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Major Long, and the gentlemen associated with him in his two expeditions, have furnished much valuable matter on these topics. The statistical facts, which they haye reported, are highly valuable, and will be hereafter referred to, as important data in all general and comprehensive views, which may be taken of the then existing state of the Indians. laudable anxiety is manifested by these gentlemen, to procure and record every fact, which could aid them or their readers, in forming just conclusions on the various topics discussed in these works. But it is evident that they felt, and felt severely, the inconvenience of pursuing these speculations, even in the Indian country, without the aid of persons competent to interchange ideas between the red and the white man; and the history of the last expedition, particularly, should serve as a warning to future travellers, passing rapidly through the interior, against committing themselves by the discussion of questions affecting our aborigines, for a full consideration of which, much time, tedious and laborious investigations, and highly favorable opportunities, are essentially requisite. It is not every man, who has lost sight of the flag staff of an interior post, or who has seen a buffalo or a muskrat, that can add anything valuable to the immense stock of materials, which has been accumulating for more than three centuries.
The party under Major Long entered the Indian country, in the neighborhood of Fort Wayne, about the last of May, and left it in the beginning of October, at the Falls of St Mary. They traversed more than three thousand miles of interior country, between these points, and were occupied about four months in that part of their journey; a brief space, for the examination of the immense variety of objects, moral and physical, to which their researches were directed. Almost one third part of the history of the expedition is devoted to an account of the Indians, embracing the Sacs, the Potawatamies, the Sioux, and the Chippewas. This last tribe is at the head of the great Algonquin family of the French writers, and was formerly numerous and powerful ; extending, even now, in its various ramifications, from Lake Erie to the Eskimaux, who inhabit the borders of the Frozen Ocean. Cursory remarks are also introduced, on the Miamies, Kickapoos, Menominies, and Winebagoes.
The information, from which these accounts were digested and prepared, was furnished by a few Indians, half breeds and interpreters, whom they encountered upon their journey. These were, for the Potawatamies, Metea, a worthless drunken Potawatamie, and Barron, the interpreter at Fort Wayne, a weak, credulous man; for the Sacs, an Indian of that tribe; for the Sioux, Renville, a trader, who is connected with them by blood; and for the Chippewas, Bruce, a half breed, who speaks no English, and Tanner, who was taken by the Indians in early life, and speaks English very imperfectly. We know all these men well, except Bruce and the Sac Indian ; and we know, from our own intercourse with them, that liule reliance is to be placed on the judgment of some, and on the veracity of others. Renville is the most intelligent, and even his opinions must be received with great caution. By devoting ample time to the subject, valuable information might be exiracted from them, after their confidence was fully gained; and by personal observation and minute inquiries, true and fabulous statements might be separated. But every person, in the slightest degree acquainted with the credulity and prejudices of Indians and Indian interpreters, must know, that answers hastily given to numerous interrogatories, submitted by strangers, passing rapidly through the country, are entitled to very little credit. By some the questions would be misunderstood, and the subject by others; and the ceaseless jealousy and suspicion, which never leave an Indian, would lead to many a wilful misrepresentation.
Surely the intelligent gentlemen, who composed that expedition, will not demand from the readers of its history, their implicit belief in accounts thus collected and reported. The task would be ungrateful in itself, and peculiarly disagreeable to us, to point out the numerous errors of lact and opinion, into which they have been led. We must, however, in justice to our own national character, restrict the application of the contemptuous comparison, mentioned in the second volume, (p. 168,) to the sense in which it is used by the Chippewas. It is there stated, that when anything awkward or foolish is done, the Chippewas say, Wametegogin gegakepatese, which signifies, as stupid as a white man. The expression used on these occasions is, as stupid as a Frenchman.' Like Frenchman
fool. Ketchewa Waamitikozheengk aashee Kekeepauteseet. There is one remark in the work, so general in its application, that if not corrected, it may hereafter lead to important
errors in the investigation of the aflinities of the different tribes. It is said, the "Totem' is a distinguishing characteristic between the nations of the Algonquin family and those of the Sioux. The Potawatamies are stated, and correctly, to have the Totem, but not to be divided into tribes, designated by the names of animals, as is reported to be the case with the Missouri Indians, but they are distinguished merely from their local habitations. Now the Totem is the armorial badge or bearing of each tribe, into which the various nations are divided. It is the representation of the animal, from which the tribe is named. This is not the place to discuss the principles and objects of this institution. It is one of the most important in aboriginal polity, and its full developement would lead to new views and opinions. Its operation is felt in religious ceremonies, in the laws regulating marriages, and in the succession and election of civil, or, as they are called, Village Chiefs. If one of the tribes bas a right to furnish the Chief, the others have a right to elect him.
The tribes are named from the Eagle, the Hawk, the Beaver, the Buffalo, and from all the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air,' and the fishes of the rivers and lakes. The succession in the tribes is in the female line, and the figure of the sacred animal is the Totem, which every individual of the tribe affixes, whenever his mark is necessary, or wherever he wishes to leave a memorial of himself. This beloved symbol adheres to him in death, and is painted upon the post, which marks his grave. We consider it by no means certain, that the Sioux have no Totem. We have conversed witb Renville on this subject, and discussed it with him, and with Blondeau, a half breed Fox, perfectly well acquainted with the Mississippi Indians. Blondeau led us to believe, that the institution exists among the Sioux; although perhaps its primitive character and objects are changed, and his observations appeared to shake the opinion of Renville.
But it is certain, that the Totem is not confined to the Algonquin family. It is in full operation among the Wyandots and Iroquois, whose language is as different from that of the Algonquin Indians, as the latter is from the Sioux.
In dismissing this subject, we shall merely express the hope, that in any future similar undertaking, to which the gentlemen, engaged in this expedition may be called, they may carry to the task the same zeal, spirit, and intelligence, which they have already displayed, with more favorable opportunities for their exertion, and with at least a moderate portion of skepticism.
But we must conclude these remarks, which have already extended to an unreasonable length, and proceed to an examination of other works, especially Mr Heckewelder's, and those whose titles are prefixed to this article. From the subjects of which they respectively treat, we shall be naturally led to a consideration of the three great interesting topics, which relate to our Indians; namely, their past and present condition ; their languages; and the efforts, which have been and should be made, for their moral and physical melioration.
The American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, animated by a very laudable desire to place upon record all the information, within their reach, on topics connected with the Indians, instituted certain inquiries, the result of which is contained in the first volume of their Historical and Literary Transactions. This information is derived from Mr. Heckewelder, and consists of his general account of the Delaware tribe, contained in a series of chapters, and a partial analysis of the Delaware language, principally given in an epistolary form, in a correspondence between himself and Mr Duponceau, a distinguished member of the Society, in which correspondence the former is the teacher, and the latter presents himself as the scholar. This kind of written dialogue is liable to serious objections, in grave discussions, where the efforts of the writer, and the attention of the reader should remain unbroken. And notwithstanding the example of Horne Tooke, in the Diversions of Purley, we are prone to the belief, that a little more effort on the part of Mr Duponceau would have enabled him to remodel the correspondence, and combine his questions with the answers of Mr Heckewelder, in such a manner as sensibly to reduce the size of the book, and make a stronger impression on the reader.
Mr Heckewelder was a worthy, zealous Moravian Missionary, who devoted his life, and it was not a short one, to the great cause of Indian missions, and that with more zeal than effect, if we can judge from the character and conduct of the Indians, who belonged to his mission, and who are now under the superintendence of a Moravian clergyman, on La Rivière à la Tranche, in Upper Canada. He was a man of moderate intellect, and of still more moderate attainments; of great credulity, and with strong personal attachments to the Indians. His entire life was passed among the Delawares, and his knowledge of the Indian history and character was derived wholly from them. The Delaware tribe was the first and the last object of his hopes. Every legendary story of their former power, and of their subsequent fall, such as the old men repeat to the boys, in the long winter evenings, was received by him in perfect good faith, and has been recorded with all the gravity of history. It appears never to have. occurred to him, that these traditionary stories, orally repeated from generation to generation, may have finally borne very little resemblance to the events they commemorate, nor that a Delaware could sacrifice the love of truth to the love of his tribe. To those, who know something about Indian traditions, nothing can be more unsatisfactory, than these details, unless they are corroborated by the accounts of the early uravellers, or by concurrent circumstances. Mr Heckewelder's naïveté is really amusing ; and we now look back, with the soberness of experience, to the time, when, in his own house, upon the Tuscarawas, we were as anxious to hear as he was to relate, the marvellous events of his intercourse with the Indians ;
and when both narrator and hearer believed all that was told, and frequently in an inverse proportion to its probabity. We esteemed the man when living, and we cherish his memory now he is dead.
And yet with much valuable information, which his book contains, and notwithstanding the purest intentions with which it was written, perhaps no work, that has appeared for half a century, has produced more erroneous impressions on this subject. Mr Heckewelder thought, and reasoned, like an Indian and a Delaware. : In all the contests between the whites and their neighbors, he adopted the train of feeling of the latter. He looked solely at their wrongs, and surely they have been enough, without recollecting the horrible atrocities, which from time to time excited the frontier settlers to deeds of revenge, and, we may add, of vengeance. He looks back to some golden age, when all was peace, and plenty, and innocence; and when the Delawares, the Grandfathers, as he styles them, of all the Indians, exercised a paternal control over VOL. XXII.-N0. 50.