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Title: Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers

Author: Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

Release Date: February 16, 2004 [EBook #11119]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Charlie Kirschner and the Online Distributed Proofreading










A.D. 1812 TO A.D. 1842.






My dear sir:--I feel impelled to place your name before these sheets, from a natural impulse. It is many years since I accompanied you to the Genesee country, which was, at that time, a favorite theatre of enterprise, and called the "Garden of the West." This step, eventually, led me to make deeper and more adventurous inroads into the American wilderness.

If I am not mistaken, you will peruse these brief memoranda of my exploratory journeys and residence in the wide area of the west, and among barbarous tribes, in a spirit of appreciation, and with a lively sense of that providential care, in human affairs, that equally shields the traveler amidst the vicissitudes of the forest, and the citizen at his fireside.

Very sincerely yours,



Ten years ago I returned from the area of the Mississippi Valley to New York, my native State, after many years' residence and exploratory travels of that quarter of the Union. Having become extensively known, personally, and as an author, and my name having been associated with several distinguished actors in our western history, the wish has often been expressed to see some record of the events as they occurred. In yielding to this wish, it must not be supposed that the writer is about to submit an autobiography of himself; nor yet a methodical record of his times--tasks which, were he ever so well qualified for, he does not at all aspire to, and which, indeed, he has not now the leisure, if he had the desire, to undertake.

Still, his position on the frontiers, and especially in connection with the management of the Indian tribes, is believed to have been one of marked interest, and to have involved him in events and passages often of thrilling and general moment. And the recital of these, in the simple and unimposing forms of a diary, even in the instances where they may be thought to fail in awakening deep sympathy, or creating high excitement, will be found, he thinks, to possess a living moral undertone. In the perpetual conflict between civilized and barbaric life, during the settlement of the West, the recital will often recall incidents of toil and peril, and frequently show the open or concealed murderer, with his uplifted knife, or deadly gun. As a record of opinion, it will not be too much to say, that the author's approvals are ever on the side of virtue, honor, and right; that misconception is sometimes prevented by it, and truth always vindicated. If he has sometimes met bad men; if he has experienced detraction, or injustice; if even persons of good general repute have sometimes persecuted him, it is only surprising, on general grounds, that the evils of this kind have not been greater or more frequent; but it is conceived that the record of such injustice would neither render mankind wiser nor the author happier. The "crooked" cannot be made "straight," and he who attempts it will often find that his inordinate toils only vex his own soul. He who does the ill in society is alone responsible for it, and if he chances not to be rebuked for it on this imperfect theatre of human action, yet he cannot flatter himself at all that he shall pass through a future state "scot free." The author views man ever as an accountable being, who lives, in a providential sense, that he may have an opportunity to bear record to the principles of truth, wherever he is, and this, it is perceived, can be as effectually done, so far as there are causes of action or reflection, in the recesses of the forest, as in the area of the drawing-room, or the purlieus of a court. It is believed that, in the present case, the printing of the diary could be more appropriately done, while most of those with whom the author has acted and corresponded, thought and felt, were still on the stage of life. The motives that, in a higher sphere, restrained a Wraxall and a Walpole in withholding their remarks on passing events, do not operate here; for if there be nothing intestimonial or faulty uttered, the power of a stern, high-willed government cannot be brought to bear, to crush independence of thought, or enslave the labors of intellect: for if there be a species of freedom in America more valuable than another, it is that of being pen-free.

It is Sismondi, I think, who says that "time prepares for a long flight, by relieving himself of every superfluous load, and by casting away everything that he possibly can." The author certainly would not ask him to carry an onerous weight. But, in the history of the settlement of such a country and such a population as this, there must be little, as well as great labors, before the result to be sent forward to posterity can be prepared by the dignified pen of polished history; and the writer seeks nothing more than to furnish some illustrative memoranda for that ultimate task, whoever may perform it.

He originally went to the west for the purpose of science. His mineralogical rambles soon carried him into wide and untrodden fields; and the share he was called on to take in the exploration of the country, its geography, geology, and natural features, have thrown him in positions of excitement and peril, which furnish, it is supposed, an appropriate apology, if apology be necessary, for the publication of these memoirs.

But whatever degree of interest and originality may have been connected with his early observations and discoveries in science, geography, or antiquities, the circumstances which directed his attention to the Indian tribes--their history, manners and customs, languages, and general ethnology, have been deemed to lay his strongest claim to public respect. The long period during which these observations have been continued to be made, his intimate relations with the tribes, the favorable circumstances of his position and studies, and the ardor and assiduity with which he has availed himself of them, have created expectations in his case which few persons, it is believed, in our history, have excited.

It is under these circumstances that the following selections from his running journal are submitted. They form, as it were, a thread connecting acts through a long period, and are essential to their true understanding and development. A word may be said respecting the manner of the record which is thus exhibited:--

The time is fixed by quoting exactly the dates, and the names of persons are invariably given wherever they could, with propriety, be employed; often, indeed, in connection with what may be deemed trivial occurrences; but these were thought essential to the proper relief and understanding of more important matters. Indeed, a large part of the journal consists of extracts from the letters of the individuals referred to; and in this way it is conceived that a good deal of the necessarily offensive character of the egotism of journalism is got rid of. No one will object to see his name in print while it is used to express a kind, just, or noble sentiment, or to advance the cause of truth; and, if private names are ever employed for a contrary purpose, I have failed in a designed cautiousness in this particular. Much that required disapprobation has been omitted, which a ripening judgment and more enlarged Christian and philosophic view has passed over; and much more that invited condemnation was never committed to paper. Should circumstances favor it, the passages which are omitted, but approved, to keep the work in a compact shape, will be hereafter added, with some pictorial illustrations of the scenery.

The period referred to, is one of considerable interest. It is the thirty years that succeeded the declaration of war by the United States, in 1812, against Great Britain, and embraces a large and important part of the time of the settlement of the Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins. During this period ten States have been added to the Union. Many actors who now slumber in their graves are called up to bear witness. Some of the number were distinguished men; others the reverse. Red and white men alike express their opinions. Anecdotes and incidents succeed each other without any attempt at method. The story these incidentally tell, is the story of a people's settling the wilderness. It is the Anglo-Saxon race occupying the sites of the Indian wigwams. It is a field in which plumed sachems, farmers, legislators, statesmen, speculators, professional and scientific men, and missionaries of the gospel, figure in their respective capacities. Nobody seems to have set down to compose an elaborate letter, and yet the result of the whole, viewed by the philosophic eye, is a broad field of elaboration.




Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817--Events preliminary to a knowledge of western life--Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany River--Descent to Pittsburgh--Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and iron--Descent of the Ohio in an ark--Scenes and incidents by the way--Cincinnati--Some personal incidents which happened there.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth--Ascent of the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum--Its rapid and turbid character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges--Some incidents by the way.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin--His character--Continuation of the journey on foot to St. Louis--Incidents by the way--Trip to the mines--Survey of the mine country--Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi.


Sit down to write an account of the mines--Medical properties of the Mississippi water--Expedition to the Yellow Stone--Resolve to visit Washington with a plan of managing the mines--Descend the river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans--Incidents of the trip--Take passage in a ship for New York--Reception with my collection there--Publish my memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington--Result of my plan--Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west--Remain a few weeks at New York--Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first steamer--Preparations for a new style of traveling--Correspondents--General sketch of the route pursued by the expedition, and its results--Return to Albany, and publish my narrative--Journal of it--Preparation for a scientific account of the observations.


Reception by the country on my return--Reasons for publishing my narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the expedition--Delays interposed to this--Correspondents--Locality of strontian--Letter from Dr. Mitchell--Report on the copper mines of Lake Superior--Theoretical geology--Indian symbols--Scientific subjects--Complete the publication of my work--Its reception by the press and the public--Effects on my mind--Receive the appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago--Result of the expedition, as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley--Cross the grand prairie of Illinois--Revisit the mines--Ascend the Illinois--Fever--Return through the great lakes--Notice of the "Trio"--Letter from Professor Silliman--Prospect of an appointment under government--Loss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"--Geology of Detroit--Murder of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.


New-Yearing--A prospect opened--Poem of Ontwa--Indian biography--Fossil tree--Letters from various persons--Notice of Ontwa--Professor Silliman--Gov. Clinton--Hon. J. Meigs--Colonel Benton--Mr. Dickenson--Professor Hall--Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson, and Adams on geology--Geological notices--Plan of a gazetteer--Opinions of my Narrative Journal by scientific gentlemen--The impostor John Dunn Hunter--Trip up the Potomac--Mosaical chronology--Visit to Mount Vernon.


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint Mary's--Reasons for the acceptance of the office--Journey to Detroit--Illness at that point--Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establish a new military post at the foot of Lake Superior--Incidents of the voyage to that point--Reach our destination, and reception by the residents and Indians--A European and man of honor fled to the wilderness.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment of the now post at St. Mary's--Life in a nut-shell--Scarcity of room--High prices of everything--State of the Indians--Their rich and picturesque costume--Council and its incidents--Fort site selected and occupied--The evil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians--Note from Governor De Witt Clinton--Mountain ash--Curious superstitions of the Odjibwas--Language--Manito poles--Copper--Superstitious regard for Venus--Fine harbor in Lake Superior--Star family--A locality of necromancers--Ancient Chippewa capital--Eating of animals.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the head of the falls--Indian mode of interment--Indian prophetess--Topic of interpreters and interpretation--Mode of studying the Indian language--The Johnston family--Visits--Katewabeda, chief of Sandy Lake--Indian mythology, and oral tales and legends--Literary opinion--Political opinion--Visit of the chief Little Pine--Visit of Wabishkepenais--A despairing Indian--Geography.


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior--Canoe--Scenery--Descent of St. Mary's Falls--Etymology of the Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and Lake Superior--The wild rice plant--Indian trade--American Fur Company--Distribution of presents--Death of Sassaba--Epitaph--Indian capacity to count--Oral literature--Research--Self-reliance.


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior--Copper mines--White fish--A poetic name for a fish--Indian tale--Polygamy--A reminiscence--Taking of Fort Niagara--Mythological and allegorical tales among the aborigines--Chippewa language--Indian vowels--A polite and a vulgar way of speaking the language--Public worship--Seclusion from the world.


Amusements during the winter months, when the temperature is at the lowest point--Etymology of the word Chippewa--A meteor--The Indian "fireproof"--Temperature and weather--Chippewa interchangeables--Indian names for the seasons--An incident in conjugating verbs--Visiting--Gossip--The fur trade--Todd, McGillvray, Sir Alexander Mackenzie--Wide dissimilarity of the English and Odjibwa syntax--Close of the year.


New Year's day among the descendants of the Norman French--Anti-philosophic speculations of Brydone--Schlegel on language--A peculiar native expression evincing delicacy--Graywacke in the basin of Lake Superior--Temperature--Snow shoes--Translation of Gen. i.3--Historical reminiscences--Morals of visiting--Odjibwa numerals--Harmon's travels--Mackenzie's vocabularies--Criticism--Mungo Park.


Novel reading--Greenough's "Geology"--The cariboo--Spiteful plunder of private property on a large scale--Marshall's Washington--St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign"--Etymology of the word totem--A trait of transpositive languages--Polynesian languages--A meteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter's temperature--Spafford's "Gazetteer"--Holmes on the Prophecies--Foreign politics--Mythology--Gnomes--The Odjibwa based on monosyllables--No auxiliary verbs--Pronouns declined for tense---Esprella's letters--Valerius--Gospel of St. Luke--Chippewayan group of languages--Home politics--Prospect of being appointed superintendent of the lead mines of Missouri.


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction of a northern spring--News from the world--The Indian languages--Narrative Journal--Semi-civilization of the ancient Aztec tribes--Their arts and languages--Hill's ironical review of the "Transactions of the Royal Society"--A test of modern civilization--Sugar making--Trip to one of the camps--Geology of Manhattan Island--Ontwa, an Indian poem--Northern ornithology--Dreams--The Indian apowa--Printed queries of General Cass--Prospect of the mineral agency--Exploration of the St. Peter's--Information on that head.


Rapid advance of spring--Troops commence a stockade--Principles of the Chippewa tongue--Idea of a new language containing the native principles of syntax, with a monosyllabic method--Indian standard of value--Archaeological evidences in growing trees--Mount Vernon--Signs of spring in the appearance of birds--Expedition to St. Peter's--Lake Superior open--A peculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson--True sounds of the consonants--Philology--Advent of the arrival of a vessel--Editors and editorials--Arrival from Fort William--A hope fled--Sudden completion of the spring, and ushering in of summer--Odjibwa language, and transmission of Inquiries.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823--Glance at the geography of the lake country--Concretion of aluminous earth--General Wayne's body naturally embalmed by this property of the soil of Erie--Free and easy manners--Boundary Survey--An old friend--Western commerce--The Austins of Texas memory--Collision of civil and military power--Advantages of a visit to Europe.


Incidents of the year 1824--Indian researches--Diverse idioms of the Ottawa and Chippewa--Conflict of opinion between the civil and military authorities of the place--A winter of seclusion well spent--St. Paul's idea of languages--Examples in the Chippewa--The Chippewa a pure form of the Algonquin--Religion in the wilderness--Incidents--Congressional excitements--Commercial view of the copper mine question--Trip to Tackwymenon Falls, in Lake Superior.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas--First assemblage of a legislative council in Michigan--Mineralogy and geology--Disasters of the War of 1812--Character of the new legislature--Laconic note--Narrative of a war party, and the disastrous murders committed at Lake Pepin in July 1824--Speech of a friendly Indian chief from Lake Superior on the subject--Notices of mineralogy and geology in the west--Ohio and Erie Canal--Morals--Lafayette's progress--Hooking minerals--A philosophical work on the Indians--Indian biography by Samuel S. Conant--Want of books on American archaeology--Douglass's proposed work on the expedition of 1820.


Parallelism of customs--Home scenes--Visit to Washington--Indian work respecting the Western Tribes--Indian biography--Professor Carter--Professor Silliman--Spiteful prosecution--Publication of Travels in the Mississippi Valley--A northern Pocahontas--Return to the Lakes--A new enterprise suggested--Impressions of turkeys' feet in rock--Surrender of the Chippewa war party, who committed the murders in 1824, at Lake Pepin--Their examination, and the commitment of the actual murderers.


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi--Large assemblage of tribes--Their appearance and character--Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas, &c.--Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas--Keokuk--Mongazid's speech--Treaty of limits--Whisky question--A literary impostor--Journey through the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers--Incidents--Menomonies--A big nose--Wisconsin Portage.


Descent of Fox River--Blackbirds--Menomonies--Rice fields--Starving Indians--Thunder storm--Dream--An Indian struck dead with lightning--Green Bay--Death of Colonel Haines--Incidents of the journey from Green Bay to Michilimackinack--Reminiscences of my early life and travels--Choiswa--Further reminiscences of my early life--Ruins of the first mission of Father Marquette--Reach Michilimackinack.


Journey from Mackinack to the Sault Ste. Marie--Outard Point--Head winds--Lake Huron in a rage--Desperate embarkation--St. Vital--Double the Detour--Return to St. Mary's--Letters--"Indian girl"--New volume of travels--Guess' Cherokee alphabet--New views of the Indian languages and their principles of construction--Georgia question--Post-office difficulties--Glimpses from the civilized world.


General aspects of the Indian cause--Public criticism on the state of Indian researches, and literary storm raised by the new views--Political rumor--Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.--Delegate election--Copper mines of Lake Superior--Instructions for a treaty in the North--Death of Mr. Pettit--Denial of post-office facilities--Arrival of commissioners to hold the Fond du Lac treaty--Trip to Fond du Lac through Lake Superior--Treaty--Return--Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit--Death of Henry J. Hunt and A.G. Whitney, Esqrs.--Diary of the visits of Indians at St. Mary's Agency--Indian affairs on the frontier under the supervision of Col. McKenney--Criticisms on the state of Indian questions--Topic of Indian eloquence--State of American researches in natural science--Dr. Saml. L. Mitchell.


Mineralogy--Territorial affairs--Vindication of the American policy by its treatment of the Indians--New York spirit of improvement--Taste for cabinets of natural history--Fatalism in an Indian--Death of a first born son--Flight from the house--Territorial matters--A literary topic--Preparations for another treaty--Consolations--Boundary in the North-west under the treaty of Ghent--Natural history--Trip to Green Bay--Treaty of Butte des Morts--Winnebago outbreak--Intrepid conduct of General Cass--Indian stabbing--Investment of the petticoat--Mohegan language.


Treaty of Butte des Morts--Rencontre of an Indian with grizzly bears--Agency site at Elmwood--Its picturesque and sylvan character--Legislative council of the Territory--Character of its parties, as hang-backs and toe-the-marks--Critical Reviews--Christmas.


Retrospect--United States Exploring Expedition to the South Sea--Humanity of an Indian--Trip to Detroit from the Icy Straits--Incidental action of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Historical Societies, and of the Montreal Natural History Society--United States Exploring Expedition--Climatology--Lake vessels ill found--Poetic view of the Indian--United States Exploring Expedition--Theory of the interior world--Natural History--United States Exploring Expedition--History of early legislation in Michigan--Return to St. Mary's--Death of Governor De Witt Clinton.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse--Question of freedmen, or persons not bonded for--Indian chiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut, Tems Couvert, Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle--Further notice of Wampum-hair--Red Devil--Biographical notice of Guelle Plat, or Flat Mouth--Brechet--Meeshug, a widow--Iauwind--Mongazid, chief of Fond du Lac--Chianokwut--White Bird--Annamikens, the hero of a bear fight, &c. &c.


Natural history of the north-west--Northern zoology--Fox--Owl--Reindeer--A dastardly attempt at murder by a soldier--Lawless spread of the population of northern Illinois over the Winnebago land--New York Lyceum of Natural History--U.S. Ex. Ex.--Fiscal embarrassments in the Department--Medical cause of Indian depopulation--Remarks of Dr. Pitcher--Erroneous impressions of the Indian character--Reviews--Death of John Johnston, Esq.


Treaty of St. Joseph--Tanner--Visits of the Indians in distress--Letters from the civilized world--Indian code projected--Cause of Indian suffering--The Indian cause--Estimation of the character of the late Mr. Johnston--Autobiography--Historical Society of Michigan--Fiscal embarrassments of the Indian Department.


Political horizon--Ahmo Society--Incoming of Gen. Jackson's administration--Amusements of the winter--Peace policy among the Indians--Revival at Mackinack--Money crisis--Idea of Lake tides--New Indian code--Anti-masonry--Missions among the Indians--Copper mines--The policy respecting them settled--Whisky among the Indians--Fur trade--Legislative council--Mackinack mission--Officers of Wayne's war--Historical Society of Michigan--Improved diurnal press.


The new administration--Intellectual contest in the Senate--Sharp contest for mayoralty of Detroit--Things shaping at Washington--Perilous trip on the ice--Medical effects of this exposure--Legislative Council--Visit to Niagara Falls--A visitor of note--History---Character of the Chippewas--Ish-ko-da-wau-bo--Rotary sails--Hostilities between the Chippewas and Sioux--Friendship and badinage--Social intercourse--Sanillac--Gossip--Expedition to Lake Superior--Winter Session of the Council--Historical disclosure--Historical Society of Rhode Island--Domestic--French Revolution.


Lecture before the Lyceum--Temperature in the North--Rum and taxes--A mild winter adverse to Indians--Death of a friend--Christian atonement--Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianized white man--Indian emporium--Bringing up children--Youth gone astray--Mount Hope Institution--Expedition into the Indian country--Natural History of the United States--A reminiscence--Voyage inland.


Lake Superior--Its shores and character--Geology--Brigade of boats--Dog and porcupine--Burrowing birds--Otter--Keweena Point--Unfledged ducks--Minerals--Canadian resource in a tempest of rain--Tramp in search of the picturesque--Search for native copper--Isle Royal descried--Indian precaution--Their ingenuity--Lake action--Nebungunowin River--Eagles--Indian tomb--Kaug Wudju.


Lake shores--Sub-Indian agency--Indian transactions--Old fort, site of a tragedy--Maskigo River; its rapids and character--Great Wunnegum Portage--Botany--Length of the Mauvais--Indian carriers--Lake Kagenogumaug--Portage lakes--Namakagun River, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.--Pukwaéwa village--A new species of native fruit--Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.


Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake--Policy of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825--Speech of Shaiwunegunaibee--Mounds of Yellow River--Indian manners and customs--Pictography--Natural history--Nude Indians--Geology--Portage to Lac Courtorielle--Lake of the Isles--Ottawa Lake--Council--War party--Mozojeed's speech--Tecumseh--Mozojeed's lodge--Indian movements--Trip to the Red Cedar Fork--Ca Ta--Lake Chetac--Indian manners.


Betula Lake--Larch Lake--A war party surprised--Indian manners--Rice Lake--Indian council--Red Cedar Lake--Speeches of Wabezhais and Neenaba--Equal division of goods--Orifice for treading out rice--A live beaver--Notices of natural history--Value of the Follavoine Valley--A medal of the third President--War dance--Ornithology--A prairie country, fertile and abounding in game--Saw mills--Chippewa River--Snake--La Garde Mountain--Descent of the Mississippi--Sioux village--General impression of the Mississippi--Arrival at Prairie du Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe--Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the Foxes--Descent to Galena--Trip in the lead mine country to Fort Winnebago--Gratiot's Grove--Sac and Fox disturbances--Black Hawk--Irish Diggings--Willow Springs--Vanmater's lead--An escape from falling into a pit--Mineral Point--Ansley's copper mine--Gen. Dodge's--Mr. Brigham's--Sugar Creek--Four Lakes--Seven Mile Prairie--A night in the woods--Reach Port Winnebago--Return to the Sault--Political changes in the cabinet--Gov. Cass called to Washington--Religious changes--G.B. Porter appointed Governor--Natural history--Character of the new governor--Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter--Organization of a church.


Revival of St. Mary's--Rejection of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to England--Botany and Natural History of the North-west--Project of a new expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi--Algic Society--Consolidation of the Agencies of St. Mary's and Michilimackinack--Good effects of the American Home Missionary Society--Organization of a new inland exploring expedition committed to me--Its objects and composition of the corps of observers.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, the source of the Mississippi River--Brief notice of the journey to the point of former geographical discovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake--Ascent and portage to Queen Anne's Lake--Lake Pemetascodiac--The Ten, or Metoswa Rapids--Pemidgegomag, or Cross-water Lake--Lake Irving--Lake Marquette--Lake La Salle--Lake Plantagenet--Ascent of the Plantagenian Pork--Naiwa, or Copper-snake River--Agate Rapids and portage--Assawa Lake--Portage over the Hauteur des Terres--Itasca Lake--Its picturesque character--Geographical and astronomical position--Historical data.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake--Traits of its bank--Kabika Falls--Upsetting of a canoe--River descends by steps, and through narrow rocky passes--Portage to the source of the Crow-Wing River--Moss Lake--Shiba Lake--Leech Lake--Warpool Lake--Long Lake Mountain portage--Kaginogomanug--Vermilion Lake--Ossawa Lake--Shell River--Leaf River--Long Prairie River--Kioskk, or Gull River--Arrival at its mouth--Descent to the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter's--Return to St. Mary's.


Letter from a mother--Cholera--Indian war--Royal Geographical Society--Determine to leave the Sault--Death of Miss Cass--Death of Rev. Mr. Richard--Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at the Sault--The Sault a religions place--Botany and Natural History--New York University organized--Algic Society--Canadian boat song--Chaplains in the army--Letter from a missionary--Affairs at Mackinack--Hazards of lake commerce--Question of the temperance reform--Dr. D. Houghton--South Carolina resists--Gen. Jackson re-elected President.


An Indian woman builds a church--Conchology--South Carolina prepares to resist the revenue laws--Moral affairs--Geography--Botany--Chippewas and Sioux--A native evangelist in John Sunday--His letter in English; its philological value--The plural pronoun we--An Indian battle--Political affairs--South Carolina affairs--Tariff compromise of Mr. Clay--Algic Society; it employs native evangelists--Plan of visiting Europe--President's tour--History of Detroit--Fresh-water shells--Lake tides--Prairie--Country--Reminiscence.


Earliest point of French occupancy in the area of the Upper Lakes--Removal of my residence from the Sault St. Marie to the island of Michilimackinack--Trip to New York--Its objects--American Philosophical Society--Michilimackinack; its etymology--The rage for investment in western lands begins--Traditions of Saganosh--Of Porlier--Of Perrault--Of Captain Thorn--Of the chief, Old Wing--Of Mudjekewis, of Thunder Bay--Character of Indian tradition respecting the massacre at old Fort Mackinack in 1763.


Anniversary of the Algic Society--Traditions of Chusco and Mukudapenais respecting Gen. Wayne's treaty--Saliferous column in American geology--Fact in lake commerce--Traditions of Mrs. Dousman and Mr. Abbott respecting the first occupation of the Island of Michilimackinack--Question of the substantive verb in the Chippewa language--Meteoric phenomena during the month of December--Historical fact--Minor incidents.


Population of Michilimackinack--Notices of the weather--Indian name of the Wolverine--Harbor closed--Intensity of temperature which can be borne--Domestic incidents--State of the weather--Fort Mackinack unsuccessfully attacked in 1814--Ossiganoc--Death of an Indian woman--Death of my sister--Harbor open--Indian name of the Sabbath day--Horticultural amusement--Tradition of the old church door--Turpid conduct of Thomas Shepard, and his fate--Wind, tempests, sleet, snow--A vessel beached in the harbor--Attempt of the American Fur Company to force ardent spirits into the country, against the authority of the agent.


Visit to Isle Bond--Site of an ancient Indian village--Ossarie--Indian prophet--Traditions of Chusco and Yon respecting the ancient village and bone deposit--Indian speech--Tradition of Mrs. La Fromboise respecting Chicago--Etymology of the name--Origin of the Bonga family among the Chippewas--Traditions of Viancour--Of Nolan--Of the chief Aishquagonaibe, and of Sagitondowa--Evidences of antique cultivation on the Island of Mackinack--View of affairs at Washington--The Senate an area of intellectual excitement--A road directed to be cut through the wilderness from Saginaw--Traditions of Ossaganac and of Little Bear Skin respecting the Lake Tribes.


Trip to Detroit--American Fur Company; its history and organization--American Lyceum; its objects--Desire to write books on Indian subjects by persons not having the information to render them valuable--Reappearance of cholera--Mission of Mackinack; its history and condition--Visit of a Russian officer of the Imperial Guards--Chicago; its prime position for a great entrepôt--Area and destiny of the Mississippi Valley.


Philology--Structure of the Indian languages--Letter from Mr. Duponceau--Question of the philosophy of the Chippewa syntax--Letter from a Russian officer on his travels in the West--Queries on the physical history of the North--Leslie Duncan, a maniac--Arwin on the force of dissipation--Missionary life on the sources of the Mississippi--Letter from Mr. Boutwell--Theological Review--The Territory of Michigan, tired of a long delay, determines to organize a State Government.


Indications of a moral revolution in the place--Political movements at Detroit--Review of the state of society at Michilimackinack, arising from its being the great central power of the north-west fur trade--A letter from Dr. Greene--Prerequisites of the missionary function--Discouragements--The state of the Mackinack Mission--Problem of employing native teachers and evangelists--Letter of Mr. Duponceau--Ethnological gossip--Translation of the Bible into Algonquin--Don M. Najera--Premium offered by the French Institute--Persistent Satanic influence among the Indian tribes--Boundary dispute with Ohio--Character of the State Convention.


Requirements of a missionary laborer--Otwin--American quadrupeds--Geological question--Taste of an Indian chief for horticulture--Swiss missionaries to the Indians--Secretary of War visits the island--Frivolous literary, diurnal, and periodical press--Letter of Dr. Ives on this topic--Lost boxes of minerals and fresh-water shells--Geological visit of Mr. Featherstonehaugh and Lieut. Mather--Mr. Hastings--A theological graduate.


Rage for investment in western lands---Habits of the common deer--Question of the punishment of Indian murders committed in the Indian country--A chief calls to have his authority recognized on the death of a predecessor--Dr. Julius, of Prussia--Gen. Robert Patterson--Pressure of emigration--Otwin--Dr. Gilman and Mr. Hoffman--Picturesque trip to Lake Superior--Indians desire to cede territory--G.W. Featherstonehaugh--Sketch of his geological reconnoissance of the St. Peter's River--Dr. Thomas H. Webb--Question of inscriptions on American rocks--Antiquities--Embark for Washington, and come down the lakes in the great tempest of 1835.


Florida war--Startling news of the Massacre of Dade--Peoria on the Illinois--Abanaki language--Oregon--Things shaping for a territorial claim--Responsibility of claim in an enemy's country--A true soldier--Southern Literary Messenger--Missionary cause--Resources of Missouri--Indian portfolio of Lewis--Literary gossip--Sir Francis Head--The Crane and Addik totem--Treaty of March 28th, 1836, with the Ottawas and Chippewas--Treaty with the Saginaws of May 20th--Treaty with the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas of May 9th--Return to Michilimackinack--Death of Charlotte, the daughter of Songageezhig.


Home matters--Massachusetts Historical Society--Question of the U.S. Senate's action on certain treaties of the Lake Indians--Hugh L. White--Dr. Morton's Crania Americana--Letter from Mozojeed--State of the pillagers--Visit of Dr. Follen and Miss Martineau--Treaty movements--Young Lord Selkirk--Character and value of Upper Michigan--Hon. John Norvell's letter--Literary items--Execution of the treaty of March 28th--Amount of money paid--Effects of the treaty--Baron de Behr-Ornithology.


Value of the equivalent territory granted to Michigan, by Congress, for the disputed Ohio boundary--Rapid improvement of Michigan--Allegan--Indian legend--Baptism and death of Kagcosh, a very aged chief at St. Mary's--New system of writing Indian, proposed by Mr. Nash--Indian names for new towns--A Bishop's notion of the reason for applying to Government for education funds under Indian treaties--Mr. Gallatin's paper on the Indians--The temperance movement.


Difficulties resulting from a false impression of the Indian character--Treaty with the Saginaws--Ottawas of Grand River establish themselves in a colony in Barry County--Payments to the Ottawas of Maumee, Ohio--Temperance--Assassination of young Aitkin by an Indian at Leech Lake--Mackinack mission abandoned--Wyandots complain of a trespass from a mill-dam--Mohegans of Green Bay apply for aid on their way to visit Stockbridge, Mass.--Mohegan traditions--Historical Society--Programme of a tour in the East--Parental disobedience--Indian treaties--Dr. Warren's Collection of Crania--Hebrew language--Geology--"Goods offer"--Mrs. Jameson--Mastodon's tooth in Michigan--Captain Marryatt--The Icelandic language--Munsees--Speech of Little Bear Skin chief, or Mukónsewyán.


Notions of foreigners about America--Mrs. Jameson--Appraisements of Indian property--Le Jeune's early publication on the Iroquois--Troops for Florida--A question of Indian genealogy--Annuity payments--Indians present a claim of salvage--Death of the Prophet Chusco--Indian sufferings--Gen. Dodge's treaty--Additional debt claims--Gazetteer of Michigan--Stone's Life of Brant--University of Michigan--Christian Keepsake--Indian etymology--Small-pox breaks out on the Missouri--Missionary operations in the north-west--Treaty of Flint River with the Saginaws.


Tradition of Pontiac's conspiracy and death--Patriot war--Expedition of a body of 250 men to Boisblanc--Question of schools and missions among the Indians--Indian affairs--Storm at Michilimackinack--Life of Brant--Interpreterships and Indian language--A Mohegan--Affair of the "Caroline"--Makons--Plan of names for new towns--Indian legends--Florida war--Patriot war--Arrival of Gen. Scott on the frontiers--Résumé of the difficulties of the Florida war--Natural history and climate of Florida--Death of Dr. Lutner.


Indians tampered with at Grand River--Small-pox in the Missouri Valley--Living history at home--Sunday schools--Agriculture--Indian names--Murder of the Glass family--Dr. Morton's inquiries respecting Indian crania--Necessity of one's writing his name plain--Michigan Gazetteer in preparation--Attempt to make the Indian a political pack-horse--Return to the Agency of Michilimackinack--Indian skulls phrenologically examined--J. Toulmin Smith--Cherokee question--Trip to Grand River--Treaty and annuity payments--The department accused of injustice to the Indians.


Missions--Hard times, consequent on over-speculation--Question of the rise of the lakes--Scientific theory--Trip to Washington--Trip to Lake Superior and the Straits of St. Mary--John Tanner--Indian improvements north of Michilimackinack--Great cave--Isle Nabiquon--Superstitious ideas of the Indians connected with females--Scotch royals--McKenzie--Climate of the United States--Foreign coins and natural history--Antique fort in Adams County, Ohio--Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries--Statistics of lands purchased from the Indians--Sun's eclipse--Government payments.


Descendant of one spared at the massacre of St. Bartholomew's--Death of Gen. Clarke--Massacre of Peurifoy's family in Florida--Gen. Harrison's historical discourse--Death of an emigrant on board a steamboat--Murder of an Indian--History of Mackinack--Incidents of the treaty of 29th July, 1837--Mr. Fleming's account of the missionaries leaving Georgia, and of the improvements of the Indians west--Death of Black Hawk--Incidents of his life and character--Dreadful cruelty of the Pawnees in burning a female captive--Cherokee emigration--Phrenology--Return to Detroit--University--Indian affairs--Cherokee removal--Indians shot at Fort Snelling.


Embark for New York--A glimpse of Texan affairs--Toltecan monuments--Indian population of Texas--Horrible effects of drinking ardent spirits among the Indians--Mr. Gallatin--His opinions on various subjects of philosophy and history--Visit to the South--Philadelphia--Washington--Indian affairs--Debt claim--Leave to visit Europe--Question of neutrality--Mr. Van Buren--American imaginative literature--Knickerbocker--Résumé of the Indian question of sovereignty.


Sentiments of loyalty--Northern Antiquarian Society--Indian statistics-- Rhode Island Historical Society--Gen. Macomb--Lines in the Odjibwa language by a mother on placing her children at school--Mehemet Ali--Mrs. Jameson's opinion on publishers and publishing--Her opinion of my Indian legends--False report of a new Indian language--Indian compound words--Delafield's Antiquities--American Fur Company--State of Indian disturbances in Texas and Florida--Causes of the failure of the war in Florida, by an officer--Death of an Indian chief--Mr. Bancroft's opinion on the Dighton Rook inscription--Skroellings not in New England--Mr. Gallatin's opinion on points of Esquimaux language, connected with our knowledge of our archaeology.


Workings of unshackled mind--Comity of the American Addison--Lake periodical fluctuations--American antiquities--Indian doings in Florida and Texas--Wood's New England's Prospect--Philological and historical comments--Death of Ningwegon--Creeks--Brothertons made citizens--Charles Fenno Hoffman--Indian names for places on the Hudson--Christians Indians--Etymology--Theodoric--Appraisements of Indian property--Algic researches--Plan and object.


American antiquities--Michilimackinack a summer resort--Death of Ogimau Keegido--Brothertons--An Indian election--Cherokee murders--Board of Regents of the Michigan University--Archaeological facts and rumors--Woman of the Green Valley--A new variety of fish--Visits of the Austrian and Sardinian Ministers to the U.S.--Mr. Gallup--Sioux murders--A remarkable display of aurora borealis--Ottawas of Maumee--Extent of auroral phenomena--Potawattomie cruelty--Mineralogy--Death of Ondiaka--Chippewa tradition--Fruit trees--Stone's preparation of the Life and Times of Sir William Johnson--Dialectic difference between the language of the Ottawas and the Chippewas--Philological remarks on the Indian languages--Mr. T. Hulbert.


Popular error respecting the Indian character and history--Remarkable superstition--Theodoric--A missionary choosing a wild flower--Piety and money--A fiscal collapse in Michigan--Mission of Grand Traverse--Simplicity of the school-girl's hopes--Singular theory of the Indians respecting story-telling--Oldest allegory on record--Political aspects--Seneca treaty--Mineralogy--Farming and mission station on Lake Michigan.


Death of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft--Perils of the revolutionary era--Otwin--Mr. Bancroft's history in the feature of its Indian relations--A tradition of a noted chief on Lake Michigan--The collection of information for a historical volume--Opinions of Mr. Paulding, Dr. Webster, Mr. Duer, John Quincy Adams--Holyon and Alholyon--Family monument--Mr. Stevenson, American Minister at London--Joanna Baillie--Wisconsin--Ireland--Detroit--Michilimackinack.


Philology of the Indian tongues--Its difficulties--Belles lettres and money--Michigan and Georgia--Number of species in natural history--Etymology--Nebahquam's dream--Trait in Indian legends--Pictography--Numeration of the races of Polynesia and the Upper Lakes--Love of one's native tongue--Death of Gen. Harrison--Rush for office on his inauguration--Ornamental and shade trees--Historical collections--Mission of "Old Wing".


Popular common school education--Iroquois name for Mackinack--Its scenic beauties poetically considered--Phenomenon of two currents of adverse wind meeting--Audubon's proposed work on American quadrupeds--Adario--Geographical range of the mocking-bird--Removal from the West to the city of New York--An era accomplished--Visit to Europe.




The early period at which Mr. Schoolcraft entered the field of observation in the United States as a naturalist; the enterprise he has from the outset manifested in exploring the geography and geology of the Great West; and his subsequent researches as an ethnologist, in investigating the Indian languages and history, are well known to the public, and may be appropriately referred to as the grounds of the present design, in furnishing some brief and connected sketches of his life, family, studies, and literary labors. He is an example of what early and continued zeal, talent, and diligence, united with energy of character and consistent moral habits, may accomplish in the cause of letters and science, by the force of solitary application, without the advantage of hereditary wealth, the impulse of patronage, or the prestige of early academic honors. Ardent in the pursuit of whatever engaged his attention, quick in the observation of natural phenomena, and assiduous in the accumulation of facts; with an ever present sense of their practical and useful bearing--few men, in our modern history, have accomplished so much, in the lines of research he has chosen, to render science popular and letters honorable. To him we are indebted for our first accounts of the geological constitution, and the mineral wealth and resources of the great valley beyond the Alleghanies, and he is the discoverer of the actual source of the Mississippi River in Itasca Lake. For many years, beginning with 1817, he stirred up a zeal for natural history from one end of the land to the other, and, after his settlement in the West, he was a point of approach for correspondents, as his personal memoirs denote, not only on these topics, but for all that relates to the Indian tribes, in consequence of which he has been emphatically pronounced "The Red Man's FRIEND."

Mr. Schoolcraft is a native of New York, and is the descendant in the third generation, by the paternal line, of an Englishman. James Calcraft had served with reputation in the armies of the Duke of Marlborough during the reign of Queen Anne, and was present in that general's celebrated triumphs on the continent, in one of which he lost an eye, from the premature explosion of the priming of a cannon. Owing to these military services he enjoyed and cherished a high reputation for bravery and loyalty.

He was a descendant of a family of that name, who came to England with William the Conqueror--and settled under grants from the crown in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire--three separate branches of the family having received the honor of knighthood for their military services.

In the reign of George the Second, consequently after 1727, he embarked at Liverpool in a detachment of veteran troops, intended to act against Canada. He was present in the operations connected with the building of Forts Anne and Edwards, on the North River, and Fort William Henry on Lake George.

At the conclusion of these campaigns he settled in Albany county, N.Y., which has continued to be the residence of the family for more than a century. Being a man of education, he at first devoted himself to the business of a land surveyor, in which capacity he was employed by Col. Vroman, to survey the boundaries of his tract of land in the then frontier settlement of Schoharie. At the latter place he married the only daughter and child of Christian Camerer, one of the Palatines--a body of determined Saxons who had emigrated from the Upper Rhine in 1712, under the assurance or expectation of a patent from Queen Anne.[1] this marriage he had eight children--namely, James, Christian, John, Margaret, Elizabeth, Lawrence, William, and Helen.

[1] Simms' Schoharie.

For many years during his old age, he conducted a large school in this settlement, being the first English school that was taught in that then frontier part of the country. This appears to be the only tenable reason that has been assigned for the change of the family name from Calcraft to Schoolcraft.

When far advanced in life, he went to live with his son William, on the New York grants on Otter Creek, in the rich agricultural region south of Lake Champlain--which is now included in Vermont. Here he died at the great age of one hundred and two, having been universally esteemed for his loyalty to his king, his personal courage and energy, and the uprightness of his character.

After the death of his father, when the revolutionary troubles commenced, William, his youngest son, removed into Lower Canada. The other children all remained in Albany County, except Christian, who, when the jangling land disputes and conflicts of titles arose in Schoharie, followed Conrad Wiser, Esq. (a near relative), to the banks of the Susquehanna. He appears eventually to have pushed his way to Buchanan River, one of the sources of the Monongahela, in Lewis County, Virginia, where some of his descendants must still reside. It appears that they became deeply involved in the Indian wars which the Shawnees kept up on the frontiers of Virginia. In this struggle they took an active part, and were visited with the severest retribution by the marauding Indians. It is stated by Withers that, between 1770 and 1779, not less than fifteen of this family, men, women, and children, were killed or taken prisoners, and carried into captivity.[2]

[2] Chronicles of the Border Warfare in North-western Virginia. By Alex Withers, Clarksbury, Virginia, 1831. 1 vol. 12mo. page 319.

Of the other children of the original progenitor, James, the eldest son, died a bachelor. Lawrence was the ancestor of the persons of this name in Schoharie County. Elizabeth and Helen married, in that county, in the families of Rose and Haines, and, Margaret, the eldest daughter, married Col. Green Brush, of the British army, at the house of Gen. Bradstreet, Albany. Her daughter, Miss Francis Brush, married the celebrated Col. Ethan Allen, after his return from the Tower of London.

JOHN, the third son, settled in Watervleit, in the valley of the Norman's Kill--or, as the Indians called it, Towasentha--Albany County. He served in a winter's campaign against Oswego, in 1757, and took part also in the successful siege and storming of Fort Niagara, under Gen. Prideaux [3] and Sir William Johnson, in the summer of 1759. He married a Miss Anna Barbara Boss, by whom he had three children, namely, Anne, Lawrence, and John. He had the local reputation of great intrepidity, strong muscular power, and unyielding decision of character. He died at the age of 64. LAWRENCE, his eldest son, had entered his seventeenth year when the American Revolution broke out. He embraced the patriotic sentiments of that era with great ardor, and was in the first revolutionary procession that marched through and canvassed the settlement with martial music, and the Committee of Safety at its head, to determine who was Whig or Tory.

[3] This officer was shot in the trenches, which devolved the command on Sir William.

The military element had always commanded great respect in the family, and he did not wait to be older, but enrolled himself among the defenders of his country.

He was present, in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read to the troops drawn up in hollow square at Ticonderoga. He marched under Gen. Schuyler to the relief of Montgomery, at Quebec, and continued to be an indomitable actor in various positions, civil and military, in the great drama of the Revolution during its entire continuance.

In 1777, the darkest and most hopeless period of our revolutionary contest, he led a reinforcement from Albany to Fort Stanwix, up the Mohawk Valley, then alive with hostile Indians and Tories, and escaped them all, and he was in this fort, under Col. Ganzevoort, during its long and close siege by Col. St. Leger and his infuriated Indian allies. The whole embodied militia of the Mohawk Valley marched to its relief, under the bold and patriotic Gen. Herkimer. They were met by the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas, and British loyalists, lying in ambush on the banks of the Oriskany, eight miles from the fort. A dreadful battle ensued. Gen. Herkimer was soon wounded in the thigh, his leg broken, and his horse shot under him. With the coolness of a Blucher, he then directed his saddle to be placed on a small knoll, and, drawing out his tobacco-box, lit his pipe and calmly smoked while his brave and unconquerable men fought around him.

This was one of the most stoutly contested battles of the Revolution. Campbell says: "This battle made orphans of half the inhabitants of the Mohawk Valley." [4] It was a desperate struggle between neighbors, who were ranged on opposite sides as Whig and Tory, and it was a triumph, Herkimer remaining master of the field. During the hottest of the battle, Col. Willett stepped on to the esplanade of the fort, where the troops were paraded, and requested all who were willing to fight for liberty and join a party for the relief of Herkimer, to step forward one pace. Schoolcraft was the first to advance. Two hundred and fifty men followed him. An immediate sally was made. They carried the camp of Sir John Johnson; took all his baggage, military-chest, and papers; drove him through the Mohawk River; and then turned upon the howling Mohawks and swept and fired their camp. The results of this battle were brilliant. The plunder was immense. The lines of the besiegers, which had been thinned by the forces sent to Oriskany, were carried, and the noise of firing and rumors of a reinforcement, animated the hearts of the indomitable men of that day.

[4] Annals of Teyon County.

After the victory, Herkimer was carried by his men, in a litter, thirty or forty miles to his own house, below the present town of Herkimer, where he died, from an unskillful amputation, having just concluded reading to his family the 38th Psalm.

But the most dangerous enemy to the cause of freedom was not to be found in the field, but among neighbors who were lurking at midnight around the scenes of home. The districts of Albany and Schoharie was infested by Tories, and young Schoolcraft was ever on the qui vive to ferret out this most insidious and cruel of the enemy's power. On one occasion he detected a Tory, who had returned from Canada with a lieutenant's commission in his pocket. He immediately clapped spurs to his horse, and reported him to Gov. George Clinton, the Chairman of the Committee of Safety at Albany. Within three days the lieutenant was seized, tried, condemned and hanged. Indeed, a volume of anecdotes might be written of Lawrence Schoolcraft's revolutionary life; suffice it to say, that he was a devoted, enthusiastic, enterprizing soldier and patriot, and came out of the contest with an adjutant's commission and a high reputation for bravery.

About the close of the Revolutionary war, he married Miss Margaret Anne Barbara Rowe, a native of Fishkill, Duchess County, New York, by whom he had thirteen children.

His disciplinary knowledge and tact in the government of men, united to amenity of manners, led to his selection in 1802, by the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, as director of his extensive glass works at Hamilton, near Albany, which he conducted with high reputation so many years, during which time he bore several important civil and military trusts in the county. The importance of this manufacture to the new settlements at that early day, was deeply felt, and his ability and skill in the management of these extensive works were widely known and appreciated.

When the war of 1812 appeared inevitable, Gen. Ganzevoort, his old commanding officer at Fort Stanwix, who was now at the head of the U.S. army, placed him in command of the first regiment of uniformed volunteers, who were mustered into service for that conflict. His celebrity in the manufacture of glass, led capitalists in Western New York to offer him large inducements to remove there, where he first introduced this manufacture during the settlement of that new and attractive part of the State, in which a mania for manufactories was then rife. In this new field the sphere of his activity and skill were greatly enlarged, and he enjoyed the consideration and respect of his townsmen for many years. He died at Vernon, Oneida County, in 1840, at the age of eighty-four, having lived long to enjoy the success of that independence for which he had ardently thirsted and fought. A handsome monument on the banks of the Skenando bears the inscription

"A patriot, a Christian, and an honest man."

A man who was never governed by expediency but by right, and in all his expressions of opinion, original and fearless of consequences. These details of the life and character of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, appeared proper in proceeding to speak of one of his sons, who has for so considerable a period occupied the public attention as an actor in other fields, requiring not less energy, decision, enterprise and perseverance of character.

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born in Albany County, on the 28th of March, 1793, during the second presidential term of Washington. His childhood and youth were spent in the village of Hamilton, a place once renowned for its prosperous manufactories, but which has long since verified the predictions of the bard--

"That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labored mole away."

Its location is on one of the beautiful and sparkling affluents of the Towasentha or Norman's Kill, popularly called the Hongerkill, which he has in one of his occasional publications called the Iósco, from an aboriginal term. That picturesque and lofty arm of the Catskills, which is called the Helderberg, bounds the landscape on the west and south, while the Pine Plains occupy the form of a crescent, between the Mohawk and the Hudson, bearing the cities of Albany and Schenectady respectively on its opposite edges. Across this crescent-like Plain of Pines, by a line of sixteen miles, was the ancient Iroquois war and trading path. The Towasentha lies on the south borders of this plain, and was, on the first settlement of the country, the seat of an Indian population. Here, during the official term of Gen. Hamilton, whose name the village bears, the capitalists of Albany planted a manufacturing village. The position is one where the arable forest and farming lands are bounded by the half arabic waste of the pine plains of the Honicroisa, whose deep gorges are still infested by the wolf and smaller animals. The whole valley of the Norman's Kill abounds in lovely and rural scenes, and quiet retreats and waterfalls, which are suited to nourish poetic tastes. In these he indulged from his thirteenth year, periodically writing, and as judgment ripened, destroying volumes of manuscripts, while at the same time he evinced uncommon diligence at his books and studies. The poetic talent was, indeed, strongly developed. His power of versification was early and well formed, and the pieces which were published anonymously at a maturer period, as "Geehale," and "The Iroquois," &c., have long been embodied without a name in our poetic literature. But this faculty, of which we have been permitted to see the manuscript of some elaborate and vigorous trains of thought, did not impede a decided intellectual progress in sterner studies in the sciences and arts. His mind was early imbued with a thirst of knowledge, and he made such proficiency as to attract the notice of persons of education and taste. There was developed, too, in him, an early bias for the philosophy of language. Mr. Van Kleeck, a townsman, in a recent letter to Dr. R.W. Griswold, says:--

"I revert with great pleasure to the scenes of my residence, in the part of Albany County which was also the residence of Henry R. Schoolcraft. I went to reside at the village of Hamilton, in the town of Guilderland, in 1803. Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, the father of Henry, had then the direction of the large manufactories of glass, for which that place was long noted. The standing of young Henry, I remember, at his school, for scholarship, was then very noted, and his reputation in the village most prominent. He was spoken of as a lad of great promise, and a very learned boy at twelve. Mr. Robert Buchanan, a Scotchman, and a man of learning, took much pride in his advances, and finally came to his father and told him that he had taught him all he knew. In Latin, I think he was taught by Cleanthus Felt. He was at this age very arduous and assiduous in the pursuit of knowledge. He discovered great mechanical ingenuity. He drew and painted in water colors, and attracted the notice of the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Lt. Governor of the State, who became so much interested in his advancement, that he took the initial steps to have him placed with a master. At an early age he manifested a taste for mineralogy and natural science, which was then (I speak of about 1808) almost unknown in the country. He was generally to be found at home, at his studies, when other boys of his age were attending horseraces, cock-fights, and other vicious amusements for which the village was famous.

"At this time he organized with persevering effort, a literary society, in which discussions took place by the intelligent inhabitants on subjects of popular and learned interests. At an early age, I think sixteen, he went to the west, and the first that was afterwards heard of him was his bringing to New York a splendid collection of the mineralogy and natural history of the west." [5]

[5] Letter of L.L. Van Kleeck, Esq., to Dr. R.W. Griswold, June 4th, 1851.

In a part of the country where books were scarce, it was not easy to supply this want. He purchased several editions of English classics at the sale of the valuable library of Dirck Ten Broeck, Esq., of Albany, and his room in a short time showed the elements of a library and a cabinet of minerals, and drawings, which were arranged with the greatest care and neatness. Having finished his primary studies, with high reputation, he prepared, under an improved instructor, to enter Union College. It was at the age of fifteen that he set on foot, as Mr. Van Kleeck mentions, an association for mental improvement. These meetings drew together persons of literary tastes and acquirements in the vicinity. The late John V. Veeder, Wm. McKown, and L.L. Van Kleeck, Esqs., Mr. Robert Alsop, the late John Schoolcraft, Esq., G. Batterman, John Sloan, and other well-known gentlemen of the town, all of whom were his seniors in age, attended these meetings.

Mineralogy was at that time an almost unknown science in the United States. At first the heavy drift stratum of Albany County, as seen in the bed of Norman's Kill; and its deep cuttings in the slate and other rocks, were his field of mineralogical inquiries. Afterwards, while living at Lake Dunmore, in Addison County, Vermont, he revised and systematized the study under the teaching of Professor Hall, of Middlebury College, to which he added chemistry, natural philosophy and medicine. Having now the means, he erected a chemical furnace, and ordered books, apparatus, and tests from the city of New York. By these means he perfected the arts which were under his direction in the large way; and he made investigations of the phenomena of the fusion of various bodies, which he prepared for the press under the name of Vitriology, an elaborate work of research. Amongst the facts brought to light, it is apprehended, were revealed the essential principles of an art which is said to have been discovered and lost in the days of Tiberius Caesar.

He taught himself the Hebrew and German, with the aid only of grammars and lexicons; and, with the assistance of instructors, the reading of French. His assiduity, his love of method, the great value he attached to time, and his perseverance in whatever study or research he undertook, were indeed indomitable, and serve to prove how far they will carry the mind, and how much surer tests they are of ultimate usefulness and attainment, than the most dazzling genius without these moral props. Self-dependent, self-acting, and self-taught, it is apprehended that few men, with so little means and few advantages, have been in so peculiar a sense the architect of their own fortunes.

He commenced writing for the newspapers and periodicals in 1808, in which year he also published a poetic tribute to a friend, which excited local notice, and was attributed to a person of literary celebrity. For, notwithstanding the gravity of his studies and researches, he had indulged an early poetic taste for a series of years, by compositions of an imaginative character, and might, it should seem, have attained distinction in that way. His remarks in the "Literary and Philosophical Repertory," on the evolvement of hydrogen gas from the strata of Western New York, under the name of Burning Springs, evinced an early aptitude for philosophical discussion. In a notice of some archaeological discoveries made in Hamburgh, Erie County, which were published at Utica in 1817, he first denoted the necessity of discriminating between the antique French and European, and the aboriginal period in our antiquities; for the want of which discrimination, casual observers and discoverers of articles in our tumuli are perpetually over-estimating the state of ancient art.

About 1816 he issued proposals, and made arrangements to publish his elaborated work on vitreology, which, so far as published, was favorably received.

In 1817 he was attracted to go to the Valley of the Mississippi. A new world appeared to be opening for American enterprise there. Its extent and resources seemed to point it out as the future residence of millions; and he determined to share in the exploration of its geography, geology, mineralogy and general ethnology, for in this latter respect also it offered, by its curious mounds and antiquities and existing Indian tribes, a field of peculiar and undeveloped interest.

He approached this field of observation by descending the Alleghany River from Western New York to the Ohio. He made Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville centres of observation. At the latter place he published in the papers an account of the discovery of a body of the black oxide of manganese, on the banks of the Great Sandy River of Kentucky, and watched the return papers from the old Atlantic States, to see whether notices of this kind would be copied and approved. Finding this test favorable, he felt encouraged in his mineralogical researches. Having descended the Ohio to its mouth one thousand miles, by its involutions below Pittsburgh, and entered the Mississippi, he urged his way up the strong and turbid channel of the latter, in barges, by slow stages of five or six miles a day, to St. Louis. This slowness of travel gave him an opportunity of exploring on foot the whole of the Missouri shore, so noted, from early Spanish and French days, for its mines. After visiting the mounds of Illinois, he recrossed the Mississippi into the mineral district of Missouri. Making Potosi the centre of his survey and the deposit of his collections, he executed a thorough examination of that district, where he found some seventy mines scattered over a large surface of the public domain, which yielded, at the utmost, by a very desultory process, about three millions of pounds of lead annually. Having explored this region very minutely, he wished to ascertain its geological connection with the Ozark and other highland ranges, which spread at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and he planned an exploratory expedition into that region. This bold and hazardous journey he organized and commenced at Potosi early in the month of November, 1818, and prosecuted it under many disadvantages during that fall and the succeeding winter. Several expert and practiced woodsmen were to have been of this party, but when the time for setting out came all but two failed, under various excuses. One of these was finally obliged to turn back from Mine au Breton with a continued attack of fever and ague. Ardent in the plan, and with a strong desire to extend the dominions of science, he determined to push on with a single companion, and a single pack-horse, which bore the necessary camp conveniences, and was led alternately by each from day to day. A pocket compass guided their march by day, and they often slept in vast caverns in limestone cliffs at night. Gigantic springs of the purest crystaline water frequently gushed up from the soil or rocks. This track laid across highlands, which divide the confluent waters of the Missouri from those of the Mississippi. Indians, wild beasts, starvation, thirst, were the dangers of the way. This journey, which led into the vast and desolate parts of Arkansas, was replete with incidents and adventures of the highest interest.

While in Missouri, and after his return from this adventurous journey, he drew up a description of the mines, geology, and mineralogy of the country. Conceiving a plan for the better management of the lead mines as a part of the public domain, he determined to visit Washington, to submit it to the government. Packing up his collections of mineralogy and geology, he ordered them to the nearest point of embarkation on the Mississippi, and, getting on board a steamer at St. Genevieve, proceeded to New Orleans. Thence he took shipping for New York, passing through the Straits of Florida, and reached his destination during the prevalence of the yellow fever in that city. He improved the time of his quarantine at Staten Island by exploring its mineralogy and geology, where he experienced a kind and appreciating reception from the health officer, Dr. De Witt.

His reception also from scientific men at New York was most favorable, and produced a strong sensation. Being the first person who had brought a collection of its scientific resources from the Mississippi Valley, its exhibition and diffusion in private cabinets gave an impulse to these studies in the country.

Men of science and gentlemen of enlarged minds welcomed him. Drs. Mitchell and Hosack, who were then at the summit of their influence, and many other leading and professional characters extended a hand of cordial encouragement and appreciation. Gov. De Witt Clinton was one of his earliest and most constant friends. The Lyceum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society admitted him to membership.

Late in the autumn of 1819, he published his work on the mines and mineral resources of Missouri, and with this publication as an exponent of his views, he proceeded to Washington, where he was favorably received by President Monroe, and by Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, members of his cabinet. At the request of the latter he drew up a memoir on the reorganization of the western mines, which was well received. Some legislation appeared necessary. Meantime Mr. Calhoun, who was struck by the earnestness of his views and scientific enterprise, offered him the situation of geologist and mineralogist to an exploring expedition, which the war department was about dispatching from Detroit to the sources of the Mississippi under the orders of Gen. Cass.

This he immediately accepted, and, after spending a few weeks at the capital, returned in Feb., 1820, to New York, to await the opening of the interior navigation. As soon as the lakes opened he proceeded to Detroit, and in the course of two or three weeks embarked on this celebrated tour of exploration. The great lake basins were visited and explored, the reported copper mines on Lake Superior examined, and the Upper Mississippi entered at Sandy Lake, and, after tracing it in its remote mazes to the highest practical point, he descended its channel by St. Anthony's Falls to Prairie du Chien and the Du Buque lead mines. The original outward track north-westward was then regained, through the valleys of the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, and the extended shores of Lake Michigan and Huron elaborately traced. In this he was accompanied by the late Professor David B. Douglass, who collected the materials for a correct map of the great lakes and the sources of the Mississippi.

It was late in the autumn when Mr. Schoolcraft returned to his residence at New York, when he was solicited to publish his "narrative journal." This he completed early in the spring of 1821. This work, which evinces accurate and original powers of observation, established his reputation as a scientific and judicious traveler. Copies of it found their way to England, where it was praised by Sir Humphrey Davy and the veteran geographer, Major Rennel. His report to the Secretary of War on the copper mines of Lake Superior, was published in advance by the American Journal of Science, and by order of the Senate of the United States, and gives the earliest scientific account of the mineral affluence of the basin of that lake. His geological report to the same department made subsequently, traces the formations of that part of the continent, which gives origin to the Mississippi River, and denotes the latitudes where it is crossed by the primitive and volcanic rocks. The ardor and enthusiasm which he evinced in the cause of science, and his personal enterprise in traversing vast regions, awakened a corresponding spirit; and the publication of his narratives had the effect to popularize the subject of mineralogy and geology throughout the country.

In 1821, he executed a very extensive journey through the Miami of the Lakes and the River Wabash, tracing those streams minutely to the entrance of the latter into the Ohio River. He then proceeded to explore the Oshawanoe Mountains, near Cave-in-Rock, with their deposits of the fluate of lime, galena, and other mineral treasures. From this range he crossed over the grand prairies of the Illinois to St. Louis, revisited the mineral district of Potosi, and ascended the Illinois River and its north-west fork, the Des Plaines, to Chicago, where a large body of Indians were congregated to confer on the cession of their lands. At these important conferences, he occupied the position of secretary. He published an account of the incidents of this exploratory journey, under the title of Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley. He found, in passing up the river Des Plaines, a remarkably well characterized specimen of a fossil tree, completely converted to stone, of which he prepared a descriptive memoir, which had the effect further to direct the public mind to geological phenomena.

We are not prepared to pursue minutely these first steps of his energetic course in the early investigation of our natural history and geography. In 1822, while the lead-mine problem was under advisement at Washington, he was appointed by Mr. Monroe to the semi-diplomatic position of Agent for Indian Affairs on the North-west Frontiers. This opened a new field of inquiry, and, while it opposed no bar to the pursuits of natural science, it presented a broad area of historical and ethnological research. On this he entered with great ardor, and an event of generally controlling influence on human pursuits occurred to enlarge these studies, in his marriage to Miss Jane Johnston, a highly cultivated young lady, who was equally well versed in the English and Algonquin languages, being a descendant, by the mother's side, of Wabojeeg, a celebrated war sachem, and ruling cacique of his nation. Her father, Mr. John Johnston, was a gentleman of the highest connections, fortune, and standing, from the north of Ireland, who had emigrated to America during the presidency of Washington. He possessed great enthusiasm and romance of character, united with poetic tastes, and became deeply enamored of the beautiful daughter of Wabojeeg, married her, and had eight children. His eldest daughter, Jane, was sent, at nine years of age, to Europe to be thoroughly educated under the care of his relatives there, and, when she returned to America, was placed at the head of her father's household, where her refined dignified manners and accomplishments attracted the notice and admiration of numerous visitors to that seat of noble hospitality. Mr. Schoolcraft was among the first suitors for her hand, and married her in October, 1823.

Mr. Johnston was a fine belles lettres scholar, and entered readily into the discussions arising from the principles of the Indian languages, and plans for their improvement.

Mr. Schoolcraft's marriage into an aboriginal family gave no small stimulus to these inquiries, which were pursued under such singularly excellent advantages, and with untiring ardor in the seclusion of Elmwood and Michilimackinack, for a period of nearly twenty years, and, until his wife's lamented death, which happened during a visit to her sister, at Dundas, Canada West, in the year 1842, and while he himself was absent on a visit to England. Mr. Schoolcraft has not, at any period of his life, sought advancement in political life, but executed with energy and interest various civic offices, which were freely offered to him. From 1828 to 1832, he was an efficient member of the Territorial Legislature, where he introduced a system of township and county names, formed on the basis of the aboriginal vocabulary, and also procured the incorporation of a historical society, and, besides managing the finances, as chairman of an appropriate committee, he introduced and secured the passage of several laws respecting the treatment of the native tribes.

In 1828, the Navy Department offered him a prominent situation in the scientific corps of the United States Exploring Expedition to the South Seas. This was urged in several letters written to him at St. Mary's, by Mr. Reynolds, with the approbation of Mr. Southard, then Secretary of the Navy. However flattering such an offer was to his ambition, his domestic relations did not permit his acceptance of the place. He appeared to occupy his advanced position on the frontier solely to further the interests of natural history, American geography, and growing questions of philosophic moment.

These particulars will enable the reader to appreciate the advantages with which he commenced and pursued the study of the Indian languages, and American ethnology. He made a complete lexicon of the Algonquin language, and reduced its grammar to a philosophical system. "It is really surprising," says Gen. Cass, in a letter, in 1824, in view of these researches, "that so little valuable information has been given to the world on these subjects."

Mr. Duponceau, President of the American Philosophical Society, translated two of Mr. Schoolcraft's lectures before the Algic Society, on the grammatical structure of the Indian language, into French, for the National Institute of France, where the prize for the best essay on Algonquin language was awarded to him. He writes to Dr. James, in 1834, in reference to these lectures: "His description of the composition of words in the Chippewa language, is the most elegant I have yet seen. He is an able and most perspicuous writer, and treats his subject philosophically."

Approbation from these high sources had only the effect to lead him to renewed diligence and deeper exertions to further the interests of natural science, geography, and ethnology; and, while engaged in the active duties of an important government office, he maintained an extensive correspondence with men of science, learning, and enterprise throughout the Union.

The American Philosophical, Geological, and Antiquarian Societies, with numerous state and local institutions, admitted him to membership. The Royal Geographical Society of London, the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen, and the Ethnological Society of Paris, inscribed his name among their foreign members. In 1846, the College of Geneva conferred on him the degree of LL.D.

While the interests of learning and science thus occupied his private hours, the state of Indian affairs on the western frontiers called for continued exertions, and journeys, and expeditions through remote regions. The introduction of a fast accumulating population into the Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins, continually subjected the Indian tribes to causes of uneasiness, and to a species of reflection, of which they had had no examples in the long centuries of their hunter state.

In 1825, 1826, and 1827, he attended convocations of the tribes at very remote points, which imposed the necessity of passing through forests, wildernesses, and wild portages, where none but the healthy, the robust, the fearless, and the enterprising can go.

In 1831, circumstances inclined the tribes on the Upper Mississippi to hostilities and extensive combinations. He was directed by the Government to conduct an expedition through the country lying south and west of Lake Superior, reaching from its banks, which have from the earliest dates been the fastnesses of numerous warlike tribes. This he accomplished satisfactorily, visiting the leading chiefs, and counseling them to the policy of peace.

In 1832, the Sauks and Foxes resolved to re-occupy lands which they had previously relinquished in the Rock River Valley. This brought them into collision with the citizens and militia of Illinois. The result was a general conflict, which, from its prominent Indian leader, has been called the Black Hawk war. From accounts of the previous year, its combinations embraced nine of the leading tribes. It was uncertain how far they extended. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the Indian and War Department, to conduct a second expedition into the region embracing the entire Upper Mississippi, north and west of St. Anthony's Falls. He pursued this stream to the points to which it had been explored in 1806, by Lieut. Pike, and in 1820, by Gen. Cass; and finding the state of the water favorable for ascending, traced the river up to its ultimate forks, and to its actual source in Itasca Lake. This point he reached on the 23d July, 1832; but a fraction under 300 years after the discovery of its lower portions by De Soto. This was Mr. Schoolcraft's crowning geographical discovery, of which he published an account, with maps, in 1833. He is believed to be the only man in America who has seen the Mississippi from its source in Itasca Lake to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1839, he published his collection of oral legends from the Indian wigwams, under the general cognomen of Algic Researches. In these volumes is revealed an amount of the Indian idiosyncrasies, of what may be called their philosophy and mode of reasoning on life, death, and immortality, and their singular modes of reasoning and action, which makes this work one of the most unique and original contributions to American literature. His love of investigation has always been a characteristic trait.

The writer of this sketch, who is thoroughly acquainted with Mr. Schoolcraft's character, habits, and feelings, has long regarded him the complete embodiment of industry and temperance in all things. He rises early and retires early, eats moderately of simple food, never uses a drop of stimulant, and does not even smoke a cigar. In temperament he is among the happiest of human beings, always looks at the bright side of circumstances--loves to hear of the prosperity of his neighbors, and hopes for favorable turns of character, even in the most depraved. The exaltation of his intellectual pursuits, and his sincere piety, have enabled him to rise above all the petty disquietudes of everyday life, and he seems utterly incapable of envy or detraction, or the indulgence of any ignoble or unmanly passions. Indeed, one of his most intimate friends remarked "that he was the beau-ideal of dignified manliness and truthfulness of character." His manners possess all that unostentatious frankness, and self-possessed urbanity and quietude, that is indicative of refined feelings. That such a shining mark has not escaped envy, detraction, and persecution, will surprise no one who is well acquainted with the materials of which human nature is composed. "Envy is the toll that is always paid to greatness."

Mr. Schoolcraft has had enemies, bitter unrelenting enemies, from the wiles of whom he has lost several fortunes, but they have not succeeded, in spite of all their efforts, in depriving him of an honored name, that will live as the friend of the red man and an aboriginal historian, for countless ages.

Some twenty years ago he became a professor of religion, and the ennobling influences of Bible truth have mellowed, and devoted to the most unselfish and exalted aims his natural determination and enthusiasm of character. God has promised to his people "that their righteousness shall shine as the light, and their just dealing as the noonday." Protected in such an impregnable tower of defence from the strife of tongues, Mr. Schoolcraft has been enabled freely to forgive, and even befriend, those narrow-minded calumniators who have aimed so many poisoned arrows at his fame, his character, and his success in life. These are they who hate all excellence that they themselves can never hope to reach.

Mr. Schoolcraft's persevering industry is so indomitable, that he has been known to write from sun to sun almost every day for many consecutive years, taking no recreation, and yet these sedentary habits of untiring application being regulated by system, have not impaired the digestive functions of his usually robust health. One of his family remarks, "that she believed that if his meals were weighed every day in the year they would average the same amount every twenty-four hours." He has, however, been partly lame for the last two years, from the effects, it is thought, of early exposure in his explorations in the west, where he used frequently to lie down in the swamps to sleep, with no pillow save clumps of bog, and no covering but a traveling Indian blanket, which sometimes when he awoke was cased in snow. This local impediment, however, being entirely without neuralgic or rheumatic symptoms, has had no effect whatever upon his mental activity, as every moment of his time is still consecrated to literary pursuits.

In 1841 he removed his residence from Michilimackinack to the city of New York, where he was instrumental, with Mr. John R. Bartlett, Mr. H. C. Murphy, Mr. Folsom and other ethnologists, in forming the American Ethnological Society--which, under the auspices of the late Mr. Albert Gallatin, has produced efficient labors. In 1842 he visited England and the Continent. He attended the twelfth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Manchester. He then visited France, Germany, Prussia, Belgium, and Holland. On returning to New York he took an active interest in the deliberations of the New York Historical Society, made an antiquarian tour to Western Virginia, Ohio, and the Canadas, and published in numbers the first volume of an Indian miscellany under the title of "Oneota, or the Indian in his Wigwam."

In 1845 the Legislature of New York authorized him to take a census, and collect the statistics of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, which were published, together with materials illustrating their history and character, in a volume entitled, NOTES ON THE IROQUOIS.

This work was highly approved by the Legislature, and copies eagerly sought by persons taking an interest in the fortunes of this celebrated tribe. Contrary to expectation, their numbers were found to be considerable, and their advance in agriculture and civilization of a highly encouraging character; and the State has since made liberal appropriations for their education.

In 1846 he brought the subject of the American aborigines to the notice of the members of Congress, expressing the opinion, and enforcing it by facts drawn from many years' experience and residence on the frontiers, that it was misunderstood, that the authentic published materials from which the Indians were to be judged were fragmentary and scanty, and that the public policy respecting them, and the mode of applying their funds, and dealing with them, was in many things false and unjust. These new views produced conviction in enlightened minds, and, during the following session, in the winter of 1847, an appropriation was made, authorizing the Secretary of War to collect the statistics of all the tribes within the Union; together with materials to illustrate their history, condition, and prospects. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the government to conduct the inquiry, in connection with the Indian Bureau. And he immediately prepared and issued blank forms, calling on the officers of the department for the necessary statistical facts. At the same time a comprehensive system of interrogatories was distributed, intended to bring out the true state and condition of the Indian tribes from gentlemen of experience, in all parts of the Union.

These interrogatories are founded on a series of some thirty years' personal observations on Indian society and manners, which were made while living in their midst on the frontiers, and on the data preserved in his well-filled portfolios and journals; and the comprehensive character of the queries, consequently, evince a complete mastery of his subject, such as no one could have been at all prepared to furnish, who had had less full and favorable advantages. In these queries he views the Indian race, not only as tribes having every claim on our sympathy and humanity, but as one of the races of the human family, scattered by an inscrutable Providence, whose origin and destiny is one of the most interesting problems of American history, philosophy, and Christianity.

The first part of this work, in an elaborate quarto volume, was published in the autumn of 1850, with illustrations from the pencil of Capt. Eastman, a gentleman of the army of the United States, and has been received by Congress and the diurnal and periodical press with decided approbation. It is a work which is national in its conception and manner of execution; and, if carried out according to the plan exhibited, will do ample justice, at once to the Indian tribes, their history, condition, and destiny, and to the character of the government as connected with them. We have been reproached by foreign pens for our treatment of these tribes, and our policy, motives, and justice impugned. If we are not mistaken, the materials here collected will show how gratuitous such imputations have been. It is believed that no stock of the aborigines found by civilized nations on the globe, have received the same amount of considerate and benevolent and humane treatment, as denoted by its laws, its treaties, and general administration of Indian affairs, from the establishment of the Constitution, and this too, in the face of the most hostile, wrongheaded, and capricious conduct on their part, that ever signalized the history of a barbarous people.

In January, 1847, he married Miss Mary Howard, of Beaufort District, South Carolina, a lady of majestic stature, high toned moral sentiment, dignified polished manners, gifted conversational powers and literary tastes. This marriage has proved a peculiarly fortunate and happy one, as they both highly appreciate and respect each other, and she warmly sympathizes in his literary plans. She also relieves him of all domestic care by her judicious management of his household affairs. Most of her time, however, is spent with him in his study, where she revises and copies his writings for the press. She is the descendant of a family who emigrated to South Carolina from England, in the reign of George the Second, from whom they received a large grant of land, situated near the Broad River. Upon this original grant the family have from generation to generation continued to reside. It is now a flourishing cotton and rice growing plantation, and is at present owned by her brother, Gen. John Howard. Her sister married a grandnephew of Gen. William Moultrie, who was so distinguished in the revolutionary war, and her brother a granddaughter of Judge Thomas Heyward, who was a ripe scholar and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Although one of her brothers was in the battle of San Jacinto, she is herself the first permanent emigrant of her family from South Carolina to the North, having accompanied her husband to Washington, D.C., where he has ever since been engaged in conducting the national work on the history of the Indians. To this work, of which the second part is now in the press, every power of his extensive observation and ripe experience is devoted, and with results which justify the highest anticipations which have been formed of it. Meantime it is understood that the present memoirs is the first volume of a revised series of his complete works, including his travels, reviews, papers on natural history, Indian tales, and miscellanies.

To this rapid sketch of a man rising to distinction without the adventitious aids of hereditary patrimony, wealth, or early friends, it requires little to be added to show the value of self-dependence. Such examples must encourage all whose ambitions are sustained by assiduity, temperance, self-reliance, and a consistent perseverance in well weighed ends.



Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817--Events preliminary to a knowledge of western life--Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany River--Descent to Pittsburgh--Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and iron--Descent of the Ohio in an ark--Scenes and incidents by the way-- Cincinnati--Some personal incidents which happened there.

Late in the autumn of 1809, being then in my seventeenth year, I quitted the village of Hamilton, Albany County (a county in which my family had lived from an early part of the reign of George II.), and, after a pleasant drive of half a day through the PINE PLAINS, accompanied by some friends, reached the city of Schenectady, and from thence took the western stage line, up the Valley of the Mohawk, to the village of Utica, where we arrived, I think, on the third day, the roads being heavy. The next day I proceeded to Vernon, the site of a busy and thriving village, where my father had recently engaged in the superintendency of extensive manufacturing operations. I was here within a few miles of Oneida Castle, then the residence of the ancient Oneida tribe of Iroquois. There was, also, in this town, a remnant of the old Mohigans, who, under the name of Stockbridges, had, soon after the Revolutionary War, removed from the Valley of the Housatonic, in Massachusetts, to Oneida. Throngs of both tribes were daily in the village, and I was thus first brought to notice their manners and customs; not dreaming, however, that it was to be my lot to pass so many of the subsequent years of my life as an observer of the Indian race.

Early in the spring of 1810, I accompanied Mr. Alexander Bryan Johnson, of Utica, a gentleman of wealth, intelligence, and enterprise, to the area of the Genesee country, for the purpose of superintending a manufactory for a company incorporated by the State Legislature. After visiting Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario, it was finally resolved to locate this company's works near Geneva, on the banks of Seneca Lake.

During my residence here, the War of 1812 broke out; the events of which fell with severity on this frontier, particularly on the lines included between the Niagara and Lake Champlain, where contending armies and navies operated. While these scenes of alarm and turmoil were enacting, and our trade with Great Britain was cut off, an intense interest arose for manufactures of first necessity, needed by the country, particularly for that indispensable article of new settlements, window glass. In directing the foreign artisans employed in the making of this product of skill, my father, Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, had, from an early period after the American Revolution, acquired celebrity, by the general superintendency of the noted works of this kind near Albany, and afterwards in Oneida County.

Under his auspices, I directed the erection of similar works in Western New York and in the States of Vermont and New Hampshire.

While in Vermont, I received a salary of eighteen hundred dollars per annum, which enabled me to pursue my studies, ex academia, at Middlebury College. In conversation with President Davis, I learned that this was the highest salary paid in the State, he himself receiving eleven hundred, and the Governor of the State but eight hundred.

The extensive and interesting journeys connected with the manufacturing impulse of these engagements, reaching over a varied surface of several hundred miles, opened up scenes of life and adventure which gave me a foretaste of, and preparedness for, the deeper experiences of the western wilderness; and the war with England was no sooner closed than I made ready to share in the exploration of the FAR WEST. The wonderful accounts brought from the Mississippi valley--its fertility, extent, and resources--inspired a wish to see it for myself, and to this end I made some preliminary explorations in Western New York, in 1816 and 1817. I reached Olean, on the source of the Alleghany River, early in 1818, while the snow was yet upon the ground, and had to wait several weeks for the opening of that stream. I was surprised to see the crowd of persons, from various quarters, who had pressed to this point, waiting the opening of the navigation.

It was a period of general migration from the East to the West. Commerce had been checked for several years by the war with Great Britain. Agriculture had been hindered by the raising of armies, and a harassing warfare both on the seaboard and the frontiers; and manufactures had been stimulated to an unnatural growth, only to be crushed by the peace. Speculation had also been rife in some places, and hurried many gentlemen of property into ruin. Banks exploded, and paper money flooded the country.

The fiscal crisis was indeed very striking. The very elements seemed leagued against the interests of agriculture in the Atlantic States, where a series of early and late frosts, in 1816 and 1817, had created quite a panic, which helped to settle the West.

I mingled in this crowd, and, while listening to the anticipations indulged in, it seemed to me that the war had not, in reality, been fought for "free trade and sailors' rights" where it commenced, but to gain a knowledge of the world beyond the Alleghanies.

Many came with their household stuff, which was to be embarked in arks and flat boats. The children of Israel could scarcely have presented a more motley array of men and women, with their "kneading troughs" on their backs, and their "little ones," than were there assembled, on their way to the new land of promise.

To judge by the tone of general conversation, they meant, in their generation, to plough the Mississippi Valley from its head to its foot. There was not an idea short of it. What a world of golden dreams was there!

I took passage in the first ark that attempted the descent for the season. This ark was built of stout planks, with the lower seams caulked, forming a perfectly flat basis on the water. It was about thirty feet wide and sixty long, with gunwales of some eighteen inches. Upon this was raised a structure of posts and boards about eight feet high, divided into rooms for cooking and sleeping, leaving a few feet space in front and rear, to row and steer. The whole was covered by a flat roof, which formed a promenade, and near the front part of this deck were two long "sweeps," a species of gigantic oars, which were occasionally resorted to in order to keep the unwieldy vessel from running against islands or dangerous shores.

We went on swimmingly, passing through the Seneca reservation, where the picturesque costume of the Indians seen on shore served to give additional interest to scenes of the deepest and wildest character. Every night we tied our ark to a tree, and built a fire on shore. Sometimes we narrowly escaped going over falls, and once encountered a world of labor and trouble by getting into a wrong channel. I made myself as useful and agreeable as possible to all. I had learned to row a skiff with dexterity during my residence on Lake Dunmore, and turned this art to account by taking the ladies ashore, as we floated on with our ark, and picked up specimens while they culled shrubs and flowers. In this way, and by lending a ready hand at the "sweeps" and at the oars whenever there was a pinch, I made myself agreeable. The worst thing we encountered was rain, against which our rude carpentry was but a poor defence. We landed at everything like a town, and bought milk, and eggs, and butter. Sometimes the Seneca Indians were passed, coming up stream in their immensely long pine canoes. There was perpetual novelty and freshness in this mode of wayfaring. The scenery was most enchanting. The river ran high, with a strong spring current, and the hills frequently rose in most picturesque cliffs.

1818. I do not recollect the time consumed in this descent. We had gone about three hundred miles, when we reached Pittsburgh. It was the 28th of March when we landed at this place, which I remember because it was my birthday. And I here bid adieu to the kind and excellent proprietor of the ark, L. Pettiborne, Esq., who refused to receive any compensation for my passage, saying, prettily, that he did not know how they could have got along without me.

I stopped at one of the best hotels, kept by a Mrs. McCullough, and, after visiting the manufactories and coal mines, hired a horse, and went up the Monongahela Valley, to explore its geology as high as Williamsport. The rich coal and iron beds of this part of the country interested me greatly; I was impressed with their extent, and value, and the importance which they must eventually give to Pittsburgh. After returning from this trip, I completed my visits to the various workshops and foundries, and to the large glassworks of Bakewell and of O'Hara.

I was now at the head of the Ohio River, which is formed by the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela. My next step was to descend this stream; and, while in search of an ark on the borders of the Monongahela, I fell in with a Mr. Brigham, a worthy person from Massachusetts, who had sallied out with the same view. We took passage together on one of these floating houses, with the arrangements of which I had now become familiar. I was charmed with the Ohio; with its scenery, which was every moment shifting to the eye; and with the incidents of such a novel voyage. Off Wheeling we made fast to another ark, from the Monongahela, in charge of Capt. Hutchinson, an intelligent man. There were a number of passengers, who, together with this commander, added to our social circle, and made it more agreeable: among these, the chief person was Dr. Selman, of Cincinnati, who had been a surgeon in Wayne's army, and who had a fund of information of this era. My acquaintance with subjects of chemistry and mineralogy enabled me to make my conversation agreeable, which was afterwards of some advantage to me.

We came to at Grave Creek Fleets, and all went up to see the Great Mound, the apex of which had a depression, with a large tree growing in it having the names and dates of visit of several persons carved on its trunk. One of the dates was, I think, as early as 1730. We also stopped at Gallipolis--the site of a French colony of some notoriety. The river was constantly enlarging; the spring was rapidly advancing, and making its borders more beautiful; and the scenery could scarcely have been more interesting. There was often, it is true, a state of newness and rudeness in the towns, and villages, and farms, but it was ever accompanied with the most pleasing anticipations of improvement and progress. We had seldom to look at old things, save the Indian antiquities. The most striking works of this kind were at Marietta, at the junction of the Muskingum. This was, I believe, the earliest point of settlement of the State of Ohio. But to us, it had a far more interesting point of attraction in the very striking antique works named, for which it is known. We visited the elevated square and the mound. We gazed and wondered as others have done, and without fancying that we were wiser than our predecessors had been.

At Marietta, a third ark from the waters of the Muskingum was added to our number, and making quite a flotilla. This turned out to be the property of Hon. J.B. Thomas, of Illinois, a Senator in Congress, a gentleman of great urbanity of manners and intelligence. By this addition of deck, our promenade was now ample. And it would be difficult to imagine a journey embracing a greater number of pleasing incidents and prospects.

When a little below Parkersburgh, we passed Blennerhasset's Island, which recalled for a moment the name of Aaron Burr, and the eloquent language of Mr. Wirt on the treasonable schemes of that bold, talented, but unchastened politician. All was now ruin and devastation on the site of forsaken gardens, into the shaded recesses of which a basilisk had once entered. Some stacks of chimneys were all that was left to tell the tale. It seemed remarkable that twelve short years should have worked so complete a desolation. It would appear as if half a century had intervened, so thorough had been the physical revolution of the island.

One night we had lain with our flotilla on the Virginia coast. It was perceived, at early daylight, that the inner ark, which was Mr. Thomas's, and which was loaded with valuable machinery, was partly sunk, being pressed against the bank by the other arks, and the water was found to be flowing in above the caulked seams. A short time must have carried the whole down. After a good deal of exertion to save the boat, it was cut loose and abandoned. It occurred to me that two men, rapidly bailing, would be able to throw out a larger quantity of water than flowed through the seams. Willing to make myself useful, I told my friend Brigham that I thought we could save the boat, if he would join in the attempt. My theory proved correct. We succeeded, by a relief of hands, in the effort, and saved the whole machinery unwetted. This little affair proved gratifying to me from the share I had in it. Mr. Thomas was so pleased that he ordered a sumptuous breakfast at a neighboring house for all. We had an abundance of hot coffee, chickens, and toast, which to voyagers in an ark was quite a treat; but it was still less gratifying than the opportunity we had felt of doing a good act. This little incident had a pleasing effect on the rest of the voyage, and made Thomas my friend.

But the voyage itself was now drawing to a close. When we reached Cincinnati, the flotilla broke up. We were now five hundred miles below Pittsburgh, and the Valley of the Ohio was, if possible, every day becoming an object of more striking physical interest. By the advice of Dr. Sellman, who invited me to dine with a large company of gentlemen, I got a good boarding-house, and I spent several weeks very pleasantly in this city and its immediate environs. Among the boarders were Dr. Moorhead (Dr. S.'s partner), and John C.S. Harrison (the eldest son of Gen. Harrison), with several other young gentlemen, whose names are pleasingly associated in my memory. It was customary, after dinner, to sit on a wooden settle, or long bench, in front of the house, facing the open esplanade on the high banks of the river, at the foot of which boats and arks were momentarily arriving. One afternoon, while engaged in earnest conversation with Harrison, I observed a tall, gawky youth, with white hair, and a few stray patches just appearing on his chin, as precursors of a beard, approach furtively, and assume a listening attitude. He had evidently just landed, and had put on his best clothes, to go up and see the town. The moment he stopped to listen, I assumed a tone of earnest badinage. Harrison, instantly seeing our intrusive and raw guest, and humoring the joke, responded in a like style. In effect we had a high controversy, which could only be settled by a duel, in which our raw friend must act as second. He was strongly appealed to, and told that his position as a gentleman required it. So far all was well. We adjourned to an upper room; the pistols were charged with powder, and shots were exchanged between Harrison and myself, while the eyeballs of young Jonathan seemed ready to start from their sockets. But no sooner were the shots fired than an undue advantage was instantly alleged, which involved the responsibility of my antagonist's friend; and thus the poor fellow, who had himself been inveigled in a scrape, was peppered with powder, in a second exchange of shots, while all but himself were ready to die with smothered laughter; and he was at last glad to escape from the house with his life, and made the best of his way back to his ark.

This settle, in front of the door, was a capital point to perpetrate tricks on the constantly arriving throngs from the East, who, with characteristic enterprise, often stopped to inquire for employment. A few days after the sham duel, Harrison determined to play a trick on another emigrant, a shrewd, tolerably well-informed young man, who had evinced a great deal of self-complacency and immodest pertinacity. He told the pertinacious emigrant, who inquired for a place, that he had not, himself, anything that could engage his attention, but that he had a friend (alluding to me) who was now in town, who was extensively engaged in milling and merchandizing on the Little Miami, and was in want of a competent, responsible clerk. He added that, if he would call in the evening, his friend would be in, and he would introduce him. Meantime, I was informed of the character I was to play in rebuking assumption. The man came, punctual to his appointment, in the evening, and was formally introduced. I stated the duties and the peculiar requisites and responsibilities of the trust. These he found but little difficulty in meeting. Other difficulties were stated. These, with a little thought, he also met. He had evidently scarcely any other quality than presumption. I told him at last that, from the inhabitants in the vicinity, it was necessary that he should speak Dutch. This seemed a poser, but, after some hesitancy and hemming, and the re-mustering of his cardinal presumption, he thought he could shortly render himself qualified to speak. I admired the very presumption of the theory, and finally told him to call the next day on my agent, Mr. Schenck, at such a number (Martin Baum's) in Maine Street, to whom, in the mean time, I transferred the hoax, and duly informing Schenck of the affair; and I do not recollect, at this time, how he shuffled him off.


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth--Ascent of the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum--Its rapid and turbid character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges--Some incidents by the way.

1818. At Cincinnati, I visited a sort of gigantic chimney or trunk, constructed of wood, which had been continued from the plain, and carried up against the side of one of the Walnut Hills, in order to demonstrate the practicability of obtaining a mechanical power from rarefied atmospheric air. I was certain that this would prove a failure, although Captain Bliss, who had conducted the work under the auspices of General Lytle, felt confident of success.

When I was ready to proceed down the Ohio, I went to the shore, where I met a Mr. Willers, who had come there on the same errand as myself. Our object was to go to Louisville, at the falls of the Ohio. We were pleased with a well-constructed skiff, which would conveniently hold our baggage, and, after examination, purchased it, for the purpose of making this part of the descent. I was expert with a light oar, and we agreed in thinking that this would be a very picturesque, healthful, and economical mode of travel. It was warm weather, the beginning of May, I think, and the plan was to sleep ashore every night. We found this plan to answer expectation. The trip was, in every respect, delightful. Mr. Willers lent a ready hand at the oars and tiller by turns. He possessed a good share of urbanity, had seen much of the world, and was of an age and temper to vent no violent opinions. He gave me information on some topics. We got along pleasantly. One day, a sleeping sawyer, as it is called, rose up in the river behind us in a part of the course we had just passed, which, if it had risen two minutes earlier, would have pitched us in the air, and knocked our skiff in shivers. We stopped at Vevay, to taste the wine of the vintage of that place, which was then much talked of, and did not think it excellent. We were several days--I do not recollect how many--in reaching Louisville, in Kentucky. I found my fellow-voyager was a teacher of military science, late from Baltimore, Maryland; he soon had a class of militia officers, to whom he gave instructions, and exhibited diagrams of military evolutions.

Louisville had all the elements of city life. I was much interested in the place and its environs, and passed several weeks at that place. I found organic remains of several species in the limestone rocks of the falls, and published, anonymously, in the paper some notices of its mineralogy.

When prepared to continue my descent of the river, I went to the beautiful natural mall, which exists between the mouth of the Beargrass Creek and the Ohio, where boats usually land, and took passage in a fine ark, which had just come down from the waters of the Monongahela. It was owned and freighted by two adventurers from Maryland, of the names of Kemp and Keen. A fine road existed to the foot of the falls at Shippensport, a distance of two miles, which my new acquaintances pursued; but, when I understood that there was a pilot present, I preferred remaining on board, that I might witness the descent of the falls: we descended on the Indiana side. The danger was imminent at one part, where the entire current had a violent side action, but we went safely and triumphantly down; and, after taking our owners on board, who were unwilling to risk their lives with their property, we pursued our voyage. It was about this point, or a little above, that we first noticed the gay and noisy parroquet, flocks of which inhabited the forests. The mode of attaching vessels of this kind into flotillas was practiced on that part of the route, which brought us into acquaintance with many persons.

At Shawneetown, where we lay a short time, I went out hunting about the mouth of the Wabash with one Hanlon, a native of Kentucky, who was so expert in the use of the rifle that he brought down single pigeons and squirrels, aiming only at their heads or necks.

After passing below the Wabash, the Ohio assumed a truly majestic flow. Its ample volume, great expanse, and noble shores, could not fail to be admired. As we neared the picturesque Cavein-Rock shore, I took the small boat, and, with some others, landed to view this traveler's wonder. It recalled to me the dark robber era of the Ohio River, and the tales of blood and strife which I had read of.

The cave itself is a striking object for its large and yawning mouth, but, to the geologist, presents nothing novel. Its ample area appears to have been frequently encamped in by the buccaneers of the Mississippi. We were told of narrow and secret passages leading above into the rock, but did not find anything of much interest. The mouth of the cave was formerly concealed by trees, which favored the boat robbers; but these had been mostly felled. As the scene of a tale of imaginative robber-life, it appeared to me to possess great attractions.

Our conductor steered for Smithfield, I think it was called, at the mouth of the Cumberland River, Tennessee, which was thought a favorable place for transferring the cargo from an ark to a keel-boat, to prepare it for the ascent of the Mississippi River; for we were now drawing closely towards the mouth of the Ohio. Here ensued a delay of many days. During this time, I made several excursions in this part of Tennessee, and always with the rifle in hand, in the use of which I had now become expert enough to kill small game without destroying it. While here, some of General Jackson's volunteers from his wars against the Creeks and Seminoles returned, and related some of the incidents of their perilous campaign. At length a keel-boat, or barge, arrived, under the command of Captain Ensminger, of Saline, which discharged its cargo at this point, and took on board the freight of Kemp and Keen, bound to St. Louis, in Missouri.

We pursued our way, under the force of oars, which soon brought us to the mouth of the Ohio, where the captain paused to prepare for stemming the Mississippi. It was now the first day of July, warm and balmy during the mornings and evenings, but of a torrid heat at noon. We were now one thousand miles below Pittsburgh--a distance which it is impossible for any man to realize from the mere reading of books. This splendid valley is one of the prominent creations of the universe. Its fertility and beauty are unequaled; and its capacities of sustaining a dense population cannot be overrated. Seven States border on its waters, and they are seven States which are destined to contribute no little part to the commerce, wealth, and power of the Union. It is idle to talk of the well-cultivated and garden-like little rivers of Europe, of some two or three hundred miles in length, compared to the Ohio. There is nothing like it in all Europe for its great length, uninterrupted fertility, and varied resources, and consequent power to support an immense population. Yet its banks consist not of a dead level, like the lower Nile and Volga, but of undulating plains and hills, which afford a lively flow to its waters, and supply an amount of hydraulic power which is amazing. The river itself is composed of some of the prime streams of the country. The Alleghany, the Monongahela, the Muskingum, the Miami, the Wabash, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, are rivers of the most noble proportions, and the congregated mass of water rolls forward, increasing in volume and magnificence, until the scene delights the eye by its displays of quiet, lovely, rural magnitude and physical grandeur.

Yet all this is but an element in the vast system of western waters. It reaches the Mississippi, but to be swallowed up and engulfed by that turbid and rapid stream, which, like some gaping, gigantic monster, running wild from the Rocky Mountains and the Itasca summit, stands ready to gulp it down. The scene is truly magnificent, and the struggle not slight. For more than twenty miles, the transparent blue waters of the Ohio are crowded along the Tennessee coast; but the Mississippi, swollen by its summer flood, as if disdainful of its rural and peace-like properties, gains the mastery before reaching Memphis, and carries its characteristic of turbid geologic power for a thousand miles more, until its final exit into the Mexican Gulf.

I had never seen such a sight. I had lost all my standards of comparison. Compared to it, my little home streams would not fill a pint cup; and, like a man suddenly ushered into a new world, I was amazed at the scene before me. Mere amplitude of the most ordinary elements of water and alluvial land has done this. The onward rush of eternal waters was an idea vaguely floating in my mind. The Indians appeared to have embodied this idea in the word Mississippi.

Ensminger was a stout manly fellow, of the characteristic traits of Anglo-Saxon daring; but he thought it prudent not to plunge too hastily into this mad current, and we slept at the precise point of embouchure, where, I think, Cairo is now located. Early the next morning the oarsmen were paraded, like so many militia, on the slatted gunwales of the barge, each armed with a long and stout setting pole, shod with iron. Ensminger himself took the helm, and the toil and struggle of pushing the barge up stream began. We were obliged to keep close to the shore, in order to find bottom for the poles, and whenever that gave out, the men instantly resorted to oars to gain some point on the opposite side, where bottom could be reached. It was a struggle requiring the utmost activity. The water was so turbid that we could not perceive objects an inch below the surface. The current rushed with a velocity that threatened to carry everything before it. The worst effect was its perpetual tendency to undermine its banks. Often heavy portions of the banks plunged into the river, endangering boats and men. The banks consisted of dark alluvion ten to fifteen feet above the water, bearing a dense growth of trees and shrubbery. The plunging of these banks into the stream often sounded like thunder. With every exertion, we advanced but five miles the first day, and it was a long July day. As evening came on, the mosquitos were in hordes. It was impossible to perform the offices of eating or drinking, without suffering the keenest torture from their stings.

The second day we ascended six miles, the third day seven miles, the fourth day six miles, and the fifth eight miles, which brought us to the first settlement on the Missouri shore, called Tyawapaty Bottom. The banks in this distance became more elevated, and we appeared to be quitting the more nascent region. We noticed the wild turkey and gray squirrel ashore. The following day we went but three miles, when the severe labor caused some of the hands to give out. Ensminger was a man not easily discouraged. He lay by during the day, and the next morning found means to move ahead. At an early hour we reached the head of the settlement, and came to at a spot called the Little Chain of Rocks. The fast lands of the Missouri shore here jut into the river, and I examined, at this point, a remarkable bed of white clay, which is extensively employed by the local mechanics for chalk, but which is wholly destitute of carbonic acid. We ascended, this day, ten miles; and the next day five miles, which carried us to Cape Girardeau--a town estimated to be fifty miles above the mouth of the Ohio. Here were about fifty houses, situated on a commanding eminence. We had been landed but a short time, when one of the principal merchants of the place sent me word that he had just received some drugs and medicines which he wished me to examine. I went up directly to his store, when it turned out that he was no druggist at all, nor wished my skill in this way, but, having heard there was a doctor aboard, he had taken this facetious mode of inviting me to partake of some refreshments. I regret that I have forgotten his name.

The next day we ascended seven miles, and next the same distance, and stopped at the Moccason Spring, a basin of limpid water occupying a crevice in the limestone rock. The day following we ascended but five miles, and the next day seven miles, in which distance we passed the Grand Tower, a geological monument rising from the bed of the river, which stands to tell of some great revolution in the ancient face of the country. The Mississippi River probably broke through one of its ancient barriers at this place. We made three unsuccessful attempts to pass Garlic Point, where we encountered a very strong current, and finally dropped down and came to, for the night, below it, the men being much exhausted with these attempts. We renewed the effort with a cordelle the next morning, with success, but not without exhausting the men so much that two of them refused to proceed, who were immediately paid off, and furnished provisions to return. We succeeded in going to the mouth of the Obrazo, about half a mile higher, when we lay by all day. This delay enabled Ensminger to recruit his crew, and during the three following days we ascended respectively six, seven, and ten miles, which brought us to the commencement of Bois-brule bottom. This is a fertile, and was then a comparatively populous, settlement. We ascended along it about seven miles, the next day seven more, and the next eleven, which completed the ascent to the antique town of St. Genevieve. About three hundred houses were here clustered together, which, with their inhabitants, had the looks which we may fancy to belong to the times of Louis XIV. of France. It was the chief mart of the lead mines, situated in the interior. I observed heavy stacks of pig lead piled up about the warehouses. We remained here the next day, which was the 20th of July, and then went forward twelve miles, the next day thirteen, and the next five, which brought us, at noon, to the town of Herculaneum, containing some thirty or forty buildings, excluding three picturesque-looking shot towers on the top of the rocky cliffs of the river. This was another mart of the lead mines.

I determined to land definitively at this point, purposing to visit the mines, after completing my ascent by land to St. Louis. It was now the 23d of July, the whole of which, from the 1st, we had spent in a diligent ascent of the river, by setting pole and cordelle, from the junction of the Ohio--a distance of one hundred and seventy miles. We were still thirty miles above St. Louis.

I have detailed some of the incidents of the journey, in order to denote the difficulties of the ascent with barges prior to the introduction of steam, and also the means which this slowness of motion gave me of becoming acquainted with the physical character of this river and its shores. A large part of the west banks I had traveled on foot, and gleaned several facts in its mineralogy and geology which made it an initial point in my future observations. The metalliferous formation is first noticed at the little chain of rocks. From the Grand Tower, the western shores become precipitous, showing sections and piled-up pinnacles of the series of horizontal sandstones and limestones which characterize the imposing coast. Had I passed it in a steamer, downward bound, as at this day, in forty-eight hours, I should have had none but the vaguest and most general conceptions of its character. But I went to glean facts in its natural history, and I knew these required careful personal inspection of minute as well as general features. There may be a sort of horseback theory of geology; but mineralogy, and the natural sciences generally, must be investigated on foot, hammer or goniometer in hand.


Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin--His character--Continuation of the journey on foot to St. Louis--Incidents by the way--Trip to the mines--Survey of the mine country--Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi.

1818. The familiar conversation on shore of my friendly associates, speaking of a doctor on board who was inquiring into the natural history and value of the country at every point, procured me quite unexpectedly a favorable reception at Herculaneum, as it had done at Cape Girardeau. I was introduced to Mr. Austin, the elder, who, on learning my intention of visiting the mines, offered every facility in his power to favor my views. Mr. Austin was a gentleman of general information, easy and polite manners, and enthusiastic character. He had, with his connections, the Bates, I believe, been the founder of Herculaneum, and was solicitous to secure it a share of the lead trade, which had been so long and exclusively enjoyed by St. Genevieve. He was a man of very decided enterprise, inclined to the manners of the old school gentlemen, which had, I believe, narrowed his popularity, and exposed him to some strong feuds in the interior, where his estates lay. He was a diligent reader of the current things of the day, and watched closely the signs of the times. He had lived in the capital of Virginia, where he married. He had been engaged extensively as a merchant and miner in Wyeth county, in the western part of that State. He had crossed the wilderness west of the Ohio River, at an early day, to St. Louis, then a Spanish interior capital. He had been received by the Spanish authorities with attentions, and awarded a large grant of the mining lands. He had remained under the French period of supremacy, and had been for about sixteen years a resident of the region when it was transferred by purchase to the United States. The family had been from an early day, the first in point of civilization in the country. And as his position seemed to wane, and clouds to hover over his estates, he seemed restless, and desirous to transfer his influence to another theatre of action. From my earliest conversations with him, he had fixed his mind on Texas, and spoke with enthusiasm about it.

I left my baggage, consisting of two well-filled trunks, in charge of Mr. Ellis, a worthy innkeeper of the town, and when I was ready to continue my way on foot for St. Louis, I was joined in this journey by Messrs. Kemp and Keen, my fellow-voyagers on the water from Louisville. We set out on the 26th of the month. The weather was hot and the atmosphere seemed to be lifeless and heavy. Our road lay over gentle hills, in a state of nature. The grass had but in few places been disturbed by the plough, or the trees by the axe. The red clay soil seemed fitter for the miner than the farmer.

At the distance of seven miles, we came to a remarkable locality of springs strongly impregnated with sulphur, which bubbled up from the ground. They were remarkably clear and cold, and deposited a light sediment of sulphur, along the little rills by which they found an outlet into a rapid stream, which was tributary to the Mississippi.

Five miles beyond these springs, we reached the valley of the Merrimack, just at nightfall; and notwithstanding the threatening atmosphere, and the commencement of rain, before we descended to the stream, we prevailed with the ferryman to go down and set us over, which we urged with the view of reaching a house within less than a mile of the other bank. He landed us at the right spot; but the darkness had now become so intense that we could not keep the road, and groped our way along an old wheel-track into the forest. It also came on to rain hard. We at last stood still. We were lost in utter darkness, and exposed to a pelting storm. After a while we heard a faint stroke of a cow bell. We listened attentively; it was repeated at long intervals, but faintly, as if the animal was housed. It gave us the direction, which was quite different from the course we had followed. No obstacle, though there were many, prevented us from reaching the house, where we arrived wet and hungry, and half dead with fatigue.

The Merrimack, in whose valley we were thus entangled, is the prime outlet of the various streams of the mine country, where Renault, and Arnault, and other French explorers, expended their researches during the exciting era of the celebrated illusory Mississippi scheme.

The next day we crossed an elevated arid tract for twelve miles to the village of Carondalet, without encountering a house, or an acre of land in cultivation. On this tract, which formed a sort of oak orchard, with high grass, and was a range for wild deer, Jefferson Barracks have since been located. Six miles further brought us to the town of St. Louis, over an elevated brushy plain, in which the soil assumed a decidedly fertile aspect. We arrived about four o'clock in the afternoon, and had a pleasant evening to view its fine site, based as it is on solid limestone rock, where no encroachment of the headlong Mississippi can ever endanger its safety. I was delighted with the site, and its capacity for expansion, and cannot conceive of one in America, situated in the interior, which appears destined to rival it in population, wealth, power, and resources. It is idle to talk of any city of Europe or Asia, situated as this is, twelve hundred miles from the sea, which can be named as its future equal.

It was now the 27th of July, and the river, which had been swollen by the Missouri flood, was rapidly falling, and almost diminished to its summer minimum. It left a heavy deposit of mud on its immediate shores, which, as it dried in the sun, cracked into fragments, which were often a foot thick. These cakes of dried sediment consisted chiefly of sand and sufficient aluminous matter to render the whole body of the deposit adhesive.

I was kindly received by R. Pettibone, Esq., a townsman from New York, from whom I had parted at Pittsburgh. This gentleman had established himself in business with Col. Eastman, and as soon as he heard of my arrival, invited me to his house, where I remained until I was ready to proceed to the mines. I examined whatever seemed worth notice in the town and its environs. I then descended the Mississippi in a skiff about thirty miles to Herculaneum, and the next day set out, on foot, at an early hour, for the mines. I had an idea that every effective labor should be commenced right, and, as I purposed examining the mineralogy and geology of the mine tract, I did not think that could be more thoroughly accomplished than on foot. I ordered my baggage to follow me by the earliest returning lead teams. True it was sultry, and much of the first part of the way, I was informed, was very thinly settled. I went the first day, sixteen miles, and reached the head of Joachim Creek. In this distance, I did not, after quitting the environs of the town, pass a house. The country lay in its primitive state. For the purpose of obtaining a good road, an elevated arid ridge had been pursued much of the way. In crossing this, I suffered severely from heat and thirst, and the only place where I saw water was in a rut, which I frightened a wild turkey from partaking of, in order to stoop down to it myself. As soon as I reached the farm house, where I stopped at an early hour, I went down to the creek, and bathed in its refreshing current. This, with a night's repose, perfectly restored me. The next day I crossed Grand River, and went to the vicinity of Old mines, when a sudden storm compelled me to take shelter at the first house, where I passed my second night. In this distance I visited the mining station of John Smith T. at his place of Shibboleth. Smith was a bold and indomitable man, originally from Tennessee, who possessed a marked individuality of character, and being a great shot with pistol and rifle, had put the country in dread of him.

After crossing Big or Grand River, I was fairly within the mine country, and new objects began to attract my attention on every hand. The third day, at an early hour, I reached Potosi, and took up my residence at Mr. W. Ficklin's, a most worthy and estimable Kentuckian, who had a fund of adventurous lore of forest life to tell, having, in early life, been a spy and a hunter "on the dark and bloody ground." With him I was soon at home, and to him I owe much of my early knowledge of wood-craft. The day after my arrival was the general election of the (then) Territory of Missouri, and the district elected Mr. Stephen F. Austin to the local legislature. I was introduced to him, and also to the leading gentlemen of the county, on the day of the election, which brought them together. Mr. Austin, the elder, also arrived. This gathering was a propitious circumstance for my explorations; no mineralogist had ever visited the country. Coming from the quarter I did, and with the object I had, there was a general interest excited on the subject, and each one appeared to feel a desire to show me attentions.

Mr. Stephen F. Austin invited me to take rooms at the old Austin mansion; he requested me to make one of them a depot for my mineralogical collections, and he rode out with me to examine several mines.

He was a gentleman of an acute and cultivated mind, and great suavity of manners. He appreciated the object of my visit, and saw at once the advantages that might result from the publication of a work on the subject. For Missouri, like the other portions of the Mississippi Valley, had come out of the Late War with exhaustion. The effects of a peace were to lower her staples, lead, and furs, and she also severely felt the reaction of the paper money system, which had created extensive derangement and depression. He possessed a cautious, penetrating mind, and was a man of elevated views. He had looked deeply into the problem of western settlement, and the progress of American arts, education, and modes of thinking and action over the whole western world, and was then meditating a movement on the Red River of Arkansas, and eventually Texas. He foresaw the extension in the Mississippi Valley of the American system of civilization, to the modification and exclusion of the old Spanish and French elements.

Mr. Austin accompanied me in several of my explorations. On one of these excursions, while stopping at a planter's who owned a mill, I saw several large masses of sienite, lying on the ground; and on inquiry where this material could come from, in the midst of a limestone country, was informed that it was brought from the waters of the St. Francis, to serve the purpose of millstones. This furnished the hint for a visit to that stream, which resulted in the discovery of the primitive tract, embracing the sources of the St. Francis and Big Rivers.

I found rising of forty principal mines scattered over a district of some twenty miles, running parallel to, and about thirty miles west of, the banks of the Mississippi. I spent about three months in these examinations, and as auxiliary means thereto, built a chemical furnace, for assays, in Mr. Austin's old smelting-house, and collected specimens of the various minerals of the country. Some of my excursions were made on foot, some on horseback, and some in a single wagon. I unwittingly killed a horse in these trips, in swimming a river, when the animal was over-heated; at least he was found dead next morning in the stable.

In the month of October I resolved to push my examinations west beyond the line of settlement, and to extend them into the Ozark Mountains. By this term is meant a wide range of hill country running from the head of the Merrimack southerly through Missouri and Arkansas. In this enterprise several persons agreed to unite. I went to St. Louis, and interested a brother of my friend Pettibone in the plan. I found my old fellow-voyager, Brigham, on the American bottom in Illinois, where he had cultivated some large fields of corn, and where he had contracted fever and ague. He agreed, however, to go, and reached the point of rendezvous, at Potosi; but he had been so enfeebled as to be obliged to return from that point. The brother of Pettibone arrived. He had no tastes for natural history, but it was a season of leisure, and he was prone for the adventure. But the experienced woodsmen who had agreed to go, and who had talked largely of encountering bears and Osage Indians, and slaughtering buffalo, one by one gave out. I was resolved myself to proceed, whoever might flinch. I had purchased a horse, constructed a pack saddle with my own hands, and made every preparation that was deemed necessary. On the 6th of November I set out. Mr. Ficklin, my good host, accompanied me to the outskirts of the settlement. He was an old woodsman, and gave me proper directions about hobbling my horse at night, and imparted other precautions necessary to secure a man's life against wild animals and savages. My St. Louis auxiliary stood stoutly by me. If he had not much poetry in his composition, he was a reliable man in all weathers, and might be counted upon to do his part willingly.

This journey had, on reflection, much daring and adventure. It constitutes my initial point of travels; but, as I have described it from my journal, in a separate form, it will not be necessary here to do more than say that it was successfully accomplished. After spending the fall of 1818, and the winter of 1819, in a series of adventures in barren, wild, and mountainous scenes, we came out on the tributary waters of the Arkansas, down which we descended in a log canoe. On the Strawberry River, my ankle, which I had injured by leaping from a wall of rock while hunting in the Green Mountains four years before, inflamed, and caused me to lie by a few days; which was the only injury I received in the route.

I returned to Potosi in February. The first man I met (Major Hawking), on reaching the outer settlements, expressed surprise at seeing me, as he had heard from the hunters, who had been on my trail about eighty miles to the Saltpetre caves on the Currents River, that I had been killed by the Indians. Every one was pleased to see me, and no one more so than my kind Kentucky host, who had been the last to bid me adieu on the verge of the wilderness.


Sit down to write an account of the mines--Medical properties of the Mississippi water--Expedition to the Yellow Stone--Resolve to visit Washington with a plan of managing the mines--Descend the river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans--Incidents of the trip--Take passage in a ship for New York--Reception with my collection there--Publish my memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington--Result of my plan-- Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.

1819. I now sat down to draw up a description of the mine country and its various mineral resources. Having finished my expedition to the south, I felt a strong desire to extend my observations up the Mississippi to St. Anthony's Falls, and into the copper-bearing regions of that latitude. Immediately I wrote to the Hon. J.B. Thomas, of Illinois, the only gentleman I knew at Washington, on the subject, giving him a brief description of my expedition into the Ozarks. I did not know that another movement, in a far distant region, was then on foot for exploring the same latitudes, with which it was my fortune eventually to be connected. I allude to the expedition from Detroit in 1820, under General Cass.

I had, at this time, personally visited every mine or digging of consequence in the Missouri country, and had traced its geological relations into Arkansas. I was engaged on this paper assiduously. When it was finished, I read it to persons well acquainted with the region, and sought opportunities of personal criticism upon it.

The months of February and March had now glided away. Too close a confinement to my room, however, affected my health. The great change of life from camping out, and the rough scenes of the forest, could not fail to disturb the functional secretions. An obstruction of the liver developed itself in a decided case of jaundice. After the usual remedies, I made a journey from Potosi to the Mississippi River, for the purpose of ascending that stream on a barge, in order that I might be compelled to drink its turbid, but healthy waters, and partake again of something like field fare. The experiment succeeded.

The trip had the desired effect, and I returned in a short time from St. Louis to Mine au Breton in completely restored health.

At Herculaneum, I was introduced to Major Stephen H. Long, of the United States Topographical Engineers, who was now on his way, in the small steamer Western Pioneer, up the Missouri to the Yellow Stone. I went on board the boat and was also introduced to Mr. Say, the entomologist and conchologist, Mr. Jessup the geologist, and other gentlemen composing the scientific corps.

This expedition was the first evidence to my mind of the United States Government turning attention, in connection with practical objects, to matters of science, and the effort was due, I understand, to the enlightened mind of Mr. Calhoun, then Secretary of War.

It occurred tome, after my return to Potosi, that the subject of the mines which I had been inquiring about, so far as relates to their management as a part of the public domain, was one that belonged properly to the United States Government; Missouri was but a territory having only inchoate rights. The whole mineral domain was held, in fee, by the General Government, and whatever irregularity had been seen about the collections of rents, &c., constituted a question which Congress could only solve. I determined to visit Washington, and lay the subject before the President. As soon as I had made this determination, everything bowed to this idea. I made a rapid visit, on horseback, to St. Louis, with my manuscript, to consult a friend, who entirely concurred in this view. If the mines were ever to be put on a proper basis, and the public to derive a benefit from them, the government must do it.

As soon as I returned to Potosi, I packed my collection of mineralogy, &c. I ordered the boxes by the lead teams to St. Genevieve. I went to the same point myself, and, taking passage in the new steamer "St. Louis," descended the Mississippi to New Orleans. The trip occupied some days. I repassed the junction of the Ohio with deep interest. It is not only the importance of geographical events that impresses us. The nature of the phenomena is often of the highest moral moment.

An interesting incident occurred as soon as I got on board the steamer. The captain handed me a letter. I opened it, and found it to contain money from the secretary of a secret society. I was surprised at such an occurrence, but I confess not displeased. I had kept my pecuniary affairs to myself. My wardrobe and baggage were such as everywhere to make a respectable appearance. If I economized in travel and outlay, I possessed the dignity of keeping my own secret. One night, as I lay sleepless in a dark but double-bedded room, an old gentleman--a disbanded officer, I think, whose health disturbed his repose--began a conversation of a peculiar kind, and asked me whether I was not a Freemason. Darkness, and the distance I was from him, induced a studiedly cautious reply. But a denouement the next day followed. This incident was the only explanation the unwonted and wholly unexpected remittance admitted. A stranger, traveling to a southern and sickly city to embark for a distant State, perhaps never to return--the act appeared to me one of pure benevolence, and it reveals a trait which should wipe away many an error of judgment or feeling.

The voyage down this stream was an exciting one, and replete with novel scenes and incidents. The portion of the river above the mouth of the Ohio, which it had taken me twenty days to ascend in a barge, we were not forty-eight hours in descending. Trees, points of land, islands, every physical object on shore, we rushed by with a velocity that left but vague and indistinct impressions. We seemed floating, as it were, on the waters of chaos, where mud, trees, boats, were carried along swiftly by the current, without any additional impulse of a steam-engine, puffing itself off at every stroke of the piston. The whole voyage to New Orleans had some analogy to the recollection of a gay dream, in which objects were recollected as a long line of loosely-connected panoramic fragments.

At New Orleans, where I remained several days, I took passage in the brig Arethusa, Captain H. Leslie, for New York.

While at anchor at the Balize, we were one night under apprehensions from pirates, but the night passed away without any attack. The mud and alluvial drift of the Mississippi extend many leagues into the gulf. It was evident that the whole delta had been formed by the deposits made in the course of ages. Buried trees, and other forms of organic life, which have been disinterred from the banks of the river, as high, not only as New Orleans and Natchez, but to the mouth of the Ohio, show this. It must be evident to every one who takes the trouble to examine the phenomena, that an arm of the gulf anciently extended to this point; and that the Ohio, the Arkansas, Red River, and other tributaries of the present day, as well as the main Mississippi, had at that epoch entered this ancient arm of the gulf. I landed at the light-house at the Balize. We had to walk on planks supported by stakes in the water. A sea of waving grass rose above the liquid plain, and extended as far as the eye could reach. About twelve or fourteen inches depth of water spread over the land. A light-house of brick or stone, formerly built on this mud plain, east of the main pass, had partially sunk, and hung in a diagonal line to the horizon, reminding the spectator of the insecurity of all solid structures on such a nascent basis. The present light-house was of wood. It was evident, however, that here were deposited millions of acres of the richest alluvion on the globe, and in future times another Holland may be expected to be rescued from the dominions of the ocean. As we passed out into the gulf, another evidence of the danger of the channel met our view, in the wreck of a stranded vessel. The vast stain of mud and alluvial filth extended for leagues into the gulf. As the vessel began to take the rise and swell of the sea, I traversed the deck diligently, and, by dint of perseverance in keeping the deck, escaped sea-sickness. I had never been at sea before. When the land had vanished at all points, and there was nothing in sight but deep blue water around us and a sky above, the scene was truly sublime; there was a mental reaction, impressing a lesson of the insignificance of man, which I had never before felt.

We passed the Gulf of Florida, heaving in sight on one side, as we passed, of the Tortugas, and, on the other, of the Mora Castle of Havana, after which there was little to be noticed, but changes in the Gulf Stream, fishes, sea-birds, ships, and the constant mutations from tempests to the deep blue waters of a calm, till we hove in sight of the Neversinks, and entered the noble bay of New York.

It was the third of August when I reached the city, having stayed out my quarantine faithfully on Staten Island, the mineralogy and geological structure of which I completely explored during that period of municipal regimen--for it was the season of yellow fever, and there was a rigid quarantine. Dr. Dewitt, the health officer, who had known my father, received me very kindly, and my time wore off imperceptibly, while I footed its serpentine vales and magnesian plains.

On reaching the city, I fixed my lodgings at a point on the banks of the Hudson, or rather at its point of confluence with the noble bay (71 Courtland), where I could overlook its islands and busy water craft, ever in motion.

I had now completed, by land and water, a circuit of the Union, having traveled some 6000 miles. My arrival was opportune. No traveler of modern times had thrown himself upon the success of his scientific observations, and I was hailed, by the scientific public, as the first one who had ever brought a collection of the mineral productions of the Mississippi Valley. My collection, which was large and splendid, was the means of introducing me to men of science at New York and elsewhere. Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell and Dr. D. Hosack, who were then in the zenith of their fame, cordially received me. The natural sciences were then chiefly in the hands of physicians, and there was scarcely a man of note in these departments of inquiry who was not soon numbered among my acquaintances. Dr. John Torrey was then a young man, who had just published his first botanical work. Dr. A.W. Ives warmly interested himself in my behalf, and I had literary friends on every side. Among these Gov. De Witt Clinton was prominent.

I had fixed my lodgings where the Hudson River, and the noble bay of New York and its islands, were in full view from my window. Here I opened my collection, and invited men of science to view it, I put to press my observations on the mines and physical geography of the West. I also wrote a letter on its resources, which was published by the Corresponding Association of Internal Improvements, The Lyceum of Natural History, and the Historical Society, each admitted me to membership. My work was published about the 25th of November. As soon as it was announced, I took copies of it, and proceeded to Washington, where I was favorably received. I lost no time in calling on Mr. Monroe, and the Secretaries of War and of the Treasury. Mr. Monroe took up his commonplace-book, and made memorandums of my statements respecting the mines. Mr. Calhoun received me cordially, and said that the jurisdiction of the mines was not in his department. But he had received a memoir from General Cass, Governor of Michigan, proposing to explore the sources of the Mississippi, through the Lakes, and suggesting that a naturalist, conversant with mineralogy, should accompany him, to inquire into the supposed value of the Lake Superior copper mines. He tendered me the place, and stated the compensation. The latter was small, but the situation appeared to me to be one which was not to be overlooked. I accepted it. It seemed to be the bottom step in a ladder which I ought to climb. Small events, it has been said, lead a man, and decide his course in life; and whether this step was important in mine, may be better judged of, perhaps, when these notes shall have been read.

In the mean time, while I accepted this place, the subject of the management and superintendence of the western mines appeared to be fully appreciated by Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, the latter of whom requested a written statement on the subject; and it was held for further consideration.[6] I found during this, my first visit to the capital, that the intelligence of my favorable reception at New York, and of my tour in the West, had preceded me. Friends appeared, of whom, at this distance of time, I may name the Vice-President, D.D. Tompkins, Judge Smith Thompson, of the Supreme Court, Colonel Benton, Senator elect from Missouri, Hon. John Scott, the delegate, Hon. Jesse B. Thomas, Senator from Illinois, John D. Dickinson, Esq., Representative from Troy, N.Y., Hon. Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office, Gen. Sol. Van Rensselaer, and Dr. Darlington, Rep. from Pennsylvania. To each of these, I have ever supposed myself to be under obligations for aiding me in my object of exploration, and I certainly was for civilities and attentions.

[6] This effort became the cause of the government finally taking definite action on the subject. Mr. Monroe presented it to the consideration of Congress in the fall, and a superintendent was subsequently appointed.

Mr. Calhoun addressed a letter to Governor Cass, of Michigan, and I proceeded immediately to the North, to be ready to avail myself of the first opportunity of ascending the lakes to the place of departure.


Set out on the expedition to the north-west--Remain a few weeks at New York--Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first steamer--Preparations for a new style of traveling--Correspondents--General sketch of the route pursued by the expedition, and its results--Return to Albany, and publish my narrative--Journal of it--Preparation for a scientific account of the observations.

1820. I left Washington on the 5th of February, exactly one year from my return to Potosi from the Ozarks; proceeded to New York, where I remained till early in March; traveled by sleigh over the Highlands, was at Niagara Falls on the 1st of May, and reached Detroit in the steamer "Walk-in-the-water" on the 8th of May. Captain D.B. Douglass, of West Point Academy, was appointed topographer, and joined me at Buffalo. We proceeded up Lake Erie in company, and were received in a most cordial manner by General Cass and the citizens generally of that yet remote and gay military post.

Arrangements were not completed for immediate embarkation. We were to travel in the novel Indian bark canoe. Many little adaptations were necessary, and while these things were being done we spent a couple of weeks very agreeably, in partaking of the hospitalities of the place. My correspondence now began to accumulate, and I took this occasion of a little pause to attend to it. The publication of my work on the mines had had the effect to awaken attention to the varied resources of the Mississippi Valley, and the subject of geographical and geological explorations. It also brought me a class of correspondents who are simply anxious for practical information, and always set about getting it in the most direct way, whether they are personal or introduced acquaintances or not. I determined at once to reply to these, wherever they appeared to be honest inquiries for geographical facts, which I only, and not books, could communicate.

Mr. Robert Bright, of Charleston, S.C., an English emigrant, having got a copy of my work, wrote (Jan. 11) as to the business prospects of St. Louis, intending apparently to go thither. Not knowing my correspondent, but, on a moment's reflection, believing the communication of such information would not make me poorer and might be important to him, by helping him on in his fortunes in the world, I wrote to him, giving the desired information, assigning to that spot, in my estimation, a highly important central influence on the business and affairs of the Mississippi Valley.

The Hon. John Scott, delegate in Congress, from Missouri, speaking of the work on the mineralogy, &c., of that territory, says, "Those sources of individual and national wealth, which I have no doubt you have well developed, have been too long neglected, and I trust that your well-directed efforts to bring them to notice will be amply rewarded, not only in the emoluments derived from the work, but what is still more gratifying to the author, and the enlightened and patriotic statesman, in seeing this portion of our resources brought into full operation."

Mr. Robert C. Bruffey, of Missouri, writes (March 14th), giving a sketch of a recent tour into the southern part of Arkansas:--

"Health of Southern Climates.--When I returned from the Arkansas, which was not till the 6th of October, with some few others, I brought a particular 'specimen' of the country, namely, the ague and fever, which I endured for two months, and until the commencement of cold weather.

"I continued but three weeks at the Springs (Hot Springs of Wachita); could I have spent the whole summer in the use of the water, no doubt I should have been much benefited, if not entirely relieved from my irksome complaint. I saw your friend Stephen P. Austin, at the Springs, just recovered from a dangerous sickness, namely, fever and vomiting blood. He inquired after you particularly.

"A New Field for Exploration.--When I was in the lower country, I was sorry you had not time to visit that interesting section of country previous to the publication of your work (which, I understand, has been received and appreciated with avidity); for I assure you, as relates to scientific researches, you would have collected materials that would have come within its purview, and repaid you liberally for your labor, and the specimens added richly to your collection.

"I will now give you a description, so far as my feeble abilities will admit, of the things which I think worthy the attention of a devotee of science. In the first place, the springs are worthy of notice, in a natural as well as medical point of view. They contain in their different issues all the different temperatures, from boiling, down to a pleasure bath. They contain a combining principle, or the quality of petrifying and uniting various substances that may come in contact with them, such as flint, earth, stone, iron, &c. The bluff from which they flow out is principally of an apparent calcareous substance, formed by the water. In some of the springs a red, in others a green and yellow, sediment is produced. The waters will remove rheumatism, purge out mercury, and produce salivation, in those who have it in their system previously; cure old sores and consumptions, in their early stages; cure dropsies, palsies, &c., if taken in time.

"The next curiosity is the loadstone, a specimen of which I have with me; you can examine it when you visit this country. The next rock crystal, of which I have two specimens.[7] The fourth is alum, of which I procured a small quantity, as I did not visit the cave where it is to be obtained. The fifth is oil and whetstone, of which there is a great abundance in that quarter. The sixth is asbestus. In a word, the subjects are worthy the attention of those who wish to be instrumental in enlarging or developing that branch of science."

[7] Now in my cabinet.

Mr. William Ficklin, one of the pioneers of Kentucky, but now a resident of Missouri, writes: "I am pleased to hear of your appointment, and wish I could be with you on the route, as you will visit a section of the country but little known to our government. I must advise you to be on your guard against the Indians, the best of whom will murder a man for a trifle, if they can meet him alone, or off his guard.

"A Mr. Nabb, a few months ago, brought me some white metal, which, he says, he smelted in a common forge--it was as bright as silver, but too hard to bear the hammer. I think it must be zinc."

March 18th.--Mr. Amos Eaton writes from Troy: "A second edition of my Index to Geology is in the press--about thirty-six pages struck off. I have written the whole over anew, and extended it to about two hundred and fifty pages 12mo. I have taken great pains to collect facts, in this district, during the two years since my first edition was published. But I am rather deficient in my knowledge of secondary and alluvial formations; I wish to trouble you with a few inquiries upon that subject.

"From what knowledge I have been able to obtain in that department, I am inclined to arrange the secondary class thus:--

"Breccia: compact, or shell limestone; gypsum, secondary sandstone.

"I leave much, also, for peculiar local formations.

"A gentleman presented specimens to the Troy Lyceum, from Illinois, of gypsum and secondary sandstone, and informed me that the latter overlaid the former in regular structure. Myron Holly, and others, have given me similar specimens, which they represent as being similarly situated, from several localities in the western part of this State. This secondary sandstone is sometimes more or less calcareous. I believe it is used for a cement by the Canal Company, which hardens under water. Will you do me the favor to settle this question?

"On your way to Detroit, you may perhaps, without material inconvenience, collect facts of importance to me, in relation to secondary and alluvial formations. Anything transmitted to me by the middle of April on these subjects will be in season, because I shall not have printed all the transition part before that time.

"Have you any knowledge of the strata constituting Rocky Mountains? Is it primitive, or is it graywacke like Catskill Mountains? I have said, in a note, that, after you and Dr. E. James set foot upon it, we shall no longer be ignorant of it.

"I intend to kindle a blaze of geological zeal before you return. I have adapted the style of my index to the capacities of ladies, plough-joggers, and mechanics."

March 28th.--While here, I received a notice of my election as a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia.

April 28th.--James T. Johnston, Esq., of N.Y., writes on the interesting character of the mineralogy of the interior of Georgia.

The spirit of inquiry denoted by these letters gives but a faint idea of the interest which was now awakened in the public mind, on the exploration of the west, and it would require a reference to the public prints of the day to denote this. If the delay had served no other purpose, it had brought us into a familiar acquaintance with our commander, who was frank and straightforward in his manners, and fully disposed, not only to say, but to do everything to facilitate the object. He put no veto on any request of this kind, holding the smiths and mechanics of the government amenable to comply with any order. He was not a man, indeed, who dealt in hems and haws--did not require to sleep upon a simple question--and is not a person whose course is to be stopped, as many little big men are, by two straws crossed.

At length the canoes, which were our principal cause of delay, arrived from Lake Huron, where they were constructed, and all things were ready for our embarkation. It was the 24th of May when we set out. A small detachment of infantry had been ordered to form a part of the expedition, under Lieutenant Aeneas Mackay. Eight or ten Chippewa and Ottowa Indians were taken in a separate canoe, as hunters, and gave picturesqueness to the brigade by their costume. There were ten Canadian voyagers of the north-west stamp. Professor Douglass and myself were the only persons to whom separate classes of scientific duties were assigned. A secretary and some assistants made the governor's mess consist of nine persons. Altogether, we numbered, including guides and interpreters, about forty persons; a truly formidable number of mouths to feed in the "waste howling wilderness."

Having kept and published a journal of the daily incidents of the expedition, I refer to it for details.[8] To plunge into the wilderness is truly to take one's life in his hand. But nobody thought of this. The enterprise was of a kind to produce exhilaration. The route lay up the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, and around the southern shores of Lakes Huron and Superior to Fond du Lac. Thence up the St. Louis River in its rugged passage through the Cabotian Mountains to the Savannah summit which divides the great lakes from the Mississippi Valley. The latter was entered through the Comtaguma or Sandy Lake River. From this point the source of the Mississippi was sought up rapids and falls, and through lakes and savannahs, in which the channel winds. We passed the inlet of the Leech Lake, which was fixed upon by Lieutenant Pike as its probable source, and traced it through Little Lake Winnipeg to the inlet of Turtle Lake in upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake, in north lat. 47°. On reaching this point, the waters were found unfavorable to proceeding higher. The river was then descended to the falls of St. Anthony, St. Peters, and Prairie du Chien. From the latter point we ascended the Wisconsin to the portage into Fox River, and descended the latter to Green Bay. At this point, the expedition was divided, a part going north, in order to trace the shores to Michilimackinack, and part steering south, by the shores of Lake Michigan to Chicago. At the latter place, another division was made, Governor Cass and suite proceeding on horseback, across the peninsula of Michigan, and Captain Douglass and myself completing the survey of the eastern coast of Michigan, and rejoining the party detached to strike Michilimackinack. The Huron shores were coasted to the head of the River St. Clair and Detroit.

[8] A Narrative Journal of Travels through the American Lakes to the Sources of the Mississippi River. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 419: Albany, 1821.

About four thousand miles were traversed. Of this distance the topography was accurately traced by Captain Douglass and his assistant, Mr. Trowbridge. This officer also took observations for the latitude at every practical point, and collected with much labor the materials for a new and enlarged map. Its geology and mineralogy were the subjects of a detailed report made by me to the War Department in 1822. Of the copper deposits on Lake Superior, a detailed report was made to the same department in November 1820. The Indian tribes were the subject of observation made by General Cass. Its botany, its fresh water conchology, and its zoology and ichthyology, received the attention that a rapid transit permitted. Its soil, productions, and climate were the topics of daily observation. In short, no exploration had before been made which so completely revealed the features and physical geography of so large a portion of the public domain. And the literary and scientific public waited with an intense desire for the result of these observations in every department.

The first letter I received on my return route from that eventful tour, was at the post of Green Bay, where a letter from J.T. Johnston, Esq., of New York, awaited me: "Since you departed," he observes, "nothing of importance has occurred, either in the moral or political world. The disturbances which disgrace the kingdom of Great Britain are, and still continue to be, favored by a few factionists. Thistlewood, and the members of the Cato Street conspiracy, have been tried for high treason, and condemned, and I presume the next arrivals must bring us an account of their execution. The Cortes has been established in Spain, and there floats a rumor that the Saint, the adored Ferdinand, has fled to France. The public debates in France seem to me to thunder forth, as the precursor of some event which will yet violently agitate the country. (Napoleon was now in St. Helena.) The stormy wave of discord has not subsided. The temple of ambition is not overthrown, and party spirit will rush to inhabit it. The convulsive struggle for independence in the South (America) still continues, but civil war appears about to interrupt its progress. At home all is quiet. A virtuous chief magistrate and a wise administration must benefit a people so PRONE TO DOMESTIC FACTION."

This gave me the first glimpse of home and its actualities, and the letter was refreshing for the sympathies it expresses, after long months of tugging over portages, and looking about to arrange in the mind stratifications, to gather specimens of minerals, and fresh water shells, and watch the strange antics which have been cut over the whole face of the north-west by the Boulder Group of Rocks.

Sept. 6. Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writes from Michilimackinack: "I forward the specimens collected by Mr. Doty and myself, on the tour (from Green Bay, on the north shore, to Michilimackinack). The most interesting will probably be the organic remains. They were collected in Little Noquet Bay, on the N.E. side, where ridges of limestone show themselves frequently. Near the top of the package you find a piece of limestone weighing about two pounds, of which the upper stratum was composed; there are two pieces of the lower stratum, resembling blue pipestone. The middle stratum was composed of these remains. About ten miles N.E. of Great Bay de Noquet, we found flint, or hornstone, in small quantities in the limestone rocks. There is also a specimen of the marble, which we saw little of; but since our arrival I am informed that a large bluff, composed of the same, is seen 30 to 40 miles from this. The gypsum I picked up on St. Martin's Islands."

On reaching Detroit, Gov. Cass invited Capt. Douglass and myself to recruit ourselves a few days at his "old mansion of the ancient era." I examined and put in order my collection of specimens, selecting such as were designed for various institutions. A local association of persons inclined to foster literary efforts, under the name of "Detroit Lyceum," elected me a member. The intrepid and energetic officer who had planned and executed this scheme of western exploration gave me a copy of his official letter to the Secretary of War, warmly approbating the conduct of Capt. Douglass and myself, as members of the expedition. All its results were attended with circumstances of high personal gratification.

I left Detroit on the 13th of October at 4 o'clock P.M., in the steamer "Walk-in-the-Water," the first boat built on the Lake waters, and reached Black Rock at 7 o'clock in the morning of the 17th, being a stormy passage, in a weak but elegant boat, of eighty-seven hours. Glad to set my foot on dry land once more, I hurried on by stage and canal, and reached Oneida Creek Depot on the 21st at 4 o'clock in the morning, stopped for breakfast there, and then proceeded on foot, through the forest, by a very muddy path, to Oneida Castle, a distance of three miles--my trunk being carried by a man on horseback. Thence I took a conveyance for Mr. W.H. Shearman's, at Vernon, where I arrived at ten o'clock A.M.

Capt. Douglass, who had preceded me, wrote from West Point Military Academy, on the 27th, that in the sudden change of habits he had been affected with a dreadful influenza. My own health continued to be unimpaired, and my spirits were buoyant. After a few days' rest, I wrote a report (Nov. 6th) to the Secretary of War on the metalliferous character of the Lake Superior country, particularly in relation to its reported wealth in copper. I proceeded to Albany on the 7th of December, and arrived the day following, and was cordially greeted by all my friends and acquaintances. It was my intention to have gone immediately to New York, but the urgent entreaties of Mr. Carter and others induced me to defer it. Very little had been said by the members of the party about a publication. We looked to Capt. Douglass, who was the topographer and a professor at West Point, to take the lead in the matter. The death of Mr. Ellicott, Professor of Mathematics at that institution, who was his father-in-law, and his appointment to the vacant chair, from that of engineering, placed him in a very delicate and arduous situation. He has never received credit for the noble manner in which he met this crisis. He was not only almost immediately required to teach his class the differential calculus, but the French copy--a language with which he was not familiar--was the only one employed. He was therefore not only obliged to study a comparatively new science, but to do it in a new language; and when the course began, he had to instruct his class daily in tasks which he committed nightly. Most men would have sunk under the task, but he went triumphantly through it, and I have never heard that the students or others ever had cause to suspect his information or question his abilities. He wrote to me, and perhaps to me only, on this subject.

There was something like a public clamor for the results of the expedition, and the narrative was hurried into press. A new zeal was awakened upon the subject of mineralogy and geology. A friend wrote to me on the mineral affluence of upper Georgia. Several letters from the western district of the State, transmitting specimens, were received. "The unexampled success of your expedition," observes one of these correspondents, "in all respects is a subject of high congratulation, not only for those of whom it was composed, but also to a great portion of the people of the United States, and to this State in particular, as we are the grand link that unites that vast region to our Atlantic border." [9] These feelings appear in letters from near and far. Captain Douglass was aware of this interest, and anxious, amidst his arduous duties, to get the necessary time to arrange his notes and materials. He wrote to me (December 25) to furnish Professor Silliman some sketches for the American Journal of Science. On the topic of topography he says:--

[9] W.S.D.Z., 9th Dec. 1820.

"With regard to our daily occurrences, ought not something to be done? I intended to have had a conversation with Governor Cass and yourself on the subject before I parted from you, but it escaped me, and I have since written about it.

"I should be glad to receive your delineation of the Mississippi below Prairie du Chien, and your levels through the Fox and Wisconsin (I believe in these we agree pretty nearly) would enable me to consolidate mine.

"While I think of it, let me tell you I have made some calculations about the height of the Porcupine Mountains. My data are the distance at which they were seen from Kewewena portage, under the influence of great refraction, and the distance on the following day without unusual refraction, and I am convinced they cannot be less than 2000 feet high; if, however, this staggers you, say 1800, and I am confident you are within the real elevation.

"Estimates of heights, breadths of rivers, &c., and, in looking over your journal, any other topographical facts which you may have to dispose of, will be very acceptable to me. Will you be able to spare me (that is, to let me copy) any of your drawings? You know, I believe, my views in asking are to embellish my map and memoir with landscape views in a light style."


Reception by the country on my return--Reasons for publishing my narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the expedition--Delays interposed to this--Correspondents--Locality of strontian--Letter from Dr. Mitchell--Report on the copper mines of Lake Superior--Theoretical geology--Indian symbols--Scientific subjects--Complete the publication of my work--Its reception by the press and the public--Effects on my mind--Receive the appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago--Result of the expedition, as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.

1821. Governor Clinton offered me the use of his library while preparing my journal for the press. Mr. Henry Inman, who was then beginning to paint, re-drew some of the views. One of the leading booksellers made me favorable proposals, which I agreed early in January to accept. I began to transcribe my journal on the 8th of the month, and very assiduously devoted myself to that object, sending off the sheets hurriedly as they were written. The engravings were immediately put in hands. In this way, the work went rapidly on; and I kept up, at the same time, an industrious correspondence with scientific men in various places.

It was at this time an object of moment, doubtless, that the results of this expedition should have been combined in an elaborate and joint work by the scientific gentlemen of the party. The topography and astronomy had been most carefully attended to by Captain Douglass, and the materials collected for an improved map. Its geology and mineralogy had formed the topic of my daily notes. Its aboriginal population had been seen under circumstances rarely enjoyed. Its fresh water conchology had been carefully observed by Douglass and myself, and fine collections made. Something had been done respecting its botany, and the whole chain of events was ready to be linked together in a striking manner.

But there was no one to take the initiative. Governor Cass, who had led the expedition, did not think of writing. Professor Douglass, who was my senior, and who occupied the post of topographer, by no means underrated the subject, but deferred it, and, by accepting the Professorship of Mathematics at West Point, assumed a duty which made it literally impossible, though he did not see it immediately, that he should do justice to his own notes. I simply went forward because no one of the members of the expedition offered to. I had kept a journal from the first to the last day, which I believe no one else had. I had been diligent in the morning and evening in observing every line of coast and river. I never allowed the sun to catch me asleep in my canoe or boat. I had kept the domestic, as well as the more grave and important events. I was importuned to give them to the public. I had written to Douglass about it, but he was dilatory in answering me, and when at last he did, and approved my suggestion for a joint work in which our observations should be digested, it was too late, so far as my narrative went, to withdraw it from my publishers. But I pledged to him at once my geological and mineralogical reports, and I promptly sent him my portfolio of sketches to embellish his map. This is simply the history of the publication of my narrative journal.

My position was, at this time, personally agreeable. My room was daily visited by literary and scientific men. I was invited to the mansions of distinguished men, who spoke of my recent journey as one implying enterprise. Nothing, surely, when I threw myself into the current of western emigration, in 1817, was farther from my thoughts than my being an instrumental cause, to much extent, in stirring up and awakening a zeal for scientific explorations and researches. The diurnal press, however, gave this tone to the thing. The following is an extract:--[10]

[10] A New York Statesman, Jan. 1821.

"During the last year, an expedition was authorized by the National Government, which left Detroit some time in the month of May, under the personal orders of Governor Cass, of the Michigan Territory, provided with the necessary means of making observations upon the topography, natural history, and aborigines of the country. We have had an opportunity of conversing with one of the gentlemen who accompanied Governor Cass in the expedition, Mr. H.R. Schoolcraft, who has recently returned to this city, bringing a large collection of mineral and other substances, calculated to illustrate the natural history of the regions visited. We learn that the party passed through Lake Superior, and penetrated to the sources of the Mississippi, which have been, for the first time, satisfactorily ascertained. In returning, they passed down the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien, and thence came across to Green Bay, by means of the Ouisconsin and Fox Rivers. Indian tribes were found in every part of the country visited, by whom they were generally well received, except at the Sault St. Marie, where a hostile disposition was manifested. The country was found to present a great variety in its soil, climate, productions, and the character of the savages, and the information collected must prove highly interesting both to men of business and men of science.

"It will be seen, by referring to an advertisement in our paper of to-day, that Mr. Schoolcraft contemplates publishing an account of the expedition, under the form of a personal narrative, embracing notices of interesting scenery, the Indian tribes, topographical discoveries, the quadrupeds, mineral productions, and geology of the country, accompanied by an elegant map and a number of picturesque views. From an inspection of the manuscript map and views, we are persuaded that no analogous performances, of equal merit, have ever been submitted to the hands of the engraver in this country. We have always been surprised that, while we have had so many travelers through the Valley of the Ohio and Lower Mississippi, no one should have thought of filling up the chasm in our north-western geography. The field is certainly a very ample one--we cannot but felicitate the public in having a person of the acknowledged talents, industry, and original views of Mr. S. to supply the deficiency."

At length Professor Douglass (Feb. 9th) responded to my proposition to club our wits in a general work. "Your propositions relative to a joint publication, meet my views precisely, and of course I am inclined to believe we may make an interesting 'work.' In addition to the usual heads of topographical and geographical knowledge, which I propose to treat of, in my memoir on that subject, I am promised by Dr. Torrey some of the valuable aid which it will be in his power to render for the article 'Botany,' and our collections should furnish the materials of a description of the fresh water conchology." His proposition was based on giving a complete account of the animal and mineral constituents of the country, its hydrography and resources; the paper on the aboriginal tribes to be contributed by General Cass.

A difficulty is, however, denoted. "My duties here," he writes, "as they engross everything at present, will force me to delay a little, and I am in hopes, by so doing, to obtain some further data. I enter, in a few days, on the discharge of my professional duties, under considerable disadvantages, owing to the late introduction into our courses of some French works on the highest branches of mathematics, which it falls to my lot first to teach. Between French, therefore, and fluxions, and moreover, the French method of fluxions, which is somewhat peculiar, I have had my hands pretty full. I look forward to a respite in April."

The professor had, in fact, to teach his class as he taught himself, and just kept ahead of them--a very hard task.

In the mean time, while this plan of an enlarged publication was kept in view, I pushed my narrative forward. While it was going through the press, almost every mail brought me something of interest respecting the progress of scientific discovery. A few items may be noticed.

Discovery of Strontian on Lake Erie.--Mr. William A. Bird, of Troy, of the Boundary Survey, writes (Jan. 22d):--

"On our return down the lake, last fall, we were becalmed near the islands in Lake Erie. I took a boat, and, accompanied by Major Delafield, Mr. A. Stevenson, and Mr. De Russey (who was to be our guide), went in search of the strontian to the main shore, where Mr. De Russey says it was found in the summer of 1819. After an unsuccessful search of an hour, we gave it up, and determined to return to our vessel. On our way we stopped at Moss Island, when, immediately on landing, we found the mineral in question. I wandered a little from the others, and found the large bed of which I spoke to you. We there procured large quantities, and some large crystals.

"This strontian was on the south side of Moss Island, in a horizontal vein of three feet in thickness, and from forty to fifty feet in length. I had no means of judging its depth into the rock. The base of the island is wholly composed of limestone, in which shells scarcely, if ever, appear."

Conchology--Mineralized Fungus, &c.--Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, of New York, writes (Jan. 30th): "I was glad to receive your letter and the accompanying articles, by the hand of Colonel Gardiner; but I am sorry your business is such as to prevent your meditated visit to the city until spring.

"I had a solemn conference with Mr. Barnes, our distinguished conchologist, on the subject of your shells. We had Say's publication on the land and fresh water molluscas before us. We believed the univalves had been chiefly described by him; one, or probably two of the species were not contained in his memoir. It would gratify me very much to possess a complete collection of those molluscas. I gave Mr. Barnes, who is an indefatigable collector, such duplicates as I could spare.

"I showed your sandy fungus to my class at the college yesterday. Our medical school was never so flourishing, there being nearly two hundred students. In the evening, I showed it to the lyceum. All the members regretted your determination to stay the residue of the winter in Albany.

"The little tortoise is referred, with a new and singular bird, to a zoological committee for examination. The sulphate of strontian is elegant.

"I am forming a parcel for Professor Schreibers, curator of the Austrian emperor's cabinet at Vienna; the opportunity will be excellent to send a few."

Report on the Copper of Lake Superior.--Professor Silliman, in announcing a notice of my work on the mines, for the next number of the Journal of Science, Feb. 5th, says: "I have written to the Secretary of War, and he has given his consent to have your report appear in the Journal of Science."

Governor Cass, of Michigan (Feb. 20th), expresses his thanks for a manuscript copy of the MS. report. "I trust," he adds, "the report will be published by the government. It would be no less useful and satisfactory to the public than honorable to yourself." Geology of Western New York.--Mr. Andrew McNabb, of Geneva (Feb. 26th), sends me two separate memoirs on the mineralogy and geology of the country, to be employed as materials in my contemplated memoir. The zeal and intelligence of this gentleman have led him to outstrip every observer who has entered into this field of local knowledge. Its importance to the value of the lands, their mines, ores, resources, water power, and general character, has led him to take the most enlarged views of the subject.

"Pursue," he says, "my dear sir, your career, for it is an honorable one. The world, bad as it is, has been much worse than now for authors; and through the great reading public, there are many generous souls, whose views are not confined to sordidness and self. May all your laudable exertions be crowned with ample success--with pleasure and profit to yourself and fellow-citizens!"

Boulder of Copper.--A large specimen of native copper from Lake Superior, procured by me, forwarded to Mr. Calhoun, by General Stephen Van Rensselaer, representative in Congress, was cut up by his directions, and presented to the foreign ministers and gentlemen from abroad; and thus the resources of the country made known. In a letter of Feb. 27th, Mr. Calhoun acknowledges the receipt of it.

Theoretical Geology.--Mr. McNabb, in forwarding additional papers relative to western geology, observes: "Have you seen Greenough's Essays on Geology? The reviewers speak of it as well as critics usually do on such occasions. President Greenough has given a shock to the 'Wernerian system;' his battery is pretty powerful, but he seems more intent on leveling than on building. The Wernerian system is very beautiful, ingenious, and plausible, and I would almost regret its demolition, unless it should be found to stand in the way of truth.

"Without some system or order in the investigation of nature's works and nature's laws, the mind is puzzled and confounded, wandering, like Noah's dove, over the face of the deep, without finding a resting-place. What a pity that human knowledge and human powers are so limited!"

Indian Symbolic Figures.--Professor Douglass (March 17th) writes, making some inquiries about certain symbolic figures on the Sioux bark letter, found above Sank River.

Expedition to the Yellow Stone.--I fancy those western expeditions intend to beat us all hollow, in tough yarn, as the sailors have it; for it seems the Indian affair has got into the form of a newspaper controversy already: vide Aurora and National Gazette.

Mineralogy of Georgia.--J. T. Johnston, Esq., of New York, writes (March 23d) that he has made an arrangement for procuring minerals for me from this part of the Union.

Scientific Subjects.--Mr. McNabb writes (March 27th): "I deeply regret that so little attention is bestowed by our legislatures (State and National) on objects of such importance as those which engage your thoughts, while so much time, breath, and treasure are wasted on frivolous subjects and party objects. How long must the patriot and philanthropist sigh for the termination of such driveling and delusion!"

After a labor at my table of about fourteen weeks, the manuscript was all delivered to my printers; and I returned to New York, and took up my abode in my old quarters at 71 Courtland. The work was brought out on the 20th of May, making an octavo volume of 419 pages, with six plates, a map, and engraved title-page. Marks of the haste with which it was run through the press were manifest, and not a few typographical errors. Nobody was more sensible of this than myself, and of the value that more time and attention would have imparted. But the public received it with avidity, and the whole edition was disposed of in a short time. Approbatory notices appeared in the principal papers and journals. The New York Columbian says:--

"The author has before given the public a valuable work upon the Lead Mines of Missouri, and, if we mistake not, a book of instructions upon the manufacture of glass. He is advantageously known as a man of science and literary research, and well qualified to turn to beneficial account the mass of information he must have collected in his tour through that interesting part of the country, which has attracted universal attention, though our knowledge of it has hitherto been extremely limited. We think there is no fear that the just expectations of the public will be disappointed; but that the book will be found to furnish all the valuable and interesting information that the subject and acquirements of the writer promised, conveyed in a chaste and easy style appropriate for the journalist--occasionally enlivened by animating descriptions of scenery. The author has not suffered his imagination to run wild from a foolish vanity to win applause as a fine writer, when the great object should be to give the reader a view of what he describes, as far as language will permit, in the same light in which he beheld it himself. He aims to give you a just and true account of what he has seen and heard, and his book will be referred to as a record of facts by the learned and scientific at home and abroad. It is a production honorable to the country, and, if we mistake not, will advance her reputation in the opinion of the fastidious reviewers of Scotland and England, in spite of their deep-rooted prejudices."

Mr. Walsh, of the National Gazette, deems it a valuable addition to this class of literature.

"Public attention," he remarks, "was much excited last year by the prospectus of the expedition, of which Mr. Schoolcraft formed a part as mineralogist, and whose journey he has now described. He remarks, in his introduction, with truth, that but little detailed information was before possessed of the extreme north-western region of the Union--of the great chain of lakes--and of the sources of the Mississippi River, which continued to be a subject of dispute between geographical writers. In the autumn of 1819 Governor Cass, of Michigan Territory, projected an expedition for exploring what was so imperfectly known, and yet so worthy of being industriously surveyed.

"The Secretary of War--to whom Mr. Schoolcraft's book is appropriately dedicated, with a just testimony to the liberal and enlightened character of his official administration--not only admitted the plan of Governor Cass, but furnished him with the means of carrying it into full effect by providing an escort of soldiers and directing the commandants of the frontier garrisons to furnish every aid, of whatever description, which the party might require. To the Governor, as chief of the expedition, he associated several gentlemen qualified to accomplish its objects; which were--a more correct knowledge of the names, numbers, customs, history, mode of subsistence, and dispositions of the Indian tribes--the collection of materials for an accurate map of the country--the investigation of the subject of the north-western copper and lead mines, and gypsum quarries; and the acquisition, from the Indians, of such tracts as might be necessary to secure the benefit of them to the United States.

"In the course of last March, we published a letter of Governor Cass to the Secretary of War, describing in a happy manner some of the scenes and occurrences which fell within the observation or inquiry of the expedition. Mr. Schoolcraft states, at the end of his introductory remarks, that he does not profess to communicate all the topographical information collected, and that a special topographical report and map may be expected, together with other reports and the scientific observations of the expedition in general. We anticipate, therefore, an ample and valuable accession to our stock of knowledge respecting so important a portion of the American territory; and such evidence of the utility of enterprises of the kind, as will inspire every branch of the government with a desire to see them repeated with equipments and facilities adapted to the most comprehensive research, and fitted to render them creditable in their fruits to the national character abroad.

"The present narrative does not exhibit the author in his capacity of mineralogist alone. In this he appears indeed more distinctively, and to particular advantage; but he writes also as a general describer and relater, and has furnished lively and ample accounts of the natural objects, and novel, magnificent scenery which he witnessed; and of the history, character, condition, and habits of the various Indian bands whom he encountered in his route, or who belong especially to our north-western territories."

I was deeply sensible of the exalted feelings and enlarged sentiments with which these and other notices were written. The effect on my mind was a sense of literary humility, and a desire to prove myself in any future attempts of the kind in some measure worthy of them. Literary candidates are not ever, perhaps, so much pleased or gratified by those who render them exact justice, of which there is always some notion, as by warm, liberal, or high-minded thoughts and commendations, which are incentives to future labors.

May 22d.--General Cass had, before leaving Detroit, offered me the situation of Secretary to the Commissioners appointed to confer with the Indians at Chicago in the summer of 1821, with a view, primarily, to the interesting and circuitous journey which it was his intention to make, in order to reach the place of meeting. This offer, as the time drew on, he now put in the shape of a letter, which I determined at once to accept, and made my arrangements to leave the city without loss of time.

It was proposed to be at Detroit the 1st of July. The tour would lie through the valleys of the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash, which interlock at the Fort Wayne summit; then across the Grand Prairie of the Illinois to St. Louis, and up the Illinois River from its mouth to its source. This would give me a personal knowledge of three great valleys, which I had not before explored, and connect my former southern explorations in Arkansas and Missouri with those of the great lake basins and the upper Mississippi. I had been at the sources and the mouth of that great river, and I had now the opportunity to complete the knowledge of its central portions. It was with the utmost avidity, therefore, that I turned my face again towards the West.

Mr. Calhoun, who was written to on the subject, concurred in this plan, and extended the time for the completion of my geological report.

Joint Work on the Scientific Results of the Expedition of 1820.-- General Cass, who had been written to, thus expresses himself on this subject:--

"Captain Douglass has informed me that you and he meditate a joint work, which shall comprise those objects, literary and scientific, which could not properly find a place in a diurnal narrative. At what time is this work to appear, and what are its plan and objects? My observations and inquiries respecting the Indians will lead me much further than I intended or expected. If I can prepare anything upon that subject prior to the appearance of the work, I shall be happy to do it."

Geological Survey of Dutchess County.--Dr. Benjamin Allen, of Hyde Park, writes to me (June 4th) on this subject, urging me to undertake the survey; but the necessity of closing my engagements in the West rendered it impossible.

Expedition of 1820.--Dr. Mitchell furnishes me opinions upon some of the scientific objects collected by me and my associates in the north-west in 1820:--

"The Squirrel sent by General Cass is a species not heretofore described, and has been named by Dr. Mitchell the federation squirrel, or sciurus tredecem striatus.

"The Pouched Rat, or mus bursarius, has been seen but once in Europe. This was a specimen sent to the British Museum from Canada, and described by Dr. Shaw. But its existence is rather questioned by Charles Cuvier.

"Both animals have been described and the descriptions published in the 21st Vol. of the Medical Repository of New York, p. 248 et seq. The specimens are both preserved in my museum. Drawings have been executed by the distinguished artist Milbert, and forwarded by him at my request to the administrators of the King's Museum, at Paris, of which he is a corresponding member. My descriptions accompany them. The originals are retained as too valuable to be sent out of the country.

"The Paddle Fish is the spatularia of Shaw and polyodon of Lacepede. It lives in the Mississippi only, and the skeleton, though incomplete, is better than any other person here possesses. It is carefully preserved in my collection.

"The Serpent is a species of the Linnaean genus Anguis, the orveto of the French, and the blind worm of the English. The loss of the tail of this fragile creature may render an opinion a little dubious, but it is supposed to be an ophias aureus of Dandin, corresponding to the Anguis ventralis of Linn, figured by Catesby.

"The shells afford a rich amount of undescribed species. The whole of the univalves and bivalves received from Messrs. Schoolcraft and Douglass, have been assembled, and examined with all I possessed before, and with Mr. Stacy Collins's molluscas brought from Ohio. Mr. Barnes is charged with describing and delineating all the species not contained in Mr. Say's memoir on these productions of the land and fresh waters of North America. The finished work will be laid before the Lyceum, and finally be printed in Silliman's New Haven Journal. The species with which zoology will be enriched will amount probably to nine or ten. We shall endeavor to be just to our friends and benefactors.

"The pipe adorns my mantelpiece, and is much admired by connoisseurs."


Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley--Cross the grand prairie of Illinois--Revisit the mines--Ascend the Illinois--Fever--Return through the great lakes--Notice of the "Trio"--Letter from Professor Silliman--Prospect of an appointment under government--Loss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"--Geology of Detroit--Murder of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.

1821. I left New York for Chicago on the 16th June--hurried rapidly through the western part of that State--passed up Lake Erie from Buffalo, and reached Detroit just in season to embark, on the 4th of July. General Cass was ready to proceed, with his canoe-elege in the water. We passed, the same day, down the Detroit River, and through the head of Lake Erie into the Maumee Bay to Port Lawrence, the present site, I believe, of the city of Toledo. This was a distance of seventy miles, a prodigious day's journey for a canoe. But we were shot along by a strong wind, which was fair when we started, but had insensibly increased to a gale in Lake Erie, when we found it impossible to turn to land without the danger of filling. The wind, though a gale, was still directly aft. On one occasion I thought we should have gone to the bottom, the waves breaking in a long series, above our heads, and rolling down our breasts into the canoe. I looked quietly at General Cass, who sat close on my right, but saw no alarm in his countenance. "That was a fatherly one," was his calm expression, and whatever was thought, little was said. We weathered and entered the bay silently, but with feelings such as a man may be supposed to have when there is but a step between him and death.

We ascended the Miami Valley, through scenes renowned by the events of two or three wars. I walked over the scene of Dudley's defeat in 1812; of Wayne's victory in 1793; and of the sites of forts Deposit and Defiance, and other events celebrated in history. From Fort Defiance, which is at the junction of the River Auglaize, we rode to Fort Wayne, sleeping in a deserted hut half way. We passed the summit to the source of the Wabash, horseback, sleeping at an Indian house, where all the men were drunk, and kept up a howling that would have done credit to a pack of hungry wolves. The Canadians, who managed our canoe, in the mean time brought it from water to water on their shoulders, and we again embarked, leaving our horses at the forks of the Wabash. The whole of this long and splendid valley, then wild and in the state of nature, till below the Tippecanoe, we traversed, day by day, stopping at Vincennes, Terrehaute, and a hundred other points, and entered the Ohio and landed safely at Shawneetown. Here it was determined to send the Canadians with our canoe, round by water to St. Louis, while we hired a sort of stage-wagon to cross the prairies. I visited the noted locality of fluor spar in Pope County, Illinois, and crossing the mountainous tract called the Knobs, rejoined the party at the Saline. Here I found my old friend Enmenger, of Kemp and Keen memory, to be the innkeeper. On reaching St. Louis, General Cass rode over the country to see the Missouri, while I, in a sulky, revisited the mines in Washington, and brought back a supply of its rich minerals. We proceeded in our canoe up the River Illinois to the rapids, at what is called Fort Rock, or Starved Rock, and from thence, finding the water low, rode on horseback to Chicago, horses having been sent, for this purpose, from Chicago to meet us. There was not a house from Peoria to John Craft's, four miles from Chicago. I searched for, and found, the fossil tree, reported to lie in the rocks in the bed of the river Des Plaines. The sight of Lake Michigan, on nearing Chicago, was like the ocean. We found an immense number of Indians assembled. The Potawattomies, in their gay dresses and on horseback, gave the scene an air of Eastern magnificence. Here we were joined by Judge Solomon Sibley, the other commissioner from Detroit, whence he had crossed the peninsula on horseback, and we remained in negotiation with the Indians during fifteen consecutive days. A treaty was finally signed by them on the 24th of August, by which, for a valuable consideration in annuities and goods, they ceded to the United States about five millions of acres of choice lands.

Before this negotiation was finished, I was seized with bilious fever, and consequently did not sign the treaty. It was of the worst bilious type, and acute in its character. I did not, indeed, ever expect to make another entry in a human journal. But a vigorous constitution at length prevailed, and weeks after all the party had left the ground, I was permitted to embark in a vessel called the Decatur on the 23d of September for Detroit. We reached Michilimackinack the seventh day of our voyage, and returned to Detroit on the 6th of October. The incidents and observations of this journey have been given to the public under the title "Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley" (1 vol. pp. 459, 8vo.: New York).

I still felt the effects of my illness on reaching Detroit, where I remained a few days before setting out for New York. On reaching Oneida County, where I stopped to recruit my strength, I learned that some envious persons, who shielded themselves under the name of "Trio," had attacked my Narrative Journal, in one of the papers during my absence. The attack was not of a character to demand a very grave notice, and was happily exposed by Mr. Carter, in some remarks in the columns of the Statesman, which first called my attention to the subject.

"A trio of writers," he observes, in his paper of 17th August, "in the Daily Advertiser of Wednesday, have commenced an attack on the Narrative Journal of Mr. Schoolcraft, lately published in this city. We should feel excessively mortified for the literary reputation of our country, if it took any three of our writers to produce such a specimen of criticism as the article alluded to; and 'for charity's sweet sake,' we will suppose that by a typographical error the signature is printed Trio instead of Tyro. At any rate, the essay, notwithstanding all its wes and ours, bears the marks of being the effort of one smatterer, rather than the joint production of three critics, as the name imports."

The Trio (if we admit there are tria juncta in uno, in this knot of savans) pretend to be governed by patriotic motives in attacking Mr. Schoolcraft. 'In what we have said, our object has been to expose error, and to shield ourselves from the imputation which would justly be thrown upon ourselves.' The construction of this sentence reminds us of the exordium of Deacon Strong's speech at Stonington--'the generality of mankind in general endeavor to try to take the disadvantage of the generality of mankind in general.' But not to indulge in levities on so grave a subject, we are happy in the belief that the reputation of our country does not demand the condemnation of Schoolcraft's Journal, as a proof of our taste, nor need such a shield as the trio have interposed, to protect it from the attacks of foreign reviewers:--

'Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis
Tempus eget.'

It affords us great pleasure to relieve the anxiety of the Trio on the subject of shielding 'ourselves from the imputation which would be justly thrown upon ourselves,' by stating that one of the most scientific gentlemen in the United States wrote to the publishers of Schoolcraft's Journal, not a week since, for a copy of the work to send to Paris, adding to his request, the work is so valuable that I doubt not it would be honorably noticed.

"We have not taken the trouble to examine the passages to which the Trio have referred; for, admitting that a trifling error has been detected in an arithmetical calculation--that a few plants (or vegetables, as this botanist calls them) have been described as new, which were before known--and that in the haste of composition some verbal errors may have escaped the author, yet these slight defects do not detract essentially from the merit of the work, or prove that it has improperly been denominated a scientific, valuable, and interesting volume. Our sage critics are not aware how many and whom they include in the denunciation of 'a few men who pretend to all the knowledge, all the wisdom of the country;' if by a few they mean all who have spoken in the most favorable terms of Mr. Schoolcraft's book.

"One word in respect to the 'candor' of the Trio, and we have done. It would seem to have been more candid, and the disavowal of 'an intention to injure' would have been more plausible, if the attack had been commenced when the author was present to defend himself, and not when he is in the depth of a wilderness, remote from his assailants and ignorant of their criticisms. But we trust he has left many friends behind who will promptly and cheerfully defend his reputation till his return."

On reading the pieces, I found them to be based in a petty spirit of fault-finding, uncandid, illiberal, and without wit, science, or learning. It is said in a book, which my critics did not seem to have caught the spirit of--"Should not the multitude of words be answered, and should a man fall if talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace, and when thou mockest shall no man make thee ashamed?" (Job xi. 2, 3.) My blood boiled. I could have accepted and approved candid and learned and scientific criticism. I replied in the papers, pointing out the gross illiberality of the attack, and tried to provoke a discovery of the authors. But they were still as death; the mask that had been assumed to shield envy, hypercriticism, and falsehood, there was neither elevation of moral purpose, courage, nor honor, to lay aside.

In the mean time, all my correspondents and friends sustained me. Men of the highest standing in science and letters wrote to me. A friend of high standing, in a note from Washington (Oct. 24th) congratulating me on my recovery from the fever at Chicago, makes the following allusion to this concealed and spiteful effort: "When in Albany I procured from Mr. Webster copies of them (the pieces), with a view to say something in the papers, had it been necessary. But, from their character and effect, this would have been wholly unnecessary. They have fallen still-born from the press."

Mr. Carter (Oct. 28th) says: "G. C. was at my room, and spoke of the numbers with the utmost contempt, and thought they were not worth noticing. The same opinion is entertained by everyone whom I have heard speak on the subject. Chancellor Kent told me that your book is the most interesting he has ever read, and that the attack on it amounts to nothing. Others have paid it the same compliment, and I think your fame is in no danger of being injured by the Trio."

Mr. Baldwin, a legal gentleman of high worth and standing, made the following observations in one of the city papers, under the signature of "Albanian":--

"True criticism is a liberal and humane art, and teaches no less to point out and admire what is deserving of applause, than to detect and expose blemishes and defects. If this be a correct definition of criticism, and 'Trio' were capable of filling the office he has assumed, I am of opinion that a different judgment would have been pronounced upon Mr. Schoolcraft's book of travels; and that they would have been justly eulogized, and held up for the perusal of every person at all anxious about acquiring an intimate knowledge of the interesting country through which he traveled, and which he so ably and beautifully described. It is certainly true, that we abound in snarling critics, whose chief delight is in finding fault with works of native production; and though it is not my business to tread upon their corns, I could wish they might ever receive that castigation and contempt which they merit from a liberal and enlightened public. In the first article which appeared in your useful paper, over the signature of 'Trio,' I thought I discovered only the effervescence of a pedantic and caviling disposition; but, when I find that writer making false and erroneous statements, and drawing deductions therefrom unfavorable to Mr. Schoolcraft, I deprecate the evil, and invite the public to a free and candid investigation of the truth. Not satisfied with detracting from the merits of Mr. Schoolcraft's work, 'Trio' indulges in some bitter and illiberal remarks upon those gentlemen who composed the Yellow Stone River expedition; and to show how little qualified he is for the subject, I will venture to declare him ignorant of the very first principles upon which that expedition was organized."

So much for the "Trio." No actual discovery of the authors was made; but from information subsequently obtained, it is believed that their names are denoted under the anagram LENICTRA.

Other criticisms of a different stamp were, however, received from high sources, speaking well of the work, which may here be mentioned. Professor Silliman writes from New Haven, November 22d: "I perused your travels with great satisfaction; they have imparted to me a great deal of information and pleasure. Could any scientific friend of yours (Captain Douglass, for instance) prepare a notice, or a review, I would cheerfully insert it.

"In reading your travels, I marked with a pencil the scientific notices, and especially those on mineralogy and geology, thinking that I might at a future period embody them into an article for the journal. Would it not be consistent with your time and occupations to do this, and forward me the article? I would be greatly pleased also to receive from you a notice of the fluor spar from Illinois; of the fossil tree; and, in short, any of your scientific or miscellaneous observations, which you may see fit to intrust to the pages of the journal, I shall be happy to receive, and trust they would not have a disadvantageous introduction to the world."

How different is this in its spirit and temper from the flimsy thoughts of the Trio!

Literary Honors.--Dr. Alfred S. Monson, of New Haven, informs me (November 23d) of my election as a member of the American Geological Society. Mr. Austin Abbott communicates notice of my election as a member of the Hudson Lyceum of Natural History.

Appointment under Government.--A friend in high confidence at Washington writes (November 4th): "The proposition to remove from Sackett's Harbor to the Sault of St. Mary a battalion of the army, and to establish a military post at the latter place, has been submitted by Mr. Calhoun to the President. The pressure of other subjects has required an investigation and decision since his return; so that he has not yet been able to examine this matter. Mr. Calhoun is himself decidedly in favor of the measure, and I have no doubt but that such will be the result of the Presidential deliberation. The question is too plain, and the considerations connected with it too obvious and important, to allow any prominent difficulties to intrude themselves between the conception and the execution of the measure. If a post be established, it is almost certain that an Indian agency will be located there, and, in the event, it is quite certain that you will be appointed the agent."

Loss of the "Walk-in-the-water."--This fine steamer was wrecked near the foot of Lake Erie, in November. A friend in Detroit writes (November 17th): "This accident maybe considered as one of the greatest misfortunes which have ever befallen Michigan, for in addition to its having deprived us of all certain and speedy communication with the civilized world, I am fearful it will greatly check the progress of emigration and improvement. They speak of three new boats on Lake Erie next season; I hope they may be erected, but such reports are always exaggerated."

Geology of Detroit.--"No accurate measurement that I can find has ever been made of the height of the bank of the river at this place. As near as I can ascertain, however, from those who have endeavored to obtain correct information respecting it, and from my own judgment, I should suppose the base of the pillars at the upper end of the market-house, which stand three hundred feet from the water's edge, to be thirty-three feet above the surface of the river. The bank is of a gentle descent towards the water, and gradually recedes from the river for one mile above the lower line of the city.

"In digging a well in the north-east part of the city, in the street near the Council House, the loam appeared to be about a foot and a half deep. The workmen then passed through a stratum of blue clay of eight or ten feet, when they struck a vein of coarse sand, eight inches in thickness, through which the water entered so fast, as to almost prevent them from going deeper. They, however, proceeded through another bed of blue clay, twenty or twenty-two feet, and came to a fine yellow sand, resembling quicksand, into which they dug three feet and stopped, having found sufficient water. The whole depth of the well was thirty-three feet.

"The water is clear, and has no bad taste. No vegetable or other remains were found, and only a few small stones and pebbles, such as are on the shores of the river. A little coarse dark sand and gravel were found below the last bed of clay, on the top of the yellow sand."

The boring for water in 1830 was extended, on the Fort Shelby plateau, 260 feet. After passing ten feet of alluvion, the auger passed through 115 feet of blue clay, with quicksand, then two of beach sand and pebbles, when the limestone rock was struck. It was geodiferous for sixty feet, then lies sixty-five, then a carbonate of lime eight feet, at which depth the effort was relinquished unsuccessfully.--Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan.

"Bed of the Detroit River.--I am induced to believe the bed of the River Detroit is clay, from the fact that it affords good anchorage for vessels. Neither limestone nor any other rock has ever been discovered in it."

Murder of Dr. Madison.--A gentleman at the West writes to me (Nov. 17): "As to the murder of Dr. Madison, the facts were, that he started from Green Bay, with three soldiers, to go to Chicago, and from thence to his wife in Kentucky, who, during his absence, had added 'one' to the family. The Indian Ke-taw-kah had left the bay the day previous, had passed the Indian village on the Manatoowack River, on his way to Chebiogan on the west side of Lake Michigan, to see a relative, but had turned back. When the Doctor met him, he was standing by the side of a tree, apparently unemployed. The Indian, says the Doctor, addressed him, and said something, from which he understood they wanted them to guide him to Chicago. As he knew he should get something to eat from them, he concluded he would go with them as far as Chebiogan. Accordingly, he fell in with the party about 2 P.M., and walked on until they had passed the Manatoowack River, about three miles.

"They came to a small rise of ground, over which two of the soldiers had passed, and the other was by the side of the Doctor's horse, and both were just on the top. The Indian was about two rods in the rear, and was at the foot of the hill, when a gun was fired in the rear, and Madison received the charge in his shoulders and in the back of his neck, and immediately fell from his horse. The Indian instantly disappeared. The Doctor exclaimed, 'Oh! why has that Indian shot me? I never did him or any of them any injury. To kill me, too, when I was just returning to my wife and my little child, which I have never seen! It is more painful than death.' His conversation was very pathetic, as related by the soldier, and all who heard him were greatly affected.

"The Indian says he shot him without any cause or malice; that the thought came into his head, about two minutes before, that he would kill one of the four; and when he saw the Doctor on the top of the hill, he concluded he would fire at him, to see how pretty he would fall off his horse."

These things transpired late in the fall. I did not reach Albany till late in December, and immediately began to prepare my geological report.


New-Yearing--A prospect opened--Poem of Ontwa--Indian biography--Fossil tree--Letters from various persons--Notice of Ontwa--Professor Silliman--Gov. Clinton--Hon. J. Meigs--Colonel Benton--Mr. Dickenson--Professor Hall--Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson, and Adams on geology--Geological notices--Plan of a gazetteer--Opinions of my Narrative Journal by scientific gentlemen--The impostor John Dun Hunter--Trip up the Potomac--Mosaical chronology--Visit to Mount Vernon.

1822. Jan. 1st.--I spent this day a New-Yearing. Albany is a dear place for the first of January; not only the houses of every one, but the hearts of every one seem open on this day. It is no slight praise to say that one day out of the three hundred and sixty-five is consecrated to general hospitality and warm-hearted cordiality. If St. Nicholas was the author of this custom, he was a social saint; and the custom seems to be as completely kept up on the banks of the Hudson as it ever could have been on the banks of the Rhine.

Jan. 5th.--My experience is that he who would rise, in science or knowledge, must toil incessantly; it is the price at which success sells her favors. During the last four years, I have passed not less than ten thousand miles, and in all this time I have scarcely lain down one night without a feeling that the next day's success must depend upon a fresh appeal to continued effort. My pathway has certainly not lain over beds of gold, nor my pillow been composed of down. And yet my success has served to raise the envy and malignity of some minds. True, these have been small minds; while a just appreciation and approval have marked the course of the exalted and enlightened. A friend writes from Washington, this day, assuring me that I am not forgotten in high quarters. "The occupation," he says, "of the Sault has been decided on, and I have but little doubt of your appointment to the agency. Make your mind easy. I am certain the government will not forget you, and I never can. I shall not lose sight of your interest a moment."

Thus, while an envious little clique here has, in my absence, clandestinely thrown most uncandid censure upon me and my labors, a vista of honor is presented to my hopes from a higher source.

While recovering from the prostrating effects of my Chicago fever, I had drawn up a memoir for the American Geological Society, which had made me a member, on the fossil tree observed in the stratification of the Des Plaines, of the Illinois, and took the occasion of being detained here in making my report, to print it, and circulate copies. It appeared to be a good opportunity, while calling attention to the fact described, to connect it with the system of secondary rocks, as explained by geologists. In this way, the occurrence of perhaps a not absolutely unique phenomenon is made a vehicle of conveying geological information, which is now sought with avidity in the country. This step brought me many correspondents of note.

Mr. Madison (Ex-President United States) writes (Jan. 22): "The present is a very inquisitive age, and its researches of late have been ardently directed to the primitive composition and structure of our globe, as far as it has been penetrated, and to the processes by which succeeding changes have been produced. The discoveries already made are encouraging; but vast room is left for the further industry and sagacity of geologists. This is sufficiently shown by the opposite theories which have been espoused; one of them regarding water, the other fire, as the great agent employed by nature in her work.

"It may well be expected that this hemisphere, which has been least explored, will yield its full proportion of materials towards a satisfactory system. Your zealous efforts to share in the contributions do credit to your love of truth and devotion to the cause of science, and I wish they may be rewarded with the success they promise, and with all the personal gratifications to which they entitle you."

Mr. Jefferson (Ex-President United States) sends a note of thanks (Jan. 26th) in the following words: "It is a valuable element towards the knowledge we wish to obtain of the crust of the globe we inhabit; and, as crust alone is immediately interesting to us, we are only to guard against drawing our conclusions deeper than we dig. You are entitled to the thanks of the lovers of science for the preservation of this fact."

Mr. John Adams (Ex-President United States, Jan. 27th) says: "I thank you for your memoir on the fossil tree, which is very well written; and the conjectures on the processes of nature in producing it are plausible and probable.

"I once lay a week wind-bound in Portland road, in England, and went often ashore, and ascended the mountain from whence they get all the Portland stone that they employ in building. In a morning walk with some of the American passengers from the Lucretia, Captain Calehan, we passed by a handsome house, at the foot of the hill, with a handsome front yard before it. Upon the top of one of the posts of this yard lay a fish, coiled up in a spiral figure, which caught my eye. I stopped and gazed at it with some curiosity. Presently a person, in the habit and appearance of a substantial and well-bred English gentleman, appeared at his door and addressed me. 'Sir, I perceive that your attention is fixed on my fish. That is a conger eel--a species that abounds in these seas; we see them repeatedly, at the depth of twelve feet water, lying exactly in that position. That stone, as it now appears, was dug up from the bowels of this mountain, at the depth of twenty feet below the surface, in the midst of the rocks. Now, sir,' said he, 'at the time of the deluge, these neighboring seas were thrown up into that mountain, and this fish, lying at the bottom, was thrown up with the rest, and then petrified, in the very posture in which he lay.'

"I was charmed with the eloquence of this profound philosopher, as well as with his civility, and said that I could not account for the phenomenon by any more plausible or probable hypothesis.

"This is a lofty hill and very steep, and in the road up and down, there are flat and smooth rocks of considerable extent. The commerce in Portland stone frequently calls for huge masses, from ten to fifteen tons weight. These are loaded on very strong wheels, and drawn by ten or twelve pair of horses. When they come to one of those flat rocks on the side of the hill where the descent is steep, they take off six or eight pair of horses, and attach them behind the wagon, and lash them up hill, while one or two pair of horses in front have to drag the wagon and its load and six or eight pair of horses behind it, backwards.

"I give you this history by way of comment on Dr. Franklin's famous argument against a mixed government. That great man ought not to have quoted this as a New England custom, because it was an English practice before New England existed, and is a happy illustration of the necessity of a balanced government.

"And since I have mentioned Dr. Franklin, I will relate another fact which I had from his mouth. When he lived at Passy, a new quarry of stone was opened in the garden of Mr. Ray de Chaumont, and, at the depth of twenty feet, was found among the rocks a shark's tooth, in perfect preservation, which I suppose my Portland friend would account for as he did for his conger eel, though the tooth was not petrified."

Thus, my memoir was the cause of the expression of opinions and facts from distinguished individuals, which possess an interest distinct from the bearing of such opinions on geology.

Mr. Carter, who has just transferred the publication of the Statesman from Albany to New York, writes (Jan. 10th) from the latter city, urging me to hasten my return to that city.

Poem on the theme of the Aborigines.--"I have," he remarks, "read Ontwa, the Indian poem you spoke to me about last summer. The notes by Governor Cass are extremely interesting, and written in a superior style. I shall notice the work in a few days."

Geology of New York Island.--"I wish you to give me an article on the mineralogy and geology of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letter purporting to be by a foreign traveler. (See Appendix, No. 2.) It is my intention to give a series of letters, partly by myself and partly by others, which shall take notice of everything in and about the city which may be deemed interesting. I wish to begin at the foundation by giving a geographical and geological sketch of the Island."

Indian Biography.--"Colonel Haines also wishes you to unite with him and myself, in writing a series of sketches of celebrated Indians."

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 20th), acknowledging the receipt of a memoir on the fossil tree of the River Des Plaines, which was prepared for the American Geological Society. He requests me to furnish him a copy of my memoir on the geology of the regions visited by the recent expedition, or, if it be too long for the purposes of the American Journal, an abstract of it.

Animal Impressions in Limestone.--"I am much obliged to you for your kind intention of furnishing me with a paper on the impressions in limestone, and I hope you will bear it in mind, and execute it accordingly.

"I have observed the appointment which the newspapers state that you have received from the government, and regret that it carries you so far south,[11] into an unhealthy climate; wishing you, however, health and leisure to pursue those studies which you have hitherto prosecuted so successfully."

[11] This is evidently an allusion to St. Mary's, in Georgia, instead of Michigan.

Professor Frederick Hall, of Middlebury College, addresses me (Jan. 14th) on the same subject. He alludes to my treatise "On the Mines, Minerals, &c., of the western section of the United States;" a work for which our country and the world are deeply indebted to your enlightened enterprise and unrelaxing zeal. Before reading it, I had a very inadequate conception of the actual extent and riches of the lead mines of the West. It seems, according to your account, that these mines are an exhaustless source of wealth to the United States. "I should feel glad to have them put under your superintendence; and to have you nurture up a race of expert mineralogists, and become a Werner among them."

Professor Silliman writes (Jan. 25th): "When I wrote you last, I had not been able to procure your memoir on the fossil tree. I read it, however, immediately after, and was so much pleased with it, that I extracted the most important parts in the American Journal, giving credit, of course, to you and to the Geological Society."

Jan. 29th. Chester Dewy, Professor, &c., in Williams College, Mass., writes a most kind and friendly letter, in which he presents various subjects, in the great area of the West, visited by me.

Chalk Formation.--"Mr. Jessup, of Philadelphia, told me that he believed you doubted respecting the chalk of Missouri, in which you found nodules of flints. I wish to ask if this be fact. From the situation, and characters and uses, you might easily be led into a mistake, for such a bed of any other earth would be far less to be expected, and be also a far greater curiosity."

Petrosilex, &c.--"By the way, I received from Dr. Torrey a curious mixture of petrosilex and prehnite in radiating crystals, which was sent him by you, and collected at the West. He did not tell me the name, but examination showed me what it was."

Tufa from Western New York.--"To day, a Quaker from Sempronius, New York, has shown me some fine tufa. I mention it, because you may, in your travels, be able to see it. He says it covers an acre or more to a great depth, is burned into excellent lime with great ease, and is very valuable, as no good limestone is found near them. Some of it is very soft, like agaric mineral, and would be so called, were it not associated with beautiful tufa of a harder kind."

Geology of America.--"You have explored in fine situations, to extend the knowledge of the geology of our country, and have made great discoveries. I congratulate you on what you have been able to do; I hope you may be able, if you wish it, to add still more to our knowledge."

Jan. 29th. Mr. McNabb says: "I have just received a specimen of excellent pit-coal from Tioga county, Pennsylvania, near the head of the south branch of the Tioga River, and about twenty miles south from Painted Post, in Steuben County. The quantity is said to be inexhaustible, and what renders it of still greater importance is, that arks and rafts descend from within four or five miles of the mines."

New Gazetteer of New York.--Mr. Carter writes (Feb. 5th) inauspiciously of the course of affairs at Washington, as not favoring the spirit of exploration. He proposes, in the event of my not receiving the contemplated appointment, the plan of a Gazetteer of New York, on an enlarged and scientific basis. "I have often expressed to you my opinion of the Spafford Gazetteer of this State. It is wholly unworthy of public patronage, and would not stand in the way of a good work of the kind; and such a one, I have the vanity to believe, our joint efforts could produce. It would be a permanent work, with slight alterations, as the State might undergo changes. My plan would be for you to travel over the State, and make a complete mineralogical, and geological, and statistical survey of it, which would probably take you a year or more. In the mean time, I would devote all my leisure to the collection and arrangement of such other materials as we should need in the compilation of the work."

Feb. 18th. Professor Dewy writes, vindicating my views of the Huttonian doctrines, respecting the formation of secondary rocks, which he had doubted, on the first perusal of my memoir of the fossil tree of Illinois.

Feb. 20th. Caleb Atwater, Esq., of Circleville, Ohio, the author of the antiquarian papers in the first volume of Archaeologiae Americana, writes on the occasion of my geological memoir. He completely confounds the infiltrated specimen of an entire tree, in the external strata, and of a recent age, which is prominently described in my paper, with ordinary casts and impressions of organic remains in the elder secondary rock column.

Feb. 24th. Mr. McNabb communicates further facts and discoveries of the mineral wealth, resources, and prospects of Western New York and Pennsylvania.

Narrative Journal.--Professor Silliman (March 5th) communicates an extract of a letter to him from Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., of Hartford, to whom he had loaned my Narrative.

"I have been very much entertained with the tour to the western lakes. I think Mr. Schoolcraft writes in a most agreeable manner; there is such an entire absence of affectation in all he says, as well as his manner of saying it, that no one can help being exceedingly pleased, even if the book had not in any other respect a great deal of merit. The whole seems such real and such absolute matter of fact, that I feel as if I had performed the journey with the traveller.

"All I regret about it is that it was not consistent with his plans to tell us more of what might be considered the domestic part of the expedition, the character and conduct of those who were of the party, their health, difficulties, opinions, and treatment of each other, &c. &c. As his book was a sort of official work, I suppose he thought this would not do, and I wish he now would give his friends (and let us be amongst them) a manuscript of the particulars that are not for the public. Mrs. W. has also been as much pleased as myself."

Under the date of March 22d, Sir Humphrey Davy, in a private letter to Dr. Hosack, says:--

"Mr. Schoolcraft's narrative is admirable, both for the facts it develops and for the simplicity and clearness of the details; he has accomplished great things by such means, and offers a good model for a traveler in a new country. I lent his book to our veteran philosophical geographer, Major Rennel, who was highly pleased with it; copies of it would sell well in England."

Dr. Silliman apprises me that Professor Douglass expects my geological report as part of his work.

Having now finished my geological report, I determined to take it to Washington. On reaching New York, I took lodgings at the Franklin House, then a private boarding-house, where my friends, Mr. Carter and Colonel Haines, had rooms. While here, I was introduced one day to a man who subsequently attracted a good deal of notice as a literary impostor. This was a person named Hunter. He said that he derived this name from his origin in the Indian country. He had a soft, compliant, half quizzical look, and appeared to know nothing precisely, but dealt in vague accounts and innuendoes. Having gone to London, the booksellers thought him, it appears, a good subject for a book, and some hack was employed to prepare it. It had a very slender basis in any observations which this man was capable of furnishing; but abounded in misstatements and vituperation of the policy of this government respecting the Indians. This fellow is handled in the Oct. No. of the North American Review, for 1825, in a manner which gives very little encouragement to literary adventurers and cheats. The very man, John Dunn, of Missouri, after whom he affected to have been named, denies that he ever heard of him.

I had, thus far, seen but little of the Atlantic, except what could be observed in a trip from New Orleans to New York, and knew very little of its coasts by personal examination. I had never seen more of the Chesapeake than could be shown from the head of that noble bay, and wished to explore the Valley of the Potomac. For this purpose, I took passage in a coasting vessel at New York, and had a voyage of a novel and agreeable kind, which supplied me with the desired information. At Old Point Comfort, I remained at the hotel while the vessel tarried. In ascending the Potomac one night, while anchored, a negro song was wafted in the stillness of the atmosphere. I could distinctly hear the following words:--

Gentlemen, he come from de Maryland shore,
See how massa gray mare go.
      Go, gray, go,
      Go, gray, go;
See how massa gray mare go.

I reached Washington late in March, and sent in my geological report on the 2d of April. Mr. Calhoun, who acknowledged it on the 6th, referred it to the Topographical Bureau. Some question, connected with the establishment of an agency in Florida, complicated my matter. Otherwise it appeared to be a mere question of time. The Secretary of War left me no room to doubt that his feelings were altogether friendly. Mr. Monroe was also friendly.

Additional Judicial District in Michigan.--J.D. Doty, Esq., wrote to me (April 8th) on this subject. So far as my judgment and observation went, they were favorable to this project. Besides, if I was to become an inhabitant of the district, as things now boded, it would be desirable to me to dwell in a country where the laws, in their higher aspects, were periodically administered. I had, therefore, every reason to favor it.

Skeptical Views of the Mosaical Chronology.--Baptiste Irvine, Esq., in referring to some criticism of his in relation to the discovery of fossils by a distinguished individual, brings this subject forward in a letter of April 19th. This individual had written to him, impugning his criticisms.

"I regret," he observes, "the cause, and shall endeavor to give publicity to his (my friend's) observations; though hardly necessary to him, they may yet awaken some ideas in the minds of the people on the wonders of physics I had almost said the slow miracles of creation. For if ever there was a time when matter existed not, it is pretty evident that millions of years were necessary to establish order on chaos, instead of six days. Let Cuvier, &c., temporize as they may. However, it is the humble allotment of the herd to believe or stare; it is the glory of intelligent men to acquire and admire." "For the memoir I am very thankful, and I perceive it alters the case."

April 22d. Mount Vernon.--In a pilgrimage to this spot, if political veneration may assume that name, I was accompanied by Honorable Albert H. Tracy, Mr. Ruggles, and Mr. Alfred Conkling of the House of Representatives, all of New York. We took a carriage, and reached the hallowed place in good season, and were politely admitted to all the apartments and grounds, which give interest to every tread. I brought some pebbles of common quartz and bits of brown oxide of iron, from the top of the rude tomb, and we all broke branches of the cedars growing there. We gazed into the tomb, through an aperture over the door, where bricks had been removed, and thought, at last, that we could distinguish the coffin.

Human Feet figured on Rock at St. Louis.--The Honorable Thomas H. Benton, in a letter of 29th April, expresses the opinion that these are antiquities, and not "prints," and that they are of the age of the mounds on the American bottom.

Mineralogy.--J.D. Doty, Esq., transmits (May 6th) from the vicinity of Martinsburg, New York, specimens of the geological structure of that neighborhood.

Austin's Colony.--"What you have said to me heretofore, concerning Mr. Austin's settlement in Texas, has rather turned my attention in that direction. Have you any means of communicating with your friend? What are your views of that country?"


Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint Mary's--Reasons for the acceptance of the office--Journey to Detroit--Illness at that point--Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establish a new military post at the foot of Lake Superior--Incidents of the voyage to that point--Reach our destination, and reception by the residents and Indians--A European and man of honor fled to the wilderness.

1822. At length Congress passed an act, which left Mr. Calhoun free to carry out his intentions respecting me, by the creation of a separate Indian agency for Florida. This enabled him to transfer one of the western agencies, namely, at Vincennes, Indiana, where the Indian business had ceased, to the foot of the basin of Lake Superior, at the ancient French village of Sault de Ste. Marie, Michigan. Had not this act passed, it would have been necessary to transfer this agency to Florida, for which Mr. Gad Humphreys was the recognized appointee. Mr. Monroe immediately sent in my nomination for this old agency to the Senate, by whom it was favorably acted on the 8th of May. The gentleman (Mr. J.B. Thomas, Senator from Illinois) whose boat I had been instrumental in saving in my descent of the Ohio in the spring of 1818, I believe, moved its confirmation. It was from him, at any rate, that I the same day obtained the information of the Senate's action.

I had now attained a fixed position; not such as I desired in the outset, and had striven for, but one that offered an interesting class of duties, in the performance of which there was a wide field for honorable exertion, and, if it was embraced, also of historical inquiry and research. The taste for natural history might certainly be transferred to that point, where the opportunity for discovery was the greatest. At any rate, the trial of a residence on that remote frontier might readily be made, and I may say it was in fact made only as a temporary matter. It was an ancient agency in which General Harrison had long exercised his superior authority over the fierce and wild tribes of the West, which was an additional stimulus to exertion, after its removal to Lake Superior.

I called the next day on Mr. Calhoun, to express my obligation, and to request instructions. For the latter object, he referred me to General Cass, of Detroit, who was the superintendent of Indian affairs on the North-Western frontier, and to whom the policy of pushing an agency and a military post to that point is, I believe, due.

I now turned my face to the North, made a brief stay in New York, hurried through the western part of that State to Buffalo, and ascended Lake Erie to Detroit. At this point I was attacked with fever and ague, which I supposed to have been contracted during a temporary landing at Sandusky. I directed my physician to treat it with renewed doses of mercury, in quick succession, which terminated the fever, but completely prostrated my strength, and induced, at first tic douloureux, and eventually a paralysis of the left cheek.

The troops destined for the new post arrived about the beginning of July. They consisted of a battalion of the 2d Regiment of Infantry, under Colonel Brady, from garrison duty at Sackett's Harbor, and they possessed every element of high discipline and the most efficient action, under active officers. Brady was himself an officer of Wayne's war against the Indians, and had looked danger steadily in the face on the Niagara frontier, in the Late War. In this condition, I hastily snatched up my instructions, and embarked on board the new steamer "Superior," which was chartered by the government for the occasion. It was now the 2d of July.

Before speaking of the voyage from this point, it may be well to refer to another matter. The probability of Professor Douglass publishing the joint results of our observations on the expedition of 1820, appeared now unfavorable. Among the causes of this, I regarded my withdrawal to a remote point as prominent but not decisive. Two years had already elapsed; the professor was completely absorbed in his new professorship, in which he was required to teach a new subject in a new language. Governor Cass, who had undertaken the Indian subject, had greatly enlarged the platform of his inquiries, which rendered it probable that there would be a delay. My memoir on the geology and mineralogy only was ready. Dr. Barnes had the conchology nearly ready, and the botany, which was in the hands of Dr. Torrey, was well advanced. But it required a degree of labor, zeal, and energy to push forward such a work, that admits of no abatements, and which was sufficient to absorb all the attention of the highest mind; and could not be expected from the professor, already overtasked.

Among the papers which were put in my hands at Detroit, I found a printed copy of Governor Cass's Indian queries, based on his promise to Douglass, by which I was gratified to perceive that his mind was earnestly engaged in the subject, which he sought a body of original materials to illustrate. I determined to be a laborer in this new field.

Our voyage up Lake Huron to Michilimackinack, and thence east to the entrance of the Straits of St. Mary's, at Detour, was one of pleasant excitement. We ascended the straits and river, through Muddy Lake and the narrow pass at Sailor's Encampment, to the foot of the great Nibeesh [12] rapids. Here the steamer came to anchor from an apprehension that the bar of Lake George [13] could not be crossed in the existing state of the water.

[12] This name signifies strong water, meaning bad for navigation, from its strength. Here Nebeesh is the derogative form of Nebee, water.
[13] The depth of water on this bar was then stated to be but six feet two inches.

It was early in the morning of the 6th of July when this fact was announced. Colonel Brady determined to proceed with his staff in the ship's yawl, by the shorter passage of the boat channel, and invited me to a seat. Captain Rogers, of the steamer, himself took the helm. After a voyage of about four or five hours, we landed at St. Mary's at ten o'clock in the morning. Men, women, children, and dogs had collected to greet us at the old wharf opposite the Nolan House--the ancient "chateau" of the North-West Company. And the Indians, whose costume lent an air of the picturesque to the scene, saluted us with ball, firing over our heads as we landed. The Chemoquemon had indeed come! Thus the American flag was carried to this point, and it was soon hoisted on a tall staff in an open field east of Mr. Johnston's premises, where the troops, as they came up, marched with inspiring music, and regularly encamped. The roll of the drum was now the law for getting up and lying down. It might be 168 or 170 years since the French first landed at this point. It was just 59 since the British power had supervened, and 39 since the American right had been acknowledged by the sagacity of Dr. Franklin's treaty of 1783. But to the Indian, who stood in a contemplative and stoic attitude, wrapped in his fine blanket of broadcloth, viewing the spectacle, it must have been equally striking, and indicative that his reign in the North-West, that old hive of Indian hostility, was done. And, had he been a man of letters, he might have inscribed, with equal truth, as it was done for the ancient Persian monarch, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL."

To most persons on board, our voyage up these wide straits, after entering them at Point de Tour, had, in point of indefiniteness, been something like searching after the locality of the north pole. We wound about among groups of islands and through passages which looked so perfectly in the state of nature that, but for a few ruinous stone chimneys on St. Joseph's, it could not be told that the foot of man had ever trod the shores. The whole voyage, from Buffalo and Detroit, had indeed been a novel and fairy scene. We were now some 350 miles north-west of the latter city. We had been a couple of days on board, in the area of the sea-like Huron, before we entered the St. Mary's straits. The Superior, being the second steamer built on the Lakes,[14] had proved herself a staunch boat.

[14] The first steamer built on the Lakes was called the "Walk-in-the-Water," after an Indian chief of that name; it was launched at Black Rock, Niagara River, in 1818, and visited Michilimackinack in the summer of that year.

The circumstances of this trip were peculiar, and the removal of a detachment of the army to so remote a point in a time of profound peace, had stimulated migratory enterprise. The measure was, in truth, one of the results of the exploring expedition to the North-West in 1820, and designed to curb and control the large Indian population on this extreme frontier, and to give security to the expanding settlements south of this point. It was in this light that Mr. Calhoun, the present enlightened Secretary of War, viewed the matter, and it may be said to constitute a part of his plan for throwing a cordon of advanced posts in front of the wide area of our western settlements. From expressions heard on our route, the breaking up in part of the exceedingly well-quartered garrison of Madison barracks at Sackett's Harbor, N.Y., was not particularly pleasing to the officers of this detachment, most of whom were married gentlemen, having families, and all of whom were in snug quarters at that point, surrounded as it is by a rich, thriving, farming population, and commanding a good and cheap market of meats and vegetables. To be ordered off suddenly a thousand miles or more, over three of the great series of lakes, and pitched down here, on the verge of the civilized world, at the foot of Lake Superior, amid Indians and Indian traders, where butchers' meat is a thing only to be talked about, and garden vegetables far more rare than "blackberries," was not, certainly, an agreeable prospect for officers with wives and mothers with babies. It might, I am inclined to think from what I heard, be better justified on the grounds of national than of domestic policy. They determined, however, on the best possible course under the circumstances, and took their ladies and families along. This has given an air of gayety and liveliness to the trip, and, united with the calmness of the season, and the great novelty and beauty of the scenery, rendered the passage a very agreeable one. The smoothness of the lakes, the softness and purity of the air, the wild and picturesque character of the scenes, and the perfect transparency of the waters, have been so many themes of perpetual remark and admiration. The occasional appearance of the feather-plumed Indian in his sylph-like canoe, or the flapping of a covey of wild-fowl, frightened by the rushing sound of a steamboat, with the quick pulsation of its paddle-strokes on the water, but served to heighten the interest, and to cast a kind of fairy spell over the prospect, particularly as, half shrouded in mist, we passed among the green islands and brown rocks, fringed with fir trees, which constituted a perfect panorama as we entered and ascended the Straits of the St. Mary's.

We sat down to our Fourth-of-July dinner on board the Superior, a little above the Thunder Bay Islands, in Lake Huron, and as we neared the once sacred island of Michilimackinack, and saw its tall cliffs start up, as it were by magic, from the clear bosom of the pellucid lake, a true aboriginal, whose fancy had been well imbued with the poetic mythology of his nation, might have supposed he was now, indeed, approaching his fondly-cherished "Island of the Blest." Apart from its picturesque loveliness, we found it, however, a very flesh and blood and matter-of-fact sort of place, and having taken a pilot on board, who knew the sinuosities of the Saint Mary's channel, we veered around, the next day, and steered into the capes of that expanded and intricate strait, where we finally anchored on the morning denoted, and where the whole detachment was quickly put under orders to ascend the river the remainder of the distance, about fifteen miles, in boats, each company under its own officers, while the colonel pushed forward in the yawl. It was settled, at the same time, that the ladies and their "little ones" should remain on board, till matters had assumed some definite shape for their reception.

We were received by the few residents favorably, as has been indicated. Prominent among the number of residents who came to greet us was Mr. John Johnston, a gentleman from the north of Ireland, of whose romantic settlement and adventures here we had heard at Detroit. He gave us a warm welcome, and freely offered every facility in his power to contribute to the personal comfort of the officers and their families, and the general objects of the government. Mr. J. is slightly lame, walking with a cane. He is of the medium stature, with blue eyes, fair complexion, hair which still bears traces of its original light brown, and possesses manners and conversation so entirely easy and polite as to impress us all very favorably.

Colonel Brady selected some large open fields, not susceptible of a surprise, for his encampment. To this spot, as boat after boat came up, in fine style, with its complement of men from the steamer, the several companies marched down, and before nightfall, the entire command was encamped in a square, with their tents handsomely pitched, and the whole covered by lines of sentinels, and under the exact government of troops in the field. The roll of the drum which had attracted but little attention on the steamer, assumed a deeper tone, as it was re-echoed from the adjoining woods, and now distinctly announced, from time to time, the placing of sentinels, the hour for supper, and other offices of a clock, in civil life. The French population evinced, by their countenances and gestures, as they clustered round, a manifest satisfaction at the movement; the groups of Indians had gazed in a sort of silent wonder at the pageant; they seemed, by a certain air of secrecy and suspicion, to think it boded some evil to their long supremacy in the land. Night imperceptibly threw her dark mantle over the scene; the gazers, group by group, went to their lodges, and finally the sharp roll of the tattoo bid every one within the camp to his tent. Captain Alexander R. Thompson, who had claimed the commandant as his guest, invited me also to spend the night in his tent. We could plainly hear the deep murmur of the falls, after we lay down to rest, and also the monotonous thump of the distant Indian wabeno drum. Yet at this remote point, so far from the outer verge of civilization, we found in Mr. Johnston a man of singular energy and independence of character, from one of the most refined circles of Europe; who had pushed his way here to the foot of Lake Superior about the year 1793; had engaged in the fur trade, to repair the shattered fortunes of his house; had married the daughter of the ruling Ogima or Forest King of the Chippewas; had raised and educated a large family, and was then living, in the only building in the place deserving the name of a comfortable residence, with the manners and conversation of a perfect gentleman, the sentiments of a man of honor, and the liberality of a lord. He had a library of the best English works; spent most of his time in reading and conducting the affairs of an extensive business; was a man of social qualities, a practical philanthropist, a well-read historian, something of a poet, and talked of Europe and its connections as things from which he was probably forever separated, and looked back towards it only as the land of reminiscences.


Incidents of the summer during the establishment of the new post at St. Mary's--Life in a nut-shell--Scarcity of room--High prices of everything--State of the Indians--Their rich and picturesque costume--Council and its incidents--Fort site selected and occupied--The evil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians--Note from Governor De Witt Clinton--Mountain ash--Curious superstitions of the Odjibwas--Language--Manito poles--Copper--Superstitious regard for Venus--Fine harbor in Lake Superior--Star family--A locality of necromancers--Ancient Chippewa capital--Eating of animals.

1822. July 7th. We left our pallets at the sound of the reveille, and partook of a rich cup of coffee, with cream, which smoked on the camp breakfast-board of our kind entertainer, Captain Thompson.[15] The ladies and children came up from the steamer, under due escorts, during the day, and were variously accommodated with temporary quarters. Dr. Wheaton and lady, Captain Brant, quartermaster, and myself, were received eventually at the table of Mr. Johnston. Captain Brant and myself hired a small room hard by for an office to be used between us. This room was a small log tenement, which had been occupied by one of Mr. J.'s hands. It was about twelve by fourteen feet, with a small window in front and in rear, and a very rural fire-place in one corner. It is astonishing how much comfort can be enjoyed in a crowded and ill-fitted place on a pinch. We felicitated ourselves at even this. We really felt that we were quite fortunate in getting such a locality to hail from. Captain N.S. Clark got an adjoining tenement, of similar construction and use, but much larger, for his numerous family. Some of the ladies took shelter at the domicil of an intelligent American family (Mr. E.B. Allen's) who had preceded us a short time with an adventure of merchandise. One or two of the ladies abode temporarily in the tents of their husbands. The unmarried officers looked for nothing better than life in camp. I accepted an invitation at the mess-table of the officers. Besides this sudden influx of population, there were followers and hucksters of various hues who hoped to make their profits from the soldiery. There was not a nook in the scraggy-looking little antique village but what was sought for with avidity and thronged with occupants. Whoever has seen a flock of hungry pigeons, in the spring, alight on the leaf-covered ground, beneath a forest, and apply the busy powers of claw and beak to obtain a share of the hidden acorns that may be scratched up from beneath, may form some just notion of the pressing hurry and bustle that marked life in this place. The enhanced price that everything bore was one of the results of this sudden influx of consumers and occupants.

[15] This officer fell at the battle of Ochechubby, in Florida, as colonel of the sixth infantry, gallantly leading his men to battle.

8th. I went to rest last night with the heavy murmuring sound of the falls in my ears, broken at short intervals by the busy thump-thump-thump of the Indian drum; for it is to be added, to the otherwise crowded state of the place, that the open grounds and river-side greens of the village, which stretch along irregularly for a mile or two, are filled with the lodges of visiting Indian bands from the interior. The last month of spring and the early summer constitute, in fact, a kind of carnival for the natives. It is at this season that the traders, who have wintered in the interior, come out with their furs to the frontier posts of St. Mary's, Drummond Island, and Michilimackinack, to renew their stocks of goods. The Indians, who have done hunting at this season, as the furred animals are now changing their hair, and the pelt becomes bad, follow them to enjoy themselves along the open shores of the lakes, and share in the good things that may fall to their lot, either from the traders at their places of outfit, from presents issued by the British or American governments at their chief posts, or from merchants in the towns, to whom a few concealed skins are still reserved to trade. An Indian's time appears to be worth but little to him at this season, if at any season. He lives most precariously on small things, such as he can pick up as he travels loitering along the lake shores, or strolls, with easy footsteps, about the forest precincts of his lodge. A single fish, or a bird or squirrel, now and then, serves to mitigate, if it does not satisfy, hunger. He has but little, I am told, at the best estate; but, to make amends for this, he is satisfied and even happy with little. This is certainly a philosophic way of taking life, but it is, if I do not mistake it, stoic philosophy, and has been learned, by painful lessons of want, from early youth and childhood. Where want is the common lot, the power of endurance which the race have must be a common attainment.

9th. This day I hired an interpreter for the government, to attend at the office daily, a burly-faced, large man of some five-and-forty, by the name of Yarns. He tells me that he was born at Fort Niagara, of Irish parentage, to which an originally fair skin, blue eyes, and sandy hair, bear testimony. He has spent life, it seems, knocking about trading posts, in the Indian country, being married, has metif children, and speaks the Chippewa tongue fluently--I do not know how accurately.

The day which has closed has been a busy day, having been signalized as the date of my first public council with the Indians. It has ushered in my first diplomatic effort. For this purpose, all the bands present were invited to repair to camp, where Colonel Brady, at the appointed hour, ordered his men under arms, in full dress. They were formed in a hollow square in front of his marque. The American flag waved from a lofty staff. The day was bright and fine, and everything was well arranged to have the best effect upon the minds of the Indians. As the throng of both resident and foreign bands approached, headed by their chiefs, they were seated in the square. It was noticed that the chiefs were generally tall and striking-looking persons, of dignified manners, and well and even richly dressed. One of the chiefs of the home band, called Sassaba, who was generally known by the sobriquet of the Count, appeared in a scarlet uniform, with epaulets and a sword. The other chiefs observed their native costume, which is, with this tribe, a toga of blue broadcloth, folded and held by one hand on the breast, over a light-figured calico shirt, red cloth leggins and beaded moccasons, a belt or baldric about the waist, sustaining a knife-sheath and pouch, and a frontlet of skin or something of the sort, around the forehead, environed generally with eagles' feathers.

When the whole were seated, the colonel informed them that I had been sent by their great father the President to reside among them, that respect was due me in that capacity, and that I would now address them. I had directed a quantity of tobacco to be laid before them; and offered them the pipe with the customary ceremonies. Being a novice in addresses of this kind, I had sat down early in the morning, in my crowded log hut, and written an address, couched in such a manner, and with such allusions and appeals, as I supposed would be most appropriate. I was not mistaken, if I could judge by the responses made at the close of each sentence, as it was interpreted. The whole address was evidently well received, and responded to in a friendly manner, by the ruling chief, a tall, majestic, and graceful person named Shingabawossin, or the Image Stone, and by all who spoke except the Count. He made use of some intemperate, or ill-timed expressions, which were not interpreted, but which brought out a strong rebuke from Mr. Johnston, who, being familiar with the Indian language, gave vent in their tongue to his quick and high-toned feelings of propriety on the occasion. Colonel Brady then made some remarks to the chiefs, dictated by the position he occupied as being about to take post, permanently, in their country. He referred to the treaty of purchase made at these falls two years before by Governor Cass. He told the Indians that he should not occupy their ancient encamping and burial-ground on the hill, but would select the next best site for his troops. This announcement was received with great satisfaction, as denoted by a heavy response of approbation on the part of the Indians; and the council closed to the apparent mutual satisfaction of all. I augured well from all I heard respecting it, as coming from the Indians, and was resolved to follow it up zealously, by cultivating the best understanding with this powerful and hitherto hostile tribe, namely the Chippewas, or, as they call themselves, Od-jib-wä.[16] To this end, as well as for my amusement, I commenced a vocabulary, and resolved to study their language, manners, customs, &c.

[16] This word has its pluraling thus, Od-jib-wäig.

10th. On examining the topography and advantages of the ground, Colonel Brady determined to take possession of a lot enclosed and dwelling, originally the property of the North West Company, and known as the Nolin House, but now the property of Mr. C.O. Ermatinger.[17] To this place the troops were marched, soon after the close of the Indian council mentioned, and encamped within the area. This area was enclosed with cedar pickets. The dwelling-house, which occupied an eminence some eighth of a mile below the falls, was in old times regarded as a princely château of the once powerful lords of the North West Fur Trade, but is now in a decayed and ruinous state. It was nick-named "Hotel Flanagan." Dilapidated as it was, there was a good deal of room under its roof, and it afforded quarters for most of the officers' families, who must otherwise have remained in open tents. The enclosure had also one or two stone houses, which furnished accommodations to the quartermaster's and subsistence and medical departments. Every nerve was now directed to fit up the place, complete the enclosure, and furnish it with gates; to build a temporary guard-house, and complete other military fixtures of the new cantonment. The edifice also underwent such repairs as served to fence out, as much as possible, the winds and snows of a severe winter--a winter which every one dreads the approach of, and the severity of which was perhaps magnified in proportion as it was unknown.

[17] For the property thus taken possession of, the United States Government, through the Quartermaster's Department, paid the claimant the just and full amount awarded by appraisers.

11th. What my eyes have seen and my ears have heard, I must believe; and what is their testimony respecting the condition of the Indian on the frontiers? He is not, like Falstaff's men, "food for powder," but he is food for whisky. Whisky is the great means of drawing from him his furs and skins. To obtain it, he makes a beast of himself, and allows his family to go hungry and half naked. And how feeble is the force of law, where all are leagued in the golden bonds of interest to break it! He is indeed

"Like some neglected shrub at random cast
That shades the steep and sighs at every blast."

12th. I received by to-day's mail a note from De Witt Clinton, Governor of New York. America has produced few men who have united civic and literary tastes and talents of a high order more fully than he does. He early and ably investigated the history and antiquities of Western New York. He views with a comprehensive judgment the great area of the West, and knows that its fertility and resources must render it, at no distant day, the home of future millions. He was among the earliest to appreciate the mineralogical and geographical researches which I made in that field. He renewed the interest, which, as a New Yorker, he felt in my history and fortunes, after my return from the head of the Mississippi in 1820. He opened his library and house to me freely; and I have to notice his continued interest since my coming here. In the letter which has just reached me, he encloses a favorable notice of my recent Narrative of the Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi, from Sir Humphrey Davy. If there were nothing else, in such a notice from such a source but the stimulus it gives to exertion, that alone is worth to a man in my position "pearls and diamonds."

Colonel Brady, who is active in daily perambulating the woods, to make himself acquainted with the environs, seeking, at the same time, the best places of finding wood and timber, for the purposes of his command, brought me a twig of the Sorbus Americana, a new species of tree to him, in the American forest, of which he asked me the name. This tree is found in occasional groups extensively in the region of the upper Lake latitudes, where it is called the mountain ash. In the expedition to the sources of the Mississippi in 1820, it was observed on the southern shores of Lake Superior, which are on the average a little north of latitude 36° 30'. This tree does not in these straits attain much size; a trunk of six to eight inches diameter is large. Its leaves, flowers, and fruit all tend to make it a very attractive species for shade and ornament. It must have a rich soil, but, this requisite granted, it delights in wet moist lands, and will thrive with its roots in springy grounds.

15th. One of the curious superstitions of the Chippewas, respecting the location of spiritual existences, revealed itself to-day. There is quite an eminence nearly a mile back of the new cantonment, which is called La Butte de Terre by the French, and Wudjuwong,[18] or Place of the Mountain, by the natives. This eminence is covered with a fine growth of forest trees, and lies in the track of an ancient Indian hunting path. About half way between the brow of the hill and the cantonment, there formerly stood a large tree of this species, partly hollow, from the recesses of which, Indian tradition says, there issued, on a calm day, a sound like the voice of a spirit or monedo. It resembled the sounds of their own drum. It was therefore considered as the residence of some powerful spirit, and deemed sacred. To mark their regard for the place, they began to deposit at its foot bows and twigs of the same species of tree, as they passed it, from year to year, to and from their hunting-grounds. These offerings began long before the French came to the country, and were continued up to this time. Some years ago, the tree had become so much decayed that it blew down during a storm, but young shoots came up from its roots, and the natives continued to make these offerings of twigs, long after the original trunk had wholly decayed. A few days ago, Colonel Brady directed a road to be cut from the cantonment to the hill, sixty feet wide, in order to procure wood from the hill for the garrison. This road passed over the site of the sacred tree, and the men, without knowing it, removed the consecrated pile of offerings. It may serve to show a curious coincidence in the superstitions of nations, between whom, however, there is not the slightest probability of national affiliation, or even intercourse, to remark that this sacred manito tree was a very large species of the Scottish rowan or mountain ash.

[18] Wudijoo, a mountain--ong denotes locality.

16th. I this day left the mess-table of my kind friends, the officers of the second infantry, and went to the hospitable domicil of Mr. Johnston, who has the warm-hearted frankness of the Irish character, and offers the civilities of life with the air and manner of a prince. I flatter myself with the opportunity of profiting greatly while under his roof, in the polished circle of his household, and in his ripe experience and knowledge of the Indian character, manners, and customs, and in the curious philosophical traits of the Indian language. It is refreshing to find a person who, in reference to this language, knows the difference between the conjugation of a verb and the declension of a noun. There is a prospect, at least, of getting at the grammatical principles, by which they conjoin and build up words. It has been intolerable to me to converse with Indian traders and interpreters here, who have, for half their lives, been using a language without being able to identify with precision person, mood, tense, or any of the first laws of grammatical utterance.

17th. It is customary with the Chippewas at this place, when an inmate of the lodge is sick, to procure a thin sapling some twenty to thirty feet long, from which, after it has been trimmed, the bark is peeled. Native paints are then smeared over it as caprice dictates. To the slender top are then tied bits of scarlet, blue cloth, beads, or some other objects which are deemed acceptable to the manito or spirit, who has, it is believed, sent sickness to the lodge as a mark of his displeasure. The pole is then raised in front of the lodge and firmly adjusted in the ground. The sight of these manito poles gives quite a peculiar air to an Indian encampment. Not knowing, however, the value attached to them, one of the officers, a few days after our arrival, having occasion for tent poles, sent one of his men for one of these poles of sacrifice; but its loss was soon observed by the Indians, who promptly reclaimed it, and restored it to the exact position which it occupied before. There is, in fact, such a subtle and universal belief in the doctrine and agency of minor spirits of malign or benignant influence among the Indians who surround the cantonment, or visit the agency, and who are encamped at this season in great numbers in the open spaces of the village or its vicinity, that we are in constant danger of trespassing against some Indian custom, and of giving offence where it was least intended. It is said that one cause of the preference which the Indians have ever manifested for the French, is the respect which they are accustomed to pay to all their religious or superstitious observances, whereas an Englishman or an American is apt, either to take no pains to conceal his disgust for their superstitions, or to speak out bluntly against them.

18th. Sulphuret of Copper.--I received a specimen of this mineral, which is represented to have been obtained on the Island of Saint Joseph's, in these straits (Saint Mary's). It has the usual brass yellow color of the sulphurets of this metal, and furnishes a hint for seeking that hitherto undiscovered, but valuable species of the ore in this vicinity. Hitherto, we have found the metal chiefly in the native form, or in the condition of a carbonate, the first being a form of it which has not in Europe been found in large quantities, and the second not containing a sufficient per centage to repay well the cost of smelting.

20th. Superstitious regard for Woman.--Some of the rites and notions of these northern barbarians are curious. The following custom is stated to me to have been formerly prevalent among the Chippewas: After their corn-planting, a labor which falls to the share of the women, and as soon as the young blades began to shoot up from the hills, it was customary for the female head of the family to perform a circuit around the field in a state of nudity. For this purpose, she chose a dark evening, and after divesting herself of her machecota, held it in her hands dragging it behind her as she ran, and in this way compassed the field. This singular rite was believed to protect the corn from blight and the ravages of worms and vermin, and to insure a good crop. It was believed that neither worms nor vermin could cross the mystic or enchanted ring made by the nocturnal footsteps of the wife, nor any mildew or canker affect the growing stalks and ears.

21st. Grand Island, in Lake Superior, lies transversely in the lake, just beyond the termination of the precipitous coast of the Pictured Rocks. Its southern end is crescent-shaped, and forms a singularly fine harbor for vessels, which will one day be appreciated. The Indian band occupying it was formerly numerous. There are many stories still current of their former prowess and traits of hospitality and generosity, and of the skill of their old seers, and divining-men, i.e. Jossakeeds. Its present Indian population is reduced to forty-six souls, of whom ten are men, sixteen women, and twenty children. Of the men, nine are married, one of whom has two wives, and there are two widows.

Of this band the Star family, so called, have long possessed the chieftainship, and are remarkable on several accounts. There are eleven children of them now living, five of whom are males, all by one mother, who is still living. Sabboo is the principal man. The South Bird, his elder, and the ruling chief, has removed to Bay de Nocquet. At this island, story says, formerly lived the noted warrior and meta, Sagima; and it was also, according to Indian mythology, the residence of Mishosha, who owned a magic canoe, that would shoot through the water by uttering a charmed word.

22d. I have heard much of the ancient Chippewa capital of La Pointe, as the French call it, or Chegoimegon, in Lake Superior, situated near its west end, or head. The Chippewas and their friends, the old traders and Boisbrules, and Canadians, are never tired of telling of it. All their great men of old times are located there. It was there that their Mudjekewis, king or chief ruler, lived, and, as some relate, that an eternal fire was kept up with a sort of rude temple service. At that place lived, in comparatively modern times, Wabojeeg and Andaigweos, and there still lives one of their descendants in Gitchee Waishkee, the Great First-born, or, as he is familiarly called, Pezhickee, or the Buffalo, a chief decorated with British insignia. His band is estimated at one hundred and eighteen souls, of whom thirty-four are adult males, forty-one females, and forty-three children. Mizi, the Catfish, one of the heads of families of this band, who has figured about here this summer, is not a chief, but a speaker, which gives him some éclat. He is a sort of petty trader too, being credited with little adventures of goods by a dealer on the opposite, or British shores.

23d. There are few animals which the Indians reject as food. On this subject they literally fulfil the declaration of Paul, "that every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused;" but I fear the poor creatures, in these straits, do anything but show the true spirit of thanksgiving in which the admonition is given. There is nothing apparently in the assertion respecting Indians distinguishing between clean and unclean beasts; I have heard, however, that crows and vultures are not eaten, but, when they are pushed by hunger, whatever can sustain life is taken.

The truth is, the calls of hunger are often so pressing to these northern Indians, that anything in the shape of animal fibre, that will keep soul and body together, is eaten in times of their greatest want. A striking instance of this kind has just occurred, in the case of a horse killed in the public service. The animal had, to use the teamster's phrase, been snagged, and was obliged to be shot. To prevent unpleasant effects in hot summer weather, the carcass was buried in the sand; but as soon as the numerous bands of Indians, who are encamped here, learned the fact, they dug up the animal, which was, however, nowise diseased, and took it to their camp for food.


Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the head of the falls--Indian mode of interment--Indian prophetess--Topic of interpreters and interpretation--Mode of studying the Indian language--The Johnston family--Visits--Katewabeda, chief of Sandy Lake--Indian mythology, and oral tales and legends--Literary opinion--Political opinion--Visit of the chief Little Pine--Visit of Wabishkepenais--A despairing Indian--Geography.

1822. July 26th. A tragic occurrence took place last night, at the head of the portage, resulting in the death of a Chippewa, which is believed to be wholly attributable to the use of ardent spirits in the Indian camps. As soon as I heard the facts, and not knowing to what lengths the spirit of retaliation might go, I requested of Colonel Brady a few men, with a non-commissioned officer, and proceeded, taking my interpreter along, to the spot. The portage road winds along about three-fourths of a mile, near the rapids, and all the way, within the full sound of the roaring water, when it opens on a green, which is the ancient camping ground, at the head of the falls. A footpath leads still higher, by clumps of bushes and copsewood, to the borders of a shallow bay, where in a small opening I somewhat abruptly came to the body of the murdered man. He was a Chippewa from the interior called Soan-ga-ge-zhick, or the Strong Sky. He had been laid out, by his relatives, and dressed in his best apparel, with a kind of cap of blue cloth and a fillet round his head. His lodge, occupied by his widow and three small children, stood near. On examination, he had been stabbed in several places, deeply in both thighs. These wounds might not have proved fatal; but there was a subsequent blow, with a small tomahawk, upon his forehead, above the left eye. He was entirely dead, and had been found so, on searching for him at night, by his wife. It appeared that he had been drinking during the evening and night, with an Indian half-breed of the Chippewa River, of the name of Gaulthier. This fellow, finding he had killed him, had taken his canoe and fled. Both had been intoxicated. I directed the body to be interred, at the public charge, on the ancient burial hill of the Chippewas, near the cantonment. The usual shroud, on such occasions, is a new blanket; a grave was dug, and the body very carefully dressed, laid in the coffin, beside the grave. Before the lid was fastened, an aged Indian came forward, and pronounced a funeral oration. He recited the traits of his character. He addressed the dead man direct. He told him that he had reached the end of his journey first, that they should all follow him soon to the land of the dead, and again meet. He gave him directions for his journey. He offered a brief admonition of dangers. He bid him adieu. The brother of the deceased then stept forward, and, having removed the head-dress of the slain man, pulled out some locks of hair as a memento. The head-dress was then carefully replaced, the lid of the coffin fastened, and the corpse let down into the ground. Two stout poles were then laid over the open grave. The brother approached the widow and stood still. The orator then addressed a few words to both, telling the survivor to perform a brother's part by the widow. He then took her by the hand, and led her carefully across the open grave, over the two poles. This closed the ceremony, and the grave was then filled, and the crowd of white and red men dispersed. At night a small flickering fire was built by the Indian relatives of the murdered man, at the head of the grave.

27th. Making inquiries respecting the family of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, in order to direct some provisions to be issued to them, I learned that the widow is a prophetess among her people, or in other words a female Jossakeed, and is supposed to have much influence in this way. This denotes that the prophetic office is not, as has been supposed, confined to males. I cannot better indicate the meaning of the word Jossakeed than to say that it is a person who makes oracular responses from a close lodge of peculiar construction, where the inmate is supposed to be surrounded by superhuman influences, which impart the power of looking into futurity. It is, manifestly, the ancient office of a seer, and after making interrogatories about it, from persons supposed to be best acquainted with the manners and customs of the people, the existence of such an order of persons among them offers a curious coincidence with one of the earliest superstitions of mankind. I further learn that there is nothing hereditary in the descent of such priestly functions; that any one, who acquires a character for sanctity or skill therein among the bands, may assume the duties, and will secure a rank and respect in proportion to his supposed skill therein. Having spoken of descent, it is added, by my informants, that the widow of Strong Sky, is a granddaughter of the noted war-chief Wabodjeeg,[19] of Chegoimegon, Lake Superior, who, some half a century ago, had obtained a high reputation with his people for his military skill and bravery, in the war against the Ottogamies and Sioux. They talk of him as having been a sort of Rajah, who could at any time get men to follow him.

[19] White Fisher. The fisher is a small furred animal resembling the mustela.

28th. I have had an interview to-day with Ka-ba-konse (Little Hawk), brother of the murdered Strong Sky.

It does not seem possible to obtain much information respecting their secret beliefs and superstitions direct from the Indians. The attempts I have made thus far have, at least, been unsuccessful, partly, perhaps, because the topic was not properly apprehended by them, or by my ordinary office interpreter, who, I find, is soon run a-muck by anything but the plainest and most ordinary line of inquiry. A man of the Indian frontiers, who has lived all his life to eat and drink, to buy and sell, and has grown old in this devotion to the means necessary to secure the material necessaries of life is not easily roused up to intellectual ardor. I find this to be the case with my present interpreter, and he is, perhaps, not inferior to the general run of paid interpreters. But as I find, in my intercourse, the growing difficulties of verbal communication with the Indians on topics at all out of the ordinary routine of business, I begin to feel less surprised at the numerous misapprehensions of the actual character, manners, and customs of the Indians, which are found in books. I speak as to the communication of exact ideas of their beliefs. As to literal exactitude in such communications, my inquiries have already convinced me that there must be other and higher standards than a hap-hazard I-au-ne-kun-o-tau-gade, or trade interpreter, before the thing can be attempted. Fortunately, I have, in my kind and polite friend Mr. Johnston, who has given me temporary quarters at his house, and the several intelligent members of his family, the means of looking deeper into the powers and structure of the language, and am pressing these advantages, amidst the pauses of business, with all my ardor and assiduity.

The study of the language, and the formation of a vocabulary and grammar have almost imperceptibly become an absorbing object, although I have been but a short time at the place, and the plan interests me so much, that I actually regret the time that is lost from it, in the ordinary visits of comity and ceremony, which are, however, necessary. My method is to interrogate all persons visiting the office, white and red, who promise to be useful subjects of information during the day, and to test my inquiries in the evening by reference to the Johnstons, who, being educated, and speaking at once both the English and Odjibwa correctly, offer a higher and more reliable standard than usual.

Mr. Johnston's family consists of ten persons, though all are not constantly present. He is himself a native of the county of Antrim, in the north of Ireland, his father having possessed an estate at Craige, near the Giant's Causeway. He came to America in the last presidential term of General Washington, having a brother at that time settled at Albany, and after visiting Montreal and Quebec, he fell into company with the sort of half-baronial class of north-west fur traders, who struck his fancy. By their advice, he went to Michilimackinack and Lake Superior, where he became attached to, and subsequently married the younger daughter of Wabojeeg, a northern Powhatan, who has been before mentioned. There are four sons and four daughters, to the education of all of whom he has paid the utmost attention. His eldest son was first placed in the English navy, and is now a lieutenant in the land service, having been badly wounded and cut in the memorable battle with Commodore Perry on Lake Eric, in 1813. The next eldest is engaged in commerce. The eldest daughter was educated in Ireland, and the two next at Sandwich, near Detroit. These constituted the adults; there are two sons and a daughter, still in their school-days. All possess agreeable, easy manners and refinement. Mrs. Johnston is a woman of excellent judgment and good sense; she is referred to on abstruse points of the Indian ceremonies and usages, so that I have in fact stumbled, as it were, on the only family in North West America who could, in Indian lore, have acted as my "guide, philosopher and friend."

30th. I received yesterday a second visit from Ka-ta-wa-be-da, or the Broken Tooth chief of Sandy Lake, on the Upper Mississippi, who is generally known by his French name of Breshieu, and at the close of the interview gave him a requisition on the commissary for some provisions to enable him to return to his home. The Indians must be led by a very plain path and a friendly hand. Feeling and preference are subsequent manifestations. I took this occasion to state to him the objects and policy of the government by the establishment at these falls of a post and agency, placing it upon its true basis, namely, the preservation of peace upon the frontiers, and the due observance, by all parties, of the laws respecting trade and intercourse with the tribes, and securing justice both to them and to our citizens, particularly by the act for the exclusion of ardent spirits from the Indian country. By the agency, a door was opened through which they could communicate their wishes to the President, and he was also enabled to state his mind to them. All who opened their ears truly to the voice of their American father would be included among the recipients of his favors. He felt kindly to all, but those only who hearkened to his council would be allowed, as he had been, to share in the usual privileges which the agency at this place secured to them. Having drawn his provisions, and duly reflected on what was said by me, he returned to-day to bid me adieu, on his setting out to go home, and to express his thanks for my kindness and advice. The old chief, who has long exercised his sway in the region of Sandy Lake, made a well-considered speech in reply to mine of yesterday, in which he took the ground of neutrality as between the United States and Great Britain, and averred that he had ever been the friend of the white race and of traders who came into the country, and declared himself the friend of peace.

At the conclusion of this interview, I gave him a small sea-shell from my cabinet, as a mark of my respect, and a token which would remind him of my advice. I remembered that the Indians of the continent have always set a high value on wampum, which is made solely from sea-shells, and have attributed a kind of sacredness for this class of productions.

31st. Indian Mythology.--Nothing has surprised me more in the conversations which I have had with persons acquainted with the Indian customs and character, than to find that the Chippewas amuse themselves with oral tales of a mythological or allegorical character. Some of these tales, which I have heard, are quite fanciful, and the wildest of them are very characteristic of their notions and customs. They often take the form of allegory, and in this shape appear designed to teach some truth or illustrate some maxim. The fact, indeed, of such a fund of fictitious legendary matter is quite a discovery, and speaks more for the intellect of the race than any trait I have heard. Who would have imagined that these wandering foresters should have possessed such a resource? What have all the voyagers and remarkers from the days of Cabot and Raleigh been about, not to have discovered this curious trait, which lifts up indeed a curtain, as it were, upon the Indian mind, and exhibits it in an entirely new character?

August 1st. Every day increases the interest which the question of the investigation of the Indian languages and customs assumes in my mind. My facilities for pursuing these inquiries and for the general transaction of the official business has been increased this day by my removing into a new and more convenient office, situated some ninety or a hundred yards west of my former position, but on a line with it, and fronting, like the former room, on an ancient green on the river's banks. The St. Mary's River is here about three-fourths of a mile wide, and the green in front of my office is covered with Indian lodges, and presents a noble expanse. I have now a building some thirty-six feet square, built of squared timber, jointed with mortar and whitewashed, so as to give it a neat appearance. The interior is divided into a room some twenty feet by thirty-six, with two small ante-rooms. A large cast iron Montreal stove, which will take in three feet wood, occupies the centre. The walls are plastered, and the room moderately lighted. The rear of the lot has a blacksmith shop. The interpreter has quarters near by. The gate of the new cantonment is some three hundred yards west of my door, and there is thus brought within a small compass the means of transacting the affairs of the agency during the approaching and expected severe winter. These are the best arrangements that can be made, better indeed than I had reason to expect on first landing here.

3d. I wrote to-day to Dr. Hosack, expressing my thanks for the extract of a letter, which he had enclosed me from Sir Humphrey Davy, dated London, March 24th, 1822, in which this eminent philosopher expresses his opinion on my Narrative Journal, a copy of which Dr. Hosack had sent him. "Schoolcraft's Narrative is admirable," observes Sir Humphrey Davy, "both for the facts it develops, and for the simplicity and clearness of the details. He has accomplished great things by such means, and offers a good model for a traveler in a new country. I lent his book to our veteran philosophical geographer, Major Kennel, who was highly pleased with it. Copies of it would sell well in England."

A friend sends me a prospectus for a paper under the title of "Washington Republican," which has just been established at the seat of government, earnestly advocating the election of John C. Calhoun for the presidency in 1824.

4th. A chief of a shrewd and grave countenance, and more than the ordinary cast of thought, visited me this morning, and gave me his hand, with the ordinary salutation of Nosa (my father). The interpreter introduced him by the name of Little Pine, or Shingwalkonee, and as a person of some consequence among the Indians, being a meta, a wabeno, a counselor, a war chief, and an orator or speaker. He had a tuft of beard on his chin, wore a hat, and had some other traits in his dress and gear which smacked of civilization. His residence is stated to be, for the most part, on the British side of the river, but he traces his lineage from the old Crane band here. I thought him to be a man of more than the ordinary Indian forecast. He appeared to be a person who, having seen all the military developments on these shores during the last month, thought he would cross over the channel with a retinue, to see what the Chemoquemon [20] was about. He had also, perhaps, a shrewd Indian inkling that some presents might be distributed here during the season.

[20] Chemoquemon, an American; from Gitchee great, moquemon a knife.

10th. A strange-looking Indian came in from the forest wearing an American silver medal. He looked haggard and forsaken. It will be recollected by those who have read my Narrative Journal of the expedition of 1820, that Governor Cass became lost and entangled among the sharp mountainous passes of the River Ontonagon, in his attempts to reach the party who had, at an early part of the day, gone forward to the site of the Copper Rock; and that he bestowed a medal on a young Chippewa, who had rendered his party and himself services during its stay on that river. This individual was among the earlier visitors who presented himself at my office. He recognized me as one of the party on that occasion. He was introduced to me by the name of Wabish-ke-pe-nace, or the White Bird, and seemed to rouse up from a settled look of melancholy when referring to those events. It appears that his conduct as a guide on that occasion had made him unpopular with the band, who told him he had received an honor for that which should be condemned. That it was a crime to show the Americans their wealth, and the Great Spirit did not approve it. His dress had something wild and forlorn, as well as his countenance.

17th. A week or two ago, an Indian, called Sa-ne-baw, or the Ribbon, who encamped on the green in front of my office, fell sick. I requested Dr. Wheaton to visit him, but it did not appear that there was any disease of either an acute or chronic character which could be ascertained. The man seemed to be in a low desponding state. Some small medicines were administered, but he evinced no symptoms of restoration. He rather appeared to be pining away, with some secret mental canker. The very spirit of despair was depicted in his visage. Young Wheaton, a brother of the Doctor, and Lieutenant C. Morton, United States Army, visited him daily in company, with much solicitude; but no effort to rally him, physically or mentally, was successful, and he died this morning. "He died," said the former to me, "because he would die." The Indians seem to me a people who are prone to despond, and easily sink into frames of despair.

I received a letter to-day from the veteran geographer, Mr. W. Darby, of Philadelphia, brought by the hands of a friend, a Mr. Toosey, through whom he submitted to me a list of geographical and statistical queries relating to some generic points, which he is investigating in connection with his forthcoming Gazetteer of the United States.


A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior--Canoe--Scenery--Descent of St. Mary's Falls--Etymology of the Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and Lake Superior--The wild rice plant--Indian trade--American Fur Company--Distribution of presents--Death of Sassaba--Epitaph--Indian capacity to count--Oral literature--Research--Self-reliance.

1822. August 20th. I Went with a pic-nic to Gross Cape, a romantic promontory at the foot of Lake Superior. This elevation stands on the north shore of the straits, and consequently in Canada. It overlooks a noble expanse of waters and islands, constituting one of the most magnificent series of views of American scenery. Immediately opposite stands the scarcely less elevated, and not less celebrated promontory of Point Iroquois, the Na-do-wa-we-gon-ing, or Place of Iroquois Bones, of the Chippewas. These two promontories stand like the pillars of Hercules which guard the entrance into the Mediterranean, and their office is to mark the foot of the mighty Superior, a lake which may not, inaptly, be deemed another Mediterranean Sea. The morning chosen to visit this scene was fine; the means of conveyance chosen was the novel and fairy-like barque of the Chippewas, which they denominate Che-maun, but which we, from a corruption of a Charib term as old as the days of Columbus, call Canoe. It is made of the rind of the betula papyracea, or white birch, sewed together with the fine fibrous roots of the cedaror spruce, and is made water-tight by covering the seams with boiled pine rosin, the whole being distended over and supported by very thin ribs and cross-bars of cedar, curiously carved and framed together. It is turned up, at either end, like a gondola, and the sides and gunwales fancifully painted. The whole structure is light, and was easily carried by two men on their shoulders; yet will bear a weight of more than a ton on the water. It is moved with cedar paddles, and the Canadians who managed it, kept time in their strokes, and regulated them to the sonorous cadence of some of their simple boat songs. Our party consisted of several ladies and gentlemen. We carried the elements of a pic-nic. We moved rapidly. The views on all sides were novel and delightful. The water in which the men struck their paddles was pure as crystal. The air was perfectly exhilarating from its purity. The distance about three leagues. We landed a few moments at Point aux Pins, to range along the clean sandy shore, and sandy plains, now abounding in fine whortleberries. Directly on putting out from this, the broad view of the entrance into the lake burst upon us. It is magnificent. A line of blue water stretched like a thread on the horizon, between cape and cape, say five miles. Beyond it is what the Chippewas call Bub-eesh-ko-be, meaning the far off, indistinct prospect of a water scene, till the reality, in the feeble power of human vision, loses itself in the clouds and sky. The two prominences of Point Iroquois and Gross Cape are very different in character. The former is a bold eminence covered with trees, and having all the appearance of youth and verdure. The latter is but the end, so to say, of a towering ridge of dark primary rocks with a few stunted cedars. The first exhibits, on inspection, a formation of sandstone and reproduced rocks, piled stratum super stratum, and covered with boulder drifts and alluvion. The second is a massive mountain ridge of the northern sienite, abounding in black crystaline hornblende, and flanked at lower altitudes, in front, in some places, by a sort of trachyte. We clambered up and over the bold undulations of the latter, till we were fatigued. We stood on the highest pinnacle, and gazed on the "blue profound" of Superior, the great water or Gitchegomee of the Indians. We looked down far below at the clean ridges of pebbles, and the transparent water. After gazing, and looking, and reveling in the wild magnificence of views, we picked our way, crag by crag, to the shore, and sat down on the shining banks of black, white, and mottled pebbles, and did ample justice to the contents of our baskets of good things. This always restores one's spirits. We forget the toil in the present enjoyment. And having done this, and giving our last looks at what has been poetically called the Father of Lakes, we put out, with paddles and song, and every heart beating in unison with the scene, for our starting-point at Bá-wa-teeg, or Pa-wa-teeg, alias Sault Ste. Marie. But the half of my story would not be told, if I did not add that, as we gained the brink of the rapids, and began to feel the suction of the wide current that leaps, jump after jump, over that foaming bed, our inclinations and our courage rose together to go down the formidable pass; and having full faith in the long-tried pilotage of our guide, Tom Shaw, down we went, rushing at times like a thunderbolt, then turned by a dab of the pole of our guide, on a rock, shooting off in eschelon, and then careering down another schute, or water bolt, till we thus dodged every rock, and came out below with a full roaring chorus of our Canadians, who, as they cleared the last danger, hoisted our starry flag at the same moment that they struck up one of their wild and joyous, songs.

22d. I have questioned the Indians closely for the names of Sault Ste. Marie and Lake Superior. They are destined to hold an important rank in our future geography. But the result is not agreeable to preconceived poetic notions. When the French first came to these falls, they found the Chippewas, the falls signifying, descriptively, Shallow water pitching over rocks, or by a prepositional form of the term, at the place of shallow water, pitching over rocks. Such is the meaning of the words Pa-wa-teeg and Pa-wa-ting. The terms cover more precisely the idea which we express by the word cascade. The French call a cascade a Leap or Sault; but Sault alone would not be distinctive, as they had already applied the term to some striking passes on the St. Lawrence and other places. They therefore, in conformity with their general usage, added the name of a patron saint to the term by calling it Sault de Ste. Marie, i.e. Leap of Saint Mary, to distinguish it from other Leaps, or Saults. Now as the word Sainte, as here used, is feminine, it must, in its abbreviated form, be written Ste. The preposition de (the) is usually dropped. Use has further now dropped the sound of the letter l from Sault. But as, in the reforms of the French dictionary, the ancient geographical names of places remain unaffected, the true phraseology is SAULT STE. MARIE.

Having named the falls a Sault, they went a step further, and called the Odjibwa Indians who lived at it, Saulteurs, or People of the Sault. Hence this has ever remained the French name for Chippewas.

In the term Gitchegomee, the name for Superior, we have a specimen of their mode of making compounds. Gitche signifies something great, or possessing the property of positive magnitude. Gomee is itself a compound phrase, denoting, when so conjoined, a large body of water. It is the objective member of their term for the sea; but is governed by its antecedent, and may be used in describing other and minor, even the most minute liquid bodies, as we hear it, in the compound term mushkuagomee, i.e. strong drink. Under the government of the term gitchee, it appears to express simply the sense of great water, but conveys the idea, to the Indian mind, of sea-water. I have cast about, to find a sonorous form of elision, in which it may come into popular use, but find nothing more eligible than I-go-mee, or Igoma. A more practical word, in the shape of a new compound, may be made in Algoma, a term in which the first syllable of the generic name of this tribe of the Algonquin stock, harmonizes very well with the Indian idea of goma (sea), giving us, Sea of the Algonquins. The term may be objected to, as the result of a grammatical abbreviation, but if not adopted practically, it may do as a poetical synonym for this great lake. Such is, at least, the result of a full discussion of these names, with the very best speakers of the language.

30th. The Wild Rice Plant.--Having received a request for some of this native grain to send abroad, and knowing that the smoked rice, such as the Indians usually bring in, will not germinate, I this day dispatched my interpreter in a canoe, with some Indians, to the northern shores of the straits to gather some of it for seed; the result was successful. This plant may be deemed a precious gift of nature to the natives, who spread over many degrees of northern latitude. They call it mon-ó-min, a compound descriptive phrase, which differs only from their name for the zea maize in putting an o--the third syllable--for the imperative future in dau.

Sept. 1st. Indian Trade.--Congress has provided a code of laws to regulate this, the object of which is a good one, and the provisions of the various enactments appear to be founded on the highest principles of justice and benevolence. It is still a question, it appears to me, whether some of these provisions do not merely sanction by the forms of law what was formerly done, not always well, without it, and whether the measure of protection which they afford to the tribes against the cupidity of the whites is very efficacious. It was heretofore pretended by the British traders that all this country belonged to Great Britain, and they told the Indians that the war of 1812 would settle all this. It did so; but, contrary to their wishes and the predictions to the Indians, it settled it precisely on the basis of the treaty of 1783, which ran the boundary line through the straits of Saint Mary's and Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods. As soon as the smoke of the war cleared off, namely, in 1816, Congress enacted that British traders and capital should be excluded from the American lines, that no British subjects should receive licenses to trade, and that all such persons who went inland in subordinate capacities should be bonded for by the American traders who employed them. This law seemed to bear particularly on this section of country, and is generally understood to have been passed to throw the old North West Company, and other British traders, trading on their own account, out of this hitherto very lucrative branch of trade. John Jacob Astor, of New York, went immediately to Montreal and bought out all the posts and factories of that company, situated in the north-west, which were south of the lines. With these posts, the factors, trading clerks, and men were, as a matter of course, cast on the patronage and employment of that eminent German furrier. That he might cover their employment, he sent an agent from Montreal into Vermont to engage enterprising young men, in whose names the licenses could be taken out. He furnished the entire capital for the trade, and sent agents, in the persons of two enterprising young Scotch gentlemen, from Montreal and New York to Michilimackinack, to manage the business. This new arrangement took the popular name of the American Fur Company. In other respects, except those related, the mode of transacting the trade, and the real actors therein, remained very much as they were. American lads, whose names were inscribed in the licenses at Michilimackinack, as principals, went inland in reality to learn the business and the language; the engagees, or boatmen, who were chiefly Canadians or metifs, were bonded for, in five hundred dollars each. In this condition, I found things on my arrival here. The very thin diffusion of American feeling or principle in both the traders and the Indians, so far as I have seen them, renders it a matter of no little difficulty to supervise this business, and it has required perpetual activity in examining the boats and outfits of the traders who have received their licenses at Mackinack, to search their packages, to detect contraband goods, i.e. ardent spirits, and grant licenses, passports, and permits to those who have applied to me. To me it seems that the whole old resident population of the frontiers, together with the new accessions to it, in the shape of petty dealers of all sorts, are determined to have the Indians' furs, at any rate, whether these poor red men live or die; and many of the dealers who profess to obey the laws wish to get legally inland only that they may do as they please, law or no law, after they have passed the flag-staff of Sainte Marie's. There may be, and I trust there are, higher motives in some persons, but they have not passed this way, to my knowledge, the present season. I detected one scamp, a fellow named Gaulthier, who had carried by, and secreted above the portage, no less than five large kegs of whisky and high wines on a small invoice, but a few days after my arrival. It will require vigilance and firmness, and yet mildness, to secure anything like a faithful performance of the duties committed to me on a remote frontier, and with very little means of action beyond the precincts of the post, and this depends much on the moral influence on the Indian mind of the military element of power.

6th. First Distribution of Presents.--In fulfilment of a general declaration of friendly purposes, made on my opening speech to the Chippewas in July last, the entire home band of St. Mary's, men, women, and children, were assembled on the green in front of my office, this morning, to receive a small invoice of goods and merchandise, which were distributed amongst them as presents. These goods were the best that could be purchased in the Detroit market, and were all of the best description; and they were received with a lively satisfaction, which betokened well for my future influence. Prominent among the pleased recipients were the chiefs of the village, Shin-ga-ba-was-sin, the Image Stone, She-wa-be-ke-tone, the Man of Jingling Metals, Kau-ga-osh, or the Bird in Eternal Flight, Way-ish-kee, or The First Born Son, and two or three others of minor note. Behind them were the warriors and young men, the matrons and maids; and peppered in, as it were, the children of all ages. All were in their best attire. The ceremony began by lighting the pipe, and having it passed by suitable officials to the chiefs and warriors in due order, and by placing a pile of tobacco before them, for general use, which the chiefs with great care divided and distributed, not forgetting the lowest claimant. I then stated the principles by which the agency would be guided in its intercourse with them, the benevolence and justice of the views entertained by their great father, the President, and his wishes to keep improper traders out of their country, to exclude ardent spirits, and to secure their peace and happiness in every practicable way. Each sentence, as it was rendered into Indian, was received with the response of Hoh! an exclamation of approbation, which is uttered feebly or loud, in proportion as the matter is warmly or coldly approved. The chiefs responded. All looked pleased; the presents were divided, and the assembly broke up in harmony and good will. It does seem that, according to the oriental maxim,[21] a present is the readiest door to an Indian's heart.

[21] "Let thy present go before thee."--Proverbs of Solomon.

25th. The Indian mind appears to lack the mathematical element. It is doubtful how far they can compute numbers. The Chippewas count decimally, and after ten, add the names of the digits to the word ten, up to twenty; then take the word for twenty, and add them as before, to thirty; and so on to a hundred. They then add them to the term for a hundred, up to a thousand.

They cannot be made to understand the value of an American dollar, without reducing it to the standard of skins. A striking instance of this kind happened among the Potowattomies at Chicago last year (1821). The commanding officer had offered a reward of thirty dollars for the apprehension of a deserter. The Potowattomies pursued and caught him, and received a certificate for the reward. The question with them now was, how much they had got. They wished to sell the certificate to a trader, and there were five claimants. They sat down and counted off as many racoon skins. They then made thirty equal heaps, substituting symbols for skins. Taking the store price of a racoon at five skins to the dollar, they then found they had received the equivalent of one hundred and fifty racoons, and at this price they sold the order or certificate.

26th. Death of Sassaba,[22] or the Count.--This chief, who has from the day of our first landing here, rendered himself noted for his sentiments of opposition to the Americans, met with a melancholy fate yesterday. He was in the habit of using ardent spirits, and frequently rose from a debauch of this kind of two or three days' continuance. Latterly he has exhibited a singular figure, walking through the village, being divested of every particle of clothing except a large gray wolf's skin, which he had drawn over his body in such a manner as to let its tail dangle down behind. It was in this unique costume that I last saw him, and as he was a tall man, with rather prominent features, the spectacle was the more striking. From this freak of dress he has been commonly called, for some time, My-een-gun, or the Wolf. He had been drinking at Point aux Pins, six miles above the rapids, with Odabit and some other boon companions, and in this predicament embarked in his canoe, to come to the head of the portage. Before reaching it, and while still in the strong tide or suck of the current, he rose in his canoe for some purpose connected with the sail, and tipped it over. Odabit succeeded in making land, but the Count, his wife and child, and Odabit's wife, went over the rapids, which was the last ever seen of them. Sassaba appeared to me to be a man of strong feelings and an independent mind, not regarding consequences. He had taken a deep prejudice against the Americans, from his brother having been shot by his side in the battle under Tecumseh on the Thames. This appeared to be the burden of his complaints. He was fond of European dress, and articles of furniture. It was found that he had in his tent, which was of duck, a set of silver tea and tablespoons, knives, forks, cups and saucers, and a tea tray. Besides his military coat, sword, and epaulets, and sash, which were presented to him, he had some ruffled linen shirts, gloves, shoes and stockings, and an umbrella, all of which were kept, however, in the spirit of a virtuoso, and he took a pride in displaying these articles to visitors.

[22] The word means finery.

Many a more worthless man than Sassaba has had his epitaph, or elegiac wreath, which may serve as an apology for the following lines:--

The Falls were thy grave, as they leapt mad along,
And the roar of their waters thy funeral song:
So wildly, so madly, thy people for aye,
Are rapidly, ceaselessly, passing away.
They are seen but a moment, then fade and are past,
Like a cloud in the sky, or a leaf in the blast;
The path thou hast trodden, thy nation shall tread,
Chief, warrior, and kin, to the Land of the Dead;
And soon on the lake, or the shore, or the green,
Not a war drum shall sound, not a smoke shall be seen.

27th. Oral Literature of the Indians.--"I am extremely anxious," writes a friend, "that Mr. Johnston and his family should furnish full and detailed answers to my queries, more particularly upon all subjects connected with the language, and, if I may so speak, the polite literature of the Chippewas (I write the word in this way because I am apprehensive that the orthography is inveterately fixed, and not because I suppose it is correct)[23]. There is no quarter from which I can expect such full information upon these topics as from this. I must beg you to aid me in the pursuit. Urge them during the long winter evenings to the task. The time cannot be more profitably or pleasantly spent, and, as I am told you are somewhat of an aboriginal scholar, you can assist them with your advice and judgment. A perfect analysis of the language is a great desideratum. I pray you, in the spring, to let me have the fruits of their exertions."

[23] I had written, announcing the word Od-jib-wa to be the true Indian pronunciation, and recommending its adoption.

With a strong predisposition to these inquiries, with such additional excitement to the work, and with the very highest advantages of interpretation and no little fixity of application from boyhood, it must go hard with me this winter if I do not fish up something from the well of Indian researches and traditionary lore.

Go, student, search, and if thou nothing find,
Go search again; success is in the mind.--ALGON.

28th. The right spirit, humble yet manful.--A young man of purpose and some talent, with considerable ambition, who is diligently seeking a place in the world, writes me from Detroit to-day, in this strain: "True it is, I have determined to pass the winter either in New York or Washington, probably the latter place. But, my dear sir, my hope of doing anything for myself in this world is the faintest possible, and I begin to fatigue with the exertion. If I do not succeed this winter in obtaining something permanent,[24] I shall probably settle down, either in this place or somewhere in New York, a poor devil!--from all which, and many other things, 'good Lord deliver us!' Farewell; my best wishes be with you this winter, to keep you warm. I shall expect next spring to see you an accomplished nichee" [25] [Në-jë].

[24] He did succeed at W.
[25] A term signifying, in the Chippewa, my friend, but popularly used at the time to some extent at Detroit to denote an Indian.


My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior--Copper mines--White fish--A poetic name for a fish--Indian tale--Polygamy--A reminiscence--Taking of Fort Niagara--Mythological and allegorical tales among the aborigines--Chippewa language--Indian vowels--A polite and a vulgar way of speaking the language--Public worship--Seclusion from the world.

1822. Oct. 1st. Copper Mines of Lake Superior.--On the 8th of May last, the Senate of the United States passed a resolution in these words:--

"Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested to communicate to the Senate, at the commencement of the next session of Congress, any information which may be in the possession of the government, derived from special agents or otherwise, showing the number, value, and position of the copper mines on the south shore of Lake Superior; the names of the Indian tribes who claim them; the practicability of extinguishing their title, and the probable advantage which may result to the Republic from the acquisition and working these mines."

The resolution having been referred to me by the Secretary of War, I, this day, completed and transmitted a report on the subject, embracing the principal facts known respecting them, insisting on their value and importance, and warmly recommending their further exploration and working.[26]

[26] See Public Doc. No. 365, 2d Sess., 17th Congress.

4th. White Fish Fishery.--No place in America has been so highly celebrated as a locality for taking this really fine and delicious fish, as Saint Mary's Falls, or the Sault,[27] as it is more generally and appropriately called. This fish resorts here in vast numbers, and is in season after the autumnal equinox, and continues so till the ice begins to run. It is worthy the attention of ichthyologists. It is a remarkable, but not singular fact in its natural history, that it is perpetually found in the attitude of ascent at these falls. It is taken only in the swift water at the foot of the last leap or descent. Into this swift water the Indians push their canoes. It requires great skill and dexterity for this. The fishing canoe is of small size. It is steered by a man in the stern. The fisherman takes his stand in the bows, sometimes bestriding the light and frail vessel from gunwale to gunwale, having a scoop-net in his hands. This net has a long slender handle, ten feet or more in length. The net is made of strong twine, open at the top, like an entomologist's. When the canoe has been run into the uppermost rapids, and a school of fish is seen below or alongside, he dexterously puts down his net, and having swooped up a number of the fish, instantly reverses it in water, whips it up, and discharges its contents into the canoe. This he repeats till his canoe is loaded, when he shoots out of the tail of the rapids, and makes for shore. The fish will average three pounds, but individuals are sometimes two and three times that weight. It is shad-shaped, with well-developed scales, easily removed, but has the mouth of the sucker, very small. The flesh is perfectly white and firm, with very few bones. It is boiled by the Indians in pure water, in a peculiar manner, the kettle hung high above a small blaze; and thus cooked, it is eaten with the liquid for a gravy, and is delicate and delicious. If boiled in the ordinary way, by a low hung pot and quick fire, it is soft and comparatively flabby. It is also broiled by the inhabitants, on a gridiron, after cutting it open on the back, and brought on the table slightly browned. This must be done, like a steak, quickly. It is the most delicious when immediately taken from the water, and connoisseurs will tell you, by its taste at the table, whether it is immediately from the water, or has lain any time before cooking. It is sometimes made into small ovate masses, dipped into batter, and fried in butter, and in this shape, it is called petite pâte. It is also chowdered or baked in a pie. It is the great resource of the Indians and the French, and of the poor generally at these falls, who eat it with potatoes, which are abundantly raised here. It is also a standing dish with all.

[27] This word is pronounced as if written so, not soo. It is a derivative, through the French, from the Latin saltus.

A Poetic Name for a Fish.--The Chippewas, who are ready to give every object in creation, whose existence they cannot otherwise account for, an allegorical origin, call the white fish attikumaig, a very curious or very fanciful name, for it appears to be compounded of attik, a reindeer, and the general compound gumee, or guma, before noticed, as meaning water, or a liquid. To this the addition of the letter g makes a plural in the animate form, so that the translation is deer of the water, an evident acknowledgment of its importance as an item in their means of subsistence. Who can say, after this, that the Chippewas have not some imagination?

Indian Tale.--They have a legend about the origin of the white fish, which is founded on the observation of a minute trait in its habits. This fish, when opened, is found to have in its stomach very small white particles which look like roe or particles of brain, but are, perhaps, microscopic shells. They say the fish itself sprang from the brain of a female, whose skull fell into these rapids, and was dashed out among the rocks. A tale of domestic infidelity is woven with this, and the denouement is made to turn on the premonition of a venerable crane, the leading Totem of the band, who, having consented to carry the ghost of a female across the falls on his back, threw her into the boiling and foaming flood to accomplish the poetic justice of the tale.

17th. Polygamy.--This practice appears to be less common among the Chippewas than the more westerly tribes. An instance of it came to my notice to-day, in a complaint made by an Indian named Me-ta-koos-se-ga, i.e. Smoking-Weed, or Pure Tobacco, who was living with two wives, a mother and her daughter. He complained that a young woman whom he had brought up had left his lodge, and taken shelter with the family of the widow of a Canadian. It appears that the old fellow had been making advances to this girl to become his third wife, and that she had fled from his lodge to avoid his importunities.

18th. Historical Reminiscences.--This day sixty-three years ago, General Wolf took Quebec, an event upon which hinged the fall of Canada. That was a great historical era, and it is from this date, 1759, that we may begin to date a change in the Indian policy of the country. Before that time, the French, who had discovered this region of country and established trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, were acknowledged supreme by the natives. Since this event, the English rule has been growing, and the allegiance of the tribes has been gradually strengthened and fixed. It is not a light task to change habits of political affiance, cemented by so many years. The object which is only sought so far as the tribes fall within the American lines, may, however, be attained by a mild, consistent, and persevering course of policy. Time is a slow but sure innovator. A few years will carry the more aged men, whose prejudices are strongest, to their graves. The young are more pliant, and will see their interests in strengthening their intercourse with the Americans, who can do so much to advance them, and probably long before half another period of sixty-three years is repeated, the Indians of the region will be as firmly attached to us as they ever were to the French or the English.

Never to doubt, and never to despair,
Is to make acts what once but wishes were. ALGON.

26th. Allegorical and Mythological Tales.--"I shall be rejoiced," observed Governor C., in a letter of this day, in reply to my announcement of having detected fanciful traditionary stories among the Chippewas, "to receive any mythological stories to which you allude, even if they are enough to rival old Tooke in his Pantheon." He had put into my hands, at Detroit, a list of printed queries respecting the Indians, and calls me to remember them, during my winter seclusion here, with the knowledge of the advantages I possess in the well-informed circle of the Johnston family.

25th. Chippewa Language.--There is clearly a polite and a vulgar way of speaking the language. Tradition says that great changes have taken place, and that these changes keep pace with the decline of the tribe from their ancient standard of forest morals and their departure from their ancient customs. However this may be, their actual vocabulary is pretty full. Difficulties exist in writing it, from the want of an exact and uniform system of notation. The vowels assume their short and slender as well as broad sounds. The language appears to want entirely the consonant sounds of f, l, r, v, and x. In conjugating their verbs, the three primary tenses are well made out, but it is doubtful how much exactitude exists in the forms given for the oblique and conditional tenses. If it be true that the language is more corrupt now than at a former age, it is important to inquire in what this corruption consists, and how it came about. "To rescue it," I observe at the close of a letter now on my table to his Excellency Governor C., transmitting him a vocabulary of one hundred and fifty words, "To rescue it from that oblivion to which the tribe itself is rapidly hastening, while yet it may be attempted, with a prospect of success, will constitute a novel and pleasing species of amusement during the long evenings of that dreary cold winter of which we have already had a foretaste."

31st. Public Worship.--As Colonel Brady is about to leave the post for the season, some conversation has been had about authorizing him to get a clergyman to come to the post. It is thought that if such a person would devote a part of his time as an instructor, a voluntary subscription could be got among the citizens to supply the sum requisite for his support. I drew up a paper with this view this morning, and after handing it round, found the sum of ninety-seven dollars subscribed--seventy-five dollars of which are by four persons. This is not half the stipend of "forty pounds a year" that poor Goldsmith's brother thought himself rich upon; and it is apprehended the colonel will hardly find the inducement sufficient to elicit attention to so very remote a quarter.

Nov. 1st. We have snow, cold, and chilly winds. On looking to the north, there are huge piles of clouds hanging over Lake Superior. We may say, with Burns,

"The wintry wind is gathering fast."

This is a holiday with the Canadian French--"All Saints." They appear as lively and thoughtless as if all the saints in the calendar were to join them in a dance. Well may it be said of them, "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."

20th. Seclusion from the World realized.--We are now shut out from the world. The season of navigation has closed, the last vessel has departed. Philosophers may write, and poets may sing of the charms of solitude, but when the experiment comes to be tried, on a practical scale, such as we are now, one and all, about to realize, theories and fancies sink wonderfully in the scale. For some weeks past, everything with the power of motion or locomotion has been exerting itself to quit the place and the region, and hie to more kindly latitudes for the winter. Nature has also become imperceptibly sour tempered, and shows her teeth in ice and snows. Man-kind and bird-kind have concurred in the effort to go. We have witnessed the long-drawn flight of swans, brant, and cranes, towards the south. Singing birds have long since gone. Ducks, all but a very few, have also silently disappeared, and have probably gone to pick up spicy roots in the Susquehannah or Altamaha.

Prescient in the changes of the season, they have been the first to go. Men, who can endure greater changes and vicissitudes than all the animal creation put together, have lingered longer; but at last one after another has left Pa-wa-teeg, till all who can go have gone. Col. Brady did not leave his command till after the snow fell, and he saw them tolerably "cantoned." The last vessel for the season has departed--the last mail has been sent. Our population has been thinned off by the departure of every temporary dweller, and lingering trader, and belated visitor, till no one is left but the doomed and fated number whose duty is here, who came here to abide the winter in all its regions, and who cannot, on any fair principle or excuse, get away. They, and they alone, are left to winter here. Of this number I am a resigned and willing unit, and I have endeavored to prepare for the intellectual exigencies of it, by a systematic study and analysis of the Indian language, customs, and history, and character. My teachers and appliances are the best. I have furnished myself with vocabularies and hand-books, collected and written down, during the season. I have the post library in my room, in addition to my own, with a free access to that of "mine host" of the Emerald Isle, Mr. Johnston, to while away the time. My huge Montreal stove will take long billets of wood, which, to use the phraseology of Burns, "would mend a mill." The society of the officers and their families of the garrison is at hand. The amusements of a winter, in this latitude, are said to be rather novel, with their dog trains and creole sleighs. There are some noble fellows of the old "North West" order in the vicinity. There are thus the elements, at least, of study, society, and amusement. Whatever else betide, I have good health, and good spirits, and bright hopes, and I feel very much in the humor of enjoying the wildest kind of tempests which Providence may send to howl around my dwelling.

We have, as the means of exchanging sentiment, one English family of refinement and education, on the American side of the river, and two others, an English family and the Hudson Bay House in charge of a Scotch gentleman, on the Canada shore. We have the officers attached to a battalion of infantry, most of them married and having their ladies and families with them, and about a dozen American citizens besides, engaged in traffic and other affairs. These, with the resident metif population of above 300 souls, and the adjacent Indian tribes, constitute the world--the little isolated world--in which we must move for six months to come. About fifty miles off, S.E., is the British post of Drummond Island, and about forty west of the latter, the ancient position and island settlement of Michilimackinack, that bugbear to children in all our earlier editions of Webster's Spelling Book.

All the rest of the United States is a far-off land to us. For one, I draw around my fire, get my table and chair properly located, and resort to my books, and my Indian ia-ne-kun-o-tau-gaid let the storm whistle as it may.

25th. Zimmerman may write as much as he pleases about solitude. It is all very well in one's study, by his stove, if it is winter, with a good feather bed, and all comforts at hand; but he who would test his theories should come here. It is a capital place, in the dead of winter, for stripping poetic theories of their covering.


Amusements during the winter months, when the temperature is at the lowest point--Etymology of the word Chippewa--A meteor--The Indian "fire-proof"--Temperature and weather--Chippewa interchangeables--Indian names for the seasons--An incident in conjugating verbs--Visiting--Gossip--The fur trade--Todd, McGillvray, Sir Alexander Mackenzie--Wide dissimilarity of the English and Odjibwa syntax--Close of the year.

1822. December 1st. We have now plunged into the depths of a boreal winter. The blustering of tempests, the whistling of winds, and the careering of snow drifts form the daily topics of remark. We must make shift to be happy, with the most scanty means of amusement. Books and studies must supply the most important item in this--at least, so far as I am concerned.

It is observed by Dr. Johnson "that nothing can supply the want of prudence, and that negligence and irregularity, long continued, will render knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible." This sententious apothegm is thrown out in contemplating the life of Savage, one of the English poets who united some of the highest requisites of genius with the lowest personal habits. But how much instruction does it convey to all! It does not fall to the lot of all to have wit or genius, or to be eminent in knowledge. None, however, who are not absolute idiots are without some share of the one or the other. And in proportion as these gifts are possessed, how fruitless, and comparatively useless do they become, if not governed by prudence, assiduity, and regularity!

3d. The Indian tribes in this vicinity call themselves Ojibwäg. This expression is in the plural number. It is rendered singular by taking off the g. The letter a, in this word, is pronounced like a in hate, or ey in obey. Chippewa--often written with a useless terminal y--is the Anglicized pronunciation. The meaning of this seems obscure. The final syllable , in compound words, stands for voice. In the ancient Massachusetts language, as preserved by Eliot, in his translation of the Bible, as in Isaiah xi. 14, Chepwoieu means the east.

What a curious subject for speculation the Indian language presents! Since I began to dip into this topic, I have found myself irresistibly carried forward in the inquiry, and been led to resume it, whenever the calls of business or society have been intermitted. I have generally felt, however, while pursuing it, like a mechanist who is required to execute a delicate and difficult work without suitable implements. Technical words may be considered as the working tools of inquiry, and there seems to be a paucity of terms, in our common systems, to describe such a many-syllabled, aggregated language as the Indian. I have been sometimes half inclined to put my manuscripts in the fire, and to exclaim with Dryden, respecting some metaphysical subject--

"I cannot bolt this matter to the bran."

It is not, however, the habitual temper of my mind to give up. "The spider," it is said, "taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's palaces;" and should a man have less perseverance than a spider?

4th. A meteor, or fire-ball, passed through the village at twilight this evening. The weather, which has been intensely cold for the last three days, indicates a change this evening. Meteoric phenomena of a luminous character were universally referred to electricity, after Franklin's day. Chemistry has since put forth reasons why several of these phenomena should be attributed to phosphorus or hydrogen liberated by decomposition.

5th. The Chippewa jugglers, or Jassakeeds, as they are called, have an art of rendering their flesh insensible, probably for a short time, to the effects of a blaze of fire. Robert Dickson told me that he had seen several of them strip themselves of their garments, and jump into a bonfire. Voltaire says, in his Essay on History, that rubbing the hand for a long time with spirit of vitriol and alum, with the juice of an onion, is stated to render it capable of enduring hot water without injury.

7th. Acting as librarian for the garrison during the season, I am privileged to fill up many of the leisure hours of my mornings and evenings by reading. The difficulty appears to be, to read with such reference to system as to render it profitable. History, novels, voyages and travels, and various specific treatises of fancy or fact, invite perusal, and like a common acquaintance, it requires some moral effort to negative their claims. "Judgment," says a celebrated critic, "is forced upon us by experience. He that reads many books must compare one opinion, or one style with another, and when he compares must necessarily distinguish, reject, prefer."

Sunday 8th. Quintilian says, "We palliate our sloth by the specious pretext of difficulty." Nothing, in fact, is too difficult to accomplish, which we set about, with a proper consideration of those difficulties, and pursue with perseverance. The Indian language cannot be acquired so easily as the Greek or Hebrew, but it can be mastered by perseverance. Our Indian policy cannot be understood without looking at the Indian history. The taking of Fort Niagara was the first decisive blow at French power. Less than three months afterwards, that is, on the 18th of October of that year, General Wolf took Quebec. Goldsmith wrote some stanzas on this event, eulogizing the heroism of the exploit. England's consolation for the loss of Wolf is found in his heroic example, which the poet refers to in his closing line,

"Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise."

11th. Names are the pegs of history. Velasco, it is said, on visiting the gulf which receives the St. Lawrence, and finding the country cold and inhospitable, cried out aca nada--"there is nothing here." This is said to be the origin of the word Canada. Nothing could be more improbable: Did the Indians of Canada hear him, and, if so, did they understand or respect the language of a foreigner hovering on their coast? We must look to the Iroquois for the origin of this word. Jacques Cartier, in 1534, evidently mistook the Indian word Canada, signifying a town, for the whole country. The Indians have no geographical terms for districts. They name a hill, a river, or a fall, but do not deal in generics. Some à priori reasoning seems constrained, where the facts are granted, as this: All animals at Nova Zembla, it is said, are carnivorous, because there is no grass.

12th. Snow covers everything. We are shut out from the civilized world, and thrown entirely on our own resources. I doubt, if we were in Siberia, or Kamschatka, if we could be so completely isolated.

13th. Ellis, in one of his northern voyages, asserts the opinion that the northern lights kindle and disperse the vapors requisite to the formation of lightning. Hence there is no thunder in high northern latitudes. We admit the fact, but doubt the reasoning. Vapor is but water in a gaseous state. It is a fine medium for the exhibition of electricity, and we cannot say that electricity exists without it.

14th. When Lucas Fox sailed to discover the north-west passage to India, in 1631, he carried a letter from Charles the First to the Emperor of Japan. Such was public information, in Europe, twenty-two years after the discovery of the River Hudson, and the settlement of New England, eleven years later.

15th. The state of the weather, during this month, has exhibited some striking changes. The first three or four days were quite severe. On the fifth it became mild, and continued so for eight or nine days. During this time, nearly all the snow which had previously fallen was carried off by rains, or the heat of the sun. The weather was so mild that I sat in my office, on the 13th, without fire, for about two hours. Two evenings previous, the snow fell from the roofs of buildings at nine o'clock, and it continued thawing through the night. To day, the wind has veered round to a northerly point, and the weather has resumed its wintry temperature.

22d. The River St. Mary's froze over during the night of this day. The stream had been closed below, for about a week previous.

24th. The Tartars cannot pronounce the letter b. Those of Bulgaria pronounce the word blacks as if written Iliacs. The Chippewas in this quarter usually transpose the b and p in English words. They substitute n for l, pronouncing Louis as if written Nouis. The letter r is dropped, or sounded au. P is often substituted for f, b for v, and ch for j. In words of their own language, the letters f, l, r, v, and x, do not occur. The following are their names for the seasons.


Years are counted by winters, months by moons, and days by nights. There are terms for morning, mid-day, and evening. The year consists of thirteen moons, each moon being designated by a descriptive name, as the moon of flowers (May), the moon of strawberries (June), the moon of berries (July), &c. Canoe and tomahawk are not terms belonging to the Chippewa language. From inquiries I think the former is of Carib origin, and the latter Mohegan. The Chippewa equivalents are in the order stated, Cheman and Agákwut.

26th. In going out to dinner at 3 o'clock, a sheet of paper containing conjugations of verbs, which had cost me much time and questioning, had fallen from my table. On returning in the evening, I found my dog, Ponty, a young pet, had torn my care-bought conjugations into small pieces. What was to be done? It was useless to whip the dog, and I scarcely had the courage to commence the labor anew. I consequently did neither; but gathering up the fragments, carefully soaked the gnawed and mutilated parts in warm water, and re-arranged and sealed them together. And before bedtime I had restored the manuscript so as to be intelligibly read. I imposed this task upon myself, but, had it been imposed by another, I would have been ready to pronounce him a madman.

27th. I devoted the day and evening in transcribing words into my "Ojibwa Vocabulary." This is a labor requiring great caution. The language is so concrete, that often, when I have supposed a word had been dissected and traced to its root, subsequent attention has proved it to be a compound. Thus verbs have been inserted with pronouns, or with particles, indicating negation, or the past or future tense, when it has been supposed they had been divested of these appendages. I am now going over the work the third time. The simplest forms of the verb seem to be the first and third persons singular of the imperative mood.

Ennui, in situations like the present, being isolated and shut up as it were from the world, requires to be guarded against. The surest preventive of it is employment, and diversity in employment. It has been determined to-day to get up a periodical sheet, or jeu d'esprit newspaper, to be circulated from family to family, commencing on the first of January. Mrs. Thompson asked me for a name. I suggested the "Northern Light." It was finally determined to put this into Latin, and call it Aurora Borealis.

28th. Visits make up a part of the winter's amusements. We owe this duty to society; but, like other duties, which are largely connected with enjoyment, there is a constant danger that more time be given up to it than is profitable. Conversation is the true index of feeling. We read wise and grave books, but are not a whit better by them, than as they introduce and fix in our minds such principles as shall shine out in conversation or acts. Now were an ordinary social winter evening party tested by such principles, what would a candid spectator judge to have been the principal topics of reading or study? I remember once, in my earlier years, to have passed an evening in a room where a number of my intimate friends were engaged in playing at cards. As I did not play, I took my seat at an office-table, and hastily sketched the conversation which I afterwards read for their amusement. But the whole was in reality a bitter satire on their language and sentiments, although it was not so designed by me, nor received by them. I several years afterwards saw the sketch of this conversation among my papers, and was forcibly struck with this reflection.

Let me revert to some of the topics of conversation introduced in the circles where I have visited this day, or in my own room. It is Goldsmith, I think, who says that our thoughts take their tinge from contiguous objects. A man standing near a volcano would naturally speak of burning mountains. A person traversing a field of snow would feel his thoughts occupied with polar scenes. Thus are we here thrown together. Ice, snow, winds, a high range of the thermometer, or a driving tempest, are the almost ever present topics of remark: and these came in for a due share of the conversation to-day. The probability of the ice in the river's breaking up the latter part of April, and the arrival of a vessel at the post early in May!--the dissolution of the seventeenth Congress, which must take place on the 4th of March, the character and administration of Governor Clinton (which were eulogized), were adverted to.

In the evening I went, by invitation, to Mr. Siveright's at the North West House. The party was numerous, embracing most of the officers of the American garrison, John Johnston, Esq., Mr. C.O. Ermatinger, a resident who has accumulated a considerable property in trade, and others. Conversation turned, as might have been expected, upon the topic of the Fur Trade, and the enterprising men who established, or led to the establishment of, the North West Company. Todd, Mackenzie, and M'Gillvray were respectively described. Todd was a merchant of Montreal, an Irishman by birth, who possessed enterprise, courage, address, and general information. He paved the way for the establishment of the Company, and was one of the first partners, but died untimely. He possessed great powers of memory. His cousin, Don Andrew Todd, had the monopoly of the fur trade of Louisiana.

M'Gillvray possessed equal capacity for the trade with Todd, united to engaging, gentlemanly manners. He introduced that feature in the Company which makes every clerk, at a certain time, a partner. This first enabled them successfully to combat the Hudson's Bay Company. His passions, however, carried him too far, and he was sometimes unjust.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie was at variance with M'Gillvray, and they never spoke in each other's praise. Mackenzie commanded great respect from all classes, and possessed a dignity of manners and firmness of purpose which fitted him for great undertakings. He established the X.Y. Company, in opposition to the North West.

29th. The days are still very short, the sun having but just passed the winter solstice. We do not dine till four; Mr. Johnston, with whom I take my meals, observing this custom, and it is dark within the coming hour. I remained to family worship in the evening.

30th. Read the articles in the "Edinburgh Review" on Accum's work on the adulteration of food, and Curran's Life by his Son. Accum, it is said, came to England as an adventurer. By assiduity and attention, he became eminent as an operative chemist, and accumulated a fortune. Curran was also of undistinguished parentage. His mother, in youth, seems to have judged rightly of his future talents.

Mr. Johnston returned me "Walsh's Appeal," which he had read at my request, and expressed himself gratified at the ability with which the subject is handled. Captain Clarke, an industrious reader on local and general subjects, had come in a short time before. Conversation became general and animated. European politics, Greece, Turkey, and Russia, the state of Ireland, radicalism in England, the unhappy variance between the king and queen, Charles Fox, &c., were successively the subjects of remark. We adjourned to Mr. Johnston's.

In the evening I went into my office and wrote to Mr. Calhoun, the Secretary of War, recommending Captain H.'s son William, for the appointment of a cadet in the Military Academy.[28]

[28] The appointment was made.

31st. Devoted the day to the Indian language. It scarcely seems possible that any two languages should be more unlike, or have fewer points of resemblance, than the English and Ojibwa. If an individual from one of the nomadic tribes of farther Asia were suddenly set down in London, he could hardly be more struck with the difference in buildings, dress, manners, and customs, than with the utter discrepance in the sounds of words, and the grammatical structure of sentences. The Ojibwa has this advantage, considered as the material of future improvement; it is entirely homogeneous, and admits of philosophical principles being carried out, with very few, if any, of those exceptions which so disfigure English grammar, and present such appalling obstacles to foreigners in learning the language.

On going to dine at the usual hour, I found company invited, among whom were some gentlemen from Upper Canada. Conversation rolled on smoothly, and embraced a wide range of topics. Some of the dark doings of the North West Company, in their struggle for exclusive power in the Indian country, were mentioned. Nobody appeared to utter a word in malice or ill will. Dark and bright traits of individual character and conduct floated along the stream of conversation, without being ruffled with a breeze. In the evening I attended a party at the quarters of one of the officers in the fort. Dancing was introduced. The evening passed off agreeably till the hour of separation, which was a few minutes before twelve. And thus closed the year eighteen hundred and twenty-two.


New Year's day among the descendants of the Norman French--Anti-philosophic speculations of Brydone--Schlegel on language--A peculiar native expression evincing delicacy--Graywacke in the basin of Lake Superior--Temperature--Snow shoes--Translation of Gen. i. 3--Historical reminiscences--Morals of visiting--Ojibwa numerals--Harmon's travels--Mackenzie's vocabularies--Criticism--Mungo Park.

January 1st. This is a day of hilarity here, as in New York. Gayety and good humor appear on every countenance. Visiting from house to house is the order. The humblest individual is expected to make his appearance in the routine, and "has his claims allowed." The French custom of salutation prevails. The Indians are not the last to remember the day. To them, it is a season of privileges, although, alas! it is only the privilege to beg. Standing in an official relation to them, I was occupied in receiving their visits from eight o'clock till three. I read, however, at intervals, Dr. Johnson's Lives of Rochester, Roscommon, Otway, Phillips, and Walsh.

2d. Brydone, the traveler, says, on the authority of Recupero, a priest, that in sinking a pit near Iaci in the region of Mount Etna, they pierced through seven distinct formations of lava, with parallel beds of earth interposed between each stratum. He estimates that two thousand years were required to decompose the lava and form it into soil, and consequently that fourteen thousand years were needed for the whole series of formations. A little further on, he however furnishes data, showing to every candid mind on what very vague estimates he had before relied. He says the fertile district of Hybla was suddenly turned to barrenness by an eruption of lava, and soon after restored to fertility by a shower of ashes. The change which he had required two thousand years to produce was here accomplished suddenly, and the whole argument by which he had arrayed himself against the Mosaical chronology overturned. Of such materials is a good deal of modern pseudo-philosophy constructed.

I received, this morning, a number of mineralogical specimens from Mr. Johnston, which had been collected by him at various times in the vicinity. Among them were specimens of copper pyrites in quartz, sulphate of strontian, foliated gypsum, and numerous calcareous petrifactions. He also presented me a fine antler of the Caribo, or American reindeer, a species which is found to inhabit this region. This animal is called Addik by the Ojibwas. Ik is a termination in the Ojibwa denoting some hard substance.

3d. Forster, in his "History of Northern Voyages," mentions some facts which appear to be adverse to Mr. Hayden's theory of a north-western current. The height of islands observed by Fox, in the arctic regions, was found to be greatest on their eastern sides, and they were depressed towards the west. "This observation," he says, "seems to me to prove that, when the sea burst impetuously into Hudson's Bay, and tore away these islands from the main land, it must have come rushing from the east and south-east, and have washed away the earth towards the west--a circumstance which has occasioned their present low position."

4th. I read the review of Schlegel's "Treatise on the Sanscrit Language." How far the languages of America may furnish coincidences in their grammatical forms, is a deeply interesting inquiry. But thus insulated, as I am, without books, the labor of comparison is, indeed, almost hopeless! I must content myself, for the present, with furnishing examples for others.

The Indians still continue their New Year's visits. Fresh parties or families, who come in from the woods, and were not able to come on the day, consider themselves privileged to present their claims. It should not be an object of disappointment to find that the Indians do not, in their ordinary intercourse, evince those striking traits of exalted and disinterested character which we are naturally accustomed to expect from reading books. Books are, after all, but men's holiday opinions. It requires observation on real life to be able to set a true estimate upon things. The instances in which an Indian is enabled to give proofs of a noble or heroic spirit cannot be expected to occur frequently. In all the history of the seaboard tribes there was but one Pocahontas, one Uncas, and one Philip. Whereas, everyday is calling for the exercise of less splendid, but more generally useful virtues. To spare the life of a prisoner, or to relieve a friend from imminent peril, may give applause, and carry a name down to posterity. But it is the constant practice of every day virtues and duties, domestic diligence, and common sense, that renders life comfortable, and society prosperous and happy. How much of this everyday stamina the Indians possess, it would be presumptuous in me, with so short an opportunity of observation, to decide. But I am inclined to the opinion that their defect of character lies here.

Our express for Detroit, via Michilimackinack, set out at three o'clock this morning, carrying some few short of a hundred letters. This, with our actual numbers, is the best commentary on our insulated situation. We divert ourselves by writing, and cling with a death-grasp, as it were, to our friends and correspondents.

5th. Gitche ie nay gow ge ait che gah, "they have put the sand over him" is a common expression among the Indians to indicate that a man is dead and buried. Another mode, delicate and refined in its character, is to suffix the inflection for perfect past tense, bun, to a man's name. Thus Washington e bun would indicate that Washington is no more.

I read the Life of Pope. It is strange that so great a poet should have been so great a lover of wealth; mammon and the muses are not often conjointly worshiped. Pope did not excel in familiar conversation, and few sallies of wit, or pointed observation, are preserved. The following is recorded: "When an objection raised against his inscription for Shakspeare was defended by the authority of Patrick, he replied, 'horresco referens,' that he would allow the publisher of a dictionary to know the meaning of a single word, but not of two words put together."

In the evening I read a number of the "London Literary Gazette," a useful and interesting paper, which, in its plan, holds an intermediate rank between a newspaper and a review. It contains short condensed criticisms on new works, together with original brief essays and anecdotes, and literary advertisements, which latter must render it a valuable paper to booksellers. I think we have nothing on this plan, at present, in the United States.

6th. I received a specimen of slaty graywacke from Lake Superior. The structure is tabular, and very well characterized. If there be no mistake respecting the locality, it is therefore certain that this rock is included among the Lake Superior group.[29] It was not noticed in the expedition of 1820. I also received a specimen of iron sand from Point aux Pins.

[29] I found graywacke in sitû at Iron River, in Lake Superior, in 1826, and subsequently at Presque Isle River, where it is slaty, and fine even grained, and apparently suitable for some economical uses.

The thermometer has stood at 25° below zero a few days during the season. It was noticed at 10° below, this morning. Notwithstanding the decidedly wintry character of the day, I received a visit from Mr. Siveright, a Canadian gentleman, who came across the expanse of ice on snow shoes. I loaned him Silliman's "Travels in England and Scotland," feeling a natural desire to set off our countrymen, as authors and travelers, to the best advantage. Mr. S., who has spent several years at the north, mentioned that each of the Indian tribes has something peculiar in the fashion of their snow shoes. The Chippewas form theirs with acute points fore and aft, resembling two inverted sections of a circle. The Crees make a square point in front, tapering away gradually to the heel. The Chippewyans turn up the fore point, so that it may offer less resistance in walking. Females have their snow shoes constructed different from the men's. The difference consists in the shape and size of the bows. The netting is more nicely wrought and colored, and often ornamented, particularly in those worn by girls, with tassels of colored worsted. The word "shoe," as applied to this apparatus of the feet, is a complete misnomer. It consists of a net-work of laced skin, extended between light wooden bows tied to the feet, the whole object of which is to augment the space pressed upon, and thus bear up the individual on the surface of the snow.

I devoted the leisure hours of the day to the grammatical structure of the Indian language. There is reason to suppose the word moneto not very ancient. It is, properly speaking, not the name for God, or Jehovah, but rather a generic term for spiritual agency in their mythology. The word seems to have been derived from the notion of the offerings left upon rocks and sacred places, being supernaturally taken away. In any comparative views of the language, not much stress should be laid upon the word, as marking a difference from other stocks. Maneton, in the Delaware, is the verb "to make." Ozheton is the same verb in Chippewa.

7th. History teaches its lessons in small, as well as great things. Vessels from Albemarle, in Virginia, in 1586, first carried the potato to Ireland. Thomas Harriot says the natives called it open-awk. The Chippewas, at this place, call the potato open-eeg; but the termination eeg is merely a form of the plural. Open (the e sounded like short i) is the singular form. Thomas Jefferson gives the word "Wha-poos" as the name of the Powhatanic tribes for hare. The Chippewa term for this animal is Wa-bos, usually pronounced by white men Wa-poos.

Longinus remarks the sublimity of style of the third verse of Genesis i. I have, with competent aid, put it into Chippewa, and give the re-translation:--

Appee dushand then
Gezha MonedoMerciful Spirit
AkeedoodHe said
Wassay-au,Light be,
Appee dushAnd then
Wassay-augLight was.

It is not to be expected that all parts of the language would exhibit equal capacities to bear out the original. Yet in this instance, if the translation be faithful, it is clearly, but not, to our apprehension, elegantly done. I am apprehensive that the language generally has a strong tendency to repetition and redundancy of forms, and to clutter up, as it were, general ideas with particular meanings. At three o'clock I went to dine with Mr. Siveright, at the North West Company's House. The party was large, including the officers from the garrison. Conversation took a political turn. Colonel Lawrence defended the propriety of his recent toast, "The Senate of the United States, the guardians of a free people," by which a Boston paper said "more was meant than met the eye." The evening was passed with the ordinary sources of amusement. I have for some time felt that the time devoted to these amusements, in which I never made much advance, would be better given up to reading, or some inquiry from which I might hope to derive advantage. An incident this evening impressed me with this truth, and I came home with a resolution that one source of them should no longer engross a moment of my time.

Harris, the author of Hermes, says, "It is certainly as easy to be a scholar as a gamester, or any other character equally illiberal and low. The same application, the same quantity of habit, will fit us for one as completely as for the other. And as to those who tell us, with an air of seeming wisdom, that it is men, and not books, that we must study to become knowing; this I have always remarked, from repeated experience, to be the common consolation and language of dunces." Now although I have no purpose of aiming at extreme heights in knowledge, yet there are some points in which every man should have that precision of knowledge which is a concomitant of scholarship. And every man, by diligence, may add to the number of these points, without aiming at all to put on a character for extraordinary wisdom or profundity.

9th. Historical Reminiscences.--On the third of April, 1764, Sir William Johnson concluded preliminary articles of peace and friendship with eight deputies of the Seneca nation, which was the only one of the Iroquois who joined Pontiac. This was done at his residence at Johnson Hall, on the Mohawk.

In August, 1764, Colonel Bradstreet granted "Terms of Peace" to certain deputies of the Delaware, Huron, and Shawnee tribes at Presque Isle, being then on his way to relieve Detroit, which was then closely invested by the Indians. These deputies gave in their adhesion to the English cause, and agreed to give up all the English prisoners.

In October of the same year, Colonel Bouquet granted similar terms to another deputation of Shawnees, Delawares, &c., at Tuscarawas.

The best account of the general transactions of the war of that era, which I have seen, is contained in a "History of the Late War in North America, and Islands of the West Indies. By Thomas Mante, Assistant Engineer, &c., and Major of a Brigade. London, 1772:" 1 vol. quarto, 552 pages. I am indebted to Governor Clinton for my acquaintance with this work.

10th. I have employed the last three days, including this, very diligently on my Indian vocabulary and inquiries, having read but little. Too exclusive a devotion to this object is, however, an error. I have almost grudged the time I devoted to eating and sleeping. And I should certainly be unwilling that my visitors should know what I thought of the interruptions created by their visits. It is true, however, that I have gained but little by these visits in the way of conversation. One of my visitors, a couple of days since, made me waste a whole morning in talking of trifling subjects. Another, who is a gourmand, is only interested in subjects connected with the gratification of his palate. A third, who is a well-informed man, has such lounging habits that he remained two hours and a half with me this morning. No wonder that men in office must be guarded by the paraphernalia of ante-rooms and messengers, if a poor individual at this cold end of the world feels it an intrusion on his short winter days to have lounging visitors. I will try to recollect, when I go to see others, that although I may have leisure, perhaps they are engaged in something of consequence.

11th. History abounds in examples of excellence.--Xenophon says of Jason, "All who have served under Jason have learned this lesson, that pleasure is the effect of toil; though as to sensual pleasures, I know no person in the world more temperate than Jason. They never break in upon his time; they always leave him leisure to do what must be done."

Of Diphridas, the same author observes, "No bodily indulgence ever gained the ascendant over him, but, on the contrary, he gave all his attention to the business in hand." What admirable maxims for real life, whether that life be passed in courts or camps, or a humble sphere!

12th. I finished reading Thiebault's "Anecdotes of Frederick the Great," which I had commenced in December. This is a pleasing and instructive work. Every person should read it who wishes to understand the history of Prussia, particularly the most interesting and important period of it. We here find Frederick I. and II., and William depicted to the life. We are made acquainted also with national traits of the Russian, English, German, and French character, which are nowhere else to be found.

13th. The ancient Thracians are thus described by Herodotus: "The most honorable life with them is a life of indolence; the most contemptible that of a husbandman. Their supreme delight is war and plunder." Who, if the name and authority were concealed, but would suppose the remarks were made of some of the tribes of the North American Indians?

I divided the day between reading and writing. In the evening I went by invitation to a party at Lieutenant B.'s in the cantonment.

14th. The Chippewa names of the numerals, from one to ten, are--pazhik, neezh, niswee, newin, nanun, neen-goodwaswa, neezh-waswa, swaswa, shonguswa, metonna.

Dined at Mr. Ermatinger's, a gentleman living on the Canada shore, who, from small beginnings, has accumulated a considerable property by the Indian trade, and has a numerous Anglo-Odjibwa family.

15th. Completed the perusal of Harmon's Travels, and extracted the notes contained in memorandum book N. Mr. Harmon was nineteen years in the service of the North West Company, and became a partner after the expiration of the first seven years. The volume contains interesting data respecting the topography, natural history (incidental), and Indian tribes of a remote and extensive region. The whole scope of the journal is devoted to the area lying north of the territory of the United States. It will be found a valuable book of reference to those who are particularly directing their attention to northern scenes. The journal was revised and published by a Mr. Haskell, who, it is said here, by persons acquainted with Mr. Harmon, has introduced into the text religious reflections, not believed to have been made by the author at the time. No exceptions can be taken to the reflections; but his companions and co-partners feel that they should have led the individual to exemplify them in his life and conversation while inland.

Mr. Harmon says, of the Canadians--"All their chat is about horses, dogs, canoes, women, and strong men, who can fight a good battle." Traders and Indians are placed in a loose juxtaposition. "Their friendship," he states, "is little more than their fondness for our property, and our eagerness to obtain their furs." European manufactures are essential to the natives. "The Indians in this quarter have been so long accustomed to European goods, that it would be with difficulty that they could now obtain a livelihood without them. Especially do they need firearms, axes, kettles, knives, &c. They have almost lost the use of bows and arrows, and they would find it nearly impossible to cut their fire wood with implements made of stone or bone."

16th. Examined Mackenzie's Travels, to compare his vocabulary of Knisteneaux and Algonquin, with the Odjibwa, or Chippewa. There is so close an agreement, in sense and sound, between the two latter, as to make it manifest that the tribes could not have been separated at a remote period. This agreement is more close and striking than it appears to be by comparing the two written vocabularies. Mackenzie has adopted the French orthography, giving the vowels, and some of the consonants and diphthongs, sounds very different from their English powers. Were the words arranged on a common plan of alphabetical notation, they would generally be found to the eye, as they are to the ear, nearly identical. The discrepancies would be rendered less in cases in which they appear to be considerable, and the peculiarities of idiom, as they exist, would be made more striking and instructive. I have heard both idioms spoken by the natives, and therefore have more confidence in speaking of their nearness and affinity, than I could have had from mere book comparison. I am told that Mackenzie got his vocabulary from some of the priests in Lower Canada, who are versed in the Algonquin. It does not seem to me at all probable that an Englishman or a Scotchman should throw aside his natural sounds of the vowels and consonants, and adopt sounds which are, and must have been, from infancy, foreign.

As I intend to put down things in the order of their occurrence, I will add that I had a visitor to-day, a simple mechanic, who came to talk to me about nothing; I could do no less than be civil to him, in consequence of which he pestered me with hems and haws about one hour. I think Job took no interest in philology.

17th. Devoted the day to the language. A friend had loaned me a file of Scottish papers called the Montrose Review, which I took occasion to run over. This paper is more neatly and correctly printed than is common with our papers of this class from the country. The strain of remark is free, bold, and inquisitive, looking to the measures of government, and advocating principles of rational liberty throughout the world.

Col. Lawrence, Capt. Thompson, and Lieut. Griswold called in the course of the day. I commenced reading Mungo Parke's posthumous volume.

18th. The mind, like the body, will get tired. Quintilian remarks, "Variety refreshes and renovates the mind." Composition and reading by turns, wear away the weariness either may create; and though we have done many things, we in some measure find ourselves fresh and recruited at entering on a new thing. This day has been almost entirely given up to society. Visitors seemed to come in, as if by concert. Col. Lawrence, Capts. Clarke and Beal, Lieuts. Smith and Griswold. Mr. S.B. Griswold, who was one of the American hostage officers at Quebec, Dr. Foot, and Mr. Johnston came in to see me, at different times. I filled up the intervals in reading.

19th, Sabbath. A party of Indians came to my door singing the begging dance. These people do not respect the Sabbath.[30] The parties who came in, on New Year's day, still linger about the settlements, and appear to be satisfied to suffer hunger half the time, if their wants can be gratuitously relieved the other half.

[30] About eighteen months afterwards, I interdicted all visits of Indians on the Sabbath, and adopted it as an invariable rule, that I would not transact any business, or receive visits, from any Indian under the influence of liquor. I directed my interpreter to tell them that the President had sent me to speak to sober men only.

20th. I continued to transcribe, from loose papers, into my Indian lexicon. A large proportion of the words are derivatives. All are, more or less, compounded in their oral forms, and they appear to be glued, as it were, to objects of sense. This is not, however, peculiar to this language. The author of "Hermes" says--"The first words of men, like their first ideas, had an immediate reference to sensible objects, and that in after days, when they began to discern with their intellect, they took those words which they found already made, and transferred them, by metaphor, to intellectual conceptions."

On going to dinner, I found a party of officers and their ladies. "Mine host," Mr. Johnston, with his fine and frank Belfast hospitality, does the honors of his table with grace and ease. Nothing appears to give him half so much delight as to see others happy around him. I read, in the evening, the lives of Akenside, Gray, and Littleton. What a perfect crab old Dr. Johnson was! But is there any sound criticism without sternness?

21st. I finished the reading of Mungo Parke, the most enterprising traveler of modern times. He appears to me to have committed two errors in his last expedition, and I think his death is fairly attributable to impatience to reach the mouth of the Niger. He should not have attempted to pass from the Gambia to the Niger during the rainy season. By this, he lost thirty-five out of forty men. He should not have tried to force a passage through the kingdom of Houssa, without making presents to the local petty chiefs. By this, he lost his life. When will geographers cease to talk about the mouth of the Niger? England has been as indefatigable in solving this problem as she has been in finding out the North West Passage, and, at present, as unsuccessful. We see no abatement, however, in her spirit of heroic enterprise. America has sent but one explorer to this field--Ledyard.


Novel reading--Greenough's "Geology"--The cariboo--Spiteful plunder of private property on a large scale--Marshall's Washington--St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign"--Etymology of the word totem--A trait of transpositive languages--Polynesian languages--A meteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter's temperature--Spafford's "Gazetteer"--Holmes on the Prophecies--Foreign politics--Mythology--Gnomes--The Odjibwa based on monosyllables--No auxiliary verbs--Pronouns declined for tense--Esprella's letters--Valerius--Gospel of St. Luke--Chippewayan group of languages--Home politics--Prospect of being appointed superintendent of the lead mines of Missouri.

1823. Jan. 22d. A pinching cold winter wears away slowly. The whole village seems to me like so many prescient beavers, in a vast snow-bank, who cut away the snow and make paths, every morning, from one lodge to another. In this reticulation of snow paths the drum is sounded and the flag raised. Most dignified bipeds we are. Hurrah for progress, and the extension of the Anglo-Saxon race!

I read the "Recluse," translated from D'Arlincourt's popular novel Le Solitaire, and think the commendations bestowed upon it, in the translator's preface, just in the main. It is precisely such a novel as I should suppose would be very popular in the highest circles of France, and consequently, owing to difference of character, would be less relished by the same circles in England. I suspect the author to be a great admirer of Chateaubriand's "Atala," whose death is brought to mind by the catastrophe of Elode's. Here, however, the similitude ends. There is nothing to be said respecting the comparative features of Charles the Bold and Chactas, except that the Indian possessed those qualities of the heart which most ennoble human nature.

To the readers of Scott's novels, however (for he is certainly the "Great Unknown"), this pleasing poetical romance, with all its sparkling passages, will present one glaring defect--it is not sufficiently descriptive. We rise from the perusal of it with no definite ideas of the scenery of the valley of Underlach. We suppose it to be sublime and picturesque, and are frequently told so by the author; but he fails in the description of particular scenes. Scott manages otherwise. When he sends Baillie Nicoll Jarvie into the Highlands, he does not content himself with generalities, but also brings before the mind such groups and scenes as make one fear and tremble. To produce this excitement is literary power.

23d. I devoted the time before breakfast, which, with us, happens at a late hour, to the Edinburgh Review. I read the articles on Greenough's "First Principles of Geology," and a new edition of Demosthenes. When shall we hear the last panegyric of the Grecian orator, who, in the two characteristics of his eloquence which have been most praised, simplicity and nature, is every day equalled, or excelled, by our Indian chiefs?

Greenough's Essays are bold and original, and evince no weak powers of observation and reasoning. But he is rather a leveler than a builder. It seems better that we should have a poor house over our heads than none at all. The facts mentioned on the authority of a traveler in Spain, that the pebbles in the rivers of that country are not carried down streams by the force of the current, are contradicted by all my observations on the rivers of the United States. The very reverse is true. Those streams which originate in, or run through districts of granite, limestone, graywacke, &c., present pebbles of these respective rocks abundantly along their banks, at points below the termination of the fixed strata. These pebbles, and even boulders, are found far below the termination of the rocky districts, and appear to owe their transportation to the force of existing currents. I have found the peculiar pebbles of the sources of the Mississippi as low down as St. Louis and St. Genevieve.

I resumed the perusal of Marshall's "Life of Washington," which I had laid by in the fall. Lieutenants Barnum and Bicker and Mr. Johnston came to visit me.

24th. I made one of a party of sixteen, who dined with Mr. Ermatinger. I here first tasted the flesh of the cariboo, which is a fine flavored venison. I do not recollect any wise or merry remark made during dinner, which is worth recording. As toasts show the temper of the times, and bespeak the sentiments of those who give them, a few of them may be mentioned. After several formal and national toasts, we had Mr. Calhoun, Governor Cass, General Brown, Mr. Sibley, the representative of Michigan, Colonel Brady, and Major Thayer, superintendent of the military academy. In coming home in the cariole, we all missed the balizes, and got completely upset and pitched into the snow.

25th. Mr. John Johnston returned me Silliman's Travels, and expressed himself highly pleased with them. Mr. Johnston evinces by his manners and conversation and liberal sentiments that he has passed many of his years in polished and refined circles. He told me he came to America during the presidency of General Washington, whom he esteems it a privilege to have seen at New York, in 1793. Having letters to Lord Dorchester, he went into Canada, and through a series of vicissitudes, finally settled at these falls about thirty years ago. In 1814, his property was plundered by the Americans, through the false representations of some low-minded persons, his neighbors and opponents in trade, with no more patriotism than he; in consequence of which he returned to Europe, and sold his patrimonial estate at "Craige," in the north of Ireland, within a short distance of the Giant's Causeway, and thus repaired, in part, his losses.

26th. Devoted to reading--a solid resource in the wilderness.

27th. Finished the perusal of Marshall's Washington, and took the notes contained in memorandums P. and R. The first volume of this work is intended as introductory, and contains the best recital of the political history of the colonies which I have read. The other four volumes embrace a wide mass of facts, but are rather diffuse and prolix, considered as biography, A good life of Washington, which shall comprise within a small compass all his prominent public and private acts, still remains a desideratum.

28th. Our express returned this morning, bringing me New York papers to the 11th of November. We are more than two months and a half behind the current news of the day. We have Washington dates to the 9th of November, but of course they convey nothing of the proceedings of Congress.

29th. I read St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign" against the Indians in 1791, and extracted the notes contained in memorandum A.A. The causes of its failure are explained in a satisfactory manner, and there is proof of Gen. St. Clair's vigilance and intrepidity. Dissensions in his camp crippled the old general's power.

30th. I took up the subject of the Indian language, after an interval of eight or nine days, and continued to transcribe into my vocabulary until after the hour of midnight. It comprises now rising of fifteen hundred words, including some synonyms.

31st. "Totem" is a word frequently heard in this quarter. In tracing its origin, it is found to be a corruption of the Indian "dodaim," signifying family mark, or armorial bearing. The word appears to be a derivative from odanah, a town or village. Hence neen dodaim, my townsman, or kindred-mark. Affinity in families is thus kept up, as in the feudal system, and the institution seems to be of some importance to the several bands. They often appeal to their "totem," as if it were a surname.

At three o'clock I went to dine at Col. Lawrence's. The party consisted of Capts. Thompson and Beal, Lieuts. Barnum, Smith, Waite, and Griswold, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Ermatinger and son, Dr. Foot and Mr. Siveright of the H.B. House. In the evening the party adjourned to Mr. Johnston's.

February 1st. Transpositive languages, like the Indian, do not appear to be well adapted to convey familiar, easy, flowing conversation. There seems to be something cumbrous and stately in the utterance of their long polysyllabic words, as if they could not readily be brought down to the minute distinctions of every day family conversation. This may arise, however, from a principle adverted to by Dr. Johnson, in speaking of the ancient languages, in which he says "nothing is familiar," and by the use of which "the writer conceals penury of thought and want of novelty, often from the reader, and often from himself." The Indian certainly has a very pompous way of expressing a common thought. He sets about it with an array of prefix and suffix, and polysyllabic strength, as if he were about to crush a cob-house with a crowbar.

2d. The languages of New Zealand, Tonga, and Malay have no declension of nouns, nor conjugation of verbs. The purposes of declension are answered by particles and prepositions. The distinctions of person, tense, and mode are expressed by adverbs, pronouns, and other parts of speech. This rigidity of the verb and noun is absolute, under every order of arrangement, in which their words can be placed, and their meaning is not helped out, by either prefixes or suffixes.

I read Plutarch's "Life of Marcellus," to observe whether it bore the points of resemblance to Washington's military character, suggested by Marshall.

3d. Abad signifies abode, in Persian. Abid denotes where he is, or dwells, in Chippewa.

I refused, on an invitation of Mr. Ermatinger, to alter the resolution formed on the seventh ultimo, as to one mode of evening's amusement.

4th. A loud meteoric report, as if from the explosion of some aerial body, was heard about noon this day. The sound seemed to proceed from the south-west. It was attended with a prolonged, or rumbling sound, and was generally heard. Popular surmise, which attempts to account for everything, has been very busy in assigning the cause of this phenomenon.

A high degree of cold has recently been experienced. The thermometer stood at 28° below zero at one o'clock this morning. It had risen to 18° at day-break--being the greatest observed degree of cold during the season. It did not exceed 4° above zero during any part of the day.

5th. A year ago to-day, a literary friend wrote to me to join him in preparing a Gazetteer of the State of New York, to supplant Spafford's. Of the latter, he expresses himself in the letter, which is now before me, in unreserved terms of disapprobation. "It is wholly unworthy," he says, "of public patronage, and would not stand in the way of a good work of the kind; and such a one, I have the vanity to believe, our joint efforts could produce. It would be a permanent work, with slight alterations, as the State might undergo changes. My plan would be for you to travel over the State, and make a complete geological, mineralogical, and statistical survey of it, which would probably take you a year or more. In the mean time, I would devote all my leisure to the collection and arrangement of such other materials as we should need in the compilation of the work. I doubt not we could obtain the prompt assistance of the first men in the State, in furnishing all the information required. Our State is rapidly increasing in wealth and population, and I am full in the faith that such a work would sell well in different parts of the country."

6th. I did nothing to-day, by which I mean that it was given up to visiting and talking. It is Dr. Johnson, I think, who draws a distinction between "talk and conversation." It is necessary, however, to assign a portion of time in this way. "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly," is a Bible maxim.

7th. The garrison library was this morning removed from my office, where it had been placed in my charge on the arrival of the troops in July, the state of preparations in the cantonment being now sufficiently advanced to admit its reception. A party of gentlemen from the British garrison on Drummond Island came up on a visit, on snow shoes. The distance is about 45 miles.

8th. I commenced reading Holmes on "The Fulfilment of the Revelation of St. John," a London work of 1819. The author says "that his explanation of the symbols is founded upon one fixed and universal rule--that the interpretation of a symbol is ever maintained; that the chronological succession of the seals, trumpets, and vials is strictly preserved; and that the history contained under them is a uniform and homogeneous history of the Roman empire, at once comprehensive and complete."--Attended a dining-party at Mr. Johnston's.

9th. Continued the reading of Holmes, who is an energetic writer, and appears to have looked closely into his subject. The least pleasing trait in the work is a polemic spirit which is quite a clog to the inquiry, especially to those who, like myself, have never read the authors Faber, Cunningham, and Frere, whose interpretations he combats. For a clergyman, he certainly handles them without gloves.

10th. The principal Indian chief of the vicinity, Shingabawossin, sent to inquire of me the cause of the aerial explosion, heard on the 4th. At four I went to dine with Mr. Ermatinger on the British shore.

11th. I did something, although, from the round of visiting and gayety which, in consequence of our Drummond Isle visitors, has existed for a few days, but little, at my vocabulary. At half-past four, I went to dine with Lieutenants Morton and Folger in the cantonment. The party was nearly the same which has assembled for a few days, in honor of the foreign gentlemen with us. In the evening a large party, with dancing, at Mr. Johnston's.

12th. I read Lord Erskine's Letter to Lord Liverpool on the policy to be pursued by Great Britain in relation to Greece and Turkey. The arguments and sentiments do equal credit to his head and heart, and evince no less his judgment as a statesman, than they do his taste and erudition as a scholar. This interesting and valuable letter breathes the true sentiments of rational liberty, such as must be felt by the great body of the English nation, and such as must, sooner or later, prevail among the enlightened nations of the earth. How painful to reflect that this able appeal will produce no favorable effect on the British ministry, whose decision, it is to be feared, is already made in favor of the "legitimacy" of the Turkish government!

At four o'clock, I laid by my employments, and went to dine at the commanding officer's quarters, whence the party adjourned to a handsomely arranged supper table at Capt. Beal's. The necessity of complying with times and occasions, by accepting the current invitations of the day, is an impediment to any system of intellectual employment; and whatever the world may think of it, the time devoted to public dinners and suppers, routs and parties, is little better than time thrown away.

"And yet the fate of all extremes is such;
Books may be read, as well as men, too much."

13th. I re-perused Mackenzie's "History of the Fur Trade," to enable me more fully to comprehend the allusions in a couple of volumes lately put into my hands, on the "Disputes between Lord Selkirk and the North West Company," and the "Report of Trials" for certain murders perpetrated in the course of a strenuous contest for commercial mastery in the country by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Finding an opportunity of sending north, I recollected that the surveyors of our northern boundary were passing the winter at Fort William, on the north shore of Lake Superior; and wrote to one of the gentlemen, enclosing him some of our latest papers.

14th. The gentlemen from the neighboring British post left us this morning. I devoted the day to my Indian inquiries.

15th. I commenced a vocabulary of conversation, in the Odjibwa.

17th. Native Mythology.--According to Indian mythology, Weeng is the God of sleep. He has numerous emissaries, who are armed with war clubs, of a tiny and unseen character. These fairy agents ascend the forehead, and knock the individual to sleep. Pope's creation of Gnomes, in the Rape of the Lock, is here prefigured.

18th. It has been said that the Indian languages possess no monosyllables. This remark is not borne out with regard to the Chippewa. Marked as it is with polysyllables, there are a considerable number of exceptions. Koan is snow, ais a shell, mong a loon, kaug a porcupine, &c. The number of dissyllables is numerous, and of trisyllables still more so. The Chippewa has no auxiliary verbs. The Chippewa primitive pronouns are, Neen, Keen, and Ween (I, Thou, He or She). They are rendered plural in wind and wau. They are also declined for tense, and thus, in the conjugation of verbs, take the place of our auxiliary verbs.

19th. Resumed the perusal of Holmes on "Revelations." He establishes a dictionary of symbols, which are universally interpreted. In this system, a day signifies a natural year; a week seven years; a month thirty years; a year a period of 360 years. The air means "church and state;" waters, "peoples, multitudes, tongues;" seven, the number of perfection; twelve, totality or all; hail storms, armies of northern invaders. If the work were divested of its controversial character, it would produce more effect. Agreeably to this author, the downfall of Popery will take place about the year 1866.

20th. I read "Esprella's Letters on England," a work attributed to Southey, whose object appears to have been to render English manners and customs familiar in Spain, at a time when the intercourse between the two countries had very much augmented, and their sympathies were drawn together by the common struggle against Napoleon Bonaparte.

21st. I commenced "Valerius, a Roman Story." In the evening the commanding officer (Col. L.) gave a party, in honor of Washington's birthday. That the time might not be wholly anticipated, dancing was introduced to give it wings, and continued until two o'clock of the morning of (the actual birthday) the twenty-second.

22d. Finished "Valerius." This is an interesting novel on the Waverley plan, and must certainly be considered a successful attempt to familiarize the class of novel-readers with Roman history and Roman domestic manners. The story turns on the persecution of the Christians under Trajan. The expression "of a truth," which is so abundantly used in the narrative, is a Scripture phrase, and is very properly put into the mouth of a converted Roman. I cannot say as much for the word "alongst" used for along. There are also some false epithets, as "drop," for run or flow, and "guesses" for conjectures. The only defect in the plot, which occurs to me, is, that Valerius, after his escape with Athanasia from Ostium, should have been landed safely in Britain, and thus completed the happiness of a disconsolate and affectionate mother, whom he left there, and who is never afterwards mentioned.

23d. From the mention which is made of it in "Valerius," I this day read the Gospel of Luke, and truly am surprised to find it so very important a part of the New Testament. Indeed, were all the rest of the volume lost, this alone would be sufficient for the guidance of the Christian. Divines tell us that Luke was the most learned of the evangelists. He is called "the beloved physician," by St. Paul. His style is more descriptive than the other evangelists, and his narrative more clear, methodical, and precise, and abounds equally with sublime conceptions.[31]

[31] This opinion was thrown out from mere impulse, on a single perusal, and so far as it may be regarded as a literary criticism, the only possible light in which it can be considered, is vaguely hazarded, for I had not, at that time, read the other Gospels with any degree of care or understanding, so as to be capable thereby of judging of their style or merits as compositions. Spiritually considered, I did not understand Luke, or any of the Evangelists, for I regarded the Gospels as mere human compositions, without the aid of inspiration. They were deemed to be a true history of events, interspersed with moral axioms, but derived no part of their value, or the admiration above expressed, as revealing the only way of salvation through Christ.

24th. Mr. Harman, from a long residence in the Indian country, in high northern latitudes, was qualified by his opportunities of observation, to speak of the comparative character of the Indian language in that quarter. He considers them as radically different from those of the Algonquin stock. The group which may be formed from his remarks, will embrace the Chippewayans, Beaver Indians, Sicaunies, Tacullies, and Nateotetains. If we may judge of this family of dialects by Mackenzie's vocabulary of the Chippewayan, it is very remote from the Chippewa, and abounds in those consonantal sounds which the latter studiously avoids.

Harman says, "The Sicaunies bury, while the Tacullies burn their dead." "Instances of suicide, by hanging, frequently occur among the women of all the tribes, with whom I have been acquainted; but the men are seldom known to take away their own lives."

These Indians entertain the same opinions respecting the dress of the dead, with the more southerly tribes. "Nothing," he says, "pleases an Indian better than to see his deceased relative handsomely attired, for he believes that they will arrive in the other world in the same dress with which they are clad, when they are consigned to the grave."

27th. Our second express arrived at dusk, this evening, bringing papers from the seaboard to the 14th of January, containing the President's message, proceedings of Congress, and foreign news, up to that date. A friend who is in Congress writes to me--"We go on slowly, but so far very harmoniously, in Congress. The Red Jackets [32] are very quiet, and I believe are very much disposed to cease their warfare against Mr. Monroe, as they find the nation do not relish it."

[32] Opponents of the then existing administration, who looked to Gen. Cocke, of Tennessee, as a leader.

Another friend at Washington writes (15th Dec.): "The message of the President you will have seen ere this reaches you. It is thought very well of here. He recommends the appointment of a Superintendent of the Western Lead Mines, skilled in mineralogy. If Congress should make provision for one, it is not to be doubted who will receive the situation. In fact, in a conversation a few days since with Mr. C., he told me he had you particularly in view when he recommended it to the President."

28th. Wrote an application to the Postmaster General for the appointment of S.B. Griswold as postmaster at this place.[33]

[33] Mr. G. was appointed.


Close of the winter solstice, and introduction of a northern spring--News from the world--The Indian languages--Narrative Journal--Semi-civilization of the ancient Aztec tribes--Their arts and languages--Hill's ironical review of the "Transactions of the Royal Society"--A test of modern civilization--Sugar making--Trip to one of the camps--Geology of Manhattan Island--Ontwa, an Indian poem--Northern ornithology--Dreams--The Indian apowa--Printed queries of General Cass--Prospect of the mineral agency--Exploration of the St. Peter's--Information on that head.

1823. March 1st. My reading hours, for the last few days, have been, in great part, devoted to the newspapers. So long an exclusion from the ordinary sources of information has the effect to increase the appetite for this kind of intellectual food, and the circumstance probably leads us to give up more time to it than we should were we not subject to these periodical exclusions. The great point of interest is the succession in the Presidential chair. Parties hinge upon this point. Economy and retrenchment are talismanic words, used to affect the populace, but used in reality only as means of affecting the balance of party power. Messrs. Calhoun, Crawford, and Adams are the prominent names which fill the papers.

There is danger that newspapers in America will too much supersede and usurp the place of books, and lead to a superficial knowledge of things. Gleaning the papers in search of that which is really useful, candid, and fair seems too much like hunting for grains of wheat in a chaos of chaff.

3d. Our third express went off this morning, freighted with our letters, and, of course, with our reasons, our sentiments, our thanks, our disappointments, our hopes, and our fears.

6th. I resumed the subject of the Indian language.

Osánimun is the word for vermilion. This word is compounded from unimun, or plant yielding a red dye, and asawa, yellow. The peculiar color of yellow-red is thus indicated. Bëizha is the neuter verb "to come." This verb appears to remain rigid in its conjugation, the tenses being indicated exclusively by inflections of the pronoun. Thus nim beizha, I come; ningee peizha, I came; ninguh peizha, I will come. The pronoun alone is declined for past and future tense, namely gee and guh.

There does not appear to be any definite article in the Chippewa language. Pazhik means one, or an. It may be doubtful whether the former sense is not the exclusive one. Ahow is this person in the animate form. Ihiw is the corresponding inanimate form. More care than I have devoted may, however, be required to determine this matter.

Verbs, in the Chippewa, must agree in number and tense with the noun. They must also agree in gender, that is, verbs animate must have nouns animate. They must also have animate pronouns and animate adjectives. Vitality, or the want of vitality, seems to be the distinction which the inventors of the language, seized upon, to set up the great rules of its syntax.

Verbs, in the Chippewa language, are converted into nouns by adding the particle win.

Kegido, to speak. Kegido-win, speech. This appears to be a general rule. The only doubt I have felt is, whether the noun formed is so purely elementary as not to partake of a participial character.

There are two plurals to express the word "we," one of which includes, and the other excludes, the person addressed. Neither of these forms is a dual.

Os signifies father; nos is my father; kos, thy father; osun, his or her father. The vowel in this word is sounded like the o, in note.

The language has two relative pronouns, which are much used--awanan, who; and wagonan, what. The vowel a, in these words, is the sound of a in fate.

There are two classes of adjectives, one of which applies to animate, the other to inanimate objects.

The Chippewa word for Sabbath is animea geezhig, and indicates prayer-day. There is no evidence, from inquiry, that the Indians divided their days into weeks. A moon was the measure of a month, but it is questionable whether they had acquired sufficient exactitude in the computation of time to have numbered the days comprehended in each moon. The phases of the moon were accurately noted.

8th. Professor S., of Yale College, writes to me under this date, enclosing opinions respecting my "Narrative Journal" of travels, contained in a familiar private letter from D. Wadsworth, Esq., of Hartford. They terminate with this remark: "All I regret about it (the work) is, that it was not consistent with his plans to tell us more of what might be considered the domestic part of the expedition--the character and conduct of those who were of the party, their health, difficulties, opinions, and treatment of each other, &c. As his book was a sort of official work, I suppose he thought it would not do, and I wish now, he would give his friends (and let us be amongst them) a manuscript of the particulars that are not for the public."

17th. Semi-civilization of the Mexican Tribes.--Nothing is more manifest, on reading the "Conquest of Mexico" by De Solis, than that the character and attainments of the ancient Mexicans are exalted far above the reality, to enhance the fame of Cortez, and give an air of splendor to the conquest. Superior as the Aztecs and some other tribes certainly were, in many things, to the most advanced of the North American tribes, they resemble the latter greatly, in their personal features, and mental traits, and in several of their arts.

The first presents sent by Montezuma to Cortez were "cotton cloths, plumes, bows, arrows and targets of wood, collars and rings of gold, precious stones, ornaments of gold in the shape of animals, and two round plates of the precious metals resembling the sun and moon."

The men had "rings in their ears and lips, which, though they were of gold, were a deformity instead of an ornament."

"Canoes and periogues" of wood were their usual means of conveyance by water. The "books" mentioned at p. 100, were well-dressed skins, dressed like parchment, and, after receiving the paintings observed, were accurately folded up, in squares or parallelograms.

The cacique of Zempoala, being the first dignitary who paid his respects personally to Cortez on his entry into the town, is described, in effect, as covered with a cotton blanket "flung over his naked body, enriched with various jewels and pendants, which he also wore in his ears and lips." This chief sent 200 men to carry the baggage of Cortez.

By the nearest route from St. Juan de Ulloa, the point of landing to Mexico, it was sixty leagues, or about 180 miles. This journey Montezuma's runners performed to and fro in seven days, being thirty-five to thirty-six miles per day. No great speed certainly; nothing to demand astonishment or excite incredulity.

Distance the Mexicans reckoned, like our Indians, by time, "A sun" was a day's journey.

De Solis says, "One of the points of his embassy (alluding to Cortez), and the principal motive which the king had to offer his friendship to Montezuma, was the obligation Christian princes lay under to oppose the errors of idolatry, and the desire he had to instruct him in the knowledge of the truth, and to help him to get rid of the slavery of the devil."

The empire of Mexico, according to this author, stretched "on the north as far as Panuco, including that province, but was straitened considerably by the mountains or hilly countries possessed by the Chichimecas and Ottomies, a barbarous people."

I have thought, on reading this work, that there is room for a literary essay, with something like this title: "Strictures on the Hyperbolical Accounts of the Ancient Mexicans given by the Spanish Historians," deduced from a comparison of the condition of those tribes with the Indians at the period of its settlement. Humboldt states that there are twenty languages at present in Mexico, fourteen of which have grammars and dictionaries tolerably complete. They are, Mexican or Aztec, Otomite, Tarase, Zapatec, Mistec, Maye or Yucatan, Tatonac, Popolauc, Matlazing, Huastec, Mixed, Caquiquel, Tarauma, Tepehuan, Cara.

20th. When the wind blows high, and the fine snow drifts, as it does about the vernal equinox, in these latitudes, the Indians smilingly say, "Ah! now Pup-puk-e-wiss is gathering his harvest," or words to this effect. There is a mythological tale connected with it, which I have sketched.

21st. I have amused myself in reading a rare old volume, just presented to me, entitled "A Review of the Works of the Royal Society of London, &c., by John Hill, M.D., London, 1751." It evinces an acute mind, ready wit, and a general acquaintance with the subjects of natural history, antiquities, and philosophical research, adverted to. It is a racy work, which all modern naturalists, and modern discoverers of secrets and inventions ought to read. I should think it must have made some of the contributors to the "Transactions" of the Royal Society wince in its day.

22d. Knowledge of foreign nations has increased most wonderfully in our day, and is one of the best tests of civilization. Josaphat Barbaro traveled into the East in 1436. He says of the Georgians, "They have the most horrid manners, and the worst customs of any people I ever met with." Surely this is vague enough for even the clerk who kept the log-book of Henry Hudson. Such items as the following were deemed "food" for books of travels in those days: "The people of Cathay, in China, believe that they are the only people in the world who have two eyes. To the Latins they allow one, and all the rest of the world none at all."

Marco Polo gives an account of a substance called "Andanicum," which he states to be an ore of steel. In those days, when everything relating to metallurgy and medicine was considered a secret, the populace did not probably know that steel was an artificial production. Or the mineral may have been sparry iron ore, which is readily converted into steel.

26th. It is now the season of making sugar from the rock maple by the Indians and Canadians in this quarter. And it seems to be a business in which almost every one is more or less interested. Winter has shown some signs of relaxing its iron grasp, although the quantity of snow upon the ground is still very great, and the streams appear to be as fast locked in the embraces of frost as if it were the slumber of ages. Sleighs and dog trains have been departing for the maple forests, in our neighborhood, since about the 10th instant, until but few, comparatively, of the resident inhabitants are left. Many buildings are entirely deserted and closed, and all are more or less thinned of their inhabitants. It is also the general season of sugar-making with the Indians.

I joined a party in visiting one of the camps. We had several carioles in company, and went down the river about eight or nine miles to Mrs. Johnston's camp. The party consisted of several officers and ladies from the fort, Captain Thompson [34] and lady, Lieutenant Bicker and lady and sister, the Miss Johnstons and Lieutenants Smith [35] and Folger. We pursued the river on the ice the greater part of the way, and then proceeded inland about a mile. We found a large temporary building, surrounded with piles of ready split wood for keeping a fire under the kettles, and large ox hides arranged in such a manner as to serve as vats for collecting the sap. About twenty kettles were boiling over an elongated central fire.

[34] Killed in Florida, at the battle of Okechobbee, as Lt. Col. of the 6th U.S. Infantry.
[35] Died at Vera Cruz, Mexico, as Quarter-Master U.S.A.

The whole air of the place resembled that of a manufactory. The custom on these occasions is to make up a pic-nic, in which each one contributes something in the way of cold viands or refreshments.

The principal amusement consisted in pulling candy, and eating the sugar in every form. Having done this, and received the hospitalities of our hostess, we tackled up our teams, and pursued our way back to the fort, having narrowly escaped breaking through the river at one or two points.

27th. I received a letter of this date from G.W. Rodgers, a gentleman of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in behalf of himself and associates, proposing a number of queries respecting the copper-yielding region of Lake Superior, and the requisites and prospects of an expedition for obtaining the metal from the Indians. Wrote to him adversely to the project at this time. Doubtless the plan is feasible, but the Indians are at present the sole owners and occupants of the metalliferous region.

28th. Dies natalis.--A friend editing a paper on the seaboard writes (10 Jan. 1822)--"I wish you to give me an article on the geology and mineralogy of Manhattan Island, in the form of a letter purporting to be given by a foreign traveler. It is my intention to give a series of letters, partly by myself and partly by others, which shall take notice of everything in and about the city, which may be deemed interesting. I wish to begin at the foundation, by giving a geographical and geological sketch of the island." [36] He continues:--

[36] Furnished the article, as desired, under the signature of "Germanicus." Vide "N.Y. Statesman."

"I have read Ontwa, the Indian poem you spoke of last summer. The notes by Gov. Cass are extremely interesting, and written in a superior style. I shall notice the work in a few days." "I inform you, in confidence, that M.E., of this city, is preparing a notice of your 'Journal' for the next number of the Repository, which will appear on the first of next month."

29th. Novelty has the greatest attraction for the human mind. There is such a charm in novelty, says Dr. John Mason Good, that it often leads us captive in spite of the most glaring errors, and intoxicates the judgment as fatally as the cup of Circe. But is not variety at hand to contest the palm?

"The great source of pleasure," observes Dr. Johnson, "is variety. Uniformity must tire at last, though it be uniformity of excellence."

April 1st. The ice and snow begin to be burthensome to the eye. We were reconciled to winter, when it was the season of winter; but now our longing eyes are cast to the south, and we are anxious for the time when we can say, "Lo, the winter is past, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

The Chippewas have quite a poetic allegory of winter and spring, personified by an old and a young man, who came from opposite points of the world, to pass a night together and boast of their respective powers. Winter blew his breath, and the streams were covered with ice. Spring blew his breath, and the land was covered with flowers. The old man is finally conquered, and vanishes into "thin air."

2d. We talked to-day of dreams. Dreams are often talked about, and have been often written about. But the subject is usually left where it was taken up. Herodotus says, "Dreams in general originate from those incidents which have most occupied the thoughts during the day." Locke betters the matter but little, by saying, "The dreams of sleeping men are all made up of waking men's ideas, though, for the most part, oddly put together." Solomon's idea of "the multitude of business" is embraced in this.

Sacred dreams were something by themselves. God chose in ancient times to communicate with the prophets in dreams and visions. But there is a very strong and clear line of distinction drawn on this subject in the 23d of Jeremiah, from the 25th to the 28th verses. "He that hath a dream, let him tell a dream, and he that hath my word let him speak my word." The sacred and the profane, or idle dream, are likened as "chaff" to "wheat."

The Indians, in this quarter, are very much besotted and spell-bound, as it were, by dreams. Their whole lives are rendered a perfect scene of doubts and fears and terrors by them. Their jugglers are both dreamers and dream interpreters. If the "prince of the power of the air" has any one hold upon them more sure and fast than another, it seems to be in their blind and implicit reliance upon dreams. There is, however, with them a sacred dream, distinct from common dreams. It is called a-po-wa.

I have had before me, during a considerable part of the season, a pamphlet of printed queries respecting the Indians and their languages, put into my hands by Gov. C. when passing through Detroit in the summer. Leaving to others the subjects connected with history and traditions, &c., I have attempted an analysis of the language. Reading has been resorted to as a refreshment from study. I used to read to gratify excitement, but I find the chief pleasure of my present reading is more and more turning to the acquisition and treasuring up of facts. This principle is probably all that sustains and renders pleasurable the inquiry into the Indian language.

One of the printed queries before me is, "Do they (the Indians) believe in ghosts?" I believe all ignorant and superstitious nations believe in apparitions. It seems to be one of the most natural consequences of ignorance; and we have seen, in the history of wise and learned men, that it requires a high intellectual effort to shake this belief out of the mind. If God possessed no other way of communicating with the living, it is reasonable to believe that he would send dead men, or dead men's souls. And this is the precise situation of the only well authenticated account we have, namely, that of Saul at Endor [vide 1st Samuel, 7th to 15th verses]. The Chippewas are apt to connect all their ghost stories with fire. A lighted fire on the grave has a strong connection with this idea, as if they deemed some mysterious analogy to exist between spirituality and fire. Their name for ghost is Jeebi, a word rendered plural in ug. Without nice attention, this word will be pronounced Chebi, or Tchebi.

Another is as follows: "Do they use any words equivalent to our habit of swearing?" Many things the Indians may be accused of, but of the practice of swearing they cannot. I have made many inquiries into the state of their vocabulary, and do not, as yet, find any word which is more bitter or reproachful than matchi annemoash, which indicates simply, bad-dog. Many of their nouns have, however, adjective inflections, by which they are rendered derogative. They have terms to indicate cheat, liar, thief, murderer, coward, fool, lazy man, drunkard, babbler. But I have never heard of an imprecation or oath. The genius of the language does not seem to favor the formation of terms to be used in oaths or for purposes of profanity. It is the result of the observation of others, as well as my own, to say, that an Indian cannot curse.

31st. The ornithology of the north is very limited in the winter. We have the white owl, the Canada jay, and some small species of woodpeckers. I have known the white partridge, or ptermigan, to wander thus far south. This bird is feathered to the toes. There are days when the snow-bird appears. There is a species of duck, the shingebis, that remains very late in the fall, and another, the ä-ä-wa, that comes very early in the spring.

The T. polyglottis, or buffoon-bird, is never found north of 46° N. latitude in the summer. This bird pours forth all sorts of notes in a short space of time, without any apparent order. The thrush, the wren, the jay, and the robin are imitated in as short a time as it takes to write these words.

7th. During severe winters, in the north, some species of birds extend their migrations farther south than usual. This appears to have been the case during the present season. A small bird, yellowish and cinereous, of the grosbec species, appeared this day in the neighborhood of one of the sugar-camps on the river below, and was shot with an arrow by an Indian boy, who brought it up to me. The Chippewas call it Pashcundamo, in allusion to the stoutness of its bill, and consequent capacity for breaking surfaces.[37]

[37] This specimen was sent to the New York Lyceum, where it was determined to be an undescribed species, and named Fringilia vespertina, or evening grosbec.

9th. The ice on the river still admits of the passage of horse trains, and the night temperature is quite wintry, although the power of the sun begins to be sensibly felt during the middle and after part of the day.

9th. A friend recently at Washington writes from Detroit under the date of the 12th March: "A proposition was submitted to a committee of the Senate, soon after my arrival in the city, by the Secretary of War, for the establishment of the office of Superintendent of Mines. To this office, had the project been carried into execution, you would have been appointed. But shortly before I left there, it was thought more expedient to sell all the mines than to retain them in the hands of the government. Of course, if this plan be adopted, as I think it will be, the other will be superseded." Here, then, drops a project, which I had conceived at Potosi, and which has been before my mind for some four years, and which I am still satisfied might have been carried through Congress, had I given my personal attention to the subject, during the present session. I have supposed myself more peculiarly qualified to fill the station indicated, than the one I now occupy. And I accepted the present office under the expectation that it would be temporary. When once a project of this kind, however, is superseded in the way this has been, it is like raising the dead to bring it up again; and it is therefore probable that my destiny is now fixed in the North-West instead of the South-West, for a number of years. I thought I had read Franklin's maxims to some purpose; but I now see that, although I have observed one of them in nine cases, I missed it in the tenth:--

"He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold, or drive."

I trusted, in the fall, that I could safely look on, and see this matter accomplished.

As to the mines, they will still require a local superintendent. They cannot be sold until there are some persons to buy, and it is not probable such extensive tracts of barren lands can be disposed of in years. Meantime, the rents of the mines are an object. The preservation of the public timber is an object. And the duties connected with these objects cannot be performed, with justice to the government, and convenience to the lessees, without a local agent. In proportion as some of the districts of mineral lands are sold, others will claim attention; and it may be, and most probably will be, years before the intention of Congress, if expressed by law, can be fully carried into effect.

Life has more than one point of resemblance to a panorama. When one object is past, another is brought to view. The same correspondent adds: "Mr. Calhoun has come to the determination to authorize you to explore the River St. Peter's this season. I think you may safely make the necessary arrangements, as I feel confident the instructions will reach you soon after the opening of the navigation."

In consequence of this intimation, I have been casting about to find some authors who treat of the region of country which embraces the St. Peter's, but with little success. Hennipin's "Discovery of a large Country in the Northern America, extending above Four Thousand Miles," I have read with care. But care indeed it requires to separate truth from error, both in his descriptions and opinions. He thinks "Japan a part of the American Continent;" and describes the Wisconsin as "navigable for large vessels above one hundred leagues." Yet, notwithstanding this gross hyberbole, he describes the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin at "half a league," which is within the actual distance. It may be admitted that he was within the Sioux country, and went up the Mississippi as high as the St. Francis.

La Hontan, whose travels were published in London only a few years after the translation of Hennipin's, is entitled, it is believed, to no credit whatever, for all he relates of personal discoveries on the Mississippi. His fiction of observations on "River La Long," is quite preposterous. I once thought he had been as far as Prairie du Chien; but think it more probable he never went beyond Green Bay.

Carver, who went from Boston to the Mississippi in the latter part of the 18th century, is not an author to glean much from. I, however, re-perused his volume carefully, and extracted notes. Some of the stories inserted in his work have thrown an air of discredit over it, and caused the whole work to be regarded in rather an apocryphal light. I think there is internal evidence enough in his narrative to prove that he visited the chief portions of country described. But he probably neglected to keep diurnal notes. When in London, starvation stared him in the face. Those in office to whom he represented his plans probably listened to him awhile, and afterwards lost sight of, or neglected him. He naturally fell into the hands of the booksellers, who deemed him a good subject to get a book from. But his original journal did not probably afford matter enough, in point of bulk. In this exigency, the old French and English authors appear to have been drawn upon; and probably their works contributed by far the larger part of the volume after the 114th page (Philadelphia ed. 1796), which concludes the "Journal." I think it questionable whether some literary hack was not employed, by the booksellers, to draw up the part of the work "On the origin, manners, customs, religion, and language of the Indians." Considerable portions of the matter are nearly verbatim in the language of Charlevoix, La Hontan, and other authors of previous date. The "vocabulary of Chippewa," so far as it is Chippewa at all, has the French or a mixed orthography, which it is not probable that an Englishman or an American would, de novo, employ.


Rapid advance of spring--Troops commence a stockade--Principles of the Chippewa tongue--Idea of a new language containing the native principles of syntax, with a monosyllabic method--Indian standard of value--Archaeological evidences in growing trees--Mount Vernon--Signs of spring in the appearance of birds--Expedition to St. Peter's--Lake Superior open--A peculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson--True sounds of the consonants--Philology--Advent of the arrival of a vessel.--Editors and editorials--Arrival from Fort William--A hope fled--Sudden completion of the spring, and ushering in of summer--Odjibwa language, and transmission of Inquiries.

1823. April 12th. Spring is gradually advancing. The deepened roar of the rapids indicates an increased volume of water. The state of the ice is so bad this day that no persons have ventured to cross the river. Yesterday, they still crossed. The bare ground begins to show itself in spots; but the body of snow is still deep in the woods.

14th. The T. migratorius or robin made its appearance. The Indians have a pretty tale of the origin of this bird and its fondness for domestic scenes.

16th. Gray duck appeared in the rapids.

17th. Large portions of the ground are now laid bare by the sun.

18th. A friend at New York, about to sail for Europe, writes me under this date: "I expect to sail for St. Petersburgh. I shall take with me some of our choicest specimens, in return for which I hope to procure something new and interesting. The truth is, we know very little of the mineralogy of Russia, and hence such specimens as can be procured will almost necessarily prove interesting."

"The Lyceum is about to publish its proceedings. The members are increasing in numbers and activity. It has been recently agreed that there shall be at least one paper read at every meeting; this will ensure attention, and much increase the interest of the meetings. I hope you may, before long, be able to add your personal attendance."

"I feel it my duty to inform you that the minerals intrusted to my care are situated in every respect as when left by you; they are, of course, entirely dependent upon any order you may give concerning them. I do not think it necessary that you should make any immediate provision for them, or that there is any cause for uneasiness on their account." [38]

[38] Notwithstanding, the collection of specimens referred to was afterwards most sadly dealt with, and pillaged of its choicest specimens.

19th. The troops began to set up the pickets of a stockade or fort, to which the name of "Brady" is given, in allusion to Col. Hugh Brady, U.S.A. The first canoe crossed the river to-day, although the ice still lines each shore of the river for several hundred yards in width.

20th. S. My sister Maria writes to me: "I fancy, by the description you have given of your residence and society at the Sault, that you have enjoyed yourself, and seen as much of the refinements of civilized life as you would have done in many places less remote. Who have you at the Sault that writes such pretty poetry? The piece I refer to is signed Alexina,[39] and is a death-song of an Indian woman at the grave of her murdered husband."

[39] Mrs. Thompson.

22d. One of the principal objections to be urged against the Indian languages, considered as media of communication, is their cumbrousness. There is certainly a great deal of verbiage and tautology about them. The paucity of terms leads not only to the use of figures and metaphors, but is the cause of circumlocution. This day we had a snow storm.

The Chippewa is, in its structure, what is denominated by Mr. Du Ponceau "polysynthetic." It seems the farthest removed possible from the monosyllabic class of languages. I have thought that, if some of its grammatical principles could be applied to monosyllables, a new language of great brevity, terseness, regularity, and poetic expressiveness, might be formed. It would be necessary to restore to its alphabet the consonants f, l, and r, and v. Its primitive pronouns might be retained, with simple inflections, instead of compound, for plural. It would be necessary to invent a pronoun for she, as there is, apparently, nothing of this kind in the language. The pronouns might take the following form:--

Ni, I. Nid, We. Niwin, Myself. Niwind, Ourselves.

Ki, Thou. Kid, Ye or you. Kiwin, Thyself. Kiwind, Yourselves.

Wi, He. Wid, They. Masculine. Wiwin, Yourselves. (Mas.) Wiwind.

Si, She. Sid, They. Feminine. Siwin, Yourselves. (Fem.) Siwind.


Ni, Nin, Nee--I, Mine, Me. Nid, Nida, Nidim--We, Us, Ours.

Ki, Kin, Kee--Thou, Thine, Thee. Kid, Kida, Kidim--Ye, You, Yours. Wi, Win, Wee--Him, His, His. Wid, Wida, Widim--They, Their, Theirs. (Mas.)

Si, Sin, See--Her, Hers, Hers. Sid, Sida, Sidim--They, Their, Theirs. (Fem.)

The full meaning of the present class of verbs and substantives of the language could be advantageously transferred to the first, or second, or third syllable of the words, converting them into monosyllables. The plural might be uniformly made in d, following a vowel, and if a word terminate in a consonant, then in ad. So the class of plural terminations would be ad, ed, id, od, ud. Many generic nouns would require to be invented, and could easily be drawn from existing roots. In the orthography of these, the initial consonant of the corresponding English word might serve as an index, Thus, from the word aindum, mind, might be derived,

Ain, Mind. Sain, Sorrow.

Tain, Thought. Jain, Joy, &c.

Main, Meditation.

So from taibwawin, truth, might be drawn taib, truth--faib, faith--raib, religion--vaib, virtue. A principle of euphony, or affinity of syllabication, might be applied in the abbreviation of a few of this class of generic words: as Eo, God, from monedo.


In, Man. Ind, Men.

Ee, Woman. Eed, Women.

Ab, Child. Abad, Children.

Kwi, Boy. Kwid, Boys.

Kwa, Girl. Kwad, Girls.

Os, Father. Osad, Fathers.

Gai, Mother. Gaid, Mothers.

All the existing monosyllables of the language would be retained, but subjected to new laws of construction and concordance. Thus the plural of Koan, snow, would be koanad; of ais, shell, aisad; moaz, moas, moazad, &c. Variety in the production of sounds, and of proper cadences in composition, might dictate retention of a certain class of the dissyllables--as ossin a stone, opin a potato, akki earth, mejim food, assub a net, aubo a liquid, mittig a tree, &c., the plurals of which would be assinad, opinad, akkid, mejimad, assubad, aubad, mittigad. Every substantive would have a diminutive form in is, and an augmentative in chi, the vowel of the latter to be dropped where a vowel begins the word. Thus, chab, a grandchild; chigai, a grandmother. Inis, a little man; osis, a little father, &c.

Adjectives would come under the same rules of abbreviation as nouns and verbs. They would be deprived of their present accidents of number and gender.

Min, Good. Koona, Ugly.

Mon, Bad. Soan, Strong.

Bish, Handsome.

The colors, seasons, cardinal points, &c., would consist of the first syllable of the present words.

The demonstrative pronouns, this, that, there, those, would take the following forms: Mau, this; aho, that. By adding the common plural, the terms for these and those would be produced: Maud, these; ahod, those.

The prepositions would fall naturally under the rule of abbreviation applied to nouns, &c. Chi, by; peen, in; kish, if, &c.; li, of; ra, to; vi, is; af, at.

Ieau is the verb to be. The auxiliary verbs, have, shall, will, &c., taken from the tensal particles, are ge, gu, gei, go, ga.

Pa may stand for the definite article, being the first syllable of pazhik; and a comma for the indefinite article.

Ie is matter. Ishi, heaven.


Ni sa Eo--I love God. Eo vi min--The Lord is good. Nin os ge pa min in--My father was a good man. Ishiod (Isheod)--The heavens.

Thus a new language might be formed.

24th. The standard of value with the Indians is various. At this place, a beaver skin is the standard of computation in accounts. When an Indian has made a purchase, he inquires, not how many dollars, but how many beaver skins he owes. Farther south, where racoon skins are plenty, they become the standard. Some years ago, desertion became so frequent at Chicago and other posts, that the commanding officer offered the customary reward to the Indians of the post, if they would secure the deserters. Five persons went in pursuit, and brought in the men, for which they received a certificate for the amount. They then divided the sum into five equal shares, and subdivided each share into its value in racoon skins. It was not until this division was completed, and the number of skins ascertained, that they could, by any fixed standard of comparison, determine the reward which each had received.

25th. It is stated in the newspapers that hacks of an axe were lately found in the central and solid parts of a large tree near Buffalo, which were supposed to have been made by La Salle's party. Other evidences of the early footsteps of Europeans on this continent have been mentioned. A trammel was found in the solid substance of a tree in Onondaga. A gun barrel in a similar position in the Wabash Valley.[40] Growing wood soon closes over articles left upon it, in the wilderness, where they are long undisturbed.

[40] Hon. R.W. Thompson.

27th. Monedo is strictly a term belonging to the Indian mythology and necromancy, and is constantly used to indicate a spirit. It has not the regular termination of the noun in win, and seems rather verbal in its aspect, and so far as we can decipher its meaning, mon is a syllable having a bad meaning generally, as in monaudud, &c. Edo may possibly be a derivation from ekedo, he speaks.

28th. It is a year ago to-day since I visited the tomb of Washington, at Mount Vernon. There were three representatives in Congress, in company. We left the city of Washington in the morning, in a private carriage, and drove down in good season. I looked about the tomb narrowly for some memento to bring away, and found some mineralogical fragments on the small mound over the tomb, which would bear the application of their book names. On coming back through Alexandria, we dined at a public hotel, where, among other productions of the season, we had cucumbers. What a contrast in climate to my present position! Here, as the eyes search the fields, heaps of snow are still seen in shaded situations, and the ice still disfigures the bays and indentations of the shore in some places, as if it were animated with a determination to hold out against the power of the sun to the utmost. Nature, however, indicates its great vernal throe. White fish were first taken during the season, this day, which is rare.

29th. A friend at Detroit writes under this date: "I had expected that before now, instructions would have reached here requiring you to repair to the St. Peter's. But as the season advances, and they do not arrive, I begin to fear that one of those mutations, to which of all governments upon this mundane sphere ours is the most exposed, has changed the intended disposition."

May 1st. Winter still holds its grasp upon the ice in the lower part of the river and straits.

The Claytonia Virginica observed in flower in favorable spots.

The bay opposite the fort on the north-west shore cleared of ice on the 2d, being the first day that the river has exhibited the appearance of being completely clear, a strong north-west wind blowing. It is just four months and ten days from the period of its final closing on the 22d of December.

The yellow sparrow, or boblinkin, appeared this day in the woods.

4th. The surface of the earth is undergoing a rapid transformation, although we are, at the same time, led to observe, that "winter lingering chills the lap of May." Sudden changes of temperature are experienced, which are governed very much by the course and changes of the wind. Nature appears suddenly to have been awakened from her torpid state.

All eyes are now directed to the east, not because the sun rises there, but it is the course from which, in our position, we expect intelligence by vessels. We expect a deliverance from our winter's incarceration.

6th. Lake Superior appears to be entirely open. A gentleman attached to the Boundary Survey at Fort William writes to me, under this date, that the bay at that place is free from ice, so as to permit them to resume their operations. They had been waiting for this occurrence for two weeks previously.

8th. It is a year since I received from the President (Mr. Monroe) a commission as agent for these tribes; and it is now more probable than it then was that my residence here may assume a character of permanency. I do not, however, cease to hope that Providence has a more eligible situation in reserve for me.

9th. "Little things," says Dr. Johnson, "are not valued, when they are done by those who cannot do greater." Thomas Jefferson uniformly spelled knowledge without a w, which might not be mentioned, had he not written the Notes on Virginia, and the Declaration of Independence.

10th. A trader proceeded with a boat into Lake Superior, which gives assurance that this great inland sea is open for navigation. White fish appeared in the rapids, which it is said they never do while there is running ice.

11th. Stearn sums up the points requisite for remembrance by posterity, in these four things--"Plant a tree, write a book, build a house, and get a child." Watts has a deeper tone of morality when he says--

"We should leave our names, our heirs.
Old time and waning moons sweep all the rest away."

12th. When last at Washington, Dr. Thornton, of the Patent Office, detained me some time talking of the powers of the letters of the English alphabet. He drew a strong line of distinction between the names and the sounds of the consonants. L, for instance, called el, was sounded le, &c.

Philology is one of the keys of knowledge which, I think, admits of its being said that, although it is rather rusty, the rust is, however, a proof of its antiquity. I am inclined to think that more true light is destined to be thrown on the history of the Indians by a study of their languages than of their traditions, or any other feature.

The tendency of modern inquiries into languages seems rather to have been to multiply than to simplify. I do not believe we have more than three mother stocks of languages in all the United States east of the Mississippi, embracing also large portions of territory west of it, namely, the Algonquin, Iroquois, and what may be called Apallachian. Perhaps a little Dakota.

15th. Our first vessel for the season arrived this day. If by a patient series of inquiries, during the winter, we had calculated the appearance of a comet, and found our data verified by its actual appearance, it could not be a subject of deeper interest than the bringing ashore of the ship's mail. Had we not gone to so remote a position, we could not possibly ever have become aware how deeply we are indebted to the genius and discoveries of Cadmus and Faust, whose true worshippers are the corps editorial. Now for a carnival of letters.

Reading, reading, reading, "Big and small, scraps and all."

If editors of newspapers knew the avidity with which their articles are read by persons isolated as we are, I have the charity to believe they would devote a little more time, and exert a little more candor, in penning them. For, after all, how large a portion of all that a newspaper contains is, at least to remote readers, "flat, stale, and unprofitable." The mind soon reacts, and asks if this be valuable news.

I observed the Erythronium dens canis, and Panax trifolium appeared in flower on the 25th.

28th. The schooner "Recovery" arrived from Fort William on the north shore of Lake Superior, bringing letters and despatches, political and commercial. Mr. Siveright, the agent of the H. B. C., kindly sent over to me, for my perusal, a letter of intelligence from an American gentleman in the North.

29th. I have, for some time, relinquished the expectation of being selected to conduct the exploring party, intended to be ordered by government, into the region of the St. Peter's, at least the present season. A letter of this date terminates the uncertainty. "Major Delafield," says a correspondent, "informs me that an exploring party has been ordered under Major Long, to make the tour which was intended for you. Why this arrangement has been made, and the original plan abandoned, I cannot conjecture, unless it resulted from the necessity of placing a military officer at the head of the party. I presume this was the fact, for I am certain that the change in the project did not arise from any feeling in Mr. C.'s mind unfriendly, or even indifferent to you. Upon that subject I can speak definitely, and say to you, that you have a hold upon his esteem, not to be shaken." Thus falls another cherished hope, namely, that of leading an expedition to the North.

30th. Minute particulars are often indicative of general changes. This is the first day that the mosquito has appeared. The weather for a few days has been warm. Vegetation suddenly put forth; the wild cherry, &c., is now in bloom, and gardening has commenced with fine prospects.

31st. Odjibwa language.--There are two generic words in the concrete forms of the Chippewa for water or a liquid, in addition to the common term neebi. They are aubo and gomee. Both are manifestly compounds, but, in our present state of knowledge, they may be temporarily considered as elements of other compounds. Thus, if the letter n be prefixed to the former, and the sound of b suffixed, the result is the term for soup, nabob. If to the same element of aubo, the word for fire, iscoda, be prefixed, the result is their name for ardent spirits, iscodawabo, literally fire-water. In the latter case, the letter w is thrown in as a coalescent between the sound of a, as a in hate; and the a, as a in fall. This is out of a mere regard to euphony.

"If they (the Chippewas) say 'A man loves me,' or 'I love a man,' is there any variation in the word man?" They do not use the word man in either of these instances. The adjective white takes the animate pronoun form in iz zi, by which the object beloved is indicated, waub-ishk-iz-ze Saugiau.

"Does the object precede or follow the verb?" Generally, it precedes the verb. Fish, have you any? not, Have you any fish?

The substantive preceded the verb in the organization of the language. Things were before the motion of things, or the acts or passions of men which led to motion and emotion. Hence, all substances are changed into and used as verbs.

I this day completed and transmitted the results of my philological inquiries, hoping they might prove acceptable to the distinguished individual to whom they were addressed, and help to advance the subject. This subject is only laid aside by the call of business, and to be effectual must be again resumed with the recurrence of our long winter evenings.


Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823--Glance at the geography of the lake country--Concretion of aluminous earth--General Wayne's body naturally embalmed by this property of the soil of Erie--Free and easy manners--Boundary Survey--An old friend--Western commerce--The Austins of Texas memory--Collision of civil and military power--Advantages of a visit to Europe.

1823. June 10th. Mr. Thomas Tousey, of Virginia, writes from Philadelphia, after completing a tour to the West: "The reading of books and looking at maps make a fugitive impression on the mind, compared to the ocular view and examination of a country, which make it seem as though we cannot obtain valuable information, or money to serve a valuable purpose, without great personal labor, fatigue, and often danger. This was much verified to my satisfaction, from a view of the great western lakes; the interesting position where you are--Mackinaw, Green Bay, the fine country between Green Bay and Chicago, and Chicago itself, and the whole country between the latter place and St. Louis.

"Without seeing that country, supposed by many to be the region of cold and sterility, I could not have believed there was in it such a store of blessings yet to be drawn forth by the labor and enterprise of man, for succeeding generations. As yet, there are too many objects to tempt and attract the avarice of man to more mild, but more dangerous climates. But the progress of population and improvement is certain in many parts of the country, and with them will be connected prosperity and happiness."

When it is considered what a small population of civilized beings inhabit that part of the world, it is not to be wondered at that so little knowledge about it exists. I went from Green Bay, with the Express, where but few people ever travel, which was attended with fatigue and danger; but the journey produced this conviction on my mind, that the Michigan Territory has in it a great extent of fine country.

I regard Green Bay, at the mouth of Fox River, and Chicago, as two very important positions, particularly the latter. For many years I have felt a most anxious desire to see the country between Chicago and the Illinois (River), where it has generally been, ignorantly, supposed that only a small sum would be wanting to open a communication between them. By traveling on horseback through the country, and down the Illinois, I have conceived a different and more exalted opinion of this communication, and of the country, than I had before, while I am convinced that it will be attended with a much greater expense to open it than I had supposed.[41]

[41] The Illinois Canal now exists here.

I, with my two companions, found your fossil tree, in the Des Plaines, with considerable labor and difficulty. This I anticipated, from the commonly reputed opinion of the uncommon height of the waters. With your memoir in my hand, we rode up and down the waters till the pursuit was abandoned by the others, while my own curiosity and zeal did not yield till it was discovered. The detached pieces were covered with twelve to twenty inches of water, and each of us broke from them as much as we could well bring away. I showed them to Col. Benton, the Senator in St. Louis; to Major O'Fallon; Col. Strother, and other gentlemen there; to Mr. Birkbeck in Wanboro'; to Mr. Rapp in Harmony; and to a number of different people, through the countries I traveled, till my arrival in Virginia.

"On my arrival here (Philadelphia), I handed the pieces to Mr. Solomon W. Conrad, who delivers lectures on mineralogy, which he made partly the subject of one of his lectures. Since that, I had a piece of it made into a hone, and I had marked on it, 'Schoolcraft's Fossil Tree.'

"Brooke's Gazetteer, improved by Darby, has been ready for delivery three or four months, and is allowed to be a most valuable book. He is, I am sorry to say, truly poor, while his labor is incessant. He set out, several weeks since, to deliver lectures, in the country, where he will probably continue through the summer."

16th. J. D. Doty, Esq., writes from Detroit that a District Court has been established by Congress in the upper country--that he has been appointed to the judgeship, and will hold a court at Michilimackinack, on the third Monday in July. A beginning has thus been made in civil jurisdiction among us benighted dwellers on this far-off land of God's creation. He states, also, the passage of a law for claimants to lands, which have been occupied since 1812. Where law goes, civilization will soon follow.

23d. Giles Sanford, of Erie (Penn.), sends me some curious specimens of the concrete alum-slate of that vicinity--they are columnar, fan-shaped--and requests a description. It is well known that the presence of strong aluminous liquids in the soil of that area had a tendency to preserve the flesh on General Wayne's body, which was found undecayed when, after twenty years' burial, they removed it to Radnor church, in Philadelphia.

28th. Governor C. sends me a pamphlet of additional inquiries, founded chiefly on my replies, respecting the Indian languages. He says--"You see, I have given new scope to your inquiries, and added much to your labors. But it is impracticable, without such assistance as you can render me, to make any progress. I find so few--so very few--who are competent to a rational investigation of the subject, that those who are so must be loaded with a double burden."

July 6th. Mr. Harry Thompson, of Black Rock, N.Y., writes me that he duly forwarded, by a careful teamster, my three lost boxes of minerals, shells, &c., collected in the Wabash Valley, Missouri, and Illinois, in 1821, and that they were received by Mr. Meech of Geneva, and forwarded by him to E.B. Shearman & Co., Utica. The loss of these collections of 1821 seems to me very grievous.

19th. Judge Doty writes from Mackinac: "Believing the winds and fates to have been propitious, I trust you had a speedy, safe, and pleasant passage to your home. A boat arrived this morning, but I heard nothing. Mr. Morrison leaves this evening, and I forward, by him, your dictionary, with many--many thanks for the use. We completed the copy of it last evening, making seventy-five pages of letter paper. I hope I shall be able to return you the favor, and give you soon some nice Sioux words."

August 5th. Judge Doty, in a letter of thanks for a book, and some philological suggestions, transmits a list of inquiries on the legal code of the Indians--a rather hard subject--in which, quotations must not be Coke upon Littleton, but the law of tomahawk upon craniums.

"The Sioux," he says, "must be slippery fellows indeed, if I do not squeeze their language, and several other valuable things, out of them next winter. I expect to leave for the Mississippi this week, in a barge, with Mr. Rolette."

6th. Mr. D. H. Barnes, of the New York Lyceum of Natural History, reports that the shells sent to him from the mouth of the Columbia, and with which the Indians garnish their pouches, are a species of the Dentalium, particularly described in Jewett's "Narrative of the Loss of the Ship Boston at Nootka Sound." He transmits proof plates of the fresh water shells collected by Professor Douglass and myself on the late expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.

11th. The Adjutant-General of the Territory, General J. R. Williams, transmits me a commission as captain of an independent company of militia infantry, with a view, it is presumed, on the part of the executive, that it will tend to strengthen the capacity of resistance to an Indian combination on this frontier.

20th. Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie, sends me a specimen of gypsum from Sandusky Bay, and a specimen of the strontian-yielding limestone of Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie.

September 10th. Judge Doty writes from Prairie du Chien, that he had a pleasant passage, with his family, of fifteen days from Mackinaw; that he is pleased with the place; and that the delegate election went almost unanimously for Major Biddle. A specimen of native copper, weighing four pounds, was found by Mr. Bolvin, at Pine River, a tributary from the north of the Wisconsin, agreeing in its characters with those in my cabinet from the basin of Lake Superior.

15th. Dr. John Bigsby, of Nottingham, England, writes from the North-West House, that he arrived yesterday from the Boundary Survey, and is desirous of exchanging some of his geological and conchological specimens for species in my possession. The doctor has a very bustling, clerk-like manner, which does not impress one with the quiet and repose of a philosopher. He evidently thinks we Americans, at this remote point, are mere barbarians, and have some shrewd design of making a chowder, or a speculation out of our granites, and agates, and native copper. Not a look or word, however, of mine was permitted to disturb the gentleman in his stilted notions.

16th. Major Joseph Delafield, with his party, report the Boundary Survey as completed to the contemplated point on the Lake of the Woods, as called for by the Treaty of Ghent. The ease and repose of the major's manners contrast rather favorably with the fussiness of the British subs.

26th. Mr. Felix Hinchman, of Mackinac, transmits returns of the recent delegate election, denoting the election of Major Biddle, by a rather close run, over the Catholic priest Richard.

October 9th. Mr. W.H. Shearman of Vernon, New York, writes that my boxes of minerals and fresh water shells are irretrievably lost; that Mr. Meech, of Geneva, remains mum on the subject; and that they have not arrived at Utica. Hard fate thus to be despoiled of the fruits of my labor!

14th. Mr. Ebenezer Brigham of Springfield, Illinois, an honest gentleman with whom I embarked at Pittsburgh, in the spring of 1818 for the great West and the land of fortune, writes a letter of friendly reminiscences and sympathies at my success, particularly in getting a healthy location. Brigham was to have been one of my adventurous party at Potosi, in the fall of 1818, but the fever and ague laid violent hands on him. He managed to reach Potosi, but only to bid me good-by, and a God-speed.

"In this country," he says, "life is at least fifty per cent, below par in the months of August and September. I have often thought that I run as great a risk every season which I spend here, as I would in an ordinary battle. I really believe it seldom happens that a greater proportion of an army fall victims to the sword, during a campaign, than there was, of the inhabitants of Illinois, falling victims to disease during a season that I have been here."

"I have little doubt but the trade of this part of the State of Illinois will pass through that channel (the northern lakes). Our produce is of a description that ought to find its way to a northern market, and that, too, without passing through a tropical climate. Our pork and beef may arrive at Chicago with nearly the same ease that it can at St. Louis; and, if packed there and taken through the lakes, would be much more valuable than if taken by the way of the South; besides, the posts spoken of (Chicago, Green Bay, &c.) may possibly be supplied cheaper from this than any other source."

"Moses Austin, I presume you have heard, is dead, and his son Stephen is acting a very conspicuous part in the province of Texas. Old Mr. Bates, and his son William, of Herculaneum, both died last summer."

"I should like to know if the same warlike disposition appears amongst the northern Indians that does amongst those of the west. Nearly, or quite every expedition to the west of the Mississippi in the fur trade, this season, has been attacked by different tribes, and some have been defeated and robbed, and a great many lives have been lost. Those in the neighborhood of this place, to wit, the Kickapoos and Potawattomies, are getting cross and troublesome. I should not be surprised if a war with the Indians generally should take place soon. The troops at the Council Bluffs have found it necessary to chastise one tribe already (the Aurickarees), which they have done pretty effectually, having killed a goodly number, and burnt their towns."

19th. Governor C. writes, in response to a letter detailing difficulties which have arisen oh this frontier between the military and citizens: "Military gentlemen, when stationed at remote posts, too often 'feel power and forget right,' and the history of our army is replete with instances proving incontestably by how frail a tenure our liberties would be held, were it not for the paramount authority and redeeming spirit of our civil institutions."

"I thank you," he observes, "for the specimens of copper you have sent me. I participate with you in your feelings upon the important discovery you have been the instrument of communicating to the world, respecting the existence of that metal upon the long point of Lake Superior. This circumstance, in conjunction with others, will, I hope, lead to a congressional appropriation, at the next session, for exploring that country, and making such purchases of the Indians as may promise the valuable supplies."

"My Indian materials are rapidly accumulating; but, unfortunately, they are more valuable for quantity than quality. It is almost impossible to rely upon the information which is communicated to me on the subject of the languages. There is a lamentable obtuseness of intellect manifested in both collector and contributor; and there is no systematic arrangement--no analytical process, and, in fact, no correctness of detail. I may safely say that what I received from you is more valuable than all my other stock.

"It has recurred to me that you ought to visit Europe. Don't startle at the suggestion! I have thought of it frequently. You might easily procure some person to execute your duties, &c., and I think there would be no difficulty in procuring permission from the government. I speak, however, without book. Think of the matter. I see incalculable advantages which would result to you from it, and you would go under very favorable auspices, and with a rich harvest of literary fame."

23d. B. F. Stickney, Esq., writes on the occasion of not having earlier acknowledged my memoir on the Fossil Tree of the Des Plaines, in Illinois. "How little we know of the laws of nature," he observes, "of which we profess to know so much."


Incidents of the year 1824--Indian researches--Diverse idioms of the Ottowa and Chippewa--Conflict of opinion between the civil and military authorities of the place--A winter of seclusion well spent--St. Paul's idea of languages--Examples in the Chippewa--The Chippewa a pure form of the Algonquin--Religion in the wilderness--Incidents--Congressional excitements--Commercial view of the copper mine question--Trip to Tackwymenon Falls, in Lake Superior.

1824. Jan. 1st. As soon as the business season closed, I resumed my Indian researches.

General C. writes: "The result of your inquiries into the Indian language is highly valuable and satisfactory. I return you my sincere thanks for the papers. I have examined them attentively. I should be happy to have you prosecute your inquiries into the manners, customs, &c., of the Indians. You are favorably situated, and have withal such unconquerable perseverance, that I must tax you more than other persons. My stock of materials, already ample, is rapidly increasing, and many new and important facts have been disclosed. It is really surprising that so little valuable information has been given to the world on this subject."

Mr. B.F. Stickney, formerly an agent at Fort Wayne, Indiana, writes from Depot (now Toledo): "I am pleased to see that your mind is engaged on the Chippewa language. It affords a field sufficiently extensive for the range of all the intellect and industry that the nation can bring into action. If the materials already collected should, after a scrutiny and arrangement, be thrown upon the literary world, it would excite so much interest as not to permit the inquiry thus to stop at the threshold. It is really an original inquiry concerning the operations of the human mind, wherein a portion of the human race, living apart from the rest, have independently devised means for the interchange of thoughts and ideas. Their grammatical rules are so widely different from all our European forms that it forces the mind to a retrospective view of first principles.

"I have observed the differences you mention between the Ottowa and Chippewa dialects. Notwithstanding I conceive them to be (as you observe) radically the same language, I think there is less difference between the band of Ottowas you mention, of L'Arbre Croche, than the Ottowas of this vicinity. It appears that their languages are subject to very rapid changes. From not being written, they have no standard to resort to, and I have observed it demonstrated in bands of the same tribe, residing at considerable distances from each other, and having but little intercourse for half a century; these have with difficulty been able to understand each other.

"I am pleased to learn that you are still advancing the sciences of mineralogy and conchology. Your discovery of native silver imbedded in native copper is certainly a very extraordinary one."

28th. Major E. Cutler, commanding officer, applies to me, as a magistrate, to prosecute all citizens who have settled on the reserve at St. Mary's, and opened "shops for the sale of liquor." Not being a public prosecuting attorney, it does not appear how this can at all be done, without his designating the names of the offenders, and the offences for which they are to be tried.

30th. The same officer reports that his duties will not permit him to erect quarters for the Indian agent, which he is required to put up, till another year. If this step is to be regarded, as it seems, as a retaliatory measure for my not issuing process, en masse, against the citizens, without he or his subordinates condescending to name individuals, it manifests an utter ignorance of the first principles of law, and is certainly a queer request to be made of a justice of the peace. Nor does it appear how the adoption of such whims or assumptions is compatible with a just official comity or an enlarged sense of public duty, on his part, and pointed instructions, to boot, in co-operating with the Indian department on a remote and exposed frontier.

There seems to be a period, on the history of the frontiers, where conflicts between the military and civil authorities are almost inevitable; but there are, perhaps, few examples to be found where the former power has been more aggressively and offensively exercised than it has been under the martinet who is now in command at this post. It is an ancient point of settlement by the French, who are generally a mild and obliging people, and disposed to submit to authorities. Some of these are descended from persons who settled here under Louis XIV. That a few Americans have followed the troops with more rigid views of private rights, and who cannot be easily trampled on, is true. And the military have, justly, no doubt, felt annoyances from a freedom of trade with the soldiery, who cannot be kept within their pickets by bayonets and commands. But he must be far gone in his sublimated notions of self-complacency and temporary importance who supposes that a magistrate would surrender his sense of independence, and impartiality between man and man, by assuming new and unheard-of duties, at the beck of a military functionary who happens to overrate his own, or misjudge another's position.

March 31st. I have given no little part of the winter to a revision of my manuscript journal of travels through the Miami and Wabash Valleys in 1821. The season has been severe, and offered few inducements to go beyond the pale of the usual walk to my office, the cantonment, and to the village seated at the foot of the rapids. Variety, in this pursuit, has been sought, in turning from the transcription of these records of a tourist to the discussion of the principles of the Indian languages--a labor, if literary amusement can be deemed a labor, which was generally adjourned from my office, to be resumed in the domestic circle during the long winter evenings. A moral enjoyment has seldom yielded more of the fruits of pleasure. In truth, the winter has passed almost imperceptibly away. Tempests howled around us, without diminishing our comforts. We often stood, in the clear winter evenings, to gaze at the splendid displays of the Aurora Borealis. The cariole was sometimes put in requisition. We sometimes tied on the augim, or snow-shoe, and ventured over drifts of snow, whose depth rendered them impassable to the horse. We assembled twice a week, at a room, to listen to the chaste preaching of a man of deep-toned piety and sound judgment, whose life and manners resemble an apostle's.

In looking back at the scenes and studies of such a season, there was little to regret, and much to excite in the mind pleasing vistas of hope and anticipation. The spring came with less observation than had been devoted to the winter previous; and the usual harbingers of advancing warmth--the small singing birds and northern flowers--were present ere we were well aware of their welcome appearance.

Hope is a flower that fills the sentient mind
With sweets of rapturous and of heavenly kind;
And those, who in her gardens love to tread,
Alone can tell how soft the odors spread.

April 20th. "There are, it may be," says Paul, "many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification." It could easily be proved that many of these voices are very rude; but it would take more philological acumen than was possessed by Horne Tooke to prove that any of them are without "signification." By the way, Tooke's "Diversions of Purley" does not seem to me so odd a title as it once appeared.

C. writes to me, under this date, "I pray you to push your philological inquiries as far as possible; and to them, add such views as you may be able to collect of the various topics embraced in my plan."

There is, undoubtedly, some danger that, in making the Indian history and languages a topic of investigation, the great practicable objects of their reclamation may be overlooked. We should be careful, while cultivating the mere literary element, not to palliate our delinquencies in philanthropic efforts in their behalf, under the notion that nothing can be effectively done, that the Indian is not accessible to moral truths, and that former efforts having failed of general results, such as those of Eliot and Brainerd, they are beyond the reach of ordinary means. I am inclined to believe that the error lies just here--that is, in the belief that some extraordinary effort is thought to be necessary, that their sons must be cooped up in boarding-schools and colleges, where they are taught many things wholly unsuited to their condition and wants, while the mass of the tribes is left at home, in the forests, in their ignorance and vices, untaught and neglected.

In the exemplification of St. Paul's idea, that all languages are given to men, with an exact significance of words and forms, and therefore not vaguely, there is the highest warrant for their study; and the time thus devoted cannot be deemed as wasted or thrown away. How shall a man say "raca," or "that fox," if there be no equivalents for the words in barbarous languages? The truth is that this people find no-difficulty in expressing the exact meanings, although the form of the words is peculiar. The derogative sense of sly and cunning, which is, in the original, implied by the demonstrative pronoun "that," a Chippewa would express by a mere inflection of the word fox, conveying a bad or reproachful idea; and the pronoun cannot be charged with an ironical meaning.

In ke-bau-diz-ze, which is an equivalent for raca, there is a personal pronominal prefix, and an objective pronominal suffix. The radix, in baud, has thus the second person thou in ke; and the objective inflection, iz-ze, means a person in a general sense. This reveals two forms of the Chippewa substantive, which are applicable to all words, and leaves nothing superfluous or without "significance." In fact, the whole language is susceptible of the most clear and exact analysis. This language is one of the most pure, clear, and comprehensive forms of the Algonquin.

May 20th. The Rev. Robert McMurtrie Laird, of Princess Anne, Maryland, but now temporarily at Detroit, writes to me in a spirit of affectionate kindness and Christian solicitude. The history of this pious man's labors on the remotest frontiers of Michigan is probably recorded where it will be known and acknowledged, in hymns of gladness, when this feeble and frail memorial of ink and paper has long perished.

Late in the autumn of 1823, he came, an unheralded stranger, to St. Mary's. No power but God's, it would seem, could have directed his footsteps there. There was everything to render them repulsive. The Indian wabene drum, proclaiming the forest tribes to be under the influence of their native diviners and jossakeeds, was nightly sending forth its monotonous sounds. But he did not come to them. His object was the soldiery and settlement, to whom he could utter truths in the English tongue. He was assigned quarters in the cantonment, where an entire battalion of infantry-was then stationed. To all these, but one single family, it may be said that his preaching was received as "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Certainly, there were the elements of almost everything else there but religion. And, while occupying a room in the fort, his fervent and holy spirit was often tried

"By most unseemly mirth and wassail rife."

He came to see me, at my office and at my lodgings, frequently during the season, and never came when he did not appear to me to be one of the purest and most devoted, yet gentle and most unostentatious, of human beings. It is hoped his labors were not without some witness to the truths which he so faithfully taught. But, as soon as the straits were relieved from the icy fetters of winter, he went away, never, perhaps, to see us more. He now writes to apprise me of the spread of a rumor respecting my personal interest in the theme of his labors, which had, without permission from his lips, reached the ears of some of my friends at Detroit. Blessed sensitiveness to rumor, how few possess it!

Having said this much, I may add that, in the course of the winter, my mind was arrested by his mode of exhibiting truth. The doctrine of the Trinity, which had seemed to me the mere jingle of a triad, as deduced from him, appeared to be a unity, which derived all its coherence and vitality from a belief in the Second Person. The word "Lord" became clothed with a majesty and power which rendered it inapplicable, in my views, to any human person. The assiduity that I had devoted, night and day, to my manuscripts, in the search after scientific truths, and the knowledge arising from study, did not appear to me to be wrong in itself, but was thought to be pursued with an intensity that withdrew my mind from, or, rather, had never allowed it properly to contemplate and appreciate the character of God.

23d. A literary friend writes: "I am rejoiced to learn that you have made such progress in your new work. I hope and trust that the celerity with which you have written has not withdrawn your attention from those subjects connected with literary success, which are more important than even time itself."

"My prospects of seeing you at the Sault, this season," writes the same hand, "grows weaker and weaker every day. I cannot ascertain in what situation Col. Benton's bill is, for the purchase of the copper country upon Lake Superior, nor the prospects of its eventual passage. Our last Washington dates are of the 8th instant, and at that time there was a vast mass of business pending before both Houses, and the period of adjournment was uncertain. Mr. Lowrie and Governor Edwards have furnished abundant matter for congressional excitement. It really appears to me that, as soon as two or three hundred men are associated together to talk at, and about one another, and everything else, their passions and feelings usurp the place of their reason. Like children, they are excited by every question having a local or personal aspect. Their powers of dispassionate deliberation are lost, and everything is forgotten but the momentary excitement."

25th. Commercial View of Copper Mine Question.--M.M. Dox, Esq., Collector at Buffalo, writes:--

I have long had it in contemplation to write to you, not only on the score of old friendship, but also to learn the feasibility of a scheme relating to the copper mines of Lake Superior. This subject has so often annoyed my meditations, or rather taken up so considerable a proportion of them, that I have been disposed, with the poet, to exclaim--

'Visions of (copper [42]) spare my aching sight.'
[42] "Glory."--Gray.

"I have just met Mr. Griswold, from whom I learn that you made some inquiries in reference to the price of transportation, &c. I will answer them for him. Copper in pig, or unmanufactured, is free of duty, on entry into the United States; its price in the New York market is, at this time (very low), sixteen cents per pound. Copper in sheets for sheeting of vessels (also free), about twenty-five cents per pound, and brazier's copper (paying a duty of fifteen per cent, on its cost in England), equal to about two and a half cents per pound. Until this year, and a few previous, the article has uniformly been from thirty to forty per cent, higher than the prices now quoted, that is, in time of peace. In time of war (in Europe) the price is enhanced ten or twenty per cent. above peace prices: and in this country, during the Late War, the price was, at one time, as high as $1.50 to $2.00 per pound.

"The history of England and this country does not furnish a period when copper was as low as at the present time, according to its relative value with the medium of exchange. Time and invention have developed richer mines and produced greater facilities for obtaining it; but the world does not probably know a region from whence the article can be furnished so cheaply as from the shores of Lake Superior. All accounts concur in representing the metal in that quarter of a superior quality, and furnish strong indications that it may be obtained, in quantities, with more than ordinary facility. When obtained, if on the navigable waters of the lake, the transportation to the strait will be easy and cheap, and the smelting not cost to exceed $20 per ton (for copper), and the transportation thence to New York one or one and a half cent per pound; one cent per pound, in addition, will carry it to any market in the world.

"If the difficulties to be incurred in obtaining the ore should prove to be no greater than may be reasonably anticipated, it is evident that it must be a very profitable business. Will the government then have the mines worked? I answer for them, No. The experience had by Congress in regard to the Indian trade (the Factory System) will, for many years at least, prevent that body from making any appropriation for such a purpose. The most safe and judicious course for the government is to draw private enterprise into the business; and, by holding out proper inducements, it will be enabled, without a dollar of extra expense, to derive, before many years, a handsome revenue from this source."

30th. Trip to Tacquimenon Falls, Lake Superior.--Accounts from the Indians represented the falls of the Tacquimenon River of Lake Superior as presenting picturesque features which were eminently worthy of a visit. Confined to the house during the winter, I thought an excursion proper. I determined to take the earliest opportunity, when the ice had left the lake, and before the turmoil of the summer's business began, to execute this wish. For this purpose, I took a canoe, with a crew of Chippewa Indians, with whom I was well acquainted, and who were familiar with the scene. I provisioned myself well, and took along my office interpreter. I found this arrangement was one which was agreeable to them, and it put them perfectly at their ease. They traveled along in the Indian manner, talking and laughing as they pleased with each other, and with the interpreter. Nothing could have been better suited to obtain an insight into their manners and opinions. One of their most common topics of talk was the flight of birds, particularly the carnivorous species, to which they addressed talks as they flew. This subject, I perceived, connected itself with the notions of war and the enemy's country.

On one occasion after we had entered Lake Superior, and were leisurely paddling, not remote from the shore, one of the Indians fired at, and wounded a duck. The bird could not rise so as to fly, but swam ashore, and, by the time we reached land, was completely missing. A white man would have been nonplused. Not so the Indian. He saw a fallen tree, and carefully looked for an orifice in the under side, and, when he found one, thrust in his hand and drew out of it the poor wounded bird. Frightened and in pain, it appeared to roll its eyeballs completely round.

By their conversation and familiar remarks, I observed that they were habitually under the influence of their peculiar mythology and religion. They referred to classes of monetos, which are spirits, in a manner which disclosed the belief that the woods and waters were replete with their agency. On the second day, we reached and entered the Tacquimenon River. It carried a deep and strong current to the foot of the first falls, which they call Fairy Rocks. This Indian word denotes a species of little men or fairies, which, they say, love to dwell on rocks. The falls are broken into innumerable cascades, which give them a peculiarly sylvan air. From the brink of these falls to the upper falls, a distance of about six miles, the channel of the river is a perfect torrent, and would seem to defy navigation. But before I was well aware of it, they had the canoe in it, with a single man with a long pole in the bow and stern. I took my seat between the centre bars, and was in admiration at the perfect composure and sangfroid with which these two men managed it--now shooting across the stream to find better water, and always putting in their poles exactly at the right instant, and singing some Indian cantata all the while. The upper falls at length burst on our view, on rounding a point. The river has a complete drop, of some forty feet, over a formation of sandstone. The water forms a complete curtain. There is nothing to break the sheet, or intercept it, till it reaches the deep water below. They said there was some danger of the canoe's being drawn under the sheet, by a kind of suction. This' stream in fact, geologically considered, crosses through, and falls over, the high ridge of sandstone rock which stretches from Point Iroquois to the Pictured Rocks. I took sketches of both the upper and lower falls.

Being connected by marriage with an educated and intelligent lady, who is descended, by her mother's side, from the former ruler of the Chippewa nation--a man of renown--I was received, on this trip, with a degree of confidence and cordiality by the Indians, which I had not expected. I threw myself, naked handed, into their midst, and was received with a noble spirit of hospitality and welcome. And the incidents of this trip revealed to me some of the most interesting scenes of Indian domestic life.


Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas--First assemblage of a legislative council at Michigan--Mineralogy and geology--Disasters of the War of 1812--Character of the new legislature--Laconic note--Narrative of a war party, and the disastrous murders committed at Lake Pepin in July 1824--Speech of a friendly Indian chief from Lake Superior on the subject--Notices of mineralogy and geology in the west--Ohio and Erie Canal--Morals--Lafayette's progress--Hooking minerals--A philosophical work on the Indians--Indian biography by Samuel L. Conant--Want of books on American archaeology--Douglass's proposed work on the expedition of 1820.

1824. May 30th. Having found, in the circle of the Chippewa wigwams, a species of oral fictitious lore, I sent some specimens of it to friends in the lower country, where the subject excited interest. "I am anxious," writes a distinguished person, under this date, "that you should bring with you, when you come down, your collection of Indian tales. I should be happy to see them." [43] That the Indians should possess this mental trait of indulging in lodge stories, impressed me as a novel characteristic, which nothing I had ever heard of the race had prepared me for. I had always heard the Indian spoken of as a revengeful, bloodthirsty man, who was steeled to endurance and delighted in deeds of cruelty. To find him a man capable of feelings and affections, with a heart open to the wants, and responsive to the ties of social life, was amazing. But the surprise reached its acme, when I found him whiling away a part of the tedium of his long winter evenings in relating tales and legends for the amusement of the lodge circle. These fictions were sometimes employed, I observed, to convey instruction, or impress examples of courage, daring, or right action. But they were, at all times, replete with the wild forest notions of spiritual agencies, necromancy, and demonology. They revealed abundantly the causes of his hopes and fears--his notions of a Deity, and his belief in a future state.

[43] This counsel I pursued in the autumn of that year, and published specimens of the legends in the winter of 1825, in "Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley," and in 1839 submitted to the public two duodecimo volumes, under the title of "Algie Researches, Part I."

June 18th. Michigan is gradually assuming steps which are a part of that train which will in time develop her resources and importance. She has lately taken measures to enter what is called the second grade of government. General Charles Larned, of Detroit, writes me that the first session of the first territorial legislature is now convened, and that the members acquit themselves with credit.

22d. The mineralogy and geology of the region furnish topics of interest, which help to fill up pauses in the intervals of business. By making my office a focus for collecting whatever is new in the unexplored regions, excitement is kept alive, and knowledge in the end promoted. Lewis Saurin Johnston, of Drummond Island, sends me a box of specimens from that locality. This gentleman, who occupies a situation in the British Indian department, is a grandson of the late Waubojeeg, a celebrated orator and warrior formerly of La Pointe, in Lake Superior.

On the 26th, Mr. Giles Sanford, of Erie in Pennsylvania, contributes a collection of the minerals of that vicinity.

July 10th. The War of 1812 proved disastrous to some individuals on this frontier. After a delay of ten years, the British government has announced its intention to indemnify those of its subjects who lost property. Mr. Johnston, who suffered heavily, determined to visit Toronto with the view of laying his case before Lieutenant-Governor Maitland. He writes, on his way down, during a delay at Drummond Island, in his usual hopeful, warm-hearted strain--full of love to those left behind, and free forgiveness to all who have injured him. With the highest purposes of honor, and the soul of hospitality and social kindness, surely such a man deserves to succeed.

12th. Dr. J.J. Bigsby, of England, writes a letter introducing Lieutenant Bolton of the British engineers, a zealous naturalist, and Major Mercer of the artillery--both being on an official tour of inspection.

18th. Judge J.D. Doty announces himself at Michilimackinack, on his return from Detroit to Green Bay. He says that the members of the legislative council are disposed to be rather menders of old laws than makers of new ones, and that they are guided by the spirit of prudence.

21st. John Tanner, the returned captive, dictates from Mackinac this laconic appeal for employment: "All my property is now made away with, so that I have nothing left but one old blanket. I am in such a situation that I am unable to go anywhere--have no money, no clothes, and nothing to eat."

Aug. 19th. Mr. George Johnston writes from the sub-agency of La Pointe, Lake Superior, that a rumor prevails of a murder lately committed by a Chippewa war party, on American citizens, on the upper Mississippi.

31st. Mr. John Holiday, a trader, arrived from the Ance Kewy-winenon in Lake Superior, bringing a small coffin painted black, inclosing an American scalp, with the astounding intelligence that a shocking murder had been committed by a war party of Chippewas at Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi. The facts turned out to be these: In the spring of the year (1824), Kewaynokwut (Returning Cloud), a chief of Lake Vieux Desert, at the source of the Wisconsin, suffered a severe fit of sickness, and made, a vow, if he recovered, to collect a war party and lead it against the Sioux, which he did early in the summer. He passed the trading-post of Lac du Flambeau, with twenty-nine men in canoes on the 1st of July. He pursued down the Waswagon branch into the main Chippewa River, after a cautious journey, and came to its mouth early in July, at an early hour in the morning, when a fog prevailed. This river enters the Mississippi at the foot of the expanse called Lake Pepin, which is a common place for encampment. It is the usual point of issue for Chippewa war parties against the Sioux, for which it has been celebrated since the first migration of the Chippewas into the rice lake region at its sources. Prom the usual lookout, called Mount Le Gard, they discovered imperfectly an encampment on the shores of Lake Pepin. On coming to it, it proved to be an American, a trader of the name of Finley, with three Canadians, on his way from Prairie du Chien to St. Peter's. One of the men spoke Chippewa. They were asleep when the advance of the Indian party arrived. When they awoke they saw the Indians with terror and surprise. The Indians cried out to their comrades in the rear that they were not Sioux, that they were white people. The party then all came up. The war chief Kewaynokwut Said, "Do not be afraid. This party you see are my young men; and I command them. They will not do you any harm, nor hurt you." Some of the party soon began to pillage. They appeared to be half famished, first taking their provisions, which consisted of half a bag of flour, half a bag of corn, a few biscuits, and half a hog. The biscuits they immediately eat, and then began to rob the clothing, which they parted among themselves.

The Indians diligently inquired where the Sioux abroad on the river were, what number they might be, where they came from, and whither they were going? to all which judicious replies appear to have been made, but one, namely, that they consisted of thirty, on their way from St. Peter's to Prairie du Chien. Being but twenty-nine men, the rencontre appeared to them to be unequal, and, in fact, alarmed them. They immediately prepared to return, filing off one after another, in order to embark in their canoes, which were lying at a short distance. Before this movement, Kakabika had taken his gun to fire at the whites, but was prevented by the others. But they went off disappointed, and grumblingly. This was the case particularly with Kakabika, Okwagin, Whitehead, Wamitegosh, and Sagito, who began crying they wanted to kill the whites. Sagito then said that it was a very hard thing that they should return light--that when one went out a hunting, he did not like to return without killing something. "What," he said, "did we come here for? Was it not to kill?" At this Kewaynokwut wavered, who had promised safety, and did not interpose his authority to check the brooding evil, although he took no part in it. Whitehead, Okwaykun, and Wamitegosh, who were in the rear of the party, leveled their arms and fired, killing on the spot the three men, who were immediately scalped. The wildest fury was instantly excited.

Finley, in the mean time, had gone to the Indian canoes to recover his papers, saying they were of no use to them, and of importance to him. Hearing the report of guns behind him, he perceived that his companions were killed, and took to flight. He threw himself into the water. Annamikees, or the Little Thunder, then fired at him and missed. He quickly reloaded his gun, and fired again, effectively. Finley was mortally shot. The Indian then threw himself into the water, and cut off the unfortunate man's head, for the purpose of scalping it, leaving the body in the water. The party then quickly returned back into the region whence they had sallied, and danced the scalps in their villages as Indian scalps.

Mr. Holliday was also the bearer of a speech from Gitshe Iauba, the ruling chief of Ance Kewywenon, through whose influence this occurrence was brought to light. He first addressed his trader in the following words:--

"We were deceived. Word was sent to us to come and fetch the scalp of a Sioux Indian of our enemy. This was my reason for sending for it. But, ah me! when they brought word that it was the scalp of an American, I sent for the young man whom you left in charge of your house and store, and asked him what should be done with the scalp of our friend. It was concluded to have it buried in the burying-ground."

He then addressed the United States agent at Sault Ste. Marie, in the following words, accompanying them with a string of wampum:--

"Our father. This wampum was given to me that I might remain in peace. I shook hands with you when I left St. Mary's. My heart was in friendship. I have taken no rest since I heard of the foul deed of our friends, the people of Vieux Desert, and Torch Lake, in killing a citizen of the American Government, the government that protects me.

"Now, Americans, my situation is to be pitied. My wish is, that we should live in friendship together. Since I shook hands with you, nothing on my part shall be wanting to keep us so."

I immediately forwarded the little scalp-coffin received from the interior, with a report of this high-handed outrage to the Executive of the Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, at Detroit, that the occurrence might be reported promptly to the War Office at Washington.

November 27th. I determined to spend the winter in New York; to place the agency, in the interim, in charge of an officer of the garrison, and to visit Washington from this city during the season. Captain N.S. Clarke, 2d Infantry, consented to perform the duties of the agency during my absence. And having obtained leave of absence from my superior in the department, I embarked, in September, on board a schooner for Detroit, with Mrs. Schoolcraft, her infant son William Henry, my sister-in-law, Miss Anna Maria Johnston, and a servant, making a little group of five. We touched at Michilimackinack.

We were kindly received at Detroit by General and Mrs. Cass, who had invited us to be their guests, and pursued our way, without accident, to New York, where we arrived the day prior to the annual celebration of the Evacuation. New scenes and new situations here rapidly developed themselves. But before these are named, some letters that followed me from the Lake may be noticed.

B.F. Stickney, Esq., writes (October 15th) from the foot of the Miami of the Lakes (now Toledo): "Recently I have had brought to me a specimen of manganese, the bed of which is located about nine miles south-west of this. The quantity is represented to be very extensive."

I find that strontian is much more extensively interspersed through the rock formations of this region than I had heretofore conceived. At the foot of the rapids of this river, there are extensive strata of carbonate of lime, sufficiently charged with magnesia to destroy all vegetation, when converted to the state of quicklime; although Dr. Mitchell, in his "Notes to Phillips' Mineralogy," denies to magnesian carbonate of lime this quality. But I have tested it fully. I rather think the doctor's mistake must have arisen from a supposition that Mr. Phillips intended to say that the magnesia, when in combination with carbonate of lime, and in sitû, was destructive to vegetation.

Ohio and Erie Canal.--"A commissioner of the State of Ohio, with engineers, is taking levels, examining water-courses, and making estimates of cost, to ascertain the practicability of making a canal from Cincinnati up the valley of the Big Miami, and Loromier's creek, across the summit level, to the Auglaize and Miami of Lake Erie, to the level of the lake water. These surveys will give us much assistance in judging of the geological formations between the Lake and the Mississippi."

Geology.--"As an outline sketch, I should say that, from the rock basin of the Erie-sea to the Ohio River, by the way of Fort Wayne, there is a ridge, of about 200 feet elevation, of rock formation, all new floetz, with a covering of from ten to seventy feet of pulverulent earth. At the summit this layer is twenty feet. That the Miami and Wabash have cut their courses down to the rock, with only here and there a little sand and gravel upon its surface. As far as conjecture will go, for the levels of the strata on the Wabash and Miami, the same mineralogical characters are to be found in the strata, at the same elevation. This would be an important fact to be ascertained, by the levels accurately taken."

"I am pleased that you have not abated your usual industry in the pursuit of knowledge in the science of geology and mineralogy, first in magnitude and first in the order of nature."

Morals of Green Bay.--J.D. Doty, Esq., Judge of the District, reports (Oct. 15th) that the Grand Jury for Brown County, at the late special session of court, presented forty indictments! Most of these appear to have been petty affairs; but they denote a lax state of society.

John Johnston, Esq., writes (Oct. 30th): "Since the arrival of the mail, I have been the constant companion in thought of the great and good Lafayette, throughout his tour, or rather splendid procession as far as the account has reached us, and for which history has no parallel. Oh! how poor, how base, the adulation given by interested sycophants to kings and despots, compared to the warm affections of the grateful heart, and spontaneous bursts of admiration and affection from a great, free, and happy people."

Hooking Minerals.--L. Bull, now of Philadelphia, writes respecting the position of several boxes of minerals left in the Lyceum of Natural History, of New York, in 1822, which have, been sadly depredated on.

Plan of a Philosophical Work on the Indians.--General C. announces to me (Dec. 5th) that he has settled on a plan for bringing forward the results of his researches on the subject of the Indian tribes. The details of this appear to be well selected and arranged, and the experiment on the popular taste of readers, for as such the work is designed, cannot but be hailed by every one who has thought upon the subject. Few men have seen more of the Indians in peace and war. Nobody has made the original collections which he has, and I know of no man possessing the capacity of throwing around them so much literary attraction. It is only to be hoped that his courage will not fail him when he comes to the sticking point. It requires more courage on some minds to write a book than to face a cannon.

14th. Major Joseph Delafield, of New York, commends to my acquaintance Samuel S. Conant, Esq., of the city; a gentleman of a high moral character and literary tone, an occasional writer for the "American" newspaper, who proposes to compile a work on Indian eloquence. Charles King, Esq., the editor of the paper, transmits a note to the major, which is enclosed, speaking of Mr. Conant as "a man of merit and talents, who in his design is seeking to save a noble but persecuted race."

19th. General Cass writes further of his literary plans: "If I am favorably situated, in some respects, to procure information, as a drawback upon this, I feel many disadvantages. I have no books to refer to but what I can purchase, and independently of the means which any one person can apply to this object, those books which can alone be useful to me are so rare that nothing but accident can enable a person to purchase them."

Lake Superior Copper Mines.--"I have written to Colonel Benton fully on the subject of the copper country, and I have referred him to you for further information."

25th. Expedition of 1820.--Professor D. B. Douglass, of West Point, returns a portfolio of sketches and drawings of scenery, made by me on the expedition to the sources of the Mississippi, in 1820, with several of which he has illustrated the borders of his map of that expedition. "Have you," he says, "seen Long's Second Expedition? We have only one copy on the Point, and I have only had time to look at the map. It makes me more than ever desirous to consummate my original views of publishing relative to that country. I have never lost sight of this matter; and, if my professional engagements continue to engross as much of my time as they have done, I will send my map to Tanner, and let him publish it, hap-hazard."


Parallelism of customs--Home scenes--Visit to Washington--Indian work respecting the Western Tribes--Indian biography--Professor Carter--Professor Silliman--Spiteful prosecution--Publication of Travels in the Mississippi Valley--A northern Pocahontas--Return to the Lakes--A new enterprise suggested--Impressions of turkeys' feet in rock--Surrender of the Chippewa war party, who committed the murders in 1824, at Lake Pepin--Their examination, and the commitment of the actual murderers.

1825. January 1st. New Year's day here, as among the metif, and also the pure descendants of the ancient French of Normandy in Michigan, is a day of friendly visiting from house to house, and cordial congratulations, with refreshments spread on the board for all. As this was also the custom of the ancient Hollanders, who, from the Texel and Scheldt, landed here in 1609, it affords a species of proof of the wide-spread influence of the customs of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, which is remarkable. And it would form an interesting topic of historical inquiry.

4th. Home and its scenes. The sympathy kept up by domestic letters when absent from home is one of the purest supports of the heart and mind. Mr. John Johnston, of St. Mary's, writes me one of his warm-hearted letters of friendship, which breathes the ardor of his mind, and shows a degree of sympathy that is refreshing, and such as must ever be a great encouragement in every noble pursuit. The how-d'ye-do, everyday visitor is satisfied with his "how d'ye do;" but there is a friend that "sticketh closer than a brother."

10th. My position at St. Mary's, and the prominent part I occupied in the collision of authority between the military and the citizens, on some points, and between the former and the Indian department, was anything but agreeable, and would have been intolerable to any one, having less resources than I had, in an absorbing study, which every day and every evening turned up some new and fresh point of interest. I had therefore sources of enjoyment which were a constant support, and this was particularly the case, after the scenes which were opened up in the winter of 1824 by my intercourse with the Rev. Mr. Laird. But I resolved early in the summer to spend the winter in New York, and to visit Washington, to place some of the official transactions to which I have referred, in their proper lights. This day I therefore left the city, to visit the Capitol. During the expected absence; Mrs. Schoolcraft, with her child, little sister, and nurse, had accepted an invitation to spend the time with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Conant, who had a pleasant residence on the Bloomingdale road, some two or three miles from the Park. My visit was altogether agreeable. So far as the subjects at issue on the frontier were not of local jurisdiction, in which I was fully and promptly sustained by the Executive, I was met by Mr. Calhoun in his usual frank, explicit, and friendly manner. I was authorized to erect buildings for the agency, and to define the Indian reservation under the treaty, and counseled to go forward in a firm, cautious, and conciliatory policy in establishing the intercourses with the bands of the agency, and to take every proper measure to see that the intercourse laws were faithfully executed, and a good understanding cultivated with the tribes. And I returned to New York early in February, with "flying colors," as a friend wrote.

During my absence, some letters, disclosing matters of literary interest, were received. General C. writes (January 20th):--

"In investigating the subject before me, agreeably to the views I have communicated to you, it appears to me that Purchas's Pilgrimage, and Hackluyt's collection are indispensable to my progress. They contain translations or abstracts of all the earlier voyages and travels to this country." "In considering the various points which are involved in the subject I have undertaken, a thousand doubtful facts present themselves, which require time, labor, and opportunities to solve. For instance, I strongly suspect that the Eries, who are said to have been destroyed by the Iroquois, were the Shawnese, who were driven from their ancient seat upon Lake Erie to the south-west." "Volney mentions two works upon the Indians. One is Umphraville, and the other Oldmixon."

On the 7th of February, he encloses an extensive list of books, which he wishes to procure, to aid him in his contemplated examinations of aboriginal subjects, with discriminating remarks on their character. In calling my attention to a close examination of them in the various book-stores and libraries of the Atlantic cities, where they may be found, he imposes no light nor important labor. "You know my general object is confined to the Indians of this quarter (the west). Their particular history, however, will be preceded by a review of the condition of the Indians in this part of America, at the time it became known to Europeans. I have myself little doubt but that they were then pretty much as they are now.

"There is, however, one historical event, the narrator of which represents the Indians to have been in an entirely different condition from what they are now, or have been since. This is the account of Ferdinand de Soto's expedition to Florida. There are two historians of this expedition. One is Garcilasso de la Vega, and the other is an anonymous gentleman of Elvas. I believe both are found in Purchas or Hackluyt. I believe the narrative is almost entirely fabulous. One mode of ascertaining this is by an examination of the earlier accounts of the Indians. If they agree with De Soto's history, the latter may be correct. If not, they must be unworthy of credit, more particularly in the amount of the Indian population, which was certainly greatly misrepresented by the Spanish historians, and which has been always overrated.

"If any of the above works touch upon these subjects, they may be useful to me; if not, I do not wish them. Can you find any of the other Spanish writers describing or alluding to this expedition?

"Is there any account of the expedition of Pamphilo Narvaez into Florida in 1528?"

"Should I go to Prairie du Chien, would you not like the trip? I see many reasons to induce you to take such a measure. If you come on, as I hope you will, by the first boat, we can make all the necessary arrangements; for, if I go, I shall go early, certainly in May. Unless I am greatly deceived, you would make something interesting out of the proposed treaty."

Samuel S. Conant, Esq., informs me (January 21st) that he is making progress in his contemplated work on Indian biography.

"I shall read," he says, "everything which speaks of Indians, and my enthusiasm may take the place of ability, and enable me to present not only honorable testimonials of Indian genius and valor, but some defence of their character, and an exposition of the slanders and vulgar errors which, through blind traditions, have obtained the authority of truth."

"It would have pleased me," says he (Feb. 16th), "to have presented Mr. Theodore Dwight, Jr., to you in person. But this introductory note will do as well. He is one of those who feel an interest, disinterested and benevolent, in the fate of the remnants of the Indian tribes, and wishes some conversation with you relative to their feelings on the subject of their removal west of the Mississippi."

March 18th. Mr. Nathaniel H. Carter, editor of the Statesman, announces his recovery from a dangerous illness, and wishes, in his usual spirit of friendship, to express the pleasure it will afford him to aid me in any literary labor I may have in hand.

20th. The plan of a magazine devoted to Indian subjects, which has been discussed between Mr. Conant, Mr. Dwight, and myself, is now definitely arranged with Messrs. Wilder and Campbell, publishers.

28th. Professor Silliman renews his friendly correspondence, and tenders me the use of the pages of his journal, as the medium of communicating observations to the public.

April 8th. I am officially called on, by the authority of General Gaines, as a witness in the case of Lieutenant Walter Bicker, U.S.A., who is summoned to a court martial in Fort Brady. This is the gentleman whose family is referred to in a previous part of my journal in the autumn of 1822, on the occasion of the gentle Mr. Laird's missionary visit to St. Mary's; and his high moral character and correct deportment render it a subject of mystery to me what cause of complaint his brother officers could conjure up against him.

14th. The superintendence of the press in the printing of my "Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley," has constituted a groundwork to my amusements during the winter. The work is this day published by Collins and Hannay. I immediately prepared to return to the lakes. About five months had passed away, almost imperceptibly. We had held a most gratifying intercourse with a highly moral and refined portion of society. The city had been seen in its various phases of amusement and instruction. A large part of the interest to others and attention excited arose manifestly from the presence of a person of Indian descent, and of refined manners and education, in the person of Mrs. Schoolcraft, with an infant son of more than ordinary beauty of lineament and mental promise. There was something like a sensation in every circle, and often persons, whose curiosity was superior to their moral capacity of appreciation, looked intensely to see the northern Pocahontas. Her education had been finished abroad. She wrote a most exquisite hand, and composed with ability, and grammatical skill and taste. Her voice was soft, and her expression clear and pure, as her father, who was from one of the highest and proudest circles of Irish society, had been particularly attentive to her orthography and pronunciation and selection of words of the best usage abroad.

20th. This day we left the mansion of our kind hostess, Mrs. Mann, on lower Broadway, and ascended the Hudson by daylight, in order to view its attractive scenery.

We discussed the etymology of some of the ancient Indian names along the river, which we found to be in the Manhattan or Mohegan dialects of the Algonquin, and which appeared so nearly identical in the grammatical principles and sounds with the Chippewa, as to permit Mrs. S. in many cases to recover the exact meanings. Thus, Coxackie is founded on an Indian term which means Falling-in bank, or cut bank.

We stopped a week or two in Western New York at my brother-in-law's, in Vernon, Oneida County. I took along to the West, which had been favorable to me, my youngest brother James, and my sister Maria Eliza. We pursued our route through Western New York and Buffalo, and reached Detroit on the 6th of May.

I here found a letter from Dr. J. V. Rensselaer, of New York, written two days after leaving the city, saying: "I have this morning finished the perusal of your last work, and consider myself much your debtor for the new views you have given me of the interesting region you describe. Nor am I more pleased with the matter than with the simple unpretending manner in which you have chosen to clothe it."

I also found a note informing me that Gov. Cass had gone to hold a conference with the Wyandot Indians at Wapakennota, Ohio, that he would return about the 10th of June, and immediately set out for Prairie du Chien by the way of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and would have me to go with him.

"You must calculate the time when I shall probably reach Mackinack, and I trust you will join us there. I have a thousand reasons why you should undertake the tour. Many of the Indians will be from your agency, and such a convocation will never again be seen upon this frontier. You can return by the Chippewa River, which will give you a fine opportunity of becoming acquainted with a part of the country very little known."

Leaving my sister with friends temporarily at Detroit, I pursued my way, without loss of time, to the Sault; where, among the correspondence accumulated, I found some subjects that may be noticed. Mr. C. C. Trowbridge gives this testimony respecting Mr. A. E. Wing, a gentleman then prominent as a politician.

"He is an intelligent, high minded and honorable man, and gifted with habits of perseverance and industry which eminently qualify him to represent the Territory in Congress."

On the 1st of June the Executive of the Territory apprizes me of his return from Wapekennota, and that he is bending all his force for the contemplated trip to Prairie du Chien.

"I enclose you," he adds, "the copy of a letter from the war department, by which you will perceive that the Secretary has determined, that the outrage of last fall shall not go unpunished. His determination is a wise one, for the apprehension of the Chippewa murderers is essential to the preservation of our character and influence among the Indians."

June 17th. Business and science, antiquities and politics are curiously jumbled along in the same path, without, however (as I believe they never do where the true spirit of knowledge is present), at all mingling, or making turbid the stream of inquiry.

Colonel Thomas L. M'Kenney, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in a letter of this date says: "At the Little Falls of the Potomac, are to be seen the prints of turkeys' feet in stone, made just as the tracks of the animal appear, when it runs upon dust or in the snow."

22d. On this day, there suddenly presented themselves, at the office of Indian Agency, the Chippewa war party who committed the murders at Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi, last year, who, on the demand made upon the nation, with a threat of military punishment, surrendered the murderers. I immediately commenced their examination, after having an additional special interpreter sworn in (Truman A. Warren), and sending for a justice of the peace to assist in their examination. The entire day was devoted in this manner, and at the close, six of the party against whom an indictment for murder would lay, committed on a mittimus, with a note requesting the commanding officer to imprison them in the guard house, until he could have them conveyed to the sheriff of the county, at Michilimackinack. Their names were, Sagetone, Otagami, Kakabisha, Annimikence, and Nawa-jiwienoce--to whom was afterwards added Kewaynokwut, the leader of the party. The incidents of this transaction, as they appeared in that examination, have been narrated on a previous page.

This surrendery was evidently made on representations of the traders, who acted on strong assurance that it would avert the marching of a military force against them, and on some mistaken notions of their own about public clemency.

When the examination was finished, and while preliminary steps were in process, for their committment, I addressed them as follows:--

Chippewas--I have listened attentively to all that has been said, either for or against you, and have been careful to have it put upon paper, that nothing might be forgotten. It appears you went to the Mississippi, for the purpose of attacking the Sioux, to revenge murders which they had committed in your country. In an evil hour you encountered a party of Americans, consisting of four persons, encamped at the foot of Lake Pepin. It was night. They were all asleep. You went to their tent in a hostile manner, and were received as friends. They gave you tobacco and presents; and your war chief told them they need not fear, that they should not be molested.

On this declaration he withdrew, followed by the whole party, and had proceeded some distance, when an evil suggestion occurred to one of the party, who said, "that when he went out hunting he did not like to return without having killed something." Guns were fired. An electric effect was produced and a rush towards the tent they had left took place among those who were in the rear. The strife seemed who should get there first, and imbrue his hands in blood.

"Of this number you Sagetone, you Kakabisha, you Otagami, you Annimikence, and you Nawajiwienoce, were principal actors, and you had the meanness to put to death men who had never harmed you, and who, by your own confession, you had robbed of their arms, but whom you had, nevertheless, promised their lives. This was not an evidence of courage, but of cowardice. By this perfidious act you also violated your promises, and proved yourselves to be the most debased of human beings--liars!

"You have asked me many times in the course of this day to take pity on you. How have you the hearts to stand up and ask me for pity, when you have showed no pity yourselves. When those poor disarmed and despairing men implored you to pity their condition, reminding you of your promises, and their generosity in making you presents, when you saw them afterwards submit to be plundered, you gave them not pity but the war club and scalping knife. Did you suppose the God of white men would permit you to go unpunished? Did you think you had got so far in the woods that no person could find you out? Or, did you think your great father, the President, governed by a pusillanimous principle, would allow you to kill any of his people, without seeking to be revenged?

"Let this day open your eyes. You have richly deserved death, and not a man of your nation could complain, if I should order you at this instant, to be drawn out before my door, and shot. But a less honorable death awaits you.

"I have before told you, that your Great Father the President is as just as he is powerful; and that he seeks to take away the life of no man, without full, just, and clear proof of guilt. For this purpose he has appointed other chiefs, whose duty it is to hear, try, and punish all offences.

"Before these judges you shall now be sent. You will be closely examined. You will have counsel assigned to defend your cause. You will have every advantage that one of our own citizens could claim. If any cause can be shown why one of you is less guilty than another it will then appear; if not, your bodies will be hung on a gallows."

I then addressed Kewaynockwut. "No person has accused you of murder; but you have led men who committed murder, and have thereby excited the anger of your Great Father, who is slow to forgive when any of his people, even the poorest of them, have been injured, far less when a murder has been committed. Though I include you with those cowards who first took away the arms of our people, and then shot them--those mean dogs who sit trembling before me--I do not forgive you. The blood of our citizens rests upon you. I can neither take you by the hand, nor smoke the pipe you offer to me. You lie under the severe censure of your Great Father, whose anger, like a dark cloud, rests upon you and your people.

"Four of the chief murderers, namely, Okwagun, Pasigwetung, Metakossiga, and Wamitegosh, yet remain inland. Go, in order to appease his anger; take your followers with you, and bring them out. You cannot do a more pleasing act to him and to your own nation. For you must reflect that if these murderers are not promptly brought out, war will be immediately made against your villages, and the most signal vengeance taken."

Great alarm was manifested by the murderers, when they saw that the questions and answers were written down, and a strict course of accountability taken as the basis of the examination. I had foreseen something of this alarm, and requested the commanding officer to send me a detachment of men. Lieutenant C. F. Morton, 2d Infantry, to whom this matter was entrusted, managed it well. He paraded his men in a hollow square, in front of the office, in such manner that the office formed one angle of the square, so that the main issue from the door ushered the individual into a square bristling with bayonets. He stood himself with a drawn sword.

It was eleven o'clock in the evening when their examination and the final arrangements were completed; and when I directed the interpreter to open the door and lead out the murderers, they were greatly alarmed by the appearance of the bright array of musquetry, supposing, evidently, that they were to be instantly shot. They trembled.


Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi--Large assemblage of tribes--Their appearance and character--Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas, &c.--Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas--Keokuk--Mongazid's speech--Treaty of limits--Whisky question--A literary impostor--Journey through the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers--Incidents--Menomonies--A big nose--Wisconsin Portage.

June 23d. The whole village was alive with the excitement of the surrendery of the murderers. The agency office had been crowded with spectators during the examination; and both white and red men saw in their voluntary delivery into the hands of the agent, an evidence of the power of the government in watching over and vindicating the lives and interests of its citizens in the wildest wilderness, which was gratifying to all.

To Gitche Iauba, the chief at the bay of Kewywenon, in Lake Superior, who had been instrumental in producing the delivery, I presented a silver medal of the first class, with a written speech approbatory of the act, and complimentary of himself. In the meantime, my preparations for attending the general convocation of tribes, at Prairie du Chien, were completed. I placed the agency under the charge of Captain N. S. Clark, 2d Infantry, who had satisfactorily and ably performed its duties during my absence at New York. I had selected a delegation of the most influential chiefs to attend the contemplated council. And all things being ready, and my canoe-allége in the water, with its flag set, I embarked for the trip on the 24th. I descended the straits that day, and having turned Point Detour reached Michilimackinack the next morning. The party from Detroit had reached that point the same morning, after traversing the Huron coasts for upwards of 300 miles, in a light canoe. Congratulations on the success that had attended the demand for the Chippewa murderers, awaited me. Some practical questions, deemed indispensable respecting that transaction, required my immediate return to St. Mary's, which was effected on the 27th, and I again embarked at St. Mary's on the 28th, and rejoined the party at Mackinack on the 30th. The distance traversed is about ninety miles, which was four times passed and repassed in six days, a feat that could only have been accomplished in the calms of summer.

We finally left Mackinack for our destination on the Mississippi, on the 1st of July. The convocation to which we were now proceeding was for the purpose of settling internal disputes between the tribes, by fixing the boundaries to their respective territories, and thus laying the foundation of a lasting peace on the frontiers. And it marks an era in the policy of our negotiations with the Indians, which is memorable. No such gathering of the tribes had ever before occurred, and its results have taken away the necessity of any in future, so far as relates to the lines on the Mississippi.

We encountered head winds, and met with some delay in passing through the straits into Lake Michigan, and after escaping an imminent hazard of being blown off into the open lake, in a fog, reached Green Bay on the 4th. The journey up the Fox River, and its numerous portages, was resumed on the 14th, and after having ascended the river to its head, we crossed over the Fox and Wisconsin portage, and descending the latter with safety, reached Prairie du Chien on the 21st, making the whole journey from Mackinack in twenty-one days.

We found a very large number of the various tribes assembled. Not only the village, but the entire banks of the river for miles above and below the town, and the island in the river, was covered with their tents. The Dakotahs, with their high pointed buffalo skin tents, above the town, and their decorations and implements of flags, feathers, skins and personal "braveries," presented the scene of a Bedouin encampment. Some of the chiefs had the skins of skunks tied to their heels, to symbolize that they never ran, as that animal is noted for its slow and self-possessed movements.

Wanita, the Yankton chief, had a most magnificent robe of the buffalo, curiously worked with dyed porcupine's quills and sweet grass. A kind of war flag, made of eagles' and vultures' large feathers, presented quite a martial air. War clubs and lances presented almost every imaginable device of paint; but by far the most elaborate thing was their pipes of red stone, curiously carved, and having flat wooden handles of some four feet in length, ornamented with the scalps of the red-headed woodpecker and male duck, and tail feathers of birds artificially attached by strings and quill work, so as to hang in the figure of a quadrant. But the most elaborately wrought part of the devices consisted of dyed porcupines' quills, arranged as a kind of aboriginal mosaic.

The Winnebagoes, who speak a cognate dialect of the Dacotah, were encamped near; and resembled them in their style of lodges, arts, and general decorations.

The Chippewas presented the more usually known traits, manners and customs of the great Algonquin family--of whom they are, indeed, the best representative. The tall and warlike bands from the sources of the Mississippi--from La Point, in Lake Superior--from the valleys of the Chippewa and St. Croix rivers, and the Rice Lake region of Lac du Flambeau, and of Sault Ste. Marie, were well represented.

The cognate tribe of the Menomonies, and of the Potawattomies and Ottowas from Lake Michigan, assimilated and mingled with the Chippewas. Some of the Iroquois of Green Bay were present.

But no tribes attracted as intense a degree of interest as the Iowas, and the Sacs and Foxes--tribes of radically diverse languages, yet united in a league against the Sioux. These tribes were encamped on the island, or opposite coast. They came to the treaty ground, armed and dressed as a war party. They were all armed with spears, clubs, guns and knives. Many of the warriors had a long tuft of red-horse hair tied at their elbows, and bore a neck lace of grizzly bears' claws. Their head-dress consisted of red dyed horse-hair, tied in such manner to the scalp lock as to present the shape of the decoration of a Roman helmet. The rest of the head was completely shaved and painted. A long iron shod lance was carried in the hand. A species of baldric supported part of their arms. The azian, moccason and leggins constituted a part of their dress. They were, indeed, nearly nude, and painted. Often the print of a hand, in white clay, marked the back or shoulders. They bore flags of feathers. They beat drums. They uttered yells, at definite points. They landed in compact ranks. They looked the very spirit of defiance. Their leader stood as a prince, majestic and frowning. The wild, native pride of man, in the savage state, flushed by success in war, and confident in the strength of his arm, was never so fully depicted to my eyes. And the forest tribes of the continent may be challenged to have ever presented a spectacle of bold daring, and martial prowess, equal to their landing.

Their martial bearing, their high tone, and whole behavior during their stay, in and out of council, was impressive, and demonstrated, in an eminent degree, to what a high pitch of physical and moral courage, bravery and success in war may lead a savage people. Keokuk, who led them, stood with his war lance, high crest of feathers, and daring eye, like another Coriolanus, and when he spoke in council, and at the same time shook his lance at his enemies, the Sioux, it was evident that he wanted but an opportunity to make their blood flow like water. Wapelo, and other chiefs backed him, and the whole array, with their shaved heads and high crests of red horse-hair, told the spectator plainly, that each of these men held his life in his hand, and was ready to spring to the work of slaughter at the cry of their chief.

General William Clark, from St. Louis, was associated with General Cass in this negotiation. The great object was to lay the foundation of a permanent peace by establishing boundaries. Day after day was assigned to this, the agents laboring with the chiefs, and making themselves familiar with Indian bark maps and drawings. The thing pleased the Indians. They clearly saw that it was a benevolent effort for their good, and showed a hearty mind to work in the attainment of the object. The United States asked for no cession. Many glowing harangues were made by the chiefs, which gave scope to their peculiar oratory, which is well worth the preserving. Mongazid, of Fond du Lac, Lake Superior, said: "When I heard the voice of my Great Father, coming up the Mississippi Valley calling me to this treaty, it seemed as a murmuring wind; I got up from my mat where I sat musing, and hastened to obey it. My pathway has been clear and bright. Truly it is a pleasant sky above our heads this day. There is not a cloud to darken it. I hear nothing but pleasant words. The raven is not waiting for his prey, I hear no eagle cry--'Come, let us go. The feast is ready--the Indian has killed his brother.'"

When nearly a whole month had been consumed in these negotiations, a treaty of limits was signed, which will long be remembered in the Indian reminiscences. This was on the 19th of August (1825), vide Indian Treaties, p. 371. It was a pleasing sight to see the explorer of the Columbia in 1806, and the writer of the proclamation of the army that invaded Canada in 1812, uniting in a task boding so much good to the tribes whose passions and trespasses on each other's lands keep them perpetually at war.

'Tis war alone that gluts the Indian's mind,
As eating meats, inflames the tiger kind.

At the close of the treaty, an experiment was made on the moral sense of the Indians, with regard to intoxicating liquors, which was evidently of too refined a character for their just appreciation. It had been said by the tribes that the true reason for the Commissioners of the United States government speaking against the use of ardent spirits by the Indians, and refusing to give them, was not a sense of its bad effects, so much, as the fear of the expense. To show them that the government was above such a petty principle, the Commissioners had a long row of tin camp kettles, holding several gallons each, placed on the grass, from one end of the council house to the other, and then, after some suitable remarks, each kettle was spilled out in their presence. The thing was evidently ill relished by the Indians. They loved the whisky better than the joke.

Impostor.--Among the books which I purchased for General Cass, at New York, was the narrative of one John Dunn Hunter. I remember being introduced to the man, at one of my visits to New York, by Mr. Carter. He appeared to be one of those anomalous persons, of easy good nature, without much energy or will, and little or no moral sense, who might be made a tool of. It seems no one at New York was taken in by him, but having wandered over to London, the booksellers found him a good subject for a book, and some hack there, with considerable cleverness, made him a pack-horse for carrying a load of stuff about America's treatment of the Indians. It was called a "captivity," and he was made to play the part of an adventurer among the Indians--somewhat after the manner of John Tanner. C. reviewed the book, on our route and at the Prairie, for the North American, in an article which created quite a sensation, and will be remembered for its force and eloquence. He first read to me some of these glowing sentences, while on the portages of the Fox. It was continued, during the leisure hours of the conferences, and finally the critique was finished, after his visiting the place and the person, in Missouri, to which Hunter had alluded as his sponsor in baptism. The man denied all knowledge of him. Hunter was utterly demolished, and his book shown to be as great a tissue of misrepresentation as that of Psalmanazar himself.

August 21st. The party separates. I had determined to return to the Sault by way of Lake Superior, through Chippewa River. But, owing to the murder of Finley and his men at its mouth in 1824, I found it impossible to engage men at Prairie du Chien, to take that route. I determined therefore to go up the Wisconsin, and by the way of Green Bay. For this purpose, I purchased a light canoe, engaged men to paddle it, and laid in provisions and stores to last to Green Bay. Having done so, I embarked about 3 o'clock P.M., descending the majestic Mississippi, with spirits enlivened by the hope of soon rejoining friends far away. At the same time, Mr. Holliday left for the same destination in a separate canoe. On reaching the mouth of the Wisconsin, we entered that broad tributary, and found the current strong. We passed the point of rocks called Petite Grès, and encamped at Grand Grès.

Several hours previous to leaving the prairie, a friend handed me an enveloped packet, saying, "Read it when you get to the mouth of the Wisconsin." I had no conception what it related to, but felt great anxiety to reach the place mentioned. I then opened it, and read as follows: "I cannot separate from you without expressing my grateful acknowledgments for the honor you have done me, by connecting my name with your Narrative of Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley, &c." Nothing could have been more gratifying or unexpected.

22d. A fog in the valley detained us till 5 o'clock A.M. After traveling about two hours, Mr. Holliday's canoe was crushed against a rock. While detained in repairing it, I ordered my cook to prepare breakfast. It was now 9 o'clock, when we again proceeded, till the heat of noon much affected the men. We pushed our canoes under some overhanging trees, where we found fine clusters of ripe grapes.

In going forward we passed two canoes of Menomonies, going out on their fall hunt, on the Chippewa River. These people have no hunting grounds of their own, and are obliged to the courtesy of neighboring nations for a subsistence. They are the most erratic of all our tribes, and may be said to be almost nomadic. We had already passed the canoes, when Mr. Lewis, the portrait painter, called out stoutly behind us, from an island in the river. "Oh! ho! I did not know but there was some other breaking of the canoe, or worse disaster, and directed the men to put back. See, see," said he, "that fellow's nose! Did you ever see such a protuberance?" It was one of the Menomonies from Butte des Morts, with a globular irregular lump on the end of his nose, half as big as a man's fist. Lewis's artistic risibles were at their height, and he set to work to draw him. I could think of nothing appropriate, but Sterne and Strasbourg.

23d. A heavy fog detained us at Caramani's village, till near 6 A.M. The fog, however, still continued, so thick as to conceal objects at twenty yards distance. We consequently went cautiously. Both this day and yesterday we have been constantly in sight of Indian canoes, on their return from the treaty. Wooden canoes are exclusively used by the Winnebagoes. They are pushed along with poles.

We passed a precipitous range of hills near Pine Creek, on one of which is a cave, called by our boatmen L'diable au Port. This superstition of peopling dens and other dark places with the "arch fiend," is common. If the "old serpent" has given any proofs to the French boatmen of his residence here, I shall only hope that he will confine himself to this river, and not go about troubling quiet folks in the land of the Lakes.

At Pine River we went inland about a mile to see an old mine, probably the remains of French enterprise, or French credulity. But all its golden ores had flown, probably frightened off by the old fellow of L'diable au Port. We saw only pits dug in the sand overgrown with trees.

Near this spot in the river, we overtook Shingabowossin and his party of Chippewas. They had left the prairie on the same day that we did, but earlier. They had been in some dread of the Winnebagoes, and stopped on the island to wait for us.

In passing the channel of Detour, we observed many thousand tons of white rock lying in the river, which had lately fallen from the bank, leaving a solid perpendicular precipice. This rock, banks and ruins, is, like all the Wisconsin Valley rocks, a very white and fine sandstone.

We passed five canoes of Menomonies, on their way to hunt on Chippewa River, to whom I presented some powder, lead, and flour. They gave me a couple of fish, of the kind called pe-can-o by the Indians.

24th. We were again detained by the fog, till half past five A.M., and after a hard day's fatiguing toil, I encamped at eight o'clock P.M. on a sandy island in the centre of the Wisconsin. The water in the river is low, and spreads stragglingly over a wide surface. The very bed of the river is moving sand. While supper was preparing, I took from my trunk a towel, clean shirt, and cake of soap, and spent half an hour in bathing in the river upon the clean yellow sand. After this grateful refreshment, I sank sweetly to repose in my tent.

25th. The fog dispersed earlier this morning than usual. We embarked a few minutes after four A.M., and landed for breakfast at ten. The weather now, was quite sultry, as indeed it has been during the greater part of every day, since leaving Tipesage--i.e. the Prairie. Our route this day carried us through the most picturesque and interesting part of the Wisconsin, called the Highlands or River Hills. Some of these hills are high, with precipitous faces towards the river. Others terminate in round grassy knobs, with oaks dispersed about the sides. The name is supposed to have been taken from this feature.[44] Generally speaking, the country has a bald and barren aspect. Not a tree has apparently been cut upon its banks, and not a village is seen to relieve the tedium of an unimproved wilderness. The huts of an Indian locality seem "at random cast." I have already said these conical and angular hills present masses of white sandstone, whereever they are precipitous. The river itself is almost a moving mass of white and yellow sand, broad, clear, shallow, and abounding in small woody islands, and willowy sandbars.

[44] Sin, the terminal syllable, is clearly from the Algonquin, Os-sin, a stone. The French added the letter g, which is the regular local form of the word, agreeably to the true Indian.

While making these notes I have been compelled to hold my book, pencil and umbrella, the latter being indispensable to keep off the almost tropical fervor of the sun's rays. As the umbrella and book must be held in one hand, you may judge that I have managed with some difficulty; and this will account to you for many uncouth letters and much disjointed orthography. Between the annoyance of insects, the heat of the sun, and the difficulties of the way, we had incessant employment.

At three o'clock P.M. we put ashore for dinner, in a very shaded and romantic spot. Poetic images were thick about us. We sat upon mats spread upon a narrow carpet of grass between the river and a high perpendicular cliff. The latter threw its broad shade far beyond us. This strip of land was not more than ten feet wide, and had any fragments of rock fallen, they would have crushed us. But we saw no reason to fear such an event, nor did it at all take from the relish of our dinner. Green moss had covered the face of the rock, and formed a soft velvet covering, against which we leaned. The broad and cool river ran at our feet. Overhanging trees formed a grateful bower around us. Alas, how are those to be pitied who prefer palaces built with human hands to such sequestered scenes. What perversity is there in the human understanding, to quit the delightful and peaceful abodes of nature, for noisy towns and dusty streets.

"To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm than all the gloss of art."

At a late hour in the evening we reached the Wisconsin portage, and found Dr. Wood. U.S.A., encamped there. He had arrived a short time before us, with four Indians and one Canadian in a canoe, on his way to St. Peter's. He had a mail in his trunk, and I had reasons to believe I should receive letters, but to my sore disappointment I found nothing. I invited Dr. Wood to supper, having some ducks and snipes to offer in addition to my usual stock of solids, such as ham, venison and buffalo tongues.


Descent of Fox River--Blackbirds--Menomonies--Rice fields--Starving Indians--Thunder storm--Dream--An Indian struck dead with lightning--Green Bay--Death of Colonel Haines--Incidents of the journey from Green Bay to Michilimackinack--Reminiscences of my early life and travels--Choiswa--Further reminiscences of my early life--Ruins of the first mission of Father Marquette--Reach Michilimackinack.

1825. August 26th. A PORTAGE of about one mile and a quarter was before us.

At day-break two ox carts, which I had ordered in the evening, came, and took our baggage across to the banks of Fox River. The canoes were carried over by the different crews. On reaching the banks of the Fox River, I concluded to stay for the purpose of breakfasting. I added to my stock of eatables, a bag of potatoes, and some butter and milk, purchased from a Frenchman, who resided here. It was about nine o'clock A.M. when we embarked on the Fox, and we began its descent with feelings not widely different from those of a boy who has carried his sled, in winter, up the steep side of a hill, that he may enjoy the pleasure of riding down. The Fox River is serpentine, almost without a parallel; it winds about like a string that doubles and redoubles, and its channel is choked with fields of wild rice; from which rose, continually, immense flocks of blackbirds. They reminded me very forcibly of the poet's line--

"The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain."

Mr. Holliday the elder and his son made several unsuccessful shots at them. I did not regret their ill success, and was pleased to hear them singing--

"As sweetly and gayly as ever before."

We met several canoes of Menomonies. We stopped for dinner near a lodge of them, who were in a starving condition. I distributed bread and corn among them. They presented me a couple of dishes of a species of berry, which they call Neekimen-een, or Brant-berry. It is a black, tasteless berry, a little larger than the whortleberry. We encamped at the head of Pukwa Lake.

27th. A very severe shower of rain fell about three o'clock A.M.; it detained us in our camp until five, when we embarked. Why should I relate to you our dull progress through fields of rice--through intricate channels, and amidst myriads of ducks and wild water fowl. This day has been hot, beyond any experience on the journey. I sank back in my canoe, in a state of apathy and lassitude, partly from the heat, and partly from indisposition. My thoughts were employed upon home. A thousand phantoms passed through my head. I tried to imagine how you were employed at this moment, whether busy, or sick in your own room. It would require a volume to trace my wandering thoughts. Let it suffice that another day is nearly gone, and it has lessened the distance which separated us, about seventy miles.

28th. I encamped, last night, near a large village of Winnebagoes and Menomonies. They complained to me of want of food and ammunition. I distributed among them a quantity of powder, ball, and shot, and some bread, hard biscuit, pork, and tobacco. Never were people more grateful, and never, I believe, was a more appropriate distribution made. I had purchased these articles for the Chippewa Nation, to be used on my contemplated voyage home, from the Prairie, through Chippewa River and Lake Superior, before the design of going that way was relinquished. The fact was, I could get no men to go that way, so alarmed were they by the recent murder of Finley and his party.

About two o'clock A.M. I was awoke by a very heavy storm of rain and wind, attended with loud peals of thunder. The violence of the wind blew down my tent, and my blankets, &c. received some damage. After this mishap the wind abated, and having got my tent re-arranged, I again went to sleep. I dreamt of attending the funeral of an esteemed friend, who was buried with honors, attended to the grave by a large train. I have no recollection of the name of this friend, nor whether male or female. I afterwards visited the house of this person, and the room in which he (or she) died. I closed the door with dread and sorrow, afflicted by the views of the couch where one so much esteemed had expired. The mansion was large, and elegantly furnished. I lost my way in it, and rung a large bell that hung in the hall. At this, many persons, male and female, came quickly into the hall from folding doors, as if, I thought, they had been summoned to dinner. As you have sometimes inclined to believe in these fantastic operations of the human mind, when asleep, I record them for your amusement, or reflection. Was this an allegory of the destructive effects of the storm, mixed with my banquet to my Indian friends, the Menomonies and Winnebagoes?

After descending the river more than twenty miles we landed at la Butte des Morts to cook breakfast. Immediately on landing my attention was attracted by a small white flag hanging from a high pole. I went to It and found a recent Indian grave, very neatly and carefully covered with boards. The Indian had been struck dead by lightning a few days previous. Is this the interpretation of my dream, or must I follow my fears to St. Mary's, to witness some of our family suffering on the bed of sickness. God, in his mercy, forbid!

This day was comparatively cool. On the previous days it was my custom to sit in my shirt and sleeves. To-day, I kept on my surtout all day, and my cloak over it until twelve. Such sudden changes in the temperature of the seasons are the reproach of our climate. My health has been better than for a few days back, owing, I believe, solely to my abstinence both yesterday and the day before. How much illness would be prevented by a proper attention to regimen. It is now eight o'clock in the evening, I am sitting in my tent with a candle standing on a rush mat, and my black trunk for a writing desk. I am interrupted by the news that my supper is ready to be brought in. How happy I should be if you could participate in my frugal meal. In the language of Burns--

"Adieu a heart-warm fond adieu."

29th. I encamped last night, at the foot of the Winnebago Rapids, one mile below Winnebago Lake. I found the rapids of Fox River, which begin here, more difficult to pass than on our ascent, the water being much lower. We were necessarily detained many hours, and most of the men compelled to walk. About six o'clock, P.M. we reached the upper part of the settlement of Green Bay. I stopped a few moments at Judge Doty's, and also a little below at Major Brevoort's, the Indian agent of the post. We then proceeded to the lower settlements, and encamped near the fort at Arndt's. Dr. Wheaton met me on the beach, with several others. I supped and lodged at Arndt's, having declined Dr. Wheaton's polite invitation to sup, and take a bed with him. At tea I saw Mrs. Cotton, whom you will recollect as Miss Arndt, and was introduced to her husband, Lieutenant Cotton, U.S.A. I was also introduced to the Rev. Mr. Nash, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal order, on missionary duty here. I went to my room, as soon as I could disentangle myself from these greetings, with a bundle of papers, to read up the news, and was truly pained to hear of the death of my early friend Colonel Charles G. Haines of New York, an account of which, with the funeral honors paid to him, I read in the papers.

30th. The repair of my canoe, and the purchase of provisions to recruit my supplies, consumed the morning, until twelve o'clock, when I embarked, and called at the fort to pay my respects to Dr. Wheaton. I found the dinner-table set. He insisted on my stopping with Mr. H. to dinner, which, being an old friend and as one of my men had absconded, and I was, therefore, delayed, I assented to. The doctor and family evinced the greatest cordiality, and he sent down to my canoe, after dinner, a quantity of melons, some cabbages, and a bag of new potatoes. Before I could obtain another man and set out again, it was three o'clock. I was obliged to forego the return of some visits. We continued our voyage down the bay about 40 miles, and encamped at 8 o'clock, having run down with a fair wind.

31st. Soon after quitting our camp this morning, a heavy wind arose. It was partly fair, so as to permit our hoisting sail for a few hours, but then shifted ahead, and drove us ashore. We landed on a small island called Vermilion, off the south cape of Sturgeon Bay. Here we remained all the remainder of the day and night. While there detained I read "China, its Arts, Manufactures, &c.," a work translated from the French, and giving a lively, and apparently correct account of that singular people.

About two o'clock, P.M., we cut some of the water and musk-melons presented by Dr. Wharton, and found them delicious. About 6 o'clock, P.M., my cook informed me that he had prepared a supper, agreeably to my directions, and we found his skill in this way by no means despicable. Such are the trifles which must fill up my journal, for did I only write what was fit for grave divines, or the scrutinizing eye of philosophy to read, I fear I should have but a few meagre sheets to present you on my return, and perhaps not a single syllable witty or wise.

Sept. 1st. The wind abated during the night, and we were early on the waters, and went on until eleven o'clock, when we landed for breakfast. At twelve o'clock we went forward again, with a fair wind. I read another volume of "China." "The Chinese ladies," says the author, "live very retired, wholly engaged in their household affairs, and how to please their husbands. They are not, however, confined quite so closely as is commonly supposed. The females visit entirely amongst each other. There is no society or circles in China to which the women are admitted. Marriages are a mere matter of convenience, or, to speak with greater propriety, a kind of bargain settled between the parents and relatives."

We came on very well, and encamped at the Little Detroit, or strait, so called, in the Grand Traverse. This traverse separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. It is computed to be twenty miles over. A cluster of islands enables canoes to pass. There are some hieroglyphics on the rocks.

2d. We embarked at three o'clock, A.M., and went on very well, until ten, when we stopped on one of the islands for breakfast, having nearly completed the traverse. In the meantime the wind arose in our favor, and we went on along the north shore of Lake Michigan gayly. We passed the mouth of the Manistee River, which interlocks with the Tacquimenon of Lake Superior, where some of our St. Mary's Chippewas make their gardens. An aft wind and light spirits are inseparable, whether a man be in a frigate or a canoe. There is something in the air exhilarating. I have been passing in retrospect, the various journeys I have made, but during none has my anxieties to return been so great as this. What a wonderful destiny it is that makes one man a traveler and another a poet, a mathematician, &c. We appear to be guided by some innate principle which has a predominating force. No man was more unlikely to be a traveler than myself. I always thought myself to be domestic in my feelings, habits, and inclinations, and even in very early youth, proposed to live a life of domestic felicity. I thought such a life inseparable from the married state, and resolved, therefore, to get married, as soon as prudence and inclination would permit. Notwithstanding this way of thinking my life has been a series of active employment and arduous journeyings. I may say my travels began even in childhood, for when only six or seven years old, I recollect to have wandered off a long distance into the pine plains of my native town, to view Honicroisa Hill, a noted object in that part of the country, to the great alarm of all the family, who sent out to search for me. My next journey was in my eleventh year, when I accompanied my father, in his chaise, he dressed out in his regimentals, to attend a general court-martial at Saratoga. I had not then read any history of our Revolution, but had heard its battles and hardships, told over by my father, which created a deep interest, and among the events was Burgoyne's surrender. My mind was filled with the subject as we proceeded on our way, and I expected to see a field covered with skulls, and guns, and broken swords.

In my fifteenth year I accompanied my father, in his chaise, up the Valley of the Mohawk to Utica. This gave me some idea of the western country, and the rapid improvements going on there. I returned with some more knowledge of the world, and with my mind filled with enthusiastic notions of new settlements and fortunes made in the woods. I was highly pleased with the frank and hospitable manners of the west. The next spring I was sent by a manufacturing company to Philadelphia, as an agent to procure and select on the banks of the Delaware, between Bristol and Bordentown, a cargo of crucible clay. This journey and its incidents opened a new field to me, and greatly increased my knowledge of the world; of the vastness of commerce; and of the multifarious occupations of men. I acquitted myself well of my agency, having made a good selection of my cargo. I was a judge of the mineralogical properties of the article, but a novice in almost everything else. I supposed the world honest, and every man disposed to act properly and to do right. I now first witnessed a theatre. It was at New York. When the tragedy was over, seeing many go out, I also took a check and went home, to be laughed at by the captain of the sloop, with whom I was a passenger. At Philadelphia I fell into the hands of a professed sharper; He was a gentleman in dress, manners, and conversation. He showed me the city, and was very useful in directing my inquiries. But he borrowed of me thirty dollars one day, to pay an unexpected demand, as he said, and that was the last I ever saw of my money. The lesson was not, however, lost upon me. I have never since lent a stranger or casual acquaintance money.

3d. I was compelled to break off my notes yesterday suddenly. A storm came on which drove us forward with great swiftness, and put us in some peril. We made the land about three o'clock, after much exertion and very considerable wetting. After the storm had passed over, a calm succeeded, when we again put out, and kept the lake till eight o'clock. We had a very bad encampment--loose rough stones to lie on, and scarcely wood enough to make a fire. To finish our misery, it soon began to rain, but ceased before ten. At four o'clock this morning we arose, the weather being quite cold. At an early hour, after getting afloat, we reached and passed a noted landing for canoes and boats, called Choishwa (Smooth-rock.) This shelter, is formed by a ledge of rock running into the lake. On the inner, or perpendicular face, hundreds of names are cut or scratched upon the rock. This cacoethes scribendi is the pest of every local curiosity or public watering-place. Even here, in the wilderness, it is developed.

Wise men ne'er cut their names on doors or rock-heads,
But leave the task to scribblers and to blockheads;
Pert, trifling folks, who, bent on being witty,
Scrawl on each post some fag-end of a ditty,
Spinning, with spider's web, their shallow brains,
O'er wainscots, borrowed books, or window panes.

At one o'clock the wind became decidedly fair, and the men, relieved from their paddles, are nearly all asleep, in the bottom of the canoe. While the wind drives us forward beautifully I embrace the time to resume my narrative of early journeyings, dropt yesterday.

In the year 1808, my father removed from Albany to Oneida County. I remained at the old homestead in Guilderland, in charge of his affairs, until the following year, when I also came to the west. The next spring I was offered handsome inducements to go to the Genesee country, by a manufacturing company, who contemplated the saving of a heavy land transportation from Albany on the article of window-glass, if the rude materials employed in it could be found in that area of country. I visited it with that view; found its native resources ample, and was still more delighted with the flourishing appearance of this part of the Western country than I had been with Utica and its environs. Auburn, Geneva, Canandaigua, and other incipient towns, seemed to me the germs of a land "flowing with milk and honey."

In 1811, I went on a second trip to Philadelphia, and executed the object of it with a success equal to my initial visit. On this trip I had letters to some gentlemen at Philadelphia, who received me in a most clever spirit, and I visited the Academy of Arts, Peale's Museum, the Water Works, Navy Yard, &c. I here received my first definite ideas of painting and sculpture. I returned with new stores of information and new ideas of the world, but I had lost little or nothing of my primitive simplicity of feeling or rustic notions of human perfection. And, as I began to see something of the iniquities of men, I clung more firmly to my native opinions.

My personal knowledge of my native State, and of the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was now superior to that of most men with whom I was in the habit of conversing, and I subsequently made several little journeys and excursions that furthered me in the knowledge.

As yet, I knew nothing by personal observation of New England. In the early part of 1813, having completed my nineteenth year, I went to Middlebury, in Vermont, on the banks of Otter Creek, where, I understand, my great-grandfather, who was an Englishman, to have died. Soon after I accompanied Mr. Ep. Jones, a man of decided enterprise, but some eccentricities of character, on an extensive tour through the New England States. We set out from Lake Dunmore, in Salisbury, in a chaise, and proceeding over the Green Mountains across the State of Vermont, to Bellows' Falls, on the Connecticut River, there struck the State of New Hampshire, and went across it, and a part of Massachusetts, to Boston. Thence, after a few days' stop, we continued our route to Hartford, the seat of government of Connecticut, and thence south to the valley of the Hudson at Rhinebeck. Here we crossed the Hudson to Kingston (the Esopus of Indian days), and proceeded inland, somewhat circuitously, to the Catskill Mountains; after visiting which, we returned to the river, came up its valley to Albany, and returned, by way of Salem, to Salisbury. All this was done with one horse, a compact small-boned animal, who was a good oats-eater, and of whom we took the very best care. I made this distich on him:--

Feed me well with oats and hay,
And I'll carry you forty miles a-day.

This long and circuitous tour gave me a general idea of this portion of the Union, and enabled me to institute many comparisons between the manners and customs and advantages of New York and New England.

I am again compelled to lay my pencil aside by the quantity of water thrown into the canoe by the paddles of the men, who have been roused up by the increasing waves.

4th. We went on under a press of sail last evening until eight o'clock, when we encamped in a wide sandy bay in the Straits of Michigan, having come a computed distance of 80 miles. On looking about, we found in the sand the stumps of cedar pickets, forming an antique enclosure, which, I judged, must have been the first site of the Mission of St. Ignace, founded by Pierre Marquette, upwards of a hundred and eighty years ago. Not a lisp of such a ruin had been heard by me previously. French and Indian tradition says nothing of it. The inference is, however, inevitable. Point St. Ignace draws its name from it. It was afterwards removed and fixed at the blunt peninsula, or headland, which the Indians call Peekwutino, the old Mackinac of the French.

Leaving this spot at an early hour, we went to Point St. Ignace to breakfast, and made the traverse to the Island of Michilimackinac by eleven o'clock. We were greeted by a number of persons on the beach; among them was Mr. Agnew, of the Sault, who reported friends all well. This was a great relief to my mind, as I had been for a number of days under the impression that some one near and dear to me was ill. It was Sunday morning; many of the inhabitants were at church, and appearances indicated more respect for the day than I recollect to have noticed before. The good effect of the mission established in the island, under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Ferry, are clearly visible. Mr. Robert Stuart invited me to take a room at the company's house, which I declined, but dined and supped there.


Journey from Mackinac to the Sault Ste. Marie--Outard Point--Head winds--Lake Huron in a rage--Desperate embarkation--St. Vital--Double the Detour--Return to St. Mary's--Letters--"Indian girl"--New volume of travels--Guess' Cherokee alphabet--New views of the Indian languages and their principles of construction--Georgia question--Post-office difficulties--Glimpses from the civilized world.

1825. Sept. 5th. I arose at seven, and we had breakfast at half-past seven. I then went to the Company's store and ordered an invoice of goods for the Indian department. This occupied the time till dinner was announced. I then went to my camp and ordered the tent to be struck and the canoe to be put into the water; but found two of my men so ill with the fever and ague that they could not go, and three others were much intoxicated. The atmosphere was very cloudy and threatening, and to attempt the traverse to Goose Island, under such circumstances, was deemed improper. Mr. Robert and David Stuart, men noted in the Astoria enterprise; Mr. Agnew, Capt. Knapp, Mr. Conner, Mr. Abbott, Mr. Currey, &c., had kindly accompanied me to the beach, but all were very urgent in their opinion that I should defer the starting. I ordered the men to be ready at two o'clock in the morning should the weather not prove tempestuous.

6th. I arose at three o'clock, but found a heavy fog enveloping the whole island, and concealing objects at a short distance. It was not till half-past six that I could embark, when the fog began to disperse, but the clearing away of the fog introduced a light head wind. I reached Goose Island, a distance of ten miles, after a march of three hours, and afterwards went to Outard Point, but could go no further from the increased violence of the wind.

Outard Point, 8 o'clock P.M. Here have I been encamped since noon, with a head wind, a dense damp atmosphere, and the lake in a foam. I expected the wind would fall with the sun, but, alas! it blows stronger than ever. I fondly hoped on quitting Mackinac this morning, that I should see home to-morrow, but that is now impossible. How confidently do we hope and expect in this life, and how little do we know what is to befall us for even a few hours beyond the present moment. It has pleased the All-wise Being to give me an adverse wind, and I must submit to it. I, doubtless, exulted too soon and too much. On reaching Mackinac, I said to myself: "My journey is accomplished; my route to the Sault is nothing; I can go there in a day and a half, wind or no wind." This vanity and presumption is now punished, and, I acknowledge, justly. I should have left it to Providence. Wise are the ways of the Almighty, and salutary all His dispensations to man. Were we not continually put in mind of an overruling Providence by reverses of this kind, the human heart, exalted with its own consequence, would soon cease to implore protection from on high.

I feel solitary. The loud dashing of the waves on shore, and the darkness and dreariness of all without my tent, conspire to give a saddened train to my reflections. I endeavored to divert myself, soon after landing, by a stroll along the shore. I sought in vain among the loose fragments of rock for some specimens worthy of preservation. I gleaned the evidences of crystallization and the traces of organic forms among the cast-up fragments of limestone and sandstone. I amused myself with the reflection that I should, perhaps, meet you coming from an opposite direction on the beach, and I half fancied that, perhaps, it would actually take place. Vain sport of the mind! It served to cheat away a tedious hour, and I returned to my tent fatigued and half sick. I am in hopes a cup of tea and a night's rest will restore my equipoise of mind and body. Thus

"Every pang that rends the heart,
Bids expectation rise."

7th. Still detained on this bleak and desolate Point. A heavy rain and very strong gale continued all night. The rain was driven with such violence as to penetrate through the texture of my tent, and fall copiously upon me. Daybreak brought with it no abatement of the storm, but presented to my view a wide vista of white foaming surge as far as the eye could reach. In consequence of the increasing violence of the storm, I was compelled to order my baggage and canoe to be removed, and my tent to be pitched back among the trees. How long I am to remain here I cannot conjecture. It is a real equinoxial storm. My ears are stunned with the incessant roaring of the water and the loud murmuring of the wind among the foliage. Thick murky clouds obscure the sky, and a chill damp air compels me to sit in my tent with my cloak on. I may exclaim, in the language of the Chippewas, Tyau, gitche sunnahgud (oh, how hard is my fate.)

At two o'clock I made another excursion to view the broad lake and see if some favorable sign could not be drawn, but returned with nothing to cast a gleam on the angry vista. It seemed as if the lake was convulsed to its bottom.

What narrowed pleasures swell the bosom here,
A shore most sterile, and a clime severe,
Where every shrub seems stinted in its size,
"Where genius sickens and where fancy dies."

If to the lake I cast my longing view,
The curling waves their noisy way pursue;
That noise reminds me of my prison-strand,
Those waves I most admire, but cannot stand.

If to the shore I cast my anxious eye,
There broken rocks and sand commingled lie,
Mixed with the wrecks of shells and weeds and wood,
Crushed by the storm and driven by the flood.

E'en fishes there, high cast upon the shore,
Yet pant with life and stain the rocks with gore.
Would here the curious eye expect to meet
Aught precious in the sands beneath his feet,
Ores, gems, or crystals, fitting for the case,
No spot affords so poor, so drear a place.
Rough rounded stones, the sport of every wind,
Is all th' inquirer shall with caution find.
A beach unvaried spreads before the eye;
Drear is the land and stormy is the sky.

Would the fixed eye, that dotes on sylvan scenes,
Draw pleasure from these dark funereal greens,
These stunted cedars and low scraggy pines,
Where nature stagnates and the soil repines--

Alas! the source is small--small every bliss,
That e'er can dwell on such a place as this.
Bleak, barren, sandy, dreary, and confined,
Bathed by the waves and chilled by every wind;
Without a flower to beautify the scene,
Without a cultured shore--a shady green--
Without a harbor on a dangerous shore,
Without a friend to joy with or deplore.
He who can feel one lonely ray of bliss
In such a thought-appalling spot as this,
His mind in fogs and mists must ever roll,
Without a heart, and torpid all his soul.

About three o'clock P.M. there was a transient gleam of sunshine, and, for a few moments, a slight abatement of wind. I ordered my canoe and baggage taken inland to another narrow little bay, having issue into the lake, where the water was calm enough to permit its being loaded; but before this was accomplished, a most portentous cloud gathered in the west, and the wind arose more fierce than before. Huron, like an offended and capricious mistress, seemed to be determined, at last, on fury, and threw herself into the most extravagant attitudes. I again had my tent pitched, and sat down quietly to wait till the tempest should subside; but up to a late hour at night the elemental war continued, and, committing myself to the Divine mercy, I put out my candle and retired to my pallet.

8th. The frowning mistress, Lake Huron, still has the pouts. About seven o'clock I walked, or scrambled my way through close-matted spruce and brambles to get a view of the open lake. The force of the waves was not, perhaps, much different from the day before, but they were directly from the west, and blowing directly down the lake. Could I get out from the nook of a bay where I was encamped, and get directly before them, it appeared possible, with a close-reefed sail, to go on my way. My engagees thought it too hazardous to try, but their habitual sense of obedience to a bourgeoise led them to put the canoe in the water, and at 10 o'clock we left our encampment on Outard Point, got out into the lake, not without imminent hazard, and began our career "like a racehorse" for the Capes of the St. Mary's. The wind blew as if "'twad blawn its last." We had reefed our sail to less than four feet, and I put an extra man with the steersman. We literally went "on the wings of the wind." I do not think myself ever to have run such hazards. I was tossed up and down the waves like Sancho Panza on the blanket. Three hours and twenty minutes brought me to Isle St. Vital, behind which we got shelter. The good saint who presides over the island of gravel and sand permitted me to take a glass of cordial from my basket, and to refresh myself with a slice of cold tongue and a biscuit. Who this St. Vital may have been, I know not, having been brought up a Protestant; but I suppose the Catholic calendar would tell. If his saintship was as fond of good living as some of his friends are said to be, I make no doubt but he will freely forgive this trespass upon his territory. Taking courage by this refreshment, we again put out before the gale, and got in to the De Tour, and by seven o'clock, P.M., were safely encamped on an island in St. Mary's Straits, opposite St. Joseph's. The wind was here ahead.

On entering the straits, I found a vessel at anchor. On coming alongside it proved to be the schooner Harriet, Capt. Allen, of Mont Clemens, on her way from the Sault. A passenger on board says that he was at Mr. Johnston's house two days ago, and all are well. He says the Chippewa chiefs arrived yesterday. Regret that I had not forwarded by them the letter which I had prepared at the Prairie to transmit by Mr. Holliday, when I supposed I should return by way of Chippewa River and Lake Superior.

I procured from the Harriet a whitefish, of which I have just partaken a supper. This delicious fish is always a treat to me, but was never more so than on the present occasion. I landed here fatigued, wet, and cold, but, from the effects of a cheerful fire, good news from home, and bright anticipations for to-morrow, I feel quite re-invigorated. "Tired nature's sweet restorer" must complete what tea and whitefish have so successfully begun.

9th. My journal has no entry for this day, but it brought me safely (some 40 miles) to my own domicil at "Elmwood." The excitement of getting back and finding all well drove away almost all other thoughts.

The impressions made on society by our visit to New York, and the circles in which we moved, are given in a letter from Mr. Saml. C. Conant, of the 19th July, which I found among those awaiting my arrival. To introduce a descendant of one of the native race into society, as had been done in my choice, was not an ordinary event, and did not presuppose, it seems, ordinary independence of character. Her grandfather, by the maternal side, had been a distinguished chief of his nation at the ancient council-fire, or seat of its government at Chegoimegon and Lapointe. By her father, a native of Antrim, in the north of Ireland, she was connected with a class of clergy and gentry of high respectability, including the Bishop of Dromore and Mr. Saurin, the Attorney-General of Ireland. Two very diverse sources of pride of ancestry met in her father's family--that of the noble and free sons of the forest, and that of ancestral origin founded on the notice of British aristocracy. With me, the former was of the highest honor, when I beheld it, as it was in her case, united to manners and education in a marked degree gentle, polished, retiring, and refined. No two such diverse races and states of society, uniting to produce such a result, had ever come to my notice, and I was, of course, gratified when any persons of intellect and refinement concurred in the wisdom of my choice. Such was Mr. Conant and his family, a group ever to be remembered with kindness and respect. Having passed some weeks in his family, with her infant boy and nurse, during my absence South, his opportunities for judging were of the best kind.

"If you will suffer me to indulge the expression of both my own and Mrs. Conant's feelings, I am sure that you cannot but be pleased that the frankness and generosity of one, and the virtues and gentleness of the other of you, have made so lively an impression on our hearts, and rendered your acquaintance to us a matter of very sweet and grateful reflection. Truly modest and worthy persons often exhibit virtues and possess attainments so much allied to their nature as to be themselves unconscious of the treasures. It does not hurt such ones to be informed of their good qualities.

"When I first visited Mr. Schoolcraft, I looked about for his Indian girl. I carried such a report to my wife that we were determined to seek her acquaintance, and were not less surprised than recompensed to find such gentleness, urbanity, affection, and intelligence, under circumstances so illy calculated, as might be supposed, to produce such amiable virtues. But all have learned to estimate human nature more correctly, and to determine that nature herself, not less than the culture of skillful hands, has much to do with the refinement and polish of the mind.

"Mr. S.'s book ('Trav. Cent. Ports. Miss. Valley') has also received several generous and laudatory notices; one from the U.S. Literary Gazette, printed at Boston. I saw Gov. Clinton, also, who spoke very highly both of the book and the author. He thought that Mr. W.'s ill-natured critique would not do any injury either here or in Europe."

Oct. 23d. C.C. Trowbridge, Esq., sends me a copy of "Guess' Cherokee Alphabet." It is, with a few exceptions, syllabic. Eighty-four characters express the whole language, but will express no other Indian language.

Maj. John Biddle communicates the result of the delegate election. By throwing out the vote of Sault Ste. Marie, the election was awarded by the canvassers to Mr. Wing.

New views of Indian philology. "You know," says a literary friend, "I began with a design to refute the calumnies of the Quarterly respecting our treatment of the Indians, and our conduct during the recent war. This is precisely what I have not done. My stock of materials for this purpose was most ample, and the most of the labor performed. But I found the whole could not be inserted in one number, and no other part but this could be omitted without breaking the continuity of the discussion. I concluded, therefore, it would be better to save it for another article, and hereafter remodel it."

28th. Mr. C. writes that he has completed his review, and transmits, for my perusal, some of the new parts of it. "I also transmit my rough draft of those parts of the review which relate to Hunter, to Adelang's survey, and to ----. These may amuse an idle hour. The remarks on ---- are, as you will perceive, materially altered. The alteration was rendered necessary by an examination of the work. The 'survey' is a new item, and I think, you will consider, the occasion of it, with me, a precious specimen of Dutch impudence and ignorance. Bad as it is, it is bepraised and bedaubed by that quack D. as though it were written with the judgment of a Charlevoix."

This article utters a species of criticism in America which we have long wanted.

It breaks the ice on new ground--the ground of independent philosophical thought and inquiry. Truth to tell, we have known very little on the philosophy of the Indian languages, and that little has been the re-echo of foreign continental opinions. It has been written without a knowledge of the Indian character and history. Its allusions have mixed up the tribes in double confusion. Mere synonyms have been taken for different tribes, and their history and language has been criss-crossed as if the facts had been heaped together with a pitchfork. Mr. C. has made a bold stroke to lay the foundation of a better and truer philological basis, which must at last prevail. It is true the prestige of respected names will rise up to oppose the new views, which, I confess, to be sustained in their main features by my own views and researches here on the ground and in the midst of the Indians, and men will rise to sustain the old views--the original literary mummery and philological hocus-pocus based on the papers and letters and blunders of Heckewelder. There was a great predisposition to admire and overrate everything relative to Indian history and language, as detailed by this good and sincere missionary in his retirement at Bethlehem. He was appealed to as an oracle. This I found by an acquaintance which I formed, in 1810, with the late amiable Dr. Wistar, while rusticating at Bristol, on the banks of the Delaware. The confused letters which the missionary wrote many years later, were mainly due to Dr. Wistar's philosophical interest in the subject. They were rewritten and thoroughly revised and systematized by the learned Mr. Duponceau, in 1816, and thus the philological system laid, which was published by the Penn. Hist. Soc. in 1819. During the six years that has elapsed, nobody has had the facts to examine the system. It has been now done, and I shall be widely mistaken if this does not prove a new era in our Indian philology.

Whatever the review does on this head, however, and admitting that it pushes some positions to an ultra point, it will blow the impostor Hunter sky high. His book is an utter fabrication, in which there is scarcely a grain of truth hid in a bushel of chaff.

Nov. 4th. Difficulties have arisen, at this remote post, between the citizens and the military, the latter of whom have shown a disposition to feel power and forget right, by excluding, except with onerous humiliations, some citizens from free access to the post-office. In a letter of this date, the Postmaster-General (Mr. McLean) declines to order the office to be kept out of the fort, and thus, in effect, decides against the citizens. How very unimportant a citizen is 1000 miles from the seat of government! The national aegis is not big enough to reach so far. The bed is too long for the covering. A man cannot wrap himself in it. It is to be hoped that the Postmaster-General will live long enough to find out that he has been deceived in this matter.

29th. Mr. Conant, of New York, writes: "I hope you will not fail to prosecute your Indian inquiries this winter, getting out of them all the stories and all the Indian you can. I conclude you hear an echo now and then from the big world, notwithstanding your seclusion. The Creek Delegation is at Washington, unfriendly to the late treaty, and I expect some changes not a little interesting to the aboriginal cause. Mr. Adams looks at his 'red children' with a friendly eye, and, I trust, 'the men of his house,' as the Indian orator called Congress, will prove themselves so. I have been charmed with the quietude and coolness manifested in Congress in reference to the Georgia business."

And with these last words from the civilized world, we are prepared to plunge into another winter, with all its dreary accompaniments of ice and snow and tempests, and with the consoling reflection that when our poor and long-looked-for monthly express arrives, we can get our letters and papers from the office after duly performing our genuflections to a petty military chief, with the obsequiousness of a Hindoo to the image of Juggernaut.


General aspects of the Indian cause--Public criticism on the state of Indian researches, and literary storm raised by the new views--Political rumor--Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.--Delegate election--Copper mines of Lake Superior--Instructions for a treaty in the North--Death of Mr. Pettit--Denial of post-office facilities--Arrival of commissioners to hold the Fond du Lac treaty--Trip to Fond du Lac through Lake Superior--Treaty--Return--Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

1826. Feb. 1st. The year opens with unfavorable symptoms for the Indian cause. The administration is strong in Congress, and the President favorable to the Indian view of their right to the soil they occupy east of the Mississippi until it is acquired by free cession. But the doctrine of state sovereignty contended for by Georgia, seems to be an element which all the States will, in the end, unite in contending for. And the Creeks may settle their accounts with the fact that they must finally go to the West. This is a practical view of the subject--a sort of political necessity which seems to outride everything else. Poetry and sympathy are rode over roughshod in the contest for the race. We feel nothing of this here at present, but it is only, perhaps, because we are too remote and unimportant to waste a thought about. Happy insignificance! As one of the little means of supporting existence in so remote a spot, and keeping alive, at the same time, the spark of literary excitement, I began, in December, a manuscript jeu d'esprit newspaper, to be put in covers and sent from house to house, with the perhaps too ambitious cognomen of "The Literary Voyager."

6th. The author of a leading and pungent critique for the North American Review writes in fine spirits from Washington, and in his usual literary tone and temper about his review: "Dr. Sparks' letter will show you his opinion. He altered the manuscript in some places, and makes me say of--what I do not think and what I would not have said. But let that pass. I gave him carte blanche, so I have no right to find fault with his exercise of his discretion. W. is in a terrible passion. He says that the article is written with ability, and that he always entertained the opinion expressed in the review of Heckewelder's work. But he is provoked at the comments on ----'s work, and, above all, at the compliment to you. Douglass, who is here, says this is merely Philadelphia versus New York, and that it is a principle with the former to puff all that is printed there, and to decry all that is not."

This appears to have been known to Gov. Clinton, and is the ground of the opinion he expressed of W. to Mr. Conant.

March 6th. Col. De Garmo Jones writes from Detroit that it is rumored that McLean is to leave the General Post-office Department, and to be appointed one of the United States Judges.

Mr. L. Pettibone, of Missouri, my companion in exploring the Ozark Mountains in 1818 and 1819, writes from that quarter that his brother, Rufus Pettibone, Esq., of St. Louis, died on the 31st July last. He was a man of noble, correct, and generous sentiments, who had practiced law with reputation in Western New York. I accompanied him and his family on going to the Western country, on his way from Olean to Pittsburgh. His generous and manly character and fair talents, make his death a loss to the community, and to the growing and enterprising population of the West. He was one of the men who cheered me in my early explorations in the West, and ever met me with a smile.

7th. My sister Maria writes, posting me up in the local news of Detroit.

9th. Mr. Trowbridge informs me that Congress settled the contested delegate question by casting aside the Sault votes. We are so unimportant that even our votes are considered as worthless. However that may be, nothing could be a greater misrepresentation than that "Indians from their lodges were allowed to vote."

14th. Col. Thomas H. Benton, of the Senate, writes that an appropriation of $10,000 has been granted for carrying out a clause in the Prairie du Chien treaty, and that a convocation of the Indians in Lake Superior will take place, "so that the copper-mine business is arranged."

17th. Maj. Joseph Delafield, of New York, says that Baron Lederer is desirous of entering into an arrangement for the exchange of my large mass of Lake Superior copper, for mineralogical specimens for the Imperial Cabinet of Vienna.

April 16th. A letter from the Department contains incipient directions for convening the Indians to meet in council at the head of Lake Superior, and committing the general arrangements for that purpose to my hands, and, indeed, my hands are already full. Boats, canoes, supplies, transportation for all who are to go, and a thousand minor questions, call for attention. A treaty at Fond du Lac, 500 miles distant, and the throwing of a commissariat department through the lake, is no light task.

27th. A moral question of much interest is presented to me in a communication from the Rev. Alvan Coe. Of the disinterested nature and character of this man's benevolence for the Indian race, no man knowing him ever doubted. He has literally been going about doing good among them since our first arrival here in 1822. In his zeal to shield them from the arts of petty traders, he has often gone so far as to incur the ill-will and provoke the slanderous tongues of some few people. That he should deem it necessary to address me a letter to counteract such rumors, is the only thing remarkable. Wiser, in some senses, and more prudent people in their worldly affairs, probably exist; but no man of a purer, simpler, and more exalted faith. No one whom I ever knew lives less for "the rewards that perish." Even Mr. Laird, whose name is mentioned in these records, although he went far beyond him in talents, gifts, and acquirements of every sort, had not a purer faith, yet he will, like that holy man, receive his rewards from the same "Master."

May 2d. Mr. Trowbridge writes me of the death of Wm. W. Pettit, Esq., of Detroit, a man respected and admired. He loaned me a haversack, suitable for a loose mineral bag, on my expedition in 1820.

8th. Difficulties between the military and citizens continue. The Postmaster-General declined, on a renewed memorial of the citizens, to remove the post-office without the garrison. He says the officers have evinced "much sensibility" on the subject, and denied that "any restraints or embarrassments" have been imposed, when every man and woman in the settlement knows that the only way to the post-office lies through the guard-house, which is open and shut by tap of drum. Restraints, indeed! Where has the worthy Postmaster-General picked up his military information?

June 6th. Definite information is received that the appropriation for the Lake Superior treaty has passed Congress.

10th. Mr. John Agnew, designated a special agent for preliminaries at Fond du Lac, writes of his prompt arrival at that place and good progress.

Gov. C. writes: "We must remove the copper-rock, and, therefore, you will have to provide such ropes and blocks as may be necessary."

22d. The citizens on this frontier, early in the season, petitioned the Legislative Council for the erection of a new county, embracing the Straits of St. Mary's and the Basin of Lake Superior, proposing to call it Chippewa, in allusion to the tribe occupying it. Maj. Robert A. Forsyth, of Detroit, M.C., writes of the success of the contemplated measure.

July 4th. The proposed treaty of Fond du Lac has filled the place with bustle for the last month. At an early hour this morning expectation was gratified by the arrival of His Excellency, Gov. Cass, accompanied by the Hon. Thomas L. McKenney, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. They reached the village in boats from Mackinac.

These gentlemen are appointed by the President to hold the conferences at Fond du Lac.

10th. Everything has been put in requisition for the last six days to facilitate the necessary embarkation. Jason could not have been more busy in preparing for his famous expedition to Argos. The military element of the party consisted of a company of the 2d Infantry, with its commissariat and medical department, numbering, all told, sixty-two men. It was placed under the command of Capt. Boardman. They embarked in three twelve-oared barges, and formed the advance. The provisions, presents of goods, and subsistence supplies of the commissioners' table, occupied four boats, and went next. I proceeded in a canoe allége with ten men, with every appendage to render the trip convenient and agreeable. Col. McKenney, struck with "the coach-and-six" sort of style of this kind of conveyance, determined to take a seat with me, and relying upon our speed and capacity to overtake the heavy boats, we embarked a day later. The whole expedition, with flags and music, was spread out over miles, and formed an impressive and imposing spectacle to the natives, who saw their "closed lake," as Superior was called in 1820, yield before the Anglo-Saxon power. The weather was fine, the scenery enchanting, and the incidents such as might fill a volume.[45] We were eighteen days in traversing the lake by its shores and bays. The distance is about 530 miles, which gives an average of thirty miles per day.

[45] Vide "Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes, of the Character and Customs of the Chippewa Indians, and of Incidents connected with the Treaty of Fond du Lac, by Thomas L. McKenney." Baltimore, Fielding Lucas, 1827; one vol. 8vo., 493 pp.

On reaching the post of Fond du Lac, of St. Louis, near the point where that bold stream deploys below the Cabotian Mountains,[46] we found a large assemblage of Indians from every part of the wide-spread Chippewa territories. It embraced delegations from the extreme sources of the Mississippi, the Rainy Lake borders, and Old Grand Portage, besides the entire American borders of Lake Superior and the Rice Lake region, the sources of the Wisconsin, Chippewa, and St. Croix valleys. The negotiations were held under a large bower, supported by posts, and provided with rude seats. The principles of the treaty of Prairie du Chien, of 1825, were fully explained and assented to. They ceded the right to explore and take away the native copper and copper-ores, and to work the mines and minerals in the country. They agreed to surrender the murderers still inland, who belonged to the misguided war party of 1824. They fully acknowledged the sovereign authority of the United States, and disclaimed all connection whatever with foreign powers. They stipulated that the boundary lines of the treaty of Prairie du Chien should be carried out in 1827 with the Menomonies and Winnebagoes, in the region of the sources of the Fox, Wisconsin, and Menomonee rivers. They provided for an Indian school at St. Mary's, and made some further important stipulations respecting their advance in the arts and education, through the element of their half-breeds. The effects of this treaty were to place our Indian relations in this quarter on a permanent basis, and to ensure the future peace of the frontier. My agency was now fixed on a sure basis, and my influence fully established among the tribes. During the treaty I had been the medium of placing about forty silver medals, of the first, second, and third classes, on the necks of the chiefs. A list of their names is appended.

[46] From Cabot.

While the Commissioners were engaged in the treaty, an effort was made, under their direction, to get out the large copper-boulder on the Ontonagon. It was entrusted to Col. Clemens, of Mount Clemens, and a Mr. Porter. The trucks and ropes taken inland by them proved inadequate. They then piled up the dry trees in the valley on the rock, and set them on fire. They found this effort to melt it inefficacious. They then poured on water from the river on whose brink it lays. This cracked off some of the adhering rock. And this attempt to mutilate and falsify the noblest specimen of native copper on the globe was the result of this effort.

The whole expedition re-embarked on the 9th of August, and being now relieved of its heavy supplies and favored with winds, returned to the Sault St. Marie on the 18th of that month.

No sooner were we arrived at St. Mary's than we were informed of the remarkable coincident deaths, on the 4th July, 1826, of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third Presidents of the United States.

Among the letters accumulated during my absence, was one of Aug. 2d, from Gov. Clinton, requesting some wild rice for foreign distribution.

Another one was from my excellent friend Conant, of N.Y., who, with a fine sensitive mind, just appreciation of facts, and no ordinary capacity, appears to be literally breaking down in health and spirits, although still a young man. In a joint letter to Mrs. S. and myself, he says: "It appears you do not escape afflictions and visitations to teach you 'how frail you are,' how liable at any moment to render up to Him who gave them, your spirit and your life. Mr. S.," he adds, in evident allusion to my excess of "hope," "firm in body and ambitious in his pursuits, does not, I suppose, give over yet, and can scarcely understand how anybody should tire of life, and look at its pursuits with disgust."

Among my unread letters was one, Aug. 28th, from a Mr. Myer and Mr. Cocke, of Washington, District of Columbia, who propose to establish a periodical to be called "The Potomac Magazine," and solicit contributions. These abortive attempts to establish periodicals by unknown men are becoming more frequent as population increases in the land. It is felt truly that the number of readers must increase, but it is a mistake to suppose that they will read anything but the very best matter from the first sources, European and American. It is, at any rate, a mistake to suppose that a man who has attained reputation in any branch of science, literature, or general knowledge, should not seek the highest medium of communicating it, or that he would throw away his time and efforts in writing for these mere idealities of magazines without the strong inducements of either fame, money, or, at least, personal friendship.

E.A. Brush, Esq., of Detroit, writes (Aug. 28th) from Mackinac, that honors were performed that day by the military authorities on the island, in commemoration of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson. "The obsequies have this morning commenced here; but at this moment it is rather difficult to select the report of a cannon, at intervals of half an hour, from the claps of thunder at those of half a minute."

Aug. 20th. Mr. Robert Stuart, agent of the A.M. Fur Co., writes a letter of congratulations on the good policy to result from placing a sub-agent at La Pointe, in Lake Superior, a location where the interior tricks of the trade may be reported for the notice of the government. The selection of the sub-agent appointed by Commissioner McKenney is gall and wormwood to him. He strives to conceal the deep chagrin he feels at the selection of Mr. George Johnston as the incumbent.


Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit--Death of Henry J. Hunt and A. G. Whitney, Esqrs.--Diary of the visits of Indians at St. Mary's Agency--Indian affairs on the frontier under the supervision of Col. McKenney--Criticisms on the state of Indian questions--Topic of Indian eloquence--State of American researches in natural science--Dr. Saml. L. Mitchell.

1826. September. Sickness, which often assumed a mortal type, broke out during this month at Detroit, and carried away many of its most esteemed citizens. Col. McKenney writes (Sep. 13th) that the Commissioners reached that place from Mackinac in ten days, and that an alarming sickness prevails--one hundred cases! Among the latter is Mrs. Judge Hunt, an esteemed lady.

Gov. C. (Sep. 14th) announces the death of Col. Henry J. Hunt, one of the most respectable citizens; a man who, for many years, has occupied a position of the highest respect and esteem. His honor, integrity, and general usefulness, urbanity of manners and kindness to all classes, have never been called in question, and his loss to society will create a vacancy which will long be felt. Called away suddenly, his death has produced a shock in all classes, from the highest to the lowest.

Edmund A. Brush, Esq., writes (Sept. 17th): "Our unhappy mortality prevails." On the 23d, he says: "Mr. Whitney has been lying at the point of death for the last ten or twelve days. We hope he begins to improve." These hopes were delusive. He died. Mr. Whitney had been abroad; he was an assiduous and talented advocate--a native of Hudson, N.Y.--was on the high road to political distinction--a moral man and a public loss.

I amused myself this fall by keeping notes of the official visits of my Indian neighbors. They may denote the kind of daily wants against which this people struggle.

Oct. 2d. Monetogeezhig complained that he had not been able to take any fish for several days, and solicited some food for himself and family, being five persons. The dress and general appearance of himself and wife and the children, nearly naked, bore evidence to the truth of his repeated expressions, that they were "poor, very poor, and hungry." He also presented a kettle and an axe to be repaired. I gave him a ticket on the Agency blacksmith, and caused sixteen rations of flour and pork to be issued to him.

3d. The petty chief, Cheegud, with his wife and two children, arrived from Lake Superior, and reported that since leaving the Taquimenon he had killed nothing. While inland, he had broken his axe and trap. This young chief is son-in-law of Shingauba W'ossin, principal chief of the Chippewas. He is one of the home band, has been intimate at the agency from its establishment, and is very much attached to the government. He attended the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1825, and the treaty of Fond du Lac, in 1826, and received at the latter a medal of the third size. He has always properly appreciated the presents given him, and by his temperate, consistent, and respectable course of life, merited attention. Directed a ticket on the shop and twenty rations.

6th. An Indian woman, wife of Sirdeland, a resident Canadian, in very low circumstances, and living in the Indian mode, requested a kettle to be mended. My rule, in cases of this sort, excludes Indian females who are under the protection of Canadian husbands from a participation in the presents distributed at the office. But it is proper to make exceptions, in some instances, where repairs of ironwork are solicited. Directed a ticket on the blacksmith.

13th. Issued to Waykwauking and family twelve rations.

16th. Shingwaukoance, The Little Pine (17th July, 1822, first visit), accompanied by twenty persons, visited the office. This is one of the signers of the Treaty of St. Mary of 1820, where his mark is prefixed to his French name, Augustin Bart. He told me he had come to visit me, attended with all his young men, and requested I would listen to what he had to say. He made a speech at great length, in which he recapitulated his good offices and exertions towards the Americans, from the time of Gov. Cass's arrival in 1820. He stated that a plot had then been formed to cut off the Gov.'s party, and that he and Mr. G. Johnston had been instrumental in thwarting the design. He was glad to see the fire I had lighted up here in 1822 was kept burning, that the Indians might come and warm themselves by it. He had now determined to come and live permanently on the American side of the river, and put himself under my protection.

He repeated his friendship, and gave a "parole" of blue wampum to confirm his words. One of his party then lighted a pipe and handed it to me to smoke in the usual manner. Caused tobacco and sixty rations of food to be distributed among his band.

20th. Oshawano solicited food, declaring that his boys had not been able to take any fish from the rapids for several days. This is an old man, and a chief resident at St. Mary's. I told him that it was not my practice, which he knew, to issue provision to the families of fishermen during the fishing season, and that I expected his children to supply him; that, besides, he was one of the persons who had visited the B. Post at D. Isd. during the last summer, and that he knew I made no presents of any kind to Indians who received presents there; that if he went to his B. father in the summer, when it was pleasant weather, he must also go in the fall and winter, when the weather was bad; that if they gave him presents of goods, they must also give him food. He looked very grave, and, after a short silence, said that he had got little or nothing at D.I. He said his home was here, and he was very poor, &c. Knowing, from personal observation, that he was suffering for food, I ordered twenty-six-rations.

21st. Cheegud came to say that he was about to go to his wintering grounds, and wished some provisions to commence the journey. This young chief has been welcomed at the agency, and is friendly to the American government. He attended the treaties of P.D.C. and F. du Lac; at the latter he received a medal. He has always appreciated attentions, and by his sober, consistent, and respectful course of life, merits the notice of the office. I gave him some necessary ironwork, a knife, tobacco, ammunition, provisions (18).

23d. Visited by Shingauwosh (4 p.)

24th. Akeewayzee (4 per.)

26th. Keewikoance and band, eleven persons. This is a chief residing on the lower part of the river St. Mary. Having visited him last spring, he gave me an ancient clay pot, such as the Indians used before the arrival of Europeans. He told me he was the seventh chief, in a direct line, since the French first arrived. He and his band plant some corn and potatoes upon an island. He appears a sensible discreet man, and has a good deal of the pride and dignity of the Indian character. He is in the British interest, and his feelings are all that way, being always received at D. I. with marked attention. He has a British medal, but wishes to keep on friendly terms here.

28th. Metosh came in the office and said: "My father, I am very poor; I have nothing, not even an axe to cut wood. Show me pity." Thirteen rations.

30th. Visited by Wayishkee, a chief, having a medal of the first class, formerly of La Pointe, in Lake Superior, and of an ancient line of chiefs, but for the last three years a resident of St. Mary's. He had a wife and nine children. Has been in the constant habit of visiting the office since its establishment; but it is only within the last year that he has given up visiting D. I. He is one of the signers of the treaty of St. Mary. He attended the treaty of F. du Lac last summer. Received a medal and flag from me in the spring. Is a good hunter and a kind and affectionate parent. Had all his children by one wife. Came to inform me that he was on his way to make his first hunt on Red Carp river, L. S. Gave him ironwork, &c.

30th. Neegaubeyun, The West Wind, a chief by descent of the home band; is a man about forty; has lost one eye; much given to intemperance, and generally badly clothed; will sometimes labor for whisky; visits D.I. every season. In consequence of his poor character and political bias, has never been recognized by me as a chief, nor honored with the marks of one. He said that he was poor, and did not come to trouble me often, and hoped I would show him charity. I told him he must not construe my charity into approbation of his conduct, particularly his visits to D.I., which were displeasing to me and had been forbidden by his American Father (3b.)

30th. Muckudaywuckooneyea. This is a young man about 18. His father was a steady friend to the American cause even during the late war, and many years before an Agent resided here. He had received a Jefferson medal at Detroit; was drowned in the St. Mary a few years ago. The son has been an irregular visitor at the office for the last four years, and is ambitious to be invested with the authority of his father, but possesses neither age, ability, or discretion. In consequence of his visiting D.I., contrary to my request and his promise, I took away his father's medal from him, in 1823, hanging it up in my office, and telling him when he was worthy of it, and not before, he should have it. His conduct of late has been more considerate, and his professions of friendship for the American government are profuse; but he has not ceased his Canada visits. Ten rations.

Nov. 5th. Ketuckeewagauboway. This being Sunday, I told him he knew very well that I never listened to Indians on the Prayer Day unless they were just come from a journey, &c. He went away, saying he had forgot, &c.

6th. Oshkinaway and brother, 18 p., of the British shore. Brought a present of some partridges.

7th. Metacosegay. This man resides the greater part of the time on the Canadian side of the river, but hunts often on the American shore. He resided many years ago with a French family at St. Mary, and has imbibed something of the French taste and manners, always wearing an ornamental hat, and making a bow on entering and leaving the office. He has been in the regular habit of visiting me from the year 1822, and generally applies for what is termed nwappo on setting out for his fall and winter hunts. His elder wife, for he has two, is a Sioux slave, taken in youth. (3, 12 r.)

7th. Nauwequay Wegauboway. (4, 20.)

9th. This day Bisconaosh visited me for the first time since my residence here. He came with his wife and two children. This man is of the ancient band of the Falls, but being strongly attached to the British government, has been shy of approaching me. This has been taken advantage of by Mr. E., a trader on the opposite shore, who told him the Americans would cause him to be whipped, with other idle stuff of that sort, if he came over. He stated these facts as the cause for his not coming earlier to see me, and said he was anxious to return to the seat of his forefathers, &c. Presented him with an axe, pair of spears, ice-chisel, knife, and a couple of flints, and with sixteen rations of flour, pork, and beans. 10th. Ketuckeewagauboway. This is a resident Indian of this place. He is a fisherman during the summer, and scarcely ever does more in the winter than to snare hares or kill partridges, which he exposes for sale. He also makes snow-shoes, &c. He is intemperate and improvident, wasting in liquor what would be useful to his family if laid out for provisions, &c. It is impossible to avoid issues to such persons occasionally. Advice and reproof he always takes well, acknowledges their justice with good nature, and is even facetiously pleasant. This man used formerly to come to the office intoxicated; but my undeviating rule of listening to no Indian in that state, has had good effect.

10th. Kewazee, a fisherman in the fall, a hunter in the winter, is the eldest son of the old hereditary chief Oshawano. Keeps himself well clothed, and supports his family of four persons comfortably in the Indian way. Having concluded to stop fishing for the season, he came to solicit some provision to go inland. This is one of the home band who adheres to the American government, and has entirely broken off all visits to D.I., even contrary to the practice of his father and all the other members of his family.

13th. Iawbeance, The Little Male, a young man.

14th. Margret, wife of Metakoosega, came in the name of her husband, confined by a sore hand and unable to work. 3, 10.

15th. Wabishkipenaysee, 6, 18, an Ontonagon Indian, who thinks he is abandoned by his Manito.

16th. Naugitshigome and band, 12, 48. This is an old man, a chief by descent, but has neither medal nor flag from the British or American government. His followers, consisting of some relations, entitle him to some respect, although his foreign attachments have prevented my receiving him as a chief. His visits are, however, constant, and he professes himself friendly. His prejudices have evidently given way a good deal, and the kindness and charity shown to him, mixed with admonition, have produced a sensible change in his feelings.

18th. Caubaonaquet, 6, 36.

21st. Moazomonee, 4, 14, of St. Croix, L.S., made a speech, stating the circumstances which brought him down, and imploring charity in clothes, &c. Presented a pipe to him; gave him an axe, spears, chisel, fire-steel, leggings, &c.

24th. Oaugaugee, Little Crow, 4, 12, a son-in-law of Naugitchigome, brought some hares as a present.

27th. Ochipway, a stout, athletic young Indian, having a wife and children. He said his youngest child was ill, and requested a physician to be sent to see him.

27th. Negaubeyun, 12, 36.

Oshawano. Told him to come some other time. Axe and spears.

29th. Akewaizee applied for provisions and an axe, saying his axe had been stolen; that he wished to go down the river. I taxed him with selling his axe for liquor, but he denied this, saying that he never sold what he received as presents, and that it was stolen while he was fishing. Gave him an axe, with an injunction that he must take better care of it than he did of the last. Ten rations.

30th. Metacosseguay and wife. Said he had not been able to hunt or fish for some time, and had been disappointed in getting flour for some fish he had sold; that the trader had promised him flour when the vessel came, but no vessel had come. This being the third visit of this man and family within three weeks, I told him that while he was unwell I had given him, but now he was able to hunt or trap or fish, he must do so; that he came to me too often, and sometimes after he had sold the avails of his hunt, and taken the whole in liquor, he relied upon me for provisions; that I saw clearly what was going on about me, and he could not deceive me by idle stories, &c.; that he was constantly calling me father, and entreating me to look upon him as a child, and I did so, not only in giving, but also in refusing; that reasonable children did not trouble their fathers too often, and never requested anything but when they were really in need, &c. I ordered him a plug of tobacco, and told him to go to his lodge and smoke upon my words, and he would find them good. He went away seemingly as well pleased as if I had met his requests, shaking me and my interpreter cordially by the hand, and his wife dropping a curtsey as she left the office.

30th. Moazomonee, nephew, and brother-in-law, came for some muskrat traps I had promised him on his last visit. As this man belongs to a band on the head of River St. Croix, 700 miles inland, and will return there in the spring, the opinions he may imbibe of our government may have an important influence with his relatives, and I therefore determined to make a favorable impression upon him by issuing some presents. In his lodge are four men, three women, and a number of children. Issued sixteen rations.

Decr. 1st. Cath. and Gikkaw applied for awls.

2d. Oshawano and his youngest son. Said he had three daughters who had to cut wood every day, and had no axe of their own; that he was in want of an ice-chisel; fever in family. Gave him twenty rations. Thanked me and bade me good-day.

4th. Caubamossa, nephew, wife, and child. Twelve rations.

4th. Odawau, Refused provisions. Elder brother to Oshawano, alias Weenekiz.

4th. Getsha Akkewaize. Refused provisions. Told him that on account of visits to D.I., &c.

4th. Moazonee came for traps promised him, also a knife and fire-steel. Told him to hunt assiduously, but if he could procure nothing, to come to me for provisions.

7th. Merchand. Old iron to mend.

7th. Nauwaquaygahig. 12, axe, &c.

9th. Namewunagunboway. 12.

9th. Merchand. Twenty rations, five persons.

9th. Meesho.

13th. Ketetckeewagauboway. Axe and spears.

13th. Gitshee Ojibway.

13th. Metackossegay.

17th. Naugitchigome called at house. Sent off with, a reprimand never to call on Sunday.

18th. Iaubence brought some birds. Gave rations.

My correspondence during the autumn was by no means neglected. Col. McKenney, Com. Ind. Affairs, writes (Oct. 17th) in his usual friendly vein. The official influence of his visit to this remote portion of the country is seen in several things. He has placed a sub-agent at La Pointe. He has approved the agent's course of policy pursued here, and placed the Indian affairs generally on a better basis.

In his "sketches" of his recent tour, he seeks to embody personal and amusing things which daily befell the party--matters upon which he was quite at home. I had mentioned to him, while here, that the time and labor necessary to collect information on Indian topics, of a literary character, imposed a species of research worthy of departmental patronage; that I was quite willing to contribute in this way, and to devote my leisure moments to further researches on the aboriginal history and languages, if the government would appropriate means to this end. I took the occasion to put these views in writing, and, by way of earnest, enclosed him part of a vocabulary.

Nov. 1st. The false views of Indian history and philology, engendered in some degree by the misapprehensions of Mr. Heckewelder and some other writers, which were exposed by a glowing article in the North American Review last year, have had the effect to provoke further discussion. C. is disposed to prepare another article for that paper, and is looking about him keenly for new facts. In a letter of this date, he says: "I am extremely anxious for your conjugation of the Chippewa substantive verb. Let nothing prevent you from sending it to me, as it is more essential than I have time to explain to you. Send me also your observations on the Chippewa language. Let them come as you had them. Take no time to copy them."

11th. Mr. R. S. writes one of his peculiar letters, in which the sentiments seem to be compressed, as if some species of finesse were at work--an attenuated worldly precaution which leads him perpetually to half conceal sentiment, purpose and acts, as if the operations and business of life were not ten times better effected by plain straightforwardness than by any other mode. He has, however, so long dealt with tricky fur-traders and dealers in interested sentiment, that it seems his intellectual habits are formed, to some extent, on that model. What annoys me is, that he supposes himself hid, when, like the ostrich, it is only his own head that is concealed in the sand. Yet this man is alive to general moral effort, unites freely in all the benevolent movements of the day, and has the general air of friendliness in his personal manners. It continually seems that all the outer world's affairs are well judged of, but when he comes to draw conclusions of moral men who have the power of affecting his own interests, there is apparent constraint, or palpable narrow-mindedness.

29th. Professor Chas. Anthon, of Columbia College, writes for specimens of Indian eloquence. The world has been grossly misled on this subject. The great simplicity, and occasional strength, of an Indian's thoughts, have sometimes led to the use of figures and epithets of beauty. He is surrounded by all the elements of poetry and eloquence--tempests, woods, waters, skies. His mythology is poetic. His world is replete with spirits and gods of all imaginable kinds and hues. His very position--a race falling before civilization, and obliged to give up the bow and arrow for the plough--is poetic and artistic. But he has no sustained eloquence, no continuous trains of varying thought. It is the flash, the crack of contending elements. It is not the steady sound of the waterfall. Such was the eloquent appeal of Logan, revised and pointed by Gibson. Such was the more sustained speech of Garangula to La Barrie, the Governor-General of Canada, with La Hontan as a reporter. Such were the speeches of Pontiac and the eloquent Sagoyawata, or Red Jacket, the readiest reasoner of them all, which were diluted rather than improved by admiring paragraphists. Many persons have purposed to write a volume of Indian eloquence. Mr. Conant's design on this subject is fresh. The present request is to supply Mr. Barker, the publisher of "Stephen's Greek Thesaurus," Cambridge, England. What under the sun do the learned world suppose the Indians are made of? A man spending his time painfully to catch a beaver, or entrap an enemy, without stores of thought, without leisure, with nothing often to eat, and nothing to put on but tatters and rags, and, withal, with the whole Anglo-Saxon race treading on his toes and burning out his vitals with ardent spirits. Such is the Indian.

I sent the learned professor some perfectly truthful specimens, recently delivered here on the occasion of a surgeon from the fort digging up the body of an Indian woman for dissection. They expressed plain truth without eloquence, and I never heard anything more of the professor.

30th. Science in America.--I received a friendly letter from Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, N. Y. There are, of recent years, more purely scientific men in the land, no doubt, than the venerable doctor. But could this have been said truly even ten years ago? He is now, perhaps, the best ichthyologist in the Union. He is a well-read zoologist, an intelligent botanist and a general physiologist, and has been for a long series of years the focus of the diffusion of knowledge on a great variety of subjects. Gov. Clinton has well called him the "Delphic Oracle" in one of his Letters of Hibernicus, because every one who has a scientific question to ask comes to him.

"The Lyceum of Natural History," he writes, "is going on prosperously in the collection of articles and in the publication of intelligence. The museum is enlarging and the annals progressing. The intercourse of New York city with almost numberless parts of the globe, aided by the enterprise and generosity of our navigating citizens, is productive of an almost constant supply of natural productions, some familiar, some known to naturalists, but not before seen by us, and others new to the whole class of observers."

Dec. 1st. Much leisure during the four years I have been at this agency, added to an early developed distaste for the ordinary modes of killing time, has enabled me to give no little of my leisure to literary pursuits. The interesting phenomena of the Indian grammar have come in for a large share of my attention. This has caused me to revise and extend my early studies, and to rummage such books on general grammar and philology as I could lay my hands on. Every winter, beginning as soon as the navigation closes and the world is fairly shut out, has thus constituted a season of studies. My attention has been perpetually divided between books and living interpreters. This may be said to be my fourth year's course with the Johnstons on the languages.

I have also resumed, as an alternate amusement, "The Literary Voyager." I wrote this year "The Man of Bronze," an essay on the Indian character, which has contributed to my own amusement, nor have I determined to show it to a human eye.

Let others write what others deftly may,
I aim with thought to fill my wintry day.


Mineralogy--Territorial affairs--Vindication of the American policy by its treatment of the Indians--New York spirit of improvement--Taste for cabinets of natural history--Fatalism in an Indian--Death of a first born son--Flight from the house--Territorial matters--A literary topic--Preparations for another treaty--Consolations--Boundary in the North-west under the treaty of Ghent--Natural history--Trip to Green Bay--Treaty of Butte des Morts--Winnebago outbreak--Intrepid conduct of General Cass--Indian stabbing--Investment of the petticoat--Mohegan language.

1827. January 10th.--Mineralogy became a popular study in the United States, I believe, about 1817 or thereabouts, when Professor Cleveland published the first edition of his Elements of Mineralogy, and Silliman began his Journal of Science. It is true Bruce had published his Mineralogical Journal in 1814, but the science can, by no means, be said to have attracted much, or general attention for several years. It was not till 1819 that Cleveland's work first came into my hands. The professor writes me under this date, that he is about preparing a new edition of the work, and he solicits the communication of new localities. This work has been about ten years before the public. It was the first work on that subject produced on this side of the Atlantic, and has acquired great popularity as a text-book to classes and amateurs. It adopts a classification on chemical principles; but recognizes the Wernerian system of erecting species by external characters; and also Hany's system of crystallography, so far as it extends, as being coincident, in the respective proofs which these systems afford to the chemical mode of pure analysis. As such it commends itself to the common sense of observers.

20th. Territorial affairs now began more particularly to attract my attention. Robert Irwin, Jr., Esq., M.C. of Detroit, writes on territorial affairs, growing out of the organization of a new county, on the St. Mary's, and in the basin of Lake Superior. I had furnished him the choice of three names, Allegan, Algonac, and Chippewa.

Major R.A. Forsyth, M.C., says (Jan. 22d), "the new county bill passed on the last of December (1826). It is contemplated to tender to you the appointment of first judge of the new county. We have selected the name of 'Chippewa.'"

Mr. C.C. Trowbridge writes (25th) that "it is proposed in Congress to lay off a new territory, embracing all Michigan west of the lake. This territory, at first proposed to be called Huron, was eventually named Wisconsin."

25th. Mr. Cass has examined, in an able article in the North American Review, the policy of the American government in its treatment of the Indians, in contrast with that of Great Britain. In this article, the charges of the London Quarterly are controverted, and a full vindication made of our policy and treatment of these tribes, which must be gratifying to every lover of our institutions, and our public sense of justice. As between government and government, this paper is a powerful and triumphant one. As a legal question it is not less so. The question of political sovereignty is clear. Did our English Elizabeths, James', and Charles', ever doubt their full right of sovereignty? The public sense of justice and benevolence, the Republic, if not the parent monarchy, fully recognized, by tracing to these tribes the fee of the soil, and by punctually paying its value, as established by public treaties, at all times.

26th. Mr. T.G. Anderson, of Drummond Island, transmits a translation of the Lord's Prayer, in Odjibwa, which he requests to be examined.

Feb. 5th. No State seems comparable, for its enterprise and rapid improvements, to New York. Mr. E.B. Allen, who recently removed from this remote village to Ogdensburgh, New York, expresses his agreeable surprise, after seven years' absence in the West, at the vast improvements that have been made in that State. "There is a spirit of enterprise and energy, that is deeply interesting to men of business and also men of science."

March 1st. Dr. Martyn Paine, of New York, proposes a system of philosophic exchanges. The large and fine collection of mineralogical and geological specimens which I brought from Missouri and other parts of the Mississippi valley in 1819, appears to have had an effect on the prevalent taste for these subjects, and at least, it has fixed the eyes of naturalists on my position on the frontiers. Cabinets of minerals have been in vogue for about nine or ten years. Mr. Maclure, of Philadelphia, Colonel Gibbs, of New Haven, and Drs. De Witt, Bruce and Mitchill, of New York, and above Profs. Silliman and Cleveland, may be said to have originated the taste. Before their day, minerals were regarded as mere "stones." Now, it is rare to find a college or academy without, at least, the nucleus of a cabinet. By transferring my collection here, I have increased very much my own means of intellectual enjoyment and resistance to the power of solitariness, if it has not been the means of promoting discovery in others.

4th. Fatalism,--An Indian, called Wabishkipenace, The White Bird, brings an express mail from the sub-agency of La Pointe, in Lake Superior. This proved to be the individual who, in 1820, acted as one of the guides of the exploring expedition to the Copper Rock, on the Ontonagon River. Trifles light as air arouse an Indian's suspicions, and the circumstance of his being thus employed by the government agents, was made use of by his fellows to his prejudice. They told him that this act was displeasing to the Great Spirit, who had visited him with his displeasure. Whatever influence this idea had on others, on Wabishkipenace it seemed to tell. He looked the image of despair. He wore his hair long, and was nearly naked. He had a countenance of the most melancholy cast. Poverty itself could not be poorer. Now, he appears to have taken courage, and is willing once more to enter into the conflicts of life. But, alas! what are these conflicts with an Indian? A mere struggle for meat and bread enough to live.

13th. This is a day long to be remembered in my domestic annals, as it carried to the tomb the gem of a once happy circle, the cherished darling of it, in the person of a beloved, beautiful, intellectually promising, and only son. William Henry had not yet quite completed his third year, and yet such had been the impression created by his manly precocity, his decision of character, perpetual liveliness of temper and manners, and sweet and classic lineaments, and attachable traits, that he appeared to have lived a long time. The word time is, indeed, a relative term, and ever means much or little, as much or little has been enjoyed or suffered. Our enjoyment of him, and communion with him, was intimate. From the earliest day of his existence, his intelligence and quick expressive eye was remarkable, and all his waking hours were full of pleasing innocent action and affectionate appreciation.

We took him to the city of New York during the winter of 1824-25, where he made many friends and had many admirers. He was always remembered by the youthful name of Willy and Penaci, or the bird--a term that was playfully bestowed by the Chippewas while he was still in his cradle. He was, indeed, a bird in our circle, for the agility of his motions, the liveliness of his voice, and the diamond sparkle of his full hazel eyes, reminded one of nothing so much. The month of March was more than usually changeable in its temperature, with disagreeable rains and much humidity, which nearly carried away the heavy amount of snow on the ground. A cold and croup rapidly developed themselves, and no efforts of skill or kindness had power to arrest its fatal progress. He sank under it about eleven o'clock at night. Such was the rapidity of this fatal disease, that his silver playful voice still seemed to ring through the house when he lay a placid corpse. Several poetic tributes to his memory were made, but none more touching than some lines from his own mother, which are fit to be preserved as a specimen of native composition.[47]

Who was it nestled on my breast,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest,
And in whose smile I felt so blest?
                             Sweet Willy.

Who hail'd my form as home I stept,
And in my arms so eager leapt,
And to my bosom joyous crept?
                             My Willy.

Who was it wiped my tearful eye,
And kiss'd away the coming sigh,
And smiling, bid me say, "good boy?"
                             Sweet Willy.

Who was it, looked divinely fair,
Whilst lisping sweet the evening pray'r,
Guileless and free from earthly care?
                             My Willy.

Where is that voice attuned to love,
That bid me say "my darling dove?"
But, oh! that soul has flown above,
                             Sweet Willy.

Whither has fled the rose's hue?
The lily's whiteness blending grew
Upon thy cheek--so fair to view,
                             My Willy.

Oft have I gaz'd with rapt delight,
Upon those eyes that sparkled bright,
Emitting beams of joy and light!
                             Sweet Willy.

Oft have I kiss'd that forehead high,
Like polished marble to the eye,
And blessing, breathed an anxious sigh,
                             For Willy.

My son! thy coral lips are pale--
Can I believe the heart-sick tale,
That I thy loss must ever wail?
                             My Willy.

The clouds in darkness seemed to low'r,
The storm has past with awful pow'r,
And nipt my tender, beauteous flow'r!
                             Sweet Willy.

But soon my spirit will be free,
And I my lovely son shall see,
For God, I know did this decree!
                             My Willy.

17th. This being St. Patrick's day, we dined with our excellent, warm-hearted, and truly sympathizing friend, Mr. Johnston, in a private way. He is the soul of hospitality, honor, friendship, and love, and no one can be in his company an hour without loving and admiring a man who gave up everything at home to raise up a family of most interesting children in the heart of the American wilderness. No man's motives have been more mistaken, no one has been more wronged, in public and private, by opposing traders and misjudging governments, than he, and no one I have ever known has a more forgiving and truly gentle and high-minded spirit.

28th. I began housekeeping, first on my return from the visit to New York, in the spring of 1825, in the so-called Allen House, on the eminence west of the fort, having purchased my furniture at Buffalo, and made it a pretty and attractive residence. But after the death of my son, the place became insupportable from the vivid associations which it presented with the scenes of his daily amusements.

I determined this day to close the house, and, leaving the furniture standing, we took refuge at Mr. Johnston's. Idolatry such as ours for a child, was fit to be rebuked, and the severity of the blow led me to take a retrospect of life, such as it is too common to defer, but, doubtless, wise to entertain. Why Providence should have a controversy with us for placing our affections too deeply on a sublunary object, is less easy at all times to reconcile to our limited perceptions than it is to recognize in holy writ the existence of the great moral fact. "I will be honored," says Jehovah, "and my glory will I not give to another." It is clear that there is a mental assent in our attachments, in which the very principle of idolatry is involved. If so, why not give up the point, and submit to the dispensations of an inevitable and far-seeing moral government, of affairs of every sort, with entire resignation and oneness of purpose? How often has death drawn his dart fatally since Adam fell before it, and how few of the millions on millions that have followed him have precisely known why, or been entirely prepared for the blow! To me it seems that it has been the temper of my mind to fasten itself too strongly on life and all its objects; to hope too deeply and fully under all circumstances; to grapple, as it were, in its issues with as "hooks of steel," and never to give up, never to despair; and this blow, this bereavement, appears to me the first link that is broken to loosen my hold on this sublunary trust. My thoughts, three years ago, were turned strongly, and with a mysterious power, to this point, namely, my excessive ardor of earthly pursuits, of men's approbation. Here, then, if these reflections be rightly taken, is the second admonition. Such, at least, has been the current of my thoughts since the 13th of the present month, and they were deeply felt when I took my Bible, the first I ever owned or had bought with my own money, and requested that it might be placed as the basis of the little pillow that supported the head of the lifeless child in his coffin.

April 30th. A progress in territorial affairs, in the upper lakes, seems to have commenced; but it is slow. Emigrants are carried further south and west. Slow as it is, however, we flatter ourselves it is of a good and healthy character. The lower peninsula is filling up. My letters, during this spring, denote this. Our county organization is complete. Colonel McKenney, on the 10th, apprises me that he is coming north, to complete the settlement of the Indian boundary, began in 1825, at Prairie du Chien, and that his sketches of his tour of last year is just issued from the press. He adds, "It is rather a ladies' book. I prefer the sex and their opinions. They are worth ten times as much as we, in all that is enlightened, and amiable, and blissful." Undoubtedly so! This is gallant. I conclude it is a gossiping tour; and, if so, it will please the sex for whom it is mainly intended. But will not the graver male sex look for more? Ought not an author to put himself out a little to make his work as high, in all departments, as he can?

Governor C. informs me (April 10th) that he will proceed to Green Bay, to attend the contemplated treaty on the Fox River, and that I am expected to be there with a delegation of the Chippewas from the midlands, on the sources of the Ontonagon, Wisconsin, Chippewa, and Menominie rivers.

Business and science, politics and literature, curiously mingle, as usual, in my correspondence. Mr. M. Dousman (April 10) writes that a knave has worried him, dogged his heels away from home, and sued him, at unawares. Mr. Stuart (April 15) writes about the election of members of council. Dr. Paine, of New York, writes respecting minerals.

May 10th. An eminent citizen of Detroit thus alludes to my recent bereavement: "We sympathize with you most sincerely, in the loss you have sustained. We can do it with the deeper interest, for we have preceded you in this heaviest of all calamities. Time will soothe you something, but the solace of even time will yet leave too much for the memory and affections to brood over."

Another correspondent, in expressing his sympathies on the occasion says: "The lines composed by Mrs. Schoolcraft struck me with such peculiar force, as well in regard to the pathos of style, as the singular felicity of expression, that I have taken the liberty to submit them for perusal to one or two mutual friends. The G---- has advised me to publish them."

14th. National boundary, as established by the treaty of Ghent. Major Delafield, the agent, writes: "Our contemplated expedition, however, is relinquished, by reason of instructions from the British government to their commissioners. It had been agreed to determine the par. of lat. N. 49°, where it intersects the Lake of the Woods and the Red River. But the British government, for reasons unknown to us, now decline any further boundary operations than those provided for under the Ghent treaty.

"We have been prevented closing the 7th article of that treaty, on account of some extraordinary claims of the British party. They claim Sugar, or St. George's Island, and inland, by the St. Louis, or Fond du Lac. Both claims are unsupported by either reason, evidence, or anything but their desire to gain something. We, of course, claim Sugar Island, and will not relinquish it under any circumstances. We also claim inland by the Kamanistiquia, and have sustained this claim by much evidence. The Pigeon River by the Grand Portage will be the boundary, if our commissioners can come to any reasonable decision. If not, I have no doubt, upon a reference, we shall gain the Kamanistiquia, if properly managed; the whole of the evidence being in favor of it."

ORNITHOLOGY.--An Indian boy brought me lately, the stuffed skin of a new species of bird, which appeared early in the spring at one of the sugar camps near St. Mary's. "We are desirous," he adds, "to see the Fringilla, about which you wrote me some time ago."

NATIVE COPPER.--"The copper mass is safe, and the object of admiration in my collection. Baron Lederer is shortly expected from Austria, when he will, no doubt, make some proposition concerning it, which I will communicate."

29th. Many letters have been received since the 13th of March, offering condolence in our bitter loss; but none of them, from a more sincere, or more welcome source, than one of this date from the Conants, of New York.

June 3d. Mr. Carter (N.H.) observes, in a letter of this date: "If there be any real pleasure arising from the acquisition of reputation, it consists chiefly in the satisfaction of proving ourselves worthy of the confidence reposed in our talents and characters, and in the strengthening of those ties of friendship which we are anxious to preserve."

8th. Mr. Robert Stuart says, in relation to our recent affliction: "Once parents, we must make up our minds to submit to such grievous dispensations, for, although hard, it may be for the best."

I embarked for Green Bay, to attend the treaty of Butte des Morts early in June, taking Mrs. S. on a visit to Green Bay, as a means of diverting her mind from the scene of our recent calamity. At Mackinac, we met the steamboat Henry Clay, chartered to take the commissioners to the bay, with Governor Cass, Colonel McKenney, and General Scott on board, with a large company of visitors, travelers and strangers, among them, many ladies. We joined the group, and had a pleasant passage till getting into the bay, where an obstinate head wind tossed us up and down like a cork on the sea. Sea-sickness, in a crowded boat, and the retching of the waves, soon turned everything and every one topsy-turvy; every being, in fine, bearing a stomach which had not been seasoned to such tossings among anchors and halyards, was prostrate. At last the steamer itself, as we came nearer the head of the bay, was pitched out of the right channel and driven a-muck. She stuck fast on the mud, and we were all glad to escape and go up to the town of Navarino in boats. After spending some days here in an agreeable manner, most of the party, indeed nearly all who were not connected with the commission, returned in the boat, Mrs. S. in the number, and the commissioners soon proceeded up the Fox River to Butte des Morts. Here temporary buildings of logs, a mess house, etc., were constructed, and a very large number of Indians were collected. We found the Menomonies assembled in mass, with full delegations of the midland Chippewas, and the removed bands of Iroquois and Stockbridges, some Pottowattomies from the west shores of Lake Michigan, and one hand of the Winnebagoes. Circumstances had prepared this latter tribe for hostilities against the United States. The replies of the leading chief, Four-Legs, were evasive and contradictory; in the meantime, reports from the Wisconsin and the Mississippi rivers denoted this tribe ripe for a blow. They had fired into a boat descending the Mississippi, at Prairie du Chien, and committed other outrages. General Cass was not slow to perceive or provide the only remedy for this state of things, and, leaving the camp under the charge of Colonel McKenney and the agents, he took a strongly manned light canoe, and passed over to the Mississippi, and, pushing night and day, reached St. Louis, and ordered up troops from Jefferson Barracks, for the protection of the settlement. In this trip, he passed through the centre of the tribe, and incurred some extraordinary risks. He then returned up the Illinois, and through Lake Michigan, and reached the Butte des Morts in an incredibly short space of time. Within a few days, the Mississippi settlements were covered; the Winnebagoes were overawed, and the business of the treaty was resumed, and successfully concluded on the 11th of August.

During the long assemblage of the Indians on these grounds, I was sitting one afternoon, in the Governor's log shanty, with the doors open, when a sharp cry of murder suddenly fell on our ears. I sprang impulsively to the spot, with Major Forsyth, who was present. Within fifty yards, directly in front of the house, stood two Indians, who were, apparently, the murderers, and a middle aged female, near them, bleeding profusely. I seized one of them by his long black hair, and, giving him a sudden wrench, brought him to his back in an instant, and, placing my knees firmly on his breast, held him there, my hand clenched in his hair. The Major had done something similar with the other fellow. Inquiry proved one of these men to be the perpetrator of the deed. He had drawn his knife to stab his mother-in-law, she quickly placed her arms over her breast and chest and received the wounds, two strokes, in them, and thus saved her life. It was determined, as her life was saved, though the wounds were ghastly, to degrade the man in a public assemblage of all the Indians, the next day, by investing him with a petticoat, for so unmanly an act. The thing was, accordingly, done with great ceremony. The man then sneaked away in this imposed matchcota, in a stolid manner, slowly, all the Indians looking stedfastly, but uttering no sound approvingly or disapprovingly.

I embraced the opportunity of the delay created by the Winnebago outbreak, and the presence of the Stockbridges on the treaty ground, to obtain from them some outlines of their history and language. Every day, the chiefs and old men came to my quarters, and spent some time with me. Metoxon gave me the words for a vocabulary of the language, and, together with Quinney, entered so far into its principles, and furnished such examples, as led me, at once, to perceive that it was of the Algonquin type, near akin, indeed, to the Chippewa, and the conclusion followed, that all the New England dialects, which were cognate with this, were of the same type. The history of this people clears up, with such disclosures, and the fact shows us how little we can know of their history without the languages.


Treaty of Butte des Morts--Rencontre of an Indian with grizzly bears--Agency site at Elmwood--Its picturesque and sylvan character--Legislative council of the Territory--Character of its parties, as hang-back and toe-the-marks--Critical Reviews--Christmas.

1827. August 11th.--The treaty of Butte des Morts was signed this day. It completes the system of Indian boundaries, which was commenced by the treaty of Prairie du Chien, on the 19th of August, 1825, and continued by the treaty of Fond du Lac of the 5th of August, 1826. These three conferences, which may, from their having been concluded in the month of August of the respective years, be called the Augustic treaties, embody a new course and policy for keeping the tribes in peace, and are founded on the most enlarged consideration of the aboriginal right of fee simple to the soil. They have been held exclusively at the charges and expenses of the United States, and contain no cession of territory.

As soon as it was signed I embarked for Green Bay, on a gloomy, drizzling day, and pursued my way to Michilimackinac and the Sault, without a moment's loss of time. I found the place still active, and filled with the summer visiting parties of Indians from the Lake Superior, the Upper Mississippi, and even from Pembina and the plains of Red River of the North.

Among the latter I observed a small and lithe Indian called Annamikens, or Little Thunder, also called Joseph, whose face had been terribly lacerated in a contest on the plains west of Pembina, with grizzly bears. The wounds were now closed, but the disfiguration was permanent. He told me the following story of the affair:--

The Sioux, Chippewas, Assinaboines, Crees, and Mandans, called by him in general Miggaudiwag, which means fighters, were at variance. About 400 half-breeds and 100 Chippewas went out from Pembina to make peace, and hunt the buffalo.

On the fourth day's march they reached the open plains, and met a large body of Assinaboines and Crees encamped. Their camp was fixed on eligible ground, and the lodges extended across the plain. Annamikens and his followers encamped with them. After they had encamped, they observed every hour during the night that fresh arrivals of Assinaboines and Crees took place. On the third day of their encampment he was sent for to Cuthbert Grant's tent, where he found a large circle of Indians formed, and all things in readiness for a council of the three nations, Assinaboines, Chippewas, and Crees. Grant was the trader of the Pembina metifs, and had followed them out. In the centre of the ring, buffalo robes were spread, and he with others was given a seat there. The object of this council was to decide upon a plan to attack a body of 200 Sioux lodges, which had been discovered at half a day's ride on horseback distant. The principal chiefs, &c., were agreed as to the propriety of an attack. He was asked to unite with them. He said he felt not only for the chiefs and young men, but also for the women and children, hereby expressing his dissent. Two of the principal chiefs stood up, each holding a pipe. He was then asked to take one of the pipes and hand it to the bravest man, giving him the power to elect the war chief. He gave it to one he knew to be brave.

This chief had no sooner received it than he presented it to Francis, his brother, to hand it round, thereby hoping that he would not refuse to smoke the war-pipe when handed by his brother. He took the pipe in both hands and smoked, then handed it to his brother, who also smoked it, and handed it to a chief who stood next to him, and it went round. He said, however, after smoking, "I do not consent to go to war, I am against it." After some talk the council broke up, it beginning to be late. At night he heard that some movement was on foot. He went to the quarter of the camp indicated, and used his influence against the plan. He had scarcely reached his tent when other reports of a like nature were brought from various parts of the camp, and he was most of the night busied in controverting the war spirit.

In the morning he made a descent through the camp, speaking openly against the meditated attack on the Sioux, and concluded by saying that for himself and the metifs, he had one thing to say, that they wished to preserve peace with all, and they should join and fight for the nation first attacked, and against whoever might raise a war-club. About 100 Crees, however, were determined to go, and in about four hours the whole camp was broken up and dispersed. He broke up his camp rather in anger, mounted his horse, put his family in the cart, and set out for home. Many followed him. Francis, not seeing his brother go, also set out, and many followed him, a greater number in fact than had followed Joseph. At night the hunters from each party met, and they found the two parties had traveled the same distance. On hearing this Francis sent a despatch in the morning to his brother, but they found he had departed, and, the country being a grassy plain, they could not exactly tell their course.

Meantime Joseph and his party had reached a point of woods, being the first woods seen since leaving Pembina, at about nine o'clock in the morning. Here they encamped at this early hour. He caught two wild geese, and told his wife to cook them. His followers all dispersed to hunt buffalo, as they were plenty about. He then put a new flint in his gun, and stripped himself all but his breech-cloth, and went out to explore the route he should pass on the next day.

He came into a ravine, and discovered three white bears' lairs fresh, saw several carcasses of buffaloes lying round, more or less eaten and decayed, and smelt quite a stench from them. One particularly was fresh killed, and partly eaten by the bears. He passed on across a brook, and after looking farther returned to the lairs. On returning to the brook he found several sticks in the way of his passage for the carts on the following day, which he commenced removing, having set his gun against a tree. One stick being larger than the rest, some exertion was necessary to displace it, and while in the act of doing this he heard a noise of some animal, and saw at a distance what he took to be a buffalo, as these animals were plenty, and running in all directions. He then took up his gun and went on, when the sounds were repeated close behind him, and looking over his shoulder he saw three white bears in full pursuit of him.

He turned, cocked his gun, and took deliberate aim at the head of the foremost, which proved to be the dam, and his gun missed fire. He re-cocked his piece and again snapped. At this moment the bear was so near that the muzzle nearly touched it. He knows not exactly how the bear struck him, but at the next moment his gun flew in one direction and he was cast about ten feet in another. He lit on his feet. The bear then raised on her paws and took his head in her mouth, closing her jaws, not with force, but just sufficient to make the tusks enter the top of his shoulders. He at this moment, with the impulse of fear, put up his hands and seized the bear by her head, and, making a violent exertion, threw her from her balance to one side; in the act of falling she let go his head.

At this time one of the cubs struck his right leg, being covered with metasses of their leather, and drew him down upon the ground, and he fell upon his right side, partly on his right arm. The right arm, which was extended in falling, was now drawn under his body by another blow from one of the cubs, and his hand was by this motion brought into contact with the handle of his knife (a large couteau used for cutting up buffalo-meat), and this bringing the knife to his recollection, he drew it, and struck a back-handed blow into the right side of the dam, whom he still held by the hair with his left. The knife went in to the hilt. On withdrawing it, one of the cubs struck his right hand, her nails piercing right through it in several places. He then let go of the dam and took the knife in his left hand, and made a pass at the cub, and struck it about half its length, the knife going into it, it being very bloody. The stroke was impeded, and the knife partly slipped. The left arm was then struck by one of the cubs, and the knife dropped from his grasp. He was now left with his naked hand to make such resistance as he could. The dam now struck him upon the abdomen with a force that deprived him for awhile of breath, and tore it open, so that when he rose his bowels fell upon his knees. He at first supposed that it was his powder-horn that had fallen upon his knees, but looking down, saw his entrails. The dam then repeated her blow, striking him upon the left cheek, the forenail entering just below the left eye, and tore out the cheek-bone, a part of the jaw, including three teeth, maimed his tongue, and tore down the flesh so that it hung upon his left shoulder.

He now fell back exhausted with the loss of blood, and being conquered, the bears ceased to molest him. But consciousness was not gone; he heard them walk off. He lay some time. He opened and shut his hands, and found he had not lost the use of them. He moved his neck, and found it had its natural motion. He then raised himself up into a sitting posture, and gathering up some grass, put it first to his left eye and cheek to wipe off the blood, but found that it struck the bone. He then passed it to his right cheek, wiped down the blood, and opening his eye, found he could see clearly. He saw his gun, powder-horn, and knife scattered about. He then got up, having bound his wounds.

He had at this time no clothing upon his body but the moccasin upon his left foot. He took his gun, re-primed it, and while in the act of priming, heard the peculiar noise this animal utters, and turning, saw the old bear close upon him. He put the muzzle into her mouth, and again missed fire. All hope now was lost, and all idea of resistance. They pawed and tore him at will, he knows not how long. At one time they seized him by the neck and dragged him some distance. They then once more left him.

After they left him, he lay some time. He then bethought himself that possibly he might still be able to rise and return to his camp, which was not distant. After some exertion and preparation, he got up, and again took his gun and powder-horn and knife. He picked the flint, addressing his gun, saying, "that the bears could not kill it, and that he hoped the gun would have more courage," &c., and putting it on his shoulder, commenced his way to his camp.

He had not proceeded far when the snorting of the old dam before him reminded him of his danger. He found his limbs stiff and swollen, and that he could not bring up the gun to his shoulder to take aim. He held it before him, and when the dam, still in front, advanced near him, fired at her head, and the ball entered just behind the shoulder. She fell dead. He saw the smoke issue from the wound.

One of the yearlings now rose on his hind paws and growled. He raised his knife (which was in his left hand, upon which the gun rested on firing), and made a pass at the bear, which the latter avoided by throwing himself to one side. The third bear now rose up before him, but at a greater distance than the second, and he made a pass at him, but found him out of reach. Yet the bear threw himself to one side, as the former had done.

Having them now on the run, he followed a short distance, but soon felt very faint. A darkness seemed before his eyes, and he sank down. In this act the blood gushed from his body. This appeared to relieve him. After sitting some time, he rose and proceeded homeward. He saw no more of the two yearling bears. Before reaching the lodge, he was met by a party who had been seeking him. As he walked along, he felt something striking the calf of his right leg, and found it to be a piece of flesh from his thigh behind. There were six open holes in his body through which air escaped, one in each side, one in his breast, abdomen, and stomach, besides the torn cheek. He found, on reaching home, he could not speak, but, after being bandaged, his utterance revived. On the next day the physician from the forks of Red River arrived and attended him.

20th. Annamikens resumed his narrative:--

"On the next day, I have said, the doctor arrived, but not having medicine sufficient to dress all my wounds, he put what he had on the principal wounds. On the same day my brother and the party who had separated on the council-ground also arrived. They remained that and the next day, and on the third day all moved for Pembina. To carry me they constructed a litter, carried by four persons; but I found the motion too great to endure. They then formed a bier by fastening two poles to a horse's sides, and placing such fixtures upon them, behind the horse, as to permit my being carried. I found this motion easier to endure. The Chippewas accompanied me, and were resolved, if I died, to go immediately to war against the Sioux. My condition was, at this moment, such that they hourly expected my death. I was prepared for it, and directed that I should be buried at the spot where I might die. On the third day we reached Pembina. For nine days I resisted food, feigning that I could not eat, but wishing to starve myself, as I was so disfigured and injured that I had no wish to survive, and would have been ashamed to show myself in such a state. On the ninth day my hunger was so great that I called for a piece of fish, and swallowed it; in about two hours after I called for another piece of fish, and also ate it. Six days after my arrival, Mr. Plavier, and another priest from Red River, arrived to baptize me. I resisted, saying that if there was no hope of living I would consent, but not otherwise. After fifteen days, I was so much recovered that the priest returned, as I had every appearance of recovery. I would neither permit white nor Indian doctors to attend me after my arrival; but had myself regularly washed in cold water, my wounds kept clean, and the bandages properly attended to. In about one month from the time I could walk; but it was two years before the wounds were closed."

I requested Dr. Z. Pitcher, the Post surgeon, to examine Annamikens, with a view to test the narrative, and to determine on the capacity of the human frame to survive such wounds. He found portions of the cheek-bones gone, and cicatrices of fearful extent upon that and other parts of the body, which gave the narrative the appearance of truthfulness.

On returning from Green Bay, I gave my attention, with renewed interest, to the means of expediting the completion of the Agency buildings, and occupying the lot and grounds. I have alluded to the success of my reference of this subject to the Secretary of War, in 1825. A site was selected on a handsomely elevated bank of the river, covered with elms, about half a mile east of the fort, where the foundation of a spacious building and office were laid in the autumn of 1826, and the frame raised as early in the ensuing spring as the snow left the ground.

Few sites command a more varied or magnificient view. The broad and limpid St. Mary, nearly a mile wide, runs in front of the grounds. The Falls, whose murmuring sound falls pleasantly on the ear, are in plain view. The wide vista of waters is perpetually filled by canoes and boats passing across to the opposite settlement on the British shore. The picturesque Indian costume gives an oriental cast to the moving panorama. The azure mountains of Lake Superior rise in the distance. Sailing vessels and steamboats from Detroit, Cleaveland, and Buffalo, occasionally glide by, and to this wide and magnificent view, as seen by daylight, by sunset, and by moonlight, the frequent displays of aurora borealis give an attraction of no ordinary force.

In selecting this spot, I had left standing a large part of the fine elms, maples, mountain ash, and other native forest trees, and the building was, in fact, embowered by tall clumps of the richest foliage. I indulged an early taste in horticulture, and planting trees to add to the natural attractions of the spot, which, from the chief trees upon it, was named "Elmwood," and every flowering plant and fruit that would thrive in the climate, was tried. Part of the grounds were laid down in grass. Portions of them on the water's edge that were low and quaggy, were sowed with the redtop, which will thrive in very moist soil, and gives it firmness. The building was ample, containing fifteen rooms, including the office, and was executed, in all respects, in the best modern style.

In addition to these arrangements for insuring domestic comfort and official respect, my agency abroad among the tribes was now well established, to the utmost sources of the Mississippi. The name and power of "Chimoqemon" (American) among the northern tribes, was no longer a term of derision, or uncertainty of character. The military post established at these ancient falls, where the power of France was first revealed as early as 1652; the numerous journeys I had made into the interior, often in company with the highest civil and military functionaries; the presents annually issued; the firm basis of a commissariat for all visiting and indigent Indians; the mechanics employed for their benefit; the control exercised over the fur traders, and the general effects of American opinions and manners; had placed the agency in the very highest point of view. It was a frontier agency, in immediate juxtaposition with Canada and Hudson's Bay, fifteen hundred miles of whose boundary closed upon them, separated only by the chain of lakes and rivers. Questions of national policy frequently came up, and tended much to augment the interest, which grew out of the national intercourse.

I had now attained that position of repose and quiet which were so congenial to my mind. The influence I exercised; the respect I enjoyed, both as an officer and as a scientific and literary man: every circumstance, in fact, that can add to the enjoyment of a man of moderate desires, seeking to run no political race, was calculated to insure my happiness. And I was happy. No part of my life had so completely all the elements of entire contentment, as my residence at the wild and picturesque homestead of Elmwood. I removed my family to this spot in October, having now a little daughter to enlarge my family circle, and take away, in a measure, the solitariness effected by the loss of my son, William Henry.

I resumed my Indian researches with twofold interest. The public duties of an agent for Indian affairs, if an industrious man, leave him a good deal of leisure on his hands, and, in a position so remote as this, if a man have no inclination for studies or belles lettres, he must often be puzzled to employ his leisure. I amused myself by passing from one literary study to another, and this is ever refreshing to the mind, which tires of one thing. Thus, such amusements as the Appeal of Pontiac, Rise of the West, and the Man of Bronze, found place among graver matters. In this manner, a man without literary society may amuse and instruct himself.

Nov. 1st. I have been elected a member of the Legislative Council of the territory--an office not solicited, and which is not declined. Party spirit has not yet reached and distracted this territory. So far as I know, political divisions of a general character, have not entered into society. The chief magistrate is an eminently conservative man, and by his moderation of tone and suavity of manners, has been instrumental in keeping political society in a state of tranquillity. All our parties have been founded on personal preference. If there has been any more general principles developed in the legislature, it has been a promptly debt paying, and a not promptly debt paying party--a non divorce, and a divorce party. I have been ever of the former class of thinkers; and shall let my votes tell for the right and good old way--i.e. pay your debts and keep your wife.

Dec. 22d. My study of the Indian language and history has not only enlarged my own sources of intellectual gratification, but it has, without my seeking it, procured me a number of highly intellectual philosophic correspondents, whose letters operate as an aliment to further exertion. My natural assiduity is thus continually stimulated, and I find myself begrudging a single hour, spent in gossiping hum-drum society--for even here there is society, or an apology for society.

The editor of the North American Review, inviting me to write for its pages, says (Sept. 1st): "Your knowledge and experience will enable you to say much concerning the western country, and its aboriginal inhabitants, which will be interesting to the community of readers. You cannot be too full in your facts and reflections on Indians and Indian character."

Judge H. Chipman, of Detroit, says (Oct. 21st): "If it were just cause of offence, that men should estimate differently the merits of opposing candidates, popular elections would be the greatest curse that could be inflicted upon a people."

Mr. Everett (Hon. E.) says: "I beg leave to unite with Mr. Sparks in expressing the hope that you will become a contributor to its pages (North American Review), as often as your leisure, the seasonableness of topics, and the appearance of works to be noticed, may admit."

24th. This day brought one of Mr. Johnston's warm-hearted notes, to take a Christmas dinner with him to-morrow. "I anticipate," he says, "great pleasure in seeing many dear relatives about me, on one of the greatest festivals the world has ever witnessed."

It was the last festival of that kind he ever enjoyed, though nothing could be further from our imaginations then; for before its recurrence in 1828, we were called to follow his body to the grave.


Retrospect--United States Exploring Expedition to the South Sea--Humanity of an Indian--Trip to Detroit from the Icy Straits--Incidental action of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Historical Societies, and of the Montreal Natural History Society--United States Exploring Expedition--Climatology--Lake vessels ill found--Poetic view of the Indian--United States Exploring Expedition--Theory of the interior world--Natural History--United States Exploring Expedition.--History of early legislation in Michigan--Return to St. Mary's--Death of Governor De Witt Clinton.

1828. January 1st.--During ten years, omitting 1823, I had now performed, each year, a journey or expedition of more or less peril and adventure in the great American wilderness, west of the Alleghanies. I had now attained a point, ardently sought, for many years, where I was likely to be permitted to sit down quietly at home, and leave traveling to others. I had, in fact, just removed into a quiet home, a retired, convenient, tasteful, and even elegant seat, which filled every wish of retired intellectual enjoyment, where I was encompassed by books, studies, cabinets, and domestic affections. At this moment, when there appeared nothing in the prospect to call me to new fields of observation, I was elected a member of the legislative council, which opened a civic and quite different scene of duties. This step, I found, pleased my friends. The executive of the territory writes from Detroit, February 22d: "We have understood that you have been elected a member of the legislative council, and there is a prevalent wish that this report may prove true. I mention the subject now, to inform you that the council will probably be convened about the beginning of May, in order that you may make the necessary preparations for visiting this place at that time."

Feb. 5th. An exploring expedition for discoveries in the South Sea, has, for some time, been under consideration in the Senate of the United States, to be organized in the navy, and to go out under the patronage of the Secretary, Mr. Southard. Mr. G.N. Reynolds invites me to take a position in the scientific corps, to accompany it, under an official sanction.

A friend from Washington writes me (Feb. 6th), on the same topic; "Whether matrimony has stripped you of your erratic notions and habits, 'and brought you within narrower limits,' or whether the geography of the earth is no longer of interest to you, I cannot, of course, pretend to say. But considering you, as I do, a devotee to science, I had thought it possible that you might feel a desire to engage in her cause to the South, by occupying some eminent station in the expedition."

The reasons which I have mentioned, at the opening of the year, have inclined me to seek repose from further travel. Besides which, my position as a married man, and the peculiar relations I have thereby assumed, impress me, very deeply, with the opinion that my sphere of duty, whatever may be my ambition, lies nearer at home than the proposed and very attractive field of discovery. I therefore wrote declining the offer.

April 7th, A DOMESTIC CURTAIN LIFTED.--My sister Helen Margaret writes, from New York: "This afternoon, as I was sitting by the fire, having become the prey of ill health, a thought struck my mind to write a few lines to you, not, however, to give you much news, but merely to acquaint you that we are still in the land of the living, and that, though our friends are far removed, we still live among them in imagination. Yes, dear brother, believe me, my imagination has often wandered, and passed hours with you--hours, during the silence of the night, which should have been sacred to sleep.

"I have been out of health about five weeks; the complaint under which I labor is chronic inflammation of the liver, but I have, under the pain of sickness, forced my mind to forget its troubles. Most of my time, last winter, has been spent with Debby; while at home, my time has been devoted to reading, mapping, and the study of philosophy.

"Probably James has acquainted you of the illness of Margaret. She is now very low, and is, to all human appearance, soon to leave this world for a better, 'where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.' Her sufferings are great; she has not been able to sit up, more than nine minutes at one time, for two months. Her mind is calm. She is ready and willing to leave this vain world, whenever it is the will of God to take her.

"Mother's health is poor, and has been during all last winter; yet notwithstanding her daily sufferings, in her harassed body, she vigorously wrestles with ill luck. As it pains me to write, I must close with a few words. I have frequently thought, should I be bereft of my mother, what other friend, like her, would watch over the uneasy hours of sickness? What other friend would bear its petulance, and smooth its feverish pillow?"

This proved to be her last earthly message to me. She died on the 12th of April, 1829, aged twenty-three.

18th. I, this day, had an official visit from Magisaunikwa (Wampum-hair), a Chippewa Indian, who, recently, rescued the Inspector of Customs of the place, John Agnew, Esq., from drowning. This gentleman was returning from Mackinac, on the ice, with a train de glis, drawn by dogs. Having ascended the straits to the rapids of the South Nebishe channel, he found the ice faulty and rotten, and, after some exertions to avoid the bad places, fell in, with train and dogs. The struggle to get out only involved him worse, and, overcome by fatigue and false footings, he at length gave over the strife, and, but as a last resort, uttered a yell.

It chanced that Magisaunikwa was encamped in the woods, at a distance, and, with the ever ready ear of the aborigines, caught the sounds and came to his relief. By this time he had relinquished the struggle, and resigned himself to his fate. By arts known to a people who are familiar with such dangers, he rescued him from the water, but in an insensible state. He then put the body on a sled and drew it to his lodge, where he disrobed it, and, placing it before the fire, succeeded in restoring him.

I invested him with a silver medal for the act, and gave him a chief's flag, with goods and cutlery, &c. to the value of above fifty dollars.

My attention was now turned to Detroit: "You are elected," says a friend, "a member of the council. It is essential you should be here as speedily as possible. Leave everything to Audrain, and come down. You can return before the busy season."

27th. I left the Sault this day, for Detroit, to attend the Legislative Council. Patches of snow still lined the banks of the St. Mary's, and fields of ice were yet in Muddy Lake. It was not until entering the St. Clair, and passing down beyond the chilling influences of Lake Huron, that spring began to show striking evidences of her rapid advances, and on reaching Detroit, the state of horticulture and fruit trees betokened a quite different and benign climate. The difference in latitude, in this journey, is full four degrees, carrying the voyager from about 46-1/2° to about 42-1/2°. This fact, which it is difficult to realize from the mere inspection of maps, and reading of books, it is important at all times to bear in mind, in setting a just value on the country and its agricultural advantages.

On reaching the city, and before the organization of the legislature, I received a letter from the Hon. John Davis, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, suggesting the publication of my researches on Indian language.

"Mr. Pickering concurs with me, that it is very desirable to have this publication effected. Some tracts of this description have been occasionally published in the collections of our society, and we have no doubt that this course would be pursued with your work, if such should be your wish, and no preferable mode of publication should occur."

29th.--I received from the Rhode Island Historical Society, a copy of their publication of Roger Williams' Key to the Indian languages. This tract was greatly needed by philologists. The language commented on is clearly of the Algonquin stock. Dr. Edwards, in his "Observations on the Mukhekanieu," demonstrates that the old Mohecan, as spoken on the Housatonic, was also of this type.

He says, indeed, that the difference in all the New England languages spoken by the nations were merely dialectic. What I have heard of Eliot's Bible of the Natic, or Massachusetts language, favors the same conclusion. All this shows that the ancestors of the present lake tribes who speak these dialects, must have overspread all New England. History is thus taught by language. The lake tribes have only this tradition respecting the fact, that they came from the East.

30th.--Dr. A.F. Homes transmits me a diploma of membership of the Montreal Natural History Society.

May 14th.--Mr. Reynolds recurs to the subject of the Ex. Expedition, which he announced to me on the 5th of February. "It is probable," he observes, "that an expedition to the South Sea will sail from the City of New York in September next. I wish, and so do several members of the national cabinet, that you would join it, and be the head of the scientific corps. Your salary shall be almost anything you ask, and your relation to the general government shall not be prejudiced by a temporary absence. The expedition will be absent about eighteen months or two years. Will you not feel some ambition in being connected with the first American expedition of discovery?"

20th.--Death is ever busy, thinning the ranks of our friends and relatives. Mr. Shearman, of N.Y., communicates the death of my niece, Margaret Catharine (S.) at Vernon, New York. She was a young lady of pleasing manners, and many fine personal and mental traits. She conversed on her fate with perfect composure, and selected hymns to be sung at her funeral.

I accomplished my passage to Detroit I think on the 21st of May, being twenty-four days from St. Mary's, without counting the trip in that season one of unusual length, and without any serious mishaps, which is, perhaps, remarkable, as all our lake vessels are ill found, and I attribute more of success to good luck, or rather Providence, than to any amount of seamanlike precaution. It is, indeed, remarkable that a hundred vessels are not every year lost on the upper lakes where one now is, by being ill supplied or equipped, or through foolhardy intrepidity.

28th.--A friend sent me the manuscript of his poem of "Sanillac" to read, and to furnish some notes. The subject of the Indian is, certainly, susceptible of being handled by the Muses, in a manner to interest and amuse; and I regard every attempt of the kind as meritorious, although it may be the lot of but few to succeed. The writer on the frontier, who fills up a kind of elegant leisure by composition, not only pleases himself, which is a thing nobody can deprive him of, but dodges the coarser amusements of bowling, whist, and other resorts for time-killing. He forgets his remote position for the time, and hides from himself the feeling of that loneliness which is best conquered by literary employment.

30th. Mr. Reynolds again writes, pressing the matter of the contemplated expedition, and the prospect it opens for discovery, and its advantage every way. He couples his offer with most liberal and exalted sentiments, and with the opinions of distinguished men, whose approval is praise. But notwithstanding all, there is something about the getting up and organization of the expedition, which I do not altogether like; and there is considerable doubt whether Congress will not cripple it, by voting meagre supplies and outfits, if they do not knock it in the head.

The expedition itself is a measure of the highest national moment, as it is connected with scientific discovery, and reflects the greatest credit on the projectors. The experiments of Dr. Maskelyn denote a greater specific gravity in the central portions of the globe, than in its crust, and consequently do not favor the theory advocated by Mr. R., of an interior void. Yet we are advertised, by the phenomena of earthquakes, that this interior abounds with oxygen, hydrogen gas, caloric, and sulphur; and that extraordinary geological changes are effected by their action. It does seem improbable that the proposed expedition will trace any open connection "with such an interior world;" but it may accumulate facts of the highest importance. I am not, therefore, insensible of the high honor of this offer, and however I may glow with the secret ardor of discovery, and the honor of place, my present engagements, domestic and public, have woven about me such a web, that it is impossible suddenly to break from it. On full consideration and reconsideration, therefore, I declined going.[48]

[48] The expedition was, in fact, checked by various causes, and the project lingered for some years. At length, the expedition started under the orders of Captain Charles Wilkes, United States Navy.

June 1st. Major Delafield, of New York, transmits a box of duplicate specimens of mineralogy from England.

"The box you forwarded for the Lyceum has not yet been sent to the rooms. The catalogue I will present in your name to-night. The several objects will prove extremely interesting. The lake tortoise we have been endeavoring to obtain for a year past, to complete a paper relative to these animals. Cooper is in Philadelphia editing the second volume of Bonaparte's Ornithology. He will be disappointed in not receiving the grosbeak,[49] of which I had spoken to him."

[49] A new species discovered by me at Sault St. Marie.

The study of Natural History presents some of the most pleasing evidences of exactitude and order, in every department of creation, and adds to life many hours of the most innocent and exalted enjoyment. It drops, as it were, golden tissues in the walks of life, which there is a perpetual enjoyment in unraveling.

10th. Mr. Reynolds writes again, without having received my last reply, respecting the exploring expedition. He says: "Mr. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, has expressed his deep regret that you will not be able to find it convenient to go on the expedition."

Mr. Reynolds again writes (June 22d): "I had a conversation to-day with the Secretary of the Navy, in relation to your joining the expedition. He informs me that the President, as well as himself, was anxious that you should do so; and that in case you did, an Assistant Agent might be appointed to do your duties, as United States Agent, and thus reserve your office until your return."

Nothing, certainly, could exceed this spirit of liberality and kind appreciation.

No reasons for altering my prior decisions appeared, however, weighty enough to change them.

July 1st.--The legislative council organized in due form, being sworn in by the governor. The first assemblage of this kind in the Territory met, I believe, four years ago. Prior to that era, the governor and judges were authorized to adopt laws from the "old" States, which led to a system rather objectionable, and certainly anomalous, so far as it made the judges both makers and expounders of the laws; for it was said, I know not how truly, that they picked out a clause here and there, to fit exigencies, or cases in hand, and did not take whole statutes. It was said that when the judges, in the exercise of their judicial functions, got to a "tight place," they adjourned the court, and devoted their legal acumen to picking out clauses from the statutes of the old States, to be adopted, in order to meet the circumstances; but these stories were, probably, to be received a little after the manner of the slanderous reports of the Van Twiller administration, of Knickerbocker memory. It is certain that their honors, Judges Woodward, Griffin, and Witherall, the latter of whom was generally voted down, have acquired no small popular notoriety as judicial and legislative functionaries, and they must figure largely in the early annals of Michigan, especially should this territory ever prove so fortunate as to have a Cervantes or an Irving for its historian.

I found the members of the council to be nearly all of the old residents of Michigan, one a Frenchman, several sent in by French votes, one or two old volunteer officers of Hull's day, one an Indian captive, and three lawyers by profession. When assembled they presented a body of shrewd, grave, common-sense men, with not much legal or forensic talent, perhaps, and no eloquence or power of speaking. There were just thirteen men, only one of whom was a demagogue, and had gained his election by going about from house to house and asking votes. The worst trait in the majority was a total want of moral courage, and a disposition to favor a negligent and indebted population, by passing a species of stop laws, and divorce laws, and of running after local and temporary expedients, to the lowering of the tone of just legislation. I had no constituents at home to hold me up to promises on these heads. I was every way independent, in a political sense, and could square my course at all times, by pursuing the right, instead of being forced into the expedient, in cases where there was a conflict between the two. This made my position agreeable.

I was appointed chairman of the committee on expenditures, and a member of the judiciary, &c. I directed my attention to the incorporation of a Historical Society; to the preparation of a system of township names derived from the aboriginal languages; and to some efforts for bettering the condition of the natives, by making it penal to sell or give them ardent spirits, and thus desired to render my position as a legislator useful, where there was but little chance of general action. As chairman of the committee on expenditures, I kept the public expenditures snug, and, in every respect, conformable to the laws of congress. The session was closed about the first of July--early enough to permit me to return to St. Mary's, to attend to the summer visits of the interior traders and Indians.

10th While engaged in the council, a friend writing from New York, who is a close watcher of political movements, alludes to the sudden and lamented death of Governor Clinton, last winter, and its effects on the political parties of that State. Heavy, indeed, is the blow that removes from the field of action a man who had occupied so wide a space in the public esteem; and long will it be till another arises to concentrate and control public opinion as he did. To me, as a personal friend, and one who early counselled and directed me in my investigations in natural history, it is a loss I feel deeply. Politicians spring up daily, but men like him, who take a wider view of things, belong to their country.


Official journal of the Indian intercourse--Question of freedmen, or persons not bonded for--Indian chiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut, Tems Couvert, Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle--Further notice of Wampum-hair--Red Devil--Biographical notice of Guelle Plat, or Flat Mouth--Brechet--Meeshug, a widow--Iauwind--Mongazid, chief of Fond du Lac--Chianokwut--White Bird--Annamikens, the hero of a bear fight, &c. &c.

1828. July 6th.--My return to the Agency at the Sault was in the midst of its summer business. Indians and Indian traders from remote interior positions, were encamped on every green spot. No trader had yet renewed his license from the government to return. It would be difficult to indicate a place more favorable than this was, to observe the manners and customs of the Indians, and the peculiar questions connected with the Indian trade. I amused myself a few days, by keeping minutes of the visits of the mixed Indian and metif multitude.

12th. Antoine Maucè, Alexis Blais, and Joseph Montrè, freedmen, of Indian blood or connections, ordered from the Indian villages last fall, presented themselves for a decision on their respective cases.

Maucè stated several facts in extenuation of his offence. He said he had served as a boatman in the Indian trade ten years, had married an Indian wife and raised a family, and during all this time, with the exception of short visits to Mackinac with his bourgeois, had resided in the Indian country. On the expiration of his last engagement he went to St. Peters, and while there, made eight canoes for Mr. Bailly, from whom he got the few goods that were seized at Sandy Lake by Mr. Johnston. He had intended, however, to go to Mr. Johnston for a license, and he had used the goods, in a great measure, to procure a mere support for his family. He had left Sandy Lake last fall, passed the winter at La Pointe, and had come down early in the spring, and, as he had lost a great deal of time, and performed a very long journey, leaving his family behind him, he requested that he might be allowed to return with a permit to trade. I told him that his remaining inland, after the expiration of his engagement, was contrary to instructions. That, being a Canadian by birth, he could not be licensed as a trader. That he might go inland in his old capacity of a boatman, should any American citizen be willing to employ him, and give a bond for his future conduct, and that I should refer the final decision upon his goods and peltries to Mr. Johnston, on account of my imperfect knowledge of some circumstances necessary to a correct decision.

Alexis Blais pleaded ignorance of the instructions which were given to traders. He had no other object in remaining inland than to get a livelihood. He came out as soon after being notified as his health would allow. And he supposed, had he been willing to serve Mr. Aikin at Sandy Lake, or to give him the avails of his hunt, no complaints would have been made against him. No goods or peltries were found in his possession, and he did not desire to return to the Indian country. I informed him that the construction put on the Indian laws prohibited any white man from following the pursuits of a hunter on Indian land; that it also forbids the residence of boatmen at Indian camps or villages, after they have served out their engagements, &c.

Joseph Montrè is a metif, step-son of Maucè. Says he was born and brought up in the Indian country, and has subsisted by hunting. Is unacquainted with the laws, but will follow the directions given him. I took pains to impress upon his mind, through the medium of an interpreter, the situation in which he was placed with respect to our government and laws, and the steps it would be necessary for him hereafter to pursue.

CHACOPEE (The Six), a minor chief, from Snake River, on the St. Croix, visited the office, accompanied by seven young warriors. He brought a note from the Sub-agent at La Pointe, in which he is recommended as "a deserving manly Indian, attached to the U.S. Government." As he had been several days without food on his voyage through Lake Superior, I directed a requisition to be made out for him and his young men, and told them to call on me after they had appeased their hunger.

Neenaby (the person who hitches on his seat), of Sault St. Marie, lodged a complaint against Mr. Butterfield and one of his runners (i.e. persons employed to look after credits given to Indians, or carry on a petty traffic by visiting their camps). He states that, in making the traverse from Point Iroquois across the straits of St. Mary, he was met by young Holiday, who lashed his canoe alongside, and, after giving him a drink of whisky, persuaded him to land on the Canada shore, where they are out of reach of the trade and intercourse laws. They landed at Point aux Chenes, where H.'s tent was found pitched, who invited him into it, and gave him more drink. H. then went to the Indian's canoe, and brought in his furs. Something was then given him to eat, and they embarked together in H.'s canoe, taking the furs, and leaving his own canoe, with his wife, to follow. On reaching St. Marie's he was conducted to Mr. B.'s store, and told to trade. He consented to trade six large and two small beavers, and twenty muskrats, for which he acknowledged to have received satisfaction. He was freely supplied with whisky, and strongly urged to trade the other pack, containing the principal part of his hunt, but he refused, saying he had brought it to pay a credit taken of Mr. Johnston. This pack, he says, consisted of six large and two small beavers, two otters, six martins, ninety muskrats, and four minks. As an equivalent for it, they proceeded to lay out for him, as he was told and shown next morning, a blanket, hat, pair of leggins of green cloth, two fathoms strouds, one barrel of flour, one bag of corn, and three kegs of whisky. He, however, on examining it, refused to receive it, and demanded the pack of furs to go and pay his credit. Decision deferred for inquiry into the facts.

12th. Chegud, accompanied by a train, &c., made a visit of congratulation on my return (after a temporary absence).

14th. Revisited by Chacopee and his young men. He addressed me in a fine manly tone and air. He referred to his attendance and conduct at the treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac, as an era from which it might be known that he was attached to our government and counsel. The object of his present visit was to renew the acquaintance he had formed with me at those places, to say that he had not forgotten the good advice given him, and to solicit charity for his followers. He presented an ornamented pipe as an evidence of his friendship.

15th. Visited by Monomine Kashee (the Rice Maker), a chief from Post Lake in that part of the Chippewa country bordering on Green Bay. He was accompanied by Mukwakwut (Satan's Ball in the Clouds), and five other persons composing their families. In the speech made by this chief, whose influence and authority are, I believe, quite limited, he said that his visit to me had been produced by the favorable impressions he had received while attending the treaty of Butte des Morts (Wisconsin). That he had preserved the words which had been uttered in council by his American fathers, and was happy that all cause of difference with their neighbors, the Winnebagoes and Menomonies had been taken away by fixing the lines of their lands, &c. He presented four stands of wampum to confirm his professions of good will. His companion also got up, and spoke for several minutes, and concluded by requesting "that his father would not overlook him, in distributing any presents he intended to make them." He presented a pipe. After he was seated, I asked, as I was penning these minutes, the signification of his name, Mukwakwut, as the meaning did not appear obvious. He smiled and replied "that in former times his ancestors had seen devils playing ball in the air, and that his name was in allusion to the ball."

16th. Visited by Tems Couvert (the Lowering or Dark Cloud), a noted war chief of Leech Lake, upper Mississippi. He states that Mr. Oaks took from him, two years ago, nine plus,[50] and has not yet paid him, together with a medal, which last was not returned to him until his arrival at Fond du Lac this spring. He also states that Mr. Warren took from him, while he was at La Pointe on his way out, a pack of thirty obiminicqua [51] (equal to thirty full-sized, seasonable beavers), and has not, as yet, offered him anything in payment.

[50] Plus, Fr. A skin's worth.
[51] Obiminicqua, Alg. The value of a full beaver skin.

Shingabowossin (the Image Stone), Shewabeketon (the Jingling Metals), and Wayishkee (the First-born Son), the three principal chiefs of the Home Band, with seventy-one men, women and children, visited me to congratulate me on my safe return from Detroit. The old chief inquired if there was any news, and whether all remains quiet between us and the English.

Guelle Plat, or Ashkebuggecoash (the Flat Mouth), of Leech Lake, upper Mississippi, announced his arrival, with sixty persons, chiefly warriors and hunters. He brought a letter from one of the principal traders in that quarter, backed by the Sub-agent of La Pointe, recommending him as "the most respectable man in the Chippewa nation." He is said by general consent to be the most influential man in the large and powerful band of Leech Lake, comprising, by my latest accounts, seventeen hundred souls. His authority is, however, that of a village or civil chief, his coadjutor, the Lowering Cloud, having long had the principal sway with the warriors.

Being his first visit to this agency, although he had sent me his pipe in 1822, and, as he said, the first time he had been so far from his native place in a south-easterly course, I offered him the attentions due to his rank, and his visit being an introductory one, was commenced and ended by the customary ceremonies of the pipe.

The chief, Grosse Guelle (Big Throat), together with Majegábowe, and the Breche's son, all of Sandy Lake, arrived this day, accompanied by four other persons, and were received with the customary respect and attention. Having come a long distance, their first and most pressing want was food. It is indeed astonishing that the desire of showing themselves off as men of consequence in their nation, the expectation of any presents or gratifications, or the hope of any notice or preferment whatever should induce these people to undertake such long and hazardous journeys with such totally inadequate means.

17th. The Grosse Guelle repeated his visit, saying that his family had been so long without a meal of hearty food that the issue of yesterday had not sufficed to satisfy them.

Magisaunikwa (Wampum-hair) applied for provisions for himself and family, to enable them to return to his usual place of dwelling. This man's case has been previously noticed. He happened to be sitting in front of his lodge last spring, in a copse of woods near the banks of Muddy Lake, at the instant when the Inspector of Customs of St. Mary's (Mr. Agnew) had broken through the ice with his dog-train, and had exhausted himself in vain efforts to extricate himself. A cry reached the ever-open ear of the Indian, who hastened to the shore, and, after much exertion and hazard, aided by his father and family, was the means of preserving Mr. A.'s life. After getting the body out of the water, they drew it upon a small train to his lodge; where they applied dry clothing, prepared a kind of tea, and were unremitting in their attentions. When sufficiently restored, they conducted him safely to St. Mary's.

I invested him with a medal of the first class for this noble act, wishing by this mark of respect, and the presents of clothing and food accompanying it, to forcibly impress his mind with the high respect and admiration such deeds excite among civilized people, and in the further hope that it might prove a stimulus to the lukewarm benevolence of others, if, indeed, any of the natives can be justly accused of lukewarmness in this respect. On visiting Fort Brady, Lt. C. F. Morton, of N.Y., presented him a sword-knot, belt, &c. Some other presents were, I believe, made him, in addition to those given him by Mr. Agnew himself.

18th. Miscomonetoes (the Red Insect, or Red Devil; the term may mean both), and family and followers, twelve persons in all, visited the office. His personal appearance, and that of his family, bespoke wretchedness, and appeared to give force to his strong complaints against the traders who visit Ottowa Lake and the headwaters of Chippewa River of the Mississippi. He observed that the prices they are compelled to pay are extortionate, that their lands are quite destitute of the larger animals, and that the beaver is nearly destroyed.

He also complained of white and half-breed hunters intruding on their grounds, whose means for trapping and killing animals are superior to those of the Indians. According to his statement, as high as four plus (about $20) have been paid for a fathom of strouds, and the same for a two-and-a-half point blanket, two plus for a pair of scarlet leggins, &c.

18th. Ten separate parties of Indians, numbering ninety-four souls, presented themselves at the office this day, in addition to the above, from various parts of the interior, and were heard on the subject of their wants and wishes. 19th. Guelle Plat repeated his visit with his followers, and made a speech, in which he took a view of his intercourse with the English and Americans. He had passed his youth in the plains west of Red River, and was first drawn into an intercourse with the British agents at Fort William (L. S.), where he received a medal from the late Wm. McGilvray. This medal was taken by Lieut. Pike, on visiting Leech Lake, in 1806. He has visited the agency at St. Peter's, but complains that his path to that post has been marked with blood. He was present during the attack made upon the Chippewa camp by the Sioux, near Fort Snelling, in the summer of 1827. Is not satisfied with the adjustment of this affair, but is inclined to peace, and has recommended it to his young men. They can never, however, he says, count upon the good-will of the enemy, and are obliged to live in a constant state of preparation for war. They go out to hunt as if they were going on a war party. They often meet the Sioux and smoke with them, but they cannot confide in them.

Speaking of the authority exercised over their country for the purpose of trade, he said: "The Americans are not our masters; the English are not our masters; the country is ours." He wished that traders should be allowed to visit them who would sell their goods cheaper, and said that more than one trader at each trading post was desired by him and his people.

He modestly disclaimed authority over his band; said he was no chief. The Indians sometimes followed his advice; but they oftener followed their own will. He said Indians were fond of change, and were always in hopes of finding things better in another place. He believed it would be better if they would not rove so much. He had ever acted on this principle, and recommended it. He had never visited this place before, but now that he had come this far, it was his wish to go to Michilimackinac, of which he had heard much, and desired to see it. He was in hopes his journey would prove of some service to him, &c. He solicited a rifle and a hat.

The Brèche, alias Catawabeta (Broken Tooth), entered the office with one or two followers, in company with the preceding. Seeing the office crowded, he said he would defer speaking till another day. This venerable chief is the patriarch of the region around Sandy Lake, on the Upper Mississippi. He made his first visit to me a few days after the landing of the troops at this post, in 1822. In turning to some minutes of that date, I find he pronounced himself "the friend and advocate of peace," and he referred to facts to prove that his practice had been in accordance with his professions. He discountenanced the idea of the Indians taking part in our wars. He said he was a small boy at the taking of old Mackinac (1763). The French wished him to take up the war-club, but he refused. The English afterwards thanked him for this, and requested him to raise the tomahawk in their favor, but he refused. The Americans afterwards thanked him for this refusal, but they did not ask him to go to war. "They all talked of peace," he said, "but still, though they talk of peace, the Sioux continue to make war upon us. Very lately they killed three people."

The neutral policy which this chief so early unfolded, I have found quite characteristic of his oratory, though his political feelings are known to be decidedly favorable to the British government.

Omeeshug, widow of Ningotook, of Leech Lake, presented a memorandum given by me to her late husband, during my attendance at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1825, claiming a medal for her infant son, in exchange for a British medal which had been given up. On inquiry, the medal surrendered originally belonged to Waukimmenas, a prior husband, by whom she also had a son named Tinnegans (Shoulder Blade), now a man grown, and an active and promising Indian. I decided the latter to be the rightful heir, and intrusted a new medal of the second size to Mr. Roussain, to be delivered to him on his arrival at Leech Lake, with the customary formalities.

Iauwind announced himself as having arrived yesterday, with twenty-eight followers belonging to the band of Fond du Lac. He had, it appeared, visited Drummond Island, and took occasion in his speech to intimate that he had not been very favorably received. Before closing, he ran very nearly through the catalogue of Indian wants, and trusted his "American father" would supply them. He concluded by presenting a pipe. I informed him that he had not visited Drummond's in ignorance of my wishes on the subject, and that if he did not receive the presents he expected from me, he could not mistake the cause of their being withheld.

The Red Devil came to take leave, as he had sent his canoe to the head of the rapids, and was ready to embark. He made a very earnest and vehement speech, in which he once more depicted the misery of his condition, and begged earnestly that I would consider the forlorn and impoverished situation of himself and his young men. He presented a pipe. I told him it was contrary to the commands of his great father, the President, that presents should be given to any of his red children who disregarded his wishes so much as to continue their visits to foreign agencies. That such visits were very injurious to them both in a moral and economical point of view. That they thereby neglected their hunting and gardens, contracted diseases, and never failed to indulge in the most immoderate use of strong drink. That to procure the latter, they would sell their presents, pawn their ornaments, &c., and, I verily believed, were their hands and feet loose, they would pawn them, so as to be forever after incapable of doing anything towards their own subsistence. I told him that if, under such circumstances, I should give him, or any other Indian, provisions to carry them home, they must not construe it into any approbation of their late conduct, but must ascribe it wholly to feelings of pity and commiseration for their situation, &c.

Mongazid (the Loon's Foot), a noted speaker, and Jossakeed, or Seer of Fond du Lac, arrived in the afternoon, attended by eleven persons. He had scarcely exchanged salutations with me when he said that his followers and himself were in a starving condition, having had very little food for several days.

Oshogay (the Osprey), solicited provisions to return home. This young man had been sent down to deliver a speech from his father, Kabamappa, of the river St. Croix, in which he regretted his inability to come in person. The father had first attracted my notice at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, and afterwards received a small medal, by my recommendation, from the Commissioners at Fond du Lac. He appeared to consider himself under obligations to renew the assurance of his friendship, and this, with the hope of receiving some presents, appeared to constitute the object of his son's mission, who conducted himself with more modesty and timidity before me than prudence afterwards; for, by extending his visit to Drummond Island, where both he and his father were unknown, he got nothing, and forfeited the right to claim anything for himself on his return here.

I sent, however, in his charge, a present of goods of small amount, to be delivered to his father, who has not countenanced his foreign visit.

Thirteen separate parties, amounting to one hundred and eighty-three souls, visited the office and received issues of provisions this day.

21st. Mikkeingwum, of Ottoway Lake, made complaint that his canoe had been stolen, and he was left with his family on the beach, without the means of returning. On inquiring into the facts, and finding them as stated, I purchased and presented him a canoe of a capacity suitable to convey his family home.

Chianokwut (Lowering Cloud), called Tems Couvert by the French, principal war chief of Leech Lake, addressed me in a speech of some length, and presented a garnished war-club, which he requested might be hung up in the office. He said that it was not presented as a hostile symbol. He had done using it, and he wished to put it aside. He had followed the war path much in his youth, but he was now getting old, and he desired peace. He had attended the treaty of Prairie du Chien, to assist in fixing the lines of their lands. He recollected the good counsel given to him at that place. He should respect the treaty, and his ears were open to the good advice of his great American father, the President, to whose words he had listened for the last ten years. He referred to the treachery of the Sioux, their frequent violation of treaties, &c. He hoped they should hear no bad news (alluding to the Sioux) on their return home, &c.

Wabishke Penais (the White Bird) solicited food. This young chief had volunteered to carry an express from the Sub-agency of La Pointe in the spring, and now called to announce his intention of returning to the upper part of Lake Superior. His attachment to the American government, his having received a small medal from his excellency Governor Cass, on his visit to the Ontonagon River, in 1826, added to the circumstance of his having served as a guide to the party who visited the mass of native copper in that quarter in 1820, had rendered him quite unpopular with his band, and led to his migration farther west. He appears, however, recently to have reassumed himself of success, and is as anxious as ever to recommend himself to notice. This anxiety is, however, carried to a fault, being unsupported by an equal degree of good sense.

Annamikens (Little Thunder), a Chippewa of mixed blood, from Red River, expressed a wish to speak, preparatory to his return, and drew a vivid outline of his various journeys on the frontier, and his intercourse with the Hudson's Bay and Canadian governments. This man had rendered himself noted upon the frontier by a successful encounter with three grizzly bears, and the hairbreadth escape he had made from their clutches. He made, however, no allusion to this feat, in his speech, but referred in general terms to the Indians present for testimonies of his character as a warrior and hunter. He said he had now taken the American government fast by the hand, and offered to carry any counsel I might wish to send to the Indians on Red River, Red Lake, &c., and to use his influence in causing it to be respected.

His appeal to the Indians, was subsequently responded to by the chief, Tems Couvert, who fully confirmed his statements, &c.

Dugah Beshue (Spotted Lynx), of Pelican Lake, requested another trader to be sent to that place. Complains of the high prices of goods, the scarcity of animals, and the great poverty to which they are reduced. Says the traders are very rigorous in their dealings; that they take their furs from their lodges without ceremony, and that ammunition, in particular, is so high they cannot get skins enough to purchase a supply.

Visited by nine parties, comprising ninety-one souls.

22d. Received visits from, and issued provisions to eighty-one persons.

23d. Wayoond applied for food for his family, consisting of six persons, saying that they had been destitute for some time. I found, on inquiry, that he had been drinking for several days previous, and his haggard looks sufficiently bespoke the excesses he had indulged in. On the following day, being in a state of partial delirium, he ran into the river, and was so far exhausted before he could be got out, that he died in the course of the night. It is my custom to bury all Indians who die at the post, at the public expense. A plain coffin, a new blanket, and shirt, and digging a grave, generally comprises this expense, which is paid out of the contingent fund allowed the office.

Mizye (the Catfish) called on me, being on his return voyage from Drummond Island, begging that I would give him some food to enable him to reach his home at La Pointe. This Indian has the character of being very turbulent, and active in the propagation of stories calculated to keep up a British feeling amongst the Indians of Lapointe. The reprimands he has received, would probably have led him to shun the office, were he not prompted by hunger, and the hope of relief.

Whole number of visitors one hundred and thirty-five.

24th. Mongazid entered the office with his ornamented pipe, and pipe-bearer, and expressed his wish to speak. He went at some length into the details of his own life, and the history of the Fond du Lac band, with which he appears to be very well acquainted. Referred to the proofs he had given of attachment to government, in his conduct at the treaties of Prairie du Chien and Fond du Lac; and to his services, as a speaker for the Fond du Lac band, which had been acknowledged by the Chippewas generally, and procured him many followers. Said the influence of the old chief at Fond du Lac (Sappa) had declined, as his own had extended, &c. He complained in general terms of the conduct of the traders of that post, but did not specify any acts. Said he had advised his young men to assent to their father's request respecting the copper lands on Lake Superior, &c.

Having alluded in his speech to the strength of the band, and the amount of their hunt, I asked him, after he had seated himself, what was the population of Fond du Lac post. He replied, with readiness, two hundred and twenty, of whom sixty-six were males grown, and fifty-four hunters. He said that these fifty-four hunters had killed during the last year (1828) nine hundred and ninety-four bears--that thirty-nine packs of furs were made at the post, and ninety packs in the whole department.

Grosse Guelle made a formal speech, the drift of which was to show his influence among the Indians, the numerous places in which he had acted in an official capacity for them, and the proofs of attachment he had given to the American government. He rested his merits upon these points. He said he and his people had visited the agency on account of what had been promised at Fond du Lac. Several of his people had, however, gone home, fearing sickness; others had gone to Drummond Island for their presents. For himself, he said, he should remain content to take what his American father should see fit to offer him.

I inquired of him, if his influence with his people and attachment to the American government were such as he had represented, how it came, that so many of the Sandy Lake Indians, of whom he was the chief, had gone to Drummond Island?

Shingabowossin requested that another Chippewa interpreter might be employed, in which he was seconded by Kagayosh (A Bird in Everlasting Flight), Wayishkee, and Shewabekaton, chiefs of the home band. They did not wish me to put the present interpreter out of his place, but hoped I would be able to employ another one, whom they could better understand, and who could understand them better. They pointed out a person whom they would be pleased with. But his qualifications extended only to a knowledge of the Chippewa and French languages. He was deficient in moral character and trustworthiness; and it was sufficiently apparent that the person thus recommended had solicited them to make this novel application.

28th. The wife of Metakoossega (Pure Tobacco) applied for food for her husband, whom she represented as being sick at his lodge, and unable to apply himself. The peculiar features and defective Chippewa pronunciation of this woman indicated her foreign origin. She is a Sioux by birth, having been taken captive by the Chippewas when quite young. A residence of probably thirty years has not been sufficient to give her a correct knowledge of the principles or pronunciation of the language. She often applies animate verbs and adjectives to inanimate nouns, &c., a proof, perhaps, that no such distinctions are known in her native tongue.

Chacopa, a chief of Snake River, intimated his wish to be heard. He said he had visited the agency in the hope that some respect [52] would be shown the medal he carried. The government had thought him worthy of this honor; the traders had also thought him deserving of it; and many of the young men of Snake River looked up to him to speak for them. "But what," he asked, "can I say? My father knows how we live, and what we want. We are always needy. My young men are expecting something. I do not speak for myself; but I must ask my father to take compassion on those who have followed me, &c. We expect, from what our great father said to us at the treaty of Fond du Lac, that they would all be clothed yearly."

[52] This term was not meant to apply to personal respect, but to presents of goods.

Ahkakanongwa presented a note from Mr. Johnston, Sub-agent at La Pointe, recommending him as "a peaceable and obedient Indian." He requested permission to be allowed to take a keg of whisky inland on his return, and to have a permit for it in writing. I asked him the name of the trader who had sold him the liquor, and who had sent him to ask this permit.

Wayoond's widow requested provisions to enable her to return to her country. Granted.

30th. Chegud, a minor chief of Tacquimenon River, embraced the opportunity presented by his applying for food for his family, to add some remarks on the subject of the School promised them at the signing of the treaty of Fond du Lac. He was desirous of sending three of his children. The conduct of this young man for several years past, his sobriety, industry in hunting, punctuality in paying debts contracted with the traders, and his modest, and, at the same time, manly deportment, have attracted general notice. He is neat in his dress, wearing a capot, like the Canada French, is emulous of the good will of white men, and desirous to adopt, in part, their mode of living, and have his children educated. I informed him that the United States Senate, in ratifying the treaty, had struck out this article providing for a school.

31st Shanegwunaibe, a visiting Indian from the sources of Menomonie River of Green Bay, stated his object in making so circuitous a journey. (He had come by way of Michilimackinac), to visit the agency. He had been induced, from what he had heard of the Lake Superior Indians, to expect that general presents of clothing would be issued to all the Chippewas.

"Nothing," observes the Sub-agent at La Pointe, "but their wretchedness could induce the Indians to wander."

Aug. 3d. Guelle Plat returned from his visit to Michilimackinac; states that the Agent at that post (Mr. Boyd) had given him a sheep, but had referred him to me, when speaking on the subject of presents, &c., saying that he belonged to my agency.

Finding in this chief a degree of intelligence, united to habits of the strictest order and sobriety, and a vein of reflection which had enabled him to observe more than I thought he appeared anxious to communicate, I invited him into my house, and drew him into conversation on the state of the trade, and the condition of the Indians at Leech Lake, &c. He said the prices of goods were high, that the traders were rigorous, and that there were some practices which he could wish to see abolished, not so much for his own sake,[53] as for the sake of the Indians generally; that the traders found it for their interest to treat him and the principal chiefs well; that he hunted diligently, and supplied himself with necessary articles. But the generality of the Indians were miserably poor and were severely dealt by. He said, the last thing that they had enjoined upon him, on leaving Leech Lake, was to solicit from me another trader. He had not, however, deemed it proper to make the request in public council.

[53] He was flattered and pampered by them.

He states that the Indians are compelled to sell their furs to one man, and to take what he pleases to give them in return. That the trader fixes his own prices, both on the furs and on the goods he gives in exchange. The Indians have no choice in the matter. And if it happens, as it did last spring (1828), that there is a deficiency in the outfit of goods, they are not permitted quietly to bring out their surplus furs, and sell them to whom they please. He says that he saw a remarkable instance of this at Point au Pins, on his way out, where young Holiday drew a dirk on an Indian on refusing to let him take a pack of furs from his canoe. He said, on speaking of this subject, "I wish my father to take away the sword that hangs over us, and let us bring down our furs, and sell them to whom we please."

He says that he killed last fall, nearly one thousand muskrats, thirteen bears, twenty martins, twelve fishers. Beavers he killed none, as they were all killed off some years ago. He says, that fifty rats are exacted for cloth for a coat (this chief wears coats) the same for a three point blanket, forty for a two-and-a-half point blanket, one hundred for a Montreal gun, one plus for a gill of powder, for a gill of shot, or for twenty-five bullets, thirty martins for a beaver trap, fifteen for a rat trap.

Speaking of the war, which has been so long waged between the Chippewas and Sioux, to the mutual detriment of both, he said that it had originated in the rival pretensions of a Sioux and Chippewa chief, for a Sioux woman, and that various causes had since added fuel to the flame. He said that, in this long war, the Chippewas had been gainers of territory, that they were better woodsmen than the Sioux, and were able to stand their ground. But that the fear of an enemy prevented them from hunting some of the best beaver land, without imminent hazard. He had himself, in the course of his life, been a member of twenty-five different war parties, and had escaped without even a wound, though on one occasion, he with three companions, was compelled to cut his way through the enemy, two of whom were slain.

These remarks were made in private conversation. Anxious to secure the influence and good-will of a man so respectable both for his standing and his understanding, I had presented him, on his previous visit (July 19), with the President's large medal, accompanied by silver wrist-bands, gorget, &c., silver hat-band, a hat for himself and son, &c. I now added full patterns of clothing for himself and family, kettles, traps, a fine rifle, ammunition, &c., and, observing his attachment for dress of European fashion, ordered an ample cloak of plaid, which would, in point of warmth, make a good substitute for the blanket.

On a visit which he made to Fort Brady on the following day, Dr. Pitcher presented his only son, a fine youth of sixteen, a gilt sword, and, I believe, some other presents were made by the officers of the 2d Regiment.

5th. Issued an invoice of goods, traps, kettles, &c. to the Indians, who were assembled in front of the office, and seated upon the green for the purpose of making a proper distribution. I took this occasion to remind them of the interest which their great father, the President, constantly took in their welfare, and of his ardent desire that they might live in peace and friendship with each other, and with their ancient enemies, the Sioux. That he was desirous to see them increase in numbers, as well as prosperity, to cultivate the arts of peace, so far as they were compatible with their present condition and position, to participate in the benefits of instruction, and to abstain from the use of ardent spirits, that they might continue to live upon the lands of their forefathers, and increase in all good knowledge. I told them they must consider the presents, that had now been distributed, as an evidence of these feelings and sentiments on the part of the President, who expected that they would be ready to hearken to his counsels, &c.

I deemed this a suitable opportunity to reply to some remarks that had fallen from several of the speakers, in the course of their summer visits, on the subject of the stipulations contained in the treaty of Fond du Lac, and informed them that I had put the substance of their remarks into the shape of a letter to the department (see Official Let., Aug. 2d, 1828), that this letter would be submitted to the President, and when I received a reply it should be communicated to them.

6th. Shingabowossin and his band called to take leave previous to their setting out on their fall hunts. He thanked me in behalf of all the Indians, for the presents distributed to them yesterday.

Wayishkee (the First Born), a chief of the home band, on calling to take leave for the season, stated that he had been disabled by sickness from killing many animals during the last year, that his family was large, und that he felt grateful for the charity shown to his children, &c.

This chief is a son of the celebrated war chief Waubodjeeg (the White Fisher), who died at La Pointe about thirty years ago, from whom he inherited a broad wampum belt and gorget, delivered to his grandfather (also a noted chief) by Sir Wm. Johnson, on the taking of Fort Niagara, in 1759.

The allusion made to his family recalled to my mind the fact, that he has had twelve children by one wife, nine of whom are now living; a proof that a cold climate and hardships are not always adverse to the increase of the human species.

7th. Annamikens made a speech, in which he expressed himself very favorably of our government, and said he should carry back a good report of his reception. He contrasted some things very adroitly with the practices he had observed at Red River, Fort William, and Drummond's Island. Deeming it proper to secure the influence of a person who stands well with the Indians on that remote frontier, I presented him a medal of the second class, accompanying it by some presents of clothing, &c., and an address to be delivered to the Chippewas, at the sources of the Mississippi, in which I referred to the friendly and humane disposition of our government, its desire that the Indians should live in peace, refrain from drink, &c.

Terns Couvert, in a short speech, expressed himself favorably towards Annamikens, corroborating some statements the latter had made.

Chacopee came to make his farewell speech, being on the point of embarking. He recommended some of his followers to my notice, who were not present when the goods were distributed on the fifth instant. He again referred to the wants and wishes of the Indians of Snake River, who lived near the boundary lines, and were subject to the incursions of the Sioux. Says that the Sioux intrude beyond the line settled at the Prairie, &c. Requests permission to take inland, for his own use, two kegs of whisky, which had been presented to him by Mr. Dingley and Mr. Warren. [This mode of evading the intercourse act, by presenting or selling liquor on territory where the laws of Congress do not operate, shifting on the Indians the risk and responsibility of taking it inland, is a new phase of the trade, and evinces the moral ingenuity of the American Fur Company, or their servants.]

8th. Grosse Guelle stated that, as he was nearly ready to return, he wished to say a few words, to which he hoped I would listen. He complained of the hardness of times, high prices of goods, and poverty of the Indians, and hoped that presents would be given to them.[54] He alleged these causes for his visit, and that of the Sandy Lake Indians generally. Adverted to the outrage committed by the Sioux at St. Peters, and to the treaty of Prairie du Chien, at which his fathers (alluding to Gen. Clarke and Gov. Cass) promised to punish the first aggressors. Requested permission to take in some whisky--presses this topic, and says, in reply to objections, that "Indians die whether they drink whisky or not." He presented a pipe in his own name, and another in the names of the two young chiefs Wazhus-Kuk-Koon (Muskrat's Liver), and Nauganosh, who both received small medals at the treaty of Fond du Lac.

[54] By visiting Drummond's Island contrary to instructions, this chief and his band had excluded themselves from the distribution made on the 5th of August.

Katewabeda, having announced his wish to speak to me on the 6th instant, came into the office for that purpose. He took a view of the standing his family had maintained among the Sandy Lake Indians from an early day, and said that he had in his possession until very lately a French flag, which had been presented to some of his ancestors, but had been taken to exhibit at Montreal by his son-in-law (Mr. Ermatinger, an English trader recently retired from business). He had received a muzinni'egun [55] from Lieut. Pike, on his visit to Sandy Lake, in 1806, but it had been lost in a war excursion on the Mississippi. He concluded by asking a permit to return with some mdz. and liquor, upon the sale of which, and not on hunting, he depended for his support [56] I took occasion to inform him that I had been well acquainted with his standing, character, and sentiments from the time of my arrival in the country in the capacity of an agent; that I knew him to be friendly to the traders who visited the Upper Mississippi, desirous to keep the Indians at peace, and not less desirous to keep up friendly relations with the authorities of both the British and American governments; but that I also very well knew that whatever political influence he exerted, was not exerted to instil into the minds of the Indians sentiments favorable to our system of government, or to make them feel the importance of making them strictly comply with the American intercourse laws, &c. I referred to the commencement of my acquaintance with him, twenty days after my first landing at St. Mary's, and by narrating facts, and naming dates and particulars, endeavored to convince him that I had not been an indifferent observer of what had passed both within and without the Indian country. I also referred to recent events here, to which I attributed an application to trade, which he had not thought proper or deemed necessary to make in previous years.

[55] A paper; any written or printed document.
[56] This is one of the modern modes of getting goods into the country in contravention of law, Mr. Ermatinger being a foreigner trading on the Canadian side of the river.

I concluded by telling him that he would see that it was impossible, in conformity with the principles I acted upon, and the respect which I claimed of Indians for my counsels, to grant his request.

11th. Guelle Plat came to take leave preparatory to his return. He expressed his sense of the kindness and respect with which he had been treated, and intimated his intention of repeating his visit to the Agency during the next season, should his health be spared. He said, in the course of conversation, that "there was one thing in which he had observed a great difference between the practice of this and St. Peter's Agency. There whisky is given out in abundance; here I see it is your practice to give none."

12th. Invested Oshkinahwa (the Young Man of the totem of the Loon of Leech Lake), with a medal.

15th. Issued provisions to the family of Kussepogoo, a Chippewyan woman from Athabasca, recently settled at St. Mary's. It seems the name by which this remote tribe is usually known is of Chippewa origin (being a corruption of Ojeegewyan, a fisher's skin), but they trace no affinity with the Chippewa stock, and the language is radically different, having very little analogy either in its structure or sounds. It is comparatively harsh and barren, and so defective and vague in its application that it even seems questionable whether nouns and verbs have number.

18th. Visited by the Little Pine (Shingwaukonce), the leading chief on the British shore of the St. Mary's, a shrewd and politic man, who has united, at sundry periods, in himself the offices and influence of a war chief, a priest, or Jossakeed, and a civil ruler. The giving of public presents on the 5th had evidently led to his visit, although he had not pursued the policy expected from him, so far as his influence reached among the Chippewas on the American shores of the straits. He made a speech well suited to his position, and glossed off with some fine generalities, avoiding commitments on main points and making them on minor ones, concluding with a string of wampum. I smoked and shook hands with him, and accepted his tenders of friendship by re-pledging the pipe, but narrowed his visit to official proprieties, and refused his wampum.

22d. Magisanikwa, or the Wampum-hair, renewed his visit, gave me another opportunity to remember his humane act in the spring, and had his claims on this score allowed. The Indians never forget a good act done by them, and we should not permit them to surpass us in this respect.


Natural history of the north-west--Northern zoology--Fox--Owl--Reindeer--A dastardly attempt at murder by a soldier---Lawless spread of the population of northern Illinois over the Winnebago land--New York Lyceum of Natural History--U.S. Ex. Ex.--Fiscal embarrassments in the Department--Medical cause of Indian depopulation--Remarks of Dr. Pitcher--Erroneous impressions of the Indian character--Reviews--Death of John Johnston, Esq.

1828. July 24th. The ardor with which I thought it proper to address myself to the Indian duties of my office, did not induce me, by any means, to neglect my correspondence or the claims of visitors to Elmwood.

This day Lt. Col. Lindsay and Capt. Spotts, U.S.A., being on court martial duty at Fort Brady, paid their respects to me, and the Col. expressed his pleasure and surprise at the taste, order, and disposition of the grounds and the Agency.

Nor did the official duties of my position interfere with the investigation of the natural history of the country.

A large box of stuffed birds and quadrupeds, containing twenty-three specimens of various species, was sent to the Lyceum of Natural History at New York, in the month of April. Mr. William Cooper writes, under this date, that they have been received and examined. "The lynx appears to be the northern species, different from that common in this part of the country, and very rarely seen here even in the public collections. Several of the birds, also, I had never had an opportunity of examining before. The spruce partridge, Tetrae Canadensis, is very rare in the United States. There is no other species in this city besides yours. It was entirely unknown to Wilson; but it is to appear in the third vol. of Bonaparte's continuation of Wilson, to be published in the ensuing autumn. The circumstance of its being found in the Michigan Territory, is interesting on account of the few localities in which this bird has been found in our boundaries. The three-toed woodpecker, Picus tridactylus, was equally unknown to Wilson, and the second volume of Bonaparte, now about to be issued, contains an elegant figure and history of this bird, which also inhabits the north of Europe and Asia. The other birds and quadrupeds of your collection, though better known, were very interesting, as affording materials for the history of their geographical distribution, a subject now become exceedingly interesting. The plover of the plain is the turnstone, strepsilus interpres.

"The large fish is one of the genus Amia, and Dr. Dekay is inclined to think it different from the A. caloa found in our southern rivers, but of much smaller size. The tortoises belong to three species, viz., T. scabra, T. pieta, and T. serpentina. It is the first information I have obtained of their inhabiting so far to the north-west. There are also others found in your vicinity, which, if it would not be asking too much, I should be much pleased if you could obtain for the Lyceum."

"I hope you will excuse me, if I take the liberty to recommend to you, to direct your observation more particularly to those birds which come to you in winter, from the north, or in any direction from beyond the United States territory. It is among these that you may expect to find specimens new to our ornithology.

"The beautiful Fringilla, which you sent to us a few years since, is figured and described from your specimen, and in an elegant manner, in the volume just about to be published of Bonaparte's work."

Mr. G. Johnston of La Pointe, Lake Superior, writes: "Since I had the honor of receiving a printed letter from the Lyceum of Natural History, I have been enabled to procure, at this place, two specimens of the jumping mouse.

"The history the Indians give of its habits is as follows: It burrows under ground, and in summer lives on the bark of small trees. It provides and lays up a store of corn, nuts, &c., for winter consumption. It also climbs and lives in hollow parts of trees. It is also possessed of a carnivorous habit, it being peculiarly fond of burrowing in old burying places, where it lives, principally on the corpse. It is never seen in winter."

There is something in the northern zoology besides the determination of species, which denotes a very minute care in preparing animals for the particular latitudes the several species are designed for, by protecting the legs and feet against the power of intense cold. And the dispersion and migration of birds and quadrupeds are thus confined to general boundaries. The fox, in high northern latitudes, is perfectly white except the nose and tips of the ears, which are black, and the hair extends so as to cover its nails. The various kinds of owls, and the Canada jay, which winter in these latitudes, have a feathery, half-hairy protection to the toes. The American species of the reindeer, which under the name of cariboo, inhabits the country around the foot of Lake Superior, has its hoof split in such a manner that it, in fact, serves as a kind of snow shoe, spreading quite thin over about forty superficial inches, which enables it to walk on the crusted snow.

29th. Dr. William Augustus Ficklin, of Louisiana (Jackson), recalls my attention to the U.S. Exploring Expedition, the programme of which embraces my name. "You will want a physician and surgeon attached to the expedition. Is the place yet filled?" My acquaintance with this young gentleman, then a lad at his father's house, in Missouri, recalls many pleasing recollections, which gives me every inducement to favor his wishes.

August 2d. Mr. Robert Irwin, Junr., of Green Bay, writes that a most diabolical attempt was recently made at that place, a few days ago, to take the life of Maj. Twiggs, by a corporal belonging to his command. The circumstances were briefly these: About two o'clock in the afternoon, the major had retired to his room to repose himself. Soon after the corporal entered the room so secretly that he presented a loaded musket within a few inches of his head, and, as Providence would have it, the gun missed fire. The noise awoke the major, who involuntarily seized the muzzle, and, while looking the fellow full in the face, he cocked the gun and again snapped it; but it missed fire the second time. With that the major sprang up in bed and wrenched the gun out of the assassin's hands, and with the breech knocked the fellow down, fracturing his skull so much that his life was for many days despaired of.

4th. Gov. Cass, who has proceeded to Green Bay as a Commissioner for treating with the Indians, writes: "I am waiting here very impatiently for arrivals from the Indian country. But nothing comes, as yet, except proof stronger and stronger of the injustice done to the Winnebagoes by the actual seizure of their country." To repress this spirit of the people of northern Illinois, much time and negotiation was required. By his knowledge of the Indian and frontier character, an arrangement was at length concluded for the occupation of the Rock River and Galena country.

23d. An official letter of the New York Lyceum of Natural History expresses their thanks for recent donations. Dr. Van Rensselaer says: "Your birds, reptiles, and quadrupeds have been most graciously received.... The expedition to the South Seas (heretofore noticed in this journal) will afford a field for some naturalist to labor in. Dr. Dekay intends to apply for the situation. We are at present engaged in drawing up some instructions for the naturalist (whoever he may be), which we shall hand to Mr. Southard, who is now here and has requested it. We trust the expedition will add something to our knowledge as well as to our pecuniary wealth."

27th. Fiscal--Something has been out of kelter at Washington these two years with regard to the rigid application of appropriations, at least in the Indian Department. We have been literally without money, and issuing paper to public creditors and employees. Surely a government that collects its own revenues should never want funds to pay its agents and officers.

Mr. Trowbridge writes: "The money pressure is nearly or quite over in New York, but we feel it here in a dreadful degree. The want of public disbursements this year, upon which we have always rested our hopes with so much confidence, added to the over-introduction of goods for a year or two past, has produced this state of things, and I sometimes think that there will be no great improvement in this generation."

29th. Medical Causes of Depopulation.--The causes of Indian depopulation are wars, the want of abundance of food, intemperance, and idleness. Dr. Pitcher, in a letter of this date, says: "In your note (to 'Sanillac') on the subject of the diminution in numbers of our aboriginal neighbors, you have seized upon the most conspicuous, and, during their continuance, the most fatal causes of their decline. With the small-pox you might, however, associate the measles, which, in consequence of their manner of treating the fever preceding the eruption, viz., the use of vapor and cold baths combined, most commonly tends to a mortal termination. To these two evils, propagated by the diffusion of a specific virus, may be added the prevalence of general epidemics, such as influenza, &c., whose virulence expends its force without restraint upon the Indians. They are not (as you are aware) a people who draw much instruction from the school of experience, particularly in the department of medicine, and, when by the side of this fact you place the protean forms which the diseases of epidemic seasons assume, the inference must follow that multitudes of them perish where the civilized man would escape (of which I could furnish examples).

"It is the province of the science of medicine to preserve to society its feeble and invalid members, which, notwithstanding the war it wages upon the principle of political economists, augments considerably the sum of human life. The victims of the diseases of civilization do not balance the casualties, &c. of a ruder state of society, as may be seen by inspecting the tables of the rates of mortality for a century past.

"I will suggest to you the propriety of improving this opportunity for setting the public right on one point, and that is the effects of aboriginal manners upon the physical character. For my part, I have long since ceased to believe that they are indebted to their mode of life for the vigor, as a race, which they exhibit, but that the naturally feeble are destroyed by the vicissitudes to which they are exposed, and which, in part, gives them an appearance, hardy and athletic, above their civilized neighbors."

Erroneous impressions of Indians.--Maj. Whiting, of Detroit, says (27th inst.): "I dare say I may find many things which will suit our purposes well. Something new and genuine is what we want, and the source gives assurance these things all bear that character. It is time the public should know that neither ladies nor gentlemen who have never crossed the lakes or the Alleghany, can have any but vague ideas of the children of the forest. An Indian might not succeed well in portraying life in New York, because he does not read much, and would have to trust pretty much, if not altogether, to imagination; but his task would differ only in degree from that of the literary pretender who has never traveled West beyond the march of fresh oysters (though by the way, these have been seen in Detroit), and yet thinks he can penetrate the shadows and darkness of the wilderness. They put a hatchet in his hand, and stick a feather in his cap, and call him 'Nitche Nawba.' If I recollect right, in Yamoyden a soup was made of some white children. Indians have not been over dainty at times, and no doubt have done worse things; but on such occasions their modus operandi was not likely to be so much in accordance with the precepts of Madam Glass."

Reviews.--"I read over your last article in the N.A., and thought it had rather less point and connection than you had probably given it; but it still has much to recommend it. The remarks on language were more intelligible to me than any I have before seen, and have given me many clues which I have vainly sought for in preceding dissertations of the kind."

Sept. 22d. This day the patriarch of the place, John Johnston, Esq., breathed his last. He had attained the age of sixty-six. A native of the county of Antrim, in the north of Ireland; a resident for some thirty-eight years of this frontier; a gentleman in manners; a merchant, in chief, in the hazardous fur trade; a man of high social feelings and refinements; a cotemporary of the long list of men eminent in that department; a man allied to bishops and nobles at home; connected in marriage with a celebrated Chippewa family of Algonquins; he was another Rolfe, in fact, in his position between the Anglo-Saxon and the Indian races; his life and death afford subjects for remark which are of the deepest interest, and would justify a biography, not a mere notice. I wrote a brief sketch for the New York Albion, and transmitted copies of the paper to some of his connections in Ireland.

His coming out from that country was during the first presidency of Washington, and a few years before the breaking out of the Irish Rebellion. He had a deep sense of his country's injuries, and of the effect of the laws which pressed so heavily on her energies, political and commercial; but was entirely loyal, and maintained the highest tone of loyalism in argument. He saw deeply the evils, but not the remedy, which he thought to lay rather in future and peaceful developments.

He suffered greatly and unjustly in the war of 1812, in which his place was pillaged by the American troops, and some forty thousand dollars of his private property destroyed, contrary to the instructions of the American commandant. Low-minded persons who had been in his service as clerks, and disliked his pretensions to aristocracy, were the cause of this, and piloted the detachment up the river. He was, however, in nowise connected with the North-west Company, far less "one of its agents." He was a civil magistrate under Gov.-Gen. Prevost, and was honestly attached to the British cause, and he had never accepted any office or offers from the American government. The Canadian British authorities did not, however, compensate him for his losses, on the ground of his living over the lines, at a time, too, when Gen. Brock had taken the country and assumed the functions of civil and military governor over all Michigan. The American Congress did not acknowledge the obligation to sustain the orders to respect private property, the Chairman of the Committee of Claims reporting that the actors "might be prosecuted," and the old gentleman's last years were thus embittered, and he went down to the grave the victim of double misconceptions--leaving to a large family of the Indo-Irish stock little beyond an honorable and unspotted name.


Treaty of St. Joseph--Tanner--Visits of the Indians in distress--Letters from the civilized world--Indian code projected--Cause of Indian suffering--The Indian cause--Estimation of the character of the late Mr. Johnston--Autobiography--Historical Society of Michigan--Fiscal embarrassments of the Indian Department.

1828. Tanner was a singular being--out of humor with the world, speaking ill of everybody, suspicious of every human action, a very savage in his feelings, reasonings, and philosophy of life, and yet exciting commiseration by the very isolation of his position. He had been stolen by the Indians in the Ohio Valley when a mere boy, during the marauding forays which they waged against the frontiers about 1777. He was not then, perhaps, over seven years of age--so young, indeed, as to have forgotten, to a great degree, names and dates. His captors were Saganaw Chippewas, among whom he learned the language, manners and customs, and superstitions of the Indians. They passed him on, after a time, to the Ottowas of L'Arbre Croche, near Mackinac, among whom he became settled in his pronunciation of the Ottowa dialect of the great Algonquin family. By this tribe, who were probably fearful a captive among them would be reclaimed after Wayne's war and the defeat of the combined Indians on the Miami of the Lakes, he was transferred to kindred tribes far in the north-west. He appears to have grown to manhood and learned the arts of hunting and the wild magic notions of the Indians on the Red River of the North, in the territory of Hudson's Bay. Lord Selkirk, in the course of his difficulties with the North-west Company, appears to have first learned of his early captivity.

He came out to Mackinac with the traders about 1825, and went to find his relatives in Kentucky, with whom, however, he could not long live. His habits were now so inveterately savage that he could not tolerate civilization. He came back to the frontiers and obtained an interpretership at the U.S. Agency at Mackinac. The elements of his mind were, however, morose, sour, suspicious, antisocial, revengeful, and bad. In a short time he was out with everybody. He caused to be written to me a piteous letter. Dr. James, who was post surgeon at the place, conceived that his narrative would form a popular introduction to his observations on some points of the Indian character and customs, which was the origin of a volume that was some years afterwards given to the public.

A note he brought me in 1828, from a high source, procured him my notice. I felt interested in his history, received him in a friendly manner, and gave him the place of interpreter. He entered on the duties faithfully; but with the dignity and reserve of an Indian chief. He had so long looked on the dark side of human nature that he seldom or never smiled. He considered everybody an enemy. His view of the state of Indian society in the wilderness made it a perfect hell. They were thieves and murderers. No one from the interior agreed with him in this. The traders, who called him a bad man, represent the Indians as social when removed from the face of white men, and capable of noble and generous acts. He was, evidently, his own judge and his own avenger in every question. I drew out of him some information of the Indian superstitions, and he was well acquainted practically with the species of animals and birds in the northern latitudes.

30th. A letter informs me that a treaty has just been concluded with the Potawattomies of St. Joseph's, who cede to the United States about a million and a half acres, comprising the balance of their lands in Michigan. I received, at the same time, a few lines from Gen. Cass, speaking a word for the captive, John Tanner, the object of which was to suggest his employment as an interpreter in the Indian Department.[57]

[57] This man served a short time, but turned out, for eighteen years, to be the pest of that settlement, being a remarkably suspicious, lying, bad-minded man, having lost every virtue of the white man, and accumulated every vice of the Indian. He became more and more morose and sour because the world would not support him in idleness, and went about half crazed, in which state he hid himself one day, in 1836, in the bushes, and shot and killed my brother, James L. Schoolcraft. He then fled back to the Indians, and has not been caught. The musket with which this nefarious act was done, is said to have been loaned to him from the guard-house at Fort Brady. Dr. Bagg pronounced the ball an ounce-ball, such as is employed in the U.S. service. The wad was the torn leaf of a hymn book. It was extensively reported by the diurnal press, that I had been the victim of this unprovoked perfidy.

October 31st. The Indian visits, from remote bands, which were very remarkable this year, continued through the entire month of August, and beyond the date at which I dropped the notices of them, during September, when they were reduced, as party after party returned to the interior, to the calls of the ordinary bands living about the post, and, at furthest, to the foot of Lake Superior and the valley and straits of the St. Mary's. With them, or rather before them, went the traders with their new outfits and retinues, chiefly from Michilimackinac. As one after another departed, there was less need of that vigilance, "by night and by day," to see that none of the latter class went without due license; that the foreign boatmen on their descriptive lists were duly bonded for; that no "freedmen" slipped in; and that no ardent spirits were taken in contrary to law. Gradually my public duties were thus narrowed down to the benevolent wants of the bands that were immediately around me, to seeing that the mechanics employed by the Department did their duties, and to keeping the office at Washington duly informed of the occurrences and incidents belonging to Indian affairs. All this, after the close of summer, requires but a small portion of a man's time, and as winter, which begins here the first of November, approached, I felt impelled to devote a larger share of attention to subjects of research or literary amusement. I missed two men in plunging into the leisure hours of my seventh winter (omitting 1825), in this latitude, namely, Mr. Johnston, whose conversation and social sympathies were always felt, and Dr. Pitcher, whose tastes for natural science and general knowledge rendered him a valuable visitor.

Letters from the civilized world tended to keep alive the general sympathies, which none more appreciate than those who are shut out from its circles. Mr. Edward Everett (Oct. 6th) communicates his sentiments favorably, respecting the preparation of an article for the North American Review. The Rev. Mr. Cadle (Oct. 7th) sends a package of Bibles and Prayer Books for distribution among the soldiers, which he entrusts to Mrs. S. The Rev. Mr. Wells, of Detroit, writes of some temporality. Mr. Trowbridge keeps me advised respecting the all important and growing importance of the department's fiscal affairs.

The author of "Sanillac" (Oct. 8th) acknowledges the reception and reading of my "Notes," with which he expresses himself pleased. The head of the Indian office writes, "The plan has been adopted of compiling a code of regulations for the Indian intercourse during the winter. For this duty, Gen. Clarke, of St. Louis, and Gen. Cass, of Detroit, have been selected." Such were some of the extraneous subjects which the month of October brought from without.

The month of November was not without some incidents of interest. From the first to the fifteenth, a number of Indian families applied for food, under circumstances speaking loudly in their favor. The misfortune is, that these poor creatures are induced to part with everything for the means of gratifying their passion for drink, and then lingering around the settlements as long as charity offers to supply their daily wants. The usual term of application for this class is, Kittemaugizzi, or Nim bukkudda, I am in want, or I am hungry. By making my office a study, I am always found in the place of public duty, and the latter is only, in fact, a temporary relief from literary labor. I have often been asked how I support solitude in the wilderness. Here is the answer: the wilderness and the busy city are alike to him who derives his amusements from mental employment.

Nov. 7th. The Indian Cause.--In a letter of this date from Mr. J.D. Stevens, of the Mission of Michilimackinac, he suggests a colony to be formed at some point in the Chippeway country of Lake Superior, and inquires whether government will not patronize such an effort to reclaim this stock. The Indian is, in every view, entitled to sympathy. The misfortune with the race is, that, seated on the skirts of the domain of a popular government, they have no vote to give. They are politically a nonentity. The moral and benevolent powers of our system are with the people. Government has nothing to do with them. The whole Indian race is not, in the political scales, worth one white man's vote. Here is the difficulty in any benevolent scheme. If the Indian were raised to the right of giving his suffrage, a plenty of politicians, on the frontiers, would enter into plans to better him. Now the subject drags along as an incubus on Congress. Legislation for them is only taken up on a pinch. It is a mere expedient to get along with the subject; it is taken up unwillingly, and dropped in a hurry. This is the Indian system. Nobody knows really what to do, and those who have more information are deemed to be a little moon-struck.

18th. ESTIMATION OF MR. JOHNSTON.--Gov. Cass writes from Washington: "Mr. Johnston's death is an event I sincerely deplore, and one upon which I tender my condolements to the family. He was really no common man. To preserve the manners of a perfect gentleman, and the intelligence and information of a well-educated man, in the dreary wastes around him, and in his seclusion from all society but that of his own family, required a vigor and elasticity of mind rarely to be found."

NEW INDIAN CODE.--The loose and fragmentary character of the Indian code has, at length, arrested attention at Washington, and led to some attempts to consolidate it. A correspondent writes (Nov. 18th): "Gen. Clarke has not yet arrived, but is expected daily. In the meantime, I have prepared an analysis of the subject, which has been approved by the department, and, on the arrival of Gen. Clarke, we shall be prepared to proceed to the compilation of our code, which, I do hope, will put things in a better situation for all."

The derangements in the fiscal affairs of the Indian department are in the extreme. One would think that appropriations had been handled with a pitchfork. A correspondent writes: "For 1827, we were promised $48,000, and received $30,000. For 1828, we were promised $40,000, and have received $25,000; and, besides these promises, were all the extra expenditures authorized to be incurred, amounting to not less than $15,000. It is impossible this can continue." And these derangements are only with regard to the north. How the south and west stand, it is impossible to say. But there is a screw loose in the public machinery somewhere.

Dec. 5th. AUTOBIOGRAPHY.--"It is to be regretted," writes Dr. Edwin James, "that our lamented friend (Mr. Johnston) had not lived to complete his autobiography. This deficiency constitutes no valid objection to the publication of the memoirs, though it appears to me highly desirable that you should complete the sketch, so as to include the history of the latter portion of his life. In perfect accordance with the plan of such a continuation, you would embody much valuable detail in relation to the history and condition of this section of the country for the last thirty years. You must, doubtless, have access to all the existing materials, and to many sources of authentic information, which could, very appropriately, be given to the public in such a form."

15th. UNION OF THE PURSUITS OF NATURAL AND CIVIL HISTORY.--I brought forward, and had passed at the last session of the Legislature, an act incorporating the Historical Society of Michigan. Dr. Pitcher, who has recently changed his position to Fort Gratiot, at the foot of Lake Huron, proposes the embracing of natural history among its studies. He finds his position, at that point, to be still unfavorable in some aspects, and not much, if anything, superior to what it was at St. Mary's.

27th. FISCAL PERPLEXITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.--These were alluded to before. No improvement appears, but we are all destined to suffer. A friend, who is versed in the subject, writes from Washington: "The fact is, that nothing could be worse managed than the fiscal concerns of the department. Not the slightest regard has been paid to the apportionment made, and there is now due to our superintendency more than the sum of $40,000. You can well conceive how this happens, and I have neither time nor patience to enter into the details; suffice it to say, that I am promised by the Secretary that the moment the appropriation law passes, which will probably be early in January, every dollar of arrearages shall be paid off. This is all the consolation I can furnish you, and, I suppose I need not say that I have left no stone unturned to effect a more desirable result. It is manifest, however, that the whole department will be exceedingly pressed for funds next year, as a considerable part of the appropriation must be assigned to the payment of arrearages, which have been suffered to accumulate; and it is not considered expedient, in the present state of affairs, to ask for a specific appropriation. It will require at least two years to bring our fiscal concerns to a healthy state."

In fact, to meet these embarrassments, many retrenchments became necessary; some sub-agencies were drawn in from the Indian country, mechanics and interpreters were dismissed, and things put on the very lowest scale of expenditure.


Political horizon--Ahmo Society--Incoming of Gen. Jackson's administration--Amusements of the winter--Peace policy among the Indians--Revival at Mackinac--Money crisis--Idea of Lake tides--New Indian code--Anti-masonry--Missions among the Indians--Copper mines--The policy respecting them settled--Whisky among the Indians--Fur trade--Legislative council--Mackinac mission---Officers of Wayne's war--Historical Society of Michigan--Improved diurnal press.

1829. Jan. 1st. The administration of John Quincy Adams now draws to a close, and that of Gen. Jackson is anticipated to commence. Political things shape themselves for these events. The close of the old year and the opening of the new one have been remarkable for heralding many rumors of change which precede the incoming of the new administration. Many of these relate to the probable composition of Gen. Jackson's cabinet. Among the persons named in my letters is Gov. Cass, who has attracted a good deal of exterior notoriety during the last year. Within the territory, his superiority of talents and energy have never been questioned. Michigan would have much to lament by such a transference, for it is to be feared that party rancor, which he has admirably kept down, would break forth in all its accustomed violence.

17th. AHMO SOCIETY.--Under this aboriginal term, which signifies a bee, the ladies of the fort and village have organized themselves into a sewing society for benevolent purposes. I find myself honored with a letter of thanks from them by their secretary, Mrs. E.S. Russell. Truly, the example of Dorcas was not mentioned in vain in the Scriptures, for its effect is to excite the benevolent and charitable everywhere to do likewise. Every such little influence helps to make society better, and aids its sources of pleasing and self-sustaining reflection.

February 12th. A letter from the editor of the North American Review acknowledges the receipt of a paper to appear in its columns.

March 4th, The administration of the government this day passes into the hands of a man of extraordinary individuality of character, indomitable will, high purpose, and decided moral courage. He was fighting the Creeks and Seminoles when I first went to the West, and they told the most striking anecdotes of him, illustrating each of these traits of character. Ten or eleven years have carried him into the presidential chair. Such is the popular feeling with respect to military achievements and strong individuality of character. Men like to follow one who shows a capacity to lead.

31st. The winter has passed with less effect from the intensity of its cold and external dreariness, from the fact of my being ensconsed in a new house, with double window-sashes, fine storm-houses, plenty of maple fuel, books, and studies. Besides the fruitful theme of the Indian language, I amused myself, in the early part of the season, by writing a review for one of the periodicals, and with keeping up, throughout the season, an extensive correspondence with friends and men of letters in various parts of the Union. I revised and refreshed myself in some of my early studies, I continued to read whatever I could lay my hands on respecting the philosophy of language. Appearances of spring--the more deepened sound of the falls, the floating of large cakes of ice from the great northern depository, Lake Superior, and the return of some early species of ducks and other birds--presented themselves as harbingers of spring almost unawares. It is still wintry cold during the nights and mornings, but there is a degree of solar heat at noon which betokens the speedy decline of the reign of frosts and snows.

The Indians, to whom the rising of the sap in its capillary vessels in the rock-maple is the sign of a sort of carnival, are now in the midst of their season of sugar-making. It is one of their old customs to move, men, women, children, and dogs, to their accustomed sugar-forests about the 20th of March. Besides the quantity of maple-sugar that all eat, which bears no small proportion to all that is made, some of them sell a quantity to the merchants. Their name for this species of tree is In-in-au-tig, which means man-tree.

April 5th. PEACE POLICY.--The agent from La Pointe, in Lake Superior, writes: "My expressman from the Fond du Lac arrived on the 31st of last month, by whom I learned that the Leech Lake Indians were unsuccessful in their war excursion last fall, not having met with their enemies, the Sioux, and I trust my communication with Mr. Aitkin will be in time to check parties that may be forming in the spring.

"The state of the Indians throughout the country is generally in a critical way of starvation, the wild-rice crops and bear-hunts having completely failed last fall."

21st. REVIVAL OF RELIGION AT MACKINAC.--My brother James, who crossed the country on snow-shoes, writes: "Mr. Stuart, Satterlee, Mitchell, Miss N. Dousman, Aitken, and some twenty others, have joined Ferry's church." This may be considered as the crowning point of the Reverend Mr. Ferry's labors at that point. This gentleman, if I mistake not, came up in the same steamer with me seven years ago. It is seed--seed literally sown in the wilderness, and reaped in the wilderness.

29th. MONEY CRISIS.--"The fact is," says a person high in power, "the fiscal concerns of the department have come to a dead stand, and nothing remains but to ascertain the arrearages, and pay them up. You well know how all this has happened (by diversions and misappropriations of the funds at Washington). Such management you can form no conception of. There will be, during the year, a thorough change.

"I was glad to see your article. It is an able, and temperate, and practical view of the subject (N.A.R., Ap. 1829), grossly exaggerated, and grossly misunderstood."

May 19th. IDEA OF LAKE TIDES.--Maj. W. writes: "If you see Silliman's Journal, you will observe an article on the subject of the Lake Tides, as Gen. Dearborn calls them, in which he has inserted some hasty letters I wrote to him on this subject, without, however, ever expecting to see them in such a respectable guise. The Governor made some more extended observations at Green Bay. If you can give anything more definite in relation to the changes of Lake Superior, pray let me have a letter, and we will try to spread before Mr. Silliman a better view of the case. I have no idea that anything in the shape, of a tide exists, The Governor is of the same opinion."

To these opinions I can merely add, Amen. It requires more exactitude of observation than falls to the lot of casual observers, to upset the conclusions of known laws and phenomena.

26th. NEW INDIAN CODE.--Mr. Wing, the delegate in Congress, forwards to me a printed copy of the report of laws proposed for the Indian department. It denotes much labor on the part of the two gentlemen who have had it in hand, and will be productive of improvement. I should have liked a bolder course, and not so careful a respect all along, for what has previously been done. Congress requires, sometimes, to be instructed, or informed, and not to be copied in its attempts to manage Indian, affairs.

Every paper brings accounts of removals and appointments under the new administration; but nothing, so far as I can judge, that promises much, in this way, of material benefit to Indian affairs. The department at head-quarters has been, so far as respects fiscal questions, wretchedly managed, and is over head and ears in debt, and the result of all this mal-administration is visited on the frontiers, in the bitter want of means for the agents, sub-agents, and mechanics, and interpreters, who are obliged to be either suspended, or put on short allowance. Doubtless, Gen. Jackson, who is a man of high purpose, would remedy this thing, if the facts were laid before him.

30th. MASONRY.--It has recently been discovered, that there is a hidden danger in this ancient fraternity, and that society has been all the while sitting, as it were, on the top of a volcano, liable, at any moment, to burst. Such, at least, appear to be the views of some politicians, who have seized upon the foolish and apparently criminal acts of some lack-wits in western New York, to make it a new political element for demagogues to ride. Already it has reached these hitherto quiet regions, and zealots are now busy by conventions, and anxious in hurrying candidates up to the point. "Anti-masonic" is the word, a kind of "shibboleth" for those who are to cross the political "fords" of the new Jordan.

June 1st. MISSIONARY LABORS AMONG THE INDIANS.--There are evidently some defects in the system. There is too much expended for costly buildings, and the formation of a kind of literary institutes of much too high a grade, where some few of the Indians are withdrawn and very expensively supported, and undergo a sort of incarceration for a time, and are then sent back to the bosom of the tribes, with the elements of the knowledge of letters and history, which their parents and friends are utterly unable to appreciate, and which they, in fact, ridicule. The instructed youth is soon discouraged, and they most commonly fall back into habits worse than before, and end their course by inebriety, while the body of the tribe is nowise bettered. Whatever the defects are, there are certainly some things to amend in our measures and general policy.

Mr. Stevens and Mr. Coe, both missionaries, have recently been appointed to visit the Indian country, with the object of observing whether some less expensive and more general effort to instruct and benefit the body of the tribes, cannot be made. The latter has a commentatory letter to this end, from Gen. Jackson, dated the 19th of March, which denotes an interest on this topic that argues favorably of his views of moral things.

"The true system of converting the Indians was, it is apprehended, adopted by David Brainerd in 1744. He took the Bible, and declared its truths with simplicity and earnestness in the Indian villages. There was no preparation of buildings or outlays. In one year he had gathered a church of pure believers. Their manners immediately reformed; they became industrious and cleanly, and built houses, and schools, and tilled the land. All this was a consequence, and not a cause of Christianity." [58]

[58] Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 10.

2d. A friend writes: "I believe the literary world is rather lazy just at this time; at least nothing novel, except words, has reached my eye. Your Literary Voyager has lately been traveling the rounds amongst your friends."

12th. COPPER MINES.--A private letter, from a high quarter, says: "Col. Benton's bill, respecting the copper mines, which passed Congress, only provided for permission being granted to individuals to work them at their own expense. There is no intention of doing anything on public account." This, it will be perceived, was the view presented (ante) by Mr. Dox, in his able letter to me on the subject, several years ago. Congress will not authorize the working of the mines. It is a matter for private enterprize.

July 14th. WHISKY AMONG THE INDIANS.--Mr. Robert Stuart, Agent to the American Fur Company, writes from Mackinac, that some of the American Fur Company's clerks are not inclined to take whisky, under the general government permit, provided their opponents take none. This tampering with the subject and with me, in the conduct of the agent of that company, whose duty it is rigidly to exclude the article by every means, would accord better, it should seem, with the spirit of one who had not recently taken obligations which are applicable to all times and all space. Little does the spirit of commerce care how many Indians die inebriates, if it can be assured of beaver skins. The situation of any of its agents, who may acknowledge Christian obligations, is doubtless an embarrassing one; and such persons should seek to get out of such an employment as soon as possible. The true direction, in all cases of this kind, is, to take high moral grounds. The department, by granting such permits, violates a law. The agent of the company who seeks to exclude "opponents" in the trade, errs by attempting to throw the responsibility of the minor question upon the local agent, over whose head he already shakes his permits from a superior power. Now the "opponents," be it understood, have no such "permits," and the agent can give them none.

This subject of ardent spirits is a constantly recurring one in every possible form; and no little time of an agent of Indian affairs, and no small part of his troubles and vexations, are due to it. The traders and citizens generally, on the frontiers, are leagued in their supposed interests to break down, or evade the laws, Congressional and territorial, which exclude it, or make it an offence to sell or give it. If an agent aims honestly to put the law in force, he must expect to encounter obloquy. If he appeals to the local courts, it is ten to one that nine-tenths of his jury are offenders in this very thing. So far as the American Fur Company is concerned, it is seen, I think, by the course of the managers, that it would conduce to better hunts if the Indians were kept sober, and liquor were rigidly excluded; but the argument is, that "on the lines"--that the Hudson's Bay Company use it, and that their trade would suffer if they had not "some." And they thus override the agents, by appealing to higher powers, and so get permits annually, for a limited quantity, of which they and not the agents are the judges. In this way the independence of the agents is constantly kept down, and made to bend to a species of mock popular will.

In view of the counteracting influence of the American Fur Company on this frontier, it would be better for the credit of morals, properly so considered, if the chief agent of that concern at Michilimackinac were not a professor of religion, or otherwise, if he were in a position to act out its precepts boldly and frankly on this subject. For, as it now is, his position is perpetually mistaken. A temperance man, he is yet a member of a local temperance society, which only operates against the retailers, but leaves members free to sell by the barrel. Bound, by the principles of law, not to introduce whisky into the interior, he yet sells it to others, knowing their intention to be to run it over the lines, in spite of the agents. This is done by white and red men. And he obtains "permits" besides, as head of the company, at head-quarters at Washington, to take in, openly, a certain quantity of high wines every year. Talk to that gentleman on the subject, and he is eloquent in defence of temperance. Thus the obligation is kept to the ear, but broken in the practice. A business that thus compels a man to hamper his conscience, and cause scandal to the church, should be abandoned at once.

Aug. 29th. FUR TRADE.--Mr. Sparks, Ed. N.A. Rev., reminds me of an intimation mentioned to Mr. Palfrey, to write an article on this subject, "From observation," he remarks, "and inquiry you have enjoyed peculiar advantages for gaining a knowledge of the Indians, their history, character and habits, and the world will be greatly indebted to you for continuing to diffuse this knowledge, as your opportunities may allow."

The fur trade has certainly been productive of a market to Indians for the result of their forest labors, without which they would want many necessaries. But while it has stimulated hunting, and so far as this goes, industry, in the Indian race, it has tended directly to diminish the animals upon which they subsist, and thus hastened the period of the Indian supremacy, while it has introduced the evil of intoxication by ardent spirits.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.--I left St. Mary's the latter part of August, to attend the second session of the third legislative council at Detroit. The same tendency was manifested as in the first session, to lean favorably to the old pioneers and early settlers of an exposed frontier, which has suffered severely from Indian wars, and other causes of depression. With the exception of divorce cases, there were really no bad laws passed; and no disposition manifested to excessive legislation, or to encumber the statute book with new schemes. Local and specific acts absorbed the chief attention during the session.

Deeming it ever better to keep good old laws than to try ill-digested and doubtful new ones, I used my influence to repress the spirit of legislating for the sake of legislation, wherever I saw appearances of it. As Chairman of the Committee on Finances, I managed that branch with every possible care. I busied myself with the plan of trying to introduce terse and tasty names for the new townships, taken from the Indian vocabulary--to suppress the sale of ardent spirits to the Indian race, and to secure something like protection for that part of the population which had amalgamated with the European blood.

MACKINAC MISSION.--Towards the close of the session, a movement was made against the Mackinac Mission by an attempt to repeal the law exempting the persons engaged in it from militia and jury service. A formal attack was made by one of the members against that establishment, its mode of management, and character. This I resisted. Being in my district, and familiar with the facts and persons implicated, I repelled the charge as being entirely unjust to the Rev. Mr. Ferry, the gentleman at the head of that institution. I drew up a report on the subject, vindicating the institution, which was adopted and printed. This was a triumph achieved with some exertions.

NAMES OF THE OFFICERS WHO SERVED WITH GEN. WAYNE.--Gen. Brady gave me, during this session, a list of the names of the officers who had served reputably in the Indian campaigns conducted by Gen. Wayne in 1791-2-3. I proposed to retain them in naming the townships, the possession of the territorial area of which we owe to their bravery and gallantry.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN.--This institution was incorporated at the first session of the Third Legislative Council, in 1828. The bill for this purpose was introduced by me, after consultation with some literary friends. It contained the plan of constituting the members of the Legislative Council members ex-officio. This, it was apprehended, and rightly so, would give it an official countenance, and serve, in some things, as a convenient basis for meetings during the few years that precede a State government, while our literary population continues sparse. My experience in the East had shown me that quorums are not readily attained in literary societies, which is a sore hindrance to the half dozen efficient laborers out of a populous city, who generally hold the laboring oar of such institutions.

The historical incidents of this section of the Union are quite attractive, and, while general history has cognizance of the leading events, there is much in the local keeping of old men who are ready to drop off. There is more in the aboriginal history and languages that invites attention, while the modern history--the exploration and settlement of the country, and the leading incidents which are turning a wilderness into abodes of civilization--is replete with matter that will be of deep interest to posterity. To glean in this broad field appears an important literary object.

Gov. Cass gave us this session the first discourse, in a rapid and general and eloquent review of the French period, including the transfer of authority to Great Britain, and an account of the bold and original attempted surprise of the English garrison at Detroit, by Pontiac. This well-written and eloquently-digested discourse was listened to with profound interest, and ordered to be printed.[59]

[59] Vide Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan, 1 vol. 12mo; Wells and Whitney, 1834.

IMPROVED PRESS.--In a state of society which relies so much on popular information through the diurnal press, its improvement is of the highest consequence. Mr. William Ward, of Massachusetts, performed this office for the city of Detroit and Michigan this fall, by the establishment of a new paper, which at first bore the title of North-west Journal, and afterwards of Detroit Journal. This sheet exhibits a marked advance in editorial ability, maturity of thought, and critical acumen.

I embarked at Detroit, on my return to St. Mary's, late in October, leaving the council still in session, and reached that place on one of the last days of the month.

Dec. 20th. Mr. Ward writes: "We have published The Rise of the West, and the Ages of Michigan. It is printed well, but bound, sorry I am to say, carelessly. I suppose the Major will send you a copy."

Rise of the West, or a Prospect of the Mississippi Valley, embraces reminiscences of this noble stream, and of its banks being settled by the Anglo-Saxons.


The new administration--Intellectual contest in the Senate--Sharp contest for mayoralty of Detroit--Things shaping at Washington--Perilous trip on the ice--Medical effects of this exposure--Legislative Council--Visit to Niagara Falls--A visitor of note--History--Character of the Chippewas--Ish-ko-da-wau-bo--Rotary sails--Hostilities between the Chippewas and Sioux--Friendship and badinage--Social intercourse--Sanillac--Gossip--Expedition to Lake Superior--Winter Session of the Council--Historical disclosure--Historical Society of Rhode Island--Domestic--French Revolution.

1830. Jan. 26th. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION.--A friend from Washington writes: "Nothing has yet been touched in the Indian department. It is doubtful whether our code will be considered. The engrossing topic of the session will be the removal of the Indians. It occupies the public mind through the Union, and petitions and remonstrances are pouring in, without number. The article (On the Removal of the Indians) was luckily hit. It has been well received, and is very acceptable to the government."

Feb. 23d. INTELLECTUAL CONTEST IN THE SENATE.--A correspondent from Detroit writes: "I refer you to your papers, which will give you the history of the contest between those intellectual giants, Hayne and Webster, rather Webster and Hayne, on the land question, which seems to absorb public interest entirely. My books containing Extracts of the Eloquence of the British Parliament, furnish me no such models as that second speech. Such clearness, simplicity, and comprehensiveness; such a grave and impressive tread; such imposing countenance and manner; such power of thought, and vigor of intellect, and opulence of diction, and chastened brilliance of imagination, have seldom, I was about to say never, startled the listeners of that chamber."

SHARP CONTEST FOR MAYORALTY OF DETROIT.--A shrewd and observant correspondent writes: "John R. Williams has been elected mayor, after a close election, disputed by Chapin. The enemy practised a good thing on him. During one of the delegate elections, when his ambition seemed to tower higher than it now does, he published a sort of memorabilia, like that of Dr. Mitchell, in which was set forth, with much minuteness of detail, all that he had ever done, and much of all he ever thought, for the good of this poor territory. Such, for instance, as that in 1802, he was appointed town-clerk of Hamtramck; that he offered, in 1811, his services to Congress in a military capacity, which offer was rejected, and 'was the first who received intelligence of the capture of Mackinac,' &c. This thing the remorseless enemy republished, after it had been fervently hoped, no doubt, that the unlucky bantling had descended to the tomb of the Capulets. It was so unaccountably weak and stupid, and so unkindly contrasted at bottom with sundry specifications 'of how' he had, with a pertinacious consistency, opposed every projected public improvement here, that his friends pronounced it a forgery."

April 14th. THINGS SHAPING AT WASHINGTON.--"I reached home," says a friend, "last week, after a pleasant journey. The time passed off, at Washington, pretty comfortably. There was much to see and hear. The elements of political affairs are combining and recombining, and it is difficult to predict the future course of things.

"You will see that, in the fiscal way, the department is better off than last year. Our friend, Col. McKenney, stands his ground well, and I see no difference in his situation."

PERILOUS TRIP ON THE ICE.--My brother James left the Sault St. Marie on the ice with a train, about the 1st of April. He writes from Mackinac, on the 14th of April: "We arrived here on the 12th, after a stay of seven days at Point St. Ignace. We were seven days from the Sault to the Point, at which place we arrived in a cold rain storm, half starved, lame, and tired. I suppose this trip ranks anything of the kind since the days of Henry. I am sure mortals never suffered more than us. After leaving the Sault, disappointment, hunger, and fatigue, were our constant companions. The children of Israel traveled a crooked road, 'tis said, but I think it was not equal to our circuit.

"We found the ice in Muddy Lake very good, in comparison to that of Huron. After leaving Detour, we were obliged to coast, and that too over piles of snow, mountains of ice, and innumerable rocks. In one instance, we were obliged to make a portage across a cedar swamp with our baggage, and drove Jack about a mile through the water, in order to continue the 'voyage in a train.' We were obliged to round all those long points on Huron, afraid if we went through the snow of being caught on some island.

"Jack fell through the ice three times out of soundings, and it was with great difficulty we succeeded in getting him out. We lost all our harness in the Lake, and were obliged to 'rig out' with an old bag, a portage collar, and a small piece of rope-yarn. Jack was three days without eating, except what he could pick on the shore. Take it all in all, I think it rather a severe trip."

MEDICAL OR PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF THIS EXPOSURE TO COLD AND WET.--"I came to this place (Vernon, N.Y.) much fatigued, and not in the best health. I think my voyage from the Sault to Mackinac has impaired my health. I was most strangely attacked on board the Aurora. As I was reading in the cabin, all at once I was struck perfectly blind; then a severe pain in the head and face and throat, which was remedied by rubbing with vinegar; on the whole, rather a strange variety of attack."

KINDNESS TO AN OLD DECAYED "MERCHANT VOYAGEUR."--There lived near me, on the Canadian shore, an aged Frenchman, a native of Trois Rivières, in Lower Canada, whose reminiscences of life in the wilderness, in the last century, had the charm of novelty. He was about seventy years of age, and had raised a family of children by a half-English half-Chippewa wife, all of whom had grown up and departed. His wife and himself were left alone, and were very poor. His education had been such as to read and write French well; he had, in fact, received his education in the College of Quebec, where he studied six years, and he spoke that language with considerable purity. As the cold weather drew on in the fall of 1829, I invited him, with his wife, to live in my basement, and took lessons of him in French every morning after breakfast. He had all the polite and respectful manners of a habitant, and never came up to these recitations without the best attention in his power to his costume.

Such was Jean Baptiste Perrault, who was from one of the best families in Lower Canada. He had been early enamored with stories of voyageur adventure and freedom in the Indian country, where he had spent his life. He was a man of good judgment, quick perceptions, and most extraordinary memory of things. At my request, he committed to paper, in French, a narrative of his wild adventures, reaching from St. Louis to Pembina, between 1783 and 1820. Most of the facts illustrate the hardships and risks of the Indian trade and Indian manners and customs. They supply something for the history of the region while the country was under the English dominion.

Never was a man more grateful for this winter's attention. He moved back with his wife, who was quite attentive to him, to his little domicil on the opposite shore in the spring, and lived, I am informed, till Nov. 12, 1844, when he was about 85.

FOURTH LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.--I was re-elected a member of the Legislative Council, and as soon as the lakes and river were fairly open, proceeded to Detroit, where I arrived about the middle of May. In this trip I was accompanied by Mrs. S. and my infant son and daughter, with their nurse; and by Miss Charlotte Johnston, a young lady just coming out into society. The council met and organized without delay, the committees being cast much in the manner of the preceding council, as a majority of the members were re-elected. So far as changes of men had supervened, they were, perhaps, for the better.

VISIT TO NIAGARA FALLS.--Early in June, however, it was determined to take a recess, and I embraced this opportunity to proceed with my family to visit Niagara Falls. Miss Elizabeth Cass accepted an invitation to join us, and we had a most interesting and delightful visit. We were, perhaps, the first party of pure pleasure, having no objects of business of any kind, who ever went from the upper lakes to see this grand feature in American scenery. We were most kindly received by friends and acquaintances at Buffalo, where many parties were given. We visited both banks of the falls, and crossed over below the sheet. On passing Black Rock, we were kindly received by Gen. Porter and his accomplished and talented lady. We returned to Detroit with the most pleasing reminiscences of the trip.

A VISITOR OF NOTE.--About the 20th of July, Gen. Erastus Root, long a veteran in the New York Legislature, visited Detroit, having, if I mistake not, some public business in the upper country. Persons who have been long before the public acquire a reputation which appears to make every one familiar with them, and there was much curiosity to see a person who had so long opposed Clinton, opposed the canal, and stood forth in some things as a political reformer. I went with him and his companion, Judge M'Call, after a very hot day, to take some lemonade in the evening at Gen. Cass's. Gen. Root was not refined and polished in his manners and converse. He was purposely rough in many things, and appeared to say things in strong terms to produce effect. To call the N.Y. Canal the "big ditch" was one of these inventions which helped him to keep up his individuality in the legislature. He appeared to me to be a man something after the type of Ethan Allen.

HISTORY.--During this session of the legislature, I delivered the annual discourse before the Historical Society. I felt so much misgiving about reading it before the large assemblage at the State House, that I had arranged with a literary and legal friend to put it in his hands the moment I began to falter. For this purpose he occupied the secretary's desk; but I found myself sufficiently collected to go on and read it through, not quite loud enough for all, but in a manner, I think, to give satisfaction.

CHARACTER OF THE CHIPPEWAS.--Wm. S. Mosely, Esq., writes (July 12th) respecting this influential and wide-spread tribe, proposing a list of queries transmitted to him by Theodore Dwight, Junr., a philanthropist of N.Y. One of the questions is as follows: "What have been the chief impediments between the Indian and civilization? How would it alter their opinions or influence their conduct if they could associate with white people without being despised, imposed upon, or rendered suspicious of their motives? In short, if they came in contact only with the best white men, and were neither furnished with ardent spirits nor threatened with extermination by encroachment?"

ISH-KO-DA-WAU-BO.--I had a pleasant passage up the Lakes in the steamer "Sheldon Thompson." Among the passengers were James B. Gardiner, of Ohio; charged, with duties from Washington, and John T. Mason, Commissioner for treating with the Indians at Green Bay. In a letter of the 13th August, written on his return at Mackinac, Mr. Gardiner, who is quite a philanthropist and a gentleman of most liberal opinions, says: "I conceive it my duty to inform you that I have obtained information from the contractor himself (Mr. Stanard, who is a fourth owner of the Sheldon Thompson), that under the head of 'provisions,' he has contracted to deliver, and has actually delivered, two hundred barrels of whisky, and two hundred barrels of high wines, at the place for the American Fur Company, which, no doubt, is designed to be sent into the Indian country the ensuing fall."

ROTARY SAILS.--John B. Perrault, whose name has been before mentioned, invented a novel boat, to be propelled by the force of rotary sails acting on machinery, which turns paddle-wheels; a very ingenious thing. The result of experiments is, however, unfavorable to its practical adoption.

HOSTILITIES BETWEEN THE SIOUX AND CHIPPEWAS.--These hostilities have reached such a point, that the department has deemed it necessary to interpose its friendly offices in a more formidable manner, by dispatching an expedition into the principal seat of the war. The instructions, however (of Aug. 9th), by which I was designated for that purpose, reached me so late in that month, that it was not deemed practicable to carry them into effect until the next year. I reported the facts, which are deemed necessary to be known at head-quarters, in order to give efficacy to this necessary and proper measure, recommending that the expedition be deferred, and that, in the meantime, suitable means be provided for making it, to the greatest extent, effectual.

FRIENDSHIP AND BADINAGE.--A friend writes from Detroit (Aug. 14th): "For a brief space, that is, about a quarter of an hour, I can borrow a little use of my own soul, though I cannot call it exactly my own. You will not fail to note, I trust, how eminently judicious is the appropriation.

"A few days since, the letter containing the notice of your appointment to the Lake Superior destination, was mailed for you. The purpose of this is to suggest the memory of your doubtful promise, to come down in the fall for the winter session. The Gov. thinks it too late in the season to attempt your expedition this fall; and I presume, that it is, I hope, your papers will not reach you in time to leave this summer, an opinion of questionable correctness.

"You can have your table placed in the corner, and amuse yourself with preparing an article for the N.A., Thus you will discharge a double duty to your country; one to its political interests, and another to its department of letters. Whatever preparations are necessary at your place, can be made in the winter, under directions left there when you come down, and such as could be more conveniently made here, you shall have every aid in forwarding. The fact is, I see not a single objection, I cannot see one, and more than that, I won't. This I conceive to be the only rational view to be taken of the subject, and, of course, it follows like the consequence to the minor of a syllogism; the only one you take. So don't say any more about it, but come along down, and then you shall, with more pleasure, satisfaction, and comfort, go along up. It is, in fact, just as clear, as that one and one, you and me, will make two."

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE,--Maj. W. writes (21st Aug.): "I was sorry, on my return, to find you gone, for we have left undone that which I hoped to have done, with your assistance, that is, the arrangement of our museum. But circumstances were unlucky. Cases were made wrong, or not made in due time, and absences took some folks away (an allusion to the trip to Niagara), and the council would adjourn, &c. You are, however, I understand, to be down here New Year's day, to which time, for the special accommodation of the up-country members, I presume the council, as it is said, has adjourned. An appropriation for snow shoes ought to have been made."

SANILLAC.--"I made an arrangement in Boston for the printing of my MSS. As I found I was to bear the brunt of the expense, I determined to make it as small as I consistently could, and have, therefore, made the volume somewhat smaller than was in my original plan.

"Mr. Ward showed me a hasty note from you relative to the address (before the Historical Society). I have examined it as published, and I told him your suggestions were out of the question. There is not an error that I could detect that is not clearly typographical; and your fears, that either yourself or the society will be discredited, are all idle. I do not recollect any of your books which, I think, do you more credit."

GOSSIP.--Mr. Ward writes: "We have but little news. The governor and Elizabeth are off to Utica and Troy, and we hope the springs. Mr. Cass, Lewis, and Isabel to the Maumee. Major and Mrs. Kearsley to New York and Philadelphia, with Miss Colt in keeping. For all persons else, one note will answer. They eat drink, and sleep as they did, and are 'partly as usual.'"

EXPEDITION INTO LAKE SUPERIOR.--"I do not answer you officially," says Gov. C. "concerning the expedition into Lake Superior, because I shall expect you will be here in the last vessel, to attend the meeting of the council, and Mr. Brush speaks with certainty-upon the subject. As Mr. Irwin has resigned, and there is no provision for ordering a new election, your district will be wholly unrepresented unless you attend. In the mean time I have received the sum allowed for this service, which you can draw for whenever you please. There is no doubt but the matter will go on. After you arrive here, and We have conversed together, I will restate the project of a more extended expedition, agreeably to your suggestions, and submit it to the department. I agree with you fully, that the thing should be enlarged, to embrace the persons and objects you suggest. It would be an important expedition, and not a little honorable to you, to have the direction of it, as it will be the first authorized by the administration."

WINTER SESSION OF THE COUNCIL.--On the 16th of November, I embarked in a large boat at St. Mary's with a view of reaching Mackinack in season to take the last vessel returning down the lakes. The weather was hazy, warm, and calm, and we could not descry objects at any considerable distance. If we were not in "Sleepy Hollow" while descending the broad valley and stretched out waters of the St. Mary's, we were, at least, in such a hazy atmosphere, that our eyes might almost as well have been shut. It seemed an interlude in the weather, between the boisterous winds of autumn and the severe cold of December. In this maze I came down the river safely, and proceeded to Mackinack, where I remained several days before I found a vessel. These were days of pleasing moral intercourse at the mission. I do not recollect how many days the voyage lasted, but it was late in the evening of a day in December, dark and very muddy when the schooner dropped anchor off the city, and I plodded my way from the shore to the Old Stone Mansion House in Detroit.

HISTORICAL DISCOURSE.--Mr. Madison, the Ex-president, transmits a very neat and terse note of acknowledgment for a copy of my address, in the following words, which are quite a compensation for the time devoted to its composition:--

"J. Madison, with his respects to Mr. Schoolcraft, thanks him for the copy of his valuable discourse before 'the Historical Society of Michigan.' To the seasonable exhortation it gives to others, it adds an example which may be advantageously followed." (Oct. 23d.)

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF RHODE ISLAND.--I received a copy of a circular issued by this institution (Nov. 1), asking Congress for aid in the transcription of foreign historical manuscripts. "We alone, (almost,)" say the committee, "among nations, have it in our power to trace clearly, certainly, and satisfactorily, at a very trifling expense, the whole of our career, from its very outset, throughout its progress, down to the present moment--and shall we manifest a supineness, a perfect listlessness and complete indifference respecting a subject, that by every other people has been, and is still esteemed of so vast magnitude, and deep interest, as to have induced, and still to induce them to pour forth funds from their treasuries unsparingly, to aid the historians in removing, if possible, the veil that conceals in dark obscurity their origin?"

DOMESTIC.--Mrs. Schoolcraft writes from Elmwood, St. Mary's (Dec. 6th): "I continue to instruct our dear little girl every day, and I trust you will find her improved on your return, should it please Heaven to restore you in peace and safety. Johnston has quite recovered, and can now stand alone, and could walk, if he would. I have called on Mrs. Baxley, and find her a very agreeable woman. She said she saw you several times at Prairie du Chien. (1825.) I also went to see the mission farm, and was much pleased with the teacher, Miss McComber. The weather has remained very fine, till within two days, when we have had, for the first time, a sprinkling of snow. Such a season has never been heard of in this country--not a particle of ice has, as yet, formed anywhere."

FRENCH REVOLUTION.--This political revolution has come like an avalanche, and the citizens have determined to celebrate it, and have a public address, for which Major Whiting has been designated. Thirty-seven years ago the French cut off the head of the reigning Bourbon, Louis XVI., and now they have called another branch of the same house, of whom Bonaparte said: "They never learn anything, and they never forget anything." As the French please, however. We are all joy and rejoicing at the event. It seems the consummation of a long struggle.

Mr. Ward (Ed. Jour.) writes 25th Dec.: "Will you send me, by the bearer, the lines you showed me in Brush's office. They will be quite apropos next week. Should like to close our form this evening."


Lecture before the Lyceum--Temperature in the North--Rum and taxes--A mild winter adverse to Indians--Death of a friend--Christian atonement--Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianized white man--Indian emporium--Bringing up children--Youth gone astray--Mount Hope Institution--Expedition into the Indian country--Natural History of the United States--A reminiscence--Voyage inland.

1831. LECTURE BEFORE THE LYCEUM.--The executive committee of this popular institution asks me by a note (Jan. 14th), to lecture before them a short time ahead. Public duty is an excuse, which on such occasions is very generally made by men in office, who in nine cases out of ten seek to conceal the onerousness of literary labor under that ample cloak. To me there is no duty more important than that which diverts a town from idle gratifications, and fixes its attention on moral or intellectual themes. Although the notice was short, I determined to sit up a few nights and comply with it. I selected the natural history of Michigan, as a subject very tangible, and one about which a good deal of interest could be thrown. I had devoted much interest to it for years--understood it, perhaps, better than any one in the territory, and could lecture upon it con amore.

When the appointed evening arrived, I found a highly respectable and very crowded audience, in the upper chamber of the old Indian council house. It was certainly a better use of the building than paying the price of blood for white men's and women's scalps, during the fierce seven years' struggle of the American Revolution, and the succeeding Indian wars. My lights were badly placed for reading, and I got on indifferently in that respect, for I could not see well, but my facts and matter altogether were well and approvingly received; and the address was immediately published.

TEMPERATURE AT THE FOOT OF LAKE SUPERIOR.--Mr. F. Andrain writes to me from St. Mary's (Jan. 26th): "The weather has been very mild indeed, here, until within a few days: there has not been sufficient snow, as yet, to cover the stubble in the fields. The severe weather commenced on the 23d instant. The thermometer stood as follows:--"

On the 23d,  at 9 o'clock A.M., 11 degrees below zero.
       24th,       "       "    13    "        "
       25th,       "       "     2    "        "
       26th,       "       "     1    "        "

RUM AND TAXES.--A trader at St. Mary's writes (26th Jan.) as follows: "It is the wish of several individuals, who keep stores in the village, to be informed whether the sutler in Fort Brady is not obliged to pay taxes as well as we. For he has almost the exclusive trade of the Canadians. It is tempting to purchase liquor at 2s. 6d. per gallon, when they have to pay 4s. in the village. The temperance society is of no use, when any of its members can dispose of liquor at so low a rate." I put the last words in italics.

A MILD WINTER ADVERSE TO THE INDIANS.--Mr. George Johnston observes (8th March): "The weather on Lake Superior has been uncommonly mild the whole winter. The southern shore of the lake from White Fish Point to Ance Kewywenon presents a scene of open lake, not any ice forming to enable the poor Indians to spear fish."

DEATH OF A FRIEND.--Mrs. Schoolcraft says (Feb. 3d): "Mrs. Bingham passed the day with me a short time since, and brought me some Vermont religious papers, which I read yesterday, and found an account of the death of our poor friend Mr. Conant, which took place in November last in Brandon, Vermont, leaving his disconsolate widow and five children. He suffered greatly for five years, but I am happy to find he was resigned in suffering to the will of the Almighty with patience; and I trust he is now a happy member of the souls made perfect in the precious blood of the Lamb." Thus ended the career of a man of high moral worth, mental vigor, and exalted benevolence of feeling and purpose. This is the man, and the family, who showed us such marked kindness and attentions in the city of New York, in the winter of 1825--kindness and attentions never to be forgotten. Feb. 7th. This day is very memorable in my private history, for my having assumed, after long delay, the moral intrepidity to acknowledge, publicly, a truth which has never been lost sight of since my intercourse with the Rev. Mr. Laird, in the, to me, memorable winter of 1824--when it first flashed, as it were, on my mind. That truth was the divine atonement for human sin made by the long foretold, the rejected, the persecuted, the crucified Messiah.

Threat of an Indianized White Man.--A friend at St. Mary's writes: "Tanner has again made bold threats, agreeably to Jack Hotley's statement, and in Doctor James' presence, saying, that had you still been here, he would have killed you; and as the Johnstons were acting in concert with you, he kept himself constantly armed." This being, in his strange manners and opinions, at least, appears to offer a realization of Shakspeare's idea of Caliban.

Indian Emporium.--Col. T. McKenney, who has been superseded in the Indian Bureau at Washington, announces, by a circular, that he is about to establish a commercial house, or agency, on a general plan, for supplying articles designed for the Indian trade and the sale of furs and peltries. This appears to me a striking mistake of judgment. The colonel, of all things, is not suited for a merchant.

Bringing up of Children.--Mrs. Schoolcraft writes: "I find the time passes more swiftly than I thought it would; indeed, my friends have been unwearied in striving to make my solitary situation as pleasant as possible, and they have favored me with their company often. I strive to be as friendly as I possibly can to every one, and I find I am no loser by so doing. I wish it was in your power to bring along with you a good little girl who can speak English, for I do not see how I can manage during the summer (if my life is spared) without some assistance in the care of the children. I feel anxious, more particularly on Jane's account, for she is now at that age when children are apt to be biased by the habits of those they associate with, and as I cannot be with her all the time, the greater will be the necessity of the person to whom she is entrusted (let it be ever so short a time) to be one who has been brought up by pious, and, of course, conscientious parents, where no bad example can be apprehended. I feel daily the importance of bringing up children, not merely to pass with advantage through the world, but with advantage to their souls to all eternity."

I find great pleasure in sister Anna Maria's company. She is to stay with me till you return. Little Janee improves rapidly under her tuition. Janee (she was now three and a half years of age) has commenced saying by heart two pieces out of the little book you sent her. One is 'My Mother,' and the other is 'How doth the little busy Bee.' It is pleasant to see her smooth down her apron and hear her say, "So I shall stand by my father, and say my lessons, and he will call me his dear little Tee-gee, and say I am a good girl." She will do this with so much gravity, and then skip about in an instant after and repeat, half singing, "My father will come home again in the spring, when the birds sing and the grass and flowers come out of the ground; he will call me his wild Irish girl."

"Janee has just come into the room, and insists on my telling you that she can spell her name very prettily, 'Schoolcraft and all.' She seems anxious to gain your approbation for her acquirements, and I encourage the feeling in order to excite attention to her lessons, as she is so full of life and spirits that it is hard to get her to keep still long enough to recite them properly. Johnston has improved more than you can imagine, and has such endearing ways that one cannot help loving the dear child. Oh, that they would both grow up wise unto salvation, and I should be happy."

Youthful Blood.--James --- was a young man of promise--bright mentally and physically, lively and witty, and of a figure and manners pleasing to all. In a moment of passion he dirked a man at a French ball. The victim of this scene of revelry lingered a few months and recovered. This recovery is announced in a letter of Mrs. Schoolcraft's (Feb. 16th), in which she says:--

"Dr. James sent a certificate of the young man's returning health by the last express, and an Indian was also sent to accompany James back to this place; but how great was our astonishment at the arrival of the Indian alone, on the 3d ultimo, and bringing news of James' escape from Mackinack. We felt a good deal alarmed for his safety on the way, and an Indian was sent down the river in quest of him; but we were relieved of our fears by the arrival of James himself on the following day, very much exhausted. I immediately sent to Dechaume to ask how he did, and learnt that his fatigue, &c., had not in the least abated his natural vivacity and gayety.

"Three days after his arrival (being Sunday) I was at dinner at my mother's, when he came in, and could not refrain from tears. He seemed much affected at what I said, and I felt encouraged to hope some little change in his conduct. The next day, on mature reflection, I thought no time was to be lost in striving by all human means to reclaim him, and my promise to co-operate with you all I could for that desirable object, induced me to write a note inviting him to come and spend a quiet social evening with sister Anna Maria and myself, and I sent the sleigh to bring him down, so that he could have no excuse to decline coming, and I was pleased that he came without hesitation.

"I conversed a long time with him, pointing out, in the most gentle and affectionate manner I could, where he had erred, and in what way he might have become not only respected and esteemed, but independent, whereas his excesses had brought him to embarrassment and disgrace; and conjured him, as he valued his temporal and spiritual welfare, to abandon some, at least (to begin with) of his evil courses, and to strive with all his might to avert the wrath of that Holy Being whom he had hitherto so despised, and whose just laws he had, in more than one instance, violated, and a great deal more that I cannot now mention. I got him at last to promise to strive to become better.

"We passed the rest of the evening in a rational and pleasant manner by reading chiefly in the Literary Voyager, thinking it might help to call forth former occupations, which were comparatively innocent, and reading some of his own pieces, renew a taste of what was virtuous and praiseworthy. I inwardly prayed that by such means, feeble as they were, they might tend to draw him off insensibly from his former haunts and habits. I have been enabled to pursue this course of conduct towards him ever since that evening, and I am pleased to find that he comes oftener to Elmwood than I at first expected; but I perceive that there is some other attraction besides my sage discourses that draws him so often to the now leafless shades of Elmwood. And he may fancy that either a rose or a lily has taken shelter within its walls. Be that as it may, I shall not say a word; most of my thoughts are more occupied with the best method I can take to do him good to all eternity, and I do not forget to ask aid of ONE that never errs.

"Some evenings since, Mr. Agnew and some of the officers gave a ball at one of the French houses, and not doubting but that James was invited to join in the amusement, I instantly addressed a long letter to him, encouraging him in his recent resolution of amendment, and told him now was the time to put those wise resolves to the test by practice, and that he ought to know, by sad experience, that attending such low scenes of dissipation was the source of almost all the iniquity in the place. I had afterwards the satisfaction to find that he did not attend; but my fears for him are still very great, and will be justly so as long as he is so taken up by that disgraceful connection where he spends a great deal of his precious time. My ambition is not only to civilize him (if I may be allowed that expression, which is not out of the way, after all, as he has despised the forms and restraints of refined society), but my ardent wish is to Christianize him in every sense of the word--he is, at present, skeptical. But let us only do our duty as Christians, and leave the rest in the hands of the Almighty."

Mount Hope, Baltimore.--My old instructor and friend, Prof. Frederick Hall, sends me a programme of his collegiate institution, at this place, and writes me (April 6th) a most friendly letter, renewing old acquaintanceship and scientific reminiscences. Death makes such heavy inroads on our friends, that we ought to cherish the more those that are left.

Legislation proceeded quietly while these events occurred, and the winter wore away almost imperceptibly till the session closed. I embraced the first opportunity of ascending the Lakes to the entrance of the. St. Mary's, and from thence up the river, and reached home about the 25th of April, making altogether about five months absence. But at home I am not destined long to remain, as the expedition into the Lake, for which I was designated in August, was only deferred till spring.

I had now served four years in the legislature; but, understanding that the President had expressed an opinion that official officers should not engage in the business of legislation, I declined a reelection by a public notice to the electors of my district.

EXPEDITION TO THE REGION OF THE ST. CROIX AND CHIPPEWIA RIVERS.--The Executive of the territory writes from Washington (April 19th): "I arrived here day before yesterday, and this morning talked with Gen. Eaton. You will go into Lake Superior, and I am to submit a project to-day. I shall have it properly arranged. In a day or two, I trust, I shall have the official papers off. I write in a hurry now to apprise you of the fact. The letter you received from Mr. Hamilton, was written before I arrived." The same person, three days later, says: "The official instructions are preparing for your expedition, and will, I hope, be off to-day." They were written on the 3d of May, and are as follows:--

"Your letter of Feb. 13th has been received, and its general views are approved. The Secretary of War deems it important that you should proceed to the country upon the head of the Mississippi, and visit as many of the Indians in that and the intermediate region, as circumstances will permit.

"Reports have reached this department from various quarters, that the Indians upon our frontiers are in an unquiet state,[60] and that there is a prospect of extensive hostilities among themselves. It is no less the dictate of humanity, than of policy, to repress this feeling and to establish permanent peace among these tribes. It is also important to inspect the condition of the trade in that remote country, and the conduct of the traders. To ascertain whether the regulations and the laws are complied with, and to suggest such alterations as may be required. And finally, to inquire into the numbers, standing, disposition, and prospects of the Indians, and to report all the statistical facts you can procure, and which will be useful to the government in its operations, or to the community in the investigation of these subjects."

[60] The Sauc war under Blackhawk broke out within the year.

"In addition to these objects, you will direct your attention to the vaccination of the Indians. An act for that purpose has passed Congress, and you are authorized to take a surgeon with you. Vaccine matter prepared and put up by the Surgeon General, is herewith transmitted to you, and you will, upon your whole route, explain to the Indians the advantages of vaccination, and endeavor to persuade them to submit to the process. You will keep and report an account of the number, ages, sex, tribe, and local situation of the Indians who may be vaccinated, and also of the prevalence, from time to time, of the small-pox among them, and of its effects as far as these can be ascertained."

While preparations for this expedition were being made, some things that transpired deserve notice.

NATURAL HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES.--On the 26th of May, Mr. G.W. Featherstonhaugh, of Philadelphia, sends me a printed copy of a prospectus for a "Monthly American Journal of Natural Science," with the following note: "As the annexed prospectus will explain itself, I shall only say, that I shall be most happy to receive any paper from you for insertion, on subjects connected with Natural History. Your minute acquaintance with the North-western Territory must have placed many materials in your possession, and I trust you may be induced to transfer some of them to the periodical about to be issued.

"We consider Mr. Eaton's geological notions and nomenclature as very empirical here, as they are considered in France and England, and his day has passed by."

The prospectus says: "Amidst these general contributions to science, it is painful to perceive what conspicuous blanks are yet left for America to fill up, and especially in those important branches, American geology and American organic remains. This feeling is greatly increased by the occasional taunts and sneers we see directed against us in foreign scientific works. They are aimed, it is true, against individuals insignificant enough to elude them, and therefore the larger body, the nation, is hit and wounded by them. Neither is there any defence open to us. We send abroad gigantic stories of huge antediluvian lizards, 'larger than the largest size,' and we ourselves are kept upon the stare at our own wonders from Georgia to Maine, until we find out we have been exulting over the stranded remains of a common spermaceti whale. At this present moment, a huge animal dug out of the Big Bone Lick, sixty feet long, and twenty-five feet high, is parading through the columns of the European newspapers, after making its progress through our own. This is, what every naturalist supposed it be, also a great imposition. Within these few days, drums and trumpets have been sounded for other monsters. A piece of one of our common coal plants is conjured into a petrified rattlesnake, and one of the most familiar fossils solemnly announced all the way from Canada, under a name exploded, and long forgotten by naturalists. All these gibes and reproaches we ought to have been spared. There ought to have been the ready means amongst us, together with the independence and intelligence, to put down these impostures and puerilities as they arose."

This is well said, and if it be intended to refer to the popular class, who have not made science a study; to men who make wheelbarrows or sell cotton and sugar--to the same classes of men, in fact, who in England, are busied in the daily pursuits by which they earn their bread, leaving science to scientific men, but respecting its truths, cannot tell "a hawk from a handsaw"--it is all true enough. But if it be applied to the power and determination of American mind, professedly, or as in a private capacity, devoted to the various classes of natural history spoken of, it is not only unjust in a high degree, but an evidence of overweening self-complaisance, imprecision of thought, or arrogance. No trait of the American scientific character has been more uniformly and highly approbated, by the foreign journals of England, France, and Germany, than its capacity to accumulate, discriminate, and describe facts. For fourteen years past Silliman's Journal of Science, though not exclusively devoted to natural sciences, has kept both the scientific and the popular intelligent mind of the public well and accurately advised of the state of natural science the world over. Before it, Bruce's Mineralogical Journal, though continued but for a few years, was eminently scientific, Cleaveland's Mineralogy has had the effect to diffuse scientific knowledge not only among men of science, but other classes of readers. In ornithology, in conchology, and especially in botany, geology and mineralogy, American mind has proved itself eminently fitted for the highest tasks.

A REMINISCENCE.--When I returned from the West to the city of New York in 1819, Mr. John Griscomb was a popular lecturer on chemistry in the old almshouse. He apprised me that the peculiar friable white clay, which I had labeled chalk from its external characters, contained no carbonic acid. It was a chemical fact that impressed me. I was reminded of this fact, and of his friendly countenance, ever after, on receiving a letter of introduction from him by a Mr. William R. Smith, with three volumes of his writings (28th May). I am satisfied that we store up the memory of a kind or friendly act, however small (if it be done in a crisis of our affairs), as long as, and more tenaciously than, an unkind one.

VOYAGE INLAND.--At length, all things being ready, I embarked at the head of the portage of the St. Mary's, and proceeded to the small sandy plain at the foot of Point Iroquois, at the entrance into Lake Superior, where I encamped. To this point I was accompanied by Mrs. Schoolcraft and the children, and Lt. Allen and the Miss Johnstons, the day being calm and delightful, and the views on every hand the most enchanting and magnificent. While at Detroit during the winter, I had invited Dr. Douglass Houghton to accompany me to vaccinate the Indians. He was a man of pleasing manners and deportment, small of stature, and of a compact make, and apparently well suited to withstand the fatigues incidental to such a journey. He was a good botanist and geologist--objects of interest to me at all times; but especially so now, for I should have considered it inexcusable to conduct an expedition into the Indian country, without collecting data over and above the public duties, to understand its natural history. I charged myself, on this occasion, more particularly with the Indian subject--their manners and customs, conditions, languages, and history, and the policy best suited to advance them in the scale of thinking beings, responsible for their acts, moral and political.

Lt. Robt. E. Clary, 2d U.S. Infantry, commanded a small detachment of troops, which was ordered to accompany me through the Indian country. I had invited Mr. Melancthon Woolsey, a printer of Detroit, a young man of pleasing manners and morals, to accompany me as an aid in procuring statistical information. I had an excellent crew of experienced men, guides and interpreters, and full supplies of everything suited to insure respect among the tribes, and to accomplish, not only the government business, but to give a good account of the natural history of the country to be explored. It was the first public expedition, authorized by the new administration at Washington, and bespoke a lively interest on the subject of Indian Affairs, and the topics incidentally connected with it. I was now to enter, after crossing Lake Superior, the country of the Indian murderers, mentioned 22d June, 1825, and to visit their most remote villages and hiding places.

It was the 27th of June when we left that point--the exploring party to pursue its way in the lake, and the ladies, in charge of Lt. Allen, to return to St. Mary's.


Lake Superior--Its shores and character--Geology--Brigade of boats--Dog and porcupine--Burrowing birds--Otter--Keweena Point--Unfledged ducks--Minerals--Canadian resource in a tempest of rain--Tramp in search of the picturesque--Search for native copper--Isle Royal descried--Indian precaution--Their ingenuity--Lake action--Nebungunowin River--Eagles--Indian tomb--Kaug Wudju.

1831. LAKE SUPERIOR lay before us. He who, for the first time, lifts his eyes upon this expanse, is amazed and delighted at its magnitude. Vastness is the term by which it is, more than any other, described. Clouds robed in sunshine, hanging in fleecy or nebular masses above--a bright, pure illimitable plain of water--blue mountains, or dim islands in the distance--a shore of green foliage on the one hand--a waste of waters on the other. These are the prominent objects on which the eye rests. We are diverted by the flight of birds, as on the ocean. A tiny sail in the distance reveals the locality of an Indian canoe. Sometimes there is a smoke on the shore. Sometimes an Indian trader returns with the avails of his winter's traffic. A gathering storm or threatening wind arises. All at once the voyageurs burst out into one of their simple and melodious boat-songs, and the gazing at vastness is relieved and sympathy at once awakened in gayety. Such are the scenes that attend the navigation of this mighty but solitary body of water. That nature has created such a scene of magnificence merely to look at, is contrary to her usual economy. The sources of a busy future commerce lie concealed, and but half concealed, in its rocks. Its depths abound in fish, which will be eagerly sought, and even its forests are not without timber to swell the objects of a future commerce. If the plough is destined to add but little to its wealth, it must be recollected that the labors of the plough are most valuable where the area suitable for its dominion is the smallest. But even the prairies of the West are destined to waft their superabundance here.

We passed the lengthened shores which give outline to Taquimenon Bay. We turned the long and bleak peninsula of White Fish Point, and went on to the sandy margin of Vermilion Bay. Here we encamped at three o'clock in the afternoon, and waited all the next day for the arrival of Lieut. Robert Clary and his detachment of men, from Fort Brady, who were to form a part of the expedition. With him was expected a canoe, under the charge of James L. Schoolcraft, with some supplies left behind, and an express mail. They both arrived near evening on the 28th, and thus the whole expedition was formed and completed, and we were prepared to set out with the latest mail. Mr. Holliday came in from his wintering grounds about the same time, and we left Vermilion Bay at four o'clock on the morning of the 29th, J.L.S. in his light canoe, and chanting Canadians for Sault St. Marie, and we for the theatre of our destination.

We went about forty miles along a shore exclusively sandy, and encamped at five o'clock in the evening at Grand Marais. This is a striking inlet in the coast, which has much enlarged itself within late years, owing to the force of the north-west storms. It exhibits a striking proof of lake action. The next day we passed the naked and high dunes called Grand Sable, and the storm-beaten and impressive horizontal coat of the Pictured Rocks, and encamped at Grand Island, a distance of about 130 miles. I found masses of gypsum and small veins of calcareous spar imbedded in the sandstone rock of the point of Grand Sable. Ironsand exists in consolidated layers at the cliff called Doric Rock.

The men and boats were now in good traveling trim, and we went on finely but leisurely, examining such features in the natural history as Dr. Houghton, who had not been here before, was anxious to see. On the 1st of July, we encamped at Dead River, from whence I sent forward a canoe with a message, and wampum, and tobacco, to Gitchee Iauba, the head chief of Ancekewywenon, requesting him to send a canoe and four men to supply the place of an equal number from the Sault St. Marie, sent back, and to accompany me in my voyage as far as La Pointe.

GEOLOGY.--We spent the next day in examining the magnesian and calcareous rubblestone which appears to constitute strata resting against and upon the serpentine rock of Presque Isle. This rock is highly charged with what appears to be chromate of iron. We examined the bay behind this peninsula, which appears to be a harbor capable of admitting large vessels. We ascended a conical hill rising from the bay, which the Indians call Totösh, or Breast Mountain. Having been the first to ascend its apex, the party named it Schoolcraft's Mountain. Near and west of it, is a lower saddle-shaped mountain, called by the natives The Cradle Top. Granite Point exhibits trap dykes in syenite. The horizontal red sandstone, which forms the peninsula connecting this point with the main, rests against and upon portions of the granite, showing its subsidence from water at a period subsequent to the upheaval of the syenite and trap. This entire coast, reaching from Chocolate River to Huron Bay--a distance of some seventy miles--consists of granite hills, which, viewed from the top of the Totösh, has the rolling appearance of the sea in violent motion. Its chief value must result from its minerals, of which iron appears to constitute an important item.

We reached Huron River on the 4th of July about three o'clock in the afternoon, having come on with a fine wind. At this place we met Mr. Aitkin's brigade of boats, seven in number, with the year's hunts of the Fond du Lac department. I landed and wrote official notes to the Sault St. Marie and to Washington, acquainting the government with my progress, and giving intelligence of the state of the Indians.

TRADERS' BOATS.--Mr. Aitkin reports that a great number of the Indians died of starvation, at his distant posts, during the winter, owing to the failure of the wild rice. That he collected for his own use but eight bushels, instead of about as many hundreds. That he had visited Gov. Simpson at Pembina, and found the latter unwilling to make any arrangements on the subject of discontinuing the sale of whisky to the Indians. That I was expected by the Indians on the Upper Mississippi, in consequence of the messages sent in, last fall. That efforts continue to be made by the agent at St. Peters, to draw the Chippewas to that post, notwithstanding the bloodshed and evils resulting from such visits. That a hard opposition in trade has been manifested by the Hudson's Bay Company. That they have given out medals to strengthen and increase their influence with our Indians. And that liquor is required to oppose them at Pembina, War Road, Rainy Lake, Vermilion Lake and Grand Portage.

DOG AND PORCUPINE.--While at Huron River, we saw a lost dog left ashore, who had been goaded by hunger to attack a porcupine. The quills of the latter were stuck thickly into the sides of the nose and head of the dog. Inflammation had taken place, rendering the poor beast an object of pity and disgust.

BURROWING BIRDS.--At Point Aux Beignes (Pancake Point) one of the men caught a kingfisher by clapping his hand over an orifice in the bank. He also took from its nest six eggs. The bank was perforated by numbers of these orifices. At this point we observed the provisions of our advance camp, put in cache, to lighten it for the trip down the bay. Leaving Mr. G. Johnston and Mr. Melancthon Woolsey at this point to await the return of the canoe, I proceeded to Cascade, or, as it is generally called, Little Montreal River. Johnston and Woolsey came up during the night. Next morning an Indian came from a lodge, leading a young otter by a string. The animal played about gracefully, but we had no temptation to purchase him with our faces set to the wilderness. At the latter place, which is on a part of the Sandy-bay of Graybeast River, the trap formation, which is the copper-bearing rock, is first seen. This rock, which forms the great peninsula of Kewywenon, rises into cliffs on this bay, which at the elevation called Mammels by the French, deserve the name of mountains. Portions of this rock, viewed in extenso, are overlaid by amygdaloid and rubblestone--the latter of which forms a remarkable edging to the formation, in some places, on the north-west shore, that makes a canal, as at the Little Marrias.

KEWEENA PENINSULA.--We were six days in coasting around this peninsula, which is highly metalliferous. At some points we employed the blast, to ascertain the true character and contents of the soil. At others we went inland, and devoted the time in exploring its range and extent. We examined the outstanding isolated vein of carbonate of copper, called Roche Vert by the French. In seeking for its connection on the main shore, I discovered the black oxide in the same vein. In the range of the greenstone about two leagues south of this point, a vein of native copper, with ores and veinstones, was observed, and specimens taken.

The N.W. coast of the peninsula is greatly serrated and broken, abounding in little bays and inlets, and giving proofs of the terrible action of the storms on this rugged shore.

Notes of these examinations and of a trip inland were made, which cannot here be referred to more particularly.

UNFLEDGED DUCKS.--The men had rare and very exciting sport, in coasting around the peninsula, in catching the young of the onzig--which is the sawbill. In the early part of the month of July, the wings of the young are not sufficiently developed to enable them to fly. They will run on the water, flapping their unfledged wings, with great speed, but the gay Frenchmen, shouting at the top of their lungs, would propel their canoes so as to overtake them whenever the little fugitives could not find some nook in the rock to hide in. They chased down one day thirteen in this way, which were found a most tender and delicate dish. The excitement in these chases was extreme. At the Grand Marrias (now near Fort Wilkins) we obtained from the shore of the inner bay, agates, stilbite, and smoky quartz, &c.

SINGULAR VIVACITY.--In going from this bay through a rock-bound strait, the rain fell literally in sheets. There was no escape, and our only philosophy was to sit still and bear it. The shower was so great that it obscured objects at a short distance. All at once the men struck up a cheerful boat song, which they continued, paddling with renewed energy, till the shower abated. I believe no other people under the sun would have thought of such a resource.

TRAMP IN SEARCH OF THE PICTURESQUE.--The wind rising ahead, we took shelter in an inlet through the trap range, which we called Houghton's Cove. After taking a lunch and drying our things, it was proposed to visit a little lake, said to give origin to the stream falling into its head. The journey proved a toilsome one; but, after passing through woods and defiles, we at length stood on a cliff which overlooked the object sought for--a pond covered with aquatic plants. Wherever we might have gone in search of the picturesque, this seemed the last place to find it. On again reaching the lake the wind was found less fierce, and we went on to Pine River, where we encamped on coarse, loose gravel.

SEARCH FOR NATIVE COPPER.--The next day the wind blew fiercely, and we could not travel. In consequence of reports from the Indians of a large mass of copper inland, I manned a light canoe, and, leaving the baggage and camp in charge of Lesart, went back to a small bay called Mushkeeg, and went inland under their guidance. We wandered many miles, always on the point of making the discovery, but never making it; and returned with our fatigue for our pains. It was seven o'clock in the evening before we returned to our camp--at eight the wind abated, and we embarked, and, after traveling diligently all night, reached the western terminus of the Keweena portage at two o'clock next morning--having advanced in this time about twenty-four miles. Next day, July 10, the wind rose again violently ahead.

ISLE ROYAL DESCRIED.--In coming down the coast of the Keweena Peninsula, we descried the peaks of this island seen dimly in the distance, which it is not probable could have been done if the distance were over sixty miles.

INDIAN PRECAUTION, THEIR INGENUITY.--We found several Chippewa Indians encamped. They brought a trout, the large lake trout, and were, as-usual, very friendly. We saw a fresh beaver's skin stretched on the drying hoop, at the Buffalo's son's lodge. But the women had secreted themselves and children in the woods, with the dried skins, supposing that a trader's canoe had landed, as we had landed in the night. This may give some idea of the demands of trade that are usually made, and the caution that is observed by them when a trader lands.

We here saw the claws-of two owls, with the skin and leg feathers adhering, sewed together so closely and skilfully, by the Indian, women, as to resemble a nondescript with eight claws. It was only by a close inspection that we could discover the joinings.

LAKE ACTION.--The geological action of the lake against the high banks of diluvion, at this spot, is very striking. It has torn away nearly all the ancient encamping ground, including the Indian burials. Human bones were found scattered along the declivity of fallen earth. An entire skull was picked up, with the bark wrappings of the body, tibia, &c.

At seven in the evening the tempest ceased so as to enable us to embark. We kept close in shore, as the wind was off land, a common occurrence on these lakes at night. On turning the point of red sandstone rock, which the Indians call Pug-ge-do-wau (Portage), the Porcupine Mountains rose to our view, directly west, presenting an azure outline of very striking lineaments--an animal couchant. As night drew on, the water became constantly smoother; it was nine before daylight could be said to leave us. We passed, in rapid succession, the Mauzhe-ma-gwoos or Trout, Graverod's, Unnebish, or Elm, and Pug-ge-do-wa, or Misery River, in Fishing Bay. Here we overtook Lieut. Clary, and encamped at one o'clock A.M. (11th). We were on the lake again at five o'clock. We turned point a la Peche, and stopped at River Nebau-gum-o-win for breakfast. While thus engaged, the wind rose and shifted ahead. This confined us to the spot.

NEBAUGUMOWIN RIVER.--Mr. Johnston, Dr. Houghton, and Mr. Woolsey, made an excursion in a canoe up the river. They went about three or four miles--found the water deep, and the banks high and dry on the right side (going up), and covered with maple, ash, birch, &c. At that distance the stream was obstructed by logs, but the depth of water continued. Dr. H. added to his botanical collection. Altogether appearances are represented more favorable than would be inferred from the sandy and swampy character of the land about its discharge into the lake.

EAGLES.--While at the Mauzhe-ma-gwoos River, Lieut. Clary captured a couple of young eagles, by letting his men cut down a large pine. One of the birds had a wing broken in falling. They were of the bald-headed kind, to which the Chippewas apply the term Megizzi, or barker. He also got a young mink from an Indian called Wabeno. The men also caught some trout in that river, for which it is remarkable.

At two o'clock the wind had somewhat abated, so as to allow us to take the lake, and we reached and entered the Ontonagon River at half past four o'clock. Mr. Johnston with the store canoe, and Lieut. Clary with his boat, came in successively with colors flying. Kon-te-ka, the chief, and his band saluted us with several rounds of musketry from the opposite shore. Afterwards they crossed to our camp, and the usual exchange of ceremonies and civilities took place. In a speech from the chief he complained much of hunger, and presented his band as objects of charitable notice. I explained to him the pacific object of my journey, and the route to be pursued, and requested the efficient co-operation of himself and his band in putting a stop to war parties, referring particularly to that by Kewaynokwut in 1824, which, although raised against the Sioux, had murdered Finley and his men at Lake Pepin. This party was raised on the sources of the Ontonagon and Chippewa. I told him how impossible it was that his Great Father should ever see their faces in peace while they countenance or connive at such dastardly war parties, who went in quest of a foe, and not finding him, fell upon a friend. He said he had not forgotten this. Even now, I continued, a chief of the Sauks was trying to enlist the Indians in a scheme of extreme hostilities. It was a delusion. They had no British allies to rally on as in former wars. The time was past--past forever for such plans. We are in profound peace. And their Great Father, the President, would, if the scheme was pursued by that chief, order his whole army to crush him. I requested him to inform me of any messages, or tobacco, or wampum they might receive, on the subject of that chief's movement, or any other government matter. And to send no answer to any such message without giving me notice.

At three o'clock on the morning of the next day (12th July), Dr. Houghton, Mr. Johnston, Lieut. Clary, and Mr. Woolsey, with nine Canadians and one soldier, set out in my canoe to visit the copper rock. Konteka sent me a fine carp in the morning. Afterwards he and the other chief come over to visit me. The chief said that his child, who had been very ill, was better, and asked me for some white rice (waube monomin) for it, which I gave. I also directed a dish of flour and other provisions to enable him to have a feast.

INDIAN TOMB.--One of the Indians had a son drowned a few days before our arrival; the grave was neatly picketed in. On the west side of the river is a grave or tomb above ground, resembling a lodge, containing the coffin of a chief, who desired to be thus buried, as he believed his spirit would go directly up.

Konteka has a countenance indicative of sense and benevolence. I asked him the number of his band. He replied sixty-four men and boys, women and girls. Sixteen were hunters, of whom thirteen were men grown.

KAUGWUDJU.--The Porcupine Mountains, which first loomed up after passing Puggedawa Point, were very plainly pictured before us in the landscape. I asked Konteka their Indian name. He replied Kaug Wudju. I asked him why they were so called. He said from a resemblance to a couching porcupine. I put several questions to him to ascertain the best place of ascent. He said that the mountain properly faced the south, in a very high perpendicular cliff, having a lake at its bottom. The latter was on a level with Lake Superior. To see this lake it was necessary to go round towards the south. It was a day's journey from the lake to the top of the cliff. To the first elevation it was as far as to the Red Rocks--say three miles, but through a cedar thicket, and bad walking.

VISIT TO THE COPPER ROCK.--The party returned from this place on the 13th, late in the afternoon, bringing specimens of the native copper. They were nine hours in getting to the forks, and continued the rest of the day in getting to the rack, where they encamped. They had been four hours in descending what required nine in going up. The doctor brought several fine and large masses of the pure metal.



Lake shores--Sub-Indian agency--Indian transactions--Old fort, site of a tragedy--Maskigo River; its rapids and character--Great Wunnegum Portage--Botany--Length of the Mauvais--Indian carriers--Lake Kagenogumaug--Portage lakes--Namakagun River, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.--Pukwaéwa village--A new species of native fruit--Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.

1831. LAKE SHORES.--I had a final conference with the Indians of the Ontanagon on the morning of the 14th July, and at its conclusion distributed presents to all. I sent Germain with a canoe and men for St. Mary's with dispatches, and embarked for La Pointe at half past eight, A.M. After keeping the lake for two hours, we were compelled by adverse winds to put ashore near Iron River; we were detained here the rest of the day. After botanizing at this spot, Dr. Houghton remarks, that since arriving at the Ontanagon, he finds plants which belong to a more southerly climate.

The next morning (15th) we embarked at three o'clock and went on finely--stopped for breakfast at Carp River, under the Porcupine Mountains--the Pesabic of the Indians. On coming out into the lake again the wind was fair, and increased to blow freshly. We went on to Montreal River, where it became a side wind, and prevented our keeping the lake. I took this occasion to walk inland eleven pauses on the old portage path to Fountain Hill, for the purpose of enjoying the fine view of the lake, which is presented from that elevation. The rocks are pudding-stone and sandstone, and belong to the Porcupine Mountain development.

Returned from this excursion at seven o'clock--took a cup of tea, and finding the wind abated, re-embarked. By ten o'clock at night we reached and entered the Mauvaise or Maskigo River, where we found Lieut. Clary encamped. After drying our clothes, we went on to La Pointe, which we reached at one o'clock in the morning (16th), and immediately went to Mr. Johnston's buildings.

SUB-AGENCY.--Mr. George Johnston was appointed Sub-agent of Indian Affairs at this point in 1826, after the visit of that year of Gen. Cass and Col. McKenney to this remote section of the country. It has proved a useful office for acquiring information of the state and views of the interior Indians, and as supervising the Indian trade. We were made very comfortable in his quarters.

INDIAN TRANSACTIONS.--Pezhike, with the secondary chief, Tagwaugig and his band, visited me. Conferred with them on the state of the Indians on the St. Croix and Chippewa Rivers at Lac Courtorielle, &c., the best route for entering the region intermediate between Lake Superior and the Mississippi.

Pezhike thought my canoes too large to, pass the small bends on the route of the Lac du Flambeau: he said the waters of the Broule, or Misakoda River, were too low at this time to ascend that stream. He said that Mozojeed, the chief of Lac Courtorielle, had been here awaiting me, but, concluding I would not come, had returned. His return had been hastened by a report that the Sioux had formed a league with the Winnebagoes and Menomonies to attack his village.

Pezhike gave in his population at eighty souls, of which number eighteen were men, twenty-six women, and the remainder children. He made a speech responding to the sentiments uttered by me, and promising the aid of his band in the pacification of the country. As an evidence of his sincerity he presented a peace-pipe. I concluded the interview by distributing presents of ammunition and iron works to each man, agreeably to his count. I then sent Indian runners with messages to Bwoinace at Yellow River, on the St. Croix, to be forwarded by hand to Chacopee, on Snake River, to meet me at Yellow River in twelve days. Sent a message to the same chief, to be forwarded to Mozojeed at Lac Courtorielle, to meet me at that place with his band on the 1st August, and another message to be forwarded by him to Lac du Flambeau, at the head of the Chippewa River, with directions for the Indians to meet me at their principal village, as soon after the 1st August as I can get there, of which they will be the best judges. I determined to enter the country myself, by the Mauvais or Maskigo River, notwithstanding the numerous rafts of trees that embarrass the navigation--the water being abundant.

OLD FORT, SITE OF A TRAGEDY.--The military barge, Lieut. Clary, started for the Maskigo, with a fair wind, on the 18th. A soldier had previously deserted. I sent to the chief, Pezhike, to dispatch his young men to catch him, and they immediately went. After setting out, the wind was found too strong to resist with paddies, and I turned into the sheltered bay of the old French fort. The site and ground lines are only left.

It was a square with bastions. The site is overgrown with red haw and sumac. The site of a blacksmith shop was also pointed out. This is an evidence of early French and Missionary enterprise, and dates about 1660. There is a tale of a tragedy connected with a female, at its abandonment. The guns, it is said, were thrown in the bay. The wind having abated, we again put out at eight o'clock in the evening, and went safely into the Maskigo and encamped.

MASKIGO RIVER.--We began the ascent of this stream on the 19th, at half-past four A.M.; landed at seven for breakfast, at the old Indian gardens; at eight went on; at ten reached the first portage, passed it in an hour; went on till one o'clock; afterwards passed two other portages of about three hundred yards each; and went on to the great raft of flood wood, being the fourth portage, where we encamped at three o'clock, at its head. Mosquitoes very annoying. Estimate our distance at thirty miles.

On the next morning (20th) we embarked in good deep water at eight o'clock. We reached rapids at eleven o'clock. Passed a portage of two pauses, and took dinner at the terminus. Sandstone forms the bed of the river at the rapids here. It inclined E.S.E. about 75°. A continual rapid, called the Galley, being over a brown sandstone rock, succeeds, in which rapids follow rapids at short intervals. We encamped at the Raft rapids. The men toiled like dogs, but willingly and without grumbling. Next day (21st) we were early on the water, and passed the crossing of the Indian portage path from St. Charles Bay, at La Pointe, to the Falls of St. Anthony. We followed a wide bend of the river, around the four pause portage. This was a continued rapid. The men toiled incessantly, being constantly in the water. The bark of the canoes became so saturated with water that they were limber, and bent under the weight of carrying them on the portages. We encamped, very much tired, but the men soon rallied, and never complained. It was admirable to see such fidelity and buoyancy of character.

We were now daily toiling up the ascent of the summit which separates the basin of Lake Superior from the valley of the upper Mississippi. The exertion was incredible. I expected every day some of the men to give out, but their pride to conquer hardships was, with them, the point of honor. They gloried in feats under which ordinary men would have fainted. To carry a horse load over a portage path which a horse could not walk, is an exploit which none but a Canadian voyageur would sigh for the accomplishment of.

On the 22d, we came to a short portage, after going about six miles, during a violent rain storm. Then three portages of short extent, say fifty to three hundred yards each, in quick succession. After the last, some comparatively slight rapids. Finally, smooth water and a sylvan country, level and grassy. We were evidently near the summit. Soon came to the forks, and took the left hand. Came afterwards to three branches, and took the south. Followed a distance through alder bushes bending from each side; this required skill in dodging, for the bushes were covered with caterpillars. We formed an encampment on this narrow stream by cutting away bushes, and beating down high grass and nettles. Here was good soil capable of profitable agriculture.

GREAT WUNNEGUM PORTAGE.--The next morning we resumed the ascent of this branch at six o'clock, and reached the beginning of the Gitchy Wun-ne-gum portage at nine o'clock A.M. This was the last great struggle in the ascent. We spent about three hours in drying baggage, corn, tents, beds, &c. Then went on four pauses over the portage and encamped in sight of a pond. The next day we accomplished ten pauses, a hard day's work. We encamped near a boulder of granite of the drift stratum, which contained brilliant plates of mica. Water scarce and bad. Our tea was made of a brown pondy liquid, which looked like water in a tanner's vat.

We passed, and stopped to examine, Indian symbols on the blazed side of a tree, which told a story to our auxiliary Indians of a moose having been killed; by certain men, whose family name, or mark, was denoted, &c. We had previously passed several of these hunting inscriptions in our ascent of the Mauvais, and one in particular at the eastern end of the four pause portage. We were astonished to perceive that these figures were read as easy as perfect gazettes by our Indian guides.

We were also pleased, notwithstanding the severe labor of the apecun, to observe the three auxiliary Chippewas, with us, playing in the evening at the game of the bowl, an amusement in which some of the men participated.

On the 25th we went three pauses to breakfast, in a hollow or ravine, and pushing on, crossed the last ridge, and at one o'clock reached the foot of Lake Ka-ge-no-gum-aug, a beautiful and elongated sheet of water, which is the source of this branch of the Maskigo River. Thus a point was gained. An hour after, the baggage arrived, and by six o'clock in the evening, the canoes all arrived. This lake is about nine miles long.

BOTANY.--In the ascent of this stream, Dr. Houghton has collected about two hundred plants. The forest trees are elm, pine, spruce, maple, ironwood, linden, cherry, oak, and beach. Leatherwood is a shrub common on the portage.

The length of this river, from the mouth of the river to the point at which we left it, we compute at one hundred and four miles.

The three young Indians, sent from La Pointe, by Pezhike, to help us on the portages, having faithfully attended us all the way, were dismissed to go back, at seven o'clock this morning--after being abundantly and satisfactorily paid for their services in ammunition and provisions. On parting, they expressed a design of visiting at the agency, next spring.

LAKE KA-GE-NO-GUM-AUG.--At nine in the morning, we embarked on the lake in four canoes, having left the fifth at the other end of the portage for the La Pointe Indians to return. Two of the flotilla of canoes were occupied by the military under Lieut. Clary. After proceeding a little, less than two hours through a very irregular, elongated, and romantic lake, we reached a portage in the direction of the Namakagun, fork of the St. Croix River. Its waters were clear; we observed fish and ducks. This portage is called Mikenok, or the Turtle. It proved to be two hundred and eighty yards to a pond, or small lake, named Turtle Lake. About two hundred yards of this portage lies over a dry pine ridge, the remainder bog. On crossing this little sheet, we encountered another portage of one thousand and seventy-five yards, terminating at a second lake named Clary's Lake. This portage lies over an open pine ridge, from which the timber has been chiefly burned. The shrubs and plants are young bush poplars, whortleberries, shad-bush, brake and sweet fern. Both ends of it are skirted with bog. The highest grounds exhibit boulders. About five o'clock the canoes came up, and we embarked on the lake and crossed it, and, striking the portage path, went four hundred and seventy-five yards to a third lake, called Polyganum, from the abundance of plant. We crossed this and encamped on its border.

This frequent shifting and changing of baggage and canoes exhausted the men, who have not yet recovered from the toils of the long portage. Three of them were disabled from wounds or bruises. Laporte, the eldest man of our party, fell with a heavy load, on the great Wunnegum portage, and drove a small knot into his scalp. The doctor bandaged it, and wondered why he had not fractured his skull. Yet the old man's voyageur pride would not permit him to lie idle. If he died under the carrying-strap, he was determined to die game.

NAMAKAGUN RIVER.--Early on the 27th we were astir, and followed the path 1050 yards, which we made in two pauses to the banks of the Namakagun River, the most southerly fork of the St. Croix. We were now on the waters tributary to the Mississippi, and sat down to our breakfast of fried pork and tea with exultation.

Dead pines cover the ground between Lake Polyganum and the Namakagun. A great fire appears to have raged here formerly, destroying thousands of acres of the most thrifty and tall pines. Nobody can estimate the extent of this destruction. The plain is now grown up with poplar, hazle-bush, scrub-oak, and whortleberry. The river, where the portage strikes it, is about seventy-five feet wide, and shallow, the deepest parts not exceeding eighteen inches. It is bordered on the opposite side with large pines, hardwood, and spruce. Observed amygdaloid under foot among the granite, and sandstone boulders.

About one o'clock the baggage and canoes had all come up, and we embarked on the waters of the Namakagun. Rapids soon obstructed our descent. At these it was necessary for the men to get out and lift the canoes. It was soon necessary for us to get out ourselves and walk in the bed of the stream. It was at last found necessary to throw overboard the kegs of pork, &c., and let them float down. This they would not do without men to guide them and roll them along in bad places. Some of the bags from the canoes were next obliged to be put on men's shoulders to be carried down stream over the worst shallows. After proceeding in this way probably six or seven miles, we encamped at half-past seven o'clock. Mr. Johnston, with his canoe, did not come up. We fired guns to apprize him of our place of encampment, but received no reply. There had been partial showers during the day, and the weather was dark and gloomy. It rained hard during the night. Our canoes were badly injured, the bark peeling off the bows and bottoms. The men had not yet had time to recover from their bruises on the great Wannegum portage. Mr. Clary had shot some ducks and pigeons, on which, at his invitation, we made our evening repast, with coffee, an article which he had among his stores. Some of the men had also caught trout--this fish being abundant here, though it never descends into the Mississippi.

On the next morning I sent a small canoe (Clary's) to aid Johnston. Found him with his canoe broke. Brought down part of his loading, and dispatched the canoe back again. By eleven o'clock the canoe returned on her second trip. Finding the difficulties so great, put six kegs of pork, seven bags of flour, one keg of salt, &c., in depot. One of the greatest embarrassments in passing among such impoverished tribes is the necessity of taking along extra provisions to meet the various bands and to pay for their contingent services.

PUCKWAÉWA VILLAGE.---At four o'clock we had got everything down the shallows, mended our canoe, and reached the Pukwaéwa--a noted Indian village, where we encamped. The distance is about nine miles from the western terminus of the portage, course W.S.W. We found it completely deserted, according to the custom of the Indians, who after planting their gardens, leave them to go on their summer hunts, eating berries, &c. We found eight large permanent bark lodges, with fields of corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and beans, in fine condition. The lodges were carefully closed, and the grounds and paths around cleanly swept, giving the premises a neat air. The corn fields were partially or lightly fenced. The corn was in tassel. The pumpkins partly grown, the beans fit for boiling. The whole appearance of thrift and industry was pleasing.

I sent two canoes immediately up stream, to bring down the stores put in deposit. I arranged things for taking a canoe elège on the next day, and proceeding rapidly down the river to its junction with the main St. Croix and Yellow River, in order to meet my engagements, made by a runner from La Pointe. I took along Dr. Houghton and Mr. Johnston, leaving the heavy baggage in charge of Mr. Woolsey, with directions to accompany Lieut. Clary across the portage from the Namakagun to Ottowa Lake. It was half-past five on the morning of the 29th, when, bidding adieu to Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, we embarked.

A NEW SPECIES OF NATIVE FRUIT.--In coming down the Namakagun, we found a species of the currant on its banks--the albinervum. It was fully ripe, and of delicious taste.

Incidents on the Namakagun, its Birds, Plants, &c.--About ten o'clock we entered and passed an expansion, having deserted Indian lodges, and a high wooden cross on the south bank. Hence we called it the Lake of the Cross. It is called Pukwaéwa by the Indians. A little below we met the chief Pukquamoo, and his band, returning to the upper village. Held a conference with him on the water on the subject of my mission and movements. He appeared, not only by his village, which we had inspected, but by his words, eminently pacific. On parting he reciprocated my presents by some dried whortleberries. At this conference with the Red-headed Woodpecker chief, I requested him to go up and aid Mr. Woolsey in bringing down the baggage and provisions, and wrote to Mr. Woolsey accordingly.

About four o'clock the chief of this party hailed us from shore, having headed us by taking a short land route from the Lake of the Cross. He sought more perfect information on some points, which was given, and he was requested to attend the general council appointed to be held at Lac Courtorielle (Ottawa Lake). We continued the descent till eight o'clock P.M., having descended about thirty-five miles.

On the 30th we embarked at five in the morning, and reached the contemplated portage to Ottawa Lake at seven. I stopped, and having written notes for Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey, put them in the end of a split pole, according to the Indian method. At ten I landed for breakfast with my canoe badly broken, and the corn, &c., wetted. Detained till twelve. Near night met a band of Chippewas ascending. Got a canoe from them to proceed to Yellow River, and, after dividing the baggage and provisions, put Mr. Johnston with two men in it. This facilitated our descent, as we had found frequent shallows, in consequence of low water, to impede our progress. Yet our estimate for the day's travel is forty miles.

The cicuta is a frequent plant on this river; we found the fox grape this afternoon nearly ripe. Both banks of the river are literally covered with the ripe whortleberry--it is large and delicious. The Indians feast on it. Thousands on thousands of bushels of this fruit could be gathered with little labor. It is seen in the dried state at every lodge. All the careful Indian housewives dry it. It is used as a seasoning to soups.

On the 31st we were on the water at six A.M. Soon passed seven Indians in canoes, to whom a passing salute of a few words and tobacco were given. We landed at ten to breakfast. The current had now augmented so as to be very strong, and permit the full force of the paddles. Stopped a few moments at a Chippewa camp to get out some tobacco, and, leaving Mr. Johnston to make the necessary inquiries and give the necessary information, pushed on. Heard T., our Indian messenger from La Pointe, had accomplished his business and gone back four days ago, Indian conferences now succeeded each other continually, at distances from one to five miles. The bands are now on the move, returning up the river to their spring villages at the Little and Great Rice Places (this is the meaning of Pukwaewau), and the Lake of the Cross. Their first request is tobacco, although they are half starved, and have lived on nothing but whortleberries for weeks. "Suguswau, let us smoke," is the first expression.

The country as we descend assumes more the appearance of upland prairie, from the repeated burnings of the forest. The effect is, nearly all the small trees have been consumed, and grass has taken their place. One result of this is, the deer are drawn up from the more open parts of the Mississippi, to follow the advance of the prairie and open lands towards Lake Superior. The moose is also an inhabitant of the Namakagun. The Chippewas, at a hunting camp we passed yesterday, said they had been on the tracks of a moose, but lost them in high brush. Ducks and pigeons appear common. Among smaller birds are the blackbird, robin, catbird, red-headed woodpecker, kingfisher, kingbird, plover and yellow-hammer.

We frequently passed the figure of a man, drawn on a blazed pine, with horns, giving the idea of an evil spirit. The occiput of the bear, and head bones of other animals killed in the chase, are hung upon poles at the water's side, with some ideographic signs. The antlers of the deer are conspicuous. Other marks of success in hunting are left on trees, so that those Indians who pass and are acquainted with the signs, obtain a species of information. The want of letters is thus, in a manner, supplied by signs and pictographic symbols.

Late in the afternoon we passed the inlet of the Totogun--one of the principal forks of the Namakagun. The name is indicative of its origin. Totosh is the female breast. This term is rendered geographical by exchanging sh for gun. It describes a peculiar kind of soft or dancing bog. Soon after, we broke our canoe--stopped three-fourths of an hour to mend it--reached the forks of the St. Croix directly after, passed down the main channel about nine miles, and encamped a little below Pine River. We built ten fires to keep off the mosquitoes, and put our tent and cooking-fire in the centre. It rained during the night.

The next morning (Aug. 1st) we reached the Yellow River, and found the chiefs Kabamappa, Bwoinace, and their bands awaiting my arrival.



Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake--Policy of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825--Speech of Shaiwunegunaibee--Mounds of Yellow River--Indian manners and customs--Pictography--Natural history--Nude Indians--Geology--Portage to Lac Courtorielle--Lake of the Isles--Ottawa Lake--Council--War party--Mozojeed's speech--Tecumseh--Mozojeed's lodge--Indian movements--Trip to the Red Cedar Fork--Ca Ta--Lake Chetac--Indian manners.

1831. COUNCIL.--I pitched my tent and erected my flag on an eminence called by the Chippewas Pe-li-co-gun-au-gun, or The Hip-Bone. Accounts represented a war party against the Sioux to be organizing at Rice Lake, on a branch of the Chippewa River, under the lead of Neenaba, a partisan leader, who had recently visited Yellow River for the purpose of enlisting volunteers. He had appealed to all the bands on the head waters of the Chippewa and St. Croix to join, by sending their young men who were ambitious of fame in this expedition. Neenaba himself was an approved warrior who panted for glory by leading an attack against their old foe, the Dacotahs. It was still possible to arrest it or break it up. I wrote to the Indian Agent at St. Peter's. A message was dispatched by Kabamappa to Chacopee and Buffalo at Snake Rivers, with directions to forward it to Petit Corbeau, the leading chief of the River Sioux. I determined to hasten back so as to meet my appointment with the large band of Mozojeed at Lac Courtorielle, and to proceed myself to Neenaba's village. I stated my determination to the Yellow Lake Indians, and urged their concurrence in my plans, assuring them that I spoke the voice of the President of the United States, who was determined to preserve and carry out the principles of pacification which had been commenced and agreed to, as the basis of the general treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825. He had spoken to them at that treaty by two men whom they all well know from St. Louis to Lake Superior--namely, by the Red-Head (so they call General William Clark) and their Great Father at Detroit (General Cass). He would not suffer their words to fall to the ground and be buried. I stood up to renew them. It was by peace and not war that they could alone flourish. Their boundaries were all plainly established by that treaty, and there was no sound pretence why one tribe should pass over on the lands of another. If he did pass, there was no reason at all why he should carry a hatchet in his hand or a war eagle's feather in his hair.

Shai-wun-e-gun-aibee responded in favorable terms as to the general subject. The old men desired peace, but could not always control their young men, especially when they heard that their men had been struck. His voice and hand would be ever on the side of his great American father, and he believed his hands were long enough to reach out and hold them still. He concluded by some complaints against their trader Dingley. Said that he had presented them a map of the Yellow River country, and wished them to give it to him. That he had ill-used some of them by taking away goods which he had before sold them, because they had not paid all.

MOUNDS, SO CALLED.--Before quitting Yellow River, I asked Kabamappa whether the Pe-li-co-gun-au-gun was a natural or artificial mound. He replied, that it was natural. There were three more of these elevations on the opposite side of the river. He knew nothing further of them. A large pine was growing on the top of one of them.

Having concluded the business with the Indians, I distributed presents of provisions, ammunition, and tobacco. I purchased a canoe of small draft from an Indian named Shoga, and immediately embarked on my return up the St. Croix. That night we lodged in our camp of the 31st. The next morning we were in motion by five o'clock, and reached the grand forks by nine. We entered and began the ascent of the Namakagun.

INDIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.--We soon met a brother of Kabamappa, called the Day Ghost, and four other heads of families, with their families, on their way to the council at Yellow River. Informed them of what had been done, and gave them tobacco, whereupon they determined to re-ascend the Namakagun with us. There were ten persons. One of the young men fired at a flock of pigeons, hitting and killing two. A distance above, they went through a cut-off, and saved a mile or more, while we went round, showing their superior knowledge of the geography. At the great bends, the women got out of the canoes and walked. The old men also walked up. We reached their lodges about 4 o'clock. I exchanged canoes with Day Ghost, and gave him the difference. We encamped at a late hour on the left bank (ascending), having come about forty-two miles--a prodigious effort for the men. To make amends, they ate prodigiously, and then lay down and slept with the nightmare. Poor fellows, they screamed out in their sleep. But they were up and ready again at 5 o'clock the next morning, with paddle and song.

PICTOGRAPHY.--At 11 o'clock we landed, on the right bank, at the site of an old encampment, for breakfast. I observed a symbolic inscription, in the ideographic manner, on a large blazed pine--the Pinus resinosa. It consisted of seven representative, and four symbolic devices, denoting the totems, or family names, of two heads of families, while encamped here, and their success in hunting and fishing. The story told was this: That two men, one of whom was of the Catfish clan, and the other of the clan of the Copper-tailed Bear--a mythological animal--had been rewarded with mysterious good luck, each according to his totem. The Catfish man had caught six large catfish, and the Copper-tailed Bear man had killed a black bear. The resin of the pine had covered the inscription, rendering it impervious to the weather.

NATURAL HISTORY.--The nymphaea odorata borders the edge of the river. Dr. H., this morning, found the bidens, which has but two localities in the United States besides. He has also, within the last forty-eight hours, discovered a species of the locust, on the lower part of the Namakagun. The fresh-water shells on this river are chiefly unios. Wild rice, the palustris, is chiefly found at the two Pukwaéwas, more rarely along the banks, but not in abundance. The polyganum amphibia stands just in the edge of the water along its banks, and is now in flower. The copper-head snake is found at the Yellow River; also the thirteen striped squirrel.

NUDE INDIANS.--The Indians whom we met casually on the Namakagun, had nothing whatever on them, but the auzeaun. They put on a blanket, when expecting a stranger. The females have a petticoat and breastpiece. When we passed the Woodpecker Chiefs party, an old woman, without upperments, who had been poling up one of the canoes, hastily landed, and hid herself in the bushes, when her exclamation of Nyau! Nyau! revealed her position as we passed. Two young married women had also landed, but stood on the banks with their children; one of the latter screaming, in fear, at the top of its lungs.

The men were much fatigued with this day's journey. They had to use the pole when the water became shallow. Yet they went about thirty-six miles. At night one of them screamed out with pains in his arms. We were up and on the river again at six the next morning (the 4th). The word with me was, PUSH; to accomplish the object, not a day, not half a day was to be lost, and the men all entered into the spirit of the thing. At half past nine, we reached our breakfast place of the 30th, and there gummed our canoes. We noticed yesterday the red haw, and pembina--the latter of which is the service berry. This day the calamus was often seen in quantity.

GEOLOGY.--Rapids were encountered at various points, at which there appeared large boulders of syenite and greenstone trap. No rock stratum appears in place, but from the size of the boulders, it seems probable that the trap formation crosses the bed of the Namakagun. There is no limestone--no slate. Small boulders of amygdaloid, quartz, granite, and sandstone mark the prevalence of the drift stratum, such as overspreads the upper Mississippi uplands. The weather was cloudy and overcast, producing coolness. I found the air but 64° at 2 o'clock, when the water stood at 69°.

Some fish are caught in this stream, which serve to eke out the very scanty, and precarious subsistence of the Indians at this season. At the lodge of an Indian, whom we knew as the "Jack of Diamonds"--being the same who loaned us a canoe--I observed some small pieces of duck in a large kettle of boiling water, which was thickened with whortleberries, for the family supper.

PORTAGE TO LAC COURTORIELLE.--We reached the portage at two o'clock A.M., and immediately began to cross it, the men carrying all our baggage at one load. Just after passing the middle pause, the path mounts and is carried along a considerable ridge, from which there is a good view of the country. It is open as far as the eye can reach. Sometimes there is a fine range of large pines: in by far the largest space ancient fires appear to have spread, destroying the forest and giving rise to a young growth of pines, aspen, shad-bush, and bramble. Some portions are marshy. A deep cup-shaped cavity exists a little to the right of the path on the ridge, denoting it to be cavernous or filled with springs.

We saw evidences of Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey's march and encampment on this height. We saw also evidences of Old Laporte's prowess in voyageur life and exploits, by a notice of one of his long pauses, recorded by Lieut. Clary in pencil, on a blazed tree.

LAKE OF THE ISLES.--On reaching the Lake of the Isles at three o'clock P.M., we found, by a little bark letter on a pole, that Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey had slept at that spot on the 1st of August. All things had proceeded well. They were ahead of us but four days.

While the men were sent back to the other end of the portage after the canoes, I embarked on the lake in a small canoe found in the bushes, with Mr. Johnston, to search out the proper channel. We found it to draw to a narrow neck and then widen out, with six or seven islands, giving a very sylvan and beautiful appearance. We passed through it, then crossed a short portage that connects the path with Lac du Grès, and then returned to the south end of Lake of the Isles, where I determined to encamp and light up a fire, while Mr. Johnston was sent back in the little Indian canoe to bring up the canoes and men. While thus awaiting the arrival of the party, I scrutinized the mineralogy of the pebbles and drift of its shores, where I observed small fragments of the agates, quartz, amygdaloids, &c., which characterize all the drift of the upper Mississippi.

But Mr. Johnston did not return till long after sunset. I was growing uneasy and full of anxieties when he hove in sight in the same small Indian hunting-canoe, with Dr. Houghton and one voyageur, bringing the tent, beds, and mess-basket. They reported that the men had not yet arrived with the large canoe, and it was doubted whether they would come in in season to cross the lake. But they came up and joined us during the night.

The next morning (Aug. 5th) we crossed the portage at Lac du Grès before sunrise. This is the origin of the north-west fork of Chippewa River. The atmosphere was foggy, but, from what we could see, we thought the lake pretty. Pine on its shores, bottom sandy, shells in its bed, no rock seen in place, but loose pieces of coarse gray sandstone around its shores.

The outlet of this lake proved to be the entrance into Ottawa Lake--the Lac Courtorielle of the French--a fine body of water some ten miles long. It was still too foggy on reaching this point to tell which way to steer. A gun was fired; it was soon answered by Lieut. Clary and Mr. Woolsey from the opposite side of the lake. The sound was sufficient to indicate the course, and we crossed in safety, rejoining our party at the hour of early breakfast. We found all well.

OTTAWA LAKE.--We were received with a salute from the Indians. I counted twenty-eight canoes turned up on the beach. Mozojeed and Waubezhais, the son of Miscomoneto (or The Red Devil), were present. Also Odabossa and his band. The Indians crowded down to the beach to shake hands. I informed them, while tobacco was being distributed, that I would meet them in council that day at the firing of three guns by the military.

COUNCIL.--At eleven o'clock I met the Indians in council. The military were drawn up to the best advantage, their arms glittering in the sun. My auxiliaries of the Michico-Canadian stock and the gentlemen of my party were in their best trim. We occupied the beautiful eminence at the outlet of the lake. The assemblage of Indians was large, but I was struck by the great disproportion, or excess, of women and children.

Mozojeed, the principal man, was a tall, not portly, red-mouthed, and pucker-mouthed man,[61] with an unusual amount of cunning and sagacity, and exercising an unlimited popularity by his skill and reputation as a jossakeed, or seer. He had three wives, and, so far as observation went, I should judge that most of the men present had imitated his voluptuous tastes and apparently lax morals. He had an elaborately-built jaunglery, or seer's lodge, sheathed with rolls of bark carefully and skillfully united, and stained black inside. Its construction, which was intricate, resembled the whorls of a sea-shell. The white prints of a man's hand, as if smeared with white clay, was impressed on the black surface. I have never witnessed so complete a piece of Indian architectural structure, nor one more worthy of the name of a temple of darkness.

[61] He was named by the Indians from these two traits.

This man, who had effectually succeeded to the power and influence of Miscomoneto (or the Red Devil), had been present at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, in 1825, and heard Gens. Clark and Cass address the assembled Indians on that memorable occasion. I had been in communication with him there. He was perfectly familiar with the principles of pacification advanced and established on that occasion. It was the more easy for me, therefore, to revive and enforce these principles.

WAR PARTY.--Mozojeed's son was himself one of Neenaba's leaders in the war party, and was now absent with the volunteers which he had been able to raise in and about the Ottawa Lake village. He was directly implicated in this movement against the Sioux. Mozojeed's village was, in fact, completely caught almost in the very act of sending out its quota of warriors. They had, but a short time before, marched to join the main party at Rica Lake on the Red Cedar Fork of the Chippewa. He felt the embarrassment of his position, but, true to the character of his race, exhibited not a sign of it in his words or countenance. Stolid and unmoved, he pondered on his reply. Divested of its unnecessary points and personal localisms, this speech was substantially as follows:--

MOZOJEED'S SPEECH.--"Nosa. I have listened to your voice. I have listened to it heretofore at Kipesaugee. It is to me the voice of one that is strong and able to do. Our Great Father speaks in it. I hear but one thing. It is to sit still. It is not to cross the enemies' lines. It is to drop the war club. It is to send word of all our disputes to him.

"Nosa. This is wise. This is good. This is to stop blood. But my young men are foolish. They wish to go on the war path. They wish to sing triumphs. My counsels too are weak and as nothing. It seems like trying to catch the winds and holding them in my fists, when I try to stay their war spirit. How shall we dance? How shall we sing? These are their words.

"Nosa. I do not lift the war-club. My words are for peace. I helped to draw the lines at Kipesaugee six years, ago. I will keep them. My advice to my people is to sit still. You have shown, by bringing your flag here and hoisting it with your own hands in my village, that you are strong, and able, and willing. You are the Indian's friend. You encourage us by this hard journey through our streams when the waters are low. You have spied us out and see how we live, and how poor we are."

Waubezhais, the son of Miscomoneto, and bearing his medal and authority, then spoke, responding frankly. Odebossa, of the Upper Pukwaéwa, spoke also favorably to my object, and thanking me for my visit to his village on the Namakagun, which he said, metaphorically, "had rekindled their fires, which were almost out."

All agreed that the waters were too low to go to the Lac du Flambeau, and that my proposed council with the Indians at that point must be given up or deferred. Besides, if the war party on the Red Cedar or Folavoine Fork of the Chippewa was to be arrested, it could only be done by an immediate move in that direction. I therefore determined to leave Ottawa Lake the same day. I invested Mozobodo with a silver medal of the first class, and a U.S. flag. Presents of ammunition, provisions, iron works, a few dry goods, and tobacco were given to all, and statistics of their population and of their means taken. For a population of eighteen men, there were forty-eight women and seventy-one children. Thirteen or fourteen of the latter were Mozojeed's. Red Devil's son's band numbered forty-nine men, twenty-seven women, and forty-six children. Odabossa's village consisted of eighteen men, thirty-eight women, and seventy-one children--making 406 souls, who were chiefly assembled at this point.

TECUMSEH.--I snatched this piece of history. During the late war Tecumseh's messages reached this place, and produced their usual effect. The Indians seized the post, took the goods, and burnt the building occupied as a place of trade. Mr. Corban, having notice from friendly Indians, escaped with his men to St. Mary's. This post stood opposite the outlet, being on the present site of Mozojeed's village.

MOZOJEED'S LODGE--This fabric is quite remarkable, and yields more comforts and conveniences than usual. It has also the mysterious insignia of a prophet. The faces of four men or gods are carved at the four cardinal points. A hole with a carved image of a bird is in front. Three drums hang on the walls, and many rattles. At his official lodge men are painted joining hands. A bundle of red sticks lies in one corner.

INDIAN MOVEMENTS.--I was informed by M. and W. that the Lac du Flambeau Indians were not on Chippewa River, and that the message from Yellow Lake had not reached them. That many of the Chippewas were at Rice Lake on the Red Cedar Fork. That they had received a message from Mr. Street, Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien, and were in alarm on account of the Menomonies.

TRIP TO THE RED CEDAR FORK.--We embarked at four o'clock in the afternoon in four canoes, one canoe of Indians to aid on the portages, and two canoes of the military--Lieut. Clary's command. Mr. B. Cadotte acted as guide as far as Rice Lake, the whole making quite a formidable "brigade," to use a trader's term. Our course lay down the Little Chippewa River. The water was very good and deep as far as the fish dam. There our troubles began. Our canoes had to be led along, as if they had been baskets of eggs, in channels made by the Indians, who had carefully picked out the big stones. We met a son of old Misco's, having a fawn and three muskrats recently killed. I gave him a full reward of corn and tobacco for the former, which was an acceptable addition to our traveling cuisine. It was observed that he had nothing besides in his canoe but a gun and war club, a little boy being in the boat. We descended the stream some seven or eight miles, and encamped on the right bank. It rained hard during the night. Next morning (6th) we were in motion at six o'clock, which was as early as the atmosphere would permit. An hour's travel brought us to the mouth of a creek, which led us in the required direction. It was a narrow and deep stream, very tortuous, and making bends so short that we with difficulty forced our canoes through. In two hours we came to the portage to the Ca Ta--a pond at the distance of 1916 yards, which we crossed at two pauses.

LAKE CHETAC.--Before the canoes and baggage came up, I crossed over to Lake Chetac. There is a portage road around the pond. After passing the first poze from it, the canoes may be put in a brook and poled down two pozes--then they must be taken out and carried 1600 yards to Lake Chetac. The whole portage is 5600 yards.

It was seven o'clock in the evening before we could embark on the lake. We went down it four miles to an island and encamped. The lake is six miles long, shallow, marshy, with some wild rice and bad water. Bad as it was, we had to make tea of it.

INDIAN MANNERS.--We found but a single lodge on the island, which was occupied by a Chippewa woman and a dog. I heard her say to one of our men, in the Chippewa tongue, that there was no man in the lodge--that her husband had gone out fishing. She appeared in alarm, and soon after I saw her paddle away in a small canoe, leaving her lodge with a fire burning. On awaking in the morning, I heard the sound of talking in the lodge, and, before we embarked, the man, his wife, and two children, and an old woman came out.

Four lodges of Indians, say about twenty souls, usually make their homes at this lake, which yields them fish and wild rice. But at present the whole tendency of the Indian population is to Rice Lake. The war party mustering at that point absorbs all attention.



Betula Lake--Larch Lake--A war party surprised--Indian manners--Rice Lake--Indian council--Red Cedar Lake--Speeches of Wabezhais and Neenaba--Equal division of goods--Orifice for treading out rice--A live beaver--Notices of natural history--Value of the Follavoine Valley--A medal of the third President--War dance--Ornithology--A prairie country, fertile and abounding in game--Saw mills--Chippewa River--Snake--La Garde Mountain--Descent of the Mississippi--Sioux village--General impression of the Mississippi--Arrival at Prairie du Chien.

1831. BETULA LAKE. LARCH LAKE.--The 7th of August, which dawned upon us in Lake Chetac, proved foggy and cool. The thermometer at 4, 7 and 8 A.M., stood respectively at 50°, 52° and 56°. We found the outlet very shallow, so much so, that the canoes could with difficulty be got out while we walked. It led us by a short portage into a small lake called Betula, or Birch Lake, a sylvan little body of water having three islands, which we were just twenty-five minutes in crossing by free strokes of the paddles. Its outlet was still too shallow for any other purpose than to enable the men to lead down the empty canoes. We made a portage of twelve hundred and ninety-five yards into another lake, called Larch or Sapin Lake--which is about double the size of the former lake. We were half an hour in crossing it with an animated and free stroke of the paddle--the men's spirits rising as they find themselves getting out of these harassing defiles and portages.

A WAR PARTY SURPRISED.--We took breakfast on the beach while the canoes were for the last time being led down the outlet. We had nearly finished it on the last morsel of the fawn, and were glancing all the while over the placid and bright expanse, with its dark foliage, when suddenly a small Indian canoe, very light, and successively seven others, with a warrior in the bow and stern of each, glided from a side channel, being the outlet into its other extremity. As soon as our position was revealed, they stopped in utter amazement, and lighting their pipes began to smoke; and we, nearly as much amazed, immediately put up our flag, and Lt. Clary paraded his men. We were more than two to one on the basis of a fight. A few moments revealed our respective relations. It was the Lac Courtorielle detachment of the Rice Lake war party, and gave us the first intimation of its return. It was now evident that the man on the Little Chippewa from whom we purchased the fawn was but an advanced member of the same party. As soon as they perceived our national character, they fired a salute and cautiously advanced. It proved to be the brother of Mozojeed and two of his sons, with thirteen other warriors, on their return. Each had a gun, a shot-bag and powder horn, a scalping knife and a war club, and was painted with vermilion lines on the face. The men were nearly naked, having little but the auzeaun and moccasons and the leather baldric that confines the knife and necessary warlike appendages and their head gear. They had absolutely no baggage in the canoe. When the warrior leaped out, it was seen to be a mere elongated and ribbed dish of the white birch bark, and a man with one hand could easily lift it. Such a display of the Indian manners and customs on a war party, it is not one in a thousand even of those on the frontiers is ever so fortunate as to see.

They still landed under some trepidation, but I took each personally by the hand as they came up to my flag, and the ceremony was united in by Lieut. Clary, and continued by them until every gentleman of my party had been taken by the hand. The Indians understood this ceremony as a committal of friendship. I directed tobacco to be distributed to them, and immediately gathered them in council. They stated that the war party had encountered signs of Sioux outnumbering them on the lower part of the Chippewa River, and footsteps of strange persons coming. This inroad of an apparently new combination against them had alarmed the moose, which had fled before them; and that six of the party had been sent in advance while the main body lay back to await the news. From whatever cause the party had retreated, it was evidently broken up for the season; and, the object of my official visit and advice accomplished, I turned this to advantage in the interview, and left them, I trust, better prepared to understand their true duties and policy hereafter, and we crossed the lake with spirits more elevated.

RED CEDAR LAKE.--A short outlet conducted us into Red Cedar Lake, a handsome body of water which we were an hour in passing through, say four or five miles. The men raised their songs, which had not been heard for some time. It presents some islands, which add to its picturesqueness. Formerly there stood a single red cedar on one of these, which gave the name to the lake, but no other tree of this species is known in the region. Half a mile south of its banks the Indians procure a kind of red pipe stone, similar to that brought from the Coteau des Prairies, but of a duller red color. We met four Indians in a canoe in passing it, who saluted us. The outlet is filled with long flowing grass and aquatic plants. Two Indian women in a canoe who were met here guided us down its somewhat intricate channel. We observed the spiralis or eel weed and the rattlesnake leaf (scrofula weed or goodyeara) ashore. The tulip tree and butternut were noticed along the banks.

INDIAN MANNERS.---In passing down the outlet of the Red Cedar Lake we, soon after leaving our guides, met three canoes at short distances apart, two of which had a little boy in each end, and the third an old woman and child. We next met a Chippewa with his wife and child on the banks. They had landed from a canoe, evidently in fear, but, learning our character, embarked and followed us to Rice Lake. The woman had her hair hanging loose about her head, and not clubbed up in the usual fashion. I asked, and understood in reply, that this was a fashion peculiar to a band of Chippewas who live north of Rice Lake. On coming into Rice Lake we found the whole area of it, except a channel, covered with wild rice not yet ripe. We here met a number of boys and girls in a canoe, who, on seeing us, put ashore and fled in the utmost trepidation into the tall grasses and hid themselves.

RICE LAKE, or MONOMINEKANING.--As we came in sight of the village, every canoe was put in the best trim for display. The flags were hoisted; the military canoes paid all possible devotion to Mars. There were five canoes. I led the advance, the men striking up one of their liveliest songs--which by the way was some rural ditty of love and adventure of the age of Louis XIV.--and we landed in front of the village with a flourish of air (purely a matter of ceremony) as if the Grand Mogul were coming, and they would be swallowed up. I immediately sent to the chiefs, to point out the best place for encamping, which they did.

COUNCIL AT RICE LAKE.--As soon as my tent was pitched, Neenaba, Wabezhais, and their followers, to the number of twenty-two persons, visited me, were received with a shake of the hand and a "bon-jour," and presented with tobacco. Notice was immediately given that I would meet them in council at the firing of signal guns by the military. They attended accordingly. This council was preliminary, as I intended to halt here for a couple of days, in order to put new bottoms to my canoes. I wished, also, some geographical and other information from them, prior to my final council. Neenaba agreed to draw a map of the lower part of the river, &c., denoting the lines drawn by the treaty of Prairie du Chien, and the sites of the saw-mills erected, without leave, by squatters.

NATIVE SPEECHES.--Next day (8th) the final council was held, at the usual signal. Wabezhais and Neenaba were the principal speakers. They both disclaimed setting themselves up against the authority or wishes of the United States. They knew the lines, and meant to keep them. But they were on the frontiers. The Sioux came out against them. They came up the river. They had last year killed a man and his two sons in a canoe, on the opposite banks of Rice Lake, where they lay concealed. Left to protect themselves, they had no choice. They must strike, or die. Their fathers had left them councils, which, although young and foolish, they must respect. They did not disregard the voice of the President. They were glad to listen to it. They were pleased that he had honored them with this visit, and this advice. This is the substance of both speeches.

Neenaba complained that the lumbermen had built mills on their land, and cut pine logs, without right. That the Indians got nothing but civil treatment, when they went to the mills, and tobacco. This young chief appears to have drawn a temporary notoriety upon himself by his position in the late war party, which is, to some extent, fallacious. His modesty is, however, a recommendation. I proposed to have invested him with a second class medal and flag; but he brought them to me again, laying them down, and saying that he perceived that it would produce dissatisfaction and discord in his tribe; and that they were not necessary to insure his good influence and friendship for the United States. On consultation with the band, these marks of authority were finally awarded to WABEZHAIS. Presents, including the last of my dry goods, were then distributed. Among them, was a small piece of fine scarlet cloth, but too little to make a present to each. The divider of the goods, which were given in camp, who was Indian, when he came to this tore it into small strips, so as to make a head-band or baldric for each. The utmost exactness of division was observed in everything.

ORIFICES FOR TREADING OUT RICE.--I saw artificial orifices in the ground near our encampment. On inquiry, I learned that these were used for treading out the wild rice. A skin is put in these holes which are filled with ears. A man then treads out the grain. This appears to be the only part of rice making that is performed by the men. The women gather, dry, and winnow it.

A LIVE BEAVER.--The Indians brought into camp one morning, while I was at Rice Lake, a young beaver; an animal more completely amphibious, it would be difficult to find. The head and front part of the body resemble the muskrat. The fore legs are short, and have five toes. The hind legs are long, stout, and web-footed. The spine projects back in a thick mass, and terminates in a spatula-shaped tail, naked and scale-form. The animal is young, and was taken about ten days ago. Previously to being brought in, it had been taken out in a canoe into the lake, and immersed. It appeared to be cold, and shivered slightly. Its hair was saturated with water, and it made use of its fore paws in attempts to express the water, sometimes like a cat, and at others, like a squirrel. It sat up, like the latter, on its hind legs, and ate bread in the manner of a squirrel. In this position it gave some idea of the kangaroo. Its color was a black body, brownish on the cheeks and under the body. The eye small and not very brilliant. Its cry is not unlike that of a young child. The owner said, it would eat rice and fish. It was perfectly tamed in this short time, and would run to its owner.

NOTICES OF NATURAL HISTORY.--I took out of the bed of the river, in the descent below Red Cedar Lake, a greenish substance attached to stone, having an animal organization resembling the sponge. In our descent, the men caught, and killed with their poles, a proteus. The wild rice, which fills this part of the river, is monoecious. The river abounds in muscles, among which the species of unios is common, but not of large size, so far as we observed. The forest growth improves about this point, and denotes a better soil and climate. Pine species are still present, but have become more mixed with hard wood, and what the French canoe-men denominate "Bois Franc."

VALUE OF THE FOLLEAVOINE FORK.--The name by which this tributary of the Chippewa is called, on the Lake Superior side, namely, Red Cedar, is quite inappropriate. Above Rice Lake it is characterized by the wild rice plant, and the name of Folleavoine, which we found in use on the Mississippi border, better expresses its character. The lower part of the stream appears to be not only more plenteous in the class of resources on which an Indian population rely, but far better adapted to the purposes of agriculture, grazing, and hydraulics.

MEDAL OF THE THIRD PRESIDENT.--During the assemblages at Rice Lake, I observed a lad called Ogeima Geezhick, or Chief Day, having a Jefferson medal around his neck. I called him and his father, and, while inquiring its history, put a new ribbon to it. It was probably given by the late Col. Bolvin, Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, to the chief called Peesh-a-Peevely, of Ottawa Lake. The latter died at his village, an old man, last winter. He gave it to a young man who was killed by the Sioux. His brother having a boy named after him, namely, Ogeima Geezhick, gave it to him.

WAR-DANCE.--This ceremony, together with what is called striking the post, was performed during our stay. The warriors, arrayed for war, danced in a circle to the music of their drum and rattles. After making a fixed number of revolutions, they stopped simultaneously and uttered the sharp war yell. A man then stepped out, and, raising his club and striking a pole in the centre, related a personal exploit in war. The dance was then resumed, and terminated in like manner by yells, when another warrior related his exploits. This was repeated as long as there were exploits to tell. One of the warriors had seven feathers in his head, denoting that he had marched seven times against the enemy. Another had two. One of the young men asked for Lieut. Clary's sword, and danced with it in the circle.

An old woman, sitting in a ring of women on the left, when the dancing and drumming had reached its height, could not restrain her feelings. She rose up, and, seizing a war-club which one of the young men gallantly offered, joined the dance. As soon as they paused, and gave the war-whoop, she stepped forward and shook her club towards the Sioux lines, and related that a war party of Chippewas had gone to the Warwater River, and killed a Sioux, and when they returned they threw the scalp at her feet. A very old, deaf, and gray-headed man, tottering with age, also stepped out to tell the exploits of his youth, on the war path.

Among the dancers, I noticed a man with a British medal. It was the medal of the late Chief Peesh-a-Peevely, and had probably been given him while the British held the supremacy in the country. I explained to him that it, was a symbol of nationality, which it was now improper to display as such. That I would recognize the personal authority of it, by exchanging for it an American silver medal of equal size.

ORNITHOLOGY.--While at Rice Lake, I heard, for the first time, the meadow-lark, and should judge it a favorite place for birds obtaining their food. The thirteen striped squirrel is also common. A quantity of the fresh-water shells of the lake were, at my request, brought in by the Indian girls. There was very little variety. Most of them were unios of a small size.

I found the entire population to be one hundred and forty-two souls, of whom eleven were absent.

One of the last acts of Neenaba was to present a pipe and speech, to be forwarded to the President, to request him to use his power to prevent the Sioux from crossing the lines. Having now finished repairing my canoes, I embarked on the ninth, at three o'clock in the afternoon, and went down the river four hours and a half, probably about eighteen miles, and encamped. Encountered four Indians, from whom we obtained some pieces of venison. During the night wolves set up their howls near our camp, a sure sign that we were in a deer country.

A PRAIRIE COUNTRY.--The next morning (10th Aug.) we embarked at five, and remained in our canoes till ten A.M., when we landed for breakfast. We had now entered a prairie country, of a pleasing and picturesque aspect. We observed a red deer during the morning; we passed many hunting encampments of the Indians, and the horns and bones of slaughtered deers, and other evidences of our being in a valuable game country. These signs continued and increased after breakfast. The river had now increased in volume, so as to allow a free navigation, and the men could venture to put out their strength in following down a current, always strong, and often rapid. We were passing a country of sylvan attractions, of great fertility, and abounding in deer, elk, and other animals. We also saw a mink, and a flock of brant. Mr. Clary shot a turkey-buzzard, the first intimation that we had reached within the range of that bird. As evening approached we saw a raccoon on a fallen bank. We came at nightfall to the Kakabika Falls, carried our baggage across the portage, and encamped at the western end, ready to embark in the morning, having descended the river, by estimation, seventy miles. These falls are over sandstone, a rock which has shown itself at all the rapids below Rice Lake.

SAW MILLS.--The next morning (11th) we embarked at six o'clock, and, after descending strong and rapid waters for a distance of about fifteen miles, reached the site of a saw mill. A Mr. Wallace, who with ten men was in charge of it, and was engaged in reconstructing a dam that had been carried off by the last spring freshet, represented Messrs. Rolette and Lockwood of Prairie du Chien. Another mill, he said, was constructed on a creek just below, and out of sight.

I asked Mr. Wallace where the lines between the Sioux and Chippewas crossed. He said above. He had no doubt, however, but that the land belonged to the Chippewas. He said that no Sioux had been here for seven years. At that time a mill was built here, and Sioux came and encamped at it, but they were attacked by the Chippewas and several killed, since which they have not appeared. He told us that this stream is called the FOLLEAVOINE.

The country near the mills is not, in fact, occupied by either Chippewa or Sioux, in consequence of which game is abundant on it. We saw a wolf, on turning a dense point of woods, in the morning. The animal stood a moment, and then turned and fled into the forest. After passing the mills we saw groups of two, five and four deer, and of two wolves at separate points. Mr. Johnston shot at a flight of brant, and brought down one. The exclamations, indeed, of "un loup! un chèvreuil!" were continually in the men's mouths.

CHIPPEWA RIVER.--At twelve o'clock precisely we came to the confluence of this fork with the main stream. The Chippewa is a noble mass of water, flowing with a wide sweeping majesty to the Mississippi. It excites the idea of magnitude. Wide plains, and the most sylvan and picturesque hills bound the view. We abandoned our smallest canoe at this point, and, pushing into the central channel of the grand current, pursued for six hours our way to its mouth, where we encamped on a long spit of naked sand, which marked its entrance into the Mississippi.

SNAKE.--The only thing that opposed our passage was a large serpent in the centre of the channel, whose liberty being impinged, coiled himself up, and raised his head in defiance. Its colors were greenish-yellow and brownish. It appeared to be of the thickness at the maximum of a man's wrist. The bowsman struck it with a pole, not without some trepidation at his proximity to the reptile, but it made off, apparently unhurt, or not disabled.

MONT LE GARDE.--The picturesque and grass-clad elevation called Le Garde by the canoe-men, attracted our notice. It is a high hill, the top of which commands a view of the whole length of Lake Pepin, where Chippewa war parties look out for their enemies. It was from this elevation that Kewaynokwut's party spied poor Finley and his men in 1824, and there could have been no reason whatever for mistaking their character, for he had a linen tent and other unmistakeable insignia of a trader.

The Chippewa enters the Mississippi by several channels, which at this stage of the water, are formed by long sand bars, which are but a few inches above the water. The tracks of deer and elk were abundant on these bars. We had found something of this kind on a bar of the Folleavoine below the mills, where we landed to dry the doctor's herbarium and press, which had been knocked overboard in a rapid. The tracks of elk at that spot were as numerous as those of cattle in a barn yard. There are high hills on the west banks of the Mississippi opposite the entrance, and an enchanting view is had of the foot of Lake Pepin and its beautiful shores.

Deer appear to come on to these sand bars at night, to avoid the mosquitoes. Wolves follow them. We estimate our distance at forty miles, inclusive of the stop at the mill. We had the brant roasted on a stick for supper.

DESCENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI.--We embarked on our descent at four o'clock A.M. We passed three canoes of Sioux men with their families. The canoes were wooden. We stopped alongside, and gave them tobacco. The women club their hair like the Chippewas, and wear short gowns of cloth. Soon afterwards we overtook four Sioux of Wabashaw's band, in a canoe. We stopped for breakfast at nine o'clock, under a high shore on the west bank. Found fine unios of a large size, very abundant on a little sandy bay. I found the unio alatus, overtus, rugosus and gibbosus, also some anadontas. The Sioux came up, and gave us to understand that a murder had been committed by the Menomonies in the mine country. Some of my voyageurs laughed outright to hear the Sioux language spoken, the sound of its frequent palatals falling very flat on men's ears accustomed only to the Algonquin.

SIOUX VILLAGE.--About two o'clock, having taken a right-hand fork of the river, we unexpectedly came to a Sioux village, consisting of a part of Wabashaw's band, under Wah-koo-ta. Landed and found a Sioux who could speak Chippewa, and serve as interpreter. I informed them of my route and the object of my visit, and of my having communicated a message with wampum and tobacco to Wabashaw. They told us that the Menomonies had killed twenty-five Foxes at Prairie du Chien a few days ago, having first made them drunk, and then cut their throats and scalped them. We encamped, at seven o'clock in the evening, under high cliffs on the west shore, having been fifteen hours in our canoes. Found mint among the high grass, where our tent poles were put. On the next morning we set off at half-past four o'clock, and went until ten to breakfast. At a low point of land of the shore, we had a view of a red fox, who scampered away gayly. He had been probably gleaning among the shell-fish along shore.

At a subsequent point we met a boat laden with Indian goods, bound to St. Peters, and manned by Canadians. The person in charge of it informed us that it was Menomonies and not Foxes who had, to the number of twenty-six, been recently murdered.

GENERAL IMPRESSION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.--The engrossing idea, in passing down the Mississippi, is the power of its waters during the spring flood. Trees carried from above are piled on the heads of islands, and also lie, like vast stranded rocks, on its sand bars and lower shores. Generally the butt ends and roots are elevated in the air, and remain like gibbeted men by the roadside, to tell the traveler of the POWER once exerted there.

We traveled till near ten o'clock (13th) in the morning, when we reached and encamped at Prairie du Chien.


Death of Mr. Monroe--Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the Foxes--Descent to Galena--Trip in the lead mine country to Fort Winnebago--Gratiot's Grove--Sac and Fox disturbances--Black Hawk--Irish Diggings--Willow Springs--Vanmater's lead--An escape from falling into a pit--Mineral Point--Ansley's copper mine--Gen. Dodge's--Mr. Brigham's--Sugar Creek--Four Lakes--Seven Mile Prairie--A night in the woods--Reach Fort Winnebago--Return to the Sault--Political changes in the cabinet--Gov. Cass called to Washington--Religious changes--G.B. Porter appointed Governor--Natural history--Character of the new governor--Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter--Organization of a church.

1831, Aug. 14th. One of the first things we heard, on reaching Prairie du Chien, was the death of ex-President Monroe, which happened on the 4th of July, at the City of New York. The demise of three ex-Presidents of the revolutionary era (Jefferson, Adams, and Monroe), on this political jubilee of the republic, is certainly extraordinary, and appears, so far as human judgment goes, to lend a providential sanction to the bold act of confederated resistance to taxation and oppression, made in 1776.

The affray between the Foxes and Menomonies turns out thus. The Foxes had killed a young Menomonie hunter, near the mouth of the Wisconsin, and cut off his head. The Menomonies had retaliated by killing Foxes. The Foxes then made a war party against the Menomonies, and went up the Mississippi in search of them. They did not find them, till their return, when they discovered a Menomonie encampment on the upper part of the Prairie. They instantly attacked them, and killed seven men, five women, and thirteen children. The act was perfectly dastardly, for the Menomonies were some domestic lodges of persons living, as non-combatants, under the guns of the fort and the civil institutions of the town. The Menomonies complained to me. I told them to go to their Agent, and have a proper statement of the massacre drawn up by him, and transmitted to Washington.

I called on the commanding officer, Captain Loomis, and accepted his invitation to dine. He introduced me to Mr. Street, the Indian Agent. At four o'clock in the evening, I embarked for Galena, and, after descending the Mississippi as long as daylight lasted, encamped on a sand bar. The next morning (15th), we were again in motion before 5 o'clock. We passed Cassville and Dubuque at successive points, and, entering the river of Galena, reached the town about half-past eight o'clock, in the evening, and encamped on the banks of the river.

On the following day (16th) I dispatched my canoe back to the Wisconsin in charge of Mr. Johnston, accompanied by Dr. D. Houghton, and Mr. Melancthon Woolsey, with directions to meet me at the portage. I then hired a light wagon to visit the mine country, taking letters from Captain Legate, U.S.A., and Mr. C. Hemstead. Mr. Bennet, the landlord, went with me to bring back the team. We left Galena about ten o'clock in the morning (17th), and, passing over an open, rolling country, reached Gratiot's Grove, at a distance of fifteen miles. The Messrs. Gratiot received me kindly, and showed me the various ores, and their mode of preparing and smelting them, which are, in all respects, similar to the method pursued in Missouri, with which I was familiar.

Mr. Henry Gratiot was the sub-Indian agent for the Winnebagoes, and was present at the late disturbances at the head of Rock Island. His band is the Winnebagoes living on Rock River, which is the residence of their prophet. He says the latter is a half Sauk, and a very shrewd, cunning man. They are peaceable now, and disclaim all connection with Black Hawk, for war purposes. Mr. G. assured me that he places no confidence in these declarations, nor in the stability of the Sacs and Foxes. He deems the latter treacherous, as usual, and related to me several acts of their former villainy--all in accordance with their late attack and murder of the Menomonies at Prairie du Chien. This murder was committed by a part of Black Hawk's band, who had been driven from their villages on the Mississippi below the rapids. They ascended the river to Dubuque--from thence the party set out, and fell on the unsuspicious and defenceless Menomonies.

Having examined whatever was deemed worthy of attention here, I drove on about fifteen miles to Willow Springs. In this drive we had the Platte Mounds, a prominent object, all the afternoon on our left. We stopped at Irish Diggings, and I took specimens of the various spars, ores, and rocks. Lead ore is found here in fissures in the rock. An extraordinary mass of galena was recently discovered, in this geological position, by two men named Doyle and Hanley. It is stated to have been twenty-two feet wide by one hundred feet in length, and weighed many tons. It was of the kind of formation called sheet mineral, which occupies what appears to have once been an open fissure.

The face of the country is exceedingly beautiful, the soil fertile, and bearing oaks and shagbark hickory. Grass and flowers cover the prairies as far as the eye can reach. The hills are moderately elevated, and the roads excellent, except for short distances where streams are crossed. We passed the night at Willow Springs, where we were well accommodated by Mr. Ray.

On the 18th it rained in the morning. We stopped at Rocky Branch Diggings, and I obtained here some interesting specimens. We also stopped at Bracken's Furnace, where I procured some organic remains. I examined Vanmater's lead; it runs east and west nearly nine miles. There was so much certainty in tracing the course of this lead, that it was sought out with a compass. The top strata are thirty-six to forty feet--then the mineral clay and galena occur.

While examining some large specimens which had been thrown out of an old pit forty feet deep, whose edges were concealed by bushes, I had nearly fallen in backwards, by which I should have been inevitably killed. The fate that I escaped fell to the lot of Bennet's dog. The poor fellow jumped over the cluster of bushes without seeing the pit beyond. By looking down we could see that he was still living. Mr. Vanmater promised to erect a windlass over the pit and get him out before Mr. Bennet returned.

We reached Mineral Point about eleven o'clock. I immediately called on Mr. Ansley, to whom I had a letter, and went with him to visit his copper ore discovery. On the way he lost his mule, and, after some exertions to catch the animal, being under the effects of a fever and ague, he went back. A Mr. Black went with me to the diggings. Green and blue carbonates of copper were found in rolled lumps in the clay soil, much like that kind of lead ore which is called, from its abraded form, gravel ore. Taking specimens of each kind of ore, I went back to the town to dinner, and then drove on two or three miles to General Dodge's. The General received me with great urbanity. I was introduced to his son Augustus, a young gentleman of striking and agreeable manners. Mrs. Dodge had prepared in a few moments a cup of coffee, which formed a very acceptable appendage to my late dinner. We then continued our way, passing through Dodgeville to Porter's Grove, where we stopped for the night, and were made very comfortable at Morrison's.

On the 19th we drove to breakfast at Brigham's at the Blue Mounds. I here found in my host my old friend with whom I had set out from Pittsburgh for the western world some thirteen or fourteen years before, and whom I last saw, I believe, fighting with the crows on the Illinois bottoms for the produce of a fine field of corn. I went on to the mound with him to view the extraordinary growth of the same grain at this place. The stalks were so high that it really required a tall man to reach up and pull off the ears.

Ten miles beyond Brigham's we came to Sugar Creek and a tree marked by Mr. Lyon. From this point we found the trail measured and mile stakes driven by Mr. Lyon's party, but the Indians have removed several. From Sugar Creek it is ten miles to the head of the Four Lakes. We then crossed the Seven Mile Prairie. To the left as we passed there rose a high point of rocks, on the top of which the Indians had placed image stones. Night overtook us soon after crossing this prairie. We took the horse out of the shafts and tied him to the wagon. My friend Bennet, though au fait on these trips, failed to strike a fire. We ate something, and made shift to pass the night.

Next morning we drove twelve miles to a house (Hasting's), where we got breakfast. We drove through Duck Creek with some ado, the skies threatening rain, and came in to Fort Winnebago by one o'clock, during a pouring rain. The canoes sent from Galena had not yet arrived. I spent the next day at the Winnebago agency, Mr. John H. Kinzie's, where I was received with great kindness. The canoe with Dr. Houghton and his companions did not arrive till the 23d, and I embarked the same day on my return to St. Mary's. It will not be necessary to describe this route. We were three days in descending the Fox River and its portages to Green Bay. It required eight days to traverse the shores and bays to Mackinack, and three more to reach St. Mary's, where I arrived on the 4th of September.

During my absence on this expedition, there were some things in my correspondence that require notice. Gen. Cass had been transferred to the War Office at Washington. He writes to me from Detroit (July 22d): "Very much to my surprise I have found myself called to another sphere of action. The change I am afraid will be not less unfavorable to my health and comfort than it certainly is adverse to my pecuniary interest. But I am forced by irresistible circumstances to accept the appointment. I have no time to detail these now. When I next have the pleasure of meeting you, I will fully lay them open to you. You will then see and say that no other choice was before me."

Gen. Eaton, the former incumbent, goes out as minister to Spain. The most important aspect is, perhaps, that we shall have a new governor, under whose rule we shall be happy, if he does not rashly derange Indian affairs in a too eager zeal to mend them. For a long and eventful era Gen. Cass has presided as an umpire between the Indian tribes and the citizens. His force and urbanity of character have equally inspired the respect of both. He has equally secured the confidence of every class of citizens in a wise civil administration of affairs. He has carried the territory from a state of war and desolation, which it presented at the close of 1815, when the whole population was less than three thousand souls, to a state of sound prosperity, which, in a few years, will develop resources that must class us one of the first of the Lake States.

July 26th. The Rev. Absalom Peters, Sec. Home Miss. Society, holds out the prospect of bringing our remote position, at the foot of Lake Superior, within the pale of the operations of that society. He views and describes a graduate of Dartmouth College, who may, probably, be induced to venture himself on this frontier. He asks: "Please to say whether you desire such a man as I have described? Will it be best for him to go this fall, or wait until next spring? How much can you raise for his support? How much will be necessary to sustain him and his family with suitable economy? What will be his peculiar trials?"

Aug. 23d. It is announced that Mr. Geo. B. Porter, of Lancaster, Penn., is to be the new governor.

Oct. 4th. The last mail brings me a letter from an early and esteemed friend, a Prof. in the Med. Col. at New York, offering me congratulations on the moral stand recently taken by me. Approvals, indeed, of this act reach me from many quarters. The way seemed open, with very little exertion on my part, to run a political course. But my impressions were averse to it. There is so much of independent honest opinion to be offered up by politicians--such continual calls to forsake the right for the expedient--such large sacrifices to be made in various ways to the god of public opinion, that a political career is rather startling to a quiet, unambitious, home-loving individual like myself, one, too, who is largely interested in other studies and pursuits, the rewards of which are not, indeed, very prompt, very sure, nor very full; but they are fraught with gratifications of a more enduring kind, and furnish aliment to moral conceptions which exalt and purify the soul.

Dr. Torrey also alludes, in the same letter, to my recent journey in the Indian country: "I am anxious to make some inquiries of you concerning your expedition to the Falls of St. Anthony, &c. Though your principal object was more important, perhaps, than natural science, I hope the latter was not entirely neglected. I know that you have heretofore devoted as much of your attention as possible to the observation of natural objects, and the preservation of specimens, and your last expedition was through a country well deserving of your highest exertions. I know that part of it is the same as that explored while you attended Gov. Cass, many years ago; but much of the ground, if I am rightly informed, is new. You know that I have long devoted much of my time to the study of N. American botany, and that I am collecting materials for a general Flora of our country. Now, my dear sir, if you or Mr. Houghton (the young gentleman whom, I am informed, accompanied you) have made any collections in botany, I should esteem it a peculiar favor to have the examination of the specimens.

"Our Lyceum prospers. We have removed to the N.Y. Dispensatory, a new building lately erected in White Street, where we have excellent accommodations. The Corporation of the city had use for the N.Y. Institution, and nearly all the societies who occupied it have been obliged to decamp. You doubtless have heard of the death of Dr. Mitchell. Dr. Akerly will pronounce his eulogy soon, and probably Dr. Hosick will give a more elaborate account of his life.

"Mr. Cooper now devotes himself to shells and birds. If you have anything rare or new in these departments, we should be greatly obliged to you for such specimens as you can spare.

"Dr. Dekay went to Russia with his father, Mr. Eckford, last summer."

23d. A friend and shrewd observer from Detroit, writes: "You ask how we like our new Governor. Very well. He is a well-informed plain man, unassuming in his manners and conciliatory, always ready for business, and accustomed to do everything en ordre. His wife is a fine-looking agreeable woman, with several pretty well-behaved children."

Another correspondent says: "Mr. Porter is very much such a man as A. E. Wing, and will, no doubt, generally suit the citizens of the territory,"

30th. W. Ward, Esq., says: "I remove hence to Washington, with no certain prospects, only hopes. I cannot go without thanking you for much enjoyment in the hours passed with you, and for the manifestations of interest and friendship."

Nov. 12th. Rev. W. S. Boutwell says: "I am happy to hear that my friend and classmate, Porter, is at Mackinack, on his way to this people. The Lord speed him on his way."

22d. Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia, communicating the results of his analyses of the Lake Superior copper-ores.

Dec. 31st. The person named in a prior letter from the Home Missionary Society, prefers a more southerly location, in consequence of which a new selection has been made by Dr. Peters, in the person of Rev. Jeremiah Porter, a graduate of Princeton and Andover, and a lineal descendant, I understand, by the mother's side, of the great Dr. Edwards. We have been favorably impressed by the manner and deportment, and not less so by the piety and learning of the man. I felt happy, the moment of his landing, in offering him a furnished chamber, bed and plate, at Elmwood, while residing on this frontier. He has taken steps to organize a church. He preaches in an animated and persuasive style, and has commenced a system of moral instruction in detail, which, in our local history, constitutes an era. It has been written that "where vice abounds, grace shall much more abound," and St. Mary's may now be well included in the list of favorable examples. The lordly "wassail" of the fur-trader, the long-continued dance of the gay French "habitant," the roll of the billiard-ball, the shuffle of the card, and the frequent potations of wine "when it is red in the cup," will now, at least, no longer retain their places in the customs of this spot on the frontier without the hope of having their immoral tendencies pointed out. Some of the soldiers have also shown a disposition to attend the several meetings for instruction. The claims of temperance have likewise led to an organized effort, and if the pious and gentle Mr. Laird were permitted once again to visit the place, after a lapse of seven years, he might fervently exclaim, in the language of the Gospel, "What hath God wrought?"


Revival of St. Mary's--Rejection of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to England--Botany and Natural History of the North-west--Project of a new expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi--Algie Society--Consolidation of the Agencies of St. Mary's and Michilimackinack--Good effects of the American Home Missionary Society--Organization of a new inland exploring expedition committed to me--Its objects and composition of the corps of observers.

1832, Jan. 31st. I was now to spend a winter to aid a preacher in promoting the diffusion and understanding of the detailed facts, which all go to establish a great truth--a truth which was first brought to the world's notice eighteen hundred and thirty-two years before, namely, that God, who was incarnate in the Messiah, under the name of Jesus Christ, offered himself a public sacrifice for human sins, amidst the most striking and imposing circumstances of a Roman execution--a fact which, in an age of extraordinary moral stolidity and ecclesiastical delusion, was regarded as the behest of a mere human tribunal.

For this work the circumstances of our position and exclusion from society was very favorable. The world, with all its political and commercial care, was, in fact, shut out with the closing of the river. Three hundred miles of a waste, howling wilderness separated us south-easterly from the settlements at Detroit. Ninety miles in a south-westerly direction lay the island and little settlement and mission of Mackinack.

In addition to the exertions of Mr. Porter, who was our pastor, the winter had enclosed, at that point, a zealous missionary of the American Board, destined for a more northerly position, in the person of Mr. Boutwell, who with the person, Mr. Bingham, in charge of the Indian mission at the same point, maintained by the Baptist Convention, constituted a moral force that was not likely to be without its results. They derived mutual aid from each other in various ways, and directed their entire efforts upon a limited community, wholly excluded from open contact with the busy world, and having, by their very isolation, much leisure.

The result was an awakened attention to the truth, to which I have adverted, not as a mere historical event, but one personally interesting and important to every person, without regard at all to their circumstances or position. Severity of climate, deep snows, the temperature often below zero, and frequently but little above, blinding snow storms, and every inconvenience of the place or places of meeting, appeared only to have the effect to give greater efficacy to the inquiry, as the workings of unshackled mind and will. Early in the season, a comparatively large number of persons of every class deemed it their duty to profess a personal interest in the atonement, the great truth dwelt on, and made eventually a profession of faith by uniting with, and recording their names as members of some branch of the church. Among these were several natives. Mrs. Johnston, known to her people by the name of the Sha-go-wash-co-da-wa-qua, being the most noted. Also four of her daughters, and one of her sons, one or two Catholic soldiers, several officers of Fort Brady, citizens, &c., &c.

This statement will tend to render many of the allusions in my journal of this winter's transactions intelligible. Indeed some of them would not be at all understood without it. Historically considered, there was deep instruction "hid" in this event. It was now precisely 222 years since the Puritans, with the principles of the Scriptures for their guidance, in fleeing to lay the foundation of a new government in the West, had landed at Plymouth. It had required this time, leaving events to develop themselves, for the circle of civilization to reach the foot of Lake Superior. Ten years after the first landing at this remote spot in 1822, had been sufficient to warm these ancient principles into life. John Eliot, and the band of eminent saints who began the labor with him in 1632, had been centuries in their tombs, but the great principles which they upheld and enforced were invested with the sacred vitality which they possessed at that day. Two truths are revealed by this reminiscence. 1. That the Scriptures will be promulgated by human means. 2. That time, in the Divine mind, is to be measured in a more enlarged sense; but the propagation of truth goes on, as obstacle after obstacle is withdrawn, surely, steadily, unalterably, and that its spread over the entire globe is a mere question of time.

Jan. 31st. Mr. Wing, delegate in Congress, writes from Washington, that the nomination of Mr. Van Buren as minister to England has been rejected by the Senate, by a majority of one--and that one the casting vote of the Vice-President. A letter from Albany, Feb. 1, says: "Albany (and the State generally) is considerably excited this morning in consequence of the rejection of Mr. Van Buren. Nothing could have more promoted the interest of Mr. Van Buren than this step of the Senate. New York city has resolved to receive him, on his return from England, with all the 'pomp and magnificence in its power, and to show that her 'favorite son' shall be sustained.' I heard this read in public from a letter received by a person in this city."

"A report reached this a few days ago, stating that the 'cholera' had been brought to New Orleans in a Spanish vessel."

"Mr. Woolsey, the young gentleman of your tour last summer, died at New York a short time since." In a letter which he wrote to me (Sept. 27th), on the eve of his leaving Detroit, he says: "Permit me now, sir, in closing this note, again to express my gratitude for the opportunity you have afforded me of visiting a very interesting portion of our country, and for the uniform kindness that I have experienced at your hands, and for the friendly wishes, that prosperity may crown my exertions in life."

Dr. Houghton says (Feb. 8) respecting this moral young man: "The tears of regret might flow freely for the loss of such true unsophisticated worth, even with those who knew him imperfectly, but to me, who felt as a brother, the loss is doubly great. We have, however, when reflecting upon his untimely death, the sweet consolation that he died as he lived, a Christian."

Feb. 4th. Dr. Torrey expresses his interest in the botany and natural history, generally, of the country visited by me last summer. "Your kind offer to place in my hands the botanical rarities which, from time to time, you may acquire, in your interesting journeys, I fully appreciate. It will give me great pleasure to examine the collections made by Dr. Houghton during your last expedition.

"My friend Mr. William Cooper, of the Lyceum, will be happy to lend you all the assistance in his power in determining the shells you have collected. He is decidedly our beat conchologist in New York, and I would rather trust him than most men--for he is by no means afflicted with the mania of desiring to multiply new species, which, is, at present, the bane of natural history.

"You speak of having discovered some interesting minerals, especially some good native copper. Above all the specimens which you obtained, I should like to see the native magnesia which you found in serpentine. I am desirous of analyzing the mineral, to ascertain whether its composition agrees with that of Hoboken and Unst (the only recorded localities in our mineralogical works)."

13th. Submitted, in a letter to the department at Washington, A PROJECT of an expedition to the North-west, during the ensuing season, in order to carry out the views expressed in the instructions of last year, to preserve peace on the western frontiers, inclosing the necessary estimates, &c.

16th. Mr. W. H. Sherman, of Vernon, N.Y., communicates intelligence of the death of my mother, which took place about ten o'clock on the morning of this day. She was seventy-five years of age, and a Christian--and died as she had lived, in a full hope. I had read the letters before breakfast, and while the family were assembling for prayers. I had announced the fact with great composure, and afterward proceeded to read in course the 42d Psalm, and went on well, until I came to the verse--"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

The emotions of this painful event, which I had striven to conceal, swelled up in all their reality, my utterance was suddenly choked, and I was obliged to close the book, and wait for calmness to go on.

28th. The initial steps were taken for forming an association of persons interested in the cause of the reclamation of the Indians, to be known under the name of the Algic Society. Connected with this, one of its objects was to collect and disseminate practical information respecting their language, history, traditions, customs, and character; their numbers and condition; the geographical features of the country they inhabit; and its natural history and productions.

It proposes some definite means of action for furthering their moral instruction, and reclamation from the evils of intemperance and the principles of war, and to subserve the general purposes of a society of moral inquiry. The place was deemed favorable both for the collection of original information, and for offering a helping hand to missionaries and teachers who should visit the frontiers in carrying forward the great moral question of the exaltation of the tribes from barbarism to civilization and Christianity.

28th. Instructions are issued at Washington, consolidating the agencies of St. Mary's and Michilimackinack--and placing the joint agency under my charge. By this arrangement, Col. Boyd, the agent at the latter point, is transferred to Green Bay, and I am left at liberty to reside at St. Mary's or Michilimackinack, placing a sub-agent at the point where I do not reside.

This measure is announced to me in a private letter of this day, from the Secretary of War, who says: "I think the time has arrived when a just economy requires such a measure." By it the entire expenses of one full agency are dispensed with--the duties of which are devolved upon me, in addition to those I before had. By being allowed the choice of selection, two hundred dollars are added to my salary. Here is opened a new field, and certainly a very ample one, for exertions.

April 8th. The object contemplated by invoking the aid of the Home Missionary Society, in the establishment of a church at this remote point on the frontiers--in connection with the means already possessed, and the aid providentially present, have, it will have been seen, had the effect to work quite a moral revolution. The evils of a lax society have been rebuked in various ways. Intemperance and disorder have been made to stand out as such, and already a spirit of rendering the use, or rather misuse of time, subservient to the general purposes of social dissipation, has been shown to be unwise and immoral in every view. More than all, the Sabbath-day has been vindicated as a part of time set apart as holy. The claims and obligations of the decalogue have been enforced; and the great truths of the Gospel thus prominently brought forward. The result has been every way propitious.

The Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, of Mackinack, writes (Feb. 21): "The intelligence we have received by your letters, Mr. Boutwell, &c., of the Lord's doings among you, as a people, at the Sault, has rejoiced our hearts much. Surely it is with you a time of the right hand of the Most High." "All of us," writes Mr. Robert Stuart (March 29) "who love the Lord, were much pleased at the indications of God's goodness and presence among you."

The Rev. J. Porter, in subsequently referring to the results of these additions to the church, observes, that they embraced five officers and four ladies of the garrison; two gentlemen and seven ladies of the settlement, and thirty soldiers and four women of Fort Brady, numbering fifty-two in all. Of these, twenty-six were adults added by baptism.

At Detroit a similar result was experienced. Mr. Trowbridge writes (April 8th), that about seventy persons united themselves a few days previous to Mr. Wells' church, to which the influence has been principally, but not wholly confined. Among these were many who had, unaffectedly, listened to the Gospel, if not all their lives, certainly no small part of it.

May 3d. Public instructions are issued for my organizing and taking command of an expedition to the country upon the sources of the Mississippi River, to effect a pacification between the Indian tribes, in order to carry out, with increased means, the efforts made in 1831. Those efforts were confined to tribes living in latitudes south of St. Anthony's Falls. It was now proposed to extend them to the Indian population living north of that point, reaching to the sources of that river. This opened the prospect of settling a long contested point in the geography of that stream, namely, its actual source--a question in which I had long felt the deepest interest.

The outbreak of Indian hostility, under Black Hawk, which characterized the summer of 1832, was apprehended, and it became the policy of the Indian Bureau, in the actual state of its information, to prevent the northern tribes from joining in the Sac and Fox league under that influential leader. I forwarded to the Superintendent and Governor of the territory, a report of a message and war-club sent to the Chippewas to join in the war, for which I was indebted to the chief, Chingwauk, or Little Pine.

"Reports from various quarters of the Indian country," says the Secretary of War, in a private letter so early as March 28th, "lead to the belief that the Indians are in an unsettled state, and prudence requires that we should advise and restrain them. I think one more tour would be very useful in this respect, and would complete our knowledge of the geography of that region."

"There is a prospect," says the official instructions (May 3d), "of extensive hostilities among themselves. It is no less the dictate of humanity than of policy to repress this feeling, and to establish permanent peace among the tribe.

"It is also important to inspect the condition of the trade, and the conduct of the traders. To ascertain whether the regulations and the laws are complied with, and to suggest such alterations as may be required. And, finally, to inquire into the number, standing, disposition, and prospect of the Indians, and to report all the statistical facts you can procure, and which will be useful to the government in its operations, or to the community in the investigation of these subjects."

Congress, during the session, passed an act for vaccinating the Indians. This constituted a separate duty, and enabled me to take along a physician and surgeon. I offered the situation to Dr. Douglass Houghton, of Fredonia, who, in the discharge of it, was prepared to take cognizance of the subjects of botany, geology, and mineralogy. I offered to the American Board of Missions, at Boston, to take a missionary agent, to observe the condition and prospects of the Indian tribes in the north-west, as presenting a field for their operations, and named the Rev. W.T. Boutwell, then at Michilimackinack, for the post, which the Board confirmed, with a formal vote of thanks. Lieut. James Allen, 5th U.S. Infantry, who was assigned to the command of the detachment of troops, assumed the duties of topographer and draughtsman. Mr. George Johnston, of St. Mary's, was appointed interpreter and baggage-master. I retained myself the topics of Indian history, archaeology, and language. The party numbered about thirty souls. All this appeared strictly compatible with the practical objects to be attained--keeping the expenses within the sum appropriated for the object.

Some few weeks were required completely to organize the expedition, to prepare the necessary supplies, and to permit the several persons to reach the place of rendezvous. Meantime I visited Michilimackinack to receive the agency from Col. Boyd; after which it was left temporarily in charge of a sub-agent and interpreter, with the supervision of the commanding officer of Fort Mackinack.

4th. The Secretary of War writes a private letter: "We have allowed all it was possible, and you must on no account exceed the sum, as the pressure upon our funds is very great."

Maj. W. writes from Detroit (May 7th): "I am glad to hear that you are about going on another expedition, and that Mr. Houghton is to accompany you. I hope you will find time to send us some specimens collected on your former tour before you start."

Dr. Houghton writes from Fredonia (May 12th): "I shall leave here immediately after the twenty-fourth, and hope to see you as early as the second or third of June. I have heard from Torrey, and have sent him a suit of plants."

The Secretary of War again writes (May 22d): "It has been impossible before now, to make you a remittance of funds, and they cannot yet all be sent for your expedition. Our annual appropriation has not yet passed, and when it will I am sure I cannot tell. So you must get along as well as you can. I trust, however, the amount now sent will be sufficient to enable you to start upon your expedition. The residue promised to you, as well as the funds for your ordinary expenditures, shall be sent as soon as the appropriation is made."

The sub-agent, in charge of the agency at Mackinack, writes (May 22d): "Gen. Brook arrived yesterday from Green Bay, and has concluded to make this post his head-quarters. I was up, yesterday, in the garrison, and Capt. McCabe introduced me to him. I found him a very pleasant, plain, unassuming man. Col. Boyd has handed me a list of articles which you will find inclosed, &c."

"The committee," says the Rev. David Green, Boston, "wish me to express to you the satisfaction they have in learning that your views respecting the importance of making known the great truths of the Gospel to the Indians, as the basis on which to build their improvement, in all respects accords so perfectly with their own. It is our earnest desire that our missionaries should act wisely in all their labors for the benefit of the Indians, and that all the measures which may be adopted by them, or by others who seek to promote the present or future welfare of this unhappy and long-abused people, may be under the Divine guidance, and crowned with great success."

These triple claims, which have now been mentioned, of business, of science, and of religion, on my attention created not the least distraction on my mind, but, on the contrary, appeared to have propitious and harmonizing influences.


Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, the source of the Mississippi River--Brief notice of the journey to the point of former geographical discovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake--Ascent and portage to Queen Anne's Lake--Lake Pemetascodiac--The Ten, or Metoswa Rapids--Pemidgegomag, or Cross-water Lake--Lake Irving--Lake Marquette--Lake La Salle--Lake Plantagenet--Ascent of the Plantagenian Fork--Naiwa, or Copper-snake River--Agate Rapids and portage--Assawa Lake--Portage over the Hauteur des Terres--Itasca Lake--Its picturesque character--Geographical and astronomical position--Historical data.

1832. June 7th. It was not until this day that the expedition was ready to embark at the head of the portage at St. Mary's. I had organized it strictly on temperance principles, observation having convinced me, during frequent expeditions in the wilderness, that not only is there no situation, unless administered from the medicine-chest, where men are advantaged by its use, but in nearly every instance of fatigue or exhaustion their powers are enfeebled by it, while, in a moral and intellectual sense, they are rendered incapable, neglectful, or disobedient. This exclusion constituted a special clause in every verbal agreement with the men, who were Canadians, which I thought necessary to make, in order that they might have no reason to complain while inland of its exclusion. They were promised, instead of it, abundance of good wholesome food at all times. The effects of this were apparent even at the start. They all presented smiling faces, and took hold of their paddles with a conscious feeling of satisfaction in the wisdom of their agreement.

The military and their supplies occupied a large Mackinack boat; my heavy stores filled another. I traveled in a canoe-elège, as being better adapted to speed and the celerity of landing. Each carried a national flag. We slept the first night at Point Iroquois, which commands a full view of the magnificent entrance into the lake. We were fifteen days in traversing the lake, being my fifth trip through this inland sea. We passed up the St. Louis River by its numerous portages and falls to the Sandy Lake summit, and reached the banks of the Mississippi on the third of July, and ascertained its width above the junction of the Sandy Lake outlet to be 331 feet. We were six days in ascending it to the central island in Cass Lake. This being the point at which geographical discovery rests, I decided to encamp the men, deposit my heavy baggage, and fitted out a light party in hunting canoes to trace the stream to its source. The Indians supplied me with five canoes of two fathoms each, and requiring but two men to manage each, which would allow one canoe to each of the gentlemen of my party. I took three Indians and seven white men as the joint crew, making, with the sitters, fifteen persons. We were provisioned for a few days, carried a flag, mess-basket, tent, and other necessary apparatus. We left the island early the next morning, and reached the influx of the Mississippi into the Lake at an early hour. To avoid a very circuitous bay, which I called Allen's Bay, we made a short portage through open pine woods.

Fifty yards' walk brought us and our canoe and baggage to the banks of Queen Anne's Lake, a small sylvan lake through which the whole channel of the Mississippi passed. A few miles above its termination we entered another lake of limited size, which the Indians called Pemetascodiac. The river winds about in this portion of it--through savannas, bordered by sandhills, and pines in the distance--for about fifteen miles. At this distance, rapids commence, and the bed of the river exhibited greenstone and gneissoid boulders. We counted ten of these rapids, which our guide called the Metoswa, or Ten Rapids. They extend about twenty miles, during which there is a gradual ascent of about forty feet. The men got out at each of these rapids, and lifted or drew the canoes up by their gunwales. We ascended slowly and with toil. At the computed distance of forty-five miles, we entered a very handsome sheet of water, lying transverse to our course, which the Indians called Pamidjegumag, which means crosswater, and which the French call Lac Traverse. It is about twelve miles long from east to west, and five or six wide. It is surrounded with hardwood forest, presenting a picturesque appearance.

We stopped a few moments to observe a rude idol on its shores; it consisted of a granitic boulder, of an extraordinary shape, with some rings and spots of paint, designed to give it a resemblance to a human statue. We observed the passenger-pigeon and some small fresh-water shells of the species of unios and anadontas.

A short channel, with a strong current, connects this lake with another of less than a third of its dimensions, to which I gave the name of Washington Irving. Not more than three or four miles above the latter, the Mississippi exhibits the junction of its ultimate forks. The right hand, or Itasca branch, was represented as by far the longest, the most circuitous, and most difficult of ascent. It brings down much the largest volume of water. I availed myself of the geographical knowledge of my Indian guide by taking the left hand, or what I had occasion soon to call the Plantagenian branch. It expanded, in the course of a few miles, into a lake, which I called Marquette, and, a little further, into another, which I named La Salle. About four miles above the latter, we entered into a more considerable sheet of water, which I named Plantagenet, being the site of an old Indian encampment called Kubbakunna, or the Rest in the Path.

We encamped a short distance above the upper end of this lake at the close of the day, on a point of low land covered with a small growth of gray pine, fringed with alder, tamarisk, spruce, and willow. A bed of moss covered the soil, into which the foot sank at every step. Long moss hung from every branch. Everything indicated a cold frigid soil. In the act of encamping, it commenced raining, which gave a double gloom to the place. Several species of duck were brought from the different canoes as the result of the day's hunt.

Early the next morning we resumed the ascent. The river became narrow and tortuous. Clumps of willow and alder lined the shore. Wherever larger species were seen they were gray pines or tamarack. One of the Indians killed a deer, of the species C. Virginea, during the morning. Ducks were frequently disturbed as we pushed up the winding channel. The shores were often too sedgy and wet to permit our landing, and we went on till twelve o'clock before finding a suitable spot to breakfast.

About five o'clock we came to a high diluvial ridge of gravel and sand, mixed with boulders of syenite, trap-rock, quartz, and sandstone. Ozawandib, our guide, said we were near the junction of the Naiwa, or Copper-snake River, the principal tributary of this branch of the Mississippi, and that it was necessary to make a passage over this ridge to avoid a formidable series of rapids. Our track lay across a peninsula. This occupied the remainder of the day, and we encamped on the banks of the stream above the rapids and pitched our tent, before daylight had finally departed. The position of the sun, in this latitude, it must be recollected, is protracted, very perceptibly, above the horizon. We ascended to the summit in a series of geological steps or plateaux. There is but little perceptible rise from the Cross-water level to this point--called Agate Rapids and Portage, from the occurrence of this mineral in the drift. The descent of water at this place cannot be less than seventy feet. On resuming the journey the next morning (13th) we found the water above these rapids had almost the appearance of a dead level. The current is very gentle; and, by its diminished volume, denotes clearly the absence of the contributions from the Naiwa. About seven miles above the Agate Portage we entered Lake Assawa, which our Indian guide informed us was the source of this branch. We were precisely twenty minutes in passing through it, with the full force of paddles. It receives two small inlets, the most southerly of which we entered, and the canoes soon stuck fast, amidst aquatic plants, on a boggy shore. I did not know, for a moment, the cause of our having grounded, till Ozawandib exclaimed, "O-um-a, mikun-na!" here is the portage! We were at the Southern flanks of the diluvial hills, called HAUTEUR DES TERRES--a geological formation of drift materials, which form one of the continental water-sheds, dividing the streams tributary to the Gulf of Mexico, from those of Hudson's Bay. He described the portage as consisting of twelve pug-gi-de-nun, or resting places, where the men are temporarily eased of their burdens. This was indefinite, depending on the measure of a man's strength to carry. Not only our baggage, but the canoes were to be carried. After taking breakfast, on the nearest dry ground, the different back-loads for the men were prepared. Ozawandib threw my canoe over his shoulders and led the way. The rest followed, with their appointed loads. I charged myself with a spy-glass, strapped, and portfolio. Dr. Houghton carried a plant press. Each one had something, and the men toiled with five canoes, Our provisions, beds, tent, &c. The path was one of the most intricate and tangled that I ever knew. Tornadoes appeared to have cast down the trees in every direction. A soft spongy mass, that gave way under the tread, covered the interstices between the fallen timber. The toil and fatigue were incessant. At length we ascended the first height. It was an arid eminence of the pebble and erratic block era, bearing small gray pines and shrubbery. This constituted our first pause, or puggidenun. On descending it, we were again plunged among bramble. Path, there was none, or trail that any mortal eye, but an Indian's, could trace. We ascended another eminence. We descended it, and entered a thicket of bramble, every twig of which seemed placed there to bear some token of our wardrobe, as we passed. To avoid this, the guide passed through a lengthened shallow pond, beyond which the walking was easier. Hill succeeded hill. It was a hot day in July, and the sun shone out brightly. Although we were evidently passing an alpine height, where a long winter reigned, and the vegetation bore every indication of being imperfectly developed. We observed the passenger pigeon, and one or two species of the falco family. There were indications of the common deer. Moss hung abundantly from the trees. The gray pine predominated in the forest growth.

At length, the glittering of water appeared, at a distance below, as viewed from the summit of one of these eminences. It was declared by our Indian guide to be Itasca Lake--the source of the main, or South fork of the Mississippi. I passed him, as we descended a long winding slope, and was the first man to reach its banks. A little grassy opening served as the terminus of our trail, and proved that the Indians had been in the practice of crossing this eminence in their hunts. As one after another of the party came, we exulted in the accomplishment of our search. A fire was quickly kindled, and the canoes gummed, preparatory to embarkation.

We had struck within a mile of the southern extremity of the lake, and could plainly see its terminus from the place of our embarking. The view was quite enchanting. The waters were of the most limpid character. The shores were overhung with hard wood foliage, mixed with species of spruce, larch, and aspen. We judged it to be about seven miles in length, by an average of one to two broad. A bay, near its eastern-end, gave it somewhat the shape of the letter y. We observed a deer standing in the water. Wild fowl appeared to be abundant. We landed at the only island it contains--a beautiful spot for encampment, covered with the elm, cherry, larch, maple, and birch, and giving evidence, by the remains of old camp-fires, and scattered bones of species killed in the chase, of its having been much resorted to by the aborigines.

This picturesque island the party honored me by calling after my name--in which they have been sanctioned by Nicollet and other geographers. I caused some trees to be felled, pitched my tent, and raised the American flag on a high staff, the Indians firing a salute as it rose.

This flag, as the evidence of the government having extended its jurisdiction to this quarter, I left flying, on quitting the island--and presume the band of Ozawandib, at Cass Lake, afterwards appropriated it to themselves.

Questions of geography and astronomy may deserve a moment's attention. If we assume the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi to have been made by Narvaez in 1527--a doubtful point!--a period of 305 years has elapsed before its actual source has been fixed. If the date of De Soto's journey (1541) be taken, which is undisputed, this period is reduced to 290 years. Hennepin saw it as high as the mouth of the river St. Francis in 1680. Lt. Pike, under the administration of Mr. Jefferson, ascended it by water in 1805, near to the entrance of Elk River, south of the Crow Wing Fork, and being overtaken at this spot by frosts and snow, and winter setting in strongly, he afterwards ascended its banks, on snow shoes, his men carrying his baggage on hand sleds, to Sandy Lake, then a post of the North-west Company. From this point he was carried forward, under their auspices, by the Canadian train de-glis, drawn by dogs to Leech Lake; and eventually, by the same conveyance, to what is now denominated Cass Lake, or upper Lac Cedre Rogue. This he reached in January, 1806, and it formed the terminus of his journey.

In 1820, Gen. Cass visited Sandy Lake, by the way of Lake Superior, with a strong party, and exploratory outfit, under the authority of the government. He encamped the bulk of his party at Sandy Lake, depositing all his heavy supplies, and fitted out a light party in two canoes, to trace up the river to its source. After ascending to the point of land at the entrance of Turtle River into Cass Lake, it was found, from Indian accounts, that he could not ascend higher in the state of the water with his heavy canoes, if, indeed, his supplies or the time at his command would have permitted him to accomplish it, compatibly with other objects of his instructions. This, therefore, constituted the terminal point of his journey.

The length of the river, from the Gulf of Mexico to Itasca Lake, has been estimated at 3,160 miles. Barometrical observations show its altitude, above the same point, to be 1,680 feet--which denotes an average descent of a fraction over six inches per mile.

The latitude of Itasca Lake has been accurately determined to be 47° 13' 35"--which is nearly two degrees south of the position assigned to it by the best geographers in 1783, the date of the definite treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain.

The reason of this geographical mistake has been satisfactorily shown in traversing up the stream from the summit of the Pemidjegomag, or Cross-water Lake--during which, the general course of the ascent is due south.


Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake--Traits of its bank--Kabika Falls--Upsetting of a canoe--River descends by steps, and through narrow rocky passes--Portage to the source of the Crow-Wing River--Moss Lake--Shiba Lake--Leech Lake--Warpool Lake--Long Lake Mountain portage--Kaginogomanug--Vermilion Lake--Ossawa Lake-Shell River--Leaf River--Long Prairie River--Kioskk, or Gull River--Arrival at its mouth--Descent to the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter's--Return to St. Mary's.

1832, July 14th. I found the outlet of Itasca Lake to be about twelve feet wide, and some twelve to fourteen inches deep. The water is of crystal purity, and the current very rapid. We were urged along with great velocity. It required incessant vigilance on the part of the men to prevent our frail vessels from being dashed against boulders. For about twelve miles the channel was not only narrow, but exceedingly crooked. Often, where the water was most deep and rapid, it did not appear to exceed ten feet in width. Trees which had fallen from the banks required, sometimes, to be cut away to allow the canoes to pass, and it required unceasing vigilance to avoid piles of drifted wood or boulders. As we were borne along in vessels of bark, not more than one-eighth of an inch thick, a failure to fend off, or hit the proper guiding point, in any one place, would have been fraught with instant destruction. And we sat in a perfect excitement during this distance. The stream then deployed, for a distance of some eight miles, into a savannah or plain, with narrow grassy borders in which its width was doubled, its depth decreased, and the current less furious. We went through these windings with more assurance and composure. It was one of the minor plateaux in which this stream descends. The channel then narrowed and deepened itself for another plunge, and soon brought us to the top of the Kabika Palls. This pass, as the name imports, is a cascade over rocks. The river is pent up, between opposing trap rock, which are not over ten feet apart. Its depth is about four feet, and velocity perfectly furious. It is not impossible to descend it, as there is no abrupt pitch, but such a trial would seem next to madness. We made a portage with our canoes of about a quarter of a mile across a peninsula, and embarked again at the foot of the falls, where the stream again expands to more than double its former width, and the scenery assumes a milder aspect. It is another plateau.

Daylight had departed when we encamped on a high sandy bank on the left shore. We were perfectly exhausted with labor, and the thrilling excitement of the day. It seemed, while flying through its furious passes, as if this stream was impatient for its development, and, like an unrestrained youth, was bent on overthrowing every obstacle, on the instant, that opposed its advance and expansion. A war horse could not have been more impatient to rush on to his destiny.

We were in motion again in our canoes at five o'clock the next morning. At an early hour my Indian guide landed to fire at some deer. He could not, however, get close enough to make an effectual shot. Before the animals were, however, out of range, he loaded, without wadding, and fired again, but also without effect. After passing a third plateau through which the river winds, with grassy borders, we found it once more to contract for another descent, which we made without leaving our canoes, not, however, without imminent peril and loss. Lieut. Allen had halted to make some observations, when his men incautiously failed for a moment to keep his canoe direct in the current. The moment it assumed a transverse position, which they attempted to fix by grasping some bushes on the opposite bank, the water dashed over the gunwales, and swept all to the bottom. He succeeded in gaining his feet, though the current was waist high, and recovered his fowling piece, but irretrievably lost his canoe-compass, a nautical balanced instrument, and everything besides. Fortunately I had a fine small land-compass, which Gen. Macomb had presented to the late John Johnston, Esq., of St. Mary's, many years before, and thus I measurably repaired his loss. On descending this channel, the river again displayed itself in savannas, and assumed a width which it afterwards maintained, and lost its savage ferocity of current, though still strong.

On this plateau, the river receiving on its left the War River, or Piniddiwin (the term has relation to the mangled flesh of those slain in battle), a considerable stream, at the mouth of which the Indian reed first shows itself. We had, the day previous, noticed the Chemaun, or Canoe River, tributary from the right bank. Minor tributaries were not noticed. The volume of water was manifestly increased from various sources. At a spot where we landed, as evening came on, we observed a species of striped lizard, which our guide called Okautekinabic, which signifies legged-snake. Various species of the duck and other water fowl were almost continually in sight. We reached the junction of the Plantagenet Fork about one o'clock at night (15th), and rapidly passing the Irving and Cross-water Lakes, descended to Cass Lake, reaching our encampment at nine o'clock in the morning.

A day's rest restored the party from its fatigues, and we set out at ten o'clock the following day (16th) for Leech Lake, by the overland route. Two hours rowing brought us to a fine sandy beach at the head of a bay, which was named Pike's Bay, from Lieut. Pike having approached from this direction in the winter of 1806. Here the baggage and canoes were prepared for a portage. A walk of nine hundred and fifty yards, through open pine forest, brought us to the banks of Moss Lake, which we passed in canoes. A portage of about two miles and a-half was now made to the banks of a small lake, which, as I heard no name for it, was called Shiba, from the initials of the names of the five gentlemen of the party.[62] This lake has an outlet into a large stream, which the Pillager Chippewas call Kapuka Sagitawag. It was nearly dark when we embarked on this stream, which soon led, by a very narrow and winding channel, into the main river. Pushing on, we reached and crossed an arm of the lake to the principal Indian village of Guelle Plat, Leech Lake, which we reached at ten o'clock at night.

[62] Schoolcraft, Houghton, Johnston, Boutwell, Allen.

The next day (17th) was passed in council with them, till late in the afternoon, when I embarked, and went a couple of leagues to encamp, in order to rid myself fully of the village throng, and be ready for an early start in the morning. It was my determination to pass inland south-westerly by an Indian trail, so as to strike the source of the Crow Wing or De Corbeau River, one of the great tributaries of the Mississippi which remained unexplored.

We found the entrance to this portage early the next morning (18th). After following the trail about three-fourths of a mile we reached and crossed a small lake called Warpool. A small and intricate outlet led successively to Little Long Lake, the Two Lakes, and the Lake of the Mountain. Here commenced a highland portage of over 900 yards to the Lake of the Island--another portage of some 2000 yards was then made to Midlake, and finally another of one puggidenun, partly through a bog, but terminating on elevated grounds at the head of a considerable and handsome body of water called Kaginogamaug, or The Long Water. This is the source of the De Corbeau River, and here we encamped for the night. We had how crossed the summit between Leech Lake and the source of the Crow Wing River. We commenced the descent on the morning of the 19th, and passed successively through eleven lakes, connected by a series of short channels. The names of these in their order, are Kaginogamaug, Little Vermilion, Birch, Ple, Assawa, Vieu Desert, Summit, Longrice, Allen's, Johnston's, and Kaitchibo Sagitawa. Two tributary streams enter the river in this distance, the principal of which is Shell River; the stream assumes an ample size, and there is no further apprehension of shallows. Next day (20th) we passed the influx of six rivers, the largest of which is Leaf River, coming in from the West. The channel has now attained a bold and sweeping force. It required part of another day to reach its mouth, in the course of which it is joined by the Long Prairie River from the right, and the Kioshk or Gall River from the left. An alluvial island, with a heavy forest, exists at the point of its confluence with the Mississippi River. We encamped at the Pierced Prairie, eighteen miles below the junction, and were less than two days in a high state of the water, in reaching St. Anthony's falls.

24th. I arrived at St. Peter's about two o'clock in the afternoon, and entered and encamped on the open common on the banks of the river. The Indian agent (Mr. Tallieferro) was absent. I found Captain Jouett in command of the fort, and in charge of Indian affairs. He received me in a cordial manner, and offered every facility in his power to effect the objects of my mission among the hostile tribes. No recent news from the seat of operation against the Black Hawk and his adherents was known. Recent details were, however, imprecise. Captain Jouett had kept up, I think, the mail communication with Prairie du Chien, by a canoe sent once a fortnight. The murder of St. Vrain, the events on the Rock River with the Illinois militia, and the movements on foot to chastise the hostile Sauks and Foxes, were among the latest items of intelligence. But nothing was known of the actual position of the Black Hawk and his followers. My determinations, therefore, as to the route to be pursued, in returning home, were made in entire ignorance of the fact, that at that time, the Black Hawk had been driven before Gens. Atkinson and Dodge to the banks of the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Badaxe River--where he completely intercepted all communication between the posts of St. Peter's and Prairie du Chien.

25th. I held a council with the Sioux at the Agency Buildings; at which the tribe disclaimed, by their speakers, having any connection with the Sauk and Fox league, or having permitted any of their warriors to join in it. They professed a readiness to furnish warriors to aid the government in suppressing it.

On returning to my tent, I sat down and wrote to the editor of a Western paper, as follows:--

ST. PETERS, July 25th, 1882.

SIR:--I arrived at this place yesterday, from an expedition through the Chippewa country on the sources of the Mississippi, accompanied by a detachment of troops under Lieut. Allen of the 5th Infantry. I have traced this river to its actual source. On reaching the point to which it had been formerly explored, I found the water in a favorable state for ascending; and I availed myself of this circumstance to carry into effect the desire of visiting its actual source, a point which has continued to be problematical in our geography. Pike placed it at Leech Lake in 1806. Gov. Cass carried it much further north, and left it at Upper Red Cedar Lake in 1820. But it was then ascertained that its sources were considerably north and west of that lake, which is in lat. 47° 25'. I encamped the expedition, the troops and heavy baggage, at this lake, and proceeded up the river in five small birch canoes, capable of containing one man and his bed, in addition to the Indian and Canadian who conducted it. The Mississippi expands into several lakes, the largest of which is called Lac Traverse. A few miles above this occurs the junction of its south-west and north-west branch. The former I called the Plantagenet, and ascended it through La Salle, Marquette, and Assawa Lakes to a small creek at the foot of the Hauteur des Terres. From this point a portage was made over difficult ascents, and through defiles for about six miles, when we reached the banks of Itasca Lake, the source of the other and longer branch. To this point we transported our canoes and baggage. It is a most beautiful and clear lake, about seven miles long, and lying somewhat in the shape of a y. I found an island in it, upon which I landed and encamped, and, after causing some trees to be felled, hoisted the United States flag. I left this flag flying, and returned down the Itascan branch to my starting point.

I found the Indians friendly, and having no apparent connection with the movements of Black Hawk, although they are subject to an unpropitious influence from the Hudson's Bay Company, the agents of which allure them to carry their trade into that province. The American traders complain of this with great reason. Many of the Chippewas visit the British posts in Canada, and their old prejudices are kept alive in various ways; but I was everywhere received with amity and respect.

26th. Having concluded my affairs at St, Peters, I determined to return to the basin of Lake Superior, by ascending the river St. Croix to its source, and passing across the portage of the Misakoda, or Burntwood River, into the Fond du Lac Bay. This I accomplished with great toil, owing to the low state of the water, in ten days; and, after spending ten days more in traversing the lengthened shores and bays of Lake Superior from La Pointe, returned to Sault St. Marie on the 14th of August.

Aug. 15th. I had now accomplished the discovery of the true source of the Mississippi River--and settled a problem which has so long remained a subject of uncertainty in the geography of this celebrated river. If De Soto began it (and of this there seems little question, for Narvaez perished before reaching it), and Marquette and Joliet continued it; if Hennepin and Pike and Cass carried these explorations higher, I, at least, went to its remoter points, and thence traced the river to its primary forks--ascended the one, crossed the heights of Itasca to the other, and descended the latter in its whole length. This has been done in a quiet way, without heralding or noise, but under the orders and at the expense of the United States.


Letter from a mother--Cholera--Indian war--Royal Geographical Society--Determine to leave the Sault--Death of Miss Cass--Death of Rev. Mr. Richard--Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at the--The Sault a religious place--Botany and Natural History--New University organized--Algic Society--Canadian boat song--Chaplains in the army--Letter from