History From America's Most Famous Valleys
The Indian In His Wigwam
Characteristics of The Red Race of America
From Original Notes and Manuscripts
By Henry R. Schoolcraft
Dewitt & Davenport
This is a lengthy book and covers many of the Red Race who
are not native to New York State. Pertinent parts of the book will be posted.
Thanks to Pamela Wozniak and David Collins for loaning this book for the purpose of using it on our website.
SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF
NOTED RED MEN AID WOMEN,
WHO HAVE APPEARED ON THE WESTERN CONTINENT.
BRANT, RED JACKET, UNCAS, MIONTONIMO.
A NOTICE OF THE BIOGRAPHIES OF THE LATE COL. WILLIAM L. STONE, PREPARED FOR THE
THE Egyptians embalmed their dead in myrrh and spices, but the blessed art of printing has given us a surer and less revolting method of preserving and transmitting to posterity, all that is truly valuable in the plaudits of virtue, worth, and honor. Books thus become a more permanent memorial than marble, and by their diffusion scatter those lessons among all mankind, which the age of mounds and hieroglyphics, stone and papyrus, had confined to the tablet of a shaft, or the dark recesses of a tomb or a pyramid. It is never to be forgotten, that in the development of this new phasis in the history of the human race, it was printing that first lit the lamp of truth, and has driven on the experiment, till the boundaries of letters have well nigh become co-extensive with the world. If we do not widely err, there is no part of the globe, where books of all descriptions have become so cheap and abundant as they are at this time in the United States, and, laying aside all other considerations, we may find a proof of the position stated in the fact, that our vernacular literature is no longer confined to the production of school books, the annals of law and divinity, the age of muddy pamphlets, or the motley pages of the newspaper. We have no design to follow up these suggestions by showing how far the study of the natural sciences, the discussion of political economy, or the advances of belles-lettres, have operated to produce this result; far less to identify those causes, in the progress of western arts and commerce, which have concurred to bring down the price of books, and scatter the blessings of an untrammelled press, among all classes. It is sufficient for our purpose to say that even the lives of our distinguished native chieftains have come in for a share of modern notice, and, we feel proud to add, of a notice which, so far as it reaches, is worthy of the subject. And should our contributions on this head, for the last few years, be equally well followed up for a few years to come, even the desponding strains of one of their own impersonated, heroes can no longer be repeated, with perfect truth:
" They sink, they pass; they fly, they go,
Like a vapor at morning's dawn,
Or a flash of light, whose sudden glow
Is seen, admired, and gone.
" They died ; but if a brave man bleeds,
And fills the dreamless grave,
Shall none repeat his name, his deeds,
Nor tell that he was brave ?"
To no one in our literary annals is the public so much indebted for rescuing from oblivion the traits and character of the four celebrated chiefs whose names stand at the head of this article, as to the able author of these biographies, William L. Stone. Gifted with a keen perception of the questions of right and wrong, which turn upon the planting of the colonies among barbarians, who more than idled away their days upon a soil which they did not cultivate-with a deep sympathy in their fate and fortunes, on the one hand, and the paramount claims of letters and Christianity on the other, he has set himself to the task of rendering justice to whom justice belongs, with the ardor of a philanthropist, and the research of a historian. He appears to have planned a series of biographies which, if completed, will give a connected view of the leading tribes who occupied New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, with a range in the examination of contemporary men and collateral topics, which embraces a wide circle. And he has filled up the outlines of his plan, thus far, in a manner, which leaves but little to glean in the path which he has trod. If the extension of this circle, and the, large amount of contemporaneous matter brought in, has, in the minds of some, abstracted too large a share of attention, and left the biographies with less unity and compactness than they would otherwise have assumed, this is exclusively the fault of their plan, so far as it is acknowledged, and not of the execution. And for this course of extension there is a plea to be found in the nature of the subject, in the treatment of which, scantiness of material was often sought to he supplied by the introduction of collateral and, sometimes extraneous matter.
We propose briefly to notice the series of these biographies in their order of publication. In his first work on Brant, he has presented, in living colors, the great Mohawk of 1776, who rose up to crush that confederacy which Washington and his compeers had pledged their lives to maintain. Brant was a man of power and capacities, mental and physical beyond his tribe ; and was so situated, in the actual contest, as to throw a greater weight into the scale against us, than any other, or all of the hostile chiefs of the Red Race put together. If he could, not, like Ariel, call up the "spirits of the vasty deep," he could, at his bidding, summon together the no less malignant spirits of the woods, who fell upon our sleeping hamlets with the fury of demons. And whether at Johnson Hall or Niagara, at Cherry Valley or Schoharie, on the waters of the Oriskany or the Chemung, he was the ruling and informing spirit of the contest.
Such was the power he wielded as commander of a most effective body of light troops (for such are all Indian warriors), who were supported by large and well appointed armies, that, like the electric flashes of the boding storm, he preceded the heavier outbreak by sounding aloud the wild notes of terror and dismay. It was in this manner, that his name became a talisman on the frontiers, to conjure up deeds of evil, and in this way also, doubtless, it became loaded with reproaches, some of which, as the author has denoted, were due to other actors in the contest. It is difficult, however, to disturb the judgments of a preceding age, on the character of individuals who have long passed off the stage of action, whether those judgments be favorable or unfavorable ; and it is, in fact, impossible to reverse them. It is only necessary to glace backward a short way, on the track of biography, to perceive that posterity never revises the opinions once put on individual character, heroic or literary. It tries to forget all it can, and every body it can, and never remembers a long time any name which it is possible to forget. It is willing, we should infer, to concede something to the great men among barbarian nations, whose names have often burst upon civilized society with the fearful attractions of the meteor, or the comet, producing admiration in the beholders, without stopping to inquire the true cause. Such were the Tamerlanes, and the Tippoo Saibs of the eastern world, of a prior age, as well as the Mehemet Alis and Abdel Kaders of the present. And such were, also, with reduced means of action, numbers of the American aboriginal chiefs, who, between the days of Manco Capae and Mieanopy have figured in the history of the western world. Most of these men owe their celebrity to the mere fact of their having dazzled or astounded, or like Brant himself, excited the terror of those who opposed them. In the case of the latter, a change of opinion in those particular traits which affect his humanity, is less readily made, from the fact, yet generally remembered, that he had received a Christian education ; that he was, while a mere boy, received into the best society, acquired the English language, and had been instructed, first at a New England academy, and afterwards at one of its most practically efficient colleges. Posterity holds the Mohawk chief responsible to have carried the precepts thus obtained into the forest, and to have diffused their blessings among those who had perhaps his bravery, without his talents or his knowledge. Those who fought against him were ill qualified, we confess, to be his judges. He had not only espoused the wrong cause, wrong because it was adverse to the progress of national freedom and those very principles his people contended for, but he battled for it with a master's hand, and made the force of his energy felt, as the author has more fully indicated than was before known, from the banks of the Mohawk and the Niagara, to the Ohio, the Miami, and the Wabash. Yet, if there was error in the extent to which he failed to carry the precepts of civilization and Christianity, it was meet it should be pointed out, although it will also be admitted, the public have a right to look for the strongest of these proofs of a kind and benevolent feeling towards his open enemies, out of the range of his domestic circle. His family had carried the incipient principles of civilization, which he gave them, too high-they had exhibited to the next age, a too prominent example of cultivation and refinement in every sense-not to feel deeply the obloquy cast upon his name, by the poetic spirit of the times ; and not to wish that one who had, in verity, so many high and noble qualities, both in the council and the field, should also be without a spot on his humanity. We deem the feeling as honorable to all who have the blood of the chieftain in their veins as it is praise-worthy in his biographer. We cannot, however, consent to forget, that historical truth is very severe in its requisitions, and is not to be put off, by friend or foe, with hearsay testimony, or plausible surmises.
Brant cannot, like Xicotencal, be accused of having joined the invaders of his country, who were recklessly resolved upon its subjugation ; but he overlooked the fact, that both the invader and the invaded in the long and bloody border warfare of the revolution, were, in all that constitutes character, the same people. They were of the same blood and lineage, spoke the same language, had the same laws and customs, and the same literature and religion, and he failed to see that the only real point of difference between them was, who should wield the sceptre. Whichever party gained the day in such a contest, letters and Christianity must triumph, and as the inevitable result, barbarism, must decline, and the power of the Indian nation fall.
In Brant, barbarism and civilization evinced a strong and singular contest. He was at one moment a savage, and at another a civilian, at one moment cruel, and at another humane, and he exhibited, throughout all the heroic period of his career, a constant vacillation and struggle between good and bad, noble and ignoble feelings, and, as one or the other got the mastery, he was an angel of mercy, or a demon of destruction. In this respect, his character does not essentially vary from that which has been found to mark the other leading red men who, from Philip to Osceola, have appeared on the stage of action. Like them, his reasoning faculties were far less developed than his physical perceptions. And to attempt to follow or find anything like a fixed principle of humanity, basing itself on the higher obligations that sway the human breast, would, we fear, become a search after that which had no existence in his mind; or if the germ was there, it was too feeble to become predominant. We do not think it necessary, in commenting on his life,- to enter into any nice train of reasoning or motives to account for this characteristic, or to reconcile cruelties of the most shocking kind, when contrasted with traits of mildness and urbanity. They were different moods of the man, and in running back over the eventful years of his life, it becomes clear, that civilization had never so completely gained the mastery over his mind and heart, as not to desert him, without notice, the moment he heard the sound of the war-whoop. The fact that he could use the pen, supplied no insuperable motive against his wielding- the war club. His tomahawk and his Testament lay on the same shelf. The worst trait in his character is revealed in his tardiness to execute acts of purposed mercy. There was too often some impediment, which served as an excuse, as when he had a ploughed field to cross to save Wells and his family, or a lame heel, or gave up the design altogether, as in the case of Wisner, whom he construed it into an act of mercy to tomahawk.
That he was, however, a man of an extraordinary firmness, courage and decision of character, is without doubt. But his fate and fortunes have not been such as to give much encouragement to chiefs of the native race in lending their influence to European, or Anglo-European powers, who may be engaged in hostilities against each other on this continent. Pontiac had realized this before him, and Tecumtha realized it after him. Neither attained the object he sought. One of these chiefs was assassinated, the other fell in battle, and Brant himself only survived the defeat of his cause, to fret out his latter days in vain attempts to obtain justice from the power which he had most loyally served, and greatly benefited. Had he been knighted at the close of the contest, instead of being shuffled from one great man to another, at home and abroad, it would have been an instance of a noble exercise of that power. But George III. seemed to have been fated, at all points, neither to do justice to his friends nor his enemies.
Such was Brant, or Thayendanegea, symbollically; the Band of his tribe,* to whose lot it has fallen to act a more distinguished part in the Colonies, as a consummate warrior, than any other aboriginal chieftain who has arisen. And his memory was well worthy of the elaborate work in which his biographer has presented him, in the most favourable points of view, amidst a comprehensive history of the border wars of the revolution, without, however, concealing atrocities of which he was, perhaps sometimes unwillingly, the agent.
A word, and but a word, will he added, as to some points connected with this chief's character, which are not in coincidence with the generally received opinion, or are now first introduced by way of palliation, or vindication. We confess, that so far as the presence or absence of the Great Mohawk in the massacre of Wyoming, is concerned, the statements are
* The name is usually translated, two-sticks tied, or united.
either inconclusive, or less satisfactory than could, be wished. There was quite too much feeling sometimes evinced, by his family, and particularly his son John, to permit us to receive the new version of the statement without some grains of allowance. An investigation is instituted, by Col. Stone as to the immediate ancestry of Brant, and much importance is attached to the inquiry, whether he was descended from a line of hereditary chiefs. We think the testimony adverse to such a supposition, and it affords no unequivocal proof of talents, that notwithstanding such an adventitious circumstance, certainly without being of the line of ruling chiefs, he elevated himself to be, not only the head chief and leader of his tribe, but of the Six Nations. Courtesy and popular will attach the title of chief or sachem to men of talents, courage or eloquence among our tribes generally ; and while mere descent would devolve it upon a chief's son, whatever might be his character, yet this fact alone would be of little import, and give him little influence, without abilities: whereas abilities alone are found to raise men of note to the chieftainship, among all the North American tribes, whose customs and character are known.
It has constituted no part of our object, in these general outlines, to examine minor points of the biography or history, upon which the information or the conclusions are not so satisfactory as could be wished, or which may, indeed, be at variance with our opinions. One fact, however, connected with this name, it is not deemed proper to pass sub silentio. Brant is made to take a part in the Pontiac war, a contest arising on the fall of the French power in Canada in 1759, and which closed in 1763. Brant was at its close but twenty-one years of age, and had not, it is probable, finally returned from his New England tutors. At any rate, there is no reason to suppose, that, at that early period of his life and his influence, he could have had any participation in the events of that war.
In the life of Red Jacket, or Sagoyewata, we have a different order of Indian intellect brought to view. He was an orator and a diplomatist, and was at no period of his life noted, for his skill as a warrior. Nay, there are indubitable proofs that his personal courage could not always be "screwed up to the sticking point." But in native intellect, he was even superior to Brant. He was, indeed, the Brant of the council, and often came down upon his opponents with bursts of eloquence, trains of argument, or rhapsodies of thought, which were irresistible. And of him, it may be symbolically said, that his tongue was his tomahawk, and the grandiloquent vocabulary of the Seneca language, his war-club. Nor has any native chieftain wielded the weapon to more purpose, or with a longer continued effect than the great Seneca orator. The specimens of his eloquence which have appeared in our newspapers for forty years or more, are still fresh in the memory, and it was due and meet that these should be collected and preserved in a permanent shape, together with such particulars of his life and career as could be obtained. This task has been performed by Col. Stone, in a manner which leaves nothing more to be attempted on the subject. Much zeal and industry have been evinced in eliciting facts from every quarter where it was probable information could be had. And he has brought together a body of contemporaneous proofs and reminiscences, touching this chief, which a few years would have put beyond the power of recovery, and which a position less prominent than he occupied as a public journalist, might have rendered it difficult for another to collect. We need only refer to the names of Gen. P. B. Porter, Rev. J. Breckenridge, Mr. Parish, and Mr. Hosmer, to show the character of this part of his materials.
Other chiefs of the native stock, have produced occasional pieces of eloquence, or admired oratory, but Red-Jacket is the only prominent individual who has devoted his whole career to it. That he did, indeed, excel, producing effects which no reported speech of his ever equalled or did justice to, there are still many living to attest. In the question of land sales, which arose between the white and red races, there were frequent occasions to bring him out. And these, in the end, assumed a complicated shape, from either the vague nature, or ill understood conditions of prior grants. In all these discussions, he preserved a unity and consistency in the set of opinions he had adopted. He was opposed to further sales, to removal, to civilization, and to the introduction of Christianity among his people. What Brant had done in politics, Red-Jacket repeated in morals. Both took the wrong side, and both failed. But it is to be said of the Seneca orator, that he did not live to see the final defeat of that course of policy which he had so long and so ably advocated.
It was remarked by Mr. Clinton, and the fact had impressed others, that the Iroquois, or Six Nations, excelled the other natives in eloquence. Of this, their history, during the Supremacy of Holland and England in New York, as given by Colden, furnishes ample proofs. The speech of Garangula, against the Governor General of Canada and his wily policy, is unexcelled, as a whole, by anything which even Red-Jacket has left in print, though much of the effect of it is due to the superior and heroic position occupied by the tribes for whom he spoke. Logan, unexcelled by all others for his pathos and simplicity, it must be remembered, was also of this stock,-Mingo, or Mengwe, as the Delawares pronounced it, being but a generic term for Iroquois ; so that the transmission of this trait, from the proud era of the Iroquois confederacy down to modern days, is quite in keeping with the opinion quoted.
It is to be wished that Col. Stone would supply another link in the chain of Iroquois history, by favoring the public with the life of the noted Oneida chief, Shenandoah, for which materials must exist in the Kirkland family.
The lives of the two men, Uncas and Miontonimo,. whose leading acts lie described in one of the volumes named in our caption belong to an earlier period of history, and a different theatre of action. The scene changes from western New York to the seaboard of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and, to some extent, Massachusetts. Uncas was the good genius, the tutelary spirit, if we may so say, of the colony of Connecticut; and the best monument which that State could erect to his memory, would be to change the unmeaning and worn out name of one of her counties, New London, for that of the noble and friendly chief, of whose forest kingdom it once formed a part. From the first day that the English colonists set foot within it, to the hour of his death, Uncas was the unwavering " friend of the white man," as his biographer justly calls him. He was of that race, whom history has, without making a particle of allowance for savage ignorance and hereditary prejudice, branded under the name of Pequods. They were of that type of languages and lineage, which was very well characterized genetically, at least as far south as the original country of the Delawares; but which assumed a sub-type after crossing the Hudson, and was known east of that point under one of its superinduced forms, as the Mohegan. This term had been dropped by the Pequods, if it was ever their specific cognomen, but it is a proof, and we think a very conclusive proof, of the yet freshly remembered affiliation with Taminund* and the Manhattans, that Uncas, the moment he revolted from King Sassacus, assumed the name of a Mohegan, and put himself at the head of that tribe, as it then existed within the boundaries of Connecticut. Or rather, he constituted the revolted Pequods a new tribe, under an old and respected name, and he thus laid the foundation of the Uncas dynasty. Placed thus by circumstances in a position in which he sought an alliance with the early colonists; and finding his security in theirs, he was in fact the only leading chief of the times who, really, heartily, and faithfully sought their prosperity and growth to the end. The rise of Uncas and Connecticut thus began at one era ; and as the alliance was founded on mutual interest and safety, it only grew stronger with time. A man of less force of character or natural sagacity than Uncas, would have vacillated when he saw the colonists becoming more powerful and himself more weak as years rolled on, and would have been seduced to enter into alliances for arresting the white man's power, as other native chiefs had done. But all history concurs in showing that, under every circumstance, and there were many of the most trying kind, he carried himself well, and avoided even a suspicion of his fidelity.
Uncas was well qualified for a ruler both in mind and person. He possessed a fine figure, over six feet in height, a commanding voice, and a noble bearing. He was mild yet dignified in his manners. He was not
* The name of this chief is Anglicised in the word Tammany.
only wise in council, but brave* in war, as he evinced in many instances, but particularly in the battle of Sachem's Plain, in which he proved himself the bravest and most chivalrous of the brave. Yet his wisdom and moderation in governing- his people, and the well balanced justice and consistency of his character, give him a still higher reputation, and establish his best claim to remembrance. In all the trials in which he was placed, in all the temptations he had to fly into a rage, and act out the savage, he sustained this character for wise deliberation ; and by adhering to his first covenant with the English, and laying all his plans and grievances before the colonial courts, he raised himself in strength and reputation, and finally triumphed, first over Sassacus, and then over Miontonimo, the two greatest and most powerful of his immediate contemporaries.
If Uncas was the patron of Connecticut, Miontonimo, with his family of the Narragansett chiefdom, was equally so of Rhode Island. And it is from this obvious fact, probably, in part, that we find the historical notices of him, from the last quarter, decidedly more favorable to his general character than those emanating from the land of his enemy and his conqueror, Uncas. While there is no disagreement as to any historical fact of note, it is natural that some little shade of feeling of this nature should remain. We have noticed a similar feeling with respect to existing tribes and chiefs, in the western world, where the inhabitants never fail to be imbued with those peculiar notions and traditions of the particular tribe about them, which represent the latter as the principal nation, and invest them with tribal traits of superiority. It is a feeling which leans to the better side of one's nature, and does honor to men's hearts ; but the historian is obliged to look at such questions with a colder eye, and can never abate a tittle of the truth, although he may run counter to this local sympathy and bias. We could name some remarkable instances of this prejudice, if we were willing to digress.
If Miontonimo be compared to Uncas, it will at once be seen that he lacked the latter's sagacity and firmness of character. Had the Narragansett listened to Sassacus, and formed a league with him, he would have crushed, for a time, the infant colony of Connecticut. This he declined, apparently, because it had the specific character of enabling Sassacus to put down Uncas. After the Pequod king had been defeated and
*The terms " brave" and " braves" used in a substantive sense, in this work, are neither English nor Indian. The Indian term should be translated strong-heart, its literal import ; for it is one of the general rules of these languages, that the operation of the adjective, as well as action of the verb, is uniformly marked upon the substantive-there being, indeed, different inflections of each substantive, to denote whether this operation or action be caused by a noble or ignoble, or an animate or inanimate object. Still the general use of the Canadian term Brave, on our Indian border, may give it some poetic claims to introduction into our vernacular, burthened as it already is with more objectionable Americanisms.
fled to the Mohawks, Miontonimo was left in a position to assume the Pequod's policy, and then tried to bring Uncas into just such a combination to fall on the colonists, as he had himself refused, when the proposition came from Sassacus. As Uncas not only refuged, but laid the scheme before his allies, Miontonimo went to war against him, with a large army. Uncas hastily prepared to meet him, with a smaller force. They met on Sachem's Plain, on the banks of the Shawtuckett Uncas, unwilling to see so many of his people slain in battle, nobly stepped forward and proposed a personal combat, to decide the question of who should rule, and who obey. It was declined, but the moment the reply was made, he threw himself on the plain, a signal, it seems, for his men to advance, and they came on with such an impulse, that he won the day and took Miontonimo prisoner. This capture was the act of one of his minor chiefs; but when his enemy was brought before him, he declined exercising his light of putting him to death, but determined to refer the matter to the, authorities of Hartford. There it was found to be a knotty question, and finally referred to the General Court at Boston. The Court strengthened itself with the opinions of six distinguished clergymen and several eminent civilians ; and then decided, that the Narragansett chief had justly forfeited " his life, by violating his political covenants with the colonies, but it might not be taken away by them. He must be remanded to Uncas, within his jurisdiction, and by him be executed; but it was enjoined, with a very poor compliment to the known mildness of the character of Uncas, that no needless cruelty should be practised. Here, then, the white man evinced less mercy than the red had done. Miontonimo was now released from his confinement, and conducted back to the very spot where he had first been taken prisoner, as he approached which, one of the Mohegans who accompanied him, keeping him in entire ignorance of his fate, raised his tomahawk as he walked behind him, and laid him dead at a blow.
Whether the moral responsibility of this execution rests with the court, or the executioner, we do not propose particularly to inquire, nor to ascertain to what degree it was shuffled off, by directing an Indian to commit an act which it was unlawful for a white man and a Christian to perform. Had Uncas slain his adversary in cold blood, after the action, the thing would have been in perfect accordance with Indian law. Had Miontonimo been a subject of either of the colonies of Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, and levied war, or committed any overt act of treason, his execution would have been in accordance with the laws of civilized nations. Neither condition happened. It was, however, felt, that the great disturber of the colonies, after Sassacus, had now been caught. He had violated his covenant by going to war without apprising them. They did not believe he would keep any future covenants. The moral sense of the community would not be shocked, but rather gratified by his execution. This point was strongly signified to the court. But they could not legally compass it. English law opposed it. The customs of civilized nations, in warring with each other, opposed it. Should a different rule be observed towards the aborigines 1 Did the dictates of sound judgment and common sense, did the precepts of Christianity,-aye, " there was the rub,"-did; the precepts of Christianity sanction it? On full deliberation,-for the question was not decided in haste,-neither of these points could be affirmatively answered. But while policy-the policy of expediency, the lust of power, and the offended moral sense of an exposed and suffering community demanded, as it was thought, the death of the sachem, still it was not found that one whom they had ever treated, and then viewed, as a foreign prince, legally considered, could be thus deprived of his life. Imprisonment was not, as a permanent policy, resolved on. There was one course left to escape both dilemmas, and to avoid all censure. It was to restore things to the precise footing they had before his surrender. It was to hand him back to Uncas, without the expression of any decision, leaving that chieftain to act as he deemed fit. They remanded him indeed, but went one step too far, by first deciding in a formal court, after months of deliberation, in the course of which the clergy and gentry, (this is a term that would be proper to the times) had been form ally consulted, and directed his death, stipulating only that he should not be killed with cruelty. If there was not something that smacks of the want of true and noble dealing in this-if it accorded with the bland precepts of Christianity, to do unto others as you would that others should do unto you-if the act did not, in fine, partake of the very spirit of Jesuitism in the worst sense in which the word has been adopted into the language, we have, we confess, formed a totally wrong idea of its meaning.
A case, in some respects similar to this, happened in modern times, which may be thought to contrast rather strongly with the above example of Puritan mercy. The reasons for a capital punishment, were, indeed, far more cogent, and the community called out strongly for it, and would have sustained it. It was the capture of Black Hawk, which, it will be recollected, took place during the first Presidential term of General Jackson. Black Hawk had levied war within the boundaries of one of the States, on lands ceded by treaty, and organized a confederacy of Indian tribes, which, though broken up in part, chiefly through the failure of the other tribes to fulfil their engagements with him, yet required for its suppression the entire disposable force of the Union. The Sac chief was finally captured on Indian territory, in the act of fleeing west of the Mississippi. He was imprisoned, and the case referred to the Government for decision. He had broken his treaty covenants. He had not only made war, but in its outbreak and its continuance, had been guilty of countenancing, at least, the most shocking barbarities. He had, indeed, opened the scene by cruelly murdering the agent of the Government, the representative of the President, in the person of Mr. St. Vrain. The community, the western States particularly, called loudly for his execution. There could be no security, it was said, if such a bloody fellow was allowed to roam at large. He had forfeited his life a thousand times. There was, indeed, the same popular feeling against him, which had existed in New England, one hundred and ninety years before; against Miontonimo. But could he have been legally executed? And if so, was it, indeed, the true policy ? Was it noble-was it high-minded ? Was it meting out exact and equal justice to men with red skins, as well as white? It was thought that all these questions must be negatively answered.; and the bold Sac insurgent was sent home, accompanied by an officer of the army, to secure his comfort and safety, and thus to see that a wise and merciful decision should be faithfully carried out, and popular indignation he prevented from wreaking itself, in the assassination of the chief.
In closing these remarks, it may appear selfish to express the hope, that Mr. Stone, to whom we are already indebted for these spirited, comprehensive, and well written volumes, should still further employ his pen in adding to the sum of these obligations. But he has so well studied the field in its historical hearing, so far at least as relates to the eastern department of the Union, that we know of no one to whom the labour would present less of the character of a task. We are in want of a good account of Philip, or Metacom, the energetic sachem of the Pokenokets, who impersonated so fully the wild Indian character, and views, and battled so stoutly against the occupancy of New England by the Saxon race. In showing up to modern times such a man, we think a biography would derive very deep interest, and it would certainly be a new experiment, to take up the aboriginal views and opinions of the invading race, and thus write, as it were, from within, instead of without the circle of warlike action. In this way, their combinations, efforts and power, would better appear, and redound more to the credit of the aboriginal actors, as warriors and heroes. As it is, history only alludes to them as conspirators, rebels, traitors, or culprits; as if the fact of their opposing the egress of civilized nations, who were in all respects wiser and better, were sufficient to blot out all their right and claim to the soil and sovereignty of the land of their forefathers, and they were in fact bound to stand back, and give it up noleits volens.
We had designed to subjoin a few remarks on the biographical labors of other writers in this department, particularly those of Thatcher and Drake, hut our limits are already exhausted, and we must abandon, or at least, defer it.
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