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.
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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.”