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The foregoing list I received from old Mr. Heckewelder, the Missionary, to whom I paid a visit a short time ago at Bethlehem, where he resides. His active and constant exertions, in the cause of benevolence, seem to have been rewarded with health and long life. He is now in his eighty-eighth year, and his faculties are vigorous and alert. From him I learnt that it is not in the power of man to come at any thing demonstrative 'as to the numbers of the Indians. The list now before the reader, refers to what was known between the years 1770 and 1780, and I have no reason whatever to doubt its accuracy. I find in the records of 1794, that a treaty was arranged at Philadelphia with the President of the United States, which comprehended upwards of fiftyseven thousand Indian warriors.
This statement, therefore, could not have included the inhabitants of the immense regions from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, and North to Hudson's Bay. But travellers have in all places found numbers, so that having reference to extent of territory, I do not overrate the population of the Indian nations at two millions; taking in from the Isthmus of Panama, and consequently including Mexico. It should be borne in mind that the great body of any Indian tribe never appear to strangers : only the scouts are seen.
JUSTICE. THE Indians have a strong innate sense of justice, which will lead them sometimes to acts which some men will call heroic, others romantic, and not a few, perhaps, will designate by the epithet barbarous; a vague indefinite word, which if it means any thing, might, perhaps, be best explained by something not like ourselves. However that may be, this feeling certainly exists among the Indians, and as I cannot describe it better than by its effects, I shall content myself with relating on this subject a characteristic anecdote which happened in the year 1793, at an Indian village called La Chine, situated nine miles above Montreal, and was told me in the same year by Mr. La Ramée, a French Canadian inhabitant of that place, whom I believe to be a person of strict veracity. I was then on my return from Detroit, in "company with General Lincoln and several other gentlemen, who were present at the relation, and gave it their full belief. I thought it then so interesting, that I inserted it in my journal, from which I now extract it.
There were in the said village of La Chine, two remarkable Indians, the one for his stature, being six feet four inches in height, and the other for his
strength and activity. These two meeting together one day in the street (a third being present,) the former in a high tone made use of some insulting language to the other, which he could not well put up with: he called him a coward, said he was his inferior in every respect, and so provoked his anger, that unable any longer to contain himself, the latter instantly replied: “You have grossly insulted me; "but I will prevent you from doing the like again !" and at the same moment stabbed him through the body with his knife, so that he dropped down dead by his side. The alarm being immediately spread through the village, a crowd of Indian's assembled, and the murderer having seated himself on the ground by the side of the dead body, coolly awaited his fate, which he could not expect to be any
other than immediate death, particularly as the cry.
of the people was "Kill him! Kill him!” But although he placed his body and his head in a proper posture to receive the stroke of the tomahawk, no one attempted to lay hands on him; but after removing the dead body from where it lay, they left him alone. Not meeting here with his expected fate, he rose from this place for a more public part of the village, and there lay down on the ground, in the hope of being the sooner despatched; but the spectators, after viewing him, all retired again. Sensible that his life was justly forfeited, and anxious to be relieved from a state of suspense, he took the resolution to go to the mother of the deceased, an aged widow, whom he addressed in these words : “ Woman, I
“ have killed thy son; he had insulted me, it is true; “ but still he was thine, and his life was valuable to “ thee.' I, therefore, now surrender myself up to
thy will. Direct as thou wilt have it, and relieve 6. me speedily from misery. To which the woman answered: “ Thou hast, indeed, killed my son, who “ was dear to me, and the only supporter I had in
age. One life is already lost, and to take 'ss thine on that account, cannot be of any service to 66 me, nor better my situation. Thou hast, however, “ a son, whom if thou wilt give me in the place of
my son whom thou hast slain, all shall be wiped
away.” The murderer then replied: “ Mother, " my son is yet but a child, ten years old, and can “ be of no service to thee, but rather a trouble and $ charge ; but here am I, truly capable of supporting “ and maintaining thee: if thou wilt receive me as
thy son, nothing shall be wanting on my part to “ make thee comfortable while thou livest." The woman, approving of the proposal, forthwith adopted bim as her son, and took the whole family to her house.-HECKEWELDER.
FORBEARANCE OF TEMPER IN ACCIDENTAL
MISFORTUNES. They judge with calmness on all occasions, and decide with precision, or endeavour to do so, between an accident and a wilful act ;--the first (they say) they are all liable to commit, and therefore it ought not to be noticed, or punished ;--the second being a wilful or premeditated act, committed with
a bad design, ought on the contrary to receive due punishment.
To illustrate this subject, I shall relate a few of the cases of this description which have come within my knowledge. One morning early, an Indian came into the house of another who was yet a-bed, asking for the loan of his gun for a morning hunt, his own being out of repair. The owner readily consented, and said: “ As my gun is not loaded, you will have “ to take a few balls out of your pouch !" In taking the gun down, it, however, by some accident went off, and lodged the contents in the owner's head, who was still lying on the bed, and now expired. The
gun, it appeared, was loaded, though unknown to him, and the lock left in such condition that by a touch it went off. A cry was heard from all sides in the house: “O! the accident !” for such it was always considered to have been, and was treated as such.
A hunter went out to kill a bear, some of those animals having been seen in the neighbourhood. In an obscure part of a wood, he saw at a distance something black moving, which he took for a bear, the whole of the animal not being visible to him; he fired, and found he had shot a black horse. Having discovered the mistake, he informed the owner of what had happened, expressing at the same time his regret that he was not possessed of a single horse, with which he could replace the one he had shot. What! replied the Indian whose horse had been killed, do you think I would accept a horse from