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A Gentleman who wished to make a present of oranges to a lady, sent them with a letter, by his Indian servant. The letter told how many were sent. On the way the fragrant smell of the fruit proved too great a temptation for the Indian boy. His mouth fairly watered for a taste, but having seen his master read and write letters, he was possessed with the idea that the paper he carried would tell on him if he touched the oranges. He therefore put the letter carefully under a stone, and then, going off to a distance, ate several oranges, feeling perfectly safe. When he came to deliver the remainder of the oranges the lady saw by the letter that some were missing. She charged the Indian with the theft, but he for some time stoutly denied it, and asserted that the letter lied nor was it until threatened with punishment that he confessed, so certain was he that he had put the letter where it could not see him.
The Indians are very grave, attentive and courteous. Even if they did not believe or could not understand a thing, they took care not to let it be seen. On one occasion when a minister had explained to them the history of the Christian religion—the fall of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ, his miracles and sufferings, etc., an Indian orator stood up to thank him.
"What you have told us," he began, "is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples; it is better to make them all into cider."
He then related in his turn an ancient tradition handed down through many generations of his people concerning the origin of maize, or Indian corn, and tobacco. Said he, "Two starving hunters, having killed a deer, were about to satisfy their hunger when they saw a beautiful young woman descend out of the clouds and stand beside them. They were at first afraid, but taking courage offered the spirit the choicest portion of their meat. She tasted it, and then, telling them to return in thirteen moons to the same spot, vanished. They returned as she bade them, at the appointed time. Where the good spirit had touched the ground with her right hand they found maize; with her left, beans; and where she stood was the luxuriant tobacco plant."
The missionary plainly showed his disgust and disbelief in this tradition, saying to the Indian: "What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction and falsehood."
The offended Indian gravely replied: "My brother, it seems your friends have not well instructed you in the rules of civility. You saw that we, who understand and practice these rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?"
The following is said to be the origin of the term "fire-water," as applied by the Indians to whisky: When the Fur Company first began to supply ardent spirits to the Indians in order to help their trade, the liquor was imported from England. It was the cheapest and most poisonous brand manufactured at the time, and for that reason was all the more acceptable to the Indian. When it reached the Hudson Bay territory, or the great region within which the rival fur companies traded, it had to be carried overland to the various posts. For convenience of transportation, barrels of such whisky were divided into kegs. The carriers soon learned that they could make a profit by diluting the liquor with water, when changing it from the barrels into kegs. The Indians, however, missed the powerful effects and suspected that they were being cheated. They learned how to test the liquor before exchanging their peltries for it. They poured a small quantity of the liquor on the fire and if the flame was extinguished it was evident to them that the liquor was watered, and they at once pronounced it "bad." If, on the contrary, the liquor added to the flame, they knew that the alcohol had not been tampered with, and it was accepted as genuine "fire-water."
That the "fire-water" supplied to the Indians of that day was comparable to the villainous stuff of present-day manufacture is illustrated by the statement of an Indian chief who had experienced its effects, and who had witnessed the sad havoc it had produced among his people. "Fire-water," exclaimed this savage, "can only be distilled from the hearts of wildcats and the tongues of women, it makes my people at once so fierce and so foolish."
The reference to the Hudson Bay Company reminds us of a speech made by Smohalla, chief of the Wa Napum, or "Columbia River" Nez Perces. Said he, "I know all kinds of men. First there were my people (the Indians); God made them first. Then he made a Frenchman (referring to the Canadian voyagers of the Hudson Bay Company), and then he made a priest (priests accompanied these expeditions). A long time after that came Boston men (Americans are thus called because the first of our nation came into the Columbia River in 1796 in a ship from Boston), and then King George men (the English). Later came black men, and last God made a Chinaman with a tail. He is of no account and has to work all the time like a woman. All these are new people. Only the Indians are of the old stock. After a while, when God is ready, he will drive away all the people except those who have obeyed his laws. Those who cut up the lands or sign papers for lands will be defrauded of their rights and will be punished by God's anger.
"It is a bad word that comes from Washington. It is not a good law that would take my people away from me to make them sin against the laws of God.
"You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I can not enter her body to be born again.
"You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich, like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother's hair? It is a bad law and my people can not obey it. I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come back to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother." {FN}
{FN} MacMurray's Notes.
Chief Charles Journey Cake, the aged Baptist minister and head of the Delawares, of Indian Territory, was credited with the following account of the origin of the three races of people known to the Indians, the Chinese, or yellow race, being unknown at the time this was spoken.
Said Journey Cake, "In the beginning the Great Spirit created three men and placed them on the earth. As they were all made, in the image of God, they were all white.
"Wishing to test their endurance, courage and intelligence, he sent them on a long journey of many sleeps. In the course of their travels they came to a wide, muddy stream. Here two of the men hesitated, but the third plunged bravely in and made for the opposite bank. Seeing that the stream was sufficiently shallow to wade, the others followed their leader, one behind the other. When the first man reached the further shore he was still white, being only slightly discolored by the muddy water. The second man came out red or copper-colored, while the last, crossing behind the others after the stream was thoroughly stirred up, came out black. The trio found three packages awaiting them on the further shore. The white man was disposed to be generous, and gave the others their choice. {FN} The red man gave the same privilege to the black, who promptly selected the largest package, and found it contained a shovel, spade and hoe; the red man chose the next largest, which contained a tomahawk, bow and quiver of arrows; this left the smallest for the white man, and behold it contained a book, pen, ink-horn and paper; and as the pen is mightier than the tomahawk or spade, it indicated that he should rule over both the red and black man."
{FN} He afterward departed from this precedent in his dealings with both his red and black brothers.
During a football game at Cambridge between the Harvard eleven and the Carlise Indian School team Malcomn Donald was playing opposite a splendidly built Indian. The play was exceedingly rough, and Donald had in the course of the play landed some pretty hard elbow blows on the slower moving Indian.
Presently the Indian began to take notice of the punishment he was receiving and during a pause between plays walked slowly over to Donald and said with a certain note of remonstrance in his voice:
"You hit me three times. I think I shall have to hit you."
Donald thanked him for his courteous warning and resolved to be on his guard, but during the heat of the play he wholly forgot the little matter. Presently, at the end of a scrimmage, while Donald was standing watching the crowd. The Indian strode up to him and deliberately dealt him a blow over the head which stretched him out.
With difficulty Donald picked himself up and resumed the play. At the end of the game the Indian came up to him again and said rather apologetically. "I hit you."
"So I noticed." said Donald, rubbing his head ruefully.
"Well, I guess we are square now. Shake!"
And the Indian stretched out a brawny fist.
They were two big burly Indians. The long eagle feather in the hat of one who is known as "chief" and the bright red ostrich tip in the sombrero of the other would have told that if the unmistakable features had not evidenced it. A government employee, it matters not who, but one who may possibly in certain events happening make a "stake" out of the tribe to which these Indians belong, was doing the honors of the capitol and showing the braves about the corridors. They left the Indian committee-room and came to the door of the house restaurant.
"Let's have a bite to eat," suggested the man with the graft.
"All right," was the quick reply of the aborigines.
At the luncheon counter the one who could master the most English asked, "Guv'munt pay?"
"Oh, yes," responded the host thinking that the quickest way to inform them that they would not have to stand good for the bill.
"Ugh!" grunted the brave, "we eat lot, Guv'munt pay." And they did—four cups of coffee each, half a dozen hard-boiled eggs, three ham sandwiches, one dozen doughnuts, a whole baked chicken, ice cream, a whole pie each and besides that a thirst for fire-water that was absolutely appalling. The luncheon counter looked as though a cyclone might have paid it a visit by the time the Indians got through, and the bill that the "Guv'munt" clerk had to foot made his week's salary look like 30 cents.
"Guv'munt heap good," grunted the brave as he picked his teeth in true "white brother" fashion in the corridor. "We eat here again." But it will not be in company with that particular clerk.
The Osages as a people are the richest on earth. From the interest on the money which the United States Government borrowed from them as a nation and from the rental of their grasslands the Osages, men, women and children, collect about $80 each every three months. In addition to this they have extensive oil wells. The Osages, therefore, are very fond of large families, and it is to the material interest of every Indian to have as many children as possible. In this case the new child does not represent another mouth to feed, but another source of income. The father on payday collects from the Government paymaster the money coming to his family, and this often amounts to a considerable sum. The Indian has never fully realized the value of money—it comes too easily. When he gets his funds he goes around and pays his debts, for he is always given credit by the traders, and he settles his accounts because he will shortly need credit again until payday comes around once more. With the money he has leftover he buys anything that takes his fancy, and sometimes he makes remarkable and ludicrous purchases.
An Osage who had missed payday until he had accumulated riches beyond his most avaricious dreams went to Coffeyville, in southern Kansas, one day with his pockets bulging with money. He shopped around in the stores, buying everything he fancied, until he had accumulated a larger load than his pony could carry. He was wandering along the street wondering how he would transport it to his home, when he saw a large black wagon with glass sides standing in front of a store. He looked at it wistfully for some time, examined the horses and harness, and wagged his head in an appreciative way. The undertaker, who had observed him, came out.
"How much?" asked the Indian. The undertaker, for a joke, named a price. The Indian went into his pocket, counted out the money, mounted the box of the hearse and drove away before the undertaker could remonstrate. And now Mr. Indian comes to town in style, with his squaw beside him on the seat and the inside of the hearse full of very lively pappooses, who lookout through the glass sides of their strange carriage. The hearse also does service when the Indian comes to town with a load of wheat, which looks very nice through the glass sides.
By nature the Indian is a perfect child; when he wants anything he wants it with all his heart and mind and soul, immediately. Like the child who would gladly exchange the $5 bill given him as a Christmas present for a doll or toy, the Indian will give anything he possesses for the merest bauble to which he takes a fancy. A novelty has the greatest charm, and he will pay a hundred times its value for an article new to him.
Colonel Dodge states that while he was in command of Fort Sedgwick "a Sioux Indian came in having in his possession a very fine and elaborately painted buffalo robe. Many efforts were made by the officers to purchase it; money, sugar, coffee, flour, etc., to the amount of $20 were offered and refused.
"Some time after a sergeant passed who had in his hand a paper containing two or three pounds of loaf sugar, cut into cubic blocks (cut-loaf, then new to frontier people and to Indians).
"He gave the Indian a few lumps and passed on. In a few moments the Indian came running after him, took the robe from his shoulders and offered it for the paper of sugar. The exchange being made, he sat down on the ground and deliberately ate up every lump."
"Years ago, when matches were not so universally known and used as now, a Lapwai Indian was visiting Fort Martin Scott, in Texas. One day an officer to whom he was talking took from his pocket a box of what, to the Indian, were merely little sticks, and scratching one on a stone, lit his pipe. The Indian eagerly inquired into this mystery, and looked on with astonishment while several matches were lighted for his gratification. Going to his camp near by, he soon came back, bringing half a dozen beautifully dressed wildcat skins, which he offered for the wonderful box. The exchange was accepted, and he went off greatly pleased. Some time after the Indian was found sitting by a large stone, on which he was gravely striking match after match, holding each in his fingers until forced to drop it, and then, carefully inspecting the scorched finger, as if to assure himself that it was real fire. This he continued until every match was burned."
The Indian has a keen appreciation of humor, and is like a child in his mirthfulness. No orator can see the weak points in his adversary's armor, or silence a foolish speaker, more quickly.
According to Bishop Whipple, "Old Shah-Bah-Skong, the head chief of Mille Lac, brought all his warriors to defend Fort Ripley in 1862. The Secretary of the Interior and the Governor and Legislature of Minnesota promised these Indians that for this act of bravery they should have the special care of the Government and never be removed."
Dr. Montezuma
"A few years later, in spite of these solemn promises, a special agent was sent from Washington to ask these Ojibways to cede their lands and remove to a country north of Leech Lake. The agent asked my help. I said, 'I know that country. I have camped on it. It is the most utterly worthless land in Minnesota. Don't attempt that folly; you will surely fail.'
"The agent determined, however, to make the effort to induce the Indians to give up their good land and accept the other tract, which nobody wanted. Accordingly he called a council of the chiefs and principal men and thus addressed them: 'My red brothers, your Great Father at Washington said he was determined to send an honest man to treat with his red children. He looked toward the North, the East, the South and West to find this honest man. When he saw me he said, "this is the honest man whom I will send to treat with my red children." Brothers, look at me; the winds of more than fifty-five winters have blown over my head and silvered it with gray, but during all these years, I have never wronged any man. Brothers, as your friend and as an honest man, I ask you to sign this treaty.' After the usual meditative pause. Old Shah-Bah-Skong arose and answered as follows: 'The winds of more than fifty-five years have blown over my head and silvered my hair, but they have not blown away my brains.' This ended the council."
An agent who had won the distinction of a militia general desired to impress the Indians. Dressed in uniform with chapeau, epaulets and dangling sword, he said: "Your Great Father thinks that one reason why he has had so much trouble with the Indians is that he has always sent to them civilians. This time he said, 'These red men are warriors; I will send to them a warrior,' and he sent me." An old chief arose, drew a long breath, and said: "I have heard ever since I was a boy that white men had their great warriors. I have always wanted to see one. I have looked at him, and I am now ready to die."
Bishop Whipple, while on a visit to a Dacotah mission, was horrified at a scalp dance which was held near the mission-house. Said he: "I was indignant. I went to Wabasha, the head chief, and said 'Wabasha, you asked me for a missionary and teacher. I gave them to you. I visited you, and the first sight is this brutal scalp-dance. I knew the Chippewa whom your young men have murdered; he had a wife and children; his wife is crying for her husband; his children are asking for their father. Wabasha, the Great Spirit hears his children cry. He is angry. Some day he will ask Wabasha, 'Where is your red brother?' The old chief smiled, drew his pipe from his mouth, blew a cloud of smoke upward and said: 'White man go to war with his own brother in the same country [this was during the Rebellion]; kill more men than Wabasha can count in all his life. Great Spirit smiles; says, "Good, white man; he has my book; I love him very much; I have a good place for him by and by." The Indian is a wild man; he has no Great Spirit book; he kills one man; has a scalp-dance; Great Spirit is mad, and says, "Bad Indian; I will put him in a bad place by and by;" Wabasha don't believe it.'"
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs says that from March 4, 1780, to June 30, 1900, this Government has spent $368,360,000 for the benefit of the Indians. The expenditures for 1899 were $10,175,000, of which one-third was for education. There are nearly sixty thousand Indians who are now receiving rations or help to some extent. The report urges that hereafter rations should be given only to the aged or otherwise helpless, as the system of promiscuous relief breeds idleness and unthrift. The Indians now have in the Treasury to their credit $33,300,000 of trust funds, on which the Government pays them four and five per cent interest.
There are two hundred and fifty Government Indian schools, and the enrollment and attendance in them is increasing, though eight thousand of the thirty-four thousand Indian children are still unprovided for. The report combats the popular idea that the Indian population necessarily decreases when in contact with the whites. It asserts that the Indian population has decreased very little since the days of Columbus and other early explorers.
Major Pratt, the United States army officer who founded the Carlisle Indian School, admits that many of his graduates who return to tribal life fall into Indian ways again. Therefore he believed in doing all he could to prevent the educated Indians from going back to the reservations.
He tells of an incident he saw at a western Indian agency. A squaw entered a trader's store, wrapped in a blanket, pointed to a straw hat and asked: "How muchee?"
"Fifty cents," said the merchant.
"How muchee?" she asked again, pointing to another article. The price was quoted and was followed by another query of "How muchee?"
Then she suddenly gazed blandly at the merchant and asked, mildly:
"Do you not regard such prices as extortionate for articles of such palpably and unmistakably inferior quality? Do you not really believe that a reduction in your charges would materially enhance your pecuniary profits, as well as be ethically proper? I beg you to consider my suggestion."
She was a graduate of the Carlisle Indian School.
A teacher in an Indian school in Michigan writes as follows: "It is especially interesting to study these children, especially as we have them from four different tribes, and I should very much like to write up my impressions, only that I can scarcely keep up with my work as it is. These boys have a sense of humor. In my flag drill last Friday the partners were a boy and girl, and where the lines intersect to form the cross I taught the boys to let their partners go first, and hard trouble I had to do it, too. After the exercises Isaac Crane came up to me, and, in his solemn way, said: 'Miss B. . . . in letting the girls pass in front of the boys, you have struck at the root of an Indian national custom.' I said: 'How so, Isaac?' and he answered: 'It is the custom for the man to go first, carrying his dignity, and for the woman to follow, carrying everything else.'"
Some Indians from "Buffalo Bill's Wild West," arrayed in bright colored blankets and an exceptional amount of face paint, were taking in the sights of Kansas City one afternoon. They strolled down Walnut street, single file, and headed by a brave who now and then gave a grunt of satisfaction when something that pleased him caught his eye, they halted in front of a drug store and gazed at the window display for a moment. Then the band filed into the establishment and began to look around.
The clerk thought the place was going to be besieged and that he was likely to lose his scalp, but when the "big chief," who acted as spokesman, addressed him with the customary Indian greeting of "How!" the clerk regained his composure enough to ask the Indian what he wanted.
"Heap smell," was the reply.
Directed by the Indian's finger to a showcase, the clerk produced a bar of soap. The brave took it gingerly, removed the wrapper, smelled it and bit into the toothsome-looking article. With a deep grunt of displeasure he handed it back to the drug clerk. With a disgusted look he remarked, "Heap smell!"
The clerk began to tremble, and the Indian pointed to a perfume bottle in the showcase. The bottle of perfume was handed to him. The Indian held it in both hands for a moment, closely scrutinizing it. He slowly removed the stopper, closely watching it as if he expected it to explode, and took a big sniff at the bottle, gave a grunt of satisfaction, handed the clerk some money and led his band of braves out of the store, to the delight of the frightened clerk, who had not been in the practice of waiting on real Indians.
Probably there is no other class of people in the world so faithful as the Choctaws. They believe in each other as a child believes in its mother. When one Choctaw Indian tells another that a certain thing will be done, it can be depended upon that it will be done. The custom of turning a prisoner loose without bail commenced among the Choctaws half a century ago. An Indian murdered his sister. There was no jail, and the Choctaws had no money to hire a guard. After the Indian judge had sentenced him to be shot, the former said: "Now you can go free until your execution day. Then I want you to come without being told. If you fail to obey it will disgrace your family." The Indian gave his promise and appeared at the appointed time. Ever since then it has been the custom to allow condemned Indians to run loose. Never but once has a prisoner failed to come freely and alone to his execution. The number of Indians thus shot within the last half century is over one hundred.
In the Sunset Magazine for a recent month a writer gives some interesting reminiscences of the late Johnson Sides, Indian. He was born in the sagebrush, and throughout his long life he was a friend of the paleface and a peacemaker. It is recalled to his credit that many a band of immigrants passing over the plains in the early rush for California owed it to Johnson that they were not waylaid and murdered.
He became quite influential with the national authorities as well as with his tribe, and to his sagacity considerable legislation beneficial to the aborigines in the last quarter of a century is attributed. He was one of those Indians who saw that much of the trouble which befell the red man was due to fire-water, and, a temperance man himself, he seldom missed an opportunity of preaching temperance to his tribesmen. "My friends," he would say, "I think whisky no good, but very bad. Mebbe you take a drink it not much bad, but you take two drinks you kill somebody. Mebbe you want more, you hurt your brother or you lickem squaw, or you burn down a wickiup. Mebbe sheriff catch you and workem on the streets in the chain-gang, with big iron ball hitched on your leg, in the hot sun. Not much good any of this. Indian who drink whisky, no good."
Sad to relate, Johnson Sides was once caught in the act of Swallowing a glass of whisky, a serious offense, made so by reason of the danger which was likely to ensue when an Indian lost control of himself in a white settlement. He pleaded guilty, but contended that he drank because he was very sick. Being a popular Indian he was subjected to a fine of only $1, but the sagebrush papers made fun of him and called him a fallen reformer, which wounded his feelings greatly. In his distress he asked a friend in the Nevada Legislature, Senator Doolin, to set him right by passing some sort of a bill and Senator Doolin introduced and carried through "Senate Joint Concurrent Resolution No. 11," which was as follows:
Resolved, By the Senate, the people of the State of Nevada concurring. That the drink of whisky taken by Johnson Sides on the 17th day of September, in the city of Virginia, county of Story, be and is hereby declared null and void.
This was entirely satisfactory to Johnson Sides. His wounded pride was healed; he held his head up again, and resumed his temperance lectures as though nothing had happened. Moreover, the act of the Legislature restored his standing among all classes, white and red, in Nevada, and he was everywhere respected and looked up to as a vindicated reformer, for these were simple days, when the West was young and trustful and charitable and kind.
It would have been a blessed thing indeed if all the whisky sold to Indians in violation of law, had been "null and void and without effect," but unfortunately it had the same debasing effect with the Indian as upon the white man, as the following eloquent appeal from an Indian would seem to indicate:
Simon Pokagon, mentioned in the previous chapter, of Hartford, Michigan, was chief of the Pottawatomie band of Indians of his State. In an address to the white people, he employed this very remarkable language in denunciation of the evil of drunkenness:
"While I appreciate and laud those noble Christian missionaries, I can not do otherwise than openly condemn those white traders who, dog-like, tagged them into the wilderness and beside the Christian altars they had built, stuck out their signs, and dealt out to our young men and old men that liquid hell which lures but to destroy. Could you see what I have seen and feel what I have felt, as this snake, born of the white man, has coiled itself closer and tighter like a vise around the heartstrings of your own family, you would cry out: 'Pokagon, we do not blame, but pity you!' And well you may, for the blood of my people, as the blood of Abel, is crying from the ground against the Cains of humanity who, for paltry gold in times past and even now, are dealing out to our race that cursed abomination of misery and death. You send missionaries across the great deep to save Hindoo children from being drowned in the Ganges, or crushed under the wheels of Juggernaut, and yet in your own Christian land thousands are yearly being drowned in the American Ganges of fire-water, while the great Juggernaut of King Alcohol is ever rolling on night and day, crushing its victims without mercy. Hark! Do you hear that agonizing wail on every side? Fathers and sons are falling into drunkards' graves; mothers and daughters are weeping over them; wives are lamenting as they bend over the bruised heads of their husbands as they return from the midnight brawl; and briars of bitter disappointment encumber the bridal garden; brave men and women who have fought long and well to redeem and save the fallen are beginning to fear the power of the saloon and its votaries, while the pious who in faith have prayed long and well are beginning to doubt the favor of God.
"Soon I will stand in the presence of the Great Spirit and shall there plead with him in heaven, as I have plead with him on earth, that he will take those by the hand who have so bravely fought against the old dragon, Drink, the destroyer of your children and ours, and lead them on to glorious victory."
Said a missionary to a chief of the Little Ottawas, "I am glad that you do not drink whisky; but it grieves me to find that your people use so much of it." "Ah, yes," replied the chief, and he fixed an arch and impressive eye upon the missionary which communicated the reproof before he uttered it "we Indians use a great deal of whisky, but we do not make it."
While going through the Indian village of the World's Fair at Chicago, in 1903, the author of this book made the acquaintance of Deerfoot, the famous runner, the Indian who defeated all human racers and outstripped horses. Concerning this remarkable man, the Buffalo News had this to say:
"The death of Louis Bennett, known all over the world as Deerfoot, removes the most picturesque character from the native tribes of this State.
"In 1850, having outdone all the runners of his tribe, he thought he would try conclusions with white athletes. The conclusions were invariably in favor of the native and his fame as a long-distance runner became in a short time the talk of the land. Backed by a well known 'sport' of those days, he made a tour of American cities, easily outdoing all the local champions. Then his fame spread to England, whose athletics were then much more firmly established than those of this country. He visited the brawny islands in 1861.
"Despite the boastful predictions the remarkable Indian, with his peculiar stride, met and defeated the English champions, although he was given a couple of hard brushes. His endurance was nothing less than wonderful and he always ended a race fresh, and while his antagonist was running on sheer pluck Deerfoot was still running on wind. He remained in England almost two years and came back loaded with medals.
"On his return to America, not finding any men for a contest, he turned his attention to horses, and at Chicago he actually beat a number of horses in races. Since that time he receded from the public view, living quietly at his farm. Up to his death, however, he retained his remarkable powers and he was accustomed to take, as an old man, walks that would tax the endurance of an average youth.
"His fastest recorded time was when in 1862, in England, he ran ten miles in fifty-two minutes. This time, he claimed, was never beaten, though it is said an Englishman named Cummings, in 1885, did the distance a trifle under this figure. But he was certainly never beaten in a race."
The Last Shot
Mr. C. 0. Livingston had an ambition to have the first plate-glass front in the Everglades. So when his brick block in West Palm Beach was nearing completion he made a special trip down from Jacksonville and personally superintended the placing of the polished plates in the frames. They were of large size and reached nearly to the level of the sidewalk. He was standing outside with his chest in the air, swelled with gratified ambition, admiring the crystal sheets, when along came Tiger-Tail, big chief of the once powerful but now fast disappearing Seminoles.
When his foot treads his native heath Tiger-Tail scorns to hide his noble form with any of the habiliments affected by his civilized brethren, but he has a white shirt hung up in his wigwam, which was given him by a commercial drummer in the early 70s and which he was wont to don when he made his monthly pilgrimages to Palm Beach for "fire-water," "fire-powder" and lead. He was thus attired when he walked up to Mr. Livingston and exchanged "Hows."
This was a good opportunity for the proud builder to impress the savage red man with the march of civilization, so he pointed out the building to Tiger-Tail, calling his particular attention to the plate-glass front.
Tiger-Tail looked at the polished surfaces, but his unpracticed eye could see nothing except openings in the front windows.
He walked up close, and thinking to get a better view, he tried to step through the window inside. His Roman nose came in contact with the glass, which surprised him very much. He rubbed his nose, gave a grunt and looked hard at the window, and still, not seeing any reason why he could not step inside, made a second essay. He bumped his nose harder this time, which caused Mr. Livingston to laugh long and loud.
Now the Indian is essentially a man of action and without emotions. Without the least sign of anger visible in his face, Tiger-Tail backed away to the edge of the sidewalk, picked up a scantling and went for that plate-glass front—the first in the Everglades—and before the owner could protest there wasn't a piece left big enough for a paper-weight.
Mr. Livingston stormed and cursed, but the big chief, adjusting his shirt, and explaining the whole matter by uttering the single word "Huh!" continued his search for more mysteries to unravel.
In telling this experience while on a visit to Boston, one of Mr. Livingston's friends asked him why he did not sue the Indian.
"What," he exclaimed, "sue Tiger-Tail? Sue a man who ain't got nothing but a shirt? What would I get? The shirt?"
The Red Man and Helper, published by the students at the Carlisle (Pa.) Indian School, has this to say on Indian etiquette: "It was an actual desire for information and no attempt to be funny that a boy in looking up from reading about 'squaw men' asked if the white women who marry Indian men were called 'buck women.' We could not answer why they were not. Such a name would be no more insulting to a woman than the first appellation is to a man. All Indian women are no more squaws than white women are wenches. The name squaw emanated from 'squa,' an Indian word of a Massachusetts tribe meaning woman, but it has since come to be used commonly by illiterate people for Indian women of any tribe. No educated or refined people use the words 'squaw' or 'buck,' and we advise our students when they hear them not to pay any attention to the speaker, but to mark him or her down in their minds as a person of low breeding."
A doll once averted a war with redskins. An American general was trying to put a band of Apaches back on their own territory, from which they had persisted in breaking out, but could not catch them without killing them, and that he did not wish to do.
His men captured a little Indian girl and took her to the fort. She was quiet all day, but her beady black eyes watched everything. When night came, however, she broke down, just as any white child would have done. The men tried in vain to comfort her, but finally the agent borrowed a beautiful doll from an officer's wife, which had belonged to her little daughter, and promised the Apache girl that she could have it if her sobs ceased. She then fell asleep.
When morning came the doll was clasped in her arms. Eventually the little Apache girl, with her doll, was sent back to her people. When the child reached the Indians with the doll in her chubby hands it made a great sensation among them, and the next day the mother came with the child to the post. She was hospitably received, and through her the tribe was persuaded to move back to its own territory.
Burton Holmes, the lecturer, visited the home of the Moki Indians in Arizona to witness the weird snake-dance, which those Indians have practiced at intervals for centuries. While near the home of the Mokis he set up his moving picture machine and made a film showing Apache Indians and cowboys in horse races and in feats of daring while on horseback. The film was developed and proved to be excellent. A year later Mr. Holmes visited the same region again and one night gave an exhibition for the benefit of the natives. The Indians observed the pictures which Mr. Holmes threw on the screen, which was stretched on the side of a store building, with stolidity, and made no comment until the moving picture machine was started and the film made in the neighborhood a year before was thrown on the screen.
"Then there was almost a riot," said Mr. Holmes in telling of the affair. "Several of the Indians who had taken part in the races the year before had died, and when they were shown on the screen, riding for dear life, their friends were amazed. The dead had been brought to life. It was astounding. The Indians gazed at the picture, then looked at each other as if uncertain that they saw what they saw. Then they began to talk excitedly, pointing at the moving images of those who were dead. It did not strike the savage mind as unusual that live men should appear on the screen and be moving, but with dead men it was different.
"When the film had all gone through the machine the Indians hastened forward to examine the white cloth on which the pictures had been shown. They raised it to look behind it, in a vain endeavor to find the solution to what was to them a mystery. They paid no attention at all to the machine that had projected the picture."
In "Travels in New England and New York," President Dwight, of Yale College, tells a good story of Indian wit and friendship.
In the early days of Litchfield, Connecticut, an Indian called at the tavern and asked the landlady for food, frankly stating that he had no money with which to pay for it. She refused him harshly, but a white man who sat by noted the red man's half-famished state, and offered to pay for his supper.
The meal was furnished, and the Indian, his hunger satisfied, returned to the fire and told his benefactor a story.
"You know Bible?" said the Indian.
The man assented.
"Well," said the Indian, "the Bible say, God made world, and then He took him and look at him and say, 'He good, very good.' He made light, and he took him and look at him and say, 'He good, very good.' Then he made dry land and water and sun and moon and grass and trees, band took him and look at him and say, 'He good, very good.' Then he made beast and birds and fishes, and took him and look at him and say, 'He good, very good.'
"Then he made man, and took him and look at him and say, 'He good, very, very good.' Then he make woman, and took him and look at him, and he no dare say one such word!"
This last conclusion was uttered with a meaning glance at the landlady.
Some years after this occurrence, the man who had paid for the Indian's supper was captured by redskins and carried to Canada, where he was made to work like a slave. One day an Indian came to him, recalled to his mind the occurrence at the Litchfield tavern, and ended by saying:
"I that Indian. Now my turn pay. I see you home. Come with me."
And the Indian guided the white man back to Litchfield.
Medicine Hat, an enterprising little city in the heart of the wheat belt of the Northwest Territory of Canada, took its name from the following legend:
It seems that many years ago the young and beautiful daughter of a great chief, while strolling along the banks of the Saskatchewan one day, accidentally lost her footing and fell into the raging torrent. She was a good swimmer and managed to keep herself afloat for a long time as the stream swept her along, but finally her strength began to fail her, and she would have been drowned if a young Indian brave had not happened to catch sight of her in the stream. He immediately leaped from the high bank into the stream, and after a hard struggle managed to bear the maiden to the bank and to safety.
The grateful father, as a mark of his appreciation of this heroic deed, took off his own hat and placed it upon the head of the young brave. Possibly the latter would have been better satisfied if the father had given him the maiden, but of this history does not tell, and therefore the romantic side of the story will have to remain incomplete. The hat, though, was the distinctive mark of a chief among the Indians, and therefore its bestowal upon the young brave at once raised him to the highest dignity known to his people. The rescue of the girl took place at the point where the railroad bridge crosses the river, and when the white people founded the town here they commemorated this legend by the name they gave the town.
The following story was told by Black Horse, second chief of the Comanches, to Special Indian Agent White:
"A long time ago—maybe so thirty snows, maybe so forty, I dunno—I went with a large war party on a raid into Mexico. We went far enough south to see hundreds of monkeys and parrots. We thought the monkeys were a kind of people and captured two of them one day. That night we whipped them nearly to death trying to make them talk, but they would not say a word, just cry, and finally we turned them loose, more puzzled than ever to know what they were.
"On the return trip we came back through Texas. One day I was scouting off to one side alone, and met a man riding through the mesquite timber. He started to run and my first thought was to kill him, but just as I was about to send an arrow he looked back over his shoulder and I saw that his skin was as black as a crow and that he had great big white eyes. I had never seen or heard of that kind of a man, and seeing that he was unarmed, I determined to catch him and take him to camp alive, so that all the other Indians could see him. I galloped around in front of him with my bow and arrow drawn, and he was heap scared. He fell off his mule pony and sit down on his knees and hold his hands up high and heap cry and say: 'Please, massa Injun, don't kill poor nigger! Please, massa Injun, don't kill poor nigger! Bi-yi-yi! Please, massa Injun, don't kill poor nigger! Bi-yi-yi.'"
Although at that time Black Horse did not know a word of English, the Negro's crying and begging made such an impression on him that, with his common Indian gift of mimicry, he could imitate it in a wonderfully natural manner. Continuing, he said: "The 'black white man' was heap poor. His pony was an old mule that could not run fast at all. His saddle was 'broke' all over and his bridle was made of ropes. His clothes were dirty and all 'broke' full of holes, and his shoes were all gone—got none at all.
"I started back with him and on the way we came to a deep water-hole. I was nearly dead for a drink, and motioned to the 'black white man' to get down and drink, too. He got down but shook his head to say that he did not want to drink. He was heap scared—just all time shake and teeth rattle, and all time cry, and maybe so pray to Great Spirit to make Indian turn him loose, and he be a good man and never make it (the Great Spirit) mad any more, and heap o' things like that. I lay down to drink. The bank was sloping and my feet were considerably higher than my head. Suddenly, the 'black white man' caught my back hair with one hand and my belt with the other and raised me way up over his head with my face upward. Before I could do a thing he pitched me head foremost away out in the middle of the water hole. {FN} I went clear to the bottom, and when I came to the top and rubbed the water out of my eyes, I saw the 'black white man' running off on my pony, kicking with both feet and whipping with his hat. I rode his old 'mule pony' back to camp and all the Indians heap laugh at Black Horse."
{FN} Black Horse, though a great fighter, is a comparatively small Indian.
An aged Indian, who had spent many years in a white settlement, remarked one day that the Indians had not only a much easier way of getting a wife than the whites, but were also more certain of getting a good one; "for," said he, in his broken English, "white man court—court—maybe so one whole year! Maybe so two, before he marry! Well! Maybe so then get very good wife—but, maybe so not—maybe so very cross! Well, now, suppose cross! Scold so soon as get wake in the morning! Scold all day! Scold until sleep! All one; he must keep him! White people have law forbidding throwing away wife, be he ever so cross! Must keep him always! {FN} Well, how does Indian do? Indian when he see industrious squaw, which he like, he go to him, place his two forefingers close aside each other, make two look like one—look squaw in the face—see him smile—which is all one he say, yes! so he take him home—no danger he be cross! No! no! Squaw know too well what Indian do if he be cross! Throw him away and take another! Squaw love to eat meat. No husband, no meat. Squaw do everything to please husband; he do the same to please squaw! Live happy!"
{FN} This was in 1770. Laws concerning divorce have changed materially since.
John Elliot, the great apostle to the Indians, had been preaching on the Trinity, when one of his auditors, after a long and thoughtful pause, thus addressed him: "I believe, Mr. Minister, I understand you. The trinity is just like water and ice and snow. The water is one, the ice another, and the snow is another; and yet they are all one water."
This illustration of the Trinity is fully equal to St. Patrick's use of the Shamrock.
Chief Journey Cake
Indians are usually truthful, but some of them learned the art of prevarication from their intercourse with the whites.
A few years before the Revolution, one Tom Hyde, an Indian famous for his cunning, went into a tavern in Brookfield, Massachusetts, and after a little chat told the landlord he had been hunting and had killed a fine fat deer, and if he would give him a quart of rum he would tell him where it was. Mine host, unwilling to let slip so good an opportunity of obtaining venison, immediately struck the bargain and poured the Indian his quart of rum, at the same time asking where the deer was to be found. "Well," says Tom, "do you know where the great meadow is?" "Yes." "Well, do you know the great marked maple tree that stands in it?" "Yes." "Well, there lies the deer." Away posted the landlord with his team in quest of his purchase. He found the meadow and the tree, it is true; but all his searching after the deer was fruitless, and he returned home no heavier than he went, except in mortification and disappointment. Some days after mine host met the Indian, and feeling indignant at the deception practised on him, accused him in no gentle terms of the trick. Tom heard him out—and, with the coolness of a stoic, replied—"Did you not find the meadow I said?" "Yes." "And the tree?" "Yes." "And the deer?" "No." "Very good," continued he, "you found two truths for one lie, which is very well for an Indian."
When General Lincoln went to make peace with the Creek Indians, one of the chiefs asked him to sit down on a log; he was then desired to move, and in a few minutes to move still farther; the request was repeated till the General got to the end of the log. The Indian said, "Move farther." To which the General replied, "I can move no farther." "Just so it is with us," said the chief; "you have moved us back to the water, and then ask us to move farther."
Indians are close observers, and reach unerring conclusions with marvelous rapidity. A noise inappreciable to an ordinary ear, a broken twig or leaf or the faintest impression on the grass, the hooting of an owl or the gobbling of a turkey, was sufficient to attract their attention. From these faint indications they are quick to discern the presence of a wild beast or of an enemy.
An Indian, on returning to his wigwam one day, discovered that his venison, which had been hung up to dry, had been stolen. After hastily looking around for "signs," he started in pursuit of the thief. He soon met a party of traders, of whom he inquired whether they had seen a little old white man with a short gun, and followed by a small dog with a bob-tail. They replied in the affirmative, and asked the Indian how he could give such a perfect description of the thief. He answered, "I know he is a little man by his having made a pile of stones in order to reach the venison, from the height I hung it, standing on the ground. I know he is an old man by his short steps, which I have traced over the dead leaves in the woods. I know he is a white man by his turning out his toes when he walks, which an Indian never does. I know his gun was short by the mark which the muzzle made upon the bark of a tree against which it leaned. I know the dog is small by his tracks, and that he had a bob-tail I discovered by the marks of it in the dust, where he was sitting at the time his master took down the meat."
The shrewd Indian now continued the pursuit, and with the help of a white man who loved fair play, actually regained his stolen venison.
A trader went to a certain Indian nation to dispose of a stock of goods. Among other things he had a quantity of gunpowder. The Indians traded for his clothes, hats, axes, beads and other things, but would not take the powder, saying: "We do not wish for the powder; we have plenty."
The trader did not like to carry all the powder back to his camp, so he thought he would play a trick on the Indians, and induce them to buy it. Going to an open piece of ground near the Indian camp he dug up the soft, rich soil; then mixing a quantity of onion seed with his powder he began to plant it.
The Indians were curious to know what he was doing, and stood by greatly interested.
"What are you doing?" said one.
"Planting gunpowder," replied the trader.
"Why do you plant it?" inquired another.
"To raise a crop of powder. How could I raise it without planting?" said the trader. "Do you not plant corn in the ground?"
"And will gunpowder grow like corn?" exclaimed half a dozen at once.
"Certainly it will," said the trader. "Did you not know it? As you do not want my powder, I thought I would plant it and raise a crop which I could gather and sell to the Crows."
Now the Crows were another tribe of Indians which was always at war with this tribe (the Blackfeet). The idea of their enemies having a large supply of powder increased the excitement, and one of the Indians said: "Well, well, if we can raise powder like corn, we will buy your stock and plant it."
But some of the Indians thought best to wait, and see if the seed would grow. So the trader agreed to wait a few days.
In about a week the tiny sprouts of the onion seed began to appear above the ground.
The trader, calling the Indians to the spot, said: "You see now for yourselves. The powder already begins to grow, just as I told you it would."
The fact that some small plants appeared where the trader had put the gunpowder was enough to convince the Indians. Every one of them became anxious to raise a crop of gunpowder.
The trader sold them his stock, in which there was a large mixture of onion seeds (which it closely resembles) at a very high price, and then left.
From this time the Indians gave no attention to their corn crop. If they could raise gunpowder they would be happy. They took great care of the little plants as they came up out of the ground, and watched every day for the appearance of the gunpowder blossoms. They planned a buffalo hunt which was to take place after the powder harvest.
After a while the onions bore a plentiful crop of seeds, and the Indians began to gather and thresh it. They believed that threshing the onion seeds would produce the powder. But threshing failed to bring it. Then they discovered that they had been cheated.
Of course the swindling trader avoided these Indians, and did not make them a second visit.
After some time, however, he sent his partner to them for the purpose of trading goods for furs and skins. By chance they found out that this man was the partner of the one who had cheated them. They said nothing to him about the matter; but when he had opened his goods and was ready to trade, they coolly helped themselves to all he had and walked off.
The trader did not understand this. He became furiously angry, and went to make his complaint to the chief of the tribe.
"I am an honest man." said he to the chief. "I came here to trade honestly: but your people are thieves; they have stolen all my goods."
The old chief looked at him some time in silence, smoking a meditative pipe, at last he blew a puff of smoke into the air, removed the pipe from his lips, and then said: "My children are all honest. They have not stolen your goods. They will pay you as soon as they gather their gun powder harvest."
At the commencement of the War of 1812 a council was called by the British officer commanding at Malden, in upper Canada. It was held at Brownstown in the State of Michigan, and its object was to induce the Wyandots to take sides with the British in the war which was inevitable.
Several speeches were first delivered, and great promises made by the British agent about what their Great Father, King George, would do for them if the nation would fight the Americans; and he closed by presenting Tarhe with a likeness of King George.
Holding it in his hand, the head chief arose and said: "We have no confidence in King George. He is always quarreling with his white children in this country. He sends his armies over the great water, in their big canoes, and then he gets his Indian friends here to join with him to conquer his children, and promises if they will fight for him, he will do great things for them. So he promised if we would fight Wayne and if he whipped us, he would open his gates of his fort on the Maumee and let us in, and open his big guns on our enemies; but when we were whipped, and the flower of our nation were killed, we fled to this place, but instead of opening his gates, and letting us in, you shut yourselves up in your ground-hog hole, and kept out of sight, while my warriors were killed at your gates. {FN} We have no confidence in any promise you make. When the Americans scratch your backs with their war-clubs, you jump into your big canoes and run home, and leave the poor Indians to fight it out, or make peace with them, the best they may."
{FN} See Battle of Fallen Timbers; in sketch of Little Turtle.
He then took the likeness of General Washington from his bosom and said: "This is our Great Father, and for him we will fight." Then taking the likeness of King George in his left hand he drew his tomahawk and with the edge struck the likeness, and added, "And so we will serve your Great Father."
This so excited the British officer that it is said he turned black in the face. He replied that he would make the chief repent that act. "This is my land and country," said Tarhe; "go home to your own land, and tell your country men that Tarhe and his warriors are ready and that they are the friends of the Americans."
Thus broke up the council. Tarhe returned to his home at Upper Sandusky, and with his warriors aided the Americans, with all their force, till the battle of the Thames; numbers of his Wyandots were in the army of General Harrison at the time he fought the last battle with the British and Indians.
At one time the Pawnees, who lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, engaged in the horrible practice of burning at the stake prisoners taken in war.
About the year 1824 an unfortunate female, taken in a war with the Paducah tribe, was destined to this horrible death.
The fatal hour had arrived, the trembling victim, far from her home and her friends, was fastened to the stake; the whole tribe was assembled on the surrounding plain to witness the awful scene. Just when the fire was about to be kindled, and the spectators on the tiptoe of expectation, a young warrior, only twenty-one years of age, who sat composedly among the chiefs, having prepared two fleet horses, with the necessary provisions, sprang from his seat, rushed through the crowd, loosed the intended victim, seized her in his arms, placed her on one of the horses, mounted the other himself, and made the utmost speed toward the nation and friends of the captive. The crowd around were so completely unnerved and amazed at the daring deed, that they made no effort to recapture their victim from her deliverer. They regarded it as an act of the Great Spirit, and submitted to it without a murmur. The released captive was accompanied by her deliverer through the wilderness toward her home, till all danger was past. The young warrior then gave her the horse on which she rode, with the necessary provisions for the remainder of the journey, and they parted. On his return to the village, such was the respect entertained for him, that no inquiry was made into his conduct; no censure was passed on it, and, since the transaction, no human sacrifice has been offered in this or any other band of the Pawnee tribe. Of what influence is one brave and noble act in a good cause!
On the publication of this incident at Washington the young ladies of Miss White's Seminary, in that city, presented that brave and humane young warrior with a handsome silver medal, on which was engraven an appropriate inscription, accompanied by an address, of which the following is the close: "Brother, accept this token of our esteem; always wear it for our sake; and when you have again the power to save a poor woman from death and torture, think of this, and of us, and fly to her rescue."
Wah-ta-waso, a full-blooded Penobscot Indian girl, will soon enter Harvard University. The girl's Indian name means Bright Eyes, and she is said to be pretty enough and intelligent enough to be worthy of the name. There is a romantic story connected with the girl's proposed entrance into Harvard. Montague Chamberlain, recorder of the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard, has taken the Indian girl under his protection because one of her ancestors spared the life of one of his forefathers. About the time of the French and Indian War, some of the Penobscots who had wandered from Maine to the St. Lawrence joined the Indians under the French and made a raid into English territory, including an attack on Ticonderoga. With the English force was a trader from Boston named Chamberlain, who got into a hand-to-hand conflict with a powerful Penobscot Indian. In the struggle they clinched, but the redskin was the better wrestler and threw the white. Chamberlain managed to regain his feet and start on a run, but the Indian overtook him, and, having picked up a club, knocked Chamberlain down before he could use his knife. The strength and courage of the white evidently won the admiration of the Indian, for as he stood over Chamberlain with club in hand the Penobscot said in English:
"I like you. Make you my son. You good fighter."
Chamberlain was accordingly treated as a prisoner and was taken to the Indian village of St. Francis, on the St. Lawrence River. While he was permitted to roam freely about the village, the Indians kept a watchful eye on him, and he knew he was a captive. He learned, however, to like the Indian life and remained three years. Then in a fit of homesickness he decided to go home, but the captor refused to let him depart. Chamberlain had won the hearts of many of the squaws by lending them a helping hand in their drudgery, and some of the maidens of the tribe aided him in escaping under cover of darkness, he afterward became a man of consequence in Boston, and the university professor of to-day is one of his descendants.
The Penobscot Indians in time returned to Maine and settled on the island in the Penobscot River, which is still their home. Montague Chamberlain in the course of his investigations discovered that Wah-ta-waso was descended from the Indian who had taken his ancestor captive at Ticonderoga, and took it upon himself to give her an opportunity to gain an excellent education. She has had the advantage of common and high schools, and is now preparing to enter the Harvard annex next spring. Mr. Chamberlain has helped a number of the Penobscots to go to Carlisle, and he has built them a library on their island.
On his way back from the recent snake dance at Oribi, Dr. Beecher, of Yale University, felt a sense of thirst. Turning in his saddle he looked back. A cloud of white rising above the point of red sandstone mesa told him that the "chuck wagon" and the main outfit with water were fully two miles behind.
Glancing about over the sage-covered sand dunes and across the sun-curled crust of an adobe flat to his right, his eye fell upon a little Moqui dwelling hugged up in a niche of the cliff at the edge of the mesa. A wolfish dog, barking angrily, flew out at him as he galloped up. A young Moqui woman in moccasins, leggings and blankets, came to the door. When she saw the visitor she called to the dog and nodded "How."
"Qui bamus ahwah?" asked Dr. Beecher after the dog ceased barking. The young woman smiled, and then replied pleasantly:
"I beg your pardon, sir, but if it is water you wish it may be found just a little way down the draw."
The doctor grabbed the pommel of his saddle in his surprise. He managed to say "Thank you," and then turned his horse toward the spring, as he was directed. For some time after he had satisfied his thirst he sat in the shade of a bowlder and watched his horse carefully and cautiously nibble off little bunches of gramma grass that grew closeup under the big thorny melon-cacti, and all the while he was wondering how it was that the Indian woman spoke such perfect English.
Suddenly his horse threw up its head, jumped a few feet to one side, then dropped quietly back to browsing. Looking over his shoulder, the doctor saw the Moqui woman coming down the trail with a huge water jar hung on her back in a large fold of her blanket. She smiled when she came up and made a remark about the sandstorm of the day before. The doctor gallantly caught up the gourd dipper and insisted on filling the jar for her. All the while he kept up a running conversation, and when he poured the last dipper full of water into the jar he had reached the point where he could ask her with propriety to tell him all about herself, and he did.
She was reluctant at first, but finally she began her story by saying she had been left an orphan at four years of age. Then she continued her story:
"You see there was no one to take care of me but my grandfather. One day a missionary prevailed upon him to send me to the Indian school at Ream's ca?on. I stayed there until I was sixteen years old. I became much interested in my work, and at the end of my last year at Ream's ca?on I was told that I was to be sent east to the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania. I look back upon that day as the happiest of my life—no, I won't say that, either, for the day I left Carlisle was a great day to me. It had been told me every day that I should go back to my people and show them the error of their ways. It was with a happy feeling of duty and responsibility that I started west.
"But what a fool I was! I hate to think about it. When I arrived in Oribi in my Eastern clothes I immediately became the laughing-stock of the village. Every time I spoke I was either jeered at by my companions or rebuked by my elders. The young men of the village made unpleasant remarks about me as I passed, and the old men and women upbraided me for having no respect for my ancestors' customs and traditions. I endured their reproaches and sneers for a long while, but at last I gave up in despair, threw away my Eastern clothes and my Eastern manners with them. Then I left Oribi and came here to live with a distant relative and to forget the past.
"I thought of going back to Pennsylvania, of clerking in a store, of doing housework and all that sort of thing; but after a time I gave it all up and resigned myself to my fate."
"And what did fate have in store for you?" asked the doctor.
She answered, smiling, "A husband."
"Now you are wrapped up in your children and are happy?"
"No, I have no children. My only child died when it was but six months old. It took a fever, and when I saw that it was in danger I tried to get my husband to go to Winslow for a physician, but it was all in vain. He would not listen. He feared the wrath of the chief and of the native priests. I saw it was no use, so I simply nursed my child until one night it died in my lap. The next day we took the little thing back to the graveyard up on the mesa and buried it with the regular Moqui ceremony."
"Well," said the doctor, after a pause, "what can be done for the Moquis?"
"Nothing. Let them alone. They are happy now, and, you know, 'where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise.'"
In the meantime the "chuck wagon" had gone by, and the doctor rose to leave. He offered to send her some books and magazines, but she begged him not to do so, saying that she wanted to forget such things.
Ukiah Maiden
During the French and Indian War many towns and settlements in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as in other sections of the country, suffered severely from Indian raids.
A family of Friends, who lived in a lonely house not far from the Delaware River, and seemed to feel no fear, took no precautions against the savages. Their simple dwelling had never known a lock or bolt, and the only concession they had ever made to the custom of "the world's people" was to pull in at night the string that lifted the wooden latch of their door. Even this precaution seemed to them needless, and was as often forgotten as remembered.
Prowling parties of Indians had begun frightful ravages in the vicinity of the settlement, and evidences of their cruel work could be seen every day nearer and nearer. Warnings came to the Quaker and his wife, and one night the effect of the fears of others more than their own kept them awake.
The argument of the old Friend with himself, as he lay thinking was after this fashion: he had always trusted in God; yet to-night he had pulled in the latch-string. A measure to prevent intrusion meant suspicion. Suspicion under the circumstances, meant fear.
He talked the matter over with his wife. It would be safer now to test their faith than to throw it away, he said. She agreed with him, and he got up and hung out the latch-string again.
Less than half an hour afterward the Indians came. The defenseless inmates of the house were wholly at their mercy. They heard the savage band creep by their bedroom window and pause as if surprised to find the latch-string out. Then they heard them open the door. A muttered talk in the native tongue kept the listeners in suspense for a minute or two; then the door was shut softly and the raiders went away.
The next day the smoke of ruined dwellings in sight of their cabin, and the lamentation of neighbors over their killed or captured kindred, told the Friends what they had escaped.
It was not until years afterward, during a conference between the colonists and the Indians, that the story was told of what had passed that fatal night at the Quaker's door. A chief, who had himself been a leader of the gang in the attack on the white settlement, declared that when he saw the latch-string out, the sign of fearless confidence made him change his mind. He held a short parley with his followers, and the substance of it was:
"These people are no enemies. See, they are not afraid of us. They are protected by the Great Spirit."
Saratoga Lake, in New York, is such a calm and beautiful sheet of water that Indians had a legend that it was the special resort of Manitou, or the Great Spirit, and they professed to believe that all who shouted or made a noise while crossing would offend the Great Spirit, and he, in punishment for the indignity, would cause the offender to sink to the bottom like a stone.
Now, it happened that an Indian boatman was conveying a lady across the lake, who, knowing the Indian's superstition and the reason for it, determined to teach him a lesson and disprove the legend. Accordingly, when half way across, she shouted aloud several times. But the Indian boatman, Charon-like, pulled grimly and silently at the oars, until the keel touched the further shore.
"There!" exclaimed the lady, "did I not tell you the Great Spirit had no more to do with this lake than any other. You see I did not sink to the bottom when I shouted." Fixing his eyes sternly on the offender, the Indian replied: "The Great Spirit is very patient and all wise. He knows white squaws can't keep their mouths shut."
In the Indian census report an interesting attempt is made for the first time to cast up in figures an aggregate of the Government expenditures on account of the red men residing within the United States since the union was established in 1789. The result of this attempt indicates in the statistics presented that the gigantic sum of $1,105,219,372 was spent by the Government up to the year 1890 either upon the Indians directly or indirectly because of Indians. Counting in, however, the civil and military expenses for Indians since then, together with incidental expenses not recognized in the official figures given, it is safe to say that up to June 30, 1895, a further sum of $144,780,628 may be added to the aggregate figures, making a grand aggregate of $1,250,000,000 chargeable to Indians to date.
The Indian wars under the Government of the United States are stated to have numbered more than forty and to have cost the lives of about nineteen thousand white men, women and children, including about five thousand killed in individual encounters of which history takes no note and of thirty thousand Indians, including eighty-five hundred killed in personal encounters.
On one occasion a company of soldiers was attacked by Indians while ascending a steep mountain pass. It happened that the soldiers had several small cannon packed on the backs of burros. Wishing to frighten the Indians, who were in close pursuit, and not having time to unpack the cannon, it was decided to load and fire them from the backs of the sturdy little beasts of burden. This was accordingly done. But one of the gunners in his haste and excitement put in an extra large charge of powder. When, therefore, the burro was backed to the edge of the precipice, and the cannon aimed downward at the Indians and touched off, the concussion was so great as to hurl both cannon and burro over the precipice and down the mountain side, pell mell, loosening stones as they tumbled right in the midst of the astonished Indians, some of whom were knocked over and in turn hurled on down the mountain side. The war-whoop was changed to a yell of terror as the surviving Indians fled down the mountain pass. The next day one of this band of Indians was captured, and on being asked, through the interpreter, what caused the Indians to retreat so fast at the commencement of the fight, he answered "Injuns no fraid of guns, pistols, swords or cannons, but when white soldier shoot whole donkey at Injun, Injun run 'cause he cannot fly."
Charles F. Lummis, in "Some Strange Corners of Our Country," says of the Navajo magicians:
"But the crowning achievement of the Navajo—and, in my knowledge, of any Indian—magicians, is the growing of the sacred corn. At sunrise the shaman plants the enchanted kernel before him, in full view of his audience, and sits solemnly in his place, singing a weird song. Presently the earth cracks, and the tender green shoot pushes forth. As the magician sings on the young plant grows visibly, reaching upward several inches an hour, waxing thick and putting out its drooping blades. If the juggler stops his song the growth of the corn stops, and is resumed only when he recommences his chant. By noon the corn is tall and vigorous and already tasseled out; and by sunset it is a mature and perfect plant, with tall stalk, sedgy leaves and silk-topped ears of corn! How the trick is performed I have never been able to form so much as a satisfactory guess; but done it is, as plainly as eyes ever saw anything done, and apparently with as little chance for deception."
Prof. Frederick Starr, of the University of Chicago, a friend and correspondent of the author, is a high authority on anthropology and ethnography, and for some years has been closely studying the native tribes of this continent. His investigations have taken him to many reservations, and hosts of Indians are his friends.
Whenever he revisits the Iroquois people he will receive a cordial welcome. Not long ago he was made a member of that federation—a Seneca, and therefore a brother of all the Iroquois—and has as much right to sit in a council of the Senecas as any Indian whose ancestry antedates the landing of Columbus. That he is capable of occupying this place with honor the Indians did not doubt, for, when they adopted him formally, he was not named Pale Moon, Lively Beetle, or any such appellation, but Haysetha, the wisest speaker in the council.
When the anthropologist first met his future brethren they did not take to him very kindly. Their suspicious natures do not allow them to make friends easily with the white men, or permit one to make a careful study of tribal customs.
One of the large reservations of the Iroquois is near Chautauqua, where the professor was delivering a series of lectures on the American Indian. He happened to mention that the Iroquois near by were different from other Indian peoples thrown in contact with civilization, in that they still used rites and ceremonies which were in vogue centuries ago. The pupils wished to witness these and an expedition was organized.
The rig broke down midway. The distance back to town or to the reservation was a little over twelve miles. No one was in the humor for such a long walk, and it devolved upon the professor to scurry about to find a wagon large enough to hold twenty-five people.
Near by was an old Iroquois who had a hay wagon which would fill the bill, but the Indian refused point blank to aid them. Neither pleadings nor money could swerve him from his purpose not to let the white men have his wagon. The case seemed hopeless, and Professor Starr had about made up his mind to take the long trudge back without paying the visit when a happy thought struck him.
He remembered that many of the Iroquois belong to the Wolf family—that is, have the wolf as their "totem"—and are always loyal to each other. Consequently he determined to pass himself off as a "Wolf," since there are many white men with Indian blood in their veins who are members of the family.
"Now, you must not refuse me," said the professor. "I'm no ordinary white man. I'm a 'Wolf.'" The effect was magical. The Indian hitched up his horses and did not even want to take pay for his trouble.
When the reservation was reached Professor Starr saw an old man making a rattle, he wanted it.
"How much?" he inquired.
"One dollar, white man," was the reply.
Professor Starr, however, had no intention of paying this exorbitant price. He determined to play the "Wolf" again.
"I'm no ordinary white man," he said. "I'm a 'Wolf,' a brother. You won't charge me more than 50 cents." The Indian took the half-dollar.
Farther on the professor found a corn mask used in a sacred dance. He wanted this to take back to Chicago with him.
"One dollar, white man," said the squaw who owned it. The "Wolf" had served him twice and the professor resolved to try it thrice.
"I'm no common white man," he declared. "I'm a 'Wolf.' You shouldn't charge me more than 50 cents."
"No difference, white man," she replied. "I'm 'Bear' (another totem who are rivals of the 'Wolves'). Pay one dollar."
And the professor paid the price demanded.


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