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chief's wife squatted on the floor to fix the fire, and remained there with her hands clasped around her knees.
"'Where are the children?' I asked. “Gone to school?'
Something like sadness flitted across her face for an instant. “ 'No pappoose! Married seven years, no pappoose!'
'Why don't you steal one?' “ 'Him bad steal,' she said, quickly looking up at a picture of the Virgin and crossing herself. “Pottawatamies no more pappoose. Her all die. Her no more come.'
"Then she lapsed into stolid silence, paying no attention to my expressions of sympathy. But she smiled often, and struggled with a little English in an effort to be friendly.
At the next cabin I stopped there were three or four children of various ages, who were all indulging in little hacking coughs that told all too plainly the fate of the race. There were three women there also, and in a fifteen minutes' call I got just one word out of all of them. As I drove into the yard a young squaw snatched a little brown baby up off the ground and disappeared into the house, while a brave sat on a sawbuck and whittled a stick. He did not even look up as I passed him and knocked at the door. It was opened one inch.
May I come in? I'm cold,' I said. The door was opened a few inches wider and I squeezed in. One squaw left a sewing machine and gazed at me, her elbows akimbo; another was sewing. They all smiled. "" Whose baby?' I asked, pointing to the little one on the floor.
Nmph,' in concert. Then I made a remark about the weather and received the same answer. They all smiled. The children stood off in the corners and grinned while I carried on an animated conversation to myself. At last I roused them by a bit of information, telling them that Congress had just allowed them a long-pending claim for $190,000.
‘Nmph!' said the three women excitedly. “'You're going to get that money soon. It will make you all rich. What will you do with it?'
“They looked at each other expressively, and then the oldest uttered the unanimous sentiment:
“By which I understood that it would mostly be spent for liquid refreshments. I gave the baby a penny, and he tucked the copper coin under his copper-colored cheek. I couldn't get within three yards of the other children and not another word could I get out of the women. The brave slunk around behind the house as I came out of the door.
“Like the Miamis the Pottawatamies came originally from the region of Green Bay, Wis. There Father Marquette found them in 1673 and founded a mission among them; there Tonty, La Salle's lieutenant, took refuge among them after the massacre of the Illinois Indians on the Great Meadow below the rock. They were extremely friendly to Tonty and Father Ribourde, who accompanied him, because of their love for the French. One of their chiefs at that time was wont to say with the boastfulness that characterized the Algonquins:
“ 'I know of but three great captains in the world-myself, Frontenac and La Salle.' "
DRIVING THE MIAMIS
Twenty years later the Pottawatamies were found to have dispossessed the Miamis of the St. Joseph basin, in southern Michigan, extending from near Chicago to the mouth of the Grand river. This region they held in undisputed possession for a century and a quarter, getting themselves mixed up in all the trouble that was brewing. They were the implacable enemies of the Iroquois and the English, and the loyal lovers of the French and of Pontiac, the great chief. They were never the equals of the Iroquois, either in the council or in warfare, but were cruel, hardy, brave and vindictive, and the most steadfast friends as they proved in 1712, when by their timely arrival they saved the French garrison at Detroit from being massacred.
In the French and Indian war they fought bravely for the French, and were not disposed to give the country over to English rule after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1763. In excuse for the trouble which followed Parkman says: “The English were ruffians of the coarsest stamp, who vied with each other in rapacity, violence and profligacy. They cheated, cursed and plundered the Indians, offering, when compared with the French traders, the most unfavorable example of the character of their nation.
The character of these new occupants of the country was the direct cause of the conspiracy of Pontiac, in which the Pottawatamies were conspicuous, and after the assassination of the great chief at Cahokia in 1779 they avenged his death in a singularly cruel manner. The assassination was charged directly to the Illinois Indians, and all the tribes of the lakes united to punish them. The Pottawatamies finally pursued a little band of eighty Illinois to the Rock of St. Louis and besieged them until they died of starvation. But the death of Pontiac broke their spirit, and they made peace with the English–a peace that was kept for fifteen years, until General Anthony Wayne was called to put an end to their disturbances in 1794.
LAST BATTLE AT TIPPECANOE
Again they united with the tribes under Tecumseh, and were conquered by General Harrison at Tippecanoe in 1811. That was the last time they did any fighting. The spirit of warfare in them was broken forever, and they had not even the strength to resist an attempt to remove them beyond the Mississippi in 1833. Old Chief Pokagon got a grant of land in Cass county, Michigan. But the deeds to this land were held by the chief, and after his death it was sold by his heirs. Since then the tribe has bought small farms or rented them, the different members staying together, preserving the language, electing a chief and interpreter, whose principal duties were to correspond with a claim agent in Washington.
This part of the tribe, while they did not go to the Western reserve, still claimed the annuity promised them in that event. Thirty-nine thousand dollars was allowed by the government in 1866; $190,000 additional has also been allowed, of which the agent got $40,000. But as there are probably only about thirty families in all, this would make the whole tribe comfortable for life if it were wisely spent. The money received in 1866 was soon lost in dissipation.
This remnant of the tribe is rapidly dying out. Dissipation, civilization, and intermarriage together are proving too much for them. The deaths annually outnumber the births, and a Pottawatamie of more than fifty years of age is a rarity.
Except that they live in houses and wear manufactured clothing they follow a primitive life. The Indian tongue is used in all households, and the wooden mortar and pestle are employed to make their hominy. The children attend school irregularly, the constraint being distasteful to them and seemingly injurious to their health. Father Cramer has faithfully worked among them, keeping them within the folds of the church.
WESTERN PIONEERS OF NEW FRANCE
FRENCH SEAMEN-FRENCH COLONISTS-FRENCH INDIAN FUR TRADE
FAIR DEALINGS WITH THE INDIANS—THE WOOD RANGERS-VISITORS
The first thing that strikes most readers of colonial history is the marked difference between French and English colonies in their beginnings and in their later fortunes. This difference is not in all respects easy to be accounted for, although some matters are quite obvious. A brief reference to some of the colonial antecedents may not be out of place.
The discovery of America was followed by a great revival of the spirit of adventure, which very soon led to colonial enterprises in all parts of the world. Spain for a long time took the lead in these adventures. Her colonies were all dependent provinces, either governed by viceroys or by other despotic authorities, and the colonists had little if any advantage over their fellow subjects in Spain. No other power made a more respectable showing upon the sea and none had better soldiers or mariners. The glory of the newly established colonies in America fluctuated with the fortunes of the mother country, and frightful abuses prevailed among them. When they became independent, more than a century ago, they were for a long time no improvement on what preceded them. They did not pay that regard to private freedom and constitutional restraint which is necessary to prosperity. The despotism of numbers is quite as dangerous as that of rulers. Despotism in some shape has never disappeared.
FRENCH SEAMEN The French adventurers preceded the English in effective work, although they were not far apart. At that time the French sailors were admirable mariners, and it is questionable whether, in spite of the great English captains of that day, whose deeds have become famous, they did not, on the whole, surpass their island neighbors in the general quality of their seamanship. The principal adventurers were Normans, of the same stock with their English rivals and closely resembling them. While it is not, in mixed blood, easy to determine which line predominates, we can readily perceive in the dashing spirit of the great sea captains the same characteristics which a few centuries ago sent the norman ships and spread the Norman conquests over every part of the known western world. The Normans of France and England kept up their intercourse and retained similar ways long after the conquest; and even as late as the earlier years of Queen Elizabeth it was not thought unlikely that
The French, as colonists, in the proper sense of the term, were in advance of the English and began with a more definite purpose to establish their commercial supremacy. The English were very bold explorers, but most of them had far more of the spirit of buccaneering and freebooting, and far less humanity in dealing with the natives. Before any permanent English colonies were well established they became involved in domestic difficulties with their home government, it having ceased to favor such enterprises or pay much regard to them ;' and their neglected infancy was one of the reasons why they at last became so independent of trans-Atlantic management as to outgrow it altogether.
Between the beginnings of French colonization and the time when the English colonies began to increase, French institutions had been tending more and more toward centralization. At the time when the first settlements were made in Michigan the absolutely personal government of Louis XIV had become supreme and was as active in this region—then known as New France-as it was in France itself. The king was also zealous in enforcing religious uniformity. While there was considerable jealousy between the two great clerical orders of the new colony, the Jesuits and the Recollets, or Franciscans, they held between them substantial authority over all religious matters. For various reasons both the religious and secular officials were opposed to the settlement of remote posts. A system of personal oversight was maintained over every man who came into the country, and there is no instance recorded and probably none existed where anyone ever settled down in the wilderness as a squatter or pioneer and cleared a farm for himself. There were no farming settlements except under restricted and fixed regulations and every one who went into the woods, licensed or unlicensed, went as a roving adventurer, and not as a settler. The number of these roving people must at times have been as great, or nearly as great, as that of the fixed inhabit
ants. In this—contrary to our later experience—the Canadian colonists differed radically from the English. The latter, in the early days, seldom became hunters or trappers in any great numbers. Even after the cession of New York by the Dutch, the English exploring expeditions contained more Dutch than English rovers, and the Dutch were much more successful in dealing with the Indians, who got along very well with them and with the French, but not so well with the Englishmen.
FRENCH-INDIAN FUR TRADE
The French policy was chiefly directed, so far as the back country was concerned, to managing and controlling the fur trade and its supplementary branch of a return barter with the Indians. All of this trade was a monopoly, confined to favored persons or companies and at no time open to general competition. As a matter of universal experience, such monopolies always raise up a formidable irregular trade, and in this region the persons concerned in the illicit business were those of the highest rank and importance, who generally managed to protect their own emissaries and associates and procure for them sooner or later such advancement as was possible in the colony.
The immigrants that came in considerable numbers from various parts of France, but chiefly from Normandy and the northern and northwestern provinces, were to an unusual extent men of intelligence and some enterprise. Men of all ranks and conditions swarmed in-mostly those who were anxious to better their doubtful fortunes and many who were restless under the restraints of the intolerable burdens on French industry. A great many veteran officers and soldiers were discharged or retired and found it difficult to live in comfort upon their unprofitable estates. The policy of the country had made trade an honorable calling, and the impoverished noblesse, who could not always get a footing in the companies or a share in the legitimate trade of the country, found themselves, in a measure, compelled to resort to some kind of enterprise to earn a living. The result was that quite early in the colonial times the whole country was visited and explored by intelligent adventurers, whose knowledge of its condition, though for obvious reasons never officially published, enabled the subsequent explorers to proceed more boldly and directly in the line of their journeys.
FAIR DEALINGS WITH THE INDIANS
There was no Indian tribe to which many rovers of the lower classes had not joined themselves as adopted members. Many of these persons were not wanting in shrewdness, and they secured great influence. The retired officers seldom took up any intimate relationship with single tribes, but by their sagacity, diplomacy and force of character made them acknowledged leaders of the white men and gave them controlling influence among the Indians. They could at any time collect a formidable following for any enterprise and they were welcome guests among all the western tribes. Consequently there is hardly an instance, if indeed there is one, of any settlement, military, civil or religious, or of any expedition authorized by the government to explore the country, which had not been preceded by the visits of the gentlemen adventurers, who did more to extend the French power and reputation and to maintain the French ascendancy among the Indians than all those who followed. And it is greatly to their credit that nothing can be found in history more honorable in the mutual confidence and esteem between Indians and white men than the relations of these brave and spirited leaders with the tribes