It was supposed that small Indian communities, living on limited reservations, surrounded entirely on all sides by white settlements, could not sustain themselves, but must be inevitably swept away. But the result, in the case of the Senecas and other remnants of the ancient Iroquois, does not sustain this theory. It is true that numbers have yielded to dissipation, idleness, and vice, and thus perished; but the very pressure upon the mass of the tribes, and the danger of their speedy destruction without resorting to agriculture, appear to have brought out latent powers in the race which were not believed to exist. They have taken manfully hold of the plough, cultivated crops of wheat and corn, and raised horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs. They have adopted the style of houses, fences, implements, carriages, dress, and, to some extent, the language, manners, and modes of transacting business, of their neighbors. And, perceiving their ability to sustain themselves by cultivation and the arts, now turn round and solicit the protecting arms of the State and General Government to permit them to develop their industrial capacities. Too late, almost, they have been convinced of the erroneous policy of their ancestors, &c. Every right-thinking man must approve this.
May 12th. Prof. Orren Root, of Syracuse Academy, New York, appeals to me to contribute towards the formation of a mineralogical cabinet at that institution.
30th. The new farming station and mission for the Chippewas of Grand Traverse Bay is successfully established. The Rev. Mr. Dougherty reports that a school for Indian children has been well attended since November. A blacksmith’s shop is in successful operation. The U.S. Farmer reports that he has just completed ploughing the Indian fields. He has put in several acres of oats, and the corn is about six inches above the ground. The Indians generally are making large fields, and have planted more corn than usual, and manifest a disposition to become industrious, and to avail themselves of the double advantage that is furnished them by the Department of Indian Affairs and by the Mission Board which has taken them in hand.
Death of Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft—Perils
of the revolutionary era—Otwin—Mr.
Bancroft’s history in the feature of its Indian
relations—A tradition of a noted chief on
Lake Michigan—The collection of information
for a historical volume—Opinions of Mr.
Paulding, Dr. Webster, Mr. Duer, John Quincy Adams—Holyon
and Alholyon—Family monument—Mr.
Stevenson, American Minister at London—Joanna
1840. June 7th. The first of June found me in Detroit, on my way to Washington, where I was in a few days met by the appalling intelligence of the death of my father (Col. Lawrence Schoolcraft), an event which took place on this day at Vernon, Oneida County, New York. He had reached his eighty-fourth year, and possessed a vigor of constitution which promised longer life, until within a few days of his demise. A dark spot appeared on one of his feet, which had, I think, been badly gashed with an axe in early life. This discoloration expanded upwards in the limb, and terminated in what appeared to be a dry mortification.