18th. The obscurity which attends an Indian’s power of ratiocination may be judged of by the following claim, verbally made to me and supported by some bit of writing, this day, by Gabriel Muccutapenais, an Ottawa chief of L’Arbre Croche. He states that, at one time, a trader took from him forty beavers; at another, thirty beavers and bears; at another, ten beavers, and at another, thirty beavers, and four carcasses of beavers, for all which he received no pay, although promised it. He also served as a clerk or sub-trader for a merchant, for which he was to have received $500, and never received a cent. He requests the President of the United States to pay for all these things. On inquiry, the skins were hunted, and the service rendered, and the wrong received at Athabasca Lake, in the Hudson’s Bay Territory, when he was a young man. He is now about sixty-six years old.
18th. The sun’s eclipse took place, and was very plainly visible to the naked eye, agreeably to the calculation for its commencement and termination. I took the occasion of its termination (four o’clock, fifty minutes) to set my watch by astronomical time.
18th. The Indian payments were completed by Major Bush this day. These payments included the full annuity for 1838, and the deferred half annuity for 1837, making a total of $47,000, which was paid in coin per capita.
The whole number of Indians on the pay rolls this year amounted to 4,872, of whom 1,197 were in the Grand River Valley. Last year they numbered, in all, 4,561, denoting an increase of 311. This increase, however, is partly due to emigrations from the south, and partly to imperfect counts last season, and but partially to the increase of births over deaths. The annuity divided $12 57 on the North, $22 50 in the Middle, or Thunder Bay district, and $11 50 on the Southern pay list. The Indians requested that these per capita divisions might be equalized, but the terms in the treaty itself create the geographical districts.
Descendant of one spared at the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s—Death of Gen. Clarke—Massacre of Peurifoy’s family in Florida—Gen. Harrison’s historical discourse—Death of an emigrant on board a steamboat—Murder of an Indian—History of Mackinack—Incidents of the treaty of 29th July, 1837—Mr. Fleming’s account of the missionaries leaving Georgia, and of the improvements of the Indians west—Death of Black Hawk—Incidents of his life and character—Dreadful cruelty of the Pawnees in burning a female captive—Cherokee emigration—Phrenology—Return to Detroit—University—Indian affairs—Cherokee removal—Indians shot at Fort Snelling.
1838. Sept. 20th, COUNT CASTLENEAU, a French gentleman on his travels in America, brings me a note of introduction from a friend. I was impressed with his suavity of manners, and the interest he manifested in natural history, and furnished him some of our characteristic northern specimens in mineralogy. I understood him to say, in some familiar conversation, that he was the descendant of a child saved accidentally at the memorable massacre of St. Bartholomew’s; and suppose, of course, that he is of Protestant parentage.