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some Winnebago where to aim. The bullet struck him under the left arm, and passed directly through his heart. He fell dead, with his finger on the trigger of his undischarged gun. It was a hot day, and before the fight was over, the scent of the gunpowder could not overpower the stench of the red puddle around him.
The Winnebagoes, encouraged by the non-resistance, now rushed to their canoes, with intent to board.
One venerable old man endeavored to dissuade them. He laid hold on one of the canoes, and would, perhaps, have succeeded in retaining it; but in the heat of his argument, a ball from the boat hit him on the middle finger of the peace-making hand. Very naturally, enraged at such unkind treatment from his friends, he loosed the canoe, hurried to his wigwam for his gun, and took an active part in the remainder of the action. In the mean while, the white men had recovered from their first panic, and seized their arms. The boarders were received with a very severe discharge. In one canoe, two savages were killed with the same bullet. Their dying struggles upset the canoe, and the rest were obliged to swim on shore, where it was some time before they could restore their arms to fighting order. Several more were wounded, and those who remained unhurt, put back, satisfied that a storm was not the best mode of attack.
Two, however, persevered. They were together in one canoe, and approached the boat astern, where there was no hole through which the whites could fire upon them. They soon leaped on board. One seized the long steering oar, or rudder. The other jumped upon deck, where he halted, and discharged five muskets, which had been left there when the crew fled below, through the deck and bottom of the boat. In this manner, he wounded one man very severely. After this exploit, he hurried to the bow, where he seized a long pole, and, with the assistance of the steersman, succeeded in grounding the boat on a sand bar, and fixing her fast under the fire of his people. The two Winnebago boatmen then began to load and fire, to the no small annoyance of the crew. He, at the stern, was soon despatched. One of the whites observed his position through a crack, and
gave him a mortal wound through the boards. Still, he struggled to get overboard, probably to save his scalp. But his struggles were feeble, and a second bullet terminated them before he could effect his object. After the fight was over, the man who slew him took his scalp.
The bow of the boat was open, and the warrior there still kept his station, out of sight, excepting when he stooped to fire, which he did five times. His third shot broke the arm and passed through the lungs of the brave Beauchamp. At this sight, one or two began to speak of surrender. “ No friends," cried the dying man, “ you will not save your lives so. Fight to the last; for they will show no mercy. If they get the better of you, for God's sake, throw me overboard. Do not let them get my hair." He continued to exhort them to resistance, as long as his breath lasted, and died with the words, “fight on," on his lips. Before that time, however, his slayer had also taken his leave of life. A sailor, named Jack Mandeville, shot him through the head, and he fell overboard, carrying his gun with him.
From that moment, Mandeville assumed the command of the boat. A few had resolved to take the skiff and leave the rest to their fate. They had already cast off the rope. Jack interposed, swearing that he would shoot the first and bayonet the second, who should persevere. They submitted. Two more had hidden themselves in the bow of the boat, out of sight, but not out of danger. After a while, the old tar missed them, sought them, and compelled them by threats of instant death, enforced by pricks of his bayonet, to leave their hiding place, and take share in the business in hand. Afterwards they fought like bull-dogs. It was well for them that Mandeville acted as he did ; for they had scarely risen, when a score of balls, at least, passed through the place where they had been lying.
After the two or three first volleys, the fire had slackened; but it was not, therefore, the less dangerous. The Indians had the advantage of superior numbers, and could shift their postures at pleasure. The whites were compelled to lie in the bottom of the boat, below the water-mark, for its sides were no bulwark. Every bullet passed through and through. It was only at intervals, and very warily, that they could rise to fire ; for the flash of every gun showed the position of the marksman, and was instantly followed by the reports of two or three Indian rifles. On the other hand, they were not seen, and being thinly scattered over a large boat, the Winnebagoes could but guess their positions. The fire, was, therefore, slow; for none on either side, cared to waste ammunition. Thus, for upwards of three hours, the boatmen lay in blood and bilge water, deprived of the free use of their limbs, and wholly unable to extricate them.
selves. At last, as the night fell, Mandeville came to the conclusion that darkness would render the guns of his own party wholly useless, while it would not render the aim of the Winnebagoes a jot less certain. He, therefore, as soon as it was dark, stoutly called for assistance, and sprang into the water. Four more followed him. The balls rained round them, passing through their clothes ; but they persisted, and the boat was soon afloat." Seeing their prey escaping, the Winnebagoes raised a yell of mingled rage and despair, and gave the whites a farewell volley. It was returned, with three hearty cheers, and ere a gun could be re-loaded, the boat had floated out of shot.
For half the night, a wailing voice, apparently that of an old man, was heard, following the boat; at a safe distance, however. It was conjectured that it was the father of him whose body the boat was bearing away. Subsequent inquiry proved this supposition to be correct.
Thirty-seven Indians were engaged in this battle, seven of whom were killed and fourteen were wounded. They managed to put six hundred and ninety three balls into and through the boat. Two of the crew were killed outright, two mortally and two slightly wounded. Jack Mandeville's courage and presence of mind, undoubtedly, saved the rest, as well as the boat ; but we have never heard that he was rewarded in any way or shape.
Mr. Lindsay's boat reached the mouth of the Bad Axe about midnight. The Indians opened a fire upon her, which was promptly returned. There was a light on board, at which the first gun was probably aimed, for that ball only hit the boat. All the rest passed over harmless in the darkness.
Great was the alarm at Prairie du Chien when the boats arrived there. The people left their houses and farms, and crowded into the dilapidated fort. Never. theless, they showed much spirit, and speedily established a very effective discipline. An express was immediately sent to Galena, and another to Fort Snelling, for assistance. A company of upwards of a hundred volunteers soon arrived from Galena, and the minds of the habitants were quieted.
In a few days, four imperfect companies of the fifth infantry arrived from Fort Snelling. The commanding officer ordered a march upon the Red Bird's village ; but as the volunteers refused to obey, and determined to return home, he was obliged to countermand it.
The consternation of the people of the lead mines was great. Full half of them fled from the country. Shortly after, however, when General Atkinson arrived with a full regiment, a considerable body of volunteers joined him from Galena, and accompanied him to the portage of the Wisconsin, to fight with, or receive the submission of the Winnebagoes.
The Red Bird there appeared, in all the paraphernalia of an Indian chief and warrior, and surrendered himself to justice, together with his companions in the murder of Gagnier, and one of his band, who had taken an active part in the attack on the boats. They were incarcerated at Prairie du Chien. A dreadful epidemic broke out there about this time, and he died in prison. He knew that bis death was certain, and did not shrink from it.
In the course of the year, the people of the lead mines increased in number and strength, and encroached upon the Winnebago lands. The Winnebagoes complained in vain. Next spring, the murderers of Methode, and the other Indian prisoners, were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. A deputation of the tribe went to Washington to solicit their pardon. President Adams granted it, on the implied condition that the tribe would cede the lands, then in possession of the miners. The Winnebagoes have kept their word—the land has been ceded, and Madame Gagnier has been compensated for the loss of her husband, and the mutilation of her infant. We believe that she received, after waiting for justice two years, the magnificent sum of two thousand dollars !
We will close this true account of Life beyond the Frontier, with an anecdote which places the Winnebago character in a more amiable light than any thing already related. The militia of Prairie du Chien, immediately after the affair of the boats, seized the old chief Descorrie; the same who has already been men. tioned. He was told that if the Red Bird should not be given up within a certain time, he was to die in his stead. This he steadfastly believed. Finding that .confinement injured his health, he requested to be permitted to range the country on his parole. The demand was granted. He was bidden to go whither he pleased during the day, but at sunset he was required to return to the fort, on pain of being considered an old woman. He observed the condition religiously. At the first tap of the retreat, Descorrie was sure to present himself at the gate, and this he continued to do, till General Atkinson set him at liberty.
SOME PASSAGES IN THE HEBDOMADARY OF AN EDITOR. Crispinus. I could wish thou didst know us, Horace. We are a scholar, I assure thee.
A scholar, sir? I shall be covetous of your fair knowledge. Crispinus. Nay, we are now turned poet, too, which is more ; and a satirist, too, which is more than that. I write just in thy vein. I am for your odes, or your sermons, or any thing, indeed. We are a pretty stoic, too. Did you never hear any of my verses ? Horace. 'No, sir; but I am in some fear I must now. Ben Jonson-POETASTER.
The window of the little room I have so frequently mentioned, looked into the street. On the opposite side was the printing-office of a newspaper. Among the numerous and diversified individuals, which habitually loitered about the door, there was one which had particularly attracted my attention. I had noticed him repeatedly, leaning against one side of the door, apparently absorbed in meditation. His whole dress was shabby. His hat was of a shape that had been in fashion; the was nap worn off; and the body, which had once been black, was of no particular color. His coat had seen better days; it had been blue, but the whiteness which striped the back in a longitudinal direction evinced that its color was never fast enough to defy the operations of those chemical agents, caloric, hydrogen and oxygen, when aided by friction and a long-continued state of being employed. Its dimensions were scant, and indicated that it would better fit a smaller body than that which it then helped to clothe. His pantaloons were made of yellow Nankin; and these, too, exhibited indications that the wearer was never measured by a tailor, in order that his limbs and the capacity of the garment should be reduced to a fashionable and comfortable correspondence ; for they illustrated a most dishonorable disregard to the doctrine of the "everlasting fitness of things." They were much shorter than those usually worn at that period, coming but little below the calf of the leg, and barely meeting the blue-and-white coarse woollen socks which he had on his feet. In short, he could “ boast of nothing but a lean visage, peering out of a seam-rent suit.” It was in October, and the weather was often cold, agreeably variegated, as is not uncommon in our New-England climate, by the changes in the wind, from the dry and piercing northwest, to the damp and shivering northeast. But whatever might be the weather, scarcely a day passed that I did not see this apparently forlorn individual engaged, if engagement it might be called, in his meditations, at the door. Sometimes I had seen men pass by him in their entrance or exit to or from the printing-office; but I do not recollect that any one ever stopped to speak with or notice him, any more than if he had been one of the posts of the door.
One morning, I found this man, who had so often attracted my notice, in my own office, inquiring if a journeyman was wanted. It was a fair inference that he had been bred a printer. I found, on inquiry, that he was a native of a town in the westerly part of the county of Franklin-that he served an apprenticeship with a printer in that vicinity—that he had afterwards been employed in Albany and New-York, and was now in Boston in search of employment. He was apparently about thirty years of age. My inclination would have prompted me to employ him, but I could not do it without creating a vacancy first, by dismissing some one from a situation—a mode of providing for applicants to which I never was partial. He received a negative reply to his application, with a look so full of
meekness and resignation, that it went directly to my heart. It seemed to reproach me for a want of feeling, and to imply a conviction on his part that the
poverty of his appearance might have had some influence in
my decision. I wanted to give the fellow a dollar, and my hand was already in my pocket, in obedience to the first impulse of sympathy; but he had not asked alms and how could I know that he would not resent the offer as an indignity, or receive it as an unfeeling reflection ? I would not, for the world, have done an act that might be understood by the forlorn object before me as a reproach upon his miserable condition. I dared not obey the instigation of nature. He lingered about the room for fifteen or twenty minutes, and I hoped he would repeat his application for employment. Had he done so, I am sure I could not have refused a second time. But I was foiled. He was either too proud or too bashful to show solicitude. He left the office, and, soon after, resumed his position at the door of my neighbor.
Shortly after, one Sunday evening, as I was at home in my parlor, amusing myself and children, by singing Old Hundred or St. Martin's, while one of them attempted an accompaniment on the Piano-Forte, some one gently touched the door-bell. It was a rainy evening. The wind was east, and blew so stifly, that it had stripped, that day, innumerable trees of their frost-bitten foliage, and reminded man and beast of the pleasantness of warm and water-tight habitations. Some one gently touched the door-bell. A child answered the call, and said a gentleman at the door wanted to speak with me. I requested that he
. should be introduced. He entered the room, and who should it be, but my friend in the Nankin trowsers. The sight of him almost threw me into an ague-fit, and I more than half exclaimed, “ Poor Tom's a-cold !" He was invited to take a seat near the fire, but modestly, or, rather, bashfully,-declined. I made several attempts to converse, but without effect. A monosyllable was all that he could utter. Yet there seemed to be something pent up in his bosom, laboring to get loose. He held in his hand, what seemed to be a quire or two of paper, rolled together, and tied up in a pocket-handkerchief, -none of the cleanest, and exhibiting unerring indications of relationship to the “ degenerate wardrobe” of the owner.
At length, the strange visiter found his tongue. “I called," said he “ to ask your opinion;" and then, as if “ scared at the sound himself had made,” there was a long pause.
“On what subject, sir ?" said I.
I was advised to apply to you for advice."
“What advice,” I asked, “ would you have of me?".
“I want you to read it, and tell me whether you think it will sell. I was told I might rely on your judgement.”
“Who told you so, my friend ?”
“Mr. C. I have just come from his house; he was busy, and said your judgement was better than his.”
He then untied his handkerchief, and placed its contents in my hand—a manuscript book, of not less than two quires of foolscap, stitched in a cover of brown wrapping, or Kentish cap. It was filled
. with what the simple soul called poetry-poetry, written in all sorts of measure and rhythm-blank verse and rhyme, alternate rhymes, couplets and triplets—pastoral, epic, dramatic, and didactic-elegies and epigrams—songs and sonnets-devotional and bacchanalianmoral and comical. There is no dress in which Poetry can appear that he had not given as a specimen of his talent, and he had worshiped the Muse in every shape she had ever deigned to assume, Some of the pieces, I observed, bore a date several years anterior to the period of which I am writing ; and if they had not, their antiquity would have been apparent from the smoky complexion of the paper, and the marks left thereon, by frequent turning of the leaves by fingers that were none of the most delicate. I observed to the Poet that he had been some time in writing what was in the book. He said, Yes. He had written most of it while he was an apprentice, and soon after he went to New-York as a journeyman. He did not wish to publish any
that he had not kept nine years, agreeably to the directions of Horace; except one—there was one, on the journey of President Munroe to the Northern States, in 1817; that, he thought, from the nature of the subject, had sufficient merit to obtain popularity, though it was written only four or five years before.
I saw how it was. My friend, Mr. C. was one of the best and most kind-hearted souls in the world. He could not find it in his heart to tell this poor, ragged poet, that his doggerell would never sell. He could not brace his sinews up to that point-and he had transferred the job to me. Although a little vexed at this discovery, and satisfied from a moment's inspection of the manuscript, that the writer was a simpleton and his poetry the merest trash in the creation, I had too much pity for him to treat him with rudeness. I could not, of course, encourage him to publish ; and still less, was I disposed to “grieve his heart” by telling him that his manuscript was utterly worthless. I therefore dissuaded him from pushing his purpose, by presenting to his consideration the want of taste in the public to estimate the value of the productions of genius, and the selfishness and cold-heartedness of the world which suffers poets to pine in neglect and poverty. The wantonness of critics, too, he was reminded, would be an obstacle in the way of his acquiring wealth from his labors; but this argument seemed to have little weight. He had no fear of criticism ; and, if he could but get a recommendation to some bookseller, who would purchase the copy-right, or even publish the work on shares, his utmost wishes would be gratified. The same spirit of meekness which he had discovered at our former interview, pervaded bis countenance on this occasion. He showed no irritation, no dissatisfaction, at the ungracious reception his poems had met. Submissive and acquiescent, he secured his manuscript again in the pocket-handkerchief, and departed. As he reciprocated my“ good night," the tone of his voice and the glimmer of his eye seemed to say that he forgave my unkind frankness, for which my want of taste and discernment was an apology.
Many a time and often, during the next three months, did this martyr of the muses resume his station at the door before mentioned; and