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.

[16] “The white hunter, on encamping in his journeys, cuts down green trees, and builds a large fire of long logs, sitting at some distance from it.  The Indian hunts up a few dry limbs, cracks them into little pieces a foot in length, builds a small fire, and sits close to it.  He gets as much warmth as the white hunter without half the labour, and does not burn more than a fiftieth part of the wood.  The Indian considers the forest his own, and is careful in using and preserving every thing which it affords.  He never kills more than he has occasion for.  The white hunter destroys all before him, and cannot resist the opportunity of killing game, although he neither wants the meat nor can carry the skins.  I was particularly struck with this wanton practice, which lately occurred on White river.  A hunter returning from the woods, heavily laden with the flesh and skins of five bears, unexpectedly arrived in the midst of a drove of buffalos, and wantonly shot down three, having no other object than the sport of killing them.  This is one of the causes of the enmity existing between the white and red hunters of Missouri".—­Schoolcroft’s Tour in Missouri, page 52.

[17] Does the General include among the arts of civilization, that of systematically robbing the Indians of their farms and hunting grounds?  If so, no doubt these arts of civilization, must inevitably “destroy the resources of the savage,” and “doom him to weakness and decay.”

[18] The Indians apply the term “Christian honesty,” precisely in the same sense that the Romans applied “Punica fides.”

[19] There is an old Indian at present in the Missouri territory, to whom his tribe has given the cognomen of “much-water,” from the circumstance of his having been baptized so frequently.

[20] Heriot says (page 320), “They have evinced a decided attachment to their ancient habits, and have gained less from the means that might have smoothed the asperities of their condition, than they have lost by copying the vices of those, who exhibited to their view the arts of civilization.”

[21] This letter was dictated by Red-jacket, and interpreted by Henry Obeal, in the presence of ten chiefs, whose names are affixed, at Canandaigua, January 18, 1821.

[22] “The attachment which savages entertain for their mode of life supersedes every allurement, however powerful, to change it.  Many Frenchmen have lived with them, and have imbibed such an invincible partiality for that independent and erratic condition, that no means could prevail on them to abandon it.  On the contrary, no single instance has yet occurred of a savage being able to reconcile himself to a state of civilization.  Infants have been taken from among the natives, and educated with much care in France, where they could not possibly have intercourse with their countrymen and relations.  Although they had remained several years in that country, and could not form the smallest idea of the wilds of America, the force of blood predominated over that of education:  no sooner did they find themselves at liberty than they tore their clothes in pieces, and went to traverse the forests in search of their countrymen, whose mode of life appeared to them far more agreeable than that which they had led among the French.”—­_-Heriot_, p. 354.

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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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