successis in the mind.—­ALGON.

28th. The right spirit, humble yet manful.—­Ayoung man of purpose and some talent, with considerableambition, who is diligently seeking a place in theworld, writes me from Detroit to-day, in this strain:“True it is, I have determined to pass the wintereither in New York or Washington, probably the latterplace. But, my dear sir, my hope of doing anythingfor myself in this world is the faintest possible,and I begin to fatigue with the exertion. IfI do not succeed this winter in obtaining somethingpermanent,[24] I shall probably settle down, eitherin this place or somewhere in New York, a poor devil!—­fromall which, and many other things, ‘good Lorddeliver us!’ Farewell; my best wishes be withyou this winter, to keep you warm. I shall expectnext spring to see you an accomplished nichee”[25] [Ne-je].

[Footnote 24: He did succeed at W.]

[Footnote 25: A term signifying, in the Chippewa,my friend, but popularly used at the time tosome extent at Detroit to denote an Indian.]


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior—­Coppermines—­White fish—­A poetic namefor a fish—­Indian tale—­Polygamy—­Areminiscence—­Taking of Fort Niagara—­Mythologicaland allegorical tales among the aborigines—­Chippewalanguage—­Indian vowels—­A politeand a vulgar way of speaking the language—­Publicworship—­Seclusion from the world.

1822. Oct. 1st. Copper Mines of Lake Superior.—­Onthe 8th of May last, the Senate of the United Statespassed a resolution in these words:—­

Resolved, that the President of theUnited States be requested to communicate to the Senate,at the commencement of the next session of Congress,any information which may be in the possession of thegovernment, derived from special agents or otherwise,showing the number, value, and position of the coppermines on the south shore of Lake Superior; the namesof the Indian tribes who claim them; the practicabilityof extinguishing their title, and the probable advantagewhich may result to the Republic from the acquisitionand working these mines.”

The resolution having been referred to me by the Secretaryof War, I, this day, completed and transmitted a reporton the subject, embracing the principal facts knownrespecting them, insisting on their value and importance,and warmly recommending their further exploration andworking.[26]

[Footnote 26: See Public Doc. No. 365, 2dSess., 17th Congress.]

4th. White Fish Fishery.—­Noplace in America has been so highly celebrated asa locality for taking this really fine and deliciousfish, as Saint Mary’s Falls, or the Sault,[27]as it is more generally and appropriately called.This fish resorts here in vast numbers, and is inseason after the autumnal equinox, and continues sotill the ice begins to run. It is worthy theattention of ichthyologists. It is a remarkable,but not singular fact in its natural history, thatit is perpetually found in the attitude of ascentat these falls. It is taken only in the swiftwater at the foot of the last leap or descent.Into this swift water the Indians push their canoes.It requires great skill and dexterity for this.The fishing canoe is of small size. It is steeredby a man in the stern. The fisherman takes hisstand in the bows, sometimes bestriding the lightand frail vessel from gunwale to gunwale, having ascoop-net in his hands. This net has a long slenderhandle, ten feet or more in length. The net ismade of strong twine, open at the top, like an entomologist’s.When the canoe has been run into the uppermost rapids,and a school of fish is seen below or alongside, hedexterously puts down his net, and having swooped up

a number of the fish, instantly reverses it in water,whips it up, and discharges its contents into thecanoe. This he repeats till his canoe is loaded,when he shoots out of the tail of the rapids, and makesfor shore. The fish will average three pounds,but individuals are sometimes two and three timesthat weight. It is shad-shaped, with well-developedscales, easily removed, but has the mouth of the sucker,very small. The flesh is perfectly white andfirm, with very few bones. It is boiled by theIndians in pure water, in a peculiar manner, the kettlehung high above a small blaze; and thus cooked, itis eaten with the liquid for a gravy, and is delicateand delicious. If boiled in the ordinary way,by a low hung pot and quick fire, it is soft and comparativelyflabby. It is also broiled by the inhabitants,on a gridiron, after cutting it open on the back,and brought on the table slightly browned. Thismust be done, like a steak, quickly. It is themost delicious when immediately taken from the water,and connoisseurs will tell you, by its taste at thetable, whether it is immediately from the water, orhas lain any time before cooking. It is sometimesmade into small ovate masses, dipped into batter,and fried in butter, and in this shape, it is calledpetite pate. It is also chowdered or baked ina pie. It is the great resource of the Indiansand the French, and of the poor generally at thesefalls, who eat it with potatoes, which are abundantlyraised here. It is also a standing dish withall.

[Footnote 27: This word is pronounced as if writtenso, not soo. It is a derivative,through the French, from the Latin saltus.]

A Poetic Name for a Fish.—­The Chippewas,who are ready to give every object in creation, whoseexistence they cannot otherwise account for, an allegoricalorigin, call the white fish attikumaig, a verycurious or very fanciful name, for it appears to becompounded of attik, a reindeer, and the general compoundgumee, or guma, before noticed, as meaningwater, or a liquid. To this the addition of theletter g makes a plural in the animate form,so that the translation is deer of the water,an evident acknowledgment of its importance as an itemin their means of subsistence. Who can say, afterthis, that the Chippewas have not some imagination?

Indian Tale.—­They have a legendabout the origin of the white fish, which is foundedon the observation of a minute trait in its habits.This fish, when opened, is found to have in its stomachvery small white particles which look like roe orparticles of brain, but are, perhaps, microscopicshells. They say the fish itself sprang from thebrain of a female, whose skull fell into these rapids,and was dashed out among the rocks. A tale ofdomestic infidelity is woven with this, and the denouementis made to turn on the premonition of a venerable crane,the leading Totem of the band, who, having consentedto carry the ghost of a female across the falls onhis back, threw her into the boiling and foaming floodto accomplish the poetic justice of the tale.

17th. Polygamy.—­This practiceappears to be less common among the Chippewas thanthe more westerly tribes. An instance of it cameto my notice to-day, in a complaint made by an Indiannamed Me-ta-koos-se-ga, i.e. Smoking-Weed,or Pure Tobacco, who was living with two wives, amother and her daughter. He complained that ayoung woman whom he had brought up had left his lodge,and taken shelter with the family of the widow ofa Canadian. It appears that the old fellow hadbeen making advances to this girl to become his thirdwife, and that she had fled from his lodge toavoid his importunities.

18th. Historical Reminiscences.—­Thisday sixty-three years ago, General Wolf took Quebec,an event upon which hinged the fall of Canada.That was a great historical era, and it is from thisdate, 1759, that we may begin to date a change inthe Indian policy of the country. Before thattime, the French, who had discovered this region ofcountry and established trade and intercourse withthe Indian tribes, were acknowledged supreme by thenatives. Since this event, the English rule hasbeen growing, and the allegiance of the tribes hasbeen gradually strengthened and fixed. It isnot a light task to change habits of political affiance,cemented by so many years. The object which isonly sought so far as the tribes fall within the Americanlines, may, however, be attained by a mild, consistent,and persevering course of policy. Time is a slowbut sure innovator. A few years will carry themore aged men, whose prejudices are strongest, to theirgraves. The young are more pliant, and will seetheir interests in strengthening their intercoursewith the Americans, who can do so much to advancethem, and probably long before half another periodof sixty-three years is repeated, the Indians of theregion will be as firmly attached to us as they everwere to the French or the English.

Never to doubt, andnever to despair,
Is to make acts whatonce but wishes were. ALGON.

26th. Allegorical and Mythological Tales.—­“Ishall be rejoiced,” observed Governor C., ina letter of this day, in reply to my announcementof having detected fanciful traditionary stories amongthe Chippewas, “to receive any mythologicalstories to which you allude, even if they are enoughto rival old Tooke in his Pantheon.” Hehad put into my hands, at Detroit, a list of printedqueries respecting the Indians, and calls me to rememberthem, during my winter seclusion here, with the knowledgeof the advantages I possess in the well-informed circleof the Johnston family.

25th. Chippewa Language.—­Thereis clearly a polite and a vulgar way of speaking thelanguage. Tradition says that great changes havetaken place, and that these changes keep pace withthe decline of the tribe from their ancient standardof forest morals and their departure from their ancientcustoms. However this may be, their actual vocabularyis pretty full. Difficulties exist in writingit, from the want of an exact and uniform system ofnotation. The vowels assume their short and slenderas well as broad sounds. The language appearsto want entirely the consonant sounds of f, l, r,v, and x. In conjugating their verbs, the threeprimary tenses are well made out, but it is doubtfulhow much exactitude exists in the forms given forthe oblique and conditional tenses. If it betrue that the language is more corrupt now than ata former age, it is important to inquire in what thiscorruption consists, and how it came about. “Torescue it,” I observe at the close of a letternow on my table to his Excellency Governor C., transmittinghim a vocabulary of one hundred and fifty words, “Torescue it from that oblivion to which the tribe itselfis rapidly hastening, while yet it may be attempted,with a prospect of success, will constitute a noveland pleasing species of amusem*nt during the long eveningsof that dreary cold winter of which we have alreadyhad a foretaste.”

31st. Public Worship.—­As ColonelBrady is about to leave the post for the season, someconversation has been had about authorizing him toget a clergyman to come to the post. It is thoughtthat if such a person would devote a part of his timeas an instructor, a voluntary subscription could begot among the citizens to supply the sum requisitefor his support. I drew up a paper with this viewthis morning, and after handing it round, found thesum of ninety-seven dollars subscribed—­seventy-fivedollars of which are by four persons. This isnot half the stipend of “forty pounds a year”that poor Goldsmith’s brother thought himselfrich upon; and it is apprehended the colonel willhardly find the inducement sufficient to elicit attentionto so very remote a quarter.

Nov. 1st. We have snow, cold, and chillywinds. On looking to the north, there are hugepiles of clouds hanging over Lake Superior. Wemay say, with Burns,

“The wintry windis gathering fast.”

This is a holiday with the Canadian French—­“AllSaints.” They appear as lively and thoughtlessas if all the saints in the calendar were to jointhem in a dance. Well may it be said of them,“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis follyto be wise.”

20th. Seclusion from the World realized.—­Weare now shut out from the world. The season ofnavigation has closed, the last vessel has departed.Philosophers may write, and poets may sing of the charmsof solitude, but when the experiment comes to be tried,on a practical scale, such as we are now, one andall, about to realize, theories and fancies sink wonderfullyin the scale. For some weeks past, everythingwith the power of motion or locomotion has been exertingitself to quit the place and the region, and hie tomore kindly latitudes for the winter. Naturehas also become imperceptibly sour tempered, and showsher teeth in ice and snows. Man-kind and bird-kindhave concurred in the effort to go. We have witnessedthe long-drawn flight of swans, brant, and cranes,towards the south. Singing birds have long sincegone. Ducks, all but a very few, have also silentlydisappeared, and have probably gone to pick up spicyroots in the Susquehannah or Altamaha.

Prescient in the changes of the season, they havebeen the first to go. Men, who can endure greaterchanges and vicissitudes than all the animal creationput together, have lingered longer; but at last oneafter another has left Pa-wa-teeg, till all who cango have gone. Col. Brady did not leave hiscommand till after the snow fell, and he saw themtolerably “cantoned.” The last vesselfor the season has departed—­the last mailhas been sent. Our population has been thinnedoff by the departure of every temporary dweller, andlingering trader, and belated visitor, till no oneis left but the doomed and fated number whose dutyis here, who came here to abide the winter in all itsregions, and who cannot, on any fair principle orexcuse, get away. They, and they alone, are leftto winter here. Of this number I am a resignedand willing unit, and I have endeavored to preparefor the intellectual exigencies of it, by a systematicstudy and analysis of the Indian language, customs,and history, and character. My teachers and appliancesare the best. I have furnished myself with vocabulariesand hand-books, collected and written down, duringthe season. I have the post library in my room,in addition to my own, with a free access to that of“mine host” of the Emerald Isle, Mr. Johnston,to while away the time. My huge Montreal stovewill take long billets of wood, which, to use thephraseology of Burns, “would mend a mill.”The society of the officers and their families ofthe garrison is at hand. The amusem*nts of awinter, in this latitude, are said to be rather novel,with their dog trains and creole sleighs. Thereare some noble fellows of the old “North West”order in the vicinity. There are thus the elements,at least, of study, society, and amusem*nt. Whateverelse betide, I have good health, and good spirits,and bright hopes, and I feel very much in the humorof enjoying the wildest kind of tempests which Providencemay send to howl around my dwelling.

We have, as the means of exchanging sentiment, oneEnglish family of refinement and education, on theAmerican side of the river, and two others, an Englishfamily and the Hudson Bay House in charge of a Scotchgentleman, on the Canada shore. We have the officersattached to a battalion of infantry, most of themmarried and having their ladies and families withthem, and about a dozen American citizens besides,engaged in traffic and other affairs. These,with the resident metif population of above300 souls, and the adjacent Indian tribes, constitutethe world—­the little isolated world—­inwhich we must move for six months to come. Aboutfifty miles off, S.E., is the British post of DrummondIsland, and about forty west of the latter, the ancientposition and island settlement of Michilimackinack,that bugbear to children in all our earlier editionsof Webster’s Spelling Book.

All the rest of the United States is a far-off landto us. For one, I draw around my fire, get mytable and chair properly located, and resort to mybooks, and my Indian ia-ne-kun-o-tau-gaid letthe storm whistle as it may.

25th. Zimmerman may write as much as hepleases about solitude. It is all very well inone’s study, by his stove, if it is winter, witha good feather bed, and all comforts at hand; buthe who would test his theories should come here.It is a capital place, in the dead of winter, forstripping poetic theories of their covering.


Amusem*nts during the winter months, when the temperatureis at the lowest point—­Etymology of theword Chippewa—­A meteor—­The Indian“fire-proof”—­Temperature andweather—­Chippewa interchangeables—­Indiannames for the seasons—­An incident in conjugatingverbs—­Visiting—­Gossip—­Thefur trade—­Todd, McGillvray, Sir AlexanderMackenzie—­Wide dissimilarity of the Englishand Odjibwa syntax—­Close of the year.

1822. December 1st. We have now plungedinto the depths of a boreal winter. The blusteringof tempests, the whistling of winds, and the careeringof snow drifts form the daily topics of remark.We must make shift to be happy, with the most scantymeans of amusem*nt. Books and studies must supplythe most important item in this—­at least,so far as I am concerned.

It is observed by Dr. Johnson “that nothingcan supply the want of prudence, and that negligenceand irregularity, long continued, will render knowledgeuseless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible.”This sententious apothegm is thrown out in contemplatingthe life of Savage, one of the English poets who unitedsome of the highest requisites of genius with thelowest personal habits. But how much instructiondoes it convey to all! It does not fall to thelot of all to have wit or genius, or to be eminentin knowledge. None, however, who are not absoluteidiots are without some share of the one or the other.And in proportion as these gifts are possessed, howfruitless, and comparatively useless do they become,if not governed by prudence, assiduity, and regularity!

3d. The Indian tribes in this vicinitycall themselves Ojibwaeg. This expression isin the plural number. It is rendered singularby taking off the g. The letter a,in this word, is pronounced like a in hate,or ey in obey. Chippewa—­oftenwritten with a useless terminal y—­isthe Anglicized pronunciation. The meaning of thisseems obscure. The final syllable wae,in compound words, stands for voice. In the ancientMassachusetts language, as preserved by Eliot, in histranslation of the Bible, as in Isaiah xi. 14, Chepwoieumeans the east.

What a curious subject for speculation the Indianlanguage presents! Since I began to dip intothis topic, I have found myself irresistibly carriedforward in the inquiry, and been led to resume it,whenever the calls of business or society have beenintermitted. I have generally felt, however,while pursuing it, like a mechanist who is requiredto execute a delicate and difficult work without suitableimplements. Technical words may be consideredas the working tools of inquiry, and there seems tobe a paucity of terms, in our common systems, to describesuch a many-syllabled, aggregated language as the Indian.I have been sometimes half inclined to put my manuscriptsin the fire, and to exclaim with Dryden, respectingsome metaphysical subject—­

“I cannot boltthis matter to the bran.”

It is not, however, the habitual temper of my mindto give up. “The spider,” it is said,“taketh hold with her hands, and is in king’spalaces;” and should a man have less perseverancethan a spider?

4th. A meteor, or fire-ball, passed throughthe village at twilight this evening. The weather,which has been intensely cold for the last three days,indicates a change this evening. Meteoric phenomenaof a luminous character were universally referredto electricity, after Franklin’s day. Chemistryhas since put forth reasons why several of these phenomenashould be attributed to phosphorus or hydrogen liberatedby decomposition.

5th. The Chippewa jugglers, or Jassakeeds,as they are called, have an art of rendering theirflesh insensible, probably for a short time, to theeffects of a blaze of fire. Robert Dickson toldme that he had seen several of them strip themselvesof their garments, and jump into a bonfire. Voltairesays, in his Essay on History, that rubbing the handfor a long time with spirit of vitriol and alum, withthe juice of an onion, is stated to render it capableof enduring hot water without injury.

7th. Acting as librarian for the garrisonduring the season, I am privileged to fill up manyof the leisure hours of my mornings and evenings byreading. The difficulty appears to be, to readwith such reference to system as to render it profitable.History, novels, voyages and travels, and variousspecific treatises of fancy or fact, invite perusal,and like a common acquaintance, it requires some moraleffort to negative their claims. “Judgment,”says a celebrated critic, “is forced upon usby experience. He that reads many books must compareone opinion, or one style with another, and when hecompares must necessarily distinguish, reject, prefer.”

Sunday 8th. Quintilian says, “Wepalliate our sloth by the specious pretext of difficulty.”Nothing, in fact, is too difficult to accomplish,which we set about, with a proper consideration ofthose difficulties, and pursue with perseverance.The Indian language cannot be acquired so easily asthe Greek or Hebrew, but it can be mastered by perseverance.Our Indian policy cannot be understood without lookingat the Indian history. The taking of Fort Niagarawas the first decisive blow at French power.Less than three months afterwards, that is, on the18th of October of that year, General Wolf took Quebec.Goldsmith wrote some stanzas on this event, eulogizingthe heroism of the exploit. England’s consolationfor the loss of Wolf is found in his heroic example,which the poet refers to in his closing line,

“Since from thytomb a thousand heroes rise.”

11th. Names are the pegs of history.Velasco, it is said, on visiting the gulf which receivesthe St. Lawrence, and finding the country cold andinhospitable, cried out aca nada—­“thereis nothing here.” This is said to be theorigin of the word Canada. Nothing could be moreimprobable: Did the Indians of Canada hear him,and, if so, did they understand or respect the languageof a foreigner hovering on their coast? We mustlook to the Iroquois for the origin of this word.Jacques Cartier, in 1534, evidently mistook the Indianword Canada, signifying a town, for the whole country.The Indians have no geographical terms for districts.They name a hill, a river, or a fall, but do not dealin generics. Some a priori reasoning seemsconstrained, where the facts are granted, as this:All animals at Nova Zembla, it is said, are carnivorous,because there is no grass.

12th. Snow covers everything. Weare shut out from the civilized world, and thrownentirely on our own resources. I doubt, if wewere in Siberia, or Kamschatka, if we could be socompletely isolated.

13th. Ellis, in one of his northern voyages,asserts the opinion that the northern lights kindleand disperse the vapors requisite to the formationof lightning. Hence there is no thunder in highnorthern latitudes. We admit the fact, but doubtthe reasoning. Vapor is but water in a gaseousstate. It is a fine medium for the exhibitionof electricity, and we cannot say that electricityexists without it.

14th. When Lucas Fox sailed to discoverthe north-west passage to India, in 1631, he carrieda letter from Charles the First to the Emperor ofJapan. Such was public information, in Europe,twenty-two years after the discovery of the RiverHudson, and the settlement of New England, elevenyears later.

15th. The state of the weather, duringthis month, has exhibited some striking changes.The first three or four days were quite severe.On the fifth it became mild, and continued so foreight or nine days. During this time, nearlyall the snow which had previously fallen was carriedoff by rains, or the heat of the sun. The weatherwas so mild that I sat in my office, on the 13th,without fire, for about two hours. Two eveningsprevious, the snow fell from the roofs of buildingsat nine o’clock, and it continued thawing throughthe night. To day, the wind has veered roundto a northerly point, and the weather has resumed itswintry temperature.

22d. The River St. Mary’s frozeover during the night of this day. The streamhad been closed below, for about a week previous.

24th. The Tartars cannot pronounce theletter b. Those of Bulgaria pronouncethe word blacks as if written Iliacs. The Chippewasin this quarter usually transpose the b andp in English words. They substitute nfor l, pronouncing Louis as if written Nouis.The letter r is dropped, or sounded au.P is often substituted for f, bfor v, and ch for j. In wordsof their own language, the letters f, l, r, v,and x, do not occur. The following aretheir names for the seasons.

Pe-boan, Winter.Se-gwun, Spring.Ne-bin, Summer.Ta-gwa-ge, Autumn.

Years are counted by winters, months by moons, anddays by nights. There are terms for morning,mid-day, and evening. The year consists of thirteenmoons, each moon being designated by a descriptivename, as the moon of flowers (May), the moon of strawberries(June), the moon of berries (July), &c. Canoeand tomahawk are not terms belonging to the Chippewalanguage. From inquiries I think the former isof Carib origin, and the latter Mohegan. TheChippewa equivalents are in the order stated, Chemanand Agakwut.

26th. In going out to dinner at 3 o’clock,a sheet of paper containing conjugations of verbs,which had cost me much time and questioning, had fallenfrom my table. On returning in the evening, Ifound my dog, Ponty, a young pet, had torn my care-boughtconjugations into small pieces. What was to bedone? It was useless to whip the dog, and I scarcelyhad the courage to commence the labor anew. Iconsequently did neither; but gathering up the fragments,carefully soaked the gnawed and mutilated parts inwarm water, and re-arranged and sealed them together.And before bedtime I had restored the manuscript soas to be intelligibly read. I imposed this taskupon myself, but, had it been imposed by another,I would have been ready to pronounce him a madman.

27th. I devoted the day and evening intranscribing words into my “Ojibwa Vocabulary.”This is a labor requiring great caution. Thelanguage is so concrete, that often, when I have supposeda word had been dissected and traced to its root,subsequent attention has proved it to be a compound.Thus verbs have been inserted with pronouns, or withparticles, indicating negation, or the past or futuretense, when it has been supposed they had been divestedof these appendages. I am now going over thework the third time. The simplest forms of theverb seem to be the first and third persons singularof the imperative mood.

Ennui, in situations like the present, being isolatedand shut up as it were from the world, requires tobe guarded against. The surest preventive ofit is employment, and diversity in employment.It has been determined to-day to get up a periodicalsheet, or jeu d’esprit newspaper, tobe circulated from family to family, commencing onthe first of January. Mrs. Thompson asked mefor a name. I suggested the “Northern Light.”It was finally determined to put this into Latin, andcall it Aurora Borealis.

28th. Visits make up a part of the winter’samusem*nts. We owe this duty to society; but,like other duties, which are largely connected withenjoyment, there is a constant danger that more timebe given up to it than is profitable. Conversationis the true index of feeling. We read wise andgrave books, but are not a whit better by them, thanas they introduce and fix in our minds such principlesas shall shine out in conversation or acts. Nowwere an ordinary social winter evening party testedby such principles, what would a candid spectator judgeto have been the principal topics of reading or study?I remember once, in my earlier years, to have passedan evening in a room where a number of my intimatefriends were engaged in playing at cards. As Idid not play, I took my seat at an office-table, andhastily sketched the conversation which I afterwardsread for their amusem*nt. But the whole was inreality a bitter satire on their language and sentiments,although it was not so designed by me, nor receivedby them. I several years afterwards saw the sketchof this conversation among my papers, and was forciblystruck with this reflection.

Let me revert to some of the topics of conversationintroduced in the circles where I have visited thisday, or in my own room. It is Goldsmith, I think,who says that our thoughts take their tinge from contiguousobjects. A man standing near a volcano would naturallyspeak of burning mountains. A person traversinga field of snow would feel his thoughts occupied withpolar scenes. Thus are we here thrown together.Ice, snow, winds, a high range of the thermometer,or a driving tempest, are the almost ever presenttopics of remark: and these came in for a dueshare of the conversation to-day. The probabilityof the ice in the river’s breaking up the latterpart of April, and the arrival of a vessel atthe post early in May!—­the dissolutionof the seventeenth Congress, which must take placeon the 4th of March, the character and administrationof Governor Clinton (which were eulogized), were advertedto.

In the evening I went, by invitation, to Mr. Siveright’sat the North West House. The party was numerous,embracing most of the officers of the American garrison,John Johnston, Esq., Mr. C.O. Ermatinger, a residentwho has accumulated a considerable property in trade,and others. Conversation turned, as might havebeen expected, upon the topic of the Fur Trade, andthe enterprising men who established, or led to theestablishment of, the North West Company. Todd,Mackenzie, and M’Gillvray were respectivelydescribed. Todd was a merchant of Montreal, anIrishman by birth, who possessed enterprise, courage,address, and general information. He paved theway for the establishment of the Company, and wasone of the first partners, but died untimely.He possessed great powers of memory. His cousin,Don Andrew Todd, had the monopoly of the fur tradeof Louisiana.

M’Gillvray possessed equal capacity for thetrade with Todd, united to engaging, gentlemanly manners.He introduced that feature in the Company which makesevery clerk, at a certain time, a partner. Thisfirst enabled them successfully to combat the Hudson’sBay Company. His passions, however, carried himtoo far, and he was sometimes unjust.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie was at variance with M’Gillvray,and they never spoke in each other’s praise.Mackenzie commanded great respect from all classes,and possessed a dignity of manners and firmness ofpurpose which fitted him for great undertakings.He established the X.Y. Company, in oppositionto the North West.

29th. The days are still very short, thesun having but just passed the winter solstice.We do not dine till four; Mr. Johnston, with whom Itake my meals, observing this custom, and it is darkwithin the coming hour. I remained to familyworship in the evening.

30th. Read the articles in the “EdinburghReview” on Accum’s work on the adulterationof food, and Curran’s Life by his Son. Accum,it is said, came to England as an adventurer.By assiduity and attention, he became eminent as anoperative chemist, and accumulated a fortune.Curran was also of undistinguished parentage.His mother, in youth, seems to have judged rightlyof his future talents.

Mr. Johnston returned me “Walsh’s Appeal,”which he had read at my request, and expressed himselfgratified at the ability with which the subject ishandled. Captain Clarke, an industrious readeron local and general subjects, had come in a shorttime before. Conversation became general andanimated. European politics, Greece, Turkey, andRussia, the state of Ireland, radicalism in England,the unhappy variance between the king and queen, CharlesFox, &c., were successively the subjects of remark.We adjourned to Mr. Johnston’s.

In the evening I went into my office and wrote toMr. Calhoun, the Secretary of War, recommending CaptainH.’s son William, for the appointment of a cadetin the Military Academy.[28]

[Footnote 28: The appointment was made.]

31st. Devoted the day to the Indian language.It scarcely seems possible that any two languagesshould be more unlike, or have fewer pointsof resemblance, than the English and Ojibwa. Ifan individual from one of the nomadic tribes of fartherAsia were suddenly set down in London, he could hardlybe more struck with the difference in buildings, dress,manners, and customs, than with the utter discrepancein the sounds of words, and the grammatical structureof sentences. The Ojibwa has this advantage,considered as the material of future improvement; itis entirely hom*ogeneous, and admits of philosophicalprinciples being carried out, with very few, if any,of those exceptions which so disfigure English grammar,and present such appalling obstacles to foreignersin learning the language.

On going to dine at the usual hour, I found companyinvited, among whom were some gentlemen from UpperCanada. Conversation rolled on smoothly, andembraced a wide range of topics. Some of the darkdoings of the North West Company, in their strugglefor exclusive power in the Indian country, were mentioned.Nobody appeared to utter a word in malice or ill will.Dark and bright traits of individual character andconduct floated along the stream of conversation,without being ruffled with a breeze. In the eveningI attended a party at the quarters of one of the officersin the fort. Dancing was introduced. Theevening passed off agreeably till the hour of separation,which was a few minutes before twelve. And thusclosed the year eighteen hundred and twenty-two.


New Year’s day among the descendants of theNorman French—­Anti-philosophic speculationsof Brydone—­Schlegel on language—­Apeculiar native expression evincing delicacy—­Graywackein the basin of Lake Superior—­Temperature—­Snowshoes—­Translation of Gen. i. 3—­Historicalreminiscences—­Morals of visiting—­Ojibwanumerals—­Harmon’s travels—­Mackenzie’svocabularies—­Criticism—­MungoPark.

January 1st. This is a day of hilarityhere, as in New York. Gayety and good humor appearon every countenance. Visiting from house to houseis the order. The humblest individual is expectedto make his appearance in the routine, and “hashis claims allowed.” The French custom ofsalutation prevails. The Indians are not the lastto remember the day. To them, it is a seasonof privileges, although, alas! it is only the privilegeto beg. Standing in an official relation to them,I was occupied in receiving their visits from eighto’clock till three. I read, however, atintervals, Dr. Johnson’s Lives of Rochester,Roscommon, Otway, Phillips, and Walsh.

2d. Brydone, the traveler, says, on theauthority of Recupero, a priest, that in sinking apit near Iaci in the region of Mount Etna, they piercedthrough seven distinct formations of lava, with parallelbeds of earth interposed between each stratum.He estimates that two thousand years were requiredto decompose the lava and form it into soil, and consequentlythat fourteen thousand years were needed for the wholeseries of formations. A little further on, hehowever furnishes data, showing to every candid mindon what very vague estimates he had before relied.He says the fertile district of Hybla was suddenlyturned to barrenness by an eruption of lava, and soonafter restored to fertility by a shower of ashes.The change which he had required two thousand yearsto produce was here accomplished suddenly, and thewhole argument by which he had arrayed himself againstthe Mosaical chronology overturned. Of such materialsis a good deal of modern pseudo-philosophy constructed.

I received, this morning, a number of mineralogicalspecimens from Mr. Johnston, which had been collectedby him at various times in the vicinity. Amongthem were specimens of copper pyrites in quartz, sulphateof strontian, foliated gypsum, and numerous calcareouspetrifactions. He also presented me a fine antlerof the Caribo, or American reindeer, a species whichis found to inhabit this region. This animalis called Addik by the Ojibwas. Ik is a terminationin the Ojibwa denoting some hard substance.

3d. Forster, in his “History ofNorthern Voyages,” mentions some facts whichappear to be adverse to Mr. Hayden’s theory ofa north-western current. The height of islandsobserved by Fox, in the arctic regions, was foundto be greatest on their eastern sides, and they weredepressed towards the west. “This observation,”he says, “seems to me to prove that, when thesea burst impetuously into Hudson’s Bay, andtore away these islands from the main land, it musthave come rushing from the east and south-east, andhave washed away the earth towards the west—­acirc*mstance which has occasioned their present lowposition.”

4th. I read the review of Schlegel’s“Treatise on the Sanscrit Language.”How far the languages of America may furnish coincidencesin their grammatical forms, is a deeply interestinginquiry. But thus insulated, as I am, withoutbooks, the labor of comparison is, indeed, almosthopeless! I must content myself, for the present,with furnishing examples for others.

The Indians still continue their New Year’svisits. Fresh parties or families, who come infrom the woods, and were not able to come on the day,consider themselves privileged to present their claims.It should not be an object of disappointment to findthat the Indians do not, in their ordinary intercourse,evince those striking traits of exalted and disinterestedcharacter which we are naturally accustomed to expect

from reading books. Books are, after all, butmen’s holiday opinions. It requires observationon real life to be able to set a true estimate uponthings. The instances in which an Indian is enabledto give proofs of a noble or heroic spirit cannotbe expected to occur frequently. In all the historyof the seaboard tribes there was but one Pocahontas,one Uncas, and one Philip. Whereas, everydayis calling for the exercise of less splendid, butmore generally useful virtues. To spare the lifeof a prisoner, or to relieve a friend from imminentperil, may give applause, and carry a name down toposterity. But it is the constant practice ofevery day virtues and duties, domestic diligence, andcommon sense, that renders life comfortable, and societyprosperous and happy. How much of this everydaystamina the Indians possess, it would be presumptuousin me, with so short an opportunity of observation,to decide. But I am inclined to the opinion thattheir defect of character lies here.

Our express for Detroit, via Michilimackinack, setout at three o’clock this morning, carryingsome few short of a hundred letters. This, withour actual numbers, is the best commentary on our insulatedsituation. We divert ourselves by writing, andcling with a death-grasp, as it were, to our friendsand correspondents.

5th. Gitche ie nay gow ge ait che gah,“they have put the sand over him” is acommon expression among the Indians to indicate thata man is dead and buried. Another mode, delicateand refined in its character, is to suffix the inflectionfor perfect past tense, bun, to a man’sname. Thus Washington e bun would indicate thatWashington is no more.

I read the Life of Pope. It is strange that sogreat a poet should have been so great a lover ofwealth; mammon and the muses are not often conjointlyworshiped. Pope did not excel in familiar conversation,and few sallies of wit, or pointed observation, arepreserved. The following is recorded: “Whenan objection raised against his inscription for Shakspearewas defended by the authority of Patrick, he replied,‘horresco referens,’ that he would allowthe publisher of a dictionary to know the meaningof a single word, but not of two words put together.”

In the evening I read a number of the “LondonLiterary Gazette,” a useful and interestingpaper, which, in its plan, holds an intermediate rankbetween a newspaper and a review. It containsshort condensed criticisms on new works, togetherwith original brief essays and anecdotes, and literaryadvertisem*nts, which latter must render it a valuablepaper to booksellers. I think we have nothingon this plan, at present, in the United States.

6th. I received a specimen of slaty graywackefrom Lake Superior. The structure is tabular,and very well characterized. If there be no mistakerespecting the locality, it is therefore certain thatthis rock is included among the Lake Superior group.[29]It was not noticed in the expedition of 1820.I also received a specimen of iron sand from Pointaux Pins.

[Footnote 29: I found graywacke in situat Iron River, in Lake Superior, in 1826, and subsequentlyat Presque Isle River, where it is slaty, and fineeven grained, and apparently suitable for some economicaluses.]

The thermometer has stood at 25 deg. below zero afew days during the season. It was noticed at10 deg. below, this morning. Notwithstanding thedecidedly wintry character of the day, I received avisit from Mr. Siveright, a Canadian gentleman, whocame across the expanse of ice on snow shoes.I loaned him Silliman’s “Travels in Englandand Scotland,” feeling a natural desire to setoff our countrymen, as authors and travelers, to thebest advantage. Mr. S., who has spent severalyears at the north, mentioned that each of the Indiantribes has something peculiar in the fashion of theirsnow shoes. The Chippewas form theirs with acutepoints fore and aft, resembling two inverted sectionsof a circle. The Crees make a square point infront, tapering away gradually to the heel. TheChippewyans turn up the fore point, so that it mayoffer less resistance in walking. Females havetheir snow shoes constructed different from the men’s.The difference consists in the shape and size of thebows. The netting is more nicely wrought andcolored, and often ornamented, particularly in thoseworn by girls, with tassels of colored worsted.The word “shoe,” as applied to this apparatusof the feet, is a complete misnomer. Itconsists of a net-work of laced skin, extended betweenlight wooden bows tied to the feet, the whole objectof which is to augment the space pressed upon, andthus bear up the individual on the surface of the snow.

I devoted the leisure hours of the day to the grammaticalstructure of the Indian language. There is reasonto suppose the word moneto not very ancient.It is, properly speaking, not the name for God, orJehovah, but rather a generic term for spiritual agencyin their mythology. The word seems to have beenderived from the notion of the offerings left uponrocks and sacred places, being supernaturally takenaway. In any comparative views of the language,not much stress should be laid upon the word, as markinga difference from other stocks. Maneton, inthe Delaware, is the verb “to make.” Ozhetonis the same verb in Chippewa.

7th. History teaches its lessons in small,as well as great things. Vessels from Albemarle,in Virginia, in 1586, first carried the potato toIreland. Thomas Harriot says the natives calledit open-awk. The Chippewas, at this place,call the potato open-eeg; but the terminationeeg is merely a form of the plural. Open(the e sounded like short i) is thesingular form. Thomas Jefferson gives the word“Wha-poos” as the name of the Powhatanictribes for hare. The Chippewa term for this animalis Wa-bos, usually pronounced by white menWa-poos.

Longinus remarks the sublimity of style of the thirdverse of Genesis i. I have, with competent aid,put it into Chippewa, and give the re-translation:—­

Appee dush and thenGezha Monedo Merciful SpiritAkeedood He saidTah LetWassay-au, Light be,Appee dush And thenWassay-aug Light was.

It is not to be expected that all parts of the languagewould exhibit equal capacities to bear out the original.Yet in this instance, if the translation be faithful,it is clearly, but not, to our apprehension, elegantlydone. I am apprehensive that the language generallyhas a strong tendency to repetition and redundancyof forms, and to clutter up, as it were, general ideaswith particular meanings. At three o’clockI went to dine with Mr. Siveright, at the North WestCompany’s House. The party was large, includingthe officers from the garrison. Conversationtook a political turn. Colonel Lawrence defendedthe propriety of his recent toast, “The Senateof the United States, the guardians of a free people,”by which a Boston paper said “more was meantthan met the eye.” The evening was passedwith the ordinary sources of amusem*nt. I havefor some time felt that the time devoted to theseamusem*nts, in which I never made much advance, wouldbe better given up to reading, or some inquiry fromwhich I might hope to derive advantage. An incidentthis evening impressed me with this truth, and I camehome with a resolution that one source of them shouldno longer engross a moment of my time.

Harris, the author of Hermes, says, “It is certainlyas easy to be a scholar as a gamester, or any othercharacter equally illiberal and low. The sameapplication, the same quantity of habit, will fit usfor one as completely as for the other. And asto those who tell us, with an air of seeming wisdom,that it is men, and not books, that we must study tobecome knowing; this I have always remarked, from repeatedexperience, to be the common consolation and languageof dunces.” Now although I have no purposeof aiming at extreme heights in knowledge, yet thereare some points in which every man should have thatprecision of knowledge which is a concomitant of scholarship.And every man, by diligence, may add to the numberof these points, without aiming at all to put on acharacter for extraordinary wisdom or profundity.

* * * * *

9th. Historical Reminiscences.—­Onthe third of April, 1764, Sir William Johnson concludedpreliminary articles of peace and friendship witheight deputies of the Seneca nation, which was theonly one of the Iroquois who joined Pontiac.This was done at his residence at Johnson Hall, onthe Mohawk.

In August, 1764, Colonel Bradstreet granted “Termsof Peace” to certain deputies of the Delaware,Huron, and Shawnee tribes at Presque Isle, being thenon his way to relieve Detroit, which was then closelyinvested by the Indians. These deputies gave intheir adhesion to the English cause, and agreed togive up all the English prisoners.

In October of the same year, Colonel Bouquet grantedsimilar terms to another deputation of Shawnees, Delawares,&c., at Tuscarawas.

The best account of the general transactions of thewar of that era, which I have seen, is contained ina “History of the Late War in North America,and Islands of the West Indies. By Thomas Mante,Assistant Engineer, &c., and Major of a Brigade.London, 1772:” 1 vol. quarto, 552 pages.I am indebted to Governor Clinton for my acquaintancewith this work.

10th. I have employed the last three days,including this, very diligently on my Indian vocabularyand inquiries, having read but little. Too exclusivea devotion to this object is, however, an error.I have almost grudged the time I devoted to eatingand sleeping. And I should certainly be unwillingthat my visitors should know what I thought of theinterruptions created by their visits. It is true,however, that I have gained but little by these visitsin the way of conversation. One of my visitors,a couple of days since, made me waste a whole morningin talking of trifling subjects. Another, whois a gourmand, is only interested in subjects connectedwith the gratification of his palate. A third,who is a well-informed man, has such lounging habitsthat he remained two hours and a half with me thismorning. No wonder that men in office must beguarded by the paraphernalia of ante-rooms and messengers,if a poor individual at this cold end of the worldfeels it an intrusion on his short winter days tohave lounging visitors. I will try to recollect,when I go to see others, that although I mayhave leisure, perhaps they are engaged in somethingof consequence.

* * * * *

11th. History abounds in examples of excellence.—­Xenophonsays of Jason, “All who have served under Jasonhave learned this lesson, that pleasure is the effectof toil; though as to sensual pleasures, I know noperson in the world more temperate than Jason.They never break in upon his time; they always leavehim leisure to do what must be done.”

Of Diphridas, the same author observes, “Nobodily indulgence ever gained the ascendant over him,but, on the contrary, he gave all his attention tothe business in hand.” What admirable maximsfor real life, whether that life be passed in courtsor camps, or a humble sphere!

12th. I finished reading Thiebault’s“Anecdotes of Frederick the Great,” whichI had commenced in December. This is a pleasingand instructive work. Every person should readit who wishes to understand the history of Prussia,particularly the most interesting and important periodof it. We here find Frederick I. and II., andWilliam depicted to the life. We are made acquaintedalso with national traits of the Russian, English,German, and French character, which are nowhere elseto be found.

13th. The ancient Thracians are thus describedby Herodotus: “The most honorable lifewith them is a life of indolence; the most contemptiblethat of a husbandman. Their supreme delight iswar and plunder.” Who, if the name andauthority were concealed, but would suppose the remarkswere made of some of the tribes of the North AmericanIndians?

I divided the day between reading and writing.In the evening I went by invitation to a party atLieutenant B.’s in the cantonment.

14th. The Chippewa names of the numerals,from one to ten, are—­pazhik, neezh, niswee,newin, nanun, neen-goodwaswa, neezh-waswa, swaswa,shonguswa, metonna.

Dined at Mr. Ermatinger’s, a gentleman livingon the Canada shore, who, from small beginnings, hasaccumulated a considerable property by the Indiantrade, and has a numerous Anglo-Odjibwa family.

15th. Completed the perusal of Harmon’sTravels, and extracted the notes contained in memorandumbook N. Mr. Harmon was nineteen years in the serviceof the North West Company, and became a partner afterthe expiration of the first seven years. Thevolume contains interesting data respecting the topography,natural history (incidental), and Indian tribes ofa remote and extensive region. The whole scopeof the journal is devoted to the area lying northof the territory of the United States. It willbe found a valuable book of reference to those whoare particularly directing their attention to northernscenes. The journal was revised and publishedby a Mr. Haskell, who, it is said here, bypersons acquainted with Mr. Harmon, has introducedinto the text religious reflections, not believedto have been made by the author at the time.No exceptions can be taken to the reflections; buthis companions and co-partners feel that they shouldhave led the individual to exemplify them in his lifeand conversation while inland.

Mr. Harmon says, of the Canadians—­“Alltheir chat is about horses, dogs, canoes, women, andstrong men, who can fight a good battle.”Traders and Indians are placed in a loose juxtaposition.“Their friendship,” he states, “islittle more than their fondness for our property,and our eagerness to obtain their furs.”European manufactures are essential to the natives.“The Indians in this quarter have been so longaccustomed to European goods, that it would be withdifficulty that they could now obtain a livelihoodwithout them. Especially do they need firearms,axes, kettles, knives, &c. They have almost lostthe use of bows and arrows, and they would find itnearly impossible to cut their fire wood with implementsmade of stone or bone.”

16th. Examined Mackenzie’s Travels,to compare his vocabulary of Knisteneaux and Algonquin,with the Odjibwa, or Chippewa. There is so closean agreement, in sense and sound, between the two latter,as to make it manifest that the tribes could not havebeen separated at a remote period. This agreementis more close and striking than it appears to be bycomparing the two written vocabularies. Mackenziehas adopted the French orthography, giving the vowels,and some of the consonants and diphthongs, soundsvery different from their English powers.Were the words arranged on a common plan of alphabetical

notation, they would generally be found to the eye,as they are to the ear, nearly identical. Thediscrepancies would be rendered less in cases in whichthey appear to be considerable, and the peculiaritiesof idiom, as they exist, would be made more strikingand instructive. I have heard both idioms spokenby the natives, and therefore have more confidencein speaking of their nearness and affinity, than Icould have had from mere book comparison. I amtold that Mackenzie got his vocabulary from some ofthe priests in Lower Canada, who are versed in theAlgonquin. It does not seem to me at all probablethat an Englishman or a Scotchman should throw asidehis natural sounds of the vowels and consonants, andadopt sounds which are, and must have been, from infancy,foreign.

As I intend to put down things in the order of theiroccurrence, I will add that I had a visitor to-day,a simple mechanic, who came to talk to me about nothing;I could do no less than be civil to him, in consequenceof which he pestered me with hems and haws about onehour. I think Job took no interest in philology.

17th. Devoted the day to the language.A friend had loaned me a file of Scottish papers calledthe Montrose Review, which I took occasionto run over. This paper is more neatly and correctlyprinted than is common with our papers of this classfrom the country. The strain of remark is free,bold, and inquisitive, looking to the measures ofgovernment, and advocating principles of rational libertythroughout the world.

Col. Lawrence, Capt. Thompson, and Lieut.Griswold called in the course of the day. I commencedreading Mungo Parke’s posthumous volume.

18th. The mind, like the body, will gettired. Quintilian remarks, “Variety refreshesand renovates the mind.” Composition andreading by turns, wear away the weariness either maycreate; and though we have done many things, we insome measure find ourselves fresh and recruited atentering on a new thing. This day has been almostentirely given up to society. Visitors seemedto come in, as if by concert. Col. Lawrence,Capts. Clarke and Beal, Lieuts. Smith andGriswold. Mr. S.B. Griswold, who was oneof the American hostage officers at Quebec, Dr. Foot,and Mr. Johnston came in to see me, at different times.I filled up the intervals in reading.

19th, Sabbath. A party of Indians cameto my door singing the begging dance. These peopledo not respect the Sabbath.[30] The parties who camein, on New Year’s day, still linger about thesettlements, and appear to be satisfied to sufferhunger half the time, if their wants can be gratuitouslyrelieved the other half.

[Footnote 30: About eighteen months afterwards,I interdicted all visits of Indians on the Sabbath,and adopted it as an invariable rule, that I wouldnot transact any business, or receive visits, fromany Indian under the influence of liquor. I directedmy interpreter to tell them that the President hadsent me to speak to sober men only.]

20th. I continued to transcribe, fromloose papers, into my Indian lexicon. A largeproportion of the words are derivatives. All are,more or less, compounded in their oral forms, andthey appear to be glued, as it were, to objectsof sense. This is not, however, peculiar to thislanguage. The author of “Hermes” says—­“Thefirst words of men, like their first ideas, had animmediate reference to sensible objects, and thatin after days, when they began to discern with theirintellect, they took those words which they foundalready made, and transferred them, by metaphor, tointellectual conceptions.”

On going to dinner, I found a party of officers andtheir ladies. “Mine host,” Mr. Johnston,with his fine and frank Belfast hospitality, doesthe honors of his table with grace and ease. Nothingappears to give him half so much delight as to seeothers happy around him. I read, in the evening,the lives of Akenside, Gray, and Littleton. Whata perfect crab old Dr. Johnson was! But is thereany sound criticism without sternness?

21st. I finished the reading of MungoParke, the most enterprising traveler of modern times.He appears to me to have committed two errors in hislast expedition, and I think his death is fairly attributableto impatience to reach the mouth of the Niger.He should not have attempted to pass from the Gambiato the Niger during the rainy season. By this,he lost thirty-five out of forty men. He shouldnot have tried to force a passage through thekingdom of Houssa, without making presents to thelocal petty chiefs. By this, he lost his life.When will geographers cease to talk about the mouthof the Niger? England has been as indefatigablein solving this problem as she has been in findingout the North West Passage, and, at present, as unsuccessful.We see no abatement, however, in her spirit of heroicenterprise. America has sent but one explorerto this field—­Ledyard.


Novel reading—­Greenough’s “Geology”—­Thecariboo—­Spiteful plunder of private propertyon a large scale—­Marshall’s Washington—­St.Clair’s “Narrative of his Campaign”—­Etymologyof the word totem—­A trait of transpositivelanguages—­Polynesian languages—­Ameteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter’stemperature—­Spafford’s “Gazetteer”—­Holmeson the Prophecies—­Foreign politics—­Mythology—­Gnomes—­TheOdjibwa based on monosyllables—­No auxiliaryverbs—­Pronouns declined for tense—­Esprella’sletters—­Valerius—­Gospel of St.Luke—­Chippewayan group of languages—­Homepolitics—­Prospect of being appointed superintendentof the lead mines of Missouri.

1823. Jan. 22d. A pinching cold winterwears away slowly. The whole village seems tome like so many prescient beavers, in a vastsnow-bank, who cut away the snow and make paths, everymorning, from one lodge to another. In this reticulationof snow paths the drum is sounded and the flag raised.Most dignified bipeds we are. Hurrah for progress,and the extension of the Anglo-Saxon race!

I read the “Recluse,” translated fromD’Arlincourt’s popular novel Le Solitaire,and think the commendations bestowed upon it, in thetranslator’s preface, just in the main.It is precisely such a novel as I should suppose wouldbe very popular in the highest circles of France,and consequently, owing to difference of character,would be less relished by the same circles in England.I suspect the author to be a great admirer of Chateaubriand’s“Atala,” whose death is brought to mindby the catastrophe of Elode’s. Here, however,the similitude ends. There is nothing to be saidrespecting the comparative features of Charles theBold and Chactas, except that the Indian possessedthose qualities of the heart which most ennoble humannature.

To the readers of Scott’s novels, however (forhe is certainly the “Great Unknown"), this pleasingpoetical romance, with all its sparkling passages,will present one glaring defect—­it is notsufficiently descriptive. We rise from the perusalof it with no definite ideas of the scenery of thevalley of Underlach. We suppose it to be sublimeand picturesque, and are frequently told so by theauthor; but he fails in the description of particularscenes. Scott manages otherwise. When hesends Baillie Nicoll Jarvie into the Highlands, hedoes not content himself with generalities, but alsobrings before the mind such groups and scenes as makeone fear and tremble. To produce this excitementis literary power.

23d. I devoted the time before breakfast,which, with us, happens at a late hour, to the EdinburghReview. I read the articles on Greenough’s“First Principles of Geology,” and a newedition of Demosthenes. When shall we hear thelast panegyric of the Grecian orator, who, in the twocharacteristics of his eloquence which have been mostpraised, simplicity and nature, is every day equalled,or excelled, by our Indian chiefs?

Greenough’s Essays are bold and original, andevince no weak powers of observation and reasoning.But he is rather a leveler than a builder. Itseems better that we should have a poor house overour heads than none at all. The facts mentionedon the authority of a traveler in Spain, that thepebbles in the rivers of that country are not carrieddown streams by the force of the current, are contradictedby all my observations on the rivers of the UnitedStates. The very reverse is true. Thosestreams which originate in, or run through districtsof granite, limestone, graywacke, &c., present pebblesof these respective rocks abundantly along their banks,at points below the termination of the fixed strata.These pebbles, and even boulders, are found far belowthe termination of the rocky districts, and appearto owe their transportation to the force of existingcurrents. I have found the peculiar pebbles ofthe sources of the Mississippi as low down as St.Louis and St. Genevieve.

I resumed the perusal of Marshall’s “Lifeof Washington,” which I had laid by in the fall.Lieutenants Barnum and Bicker and Mr. Johnston cameto visit me.

24th. I made one of a party of sixteen,who dined with Mr. Ermatinger. I here first tastedthe flesh of the cariboo, which is a fine flavoredvenison. I do not recollect any wise or merryremark made during dinner, which is worth recording.As toasts show the temper of the times, and bespeakthe sentiments of those who give them, a few of themmay be mentioned. After several formal and nationaltoasts, we had Mr. Calhoun, Governor Cass, GeneralBrown, Mr. Sibley, the representative of Michigan,Colonel Brady, and Major Thayer, superintendent ofthe military academy. In coming home in the cariole,we all missed the balizes, and got completelyupset and pitched into the snow.

25th. Mr. John Johnston returned me Silliman’sTravels, and expressed himself highly pleased withthem. Mr. Johnston evinces by his manners andconversation and liberal sentiments that he has passedmany of his years in polished and refined circles.He told me he came to America during the presidencyof General Washington, whom he esteems it a privilegeto have seen at New York, in 1793. Having lettersto Lord Dorchester, he went into Canada, and througha series of vicissitudes, finally settled at thesefalls about thirty years ago. In 1814, his propertywas plundered by the Americans, through the falserepresentations of some low-minded persons, his neighborsand opponents in trade, with no more patriotism thanhe; in consequence of which he returned to Europe,and sold his patrimonial estate at “Craige,”in the north of Ireland, within a short distance ofthe Giant’s Causeway, and thus repaired, inpart, his losses.

26th. Devoted to reading—­asolid resource in the wilderness.

27th. Finished the perusal of Marshall’sWashington, and took the notes contained in memorandumsP. and R. The first volume of this work is intendedas introductory, and contains the best recital of thepolitical history of the colonies which I have read.The other four volumes embrace a wide mass of facts,but are rather diffuse and prolix, considered as biography,A good life of Washington, which shall comprise withina small compass all his prominent public and privateacts, still remains a desideratum.

28th. Our express returned this morning,bringing me New York papers to the 11th of November.We are more than two months and a half behind thecurrent news of the day. We have Washington datesto the 9th of November, but of course they conveynothing of the proceedings of Congress.

29th. I read St. Clair’s “Narrativeof his Campaign” against the Indians in 1791,and extracted the notes contained in memorandum A.A.The causes of its failure are explained in a satisfactorymanner, and there is proof of Gen. St. Clair’svigilance and intrepidity. Dissensions in hiscamp crippled the old general’s power.

30th. I took up the subject of the Indianlanguage, after an interval of eight or nine days,and continued to transcribe into my vocabulary untilafter the hour of midnight. It comprises now risingof fifteen hundred words, including some synonyms.

31st. “Totem” is a wordfrequently heard in this quarter. In tracingits origin, it is found to be a corruption of the Indian“dodaim,” signifying family mark,or armorial bearing. The word appears to be aderivative from odanah, a town or village.Hence neen dodaim, my townsman, or kindred-mark.Affinity in families is thus kept up, as in the feudalsystem, and the institution seems to be of some importanceto the several bands. They often appeal to their“totem,” as if it were a surname.

At three o’clock I went to dine at Col.Lawrence’s. The party consisted of Capts.Thompson and Beal, Lieuts. Barnum, Smith, Waite,and Griswold, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Ermatinger and son,Dr. Foot and Mr. Siveright of the H.B. House.In the evening the party adjourned to Mr. Johnston’s.

February 1st. Transpositive languages,like the Indian, do not appear to be well adaptedto convey familiar, easy, flowing conversation.There seems to be something cumbrous and stately inthe utterance of their long polysyllabic words, asif they could not readily be brought down to the minutedistinctions of every day family conversation.This may arise, however, from a principle advertedto by Dr. Johnson, in speaking of the ancient languages,in which he says “nothing is familiar,”and by the use of which “the writer concealspenury of thought and want of novelty, often fromthe reader, and often from himself.” TheIndian certainly has a very pompous way of expressinga common thought. He sets about it with an arrayof prefix and suffix, and polysyllabic strength, asif he were about to crush a cob-house with a crowbar.

2d. The languages of New Zealand, Tonga,and Malay have no declension of nouns, nor conjugationof verbs. The purposes of declension are answeredby particles and prepositions. The distinctionsof person, tense, and mode are expressed by adverbs,pronouns, and other parts of speech. This rigidityof the verb and noun is absolute, under every orderof arrangement, in which their words can be placed,and their meaning is not helped out, by either prefixesor suffixes.

I read Plutarch’s “Life of Marcellus,”to observe whether it bore the points of resemblanceto Washington’s military character, suggestedby Marshall.

3d. Abad signifies abode, in Persian.Abid denotes where he is, or dwells, in Chippewa.

I refused, on an invitation of Mr. Ermatinger, toalter the resolution formed on the seventh ultimo,as to one mode of evening’s amusem*nt.

4th. A loud meteoric report, as if fromthe explosion of some aerial body, was heard aboutnoon this day. The sound seemed to proceed fromthe south-west. It was attended with a prolonged,or rumbling sound, and was generally heard. Popularsurmise, which attempts to account for everything,has been very busy in assigning the cause of thisphenomenon.

A high degree of cold has recently been experienced.The thermometer stood at 28 deg. below zero at oneo’clock this morning. It had risen to 18deg. at day-break—­being the greatest observeddegree of cold during the season. It did notexceed 4 deg. above zero during any part of the day.

5th. A year ago to-day, a literary friendwrote to me to join him in preparing a Gazetteer ofthe State of New York, to supplant Spafford’s.Of the latter, he expresses himself in the letter,which is now before me, in unreserved terms of disapprobation.“It is wholly unworthy,” he says, “ofpublic patronage, and would not stand in the way ofa good work of the kind; and such a one, I have thevanity to believe, our joint efforts could produce.It would be a permanent work, with slight alterations,as the State might undergo changes. My plan wouldbe for you to travel over the State, and make a completegeological, mineralogical, and statistical surveyof it, which would probably take you a year or more.In the mean time, I would devote all my leisure tothe collection and arrangement of such other materialsas we should need in the compilation of the work.I doubt not we could obtain the prompt assistanceof the first men in the State, in furnishing all theinformation required. Our State is rapidly increasingin wealth and population, and I am full in the faiththat such a work would sell well in different partsof the country.”

6th. I did nothing to-day, by which Imean that it was given up to visiting and talking.It is Dr. Johnson, I think, who draws a distinctionbetween “talk and conversation.”It is necessary, however, to assign a portion of timein this way. “A man that hath friends mustshow himself friendly,” is a Bible maxim.

7th. The garrison library was this morningremoved from my office, where it had been placed inmy charge on the arrival of the troops in July, thestate of preparations in the cantonment being now sufficientlyadvanced to admit its reception. A party of gentlemenfrom the British garrison on Drummond Island cameup on a visit, on snow shoes. The distance isabout 45 miles.

8th. I commenced reading Holmes on “TheFulfilment of the Revelation of St. John,” aLondon work of 1819. The author says “thathis explanation of the symbols is founded upon onefixed and universal rule—­that the interpretationof a symbol is ever maintained; that the chronologicalsuccession of the seals, trumpets, and vials is strictlypreserved; and that the history contained under themis a uniform and hom*ogeneous history of the Romanempire, at once comprehensive and complete.”—­Attendeda dining-party at Mr. Johnston’s.

9th. Continued the reading of Holmes,who is an energetic writer, and appears to have lookedclosely into his subject. The least pleasingtrait in the work is a polemic spirit which is quitea clog to the inquiry, especially to those who, likemyself, have never read the authors Faber, Cunningham,and Frere, whose interpretations he combats.For a clergyman, he certainly handles them withoutgloves.

10th. The principal Indian chief of thevicinity, Shingabawossin, sent to inquire of me thecause of the aerial explosion, heard on the 4th.At four I went to dine with Mr. Ermatinger on theBritish shore.

11th. I did something, although, fromthe round of visiting and gayety which, in consequenceof our Drummond Isle visitors, has existed for a fewdays, but little, at my vocabulary. At half-pastfour, I went to dine with Lieutenants Morton and Folgerin the cantonment. The party was nearly the samewhich has assembled for a few days, in honor of theforeign gentlemen with us. In the evening a largeparty, with dancing, at Mr. Johnston’s.

12th. I read Lord Erskine’s Letterto Lord Liverpool on the policy to be pursued by GreatBritain in relation to Greece and Turkey. Thearguments and sentiments do equal credit to his headand heart, and evince no less his judgment as a statesman,than they do his taste and erudition as a scholar.This interesting and valuable letter breathes thetrue sentiments of rational liberty, such as must befelt by the great body of the English nation, andsuch as must, sooner or later, prevail among the enlightenednations of the earth. How painful to reflectthat this able appeal will produce no favorable effecton the British ministry, whose decision, it is tobe feared, is already made in favor of the “legitimacy”of the Turkish government!

At four o’clock, I laid by my employments, andwent to dine at the commanding officer’s quarters,whence the party adjourned to a handsomely arrangedsupper table at Capt. Beal’s. The necessityof complying with times and occasions, by acceptingthe current invitations of the day, is an impedimentto any system of intellectual employment; and whateverthe world may think of it, the time devoted to publicdinners and suppers, routs and parties, is little betterthan time thrown away.

“And yet the fateof all extremes is such;
Books may be read,as well as men, too much.”

13th. I re-perused Mackenzie’s “Historyof the Fur Trade,” to enable me more fully tocomprehend the allusions in a couple of volumes latelyput into my hands, on the “Disputes between LordSelkirk and the North West Company,” and the“Report of Trials” for certain murdersperpetrated in the course of a strenuous contest forcommercial mastery in the country by the Hudson’sBay Company.

Finding an opportunity of sending north, I recollectedthat the surveyors of our northern boundary were passingthe winter at Fort William, on the north shore ofLake Superior; and wrote to one of the gentlemen,enclosing him some of our latest papers.

14th. The gentlemen from the neighboringBritish post left us this morning. I devotedthe day to my Indian inquiries.

15th. I commenced a vocabulary of conversation,in the Odjibwa.

17th. Native Mythology.—­Accordingto Indian mythology, Weeng is the God of sleep.He has numerous emissaries, who are armed with warclubs, of a tiny and unseen character. Thesefairy agents ascend the forehead, and knock the individualto sleep. Pope’s creation of Gnomes, inthe Rape of the Lock, is here prefigured.

18th. It has been said that the Indianlanguages possess no monosyllables. This remarkis not borne out with regard to the Chippewa.Marked as it is with polysyllables, there are a considerablenumber of exceptions. Koan is snow, aisa shell, mong a loon, kaug a porcupine,&c. The number of dissyllables is numerous, andof trisyllables still more so. The Chippewa hasno auxiliary verbs. The Chippewa primitive pronounsare, Neen, Keen, and Ween (I, Thou, He or She).They are rendered plural in wind and wau.They are also declined for tense, and thus, in theconjugation of verbs, take the place of our auxiliaryverbs.

19th. Resumed the perusal of Holmes on“Revelations.” He establishes a dictionaryof symbols, which are universally interpreted.In this system, a day signifies a natural year; aweek seven years; a month thirty years; a year a periodof 360 years. The air means “church andstate;” waters, “peoples, multitudes, tongues;”seven, the number of perfection; twelve, totalityor all; hail storms, armies of northern invaders.If the work were divested of its controversial character,it would produce more effect. Agreeably to thisauthor, the downfall of Popery will take place aboutthe year 1866.

20th. I read “Esprella’s Letterson England,” a work attributed to Southey, whoseobject appears to have been to render English mannersand customs familiar in Spain, at a time when theintercourse between the two countries had very muchaugmented, and their sympathies were drawn togetherby the common struggle against Napoleon Bonaparte.

21st. I commenced “Valerius, a RomanStory.” In the evening the commanding officer(Col. L.) gave a party, in honor of Washington’sbirthday. That the time might not be wholly anticipated,dancing was introduced to give it wings, and continueduntil two o’clock of the morning of (the actualbirthday) the twenty-second.

22d. Finished “Valerius.”This is an interesting novel on the Waverley plan,and must certainly be considered a successful attemptto familiarize the class of novel-readers with Romanhistory and Roman domestic manners. The storyturns on the persecution of the Christians under Trajan.The expression “of a truth,” which is soabundantly used in the narrative, is a Scripture phrase,and is very properly put into the mouth of a convertedRoman. I cannot say as much for the word “alongst”used for along. There are also some false epithets,as “drop,” for run or flow, and “guesses”for conjectures. The only defect in the plot,which occurs to me, is, that Valerius, after his escapewith Athanasia from Ostium, should have been landedsafely in Britain, and thus completed the happinessof a disconsolate and affectionate mother, whom heleft there, and who is never afterwards mentioned.

23d. From the mention which is made ofit in “Valerius,” I this day read theGospel of Luke, and truly am surprised to find it sovery important a part of the New Testament. Indeed,were all the rest of the volume lost, this alone wouldbe sufficient for the guidance of the Christian.Divines tell us that Luke was the most learned of theevangelists. He is called “the beloved physician,”by St. Paul. His style is more descriptive thanthe other evangelists, and his narrative more clear,methodical, and precise, and abounds equally with sublimeconceptions.[31]

[Footnote 31: This opinion was thrown out frommere impulse, on a single perusal, and so far as itmay be regarded as a literary criticism, the onlypossible light in which it can be considered, is vaguelyhazarded, for I had not, at that time, read the otherGospels with any degree of care or understanding,so as to be capable thereby of judging of their styleor merits as compositions. Spiritually considered,I did not understand Luke, or any of the Evangelists,for I regarded the Gospels as mere human compositions,without the aid of inspiration. They were deemedto be a true history of events, interspersed with moralaxioms, but derived no part of their value, or theadmiration above expressed, as revealing the onlyway of salvation through Christ.]

24th. Mr. Harman, from a long residencein the Indian country, in high northern latitudes,was qualified by his opportunities of observation,to speak of the comparative character of the Indianlanguage in that quarter. He considers them asradically different from those of the Algonquin stock.The group which may be formed from his remarks, willembrace the Chippewayans, Beaver Indians, Sicaunies,Tacullies, and Nateotetains. If we may judgeof this family of dialects by Mackenzie’s vocabularyof the Chippewayan, it is very remote from the Chippewa,and abounds in those consonantal sounds which thelatter studiously avoids.

Harman says, “The Sicaunies bury, while theTacullies burn their dead.” “Instancesof suicide, by hanging, frequently occur among thewomen of all the tribes, with whom I have been acquainted;but the men are seldom known to take away their ownlives.”

These Indians entertain the same opinions respectingthe dress of the dead, with the more southerly tribes.“Nothing,” he says, “pleases anIndian better than to see his deceased relative handsomelyattired, for he believes that they will arrive inthe other world in the same dress with which theyare clad, when they are consigned to the grave.”

27th. Our second express arrived at dusk,this evening, bringing papers from the seaboard tothe 14th of January, containing the President’smessage, proceedings of Congress, and foreign news,up to that date. A friend who is in Congresswrites to me—­“We go on slowly, butso far very harmoniously, in Congress. The RedJackets [32] are very quiet, and I believe are verymuch disposed to cease their warfare against Mr. Monroe,as they find the nation do not relish it.”

[Footnote 32: Opponents of the then existingadministration, who looked to Gen. co*cke, of Tennessee,as a leader.]

Another friend at Washington writes (15th Dec.):“The message of the President you will haveseen ere this reaches you. It is thought verywell of here. He recommends the appointment ofa Superintendent of the Western Lead Mines, skilledin mineralogy. If Congress should make provisionfor one, it is not to be doubted who will receivethe situation. In fact, in a conversation a fewdays since with Mr. C., he told me he had you particularlyin view when he recommended it to the President.”

28th. Wrote an application to the PostmasterGeneral for the appointment of S.B. Griswoldas postmaster at this place.[33]

[Footnote 33: Mr. G. was appointed.]


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction ofa northern spring—­News from the world—­TheIndian languages—­Narrative Journal—­Semi-civilizationof the ancient Aztec tribes—­Their arts andlanguages—­Hill’s ironical review ofthe “Transactions of the Royal Society”—­Atest of modern civilization—­Sugar making—­Tripto one of the camps—­Geology of ManhattanIsland—­Ontwa, an Indian poem—­Northernornithology—­Dreams—­The Indianapowa—­Printed queries of General Cass—­Prospectof the mineral agency—­Exploration of theSt. Peter’s—­Information on that head.

1823. March 1st. My reading hours, forthe last few days, have been, in great part, devotedto the newspapers. So long an exclusion from theordinary sources of information has the effect to increasethe appetite for this kind of intellectual food, andthe circ*mstance probably leads us to give up moretime to it than we should were we not subject to theseperiodical exclusions. The great point of interestis the succession in the Presidential chair.Parties hinge upon this point. Economy and retrenchmentare talismanic words, used to affect the populace,but used in reality only as means of affecting thebalance of party power. Messrs. Calhoun, Crawford,and Adams are the prominent names which fill the papers.

There is danger that newspapers in America will toomuch supersede and usurp the place of books, and leadto a superficial knowledge of things. Gleaningthe papers in search of that which is really useful,candid, and fair seems too much like hunting for grainsof wheat in a chaos of chaff.

3d. Our third express went off this morning,freighted with our letters, and, of course, with ourreasons, our sentiments, our thanks, our disappointments,our hopes, and our fears.

6th. I resumed the subject of the Indianlanguage.

Osanimun is the word for vermilion. Thisword is compounded from unimun, or plant yieldinga red dye, and asawa, yellow. The peculiarcolor of yellow-red is thus indicated. Beizhais the neuter verb “to come.” Thisverb appears to remain rigid in its conjugation, thetenses being indicated exclusively by inflectionsof the pronoun. Thus nim beizha, I come;ningee peizha, I came; ninguh peizha,I will come. The pronoun alone is declined forpast and future tense, namely gee and guh.

There does not appear to be any definite article inthe Chippewa language. Pazhik means one, oran. It may be doubtful whether the former senseis not the exclusive one. Ahow is this personin the animate form. Ihiw is the correspondinginanimate form. More care than I have devotedmay, however, be required to determine this matter.

Verbs, in the Chippewa, must agree in number and tensewith the noun. They must also agree in gender,that is, verbs animate must have nouns animate.They must also have animate pronouns and animate adjectives.Vitality, or the want of vitality, seems to be thedistinction which the inventors of the language, seizedupon, to set up the great rules of its syntax.

Verbs, in the Chippewa language, are converted intonouns by adding the particle win.

Kegido, to speak. Kegido-win, speech.This appears to be a general rule. The only doubtI have felt is, whether the noun formed is so purelyelementary as not to partake of a participial character.

There are two plurals to express the word “we,”one of which includes, and the other excludes,the person addressed. Neither of these formsis a dual.

Os signifies father; nos is my father;kos, thy father; osun, his or her father.The vowel in this word is sounded like the o,in note.

The language has two relative pronouns, which aremuch used—­awanan, who; and wagonan,what. The vowel a, in these words, is thesound of a in fate.

There are two classes of adjectives, one of whichapplies to animate, the other to inanimate objects.

The Chippewa word for Sabbath is animea geezhig,and indicates prayer-day. There is no evidence,from inquiry, that the Indians divided their daysinto weeks. A moon was the measure of a month,but it is questionable whether they had acquired sufficientexactitude in the computation of time to have numberedthe days comprehended in each moon. The phasesof the moon were accurately noted.

8th. Professor S., of Yale College, writesto me under this date, enclosing opinions respectingmy “Narrative Journal” of travels, containedin a familiar private letter from D. Wadsworth, Esq.,of Hartford. They terminate with this remark:“All I regret about it (the work) is, that itwas not consistent with his plans to tell us more ofwhat might be considered the domestic part ofthe expedition—­the character and conductof those who were of the party, their health, difficulties,opinions, and treatment of each other, &c. Ashis book was a sort of official work, I suppose hethought it would not do, and I wish now, he wouldgive his friends (and let us be amongst them) a manuscriptof the particulars that are not for the public.”

17th. Semi-civilization of the Mexican Tribes.—­Nothingis more manifest, on reading the “Conquest ofMexico” by De Solis, than that the characterand attainments of the ancient Mexicans are exaltedfar above the reality, to enhance the fame of Cortez,and give an air of splendor to the conquest.Superior as the Aztecs and some other tribes certainlywere, in many things, to the most advanced of the NorthAmerican tribes, they resemble the latter greatly,in their personal features, and mental traits, andin several of their arts.

The first presents sent by Montezuma to Cortez were“cotton cloths, plumes, bows, arrows and targetsof wood, collars and rings of gold, precious stones,ornaments of gold in the shape of animals, and tworound plates of the precious metals resembling thesun and moon.”

The men had “rings in their ears and lips, which,though they were of gold, were a deformity insteadof an ornament.”

“Canoes and periogues” of wood were theirusual means of conveyance by water. The “books”mentioned at p. 100, were well-dressed skins, dressedlike parchment, and, after receiving the paintingsobserved, were accurately folded up, in squares orparallelograms.

The cacique of Zempoala, being the first dignitarywho paid his respects personally to Cortez on hisentry into the town, is described, in effect, as coveredwith a cotton blanket “flung over his naked body,enriched with various jewels and pendants, which healso wore in his ears and lips.” This chiefsent 200 men to carry the baggage of Cortez.

By the nearest route from St. Juan de Ulloa, the pointof landing to Mexico, it was sixty leagues, or about180 miles. This journey Montezuma’s runnersperformed to and fro in seven days, being thirty-fiveto thirty-six miles per day. No great speed certainly;nothing to demand astonishment or excite incredulity.

Distance the Mexicans reckoned, like our Indians,by time, “A sun” was a day’sjourney.

De Solis says, “One of the points of his embassy(alluding to Cortez), and the principal motive whichthe king had to offer his friendship to Montezuma,was the obligation Christian princes lay under to opposethe errors of idolatry, and the desire he had to instructhim in the knowledge of the truth, and to help himto get rid of the slavery of the devil.”

The empire of Mexico, according to this author, stretched“on the north as far as Panuco, including thatprovince, but was straitened considerably by the mountainsor hilly countries possessed by the Chichimecas andOttomies, a barbarous people.”

I have thought, on reading this work, that there isroom for a literary essay, with something like thistitle: “Strictures on the HyperbolicalAccounts of the Ancient Mexicans given by the SpanishHistorians,” deduced from a comparison of thecondition of those tribes with the Indians at theperiod of its settlement. Humboldt states thatthere are twenty languages at present in Mexico, fourteenof which have grammars and dictionaries tolerablycomplete. They are, Mexican or Aztec, Otomite,Tarase, Zapatec, Mistec, Maye or Yucatan, Tatonac,Popolauc, Matlazing, Huastec, Mixed, Caquiquel, Tarauma,Tepehuan, Cara.

20th. When the wind blows high, and thefine snow drifts, as it does about the vernal equinox,in these latitudes, the Indians smilingly say, “Ah!now Pup-puk-e-wiss is gathering his harvest,”or words to this effect. There is a mythologicaltale connected with it, which I have sketched.

21st. I have amused myself in readinga rare old volume, just presented to me, entitled“A Review of the Works of the Royal Society ofLondon, &c., by John Hill, M.D., London, 1751.”It evinces an acute mind, ready wit, and a generalacquaintance with the subjects of natural history,antiquities, and philosophical research, adverted to.It is a racy work, which all modern naturalists, andmodern discoverers of secrets and inventions oughtto read. I should think it must have made someof the contributors to the “Transactions”of the Royal Society wince in its day.

22d. Knowledge of foreign nations hasincreased most wonderfully in our day, and is oneof the best tests of civilization. Josaphat Barbarotraveled into the East in 1436. He says of theGeorgians, “They have the most horrid manners,and the worst customs of any people I ever met with.”Surely this is vague enough for even the clerk whokept the log-book of Henry Hudson. Such itemsas the following were deemed “food” forbooks of travels in those days: “The peopleof Cathay, in China, believe that they are the onlypeople in the world who have two eyes. To theLatins they allow one, and all the rest of theworld none at all.”

Marco Polo gives an account of a substance called“Andanicum,” which he states to be anore of steel. In those days, when everythingrelating to metallurgy and medicine was considereda secret, the populace did not probably know thatsteel was an artificial production. Or the mineralmay have been sparry iron ore, which is readily convertedinto steel.

26th. It is now the season of making sugarfrom the rock maple by the Indians and Canadians inthis quarter. And it seems to be a business inwhich almost every one is more or less interested.Winter has shown some signs of relaxing its iron grasp,although the quantity of snow upon the ground is stillvery great, and the streams appear to be as fast lockedin the embraces of frost as if it were the slumberof ages. Sleighs and dog trains have been departingfor the maple forests, in our neighborhood, sinceabout the 10th instant, until but few, comparatively,of the resident inhabitants are left. Many buildingsare entirely deserted and closed, and all are moreor less thinned of their inhabitants. It is alsothe general season of sugar-making with the Indians.

I joined a party in visiting one of the camps.We had several carioles in company, and went downthe river about eight or nine miles to Mrs. Johnston’scamp. The party consisted of several officersand ladies from the fort, Captain Thompson [34] andlady, Lieutenant Bicker and lady and sister, the MissJohnstons and Lieutenants Smith [35] and Folger.We pursued the river on the ice the greater part ofthe way, and then proceeded inland about a mile.We found a large temporary building, surrounded withpiles of ready split wood for keeping a fire underthe kettles, and large ox hides arranged in such amanner as to serve as vats for collecting the sap.About twenty kettles were boiling over an elongatedcentral fire.

[Footnote 34: Killed in Florida, at the battleof Okechobbee, as Lt. Col. of the 6th U.S.Infantry.]

[Footnote 35: Died at Vera Cruz, Mexico, as Quarter-MasterU.S.A.]

The whole air of the place resembled that of a manufactory.The custom on these occasions is to make up a pic-nic,in which each one contributes something in the wayof cold viands or refreshments.

The principal amusem*nt consisted in pulling candy,and eating the sugar in every form. Having donethis, and received the hospitalities of our hostess,we tackled up our teams, and pursued our way back tothe fort, having narrowly escaped breaking throughthe river at one or two points.

27th. I received a letter of this datefrom G.W. Rodgers, a gentleman of Bradford county,Pennsylvania, in behalf of himself and associates,proposing a number of queries respecting the copper-yieldingregion of Lake Superior, and the requisites and prospectsof an expedition for obtaining the metal from theIndians. Wrote to him adversely to the projectat this time. Doubtless the plan is feasible,but the Indians are at present the sole owners andoccupants of the metalliferous region.

28th. Dies natalis.—­A friendediting a paper on the seaboard writes (10 Jan. 1822)—­“Iwish you to give me an article on the geology andmineralogy of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letterpurporting to be given by a foreign traveler.It is my intention to give a series of letters, partlyby myself and partly by others, which shall take noticeof everything in and about the city, which may be deemedinteresting. I wish to begin at the foundation,by giving a geographical and geological sketch ofthe island.” [36] He continues:—­

[Footnote 36: Furnished the article, as desired,under the signature of “Germanicus.” Vide“N.Y. Statesman.”]

“I have read Ontwa, the Indian poem you spokeof last summer. The notes by Gov. Cass areextremely interesting, and written in a superior style.I shall notice the work in a few days.”“I inform you, in confidence, that M.E., ofthis city, is preparing a notice of your ‘Journal’for the next number of the Repository, whichwill appear on the first of next month.”

29th. Novelty has the greatest attractionfor the human mind. There is such a charm innovelty, says Dr. John Mason Good, that it often leadsus captive in spite of the most glaring errors, andintoxicates the judgment as fatally as the cup ofCirce. But is not variety at hand to contestthe palm?

“The great source of pleasure,” observesDr. Johnson, “is variety. Uniformity musttire at last, though it be uniformity of excellence.”

April 1st. The ice and snow begin to beburthensome to the eye. We were reconciled towinter, when it was the season of winter; but now ourlonging eyes are cast to the south, and we are anxiousfor the time when we can say, “Lo, the winteris past, the flowers appear on the earth, the timeof singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtleis heard in our land.”

The Chippewas have quite a poetic allegory of winterand spring, personified by an old and a young man,who came from opposite points of the world, to passa night together and boast of their respective powers.Winter blew his breath, and the streams were coveredwith ice. Spring blew his breath, and the landwas covered with flowers. The old man is finallyconquered, and vanishes into “thin air.”

2d. We talked to-day of dreams. Dreamsare often talked about, and have been often writtenabout. But the subject is usually left where itwas taken up. Herodotus says, “Dreams ingeneral originate from those incidents which havemost occupied the thoughts during the day.”Locke betters the matter but little, by saying, “Thedreams of sleeping men are all made up of waking men’sideas, though, for the most part, oddly put together.”Solomon’s idea of “the multitude of business”is embraced in this.

Sacred dreams were something by themselves. Godchose in ancient times to communicate with the prophetsin dreams and visions. But there is a very strongand clear line of distinction drawn on this subjectin the 23d of Jeremiah, from the 25th to the 28thverses. “He that hath a dream, let himtell a dream, and he that hath my word let him speakmy word.” The sacred and the profane, oridle dream, are likened as “chaff” to“wheat.”

The Indians, in this quarter, are very much besottedand spell-bound, as it were, by dreams. Theirwhole lives are rendered a perfect scene of doubtsand fears and terrors by them. Their jugglersare both dreamers and dream interpreters. Ifthe “prince of the power of the air” hasany one hold upon them more sure and fast than another,it seems to be in their blind and implicit relianceupon dreams. There is, however, with them a sacreddream, distinct from common dreams. It is calleda-po-wa.

I have had before me, during a considerable part ofthe season, a pamphlet of printed queries respectingthe Indians and their languages, put into my handsby Gov. C. when passing through Detroit in thesummer. Leaving to others the subjects connectedwith history and traditions, &c., I have attemptedan analysis of the language. Reading has beenresorted to as a refreshment from study. I usedto read to gratify excitement, but I find the chiefpleasure of my present reading is more and more turningto the acquisition and treasuring up of facts.This principle is probably all that sustains and renderspleasurable the inquiry into the Indian language.

One of the printed queries before me is, “Dothey (the Indians) believe in ghosts?” I believeall ignorant and superstitious nations believe inapparitions. It seems to be one of the most naturalconsequences of ignorance; and we have seen, in thehistory of wise and learned men, that it requiresa high intellectual effort to shake this belief outof the mind. If God possessed no other way ofcommunicating with the living, it is reasonable tobelieve that he would send dead men, or dead men’ssouls. And this is the precise situation of theonly well authenticated account we have, namely, thatof Saul at Endor [vide 1st Samuel, 7th to 15thverses]. The Chippewas are apt to connect alltheir ghost stories with fire. A lighted fireon the grave has a strong connection with this idea,as if they deemed some mysterious analogy to existbetween spirituality and fire. Their name forghost is Jeebi, a word rendered plural in ug.Without nice attention, this word will be pronouncedChebi, or Tchebi.

Another is as follows: “Do they use anywords equivalent to our habit of swearing?”Many things the Indians may be accused of, but of thepractice of swearing they cannot. I have mademany inquiries into the state of their vocabulary,and do not, as yet, find any word which is more bitteror reproachful than matchi annemoash, whichindicates simply, bad-dog. Many of their nounshave, however, adjective inflections, by which theyare rendered derogative. They have terms to indicatecheat, liar, thief, murderer, coward, fool, lazy man,drunkard, babbler. But I have never heard ofan imprecation or oath. The genius of the languagedoes not seem to favor the formation of terms to beused in oaths or for purposes of profanity. Itis the result of the observation of others, as wellas my own, to say, that an Indian cannot curse.

31st. The ornithology of the north isvery limited in the winter. We have the whiteowl, the Canada jay, and some small species of woodpeckers.I have known the white partridge, or ptermigan, towander thus far south. This bird is featheredto the toes. There are days when the snow-birdappears. There is a species of duck, the shingebis,that remains very late in the fall, and another, theae-ae-wa, that comes very early in the spring.

The T. polyglottis, or buffoon-bird, is neverfound north of 46 deg. N. latitude in the summer.This bird pours forth all sorts of notes in a shortspace of time, without any apparent order. Thethrush, the wren, the jay, and the robin are imitatedin as short a time as it takes to write these words.

7th. During severe winters, in the north,some species of birds extend their migrations farthersouth than usual. This appears to have been thecase during the present season. A small bird,yellowish and cinereous, of the grosbec species, appearedthis day in the neighborhood of one of the sugar-campson the river below, and was shot with an arrow by anIndian boy, who brought it up to me. The Chippewascall it Pashcundamo, in allusion to the stoutnessof its bill, and consequent capacity for breakingsurfaces.[37]

[Footnote 37: This specimen was sent to the NewYork Lyceum, where it was determined to be an undescribedspecies, and named Fringilia vespertina, orevening grosbec.]

8th. The ice on the river still admitsof the passage of horse trains, and the night temperatureis quite wintry, although the power of the sun beginsto be sensibly felt during the middle and after partof the day.

9th. A friend recently at Washington writesfrom Detroit under the date of the 12th March:“A proposition was submitted to a committee ofthe Senate, soon after my arrival in the city, by theSecretary of War, for the establishment of the officeof Superintendent of Mines. To this office, hadthe project been carried into execution, you wouldhave been appointed. But shortly before I leftthere, it was thought more expedient to sell all themines than to retain them in the hands of the government.Of course, if this plan be adopted, as I think it willbe, the other will be superseded.” Here,then, drops a project, which I had conceived at Potosi,and which has been before my mind for some four years,and which I am still satisfied might have been carriedthrough Congress, had I given my personal attentionto the subject, during the present session. Ihave supposed myself more peculiarly qualified tofill the station indicated, than the one I now occupy.And I accepted the present office under the expectationthat it would be temporary. When once a projectof this kind, however, is superseded in the way thishas been, it is like raising the dead to bring it upagain; and it is therefore probable that my destinyis now fixed in the North-West instead of the South-West,for a number of years. I thought I had read Franklin’smaxims to some purpose; but I now see that, althoughI have observed one of them in nine cases, I missedit in the tenth:—­

“He that by theplough would thrive,
Himself must eitherhold, or drive.”

I trusted, in the fall, that I could safely look on,and see this matter accomplished.

As to the mines, they will still require a local superintendent.They cannot be sold until there are some persons tobuy, and it is not probable such extensive tractsof barren lands can be disposed of in years.Meantime, the rents of the mines are an object.The preservation of the public timber is an object.And the duties connected with these objects cannotbe performed, with justice to the government, andconvenience to the lessees, without a local agent.In proportion as some of the districts of minerallands are sold, others will claim attention; and itmay be, and most probably will be, yearsbefore the intention of Congress, if expressed bylaw, can be fully carried into effect.

Life has more than one point of resemblance to a panorama.When one object is past, another is brought to view.The same correspondent adds: “Mr. Calhounhas come to the determination to authorize you to explorethe River St. Peter’s this season. I thinkyou may safely make the necessary arrangements, asI feel confident the instructions will reach you soonafter the opening of the navigation.”

In consequence of this intimation, I have been castingabout to find some authors who treat of the regionof country which embraces the St. Peter’s, butwith little success. Hennipin’s “Discoveryof a large Country in the Northern America, extendingabove Four Thousand Miles,” I have read withcare. But care indeed it requires to separatetruth from error, both in his descriptions and opinions.He thinks “Japan a part of the American Continent;”and describes the Wisconsin as “navigable forlarge vessels above one hundred leagues.”Yet, notwithstanding this gross hyberbole, he describesthe portage between the Fox and Wisconsin at “halfa league,” which is within the actual distance.It may be admitted that he was within the Sioux country,and went up the Mississippi as high as the St. Francis.

La Hontan, whose travels were published in Londononly a few years after the translation of Hennipin’s,is entitled, it is believed, to no credit whatever,for all he relates of personal discoveries on the Mississippi.His fiction of observations on “River La Long,”is quite preposterous. I once thought he hadbeen as far as Prairie du Chien; but think it moreprobable he never went beyond Green Bay.

Carver, who went from Boston to the Mississippi inthe latter part of the 18th century, is not an authorto glean much from. I, however, re-perused hisvolume carefully, and extracted notes. Some ofthe stories inserted in his work have thrown an airof discredit over it, and caused the whole work tobe regarded in rather an apocryphal light. Ithink there is internal evidence enough in his narrativeto prove that he visited the chief portions of countrydescribed. But he probably neglected to keepdiurnal notes. When in London, starvation staredhim in the face. Those in office to whom he representedhis plans probably listened to him awhile, and afterwardslost sight of, or neglected him. He naturallyfell into the hands of the booksellers, who deemedhim a good subject to get a book from. But hisoriginal journal did not probably afford matter enough,in point of bulk. In this exigency, the old Frenchand English authors appear to have been drawn upon;and probably their works contributed by far the largerpart of the volume after the 114th page (Philadelphiaed. 1796), which concludes the “Journal.”I think it questionable whether some literary hackwas not employed, by the booksellers, to draw up thepart of the work “On the origin, manners, customs,religion, and language of the Indians.”Considerable portions of the matter are nearly verbatimin the language of Charlevoix, La Hontan, and otherauthors of previous date. The “vocabularyof Chippewa,” so far as it is Chippewa at all,has the French or a mixed orthography, which it isnot probable that an Englishman or an American would,de novo, employ. CHAPTER XVIII.

Rapid advance of spring—­Troops commencea stockade—­Principles of the Chippewa tongue—­Ideaof a new language containing the native principlesof syntax, with a monosyllabic method—­Indianstandard of value—­Archaeological evidencesin growing trees—­Mount Vernon—­Signsof spring in the appearance of birds—­Expeditionto St. Peter’s—­Lake Superior open—­Apeculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson—­Truesounds of the consonants—­Philology—­Adventof the arrival of a vessel.—­Editors andeditorials—­Arrival from Fort William—­Ahope fled—­Sudden completion of the spring,and ushering in of summer—­Odjibwa language,and transmission of Inquiries.

1823. April 12th. Spring is graduallyadvancing. The deepened roar of the rapids indicatesan increased volume of water. The state of theice is so bad this day that no persons have venturedto cross the river. Yesterday, they still crossed.The bare ground begins to show itself in spots; butthe body of snow is still deep in the woods.

14th. The T. migratorius or robinmade its appearance. The Indians have a prettytale of the origin of this bird and its fondness fordomestic scenes.

16th. Gray duck appeared in the rapids.

17th. Large portions of the ground arenow laid bare by the sun.

18th. A friend at New York, about to sailfor Europe, writes me under this date: “Iexpect to sail for St. Petersburgh. I shall takewith me some of our choicest specimens, in returnfor which I hope to procure something new and interesting.The truth is, we know very little of the mineralogyof Russia, and hence such specimens as can be procuredwill almost necessarily prove interesting.”

“The Lyceum is about to publish its proceedings.The members are increasing in numbers and activity.It has been recently agreed that there shall be atleast one paper read at every meeting; this will ensureattention, and much increase the interest of the meetings.I hope you may, before long, be able to add your personalattendance.”

“I feel it my duty to inform you that the mineralsintrusted to my care are situated in every respectas when left by you; they are, of course, entirelydependent upon any order you may give concerning them.I do not think it necessary that you should make anyimmediate provision for them, or that thereis any cause for uneasiness on their account.”[38]

[Footnote 38: Notwithstanding, the collectionof specimens referred to was afterwards most sadlydealt with, and pillaged of its choicest specimens.]

19th. The troops began to set up the picketsof a stockade or fort, to which the name of “Brady”is given, in allusion to Col. Hugh Brady, U.S.A.The first canoe crossed the river to-day, althoughthe ice still lines each shore of the river for severalhundred yards in width.

20th. S. My sister Maria writes tome: “I fancy, by the description you havegiven of your residence and society at the Sault, thatyou have enjoyed yourself, and seen as much of therefinements of civilized life as you would have donein many places less remote. Who have you at theSault that writes such pretty poetry? The pieceI refer to is signed Alexina,[39] and is a death-songof an Indian woman at the grave of her murdered husband.”

[Footnote 39: Mrs. Thompson.]

22d. One of the principal objections tobe urged against the Indian languages, consideredas media of communication, is their cumbrousness.There is certainly a great deal of verbiage and tautologyabout them. The paucity of terms leads not onlyto the use of figures and metaphors, but is the causeof circumlocution. This day we had a snow storm.

The Chippewa is, in its structure, what is denominatedby Mr. Du Ponceau “polysynthetic.”It seems the farthest removed possible from the monosyllabicclass of languages. I have thought that, if someof its grammatical principles could be applied tomonosyllables, a new language of great brevity, terseness,regularity, and poetic expressiveness, might be formed.It would be necessary to restore to its alphabet theconsonants f, l, and r, and v.Its primitive pronouns might be retained, with simpleinflections, instead of compound, for plural.It would be necessary to invent a pronoun for she,as there is, apparently, nothing of this kind in thelanguage. The pronouns might take the followingform:—­

Ni, I. Nid, We. Niwin, Myself.Niwind, Ourselves.

Ki, Thou. Kid, Ye or you.Kiwin, Thyself. Kiwind, Yourselves.

Wi, He. Wid, They. Masculine.Wiwin, Yourselves. (Mas.) Wiwind.

Si, She. Sid, They. Feminine.Siwin, Yourselves. (Fem.) Siwind.


Ni, Nin, Nee—­I, Mine, Me. Nid,Nida, Nidim—­We, Us, Ours.

Ki, Kin, Kee—­Thou, Thine, Thee.Kid, Kida, Kidim—­Ye, You, Yours. Wi, Win, Wee—­Him, His, His.Wid, Wida, Widim—­They, Their, Theirs.(Mas.)

Si, Sin, See—­Her, Hers, Hers.Sid, Sida, Sidim—­They, Their, Theirs.

The full meaning of the present class of verbs andsubstantives of the language could be advantageouslytransferred to the first, or second, or third syllableof the words, converting them into monosyllables.The plural might be uniformly made in d, followinga vowel, and if a word terminate in a consonant, thenin ad. So the class of plural terminationswould be ad, ed, id, od, ud. Many genericnouns would require to be invented, and could easilybe drawn from existing roots. In the orthographyof these, the initial consonant of the correspondingEnglish word might serve as an index, Thus, from theword aindum, mind, might be derived,

Ain, Mind. Sain, Sorrow.

Tain, Thought. Jain, Joy, &c.

Main, Meditation.

So from taibwawin, truth, might be drawn taib,truth—­faib, faith—­raib,religion—­vaib, virtue. A principleof euphony, or affinity of syllabication, might beapplied in the abbreviation of a few of this classof generic words: as Eo, God, from monedo.


In, Man. Ind, Men.

Ee, Woman. Eed, Women.

Ab, Child. Abad, Children.

Kwi, Boy. Kwid, Boys.

Kwa, Girl. Kwad, Girls.

Os, Father. Osad, Fathers.

Gai, Mother. Gaid, Mothers.

All the existing monosyllables of the language wouldbe retained, but subjected to new laws of constructionand concordance. Thus the plural of Koan,snow, would be koanad; of ais, shell, aisad;moaz, moas, moazad, &c. Variety in the productionof sounds, and of proper cadences in composition,might dictate retention of a certain class of thedissyllables—­as ossin a stone, opina potato, akki earth, mejim food, assuba net, aubo a liquid, mittig a tree,&c., the plurals of which would be assinad, opinad,akkid, mejimad, assubad, aubad, mittigad.Every substantive would have a diminutive form in is,and an augmentative in chi, the vowel of thelatter to be dropped where a vowel begins the word.Thus, chab, a grandchild; chigai, agrandmother. Inis, a little man; osis,a little father, &c.

Adjectives would come under the same rules of abbreviationas nouns and verbs. They would be deprived oftheir present accidents of number and gender.

Min, Good. Koona, Ugly.

Mon, Bad. Soan, Strong.

Bish, Handsome.

The colors, seasons, cardinal points, &c., would consistof the first syllable of the present words.

The demonstrative pronouns, this, that, there,those, would take the following forms: Mau,this; aho, that. By adding the common plural,the terms for these and those would beproduced: Maud, these; ahod, those.

The prepositions would fall naturally under the ruleof abbreviation applied to nouns, &c. Chi,by; peen, in; kish, if, &c.; li,of; ra, to; vi, is; af, at.

Ieau is the verb to be. The auxiliaryverbs, have, shall, will, &c., taken from thetensal particles, are ge, gu, gei, go, ga.

Pa may stand for the definite article, beingthe first syllable of pazhik; and a commafor the indefinite article.

Ie is matter. Ishi, heaven.


Ni sa Eo—­I love God.
Eo vi min—­The Lord is good.
Nin os ge pa min in—­My father was agood man.
Ishiod (Isheod)—­The heavens.

Thus a new language might be formed.

24th. The standard of value with the Indiansis various. At this place, a beaver skin is thestandard of computation in accounts. When anIndian has made a purchase, he inquires, not how manydollars, but how many beaver skins he owes. Farthersouth, where racoon skins are plenty, theybecome the standard. Some years ago, desertionbecame so frequent at Chicago and other posts, thatthe commanding officer offered the customary rewardto the Indians of the post, if they would secure thedeserters. Five persons went in pursuit, and broughtin the men, for which they received a certificatefor the amount. They then divided the sum intofive equal shares, and subdivided each share into itsvalue in racoon skins. It was not until thisdivision was completed, and the number of skins ascertained,that they could, by any fixed standard of comparison,determine the reward which each had received.

25th. It is stated in the newspapers thathacks of an axe were lately found in the central andsolid parts of a large tree near Buffalo, which weresupposed to have been made by La Salle’s party.Other evidences of the early footsteps of Europeanson this continent have been mentioned. A trammelwas found in the solid substance of a tree in Onondaga.A gun barrel in a similar position in the Wabash Valley.[40]Growing wood soon closes over articles left upon it,in the wilderness, where they are long undisturbed.

[Footnote 40: Hon. R.W. Thompson.]

27th. Monedo is strictly a term belongingto the Indian mythology and necromancy, and is constantlyused to indicate a spirit. It has not the regulartermination of the noun in win, and seems ratherverbal in its aspect, and so far as we can decipherits meaning, mon is a syllable having a badmeaning generally, as in monaudud, &c. Edomay possibly be a derivation from ekedo, hespeaks.

28th. It is a year ago to-day since Ivisited the tomb of Washington, at Mount Vernon.There were three representatives in Congress, in company.We left the city of Washington in the morning, in aprivate carriage, and drove down in good season.I looked about the tomb narrowly for some mementoto bring away, and found some mineralogical fragmentson the small mound over the tomb, which would bearthe application of their book names. On comingback through Alexandria, we dined at a public hotel,where, among other productions of the season, we hadcucumbers. What a contrast in climate to my presentposition! Here, as the eyes search the fields,heaps of snow are still seen in shaded situations,and the ice still disfigures the bays and indentationsof the shore in some places, as if it were animatedwith a determination to hold out against the powerof the sun to the utmost. Nature, however, indicatesits great vernal throe. White fish were firsttaken during the season, this day, which is rare.

29th. A friend at Detroit writes underthis date: “I had expected that beforenow, instructions would have reached here requiringyou to repair to the St. Peter’s. But asthe season advances, and they do not arrive, I beginto fear that one of those mutations, to which of allgovernments upon this mundane sphere ours isthe most exposed, has changed the intended disposition.”

May 1st. Winter still holds its graspupon the ice in the lower part of the river and straits.

The Claytonia Virginica observed in flowerin favorable spots.

The bay opposite the fort on the north-west shorecleared of ice on the 2d, being the first day thatthe river has exhibited the appearance of being completelyclear, a strong north-west wind blowing. It isjust four months and ten days from the period of itsfinal closing on the 22d of December.

The yellow sparrow, or boblinkin, appeared this dayin the woods.

4th. The surface of the earth is undergoinga rapid transformation, although we are, at the sametime, led to observe, that “winter lingeringchills the lap of May.” Sudden changes oftemperature are experienced, which are governed verymuch by the course and changes of the wind. Natureappears suddenly to have been awakened from her torpidstate.

All eyes are now directed to the east, not becausethe sun rises there, but it is the course fromwhich, in our position, we expect intelligence byvessels. We expect a deliverance from our winter’sincarceration.

6th. Lake Superior appears to be entirelyopen. A gentleman attached to the Boundary Surveyat Fort William writes to me, under this date, thatthe bay at that place is free from ice, so as to permitthem to resume their operations. They had beenwaiting for this occurrence for two weeks previously.

8th. It is a year since I received fromthe President (Mr. Monroe) a commission as agent forthese tribes; and it is now more probable than itthen was that my residence here may assume a characterof permanency. I do not, however, cease to hopethat Providence has a more eligible situation in reservefor me.

9th. “Little things,” saysDr. Johnson, “are not valued, when they aredone by those who cannot do greater.” ThomasJefferson uniformly spelled knowledge without a w,which might not be mentioned, had he not written theNotes on Virginia, and the Declaration ofIndependence.

10th. A trader proceeded with a boat intoLake Superior, which gives assurance that this greatinland sea is open for navigation. White fishappeared in the rapids, which it is said they neverdo while there is running ice.

11th. Stearn sums up the points requisitefor remembrance by posterity, in these four things—­“Planta tree, write a book, build a house, and get a child.”Watts has a deeper tone of morality when he says—­

“We should leaveour names, our heirs.
Old time and waningmoons sweep all the rest away.”

12th. When last at Washington, Dr. Thornton,of the Patent Office, detained me some time talkingof the powers of the letters of the English alphabet.He drew a strong line of distinction between the namesand the sounds of the consonants. L,for instance, called el, was sounded le,&c.

Philology is one of the keys of knowledge which, Ithink, admits of its being said that, although itis rather rusty, the rust is, however, a proof ofits antiquity. I am inclined to think that moretrue light is destined to be thrown on the historyof the Indians by a study of their languages thanof their traditions, or any other feature.

The tendency of modern inquiries into languages seemsrather to have been to multiply than to simplify.I do not believe we have more than three mother stocksof languages in all the United States east of theMississippi, embracing also large portions of territorywest of it, namely, the Algonquin, Iroquois, and whatmay be called Apallachian. Perhaps a little Dakota.

15th. Our first vessel for the seasonarrived this day. If by a patient series of inquiries,during the winter, we had calculated the appearanceof a comet, and found our data verified by its actualappearance, it could not be a subject of deeper interestthan the bringing ashore of the ship’s mail.Had we not gone to so remote a position, we couldnot possibly ever have become aware how deeply we areindebted to the genius and discoveries of Cadmus andFaust, whose true worshippers are the corps editorial.Now for a carnival of letters.

Reading, reading, reading, “Big and small, scrapsand all.”

If editors of newspapers knew the avidity with whichtheir articles are read by persons isolated as weare, I have the charity to believe they would devotea little more time, and exert a little more candor,in penning them. For, after all, how large aportion of all that a newspaper contains is, at leastto remote readers, “flat, stale, and unprofitable.”The mind soon reacts, and asks if this be valuablenews.

I observed the Erythronium dens canis, andPanax trifolium appeared in flower on the 25th.

28th. The schooner “Recovery”arrived from Fort William on the north shore of LakeSuperior, bringing letters and despatches, politicaland commercial. Mr. Siveright, the agent of theH. B. C., kindly sent over to me, for my perusal,a letter of intelligence from an American gentlemanin the North.

29th. I have, for some time, relinquishedthe expectation of being selected to conduct the exploringparty, intended to be ordered by government, intothe region of the St. Peter’s, at least the presentseason. A letter of this date terminates the uncertainty.“Major Delafield,” says a correspondent,“informs me that an exploring party has beenordered under Major Long, to make the tour which wasintended for you. Why this arrangement has beenmade, and the original plan abandoned, I cannot conjecture,unless it resulted from the necessity of placing amilitary officer at the head of the party. I presumethis was the fact, for I am certain that the changein the project did not arise from any feeling in Mr.C.’s mind unfriendly, or even indifferent toyou. Upon that subject I can speak definitely,and say to you, that you have a hold upon his esteem,not to be shaken.” Thus falls another cherishedhope, namely, that of leading an expedition to theNorth.

30th. Minute particulars are often indicativeof general changes. This is the first day thatthe mosquito has appeared. The weather for a fewdays has been warm. Vegetation suddenly put forth;the wild cherry, &c., is now in bloom, and gardeninghas commenced with fine prospects.

31st. Odjibwa language.—­Thereare two generic words in the concrete forms of theChippewa for water or a liquid, in addition to thecommon term neebi. They are auboand gomee. Both are manifestly compounds,but, in our present state of knowledge, they may betemporarily considered as elements of other compounds.Thus, if the letter n be prefixed to the former,and the sound of b suffixed, the result isthe term for soup, nabob. If to the sameelement of aubo, the word for fire, iscoda,be prefixed, the result is their name for ardent spirits,iscodawabo, literally fire-water. In thelatter case, the letter w is thrown in as acoalescent between the sound of a, as a inhate; and the a, as a in fall. This isout of a mere regard to euphony.

“If they (the Chippewas) say ‘A man lovesme,’ or ‘I love a man,’ is thereany variation in the word man?” They donot use the word man in either of these instances.The adjective white takes the animate pronounform in iz zi, by which the object beloved isindicated, waub-ishk-iz-ze Saugiau.

“Does the object precede or follow the verb?”Generally, it precedes the verb. Fish, have youany? not, Have you any fish?

The substantive preceded the verb in the organizationof the language. Things were before the motionof things, or the acts or passions of men which ledto motion and emotion. Hence, all substances arechanged into and used as verbs.

I this day completed and transmitted the results ofmy philological inquiries, hoping they might proveacceptable to the distinguished individual to whomthey were addressed, and help to advance the subject.This subject is only laid aside by the call of business,and to be effectual must be again resumed with therecurrence of our long winter evenings.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823—­Glanceat the geography of the lake country—­Concretionof aluminous earth—­General Wayne’sbody naturally embalmed by this property of the soilof Erie—­Free and easy manners—­BoundarySurvey—­An old friend—­Westerncommerce—­The Austins of Texas memory—­Collisionof civil and military power—­Advantages ofa visit to Europe.

1823. June 10th. Mr. Thomas Tousey, ofVirginia, writes from Philadelphia, after completinga tour to the West: “The reading of booksand looking at maps make a fugitive impression on themind, compared to the ocular view and examinationof a country, which make it seem as though we cannotobtain valuable information, or money to serve a valuablepurpose, without great personal labor, fatigue, andoften danger. This was much verified to my satisfaction,from a view of the great western lakes; the interestingposition where you are—­Mackinaw, GreenBay, the fine country between Green Bay and Chicago,and Chicago itself, and the whole country betweenthe latter place and St. Louis.

“Without seeing that country, supposed by manyto be the region of cold and sterility, I could nothave believed there was in it such a store of blessingsyet to be drawn forth by the labor and enterprise ofman, for succeeding generations. As yet, thereare too many objects to tempt and attract the avariceof man to more mild, but more dangerous climates.But the progress of population and improvement is certainin many parts of the country, and with them will beconnected prosperity and happiness.”

When it is considered what a small population of civilizedbeings inhabit that part of the world, it is not tobe wondered at that so little knowledge about it exists.I went from Green Bay, with the Express, where butfew people ever travel, which was attended with fatigueand danger; but the journey produced this convictionon my mind, that the Michigan Territory has in ita great extent of fine country.

I regard Green Bay, at the mouth of Fox River, andChicago, as two very important positions, particularlythe latter. For many years I have felt a mostanxious desire to see the country between Chicago andthe Illinois (River), where it has generally been,ignorantly, supposed that only a small sum would bewanting to open a communication between them.By traveling on horseback through the country, anddown the Illinois, I have conceived a different andmore exalted opinion of this communication, and ofthe country, than I had before, while I am convincedthat it will be attended with a much greater expenseto open it than I had supposed.[41]

[Footnote 41: The Illinois Canal now exists here.]

I, with my two companions, found your fossil tree,in the Des Plaines, with considerable labor and difficulty.This I anticipated, from the commonly reputed opinionof the uncommon height of the waters. With yourmemoir in my hand, we rode up and down the waters tillthe pursuit was abandoned by the others, while myown curiosity and zeal did not yield till it was discovered.The detached pieces were covered with twelve to twentyinches of water, and each of us broke from them asmuch as we could well bring away. I showed themto Col. Benton, the Senator in St. Louis; toMajor O’Fallon; Col. Strother, and othergentlemen there; to Mr. Birkbeck in Wanboro’;to Mr. Rapp in Harmony; and to a number of differentpeople, through the countries I traveled, till my arrivalin Virginia.

“On my arrival here (Philadelphia), I handedthe pieces to Mr. Solomon W. Conrad, who deliverslectures on mineralogy, which he made partly the subjectof one of his lectures. Since that, I had a pieceof it made into a hone, and I had marked on it, ‘Schoolcraft’sFossil Tree.’

“Brooke’s Gazetteer, improved byDarby, has been ready for delivery three or four months,and is allowed to be a most valuable book. Heis, I am sorry to say, truly poor, while his laboris incessant. He set out, several weeks since,to deliver lectures, in the country, where he willprobably continue through the summer.”

16th. J. D. Doty, Esq., writes from Detroitthat a District Court has been established by Congressin the upper country—­that he has been appointedto the judgeship, and will hold a court at Michilimackinack,on the third Monday in July. A beginning has thusbeen made in civil jurisdiction among us benighteddwellers on this far-off land of God’s creation.He states, also, the passage of a law for claimantsto lands, which have been occupied since 1812.Where law goes, civilization will soon follow.

23d. Giles Sanford, of Erie (Penn.), sendsme some curious specimens of the concrete alum-slateof that vicinity—­they are columnar, fan-shaped—­andrequests a description. It is well known thatthe presence of strong aluminous liquids in the soilof that area had a tendency to preserve the fleshon General Wayne’s body, which was found undecayedwhen, after twenty years’ burial, they removedit to Radnor church, in Philadelphia.

28th. Governor C. sends me a pamphletof additional inquiries, founded chiefly on my replies,respecting the Indian languages. He says—­“Yousee, I have given new scope to your inquiries, andadded much to your labors. But it is impracticable,without such assistance as you can render me, to makeany progress. I find so few—­so veryfew—­who are competent to a rational investigationof the subject, that those who are so must be loadedwith a double burden.”

July 6th. Mr. Harry Thompson, of BlackRock, N.Y., writes me that he duly forwarded, by acareful teamster, my three lost boxes of minerals,shells, &c., collected in the Wabash Valley, Missouri,and Illinois, in 1821, and that they were receivedby Mr. Meech of Geneva, and forwarded by him to E.B.Shearman & Co., Utica. The loss of these collectionsof 1821 seems to me very grievous.

19th. Judge Doty writes from Mackinac:“Believing the winds and fates to have beenpropitious, I trust you had a speedy, safe, and pleasantpassage to your home. A boat arrived this morning,but I heard nothing. Mr. Morrison leaves thisevening, and I forward, by him, your dictionary, withmany—­many thanks for the use. Wecompleted the copy of it last evening, making seventy-fivepages of letter paper. I hope I shall be ableto return you the favor, and give you soon some niceSioux words.”

August 5th. Judge Doty, in a letter ofthanks for a book, and some philological suggestions,transmits a list of inquiries on the legal code ofthe Indians—­a rather hard subject—­inwhich, quotations must not be co*ke upon Littleton,but the law of tomahawk upon craniums.

“The Sioux,” he says, “must be slipperyfellows indeed, if I do not squeeze their language,and several other valuable things, out of them nextwinter. I expect to leave for the Mississippithis week, in a barge, with Mr. Rolette.”

6th. Mr. D. H. Barnes, of the New YorkLyceum of Natural History, reports that the shellssent to him from the mouth of the Columbia, and withwhich the Indians garnish their pouches, are a speciesof the Dentalium, particularly described in Jewett’s“Narrative of the Loss of the Ship Boston atNootka Sound.” He transmits proof platesof the fresh water shells collected by Professor Douglassand myself on the late expedition to the sources ofthe Mississippi.

11th. The Adjutant-General of the Territory,General J. R. Williams, transmits me a commissionas captain of an independent company of militia infantry,with a view, it is presumed, on the part of the executive,that it will tend to strengthen the capacity of resistanceto an Indian combination on this frontier.

20th. Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie, sendsme a specimen of gypsum from Sandusky Bay, and a specimenof the strontian-yielding limestone of Put-in-Bay,Lake Erie.

September 10th. Judge Doty writes fromPrairie du Chien, that he had a pleasant passage,with his family, of fifteen days from Mackinaw; thathe is pleased with the place; and that the delegateelection went almost unanimously for Major Biddle.A specimen of native copper, weighing four pounds,was found by Mr. Bolvin, at Pine River, a tributaryfrom the north of the Wisconsin, agreeing in its characterswith those in my cabinet from the basin of Lake Superior.

15th. Dr. John Bigsby, of Nottingham,England, writes from the North-West House, that hearrived yesterday from the Boundary Survey, and isdesirous of exchanging some of his geological and conchologicalspecimens for species in my possession. The doctorhas a very bustling, clerk-like manner, which doesnot impress one with the quiet and repose of a philosopher.He evidently thinks we Americans, at this remote point,are mere barbarians, and have some shrewd design ofmaking a chowder, or a speculation out of our granites,and agates, and native copper. Not a look orword, however, of mine was permitted to disturb thegentleman in his stilted notions.

16th. Major Joseph Delafield, with hisparty, report the Boundary Survey as completed tothe contemplated point on the Lake of the Woods, ascalled for by the Treaty of Ghent. The ease andrepose of the major’s manners contrast ratherfavorably with the fussiness of the British subs.

26th. Mr. Felix Hinchman, of Mackinac,transmits returns of the recent delegate election,denoting the election of Major Biddle, by a ratherclose run, over the Catholic priest Richard.

October 9th. Mr. W.H. Shearman ofVernon, New York, writes that my boxes of mineralsand fresh water shells are irretrievably lost; thatMr. Meech, of Geneva, remains mum on the subject; andthat they have not arrived at Utica. Hard fatethus to be despoiled of the fruits of my labor!

14th. Mr. Ebenezer Brigham of Springfield,Illinois, an honest gentleman with whom I embarkedat Pittsburgh, in the spring of 1818 for the greatWest and the land of fortune, writes a letter of friendlyreminiscences and sympathies at my success, particularlyin getting a healthy location. Brigham was tohave been one of my adventurous party at Potosi, inthe fall of 1818, but the fever and ague laid violenthands on him. He managed to reach Potosi, butonly to bid me good-by, and a God-speed.

“In this country,” he says, “lifeis at least fifty per cent, below par in the monthsof August and September. I have often thoughtthat I run as great a risk every season which I spendhere, as I would in an ordinary battle. I reallybelieve it seldom happens that a greater proportionof an army fall victims to the sword, during a campaign,than there was, of the inhabitants of Illinois, fallingvictims to disease during a season that I have beenhere.”

“I have little doubt but the trade of this partof the State of Illinois will pass through that channel(the northern lakes). Our produce is of a descriptionthat ought to find its way to a northern market, andthat, too, without passing through a tropical climate.Our pork and beef may arrive at Chicago with nearlythe same ease that it can at St. Louis; and, if packedthere and taken through the lakes, would be much morevaluable than if taken by the way of the South; besides,the posts spoken of (Chicago, Green Bay, &c.) maypossibly be supplied cheaper from this than any othersource.”

“Moses Austin, I presume you have heard, isdead, and his son Stephen is acting a very conspicuouspart in the province of Texas. Old Mr. Bates,and his son William, of Herculaneum, both died lastsummer.”

“I should like to know if the same warlike dispositionappears amongst the northern Indians that does amongstthose of the west. Nearly, or quite every expeditionto the west of the Mississippi in the fur trade, thisseason, has been attacked by different tribes, andsome have been defeated and robbed, and a great manylives have been lost. Those in the neighborhoodof this place, to wit, the Kickapoos and Potawattomies,are getting cross and troublesome. I should notbe surprised if a war with the Indians generally shouldtake place soon. The troops at the Council Bluffshave found it necessary to chastise one tribe already(the Aurickarees), which they have done pretty effectually,having killed a goodly number, and burnt their towns.”

19th. Governor C. writes, in responseto a letter detailing difficulties which have arisenoh this frontier between the military and citizens:“Military gentlemen, when stationed at remoteposts, too often ‘feel power and forget right,’and the history of our army is replete with instancesproving incontestably by how frail a tenure our libertieswould be held, were it not for the paramount authorityand redeeming spirit of our civil institutions.”

“I thank you,” he observes, “forthe specimens of copper you have sent me. I participatewith you in your feelings upon the important discoveryyou have been the instrument of communicating to theworld, respecting the existence of that metal uponthe long point of Lake Superior. This circ*mstance,in conjunction with others, will, I hope, lead to acongressional appropriation, at the next session, forexploring that country, and making such purchasesof the Indians as may promise the valuable supplies.”

“My Indian materials are rapidly accumulating;but, unfortunately, they are more valuable for quantitythan quality. It is almost impossible to relyupon the information which is communicated to me onthe subject of the languages. There is a lamentableobtuseness of intellect manifested in both collectorand contributor; and there is no systematic arrangement—­noanalytical process, and, in fact, no correctness ofdetail. I may safely say that what I receivedfrom you is more valuable than all my other stock.

“It has recurred to me that you ought to visitEurope. Don’t startle at the suggestion!I have thought of it frequently. You might easilyprocure some person to execute your duties, &c., andI think there would be no difficulty in procuringpermission from the government. I speak, however,without book. Think of the matter.I see incalculable advantages which would result toyou from it, and you would go under very favorableauspices, and with a rich harvest of literary fame.”

23d. B. F. Stickney, Esq., writes on theoccasion of not having earlier acknowledged my memoiron the Fossil Tree of the Des Plaines, in Illinois.“How little we know of the laws of nature,”he observes, “of which we profess to know somuch.”


Incidents of the year 1824—­Indian researches—­Diverseidioms of the Ottowa and Chippewa—­Conflictof opinion between the civil and military authoritiesof the place—­A winter of seclusion wellspent—­St. Paul’s idea of languages—­Examplesin the Chippewa—­The Chippewa a pure formof the Algonquin—­Religion in the wilderness—­Incidents—­Congressionalexcitements—­Commercial view of the coppermine question—­Trip to Tackwymenon Falls,in Lake Superior.

1824. Jan. 1st. As soon as the businessseason closed, I resumed my Indian researches.

General C. writes: “The result of yourinquiries into the Indian language is highly valuableand satisfactory. I return you my sincere thanksfor the papers. I have examined them attentively.I should be happy to have you prosecute your inquiriesinto the manners, customs, &c., of the Indians.You are favorably situated, and have withal such unconquerableperseverance, that I must tax you more than other persons.My stock of materials, already ample, is rapidly increasing,and many new and important facts have been disclosed.It is really surprising that so little valuable informationhas been given to the world on this subject.”

Mr. B.F. Stickney, formerly an agent at FortWayne, Indiana, writes from Depot (now Toledo):“I am pleased to see that your mind is engagedon the Chippewa language. It affords a fieldsufficiently extensive for the range of all the intellectand industry that the nation can bring into action.If the materials already collected should, after ascrutiny and arrangement, be thrown upon the literaryworld, it would excite so much interest as not topermit the inquiry thus to stop at the threshold.It is really an original inquiry concerning the operationsof the human mind, wherein a portion of the humanrace, living apart from the rest, have independentlydevised means for the interchange of thoughts andideas. Their grammatical rules are so widely differentfrom all our European forms that it forces the mindto a retrospective view of first principles.

“I have observed the differences you mentionbetween the Ottowa and Chippewa dialects. NotwithstandingI conceive them to be (as you observe) radically thesame language, I think there is less difference betweenthe band of Ottowas you mention, of L’ArbreCroche, than the Ottowas of this vicinity.It appears that their languages are subject to veryrapid changes. From not being written, they haveno standard to resort to, and I have observed it demonstratedin bands of the same tribe, residing at considerabledistances from each other, and having but little intercoursefor half a century; these have with difficulty beenable to understand each other.

“I am pleased to learn that you are still advancingthe sciences of mineralogy and conchology. Yourdiscovery of native silver imbedded in native copperis certainly a very extraordinary one.”

28th. Major E. Cutler, commanding officer,applies to me, as a magistrate, to prosecute all citizenswho have settled on the reserve at St. Mary’s,and opened “shops for the sale of liquor.”Not being a public prosecuting attorney, it does notappear how this can at all be done, without his designatingthe names of the offenders, and the offences for whichthey are to be tried.

30th. The same officer reports that hisduties will not permit him to erect quarters for theIndian agent, which he is required to put up, tillanother year. If this step is to be regarded,as it seems, as a retaliatory measure for my not issuingprocess, en masse, against the citizens, withouthe or his subordinates condescending to name individuals,it manifests an utter ignorance of the first principlesof law, and is certainly a queer request to be madeof a justice of the peace. Nor does it appearhow the adoption of such whims or assumptions is compatiblewith a just official comity or an enlarged sense ofpublic duty, on his part, and pointed instructions,to boot, in co-operating with the Indian departmenton a remote and exposed frontier.

There seems to be a period, on the history of thefrontiers, where conflicts between the military andcivil authorities are almost inevitable; but thereare, perhaps, few examples to be found where the formerpower has been more aggressively and offensively exercisedthan it has been under the martinet who is now incommand at this post. It is an ancient pointof settlement by the French, who are generally a mildand obliging people, and disposed to submit to authorities.Some of these are descended from persons who settledhere under Louis XIV. That a few Americans havefollowed the troops with more rigid views of privaterights, and who cannot be easily trampled on, is true.And the military have, justly, no doubt, felt annoyancesfrom a freedom of trade with the soldiery, who cannotbe kept within their pickets by bayonets and commands.But he must be far gone in his sublimated notions ofself-complacency and temporary importance who supposesthat a magistrate would surrender his sense of independence,and impartiality between man and man, by assumingnew and unheard-of duties, at the beck of a militaryfunctionary who happens to overrate his own, or misjudgeanother’s position.

March 31st. I have given no little partof the winter to a revision of my manuscript journalof travels through the Miami and Wabash Valleys in1821. The season has been severe, and offeredfew inducements to go beyond the pale of the usualwalk to my office, the cantonment, and to the villageseated at the foot of the rapids. Variety, inthis pursuit, has been sought, in turning from thetranscription of these records of a tourist to thediscussion of the principles of the Indian languages—­alabor, if literary amusem*nt can be deemed a labor,which was generally adjourned from my office, to beresumed in the domestic circle during the long winterevenings. A moral enjoyment has seldom yieldedmore of the fruits of pleasure. In truth, thewinter has passed almost imperceptibly away.Tempests howled around us, without diminishing ourcomforts. We often stood, in the clear winterevenings, to gaze at the splendid displays of theAurora Borealis. The cariole was sometimes putin requisition. We sometimes tied on the augim,or snow-shoe, and ventured over drifts of snow, whosedepth rendered them impassable to the horse.We assembled twice a week, at a room, to listen tothe chaste preaching of a man of deep-toned pietyand sound judgment, whose life and manners resemblean apostle’s.

In looking back at the scenes and studies of sucha season, there was little to regret, and much toexcite in the mind pleasing vistas of hope and anticipation.The spring came with less observation than had beendevoted to the winter previous; and the usual harbingersof advancing warmth—­the small singing birdsand northern flowers—­were present ere wewere well aware of their welcome appearance.

Hope is a flower thatfills the sentient mind
With sweets of rapturousand of heavenly kind;
And those, who in hergardens love to tread,
Alone can tell how softthe odors spread.


April 20th. “There are, it may be,”says Paul, “many kinds of voices in the world,and none of them is without signification.”It could easily be proved that many of these voicesare very rude; but it would take more philologicalacumen than was possessed by Horne Tooke to provethat any of them are without “signification.”By the way, Tooke’s “Diversions of Purley”does not seem to me so odd a title as it once appeared.

C. writes to me, under this date, “I pray youto push your philological inquiries as far as possible;and to them, add such views as you may be able tocollect of the various topics embraced in my plan.”

There is, undoubtedly, some danger that, in makingthe Indian history and languages a topic of investigation,the great practicable objects of their reclamationmay be overlooked. We should be careful, whilecultivating the mere literary element, not to palliateour delinquencies in philanthropic efforts in theirbehalf, under the notion that nothing can be effectivelydone, that the Indian is not accessible to moral truths,and that former efforts having failed of general results,such as those of Eliot and Brainerd, they are beyondthe reach of ordinary means. I am inclinedto believe that the error lies just here—­thatis, in the belief that some extraordinary effort isthought to be necessary, that their sons must be coopedup in boarding-schools and colleges, where they aretaught many things wholly unsuited to their conditionand wants, while the mass of the tribes is left athome, in the forests, in their ignorance and vices,untaught and neglected.

In the exemplification of St. Paul’s idea, thatall languages are given to men, with an exact significanceof words and forms, and therefore not vaguely, thereis the highest warrant for their study; and the timethus devoted cannot be deemed as wasted or thrownaway. How shall a man say “raca,”or “that fox,” if there be no equivalentsfor the words in barbarous languages? The truthis that this people find no-difficulty in expressingthe exact meanings, although the form of the wordsis peculiar. The derogative sense of sly andcunning, which is, in the original, implied by thedemonstrative pronoun “that,” a Chippewawould express by a mere inflection of the word fox,conveying a bad or reproachful idea; and the pronouncannot be charged with an ironical meaning.

In ke-bau-diz-ze, which is an equivalent forraca, there is a personal pronominal prefix,and an objective pronominal suffix. The radix,in baud, has thus the second person thou inke; and the objective inflection, iz-ze,means a person in a general sense. This revealstwo forms of the Chippewa substantive, which are applicableto all words, and leaves nothing superfluous or without“significance.” In fact, the wholelanguage is susceptible of the most clear and exactanalysis. This language is one of the most pure,clear, and comprehensive forms of the Algonquin.

May 20th. The Rev. Robert McMurtrie Laird,of Princess Anne, Maryland, but now temporarily atDetroit, writes to me in a spirit of affectionatekindness and Christian solicitude. The historyof this pious man’s labors on the remotest frontiersof Michigan is probably recorded where it will beknown and acknowledged, in hymns of gladness, whenthis feeble and frail memorial of ink and paper haslong perished.

Late in the autumn of 1823, he came, an unheraldedstranger, to St. Mary’s. No power but God’s,it would seem, could have directed his footsteps there.There was everything to render them repulsive.The Indian wabene drum, proclaiming the foresttribes to be under the influence of their native divinersand jossakeeds, was nightly sending forth its monotonoussounds. But he did not come to them. Hisobject was the soldiery and settlement, to whom hecould utter truths in the English tongue. Hewas assigned quarters in the cantonment, where anentire battalion of infantry-was then stationed.To all these, but one single family, it may be saidthat his preaching was received as “soundingbrass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Certainly,there were the elements of almost everything elsethere but religion. And, while occupying a roomin the fort, his fervent and holy spirit was oftentried

“By most unseemlymirth and wassail rife.”

He came to see me, at my office and at my lodgings,frequently during the season, and never came whenhe did not appear to me to be one of the purest andmost devoted, yet gentle and most unostentatious, ofhuman beings. It is hoped his labors were notwithout some witness to the truths which he so faithfullytaught. But, as soon as the straits were relievedfrom the icy fetters of winter, he went away, never,perhaps, to see us more. He now writes to appriseme of the spread of a rumor respecting my personalinterest in the theme of his labors, which had, withoutpermission from his lips, reached the ears of someof my friends at Detroit. Blessed sensitivenessto rumor, how few possess it!

Having said this much, I may add that, in the courseof the winter, my mind was arrested by his mode ofexhibiting truth. The doctrine of the Trinity,which had seemed to me the mere jingle of a triad,as deduced from him, appeared to be a unity, whichderived all its coherence and vitality from a beliefin the Second Person. The word “Lord”became clothed with a majesty and power which renderedit inapplicable, in my views, to any human person.The assiduity that I had devoted, night and day, tomy manuscripts, in the search after scientific truths,and the knowledge arising from study, did not appearto me to be wrong in itself, but was thought to bepursued with an intensity that withdrew my mind from,or, rather, had never allowed it properly to contemplateand appreciate the character of God.

23d. A literary friend writes: “Iam rejoiced to learn that you have made such progressin your new work. I hope and trust that the celeritywith which you have written has not withdrawn yourattention from those subjects connected with literarysuccess, which are more important than even time itself.”

“My prospects of seeing you at the Sault, thisseason,” writes the same hand, “growsweaker and weaker every day. I cannot ascertainin what situation Col. Benton’s bill is,for the purchase of the copper country upon Lake Superior,nor the prospects of its eventual passage. Ourlast Washington dates are of the 8th instant, andat that time there was a vast mass of business pendingbefore both Houses, and the period of adjournmentwas uncertain. Mr. Lowrie and Governor Edwardshave furnished abundant matter for congressional excitement.It really appears to me that, as soon as two or threehundred men are associated together to talk at, andabout one another, and everything else, their passionsand feelings usurp the place of their reason.Like children, they are excited by every questionhaving a local or personal aspect. Their powersof dispassionate deliberation are lost, and everythingis forgotten but the momentary excitement.”

25th. Commercial View of Copper Mine Question.—­M.M.Dox, Esq., Collector at Buffalo, writes:—­

I have long had it in contemplation to write to you,not only on the score of old friendship, but alsoto learn the feasibility of a scheme relating to thecopper mines of Lake Superior. This subject hasso often annoyed my meditations, or rather taken upso considerable a proportion of them, that I havebeen disposed, with the poet, to exclaim—­

‘Visions of (copper[42]) spare my aching sight.’

[Footnote 42: “Glory.”—­Gray.]

“I have just met Mr. Griswold, from whom I learnthat you made some inquiries in reference to the priceof transportation, &c. I will answer them forhim. Copper in pig, or unmanufactured, is freeof duty, on entry into the United States; its pricein the New York market is, at this time (very low),sixteen cents per pound. Copper in sheets forsheeting of vessels (also free), about twenty-fivecents per pound, and brazier’s copper (payinga duty of fifteen per cent, on its cost in England),equal to about two and a half cents per pound.Until this year, and a few previous, the article hasuniformly been from thirty to forty per cent, higherthan the prices now quoted, that is, in time of peace.In time of war (in Europe) the price is enhanced tenor twenty per cent. above peace prices: and inthis country, during the Late War, the price was,at one time, as high as $1.50 to $2.00 per pound.

“The history of England and this country doesnot furnish a period when copper was as low as atthe present time, according to its relative valuewith the medium of exchange. Time and inventionhave developed richer mines and produced greater facilitiesfor obtaining it; but the world does not probablyknow a region from whence the article can be furnishedso cheaply as from the shores of Lake Superior.All accounts concur in representing the metal in thatquarter of a superior quality, and furnish strongindications that it may be obtained, in quantities,with more than ordinary facility. When obtained,if on the navigable waters of the lake, the transportationto the strait will be easy and cheap, and the smeltingnot cost to exceed $20 per ton (for copper), and thetransportation thence to New York one or one and ahalf cent per pound; one cent per pound, in addition,will carry it to any market in the world.

“If the difficulties to be incurred in obtainingthe ore should prove to be no greater than may bereasonably anticipated, it is evident that it mustbe a very profitable business. Will the governmentthen have the mines worked? I answer for them,No. The experience had by Congress inregard to the Indian trade (the Factory System) will,for many years at least, prevent that body from makingany appropriation for such a purpose. The mostsafe and judicious course for the government is todraw private enterprise into the business; and, byholding out proper inducements, it will be enabled,without a dollar of extra expense, to derive, beforemany years, a handsome revenue from this source.”

* * * * *

30th. Trip to Tacquimenon Falls, Lake Superior.—­Accountsfrom the Indians represented the falls of the TacquimenonRiver of Lake Superior as presenting picturesque featureswhich were eminently worthy of a visit. Confinedto the house during the winter, I thought an excursionproper. I determined to take the earliest opportunity,when the ice had left the lake, and before the turmoilof the summer’s business began, to execute thiswish. For this purpose, I took a canoe, with acrew of Chippewa Indians, with whom I was well acquainted,and who were familiar with the scene. I provisionedmyself well, and took along my office interpreter.I found this arrangement was one which was agreeableto them, and it put them perfectly at their ease.They traveled along in the Indian manner, talkingand laughing as they pleased with each other, andwith the interpreter. Nothing could have beenbetter suited to obtain an insight into their mannersand opinions. One of their most common topicsof talk was the flight of birds, particularly thecarnivorous species, to which they addressed talksas they flew. This subject, I perceived, connecteditself with the notions of war and the enemy’scountry.

On one occasion after we had entered Lake Superior,and were leisurely paddling, not remote from the shore,one of the Indians fired at, and wounded a duck.The bird could not rise so as to fly, but swam ashore,and, by the time we reached land, was completely missing.A white man would have been nonplused. Not sothe Indian. He saw a fallen tree, and carefullylooked for an orifice in the under side, and, whenhe found one, thrust in his hand and drew out of itthe poor wounded bird. Frightened and in pain,it appeared to roll its eyeballs completely round.

By their conversation and familiar remarks, I observedthat they were habitually under the influence of theirpeculiar mythology and religion. They referredto classes of monetos, which are spirits, ina manner which disclosed the belief that the woodsand waters were replete with their agency. Onthe second day, we reached and entered the TacquimenonRiver. It carried a deep and strong current tothe foot of the first falls, which they call FairyRocks. This Indian word denotes a species oflittle men or fairies, which, they say, love to dwellon rocks. The falls are broken into innumerablecascades, which give them a peculiarly sylvan air.From the brink of these falls to the upper falls, adistance of about six miles, the channel of the riveris a perfect torrent, and would seem to defy navigation.But before I was well aware of it, they had the canoein it, with a single man with a long pole in the bowand stern. I took my seat between the centrebars, and was in admiration at the perfect composureand sangfroid with which these two men managedit—­now shooting across the stream to findbetter water, and always putting in their poles exactly

at the right instant, and singing some Indian cantataall the while. The upper falls at length burston our view, on rounding a point. The river hasa complete drop, of some forty feet, over a formationof sandstone. The water forms a complete curtain.There is nothing to break the sheet, or intercept it,till it reaches the deep water below. They saidthere was some danger of the canoe’s being drawnunder the sheet, by a kind of suction. This’stream in fact, geologically considered, crosses through,and falls over, the high ridge of sandstone rock whichstretches from Point Iroquois to the Pictured Rocks.I took sketches of both the upper and lower falls.

Being connected by marriage with an educated and intelligentlady, who is descended, by her mother’s side,from the former ruler of the Chippewa nation—­aman of renown—­I was received, on this trip,with a degree of confidence and cordiality by theIndians, which I had not expected. I threw myself,naked handed, into their midst, and was received witha noble spirit of hospitality and welcome. Andthe incidents of this trip revealed to me some ofthe most interesting scenes of Indian domestic life.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas—­Firstassemblage of a legislative council at Michigan—­Mineralogyand geology—­Disasters of the War of 1812—­Characterof the new legislature—­Laconic note—­Narrativeof a war party, and the disastrous murders committedat Lake Pepin in July 1824—­Speech of afriendly Indian chief from Lake Superior on the subject—­Noticesof mineralogy and geology in the west—­Ohioand Erie Canal—­Morals—­Lafayette’sprogress—­Hooking minerals—­Aphilosophical work on the Indians—­Indianbiography by Samuel L. Conant—­Want of bookson American archaeology—­Douglass’sproposed work on the expedition of 1820.

1824. May 30th. Having found, in the circleof the Chippewa wigwams, a species of oral fictitiouslore, I sent some specimens of it to friends in thelower country, where the subject excited interest.“I am anxious,” writes a distinguishedperson, under this date, “that you should bringwith you, when you come down, your collection of Indiantales. I should be happy to see them.” [43]That the Indians should possess this mental traitof indulging in lodge stories, impressed me as a novelcharacteristic, which nothing I had ever heard of therace had prepared me for. I had always heardthe Indian spoken of as a revengeful, bloodthirstyman, who was steeled to endurance and delighted indeeds of cruelty. To find him a man capable offeelings and affections, with a heart open to thewants, and responsive to the ties of social life,was amazing. But the surprise reached its acme,when I found him whiling away a part of the tediumof his long winter evenings in relating tales andlegends for the amusem*nt of the lodge circle.These fictions were sometimes employed, I observed,to convey instruction, or impress examples of courage,daring, or right action. But they were, at alltimes, replete with the wild forest notions of spiritualagencies, necromancy, and demonology. They revealedabundantly the causes of his hopes and fears—­hisnotions of a Deity, and his belief in a future state.

[Footnote 43: This counsel I pursued in the autumnof that year, and published specimens of the legendsin the winter of 1825, in “Travels in the CentralPortions of the Mississippi Valley,” and in 1839submitted to the public two duodecimo volumes, underthe title of “Algie Researches, Part I.”]

June 18th. Michigan is gradually assumingsteps which are a part of that train which will intime develop her resources and importance. Shehas lately taken measures to enter what is called thesecond grade of government. General Charles Larned,of Detroit, writes me that the first session of thefirst territorial legislature is now convened, andthat the members acquit themselves with credit.

22d. The mineralogy and geology of theregion furnish topics of interest, which help to fillup pauses in the intervals of business. By makingmy office a focus for collecting whatever is new inthe unexplored regions, excitement is kept alive,and knowledge in the end promoted. Lewis SaurinJohnston, of Drummond Island, sends me a box of specimensfrom that locality. This gentleman, who occupiesa situation in the British Indian department, is agrandson of the late Waubojeeg, a celebrated oratorand warrior formerly of La Pointe, in Lake Superior.

On the 26th, Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie in Pennsylvania,contributes a collection of the minerals of that vicinity.

July 10th. The War of 1812 proved disastrousto some individuals on this frontier. After adelay of ten years, the British government has announcedits intention to indemnify those of its subjects wholost property. Mr. Johnston, who suffered heavily,determined to visit Toronto with the view of layinghis case before Lieutenant-Governor Maitland.He writes, on his way down, during a delay at DrummondIsland, in his usual hopeful, warm-hearted strain—­fullof love to those left behind, and free forgivenessto all who have injured him. With the highestpurposes of honor, and the soul of hospitality andsocial kindness, surely such a man deserves to succeed.

12th. Dr. J.J. Bigsby, of England,writes a letter introducing Lieutenant Bolton of theBritish engineers, a zealous naturalist, and MajorMercer of the artillery—­both being on anofficial tour of inspection.

18th. Judge J.D. Doty announces himselfat Michilimackinack, on his return from Detroit toGreen Bay. He says that the members of the legislativecouncil are disposed to be rather menders of oldlaws than makers of new ones, and that theyare guided by the spirit of prudence.

21st. John Tanner, the returned captive,dictates from Mackinac this laconic appeal for employment:“All my property is now made away with, so thatI have nothing left but one old blanket. I amin such a situation that I am unable to go anywhere—­haveno money, no clothes, and nothing to eat.”

Aug. 19th. Mr. George Johnston writesfrom the sub-agency of La Pointe, Lake Superior, thata rumor prevails of a murder lately committed by aChippewa war party, on American citizens, on the upperMississippi.

31st. Mr. John Holiday, a trader, arrivedfrom the Ance Kewy-winenon in Lake Superior, bringinga small coffin painted black, inclosing an Americanscalp, with the astounding intelligence that a shockingmurder had been committed by a war party of Chippewasat Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi. The factsturned out to be these: In the spring of the year(1824), Kewaynokwut (Returning Cloud), a chief of LakeVieux Desert, at the source of the Wisconsin, suffereda severe fit of sickness, and made, a vow, if he recovered,to collect a war party and lead it against the Sioux,which he did early in the summer. He passed thetrading-post of Lac du Flambeau, with twenty-ninemen in canoes on the 1st of July. He pursueddown the Waswagon branch into the main Chippewa River,after a cautious journey, and came to its mouth earlyin July, at an early hour in the morning, when a fogprevailed. This river enters the Mississippiat the foot of the expanse called Lake Pepin, whichis a common place for encampment. It is the usualpoint of issue for Chippewa war parties against theSioux, for which it has been celebrated since thefirst migration of the Chippewas into the rice lakeregion at its sources. Prom the usual lookout,called Mount Le Gard, they discovered imperfectlyan encampment on the shores of Lake Pepin. Oncoming to it, it proved to be an American, a traderof the name of Finley, with three Canadians, on hisway from Prairie du Chien to St. Peter’s.One of the men spoke Chippewa. They were asleepwhen the advance of the Indian party arrived.When they awoke they saw the Indians with terror andsurprise. The Indians cried out to their comradesin the rear that they were not Sioux, that they werewhite people. The party then all came up.The war chief Kewaynokwut Said, “Do not be afraid.This party you see are my young men; and I commandthem. They will not do you any harm, nor hurtyou.” Some of the party soon began to pillage.They appeared to be half famished, first taking theirprovisions, which consisted of half a bag of flour,half a bag of corn, a few biscuits, and half a hog.The biscuits they immediately eat, and then beganto rob the clothing, which they parted among themselves.

The Indians diligently inquired where the Sioux abroadon the river were, what number they might be, wherethey came from, and whither they were going? to allwhich judicious replies appear to have been made, butone, namely, that they consisted of thirty, on theirway from St. Peter’s to Prairie du Chien.Being but twenty-nine men, the rencontre appearedto them to be unequal, and, in fact, alarmed them.They immediately prepared to return, filing off oneafter another, in order to embark in their canoes,which were lying at a short distance. Beforethis movement, Kakabika had taken his gun to fire atthe whites, but was prevented by the others.But they went off disappointed, and grumblingly.This was the case particularly with Kakabika, Okwagin,

Whitehead, Wamitegosh, and Sagito, who began cryingthey wanted to kill the whites. Sagito then saidthat it was a very hard thing that they should returnlight—­that when one went out a hunting,he did not like to return without killing something.“What,” he said, “did we come herefor? Was it not to kill?” At this Kewaynokwutwavered, who had promised safety, and did not interposehis authority to check the brooding evil, althoughhe took no part in it. Whitehead, Okwaykun, andWamitegosh, who were in the rear of the party, leveledtheir arms and fired, killing on the spot the threemen, who were immediately scalped. The wildestfury was instantly excited.

Finley, in the mean time, had gone to the Indian canoesto recover his papers, saying they were of no useto them, and of importance to him. Hearing thereport of guns behind him, he perceived that his companionswere killed, and took to flight. He threw himselfinto the water. Annamikees, or the Little Thunder,then fired at him and missed. He quickly reloadedhis gun, and fired again, effectively. Finleywas mortally shot. The Indian then threw himselfinto the water, and cut off the unfortunate man’shead, for the purpose of scalping it, leaving thebody in the water. The party then quickly returnedback into the region whence they had sallied, anddanced the scalps in their villages as Indian scalps.

Mr. Holliday was also the bearer of a speech fromGitshe Iauba, the ruling chief of Ance Kewywenon,through whose influence this occurrence was broughtto light. He first addressed his trader in thefollowing words:—­

“We were deceived. Word was sent to usto come and fetch the scalp of a Sioux Indian of ourenemy. This was my reason for sending for it.But, ah me! when they brought word that it was thescalp of an American, I sent for the young man whomyou left in charge of your house and store, and askedhim what should be done with the scalp of our friend.It was concluded to have it buried in the burying-ground.”

He then addressed the United States agent at SaultSte. Marie, in the following words, accompanyingthem with a string of wampum:—­

“Our father. This wampum was given to methat I might remain in peace. I shook hands withyou when I left St. Mary’s. My heart wasin friendship. I have taken no rest since I heardof the foul deed of our friends, the people of VieuxDesert, and Torch Lake, in killing a citizen of theAmerican Government, the government that protects me.

“Now, Americans, my situation is to be pitied.My wish is, that we should live in friendship together.Since I shook hands with you, nothing on my part shallbe wanting to keep us so.”

I immediately forwarded the little scalp-coffin receivedfrom the interior, with a report of this high-handedoutrage to the Executive of the Territory and Superintendentof Indian Affairs, at Detroit, that the occurrencemight be reported promptly to the War Office at Washington.

November 27th. I determined to spend thewinter in New York; to place the agency, in the interim,in charge of an officer of the garrison, and to visitWashington from this city during the season. CaptainN.S. Clarke, 2d Infantry, consented to performthe duties of the agency during my absence. Andhaving obtained leave of absence from my superiorin the department, I embarked, in September, on boarda schooner for Detroit, with Mrs. Schoolcraft, herinfant son William Henry, my sister-in-law, Miss AnnaMaria Johnston, and a servant, making a little groupof five. We touched at Michilimackinack.

We were kindly received at Detroit by General andMrs. Cass, who had invited us to be their guests,and pursued our way, without accident, to New York,where we arrived the day prior to the annual celebrationof the Evacuation. New scenes and new situationshere rapidly developed themselves. But beforethese are named, some letters that followed me fromthe Lake may be noticed.

B. F. Stickney, Esq., writes (October 15th) from thefoot of the Miami of the Lakes (now Toledo):“Recently I have had brought to me a specimenof manganese, the bed of which is located about ninemiles south-west of this. The quantity is representedto be very extensive.”

I find that strontian is much more extensively interspersedthrough the rock formations of this region than Ihad heretofore conceived. At the foot of therapids of this river, there are extensive strata ofcarbonate of lime, sufficiently charged with magnesiato destroy all vegetation, when converted to the stateof quicklime; although Dr. Mitchell, in his “Notesto Phillips’ Mineralogy,” denies to magnesiancarbonate of lime this quality. But I have testedit fully. I rather think the doctor’s mistakemust have arisen from a supposition that Mr. Phillipsintended to say that the magnesia, when in combinationwith carbonate of lime, and in situ, was destructiveto vegetation.

Ohio and Erie Canal.—­“A commissionerof the State of Ohio, with engineers, is taking levels,examining water-courses, and making estimates of cost,to ascertain the practicability of making a canalfrom Cincinnati up the valley of the Big Miami, andLoromier’s creek, across the summit level, tothe Auglaize and Miami of Lake Erie, to the levelof the lake water. These surveys will give usmuch assistance in judging of the geological formationsbetween the Lake and the Mississippi.”

Geology.—­“As an outline sketch,I should say that, from the rock basin of the Erie-seato the Ohio River, by the way of Fort Wayne, thereis a ridge, of about 200 feet elevation, of rock formation,all new floetz, with a covering of from ten to seventyfeet of pulverulent earth. At the summit thislayer is twenty feet. That the Miami and Wabashhave cut their courses down to the rock, with onlyhere and there a little sand and gravel upon its surface.As far as conjecture will go, for the levels of thestrata on the Wabash and Miami, the same mineralogicalcharacters are to be found in the strata, at the sameelevation. This would be an important fact tobe ascertained, by the levels accurately taken.”

“I am pleased that you have not abated yourusual industry in the pursuit of knowledge in thescience of geology and mineralogy, first in magnitudeand first in the order of nature.”

Morals of Green Bay.—­J.D. Doty,Esq., Judge of the District, reports (Oct. 15th) thatthe Grand Jury for Brown County, at the late specialsession of court, presented forty indictments!Most of these appear to have been petty affairs; butthey denote a lax state of society.

John Johnston, Esq., writes (Oct. 30th): “Sincethe arrival of the mail, I have been the constantcompanion in thought of the great and good Lafayette,throughout his tour, or rather splendid processionas far as the account has reached us, and for whichhistory has no parallel. Oh! how poor, how base,the adulation given by interested sycophants to kingsand despots, compared to the warm affections of thegrateful heart, and spontaneous bursts of admirationand affection from a great, free, and happy people.”

Hooking Minerals.—­L. Bull,now of Philadelphia, writes respecting the positionof several boxes of minerals left in the Lyceum ofNatural History, of New York, in 1822, which have,been sadly depredated on.

Plan of a Philosophical Work on the Indians.—­GeneralC. announces to me (Dec. 5th) that he has settledon a plan for bringing forward the results of hisresearches on the subject of the Indian tribes.The details of this appear to be well selected andarranged, and the experiment on the popular tasteof readers, for as such the work is designed, cannotbut be hailed by every one who has thought upon thesubject. Few men have seen more of the Indiansin peace and war. Nobody has made the originalcollections which he has, and I know of no man possessingthe capacity of throwing around them so much literaryattraction. It is only to be hoped that his couragewill not fail him when he comes to the sticking point.It requires more courage on some minds to write abook than to face a cannon.

14th. Major Joseph Delafield, of New York,commends to my acquaintance Samuel S. Conant, Esq.,of the city; a gentleman of a high moral characterand literary tone, an occasional writer for the “American”newspaper, who proposes to compile a work on Indianeloquence. Charles King, Esq., the editor ofthe paper, transmits a note to the major, which isenclosed, speaking of Mr. Conant as “a man ofmerit and talents, who in his design is seeking tosave a noble but persecuted race.”

19th. General Cass writes further of hisliterary plans: “If I am favorably situated,in some respects, to procure information, as a drawbackupon this, I feel many disadvantages. I have nobooks to refer to but what I can purchase, and independentlyof the means which any one person can apply to thisobject, those books which can alone be useful to meare so rare that nothing but accident can enable aperson to purchase them.”

Lake Superior Copper Mines.—­“Ihave written to Colonel Benton fully on the subjectof the copper country, and I have referred him to youfor further information.”

25th. Expedition of 1820.—­ProfessorD. B. Douglass, of West Point, returns a portfolioof sketches and drawings of scenery, made by me onthe expedition to the sources of the Mississippi, in1820, with several of which he has illustrated theborders of his map of that expedition. “Haveyou,” he says, “seen Long’s SecondExpedition? We have only one copy on the Point,and I have only had time to look at the map. Itmakes me more than ever desirous to consummate myoriginal views of publishing relative to that country.I have never lost sight of this matter; and, if myprofessional engagements continue to engross as muchof my time as they have done, I will send my map toTanner, and let him publish it, hap-hazard.”


Parallelism of customs—­Home scenes—­Visitto Washington—­Indian work respecting theWestern Tribes—­Indian biography—­ProfessorCarter—­Professor Silliman—­Spitefulprosecution—­Publication of Travels in theMississippi Valley—­A northern Pocahontas—­Returnto the Lakes—­A new enterprise suggested—­Impressionsof turkeys’ feet in rock—­Surrenderof the Chippewa war party, who committed the murdersin 1824, at Lake Pepin—­Their examination,and the commitment of the actual murderers.

1825. January 1st. New Year’s dayhere, as among the metif, and also the pure descendantsof the ancient French of Normandy in Michigan, is aday of friendly visiting from house to house, and cordialcongratulations, with refreshments spread on the boardfor all. As this was also the custom of the ancientHollanders, who, from the Texel and Scheldt, landedhere in 1609, it affords a species of proof of thewide-spread influence of the customs of the MiddleAges in Western Europe, which is remarkable.And it would form an interesting topic of historicalinquiry.

4th. Home and its scenes. The sympathykept up by domestic letters when absent from homeis one of the purest supports of the heart and mind.Mr. John Johnston, of St. Mary’s, writes me oneof his warm-hearted letters of friendship, which breathesthe ardor of his mind, and shows a degree of sympathythat is refreshing, and such as must ever be a greatencouragement in every noble pursuit. The how-d’ye-do,everyday visitor is satisfied with his “how d’yedo;” but there is a friend that “stickethcloser than a brother.”

10th. My position at St. Mary’s,and the prominent part I occupied in the collisionof authority between the military and the citizens,on some points, and between the former and the Indiandepartment, was anything but agreeable, and wouldhave been intolerable to any one, having less resourcesthan I had, in an absorbing study, which every dayand every evening turned up some new and fresh pointof interest. I had therefore sources of enjoymentwhich were a constant support, and this was particularlythe case, after the scenes which were opened up inthe winter of 1824 by my intercourse with the Rev.Mr. Laird. But I resolved early in the summerto spend the winter in New York, and to visit Washington,to place some of the official transactions to whichI have referred, in their proper lights. Thisday I therefore left the city, to visit the Capitol.During the expected absence; Mrs. Schoolcraft, withher child, little sister, and nurse, had accepted aninvitation to spend the time with Mr. and Mrs. SamuelS. Conant, who had a pleasant residence on the Bloomingdaleroad, some two or three miles from the Park.My visit was altogether agreeable. So far as thesubjects at issue on the frontier were not of localjurisdiction, in which I was fully and promptly sustainedby the Executive, I was met by Mr. Calhoun in hisusual frank, explicit, and friendly manner. Iwas authorized to erect buildings for the agency,and to define the Indian reservation under the treaty,and counseled to go forward in a firm, cautious, andconciliatory policy in establishing the intercourseswith the bands of the agency, and to take every propermeasure to see that the intercourse laws were faithfullyexecuted, and a good understanding cultivated withthe tribes. And I returned to New York early inFebruary, with “flying colors,” as a friendwrote.

During my absence, some letters, disclosing mattersof literary interest, were received. GeneralC. writes (January 20th):—­

“In investigating the subject before me, agreeablyto the views I have communicated to you, it appearsto me that Purchas’s Pilgrimage, andHackluyt’s collection are indispensable to myprogress. They contain translations or abstractsof all the earlier voyages and travels to this country.”“In considering the various points which areinvolved in the subject I have undertaken, a thousanddoubtful facts present themselves, which require time,labor, and opportunities to solve. For instance,I strongly suspect that the Eries, who are said tohave been destroyed by the Iroquois, were the Shawnese,who were driven from their ancient seat upon LakeErie to the south-west.” “Volney mentionstwo works upon the Indians. One is Umphraville,and the other Oldmixon.”

On the 7th of February, he encloses an extensive listof books, which he wishes to procure, to aid him inhis contemplated examinations of aboriginal subjects,with discriminating remarks on their character.In calling my attention to a close examination ofthem in the various book-stores and libraries of theAtlantic cities, where they may be found, he imposesno light nor important labor. “You knowmy general object is confined to the Indians of thisquarter (the west). Their particular history,however, will be preceded by a review of the conditionof the Indians in this part of America, at the timeit became known to Europeans. I have myself littledoubt but that they were then pretty much as theyare now.

“There is, however, one historical event, thenarrator of which represents the Indians to have beenin an entirely different condition from what theyare now, or have been since. This is the accountof Ferdinand de Soto’s expedition to Florida.There are two historians of this expedition.One is Garcilasso de la Vega, and the other is ananonymous gentleman of Elvas. I believe both arefound in Purchas or Hackluyt. I believe the narrativeis almost entirely fabulous. One mode of ascertainingthis is by an examination of the earlier accounts ofthe Indians. If they agree with De Soto’shistory, the latter may be correct. If not, theymust be unworthy of credit, more particularly in theamount of the Indian population, which was certainlygreatly misrepresented by the Spanish historians,and which has been always overrated.

“If any of the above works touch upon thesesubjects, they may be useful to me; if not, I do notwish them. Can you find any of the other Spanishwriters describing or alluding to this expedition?

“Is there any account of the expedition of PamphiloNarvaez into Florida in 1528?”

“Should I go to Prairie du Chien, would younot like the trip? I see many reasons to induceyou to take such a measure. If you come on, asI hope you will, by the first boat, we can make allthe necessary arrangements; for, if I go, I shallgo early, certainly in May. Unless I am greatlydeceived, you would make something interesting outof the proposed treaty.”

Samuel S. Conant, Esq., informs me (January 21st)that he is making progress in his contemplated workon Indian biography.

“I shall read,” he says, “everythingwhich speaks of Indians, and my enthusiasm may takethe place of ability, and enable me to present notonly honorable testimonials of Indian genius and valor,but some defence of their character, and an expositionof the slanders and vulgar errors which, through blindtraditions, have obtained the authority of truth.”

“It would have pleased me,” says he (Feb.16th), “to have presented Mr. Theodore Dwight,Jr., to you in person. But this introductory notewill do as well. He is one of those who feelan interest, disinterested and benevolent, in thefate of the remnants of the Indian tribes, and wishessome conversation with you relative to their feelingson the subject of their removal west of the Mississippi.”

March 18th. Mr. Nathaniel H. Carter, editorof the Statesman, announces his recovery froma dangerous illness, and wishes, in his usual spiritof friendship, to express the pleasure it will affordhim to aid me in any literary labor I may have inhand.

20th. The plan of a magazine devoted toIndian subjects, which has been discussed betweenMr. Conant, Mr. Dwight, and myself, is now definitelyarranged with Messrs. Wilder and Campbell, publishers.

28th. Professor Silliman renews his friendlycorrespondence, and tenders me the use of the pagesof his journal, as the medium of communicating observationsto the public.

April 8th. I am officially called on,by the authority of General Gaines, as a witness inthe case of Lieutenant Walter Bicker, U.S.A., whois summoned to a court martial in Fort Brady.This is the gentleman whose family is referred toin a previous part of my journal in the autumn of1822, on the occasion of the gentle Mr. Laird’smissionary visit to St. Mary’s; and his highmoral character and correct deportment render it asubject of mystery to me what cause of complaint hisbrother officers could conjure up against him.

14th. The superintendence of the pressin the printing of my “Travels in the CentralPortions of the Mississippi Valley,” has constituteda groundwork to my amusem*nts during the winter.The work is this day published by Collins and Hannay.I immediately prepared to return to the lakes.About five months had passed away, almost imperceptibly.We had held a most gratifying intercourse with a highlymoral and refined portion of society. The cityhad been seen in its various phases of amusem*nt andinstruction. A large part of the interest to othersand attention excited arose manifestly from the presenceof a person of Indian descent, and of refined mannersand education, in the person of Mrs. Schoolcraft,with an infant son of more than ordinary beauty oflineament and mental promise. There was somethinglike a sensation in every circle, and often persons,whose curiosity was superior to their moral capacityof appreciation, looked intensely to see the northernPocahontas. Her education had been finished abroad.She wrote a most exquisite hand, and composed withability, and grammatical skill and taste. Hervoice was soft, and her expression clear and pure,as her father, who was from one of the highest andproudest circles of Irish society, had been particularlyattentive to her orthography and pronunciation andselection of words of the best usage abroad.

20th. This day we left the mansion ofour kind hostess, Mrs. Mann, on lower Broadway, andascended the Hudson by daylight, in order to viewits attractive scenery.

We discussed the etymology of some of the ancientIndian names along the river, which we found to bein the Manhattan or Mohegan dialects of the Algonquin,and which appeared so nearly identical in the grammaticalprinciples and sounds with the Chippewa, as to permitMrs. S. in many cases to recover the exact meanings.Thus, Coxackie is founded on an Indian term whichmeans Falling-in bank, or cut bank.

We stopped a week or two in Western New York at mybrother-in-law’s, in Vernon, Oneida County.I took along to the West, which had been favorableto me, my youngest brother James, and my sister MariaEliza. We pursued our route through Western NewYork and Buffalo, and reached Detroit on the 6th ofMay.

I here found a letter from Dr. J. V. Rensselaer, ofNew York, written two days after leaving the city,saying: “I have this morning finished theperusal of your last work, and consider myself muchyour debtor for the new views you have given me ofthe interesting region you describe. Nor am Imore pleased with the matter than with the simple unpretendingmanner in which you have chosen to clothe it.”

I also found a note informing me that Gov. Casshad gone to hold a conference with the Wyandot Indiansat Wapakennota, Ohio, that he would return about the10th of June, and immediately set out for Prairie duChien by the way of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, andwould have me to go with him.

“You must calculate the time when I shall probablyreach Mackinack, and I trust you will join us there.I have a thousand reasons why you should undertakethe tour. Many of the Indians will be from youragency, and such a convocation will never again beseen upon this frontier. You can return by theChippewa River, which will give you a fine opportunityof becoming acquainted with a part of the countryvery little known.”

Leaving my sister with friends temporarily at Detroit,I pursued my way, without loss of time, to the Sault;where, among the correspondence accumulated, I foundsome subjects that may be noticed. Mr. C. C.Trowbridge gives this testimony respecting Mr. A. E.Wing, a gentleman then prominent as a politician.

“He is an intelligent, high minded and honorableman, and gifted with habits of perseverance and industrywhich eminently qualify him to represent the Territoryin Congress.”

On the 1st of June the Executive of the Territoryapprizes me of his return from Wapekennota, and thathe is bending all his force for the contemplated tripto Prairie du Chien.

“I enclose you,” he adds, “the copyof a letter from the war department, by which youwill perceive that the Secretary has determined, thatthe outrage of last fall shall not go unpunished.His determination is a wise one, for the apprehensionof the Chippewa murderers is essential to the preservationof our character and influence among the Indians.”

June 17th. Business and science, antiquitiesand politics are curiously jumbled along in the samepath, without, however (as I believe they never dowhere the true spirit of knowledge is present), atall mingling, or making turbid the stream of inquiry.

Colonel Thomas L. M’Kenney, Commissioner ofIndian Affairs, in a letter of this date says:“At the Little Falls of the Potomac, are to beseen the prints of turkeys’ feet in stone, madejust as the tracks of the animal appear, when it runsupon dust or in the snow.”

22d. On this day, there suddenly presentedthemselves, at the office of Indian Agency, the Chippewawar party who committed the murders at Lake Pepin,on the Mississippi, last year, who, on the demand madeupon the nation, with a threat of military punishment,surrendered the murderers. I immediately commencedtheir examination, after having an additional specialinterpreter sworn in (Truman A. Warren), and sendingfor a justice of the peace to assist in their examination.The entire day was devoted in this manner, and atthe close, six of the party against whom an indictmentfor murder would lay, committed on a mittimus, witha note requesting the commanding officer to imprisonthem in the guard house, until he could have themconveyed to the sheriff of the county, at Michilimackinack.Their names were, Sagetone, Otagami, Kakabisha, Annimikence,and Nawa-jiwienoce—­to whom was afterwardsadded Kewaynokwut, the leader of the party. Theincidents of this transaction, as they appeared inthat examination, have been narrated on a previouspage.

This surrendery was evidently made on representationsof the traders, who acted on strong assurance thatit would avert the marching of a military force againstthem, and on some mistaken notions of their own aboutpublic clemency.

When the examination was finished, and while preliminarysteps were in process, for their committment, I addressedthem as follows:—­

Chippewas—­I have listened attentively toall that has been said, either for or against you,and have been careful to have it put upon paper, thatnothing might be forgotten. It appears you wentto the Mississippi, for the purpose of attacking theSioux, to revenge murders which they had committedin your country. In an evil hour you encountereda party of Americans, consisting of four persons, encampedat the foot of Lake Pepin. It was night.They were all asleep. You went to their tentin a hostile manner, and were received as friends.They gave you tobacco and presents; and your war chieftold them they need not fear, that they should notbe molested.

On this declaration he withdrew, followed by the wholeparty, and had proceeded some distance, when an evilsuggestion occurred to one of the party, who said,“that when he went out hunting he did not liketo return without having killed something.”Guns were fired. An electric effect was producedand a rush towards the tent they had left took placeamong those who were in the rear. The strife seemedwho should get there first, and imbrue his hands inblood.

“Of this number you Sagetone, youKakabisha, you Otagami, you Annimikence,and you Nawajiwienoce, were principal actors,and you had the meanness to put to death men who hadnever harmed you, and who, by your own confession,you had robbed of their arms, but whom you had, nevertheless,promised their lives. This was not an evidenceof courage, but of cowardice. By this perfidiousact you also violated your promises, and proved yourselvesto be the most debased of human beings—­liars!

“You have asked me many times in the courseof this day to take pity on you. How have youthe hearts to stand up and ask me for pity, when youhave showed no pity yourselves. When those poordisarmed and despairing men implored you to pity theircondition, reminding you of your promises, and theirgenerosity in making you presents, when you saw themafterwards submit to be plundered, you gave them notpity but the war club and scalping knife. Didyou suppose the God of white men would permit youto go unpunished? Did you think you had got sofar in the woods that no person could find you out?Or, did you think your great father, the President,governed by a pusillanimous principle, would allowyou to kill any of his people, without seeking to berevenged?

“Let this day open your eyes. You haverichly deserved death, and not a man of your nationcould complain, if I should order you at this instant,to be drawn out before my door, and shot. Buta less honorable death awaits you.

“I have before told you, that your Great Fatherthe President is as just as he is powerful; and thathe seeks to take away the life of no man, withoutfull, just, and clear proof of guilt. For thispurpose he has appointed other chiefs, whose dutyit is to hear, try, and punish all offences.

“Before these judges you shall now be sent.You will be closely examined. You will have counselassigned to defend your cause. You will haveevery advantage that one of our own citizens couldclaim. If any cause can be shown why one of youis less guilty than another it will then appear; ifnot, your bodies will be hung on a gallows.”

I then addressed Kewaynockwut. “No personhas accused you of murder; but you have led men whocommitted murder, and have thereby excited the angerof your Great Father, who is slow to forgive when anyof his people, even the poorest of them, have beeninjured, far less when a murder has been committed.Though I include you with those cowards who firsttook away the arms of our people, and then shot them—­thosemean dogs who sit trembling before me—­Ido not forgive you. The blood of our citizensrests upon you. I can neither take you by thehand, nor smoke the pipe you offer to me. Youlie under the severe censure of your Great Father,whose anger, like a dark cloud, rests upon you andyour people.

“Four of the chief murderers, namely, Okwagun,Pasigwetung, Metakossiga, and Wamitegosh, yet remaininland. Go, in order to appease his anger; takeyour followers with you, and bring them out. Youcannot do a more pleasing act to him and to your ownnation. For you must reflect that if these murderersare not promptly brought out, war will be immediatelymade against your villages, and the most signal vengeancetaken.”

Great alarm was manifested by the murderers, whenthey saw that the questions and answers were writtendown, and a strict course of accountability takenas the basis of the examination. I had foreseensomething of this alarm, and requested the commandingofficer to send me a detachment of men. LieutenantC. F. Morton, 2d Infantry, to whom this matter wasentrusted, managed it well. He paraded his menin a hollow square, in front of the office, in suchmanner that the office formed one angle of the square,so that the main issue from the door ushered the individualinto a square bristling with bayonets. He stoodhimself with a drawn sword.

It was eleven o’clock in the evening when theirexamination and the final arrangements were completed;and when I directed the interpreter to open the doorand lead out the murderers, they were greatly alarmedby the appearance of the bright array of musquetry,supposing, evidently, that they were to be instantlyshot. They trembled.


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi—­Largeassemblage of tribes—­Their appearance andcharacter—­Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas,&c.—­Striking and extraordinary appearanceof the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas—­Keokuk—­Mongazid’sspeech—­Treaty of limits—­Whiskyquestion—­A literary impostor—­Journeythrough the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers—­Incidents—­Menomonies—­Abig nose—­Wisconsin Portage.

June 23d. The whole village was alivewith the excitement of the surrendery of the murderers.The agency office had been crowded with spectatorsduring the examination; and both white and red mensaw in their voluntary delivery into the hands ofthe agent, an evidence of the power of the governmentin watching over and vindicating the lives and interestsof its citizens in the wildest wilderness, which wasgratifying to all.

To Gitche Iauba, the chief at the bay of Kewywenon,in Lake Superior, who had been instrumental in producingthe delivery, I presented a silver medal of the firstclass, with a written speech approbatory of the act,and complimentary of himself. In the meantime,my preparations for attending the general convocationof tribes, at Prairie du Chien, were completed.I placed the agency under the charge of Captain N.S. Clark, 2d Infantry, who had satisfactorily andably performed its duties during my absence at NewYork. I had selected a delegation of the mostinfluential chiefs to attend the contemplated council.And all things being ready, and my canoe-allegein the water, with its flag set, I embarked for thetrip on the 24th. I descended the straits thatday, and having turned Point Detour reached Michilimackinackthe next morning. The party from Detroit hadreached that point the same morning, after traversingthe Huron coasts for upwards of 300 miles, in a lightcanoe. Congratulations on the success that had

attended the demand for the Chippewa murderers, awaitedme. Some practical questions, deemed indispensablerespecting that transaction, required my immediatereturn to St. Mary’s, which was effected onthe 27th, and I again embarked at St. Mary’son the 28th, and rejoined the party at Mackinack onthe 30th. The distance traversed is about ninetymiles, which was four times passed and repassed insix days, a feat that could only have been accomplishedin the calms of summer.

We finally left Mackinack for our destination on theMississippi, on the 1st of July. The convocationto which we were now proceeding was for the purposeof settling internal disputes between the tribes, byfixing the boundaries to their respective territories,and thus laying the foundation of a lasting peaceon the frontiers. And it marks an era in thepolicy of our negotiations with the Indians, whichis memorable. No such gathering of the tribeshad ever before occurred, and its results have takenaway the necessity of any in future, so far as relatesto the lines on the Mississippi.

We encountered head winds, and met with some delayin passing through the straits into Lake Michigan,and after escaping an imminent hazard of being blownoff into the open lake, in a fog, reached Green Bayon the 4th. The journey up the Fox River, andits numerous portages, was resumed on the 14th, andafter having ascended the river to its head, we crossedover the Fox and Wisconsin portage, and descendingthe latter with safety, reached Prairie du Chien onthe 21st, making the whole journey from Mackinackin twenty-one days.

We found a very large number of the various tribesassembled. Not only the village, but the entirebanks of the river for miles above and below the town,and the island in the river, was covered with theirtents. The Dakotahs, with their high pointedbuffalo skin tents, above the town, and their decorationsand implements of flags, feathers, skins and personal“braveries,” presented the scene of a Bedouinencampment. Some of the chiefs had the skinsof skunks tied to their heels, to symbolize that theynever ran, as that animal is noted for its slow andself-possessed movements.

Wanita, the Yankton chief, had a most magnificentrobe of the buffalo, curiously worked with dyed porcupine’squills and sweet grass. A kind of war flag, madeof eagles’ and vultures’ large feathers,presented quite a martial air. War clubs andlances presented almost every imaginable device ofpaint; but by far the most elaborate thing was theirpipes of red stone, curiously carved, and having flatwooden handles of some four feet in length, ornamentedwith the scalps of the red-headed woodpecker and maleduck, and tail feathers of birds artificially attachedby strings and quill work, so as to hang in the figureof a quadrant. But the most elaborately wroughtpart of the devices consisted of dyed porcupines’quills, arranged as a kind of aboriginal mosaic.

The Winnebagoes, who speak a cognate dialect of theDacotah, were encamped near; and resembled them intheir style of lodges, arts, and general decorations.

The Chippewas presented the more usually known traits,manners and customs of the great Algonquin family—­ofwhom they are, indeed, the best representative.The tall and warlike bands from the sources of theMississippi—­from La Point, in Lake Superior—­fromthe valleys of the Chippewa and St. Croix rivers,and the Rice Lake region of Lac du Flambeau, and ofSault Ste. Marie, were well represented.

The cognate tribe of the Menomonies, and of the Potawattomiesand Ottowas from Lake Michigan, assimilated and mingledwith the Chippewas. Some of the Iroquois of GreenBay were present.

But no tribes attracted as intense a degree of interestas the Iowas, and the Sacs and Foxes—­tribesof radically diverse languages, yet united in a leagueagainst the Sioux. These tribes were encampedon the island, or opposite coast. They came tothe treaty ground, armed and dressed as a war party.They were all armed with spears, clubs, guns and knives.Many of the warriors had a long tuft of red-horse hairtied at their elbows, and bore a neck lace of grizzlybears’ claws. Their head-dress consistedof red dyed horse-hair, tied in such manner to thescalp lock as to present the shape of the decorationof a Roman helmet. The rest of the head was completelyshaved and painted. A long iron shod lance wascarried in the hand. A species of baldric supportedpart of their arms. The azian, moccason and legginsconstituted a part of their dress. They were,indeed, nearly nude, and painted. Often the printof a hand, in white clay, marked the back or shoulders.They bore flags of feathers. They beat drums.They uttered yells, at definite points. Theylanded in compact ranks. They looked the veryspirit of defiance. Their leader stood as a prince,majestic and frowning. The wild, native prideof man, in the savage state, flushed by success inwar, and confident in the strength of his arm, wasnever so fully depicted to my eyes. And the foresttribes of the continent may be challenged to have everpresented a spectacle of bold daring, and martialprowess, equal to their landing.

Their martial bearing, their high tone, and wholebehavior during their stay, in and out of council,was impressive, and demonstrated, in an eminent degree,to what a high pitch of physical and moral courage,bravery and success in war may lead a savage people.Keokuk, who led them, stood with his war lance, highcrest of feathers, and daring eye, like another Coriolanus,and when he spoke in council, and at the same timeshook his lance at his enemies, the Sioux, it was evidentthat he wanted but an opportunity to make their bloodflow like water. Wapelo, and other chiefs backedhim, and the whole array, with their shaved headsand high crests of red horse-hair, told the spectatorplainly, that each of these men held his life in hishand, and was ready to spring to the work of slaughterat the cry of their chief.

General William Clark, from St. Louis, was associatedwith General Cass in this negotiation. The greatobject was to lay the foundation of a permanent peaceby establishing boundaries. Day after day wasassigned to this, the agents laboring with the chiefs,and making themselves familiar with Indian bark mapsand drawings. The thing pleased the Indians.They clearly saw that it was a benevolent effort fortheir good, and showed a hearty mind to work in theattainment of the object. The United States askedfor no cession. Many glowing harangues were madeby the chiefs, which gave scope to their peculiar oratory,which is well worth the preserving. Mongazid,of Fond du Lac, Lake Superior, said: “WhenI heard the voice of my Great Father, coming up theMississippi Valley calling me to this treaty, it seemedas a murmuring wind; I got up from my mat where Isat musing, and hastened to obey it. My pathwayhas been clear and bright. Truly it is a pleasantsky above our heads this day. There is not acloud to darken it. I hear nothing but pleasantwords. The raven is not waiting for his prey,I hear no eagle cry—­’Come, let usgo. The feast is ready—­the Indian haskilled his brother.’”

When nearly a whole month had been consumed in thesenegotiations, a treaty of limits was signed, whichwill long be remembered in the Indian reminiscences.This was on the 19th of August (1825), videIndian Treaties, p. 371. It was a pleasing sightto see the explorer of the Columbia in 1806, and thewriter of the proclamation of the army that invadedCanada in 1812, uniting in a task boding so much goodto the tribes whose passions and trespasses on eachother’s lands keep them perpetually at war.

’Tis war alonethat gluts the Indian’s mind,
As eating meats,inflames the tiger kind.

At the close of the treaty, an experiment was madeon the moral sense of the Indians, with regard tointoxicating liquors, which was evidently of too refineda character for their just appreciation. It hadbeen said by the tribes that the true reason for theCommissioners of the United States government speakingagainst the use of ardent spirits by the Indians,and refusing to give them, was not a sense of its badeffects, so much, as the fear of the expense.To show them that the government was above such apetty principle, the Commissioners had a long row oftin camp kettles, holding several gallons each, placedon the grass, from one end of the council house tothe other, and then, after some suitable remarks,each kettle was spilled out in their presence.The thing was evidently ill relished by the Indians.They loved the whisky better than the joke.

Impostor.—­Among the books whichI purchased for General Cass, at New York, was thenarrative of one John Dunn Hunter. I rememberbeing introduced to the man, at one of my visits toNew York, by Mr. Carter. He appeared to be oneof those anomalous persons, of easy good nature, withoutmuch energy or will, and little or no moral sense,who might be made a tool of. It seems no oneat New York was taken in by him, but having wanderedover to London, the booksellers found him a good subjectfor a book, and some hack there, with considerablecleverness, made him a pack-horse for carrying a loadof stuff about America’s treatment of the Indians.It was called a “captivity,” and he wasmade to play the part of an adventurer among the Indians—­somewhatafter the manner of John Tanner. C. reviewedthe book, on our route and at the Prairie, for theNorth American, in an article which createdquite a sensation, and will be remembered for itsforce and eloquence. He first read to me someof these glowing sentences, while on the portages ofthe Fox. It was continued, during the leisurehours of the conferences, and finally the critiquewas finished, after his visiting the place and theperson, in Missouri, to which Hunter had alluded ashis sponsor in baptism. The man denied all knowledgeof him. Hunter was utterly demolished, and hisbook shown to be as great a tissue of misrepresentationas that of Psalmanazar himself.

August 21st. The party separates.I had determined to return to the Sault by way ofLake Superior, through Chippewa River. But, owingto the murder of Finley and his men at its mouth in1824, I found it impossible to engage men at Prairiedu Chien, to take that route. I determined thereforeto go up the Wisconsin, and by the way of Green Bay.For this purpose, I purchased a light canoe, engagedmen to paddle it, and laid in provisions and storesto last to Green Bay. Having done so, I embarkedabout 3 o’clock P.M., descending the majesticMississippi, with spirits enlivened by the hope ofsoon rejoining friends far away. At the sametime, Mr. Holliday left for the same destination ina separate canoe. On reaching the mouth of theWisconsin, we entered that broad tributary, and foundthe current strong. We passed the point of rockscalled Petite Gres, and encamped at GrandGres.

Several hours previous to leaving the prairie, a friendhanded me an enveloped packet, saying, “Readit when you get to the mouth of the Wisconsin.”I had no conception what it related to, but felt greatanxiety to reach the place mentioned. I then openedit, and read as follows: “I cannot separatefrom you without expressing my grateful acknowledgmentsfor the honor you have done me, by connecting my namewith your Narrative of Travels in the Central Portionsof the Mississippi Valley, &c.” Nothingcould have been more gratifying or unexpected.

22d. A fog in the valley detained us till5 o’clock A.M. After traveling about twohours, Mr. Holliday’s canoe was crushed againsta rock. While detained in repairing it, I orderedmy cook to prepare breakfast. It was now 9 o’clock,when we again proceeded, till the heat of noon muchaffected the men. We pushed our canoes under someoverhanging trees, where we found fine clusters ofripe grapes.

In going forward we passed two canoes of Menomonies,going out on their fall hunt, on the Chippewa River.These people have no hunting grounds of their own,and are obliged to the courtesy of neighboring nationsfor a subsistence. They are the most erraticof all our tribes, and may be said to be almost nomadic.We had already passed the canoes, when Mr. Lewis,the portrait painter, called out stoutly behind us,from an island in the river. “Oh! ho!I did not know but there was some other breaking ofthe canoe, or worse disaster, and directed the mento put back. See, see,” said he, “thatfellow’s nose! Did you ever see such aprotuberance?” It was one of the Menomonies fromButte des Morts, with a globular irregularlump on the end of his nose, half as big as a man’sfist. Lewis’s artistic risibles were attheir height, and he set to work to draw him.I could think of nothing appropriate, but Sterne andStrasbourg.

23d. A heavy fog detained us at Caramani’svillage, till near 6 A.M. The fog, however, stillcontinued, so thick as to conceal objects at twentyyards distance. We consequently went cautiously.Both this day and yesterday we have been constantlyin sight of Indian canoes, on their return from thetreaty. Wooden canoes are exclusively used bythe Winnebagoes. They are pushed along with poles.

We passed a precipitous range of hills near Pine Creek,on one of which is a cave, called by our boatmen L’diableau Port. This superstition of peopling densand other dark places with the “arch fiend,”is common. If the “old serpent” hasgiven any proofs to the French boatmen of his residencehere, I shall only hope that he will confine himselfto this river, and not go about troubling quiet folksin the land of the Lakes.

At Pine River we went inland about a mile to see anold mine, probably the remains of French enterprise,or French credulity. But all its golden oreshad flown, probably frightened off by the old fellowof L’diable au Port. We saw onlypits dug in the sand overgrown with trees.

Near this spot in the river, we overtook Shingabowossinand his party of Chippewas. They had left theprairie on the same day that we did, but earlier.They had been in some dread of the Winnebagoes, andstopped on the island to wait for us.

In passing the channel of Detour, we observedmany thousand tons of white rock lying in the river,which had lately fallen from the bank, leaving a solidperpendicular precipice. This rock, banks andruins, is, like all the Wisconsin Valley rocks, avery white and fine sandstone.

We passed five canoes of Menomonies, on their wayto hunt on Chippewa River, to whom I presented somepowder, lead, and flour. They gave me a coupleof fish, of the kind called pe-can-o by theIndians.

24th. We were again detained by the fog,till half past five A.M., and after a hard day’sfatiguing toil, I encamped at eight o’clock P.M.on a sandy island in the centre of the Wisconsin.The water in the river is low, and spreads stragglinglyover a wide surface. The very bed of the riveris moving sand. While supper was preparing, Itook from my trunk a towel, clean shirt, and cakeof soap, and spent half an hour in bathing in theriver upon the clean yellow sand. After this gratefulrefreshment, I sank sweetly to repose in my tent.

25th. The fog dispersed earlier this morningthan usual. We embarked a few minutes after fourA.M., and landed for breakfast at ten. The weathernow, was quite sultry, as indeed it has been duringthe greater part of every day, since leaving Tipesage—­i.e.the Prairie. Our route this day carried us throughthe most picturesque and interesting part of the Wisconsin,called the Highlands or River Hills. Some of thesehills are high, with precipitous faces towards theriver. Others terminate in round grassy knobs,with oaks dispersed about the sides. The nameis supposed to have been taken from this feature.[44]Generally speaking, the country has a bald and barrenaspect. Not a tree has apparently been cut uponits banks, and not a village is seen to relieve thetedium of an unimproved wilderness. The hutsof an Indian locality seem “at random cast.”I have already said these conical and angular hillspresent masses of white sandstone, whereever theyare precipitous. The river itself is almost amoving mass of white and yellow sand, broad, clear,shallow, and abounding in small woody islands, andwillowy sandbars.

[Footnote 44: Sin, the terminal syllable,is clearly from the Algonquin, Os-sin, a stone.The French added the letter g, which is theregular local form of the word, agreeably tothe true Indian.]

While making these notes I have been compelled tohold my book, pencil and umbrella, the latter beingindispensable to keep off the almost tropical fervorof the sun’s rays. As the umbrella and bookmust be held in one hand, you may judge that I havemanaged with some difficulty; and this will accountto you for many uncouth letters and much disjointedorthography. Between the annoyance of insects,the heat of the sun, and the difficulties of the way,we had incessant employment.

At three o’clock P.M. we put ashore for dinner,in a very shaded and romantic spot. Poetic imageswere thick about us. We sat upon mats spreadupon a narrow carpet of grass between the river anda high perpendicular cliff. The latter threwits broad shade far beyond us. This strip ofland was not more than ten feet wide, and had anyfragments of rock fallen, they would have crushed us.But we saw no reason to fear such an event, nor didit at all take from the relish of our dinner.Green moss had covered the face of the rock, and formeda soft velvet covering, against which we leaned.The broad and cool river ran at our feet. Overhangingtrees formed a grateful bower around us. Alas,how are those to be pitied who prefer palaces builtwith human hands to such sequestered scenes.What perversity is there in the human understanding,to quit the delightful and peaceful abodes of nature,for noisy towns and dusty streets.

“To me more dear,congenial to my heart,
One native charmthan all the gloss of art.”

At a late hour in the evening we reached the Wisconsinportage, and found Dr. Wood. U.S.A., encampedthere. He had arrived a short time before us,with four Indians and one Canadian in a canoe, on hisway to St. Peter’s. He had a mail in histrunk, and I had reasons to believe I should receiveletters, but to my sore disappointment I found nothing.I invited Dr. Wood to supper, having some ducks andsnipes to offer in addition to my usual stock of solids,such as ham, venison and buffalo tongues.


Descent of Fox River—­Blackbirds—­Menomonies—­Ricefields—­Starving Indians—­Thunderstorm—­Dream—­An Indian struckdead with lightning—­Green Bay—­Deathof Colonel Haines—­Incidents of the journeyfrom Green Bay to Michilimackinack—­Reminiscencesof my early life and travels—­Choiswa—­Furtherreminiscences of my early life—­Ruins ofthe first mission of Father Marquette—­ReachMichilimackinack.

1825. August 26th. A PORTAGE of aboutone mile and a quarter was before us.

At day-break two ox carts, which I had ordered inthe evening, came, and took our baggage across tothe banks of Fox River. The canoes were carriedover by the different crews. On reaching the banksof the Fox River, I concluded to stay for the purposeof breakfasting. I added to my stock of eatables,a bag of potatoes, and some butter and milk, purchasedfrom a Frenchman, who resided here. It was aboutnine o’clock A.M. when we embarked on the Fox,and we began its descent with feelings not widelydifferent from those of a boy who has carried his sled,in winter, up the steep side of a hill, thathe may enjoy the pleasure of riding down.The Fox River is serpentine, almost without a parallel;it winds about like a string that doubles and redoubles,and its channel is choked with fields of wild rice;from which rose, continually, immense flocks of blackbirds.They reminded me very forcibly of the poet’sline—­

“The birds ofheaven shall vindicate their grain.”

Mr. Holliday the elder and his son made several unsuccessfulshots at them. I did not regret their ill success,and was pleased to hear them singing—­

“As sweetly andgayly as ever before.”

We met several canoes of Menomonies. We stoppedfor dinner near a lodge of them, who were in a starvingcondition. I distributed bread and corn amongthem. They presented me a couple of dishes ofa species of berry, which they call Neekimen-een,or Brant-berry. It is a black, tasteless berry,a little larger than the whortleberry. We encampedat the head of Pukwa Lake.

27th. A very severe shower of rain fellabout three o’clock A.M.; it detained us inour camp until five, when we embarked. Why shouldI relate to you our dull progress through fields ofrice—­through intricate channels, and amidstmyriads of ducks and wild water fowl. This dayhas been hot, beyond any experience on the journey.I sank back in my canoe, in a state of apathy andlassitude, partly from the heat, and partly from indisposition.My thoughts were employed upon home. A thousandphantoms passed through my head. I tried to imaginehow you were employed at this moment, whether busy,or sick in your own room. It would require avolume to trace my wandering thoughts. Let itsuffice that another day is nearly gone, and it haslessened the distance which separated us, about seventymiles.

28th. I encamped, last night, near a largevillage of Winnebagoes and Menomonies. They complainedto me of want of food and ammunition. I distributedamong them a quantity of powder, ball, and shot, andsome bread, hard biscuit, pork, and tobacco.Never were people more grateful, and never, I believe,was a more appropriate distribution made. I hadpurchased these articles for the Chippewa Nation, tobe used on my contemplated voyage home, from the Prairie,through Chippewa River and Lake Superior, before thedesign of going that way was relinquished. Thefact was, I could get no men to go that way, so alarmedwere they by the recent murder of Finley and his party.

About two o’clock A.M. I was awoke by avery heavy storm of rain and wind, attended with loudpeals of thunder. The violence of the wind blewdown my tent, and my blankets, &c. received some damage.After this mishap the wind abated, and having gotmy tent re-arranged, I again went to sleep. Idreamt of attending the funeral of an esteemed friend,who was buried with honors, attended to the graveby a large train. I have no recollection of thename of this friend, nor whether male or female.I afterwards visited the house of this person, andthe room in which he (or she) died. I closedthe door with dread and sorrow, afflicted by the viewsof the couch where one so much esteemed had expired.The mansion was large, and elegantly furnished.I lost my way in it, and rung a large bell that hungin the hall. At this, many persons, male andfemale, came quickly into the hall from folding doors,as if, I thought, they had been summoned to dinner.As you have sometimes inclined to believe in thesefantastic operations of the human mind, when asleep,I record them for your amusem*nt, or reflection.Was this an allegory of the destructive effects ofthe storm, mixed with my banquet to my Indian friends,the Menomonies and Winnebagoes?

After descending the river more than twenty mileswe landed at la Butte des Morts to cook breakfast.Immediately on landing my attention was attractedby a small white flag hanging from a high pole.I went to It and found a recent Indian grave, veryneatly and carefully covered with boards. TheIndian had been struck dead by lightning a few daysprevious. Is this the interpretation of my dream,or must I follow my fears to St. Mary’s, towitness some of our family suffering on the bed ofsickness. God, in his mercy, forbid!

This day was comparatively cool. On the previousdays it was my custom to sit in my shirt and sleeves.To-day, I kept on my surtout all day, and my cloakover it until twelve. Such sudden changes in thetemperature of the seasons are the reproach of ourclimate. My health has been better than for afew days back, owing, I believe, solely to my abstinenceboth yesterday and the day before. How much illnesswould be prevented by a proper attention to regimen.It is now eight o’clock in the evening, I amsitting in my tent with a candle standing on a rushmat, and my black trunk for a writing desk. Iam interrupted by the news that my supper is readyto be brought in. How happy I should be if youcould participate in my frugal meal. In the languageof Burns—­

“Adieu a heart-warmfond adieu.”

29th. I encamped last night, at the footof the Winnebago Rapids, one mile below WinnebagoLake. I found the rapids of Fox River, which beginhere, more difficult to pass than on our ascent, thewater being much lower. We were necessarily detainedmany hours, and most of the men compelled to walk.About six o’clock, P.M. we reached the upperpart of the settlement of Green Bay. I stoppeda few moments at Judge Doty’s, and also a littlebelow at Major Brevoort’s, the Indian agent ofthe post. We then proceeded to the lower settlements,and encamped near the fort at Arndt’s.Dr. Wheaton met me on the beach, with several others.I supped and lodged at Arndt’s, having declinedDr. Wheaton’s polite invitation to sup, andtake a bed with him. At tea I saw Mrs. Cotton,whom you will recollect as Miss Arndt, and was introducedto her husband, Lieutenant Cotton, U.S.A. I wasalso introduced to the Rev. Mr. Nash, a clergymanof the Protestant Episcopal order, on missionary dutyhere. I went to my room, as soon as I could disentanglemyself from these greetings, with a bundle of papers,to read up the news, and was truly pained to hearof the death of my early friend Colonel Charles G.Haines of New York, an account of which, with the funeralhonors paid to him, I read in the papers.

30th. The repair of my canoe, and thepurchase of provisions to recruit my supplies, consumedthe morning, until twelve o’clock, when I embarked,and called at the fort to pay my respects to Dr. Wheaton.I found the dinner-table set. He insisted onmy stopping with Mr. H. to dinner, which, being anold friend and as one of my men had absconded, andI was, therefore, delayed, I assented to. Thedoctor and family evinced the greatest cordiality,and he sent down to my canoe, after dinner, a quantityof melons, some cabbages, and a bag of new potatoes.Before I could obtain another man and set out again,it was three o’clock. I was obliged toforego the return of some visits. We continuedour voyage down the bay about 40 miles, and encampedat 8 o’clock, having run down with a fair wind.

31st. Soon after quitting our camp thismorning, a heavy wind arose. It was partly fair,so as to permit our hoisting sail for a few hours,but then shifted ahead, and drove us ashore. Welanded on a small island called Vermilion, off thesouth cape of Sturgeon Bay. Here we remainedall the remainder of the day and night. Whilethere detained I read “China, its Arts, Manufactures,&c.,” a work translated from the French, andgiving a lively, and apparently correct account ofthat singular people.

About two o’clock, P.M., we cut some of thewater and musk-melons presented by Dr. Wharton, andfound them delicious. About 6 o’clock,P.M., my cook informed me that he had prepared a supper,agreeably to my directions, and we found his skillin this way by no means despicable. Such arethe trifles which must fill up my journal, for didI only write what was fit for grave divines, or thescrutinizing eye of philosophy to read, I fear I shouldhave but a few meagre sheets to present you on myreturn, and perhaps not a single syllable witty orwise.

Sept. 1st. The wind abated during thenight, and we were early on the waters, and went onuntil eleven o’clock, when we landed for breakfast.At twelve o’clock we went forward again, witha fair wind. I read another volume of “China.”“The Chinese ladies,” says the author,“live very retired, wholly engaged in theirhousehold affairs, and how to please their husbands.They are not, however, confined quite so closely asis commonly supposed. The females visit entirelyamongst each other. There is no society or circlesin China to which the women are admitted. Marriagesare a mere matter of convenience, or, to speak withgreater propriety, a kind of bargain settled betweenthe parents and relatives.”

We came on very well, and encamped at the Little Detroit,or strait, so called, in the Grand Traverse.This traverse separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan.It is computed to be twenty miles over. A clusterof islands enables canoes to pass. There aresome hieroglyphics on the rocks.

2d. We embarked at three o’clock,A.M., and went on very well, until ten, when we stoppedon one of the islands for breakfast, having nearlycompleted the traverse. In the meantime the windarose in our favor, and we went on along the northshore of Lake Michigan gayly. We passed the mouthof the Manistee River, which interlocks with the Tacquimenonof Lake Superior, where some of our St. Mary’sChippewas make their gardens. An aft wind andlight spirits are inseparable, whether a man be ina frigate or a canoe. There is something in theair exhilarating. I have been passing in retrospect,the various journeys I have made, but during nonehas my anxieties to return been so great as this.What a wonderful destiny it is that makes one mana traveler and another a poet, a mathematician, &c.We appear to be guided by some innate principle which

has a predominating force. No man was more unlikelyto be a traveler than myself. I always thoughtmyself to be domestic in my feelings, habits, andinclinations, and even in very early youth, proposedto live a life of domestic felicity. I thoughtsuch a life inseparable from the married state, andresolved, therefore, to get married, as soon as prudenceand inclination would permit. Notwithstandingthis way of thinking my life has been a series of activeemployment and arduous journeyings. I may saymy travels began even in childhood, for when onlysix or seven years old, I recollect to have wanderedoff a long distance into the pine plains of my nativetown, to view Honicroisa Hill, a noted object in thatpart of the country, to the great alarm of all thefamily, who sent out to search for me. My nextjourney was in my eleventh year, when I accompaniedmy father, in his chaise, he dressed out in his regimentals,to attend a general court-martial at Saratoga.I had not then read any history of our Revolution,but had heard its battles and hardships, told overby my father, which created a deep interest, and amongthe events was Burgoyne’s surrender. Mymind was filled with the subject as we proceeded onour way, and I expected to see a field covered withskulls, and guns, and broken swords.

In my fifteenth year I accompanied my father, in hischaise, up the Valley of the Mohawk to Utica.This gave me some idea of the western country, andthe rapid improvements going on there. I returnedwith some more knowledge of the world, and with mymind filled with enthusiastic notions of new settlementsand fortunes made in the woods. I was highlypleased with the frank and hospitable manners of thewest. The next spring I was sent by a manufacturingcompany to Philadelphia, as an agent to procure andselect on the banks of the Delaware, between Bristoland Bordentown, a cargo of crucible clay. Thisjourney and its incidents opened a new field to me,and greatly increased my knowledge of the world; ofthe vastness of commerce; and of the multifariousoccupations of men. I acquitted myself well ofmy agency, having made a good selection of my cargo.I was a judge of the mineralogical properties of thearticle, but a novice in almost everything else.I supposed the world honest, and every man disposedto act properly and to do right. I now firstwitnessed a theatre. It was at New York.When the tragedy was over, seeing many go out, I alsotook a check and went home, to be laughed at by thecaptain of the sloop, with whom I was a passenger.At Philadelphia I fell into the hands of a professedsharper; He was a gentleman in dress, manners, andconversation. He showed me the city, and wasvery useful in directing my inquiries. But heborrowed of me thirty dollars one day, to pay an unexpecteddemand, as he said, and that was the last I ever sawof my money. The lesson was not, however, lostupon me. I have never since lent a stranger orcasual acquaintance money.

3d. I was compelled to break off my notesyesterday suddenly. A storm came on which droveus forward with great swiftness, and put us in someperil. We made the land about three o’clock,after much exertion and very considerable wetting.After the storm had passed over, a calm succeeded,when we again put out, and kept the lake till eighto’clock. We had a very bad encampment—­looserough stones to lie on, and scarcely wood enough tomake a fire. To finish our misery, it soon beganto rain, but ceased before ten. At four o’clockthis morning we arose, the weather being quite cold.At an early hour, after getting afloat, we reachedand passed a noted landing for canoes and boats, calledChoishwa (Smooth-rock.) This shelter, is formedby a ledge of rock running into the lake. Onthe inner, or perpendicular face, hundreds of namesare cut or scratched upon the rock. This cacoethesscribendi is the pest of every local curiosityor public watering-place. Even here, in the wilderness,it is developed.

Wise men ne’ercut their names on doors or rock-heads,
But leave the task toscribblers and to blockheads;
Pert, trifling folks,who, bent on being witty,
Scrawl on each postsome fa*g-end of a ditty,
Spinning, with spider’sweb, their shallow brains,
O’er wainscots,borrowed books, or window panes.

At one o’clock the wind became decidedly fair,and the men, relieved from their paddles, are nearlyall asleep, in the bottom of the canoe. Whilethe wind drives us forward beautifully I embrace thetime to resume my narrative of early journeyings,dropt yesterday.

In the year 1808, my father removed from Albany toOneida County. I remained at the old homesteadin Guilderland, in charge of his affairs, until thefollowing year, when I also came to the west.The next spring I was offered handsome inducementsto go to the Genesee country, by a manufacturing company,who contemplated the saving of a heavy land transportationfrom Albany on the article of window-glass, if therude materials employed in it could be found in thatarea of country. I visited it with that view;found its native resources ample, and was still moredelighted with the flourishing appearance of this partof the Western country than I had been with Uticaand its environs. Auburn, Geneva, Canandaigua,and other incipient towns, seemed to me the germsof a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

In 1811, I went on a second trip to Philadelphia,and executed the object of it with a success equalto my initial visit. On this trip I had lettersto some gentlemen at Philadelphia, who received mein a most clever spirit, and I visited the Academyof Arts, Peale’s Museum, the Water Works, NavyYard, &c. I here received my first definite ideasof painting and sculpture. I returned with newstores of information and new ideas of the world,but I had lost little or nothing of my primitive simplicityof feeling or rustic notions of human perfection.And, as I began to see something of the iniquitiesof men, I clung more firmly to my native opinions.

My personal knowledge of my native State, and of theStates of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was now superiorto that of most men with whom I was in the habit ofconversing, and I subsequently made several littlejourneys and excursions that furthered me in the knowledge.

As yet, I knew nothing by personal observation ofNew England. In the early part of 1813, havingcompleted my nineteenth year, I went to Middlebury,in Vermont, on the banks of Otter Creek, where, Iunderstand, my great-grandfather, who was an Englishman,to have died. Soon after I accompanied Mr. Ep.Jones, a man of decided enterprise, but some eccentricitiesof character, on an extensive tour through the NewEngland States. We set out from Lake Dunmore,in Salisbury, in a chaise, and proceeding over theGreen Mountains across the State of Vermont, to Bellows’Falls, on the Connecticut River, there struck the Stateof New Hampshire, and went across it, and a part ofMassachusetts, to Boston. Thence, after a fewdays’ stop, we continued our route to Hartford,the seat of government of Connecticut, and thencesouth to the valley of the Hudson at Rhinebeck.Here we crossed the Hudson to Kingston (the Esopusof Indian days), and proceeded inland, somewhat circuitously,to the Catskill Mountains; after visiting which, wereturned to the river, came up its valley to Albany,and returned, by way of Salem, to Salisbury.All this was done with one horse, a compact small-bonedanimal, who was a good oats-eater, and of whom wetook the very best care. I made this distichon him:—­

Feed me well with oatsand hay,
And I’ll carryyou forty miles a-day.

This long and circuitous tour gave me a general ideaof this portion of the Union, and enabled me to institutemany comparisons between the manners and customs andadvantages of New York and New England.

I am again compelled to lay my pencil aside by thequantity of water thrown into the canoe by the paddlesof the men, who have been roused up by the increasingwaves.

4th. We went on under a press of saillast evening until eight o’clock, when we encampedin a wide sandy bay in the Straits of Michigan, havingcome a computed distance of 80 miles. On lookingabout, we found in the sand the stumps of cedar pickets,forming an antique enclosure, which, I judged, musthave been the first site of the Mission of St. Ignace,founded by Pierre Marquette, upwards of a hundred andeighty years ago. Not a lisp of such a ruin hadbeen heard by me previously. French and Indiantradition says nothing of it. The inference is,however, inevitable. Point St. Ignace draws itsname from it. It was afterwards removed and fixedat the blunt peninsula, or headland, which the Indianscall Peekwutino, the old Mackinac of the French.

Leaving this spot at an early hour, we went to PointSt. Ignace to breakfast, and made the traverse tothe Island of Michilimackinac by eleven o’clock.We were greeted by a number of persons on the beach;among them was Mr. Agnew, of the Sault, whor*ported friends all well. This was a great reliefto my mind, as I had been for a number of days underthe impression that some one near and dear to me wasill. It was Sunday morning; many of the inhabitantswere at church, and appearances indicated more respectfor the day than I recollect to have noticed before.The good effect of the mission established in the island,under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Ferry, are clearlyvisible. Mr. Robert Stuart invited me to takea room at the company’s house, which I declined,but dined and supped there.


Journey from Mackinac to the Sault Ste. Marie—­OutardPoint—­Head winds—­Lake Huronin a rage—­Desperate embarkation—­St.Vital—­Double the Detour—­Returnto St. Mary’s—­Letters—­“Indiangirl”—­New volume of travels—­Guess’Cherokee alphabet—­New views of the Indianlanguages and their principles of construction—­Georgiaquestion—­Post-office difficulties—­Glimpsesfrom the civilized world.

1825. Sept. 5th. I arose at seven, andwe had breakfast at half-past seven. I then wentto the Company’s store and ordered an invoiceof goods for the Indian department. This occupiedthe time till dinner was announced. I then wentto my camp and ordered the tent to be struck and thecanoe to be put into the water; but found two of mymen so ill with the fever and ague that they couldnot go, and three others were much intoxicated.The atmosphere was very cloudy and threatening, andto attempt the traverse to Goose Island, under suchcirc*mstances, was deemed improper. Mr. Robertand David Stuart, men noted in the Astoria enterprise;Mr. Agnew, Capt. Knapp, Mr. Conner, Mr. Abbott,Mr. Currey, &c., had kindly accompanied me to thebeach, but all were very urgent in their opinion thatI should defer the starting. I ordered the mento be ready at two o’clock in the morning shouldthe weather not prove tempestuous.

6th. I arose at three o’clock, butfound a heavy fog enveloping the whole island, andconcealing objects at a short distance. It wasnot till half-past six that I could embark, when thefog began to disperse, but the clearing away of thefog introduced a light head wind. I reached GooseIsland, a distance of ten miles, after a march of threehours, and afterwards went to Outard Point, but couldgo no further from the increased violence of the wind.

Outard Point, 8 o’clock P.M. Here haveI been encamped since noon, with a head wind, a densedamp atmosphere, and the lake in a foam. I expectedthe wind would fall with the sun, but, alas! it blowsstronger than ever. I fondly hoped on quittingMackinac this morning, that I should see home to-morrow,but that is now impossible. How confidently dowe hope and expect in this life, and how little dowe know what is to befall us for even a few hoursbeyond the present moment. It has pleased theAll-wise Being to give me an adverse wind, and I mustsubmit to it. I, doubtless, exulted too soonand too much. On reaching Mackinac, I said tomyself: “My journey is accomplished; myroute to the Sault is nothing; I can go there in aday and a half, wind or no wind.” Thisvanity and presumption is now punished, and, I acknowledge,justly. I should have left it to Providence.Wise are the ways of the Almighty, and salutary allHis dispensations to man. Were we not continuallyput in mind of an overruling Providence by reversesof this kind, the human heart, exalted with its ownconsequence, would soon cease to implore protectionfrom on high.

I feel solitary. The loud dashing of the waveson shore, and the darkness and dreariness of all withoutmy tent, conspire to give a saddened train to my reflections.I endeavored to divert myself, soon after landing,by a stroll along the shore. I sought in vainamong the loose fragments of rock for some specimensworthy of preservation. I gleaned the evidencesof crystallization and the traces of organic formsamong the cast-up fragments of limestone and sandstone.I amused myself with the reflection that I should,perhaps, meet you coming from an opposite directionon the beach, and I half fancied that, perhaps, itwould actually take place. Vain sport of the mind!It served to cheat away a tedious hour, and I returnedto my tent fatigued and half sick. I am in hopesa cup of tea and a night’s rest will restoremy equipoise of mind and body. Thus

“Every pang thatrends the heart,
Bids expectationrise.”

7th. Still detained on this bleak anddesolate Point. A heavy rain and very stronggale continued all night. The rain was drivenwith such violence as to penetrate through the textureof my tent, and fall copiously upon me. Daybreakbrought with it no abatement of the storm, but presentedto my view a wide vista of white foaming surge as faras the eye could reach. In consequence of theincreasing violence of the storm, I was compelledto order my baggage and canoe to be removed, and mytent to be pitched back among the trees. How longI am to remain here I cannot conjecture. It isa real equinoxial storm. My ears are stunnedwith the incessant roaring of the water and the loudmurmuring of the wind among the foliage. Thickmurky clouds obscure the sky, and a chill damp aircompels me to sit in my tent with my cloak on.I may exclaim, in the language of the Chippewas, Tyau,gitche sunnahgud (oh, how hard is my fate.)

At two o’clock I made another excursion to viewthe broad lake and see if some favorable sign couldnot be drawn, but returned with nothing to cast agleam on the angry vista. It seemed as if thelake was convulsed to its bottom.


What narrowed pleasuresswell the bosom here,
A shore most sterile,and a clime severe,
Where every shrub seemsstinted in its size,
“Where geniussickens and where fancy dies.”

If to the lake I castmy longing view,
The curling waves theirnoisy way pursue;
That noise reminds meof my prison-strand,
Those waves I most admire,but cannot stand.

If to the shore I castmy anxious eye,
There broken rocks andsand commingled lie,
Mixed with the wrecksof shells and weeds and wood,
Crushed by the stormand driven by the flood.

E’en fishes there,high cast upon the shore,
Yet pant with life andstain the rocks with gore.
Would here the curiouseye expect to meet
Aught precious in thesands beneath his feet,
Ores, gems, or crystals,fitting for the case,
No spot affords so poor,so drear a place.
Rough rounded stones,the sport of every wind,
Is all th’ inquirershall with caution find.
A beach unvaried spreadsbefore the eye;
Drear is the land andstormy is the sky.

Would the fixed eye,that dotes on sylvan scenes,
Draw pleasure from thesedark funereal greens,
These stunted cedarsand low scraggy pines,
Where nature stagnatesand the soil repines—­

Alas! the source issmall—­small every bliss,
That e’er candwell on such a place as this.
Bleak, barren, sandy,dreary, and confined,
Bathed by the wavesand chilled by every wind;
Without a flower tobeautify the scene,
Without a cultured shore—­ashady green—­
Without a harbor ona dangerous shore,
Without a friend tojoy with or deplore.
He who can feel onelonely ray of bliss
In such a thought-appallingspot as this,
His mind in fogs andmists must ever roll,
Without a heart, andtorpid all his soul.

About three o’clock P.M. there was a transientgleam of sunshine, and, for a few moments, a slightabatement of wind. I ordered my canoe and baggagetaken inland to another narrow little bay, having issueinto the lake, where the water was calm enough topermit its being loaded; but before this was accomplished,a most portentous cloud gathered in the west, andthe wind arose more fierce than before. Huron,like an offended and capricious mistress, seemed tobe determined, at last, on fury, and threw herselfinto the most extravagant attitudes. I again hadmy tent pitched, and sat down quietly to wait tillthe tempest should subside; but up to a late hourat night the elemental war continued, and, committingmyself to the Divine mercy, I put out my candle andretired to my pallet.

8th. The frowning mistress, Lake Huron,still has the pouts. About seven o’clockI walked, or scrambled my way through close-mattedspruce and brambles to get a view of the open lake.The force of the waves was not, perhaps, much differentfrom the day before, but they were directly from thewest, and blowing directly down the lake. CouldI get out from the nook of a bay where I was encamped,and get directly before them, it appeared possible,with a close-reefed sail, to go on my way. Myengagees thought it too hazardous to try, buttheir habitual sense of obedience to a bourgeoiseled them to put the canoe in the water, and at 10o’clock we left our encampment on Outard Point,got out into the lake, not without imminent hazard,and began our career “like a racehorse”for the Capes of the St. Mary’s. The windblew as if “’twad blawn its last.”We had reefed our sail to less than four feet, andI put an extra man with the steersman. We literallywent “on the wings of the wind.”I do not think myself ever to have run such hazards.I was tossed up and down the waves like Sancho Panzaon the blanket. Three hours and twenty minutesbrought me to Isle St. Vital, behind which we gotshelter. The good saint who presides over theisland of gravel and sand permitted me to take a glassof cordial from my basket, and to refresh myself witha slice of cold tongue and a biscuit. Who thisSt. Vital may have been, I know not, having been broughtup a Protestant; but I suppose the Catholic calendarwould tell. If his saintship was as fond of goodliving as some of his friends are said to be, I makeno doubt but he will freely forgive this trespassupon his territory. Taking courage by this refreshment,we again put out before the gale, and got in to theDe Tour, and by seven o’clock, P.M., were safelyencamped on an island in St. Mary’s Straits,opposite St. Joseph’s. The wind was hereahead.

On entering the straits, I found a vessel at anchor.On coming alongside it proved to be the schooner Harriet,Capt. Allen, of Mont Clemens, on her way fromthe Sault. A passenger on board says that he wasat Mr. Johnston’s house two days ago, and allare well. He says the Chippewa chiefs arrivedyesterday. Regret that I had not forwarded bythem the letter which I had prepared at the Prairieto transmit by Mr. Holliday, when I supposed I shouldreturn by way of Chippewa River and Lake Superior.

I procured from the Harriet a whitefish, of whichI have just partaken a supper. This deliciousfish is always a treat to me, but was never more sothan on the present occasion. I landed here fatigued,wet, and cold, but, from the effects of a cheerfulfire, good news from home, and bright anticipationsfor to-morrow, I feel quite re-invigorated. “Tirednature’s sweet restorer” must completewhat tea and whitefish have so successfully begun.

9th. My journal has no entry for thisday, but it brought me safely (some 40 miles) to myown domicil at “Elmwood.” The excitementof getting back and finding all well drove away almostall other thoughts.

The impressions made on society by our visit to NewYork, and the circles in which we moved, are givenin a letter from Mr. Saml. C. Conant, of the19th July, which I found among those awaiting my arrival.To introduce a descendant of one of the native raceinto society, as had been done in my choice, was notan ordinary event, and did not presuppose, it seems,ordinary independence of character. Her grandfather,by the maternal side, had been a distinguished chiefof his nation at the ancient council-fire, or seatof its government at Chegoimegon and Lapointe.By her father, a native of Antrim, in the north ofIreland, she was connected with a class of clergy andgentry of high respectability, including the Bishopof Dromore and Mr. Saurin, the Attorney-General ofIreland. Two very diverse sources of pride ofancestry met in her father’s family—­thatof the noble and free sons of the forest, and thatof ancestral origin founded on the notice of Britisharistocracy. With me, the former was of the highesthonor, when I beheld it, as it was in her case, unitedto manners and education in a marked degree gentle,polished, retiring, and refined. No two suchdiverse races and states of society, uniting to producesuch a result, had ever come to my notice, and I was,of course, gratified when any persons of intellectand refinement concurred in the wisdom of my choice.Such was Mr. Conant and his family, a group ever tobe remembered with kindness and respect. Havingpassed some weeks in his family, with her infant boyand nurse, during my absence South, his opportunitiesfor judging were of the best kind.

“If you will suffer me to indulge the expressionof both my own and Mrs. Conant’s feelings, Iam sure that you cannot but be pleased that the franknessand generosity of one, and the virtues and gentlenessof the other of you, have made so lively an impressionon our hearts, and rendered your acquaintance to usa matter of very sweet and grateful reflection.Truly modest and worthy persons often exhibit virtuesand possess attainments so much allied to their natureas to be themselves unconscious of the treasures.It does not hurt such ones to be informed of theirgood qualities.

“When I first visited Mr. Schoolcraft, I lookedabout for his Indian girl. I carried sucha report to my wife that we were determined to seekher acquaintance, and were not less surprised thanrecompensed to find such gentleness, urbanity, affection,and intelligence, under circ*mstances so illy calculated,as might be supposed, to produce such amiable virtues.But all have learned to estimate human nature morecorrectly, and to determine that nature herself, notless than the culture of skillful hands, has muchto do with the refinement and polish of the mind.

“Mr. S.’s book (’Trav. Cent.Ports. Miss. Valley’) has also receivedseveral generous and laudatory notices; one from theU.S. Literary Gazette, printed at Boston.I saw Gov. Clinton, also, who spoke very highlyboth of the book and the author. He thought thatMr. W.’s ill-natured critique would not do anyinjury either here or in Europe.”

Oct. 23d. C.C. Trowbridge, Esq.,sends me a copy of “Guess’ Cherokee Alphabet.”It is, with a few exceptions, syllabic. Eighty-fourcharacters express the whole language, but will expressno other Indian language.

Maj. John Biddle communicates the result of thedelegate election. By throwing out the vote ofSault Ste. Marie, the election was awarded bythe canvassers to Mr. Wing.

New views of Indian philology. “You know,”says a literary friend, “I began with a designto refute the calumnies of the Quarterly respectingour treatment of the Indians, and our conduct duringthe recent war. This is precisely what I havenot done. My stock of materials for this purposewas most ample, and the most of the labor performed.But I found the whole could not be inserted in onenumber, and no other part but this could be omittedwithout breaking the continuity of the discussion.I concluded, therefore, it would be better to saveit for another article, and hereafter remodel it.”

28th. Mr. C. writes that he has completedhis review, and transmits, for my perusal, some ofthe new parts of it. “I also transmit myrough draft of those parts of the review which relateto Hunter, to Adelang’s survey, and to ——.These may amuse an idle hour. The remarks on ——­are, as you will perceive, materially altered.The alteration was rendered necessary by an examinationof the work. The ‘survey’ is a newitem, and I think, you will consider, the occasionof it, with me, a precious specimen of Dutch impudenceand ignorance. Bad as it is, it is bepraisedand bedaubed by that quack D. as though it were writtenwith the judgment of a Charlevoix.”

This article utters a species of criticism in Americawhich we have long wanted.

It breaks the ice on new ground—­the groundof independent philosophical thought and inquiry.Truth to tell, we have known very little on the philosophyof the Indian languages, and that little has beenthe re-echo of foreign continental opinions. Ithas been written without a knowledge of the Indiancharacter and history. Its allusions have mixedup the tribes in double confusion. Mere synonymshave been taken for different tribes, and their historyand language has been criss-crossed as if the factshad been heaped together with a pitchfork. Mr.C. has made a bold stroke to lay the foundation ofa better and truer philological basis, which mustat last prevail. It is true the prestigeof respected names will rise up to oppose the new views,which, I confess, to be sustained in their main featuresby my own views and researches here on the groundand in the midst of the Indians, and men will riseto sustain the old views—­the originalliterary mummery and philological hocus-pocus basedon the papers and letters and blunders of Heckewelder.There was a great predisposition to admire and overrateeverything relative to Indian history and language,

as detailed by this good and sincere missionary inhis retirement at Bethlehem. He was appealedto as an oracle. This I found by an acquaintancewhich I formed, in 1810, with the late amiable Dr.Wistar, while rusticating at Bristol, on the banksof the Delaware. The confused letters which themissionary wrote many years later, were mainly dueto Dr. Wistar’s philosophical interest in thesubject. They were rewritten and thoroughly revisedand systematized by the learned Mr. Duponceau, in1816, and thus the philological system laid, whichwas published by the Penn. Hist. Soc. in1819. During the six years that has elapsed, nobodyhas had the facts to examine the system. It hasbeen now done, and I shall be widely mistaken if thisdoes not prove a new era in our Indian philology.

Whatever the review does on this head, however, andadmitting that it pushes some positions to an ultrapoint, it will blow the impostor Hunter sky high.His book is an utter fabrication, in which there isscarcely a grain of truth hid in a bushel of chaff.

Nov. 4th. Difficulties have arisen, atthis remote post, between the citizens and the military,the latter of whom have shown a disposition to feelpower and forget right, by excluding, except with oneroushumiliations, some citizens from free access to thepost-office. In a letter of this date, the Postmaster-General(Mr. McLean) declines to order the office to be keptout of the fort, and thus, in effect, decides againstthe citizens. How very unimportant a citizen is1000 miles from the seat of government! The nationalaegis is not big enough to reach so far. Thebed is too long for the covering. A man cannotwrap himself in it. It is to be hoped that thePostmaster-General will live long enough to find outthat he has been deceived in this matter.

29th. Mr. Conant, of New York, writes:“I hope you will not fail to prosecute yourIndian inquiries this winter, getting out of them allthe stories and all the Indian you can.I conclude you hear an echo now and then from thebig world, notwithstanding your seclusion. TheCreek Delegation is at Washington, unfriendly to thelate treaty, and I expect some changes not a littleinteresting to the aboriginal cause. Mr. Adamslooks at his ‘red children’ with a friendlyeye, and, I trust, ’the men of his house,’as the Indian orator called Congress, will prove themselvesso. I have been charmed with the quietude andcoolness manifested in Congress in reference to theGeorgia business.”

And with these last words from the civilized world,we are prepared to plunge into another winter, withall its dreary accompaniments of ice and snow andtempests, and with the consoling reflectionthat when our poor and long-looked-for monthly expressarrives, we can get our letters and papers from theoffice after duly performing our genuflections to apetty military chief, with the obsequiousness of aHindoo to the image of Juggernaut.


General aspects of the Indian cause—­Publiccriticism on the state of Indian researches, and literarystorm raised by the new views—­Politicalrumor—­Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.—­Delegateelection—­Copper mines of Lake Superior—­Instructionsfor a treaty in the North—­Death of Mr.Pettit—­Denial of post-office facilities—­Arrivalof commissioners to hold the Fond du Lac treaty—­Tripto Fond du Lac through Lake Superior—­Treaty—­Return—­Deathsof John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

1826. Feb. 1st. The year opens withunfavorable symptoms for the Indian cause. Theadministration is strong in Congress, and the Presidentfavorable to the Indian view of their right to thesoil they occupy east of the Mississippi until itis acquired by free cession. But the doctrineof state sovereignty contended for by Georgia, seemsto be an element which all the States will, in theend, unite in contending for. And the Creeksmay settle their accounts with the fact that theymust finally go to the West. This is a practicalview of the subject—­a sort of politicalnecessity which seems to outride everything else.Poetry and sympathy are rode over roughshod in thecontest for the race. We feel nothing of thishere at present, but it is only, perhaps, becausewe are too remote and unimportant to waste a thoughtabout. Happy insignificance! As one of thelittle means of supporting existence in so remotea spot, and keeping alive, at the same time, the sparkof literary excitement, I began, in December, a manuscriptjeu d’esprit newspaper, to be put incovers and sent from house to house, with the perhapstoo ambitious cognomen of “The Literary Voyager.”

6th. The author of a leading and pungentcritique for the North American Review writesin fine spirits from Washington, and in his usualliterary tone and temper about his review: “Dr.Sparks’ letter will show you his opinion.He altered the manuscript in some places, and makesme say of—­what I do not think and what Iwould not have said. But let that pass.I gave him carte blanche, so I have no rightto find fault with his exercise of his discretion.W. is in a terrible passion. He says that thearticle is written with ability, and that he alwaysentertained the opinion expressed in the review ofHeckewelder’s work. But he is provokedat the comments on ——­’s work,and, above all, at the compliment to you. Douglass,who is here, says this is merely Philadelphia versusNew York, and that it is a principle with the formerto puff all that is printed there, and to decry allthat is not.”

This appears to have been known to Gov. Clinton,and is the ground of the opinion he expressed of Mr. Conant.

March 6th. Col. De Garmo Jones writesfrom Detroit that it is rumored that McLean is toleave the General Post-office Department, and to beappointed one of the United States Judges.

Mr. L. Pettibone, of Missouri, my companion in exploringthe Ozark Mountains in 1818 and 1819, writes fromthat quarter that his brother, Rufus Pettibone, Esq.,of St. Louis, died on the 31st July last. He wasa man of noble, correct, and generous sentiments, whohad practiced law with reputation in Western New York.I accompanied him and his family on going to the Westerncountry, on his way from Olean to Pittsburgh.His generous and manly character and fair talents,make his death a loss to the community, and to thegrowing and enterprising population of the West.He was one of the men who cheered me in my early explorationsin the West, and ever met me with a smile.

7th. My sister Maria writes, posting meup in the local news of Detroit.

9th. Mr. Trowbridge informs me that Congresssettled the contested delegate question by castingaside the Sault votes. We are so unimportantthat even our votes are considered as worthless.However that may be, nothing could be a greater misrepresentationthan that “Indians from their lodges were allowedto vote.”

14th. Col. Thomas H. Benton, of theSenate, writes that an appropriation of $10,000 hasbeen granted for carrying out a clause in the Prairiedu Chien treaty, and that a convocation of the Indiansin Lake Superior will take place, “so that thecopper-mine business is arranged.”

17th. Maj. Joseph Delafield, of NewYork, says that Baron Lederer is desirous of enteringinto an arrangement for the exchange of my large massof Lake Superior copper, for mineralogical specimensfor the Imperial Cabinet of Vienna.

April 16th. A letter from the Departmentcontains incipient directions for convening the Indiansto meet in council at the head of Lake Superior, andcommitting the general arrangements for that purposeto my hands, and, indeed, my hands are already full.Boats, canoes, supplies, transportation for all whoare to go, and a thousand minor questions, call forattention. A treaty at Fond du Lac, 500 milesdistant, and the throwing of a commissariat departmentthrough the lake, is no light task.

27th. A moral question of much interestis presented to me in a communication from the Rev.Alvan Coe. Of the disinterested nature and characterof this man’s benevolence for the Indian race,no man knowing him ever doubted. He has literallybeen going about doing good among them since our firstarrival here in 1822. In his zeal to shield themfrom the arts of petty traders, he has often gone sofar as to incur the ill-will and provoke the slanderoustongues of some few people. That he should deemit necessary to address me a letter to counteract suchrumors, is the only thing remarkable. Wiser, insome senses, and more prudent people in their worldlyaffairs, probably exist; but no man of a purer, simpler,and more exalted faith. No one whom I ever knewlives less for “the rewards that perish.”Even Mr. Laird, whose name is mentioned in these records,although he went far beyond him in talents, gifts,and acquirements of every sort, had not a purer faith,yet he will, like that holy man, receive his rewardsfrom the same “Master.”

May 2d. Mr. Trowbridge writes me of thedeath of Wm. W. Pettit, Esq., of Detroit, a man respectedand admired. He loaned me a haversack, suitablefor a loose mineral bag, on my expedition in 1820.

8th. Difficulties between the militaryand citizens continue. The Postmaster-Generaldeclined, on a renewed memorial of the citizens, toremove the post-office without the garrison. Hesays the officers have evinced “much sensibility”on the subject, and denied that “any restraintsor embarrassments” have been imposed, when everyman and woman in the settlement knows that the onlyway to the post-office lies through the guard-house,which is open and shut by tap of drum. Restraints,indeed! Where has the worthy Postmaster-Generalpicked up his military information?

June 6th. Definite information is receivedthat the appropriation for the Lake Superior treatyhas passed Congress.

10th. Mr. John Agnew, designated a specialagent for preliminaries at Fond du Lac, writes ofhis prompt arrival at that place and good progress.

Gov. C. writes: “We must remove thecopper-rock, and, therefore, you will have to providesuch ropes and blocks as may be necessary.”

22d. The citizens on this frontier, earlyin the season, petitioned the Legislative Councilfor the erection of a new county, embracing the Straitsof St. Mary’s and the Basin of Lake Superior,proposing to call it Chippewa, in allusion to thetribe occupying it. Maj. Robert A. Forsyth,of Detroit, M.C., writes of the success of the contemplatedmeasure.

July 4th. The proposed treaty of Fonddu Lac has filled the place with bustle for the lastmonth. At an early hour this morning expectationwas gratified by the arrival of His Excellency, Gov.Cass, accompanied by the Hon. Thomas L. McKenney,Commissioner of Indian Affairs. They reachedthe village in boats from Mackinac.

These gentlemen are appointed by the President tohold the conferences at Fond du Lac.

10th. Everything has been put in requisitionfor the last six days to facilitate the necessaryembarkation. Jason could not have been more busyin preparing for his famous expedition to Argos.The military element of the party consisted of a companyof the 2d Infantry, with its commissariat and medicaldepartment, numbering, all told, sixty-two men.It was placed under the command of Capt. Boardman.They embarked in three twelve-oared barges, and formedthe advance. The provisions, presents of goods,and subsistence supplies of the commissioners’table, occupied four boats, and went next. Iproceeded in a canoe allege with ten men, withevery appendage to render the trip convenient andagreeable. Col. McKenney, struck with “thecoach-and-six” sort of style of this kind ofconveyance, determined to take a seat with me, andrelying upon our speed and capacity to overtake the

heavy boats, we embarked a day later. The wholeexpedition, with flags and music, was spread out overmiles, and formed an impressive and imposing spectacleto the natives, who saw their “closed lake,”as Superior was called in 1820, yield before the Anglo-Saxonpower. The weather was fine, the scenery enchanting,and the incidents such as might fill a volume.[45]We were eighteen days in traversing the lake by itsshores and bays. The distance is about 530 miles,which gives an average of thirty miles per day.

[Footnote 45: Vide “Sketches of a Tourto the Lakes, of the Character and Customs of theChippewa Indians, and of Incidents connected with theTreaty of Fond du Lac, by Thomas L. McKenney.”Baltimore, Fielding Lucas, 1827; one vol. 8vo., 493pp.]

On reaching the post of Fond du Lac, of St. Louis,near the point where that bold stream deploys belowthe Cabotian Mountains,[46] we found a large assemblageof Indians from every part of the wide-spread Chippewaterritories. It embraced delegations from theextreme sources of the Mississippi, the Rainy Lakeborders, and Old Grand Portage, besides the entireAmerican borders of Lake Superior and the Rice Lakeregion, the sources of the Wisconsin, Chippewa, andSt. Croix valleys. The negotiations were heldunder a large bower, supported by posts, and providedwith rude seats. The principles of the treatyof Prairie du Chien, of 1825, were fully explainedand assented to. They ceded the right to exploreand take away the native copper and copper-ores, andto work the mines and minerals in the country.They agreed to surrender the murderers still inland,who belonged to the misguided war party of 1824.They fully acknowledged the sovereign authority ofthe United States, and disclaimed all connection whateverwith foreign powers. They stipulated that theboundary lines of the treaty of Prairie du Chien shouldbe carried out in 1827 with the Menomonies and Winnebagoes,in the region of the sources of the Fox, Wisconsin,and Menomonee rivers. They provided for an Indianschool at St. Mary’s, and made some furtherimportant stipulations respecting their advance inthe arts and education, through the element of theirhalf-breeds. The effects of this treaty wereto place our Indian relations in this quarter on apermanent basis, and to ensure the future peace ofthe frontier. My agency was now fixed on a surebasis, and my influence fully established among thetribes. During the treaty I had been the mediumof placing about forty silver medals, of the first,second, and third classes, on the necks of the chiefs.A list of their names is appended.

[Footnote 46: From Cabot.]

While the Commissioners were engaged in the treaty,an effort was made, under their direction, to getout the large copper-boulder on the Ontonagon.It was entrusted to Col. Clemens, of Mount Clemens,and a Mr. Porter. The trucks and ropes takeninland by them proved inadequate. They then piledup the dry trees in the valley on the rock, and setthem on fire. They found this effort to meltit inefficacious. They then poured on water fromthe river on whose brink it lays. This crackedoff some of the adhering rock. And this attemptto mutilate and falsify the noblest specimen of nativecopper on the globe was the result of this effort.

The whole expedition re-embarked on the 9th of August,and being now relieved of its heavy supplies and favoredwith winds, returned to the Sault St. Marie on the18th of that month.

No sooner were we arrived at St. Mary’s thanwe were informed of the remarkable coincident deaths,on the 4th July, 1826, of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson,the second and third Presidents of the United States.

Among the letters accumulated during my absence, wasone of Aug. 2d, from Gov. Clinton, requestingsome wild rice for foreign distribution.

Another one was from my excellent friend Conant, ofN.Y., who, with a fine sensitive mind, just appreciationof facts, and no ordinary capacity, appears to beliterally breaking down in health and spirits, althoughstill a young man. In a joint letter to Mrs. S.and myself, he says: “It appears you donot escape afflictions and visitations to teach you‘how frail you are,’ how liable at anymoment to render up to Him who gave them, your spiritand your life. Mr. S.,” he adds, in evidentallusion to my excess of “hope,” “firmin body and ambitious in his pursuits, does not, Isuppose, give over yet, and can scarcely understandhow anybody should tire of life, and look at its pursuitswith disgust.”

Among my unread letters was one, Aug. 28th, from aMr. Myer and Mr. co*cke, of Washington, District ofColumbia, who propose to establish a periodical tobe called “The Potomac Magazine,” and solicitcontributions. These abortive attempts to establishperiodicals by unknown men are becoming more frequentas population increases in the land. It is felttruly that the number of readers must increase,but it is a mistake to suppose that they will readanything but the very best matter from the first sources,European and American. It is, at any rate, amistake to suppose that a man who has attained reputationin any branch of science, literature, or general knowledge,should not seek the highest medium of communicatingit, or that he would throw away his time and effortsin writing for these mere idealities of magazines withoutthe strong inducements of either fame, money, or, atleast, personal friendship.

E.A. Brush, Esq., of Detroit, writes (Aug. 28th)from Mackinac, that honors were performed that dayby the military authorities on the island, in commemorationof the deaths of Adams and Jefferson. “Theobsequies have this morning commenced here; but atthis moment it is rather difficult to select the reportof a cannon, at intervals of half an hour, from theclaps of thunder at those of half a minute.”

Aug. 20th. Mr. Robert Stuart, agent ofthe A.M. Fur Co., writes a letter of congratulationson the good policy to result from placing a sub-agentat La Pointe, in Lake Superior, a location where theinterior tricks of the trade may be reported for thenotice of the government. The selection of thesub-agent appointed by Commissioner McKenney is galland wormwood to him. He strives to conceal thedeep chagrin he feels at the selection of Mr. GeorgeJohnston as the incumbent.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit—­Deathof Henry J.
Hunt and A. G. Whitney, Esqrs.—­Diary ofthe visits of Indians at St.
Mary’s Agency—­Indian affairs on thefrontier under the supervision of
Col. McKenney—­Criticisms on the stateof Indian questions—­Topic of
Indian eloquence—­State of American researchesin natural science—­Dr.
Saml. L. Mitchell.

1826. September. Sickness, which oftenassumed a mortal type, broke out during this monthat Detroit, and carried away many of its most esteemedcitizens. Col. McKenney writes (Sep. 13th)that the Commissioners reached that place from Mackinacin ten days, and that an alarming sickness prevails—­onehundred cases! Among the latter is Mrs. JudgeHunt, an esteemed lady.

Gov. C. (Sep. 14th) announces the death of Col.Henry J. Hunt, one of the most respectable citizens;a man who, for many years, has occupied a positionof the highest respect and esteem. His honor,integrity, and general usefulness, urbanity of mannersand kindness to all classes, have never been calledin question, and his loss to society will create avacancy which will long be felt. Called away suddenly,his death has produced a shock in all classes, fromthe highest to the lowest.

Edmund A. Brush, Esq., writes (Sept. 17th): “Ourunhappy mortality prevails.” On the 23d,he says: “Mr. Whitney has been lying atthe point of death for the last ten or twelve days.We hope he begins to improve.” These hopeswere delusive. He died. Mr. Whitney had beenabroad; he was an assiduous and talented advocate—­anative of Hudson, N.Y.—­was on the highroad to political distinction—­a moral manand a public loss.

I amused myself this fall by keeping notes of theofficial visits of my Indian neighbors. Theymay denote the kind of daily wants against which thispeople struggle.

Oct. 2d. Monetogeezhig complained thathe had not been able to take any fish for severaldays, and solicited some food for himself and family,being five persons. The dress and general appearanceof himself and wife and the children, nearly naked,bore evidence to the truth of his repeated expressions,that they were “poor, very poor, and hungry.”He also presented a kettle and an axe to be repaired.I gave him a ticket on the Agency blacksmith, andcaused sixteen rations of flour and pork to be issuedto him.

3d. The petty chief, Cheegud, with hiswife and two children, arrived from Lake Superior,and reported that since leaving the Taquimenon hehad killed nothing. While inland, he had brokenhis axe and trap. This young chief is son-in-lawof Shingauba W’ossin, principal chief of theChippewas. He is one of the home band, has beenintimate at the agency from its establishment, andis very much attached to the government. He attendedthe treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1825, and the treatyof Fond du Lac, in 1826, and received at the lattera medal of the third size. He has always properlyappreciated the presents given him, and by his temperate,consistent, and respectable course of life, meritedattention. Directed a ticket on the shop and twentyrations.

6th. An Indian woman, wife of Sirdeland,a resident Canadian, in very low circ*mstances, andliving in the Indian mode, requested a kettle to bemended. My rule, in cases of this sort, excludesIndian females who are under the protection of Canadianhusbands from a participation in the presents distributedat the office. But it is proper to make exceptions,in some instances, where repairs of ironwork are solicited.Directed a ticket on the blacksmith.

13th. Issued to Waykwauking and familytwelve rations.

16th. Shingwaukoance, The Little Pine(17th July, 1822, first visit), accompanied by twentypersons, visited the office. This is one of thesigners of the Treaty of St. Mary of 1820, where hismark is prefixed to his French name, AugustinBart. He told me he had come to visit me, attendedwith all his young men, and requested I would listento what he had to say. He made a speech at greatlength, in which he recapitulated his good officesand exertions towards the Americans, from the timeof Gov. Cass’s arrival in 1820. Hestated that a plot had then been formed to cut offthe Gov.’s party, and that he and Mr. G. Johnstonhad been instrumental in thwarting the design.He was glad to see the fire I had lighted up herein 1822 was kept burning, that the Indians might comeand warm themselves by it. He had now determinedto come and live permanently on the American sideof the river, and put himself under my protection.

He repeated his friendship, and gave a “parole”of blue wampum to confirm his words. One of hisparty then lighted a pipe and handed it to me to smokein the usual manner. Caused tobacco and sixtyrations of food to be distributed among his band.

20th. Oshawano solicited food, declaringthat his boys had not been able to take any fish fromthe rapids for several days. This is an old man,and a chief resident at St. Mary’s. I toldhim that it was not my practice, which he knew, toissue provision to the families of fishermen duringthe fishing season, and that I expected his childrento supply him; that, besides, he was one of the personswho had visited the B. Post at D. Isd. during thelast summer, and that he knew I made no presents ofany kind to Indians who received presents there; thatif he went to his B. father in the summer, when itwas pleasant weather, he must also go in the falland winter, when the weather was bad; that if theygave him presents of goods, they must also give himfood. He looked very grave, and, after a shortsilence, said that he had got little or nothing atD.I. He said his home was here, and hewas very poor, &c. Knowing, from personal observation,that he was suffering for food, I ordered twenty-six-rations.

21st. Cheegud came to say that he wasabout to go to his wintering grounds, and wished someprovisions to commence the journey. This youngchief has been welcomed at the agency, and is friendlyto the American government. He attended the treatiesof P.D.C. and F. du Lac; at the latter he receiveda medal. He has always appreciated attentions,and by his sober, consistent, and respectful courseof life, merits the notice of the office. I gavehim some necessary ironwork, a knife, tobacco, ammunition,provisions (18).

23d. Visited by Shingauwosh (4 p.)

24th. Akeewayzee (4 per.)

26th. Keewikoance and band, eleven persons.This is a chief residing on the lower part of theriver St. Mary. Having visited him last spring,he gave me an ancient clay pot, such as the Indiansused before the arrival of Europeans. He toldme he was the seventh chief, in a direct line, sincethe French first arrived. He and his band plantsome corn and potatoes upon an island. He appearsa sensible discreet man, and has a good deal of thepride and dignity of the Indian character. Heis in the British interest, and his feelings are allthat way, being always received at D. I. with markedattention. He has a British medal, but wishesto keep on friendly terms here.

28th. Metosh came in the office and said:“My father, I am very poor; I have nothing,not even an axe to cut wood. Show me pity.”Thirteen rations.

30th. Visited by Wayishkee, a chief, havinga medal of the first class, formerly of La Pointe,in Lake Superior, and of an ancient line of chiefs,but for the last three years a resident of St. Mary’s.He had a wife and nine children. Has been inthe constant habit of visiting the office since itsestablishment; but it is only within the last yearthat he has given up visiting D. I. He is one of thesigners of the treaty of St. Mary. He attendedthe treaty of F. du Lac last summer. Receiveda medal and flag from me in the spring. Is agood hunter and a kind and affectionate parent.Had all his children by one wife. Came to informme that he was on his way to make his first hunt onRed Carp river, L. S. Gave him ironwork, &c.

30th. Neegaubeyun, The West Wind,a chief by descent of the home band; is a man aboutforty; has lost one eye; much given to intemperance,and generally badly clothed; will sometimes labor forwhisky; visits D.I. every season. In consequenceof his poor character and political bias, has neverbeen recognized by me as a chief, nor honored withthe marks of one. He said that he was poor, anddid not come to trouble me often, and hoped I wouldshow him charity. I told him he must not construemy charity into approbation of his conduct, particularlyhis visits to D.I., which were displeasing to me andhad been forbidden by his American Father (3b.)

30th. Muckudaywuckooneyea. This isa young man about 18. His father was a steadyfriend to the American cause even during the late war,and many years before an Agent resided here.He had received a Jefferson medal at Detroit; wasdrowned in the St. Mary a few years ago. The sonhas been an irregular visitor at the office for thelast four years, and is ambitious to be invested withthe authority of his father, but possesses neitherage, ability, or discretion. In consequence ofhis visiting D.I., contrary to my request and hispromise, I took away his father’s medal fromhim, in 1823, hanging it up in my office, and tellinghim when he was worthy of it, and not before, he shouldhave it. His conduct of late has been more considerate,and his professions of friendship for the Americangovernment are profuse; but he has not ceased hisCanada visits. Ten rations.

Nov. 5th. Ketuckeewagauboway. Thisbeing Sunday, I told him he knew very well that Inever listened to Indians on the Prayer Day unlessthey were just come from a journey, &c. He wentaway, saying he had forgot, &c.

6th. Oshkinaway and brother, 18 p., ofthe British shore. Brought a present of somepartridges.

7th. Metacosegay. This man residesthe greater part of the time on the Canadian sideof the river, but hunts often on the American shore.He resided many years ago with a French family atSt. Mary, and has imbibed something of the Frenchtaste and manners, always wearing an ornamental hat,and making a bow on entering and leaving the office.He has been in the regular habit of visiting me fromthe year 1822, and generally applies for what is termednwappo on setting out for his fall and winterhunts. His elder wife, for he has two, is a Siouxslave, taken in youth. (3, 12 r.)

7th. Nauwequay Wegauboway. (4, 20.)

9th. This day Bisconaosh visited me forthe first time since my residence here. He camewith his wife and two children. This man is ofthe ancient band of the Falls, but being strongly attachedto the British government, has been shy of approachingme. This has been taken advantage of by Mr. E.,a trader on the opposite shore, who told him the Americanswould cause him to be whipped, with other idle stuffof that sort, if he came over. He stated thesefacts as the cause for his not coming earlier to seeme, and said he was anxious to return to the seatof his forefathers, &c. Presented him with anaxe, pair of spears, ice-chisel, knife, and a coupleof flints, and with sixteen rations of flour, pork,and beans. 10th. Ketuckeewagauboway.This is a resident Indian of this place. He isa fisherman during the summer, and scarcely ever doesmore in the winter than to snare hares or kill partridges,which he exposes for sale. He also makes snow-shoes,&c. He is intemperate and improvident, wastingin liquor what would be useful to his family if laidout for provisions, &c. It is impossible to avoidissues to such persons occasionally. Advice andreproof he always takes well, acknowledges their justicewith good nature, and is even facetiously pleasant.This man used formerly to come to the office intoxicated;but my undeviating rule of listening to no Indian inthat state, has had good effect.

10th. Kewazee, a fisherman in the fall,a hunter in the winter, is the eldest son of the oldhereditary chief Oshawano. Keeps himself wellclothed, and supports his family of four persons comfortablyin the Indian way. Having concluded to stop fishingfor the season, he came to solicit some provisionto go inland. This is one of the home band whoadheres to the American government, and has entirelybroken off all visits to D.I., even contrary to thepractice of his father and all the other members ofhis family.

13th. Iawbeance, The Little Male,a young man.

14th. Margret, wife of Metakoosega, camein the name of her husband, confined by a sore handand unable to work. 3, 10.

15th. Wabishkipenaysee, 6, 18, an OntonagonIndian, who thinks he is abandoned by his Manito.

16th. Naugitshigome and band, 12, 48.This is an old man, a chief by descent, but has neithermedal nor flag from the British or American government.His followers, consisting of some relations, entitlehim to some respect, although his foreign attachmentshave prevented my receiving him as a chief. Hisvisits are, however, constant, and he professes himselffriendly. His prejudices have evidently givenway a good deal, and the kindness and charity shownto him, mixed with admonition, have produced a sensiblechange in his feelings.

18th. Caubaonaquet, 6, 36.

21st. Moazomonee, 4, 14, of St. Croix,L.S., made a speech, stating the circ*mstances whichbrought him down, and imploring charity in clothes,&c. Presented a pipe to him; gave him an axe,spears, chisel, fire-steel, leggings, &c.

24th. Oaugaugee, Little Crow, 4,12, a son-in-law of Naugitchigome, brought some haresas a present.

27th. Ochipway, a stout, athletic youngIndian, having a wife and children. He said hisyoungest child was ill, and requested a physicianto be sent to see him.

27th. Negaubeyun, 12, 36.

Oshawano. Told him to come some other time.Axe and spears.

29th. Akewaizee applied for provisionsand an axe, saying his axe had been stolen; that hewished to go down the river. I taxed him withselling his axe for liquor, but he denied this, sayingthat he never sold what he received as presents, andthat it was stolen while he was fishing. Gavehim an axe, with an injunction that he must take bettercare of it than he did of the last. Ten rations.

30th. Metacosseguay and wife. Saidhe had not been able to hunt or fish for some time,and had been disappointed in getting flour for somefish he had sold; that the trader had promised himflour when the vessel came, but no vessel had come.This being the third visit of this man andfamily within three weeks, I told him that while hewas unwell I had given him, but now he was able tohunt or trap or fish, he must do so; that he cameto me too often, and sometimes after he had sold theavails of his hunt, and taken the whole in liquor,he relied upon me for provisions; that I saw clearlywhat was going on about me, and he could not deceiveme by idle stories, &c.; that he was constantly callingme father, and entreating me to look upon him as achild, and I did so, not only in giving, but alsoin refusing; that reasonable children did not troubletheir fathers too often, and never requested anythingbut when they were really in need, &c.I ordered him a plug of tobacco, and told him to goto his lodge and smoke upon my words, and hewould find them good. He went away seeminglyas well pleased as if I had met his requests, shakingme and my interpreter cordially by the hand, and hiswife dropping a curtsey as she left the office.

30th. Moazomonee, nephew, and brother-in-law,came for some muskrat traps I had promised him onhis last visit. As this man belongs to a bandon the head of River St. Croix, 700 miles inland, andwill return there in the spring, the opinions he mayimbibe of our government may have an important influencewith his relatives, and I therefore determined tomake a favorable impression upon him by issuing somepresents. In his lodge are four men, three women,and a number of children. Issued sixteen rations.

Decr. 1st. Cath. and Gikkaw applied forawls.

2d. Oshawano and his youngest son.Said he had three daughters who had to cut wood everyday, and had no axe of their own; that he was in wantof an ice-chisel; fever in family. Gave him twentyrations. Thanked me and bade me good-day.

4th. Caubamossa, nephew, wife, and child.Twelve rations.

4th. Odawau, Refused provisions.Elder brother to Oshawano, alias Weenekiz.

4th. Getsha Akkewaize. Refused provisions.Told him that on account of visits to D.I., &c.

4th. Moazonee came for traps promisedhim, also a knife and fire-steel. Told him tohunt assiduously, but if he could procure nothing,to come to me for provisions.

7th. Merchand. Old iron to mend.

7th. Nauwaquaygahig. 12, axe, &c.

9th. Namewunagunboway. 12.

9th. Merchand. Twenty rations, fivepersons.

9th. Meesho.

13th. Ketetckeewagauboway. Axe andspears.

13th. Gitshee Ojibway.

13th. Metackossegay.

17th. Naugitchigome called at house.Sent off with, a reprimand never to call on Sunday.

18th. Iaubence brought some birds.Gave rations.

My correspondence during the autumn was by no meansneglected. Col. McKenney, Com. Ind.Affairs, writes (Oct. 17th) in his usual friendlyvein. The official influence of his visit to thisremote portion of the country is seen in several things.He has placed a sub-agent at La Pointe. He hasapproved the agent’s course of policy pursuedhere, and placed the Indian affairs generally on abetter basis.

In his “sketches” of his recent tour,he seeks to embody personal and amusing things whichdaily befell the party—­matters upon whichhe was quite at home. I had mentioned to him,while here, that the time and labor necessary to collectinformation on Indian topics, of a literary character,imposed a species of research worthy of departmentalpatronage; that I was quite willing to contribute inthis way, and to devote my leisure moments to furtherresearches on the aboriginal history and languages,if the government would appropriate means to thisend. I took the occasion to put these views inwriting, and, by way of earnest, enclosed him partof a vocabulary.

Nov. 1st. The false views of Indian historyand philology, engendered in some degree by the misapprehensionsof Mr. Heckewelder and some other writers, which wereexposed by a glowing article in the North AmericanReview last year, have had the effect to provokefurther discussion. C. is disposed to prepareanother article for that paper, and is looking abouthim keenly for new facts. In a letter of thisdate, he says: “I am extremely anxiousfor your conjugation of the Chippewa substantive verb.Let nothing prevent you from sending it to me, as itis more essential than I have time to explain to you.Send me also your observations on the Chippewa language.Let them come as you had them. Take no time tocopy them.”

11th. Mr. R. S. writes one of his peculiarletters, in which the sentiments seem to be compressed,as if some species of finesse were at work—­anattenuated worldly precaution which leads him perpetuallyto half conceal sentiment, purpose and acts, as ifthe operations and business of life were not ten timesbetter effected by plain straightforwardness thanby any other mode. He has, however, so long dealtwith tricky fur-traders and dealers in interested sentiment,that it seems his intellectual habits are formed,to some extent, on that model. What annoys meis, that he supposes himself hid, when, like the ostrich,it is only his own head that is concealed in the sand.Yet this man is alive to general moral effort, unitesfreely in all the benevolent movements of the day,and has the general air of friendliness in his personalmanners. It continually seems that all the outerworld’s affairs are well judged of, but whenhe comes to draw conclusions of moral men who havethe power of affecting his own interests, there isapparent constraint, or palpable narrow-mindedness.

29th. Professor Chas. Anthon, of ColumbiaCollege, writes for specimens of Indian eloquence.The world has been grossly misled on this subject.The great simplicity, and occasional strength, of anIndian’s thoughts, have sometimes led to theuse of figures and epithets of beauty. He issurrounded by all the elements of poetry and eloquence—­tempests,woods, waters, skies. His mythology is poetic.His world is replete with spirits and gods of allimaginable kinds and hues. His very position—­arace falling before civilization, and obliged to giveup the bow and arrow for the plough—­is poeticand artistic. But he has no sustained eloquence,no continuous trains of varying thought. It isthe flash, the crack of contending elements. Itis not the steady sound of the waterfall. Suchwas the eloquent appeal of Logan, revised and pointedby Gibson. Such was the more sustained speechof Garangula to La Barrie, the Governor-General ofCanada, with La Hontan as a reporter. Such werethe speeches of Pontiac and the eloquent Sagoyawata,or Red Jacket, the readiest reasoner of them all, whichwere diluted rather than improved by admiring paragraphists.

Many persons have purposed to write a volume of Indianeloquence. Mr. Conant’s design on thissubject is fresh. The present request is to supplyMr. Barker, the publisher of “Stephen’sGreek Thesaurus,” Cambridge, England. Whatunder the sun do the learned world suppose the Indiansare made of? A man spending his time painfullyto catch a beaver, or entrap an enemy, without storesof thought, without leisure, with nothing often toeat, and nothing to put on but tatters and rags, and,withal, with the whole Anglo-Saxon race treading onhis toes and burning out his vitals with ardent spirits.Such is the Indian.

I sent the learned professor some perfectly truthfulspecimens, recently delivered here on the occasionof a surgeon from the fort digging up the body ofan Indian woman for dissection. They expressedplain truth without eloquence, and I never heard anythingmore of the professor.

30th. Science in America.—­Ireceived a friendly letter from Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell,N. Y. There are, of recent years, more purely scientificmen in the land, no doubt, than the venerable doctor.But could this have been said truly even ten yearsago? He is now, perhaps, the best ichthyologistin the Union. He is a well-read zoologist, anintelligent botanist and a general physiologist, andhas been for a long series of years the focus of thediffusion of knowledge on a great variety of subjects.Gov. Clinton has well called him the “DelphicOracle” in one of his Letters of Hibernicus,because every one who has a scientific question toask comes to him.

“The Lyceum of Natural History,” he writes,“is going on prosperously in the collectionof articles and in the publication of intelligence.The museum is enlarging and the annals progressing.The intercourse of New York city with almost numberlessparts of the globe, aided by the enterprise and generosityof our navigating citizens, is productive of an almostconstant supply of natural productions, some familiar,some known to naturalists, but not before seen byus, and others new to the whole class of observers.”

Dec. 1st. Much leisure during the fouryears I have been at this agency, added to an earlydeveloped distaste for the ordinary modes of killingtime, has enabled me to give no little of my leisureto literary pursuits. The interesting phenomenaof the Indian grammar have come in for a large shareof my attention. This has caused me to reviseand extend my early studies, and to rummage such bookson general grammar and philology as I could lay myhands on. Every winter, beginning as soon asthe navigation closes and the world is fairly shutout, has thus constituted a season of studies.My attention has been perpetually divided betweenbooks and living interpreters. This may be saidto be my fourth year’s course with theJohnstons on the languages.

I have also resumed, as an alternate amusem*nt, “TheLiterary Voyager.” I wrote this year “TheMan of Bronze,” an essay on the Indian character,which has contributed to my own amusem*nt, nor haveI determined to show it to a human eye.

Let others write whatothers deftly may,
I aim with thought tofill my wintry day.


Mineralogy—­Territorial affairs—­Vindicationof the American policy by its treatment of the Indians—­NewYork spirit of improvement—­Taste for cabinetsof natural history—­Fatalism in an Indian—­Deathof a first born son—­Flight from the house—­Territorialmatters—­A literary topic—­Preparationsfor another treaty—­Consolations—­Boundaryin the North-west under the treaty of Ghent—­Naturalhistory—­Trip to Green Bay—­Treatyof Butte des Morts—­Winnebago outbreak—­Intrepidconduct of General Cass—­Indian stabbing—­Investmentof the petticoat—­Mohegan language.

1827. January 10th.—­Mineralogybecame a popular study in the United States, I believe,about 1817 or thereabouts, when Professor Clevelandpublished the first edition of his Elements of Mineralogy,and Silliman began his Journal of Science.It is true Bruce had published his MineralogicalJournal in 1814, but the science can, by no means,be said to have attracted much, or general attentionfor several years. It was not till 1819 thatCleveland’s work first came into my hands.The professor writes me under this date, that he isabout preparing a new edition of the work, and hesolicits the communication of new localities.This work has been about ten years before the public.It was the first work on that subject produced onthis side of the Atlantic, and has acquired greatpopularity as a text-book to classes and amateurs.It adopts a classification on chemical principles;but recognizes the Wernerian system of erecting speciesby external characters; and also Hany’s systemof crystallography, so far as it extends, as beingcoincident, in the respective proofs which these systemsafford to the chemical mode of pure analysis.As such it commends itself to the common sense ofobservers.

20th. Territorial affairs now began moreparticularly to attract my attention. RobertIrwin, Jr., Esq., M.C. of Detroit, writes on territorialaffairs, growing out of the organization of a new county,on the St. Mary’s, and in the basin of LakeSuperior. I had furnished him the choice of threenames, Allegan, Algonac, and Chippewa.

Major R.A. Forsyth, M.C., says (Jan. 22d), “thenew county bill passed on the last of December (1826).It is contemplated to tender to you the appointmentof first judge of the new county. We have selectedthe name of ‘Chippewa.’”

Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writes (25th) that “itis proposed in Congress to lay off a new territory,embracing all Michigan west of the lake. Thisterritory, at first proposed to be called Huron, waseventually named Wisconsin.”

25th. Mr. Cass has examined, in an ablearticle in the North American Review, the policyof the American government in its treatment of theIndians, in contrast with that of Great Britain.In this article, the charges of the London Quarterlyare controverted, and a full vindication made of ourpolicy and treatment of these tribes, which must begratifying to every lover of our institutions, andour public sense of justice. As between governmentand government, this paper is a powerful and triumphantone. As a legal question it is not less so.The question of political sovereignty is clear.Did our English Elizabeths, James’, and Charles’,ever doubt their full right of sovereignty? Thepublic sense of justice and benevolence, the Republic,if not the parent monarchy, fully recognized, by tracingto these tribes the fee of the soil, and by punctuallypaying its value, as established by public treaties,at all times.

26th. Mr. T.G. Anderson, of DrummondIsland, transmits a translation of the Lord’sPrayer, in Odjibwa, which he requests to be examined.

Feb. 5th. No State seems comparable, forits enterprise and rapid improvements, to New York.Mr. E.B. Allen, who recently removed from thisremote village to Ogdensburgh, New York, expresseshis agreeable surprise, after seven years’ absencein the West, at the vast improvements that have beenmade in that State. “There is a spirit ofenterprise and energy, that is deeply interesting tomen of business and also men of science.”

March 1st. Dr. Martyn Paine, of New York,proposes a system of philosophic exchanges. Thelarge and fine collection of mineralogical and geologicalspecimens which I brought from Missouri and other partsof the Mississippi valley in 1819, appears to havehad an effect on the prevalent taste for these subjects,and at least, it has fixed the eyes of naturalistson my position on the frontiers. Cabinets of mineralshave been in vogue for about nine or ten years.Mr. Maclure, of Philadelphia, Colonel Gibbs, of NewHaven, and Drs. De Witt, Bruce and Mitchill, of NewYork, and above Profs. Silliman and Cleveland,may be said to have originated the taste. Beforetheir day, minerals were regarded as mere “stones.”Now, it is rare to find a college or academy without,at least, the nucleus of a cabinet. By transferringmy collection here, I have increased very much myown means of intellectual enjoyment and resistanceto the power of solitariness, if it has not been themeans of promoting discovery in others.

* * * * *

4th. Fatalism,—­An Indian, calledWabishkipenace, The White Bird, brings an expressmail from the sub-agency of La Pointe, in Lake Superior.This proved to be the individual who, in 1820, actedas one of the guides of the exploring expedition tothe Copper Rock, on the Ontonagon River. Trifleslight as air arouse an Indian’s suspicions, andthe circ*mstance of his being thus employed by thegovernment agents, was made use of by his fellowsto his prejudice. They told him that this actwas displeasing to the Great Spirit, who had visitedhim with his displeasure. Whatever influencethis idea had on others, on Wabishkipenace it seemedto tell. He looked the image of despair.He wore his hair long, and was nearly naked.He had a countenance of the most melancholy cast.Poverty itself could not be poorer. Now, he appearsto have taken courage, and is willing once more toenter into the conflicts of life. But, alas!what are these conflicts with an Indian? A merestruggle for meat and bread enough to live.

13th. This is a day long to be rememberedin my domestic annals, as it carried to the tomb thegem of a once happy circle, the cherished darlingof it, in the person of a beloved, beautiful, intellectuallypromising, and only son. William Henry had notyet quite completed his third year, and yet such hadbeen the impression created by his manly precocity,his decision of character, perpetual liveliness oftemper and manners, and sweet and classic lineaments,and attachable traits, that he appeared to have liveda long time. The word time is, indeed,a relative term, and ever means much or little, asmuch or little has been enjoyed or suffered.Our enjoyment of him, and communion with him, wasintimate. From the earliest day of his existence,his intelligence and quick expressive eye was remarkable,and all his waking hours were full of pleasing innocentaction and affectionate appreciation.

We took him to the city of New York during the winterof 1824-25, where he made many friends and had manyadmirers. He was always remembered by the youthfulname of Willy and Penaci, or the bird—­aterm that was playfully bestowed by the Chippewaswhile he was still in his cradle. He was, indeed,a bird in our circle, for the agility of his motions,the liveliness of his voice, and the diamond sparkleof his full hazel eyes, reminded one of nothing somuch. The month of March was more than usuallychangeable in its temperature, with disagreeable rainsand much humidity, which nearly carried away the heavyamount of snow on the ground. A cold and crouprapidly developed themselves, and no efforts of skillor kindness had power to arrest its fatal progress.He sank under it about eleven o’clock at night.Such was the rapidity of this fatal disease, thathis silver playful voice still seemed to ring throughthe house when he lay a placid corpse. Severalpoetic tributes to his memory were made, but nonemore touching than some lines from his own mother,which are fit to be preserved as a specimen of nativecomposition.[47]

[Footnote 47:
Who was it nestled onmy breast,
And on my cheek sweetkisses prest,
And in whose smile Ifelt so blest?

Who hail’d my form as home Istept,
And in my arms so eager leapt,
And to my bosom joyous crept?


Who was it wiped my tearful eye,
And kiss’d away the coming sigh,
And smiling, bid me say, “good boy?”


Who was it, looked divinely fair,
Whilst lisping sweet the evening pray’r,
Guileless and free from earthly care?


Where is that voice attuned to love,
That bid me say “my darling dove?”
But, oh! that soul has flown above,


Whither has fled the rose’s hue?
The lily’s whiteness blending grew
Upon thy cheek—­so fair to view,


Oft have I gaz’d with rapt delight,
Upon those eyes that sparkled bright,
Emitting beams of joy and light!


Oft have I kiss’d that foreheadhigh,
Like polished marble to the eye,
And blessing, breathed an anxious sigh,


My son! thy coral lips are pale—­
Can I believe the heart-sick tale,
That I thy loss must ever wail?


The clouds in darkness seemed to low’r,
The storm has past with awful pow’r,
And nipt my tender, beauteous flow’r!


But soon my spirit will be free,
And I my lovely son shall see,
For God, I know did this decree!
My Willy.

17th. This being St. Patrick’s day,we dined with our excellent, warm-hearted, and trulysympathizing friend, Mr. Johnston, in a private way.He is the soul of hospitality, honor, friendship, andlove, and no one can be in his company an hour withoutloving and admiring a man who gave up everything athome to raise up a family of most interesting childrenin the heart of the American wilderness. No man’smotives have been more mistaken, no one has been morewronged, in public and private, by opposing tradersand misjudging governments, than he, and no one Ihave ever known has a more forgiving and truly gentleand high-minded spirit.

28th. I began housekeeping, first on myreturn from the visit to New York, in the spring of1825, in the so-called Allen House, on the eminencewest of the fort, having purchased my furniture atBuffalo, and made it a pretty and attractive residence.But after the death of my son, the place became insupportablefrom the vivid associations which it presented withthe scenes of his daily amusem*nts.

I determined this day to close the house, and, leavingthe furniture standing, we took refuge at Mr. Johnston’s.Idolatry such as ours for a child, was fit to be rebuked,and the severity of the blow led me to take a retrospectof life, such as it is too common to defer, but, doubtless,wise to entertain. Why Providence should havea controversy with us for placing our affections toodeeply on a sublunary object, is less easy at alltimes to reconcile to our limited perceptions thanit is to recognize in holy writ the existence of thegreat moral fact. “I will be honored,”says Jehovah, “and my glory will I not give toanother.” It is clear that there is a mentalassent in our attachments, in which the very principleof idolatry is involved. If so, why not giveup the point, and submit to the dispensations of aninevitable and far-seeing moral government, of affairsof every sort, with entire resignation and onenessof purpose? How often has death drawn his dartfatally since Adam fell before it, and how few of themillions on millions that have followed him have preciselyknown why, or been entirely preparedfor the blow! To me it seems that it has beenthe temper of my mind to fasten itself too stronglyon life and all its objects; to hope too deeply andfully under all circ*mstances; to grapple, as it were,in its issues with as “hooks of steel,”and never to give up, never to despair; and this blow,this bereavement, appears to me the first link thatis broken to loosen my hold on this sublunary trust.My thoughts, three years ago, were turned strongly,and with a mysterious power, to this point, namely,my excessive ardor of earthly pursuits, of men’sapprobation. Here, then, if these reflectionsbe rightly taken, is the second admonition.Such, at least, has been the current of my thoughtssince the 13th of the present month, and they weredeeply felt when I took my Bible, the first I everowned or had bought with my own money, and requestedthat it might be placed as the basis of the littlepillow that supported the head of the lifeless childin his coffin.

April 30th. A progress in territorialaffairs, in the upper lakes, seems to have commenced;but it is slow. Emigrants are carried furthersouth and west. Slow as it is, however, we flatterourselves it is of a good and healthy character.The lower peninsula is filling up. My letters,during this spring, denote this. Our county organizationis complete. Colonel McKenney, on the 10th, apprisesme that he is coming north, to complete the settlement

of the Indian boundary, began in 1825, at Prairiedu Chien, and that his sketches of his tour of lastyear is just issued from the press. He adds,“It is rather a ladies’ book. I preferthe sex and their opinions. They are worth tentimes as much as we, in all that is enlightened, andamiable, and blissful.” Undoubtedly so!This is gallant. I conclude it is a gossipingtour; and, if so, it will please the sex for whomit is mainly intended. But will not the gravermale sex look for more? Ought not an author toput himself out a little to make his work as high,in all departments, as he can?

Governor C. informs me (April 10th) that he will proceedto Green Bay, to attend the contemplated treaty onthe Fox River, and that I am expected to be therewith a delegation of the Chippewas from the midlands,on the sources of the Ontonagon, Wisconsin, Chippewa,and Menominie rivers.

Business and science, politics and literature, curiouslymingle, as usual, in my correspondence. Mr. M.Dousman (April 10) writes that a knave has worriedhim, dogged his heels away from home, and sued him,at unawares. Mr. Stuart (April 15) writes aboutthe election of members of council. Dr. Paine,of New York, writes respecting minerals.

May 10th. An eminent citizen of Detroitthus alludes to my recent bereavement: “Wesympathize with you most sincerely, in the loss youhave sustained. We can do it with the deeper interest,for we have preceded you in this heaviest of all calamities.Time will soothe you something, but the solace ofeven time will yet leave too much for the memory andaffections to brood over.”

Another correspondent, in expressing his sympathieson the occasion says: “The lines composedby Mrs. Schoolcraft struck me with such peculiar force,as well in regard to the pathos of style, as the singularfelicity of expression, that I have taken the libertyto submit them for perusal to one or two mutual friends.The G——­ has advised me to publishthem.”

14th. National boundary, as establishedby the treaty of Ghent. Major Delafield, theagent, writes: “Our contemplated expedition,however, is relinquished, by reason of instructionsfrom the British government to their commissioners.It had been agreed to determine the par. of lat.N. 49 deg., where it intersects the Lake of the Woodsand the Red River. But the British government,for reasons unknown to us, now decline any furtherboundary operations than those provided for under theGhent treaty.

“We have been prevented closing the 7th articleof that treaty, on account of some extraordinary claimsof the British party. They claim Sugar, or St.George’s Island, and inland, by the St. Louis,or Fond du Lac. Both claims are unsupported byeither reason, evidence, or anything but their desireto gain something. We, of course, claim SugarIsland, and will not relinquish it under any circ*mstances.We also claim inland by the Kamanistiquia, and havesustained this claim by much evidence. The PigeonRiver by the Grand Portage will be the boundary, ifour commissioners can come to any reasonable decision.If not, I have no doubt, upon a reference, we shallgain the Kamanistiquia, if properly managed; the wholeof the evidence being in favor of it.”

ORNITHOLOGY.—­An Indian boy brought me lately,the stuffed skin of a new species of bird, which appearedearly in the spring at one of the sugar camps nearSt. Mary’s. “We are desirous,”he adds, “to see the Fringilla, about whichyou wrote me some time ago.”

NATIVE COPPER.—­“The copper mass issafe, and the object of admiration in my collection.Baron Lederer is shortly expected from Austria, whenhe will, no doubt, make some proposition concerningit, which I will communicate.”

29th. Many letters have been receivedsince the 13th of March, offering condolence in ourbitter loss; but none of them, from a more sincere,or more welcome source, than one of this date fromthe Conants, of New York.

June 3d. Mr. Carter (N.H.) observes, ina letter of this date: “If there be anyreal pleasure arising from the acquisition of reputation,it consists chiefly in the satisfaction of provingourselves worthy of the confidence reposed in ourtalents and characters, and in the strengthening ofthose ties of friendship which we are anxious to preserve.”

8th. Mr. Robert Stuart says, in relationto our recent affliction: “Once parents,we must make up our minds to submit to such grievousdispensations, for, although hard, it may be for thebest.”

I embarked for Green Bay, to attend the treaty ofButte des Morts early in June, taking Mrs.S. on a visit to Green Bay, as a means of divertingher mind from the scene of our recent calamity.At Mackinac, we met the steamboat Henry Clay, charteredto take the commissioners to the bay, with GovernorCass, Colonel McKenney, and General Scott on board,with a large company of visitors, travelers and strangers,among them, many ladies. We joined the group,and had a pleasant passage till getting into the bay,where an obstinate head wind tossed us up and downlike a cork on the sea. Sea-sickness, in a crowdedboat, and the retching of the waves, soon turned everythingand every one topsy-turvy; every being, in fine, bearinga stomach which had not been seasoned to such tossingsamong anchors and halyards, was prostrate. Atlast the steamer itself, as we came nearer the headof the bay, was pitched out of the right channel anddriven a-muck. She stuck fast on the mud, andwe were all glad to escape and go up to the town ofNavarino in boats. After spending some days herein an agreeable manner, most of the party, indeednearly all who were not connected with the commission,returned in the boat, Mrs. S. in the number, and thecommissioners soon proceeded up the Fox River to Buttedes Morts. Here temporary buildings of logs,a mess house, etc., were constructed, and a verylarge number of Indians were collected. We foundthe Menomonies assembled in mass, with full delegationsof the midland Chippewas, and the removed bands ofIroquois and Stockbridges, some Pottowattomies fromthe west shores of Lake Michigan, and one hand of

the Winnebagoes. Circ*mstances had prepared thislatter tribe for hostilities against the United States.The replies of the leading chief, Four-Legs, wereevasive and contradictory; in the meantime, reportsfrom the Wisconsin and the Mississippi rivers denotedthis tribe ripe for a blow. They had fired intoa boat descending the Mississippi, at Prairie du Chien,and committed other outrages. General Cass wasnot slow to perceive or provide the only remedy forthis state of things, and, leaving the camp underthe charge of Colonel McKenney and the agents, hetook a strongly manned light canoe, and passed overto the Mississippi, and, pushing night and day, reachedSt. Louis, and ordered up troops from Jefferson Barracks,for the protection of the settlement. In thistrip, he passed through the centre of the tribe, andincurred some extraordinary risks. He then returnedup the Illinois, and through Lake Michigan, and reachedthe Butte des Morts in an incredibly shortspace of time. Within a few days, the Mississippisettlements were covered; the Winnebagoes were overawed,and the business of the treaty was resumed, and successfullyconcluded on the 11th of August.

During the long assemblage of the Indians on thesegrounds, I was sitting one afternoon, in the Governor’slog shanty, with the doors open, when a sharp cryof murder suddenly fell on our ears. I sprangimpulsively to the spot, with Major Forsyth, who waspresent. Within fifty yards, directly in frontof the house, stood two Indians, who were, apparently,the murderers, and a middle aged female, near them,bleeding profusely. I seized one of them by hislong black hair, and, giving him a sudden wrench,brought him to his back in an instant, and, placingmy knees firmly on his breast, held him there, my handclenched in his hair. The Major had done somethingsimilar with the other fellow. Inquiry provedone of these men to be the perpetrator of the deed.He had drawn his knife to stab his mother-in-law,she quickly placed her arms over her breast and chestand received the wounds, two strokes, in them, andthus saved her life. It was determined, as herlife was saved, though the wounds were ghastly, todegrade the man in a public assemblage of all theIndians, the next day, by investing him with apetticoat, for so unmanly an act. The thingwas, accordingly, done with great ceremony. Theman then sneaked away in this imposed matchcota,in a stolid manner, slowly, all the Indians lookingstedfastly, but uttering no sound approvingly or disapprovingly.

I embraced the opportunity of the delay created bythe Winnebago outbreak, and the presence of the Stockbridgeson the treaty ground, to obtain from them some outlinesof their history and language. Every day, thechiefs and old men came to my quarters, and spent sometime with me. Metoxon gave me the words for avocabulary of the language, and, together with Quinney,entered so far into its principles, and furnishedsuch examples, as led me, at once, to perceive thatit was of the Algonquin type, near akin, indeed, tothe Chippewa, and the conclusion followed, that allthe New England dialects, which were cognate withthis, were of the same type. The history of thispeople clears up, with such disclosures, and the factshows us how little we can know of their history withoutthe languages.


Treaty of Butte des Morts—­Rencontre ofan Indian with grizzly bears—­Agency siteat Elmwood—­Its picturesque and sylvan character—­Legislativecouncil of the Territory—­Character of itsparties, as hang-back and toe-the-marks—­CriticalReviews—­Christmas.

1827. August 11th.—­The treatyof Butte des Morts was signed this day. It completesthe system of Indian boundaries, which was commencedby the treaty of Prairie du Chien, on the 19th ofAugust, 1825, and continued by the treaty of Fonddu Lac of the 5th of August, 1826. These threeconferences, which may, from their having been concludedin the month of August of the respective years, becalled the Augustic treaties, embody a newcourse and policy for keeping the tribes in peace,and are founded on the most enlarged considerationof the aboriginal right of fee simple to the soil.They have been held exclusively at the charges andexpenses of the United States, and contain no cessionof territory.

As soon as it was signed I embarked for Green Bay,on a gloomy, drizzling day, and pursued my way toMichilimackinac and the Sault, without a moment’sloss of time. I found the place still active,and filled with the summer visiting parties of Indiansfrom the Lake Superior, the Upper Mississippi, andeven from Pembina and the plains of Red River of theNorth.

Among the latter I observed a small and lithe Indiancalled Annamikens, or Little Thunder, also calledJoseph, whose face had been terribly lacerated ina contest on the plains west of Pembina, with grizzlybears. The wounds were now closed, but the disfigurationwas permanent. He told me the following storyof the affair:—­

The Sioux, Chippewas, Assinaboines, Crees, and Mandans,called by him in general Miggaudiwag, which meansfighters, were at variance. About 400 half-breedsand 100 Chippewas went out from Pembina to make peace,and hunt the buffalo.

On the fourth day’s march they reached the openplains, and met a large body of Assinaboines and Creesencamped. Their camp was fixed on eligible ground,and the lodges extended across the plain. Annamikensand his followers encamped with them. After theyhad encamped, they observed every hour during thenight that fresh arrivals of Assinaboines and Creestook place. On the third day of their encampmenthe was sent for to Cuthbert Grant’s tent, wherehe found a large circle of Indians formed, and allthings in readiness for a council of the three nations,Assinaboines, Chippewas, and Crees. Grant wasthe trader of the Pembina metifs, and had followedthem out. In the centre of the ring, buffalorobes were spread, and he with others was given a seatthere. The object of this council was to decideupon a plan to attack a body of 200 Sioux lodges,which had been discovered at half a day’s rideon horseback distant. The principal chiefs, &c.,

were agreed as to the propriety of an attack.He was asked to unite with them. He said he feltnot only for the chiefs and young men, but also forthe women and children, hereby expressing his dissent.Two of the principal chiefs stood up, each holdinga pipe. He was then asked to take one of the pipesand hand it to the bravest man, giving him the powerto elect the war chief. He gave it to one heknew to be brave.

This chief had no sooner received it than he presentedit to Francis, his brother, to hand it round, therebyhoping that he would not refuse to smoke the war-pipewhen handed by his brother. He took the pipe inboth hands and smoked, then handed it to his brother,who also smoked it, and handed it to a chief who stoodnext to him, and it went round. He said, however,after smoking, “I do not consent to go to war,I am against it.” After some talk the councilbroke up, it beginning to be late. At night heheard that some movement was on foot. He wentto the quarter of the camp indicated, and used hisinfluence against the plan. He had scarcely reachedhis tent when other reports of a like nature werebrought from various parts of the camp, and he wasmost of the night busied in controverting the warspirit.

In the morning he made a descent through the camp,speaking openly against the meditated attack on theSioux, and concluded by saying that for himself andthe metifs, he had one thing to say, that they wishedto preserve peace with all, and they should join andfight for the nation first attacked, and against whoevermight raise a war-club. About 100 Crees, however,were determined to go, and in about four hours thewhole camp was broken up and dispersed. He brokeup his camp rather in anger, mounted his horse, puthis family in the cart, and set out for home.Many followed him. Francis, not seeing his brothergo, also set out, and many followed him, a greaternumber in fact than had followed Joseph. At nightthe hunters from each party met, and they found thetwo parties had traveled the same distance. Onhearing this Francis sent a despatch in the morningto his brother, but they found he had departed, and,the country being a grassy plain, they could not exactlytell their course.

Meantime Joseph and his party had reached a pointof woods, being the first woods seen since leavingPembina, at about nine o’clock in the morning.Here they encamped at this early hour. He caughttwo wild geese, and told his wife to cook them.His followers all dispersed to hunt buffalo, as theywere plenty about. He then put a new flint inhis gun, and stripped himself all but his breech-cloth,and went out to explore the route he should pass onthe next day.

He came into a ravine, and discovered three whitebears’ lairs fresh, saw several carcasses ofbuffaloes lying round, more or less eaten and decayed,and smelt quite a stench from them. One particularlywas fresh killed, and partly eaten by the bears.He passed on across a brook, and after looking fartherreturned to the lairs. On returning to the brookhe found several sticks in the way of his passage forthe carts on the following day, which he commencedremoving, having set his gun against a tree.One stick being larger than the rest, some exertionwas necessary to displace it, and while in the actof doing this he heard a noise of some animal, andsaw at a distance what he took to be a buffalo, asthese animals were plenty, and running in all directions.He then took up his gun and went on, when the soundswere repeated close behind him, and looking over hisshoulder he saw three white bears in full pursuitof him.

He turned, co*cked his gun, and took deliberate aimat the head of the foremost, which proved to be thedam, and his gun missed fire. He re-co*cked hispiece and again snapped. At this moment the bearwas so near that the muzzle nearly touched it.He knows not exactly how the bear struck him, butat the next moment his gun flew in one direction andhe was cast about ten feet in another. He liton his feet. The bear then raised on her pawsand took his head in her mouth, closing her jaws,not with force, but just sufficient to make the tusksenter the top of his shoulders. He at this moment,with the impulse of fear, put up his hands and seizedthe bear by her head, and, making a violent exertion,threw her from her balance to one side; in the actof falling she let go his head.

At this time one of the cubs struck his right leg,being covered with metasses of their leather,and drew him down upon the ground, and he fell uponhis right side, partly on his right arm. The rightarm, which was extended in falling, was now drawnunder his body by another blow from one of the cubs,and his hand was by this motion brought into contactwith the handle of his knife (a large couteauused for cutting up buffalo-meat), and this bringingthe knife to his recollection, he drew it, and strucka back-handed blow into the right side of the dam,whom he still held by the hair with his left.The knife went in to the hilt. On withdrawingit, one of the cubs struck his right hand, her nailspiercing right through it in several places. Hethen let go of the dam and took the knife in his lefthand, and made a pass at the cub, and struck it abouthalf its length, the knife going into it, it beingvery bloody. The stroke was impeded, and theknife partly slipped. The left arm was then struckby one of the cubs, and the knife dropped from hisgrasp. He was now left with his naked hand tomake such resistance as he could. The dam nowstruck him upon the abdomen with a force that deprivedhim for awhile of breath, and tore it open, so that

when he rose his bowels fell upon his knees.He at first supposed that it was his powder-horn thathad fallen upon his knees, but looking down, saw hisentrails. The dam then repeated her blow, strikinghim upon the left cheek, the forenail entering justbelow the left eye, and tore out the cheek-bone, apart of the jaw, including three teeth, maimed histongue, and tore down the flesh so that it hung uponhis left shoulder.

He now fell back exhausted with the loss of blood,and being conquered, the bears ceased to molest him.But consciousness was not gone; he heard them walkoff. He lay some time. He opened and shuthis hands, and found he had not lost the use of them.He moved his neck, and found it had its natural motion.He then raised himself up into a sitting posture, andgathering up some grass, put it first to his left eyeand cheek to wipe off the blood, but found that itstruck the bone. He then passed it to his rightcheek, wiped down the blood, and opening his eye, foundhe could see clearly. He saw his gun, powder-horn,and knife scattered about. He then got up, havingbound his wounds.

He had at this time no clothing upon his body butthe moccasin upon his left foot. He took hisgun, re-primed it, and while in the act of priming,heard the peculiar noise this animal utters, and turning,saw the old bear close upon him. He put the muzzleinto her mouth, and again missed fire. All hopenow was lost, and all idea of resistance. Theypawed and tore him at will, he knows not how long.At one time they seized him by the neck and draggedhim some distance. They then once more left him.

After they left him, he lay some time. He thenbethought himself that possibly he might still beable to rise and return to his camp, which was notdistant. After some exertion and preparation,he got up, and again took his gun and powder-hornand knife. He picked the flint, addressing hisgun, saying, “that the bears could not kill it,and that he hoped the gun would have more courage,”&c., and putting it on his shoulder, commenced hisway to his camp.

He had not proceeded far when the snorting of theold dam before him reminded him of his danger.He found his limbs stiff and swollen, and that hecould not bring up the gun to his shoulder to takeaim. He held it before him, and when the dam,still in front, advanced near him, fired at her head,and the ball entered just behind the shoulder.She fell dead. He saw the smoke issue from thewound.

One of the yearlings now rose on his hind paws andgrowled. He raised his knife (which was in hisleft hand, upon which the gun rested on firing), andmade a pass at the bear, which the latter avoided bythrowing himself to one side. The third bear nowrose up before him, but at a greater distance thanthe second, and he made a pass at him, but found himout of reach. Yet the bear threw himself to oneside, as the former had done.

Having them now on the run, he followed a short distance,but soon felt very faint. A darkness seemed beforehis eyes, and he sank down. In this act the bloodgushed from his body. This appeared to relievehim. After sitting some time, he rose and proceededhomeward. He saw no more of the two yearlingbears. Before reaching the lodge, he was met bya party who had been seeking him. As he walkedalong, he felt something striking the calf of hisright leg, and found it to be a piece of flesh fromhis thigh behind. There were six open holes inhis body through which air escaped, one in each side,one in his breast, abdomen, and stomach, besides thetorn cheek. He found, on reaching home, he couldnot speak, but, after being bandaged, his utterancerevived. On the next day the physician from theforks of Red River arrived and attended him.

20th. Annamikens resumed his narrative:—­

“On the next day, I have said, the doctor arrived,but not having medicine sufficient to dress all mywounds, he put what he had on the principal wounds.On the same day my brother and the party who had separatedon the council-ground also arrived. They remainedthat and the next day, and on the third day all movedfor Pembina. To carry me they constructed a litter,carried by four persons; but I found the motion toogreat to endure. They then formed a bier by fasteningtwo poles to a horse’s sides, and placing suchfixtures upon them, behind the horse, as to permitmy being carried. I found this motion easier toendure. The Chippewas accompanied me, and wereresolved, if I died, to go immediately to war againstthe Sioux. My condition was, at this moment,such that they hourly expected my death. I wasprepared for it, and directed that I should be buriedat the spot where I might die. On the third daywe reached Pembina. For nine days I resisted food,feigning that I could not eat, but wishing to starvemyself, as I was so disfigured and injured that Ihad no wish to survive, and would have been ashamedto show myself in such a state. On the ninth daymy hunger was so great that I called for a piece offish, and swallowed it; in about two hours after Icalled for another piece of fish, and also ate it.Six days after my arrival, Mr. Plavier, and anotherpriest from Red River, arrived to baptize me.I resisted, saying that if there was no hope of livingI would consent, but not otherwise. After fifteendays, I was so much recovered that the priest returned,as I had every appearance of recovery. I wouldneither permit white nor Indian doctors to attendme after my arrival; but had myself regularly washedin cold water, my wounds kept clean, and the bandagesproperly attended to. In about one month fromthe time I could walk; but it was two years beforethe wounds were closed.”

I requested Dr. Z. Pitcher, the Post surgeon, to examineAnnamikens, with a view to test the narrative, andto determine on the capacity of the human frame tosurvive such wounds. He found portions of thecheek-bones gone, and cicatrices of fearful extentupon that and other parts of the body, which gavethe narrative the appearance of truthfulness.

On returning from Green Bay, I gave my attention,with renewed interest, to the means of expeditingthe completion of the Agency buildings, and occupyingthe lot and grounds. I have alluded to the successof my reference of this subject to the Secretary ofWar, in 1825. A site was selected on a handsomelyelevated bank of the river, covered with elms, abouthalf a mile east of the fort, where the foundationof a spacious building and office were laid in theautumn of 1826, and the frame raised as early in theensuing spring as the snow left the ground.

Few sites command a more varied or magnificient view.The broad and limpid St. Mary, nearly a mile wide,runs in front of the grounds. The Falls, whosemurmuring sound falls pleasantly on the ear, are inplain view. The wide vista of waters is perpetuallyfilled by canoes and boats passing across to the oppositesettlement on the British shore. The picturesqueIndian costume gives an oriental cast to the movingpanorama. The azure mountains of Lake Superiorrise in the distance. Sailing vessels and steamboatsfrom Detroit, Cleaveland, and Buffalo, occasionallyglide by, and to this wide and magnificent view, asseen by daylight, by sunset, and by moonlight, thefrequent displays of aurora borealis give an attractionof no ordinary force.

In selecting this spot, I had left standing a largepart of the fine elms, maples, mountain ash, and othernative forest trees, and the building was, in fact,embowered by tall clumps of the richest foliage.I indulged an early taste in horticulture, and plantingtrees to add to the natural attractions of the spot,which, from the chief trees upon it, was named “Elmwood,”and every flowering plant and fruit that would thrivein the climate, was tried. Part of the groundswere laid down in grass. Portions of them onthe water’s edge that were low and quaggy, weresowed with the redtop, which will thrive in very moistsoil, and gives it firmness. The building wasample, containing fifteen rooms, including the office,and was executed, in all respects, in the best modernstyle.

In addition to these arrangements for insuring domesticcomfort and official respect, my agency abroad amongthe tribes was now well established, to the utmostsources of the Mississippi. The name and powerof “Chimoqemon” (American) among the northerntribes, was no longer a term of derision, or uncertaintyof character. The military post established atthese ancient falls, where the power of France wasfirst revealed as early as 1652; the numerous journeysI had made into the interior, often in company withthe highest civil and military functionaries; thepresents annually issued; the firm basis of a commissariatfor all visiting and indigent Indians; the mechanicsemployed for their benefit; the control exercised overthe fur traders, and the general effects of Americanopinions and manners; had placed the agency in thevery highest point of view. It was a frontieragency, in immediate juxtaposition with Canada andHudson’s Bay, fifteen hundred miles of whoseboundary closed upon them, separated only by the chainof lakes and rivers. Questions of national policyfrequently came up, and tended much to augment theinterest, which grew out of the national intercourse.

I had now attained that position of repose and quietwhich were so congenial to my mind. The influenceI exercised; the respect I enjoyed, both as an officerand as a scientific and literary man: every circ*mstance,in fact, that can add to the enjoyment of a man ofmoderate desires, seeking to run no political race,was calculated to insure my happiness. And Iwas happy. No part of my life had so completelyall the elements of entire contentment, as my residenceat the wild and picturesque homestead of Elmwood.I removed my family to this spot in October, havingnow a little daughter to enlarge my family circle,and take away, in a measure, the solitariness effectedby the loss of my son, William Henry.

I resumed my Indian researches with twofold interest.The public duties of an agent for Indian affairs,if an industrious man, leave him a good deal of leisureon his hands, and, in a position so remote as this,if a man have no inclination for studies or belleslettres, he must often be puzzled to employ his leisure.I amused myself by passing from one literary studyto another, and this is ever refreshing to the mind,which tires of one thing. Thus, such amusem*ntsas the Appeal of Pontiac, Rise of the West,and the Man of Bronze, found place among gravermatters. In this manner, a man without literarysociety may amuse and instruct himself.

Nov. 1st. I have been elected a memberof the Legislative Council of the territory—­anoffice not solicited, and which is not declined.Party spirit has not yet reached and distracted thisterritory. So far as I know, political divisionsof a general character, have not entered into society.The chief magistrate is an eminently conservative man,and by his moderation of tone and suavity of manners,has been instrumental in keeping political societyin a state of tranquillity. All our parties havebeen founded on personal preference. If therehas been any more general principles developed inthe legislature, it has been a promptly debt paying,and a not promptly debt paying party—­anon divorce, and a divorce party.I have been ever of the former class of thinkers;and shall let my votes tell for the right and goodold way—­i.e. pay your debts andkeep your wife.

Dec. 22d. My study of the Indian languageand history has not only enlarged my own sources ofintellectual gratification, but it has, without myseeking it, procured me a number of highly intellectualphilosophic correspondents, whose letters operate asan aliment to further exertion. My natural assiduityis thus continually stimulated, and I find myselfbegrudging a single hour, spent in gossiping hum-drumsociety—­for even here there is society,or an apology for society.

The editor of the North American Review, invitingme to write for its pages, says (Sept. 1st):“Your knowledge and experience will enable youto say much concerning the western country, and itsaboriginal inhabitants, which will be interestingto the community of readers. You cannot be toofull in your facts and reflections on Indians and Indiancharacter.”

Judge H. Chipman, of Detroit, says (Oct. 21st):“If it were just cause of offence, that menshould estimate differently the merits of opposingcandidates, popular elections would be the greatestcurse that could be inflicted upon a people.”

Mr. Everett (Hon. E.) says: “I beg leaveto unite with Mr. Sparks in expressing the hope thatyou will become a contributor to its pages (NorthAmerican Review), as often as your leisure, theseasonableness of topics, and the appearance of worksto be noticed, may admit.”

24th. This day brought one of Mr. Johnston’swarm-hearted notes, to take a Christmas dinner withhim to-morrow. “I anticipate,” hesays, “great pleasure in seeing many dear relativesabout me, on one of the greatest festivals the worldhas ever witnessed.”

It was the last festival of that kind he ever enjoyed,though nothing could be further from our imaginationsthen; for before its recurrence in 1828, we were calledto follow his body to the grave.


Retrospect—­United States Exploring Expeditionto the South Sea—­Humanity of an Indian—­Tripto Detroit from the Icy Straits—­Incidentalaction of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island HistoricalSocieties, and of the Montreal Natural History Society—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition—­Climatology—­Lakevessels ill found—­Poetic view of the Indian—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition—­Theory of theinterior world—­Natural History—­UnitedStates Exploring Expedition.—­History ofearly legislation in Michigan—­Return toSt. Mary’s—­Death of Governor De WittClinton.

1828. January 1st.—­During tenyears, omitting 1823, I had now performed, each year,a journey or expedition of more or less peril andadventure in the great American wilderness, west ofthe Alleghanies. I had now attained a point,ardently sought, for many years, where I was likelyto be permitted to sit down quietly at home, and leavetraveling to others. I had, in fact, just removedinto a quiet home, a retired, convenient, tasteful,and even elegant seat, which filled every wish ofretired intellectual enjoyment, where I was encompassedby books, studies, cabinets, and domestic affections.At this moment, when there appeared nothing in theprospect to call me to new fields of observation,I was elected a member of the legislative council,which opened a civic and quite different scene ofduties. This step, I found, pleased my friends.The executive of the territory writes from Detroit,February 22d: “We have understood that youhave been elected a member of the legislative council,and there is a prevalent wish that this report mayprove true. I mention the subject now, to informyou that the council will probably be convened aboutthe beginning of May, in order that you may make thenecessary preparations for visiting this place atthat time.”

Feb. 5th. An exploring expedition fordiscoveries in the South Sea, has, for some time,been under consideration in the Senate of the UnitedStates, to be organized in the navy, and to go outunder the patronage of the Secretary, Mr. Southard.Mr. G.N. Reynolds invites me to take a positionin the scientific corps, to accompany it, under anofficial sanction.

A friend from Washington writes me (Feb. 6th), onthe same topic; “Whether matrimony has strippedyou of your erratic notions and habits, ‘andbrought you within narrower limits,’ or whetherthe geography of the earth is no longer of interestto you, I cannot, of course, pretend to say.But considering you, as I do, a devotee to science,I had thought it possible that you might feel a desireto engage in her cause to the South, by occupyingsome eminent station in the expedition.”

The reasons which I have mentioned, at the openingof the year, have inclined me to seek repose fromfurther travel. Besides which, my position asa married man, and the peculiar relations I have therebyassumed, impress me, very deeply, with the opinionthat my sphere of duty, whatever may be my ambition,lies nearer at home than the proposed and very attractivefield of discovery. I therefore wrote decliningthe offer.

April 7th, A DOMESTIC CURTAIN LIFTED.—­Mysister Helen Margaret writes, from New York:“This afternoon, as I was sitting by the fire,having become the prey of ill health, a thought struckmy mind to write a few lines to you, not, however,to give you much news, but merely to acquaint youthat we are still in the land of the living, and that,though our friends are far removed, we still live amongthem in imagination. Yes, dear brother, believeme, my imagination has often wandered, and passedhours with you—­hours, duringthe silence of the night, which should have been sacredto sleep.

“I have been out of health about five weeks;the complaint under which I labor is chronic inflammationof the liver, but I have, under the pain of sickness,forced my mind to forget its troubles. Most ofmy time, last winter, has been spent with Debby; whileat home, my time has been devoted to reading, mapping,and the study of philosophy.

“Probably James has acquainted you of the illnessof Margaret. She is now very low, and is, toall human appearance, soon to leave this world fora better, ’where the wicked cease from troubling,and the weary are at rest.’ Her sufferingsare great; she has not been able to sit up, more thannine minutes at one time, for two months. Hermind is calm. She is ready and willing to leavethis vain world, whenever it is the will of God totake her.

“Mother’s health is poor, and has beenduring all last winter; yet notwithstanding her dailysufferings, in her harassed body, she vigorously wrestleswith ill luck. As it pains me to write, I mustclose with a few words. I have frequently thought,should I be bereft of my mother, what otherfriend, like her, would watch over the uneasy hoursof sickness? What other friend would bear itspetulance, and smooth its feverish pillow?”

This proved to be her last earthly message to me.She died on the 12th of April, 1829, aged twenty-three.

18th. I, this day, had an official visitfrom Magisaunikwa (Wampum-hair), a Chippewa Indian,who, recently, rescued the Inspector of Customs ofthe place, John Agnew, Esq., from drowning. Thisgentleman was returning from Mackinac, on the ice,with a train de glis, drawn by dogs. Havingascended the straits to the rapids of the South Nebishechannel, he found the ice faulty and rotten, and, aftersome exertions to avoid the bad places, fell in, withtrain and dogs. The struggle to get out onlyinvolved him worse, and, overcome by fatigue and falsefootings, he at length gave over the strife, and, butas a last resort, uttered a yell.

It chanced that Magisaunikwa was encamped in the woods,at a distance, and, with the ever ready ear of theaborigines, caught the sounds and came to his relief.By this time he had relinquished the struggle, andresigned himself to his fate. By arts known toa people who are familiar with such dangers, he rescuedhim from the water, but in an insensible state.He then put the body on a sled and drew it to his lodge,where he disrobed it, and, placing it before the fire,succeeded in restoring him.

I invested him with a silver medal for the act, andgave him a chief’s flag, with goods and cutlery,&c. to the value of above fifty dollars.

My attention was now turned to Detroit: “Youare elected,” says a friend, “a memberof the council. It is essential you should behere as speedily as possible. Leave everythingto Audrain, and come down. You can return beforethe busy season.”

27th. I left the Sault this day, for Detroit,to attend the Legislative Council. Patches ofsnow still lined the banks of the St. Mary’s,and fields of ice were yet in Muddy Lake. It wasnot until entering the St. Clair, and passing downbeyond the chilling influences of Lake Huron, thatspring began to show striking evidences of her rapidadvances, and on reaching Detroit, the state of horticultureand fruit trees betokened a quite different and benignclimate. The difference in latitude, in thisjourney, is full four degrees, carrying the voyagerfrom about 46-1/2 deg. to about 42-1/2 deg.. Thisfact, which it is difficult to realize from the mereinspection of maps, and reading of books, it is importantat all times to bear in mind, in setting a just valueon the country and its agricultural advantages.

On reaching the city, and before the organizationof the legislature, I received a letter from the Hon.John Davis, President of the Massachusetts HistoricalSociety, suggesting the publication of my researcheson Indian language.

“Mr. Pickering concurs with me, that it is verydesirable to have this publication effected.Some tracts of this description have been occasionallypublished in the collections of our society, and wehave no doubt that this course would be pursued withyour work, if such should be your wish, and no preferablemode of publication should occur.”

29th.—­I received from the RhodeIsland Historical Society, a copy of their publicationof Roger Williams’ Key to the Indian languages.This tract was greatly needed by philologists.The language commented on is clearly of the Algonquinstock. Dr. Edwards, in his “Observationson the Mukhekanieu,” demonstrates that the oldMohecan, as spoken on the Housatonic, was also ofthis type.

He says, indeed, that the difference in all the NewEngland languages spoken by the nations were merelydialectic. What I have heard of Eliot’sBible of the Natic, or Massachusetts language, favorsthe same conclusion. All this shows that theancestors of the present lake tribes who speak thesedialects, must have overspread all New England.History is thus taught by language. The laketribes have only this tradition respecting the fact,that they came from the East.

30th.—­Dr. A.F. Homes transmitsme a diploma of membership of the Montreal NaturalHistory Society.

May 14th.—­Mr. Reynolds recurs tothe subject of the Ex. Expedition, which he announcedto me on the 5th of February. “It is probable,”he observes, “that an expedition to the SouthSea will sail from the City of New York in Septembernext. I wish, and so do several members of thenational cabinet, that you would join it, and be thehead of the scientific corps. Your salary shallbe almost anything you ask, and your relation to thegeneral government shall not be prejudiced by a temporaryabsence. The expedition will be absent about eighteenmonths or two years. Will you not feel some ambitionin being connected with the first American expeditionof discovery?”

20th.—­Death is ever busy, thinningthe ranks of our friends and relatives. Mr. Shearman,of N.Y., communicates the death of my niece, MargaretCatharine (S.) at Vernon, New York. She was ayoung lady of pleasing manners, and many fine personaland mental traits. She conversed on her fatewith perfect composure, and selected hymns to be sungat her funeral.

I accomplished my passage to Detroit I think on the21st of May, being twenty-four days from St. Mary’s,without counting the trip in that season one of unusuallength, and without any serious mishaps, which is,perhaps, remarkable, as all our lake vessels are illfound, and I attribute more of success to good luck,or rather Providence, than to any amount of seamanlikeprecaution. It is, indeed, remarkable that ahundred vessels are not every year lost on the upperlakes where one now is, by being ill supplied or equipped,or through foolhardy intrepidity.

28th.—­A friend sent me the manuscriptof his poem of “Sanillac” to read, andto furnish some notes. The subject of the Indianis, certainly, susceptible of being handled by theMuses, in a manner to interest and amuse; and I regardevery attempt of the kind as meritorious, althoughit may be the lot of but few to succeed. Thewriter on the frontier, who fills up a kind of elegantleisure by composition, not only pleases himself,which is a thing nobody can deprive him of, but dodgesthe coarser amusem*nts of bowling, whist, and otherresorts for time-killing. He forgets his remoteposition for the time, and hides from himself thefeeling of that loneliness which is best conqueredby literary employment.

30th. Mr. Reynolds again writes, pressingthe matter of the contemplated expedition, and theprospect it opens for discovery, and its advantageevery way. He couples his offer with most liberaland exalted sentiments, and with the opinions of distinguishedmen, whose approval is praise. But notwithstandingall, there is something about the getting up and organizationof the expedition, which I do not altogether like;and there is considerable doubt whether Congress willnot cripple it, by voting meagre supplies and outfits,if they do not knock it in the head.

The expedition itself is a measure of the highestnational moment, as it is connected with scientificdiscovery, and reflects the greatest credit on theprojectors. The experiments of Dr. Maskelyn denotea greater specific gravity in the central portionsof the globe, than in its crust, and consequentlydo not favor the theory advocated by Mr. R., of aninterior void. Yet we are advertised, by the phenomenaof earthquakes, that this interior abounds with oxygen,hydrogen gas, caloric, and sulphur; and that extraordinarygeological changes are effected by their action.It does seem improbable that the proposed expeditionwill trace any open connection “with such aninterior world;” but it may accumulate factsof the highest importance. I am not, therefore,insensible of the high honor of this offer, and howeverI may glow with the secret ardor of discovery, andthe honor of place, my present engagements, domesticand public, have woven about me such a web, that itis impossible suddenly to break from it. On fullconsideration and reconsideration, therefore, I declinedgoing.[48]

[Footnote 48: The expedition was, in fact, checkedby various causes, and the project lingered for someyears. At length, the expedition started underthe orders of Captain Charles Wilkes, United StatesNavy.]

June 1st. Major Delafield, of New York,transmits a box of duplicate specimens of mineralogyfrom England.

“The box you forwarded for the Lyceum has notyet been sent to the rooms. The catalogue I willpresent in your name to-night. The several objectswill prove extremely interesting. The lake tortoisewe have been endeavoring to obtain for a year past,to complete a paper relative to these animals.Cooper is in Philadelphia editing the second volumeof Bonaparte’s Ornithology. He willbe disappointed in not receiving the grosbeak,[49]of which I had spoken to him.”

[Footnote 49: A new species discovered by meat Sault St. Marie.]

The study of Natural History presents some of themost pleasing evidences of exactitude and order, inevery department of creation, and adds to life manyhours of the most innocent and exalted enjoyment.It drops, as it were, golden tissues in the walksof life, which there is a perpetual enjoyment in unraveling.

10th. Mr. Reynolds writes again, withouthaving received my last reply, respecting the exploringexpedition. He says: “Mr. Southard,Secretary of the Navy, has expressed his deep regretthat you will not be able to find it convenient togo on the expedition.”

Mr. Reynolds again writes (June 22d): “Ihad a conversation to-day with the Secretary of theNavy, in relation to your joining the expedition.He informs me that the President, as well as himself,was anxious that you should do so; and that in caseyou did, an Assistant Agent might be appointed todo your duties, as United States Agent, and thus reserveyour office until your return.”

Nothing, certainly, could exceed this spirit of liberalityand kind appreciation.

No reasons for altering my prior decisions appeared,however, weighty enough to change them.

July 1st.—­The legislative councilorganized in due form, being sworn in by the governor.The first assemblage of this kind in the Territorymet, I believe, four years ago. Prior to thatera, the governor and judges were authorized to adoptlaws from the “old” States, which led toa system rather objectionable, and certainly anomalous,so far as it made the judges both makers andexpounders of the laws; for it was said, Iknow not how truly, that they picked out a clause hereand there, to fit exigencies, or cases in hand, anddid not take whole statutes. It was said thatwhen the judges, in the exercise of their judicialfunctions, got to a “tight place,” theyadjourned the court, and devoted their legal acumento picking out clauses from the statutes of the oldStates, to be adopted, in order to meet the circ*mstances;but these stories were, probably, to be received alittle after the manner of the slanderous reportsof the Van Twiller administration, of Knickerbockermemory. It is certain that their honors, JudgesWoodward, Griffin, and Witherall, the latter of whomwas generally voted down, have acquired no small popularnotoriety as judicial and legislative functionaries,and they must figure largely in the early annals ofMichigan, especially should this territory ever proveso fortunate as to have a Cervantes or an Irving forits historian.

I found the members of the council to be nearly allof the old residents of Michigan, one a Frenchman,several sent in by French votes, one or two old volunteerofficers of Hull’s day, one an Indian captive,and three lawyers by profession. When assembledthey presented a body of shrewd, grave, common-sensem*n, with not much legal or forensic talent, perhaps,and no eloquence or power of speaking. There werejust thirteen men, only one of whom was a demagogue,and had gained his election by going about from houseto house and asking votes. The worst trait inthe majority was a total want of moral courage, anda disposition to favor a negligent and indebted population,by passing a species of stop laws, and divorce laws,and of running after local and temporary expedients,to the lowering of the tone of just legislation.I had no constituents at home to hold me up to promiseson these heads. I was every way independent,in a political sense, and could square my course atall times, by pursuing the right, instead of beingforced into the expedient, in cases where there wasa conflict between the two. This made my positionagreeable.

I was appointed chairman of the committee on expenditures,and a member of the judiciary, &c. I directedmy attention to the incorporation of a HistoricalSociety; to the preparation of a system of townshipnames derived from the aboriginal languages; and tosome efforts for bettering the condition of the natives,by making it penal to sell or give them ardent spirits,and thus desired to render my position as a legislatoruseful, where there was but little chance of generalaction. As chairman of the committee on expenditures,I kept the public expenditures snug, and, in everyrespect, conformable to the laws of congress.The session was closed about the first of July—­earlyenough to permit me to return to St. Mary’s,to attend to the summer visits of the interior tradersand Indians.

10th While engaged in the council, a friendwriting from New York, who is a close watcher of politicalmovements, alludes to the sudden and lamented deathof Governor Clinton, last winter, and its effects onthe political parties of that State. Heavy, indeed,is the blow that removes from the field of actiona man who had occupied so wide a space in the publicesteem; and long will it be till another arises toconcentrate and control public opinion as he did.To me, as a personal friend, and one who early counselledand directed me in my investigations in natural history,it is a loss I feel deeply. Politicians springup daily, but men like him, who take a wider viewof things, belong to their country.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse—­Questionof freedmen, or persons not bonded for—­Indianchiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut, Tems Couvert,Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle—­Furthernotice of Wampum-hair—­Red Devil—­Biographicalnotice of Guelle Plat, or Flat Mouth—­Brechet—­Meeshug,a widow—­Iauwind—­Mongazid, chiefof Fond du Lac—­Chianokwut—­WhiteBird—­Annamikens, the hero of a bear fight,&c. &c.

1828. July 6th.—­My return tothe Agency at the Sault was in the midst of its summerbusiness. Indians and Indian traders from remoteinterior positions, were encamped on every green spot.No trader had yet renewed his license from the governmentto return. It would be difficult to indicatea place more favorable than this was, to observe themanners and customs of the Indians, and the peculiarquestions connected with the Indian trade. Iamused myself a few days, by keeping minutes of thevisits of the mixed Indian and metif multitude.

12th. Antoine Mauce, Alexis Blais, andJoseph Montre, freedmen, of Indian blood or connections,ordered from the Indian villages last fall, presentedthemselves for a decision on their respective cases.

Mauce stated several facts in extenuation of his offence.He said he had served as a boatman in the Indian tradeten years, had married an Indian wife and raised afamily, and during all this time, with the exceptionof short visits to Mackinac with his bourgeois,had resided in the Indian country. On the expirationof his last engagement he went to St. Peters, andwhile there, made eight canoes for Mr. Bailly, fromwhom he got the few goods that were seized at SandyLake by Mr. Johnston. He had intended, however,to go to Mr. Johnston for a license, and he had usedthe goods, in a great measure, to procure a mere supportfor his family. He had left Sandy Lake last fall,passed the winter at La Pointe, and had come downearly in the spring, and, as he had lost a great dealof time, and performed a very long journey, leavinghis family behind him, he requested that he mightbe allowed to return with a permit to trade.I told him that his remaining inland, after the expirationof his engagement, was contrary to instructions.That, being a Canadian by birth, he could not be licensedas a trader. That he might go inland in his oldcapacity of a boatman, should any American citizenbe willing to employ him, and give a bond for hisfuture conduct, and that I should refer the finaldecision upon his goods and peltries to Mr. Johnston,on account of my imperfect knowledge of some circ*mstancesnecessary to a correct decision.

Alexis Blais pleaded ignorance of the instructionswhich were given to traders. He had no otherobject in remaining inland than to get a livelihood.He came out as soon after being notified as his healthwould allow. And he supposed, had he been willingto serve Mr. Aikin at Sandy Lake, or to give him theavails of his hunt, no complaints would have beenmade against him. No goods or peltries were foundin his possession, and he did not desire to returnto the Indian country. I informed him that theconstruction put on the Indian laws prohibited anywhite man from following the pursuits of a hunter onIndian land; that it also forbids the residence ofboatmen at Indian camps or villages, after they haveserved out their engagements, &c.

Joseph Montre is a metif, step-son of Mauce.Says he was born and brought up in the Indian country,and has subsisted by hunting. Is unacquaintedwith the laws, but will follow the directions givenhim. I took pains to impress upon his mind, throughthe medium of an interpreter, the situation in whichhe was placed with respect to our government and laws,and the steps it would be necessary for him hereafterto pursue.

* * * * *

CHACOPEE (The Six), a minor chief, from Snake River,on the St. Croix, visited the office, accompaniedby seven young warriors. He brought a note fromthe Sub-agent at La Pointe, in which he is recommendedas “a deserving manly Indian, attached to theU.S. Government.” As he had been severaldays without food on his voyage through Lake Superior,I directed a requisition to be made out for him andhis young men, and told them to call on me after theyhad appeased their hunger.

Neenaby (the person who hitches on his seat), of SaultSt. Marie, lodged a complaint against Mr. Butterfieldand one of his runners (i.e. persons employedto look after credits given to Indians, or carry ona petty traffic by visiting their camps). Hestates that, in making the traverse from Point Iroquoisacross the straits of St. Mary, he was met by youngHoliday, who lashed his canoe alongside, and, aftergiving him a drink of whisky, persuaded him to landon the Canada shore, where they are out of reach ofthe trade and intercourse laws. They landed atPoint aux Chenes, where H.’s tent wasfound pitched, who invited him into it, and gave himmore drink. H. then went to the Indian’scanoe, and brought in his furs. Something wasthen given him to eat, and they embarked togetherin H.’s canoe, taking the furs, and leaving hisown canoe, with his wife, to follow. On reachingSt. Marie’s he was conducted to Mr. B.’sstore, and told to trade. He consented to tradesix large and two small beavers, and twenty muskrats,for which he acknowledged to have received satisfaction.He was freely supplied with whisky, and strongly urgedto trade the other pack, containing the principalpart of his hunt, but he refused, saying he had broughtit to pay a credit taken of Mr. Johnston. Thispack, he says, consisted of six large and two smallbeavers, two otters, six martins, ninety muskrats,and four minks. As an equivalent for it, theyproceeded to lay out for him, as he was told and shownnext morning, a blanket, hat, pair of leggins of greencloth, two fathoms strouds, one barrel of flour, onebag of corn, and three kegs of whisky. He, however,on examining it, refused to receive it, and demandedthe pack of furs to go and pay his credit. Decisiondeferred for inquiry into the facts.

12th. Chegud, accompanied by a train,&c., made a visit of congratulation on my return (aftera temporary absence).

14th. Revisited by Chacopee and his youngmen. He addressed me in a fine manly tone andair. He referred to his attendance and conductat the treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac,as an era from which it might be known that he wasattached to our government and counsel. The objectof his present visit was to renew the acquaintancehe had formed with me at those places, to say thathe had not forgotten the good advice given him, andto solicit charity for his followers. He presentedan ornamented pipe as an evidence of his friendship.

15th. Visited by Monomine Kashee (theRice Maker), a chief from Post Lake in that part ofthe Chippewa country bordering on Green Bay. Hewas accompanied by Mukwakwut (Satan’s Ball inthe Clouds), and five other persons composing theirfamilies. In the speech made by this chief, whoseinfluence and authority are, I believe, quite limited,he said that his visit to me had been produced bythe favorable impressions he had received while attending

the treaty of Butte des Morts (Wisconsin).That he had preserved the words which had been utteredin council by his American fathers, and was happythat all cause of difference with their neighbors,the Winnebagoes and Menomonies had been taken awayby fixing the lines of their lands, &c. He presentedfour stands of wampum to confirm his professions ofgood will. His companion also got up, and spokefor several minutes, and concluded by requesting “thathis father would not overlook him, in distributingany presents he intended to make them.”He presented a pipe. After he was seated, I asked,as I was penning these minutes, the signification ofhis name, Mukwakwut, as the meaning did not appearobvious. He smiled and replied “that informer times his ancestors had seen devils playingball in the air, and that his name was in allusionto the ball.”

16th. Visited by Tems Couvert (the Loweringor Dark Cloud), a noted war chief of Leech Lake, upperMississippi. He states that Mr. Oaks took fromhim, two years ago, nine plus,[50] and has notyet paid him, together with a medal, which last wasnot returned to him until his arrival at Fond du Lacthis spring. He also states that Mr. Warren tookfrom him, while he was at La Pointe on his way out,a pack of thirty obiminicqua [51] (equal to thirtyfull-sized, seasonable beavers), and has not, as yet,offered him anything in payment.

[Footnote 50: Plus, Fr. A skin’sworth.]

[Footnote 51: Obiminicqua, Alg. Thevalue of a full beaver skin.]

Shingabowossin (the Image Stone), Shewabeketon (theJingling Metals), and Wayishkee (the First-born Son),the three principal chiefs of the Home Band, withseventy-one men, women and children, visited me tocongratulate me on my safe return from Detroit.The old chief inquired if there was any news, andwhether all remains quiet between us and the English.

Guelle Plat, or Ashkebuggecoash (the Flat Mouth),of Leech Lake, upper Mississippi, announced his arrival,with sixty persons, chiefly warriors and hunters.He brought a letter from one of the principal tradersin that quarter, backed by the Sub-agent of La Pointe,recommending him as “the most respectable manin the Chippewa nation.” He is said by generalconsent to be the most influential man in the largeand powerful band of Leech Lake, comprising, by mylatest accounts, seventeen hundred souls. Hisauthority is, however, that of a village or civil chief,his coadjutor, the Lowering Cloud, having long hadthe principal sway with the warriors.

Being his first visit to this agency, although hehad sent me his pipe in 1822, and, as he said, thefirst time he had been so far from his native placein a south-easterly course, I offered him the attentionsdue to his rank, and his visit being an introductoryone, was commenced and ended by the customary ceremoniesof the pipe.

The chief, Grosse Guelle (Big Throat), together withMajegabowe, and the Breche’s son, all of SandyLake, arrived this day, accompanied by four otherpersons, and were received with the customary respectand attention. Having come a long distance, theirfirst and most pressing want was food. It isindeed astonishing that the desire of showing themselvesoff as men of consequence in their nation, the expectationof any presents or gratifications, or the hope ofany notice or preferment whatever should induce thesepeople to undertake such long and hazardous journeyswith such totally inadequate means.

17th. The Grosse Guelle repeatedhis visit, saying that his family had been so longwithout a meal of hearty food that the issue of yesterdayhad not sufficed to satisfy them.

Magisaunikwa (Wampum-hair) applied for provisionsfor himself and family, to enable them to return tohis usual place of dwelling. This man’scase has been previously noticed. He happenedto be sitting in front of his lodge last spring, ina copse of woods near the banks of Muddy Lake, atthe instant when the Inspector of Customs of St. Mary’s(Mr. Agnew) had broken through the ice with his dog-train,and had exhausted himself in vain efforts to extricatehimself. A cry reached the ever-open ear of theIndian, who hastened to the shore, and, after muchexertion and hazard, aided by his father and family,was the means of preserving Mr. A.’s life.After getting the body out of the water, they drewit upon a small train to his lodge; where they applieddry clothing, prepared a kind of tea, and were unremittingin their attentions. When sufficiently restored,they conducted him safely to St. Mary’s.

I invested him with a medal of the first class forthis noble act, wishing by this mark of respect, andthe presents of clothing and food accompanying it,to forcibly impress his mind with the high respectand admiration such deeds excite among civilized people,and in the further hope that it might prove a stimulusto the lukewarm benevolence of others, if, indeed,any of the natives can be justly accused of lukewarmnessin this respect. On visiting Fort Brady, Lt.C. F. Morton, of N.Y., presented him a sword-knot,belt, &c. Some other presents were, I believe,made him, in addition to those given him by Mr. Agnewhimself.

18th. Miscomonetoes (the Red Insect, orRed Devil; the term may mean both), and family andfollowers, twelve persons in all, visited the office.His personal appearance, and that of his family, bespokewretchedness, and appeared to give force to his strongcomplaints against the traders who visit Ottowa Lakeand the headwaters of Chippewa River of the Mississippi.He observed that the prices they are compelled topay are extortionate, that their lands are quite destituteof the larger animals, and that the beaver is nearlydestroyed.

He also complained of white and half-breed huntersintruding on their grounds, whose means for trappingand killing animals are superior to those of the Indians.According to his statement, as high as four plus(about $20) have been paid for a fathom of strouds,and the same for a two-and-a-half point blanket, twoplus for a pair of scarlet leggins, &c.

18th. Ten separate parties of Indians,numbering ninety-four souls, presented themselvesat the office this day, in addition to the above,from various parts of the interior, and were heardon the subject of their wants and wishes. 19th.Guelle Plat repeated his visit with his followers,and made a speech, in which he took a view of his intercoursewith the English and Americans. He had passedhis youth in the plains west of Red River, and wasfirst drawn into an intercourse with the British agentsat Fort William (L. S.), where he received a medalfrom the late Wm. McGilvray. This medal was takenby Lieut. Pike, on visiting Leech Lake, in 1806.He has visited the agency at St. Peter’s, butcomplains that his path to that post has been markedwith blood. He was present during the attackmade upon the Chippewa camp by the Sioux, near FortSnelling, in the summer of 1827. Is not satisfiedwith the adjustment of this affair, but is inclinedto peace, and has recommended it to his young men.They can never, however, he says, count upon the good-willof the enemy, and are obliged to live in a constantstate of preparation for war. They go out tohunt as if they were going on a war party. Theyoften meet the Sioux and smoke with them, but theycannot confide in them.

Speaking of the authority exercised over their countryfor the purpose of trade, he said: “TheAmericans are not our masters; the English are notour masters; the country is ours.” He wishedthat traders should be allowed to visit them who wouldsell their goods cheaper, and said that morethan one trader at each trading post was desiredby him and his people.

He modestly disclaimed authority over his band; saidhe was no chief. The Indians sometimesfollowed his advice; but they oftener followed theirown will. He said Indians were fond of change,and were always in hopes of finding things betterin another place. He believed it would be betterif they would not rove so much. He had ever actedon this principle, and recommended it. He hadnever visited this place before, but now that he hadcome this far, it was his wish to go to Michilimackinac,of which he had heard much, and desired to see it.He was in hopes his journey would prove of some serviceto him, &c. He solicited a rifle and a hat.

The Breche, alias Catawabeta (Broken Tooth),entered the office with one or two followers, in companywith the preceding. Seeing the office crowded,he said he would defer speaking till another day.This venerable chief is the patriarch of the regionaround Sandy Lake, on the Upper Mississippi.He made his first visit to me a few days after thelanding of the troops at this post, in 1822. Inturning to some minutes of that date, I find he pronouncedhimself “the friend and advocate of peace,”and he referred to facts to prove that his practicehad been in accordance with his professions.He discountenanced the idea of the Indians taking

part in our wars. He said he was a small boy atthe taking of old Mackinac (1763). TheFrench wished him to take up the war-club, but herefused. The English afterwards thanked him forthis, and requested him to raise the tomahawk in theirfavor, but he refused. The Americans afterwardsthanked him for this refusal, but they did not askhim to go to war. “They all talked of peace,”he said, “but still, though they talk of peace,the Sioux continue to make war upon us. Verylately they killed three people.”

The neutral policy which this chief so early unfolded,I have found quite characteristic of his oratory,though his political feelings are known to be decidedlyfavorable to the British government.

Omeeshug, widow of Ningotook, of Leech Lake, presenteda memorandum given by me to her late husband, duringmy attendance at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in1825, claiming a medal for her infant son, in exchangefor a British medal which had been given up. Oninquiry, the medal surrendered originally belongedto Waukimmenas, a prior husband, by whom she alsohad a son named Tinnegans (Shoulder Blade),now a man grown, and an active and promising Indian.I decided the latter to be the rightful heir, andintrusted a new medal of the second size to Mr. Roussain,to be delivered to him on his arrival at Leech Lake,with the customary formalities.

Iauwind announced himself as having arrived yesterday,with twenty-eight followers belonging to the bandof Fond du Lac. He had, it appeared, visitedDrummond Island, and took occasion in his speech tointimate that he had not been very favorably received.Before closing, he ran very nearly through the catalogueof Indian wants, and trusted his “American father”would supply them. He concluded by presentinga pipe. I informed him that he had not visitedDrummond’s in ignorance of my wishes on thesubject, and that if he did not receive the presentshe expected from me, he could not mistake the causeof their being withheld.

The Red Devil came to take leave, as he had sent hiscanoe to the head of the rapids, and was ready toembark. He made a very earnest and vehement speech,in which he once more depicted the misery of his condition,and begged earnestly that I would consider the forlornand impoverished situation of himself and his youngmen. He presented a pipe. I told him itwas contrary to the commands of his great father,the President, that presents should be given to anyof his red children who disregarded his wishes somuch as to continue their visits to foreign agencies.That such visits were very injurious to them both ina moral and economical point of view. That theythereby neglected their hunting and gardens, contracteddiseases, and never failed to indulge in the mostimmoderate use of strong drink. That to procurethe latter, they would sell their presents, pawn theirornaments, &c., and, I verily believed, were theirhands and feet loose, they would pawn them,so as to be forever after incapable of doing anythingtowards their own subsistence. I told him thatif, under such circ*mstances, I should give him, orany other Indian, provisions to carry them home, theymust not construe it into any approbation of theirlate conduct, but must ascribe it wholly to feelingsof pity and commiseration for their situation, &c.

Mongazid (the Loon’s Foot), a noted speaker,and Jossakeed, or Seer of Fond du Lac, arrivedin the afternoon, attended by eleven persons.He had scarcely exchanged salutations with me whenhe said that his followers and himself were in a starvingcondition, having had very little food for severaldays.

Oshogay (the Osprey), solicited provisions to returnhome. This young man had been sent down to delivera speech from his father, Kabamappa, of the riverSt. Croix, in which he regretted his inability to comein person. The father had first attracted mynotice at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, and afterwardsreceived a small medal, by my recommendation, fromthe Commissioners at Fond du Lac. He appearedto consider himself under obligations to renew theassurance of his friendship, and this, with the hopeof receiving some presents, appeared to constitutethe object of his son’s mission, who conductedhimself with more modesty and timidity before me thanprudence afterwards; for, by extending his visit toDrummond Island, where both he and his father wereunknown, he got nothing, and forfeited the right toclaim anything for himself on his return here.

I sent, however, in his charge, a present of goodsof small amount, to be delivered to his father, whohas not countenanced his foreign visit.

Thirteen separate parties, amounting to one hundredand eighty-three souls, visited the office and receivedissues of provisions this day.

21st. Mikkeingwum, of Ottoway Lake, madecomplaint that his canoe had been stolen, and he wasleft with his family on the beach, without the meansof returning. On inquiring into the facts, andfinding them as stated, I purchased and presentedhim a canoe of a capacity suitable to convey his familyhome.

Chianokwut (Lowering Cloud), called Tems Couvertby the French, principal war chief of Leech Lake,addressed me in a speech of some length, and presenteda garnished war-club, which he requested might behung up in the office. He said that it was notpresented as a hostile symbol. He had doneusing it, and he wished to put it aside. He hadfollowed the war path much in his youth, buthe was now getting old, and he desired peace.He had attended the treaty of Prairie du Chien, toassist in fixing the lines of their lands. Herecollected the good counsel given to him at thatplace. He should respect the treaty, and hisears were open to the good advice of his great Americanfather, the President, to whose words he had listenedfor the last ten years. He referred to the treacheryof the Sioux, their frequent violation of treaties,&c. He hoped they should hear no bad news(alluding to the Sioux) on their return home, &c.

Wabishke Penais (the White Bird) solicited food.This young chief had volunteered to carry an expressfrom the Sub-agency of La Pointe in the spring, andnow called to announce his intention of returning tothe upper part of Lake Superior. His attachmentto the American government, his having received asmall medal from his excellency Governor Cass, onhis visit to the Ontonagon River, in 1826, added tothe circ*mstance of his having served as a guide tothe party who visited the mass of native copper inthat quarter in 1820, had rendered him quite unpopularwith his band, and led to his migration farther west.He appears, however, recently to have reassumed himselfof success, and is as anxious as ever to recommendhimself to notice. This anxiety is, however, carriedto a fault, being unsupported by an equal degree ofgood sense.

Annamikens (Little Thunder), a Chippewa of mixed blood,from Red River, expressed a wish to speak, preparatoryto his return, and drew a vivid outline of his variousjourneys on the frontier, and his intercourse withthe Hudson’s Bay and Canadian governments.This man had rendered himself noted upon the frontierby a successful encounter with three grizzly bears,and the hairbreadth escape he had made from theirclutches. He made, however, no allusion to thisfeat, in his speech, but referred in general termsto the Indians present for testimonies of his characteras a warrior and hunter. He said he had now takenthe American government fast by the hand, and offeredto carry any counsel I might wish to send to the Indianson Red River, Red Lake, &c., and to use his influencein causing it to be respected.

His appeal to the Indians, was subsequently respondedto by the chief, Tems Couvert, who fully confirmedhis statements, &c.

Dugah Beshue (Spotted Lynx), of Pelican Lake, requestedanother trader to be sent to that place. Complainsof the high prices of goods, the scarcity of animals,and the great poverty to which they are reduced.Says the traders are very rigorous in their dealings;that they take their furs from their lodges withoutceremony, and that ammunition, in particular, is sohigh they cannot get skins enough to purchase a supply.

Visited by nine parties, comprising ninety-one souls.

22d. Received visits from, and issuedprovisions to eighty-one persons.

23d. Wayoond applied for food for hisfamily, consisting of six persons, saying that theyhad been destitute for some time. I found, oninquiry, that he had been drinking for several daysprevious, and his haggard looks sufficiently bespokethe excesses he had indulged in. On the followingday, being in a state of partial delirium, he ran intothe river, and was so far exhausted before he couldbe got out, that he died in the course of the night.It is my custom to bury all Indians who die at thepost, at the public expense. A plain coffin, anew blanket, and shirt, and digging a grave, generallycomprises this expense, which is paid out of the contingentfund allowed the office.

Mizye (the Catfish) called on me, being on his returnvoyage from Drummond Island, begging that I wouldgive him some food to enable him to reach his homeat La Pointe. This Indian has the character ofbeing very turbulent, and active in the propagationof stories calculated to keep up a British feelingamongst the Indians of Lapointe. The reprimandshe has received, would probably have led him to shunthe office, were he not prompted by hunger, and thehope of relief.

Whole number of visitors one hundred and thirty-five.

24th. Mongazid entered the office withhis ornamented pipe, and pipe-bearer, and expressedhis wish to speak. He went at some length intothe details of his own life, and the history of theFond du Lac band, with which he appears to be verywell acquainted. Referred to the proofs he hadgiven of attachment to government, in his conduct atthe treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac;and to his services, as a speaker for the Fond duLac band, which had been acknowledged by the Chippewasgenerally, and procured him many followers. Saidthe influence of the old chief at Fond du Lac (Sappa)had declined, as his own had extended, &c. Hecomplained in general terms of the conduct of thetraders of that post, but did not specify any acts.Said he had advised his young men to assent to theirfather’s request respecting the copper landson Lake Superior, &c.

Having alluded in his speech to the strength of theband, and the amount of their hunt, I asked him, afterhe had seated himself, what was the population ofFond du Lac post. He replied, with readiness,two hundred and twenty, of whom sixty-six were malesgrown, and fifty-four hunters. He said that thesefifty-four hunters had killed during the last year(1828) nine hundred and ninety-four bears—­thatthirty-nine packs of furs were made at the post, andninety packs in the whole department.

Grosse Guelle made a formal speech, the drift of whichwas to show his influence among the Indians, the numerousplaces in which he had acted in an official capacityfor them, and the proofs of attachment he had givento the American government. He rested his meritsupon these points. He said he and his peoplehad visited the agency on account of what had beenpromised at Fond du Lac. Several of his peoplehad, however, gone home, fearing sickness; othershad gone to Drummond Island for their presents.For himself, he said, he should remain content totake what his American father should see fit to offerhim.

I inquired of him, if his influence with his peopleand attachment to the American government were suchas he had represented, how it came, that so many ofthe Sandy Lake Indians, of whom he was the chief, hadgone to Drummond Island?

Shingabowossin requested that another Chippewa interpretermight be employed, in which he was seconded by Kagayosh(A Bird in Everlasting Flight), Wayishkee, and Shewabekaton,chiefs of the home band. They did not wish meto put the present interpreter out of his place, buthoped I would be able to employ another one, whomthey could better understand, and who could understandthem better. They pointed out a person whom theywould be pleased with. But his qualificationsextended only to a knowledge of the Chippewa and Frenchlanguages. He was deficient in moral characterand trustworthiness; and it was sufficiently apparentthat the person thus recommended had solicitedthem to make this novel application.

28th. The wife of Metakoossega (Pure Tobacco)applied for food for her husband, whom she representedas being sick at his lodge, and unable to apply himself.The peculiar features and defective Chippewa pronunciationof this woman indicated her foreign origin. Sheis a Sioux by birth, having been taken captive bythe Chippewas when quite young. A residence ofprobably thirty years has not been sufficient to giveher a correct knowledge of the principles or pronunciationof the language. She often applies animate verbsand adjectives to inanimate nouns, &c., a proof, perhaps,that no such distinctions are known in her nativetongue.

Chacopa, a chief of Snake River, intimated his wishto be heard. He said he had visited the agencyin the hope that some respect [52] would be shownthe medal he carried. The government had thoughthim worthy of this honor; the traders had also thoughthim deserving of it; and many of the young men ofSnake River looked up to him to speak for them.“But what,” he asked, “can I say?My father knows how we live, and what we want.We are always needy. My young men are expectingsomething. I do not speak for myself; but I mustask my father to take compassion on those who havefollowed me, &c. We expect, from what our greatfather said to us at the treaty of Fond du Lac, thatthey would all be clothed yearly.”

[Footnote 52: This term was not meant to applyto personal respect, but to presents of goods.]

Ahkakanongwa presented a note from Mr. Johnston, Sub-agentat La Pointe, recommending him as “a peaceableand obedient Indian.” He requested permissionto be allowed to take a keg of whisky inland on hisreturn, and to have a permit for it in writing.I asked him the name of the trader who had sold himthe liquor, and who had sent him to ask thispermit.

Wayoond’s widow requested provisions to enableher to return to her country. Granted.

30th. Chegud, a minor chief of TacquimenonRiver, embraced the opportunity presented by his applyingfor food for his family, to add some remarks on thesubject of the School promised them at the signingof the treaty of Fond du Lac. He was desirousof sending three of his children. The conductof this young man for several years past, his sobriety,industry in hunting, punctuality in paying debts contractedwith the traders, and his modest, and, at the sametime, manly deportment, have attracted general notice.He is neat in his dress, wearing a capot, like theCanada French, is emulous of the good will of whitemen, and desirous to adopt, in part, their mode ofliving, and have his children educated. I informedhim that the United States Senate, in ratifying thetreaty, had struck out this article providing fora school.

31st Shanegwunaibe, a visiting Indian fromthe sources of Menomonie River of Green Bay, statedhis object in making so circuitous a journey.(He had come by way of Michilimackinac), to visit theagency. He had been induced, from what he hadheard of the Lake Superior Indians, to expect thatgeneral presents of clothing would be issued to allthe Chippewas.

“Nothing,” observes the Sub-agent at LaPointe, “but their wretchedness could inducethe Indians to wander.”

Aug. 3d. Guelle Plat returned from hisvisit to Michilimackinac; states that the Agent atthat post (Mr. Boyd) had given him a sheep, but hadreferred him to me, when speaking on the subject ofpresents, &c., saying that he belonged to my agency.

Finding in this chief a degree of intelligence, unitedto habits of the strictest order and sobriety, anda vein of reflection which had enabled him to observemore than I thought he appeared anxious to communicate,I invited him into my house, and drew him into conversationon the state of the trade, and the condition of theIndians at Leech Lake, &c. He said the pricesof goods were high, that the traders were rigorous,and that there were some practices which he couldwish to see abolished, not so much for his own sake,[53]as for the sake of the Indians generally; that thetraders found it for their interest to treat him andthe principal chiefs well; that he hunted diligently,and supplied himself with necessary articles.But the generality of the Indians were miserably poorand were severely dealt by. He said, the lastthing that they had enjoined upon him, on leavingLeech Lake, was to solicit from me another trader.He had not, however, deemed it proper to make therequest in public council.

[Footnote 53: He was flattered and pampered bythem.]

He states that the Indians are compelled to sell theirfurs to one man, and to take what he pleasesto give them in return. That the trader fixeshis own prices, both on the furs and on the goods hegives in exchange. The Indians have no choicein the matter. And if it happens, as it did lastspring (1828), that there is a deficiency in the outfitof goods, they are not permitted quietly to bring outtheir surplus furs, and sell them to whom they please.He says that he saw a remarkable instance of thisat Point au Pins, on his way out, where youngHoliday drew a dirk on an Indian on refusing to lethim take a pack of furs from his canoe. He said,on speaking of this subject, “I wish my fatherto take away the sword that hangs over us, and letus bring down our furs, and sell them to whom we please.”

He says that he killed last fall, nearly one thousandmuskrats, thirteen bears, twenty martins, twelve fishers.Beavers he killed none, as they were all killed offsome years ago. He says, that fifty rats are exactedfor cloth for a coat (this chief wears coats) the samefor a three point blanket, forty for a two-and-a-halfpoint blanket, one hundred for a Montreal gun, oneplus for a gill of powder, for a gill of shot,or for twenty-five bullets, thirty martins for a beavertrap, fifteen for a rat trap.

Speaking of the war, which has been so long wagedbetween the Chippewas and Sioux, to the mutual detrimentof both, he said that it had originated in the rivalpretensions of a Sioux and Chippewa chief, for a Siouxwoman, and that various causes had since added fuelto the flame. He said that, in this long war,the Chippewas had been gainers of territory, thatthey were better woodsmen than the Sioux, and wereable to stand their ground. But that the fearof an enemy prevented them from hunting some of thebest beaver land, without imminent hazard. Hehad himself, in the course of his life, been a memberof twenty-five different war parties, and had escapedwithout even a wound, though on one occasion, he withthree companions, was compelled to cut his way throughthe enemy, two of whom were slain.

These remarks were made in private conversation.Anxious to secure the influence and good-will of aman so respectable both for his standing and his understanding,I had presented him, on his previous visit (July 19),with the President’s large medal, accompaniedby silver wrist-bands, gorget, &c., silver hat-band,a hat for himself and son, &c. I now added fullpatterns of clothing for himself and family, kettles,traps, a fine rifle, ammunition, &c., and, observinghis attachment for dress of European fashion, orderedan ample cloak of plaid, which would, in point ofwarmth, make a good substitute for the blanket.

On a visit which he made to Fort Brady on the followingday, Dr. Pitcher presented his only son, a fine youthof sixteen, a gilt sword, and, I believe, some otherpresents were made by the officers of the 2d Regiment.

5th. Issued an invoice of goods, traps,kettles, &c. to the Indians, who were assembled infront of the office, and seated upon the green forthe purpose of making a proper distribution. Itook this occasion to remind them of the interestwhich their great father, the President, constantlytook in their welfare, and of his ardent desire thatthey might live in peace and friendship with eachother, and with their ancient enemies, the Sioux.That he was desirous to see them increase in numbers,as well as prosperity, to cultivate the arts of peace,so far as they were compatible with their presentcondition and position, to participate in the benefitsof instruction, and to abstain from the use of ardentspirits, that they might continue to live upon thelands of their forefathers, and increase in all goodknowledge. I told them they must consider thepresents, that had now been distributed, as an evidenceof these feelings and sentiments on the part of thePresident, who expected that they would be ready tohearken to his counsels, &c.

I deemed this a suitable opportunity to reply to someremarks that had fallen from several of the speakers,in the course of their summer visits, on the subjectof the stipulations contained in the treaty of Fonddu Lac, and informed them that I had put the substanceof their remarks into the shape of a letter to thedepartment (see Official Let., Aug. 2d, 1828), thatthis letter would be submitted to the President, andwhen I received a reply it should be communicated tothem.

6th. Shingabowossin and his band calledto take leave previous to their setting out on theirfall hunts. He thanked me in behalf of all theIndians, for the presents distributed to them yesterday.

Wayishkee (the First Born), a chief of the home band,on calling to take leave for the season, stated thathe had been disabled by sickness from killing manyanimals during the last year, that his family was large,und that he felt grateful for the charity shown tohis children, &c.

This chief is a son of the celebrated war chief Waubodjeeg(the White Fisher), who died at La Pointe about thirtyyears ago, from whom he inherited a broad wampum beltand gorget, delivered to his grandfather (also a notedchief) by Sir Wm. Johnson, on the taking of Fort Niagara,in 1759.

The allusion made to his family recalled to my mindthe fact, that he has had twelve children by one wife,nine of whom are now living; a proof that a cold climateand hardships are not always adverse to the increaseof the human species.

7th. Annamikens made a speech, in whichhe expressed himself very favorably of our government,and said he should carry back a good report of hisreception. He contrasted some things very adroitlywith the practices he had observed at Red River, FortWilliam, and Drummond’s Island. Deemingit proper to secure the influence of a person who standswell with the Indians on that remote frontier, I presentedhim a medal of the second class, accompanying it bysome presents of clothing, &c., and an address tobe delivered to the Chippewas, at the sources of theMississippi, in which I referred to the friendly andhumane disposition of our government, its desire thatthe Indians should live in peace, refrain from drink,&c.

Terns Couvert, in a short speech, expressed himselffavorably towards Annamikens, corroborating some statementsthe latter had made.

Chacopee came to make his farewell speech, being onthe point of embarking. He recommended some ofhis followers to my notice, who were not present whenthe goods were distributed on the fifth instant.He again referred to the wants and wishes of the Indiansof Snake River, who lived near the boundary lines,and were subject to the incursions of the Sioux.Says that the Sioux intrude beyond the line settledat the Prairie, &c. Requests permission to takeinland, for his own use, two kegs of whisky, whichhad been presented to him by Mr. Dingley and Mr. Warren.[This mode of evading the intercourse act, by presentingor selling liquor on territory where the laws of Congressdo not operate, shifting on the Indians the risk andresponsibility of taking it inland, is a new phaseof the trade, and evinces the moral ingenuityof the American Fur Company, or their servants.]

8th. Grosse Guelle stated that, as hewas nearly ready to return, he wished to say a fewwords, to which he hoped I would listen. He complainedof the hardness of times, high prices of goods, andpoverty of the Indians, and hoped that presents wouldbe given to them.[54] He alleged these causes forhis visit, and that of the Sandy Lake Indians generally.Adverted to the outrage committed by the Sioux at St.Peters, and to the treaty of Prairie du Chien, atwhich his fathers (alluding to Gen. Clarke and Gov.Cass) promised to punish the first aggressors.Requested permission to take in some whisky—­pressesthis topic, and says, in reply to objections, that“Indians die whether they drink whisky or not.”He presented a pipe in his own name, and another inthe names of the two young chiefs Wazhus-Kuk-Koon(Muskrat’s Liver), and Nauganosh, who both receivedsmall medals at the treaty of Fond du Lac.

[Footnote 54: By visiting Drummond’s Islandcontrary to instructions, this chief and his bandhad excluded themselves from the distribution madeon the 5th of August.]

Katewabeda, having announced his wish to speak tome on the 6th instant, came into the office for thatpurpose. He took a view of the standing his familyhad maintained among the Sandy Lake Indians from anearly day, and said that he had in his possessionuntil very lately a French flag, which had been presentedto some of his ancestors, but had been taken to exhibitat Montreal by his son-in-law (Mr. Ermatinger, anEnglish trader recently retired from business).He had received a muzinni’egun [55] from Lieut.Pike, on his visit to Sandy Lake, in 1806, but ithad been lost in a war excursion on the Mississippi.He concluded by asking a permit to return with somemdz. and liquor, upon the sale of which, and not onhunting, he depended for his support [56] I took occasionto inform him that I had been well acquainted with

his standing, character, and sentiments from the timeof my arrival in the country in the capacity of anagent; that I knew him to be friendly to the traderswho visited the Upper Mississippi, desirous to keepthe Indians at peace, and not less desirous to keepup friendly relations with the authorities of boththe British and American governments; but that I alsovery well knew that whatever political influence heexerted, was not exerted to instil into the mindsof the Indians sentiments favorable to our systemof government, or to make them feel the importanceof making them strictly comply with the American intercourselaws, &c. I referred to the commencement of myacquaintance with him, twenty days after my firstlanding at St. Mary’s, and by narrating facts,and naming dates and particulars, endeavored to convincehim that I had not been an indifferent observer ofwhat had passed both within and withoutthe Indian country. I also referred to recentevents here, to which I attributed an applicationto trade, which he had not thought proper or deemednecessary to make in previous years.

[Footnote 55: A paper; any written or printeddocument.]

[Footnote 56: This is one of the modern modesof getting goods into the country in contraventionof law, Mr. Ermatinger being a foreigner trading onthe Canadian side of the river.]

I concluded by telling him that he would see thatit was impossible, in conformity with the principlesI acted upon, and the respect which I claimed of Indiansfor my counsels, to grant his request.

11th. Guelle Plat came to take leave preparatoryto his return. He expressed his sense of thekindness and respect with which he had been treated,and intimated his intention of repeating his visitto the Agency during the next season, should his healthbe spared. He said, in the course of conversation,that “there was one thing in which he had observeda great difference between the practice of this andSt. Peter’s Agency. There whisky is givenout in abundance; here I see it is your practiceto give none.”

12th. Invested Oshkinahwa (the Young Manof the totem of the Loon of Leech Lake), with a medal.

15th. Issued provisions to the familyof Kussepogoo, a Chippewyan woman from Athabasca,recently settled at St. Mary’s. It seemsthe name by which this remote tribe is usually knownis of Chippewa origin (being a corruption of Ojeegewyan,a fisher’s skin), but they trace no affinitywith the Chippewa stock, and the language is radicallydifferent, having very little analogy either in itsstructure or sounds. It is comparatively harshand barren, and so defective and vague in its applicationthat it even seems questionable whether nouns and verbshave number.

18th. Visited by the Little Pine (Shingwaukonce),the leading chief on the British shore of the St.Mary’s, a shrewd and politic man, who has united,at sundry periods, in himself the offices and influenceof a war chief, a priest, or Jossakeed, and a civilruler. The giving of public presents on the 5thhad evidently led to his visit, although he had notpursued the policy expected from him, so far as hisinfluence reached among the Chippewas on the Americanshores of the straits. He made a speech wellsuited to his position, and glossed off with some finegeneralities, avoiding commitments on main points andmaking them on minor ones, concluding with a stringof wampum. I smoked and shook hands with him,and accepted his tenders of friendship by re-pledgingthe pipe, but narrowed his visit to official proprieties,and refused his wampum.

22d. Magisanikwa, or the Wampum-hair, renewedhis visit, gave me another opportunity to rememberhis humane act in the spring, and had his claims onthis score allowed. The Indians never forget agood act done by them, and we should not permit themto surpass us in this respect.


Natural history of the north-west—­Northernzoology—­Fox—­Owl—­Reindeer—­Adastardly attempt at murder by a soldier—–­Lawlessspread of the population of northern Illinois overthe Winnebago land—­New York Lyceum of NaturalHistory—­U.S. Ex. Ex.—­Fiscalembarrassments in the Department—­Medicalcause of Indian depopulation—­Remarks ofDr. Pitcher—­Erroneous impressions of theIndian character—­Reviews—­Deathof John Johnston, Esq.

1828. July 24th. The ardor with whichI thought it proper to address myself to the Indianduties of my office, did not induce me, by any means,to neglect my correspondence or the claims of visitorsto Elmwood.

This day Lt. Col. Lindsay and Capt.Spotts, U.S.A., being on court martial duty at FortBrady, paid their respects to me, and the Col. expressedhis pleasure and surprise at the taste, order, anddisposition of the grounds and the Agency.

Nor did the official duties of my position interferewith the investigation of the natural history of thecountry.

A large box of stuffed birds and quadrupeds, containingtwenty-three specimens of various species, was sentto the Lyceum of Natural History at New York, in themonth of April. Mr. William Cooper writes, underthis date, that they have been received and examined.“The lynx appears to be the northern species,different from that common in this part of the country,and very rarely seen here even in the public collections.Several of the birds, also, I had never had an opportunityof examining before. The spruce partridge, TetraeCanadensis, is very rare in the United States.There is no other species in this city besides yours.It was entirely unknown to Wilson; but it is to appear

in the third vol. of Bonaparte’s continuationof Wilson, to be published in the ensuing autumn.The circ*mstance of its being found in the MichiganTerritory, is interesting on account of the few localitiesin which this bird has been found in our boundaries.The three-toed woodpecker, Picus tridactylus,was equally unknown to Wilson, and the second volumeof Bonaparte, now about to be issued, contains anelegant figure and history of this bird, which alsoinhabits the north of Europe and Asia. The otherbirds and quadrupeds of your collection, though betterknown, were very interesting, as affording materialsfor the history of their geographical distribution,a subject now become exceedingly interesting.The plover of the plain is the turnstone, strepsilusinterpres.

“The large fish is one of the genus Amia,and Dr. Dekay is inclined to think it different fromthe A. caloa found in our southern rivers, butof much smaller size. The tortoises belong tothree species, viz., T. scabra, T.pieta, and T. serpentina. It is thefirst information I have obtained of their inhabitingso far to the north-west. There are also othersfound in your vicinity, which, if it would not be askingtoo much, I should be much pleased if you could obtainfor the Lyceum.”

“I hope you will excuse me, if I take the libertyto recommend to you, to direct your observation moreparticularly to those birds which come to you in winter,from the north, or in any direction from beyond theUnited States territory. It is among these thatyou may expect to find specimens new to our ornithology.

“The beautiful Fringilla, which you sentto us a few years since, is figured and describedfrom your specimen, and in an elegant manner, in thevolume just about to be published of Bonaparte’swork.”

Mr. G. Johnston of La Pointe, Lake Superior, writes:“Since I had the honor of receiving a printedletter from the Lyceum of Natural History, I havebeen enabled to procure, at this place, two specimensof the jumping mouse.

“The history the Indians give of its habitsis as follows: It burrows under ground, and insummer lives on the bark of small trees. It providesand lays up a store of corn, nuts, &c., for winterconsumption. It also climbs and lives in hollowparts of trees. It is also possessed of a carnivoroushabit, it being peculiarly fond of burrowing in oldburying places, where it lives, principally on thecorpse. It is never seen in winter.”

There is something in the northern zoology besidesthe determination of species, which denotes a veryminute care in preparing animals for the particularlatitudes the several species are designed for, byprotecting the legs and feet against the power ofintense cold. And the dispersion and migrationof birds and quadrupeds are thus confined to generalboundaries. The fox, in high northern latitudes,

is perfectly white except the nose and tips of theears, which are black, and the hair extends so asto cover its nails. The various kinds of owls,and the Canada jay, which winter in these latitudes,have a feathery, half-hairy protection to the toes.The American species of the reindeer, which underthe name of cariboo, inhabits the country around thefoot of Lake Superior, has its hoof split in sucha manner that it, in fact, serves as a kind of snowshoe, spreading quite thin over about forty superficialinches, which enables it to walk on the crusted snow.

29th. Dr. William Augustus Ficklin, ofLouisiana (Jackson), recalls my attention to the U.S.Exploring Expedition, the programme of which embracesmy name. “You will want a physician andsurgeon attached to the expedition. Is the placeyet filled?” My acquaintance with this younggentleman, then a lad at his father’s house,in Missouri, recalls many pleasing recollections,which gives me every inducement to favor his wishes.

August 2d. Mr. Robert Irwin, Junr., ofGreen Bay, writes that a most diabolical attempt wasrecently made at that place, a few days ago, to takethe life of Maj. Twiggs, by a corporal belongingto his command. The circ*mstances were brieflythese: About two o’clock in the afternoon,the major had retired to his room to repose himself.Soon after the corporal entered the room so secretlythat he presented a loaded musket within a few inchesof his head, and, as Providence would have it, thegun missed fire. The noise awoke the major, whoinvoluntarily seized the muzzle, and, while lookingthe fellow full in the face, he co*cked the gun andagain snapped it; but it missed fire the second time.With that the major sprang up in bed and wrenched thegun out of the assassin’s hands, and with thebreech knocked the fellow down, fracturing his skullso much that his life was for many days despairedof.

4th. Gov. Cass, who has proceededto Green Bay as a Commissioner for treating with theIndians, writes: “I am waiting here veryimpatiently for arrivals from the Indian country.But nothing comes, as yet, except proof stronger andstronger of the injustice done to the Winnebagoes bythe actual seizure of their country.” Torepress this spirit of the people of northern Illinois,much time and negotiation was required. By hisknowledge of the Indian and frontier character, anarrangement was at length concluded for the occupationof the Rock River and Galena country.

23d. An official letter of the New YorkLyceum of Natural History expresses their thanks forrecent donations. Dr. Van Rensselaer says:“Your birds, reptiles, and quadrupeds have beenmost graciously received.... The expedition tothe South Seas (heretofore noticed in this journal)will afford a field for some naturalist to labor in.Dr. Dekay intends to apply for the situation.We are at present engaged in drawing up some instructionsfor the naturalist (whoever he may be), which we shallhand to Mr. Southard, who is now here and has requestedit. We trust the expedition will add somethingto our knowledge as well as to our pecuniary wealth.”

27th. Fiscal—­Something hasbeen out of kelter at Washington these two years withregard to the rigid application of appropriations,at least in the Indian Department. We have beenliterally without money, and issuing paper to publiccreditors and employees. Surely a governmentthat collects its own revenues should never want fundsto pay its agents and officers.

Mr. Trowbridge writes: “The money pressureis nearly or quite over in New York, but we feel ithere in a dreadful degree. The want of publicdisbursem*nts this year, upon which we have alwaysrested our hopes with so much confidence, added tothe over-introduction of goods for a year or two past,has produced this state of things, and I sometimesthink that there will be no great improvement in thisgeneration.”

29th. Medical Causes of Depopulation.—­Thecauses of Indian depopulation are wars, the want ofabundance of food, intemperance, and idleness.Dr. Pitcher, in a letter of this date, says: “Inyour note (to ‘Sanillac’) on the subjectof the diminution in numbers of our aboriginal neighbors,you have seized upon the most conspicuous, and, duringtheir continuance, the most fatal causes of their decline.With the small-pox you might, however, associate themeasles, which, in consequence of their manner oftreating the fever preceding the eruption, viz.,the use of vapor and cold baths combined, most commonlytends to a mortal termination. To these two evils,propagated by the diffusion of a specific virus, maybe added the prevalence of general epidemics, suchas influenza, &c., whose virulence expends its forcewithout restraint upon the Indians. They are not(as you are aware) a people who draw much instructionfrom the school of experience, particularly in thedepartment of medicine, and, when by the side of thisfact you place the protean forms which the diseasesof epidemic seasons assume, the inference must followthat multitudes of them perish where the civilizedman would escape (of which I could furnish examples).

“It is the province of the science of medicineto preserve to society its feeble and invalid members,which, notwithstanding the war it wages upon the principleof political economists, augments considerably thesum of human life. The victims of the diseasesof civilization do not balance the casualties, &c.of a ruder state of society, as may be seen by inspectingthe tables of the rates of mortality for a centurypast.

“I will suggest to you the propriety of improvingthis opportunity for setting the public right on onepoint, and that is the effects of aboriginal mannersupon the physical character. For my part, I havelong since ceased to believe that they are indebtedto their mode of life for the vigor, as a race, whichthey exhibit, but that the naturally feeble are destroyedby the vicissitudes to which they are exposed, andwhich, in part, gives them an appearance, hardy andathletic, above their civilized neighbors.”

Erroneous impressions of Indians.—­Maj.Whiting, of Detroit, says (27th inst.): “Idare say I may find many things which will suit ourpurposes well. Something new and genuine is whatwe want, and the source gives assurance these thingsall bear that character. It is time the publicshould know that neither ladies nor gentlemen who havenever crossed the lakes or the Alleghany, can haveany but vague ideas of the children of the forest.An Indian might not succeed well in portraying lifein New York, because he does not read much, and wouldhave to trust pretty much, if not altogether, to imagination;but his task would differ only in degree from thatof the literary pretender who has never traveled Westbeyond the march of fresh oysters (though by the way,these have been seen in Detroit), and yet thinks hecan penetrate the shadows and darkness of the wilderness.They put a hatchet in his hand, and stick a featherin his cap, and call him ‘Nitche Nawba.’If I recollect right, in Yamoyden a soup was madeof some white children. Indians have not beenover dainty at times, and no doubt have done worsethings; but on such occasions their modus operandiwas not likely to be so much in accordance with theprecepts of Madam Glass.”

Reviews.—­“I read over yourlast article in the N.A., and thought it had ratherless point and connection than you had probably givenit; but it still has much to recommend it. Theremarks on language were more intelligible to me thanany I have before seen, and have given me many clueswhich I have vainly sought for in preceding dissertationsof the kind.”

Sept. 22d. This day the patriarch of theplace, John Johnston, Esq., breathed his last.He had attained the age of sixty-six. A nativeof the county of Antrim, in the north of Ireland;a resident for some thirty-eight years of this frontier;a gentleman in manners; a merchant, in chief, in thehazardous fur trade; a man of high social feelingsand refinements; a cotemporary of the long list ofmen eminent in that department; a man allied to bishopsand nobles at home; connected in marriage with a celebratedChippewa family of Algonquins; he was another Rolfe,in fact, in his position between the Anglo-Saxon andthe Indian races; his life and death afford subjectsfor remark which are of the deepest interest, andwould justify a biography, not a mere notice.I wrote a brief sketch for the New York Albion,and transmitted copies of the paper to some of hisconnections in Ireland.

His coming out from that country was during the firstpresidency of Washington, and a few years before thebreaking out of the Irish Rebellion. He had adeep sense of his country’s injuries, and ofthe effect of the laws which pressed so heavily onher energies, political and commercial; but was entirelyloyal, and maintained the highest tone of loyalismin argument. He saw deeply the evils, but notthe remedy, which he thought to lay rather in futureand peaceful developments.

He suffered greatly and unjustly in the war of 1812,in which his place was pillaged by the American troops,and some forty thousand dollars of his private propertydestroyed, contrary to the instructions of the Americancommandant. Low-minded persons who had been inhis service as clerks, and disliked his pretensionsto aristocracy, were the cause of this, and pilotedthe detachment up the river. He was, however,in nowise connected with the North-west Company, farless “one of its agents.” He wasa civil magistrate under Gov.-Gen. Prevost, and washonestly attached to the British cause, and he hadnever accepted any office or offers from the Americangovernment. The Canadian British authoritiesdid not, however, compensate him for his losses, onthe ground of his living over the lines, at a time,too, when Gen. Brock had taken the country and assumedthe functions of civil and military governor overall Michigan. The American Congress did not acknowledgethe obligation to sustain the orders to respect privateproperty, the Chairman of the Committee of Claimsreporting that the actors “might be prosecuted,”and the old gentleman’s last years were thusembittered, and he went down to the grave the victimof double misconceptions—­leaving to a largefamily of the Indo-Irish stock little beyond an honorableand unspotted name.


Treaty of St. Joseph—­Tanner—­Visitsof the Indians in distress—­Letters fromthe civilized world—­Indian code projected—­Causeof Indian suffering—­The Indian cause—­Estimationof the character of the late Mr. Johnston—­Autobiography—­HistoricalSociety of Michigan—­Fiscal embarrassmentsof the Indian Department.

1828. Tanner was a singular being—­outof humor with the world, speaking ill of everybody,suspicious of every human action, a very savage inhis feelings, reasonings, and philosophy of life,and yet exciting commiseration by the very isolationof his position. He had been stolen by the Indiansin the Ohio Valley when a mere boy, during the maraudingforays which they waged against the frontiers about1777. He was not then, perhaps, over seven yearsof age—­so young, indeed, as to have forgotten,to a great degree, names and dates. His captorswere Saganaw Chippewas, among whom he learned thelanguage, manners and customs, and superstitions ofthe Indians. They passed him on, after a time,to the Ottowas of L’Arbre Croche, near Mackinac,among whom he became settled in his pronunciationof the Ottowa dialect of the great Algonquin family.By this tribe, who were probably fearful a captiveamong them would be reclaimed after Wayne’swar and the defeat of the combined Indians on theMiami of the Lakes, he was transferred to kindred tribesfar in the north-west. He appears to have grownto manhood and learned the arts of hunting and thewild magic notions of the Indians on the Red Riverof the North, in the territory of Hudson’s Bay.Lord Selkirk, in the course of his difficulties withthe North-west Company, appears to have first learnedof his early captivity.

He came out to Mackinac with the traders about 1825,and went to find his relatives in Kentucky, with whom,however, he could not long live. His habits werenow so inveterately savage that he could not toleratecivilization. He came back to the frontiers andobtained an interpretership at the U.S. Agencyat Mackinac. The elements of his mind were, however,morose, sour, suspicious, antisocial, revengeful, andbad. In a short time he was out with everybody.He caused to be written to me a piteous letter.Dr. James, who was post surgeon at the place, conceivedthat his narrative would form a popular introductionto his observations on some points of the Indian characterand customs, which was the origin of a volume thatwas some years afterwards given to the public.

A note he brought me in 1828, from a high source,procured him my notice. I felt interested inhis history, received him in a friendly manner, andgave him the place of interpreter. He enteredon the duties faithfully; but with the dignity andreserve of an Indian chief. He had so long lookedon the dark side of human nature that he seldom ornever smiled. He considered everybody an enemy.His view of the state of Indian society in the wildernessmade it a perfect hell. They were thieves andmurderers. No one from the interior agreed withhim in this. The traders, who called him a badman, represent the Indians as social when removedfrom the face of white men, and capable of noble andgenerous acts. He was, evidently, his own judgeand his own avenger in every question. I drewout of him some information of the Indian superstitions,and he was well acquainted practically with the speciesof animals and birds in the northern latitudes.

30th. A letter informs me that a treatyhas just been concluded with the Potawattomies ofSt. Joseph’s, who cede to the United States abouta million and a half acres, comprising the balanceof their lands in Michigan. I received, at thesame time, a few lines from Gen. Cass, speaking aword for the captive, John Tanner, the object of whichwas to suggest his employment as an interpreter inthe Indian Department.[57]

[Footnote 57: This man served a short time, butturned out, for eighteen years, to be the pest ofthat settlement, being a remarkably suspicious, lying,bad-minded man, having lost every virtue of the whiteman, and accumulated every vice of the Indian.He became more and more morose and sour because theworld would not support him in idleness, and went abouthalf crazed, in which state he hid himself one day,in 1836, in the bushes, and shot and killed my brother,James L. Schoolcraft. He then fled back to theIndians, and has not been caught. The musket withwhich this nefarious act was done, is said to havebeen loaned to him from the guard-house at Fort Brady.Dr. Bagg pronounced the ball an ounce-ball, such asis employed in the U.S. service. The wad was thetorn leaf of a hymn book. It was extensivelyreported by the diurnal press, that I had been thevictim of this unprovoked perfidy.]

October 31st. The Indian visits, fromremote bands, which were very remarkable this year,continued through the entire month of August, andbeyond the date at which I dropped the notices of them,during September, when they were reduced, as partyafter party returned to the interior, to the callsof the ordinary bands living about the post, and,at furthest, to the foot of Lake Superior and the valleyand straits of the St. Mary’s. With them,or rather before them, went the traders with theirnew outfits and retinues, chiefly from Michilimackinac.As one after another departed, there was less needof that vigilance, “by night and by day,”to see that none of the latter class went without duelicense; that the foreign boatmen on their descriptivelists were duly bonded for; that no “freedmen”slipped in; and that no ardent spirits were takenin contrary to law. Gradually my public dutieswere thus narrowed down to the benevolent wants ofthe bands that were immediately around me, to seeingthat the mechanics employed by the Department didtheir duties, and to keeping the office at Washingtonduly informed of the occurrences and incidents belongingto Indian affairs. All this, after the closeof summer, requires but a small portion of a man’stime, and as winter, which begins here the first ofNovember, approached, I felt impelled to devote alarger share of attention to subjects of researchor literary amusem*nt. I missed two men in plunginginto the leisure hours of my seventh winter (omitting1825), in this latitude, namely, Mr. Johnston, whoseconversation and social sympathies were always felt,and Dr. Pitcher, whose tastes for natural science andgeneral knowledge rendered him a valuable visitor.

Letters from the civilized world tended to keep alivethe general sympathies, which none more appreciatethan those who are shut out from its circles.Mr. Edward Everett (Oct. 6th) communicates his sentimentsfavorably, respecting the preparation of an articlefor the North American Review. The Rev.Mr. Cadle (Oct. 7th) sends a package of Bibles andPrayer Books for distribution among the soldiers, whichhe entrusts to Mrs. S. The Rev. Mr. Wells, of Detroit,writes of some temporality. Mr. Trowbridge keepsme advised respecting the all important and growingimportance of the department’s fiscal affairs.

The author of “Sanillac” (Oct. 8th) acknowledgesthe reception and reading of my “Notes,”with which he expresses himself pleased. The headof the Indian office writes, “The plan has beenadopted of compiling a code of regulations for theIndian intercourse during the winter. For thisduty, Gen. Clarke, of St. Louis, and Gen. Cass, ofDetroit, have been selected.” Such weresome of the extraneous subjects which the month ofOctober brought from without.

The month of November was not without some incidentsof interest. From the first to the fifteenth,a number of Indian families applied for food, undercirc*mstances speaking loudly in their favor.The misfortune is, that these poor creatures are inducedto part with everything for the means of gratifyingtheir passion for drink, and then lingering aroundthe settlements as long as charity offers to supplytheir daily wants. The usual term of applicationfor this class is, Kittemaugizzi, or Nim bukkudda,I am in want, or I am hungry. By making my officea study, I am always found in the place of publicduty, and the latter is only, in fact, a temporaryrelief from literary labor. I have often beenasked how I support solitude in the wilderness.Here is the answer: the wilderness and the busycity are alike to him who derives his amusem*nts frommental employment.

Nov. 7th. The Indian Cause.—­Ina letter of this date from Mr. J.D. Stevens,of the Mission of Michilimackinac, he suggests a colonyto be formed at some point in the Chippeway countryof Lake Superior, and inquires whether governmentwill not patronize such an effort to reclaim thisstock. The Indian is, in every view, entitledto sympathy. The misfortune with the race is,that, seated on the skirts of the domain of a populargovernment, they have no vote to give. They arepolitically a nonentity. The moral and benevolentpowers of our system are with the people. Governmenthas nothing to do with them. The whole Indianrace is not, in the political scales, worth one whiteman’s vote. Here is the difficulty in anybenevolent scheme. If the Indian were raised tothe right of giving his suffrage, a plenty of politicians,on the frontiers, would enter into plans to betterhim. Now the subject drags along as an incubuson Congress. Legislation for them is only takenup on a pinch. It is a mere expedient to getalong with the subject; it is taken up unwillingly,and dropped in a hurry. This is the Indian system.Nobody knows really what to do, and those who havemore information are deemed to be a little moon-struck.

18th. ESTIMATION OF MR. JOHNSTON.—­Gov.Cass writes from Washington: “Mr. Johnston’sdeath is an event I sincerely deplore, and one uponwhich I tender my condolements to the family.He was really no common man. To preserve themanners of a perfect gentleman, and the intelligenceand information of a well-educated man, in the drearywastes around him, and in his seclusion from all societybut that of his own family, required a vigor and elasticityof mind rarely to be found.”

NEW INDIAN CODE.—­The loose and fragmentarycharacter of the Indian code has, at length, arrestedattention at Washington, and led to some attemptsto consolidate it. A correspondent writes (Nov.18th): “Gen. Clarke has not yet arrived,but is expected daily. In the meantime, I haveprepared an analysis of the subject, which has beenapproved by the department, and, on the arrival ofGen. Clarke, we shall be prepared to proceed to thecompilation of our code, which, I do hope, will putthings in a better situation for all.”

The derangements in the fiscal affairs of the Indiandepartment are in the extreme. One would thinkthat appropriations had been handled with a pitchfork.A correspondent writes: “For 1827, we werepromised $48,000, and received $30,000. For 1828,we were promised $40,000, and have received $25,000;and, besides these promises, were all the extra expendituresauthorized to be incurred, amounting to not less than$15,000. It is impossible this can continue.”And these derangements are only with regard to thenorth. How the south and west stand, it is impossibleto say. But there is a screw loose in the publicmachinery somewhere.

Dec. 5th. AUTOBIOGRAPHY.—­“Itis to be regretted,” writes Dr. Edwin James,“that our lamented friend (Mr. Johnston) hadnot lived to complete his autobiography. Thisdeficiency constitutes no valid objection to the publicationof the memoirs, though it appears to me highly desirablethat you should complete the sketch, so as to includethe history of the latter portion of his life.In perfect accordance with the plan of such a continuation,you would embody much valuable detail in relationto the history and condition of this section of thecountry for the last thirty years. You must, doubtless,have access to all the existing materials, and tomany sources of authentic information, which could,very appropriately, be given to the public in sucha form.”

15th. UNION OF THE PURSUITS OF NATURALAND CIVIL HISTORY.—­I brought forward, andhad passed at the last session of the Legislature,an act incorporating the Historical Society of Michigan.Dr. Pitcher, who has recently changed his positionto Fort Gratiot, at the foot of Lake Huron, proposesthe embracing of natural history among its studies.He finds his position, at that point, to be stillunfavorable in some aspects, and not much, if anything,superior to what it was at St. Mary’s.

27th. FISCAL PERPLEXITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—­Thesewere alluded to before. No improvement appears,but we are all destined to suffer. A friend,who is versed in the subject, writes from Washington:“The fact is, that nothing could be worse managedthan the fiscal concerns of the department. Notthe slightest regard has been paid to the apportionmentmade, and there is now due to our superintendency morethan the sum of $40,000. You can well conceivehow this happens, and I have neither time nor patienceto enter into the details; suffice it to say, thatI am promised by the Secretary that the moment theappropriation law passes, which will probably be earlyin January, every dollar of arrearages shall be paidoff. This is all the consolation I can furnishyou, and, I suppose I need not say that I have leftno stone unturned to effect a more desirable result.It is manifest, however, that the whole departmentwill be exceedingly pressed for funds next year, asa considerable part of the appropriation must be assignedto the payment of arrearages, which have been sufferedto accumulate; and it is not considered expedient,in the present state of affairs, to ask for a specificappropriation. It will require at least two yearsto bring our fiscal concerns to a healthy state.”

In fact, to meet these embarrassments, many retrenchmentsbecame necessary; some sub-agencies were drawn infrom the Indian country, mechanics and interpreterswere dismissed, and things put on the very lowestscale of expenditure.


Political horizon—­Ahmo Society—­Incomingof Gen. Jackson’s administration—­Amusem*ntsof the winter—­Peace policy among the Indians—­Revivalat Mackinac—­Money crisis—­Ideaof Lake tides—­New Indian code—­Anti-masonry—­Missionsamong the Indians—­Copper mines—­Thepolicy respecting them settled—­Whisky amongthe Indians—­Fur trade—­Legislativecouncil—­Mackinac mission—–­Officersof Wayne’s war—­Historical Societyof Michigan—­Improved diurnal press.

1829. Jan. 1st. The administrationof John Quincy Adams now draws to a close, and thatof Gen. Jackson is anticipated to commence. Politicalthings shape themselves for these events. Theclose of the old year and the opening of the new onehave been remarkable for heralding many rumors ofchange which precede the incoming of the new administration.Many of these relate to the probable composition ofGen. Jackson’s cabinet. Among the personsnamed in my letters is Gov. Cass, who has attracteda good deal of exterior notoriety during the last year.Within the territory, his superiority of talents andenergy have never been questioned. Michigan wouldhave much to lament by such a transference, for itis to be feared that party rancor, which he has admirablykept down, would break forth in all its accustomedviolence.

17th. AHMO SOCIETY.—­Under thisaboriginal term, which signifies a bee, the ladiesof the fort and village have organized themselves intoa sewing society for benevolent purposes. I findmyself honored with a letter of thanks from them bytheir secretary, Mrs. E.S. Russell. Truly,the example of Dorcas was not mentioned in vain inthe Scriptures, for its effect is to excite the benevolentand charitable everywhere to do likewise. Everysuch little influence helps to make society better,and aids its sources of pleasing and self-sustainingreflection.

February 12th. A letter from the editorof the North American Review acknowledges thereceipt of a paper to appear in its columns.

March 4th, The administration of the governmentthis day passes into the hands of a man of extraordinaryindividuality of character, indomitable will, highpurpose, and decided moral courage. He was fightingthe Creeks and Seminoles when I first went to the West,and they told the most striking anecdotes of him,illustrating each of these traits of character.Ten or eleven years have carried him into the presidentialchair. Such is the popular feeling with respectto military achievements and strong individualityof character. Men like to follow one who showsa capacity to lead.

31st. The winter has passed with lesseffect from the intensity of its cold and externaldreariness, from the fact of my being ensconsed ina new house, with double window-sashes, fine storm-houses,plenty of maple fuel, books, and studies. Besidesthe fruitful theme of the Indian language, I amusedmyself, in the early part of the season, by writinga review for one of the periodicals, and with keepingup, throughout the season, an extensive correspondencewith friends and men of letters in various parts ofthe Union. I revised and refreshed myself in someof my early studies, I continued to read whateverI could lay my hands on respecting the philosophyof language. Appearances of spring—­themore deepened sound of the falls, the floating oflarge cakes of ice from the great northern depository,Lake Superior, and the return of some early speciesof ducks and other birds—­presented themselvesas harbingers of spring almost unawares. It isstill wintry cold during the nights and mornings,but there is a degree of solar heat at noon which betokensthe speedy decline of the reign of frosts and snows.

The Indians, to whom the rising of the sap in itscapillary vessels in the rock-maple is the sign ofa sort of carnival, are now in the midst of theirseason of sugar-making. It is one of their oldcustoms to move, men, women, children, and dogs, totheir accustomed sugar-forests about the 20th of March.Besides the quantity of maple-sugar that all eat,which bears no small proportion to all that is made,some of them sell a quantity to the merchants.Their name for this species of tree is In-in-au-tig,which means man-tree.

April 5th. PEACE POLICY.—­Theagent from La Pointe, in Lake Superior, writes:“My expressman from the Fond du Lac arrived onthe 31st of last month, by whom I learned that theLeech Lake Indians were unsuccessful in their warexcursion last fall, not having met with their enemies,the Sioux, and I trust my communication with Mr. Aitkinwill be in time to check parties that may be formingin the spring.

“The state of the Indians throughout the countryis generally in a critical way of starvation, thewild-rice crops and bear-hunts having completely failedlast fall.”

21st. REVIVAL OF RELIGION AT MACKINAC.—­Mybrother James, who crossed the country on snow-shoes,writes: “Mr. Stuart, Satterlee, Mitchell,Miss N. Dousman, Aitken, and some twenty others, havejoined Ferry’s church.” This maybe considered as the crowning point of the ReverendMr. Ferry’s labors at that point. This gentleman,if I mistake not, came up in the same steamer withme seven years ago. It is seed—­seedliterally sown in the wilderness, and reaped in thewilderness.

29th. MONEY CRISIS.—­“Thefact is,” says a person high in power, “thefiscal concerns of the department have come to a deadstand, and nothing remains but to ascertain the arrearages,and pay them up. You well know how all this hashappened (by diversions and misappropriations of thefunds at Washington). Such management you canform no conception of. There will be, duringthe year, a thorough change.

“I was glad to see your article. It isan able, and temperate, and practical view of thesubject (N.A.R., Ap. 1829), grossly exaggerated,and grossly misunderstood.”

May 19th. IDEA OF LAKE TIDES.—­Maj.W. writes: “If you see Silliman’sJournal, you will observe an article on the subjectof the Lake Tides, as Gen. Dearborn calls them,in which he has inserted some hasty letters I wroteto him on this subject, without, however, ever expectingto see them in such a respectable guise. The Governormade some more extended observations at Green Bay.If you can give anything more definite in relationto the changes of Lake Superior, pray let me have aletter, and we will try to spread before Mr. Sillimana better view of the case. I have no idea thatanything in the shape, of a tide exists, The Governoris of the same opinion.”

To these opinions I can merely add, Amen. Itrequires more exactitude of observation than fallsto the lot of casual observers, to upset the conclusionsof known laws and phenomena.

26th. NEW INDIAN CODE.—­Mr.Wing, the delegate in Congress, forwards to me a printedcopy of the report of laws proposed for the Indiandepartment. It denotes much labor on the partof the two gentlemen who have had it in hand, andwill be productive of improvement. I should haveliked a bolder course, and not so careful a respectall along, for what has previously been done.Congress requires, sometimes, to be instructed, orinformed, and not to be copied in its attempts to manageIndian, affairs.

Every paper brings accounts of removals and appointmentsunder the new administration; but nothing, so faras I can judge, that promises much, in this way, ofmaterial benefit to Indian affairs. The departmentat head-quarters has been, so far as respects fiscalquestions, wretchedly managed, and is over head andears in debt, and the result of all this mal-administrationis visited on the frontiers, in the bitter want ofmeans for the agents, sub-agents, and mechanics, andinterpreters, who are obliged to be either suspended,or put on short allowance. Doubtless, Gen. Jackson,who is a man of high purpose, would remedy this thing,if the facts were laid before him.

30th. MASONRY.—­It has recentlybeen discovered, that there is a hidden danger inthis ancient fraternity, and that society has beenall the while sitting, as it were, on the top of avolcano, liable, at any moment, to burst. Such,at least, appear to be the views of some politicians,who have seized upon the foolish and apparently criminalacts of some lack-wits in western New York, tomake it a new political element for demagogues toride. Already it has reached these hitherto quietregions, and zealots are now busy by conventions, andanxious in hurrying candidates up to the point.“Anti-masonic” is the word, a kind of“shibboleth” for those who are to crossthe political “fords” of the new Jordan.

June 1st. MISSIONARY LABORS AMONG THEINDIANS.—­There are evidently some defectsin the system. There is too much expended forcostly buildings, and the formation of a kind of literaryinstitutes of much too high a grade, where some fewof the Indians are withdrawn and very expensivelysupported, and undergo a sort of incarceration fora time, and are then sent back to the bosom of thetribes, with the elements of the knowledge of lettersand history, which their parents and friends are utterlyunable to appreciate, and which they, in fact, ridicule.The instructed youth is soon discouraged, and theymost commonly fall back into habits worse than before,and end their course by inebriety, while the bodyof the tribe is nowise bettered. Whatever thedefects are, there are certainly some things to amendin our measures and general policy.

Mr. Stevens and Mr. Coe, both missionaries, have recentlybeen appointed to visit the Indian country, with theobject of observing whether some less expensive andmore general effort to instruct and benefit the bodyof the tribes, cannot be made. The latter hasa commentatory letter to this end, from Gen. Jackson,dated the 19th of March, which denotes an intereston this topic that argues favorably of his views ofmoral things.

“The true system of converting the Indians was,it is apprehended, adopted by David Brainerd in 1744.He took the Bible, and declared its truths with simplicityand earnestness in the Indian villages. Therewas no preparation of buildings or outlays. Inone year he had gathered a church of pure believers.Their manners immediately reformed; they became industriousand cleanly, and built houses, and schools, and tilledthe land. All this was a consequence, andnot a cause of Christianity.” [58]

[Footnote 58: Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol.10.]

2d. A friend writes: “I believethe literary world is rather lazy just at this time;at least nothing novel, except words, has reached myeye. Your Literary Voyager has latelybeen traveling the rounds amongst your friends.”

12th. COPPER MINES.—­A privateletter, from a high quarter, says: “Col.Benton’s bill, respecting the copper mines, whichpassed Congress, only provided for permission beinggranted to individuals to work them at their own expense.There is no intention of doing anything on publicaccount.” This, it will be perceived, wasthe view presented (ante) by Mr. Dox, in his ableletter to me on the subject, several years ago.Congress will not authorize the working of the mines.It is a matter for private enterprize.

July 14th. WHISKY AMONG THE INDIANS.—­Mr.Robert Stuart, Agent to the American Fur Company,writes from Mackinac, that some of the American FurCompany’s clerks are not inclined to take whisky,under the general government permit, provided theiropponents take none. This tampering withthe subject and with me, in the conduct of the agentof that company, whose duty it is rigidly to excludethe article by every means, would accord better, itshould seem, with the spirit of one who had not recentlytaken obligations which are applicable to all timesand all space. Little does the spirit of commercecare how many Indians die inebriates, if it can beassured of beaver skins. The situation of anyof its agents, who may acknowledge Christian obligations,is doubtless an embarrassing one; and such personsshould seek to get out of such an employment as soonas possible. The true direction, in all casesof this kind, is, to take high moral grounds.The department, by granting such permits, violatesa law. The agent of the company who seeks to exclude“opponents” in the trade, errs by attemptingto throw the responsibility of the minor questionupon the local agent, over whose head he already shakeshis permits from a superior power. Now the “opponents,”be it understood, have no such “permits,”and the agent can give them none.

This subject of ardent spirits is a constantly recurringone in every possible form; and no little time ofan agent of Indian affairs, and no small part of histroubles and vexations, are due to it. The tradersand citizens generally, on the frontiers, are leaguedin their supposed interests to break down,or evade the laws, Congressional and territorial,which exclude it, or make it an offence to sell orgive it. If an agent aims honestly to put thelaw in force, he must expect to encounter obloquy.If he appeals to the local courts, it is ten to onethat nine-tenths of his jury are offenders in thisvery thing. So far as the American Fur Companyis concerned, it is seen, I think, by the course ofthe managers, that it would conduce to better huntsif the Indians were kept sober, and liquor were rigidlyexcluded; but the argument is, that “on thelines”—­that the Hudson’sBay Company use it, and that their trade would sufferif they had not “some.” Andthey thus override the agents, by appealing to higherpowers, and so get permits annually, for a limitedquantity, of which they and not the agentsare the judges. In this way the independence ofthe agents is constantly kept down, and made to bendto a species of mock popular will.

In view of the counteracting influence of the AmericanFur Company on this frontier, it would be better forthe credit of morals, properly so considered, if thechief agent of that concern at Michilimackinac werenot a professor of religion, or otherwise, if he werein a position to act out its precepts boldly and franklyon this subject. For, as it now is, his positionis perpetually mistaken. A temperance man, heis yet a member of a local temperance society, whichonly operates against the retailers, but leaves membersfree to sell by the barrel. Bound, by the principlesof law, not to introduce whisky into the interior,he yet sells it to others, knowing their intentionto be to run it over the lines, in spite of the agents.This is done by white and red men. And he obtains“permits” besides, as head of the company,at head-quarters at Washington, to take in, openly,a certain quantity of high wines every year.Talk to that gentleman on the subject, and he is eloquentin defence of temperance. Thus the obligationis kept to the ear, but broken in the practice.A business that thus compels a man to hamper his conscience,and cause scandal to the church, should be abandonedat once.

Aug. 29th. FUR TRADE.—­Mr. Sparks,Ed. N.A. Rev., reminds me of an intimationmentioned to Mr. Palfrey, to write an article on thissubject, “From observation,” he remarks,“and inquiry you have enjoyed peculiar advantagesfor gaining a knowledge of the Indians, their history,character and habits, and the world will be greatlyindebted to you for continuing to diffuse this knowledge,as your opportunities may allow.”

The fur trade has certainly been productive of a marketto Indians for the result of their forest labors,without which they would want many necessaries.But while it has stimulated hunting, and so far asthis goes, industry, in the Indian race, ithas tended directly to diminish the animals upon whichthey subsist, and thus hastened the period of theIndian supremacy, while it has introduced the evilof intoxication by ardent spirits.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.—­I left St. Mary’sthe latter part of August, to attend the second sessionof the third legislative council at Detroit.The same tendency was manifested as in the first session,to lean favorably to the old pioneers and early settlersof an exposed frontier, which has suffered severelyfrom Indian wars, and other causes of depression.With the exception of divorce cases, there were reallyno bad laws passed; and no disposition manifestedto excessive legislation, or to encumber the statutebook with new schemes. Local and specific actsabsorbed the chief attention during the session.

Deeming it ever better to keep good old laws thanto try ill-digested and doubtful new ones, I usedmy influence to repress the spirit of legislatingfor the sake of legislation, wherever I saw appearancesof it. As Chairman of the Committee on Finances,I managed that branch with every possible care.I busied myself with the plan of trying to introduceterse and tasty names for the new townships, takenfrom the Indian vocabulary—­to suppressthe sale of ardent spirits to the Indian race, andto secure something like protection for that part ofthe population which had amalgamated with the Europeanblood.

MACKINAC MISSION.—­Towards the close ofthe session, a movement was made against the MackinacMission by an attempt to repeal the law exemptingthe persons engaged in it from militia and jury service.A formal attack was made by one of the members againstthat establishment, its mode of management, and character.This I resisted. Being in my district, and familiarwith the facts and persons implicated, I repelled thecharge as being entirely unjust to the Rev. Mr. Ferry,the gentleman at the head of that institution.I drew up a report on the subject, vindicating theinstitution, which was adopted and printed. Thiswas a triumph achieved with some exertions.

NAMES OF THE OFFICERS WHO SERVED WITH GEN. WAYNE.—­Gen.Brady gave me, during this session, a list of thenames of the officers who had served reputably inthe Indian campaigns conducted by Gen. Wayne in 1791-2-3.I proposed to retain them in naming the townships,the possession of the territorial area of which weowe to their bravery and gallantry.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN.—­This institutionwas incorporated at the first session of the ThirdLegislative Council, in 1828. The bill for thispurpose was introduced by me, after consultation withsome literary friends. It contained the planof constituting the members of the Legislative Councilmembers ex-officio. This, it was apprehended,and rightly so, would give it an official countenance,and serve, in some things, as a convenient basis formeetings during the few years that precede a Stategovernment, while our literary population continuessparse. My experience in the East had shown methat quorums are not readily attained in literarysocieties, which is a sore hindrance to the half dozenefficient laborers out of a populous city, who generallyhold the laboring oar of such institutions.

The historical incidents of this section of the Unionare quite attractive, and, while general history hascognizance of the leading events, there is much inthe local keeping of old men who are ready to dropoff. There is more in the aboriginal history andlanguages that invites attention, while the modernhistory—­the exploration and settlementof the country, and the leading incidents which areturning a wilderness into abodes of civilization—­isreplete with matter that will be of deep interestto posterity. To glean in this broad field appearsan important literary object.

Gov. Cass gave us this session the first discourse,in a rapid and general and eloquent review of theFrench period, including the transfer of authorityto Great Britain, and an account of the bold and originalattempted surprise of the English garrison at Detroit,by Pontiac. This well-written and eloquently-digesteddiscourse was listened to with profound interest,and ordered to be printed.[59]

[Footnote 59: Vide Historical and ScientificSketches of Michigan, 1 vol. 12mo; Wells and Whitney,1834.]

IMPROVED PRESS.—­In a state of society whichrelies so much on popular information through thediurnal press, its improvement is of the highest consequence.Mr. William Ward, of Massachusetts, performed thisoffice for the city of Detroit and Michigan this fall,by the establishment of a new paper, which at firstbore the title of North-west Journal, and afterwardsof Detroit Journal. This sheet exhibitsa marked advance in editorial ability, maturity ofthought, and critical acumen.

I embarked at Detroit, on my return to St. Mary’s,late in October, leaving the council still in session,and reached that place on one of the last days ofthe month.

Dec. 20th. Mr. Ward writes: “Wehave published The Rise of the West, and the Agesof Michigan. It is printed well, but bound,sorry I am to say, carelessly. I suppose theMajor will send you a copy.”

Rise of the West, or a Prospect of the MississippiValley, embraces reminiscences of this noble stream,and of its banks being settled by the Anglo-Saxons.


The new administration—­Intellectual contestin the Senate—­Sharp contest for mayoraltyof Detroit—­Things shaping at Washington—­Periloustrip on the ice—­Medical effects of thisexposure—­Legislative Council—­Visitto Niagara Falls—­A visitor of note—­History—­Characterof the Chippewas—­Ish-ko-da-wau-bo—­Rotarysails—­Hostilities between the Chippewasand Sioux—­Friendship and badinage—­Socialintercourse—­Sanillac—­Gossip—­Expeditionto Lake Superior—­Winter Session of theCouncil—­Historical disclosure—­HistoricalSociety of Rhode Island—­Domestic—­FrenchRevolution.

1830. Jan. 26th. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.—­Afriend from Washington writes: “Nothinghas yet been touched in the Indian department.It is doubtful whether our code will be considered.The engrossing topic of the session will be the removalof the Indians. It occupies the public mind throughthe Union, and petitions and remonstrances are pouringin, without number. The article (On the Removalof the Indians) was luckily hit. It has beenwell received, and is very acceptable to the government.”

Feb. 23d. INTELLECTUAL CONTEST IN THESENATE.—­A correspondent from Detroit writes:“I refer you to your papers, which will giveyou the history of the contest between those intellectualgiants, Hayne and Webster, rather Webster and Hayne,on the land question, which seems to absorb publicinterest entirely. My books containing Extractsof the Eloquence of the British Parliament, furnishme no such models as that second speech. Suchclearness, simplicity, and comprehensiveness; sucha grave and impressive tread; such imposing countenanceand manner; such power of thought, and vigor of intellect,and opulence of diction, and chastened brillianceof imagination, have seldom, I was about to say never,startled the listeners of that chamber.”

SHARP CONTEST FOR MAYORALTY OF DETROIT.—­Ashrewd and observant correspondent writes: “JohnR. Williams has been elected mayor, after a closeelection, disputed by Chapin. The enemy practiseda good thing on him. During one of the delegateelections, when his ambition seemed to tower higherthan it now does, he published a sort of memorabilia,like that of Dr. Mitchell, in which was set forth,with much minuteness of detail, all that he had everdone, and much of all he ever thought, for the goodof this poor territory. Such, for instance, asthat in 1802, he was appointed town-clerk of Hamtramck;that he offered, in 1811, his services to Congressin a military capacity, which offer was rejected,and ’was the first who received intelligenceof the capture of Mackinac,’ &c. This thingthe remorseless enemy republished, after it had beenfervently hoped, no doubt, that the unlucky bantlinghad descended to the tomb of the Capulets. Itwas so unaccountably weak and stupid, and so unkindlycontrasted at bottom with sundry specifications ‘ofhow’ he had, with a pertinacious consistency,opposed every projected public improvement here, thathis friends pronounced it a forgery.”

April 14th. THINGS SHAPING AT WASHINGTON.—­“Ireached home,” says a friend, “last week,after a pleasant journey. The time passed off,at Washington, pretty comfortably. There wasmuch to see and hear. The elements of politicalaffairs are combining and recombining, and it is difficultto predict the future course of things.

“You will see that, in the fiscal way, the departmentis better off than last year. Our friend, Col.McKenney, stands his ground well, and I see no differencein his situation.”

PERILOUS TRIP ON THE ICE.—­My brother Jamesleft the Sault St. Marie on the ice with a train,about the 1st of April. He writes from Mackinac,on the 14th of April: “We arrived here onthe 12th, after a stay of seven days at Point St.Ignace. We were seven days from the Sault to thePoint, at which place we arrived in a cold rain storm,half starved, lame, and tired. I suppose thistrip ranks anything of the kind since the days ofHenry. I am sure mortals never suffered more thanus. After leaving the Sault, disappointment,hunger, and fatigue, were our constant companions.The children of Israel traveled a crooked road, ’tissaid, but I think it was not equal to our circuit.

“We found the ice in Muddy Lake very good, incomparison to that of Huron. After leaving Detour,we were obliged to coast, and that too over pilesof snow, mountains of ice, and innumerable rocks.In one instance, we were obliged to make a portageacross a cedar swamp with our baggage, and drove Jackabout a mile through the water, in order to continuethe ‘voyage in a train.’ We wereobliged to round all those long points on Huron, afraidif we went through the snow of being caught on someisland.

“Jack fell through the ice three times out ofsoundings, and it was with great difficulty we succeededin getting him out. We lost all our harness inthe Lake, and were obliged to ‘rig out’with an old bag, a portage collar, and a small pieceof rope-yarn. Jack was three days without eating,except what he could pick on the shore. Take itall in all, I think it rather a severe trip.”

MEDICAL OR PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF THIS EXPOSURE TO COLDAND WET.—­“I came to this place (Vernon,N.Y.) much fatigued, and not in the best health.I think my voyage from the Sault to Mackinac has impairedmy health. I was most strangely attacked on boardthe Aurora. As I was reading in the cabin, allat once I was struck perfectly blind; then a severepain in the head and face and throat, which was remediedby rubbing with vinegar; on the whole, rather a strangevariety of attack.”

KINDNESS TO AN OLD DECAYED “MERCHANT VOYAGEUR.”—­Therelived near me, on the Canadian shore, an aged Frenchman,a native of Trois Rivieres, in Lower Canada, whosereminiscences of life in the wilderness, in the lastcentury, had the charm of novelty. He was aboutseventy years of age, and had raised a family of childrenby a half-English half-Chippewa wife, all of whomhad grown up and departed. His wife and himselfwere left alone, and were very poor. His educationhad been such as to read and write French well; hehad, in fact, received his education in the Collegeof Quebec, where he studied six years, and he spokethat language with considerable purity. As thecold weather drew on in the fall of 1829, I invitedhim, with his wife, to live in my basem*nt, and tooklessons of him in French every morning after breakfast.He had all the polite and respectful manners of ahabitant, and never came up to these recitationswithout the best attention in his power to his costume.

Such was Jean Baptiste Perrault, who was from oneof the best families in Lower Canada. He hadbeen early enamored with stories of voyageur adventureand freedom in the Indian country, where he had spenthis life. He was a man of good judgment, quickperceptions, and most extraordinary memory of things.At my request, he committed to paper, in French, anarrative of his wild adventures, reaching from St.Louis to Pembina, between 1783 and 1820. Mostof the facts illustrate the hardships and risks ofthe Indian trade and Indian manners and customs.They supply something for the history of the regionwhile the country was under the English dominion.

Never was a man more grateful for this winter’sattention. He moved back with his wife, who wasquite attentive to him, to his little domicil on theopposite shore in the spring, and lived, I am informed,till Nov. 12, 1844, when he was about 85.

FOURTH LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.—­I was re-electeda member of the Legislative Council, and as soon asthe lakes and river were fairly open, proceeded toDetroit, where I arrived about the middle of May.In this trip I was accompanied by Mrs. S. and my infantson and daughter, with their nurse; and by Miss CharlotteJohnston, a young lady just coming out into society.The council met and organized without delay, the committeesbeing cast much in the manner of the preceding council,as a majority of the members were re-elected.So far as changes of men had supervened, they were,perhaps, for the better.

VISIT TO NIAGARA FALLS.—­Early in June,however, it was determined to take a recess, and Iembraced this opportunity to proceed with my familyto visit Niagara Falls. Miss Elizabeth Cass acceptedan invitation to join us, and we had a most interestingand delightful visit. We were, perhaps, the firstparty of pure pleasure, having no objects of businessof any kind, who ever went from the upper lakes tosee this grand feature in American scenery. Wewere most kindly received by friends and acquaintancesat Buffalo, where many parties were given. Wevisited both banks of the falls, and crossed overbelow the sheet. On passing Black Rock, we werekindly received by Gen. Porter and his accomplishedand talented lady. We returned to Detroit withthe most pleasing reminiscences of the trip.

A VISITOR OF NOTE.—­About the 20th of July,Gen. Erastus Root, long a veteran in the New YorkLegislature, visited Detroit, having, if I mistakenot, some public business in the upper country.Persons who have been long before the public acquirea reputation which appears to make every one familiarwith them, and there was much curiosity to see a personwho had so long opposed Clinton, opposed the canal,and stood forth in some things as a political reformer.I went with him and his companion, Judge M’Call,after a very hot day, to take some lemonade in theevening at Gen. Cass’s. Gen. Root was notrefined and polished in his manners and converse.He was purposely rough in many things, and appearedto say things in strong terms to produce effect.To call the N.Y. Canal the “big ditch”was one of these inventions which helped him to keepup his individuality in the legislature. He appearedto me to be a man something after the type of EthanAllen.

HISTORY.—­During this session of the legislature,I delivered the annual discourse before the HistoricalSociety. I felt so much misgiving about readingit before the large assemblage at the State House,that I had arranged with a literary and legal friendto put it in his hands the moment I began to falter.For this purpose he occupied the secretary’sdesk; but I found myself sufficiently collected togo on and read it through, not quite loud enough forall, but in a manner, I think, to give satisfaction.

CHARACTER OF THE CHIPPEWAS.—­Wm. S. Mosely,Esq., writes (July 12th) respecting this influentialand wide-spread tribe, proposing a list of queriestransmitted to him by Theodore Dwight, Junr., a philanthropistof N.Y. One of the questions is as follows:“What have been the chief impediments betweenthe Indian and civilization? How would it altertheir opinions or influence their conduct if they couldassociate with white people without being despised,imposed upon, or rendered suspicious of their motives?In short, if they came in contact only with the bestwhite men, and were neither furnished with ardent spiritsnor threatened with extermination by encroachment?”

ISH-KO-DA-WAU-BO.—­I had a pleasant passageup the Lakes in the steamer “Sheldon Thompson.”Among the passengers were James B. Gardiner, of Ohio;charged, with duties from Washington, and John T. Mason,Commissioner for treating with the Indians at GreenBay. In a letter of the 13th August, writtenon his return at Mackinac, Mr. Gardiner, who is quitea philanthropist and a gentleman of most liberal opinions,says: “I conceive it my duty to informyou that I have obtained information from the contractorhimself (Mr. Stanard, who is a fourth owner of theSheldon Thompson), that under the head of ‘provisions,’he has contracted to deliver, and has actually delivered,two hundred barrels of whisky, and two hundred barrelsof high wines, at the place for the American Fur Company,which, no doubt, is designed to be sent into the Indiancountry the ensuing fall.”

ROTARY SAILS.—­John B. Perrault, whose namehas been before mentioned, invented a novel boat,to be propelled by the force of rotary sails actingon machinery, which turns paddle-wheels; a very ingeniousthing. The result of experiments is, however,unfavorable to its practical adoption.

HOSTILITIES BETWEEN THE SIOUX AND CHIPPEWAS.—­Thesehostilities have reached such a point, that the departmenthas deemed it necessary to interpose its friendlyoffices in a more formidable manner, by dispatchingan expedition into the principal seat of the war.The instructions, however (of Aug. 9th), by whichI was designated for that purpose, reached me so latein that month, that it was not deemed practicableto carry them into effect until the next year.I reported the facts, which are deemed necessary tobe known at head-quarters, in order to give efficacyto this necessary and proper measure, recommendingthat the expedition be deferred, and that, in the meantime,suitable means be provided for making it, to the greatestextent, effectual.

FRIENDSHIP AND BADINAGE.—­A friend writesfrom Detroit (Aug. 14th): “For a briefspace, that is, about a quarter of an hour, I can borrowa little use of my own soul, though I cannot callit exactly my own. You will not fail to note,I trust, how eminently judicious is the appropriation.

“A few days since, the letter containing thenotice of your appointment to the Lake Superior destination,was mailed for you. The purpose of this is tosuggest the memory of your doubtful promise, to comedown in the fall for the winter session. TheGov. thinks it too late in the season to attempt yourexpedition this fall; and I presume, that it is, Ihope, your papers will not reach you in time to leavethis summer, an opinion of questionable correctness.

“You can have your table placed in the corner,and amuse yourself with preparing an article for theN.A., Thus you will discharge a double dutyto your country; one to its political interests, andanother to its department of letters. Whateverpreparations are necessary at your place, can be madein the winter, under directions left there when youcome down, and such as could be more conveniently madehere, you shall have every aid in forwarding.The fact is, I see not a single objection, I cannotsee one, and more than that, I won’t. ThisI conceive to be the only rational view to be takenof the subject, and, of course, it follows like theconsequence to the minor of a syllogism; the only oneyou take. So don’t say any more about it,but come along down, and then you shall, with morepleasure, satisfaction, and comfort, go along up.It is, in fact, just as clear, as that one and one,you and me, will make two.”

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE,—­Maj. W. writes(21st Aug.): “I was sorry, on my return,to find you gone, for we have left undone that whichI hoped to have done, with your assistance, that is,the arrangement of our museum. But circ*mstanceswere unlucky. Cases were made wrong, or not madein due time, and absences took some folks away(an allusion to the trip to Niagara), and the councilwould adjourn, &c. You are, however, Iunderstand, to be down here New Year’s day, towhich time, for the special accommodation of the up-countrymembers, I presume the council, as it is said, hasadjourned. An appropriation for snow shoes oughtto have been made.”

SANILLAC.—­“I made an arrangementin Boston for the printing of my MSS. As I foundI was to bear the brunt of the expense, I determinedto make it as small as I consistently could, and have,therefore, made the volume somewhat smaller than wasin my original plan.

“Mr. Ward showed me a hasty note from you relativeto the address (before the Historical Society).I have examined it as published, and I told him yoursuggestions were out of the question. There isnot an error that I could detect that is not clearlytypographical; and your fears, that either yourselfor the society will be discredited, are all idle.I do not recollect any of your books which, I think,do you more credit.”

GOSSIP.—­Mr. Ward writes: “Wehave but little news. The governor and Elizabethare off to Utica and Troy, and we hope the springs.Mr. Cass, Lewis, and Isabel to the Maumee. Majorand Mrs. Kearsley to New York and Philadelphia, withMiss Colt in keeping. For all persons else, onenote will answer. They eat drink, and sleep asthey did, and are ’partly as usual.’”

EXPEDITION INTO LAKE SUPERIOR.—­“Ido not answer you officially,” says Gov.C. “concerning the expedition into Lake Superior,because I shall expect you will be here in the lastvessel, to attend the meeting of the council, andMr. Brush speaks with certainty-upon the subject.As Mr. Irwin has resigned, and there is no provisionfor ordering a new election, your district will bewholly unrepresented unless you attend. In themean time I have received the sum allowed for thisservice, which you can draw for whenever you please.There is no doubt but the matter will go on.After you arrive here, and We have conversed together,I will restate the project of a more extended expedition,agreeably to your suggestions, and submit it to thedepartment. I agree with you fully, that thething should be enlarged, to embrace the persons andobjects you suggest. It would be an importantexpedition, and not a little honorable to you, tohave the direction of it, as it will be the firstauthorized by the administration.”

WINTER SESSION OF THE COUNCIL.—­On the 16thof November, I embarked in a large boat at St. Mary’swith a view of reaching Mackinack in season to takethe last vessel returning down the lakes. Theweather was hazy, warm, and calm, and we could notdescry objects at any considerable distance.If we were not in “Sleepy Hollow” whiledescending the broad valley and stretched out watersof the St. Mary’s, we were, at least, in sucha hazy atmosphere, that our eyes might almost as wellhave been shut. It seemed an interlude in theweather, between the boisterous winds of autumn andthe severe cold of December. In this maze I camedown the river safely, and proceeded to Mackinack,where I remained several days before I found a vessel.These were days of pleasing moral intercourse at themission. I do not recollect how many days thevoyage lasted, but it was late in the evening of aday in December, dark and very muddy when the schoonerdropped anchor off the city, and I plodded my wayfrom the shore to the Old Stone Mansion Housein Detroit.

HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.—­Mr. Madison, theEx-president, transmits a very neat and terse noteof acknowledgment for a copy of my address, in thefollowing words, which are quite a compensation forthe time devoted to its composition:—­

“J. Madison, with his respects to Mr. Schoolcraft,thanks him for the copy of his valuable discoursebefore ’the Historical Society of Michigan.’To the seasonable exhortation it gives to others, itadds an example which may be advantageously followed.”(Oct. 23d.)

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF RHODE ISLAND.—­I receiveda copy of a circular issued by this institution (Nov.1), asking Congress for aid in the transcription offoreign historical manuscripts. “We alone,(almost,)” say the committee, “among nations,have it in our power to trace clearly, certainly,and satisfactorily, at a very trifling expense, thewhole of our career, from its very outset, throughout

its progress, down to the present moment—­andshall we manifest a supineness, a perfect listlessnessand complete indifference respecting a subject, thatby every other people has been, and is still esteemedof so vast magnitude, and deep interest, as to haveinduced, and still to induce them to pour forth fundsfrom their treasuries unsparingly, to aid the historiansin removing, if possible, the veil that conceals indark obscurity their origin?”

DOMESTIC.—­Mrs. Schoolcraft writes fromElmwood, St. Mary’s (Dec. 6th):“I continue to instruct our dear little girlevery day, and I trust you will find her improvedon your return, should it please Heaven to restoreyou in peace and safety. Johnston has quite recovered,and can now stand alone, and could walk, if hewould. I have called on Mrs. Baxley, and findher a very agreeable woman. She said she saw youseveral times at Prairie du Chien. (1825.) I also wentto see the mission farm, and was much pleased withthe teacher, Miss McComber. The weather has remainedvery fine, till within two days, when we have had,for the first time, a sprinkling of snow.Such a season has never been heard of in this country—­nota particle of ice has, as yet, formed anywhere.”

FRENCH REVOLUTION.—­This political revolutionhas come like an avalanche, and the citizens havedetermined to celebrate it, and have a public address,for which Major Whiting has been designated.Thirty-seven years ago the French cut off the headof the reigning Bourbon, Louis XVI., and now theyhave called another branch of the same house, of whomBonaparte said: “They never learn anything,and they never forget anything.” As theFrench please, however. We are all joy and rejoicingat the event. It seems the consummation of along struggle.

Mr. Ward (Ed. Jour.) writes 25th Dec.: “Willyou send me, by the bearer, the lines you showed mein Brush’s office. They will be quite aproposnext week. Should like to close our form thisevening.”


Lecture before the Lyceum—­Temperature inthe North—­Rum and taxes—­A mildwinter adverse to Indians—­Death of a friend—­Christianatonement—­Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianizedwhite man—­Indian emporium—­Bringingup children—­Youth gone astray—­MountHope Institution—­Expedition into the Indiancountry—­Natural History of the United States—­Areminiscence—­Voyage inland.

1831. LECTURE BEFORE THE LYCEUM.—­Theexecutive committee of this popular institution asksme by a note (Jan. 14th), to lecture before them ashort time ahead. Public duty is an excuse, whichon such occasions is very generally made by men inoffice, who in nine cases out of ten seek to concealthe onerousness of literary labor under that amplecloak. To me there is no duty more important thanthat which diverts a town from idle gratifications,and fixes its attention on moral or intellectual themes.Although the notice was short, I determined to situp a few nights and comply with it. I selectedthe natural history of Michigan, as a subject verytangible, and one about which a good deal of interestcould be thrown. I had devoted much interestto it for years—­understood it, perhaps,better than any one in the territory, and could lectureupon it con amore.

When the appointed evening arrived, I found a highlyrespectable and very crowded audience, in the upperchamber of the old Indian council house. It wascertainly a better use of the building than payingthe price of blood for white men’s and women’sscalps, during the fierce seven years’ struggleof the American Revolution, and the succeeding Indianwars. My lights were badly placed for reading,and I got on indifferently in that respect, for Icould not see well, but my facts and matter altogetherwere well and approvingly received; and the addresswas immediately published.

TEMPERATURE AT THE FOOT OF LAKE SUPERIOR.—­Mr.F. Andrain writes to me from St. Mary’s (Jan.26th): “The weather has been very mild indeed,here, until within a few days: there has not beensufficient snow, as yet, to cover the stubble in thefields. The severe weather commenced on the 23dinstant. The thermometer stood as follows:—­”

On the 23d, at 9 o’clock A.M., 11 degrees below zero.24th, " " 13 " "25th, " " 2 " "26th, " " 1 " "

RUM AND TAXES.—­A trader at St. Mary’swrites (26th Jan.) as follows: “It is thewish of several individuals, who keep stores in thevillage, to be informed whether the sutler in FortBrady is not obliged to pay taxes as well as we.For he has almost the exclusive trade of the Canadians.It is tempting to purchase liquor at 2_s_. 6_d_. pergallon, when they have to pay 4_s_. in the village.The temperance society is of no use, when any of itsmembers can dispose of liquor at so low a rate.”I put the last words in italics.

A MILD WINTER ADVERSE TO THE INDIANS.—­Mr.George Johnston observes (8th March): “Theweather on Lake Superior has been uncommonly mild thewhole winter. The southern shore of the lakefrom White Fish Point to Ance Kewywenon presents ascene of open lake, not any ice forming to enablethe poor Indians to spear fish.”

DEATH OF A FRIEND.—­Mrs. Schoolcraft says(Feb. 3d): “Mrs. Bingham passed the daywith me a short time since, and brought me some Vermontreligious papers, which I read yesterday, and foundan account of the death of our poor friend Mr. Conant,which took place in November last in Brandon, Vermont,leaving his disconsolate widow and five children.He suffered greatly for five years, but I am happyto find he was resigned in suffering to the will ofthe Almighty with patience; and I trust he is nowa happy member of the souls made perfect in the preciousblood of the Lamb.” Thus ended the careerof a man of high moral worth, mental vigor, and exaltedbenevolence of feeling and purpose. This is theman, and the family, who showed us such marked kindnessand attentions in the city of New York, in the winterof 1825—­kindness and attentions never tobe forgotten. Feb. 7th. This day is verymemorable in my private history, for my having assumed,after long delay, the moral intrepidity to acknowledge,publicly, a truth which has never been lostsight of since my intercourse with the Rev. Mr. Laird,in the, to me, memorable winter of 1824—­whenit first flashed, as it were, on my mind. Thattruth was the divine atonement for human sin madeby the long foretold, the rejected, the persecuted,the crucified Messiah.

Threat of an Indianized White Man.—­A friendat St. Mary’s writes: “Tanner hasagain made bold threats, agreeably to Jack Hotley’sstatement, and in Doctor James’ presence, saying,that had you still been here, he would have killedyou; and as the Johnstons were acting in concert withyou, he kept himself constantly armed.”This being, in his strange manners and opinions, atleast, appears to offer a realization of Shakspeare’sidea of Caliban.

Indian Emporium.—­Col. T. McKenney,who has been superseded in the Indian Bureau at Washington,announces, by a circular, that he is about to establisha commercial house, or agency, on a general plan, forsupplying articles designed for the Indian trade andthe sale of furs and peltries. This appears tome a striking mistake of judgment. The colonel,of all things, is not suited for a merchant.

Bringing up of Children.—­Mrs. Schoolcraftwrites: “I find the time passes more swiftlythan I thought it would; indeed, my friends have beenunwearied in striving to make my solitary situationas pleasant as possible, and they have favored mewith their company often. I strive to be as friendlyas I possibly can to every one, and I find I am noloser by so doing. I wish it was in your powerto bring along with you a good little girl who canspeak English, for I do not see how I can manage duringthe summer (if my life is spared) without some assistancein the care of the children. I feel anxious,more particularly on Jane’s account, for sheis now at that age when children are apt to be biasedby the habits of those they associate with, and asI cannot be with her all the time, the greaterwill be the necessity of the person to whom she isentrusted (let it be ever so short a time) to be onewho has been brought up by pious, and, of course,conscientious parents, where no bad example can beapprehended. I feel daily the importance of bringingup children, not merely to pass with advantage throughthe world, but with advantage to their souls to alleternity.”

I find great pleasure in sister Anna Maria’scompany. She is to stay with me till you return.Little Jan_ee_ improves rapidly under her tuition.Janee (she was now three and a half years of age) hascommenced saying by heart two pieces out of the littlebook you sent her. One is ‘My Mother,’and the other is ‘How doth the little busy Bee.’It is pleasant to see her smooth down her apron andhear her say, “So I shall stand by my father,and say my lessons, and he will call me his dear littleTee-gee, and say I am a good girl.”She will do this with so much gravity, and then skipabout in an instant after and repeat, half singing,“My father will come home again in the spring,when the birds sing and the grass and flowers comeout of the ground; he will call me his wild Irishgirl.”

“Janee has just come into the room, and insistson my telling you that she can spell her name veryprettily, ‘Schoolcraft and all.’ Sheseems anxious to gain your approbation for her acquirements,and I encourage the feeling in order to excite attentionto her lessons, as she is so full of life and spiritsthat it is hard to get her to keep still long enoughto recite them properly. Johnston has improvedmore than you can imagine, and has such endearingways that one cannot help loving the dear child.Oh, that they would both grow up wise unto salvation,and I should be happy.”

Youthful Blood.—­James —–­was a young man of promise—­bright mentallyand physically, lively and witty, and of a figure andmanners pleasing to all. In a moment of passionhe dirked a man at a French ball. The victimof this scene of revelry lingered a few months andrecovered. This recovery is announced in a letterof Mrs. Schoolcraft’s (Feb. 16th), in whichshe says:—­

“Dr. James sent a certificate of the young man’sreturning health by the last express, and an Indianwas also sent to accompany James back to this place;but how great was our astonishment at the arrival ofthe Indian alone, on the 3d ultimo, and bringingnews of James’ escape from Mackinack. Wefelt a good deal alarmed for his safety on the way,and an Indian was sent down the river in quest of him;but we were relieved of our fears by the arrival ofJames himself on the following day, very much exhausted.I immediately sent to Dechaume to ask how he did,and learnt that his fatigue, &c., had not in the leastabated his natural vivacity and gayety.

“Three days after his arrival (being Sunday)I was at dinner at my mother’s, when he camein, and could not refrain from tears. He seemedmuch affected at what I said, and I felt encouragedto hope some little change in his conduct. Thenext day, on mature reflection, I thought no timewas to be lost in striving by all human meansto reclaim him, and my promise to co-operate withyou all I could for that desirable object, inducedme to write a note inviting him to come and spend aquiet social evening with sister Anna Maria and myself,and I sent the sleigh to bring him down, so that hecould have no excuse to decline coming, and I waspleased that he came without hesitation.

“I conversed a long time with him, pointingout, in the most gentle and affectionate manner Icould, where he had erred, and in what way he mighthave become not only respected and esteemed, but independent,whereas his excesses had brought him to embarrassmentand disgrace; and conjured him, as he valued his temporaland spiritual welfare, to abandon some, at least (tobegin with) of his evil courses, and to strive withall his might to avert the wrath of that Holy Beingwhom he had hitherto so despised, and whose just lawshe had, in more than one instance, violated,and a great deal more that I cannot now mention.I got him at last to promise to strive to become better.

“We passed the rest of the evening in a rationaland pleasant manner by reading chiefly in the LiteraryVoyager, thinking it might help to call forthformer occupations, which were comparatively innocent,and reading some of his own pieces, renew ataste of what was virtuous and praiseworthy.I inwardly prayed that by such means, feeble as theywere, they might tend to draw him off insensibly fromhis former haunts and habits. I have been enabledto pursue this course of conduct towards him eversince that evening, and I am pleased to find that hecomes oftener to Elmwood than I at first expected;but I perceive that there is some other attractionbesides my sage discourses that draws him sooften to the now leafless shades of Elmwood.And he may fancy that either a rose or a lilyhas taken shelter within its walls. Be that asit may, I shall not say a word; most of my thoughtsare more occupied with the best method I can taketo do him good to all eternity, and I do not forgetto ask aid of ONE that never errs.

“Some evenings since, Mr. Agnew and some ofthe officers gave a ball at one of the French houses,and not doubting but that James was invited to joinin the amusem*nt, I instantly addressed a long letterto him, encouraging him in his recent resolution ofamendment, and told him now was the time toput those wise resolves to the test by practice, andthat he ought to know, by sad experience, that attendingsuch low scenes of dissipation was the source of almostall the iniquity in the place. I had afterwardsthe satisfaction to find that he did not attend; butmy fears for him are still very great, and will bejustly so as long as he is so taken up by that disgracefulconnection where he spends a great deal of his precioustime. My ambition is not only to civilizehim (if I may be allowed that expression, which isnot out of the way, after all, as he has despisedthe forms and restraints of refined society), butmy ardent wish is to Christianize him in everysense of the word—­he is, at present, skeptical.But let us only do our duty as Christians, and leavethe rest in the hands of the Almighty.”

Mount Hope, Baltimore.—­My old instructorand friend, Prof. Frederick Hall, sends me aprogramme of his collegiate institution, at this place,and writes me (April 6th) a most friendly letter, renewingold acquaintanceship and scientific reminiscences.Death makes such heavy inroads on our friends, thatwe ought to cherish the more those that are left.

Legislation proceeded quietly while these events occurred,and the winter wore away almost imperceptibly tillthe session closed. I embraced the first opportunityof ascending the Lakes to the entrance of the.St. Mary’s, and from thence up the river, andreached home about the 25th of April, making altogetherabout five months absence. But at home I am notdestined long to remain, as the expedition into theLake, for which I was designated in August, was onlydeferred till spring.

I had now served four years in the legislature; but,understanding that the President had expressed anopinion that official officers should not engage inthe business of legislation, I declined a reelectionby a public notice to the electors of my district.

* * * * *

EXPEDITION TO THE REGION OF THE ST. CROIX AND CHIPPEWIARIVERS.—­The Executive of the territorywrites from Washington (April 19th): “Iarrived here day before yesterday, and this morningtalked with Gen. Eaton. You will go into LakeSuperior, and I am to submit a project to-day.I shall have it properly arranged. In a day ortwo, I trust, I shall have the official papers off.I write in a hurry now to apprise you of the fact.The letter you received from Mr. Hamilton, was writtenbefore I arrived.” The same person, threedays later, says: “The official instructionsare preparing for your expedition, and will, I hope,be off to-day.” They were written on the3d of May, and are as follows:—­

“Your letter of Feb. 13th has been received,and its general views are approved. The Secretaryof War deems it important that you should proceedto the country upon the head of the Mississippi, andvisit as many of the Indians in that and the intermediateregion, as circ*mstances will permit.

“Reports have reached this department from variousquarters, that the Indians upon our frontiers arein an unquiet state,[60] and that there is a prospectof extensive hostilities among themselves. Itis no less the dictate of humanity, than of policy,to repress this feeling and to establish permanentpeace among these tribes. It is also importantto inspect the condition of the trade in that remotecountry, and the conduct of the traders. To ascertainwhether the regulations and the laws are compliedwith, and to suggest such alterations as may be required.And finally, to inquire into the numbers, standing,disposition, and prospects of the Indians, and to reportall the statistical facts you can procure, and whichwill be useful to the government in its operations,or to the community in the investigation of thesesubjects.”

[Footnote 60: The Sauc war under Blackhawk brokeout within the year.]

“In addition to these objects, you will directyour attention to the vaccination of the Indians.An act for that purpose has passed Congress, and youare authorized to take a surgeon with you. Vaccinematter prepared and put up by the Surgeon General,is herewith transmitted to you, and you will, uponyour whole route, explain to the Indians the advantagesof vaccination, and endeavor to persuade them to submitto the process. You will keep and report an accountof the number, ages, sex, tribe, and local situationof the Indians who may be vaccinated, and also ofthe prevalence, from time to time, of the small-poxamong them, and of its effects as far as these canbe ascertained.”

While preparations for this expedition were beingmade, some things that transpired deserve notice.

NATURAL HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES.—­Onthe 26th of May, Mr. G.W. Featherstonhaugh, ofPhiladelphia, sends me a printed copy of a prospectusfor a “Monthly American Journal of Natural Science,”with the following note: “As the annexedprospectus will explain itself, I shall only say,that I shall be most happy to receive any paper fromyou for insertion, on subjects connected with NaturalHistory. Your minute acquaintance with theNorth-western Territory must have placed many materialsin your possession, and I trust you may be inducedto transfer some of them to the periodical about tobe issued.

“We consider Mr. Eaton’s geological notionsand nomenclature as very empirical here, as they areconsidered in France and England, and his day haspassed by.”

The prospectus says: “Amidst these generalcontributions to science, it is painful to perceivewhat conspicuous blanks are yet left for America tofill up, and especially in those important branches,American geology and American organic remains.This feeling is greatly increased by the occasionaltaunts and sneers we see directed against us in foreignscientific works. They are aimed, it is true,against individuals insignificant enough to eludethem, and therefore the larger body, the nation, ish*t and wounded by them. Neither is there anydefence open to us. We send abroad gigantic storiesof huge antediluvian lizards, ‘larger than thelargest size,’ and we ourselves are kept uponthe stare at our own wonders from Georgia to Maine,until we find out we have been exulting over the strandedremains of a common spermaceti whale. At thispresent moment, a huge animal dug out of the Big BoneLick, sixty feet long, and twenty-five feet high,is parading through the columns of the European newspapers,after making its progress through our own. Thisis, what every naturalist supposed it be, also a greatimposition. Within these few days, drums andtrumpets have been sounded for other monsters.A piece of one of our common coal plants is conjuredinto a petrified rattlesnake, and one of the mostfamiliar fossils solemnly announced all the way fromCanada, under a name exploded, and long forgottenby naturalists. All these gibes and reproacheswe ought to have been spared. There ought tohave been the ready means amongst us, together withthe independence and intelligence, to put down theseimpostures and puerilities as they arose.”

This is well said, and if it be intended to referto the popular class, who have not made science astudy; to men who make wheelbarrows or sell cottonand sugar—­to the same classes of men, infact, who in England, are busied in the daily pursuitsby which they earn their bread, leaving science toscientific men, but respecting its truths, cannot tell“a hawk from a handsaw”—­itis all true enough. But if it be applied to thepower and determination of American mind, professedly,or as in a private capacity, devoted to the various

classes of natural history spoken of, it is not onlyunjust in a high degree, but an evidence of overweeningself-complaisance, imprecision of thought, or arrogance.No trait of the American scientific character hasbeen more uniformly and highly approbated, by theforeign journals of England, France, and Germany,than its capacity to accumulate, discriminate, anddescribe facts. For fourteen years past Silliman’sJournal of Science, though not exclusively devotedto natural sciences, has kept both the scientificand the popular intelligent mind of the public welland accurately advised of the state of natural sciencethe world over. Before it, Bruce’s MineralogicalJournal, though continued but for a few years,was eminently scientific, Cleaveland’s Mineralogyhas had the effect to diffuse scientific knowledgenot only among men of science, but other classes ofreaders. In ornithology, in conchology, and especiallyin botany, geology and mineralogy, American mind hasproved itself eminently fitted for the highest tasks.

A REMINISCENCE.—­When I returned from theWest to the city of New York in 1819, Mr. John Griscombwas a popular lecturer on chemistry in the old almshouse.He apprised me that the peculiar friable white clay,which I had labeled chalk from its external characters,contained no carbonic acid. It was a chemicalfact that impressed me. I was reminded of thisfact, and of his friendly countenance, ever after,on receiving a letter of introduction from him bya Mr. William R. Smith, with three volumes of hiswritings (28th May). I am satisfied that we storeup the memory of a kind or friendly act, however small(if it be done in a crisis of our affairs), as longas, and more tenaciously than, an unkind one.

VOYAGE INLAND.—­At length, all things beingready, I embarked at the head of the portage of theSt. Mary’s, and proceeded to the small sandyplain at the foot of Point Iroquois, at the entranceinto Lake Superior, where I encamped. To thispoint I was accompanied by Mrs. Schoolcraft and thechildren, and Lt. Allen and the Miss Johnstons,the day being calm and delightful, and the views onevery hand the most enchanting and magnificent.While at Detroit during the winter, I had invited Dr.Douglass Houghton to accompany me to vaccinate theIndians. He was a man of pleasing manners anddeportment, small of stature, and of a compact make,and apparently well suited to withstand the fatiguesincidental to such a journey. He was a good botanistand geologist—­objects of interest to meat all times; but especially so now, for I should haveconsidered it inexcusable to conduct an expeditioninto the Indian country, without collecting data overand above the public duties, to understand its naturalhistory. I charged myself, on this occasion, moreparticularly with the Indian subject—­theirmanners and customs, conditions, languages, and history,and the policy best suited to advance them in thescale of thinking beings, responsible for their acts,moral and political.

Lt. Robt. E. Clary, 2d U.S. Infantry,commanded a small detachment of troops, which wasordered to accompany me through the Indian country.I had invited Mr. Melancthon Woolsey, a printer ofDetroit, a young man of pleasing manners and morals,to accompany me as an aid in procuring statisticalinformation. I had an excellent crew of experiencedmen, guides and interpreters, and full supplies ofeverything suited to insure respect among the tribes,and to accomplish, not only the government business,but to give a good account of the natural historyof the country to be explored. It was the firstpublic expedition, authorized by the new administrationat Washington, and bespoke a lively interest on thesubject of Indian Affairs, and the topics incidentallyconnected with it. I was now to enter, after crossingLake Superior, the country of the Indian murderers,mentioned 22d June, 1825, and to visit their mostremote villages and hiding places.

It was the 27th of June when we left that point—­theexploring party to pursue its way in the lake, andthe ladies, in charge of Lt. Allen, to returnto St. Mary’s.


Lake Superior—­Its shores and character—­Geology—­Brigadeof boats—­Dog and porcupine—­Burrowingbirds—­Otter—­Keweena Point—­Unfledgedducks—­Minerals—­Canadian resourcein a tempest of rain—­Tramp in search ofthe picturesque—­Search for native copper—­IsleRoyal descried—­Indian precaution—­Theiringenuity—­Lake action—­NebungunowinRiver—­Eagles—­Indian tomb—­KaugWudju.

1831. LAKE SUPERIOR lay before us. He who,for the first time, lifts his eyes upon this expanse,is amazed and delighted at its magnitude. Vastnessis the term by which it is, more than any other, described.Clouds robed in sunshine, hanging in fleecy or nebularmasses above—­a bright, pure illimitableplain of water—­blue mountains, or dim islandsin the distance—­a shore of green foliageon the one hand—­a waste of waters on theother. These are the prominent objects on whichthe eye rests. We are diverted by the flightof birds, as on the ocean. A tiny sail in thedistance reveals the locality of an Indian canoe.Sometimes there is a smoke on the shore. Sometimesan Indian trader returns with the avails of his winter’straffic. A gathering storm or threatening windarises. All at once the voyageurs burstout into one of their simple and melodious boat-songs,and the gazing at vastness is relieved and sympathyat once awakened in gayety. Such are the scenesthat attend the navigation of this mighty but solitarybody of water. That nature has created such ascene of magnificence merely to look at, is contraryto her usual economy. The sources of a busy futurecommerce lie concealed, and but half concealed, inits rocks. Its depths abound in fish, which willbe eagerly sought, and even its forests are not withouttimber to swell the objects of a future commerce.If the plough is destined to add but little to itswealth, it must be recollected that the labors ofthe plough are most valuable where the area suitablefor its dominion is the smallest. But even theprairies of the West are destined to waft their superabundancehere.

We passed the lengthened shores which give outlineto Taquimenon Bay. We turned the long and bleakpeninsula of White Fish Point, and went on to thesandy margin of Vermilion Bay. Here we encampedat three o’clock in the afternoon, and waitedall the next day for the arrival of Lieut. RobertClary and his detachment of men, from Fort Brady, whowere to form a part of the expedition. With himwas expected a canoe, under the charge of James L.Schoolcraft, with some supplies left behind, and anexpress mail. They both arrived near evening onthe 28th, and thus the whole expedition was formedand completed, and we were prepared to set out withthe latest mail. Mr. Holliday came in from hiswintering grounds about the same time, and we leftVermilion Bay at four o’clock on the morningof the 29th, J.L.S. in his light canoe, and chantingCanadians for Sault St. Marie, and we for the theatreof our destination.

We went about forty miles along a shore exclusivelysandy, and encamped at five o’clock in the eveningat Grand Marais. This is a striking inlet inthe coast, which has much enlarged itself within lateyears, owing to the force of the north-west storms.It exhibits a striking proof of lake action.The next day we passed the naked and high dunes calledGrand Sable, and the storm-beaten and impressive horizontalcoat of the Pictured Rocks, and encamped at GrandIsland, a distance of about 130 miles. I foundmasses of gypsum and small veins of calcareous sparimbedded in the sandstone rock of the point of GrandSable. Ironsand exists in consolidated layersat the cliff called Doric Rock.

The men and boats were now in good traveling trim,and we went on finely but leisurely, examining suchfeatures in the natural history as Dr. Houghton, whohad not been here before, was anxious to see.On the 1st of July, we encamped at Dead River, fromwhence I sent forward a canoe with a message, andwampum, and tobacco, to Gitchee Iauba, the head chiefof Ancekewywenon, requesting him to send a canoe andfour men to supply the place of an equal number fromthe Sault St. Marie, sent back, and to accompany mein my voyage as far as La Pointe.

GEOLOGY.—­We spent the next day in examiningthe magnesian and calcareous rubblestone which appearsto constitute strata resting against and upon theserpentine rock of Presque Isle. This rock ishighly charged with what appears to be chromate ofiron. We examined the bay behind this peninsula,which appears to be a harbor capable of admittinglarge vessels. We ascended a conical hill risingfrom the bay, which the Indians call Totoesh,or Breast Mountain. Having been the first toascend its apex, the party named it Schoolcraft’sMountain. Near and west of it, is a lower saddle-shapedmountain, called by the natives The Cradle Top.Granite Point exhibits trap dykes in syenite.The horizontal red sandstone, which forms the peninsulaconnecting this point with the main, rests against

and upon portions of the granite, showing its subsidencefrom water at a period subsequent to the upheavalof the syenite and trap. This entire coast, reachingfrom Chocolate River to Huron Bay—­a distanceof some seventy miles—­consists of granitehills, which, viewed from the top of the Totoesh, hasthe rolling appearance of the sea in violent motion.Its chief value must result from its minerals, ofwhich iron appears to constitute an important item.

We reached Huron River on the 4th of July about threeo’clock in the afternoon, having come on witha fine wind. At this place we met Mr. Aitkin’sbrigade of boats, seven in number, with the year’shunts of the Fond du Lac department. I landedand wrote official notes to the Sault St. Marie andto Washington, acquainting the government with myprogress, and giving intelligence of the state of theIndians.

TRADERS’ BOATS.—­Mr. Aitkin reportsthat a great number of the Indians died of starvation,at his distant posts, during the winter, owing tothe failure of the wild rice. That he collectedfor his own use but eight bushels, instead of aboutas many hundreds. That he had visited Gov.Simpson at Pembina, and found the latter unwillingto make any arrangements on the subject of discontinuingthe sale of whisky to the Indians. That I wasexpected by the Indians on the Upper Mississippi, inconsequence of the messages sent in, last fall.That efforts continue to be made by the agent at St.Peters, to draw the Chippewas to that post, notwithstandingthe bloodshed and evils resulting from such visits.That a hard opposition in trade has been manifestedby the Hudson’s Bay Company. That theyhave given out medals to strengthen and increase theirinfluence with our Indians. And that liquor isrequired to oppose them at Pembina, War Road, RainyLake, Vermilion Lake and Grand Portage.

DOG AND PORCUPINE.—­While at Huron River,we saw a lost dog left ashore, who had been goadedby hunger to attack a porcupine. The quills ofthe latter were stuck thickly into the sides of thenose and head of the dog. Inflammation had takenplace, rendering the poor beast an object of pityand disgust.

BURROWING BIRDS.—­At Point Aux Beignes (PancakePoint) one of the men caught a kingfisher by clappinghis hand over an orifice in the bank. He alsotook from its nest six eggs. The bank was perforatedby numbers of these orifices. At this point weobserved the provisions of our advance camp, put incache, to lighten it for the trip down the bay.Leaving Mr. G. Johnston and Mr. Melancthon Woolseyat this point to await the return of the canoe, Iproceeded to Cascade, or, as it is generally called,Little Montreal River. Johnston and Woolsey cameup during the night. Next morning an Indian camefrom a lodge, leading a young otter by a string.The animal played about gracefully, but we had notemptation to purchase him with our faces set to thewilderness. At the latter place, which is on

a part of the Sandy-bay of Graybeast River, the trapformation, which is the copper-bearing rock, is firstseen. This rock, which forms the great peninsulaof Kewywenon, rises into cliffs on this bay, whichat the elevation called Mammels by the French, deservethe name of mountains. Portions of this rock,viewed in extenso, are overlaid by amygdaloid andrubblestone—­the latter of which forms aremarkable edging to the formation, in some places,on the north-west shore, that makes a canal, as atthe Little Marrias.

KEWEENA PENINSULA.—­We were six days incoasting around this peninsula, which is highly metalliferous.At some points we employed the blast, to ascertainthe true character and contents of the soil. Atothers we went inland, and devoted the time in exploringits range and extent. We examined the outstandingisolated vein of carbonate of copper, called RocheVert by the French. In seeking for its connectionon the main shore, I discovered the black oxide inthe same vein. In the range of the greenstoneabout two leagues south of this point, a vein of nativecopper, with ores and veinstones, was observed, andspecimens taken.

The N.W. coast of the peninsula is greatly serratedand broken, abounding in little bays and inlets, andgiving proofs of the terrible action of the stormson this rugged shore.

Notes of these examinations and of a trip inland weremade, which cannot here be referred to more particularly.

UNFLEDGED DUCKS.—­The men had rare and veryexciting sport, in coasting around the peninsula,in catching the young of the onzig—­whichis the sawbill. In the early part of the monthof July, the wings of the young are not sufficientlydeveloped to enable them to fly. They will runon the water, flapping their unfledged wings, withgreat speed, but the gay Frenchmen, shouting at thetop of their lungs, would propel their canoes so asto overtake them whenever the little fugitives couldnot find some nook in the rock to hide in. Theychased down one day thirteen in this way, which werefound a most tender and delicate dish. The excitementin these chases was extreme. At the GrandMarrias (now near Fort Wilkins) we obtained fromthe shore of the inner bay, agates, stilbite, and smokyquartz, &c.

SINGULAR VIVACITY.—­In going from this baythrough a rock-bound strait, the rain fell literallyin sheets. There was no escape, and our onlyphilosophy was to sit still and bear it. The showerwas so great that it obscured objects at a short distance.All at once the men struck up a cheerful boat song,which they continued, paddling with renewed energy,till the shower abated. I believe no other peopleunder the sun would have thought of such a resource.

TRAMP IN SEARCH OF THE PICTURESQUE.—­Thewind rising ahead, we took shelter in an inlet throughthe trap range, which we called Houghton’s Cove.After taking a lunch and drying our things, it wasproposed to visit a little lake, said to give originto the stream falling into its head. The journeyproved a toilsome one; but, after passing throughwoods and defiles, we at length stood on a cliff whichoverlooked the object sought for—­a pondcovered with aquatic plants. Wherever we mighthave gone in search of the picturesque, this seemedthe last place to find it. On again reachingthe lake the wind was found less fierce, and we wenton to Pine River, where we encamped on coarse, loosegravel.

SEARCH FOR NATIVE COPPER.—­The next daythe wind blew fiercely, and we could not travel.In consequence of reports from the Indians of a largemass of copper inland, I manned a light canoe, and,leaving the baggage and camp in charge of Lesart,went back to a small bay called Mushkeeg, and wentinland under their guidance. We wandered manymiles, always on the point of making the discovery,but never making it; and returned with our fatiguefor our pains. It was seven o’clock in theevening before we returned to our camp—­ateight the wind abated, and we embarked, and, aftertraveling diligently all night, reached the westernterminus of the Keweena portage at two o’clocknext morning—­having advanced in this timeabout twenty-four miles. Next day, July 10, thewind rose again violently ahead.

ISLE ROYAL DESCRIED.—­In coming down thecoast of the Keweena Peninsula, we descried the peaksof this island seen dimly in the distance, which itis not probable could have been done if the distancewere over sixty miles.

INDIAN PRECAUTION, THEIR INGENUITY.—­Wefound several Chippewa Indians encamped. Theybrought a trout, the large lake trout, and were, as-usual,very friendly. We saw a fresh beaver’s skinstretched on the drying hoop, at the Buffalo’sson’s lodge. But the women had secretedthemselves and children in the woods, with the driedskins, supposing that a trader’s canoe had landed,as we had landed in the night. This may givesome idea of the demands of trade that are usuallymade, and the caution that is observed by them whena trader lands.

We here saw the claws-of two owls, with the skin andleg feathers adhering, sewed together so closely andskilfully, by the Indian, women, as to resemble anondescript with eight claws. It was only by aclose inspection that we could discover the joinings.

LAKE ACTION.—­The geological action of thelake against the high banks of diluvion, at this spot,is very striking. It has torn away nearly allthe ancient encamping ground, including the Indianburials. Human bones were found scattered alongthe declivity of fallen earth. An entire skullwas picked up, with the bark wrappings of the body,tibia, &c.

At seven in the evening the tempest ceased so as toenable us to embark. We kept close in shore,as the wind was off land, a common occurrence on theselakes at night. On turning the point of red sandstonerock, which the Indians call Pug-ge-do-wau(Portage), the Porcupine Mountains rose to our view,directly west, presenting an azure outline of verystriking lineaments—­an animal couchant.As night drew on, the water became constantly smoother;it was nine before daylight could be said to leaveus. We passed, in rapid succession, the Mauzhe-ma-gwoosor Trout, Graverod’s, Unnebish, or Elm,and Pug-ge-do-wa, or Misery River, in Fishing Bay.Here we overtook Lieut. Clary, and encamped atone o’clock A.M. (11th). We were on thelake again at five o’clock. We turned pointa la Peche, and stopped at River Nebau-gum-o-winfor breakfast. While thus engaged, the wind roseand shifted ahead. This confined us to the spot.

NEBAUGUMOWIN RIVER.—­Mr. Johnston, Dr. Houghton,and Mr. Woolsey, made an excursion in a canoe up theriver. They went about three or four miles—­foundthe water deep, and the banks high and dry on the rightside (going up), and covered with maple, ash, birch,&c. At that distance the stream was obstructedby logs, but the depth of water continued. Dr.H. added to his botanical collection. Altogetherappearances are represented more favorable than wouldbe inferred from the sandy and swampy character ofthe land about its discharge into the lake.

EAGLES.—­While at the Mauzhe-ma-gwoosRiver, Lieut. Clary captured a couple of youngeagles, by letting his men cut down a large pine.One of the birds had a wing broken in falling.They were of the bald-headed kind, to which the Chippewasapply the term Megizzi, or barker. Healso got a young mink from an Indian called Wabeno.The men also caught some trout in that river, forwhich it is remarkable.

At two o’clock the wind had somewhat abated,so as to allow us to take the lake, and we reachedand entered the Ontonagon River at half past fouro’clock. Mr. Johnston with the store canoe,and Lieut. Clary with his boat, came in successivelywith colors flying. Kon-te-ka, the chief, andhis band saluted us with several rounds of musketryfrom the opposite shore. Afterwards they crossedto our camp, and the usual exchange of ceremoniesand civilities took place. In a speech from thechief he complained much of hunger, and presented hisband as objects of charitable notice. I explainedto him the pacific object of my journey, and the routeto be pursued, and requested the efficient co-operationof himself and his band in putting a stop to war parties,referring particularly to that by Kewaynokwut in 1824,which, although raised against the Sioux, had murderedFinley and his men at Lake Pepin. This partywas raised on the sources of the Ontonagon and Chippewa.I told him how impossible it was that his Great Father

should ever see their faces in peace while they countenanceor connive at such dastardly war parties, who wentin quest of a foe, and not finding him, fell upon afriend. He said he had not forgotten this.Even now, I continued, a chief of the Sauks was tryingto enlist the Indians in a scheme of extreme hostilities.It was a delusion. They had no British alliesto rally on as in former wars. The time was past—­pastforever for such plans. We are in profound peace.And their Great Father, the President, would, if thescheme was pursued by that chief, order his whole armyto crush him. I requested him to inform me ofany messages, or tobacco, or wampum they might receive,on the subject of that chief’s movement, orany other government matter. And to send no answerto any such message without giving me notice.

At three o’clock on the morning of the nextday (12th July), Dr. Houghton, Mr. Johnston, Lieut.Clary, and Mr. Woolsey, with nine Canadians and onesoldier, set out in my canoe to visit the copper rock.Konteka sent me a fine carp in the morning. Afterwardshe and the other chief come over to visit me.The chief said that his child, who had been very ill,was better, and asked me for some white rice (waubemonomin) for it, which I gave. I also directeda dish of flour and other provisions to enable himto have a feast.

INDIAN TOMB.—­One of the Indians had a sondrowned a few days before our arrival; the grave wasneatly picketed in. On the west side of the riveris a grave or tomb above ground, resembling a lodge,containing the coffin of a chief, who desired to bethus buried, as he believed his spirit would go directlyup.

Konteka has a countenance indicative of sense andbenevolence. I asked him the number of his band.He replied sixty-four men and boys, women and girls.Sixteen were hunters, of whom thirteen were men grown.

KAUGWUDJU.—­The Porcupine Mountains, whichfirst loomed up after passing Puggedawa Point, werevery plainly pictured before us in the landscape.I asked Konteka their Indian name. He repliedKaug Wudju. I asked him why they were so called.He said from a resemblance to a couching porcupine.I put several questions to him to ascertain the bestplace of ascent. He said that the mountain properlyfaced the south, in a very high perpendicular cliff,having a lake at its bottom. The latter was ona level with Lake Superior. To see this lake itwas necessary to go round towards the south.It was a day’s journey from the lake to the topof the cliff. To the first elevation it was asfar as to the Red Rocks—­say three miles,but through a cedar thicket, and bad walking.

VISIT TO THE COPPER ROCK.—­The party returnedfrom this place on the 13th, late in the afternoon,bringing specimens of the native copper. Theywere nine hours in getting to the forks, and continuedthe rest of the day in getting to the rack, wherethey encamped. They had been four hours in descendingwhat required nine in going up. The doctor broughtseveral fine and large masses of the pure metal.



Lake shores—­Sub-Indian agency—­Indiantransactions—­Old fort, site of a tragedy—­MaskigoRiver; its rapids and character—­Great WunnegumPortage—­Botany—­Length of theMauvais—­Indian carriers—­LakeKagenogumaug—­Portage lakes—­NamakagunRiver, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.—­Pukwaewavillage—­A new species of native fruit—­Incidentson the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.

1831. LAKE SHORES.—­I had a final conferencewith the Indians of the Ontanagon on the morning ofthe 14th July, and at its conclusion distributed presentsto all. I sent Germain with a canoe and men forSt. Mary’s with dispatches, and embarked forLa Pointe at half past eight, A.M. After keepingthe lake for two hours, we were compelled by adversewinds to put ashore near Iron River; we were detainedhere the rest of the day. After botanizing atthis spot, Dr. Houghton remarks, that since arrivingat the Ontanagon, he finds plants which belong to amore southerly climate.

The next morning (15th) we embarked at three o’clockand went on finely—­stopped for breakfastat Carp River, under the Porcupine Mountains—­thePesabic of the Indians. On coming out intothe lake again the wind was fair, and increased toblow freshly. We went on to Montreal River, whereit became a side wind, and prevented our keeping thelake. I took this occasion to walk inland elevenpauses on the old portage path to FountainHill, for the purpose of enjoying the fine view ofthe lake, which is presented from that elevation.The rocks are pudding-stone and sandstone, and belongto the Porcupine Mountain development.

Returned from this excursion at seven o’clock—­tooka cup of tea, and finding the wind abated, re-embarked.By ten o’clock at night we reached and enteredthe Mauvaise or Maskigo River, where we found Lieut.Clary encamped. After drying our clothes, wewent on to La Pointe, which we reached at one o’clockin the morning (16th), and immediately went to Mr.Johnston’s buildings.

SUB-AGENCY.—­Mr. George Johnston was appointedSub-agent of Indian Affairs at this point in 1826,after the visit of that year of Gen. Cass and Col.McKenney to this remote section of the country.It has proved a useful office for acquiring informationof the state and views of the interior Indians, andas supervising the Indian trade. We were madevery comfortable in his quarters.

INDIAN TRANSACTIONS.—­Pezhike, withthe secondary chief, Tagwaugig and his band,visited me. Conferred with them on the state ofthe Indians on the St. Croix and Chippewa Rivers atLac Courtorielle, &c., the best route for enteringthe region intermediate between Lake Superior andthe Mississippi.

Pezhike thought my canoes too large to, pass the smallbends on the route of the Lac du Flambeau: hesaid the waters of the Broule, or MisakodaRiver, were too low at this time to ascend that stream.He said that Mozojeed, the chief of Lac Courtorielle,had been here awaiting me, but, concluding I wouldnot come, had returned. His return had been hastenedby a report that the Sioux had formed a league withthe Winnebagoes and Menomonies to attack his village.

Pezhike gave in his population at eighty souls,of which number eighteen were men, twenty-six women,and the remainder children. He made a speechresponding to the sentiments uttered by me, and promisingthe aid of his band in the pacification of the country.As an evidence of his sincerity he presented a peace-pipe.I concluded the interview by distributing presentsof ammunition and iron works to each man, agreeablyto his count. I then sent Indian runners withmessages to Bwoinace at Yellow River, on theSt. Croix, to be forwarded by hand to Chacopee, onSnake River, to meet me at Yellow River in twelve days.Sent a message to the same chief, to be forwarded toMozojeed at Lac Courtorielle, to meet me atthat place with his band on the 1st August, and anothermessage to be forwarded by him to Lac du Flambeau,at the head of the Chippewa River, with directionsfor the Indians to meet me at their principal village,as soon after the 1st August as I can get there, ofwhich they will be the best judges. I determinedto enter the country myself, by the Mauvais or MaskigoRiver, notwithstanding the numerous rafts of treesthat embarrass the navigation—­the waterbeing abundant.

OLD FORT, SITE OF A TRAGEDY.—­The militarybarge, Lieut. Clary, started for the Maskigo,with a fair wind, on the 18th. A soldier had previouslydeserted. I sent to the chief, Pezhike, to dispatchhis young men to catch him, and they immediately went.After setting out, the wind was found too strong toresist with paddies, and I turned into the shelteredbay of the old French fort. The site and groundlines are only left.

It was a square with bastions. The site is overgrownwith red haw and sumac. The site of a blacksmithshop was also pointed out. This is an evidenceof early French and Missionary enterprise, and datesabout 1660. There is a tale of a tragedy connectedwith a female, at its abandonment. The guns,it is said, were thrown in the bay. The windhaving abated, we again put out at eight o’clockin the evening, and went safely into the Maskigo andencamped.

MASKIGO RIVER.—­We began the ascent of thisstream on the 19th, at half-past four A.M.; landedat seven for breakfast, at the old Indian gardens;at eight went on; at ten reached the first portage,passed it in an hour; went on till one o’clock;afterwards passed two other portages of about threehundred yards each; and went on to the great raftof flood wood, being the fourth portage, where we encampedat three o’clock, at its head. Mosquitoesvery annoying. Estimate our distance at thirtymiles.

On the next morning (20th) we embarked in good deepwater at eight o’clock. We reached rapidsat eleven o’clock. Passed a portage of twopauses, and took dinner at the terminus. Sandstoneforms the bed of the river at the rapids here.It inclined E.S.E. about 75 deg.. A continualrapid, called the Galley, being over a brown sandstonerock, succeeds, in which rapids follow rapids at shortintervals. We encamped at the Raft rapids.The men toiled like dogs, but willingly and withoutgrumbling. Next day (21st) we were early on thewater, and passed the crossing of the Indian portagepath from St. Charles Bay, at La Pointe, to the Fallsof St. Anthony. We followed a wide bend of theriver, around the four pause portage.This was a continued rapid. The men toiled incessantly,being constantly in the water. The bark of thecanoes became so saturated with water that they werelimber, and bent under the weight of carrying themon the portages. We encamped, very much tired,but the men soon rallied, and never complained.It was admirable to see such fidelity and buoyancyof character.

We were now daily toiling up the ascent of the summitwhich separates the basin of Lake Superior from thevalley of the upper Mississippi. The exertionwas incredible. I expected every day some of themen to give out, but their pride to conquer hardshipswas, with them, the point of honor. They gloriedin feats under which ordinary men would have fainted.To carry a horse load over a portage path which a horsecould not walk, is an exploit which none but a Canadianvoyageur would sigh for the accomplishment of.

On the 22d, we came to a short portage, after goingabout six miles, during a violent rain storm.Then three portages of short extent, say fifty tothree hundred yards each, in quick succession.After the last, some comparatively slight rapids.Finally, smooth water and a sylvan country, leveland grassy. We were evidently near the summit.Soon came to the forks, and took the left hand.Came afterwards to three branches, and took the south.Followed a distance through alder bushes bending fromeach side; this required skill in dodging, for thebushes were covered with caterpillars. We formedan encampment on this narrow stream by cutting awaybushes, and beating down high grass and nettles.Here was good soil capable of profitable agriculture.

GREAT WUNNEGUM PORTAGE.—­The next morningwe resumed the ascent of this branch at six o’clock,and reached the beginning of the Gitchy Wun-ne-gumportage at nine o’clock A.M. This was thelast great struggle in the ascent. We spent aboutthree hours in drying baggage, corn, tents, beds,&c. Then went on four pauses over the portageand encamped in sight of a pond. The next daywe accomplished ten pauses, a hard day’swork. We encamped near a boulder of granite ofthe drift stratum, which contained brilliant platesof mica. Water scarce and bad. Our tea wasmade of a brown pondy liquid, which looked like waterin a tanner’s vat.

We passed, and stopped to examine, Indian symbolson the blazed side of a tree, which told a story toour auxiliary Indians of a moose having been killed;by certain men, whose family name, or mark, was denoted,&c. We had previously passed several of thesehunting inscriptions in our ascent of the Mauvais,and one in particular at the eastern end of the fourpause portage. We were astonished to perceivethat these figures were read as easy as perfect gazettesby our Indian guides.

We were also pleased, notwithstanding the severe laborof the apecun, to observe the three auxiliaryChippewas, with us, playing in the evening at thegame of the bowl, an amusem*nt in which some of themen participated.

On the 25th we went three pauses to breakfast,in a hollow or ravine, and pushing on, crossed thelast ridge, and at one o’clock reached the footof Lake Ka-ge-no-gum-aug, a beautiful and elongatedsheet of water, which is the source of this branchof the Maskigo River. Thus a point was gained.An hour after, the baggage arrived, and by six o’clockin the evening, the canoes all arrived. Thislake is about nine miles long.

BOTANY.—­In the ascent of this stream, Dr.Houghton has collected about two hundred plants.The forest trees are elm, pine, spruce, maple, ironwood,linden, cherry, oak, and beach. Leatherwood isa shrub common on the portage.

The length of this river, from the mouth of the riverto the point at which we left it, we compute at onehundred and four miles.

The three young Indians, sent from La Pointe, by Pezhike,to help us on the portages, having faithfully attendedus all the way, were dismissed to go back, at seveno’clock this morning—­after being abundantlyand satisfactorily paid for their services in ammunitionand provisions. On parting, they expressed adesign of visiting at the agency, next spring.

LAKE KA-GE-NO-GUM-AUG.—­At nine in the morning,we embarked on the lake in four canoes, having leftthe fifth at the other end of the portage for theLa Pointe Indians to return. Two of the flotillaof canoes were occupied by the military under Lieut.Clary. After proceeding a little, less than twohours through a very irregular, elongated, and romanticlake, we reached a portage in the direction of theNamakagun, fork of the St. Croix River. Its waterswere clear; we observed fish and ducks. Thisportage is called Mikenok, or the Turtle. It provedto be two hundred and eighty yards to a pond, or smalllake, named Turtle Lake. About two hundred yardsof this portage lies over a dry pine ridge, the remainderbog. On crossing this little sheet, we encounteredanother portage of one thousand and seventy-five yards,terminating at a second lake named Clary’s Lake.This portage lies over an open pine ridge, from whichthe timber has been chiefly burned. The shrubsand plants are young bush poplars, whortleberries,shad-bush, brake and sweet fern. Both ends ofit are skirted with bog. The highest grounds exhibitboulders. About five o’clock the canoescame up, and we embarked on the lake and crossed it,and, striking the portage path, went four hundredand seventy-five yards to a third lake, called Polyganum,from the abundance of plant. We crossed thisand encamped on its border.

This frequent shifting and changing of baggage andcanoes exhausted the men, who have not yet recoveredfrom the toils of the long portage. Three ofthem were disabled from wounds or bruises. Laporte,the eldest man of our party, fell with a heavy load,on the great Wunnegum portage, and drove a small knotinto his scalp. The doctor bandaged it, and wonderedwhy he had not fractured his skull. Yet the oldman’s voyageur pride would not permit him tolie idle. If he died under the carrying-strap,he was determined to die game.

NAMAKAGUN RIVER.—­Early on the 27th we wereastir, and followed the path 1050 yards, which wemade in two pauses to the banks of the NamakagunRiver, the most southerly fork of the St. Croix.We were now on the waters tributary to the Mississippi,and sat down to our breakfast of fried pork and teawith exultation.

Dead pines cover the ground between Lake Polyganumand the Namakagun. A great fire appears to haveraged here formerly, destroying thousands of acresof the most thrifty and tall pines. Nobody canestimate the extent of this destruction. Theplain is now grown up with poplar, hazle-bush, scrub-oak,and whortleberry. The river, where the portagestrikes it, is about seventy-five feet wide, and shallow,the deepest parts not exceeding eighteen inches.It is bordered on the opposite side with large pines,hardwood, and spruce. Observed amygdaloid underfoot among the granite, and sandstone boulders.

About one o’clock the baggage and canoes hadall come up, and we embarked on the waters of theNamakagun. Rapids soon obstructed our descent.At these it was necessary for the men to get out andlift the canoes. It was soon necessary for usto get out ourselves and walk in the bed of the stream.It was at last found necessary to throw overboardthe kegs of pork, &c., and let them float down.This they would not do without men to guide them androll them along in bad places. Some of the bagsfrom the canoes were next obliged to be put on men’sshoulders to be carried down stream over the worstshallows. After proceeding in this way probablysix or seven miles, we encamped at half-past seveno’clock. Mr. Johnston, with his canoe,did not come up. We fired guns to apprize himof our place of encampment, but received no reply.There had been partial showers during the day, andthe weather was dark and gloomy. It rained hardduring the night. Our canoes were badly injured,the bark peeling off the bows and bottoms. Themen had not yet had time to recover from their bruiseson the great Wannegum portage. Mr. Clary hadshot some ducks and pigeons, on which, at his invitation,we made our evening repast, with coffee, an articlewhich he had among his stores. Some of the menhad also caught trout—­this fish being abundanthere, though it never descends into the Mississippi.

On the next morning I sent a small canoe (Clary’s)to aid Johnston. Found him with his canoe broke.Brought down part of his loading, and dispatched thecanoe back again. By eleven o’clock thecanoe returned on her second trip. Finding thedifficulties so great, put six kegs of pork, sevenbags of flour, one keg of salt, &c., in depot.One of the greatest embarrassments in passing amongsuch impoverished tribes is the necessity of takingalong extra provisions to meet the various bands andto pay for their contingent services.

PUCKWAEWA VILLAGE.—–­At four o’clockwe had got everything down the shallows, mended ourcanoe, and reached the Pukwaewa—­anoted Indian village, where we encamped. Thedistance is about nine miles from the western terminusof the portage, course W.S.W. We found it completelydeserted, according to the custom of the Indians, whoafter planting their gardens, leave them to go ontheir summer hunts, eating berries, &c. We foundeight large permanent bark lodges, with fields of corn,potatoes, pumpkins, and beans, in fine condition.The lodges were carefully closed, and the groundsand paths around cleanly swept, giving the premisesa neat air. The corn fields were partially orlightly fenced. The corn was in tassel.The pumpkins partly grown, the beans fit for boiling.The whole appearance of thrift and industry was pleasing.

I sent two canoes immediately up stream, to bringdown the stores put in deposit. I arranged thingsfor taking a canoe elege on the next day, andproceeding rapidly down the river to its junction withthe main St. Croix and Yellow River, in order to meetmy engagements, made by a runner from La Pointe.I took along Dr. Houghton and Mr. Johnston, leavingthe heavy baggage in charge of Mr. Woolsey, with directionsto accompany Lieut. Clary across the portagefrom the Namakagun to Ottowa Lake. It was half-pastfive on the morning of the 29th, when, bidding adieuto Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, we embarked.

A NEW SPECIES OF NATIVE FRUIT.—­In comingdown the Namakagun, we found a species of the curranton its banks—­the albinervum.It was fully ripe, and of delicious taste.

Incidents on the Namakagun, its Birds, Plants,&c.—­About ten o’clock we enteredand passed an expansion, having deserted Indian lodges,and a high wooden cross on the south bank. Hencewe called it the Lake of the Cross. It is calledPukwaewa by the Indians. A little below we metthe chief Pukquamoo, and his band, returning to theupper village. Held a conference with him onthe water on the subject of my mission and movements.He appeared, not only by his village, which we hadinspected, but by his words, eminently pacific.On parting he reciprocated my presents by some driedwhortleberries. At this conference with the Red-headedWoodpecker chief, I requested him to go up and aidMr. Woolsey in bringing down the baggage and provisions,and wrote to Mr. Woolsey accordingly.

About four o’clock the chief of this party hailedus from shore, having headed us by taking a shortland route from the Lake of the Cross. He soughtmore perfect information on some points, which wasgiven, and he was requested to attend the generalcouncil appointed to be held at Lac Courtorielle(Ottawa Lake). We continued the descent till eighto’clock P.M., having descended about thirty-fivemiles.

On the 30th we embarked at five in the morning, andreached the contemplated portage to Ottawa Lake atseven. I stopped, and having written notes forLieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, put them in theend of a split pole, according to the Indian method.At ten I landed for breakfast with my canoe badlybroken, and the corn, &c., wetted. Detained tilltwelve. Near night met a band of Chippewas ascending.Got a canoe from them to proceed to Yellow River,and, after dividing the baggage and provisions, putMr. Johnston with two men in it. This facilitatedour descent, as we had found frequent shallows, inconsequence of low water, to impede our progress.Yet our estimate for the day’s travel is fortymiles.

The cicuta is a frequent plant on this river; we foundthe fox grape this afternoon nearly ripe. Bothbanks of the river are literally covered with theripe whortleberry—­it is large and delicious.The Indians feast on it. Thousands on thousandsof bushels of this fruit could be gathered with littlelabor. It is seen in the dried state at everylodge. All the careful Indian housewives dry it.It is used as a seasoning to soups.

On the 31st we were on the water at six A.M.Soon passed seven Indians in canoes, to whom a passingsalute of a few words and tobacco were given.We landed at ten to breakfast. The current hadnow augmented so as to be very strong, and permitthe full force of the paddles. Stopped a fewmoments at a Chippewa camp to get out some tobacco,and, leaving Mr. Johnston to make the necessary inquiriesand give the necessary information, pushed on.Heard T., our Indian messenger from La Pointe, hadaccomplished his business and gone back four days ago,Indian conferences now succeeded each other continually,at distances from one to five miles. The bandsare now on the move, returning up the river to theirspring villages at the Little and Great Rice Places(this is the meaning of Pukwaewau), and theLake of the Cross. Their first request is tobacco,although they are half starved, and have lived on nothingbut whortleberries for weeks. “Suguswau,let us smoke,” is the first expression.

The country as we descend assumes more the appearanceof upland prairie, from the repeated burnings of theforest. The effect is, nearly all the small treeshave been consumed, and grass has taken their place.One result of this is, the deer are drawn up fromthe more open parts of the Mississippi, to followthe advance of the prairie and open lands towardsLake Superior. The moose is also an inhabitantof the Namakagun. The Chippewas, at a huntingcamp we passed yesterday, said they had been on thetracks of a moose, but lost them in high brush.Ducks and pigeons appear common. Among smallerbirds are the blackbird, robin, catbird, red-headedwoodpecker, kingfisher, kingbird, plover and yellow-hammer.

We frequently passed the figure of a man, drawn ona blazed pine, with horns, giving the idea of an evilspirit. The occiput of the bear, and head bonesof other animals killed in the chase, are hung uponpoles at the water’s side, with some ideographicsigns. The antlers of the deer are conspicuous.Other marks of success in hunting are left on trees,so that those Indians who pass and are acquaintedwith the signs, obtain a species of information.The want of letters is thus, in a manner, suppliedby signs and pictographic symbols.

Late in the afternoon we passed the inlet of the Totogun—­oneof the principal forks of the Namakagun. Thename is indicative of its origin. Totosh isthe female breast. This term is rendered geographicalby exchanging sh for gun. It describesa peculiar kind of soft or dancing bog. Soonafter, we broke our canoe—­stopped three-fourthsof an hour to mend it—­reached the forksof the St. Croix directly after, passed down the mainchannel about nine miles, and encamped a little belowPine River. We built ten fires to keep off themosquitoes, and put our tent and cooking-fire in thecentre. It rained during the night.

The next morning (Aug. 1st) we reached the YellowRiver, and found the chiefs Kabamappa, Bwoinace, andtheir bands awaiting my arrival.



Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake—­Policyof the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825—­Speechof Shaiwunegunaibee—­Mounds of Yellow River—­Indianmanners and customs—­Pictography—­Naturalhistory—­Nude Indians—­Geology—­Portageto Lac Courtorielle—­Lake of the Isles—­OttawaLake—­Council—­War party—­Mozojeed’sspeech—­Tec*mseh—­Mozojeed’slodge—­Indian movements—­Trip tothe Red Cedar Fork—­Ca Ta—­LakeChetac—­Indian manners.

1831. COUNCIL.—­I pitched my tent anderected my flag on an eminence called by the ChippewasPe-li-co-gun-au-gun, or The Hip-Bone. Accountsrepresented a war party against the Sioux to be organizingat Rice Lake, on a branch of the Chippewa River, underthe lead of Neenaba, a partisan leader, who had recentlyvisited Yellow River for the purpose of enlistingvolunteers. He had appealed to all the bands onthe head waters of the Chippewa and St. Croix to join,by sending their young men who were ambitious of famein this expedition. Neenaba himself was an approvedwarrior who panted for glory by leading an attack againsttheir old foe, the Dacotahs. It was still possibleto arrest it or break it up. I wrote to the IndianAgent at St. Peter’s. A message was dispatchedby Kabamappa to Chacopee and Buffalo at Snake Rivers,with directions to forward it to Petit Corbeau, theleading chief of the River Sioux. I determinedto hasten back so as to meet my appointment with thelarge band of Mozojeed at Lac Courtorielle, and to

proceed myself to Neenaba’s village. Istated my determination to the Yellow Lake Indians,and urged their concurrence in my plans, assuringthem that I spoke the voice of the President of theUnited States, who was determined to preserve andcarry out the principles of pacification which hadbeen commenced and agreed to, as the basis of thegeneral treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825. Hehad spoken to them at that treaty by two men whom theyall well know from St. Louis to Lake Superior—­namely,by the Red-Head (so they call General William Clark)and their Great Father at Detroit (General Cass).He would not suffer their words to fall to the groundand be buried. I stood up to renew them.It was by peace and not war that they could aloneflourish. Their boundaries were all plainly establishedby that treaty, and there was no sound pretence whyone tribe should pass over on the lands of another.If he did pass, there was no reason at all why heshould carry a hatchet in his hand or a war eagle’sfeather in his hair.

Shai-wun-e-gun-aibee responded in favorable termsas to the general subject. The old men desiredpeace, but could not always control their young men,especially when they heard that their men had beenstruck. His voice and hand would be ever on theside of his great American father, and he believedhis hands were long enough to reach out and hold themstill. He concluded by some complaints againsttheir trader Dingley. Said that he had presentedthem a map of the Yellow River country, and wishedthem to give it to him. That he had ill-used someof them by taking away goods which he had before soldthem, because they had not paid all.

MOUNDS, SO CALLED.—­Before quitting YellowRiver, I asked Kabamappa whether the Pe-li-co-gun-au-gunwas a natural or artificial mound. He replied,that it was natural. There were three more ofthese elevations on the opposite side of the river.He knew nothing further of them. A large pinewas growing on the top of one of them.

Having concluded the business with the Indians, Idistributed presents of provisions, ammunition, andtobacco. I purchased a canoe of small draft froman Indian named Shoga, and immediately embarked onmy return up the St. Croix. That night we lodgedin our camp of the 31st. The next morning wewere in motion by five o’clock, and reached thegrand forks by nine. We entered and began theascent of the Namakagun.

INDIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.—­We soon meta brother of Kabamappa, called the Day Ghost, andfour other heads of families, with their families,on their way to the council at Yellow River. Informedthem of what had been done, and gave them tobacco,whereupon they determined to re-ascend the Namakagunwith us. There were ten persons. One of theyoung men fired at a flock of pigeons, hitting andkilling two. A distance above, they went througha cut-off, and saved a mile or more, while we wentround, showing their superior knowledge of the geography.

At the great bends, the women got out of the canoesand walked. The old men also walked up.We reached their lodges about 4 o’clock.I exchanged canoes with Day Ghost, and gave him thedifference. We encamped at a late hour on theleft bank (ascending), having come about forty-twomiles—­a prodigious effort for the men.To make amends, they ate prodigiously, and then laydown and slept with the nightmare. Poor fellows,they screamed out in their sleep. But they wereup and ready again at 5 o’clock the next morning,with paddle and song.

PICTOGRAPHY.—­At 11 o’clock we landed,on the right bank, at the site of an old encampment,for breakfast. I observed a symbolic inscription,in the ideographic manner, on a large blazed pine—­thePinus resinosa. It consisted of sevenrepresentative, and four symbolic devices, denotingthe totems, or family names, of two heads of families,while encamped here, and their success in huntingand fishing. The story told was this: Thattwo men, one of whom was of the Catfish clan, and theother of the clan of the Copper-tailed Bear—­amythological animal—­had been rewarded withmysterious good luck, each according to his totem.The Catfish man had caught six large catfish, andthe Copper-tailed Bear man had killed a black bear.The resin of the pine had covered the inscription,rendering it impervious to the weather.

NATURAL HISTORY.—­The nymphaea odorataborders the edge of the river. Dr. H., this morning,found the bidens, which has but two localitiesin the United States besides. He has also, withinthe last forty-eight hours, discovered a species ofthe locust, on the lower part of the Namakagun.The fresh-water shells on this river are chiefly unios.Wild rice, the palustris, is chiefly foundat the two Pukwaewas, more rarely along the banks,but not in abundance. The polyganum amphibiastands just in the edge of the water along its banks,and is now in flower. The copper-head snake isfound at the Yellow River; also the thirteen stripedsquirrel.

NUDE INDIANS.—­The Indians whom we met casuallyon the Namakagun, had nothing whatever on them, butthe auzeaun. They put on a blanket, whenexpecting a stranger. The females have a petticoatand breastpiece. When we passed the WoodpeckerChiefs party, an old woman, without upperments, whohad been poling up one of the canoes, hastily landed,and hid herself in the bushes, when her exclamationof Nyau! Nyau! revealed her position as we passed.Two young married women had also landed, but stoodon the banks with their children; one of the latterscreaming, in fear, at the top of its lungs.

The men were much fatigued with this day’s journey.They had to use the pole when the water became shallow.Yet they went about thirty-six miles. At nightone of them screamed out with pains in his arms.We were up and on the river again at six the nextmorning (the 4th). The word with me was, PUSH;to accomplish the object, not a day, not half a daywas to be lost, and the men all entered into the spiritof the thing. At half past nine, we reached ourbreakfast place of the 30th, and there gummed ourcanoes. We noticed yesterday the red haw, andpembina—­the latter of which is theservice berry. This day the calamus was oftenseen in quantity.

GEOLOGY.—­Rapids were encountered at variouspoints, at which there appeared large boulders ofsyenite and greenstone trap. No rock stratumappears in place, but from the size of the boulders,it seems probable that the trap formation crossesthe bed of the Namakagun. There is no limestone—­noslate. Small boulders of amygdaloid, quartz, granite,and sandstone mark the prevalence of the drift stratum,such as overspreads the upper Mississippi uplands.The weather was cloudy and overcast, producing coolness.I found the air but 64 deg. at 2 o’clock, whenthe water stood at 69 deg..

Some fish are caught in this stream, which serve toeke out the very scanty, and precarious subsistenceof the Indians at this season. At the lodge ofan Indian, whom we knew as the “Jack of Diamonds”—­beingthe same who loaned us a canoe—­I observedsome small pieces of duck in a large kettle of boilingwater, which was thickened with whortleberries, forthe family supper.

PORTAGE TO LAC COURTORIELLE.—­We reachedthe portage at two o’clock A.M., and immediatelybegan to cross it, the men carrying all our baggageat one load. Just after passing the middle pause,the path mounts and is carried along a considerableridge, from which there is a good view of the country.It is open as far as the eye can reach. Sometimesthere is a fine range of large pines: in by farthe largest space ancient fires appear to have spread,destroying the forest and giving rise to a young growthof pines, aspen, shad-bush, and bramble. Someportions are marshy. A deep cup-shaped cavityexists a little to the right of the path on the ridge,denoting it to be cavernous or filled with springs.

We saw evidences of Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey’smarch and encampment on this height. We saw alsoevidences of Old Laporte’s prowess in voyageurlife and exploits, by a notice of one of his long pauses,recorded by Lieut. Clary in pencil, on a blazedtree.

LAKE OF THE ISLES.—­On reaching the Lakeof the Isles at three o’clock P.M., we found,by a little bark letter on a pole, that Lieut.Clary and Mr. Woolsey had slept at that spot on the1st of August. All things had proceeded well.They were ahead of us but four days.

While the men were sent back to the other end of theportage after the canoes, I embarked on the lake ina small canoe found in the bushes, with Mr. Johnston,to search out the proper channel. We found itto draw to a narrow neck and then widen out, withsix or seven islands, giving a very sylvan and beautifulappearance. We passed through it, then crosseda short portage that connects the path with Lac duGres, and then returned to the south end of Lake ofthe Isles, where I determined to encamp and lightup a fire, while Mr. Johnston was sent back in thelittle Indian canoe to bring up the canoes and men.While thus awaiting the arrival of the party, I scrutinizedthe mineralogy of the pebbles and drift of its shores,where I observed small fragments of the agates, quartz,amygdaloids, &c., which characterize all the driftof the upper Mississippi.

But Mr. Johnston did not return till long after sunset.I was growing uneasy and full of anxieties when hehove in sight in the same small Indian hunting-canoe,with Dr. Houghton and one voyageur, bringing the tent,beds, and mess-basket. They reported that themen had not yet arrived with the large canoe, andit was doubted whether they would come in in seasonto cross the lake. But they came up and joinedus during the night.

The next morning (Aug. 5th) we crossed the portageat Lac du Gres before sunrise. This is the originof the north-west fork of Chippewa River. Theatmosphere was foggy, but, from what we could see,we thought the lake pretty. Pine on its shores,bottom sandy, shells in its bed, no rock seen in place,but loose pieces of coarse gray sandstone around itsshores.

The outlet of this lake proved to be the entranceinto Ottawa Lake—­the Lac Courtorielle ofthe French—­a fine body of water some tenmiles long. It was still too foggy on reachingthis point to tell which way to steer. A gunwas fired; it was soon answered by Lieut. Claryand Mr. Woolsey from the opposite side of the lake.The sound was sufficient to indicate the course, andwe crossed in safety, rejoining our party at the hourof early breakfast. We found all well.

OTTAWA LAKE.—­We were received with a salutefrom the Indians. I counted twenty-eight canoesturned up on the beach. Mozojeed and Waubezhais,the son of Miscomoneto (or The Red Devil), were present.Also Odabossa and his band. The Indians crowdeddown to the beach to shake hands. I informedthem, while tobacco was being distributed, that I wouldmeet them in council that day at the firing of threeguns by the military.

COUNCIL.—­At eleven o’clock I metthe Indians in council. The military were drawnup to the best advantage, their arms glittering inthe sun. My auxiliaries of the Michico-Canadianstock and the gentlemen of my party were in theirbest trim. We occupied the beautiful eminenceat the outlet of the lake. The assemblage ofIndians was large, but I was struck by the great disproportion,or excess, of women and children.

Mozojeed, the principal man, was a tall, not portly,red-mouthed, and pucker-mouthed man,[61] with an unusualamount of cunning and sagacity, and exercising anunlimited popularity by his skill and reputation asa jossakeed, or seer. He had three wives,and, so far as observation went, I should judge thatmost of the men present had imitated his voluptuoustastes and apparently lax morals. He had an elaborately-builtjaunglery, or seer’s lodge, sheathed withrolls of bark carefully and skillfully united, andstained black inside. Its construction, whichwas intricate, resembled the whorls of a sea-shell.The white prints of a man’s hand, as if smearedwith white clay, was impressed on the black surface.I have never witnessed so complete a piece of Indianarchitectural structure, nor one more worthy of thename of a temple of darkness.

[Footnote 61: He was named by the Indians fromthese two traits.]

This man, who had effectually succeeded to the powerand influence of Miscomoneto (or the Red Devil), hadbeen present at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in1825, and heard Gens. Clark and Cass address theassembled Indians on that memorable occasion.I had been in communication with him there. Hewas perfectly familiar with the principles of pacificationadvanced and established on that occasion. Itwas the more easy for me, therefore, to revive andenforce these principles.

WAR PARTY.—­Mozojeed’s son was himselfone of Neenaba’s leaders in the war party, andwas now absent with the volunteers which he had beenable to raise in and about the Ottawa Lake village.He was directly implicated in this movement againstthe Sioux. Mozojeed’s village was, in fact,completely caught almost in the very act of sendingout its quota of warriors. They had, but a shorttime before, marched to join the main party at RicaLake on the Red Cedar Fork of the Chippewa. Hefelt the embarrassment of his position, but, true tothe character of his race, exhibited not a sign ofit in his words or countenance. Stolid and unmoved,he pondered on his reply. Divested of its unnecessarypoints and personal localisms, this speech was substantiallyas follows:—­

MOZOJEED’S SPEECH.—­“Nosa.I have listened to your voice. I have listenedto it heretofore at Kipesaugee. It is to me thevoice of one that is strong and able to do. OurGreat Father speaks in it. I hear but one thing.It is to sit still. It is not to cross the enemies’lines. It is to drop the war club. It isto send word of all our disputes to him.

“Nosa. This is wise. This is good.This is to stop blood. But my young men are foolish.They wish to go on the war path. They wish tosing triumphs. My counsels too are weak and asnothing. It seems like trying to catch the windsand holding them in my fists, when I try to stay theirwar spirit. How shall we dance? How shallwe sing? These are their words.

“Nosa. I do not lift the war-club.My words are for peace. I helped to draw thelines at Kipesaugee six years, ago. I will keepthem. My advice to my people is to sit still.You have shown, by bringing your flag here and hoistingit with your own hands in my village, that you arestrong, and able, and willing. You are the Indian’sfriend. You encourage us by this hard journeythrough our streams when the waters are low. Youhave spied us out and see how we live, and how poorwe are.”

Waubezhais, the son of Miscomoneto, and bearing hismedal and authority, then spoke, responding frankly.Odebossa, of the Upper Pukwaewa, spoke also favorablyto my object, and thanking me for my visit to his villageon the Namakagun, which he said, metaphorically, “hadrekindled their fires, which were almost out.”

All agreed that the waters were too low to go to theLac du Flambeau, and that my proposed council withthe Indians at that point must be given up or deferred.Besides, if the war party on the Red Cedar or FolavoineFork of the Chippewa was to be arrested, it could onlybe done by an immediate move in that direction.I therefore determined to leave Ottawa Lake the sameday. I invested Mozobodo with a silver medal ofthe first class, and a U.S. flag. Presents ofammunition, provisions, iron works, a few dry goods,and tobacco were given to all, and statistics of theirpopulation and of their means taken. For a populationof eighteen men, there were forty-eight women andseventy-one children. Thirteen or fourteen ofthe latter were Mozojeed’s. Red Devil’sson’s band numbered forty-nine men, twenty-sevenwomen, and forty-six children. Odabossa’svillage consisted of eighteen men, thirty-eight women,and seventy-one children—­making 406 souls,who were chiefly assembled at this point.

TEc*msEH.—­I snatched this piece of history.During the late war Tec*mseh’s messages reachedthis place, and produced their usual effect.The Indians seized the post, took the goods, and burntthe building occupied as a place of trade. Mr.Corban, having notice from friendly Indians, escapedwith his men to St. Mary’s. This post stoodopposite the outlet, being on the present site ofMozojeed’s village.

MOZOJEED’S LODGE—­This fabric is quiteremarkable, and yields more comforts and conveniencesthan usual. It has also the mysterious insigniaof a prophet. The faces of four men or gods arecarved at the four cardinal points. A hole witha carved image of a bird is in front. Three drumshang on the walls, and many rattles. At his officiallodge men are painted joining hands. A bundleof red sticks lies in one corner.

INDIAN MOVEMENTS.—­I was informed by M.and W. that the Lac du Flambeau Indians were not onChippewa River, and that the message from Yellow Lakehad not reached them. That many of the Chippewaswere at Rice Lake on the Red Cedar Fork. Thatthey had received a message from Mr. Street, IndianAgent at Prairie du Chien, and were in alarm on accountof the Menomonies.

TRIP TO THE RED CEDAR FORK.—­We embarkedat four o’clock in the afternoon in four canoes,one canoe of Indians to aid on the portages, and twocanoes of the military—­Lieut. Clary’scommand. Mr. B. Cadotte acted as guide as faras Rice Lake, the whole making quite a formidable“brigade,” to use a trader’s term.Our course lay down the Little Chippewa River.The water was very good and deep as far as the fishdam. There our troubles began. Our canoeshad to be led along, as if they had been baskets ofeggs, in channels made by the Indians, who had carefullypicked out the big stones. We met a son of oldMisco’s, having a fawn and three muskrats recentlykilled. I gave him a full reward of corn andtobacco for the former, which was an acceptable addition

to our traveling cuisine. It was observedthat he had nothing besides in his canoe but a gunand war club, a little boy being in the boat.We descended the stream some seven or eight miles,and encamped on the right bank. It rained hardduring the night. Next morning (6th) we werein motion at six o’clock, which was as earlyas the atmosphere would permit. An hour’stravel brought us to the mouth of a creek, which ledus in the required direction. It was a narrowand deep stream, very tortuous, and making bends soshort that we with difficulty forced our canoes through.In two hours we came to the portage to the Ca Ta—­apond at the distance of 1916 yards, which we crossedat two pauses.

LAKE CHETAC.—­Before the canoes and baggagecame up, I crossed over to Lake Chetac. Thereis a portage road around the pond. After passingthe first poze from it, the canoes may be putin a brook and poled down two pozes—­thenthey must be taken out and carried 1600 yards to LakeChetac. The whole portage is 5600 yards.

It was seven o’clock in the evening before wecould embark on the lake. We went down it fourmiles to an island and encamped. The lake is sixmiles long, shallow, marshy, with some wild rice andbad water. Bad as it was, we had to make teaof it.

INDIAN MANNERS.—­We found but a single lodgeon the island, which was occupied by a Chippewa womanand a dog. I heard her say to one of our men,in the Chippewa tongue, that there was no man in thelodge—­that her husband had gone out fishing.She appeared in alarm, and soon after I saw her paddleaway in a small canoe, leaving her lodge with a fireburning. On awaking in the morning, I heard thesound of talking in the lodge, and, before we embarked,the man, his wife, and two children, and an old womancame out.

Four lodges of Indians, say about twenty souls, usuallymake their homes at this lake, which yields them fishand wild rice. But at present the whole tendencyof the Indian population is to Rice Lake. Thewar party mustering at that point absorbs all attention.



Betula Lake—­Larch Lake—­A warparty surprised—­Indian manners—­RiceLake—­Indian council—­Red CedarLake—­Speeches of Wabezhais and Neenaba—­Equaldivision of goods—­Orifice for treading outrice—­A live beaver—­Notices ofnatural history—­Value of the FollavoineValley—­A medal of the third President—­Wardance—­Ornithology—­A prairie country,fertile and abounding in game—­Saw mills—­ChippewaRiver—­Snake—­La Garde Mountain—­Descentof the Mississippi—­Sioux village—­Generalimpression of the Mississippi—­Arrival atPrairie du Chien.

1831. BETULA LAKE. LARCH LAKE.—­The7th of August, which dawned upon us in Lake Chetac,proved foggy and cool. The thermometer at 4, 7and 8 A.M., stood respectively at 50 deg., 52 deg.and 56 deg.. We found the outlet very shallow,so much so, that the canoes could with difficulty begot out while we walked. It led us by a shortportage into a small lake called Betula, or BirchLake, a sylvan little body of water having three islands,which we were just twenty-five minutes in crossingby free strokes of the paddles. Its outlet wasstill too shallow for any other purpose than to enablethe men to lead down the empty canoes. We madea portage of twelve hundred and ninety-five yardsinto another lake, called Larch or Sapin Lake—­whichis about double the size of the former lake.We were half an hour in crossing it with an animatedand free stroke of the paddle—­the men’sspirits rising as they find themselves getting outof these harassing defiles and portages.

A WAR PARTY SURPRISED.—­We took breakfaston the beach while the canoes were for the last timebeing led down the outlet. We had nearly finishedit on the last morsel of the fawn, and were glancingall the while over the placid and bright expanse,with its dark foliage, when suddenly a small Indiancanoe, very light, and successively seven others, witha warrior in the bow and stern of each, glided froma side channel, being the outlet into its other extremity.As soon as our position was revealed, they stoppedin utter amazement, and lighting their pipes beganto smoke; and we, nearly as much amazed, immediatelyput up our flag, and Lt. Clary paraded his men.We were more than two to one on the basis of a fight.A few moments revealed our respective relations.It was the Lac Courtorielle detachment of theRice Lake war party, and gave us the first intimationof its return. It was now evident that the manon the Little Chippewa from whom we purchased the fawnwas but an advanced member of the same party.As soon as they perceived our national character,they fired a salute and cautiously advanced. Itproved to be the brother of Mozojeed and two of hissons, with thirteen other warriors, on their return.Each had a gun, a shot-bag and powder horn, a scalpingknife and a war club, and was painted with vermilionlines on the face. The men were nearly naked,having little but the auzeaun and moccasonsand the leather baldric that confines the knife andnecessary warlike appendages and their head gear.They had absolutely no baggage in the canoe.When the warrior leaped out, it was seen to be a mereelongated and ribbed dish of the white birch bark,and a man with one hand could easily lift it.Such a display of the Indian manners and customs ona war party, it is not one in a thousand even of thoseon the frontiers is ever so fortunate as to see.

They still landed under some trepidation, but I tookeach personally by the hand as they came up to myflag, and the ceremony was united in by Lieut.Clary, and continued by them until every gentlemanof my party had been taken by the hand. The Indiansunderstood this ceremony as a committal of friendship.I directed tobacco to be distributed to them, andimmediately gathered them in council. They statedthat the war party had encountered signs of Siouxoutnumbering them on the lower part of the ChippewaRiver, and footsteps of strange persons coming.This inroad of an apparently new combination againstthem had alarmed the moose, which had fled beforethem; and that six of the party had been sent in advancewhile the main body lay back to await the news.From whatever cause the party had retreated, it wasevidently broken up for the season; and, the objectof my official visit and advice accomplished, I turnedthis to advantage in the interview, and left them,I trust, better prepared to understand their trueduties and policy hereafter, and we crossed the lakewith spirits more elevated.

RED CEDAR LAKE.—­A short outlet conductedus into Red Cedar Lake, a handsome body of water whichwe were an hour in passing through, say four or fivemiles. The men raised their songs, which had notbeen heard for some time. It presents some islands,which add to its picturesqueness. Formerly therestood a single red cedar on one of these, which gavethe name to the lake, but no other tree of this speciesis known in the region. Half a mile south of itsbanks the Indians procure a kind of red pipe stone,similar to that brought from the Coteau des Prairies,but of a duller red color. We met four Indiansin a canoe in passing it, who saluted us. Theoutlet is filled with long flowing grass and aquaticplants. Two Indian women in a canoe who weremet here guided us down its somewhat intricate channel.We observed the spiralis or eel weed and the rattlesnakeleaf (scrofula weed or goodyeara) ashore. Thetulip tree and butternut were noticed along the banks.

INDIAN MANNERS.—–­In passing downthe outlet of the Red Cedar Lake we, soon after leavingour guides, met three canoes at short distances apart,two of which had a little boy in each end, and thethird an old woman and child. We next met a Chippewawith his wife and child on the banks. They hadlanded from a canoe, evidently in fear, but, learningour character, embarked and followed us to Rice Lake.The woman had her hair hanging loose about her head,and not clubbed up in the usual fashion. I asked,and understood in reply, that this was a fashion peculiarto a band of Chippewas who live north of Rice Lake.On coming into Rice Lake we found the whole area ofit, except a channel, covered with wild rice not yetripe. We here met a number of boys and girls ina canoe, who, on seeing us, put ashore and fled inthe utmost trepidation into the tall grasses and hidthemselves.

RICE LAKE, or MONOMINEKANING.—­As we camein sight of the village, every canoe was put in thebest trim for display. The flags were hoisted;the military canoes paid all possible devotion toMars. There were five canoes. I led theadvance, the men striking up one of their liveliestsongs—­which by the way was some rural dittyof love and adventure of the age of Louis XIV.—­andwe landed in front of the village with a flourishof air (purely a matter of ceremony) as if the GrandMogul were coming, and they would be swallowed up.I immediately sent to the chiefs, to point out thebest place for encamping, which they did.

COUNCIL AT RICE LAKE.—­As soon as my tentwas pitched, Neenaba, Wabezhais, and their followers,to the number of twenty-two persons, visited me, werereceived with a shake of the hand and a “bon-jour,”and presented with tobacco. Notice was immediatelygiven that I would meet them in council at the firingof signal guns by the military. They attendedaccordingly. This council was preliminary, asI intended to halt here for a couple of days, in orderto put new bottoms to my canoes. I wished, also,some geographical and other information from them,prior to my final council. Neenaba agreed to drawa map of the lower part of the river, &c., denotingthe lines drawn by the treaty of Prairie du Chien,and the sites of the saw-mills erected, without leave,by squatters.

NATIVE SPEECHES.—­Next day (8th) the finalcouncil was held, at the usual signal. Wabezhaisand Neenaba were the principal speakers. Theyboth disclaimed setting themselves up against the authorityor wishes of the United States. They knew thelines, and meant to keep them. But they wereon the frontiers. The Sioux came out against them.They came up the river. They had last year killeda man and his two sons in a canoe, on the oppositebanks of Rice Lake, where they lay concealed.Left to protect themselves, they had no choice.They must strike, or die. Their fathers had leftthem councils, which, although young and foolish, theymust respect. They did not disregard the voiceof the President. They were glad to listen toit. They were pleased that he had honored themwith this visit, and this advice. This is thesubstance of both speeches.

Neenaba complained that the lumbermen had built millson their land, and cut pine logs, without right.That the Indians got nothing but civil treatment,when they went to the mills, and tobacco. Thisyoung chief appears to have drawn a temporary notorietyupon himself by his position in the late war party,which is, to some extent, fallacious. His modestyis, however, a recommendation. I proposed to haveinvested him with a second class medal and flag; buthe brought them to me again, laying them down, andsaying that he perceived that it would produce dissatisfactionand discord in his tribe; and that they were not necessaryto insure his good influence and friendship for the

United States. On consultation with the band,these marks of authority were finally awarded to WABEZHAIS.Presents, including the last of my dry goods, werethen distributed. Among them, was a small pieceof fine scarlet cloth, but too little to make a presentto each. The divider of the goods, which weregiven in camp, who was Indian, when he came to thistore it into small strips, so as to make a head-bandor baldric for each. The utmost exactness ofdivision was observed in everything.

ORIFICES FOR TREADING OUT RICE.—­I saw artificialorifices in the ground near our encampment. Oninquiry, I learned that these were used for treadingout the wild rice. A skin is put in these holeswhich are filled with ears. A man then treadsout the grain. This appears to be the only partof rice making that is performed by the men. Thewomen gather, dry, and winnow it.

A LIVE BEAVER.—­The Indians brought intocamp one morning, while I was at Rice Lake, a youngbeaver; an animal more completely amphibious, it wouldbe difficult to find. The head and front partof the body resemble the muskrat. The fore legsare short, and have five toes. The hind legsare long, stout, and web-footed. The spine projectsback in a thick mass, and terminates in a spatula-shapedtail, naked and scale-form. The animal is young,and was taken about ten days ago. Previously tobeing brought in, it had been taken out in a canoeinto the lake, and immersed. It appeared to becold, and shivered slightly. Its hair was saturatedwith water, and it made use of its fore paws in attemptsto express the water, sometimes like a cat, and atothers, like a squirrel. It sat up, like thelatter, on its hind legs, and ate bread in the mannerof a squirrel. In this position it gave some ideaof the kangaroo. Its color was a black body,brownish on the cheeks and under the body. Theeye small and not very brilliant. Its cry is notunlike that of a young child. The owner said,it would eat rice and fish. It was perfectlytamed in this short time, and would run to its owner.

NOTICES OF NATURAL HISTORY.—­I took outof the bed of the river, in the descent below RedCedar Lake, a greenish substance attached to stone,having an animal organization resembling the sponge.In our descent, the men caught, and killed with theirpoles, a proteus. The wild rice, which fillsthis part of the river, is monoecious. The riverabounds in muscles, among which the species of uniosis common, but not of large size, so far as we observed.The forest growth improves about this point, and denotesa better soil and climate. Pine species are stillpresent, but have become more mixed with hard wood,and what the French canoe-men denominate “BoisFranc.”

VALUE OF THE FOLLEAVOINE FORK.—­The nameby which this tributary of the Chippewa is called,on the Lake Superior side, namely, Red Cedar, is quiteinappropriate. Above Rice Lake it is characterizedby the wild rice plant, and the name of Folleavoine,which we found in use on the Mississippi border, betterexpresses its character. The lower part of thestream appears to be not only more plenteous in theclass of resources on which an Indian population rely,but far better adapted to the purposes of agriculture,grazing, and hydraulics.

MEDAL OF THE THIRD PRESIDENT.—­During theassemblages at Rice Lake, I observed a lad calledOgeima Geezhick, or Chief Day, having a Jeffersonmedal around his neck. I called him and his father,and, while inquiring its history, put a new ribbonto it. It was probably given by the late Col.Bolvin, Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, to the chiefcalled Peesh-a-Peevely, of Ottawa Lake. The latterdied at his village, an old man, last winter.He gave it to a young man who was killed by the Sioux.His brother having a boy named after him, namely, OgeimaGeezhick, gave it to him.

WAR-DANCE.—­This ceremony, together withwhat is called striking the post, was performedduring our stay. The warriors, arrayed for war,danced in a circle to the music of their drum and rattles.After making a fixed number of revolutions, they stoppedsimultaneously and uttered the sharp war yell.A man then stepped out, and, raising his club andstriking a pole in the centre, related a personal exploitin war. The dance was then resumed, and terminatedin like manner by yells, when another warrior relatedhis exploits. This was repeated as long as therewere exploits to tell. One of the warriors hadseven feathers in his head, denoting that he had marchedseven times against the enemy. Another had two.One of the young men asked for Lieut. Clary’ssword, and danced with it in the circle.

An old woman, sitting in a ring of women on the left,when the dancing and drumming had reached its height,could not restrain her feelings. She rose up,and, seizing a war-club which one of the young mengallantly offered, joined the dance. As soon asthey paused, and gave the war-whoop, she stepped forwardand shook her club towards the Sioux lines, and relatedthat a war party of Chippewas had gone to the WarwaterRiver, and killed a Sioux, and when they returned theythrew the scalp at her feet. A very old, deaf,and gray-headed man, tottering with age, also steppedout to tell the exploits of his youth, on the warpath.

Among the dancers, I noticed a man with a Britishmedal. It was the medal of the late Chief Peesh-a-Peevely,and had probably been given him while the Britishheld the supremacy in the country. I explainedto him that it, was a symbol of nationality, whichit was now improper to display as such. ThatI would recognize the personal authority of it, byexchanging for it an American silver medal of equalsize.

ORNITHOLOGY.—­While at Rice Lake, I heard,for the first time, the meadow-lark, and should judgeit a favorite place for birds obtaining their food.The thirteen striped squirrel is also common.A quantity of the fresh-water shells of the lake were,at my request, brought in by the Indian girls.There was very little variety. Most of them wereunios of a small size.

I found the entire population to be one hundred andforty-two souls, of whom eleven were absent.

One of the last acts of Neenaba was to present a pipeand speech, to be forwarded to the President, to requesthim to use his power to prevent the Sioux from crossingthe lines. Having now finished repairing my canoes,I embarked on the ninth, at three o’clock inthe afternoon, and went down the river four hoursand a half, probably about eighteen miles, and encamped.Encountered four Indians, from whom we obtained somepieces of venison. During the night wolves setup their howls near our camp, a sure sign that wewere in a deer country.

A PRAIRIE COUNTRY.—­The next morning (10thAug.) we embarked at five, and remained in our canoestill ten A.M., when we landed for breakfast.We had now entered a prairie country, of a pleasingand picturesque aspect. We observed a red deerduring the morning; we passed many hunting encampmentsof the Indians, and the horns and bones of slaughtereddeers, and other evidences of our being in a valuablegame country. These signs continued and increasedafter breakfast. The river had now increasedin volume, so as to allow a free navigation, and themen could venture to put out their strength in followingdown a current, always strong, and often rapid.We were passing a country of sylvan attractions, ofgreat fertility, and abounding in deer, elk, and otheranimals. We also saw a mink, and a flock of brant.Mr. Clary shot a turkey-buzzard, the first intimationthat we had reached within the range of that bird.As evening approached we saw a raccoon on a fallenbank. We came at nightfall to the Kakabika Falls,carried our baggage across the portage, and encampedat the western end, ready to embark in the morning,having descended the river, by estimation, seventymiles. These falls are over sandstone, a rockwhich has shown itself at all the rapids below RiceLake.

SAW MILLS.—­The next morning (11th) we embarkedat six o’clock, and, after descending strongand rapid waters for a distance of about fifteen miles,reached the site of a saw mill. A Mr. Wallace,who with ten men was in charge of it, and was engagedin reconstructing a dam that had been carried offby the last spring freshet, represented Messrs. Roletteand Lockwood of Prairie du Chien. Another mill,he said, was constructed on a creek just below, andout of sight.

I asked Mr. Wallace where the lines between the Siouxand Chippewas crossed. He said above. Hehad no doubt, however, but that the land belongedto the Chippewas. He said that no Sioux had beenhere for seven years. At that time a mill wasbuilt here, and Sioux came and encamped at it, butthey were attacked by the Chippewas and several killed,since which they have not appeared. He told usthat this stream is called the FOLLEAVOINE.

The country near the mills is not, in fact, occupiedby either Chippewa or Sioux, in consequence of whichgame is abundant on it. We saw a wolf, on turninga dense point of woods, in the morning. The animalstood a moment, and then turned and fled into theforest. After passing the mills we saw groupsof two, five and four deer, and of two wolves at separatepoints. Mr. Johnston shot at a flight of brant,and brought down one. The exclamations, indeed,of “un loup! un chevreuil!" were continuallyin the men’s mouths.

CHIPPEWA RIVER.—­At twelve o’clockprecisely we came to the confluence of this fork withthe main stream. The Chippewa is a noble massof water, flowing with a wide sweeping majesty tothe Mississippi. It excites the idea of magnitude.Wide plains, and the most sylvan and picturesque hillsbound the view. We abandoned our smallest canoeat this point, and, pushing into the central channelof the grand current, pursued for six hours our wayto its mouth, where we encamped on a long spit ofnaked sand, which marked its entrance into the Mississippi.

SNAKE.—­The only thing that opposed ourpassage was a large serpent in the centre of the channel,whose liberty being impinged, coiled himself up, andraised his head in defiance. Its colors were greenish-yellowand brownish. It appeared to be of the thicknessat the maximum of a man’s wrist. The bowsmanstruck it with a pole, not without some trepidationat his proximity to the reptile, but it made off, apparentlyunhurt, or not disabled.

MONT LE GARDE.—­The picturesque and grass-cladelevation called Le Garde by the canoe-men,attracted our notice. It is a high hill, thetop of which commands a view of the whole length ofLake Pepin, where Chippewa war parties look out fortheir enemies. It was from this elevation thatKewaynokwut’s party spied poor Finley and hismen in 1824, and there could have been no reason whateverfor mistaking their character, for he had a linentent and other unmistakeable insignia of a trader.

The Chippewa enters the Mississippi by several channels,which at this stage of the water, are formed by longsand bars, which are but a few inches above the water.The tracks of deer and elk were abundant on thesebars. We had found something of this kind on abar of the Folleavoine below the mills, where we landedto dry the doctor’s herbarium and press, whichhad been knocked overboard in a rapid. The tracksof elk at that spot were as numerous as those of cattlein a barn yard. There are high hills on the westbanks of the Mississippi opposite the entrance, andan enchanting view is had of the foot of Lake Pepinand its beautiful shores.

Deer appear to come on to these sand bars at night,to avoid the mosquitoes. Wolves follow them.We estimate our distance at forty miles, inclusiveof the stop at the mill. We had the brant roastedon a stick for supper.

DESCENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI.—­We embarkedon our descent at four o’clock A.M. Wepassed three canoes of Sioux men with their families.The canoes were wooden. We stopped alongside,and gave them tobacco. The women club their hairlike the Chippewas, and wear short gowns of cloth.Soon afterwards we overtook four Sioux of Wabashaw’sband, in a canoe. We stopped for breakfast atnine o’clock, under a high shore on the westbank. Found fine unios of a large size, very abundanton a little sandy bay. I found the unio alatus,overtus, rugosus and gibbosus, also some anadontas.The Sioux came up, and gave us to understand that amurder had been committed by the Menomonies in themine country. Some of my voyageurs laughed outrightto hear the Sioux language spoken, the sound of itsfrequent palatals falling very flat on men’sears accustomed only to the Algonquin.

SIOUX VILLAGE.—­About two o’clock,having taken a right-hand fork of the river, we unexpectedlycame to a Sioux village, consisting of a part of Wabashaw’sband, under Wah-koo-ta. Landed and found a Siouxwho could speak Chippewa, and serve as interpreter.I informed them of my route and the object of my visit,and of my having communicated a message with wampumand tobacco to Wabashaw. They told us that theMenomonies had killed twenty-five Foxes at Prairiedu Chien a few days ago, having first made them drunk,and then cut their throats and scalped them. Weencamped, at seven o’clock in the evening, underhigh cliffs on the west shore, having been fifteenhours in our canoes. Found mint among the highgrass, where our tent poles were put. On the nextmorning we set off at half-past four o’clock,and went until ten to breakfast. At a low pointof land of the shore, we had a view of a red fox, whoscampered away gayly. He had been probably gleaningamong the shell-fish along shore.

At a subsequent point we met a boat laden with Indiangoods, bound to St. Peters, and manned by Canadians.The person in charge of it informed us that it wasMenomonies and not Foxes who had, to the number oftwenty-six, been recently murdered.

GENERAL IMPRESSION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.—­Theengrossing idea, in passing down the Mississippi,is the power of its waters during the spring flood.Trees carried from above are piled on the heads ofislands, and also lie, like vast stranded rocks, onits sand bars and lower shores. Generally thebutt ends and roots are elevated in the air, and remainlike gibbeted men by the roadside, to tell the travelerof the POWER once exerted there.

We traveled till near ten o’clock (13th) inthe morning, when we reached and encamped at Prairiedu Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe—­Affair of the massacreof the Menomonies by the Foxes—­Descentto Galena—­Trip in the lead mine countryto Fort Winnebago—­Gratiot’s Grove—­Sacand Fox disturbances—­Black Hawk—­IrishDiggings—­Willow Springs—­Vanmater’slead—­An escape from falling into a pit—­MineralPoint—­Ansley’s copper mine—­Gen.Dodge’s—­Mr. Brigham’s—­SugarCreek—­Four Lakes—­Seven Mile Prairie—­Anight in the woods—­Reach Fort Winnebago—­Returnto the Sault—­Political changes in the cabinet—­Gov.Cass called to Washington—­Religious changes—­G.B.Porter appointed Governor—­Natural history—­Characterof the new governor—­Arrival of the Rev.Jeremiah Porter—­Organization of a church.

1831, Aug. 14th. One of the first thingswe heard, on reaching Prairie du Chien, was the deathof ex-President Monroe, which happened on the 4thof July, at the City of New York. The demise ofthree ex-Presidents of the revolutionary era (Jefferson,Adams, and Monroe), on this political jubilee of therepublic, is certainly extraordinary, and appears,so far as human judgment goes, to lend a providentialsanction to the bold act of confederated resistanceto taxation and oppression, made in 1776.

The affray between the Foxes and Menomonies turnsout thus. The Foxes had killed a young Menomoniehunter, near the mouth of the Wisconsin, and cut offhis head. The Menomonies had retaliated by killingFoxes. The Foxes then made a war party againstthe Menomonies, and went up the Mississippi in searchof them. They did not find them, till their return,when they discovered a Menomonie encampment on theupper part of the Prairie. They instantly attackedthem, and killed seven men, five women, and thirteenchildren. The act was perfectly dastardly, forthe Menomonies were some domestic lodges of personsliving, as non-combatants, under the guns of the fortand the civil institutions of the town. The Menomoniescomplained to me. I told them to go to theirAgent, and have a proper statement of the massacredrawn up by him, and transmitted to Washington.

I called on the commanding officer, Captain Loomis,and accepted his invitation to dine. He introducedme to Mr. Street, the Indian Agent. At four o’clockin the evening, I embarked for Galena, and, afterdescending the Mississippi as long as daylight lasted,encamped on a sand bar. The next morning (15th),we were again in motion before 5 o’clock.We passed Cassville and Dubuque at successive points,and, entering the river of Galena, reached the townabout half-past eight o’clock, in the evening,and encamped on the banks of the river.

On the following day (16th) I dispatched my canoeback to the Wisconsin in charge of Mr. Johnston, accompaniedby Dr. D. Houghton, and Mr. Melancthon Woolsey, withdirections to meet me at the portage. I thenhired a light wagon to visit the mine country, takingletters from Captain Legate, U.S.A., and Mr. C. Hemstead.Mr. Bennet, the landlord, went with me to bring backthe team. We left Galena about ten o’clockin the morning (17th), and, passing over an open,rolling country, reached Gratiot’s Grove, ata distance of fifteen miles. The Messrs. Gratiotreceived me kindly, and showed me the various ores,and their mode of preparing and smelting them, whichare, in all respects, similar to the method pursuedin Missouri, with which I was familiar.

Mr. Henry Gratiot was the sub-Indian agent for theWinnebagoes, and was present at the late disturbancesat the head of Rock Island. His band is the Winnebagoesliving on Rock River, which is the residence of theirprophet. He says the latter is a half Sauk, anda very shrewd, cunning man. They are peaceablenow, and disclaim all connection with Black Hawk,for war purposes. Mr. G. assured me that he placesno confidence in these declarations, nor in the stabilityof the Sacs and Foxes. He deems the latter treacherous,as usual, and related to me several acts of theirformer villainy—­all in accordance with theirlate attack and murder of the Menomonies at Prairiedu Chien. This murder was committed by a partof Black Hawk’s band, who had been driven fromtheir villages on the Mississippi below the rapids.They ascended the river to Dubuque—­fromthence the party set out, and fell on the unsuspiciousand defenceless Menomonies.

Having examined whatever was deemed worthy of attentionhere, I drove on about fifteen miles to Willow Springs.In this drive we had the Platte Mounds, a prominentobject, all the afternoon on our left. We stoppedat Irish Diggings, and I took specimens of the variousspars, ores, and rocks. Lead ore is found herein fissures in the rock. An extraordinary massof galena was recently discovered, in this geologicalposition, by two men named Doyle and Hanley.It is stated to have been twenty-two feet wide byone hundred feet in length, and weighed many tons.It was of the kind of formation called sheet mineral,which occupies what appears to have once been an openfissure.

The face of the country is exceedingly beautiful,the soil fertile, and bearing oaks and shagbark hickory.Grass and flowers cover the prairies as far as theeye can reach. The hills are moderately elevated,and the roads excellent, except for short distanceswhere streams are crossed. We passed the nightat Willow Springs, where we were well accommodatedby Mr. Ray.

On the 18th it rained in the morning. We stoppedat Rocky Branch Diggings, and I obtained here someinteresting specimens. We also stopped at Bracken’sFurnace, where I procured some organic remains.I examined Vanmater’s lead; it runs east andwest nearly nine miles. There was so much certaintyin tracing the course of this lead, that it was soughtout with a compass. The top strata are thirty-sixto forty feet—­then the mineral clay andgalena occur.

While examining some large specimens which had beenthrown out of an old pit forty feet deep, whose edgeswere concealed by bushes, I had nearly fallen in backwards,by which I should have been inevitably killed.The fate that I escaped fell to the lot of Bennet’sdog. The poor fellow jumped over the clusterof bushes without seeing the pit beyond. By lookingdown we could see that he was still living. Mr.Vanmater promised to erect a windlass over the pitand get him out before Mr. Bennet returned.

We reached Mineral Point about eleven o’clock.I immediately called on Mr. Ansley, to whom I hada letter, and went with him to visit his copper orediscovery. On the way he lost his mule, and, aftersome exertions to catch the animal, being under theeffects of a fever and ague, he went back. AMr. Black went with me to the diggings. Greenand blue carbonates of copper were found in rolledlumps in the clay soil, much like that kind of leadore which is called, from its abraded form, gravelore. Taking specimens of each kind of ore, I wentback to the town to dinner, and then drove on twoor three miles to General Dodge’s. TheGeneral received me with great urbanity. I wasintroduced to his son Augustus, a young gentlemanof striking and agreeable manners. Mrs. Dodgehad prepared in a few moments a cup of coffee, whichformed a very acceptable appendage to my late dinner.We then continued our way, passing through Dodgevilleto Porter’s Grove, where we stopped for thenight, and were made very comfortable at Morrison’s.

On the 19th we drove to breakfast at Brigham’sat the Blue Mounds. I here found in my host myold friend with whom I had set out from Pittsburghfor the western world some thirteen or fourteen yearsbefore, and whom I last saw, I believe, fighting withthe crows on the Illinois bottoms for the produceof a fine field of corn. I went on to the moundwith him to view the extraordinary growth of the samegrain at this place. The stalks were so highthat it really required a tall man to reach up andpull off the ears.

Ten miles beyond Brigham’s we came to SugarCreek and a tree marked by Mr. Lyon. From thispoint we found the trail measured and mile stakesdriven by Mr. Lyon’s party, but the Indians haveremoved several. From Sugar Creek it is ten milesto the head of the Four Lakes. We then crossedthe Seven Mile Prairie. To the left as we passedthere rose a high point of rocks, on the top of whichthe Indians had placed image stones. Night overtookus soon after crossing this prairie. We took thehorse out of the shafts and tied him to the wagon.My friend Bennet, though au fait on these trips,failed to strike a fire. We ate something, andmade shift to pass the night.

Next morning we drove twelve miles to a house (Hasting’s),where we got breakfast. We drove through DuckCreek with some ado, the skies threatening rain, andcame in to Fort Winnebago by one o’clock, duringa pouring rain. The canoes sent from Galena hadnot yet arrived. I spent the next day at theWinnebago agency, Mr. John H. Kinzie’s, whereI was received with great kindness. The canoewith Dr. Houghton and his companions did not arrivetill the 23d, and I embarked the same day on my returnto St. Mary’s. It will not be necessaryto describe this route. We were three days indescending the Fox River and its portages to GreenBay. It required eight days to traverse the shoresand bays to Mackinack, and three more to reach St.Mary’s, where I arrived on the 4th of September.

During my absence on this expedition, there were somethings in my correspondence that require notice.Gen. Cass had been transferred to the War Office atWashington. He writes to me from Detroit (July22d): “Very much to my surprise I havefound myself called to another sphere of action.The change I am afraid will be not less unfavorableto my health and comfort than it certainly is adverseto my pecuniary interest. But I am forced byirresistible circ*mstances to accept the appointment.I have no time to detail these now. When I nexthave the pleasure of meeting you, I will fully laythem open to you. You will then see and say thatno other choice was before me.”

Gen. Eaton, the former incumbent, goes out as ministerto Spain. The most important aspect is, perhaps,that we shall have a new governor, under whose rulewe shall be happy, if he does not rashly derange Indianaffairs in a too eager zeal to mend them. Fora long and eventful era Gen. Cass has presided asan umpire between the Indian tribes and the citizens.His force and urbanity of character have equally inspiredthe respect of both. He has equally secured theconfidence of every class of citizens in a wise civiladministration of affairs. He has carried theterritory from a state of war and desolation, whichit presented at the close of 1815, when the wholepopulation was less than three thousand souls, toa state of sound prosperity, which, in a few years,will develop resources that must class us one of thefirst of the Lake States.

July 26th. The Rev. Absalom Peters, Sec.Home Miss. Society, holds out the prospect ofbringing our remote position, at the foot of LakeSuperior, within the pale of the operations of thatsociety. He views and describes a graduate ofDartmouth College, who may, probably, be induced toventure himself on this frontier. He asks:“Please to say whether you desire such a manas I have described? Will it be best for himto go this fall, or wait until next spring? Howmuch can you raise for his support? How muchwill be necessary to sustain him and his family withsuitable economy? What will be his peculiar trials?”

Aug. 23d. It is announced that Mr. Geo.B. Porter, of Lancaster, Penn., is to be the new governor.

Oct. 4th. The last mail brings me a letterfrom an early and esteemed friend, a Prof. in theMed. Col. at New York, offering me congratulationson the moral stand recently taken by me. Approvals,indeed, of this act reach me from many quarters.The way seemed open, with very little exertion onmy part, to run a political course. But my impressionswere averse to it. There is so much of independenthonest opinion to be offered up by politicians—­suchcontinual calls to forsake the right for the expedient—­suchlarge sacrifices to be made in various ways to thegod of public opinion, that a political career is ratherstartling to a quiet, unambitious, home-loving individuallike myself, one, too, who is largely interested inother studies and pursuits, the rewards of which arenot, indeed, very prompt, very sure, nor very full;but they are fraught with gratifications of a moreenduring kind, and furnish aliment to moral conceptionswhich exalt and purify the soul.

Dr. Torrey also alludes, in the same letter, to myrecent journey in the Indian country: “Iam anxious to make some inquiries of you concerningyour expedition to the Falls of St. Anthony, &c.Though your principal object was more important, perhaps,than natural science, I hope the latter was not entirelyneglected. I know that you have heretofore devotedas much of your attention as possible to the observationof natural objects, and the preservation of specimens,and your last expedition was through a country welldeserving of your highest exertions. I know thatpart of it is the same as that explored while youattended Gov. Cass, many years ago; but much ofthe ground, if I am rightly informed, is new.You know that I have long devoted much of my timeto the study of N. American botany, and that I am collectingmaterials for a general Flora of our country.Now, my dear sir, if you or Mr. Houghton (the younggentleman whom, I am informed, accompanied you) havemade any collections in botany, I should esteem ita peculiar favor to have the examination of the specimens.

“Our Lyceum prospers. We have removed tothe N.Y. Dispensatory, a new building latelyerected in White Street, where we have excellent accommodations.The Corporation of the city had use for the N.Y.Institution, and nearly all the societies who occupiedit have been obliged to decamp. You doubtlesshave heard of the death of Dr. Mitchell. Dr.Akerly will pronounce his eulogy soon, and probablyDr. Hosick will give a more elaborate account of hislife.

“Mr. Cooper now devotes himself to shells andbirds. If you have anything rare or new in thesedepartments, we should be greatly obliged to you forsuch specimens as you can spare.

“Dr. Dekay went to Russia with his father, Mr.Eckford, last summer.”

23d. A friend and shrewd observer fromDetroit, writes: “You ask how we like ournew Governor. Very well. He is a well-informedplain man, unassuming in his manners and conciliatory,always ready for business, and accustomed to do everythingen ordre. His wife is a fine-looking agreeablewoman, with several pretty well-behaved children.”

Another correspondent says: “Mr. Porteris very much such a man as A. E. Wing, and will, nodoubt, generally suit the citizens of the territory,”

30th. W. Ward, Esq., says: “Iremove hence to Washington, with no certain prospects,only hopes. I cannot go without thanking you formuch enjoyment in the hours passed with you, and forthe manifestations of interest and friendship.”

Nov. 12th. Rev. W. S. Boutwell says:“I am happy to hear that my friend and classmate,Porter, is at Mackinack, on his way to this people.The Lord speed him on his way.”

22d. Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia,communicating the results of his analyses of the LakeSuperior copper-ores.

Dec. 31st. The person named in a priorletter from the Home Missionary Society, prefers amore southerly location, in consequence of which anew selection has been made by Dr. Peters, in the personof Rev. Jeremiah Porter, a graduate of Princeton andAndover, and a lineal descendant, I understand, bythe mother’s side, of the great Dr. Edwards.We have been favorably impressed by the manner anddeportment, and not less so by the piety and learningof the man. I felt happy, the moment of his landing,in offering him a furnished chamber, bed and plate,at Elmwood, while residing on this frontier. Hehas taken steps to organize a church. He preachesin an animated and persuasive style, and has commenceda system of moral instruction in detail, which, inour local history, constitutes an era. It hasbeen written that “where vice abounds, graceshall much more abound,” and St. Mary’smay now be well included in the list of favorableexamples. The lordly “wassail” ofthe fur-trader, the long-continued dance of the gayFrench “habitant,” the roll of the billiard-ball,the shuffle of the card, and the frequent potationsof wine “when it is red in the cup,” willnow, at least, no longer retain their places in thecustoms of this spot on the frontier without the hopeof having their immoral tendencies pointed out.Some of the soldiers have also shown a dispositionto attend the several meetings for instruction.The claims of temperance have likewise led to an organizedeffort, and if the pious and gentle Mr. Laird werepermitted once again to visit the place, after a lapseof seven years, he might fervently exclaim, in thelanguage of the Gospel, “What hath God wrought?”


Revival of St. Mary’s—­Rejection ofMr. Van Buren as Minister to England—­Botanyand Natural History of the North-west—­Projectof a new expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi—­AlgieSociety—­Consolidation of the Agencies ofSt. Mary’s and Michilimackinack—­Goodeffects of the American Home Missionary Society—­Organizationof a new inland exploring expedition committed tome—­Its objects and composition of the corpsof observers.

1832, Jan. 31st. I was now to spend awinter to aid a preacher in promoting the diffusionand understanding of the detailed facts, which allgo to establish a great truth—­a truth whichwas first brought to the world’s notice eighteenhundred and thirty-two years before, namely, thatGod, who was incarnate in the Messiah, under the nameof Jesus Christ, offered himself a public sacrificefor human sins, amidst the most striking and imposingcirc*mstances of a Roman execution—­a factwhich, in an age of extraordinary moral stolidity andecclesiastical delusion, was regarded as the behestof a mere human tribunal.

For this work the circ*mstances of our position andexclusion from society was very favorable. Theworld, with all its political and commercial care,was, in fact, shut out with the closing of the river.Three hundred miles of a waste, howling wildernessseparated us south-easterly from the settlements atDetroit. Ninety miles in a south-westerly directionlay the island and little settlement and mission ofMackinack.

In addition to the exertions of Mr. Porter, who wasour pastor, the winter had enclosed, at that point,a zealous missionary of the American Board, destinedfor a more northerly position, in the person of Mr.Boutwell, who with the person, Mr. Bingham, in chargeof the Indian mission at the same point, maintainedby the Baptist Convention, constituted a moral forcethat was not likely to be without its results.They derived mutual aid from each other in variousways, and directed their entire efforts upon a limitedcommunity, wholly excluded from open contact withthe busy world, and having, by their very isolation,much leisure.

The result was an awakened attention to the truth,to which I have adverted, not as a mere historicalevent, but one personally interesting and importantto every person, without regard at all to their circ*mstancesor position. Severity of climate, deep snows,the temperature often below zero, and frequently butlittle above, blinding snow storms, and every inconvenienceof the place or places of meeting, appeared only tohave the effect to give greater efficacy to the inquiry,as the workings of unshackled mind and will. Earlyin the season, a comparatively large number of personsof every class deemed it their duty to profess a personalinterest in the atonement, the great truth dwelt on,and made eventually a profession of faith by unitingwith, and recording their names as members of somebranch of the church. Among these were severalnatives. Mrs. Johnston, known to her people bythe name of the Sha-go-wash-co-da-wa-qua, being themost noted. Also four of her daughters, and oneof her sons, one or two Catholic soldiers, severalofficers of Fort Brady, citizens, &c., &c.

This statement will tend to render many of the allusionsin my journal of this winter’s transactionsintelligible. Indeed some of them would not beat all understood without it. Historically considered,there was deep instruction “hid” in thisevent. It was now precisely 222 years since thePuritans, with the principles of the Scriptures fortheir guidance, in fleeing to lay the foundation ofa new government in the West, had landed at Plymouth.It had required this time, leaving events to developthemselves, for the circle of civilization to reachthe foot of Lake Superior. Ten years after thefirst landing at this remote spot in 1822, had beensufficient to warm these ancient principles into life.John Eliot, and the band of eminent saints who beganthe labor with him in 1632, had been centuries intheir tombs, but the great principles which they upheldand enforced were invested with the sacred vitalitywhich they possessed at that day. Two truths arerevealed by this reminiscence. 1. That the Scriptureswill be promulgated by human means. 2. That time,in the Divine mind, is to be measured in a more enlargedsense; but the propagation of truth goes on, as obstacleafter obstacle is withdrawn, surely, steadily, unalterably,and that its spread over the entire globe is a merequestion of time.

Jan. 31st. Mr. Wing, delegate in Congress,writes from Washington, that the nomination of Mr.Van Buren as minister to England has been rejectedby the Senate, by a majority of one—­andthat one the casting vote of the Vice-President.A letter from Albany, Feb. 1, says: “Albany(and the State generally) is considerably excited thismorning in consequence of the rejection of Mr. VanBuren. Nothing could have more promoted the interestof Mr. Van Buren than this step of the Senate.New York city has resolved to receive him, on hisreturn from England, with all the ’pomp andmagnificence in its power, and to show that her ‘favoriteson’ shall be sustained.’ I heardthis read in public from a letter received by a personin this city.”

“A report reached this a few days ago, statingthat the ‘cholera’ had been brought toNew Orleans in a Spanish vessel.”

“Mr. Woolsey, the young gentleman of your tourlast summer, died at New York a short time since.”In a letter which he wrote to me (Sept. 27th), onthe eve of his leaving Detroit, he says: “Permitme now, sir, in closing this note, again to expressmy gratitude for the opportunity you have affordedme of visiting a very interesting portion of our country,and for the uniform kindness that I have experiencedat your hands, and for the friendly wishes, that prosperitymay crown my exertions in life.”

Dr. Houghton says (Feb. 8) respecting this moral youngman: “The tears of regret might flow freelyfor the loss of such true unsophisticated worth, evenwith those who knew him imperfectly, but to me, whofelt as a brother, the loss is doubly great.We have, however, when reflecting upon his untimelydeath, the sweet consolation that he died as he lived,a Christian.”

Feb. 4th. Dr. Torrey expresses his interestin the botany and natural history, generally, of thecountry visited by me last summer. “Yourkind offer to place in my hands the botanical raritieswhich, from time to time, you may acquire, in yourinteresting journeys, I fully appreciate. Itwill give me great pleasure to examine the collectionsmade by Dr. Houghton during your last expedition.

“My friend Mr. William Cooper, of the Lyceum,will be happy to lend you all the assistance in hispower in determining the shells you have collected.He is decidedly our beat conchologist in New York,and I would rather trust him than most men—­forhe is by no means afflicted with the mania of desiringto multiply new species, which, is, at present, thebane of natural history.

“You speak of having discovered some interestingminerals, especially some good native copper.Above all the specimens which you obtained, I shouldlike to see the native magnesia which you found inserpentine. I am desirous of analyzing the mineral,to ascertain whether its composition agrees with thatof Hoboken and Unst (the only recorded localitiesin our mineralogical works).”

13th. Submitted, in a letter to the departmentat Washington, A PROJECT of an expedition to the North-west,during the ensuing season, in order to carry out theviews expressed in the instructions of last year,to preserve peace on the western frontiers, inclosingthe necessary estimates, &c.

16th. Mr. W. H. Sherman, of Vernon, N.Y.,communicates intelligence of the death of my mother,which took place about ten o’clock on the morningof this day. She was seventy-five years of age,and a Christian—­and died as she had lived,in a full hope. I had read the letters beforebreakfast, and while the family were assembling forprayers. I had announced the fact with great composure,and afterward proceeded to read in course the 42dPsalm, and went on well, until I came to the verse—­“Whyart thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquietedwithin me? Hope thou in God: for I shallyet praise him, who is the health of my countenance,and my God.”

The emotions of this painful event, which I had strivento conceal, swelled up in all their reality, my utterancewas suddenly choked, and I was obliged to close thebook, and wait for calmness to go on.

28th. The initial steps were taken forforming an association of persons interested in thecause of the reclamation of the Indians, to be knownunder the name of the Algic Society. Connectedwith this, one of its objects was to collect and disseminatepractical information respecting their language, history,traditions, customs, and character; their numbersand condition; the geographical features of the countrythey inhabit; and its natural history and productions.

It proposes some definite means of action for furtheringtheir moral instruction, and reclamation from theevils of intemperance and the principles of war, andto subserve the general purposes of a society of moralinquiry. The place was deemed favorable both forthe collection of original information, and for offeringa helping hand to missionaries and teachers who shouldvisit the frontiers in carrying forward the greatmoral question of the exaltation of the tribes frombarbarism to civilization and Christianity.

28th. Instructions are issued at Washington,consolidating the agencies of St. Mary’s andMichilimackinack—­and placing the jointagency under my charge. By this arrangement, Col.Boyd, the agent at the latter point, is transferredto Green Bay, and I am left at liberty to reside atSt. Mary’s or Michilimackinack, placing a sub-agentat the point where I do not reside.

This measure is announced to me in a private letterof this day, from the Secretary of War, who says:“I think the time has arrived when a just economyrequires such a measure.” By it the entireexpenses of one full agency are dispensed with—­theduties of which are devolved upon me, in additionto those I before had. By being allowed the choiceof selection, two hundred dollars are added to mysalary. Here is opened a new field, and certainlya very ample one, for exertions.

April 8th. The object contemplated byinvoking the aid of the Home Missionary Society, inthe establishment of a church at this remote pointon the frontiers—­in connection with themeans already possessed, and the aid providentiallypresent, have, it will have been seen, had the effectto work quite a moral revolution. The evils ofa lax society have been rebuked in various ways.Intemperance and disorder have been made to standout as such, and already a spirit of rendering theuse, or rather misuse of time, subservientto the general purposes of social dissipation, hasbeen shown to be unwise and immoral in every view.More than all, the Sabbath-day has been vindicatedas a part of time set apart as holy. The claimsand obligations of the decalogue have been enforced;and the great truths of the Gospel thus prominentlybrought forward. The result has been every waypropitious.

The Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, of Mackinack, writes (Feb.21): “The intelligence we have receivedby your letters, Mr. Boutwell, &c., of the Lord’sdoings among you, as a people, at the Sault, has rejoicedour hearts much. Surely it is with you a timeof the right hand of the Most High.” “Allof us,” writes Mr. Robert Stuart (March 29) “wholove the Lord, were much pleased at the indicationsof God’s goodness and presence among you.”

The Rev. J. Porter, in subsequently referring to theresults of these additions to the church, observes,that they embraced five officers and four ladies ofthe garrison; two gentlemen and seven ladies of thesettlement, and thirty soldiers and four women of FortBrady, numbering fifty-two in all. Of these,twenty-six were adults added by baptism.

At Detroit a similar result was experienced.Mr. Trowbridge writes (April 8th), that about seventypersons united themselves a few days previous to Mr.Wells’ church, to which the influence has beenprincipally, but not wholly confined. Among thesewere many who had, unaffectedly, listened to the Gospel,if not all their lives, certainly no small part ofit.

May 3d. Public instructions are issuedfor my organizing and taking command of an expeditionto the country upon the sources of the MississippiRiver, to effect a pacification between the Indiantribes, in order to carry out, with increased means,the efforts made in 1831. Those efforts wereconfined to tribes living in latitudes south of St.Anthony’s Falls. It was now proposed toextend them to the Indian population living northof that point, reaching to the sources of that river.This opened the prospect of settling a long contestedpoint in the geography of that stream, namely, itsactual source—­a question in which I hadlong felt the deepest interest.

The outbreak of Indian hostility, under Black Hawk,which characterized the summer of 1832, was apprehended,and it became the policy of the Indian Bureau, inthe actual state of its information, to prevent thenorthern tribes from joining in the Sac and Fox leagueunder that influential leader. I forwarded tothe Superintendent and Governor of the territory,a report of a message and war-club sent to the Chippewasto join in the war, for which I was indebted to thechief, Chingwauk, or Little Pine.

“Reports from various quarters of the Indiancountry,” says the Secretary of War, in a privateletter so early as March 28th, “lead to thebelief that the Indians are in an unsettled state,and prudence requires that we should advise and restrainthem. I think one more tour would be very usefulin this respect, and would complete our knowledgeof the geography of that region.”

“There is a prospect,” says the officialinstructions (May 3d), “of extensive hostilitiesamong themselves. It is no less the dictate ofhumanity than of policy to repress this feeling, andto establish permanent peace among the tribe.

“It is also important to inspect the conditionof the trade, and the conduct of the traders.To ascertain whether the regulations and the lawsare complied with, and to suggest such alterationsas may be required. And, finally, to inquireinto the number, standing, disposition, and prospectof the Indians, and to report all the statisticalfacts you can procure, and which will be useful tothe government in its operations, or to the communityin the investigation of these subjects.”

Congress, during the session, passed an act for vaccinatingthe Indians. This constituted a separate duty,and enabled me to take along a physician and surgeon.I offered the situation to Dr. Douglass Houghton,of Fredonia, who, in the discharge of it, was preparedto take cognizance of the subjects of botany, geology,and mineralogy. I offered to the American Boardof Missions, at Boston, to take a missionary agent,to observe the condition and prospects of the Indiantribes in the north-west, as presenting a field fortheir operations, and named the Rev. W.T. Boutwell,then at Michilimackinack, for the post, which theBoard confirmed, with a formal vote of thanks.Lieut. James Allen, 5th U.S. Infantry, whowas assigned to the command of the detachment of troops,assumed the duties of topographer and draughtsman.Mr. George Johnston, of St. Mary’s, was appointedinterpreter and baggage-master. I retained myselfthe topics of Indian history, archaeology, and language.The party numbered about thirty souls. All thisappeared strictly compatible with the practical objectsto be attained—­keeping the expenses withinthe sum appropriated for the object.

Some few weeks were required completely to organizethe expedition, to prepare the necessary supplies,and to permit the several persons to reach the placeof rendezvous. Meantime I visited Michilimackinackto receive the agency from Col. Boyd; after whichit was left temporarily in charge of a sub-agent andinterpreter, with the supervision of the commandingofficer of Fort Mackinack.

4th. The Secretary of War writes a privateletter: “We have allowed all it was possible,and you must on no account exceed the sum, as thepressure upon our funds is very great.”

Maj. W. writes from Detroit (May 7th): “Iam glad to hear that you are about going on anotherexpedition, and that Mr. Houghton is to accompanyyou. I hope you will find time to send us somespecimens collected on your former tour before youstart.”

Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia (May 12th):“I shall leave here immediately after the twenty-fourth,and hope to see you as early as the second or thirdof June. I have heard from Torrey, and have senthim a suit of plants.”

The Secretary of War again writes (May 22d):“It has been impossible before now, to makeyou a remittance of funds, and they cannot yet allbe sent for your expedition. Our annual appropriationhas not yet passed, and when it will I am sure I cannottell. So you must get along as well as you can.I trust, however, the amount now sent will be sufficientto enable you to start upon your expedition. Theresidue promised to you, as well as the funds foryour ordinary expenditures, shall be sent as soonas the appropriation is made.”

The sub-agent, in charge of the agency at Mackinack,writes (May 22d): “Gen. Brook arrived yesterdayfrom Green Bay, and has concluded to make this posthis head-quarters. I was up, yesterday, in thegarrison, and Capt. McCabe introduced me to him.I found him a very pleasant, plain, unassuming man.Col. Boyd has handed me a list of articles whichyou will find inclosed, &c.”

“The committee,” says the Rev. David Green,Boston, “wish me to express to you the satisfactionthey have in learning that your views respecting theimportance of making known the great truths of theGospel to the Indians, as the basis on which to buildtheir improvement, in all respects accords so perfectlywith their own. It is our earnest desire thatour missionaries should act wisely in all their laborsfor the benefit of the Indians, and that all the measureswhich may be adopted by them, or by others who seekto promote the present or future welfare of this unhappyand long-abused people, may be under the Divine guidance,and crowned with great success.”

These triple claims, which have now been mentioned,of business, of science, and of religion, on my attentioncreated not the least distraction on my mind, but,on the contrary, appeared to have propitious and harmonizinginfluences.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, thesource of the Mississippi River—­Brief noticeof the journey to the point of former geographicaldiscovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or CassLake—­Ascent and portage to Queen Anne’sLake—­Lake Pemetascodiac—­TheTen, or Metoswa Rapids—­Pemidgegomag, orCross-water Lake—­Lake Irving—­LakeMarquette—­Lake La Salle—­LakePlantagenet—­Ascent of the PlantagenianFork—­Naiwa, or Copper-snake River—­AgateRapids and portage—­Assawa Lake—­Portageover the Hauteur des Terres—­Itasca Lake—­Itspicturesque character—­Geographical and astronomicalposition—­Historical data.

1832. June 7th. It was not until thisday that the expedition was ready to embark at thehead of the portage at St. Mary’s. I hadorganized it strictly on temperance principles, observationhaving convinced me, during frequent expeditions inthe wilderness, that not only is there no situation,unless administered from the medicine-chest, wheremen are advantaged by its use, but in nearly everyinstance of fatigue or exhaustion their powers areenfeebled by it, while, in a moral and intellectualsense, they are rendered incapable, neglectful, ordisobedient. This exclusion constituted a specialclause in every verbal agreement with the men, whowere Canadians, which I thought necessary to make,in order that they might have no reason to complainwhile inland of its exclusion. They were promised,instead of it, abundance of good wholesome food atall times. The effects of this were apparenteven at the start. They all presented smilingfaces, and took hold of their paddles with a consciousfeeling of satisfaction in the wisdom of their agreement.

The military and their supplies occupied a large Mackinackboat; my heavy stores filled another. I traveledin a canoe-elege, as being better adapted tospeed and the celerity of landing. Each carrieda national flag. We slept the first night atPoint Iroquois, which commands a full view of themagnificent entrance into the lake. We were fifteendays in traversing the lake, being my fifth trip throughthis inland sea. We passed up the St. Louis Riverby its numerous portages and falls to the Sandy Lakesummit, and reached the banks of the Mississippi onthe third of July, and ascertained its width abovethe junction of the Sandy Lake outlet to be 331 feet.We were six days in ascending it to the central islandin Cass Lake. This being the point at which geographicaldiscovery rests, I decided to encamp the men, depositmy heavy baggage, and fitted out a light party in huntingcanoes to trace the stream to its source. TheIndians supplied me with five canoes of two fathomseach, and requiring but two men to manage each, whichwould allow one canoe to each of the gentlemen of myparty. I took three Indians and seven white menas the joint crew, making, with the sitters, fifteenpersons. We were provisioned for a few days, carrieda flag, mess-basket, tent, and other necessary apparatus.We left the island early the next morning, and reachedthe influx of the Mississippi into the Lake at anearly hour. To avoid a very circuitous bay, whichI called Allen’s Bay, we made a short portagethrough open pine woods.

Fifty yards’ walk brought us and our canoe andbaggage to the banks of Queen Anne’s Lake, asmall sylvan lake through which the whole channelof the Mississippi passed. A few miles above itstermination we entered another lake of limited size,which the Indians called Pemetascodiac. The riverwinds about in this portion of it—­throughsavannas, bordered by sandhills, and pines in the

distance—­for about fifteen miles. Atthis distance, rapids commence, and the bed of theriver exhibited greenstone and gneissoid boulders.We counted ten of these rapids, which our guide calledthe Metoswa, or Ten Rapids. They extend abouttwenty miles, during which there is a gradual ascentof about forty feet. The men got out at eachof these rapids, and lifted or drew the canoes up bytheir gunwales. We ascended slowly and with toil.At the computed distance of forty-five miles, we entereda very handsome sheet of water, lying transverse toour course, which the Indians called Pamidjegumag,which means crosswater, and which the French call LacTraverse. It is about twelve miles long fromeast to west, and five or six wide. It is surroundedwith hardwood forest, presenting a picturesque appearance.

We stopped a few moments to observe a rude idol onits shores; it consisted of a granitic boulder, ofan extraordinary shape, with some rings and spotsof paint, designed to give it a resemblance to a humanstatue. We observed the passenger-pigeon and somesmall fresh-water shells of the species of unios andanadontas.

A short channel, with a strong current, connects thislake with another of less than a third of its dimensions,to which I gave the name of Washington Irving.Not more than three or four miles above the latter,the Mississippi exhibits the junction of its ultimateforks. The right hand, or Itasca branch, wasrepresented as by far the longest, the most circuitous,and most difficult of ascent. It brings down muchthe largest volume of water. I availed myselfof the geographical knowledge of my Indian guide bytaking the left hand, or what I had occasion soonto call the Plantagenian branch. It expanded,in the course of a few miles, into a lake, which Icalled Marquette, and, a little further, into another,which I named La Salle. About four miles abovethe latter, we entered into a more considerable sheetof water, which I named Plantagenet, being the siteof an old Indian encampment called Kubbakunna, orthe Rest in the Path.

We encamped a short distance above the upper end ofthis lake at the close of the day, on a point of lowland covered with a small growth of gray pine, fringedwith alder, tamarisk, spruce, and willow. A bedof moss covered the soil, into which the foot sankat every step. Long moss hung from every branch.Everything indicated a cold frigid soil. In theact of encamping, it commenced raining, which gavea double gloom to the place. Several speciesof duck were brought from the different canoes asthe result of the day’s hunt.

Early the next morning we resumed the ascent.The river became narrow and tortuous. Clumpsof willow and alder lined the shore. Whereverlarger species were seen they were gray pines or tamarack.One of the Indians killed a deer, of the species C.Virginea, during the morning. Ducks werefrequently disturbed as we pushed up the winding channel.The shores were often too sedgy and wet to permitour landing, and we went on till twelve o’clockbefore finding a suitable spot to breakfast.

About five o’clock we came to a high diluvialridge of gravel and sand, mixed with boulders of syenite,trap-rock, quartz, and sandstone. Ozawandib,our guide, said we were near the junction of the Naiwa,or Copper-snake River, the principal tributary ofthis branch of the Mississippi, and that it was necessaryto make a passage over this ridge to avoid a formidableseries of rapids. Our track lay across a peninsula.This occupied the remainder of the day, and we encampedon the banks of the stream above the rapids and pitchedour tent, before daylight had finally departed.The position of the sun, in this latitude, it mustbe recollected, is protracted, very perceptibly, abovethe horizon. We ascended to the summit in a seriesof geological steps or plateaux. There is butlittle perceptible rise from the Cross-water levelto this point—­called Agate Rapids and Portage,from the occurrence of this mineral in the drift.The descent of water at this place cannot be lessthan seventy feet. On resuming the journey thenext morning (13th) we found the water above theserapids had almost the appearance of a dead level.The current is very gentle; and, by its diminishedvolume, denotes clearly the absence of the contributionsfrom the Naiwa. About seven miles above the AgatePortage we entered Lake Assawa, which our Indian guideinformed us was the source of this branch. Wewere precisely twenty minutes in passing through it,with the full force of paddles. It receives twosmall inlets, the most southerly of which we entered,and the canoes soon stuck fast, amidst aquatic plants,on a boggy shore. I did not know, for a moment,the cause of our having grounded, till Ozawandib exclaimed,“O-um-a, mikun-na!” here is the portage!We were at the Southern flanks of the diluvial hills,called HAUTEUR DES TERRES—­a geological formationof drift materials, which form one of the continentalwater-sheds, dividing the streams tributary to theGulf of Mexico, from those of Hudson’s Bay.He described the portage as consisting of twelve pug-gi-de-nun,or resting places, where the men are temporarily easedof their burdens. This was indefinite, dependingon the measure of a man’s strength to carry.Not only our baggage, but the canoes were to be carried.After taking breakfast, on the nearest dry ground,the different back-loads for the men were prepared.Ozawandib threw my canoe over his shoulders and ledthe way. The rest followed, with their appointedloads. I charged myself with a spy-glass, strapped,and portfolio. Dr. Houghton carried a plant press.Each one had something, and the men toiled with fivecanoes, Our provisions, beds, tent, &c. The pathwas one of the most intricate and tangled that I everknew. Tornadoes appeared to have cast down thetrees in every direction. A soft spongy mass,that gave way under the tread, covered the intersticesbetween the fallen timber. The toil and fatiguewere incessant. At length we ascended the first

height. It was an arid eminence of the pebbleand erratic block era, bearing small gray pines andshrubbery. This constituted our first pause,or puggidenun. On descending it, we were againplunged among bramble. Path, there was none,or trail that any mortal eye, but an Indian’s,could trace. We ascended another eminence.We descended it, and entered a thicket of bramble,every twig of which seemed placed there to bear sometoken of our wardrobe, as we passed. To avoidthis, the guide passed through a lengthened shallowpond, beyond which the walking was easier. Hillsucceeded hill. It was a hot day in July, andthe sun shone out brightly. Although we were evidentlypassing an alpine height, where a long winter reigned,and the vegetation bore every indication of beingimperfectly developed. We observed the passengerpigeon, and one or two species of the falcofamily. There were indications of the commondeer. Moss hung abundantly from the trees.The gray pine predominated in the forest growth.

At length, the glittering of water appeared, at adistance below, as viewed from the summit of one ofthese eminences. It was declared by our Indianguide to be Itasca Lake—­the source of themain, or South fork of the Mississippi. I passedhim, as we descended a long winding slope, and wasthe first man to reach its banks. A little grassyopening served as the terminus of our trail, and provedthat the Indians had been in the practice of crossingthis eminence in their hunts. As one after anotherof the party came, we exulted in the accomplishmentof our search. A fire was quickly kindled, andthe canoes gummed, preparatory to embarkation.

We had struck within a mile of the southern extremityof the lake, and could plainly see its terminus fromthe place of our embarking. The view was quiteenchanting. The waters were of the most limpidcharacter. The shores were overhung with hardwood foliage, mixed with species of spruce, larch,and aspen. We judged it to be about seven milesin length, by an average of one to two broad.A bay, near its eastern-end, gave it somewhat theshape of the letter y. We observed a deer standingin the water. Wild fowl appeared to be abundant.We landed at the only island it contains—­abeautiful spot for encampment, covered with the elm,cherry, larch, maple, and birch, and giving evidence,by the remains of old camp-fires, and scattered bonesof species killed in the chase, of its having beenmuch resorted to by the aborigines.

This picturesque island the party honored me by callingafter my name—­in which they have been sanctionedby Nicollet and other geographers. I caused sometrees to be felled, pitched my tent, and raised theAmerican flag on a high staff, the Indians firing asalute as it rose.

This flag, as the evidence of the government havingextended its jurisdiction to this quarter, I leftflying, on quitting the island—­and presumethe band of Ozawandib, at Cass Lake, afterwards appropriatedit to themselves.

Questions of geography and astronomy may deserve amoment’s attention. If we assume the discoveryof the mouth of the Mississippi to have been madeby Narvaez in 1527—­a doubtful point!—­aperiod of 305 years has elapsed before its actualsource has been fixed. If the date of De Soto’sjourney (1541) be taken, which is undisputed, thisperiod is reduced to 290 years. Hennepin sawit as high as the mouth of the river St. Francis in1680. Lt. Pike, under the administrationof Mr. Jefferson, ascended it by water in 1805, nearto the entrance of Elk River, south of the Crow WingFork, and being overtaken at this spot by frosts andsnow, and winter setting in strongly, he afterwardsascended its banks, on snow shoes, his men carryinghis baggage on hand sleds, to Sandy Lake, then a postof the North-west Company. From this point hewas carried forward, under their auspices, by the Canadiantrain de-glis, drawn by dogs to Leech Lake;and eventually, by the same conveyance, to what isnow denominated Cass Lake, or upper Lac Cedre Rogue.This he reached in January, 1806, and it formed theterminus of his journey.

In 1820, Gen. Cass visited Sandy Lake, by the wayof Lake Superior, with a strong party, and exploratoryoutfit, under the authority of the government.He encamped the bulk of his party at Sandy Lake, depositingall his heavy supplies, and fitted out a light partyin two canoes, to trace up the river to its source.After ascending to the point of land at the entranceof Turtle River into Cass Lake, it was found, fromIndian accounts, that he could not ascend higher inthe state of the water with his heavy canoes, if,indeed, his supplies or the time at his command wouldhave permitted him to accomplish it, compatibly withother objects of his instructions. This, therefore,constituted the terminal point of his journey.

The length of the river, from the Gulf of Mexico toItasca Lake, has been estimated at 3,160 miles.Barometrical observations show its altitude, abovethe same point, to be 1,680 feet—­which denotesan average descent of a fraction over six inches permile.

The latitude of Itasca Lake has been accurately determinedto be 47 deg. 13’ 35”—­whichis nearly two degrees south of the position assignedto it by the best geographers in 1783, the date ofthe definite treaty of peace between the United Statesand Great Britain.

The reason of this geographical mistake has been satisfactorilyshown in traversing up the stream from the summitof the Pemidjegomag, or Cross-water Lake—­duringwhich, the general course of the ascent is due south.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Laketo Cass Lake—­Traits of its bank—­KabikaFalls—­Upsetting of a canoe—­Riverdescends by steps, and through narrow rocky passes—­Portageto the source of the Crow-Wing River—­MossLake—­Shiba Lake—­Leech Lake—­WarpoolLake—­Long Lake Mountain portage—­Kaginogomanug—­VermilionLake—­Ossawa Lake-Shell River—­LeafRiver—­Long Prairie River—­Kioskk,or Gull River—­Arrival at its mouth—­Descentto the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter’s—­Returnto St. Mary’s.

1832, July 14th. I found the outlet ofItasca Lake to be about twelve feet wide, and sometwelve to fourteen inches deep. The water is ofcrystal purity, and the current very rapid. Wewere urged along with great velocity. It requiredincessant vigilance on the part of the men to preventour frail vessels from being dashed against boulders.For about twelve miles the channel was not only narrow,but exceedingly crooked. Often, where the waterwas most deep and rapid, it did not appear to exceedten feet in width. Trees which had fallen fromthe banks required, sometimes, to be cut away to allowthe canoes to pass, and it required unceasing vigilanceto avoid piles of drifted wood or boulders. Aswe were borne along in vessels of bark, not more thanone-eighth of an inch thick, a failure to fend off,or hit the proper guiding point, in any one place,would have been fraught with instant destruction.And we sat in a perfect excitement during this distance.The stream then deployed, for a distance of some eightmiles, into a savannah or plain, with narrow grassyborders in which its width was doubled, its depthdecreased, and the current less furious. We wentthrough these windings with more assurance and composure.It was one of the minor plateaux in which this streamdescends. The channel then narrowed and deepeneditself for another plunge, and soon brought us tothe top of the Kabika Palls. This pass, as thename imports, is a cascade over rocks. The riveris pent up, between opposing trap rock, which arenot over ten feet apart. Its depth is about fourfeet, and velocity perfectly furious. It is notimpossible to descend it, as there is no abrupt pitch,but such a trial would seem next to madness. Wemade a portage with our canoes of about a quarterof a mile across a peninsula, and embarked again atthe foot of the falls, where the stream again expandsto more than double its former width, and the sceneryassumes a milder aspect. It is another plateau.

Daylight had departed when we encamped on a high sandybank on the left shore. We were perfectly exhaustedwith labor, and the thrilling excitement of the day.It seemed, while flying through its furious passes,as if this stream was impatient for its development,and, like an unrestrained youth, was bent on overthrowingevery obstacle, on the instant, that opposed its advanceand expansion. A war horse could not have beenmore impatient to rush on to his destiny.

We were in motion again in our canoes at five o’clockthe next morning. At an early hour my Indianguide landed to fire at some deer. He could not,however, get close enough to make an effectual shot.Before the animals were, however, out of range, heloaded, without wadding, and fired again, but alsowithout effect. After passing a third plateauthrough which the river winds, with grassy borders,we found it once more to contract for another descent,which we made without leaving our canoes, not, however,

without imminent peril and loss. Lieut. Allenhad halted to make some observations, when his menincautiously failed for a moment to keep his canoedirect in the current. The moment it assumed atransverse position, which they attempted to fix bygrasping some bushes on the opposite bank, the waterdashed over the gunwales, and swept all to the bottom.He succeeded in gaining his feet, though the currentwas waist high, and recovered his fowling piece, butirretrievably lost his canoe-compass, a nautical balancedinstrument, and everything besides. FortunatelyI had a fine small land-compass, which Gen. Macombhad presented to the late John Johnston, Esq., ofSt. Mary’s, many years before, and thus I measurablyrepaired his loss. On descending this channel,the river again displayed itself in savannas, and assumeda width which it afterwards maintained, and lost itssavage ferocity of current, though still strong.

On this plateau, the river receiving on its left theWar River, or Piniddiwin (the term has relation tothe mangled flesh of those slain in battle), a considerablestream, at the mouth of which the Indian reed firstshows itself. We had, the day previous, noticedthe Chemaun, or Canoe River, tributary from the rightbank. Minor tributaries were not noticed.The volume of water was manifestly increased from varioussources. At a spot where we landed, as eveningcame on, we observed a species of striped lizard,which our guide called Okautekinabic, which signifieslegged-snake. Various species of the duck andother water fowl were almost continually in sight.We reached the junction of the Plantagenet Fork aboutone o’clock at night (15th), and rapidly passingthe Irving and Cross-water Lakes, descended to CassLake, reaching our encampment at nine o’clockin the morning.

A day’s rest restored the party from its fatigues,and we set out at ten o’clock the followingday (16th) for Leech Lake, by the overland route.Two hours rowing brought us to a fine sandy beach atthe head of a bay, which was named Pike’s Bay,from Lieut. Pike having approached from thisdirection in the winter of 1806. Here the baggageand canoes were prepared for a portage. A walkof nine hundred and fifty yards, through open pineforest, brought us to the banks of Moss Lake, whichwe passed in canoes. A portage of about two milesand a-half was now made to the banks of a small lake,which, as I heard no name for it, was called Shiba,from the initials of the names of the five gentlemenof the party.[62] This lake has an outlet into a largestream, which the Pillager Chippewas call Kapuka Sagitawag.It was nearly dark when we embarked on this stream,which soon led, by a very narrow and winding channel,into the main river. Pushing on, we reached andcrossed an arm of the lake to the principal Indianvillage of Guelle Plat, Leech Lake, which we reachedat ten o’clock at night.

[Footnote 62: Schoolcraft, Houghton, Johnston,Boutwell, Allen.]

The next day (17th) was passed in council with them,till late in the afternoon, when I embarked, and wenta couple of leagues to encamp, in order to rid myselffully of the village throng, and be ready for an earlystart in the morning. It was my determinationto pass inland south-westerly by an Indian trail,so as to strike the source of the Crow Wing or DeCorbeau River, one of the great tributaries of theMississippi which remained unexplored.

We found the entrance to this portage early the nextmorning (18th). After following the trail aboutthree-fourths of a mile we reached and crossed a smalllake called Warpool. A small and intricate outletled successively to Little Long Lake, the Two Lakes,and the Lake of the Mountain. Here commenceda highland portage of over 900 yards to the Lake ofthe Island—­another portage of some 2000yards was then made to Midlake, and finally anotherof one puggidenun, partly through a bog, butterminating on elevated grounds at the head of a considerableand handsome body of water called Kaginogamaug, orThe Long Water. This is the source of the DeCorbeau River, and here we encamped for the night.We had how crossed the summit between Leech Lake andthe source of the Crow Wing River. We commencedthe descent on the morning of the 19th, and passedsuccessively through eleven lakes, connected by a seriesof short channels. The names of these in theirorder, are Kaginogamaug, Little Vermilion, Birch,Ple, Assawa, Vieu Desert, Summit, Longrice, Allen’s,Johnston’s, and Kaitchibo Sagitawa. Twotributary streams enter the river in this distance,the principal of which is Shell River; the streamassumes an ample size, and there is no further apprehensionof shallows. Next day (20th) we passed the influxof six rivers, the largest of which is Leaf River,coming in from the West. The channel has nowattained a bold and sweeping force. It requiredpart of another day to reach its mouth, in the courseof which it is joined by the Long Prairie River fromthe right, and the Kioshk or Gall River from the left.An alluvial island, with a heavy forest, exists atthe point of its confluence with the Mississippi River.We encamped at the Pierced Prairie, eighteen milesbelow the junction, and were less than two days ina high state of the water, in reaching St. Anthony’sfalls.

24th. I arrived at St. Peter’s abouttwo o’clock in the afternoon, and entered andencamped on the open common on the banks of the river.The Indian agent (Mr. Tallieferro) was absent.I found Captain Jouett in command of the fort, andin charge of Indian affairs. He received me ina cordial manner, and offered every facility in hispower to effect the objects of my mission among thehostile tribes. No recent news from the seatof operation against the Black Hawk and his adherentswas known. Recent details were, however, imprecise.Captain Jouett had kept up, I think, the mail communication

with Prairie du Chien, by a canoe sent once a fortnight.The murder of St. Vrain, the events on the Rock Riverwith the Illinois militia, and the movements on footto chastise the hostile Sauks and Foxes, were amongthe latest items of intelligence. But nothingwas known of the actual position of the Black Hawkand his followers. My determinations, therefore,as to the route to be pursued, in returning home,were made in entire ignorance of the fact, that atthat time, the Black Hawk had been driven before Gens.Atkinson and Dodge to the banks of the Mississippi,at the mouth of the Badaxe River—­wherehe completely intercepted all communication betweenthe posts of St. Peter’s and Prairie du Chien.

25th. I held a council with the Siouxat the Agency Buildings; at which the tribe disclaimed,by their speakers, having any connection with theSauk and Fox league, or having permitted any of theirwarriors to join in it. They professed a readinessto furnish warriors to aid the government in suppressingit.

On returning to my tent, I sat down and wrote to theeditor of a Western paper, as follows:—­

ST. PETERS, July 25th, 1882.

SIR:—­I arrived at this place yesterday,from an expedition through the Chippewa country onthe sources of the Mississippi, accompanied by a detachmentof troops under Lieut. Allen of the 5th Infantry.I have traced this river to its actual source.On reaching the point to which it had been formerlyexplored, I found the water in a favorable state forascending; and I availed myself of this circ*mstanceto carry into effect the desire of visiting its actualsource, a point which has continued to be problematicalin our geography. Pike placed it at Leech Lakein 1806. Gov. Cass carried it much furthernorth, and left it at Upper Red Cedar Lake in 1820.But it was then ascertained that its sources wereconsiderably north and west of that lake, which isin lat. 47 deg. 25’. I encamped the expedition,the troops and heavy baggage, at this lake, and proceededup the river in five small birch canoes, capable ofcontaining one man and his bed, in addition to theIndian and Canadian who conducted it. The Mississippiexpands into several lakes, the largest of which iscalled Lac Traverse. A few miles above this occursthe junction of its south-west and north-west branch.The former I called the Plantagenet, and ascendedit through La Salle, Marquette, and Assawa Lakes toa small creek at the foot of the Hauteur des Terres.From this point a portage was made over difficult ascents,and through defiles for about six miles, when we reachedthe banks of Itasca Lake, the source of the otherand longer branch. To this point we transportedour canoes and baggage. It is a most beautifuland clear lake, about seven miles long, and lyingsomewhat in the shape of a y. I found an islandin it, upon which I landed and encamped, and, aftercausing some trees to be felled, hoisted the UnitedStates flag. I left this flag flying, and returneddown the Itascan branch to my starting point.

I found the Indians friendly, and having no apparentconnection with the movements of Black Hawk, althoughthey are subject to an unpropitious influence fromthe Hudson’s Bay Company, the agents of whichallure them to carry their trade into that province.The American traders complain of this with great reason.Many of the Chippewas visit the British posts in Canada,and their old prejudices are kept alive in variousways; but I was everywhere received with amity andrespect.

26th. Having concluded my affairs at St,Peters, I determined to return to the basin of LakeSuperior, by ascending the river St. Croix to itssource, and passing across the portage of the Misakoda,or Burntwood River, into the Fond du Lac Bay.This I accomplished with great toil, owing to thelow state of the water, in ten days; and, after spendingten days more in traversing the lengthened shores andbays of Lake Superior from La Pointe, returnedto Sault St. Marie on the 14th of August.

Aug. 15th. I had now accomplished thediscovery of the true source of the Mississippi River—­andsettled a problem which has so long remained a subjectof uncertainty in the geography of this celebratedriver. If De Soto began it (and of this thereseems little question, for Narvaez perished beforereaching it), and Marquette and Joliet continued it;if Hennepin and Pike and Cass carried these explorationshigher, I, at least, went to its remoter points, andthence traced the river to its primary forks—­ascendedthe one, crossed the heights of Itasca to the other,and descended the latter in its whole length.This has been done in a quiet way, without heraldingor noise, but under the orders and at the expenseof the United States.


Letter from a mother—­Cholera—­Indianwar—­Royal Geographical Society—­Determineto leave the Sault—­Death of Miss Cass—­Deathof Rev. Mr. Richard—­Notice of the establishmentof a Methodist Mission at the—­The Saulta religious place—­Botany and Natural History—­NewUniversity organized—­Algic Society—­Canadianboat song—­Chaplains in the army—­Letterfrom a missionary—­Affairs at Mackinack—­Hazardslake commerce—­Question of the temperancereform—­Dr. D. Houghton—­SouthCarolina resists—­Gen. Jackson re-electedPresident.

1832. Aug. 25th. To clear my table ofthe correspondence accumulated during my absence,and report my proceedings to government, required myfirst attention. Among the matters purely personal,was a letter of inquiry from a mother anxious to learnthe fate of an apparently wayward son (named GeorgeJ. Clark). “I had a letter from him, dated24th June, 1881, in which he stated he was about tostart with you on an expedition to the Upper Mississippi,and this is the last intelligence we have ever hadof him.

“If he went with you on that expedition, youhave, probably some information to give relative tohis present condition, if alive, or of his fate, ifdead.

“Will you be kind enough to give the informationdesired by letter to me, at this place (Canandaigua,N. Y.)? By so doing you will confer a favor ona fond mother and many friends.” Not a lisphad ever been heard of such a person, at least bythat name.

The whole country, it was found, had now been in commotionfor a month or more, owing to the ravages of the choleraand the Black Hawk war. The cholera had firstbroken out, it appears, in the Upper Lakes, on boardthe steamers Sheldon Thompson and Henry Clay, containingtroops for the war. Its ravages on board of bothwere fearful. One of the boats landed severalsoldiers at the island of Michilimackinack, who diedthere. A boatman engaged in the fur trade tookthe disease and died after he had reached the LittleRapids, and another at Point aux Pins, at thefoot of Lake Superior. But the disease did notspread in that latitude. “We have heard,”says a correspondent (25th July), “from Chicago,that the ravages of the cholera are tenfold worsethan the scalping-knife of the Black Hawk and hisparty. A great many soldiers died, while on theirway to Chicago, on board the steamers.”

27th. The agent of the dead-letter post-office,at Washington, transmits me a diploma of membershipof the Royal Geographical Society of London, whichappears to have been originally misdirected and goneastray to St. Mary’s, Georgia. The envelopehad on it the general direction of “United States,America”—­a wide place to find a manin.

Sept. 11th. A letter, of this date, fromthe head of the Department, at Washington, leavesit optional with me, under the consolidation of agencies,to choose my place of residence. “You canmake your own choice of residence between the Saultand Mackinack, and arrange your subordinate officesas you think proper.”

I determined to remove the seat of the agency to Mackinacknext spring, and to make this my last winter at theSault. I have now been ten years a resident ofthis place.

The most serious inroad upon my circle of friends,made by death during my absence, was the sudden death,at Detroit, of the eldest daughter of the Secretaryof War. Miss Elizabeth Selden Cass was a younglady of bright mental qualities, and easy, cultivatedmanners and deportment, and her sudden removal, thoughprepared by her moral experience for the change, mustleave a blank in social circles which will be longfelt and deplored.

Her father writes, upon this irreparable loss:“A breach has been made in our domestic circlewhich can never be repaired. I can yet hardlyrealize the change. It has almost prostrated me,and I should abandon office without hesitation wereit not that a change of climate seems indispensableto Mrs. C., and I trust she will avoid in Washingtonthose severe attacks to which she has been subjectfor the last five winters.”

12th. Mr. Trowbridge writes: “Mr.Richard is dead. He was attacked by a diarrhoea,and neglected it too long.” Mr. R. was theCatholic priest at Detroit, and as such has been aprominent man in the territory for many years.He was elected Delegate to Congress in 1824, I think,and served two years in that capacity. I onceheard him preach nearly two hours on the real presence.He finally said, “that if this doctrine wasnot true, Jesus Christ must be a fool.”These, I think, were the precise words. Whenattending, by rotation, as one of the chaplains forthe Legislative Council while I was a member, he usedto pray very shrewdly “that the legislatorsmight make laws for the people and not for themselves.”He spoke English in a broken manner and with a falseaccent, which often gave interest to what he said whenthe matter was not otherwise remarkable.

22d. Rev. John Clark, of Northville, MontgomeryCo., N.Y., of the Methodist Connection, writes:“Should it please Divine Providence, I hopeto be at your place in May or June next, for the purposeof opening a permanent mission and school among theChippewas at such place, and as early as may be advisable.”

27th. Rev. W. T. Boutwell, of the A. B.Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now at La Pointe,Lake Superior, writes: “I could not, toa degree, help entering into all your anxieties aboutthe cholera, which reports were calculated to beget,but rejoice, not less than yourself, that the Lordhas spared those who are dear to us both. My fears,I rejoice to say, have not been realized, in relationto my friends at Mackinack and the Sault, when I heardof the disease actually existing at Mackinack.Were it not that the Lord is righteous and knoweththem that are his, the righteous even might fear andtremble, when judgments are abroad in the land.

“I was happy indeed to learn that you remainat the Sault, the present winter. Happy for brotherPorter’s sake, and for the sake of those whosehands you may and will strengthen, and hearts encourage.I never think of the Sault but I wish myself there.’It is now a happy spot—­a place favoredof heaven,’ said one of my Mackinack friendsto me once in conversation; ’I once felt asthough I could never see that place, as I always associatedwith it everything wicked, but now I should love togo there—­the Lord is there.’”

Oct. 5th. Dr. Torrey writes from N.Y.:“I rejoice to learn that you have returned insafety from your fatiguing and perilous journey tothe north-west. Dr. Houghton wrote me a letterwhich I received a few days ago, dated Sault de St.Marie, stating the general results of the expedition,but I have read, with great satisfaction, the accountwhich was published in the Detroit Journalof Sept. 26th. A kind Providence has preservedyou during another absence, and I hope He will causethe results of your labors to prove a blessing toour Red brethren, as well as the United States atlarge.”

“Dr. Houghton sent me some of the more interestingplants which he brought with him last year, but hesaid the best part of your collections were destroyedby getting wet.

“By all means send Mr. Cooper your shells.He knows more about fresh water shells than any naturalistin New York. By the way, have you seen Mr. Lea’ssplendid monograph (with colored plates) of Unios,in the Transactions of the American PhilosophicalSociety?"

“Are we to have a narrative of the two expeditionsin print? I hope you consent to publish, andlet us have an appendix containing descriptions ofthe objects in natural history.

“You have heard, perhaps, something about theUniversity of the City of New York, which was plannedabout two years ago. It went into operation afew days ago, under the most favorable prospects.The council have given me a place in it (Prof.Chem. Bot. and Mineralogy), the duties of whichI can discharge in addition to those which I attendto in the medical college, as the latter occupiesonly four months in the year.”

About the middle of September I embarked at the Saultfor Detroit, for the purpose chiefly of meeting theSecretary of War—­taking with me thus far,my little sister Anna Maria, on her way to school atHadley, in Massachusetts. While at Detroit, severalmeetings of benevolent individuals were held, andthe constitution of the Algic Society was signed bymany gentlemen of standing and note, and an electionof officers made. Having been honored with thepresidency, I delivered a brief address at one ofthese meetings. This, together with the followingresolutions, which were passed at the same time, indicatethe contemplated mode of action.[63] It was not intendedto be exclusively a missionary or educational society,but also, to collect scientific and statistical informationessential to both objects, and to offer facilitiesto laborers on the frontiers, and answer inquiriesmade by agents authorized by the General Boards fromthe old States. The effort was appreciated andwarmly approved by the friends of missions and humanity;but it required great and continual personal effortsto enlist a sufficient number of persons in the trueobjects, and to keep their minds alive in the work.It demanded, in fact, a kind of literary research,which it is always difficult to command on the frontiers.To act, and not to pursue the quiet paths of study,is the tendency of the frontier mind.

[Footnote 63: Resolved, That the thanksof the society be presented to Henry R. Schoolcraft,Esq., for the valuable introductory remarks offeredby him, and that he be requested to furnish a copyof the same for publication.

Resolved, That the Domestic Secretary, be directedto prepare and submit for the approbation of the OfficialBoard, a Circular, to be addressed to such personsas have been elected members of this society, andothers, setting forth its objects, its organization,constitution, and initial proceedings, which circular,when so prepared, shall be printed for the purposeof distribution.

Resolved, That the Official Board be directedto prepare a succinct Temperance and Peace Circular,suited to the wants and situation of the North-westernTribes, to be addressed, through the intervention ofthe Hon. the Secretary of War, to the Agents of theGovernment and Officers commanding