A literary friend, of good judgment, of Detroit, writes (19th): “Your tales have reached me, and I have read them over with a deep interest, arising from a double source—the intrinsic value of such stories and the insight they give of Indian intellect and modes of thought. They form a truly important acquisition to our literary treasures, as they throw a light oft the Indian character which has been imparted from no other quarter. They form a standard by which to determine what is true and what is false in the representations made heretofore of the aboriginal nations on most prominent subjects. No one will doubt that you render the genuine Indian mind and heart. Those who conform to these renderings will pass muster; the rest will be rejected. Let Mr. Cooper and others be thus measured.”
24th. Muk-kud-da Ka-niew (or the Black War Eagle), chief of the coasts of Arenac, brought me an antique pipe of peculiar construction, disinterred at Thunder Bay. It was found about six feet underground; and was disclosed by the blowing down of a large pine, which tore up a quantity of earth by its roots. The tree was two fathoms round, and would make a large canoe. With the pipe were found two earthen vases, which broke on taking them up. In these vases were some small bones of the pickerel’s spine. He saw also the leg bones of an Indian, but the upper part of the skeleton appeared to be decomposed, and was not visible. He thinks the tree must have grown up on an old grave. The pipe consisted of a squared and ornamented bowl, with a curved and tapering handle, all made solid from a sort of coarse terra cotta. He says it was used by taking the small end in the mouth, and thinks such was the practice of the ancient Indians, although the mode is now so different by their descendants. The chief ornament consists of eight dots on each face, separated by longitudinal strokes, leaving four in a compartment. If the tree was four feet diameter, as he states, it denotes an ancient occupation of the shores of Lake Huron, which was probably of the old era of the mining for copper in Lake Superior.
American antiquities—Michilimackinack a summer resort—Death of Ogimau Keegido—Brothertons—An Indian election—Cherokee murders—Board of Regents of the Michigan University—Archaeological facts and rumors—Woman of the Green Valley—A new variety of fish—Visits of the Austrian and Sardinian Ministers to the U.S.—Mr. Gallup—Sioux murders—A remarkable display of aurora borealis—Ottawas of Maumee—Extent of auroral phenomena—Potawattomie cruelty—Mineralogy—Death of Ondiaka—Chippewa tradition—Fruit trees—Stone’s preparation of the Life and Times of Sir William Johnson—Dialectic difference between the language of the Ottawas and the Chippewas—Philological remarks on the Indian languages—Mr. T. Hulbert.
1839. June 25th. ALEX V.V. BRADFORD, Esq., of New York, being about to publish a work on American antiquities, solicits permission to use some of my engravings. I am glad to see an increasing interest in our archaeology, and hope to live to see the day when the popular tastes will permit books to be published on the subject.