RESIDENCE OF THIRTY YEARS
NOTICES OF PASSING EVENTS, FACTS, AND OPINIONS, A.D. 1812 TO A.D. 1842.
BY HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT.
ALEXANDER B. JOHNSON, ESQ.
My dear sir:—I feel impelled to place your name before these sheets, from a natural impulse. It is many years since I accompanied you to the Genesee country, which was, at that time, a favorite theatre of enterprise, and called the "Garden of the West." This step, eventually, led me to make deeper and more adventurous inroads into the American wilderness.
If I am not mistaken, you will peruse these brief memoranda of my exploratory journeys and residence in the wide area of the west, and among barbarous tribes, in a spirit of appreciation, and with a lively sense of that providential care, in human affairs, that equally shields the traveler amidst the vicissitudes of the forest, and the citizen at his fireside.
Very sincerely yours,
HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT.
Ten years ago I returned from the area of the Mississippi Valley to New York, my native State, after many years' residence and exploratory travels of that quarter of the Union. Having become extensively known, personally, and as an author, and my name having been associated with several distinguished actors in our western history, the wish has often been expressed to see some record of the events as they occurred. In yielding to this wish, it must not be supposed that the writer is about to submit an autobiography of himself; nor yet a methodical record of his times—tasks which, were he ever so well qualified for, he does not at all aspire to, and which, indeed, he has not now the leisure, if he had the desire, to undertake.
Still, his position on the frontiers, and especially in connection with the management of the Indian tribes, is believed to have been one of marked interest, and to have involved him in events and passages often of thrilling and general moment. And the recital of these, in the simple and unimposing forms of a diary, even in the instances where they may be thought to fail in awakening deep sympathy, or creating high excitement, will be found, he thinks, to possess a living moral undertone. In the perpetual conflict between civilized and barbaric life, during the settlement of the West, the recital will often recall incidents of toil and peril, and frequently show the open or concealed murderer, with his uplifted knife, or deadly gun. As a record of opinion, it will not be too much to say, that the author's approvals are ever on the side of virtue, honor, and right; that misconception is sometimes prevented by it, and truth always vindicated. If he has sometimes met bad men; if he has experienced detraction, or injustice; if even persons of good general repute have sometimes persecuted him, it is only surprising, on general grounds, that the evils of this kind have not been greater or more frequent; but it is conceived that the record of such injustice would neither render mankind wiser nor the author happier. The "crooked" cannot be made "straight," and he who attempts it will often find that his inordinate toils only vex his own soul. He who does the ill in society is alone responsible for it, and if he chances not to be rebuked for it on this imperfect theatre of human action, yet he cannot flatter himself at all that he shall pass through a future state "scot free." The author views man ever as an accountable being, who lives, in a providential sense, that he may have an opportunity to bear record to the principles of truth, wherever he is, and this, it is perceived, can be as effectually done, so far as there are causes of action or reflection, in the recesses of the forest, as in the area of the drawing-room, or the purlieus of a court. It is believed that, in the present case, the printing of the diary could be more appropriately done, while most of those with whom the author has acted and corresponded, thought and felt, were still on the stage of life. The motives that, in a higher sphere, restrained a Wraxall and a Walpole in withholding their remarks on passing events, do not operate here; for if there be nothing intestimonial or faulty uttered, the power of a stern, high-willed government cannot be brought to bear, to crush independence of thought, or enslave the labors of intellect: for if there be a species of freedom in America more valuable than another, it is that of being pen-free.
It is Sismondi, I think, who says that "time prepares for a long flight, by relieving himself of every superfluous load, and by casting away everything that he possibly can." The author certainly would not ask him to carry an onerous weight. But, in the history of the settlement of such a country and such a population as this, there must be little, as well as great labors, before the result to be sent forward to posterity can be prepared by the dignified pen of polished history; and the writer seeks nothing more than to furnish some illustrative memoranda for that ultimate task, whoever may perform it.
He originally went to the west for the purpose of science. His mineralogical rambles soon carried him into wide and untrodden fields; and the share he was called on to take in the exploration of the country, its geography, geology, and natural features, have thrown him in positions of excitement and peril, which furnish, it is supposed, an appropriate apology, if apology be necessary, for the publication of these memoirs.
But whatever degree of interest and originality may have been connected with his early observations and discoveries in science, geography, or antiquities, the circumstances which directed his attention to the Indian tribes—their history, manners and customs, languages, and general ethnology, have been deemed to lay his strongest claim to public respect. The long period during which these observations have been continued to be made, his intimate relations with the tribes, the favorable circumstances of his position and studies, and the ardor and assiduity with which he has availed himself of them, have created expectations in his case which few persons, it is believed, in our history, have excited.
It is under these circumstances that the following selections from his running journal are submitted. They form, as it were, a thread connecting acts through a long period, and are essential to their true understanding and development. A word may be said respecting the manner of the record which is thus exhibited:—
The time is fixed by quoting exactly the dates, and the names of persons are invariably given wherever they could, with propriety, be employed; often, indeed, in connection with what may be deemed trivial occurrences; but these were thought essential to the proper relief and understanding of more important matters. Indeed, a large part of the journal consists of extracts from the letters of the individuals referred to; and in this way it is conceived that a good deal of the necessarily offensive character of the egotism of journalism is got rid of. No one will object to see his name in print while it is used to express a kind, just, or noble sentiment, or to advance the cause of truth; and, if private names are ever employed for a contrary purpose, I have failed in a designed cautiousness in this particular. Much that required disapprobation has been omitted, which a ripening judgment and more enlarged Christian and philosophic view has passed over; and much more that invited condemnation was never committed to paper. Should circumstances favor it, the passages which are omitted, but approved, to keep the work in a compact shape, will be hereafter added, with some pictorial illustrations of the scenery.
The period referred to, is one of considerable interest. It is the thirty years that succeeded the declaration of war by the United States, in 1812, against Great Britain, and embraces a large and important part of the time of the settlement of the Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins. During this period ten States have been added to the Union. Many actors who now slumber in their graves are called up to bear witness. Some of the number were distinguished men; others the reverse. Red and white men alike express their opinions. Anecdotes and incidents succeed each other without any attempt at method. The story these incidentally tell, is the story of a people's settling the wilderness. It is the Anglo-Saxon race occupying the sites of the Indian wigwams. It is a field in which plumed sachems, farmers, legislators, statesmen, speculators, professional and scientific men, and missionaries of the gospel, figure in their respective capacities. Nobody seems to have set down to compose an elaborate letter, and yet the result of the whole, viewed by the philosophic eye, is a broad field of elaboration.
HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT. PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12th, 1851.
Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—Events preliminary to a knowledge of western life—Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany River—Descent to Pittsburgh—Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and iron—Descent of the Ohio in an ark—Scenes and incidents by the way—Cincinnati—Some personal incidents which happened there.
Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth—Ascent of the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum—Its rapid and turbid character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges—Some incidents by the way.
Reception at Herculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin—His character—Continuation of the journey on foot to St. Louis—Incidents by the way—Trip to the mines—Survey of the mine country—Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi.
Sit down to write an account of the mines—Medical properties of the Mississippi water—Expedition to the Yellow Stone—Resolve to visit Washington with a plan of managing the mines—Descend the river from St. Genevieve to New Orleans—Incidents of the trip—Take passage in a ship for New York—Reception with my collection there—Publish my memoir on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington—Result of my plan—Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of the Mississippi.
Set out on the expedition to the north-west—Remain a few weeks at New York—Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first steamer—Preparations for a new style of traveling—Correspondents—General sketch of the route pursued by the expedition, and its results—Return to Albany, and publish my narrative—Journal of it—Preparation for a scientific account of the observations.
Reception by the country on my return—Reasons for publishing my narrative without my reports for a digested scientific account of the expedition—Delays interposed to this—Correspondents—Locality of strontian—Letter from Dr. Mitchell—Report on the copper mines of Lake Superior—Theoretical geology—Indian symbols—Scientific subjects—Complete the publication of my work—Its reception by the press and the public—Effects on my mind—Receive the appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commission at Chicago—Result of the expedition, as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell to General Cass.
Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley—Cross the grand prairie of Illinois—Revisit the mines—Ascend the Illinois—Fever—Return through the great lakes—Notice of the "Trio"—Letter from Professor Silliman—Prospect of an appointment under government—Loss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"—Geology of Detroit—Murder of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.
New-Yearing—A prospect opened—Poem of Ontwa—Indian biography—Fossil tree—Letters from various persons—Notice of Ontwa—Professor Silliman—Gov. Clinton—Hon. J. Meigs—Colonel Benton—Mr. Dickenson—Professor Hall—Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson, and Adams on geology—Geological notices—Plan of a gazetteer—Opinions of my Narrative Journal by scientific gentlemen—The impostor John Dunn Hunter—Trip up the Potomac—Mosaical chronology—Visit to Mount Vernon.
Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint Mary's—Reasons for the acceptance of the office—Journey to Detroit—Illness at that point—Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establish a new military post at the foot of Lake Superior—Incidents of the voyage to that point—Reach our destination, and reception by the residents and Indians—A European and man of honor fled to the wilderness.
Incidents of the summer during the establishment of the now post at St. Mary's—Life in a nut-shell—Scarcity of room—High prices of everything—State of the Indians—Their rich and picturesque costume—Council and its incidents—Fort site selected and occupied—The evil of ardent spirits amongst the Indians—Note from Governor De Witt Clinton—Mountain ash—Curious superstitions of the Odjibwas—Language—Manito poles—Copper—Superstitious regard for Venus—Fine harbor in Lake Superior—Star family—A locality of necromancers—Ancient Chippewa capital—Eating of animals.
Murder of Soan-ga-ge-zhick, a Chippewa, at the head of the falls—Indian mode of interment—Indian prophetess—Topic of interpreters and interpretation—Mode of studying the Indian language—The Johnston family—Visits—Katewabeda, chief of Sandy Lake—Indian mythology, and oral tales and legends—Literary opinion—Political opinion—Visit of the chief Little Pine—Visit of Wabishkepenais—A despairing Indian—Geography.
A pic-nic party at the foot of Lake Superior—Canoe—Scenery—Descent of St. Mary's Falls—Etymology of the Indian names of Sault Ste. Marie, and Lake Superior—The wild rice plant—Indian trade—American Fur Company—Distribution of presents—Death of Sassaba—Epitaph—Indian capacity to count—Oral literature—Research—Self-reliance.
My first winter at the foot of Lake Superior—Copper mines—White fish—A poetic name for a fish—Indian tale—Polygamy—A reminiscence—Taking of Fort Niagara—Mythological and allegorical tales among the aborigines—Chippewa language—Indian vowels—A polite and a vulgar way of speaking the language—Public worship—Seclusion from the world.
Amusements during the winter months, when the temperature is at the lowest point—Etymology of the word Chippewa—A meteor—The Indian "fireproof"—Temperature and weather—Chippewa interchangeables—Indian names for the seasons—An incident in conjugating verbs—Visiting—Gossip—The fur trade—Todd, McGillvray, Sir Alexander Mackenzie—Wide dissimilarity of the English and Odjibwa syntax—Close of the year.
New Year's day among the descendants of the Norman French—Anti-philosophic speculations of Brydone—Schlegel on language—A peculiar native expression evincing delicacy—Graywacke in the basin of Lake Superior—Temperature—Snow shoes—Translation of Gen. i.3—Historical reminiscences—Morals of visiting—Odjibwa numerals—Harmon's travels—Mackenzie's vocabularies—Criticism—Mungo Park.
Novel reading—Greenough's "Geology"—The cariboo—Spiteful plunder of private property on a large scale—Marshall's Washington—St. Clair's "Narrative of his Campaign"—Etymology of the word totem—A trait of transpositive languages—Polynesian languages—A meteoric explosion at the maximum height of the winter's temperature—Spafford's "Gazetteer"—Holmes on the Prophecies—Foreign politics—Mythology—Gnomes—The Odjibwa based on monosyllables—No auxiliary verbs—Pronouns declined for tense—-Esprella's letters—Valerius—Gospel of St. Luke—Chippewayan group of languages—Home politics—Prospect of being appointed superintendent of the lead mines of Missouri.
Close of the winter solstice, and introduction of a northern spring—News from the world—The Indian languages—Narrative Journal—Semi-civilization of the ancient Aztec tribes—Their arts and languages—Hill's ironical review of the "Transactions of the Royal Society"—A test of modern civilization—Sugar making—Trip to one of the camps—Geology of Manhattan Island—Ontwa, an Indian poem—Northern ornithology—Dreams—The Indian apowa—Printed queries of General Cass—Prospect of the mineral agency—Exploration of the St. Peter's—Information on that head.
Rapid advance of spring—Troops commence a stockade—Principles of the Chippewa tongue—Idea of a new language containing the native principles of syntax, with a monosyllabic method—Indian standard of value—Archaeological evidences in growing trees—Mount Vernon—Signs of spring in the appearance of birds—Expedition to St. Peter's—Lake Superior open—A peculiarity in the orthography of Jefferson—True sounds of the consonants—Philology—Advent of the arrival of a vessel—Editors and editorials—Arrival from Fort William—A hope fled—Sudden completion of the spring, and ushering in of summer—Odjibwa language, and transmission of Inquiries.
Outlines of the incidents of the summer of 1823—Glance at the geography of the lake country—Concretion of aluminous earth—General Wayne's body naturally embalmed by this property of the soil of Erie—Free and easy manners—Boundary Survey—An old friend—Western commerce—The Austins of Texas memory—Collision of civil and military power—Advantages of a visit to Europe.
Incidents of the year 1824—Indian researches—Diverse idioms of the Ottawa and Chippewa—Conflict of opinion between the civil and military authorities of the place—A winter of seclusion well spent—St. Paul's idea of languages—Examples in the Chippewa—The Chippewa a pure form of the Algonquin—Religion in the wilderness—Incidents—Congressional excitements—Commercial view of the copper mine question—Trip to Tackwymenon Falls, in Lake Superior.
Oral tales and legends of the Chippewas—First assemblage of a legislative council in Michigan—Mineralogy and geology—Disasters of the War of 1812—Character of the new legislature—Laconic note—Narrative of a war party, and the disastrous murders committed at Lake Pepin in July 1824—Speech of a friendly Indian chief from Lake Superior on the subject—Notices of mineralogy and geology in the west—Ohio and Erie Canal—Morals—Lafayette's progress—Hooking minerals—A philosophical work on the Indians—Indian biography by Samuel S. Conant—Want of books on American archaeology—Douglass's proposed work on the expedition of 1820.
Parallelism of customs—Home scenes—Visit to Washington—Indian work respecting the Western Tribes—Indian biography—Professor Carter—Professor Silliman—Spiteful prosecution—Publication of Travels in the Mississippi Valley—A northern Pocahontas—Return to the Lakes—A new enterprise suggested—Impressions of turkeys' feet in rock—Surrender of the Chippewa war party, who committed the murders in 1824, at Lake Pepin—Their examination, and the commitment of the actual murderers.
Trip to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi—Large assemblage of tribes—Their appearance and character—Sioux, Winnebagoes, Chippewas, &c.—Striking and extraordinary appearance of the Sacs and Foxes, and of the Iowas—Keokuk—Mongazid's speech—Treaty of limits—Whisky question—A literary impostor—Journey through the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers—Incidents—Menomonies—A big nose—Wisconsin Portage.
Descent of Fox River—Blackbirds—Menomonies—Rice fields—Starving Indians—Thunder storm—Dream—An Indian struck dead with lightning—Green Bay—Death of Colonel Haines—Incidents of the journey from Green Bay to Michilimackinack—Reminiscences of my early life and travels—Choiswa—Further reminiscences of my early life—Ruins of the first mission of Father Marquette—Reach Michilimackinack.
Journey from Mackinack to the Sault Ste. Marie—Outard Point—Head winds—Lake Huron in a rage—Desperate embarkation—St. Vital—Double the Detour—Return to St. Mary's—Letters—"Indian girl"—New volume of travels—Guess' Cherokee alphabet—New views of the Indian languages and their principles of construction—Georgia question—Post-office difficulties—Glimpses from the civilized world.
General aspects of the Indian cause—Public criticism on the state of Indian researches, and literary storm raised by the new views—Political rumor—Death of R. Pettibone, Esq.—Delegate election—Copper mines of Lake Superior—Instructions for a treaty in the North—Death of Mr. Pettit—Denial of post-office facilities—Arrival of commissioners to hold the Fond du Lac treaty—Trip to Fond du Lac through Lake Superior—Treaty—Return—Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Epidemical condition of the atmosphere at Detroit—Death of Henry J. Hunt and A.G. Whitney, Esqrs.—Diary of the visits of Indians at St. Mary's Agency—Indian affairs on the frontier under the supervision of Col. McKenney—Criticisms on the state of Indian questions—Topic of Indian eloquence—State of American researches in natural science—Dr. Saml. L. Mitchell.
Mineralogy—Territorial affairs—Vindication of the American policy by its treatment of the Indians—New York spirit of improvement—Taste for cabinets of natural history—Fatalism in an Indian—Death of a first born son—Flight from the house—Territorial matters—A literary topic—Preparations for another treaty—Consolations—Boundary in the North-west under the treaty of Ghent—Natural history—Trip to Green Bay—Treaty of Butte des Morts—Winnebago outbreak—Intrepid conduct of General Cass—Indian stabbing—Investment of the petticoat—Mohegan language.
Treaty of Butte des Morts—Rencontre of an Indian with grizzly bears—Agency site at Elmwood—Its picturesque and sylvan character—Legislative council of the Territory—Character of its parties, as hang-backs and toe-the-marks—Critical Reviews—Christmas.
Retrospect—United States Exploring Expedition to the South Sea—Humanity of an Indian—Trip to Detroit from the Icy Straits—Incidental action of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Historical Societies, and of the Montreal Natural History Society—United States Exploring Expedition—Climatology—Lake vessels ill found—Poetic view of the Indian—United States Exploring Expedition—Theory of the interior world—Natural History—United States Exploring Expedition—History of early legislation in Michigan—Return to St. Mary's—Death of Governor De Witt Clinton.
Official journal of the Indian intercourse—Question of freedmen, or persons not bonded for—Indian chiefs, Chacopee, Neenaby, Mukwakwut, Tems Couvert, Shingabowossin, Guelle Plat, Grosse Guelle—Further notice of Wampum-hair—Red Devil—Biographical notice of Guelle Plat, or Flat Mouth—Brechet—Meeshug, a widow—Iauwind—Mongazid, chief of Fond du Lac—Chianokwut—White Bird—Annamikens, the hero of a bear fight, &c. &c.
Natural history of the north-west—Northern zoology—Fox—Owl—Reindeer—A dastardly attempt at murder by a soldier—Lawless spread of the population of northern Illinois over the Winnebago land—New York Lyceum of Natural History—U.S. Ex. Ex.—Fiscal embarrassments in the Department—Medical cause of Indian depopulation—Remarks of Dr. Pitcher—Erroneous impressions of the Indian character—Reviews—Death of John Johnston, Esq.
Treaty of St. Joseph—Tanner—Visits of the Indians in distress—Letters from the civilized world—Indian code projected—Cause of Indian suffering—The Indian cause—Estimation of the character of the late Mr. Johnston—Autobiography—Historical Society of Michigan—Fiscal embarrassments of the Indian Department.
Political horizon—Ahmo Society—Incoming of Gen. Jackson's administration—Amusements of the winter—Peace policy among the Indians—Revival at Mackinack—Money crisis—Idea of Lake tides—New Indian code—Anti-masonry—Missions among the Indians—Copper mines—The policy respecting them settled—Whisky among the Indians—Fur trade—Legislative council—Mackinack mission—Officers of Wayne's war—Historical Society of Michigan—Improved diurnal press.
The new administration—Intellectual contest in the Senate—Sharp contest for mayoralty of Detroit—Things shaping at Washington—Perilous trip on the ice—Medical effects of this exposure—Legislative Council—Visit to Niagara Falls—A visitor of note—History—-Character of the Chippewas—Ish-ko-da-wau-bo—Rotary sails—Hostilities between the Chippewas and Sioux—Friendship and badinage—Social intercourse—Sanillac—Gossip—Expedition to Lake Superior—Winter Session of the Council—Historical disclosure—Historical Society of Rhode Island—Domestic—French Revolution.
Lecture before the Lyceum—Temperature in the North—Rum and taxes—A mild winter adverse to Indians—Death of a friend—Christian atonement—Threats of a Caliban, or an Indianized white man—Indian emporium—Bringing up children—Youth gone astray—Mount Hope Institution—Expedition into the Indian country—Natural History of the United States—A reminiscence—Voyage inland.
Lake Superior—Its shores and character—Geology—Brigade of boats—Dog and porcupine—Burrowing birds—Otter—Keweena Point—Unfledged ducks—Minerals—Canadian resource in a tempest of rain—Tramp in search of the picturesque—Search for native copper—Isle Royal descried—Indian precaution—Their ingenuity—Lake action—Nebungunowin River—Eagles—Indian tomb—Kaug Wudju.
Lake shores—Sub-Indian agency—Indian transactions—Old fort, site of a tragedy—Maskigo River; its rapids and character—Great Wunnegum Portage—Botany—Length of the Mauvais—Indian carriers—Lake Kagenogumaug—Portage lakes—Namakagun River, its character, rapids, pine lands, &c.—Pukwaewa village—A new species of native fruit—Incidents on the Namakagun; its birds, plants, &c.
Council with the Indians at Yellow Lake—Policy of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1825—Speech of Shaiwunegunaibee—Mounds of Yellow River—Indian manners and customs—Pictography—Natural history—Nude Indians—Geology—Portage to Lac Courtorielle—Lake of the Isles—Ottawa Lake—Council—War party—Mozojeed's speech—Tecumseh—Mozojeed's lodge—Indian movements—Trip to the Red Cedar Fork—Ca Ta—Lake Chetac—Indian manners.
Betula Lake—Larch Lake—A war party surprised—Indian manners—Rice Lake—Indian council—Red Cedar Lake—Speeches of Wabezhais and Neenaba—Equal division of goods—Orifice for treading out rice—A live beaver—Notices of natural history—Value of the Follavoine Valley—A medal of the third President—War dance—Ornithology—A prairie country, fertile and abounding in game—Saw mills—Chippewa River—Snake—La Garde Mountain—Descent of the Mississippi—Sioux village—General impression of the Mississippi—Arrival at Prairie du Chien.
Death of Mr. Monroe—Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the Foxes—Descent to Galena—Trip in the lead mine country to Fort Winnebago—Gratiot's Grove—Sac and Fox disturbances—Black Hawk—Irish Diggings—Willow Springs—Vanmater's lead—An escape from falling into a pit—Mineral Point—Ansley's copper mine—Gen. Dodge's—Mr. Brigham's—Sugar Creek—Four Lakes—Seven Mile Prairie—A night in the woods—Reach Port Winnebago—Return to the Sault—Political changes in the cabinet—Gov. Cass called to Washington—Religious changes—G.B. Porter appointed Governor—Natural history—Character of the new governor—Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter—Organization of a church.
Revival of St. Mary's—Rejection of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to England—Botany and Natural History of the North-west—Project of a new expedition to find the Sources of the Mississippi—Algic Society—Consolidation of the Agencies of St. Mary's and Michilimackinack—Good effects of the American Home Missionary Society—Organization of a new inland exploring expedition committed to me—Its objects and composition of the corps of observers.
Expedition to, and discovery of, Itasca Lake, the source of the Mississippi River—Brief notice of the journey to the point of former geographical discovery in the basin of Upper Red Cedar, or Cass Lake—Ascent and portage to Queen Anne's Lake—Lake Pemetascodiac—The Ten, or Metoswa Rapids—Pemidgegomag, or Cross-water Lake—Lake Irving—Lake Marquette—Lake La Salle—Lake Plantagenet—Ascent of the Plantagenian Pork—Naiwa, or Copper-snake River—Agate Rapids and portage—Assawa Lake—Portage over the Hauteur des Terres—Itasca Lake—Its picturesque character—Geographical and astronomical position—Historical data.
Descent of the Mississippi River, from Itasca Lake to Cass Lake—Traits of its bank—Kabika Falls—Upsetting of a canoe—River descends by steps, and through narrow rocky passes—Portage to the source of the Crow-Wing River—Moss Lake—Shiba Lake—Leech Lake—Warpool Lake—Long Lake Mountain portage—Kaginogomanug—Vermilion Lake—Ossawa Lake—Shell River—Leaf River—Long Prairie River—Kioskk, or Gull River—Arrival at its mouth—Descent to the Falls of St. Anthony, and St. Peter's—Return to St. Mary's.
Letter from a mother—Cholera—Indian war—Royal Geographical Society—Determine to leave the Sault—Death of Miss Cass—Death of Rev. Mr. Richard—Notice of the establishment of a Methodist Mission at the Sault—The Sault a religions place—Botany and Natural History—New York University organized—Algic Society—Canadian boat song—Chaplains in the army—Letter from a missionary—Affairs at Mackinack—Hazards of lake commerce—Question of the temperance reform—Dr. D. Houghton—South Carolina resists—Gen. Jackson re-elected President.
An Indian woman builds a church—Conchology—South Carolina prepares to resist the revenue laws—Moral affairs—Geography—Botany—Chippewas and Sioux—A native evangelist in John Sunday—His letter in English; its philological value—The plural pronoun we—An Indian battle—Political affairs—South Carolina affairs—Tariff compromise of Mr. Clay—Algic Society; it employs native evangelists—Plan of visiting Europe—President's tour—History of Detroit—Fresh-water shells—Lake tides—Prairie—Country—Reminiscence.
Earliest point of French occupancy in the area of the Upper Lakes—Removal of my residence from the Sault St. Marie to the island of Michilimackinack—Trip to New York—Its objects—American Philosophical Society—Michilimackinack; its etymology—The rage for investment in western lands begins—Traditions of Saganosh—Of Porlier—Of Perrault—Of Captain Thorn—Of the chief, Old Wing—Of Mudjekewis, of Thunder Bay—Character of Indian tradition respecting the massacre at old Fort Mackinack in 1763.
Anniversary of the Algic Society—Traditions of Chusco and Mukudapenais respecting Gen. Wayne's treaty—Saliferous column in American geology—Fact in lake commerce—Traditions of Mrs. Dousman and Mr. Abbott respecting the first occupation of the Island of Michilimackinack—Question of the substantive verb in the Chippewa language—Meteoric phenomena during the month of December—Historical fact—Minor incidents.
Population of Michilimackinack—Notices of the weather—Indian name of the Wolverine—Harbor closed—Intensity of temperature which can be borne—Domestic incidents—State of the weather—Fort Mackinack unsuccessfully attacked in 1814—Ossiganoc—Death of an Indian woman—Death of my sister—Harbor open—Indian name of the Sabbath day—Horticultural amusement—Tradition of the old church door—Turpid conduct of Thomas Shepard, and his fate—Wind, tempests, sleet, snow—A vessel beached in the harbor—Attempt of the American Fur Company to force ardent spirits into the country, against the authority of the agent.
Visit to Isle Bond—Site of an ancient Indian village—Ossarie—Indian prophet—Traditions of Chusco and Yon respecting the ancient village and bone deposit—Indian speech—Tradition of Mrs. La Fromboise respecting Chicago—Etymology of the name—Origin of the Bonga family among the Chippewas—Traditions of Viancour—Of Nolan—Of the chief Aishquagonaibe, and of Sagitondowa—Evidences of antique cultivation on the Island of Mackinack—View of affairs at Washington—The Senate an area of intellectual excitement—A road directed to be cut through the wilderness from Saginaw—Traditions of Ossaganac and of Little Bear Skin respecting the Lake Tribes.
Trip to Detroit—American Fur Company; its history and organization—American Lyceum; its objects—Desire to write books on Indian subjects by persons not having the information to render them valuable—Reappearance of cholera—Mission of Mackinack; its history and condition—Visit of a Russian officer of the Imperial Guards—Chicago; its prime position for a great entrepot—Area and destiny of the Mississippi Valley.
Philology—Structure of the Indian languages—Letter from Mr. Duponceau—Question of the philosophy of the Chippewa syntax—Letter from a Russian officer on his travels in the West—Queries on the physical history of the North—Leslie Duncan, a maniac—Arwin on the force of dissipation—Missionary life on the sources of the Mississippi—Letter from Mr. Boutwell—Theological Review—The Territory of Michigan, tired of a long delay, determines to organize a State Government.
Indications of a moral revolution in the place—Political movements at Detroit—Review of the state of society at Michilimackinack, arising from its being the great central power of the north-west fur trade—A letter from Dr. Greene—Prerequisites of the missionary function—Discouragements—The state of the Mackinack Mission—Problem of employing native teachers and evangelists—Letter of Mr. Duponceau—Ethnological gossip—Translation of the Bible into Algonquin—Don M. Najera—Premium offered by the French Institute—Persistent Satanic influence among the Indian tribes—Boundary dispute with Ohio—Character of the State Convention.
Requirements of a missionary laborer—Otwin—American quadrupeds—Geological question—Taste of an Indian chief for horticulture—Swiss missionaries to the Indians—Secretary of War visits the island—Frivolous literary, diurnal, and periodical press—Letter of Dr. Ives on this topic—Lost boxes of minerals and fresh-water shells—Geological visit of Mr. Featherstonehaugh and Lieut. Mather—Mr. Hastings—A theological graduate.
Rage for investment in western lands—-Habits of the common deer—Question of the punishment of Indian murders committed in the Indian country—A chief calls to have his authority recognized on the death of a predecessor—Dr. Julius, of Prussia—Gen. Robert Patterson—Pressure of emigration—Otwin—Dr. Gilman and Mr. Hoffman—Picturesque trip to Lake Superior—Indians desire to cede territory—G.W. Featherstonehaugh—Sketch of his geological reconnoissance of the St. Peter's River—Dr. Thomas H. Webb—Question of inscriptions on American rocks—Antiquities—Embark for Washington, and come down the lakes in the great tempest of 1835.
Florida war—Startling news of the Massacre of Dade—Peoria on the Illinois—Abanaki language—Oregon—Things shaping for a territorial claim—Responsibility of claim in an enemy's country—A true soldier—Southern Literary Messenger—Missionary cause—Resources of Missouri—Indian portfolio of Lewis—Literary gossip—Sir Francis Head—The Crane and Addik totem—Treaty of March 28th, 1836, with the Ottawas and Chippewas—Treaty with the Saginaws of May 20th—Treaty with the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas of May 9th—Return to Michilimackinack—Death of Charlotte, the daughter of Songageezhig.
Home matters—Massachusetts Historical Society—Question of the U.S. Senate's action on certain treaties of the Lake Indians—Hugh L. White—Dr. Morton's Crania Americana—Letter from Mozojeed—State of the pillagers—Visit of Dr. Follen and Miss Martineau—Treaty movements—Young Lord Selkirk—Character and value of Upper Michigan—Hon. John Norvell's letter—Literary items—Execution of the treaty of March 28th—Amount of money paid—Effects of the treaty—Baron de Behr-Ornithology.
Value of the equivalent territory granted to Michigan, by Congress, for the disputed Ohio boundary—Rapid improvement of Michigan—Allegan—Indian legend—Baptism and death of Kagcosh, a very aged chief at St. Mary's—New system of writing Indian, proposed by Mr. Nash—Indian names for new towns—A Bishop's notion of the reason for applying to Government for education funds under Indian treaties—Mr. Gallatin's paper on the Indians—The temperance movement.
Difficulties resulting from a false impression of the Indian character—Treaty with the Saginaws—Ottawas of Grand River establish themselves in a colony in Barry County—Payments to the Ottawas of Maumee, Ohio—Temperance—Assassination of young Aitkin by an Indian at Leech Lake—Mackinack mission abandoned—Wyandots complain of a trespass from a mill-dam—Mohegans of Green Bay apply for aid on their way to visit Stockbridge, Mass.—Mohegan traditions—Historical Society—Programme of a tour in the East—Parental disobedience—Indian treaties—Dr. Warren's Collection of Crania—Hebrew language—Geology—"Goods offer"—Mrs. Jameson—Mastodon's tooth in Michigan—Captain Marryatt—The Icelandic language—Munsees—Speech of Little Bear Skin chief, or Mukonsewyan.
Notions of foreigners about America—Mrs. Jameson—Appraisements of Indian property—Le Jeune's early publication on the Iroquois—Troops for Florida—A question of Indian genealogy—Annuity payments—Indians present a claim of salvage—Death of the Prophet Chusco—Indian sufferings—Gen. Dodge's treaty—Additional debt claims—Gazetteer of Michigan—Stone's Life of Brant—University of Michigan—Christian Keepsake—Indian etymology—Small-pox breaks out on the Missouri—Missionary operations in the north-west—Treaty of Flint River with the Saginaws.
Tradition of Pontiac's conspiracy and death—Patriot war—Expedition of a body of 250 men to Boisblanc—Question of schools and missions among the Indians—Indian affairs—Storm at Michilimackinack—Life of Brant—Interpreterships and Indian language—A Mohegan—Affair of the "Caroline"—Makons—Plan of names for new towns—Indian legends—Florida war—Patriot war—Arrival of Gen. Scott on the frontiers—Resume of the difficulties of the Florida war—Natural history and climate of Florida—Death of Dr. Lutner.
Indians tampered with at Grand River—Small-pox in the Missouri Valley—Living history at home—Sunday schools—Agriculture—Indian names—Murder of the Glass family—Dr. Morton's inquiries respecting Indian crania—Necessity of one's writing his name plain—Michigan Gazetteer in preparation—Attempt to make the Indian a political pack-horse—Return to the Agency of Michilimackinack—Indian skulls phrenologically examined—J. Toulmin Smith—Cherokee question—Trip to Grand River—Treaty and annuity payments—The department accused of injustice to the Indians.
Missions—Hard times, consequent on over-speculation—Question of the rise of the lakes—Scientific theory—Trip to Washington—Trip to Lake Superior and the Straits of St. Mary—John Tanner—Indian improvements north of Michilimackinack—Great cave—Isle Nabiquon—Superstitious ideas of the Indians connected with females—Scotch royals—McKenzie—Climate of the United States—Foreign coins and natural history—Antique fort in Adams County, Ohio—Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries—Statistics of lands purchased from the Indians—Sun's eclipse—Government payments.
Descendant of one spared at the massacre of St. Bartholomew's—Death of Gen. Clarke—Massacre of Peurifoy's family in Florida—Gen. Harrison's historical discourse—Death of an emigrant on board a steamboat—Murder of an Indian—History of Mackinack—Incidents of the treaty of 29th July, 1837—Mr. Fleming's account of the missionaries leaving Georgia, and of the improvements of the Indians west—Death of Black Hawk—Incidents of his life and character—Dreadful cruelty of the Pawnees in burning a female captive—Cherokee emigration—Phrenology—Return to Detroit—University—Indian affairs—Cherokee removal—Indians shot at Fort Snelling.
Embark for New York—A glimpse of Texan affairs—Toltecan monuments—Indian population of Texas—Horrible effects of drinking ardent spirits among the Indians—Mr. Gallatin—His opinions on various subjects of philosophy and history—Visit to the South—Philadelphia—Washington—Indian affairs—Debt claim—Leave to visit Europe—Question of neutrality—Mr. Van Buren—American imaginative literature—Knickerbocker—Resume of the Indian question of sovereignty.
Sentiments of loyalty—Northern Antiquarian Society—Indian statistics— Rhode Island Historical Society—Gen. Macomb—Lines in the Odjibwa language by a mother on placing her children at school—Mehemet Ali—Mrs. Jameson's opinion on publishers and publishing—Her opinion of my Indian legends—False report of a new Indian language—Indian compound words—Delafield's Antiquities—American Fur Company—State of Indian disturbances in Texas and Florida—Causes of the failure of the war in Florida, by an officer—Death of an Indian chief—Mr. Bancroft's opinion on the Dighton Rook inscription—Skroellings not in New England—Mr. Gallatin's opinion on points of Esquimaux language, connected with our knowledge of our archaeology.
Workings of unshackled mind—Comity of the American Addison—Lake periodical fluctuations—American antiquities—Indian doings in Florida and Texas—Wood's New England's Prospect—Philological and historical comments—Death of Ningwegon—Creeks—Brothertons made citizens—Charles Fenno Hoffman—Indian names for places on the Hudson—Christians Indians—Etymology—Theodoric—Appraisements of Indian property—Algic researches—Plan and object.
American antiquities—Michilimackinack a summer resort—Death of Ogimau Keegido—Brothertons—An Indian election—Cherokee murders—Board of Regents of the Michigan University—Archaeological facts and rumors—Woman of the Green Valley—A new variety of fish—Visits of the Austrian and Sardinian Ministers to the U.S.—Mr. Gallup—Sioux murders—A remarkable display of aurora borealis—Ottawas of Maumee—Extent of auroral phenomena—Potawattomie cruelty—Mineralogy—Death of Ondiaka—Chippewa tradition—Fruit trees—Stone's preparation of the Life and Times of Sir William Johnson—Dialectic difference between the language of the Ottawas and the Chippewas—Philological remarks on the Indian languages—Mr. T. Hulbert.
Popular error respecting the Indian character and history—Remarkable superstition—Theodoric—A missionary choosing a wild flower—Piety and money—A fiscal collapse in Michigan—Mission of Grand Traverse—Simplicity of the school-girl's hopes—Singular theory of the Indians respecting story-telling—Oldest allegory on record—Political aspects—Seneca treaty—Mineralogy—Farming and mission station on Lake Michigan.
Death of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft—Perils of the revolutionary era—Otwin—Mr. Bancroft's history in the feature of its Indian relations—A tradition of a noted chief on Lake Michigan—The collection of information for a historical volume—Opinions of Mr. Paulding, Dr. Webster, Mr. Duer, John Quincy Adams—Holyon and Alholyon—Family monument—Mr. Stevenson, American Minister at London—Joanna Baillie—Wisconsin—Ireland—Detroit—Michilimackinack.
Philology of the Indian tongues—Its difficulties—Belles lettres and money—Michigan and Georgia—Number of species in natural history—Etymology—Nebahquam's dream—Trait in Indian legends—Pictography—Numeration of the races of Polynesia and the Upper Lakes—Love of one's native tongue—Death of Gen. Harrison—Rush for office on his inauguration—Ornamental and shade trees—Historical collections—Mission of "Old Wing".
Popular common school education—Iroquois name for Mackinack—Its scenic beauties poetically considered—Phenomenon of two currents of adverse wind meeting—Audubon's proposed work on American quadrupeds—Adario—Geographical range of the mocking-bird—Removal from the West to the city of New York—An era accomplished—Visit to Europe.
LIFE OF HENRY A. SCHOOLCRAFT.
* * * * *
The early period at which Mr. Schoolcraft entered the field of observation in the United States as a naturalist; the enterprise he has from the outset manifested in exploring the geography and geology of the Great West; and his subsequent researches as an ethnologist, in investigating the Indian languages and history, are well known to the public, and may be appropriately referred to as the grounds of the present design, in furnishing some brief and connected sketches of his life, family, studies, and literary labors. He is an example of what early and continued zeal, talent, and diligence, united with energy of character and consistent moral habits, may accomplish in the cause of letters and science, by the force of solitary application, without the advantage of hereditary wealth, the impulse of patronage, or the prestige of early academic honors. Ardent in the pursuit of whatever engaged his attention, quick in the observation of natural phenomena, and assiduous in the accumulation of facts; with an ever present sense of their practical and useful bearing—few men, in our modern history, have accomplished so much, in the lines of research he has chosen, to render science popular and letters honorable. To him we are indebted for our first accounts of the geological constitution, and the mineral wealth and resources of the great valley beyond the Alleghanies, and he is the discoverer of the actual source of the Mississippi River in Itasca Lake. For many years, beginning with 1817, he stirred up a zeal for natural history from one end of the land to the other, and, after his settlement in the West, he was a point of approach for correspondents, as his personal memoirs denote, not only on these topics, but for all that relates to the Indian tribes, in consequence of which he has been emphatically pronounced "The Red Man's FRIEND."
Mr. Schoolcraft is a native of New York, and is the descendant in the third generation, by the paternal line, of an Englishman. James Calcraft had served with reputation in the armies of the Duke of Marlborough during the reign of Queen Anne, and was present in that general's celebrated triumphs on the continent, in one of which he lost an eye, from the premature explosion of the priming of a cannon. Owing to these military services he enjoyed and cherished a high reputation for bravery and loyalty.
He was a descendant of a family of that name, who came to England with William the Conqueror—and settled under grants from the crown in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire—three separate branches of the family having received the honor of knighthood for their military services.
In the reign of George the Second, consequently after 1727, he embarked at Liverpool in a detachment of veteran troops, intended to act against Canada. He was present in the operations connected with the building of Forts Anne and Edwards, on the North River, and Fort William Henry on Lake George.
At the conclusion of these campaigns he settled in Albany county, N.Y., which has continued to be the residence of the family for more than a century. Being a man of education, he at first devoted himself to the business of a land surveyor, in which capacity he was employed by Col. Vroman, to survey the boundaries of his tract of land in the then frontier settlement of Schoharie. At the latter place he married the only daughter and child of Christian Camerer, one of the Palatines—a body of determined Saxons who had emigrated from the Upper Rhine in 1712, under the assurance or expectation of a patent from Queen Anne. this marriage he had eight children—namely, James, Christian, John, Margaret, Elizabeth, Lawrence, William, and Helen.
[Footnote 1: Simms' Schoharie.]
For many years during his old age, he conducted a large school in this settlement, being the first English school that was taught in that then frontier part of the country. This appears to be the only tenable reason that has been assigned for the change of the family name from Calcraft to Schoolcraft.
When far advanced in life, he went to live with his son William, on the New York grants on Otter Creek, in the rich agricultural region south of Lake Champlain—which is now included in Vermont. Here he died at the great age of one hundred and two, having been universally esteemed for his loyalty to his king, his personal courage and energy, and the uprightness of his character.
After the death of his father, when the revolutionary troubles commenced, William, his youngest son, removed into Lower Canada. The other children all remained in Albany County, except Christian, who, when the jangling land disputes and conflicts of titles arose in Schoharie, followed Conrad Wiser, Esq. (a near relative), to the banks of the Susquehanna. He appears eventually to have pushed his way to Buchanan River, one of the sources of the Monongahela, in Lewis County, Virginia, where some of his descendants must still reside. It appears that they became deeply involved in the Indian wars which the Shawnees kept up on the frontiers of Virginia. In this struggle they took an active part, and were visited with the severest retribution by the marauding Indians. It is stated by Withers that, between 1770 and 1779, not less than fifteen of this family, men, women, and children, were killed or taken prisoners, and carried into captivity.
[Footnote 2: Chronicles of the Border Warfare in North-western Virginia. By Alex Withers, Clarksbury, Virginia, 1831. 1 vol. 12mo. page 319.]
Of the other children of the original progenitor, James, the eldest son, died a bachelor. Lawrence was the ancestor of the persons of this name in Schoharie County. Elizabeth and Helen married, in that county, in the families of Rose and Haines, and, Margaret, the eldest daughter, married Col. Green Brush, of the British army, at the house of Gen. Bradstreet, Albany. Her daughter, Miss Francis Brush, married the celebrated Col. Ethan Allen, after his return from the Tower of London.
JOHN, the third son, settled in Watervleit, in the valley of the Norman's Kill—or, as the Indians called it, Towasentha—Albany County. He served in a winter's campaign against Oswego, in 1757, and took part also in the successful siege and storming of Fort Niagara, under Gen. Prideaux  and Sir William Johnson, in the summer of 1759. He married a Miss Anna Barbara Boss, by whom he had three children, namely, Anne, Lawrence, and John. He had the local reputation of great intrepidity, strong muscular power, and unyielding decision of character. He died at the age of 64. LAWRENCE, his eldest son, had entered his seventeenth year when the American Revolution broke out. He embraced the patriotic sentiments of that era with great ardor, and was in the first revolutionary procession that marched through and canvassed the settlement with martial music, and the Committee of Safety at its head, to determine who was Whig or Tory.
[Footnote 3: This officer was shot in the trenches, which devolved the command on Sir William.]
The military element had always commanded great respect in the family, and he did not wait to be older, but enrolled himself among the defenders of his country.
He was present, in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read to the troops drawn up in hollow square at Ticonderoga. He marched under Gen. Schuyler to the relief of Montgomery, at Quebec, and continued to be an indomitable actor in various positions, civil and military, in the great drama of the Revolution during its entire continuance.
In 1777, the darkest and most hopeless period of our revolutionary contest, he led a reinforcement from Albany to Fort Stanwix, up the Mohawk Valley, then alive with hostile Indians and Tories, and escaped them all, and he was in this fort, under Col. Ganzevoort, during its long and close siege by Col. St. Leger and his infuriated Indian allies. The whole embodied militia of the Mohawk Valley marched to its relief, under the bold and patriotic Gen. Herkimer. They were met by the Mohawks, Onondagas, and Senecas, and British loyalists, lying in ambush on the banks of the Oriskany, eight miles from the fort. A dreadful battle ensued. Gen. Herkimer was soon wounded in the thigh, his leg broken, and his horse shot under him. With the coolness of a Blucher, he then directed his saddle to be placed on a small knoll, and, drawing out his tobacco-box, lit his pipe and calmly smoked while his brave and unconquerable men fought around him.
This was one of the most stoutly contested battles of the Revolution. Campbell says: "This battle made orphans of half the inhabitants of the Mohawk Valley."  It was a desperate struggle between neighbors, who were ranged on opposite sides as Whig and Tory, and it was a triumph, Herkimer remaining master of the field. During the hottest of the battle, Col. Willett stepped on to the esplanade of the fort, where the troops were paraded, and requested all who were willing to fight for liberty and join a party for the relief of Herkimer, to step forward one pace. Schoolcraft was the first to advance. Two hundred and fifty men followed him. An immediate sally was made. They carried the camp of Sir John Johnson; took all his baggage, military-chest, and papers; drove him through the Mohawk River; and then turned upon the howling Mohawks and swept and fired their camp. The results of this battle were brilliant. The plunder was immense. The lines of the besiegers, which had been thinned by the forces sent to Oriskany, were carried, and the noise of firing and rumors of a reinforcement, animated the hearts of the indomitable men of that day.
[Footnote 4: Annals of Teyon County.]
After the victory, Herkimer was carried by his men, in a litter, thirty or forty miles to his own house, below the present town of Herkimer, where he died, from an unskillful amputation, having just concluded reading to his family the 38th Psalm.
But the most dangerous enemy to the cause of freedom was not to be found in the field, but among neighbors who were lurking at midnight around the scenes of home. The districts of Albany and Schoharie was infested by Tories, and young Schoolcraft was ever on the qui vive to ferret out this most insidious and cruel of the enemy's power. On one occasion he detected a Tory, who had returned from Canada with a lieutenant's commission in his pocket. He immediately clapped spurs to his horse, and reported him to Gov. George Clinton, the Chairman of the Committee of Safety at Albany. Within three days the lieutenant was seized, tried, condemned and hanged. Indeed, a volume of anecdotes might be written of Lawrence Schoolcraft's revolutionary life; suffice it to say, that he was a devoted, enthusiastic, enterprizing soldier and patriot, and came out of the contest with an adjutant's commission and a high reputation for bravery.
About the close of the Revolutionary war, he married Miss Margaret Anne Barbara Rowe, a native of Fishkill, Duchess County, New York, by whom he had thirteen children.
His disciplinary knowledge and tact in the government of men, united to amenity of manners, led to his selection in 1802, by the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, as director of his extensive glass works at Hamilton, near Albany, which he conducted with high reputation so many years, during which time he bore several important civil and military trusts in the county. The importance of this manufacture to the new settlements at that early day, was deeply felt, and his ability and skill in the management of these extensive works were widely known and appreciated.
When the war of 1812 appeared inevitable, Gen. Ganzevoort, his old commanding officer at Fort Stanwix, who was now at the head of the U.S. army, placed him in command of the first regiment of uniformed volunteers, who were mustered into service for that conflict. His celebrity in the manufacture of glass, led capitalists in Western New York to offer him large inducements to remove there, where he first introduced this manufacture during the settlement of that new and attractive part of the State, in which a mania for manufactories was then rife. In this new field the sphere of his activity and skill were greatly enlarged, and he enjoyed the consideration and respect of his townsmen for many years. He died at Vernon, Oneida County, in 1840, at the age of eighty-four, having lived long to enjoy the success of that independence for which he had ardently thirsted and fought. A handsome monument on the banks of the Skenando bears the inscription
"A patriot, a Christian, and an honest man."
A man who was never governed by expediency but by right, and in all his expressions of opinion, original and fearless of consequences. These details of the life and character of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, appeared proper in proceeding to speak of one of his sons, who has for so considerable a period occupied the public attention as an actor in other fields, requiring not less energy, decision, enterprise and perseverance of character.
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born in Albany County, on the 28th of March, 1793, during the second presidential term of Washington. His childhood and youth were spent in the village of Hamilton, a place once renowned for its prosperous manufactories, but which has long since verified the predictions of the bard—
"That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay, As ocean sweeps the labored mole away."
Its location is on one of the beautiful and sparkling affluents of the Towasentha or Norman's Kill, popularly called the Hongerkill, which he has in one of his occasional publications called the Iosco, from an aboriginal term. That picturesque and lofty arm of the Catskills, which is called the Helderberg, bounds the landscape on the west and south, while the Pine Plains occupy the form of a crescent, between the Mohawk and the Hudson, bearing the cities of Albany and Schenectady respectively on its opposite edges. Across this crescent-like Plain of Pines, by a line of sixteen miles, was the ancient Iroquois war and trading path. The Towasentha lies on the south borders of this plain, and was, on the first settlement of the country, the seat of an Indian population. Here, during the official term of Gen. Hamilton, whose name the village bears, the capitalists of Albany planted a manufacturing village. The position is one where the arable forest and farming lands are bounded by the half arabic waste of the pine plains of the Honicroisa, whose deep gorges are still infested by the wolf and smaller animals. The whole valley of the Norman's Kill abounds in lovely and rural scenes, and quiet retreats and waterfalls, which are suited to nourish poetic tastes. In these he indulged from his thirteenth year, periodically writing, and as judgment ripened, destroying volumes of manuscripts, while at the same time he evinced uncommon diligence at his books and studies. The poetic talent was, indeed, strongly developed. His power of versification was early and well formed, and the pieces which were published anonymously at a maturer period, as "Geehale," and "The Iroquois," &c., have long been embodied without a name in our poetic literature. But this faculty, of which we have been permitted to see the manuscript of some elaborate and vigorous trains of thought, did not impede a decided intellectual progress in sterner studies in the sciences and arts. His mind was early imbued with a thirst of knowledge, and he made such proficiency as to attract the notice of persons of education and taste. There was developed, too, in him, an early bias for the philosophy of language. Mr. Van Kleeck, a townsman, in a recent letter to Dr. R.W. Griswold, says:—
"I revert with great pleasure to the scenes of my residence, in the part of Albany County which was also the residence of Henry R. Schoolcraft. I went to reside at the village of Hamilton, in the town of Guilderland, in 1803. Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, the father of Henry, had then the direction of the large manufactories of glass, for which that place was long noted. The standing of young Henry, I remember, at his school, for scholarship, was then very noted, and his reputation in the village most prominent. He was spoken of as a lad of great promise, and a very learned boy at twelve. Mr. Robert Buchanan, a Scotchman, and a man of learning, took much pride in his advances, and finally came to his father and told him that he had taught him all he knew. In Latin, I think he was taught by Cleanthus Felt. He was at this age very arduous and assiduous in the pursuit of knowledge. He discovered great mechanical ingenuity. He drew and painted in water colors, and attracted the notice of the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Lt. Governor of the State, who became so much interested in his advancement, that he took the initial steps to have him placed with a master. At an early age he manifested a taste for mineralogy and natural science, which was then (I speak of about 1808) almost unknown in the country. He was generally to be found at home, at his studies, when other boys of his age were attending horseraces, cock-fights, and other vicious amusements for which the village was famous.
"At this time he organized with persevering effort, a literary society, in which discussions took place by the intelligent inhabitants on subjects of popular and learned interests. At an early age, I think sixteen, he went to the west, and the first that was afterwards heard of him was his bringing to New York a splendid collection of the mineralogy and natural history of the west." 
[Footnote 5: Letter of L.L. Van Kleeck, Esq., to Dr. R.W. Griswold, June 4th, 1851.]
In a part of the country where books were scarce, it was not easy to supply this want. He purchased several editions of English classics at the sale of the valuable library of Dirck Ten Broeck, Esq., of Albany, and his room in a short time showed the elements of a library and a cabinet of minerals, and drawings, which were arranged with the greatest care and neatness. Having finished his primary studies, with high reputation, he prepared, under an improved instructor, to enter Union College. It was at the age of fifteen that he set on foot, as Mr. Van Kleeck mentions, an association for mental improvement. These meetings drew together persons of literary tastes and acquirements in the vicinity. The late John V. Veeder, Wm. McKown, and L.L. Van Kleeck, Esqs., Mr. Robert Alsop, the late John Schoolcraft, Esq., G. Batterman, John Sloan, and other well-known gentlemen of the town, all of whom were his seniors in age, attended these meetings.
Mineralogy was at that time an almost unknown science in the United States. At first the heavy drift stratum of Albany County, as seen in the bed of Norman's Kill; and its deep cuttings in the slate and other rocks, were his field of mineralogical inquiries. Afterwards, while living at Lake Dunmore, in Addison County, Vermont, he revised and systematized the study under the teaching of Professor Hall, of Middlebury College, to which he added chemistry, natural philosophy and medicine. Having now the means, he erected a chemical furnace, and ordered books, apparatus, and tests from the city of New York. By these means he perfected the arts which were under his direction in the large way; and he made investigations of the phenomena of the fusion of various bodies, which he prepared for the press under the name of Vitriology, an elaborate work of research. Amongst the facts brought to light, it is apprehended, were revealed the essential principles of an art which is said to have been discovered and lost in the days of Tiberius Caesar.
He taught himself the Hebrew and German, with the aid only of grammars and lexicons; and, with the assistance of instructors, the reading of French. His assiduity, his love of method, the great value he attached to time, and his perseverance in whatever study or research he undertook, were indeed indomitable, and serve to prove how far they will carry the mind, and how much surer tests they are of ultimate usefulness and attainment, than the most dazzling genius without these moral props. Self-dependent, self-acting, and self-taught, it is apprehended that few men, with so little means and few advantages, have been in so peculiar a sense the architect of their own fortunes.
He commenced writing for the newspapers and periodicals in 1808, in which year he also published a poetic tribute to a friend, which excited local notice, and was attributed to a person of literary celebrity. For, notwithstanding the gravity of his studies and researches, he had indulged an early poetic taste for a series of years, by compositions of an imaginative character, and might, it should seem, have attained distinction in that way. His remarks in the "Literary and Philosophical Repertory," on the evolvement of hydrogen gas from the strata of Western New York, under the name of Burning Springs, evinced an early aptitude for philosophical discussion. In a notice of some archaeological discoveries made in Hamburgh, Erie County, which were published at Utica in 1817, he first denoted the necessity of discriminating between the antique French and European, and the aboriginal period in our antiquities; for the want of which discrimination, casual observers and discoverers of articles in our tumuli are perpetually over-estimating the state of ancient art.
About 1816 he issued proposals, and made arrangements to publish his elaborated work on vitreology, which, so far as published, was favorably received.
In 1817 he was attracted to go to the Valley of the Mississippi. A new world appeared to be opening for American enterprise there. Its extent and resources seemed to point it out as the future residence of millions; and he determined to share in the exploration of its geography, geology, mineralogy and general ethnology, for in this latter respect also it offered, by its curious mounds and antiquities and existing Indian tribes, a field of peculiar and undeveloped interest.
He approached this field of observation by descending the Alleghany River from Western New York to the Ohio. He made Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville centres of observation. At the latter place he published in the papers an account of the discovery of a body of the black oxide of manganese, on the banks of the Great Sandy River of Kentucky, and watched the return papers from the old Atlantic States, to see whether notices of this kind would be copied and approved. Finding this test favorable, he felt encouraged in his mineralogical researches. Having descended the Ohio to its mouth one thousand miles, by its involutions below Pittsburgh, and entered the Mississippi, he urged his way up the strong and turbid channel of the latter, in barges, by slow stages of five or six miles a day, to St. Louis. This slowness of travel gave him an opportunity of exploring on foot the whole of the Missouri shore, so noted, from early Spanish and French days, for its mines. After visiting the mounds of Illinois, he recrossed the Mississippi into the mineral district of Missouri. Making Potosi the centre of his survey and the deposit of his collections, he executed a thorough examination of that district, where he found some seventy mines scattered over a large surface of the public domain, which yielded, at the utmost, by a very desultory process, about three millions of pounds of lead annually. Having explored this region very minutely, he wished to ascertain its geological connection with the Ozark and other highland ranges, which spread at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and he planned an exploratory expedition into that region. This bold and hazardous journey he organized and commenced at Potosi early in the month of November, 1818, and prosecuted it under many disadvantages during that fall and the succeeding winter. Several expert and practiced woodsmen were to have been of this party, but when the time for setting out came all but two failed, under various excuses. One of these was finally obliged to turn back from Mine au Breton with a continued attack of fever and ague. Ardent in the plan, and with a strong desire to extend the dominions of science, he determined to push on with a single companion, and a single pack-horse, which bore the necessary camp conveniences, and was led alternately by each from day to day. A pocket compass guided their march by day, and they often slept in vast caverns in limestone cliffs at night. Gigantic springs of the purest crystaline water frequently gushed up from the soil or rocks. This track laid across highlands, which divide the confluent waters of the Missouri from those of the Mississippi. Indians, wild beasts, starvation, thirst, were the dangers of the way. This journey, which led into the vast and desolate parts of Arkansas, was replete with incidents and adventures of the highest interest.
While in Missouri, and after his return from this adventurous journey, he drew up a description of the mines, geology, and mineralogy of the country. Conceiving a plan for the better management of the lead mines as a part of the public domain, he determined to visit Washington, to submit it to the government. Packing up his collections of mineralogy and geology, he ordered them to the nearest point of embarkation on the Mississippi, and, getting on board a steamer at St. Genevieve, proceeded to New Orleans. Thence he took shipping for New York, passing through the Straits of Florida, and reached his destination during the prevalence of the yellow fever in that city. He improved the time of his quarantine at Staten Island by exploring its mineralogy and geology, where he experienced a kind and appreciating reception from the health officer, Dr. De Witt.
His reception also from scientific men at New York was most favorable, and produced a strong sensation. Being the first person who had brought a collection of its scientific resources from the Mississippi Valley, its exhibition and diffusion in private cabinets gave an impulse to these studies in the country.
Men of science and gentlemen of enlarged minds welcomed him. Drs. Mitchell and Hosack, who were then at the summit of their influence, and many other leading and professional characters extended a hand of cordial encouragement and appreciation. Gov. De Witt Clinton was one of his earliest and most constant friends. The Lyceum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society admitted him to membership.
Late in the autumn of 1819, he published his work on the mines and mineral resources of Missouri, and with this publication as an exponent of his views, he proceeded to Washington, where he was favorably received by President Monroe, and by Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, members of his cabinet. At the request of the latter he drew up a memoir on the reorganization of the western mines, which was well received. Some legislation appeared necessary. Meantime Mr. Calhoun, who was struck by the earnestness of his views and scientific enterprise, offered him the situation of geologist and mineralogist to an exploring expedition, which the war department was about dispatching from Detroit to the sources of the Mississippi under the orders of Gen. Cass.
This he immediately accepted, and, after spending a few weeks at the capital, returned in Feb., 1820, to New York, to await the opening of the interior navigation. As soon as the lakes opened he proceeded to Detroit, and in the course of two or three weeks embarked on this celebrated tour of exploration. The great lake basins were visited and explored, the reported copper mines on Lake Superior examined, and the Upper Mississippi entered at Sandy Lake, and, after tracing it in its remote mazes to the highest practical point, he descended its channel by St. Anthony's Falls to Prairie du Chien and the Du Buque lead mines. The original outward track north-westward was then regained, through the valleys of the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers, and the extended shores of Lake Michigan and Huron elaborately traced. In this he was accompanied by the late Professor David B. Douglass, who collected the materials for a correct map of the great lakes and the sources of the Mississippi.
It was late in the autumn when Mr. Schoolcraft returned to his residence at New York, when he was solicited to publish his "narrative journal." This he completed early in the spring of 1821. This work, which evinces accurate and original powers of observation, established his reputation as a scientific and judicious traveler. Copies of it found their way to England, where it was praised by Sir Humphrey Davy and the veteran geographer, Major Rennel. His report to the Secretary of War on the copper mines of Lake Superior, was published in advance by the American Journal of Science, and by order of the Senate of the United States, and gives the earliest scientific account of the mineral affluence of the basin of that lake. His geological report to the same department made subsequently, traces the formations of that part of the continent, which gives origin to the Mississippi River, and denotes the latitudes where it is crossed by the primitive and volcanic rocks. The ardor and enthusiasm which he evinced in the cause of science, and his personal enterprise in traversing vast regions, awakened a corresponding spirit; and the publication of his narratives had the effect to popularize the subject of mineralogy and geology throughout the country.
In 1821, he executed a very extensive journey through the Miami of the Lakes and the River Wabash, tracing those streams minutely to the entrance of the latter into the Ohio River. He then proceeded to explore the Oshawanoe Mountains, near Cave-in-Rock, with their deposits of the fluate of lime, galena, and other mineral treasures. From this range he crossed over the grand prairies of the Illinois to St. Louis, revisited the mineral district of Potosi, and ascended the Illinois River and its north-west fork, the Des Plaines, to Chicago, where a large body of Indians were congregated to confer on the cession of their lands. At these important conferences, he occupied the position of secretary. He published an account of the incidents of this exploratory journey, under the title of Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley. He found, in passing up the river Des Plaines, a remarkably well characterized specimen of a fossil tree, completely converted to stone, of which he prepared a descriptive memoir, which had the effect further to direct the public mind to geological phenomena.
We are not prepared to pursue minutely these first steps of his energetic course in the early investigation of our natural history and geography. In 1822, while the lead-mine problem was under advisement at Washington, he was appointed by Mr. Monroe to the semi-diplomatic position of Agent for Indian Affairs on the North-west Frontiers. This opened a new field of inquiry, and, while it opposed no bar to the pursuits of natural science, it presented a broad area of historical and ethnological research. On this he entered with great ardor, and an event of generally controlling influence on human pursuits occurred to enlarge these studies, in his marriage to Miss Jane Johnston, a highly cultivated young lady, who was equally well versed in the English and Algonquin languages, being a descendant, by the mother's side, of Wabojeeg, a celebrated war sachem, and ruling cacique of his nation. Her father, Mr. John Johnston, was a gentleman of the highest connections, fortune, and standing, from the north of Ireland, who had emigrated to America during the presidency of Washington. He possessed great enthusiasm and romance of character, united with poetic tastes, and became deeply enamored of the beautiful daughter of Wabojeeg, married her, and had eight children. His eldest daughter, Jane, was sent, at nine years of age, to Europe to be thoroughly educated under the care of his relatives there, and, when she returned to America, was placed at the head of her father's household, where her refined dignified manners and accomplishments attracted the notice and admiration of numerous visitors to that seat of noble hospitality. Mr. Schoolcraft was among the first suitors for her hand, and married her in October, 1823.
Mr. Johnston was a fine belles lettres scholar, and entered readily into the discussions arising from the principles of the Indian languages, and plans for their improvement.
Mr. Schoolcraft's marriage into an aboriginal family gave no small stimulus to these inquiries, which were pursued under such singularly excellent advantages, and with untiring ardor in the seclusion of Elmwood and Michilimackinack, for a period of nearly twenty years, and, until his wife's lamented death, which happened during a visit to her sister, at Dundas, Canada West, in the year 1842, and while he himself was absent on a visit to England. Mr. Schoolcraft has not, at any period of his life, sought advancement in political life, but executed with energy and interest various civic offices, which were freely offered to him. From 1828 to 1832, he was an efficient member of the Territorial Legislature, where he introduced a system of township and county names, formed on the basis of the aboriginal vocabulary, and also procured the incorporation of a historical society, and, besides managing the finances, as chairman of an appropriate committee, he introduced and secured the passage of several laws respecting the treatment of the native tribes.
In 1828, the Navy Department offered him a prominent situation in the scientific corps of the United States Exploring Expedition to the South Seas. This was urged in several letters written to him at St. Mary's, by Mr. Reynolds, with the approbation of Mr. Southard, then Secretary of the Navy. However flattering such an offer was to his ambition, his domestic relations did not permit his acceptance of the place. He appeared to occupy his advanced position on the frontier solely to further the interests of natural history, American geography, and growing questions of philosophic moment.
These particulars will enable the reader to appreciate the advantages with which he commenced and pursued the study of the Indian languages, and American ethnology. He made a complete lexicon of the Algonquin language, and reduced its grammar to a philosophical system. "It is really surprising," says Gen. Cass, in a letter, in 1824, in view of these researches, "that so little valuable information has been given to the world on these subjects."
Mr. Duponceau, President of the American Philosophical Society, translated two of Mr. Schoolcraft's lectures before the Algic Society, on the grammatical structure of the Indian language, into French, for the National Institute of France, where the prize for the best essay on Algonquin language was awarded to him. He writes to Dr. James, in 1834, in reference to these lectures: "His description of the composition of words in the Chippewa language, is the most elegant I have yet seen. He is an able and most perspicuous writer, and treats his subject philosophically."
Approbation from these high sources had only the effect to lead him to renewed diligence and deeper exertions to further the interests of natural science, geography, and ethnology; and, while engaged in the active duties of an important government office, he maintained an extensive correspondence with men of science, learning, and enterprise throughout the Union.
The American Philosophical, Geological, and Antiquarian Societies, with numerous state and local institutions, admitted him to membership. The Royal Geographical Society of London, the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen, and the Ethnological Society of Paris, inscribed his name among their foreign members. In 1846, the College of Geneva conferred on him the degree of LL.D.
While the interests of learning and science thus occupied his private hours, the state of Indian affairs on the western frontiers called for continued exertions, and journeys, and expeditions through remote regions. The introduction of a fast accumulating population into the Mississippi Valley, and the great lake basins, continually subjected the Indian tribes to causes of uneasiness, and to a species of reflection, of which they had had no examples in the long centuries of their hunter state.
In 1825, 1826, and 1827, he attended convocations of the tribes at very remote points, which imposed the necessity of passing through forests, wildernesses, and wild portages, where none but the healthy, the robust, the fearless, and the enterprising can go.
In 1831, circumstances inclined the tribes on the Upper Mississippi to hostilities and extensive combinations. He was directed by the Government to conduct an expedition through the country lying south and west of Lake Superior, reaching from its banks, which have from the earliest dates been the fastnesses of numerous warlike tribes. This he accomplished satisfactorily, visiting the leading chiefs, and counseling them to the policy of peace.
In 1832, the Sauks and Foxes resolved to re-occupy lands which they had previously relinquished in the Rock River Valley. This brought them into collision with the citizens and militia of Illinois. The result was a general conflict, which, from its prominent Indian leader, has been called the Black Hawk war. From accounts of the previous year, its combinations embraced nine of the leading tribes. It was uncertain how far they extended. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the Indian and War Department, to conduct a second expedition into the region embracing the entire Upper Mississippi, north and west of St. Anthony's Falls. He pursued this stream to the points to which it had been explored in 1806, by Lieut. Pike, and in 1820, by Gen. Cass; and finding the state of the water favorable for ascending, traced the river up to its ultimate forks, and to its actual source in Itasca Lake. This point he reached on the 23d July, 1832; but a fraction under 300 years after the discovery of its lower portions by De Soto. This was Mr. Schoolcraft's crowning geographical discovery, of which he published an account, with maps, in 1833. He is believed to be the only man in America who has seen the Mississippi from its source in Itasca Lake to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1839, he published his collection of oral legends from the Indian wigwams, under the general cognomen of Algic Researches. In these volumes is revealed an amount of the Indian idiosyncrasies, of what may be called their philosophy and mode of reasoning on life, death, and immortality, and their singular modes of reasoning and action, which makes this work one of the most unique and original contributions to American literature. His love of investigation has always been a characteristic trait.
The writer of this sketch, who is thoroughly acquainted with Mr. Schoolcraft's character, habits, and feelings, has long regarded him the complete embodiment of industry and temperance in all things. He rises early and retires early, eats moderately of simple food, never uses a drop of stimulant, and does not even smoke a cigar. In temperament he is among the happiest of human beings, always looks at the bright side of circumstances—loves to hear of the prosperity of his neighbors, and hopes for favorable turns of character, even in the most depraved. The exaltation of his intellectual pursuits, and his sincere piety, have enabled him to rise above all the petty disquietudes of everyday life, and he seems utterly incapable of envy or detraction, or the indulgence of any ignoble or unmanly passions. Indeed, one of his most intimate friends remarked "that he was the beau-ideal of dignified manliness and truthfulness of character." His manners possess all that unostentatious frankness, and self-possessed urbanity and quietude, that is indicative of refined feelings. That such a shining mark has not escaped envy, detraction, and persecution, will surprise no one who is well acquainted with the materials of which human nature is composed. "Envy is the toll that is always paid to greatness."
Mr. Schoolcraft has had enemies, bitter unrelenting enemies, from the wiles of whom he has lost several fortunes, but they have not succeeded, in spite of all their efforts, in depriving him of an honored name, that will live as the friend of the red man and an aboriginal historian, for countless ages.
Some twenty years ago he became a professor of religion, and the ennobling influences of Bible truth have mellowed, and devoted to the most unselfish and exalted aims his natural determination and enthusiasm of character. God has promised to his people "that their righteousness shall shine as the light, and their just dealing as the noonday." Protected in such an impregnable tower of defence from the strife of tongues, Mr. Schoolcraft has been enabled freely to forgive, and even befriend, those narrow-minded calumniators who have aimed so many poisoned arrows at his fame, his character, and his success in life. These are they who hate all excellence that they themselves can never hope to reach.
Mr. Schoolcraft's persevering industry is so indomitable, that he has been known to write from sun to sun almost every day for many consecutive years, taking no recreation, and yet these sedentary habits of untiring application being regulated by system, have not impaired the digestive functions of his usually robust health. One of his family remarks, "that she believed that if his meals were weighed every day in the year they would average the same amount every twenty-four hours." He has, however, been partly lame for the last two years, from the effects, it is thought, of early exposure in his explorations in the west, where he used frequently to lie down in the swamps to sleep, with no pillow save clumps of bog, and no covering but a traveling Indian blanket, which sometimes when he awoke was cased in snow. This local impediment, however, being entirely without neuralgic or rheumatic symptoms, has had no effect whatever upon his mental activity, as every moment of his time is still consecrated to literary pursuits.
In 1841 he removed his residence from Michilimackinack to the city of New York, where he was instrumental, with Mr. John R. Bartlett, Mr. H. C. Murphy, Mr. Folsom and other ethnologists, in forming the American Ethnological Society—which, under the auspices of the late Mr. Albert Gallatin, has produced efficient labors. In 1842 he visited England and the Continent. He attended the twelfth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Manchester. He then visited France, Germany, Prussia, Belgium, and Holland. On returning to New York he took an active interest in the deliberations of the New York Historical Society, made an antiquarian tour to Western Virginia, Ohio, and the Canadas, and published in numbers the first volume of an Indian miscellany under the title of "Oneota, or the Indian in his Wigwam."
In 1845 the Legislature of New York authorized him to take a census, and collect the statistics of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, which were published, together with materials illustrating their history and character, in a volume entitled, NOTES ON THE IROQUOIS.
This work was highly approved by the Legislature, and copies eagerly sought by persons taking an interest in the fortunes of this celebrated tribe. Contrary to expectation, their numbers were found to be considerable, and their advance in agriculture and civilization of a highly encouraging character; and the State has since made liberal appropriations for their education.
In 1846 he brought the subject of the American aborigines to the notice of the members of Congress, expressing the opinion, and enforcing it by facts drawn from many years' experience and residence on the frontiers, that it was misunderstood, that the authentic published materials from which the Indians were to be judged were fragmentary and scanty, and that the public policy respecting them, and the mode of applying their funds, and dealing with them, was in many things false and unjust. These new views produced conviction in enlightened minds, and, during the following session, in the winter of 1847, an appropriation was made, authorizing the Secretary of War to collect the statistics of all the tribes within the Union; together with materials to illustrate their history, condition, and prospects. Mr. Schoolcraft was selected by the government to conduct the inquiry, in connection with the Indian Bureau. And he immediately prepared and issued blank forms, calling on the officers of the department for the necessary statistical facts. At the same time a comprehensive system of interrogatories was distributed, intended to bring out the true state and condition of the Indian tribes from gentlemen of experience, in all parts of the Union.
These interrogatories are founded on a series of some thirty years' personal observations on Indian society and manners, which were made while living in their midst on the frontiers, and on the data preserved in his well-filled portfolios and journals; and the comprehensive character of the queries, consequently, evince a complete mastery of his subject, such as no one could have been at all prepared to furnish, who had had less full and favorable advantages. In these queries he views the Indian race, not only as tribes having every claim on our sympathy and humanity, but as one of the races of the human family, scattered by an inscrutable Providence, whose origin and destiny is one of the most interesting problems of American history, philosophy, and Christianity.
The first part of this work, in an elaborate quarto volume, was published in the autumn of 1850, with illustrations from the pencil of Capt. Eastman, a gentleman of the army of the United States, and has been received by Congress and the diurnal and periodical press with decided approbation. It is a work which is national in its conception and manner of execution; and, if carried out according to the plan exhibited, will do ample justice, at once to the Indian tribes, their history, condition, and destiny, and to the character of the government as connected with them. We have been reproached by foreign pens for our treatment of these tribes, and our policy, motives, and justice impugned. If we are not mistaken, the materials here collected will show how gratuitous such imputations have been. It is believed that no stock of the aborigines found by civilized nations on the globe, have received the same amount of considerate and benevolent and humane treatment, as denoted by its laws, its treaties, and general administration of Indian affairs, from the establishment of the Constitution, and this too, in the face of the most hostile, wrongheaded, and capricious conduct on their part, that ever signalized the history of a barbarous people.
In January, 1847, he married Miss Mary Howard, of Beaufort District, South Carolina, a lady of majestic stature, high toned moral sentiment, dignified polished manners, gifted conversational powers and literary tastes. This marriage has proved a peculiarly fortunate and happy one, as they both highly appreciate and respect each other, and she warmly sympathizes in his literary plans. She also relieves him of all domestic care by her judicious management of his household affairs. Most of her time, however, is spent with him in his study, where she revises and copies his writings for the press. She is the descendant of a family who emigrated to South Carolina from England, in the reign of George the Second, from whom they received a large grant of land, situated near the Broad River. Upon this original grant the family have from generation to generation continued to reside. It is now a flourishing cotton and rice growing plantation, and is at present owned by her brother, Gen. John Howard. Her sister married a grandnephew of Gen. William Moultrie, who was so distinguished in the revolutionary war, and her brother a granddaughter of Judge Thomas Heyward, who was a ripe scholar and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Although one of her brothers was in the battle of San Jacinto, she is herself the first permanent emigrant of her family from South Carolina to the North, having accompanied her husband to Washington, D.C., where he has ever since been engaged in conducting the national work on the history of the Indians. To this work, of which the second part is now in the press, every power of his extensive observation and ripe experience is devoted, and with results which justify the highest anticipations which have been formed of it. Meantime it is understood that the present memoirs is the first volume of a revised series of his complete works, including his travels, reviews, papers on natural history, Indian tales, and miscellanies.
To this rapid sketch of a man rising to distinction without the adventitious aids of hereditary patrimony, wealth, or early friends, it requires little to be added to show the value of self-dependence. Such examples must encourage all whose ambitions are sustained by assiduity, temperance, self-reliance, and a consistent perseverance in well weighed ends.
Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—Events preliminary to a knowledge of western life—Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany River—Descent to Pittsburgh—Valley of the Monongahela; its coal and iron—Descent of the Ohio in an ark—Scenes and incidents by the way— Cincinnati—Some personal incidents which happened there.
Late in the autumn of 1809, being then in my seventeenth year, I quitted the village of Hamilton, Albany County (a county in which my family had lived from an early part of the reign of George II.), and, after a pleasant drive of half a day through the PINE PLAINS, accompanied by some friends, reached the city of Schenectady, and from thence took the western stage line, up the Valley of the Mohawk, to the village of Utica, where we arrived, I think, on the third day, the roads being heavy. The next day I proceeded to Vernon, the site of a busy and thriving village, where my father had recently engaged in the superintendency of extensive manufacturing operations. I was here within a few miles of Oneida Castle, then the residence of the ancient Oneida tribe of Iroquois. There was, also, in this town, a remnant of the old Mohigans, who, under the name of Stockbridges, had, soon after the Revolutionary War, removed from the Valley of the Housatonic, in Massachusetts, to Oneida. Throngs of both tribes were daily in the village, and I was thus first brought to notice their manners and customs; not dreaming, however, that it was to be my lot to pass so many of the subsequent years of my life as an observer of the Indian race.
Early in the spring of 1810, I accompanied Mr. Alexander Bryan Johnson, of Utica, a gentleman of wealth, intelligence, and enterprise, to the area of the Genesee country, for the purpose of superintending a manufactory for a company incorporated by the State Legislature. After visiting Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario, it was finally resolved to locate this company's works near Geneva, on the banks of Seneca Lake.
During my residence here, the War of 1812 broke out; the events of which fell with severity on this frontier, particularly on the lines included between the Niagara and Lake Champlain, where contending armies and navies operated. While these scenes of alarm and turmoil were enacting, and our trade with Great Britain was cut off, an intense interest arose for manufactures of first necessity, needed by the country, particularly for that indispensable article of new settlements, window glass. In directing the foreign artisans employed in the making of this product of skill, my father, Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft, had, from an early period after the American Revolution, acquired celebrity, by the general superintendency of the noted works of this kind near Albany, and afterwards in Oneida County.