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soldiers every where discovered magazines dug in the ground full of corn, sufficient to subsist the whole canton for two years. The first village we reduced to ashes ; the two others were at a considerable distance. At the last of these we found the enemy; but he fled at our approach, and we could not follow him. The French avenged themselves upon the cabins, not one of which escaped being reduced to ashes throughout the whole canton.” Thus ended the campaign,
nexion with the Europeans, and the corruption of manners with its consequent penury, have become much more slovenly and indifferent to their personal comfort, and to the cleanliness of their habitations, than they were two or three centuries ago. In Hackluyt's account of Cartier's discovery of the Indian town of Hochelaga, upon the St. Lawrence, he says : “ There are in the towne about fiftie houses, about fiftie paces long, and twelve or fifteene broad, built all of wood, covered over with the barke of the wood, as broad as any boord, very finely and cunningly joyned togither : within the said houses there are many roomes, lodgings, and chambers : in the middest of every one there is a great court, in the middle whereof they make their fire. They live in common togither : then doe the husbands, wives, and children, each one retire themselves to their chambers.” — Hackluyt's Voyages, vol. iii. p. 220. In New England, the Indian wigwams are described to have been“ very large and fair.” And La Hontan states the cabins, in his day, as being eighty feet long, twenty-five or thirty feet wide, and twenty high; and that the Indians had also smaller cabins, with beds raised above the ground, &c.
viceroy, on his return to Quebec, hanging three or four of his prisoners, as an example to the rest.
In the expedition, also, which was formerly noticed as being conducted by Chevalier de Beauharnois, against several Indian tribes in the interior, Father Crespel, who was 'present, states, that not being able to find the inhabitants of a village they bad taken possession of, they could "only burn their cabins to the ground, and destroy all their Indian corn, the food upon which they principally subsist.” And, having advanced a little farther, for the
purpose of attacking another village of the Winnepagoes, they, in like manner, found it deserted;
we therefore,” says Crespel, “employed some time in entirely ruining the crops, in order that the Indians might be starved.”+ This kind intention to starve a whole nation did not succeed; for when Carver visited that people, in 1766, he found them still raising " a great quantity of Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, squash, and water-melons, with some tobacco."| It is curious to observe that these same Winnepagoes have continued to the present day an agricultural and contented tribe, taking good care that the white population should come among them as little as possible. In Dr. Morse's
* Charlevoix, Hist. de la Nouvelle France, liv. ix.
Carver's Travels, p. 37.
late Report, it is observed of them, that “ they will suffer no encroachment upon their soil, nor any persons to pass through it without giving a satisfactory explanation of their motives and intentions. In failing to comply with this preliminary step, their lives would be in danger. They cultivate corn, potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, and beans; and are remarkably provident. They possess some horses. The Winnepagoes are industrious, frugal, and temperate.” They appear also to be increasing in numbers. In the year 1812 they consisted of 3500 souls, and in 1820 they had increased to 5800.*
It is certainly a striking circumstance thus to observe a nation of Indians, concentrated among themselves, prospering in agriculture, living contented and temperate, and increasing in population; while so many of their fellow-tribes, in consequence of their communication with Europeans, or the descendants of Europeans, have abandoned the best habits of their ancestors, and dwindled away in laziness, intoxication, penury, and disease.
It is not necessary to enter farther into the subject of the natural capacity of the North American Indian for science, arts, or manufactures. The experiment of teaching these to him has, in all pro
* Morse's Indian Report, Appendix, pp. 48 and 59.
bability, never been fairly or judiciously tried. Nor should it be admitted that the obstacles which have occurred, and still occur, to his civilization, arise from any constitutional inferiority or deficiency of intellect. One other instance - and one only shall be given of the ingenuity of the North American Indian ; and, in noticing it, Monsieur De Pauw shall have ample credit for his triumphant assertion, that at the first arrival of the Europeans in the Western hemisphere, there was not an Indian in America who could read or write."*
Although the aborigines of that continent do not appear ever to have had an alphabet in use among them, nor even to have supposed that the words of their language might be composed of, or divisible into separate letters, of which they had no notion, they have generally, by means of hieroglyphical representations, been enabled to communicate or describe their most important affairs and transactions. This practice - distinct from the custom of delineating upon the collars of wampum their national treaties and records — is certainly marked with much ingenuity. By means of painting on the stems of trees, when stripped of their bark, they find the ready means of giving important information to their roaming war-parties and allies respecting their own operations and the movements of
* Recherches Philosophiques, vol. ii. partie 5.
their enemies. When it is intended to represent events in a more permanent and portable form, they prepare the inner rind of the birch bark, and sometimes the skins of animals, upon which they paint, with charcoal or other colours mixed
with grease or oil, the objects they intend to delineate. The materials they use, and their mode of execution, probably depend upon the importance of the subject, and the expected durability of the representation. I have occasionally seen, at the portages in the interior, slight drawings of charcoal upon small slips of birch bark, fastened upon the bushes, or on sticks put in the ground, upon which were drawn particular beasts, birds, or fishes. This simple but convenient mode is adopted by the Indians (who generally assume the names of particular animals), to let their friends know that they had passed in that direction. And at other places I have observed, deeply and distinctly chiselled on lofty rocks of granite, large hieroglyphical representations of men fighting, of horses, serpents, birds, &c., and which are supposed to have remained there from the most remote antiquity.
With respect to their common emblematical delineations upon the stems of trees, Carver has given an instance of one of them during his travels towards Lake Superior from the Mississippi.
* Carver's Travels, ch. 17.