« PreviousContinue »
the belief, that the spirit, if not the actual body and bones, of Jabez Doolittle stands perched on every locomotive that may now be seen, in every direction, threading its way at the rate of thirty miles an hour, to the total annihilation of space and time. The incredulous, like the Moors of old, may indulge their unbelief; but for myself, I never see a locomotive in full action, that I do not also see Jabez there, directing its course, as plainly as I see the immortal CLINTON in every canal-boat, or the equally immortal Fulton in every steamboat.
Unfortunately, however, these, like Jabez Doolittle, started in their career of glory without a patent; trusting too far to an ungrateful world; and now the descendants of either may (if they pay their passage,) indulge the luxury that the inventive spirit of their ancestors has secured to the age.
But my task is done. All I now ask, is, that although some doubt and mystery hang over the first invention of a steam-boat — in which doubt, however, I for one do not participate none whatever may exist in regard to the origin of the locomotive branch of the great steam family; and that, in all future time, this fragment of authentic history may enable the latest posterity to retrace, by "back-track’and 'turn out,' through a long rail-road line of illustrious ancestors, the first projector and contriver of. The First Locomotive,' their immortal progenitor, ‘Jabez Doolittle, Esq., nigh Wallingford, Connecticut.'
I love the hearth where evening brings
Her loved ones from their daily tasks, Where Virtue spreads her spotless wings,
And Vice, fell serpent! never basks; Where sweetly rings upon the ear
The blooming daughter's gentle song, Like heavenly music whispered near,
While thrilling hearts tlie notes prolong. For there the father sits in joy,
And there ibe cheerful mother smiles, And there the laughter-loving boy,
With sportive tricks, the eve beguiles; And love, beyond what worldings know,
Like sunlight on the purest foam, Descends, and with its cheering glow,
Lights up the christian's happy home. Contentment spreads her holy calm,
Around a resiing-place so bright,
In gazing at so fair a sight;
And Discord rears its front no more,
And Charity attends the door. No biting scandal, fresh from hell,
Grates on the ear, or scalds the tongue; There kind remenibrance loves to dwell,
And virtue's meed is sweetly sung; And human nature soars on high,
Where heavenly spirits love to roam, And Vice, as stalks ii rudely by,
Admires the christian's happy home.
Oft have I joined the lovely ones
Around the bright and cheerful hearth,
The brightest jewels of the earth;
And Fashion called her senseless throng,
And that fair girl's a seraph's song.
Upon the bosom of the deep,
Disturb iis sull and glassy sleep,
And wandering feet forgot to roam,
Above the christian's happy home.
And scents the purple morning's breath, May in the shades of evening fail,
And bend its crimson head in death; And earth's bright ones amid the tomb,
May, like the blushing rose, decay;
When time and nature fade away.
Where the archangel bows in awe,
And executes his perfect law,
Shall in their robes of beauty come,
Ainid the cbristan's happy home.
PARADISE OPEN TO THE INDIANS.
R. SCHOOLCRAFT, ESQ.
The following is a literal translation of the story related by the noted Algic chief Pontiac, to the Indian tribes whom he wished to bring into his views in forming his general confederacy against the Anglo-Saxon race in the last century. It is taken from an ancient manuscript journal, now in the possession of the Michigan Historical Society. This journal, the preservation of which is due to one of the French families at Detroit, appears to have been kept by a person holding an official station, orintimate with the affairs of the day, during the siege of the fort of Detroit by the confederate Indians in 1763. It is minute in its details of the transactions of every day, from the investment of the fort, until the disaster of the sortie made by the English garrison, in the direction of Bloody Run. Its authenticity has never been brought into question. There is no air of exaggeration in the narrative. There is nothing recorded in the process of the negotiations, the siege, or the disclosure of the plot preceding it, which was not perfectly reasonable, under the circumstances, and in keeping with the character of the tribes, and their means of action.
That a document of so much historical interest might be the better preserved, the society took measures, about a twelvemonth since, for its translation; and the tale here furnished, is a transcript of this particular portion of the journal. The only addition to the text, consists in the insertion of four or five words of ordinary use in the narrative, which appear to have been obliterated by a chemical change in the ink, in a few places.
Without entering into the moral bearing of this curious specimen of Indian fiction, it may be regarded as no equivocal testimony of the sagacity and foresight of its celebrated author. To turn the mythology and superstitious belief of his auditors to political account, was certainly a capital stroke of policy. And no stronger proof could, perhaps, be adduced of the existence of the popular belief on this head, and the prevalence, at that time, of oral tales and fanciful legends among the tribes.
An Indian of the Lenapeet tribe, anxious to know the Master of Life, resolved, without mentioning his design to any one, to undertake a journey to Paradise, which he knew to be God's residence. But, to succeed in his project, it was necessary for him to know the way to the celestial regions. Not knowing any person who, having been there himself, might aid him in finding the road, he commenced juggling, in the hope of drawing a good augury from his dream.
The Indian, in his dream, imagined that he had only to commence his journey, and that a continued walk would take him to the celestial abode. The next morning, very early, be equipped himself as a hunter, taking a gun, powder-horn, ammunition, and a boiler to cook his
* See, in Editors' Table, ‘Algic Researches.'
+ Delawares. H. R. $.
provisions. The first part of his journey was pretty favorable ; he walked a long time, without being discouraged, having always a firm conviction that he should attain his aim. Eight days had already elapsed, without his meeting with any one to oppose his desire. On the evening of the eighth day, at sunset, he stopped as usual on the bank of a brook, at the entrance of a little prairie, a place which he thought favorable for his night's encampment. As he was preparing his lodging, he perceived at the other end of the prairie three very wide and well-beaten paths. He thought this somewhat singular; he, however, continued to prepare his wigwam, that he might shelter himself from the weather. He also lighted a fire. While cooking, he found that, the darker it grew, the more distinct were those paths. This surprised, nay, even frightened him; he hesitated a few moments. Was it better for him to remain in his camp, or seek another at some distance? While in this incertitude, he remembered his juggling, or rather his dream. He thought that his only aim in undertaking his journey, was to see the Master of Life. This restored him to his senses. He thought it probable that one of those three roads led to the place which he wished to visit. He therefore resolved upon remaining in his camp until the morrow, when he would, at random, take one of them. His curiosity, however, scarcely allowed him time to take his meal ; he left his encampment and fire, and took the widest of the paths. He followed it until the middle of the day, without seeing any thing to impede his progress ; but, as he was resting a little, to take breath, he suddenly perceived a large fire coming from under ground. It excited his curiosity; he went toward it to see what it might be; but, as the fire appeared to increase as he drew nearer, he was so overcome with fear, that he turned back, and took the widest of the other two paths. Having followed it for the same space of time as he had the first, he perceived a similar spectacle. His fright, which had been lulled by the change of road, awoke, and he was obliged to take the third path, in which he walked a whole day, without seeing any thing. All at once, a mountain of a marvellous whiteness burst upon
This filled him with astonishment; nevertheless, he took courage and advanced to examine it. Having arrived at the foot, he saw no signs of a road. He became very sad, not knowing how to continue his journey. In this conjuncture, he looked on all sides, and perceived a female seated upon the mountain ; her beauty was dazzling, and the whiteness of her garments surpassed that of snow. The woman said to him, in his own language, · You appear surprised to find no longer a path to reach your wishes. I know that you have for a long time longed to see and speak to the Master of Life; and that you have undertaken this journey purposely to see him. The way which leads to his abode is upon this mountain. To ascend it, you must undress yourself completely, and leave all you accoutrements and clothing at the foot. No person shall injure them. You will then go and wash yourself in the river which I am now showing you, and afterward ascend the mountain.'
The Indian obeyed punctually the woman's words; but one difficulty remained. How could he arrive at the top of the mountain, which was steep, without a path, and as smooth as glass? He asked the woman how he was to accomplish it. She replied, that if he really
wished to see the Master of Life, he must, in mounting, only use his left hand and foot. This appeared almost impossible to the Indian. Encouraged, however, by the female, he commenced ascending, and succeeded, after much trouble. When at the top, he was astonished to see no person, the woman having disappeared. He found himself alone, and without a guide. Three unknown villages were in sight; they were constructed on a different plan from his own, much more handsome and regular. After a few moments' reflection, he took his way toward the handsomest. When about half way from the top of the mountain, he recollected that he was naked, and was afraid to proceed; but a voice told him to advance, and have no apprehensions; that, as he had washed himself, he might walk in confidence. He proceeded without hesitation to a place which appeared to be the gate of the village, and stopped until some one came to open it. While he was considering the exterior of the village, the gate opened, and the Indian saw coming toward him a handsome man, dressed all in white, who took him by the hand, and said he was going to satisfy his wishes by leading him to the presence of the Master of Life.
The Indian suffered himself to be conducted, and they arrived at a place of unequalled beauty. The Indian was lost in admiration. He there saw the Master of Life, who took him by the hand, and gave him for a seat a hat, bordered with gold. The Indian, afraid of spoiling the hat, hesitated to sit down; but, being again ordered to do so, he obeyed without reply.
The Indian being seated, God said to him, 'I am the Master of Life, whom thou wishest to see, and to whom thou wishest to speak. Listen to that which I will tell thee for thyself and for all the Indians. I am the Maker of heaven and earth, the trees, lakes, rivers, men, and all that thou seest or has seen on earth or in the heavens; and because I love you, you must do my will; you must also avoid that which I hate; I hate you to drink as you do, until you lose your reason; I wish you not to fight one another; you take two wives, or run after other people's wives; you do wrong; I hate such conduct; you should have but one wife, and keep her until death. When you go to war, you juggle, you sing the medicine song, thinking you speak to me; you deceive yourselves; it is to the Manito that you speak; he is a wicked spirit who induces you to evil, and, for want of knowing me, you listen to him.
The land on which you are, I have made for you, not for others. Wherefore do you suffer the whites to dwell upon your lands? Can you not do without them? I know that those whom you call the children of your great Father supply your wants. But, were you not wicked as you are, you would not need them. You might live as you did before you knew them. Before those whom you called your brothers had arrived, did not your bow and arrow maintain you? You needed neither gun, powder, nor any object. The flesh of animals was your food, their skins your raiment. But when I saw you inclined to evil, I removed the animals into the depths of the forests, that you might depend on your brothers for your necessaries, for your clothing. Again become good and do my will, and I will send animals for your sustenance. I do not, however, forbid suffering among you your Father's children. I love them; they know me; they VOL. XIII.
pray to me;
I supply their own wants, and give them that which they bring to you. Not so with those who are come to trouble your possessions. Drive them away; wage war against them. I love them not. They know me not. They are my enemies; they are your brothers' enemies. Send them back to the lands I have made for them. Let them remain there.
• Here is a written prayer which I give thee; learn it by heart, and teach it to all the Indians and children. The Indian observing here that he could not read, the Master of Life told him that, on his return upon earth, he should give it to the chief of his village, who would read it, and also teach it to him, as also to all the Indians.
It must be repeated,' said the Master of Life,' morning and evening. Do all that I have told thee, and announce it to all the Indians, as coming from the Master of Life. Let them drink but one draught, or two at most, in one day. Let them have but one wife, and discontinue running after other people's wives and daughters. Let them not fight one another. Let them not sing the medicine song, for in singing the medicine song, they speak to the evil spirit. Drive from your lands,'added the Master of Life,' those dogs in red clothing; they are only an injury to you. When you want any thing, apply to me, as your brothers do, and I will give to both. Do not sell to your brothers that which I have placed on the earth as food. In short, become good, and you shall want nothing. When you meet one another, bow, and give one another the . . . hand of the heart. Above all, I commend thee to repeat, morning and evening, the prayer which I have given thee.'
His conductor then came, and, leading him to the foot of the mountain, told him to take his garments and return to his village; which was immediately done by the Indian.
His return much surprised the inhabitants of the village, who did not know what had become of him. They asked him whence he came; but as he had been enjoined to speak to no one until he saw the chief of the village, he motioned to them with his hand that he came from above. Having entered the village, he went immediately to the chief's wigwam, and delivered to him the prayer and laws intrusted to his care by the Master of Life.