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.
1826. Feb. 1st. The year opens with unfavorable symptoms for the Indian cause. The administration is strong in Congress, and the President favorable to the Indian view of their right to the soil they occupy east of the Mississippi until it is acquired by free cession. But the doctrine of state sovereignty contended for by Georgia, seems to be an element which all the States will, in the end, unite in contending for. And the Creeks may settle their accounts with the fact that they must finally go to the West. This is a practical view of the subject—a sort of political necessity which seems to outride everything else. Poetry and sympathy are rode over roughshod in the contest for the race. We feel nothing of this here at present, but it is only, perhaps, because we are too remote and unimportant to waste a thought about. Happy insignificance! As one of the little means of supporting existence in so remote a spot, and keeping alive, at the same time, the spark of literary excitement, I began, in December, a manuscript jeu d’esprit newspaper, to be put in covers and sent from house to house, with the perhaps too ambitious cognomen of “The Literary Voyager.”
6th. The author of a leading and pungent critique for the North American Review writes in fine spirits from Washington, and in his usual literary tone and temper about his review: “Dr. Sparks’ letter will show you his opinion. He altered the manuscript in some places, and makes me say of—what I do not think and what I would not have said. But let that pass. I gave him carte blanche, so I have no right to find fault with his exercise of his discretion. W. is in a terrible passion. He says that the article is written with ability, and that he always entertained the opinion expressed in the review of Heckewelder’s work. But he is provoked at the comments on ——’s work, and, above all, at the compliment to you. Douglass, who is here, says this is merely Philadelphia versus New York, and that it is a principle with the former to puff all that is printed there, and to decry all that is not.”
This appears to have been known to Gov. Clinton, and is the ground of the opinion he expressed of W. to Mr. Conant.
March 6th. Col. De Garmo Jones writes from Detroit that it is rumored that McLean is to leave the General Post-office Department, and to be appointed one of the United States Judges.