Abbildungen der Seite

ried, in pursuit of a favourite theory, be- river are less in the bosom of European yond the hounds of reason or proof; settlements, do they rise in character, and it would be equally unsafe to es, or rather remain with most features of pouse the opinion of either in'an unli- resemblance to the old fathers of their mited, degree. There are doubtless forests. The Indian people generally many vices from which ignorance will were, as is well known, our allies, in happily exempt the savage ; bnt there the late war in America; those dwelling are few virtues for which his sphere of in Lower Canada were entirely useless action can hold out either inclination as auxiliaries; the six nations higher up or opportunity. He may, in most in- in the country lying between the Lakes stances, be free from hypocrisy and Ontario and Huron, were of some serworldly insincerity, from the insanity of vice; but to the tribes at the head of avarice, and the baseness of ingratitude; Lake Erie, on the western shores of but sloth and intemperance, cruelty, Huron, and from thence towards the revenge, and treachery; all the dark pas. Mississippi, is the preservation of Upper sions of the human breast which are Canada in the first years of the war usually soothed and corrected by the mainly to be attributed, however little hand of education, are the tyrants of the fact has been commonly understood uncivilized communities. If we except in this country. There are some cir. courage and unbending fortitude, at- cumstances of a singular and highly intachment to tribe or country, and hos- teresting nature in the events which pitality to the stranger, it would be dif- arose from the assistance given by the ficult, we believe, to name any other Indians to our cause in that war; and good quality of human nature, in which as all who are acquainted with, Amerithe member of an enlightened popula- can history are of opinion that the tion is not eminently superior to the na- period is fast approaching, when the tive of a barbarous country. It might advance of European population will be imagined that with the advantages cause this peculiar portion of our spepossessed by the former it were only cies silently to disappear from the map necessary to bring the savage into con- of existence, some account of the extras tact with him, to graft on his simple ordinary and superior individual who nature all the benefits of cultivation had the greatest weight among them, without entire, loss of the few virtues and with whose life their actions were which original simplicity had given to of course interwoven, may not be unachim; but it is a melancholy truth that ceptable before they cease altogeiher to in almost all cases where the people of be known on the earth. Unhappily, newly discovered or uncultivated regions the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, by have been thrown into communication which we lost the opportunity of conwith Europeans, they have imbibed all necting their country with ours, and the worst vices of their instructors with- the avowed policy of the Americans, out receiving one virtue of civilized life that they “ shall be made to vanish bein exchange for those which they have fore the march of civilization, as snow lost by the intercourse. No race of before the sunbeain,” will put it out of men have furnished a stronger, or, for our power to obtain their aid on a future themselves, more fatal illustration of emergency.

arti this fact, than the Indians of North Among the tribe of the Shawanees America. It is impossible to conceive inhabiting the country about a hundred human nature lower in the scale of de miles to the south of Lake Michigan, pravity, than the few tribes who have there were two brothers, who, a few escaped extermination to live among the years before our war with the United Canadians and people of the United States, had gained great influence over States. Utterly sunken in filth and in their fellow-warriors by qualities usually temperance, they have not preserved most valued in sayage life. The one, one spark of the warlike spirit of their who had persuaded the tribe that he fathers, and resemble the hardy and un- possessed what in Scotland would have tameable bands who so long resisted the been termed second-sight, was known colonists of the New World, as little as among them by the name of the Prothe Sybarite did the Spartan; or as they phet, and seems at first to have been do the tribes who have still maintained the favourite of the two; the other, Tetheir independence and bravery in the cumthé, had without the aid of such incountry west of the Mississippi. Just spiration, raised himself to the situation in proportion as the different tribes who of a chief by his tricd hardihood, and extend from Montreal in Canada to that that natural superiority of genius which sometimes in civilized communities, the winter of that year, 1812-1813, some and almost always in a rude state of so- time after the surprise and entire deciety, will challenge deference from struction of General Winchester's corps, common minds. The tribe under direc- to which the Indians had eagerly contion of the Prophet ventured upon hos- tributed, Tecumthé and his Hurons tilities with their old enemy, the back joined General Procter, to take up the settlers of the States; and for some time hatchet with their British Father against carried on a most harassing contest the “ Long Knives," as they denomiagainst them after the Indian mode of nated the Americans. It was astonishwarfare. At length, however, lulled ing how soon it became evident that into security by confidence in the super- Tecumthé was the chief among chiefs natural powers of their Prophet, and of his countrymen; and that this man in neglecting that caution which is gene- some way possessed the secret of swayrally so marked a trait in the Indian ing them all to his purpose, though character, they were surprised by an without any formal authority, beyond American corps in the dead of night, on the warriors of his adopted tribe. The the banks of the Wabash, and almost number of Indian fighting-men who annihilated. It is probable that the had united with the British Commansurvivors were too few to preserve the der at Detroit in the spring of 1813, separate existence of a tribe, for Tecum- was near three thousand; a larger body thé, with a small number of warriors, of them than had been seen together in having escaped the massacre, joined the the memory of any of those assembled; Hurons, a friendly people, and came and Tecumthé was still the engine by down with them as their chief to the which they could be moved. His intelBritish troops when the war in Cana- ligent mind caught at once the advanda broke out. If it be recollected that tage to be derived from fixing them the Indian chiefs are almost always old with their families in the newly acquired men, and that the spirit of clanship is Michigan territory; and it was no sooner as strong among them as ever it could proposed to him, than the whole were have been in the Highlands of Scotland, settled in the district, which by its posiit will appear no small testimony to the tion gave strength to their confederacy superior qualities of Tecumthé, that be- with the British. As soon as the season fore he could have been forty years of permitted, a small force of regulars and age he should have appeared as the recog- militia, and the whole Indian body, were nised head of the Hurons, a tribe in which moved forward to attack the enemy, he was a stranger, and which is one of who were assembling a strong corps the finest bodies of the Indian people. at Fort Meigs, near the coast of Lake

The first operation of the Americans Erie; and, in the investment of that on the commencement of the war was station which followed, the Indians to collect a corps of between three and were eminently useful, by the strictness four thousand men for the invasion of with which they watched every motion Canada from the frontier at the head of of the garrison. The enemy attempted Lake Erie. Some of the Indian tribes to relieve the place by an attack from were already at war with the States, and without, aided by a sortie of the beothers hastened to join them when they sieged, and were repulsed with dreadful found a prospect of success from the slaughter, in which the Indians greatly co-operation of the British. They be- assisted. The garrison were, however, gan to collect in numbers in the coun- relieved in a manner which they could try behind Detroit, from whence Hull, not have anticipated; for the Indians, the American general, had already ad- loaded with plunder, and enriched by vanced in prosecution of the intended the prisoners they had taken, could not invasion; and the news of their motions be induced to continue the siege even seems at once to have paralyzed him. by the influence of their chief; and the He fell back into Detroit, and not dar- British General, with his handful of ing to attempt a retreat through the troops, was obliged to retire to his fronline on which they had assembled, he tier, after he had been weakened by remained passive until his surrender to a their return to their families. To secure few hundred British and Canadian mi- the lives of prisoners, it was customary litia. This event, and the occupation with the British to pay head-money for of the Michigan country, opened a di- every American delivered up in safety rect communication with the settle- by the Indians; and this measure was ments of the various tribes, rapidly pro- generally successful, though the Indians moted the alliance with them, and in could not help remarking, that to take en and let them live to fight another for their chief; "he is too fair and like a time, seemed a piece of egregious folly white man," was his reasonTecumthé The British and Indians moved forward was not deficient in affection for his a second time in the same summer, and son, but he had some prejudice of his again invested Fort Meigs, and after nation against a resemblance to the wards Sandusky, another fort near Lake European, the author of all their woes; Erie; but the force of troops and artif and he sacrificed his parental attaché lery was insufficient, and the Indians ment to what he considered the advanfound it hard to fight against people tage of his people. In battle Tecumthé who lived like ground hogs," or, in other was painted and equipped like the rest words, were strongly intrenched. At of his brethren; but otherwise his comSandasky, in particular, they shewed mon dress was a leathern frock descendno inclination to join in an assault uponing to his knees and confined at the the works, for their mode of warfare is waist by a belt; leggins and moccassins in bush-fighting alone; and the whole for the feet, of the same material, comforce returned once more to the fron- pleted his clothing. He was rather above tier. In the short period of inaction the middle stature, the general expreswhich followed, during the equipment sion of his features pleasing, and his eye of the flotilla on Lake Erie, there were fulf of fire and intelligence. Our fair many opportunities of observing the in- readers will not think that it detracted telligence of Tecumthé, whose support from Tecumthé's virtues, that upon one was so necessary to gain the consent of occasion, before several persons, he the Indians to any measure of expe- openly and keenly reproved an European diency, that he was frequently, accom- of the Indian department for ill usage panied by Colonel Elliott, the Indian of his wife. superintendant, or one of the officers of The exploits of a handful of British that department, brought to the General's troops had hitherto, in conjunction with table. "His habits and deportment were the Indians, protected the north-west perfectly free from whatever could give frontier of Canada against an enemy offence to the most delicate female ; he always numerically superior; but the readily and cheerfully accommodated period was approaching when the naval hinuself to all the novelties of his situa- efforts of the Americans on Lake Erie, tion, and seemed amused, without being and the neglect of the Governor General at all embarrassed by them. He could of the Canadas towards that division of never be induced to drink spiritous his command, were to turn the tide of liquor of any sort, though in other success. The British naval officer who respects he fed like every one else at the was at the head of the flotilla on that table. He said that in his early youth lake, was obliged to meet the enemy he had been greatly addicted to drunken- under every disadvantage, notwithstandness--the common vice of the Indian ing the little assistance which the exbut that he had found it was bad for ertions of General Procter were able to him; and had resolved never again to afford him; and the event that ensued taste any liquid but water. That an un- was the capture of the whole of the educated being could deny himself an English squadron, after an obstinate enindulgence of which he was passionately gagement. Upon this disaster, a retreat fond, and to which no disgrace was ata of the troops became unavoidable, to tached in the opinion of his associates, prevent the Americans landing a superior proves, we think, that he had views and force in their rear; and it was foreseen feelings to raise him above the level of that to induce the Indians to retire an unenlightened savage. He had pro- with them, and to quit their old haunts, bably anticipated the period when he would be attended with much difficulty. was to appear as the first man of his na. An assembly of their chiefs was, how. tion, and knew that intemperance would ever, held at Amherstburgh, where the disqualify him from holding such a sta- General, by the mouth of his interpre!' tion. He evinced little respect for the ter, opened the business to thein, and arts by which the Prophet had governed proposed their accompanying him in his his unfortunate tribe, and always spoke retrograde movement. The Indians of him as his foolish brother.” He were somewhat prepared to expect such had a son,-a youth about fourteen or ; an intention of withdrawing from that fifteen; but shortly before his fah,when frontiers, but they received the proposal her seemed to have a presentiment of with the greatest indignation, and conwhat was to occur,'he strongly enjoined, sidered the measure as a dusertion of his Hurons not to elect that young man, them.Tecumthé roser to reply to the New Monthly Mag.–No. 82. Vol. XIV.

3 X

interpreter, and nothing could be more prejudices and natural affection for the striking than the scene which then pre- : seat of their habitations, in less than seemed to wait with the deepest atten-cil, he had determined a large proportion

of tion for the delivery of his answer, of his nation to give their co-operation whilst, holding in his

hands a belt of to the step, of all others, which they had wampum, or beads which, by their most violently opposed. The close of colours and arrangement, form the In- Tecumthé's mortal career was now at dian record for past events, from the hand ; and after some days of retreat association of idea produced on seeing before many thousand Americans, the them,-he proceeded to address the Bri- resolution was taken of giving them tish General in a torrent of vehement battle on advantageous ground on the and pathetic appeal, for which the wild river Thames. The spot chosen was a oratory of savage tribes is often so re- position crossing the road towards Lake markable. His speech, of which a Ontario, and resting on the river. The translation was preserved, is too long British were here drawn up in open for insertion in this place. The chief files in a straggling wood, which prebegan by recalling from his wampum vented any attack upon them in regular the events of the war in which they order; their left secured by the river, a were engaged ; and alluded, in a strain gun flanking the road, and their right of violent invective, to a circumstance extending towards the Indians, who twenty years before, wherein the Indians were posted where the wood thickened, conceived that the British, after en so as to form a retiring-angle with them, couraging them to hostility against the and to turn the enemy's Hank on their Americans, had deserted them in the advance. This disposition was shewa hour of need; and he inferred that there to Tecumthé, who expressed his sawas now a similar design. In the name tisfaction at it; and his last words to of his nation he positively refused to the General were—" Father, tell your consent to any retreat ; and closed his young men to be firm, and all will be denial with these words :-“ The Great well.” He then repaired to his people, Spirit gave the lands which we possess and harangued them before they were to our fathers ; if it be his will, our formed in their places. The small band bones shall whiten on the.n; but we of our regulars, discouraged by their rewill never quit them.” After Tecumthé's treat, and by the privations to which harangue was concluded, the council they had been long exposed, gave way broke up; and the British commander on ihe first advance of the enemy; and found himself placed, with the few no exertion of their commander could troops which composed his force, in a rally them. While they were thus most critical situation; for there was quickly routed, Tecumthe and his warevery reason to expect that the numer riors had almost as rapidly repulsed the ous Indians would not confine their enemy, and the Indians continued to indignation to a mere dissolution of push their advantage against them, in the alliance. To convince Tecumthé, ignorance of the disaster of their in a private interview, of the reason- allies, until their heroic chief fell by a ableness and necessity of retiring, seem- rifle-ball, and with him the spirit of his ed the only mode of extricating the followers, who were put to fight and little army from their dilemma; and it pursued with unrelenting slaughter. was attempted with success. In a room The Americans shewed their respect with Colonel Elliott and Tecumthé à for Tecumthé in full as barbarous a map of the country was produced, the manner as a hostile tribe of his owni first thing of the kind that the chief had nation could have done under the same ever seen; and he was in a very short circumstances. The skin was flayed time made to understand that if they re from his lifeless corpse, and made into mained in their present position they razor-straps, one of which the late Mr. must be infallibly surrounded by the Clay of Virginia, a member of the Ameenemy. It was only necessary to per- rican legislature, prided himself in posa suade the reason of Tecumthé to ensure, sessing: -Who, in contemplating the his consent, and he undertook to pre- life and death of this untutored savage, vail on the tribes to embrace the measure can forbear the reflection, that he only which he now, saw to be unavoidable. wanted a nobler sphere, and the light It was one more example of his talent of education, to have left a name of and influence, that in spite of all their brilliant renown in the annals of nations?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]




(100) Deti ,,!? NOCTES Articæ.-- REVERIESI IN AGARRET.



Nubes et inania captat.

is levelled, the force of it is in a great 1. Dean Swift, it is said, once recom measure, if not totally, defeated. The mended Gray to write Pastorals, and lay obstinacy of the refractory part of his the scene in Newgate. My Lord B. audience is encouraged by the idea that seems to have improved on this scheme, he cannot call in the constable. The when he describes his heroes ; for the same kind of cunning may be observed reader cannot doubt that his lordship's in a parcel of pigs who have broken into characters would find appropriate lodg- 'your inclosure : all the noise which in, ings in Newgate, and proceed froin dignation may prompt you to make, will thence, in due time, to the place of exe- be of no avail while these crafty obsticution, according to the decisions of the nate offenders are aware that a wall, a best judges of their merits.

hedge, or a high paling, prevents your

visiting them with a dog or a whip. ERRONEOUS TRANSLATIONS. When we see Cicero's familiar letters, who would suppose that they meant

There certainly is an art in quarrelCicero's Letters to his Friends ? or, ling-a species of generalship, which who, in reading Marmontel's “Moral teaches a man the policy of sounding a Tales, would not suppose that the retreat when he cannot make good his French author had signalized himself

, charge. Such men can bid their obelike Seneca or Johnson, by his moral dient passions go so far and no farther ; discourses, instead of tales descriptive of

whilst man unused to quarrelling manners, which is the real meaning of plunges at once into uncontroulable fury Contes Moraux.


upon his antagonist, who, if he belong to the former class, becomes all on a

sudden quiet and composed, so that the An eminent antiquary (the late learn- unskilful quarreller appears the more ed Dean Vincent) informed me that tigious of the two. the sign of the Swan with two Necks was The great secretary of rature has given a remarkable instance of ignorance and us most excellent advice on this suberror. The swan, observed this eminent ject :scholar, is a royal bird, and to mark him as such, two nicks in the soft membrane Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in, of the bill are cut, that, should he be Bear it, that the opposed may beware of thee." stolen, or wandering, he might be re

Shakspeare's Hamlet, cognized. The misrepresenting of this beautiful bird with two necks has long astonished the eye of the public, and up- into the window of my garret ;, ! la

After a warm day the moon shone held the old proverb, that two heads are better than one.

mented the sun's absence most feelingly. I had been reading Homer all day, and

my mind was full of the comparison of Homer says, that Minerva taught

the Greek and Roman poets.

“ HoDiomede to distinguish the gods from mer,” said I, " is the sun, and Virgil mortal men. I cannot help thinking the moon, a cool and reflected light. It that tuft-hunters derive the same advan- was a simile founded on bodily feeling tage from self-interest and vanity which as well as that of mind. In reading the Goddess of Wisdom bestowed on Virgil I want the sun's warmth.” her favourite hero. What a distinction

LIBERTY, OR MODERN PATRIOTS. do these men make between the opulent and the noble and persons of no

The great asserters of liberty are very rank or property! Of the former

they often observed to be great tyrants in their seem very desirous of making, gods, by Cato listens to his own applause ;”

own families and little societies, "where superhuman flattery and submission !

and this fact is to many a cause of wonPREACHING.

der. The solution of this phenomeAs the pulpit orator has no power of non is easy and obvious. These patriots inflicting a penalty on the offenders are so fond of liberty, that they wish to against whom the severity of his lecture monopolize it all to ihemselves.




« ZurückWeiter »