8th. Mukonsewyan, or the Little Bear Skin, visited the office, with a retinue. He asked whether any Indians from the Fond du Lac, or Upper Mississippi, had visited the office this season. I stated to him the renewal of hostilities between the Sioux and Chippewas, as a probable reason why they had not. He entered freely into conversation on the history of the Sioux, and spoke of their perfidy to the Chippewas. I asked him if they were as treacherous to the Americans as they had been to the British—several of whose traders they had in former days killed. He said he had seen the Sioux offenders of that day, encamped at Mackinack, while the British held it, under the guns of the fort, and all the Indians expected that they would have been seized. But they were suffered to retire unmolested.
14th. I went to Round Island with Mr. Featherstonehaugh and Lieut. Mather. Examined the ancient ossuaries and the scenery on that island. Mr. F. is on his way to the Upper Mississippi as a geologist in the service of the Topographical Bureau. He took a good deal of interest in examining my cabinet, and proposed I should exchange the Lake Superior minerals for the gold ores of Virginia, &c. He showed me his idea of the geological column, and drew it out. I accompanied him around the island, to view its reticulated and agaric filled limestone cliffs; but derived no certain information from him of the position in the geological scale of this very striking stratum. It is, manifestly, the magnesian limestone of Conybeare and Phillips, or muschelkalk of the Germans.
Lieut. Mather brought me a letter from Major Whiting, from which I learn that he has been professor of mineralogy in the Military Academy at West Point. I found him to be animated with a zeal for scientific discovery, united with accurate and discriminating powers of observation.
Among my visitors about this time, none impressed me more pleasingly than a young gentleman from Cincinnati—a graduate of Lane Seminary—a Mr. Hastings, who brought me a letter from a friend at Detroit. He appeared to be imbued with the true spirit of piety, to be learned in his vocation without ostentation, and discriminating without ultraism. And he left me, after a brief stay, with an impression that he was destined to enter the field of moral instruction usefully to his fellow-men, believing that it is far better to undertake to persuade than to drive men by assault, as with cannon, from their strongholds of opinion.
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 reconnoisance 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.