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been greater or more frequent; but it is conceived that the record
of such injustice would neither render mankind wiser nor the author
happier. The “crooked” cannot be made “straight," and he who
attempts it will often find that his inordinate toils only vex his own
soul. He who does the ill in society is alone responsible for it, and
if he chances not to be rebuked for it on this imperfect theatre of
human action, yet he cannot flatter himself at all that he shall pass
through a future state “scot free.” The author views man ever as
an accountable being, who lives, in a providential sense, that he
may have an opportunity to bear record to the principles of truth,
wherever he is, and this, it is perceived, can be as effectually done,
so far as there are causes of action or reflection, in the recesses of
the forest, as in the area of the drawing-room, or the purlieus of a
court. It is believed that, in the present case, the printing of
the diary could be more appropriately done, while most of those
with whom the author has acted and corresponded, thought and
felt, were still on the stage of life. The motives that, in a higher


sphere, restrained a Wraxall and a Walpole in withholding their
remarks on passing events, do not operate here; for if there be no-
thing intestimonial or faulty uttered, the power of a stern, high-
willed government cannot be brought to bear, to crush independence
of thought, or enslave the labors of intellect: for if there be a
species of freedom in America more valuable than another, it is
that of being pen-free

It is Sismondi, I think, who says that “time prepares for a long
flight, by relieving himself of every superfluous load, and by cast-
ing away everything that he possibly can.” The author certainly
would not ask him to carry an onerous weight. But, in the history
of the settlement of such a country and such a population as this,
there must be little, as well as great labors, before the result to be
sent forward to posterity can be prepared by the dignified pen of
polished history; and the writer seeks nothing more than to
furnish some illustrative memoranda for that ultimate task, who-
ever may perform it.

He originally went to the west for the purpose of science. His
mineralogical rambles soon carried him into wide and untrodden
fields; and the share he was called on to take in the exploration
of the country, its geography, geology, and natural features, have
thrown him in positions of excitement and peril, which furnish, it is

supposed, an appropriate apology, if apology be necessary, for the
publication of these memoirs.

But whatever degree of interest and originality may have been
connected with his early observations and discoveries in science,
geography, or antiquities, the circumstances which directed his
attention to the Indian tribes—their history, manners and customs,
languages, and general ethnology, have been deemed to lay his
strongest claim to public respect. The long period during which
these observations have been continued to be made, his intimate
relations with the tribes, the favorable circumstances of his position
and studies, and the ardor and assiduity with which he has availed
himself of them, have created expectations in his case which few
persons, it is believed, in our history, have excited.

It is under these circumstances that the following selections
from his running journal are submitted. They form, as it were, a
thread connecting acts through a long period, and are essential to
their true understanding and development. A word may be said
respecting the manner of the record which is thus exhibited :-

The time is fixed by quoting exactly the dates, and the names
of persons are invariably given wherever they could, with propriety,
be employed; often, indeed, in connection with what may be deemed

trivial occurrences; but these were thought essential to the proper
relief and understanding of more important matters. Indeed, a
large part of the journal consists of extracts from the letters of
the individuals referred to; and in this way it is conceived that a
good deal of the necessarily offensive character of the egotism of
journalism is got rid of. No one will object to see his name in
print while it is used to express a kind, just, or noble sentiment,
or to advance the cause of truth; and, if private names are ever
employed for a contrary purpose, I have failed in a designed cau-
tiousness in this particular. Much that required disapprobation has
been omitted, which a ripening judgment and more enlarged Chris-
tian and philosophic view has passed over; and much more that
invited condemnation was never committed to paper.

circumstances favor it, the passages which are omitted, but ap-
proved, to keep the work in a compact shape, will be hereafter
added, with some pictorial illustrations of the scenery.

The period referred to, is one of considerable interest. It is the
thirty years that succeeded the declaration of war by the United

States, in 1812, against Great Britain, and embraces a large and
important part of the time of the settlement of the Mississippi
Valley, and the great lake basins. During this period ten States
have been added to the Union. Many actors who now slumber in
their graves are called up to bear witness. Some of the number
were distinguished men ; others the reverse. Red and white men
alike express their opinions. Anecdotes and incidents succeed
each other without any attempt at method. The story these inci-
dentally tell, is the story of a people's settling the wilderness. It
is the Anglo-Saxon race occupying the sites of the Indian wig-

It is a field in which plumed sachems, farmers, legisla-
tors, statesmen, speculators, professional and scientific men, and
missionaries of the gospel, figure in their respective capacities.
Nobody seems to have set down to compose an elaborate letter,
and yet the result of the whole, viewed by the philosophic eye, is
a broad field of elaboration.



PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12th, 1851.


2, against Great Britain, and embraces a large and
t of the time of the settlement of the Mississippi
e great lake basins. During this period ten States
ed to the l'nion. Many actors who now slumber in
re called up to bear witness. Some of the number
hed men; others the reverse. Red and white men
their opinions. Anecdotes and incidents succeed
hout any attempt at method. The story these inci-
I the story of a people's settling the wilderness. It
aron race occupying the sites of the Indian wig-

field in which plumed sachems, farmers, legisla-
, speculators, professional and scientific men, and

the gospel, figure in their respective capacities.
to have set down to compose an elaborate letter,
sult of the whole, viewed by the philosophic eye, is


Brief reminiscences of scenes from 1809 to 1817—Events preliminary to a

knowledge of western life-Embarkation on the source of the Alleghany
River— Descent to Pittsburgh—Valley of the Monongahela ; its coal and
iron- Descent of the Ohio in an ark-Scenes and incidents by the way,
Cincinnati—Some personal incidents which happened there


Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth-Ascent of the

Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum–Its rapid and turbid
character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges-Some
incidents by the way


IA, Sept. 12th, 1831.

Reception at IIerculaneum, and introduction to the founder of the first

American colony in Texas, Mr. Austin-His character—Continuation of
the journey on foot to St. Louis—Incidents by the way—Trip to the mines
-Survey of the mine country—Expedition from Potosi into the Ozark
Mountains, and return, after a winter's absence, to Potosi


Sit down to write an account of the mines—Medical properties of the Mis-

sissippi water—Expedition to the Yellow Stone-Resolve to visit Wash-
ington with a plan of managing the mines—Descend the river from St.
Genevieve to New Orleans—Incidents of the trip—Take passage in a ship
for New York—Reception with my collection there—Publish my memoir
on the mines, and proceed with it to Washington-Result of my plan-
Appointed geologist and mineralogist on an expedition to the sources of
the Mississippi


Set out on the expedition to the northwest-Remain a few weeks at New

York—Visit Niagara Falls, and reach Detroit in the first steamer—Prepa-


rations for a new style of traveling-Correspondents—General sketch of
the route pursued by the expedition, and its results—Return to Albany, and
publish my narrative—Journal of it-Preparation for a scientific account
of the observations



Reception by the country on my return—Reasons for publishing my narra-

tive without my reports for a digested scientific account of the expedition-
Delays interposed to this--Correspondents-Locality of strontian-Letter
from Dr. Mitchell-Report on the copper mines of Lake Superior—Theo-
retical geology-Indian symbols—Scientific subjects—Complete the publi-
cation of my work-Its reception by the press and the public-Effects on

mind-Receive the appointment of Secretary to the Indian Commission
at Chicago—Result of the expedition, as shown by a letter of Dr. Mitchell
to General Cass





Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash Valley-Cross the

grand prairie of Illinois-Revisit the mines—Ascend the Illinois-Fever-
Return through the great lakes-Notice of the “Trio”—Letter from Profes-
sor Silliman—Prospect of an appointment under government-Loss of the
“Walk-in-the-Water”—Geology of Detroit_Murder of Dr. Madison by a
Winnebago Indian



New-Yearing—A prospect opened—Poem of Ontwa-Indian biography,

Fossil tree-- Letters from various persons—Notice of Ontwa- Professor
Silliman-Gov. Clinton-Hon. J. Meigs—Colonel Benton-Mr. Dickenson
-Professor Hall-Views of Ex-presidents Madison, Jefferson, and Adams
on geology-Geological notices—Plan of a gazetteer-Opinions of my
Narrative Journal by scientific gentlemen—The impostor John Dunn IIunter
-- Trip up the Potomac — Mosaical chronology, Visit to Mount Ver-




Appointed an agent of Indian affairs for the United States at Saint Mary's—

Reasons for the acceptance of the office--Journey to Detroit-Illness at
that point-Arrival of a steamer with a battalion of infantry to establish
a new military post at the foot of Lake Superior-Incidents of the voyage
to that point-Reach our destination, and reception by the residents and
Indians-A European and man of honor fled to the wilderness 87

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