But Parson Amen would as soon have believed that his old congregation in Connecticut was composed of Philistines, as not to believe that the red men were the lost tribes, and that Peter, in particular, was not especially and elaborately described in the Old Testament. He had become so thoroughly possessed by this crotchet as to pervert everything that he saw, read, or heard, into evidence, of some sort or other, of the truth of his notions. In this respect there was nothing peculiar in the good missionary’s weakness, it being a failing common to partisans of a theory, to discover proofs of its truths in a thousand things in which indifferent persons can find even no connection with the subject at all. In this frame of mind the missionary would as soon think of letting go his hold on the Bible itself, as think of separating from an Indian who might turn out any day to be a direct representative of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. Not to speak irreverently, but to use language that must be familiar to all, the well-meaning missionary wished to be in at the death.
Corporal Flint, too, had great faith in Peter. It was a part of the scheme of the savage to make this straight for-ward soldier an instrument in placing many scalps in hit power; and though he had designed from the first to execute his bloody office on the corporal himself, he did not intend to do so until he had made the most of him as a stool-pigeon. Here were four more pale-faces thrown in his power, principally by means of the confidence he had awakened in the minds of the missionary and the soldier; and that same confidence might be made instrumental in adding still more to the number. Peter was a sagacious, even a far-seeing savage, but he labored under the curse of ignorance. Had his information been of a more extended nature, he would have seen the utter fallacy of his project to destroy the pale-faces altogether, and most probably would have abandoned it.
It is a singular fact that, while such men as Tecumseh, his brother the Prophet, and Peter, were looking forward to the downfall of the republic on the side of the forest, so many, who ought to have been better informed on such a subject, were anxiously expecting, nay confidently predicting it, from beyond the Atlantic. Notwithstanding these sinister soothsayers, the progress of the nation has, by a beneficent Providence, been onward and onward, until it is scarcely presumptuous to suppose that even England has abandoned the expectation of classing this country again among her dependencies. The fortunes of America, under God, depend only on herself. America may destroy America; of that there is danger; but it is pretty certain that Europe united could make no serious impression on her. Favored by position, and filled with a population that we have ever maintained was one of the most military in existence, a truth that recent events are hourly proving to be true, it much exceeds the power of all the enemies of her institutions to make any serious impression on her. There is an enemy who may prove too much for her; it exists in her bosom; and God alone can keep him in subjection, and repress his desolation.