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St Louis, and thence up the Illinois to Chicago, --which, as we should judge from the map, about quadrupled their journey. But Mr Schoolcraft has made so pleasant a book out of his experiences, that we should not have found fault had his travels, and this record of them, been much longer. The country through which his course lay, is interesting on many accounts; he appears to be an excellent observer, and tells well what he sees.
There is no affectation about him-unless it be in an occasional preference of scientific terms over common words, which mean precisely the same thing,—and in its literary character, the volume is highly respectable, and creditable to its author. In the Introduction Mr Schoolcraft describes his work so accurately, that we will use his own words.
This work does not aspire to the graver character of elementary compositions, either in geography or statistics, in natural science, or in moral research, while its details will occasionally partake of each. A narrative of daily events, will be interspersed with historical, descriptive, and practical observations, with accounts of what the country has been, and speculations respecting what it will be, and with such “ appliances to boot” as the time or the subject may suggest. With these we shall blend notices of the physical resources of the country; more especially in reference to the sciences of mineralogy and geology, and such passing remarks on the still imperfectly described manners and customs of the Indian tribes, as we can feel a confidence in presenting. To be faithful in what we advance, will be to compass our highest aim. Thoughts committed to paper in the hurry of voyaging, often by the light of a camp-fire at night, and literally revised " in the depths of the wilderness,” will not be expected to bring to the classical scholar, either the charms of diction, or the exactness of literary ease. With these remarks the reader will be enabled to follow us in the description of the voyage more understandingly; and we shall only entreat that he will not take it ill, if the narration becomes tedious, when the journey is so.
The voyagers, having provided themselves with a light travelling canoe, sailed along the southern shore of Erie, and after a gale, which exposed them to some danger, they reachea Maumee bay. The first and second chapters contain long accounts of the Indian wars of that vicinity. Perhaps Mr Schoolcraft tells nothing, or very little, that is absolutely new, but his relations are interesting. The following paragraph may serve to show how well the human character adapts itself to all kinds of circumstances and exigencies. If this heroic wife and mother had lived where the warhoop was never heard and the dangers and horrors of Indian warfare never reached, the strongest traits of her character might have never been developed and known.
On the 24th, the dwelling-house of a Mr John Merril, in Nelson County, Kentucky, was attacked by a party of eight Indians. Mr Merril was first alarmed by the barking of his dog. On going to the door he received the fire of the assailants, which broke his right leg and arm. They now attempted to enter the house, but were anticipated in their movement by Mrs Merril and her daughter, who closed the door in so effectual a manner as to keep them at bay. They next be. gan to hew a passage through the door, and one of the warriors attempted to enter through the aperture: but the resolute mother seizing an axe, gave him a fatal blow upon the head, and then with the assistance of her daughter drew his body in. His companions without, not apprized of his fate, but supposing him successful, followed through the same aperture, and four of the number were thus killed before their mistake was discovered. They now retired a few moments, but soon returned, and renewed their exertions to force the house. Despairing of entering by the door, they climbed upon the roof, and made an effort to descend by the chimney. Mr Merril now directed his little son to empty the contents of a feather-bed upon the fire, which soon caused so dense and pungent a smoke, as nearly to suffocate those who had made this desperate attempt, and two of them fell into the fire-place. The moment was critical; the mother and daughter could not quit their stations at the door; and the husband, though groaning with his broken leg and arm, rousing every exertion, seized a billet of wood, and with repeated blows despatched the two half-smothered Indians. In the meantime the mother had repelled a fresh assault upon the door, and severely wounded one of the persons who attempted simultaneously to enter there, while the others descended the chimney.
These things occurred in 1793. It is interesting to contrast with such passages those which tell how the theatre of these horrors appears now.
The road is carried along the immediate banks of the stream, seldom deviating so far as completely to exclude it from the eye. We were pleased to see, where recent openings had been made in the forest, that the farmers had evinced the good taste to leave a number of the tallest and finest oaks, elms, and honey-locusts, as shade trees. Wherever the trees had been indiscriminately felled, the marly character of the soil, covered with a coat of impalpable dust, united to the great heat of the weather, rendered our progress slow and oppressive.
A short distance above Presque Isle, we turned from our way to inspect the construction of a newly finished grist-mill, driven by horsepower, and built on the principle of the inclined plane ;-a method which is daily coming in vogue, in those level parts of the western country, where waterfalls are rarely to be found. It is recommended by the simplicity of its mechanism, and great cheapness; two important considerations in a district of country, in which neither money nor mechanics can be said to be superabundant. Here, the gentlemen from Fort Meigs took leave of us, and left us to reflect how much we stood in need of their remarks and experience in the subsequent parts of our journey.
A series of well-enclosed and well-cultivated farms, characterizes this part of the valley for a number of miles ; and we have seldom observed in any part of the Western States, such luxuriant and extensive fields of Indian corn. Although it was but the beginning of July, many of the stalks of this grain were above six feet in height, and had already put forth the silky tassel, which indicates the formation of the grain. Potatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkins were here in blossom; and the mature growth of various pot herbs gave promise of an early and plenteous reward of horticultural labour.
The party proceed up the Maumee, cross the portage at Fort Wayne, and go down the Wabash. All this is travelled country, and there are many accounts of it; but Mr Schoolcraft goes on, describing the most striking scenes which his voyage presents, and telling various anecdotes and stories, which the spots he passes by suggest to him,--and the reader accompanies him always without weariness and generally with pleasure.
A frequent mistake of their Canadian boatmen, in this part of the voyage, suggests to Mr Schoolcraft the following remarks.
We here had occasion to observe the repetition of an amusing mistake of our canoemen, who are Canadian Frenchmen, and of course Roman Catholics, with respect to the public buildings erected for county purposes, at the numerous towns we have passed ;-which they never fail to admire as being most commodions chapels.*
It is a little remarkable that the emigrants from New England should so easily lose the habit of religious exercises, and, if we may so speak, the taste for these customs, which one would expect to have become fixed by the constant usage of many generations; but so it seems to be. At home, scarcely one of the many emigrants who go to people the Western Wilderness, was without his own seat in his meeting
“* But does not this trifling incident prove more than the mere visual aberrance of unlettered peasants ? Does it not indicate one of those traits in the character of a people which may be seized upon to mark a predominance of national customs or manners-to distinguish an American from a striking French custom? When the latter plant a colony, or found a settlement, one of the earliest and most important preliminaries regards the means of ensuring the speedy erection of a house of worship. The chapel of the cross, like the tabernacle of Judah, is first set up. Happy would it be if we were always equally attentive to this subject, in the foundation of our infant towns and settlements--we allude, more particularly, to those west of the Alleghanies. Our first public edifice is a court-house, a jail, then a school-house, perhaps an academy, where religious exercises may be occasionally held; but a house of public worship is the result of a more mature state of the settlement. If we have sometimes been branded as litigious, it is not altogether without foundation : and, notwithstanding the very humble estimate which foreign reviewers have been pleased to make of our literary character and attainments, we are inclined to think there is still more likelihood of our obtaining the reputation of a learned, than of a pious people."
house, and scarcely one was unaccustomed to the religious usages of our land. Yet many respectable families of our yeomanry seek a new home, and gather themselves into villages and till their farms, and have their court-houses and school-houses, without any house devoted to religious meetings, and without any regular administration of religious ordinances.
There is, on page 158, an anecdote illustrative of another trait in the Yankee character.
The conversation now led to the various traits of character displayed by emigrants; whose locus natalis was thus clearly to be ascertained. Several jocose remarks on New England manners had been indulged. Some years ago, said General Taylor, Henry Clay and myself made an excursion upon the Wabash, above Fort Harrison. On descending the river, one evening, about the time we began to think of stopping for the night, we met a soldier who had killed a fine goose with his rifle, and, demanding his price, readily paid it. We stopped, a short distance below, at the house of a Yankee emigrant, to whom we presented our game. We took tea, rather at his solicitation than from any inclination of hunger, and lodged there. On getting up very early the following morning, we were just on the point of embarking, before it occurred to us, that our entertainer might expect payment for the tea, although, as is customary with us, we presumed he would accept nothing. On inquiry, he promptly stated his charges, which were as promptly paid; but the incident afterward afforded us a subject for laughter, when reflecting how narrowly we had escaped going off without paying our bill. We supposed, in the evening, the goose would have satisfied him for the tea. “ But is it possible, General Taylor,” replied Governor Cass, “ that Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, and yourself, should think of travelling through the western country, and expect to pay your bills in geese!” And this was the best defence we could make for Yankee parsimony; for it must be acknowledged, the anecdote is quite illustrative of eastern providence.
The account of the lead mines of Missouri is minute and interesting. It places within reach of all, important information respecting this source of national wealth, and so long as wars are fashionable and are carried on as they now arethis instrument of national security. The mines have been worked for a long period, but rather by farmers than miners; and hence there has not only been a great waste of effort and of material, but a very defective system of operations has become established. Certain rules and practices are fixed and universally recognised, and they have become as obligatory as the Stannary laws of Cornwall. In smelting the ore, no fuel but wood can be used, as coal has not been discovered in the country. At no very distant period the ore must be
carried down to the Mississippi, and smelted with the coal upon its banks, as it will cost less to carry the dross of the ore to the river than coal to the mines, and the metal must go to the river at all events. These mines are national property, having been reserved in the sales of public lands; they are leased by the executive authority at a rent of one tenth of the produce, payable in lead. It is said that the leases are very eagerly sought. The country where the mines are situated is less barren than mining countries usually are; most of it is well suited to the cultivation of the cerealia.
The following passage compares the produce of these mines with those of other countries.
The greatest lead mines on the globe, according to Professor Jameson, are those of Great Britain, which produce an annual quantity of 250,000 quintals. The next in point of importance are those of the several kingdoms and states of Germany. France yields 60,000 quintals; Spain 32,000 ; and Russia 10,000. Although we have estimated, from imperfect data, the quantity of lead raised from the earth in Missouri, at about 25,000 quintals per annum, yet it must appear evident, that the mineral capacities of the country are adequate to employ profitably almost any amount of labour that can be applied to them.
On the 17th of August the Commissioners met the Indian Council at Chicago, and although the Indians at first peremtorily refused to sell their lands, they were, after a negotiation of some days, induced to accede to the terms offered. The debates are recorded with great minuteness, but such readers as are interested in observing the character and habits of Indians, will not find this part of the work tedious. It is a little amusing to observe how assured the governor was throughout the negotiation, of its successful termination. He says to the Indian orators, I know we shall in the end conclude a bargain for the lands, and have therefore listened to what has been said without any apprehension about the result." And it was in this spirit that he seems to have talked and acted throughout the controversy. Some severe things have been said about the management of the American commissioners in conducting this affair, but Mr Schoolcraft declares,-indeed we may say, shows,—that they have little foundation. The following remarks upon some observations which certain English journalists made upon this treaty, are true, sensible, and patriotic.
The result of this treaty was hardly announced in our public journals, before it was published in England, with some severe animadversions. - The United States,” observes the editor of the London Times, “ have