Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 811 pages of information about Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers.
its progress, down to the present moment—­and shall we manifest a supineness, a perfect listlessness and complete indifference respecting a subject, that by every other people has been, and is still esteemed of so vast magnitude, and deep interest, as to have induced, and still to induce them to pour forth funds from their treasuries unsparingly, to aid the historians in removing, if possible, the veil that conceals in dark obscurity their origin?”

DOMESTIC.—­Mrs. Schoolcraft writes from Elmwood, St. Mary’s (Dec. 6th):  “I continue to instruct our dear little girl every day, and I trust you will find her improved on your return, should it please Heaven to restore you in peace and safety.  Johnston has quite recovered, and can now stand alone, and could walk, if he would. I have called on Mrs. Baxley, and find her a very agreeable woman.  She said she saw you several times at Prairie du Chien. (1825.) I also went to see the mission farm, and was much pleased with the teacher, Miss McComber.  The weather has remained very fine, till within two days, when we have had, for the first time, a sprinkling of snow.  Such a season has never been heard of in this country—­not a particle of ice has, as yet, formed anywhere.”

FRENCH REVOLUTION.—­This political revolution has come like an avalanche, and the citizens have determined to celebrate it, and have a public address, for which Major Whiting has been designated.  Thirty-seven years ago the French cut off the head of the reigning Bourbon, Louis XVI., and now they have called another branch of the same house, of whom Bonaparte said:  “They never learn anything, and they never forget anything.”  As the French please, however.  We are all joy and rejoicing at the event.  It seems the consummation of a long struggle.

Mr. Ward (Ed. Jour.) writes 25th Dec.:  “Will you send me, by the bearer, the lines you showed me in Brush’s office.  They will be quite apropos next week.  Should like to close our form this evening.”

CHAPTER XXXVI.

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.

1831.  LECTURE BEFORE THE LYCEUM.—­The executive committee of this popular institution asks me by a note (Jan. 14th), to lecture before them a short time ahead.  Public duty is an excuse, which on such occasions is very generally made by men in office, who in nine cases out of ten seek to conceal the onerousness of literary labor under that ample cloak.  To me there is no duty more important than that which diverts a town from idle gratifications, and fixes its attention on moral or intellectual themes.  Although the notice was short, I determined to sit up a few nights and comply with it.  I selected the natural history of Michigan, as a subject very tangible, and one about which a good deal of interest could be thrown.  I had devoted much interest to it for years—­understood it, perhaps, better than any one in the territory, and could lecture upon it con amore.

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