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is a short and splendid specimen of nature's eloquence, which has its fountain in the heart, and irresistibly returns to it. The labours of the lamp have produced nothing which more effectually answers the purpose for which it was intended. It appeals directly to the feelings; the simplicity of its sad complaint is overwhelming, and its wild, determined, but provoked avowal, is not, upon human principles, to be combated. There is something to me extremely interesting in (if I may so term it) the retrogradation of the American Indians upon their woods and wildernesses. Their remonstrances, their treaties, their talks, their conferences, their occasional denunciations, and the thousand plans and stratagems by which they hope to arrest the progress of the "white man" upon their territory, are most curious. They exhibit, on the one hand, the matured device, and ingenious frauds of civilized rapacity; and, on the other, the natural alarm of a primitive people, too guileless to negotiate, too feeble to avert, but still too conscious of its injustice to submit, without a struggle, to the deprivation of their beloved inheritance. The perusal of this fragment of Lord Erskine's set me upon the search after more. Fortunately, through the kindness of an American friend, I have been enabled not only to collect some Indian anecdotes, but also some specimens of their eloquence, which almost deserve, like the speech in question, to be improved by the recitation of the orator of England. The following address was made in the Council Arbour at Portage, by the chief of an American tribe of Indians, to the first commissioner of the United States. In order to understand it clearly, it is necessary to explain the circumstances under which it was spoken. A conference of several suspected tribes had been solicited by the American, not in order either to accuse or negotiate, but as an evidence of their good faith and sincerity. The tribes met, and the ambassador, forgetting the purport and stipulations of their conference, immediately poured out his suspicions, and, in the most
violent and indignant terms, denounced as traitors all who could meditate an infraction of the treaties which had been so solemnly ratified with the United States. The first chief who answered betrayed every consciousness of guilt; he trembled like an aspen leaf, and seemed scarcely able to articulate. Immediately after him "Black Thunder," the celebrated patriarch of the For tribe of Indians, addressed the commissioner. His mind had never meditated the slightest treachery, but he suspected that the accusation was merely a pretence, and a prelude to a further encroachment on his patrimony. He was indignant both at the suspicions which were avowed, and at the timid consciousness with which his predecessor had met them, and with a firm and manly dignity, he replied to the commis
"My father, restrain your feelings, and hear calmly what I shall say. I shall say it plainly. I shall not speak with fear and trembling. feel no fear; for I have no cause to fear. I have never injured you; and innocence can feel no fear. I turn to you all, red skins and white skins-where is the man who will appear as my accuser? Father, I understand not clearly how things are working. I have just been set at liberty; am I again to be plunged into bondage? Frowns are all around me; but I am incapable of change. You, perhaps, may be ignorant of what I tell you, but it is a truth, which I call heaven and earth to witness. It is a fact which can easily be proved, that I have been assailed in almost every possible way, that pride, fear, feeling, or interest can touch me-that I have been pushed to the last to raise the tomahawk against you; but all in vain. I never could be made to feel that you were my enemy. If this be the conduct of an enemy, I shall never be your friend.
"You are acquainted, my father, with my removal above Prairie des Chiens. I went, and formed a settlement, and called my warriors around me. We took counsel, and from that counsel we never have departed. We smoked, and resolved to make common cause with the United States. I sent you the pipe-it resembled this; and I sent it by the Missouri, that the Indians of the Mississippi might not know what we were doing. You received it. I then told you that your friends should be my friends-that your enemies should be my enemies -and that I only awaited your signal to make war. If this be the conduct of an enemy, I shall never be your friend. Why do I tell you this? Because it is a truth, and a melancholy truth, that the good
things which men do are often buried in the ground, while their evil deeds are stripped naked, and exposed to the world*.
My father, when I came here, I came to you in friendship. I little thought I should have to defend myself. I have no defence to make. If I was guilty, I should have come prepared; but I have ever held you by the hand, and I am come without excuses. If I had fought against you, I would have told you so; but I have nothing now to say here in your councils, except to repeat what I said before to my great father, the president of your nation. You heard it, and no doubt remember it. It was simply this :-- My lands can never be surrendered; I was cheated, and basely cheated, in the contract; I will not surrender my country but with my life.
Again I call heaven and earth to witness, and I smoke this pipe in evidence of my sincerity. If you are sincere, you will receive it from me. My only desire is, that we should smoke it together-that I should grasp your sacred hand, and claim for myself and my tribe the protection of your country. When this pipe touches your lip, may it operate as a blessing upon all my tribe-may the smoke rise like a cloud, and carry away with it all the animosities which have arisen between us.
Considering this speech to have been, what it appears to be, totally unpremeditated, there is a singular strength and simplicity about it. We find that the American Christian missionaries have sometimes succeeded in converting the most celebrated chieftains of the tribes; thus, in some degree, making a compensation for the less peaceful incursions of their military brethren. Among the most remarkable of their converts was the Oneida warrior, Skenaudoh, who died not very long ago at his castle, in the United es, at the advanced age of one hundred and ten years. He was the convert of Mr. Kirkland, who had undertaken a mission to his tribe; and, after a youth addicted to war and drunkenness, and all the vices incidental to barbarism, he became thoroughly reformed, and lived and died an honour to the Christian religion. His conversion from the crying sin, not only of savage, but, if we are to credit Mr.
• The coincidence between this passage and the celebrated one from Shakspeare is very remarkable:
"The evil that men do lives after them,
Cobbett, of civilised America also, carries about it something of a noble and peculiar character. As the chieftain of his tribe, he was, in the year 1775, present at a treaty made in Albany, and fell at night into one of his usual debauches; next morning, on awaking, he found himself in the street, stripped of all his ornaments, and even the insignia of his chieftainship. From that hour he was never seen intoxicated. Perhaps all the moral eloquence which was ever uttered could not have had such an effect as this consciousness of self-degradation. Skenaudoh was one of the ablest Indians that ever appeared in North America; and if the colonies feared him with justice before the Revolution, they had a right to forgive him, in consequence of his conduct during it. His principle was, that on every occasion the rights of the natives of a country should be defended. This, which in the first instance led him to oppose the Anglo-Americans, induced him afterwards to unite with them, when what he considered a still more foreign stock landed as its invaders. The colonists he would have exterminated, he could; but still a succession of generations had infused some of the "red men's" blood into their veins, and he preferred them on this account to the British, who had reason to regret the preference during the revolutionary warfare. The United States honoured him with a public funeral, and the Indians gave him the appellation of the "white man's friend;" for, though a tornado in war, he was the "zephyr in peace," and fully capable of the warmest friendship. About a month before his death, in reference to his long life and the solitude in which age unfortunately leaves us, he most beautifully and pathetically said :
"I am an aged hemlock; the winds of an hundred winters have whistled through my branches; I am dead at the top. ration to which I belong has run away and left me. Why I live, the great good Spirit only knows. Pray to my Jesus, that I may have patience to wait for my appointed time to die."
That appointed time was soon to come, and his last desire was to be buried by the side of the pious mis
sionary by whom he had been converted. Surely Ske→ naudoh has at least redeemed himself from the motto which we have selected from the immortal satirist whose sweet lines are prefixed to this communication. -The following is in a different style: it is the ferocious, but firm, defiance of the chieftain of the Creek nation, to the general who had captured him:—
"I fought against you at Fort Mimms. I fought against you at Georgia. I did you all the injury I could. Had not treachery left me desolate, I would have done you more. The warriors who were faithful all died by my side-they died in battle. I mourn over their loss, but they are gone to glory. I am their chief-a captive, but a soldier, Do your utmost-I shall not disgrace their memories !"
Our readers are aware that words like these, coming from an Indian captive, are not words of course. They mean what they say; and when the fires of death are blazing, and the torture is anticipating their effect upon the victim, his placid smile exhibits their impotence upon a spirit whose endurance is the prelude to his national canonization. One sigh, one struggle, would exclude him for ever from the tribe's respect and the hero's paradise; and his captivity affords him the most signal and most durable triumph over his enemies. A very fine instance of this heroism has been handed down in the person of the Virginian chief, Opechauchanough. Bold, artful, and insinuating; master alike of arms and intrigue, he kept the early settlers of Virginia in a state of continual alarm; and when so decrepit from age as to be unable to walk, he, from the litter in which he was borne, directed the onset and retreat of his warriors in the dreadful massacre of 1641, which almost exterminated the colony. At last, worn out, exhausted, and almost blind, he was taken prisoner, and carried to James Town, where he was mortally wounded by the less civilised savage who was appointed to guard him. To the last moment his courage remained unbroken. Like the staff of the prophet, it was his support alike in prosperity and adversity, in sickness and in death. His last words, indeed, proved this remarkably. Just as he was expiring, he heard an un