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come anong us who have eyes : they are not blind
they are willing to deny themselves the profit of it for our good. We are glad that such a people are come among us.
We must put it down by mutual consenti: the cask must be sealed : it must not leak by day nor by night."* The seal, however, was speedily broken, and the English became soon as blind as the Dutch or the Swedes.
In some cases it would appear that the Indians are so well aware of the mischiefs arising from the introduction of spirituous liquors among them, that they take a very decisive mode of preventing it. Mr. Bartram, who spent many years among
the Indians of the Creek confederacy, (Cherokees, Chocktaws, Chickesaws, &c.) relates that the most important object with them, in some of their treaties, was to prevent spirits from being brought into their country: the traders were allowed only two small kegs for each company, that quantity being thought sufficient for their consumption on the road. If, upon their approaching the Indian towns, any part of that allowance remained, they were obliged either to spill it on the ground or secrete it. He mentions that, in his journey from Mobile, he was overtaken by two American traders, whoinformed him that they had been smuggling forty kegs of strong rum into the country, and that they had been surprised
* Proud's History of Pennsylvania, vol. i., p. 148.
by a party of Creek Indians, who discovered their merchandise, and immediately struck their tomahawks into the kegs; and, without tasting the contents, spilt the whole of it upon the ground; “ the traders,” says Bartram, “having enough to do to keep the tomahawks from their own skulls.”*
There can be no doubt that many of the chiefs and men of influence among the tribes, in various parts of the Indian country, would now give their cordial support to any measure calculated to put a total stop to the introduction of spirits among their people. The celebrated Seneca, chief Cornplanter, effected much among his nation in checking this baneful propensity. Mr. Hunter informed me, that many of the leading men of the Louisiana tribes with whom he was acquainted, do all in their power to prevent spirituous liquors from being used among them. In short, many of the North American Indian chiefs of the present day will be found to entertain sentiments similar to those expressed by their ancestors to the English '
many years ago :
“ Brothers, you have spoken to us against getting drunk. What you have said is very agreeable to us.
We see it is a thing very bad, and it is a great grief to us that rum or any strong liquor should be brought among us, as we wish the chain of friendship which now unites us and our brethren the English may
Bartram's Travels in Florida, &c. part iv. ch. 1.
remain strong. The fault is not with us : it begins with the white people. For if they will bring us rum, some of our people will buy it: it is for that purpose it is brought. But if there was none brought among us, then how could we buy it? Brothers, be faithful, and desire our brethren the white people to bring no more of it."*
* Boudinot, Star in the West, ch. 8.
CONDUCT OF THE FRENCH IN THEIR ENDEAVOURS
TO CONVERT THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS
It is recorded of Francis I., that wishing to rival Charles V. in the New World, as he had already rivalled him in the Old, he observed, “My brothers the kings of Spain and Portugal have divided America between them, but I should like to know what clause in the last will of Adam bequeaths it to them, and disinherits me.” To support, therefore, his claim to a share in the heritage, and disregarding the papal bull of the Pontiff Alexander VI., who had granted in full right the whole continent of America, together with all its islands, to Ferdinand and Isabella, Francis sent Giovanni Verazano, a Florentine captain, with four ships, across the Atlantic to make discoveries; and, in his name, to take formal possession of as much of the Western hemisphere as his two brothers had not yet laid hold of. Verazano accordingly set out on his destination in the year 1524, making three successive voyages, and planting the arms of the king of France on various parts of the American coast,
from the mouth of the Mississippi to that of the St. Lawrence. It does not appear, however, that his labours, in any other respect, met with success. In his third voyage, Verazano, as stated by some Spanish writers, was seized at the Canaries by a band of Biscayans, and hanged as a pirate ; while some French authors, with still less probability, say that he and all his crew were caught and eaten by the American savages. At all events, from the time of his third expedition, neither Verazano nor any of the companions of his voyage were ever heard of.
About ten years after this period, the same monarch sent out Jacques Cartier, a captain from St. Malo, with three ships, on a similar errand. Cartier, after coasting along the shores of Newfoundland, crossed the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Baye des Chaleurs, and landed upon the American continent, where he took nominal possession of the country in that quarter for his royal master. In his second voyage, he pushed his discoveries up the St. Lawrence as far as the island where Montreal now stands, taking similar possession of the newly discovered countries on the shores of that 'river, then called the Grand River of Canada. In the year 1541, Monsieur de Roberval was appointed by the king to be his viceroy over a great extent of North America, and Francis gave him 45,000 livres to pay the expenses of his outfit. Cartier was com