8. The misuse of the indefinite article, which is wanting, in the
9. The habitual non-use of the imperative mood.
10. The transitive character of verbs requiring objective
inflections, for the nominative, &c.
11. The absence of simple possessives.
12. The want of the auxiliary verbs have, are, is, &c.
John Sunday came to St. Mary's in the autumn of 1832. His prayers
and exhortatory teaching completely non-plussed the Chippewas. They
heard him refute all their arguments in their own language. He had,
but a short time before, been one like themselves--a Manito
worshiper, an idler, a drunkard. He produced a great sensation among
them, and overthrew the loose fabric of their theology and mythology
with a strong hand. I had never before heard the Chippewa language
applied to religion, and listened with great interest to catch his
phrases. I was anxious to hear how he would get along in the use of
the dual pronoun we, as applied to inclusive and exclusive
persons. He spoke at once of the affections as they exist between a
father and his children, and addressed the Deity at all times as
Nosa, which is the term for my father. He thus made God the
inclusive head of every family, and brushed away the whole cobweb
system of imaginary spirits, of the native Jossakeed, Medas, and
March 7th. "My heart was made glad," writes Mr. Boutwell from
Lake Superior, "that Providence directed you to Detroit at a season
so timely, bringing you into contact with the great and the
good--giving you an opportunity of laying before them facts relative
to the condition of the Indians, which eventuated in so much good.
We do indeed rejoice in the formation of the 'Algic Society,' which
is, I trust, the harbinger of great and extensive blessings to this
poor and dying people."
8th. Mr. L. M. Warren reports from La Pointe, at the head of
Lake Superior: "Since my last, Mr. Ayer has arrived from Sandy Lake.
He reports that there have been two war parties sent out against the
Sioux, by the Sandy Lake Band, thirty or forty men each, without
accomplishing anything. Afterwards a third party of sixty men
assembled and went out under the command of Songegomik--a young
chief of distinguished character of the Sandy Lake Band. They
discovered a Sioux camp of nineteen lodges, and succeeded in
approaching them before daylight undiscovered, until they reached,
in the form of a circle, within ten yards. They then opened a
tremendous fire, and, as fast as the Sioux attempted to come from
their lodges, they were shot dead, The yelling of Indians, screaming
of women, and crying of children were distressing. One Sioux escaped
unhurt, and notified a neighboring camp. Their approach to the
assistance of their friends was ascertained by a distant firing of
guns. The Chippewas, who by this time had exhausted their
ammunition, began, and effected a retreat, leaving nineteen of their
enemy dead, and forty wounded. This victory was achieved without the
loss of a man on the part of the Chippewas.
"Since that battle was fought, a body of one hundred Sioux have
attacked a fortified camp of the Mille Lac and Snake River band, and
killed nine men and one woman."
18th. Mr. Trowbridge writes from Detroit: "We have just heard
of the adjournment of Congress; a new tariff has been passed,
together with a law empowering the President to enforce the
collection of duties by calling in aid the force of the Union. These
bills are accompanied by Mr. Clay's Law of Compromise, providing for
the gradual reduction of duties to a revenue standard. So that the
dreaded Carolina question will, it is supposed, blow over, leaving
the Union as it was. The great men, too, who have been on opposite
sides of this question, have shaken hands at parting, and this is
looked upon as another auspicious sign.
"The release of the missionaries in Georgia, having settled that
disagreeable and disgraceful affair to the State, although not done
with that magnanimity which ought to have characterized the
proceeding, leaves no general question at issue, but the Indian
question; and from the prudent measures of government in that
regard, it is to be hoped that that also will be, at length,
"I mention these facts because I am told that no newspapers will be
sent to the upper country."
18th. Lieut. J. Allen, U.S.A., way topographer on the recent
expedition, sends me maps of Leech Lake, Cass Lake, and Itasca Lake,
to be used in my narrative of the journey to the source of the
Mississippi River. Correspondents appear solicitous for a published
account of this expedition, and frequently allude to it, and to the
opportunity it gave for extending our knowledge of the geology and
natural history of the country.
April 8th. Dr. J.B. Crawe, of Waterton, N.Y., proposes an
interchange of specimens in several departments of science. Hon.
Micah Sterling, of the same place, commends to my notice Dr. Richard
Clark, who is ordered on this frontier, as a "young man of merit and
respectability." My correspondence with naturalists, in all parts of
the Union, and my list of exchanges, had, indeed, for some years
been large and active, and was by no means diminished since my last
two expeditions. But new sympathies have been awakened, particularly
during the last two years, with philanthropists and Christians,
which added greatly to the number of my correspondents, without
taking from its gratifications.
12th. Rev. Ansel R. Clark of Hudson, Ohio, an agent of the
Education Society, writes on the importance of that cause, on the
state and prospects of American society, the spread of vital morals
in neighborhoods on the great line of the frontiers, Indian
civilization, &c. In connection with the last topic, he acknowledges
the receipt of the proceedings published by the Algic Society, and
expresses his interest in its objects.
This society, by its standing committee here, received Elder John
Sunday in the autumn, furnished him with lodgings while at the
place, and an outfit for his missions to the Indians at Keweena Bay
in Lake Superior. It also furnished John Cabeach and John Otanchey--all
converted Chippewas from the vicinity of Toronto, U.C., with the
means of practical teaching and traveling among various bands of the
Northern Chippewas. It sent an express in the month of January to La
Pointe, L.S., to communicate with the mission family there, with
their papers, letters, &c. Regular monthly meetings of the St.
Mary's committee were held, and the proceedings denote the
collection of much information of high interest to the cause of the
15th. I was anxious now to extend the sphere of my
observation to Europe. I had been engaged twelve consecutive years
out of a period of fifteen (omitting 1823, 1828, 1829 and 1830) in
journeys chiefly in the great Valley of the Mississippi, the vast
flanks of the Rocky Mountains, the Upper Lakes, and the
north-western frontiers. And I began to sigh for a prospect of older
countries and institutions. The time seemed favorable, in my mind,
for such a movement, and I wrote to a friend high in influence at
Washington, on the subject. In a reply of this date, he throws, with
adroitness, cold water on the subject. He weighs matters in scales
which will only keep their equipoise at the place of the seat of
government; and, if I may say so, require their equipoise to be kept
up by casting on the golden weights of political expediency. Like
those seemingly mysterious charms which produce the variations in
the compass, the effects are always instantly visible, we see the
dip and intensity of the needle, while the causes are in great
measure out of sight.
A correspondent at Washington writes--"The President" talks of a
tour to the East. He will probably leave here about the last of May.
He will go to Portland, then through New Hampshire and Vermont to
Lake Champlain, and thence through the western part of New York to
Buffalo. This was originally the programme of Gen. Jackson's tour to
New England in 1833.
16th. Charles Cleland, Esq., of Detroit, writes: "My partner,
Franklin Sawyer, Jr., has, for some months past, been collecting
materials to enable him to publish a history of Detroit, and he has
this moment requested me to solicit your friendly aid. You might
have in your possession many interesting facts, and much information
which might give great value to the work."
The true history of Detroit lies scattered abroad in the public
archives of Paris and London, and in the Catholic College of Quebec.
It is inseparable in a measure, not only from the history of
Michigan, but New France.
17th. George L. Whitney, of Detroit, writes me respecting the
printing of the narrative of my expedition to Itasca Lake.
19th. Rev. John Clark writes from New York, that the
Methodist Society have determined to establish a mission among the
Chippewas at Sault St. Marie--that he is pleased to hear the "native
speakers" (Sunday, Cabeach and Tanchay) have wintered in the county,
and that he expects to reach St. Mary's by the 10th of June.
20th. Dr. D. Houghton transmits from Detroit, a map necessary
to illustrate my narrative of the expedition to Itasca Lake.
May 9th. Wm. Cooper, of New York, undertakes to describe the
collection of fresh-water shells made on the recent expedition. "You
are not, perhaps, aware," he adds, "that Dr. Torrey is gone to
Europe. He sailed rather unexpectedly in February, and will be
absent until next October. I hope this will not be too great a delay
for you, as it would be difficult to find another botanist equally
capable of describing your plants.
"Dr. Dekay is in New York at present, and I have no doubt will
contribute his assistance in the examination of your collection."
Major H. Whiting remarks: "The lake here is about two feet lower
than it was at this time the last year. How is the level with you? I
have the cause fixed on record this time. Mem.--Not much snow
during the winter, and a dry, a very dry spring--only one brief rain
during the months of March and April. We must watch over these
things and fix data, which will show that the theorizing of the
past, has sprung mostly from the barrenness of observation.
"Emigration is settling again this way, as if the East were in love
with the West. I am not surprised at it. An admirer of the
picturesque might like the hills of the former, but a farmer would
prefer to see them lie down on one of our prairies--such as Prairie
Rond. I found out all their fascination when lately on a visit to
the St. Joseph's country."
20th. I had now performed my last labor at St. Mary's--which
was the preparation of my narrative of the expedition to Itasca
Lake. I looked, in parting, with fond regret at the trees I had
planted, the house I had built, the walks I had constructed, the
garden I had cultivated, the meadow lands I had reclaimed from the
tangled forest, and the wide and noble prospects which surrounded
Elmwood. All was to be left--and I only waited for a suitable vessel
to embark, bag and baggage, for the sacred island whose formal
polysyllables had formed the dread of my spelling days at school--Michilimackinack.
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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