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The scenery, for some miles immediately below these falls, is quite tranquil; the river is wide in many places six hundred feet-and dotted here and there with small islands bearing a heavy growth of timber.
Next in order the Little Quin-ne-sec falls occur, where the fall is about thirty-five feet, in extent of two hundred and fifty feet; and the total width of the river is only about eighty-five feet. Here the bed and banks are composed of slate rock. The name Quin-ne-sec is derived from what the Indians take to be smoke, which is of course · but the spray of minutely divided particles of water, dashing against the rocks.
After leaving Sandy portage, in descending the Menomonee, the falls all the way to its mouth are nothing more than chutes and various declivities. And here it may be remarked, that the idea hitherto entertained by some of there being such immense perpendicular falls on this river, as are recorded on some maps, is very erroneous. It is gravely stated that there are falls of over two hundred feet vertical.
Sturgeon falls, which come next below Sandy portage, have but thirteen and three-fourths feet fall in the extent of one thousand feet. Above these falls no sturgeon are found, but they collect in great quantities at the foot of the chute.
The scenery about these falls is picturesque, and the place is a resort for Indians; not so much, however, from a taste for scenery as for sturgeon.
Pe-me-ne falls are the next of note below Sturgeon falls. The total fall here is only eight and eighty-four hundredths in an extent of eight hundred and thirty-three feet, exclusive of the short rapid immediately above the principal chute.
September 25th, 1840, temperature at one P. M. ninety-six degrees, and for several days preceding and succeeding, the mercury ranged high.
Of the Menomonee river in general it may be said, that it is not navigable for any craft except canoes, owing to difficult rapids, shoals, and falls. The ascent of this river, with canoes containing three hundred pounds, is a task of incessant toil and danger, and, under the most favorable circumstances, requires fourteen days from its mouth to the entrance of the Pesh-e-cum-me with a party.
The ascent to the Brule, or We-sa-co-ta, is still more difficult and vexatious, owing to the shallowness of the water. It requires about six days, at high stages of water, to ascend from its mouth into Lake Brule; in time of low water it is useless to attempt the ascent. The time of descending from Lake Brule to the entrance into the Menomo. nee is three days and a half, with light loads and high water.
The banks of the Menomonee river, as well as its islands, from its mouth as far up as the Big Quin-ne-sec falls, are covered with an excellent growth of white and yellow pine timber.
The bed of the river throughout is exceedingly rocky. The stream does not overflow its banks, which are generally quite bold. The
valley of Menomonee contains much good land, and is much better than is generally supposed.
We copy the following Chapter on Indians from the New Yorker: -No white man probably visits the banks of Rock river without some speculations about its former inhabitants; and if others are like myself, the question has been a thousand times asked, how it were possible for any race of beings to keep possession of a country so long, and leave so sew traces of their former existence. A man may travel for weeks in the valley of Rock and Pecatonic rivers without once suspecting, if he did not know it before, that any other than its present inhabitants ever held possession of it. Mounds he would meet in plenty, but whether they were the work of man or nature he could not infer, nor would he draw any proof whatever without digging into them. Old corn-hills he would find in plenty, but they might be supposed to be only a natural roughness of surface. Their trails, which a few years since were the most frequent and evident of their remains, if by chance he should now find parts of them not grown up to weeds and obliterated, he would naturally enough suppose to be cow or deer paths. Tombs he would find few or none. To me it is melancholy to think how soon the poor fellows are forgotten, even here; and yet it is nothing more than is common to the world. How many of all the earth's population whom death removes are remembered? To one, however, who will examine, there are yet traces of the former lords of the soil. In the woods you will meet with some slumbering log, half covered with soil, leaves, and moss, whose end when cut will show yet that it was done by the hatchet, still resema bling a log at which some boy, in the apprenticeship of chopping, has hacked ;-again there will be evident the marks of a fire, kindled against some tree, the scar of which is not entirely grown over;beside another will stand an Indian's ladder, nearly decayed, which was made of a strong sapling well fledged with limbs, which were cut off about a foot from the trunk to form the steps, for the fellows sometimes found it necessary to war so far on their native indolence as to climb a tree, to pull off a raccoon or examine for bees,-for though they are indifferent hunters of the latter, they are as fond of honey as any of the devotees of Hymettus, and will hold an immense jollifi. cation over the prey of a well filled honey.comb. There are those here now who have chanced to come upon them in the woods on such occasions, and the most cordial and vociferous invitations were accorded to partake of what, if not a feast of reason, was a feast of stomach and a flow of soul.
As the wanderer comes out of the woods upon some high bank of the river, where a beautiful prospect offers of the winding stream, he will notice several poles bent in the form of a half rainbow, perhaps a few of them yet standing, and the rest so fallen as to show that they were once the prime of an Indian wigwam. Perhaps a little farther on he will notice four large stakes yet standing, about eight feet high, and five by three apart, across the tops of which are laid poles, on which rests the coffin containing a few bones. A few years since such a sarcophagus was erected on the west bank of Rock river, about two miles below the junction of the Pecatonic, wherein was laid an Indian girl. It remained until about a year since, when decay and the winds swept it away, and left nothing standing but the stakes on which it was reared, which are standing yet. The coffin was made by splitting a section of a hollow tree and taking one half of it, with a flat slab for the rib.
The Rock river country was a heaven for the Indians,—its high, dry prairies, reaching to the river's bank without marsh or slough,its plenty of game, -its numerable prints, agreeable to the eye, (for an Indian has an idea to that,) and its dry, bracing, and transparent air, formed so many attractions to the red lords, that they tore themselves away with the utmost regret, and when away, looked back with the most affectionate longing; nor did numbers of the Winnebagoes fail to visit it every season until their final removal last year. Now and then a strolling one, too mean for his tribe, still lingers, one of whom is now or was lately camped at a short distance from here, whose name in English is “Cut Tongue,” in allusion to his having lost a part of his tongue for some villany. Last spring he shot his sister and her husband with one bullet. Instances of mutilation are not uncommon, most of which, however, are the badges of personal pugnacity.
The Indian tribes are all alike in certain particulars; they are all indolent,—the distinction between meum and tuum is but poorly defined in their minds,-are all beggars,--and the word soap, I think, is found in none of their vocabularies,--and as to water, though they always linger about the banks of streams, I have no idea they are aware of the many uses to which it may be put. In other respects the different tribes differ widely; they differ in stature, in personal beauty, in bravery, and, in short, in all that forms the distinction between meanness and nobleness; for though, as I said, they are all prone to mistake another's for their own, yet the degrees to which this is carried differ immensely. Their languages, too, vary as much in smoothness as the jaw-cracking Russ does from the honied Italian.
In all that constitute the meaner traits of Indian character, I think the Winnebagoes will yield to few. Their average stature I should judge to be about five feet five or sis, with immensely broad faces and heads, in which a phrenologist might find all the predominance of the animal over the spiritual, if he wished to confirm his doctrines. I should think them much deficient in personal bravery. They are immensely fond of cards; and in love of joke, giggle, and fun, yield to none. I never saw two of them together, unless, perhaps, of the chiefs or old men, who were not continually cracking jokes upon each other. If one of them took up a knife he would dart it at his fellow, or point his gun at him to make him wink or dodge, both keeping up a laugh and chatter at the rude fun they were thus able to manufacture.
The Pottowatomies are much their superiors in every respect. One only needs to see them to be sensible of this. I once asked a young fellow, who by his form and bearing was evidently of another sort from his fellows, if he was a Winnebago, and he pronounced his “Chowin" (no) with an emphasis which showed he thought the question about a quarter of an insult. Not in the head of the most intellectual man or the most exquisite beauty have I ever seen an eye that would compare with some I have seen among the Pottowatomies, it is positively liquid lightning. The Winnebagoes are so . sensible of their own inferiority, that many of them will call themselves Pottowatomies when they think the deceit will pass.
In nothing do these two tribes differ more than in their languages; that of the Winnebagoes I can compare to nothing more apt than the cackling and chatter of a flock of hens while scratching their food on a sunshiny morning, especially when spoken by their squaws, or the lighter voices of the men. There is the same undistinguishable run of consonant sounds, with no places either to put in vowels or liquids, the same laughable nonchalance, as though they were made on pur. pose to rattle such noises; and were I to reduce either to written words,
I I would as soon take to the barn-yard. If one will listen to a flock of sheep as they run over a pasture of cobble stones, with now and then a spot of water, he can gain some idea of the manner in which a Winnebago's voice will run over the hard g’s and x's.
An Extract from the Life of Capt. Samuel Brady.--News having arrived at the camp of the spies, which was then upon what is called Wheeling creek, on the Virginia side of the river, that the Indians had been on that side, and had driven away a great number of caitle and horses, Brady determined upon pursuing them and endeavoring to find out their place of rendezvous. He selected six of his men and one pet Indian, and started from camp.
It was in the month of October, which being the beginning of the hunting season, they had not cause to take with them much provisions ; (as it had been previously remarked, the spies were all good hunters;) they crossed the river at the mouth of Wheeling creek, in their canoes, and pursued their course up what is now called Indian Wheeling creek (Ohio) until they thought they had got a sufficient distance from the river, then bending their course down the Ohio, examining every stream they crossed in their way, in order to find the trail of the Indians. Nothing of note happened on their march, until they struck the Muskingum river about (as has since been learned) forty or fifty miles from its mouth. They there discovered a trail that had been rnade by horses and cattle, a length of time before; thinking that it led to Sandusky, all concluded in giving up the chase and going in pursuit of more fresh game. Fortune, who seems always to give the spies an opportunity of exercising themselves, did not in this case disappoint them. On travelling down the river in order to make, if possible, some new discovery, they had gone perhaps about a mile, when the foremost of the company espied an Indian coming up the
river with a dead deer hopoused upon his back by a thong of dried deor skin, which was placed across his forehead and came down over his shoulders, so that the deer would rest upon his shoulders. It was determined by the company that he should (if possible) be taken prisoner. Brady commanded all the men to lie down where they then were, and sending a man by the name of Weitzel up the river about one hundred and fifty yards, he (Brady) was to wait until the Indian had passed by them a short distance, when he was to steal upon, and secure him and his load. The Indian was now within a short distance of them, and not aware of any danger, was jogging on slowly; no doubt he was oppressed with the weight of his load, as it afterwards turned out to be a very large deer. Brady let him pass by a short distance, when, with steps as light as a cat, he stole after him; when within a few feet of him he let out one of his most tremendous Indian yells; the Indian made a spring, when the strap, slipping from the forehead downwards, came upon his throat, and the weight of the deer brought him instantly to the ground, when Brady jumped upon him and secured him, until Weitzel (who had been placed upon the Indian's path, in order, is he escaped Brady, to shoot him, but not otherwise,) and the other men came up,—when they unarmed him, and having tied his hands, they went back some distance from the river, and having brought the Indian's buck with them, they encamped for that day and the following night. Brady knowing that one indian would not be alone in that country in the hunting season, endeavored himself, and through his pet Indian, to gain information of their prisoner, if there were any other Indians in the neighborhood. But so sullen was he through that day and all night, he would only answer by an unintelligible grunt. In the morning, no doubt, finding the numbers of men not increasing, and that he was kindly treated by those present, he began with the pet Indian and gave him what all thought a full and correct account; he told them that about two miles up the river on a small creek (as he marked out a draft of the country in the ashes, there was an encampment of six hunters, he being the sixth ; that they had with them only two horses, and they were going to stay there until the snow sell, when they were to move off a great way farther back. On receiving information, all agreed to go up and surprise the camp, and if they should succeed, they would load the horses with skins or other matters that they might find most valuable--and return home.
From the conduct of their prisoner, he being so very lively and apparently so accommodating as to be the conductor of his enemies into the camp of his friends, suspicion was raised in the minds of Brady and his men, that he either determined to betray them into the hands of his comrades, or otherwise was leading them wrong, and only waiting an opportunity to make his escape.
It so turned out that they were not wrong in their conjectures, as they had pursued their course but a short time when the Indian, who was no wise confined, but unarmed, made a spring from them, with a war-whoop; he was immediately shot down by one of the men. They