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 1,003 pages of information about Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers.

24th.  Mud-je-ke-wiss, chief of Thunder Bay, a descendant of the captor of old Mackinack, being questioned of his family, their former residence, his knowledge and remembrance of affairs at old Mackinack, replied that his father’s name was Mud-je-ke-wiss; it had been Kaigwiaidosa when he had been a young man.  He had lived at Mackinack, going to Thunder Bay to hunt.  He died, not very old, at a treaty held on the Maumee.  He (himself) had heard of the taking of old Mackinack, but was born after the removal of the post to the island, and his father died before he had instructed him.  He had not heard of Wawitum, or Menehwehwa, of whom I questioned him.

This answer is a specimen of Indian caution and suspicion of white men.  I knew but little of the man then, and had seen him but once or twice.  He evidently “played shy,” and was determined the Anglo-Saxon race should get no facts from him that might ever be told to the disadvantage of the Indians who had once, under the lead of a noted chief (Pontiac), been led, under the deception of a ball-play, to fall on the unprepared ranks of a British garrison, and stain their history with a horrible tale of blood.  Henry’s travels preserve the most vivid account of this massacre, for he was himself an eye witness of some of its atrocities, and was spared, by a remarkable Providence, from being one of its victims.

It was not credible that seventy years should have left so little of Indian tradition of that sanguinary event.

It is reported that letters written by Longlade, Indian interpreter at old Mackinack, at and during the era of the massacre of the English garrison, are in the possession of the Greenough family, at Green Bay.  They would, perhaps, throw some light on a transaction which is by far the most tragic event of this transition period of our Indian history.  By transition, I mean the era of the change from French to English supremacy.


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.

1833. Oct. 12th.  Business called me to Detroit, where I had a work in the press, early in October.  The Algic Society held its first anniversary this day, in the Session Room of the Presbyterian Church.  The Secretary read a report of its proceedings, and submitted a body of the vital statistics of the tribes of the Upper Lakes, which elicited an animated discussion.  Mr. Lathrop called attention to the singular fact, that of the mothers reported in the tables, the rate of reproduction in the hunter tribes did not exceed

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