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ring the preceding year, and provisions were very scanty.She offered, however, to share with the strangers a quantity of maize collected for the relief of her village, and to put them in the way of getting similar supplies from other villages.She proffered, likewise, her own house for the accommodation of the governor, and half of the village for that of his officers and principal soldiers; and promised that wigwams of bark and branches should be put up for the rest. She added, that rafts and canoes should be provided for the army to cross the river on the following day. De Soto was overpowered by the generosity of the princess, and endeavored, in the best manner, to express his sense of her kind and hospitable offers, assuring her of the constant friendship of his sovereign and himself. The cavaliers, too, listened with admiring attention to her discourse, and to the answers she gave to various inquiries concerning her province; leaving them as much charmed with her intelligence and judgment as they had been with her beauty, and wondering to find such dignity and grace, and true politeness, in a savage brought up in a wilderness.
While the princess of Cofachiqui was conversing with the governor, she was slowly disengaging a string of large pearls, which passed three times round her neck, and descended to her waist. The conference ended she told Juan Ortiz, the interpreter, to present the necklace to the general. Ortiz replied, that the gift would be more valuable if presented with her own hand; but she scrupled to do it, through a dread of infringing the propriety which females should always maintain. When De Soto was apprised of her scruples, he directed Ortiz to tell her, that he would more highly prize the favor of receiving the gift from her own hand, than he would value the jewel itself, and that she would commit no breach of decorum, as they were persons unknown to each other, treating of peace and amity.
This being interpreted to her, she rose, and placed the string of pearls about the neck of De Soto; he likewise stood up; and, taking from his finger a ring of gold, set with a ruby, presented it to her, as a token of peace and friendship. She received it very respectfully, and placed it on one of her fingers. This ceremony ended, she returned to her village, leaving the Spaniards much struck with her native talent, and personal beauty.
Speech of the Chief SA-GU-YU-WHAT-HAH, called RED JACKET, in answer to the offer of an American missionary, to teach among the Indians the principles of Christianity.
FRIEND AND BROTHER-It was the will of the great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things, and has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly; our ears are unstopped, that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and him only. Brother-Listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, deer, and other animals for food. He had made the bear and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the earth, and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this he had done for his red children, because he loved them. But an evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water, and landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends, and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men, and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, and granted their request; and they sat down among us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return.
The white people had now found our country. Tidings (( were carried back, and more came among us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to be friends. They called us brothers. We believed them, and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased. They wanted more land. They wanted our country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds became uneasy. Wars took place. Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquor among us. It was strong, and powerful, and has slain thousands.
Brother Our seats were once large, and yours were small. (You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a
place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion among us. Brother-Continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his mind, and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right, and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book, If it was intended for us as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did he not give to our forefathers, the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people?
Brother-You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the book?
Brother-We do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion, which was given to our forefathers, and was handed down to their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive; to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.
Brother The Great Spirit has made us all, but he has made a great difference between his white and red children. He has given us different complexions and different customs. To you he has given the arts. To these he has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since he has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that he has given us a different religion according to our understanding? The Great Spirit does right: he knows what is best for his children. We are satisfied.
Brother-We do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We only wish to enjoy our own. Brother-We are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neigh bors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while, and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.
Brother-You have now heard our answer to your talk. This is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe to your friends.
Address of BLACK HAWK to GENERAL STREET.
You have taken me prisoner, with all my warriors. I am much grieved; for I expected, if I did not defeat you, to hold out much longer, and give you more trouble before I surrendered. I tried hard to bring you into ambush, but your last general understood Indian fighting. I determined to rush upon you, and fight you face to face. I fought hard. But your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like the wind through the trees in winter. My warriors fell around me; it began to look dismal. I saw my evil day at hand. The sun rose dim on us in the morning, and at night it sank in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. His heart is dead, and no longer beats quick in his bosom. He is now a prisoner to the white men; they will do with him as they wish. But he can stand torture, and is not afraid of death. He is no coward. Black Hawk is an Indian.
He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, against white men, who came, year after year, to cheat them, and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. The white men despise the Indians, and drive them from their homes. They smile in the face of the poor Indian, to cheat him; they shake him by the hand, to gain his confidence, to make him drunk, and to deceive him. We told them to let us alone, and keep away from us; but they followed on and beset our paths, and they coiled themselves among us like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We looked up to the Great Spirit.We went to our father. We were encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises; but we got no satisfaction; things were growing worse. There were no decr
in the forest. The opossum and beaver were fled. The springs were drying up, and our squaws and pappooses without victuals to keep them from starving.
We called a great council, and built a large fire. The spirit of our fathers arose, and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die. We set up the war-whoop, and dug up the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black Hawk swelled high in his bosom, when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father will meet him there, and commend him. Black Hawk is a true Indian, and disdains to cry like a woman. He feels for his wife, his children, and his friends. But he does not care for himself. He cares for the Nation and the Indians. They will suffer. He laments their fate. Farewell my Nation! Black Hawk tried to save you, and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites. He has been taken prisoner, and his plans are crushed. He can do no more. He is near his end. His sun is setting, and he will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk!
LXVII.-FATE OF THE INDIAN RACE.
THERE is, indeed, in the fate of these unfortunate beings, much to awaken our sympathy, and much to disturb the sobriety of our judgment; much which may be urged to excuse their own atrocities; much in their characters which betrays us into an involuntary admiration. What can be more melancholy than their history? By a law of their nature, they seem destined to a slow but sure extinct Every where, at the approach of the white man, they fade away. We hear the rustling of their footsteps, like that of the withered leaves of autumn, and they are gone for ever. They pass mournfully by us, and they return no more.
Two centuries ago, the smoke of their wigwams and the fires of their councils rose in every valley, from Hudson's Bay to the farthest Florida, from the ocean to the Mississippi and the lakes. The shouts of victory and the war-dance rang through the mountains and the glades. The thick arrows and the deadly tomahawk whistled through the forests; and the hunter's trace and the dark encampment startled the wild beasts in their lairs. The warriors stood forth in their glory. The young listened to the songs of other days. The mothers played with their infants, and gazed on the scene with warm