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ligious publications among the poor; these are some of the objects of the Inner Mission.
To the American mind, accustomed to subdivision of religious labor, it would seem better to have a dozen societies for these various objects; but it is no small recommendation of the German plan, that it has met with very great success; that under its influence a large and rapidly-increasing portion of the German people are awaking from the lethargic slumber of rationalism, and becoming active, practical Christians. It must be acknowledged that much of this is owing to the indomitable energy and extraordinary executive power of the master-spirit of the enterprise. Since the days of Loyola no man has appeared in the theological world who possessed the same influence over the minds of others, molding them to his will, and sending them forth imbued with his spirit. If among the brothers of the Inner Mission there shall not yet arise some Xavier, whose holy soul shall burn with a purer zeal and a love not less intense for the souls of the perishing, it will not be because the master lacks Loyola's power, but because the pupil has less than Xavier's heroism.
In person Dr. Wichern is tall and somewhat spare. His eagle eye and commanding manner indicate his executive ability; but, while born to rule, he rules more by love than fear. His influence is, perhaps, more powerful than that of any other private citizen in Germany; the royal families of the German States have not unfrequently sought his advice in relation to measures of reform, and the counsel he has given is almost uniformly followed. Long may he live to prosecute those measures of good to which his life thus far has been devoted.
and destroys them by their own machinations. He delivers the oppressed, and exalts the lowly, by means they know not of. These, in reviewing their deliverances from the snares and devices of proud and potent enemies, are constrained to exclaim: "The Lord hath done all these things; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten for us the victory."
The laws of Providence are not more evident in the physical universe than in the moral and political government of the world. In the one, the wisdom, power and goodness of God are displayed in the control of the unintelligent portion of his creation; in the other, his righteousness and holiness in his dealings with moral and responsible agents. This is the ground of our trust in him, in all our unequal contests against domineering and cruel oppressors. The principle of trust in God for success in a righteous cause was distinctly recognized in the declaration of independence by our revolutionary fathers That it was not a vain trust was made manifest in the history of their struggles, and their ultimate triumph. Who is so dull of apprehension as not to perceive an array of agencies and instrumentalities arranged all along the course of events and appliances which resulted in our national independence, each adapted to the exigences of time and place, for the accomplishment of the purposes necessary to carry forward the great work of revolution to a successful termination, which none but the infinitely wise Ruler of the universe could provide and place in such exact order? Men and means for all occasions, at all times, and in all places! How true, without exception! Adams, and Henry, and Washington, and Franklin, and their colaborers in counsel and in war, were the men for the times! Without them, or men like them, liberty had perished in her struggle for emancipation. Such a race of men never appeared upon the stage, at any period in the world's history, when such a work did not demand their presence and their services. At another time they might have lived and acted as men of mark in the world, but accomplished no great end in molding a nation's destiny, for want of adaptation to the times. Nor would other great men, whose tread has caused the earth to tremble, have answered the purposes of those times. The occasion required just such men; and just such
men God raised up and preserved for just that work. So we believe. And the unshaken faith we have in the providence of God-embracing all the great and small agencies and appliances necessary to subvert the designs of wicked oppressors, and bring deliverance to the oppressed, to adjust them in order, and cause them to work together by his invisible hand, as a wheel within a wheel, in a vast and complicated machine-begets reverence and devout thanksgiving to him, as we trace the manifestations of his wisdom and power in the histories of great events that are past.
The early colonial history of our country furnishes large scope for such reflections as these. It was a vast wilderness, destined to become an empire. The civil and religious institutions which might be first established to an extent which would overpower and exclude others, promised to become universally dominant throughout the whole country, and to give to the European power which might succeed in obtaining an ascendency in the New World, an accession to its national greatness which would make it the proud mistress of the world.
The two principal conflicting powers in North America, at the time of which we are speaking, were the English in New England, and the French in New France. The former were Protestant in their religion and republican in their politics; the latter were devoted adherents to the Catholic religion and to the French monarchy. The former were settled in towns and villages on the seaboard and in contiguous districts, with their churches and school-houses, cultivating their farms and carrying on trade with the Indians and others who came to them for that purpose. The latter had their principal establishment at Quebec, where the governor, the lieutenant-general of all his majesty's forces in North and South America, the bishop and superior of the society of the Jesuits, and the intendant, had their residence, and united their functions in carrying into effect the plans and instructions of the French Monarch, to extend his dominion, monopolize the lucrative fur trade, and establish the Roman Catholic religion throughout the whole country. Such an array of civil, military, ecclesiastical and financial agencies would seem to set at defiance all opposition. Every advantage
promising success appeared on the side of the French. The combined energies of the governor, the general, the intendant, and the Jesuits, aided and supported by the king, the court, and the Church at home, left nothing wanting that human calculation could supply, to insure complete success in the far-reaching design of making the future of this country what Lower Canada was when under the dominion of France, or the provinces and states of South America were under the government of Spain. That such a condition of society does not at this moment exist in our own free and happy State of New York, instead of our inimitable civil and religious institutions, which challenge the admiration of the world, is owing to interposing agencies and appliances working for the ultimate triumph of the cause of truth and freedom, which indicate a superintending Providence preparing and adjusting them in order for the accomplishment of that beneficent end. It is interesting to peruse the history of those times in view of this instructive truth.
It was remarked in our last paper, that the French found in the Iroquois Indians, commonly known as the Five Nations, the most formidable obstacle against the speedy accomplishment of their designs to bring the extensive country designated in the charter of Cardinal Richelieu under the dominion of the French government and the Pope of Rome.
It will be in accordance with the design of these papers, and illustrate the doctrine of Providence in the affairs of man as above suggested, to notice with more particularity than historians have been wont, the distinguishing features of character which marked this extraordinary class of the aborigines of the country, the position they occupied, and the part they took, during the conflicts of contending European powers for a permanent establishment of their institutions in it. None of the Indian tribes on the continent has occupied so important a place in the history of the early settlement of the country as the renowned confederacy of the Five Nations. And none took so decided a part as they did, or exerted so controlling an influence in all the wars which raged in the country, from the time that Champlain took part with the Hurons against them till the independence of the United States was achieved.
They formerly existed in distinct contiguous tribes or nations, and warred after their manner against each other. Many of the ancient fortifications," it is said, "the remains of which are still visible through the State of New York, were built for defense while these tribes were disjoined and hostile to each other." They remained in this condition until, as is believed by those who have paid most attention to the subject, within less than a century of the time when Europeans visited these shores.
Even then there were those among their chiefs and leaders who gave evidence of rare intellectual endowments, qualifying them to conduct the affairs of the nation with a degree of wisdom not looked for among untutored savages, and secure to it a splendid future. They possessed the sagacity not only to perceive that their mutual animosities and perpetual warfare against each other, growing out of their broken and disjointed condition, threatened their ruin, but also to digest and adopt a system of confederation by which their strength might be united to repel every invading foe, and each separate tribe at the same time enjoy and exercise the independence and freedom which were necessary for its individual wellbeing.
They were essentially democratic in their views and feelings, and possessed intelligence enough to organize a federal compact, providing for their protection against invading enemies, for peace among themselves, and for the preservation of the democratic principle in securing individual and private rights. The political organization of the Iroquois Indians exhibited an exercise of wisdom and political sagacity in the projectors and framers of it, which would have done honor to the wisest statesmen of the most enlightened age or nation. Under its provisions these Indians rose to a degree of eminence among the tribes which rendered them the terror and the admiration of all others. It is said that long before the Revolution their chiefs and orators held up their own confederation as an example for the imitation of the English colonies. And it is not at all improbable that it had some influence in bringing about the union of those of New England.
Of the nature of this organization, and the laws and regulations adopted to preserve the union of the parties in their na
tional compact, under its provision, a few things are worthy of note.
The powers and privileges conferred by the compact were judiciously distributed. Each tribe was represented in their national councils by one principal sachem and an indefinite number of associates. One of the sachems of the Mohawks, who were esteemed the oldest and bravest of the tribes, usually occupied the position of commander-in-chief of their active forces. Their capital for their national councils was located within the bounds of the Oneida tribe, in what is now the town of Stockbridge. And the civil ruler, or president of the confederacy, was from the Onondaga tribe. Their legislation was conducted with gravity and decorum, such as would be creditable to an English parliament or an American congress. And they always respected, in their decisions, the terms of their compact, and the rights and feelings of respectable minorities. It is said that in no instance were measures adopted which had the sanction of but a bare majority.
The superiority of these Indians over all others was manifest also in the brilliancy of intellect which distinguished a succession of their chiefs and leading men. No rude nation ever produced such a number of renowned warriors and orators as did the Iroquois confederacy. They were equal to every emergence, and in council and war, without the advantages of education, maintained their cause and the rights of their nation against the devices and attacks of their European as well as savage enemies. Cherishing a love of liberty and independence, the principles of which they seemed to understand far better than most of the enlightened nations of the Old World, they were brave and patriotic, and repelled with firmness every attempt to invade their rights or wrest from them their independence.
Their fame, as the most powerful and formidable nation among the native tribes, was universal throughout the country when Europeans first visited its shores. Their name was a terror to all the other tribes, even those who vastly exceeded them in numbers. Gookin, in his historical collections, written in 1674, states that the Mohawks, who had been for several years in hostility with certain New England tribes, were, in time of war, such a terror to those Indians, that, though
those tribes were far the most numerous, the appearance of four or five Mohawks in the woods would frighten them from their habitations and corn-fields, and drive them to take shelter in their forts. Their conquests were carried in all directions. Many of the New England tribes were reduced to submission and tribute by them. Their ascendency over those on the St. Lawrence, and north of the lakes, was felt and acknowledged. And having become skilled in war, they pushed their victories far to the south and west, subduing in succession all who opposed their progress.
Such were the confederated Five Nations, situated principally in the colony of New York bordering on New France, when the French matured the plan of subjugating the whole country to the dominion of the insatiable and bigoted tyrant, Louis XIV.
As has been seen, Champlain undertook their subjugation by uniting with their enemies in a merciless warfare against them. By this course he gained nothing, but lost much. It produced that worst of all ingredients in the opposition of an enemy, a subtle and vindictive spirit of revenge, and obstinate daring, at every possible hazard, in gratifying it, which precluded the possibility of reconciliation by the adoption of more conciliating meas
And having taught them the use of fire-arms, by which they were enabled to prosecute their warfare more effectually against both their old enemies and the French, their position was more formidable against the aggressions of the colonists at the period of Champlain's death than at any time before.
The Jesuits were no more successful. Their services as missionaries do not seem to have excited the opposition of the chiefs of the nation. They had no religious prejudices to influence them to acts of hostility against these "black coats," as they were wont to call them. But they had the discernment to discover that their work was more of a political than religious character. They saw that the converts they made were held and treated as subjects of the French government, and were found in the ranks of their enemies, under French commanders, in all their aggressive expeditions to subdue the savages and overrun the country. The converts they made of their own tribes at once turned against their native brethren, and instead
of exhibiting the meek and peaceful spirit which the Gospel dictates, arrayed themselves, with bitter feelings, in opposition to them, and espoused the cause of their oppressors, following them into their dominions and connecting themselves with the hostile tribes in their service. They observed, too, that those who were influenced by the Jesuits to join them, were committed by the strongest pledges to do all their bidding, and share their fortunes. When Father Jouges was taken prisoner by the Mohawks there was a Huron chief among those captured with him, who, when put to the torture which their savage customs cause to be inflicted upon their conquered foes, addressed the missionary thus: My brother, I made an ОАТН to thee, that I would share thy fortune, whether death or life; here I am to keep my vow." The discerning chiefs of the Iroquois confederacy did not fail to see that a conversion of their people by the Romish priests, resulting in detaching them from the interests and sympathies of their nation, and binding them by such strong ties and solemn vows to their enemies, threatened worse consequences to their political existence as a free and independent sovereignty, than even the arms of the French. It is due to those noble savages to allow that their severe and prompt measures in resisting the establishment of the Jesuits, with their pledged and bigoted adherents, in the heart of their country, was dictated by considerations of national policy, and not, as their enemies insinuate, blind impulses of passion. It was a measure of self-protection, which shows a degree of political sagacity not excelled by the proud nation with whom they had to contend. Situated between the colonies of two great contending nations, they were content to be on terms of amity with both, while their rights as an independent and free people were respected. But they would not submit to be the vassals of either. Hence their unconquerable animosity against the French, which never ceased while that nation continued to hold dominion in the colony.
Defeated in their efforts to reduce the Iroquois Indians by the means which were successful among other tribes, the French now determined upon a more regular system of warlike operations to effect the object so essential to their success in possessing themselves of their territory, and
the vast country beyond them included in the grant which their gracious sovereign so liberally made by charter to the company of New France. In 1664 an expedition, under the direction of the commander-inchief, started from Three Rivers for the Iroquois country. "The plan entertained by this first campaign," says the official record, "was to erect on the route some forts, which were considered absolutely necessary, as well to secure the passage and liberty of trade as to serve as stores for the troops and retreats for sick and wounded soldiers. For this purpose three advantageous posts were selected. The first at the mouth of the Iroquois River; the second seventeen leagues higher up, at the foot of a current of water called the Sault de Richelieu; the third about three leagues above this current." These forts they severally named, Richelieu, St. Louis, and St. Therese. "It is still intended," continues the report, "to build there, [on the route leading to the Mohawk country,] next spring, a fourth fort, which will command those countries, and from which continual attacks can be made on the enemy, if they will not hear to reason." Monsieur de Tracy, lieutenant-general of all his majesty's forces in North and South America, caused Fort Richelieu to be garrisoned by five companies of soldiers, under command of Mons. de Chambly, and Fort St. Louis by a like number, under M. de Sorel.
After these preparations for an exterminating war against the Iroquois confederacy were completed, communications were made to the king of the state of the country, its value for agricultural purposes, the position and hostility of the Iroquois as an obstacle against acquiring possession of the most desirable portions of it, and the importance of reducing these obstinate and untractable tribes, which were calculated to enlist the co-operation of his majesty in the scheme set on foot to accomplish that object.
His majesty was informed particularly of the positions, comparative strength, and various dispositions of the renowned Five Nations. The Mohawks, he was told, who resided nearest the Dutch, and had four or five hundred men capable of bearing arms, had always been at war with the French, though they sometimes professed peace. The Oneidas, who resided west of the Mohawks, and had no more than one hunVOL. XII.-24
dred and forty warriors, had never wished to listen to negotiations for peace, but, on the contrary, always embarrassed affairs when they appeared about to be arranged. Among the Onondagas, occupying a central position, the French, it was stated, had been received as friends and treated as foes Their forcible expulsion of the missionaries settled among them, "assisted by a garrison of Frenchmen sent by the Governor of New France to take possession of the country in his majesty's name," was stated in a manner calculated to excite feelings of indignation in the royal breast of the monarch, whose confessor was a Jesuit, and prime minister a cardinal. The Cayugas and Senecas, in a still more westerly direction, were represented as never having openly made war upon the colony, but rather disposed to remain neuter; though as members of the confederacy they would stand or fall with it.
The country occupied by these hostile tribes was described, as compared with that occupied by the French, in terms calculated to call into requisition all necessary means at the disposal of the sovereign to wrest it from its native occupants. The report says:
It is for the most part fertile, covered with fine timber; . . . interspersed by numerous lakes and rivers abounding in fish. The air is temperate; the seasons regular as in France, capable of bearing all the fruits of Touraine and Provence. The snows are not deep nor of long duration. The three winters which we spent there among the Onondagas were mild, compared with the winters at Quebec, where the ground is covered five months with snow, three, four and five feet deep. As we inhabit the northern part of New France, and the Iroquois the south, it is not surprising that their lands are more agreeable, and more capable of cultivation and of bearing fruit.
The means of conquering these savages by a competent military force, is also set forth in this communication as altogether favorable to the undertaking. Lake Ontario, into which an army might enter without opposition, is described as a sea where barks and ships can sail in all safety, so that communication could be easy between all the settlements which might be established on its borders, and from it all the Iroquois nations could be reached by various directions, except the Mohawks, whose subjugation was intended to be provided for by the erection of the forts already built and occupied by soldiers. This communication had the desired effect.