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the settlement on this manor, and removing to places of greater safety.
It is true, that when flagrant cases of this description occurred, the government, before the revolution, issued proclamations offering rewards for apprehending the offenders ; and in later times, since the country has become more thickly settled, those who krad been guilty of such offences were brought before the tribunals to take their trials. But these formalities have proved of little avail. In the first case, the criminals were seldom, if ever, apprehended; in the second, no jury could be found to convict them; for it was no uncommon saying among many of the men of whom juries in the frontier countries were commonly composed, that no man should be put to .. death for killing an Indian; for it was the same thing as killing a wild beast !
“In the course of the revolutionary war, in which (as in all civil commotions) brother was seen fighting against brother, and friend against friend, a party of Indian warriors, with whom one of those white men, who, under colour of attachment to their king, indulged in every sort of crimes, was going out against the settlers on the Ohio, to kill and destroy as they had been ordered.. The chief of the expedition had given strict orders not to molest any of the white men who lived with their friends the Christian Indians; yet, as they passed near a settlement of these converts, the white man, unmindful of the orders he had received, attempted to shoot two of the Missionaries who were planting potatoes in their field, and though the captain warned him to desist, he still obstinately persisted in his attempt. The chief, in anger, immediately took his gun from him, and kept him under guard until ihey had reached a considerable distance from the place. I have received this account from the chief himself, who on his return sent word to the Missionaries that they would do well not to go far from home
as they were in too great danger from the white. people.
" Another white man of the same description, whom I well knew, related with a kind of barbarous exultation, on his return to Detroit from a war excursion with the Indians in which he had been engaged, that the party with which he was, having taken a woman prisoner who had a sạcking babe at her breast, he tried to persuade the indians to kill the child, lest its cries should discover the place where they were; the Indians were unwilling to commit the deed, on which the white man at once jumped up, tore the child from its mother's arms, and taking it by the legs dashed its head against a tree, so that the brains flew out all around. The mouster in relating this story said, "The little dog all the time was making wee! He added, that if he were sure that his old father, who some time before had died in Old Virginia, would, if he had lived longer, have turned rebel, he would go all the way into Virginia, raise the body, and take off his scalp !
“Let us now contrast with this the conduct of the Indians. Carver tells us in his travels with what moderation, humanity and delicacy they treat female prisoners, and particularly pregnant women.*
I refer the reader to the following fact, as an instance of their conduct in such cases. If his admiration is excited by the behaviour of the Indians, I doubt not that liis indignation will be raised in an equal degree by that of a white man who unfortunately acts a part in the story.
“ A párty of Delawares, in one of their excursions during the revolutionary war, took a white female prisoner. The Iudian chief, after a march of several days, observed that she was ailing, and was convinced (for she was far advanced in her pregnancy) that the time of her delivery was near. He
Carver's Travels, ch. 9. p.196.
immediately made a halt on the bank of a stream, where, at a proper distance from the encampment, he built for her a close hut of peeled barks, gathered dry grass and fern to make her a bed, and placed a blanket at the opening of the dwelling as a substitute for a door. He then kindled a fire, placed a pile of wood near it to feed it occasionally, and placed a kettle of water at hand where she night easily use it. He then took her into her little infirmary, gave her lodian medicines, with directions how to use them, and told her to rest easy, and she might be sure that nothing should disturb her. Having done this, he returned to his men, forbade them from making any noise, or disturbing the sick woman in any manner, and told them that he himself should guard her during the night. He did so; and the whole night kept watch before her door, walking backward and forward, to be ready at her call at any moment, in case of extreme necessity. The night passed quietly; but in the morning, as he was walking by on the bank of the stream, seeing him through the crevices, she called to him and presented her babe. The good chief, with tears in his eyes, rejoiced at her safe delivery; he told her not to be uneasy, that he should lay by for a few days, and would soon bring her some nourishing food, and some medicines to take. Then going to his encampment, he ordered all his men to go out a hunting, and remained himself to guard the camp."
Forgive me, reader, if, for a momet, I disturb the order of my extract. There is nothing that I know within the whole scope of anecdotal history more affecting than the present narration. How exalted was the humanity of this Indian Chief! how refined his delicacy! how watchful and tender his care! The pathos, though deep, is sweet ; and Mr. Heckewelder has communicated the story in a style of feeling and simplicity worthy of it. He has made us witnesses of the transaction. We see through the
darkness of the night, the swarthy warrior walking anxiously backward and forward before the hut of bark,-the little infirmary" of the labouring
The morning comes; and in the pale dawn behold! the poor creature pointing, in a state of utter exhaustion, to her babe, delivered in the wilderness-in night and solitude! Yet was she not entirely without support; for, over and above the 'secret aid which came to her pangs from high, see ! she meets with sympathy in a wild man, a stranger, a warrior; who melts into tears at the sight! My heart, too, swells as I read. Bear with me--we will resume our extract.
“Now for the reverse of the picture. Among the men whom this chief had. under his command, was one of those white vagabonds whom I have before described. The captain was much afraid of him, knowing him to be a bad man; and as he had expressed a great desire to go a hunting with the rest, he believed him gone, and entertained no fears for the woman's safety. But it was not long before he was undeceived. While he was gone to a small distance to dig roots for his poor patient, he heard her cries, and running with speed to her hut, he was informed by her that the white man had threatened to take her life if she did not immediately throw her child into the river. The captain, enraged at the cruelty of this man, and the liberty he had taken with his prisoner, hailed him as he was running off, and told him "That the moment he should miss the child, the tomahawk should be in his head.' After a few days this humane chief placed the woman carefully on a horse, and they went together to the place of their destination, the mother and child doing well. I have heard him relate this story, to which he added, that whenever he should go out on an excursion, he never would suffer a white man to be of.
Yet I must acknowledge that I have known an
Indian chief who had been guilty of the crime of killing the child of a female prisoner. His name was Glikhican. In the year 1770, he joined the congregation of the Christian Indians; the details of his conversion are related at large by Loskiel in his History of the Missions.* Before that time he had been conspicuous as a warrior and a counsellor, and in oratory it is said he never was surpassed. This man, having joined the French in the year 1754 or 1755, in their war against the English, and being at that time out with a party of Frenchmen, took among other prisoners, a young woman, named Rachel Abo bott, from the Conegocheague settlement, who had at her breast a sucking babe. The incessant cries of the child, the hurry to get off, but above all, the persuasions of his white companions, induced him, much against his inclination, to kill the innocent creature; while the mother, in an agony of grief, and her face suffused with tears, begged that its life might be spared. The woman, however, was brought safe to the Ohio, where she was kindly treated and adopted, and some years afterwards was married to a Delaware chief of respectability, by whom she had several children, who are now living with the Christian Indians in Upper Canada.
“ Glikhican never forgave himself for having committed this crime, although many times, and long bea fore his becoming a Christian, he had begged the woman's pardon with tears in his eyes, and received her free and full forgiveness. In vain she pointed out to him all the circumstances that he could have alledged to excuse the deed; in vain she reminded him of his unwillingness at the time, and his having been in a manner compelled to it by bis French associates; nothing that she did say could assuage his sorrow or quiet the perturbation of his mind; he called himself a wretch, a monster, a coward, (the
* Loskiel, p. 3, cb. 3.