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avoiding its breaking. It was drawn out into a cir. cular form, and being closed at its end, encompassed a large piece of ground. The Indians were surprised at the superior wit of the whites*, but did not wish to contend with them about a little land, as they had still enough themselves. The white and red men lived contentedly together for a long time, though the former from time to time asked for more land, which was readily obtained, and thus they gradually proceeded higher up the Mahicanittuck, until the Indians began to believe that they would soon want all their country, which in the end proved true.”
* These Dutchmen were probably acquainted with what is related of Queen Dido in ancient history, and thus turned their classical knowledge to a good account.
INDIAN RELATIONS OF THE CONDUCT OF THE
EUROPEANS TOWARDS THEM.
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 settlers in this part of the American continent. “ It “ was we,” say the Lenape, Mohicans, 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 เ 66
they requite our kindness? They at first asked
* 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 tradis tions which are floating up and down among the Indian tribes.
“ 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
them; that land they also wanted, and because we “ were loth to part with it, as we saw they had al
ready 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 Manahachtánienk t,” (here they relate with all its details what has been said in the preceding chapter.)
man wanted only a little, little land, on which to “ raise greens for his soup, just as much as a bul“ lock's hide would cover. Here we first might have “ observed their deceitful spirit. The bullock’s hide
was cut up into little strips, and did not cover, in
deed, 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.
« The great
* The Hollanders.
Manhattan, or New York Island.
“ When the Yengeese * arrived at Machtitschwannet,
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 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
* 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 no place shut up or impassable for craft.” The Indians think that the white people have corrnpted this word into Massachusetts. It deserves to be remarked as an example of the comprehensiveness of the Indian languages.
“ came to Pennsylvania; others went far to the west“ward and mingled with other tribes.
“To many of those, Pennsylvania was a last, de
lightful asylum. But here, again, the Europeans “ disturbed them, and forced them to emigrate, al
though they had been most kindly and hospitably “ received. On which ever side of the Lenapewihit“ tuck*, the white people landed, they were welcomed “as brothers by our ancestors, who gave them lands “ to live on, and even hunted for them, and furnished “ them with meat out of the woods. Such was our “ conduct to the white ment, who inhabited this
country, until our elder brother, the great and good
MIQUONI, 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 an“ cestors, were no longer listened to; the strangers, “ 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 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
* The Delaware river.
ajo The Swedes and Dutch. § Land traders and speculators.