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judged to be nearly equal to timothy for cattle. The intervening valleys, enriched with the alluvial wash of the hills, constitute the first rate corn-lands, and are finely timbered with maple, beech, black walnut, bois blanc,* and ash.”
Capable as those lands are of supporting a large agricultural population, the gradual failure of game has greatly diminished their value to the Indian tribes who inhabit them. It is a striking illustration of the immense advantages of civilized life, that at the very moment when the natives are preparing to abandon a territory, which no longer furnishes their scanty numbers with the means of subsistence, a mass of white population is moving gradually in, without doubting, for an instant, their capacity to extract from this deserted soil all the necessaries and conveniences of life, which an almost unlimited increase of their numbers may require. Portions of this extensive tract had been already ceded to the United States, by the treaties of Spring Wells, St. Mary's, and Saginau. 'To effect the purchase of that part which is situated between Indiana and Grand River, Governor Cass and Solomon Sibley were, in the year 1821, commissioned by the President. to meet the Indians at Chicago, and to this commission Mr. Schoolcraft was appointed secretary.
There are three ways of reaching Chicago from Detroit ;first, by ascending the River Raisin, and then following an Indian trail the rest of the way;t secondly, by the circuitous route of the lakes; and thirdly, by the still more indirect process of descending the Wabash and Ohio to the Mississippi, and then going up the Illinois to the ford of the Desplaines. This last route, although, perhaps, seven hundred miles longer than the first, was preferred by the commissioners, because the business of the government required the presence of one of them on the Wabash, and it was thought that the opportunities of examining the geography and natural history of an interesting country, yet but partially known, would compensate for the increased toil, and justify the additional expense.
Accordingly, on the third of July, the party left Detroit, and reached Port Lawrence, at the mouth of Maumee Bay, at eight o'clock in the evening. In ascending the Maumee, they en
| The St. Joseph's will one day furnish a more convenient route for the trade between Chicago and Detroit. In the meantime, an act of Congress has been passed, authorizing a road between these places, and the commissioners, we understand, commenced their operations on the 20th of May last.
About one hundred and twenty-five years ago, this was the seat of a
tered upon a country, rendered interesting by the recollection of the events of the Indian wars of 1791–94 and 1812-14. They passed, in succession,-Fort Maumee, where the Indians were so liberally supplied, during the former period, with arms and ammunition by the British,-Fort Meigs, before which General Proctor was obliged to retire in 1813,-Maumee village, near which the gallant Dudley and his followers, fell victims to their own indiscreet impetuosity,—Presqu’ Isle, where General Wayne terminated the war of '94, by the memorable victory over the confederated forces of the Ottawas, Miamis, Delawares, Shawanese, Chippewas, and Pottowattomies,-Roche debout, the site of Old Fort Deposite,-Fort Defiance, once the principal rendezvous of the hostile Indians of the west,—and Fort Wayne, at the fork of the St. Mary's and St. Joseph's, near which, in 1790, Col. Harden's troops were cut to pieces, in an engagement with the tribes on the Wabash and Miami.* Mr. Schoolcraft has accompanied the narrative of his journey, through this interesting region, with an account of the Indian wars, more minute, it will probably be thought, than is required by the plan of a work, which should have been rather scientific than historical. We shall therefore pass over these details, and touch only at those points of the journal of our traveller, where he has given such information as will be acceptable to the general reader.
In riding to Fort Wayne, Mr. Schoolcraft was struck with the quantity of honey dew, which was to be found on the leaves of the oak, maple, and sumach. He is inclined to think, that the origin of this curious excretion is not always to be referred to the aphis or blighter, and states, that he repeatedly examined this substance, without observing the presence of this insect. We had always thought, that it was not the honey dew itself that is
Jesuit mission, under Father Mermet, who laboured in the good cause, with all the zeal characteristic of the sect to which he belonged ;“mais ce Père,” says Charlevoix,“ trouva un peuple indocile, superstitieux à l'excès, et que les Jongleurs gouvernaient despotiquement." These intractable heathens were afterwards cut off by an epidemic disease, which the pious historian ascribes, as usual, to the courroux du ciel.
* During the late war, Fort Wayne was besieged for some time by the Indians. The fort, which was overlooked by several heights within gun shot, could not have held out a day against artillery. This the besiegers very well knew, and as they had no field-pieces, they attempted the following stratagem:—they cut a log to the shape of a cannon, painted it black, placed it on one of the heights which commanded the fort, and then summoned the garrison to surrender. The commanding officer was deceived, but refused to comply, and the Indians then abandoned the siege.
to be examined, but the under surface of the leaf, immediately above that upon which the dew is found; and there we are assured by Mr. Curtis, (an attentive inquirer into the habits of the aphides,) these insects are always to be found.
While at the village round Fort Wayne, the party had an opportunity of visiting the Indian School, under the superintendence of Mr. M Coy, a Baptist missionary. The account given by Mr. Schoolcraft of this school is not very flattering, but perhaps more has been accomplished, than might fairly have been expected, from the difficulties which must attend the instruction of children, unaccustomed to confinement or restraint, and unacquainted with the language of their teachers. Since Mr. Schoolcraft saw the school, it has been transferred to the Carey station on the St. Joseph's of lake Michigan, where it was visited by major Long and his party, in the year 1823. It is highly creditable to the head and heart of Mr. M Coy, that he does not think it necessary to initiate his pupils in the august mysteries of our holy faith, until he has instructed them in the arts of civilization. One great impediment in the way of christianizing an uncivilized Indian, is the pertinacity with which he insists, that in the next world, we shall be judged by our good works, and not by our opinions; an error which is the natural concomitant of ignorance, and which can never be removed, until the mind is strengthened and expanded. by habits of intellectual exercise. The establishment at Carey station promises much greater success, than the original school at Fort Wayne, and we are glad to hear, that the institution receives the countenance of the most respectable among the Indians; there being in the school two of the grandchildren of Topeneebeh, the great hereditary chief of the Pottowattomies.*
About fortyť miles from Fort Wayne, on the banks of the river St. Mary's, captain Riley, the author of the affecting book of travels, has taken up his residence, and laid out a town, which, in gratitude to his great benefactor, he has denominated Willshire.
* For a very interesting account of the proficiency of Mr. M'Coy's pupils, and of the customs and capacities of the Pottowattomies generally, we refer our readers to the Narrative of Major Long's Second Expedition to the Sources of St. Peter's.
| Mr. Keating, who saw the in at Fort Wayne, in 1823, makes his settlement only fourteen iniles from that place. The spot he has selected, is stated to be the only one that affords a water power, within fifty miles of Fort Wayne.
Mr. Schoolcraft here enters into some geological speculations, which have very much the appearance of hasty generalization, from a scanty stock of facts. It is true, that the men of science, who accompany our economical expeditions, are, of necessity, indulged in very few facilities and opportunities of investigation; and it is equally true, that the valleys of the Alleghany, Wabash, and Ohio, afford no great variety of geological phenomena; but we confess, that in a section of the book formally devoted to the geology of this region, we had expected, perhaps unreasonably, to find a more extended exhibition of its characteristic features.
It is well known that the sources of the Maumee and Wabash are very near each other. The portage is eight miles, beginning at Fort Wayne, and running westerly to Little river. In certain seasons, the waters are united in a manner, which permits light canoes to pass from one stream to the other. To this circumstance, Mr. Schoolcraft ascribes (and we think, with justice) much less importance than is generally done. The communication is shallow, temporary, and more of curiosity than of use. It indicates, however, the facility with which the rivers might be connected by means of artificial navigation.
On reaching the mouth of the small river Au Boit [?], the canoemen were delayed by the narrowness of the stream, and the party was obliged to solicit a night's lodging in an Indian wigwam. It was cheerfully granted, but there seems to have been nothing particularly romantic in the adventure. They were admitted into the chief's lodge, and found him and his companions half drunk. It was impossible to sleep for the clamor of these unsophisticated bacchanalians. After the liquor was exhausted, "they fell to quarrelling and fighting, and we momently expected that some murder would be perpetrated. At this critical period, we were pleased to observe an aged squaw
* We perceive that a committee of the Legislature of Indiana, has just reported in favor of improving the navigation of the river Wabash, and of connecting it by a canal, commencing at the head of steam boat navigation on that river, with the Maumee river which falls into lake Erie. The length of this canal need not be more than twenty-five miles, and it would at once open the intercourse by water from Indiana, Illinois, and Kenlucky, with the city of New-York. The advantages of this improvement are painted in glowing colors, and the states of Indiana and Illinois are urged to undertake it, on their own resources ; sking from Congress the grant of a few townships, belonging to the United States, and the extinction of the Indian title to certain reservations through which the canal must pass.
carefully gather up all the knives about the lodge, two of which were drawn from crevices in the logs near our heads ; and she effectually concealed them.” The breakfast however made amends.
“Independently of the keen appetites caused by fasting for the preceding twenty-four hours, we found the food set before us unexceptionable. It was served up with a degree of taste and cleanliness which quite surprised us, and evinced sufficiently that the females had not partaken in the riot of the preceding night. The meal consisted of fried ham and eggs, bread, tea, and lettuce, maple sugar, milk and salt. It was presented on a small plank table, covered with a piece of coarse muslin by way of breakfast-cloth, and served in white earthen plates, with half-pint tin cups for the tea, knives and forks, and tinned-iron tea spoons. The whole was neatly arranged. Sinall wooden tripods supplied the place of chairs, and an Indian woman attended to pour out the tea. If we were disgusted with the wild and savage carousal of the night, we were no less forcibly impressed with the quiet and cheerful hospitality of the morning; and we arose from table with quite altered opinions of a breakfast à la Sauvage.” pp. 93, 94.
On the eleventh of July, the party arrived at a Pottowattomie village, on the right bank of the Wabash, the position of which is somewhat oddly defined, by the stratum of beautiful conglomerate on which it stands. This village had been, until very recently, under the government of the well known chief Winemac, who assisted in the attack upon the American army at Tippecano. Winemac expired ten days before the arrival of Governor Cass, and was succeeded by his brother, a degenerate Pottowattomie, whose love for the milk of the black cow* had made him a brute and a thief. The party had proceeded but a short distance below the Indian village seated upon the conglomerate rock,' when they met Mr. Forsyth and the boatmen, returning up the stream in their Chippewa canoe. The following adventure had taken place.
“Mr. Forsyth, who with three men usually travelled in charge of the stores and Indian presents placed in this canoe, had this morning preceded us several miles. He had reached a shallow part of the river, where it turns somewhat abruptly to the west, when, on a sudden, eight or ten Indians, nearly naked, with weapons in their hands, and uttering one of their peculiar yells, rushed into the river, and demanded, in an insolent manner, the whiskey on board. As the men were unarmed, resistance would have been vain, although their demand was promptly refused. But while they thronged around the canoe, and some of them, with apparently pacific intentions, entered into conversation, one of them seized the keg containing the liquor, and threw it into the water; others were
* An Indian periphrasis for whiskey.