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INDIAN RELATIONS OF THE CONDUCT OF EUROPEANS
LONG and dismal, says the reverend author* whose work I have so often alluded to, are the complaints which the Indians make of European ingratitude and injustice. They love to repeat them, and always do it with the eloquence of nature, aided by an energetic and comprehensive language, which our polished idioms cannot imitate. Often I have listened to these descriptions of their hard sufferings, until I felt ashamed of being a white man.
They are, in general, very minute in these recitals, and proceed with a great degree of order and regularity. They begin with the Virginians, whom they call the long knives, and who were the first European seltlers in this part of the American continent. we," say the Lenape, Mobicans, and their kindred tribes, "who so kindly received them on their first arrival into our country. We took them by the hand, and bid them welcome to sit down by our side, and live with us as brothers; but how did they requite our kindness? They at first asked only for a little land on which to raise bread for themselves and their families, and pasture for their cattle, which we freely gave them. They soon wanted more, which we also gave them. They saw the game in the woods, which the Great Spirit had given us for our subsistence, and they wanted that too. They penetrated into the woods, in quest of game, they discovered spots of land which pleased
6. It was
* Heckewelder, from whose work this and the foregoing chapter are extracted. I have had the less scruple in using them, because the two chapters are in themselves nothing more than a concentration of the different traditions which are floatiog up and down among the ma dian tribes.
them; that land they also wanted, and because we were loth to part with it, as we saw they had already more than they had need of, they took it from us by force and drove us to a great distance from our ancient homes.
“ By and by the Dutchemaan* arrived at Manahaclitánienk," + (here they relate with all its details what has been said in the preceding chapter.) “The great man wanted only a little, little land, on which to raise greens for his soup, just as much as a bullock's hide would cover.
Here we first might bave observed their deceitful spirit. The bullock's hide was cut up into little strips, and did not cover, indeed, but encircled a very large piece of land, which we foolishly granted to them. They were to raise greens on it, instead of which they planted great guns; afterwards they built strong houses, made themselves masters of the island, then went up the river to our enemies, the Mengwe, made a league with them, persuaded us by their wicked arts to lay down our arms, and at last drove us entirely out of the country.
“ When the Yengeesef arrived at Machtitschwanne, they looked about every where for good spots of land, and when they found one they immediately and without ceremony possessed themselves of it; we were astonished, but still we let them go on, not thinking it worth while to contend for a little land. But when at last they came to our favourite spots, those which lay most convenient to our fisheries, then bloody wars ensued ; we would have been contented that the white people and we should have lived quietly beside each other ; but these white men encroached so fast upon us, that
* The Hollanders.
† Manhattan, or New-York Island. † An Indian corruption of the word English, whence probably the nickname Yankees.
This word means " a cluster of islands with channels every way, so that it is in no place shut up or impassable for craft.” The Indians think that the white people have corrupted this word into Massachusetts. It deserves to be remarked as an example the comprehensiveness ef the Indian languages.
we saw at once we should lose all, if we did not resist them. The wars that we carried on against each other were long and cruel. We were enraged when we saw the white people put our friends and relatives whom they had taken prisoners on board of their ships, and carry them off to sea, whether to drown or sell them as slaves, in the country from which they came, we knew not, but certain it is that none of them have ever returned or even been heard of. At last they got possession of the whole of the country which the Great Spirit had given us. One of our tribes was forced to wander far beyond Quebec ; others dispersed in small bodies, and sought places of refuge where they could ; some came to Pennsylvania ; others went far to the westward and mingled with other tribes.
“To many of those, Pennsylvania was a last, delightsul asylum. But here, again, the Europeans disturbed them, and forced them to emigrate, although they had been most kindly and hospitably received. On which ever side of the Lenapewihittuck* the white people landed, they were welcomed as brothers by our ancestors, who gave them lands to live on,
and even hunted for them, und furnished them with meat out of the woods. Such was our conduct to the white men,t who inhabited this country, until our elder brother, the great and good Miquon, I came and brought us words of peace and good will. We believed his words, and his memory is still held in veneration among us. But it was not long before our joy was turned into sorrow : our brother Miquon died, and those of his good counsellors who were of his mind, and knew what had passed between him and our ancestors, were no longer listened to; the strangers,g who had taken their places, no longer spoke to us of sitting down by the side of each other as brothers of one family; they forgot that friendship which their great man had established with us, and was to last to the end of time; they now only
* The Delaware river. + The Sweden and Dutch.
Land traders and speculators.
strove to get all our land from us by fraud or by force, and when we attempted to remind them of what our good brother had said, they became angry, and sent word to our enemies the Mengwe, to meet them at a great council which they were to hold with us at Lahauwake,* where they should take us by the hair of our heads, and shake us well. The Mengwe came, the council was held, and in the presence of the white men, who did not contradict them, they told us that we were women, and that they had made us such ; that we had no right to any land, bacause it was all theirs; that we must be gone ; and that as a great favour they permitted us to go and settle farther into the country, at the place which they themselves pointed out at Wyoming." +
Thus these good Indians, with a kind of melancholy pleasure, recite the long history of their sufferings. After having gone through these painful details, they seldom fail to indulge in bitter, but too just reflections upon the men of Europe. “ We and vur kindred tribes,” say they, “ lived in peace and harmony with each other, before the white people came into this country; our council houses extended far to the north and far to the south. In the middle of it we would meet from all parts to smoke the pipe of peace together. When the white men arrived in the south, we received them as friends; we did the same when they arrived in the east. It was we, it was forefathers, who made them welcome, and let them sit down by our side. The land they settled on was ours. We knew, not but the Great Spirit had sent them to us for some good purpose, and therefore we thought they must be a good people. We were mistaken; for no sooner had they obtained a footing on our lands, than
* Easton. + This actually took place at a treaty held at Easton, in July and November, 1756. Ị Council house here means, " Connexion District." VOL. I.
EVIDENCES OF GENERAL CAPACITY AND TRUE CONCEPTION OF COURTESY AMONG THE PRESENT
In the suinmer of 1819, during the yellow fever at New-York, I took a tour, accompanied by two of my daughters, and a gentleman, to the Falls of Niagara, and through a considerable part of Upper Canada. After stopping more than a week under the truly hospitable roof of the Honourable Colonel Clarke, at the Falls, I determined to proceed by land round Lake Ontario, to York; and Mrs. Clarke offered to give my daughters a letter of introduction to a Miss Brandt, advising us to arrange our time so as to sleep and stop a day or two in the house of that lady, as she was certain we should be much pleased with her and her brother. Our friend did not intimate, still less did we suspect, that the introduction was to an Indian Prince and Princess. Had we been in the least aware of this, our previous arrangements would all have given way, as there was nothing I was more anxious to obtain than an opportunity, such as this was so well calculated to afford, of seeing in what degree the Indian character would be modified by a conformity to the habits and comforts of civilized life.
Proceeding on our journey, we stopped at an inn, romantically situated, where I determined to remain all night. Among other things I inquired of the landlord if he knew the distance to Miss Brandt's house, and from him I learned that it was about twenty miles off. He added that young Mr. Brandt had passed that way in the morning, and would, no doubt, be returning in the evening, and that if I wished it, he would be on the look