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of the practicability of a complete civilization of Indians. The success of the institutions of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now in operation among two of these tribes, the Cherokees and Choctaws, is in a high degree favorable to such an experiment.
There in East Florida, about twelve hundred
pure blooded Seminole Indians, and a number of Creeks and of other tribes, a mixed body, not numerons, scattered along the Northern border of this Territory, and on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, near Tampa Bay. Of these Indians, and of their country, &c. a particular account is given in the Appendix.* Before the wars of 1812 and since, these Indians with their negro slaves, lived in comfort, and many of them were wealthy in cattle and horses. But these wars have broken them up, destroyed great numbers of their bravest warriors and chiefs ; also their villages and cattle, and thrown them into a state, most distressing and pitiable. Efforts are making, with prospects of success, to collect all these Indians into one body, to make them comfortable, to educate and civilize them. They are willing and desirous to receive these blessings.
ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESEE.
In these states reside the Cherokees (principally) the Choctaws and Chicasaws, of whom some remarks have been made under the head of Georgia, to which the reader is referred. These tribes, the two former particularly, have lately attracted an unusual share of the public attention, in consequence of the operations going forward among them for their civil and religious improvement. Of the state of these tribes, and of the measures devised and put in operation for their benefit, by the American Board of Commissioners, under the patronage of the Government, an account is given in the Appendix.
State and Territories west of the Mississippi.
Having taken a brief survey of the Indians east of the Mississippi I pass over that river, and in the order of the Table, give such information of the numerous tribes west of it, to the Pacific Ocean, as I have been able to collect. No measures have been taken to convey the blessings of civilization and of the Gospel, to any of these tribes, (if we except what a few Catholic Priests have done among some of the northern nations) till within the last two years. During this period, Education Families have been established among the Osages, and a portion of the Cherokee tribe, who have lately migrated and settled on Arkansaw river ; and another large family are prepared to plant themselves at the Council Bluffs.* These will be noticed in their place. I begin with
The Tribes north of the Missouri, and west of the Mississippi rivers.
Of these tribes I have received, in a letter from Mr. Daniel Harmon, an Indian Trader, the following summary information. “ From 1800 to 1806, I resided in that extensive plain country, which lies between the Mississippi, Missouri, Red and Se-se-satchewine rivers, bounded west by the Rocky Mountains. This country lies between 44°, and 52° N. Lat. The climate is about the same as in Canada. The soil, generally, is good. There is on it but little timber, or wood of any kind. There are plains of more than one hundred miles in extent, on which there is not a shrub to be seen. The natives, when travelling over these plains, use Buffalo dung, which burns like peat, for fuel.
Scattered over this wide tract of country, there may be 12 or 15,000 Indians, some say more, of the following tribes, viz. Crees or Kristineaux, Assiniboins, Mandans, Rapids, Blackfeet, Blood Indians, Sursees, and a few of the Coutouns. The body of the latter tribe are spread over the Rocky Mountains, and west of them.
* See Rev. Mr. Badger's letter, Appendix B b.
† These are probably the same nation, described to me by Capt. Ramsay Crooks, under the name of Shoshonee, or Snake Indians. They are, he states,
“I know of no Indians,” says Mr. H. “ who I think would more readily receive Education Families among them, than those above mentioned. The Crees, indeed, are more than half civilized already. When Canada fell into the hands of Great Britain, there were, at that period, two Catholic Priests among these Indians ; and in 1817 or 18, there went another, who still resides on the Red River, where Lord Selkirk has attempted to establish a colony, of which an account is given in the Appendix.*
Since the above letter was received, Mr. Harmon has published his Journal. From this and other sources, some further account of these Indians is given in the Appendix.
From the information Mr. Harmon has given of the dispositions of these Indians, we may hope, that the way is already prepared for introducing among them the blessings of civilization, and the Gospel
Of the Tribes between the Missouri and Red rivers, west of the Mis
sissippi, and east of the Rocky Mountains.
By a reference to the Table, it will be seen, that within the limits above specified, there are more than 100,000 Indians. In different and very advantageous positions, in the midst of this population, are planted already three Education Families, one at
very numerous, about 30,000 souls, and formerly occupied the fine Buffalo country north of the Missouri,along the Rocky Mountains. But the Blackfeet Indians, about 10,000 souls, living east of the Shoshonees, on the waters of Assiniboin river, meeting with the British fur traders, obtained of them fire arms. With these they attacked the Shoshonees, who having no other weapons of defence than bows and arrows, were driven into, and even across, the Rocky Mountains. They now dwell miserably in these mountains, and five hundred miles beyond them, in a country, with few exceptions, barren and rugged in the extreme, and without game. They barely subsist on fish, and a great variety of roots, found in different places, have no huts, are attached to no place, have no home. The climate is very fine, the cold moderate, the heat not oppres. sive, and rain very uncommon.
Dwight,* among the Cherokees, on Arkansaw river, established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, two by the United Foreign Missionary Society, among the Great and Little Osages, at Harmony and Union. More are in contemplation, one particularly at the Council Bluffs. These establishments are on the plan of those planted among the Cherokees and Choctaws. The one contemplated at Council Bluffs is planned on a larger scale, and is to consist, if carried into effect, of a little colony of christians. Its intended size is well suited to the interior and important station, which it is to occupy, and the large connexion it will have by branch establishments, with surrounding tribes. For more particular information concerning these Education stations, and of the tribes with which they are connected, and over whom they may obtain ultimate influence, and the country they inhabit, see Appendix.t From the facts which will here be found, it will appear, that the great work of educating this large portion of Indians, and preparing them to exercise and enjoy with us the rights and blessings of citizens, has already commenced with very promising prospects. Perseverance can hardly fail to secure
Of the Indians in Louisiana, and others between Red River, and the
Rio del Norte.
In our Table are given the names, numbers and locations of these tribes, furnished by Col. Trimble, with an account of their present state, peculiarly appropriate to the views of the Government, which may be found in the Appendix. Though a large part of these tribes are without the limits of the United States, their connexion with our Indians is such, as renders it important that we know their situation, in order the better to make arrangements for the education of those who are under the jurisdiction and care of our own Government.
Among these Indians, it will appear from the Table, are scattered in considerable numbers, emigrants from the Cherokee,
Choctaw, Delaware and other tribes, residing on this side of the Mississippi. These, in time, may constitute a valuable medium of communication with the tribes among whom they are now mingled; being acquainted with the languages of these tribes. Indian youth, of the tribes above named, now receiving education at Cornwall,* and in the Cherokee and Choctaw schools, would have access to, and influence with those of their own tribes and language, and through them, with those among whom these emigrants reside, and may become in due time, very important members of Education Families, which will probably be planted among these Indians.
Indians beyond the Rocky Mountains.
In the Table is given, from the most authentic sources to which I have had access, which I believe to be the best existing in our country, a list of the Indian Tribes West of the Rocky Mountains. With the names, numbers, and places of residence, of these tribes, Messrs. Crooks & Stuart, (to whom I am indebted for the body of information contained in the Table, as well as for that which follows it,) gave me a concise description of these Indians, and of their country, which I here insert. This description embraces several tribes, and their country, immediately on this side the Rocky Mountains, a region hitherto unexplored, through which the gentlemen above named passed, and where they spent a winter.
“ The sources of Big Horn river, a branch of the Yellow Stone, of Rio del Norte, a water of the Gulf of Mexico, and of the East Fork of Lewis' river, a water of the Pacific Ocean, are within half a mile of each other, in about lat. 43o.”
“From the Pacific Ocean, ascending Columbia river, 160 miles, to the Rapids, is a broken, heavy timbered country, mostly of the pine species. From this point the woods gradually diminish for sixty miles farther up the river, where timber wholly disappears, and no growth is found, but stinted pines, and shrub oaks. Except on the spurs of the Rocky Mountains, which ex
* See an account of this School, Appendix Gg.