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many of whom are very bad. But it is too late to do it here, and you must choose between keeping the missionaries and being like white men, and going to a far country; as it is, I continued, Red-Jacket is doing more than any body else to break up and drive away his people.
“ This conversation had much effect on him. He grasped my hand and said if that were the case it was new to him. He also said he would lay it up in his mind, (putting his hand to his noble forehead,] and talk of it to the chiefs and the people.
" It is a very striking fact, that the disgraceful scenes now passing before the public eye over the grave of Red-Jacket, so early and so sadly fulfil these predictions; and I cannot here forbear to add that the thanks of the nation are due to our present chief magistrate, * for the firmness with which he has resisted the recent efforts to force a fraudulent treaty on the remnant of this injured people ; and drive them against their will, and against law and treaties sacredly made, away from their lands, to satisfy the rapacity of unprincipled men.
" It may be proper here to say likewise, that I do by no means intend to justify all that may possibly have been done by the missionaries to the Senecas. It is probable the earliest efforts were badly conducted; and men of more ability ought to have been sent to that peculiar and difficult station. But it is not for a moment to be admitted, nor is it credible that the authors of the charges themselves believe it, that the worthy men who at every sacrifice went to the mission among the Senecas, had any other than the purest purposes. I visited the station, and intimately knew the chief missionary. I marked carefully their plan and progress, and do not doubt their usefulness any more than their uprightness; and beyond all doubt it was owing chiefly to malignant influence exerted by white men, that they finally failed in their benevolent designs. But my business is to narrate, not to discuss.
My next object was to talk with Red-Jacket about Christianity itself. He was prompt in his replies, and exercised and encouraged frankness with a spirit becoming a great man.
“He admitted both its truth and excellence, as adapted to white men. He said some keenly sarcastic things about the treatment that so good a man as Jesus had received from white men. The white men, he said, ought all to be sent to hell for killing him; but as the Indians had no hand in that transaction, they were in that matter innocent. Jesus Christ was not sent to them; the atonement was not made for them ; nor the Bible given to them; and therefore the Christian religion was not meant for them. If the Great Spirit had intended that the Indians should be Christians, he would have made his revelation to them as well as to the white men. Not having done so, it was clearly his will that they should continue in the faith of their fathers. He said the red man was of a totally different race,—and needed an entirely different religion, —and that it was idle as well as unkind, to try to alter their religion and give them ours. I asked him to point out the difference of the races, contending that they were one, and needed but one religion, and that Christianity was that religion which Christ had intended for, and ordered to be preached to, all men. He had no distinct views of the nature of Christianity as a method of salvation and denied the need of it. As to the unity of the races, I asked if he ever knew two distinct races, even of the lower animals, to propagate their seed from generation to generation. But do not Indians and white men do so? He allowed it; but denied that it proved the matter in hand. I pressed the points of resemblance in every thing but color,—and that in the case of the Christian Indians there was a common mind on religion. He finally waived this part of the debate by saying that one thing was certain whatever else was not,—that
• This letter was written in January, 1841, and the President alluded to is Mr. Van Buren. W. L. S.”
white men had a great love for Indian women, and left their traces behind them wherever they could.'*
“On the point of needing pardon, from being wicked, he said the Indians were good till the white man corrupted them. • But did not the Indians have some wickedness before that?' 'Not so much.' •How was that regarded by the Great Spirit? Would He forgive it?' He hoped so, — did not know.' • Jesus,' I rejoined, .came to tell us He would, and to get that pardon for us.'
“ As to suffering and death arnong the Indians, did not they prove that the Grea! Spirit was angry with them, as well as with white men ?, Would He thus treat men that were good ? He said they were not wicked before the white men came to their country and taught them to be so. But they died before that? And why did they die, if the Great Spirit was not angry, and they wicked ? He could not say, and in reply to my explanation of the gospel doctrine of the entrance of death by sin, he again turned the subject by saying he was a “great doctor' and could cure any thing but death.
“The interpreter had incidentally mentioned that the reason the chiefs had to go home so soon, was that they always sacrificed a white dog on the death of a great man.
I turned this fact to the account of the argument, and endeavoured to connect it with, and explain by it, the doctrine of atonement, by the blood of Christ, and also pressed him on the questions how can this please the Great Spirit, on your plan? Why do you offer such a sacrifice, for so it is considered? And where they got such a rite from? He attempted no definite reply.
* Many other topics were talked over. But these specimens suffice to illustrate his views, and mode of thinking.
“ At the close of the conversation he proposed to give me a name, that henceforth I might be numbered among his friends, and admitted to the intercourse and regards of the nation. Supposing this not amiss, I consented. But before he proceeded he called for some whiskey. He was at this time an intemperate man,-and though perfectly sober on that occasion, evidently displayed toward the close of the interview the need of stimulus, which it is hardly necessary to say we carefully kept from him. But he insisted now, and after some time a small portion was sent to him at the bottom of a decanter. He looked at it,shook it,—and with a sneer said, — Why, here is not whiskey enough for a name to float in. But no movement being made to get more, he drank it ofi, and proceeded with a sort of pagan orgies to give me a name. It seemed a semi-civil, semi-religious ceremony. He walked around me, again and again, muttering sounds which the interpreter did not venture to explain ; and laying his band on me pronounced me. Con-go-gu-wah,' and instantly, with great apparent delight, took me by the hand as a brother. I felt badly during the scene, but it was beyond recall,—and supposing that it might be useful in a future day, subunitted to the initiation.
“ Red-Jacket was in appearance nearly sixty years old at this time. He had a weather-beaten look ; age had done something to produce this,--probably intemperance more. But still his general appearance was striking and his face noble. His lofty and capacious forehead, his piercing black eye, his gently curved lips, fine cheek, and slightly aquiline nose, all marked a great man, and as sustained and expressed by his dignified air, made a deep impression on every one that saw him. All these features became doubly expressive when his mind and body were set in motion by the effort of speaking,—if effort that may be called which flowed like a free full stream from his lips. I saw him in
" In another conversation upon this subject, I believe with Dr. Breckinridge, Red-Jacket expressed this idea more pungently, as may be seen by referring back to page 186. W. L. S.”
the wane of life, and I heard him only in private, and through a stupid and careless interpreter. Yet notwithstanding these disadvantages, he was one of the greatest men and most eloquent orators I ever knew. His cadence was measured and yet very musical. In ordinary utterance it amounted to a sort of musical monotony. But when excited he would spring to his feet, elevate his head, expand his arms, and utter with indescribable effect of manner and tone, some of his noblest thoughts,
“ After this interesting conference had closed, the old chief with his interpreter bade us a very civil and kind farewell, and set forth on foot for his own wigwam.
“ It was four years after this before I had the pleasure of again seeing my old friend. I was then on a flying visit to Black Rock. At an early day I repaired to his village. but he was not at home. Ten days after, as we were just leaving the shore in the steam-boat to go up the lake, he suddenly presented himself. It was unhappily too late to return. He hailed me by name, and pointed with much animation to such parts of his person as were decorated with some red cloth which I had at parting presented to him, and which, though not worn as a jacket, was with much taste otherwise distributed over his person. These he exhibited as proofs of his friendly recollection.
“ The last time I ever saw him, was at the close of Mr. Adams's administration. He with a new interpreter, (Major Berry having been removed by death,) had been on a visit to his old friend Co-na-shus-tah,—then Secretary of War. After spending some time at the capital, where I often met him, and had the horror to see his dignity often laid in the dust,' by excessive drunkenness, he paid me by invitation a final visit at Baltimore, on his way home. He took only time enough to dine. He looked dejected and forlorn. He and his interpreter had each a suit of common infantry uniform, and a sword as common, which he said had been presented to him at the war department. He was evidently ashamed of them. I confess I was too. But I forbear. He was then sober, and serious. He drank hard cider, which was the strongest drink I could conscientiously offer him-so I told him. He said it was enough. I said but little to him of religion,—urged him to prepare to meet the Great Spirit, and recommended him to go to Jesus for all he needed. He took it kindly,—said he should see me no more,—and was going to his people to die. So it was,-not long after this he was called to his last account."
“ JOHN BRECKINRIDGE." Col. Stone has connected, in a very happy manner, with the life of Red-Jacket, a number of avecdotes and sketches, particularly of our war of 1812 with England, which add greatly to the interest and value of his work. His narration of many facts and movements on the northern frontier, during that war; his account of the battle of Chippewa and its effects; of the principles and conduct of the Indians, in our contest with Great Britain ; of several Indian treaties, and sales of their lands; and of a number of the interviews of Red-Jacket with distinguished men, both foreigners and native Americans, render his volume as entertaining as a novel, and far more instructive.
The interview of the Seneca chief with General Lafayette in 1825, when the latter was making his well known tour through the United States, is recorded by Col. Stone, with graphic simplicity.
“ When, in the year 1825, General Lafayette, as the guest of the nation, was making his memorable tour of the United States, being at Buffalo, RedJacket was among the visitors who in throngs paid their respects to the veteran. Having been presented to the General, the orator inquired whether he remem. bered being at the treaty of peace with the Six Nations, at Fort Stanwix, in 1784. Lafayette answered that he had not forgotten that great council, and asked his interrogator if he knew what had become of the young chief who, on that occasion, opposed with so much eloquence the burying of the tomahawk.' • He is before you,' was the instant reply. The General remarked to him that time had wrought great changes upon both since that memorable meeting. • Ah,' rejoined Red-Jacket, “time has not been so severe upon you as it has upon me. It has left you a fresh countenance, and hair to cover your head; while to me ..... behold
.!' and taking a handkerchief from his head, with an air of much feeling, he disclosed the fact that he was nearly bald. It is added by M. Lavasseur, the secretary of General Lafayette, and the French historian of his tour, that the people in attendance could not help laughing at the simplicity of the Indian, who appeared to be ignorant how to repair the ravages of age in this respect. But his simplicity was presently enlightened by the disclosure of the fact that the General was furnished with a wig; whereupon the chief, confounding a wig with a scalp, conceived the idea of regarnishing his own head by an operation truly Indian, at the expense of some one of his neighbors. But this was a suggestion of pleasantry. M. Lavasseur remarked of the appearance of Red-Jacket at that time,— This extraordinary man, although much worn down by time and intemperance, preserves yet, in a surprising degree, the exercise of all his faculties. He obstinately refuses to speak any language but that of his own people, and affects a great dislike to all others, although it is easy to discern that he perfectly understands the English. He refused, nevertheless, to reply to the General before his interpreter had translated his questions into the Seneca language.'*
“ Red-Jacket was ever gratified with the attentions of distinguished men, with whom, no matter for the height of their elevation, he felt himself upon a footing of perfect equality. It is related that about the year 1820, a young French nobleman, who was making the tour of the United States, visited the town of Buffalo. Hearing of the fame of Red-Jacket, and learning that his residence was but seven miles distant, he sent him word that he was desirous to see him, adding a request that the chief would visit him in Buffalo the next day. Red-Jacket received the message with much contempt, and replied :• Tell the young man that if he wishes to visit the old chief, he may find him with his nation, where other strangers pay their respects to him; and Red-Jacket will be glad to see him. The count sent back his messenger, to say that he was fatigued with his journey, and could not go to the Seneca village; that he had come all the way from France to see the great orator of the Senecas, and after having put himself to so much trouble to see so distinguished a man, the latter could not refuse to meet him at Buffalo. Tell him,' said the sarcastic chief, that it is very strange he should come so far to see me, and then stop short within seven miles of my lodge. The retort was richly merited. The count visited him at his wigwam, and then Red-Jacket accepted an invitation to dine with him at his lodgings in Buffalo. The young nobleman was greatly pleased with him, declaring that he considered him a greater wonder than the Falls of Niagara. This remark was the more striking, as it was made within
* "Lavasseur-Drake-B. B. Thatcher. M. Lavasseur was perfectly correct in this last suggestion. Red-Jacket understood the English language very well, as the author had occasion to ascertain. But he could not speak it
view of the great cataract. •But,' adds the relator,* it was just. He who made the world, and filled it with wonders, has declared man to be the crowning work of the whole creation.''
Our readers will be amused with the estimate which RedJacket made of the attainments and the habits of a well known American statesman.
“In the earlier years of his public life, as the reader is well aware, Red-Jacket was frequently engaged in negotiations with Timothy Pickering, of whose vigourous intellectual powers there is no occasion to speak in this connexion. Some time after the diplomatic intercourse between the colonel and himself had ceased, the former was called to the State Department of the federal government. On meeting Red-Jacket soon afterward, the fact of this appointment was mentioned to him by his friend Thomas Morris. “Yes,' observed the chief: • we began our public career about the same time. He knew how to read and write, but I did not, and therefore he has got ahead of me. But had I possessed those advantages I should have been ahead of him.'
" At the treaties held by him, Colonel Pickering was in the practice of taking down the speeches of the Indians from the lips of the interpreter, in writing, and in order to expedite business, he would sometimes write while the orator in chief was himself speaking. On one occasion, when Red-Jacket occupied the forum, observing that the colonel continued writing, he abruptly came to a pause. The colonel desired him to proceed. "No,' said the orator,—not while you hold down your head.' • Why,' inquired the commissioner, can you not go on while I write?' •Because,' replied the chief, “ if you look me in the eye you will then perceive whether I tell you the truth or not.'t
“On another occasion, Colonel Pickering turned to speak to a third person while Red-Jacket was addressing him. The chief instantly rebuked him for his inattention with great hauteur, observing with emphasis, “When a Seneca speaks he ought to be listened to with attention from one extremity of this great island to the other.'"'+
The account of the conversion of Red-Jacket's wife to the Cnristian faith, and the consequences of that conversion, are stated by the author in a very satisfactory manner. The following extract will interest every reader:
“ The domestic relations of Red-Jacket have thus far scarcely been adverted to. Indeed, the materials for his family history are very slender. The orator had two wives. The first, after having borne him a family of children, he forsook, for an alledged breach of conjugal fidelity, and never received her to his favour again. In William Savary's journal of the treaty of Canandaigua, in 1794, that excellent Friend gave an account of a visit to Red-Jacket's lodge, and spoke of his children, in regard to their appearance and manners, in terms of gratified commendation. But a large number of his children by the first wife died of consumption, while yet in the dew of their youth. In a conversation with that eminent medical practitioner, Ductor John W. Francis, of New York, a few years before the chieftain's death, on the subject of the diseases incident to the Indians, Red-Jacket refuted the popular notion that they were not equally obnoxious with others to pulmonary complaints. In support of his position he instanced the case of his own family, of which he said seven
* “ Rev Dr. Breckinridge--vide M'Kenney's Indian Sketches." t “ Letter of Thomas Morris to the author." # “Idem.”