George Washington Cable.
NOTES TO NEXT GROUPstopped at STOPPED HERE. MICO CHLUCCO the LONG WARRIOR
or KING of the SIMINOLES
NORTH & SOUTH CAROLINA,
EAST & WEST FLORIDA,
THE CHEROKEE COUNTRY, THE EXTENSIVE
TERRITORIES OF THE MUSCOGULGES,
OR CREEK CONFEDERACY, AND THE
COUNTRY OF THE CHACTAWS:
AN ACCOUNT OF THE SOIL AND NATURAL
PRODUCTIONS OF THOSE REGIONS, TOGETHER
WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THE
MANNERS OF THE INDIANS.
EMBELLISHED WITH COPPER-PLATES.
PRINTED BY JAMES & JOHNSON.
M, DCC, XCI.
District of PENNSYLVANIA, to wit:
BE it remembered, that on the twenty-sixth day of August, in the sixteenth year of the Independence of the United States of America, WILLIAM BARTRAM, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Author in the words following, to wit:
"Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws; containing an account of the Soil and Natural Productions of those regions, together with observations on the Manners of the Indians. — Embelished with copper plates.
"BY WILLIAM BARTRAM."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned."
Clerk of the District of
THOMAS MIFFLIN, ESQ.
PRESIDENT OF THE STATE
THIS VOLUME OF TRAVELS
IS GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED,
By his respectful friend and servant
- PART I. INTRODUCTION.
- CHAP. VI.
proceeds and after three days journey arrives at Tallase, on the Tallapoose river — Coloome, a handsome town — great plains — further account of the country — Dog woods — crosses the river Schambe — comes to Taensa on the East banks of the Mobile, thirty miles above the city — French inhabitants — passes down the river, arrives at the city of Mobile — short account of the city and fort Conde — returns to Taensa, and proceeds up the river as far as the entrance of the Chicasaw branch — floating forests of the Nyph�a Nilumbo — visits the adjacent lands — returns to Mobile — goes to the river Perdido — continues on to Pensacola — cordially received by governor Chester — some account of the town — discovers a new and beautiful species of Sarracenia — returns to Mobile.
- CHAP. VII.
Leaves Mobile for Manchac on the Mississipi — proceeds by water to Pearl Island — kindly entertained by Mr. Rumsey — describes the island — large crimson Plum — a delicate species of Mimosa — passes Lake Pontchartrain, touches at the river Taensapaoa — passes over Lake Maurepas — proceeds up to Iberville — crosses by land to Manchac — goes up the Mississipi — settlements of New-Richmond — White Plains — curious muscle shells in the river — crosses over to Point Coupe — Spanish village and fortress — high cliffs opposite Point Coupe — returns to the Amete, thence down through the lakes and sounds — back again to Mobile.
- CHAP. VIII.
Leaves Mobile on his return — proceeds with a company of traders for the Creek nation — his horse tires — is in great distress — meets a company of traders, of whom he purchases a fresh horse — Illisium groves — meets a company of emigrants from Georgia — great embarassment at a large creek swollen with late heavy rains — arrives at the banks of the Alabama — crosses it and arrives at Mucclasse — Indian marriage — serious reflections — perilous situation of the trader of Mucclasse — sets off for Ottasse — describes the country contiguous to the Tallapoose river — plantations and towns — Coolome — Tuckabatche — crosses the river and arrives at Ottasse — rotunda and square — black drink — spiral fire — Sabbath or holy day to the Great Spirit — sets off with a company of traders for Georgia — Chehaws and Ussetas, Creek towns on the Apalachucla river, almost join each other, yet the inhabitants speak two languages radically different — arrives at the Oakmulge — crosses the river in a portable leather boat — crosses the river Oconne — head branches of Great Ogeche — arrives at Augusta — takes leave of Augusta and his friends there, and proceeds for Savanna — list of Muscogulge towns and villages — conjectures concerning the rise of the Muscogulge confederacy.
- CHAP. V.
Marriages and funeral rites — polygamy — take wives whilst they are yet young children — adultery — Muscogulges bury their dead in a sitting posture — strange customs of the Chactaws relative to duties to the deceased — bone-house — dirges — feast to the dead — methods which the nurses pursue to flatten the infant's skull and retain its form.
A MAP of the Coast of EAST FLORIDA from the River St. John Southward near to CAPE CANAVERAL
The attention of a traveller, should be particularly turned, in the first place, to the various works of Nature, to mark the distinctions of the climates he may explore, and to offer such useful observations on the different productions as may occur. Men and manners undoubtedly hold the first rank — whatever may contribute to our existence is also of equal importance, whether it be found in the animal or vegetable kingdoms; neither are the various articles, which tend to promote the happiness and convenience of mankind, to be disregarded. How far the writer of the following sheets has succeeded in furnishing information on these subjects, the reader will be capable of determining. From the advantages the journalist enjoyed under his father John Bartram, botanist to the king of Great-Britain, and fellow of the Royal Society, it is hoped that his labours will present new as well as useful information to the botanist and zoologist.
This world, as a glorious apartment of the boundless palace of the sovereign Creator, is furnished with an infinite variety of animated scenes, inexpressibly beautiful and pleasing, equally free to the inspection and enjoyment of all his creatures.
Perhaps there is not any part of creation, within the reach of our observations, which exhibits a more glorious display of the Almighty hand, than the vegetable world. Such a variety of pleasing scenes, ever changing, throughout the seasons, arising from various causes and assigned each to the purpose and use determined.
It is difficult to pronounce which division of the earth, within the polar circles, produces the greatest variety. The tropical division certainly affords those which principally contribute to the more luxurious scenes of splendor, as Myrtus communis, Myrt. caryophyllata, Myrt. pimenta, Caryophylus aromaticus, Laurus cinam. Laurus camphor. Laurus Persica, Nux mosch. Illicium, Camellia, Punica, Cactus melo-cactus; Cactus grandiflora, Gloriosa superba, Theobroma, Adansonia digitata, Nyctanthes, Psidium, Musa paradisica, Musa sapientum, Garcinia mangostana, Cocos nucifera, Citrus, Citrus aurantium, Cucurbita citrullus, Hyacinthus, Amaryllis, Narcissus, Poinciana pulcherima, Crinum, Cactus cochinellifer.
But the temperate zone (including by far the greater portion of the earth, and a climate the most favourable to the increase and support of animal life, as well as for the exercise and activity of the human faculties) exhibits scenes of infinitely greater variety, magnificence and consequence, with respect to human economy, in regard to the various uses of vegetables.
For instance, Triticum Cereale, which affords us bread, and is termed, by way of eminence, the staff of life, the most pleasant and nourishing food — to all terrestrial animals. Vitis vinifera, whose exhilirating juice is said to cheer the hearts of gods and men. Oryza, Zea, Pyrus, Pyrus malus, Prunus, Pr. cerasus, Ficus, Nectarin, Apricot, Cydonia. Next follows the illustrious families of forest-trees, as the Magnolia grandiflora and Quercus sempervirens, which form the venerated groves and solemn shades, on the Mississipi, Alatamaha and Florida, the magnificent Cupressus disticha of Carolina and Florida, the beautiful Water Oak, whose vast hemispheric head, presents the likeness of a distant grove in the fields and savannas of Carolina. The gigantic Black Oak, Platanus occidentalis, Liquid-amber styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Fagus castania, Fagus sylvatica, Juglans nigra, Juglans cinerea, Jug. pecan, Ulmus, Acher sacharinum, of Virginia and Pennsylvania; Pinus phoenix, Pinus toeda, Magnolia acuminata, Nyssa aquatica, Populus heterophylla and the floriferous Gordonia lasianthus, of Carolina and Florida; the exalted Pinus strobus, Pin. balsamica, Pin. abies, Pin. Canadensis, Pin. larix, Fraxinus excelsior, Robinia pseudacacia, Guilandina dioica, �sculus Virginica, Magnolia acuminata, of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, New-York, New-England, Ohio and the regions of Erie and the Illinois; and the aromatic and floriferous shrubs, as Azalea coccinia, Azalea rosea, Rosa, Rhododendron, Kalmia, Syringa, Gardinia, Calycanthus, Daphne, Franklinia, Styrax and others equally celebrated.
In every order of nature, we perceive a variety of qualities distributed amongst individuals, designed for different purposes and uses, yet it appears evident, that the great Author has impartially distributed his favours to his creatures, so that the attributes of each one seem to be of sufficient importance to manifest the divine and inimitable workmanship. The pompous Palms of Florida, and glorious Magnolia, strikes us with the sense of dignity and magnificence; the expansive umbrageous Live-Oak with awful veneration, the Carica papaya, supercilious with all the harmony of beauty and gracefulness; the Lillium superbum represents pride and vanity; Kalmia latifolia and Azalea coccinea, exhibit a perfect show of mirth and gaiety; the Illisium Floridanum, Crinum Floridanum, Convalaria majalis of the Cherokees, and Calycanthus floridus, charm with their beauty and fragrance. Yet they are not to be compared for usefulness with the nutritious Triticum, Zea, Oryza, Solanum tuberosa, Musa, Convolvulous, Batata, Rapa, Orchis, Vitis vinifera, Pyrus, Olea; for clothing, Linum Canabis, Gossypium, Morus; for medical virtues, Hyssopus, Thymus, Anthemis nobilis, Papaver somniferum, Quinqina, Rheum rhabarbarum, Pisum, &c. though none of these most useful tribes are conspicuous for stateliness, figure or splendor, yet their valuable qualities and virtues, excite love, gratitude and adoration to the great Creator, who was such to endow them with such eminent qualities, and reveal them to us for our sustenance, amusement and delight.
But there remains of the vegetable world, several tribes that are distinguished by very remarkable properties, which excite our admiration, some for the elegance, singularity and splendor of their vestment, as the Tulipa, Fritillaria, Colchicum, Primula, Lillium superbum, Kalmia, &c. Others astonish us by their figure and disposal of their vestiture, as if designed only to embellish and please the observer, as in the Nepenthes distillatoria, Ophrys insectoria, Cypripedium calceolus, Hydrangia quercifolia, Bartramia bracteata, Viburnum Canadense, Bartsea, &c.
Observe these green meadows how they are decorated; they seem enamelled with the beds of flowers. The blushing Chironia and Rhexia, the spiral Ophrys with immaculate white flowers, the Limodorum, Arethusa pulcherima, Sarracenia purpurea, Sarracenia galeata, Sarracenia lacunosa, Sarracenia flava. Shall we analyze these beautiful plants, since they seem cheerfully to invite us? How greatly the flowers of the yellow Sarracenia represent a silken canopy, the yellow pendant petals are the curtains, and the hollow leaves are not unlike the cornucopia or Amaltheas horn, what a quantity of water a leaf is capable of containing, about a pint! taste of it — how cool and animating — limpid as the morning dew: nature seems to have furnished them with this cordated appendage or lid, which turns over, to prevent a too sudden, and copious supply of water from heavy showers of rain, which would bend down the leaves, never to rise again; because their streight parallel nerves, which extend and support them, are so rigid and fragile, the leaf would inevitably break when bent down to a right angle; therefore I suppose these waters which contribute to their supplies, are the rebounding drops or horizontal streams wafted by the winds, which adventitiously find their way into them, when a blast of wind shifts the lid; see these short stiff hairs, they all point downwards, which direct the condensed vapours down into the funiculum; these stiff hairs also prevent the varieties of insects, which are caught, from returning, being invited down to sip the mellifluous exuvia, from the interior surface of the tube, where they inevitably perish; what quantities there are of them! These latent waters undoubtedly contribute to the support and refreshment of the plant; perhaps designed as a reservoir in case of long continued droughts, or other casualties, since these plants naturally dwell in low savannas liable to overflows, from rain water: for although I am not of the opinion that vegetables receive their nourishment, only through the ascending part of the plant, as the stem, branches, leaves, &c. and that their descending part, as the root and fibres, only serve to hold and retain them in their places, yet I believe they imbibe rain and dews through their leaves, stems and branches, by extremely minute pores, which open on both surfaces of the leaves and on the branches, which may communicate to little auxiliary ducts or vessels; or, perhaps the cool dews and showers, by constricting these pores, and thereby preventing a too free perspiration, may recover and again invigorate the languid nerves, of those which seem to suffer for want of water, in great heats and droughts; but whether the insects caught in their leaves, and which dissolve and mix with the fluid, serve for aliment or support to these kind of plants, is doubtful. All the Sarracenia are insect catchers, and so is the Drossea rotundiflolia.
But admirable are the properties of the extraordinary Dionea muscipula! A great extent on each side of that serpentine rivulet, is occupied by those sportive vegetables — let us advance to the spot in which nature has seated them. Astonishing production! see the incarnate lobes expanding, how gay and ludicrous they appear! ready on the spring to intrap incautious deluded insects, what artifice! there behold one of the leaves just closed upon a struggling fly, another has got a worm, its hold is sure, its prey can never escape — carnivorous vegetable! Can we after viewing this object, hesitate a moment to confess, that vegetable beings are endued with some sensible faculties or attributes, similar to those that dignify animal nature; they are organical, living and self-moving bodies, for we see here, in this plant, motion and volition.
What power or faculty is it, that directs the cirri of the Cucurbita, Momordica, Vitis and other climbers, towards the twigs of shrubs, trees and other friendly support? we see them invariably leaning, extending and like the singers of the human hand, reaching to catch hold of what is nearest, just as if they had eyes to see with, and when their hold is fixed, to coil the tendril in a spiral form, by which artifice it becomes more elastic and effectual, than if it had remained in a direct line, for every revolution of the coil adds a portion of strength, and thus collected, they are enabled to dilate and contract as occasion or necessity require, and thus by yielding to, and humouring the motion of the limbs and twigs, or other support on which they depend, are not so liable to be torn off by sudden blasts of wind or other assaults; is it sense or instinct that influences their actions? it must be some impulse; or does the hand of the Almighty act and perform this work in our fight?
The vital principle or efficient cause of motion and action, in the animal and vegetable system, perhaps, may be more similar than we generally apprehend. Where is the essential difference between the seed of peas, peaches and other tribes of plants and trees, and that of oviparous animals? as the eggs of birds, snakes or butterflies, spawn of fish, &c. Let us begin at the source of terrestrial existence. Are not the seed of vegetables, and the eggs of oviparous animals fecundated, or influenced with the vivific principle of life, through the aproximation and intimacy of the sexes, and immediately after the eggs and seeds are hatched, the young larva and infant plant, by heat and moisture, rises into existence, increases, and in due time arrives to a state of perfect maturity. The physiologists agree in opinion, that the work of generation in viviparious animals, is exactly similar, only more secret and inveloped. The mode of operation that nature pursues in the production of vegetables, and oviparous animals is infinitely more uniform and manifest, than that which is or can be discovered to take place in viviparous animals.
The most apparent difference between animals and vegetables are, that animals have the powers of sound, and are locomotive, whereas vegetables are not able to shift themselves from the places where nature has planted them: yet vegetables have the power of moving and exercising their members, and have the means of transplanting or colonising their tribes almost over the surface of the whole earth, some seeds, for instance, grapes, nuts, smilax, peas, and others, whose pulp or kernel is food for animals, such seed will remain several days without injuring in stomachs of pigeons and other birds of passage; by this means such sorts are distributed from place to place, even across seas; indeed some seeds require this preparation, by the digestive heat of the stomach of animals, to dissolve and detach the oily, viscid pulp, and to soften the hard shells of others. Small seeds are sometimes furnished with rays of hair or down, and others with thin light membranes attached to them, which serve the purpose of wings, on which they mount upward, leaving the earth, float in the air, and are carried away by the swift winds to very remote regions before they settle on the earth; some are furnished with hooks, which catch hold of the wool and hair of animals passing by them, are by that means spread abroad; other seeds ripen in pericarpes, which open with elastic force, and shoot their seed to a very great distance round about; some other seeds, as of the Mosses and Fungi, are so very minute as to be invisible, light as atoms, and these mixing with the air, are wafted all over the world.
The animal creation also, excites our admiration, and equally manifests the almighty power, wisdom and beneficence of the Supreme Creator and Sovereign Lord of the universe; some in their vast size and strength, as the mamoth, the elephant, the whale, the lion and alligator; others in agility; others in their beauty and elegance of colour, plumage and rapidity of flight, have the faculty of moving and living in the air; others for their immediate and indispensable use and convenience to man, in furnishing means for our clothing and sustenance, and administering to our help in the toils and labours through life; how wonderful is the mechanism of these finely formed, self-moving beings, how complicated their system, yet what unerring uniformity prevails through every tribe and particular species! the effect we see and contemplate, the cause is invisible, incomprehensible, how can it be otherwise? when we cannot see the end or origin of a nerve or vein, while the divisibility of mater or fluid, is infinite. We admire the mechanism of a watch, and the fabric of a piece of brocade, as being the production of art; these merit our admiration, and must excite our esteem for the ingenious artist or modifier, but nature is the work of God omnipotent: and an elephant, even this world is comparatively but a very minute part of his works. If then the visible, the mechanical part of the animal creation, the mere material part is so admirably beautiful, harmonious and incomprehensible, what must be the intellectual system? that inexpressibly more essential principle, which secretly operates within? that which animates the inimitable machines, which gives them motion, impowers them to act speak and perform, this must be divine and immortal?
I am sensible that the general opinion of philosophers, has distinguished the moral system of the brute creature from that of mankind, by an epithet which implies a mere mechanical impulse, which leads and impels them to necessary action without any premeditated design or contrivance, this we term instinct which faculty we suppose to be inferior to reason in man.
The parental, and filial affections seem to be as ardent, their sensibility and attachment, as active and faithful, as those observed to be in human nature.
When travelling on the East coast of the isthmus of Florida, ascending the South Musquitoe river, in a canoe, we observed numbers of deer and bears, near the banks, and on the islands of the river, the bear were feeding on the fruit of the dwarf creeping Chamerops, (this fruit is of the form and size of dates, and are delicious and nourishing food:) we saw eleven bears in the course of the day, they seemed no way surprized or affrighted at the sight of us; in the evening my hunter, who was an excellent marksman, said that he would shoot one of them, for the sake of the skin and oil, for we had plenty and variety of provisions in our bark. We accordingly, on sight of two of them, planned our approaches, as artfully as possible, by crossing over to the opposite shore, in order to get under cover of a small island, this we cautiously coasted round, to a point, which we apprehended would take us within shot of the bear, but here finding ourselves at too great a distance from them, and discovering that we must openly show ourselves, we had no other alternative to effect our purpose, but making oblique approaches; we gained gradually on our prey by this artifice, without their noticing us, finding ourselves near enough, the hunter fired, and laid the largest dead on the spot, where she stood, when presently the other, not seeming the least moved, at the report of our piece, approached the dead body, smelled, and pawed it, and appearing in agony, fell to weeping and looking upwards, then towards us, and cried out like a child. whilst our boat approached very near, the hunter was loading his rifle in order to shoot the survivor, which was a young cub, and the slain supposed to be the dam; the continual cries of this afflicted child, bereft of its parent, affected me very sensibly, I was moved with compassion, and charging myself as if accessary to what now appeared to be a cruel murder, and endeavoured to prevail on the hunter to save its life, but to no effect! for by habit he had become insensible to compassion towards the brute creation, being now within a few yards of the harmless devoted victim, he fired, and laid it dead, upon the body of the dam.
If we bestow but a very little attention to the economy of the animal creation, we shall find manifest examples of premeditation, perseverance, resolution, and consumate artifice, in order to effect their purpose. The next morning, after the slaughter of the bears whilst my companions were striking our tent and preparing to re-embark, I resolved to make a little botanical excursion alone; crossing over a narrow isthmus of sand hills which separated the river from the ocean, I passed over a pretty high hill, its summit crested with a few Palm trees, surrounded with an Orange grove; this hill, whose base was washed on one side, by the floods of the Musquitoe river, and he other side by the billows of the ocean, was about one hundred yards diameter, and seemed to be an entire heap of sea hills. I continued along the beech, a quarter of a mile, and came up to a forest of the Agave vivipara (though composed of herbaceous plants, I term it a forest, because their scapes or flower-stems arose erect near 30 feet high) their tops regularly branching in the form of a pyramidal tree, and these plants growing near to each other, occupied a space of ground of several acres: when their seed is ripe they vegetate, and grow on the branches, until the scape dries when the young plants fall to the ground, take root, and fix themselves in the sand: the plant grows to a prodigious size before the scape shoots up from its centre. Having contemplated this admirable grove, I proceeded towards the shrubberies on the banks of the river, and though it was now late in December, the aromatic groves appeared in full bloom. The broad leaved sweet Myrtus, Erythrina corrallodendrum, Cactus cochenellifer, Cacalia suffruticosa, and particularly, Rhizophora conjugata, which stood close to, and in the salt water of the river, were in full bloom, with beautiful white sweet scented flowers, which attracted to them, two or three species of very beautiful butterflies, one of which was black, the upper pair of its wings very long and narrow, marked with transverse stripes of pale yellow, with some spots of a crimson colour near the body. Another species remarkable for splendor, was of a larger size, the wings were undulated and obtusely crenated round their ends, the nether pair terminating near the body, with a long narrow forked tail; the ground light yellow, striped oblique-transversely, with stripes of pale celestial blue, the ends of them adorned with little eyes encircled with the finest blue and crimson, which represented a very brilliant rosary. But those which were the most numerous were as white as snow, their wings large, their ends lightly crenated and ciliated, forming a fringed border, faintly marked with little black crescents, their points downward, with a cluster of little brilliant orbs of blue and crimson, on the nether wings near the body; the numbers were incredible, and there seemed to be scarcely a flower for each fly, multitudinous as they were, besides clouds of them hovering over the mellifluous groves. Besides these papiles, a variety of other insects come in for share, particularly several species of bees.
As I was gathering specimens of flowers from the shrubs, I was greatly surprised at the sudden appearance of a remarkable large spider, on a leaf of the genus Araneus saliens, at sight of me he boldly faced about, and raised himself up as if ready to spring upon me; his body was about the size of a pigeons egg, of a buff colour, which with his legs were covered with short silky hair, on the top of the abdomen was a round red spot or ocelle encircled with black; after I had recovered from the surprise, and observing the wary hunter had retired under cover, I drew near again, and presently discovered that I had surprised him on predatory attempts against the insect tribes, I was therefore determined to watch his proceedings, I soon noticed that the object of his wishes was a large fat bomble bee (apis bombylicus) that was visiting the flowers, and piercing their nectariferous tubes; this cunning intripid hunter (conducted his subtil approaches, with the circumspection and perseverance of a Siminole, when hunting a deer) advancing with slow steps obliquely, or under cover of dense foliage, and behind the limbs, and when the bee was engaged in probing a flower he would leap nearer, and then instantly retire out of sight, under a leaf or behind a branch, at the same time keeping a sharp eye upon me; when he had now got within two feet of his prey, and the bee was intent on sipping the delicious nectar from a flower, with his back next the spider, he instantly sprang upon him, and grasped him over the back and shoulder, when for some moments they both disappeared, I expected the bee had carried of his enemy, but to my surprise they both together rebounded back again, suspended at the extremity of a strong clastic thread or web, which the spider had artfully let fall, or fixed on the twig, the instant he leaped from it; the rapidity of the bee's wings, endeavouring to extricate him-self, made them both together appear as a moving vapor, until the bee became fatigued by whirling round, first one way and then back again; at length, in about a quarter of an hour, the bee quite exhausted by his struggles, and the repeated wounds of the butcher, became motionless, and quickly expired in the arms of the devouring spider, who, ascending the rope with his game, retired to feast on it under cover of leaves; and perhaps before night became himself, the delicious evening repast of a bird or lizard.
Birds are in general social and benevolent creatures; intelligent, ingenious, volatile, active beings; and this order of animal creation consists of various nations, bands or tribes, as may be observed from their different structure, manners and
Both sexes of some tribes of birds sing equally fine, and it is remarkable, that these reciprocally assist in their domestic cares, as building their nests and setting on their eggs, feeding and defending their young brood, &c. The oriolus (icterus, Cat.) is an instance in this case, and the female of the icterus minor is a bird of more splendid and gay dress than the male bird. Some tribes of birds will relieve and rear up the young and helpless, of their own and other tribes, when abandoned. Animal substance seems to be the first food of all birds, even the granivorous tribes.
Having passed through some remarks, which appeared of sufficient consequence to be offered to the public, and which were most suitable to have a place in the introduction, I shall now offer such observations as must necessarily occur, from a careful attention to, and investigation of the manners of the Indian nations; being induced, while travelling among them, to associate with them, that I might judge for myself whether they were deserving of the severe censure, which prevailed against them among the white people, that they were incapable of civilization.
In the consideration of this important subject it will be necessary to enquire, whether they were inclined to adopt the European modes of civil society? whether such a reformation could be obtained, without using coercive or violent means? and lastly, whether such a revolution would be productive of real benefit to them, and consequently beneficial to the public? I was satisfied in discovering that they were desirous of becoming united with us, in civil and religious society.
It may, therefore, not be foreign to the subject, to point out the propriety of sending men of ability and virtue, under the authority of government, as friendly visitors, into their towns; let these men be instructed to learn perfectly their languages, and by a liberal and friendly intimacy, become acquainted with their customs and usages, religious and civil; their system of legislation and police, as well as their most ancient and present traditions and history. These men thus enlightened and instructed, would be qualified to judge equitably, and when returned to us, to make true and just reports, which might assist the legislature of the United States to form, and offer to them a judicious plan, for their civilization and union with us.
But I presume not to dictate in these high concerns of government, and I am fully convinced that such important matters are far above my ability; the duty and respect we owe to religion and rectitude, the most acceptable incense we can offer to the Almighty, as an attonement for our negligence, in the care of the present and future well being of our Indian brethren, induces me to mention this matter, though perhaps of greater concernment than we generally are aware of.
BEING returned from the Cherokee country to Dartmouth, I understood that the company of adventurers for West Florida were very forward in their preparations, and would be ready to set off in a few weeks, so that I had but a little time allowed me to make provision and equip myself for the prosecution of so long and hazardous a journey.
OUR place of rendezvous was at fort Charlotte, on the opposite side of the river Savanna, and about a mile from fort James. Having a desire to make little botanical excursions towards the head of Broad river, in order to collect some curiosities which I had observed thereabouts, which being accomplished,
JUNE 22d set out from fort Charlotte in company with Mr. Whitfield, who was chief of our caravan. We travelled about twenty miles and lodged at the farm of Mons. St. Pierre, a French gentleman, who received and entertained us with great politeness and hospitality. The mansion-house is situated on the top of a very high hill near the banks of the river Savanna, which overlooks his very extensive and well cultivated plantations of Indian Corn (Zea) Rice, Wheat, Oats, Indigo, Convolvulus Batata, &c. these are rich low lands, lying very level betwixt these natural heights and the river; his gardens occupy the gentle descent on one side of the mount, and a very thriving vineyard consisting of about five acres on the other side.
NEXT morning after breakfast we sat off again, continuing nine or ten miles farther down the river, when we stopped at a plantation, the property of one of our companions, where we were joined by the rest of the company. After dining here we prepared to depart, and the gentleman of the house taking an affectionate leave of his wife and children, we sat off again, and proceeding six miles farther down the river, we crossed over into Georgia, taking a road which led us into the great trading path from Augusta to the Creek nation. As the soil, situation and productions of these parts, for several days journey, differ very little from the Northern districts of Georgia, already recited, when on the survey of the New Purchase, I apprehend it needless to enter again into a detail of particulars, since it would produce but little more than a recapitulation of that journey.
EARLY in the evening of the 27th we arrived at the Flat-rock, where we lodged. This is a common rendezvous or camping place for traders and Indians. It is an expansive clean flat or horizontal rock, but a little above the surface of the ground, and near the banks of a delightful rivulet of excellent water which is one of the head branches of Great Ogeche: in the loose, rich soil verging round this rock, grew several very curious herbaceous plants, particularly one of singular elegance and beauty, which I take to be a species of Ipomea (Ipomea, caule erecto, ramoso, tripedali, sol. radicalibus, pinnatifidis, liniaribus, humi-straits, florib. incarnatis intus maculis coccinaeis adsperso.) It grows erect, three feet high, with a strong stem, which is decorated with plumed or pinnatifid liniar leaves, somewhat resembling those of the Delphinium or Ipomea quamoclet; from about one half its length upwards, it sends out on all sides, ascendent branches which divide again and again; these terminate with large tubular or funnel formed flowers; their limbs equally divided into five segments; these beautiful flowers are of a perfect rose colour, elegantly besprinkled on the inside of their petals with crimson specks; the flowers are in great abundance and together with the branches and delicately fine cut leaves, compose a conical spike or compound pannicle. I saw a species of this plant, if not the very same, growing on the sea coast islands near St. Augustine. The blue flowered Malva and Delphinium were its associates about the Flat-rock.
THERE are extensive Cane brakes or Cane meadows spread abroad round about, which afford the most acceptable and nourishing food for cattle.
THIS evening two companies of Indian traders from Augusta arrived and encamped near us; and as they were bound to the Nation, we concluded to unite in company with them, they generously offering us their assistance, having many spare horses and others lightly loaded, several of ours by this time being jaded, this was a favorable opportunity of relief in case of necessity.
NEXT morning, as soon as the horses were packed and in readiness, we decamped and set forward together.
I THOUGHT it worthy of taking notice of a singular method the traders make use of to reduce the wild young horses to their hard duty. When any one persists in refusing to receive his load, if threats, the discipline of the whip and other common abuse prove insufficient, after being haltered, a pack-horseman catches the tip end of one of his ears betwixt his teeth and pinches it, when instantly the furious strong creature, trembling, stands perfectly still until he is loaded.
OUR caravan consisting of about twenty men and sixty horses, we made a formidable appearance, having now little to apprehend from predatory bands or out-laws.
THIS day's journey was for the most part over high gravelly ridges, and on the most elevated hills appeared emerging out of the earth, rocky cliffs of a dark reddish brown colour; their composition seemed to be a coarse, sandy, ferruginous concrete, but so firmly cemented as to constitute a perfect hard stone or rock, and appeared to be excavated or worn into cavities and furrows by the violence of the dashing billows and rapid currents of the ocean, which heretofore probably washed them; there were however strata or veins in these rocks, of a finer composition and compact consistence, and seemed ponderous, rich iron ore. A little depth below the sandy, gravelly surface lies a stratum of very compact reddish yellow clay and fragments of ochre. The trees and shrubs common on these gravelly ridges are as follows, Diospyros, Quercus rubra, Q. nigra, Q. tinctoria or great Black Oak, Q. alba, Q. lobata, post White Oak, Q. incana, foliis ovalibus integerrimis subtus incanis, Pinus lutea, Pinus taeda, foliis geminatis et trinis, strobilo ovato brevi, cortice rimoso, Pinus palustris, foliis trinis Iongissimis, strobilo elongato, Cornus Florida, Andromeda arborea, Nyssa sylvatica, Juglans hickory, Prunus padus, &c. Of herbacia, Solidago, Eupatorium Sylphium, Rudbeckia, Gerardia, Asclepias, Agave Virginica, Eryngium, Thapsia, Euphorbia, Polymnia, &c.
IN the course of this day's journey we crossed two considerable rivulets, running swiftly over rocky beds. There is some very good land on the gradual descents of the ridges and their bottoms bordering on creeks, and very extensive grassy savannas and Cane meadows always in view on one hand or the other. At evening we came to camp on the banks of a beautiful creek, a branch of Great Ogeche, called Rocky Comfort, where we found excellent accommodations, here being pleasant grassy open plains to spread our beds upon, environed with extensive Cane meadows, affording the best of food for our quadrupeds.
THE next day's journey led us over a level district; the land generally very fertile and of a good quality for agriculture, the vegetable surface being of a dark, loose, rich mould, on a stratum of stiff reddish brown clay. crossing several considerable creeks, branches of the Ocone, North branch of the Alatamaha, at evening, July 1st, encamped on the banks of the Ocone, in a delightful grove of forest trees, consisting of Oak, Ash, Mulberry, Hickory, Black Walnut, Elm, Sassafras, Gleditsia, &c. This flourishing grove was an appendage of the high forests we had passed through, and projected into an extensive, green, open, level plain, consisting of old Indian fields and plantations, being the rich low lands of the river, and stretching along its banks upwards to a very great distance, charmingly diversified and decorated with detached groves and clumps of various trees and shrubs, and indented on its verge by advancing and retreating promontories of the high land.
OUR encampment was fixed on the site of the old Ocone town, which, about sixty years ago, was evacuated by the Indians, who finding their situation disagreeable from its vicinity to the white people, left it, moving upwards into the Nation or Upper Creeks, and there built a town, but that situation not suiting their roving disposition, they grew sickly and tired of it, and resolved to seek a habitation more agreeable to their minds; they all arose, directing their migration South-Eastward towards the sea coast, and in the course of their journey, observing the delightful appearance of the extensive plains of Alachua and the fertile hills environing it, they sat down and built a town on the banks of a spacious and beautiful lake, at a small distance from the plains, naming this new town Cuscowilla: this situation pleased them, the vast desarts, forests, lake and savannas around, affording unbounded range of the best hunting ground for bear and deer, their favourite game. But although this situation was healthy and delightful to the utmost degree, affording them variety and plenty of every desirable thing in their estimation, yet troubles and afflictions found them out. This territory, to the promontory of Florida, was then claimed by the Tomocos, Utinas, Calloosas, Yamases and other remnant tribes of the ancient Floridans and the more Northern refugees, driven away by the Carolinians, now in alliance and under the protection of the Spaniards, who assisting them, attacked the new settlement and for many years were very troublesome, but the Alachuas or Ocones being strengthened by other emigrants and fugitive bands from the Upper Creeks, with whom they were confederated, and who gradually established other towns in this low country, stretching a line of settlements across the isthmus, extending from the Alatamaha to the bay of Apalache: these uniting were at length able to face their enemies and even attack them in their own settlements, and in the end, with the assistance of the Upper Creeks, their uncles, vanquished their enemies and destroyed them, and then fell upon the Spanish settlements, which they also entirely broke up. But having treated of these matters in the journal of my travels into East Florida, I end this digression and proceed again on my journey.
AFTER crossing the Ocone by fording it, which is about two hundred and fifty yards over, we travelled about twenty miles and came to camp in the evening; passed over a pleasant territory, presenting varying scenes of gentle swelling hills and levels, affording sublime forests, contrasted by expansive illumined green fields, native meadows and Cane brakes; the vegetables, trees, shrubs and plants the same as already noticed without any material variation. The next day's journey was about twenty miles, having crossed the Oakmulge by fording it three or four hundred yards over. This river is the main branch of the beautiful Alatamaha; on the East bank of the river lies the famous Oakmulge fields, where are yet conspicuous very wonderful remains of the power and grandeur of the ancients of this part of America, in the ruins of a capital town and settlement, as vast artificial hills, terraces, &c. already particularly mentioned in my tour through the lower districts of Georgia. The Oakmulge here is about forty miles distance from the Ocone, the other arm of the Alatamaha. In the evening we came to camp near the banks of Stony Creek, a large rapid water about six miles beyond the river.
NEXT day we travelled about twenty miles farther, crossing two considerable creeks named Great and Little Tobosochte, and at evening encamped close by a beautiful large brook called Sweet Water, the glittering wavy flood passing along actively over a bed of pebbles and gravel. The territory through which we passed from the banks of the Oakmulge to this place, exhibited a delightful diversified rural scene, and promises a happy, fruitful and salubrious region, when cultivated by industrious inhabitants, generally ridges of low swelling hills and plains supporting grand forests, vast Cane meadows, savannas and verdant lawns.
I OBSERVED here a very singular and beautiful shrub, which I suppose is a species of Hydrangia (H. quercifolia.) It grows in coppices or clumps near or on the banks of rivers and creeks; many stems usually arise from a root, spreading itself greatly on all sides by suckers or offsets; the stems grow five or six feet high, declining or diverging from each other, and are covered with several barks or rinds, the last of which being of a cinerious dirt colour and very thin, at a certain age of the stems or shoots, cracks through to the next bark, and is peeled off by the winds, discovering the under, smooth, dark reddish brown bark, which also cracks and peels off the next year, in like manner as the former; thus every year forming a new bark; the stems divide regularly or oppositely, though the branches are crooked or wreathe about horizontally, and these again divide, forming others which terminate with large heavy pannicles or thyrsi of flowers, but these flowers are of two kinds; the numerous partial spikes which compose the pannicles and consist of a multitude of very small fruitful flowers, terminate with one or more very large expansive neutral or mock flowers, standing on a long, slender, stiff peduncle; these flowers are composed of four broad oval petals or segments, of a dark rose or crimson colour at first, but as they become older acquire a deeper red or purplish hue, and lastly are of a brown or ferruginous colour; these have no perfect parts of generation of either sex, but discover in their centre two, three or four papiliae or rudiments; these neutral flowers, with the whole pannicle, are truly permanent, remaining on the plant for years, until they dry and decay; the leaves which clothe the plants are very large, pinnatifid or palmated and serrated, or toothed, very much resembling the leaves of some of our Oaks; they sit opposite, supported by slender petioles and are of a fine, full green colour.
NEXT day after noon we crossed Flint river by fording it, about two hundred and fifty yards over, and at evening came to camp near the banks of a large and deep creek, a branch of the Flint. The high land excellent, affording grand forests, and the low ground vast timber and Canes of great height and thickness, Arundo gigantea. I observed growing on the steep dry banks of this creek, a species of shrub Hypericum, of extraordinary shew and beauty (Hypericum aureum.) It grows erect, three or four feet high, forming a globular top, representing a perfect little tree; the leaves are large, oblong, firm of texture, smooth and shining; the flowers are very large, their petals broad and conspicuous, which, with their tufts of golden filaments, give the little bushes a very splendid appearance.
THE adjacent low grounds and Cane swamp afforded excellent food and range for our horses, who, by this time, through fatigue of constant travelling, heat of the climate and season, were tired and dispirited, we came to camp sooner than usual and started later next day, that they might have time to rest and recruit themselves. The territory lying upon this creek and the space between it and the river, presents every appearance of a delightful and fruitful region in some future day, it being a rich soil and exceedingly well situated for every branch of agriculture and grazing, diversified with hills and dales, savannas and vast Cane meadows, and watered by innumerable rivulets and brooks, all contiguous to the Flint river: an arm of the great Chata Uche or Apalachucla offers an uninterrupted navigation to the bay of Mexico and Atlantic ocean, and thence to the West India islands and over the whole world.
OUR horses being hunted up and packed, sat forward again, proceeding moderately, ascending a higher country and more uneven by means of ridges of gentle hills; the country however very pleasing, being diversified with expansive groves, savannas and Cane meadows, abounding with creeks and brooks gliding through the plains or roving about the hills, their banks bordered with forests and groves, consisting of varieties of trees, shrubs and plants; the summits of the hills frequently presenting to view piles and cliffs of the ferruginous rocks, the same species as observed on the ridges between the Flat-rock and Rocky Comfort.
NEXT day we travelled but a few miles; the heat and the burning flies tormenting our horses to such a degree, as to excite compassion even in the hearts of pack-horsemen. These biting flies are
HYDRANGEA QUERCIFOLIA.of several species, and their numbers incredible; we travelled almost from sun-rise to his setting, amidst a flying host of these persecuting spirits, who formed a vast cloud around our caravan so thick as to obscure every distant object; but our van always bore the brunt of the conflict; the head, neck and shoulders of the leading horses were continually in a gore of blood: some of these flies were near as large as humble bees; this is the hippobosca. They are armed with a strong sharp beak or probosces, shaped like a lancet, and sheathed in flexible thin valves; with this beak they instantly pierce the veins of the creatures, making a large orifice from whence the blood springs in large drops, rolling down as tears, causing a fierce pain or aching for a considerable time after the wound is made; there are three or four species of this genus of less size but equally vexatious, they are vastly more numerous, active and sanguineous; particularly, one about half the size of the first mentioned, the next less of a dusky colour with a green head; another yet somewhat less, of a splendid green and the head of a gold colour; the sting of this last is intolerable, no less acute than a prick from a redhot needle, or a spark of fire on the skin; these are called the burning flies. Besides the preceding tormentors, there are three or four species of the afilus or smaller biting flies; one of a greyish dusky colour, another much of the same colour, having spotted wings and a green head, and another very small and perfectly black: this last species lie in ambush in shrubby thickets and Cane brakes near water; whenever we approach the cool shades near creeks, impatient for repose and relief, almost sinking under the persecutions from the evil spirits, who continually surround and follow us over the burning desart ridges and plains, and here in some hopes of momentary peace and quietness, under cover of the cool humid groves, we are surprised and quickly invested with dark clouds of these persecuting demons, besides musquitoes and gnats (culex et cynips.)
THE next day being in like manner oppressed and harassed by the stinging flies and heats; we halted at noon, being unable longer to support ourselves under such grievances, even in our present situation charming to the senses; on the acclivity of a high swelling ridge planted with open airy groves of the superb terebenthine Pines, glittering rills playing beneath, and pellucid brooks meandering through an expansive green savanna, their banks ornamented with coppices of blooming aromatic shrubs and plants perfuming the air. The meridian heats just allayed, the sun is veiled in a dark cloud, rising North-Westward; the air still, gloomy and sultry; the animal spirits sink under the conflict, and we fall into a kind of mortal torpor rather than refreshing repose; and startled or terrified at each others plaintive murmurs and groans: now the earth trembles under the peals of incessant distant thunder, the hurricane comes on roaring, and I am shocked again to life: I raise my head and rub open my eyes, pained with gleams and flashes of lightning; when just attempting to wake up my afflicted brethren and companions, almost overwhelmed with floods of rain, the dark cloud opens over my head, diveloping a vast river of the etherial fire, I am instantly struck dumb, inactive and benumbed; at length the pulse of life begins to vibrate, the animal spirits begin to exert their powers, and I am by degrees revived.
IN the evening this surprising heavy tempest passed off, we had a serene sky and a pleasant cool night; having had time enough to collect a great quantity of wood and Pine knots to feed our fires and keep up a light in our camp, which was a lucky precaution, as we found it absolutely necessary to dry our clothes and warm ourselves, for all our skins and bedding were cast over the packs of merchandize to prevent them and our provision from being injured by the deluge of rain; next day was cool and pleasant, the air having recovered its elasticity and vivific spirit; I found myself cheerful and invigorated; indeed all around us appeared reanimated, and nature presents her cheerful countenance; the vegetables smile in their blooming decorations and sparkling crystaline dew-drop.
THE birds sing merrily in the groves, and the alert roe-buck whistles and bounds over the ample meads and green turfy hills. After leaving our encampment we travelled over a delightful territory, presenting to view variable sylvan scenes, consisting of chains of low hills affording high forests, with expansive savannas, Cane meadows and lawns between, watered with rivulets and glittering brooks; towards evening we came to camp on the banks of Pintchlucco, a large branch of the Chata Uche river.
THE next day's journey was over an uneven hilly country, but the soil generally fertile and of a quality and situation favourable to agriculture and grazing, the summits of the ridges rough with ferruginous rocks, in high cliffs and fragments, scattered over the surface of the ground; observed also high cliffs of stiff reddish brown clay, with veins or strata of ferruginous stones, either in detached masses or conglomerated nodules or hematites with veins or masses of ochre.
NEXT day after traversing a very delightful territory, exhibiting a charming rural scenery of primitive nature, gently descending and passing alternately easy declivities or magnificent terraces supporting sublime forests, almost endless grassy fields, detatched groves and green lawns for the distance of nine or ten miles, we arrived at the banks of the Chata Uche river opposite the Uche town, where after unloading our horses, the Indians came over to us in large canoes, by means of which, with the cheerful and liberal assistance of the Indians, ferried over their merchandize, and afterwards driving our horses altogether into the river swam them over: the river here is about three or four hundred yards wide, carries fifteen or twenty feet water and flows down with an active current; the water is clear, cool and salubrious.
The Uche town is situated in a vast plain, on the gradual ascent as we rise from a narrow strip of low ground immediately bordering on the river: it is the largest, most compact and best situated Indian town I ever saw; the habitations are large and neatly built; the walls of the houses are constructed of a wooden frame, then lathed and plaistered inside and out with a reddish well tempered clay or morter, which gives them the appearance of red brick walls, and these houses are neatly covered or roofed with Cypress bark or shingles of that tree. The town appeared to be populous and thriving, full of youth and young children: I suppose the number of inhabitants, men, women and children, might amount to one thousand or fifteen hundred, as it is said they are able to muster five hundred gun-men or warriors. Their own national language is altogether or radically different from the Creek or Muscogulge tongue, and is called the Savanna or Savanuca tongue; I was told by the traders it was the same or a dialect of the Shawanese. They are in confederacy with the Creeks, but do not mix with them, and on account of their numbers and strength, are of importance enough to excite and draw upon them the jealousy of the whole Muscogulge confederacy, and are usually at variance, yet are wise enough to unite against a common enemy, to support the interest and glory of the general Creek confederacy.
AFTER a little refreshment at this beautiful town, we repacked and sat off again for the Apalachucla town, where we arrived after riding over a level plain, consisting of ancient Indian plantations, a beautiful landscape diversified with groves and lawns.
THIS is esteemed the mother town or capital of the Creek or Muscogulge confederacy: sacred to peace; no captives are put to death or human blood split here. And when a general peace is proposed, deputies from all the towns in the confederacy assemble at this capital, in order to deliberate upon a subject of so high importance for the prosperity of the commonwealth.
AND on the contrary the great Coweta town, about twelve miles higher up this river, is called the bloody town, where the Micos chiefs and warriors assemble when a general war is proposed, and here captives and state malefactors are put to death.
THE time of my continuance here, which was about a week, was employed in excursions round about this settlement. One day the chief trader of Apalachucla obliged me with his company on a walk of about a mile and an half down the river, to view the ruins and site of the ancient Apalachucla: it had been situated on a peninsula formed by a doubling of the river, and indeed appears to have been a very famous capital by the artificial mounds or terraces, and a very populous settlement, from its extent and expansive old fields, stretching beyond the scope of the sight along the low grounds of the river. We viewed the mounds or terraces, on which formerly stood their town house or rotunda and square or areopagus, and a little back of this, on a level height or natural step, above the low grounds is a vast artificial terrace or four square mound, now seven or eight feet higher than the common surface of the ground; in front of one square or side of this mound adjoins a very extensive oblong square yard or artificial level plain, sunk a little below the common surface, and surrounded with a bank or narrow terrace, formed with the earth thrown out of this yard at the time of its formation : the Creeks or present inhabitants have a tradition that this was the work of the ancients, many ages prior to their arrival and possessing this country.
THIS old town was evacuated about twenty years ago by the general consent of the inhabitants, on account of its unhealthy situation, owing to the frequent inundations of the river over the low grounds; and moreover they grew timorous and dejected, apprehending themselves to be haunted and possessed with vengeful spirits, on account of human blood that had been undeservedly, spilt in this old town,having been repeatedly warned by apparitions and dreams to leave it.
AT the time of their leaving this old town, like the ruin or dispersion of the ancient Babel, the inhabitants separated from each other, forming several bands under the conduct or auspices of the chief of each family or tribe. The greatest number, however, chose to sit down and build the present new Apalachucla town, upon a high bank of the river above the inundations. The other bands pursued different routs, as their inclinations led them, settling villages lower down the river; some continued their migration towards the sea coast, seeking their kindred and countrymen amongst the Lower Creeks in East Florida, where they settled themselves. My intelligent friend, the trader of Apalachucla, having from a long residence amongst these Indians acquired an extensive knowledge of their customs and affairs, I enquired of him what were his sentiments with respect to their wandering, unsettled disposition; their so frequently breaking up their old towns and settling new ones, &c. His answers and opinions were, the necessity they were under of having fresh or new strong land for their plantations; and new, convenient and extensive range or hunting ground, which unavoidably forces them into contentions and wars with their confederates and neighbouring tribes; to avoid which they had rather move and seek a plentiful and peaceable retreat, even at a distance, than to contend with friends and relatives or embroil themselves in destructive wars with their neighbours, when either can be avoided with so little inconvenience. With regard to the Muscogulges, the first object in order to obtain these conveniencies was the destruction of the Yamases, who held the possession of Florida and were in close alliance with the Spaniards, their declared and most inveterate enemy, which they at length fully accomplished; and by this conquest they gained a vast and invaluable territory, comprehending a delightful region and a most plentiful country for their favourite game, bear and deer. But not yet satisfied, having already so far conquered the powerful Cherokees, as, in a manner, to force them in alliance, and compelled the warlike Chicasaws to sue for peace and alliance with them; they then grew arrogant and insatiable, and turned their covetous looks towards the potent and intrepid Chactaws, the only Indian enemy they had to fear, meaning to break them up and possess themselves of that extensive, fruitful and delightful country, and make it a part of their vast empire; but the Chactaws, a powerful, hardy, subtile and intrepid race, estimated at twenty thousand warriors, are likely to afford sufficient exercise for the proud and restless spirits of the Muscogulges, at least for some years to come, and they appear to be so equally matched with the Chactaws, it seems doubtful which of these powerful nations will rise victorious. The Creeks have sworn, it seems, that they never will make peace with this enemy as long as the rivers flow or the sun pursues his course through the skies.
THUS we see that war or the exercise of arms originates from the same motives, and operates in the spirits of the wild red men of America, as it formerly did with the renowned Greeks and Romans or modern civilized nations, and not from a ferocious, capricious desire of sheding human blood as carnivorous savages; neither does the eager avarice of plunder stimulate them to acts of madness and cruelty, that being a trifling object in their estimation, a duffield blanket, a polished rifle gun, or embroidered mantle; no, their martial prowess and objects of desire and ambition proceed from greater principles and more magnanimous intentions, even that of reuniting all nations and languages under one universal confederacy or commonwealth.
THE vegetable productions in the rich low ground, near the banks of this great river, of trees and shrubs, are as follow, Platanus occidentalis, Liriodendron tulipifera, Populus heterophylla, Laurus sassafras, Laurus Borbonia, Laurus benzoin, Betula lenta, Salix fluvialis, Magnolia grandiflora, Annona glabra, Ulmus campestris, Ulmus suberifera, Carpinus, Quercus, various species, Juglans, various species, �sculus pavia, �sculus sylvatica, s. Virginiana, Morus, Hopea tinctoria, Fagus sylvatica, of surprising magnitude and comeliness, &c. The land rises from the river with sublime magnificence, gradually retreating by flights or steps one behind and above the other, in beautiful theatrical order, each step or terrace holding up a level plain; and as we travel back from the river the steps are higher, and the corresponding levels are more and more expansive; the ascents produce grand high forests, and the plains present to view a delightful varied landscape, consisting of extensive grassy fields, detached groves of high forest trees, and clumps of lower trees, evergreen shrubs and herbage; green knolls, with serpentine, wavy, glittering brooks coursing through the green plains, and dark promontories, or obtuse projections of the side-long acclivities, alternately advancing or receding on the verge of the illumined native fields, to the utmost extent of sight; the summits of the acclivities afford, besides the forest trees already recited, Halesia, Ptelea, Circis, Cornus Florida and Amorpha. The upper mound or terrace holds up a dilated level plain of excellent land, for the distance of five or six miles in width, which is a high forest of the majestic trees already mentioned, as Quercus tinctoria, Juglans nigra, Morus, Ulmus, Telea, Gleditsia, Juglans hickory, &c. The land after this distance, though almost flat and level, becomes leaner; the vegetative mould or surface is shallower, on a stratum of tenacious humid clay, for the distance of fifteen or twenty miles, more or less, according to the distance of the next great river; presenting to our view a fine expanse of level grassy plains, detached forests and groves of Quercus alba, Q. lobata, Q. phillos, Q. heimspherica, Q. aquatica, with entire groves of the splendid Nyssa sylvatica and perfumed Liquid-amber styraciflua, vast Cane meadows, and lastly a chain of grassy savannas: immediately from this we began to ascend gradually, the most elevated, gravelly and stony ridge, consisting of parallel chains of broken swelling hills, the very highest chain, frequently presenting to view cliffs of the ferrugineous rocks and red clay already noticed. This last mentioned high ridge divides the waters of the great rivers from each other, whence arise the sources of their numerous lateral branches, gradually increasing as they wind about the hills, fertilizing the vales, and level plains, by their inundations, as they pour forth from the vast humid forests and shaded prolific hills and lastly, flow down, with an easy, meandering, steady course, into the rivers to which they are tributary.
OUR horses by this time having recruited themselves, by ranging at liberty and feeding in the rich young cane swamps, in the vicinity of Apalachucla, we resumed our journey for Mobile, having here repaired our equipage and replenished ourselves with fresh supplies of provisions. Our caravan was now reduced to its original number; the companies of traders who joined us at the Flat-rock, on our arrival at this town separated from us, betaking themselves to the several towns in the Nation, where they were respectively bound. I shall just mention a very curious non-descript shrub, which I observed growing in the shady forests, beneath the ascents, next bordering on the rich low lands of the river.
THIS stoloniferous shrub grows five or six feet in height; many stems usually ascend from a root or the same source; these several stems diverge from each other, or incline a little towards the earth, covered with a smooth whitish bark, divided oppositely, and the branches wreath and twist about, being ornamented with compound leaves; there being five lanciolate serrated leaves, associated upon one general long slender petiole, which stand oppositely, on the branches, which terminate with a spike, or pannicle of white flowers, which have an agreeable scent; from the characters of the flowers, this shrub appears to be a species of �sculus or Pavia, but as I could find none of the fruit and but a few flowers, quite out of season and imperfect, I am not certain.
PERSONS, MANNERS, CUSTOMS
MUSCOGULGES OR CREEKS,
CHEROKEES, CHACTAWS, &c.
ABORIGINES OF THE CONTINENT OF
PRINTED BYJAMES & JOHNSON
DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTER, CUSTOMS AND PERSONS OF THE AMERICAN ABORIGINES, FROM MY OWN OBSERVATIONS, AS WELL AS FROM THE GENERAL AND IMPARTIAL REPORT OF ANCIENT, RESPECTABLE MEN, EITHER OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE, OR WHITE TRADERS, WHO HAVE SPENT MANY DAYS OF THEIR LIVES AMONGST THEM.
PERSONS AND QUALIFICATIONS.
THE males of the Cherokees, Muscogulges, Siminoles, Chicasaws, Chactaws and confederate tribes of the Creeks, are tall, erect, and moderately robust, their limbs well shaped, so as generally to form a perfect human figure; their features regular, and countenance open, dignified and placid; yet the forehead and brow so formed, as to strike you instantly with heroism and bravery; the eye though rather small, yet active and full of fire; the pupil always black, and the nose commonly inclining to the aquiline.
THEIR countenance and actions exhibit an air of magnanimity, superiority and independence.
THEIR complexion of a reddish brown or copper colour; their hair long, lank, coarse and black as a raven, and reflecting the like lustre at different exposures to the light.
THE women of the Cherokees are tall, slender, erect and of a delicate frame, their features formed with perfect symetry, their countenance cheerful and friendly, and they move with a becoming grace and dignity.
THE Muscogulge women, though remarkably short of stature, are well formed; their visage round, features regular and beautiful; the brow high and arched; the eye large, black and languishing, expressive of modesty, difidence, and bashfulness; these charms are their defensive and offensive weapons, and they know very well how to play them off. And under cover of these alluring graces, are concealed the most subtile artifice; they are however loving and affectionate: they are I believe the smallest race of women yet known, seldom above five feet high, and I believe the greater number never arrive to that stature: their hands and feet not larger than those of Europeans of nine or ten years of age; yet the men are of gigantic stature, a full size larger than Europeans; many of them above six feet, and few under that, or five feet eight or ten inches. Their complexion much darker than any of the tribes to the North of them, that I have seen. This description will I believe comprehend the Muscogulges, their confederates, the Chactaws, and I believe the Chicasaws (though I have never seen their women) excepting however some bands of the Siminoles, Uches and Savannucas, who are rather taller and slenderer, and their complexion brighter
THE Cherokees are yet taller and more robust than the Muscogulges, and by far the largest race of men I have seen; their complexions brighter and somewhat of the olive cast, especially the adults; and some of their young women are nearly as fair and blooming as European women.
THE Cherokees in their dispositions and manners are grave and steady; dignified and circumspect in their deportment; rather slow and reserved in conversation; yet frank, cheerful and humane; tenacious of the liberties and natural nights of men; secret, deliberate and determined in their councils; honest, just and liberal, and are ready always to sacrifice every pleasure and gratification, even their blood, and life itself, to defend their territory and maintain their rights. They do homage to the Muscogulges with reluctance, and are impatient under that galling yoke. I was witness to a most humiliating lash, which they passively received from their red masters, at the great congress and treaty of Augusta, when these people acceded with the Creeks, to the cession of the New Purchase; where were about three hundred of the Creeks, a great part of whom were warriors, and about one hundred Cherokees.
THE first day of convention opened with settling the preliminaries, one article of which was a demand on the part of the Georgians, to a territory lying on the Tugilo, and claimed by them both, which it seems the Cherokees had, previous to the opening of congress, privately conveyed to the Georgian, unknown to the Creeks, which the Georgians mentioning as a matter settled, the Creeks demanded in council, on what foundation they built that claim, saying they had never ceded these lands. The Georgians answered, that they bought them of their friends and brothers the Cherokees. The Creeks nettled and incensed at this, a chief and warrior started up, and with an agitated and terrific countenance, frowning menaces and disdain, fixed his eyes on the Cherokee chiefs, asked them what right they had to give away their lands, calling them old women, and saying that they had long ago obliged them to wear the petticoat; a most humiliating and degrading stroke, in the presence of the chiefs of the whole Muscogulge confederacy, of the Chicasaws, principle men and citizens of Georgia, Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, in the face of their own chiefs and citizens, and amidst the laugh and jeers of the assembly, especially the young men of Virginia, their old enemy and dreaded neighbour: but humiliating as it really was, they were obliged to bear the stigma passively, and even without a reply.
AND moreover, these arrogant bravos and usurpers, carried their pride and importance to such lengths, as even to threaten to dissolve the congress and
THE national character of the Muscogulges, when considered in a political view, exhibits a portraiture of a great or illustrious heroe. A proud, haughty and arrogant race of men; they are however, brave and valiant in war, ambitious of conquest, restless and perpetually exercising their arms, yet magnanimous and merciful to a vanquished enemy, when he submits and seeks their friendship and protection: always uniting the vanquished tribes in confederacy with them; when they immediately enjoy, unexceptionably, every right of free citizens, and are from that moment united in one common band of brotherhood: they were never known to exterminate a tribe, except the Yamasees, who would never submit on any terms, but fought it out to the last, only about forty or fifty of them escaping at the last decisive battle, who threw themselves under the protection of the Spaniards at St. Augustine.
ACCORDING to their own account, which I believe to be true, after their arrival in this country, they joined in alliance and perpetual amity, with the British colonists of South Carolina and Georgia, which they never openly violated; but on the contrary, pursued every step to strengthen the alliance; and their aged chiefs to this day, speak of it with tears of joy, and exult in that memorable transaction, as one of the most glorious events in the annals of their nation.
As an instance of their ideas of political impartial justice, and homage to the Supreme Being, as the high arbiter of human transactions, who alone claims the right of taking away the life of man: I beg leave to offer to the reader's consideration, the following event, as I had it from the mouth of a Spaniard, a respectable inhabitant of East Florida.
THE son of the Spanish governor of St. Augustine, together with two young gentlemen, his friends and associates, conceived a design of amusing themselves in a party of sport, at hunting and fishing. Having provided themselves with a convenient bark, ammunition, fishing tackle, &c. they sat sail, directing their course South, along the coast towards the point of Florida, putting into bays and rivers, as conveniency and the prospect of game invited them; the pleasing rural, and diversified scenes of the Florida coast, imperceptibly allured them far to the south, beyond the Spanish fortified post. Unfortunate youth! regardless of the advice and injunctions of their parents and friends, still pursuing the delusive objects, they enter a harbour at evening, with a view of chasing the roe-buck, and hunting up the sturdy bear, solacing themselves with delicious fruits, and reposing under aromatic shades, when alas! cruel unexpected event, in the beatific moments of their slumbers, they are surrounded, arrested and carried off by a predatory band of Creek Indians, proud of the capture, so rich a prize; they hurry away into cruel bondage the hapless youth, conducting them, by devious paths through dreary swamps and boundless savannas, to the Nation.
AT that time the Indians were at furious war with the Spaniards, scarcely any bounds set to their cruelties on either side: in short, the miserable youth were condemned to be burnt.
BUT, there being English traders in these towns, who learning the character of the captives, and expecting great rewards from the Spanish governor, if they could deliver them; they petitioned the Indians on their behalf, expressing their wishes to obtain their rescue, offering a great ransom, acquainting them at the same time, that they were young men of high rank, and one of them the governor's son.
UPON this, the head men, or chiefs of the whole nation, were convened, and after solemn and mature deliberation, they returned the traders their final answer and determination, which was as follows.
"BROTHERS and friends. We have been considering upon this business concerning the captives. — And that, under the eye and fear of the Great Spirit. You know that these people are our cruel enemies, they save no lives of us red men, who fall in their power. You say that the youth is the son of the Spanish governor, we believe it, we are sorry he has fallen into our hands, but he is our enemy; the two young men (his friends) are equally our enemies, we are sorry to see them here: but we know no difference in their flesh and blood; they are equally our enemies, if we save one we must save all three; but we cannot do it, the red men require their blood to appease the spirits of their slain relatives; they have entrusted us with the guardianship of our laws and rights, we cannot betray them.
HOWEVER we have a sacred prescription relative to this affair; which allows us to extend mercy to a certain degree: a third is saved by lot; the Great Spirit allows us to put it to that decision; he is no respecter of persons." The lots are cast. The governor's son was taken and burnt.
IF we consider them with respect to their private character or in a moral view, they must, I think, claim our approbation, if we divest ourselves of prejudice and think freely. As moral men they certainly stand in no need of European civilization.
THEY are just, honest, liberal and hospitable to strangers; considerate, loving and affectionate to their wives and relations; fond of their children; industrious, frugal, temperate and persevering; charitable and forbearing. I have been weeks and months amongst them and in their towns, and never observed the least sign of contention or wrangling: never saw an instance of an Indian beating his wife, or even reproving her in anger. In this case they stand as examples of reproof to the most civilized nations, as not being defective in justice, gratitude and a good understanding; for indeed their wives merit their esteem and the most gentle treatment, they being industrious, frugal, careful, loving and affectionate.
THE Muscogulges are more volatile, sprightly and talkative than their Northern neighbours, the Cherokees; and, though far more distant from the white settlements than any nation East of the Mississipi or Ohio, appear evidently to have made greater advances towards the refinements of true civilization, which cannot, in the least degree, be attributed to the good examples of the white people.
THEIR internal police and family economy is what at once engages the notice of European travellers, and incontrovertibly places these people in an illustrious point of view; their liberality, intimacy and friendly intercourse one with another, without any restraint of ceremonious formality, as if they were even insensible of the use or necessity of associating the passions or affections of avarice, ambition or covetousness.
A MAN goes forth on his business or avocations, he calls in at another town, if he wants victuals, rest or-social conversation, he confidently approaches the door of the first house he chooses, saying "I am come;" the good man or woman replies, "You are; its well." Immediately victuals and drink are ready; he eats and drinks a little, then smokes Tobacco, and converses either of private matters, public talks or the news of the town. He rises and says, "I go;" the other answers, "You do!" He then proceeds again, and steps in at the next habitation he likes, or repairs to the public square, where are people always conversing by day, or dancing all night, or to some more private assembly, as he likes; he needs no one to introduce him, any more than the black-bird or thrush, when he repairs to the fruitful groves, to regale on their luxuries, and entertain the fond female with evening songs.
IT is astonishing, though a fact, as well as a sharp reproof to the white people, if they will allow themselves liberty to reflect and form a just estimate, and I must own elevates these people to the first rank amongst mankind, that they have been able to resist the continual efforts of the complicated host of vices, that have for ages overrun the nations of the old world, and so contaminated their morals; yet more so, since such vast armies of these evil spirits have invaded this continent, and closely invested them on all sides. Astonishing indeed! when we behold the ill, immoral conduct of too many white people, who reside amongst them: notwithstanding it seems natural, eligible and even easy for these simple, illiterate people, to put in practice those beautiful lectures delivered to us by the ancient sages and philosophers, and recorded for our instruction.
I SAW a young Indian in the Nation, who when present, and beholding the scenes of mad intemperance and folly acted by the white men in the town, clap his hand to his breast, and with a smile, looking aloft as if struck with astonishment, and wrapt in love and adoration to the Deity, as who should say, O thou Great and Good Spirit, we are indeed sensible of thy benignity and favour to us red men, in denying us the understanding of white men. We did not know before they came amongst us that
THE Muscogulges, with their confederates, the Chactaws, Chicasaws, and perhaps the Cherokees, eminently deserve the encomium of all nations, for their wisdom and virtue in resisting and even repeling the greatest, and even the common enemy of mankind, at least of most of the European nations, I mean spirituous liquors.
THE first and most cogent article in all their treaties with the white people, is, that there shall not be any kind of spirituous liquors sold or brought into their towns; and the traders are allowed but two kegs (five gallons each) which is supposed to be sufficient for a company, to serve them on the road, and if any of this remains on their approaching the towns, they must spill it on the ground or secrete it on the road, for it must not come into the town.
ON my journey from Mobile to the Nation, just after we had passed the junction of the Pensacola road with our path, two young traders overtook us on their way to the Nation. We enquired what news? They informed us that they were running about forty kegs of Jamaica spirits (which by dashing would have made at least eighty kegs) to the Nation; and after having left the town three or four days, they were surprised on the road in the evening, just after they had come to camp, by a party of Creeks, who discovering their species of merchandize, they forthwith struck their tomahawks into every keg, giving the liquor to the thirsty sand, not tasting a drop of it themselves, and they had enough to do to keep the tomahawks from their own skulls.
HOW are we to account for their excellent policy in civil government: it cannot derive its influence from coercive laws, for they have no such artificial system. Divine wisdom dictates and they obey.
WE see and know full well the direful effect of this torrent of evil, which has its source in hell, and we know surely, as well as these savages, how to divert its course and suppress its inundations. Do we want wisdom and virtue? let our youth then repair to the venerable councils of the Muscogulges.
OF THEIR GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY.
THE constitution or system of their police is simply natural, and as little complicated as that which is supposed to direct or rule the approved economy of the ant and the bee, and seems to be nothing more than the simple dictates of natural reason, plain to every one, yet recommended to them by their wife and virtuous elders as divine, because necessary for securing mutual happiness: equally binding and effectual, as being proposed and assented to in the general combination: every one's conscience being a sufficient conviction (the golden rule, do as you would be done by) instantly presents to view, and produces a society of peace and love, which in effect better maintains human happiness, than the most complicated system of modern politics, or sumptuary laws, enforced by coercive means: for here the people are all on an equality, as to the possession and enjoyments of the common necessaries and conveniencies of life, for luxuries and superfluities they have none.
THIS natural constitution is simply subordinate, and the supreme, sovereign or executive power resides in a council of elderly chiefs, warriors and others, respectable for wisdom, valour and virtue.
AT the head of this venerable senate, presides their mico or king, which signifies a magistrate or chief ruler: the governors of Carolina, Georgia, &c. are called mico; and the king of England is called Ant-apala-mice-clucco; that is the great king, over or beyond the great water.
THE king although he is acknowledged to be the first and greatest man in the town or tribe, and honoured with every due and rational mark of love and esteem, and when presiding in council, with a humility and homage as reverent as that paid to the most despotic monarch in Europe or the East, and when absent, his seat is not filled by any other person, yet he is not dreaded, and when out of the council, he associates with the people as a common man, converses with them, and they with him in perfect ease and familiarity.
THE mico or king, though elective, yet his advancement to that supreme dignity must be understood in a very different light from the elective monarchs of the old world, where the progress to magistracy is generally affected by schism and the influence of friends gained by craft, bribery and often by more violent efforts; and after the throne is obtained, by measures little better than usurpation, he must be protected and supported there, by the same base means that carried him thither.
BUT here behold the majesty of the Muscogulge mico, he does not either publicly or privately beg of the people to place him in a situation to command and rule them. No, his appearance is altogether mysterious, as a benificent deity he rises king over them, as the sun rises to bless the earth!
No one will tell you how or when he became their king; but he is universally acknowledged to be the greatest person among them, and he is loved, esteemed and reverenced, although he associates, eats, drinks and dances with them in common as another man, his dress is the same, and a stranger could not distinguish the king's habitation, from that of any other citizen by any sort of splendor or magnificence: yet he percieves they act as though their mico beheld them though invisible. In a word, their mico seems to them, the representative of Providence or the Great Spirit, whom they acknowledge to preside over and influence their councils and public proceedings. He personally presides daily in their councils, either at the rotunda or public square: and even here his voice in regard to business in hand, is regarded no more, than any other chief or senator's, any other than in his advice as being the best and wisest man of the tribe, and not by virtue of regal prerogative. But whether their ultimate decisions require unanimity, or only a majority of voices, I am uncertain, but probably where there is a majority, the minority voluntarily accede.
THE most active part the mico acts, is in the civil government of the town or tribe, here he has the power and prerogative of calling a council, to deliberate on peace and war, or all public concerns, as enquiring into, and deciding upon complaints and differences, but he has not the least shadow of exclusive executive power. He is complimented with the first visits of strangers, giving audience to ambassadors, with presents, and he has also the disposal of the public granary.
THE next man in order of dignity and power, is the great war chief, he represents and exercises the dignity of the mico, in his absence in council; his voice is of the greatest weight, in military affairs: his power and authority are entirely independent of the mico, though when a mico goes on an expedition, he heads the army, and is there the war chief: there are many of these war chiefs in a town or tribe, who are captains or leaders of military parties; they are elderly men, who in their youthful days, have distinguished themselves in war by valour, subtilty and intrepidity: and these veteran chiefs, in a great degree, constitute their truly dignified and venerable senates.
THERE is in every town or tribe a high priest, usually called by the white people jugglers, or conjurers, besides several juniors or graduates. But the ancient high priest or seer, presides in spiritual affairs, and is a person of consequence; he maintains and exercises great influence in the state; particularly in military affairs, the senate never determine on an expedition against their enemy without his counsel and assistance. These people generally believe that their seer has communion with powerful invisible spirits, who they suppose have a share in the rule and government of human affairs, as well as the elements; that he can predict the result of an expedition, and his influence is so great, that they have been known frequently to stop, and turn back an army, when within a days journey of their enemy, after a march of several hundred miles, and indeed their predictions have surprized many people. They foretel rain or drougth, and pretend to bring rain at pleasure, cure diseases, and exercise witchcraft, invoke or expel evil spirits, and even assume the power of directing thunder and lightning.
THESE Indians are by no means idolaters, unless their puffing the Tobacco smoke towards the sun, and rejoicing at the appearance of the new moon, may be termed fo. So far from idolatry are they, that they have no images amongft them, nor any religious rite or ceremony that I could per-ceive ; but adore the Great Spirit, the giver and taker away of the breath of life, with the moft profound and refpedlful homage. They believe in a future ftate, where the fpirit exifts, which they call the world of spirits, where they enjoy different degrees of tranquillity or comfort, agreeably to their life fpent here : a perfon who in his life has been an indudrious hunter, provided well for his family, an intrepid and alive warrior, juft, upright, and done all the good he could, will, they fay, in the world of fpirits, live in a warm, pleafant country, where are expanfive, green, flowery favannas and high forefts, watered with rivers of pure waters, replenifned with deer, and every piece of game; a ferene, unclouded and peaceful sky; in fliort, where there is fulnefs of pleafure uninterrupted.
THEY have many accounts of trances and visions of their people, who have been supposed to be dead, but afterwards reviving have related their visions, which tend to enforce the practice of virtue and the moral duties.
BEFORE I went amongst the Indians I had often heard it reported that these people, when their parents, through extreme old age, become decrepid and helpless, in compassion for their miseries, send them to the other world, by a stroke of the tomahawk or bullet. Such a degree of depravity and species of impiety always appeared to me so incredibly
THE traders assured me they knew no instance of such barbarism, but that there had been instances of the communities performing such a deed at the earnest request of the victim.
WHEN I was at Mucclasse town, early one morning, at the invitation of the chief trader, we repaired to the public square, taking with us some presents for the Indian chiefs. On our arrival we took our seats in a circle of venerable men, round a fire in the centre of the area; other citizens were continually coming in, and amongst them I was struck with awe and veneration at the appearance of a very aged man; his hair, what little he had, was as white as snow, he was conducted by three young men, one having hold of each arm, and the third behind to steady him. On his approach the whole circle saluted him, "welcome," and made way for him: he looked as smiling and cheerful as youth, yet stone-blind by extreme old age; he was the most ancient chief of the town, and they all seemed to reverence him. Soon after the old man had seated himself I distributed my presents, giving him a very fine handkerchief and a twist of choice Tobacco; which passed through the hands of an elderly chief who sat next to him, telling him it was a present from one of their white brothers, lately arrived in the nation from Charleston: he received the present with a smile, and thanked me, returning the favour immediately with his own stone pipe and cat skin of Tobacco, and then complimented me with a long oration, the purport of which was the value he set on the friendship of the Carolinians: he said, that when he was a young man they had no iron hatchets, pots, hoes, knives, razors nor guns, but that they then made use of their own stone axes, clay pots, flint knives, bows and arrows; and that he was the first man who brought the white peoples goods into his town, which he did on his back from Charleston, five hundred miles on foot, for they had no horses then amongst them.
THE trader then related to me an anecdote concerning this ancient patriarch, which occurred not long since.
ONE morning after his attendants had led him to the council fire, before seating himself he addressed himself to the people after this manner —
"YOU yet love me; what can I do now to merit your regard? nothing; I am good for nothing; I cannot see to shoot the buck or hunt up the sturdy bear; I know I am but a burthen to you; I have lived long enough; now let my spirit go; I want to see the warriors of my youth in the country of spirits; (bareing his breast) here is the hatchet, take it and strike." They answered with one united voice, "We will not; we cannot; we want you here."
OF THEIR DRESS, FEASTS AND DIVERTISEMENTS.
THE youth of both sexes are fond of decorating themselves with external ornaments. The men shave their head, leaving only a narrow crest or comb, beginning at the crown of the head, where it is about two inches broad and about the same height, and stands frized upright; but this crest tending backwards, gradually widens, covering the hinder part of the head and back of the neck; this lank hair behind is ornamented with pendant silver quills, and then jointed or articulated silver plates, and usually the middle fascicle of hair, which being by far the longest, is wrapped in a large quill of silver, or the joint of a small reed, curiously sculptured and painted, the hair continuing through it terminates in a tail or tossil.
THEIR ears are lacerated, separating the border or cartilagenous limb, which at first is bound round very close and tight with leather strings or thongs, and anointed with fresh bear's oil, until healed; the weight of the lead, extends this cartilage an incredible length, which afterwards being craped, or bound round in brass or silver wire, extends it semicircularly like a bow or crescent; and it is then very elastic, even so as to spring and bound about with the least motion or flexure of the body; this is decorated with soft white plumes of heron feathers.
A VERY curious diadem or band, about four inches broad, and ingeniously wrought or woven, and curiously decorated with stones, beads, wampum, porcupine quills, &c. encircles their temples, the front peak of which is embellished with a high waving plume, of crane or heron feathers.
THE cloathing of their body is very simple and frugal. Sometimes a ruffled shirt of fine linen, next the skin, and a flap, which covers their lower parts, this garment somewhat resembles the ancient Roman breeches, or the kelt of the Highlanders; it usually consists of a piece of blue cloth, about eighteen inches wide, this they pass between their thighs, and both ends being taken up and drawn through a belt round their waist, the ends fall down, one before, and the other behind, not quite to the knee; this flap is usually plaited and indented at the ends, and ornamented with beads, tinsel lace, &c.
THE leg is furnished with cloth boots; they reach from the ancle to the calf, and are ornamented with lace, beads, silver bells, &c.
AND the stillepica or moccasin defends and adorns the feet; they seem to be an imitation of the ancient buskin or sandal; these are very ingeniously made of deer skins, dressed very soft, and curiously ornamented according to fancy.
BESIDE this attire, they have a large mantle of the finest cloth they are able to purchase, always either of scarlet or blue colour; this mantle is fancifully decorated, with rich lace or fringe round the border, and often with little round silver, or brass bells. Some have a short cloak, just large enough to cover the shoulders and breast; this is most ingeniously constructed, of feathers woven or placed in a natural imbricated manner, usually of the scarlet feathers of the flamingo, or others of the gayest colour.
THEY have large silver crescents, or gorgets, which being suspended by a ribband round the neck, lie upon the breast: and the arms are ornamented with silver bands, or bracelets, and silver and gold chains, &c. a collar invests the neck.
THE head, neck and breast, are painted with vermilion, and some of the warriors have the skin of the breast, and muscular parts of the body, very curiously inscribed, or adorned with hieroglyphick scroles, flowers, figures of animals, stars, crescents, and the sun in the centre of the breast. This painting of the flesh, I understand, is performed in their youth, by picking the skin with a needle, until the blood starts, and rubbing in a blueish tinct, which is as permanent as their life. The shirt hangs loose about the waist, like a frock, or split down before, resembling a gown, which is sometimes wrapped close, and the waist encircled by a curious belt or sash.
THE dress of the females is somewhat different from that of the men; their flap or petticoat, is made after a different manner, is larger and longer, reaching almost to the middle of the leg, and is put on differently; they have no shirt or shift but a little short waistcoat, usually made of callico, printed linen, or fine cloth, decorated with lace, beads, &c. They never wear boots or stockings, but their buskins reach to the middle of the leg. They never cut their hair, but plait it in wreathes, which is turned up, and fastened on the crown, with a silver broach, forming a wreathed top-knot, decorated with an incredibly quantity of silk ribbands, of various colours, which stream down on every side, almost to the ground. They never paint, except those of a particular class, when disposed to grant certain favours to the other sex.
BUT these decorations are only to be considered as indulgencies on particular occasions, and the privilege of youth; as at weddings, festivals, dances, &c. or when the men assemble to act the war farce, on the evening immediately preceding their march on a hostile expedition; for usually they are almost naked, contenting themselves with the flap and sometimes a shirt, boots and moccasins; the mantle is seldom worn by the men, except at night, in the winter season, when extremely cold, and by the women at dances, which serves the purpose of a veil, and the females always wear the jacket, flap, and buskin, even children as soon or before they can walk; whereas the male youth go perfectly naked until they are twelve or fifteen years of age.
THE junior priests or students, constantly wear the mantle or robe, which is white; and they have a great owl skin cased and stuffed very ingeniously, so well executed, as almost to represent the living bird, having large sparkling glass beads, or buttons fixed in the head for eyes: this insignia of wisdom and divination, they wear sometimes as a crest on the top of the head, at other times the image sits on the arm, or is borne on the hand. These bachelors are also distinguishable from the other people, by their taciturnity, grave and solemn countenance, dignified step, and singing to themselves songs or hymns, in a low sweet voice, as they stroll about the towns.
THESE people, like all other nations, are fond of music and dancing: their music is both vocal and instrumental; but of the latter they have scarcely any thing worth the name; the tambour, rattlegourd, and a kind of flute, made of a joint of reed or the tibia of the deers leg: on this instrument they perform badly, and at best it is rather a hideous melancholy discord, than harmony; it is only young fellows who amuse themselves on this howling instrument, but the tambour and rattle, accompanied with their sweet low voices, produces a pathetic harmony, keeping exact time together, and the countenance of the musician, at proper times, seems to express the solemn elevated state of the mind; at that time there seems not only a harmony between him and his instrument, but instantly touches the feelings of the attentive audience, as the influence of an active and powerful spirit; there is then an united universal sensation of delight and peaceful union of souls throughout the assembly.
THEIR music, vocal and instrumental, united, keeps exact time with the performers or dancers.
THEY have an endless variety of steps, but the most common, and that which I term the most civil, and indeed the most admired and practiced amongst themselves, is a slow shuffling alternate step; both feet move forward one after the other, first the right foot foremost, and next the left, moving one after the other, in two opposite circles, i. e. first a circle of young men, and within a circle of young women moving together opposite ways, the men with the course of the sun, and the females contrary to it, the men strike their arm with the open hand, and the girls clap hands, and raise their shrill sweet voices, answering an elevated shout of the men at stated times of termination of the stanzas; and the girls perform an interlude or chorus separately.
THEY have songs to accompany their dances, of different classes, as martial, bacchanalian and amorous, which last I must confess, are extravagantly libidinous, and they have moral songs, which seem to be the most esteemed and practised, and answer the purpose of religious lectures.
SOME of their most favorite songs and dances, they have from their enemy, the Chactaw; for it seems this people are very eminent, for poetry and music; every town amongst them strives to excel each other in composing new songs for dances; and by a custom amongst them, they must have at least one new song, for exhibition, at every annual busque.
THE young mustee, who came with me to the Mucclasses from Mobile, having Chactaw blood in his veins from his mother, was a sensible young fellow, and by his father had been instructed in reading, writing and arithmetic, and could speak English very well. He took it into his head, to travel into the Chactaw country: his views were magnanimous, and his designs in the highest degree commendable, nothing less than to inform himself of every species of arts and sciences, that might be of use and advantage, when introduced into his own country, but more particularly music and poetry: with these views he privately left the Nation, went to Mobile, and there entered into the service of the trading company to the Chactaws, as a white man; his easy, communicative, active and familiar disposition and manners, being agreeable to that people, procured him access every where, and favored his subtilty and artifice: at length, however, the Chactaws hearing of his lineage and consanguinity with the Creeks, by the father's side, pronounced him a Creek, and consequently an enemy and a spy amongst them, and secretly resolved to dispatch him. The young philosopher got notice of their suspicions, and hostile intentions, in time to make his escape, though closely pursued, he however kept a head of his sanguinary pursuers, arrived at Mobile, and threw himself under the protection of the English, entered the service of the trader of Mucclasse, who was then setting off for the Nation, and notwithstanding the speed with which we travelled, narrowly escaped the ardor and vigilance of his pursuing enemies, who surprised a company of emigrants, in the desarts of Schambe, the very night after we met them, expecting to intercept him thereabout.
THE young traveller, having learned all their most celebrated new songs and poetry, at a great dance and festival in the Mucclasse, a day or two after our arrival; the youth pressed him, to give out some of his new songs, he complied with their entreaties, and the songs and dance went round with harmony and eclat; their being a young Chactaw slave girl in the circle, who soon after, discovered very affecting sensations of affliction and distress of mind, and before the conclusion of the dance, many of her companions complimented her with sympathetic sighs and tears, from their own sparkling eyes. As soon as I had an opportunity, I enquired of the young Orpheus, the cause of that song being so distressing to the young slave. He replied, that when she was lately taken captive, her father and brothers were slain in the contest, and she understanding the sense of the song, called to remembrance the tragical sate of her family, and could not forbear weeping at the recital.
The meaning of the chorus was,
All men must surely die,
Tho' no one knows how soon,
Yet when the time shall come,
The event may be joyful.
THESE doleful moral songs or elegies, have a quick and sensible effect on their passions, and discover a lively affection and sensibility; their countenance now dejected, or again, by an easy transition, becomes gently elevated, as if in solemn address or supplication, accompanied with a tremulous, sweet, lamentable voice; a stranger is for a moment lost to himself as it were, or his mind, associated with the person immediately affected, is in danger of revealing his own distress unawares.
THEY have a variety of games for exercise and pastime; some particular to the men, some to the female sex, and others wherein both sexes are engaged.
THE ball play is esteemed the most noble and manly exercise; this game is exhibited in an extensive level plain, usually contiguous to the town: the inhabitants of one town play against another, in consequence of a challenge, when the youth of both sexes are often engaged, and sometimes stake their whole substance. Here they perform amazing feats of strength and agility; the game principally consists in taking and carrying off the ball from the opposite party, after being hurled into the air, midway between two high pillars, which are the goals, and the party who bears off the ball to their pillar wins the game; each person having a racquet or hurl, which is an implement of a very curious construction, somewhat resembling a ladle or little hoop-net, with a handle near three feet in length, the hoop and handle of wood, and the neting of thongs of raw hide, or tendons of an animal.
THE foot-ball is likewise a favorite, manly diversion with them. Feasting and dancing in the square, at evening ends all their games.
THEY have besides, feasts or festivals almost for every month in the year, which are chiefly dedicated to hunting and agriculture.
THE busk or feast of first fruits is their principal festival; this seems to end the last, and begin the new year.
IT commences in August, when their new crops of Corn are arrived to perfect maturity: and every town celebrates the busk seperately, when their own harvest is ready.
IF they have any religious rite or ceremony, this festival is its most solemn celebration.
WHEN a town celebrates the busk, having previously provided themselves with new clothes, new pots, pans and other household utensils and furniture, they collect all their worn out clothes and other despicable things, sweep and cleanse their houses, squares, and the whole town, of their filth, which with all the remaining grain and other old provisions, they cast together in one common heap, and consume it with fire; after having taken medicine, and fasted for three days, all the fire in the town is extinguished; during this fast they abstain from the gratification of every appetite and passion whatever. A general amnesty is proclaimed, all malefactors may return to their town, and they are absolved from their crimes, which are now forgotten, and they restored to favor.
ON the fourth morning, the high priest, by rubbing dry wood together, produces new fire in the public square, from whence every habitation in the town is supplied with the new and pure flame.
THEN the women go forth to the harvest field, and bring from thence new Corn and fruits, which being prepared in the best manner, in various dishes, and drink withal, is brought with solemnity to the square, where the people are assembled, apparelled in their new clothes and decorations. The men having regaled themselves, the remainder is carried off and distributed amongst the families of the town. The women and children solace themselves in their separate families, and in the evening repair to the public square, where they dance, sing and rejoice during the whole night, observing a proper and exemplary decorum; this continues three days, and the four following days they receive visits, and rejoice with their friends from neighbouring towns, who have purified and prepared themselves.
CONCERNING PROPERTY, AGRICULTURE, ARTS AND MANUFACTURES.
IT has been said by historians, who have written concerning the customs and usages of the aborigines of America, that they have every thing in common, and no private property; which are terms in my opinion too vague and general, when applied to these people. From my own frequent opportunities of observation, and the information of respectable characters, who have spent many years amongst them, I venture to set this matter in a just view before my readers.
I SHALL begin with the produce of their agricultural labours.
AN Indian town is generally so situated, as to be convenient for procuring game, secure from sudden invasion, a large district of excellent arable land adjoining, or in its vicinity, if possible on an isthmus betwixt two waters, or where the doubling of a river forms a peninsula such a situation generally comprises a sufficient body of excellent land for planting Corn, Potatoes, Beans, Squash, Pumpkins, Citruls, Melons, &c. and is taken in with a small expence and trouble of fencing, to secure their crops from the invasion of predatory animals. At other times however they choose such a convenient fertile spot at some distance from their town, when circumstances will not admit of having both together.
THIS is their common plantation, and the whole town plant in one vast field together, but yet the part or share of every individual family or habitation, is separated from the next adjoining, by a narrow strip, or verge of grass, or any other natural or artificial boundary.
IN the spring, the ground being already prepared, on one and the same day, early in the morning, the whole town is summoned, by the sound of a conch shell, from the mouth of the overseer, to meet at the public square, whither the people repair with their hoes and axes, and from thence proceed to their plantation, where they begin to plant, not every one in his own little district, assigned and laid out, but the whole community united, begins on one certain part of the field, where they plant on until finished, and when their rising crops are ready for dressing, and cleansing, they proceed after the same order, and so on day after day, until the crop is laid by for ripening. After the feast of the busk is over, and all the grain is ripe, the whole town again assemble, and every man carries of the fruits of his labour, from the part first allotted to him, which he deposits in his own granary; which is individually his own. But previous to their carrying off their crops from the field, there is a large crib or granary, erected in the plantation, which is called the king's crib; and to this each family carries and deposits a certain quantity, according to his ability or inclination, or none at all if he so chooses, this in appearance seems a tribute or revenue to the mico, but in fact is designed for another purpose, i.e. that of a public treasury, supplied by a few and voluntary contributions, and to which every citizen has the right of free and equal access, when his own private stores are consumed, to serve as a surplus to fly to for succour, to assist neighbouring towns, whose crops may have failed, accommodate strangers, or travellers, afford provisions or supplies, when they go forth on hostile expeditions, and for all other exigencies of the state; and this treasure is at the disposal of the king or mico; which is surely a royal attribute to have an exclusive right and ability in a community to distribute comfort and blessings to the necessitous.
As to mechanic arts or manufactures, at present they have scarcely any thing worth observation, since they are supplied with necessaries, conveniencies and even superfluities by the white traders. The men perform nothing except erecting their mean habitations, forming their canoes, stone pipes, tambour, eagles tail or standard, and some other trifling matters, for war and hunting are their principal employments. The women are more vigilant, and turn their attention to various manual employments; they make all their pottery or earthen-ware, moccasins; spin and weave the curious belts and diadems for the men; fabricate lace, fringe, embroider and decorate their apparel, &c. &c.
OF THEIR MARRIAGE AND FUNERAL CEREMONIES.
AS to their marriage ceremonies they are very simple, yet differ greatly in the various nations and tribes. Amongst some of the bands in the Muscogulge confederacy, I was informed the mystery is performed after the following manner. When a young man has fixed his affections, and is determined to marry, he takes a Cane or Reed, such as they stick down at the hills of their Bean vines for their support: with this (after having obtained her parents or nearest relations consent) he repairs to the habitation of his beloved, attended by his friends and associates, and in the presence of the wedding guests, he sticks his Reed down, upright in the ground, when soon after his sweet-heart comes forth with another Reed, which she sticks down by the side of his, when they are married; then they exchange Reeds, which are laid by as evidences or certificates of the marriage, which is celebrated with feasting, music and dancing: each one of their relations and friends, at the wedding, contribute something towards establishing the new family. As soon as the wedding is over, the town is convened, and the council orders or recommends a new habitation to be constructed for the accommodation of the new family; every man in the town joins in the work, which is begun and finished in a day's time.
THE greatest accomplishments to recommend a young man to his favourite maid, is to prove himself a brave warrior, and a cunning, industrious hunter.
THEY marry only for a year's time, and, according to ancient custom, at the expiration of the year they renew the marriage; but there is seldom an instance of their separating after they have children. If it should happen, the mother takes the children under her own protection, though the father is obliged to contribute towards their maintainance during their minority and the mother's widowhood.
THE Muscogulges allow of polygamy in the utmost latitude; every man takes as many wives as he chooses, but the first is queen, and the others her handmaids and associates.
IT is common for a great man amongst them, who has already half a dozen wives, if he sees
ADULTERY is always punished with cropping, which is the only corporal punishment amongst them, and death or out-lawry for murder, and infamy for less crimes, as fornication, theft, &c. which produces such repeated marks and reflections of ridicule and contempt, that generally ends in voluntary banishment; and these renegadoes and vagabonds are generally the ruffians who commit depredations and murders on the frontiers.
THE Muscogulges bury their deceased in the earth; they dig a four square deep pit under the cabin or couch which the deceased laid on, in his house, lining the grave with Cypress bark, where they place the corps in a sitting posture, as if it were alive; depositing with him his gun, tomahawk, pipe and such other matters as he had the greatest value for in his life time. His eldest wife, or the queen dowager, has the second choice of his possessions, and the remaining effects are divided amongst his other wives and children.
THE Chactaws pay their last duties and respect to the deceased in a very different manner. As soon as a person is dead, they erect a scaffold eighteen or twenty feet high, in a grove adjacent to the town, where they lay the corps, lightly covered with a mantle; here it is suffered to remain, visited and protected by the friends and relations, until the flesh becomes putrid, so as easily to part from the bones, then undertakers, who make it their business, carefully strip the flesh from the bones, wash and cleanse them, and when dry and purified by the air, having provided a curiously wrought chest or coffin, fabricated of bones and splints, they place all the bones therein; which is deposited in the bone-house, a building erected for that purpose in every town. And when this house is full a general solemn funeral takes place. When the nearest kindred or friends of the deceased, on a day appointed, repair to the bone-house, take up the respective coffins, and following one another in order of seniority, the nearest relations and connections attending their respective corps, and the multitude following after them, all as one family, with united voice of alternate Allelujah and lamentation, slowly proceeding on to the place of general interment, where they place the coffins in order, forming a Pyramid, and lastly, cover all over with earth, which raises a conical hill or mount. When they return to town in order of solemn procession, concluding the day with a festival, which is called the feast of the dead.
THE Chactaws are called by the traders flats, or flat-heads, all the males having the fore and hind part of their skulls, artificially flattened, or compressed, which is effected after the following manner. As soon as the child is born, the nurse provides a cradle or wooden case, hollowed and fashioned, to receive the infant, lying prostrate on its back, and that part of the case where the head reposes, being fashioned like a brick mould. In this portable machine the little boy is fixed, a bag of sand being laid on his forehead, which by continual gentle compressure, gives the head somewhat the form of a brick from the temples upwards, and by these means they have high and lofty foreheads, sloping off backwards. These men are not so neat in the trim of their heads, as the Muscogulges are, and they are remarkably slovenly and negligent in every part of their dress; but otherwise they are said to be ingenious, sensible and virtuous men; bold and intrepid, yet quiet and peaceable, and are acknowledged by the Creeks to be brave.
THEY are supposed to be most ingenious and industrious husbandmen, having large plantations, or country farms, where they employ much of their time in agricultural improvements, after the manner of the white people; by which means their territories are more generally cultivated, and better inhabited than any other Indian republic that we know of; the number of their inhabitants is said to greatly exceed the whole Muscogulge confederacy, although their territories are not a fourth part as extensive. It appeared to me from observation, and what information I could get, that the Indians entertain rational notions of the soul's immortality, and of a future state of social existence; and accordingly, in order to inculcate morality, and promote human happiness, they applaud praiseworthy actions, as commendable and necessary for the support of civil society, and maintaining the dignity and strength of their nation or tribe, as well as securing an excellent and tranquil state and degree in the world of spirits, after their decease. And they say the Great Spirit favours all good and brave men.
LANGUAGE AND MANNERS.
THE Muscogulge language is spoken throughout the confederacy, (although consisting of many nations, who have a speech peculiar to themselves) as also by their friends and allies, the Natches. The Chicasaw and Chactaw the Muscogulges say is a dialect of theirs.
THIS language is very agreeable to the ear, courteous, gentle and musical: the letter R is not sounded in one word of their language: the women in particular speak so fine and musical, as to represent the singing of birds; and when heard and not seen, one might imagine it to be the prattling of young children: the men's speech is indeed more strong and sonorous, but not harsh, and in no instance guttural, and I believe the letter R is not used to express any word, in any language of the confederacy.
THE Cherokee tongue on the contrary, is very loud, somewhat rough and very sonorous, sounding the letter R frequently, yet very agreeable and pleasant to the ear. All the Indian languages, are truly rhetorical, or figurative, assisting their speech by tropes, their hands, flexure of the head, the brow, in short, every member, naturally associate, and give their assistance to render their harrangues eloquent, persuasive and effectual.
THE pyramidal hills or artificial mounts and highways, or avenues, leading from them to artificial lakes or ponds, vast tetragon terraces, Chunk yard, and obelisks or pillars of wood, are the only monuments of labour, ingenuity and magnificence, that I have seen worthy of notice, or remark. The region lying between Savanna river and Oakmulge, East and West, and from the sea coast to the Cherokee or Apalachean mountains, North and South, is the most remarkable for their high conical hills, tetragon terraces and chunk yards; this region was last possessed by the Cherokees, since the arrival of the Europeans, but they were afterwards dispossessed by the Muscogulges, and all that country was probably many ages preceding the Cherokee invasion, inhabited by one nation or confederacy, who were ruled by the same system of laws, customs and language; but so ancient, that the Cherokees, Creeks, or the nation they conquered, could render no account for what purpose these monuments were raised. The mounts and cubical yards adjoining them, seemed to have been raised in part for ornament and recreation, and likewise to serve some other public purpose, since they are always so situated as to command the most extensive prospect over the town and country adjacent. The tetragon terraces, seem to be the foundation of a fortress, and perhaps the great pyramidal mounts, served the purpose of look out towers, and high places for sacrifice. The sunken area, called by white traders the chunk yard, very likely served the same conveniency, that it has been appropriated to by the more modern and even present nations of Indians, that is, the place where they burnt and otherwise tortured the unhappy captives, that were condemned to die, as the area is surrounded by a bank, and sometimes two of them, one behind and above the other, as seats, to accommodate the spectators, at such tragical scenes, as well as the exhibition of games, shews and dances. From the river St. Juans, Southerly to the point of the peninsula of Florida, are to be seen high pyramidal mounts, with spacious and extensive avenues, leading from them out of the town, to an artificial lake or pond of water, these were evidently dignified in part, for ornament or monuments of magnificence, to perpetuate the power and grandeur of the nation, and no considerable one neither, for they exhibit scenes of power and grandeur, and must have been public edifices.
THE great mounts, highways and artificial lakes up St. Juans on the East shore just at the enterance of the great Lake George, one on the opposite shore, on the bank of the Little Lake, another on Dunn's Island, a little below Charlotteville, and one on the large beautiful island just without the Capes of Lake George, in sight of Mount Royal, and a spacious one on the West banks of the Musquitoe river near New Smyrna, are the most remarkable of this sort that occurred to me; but undoubtedly many more are yet to be discovered farther South in the peninsula, however I observed none Westward, after I left St. Juans on my journey to little St. Juan, near the bay of Apalache.
BUT in all the region of the Muscogulge country, South-West from the Oakmulge River quite to the Tallapoose, down to the city of Mobile, and thence along the sea coast, to the Mississipi, I saw no signs of mountains or highways, except at Taensa, where were several inconsiderable conical mountains, and but one instance of the tetragon terraces which was at the Apalachucla old town, on the West banks of that river; here were yet remaining conspicuous monuments, as vast four square terraces, chunk yards, &c. almost equalling those eminent ones at the Oakmulge fields; but no high conical mounts. Those Indians have a tradition that these remains are the ruins of an ancient Indian town and fortress. I was not in the interior parts of the Chactaw territories, and therefore am ignorant whether there are any mounts or monuments there.
To conclude this subject concerning the monuments of the Americans, I deem it necessary to observe as my opinion, that none of them that I have seen discover the least signs of the arts, sciences, or architecture of the Europeans or other inhabitants of the old world: yet evidently betray every sign or mark of the most distant antiquity.
- Water Oak. Quercus Hemispherica.
- Black oak. Quercus tinctoria.
- Live-oak. Quercus Sempervirens.
- Animal and vegetable. Vid. Sponsalia plantarum, Amoen. Acad 1. n, 12. Linn.
- Natives of the forest. The Chicasaw plumb I think must be excepted, for though certainly a native of America, yet I never saw it wild in the forests, but always in old deserted Indian plantations: I suppose it to have been brought from the S. W. beyond the Missisippi, by the Chicasaws.
- Angelica lucida. Called Nondo in Virginia: by the Creek and Cherokee traders, White Root. — Editor’s note.
- Tyger. This creature is called, in Pennsylvania and the northern States, Panther; but in Carolina and the southern States, is called Tyger; they are very strong, much larger than any dog, of a yellowish brown, or clay colour, having a very long tail; they are a mischievous animal, and prey on calves, young colts, etc. — Editor’s note.
- Eclipse. The air at this time being serene, and not a cloud to be seen, I saw this annual almost total autumnal eclipse, in its highest degree of perfection. — Editor’s note.
- pyramid. Some ingenious men, whom I have conversed with, have given it as their opinion, that all those pyramidal artificial hills, usually called Indian mounts were raised on this occasion, and are generally sepulchres. However I am of a different opinion.
- seen There are however, some exceptions to this general observation, as I have myself witnessed. Their pre cut grand chief or emperor (the Little Carpenter, Atta-kul-kulla) is a man of remarkable small stature, slender, and delicate frame, the only instance I saw in the nation: but he is a man of superior abilities.
- Ant-apala-mice-clucco Clucco signifies great or excellent
- moon I have observed the young fellows very merry and jocose, at the appearance of the new moon, saying, how ashamed she looks under the veil, since, sleeping with the sun these two or three nights, she is ashamed to show her face, &c.
- Chuck yards Chunk yard, a term given by the white traders, to the oblong four square yards, adjoining the high mounts and rotunda of the modern Indians. — In the center of these stands the obelisk, and at each corner of the farther end stands a slave post or strong stake, where the captives that are burnt alive are bound.
- undeservedly About fifty or sixty years ago almost all the white traders then in the Nation were massacred in his town, whither they had repaired from the different towns, in hope of an assylum or refuge, in consequence of the alarm, having been timely apprised of the hostile intentions of the Indians by their temporary wives, they all met together in one house, under the avowed protection of the chiefs of the town, waiting the event; but whilst the chiefs were assembled in council, deliberating on ways and means to protect them, the Indians in multitudes surrounded the house and sat fire to it; they all, to the number of eighteen or twenty, perished with the house in the flames. The trader shewed me the ruins of the house where they were burnt.
Text prepared by:
Spring 2015 Group:
- Caleb Bunhu
- Derek Butts
- Lanisha Redd
- Natasha Smith
Summer 2015 Group:
- Asmita Adhikari
- Wael Alzahrani
- Caitlin Brown
- Jonas Michael
Winter 2016-2017 Group:
- Scott Camden
- Jesse Thomas
- Levi Phillips
Spring 2017 Group:
- Brandon Falgout
- Tyler Perrymen
- Brandon Toloso
- Chance Windham
Cable, George Washington. "Posson Jone'" and P�re Rapha�l: With a New Word Setting Forth How and Why the Two Tales Are One. Illus. Stanley M. Arthurs. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. Google Books. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://books. google.com/books?id=bzhLAAAAIAAJ>.