A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.

“Being in the neighbourhood of the Indians during the time of peace, need not alarm the emigrant, as the Indian will not be as dangerous to him as idle vagabonds that roam the woods and hunt.  He has more to dread from these people of his own colour than from the Indians.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[5] Eighteen miles below the mouth of the Missouri, and thirty-six below that of the Illinois.

[6] In the Indian tongue there is no distinction of masculine or feminine gender, but simply of animate and inanimate beings.

[7] “The freedom of manners, and the uncertainty of life, from the various hazards to which it is inevitably exposed, imparts to the character of savages a species of liberality, under which are couched many benevolent principles; a respect for the aged, and in several instances a deference to their equals.  The natural coldness of their temperament, admits of few outward demonstrations of civility.  They are, however, affable in their mode, and are ever disposed to show towards strangers, and particularly towards the unfortunate, the strongest marks of hospitality.  A savage will seldom hesitate to share with a fellow-creature oppressed by hunger, his last morsel of provisions.”—­Vide Heriot, p. 318.

CHAPTER VI.

On our return to Illinois from Missouri, we visited the tumuli in the “American bottom,” for the purpose of more closely investigating the form and disposition of these sepulchral mounds.  Their shape is invariably hemispherical, or of the mamelle form.  Throughout the country, from the banks of the Hudson to a considerable distance beyond the Mississippi, tumuli, and the remains of earthen fortifications were dispersed.  Those of the former which have been removed, were found to contain human bones, earthen vessels, and utensils composed of alloyed metal; which latter fact is worthy of particular notice, as none of the Indians of North America are acquainted with the art of alloying.  The vessels were generally of the form of drinking cups, or ewer-shaped cans, sometimes with a flange to admit a cover.  One of those which I saw in a museum at Cincinnati, had three small knobs at the bottom on which it stood, and I was credibly informed that a dissenting clergyman, through the esprit de metier, undertook to prove from the circumstance, that the people who raised these mounds and fortifications must have been acquainted with the doctrine of the Trinity.  How far the reverend gentleman is correct in his inference, I leave for theologians to decide.

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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