15th. Dr. Peters, Secretary of Home Missions, writes to
me, from on board a steamboat on Lake Erie, proposing a plan for
bringing the subject of chaplaincies in the army to the notice of
the Secretary of War.
A letter from a missionary (Boutwell) at La Pointe, L.S., says: "I
endeavor daily to do something at the language. But imagine for one
moment, what you could do with a boy (his interpreter) who knows
neither English, French nor Indian, and yet is in the habit of
mangling all. Still I am satisfied he is the best Brother F. could
send, though but one remove from none. Of one thing I am
determined, that if I cannot teach him English, I can to cut bushes.
However, I find, by daily visiting the lodges, that I may retain,
and probably add a little now and then. I find there is a trifling
difference between the language here, and as spoken at the Sault.
The difference consists principally in the accent. I find the
interchangeables, if possible, more irregular here than there.
"The old chief (Pezhiki) is very pleasant and kind. I find him a
very good standard for testing accents. His enunciation is very
25th. The sub-agent in charge at Mackinack writes: "The
schooner 'White Pigeon' came in this afternoon from Green Bay,
having on board Major Fowle's Company. She is to sail early
to-morrow morning for the Sault.
"The Indians appear satisfied with their treatment at this office,
and it has been observed by them, that more work has been done for
them since my arrival here than Colonel B. did for them in one
His Excellency, Gov. Porter, called here (on his way to Green Bay)
and examined the buildings and rooms of the agency. Casting a hasty
look, he observed that the building would bring an income of four or
five hundred dollars annually, were it at Detroit, for rent. He was
of opinion that the outer steps required repairs, &c.
"Gen. Brook sailed on board the 'Black Hawk' for Green Bay on
Sabbath last, accompanied by Lieut. Stockton, and Messrs. Dousman,
Abbott, and King. Major Thomson (who relieves him) arrived on Monday
last, with the whole of his troops and the officers under his
command, Captain Cobbs, Lieut. Gallagher, and Lieut. Patten.
"Lieut. Gallagher joined us at our evening social prayer meeting
last night, and it was really cheering and reviving to hear him
pray. He is gifted with talent and abilities, and withal meekness
Nov. 1st. The same agent writes: "I forward to you the chief
Shaubowayway's map of that section of the country lying between the
Detour and Point St. Ignace, including all the islands on that
coast. I am now waiting for the chief to proceed to Chenos as a
guide, to enable us to strike in a straight line from thence to
Muddy Lake River. Messrs. David Stuart and Mitchell will accompany
19th. Mr. Johnston writes: "I volunteered my services to
accompany Mr. Ferry to get off the partial wreck of the mission
schooner 'Supply,' near the second entrance of the Chenos, eighteen
miles from this. Major Thompson furnished a detachment of fifteen
men under Captain Cobbs. George Dousman went also with three of the
Company's men. Four days' efforts were cheerfully rendered, and the
vessel saved and brought into the harbor."
25th. As commerce increases, and stretches out her Briarean
hands into the stormy roads and bays of these heretofore uninhabited
lakes, losses from wrecks annually redouble. And the want of
light-houses, buoys, and harbors is more strongly shown. James
Abbott, a licensed trader, was cast ashore by the tempests of Lake
Superior, at La Pointe, and, being unable to proceed to his
designated post, was obliged to winter there. He gave out his
credits, and spread his men, therefore, in another man's district.
The agent at Mackinack (E. Stuart) writes, complaining of, and
requesting me to interpose in the matter, so as "to confine his
trade to such limits as may be equitable to all." It would be
impossible to foresee such accidents, and appears almost equally so
to correct the irregularities, now that they are done. The
difficulty seems rather to have been the employment of a clerk,
whose action the Company could not fully control.
29th. Mr. B. E. Stickney, of Vistula (now Toledo), writes: "A
few days ago I received from the author, with which I was much
pleased, 'an Address before the Chippewa County Temperance Society
on the Influence of Ardent Spirits on the Condition of the North
American Indians.' We conceived it to be the most fortunate effort
of your pen upon the greatest subject. While we have so much reason
to approve, we hope you will permit us to be frank. We conceive
that, although you have been more cautious than is common, in
touching sectarianism, yet, if you had not named, or made any kind
of allusion to any religious sect, Christian, Jew, Pagan, or
Mohammedan, you would have produced more effect. There are many
individuals who neither touch, taste, nor handle this most dangerous
of all poisons, who yet refuse to join in the general effort to
destroy, prevent the use, or furnish an antidote, because they
conceive that the sectarian poison is not an inferior evil, unless
it may, perhaps, be so to the use of alcohol."
The true, but concealed, objection of this class of non-concurrents
in the cause is not, it is apprehended to "sectarianism," per se,
or in any other sense than that it is an evidence of practical
Christianity--of morals and axioms based on the teachings of the
great Founder of the system--of a belief in a moral accountability
to give all influence possessed to advance the adoption of its
maxims among men--in fine, of a living, constant, undying faith, not
only in the truth of these maxims, but in the divinity of the
sublime UTTERER of them.
Dec. 10th. Dr. Houghton, my companion in two expeditions into
the Indian country, writes from Detroit: "You will undoubtedly be a
little surprised to learn that I am now in Detroit, but probably not
more than I am in being here. My passage through Lake Huron was
tedious beyond endurance; and so long was I detained in consequence
of it, that it became useless for me to proceed to New York. Under
these circumstances, after having visited Fredonia, I determined to
engage in the practice of my profession, in this place, at least
until spring. It is only these three days since I arrived here and I
am not yet completely settled, but probably will be in a few days."
[Here are the initial motives of a man who became a permanent and
noted citizen of the territory, and engaged with great ardor in
exploring its physical geography and resources. For two years, he
was intimately associated with me; and I saw him under various
circumstances of fatigue and trial in the wilderness, but always
preserving his equanimity and cheerfulness. He was a zealous
botanist, and a discriminating geologist. Assiduous and temperate,
an accurate observer of phenomena, he accumulated facts in the
physical history of the country which continually increased the
knowledge of its features and character. He was the means of
connecting geological observations with the linear surveys of the
General Land Office, and had been several years engaged on the
geological survey of Michigan, when the melancholy event of his
death, in 1846, in a storm on Lake Superior, was announced.]
12th. E.A. Brush, Esq., of Detroit, writes: "Everybody--not
here only, but through the Union--seems to think with just
foreboding of the result of the measures taken by South Carolina.
Their convention have determined to resist, after the first day of
(I think) February.
"Gov. Cass's family are well, but he has not been heard from
personally since he left here. He is too much occupied, I suppose,
with the affairs of his department, at the opening of the session.
Of course, you know that General Jackson and Van Buren are in."
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Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the
Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers, 1851
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Years with the Indians