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conceived; and this appears from the management of all the affairs which they transact, not only with the French and Eng. lish, but likewise with almost all the Indian nations of this vast continent.”
They strictly form a Roman maxim, to increase their strength by encouraging other nations to incorporate with thein, and adopt many captives taken in battle, who afterwards have become sachems and captains. The cruelty the Indians use in their wars, is deservedly held in abhorrence; but whoever has read the history of the far-famed heroes of Greece and Rome, will find them little, if at all, better even in this respect, Does the behaviour of Achilles to Hector's dead body appear less savage? But Achilles had a Homer to blazon forth his virtues; not so the unlettered Indian: every pen is dipped in gall against him. Witness the Carthaginians, and Phenicians offering their children in sacrifice, and in latter days behold men professing Christianity out-stripping all true or fabled cruelty, blasphemously and impiously under the idea of honouring God. Let no member of the church of Rome, nor of any persecuting body, call the Indians savage.
Previous to setting out on any warlike expedition they have a feast, to which all the noted warriors of the nation are invited; when they have the war-dance to the beat of kettle-druins. The Warriors are seated on two rows; each rises in turn, and sings the deeds he has performed; so that they work up their spirits to a high degree of enthusiasm. They come to these dances with faces painted in a frightful manner to make themselves look terrible to their enemies. By these war songs they preserve the history of their great achievements *. The solemn reception of these warriors, and the acclamation of applause which they receive at their return, cannot but have on the hearer the same effect in raising an emulation for glory, that a triumph had on
* It is worthy of remark that all Nations have used the same means to record and bear in mind their history.
the old Romans. After their prisoners are secured, they never offer them the least bad treatment, but on the contrary will rather starve themselves than suffer them to want, and I have been always assured that there is not one instance of their offering the least violence to the chastity of any woman that was their captive. The captives are generally distributed among those who have lost a member of their family in battle ; if they are accepted, they enjoy all the privileges the person had; but if otherwise they die in torment to satiate the revenge of those who refuse them.
They use neither drum nor trumpet, nor any kind of musical instruments in their wars ; their throats serve them on all occasions. We find the same was practised by Homer's heroes:
Thrice to its pitch, his lofty voice he rears,
O friend ! Ulysses' shouts invade my ears. The hospitality of these Indians is no less remarkable than their other virtues. As soon as any stranger comes among them, they are sure to offer him victuals; if a number arrive, one of their best houses is cleaned for their accommodation, and not unfrequently they are accommodated with female society while they remain; but this latter mark of simple hospitality is not now to be found among any of the Indian tribes who have had much intercourse with the whites. The two following traits of character in the Mohawks, M. Colden states as having come under his own knowledge ; he states that when last in their country, the Sachems told him they had an Englishman who had ran from his master in New York, that they never would deliver him up to be punished, but that they would pay the value to his master. Another man made his escape from Albany jail, where he was in prison for debt ; the Mohawks received him, and as they protected him against the sheriff, they not only paid the debt for him but gave him land over and above sufficient for a good farm whereon he lived when M. Colden was last there.
Polygamy is not usual among them, and in case of separa
tion, according to the natural course of all animals, the children follow the mother. The women bring forth their children with much ease and without any help, and soon after delivery return to their usual employment. They alone perform all the drudgery about the houses, plant the corn, labour at it, cut the fire-wood, carry it home, and on their marches bear the burdens. The men disdaining all kind of labour, employ themselves alone in hunting : at times when it is not proper to hunt, the old men are found in companies in conversation, the young men at their exercises, shooting at marks, throwing the batchet, wrestling, or running; and the women all busy at labour in the fields. The ancient state of Lacedemon resembles that of the Five Nations, their laws and customs being formed to render the mind and bodies of the people fit for war. Theft is very scandalous and rare. There is one vice which they have acquired since they became acquainted with the Europeans, of which they knew nothing before, drunkenness; all, male and female, are awfully given to this vice; they have not been taught to abhor it; on the contrary, the traders encourage it for the profit they gain on the Suque, and the bargains they obtain while intoxicated. And this imported vice, from men professing Christianity, has destroyed greater numbers than all their wars and diseases put together.
As to what religion they have it is difficult to judge of them, because the Indians that speak English and live near us, have learned many things of us, and it is not easy to distinguish the notions they had originally among them, from those they have learned of the Christians. It is certain they have no kind of public worship, and I am told they have no radical word to express God, but use a compound word signifying preserver, sustainer, or master of the universe. Their funeral rites seem to infer an idea of a future existence. They make a large hole in which the body.can be placed upright, or upon its haunches; they dress the corpse in all the finery, and put wampum and other things into the grave with it, and the relations suffer not
gras que the
Eo superstition and amusing ceremonies affords the popish priests a2een Anne sent over a missionary to reside among the Mohawks, and paid him out of her privy purse; she sent furniture for a chapel, and a valuable set of plate for the communion table, and the like furniture and plate for each of the other nations, though that of the Mohawks was alone applied
tolerable knowledge of their language, he had but small suc
cess, and his allowance failing by the Queen's death, he left they be sent with any message, though it demand the greatest
though they bring intelligence of any danger, 2x3y indecent expression. Every sudden repartreaty, leaves with them an impression of a light,
md, but in private conversation they use and --ith brisk witty answers, as we can be by them;
at difference they place between the converexample to polished nations. 2 O9, entered into an alliance with the Five
of any weeds to grow on the grave or near it, and fre
visit it with lamentations. Like all nations ignorant of ble, they are very superstitious in the observance of
and dreams. The inclination which all ignorant people
a great advantage in recommending their religion. to the use designed. The Common Prayer Book, or at least
considerable part of it, was translated also into their language and printed; some other pieces were also translated for the Minister's use, viz., an Exposition of the Creed, Decalogue, Lord's Prayer, and Church Catechism, and a Discourse on the
but as the Minister was never able to obtain any custom these men constantly observe, that if
at their first approach, but sit down for
at least, in silence to recollect themselves that they may not shew any degree of fear man, and of nation and nation, and this settled in the New Netherlands, now called
before they $
sation of man might well be a
The Dutch New York, in
Nations which continued without any breach on their side till the English gained this country. The Dutch gained the hearts of the Five Nations by their kind usage, and were frequently useful to the French in saving those of them that were prisoners from the cruelty of the Indians.
In 1664 New York was taken by the English ; they likewise immediately entered into a friendship with the Five Nations, which has continued without the least breach to this day; and history, I believe, cannot give an instance of the most Christian or most, Catholic Kings observing a treaty so strictly for so long a time as these barbarians, as they are called, have done.
When the Five Nations make peace with a nation that has taken some of their people prisoners, if their prisoners are dead or cannot be restored, they usually demand some Indians in friendship with the Five Nations in their stead, who either are adopted in place of their dead friends or restored to their own nation; and sometimes they desire some of their enemies to be given them, and even these frequently are adopted by a father in place of a son, by a sister in place of a brother, and most frequently by a wife in place of a husband lost in the wars; but if they chance not to be agreeable to the relations, then they are certainly made sacrifices to their revenge.
The French having for a long time felt the inconvenience : and dangers they were in from the warlike spirit of the Five Nations (about the year 1666), sent some of their priests and jesuits among them; and the Governors of New York were ordered by the Duke of York to give their priests all the encouragement in their power. Their chief view was to give the Indians the highest opinion of the French power, and to render the English suspected; for these purposes their priests were well fitted in turning the resentment of the Five Nations of the Indians, that were in friendship with Virginia and Maryland. The Governor of Maryland on the other hand, to prevent the ill consequence of war among nations in friend,