Sidor som bilder

latter days in vain attempts to obtain would devolve it upon a chief's son, justice from the power which he had whatever might be his character, yet most loyally served, and greatly bene- this fact alone would be of liuleimport, fited. Had he been knighted at the and give him little influence, without close of the contest, instead of being abilities: whereas abilities alone are shuffed from one great man to another, found to raise men of note to the chiefat home and abroad, it would have tainship, among all the North Ameribeen an instance of a noble exercise of can tribes, whose customs and character that power. But George III. seemed are known. to have been fated, at all points, neither It has constituted no part of our obe to do justice to his friends nor his en- ject, in these general ouilines, to examemies.

ine minor points of the biography or Such was Brant, or Thayendanegea, history, upon which the information or symbolically the Band of his tribe,* to the conclusions are not so satisfactory whose lot it has fallen to act a more as could be wished, or may, indeed, be distinguished part, in the history of the at variance with our opinions. One Colonies, as a consummate warrior, fact, however, connecied with this than any other aboriginal chieftain who name, it is not deemed proper to pass has arisen. And his memory was well sub silentio. Erant is made to take a worthy of the elaborate work in which part in the Pontiac war, a contest arishis biographer has presented him, in ing on the fall of the French power in the most favorable points of view, Canada in 1759, and which closed in amidst a comprehensive history of the 1763. Brant was at its close but twenborder wars of the revolution, without, ty-one years of age, and had not, it is however, concealing atrocities of which probable, finally returned from his New he was, perhaps sometimes unwilling. England tutors. At any rate, there is ly, the agent.

no reason to suppose, that, at that early A word, and but a word, will be add- period of his life and his influence, he ed, as to some points connected with could have had any participation in the this chief's character, which are not in events of that war. coincidence with the generally received In the life of Red Jacket, or Sagóyeopinion, or are now first introduced by wata, we have a different order of Indian way of palliation, or vindication. We intellect brought to view. He was an confess, that so far as the presence or orator and a diplomatist, and was at absence of the Great Mohawk in the no period of his life noted for his skill massacre of Wyoming, is concerned, the as a warrior. Nay, there are indubilastatements are either inconclusive, or ble proofs that his personal courage less satisfactory than could he wished. could not always be “screwed up to There was quite too much feeling the sticking point." But in native insometimes evinced by his family, and tellect, he was even superior to Brant. particularly his son John, to perinit us He was, indeed, the Brant of the to receive ihe new version of the state- council, and often came down upon his ment without some grains of allowance. opponents with bursts of eloquence, An investigation is instituted by Col. trains of argument, or rhapsodies of Stone as to the immediate ancestry of thought, which

irresistible. Brant, and much importance is attached And of him, it may be symbolically to the inquiry, whether he was descen- said, that his tongue was his tomaded from a line of hereditary chiefs. hawk, and the grandiloquent vocabuWe think the testimony adverse to lary of the Seneca language, his warsuch a supposition, and it affords no club. Nor has any native chieftain unequivocal proof of talents, that with. wielded the weapon to more purpose, out such an adventitious circumstance, or with a longer continued effect iban certainly without being of the line of the great Seneca orator. The speciruling chiefs, he elevated himself to be, mens of his eloquence which have not only the head chief and leader of appeared in our newspapers for forty his tribe, but of the Six Nations. Cour years or more, are still fresh in the tesy and popular will attach the title memory, and it was due and meet that of chief or sachem to men of talents, these should be collected and preserved courage or eloquence among our tribes in a permanent shape, together with generally; and while mere descent such particulars of his life and career

* The name is usually translated, two-sticks tied, or united.


as could be obtained. This task has much of the effect of it is due to the been performed by Col. Stone, in a superior and heroic position occupied manner wbich leaves nothing more to by the tribes for whom he spoke. Lobe attempted on the subject. Much gan, unexcelled by all others for his zeal and industry have been evinced in pathos and simplicity, it must be reeliciting facts from every quarter where membered, was also of this stock, it was probable information could be Mingo, or Mengwe, as the Delawares had. And he has brought together a pronounced it, being but a generic term body of contemporaneous proofs and re- for Iroquois ; so that the iransmission miniscences, touching this chief, which of this trait, from the proud era of the a few years would have put beyond the Iroquois confederacy down to modern power of recovery, and which a posi- days, is quite in keeping with the opition less prominent than he occupied as nion quoted. a public journalist, might have rendered It is to be wished that Col. Stone it difficult for another to collect. We would supply another link in the chain need only refer to the names of Gen. of Iroquois history, by favoring the P. B. Porter, Rev. J. Breckenridge, Mr. public with the life of the noted Oneida Parish, and Mr. Hosmer, 10 show the chief, Shenandoah, for which materials character of this part of his materials. must exist in the Kirkland family.

Other chiefs of the native stock, The lives of the two men, 'Uncas have produced occasional pieces of elo- and Miontonimo, whose leading acts quence, or admired oratory, but Red- are described in one of the volumes Jacket is the only prominent individual named in our caption, belong to an who has devoted his whole career to earlier period of history, and a different it. That he did, indeed, excel, pro- theatre of action. The scene changes ducing effects which no reported from western New York 10 the seaspeech of his ever equalled or did board of Connecticut, Rhode Island, justice to, there are still many living and, to some extent, Massachusetts to attest. In the question of land sales, Uncas was the good genius, the rulewhich arose between the white and lary spirit, if we may so say, of the red races, there were frequent occasions colony of Connecticut'; and the best to bring him out. And these, in the monument which ihat State could erect end, assumed a complicated shape, to his memory, would be to change the from either the vague nature, or ill unmeaning and worn out name of one understood conditions of prior grants. of her counties, New London, for that In all these discussions, he preserved a of the noble and friendly chief, of whose unity and consistency in the set of opi- forest kingdom it once formed a part. nions he had adopted. He was opposed From the first day that the English to further sales, to removal, to civilisa- colonists set foot within it, to the hour tion, and to the introduction of Christ- of his death, Uncas was the unwaverianity among his people. What Branting “friend of the white man,” as his had done in politics, Red-Jacket repeat- biographer justly calls him. He was ed in morals. Both took the wrong of that race, whom history has, withside, and both failed. But it is to be out making a particle of allowance for said the Seneca orator, that he did savage ignorance and hereditary prejunot live to see the final defeat of that dice, branded under the name of Pecourse of policy which he had so long quods. They were of that type of lan and so ably advocated.

guages and lineage, which was very It was remarked by Mr. Clinton, and well characterized generically, at least the fact had impressed others, that the as far south as the original country of Iroquois, or Six Nations, excelled the the Delawares; but which assumed a other natives in eloquence. Of this, sub-type after crossing the Hudson, their history, during the supremacy of and was known east of that point Holland and England in New York, under one of its superinduced forms, as given by Colden, furnishes ample as the Mohegan. This term had been proofs. The speech of Garangula, dropped by the Pequods, if it was ever against the Governor General of Cana- their specific cognomen, but it is a da and his wily policy, is unexcelled, proof, and we think a very conclusive as a whole, by anything which even proof, of the yet freshly remembered Red-Jacket has left in print, though affiliation with Taminund* and the

* The nar e of this chief is Anglicised in the word Tammany..

Manhattans, that Uncas, the moment wise deliberation; and by adhering to he revolted from King Sassacus, as- his first covenant with the English, sumed the name of a Mohegan, and and laying all his plans and grievput himself at the head of that tribe, ances before the colonial couris, he as it then existed within the bounda- raised himself in strength and reputaries of Connecticut. Or rather, he con- tion, and finally triumphed, first over stituted the revolted Pequods a new Sassacus, and then over Miontonimo, tribe, under an old and respected name, the two greatest and most powerful of and he thus laid the foundation of the his immediate contemporaries. Uncas dynasty. Placed thus by cir If Uncas was the patron of Conneccumstances in a position in which he ticut, Miontopimo, with his family of sought an alliance with the early colo- the Narragansett chiefdom, was nists, and finding his security in theirs, equally so of Rhode Island. And it is he was in fact the only leading chief from this obvious fact, probably, in part, of the times who, really, heartily, and that we find the hisiorical notices of faithfully sought their prosperity and him, from the last quarter, decidedly growth io the end. The rise of Uncas more favorable to his general characand Connecticut thus began at one era; ter than those emanating from the land and as the alliance was founded on inu- of his enemy and his conqueror, Uncas. tual interest and safety, it only grew While there is no disagreement as to stronger with time. A man of less force any historical fact of note, it is natural of character or natural sagacity than that some litile shade of feeling of this Uncas, would have vacillated when he nature should remain. We have nosaw the colonists becoming more pow. ticed a similar feeling with respect 10 erful and himself more weak as years existing tribes and chiefs, in the westrolled on, and would have been seduced ern world, where the inhabitants never to enter into alliances for arresting the fail to be imbued with those peculiar white man's power, as other native notions and traditions of the particular chiefs had done. But all history concurs tribe about them, which represent the in showing that, under every circum- latier as the principal nation, and instance, and there were many of the most vest them with tribal traits of superitrying kind, he carried himself well, and ority. It is a feeling which leads to avoided even a suspicion of his fidelity. the better side of one's nature, and

Uncas was well qualified for a ruler does honor to men's hearts; but the both in mind and person. He possess- historian is obliged to look at such ed a fine figure, over six feet in height, questions with a colder eye, and can a commanding voice, and a noble bear- never abate a title of the truth, aling. He was mild yet dignified in his though he may run counter to this local manners. He was not only wise in sympathy and bias. We could name council, but brave* in war, as he some remarkable instances of this preevinced in many instances, but particu- judice, if we were willing to digress. larly in the baitle of Sachem's Plain, If Mion tonimo be compared to Unin which he proved himself the bravest cas, it will at once be seen that he and most chivalrous of the brave. Yet lacked the latter's sagacity and firmhis wisdom and moderation in govern- ness of character. Had the Narraganing his people, and the well balanced sett listened to Sassacus, and formed a justice and consistency of his character, league with him, he would have give him a still higher reputation, and crushed, for a time, the infant colony of establish his best claim to remem- Connecticut. This he declined, appabrance. In all the trials in which he rently, because it had the specific chawas placed, in all the temptations he racter of enabling Sassacus to put had to fly into a rage, and act out the down Uncas. After the Pequod king savage, he sustained this character for had been defeated and fled to the Mo

• The terms “ brave” and “braves” used in a substantive sense, in this work, are neither English nor Indian. The Indian term should be translated strong-heart, its literal import; for it is one of the general rules of these languages, that the operation of the adjective, as well as action of the verb, is uniformly marked upon the substantive--there being, indeed, different inflections of each substantive, to denote whether this operation or action be caused by a noble or ignoble, or an animate or inanimate object. Besides, as a mere matter of taste, we think the French term brave is one having Hut little claim to introduction into our language, burthened as it already is with


hawks, Miontonimo was left in a posi- directing an Indian to commit an act tion to assume the Pequod's policy, and which it was unlawful for a while then tried to bring Uncas into just such man and a Christian to perform. Had a combination to fall on the colonists, Uncas slain his adversary in cold blood, as he had hiinsell refused, when the after the action, the thing would have proposition came from Sassacus. As been in perfect accordance with Indian Uncas not only refused, but laid the law. Had Miontonimo been a subject scheme before his allies, Miontonimo of either of the colonies of Connecticut, went to war against him, with a large Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, and army. Uncas hastily prepared to meet levied war, or committed any overt act him, with a smaller force. They met of treason, his execution would have on Sachem's Plain, on the banks of the been in accordance with the laws of ciShawtucket. Uncas, unwilling to see vilized naiions. Neither condition hapso many of his people slain in battle, pened. It was, however, felt, that the pobly stepped forward and proposed a great disturber of the colonies, after personal combat, to decide the question Sassacus, had now been caught. He of who should rule, and who obey. It had violated his covenant by going to was declined, but the moment the war without apprizing them. They reply was made, he threw himself on did not believe he would keep any the plain, a signal, it seems, for his future covenants. The moral sense of men to advance, and they came on with the community would not be shocked, such an impulse, that he won the day but rather gratified by his execution. and took Miontonimo prisoner. This This point was strongly signified to the capture was the act of one of his minor court. But they could not legally comchiefs; but when his enemy was pass it. English law opposed it.' The brought before him, he declined exer customs of civilized nations, in warring cising his right of putting him to death, with each other, opposed it. Should a but determined to refer the matter to different rule be observed towards the the authorities at Hartford. There it aborigines? Did the dictates of sound was found to be a knotty question, and judgment and common sense, did the finally referred to the General Court at precepts of Christianity,-aye, “there Boston. The Court strengthened itself was ihe rub,”—did the precepts of with the opinions of six distinguished Christianity sanction it? On full deliclergymen and several eminent civil- beration,-for the question was not de. ians; and then decided, that the Narra- cided in haste,-neither of these points gansett chief bad justly forfeited his conld be affirmatively answered. But life, by violating his political covenants while policy-the policy of expediency, with ihe colonies, but it might not be the lust of power, and the offended taken away by them. He must be moral sense of an exposed and suffering remanded to Úncas, within his juris- community demanded, as it was diction, and by him be executed; but thought, the death of the sachem, still it was enjoined, with a very poor com- it was not found that one whom they pliment to the known mildness of the had ever treated, and then viewed, as character of Uncas, that no needless a foreign prince, legally considered, cruelty should be practised. Here, could be thus deprived of his life. then, the white man evinced less mercy Imprisonment was not, as a permanent than the red had done. Miontonimo policy, resolved on. There was one was now released from his confine course left to escape both dilemmas, ment, and conducted back to the very and to avoid all censure. It was to spot where he had first been taken pri- restore things to the precise footing soner, as he approached which, one of they had before his surrender. It was the Mohegans who accompanied him, to hand him back to Uncas, without keeping him in entire ignorance of his the expression of any decision, leaving fate, raised his tomahawk as he that chieftain to act as he deemed fit. walked behind him, and laid him dead They remanded bim indeed, but went at a blow,

one step too far, hy first deciding in a Whether the moral responsibility of formal court, after months of deliberathis execution rests with the court, or tion, in the course of which the clergy the executioner, we do not propose and gentry (this is a term that would particularly to inquire, nor to ascertain be proper to the times) had been forio what degree it was shuffled off, by mally consulted, and directed his

death, stipulating only that he should ting out exact and regular justice to not be killed with cruelty. If there men with red skins, as well as white ? was not something that smacks of the It was thought that all these ques. want of true and noble dealing in this— tions must be negatively answered; if it accorded with the bland precepts and the bold Sac insurgent was sent of Christianity, to do unto others as home, accompanied by an officer of the you would that others should do unto army, to secure his comfort and safety, you—if the act did not, in fine, partake and thus to see that a wise and merof the very spirit of Jesuitism in the ciful decision should be faithfully car. worst sense in which the word has been ried out, and popular indignation be adopted into the language, we have, we prevented from wreaking itself, in the confess, formed a totally wrong idea of assassination of the chief. its meaning

In closing these remarks, it may apA case, in some respects similar to pear selfish to express the hope, that this, happened in modern times, which Mr. Stone, to whom we are already may be thought to contrast rather indebted for these spirited, comprehenstrongly with the above example of sive, and well written volumes, should Puritau mercy. The reasons for a capi. still further employ his pen in adding tal punishment, were, indeed, far more to the sum of these obligations. But cogent, and the community called out he has so well studied the field in its strongly for it, and would have sus. historical bearing, so far at least as retained it. It was the capture of Black lates to the eastern department of the Hawk, which, it will be recollected, Union, that we know of no one to took place during the first Presidential whom the labor would present less of term of General Jackson. Black the character of a task. We are in Hawk had levied war within the want of a good account of Philip, boundaries of one of the States, on or Metacom, the energetic sachem of lands ceded by treaty, and organized a the Pokenokets, who impersonated so confederacy of Indian tribes, which, fully the wild Indian character and though broken up in part, chiefly, views, and battled so stoutly against through the failure of the other tribes the occupancy of New England by the to fulfil their engagements with him, Saxon race. In showing up to modern yet required for its suppression the en- times such a man, we think a biogratire disposable force of ihe Union. The phy would derive very deep interest, Sac chief was finally captured on In- and it would certainly be a new experidian territory, in the act of fleeing west ment, to take up the aboriginal views of the Mississippi. He was impri- and opinions of ihe invading race, and soned, and the case referred to the thus write, as it were, from within, inGovernment for decision. He had stead of without the circle of warlike broken his treaty covenants. He had action. In this way, their combinanot only made war, but in its outbreak tions, efforts and power, would better and its continuance, had been guilty of appear, and redound more to the countenancing, at least, the most shock. credit of the aboriginal actors, as waring barbarities. He had, indeed, opened riors and heroes. As it is, history only the scene by cruelly murdering the alludes to them as conspirators, rebels, agent of the Government, the represen- traitors, or culprits; as if the fact of tative of the President, in the person their opposing the egress of civilized of Mr. St. Vrain. The communiiy, the nations, who were in all respects western Stales particularly, called wiser and better, were sufficient to blot ļoudly for his execution. There could be out all their right and claim to the soil no security, it was said, if such a and sovereignty of the land of their bloody fellow was allowed to roam at forefathers, and they were in fact large. He had forfeited his life a thou- bound to stand back, and give it up, sand times. There was, indeed, the nolens volens. same popular feeling against him, We had designed to subjoin a few which had New England,one remarks on the biographical labors hundred and ninety years before, against other writers in this department, parMiontonimo. But could he have been ticularly those of Thatcher and Drake, legally executed? And if so, was it, but our limits are already exhausted, indeed, the true policy? Was it noble and we must abandon, or at least, de--was it high-minded? Was it me- fer it.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »