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ridge as rapidly as was consistent with a due regard to the shelter of their persons. The firing quickly commenced, and now for the first time they discovered that only two Indians were opposed to them. They had voluntarily sacrificed themselves for the safety of the main body, and had succeeded to delay pursuit until their friends could reach the mountains. One of them was instantly shot dead, and the other was badly wounded, as was evident from blood upon the blanket, as well as that which filled his tracks in the snow for a considerable distance. The pursuit was recommenced, and urged keenly until night, when the trail entered a running stream and was lost. On the following day the snow had melted, and every trace of the enemy was obliterated. This affair must be regarded as highly honorable to the skill, address, and activity of the Indians, and the self-devotion of the rear-guard is a lively instance of that magnanimity of which they are at times capable, and which is more remarkable in them, from the extreme caution and tender regard for their own lives which usually distinguishes the warriors.
The Lone Indian.* ---For many a returning autumn, a lone Indian was seen standing at the consecrated spot wo have mentioned ; but just thirty years after the death of Soonsetah, he was noticed for the last time. His step was then firm, and his figure erect, though he seemed old and way-worn. Age had not dimmed the fire of his eye, but an expression of deep melancholy had settled on his wrinkled brow. It was Pswoutonamo--he who had once been the Eagle of the Mohawk! He came to lie down and die beneath the broad oak which shadowed the grave of Sunny Eye. Alas, the white man had been there! The tree he had planted was dead; and the vine which had leaped so vigorously froin branch to branch, now yellow and withering, was falling to the ground. A deep groan burst from the soul of the savage. For thirty wearisome years he had watched that oak, with its twining tendrils. They were the only things left in the wide world for him to love, and they were gone! He looked abroad. The hunting land of his tribe was changed, like its chieftain. No light canoe shot down the river, like a bird upon the wing. The laden boat of the white man alone broke its smooth surface. The Englishman's road wound like a serpent around the banks of the Mohawk; and the iron hoof had so beaten down the war path, that a hawk's eye could not discover an Indian track. The last wigwam was destroyed; and the sun looked boldly down upon spots he had visited only by stealth during thousand and thousands of moons. The few remaining trees, clothed in the fantastic mourning of autumn; the long line of heavy clouds melting away before the coming sun; and the distant mountain, seen through the blue mist of departing twilight, alone remained as he had seen it in his boyhood. All things spoke a sad language to the heart of the desolate Indian. - Yes,” said he, “the young oak and the vine are like the Eagle and the
By Miss Francis.
Sunny Eye. They are cut down, torn and trampled on. The leaves are falling, and the clouds are scattered like my people. I wish I could once more see the trees standing thick, as they did when my mother held me to her bosom, and sung the warlike deeds of the Mohawks."
A mingled expression of grief and anger passed over his face, as he watched a loaded boat in its passage across the stream. “ The white man carries food to his wife and children, and he finds them in his home," said he; “ where is the squaw and the papoose of the red man? They are here !” As he spoke, he fixed his eye thoughtfully upon the grave. Atter a gloomy silence he again looked round upon the fair scene, with a wandering and troubled gaze. « The pale face may like it,” murmured he; “but an Indian cannot die here in peace." So saying, he broke his bow string, snapped his arrows, threw them on the burial place of his fathers, and departed forever.
An Indian Mother.-Extract from the third volume of Mr. Bancroft's History :-“If a mother lost her babe, she would cover it with bark, and envelope it in the softest beaver skins; at the burial she would put by its side its cradle, its beads; and its rattles; and, as a last service of maternal love, would draw milk from her bosom in a cup of bark, and burn it in the fire, that her infant might still find nourishment in the land of shades. Yet the new-born babe would be buried, not as usual on a scaffold, but by the way side, that so its spirit might secretly steal in the bosom of some passing matron, and be born again under happier auspices. On burying her daughter, the Chippewa mother adds, not snow shoes, beads, and moccasins only, but (sad emblems of woman's lot in the wilderness) the carrying belt and the paddle. " I know my daughter will be restored to ine,' she once said, as she clipped a lock of hair as a memorial; “by this lock of hair I shall discover her, for I shall take it with me," alluding to the day when she, 100, with her carrying belt and paddle and the little relic of her child, should pass through the grave to the dwelling place of her ancestors.”
Great battle in the Indian country. The following account of a great battle which was recently fought in the Indian country, between the U.S. troops and a large body of refugee negroes and Indians, we think, deserves a place here:
Large numbers of Indians, negroes, and mongrels, from Florida, have been placed upon the borders of Arkansas and Missouri. By a gentleman direct from Fori Leavenworth, we learn that some six hundred negroes from Florida, and runaways from the Choctaws and Cherokees, and from the whites, united with a few Indians, and perhaps a few white men, have been gradually associated in the fastnesses west of Arkansas. Not long since they reached high up Red river, and encamped for the purpose of hunting buffalo. They built a very tolerable fort with logs, surrounded with a ditch, to protect themselves against all dangers. They caught but few buffalo, and therefore, to supply their wants, invaded the possessions of the Choctaws, and carried off cattle, poultry, grain, &c. The Choctaws followed them, but finding their numbers and fortifications an overmatch, they retired, and sent to Fort Gibson for the United States dragoons. Captain Moore, of Company D, was sent to capture them with three companies of dragoons; but alter arriving upon the Red river, he found their entrenchments too strong and their number too great to venture an attack. He accordingly sent to Fort Towson, and was reinforced with a fine company of infantry, and a couple of pieces of cannon.
The cannon were shortly brought to bear upon the works, and soon made the splinters fly and the loys move so qucerly, that the refugees, at a signal, rushed outside of their fortifications and began to form upon the prairie in front of their works. Ere they fuily succeeded in doing so, Captain Moore and his gallant dragoons charged upon them at full gallop. The carnage that ensued is represented as terrificthe dragoons routed them in all directions, and, after putting large numbers to the sword, succeeded in capturing the whole body! The conduct of the dragoons is represented as worthy of all commendation as regards both skill and bravery. The bravery and numbers of the refugees availed absolutely nothing against the irresistible charge of the mounted dragoons.
This decisive blow will give security to that exposed portion of our frontier, and convince the refugee negrocs and Indians that our dragoons may not be trifled with. The loss of the dragoons was unknown.
Michigan and Wisconsin Border.--The following report made to the United States Senate by the officers of the Engineer corps, in relation to the survey of the boundary line between Michigan and Wisconsin, furnishes a description of the country bordering on this line, which no doubt will prove acceptable to every reader:
Lac Vieux Desert.--The country in the vicinity of this beautiful lake is called, in Chippewa language, Ka-ta-kit-te-kon, and the lake bears the same name. On south island there is an old potatoe planting ground; hence the appellation of " Vieux Desert," which, in mongrel French, means old planting ground.
About this favorite lake, and on its islands, the chief Ca-sha-o-sha takes up his summer residence; but, on the approach of winter, migrates with his band towards the south, following the deer for the winter hunt. Some of the hunters disperse themselves along down the Wisconsin river, and others down on the branch of the Menomonee called Mus-kos-se-pe.
Ca-sha-o-sha, who is one of the principal chiefs of the Chippewa confederacy, is shrewd and intelligent, and has considerable influence in the councils of his natton, although at the head of only a small band.
The Ka-ta-kit-te-kon Indians are far removed into the interior from white settlements on every side, and are consequently less debauched in their habits, and may be taken as a tolerably fair specimen of the Chippewa people—such as they were before the degrading process commenced. This band are social, not very obtrusive, but talkative, gay, and seemingly happy. They are of large, commanding stature, and of good deportment; they are well clothed and fed, and their women do not present that squalid, servile aspect, which is observable in some of the other northern tribes.
The Ka-ta-kit-te-kon country occupies a high level above Lakes Superior and Michigan, and abounds in small lakes, which constitute the heads of several rivers. The water of these small reservoirs, and
of the streams generally, is cold and limpid. Some of the lakes were • observed to contain the speckled trout-such as are generally met with in high latitudes in the United States. The scenery of these is beautiful, and the land adjacent to them is better than is generally believed. The country is not mountainous, but may be denominated “ rolling.” The growth of timber is tolerably heavy, consisting of white and yellow pine on the borders of the lakes; in some instances of cedar, fir, hemlock, and tamarack; and a little back of the lakes, of sugar maple, white maple, white and yellow birch, poplar, bass, and hemlock. The soil is of a nature to be adapted to the culture of wheat, rye, grass, oats, flax, hemp, and potatoes.
The manufacture of maple sugar is carried on to a considerable extent by the people of this region. Many of their “sugar bushes” were observed, and from the oldness of the marks upon the trees, the Indians must have known the art of extracting this luxury from their forests from an early date of their history.
Winter usually sets in about the 20th of October in the Ka-ta-kitte-kon region. This year, (1840,) from the 20th to the 28th of October, the mercury. in Fahrenheit's thermometer ranged as low as from nine to twelve degrees below freezing, and for several days during the latter part of October it was continually snowing. On the return of our party, Sandy Lake outlet had become so much frozen as to make it necessary to drag the canoes on the ice, and the ice was making very fast in all the lakes and streams; this on the very last days of October.
Brule river,--in Chippewa, We-sa-co-ta-se-pe.—The French voyagers have called this Brule (burnt), from the circumstance of the timber having been destroyed by fire adjacent to its banks, near its junction with the Menomonee.
The Brule is one of the principal head branches or tributaries of the Menomonee, and is that branch which comes nearest Laç Vieux Desert. It has a rapid current, and varies in width from eighty to one hundred and twenty feet. It has a rocky bed, and is generally so shallow as to render it difficult to ascend it with canoes of three hundred pounds burden, except in times of high water. The banks of the Brule, or We-sa-co-ta, are thickly studded with white cedar, fir, poplar, tamarack, white birch, and pine, for a great portion of its extent. So dense is the growth of timber immediately on the banks, that it is very difficult for one to work his way through it; and for many miles the cedars overhang the river on both sides, so as to lap
by each other, and there is barely room under the leaning trunks for the passage of a canoe.
The time of ascending this river from its mouth to Lake Brule, in canoes of three hundred pounds burden, is six days, supposing the water at a high stage, and the time of descending, with the canoes lightly loaded, is two days and a half. There are only two portages in the We-sa-co-ta; they occur near together, about ten miles above its contluence with the Menomonee. The first fall, in ascending, occurs at the meeting of the Me-squa-cum-me-cum with the We-saco-ta; at this portage the canoes, as well as the loading, have to be taken around the falls; at the upper portage the loading only is carried, the canoes are floated over the rapids.
Menomonee (Ne-ca-ne) river.—This river passes a large volume of water into Green bay at all seasons of the year, and yet is subject to very considerable variations in height, consequent upon fluctuations of its principal tributaries, which are themselves rivers of considerable size. These are We-co-ta-se-pe, Me-squa-cum-me-cum-se-pe, Peshe-cum-me-se-pe, and Mus-kos-se-pe.
The Pesh-e.cum-me enters the Menomonee immediately after tumbling over a perpendicular wall of rock of twenty-five feet in height. These falls burst upon the sight of a sudden, and present a highly picturesque feature. The route of the Pesh-e-cum-me is that which is sometimes taken in coming from Lake Superior to Green bay; but the great number of portages, and the difficulties attending the passage around the falls and rapids in this river, make this part of the route very laborious to the canoe-men; hence the route farther east, by the way of Bay de Noquet, is the one usually taken.
The Mus-kos-se-pe is so low in summer as to be unnavigable in any but the smallest canoes, and in some seasons it is almost dry. There are no lakes at its head, which is one reason of its low stages of water. This river is called, by some, Pine river.
The country adjacent to the upper part of the Menomonee, for about thirty miles on both sides, has an exceedingly desolate appearance; the timber, which was once pine, has been consumed by fire as far as the eye can reach all round on every side. The prospect is one of unbroken landscape of barren hills, studded here and there with charred pine stubs, with scarcely a living tree except the second growth of white birch and poplar.
The burnt district, in descending the Menomonee, terminates at the head of Quin-ne-sec falls, where there is a difficult portage of one and a half miles in extent. The total fall of water, from the upper to the lower pool, in this distance, is one hundred and thirty-four feet. This amount is divided into several chutes, with intervening rapids. The general aspect of this series of waterfalls is exceedingly picturesque; at every change of the point of view, new and varied beauties are perceived. But the low falls of the series is by far the most magnificent of all the cascades of the Menomonee; here the whole river is seen in terrible frenzy, dashing, in mighty masses of foam, over a perpendicular wall of rocks of forty feet in height.